Be a Good Example
King Louis XIV (September 5, 1638 – September 1, 1715) of France, remains the longest reigned monarch in European history. He reigned for 72 years and 110 days. He was 4 years old when he became king.
During Louis’ reign, France was the leading European power, and it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg and the War of the Spanish Succession.
Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, and his personality shaped his approach. Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory so that in peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war.
Louis, also known as ‘The Sun King’, died four days before his 77th birthday after 72 years on the throne. Enduring much pain in his last days, he finally “yielded up his soul without any effort, like a candle going out“, while reciting the psalm, Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina (O Lord, make haste to help me ).
His body was laid to rest in Saint-Denis Basilica outside Paris. It remained there undisturbed for about 80 years, until the French Revolution when it was exhumed and destroyed by revolutionaries.
He had 5 children (he outlived them all and also two of his grandchildren by his only son who lived till adulthood) and numerous illegitimate children who were products of his mistresses, both official and unofficial.
Thus, at the time of his death, Louis’ heir was his five year old great-grandson who became Louis XV.
Louis on his deathbed advised his heir with these words:
”Do not follow the bad example which I have set you; I have often undertaken war too lightly and have sustained it for vanity. Do not imitate me, but be a peaceful prince, and may you apply yourself principally to the alleviation of the burdens of your subjects.”
Have historical week ahead..
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