Chicot the Jester
LE PETIT COUCHER OF HENRI III.
After this scene, beginning in tragedy and ending in comedy, the king, still angry, went
to his room, followed by Chicot, who asked for his supper.
"I am not hungry," said the king.
"It is possible, but I am."
The king did not seem to hear. He unclasped his cloak, took off his cap, and, advancing
to the passage which led to St. Luc's room, said to Chicot, "Wait here for me till I return."
"Oh! do not be in a hurry," said Chicot. No sooner was the king gone, than Chicot
opened the door and called "Hola!"
A valet came. "The king has changed his mind," said Chicot, "he wishes a good supper
here for himself and St. Luc, above all, plenty of wine, and despatch."
The valet went to execute the orders, which he believed to be the king's. Henri
meanwhile had passed into St. Luc's room. He found him in bed, having prayers read to
him by an old servant who had followed him to the Louvre, and shared his captivity. In a
corner, on an armchair, his head buried in his hands, slept the page.
"Who is that young man?" asked the king.
"Did not your majesty authorize me to send for a page."
"Well, I have profited by it."
"Does your majesty repent of having allowed me this little indulgence?"
"No, no, on the contrary, amuse yourself, my son. How are you?"
"Sire, I have a fever."
"Really, your face is red; let me feel your pulse, I am half a doctor."
St. Luc held out his hand with visible ill-humor.