Letter 134

, par Stewart

Rica to Usbek in ***

The Paris parlement has just been relegated to a small city they call Pontoise. The Council sent to it for registration or approval a declaration that dishonors it, and it registered it in a manner that dishonors the Council. [1]

Several parlements in the realm are threatened with the same treatment.

These companies are always irritating. They approach kings only to tell them sad truths ; and while a crowd of courtiers are constantly depicting for them a people happy under their government, they come and gainsay flattery and bring to the foot of the throne the groans and tears of which they are the depositaries.

Truth is a heavy burden, my dear Usbek, when it must be carried as far as princes : they surely must think that those who do so are obliged to, and that they would never resign themselves to undertake acts so sad and dispiriting for those who do them, if they were not forced to do so by their duty, their respect, and even their love.

Paris this 21st day of the moon of Gemmadi I, 1720


[1On 17 July 1720 the Paris parlement, questioning the regularity of several of the Bank’s operations, refused to register a royal edict ; it was exiled to Pontoise by lettres de cachet on 20 July (this letter being dated the 21st). The parlement’s resistance lasted only a few months, until it registered the edict, with restrictions, on 4 December.