Never afraid of my majesty

Angely in Victor Hugo’s play, Marion de Lorme, does not behave obviously like a jester until the scene he shares with the king, who says:

‘Come.  You who are never frightened of my majesty,

Light in my soul a ray of gaiety’.


‘Viens.  – Toi qui n’as jamais peur de ma majesté,

Fais luire dans mon âme un rayon de gaîté’. 

Later he rises to the requirements of a jester in a powerful speech which obtains a reprieve for two people about to be executed (IV.viii.). 

Note that there was a real jester called Angeli at the French court, mentioned in a letter by the Duchess of Orleans in 1710; perhaps Hugo had heard of him.  

Source: Victor Hugo (1802-85), Marion de Lorme (1829), in Théâtre Complet, ed. by J.-J. Thierry and J. Mélèze, 2 vols (Paris: Gallimard, 1963), I, p. 1098.


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