The Child King’s Golden Helmet
The ancient Chinese considered odd numbers as yang–male…and
even numbers as yin–female. Today, in the west…13…an odd
number is considered to be unlucky. It is an indivisible number,
and it is lunar: 13 x 28 = 364…supposedly 28 is the number of
lunar months in a year. Among the Jewish people, 13 years old is
the year a boy becomes a man and is a bar-mitzvah. In
France…in the mid 1500’s…thirteen was the year a boy became
of age. And so it was with Charles IX.
Charles-son of Catherine de M=E9dicis–became king because of his
elder brother’s death. Actually, Charlie became king when he was
ten years old but was proclaimed of age when he became thirteen.
I know all of you are chomping at the bit to find out what our
young king did in order to merit such an honored a position as
to be highlighted in Tidbits. A legitimate question folks. The
answer…nothing. Charles did nothing…or at least almost
nothing. He was born in 1550 and died in 1574. King at ten,
ruler at thirteen, dead at twenty four.
Lest you all think–due to the above lead–that he did
absolutely nothing at all with his life (key word here folks is
"absolutely") …I am here to tell you that he did indeed leave
his mark…small as it may be. He sanctioned a massacre in 1572
in which 20,000 Huguenots were killed throughout France. And
though he left no children by his wife…he did have one
child–a son–the Comte d’Auvergne, by his mistress, Marie
Touchet. History records these important events for all of us to
enjoy. Oh yes…one more thing…he left behind a helmet…and
a shield. That’s it folks…that’s the whole story when it comes
to King Charles IX. A vacuous life at best…with a couple of
trinkets for posterity
Normally speaking…I wouldn’t be seen walking through…I don’t
know…the streets of New York for instance…wearing a
helmet…or carrying a shield for that matter. But then there are
helmets and there are helmets and there are shields and there
are shields. I am speaking, of course, of the helmet and shield
of Charles IX. Incredible pieces…made of…of…gold? Here’s
the thing of it. I lifted the pictures of both helmet and shield
from a source that speaks mostly of gold…though neither helmet
or shield is described in detail. So I’ll tell you what I think.
I think they’re gold, inlaid with colored depicting
war scenes. However, whether gold…or whether shmold…makes not
a wit of difference…because they’re stunning. I have scanned
pictures of both for all of you to see. You know where. To my
home page, down the table menu…to the box that says Tidbits,
and click on Charles IX in the graphic section.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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