LOUIS OF FRANCE SAYS HIS HOURS
THE reader may not have forgotten that a moment before catching sight of the truands' nocturnal band, Quasimodo, inspecting Paris from the top of his bell tower, had seen only one light still shining, twinkling like a star in a window of the top storey of a tall, gloomy building, near the Porte Saint-Antoine. That building was the Bastille. The star was Louis XI's candle.
King Louis XI had in fact been in Paris for two days. He was due to leave again in two days' time to go back to his citadel of Montilz-les-Tours. His appearances in his good town of Paris were only ever brief and rare, because he did not feel that there were enough trapdoors, gallows, and Scottish archers around him there.
He had come that day to spend the night at the Bastille. The great bedchamber of 5 square toises⋆ which he had in the Louvre, with its great chimney-piece, laden with twelve huge beasts and thirteen major prophets, and his great bed, measuring 11 by 12 feet, was not much to his liking. He felt lost amid all that grandeur. This good bourgeois king preferred the Bastille with a little bedroom and a little bed. Moreover, the Bastille was stronger than the Louvre.
This 'little bedroom' which the King had kept for himself in the famous State prison was still spacious enough, and occupied the top floor of a turret set into the keep. It was a redoubt, circular in shape, carpeted with mats of gleaming straw, the ceiling beams embellished with fleurs-de-lys of gilded tin and the space in between painted, panelled with ornate woodwork sprinkled with rosettes of white tin, and painted a beautiful bright green, made of orpiment and fine indigo.
There was only one window, a long lancet latticed with brass wire and iron bars, further obscured by fine glass