"Why cannot I remember the hundred luminous things which escaped the King in this conversation! It lasted till the trumpet at Head- quarters announced dinner. The King went to take his place; and I think it was on this occasion that, some one having asked why M. de Loudon had not come yet, he said, 'That is not his custom: formerly he often arrived before me. Please let him take this place next me; I would rather have him at my side than opposite.'"
That is very pretty. And a better authority gives it, The King said to Loudon himself, on Loudon's entering,
"Another day," continues Prince de Ligne, "the Manoeuvres being over in good time, there was a Concert at the Kaiser's. Notwithstanding the King's taste for music, he was pleased to give me the preference; and came where I was, to enchant me with the magic of his conversation, and the brilliant traits, gay and bold, which characterize him. He asked me to name the general and particular Officers who were present, and to tell him those who had served under Marshal Traun: 'For, ENFIN,' he said, 'as I think I have told you already, he is my Master; he corrected me in the Schooling I was at.'
EGO. "'Your Majesty was very ungrateful, then; you never paid him his lessons. If it was as your Majesty says, you should at least have allowed him to beat you; and I do not remember that you ever did.'
KING. "'I did not get beaten, because I did not fight.'
EGO. "'It is in this manner that the greatest Generals have often conducted their wars against each other. One has only to look at the two Campaigns of M. de Montecuculi and M. de Turenne, in the Valley of the Rench [Strasburg Country, 1674 and 1675, two celebrated Campaigns, Turenne killed by a cannon-shot in the last].
KING. "'Between Traun and the former there is not much difference; but what a difference, BON DIEU, between the latter and me!'
"I named to him the Count d'Althan, who had been Adjutant-General, and the Count de Pellegrini. He asked me twice which was which, from the distance we were at; and said, He was so short-sighted, I must excuse him.
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