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divertissement du perroquet


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  • "For several days they paraded through town behind a marching band and a large wooden parrot mounted on a pole. Then they attached the parrot to the top of a ship's mast in a grassy moat outside the city walls and held an archery contest. The knight who felled the parrot was proclaimed king. A triumphal arch was raised in front of his house, and the knights danced t here with their ladies all night long, then retired for a fest given by the king, while gros rouge was distributed to the populace.... In fact, the 'Divertissement du Perroquet' had last taken place two generations ago, at the birth of the Dauphin in 1730."

    —Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre, And Other Episodes in French Cultural History (New York: Vintage Books, 1984), 132

    September 22, 2008