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Last King of France found in INDIA - Balthazar Napoléon de Bourbon

R Classification Dewey : Histoire de France varia. Seller Inventory R Item added to your basket View basket. Its "king" is King of the Carnival; its "queen" is Queen of the Carnival. The maskers who had filled the streets at Mardi Gras with their gaudy color and mirthful antics, were in that year assembled in one organization for the entertainment of the Russian Grand Duke, Alexis, who was then a visitor to the city.

So far as the general public knows, the pageants emerge from mystery, wend their brilliant way through the streets and are then received back into the impenetrable darkness and obscurity from which they emerged. To them the complicated machinery of the Carnival is known, and to them alone.

For it is a complicated machinery, far more so than the uninitiated imagine. This secrecy extends even to the Carnival balls. The last is that of Comus, on Mardi Gras night. The social season is at its height in the city between those two dates. These balls are of two general kinds — those given by the parade organizations and those given by organizations which do not aspire to any more ambitious undertakings.

Of the former there are four — Momus, Proteus, Rex and Comus. Rex presents certain differences from the others, differences to which allusion will be made later on in this article. The others are substantially alike. There are seven of the minor organizations — Twelfth Night, to which reference has already been made; Atlanteans, Oberons, Nereus, Mythras, Falstaffians and Olympians. These societies are, for the most part, offshoots of the older and larger organizations, and retain in miniature and with certain modifications their customs and methods.

With the exception of Rex, these balls are private affairs. The point is not very well understood, not merely by strangers in the city, but by the citizens themselves. The societies which give them consider these entertainments to be of the same nature as a banquet, a reception or a dance in some private residence. For this reason there are many restrictions upon the invitations.

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Each member is allotted a certain number, but is required to hand in to the invitation committee a list of names of persons to whom he desires them sent, and not until this list has been carefully inspected is it complied with. The total number of invitations is governed by the size of the building in which the ball is to be given. Since the burning of this hallowed structure, the balls have been given in places capable of housing only a smaller number.

It will be readily understood that many people, though socially of the most desirable character, cannot obtain invitations every year to all the balls. Rex, however, among the larger Carnival organizations, endeavors to provide for the stranger. This society issues nearly 15, invitations every year, and it is not difficult for any reputable person, newly arrived in the city, to secure a card to its ball.

This generosity is for strangers only. Rex is as chary in the distribution of its favors to residents as any of the other organizations. Rex has more invitations to give, but he gives them just as carefully. The membership consists of two classes, the Royal Host and the Carnival Court.

All they receive in return for the large financial contributions which they make to the society's exchequer, and for the time and skill which they devote to its affairs, is a gorgeously emblazoned piece of parchment conferring the title of duke and a jeweled badge, the latter of a different design each year. The Carnival Court is composed of the younger members.


It is from their ranks that the "cast" is made up — it is they who figure under masks upon the Rex cars in the two day-pageants that are the features of the Carnival street displays, and at the Rex ball Mardi Gras night, at the Athenaeum. The only exception to this rule is in the case of the King of the Carnival. This monarch, chosen by the organization to preside over its street display and at its ball, is always a member of the Royal Host. But in every other respect the deepest secrecy is maintained with regard to everything that pertains to the organization.

This mystery is not as well kept today as it was twenty years ago, but considering the large number of persons involved, is still maintained to a surprising degree. Relatively few know where the workshops of the Carnival organizations are located, for example, and the present is the first time that any extensive account of the ultimate organization of the Carnival has appeared in print.

There must, of course, be one representative with whom contracts can be made and other business carried on; and he necessity is more or less known to the public. In the case of Rex this official is the "manager. Over him is a select committee composed of members from both the Royal Host and the Carnival Court, whose authority is all powerful. For many years the Rex artist was B. Wikstrom, the well-known painter, who died about ten years ago.

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The artist's rough sketches of the proposed pageant are submitted to the select committee, and when finally approved thereby, are referred back to him to be put in final shape. They are represented in full color, with the maskers in place.

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In this form they go to the builders. Latterly, he had the assistance of his son, Henry. They constitute a dynasty of Carnival craftsmen whose time was practically spent exclusively in the service of the societies. The organization owns its own vehicles — platforms and 2. They are used repeatedly, but the fairy structures which are every year reared upon them are always and entirely new. The artist's design is, of course, flat, and indicates variations in the surface only by means of shading — of lights and darks, after the manner of all painting.

The business of the builders is to erect a framework which, when overlaid with the canvas, will actually represent those variations in the plane; hence they are allowed an immense latitude, and the demand upon their ingenuity is enormous. Let us take an example; for instance, a car representing some marine scene. The design as it reaches the workmen represents the waves just as they would be represented in any other water color drawing.

The surface of the water arises in a series of huge billows, but these billows are seamed with countless lesser waves, ripples, undulations. In the drawing they are mere splashes of color, vivid green, gray, brown, even black — but there is nothing to tell the builder how these effects are to be attained.