Louis [XIV] was not a stupid man; he was handsome and lazy. Madame de Pompadour was his most celebrated mistress; she was not the only one. Apart from women, be had few interests and no desire to 'waste" his energies on projects he deemed relatively unimportant. His kind, dull wife bore him ten children in hardly more than ten years, but she could never hold his attention. Women were his great diversion. One followed another. The post of "king's head mistress" became the most coveted in the realm. Father sought it for their daughters, husbands for their wives. A favorite mistress, like Madame de Pompadour or Madame du Barry (c. 1746-1793), wielded power. To offend such a person might be to risk the monarch's wrath. (A History of the Western World by Solomon Modell.)
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