Friday, April 3, 2009

Leopold III & Proust's Questionnaire

Here, we see the King Leopold III with his youngest daughter, Princess Marie-Esmeralda. Leopold and Esmeralda enjoyed an especially close relationship; it reminds me of Marie-José's strong bond with her father, King Albert I. 

In her memoirs, Léopold III, mon père, Esmeralda relates that she once gave Marcel Proust's famous questionnaire to her father. Here are some of his answers. They provide interesting insights into Leopold's personality, desires, and ideals. 

Quel est selon vous le comble de la misère?

L'amour de l'argent.

Quel est votre idéal de bonheur terrestre?

Ménage et famille.

Votre vertu préférée?

La droiture

Votre couleur préférée?

Le jaune.

Votre fleur préférée?

Le lilas

Vos héroïnes dans la vie réelle?

Maman

Vos héroïnes dans l'Histoire?

La grande Catherine

Vos prénoms favoris?

Lilian, Esmeralda, Daphné, Alexandre

Vos poètes préférés?

Ceux de l'époque romantique.

Les caractères historiques que vous méprisez le plus?

Ceux qui ont voulu se faire passer pour autre chose que ce qu'ils étaient...

Le trait principal de votre caractère?

La fidélité en amitié

La réforme que vous admirez le plus?

Le début de socialisme

Le fait militaire que vous admirez le plus?

La campagne d'Italie

Ce que vous detestez le plus?

A part l'ananas, le mensonge et l'hypocrisie

Comment aimeriez-vous mourir?

De mort violente, le plus tard possible

Etat present de votre esprit?

Désabusé

Votre principal défaut?

La paresse

Votre principale qualité?

L'honnêteté

Votre occupation favorite?

Les voyages en dehors des chemins battus

Votre devise?

Vivons cachés pour vivre heureux!

***

What is, in your eyes, the depth of misery?

The love of money

What is your ideal of earthly happiness?

Marriage and family

Your favorite virtue?

Integrity

Your favorite color?

Yellow

Your favorite flower?

The lilac

Your heroines in real life?

My mother

Your heroines in history?

Catherine the Great

Your favorite first names?

Lilian, Esmeralda, Daphne, Alexander (1)

Your favorite poets?

The Romantics

The historical characters you despise the most?

Those who tried to appear other than they were...

Your chief character trait?

Fidelity in friendship

The reform you admire the most?

The beginning of socialism

The military exploit you admire the most?

The Italian campaign

What do you hate most?

Aside from pineapple, lying and hypocrisy

How would you like to die?

By violence, as late as possible

Your present state of mind?

Disillusioned

Your chief fault?

Laziness

Your chief quality?

Honesty

Your favorite occupation?

Traveling off the beaten path

Your motto?

Live hidden to live happily!


(1) the names of his second wife and their children

2 comments:

Ingrid Mida said...

What a fascinating motto! I also like that honesty was his chief quality.
As to your question on my blog regarding linkwithin, I do like how it backtracks to other posts but it appears to work randomly. It does not always pick the post that makes the most sense. And each time I log in, it seems to chose different links. I also had some recent "security" issues on my blog, but I'm not sure whether or not that was related or not. I had to change my Google password (something that should probably be done regularly).

Matterhorn said...

Thanks for the information and tips... maybe I'll stay away from new widgets for now.