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LOUIS THE ELEVENTH.
It is well known that Louis XI. was fearful of death. In order to obtain the cure of those disorders to which age is subject, he ordered François dé Paule to visit him in the fortress of Plessis-les-Tours, and devoted bimself to the prayers of that pious anchoret. He did not, however, forego the daily commission of some new crime, which doubtless rendered the idea of approaching dissolution still more terrible.
Louis XI. notwithstanding this impression, upon his return from a pilgrimage which he made to Saint Cloude, and which, far from reestablishing his health as he expected, had the tendency to weaken his bodily strength, ordered a splendid mausoleum to be erected in the church of Notre-Dame de Clery, the form of which, and the necessary ornaments, says Vely, the king himself prescribed. This tomb was never finished; but during the reign of Francis I. in the year 1622, Michel Boudin, a sculptor, a native of Orleans, was commissioned to execute this statue in marble, which was the principal figure.
The head is finely wrought; it betrays boldness of chisel and correctness of expression; it bears, moreover, a resemblance to the portraits which have been preserved of that prince: he is clothed in the royal mantle. During the revolution this statue was mutilated, and the head broken in three pieces.
But little certain is known of the artist, Boudin. It is, however, related at Clery, where the monument originally was, that, disgusted with his salary, he stole a silver lamp suspended in a church; and being apprehended was delivered over to justice, which showed him no favour. This, without doubt, is one of those popular stories which are sometimes circulated without the smallest belief in their authenticity.