Thursday, May 2, 2013


Qui s'y frotte, s'y pique.
"Touch me who dares" is a satisfactory translation for the devise of Louis XII, who reigned as king of France from 1498 through 1515.

While a crowned porcupine was Louis XII's emblem, the animal is not exactly the friendliest of figures to use to greet visitors at the front door. This one in faïence is on a lintel of a maison en meulière built by the turn-of-the-20th-century Versailles architect, Léon Bachelin.

un porc-épic:  a porcupine
frotter:  to rub
se frotter:  to cross swords with or to come against someone
piquer:  to prick; to sting; to sew; to pinch (steal)
une devise:  a devise, motto, watchword, slogan; also a currency
faïence:  earthenware

©2013 P.B. Lecron

No comments:

Post a Comment