Pyramid erected in front of the door of the Paris Palace with the King’s favor (1713)

Translated from Latin by Tim Casey, S.J.

Arrest de La Cour

inscribed on black marble in letters of Gold, on the four sides of the
base of the Pyramid raised in front of the great door
of the Palace at Paris.


and Blessed for Eternity, for his safety and health, the most brave &
Most Merciful Prince HENRY IV. of France
& Navarre the Most Christian King.

Listen traveler! Whether you are a foreigner
or an inhabitant of this city called Paris.
In this place do I stand, as Pyramid, as fortress.
I was formerly the house of Chatel.
But by a decree of the Senate,
I was destroyed for the punishment of his crime.
The son of a noblewoman rendered me to this condition,
for he was manipulated by evil teachers in a wicked school.
The names of these wretched men
share the same name as our Savior, Oh how terrible!
Chatel, that unholy one, a parricide to the King!
Our noble king who protects this desperate city!
Yet the king, like a victor, avoided the blow
of the brazen murder, aided by divine help.

However he was wounded slightly in the teeth.
Leave traveler, for it is forbidden for me to say more
about this shameful, despicable plot enacted against our State!

On the Pyramid.
The pyramid, which derives its name from pure fire,
once adorned the cities of ancient nations.
No longer is it a decoration, but now rather it serves as
a sacrificial altar, an expiation for the crime.
All things are cleansed either by fire or by water.
And so the Senate [parlement] fashioned this notable monument
as a memory for the living King, for his piety,
as a remembrance of the peril from which he escaped.
The State and the king’s subjects should no longer fear
that such an event could ever occur again.


D. O. M.
[Deo Optimo Maximo / To the Glory of Our Lord]

Dedicated to the deliverance of HENRY IV, the most merciful and bravest of Kings, whom a treacherous parricide dared to attack by stabbing him. This parricide was imbued by the heretical teachings of a most pernicious faction, a faction which conceals their crimes by using a name of piety. This group taught publicly that it is acceptable to kill the anointed ones of the Lord, the living images of his Majesty; yet his wicked hand was stopped by a heavenly spirit; the knife, which was thrust into his upper lip, fortunately was blocked by running into his teeth. The court of Parliament wanted to provide a fitting tribute for posterity to commemorate such an atrocious crime against a most distinguished Prince and kingdom; for the safety of the kingdom is found in the safety of the king. The monster who committed the crime was mangled and torn apart limb by limb by horses galloping off every which way; then his remains were burnt by flames. Finally the house where he was born has been utterly destroyed, and in its place this pyramid is erected, a marker of the glory and safety of the King and all his people.

Ex      S.C.
[Ex Senatus Consulto/From a Decree of the Senate]

This house was once the dwelling place of a savage monster,
where now a cross raises its lofty head towards the stars.

The Parliament sanctioned this punishment on the remains of that pitiful one,
so that all might know that no one is more sacred than a King.


D. O. M.
[Deo Optimo Maximo / To the Glory of Our Lord]

Most Holy.

When Henry, the Most Christian King of the France and of those who dwell in Navarre, born for the good of the Republic, had, among other instances of his victories, chastised the Spanish tyranny, and this faction/league which had been formed; when he had justly avenged by arms the ancient splendor of his own kingdom, and he received the servitude of this city and the rest of the other peoples of his kingdom. Finally, his success had provoked the furor of the internal enemies of France; a certain John Chatel, son of Peter Chatel, seduced by these enemies of France, dared to attack the king’s head with a knife, committing this crime with more temerity than success. On account of this, by the Orders of Parliament who had vindicated the treason, the house of Peter Chatel was destroyed, in which his son John had communicated to his father the wicked attempt. In its place, this eternal monument has been erected in memory of that day, in which the happiness of the world, among the hopes and fears of the city, preserved the savior of the kingdom and the founder of public tranquility from the unspeakable act of that wicked man. He (Henry IV) restored the debilitated strength of this kingdom from extreme ruin. In addition, these men of novel and wicked superstition have been expelled from all of France; they who disrupted the republic, and by the wicked inspiration of them, this young man (Chatel) carried out this horrible crime.

S. P. Q. P.
[Senatus populusque Parisiensis / The senate and people of Paris]

To the destroyer of the death-dealing Spanish sect, happy are we on account of his safety (Henry) and for the vindication of the parricide, by those devoted to his Majesty.

Double was the power of the fates,
To give the French the safety which would be needed by the French,
And to preserve those best things which had been bestowed upon the French.

Arrest de la Cour

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