Editor’s note: This interview was conducted at the Minister’s sumptuous new Chateau de Sully.
Q: I understand you’re writing a book?
Yes, I want to compile my letters to write a memoir. I have walked behind the king for decades now, and I want to leave a testament to the country of what I have been able to accomplish during my time here on Earth. God willing, I will have many years to spend on this.
Q: You’ve never shied away from displaying your dislike of the King’s love affairs, publicly feuding with both Gabrielle d’ Estrees and Catherine d’Entranges.
No, and I don’t see any point in glossing over the fact that I disapprove of the king spending both time and money on these women. France needs to be in the best financial position possible, in order for the Bourbon dynasty to survive. The Valois lost the throne due to their moral decadence, I have no desire to see the same thing happen to this king. His Majesty grew up with the values of the Reformed religion: honesty, hard work, thriftiness, loyalty. These women are just out to drain him of his wealth and lead him to the road to ruin. I’ll be happy once he settles his divorce proceedings and France has a virtuous queen sitting beside him on the throne.
Q: Yet your eldest son, Maximillien, hardly led a life of virtue. Isn’t that hypocritical?
No, my son was an adult who unfortunately made some poor choices. I can only hope that he’s with his Lord and Savior today. I pray every day we will be reunited in Heaven.
Q: You’ve been settling into your new home.
Yes, my wife and I want to secure a home for our children, and our children’s children. France finally has an opportunity to come out of the waste of war, both with the English and amongst ourselves. We are building a great nation, and I want to make sure my family is secure in our own home as well. It’s my duty as a husband and father to do everything that I can to ensure it happens.
Q: What are your biggest goals for transforming France?
Sully: I want to be able to recreate what we’ve lost across the countryside. Do you realize that most cities and villages are dealing with food shortages because they were unable to plant or harvest their crops during the civil wars? That was a tragedy that we ourselves caused, may God forgive us.
We also need to address the shoddy conditions of our roads and bridges. Many were destroyed for tactical reasons during the wars, and I was responsible for some of that damage. Again, may God forgive me. I have suggested to His Majesty that if we implement a system of canals to link the country, we can increase trade across France. The Netherlands has an excellent system of canals we can use as a guide.