Mr. John Rogister, who is a Grand Officier in the French Ordre National du Mérite, has written in especially to tell us a little about the Royal Stables in olden times. Embedded, literally, in these establishments, writes Mr. Rogister, were the royal pages. These scions of nobility came from all over France to be trained as gentlemen and prepared at the age of fourteen for careers in the army. They had to produce proof of nobility going back before 1550 in order to be admitted. More than 900 pages from 713 families were admitted under the last two kings. These families had to pay onerous entry fees, as well as for the upkeep of their offspring, though after the first year the king supplied the pages with their livery and boots. Once admitted, a page would be taught to ride, to fence, to dance and to practise the polite arts. They had lessons in history, geography and mathematics, and attended mass every day in the chapel. The pages were present at hunts and formed a juvenile and amusing addition at the king's dinners afterwards, where they stood around and were given occasional scraps and wine from the royal table. Back at the stables, where they slept in communal dormitories, they larked about, according to Mr. Rogister, beating up the valets or returning after hours. Have not historians too much overlooked the camaraderie of the pages as a formative influence upon the aristocratic élite of the ancien régime?