The Memoirs of the Duc de Saint-Simon are well known to students of European and French history but are forbidding in the original because of their ulk. The Pleiade edition is in seven volumes. The present excerpts provide a ich panorama of daily life at Versailles with all its drama, gossip and intrigue. Saint-Simon, who lived at the Court of Versailles during the later years of Louis XIV's reign, recorded in detail all that took place around him. His descriptions, times vivid, caustic, intimate, ribald and usually dramatic, pile up indis-riminately. Of the excerpts chosen by Sanche de Gramont, those in the section entitled ""Portraits"" are most interesting. Saint-Simon's vindictiveness and pet atreds are all too evident. The value of the Memoirs lies in the fact that they are a first-hand account of life at the court of Louis XIV. They are inaccurate at times, yes, but it is the quality of his virulence that we admire. Primarily of interest to students of history, French and world literature.