There’s one way to get him to play

People often begged him to play a little air on the violin, but he refused great lords and his fellow de-bauchers alike.  The only person who succeeded in making him play was the Marshal de Grammont.  He had a footman called La Lande who later became one of the best violinists in Europe.  After a meal, the Marshall implored Lully to hear his footman and give a few words of advice.  La Lande came and played, probably as best he could.  Lully, however, was so irritated by his mistakes that he seized the instrument from his hand and, having begun, played on for three hours and relinquished the violin only with reluctance.


 Lecerf de la Viéville: Comparaison de la musique italienne et de la musique françois. Brussels, 1705.  Cited in: Lebrecht, Norman (1985) The Book of Musical Anecdotes.  New York: The Free Press, p. 9.