For your consideration, two cautionary tales.
Royal favorites—whether confidants, lovers, or powerful political lieutenants—were magnets for controversy, their rise and fall followed closely by politicos and populace alike. In quick succession, the Saint Sulpice Collection has recently offered up pamphlets dealing with a couple of these characters.
The first, La disgrace de Baradas (Case folio BX4060.A1 S25 ser. 1 v. 6 no. 6) of 1626, lambastes François de Baradas (1602-1684), the handsome officer of the royal household who was Louis XIII’s first love. Written as an allegory in the voice of “Maistre Bontemps,” La disgrace de Baradas mercilessly takes to task “ces petits Phaetonneax d’orgueil & d’ambition” (these little Phaëtons of pride and ambition) who overreach and get their comeuppance. It took only six months for Baradas to fall from favor, either for fighting an illegal duel or for taking other lovers; the sources disagree. This episode made “la fortune de Baradas” a French idiom for short-lived good fortune.
The second pamphlet, the Histoire admirable, et declin pitoyable aduenu en la personne d’vn fauory de la Cour d’Espagne (Case folio BX4060.A1 S25 ser. 1 v. 12 no. 7), tells the tale of Rodrigo Calderón (1580s-1621), secretary to Francisco Gómez de Sandoval, Duke of Lerma, who was, in turn, the royal favorite or valido of King Philip III of Spain. Wielding enormous political power, Lerma left much of the work—and eventually its consequences—to his trusted secretary. The duke was savvy enough to seek out a cardinalship, giving him ecclesiastical immunity from prosecution, so when he fell from power in 1618 he couldn’t be touched. His enemies, instead, set upon Calderón, who was convicted of several murders and a host of lesser charges. The Histoire admirable is devoted mostly to the pitiable decline (ever the more interesting part), specifically Calderón’s torture and execution in 1621, along with details of what became of his wealth.
Like Baradas, Calderón contributed to his nation’s lexicon. He took his death sentence with such bravery (bravado?), that even today a person who is immoderately proud is said to “tener más orgullo que Don Rodrigo en la horca” (be prouder than Don Rodrigo on the scaffold).