Approximate Translation of the French Response

"Your letter shows what an upstart [parvenu] you are, says Monsieur the President of the French Republic.

"There is a charge for responding; so I am sorry you do not have the good sense [savoir faire] to know that I cannot give in to your sweet demands.

"In effect, you fail to comprehend that the fact that he is taking the cure at Lourdes prevents me from permitting the President of the Republic to respond personally to your demands. He cannot vote for you, either.

"And I agree, Sir, with the expression of the sentiments of the Millers."

Who the hell are the Millers?

Addendum (12 August 1998): Sometimes, even when you think it's obvious you're joking . . .

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