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Title: Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court and of the Regency — Complete
Author: Saint-Simon, Louis de Rouvroy, duc de, 1675-1755
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court and of the Regency — Complete" ***

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                        BY THE DUKE OF SAINT-SIMON

                      CONTENTS OF THE 15 VOLUMES

                                VOLUME 1.


Birth and Family.--Early Life.--Desire to join the Army.--Enter the
Musketeers.--The Campaign Commences.--Camp of Gevries.--Siege of Namur.
--Dreadful Weather.--Gentlemen Carrying Corn.--Sufferings during the
Siege.--The Monks of Marlaigne.--Rival Couriers.--Naval Battle.--
Playing with Fire-arms.--A Prediction Verified.


The King's Natural Children.--Proposed Marriage of the Duc de Chartres.--
Influence of Dubois.--The Duke and the King.--An Apartment.--Announcement
of the Marriage.--Anger of Madame.--Household of the Duchess.--Villars
and Rochefort.--Friend of King's Mistresses.--The Marriage Ceremony.--
Toilette of the Duchess.--Son of Montbron.--Marriage of M. du Maine.--
Duchess of Hanover.--Duc de Choiseul.--La Grande Mademoiselle.


Death of My Father.--Anecdotes of Louis XIII.--The Cardinal de
Richelieu.--The Duc de Bellegarde.--Madame de Hautefort.--My Father's
Enemy.--His Services and Reward.--A Duel against Law.--An Answer to a
Libel.--M. de la Rochefoucauld.--My Father's Gratitude to Louis XIII.


Position of the Prince of Orange.--Strange Conduct of the King.--Surprise
and Indignation.--Battle of Neerwinden.--My Return to Paris.--Death of La
Vauguyon.--Symptoms of Madness.--Vauguyon at the Bastille.--Projects of
Marriage.--M. de Beauvilliers.--A Negotiation for a Wife.--My Failure.--
Visit to La Trappe.


M. de Luxemhourg's Claim of Precedence.--Origin of the Claim.--Duc de
Piney.--Character of Harlay.--Progress of the Trial.--Luxembourg and
Richelieu.--Double-dealing of Harlay.--The Duc de Gesvres.--Return to the
Seat of War.--Divers Operations.--Origin of These Memoirs.


Quarrels of the Princesses.--Mademoiselle Choin.--A Disgraceful Affair.--
M. de Noyon.--Comic Scene at the Academie.--Anger and Forgiveness of
M. de Noyon.--M. de Noailles in Disgrace.--How He Gets into Favour Again.
--M. de Vendome in Command.--Character of M. de Luxembourg.--The Trial
for Precedence Again.--An Insolent Lawyer.--Extraordinary Decree.


Harlay and the Dutch.--Death of the Princess of Orange.--Count
Koenigsmarck.--A New Proposal of Marriage.--My Marriage.--That of M. de
Lauzun.--Its Result.--La Fontaine and Mignard.--Illness of the Marechal
de Lorges.--Operations on the Rhine.--Village of Seckenheim.--An Episode
of War.--Cowardice of M. du Maine.--Despair of the King, Who Takes a
Knave in the Act.--Bon Mot of M. d'Elboeuf.


The Abbe de Fenelon.--The Jansenists and St. Sulpice.--Alliance with
Madame Guyon.--Preceptor of the Royal Children.--Acquaintance with Madame
de Maintenon.--Appointment to Cambrai.--Disclosure of Madame Guyon's
Doctrines.--Her Disgrace.--Bossuet and Fenelon.--Two Rival Books.--
Disgrace of Fenelon.

                                VOLUME 2.


Death of Archbishop Harlay.--Scene at Conflans.--"The Good Langres."--
A Scene at Marly.--Princesses Smoke Pipes!--Fortunes of Cavoye.--
Mademoiselle de Coetlogon.--Madame de Guise.--Madame de Miramion.--Madame
de Sevigne.--Father Seraphin.--An Angry Bishop.--Death of La Bruyere.--
Burglary by a Duke.--Proposed Marriage of the Duc de Bourgogne.--The
Duchesse de Lude.--A Dangerous Lady.--Madame d'O.--Arrival of the
Duchesse de Bourgogne.


My Return to Fontainebleau.--A Calumny at Court.--Portrait of M. de La
Trappe.--A False Painter.--Fast Living at the "Desert."--Comte
d'Auvergne.--Perfidy of Harlay.--M. de Monaco.--Madame Panache.--The
Italian Actor and the "False Prude".


A Scientific Retreat.--The Peace of Ryswick.--Prince of Conti King of
Poland.--His Voyage and Reception.--King of England Acknowledged.--Duc de
Conde in Burgundy.--Strange Death of Santeuil.--Duties of the Prince of
Darmstadt in Spain.--Madame de Maintenon's Brother.--Extravagant Dresses.
Marriage of the Duc de Bourgogne.--The Bedding of the Princesse.--Grand
Balls.--A Scandalous Bird.


An Odd Marriage.--Black Daughter of the King.--Travels of Peter the
Great.--Magnificent English Ambassador.--The Prince of Parma.--
A Dissolute Abbe.--Orondat.--Dispute about Mourning.--M. de Cambrai's
Book Condemned by M. de La Trappe.--Anecdote of the Head of Madame de
Montbazon.--Condemnation of Fenelon by the Pope.--His Submission.


Charnace.--An Odd Ejectment.--A Squabble at Cards.--Birth of My Son.--
The Camp at Compiegne.--Splendour of Marechal Boufflers.--Pique of the
Ambassadors.--Tesse's Grey Hat.--A Sham Siege.--A Singular Scene.--
The King and Madame de Maintenon.--An Astonished Officer.--
Breaking-up of the Camp.


Gervaise Monk of La Trappe.----His Disgusting Profligacy.--The Author of
the Lord's Prayer.--A Struggle for Precedence.--Madame de Saint-Simon.--
The End of the Quarrel.--Death of the Chevalier de Coislin.--A Ludicrous
Incident.--Death of Racine.--The King and the Poet.--King Pays Debts of
Courtiers.--Impudence of M. de Vendome.--A Mysterious Murder.--
Extraordinary Theft.


The Farrier of Salon.--Apparition of a Queen.--The Farrier Comes to
Versailles.--Revelations to the Queen.--Supposed Explanation.--
New Distinctions to the Bastards.--New Statue of the King.--
Disappointment of Harlay.--Honesty of Chamillart.--The Comtesse de
Fiesque.--Daughter of Jacquier.--Impudence of Saumery.--Amusing Scene.--
Attempted Murder.


Reform at Court.--Cardinal Delfini.--Pride of M. de Monaco.--Early Life
of Madame de Maintenon.--Madame de Navailles.--Balls at Marly.--An Odd
Mask.--Great Dancing--Fortunes of Langlee.--His Coarseness.--The Abbe de
Soubise.--Intrigues for His Promotion.--Disgrace and Obstinacy of
Cardinal de Bouillon.


A Marriage Bargain.--Mademoiselle de Mailly.--James II.--Begging
Champagne.--A Duel.--Death of Le Notre.--His Character.--History of
Vassor.--Comtesse de Verrue and Her Romance with M. de Savoie.--A Race of
Dwarfs.--An Indecorous Incident.--Death of M. de La Trappe.

                                VOLUME 3.


Settlement of the Spanish Succession.--King William III.--New Party in
Spain.--Their Attack on the Queen.--Perplexity of the King.--His Will.--
Scene at the Palace.--News Sent to France.--Council at Madame de
Maintenon's.--The King's Decision.--A Public Declaration.--Treatment of
the New King.--His Departure for Spain.--Reflections.--Philip V. Arrives
in Spain.--The Queen Dowager Banished.


Marriage of Phillip V.--The Queen's Journey.--Rival Dishes.--
A Delicate Quarrel.--The King's journey to Italy.--The Intrigues against
Catinat.--Vaudemont's Success.--Appointment of Villeroy.--The First
Campaign.--A Snuffbox.--Prince Eugene's Plan.--Attack and Defence of
Cremona.--Villeroy Made Prisoner.--Appointment of M. de Vendome.


Discontent and Death of Barbezieux.--His Character.--Elevation of
Chamillart.--Strange Reasons of His Success.--Death of Rose.--Anecdotes.
--An Invasion of Foxes.--M. le Prince.--A Horse upon Roses.--Marriage of
His Daughter: His Manners and Appearance


Monseigneur's Indigestion.--The King Disturbed.--The Ladies of the
Halle.--Quarrel of the King and His Brother.--Mutual Reproaches.--
Monsieur's Confessors.--A New Scene of Wrangling.--Monsieur at Table.--
He Is Seized with Apoplexy.--The News Carried to Marly.--How Received by
the King.--Death of Monsieur.--Various Forms of Grief.--The Duc de


The Dead Soon Forgotten.--Feelings of Madame de Maintenon.--And of the
Duc de Chartres.--Of the Courtiers.--Madame's Mode of Life.--Character of
Monsieur.--Anecdote of M. le Prince.--Strange Interview of Madame de
Maintenon with Madame.--Mourning at Court.--Death of Henriette
d'Angleterre.--A Poisoning Scene.--The King and the Accomplice.


Scandalous Adventure of the Abbesse de la Joye.--Anecdote of Madame de
Saint-Herem.--Death of James II. and Recognition of His Son.--Alliance
against France.--Scene at St. Maur.--Balls and Plays.--The "Electra" of
Longepierre--Romantic Adventures of the Abbe de Vatterville.


Changes in the Army.--I Leave the Service.--Annoyance of the King.--The
Medallic History of the Reign.--Louis XIII.--Death of William III.--
Accession of Queen Anne.--The Alliance Continued.--Anecdotes of Catinat.
--Madame de Maintenon and the King.

                                VOLUME 4.


Anecdote of Canaples.--Death of the Duc de Coislin.--Anecdotes of His
Unbearable Politeness.--Eccentric Character.--President de Novion.--
Death of M. de Lorges.--Death of the Duchesse de Gesvres.


The Prince d'Harcourt.--His Character and That of His Wife.--Odd Court
Lady.--She Cheats at Play.--Scene at Fontainebleau.--Crackers at Marly.--
Snowballing a Princess.--Strange Manners of Madame d'Harcourt.--
Rebellion among Her Servants.--A Vigorous Chambermaid.


Madame des Ursins.--Her Marriage and Character.--The Queen of Spain.--
Ambition of Madame de Maintenon.--Coronation of Philip V.--A Cardinal
Made Colonel.--Favourites of Madame des Ursins.--Her Complete Triumph.--
A Mistake.--A Despatch Violated.--Madame des Ursins in Disgrace.


Appointment of the Duke of Berwick.--Deception Practised by Orry.--Anger
of Louis XIV.--Dismissal of Madame des Ursins.--Her Intrigues to Return.
--Annoyance of the King and Queen of Spain.--Intrigues at Versailles.--
Triumphant Return of Madame des Ursins to Court.--Baseness of the
Courtiers.--Her Return to Spain Resolved On.


An Honest Courtier.--Robbery of Courtin and Fieubet.--An Important
Affair.--My Interview with the King.--His Jealousy of His Authority.--
Madame La Queue, the King's Daughter.--Battle of Blenheim or Hochstedt.--
Our Defeat.--Effect of the News on the King.--Public Grief and Public
Rejoicing.--Death of My Friend Montfort.


Naval Battle of Malaga.--Danger of Gibraltar.--Duke of Mantua in Search
of a Wife.--Duchesse de Lesdiguieres.--Strange Intrigues.--Mademoiselle
d'Elboeuf Carries off the Prize.--A Curious Marriage.--Its Result.--
History of a Conversion to Catholicism.--Attempted Assassination.--
Singular Seclusion


Fascination of the Duchesse de Bourgogne.--Fortunes of Nangis.--He Is
Loved by the Duchesse and Her Dame d'Atours.--Discretion of the Court.--
Maulevrier.--His Courtship of the Duchess.--Singular Trick.--Its Strange
Success.--Mad Conduct of Maulevrier--He Is Sent to Spain.--His Adventures
There.--His Return and Tragical Catastrophe.


Death of M. de Duras.--Selfishness of the King.--Anecdote of Puysieux.--
Character of Pontchartrain.--Why He Ruined the French Fleet.--Madame des
Ursins at Last Resolves to Return to Spain.--Favours Heaped upon Her.--
M. de Lauzun at the Army.--His bon mot.--Conduct of M. de Vendome.--
Disgrace and Character of the Grand Prieur.

                                VOLUME 5.


A Hunting Adventure.--Story and Catastrophe of Fargues.--Death and
Character of Ninon de l'Enclos.--Odd Adventure of Courtenvaux.--Spies at
Court.--New Enlistment.--Wretched State of the Country.--Balls at Marly.


Arrival of Vendome at Court.--Character of That Disgusting Personage.--
Rise of Cardinal Alberoni.--Vendome's Reception at Marly.--His Unheard-of
Triumph.--His High Flight.--Returns to Italy.--Battle of Calcinato.--
Condition of the Army.--Pique of the Marechal de Villeroy.--Battle of
Ramillies.--Its Consequences.


Abandonment of the Siege of Barcelona.--Affairs of Italy.--
La Feuillade.--Disastrous Rivalries.--Conduct of M. d'Orleans.--The Siege
of Turin.--Battle.--Victory of Prince Eugene.--Insubordination in the
Army.--Retreat.--M. d'Orleans Returns to Court.--Disgrace of La Feuillade


Measures of Economy.--Financial Embarrassments.--The King and
Chamillart.--Tax on Baptisms and Marriages.--Vauban's Patriotism.--
Its Punishment.--My Action with M. de Brissac.--I Appeal to the King.--
The Result.--I Gain My Action.


My Appointment as Ambassador to Rome.--How It Fell Through.--Anecdotes of
the Bishop of Orleans.--A Droll Song.--A Saint in Spite of Himself.--
Fashionable Crimes.--A Forged Genealogy.--Abduction of Beringhen.--
The 'Parvulos' of Meudon and Mademoiselle Choin.


Death and Last Days of Madame de Montespan.--Selfishness of the King.--
Death and Character of Madame de Nemours.--Neufchatel and Prussia.--
Campaign of Villars.--Naval Successes.--Inundations of the Loire.--Siege
of Toulon.--A Quarrel about News.--Quixotic Despatches of Tesse.

                                VOLUME 6.


Precedence at the Communion Table.--The King Offended with Madame de
Torcy.--The King's Religion.--Atheists and Jansenists.--Project against
Scotland.--Preparations.--Failure.--The Chevalier de St. George.--His
Return to Court.


Death and Character of Brissac.--Brissac and the Court Ladies.--The
Duchesse de Bourgogne.--Scene at the Carp Basin.--King's Selfishness.--
The King Cuts Samuel Bernard's Purse.--A Vain Capitalist.--Story of Leon
and Florence the Actress.--His Loves with Mademoiselle de Roquelaure.--
Run--away Marriage.--Anger of Madame de Roquelaure.--A Furious Mother.--
Opinions of the Court.--A Mistake.--Interference of the King.--
Fate of the Couple.


The Duc d'Orleans in Spain.--Offends Madame des Ursins and Madame de
Maintenon.--Laziness of M. de Vendome in Flanders.--Battle of Oudenarde.
--Defeat and Disasters.--Difference of M. de Vendome and the Duc de


Conflicting Reports.--Attacks on the Duc de Bourgogne.--The Duchesse de
Bourgogne Acts against Vendome.--Weakness of the Duke.--Cunning of
Vendome.--The Siege of Lille.--Anxiety for a Battle.--Its Delay.--Conduct
of the King and Monseigneur.--A Picture of Royal Family Feeling.--Conduct
of the Marechal de Boufflers.


Equivocal Position of the Duc de Bourgogne.--His Weak Conduct.--
Concealment of a Battle from the King.--Return of the Duc de Bourgogne to
Court.--Incidents of His Reception.--Monseigneur.--Reception of the Duc
de Berry.--Behaviour of the Duc de Bourgogne.--Anecdotes of Gamaches.--
Return of Vendome to Court.--His Star Begins to Wane.--Contrast of
Boufflers and Vendome.--Chamillart's Project for Retaking Lille.--How It
Was Defeated by Madame de Maintenon.


Tremendous Cold in France.--Winters of 1708-1709--Financiers and the
Famine.--Interference of the Parliaments of Paris and Dijon.--Dreadful
Oppression.--Misery of the People.--New Taxes.--Forced Labour.--General
Ruin.--Increased Misfortunes.--Threatened Regicide.--Procession of Saint
Genevieve.--Offerings of Plate to the King.--Discontent of the People.--
A Bread Riot, How Appeased.


M. de Vendome out of Favour.--Death and Character of the Prince de
Conti.--Fall of Vendome.--Pursegur's Interview with the King.--Madame de
Bourgogne against Vendome.--Her Decided Conduct.--Vendome Excluded from
Marly.--He Clings to Meudon.--From Which He is also Expelled.--His Final
Disgrace and Abandonment.--Triumph of Madame de Maintenon.


Death of Pere La Chaise.--His Infirmities in Old Age.--Partiality of the
King.--Character of Pere La Chaise.--The Jesuits.--Choice of a New
Confessor.--Fagon's Opinion.--Destruction of Port Royal.--Jansenists and
Molinists.--Pascal.--Violent Oppression of the Inhabitants of Port Royal.

                                VOLUME 7.


Death of D'Avaux.--A Quarrel about a Window.--Louvois and the King.--
Anecdote of Boisseuil.--Madame de Maintenon and M. de Beauvilliers.--
Harcourt Proposed for the Council.--His Disappointment.--Death of M. le
Prince.--His Character.--Treatment of His Wife.--His Love Adventures.--
His Madness.--A Confessor Brought.--Nobody Regrets Him.


Progress of the War.--Simplicity of Chamillart.--The Imperialists and the
Pope.--Spanish Affairs.--Duc d'Orleans and Madame des Ursins.--Arrest of
Flotte in Spain.--Discovery of the Intrigues of the Duc d'Orleans.--Cabal
against Him.--His Disgrace and Its Consequences.


Danger of Chamillart.--Witticism of D'Harcourt.--Faults of Chamillart.--
Court Intrigues against Him.--Behaviour of the Courtiers.--Influence of
Madame de Maintenon.--Dignified Fall of Chamillart.--He is Succeeded by
Voysin.--First Experience of the New Minister.--The Campaign in
Flanders.--Battle of Malplaquet.


Disgrace of the Duc d'Orleans.--I Endeavor to Separate Him from Madame
d'Argenton.--Extraordinary Reports.--My Various Colloquies with Him.--The
Separation.--Conduct of Madame d'Argenton.--Death and Character of M. le
Duc.--The After-suppers of the King.


Proposed Marriage of Mademoiselle.--My Intrigues to Bring It About.--The
Duchesse de Bourgogne and Other Allies.--The Attack Begun.--Progress of
the Intrigue.--Economy at Marly.--The Marriage Agreed Upon.--Scene at
Saint-Cloud.--Horrible Reports.--The Marriage.--Madame de Saint-Simon.--
Strange Character of the Duchesse de Berry


Birth of Louis XV.--The Marechale de la Meilleraye.--Saint-Ruth's
Cudgel.--The Cardinal de Bouillon's Desertion from France.--Anecdotes of
His Audacity.


Imprudence of Villars.--The Danger of Truthfulness.--Military Mistakes.--
The Fortunes of Berwick.--The Son of James.--Berwick's Report on the
Army.--Imprudent Saying of Villars.--"The Good Little Fellow" in a
Scrape.--What Happens to Him.


Duchesse de Berry Drunk.--Operations in Spain.--Vendome Demanded by
Spain.--His Affront by the Duchesse de Bourgogne.--His Arrival.--
Staremberg and Stanhope.--The Flag of Spain Leaves Madrid.--Entry of the
Archduke.--Enthusiasm of the Spaniards--The King Returns.--Strategy, of
Staremberg.--Affair of Brighuega.--Battle of Villavciosa.--Its
Consequences to Vendome and to Spain.

                                VOLUME 8.


State of the Country.--New Taxes.--The King's Conscience Troubled.--
Decision of the Sorbonne.--Debate in the Council.--Effect of the Royal
Tithe.--Tax on Agioteurs.--Merriment at Court.--Death of a Son of
Marechal Boufflers.--The Jesuits.


My Interview with Du Mont.--A Mysterious Communication.--Anger of
Monseigneur against Me.--Household of the Duchesse de Berry.--Monseigneur
Taken Ill of the Smallpox.--Effect of the News.--The King Goes to
Meudon.--The Danger Diminishes.--Madame de Maintenon at Meudon.--The
Court at Versailles.--Hopes and Fears.--The Danger Returns.--Death of
Monseigneur.--Conduct of the King.


A Rumour Reaches Versailles.--Aspect of the Court.--Various Forms of
Grief.--The Duc d'Orleans.--The News Confirmed at Versailles.--Behaviour
of the Courtiers.--The Duc and Duchesse de Berry.--The Duc and Duchesse
de Bourgogne.--Madame.--A Swiss Asleep.--Picture of a Court.--The Heir-
Apparent's Night.--The King Returns to Marly.--Character of Monseigneur.
--Effect of His Death.


State of the Court at Death of Monseigneur.--Conduct of the Dauphin and
the Dauphine.--The Duchesse de Berry.--My Interview with the Dauphin.--
He is Reconciled with M. d'Orleans.


Warnings to the Dauphin and the Dauphine.--The Dauphine Sickens and
Dies.--Illness of the Dauphin.--His Death.--Character and Manners of the
Dauphine.--And of the Dauphin.


Certainty of Poison.--The Supposed Criminal.--Excitement of the People
against M. d'Orleans.--The Cabal.--My Danger and Escape.--The Dauphin's

                                VOLUME 9.


The King's Selfishness.--Defeat of the Czar.--Death of Catinat.--Last
Days of Vendome.--His Body at the Escurial.--Anecdote of Harlay and the
Jacobins.--Truce in Flanders.--Wolves.


Settlement of the Spanish Succession.--Renunciation of France.--Comic
Failure of the Duc de Berry.--Anecdotes of M. de Chevreuse.--Father
Daniel's History and Its Reward.


The Bull Unigenitus.--My Interview with Father Tellier.--Curious
Inadvertence of Mine.--Peace.--Duc de la Rochefoucauld.--A Suicide in
Public.--Charmel.--Two Gay Sisters.


The King of Spain a Widower.--Intrigues of Madame des Ursins.--Choice of
the Princes of Parma.--The King of France Kept in the Dark.--Celebration
of the Marriage.--Sudden Fall of the Princesse des Ursins.--Her Expulsion
from Spain.


The King of Spain Acquiesces in the Disgrace of Madame des Ursins.--Its
Origin.--Who Struck the Blow.--Her journey to Versailles.--Treatment
There.--My Interview with Her.--She Retires to Genoa.--Then to Rome.--


Sudden Illness of the Duc de Berry--Suspicious Symptoms.--The Duchess
Prevented from Seeing Him.--His Death.--Character.--Manners of the
Duchesse de Berry.


Maisons Seeks My Acquaintance.--His Mysterious Manner.--Increase of the
Intimacy.--Extraordinary News.--The Bastards Declared Princes of the
Blood.--Rage of Maisons and Noailles.--Opinion of the Court and Country.


The King Unhappy and Ill at Ease.--Court Paid to Him.--A New Scheme to
Rule Him.--He Yields.--New Annoyance.--His Will.--Anecdotes Concerning
It.--Opinions of the Court.--M. du Maine


A New Visit from Maisons.--His Violent Project.--My Objections.--He
Persists.--His Death and That of His Wife.--Death of the Duc de
Beauvilliers.--His Character.--Of the Cardinal d'Estrees.--Anecdotes.--
Death of Fenelon.

                                VOLUME 10.


Character and Position of the Duc d'Orleans--His Manners, Talents, and
Virtues.--His Weakness.--Anecdote Illustrative Thereof.--
The "Debonnaire"--Adventure of the Grand Prieur in England.--Education
of the Duc d'Orleans.--Character of Dubois.--His Pernicious Influence.--
The Duke's Emptiness.--His Deceit.--His Love of Painting.--The Fairies at
His Birth.--The Duke's Timidity.--An Instance of His Mistrustfulness.


The Duke Tries to Raise the Devil.--Magical Experiments.--His Religious
Opinions.--Impiety.--Reads Rabelais at Church.--The Duchesse d'Orleans.--
Her Character.--Her Life with Her Husband.--My Discourses with the Duke
on the Future.--My Plans of Government.--A Place at Choice Offered Me.--
I Decline the Honour.--My Reason.--National Bankruptcy.--The Duke's Anger
at My Refusal.--A Final Decision.


The King's Health Declines.--Bets about His Death.--Lord Stair.--My New
Friend.--The King's Last Hunt.--And Last Domestic and Public Acts.--
Doctors.--Opium.--The King's Diet.--Failure of His Strength.--His Hopes
of Recovery.--Increased Danger.--Codicil to His Will.--Interview with the
Duc d'Orleans.--With the Cardinal de Noailles.--Address to His
Attendants.--The Dauphin Brought to Him.--His Last Words.--
An Extraordinary Physician.--The Courtiers and the Duc d'Orleans.--
Conduct of Madame de Maintenon.--The King's Death.


Early Life of Louis XIV.--His Education.--His Enormous Vanity.--His
Ignorance.--Cause of the War with Holland.--His Mistakes and Weakness in
War.--The Ruin of France.--Origin of Versailles.--The King's Love of
Adulation, and Jealousy of People Who Came Not to Court.--His Spies.--
His Vindictiveness.--Opening of Letters.--Confidence Sometimes Placed in
Him--A Lady in a Predicament.


Excessive Politeness.--Influence of the Valets.--How the  King Drove
Out.--Love of magnificence.--His Buildings.--Versailles.--The Supply of
Water.--The King Seeks for Quiet.--Creation of Marly.--Tremendous


Amours of the King.--La Valliere.--Montespan.--Scandalous Publicity.--
Temper of Madame de Montespan.--Her Unbearable Haughtiness.--Other
Mistresses.--Madame de Maintenon.--Her Fortunes.--Her Marriage with
Scarron.--His Character and Society.--How She Lived After His Death.--
Gets into Better Company.--Acquaintance with Madame de Montespan.--
The King's Children.--His Dislike of Widow Scarron.--Purchase of the
Maintenon Estate.--Further Demands.--M. du Maine on His Travels.--
Montespan's Ill--humour.--Madame de Maintenon Supplants Her.--Her Bitter
Annoyance.--Progress of the New Intrigue.--Marriage of the King and
Madame de Maintenon.


Character of Madame de Maintenon.--Her Conversation.--Her Narrow-
mindedness.--Her Devotion.--Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.--Its Fatal
Consequences.--Saint Cyr.--Madame de Maintenon Desires Her Marriage to be
Declared.--Her Schemes.--Counterworked by Louvois.--His Vigorous Conduct
and Sudden Death.--Behaviour of the King.--Extraordinary Death of Seron.


Daily Occupations of Madame de Maintenon.--Her Policy--How She Governed
the King's Affairs.--Connivance with the Ministers.--Anecdote of
Le Tellier.--Behaviour of the King to Madame de Maintenon.--
His Hardness.--Selfishness.--Want of Thought for Others.--Anecdotes.--
Resignation of the King.--Its Causes.--The Jesuits and the Doctors.--The
King and Lay Jesuits.

                                VOLUME 11.


External Life of Louis XIV.--At the Army.--Etiquette of the King's
Table.--Court Manners and Customs.--The Rising of the King.--Morning
Occupations.--Secret Amours.--Going to Mass.--Councils.--Thursdays.--
Fridays.--Ceremony of the King's Dinner.--The King's Brother.--After
Dinner.--The Drive.--Walks at Marly and Elsewhere.--Stag--hunting.--Play-
tables.--Lotteries.--Visits to Madame de Maintenon.--Supper.--The King
Retires to Rest.--Medicine Days.--Kings Religious Observances.--Fervency
in Lent.--At Mass.--Costume.--Politeness of the King for the Court of
Saint-Germain.--Feelings of the Court at His Death.--Relief of Madame de
Maintenon.--Of the Duchesse d'Orleans.--Of the Court Generally.--Joy of
Paris and the Whole of France.--Decency of Foreigners.--Burial of the


Surprise of M. d'Orleans at the King's Death.--My Interview with Him.--
Dispute about Hats.--M. du Maine at the Parliament.--His Reception.--
My Protest.--The King's Will.--Its Contents and Reception.--Speech of the
Duc d'Orleans.--Its Effect.--His Speech on the Codicil.--Violent
Discussion.--Curious Scene.--Interruption for Dinner.--Return to the
Parliament.--Abrogation of the Codicil.--New Scheme of Government.--
The Regent Visits Madame de Maintenon.--The Establishment of Saint-Cyr.--
The Regent's Liberality to Madame de Maintenon.


The Young King's Cold.--'Lettres des Cachet' Revived.--A Melancholy
Story.--A Loan from Crosat.--Retrenchments.--Unpaid Ambassadors.--Council
of the Regency.--Influence of Lord Stair.--The Pretender.--His Departure
from Bar.--Colonel Douglas.--The Pursuit.--Adventure at Nonancourt.--Its
Upshot.--Madame l'Hospital.--Ingratitude of the Pretender.


Behaviour of the Duchesse de Berry.--Her Arrogance Checked by Public
Opinion.--Walls up the Luxembourg Garden.--La Muette.--Her Strange Amour
with Rion.--Extraordinary Details.--The Duchess at the Carmelites.--
Weakness of the Regent.--His Daily Round of Life.--His Suppers.--
How He Squandered His Time.--His Impenetrability.--Scandal of His Life.--
Public Balls at the Opera.


First Appearance of Law.--His Banking Project Supported by the Regent.--
Discussed by the Regent with Me.--Approved by the Council and Registered.
--My Interviews with Law.--His Reasons for Seeking My Friendship.--
Arouet de Voltaire.


Rise of Alberoni.--Intimacy of France and England.--Gibraltar Proposed to
be Given Up.--Louville the Agent.--His Departure.--Arrives at Madrid.--
Alarm of Alberoni.--His Audacious Intrigues.--Louville in the Bath.--
His Attempts to See the King.--Defeated.--Driven out of Spain.--Impudence
of Alberoni.--Treaty between France and England.--Stipulation with
Reference to the Pretender.


The Lieutenant of Police.--Jealousy of Parliament.--Arrest of Pomereu
Resolved On.--His Imprisonment and Sudden Release.--Proposed Destruction
of Marly.--How I Prevented It.--Sale of the Furniture.--I Obtain the
'Grandes Entrees'.--Their Importance and Nature.--Afterwards Lavished
Indiscriminately.--Adventure of the Diamond called "The Regent."--Bought
for the Crown of France.


Death of the Duchesse de Lesdiguieres.--Cavoye and His Wife.--Peter the
Great.--His Visit to France.--Enmity to England.--Its Cause.--Kourakin,
the Russian Ambassador.--The Czar Studies Rome.--Makes Himself the Head
of Religion.--New Desires for Rome--Ultimately Suppressed.--Preparations
to Receive the Czar at Paris.--His Arrival at Dunkerque.--At Beaumont.--
Dislikes the Fine Quarters Provided for Him.--His Singular Manners, and
Those of His Suite.


Personal Appearance of the Czar.--His Meals.--Invited by the Regent.--
His Interview with the King--He Returns the Visit.--Excursion in Paris.--
Visits Madame.--Drinks Beer at the Opera.--At the Invalides.--Meudon.--
Issy.--The Tuileries.--Versailles.--Hunt at Fontainebleau.--Saint--Cyr.--
Extraordinary Interview with Madame de Maintenon.--My Meeting with the
Czar at D'Antin's.--The Ladies Crowd to See Him.--Interchange of
Presents.--A Review.--Party Visits.--Desire of the Czar to Be United to


Courson in Languedoc.--Complaints of Perigueux.--Deputies to Paris.--
Disunion at the Council.--Intrigues of the Duc de Noailles.--Scene.--
I Support the Perigueux People.--Triumph.--My Quarrel with Noailles.--
The Order of the Pavilion.

                                VOLUME 12.


Policy and Schemes of Alberoni.--He is Made a Cardinal.--Other Rewards
Bestowed on Him.--Dispute with the Majordomo.--An Irruption into the
Royal Apartment.--The Cardinal Thrashed.--Extraordinary Scene.


Anecdote of the Duc d'Orleans.--He Pretends to Reform--Trick Played upon
Me.--His Hoaxes.--His Panegyric of Me.--Madame de Sabran.--How the Regent
Treated His Mistresses.


Encroachments of the Parliament.--The Money Edict.--Conflict of Powers--
Vigorous Conduct of the Parliament.--Opposed with Equal Vigour by the
Regent.--Anecdote of the Duchesse du Maine.--Further Proceedings of the
Parliament.--Influence of the Reading of Memoirs.--Conduct of the
Regent.--My Political Attitude.--Conversation with the Regent on the
Subject of the Parliament.--Proposal to Hang Law.--Meeting at My House.--
Law Takes Refuge in the Palais Royal.


Proposed Bed of Justice.--My Scheme.--Interview with the Regent.--
The Necessary Seats for the Assembly.--I Go in Search of Fontanieu.--
My Interview with Hini.--I Return to the Palace.--Preparations.--
Proposals of M. le Duc to Degrade M. du Maine.--My Opposition.--My Joy
and Delight.--The Bed of Justice Finally Determined On.--A Charming
Messenger.--Final Preparations.--Illness of the Regent.--News Given to
M. du Maine.--Resolution of the Parliament.--Military Arrangements.--I Am
Summoned to the Council.--My Message to the Comte de Toulouse.


The Material Preparations for the Bed of Justice--Arrival of the Duc
d'Orleans:--The Council Chamber.--Attitude of the Various Actors.--The
Duc du Maine.--Various Movements.--Arrival of the Duc de Toulouse.--
Anxiety of the Two Bastards.--They Leave the Room.--Subsequent
Proceedings.--Arrangement of the Council Chamber.--Speech of the Regent.
--Countenances of the Members of Council.--The Regent Explains the Object
of the Bed of Justice.--Speech of the Keeper of the Seals.--Taking the
Votes.--Incidents That Followed.--New Speech of the Duc d'Orleans.--
Against the Bastards.--My Joy.--I Express My Opinion Modestly.--Exception
in Favour of the Comte de Toulouse.--New Proposal of M. le Duc.--Its
Effect.--Threatened Disobedience of the Parliament.--Proper Measures.--
The Parliament Sets Out.


Continuation of the Scene in the Council Chamber.--Slowness of the
Parliament.--They Arrive at Last.--The King Fetched.--Commencement of the
Bed of Justice.--My Arrival.--Its Effect.--What I Observed.--Absence of
the Bastards Noticed.--Appearance of the King. The Keeper of the Seals.--
The Proceedings Opened.--Humiliation of the Parliament.--Speech of the
Chief-President.--New Announcement.--Fall of the Duc du Maine Announced.
--Rage of the Chief-President.--My Extreme joy.--M. le Duc Substituted
for M. du Maine.--Indifference of the King.--Registration of the Decrees.


My Return Home.--Wanted for a New Commission.--Go to the Palais Royal.--
A Cunning Page.--My journey to Saint-Cloud.--My Reception.--Interview
with the Duchesse d'Orleans.--Her Grief.--My Embarrassment.--Interview
with Madame.--Her Triumph.--Letter of the Duchesse d'Orleans.--She Comes
to Paris.--Quarrels with the Regent.


Intrigues of M. du Maine.--And of Cellamare, the Spanish Ambassador.--
Monteleon and Portocarrero.--Their Despatches.--How Signed.--The
Conspiracy Revealed.--Conduct of the Regent.--Arrest of Cellamare.--His
House Searched.--The Regency Council.--Speech of the Duc d'Orleans.--
Resolutions Come To.--Arrests.--Relations with Spain.--Alberoni and
Saint-Aignan.--Their Quarrel.--Escape of Saint-Aignan.


The Regent Sends for Me.--Guilt of the Duc de Maine.--Proposed Arrest.--
Discussion on the Prison to Be Chosen.--The Arrest.--His Dejection.--
Arrest of the Duchess.--Her Rage.--Taken to Dijon.--Other Arrests.--
Conduct of the Comte de Toulouse.--The Faux Sauniers.--Imprisonment of
the Duc and Duchesse du Maine.--Their Sham Disagreement.--Their
Liberation.--Their Reconciliation.

                                VOLUME 13.


Anecdote of Madame de Charlus.--The 'Phillippaques'.--La Grange.--
Pere Tellier.--The Jesuits.--Anecdote----Tellier's Banishment.--Death of
Madame de Maintenon.--Her Life at Saint-Cyr.


Mode of Life of the Duchesse de Berry.--Her Illness.--Her Degrading
Amours.--Her Danger Increases.--The Sacraments Refused.--The Cure Is
Supported by the Cardinal de Noailles.--Curious Scene.--The Duchess
Refuses to Give Way.--She Recovers, and Is Delivered.--Ambition of Rion.
--He Marries the Duchess.--She Determines to Go to Meudon.--Rion Sent to
the Army.--Quarrels of Father and Daughter.--Supper on the Terrace of
Meudon.--The Duchess Again Ill.--Moves to La Muette.--Great Danger.--
Receives the Sacrament.--Garus and Chirac.--Rival Doctors.--Increased
Illness.--Death of the Duchess.--Sentiments on the Occasion.--Funeral
Ceremonies.--Madame de Saint-Simon Fails Ill.--Her Recovery.--We Move to
Meudon.--Character of the Duchesse de Berry.


The Mississippi Scheme.--Law Offers Me Shares.--Compensation for Blaye.--
The Rue Quincampoix.--Excitement of the Public.--Increased Popularity of
the Scheme.--Conniving of Law.--Plot against His Life--Disagreement with
Argenson.--Their Quarrel.--Avarice of the Prince de Conti.--His
Audacity.--Anger of the Regent.--Comparison with the Period of Louis
XIV.--A Ballet Proposed.--The Marechal de Villeroy.--The Young King Is to
Dance.--Young Law Proposed.--Excitement.--The Young King's Disgust.--
Extravagant Presents of the Duc d'Orleans.


System of Law in Danger.--Prodigality of the Duc d'Orleans.--Admissions
of Law.--Fall of His Notes.--Violent Measures Taken to Support Them.--
Their Failure.--Increased Extravagance of the Regent.--Reduction of the
Fervour.--Proposed Colonies.--Forced Emigration.--Decree on the Indian
Company.--Scheming of Argenson.  Attitude of the Parliament.--Their
Remonstrance.--Dismissal of Law.--His Coolness--Extraordinary Decree of
Council of State.--Prohibition of jewellery.--New Schemes.


The New Edict.--The Commercial Company.--New Edict.--Rush on the Bank.--
People Stifled in the Crowd.--Excitement against Law.--Money of the
Bank.--Exile of the Parliament to Pontoise.--New Operation.--The Place
Vendome.--The Marechal de Villeroy.--Marseilles.--Flight of Law.--
Character of Him and His Wife.--Observations on His Schemes.--Decrees of
the Finance.


Council on the Finances.--Departure of Law--A Strange Dialogue.--M. le
Duc and the Regent.--Crimes Imputed to Law during His Absence.--Schemes
Proposed.--End, of the Council.


Character of Alberoni.--His Grand Projects.--Plots against Him.--The
Queen's Nurse.--The Scheme against the Cardinal.--His Fall.--Theft of a
Will.--Reception in Italy.--His Adventures There.


Meetings of the Council.--A Kitten.--The Archbishopric of Cambrai.--
Scandalous Conduct of Dubois.--The Consecration.--I Persuade the Regent
Not to Go.--He Promises Not.--Breaks His Word.--Madame de Parabere.--The
Ceremony.--Story of the Comte de Horn.

                                VOLUME 14


Quarrel of the King of England with His Son.--Schemes of Dubois.--
Marriage of Brissac.--His Death.--Birth of the Young Pretender.--
Cardinalate of Dubois.--Illness of the King.--His Convalescence.--
A Wonderful Lesson.--Prudence of the Regent.--Insinuations against Him.


Projected Marriages of the King and of the Daughter of the Duc d'Orleans--
--How It Was Communicated to Me.--I Ask for the Embassy to Spain.--It Is
Granted to Me.--Jealousy of Dubois.--His Petty Interference.--
Announcement of the Marriages.


Interview with Dubois.--His Singular Instructions to Ale.--His Insidious
Object.--Various Tricks and Manoeuvres.--My Departure for Spain.--Journey
by Way of Bordeaux and Bayonne.--Reception in Spain.--Arrival at Madrid.


Interview in the Hall of Mirrors.--Preliminaries of the Marriages.--
Grimaldo.--How the Question of Precedence Was Settled.--I Ask for an
Audience.--Splendid Illuminations.--A Ball.--I Am Forced to Dance.


Mademoiselle de Montpensier Sets out for Spain.--I Carry the News to the
King.--Set out for Lerma.--Stay at the Escurial.--Take the Small--pox.--


Mode of Life of Their Catholic Majesties.--Their Night.--Morning.--
Toilette.--Character of Philippe V.--And of His Queen.--How She Governed


The King's Taste for Hunting.--Preparations for a Battue.--Dull Work.--
My Plans to Obtain the Grandesse.--Treachery of Dubois.--Friendship of
Grimaldo.--My Success.


Marriage of the Prince of the Asturias.--An Ignorant Cardinal.--I Am Made
Grandee of Spain.--The Vidame de Chartres Named Chevalier of the Golden
Fleece.--His Reception--My Adieux.--A Belching Princess.--
Return to France.

                                VOLUME 15.


Attempted Reconciliation between Dubois and Villeroy.--Violent Scene.--
Trap Laid for the Marechal.--Its Success.--His Arrest.


I Am Sent for by Cardinal Dubois.--Flight of Frejus.--He Is Sought and
Found.--Behaviour of Villeroy in His Exile at Lyons.--His Rage and
Reproaches against Frejus.--Rise of the Latter in the King's Confidence.


I Retire from Public Life.--Illness and Death of Dubois.--Account of His
Riches.--His Wife.--His Character.--Anecdotes.--Madame de Conflans.--
Relief of the Regent and the King.


Death of Lauzun.--His Extraordinary Adventures.--His Success at Court.--
Appointment to the Artillery.--Counter--worked by Louvois.--Lauzun and
Madame de Montespan.--Scene with the King.--Mademoiselle and Madame de


Lauzun's Magnificence.--Louvois Conspires against Him.--He Is
Imprisoned.--His Adventures at Pignerol.--On What Terms He Is Released.--
His Life Afterwards.--Return to Court.


Lauzun Regrets His Former Favour.--Means Taken to Recover It.--Failure.--
Anecdotes.--Biting Sayings.--My Intimacy with Lauzun.--His Illness,
Death, and Character.


Ill-Health of the Regent.--My Fears.--He Desires a Sudden Death.--
Apoplectic Fit.--Death.--His Successor as Prime Minister.--The Duc de
Chartres.--End of the Memoirs.


No library of Court documents could pretend to be representative which
ignored the famous "Memoirs" of the Duc de Saint-Simon.  They stand, by
universal consent, at the head of French historical papers, and are the
one great source from which all historians derive their insight into the
closing years of the reign of the "Grand Monarch," Louis XIV: whom the
author shows to be anything but grand--and of the Regency.  The opinion
of the French critic, Sainte-Beuve, is fairly typical.  "With the Memoirs
of De Retz, it seemed that perfection had been attained, in interest, in
movement, in moral analysis, in pictorial vivacity, and that there was no
reason for expecting they could be surpassed.  But the 'Memoirs' of
Saint-Simon came; and they offer merits .  .  .  which make them the most
precious body of Memoirs that as yet exist."

Villemain declared their author to be "the most original of geniuses in
French literature, the foremost of prose satirists; inexhaustible in
details of manners and customs, a word-painter like Tacitus; the author
of a language of his own, lacking in accuracy, system, and art, yet an
admirable writer."  Leon Vallee reinforces this by saying: "Saint-Simon
can not be compared to any of his contemporaries.  He has an
individuality, a style, and a language solely his own....  Language he
treated like an abject slave.  When he had gone to its farthest limit,
when it failed to express his ideas or feelings, he forced it--the result
was a new term, or a change in the ordinary meaning of words sprang forth
from has pen.  With this was joined a vigour and breadth of style, very
pronounced, which makes up the originality of the works of Saint-Simon
and contributes toward placing their author in the foremost rank of
French writers."

Louis de Rouvroy, who later became the Duc de Saint-Simon, was born in
Paris, January 16, 1675.  He claimed descent from Charlemagne, but the
story goes that his father, as a young page of Louis XIII., gained favour
with his royal master by his skill in holding the stirrup, and was
finally made a duke and peer of France.  The boy Louis had no lesser
persons than the King and Queen Marie Therese as godparents, and made his
first formal appearance at Court when seventeen.  He tells us that he was
not a studious boy, but was fond of reading history; and that if he had
been given rein to read all he desired of it, he might have made "some
figure in the world."  At nineteen, like D'Artagnan, he entered the
King's Musketeers.  At twenty he was made a captain in the cavalry; and
the same year he married the beautiful daughter of the Marechal de
Larges.  This marriage, which was purely political in its inception,
finally turned into a genuine love match--a pleasant exception to the
majority of such affairs.  He became devoted to his wife, saying: "she
exceeded all that was promised of her, and all that I myself had hoped."
Partly because of this marriage, and also because he felt himself
slighted in certain army appointments, he resigned his commissim after
five years' service, and retired for a time to private life.

Upon his return to Court, taking up apartments which the royal favour had
reserved for him at Versailles, Saint-Simon secretly entered upon the
self-appointed task for which he is now known to fame--a task which the
proud King of a vainglorious Court would have lost no time in terminating
had it been discovered--the task of judge, spy, critic, portraitist, and
historian, rolled into one.  Day by day, henceforth for many years, he
was to set down upon his private "Memoirs" the results of his personal
observations, supplemented by the gossip brought to him by his
unsuspecting friends; for neither courtier, statesman, minister, nor
friend ever looked upon those notes which this "little Duke with his
cruel, piercing, unsatisfied eyes" was so busily penning.  Says Vallee:
"He filled a unique position at Court, being accepted by all, even by the
King himself, as a cynic, personally liked for his disposition, enjoying
consideration on account of the prestige of his social connections,
inspiring fear in the more timid by the severity and fearlessness of his
criticism."  Yet Louis XIV. never seems to have liked him, and Saint-
Simon owed his influence chiefly to his friendly relations with the
Dauphin's family.  During the Regency, he tried to restrain the
profligate Duke of Orleans, and in return was offered the position of
governor of the boy, Louis XV., which he refused.  Soon after, he retired
to private life, and devoted his remaining years largely to revising his
beloved "Memoirs."  The autograph manuscript, still in existence, reveals
the immense labour which he put into it.  The writing is remarkable for
its legibility and freedom from erasure.  It comprises no less than 2,300
pages in folio.

After the author's death, in 1755, the secret of his lifelong labour was
revealed; and the Duc de Choiseul, fearing the result of these frank
revelations, confiscated them and placed them among the state archives.
For sixty years they remained under lock and key, being seen by only a
few privileged persons, among them Marmontel, Duclos, and Voltaire.  A
garbled version of extracts appeared in 1789, possibly being used as a
Revolutionary text.  Finally, in 1819, a descendant of the analyst,
bearing the same name, obtained permission from Louis XVIII. to set this
"prisoner of the Bastille" at liberty; and in 1829 an authoritative
edition, revised and arranged by chapters, appeared.  It created a
tremendous stir.  Saint-Simon had been merciless, from King down to
lady's maid, in depicting the daily life of a famous Court.  He had
stripped it of all its tinsel and pretension, and laid the ragged
framework bare.  "He wrote like the Devil for posterity!"  exclaimed
Chateaubriand.  But the work at once became universally read and quoted,
both in France and England.  Macaulay made frequent use of it in his
historical essays.  It was, in a word, recognised as the chief authority
upon an important period of thirty years (1694-1723).

Since then it has passed through many editions, finally receiving an
adequate English translation at the hands of Bayle St. John, who has been
careful to adhere to the peculiarities of Saint-Simon's style.  It is
this version which is now presented in full, giving us not only many
vivid pictures of the author's time, but of the author himself.  "I do
not pride myself upon my freedom from prejudice--impartiality," he
confesses--"it would be useless to attempt it.  But I have tried at all
times to tell the truth."



I was born on the night of the 15th of January, 1675, of Claude Duc de
Saint-Simon, Peer of France, and of his second wife Charlotte de
l'Aubepine.  I was the only child of that marriage.  By his first wife,
Diana de Budos, my father had had only a daughter.  He married her to the
Duc de Brissac, Peer of France, only brother of the Duchesse de Villeroy.
She died in 1684, without children,--having been long before separated
from a husband who was unworthy of her--leaving me heir of all her

I bore the name of the Vidame de Chartres; and was educated with great
care and attention.  My mother, who was remarkable for virtue,
perseverance, and sense, busied herself continually in forming my mind
and body.  She feared for me the usual fate of young men, who believe
their fortunes made, and who find themselves their own masters early in
life.  It was not likely that my father, born in 1606, would live long
enough to ward off from me this danger; and my mother repeatedly
impressed on, me how necessary it was for a young man, the son of the
favourite of a King long dead,--with no new friends at Court,--to acquire
some personal value of his own.  She succeeded in stimulating my courage;
and in exciting in me the desire to make the acquisitions she laid stress
on; but my aptitude for study and the sciences did not come up to my
desire to succeed in them.  However, I had an innate inclination for
reading, especially works of history; and thus was inspired with ambition
to emulate the examples presented to my imagination,--to do something and
become somebody, which partly made amends for my coldness for letters.
In fact, I have always thought that if I had been allowed to read history
more constantly, instead of losing my time in studies for which I had no
aptness, I might have made some figure in the world.

What I read of my own accord, of history, and, above all, of the personal
memoirs of the times since Francis I., bred in me the desire to write
down what I might myself see.  The hope of advancement, and of becoming
familiar with the affairs of my time, stirred me.  The annoyances I might
thus bring upon myself did not fail to present themselves to my mind; but
the firm resolution I made to keep my writings secret from everybody,
appeared to me to remedy all evils.  I commenced my memoirs then in July,
1694, being at that time colonel of a cavalry regiment bearing my name,
in the camp of Guinsheim, upon the old Rhine, in the army commanded by
the Marechal Duc de Lorges.

In 1691 I was studying my philosophy and beginning to learn to ride at an
academy at Rochefort, getting mightily tired of masters and books, and
anxious to join the army.  The siege of Mons, formed by the King in
person, at the commencement of the spring, had drawn away all the young
men of my age to commence their first campaign; and, what piqued me most,
the Duc de Chartres was there, too.  I had been, as it were, educated
with him.  I was younger than he by eight months; and if the expression
be allowed in speaking of young people, so unequal in position,
friendship had united us.  I made up my mind, therefore, to escape from
my leading-strings; but pass lightly over the artifices I used in order
to attain success.  I addressed myself to my mother.  I soon saw that she
trifled with me.  I had recourse to my father, whom I made believe that
the King, having led a great siege this year, would rest the next.
I said nothing of this to my mother, who did not discover my plot until
it was just upon the point, of execution.

The King had determined rigidly to adhere to a rule he had laid down--
namely, that none who entered the service, except his illegitimate
children, and the Princes of the blood royal, should be exempt from
serving for a year in one of his two companies of musketeers; and passing
afterwards through the ordeal of being private or subaltern in one of the
regiments of cavalry or infantry, before receiving permission to purchase
a regiment.  My father took me, therefore, to Versailles, where he had
not been for many years, and begged of the King admission for me into the
Musketeers.  It was on the day of St. Simon and St. Jude, at half-past
twelve, and just as his Majesty came out of the council.

The King did my father the honour of embracing him three times, and then
turned towards me.  Finding that I was little and of delicate appearance,
he said I was still very young; to which my father replied, that I should
be able in consequence to serve longer.  Thereupon the King demanded in
which of the two companies he wished to put me; and my father named that
commanded by Maupertuis, who was one of his friends.  The King relied
much upon the information given him by the captains of the two companies
of Musketeers, as to the young men who served in them.  I have reason for
believing, that I owe to Maupertuis the first good opinion that his
Majesty had of me.

Three months after entering the Musketeers, that is to say, in the March
of the following year, the King held a review of his guards, and of the
gendarmerie, at Compiegne, and I mounted guard once at the palace.
During this little journey there was talk of a much more important one.
My joy was extreme; but my father, who had not counted upon this,
repented of having believed me, when I told him that the King would no
doubt rest at Paris this year.  My mother, after a little vexation and
pouting at finding me enrolled by my father against her will, did not
fail to bring him to reason, and to make him provide me with an equipment
of thirty-five horses or mules, and means to live honourably.

A grievous annoyance happened in our house about three weeks before my
departure.  A steward of my father named Tesse, who had been with him
many years, disappeared all at once with fifty thousand francs due to
various tradesfolk.  He had written out false receipts from these people,
and put them in his accounts.  He was a little man, gentle, affable, and
clever; who had shown some probity, and who had many friends.

The King set out on the 10th of May, 1692, with the ladies; and I
performed the journey on horseback with the soldiers and all the
attendants, like the other Musketeers, and continued to do so through the
whole campaign.  I was accompanied by two gentlemen; the one had been my
tutor, the other was my mother's squire.  The King's army was formed at
the camp of Gevries; that of M. de Luxembourg almost joined it: The
ladies were at Mons, two leagues distant.  The King made them come into
his camp, where he entertained them; and then showed them, perhaps; the
most superb review which had ever been seen.  The two armies were ranged
in two lines, the right of M. de Luxembourg's touching the left of the
King's,--the whole extending over three leagues of ground.

After stopping ten days at Gevries, the two armies separated and marched.
Two days afterwards the seige of Namur was declared.  The King arrived
there in five days.  Monseigneur (son of the King); Monsieur (Duc
d'Orleans, brother of the King); M. le Prince (de Conde) and Marechal
d'Humieres; all four, the one under the other, commanded in the King's
army under the King himself.  The Duc de Luxembourg, sole general of his
own army, covered the siege operations, and observed the enemy.  The
ladies went away to Dinant.  On the third day of the march M. le Prince
went forward to invest the place.

The celebrated Vauban, the life and soul of all the sieges the King made,
was of opinion that the town should be attacked separately from the
castle; and his advice was acted upon.  The Baron de Bresse, however,
who had fortified the place, was for attacking town and castle together.
He was a humble down-looking man, whose physiognomy promised nothing, but
who soon acquired the confidence of the King, and the esteem of the army.

The Prince de Conde, Marechal d'Humieres, and the Marquis de Boufflers
each led an attack.  There was nothing worthy of note during the ten days
the siege lasted.  On the eleventh day, after the trenches had been
opened, a parley was beaten and a capitulation made almost as the
besieged desired it.  They withdrew to the castle; and it was agreed that
it should not be attacked from the town-side, and that the town was not
to be battered by it.  During the siege the King was almost always in his
tent; and the weather remained constantly warm and serene.  We lost
scarcely anybody of consequence.  The Comte de Toulouse received a slight
wound in the arm while quite close to the King, who from a prominent
place was witnessing the attack of a half-moon, which was carried in
broad daylight by a detachment of the oldest of the two companies of

The siege of the castle next commenced.  The position of the camp was
changed.  The King's tents and those of all the Court were pitched in a
beautiful meadow about five hundred paces from the monastery of
Marlaigne.  The fine weather changed to rain, which fell with an
abundance and perseverance never before known by any one in the army.
This circumstance increased the reputation of Saint Medard, whose fete
falls on the 8th of June.  It rained in torrents that day, and it is said
that when such is the case it will rain for forty days afterwards.  By
chance it happened so this year.  The soldiers in despair at this deluge
uttered many imprecations against the Saint; and looked for images of
him, burning and breaking as many as they could find.  The rains sadly
interfered with the progress of the siege.  The tents of the King could
only be communicated with by paths laid with fascines which required to
be renewed every day, as they sank down into the soil.  The camps and
quarters were no longer accessible; the trenches were full of mud and
water, and it took often three days to remove cannon from one battery to
another.  The waggons became useless, too, so that the transport of
bombs, shot, and so forth, could not be performed except upon the backs
of mules and of horses taken from the equipages of the Court and the
army.  The state of the roads deprived the Duc de Luxembourg of the use
of waggons and other vehicles.  His army was perishing for want of grain.
To remedy this inconvenience the King ordered all his household troops to
mount every day on horseback by detachments, and to take sacks of grain
upon their cruppers to a village where they were to be received and
counted by the officers of the Duc de Luxembourg.  Although the household
of the King had scarcely any repose during this siege, what with carrying
fascines, furnishing guards, and other daily services, this increase of
duty was given to it because the cavalry served continually also, and was
reduced almost entirely to leaves of trees for provender.

The household of the King, accustomed to all sorts of distinctions,
complained bitterly of this task.  But the King turned a deaf ear to
them, and would be obeyed.  On the first day some of the Gendarmes and of
the light horse of the guard arrived early in the morning at the depot of
the sacks, and commenced murmuring and exciting each other by their
discourses.  They threw down the sacks at last and flatly refused to
carry them.  I had been asked very politely if I would be of the
detachment for the sacks or of some other.  I decided for the sacks,
because I felt that I might thereby advance myself, the subject having
already made much noise.  I arrived with the detachment of the Musketeers
at the moment of the refusal of the others; and I loaded my sack before
their eyes.  Marin, a brigadier of cavalry and lieutenant of the body
guards, who was there to superintend the operation, noticed me, and full
of anger at the refusal he had just met with, exclaimed that as I did not
think such work beneath me, the rest would do well to imitate my example.
Without a word being spoken each took up his sack; and from that time
forward no further difficulty occurred in the matter.  As soon as the
detachment had gone, Marin went straight to the King and told him what
had occurred.  This was a service which procured for me several obliging
discourses from his Majesty, who during the rest of the siege always
sought to say something agreeable every time he met me.

The twenty-seventh day after opening the trenches, that is, the first of
July, 1692, a parley was sounded by the Prince de Barbanqon, governor of
the place,--a fortunate circumstance for the besiegers, who were worn
out with fatigue; and destitute of means, on account of the wretched
weather which still continued, and which had turned the whole country
round into a quagmire.  Even the horses of the King lived upon leaves,
and not a horse of all our numerous cavalry ever thoroughly recovered
from the effects of such sorry fare.  It is certain that without the
presence of the King the siege might never have been successful; but he
being there, everybody was stimulated.  Yet had the place held out ten
days longer, there is no saying what might have happened.  Before the end
of the siege the King was so much fatigued with his exertions, that a new
attack of gout came on, with more pain than ever, and compelled him to
keep his bed, where, however, he thought of everything, and laid out his
plans as though he had been at Versailles.

During the entire siege, the Prince of Orange (William III. of England)
had unavailingly used all his science to dislodge the Duc de Luxembourg;
but he had to do with a man who in matters of war was his superior, and
who continued so all his life.  Namur, which, by the surrender of the
castle, was now entirely in our power, was one of the strongest places in
the Low Countries, and had hitherto boasted of having never changed
masters.  The inhabitants could not restrain their tears of sorrow.  Even
the monks of Marlaigne were profoundly moved, so much so, that they could
not disguise their grief.  The King, feeling for the loss of their corn
that they had sent for safety into Namur, gave them double the quantity,
and abundant alms.  He incommoded them as little as possible, and would
not permit the passage of cannon across their park, until it was found
impossible to transport it by any other road.  Notwithstanding these acts
of goodness, they could scarcely look upon a Frenchman after the taking
of the place; and one actually refused to give a bottle of beer to an
usher of the King's antechamber, although offered a bottle of champagne
in exchange for it!

A circumstance happened just after the taking of Namur, which might have
led to the saddest results, under any other prince than the King.  Before
he entered the town, a strict examination of every place was made,
although by the capitulation all the mines, magazines, &c., had to be
shown.  At a visit paid to the Jesuits, they pretended to show
everything, expressing, however, surprise and something more, that their
bare word was not enough.  But on examining here and there, where they
did not expect search would be made, their cellars were found to be
stored with gunpowder, of which they had taken good care to say no word.
What they meant to do with it is uncertain.  It was carried away, and as
they were Jesuits nothing was done.

During the course of this siege, the King suffered a cruel
disappointment.  James II. of England, then a refugee in France, had
advised the King to give battle to the English fleet.  Joined to that of
Holland it was very superior to the sea forces of France.  Tourville, our
admiral, so famous for his valour and skill, pointed this circumstance
out to the King.  But it was all to no effect.  He was ordered to attack
the enemy.  He did so.  Many of his ships were burnt, and the victory was
won by the English.  A courier entrusted with this sad intelligence was
despatched to the King.  On his way he was joined by another courier, who
pressed him for his news.  The first courier knew that if he gave up his
news, the other, who was better mounted, would outstrip him, and be the
first to carry it to the King.  He told his companion, therefore, an idle
tale, very different indeed from the truth, for he changed the defeat
into a great victory.  Having gained this wonderful intelligence, the
second courier put spurs to his horse, and hurried away to the King's
camp, eager to be the bearer of good tidings.  He reached the camp first,
and was received with delight.  While his Majesty was still in great joy
at his happy victory, the other courier arrived with the real details.
The Court appeared prostrated.  The King was much afflicted.
Nevertheless he found means to appear to retain his self-possession, and
I saw, for the first time, that Courts are not long in affliction or
occupied with sadness.  I must mention that the (exiled) King of England
looked on at this naval battle from the shore; and was accused of
allowing expressions of partiality to escape him in favour of his
countrymen, although none had kept their promises to him.

Two days after the defeated garrison had marched out, the King went to
Dinant, to join the ladies, with whom he returned to Versailles.  I had
hoped that Monseigneur would finish the campaign, and that I should be
with him, and it was not without regret that I returned towards Paris.
On the way a little circumstance happened.  One of our halting-places was
Marienburgh, where we camped for the night.  I had become united in
friendship with Comte de Coetquen, who was in the same company with
myself.  He was well instructed and full of wit; was exceedingly rich,
and even more idle than rich.  That evening he had invited several of us
to supper in his tent.  I went there early, and found him stretched out
upon his bed, from which I dislodged him playfully and laid myself down
in his place, several of our officers standing by.  Coetquen, sporting
with me in return, took his gun, which he thought to be unloaded, and
pointed it at me.  But to our great surprise the weapon went off.
Fortunately for me, I was at that moment lying flat upon the bed.  Three
balls passed just above my head, and then just above the heads of our two
tutors, who were walking outside the tent.  Coetquen fainted at thought
of the mischief he might have done, and we had all the pains in the world
to bring him to himself again. Indeed, he did not thoroughly recover for
several days.  I relate this as a lesson which ought to teach us never
to play with fire-arms.

The poor lad,--to finish at once all that concerns him,--did not long
survive this incident.  He entered the King's regiment, and when just
upon the point of joining it in the following spring, came to me and said
he had had his fortune told by a woman named Du Perehoir, who practised
her trade secretly at Paris, and that she had predicted he would be soon
drowned.  I rated him soundly for indulging a curiosity so dangerous and
so foolish.  A few days after he set out for Amiens.  He found another
fortune-teller there, a man, who made the same prediction.  In marching
afterwards with the regiment of the King to join the army, he wished to
water his horse in the Escaut, and was drowned there, in the presence of
the whole regiment, without it being possible to give him any aid. I felt
extreme regret for his loss, which for his friends and his family was

But I must go back a little, and speak of two marriages that took place
at the commencement of this year the first (most extraordinary) on the
18th February the other a month after.


The King was very anxious to establish his illegitimate children, whom he
advanced day by day; and had married two of them, daughters, to Princes
of the blood.  One of these, the Princesse de Conti, only daughter of the
King and Madame de la Valliere, was a widow without children; the other,
eldest daughter of the King and Madame de Montespan, had married Monsieur
le Duc (Louis de Bourbon, eldest son of the Prince de Conde).  For some
time past Madame de Maintenon, even more than the King, had thought of
nothing else than how to raise the remaining illegitimate children, and
wished to marry Mademoiselle de Blois (second daughter of the King and of
Madame de Montespan) to Monsieur the Duc de Chartres.  The Duc de
Chartres was the sole nephew of the King, and was much above the Princes
of the blood by his rank of Grandson of France, and by the Court that
Monsieur his father kept up.

The marriages of the two Princes of the blood, of which I have just
spoken, had scandalised all the world.  The King was not ignorant of
this; and he could thus judge of the effect of a marriage even more
startling; such as was this proposed one.  But for four years he had
turned it over in his mind and had even taken the first steps to bring it
about.  It was the more difficult because the father of the Duc de
Chartres was infinitely proud of his rank, and the mother belonged to a
nation which abhorred illegitimacy and, misalliances, and was indeed of a
character to forbid all hope of her ever relishing this marriage.

In order to vanquish all these obstacles, the King applied to M. le Grand
(Louis de Lorraine).  This person was brother of the Chevalier de
Lorraine, the favourite, by disgraceful means, of Monsieur, father of the
Duc de Chartres.  The two brothers, unscrupulous and corrupt, entered
willingly into the scheme, but demanded as a reward, paid in advance, to
be made "Chevaliers of the Order."  This was done, although somewhat
against the inclination of the King, and success was promised.

The young Duc de Chartres had at that time for teacher Dubois (afterwards
the famous Cardinal Dubois), whose history was singular.  He had formerly
been a valet; but displaying unusual aptitude for learning, had been
instructed by his master in literature and history, and in due time
passed into the service of Saint Laurent, who was the Duc de Chartres'
first instructor.  He became so useful and showed so much skill, that
Saint Laurent made him become an abbe.  Thus raised in position, he
passed much time with the Duc de Chartres, assisting him to prepare his
lessons, to write his exercises, and to look out words in the dictionary.
I have seen him thus engaged over and over again, when I used to go and
play with the Duc de Chartres.  As Saint Laurent grew infirm, Dubois
little by little supplied his place; supplied it well too, and yet
pleased the young Duke.  When Saint Laurent died Dubois aspired to
succeed him.  He had paid his court to the Chevalier de Lorraine, by
whose influence he was much aided in obtaining his wish.  When at last
appointed successor to Saint Laurent, I never saw a man so glad, nor with
more reason.  The extreme obligation he was under to the Chevalier de
Lorraine, and still more the difficulty of maintaining himself in his new
position, attached him more and more to his protector.

It was, then, Dubois that the Chevalier de Lorraine made use of to gain
the consent of the young Duc de Chartres to the marriage proposed by the
King.  Dubois had, in fact, gained the Duke's confidence, which it was
easy to do at that age; had made him afraid of his father and of the
King; and, on the other hand, had filled him with fine hopes and
expectations.  All that Dubois could do, however, when he broke the
matter of the marriage to the young Duke, was to ward off a direct
refusal; but that was sufficient for the success of the enterprise.
Monsieur was already gained, and as soon as the King had a reply from
Dubois he hastened to broach the affair.  A day or two before this,
however, Madame (mother of the Duc de Chartres) had scent of what was
going on.  She spoke to her son of the indignity of this marriage with
that force in which she was never wanting, and drew from him a promise
that he would not consent to it.  Thus, he was feeble towards his
teacher, feeble towards his mother, and there was aversion on the one
hand and fear on the other, and great embarrassment on all sides.

One day early after dinner I saw M. de Chartres, with a very sad air,
come out of his apartment and enter the closet of the King.  He found his
Majesty alone with Monsieur.  The King spoke very obligingly to the Duc
de Chartres, said that he wished to see him married; that he offered him
his daughter, but that he did not intend to constrain him in the matter,
but left him quite at liberty.  This discourse, however, pronounced with
that terrifying majesty so natural to the King, and addressed to a timid
young prince, took away his voice, and quite unnerved him.  He, thought
to escape from his slippery position by throwing himself upon Monsieur
and Madame, and stammeringly replied that the King was master, but that a
son's will depended upon that of his parents.  "What you say is very
proper," replied the King; "but as soon as you consent to my proposition
your father and mother will not oppose it."  And then turning to Monsieur
he said, "Is this not true, my brother?"  Monsieur consented, as he had
already done, and the only person remaining to consult was Madame, who
was immediately sent for.

As soon as she came, the King, making her acquainted with his project,
said that he reckoned she would not oppose what her husband and her son
had already agreed to.  Madame, who had counted upon the refusal of her
son, was tongue-tied.  She threw two furious glances upon Monsieur and
upon the Duc de Chartres, and then said that, as they wished it, she had
nothing to say, made a slight reverence, and went away.  Her son
immediately followed her to explain his conduct; but railing against him,
with tears in her eyes, she would not listen, and drove him from her
room.  Her husband, who shortly afterwards joined her, met with almost
the same treatment.

That evening an "Apartment" was held at the palace, as was customary
three times a week during the winter; the other three evenings being set
apart for comedy, and the Sunday being free.  An Apartment as it was
called, was an assemblage of all the Court in the grand saloon, from
seven o'clock in the evening until ten, when the King sat down to table;
and, after ten, in one of the saloons at the end of the grand gallery
towards the tribune of the chapel.  In the first place there was some
music; then tables were placed all about for all kinds of gambling; there
was a 'lansquenet'; at which Monsieur and Monseigneur always played; also
a billiard-table; in a word, every one was free to play with every one,
and allowed to ask for fresh tables as all the others were occupied.
Beyond the billiards was a refreshment-room.  All was perfectly lighted.
At the outset, the King went to the "apartments" very often and played,
but lately he had ceased to do so.  He spent the evening with Madame de
Maintenon, working with different ministers one after the other.  But
still he wished his courtiers to attend assiduously.

This evening, directly after the music had finished, the King sent for
Monseigneur and Monsieur, who were already playing at 'lansquenet';
Madame, who scarcely looked at a party of 'hombre' at which she had
seated herself; the Duc de Chartres, who, with a rueful visage, was
playing at chess; and Mademoiselle de Blois, who had scarcely begun to
appear in society, but who this evening was extraordinarily decked out,
and who, as yet, knew nothing and suspected nothing; and therefore, being
naturally very timid, and horribly afraid of the King, believed herself
sent for in order to be reprimanded, and trembled so that Madame de
Maintenon took her upon her knees, where she held her, but was scarcely
able to reassure her.  The fact of these royal persons being sent for by
the King at once made people think that a marriage was in contemplation.
In a few minutes they returned, and then the announcement was made
public.  I arrived at that moment.  I found everybody in clusters, and
great astonishment expressed upon every face.  Madame was walking in the
gallery with Chateauthiers--her favourite, and worthy of being so.
She took long strides, her handkerchief in her hand, weeping without
constraint, speaking pretty loudly, gesticulating; and looking like Ceres
after the rape of her daughter Proserpine, seeking her in fury, and
demanding her back from Jupiter.  Every one respectfully made way to let
her pass.  Monsieur, who had returned to 'lansquenet', seemed overwhelmed
with shame, and his son appeared in despair; and the bride-elect was
marvellously embarrassed and sad.  Though very young, and likely to be
dazzled by such a marriage, she understood what was passing, and feared
the consequences.  Most people appeared full of consternation.

The Apartment, which, however heavy in appearance, was full of interest
to, me, seemed quite short.  It finished by the supper of the King.  His
Majesty appeared quite at ease.  Madame's eyes were full of tears, which
fell from time to time as she looked into every face around, as if in
search of all our thoughts.  Her son, whose eyes too were red, she would
not give a glance to; nor to Monsieur: all three ate scarcely anything.
I remarked that the King offered Madame nearly all the dishes that were
before him, and that she refused with an air of rudeness which did not,
however, check his politeness.  It was furthermore noticeable that, after
leaving the table, he made to Madame a very marked and very low
reverence, during which she performed so complete a pirouette, that the
King on raising his head found nothing but her back before him, removed
about a step further towards the door.

On the morrow we went as usual to wait in the gallery for the breaking-up
of the council, and for the King's Mass.  Madame came there.  Her son
approached her, as he did every day, to kiss her hand.  At that very
moment she gave him a box on the ear, so sonorous that it was heard
several steps distant.  Such treatment in presence of all the Court
covered with confusion this unfortunate prince, and overwhelmed the
infinite number of spectators, of whom I was one, with prodigious

That day the immense dowry was declared; and on Sunday there was a grand
ball, that is, a ball opened by a 'branle' which settled the order of the
dancing throughout the evening.  Monseigneur the Duc de Bourgogne danced
on this occasion for the first time; and led off the 'branle' with
Mademoiselle.  I danced also for the first time at Court.  My partner was
Mademoiselle de Sourches, daughter of the Grand Prevot; she danced
excellently.  I had been that morning to wait on Madame, who could not
refrain from saying, in a sharp and angry voice, that I was doubtless
very glad of the promise of so many balls--that this was natural at my
age; but that, for her part, she was old, and wished they were well over.
A few days after, the contract of marriage was signed in the closet of
the King, and in the presence of all the Court.  The same day the
household of the future Duchesse de Chartres was declared.  The King gave
her a first gentleman usher and a Dame d'Atours, until then reserved to
the daughters of France, and a lady of honour, in order to carry out
completely so strange a novelty.  I must say something about the persons
who composed this household.

M. de Villars was gentleman usher; he was grandson of a recorder of
Coindrieu, and one of the best made men in France.  There was a great
deal of fighting in his young days, and he had acquired a reputation for
courage and skill.  To these qualities he owed his fortune.  M. de
Nemours was his first patron, and, in a duel which he had with M. de
Beaufort, took Villars for second.  M. de Nemours was killed; but Villars
was victorious against his adversary, anal passed into the service of the
Prince de Conti as one of his gentlemen.  He succeeded in gaining
confidence in his new employment; so much so, that the marriage which
afterwards took place between the Prince de Conti and the niece of
Cardinal Mazarin was brought about in part by his assistance.  He became
the confidant of the married pair, and their bond: of union with the
Cardinal.  His position gave him an opportunity of mixing in society much
above him; but on this he never presumed.  His face was his, passport
with the ladies: he was gallant, even discreet; and this means was not
unuseful to him.  He pleased Madame Scarron, who upon the throne never
forgot the friendships of this kind, so freely intimate, which she had
formed as a private person.  Villars was employed in diplomacy; and from
honour to honour, at last reached the order of the Saint Esprit, in 1698.
His wife was full of wit, and scandalously inclined.  Both were very
poor--and always dangled about the Court, where they had many powerful

The Marechale de Rochefort was lady of honour.  She was of the house of
Montmorency--a widow--handsome--sprightly; formed by nature to live at
Court--apt for gallantry and intrigues; full of worldly cleverness, from
living much in the world, with little cleverness of any other kind,
nearly enough for any post and any business.  M. de Louvois found her
suited to his taste, and she accommodated herself very well to his purse,
and to the display she made by this intimacy.  She always became the
friend of every new mistress of the King; and when he favoured Madame de
Soubise, it was at the Marechale's house that she waited, with closed
doors, for Bontems, the King's valet, who led her by private ways to his
Majesty.  The Marechale herself has related to me how one day she was
embarrassed to get rid of the people that Madame de Soubise (who had not
had time to announce her arrival) found at her house; and how she most
died of fright lest Bontems should return and the interview be broken off
if he arrived before the company had departed.  The Marechale de
Rochefort was in this way the friend of Mesdames de la Valliere, de
Montespan, and de Soubise; and she became the friend of Madame de
Maintenon, to whom she attached herself in proportion as she saw her
favour increase.  She had, at the marriage of Monseigneur, been made Dame
d'Atours to the new Dauphiness; and, if people were astonished at that,
they were also astonished to see her lady of honour to an "illegitimate
grand-daughter of France."

The Comtesse de Mailly was Dame d'Atours.  She was related to Madame de
Maintenon, to whose favour she owed her marriage with the Comte de
Mailly.  She had come to Paris with all her provincial awkwardness, and,
from want of wit, had never been able to get rid of it.  On the contrary,
she grafted thereon an immense conceit, caused by the favour of Madame de
Maintenon.  To complete the household, came M. de Fontaine-Martel, poor
and gouty, who was first master of the horse.

On the Monday before Shrove Tuesday, all the marriage party and the bride
and bridegroom, superbly dressed, repaired, a little before mid-day, to
the closet of the King, and afterwards to the chapel.  It was arranged,
as usual, for the Mass of the King, excepting that between his place and
the altar were two cushions for the bride and bridegroom, who turned
their backs to the King.  Cardinal de Bouillon, in full robes, married
them, and said Mass.  From the chapel all the company went to table: it
was of horse-shoe shape.  The Princes and Princesses of the blood were
placed at the right and at the left, according to their rank, terminated
by the two illegitimate children of the King, and, for the first time,
after them, the Duchesse de Verneuil; so that M. de Verneuil,
illegitimate son of Henry IV., became thus "Prince of the blood" so many
years after his death, without having ever suspected it.  The Duc d'Uzes
thought this so amusing that he marched in front of the Duchess, crying
out, as loud as he could--"Place, place for Madame Charlotte Seguier!"
In the afternoon the King and Queen of England came to Versailles with
their Court.  There was a great concert; and the play-tables were set
out.  The supper was similar to the dinner.  Afterwards the married
couple were led into the apartment of the new Duchesse de Chartres.  The
Queen of England gave the Duchess her chemise; and the shirt of the Duke
was given to him by the King, who had at first refused on the plea that
he was in too unhappy circumstances.  The benediction of the bed was
pronounced by the Cardinal de Bouillon, who kept us all waiting for a
quarter of an hour; which made people say that such airs little became a
man returned as he was from a long exile, to which he had been sent
because he had had the madness to refuse the nuptial benediction to
Madame la Duchesse unless admitted to the royal banquet.

On Shrove Tuesday, there was a grand toilette of the Duchesse de
Chartres, to which the King and all the Court came; and in the evening a
grand ball, similar to that which had just taken place, except that the
new Duchesse de Chartres was led out by the Duc de Bourgogne.  Every one
wore the same dress, and had the same partner as before.

I cannot pass over in silence a very ridiculous adventure which occurred
at both of these balls.  A son of Montbron, no more made to dance at
Court than his father was to be chevalier of the order (to which however,
he was promoted in 1688), was among the company.  He had been asked if he
danced well; and he had replied with a confidence which made every one
hope that the contrary was the case.  Every one was satisfied.  From the
very first bow, he became confused, and he lost step at once.  He tried
to divert attention from his mistake by affected attitudes, and carrying
his arms high; but this made him only more ridiculous, and excited bursts
of laughter, which, in despite of the respect due to the person of the
King (who likewise had great difficulty to hinder himself from laughing),
degenerated at length into regular hooting.  On the morrow, instead of
flying the Court or holding his tongue, he excused himself by saying that
the presence of the King had disconcerted him; and promised marvels for
the ball which was to follow.  He was one of my friends, and I felt for
him, I should even have warned him against a second attempt, if the very
indifferent success I had met with had not made me fear that my advice
would be taken in ill part.  As soon as he began to dance at the second
ball, those who were near stood up, those who were far off climbed
wherever they could get a sight; and the shouts of laughter were mingled
with clapping of hands.  Every one, even the King himself, laughed
heartily, and most of us quite loud, so that I do not think any one was
ever treated so before.  Montbron disappeared immediately afterwards, and
did not show himself again for a long time, It was a pity he exposed
himself to this defeat, for he was an honourable and brave man.

Ash Wednesday put an end to all these sad rejoicings by command, and only
the expected rejoicings were spoken of.  M. du Maine wished to marry.
The King tried to turn him from it, and said frankly to him, that it was
not for such as he to make a lineage.  But pressed M. by Madame de
Maintenon, who had educated Maine; and who felt for him as a nurse the
King resolved to marry him to a daughter of the Prince de Conde.  The
Prince was greatly pleased at the project.  He had three daughters for
M. du Maine to choose from: all three were extremely little. An inch of
height, that the second had above the others, procured for her the
preference, much to the grief of the eldest, who was beautiful and
clever, and who dearly wished to escape from the slavery in which her
father kept her.  The dignity with which she bore her disappointment was
admired by every one, but it cost her an effort that ruined her health.
The marriage once arranged, was celebrated on the 19th of March; much in
the same manner as had been that of the Duc de Chartres.  Madame de
Saint-Vallery was appointed lady of honour to Madame du Maine, and M. de
Montchevreuil gentleman of the chamber.  This last had been one of the
friends of Madame de Maintenon when she was Madame Scarron.
Montchevreuil was a very honest man, modest, brave, but thick-headed.
His wife was a tall creature, meagre, and yellow, who laughed sillily,
and showed long and ugly teeth; who was extremely devout, of a compassed
mien, and who only wanted a broomstick to be a perfect witch.  Without
possessing any wit, she had so captivated Madame de Maintenon, that the
latter saw only with her eyes.  All the ladies of the Court were under
her surveillance: they depended upon her for their distinctions, and
often for their fortunes.  Everybody, from the ministers to the daughters
of the King, trembled before her.  The King himself showed her the most
marked consideration.  She was of all the Court journeys, and always with
Madame de Maintenon.

The marriage of M. du Maine caused a rupture between the Princess de
Conde and the Duchess of Hanover her sister, who had strongly desired
M. du Maine for one of her daughters, and who pretended that the Prince
de Conde had cut the grass from under her feet.  She lived in Paris,
making a display quite unsuited to her rank, and had even carried it so
far as to go about with two coaches and many liveried servants.  With
this state one day she met in the streets the coach of Madame de
Bouillon, which the servants of the German woman forced to give way to
their mistress's.  The Bouillons, piqued to excess, resolved to be
revenged.  One day, when they knew the Duchess was going to the play,
they went there attended by a numerous livery.  Their servants had orders
to pick a quarrel with those of the Duchess.  They executed these orders
completely; the servants of the Duchess were thoroughly thrashed--the
harness of her horses cut--her coaches maltreated.  The Duchess made a
great fuss, and complained to the King, but he would not mix himself in
the matter.  She was so outraged, that she resolved to retire into
Germany, and in a very few months did so.

My year of service in the Musketeers being over, the King, after a time,
gave me, without purchase, a company of cavalry in the Royal Roussillon,
in garrison at Mons, and just then very incomplete.  I thanked the King,
who replied to me very obligingly.  The company was entirely made up in a
fortnight.  This was towards the middle of April.

A little before, that is, on the 27th of March, the King made seven new
marechals of France.  They were the Comte de Choiseul, the Duc de
Villeroy, the Marquis de Joyeuse, Tourville, the Duc de Noailles, the
Marquis de Boufllers, and Catinat.  These promotions caused very great
discontent.  Complaint was more especially made that the Duc de Choiseul
had not been named.  The cause of his exclusion is curious.  His wife,
beautiful, with the form of a goddess--notorious for the number of her
gallantries--was very intimate with the Princess de Conti.  The King, not
liking such a companion for his daughter, gave the Duc de Choiseul to
understand that the public disorders of the Duchess offended him.  If the
Duke would send her into a convent, the Marechal's baton would be his.
The Duc de Choiseul, indignant that the reward of his services in the war
was attached to a domestic affair which concerned himself alone, refused
promotion on such terms.  He thus lost the baton; and, what was worse for
him, the Duchess soon after was driven from Court, and so misbehaved
herself, that at last he could endure her no longer, drove her away
himself, and separated from her for ever.

Mademoiselle la grande Mademoiselle, as she was called, to distinguish
her from the daughter of Monsieur--or to call her by her name,
Mademoiselle de Montpensier, died on Sunday the 5th of April, at her
palace in the Luxembourg, sixty-three years of age, and the richest
private princess in Europe.  She interested herself much in those who
were related to her, even to the lowest degree, and wore mourning for
them, however far removed.  It is well known, from all the memoirs of the
time, that she was greatly in love with M. de Lauzun, and that she
suffered much when the King withheld his permission to their marriage.
M. de Lauzun was so enraged, that he could not contain himself, and at
last went so far beyond bounds, that he was sent prisoner to Pignerol,
where he remained, extremely ill-treated, for ten years.  The affection
of Mademoiselle did not grow cold by separation.  The King profited by
it, to make M. de Lauzun buy his liberty at her expense, and thus
enriched M. du Maine.  He always gave out that he had married
Mademoiselle, and appeared before the King, after her death, in a long
cloak, which gave great displeasure.  He also assumed ever afterwards a
dark brown livery, as an external expression of his grief for
Mademoiselle, of whom he had portraits everywhere.  As for Mademoiselle,
the King never quite forgave her the day of Saint Antoine; and I heard
him once at supper reproach her in jest, for having fired the cannons of
the Bastille upon his troops.  She was a little embarrassed, but she got
out of the difficulty very well.

Her body was laid out with great state, watched for several days, two
hours at a time, by a duchess or a princess, and by two ladies of
quality.  The Comtesse de Soissons refused to take part in this watching,
and would not obey until the King threatened to dismiss her from the
Court.  A very ridiculous accident happened in the midst of this
ceremony.  The urn containing the entrails fell over, with a frightful
noise and a stink sudden and intolerable.  The ladies, the heralds, the
psalmodists, everybody present fled, in confusion.  Every one tried to
gain the door first.  The entrails had been badly embalmed, and it was
their fermentation which caused the accident.  They were soon perfumed
and put in order, and everybody laughed at this mishap.  These entrails
were in the end carried to the Celestins, the heart to Val de Grace, and
the body to the Cathedral of Saint Denis, followed by a numerous company.


On May 3d 1693, the King announced his intention of placing himself at
the head of his army in Flanders, and, having made certain alterations in
the rule of precedence of the marechale of France, soon after began the
campaign.  I have here, however, to draw attention to my private affairs,
for on the above-mentioned day, at ten o'clock in the morning, I had the
misfortune to lose my father.  He was eighty-seven years of age, and had
been in bad health for some time, with a touch of gout during the last
three weeks.  On the day in question he had dined as usual with his
friends, had retired to bed, and, while talking to those around him
there, all at once gave three violent sighs.  He was dead almost before
it was perceived that he was ill; there was no more oil in the lamp.

I learned this sad news after seeing the King to bed; his Majesty was to
purge himself on the morrow.  The night was given to the just sentiments
of nature; but the next day I went early to visit Bontems, and then the
Duc de Beauvilliers, who promised to ask the King, as soon as his
curtains were opened, to grant me the--offices my father had held.  The
King very graciously complied with his request, and in the afternoon said
many obliging things to me, particularly expressing his regret that my
father had not been able to receive the last sacraments.  I was able to
say that a very short time before, my father had retired for several days
to Saint Lazare, where was his confessor, and added something on the
piety of his life.  The King exhorted me to behave well, and promised to
take care of me.  When my father was first taken ill; several persons,
amongst others, D'Aubigne, brother of Madame de Maintenon, had asked for
the governorship of Blaye.  But the King refused them all, and said very
bluntly to D'Aubigne, "Is there not a son?"  He had, in fact, always
given my father to understand I should succeed him, although generally he
did not allow offices to descend from father to son.

Let me say a few words about my father.  Our family in my grandfather's
time had become impoverished; and my father was early sent to the Court
as page to Louis XIII.  It was very customary then for the sons of
reduced gentlemen to accept this occupation.  The King was passionately
fond of hunting, an amusement that was carried on with far less state,
without that abundance of dogs, and followers, and convenience of all
kinds which his successor introduced, and especially without roads
through the forests.  My father, who noticed the impatience of the King
at the delays that occurred in changing horses, thought of turning the
head of the horse he brought towards the crupper of that which the King
quitted.  By this means, without putting his feet to the ground, his
Majesty, who was active, jumped from one horse to another.  He was so
pleased that whenever he changed horses he asked for this same page.
From that time my father grew day by day in favour.  The King made him
Chief Ecuyer, and in course of years bestowed other rewards upon him,
created him Duke and peer of France, and gave him the Government of
Blaye.  My father, much attached to the King, followed him in all his
expeditions, several times commanded the cavalry of the army, was
commander-in-chief of all the arrierebans of the kingdom, and acquired
great reputation in the field for his valour and skill.  With Cardinal
Richelieu he was intimate without sympathy, and more than once, but
notably on the famous Day of the Dupes, rendered signal service to that
minister.  My father used often to be startled out of his sleep in the
middle of the night by a valet, with a taper in his hand, drawing the
curtain--having behind him the Cardinal de Richelieu, who would often
take the taper and sit down upon the bed and exclaim that he was a lost
man, and ask my father's advice upon news that he had received or on
quarrels he had had with the King.  When all Paris was in consternation
at the success of the Spaniards, who had crossed the frontier, taken
Corbie, and seized all the country as far as Compiegne, the King insisted
on my father being present at the council which was then held.  The
Cardinal de Richelieu maintained that the King should retreat beyond the
Seine, and all the assembly seemed of that opinion.  But the King in a
speech which lasted a quarter of an hour opposed this, and said that to
retreat at such a moment would be to increase the general disorder.  Then
turning to my father he ordered him to be prepared to depart for Corbie
on the morrow, with as many of his men as he could get ready.  The
histories and the memoirs of the time show that this bold step saved the
state.  The Cardinal, great man as he was, trembled, until the first
appearance of success, when he grew bold enough to join the King.  This
is a specimen of the conduct of that weak King governed by that first
minister to whom poets and historians have given the glory they have
stripped from his master; as, for instance, all the works of the siege of
Rochelle, and the invention and unheard-of success of the celebrated
dyke, all solely due to the late King!

Louis XIII. loved my father; but he could scold him at times.  On two
occasions he did so.  The first, as my father has related to me, was on
account of the Duc de Bellegarde.  The Duke was in disgrace, and had been
exiled.  My father, who was a friend of his, wished to write to him one
day, and for want of other leisure, being then much occupied, took the
opportunity of the King's momentary absence to carry out his desire.
Just as he was finishing his letter, the King came in; my father tried to
hide the paper, but the eyes of the King were too quick for him.  "What
is that paper?"  said he.  My father, embarrassed, admitted that it was a
few words he had written to M. de Bellegarde.

"Let me see it," said the King; and he took the paper and read it.
"I don't find fault with you," said he, "for writing to your friends,
although in disgrace, for I know you will write nothing improper; but
what displeases me is, that you should fail in the respect you owe to a
duke and peer, in that, because he is exiled, you should omit to address
him as Monseigneur;" and then tearing the letter in two, he added, "Write
it again after the hunt, and put, Monseigneur, as you ought."  My father
was very glad to be let off so easily.

The other reprimand was upon a more serious subject.  The King was really
enamoured of Mademoiselle d'Hautefort.  My father, young and gallant,
could not comprehend why he did not gratify his love.  He believed his
reserve to arise from timidity, and under this impression proposed one
day to the King to be his ambassador and to bring the affair to a
satisfactory conclusion.  The King allowed him to speak to the end, and
then assumed a severe air.  "It is true," said he, "that I am enamoured
of her, that I feel it, that I seek her, that I speak of her willingly,
and think of her still more willingly; it is true also that I act thus in
spite of myself, because I am mortal and have this weakness; but the more
facility I have as King to gratify myself, the more I ought to be on my
guard against sin and scandal.  I pardon you this time, but never address
to me a similar discourse again if you wish that I should continue to
love you."  This was a thunderbolt for my father; the scales fell from
his eyes; the idea of the King's timidity in love disappeared before the
display of a virtue so pure and so triumphant.

My father's career was for a long time very successful, but unfortunately
he had an enemy who brought it to an end.  This enemy was M. de Chavigny:
he was secretary of state, and had also the war department.  Either from
stupidity or malice he had left all the towns in Picardy badly supported;
a circumstance the Spaniards knew well how to profit by when they took
Corbie in 1636.  My father had an uncle who commanded in one of these
towns, La Capelle, and who had several times asked for ammunition and
stores without success.  My father spoke upon this subject to Chavigny,
to the Cardinal de Richelieu, and to the King, but with no good effect.
La Capelle, left without resources, fell like the places around.  As I
have said before, Louis XIII. did not long allow the Spaniards to enjoy
the advantages they had gained.  All the towns in Picardy were soon
retaken, and the King, urged on by Chavigny, determined to punish the
governors of these places for surrendering them so easily.  My father's
uncle was included with the others.  This injustice was not to be borne.
My father represented the real state of the case and used every effort,
to save his uncle, but it was in vain.  Stung to the quick he demanded
permission to retire, and was allowed to do so.  Accordingly, at the
commencement of 1637, he left for Blaye; and remained there until the
death of Cardinal Richelieu.  During this retirement the King frequently
wrote to him, in a language they had composed so as to speak before
people without being understood; and I possess still many of these
letters, with much regret that I am ignorant of their contents.

Chavigny served my father another ill turn.  At the Cardinal's death my
father had returned to the Court and was in greater favour than ever.
Just before Louis XIII. died he gave my father the place of first master
of the horse, but left his name blank in the paper fixing the
appointment.  The paper was given into the hands of Chavigny.  At the
King's death he had the villainy, in concert with the Queen-regent, to
fill in the name of Comte d'Harcourt, instead of that the King had
instructed him of.  The indignation of my father was great, but, as he
could obtain no redress, he retired once again to his Government of
Blaye.  Notwithstanding the manner in which he had been treated by the
Queen-regent, he stoutly defended her cause when the civil war broke out,
led by M. le Prince.  He garrisoned Blaye at his own expense, incurring
thereby debts which hung upon him all his life, and which I feel the
effects of still, and repulsed all attempts of friends to corrupt his
loyalty.  The Queen and Mazarin could not close their eyes to his
devotion, and offered him, while the war was still going on, a marechal's
baton, or the title of foreign prince.  But he refused both, and the
offer was not renewed when the war ended.  These disturbances over, and
Louis XIV. being married, my father came again to Paris, where he had
many friends.  He had married in 1644, and had had, as I have said, one
only daughter.  His wife dying in 1670, and leaving him without male
children, he determined, however much he might be afflicted at the loss
he had sustained, to marry again, although old.  He carried out his
resolution in October of the same year, and was very pleased with the
choice he had made.  He liked his new wife so much, in fact, that when
Madame de Montespan obtained for her a place at the Court, he declined it
at once.  At his age--it was thus he wrote to Madame de Montespan, he had
taken a wife not for the Court, but for himself.  My mother, who was
absent when the letter announcing the appointment was sent, felt much
regret, but never showed it.

Before I finish this account of my father, I will here relate adventures
which happened to him, and which I ought to have placed before his second
marriage.  A disagreement arose between my father and M. de Vardes, and
still existed long after everybody thought they were reconciled.  It was
ultimately agreed that upon an early day, at about twelve o'clock, they
should meet at the Porte St. Honore, then a very deserted spot, and that
the coach of M. de Vardes should run against my father's, and a general
quarrel arise between masters and servants.  Under cover of this quarrel,
a duel could easily take place, and would seem simply to arise out of the
broil there and then occasioned.  On the morning appointed, my father
called as usual upon several of his friends, and, taking one of them for
second, went to the Porte St. Honore.  There everything fell out just as
had been arranged.  The coach of M. de Vardes struck against the other.
My father leaped out, M. de Vardes did the same, and the duel took place.
M. de Vardes fell, and was disarmed.  My father wished to make him beg
for his life; he would not do this, but confessed himself vanquished.
My father's coach being the nearest, M. de Vardes got into it.  He
fainted on the road.  They separated afterwards like brave people, and
went their way.  Madame de Chatillon, since of Mecklenburg, lodged in one
of the last houses near the Porte St. Honore, and at the noise made by
the coaches, put, her head to the window, and coolly looked at the whole
of the combat.  It soon made a great noise.  My father was complimented
everywhere.  M. de Vardes was sent for ten or twelve days to the
Bastille.  My father and he afterwards became completely reconciled to
each other.

The other adventure was of gentler ending.  The Memoirs of M. de la
Rochefoucauld appeared.  They contained certain atrocious and false
statements against my father, who so severely resented the calumny, that
he seized a pen, and wrote upon the margin of the book, "The author has
told a lie."  Not content with this, he went to the bookseller, whom he
discovered with some difficulty, for the book was not sold publicly at
first.  He asked to see all the copies of the work, prayed, promised,
threatened, and at last succeeded in obtaining them.  Then he took a pen
and wrote in all of them the same marginal note.  The astonishment of the
bookseller may be imagined.  He was not long in letting M. de la
Rochefoucauld know what had happened to his books: it may well be
believed that he also was astonished.  This affair made great noise.  My
father, having truth on his side, wished to obtain public satisfaction
from M. de la Rochefoucauld.  Friends, however, interposed, and the
matter was allowed to drop.  But M. de la Rochefoucauld never pardoned my
father; so true it is that we less easily forget the injuries we inflict
than those that we receive.

My father passed the rest of his long life surrounded by friends, and
held in high esteem by the King and his ministers.  His advice was often
sought for by them, and was always acted upon.  He never consoled himself
for the loss of Louis XIII., to whom he owed his advancement and his
fortune.  Every year he kept sacred the day of his death, going to Saint-
Denis, or holding solemnities in his own house if at Blaye.  Veneration,
gratitude, tenderness, ever adorned his lips every time he spoke of that


After having paid the last duties to my father I betook myself to Mons to
join the Royal Roussillon cavalry regiment, in which I was captain.  The
King, after stopping eight or ten days with the ladies at Quesnoy, sent
them to Namur, and put himself at the head of the army of M. de
Boufflers, and camped at Gembloux, so that his left was only half a
league distant from the right of M. de Luxembourg.  The Prince of Orange
was encamped at the Abbey of Pure, was unable to receive supplies, and
could not leave his position without having the two armies of the King to
grapple with: he entrenched himself in haste, and bitterly repented
having allowed himself to be thus driven into a corner.  We knew
afterwards that he wrote several times to his intimate friend the Prince
de Vaudemont, saying that he was lost, and that nothing short of a
miracle could save him.

We were in this position, with an army in every way infinitely superior
to that of the Prince of Orange, and with four whole months before us to
profit by our strength, when the King declared on the 8th of June that he
should return to Versailles, and sent off a large detachment of the army
into Germany.  The surprise of the Marechal de Luxembourg was without
bounds.  He represented the facility with which the Prince of Orange
might now be beaten with one army and pursued by another; and how
important it was to draw off detachments of the Imperial forces from
Germany into Flanders, and how, by sending an army into Flanders instead
of Germany, the whole of the Low Countries would be in our power.  But
the King would not change his plans, although M. de Luxembourg went down
on his knees and begged him not to allow such a glorious opportunity to
escape.  Madame de Maintenon, by her tears when she parted from his
Majesty, and by her letters since, had brought about this resolution.

The news had not spread on the morrow, June 9th.  I chanced to go alone
to the quarters of M. de Luxembourg, and was surprised to find not a soul
there; every one had gone to the King's army.  Pensively bringing my
horse to a stand, I was ruminating on a fact so strange, and debating
whether I should return to my tent or push on to the royal camp, when up
came M. le Prince de Conti with a single page and a groom leading a
horse.  "What are you doing there?" cried he, laughing at my surprise.
Thereupon he told me he was going to say adieu to the King, and advised
me to do likewise.  "What do you mean by saying Adieu?"  answered I.
He sent his servants to a little distance, and begged me to do the same,
and with shouts of laughter told me about the King's retreat, making
tremendous fun of him, despite my youth, for he had confidence in me.
I was astonished.  We soon after met the whole company coming back;
and the great people went aside to talk and sneer.  I then proceeded to
pay my respects to the King, by whom I was honourably received.
Surprise, however, was expressed by all faces, and indignation by some.

The effect of the King's retreat, indeed, was incredible, even amongst
the soldiers and the people.  The general officers could not keep silent
upon it, and the inferior officers spoke loudly, with a license that
could not be restrained.  All through the army, in the towns, and even at
Court, it was talked about openly.  The courtiers, generally so glad to
find themselves again at Versailles, now declared that they were ashamed
to be there; as for the enemy, they could not contain their surprise and
joy.  The Prince of Orange said that the retreat was a miracle he could
not have hoped for; that he could scarcely believe in it, but that it had
saved his army, and the whole of the Low Countries.  In the midst of all
this excitement the King arrived with the ladies, on the 25th of June, at

We gained some successes, however, this year.  Marechal de Villeroy took
Huy in three days, losing only a sub-engineer and some soldiers.  On the
29th of July we attacked at dawn the Prince of Orange at Neerwinden, and
after twelve hours of hard fighting, under a blazing sun, entirely routed
him.  I was of the third squadron of the Royal Roussillon, and made five
charges.  One of the gold ornaments of my coat was torn away, but I
received no wound.  During the battle our brigadier, Quoadt, was killed
before my eyes.  The Duc de Feuillade became thus commander of the
brigade.  We missed him immediately, and for more than half an hour saw
nothing of him; he had gone to make his toilette.  When he returned he
was powdered and decked out in a fine red surtotxt, embroidered with
silver, and all his trappings and those of his horse were magnificent; he
acquitted himself with distinction.

Our cavalry stood so well against the fire from the enemy's guns, that
the Prince of Orange lost all patience, and turning away, exclaimed--
"Oh, the insolent nation!"  He fought until the last, and retired with
the Elector of Hanover only when he saw there was no longer any hope.
After the battle my people brought us a leg of mutton and a bottle of
wine, which they had wisely saved from the previous evening, and we
attacked them in good earnest, as may be believed.

The enemy lost about twenty thousand men, including a large number of
officers; our loss was not more than half that number.  We took all their
cannon, eight mortars, many artillery waggons, a quantity of standards,
and some pairs of kettle-drums.  The victory was complete.

Meanwhile, the army which had been sent to Germany under the command of
Monseigneur and of the Marechal de Lorges, did little or nothing.  The
Marechal wished to attack Heilbronn, but Monseigneur was opposed to it;
and, to the great regret of the principal generals and of the troops, the
attack was not made.  Monseigneur returned early to Versailles.

At sea we were more active.  The rich merchant fleet of Smyrna was
attacked by Tourville; fifty vessels were burnt or sunk, and twenty-seven
taken, all richly freighted.  This campaign cost the English and Dutch
dear.  It is believed their loss was more than thirty millions of ecus.

The season finished with the taking of Charleroy.  On the 16th of
September the Marechal de Villeroy, supported by M. de Luxembourg, laid
siege to it, and on the 11th of October, after a good defence, the place
capitulated.  Our loss was very slight.  Charleroy taken, our troops went
into winter-quarters, and I returned to Court, like the rest.  The roads
and the posting service were in great disorder.  Amongst other adventures
I met with, I was driven by a deaf and dumb postillion, who stuck me fast
in the mud when near Quesnoy.  At Pont Saint-Maxence all the horses were
retained by M. de Luxembourg.  Fearing I might be left behind, I told the
postmaster that I was governor (which was true), and that I would put him
in jail if he did not give me horses.  I should have been sadly puzzled
how to do it; but he was simple enough to believe me, and gave the
horses.  I arrived, however, at last at Paris, and found a change at the
Court, which surprised me.

Daquin--first doctor of the King and creature of Madame de Montespan--had
lost nothing of his credit by her removal, but had never been able to get
on well with Madame de Maintenon, who looked coldly upon all the friends
of her predecessor.  Daquin had a son, an abbe, and wearied the King with
solicitations on his behalf.  Madame de Maintenon seized the opportunity,
when the King was more than usually angry with Daquin, to obtain his
dismissal: it came upon him like a thunderbolt.  On the previous evening
the King had spoken to him for a long time as usual, and had never
treated him better.  All the Court was astonished also.  Fagon, a very
skilful and learned man, was appointed in his place at the instance of
Madame de Maintenon.

Another event excited less surprise than interest.  On Sunday, the 29th
of November, the King learned that La Vauguyon had killed himself in his
bed, that morning, by firing twice into his throat.  I must say a few
words about this Vauguyon.  He was one of the pettiest and poorest
gentlemen of France: he was well-made, but very swarthy, with Spanish
features, had a charming voice, played the guitar and lute very well, and
was skilled in the arts of gallantry.  By these talents he had succeeded,
in finding favour with Madame de Beauvais, much regarded at the Court as
having been the King's first mistress.  I have seen her--old, blear-eyed,
and half blind,--at the toilette of the Dauphiness of Bavaria, where
everybody courted her, because she was still much considered by the King.
Under this protection La Vauguyon succeeded well; was several times sent
as ambassador to foreign countries; was made councillor of state, and to
the scandal of everybody, was raised to the Order in 1688.  Of late
years, having no appointments, he had scarcely the means of living, and
endeavoured, but without success, to improve his condition.

Poverty by degrees turned his brain; but a long time passed before it was
perceived.  The first proof that he gave of it was at the house of Madame
Pelot, widow of the Chief President of the Rouen parliament.  Playing at
brelan one evening, she offered him a stake, and because he would not
accept it bantered him, and playfully called him a poltroon.  He said
nothing, but waited until all the rest of the company had left the room;
and when he found himself alone with Madame Pelot, he bolted the door,
clapped his hat on his head, drove her up against the chimney, and
holding her head between his two fists, said he knew no reason why he
should not pound it into a jelly, in order to teach her to call him
poltroon again.  The poor woman was horribly frightened, and made
perpendicular curtseys between his two fists, and all sorts of excuses.
At last he let her go, more dead than alive.  She had the generosity to
say no syllable of this occurrence until after his death; she even
allowed him to come to the house as usual, but took care never to be
alone with him.

One day, a long time after this, meeting, in a gallery, at Fontainebleau,
M. de Courtenay, La Vauguyon drew his sword, and compelled the other to
draw also, although there had never been the slightest quarrel between
them.  They were soon separated and La Vauguyon immediately fled to the
King, who was just then in his private closet, where nobody ever entered
unless expressly summoned.  But La Vauguyon turned the key, and, in spite
of the usher on guard, forced his way in.  The King in great emotion
asked him what was the matter.  La Vauguyon on his knees said he had been
insulted by M. de Courtenay and demanded pardon for having drawn his
sword in the palace.  His Majesty, promising to examine the matter, with
great trouble got rid of La Vauguyon.  As nothing could be made of it, M.
de Courtenay declaring he had been insulted by La Vauguyon and forced to
draw his sword, and the other telling the same tale, both were sent to
the Bastille.  After a short imprisonment they were released, and
appeared at the Court as usual.

Another adventure, which succeeded this, threw some light upon the state
of affairs.  Going to Versailles, one day, La Vauguyon met a groom of the
Prince de Conde leading a saddled horse, he stopped the man, descended
from his coach, asked whom the horse belonged to, said that the Prince
would not object to his riding it, and leaping upon the animal's back,
galloped off.  The groom, all amazed, followed him.  La Vauguyon rode on
until he reached the Bastille, descended there, gave a gratuity to the
man, and dismissed him: he then went straight to the governor of the
prison, said he had had the misfortune to displease the King, and begged
to be confined there.  The governor, having no orders to do so, refused;
and sent off an express for instructions how to act.  In reply he was
told not to receive La Vauguyon, whom at last, after great difficulty, he
prevailed upon to go away.  This occurrence made great noise.  Yet even
afterwards the King continued to receive La Vauguyon at the Court, and to
affect to treat him well, although everybody else avoided him and was
afraid of him.  His poor wife became so affected by these public
derangements, that she retired from Paris, and shortly afterwards died.
This completed her husband's madness; he survived her only a month, dying
by his own hand, as I have mentioned.  During the last two years of his
life he carried pistols in his carriage, and frequently pointed them at
his coachman and postilion.  It is certain that without the assistance of
M. de Beauvais he would often have been brought to the last extremities.
Beauvais frequently spoke of him to the King; and it is inconceivable
that having raised this man to such a point; and having always shown him
particular kindness, his Majesty should perseveringly have left him to
die of hunger and become mad from misery.

The year finished without any remarkable occurrence.

My mother; who had been much disquieted for me during the campaign,
desired strongly that I should not make another without being married.
Although very young, I had no repugnance to marry, but wished to do so
according to my own inclinations.  With a large establishment I felt very
lonely in a country where credit and consideration do more than all the
rest.  Without uncle, aunt, cousins-German, or near relatives, I found
myself, I say, extremely solitary.

Among my best friends, as he had been the friend of my father; was the
Duc de Beauvilliers.  He had always shown me much affection, and I felt a
great desire to unite myself to his family: My mother approved of my
inclination, and gave me an exact account of my estates and possessions.
I carried it to Versailles, and sought a private interview with M. de
Beauvilliers.  At eight o'clock the same evening he received me alone in
the cabinet of Madame de Beauvilliers.  After making my compliments to
him, I told him my wish, showed him the state of my affairs, and said
that all I demanded of him was one of his daughters in marriage, and that
whatever contract he thought fit to draw up would be signed by my mother
and myself without examination.

The Duke, who had fixed his eyes upon me all this time, replied like a
man penetrated with gratitude by the offer I had made.  He said, that of
his eight daughters the eldest was between fourteen and fifteen years
old; the second much deformed, and in no way marriageable; the third
between twelve and thirteen years of age, and the rest were children: the
eldest wished to enter a convent, and had shown herself firm upon that
point.  He seemed inclined to make a difficulty of his want of fortune;
but, reminding him of the proposition I had made, I said that it was not
for fortune I had come to him, not even for his daughter, whom I had
never seen; that it was he and Madame de Beauvilliers who had charmed me,
and whom I wished to marry!

"But," said he, "if my eldest daughter wishes absolutely to enter a

"Then," replied I, "I ask the third of you."  To this he objected, on the
ground that if he gave the dowry of the first to the third daughter, and
the first afterwards changed her mind and wished to marry, he should be
thrown into an embarrassment.  I replied that I would take the third as
though the first were to be married, and that if she were not, the
difference between what he destined for her and what he destined for the
third, should be given to me.  The Duke, raising his eyes to heaven,
protested that he had never been combated in this manner, and that he was
obliged to gather up all his forces in order to prevent himself yielding
to me that very instant.

On the next day, at half-past three, I had another interview with M. de
Beauvilliers.  With much tenderness he declined my proposal, resting his
refusal upon the inclination his daughter had displayed for the convent,
upon his little wealth, if, the marriage of the third being made, she
should change her mind--and upon other reasons.  He spoke to me with much
regret and friendship, and I to him in the same manner; and we separated,
unable any longer to speak to each other.  Two days after, however, I had
another interview with him by his appointment.  I endeavoured to overcome
the objections that he made, but all in vain.  He could not give me his
third daughter with the first unmarried, and he would not force her, he
said, to change her wish of retiring from the world.  His words, pious
and elevated, augmented my respect for him, and my desire for the
marriage.  In the evening, at the breaking up of the appointment, I could
not prevent myself whispering in his ear that I should never live happily
with anybody but his daughter, and without waiting for a reply hastened
away.  I had the next evening, at eight o'clock, an interview with Madame
de Beauvilliers.  I argued with her with such prodigious ardor that she
was surprised, and, although she did not give way, she said she would be
inconsolable for the loss of me, repeating the same tender and flattering
things her husband had said before, and with the same effusion of

I had yet another interview with M. de Beauvilliers.  He showed even more
affection for me than before, but I could not succeed in putting aside
his scruples.  He unbosomed himself afterwards to one of our friends, and
in his bitterness said he could only console himself by hoping that his
children and mine might some day intermarry, and he prayed me to go and
pass some days at Paris, in order to allow him to seek a truce to his
grief in my absence.  We both were in want of it.  I have judged it
fitting to give these details, for they afford a key to my exceeding
intimacy with M. de Beauvilliers, which otherwise, considering the
difference in our ages, might appear incomprehensible.

There was nothing left for me but to look out for another marriage.  One
soon presented itself, but as soon fell to the ground; and I went to La
Trappe to console myself for the impossibility of making an alliance with
the Duc de Beauvilliers.

La Trappe is a place so celebrated and so well known, and its reformer so
famous, that I shall say but little about it.  I will, however, mention
that this abbey is five leagues from La Ferme-au-Vidame, or Arnold, which
is the real distinctive name of this Ferme among so many other Fetes in
France, which have preserved the generic name of what they have been,
that is to say, forts or fortresses ('freitas').  My father had been very
intimate with M. de la Trappe, and had taken me to him.

Although I was very young then, M. de la Trappe charmed me, and the
sanctity of the place enchanted me.  Every year I stayed some days there,
sometimes a week at a time, and was never tired of admiring this great
and distinguished man.  He loved me as a son, and I respected him as
though he were any father.  This intimacy, singular at my age, I kept
secret from everybody, and only went to the convent clandestinely.


On my return from La Trappe, I became engaged in an affair which made a
great noise, and which had many results for me.

M. de Luxembourg, proud of his successes, and of the applause of the
world at his victories, believed himself sufficiently strong to claim
precedence over seventeen dukes, myself among the number; to step, in
fact, from the eighteenth rank, that he held amongst the peers, to the
second.  The following are the names and the order in precedence of the
dukes he wished to supersede:

The Duc d'Elboeuf; the Duc de Montbazon; the Duc de Ventadour; the Duc de
Vendome; the Duc de la Tremoille; the Duc de Sully; the Duc de Chevreuse,
the son (minor) of the Duchesse de Lesdiguieres-Gondi; the Duc de
Brissac; Charles d'Albert, called d'Ailly; the Duc de Richelieu; the Duc
de Saint-Simon; the Duc de la Rochefoucauld; the Duc de la Force; the Duc
de Valentinois; the Duc de Rohan; the Duc de Bouillon.

To explain this pretension of M. de Luxembourg, I must give some details
respecting him and the family whose name he bore.  He was the only son of
M. de Bouteville, and had married a descendant of Francois de Luxembourg,
Duke of Piney, created Peer of France in 1581.  It was a peerage which,
in default of male successors, went to the female, but this descendant
was not heir to it.  She was the child of a second marriage, and by a
first marriage her mother had given birth to a son and a daughter, who
were the inheritors of the peerage, both of whom were still living.  The
son was, however, an idiot, had been declared incapable of attending to
his affairs, and was shut up in Saint Lazare, at Paris.  The daughter had
taken the veil, and was mistress of the novices at the Abbaye-aux-Bois.
The peerage had thus, it might almost be said, become extinct, for it was
vested in an idiot, who could not marry (to prevent him doing so, he had
been made a deacon, and he was bound in consequence to remain single),
and in a nun, who was equally bound by her vows to the same state of

When M. de Bouteville, for that was his only title then, married, he took
the arms and the name of Luxembourg.  He did more.  By powerful
influence--notably that of his patron the Prince de Conde--he released
the idiot deacon from his asylum, and the nun from her convent, and
induced them both to surrender to him their possessions and their titles.
This done, he commenced proceedings at once in order to obtain legal
recognition of his right to the dignities he had thus got possession of.
He claimed to be acknowledged Duc de Piney, with all the privileges
attached to that title as a creation of 1581.  Foremost among these
privileges was that of taking precedence of all dukes whose title did not
go back so far as that year.  Before any decision was given either for or
against this claim, he was made Duc de Piney by new letters patent,
dating from 1662, with a clause which left his pretensions to the title
of 1581 by no means affected by this new creation.  M. de Luxembourg,
however, seemed satisfied with what he had obtained, and was apparently
disposed to pursue his claim no further.  He was received as Duke and
Peer in the Parliament, took his seat in the last rank after all the
other peers, and allowed his suit to drop.  Since then he had tried
successfully to gain it by stealth, but for several years nothing more
had been heard of it.  Now, however, he recommenced it, and with every
intention, as we soon found, to stop at no intrigue or baseness in order
to carry his point.

Nearly everybody was in his favour.  The Court, though not the King, was
almost entirely for him; and the town, dazzled by the splendour of his
exploits, was devoted to him.  The young men regarded him as the
protector of their debauches; for, notwithstanding his age, his conduct
was as free as theirs.  He had captivated the troops and the general

In the Parliament he had a staunch supporter in Harlay, the Chief
President, who led that great body at his will, and whose devotion he had
acquired to such a degree, that he believed that to undertake and succeed
were only the same things, and that this grand affair would scarcely cost
him a winter to carry.

Let me say something more of this Harlay.

Descended from two celebrated magistrates, Achille d'Harlay and
Christopher De Thou, Harlay imitated their gravity, but carried it to a
cynical extent, affected their disinterestedness and modesty, but
dishonoured the first by his conduct, and the second by a refined pride
which he endeavoured without success to conceal.  He piqued himself,
above all things, upon his probity and justice, but the mask soon fell.
Between Peter and Paul he maintained the strictest fairness, but as soon
as he perceived interest or favour to be acquired, he sold himself.  This
trial will show him stripped of all disguise.  He was learned in the law;
in letters he was second to no one; he was well acquainted with history,
and knew how, above all, to govern his company with an authority which
suffered no reply, and which no other chief president had ever attained.

A pharisaical austerity rendered him redoubtable by the license he
assumed in his public reprimands, whether to plaintiffs, or defendants,
advocates or magistrates; so that there was not a single person who did
not tremble to have to do with him.  Besides this, sustained in all by
the Court (of which he was the slave, and the very humble servant of
those who were really in favour), a subtle courtier, a singularly crafty
politician, he used all those talents solely to further his ambition, his
desire of domination and his thirst of the reputation of a great man.
He was without real honour, secretly of corrupt manners, with only
outside probity, without humanity even; in one word, a perfect hypocrite;
without faith, without law, without a God, and without a soul; a cruel
husband, a barbarous father, a tyrannical brother, a friend of himself
alone, wicked by nature--taking pleasure in insulting, outraging, and
overwhelming others, and never in his life having lost an occasion to do
so.  His wit was great, but was always subservient to his wickedness.
He was small, vigorous, and thin, with a lozenge-shaped face, a long
aquiline nose--fine, speaking, keen eyes, that usually looked furtively
at you, but which, if fixed on a client or a magistrate, were fit to make
him sink into the earth.  He wore narrow robes, an almost ecclesiastical
collar and wristband to match, a brown wig mimed with white, thickly
furnished but short, and with a great cap over it.  He affected a bending
attitude, and walked so, with a false air, more humble than modest, and
always shaved along the walls, to make people make way for him with
greater noise; and at Versailles worked his way on by a series of
respectful and, as it were, shame-faced bows to the right and left.  He
held to the King and to Madame de Maintenon by knowing their weak side;
and it was he who, being consulted upon the unheard-of legitimation of
children without naming the mother, had sanctioned that illegality in
favour of the King.

Such was the man whose influence was given entirely to our opponent.

To assist M. de Luxembourg's case as much as possible, the celebrated
Racine, so known by his plays, and by the order he had received at that
time to write the history of the King, was employed to polish and
ornament his pleas.  Nothing was left undone by M. de Luxembourg in order
to gain this cause.

I cannot give all the details of the case, the statements made on both
sides, and the defences; they would occupy entire volumes.  We maintained
that M. de Luxembourg was in no way entitled to the precedence he
claimed, and we had both law and justice on our side.  To give
instructions to our counsel, and to follow the progress of the case,
we met once a week, seven or eight of us at least, those best disposed
to give our time to the matter.  Among the most punctual was M. de la
Rochefoucauld.  I had been solicited from the commencement to take part
in the proceedings, and I complied most willingly, apologising for so
doing to M. de Luxembourg, who replied with all the politeness and
gallantry possible, that I could not do less than follow an example my
father had set me.

The trial having commenced, we soon saw how badly disposed the Chief
President was towards us.  He obstructed us in every way, and acted
against all rules.  There seemed no other means of defeating his evident
intention of judging against us than by gaining time, first of all; and
to do this we determined to get the case adjourned, There were, however,
only two days at our disposal, and that was not enough in order to comply
with the forms required for such a step.  We were all in the greatest
embarrassment, when it fortunately came into the head of one of our
lawyers to remind us of a privilege we possessed, by which, without much
difficulty, we could obtain what we required.  I was the only one who
could, at that moment, make use of this privilege.  I hastened home, at
once, to obtain the necessary papers, deposited them with the procureur
of M. de Luxembourg, and the adjournment was obtained.  The rage of M. de
Luxembourg was without bounds.  When we met he would not salute me, and
in consequence I discontinued to salute him; by which he lost more than
I, in his position and at his age, and furnished in the rooms and the
galleries of Versailles a sufficiently ridiculous spectacle.  In addition
to this he quarrelled openly with M. de Richelieu, and made a bitter
attack upon him in one of his pleas.  But M. de Richelieu, meeting him
soon after in the Salle des Gardes at Versailles, told him to his face
that he should soon have a reply; and said that he feared him neither on
horseback nor on foot--neither him nor his crew--neither in town nor at
the Court, nor even in the army, nor in any place in the world; and
without allowing time for a reply he turned on his heel.  In the end, M.
de Luxembourg found himself so closely pressed that he was glad to
apologise to M. de Richelieu.

After a time our cause, sent back again to the Parliament, was argued
there with the same vigour, the same partiality, and the same injustice
as before: seeing this, we felt that the only course left open to us was
to get the case sent before the Assembly of all the Chambers, where the
judges, from their number, could not be corrupted by M. de Luxembourg,
and where the authority of Harlay was feeble, while over the Grand
Chambre, in which the case was at present, it was absolute.  The
difficulty was to obtain an assembly of all the Chambers, for the power
of summoning them was vested solely in Harlay.  However, we determined to
try and gain his consent.  M. de Chaulnes undertook to go upon this
delicate errand, and acquitted himself well of his mission.  He pointed
out to Harlay that everybody was convinced of his leaning towards M. de
Luxembourg, and that the only way to efface the conviction that had gone
abroad was to comply with our request; in fine, he used so many
arguments, and with such address, that Harlay, confused and thrown off
his guard, and repenting of the manner in which he had acted towards us
as being likely to injure his interests, gave a positive assurance to M.
de Chaulnes that what we asked should be granted.

We had scarcely finished congratulating ourselves upon this unhoped-for
success, when we found that we had to do with a man whose word was a very
sorry support to rest upon.  M. de Luxembourg, affrighted at the promise
Harlay had given, made him resolve to break it.  Suspecting this, M. de
Chaulnes paid another visit to the Chief President, who admitted, with
much confusion, that he had changed his views, and that it was impossible
to carry out what he had agreed to.  After this we felt that to treat any
longer with a man so perfidious would be time lost; and we determined,
therefore, to put it out of his power to judge the case at all.

According to the received maxim, whoever is at law with the son cannot be
judged by the father.  Harlay had a son who was Advocate-General.  We
resolved that one among us should bring an action against him.

After trying in vain to induce the Duc de Rohan, who was the only one of
our number who could readily have done it, to commence a suit against
Harlay's sort, we began to despair of arriving at our aim.  Fortunately
for us, the vexation of Harlay became so great at this time, in
consequence of the disdain with which we treated him, and which we openly
published, that he extricated us himself from our difficulty.  We had
only to supplicate the Duc de Gesvres in the cause (he said to some of
our people), and we should obtain what we wanted; for the Duc de Gesvres
was his relative.  We took him at his word.  The Duc de Gesvres received
in two days a summons on our part.  Harlay, annoyed with himself for the
advice he had given, relented of it: but it was too late; he was declared
unable to judge the cause, and the case itself was postponed until the
next year.

Meanwhile, let me mention a circumstance which should have found a place
before, and then state what occurred in the interval which followed until
the trial recommenced.

It was while our proceedings were making some little stir that fresh
favours were heaped upon the King's illegitimate sons, at the instance of
the King himself, and with the connivance of Harlay, who, for the part he
took in the affair, was promised the chancellorship when it should become
vacant.  The rank of these illegitimate sons was placed just below that
of the princes, of the blood, and just above that of the peers even of
the oldest creation.  This gave us all exceeding annoyance: it was the
greatest injury the peerage could have received, and became its leprosy
and sore.  All the peers who could, kept themselves aloof from the
parliament, when M. du Maine, M. de Vendome, and the Comte de Toulouse,
for whom this arrangement was specially made, were received there.

There were several marriages at the Court this winter and many very fine
balls, at which latter I danced.  By the spring, preparations were ready
for fresh campaigns.  My regiment (I had bought one at the close of the
last season) was ordered to join the army of M. de Luxembourg; but, as I
had no desire to be under him, I wrote to the King, begging to be
exchanged.  In a short time, to the great vexation, as I know, of M. de
Luxembourg, my request was granted.  The Chevalier de Sully went to
Flanders in my place, and I to Germany in his.  I went first to Soissons
to see my regiment, and in consequence of the recommendation of the King,
was more severe with it than I should otherwise have been.  I set out
afterwards for Strasbourg, where I was surprised with the magnificence of
the town, and with the number, beauty, and grandeur of its
fortifications.  As from my youth I knew and spoke German perfectly, I
sought out one of my early German acquaintances, who gave me much
pleasure.  I stopped six days at Strasbourg and then went by the Rhine to
Philipsburg.  On the next day after arriving there, I joined the cavalry,
which was encamped at Obersheim.

After several movements--in which we passed and repassed the Rhine--but
which led to no effective result, we encamped for forty days at Gaw-
Boecklheim, one of the best and most beautiful positions in the world,
and where we had charming weather, although a little disposed to cold.
It was in the leisure of that long camp that I commenced these memoirs,
incited by the pleasure I took in reading those of Marshal Bassompierre,
which invited me thus to write what I should see in my own time.

During this season M. de Noailles took Palamos, Girone, and the fortress
of Castel-Follit in Catalonia.  This last was taken by the daring of a
soldier, who led on a small number of his comrades, and carried the place
by assault.  Nothing was done in Italy; and in Flanders M. de Luxembourg
came to no engagement with the Prince of Orange.


After our long rest at the camp of Gaw-Boecklheim we again put ourselves
in movement, but without doing much against the enemy, and on the 16th of
October I received permission to return to Paris.  Upon my arrival there
I learnt that many things had occurred since I left.  During that time
some adventures had happened to the Princesses, as the three illegitimate
daughters of the King were called for distinction sake.  Monsieur wished
that the Duchesse de Chartres should always call the others "sister," but
that the others should never address her except as "Madame."  The
Princesse de Conti submitted to this; but the other (Madame la Duchesse,
being the produce of the same love) set herself to call the Duchesse de
Chartres "mignonne."  But nothing was less a mignonne than her face and
her figure; and Monsieur, feeling the ridicule, complained to the King.
The King prohibited very severely this familiarity.

While at Trianon these Princesses took it into their heads to walk out
at night and divert themselves with crackers.  Either from malice or
imprudence they let off some one night under the windows of Monsieur,
rousing him thereby out of his sleep.  He was so displeased, that he
complained to the King, who made him many excuses (scolding the
Princesses), but had great trouble to appease him.  His anger lasted a
long time, and the Duchesse de Chartres felt it.  I do not know if the
other two were very sorry.  Madame la Duchesse was accused of writing
some songs upon the Duchesse de Chartres.

The Princesse de Conti had another adventure, which made considerable
noise, and which had great results.  She had taken into her favour
Clermont, ensign of the gensdarmes and of the Guard.  He had pretended to
be enamoured of her, and had not been repelled, for she soon became in
love with him.  Clermont had attached himself to the service of M. de
Luxembourg, and was the merest creature in his hands.  At the instigation
of M. de Luxembourg, he turned away his regards from the Princesse de
Conti, and fixed them upon one of her maids of honour--Mademoiselle
Choin, a great, ugly, brown, thick-set girl, upon whom Monseigneur had
lately bestowed his affection.  Monseigneur made no secret of this, nor
did she.  Such being the case, it occurred to M. de Luxembourg (who knew
he was no favourite with the King, and who built all his hopes of the
future upon Monseigneur) that Clermont, by marrying La Choin, might thus
secure the favour of Monseigneur, whose entire confidence she possessed.
Clermont was easily persuaded that this would be for him a royal road to
fortune, and he accordingly entered willingly into the scheme, which had
just begun to move, when the campaign commenced, and everybody went away
to join the armies.

The King, who partly saw this intrigue, soon made himself entirely master
of it, by intercepting the letters which passed between the various
parties.  He read there the project of Clermont and La Choin to marry,
and thus govern Monseigneur; he saw how M. de Luxembourg was the soul of
this scheme, and the marvels to himself he expected from it.  The letters
Clermont had received from the Princesse de Conti he now sent to
Mademoiselle la Choin, and always spoke to her of Monseigneur as their
"fat friend."  With this correspondence in his hands, the King one day
sent for the Princesse de Conti, said in a severe tone that he knew of
her weakness for Clermont; and, to prove to her how badly she had placed
her affection, showed her her own letters to Clermont, and letters in
which he had spoken most contemptuously of her to La Choin.  Then, as a
cruel punishment, he made her read aloud to him the whole of those
letters.  At this she almost died, and threw herself, bathed in tears, at
the feet of the King, scarcely able to articulate.  Then came sobs,
entreaty, despair, and rage, and cries for justice and revenge.  This was
soon obtained.  Mademoiselle la Choin was driven away the next day; and
M. de Luxembourg had orders to strip Clermont of his office, and send him
to the most distant part of the kingdom.  The terror of M. de Luxembourg
and the Prince de Conti at this discovery may be imagined.  Songs
increased the notoriety of this strange adventure between the Princess
and her confidant.

M. de Noyon had furnished on my return another subject for the song-
writers, and felt it the more sensibly because everybody was diverted at
his expense, M. de Noyon was extremely vain, and afforded thereby much
amusement to the King.  A Chair was vacant at the Academic Francaise.
The King wished it to be given to M. de Noyon, and expressed himself to
that effect to Dangeau, who was a member.  As may be believed, the
prelate was elected without difficulty.  His Majesty testified to the
Prince de Conde, and to the most distinguished persons of the Court, that
he should be glad to see them at the reception.  Thus M. de Noyon was the
first member of the Academia chosen by the King, and the first at whose
reception he had taken the trouble to invite his courtiers to attend.

The Abbe de Caumartin was at that time Director of the Academie.  He knew
the vanity of M. de Noyon, and determined to divert the public at his
expense.  He had many friends in power, and judged that his pleasantry
would be overlooked, and even approved.  He composed, therefore, a
confused and bombastic discourse in the style of M. de Noyon, full of
pompous phrases, turning the prelate into ridicule, while they seemed to
praise him.  After finishing this work, he was afraid lest it should be
thought out of all measure, and, to reassure himself, carried it to M. de
Noyon himself, as a scholar might to his master, in order to see whether
it fully met with his approval.  M. de Noyon, so far from suspecting
anything, was charmed by the discourse, and simply made a few corrections
in the style.  The Abbe de Caumartin rejoiced at the success of the snare
he had laid, and felt quite bold enough to deliver his harangue.

The day came.  The Academie was crowded.  The King and the Court were
there, all expecting to be diverted.  M. de Noyon, saluting everybody
with a satisfaction he did not dissimulate, made his speech with his
usual confidence, and in his usual style.  The Abbe replied with a modest
air, and with a gravity and slowness that gave great effect to his
ridiculous discourse.  The surprise and pleasure were general, and each
person strove to intoxicate M. de Noyon more and more, making him believe
that the speech of the Abbe was relished solely because it had so
worthily praised him.  The prelate was delighted with the Abbe and the
public, and conceived not the slightest mistrust.

The noise which this occurrence made may be imagined, and the praises M.
de Noyon gave himself in relating everywhere what he had said, and what
had been replied to him.  M. de Paris, to whose house he went, thus
triumphing, did not like him, and endeavoured to open his eyes to the
humiliation he had received.  For some time M. de Noyon would not be
convinced of the truth; it was not until he had consulted with Pere la
Chaise that he believed it.  The excess of rage and vexation succeeded
then to the excess of rapture he had felt.  In this state he returned to
his house, and went the next day to Versailles.  There he made the most
bitter complaints to the King, of the Abbe de Caumartin, by whose means
he had become the sport and laughing-stock of all the world.

The King, who had learned what had passed, was himself displeased.  He
ordered Pontchartrain (who was related to Caumartin) to rebuke the Abbe,
and to send him a lettre de cachet, in order that he might go and ripen
his brain in his Abbey of Busay, in Brittany, and better learn there how
to speak and write.  Pontchartrain executed the first part of his
commission, but not the second.  He pointed out to the King that the
speech of the Abbe de Caumartin had been revised and corrected by M. de
Noyon, and that, therefore, this latter had only himself to blame in the
matter.  He declared, too, that the Abbe was very sorry for what he had
done, and was most willing to beg pardon of M. de Noyon.  The lettre de
cachet thus fell to the ground, but not the anger of the prelate.  He was
so outraged that he would not see the Abbe, retired into his diocese to
hide his shame, and remained there a long time.

Upon his return to Paris, however, being taken ill, before consenting to
receive the sacraments, he sent for the Abbe, embraced him, pardoned him,
and gave him a diamond ring, that he drew from his finger, and that he
begged him to keep in memory of him.  Nay, more, when he was cured, he
used all his influence to reinstate the Abbe in the esteem of the King.
But the King could never forgive what had taken place, and M. de Noyon,
by this grand action, gained only the favour of God and the honour of the

I must finish the account of the war of this year with a strange
incident.  M. de Noailles, who had been so successful in Catalonia, was
on very bad terms with Barbezieux, secretary of state for the war
department.  Both were in good favour with the King; both high in power,
both spoiled.  The successes in Catalonia had annoyed Barbezieux.  They
smoothed the way for the siege of Barcelona, and that place once taken,
the very heart of Spain would have been exposed, and M. de Noailles would
have gained fresh honours and glory.  M. de Noailles felt this so
completely that he had pressed upon the King the siege of Barcelona; and
when the fitting time came for undertaking it, sent a messenger to him
with full information of the forces and supplies he required.  Fearing
that if he wrote out this information it might fall into the hands of
Barbezieux, and never reach the King, he simply gave his messenger
instructions by word of mouth, and charged him to deliver them so.  But
the very means he had taken to ensure success brought about failure.
Barbezieux, informed by his spies of the departure of the messenger,
waylaid him, bribed him, and induced him to act with the blackest
perfidy, by telling the King quite a different story to that he was
charged with.  In this way, the project for the siege of Barcelona was
entirely broken, at the moment for its execution, and with the most
reasonable hopes of success; and upon M. de Noailles rested all the
blame.  What a thunderbolt this was for him may easily be imagined.  But
the trick had been so well played, that he could not clear himself with
the King; and all through this winter he remained out of favour.

At last he thought of a means by which he might regain his position.  He
saw the inclination of the King for his illegitimate children; and
determined to make a sacrifice in favour of one of them; rightly judging
that this would be a sure means to step back into the confidence he had
been so craftily driven from.  His scheme, which he caused to be placed
before the King, was to go into Catalonia at the commencement of the next
campaign, to make a semblance of falling ill immediately upon arriving,
to send to Versailles a request that he might be recalled, and at the
same time a suggestion that M. de Vendome (who would then be near Nice,
under Marechal Catinat) should succeed him.  In order that no time might
be lost, nor the army left without a general, he proposed to carry with
him the letters patent; appointing M. de Vendome, and to send them to him
at the same time that he sent to be recalled.

It is impossible to express the relief and satisfaction with which this
proposition was received.  The King was delighted with it, as with
everything tending to advance his illegitimate children and to put a
slight upon the Princes of the blood.  He could not openly have made this
promotion without embroiling himself with the latter; but coming as it
would from M. de Noailles, he had nothing to fear.  M. de Vendome, once
general of an army, could no longer serve in any other quality; and would
act as a stepping-stone for M. du Maine.

From this moment M. de Noailles returned more than ever into the good
graces of the King.  Everything happened as it had been arranged.  But
the secret was betrayed in the execution.  Surprise was felt that at the
same moment M. de Noailles sent a request to be recalled, he also sent,
and without waiting for a reply, to call M. de Vendame to the command.
What completely raised the veil were the letters patent that he sent
immediately after to M. de Vendome, and that it was known he could not
have received from the King in the time that had elapsed.  M. de Noailles
returned from Catalonia, and was received as his address merited.  He
feigned being lame with rheumatism, and played the part for a long time,
but forgot himself occasionally, and made his company smile.  He fixed
himself at the Court, and gained there much more favour than he could
have gained by the war; to the great vexation of Barbezieux.

M. de Luxembourg very strangely married his daughter at this time to the
Chevalier de Soissons (an illegitimate son of the Comte de Soissons),
brought out from the greatest obscurity by the Comtesse de Nemours, and
adopted by her to spite her family: M. de Luxembourg did not long survive
this fine marriage.  At sixty-seven years of age he believed himself
twenty-five, and lived accordingly.  The want of genuine intrigues, from
which his age and his face excluded him, he supplied by money-power; and
his intimacy, and that of his son, with the Prince de Conti and
Albergotti was kept up almost entirely by the community of their habits,
and the secret parties of pleasure they concocted together.  All the
burden of marches, of orders of subsistence, fell upon a subordinate.
Nothing could be more exact than the coup d'oeil of M. de Luxembourg--
nobody could be more brilliant, more sagacious, more penetrating than he
before the enemy or in battle, and this, too, with an audacity, an ease,
and at the same time a coolness, which allowed him to see all and foresee
all under the hottest fire, and in the most imminent danger: It was at
such times that he was great.  For the rest he was idleness itself.  He
rarely walked unless absolutely obliged, spent his time in gaming, or in
conversation With his familiars; and had every evening a supper with a
chosen few (nearly always the same); and if near a town, the other sex
were always agreeably mingled with them.  When thus occupied, he was
inaccessible to everybody, and if anything pressing happened, it was his
subordinate who attended to it.  Such was at the army the life of this
great general, and such it was at Paris, except that the Court and the
great world occupied his days, and his pleasures the evenings.  At last,
age, temperament, and constitution betrayed him.  He fell ill at
Versailles.  Given over by Fagon, the King's physician, Coretti, an
Italian, who had secrets of his own, undertook his cure, and relieved
him, but only for a short time.  His door during this illness was
besieged by all the Court.  The King sent to inquire after him, but it
was more for appearance' sake than from sympathy, for I have already
remarked that the King did not like him.  The brilliancy of his
campaigns, and the difficulty of replacing him, caused all the
disquietude.  Becoming worse, M. de Luxembourg received the sacraments,
showed some religion and firmness, and died on the morning of the 4th of
January, 1695, the fifth day of his illness, much regretted by many
people, but personally esteemed by none, and loved by very few.

Not one of the Dukes M. de Luxembourg had attacked went to see him during
his illness.  I neither went nor sent, although at Versailles; and I must
admit that I felt my deliverance from such an enemy.

Here, perhaps, I may as well relate the result of the trial in which we
were engaged, and which, after the death of M. de Luxembourg, was
continued by his son.  It was not judged until the following year.
I have shown that by our implicating the Duc de Gesvres, the Chief
President had been declared incapable of trying the case.  The rage he
conceived against us cannot be expressed, and, great actor that he was,
he could not hide it.  All his endeavour afterwards was to do what he
could against us; the rest of the mask fell, and the deformity of the
judge appeared in the man, stripped of all disguise.

We immediately signified to M. de Luxembourg that he must choose between
the letters patent of 1581 and those of 1662.  If he abandoned the first
the case fell through; in repudiating the last he renounced the certainty
of being duke and peer after us; and ran the risk of being reduced to an
inferior title previously granted to him.  The position was a delicate
one; he was affrighted; but after much consultation he resolved to run
all risks and maintain his pretensions.  It thus simply became a question
of his right to the title of Duc de Piney, with the privilege attached to
it as a creation of 1581.

In the spring of 1696 the case was at last brought on, before the
Assembly of all the Chambers.  Myself and the other Dukes seated
ourselves in court to hear the proceedings.  The trial commenced.
All the facts and particulars of the cause were brought forward.
Our advocates spoke, and then few doubted but that we should gain the
victory.  M. de Luxembourg's advocate, Dumont, was next heard.  He was
very audacious, and spoke so insolently of us, saying, in Scripture
phraseology, that we honoured the King with our lips, whilst our hearts
were far from him, that I could not contain myself.  I was seated between
the Duc de la Rochefoucauld and the Duc d'Estrees.  I stood up, crying
out against the imposture of this knave, and calling for justice on him.
M. de la Rochefoucauld pulled me back, made me keep silent, and I plunged
down into my seat more from anger against him than against the advocate.
My movement excited a murmur.  We might on the instant have had justice
against Dumont, but the opportunity had passed for us to ask for it, and
the President de Maisons made a slight excuse for him.  We complained,
however, afterwards to the King, who expressed his surprise that Dumont
had not been stopped in the midst of his speech.

The summing up was made by D'Aguesseau, who acquitted himself of the task
with much eloquence and impartiality.  His speech lasted two days.  This
being over, the court was cleared, and the judges were left alone to
deliberate upon their verdict.  Some time after we were called in to hear
that verdict given.  It was in favour of M. de Luxembourg in so far as
the title dating from 1662 was concerned; but the consideration of his
claim to the title of 1581 was adjourned indefinitely, so that he
remained exactly in the same position as his father.

It was with difficulty we could believe in a decree so unjust and so
novel, and which decided a question that was not under dispute.  I was
outraged, but I endeavoured to contain myself.  I spoke to M. de la
Rochefoucauld; I tried to make him listen to me, and to agree that we
should complain to the King, but I spoke to a man furious, incapable of
understanding anything or of doing anything.  Returning to my own house,
I wrote a letter to the King, in which I complained of the opinion of the
judges.  I also pointed out, that when everybody had been ordered to
retire from the council chamber, Harlay and his secretary had been
allowed to remain.  On these and other grounds I begged the King to grant
a new trial.

I carried this letter to the Duc de la Tremoille, but I could not get him
to look at it.  I returned home more vexed if possible than when I left.
The King, nevertheless, was exceedingly dissatisfied with the judgment.
He explained himself to that effect at his dinner, and in a manner but
little advantageous to the Parliament, and prepared himself to receive
the complaints he expected would be laid before him.  But the obstinacy
of M. de la Rochefoucauld, which turned into vexation against himself,
rendered it impossible for us to take any steps in the matter, and so
overwhelmed me with displeasure, that I retired to La Trappe during
Passion Week in order to recover myself.

At my return I learned that the King had spoken of this judgment to the
Chief President, and that that magistrate had blamed it, saying the cause
was indubitably ours, and that he had always thought so!  If he thought
so, why oppose us so long?  and if he did not think so, what a
prevaricator was he to reply with this flattery, so as to be in accord
with the King?  The judges themselves were ashamed of their verdict, and
excused themselves for it on the ground of their compassion for the state
in which M. de Luxembourg would have been placed had he lost the title of
1662, and upon its being impossible that he should gain the one of 1581,
of which they had left him the chimera.  M. de Luxembourg was accordingly
received at the Parliament on the 4th of the following May, with the rank
of 1662.  He came and visited all of us, but we would have no intercourse
with him or with his judges.  To the Advocate-General, D'Aguesseau, we
carried our thanks.


Thus ended this long and important case; and now let me go back again to
the events of the previous year.

Towards the end of the summer and the commencement of the winter of 1695,
negotiations for peace were set on foot by the King.  Harlay, son-in-law
of our enemy, was sent to Maestricht to sound the Dutch.  But in
proportion as they saw peace desired were they less inclined to listen to
terms.  They had even the impudence to insinuate to Harlay, whose
paleness and thinness were extraordinary, that they took him for a sample
of the reduced state of France!  He, without getting angry, replied
pleasantly, that if they would give him the time to send for his wife,
they would, perhaps, conceive another opinion of the position of the
realm.  In effect, she was extremely fat, and of a very high colour.  He
was rather roughly dismissed, and hastened to regain our frontier.

Two events followed each other very closely this winter.  The first was
the death of the Princess of Orange, in London, at the end of January.
The King of England prayed our King to allow the Court to wear no
mourning, and it was even prohibited to M. de Bouillon and M. de Duras,
who were both related to the Prince of Orange.  The order was obeyed, and
no word was said; but this sort of vengeance was thought petty.  Hopes
were held out of a change in England, but they vanished immediately, and
the Prince of Orange appeared more accredited there and stronger than
ever.  The Princess was much regretted, and the Prince of Orange, who
loved her and gave her his entire confidence, and even most marked
respect, was for some days ill with grief.

The other event was strange.  The Duke of Hanover, who, in consequence of
the Revolution, was destined to the throne of England after the Prince
and Princess of Orange and the Princess of Denmark, had married his
cousin-german, a daughter of the Duke of Zell.  She was beautiful, and he
lived happily with her for some time.  The Count of Koenigsmarck, young
and very well made, came to the Court, and gave him some umbrage.  The
Duke of Hanover became jealous; he watched his wife and the Count, and at
length believed himself fully assured of what he would have wished to
remain ignorant of all his life.  Fury seized him: he had the Count
arrested and thrown into a hot oven.  Immediately afterwards he sent his
wife to her father, who shut her up in one of his castles, where she was
strictly guarded by the people of the Duke of Hanover.  An assembly of
the Consistory was held in order to break off his marriage.  It was
decided, very singularly, that the marriage was annulled so far as the
Duke was concerned, and that he could marry another woman; but that it
remained binding on the Duchess, and that she could not marry.  The
children she had had during her marriage were declared legitimate.  The
Duke of Hanover did not remain persuaded as to this last article.

The King, entirely occupied with the aggrandisement of his natural
children, had heaped upon the Comte de Toulouse every possible favour.
He now (in order to evade a promise he had made to his brother, that the
first vacant government should be given to the Duc de Chartres) forced M.
de Chaulnes to give up the government of Brittany, which he had long
held, and conferred it upon the Comte de Toulouse, giving to the friend
and heir of the former the successorship to the government of Guyenne, by
way of recompense.

M. de Chaulnes was old and fat, but much loved by the people of Brittany.
He was overwhelmed by this determination of the King, and his wife, who
had long been accustomed to play the little Queen, still more so; yet
there was nothing for them but to obey.  They did obey, but it was with a
sorrow and chagrin they could not hide.

The appointment was announced one morning at the rising of the King.
Monsieur, who awoke later, heard of it at the drawing of his curtains,
and was extremely piqued.  The Comte de Toulouse came shortly afterwards,
and announced it himself.  Monsieur interrupted him, and before everybody
assembled there said, "The King has given you a good present; but I know
not if what he has done is good policy."  Monsieur went shortly
afterwards to the King, and reproached him for giving, under cover of a
trick, the government of Brittany to the Comte de Toulouse, having
promised it to the Duc de Chartres.  The King heard him in silence: he
knew well how to appease him.  Some money for play and to embellish Saint
Cloud, soon effaced Monsieur's chagrin.

All this winter my mother was solely occupied in finding a good match for
me.  Some attempt was made to marry me to Mademoiselle de Royan.  It
would have been a noble and rich marriage; but I was alone, Mademoiselle
de Royan was an orphan, and I wished a father-in-law and a family upon
whom I could lean.  During the preceding year there had been some talk of
the eldest daughter of Marechal de Lorges for me.  The affair had fallen
through, almost as soon as suggested, and now, on both sides, there was a
desire to recommence negotiations.  The probity, integrity, the freedom
of Marechal de Lorges pleased me infinitely, and everything tended to
give me an extreme desire for this marriage.  Madame de Lorges by her
virtue and good sense was all I could wish for as the mother of my future
wife.  Mademoiselle de Lorges was a blonde, with a complexion and figure
perfect, a very amiable face, an extremely noble and modest deportment,
and with I know not what of majesty derived from her air of virtue, and
of natural gentleness.  The Marechal had five other daughters, but I
liked this one best without comparison, and hoped to find with her that
happiness which she since has given me.  As she has become my wife, I
will abstain here from saying more about her, unless it be that she has
exceeded all that was promised of her, and all that I myself had hoped.

My marriage being agreed upon and arranged the Marechal de Lorges spoke
of it to the King, who had the goodness to reply to him that he could not
do better, and to speak of me very obligingly.  The marriage accordingly
took place at the Hotel de Lorges, on the 8th of April, 1695, which I
have always regarded, and with good reason, as the happiest day of my
life.  My mother treated me like the best mother in the world.  On the
Thursday before Quasimodo the contract was signed; a grand repast
followed; at midnight the cure of Saint Roch said mass, and married us in
the chapel of the house.  On the eve, my mother had sent forty thousand
livres' worth of precious stones to Mademoiselle de Lorges, and I six
hundred Louis in a corbeille filled with all the knick-knacks that are
given on these occasions.

We slept in the grand apartment of the Hotel des Lorges.  On the morrow,
after dinner, my wife went to bed, and received a crowd of visitors, who
came to pay their respects and to gratify their curiosity.  The next
evening we went to Versailles, and were received by Madame de Maintenon
and the King.  On arriving at the supper-table, the King said to the new
Duchess:--"Madame, will you be pleased to seat yourself?"

His napkin being unfolded, he saw all the duchesses and princesses still
standing; and rising in his chair, he said to Madame de Saint-Simon--
"Madame, I have already begged you to be seated;" and all immediately
seated themselves.  On the morrow, Madame de Saint-Simon received all the
Court in her bed in the apartment of the Duchesse d'Arpajon, as being
more handy, being on the ground floor.  Our festivities finished by a
supper that I gave to the former friends of my father, whose acquaintance
I had always cultivated with great care.

Almost immediately after my marriage the second daughter of the Marechal
de Lorges followed in the footsteps of her sister.  She was fifteen years
of age, and at the reception of Madame de Saint-Simon had attracted the
admiration of M. de Lauzun, who was then sixty-three.  Since his return
to the Court he had been reinstated in the dignity he had previously
held.  He flattered himself that by marrying the daughter of a General he
should re-open a path to himself for command in the army.  Full of this
idea he spoke to M. de Lorges, who was by no means inclined towards the
marriage.  M. de Lauzun offered, however, to marry without dowry; and M.
de Lorges, moved by this consideration, assented to his wish.  The affair
concluded, M. de Lorges spoke of it to the King.  "You are bold," said
his Majesty, "to take Lauzun into your family.  I hope you may not repent
of it."

The contract was soon after signed.  M. de Lorges gave no dowry with his
daughter, but she was to inherit something upon the death of M. Fremont.
We carried this contract to the King, who smiled and bantered M. de
Lauzun.  M. de Lauzun replied, that he was only too happy, since it was
the first time since his return that he had seen the King smile at him.
The marriage took place without delay: there were only seven or eight
persons present at the ceremony.  M. de Lauzun would undress himself
alone with his valet de chambre, and did not enter the apartment of his
wife until after everybody had left it, and she was in bed with the
curtains closed, and nobody to meet him on his passage.  His wife
received company in bed, as mine had done.  Nobody was able to understand
this marriage; and all foresaw that a rupture would speedily be brought
about by the well-known temper of M. de Lauzun.  In effect, this is what
soon happened.  The Marechal de Lorges, remaining still in weak health,
was deemed by the King unable to take the field again, and his army given
over to the command of another General.  M. de Lauzun thus saw all his
hopes of advancement at an end, and, discontented that the Marechal had
done nothing for him, broke off all connection with the family, took away
Madame de Lauzun from her mother (to the great grief of the latter; who
doted upon this daughter), and established her in a house of his own
adjoining the Assumption, in the Faubourg Saint-Honore.  There she had to
endure her husband's continual caprices, but little removed in their
manifestation from madness.  Everybody cast blame upon him, and strongly
pitied her and her father and mother; but nobody was surprised.

A few days after the marriage of M. de Lauzun, as the King was being
wheeled in his easy chair in the gardens at Versailles, he asked me for
many minute particulars concerning the family of the Marechal de Lorges.
He then set himself to joke with me upon the marriage of M. de Lauzun--
and upon mine.  He said to me, in spite of that gravity which never
quitted him, that he had learnt from the Marechal I had well acquitted
myself, but that he believed the Marechal had still better news.

The loss of two illustrious men about this time, made more noise than
that of two of our grand ladies.  The first of these men was La Fontaine,
so well known by his "Fables" and stories, and who, nevertheless, was so
heavy in conversation.  The other was Mignard--so illustrious by his
pencil: he had an only daughter--perfectly beautiful: she is repeated in
several of those magnificent historical pictures which adorn the grand
gallery of Versailles and its two salons, and which have had no slight
share in irritating all Europe against the King, and in leaguing it still
more against his person than his realm.

At the usual time the armies were got ready for active service, and
everybody set out to join them.  That of the Rhine, in which I was, was
commanded by the Marechal de Lorges.  No sooner had we crossed the river
and come upon the enemy, than the Marechal fell ill.  Although we were in
want of forage and were badly encamped, nobody complained--nobody wished
to move.  Never did an army show so much interest in the life of its
chief, or so much love for him.  M. de Lorges was, in truth, at the last
extremity, and the doctors that had been sent for from Strasbourg gave
him up entirely.  I took upon myself to administer to him some "English
Drops."  One hundred and thirty were given him in three doses: the effect
was astonishing; an eruption burst out upon the Marechal's body, and
saved his life.  His illness was not, however, at an end; and the army,
although suffering considerably, would not hear of moving until he was
quite ready to move also.  There was no extremity it would not undergo
rather than endanger the life of its chief.

Prince Louis of Baden offered by trumpets all sorts of assistance--
doctors and remedies, and gave his word that if the army removed from its
General, he and those who remained with him should be provided with
forage and provisions--should be unmolested and allowed to rejoin the
main body in perfect safety, or go whithersoever they pleased.  He was
thanked, as he merited, for those very kind offers, which we did not
wish, however, to profit by.

Little by little the health of the General was reestablished, and the
army demonstrated its joy by bonfire's all over the camp, and by salvos,
which it was impossible to prevent.  Never was seen testimony of love so
universal or so flattering.  The King was much concerned at the illness
of the Marechal; all the Court was infinitely touched by it.  M. de
Lorges was not less loved by it than by the troops.  When able to support
the fatigues of the journey, he was removed in a coach to Philipsburg,
where he was joined by the Marechal, who had come there to meet him.  The
next day he went to Landau, and I, who formed one of his numerous and
distinguished escort, accompanied him there, and then returned to the
army, which was placed under the command of the Marechal de Joyeuse.

We found it at about three leagues from Ketsch, its right at Roth, and
its left at Waldsdorff.  We learned that the Marechal de Joyeuse had lost
a good occasion of fighting the enemy; but as I was not in camp at the
time, I will say no more of the matter.  Our position was not good:
Schwartz was on our left, and the Prince of Baden on our right, hemming
us in, as it were, between them.  We had no forage, whilst they had
abundance of everything, and were able to procure all they wanted.  There
was a contest who should decamp the last.  All our communications were
cut off with Philipsburg, so that we could not repass the Rhine under the
protection of that place.  To get out of our position, it was necessary
to defile before our enemies into the plain of Hockenun, and this was a
delicate operation.  The most annoying circumstance was, that M. de
Joyeuse would communicate with nobody, and was so ill-tempered that none
dared to speak to him.  At last he determined upon his plans, and I was
of the detachment by which they were to be carried out.  We were sent to
Manheim to see if out of the ruins of that place (burned in 1688 by M. de
Louvois) sufficient, materials could be found to construct bridges, by
which we might cross the Rhine there.  We found that the bridges could be
made, and returned to announce this to M. de Joyeuse.  Accordingly, on
the 20th of July, the army put itself in movement.  The march was made in
the utmost confusion.  Everything was in disorder; the infantry and
cavalry were huddled together pell-mell; no commands could be acted upon,
and indeed the whole army was so disorganised that it could have been
easily beaten by a handful of men.  In effect, the enemy at last tried to
take advantage of our confusion, by sending a few troops to harass us.
But it was too late; we had sufficiently rallied to be able to turn upon
them, and they narrowly escaped falling into our hands.  We encamped that
night in the plain on the banks of the Necker--our rear at Manheim, and
our left at Seckenheim, while waiting for the remainder of the army,
still very distant.  Indeed, so great had been the confusion, that the
first troops arrived at one o'clock at night, and the last late in the
morning of the next day.

I thought that our headquarters were to be in this village of Seckenheim,
and, in company with several officers took possession of a large house
and prepared to pass the night there.  While we were resting from the
fatigues of the day we heard a great noise, and soon after a frightful
uproar.  It was caused by a body of our men, who, searching for water,
had discovered this village, and after having quenched their thirst had,
under the cover of thick darkness, set themselves to pillage, to violate,
to massacre, and to commit all the horrors inspired by the most unbridled
licence: La Bretesche, a lieutenant-general, declared to me that he had
never seen anything like it, although he had several times been at
pillages and sackings.  He was very grateful that he had not yielded to
my advice, and taken off his wooden leg to be more at ease; for in a
short time we ourselves were invaded, and had some trouble to defend
ourselves.  As we bore the livery of M. de Lorges, we were respected,
but those who bore that of M. de Joyeuse were in some cases severely
maltreated.  We passed the rest of the night as well as we could in this
unhappy place, which was not abandoned by our soldiers until long after
there was nothing more to find.  At daylight we went to the camp.

We found the army beginning to move: it had passed the night as well as
it could without order, the troops constantly arriving, and the last
comers simply joining themselves on to the rest.  Our camp was soon,
however, properly formed, and on the 24th July, the bridges being ready,
all the army crossed the Rhine, without any attempt being made by the
enemy to follow us.  On the day after, the Marechal de Joyeuse permitted
me to go to Landau, where I remained with the Marechal and the Marechale
de Lorges until the General was again able to place himself at the head
of his army.

Nothing of importance was done by our other armies; but in Flanders an
interesting adventure occurred.  The Prince of Orange, after playing a
fine game of chess with our army, suddenly invested Namur with a large
force, leaving the rest of his troops under the command of M. de
Vaudemont.  The Marechal de Villeroy, who had the command of our army in
Flanders, at once pressed upon M. de Vaudemont, who, being much the
weaker of the two, tried hard to escape.  Both felt that everything was
in their hands: Vaudemont, that upon his safety depended the success of
the siege of Namur; and Villeroy, that to his victory was attached the
fate of the Low Countries, and very likely a glorious peace, with all the
personal results of such an event.  He took his measures so well that on
the evening of the 13th of July it was impossible for M. de Vaudemont to
escape falling into his hands on the 14th, and he wrote thus to the King.
At daybreak on the 14th M. de Villeroy sent word to M. du Maine to
commence the action.  Impatient that his orders were not obeyed, he sent
again five or six times.  M. du Maine wished in the first instance to
reconnoitre, then to confess himself, and delayed in effect so long that
M. de Vaudemont was able to commence his retreat.  The general officers
cried out at this.  One of them came to M. du Maine and reminded him of
the repeated orders of the Marechal de Villeroy, represented the
importance of victory, and the ease with which it could be obtained: with
tears in his eyes he begged M. du Maine to commence the attack.  It was
all in vain; M. du Maine stammered, and could not be prevailed upon to
charge, and so allowed M. de Vaudemont's army to escape, when by a single
movement it might have been entirely defeated.

All our army was in despair, and officers and soldiers made no scruple of
expressing their anger and contempt.  M. de Villeroy, more outraged than
anybody else, was yet too good a courtier to excuse himself at the
expense of M. du Maine.  He simply wrote to the King, that he had been
deceived in those hopes of success which appeared certain the day before,
entered into no further details, and resigned himself to all that might
happen.  The King, who had counted the hours until news of a great and
decisive victory should reach him, was very much surprised when this
letter came: he saw at once that something strange had happened of which
no intelligence had been sent: he searched the gazettes of Holland; in
one he read of a great action said to have been fought, and in which M.
du Maine had been grievously wounded; in the next the news of the action
was contradicted, and M. du Maine was declared to have received no wounds
at all.  In order to learn what had really taken place, the King sent for
Lavienne, a man he was in the habit of consulting when he wanted to learn
things no one else dared to tell him.

This Lavienne had been a bath-keeper much in vogue in Paris, and had
become bath-keeper to the King at the time of his amours.  He had pleased
by his drugs, which had frequently put the King in a state to enjoy
himself more, and this road had led Lavienne to become one of the four
chief valets de chambre.  He was a very honest man, but coarse, rough,
and free-spoken; it was this last quality which made him useful in the
manner I have before mentioned.  From Lavienne the King, but not without
difficulty, learned the truth: it threw him into despair.  The other
illegitimate children were favourites with him, but it was upon M. du
Maine that all his hopes were placed.  They now fell to the ground, and
the grief of the King was insupportable: he felt deeply for that dear son
whose troops had become the laughing stock of the army; he felt the
railleries that, as the gazettes showed him, foreigners were heaping upon
his forces; and his vexation was inconceivable.

This Prince, so equal in his manners, so thoroughly master of his
lightest movements, even upon the gravest occasions, succumbed under this
event.  On rising from the table at Marly he saw a servant who, while
taking away the dessert, helped himself to a biscuit, which he put in his
pocket.  On the instant, the King forgets his dignity, and cane in hand
runs to this valet (who little suspected what was in store for him),
strikes him; abuses him, and breaks the cane upon his body!  The truth
is, 'twas only a reed, and snapped easily.  However, the stump in his
hand, he walked away like a man quite beside himself, continuing to abuse
this valet, and entered Madame de Maintenon's room, where he remained
nearly an hour.  Upon coming out he met Father la Chaise.  "My father,"
said the King to him, in a very loud voice, "I have beaten a knave and
broken my cane over his shoulders, but I do not think I have offended
God."  Everybody around trembled at this public confession, and the poor
priest muttered a semblance of approval between his teeth, to avoid
irritating the King more.  The noise that the affair made and the terror
it inspired may be imagined; for nobody could divine for some time the
cause; and everybody easily understood that that which had appeared could
not be the real one.  To finish with this matter, once for all, let us
add here the saying of M. d'Elboeuf.  Courtier though he was, the upward
flight of the illegitimate children weighed upon his heart.  As the
campaign was at its close and the Princes were about to depart, he begged
M. du Maine before everybody to say where he expected to serve during the
next campaign, because wherever it might be he should like to be there

After being pressed to say why, he replied that "with him one's life was
safe."  This pointed remark made much noise.  M. du Maine lowered his
eyes, and did not reply one word.  As for the Marechal de Villeroy he
grew more and more in favour with the King and with Madame de Maintenon.
The bitter fruit of M. du Maine's act was the taking of Namur, which
capitulated on August 4th (1695).  The Marechal de Villeroy in turn
bombarded Brussels, which was sorely maltreated.  The Marechal de
Boufflers, who had defended Namur, was made Duke, and those who had
served under him were variously rewarded.  This gave occasion for the
Prince of Orange to say, that the King recompensed more liberally the
loss of a place than he could the conquest of one.  The army retired into
winter-quarters at the end of October, and the Generals went to Paris.

As for me, I remained six weeks at Landau with M. and Madame de Lorges.
At the end of that time, the Marechal, having regained his health,
returned to the army, where he was welcomed with the utmost joy: he soon
after had an attack of apoplexy, and, by not attending to his malady in
time, became seriously ill again.  When a little recovered, he and Madame
de Lorges set out for Vichy, and I went to Paris.


Before speaking of what happened at Court after my return, it will be
necessary to record what had occurred there during the campaign.

M. de Brias, Archbishop of Cambrai, had died, and the King had given that
valuable preferment to the Abbe de Fenelon, preceptor of the children of
France.  Fenelon was a man of quality, without fortune, whom the
consciousness of wit--of the insinuating and captivating kind--united
with much ability, gracefulness of intellect, and learning, inspired with
ambition.  He had been long going about from door to door, knocking for
admission, but without success.  Piqued against the Jesuits, to whom he
had addressed himself at first, as holding all favours in their hands,
and discouraged because unable to succeed in that quarter, he turned next
to the Jansenists, to console himself by the reputation he hoped he
should derive from them, for the loss of those gifts of fortune which
hitherto had despised him.

He remained a considerable time undergoing the process of initiation, and
succeeded at last in being of the private parties that some of the
important Jansenists then held once or twice a week at the house of the
Duchesse de Brancas.  I know not if he appeared too clever for them, or
if he hoped elsewhere for better things than he could get among people
who had only sores to share; but little by little his intimacy with them
cooled; and by dint of turning around Saint Sulpice, he succeeded in
forming another connection there, upon which he built greater
expectations.  This society of priests was beginning to distinguish
itself, and from a seminary of a Paris parish to extend abroad.
Ignorance, the minuteness of their practices, the absence of all patrons
and of members at all distinguished in any way, inspired them with a
blind obedience to Rome and to all its maxims; with a great aversion for
everything that passed for Jansenism, and made them so dependent upon the
bishops that they began to be considered an acquisition in many dioceses.
They appeared a middle party, very useful to the prelates; who equally
feared the Court, on account of suspicions of doctrine, and the Jesuits
for as soon as the latter had insinuated themselves into the good graces
of the prelates, they imposed their yoke upon them, or ruined them
hopelessly;--thus the Sulpicians grew apace.  None amongst them could
compare in any way with the Abbe de Fenelon; so that he was able easily
to play first fiddle, and to make for himself protectors who were
interested in advancing him, in order that they might be protected in

His piety, which was all things to all men, and his doctrine that he
formed upon theirs (abjuring, as it were, in whispers, the impurities he
might have contracted amongst those he had abandoned)--the charms, the
graces, the sweetness, the insinuation of his mind, rendered him a dear
friend to this new congregation, and procured for him what he had long
sought, people upon whom he could lean, and who could and would serve.
Whilst waiting opportunities, he carefully courted these people, without
thinking, however, of positively joining them, his views being more
ambitious; so that he ever sought to make new acquaintances and friends.
His was a coquettish mind, which from people the most influential down to
the workman and the lackey sought appreciation and was determined to
please; and his talents for this work perfectly seconded his desires.

At this time, and while still obscure, he heard speak of Madame Guyon,
who has since made so much noise in the world, and who is too well known
to need that I should dwell upon her here.  He saw her.  There was an
interchange of pleasure between their minds.  Their sublimes amalgamated.
I know not if they understood each other very clearly in that system, and
that new tongue which they hatched subsequently, but they persuaded
themselves they did, and friendship grew up between them.  Although more
known than he, Madame Guyon was nevertheless not much known, and their
intimacy was not perceived, because nobody thought of them; Saint Sulpice
even was ignorant of what was going on.

The Duc de Beauvilliers became Governor of the children of France almost
in spite of himself, without having thought of it.  He had to choose a
preceptor for Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne.  He addressed himself to
Saint Sulpice, where for a long time he had confessed, for he liked and
protected it.  He had heard speak of Fenelon with eulogy: the Sulpicians
vaunted his piety, his intelligence, his knowledge, his talents; at last
they proposed him for preceptor.  The Duc de Beauvilliers saw him, was
charmed with him, and appointed him to the office.

As soon as installed, Fenelon saw of what importance it would be to gain
the entire favour of the Duc de Beauvilliers, and of his brother-in-law
the Duc de Chevreuse, both very intimate friends, and both in the highest
confidence of the King and Madame de Maintenon.  This was his first care,
and he succeeded beyond his hopes, becoming the master of their hearts
and minds, and the director of their consciences.

Madame de Maintenon dined regularly once a week at the house of one or
other of the two Dukes, fifth of a little party, composed of the two
sisters and the two husbands,--with a bell upon the table, in order to
dispense with servants in waiting, and to be able to talk without
restraint.  Fenelon was at last admitted to this sanctuary, at foot of
which all the Court was prostrated.  He was almost as successful with
Madame de Maintenon as he had been with the two Dukes.  His spirituality
enchanted her: the Court soon perceived the giant strides of the
fortunate Abbe, and eagerly courted him.  But, desiring to be free and
entirely devoted to his great object, he kept himself aloof from their
flatteries--made for himself a shield with his modesty and his duties of
preceptor--and thus rendered himself still more dear to the persons he
had captivated, and that he had so much interest in retaining in that

Among these cares he forgot not his dear Madame Guyon; he had already
vaunted her to the two Dukes and to Madame de Maintenon.  He had even
introduced her to them, but as though with difficulty and for a few
moments, as a woman all in God, whose humility and whose love of
contemplation and solitude kept her within the strictest limits, and
whose fear, above all, was that she should become known.  The tone of her
mind pleased Madame de Maintenon extremely; her reserve, mixed with
delicate flatteries, won upon her.  Madame de Maintenon wished to hear
her talk upon matters of piety; with difficulty she consented to speak.
She seemed to surrender herself to the charms and to the virtue of Madame
de Maintenon, and Madame de Maintenon fell into the nets so skilfully
prepared for her.

Such was the situation of Fenelon when he became Archbishop of Cambrai;
increasing the admiration in which he was held by taking no step to gain
that great benefice.  He had taken care not to seek to procure himself
Cambrai; the least spark of ambition would have destroyed all his
edifice; and, moreover, it was not Cambrai that he coveted.

Little by little he appropriated to himself some distinguished sheep of
the small flock Madame Guyon had gathered together.  He only conducted
them, however, under the direction of that prophetess, and, everything
passed with a secrecy and mystery that gave additional relish to the
manna distributed.

Cambrai was a thunderbolt for this little flock.  It was the
archbishopric of Paris they wished.  Cambrai they looked upon with
disdain as a country diocese, the residence in which (impossible to avoid
from time to time) would deprive them of their pastor.  Their grief was
then profound at what the rest of the world took for a piece of amazing
luck, and the Countess of Guiche was so affected as to be unable to hide
her tears.  The new prelate had not neglected such of his brethren as
made the most figure; they, in turn, considered it a distinction to
command his regard.  Saint Cyr, that spot so valuable and so
inaccessible, was the place chosen for his consecration; and M. de Meaux,
dictator then of the episcopacy and or doctrine, consecrated him.  The
children of France were among the spectators, and Madame de Maintenon was
present with her little court of familiars.  No others were invited; the
doors were closed to those who sought to pay their court.

The new Archbishop of Cambrai, gratified with his influence over Madame
de Maintenon and with the advantages it had brought him, felt that unless
he became completely master of her, the hopes he still entertained could
not be satisfied.  But there was a rival in his way--Godet, Bishop of
Chartres, who was much in the confidence of Madame de Maintenon, and had
long discourses with her at Saint Cyr.  As he was, however, of a very ill
figure, had but little support at Court, and appeared exceedingly simple,
M. de Cambrai believed he could easily overthrow him.  To do this, he
determined to make use of Madame Guyon, whose new spirituality had
already been so highly relished by Madame de Maintenon.  He persuaded
this latter to allow Madame Guyon to enter Saint Cyr, where they could
discourse together much more at their ease than at the Hotel de Chevreuse
or Beauvilliers.  Madame Guyon went accordingly to Saint Cyr two or three
times.  Soon after, Madame de Maintenon, who relished her more and more,
made her sleep there, and their meetings grew longer.  Madame Guyon
admitted that she sought persons proper to become her disciples, and in a
short time she formed a little flock, whose maxims and language appeared
very strange to all the rest of the house, and, above all, to M. de
Chartres.  That prelate was not so simple as M. de Cambrai imagined.
Profound theologian and scholar, pious, disinterested, and of rare
probity, he could be, if necessary, a most skilful courtier; but he
rarely exerted this power, for the favour of Madame de Maintenon sufficed
him of itself.  As soon as he got scent of this strange doctrine, he
caused two ladies, upon whom he could count, to be admitted to Saint Cyr,
as if to become disciples of Madame Guyon.  He gave them full
instructions, and they played their parts to perfection.  In the first
place they appeared to be ravished, and by degrees enchanted, with the
new doctrine.  Madame Guyon, pleased with this fresh conquest, took the
ladies into her most intimate confidence in order to gain them entirely.
They communicated everything to M. de Chartres, who quietly looked on,
allowed things to take their course, and, when he believed the right
moment had arrived, disclosed all he had learnt to Madame de Maintenon.
She was strangely surprised when she saw the extraordinary drift of the
new doctrine.  Troubled and uncertain, she consulted with M. de Cambrai,
who, not suspecting she had been so well instructed, became, when he
discovered it, embarrassed, and thus augmented her suspicions.

Suddenly Madame Guyon was driven away from Saint Cyr, and prohibited from
spreading her doctrine elsewhere.  But the admiring disciples she had
made still gathered round her in secret, and this becoming known, she was
ordered to leave Paris.  She feigned obedience, but in effect went no
further than the Faubourg Saint Antoine, where, with great secrecy, she
continued to receive her flock.  But being again detected, she was sent,
without further parley, to the Bastille, well treated there, but allowed
to see nobody, not even to write.  Before being arrested, however, she
had been put into the hands of M. de Meaux, who used all his endeavours
to change her sentiments.  Tired at last of his sermons, she feigned
conviction, signed a recantation of her opinions, and was set at liberty.
Yet, directly after, she held her secret assemblies in the Faubourg Saint
Antoine, and it was in consequence of this abuse of freedom that she was
arrested.  These adventures bring me far into the year 1696, and the
sequel extends into the following year.  Let us finish this history at
once, and return afterwards to what happened meanwhile.

Monsieur de Cambrai, stunned but not overpowered by the reverse he had
sustained, and by his loss of favour with Madame de Maintenon, stood firm
in his stirrups.  After Madame Guyon's abuse of her liberty, and the
conferences of Issy, he bethought himself of confessing to M. de Meaux,
by which celebrated trick he hoped to close that prelate's mouth.  These
circumstances induced M. de Meaux to take pen in hand, in order to expose
to the public the full account of his affair, and of Madame Guyon's
doctrine; and he did so in a work under the title of 'Instruction sur les
Etats d'Oyaison'.

While the book was yet unpublished, M. de Cambrai was shown a copy.  He
saw at once the necessity of writing another to ward off the effect of
such a blow.  He must have had a great deal of matter already prepared,
otherwise the diligence he used would be incredible.  Before M. de
Meaux's book was ready, M. de Cambrai's, entitled 'Maximes des Saints',
was published and distributed.  M. de Chevreuse, who corrected the
proofs, installed himself at the printer's, so as to see every sheet as
soon as printed.

This book, written in the strangest manner, did M. de Cambrai little
service.  If people were offended to find it supported upon no authority,
they were much more so with its confused and embarrassed style, its
precision so restrained and so decided, its barbarous terms which seemed
as though taken from a foreign tongue, above all, its high-flown and far-
fetched thoughts, which took one's breath away, as in the too subtle air
of the middle region.  Nobody, except the theologians, understood it, and
even they not without reading it three or four times.  Connoisseurs found
in it a pure Quietism, which, although wrapped up in fine language, was
clearly visible.  I do not give my own judgment of things so much beyond
me, but repeat what was said everywhere.  Nothing else was talked about,
even by the ladies; and a propos of this, the saying of Madame de Sevigne
was revived: "Make religion a little more palpable; it evaporates by dint
of being over-refined."

Not a word was heard in praise of the book; everybody was opposed to it,
and it was the means of making Madame de Maintenon more unfavourable to
M. de Cambrai than ever.  He sent the King a copy, without informing her.
This completed her annoyance against him.  M. de Cambrai, finding his
book so ill-received by the Court and by the prelates, determined to try
and support it on the authority of Rome, a step quite opposed to our
manners.  In the mean time, M. de Meaux's book appeared in two volumes
octavo, well written, clear, modest, and supported upon the authority of
the Scriptures.  It was received with avidity, and absolutely devoured.
There was not a person at the Court who did not take a pleasure in
reading it, so that for a long time it was the common subject of
conversation of the Court and of the town.

These two books, so opposed in doctrine and in style, made such a stir on
every side that the King interposed, and forced M. de Cambrai to submit
his work to an examination by a council of prelates, whom he named.
M. de Cambrai asked permission to go to Rome to defend his cause in
person, but this the King refused.  He sent his book, therefore, to the
Pope, and had the annoyance to receive a dry, cold reply, and to see
M. de Meaux's book triumph.  His good fortune was in effect at an end.
He remained at Court some little time, but the King was soon irritated
against him, sent him off post-haste to Paris, and from there to his
diocese, whence he has never returned.  He left behind him a letter for
one of his friends, M. de Chevreuse it was generally believed, which
immediately after became public.  It appeared like the manifesto of a man
who disgorges his bile and restrains himself no more, because he has
nothing more to hope.  The letter, bold and bitter in style, was besides
so full of ability and artifice, that it was extremely pleasant to read,
without finding approvers; so true it is that a wise and disdainful
silence is difficult to keep under reverses.



To return now to the date from which I started.  On the 6th of August,
1695, Harlay, Arch-bishop of Paris, died of epilepsy at Conflans.  He was
a prelate of profound knowledge and ability, very amiable, and of most
gallant manners.  For some time past he had lost favour with the King and
with Madame de Maintenon, for opposing the declaration of her marriage--
of which marriage he had been one of the three witnesses.  The clergy,
who perceived his fall, and to whom envy is not unfamiliar, took pleasure
in revenging themselves upon M. de Paris, for the domination, although
gentle and kindly, he had exercised.  Unaccustomed to this decay of his
power, all the graces of his mind and body withered.  He could find no
resource but to shut himself up with his dear friend the Duchesse de
Lesdiguieres, whom he saw every day of his life, either at her own house
or at Conflans, where he had laid out a delicious garden, kept so
strictly clean, that as the two walked, gardeners followed at a distance,
and effaced their footprints with rakes.  The vapours seized the
Archbishop, and turned themselves into slight attacks of epilepsy.  He
felt this, but prohibited his servants to send for help, when they should
see him attacked; and he was only too well obeyed.  The Duchesse de
Lesdiguieres never slept at Conflans, but she went there every afternoon,
and was always alone with him.  On the 6th of August, he passed the
morning, as usual, until dinner-time; his steward came there to him, and
found him in his cabinet, fallen back upon a sofa; he was dead.  The
celebrated Jesuit-Father Gaillard preached his funeral sermon, and
carefully eluded pointing the moral of the event.  The King and Madame de
Maintenon were much relieved by the loss of M. de Paris.  Various places
he had held were at once distributed.  His archbishopric and his
nomination to the cardinalship required more discussion.  The King learnt
the news of the death of M. de Paris on the 6th.  On the 8th, in going as
usual to his cabinet, he went straight up to the Bishop of Orleans, led
him to the Cardinals de Bouillon and de Fursternberg, and said to them:-
"Gentlemen, I think you will thank me for giving you an associate like M.
d'Orleans, to whom I give my nomination to the cardinalship."  At this
word the Bishop, who little expected such a scene, fell at the King's
feet and embraced his knees.  He was a man whose face spoke at once of
the virtue and benignity he possessed.  In youth he was so pious, that
young and old were afraid to say afoul word in his presence.  Although
very rich, he appropriated scarcely any of his wealth to himself, but
gave it away for good works.  The modesty and the simplicity with which
M. d'Orleans sustained his nomination, increased the universal esteem in
which he was held.

The archbishopric of Paris was given to a brother of the Duc de Noailles-
the Bishop of Chalons-sur-Marne--M. de Noailles thus reaping the fruit of
his wise sacrifice to M. de Vendome, before related.  M. de Chalons was
of singular goodness and modesty.  He did not wish for this preferment,
and seeing from far the prospect of its being given to him, hastened to
declare himself against the Jesuits, in the expectation that Pere la
Chaise, who was of them, and who was always consulted upon these
occasions, might oppose him.  But it happened, perhaps for the first
time, that Madame de Maintenon, who felt restrained by the Jesuits, did
not consult Pere la Chaise, and the preferment was made without his
knowledge, and without that of M. de Chalons.  The affront was a violent
one, and the Jesuits never forgave the new Archbishop: he was, however,
so little anxious for the office, that it was only after repeated orders
he could be made to accept it.

The Bishop of Langres also died about this time.  He was a true
gentleman, much liked, and called "the good Langres."  There was nothing
bad about him, except his manners; he was not made for a bishop--gambled
very much, and staked high.  M. de Vendome and others won largely at
billiards of him, two or three times.  He said no word, but, on returning
to Langres, did nothing but practise billiards in secret for six months.
When next in Paris, he was again asked to play, and his adversaries, who
thought him as unskilful as before, expected an easy victory but, to
their astonishment, he gained almost every game, won back much more than
he had lost, and then laughed in the faces of his companions.

I paid about this time, my first journey to Marly, and a singular scene
happened there.  The King at dinner, setting aside his usual gravity,
laughed and joked very much with Madame la Duchesse, eating olives with
her in sport, and thereby causing her to drink more than usual--which he
also pretended to do.  Upon rising from the table the King, seeing the
Princesse de Conti look extremely serious, said, dryly, that her gravity
did not accommodate itself to their drunkenness.  The Princess, piqued,
allowed the King to pass without saying anything; and then, turning to
Madame de Chatillon, said, in the midst of the noise, whilst everybody
was washing his mouth, "that she would rather be grave than be a wine-
sack" (alluding to some bouts a little prolonged that her sister had
recently had).

The saying was heard by the Duchesse de Chartres, who replied, loud
enough to be heard, in her slow and trembling voice, that she preferred
to be a "winesack" rather than a "rag-sack" (sac d'guenilles) by which
she alluded to the Clermont and La Choin adventure I have related before.

This remark was so cruel that it met with no reply; it spread through
Marly, and thence to Paris; and Madame la Duchesse, who had the art of
writing witty songs, made one upon this theme.  The Princesse de Conti
was in despair, for she had not the same weapon at her disposal.
Monsieur tried to reconcile them gave them a dinner at Meudon--but they
returned from it as they went.

The end of the year was stormy at Marly.  One evening, after the King had
gone to bed, and while Monseigneur was playing in the saloon, the
Duchesse de Chartres and Madame la Duchesse (who were bound together by
their mutual aversion to the Princesse de Conti) sat down to a supper in
the chamber of the first-named.  Monseigneur, upon retiring late to his
own room, found them smoking with pipes, which they had sent for from the
Swiss Guards!  Knowing what would happen if the smell were discovered, he
made them leave off, but the smoke had betrayed them.  The King next day
severely scolded them, at which the Princesse de Conti triumphed.
Nevertheless, these broils multiplied, and the King at last grew so weary
of them that one evening he called the Princesses before him, and
threatened that if they did not improve he would banish them all from the
Court.  The measure had its effect; calm and decorum returned, and
supplied the place of friendship.

There were many marriages this winter, and amongst them one very strange
--a marriage of love, between a brother of Feuquiere's, who had never
done much, and the daughter of the celebrated Mignard, first painter of
his time.  This daughter was still so beautiful, that Bloin, chief valet
of the King, had kept her for some time, with the knowledge of every one,
and used his influence to make the King sign the marriage-contract.

There are in all Courts persons who, without wit and without
distinguished birth, without patrons, or service rendered, pierce into
the intimacy of the most brilliant, and succeed at last, I know not how,
in forcing the world to look upon them as somebody.  Such a person was
Cavoye.  Rising from nothing, he became Grand Marechal des Logis in the
royal household: he arrived at that office by a perfect romance.  He was
one of the best made men in France, and was much in favour with the
ladies.  He first appeared at the Court at a time when much duelling was
taking place, in spite of the edicts.  Cavoye, brave and skilful,
acquired so much reputation m this particular, that the name of "Brave
Cavoye" has stuck to him ever since.  An ugly but very good creature,
Mademoiselle de Coetlogon, one of the Queen's waiting-women, fill in love
with him, even to madness.  She made all the advances; but Cavoye treated
her so cruelly, nay, sometimes so brutally, that (wonderful to say)
everybody pitied her, and the King at last interfered, and commanded him
to be more humane.  Cavoye went to the army; the poor Coetlogon was in
tears until his return.  In the winter, for being second in a duel, he
was sent to the Bastille.  Then the grief of Coetlogon knew no bounds:
she threw aside all ornaments, and clad herself as meanly as possible;
she begged the King to grant Cavoye his liberty, and, upon the King's
refusing, quarrelled with him violently, and when in return he laughed at
her, became so furious, that she would have used her nails, had he not
been too wise to expose himself to them.  Then she refused to attend to
her duties, would not serve the King, saying, that he did not deserve it,
and grew so yellow and ill, that at last she was allowed to visit her
lover at the Bastille.  When he was liberated, her joy was extreme, she
decked herself out anon, but it was with difficulty that she consented to
be reconciled to the King.

Cavoye had many times been promised an appointment, but had never
received one such as he wished.  The office of Grand Marechal des Logis
had just become vacant: the King offered it to Cavoye, but on condition
that he should marry Mademoiselle Coetlogon.  Cavoye sniffed a little
longer, but was obliged to submit to this condition at last.  They were
married, and she has still the same admiration for him, and it is
sometimes fine fun to see the caresses she gives him before all the
world, and the constrained gravity with which he receives them.  The
history of Cavoye would fill a volume, but this I have selected suffices
for its singularity, which assuredly is without example.

About this time the King of England thought matters were ripe for an
attempt to reinstate himself upon the throne.  The Duke of Berwick had
been secretly into England, where he narrowly escaped being arrested,
and upon his report these hopes were built.  Great preparations were
made, but they came to nothing, as was always the case with the projects
of this unhappy prince.

Madame de Guise died at this time.  Her father was the brother of Louis
XIII., and she, humpbacked and deformed to excess, had married the last
Duc de Guise, rather than not marry at all.  During all their lives, she
compelled him to pay her all the deference due to her rank.  At table he
stood while she unfolded her napkin and seated herself, and did not sit
until she told him to do so, and then at the end of the table.  This form
was observed every day of their lives.  She was equally severe in such
matters of etiquette with all the rest of the world.  She would keep her
diocesan, the Bishop of Seez, standing for entire hours, while she was
seated in her arm-chair and never once offered him a seat even in the
corner.  She was in other things an entirely good and sensible woman.
Not until after her death was it discovered that she had been afflicted
for a long time with a cancer, which appeared as though about to burst.
God spared her this pain.

We lost, in the month of March, Madame de Miramion, aged sixty-six.  She
was a bourgeoise, married, and in the same year became a widow very rich,
young, and beautiful.  Bussy Rabutin, so known by his 'Histoire Amoureuse
des Gaules', and by the profound disgrace it drew upon him, and still
more by the vanity of his mind and the baseness of his heart, wished
absolutely to marry her, and actually carried her off to a chateau.  Upon
arriving at the place, she pronounced before everybody assembled there a
vow of chastity, and then dared Bussy to do his worst.  He, strangely
discomfited by this action, at once set her at liberty, and tried to
accommodate the affair.  From that moment she devoted herself entirely,
to works of piety, and was much esteemed by the King.  She was the first
woman of her condition who wrote above her door, "Hotel de Nesmond."
Everybody cried out, and was scandalised, but the writing remained, and
became the example and the father of those of all kinds which little by
little have inundated Paris.

Madame de Sevigne, so amiable and of such excellent company, died some
time after at Grignan, at the house of her daughter, her idol, but who
merited little to be so.  I was very intimate with the young Marquis de
Grignan, her grandson.  This woman, by her natural graces, the sweetness
of her wit, communicated these qualities to those who had them not; she
was besides extremely good, and knew thoroughly many things without ever
wishing to appear as though she knew anything.

Father Seraphin preached during Lent this year at the Court.  His
sermons, in which he often repeated twice running the same phrase, were
much in vogue.  It was from him that came the saying, "Without God there
is no wit."  The King was much pleased with him, and reproached M. de
Vendome and M. de la Rochefoucauld because they never went to hear his
sermons.  M. de Vendome replied off-hand, that he did not care to go to
hear a man who said whatever he pleased without allowing anybody to reply
to him, and made the King smile by this sally.  But M. de la
Rochefoucauld treated the matter in another manner he said that he could
not induce himself to go like the merest hanger-on about the Court, and
beg a seat of the officer who distributed them, and then betake himself
early to church in order to have a good one, and wait about in order to
put himself where it might please that officer to place him.  Whereupon
the King immediately gave him a fourth seat behind him, by the side of
the Grand Chamberlain, so that everywhere he is thus placed.
M. d'Orleans had been in the habit of seating himself there (although his
right place was on the prie-Dieu), and little by little had accustomed
himself to consider it as his proper place.  When he found himself driven
away, he made a great ado, and, not daring to complain to the King,
quarrelled with M. de la Rochefoucauld, who, until then, had been one of
his particular friends.  The affair soon made a great stir; the friends
of both parties mixed themselves up in it.  The King tried in vain to
make M. d'Orleans listen to reason; the prelate was inflexible, and when
he found he could gain nothing by clamour and complaint, he retired in
high dudgeon into his diocese: he remained there some time, and upon his
return resumed his complaints with more determination than ever; he fell
at the feet of the King, protesting that he would rather die than see his
office degraded.  M. de la Rochefoucauld entreated the King to be allowed
to surrender the seat in favour of M. d'Orleans.  But the King would not
change his decision; he said that if the matter were to be decided
between M. d'Orleans and a lackey,  he would give the seat to the lackey
rather than to M. d'Orleans.  Upon this the prelate returned to his
diocese, which he would have been wiser never to have quitted in order to
obtain a place which did not belong to him.

As the King really esteemed M. d'Orleans, he determined to appease his
anger; and to put an end to this dispute he gave therefore the bishopric
of Metz to the nephew of M. d'Orleans; and by this means a reconciliation
was established.  M. d'Orleans and M. de la Rochefoucauld joined hands
again, and the King looked on delighted.

The public lost soon after a man illustrious by his genius, by his style,
and by his knowledge of men, I mean La Bruyere, who died of apoplexy at
Versailles, after having surpassed Theophrastus in his own manner, and
after painting, in the new characters, the men of our days in a manner
inimitable.  He was besides a very honest man, of excellent breeding,
simple, very disinterested, and without anything of the pedant.  I had
sufficiently known him to regret his death, and the works that might have
been hoped from him.

The command of the armies was distributed in the same manner as before,
with the exception that M. de Choiseul had the army of the Rhine in place
of M. de Lorges.  Every one set out to take the field.  The Duc de la
Feuillade in passing by Metz, to join the army in Germany, called upon
his uncle, who was very rich and in his second childhood.  La Feuillade
thought fit to make sure of his uncle's money beforehand, demanded the
key of the cabinet and of the coffers, broke them open upon being refused
by the servants, and took away thirty thousand crowns in gold, and many
jewels, leaving untouched the silver.  The King, who for a long time had
been much discontented with La Feuillade for his debauches and his
negligence, spoke very strongly and very openly upon this strange
forestalling of inheritance.  It was only with great difficulty he could
be persuaded not to strip La Feuillade of his rank.

Our campaign was undistinguished by any striking event.  From June to
September of this year (1696), we did little but subsist and observe,
after which we recrossed the Rhine at Philipsburg, where our rear guard
was slightly inconvenienced by the enemy.  In Italy there was more
movement.  The King sought to bring about peace by dividing the forces of
his enemies, and secretly entered into a treaty with Savoy.  The
conditions were, that every place belonging to Savoy which had been taken
by our troops should be restored, and that a marriage should take place
between Monseigneur the Duc de Bourgogne and the daughter of the Duke of
Savoy, when she became twelve years of age.  In the mean time she was to
be sent to the Court of France, and preparations were at once made there
to provide her with a suitable establishment.

The King was ill with an anthrax in the throat.  The eyes of all Europe
were turned towards him, for his malady was not without danger;
nevertheless in his bed he affected to attend to affairs as usual; and he
arranged there with Madame de Maintenon, who scarcely ever quitted his
side, the household of the Savoy Princess.  The persons selected for the
offices in that household were either entirely devoted to Madame de
Maintenon, or possessed of so little wit that she had nothing to fear
from them.  A selection which excited much envy and great surprise was
that of the Duchesse de Lude to be lady of honour.  The day before she
was appointed, Monsieur had mentioned her name in sport to the King.
"Yes," said the King, "she would be the best woman in the world to teach
the Princess to put rouge and patches on her cheek;" and then, being
more devout than usual, he said other things as bitter and marking strong
aversion on his part to the Duchess.  In fact, she was no favourite of
his nor of Madame de Maintenon; and this was so well understood that the
surprise of Monsieur and of everybody else was great, upon finding, the
day after this discourse, that she had been appointed to the place.

The cause of this was soon learnt.  The Duchesse de Lude coveted much to
be made lady of honour to the Princess, but knew she had but little
chance, so many others more in favour than herself being in the field.
Madame de Maintenon had an old servant named Nanon, who had been with her
from the time of her early days of misery, and who had such influence
with her, that this servant was made much of by everybody at Court, even
by the ministers and the daughters of the King.  The Duchesse de Lude had
also an old servant who was on good terms with the other.  The affair
therefore was not difficult.  The Duchesse de Lude sent twenty thousand
crowns to Nanon, and on the very evening of the day on which the King had
spoken to Monsieur, she had the place.  Thus it is!  A Nanon sells the
most important and the most brilliant offices, and a Duchess of high
birth is silly enough to buy herself into servitude!

This appointment excited much envy.  The Marechal de Rochefort, who had
expected to be named, made a great ado.  Madame de Maintenon, who
despised her, was piqued, and said that she should have had it but for
the conduct of her daughter.  This was a mere artifice; but the daughter
was, in truth, no sample of purity.  She had acted in such a manner with
Blansac that he was sent for from the army to marry her, and on the very
night of their wedding she gave birth to a daughter.  She was full of
wit, vivacity, intrigue, and sweetness; yet most wicked, false, and
artificial, and all this with a simplicity of manner, that imposed even
upon those who knew her best.  More than gallant while her face lasted,
she afterwards was easier of access, and at last ruined herself for the
meanest valets.  Yet, notwithstanding her vices, she was the prettiest
flower of the Court bunch, and had her chamber always full of the best
company: she was also much sought after by the three daughters of the
King.  Driven away from the Court, she was after much supplication
recalled, and pleased the King so much that Madame de Maintenon, in fear
of her, sent her away again.  But to go back again to the household of
the Princess of Savoy.

Dangeau was made chevalier d'honneur.  He owed his success to his good
looks, to the court he paid to the King's mistresses, to his skilfulness
at play, and to a lucky stroke of fortune.  The King had oftentimes been
importuned to give him a lodging, and one day, joking with him upon his
fancy of versifying; proposed to him some very hard rhymes, and promised
him a lodging if he filled them up upon the spot.  Dangeau accepted,
thought but for a moment, performed the task, and thus gained his
lodging.  He was an old friend of Madame de Maintenon, and it was to her
he was indebted for his post of chevalier d'honneur in the new household.

Madame d'O was appointed lady of the palace.  Her father, named
Guilleragues, a gluttonous Gascon, had been one of the intimate friends
of Madame Scarron, who, as Madame de Maintenon, did not forget her old
acquaintance, but procured him the embassy to Constantinople.  Dying
there, he left an only daughter, who, on the voyage home to France,
gained the heart of Villers, lieutenant of the vessel, and became his
wife in Asia-Minor, near the ruins of Troy.  Villers claimed to be of the
house of d'O; hence the name his wife bore.

Established at the Court, the newly-married couple quickly worked
themselves into the favour of Madame de Maintenon, both being very clever
in intrigue.  M. d'O was made governor of the Comte de Toulouse, and soon
gained his entire confidence.  Madame d'O, too, infinitely pleased the
young Count, just then entering upon manhood, by her gallantry, her wit,
and the facilities she allowed him.  Both, in consequence, grew in great
esteem with the King.  Had they been attendants upon Princes of the
blood, he would assuredly have slighted them.  But he always showed great
indulgence to those who served his illegitimate children.  Hence the
appointment of Madame d'O to be lady of the palace.

The household of the Princess of Savoy being completed, the members of it
were sent to the Pont Beauvosin to meet their young mistress.  She
arrived early on the 16th of October, slept at the Pont Beauvosin that
night, and on the morrow parted with her Italian attendants without
shedding a single tear.  On the 4th of November she arrived at Montargis,
and was received by the King, Monseigneur, and Monsieur.  The King handed
her down from her coach, and conducted her to the apartment he had
prepared for her.  Her respectful and flattering manners pleased him
highly.  Her cajoleries, too, soon bewitched Madame de Maintenon, whom
she never addressed except as "Aunt;" whom she treated with a respect,
and yet with a freedom, that ravished everybody.  She became the doll of
Madame de Maintenon and the King, pleased them infinitely by her
insinuating spirit, and took greater liberties with them than the
children of the King had ever dared to attempt.


Meanwhile our campaign upon the Rhine proceeded, and the enemy, having
had all their grand projects of victory defeated by the firmness and the
capacity of the Marechal de Choiseul, retired into winter-quarters, and
we prepared to do the same.  The month of October was almost over when
Madame de Saint-Simon lost M. Fremont, father of the Marechal de Lorges.
She had happily given birth to a daughter on the 8th of September.  I was
desirous accordingly to go to Paris, and having obtained permission from
the Marechal de Choiseul, who had treated me throughout the campaign with
much politeness and attention, I set out. Upon arriving at Paris I found
the Court at Fontainebleau.  I had arrived from the army a little before
the rest, and did not wish that the King should know it without seeing
me, lest he might think I had returned in secret.  I hastened at once
therefore to Fontainebleau, where the King received me with his usual
goodness,-saying, nevertheless, that I had returned a little too early,
but that it was of no consequence.

I had not long left his presence when I learned a report that made my
face burn again.  It was affirmed that when the King remarked upon my
arriving a little early, I had replied that I preferred arriving at once
to see him, as my sole mistress, than to remain some days in Paris, as
did the other young men with their mistresses.  I went at once to the
King, who had a numerous company around him; and I openly denied what had
been reported, offering a reward for the discovery of the knave who had
thus calumniated me, in order that I might give him a sound thrashing.
All day I sought to discover the scoundrel.  My speech to the King and my
choler were the topic of the day, and I was blamed for having spoken so
loudly and in such terms.  But of two evils I had chosen the least,--a
reprimand from the King, or a few days in the Bastille; and I had avoided
the greatest, which was to allow myself to be believed an infamous
libeller of our young men, in order to basely and miserably curry favour
at the Court.  The course I took succeeded.  The King said nothing of the
matter, and I went upon a little journey I wished particularly to take,
for reasons I will now relate.

I had, as I have already mentioned, conceived a strong attachment and
admiration for M. de La Trappe.  I wished to secure a portrait of him,
but such was his modesty and humility that I feared to ask him to allow
himself to be painted.  I went therefore to Rigault, then the first
portrait-painter in Europe.  In consideration of a sum of a thousand
crowns, and all his expenses paid, he agreed to accompany me to La
Trappe, and to make a portrait of him from memory.  The whole affair was
to be kept a profound secret, and only one copy of the picture was to be
made, and that for the artist himself.

My plan being fully arranged, I and Rigault set out.  As soon as we
arrived at our journey's end, I sought M. de La Trappe, and begged to be
allowed to introduce to him a friend of mine, an officer, who much wished
to see him: I added, that my friend was a stammerer, and that therefore
he would be importuned merely with looks and not words.  M. de La Trappe
smiled with goodness, thought the officer curious about little, and
consented to see him.  The interview took place.  Rigault excusing
himself on the ground of his infirmity, did little during three-quarters
of an hour but keep his eyes upon M. de La Trappe, and at the end went
into a room where materials were already provided for him, and covered
his canvas with the images and the ideas he had filled himself with.
On the morrow the same thing was repeated, although M. de La Trappe,
thinking that a man whom he knew not, and who could take no part in
conversation, had sufficiently seen him, agreed to the interview only out
of complaisance to me.  Another sitting was needed in order to finish the
work; but it was with great difficulty M. de La Trappe could be persuaded
to consent to it.  When the third and last interview was at an end, M. de
La Trappe testified to me his surprise at having been so much and so long
looked at by a species of mute.  I made the best excuses I could, and
hastened to turn the conversation.

The portrait was at length finished, and was a most perfect likeness of
my venerable friend.  Rigault admitted to me that he had worked so hard
to produce it from memory, that for several months afterwards he had been
unable to do anything to his other portraits.  Notwithstanding the
thousand crowns I had paid him, he broke the engagement he had made by
showing the portrait before giving it up to me.  Then, solicited for
copies, he made several, gaining thereby, according to his own admission,
more than twenty-five thousand francs, and thus gave publicity to the

I was very much annoyed at this, and with the noise it made in the world;
and I wrote to M. de La Trappe, relating the deception I had practised
upon him, and sued for pardon.  He was pained to excess, hurt, and
afflicted; nevertheless he showed no anger.  He wrote in return to me,
and said, I was not ignorant that a Roman Emperor had said, "I love
treason but not traitors;" but that, as for himself, he felt on the
contrary that he loved the traitor but could only hate his treason.
I made presents of three copies of the picture to the monastery of La
Trappe.  On the back of the original I described the circumstance under
which the portrait had been taken, in order to show that M. de La Trappe
had not consented to it, and I pointed out that for some years he had
been unable to use his right hand, to acknowledge thus the error which
had been made in representing him as writing.

The King, about this time, set on foot negotiations for peace in Holland,
sending there two plenipotentiaries, Courtin and Harlay, and
acknowledging one of his agents, Caillieres, who had been for some little
time secretly in that country.

The year finished with the disgrace of Madame de Saint Geran.  She was on
the best of terms with the Princesses, and as much a lover of good cheer
as Madame de Chartres and Madame la Duchesse.  This latter had in the
park of Versailles a little house that she called the "Desert."  There
she had received very doubtful company, giving such gay repasts that the
King, informed of her doings, was angry, and forbade her to continue
these parties or to receive certain guests.  Madame de Saint Geran was
then in the first year of her mourning, so that the King did not think it
necessary to include her among the interdicted; but he intimated that he
did not approve of her.  In spite of this, Madame la Duchesse invited her
to an early supper at the Desert a short time after, and the meal was
prolonged so far into the night, and with so much gaiety, that it came to
the ears of the King.  He was in great anger, and learning that Madame de
Saint Geran had been of the party, sentenced her to be banished twenty
leagues from the Court.  Like a clever woman, she retired into a convent
at Rouen, saying that as she had been unfortunate enough to displease the
King, a convent was the only place for her; and this was much approved.

At the commencement of the next year (1697) the eldest son of the Comte
d'Auvergne completed his dishonour by a duel he fought with the Chevalier
de Caylus, on account of a tavern broil, and a dispute about some
wenches.  Caylus, who had fought well, fled from the kingdom; the other,
who had used his sword like a poltroon, and had run away dismayed into
the streets, was disinherited by his father, sent out of the country, and
returned no more.  He was in every respect a wretch, who, on account of
his disgraceful adventures, was forced to allow himself to be
disinherited and to take the cross of Malta; he was hanged in effigy at
the Greve, to the great regret of his family, not on account of the
sentence, but because, in spite of every entreaty, he had been proceeded
against like the most obscure gentleman.  The exile of Caylus afterwards
made his fortune.

We had another instance, about this time, of the perfidy of Harlay.  He
had been entrusted with a valuable deposit by Ruvigny, a Huguenot
officer, who, quitting France, had entered the service of the Prince of
Orange, and who was, with the exception of Marshal Schomberg, the only
Huguenot to whom the King offered the permission of remaining at Court
with full liberty to practise his religion in secret.  This, Ruvigny,
like Marshal Schomberg, refused.  He was, nevertheless, allowed to retain
the property he possessed in France; but after his death his son, not
showing himself at all grateful for this favour, the King at last
confiscated the property, and publicly testified his anger.  This was the
moment that Harlay seized to tell the King of the deposit he had.  As a
recompense the King gave it to him as confiscated, and this hypocrite of
justice, of virtue, of disinterestedness, and of rigorism was not ashamed
to appropriate it to himself, and to close his ears and his eyes to the
noise this perfidy excited.

M. de Monaco, who had obtained for himself the title of foreign prince by
the marriage of his son with the Duchesse de Valentinois, daughter of M.
le Grand, and who enjoyed, as it were, the sovereignty of a rock--beyond
whose narrow limits anybody might spit, so to speak, whilst standing in
the middle--soon found, and his son still more so, that they had bought
the title very dearly.  The Duchess was charming, gallant, and was
spoiled by the homage of the Court, in a house open night and day, and to
which her beauty attracted all that was young and brilliant.  Her
husband, with much intelligence, was diffident; his face and figure had
acquired for him the name of Goliath; he suffered for a long time the
haughtiness and the disdain of his wife and her family.  At last he and
his father grew tired and took away Madame de Valentinois to Monaco.  She
grieved, and her parents also, as though she had been carried off to the
Indies.  After two years of absence and repentance, she promised marvels,
and was allowed to return to Paris.  I know not who counselled her, but,
without changing her conduct, she thought only how to prevent a return to
Monaco; and to insure herself against this, she accused her father-in-law
of having made vile proposals to her, and of attempting to take her by
force.  This charge made a most scandalous uproar, but was believed by
nobody.  M. de Monaco was no longer young; he was a very honest man, and
had always passed for such; besides, he was almost blind in both eyes,
and had a huge pointed belly, which absolutely excited fear, it jutted
out so far!

After some time, as Madame de Valentinois still continued to swim in the
pleasures of the Court under the shelter of her family, her husband
redemanded her; and though he was laughed at at first, she was at last
given up to him.

A marriage took place at this time between the son of Pontchartrain and
the daughter of the Comte de Roye.  The Comte de Roye was a Huguenot,
and, at the revocation of the edict of Nantes, had taken refuge, with his
wife, in Denmark, where he had been made grand marshal and commander of
all the troops.  One day, as the Comte de Roye was dining with his wife
and daughter at the King's table, the Comtesse de Roye asked her daughter
if she did not think the Queen of Denmark and Madame Panache resembled
each other like two drops of water?  Although she spoke in French and in
a low tone, the Queen both heard and understood her, and inquired at once
who was Madame Panache.  The Countess in her surprise replied, that she
was a very amiable woman at the French Court.  The Queen, who had noticed
the surprise of the Countess, was not satisfied with this reply.  She
wrote to the Danish minister at Paris, desiring to be informed of every
particular respecting Madame Panache, her face, her age, her condition,
and upon what footing she was at the French Court.  The minister, all
astonished that the Queen should have heard of Madame Panache, wrote word
that she was a little and very old creature, with lips and eyes so
disfigured that they were painful to look upon; a species of beggar who
had obtained a footing at Court from being half-witted, who was now at
the supper of the King, now at the dinner of Monseigneur, or at other
places, where everybody amused themselves by tormenting her: She in turn
abused the company at these parties, in order to cause diversion, but
sometimes rated them very seriously and with strong words, which
delighted still more those princes and princesses, who emptied into her
pockets meat and ragouts, the sauces of which ran all down her
petticoats: at these parties some gave her a pistole or a crown, and
others a filip or a smack in the face, which put her in a fury, because
with her bleared eyes not being able to see the end of her nose, she
could not tell who had struck her;--she was, in a word, the pastime of
the Court!

Upon learning this, the Queen of Denmark was so piqued, that she could no
longer suffer the Comtesse de Roye near her; she complained to the King:
he was much offended that foreigners, whom he had loaded with favour,
should so repay him.  The Comte de Roye was unable to stand up against
the storm, and withdrew to England, where he died a few years after.

The King at this time drove away the company of Italian actors, and would
not permit another in its place.  So long as the Italians had simply
allowed their stage to overflow with filth or impiety they only caused
laughter; but they set about playing a piece called "The False Prude," in
which Madame de Maintenon was easily recognised.  Everybody ran to see
the piece; but after three or four representations, given consecutively
on account of the gain it brought, the Italians received orders to close
their theatre and to quit the realm in a month.  This affair made a great
noise; and if the comedians lost an establishment by their boldness and
folly, they who drove them away gained nothing--such was the licence with
which this ridiculous event was spoken of!


The disposition of the armies was the same this year as last, except that
the Princes did not serve.  Towards the end of May I joined the army of
the Rhine, under the Marechal de Choiseul, as before.  We made some
skilful manoeuvres, but did little in the way of fighting.  For sixteen
days we encamped at Nieder-buhl, where we obtained a good supply of
forage.  At the end of that time the Marechal de Choiseul determined to
change his position.  Our army was so placed, that the enemy could see
almost all of it quite distinctly; yet, nevertheless, we succeeded in
decamping so quickly, that we disappeared from under their very eyes in
open daylight, and in a moment as it were.  Such of the Imperial Generals
as were out riding ran from all parts to the banks of the Murg, to see
our retreat, but it was so promptly executed that there was no time for
them, to attempt to hinder us.  When the Prince of Baden was told of our
departure he could not credit it. He had seen us so lately, quietly
resting in our position, that it seemed impossible to him we had left it
in such a short space of time.  When his own eyes assured him of the
fact, he was filled with such astonishment and admiration, that he asked
those around him if they had ever seen such a retreat, adding, that he
could not have believed, until then, that an army so numerous and so
considerable should have been able to disappear thus in an instant.
This honourable and bold retreat was attended by a sad accident.  One of
our officers, named Blansac, while leading a column of infantry through
the wood, was overtaken by night.  A small party of his men heard some
cavalry near them.  The cavalry belonged to the enemy, and had lost their
way.  Instead of replying when challenged, they said to each other in
German, "Let us run for it."  Nothing more was wanting to draw upon them
a discharge from the small body of our men, by whom they had been heard.
To this they replied with their pistols.  Immediately, and without
orders, the whole column of infantry fired in that direction, and, before
Blansac could inquire the cause, fired again.  Fortunately he was not
wounded; but five unhappy captains were killed, and some subalterns

Our campaign was brought to an end by the peace of Ryswick.  The first
news of that event arrived at Fontainebleau on the 22nd of September.
Celi, son of Harlay, had been despatched with the intelligence; but he
did not arrive until five o'clock in the morning of the 26th of
September.  He had amused himself by the way with a young girl who had
struck his fancy, and with some wine that he equally relished.  He had
committed all the absurdities and impertinences which might be expected
of a debauched, hare-brained young fellow, completely spoiled by his
father, and he crowned all by this fine delay.

A little time before the signing of peace, the Prince de Conti, having
been elected King of Poland, set out to take possession of his throne.
The King, ravished with joy to see himself delivered from a Prince whom
he disliked, could not hide his satisfaction--his eagerness--to get rid
of a Prince whose only faults were that he had no bastard blood in his
veins, and that he was so much liked by all the nation that they wished
him at the head of the army, and murmured at the little favour he
received, as compared with that showered down upon the illegitimate

The King made all haste to treat the Prince to royal honours.  After an
interview in the cabinet of Madame de Maintenon, he presented him to a
number of ladies, saying, "I bring you a king."  The Prince was all along
doubtful of the validity of his election, and begged that the Princess
might not be treated as a queen, until he should have been crowned.
He received two millions in cash from the King, and other assistances.
Samuel Bernard undertook to make the necessary payments in Poland.  The
Prince started by way of Dunkerque, and went to that place at such speed,
that an ill-closed chest opened, and two thousand Louis were scattered on
the road, a portion only of which was brought back to the Hotel Conti.
The celebrated Jean Bart pledged himself to take him safely, despite the
enemy's fleet; and kept his word.  The convoy was of five frigates.  The
Chevalier de Sillery, before starting, married Mademoiselle Bigot, rich
and witty, with whom he had been living for some time.  Meanwhile the
best news arrived from our ambassador, the Abbe de Polignac, to the King;
but all answers were intercepted at Dantzic by the retired Queen of
Poland, who sent on only the envelopes!  However, the Prince de Conti
passed up the Sound; and the King and Queen of Denmark watched them from
the windows of the Chateau de Cronenbourg.  Jean Bart, against custom,
ordered a salute to be fired.  It was returned; and as some light vessels
passing near the frigates said that the King and Queen were looking on,
the Prince ordered another salvo.

There was, however, another claimant to the throne of Poland; I mean the
Elector of Saxony, who had also been elected, and who had many partisans;
so many, indeed, that when the Prince de Conti arrived at Dantzic, he
found himself almost entirely unsupported.  The people even refused
provision to his frigates.  However, the Prince's partisans at length
arrived to salute him.  The Bishop of Plosko gave him a grand repast,
near the Abbey of Oliva.  Marege, a Gascon gentleman of the Prince's
suite, was present, but had been ill.  There was drinking in the Polish
fashion, and he tried to be let off.  The Prince pleaded for him; but
these Poles, who, in order to make themselves understood, spoke Latin--
and very bad Latin indeed--would not accept such an excuse, and forcing
him to drink, howled furiously 'Bibat et Moriatur!  Marege, who was very
jocular and yet very choleric; used to tell this story in the same
spirit, and made everyone who heard it laugh.

However, the party of the Prince de Conti made no way, and at length he
was fain to make his way back to France with all speed.  The King
received him very graciously, although at heart exceeding sorry to see
him again.  A short time after, the Elector of Saxony mounted the throne
of Poland without opposition, and was publicly recognised by the King,
towards the commencement of August.

By the above-mentioned peace of Ryswick, the King acknowledged the Prince
of Orange as King of England.  It was, however, a bitter draught for him
to swallow, and for these reasons: Some years before, the King had
offered his illegitimate daughter, the Princesse de Conti, in marriage to
the Prince of Orange, believing he did that Prince great honour by the
proposal.  The Prince did not think in the same manner, and flatly
refused; saying, that the House of Orange was accustomed to marry the
legitimate daughters of great kings, and not their bastards.  These words
sank so deeply into the heart of the King, that he never forgot them; and
often, against even his most palpable interest, showed how firmly the
indignation he felt at them had taken possession of his mind: Since then,
the Prince of Orange had done all in his power to efface the effect his
words had made, but every attempt was rejected with disdain.  The King's
ministers in Holland had orders to do all they could to thwart the
projects of the Prince of Orange, to excite people against him, to
protect openly those opposed to him, and to be in no way niggard of money
in order to secure the election of magistrates unfavourable to him.  The
Prince never ceased, until the breaking-out of this war, to use every
effort to appease the anger of the King.  At last, growing tired, and
hoping soon to make his invasion into England, he said publicly, that he
had uselessly laboured all his life to gain the favours of the King, but
that he hoped to be more fortunate in meriting his esteem.  It may be
imagined, therefore, what a triumph it was for him when he forced the
King to recognise him as monarch of England, and what that recognition
cost the King.

M. le Duc presided this year over the Assembly of the States of Burgundy,
in place of his father M. le Prince, who did not wish to go there.  The
Duke gave on that occasion a striking example of the friendship of
princes, and a fine lesson to those who seek it.  Santeuil, Canon of
Saint Victor, and the greatest Latin poet who has appeared for many
centuries, accompanied him.  Santeuil was an excellent fellow, full of
wit and of life, and of pleasantries, which rendered him an admirable
boon-companion.  Fond of wine and of good cheer, he was not debauched;
and with a disposition and talents so little fitted for the cloister,
was nevertheless, at bottom, as good a churchman as with such a character
he could be.  He was a great favourite with all the house of Conde, and
was invited to their parties, where his witticisms, his verses, and his
pleasantries had afforded infinite amusement for many years.

M. le Duc wished to take him to Dijon.  Santeuil tried to excuse himself,
but without effect; he was obliged to go, and was established at the
house of the Duke while the States were held.  Every evening there was a
supper, and Santeuil was always the life of the company.  One evening M.
le Duc diverted himself by forcing Santeuil to drink champagne, and
passing from pleasantry to pleasantry, thought it would be a good joke to
empty his snuff-box, full of Spanish snuff, into a large glass of wine,
and to make Santeuil drink it, in order to see what would happen.  It was
not long before he was enlightened upon this point.  Santeuil was seized
with vomiting and with fever, and in twice twenty-four hours the unhappy
man died-suffering the tortures of the damned, but with sentiments of
extreme penitence, in which he received the sacrament, and edified a
company little disposed towards edification, but who detested such a
cruel joke.

In consequence of the peace just concluded at Ryswick, many fresh
arrangements were made about this time in our embassies abroad.  This
allusion to our foreign appointments brings to my mind an anecdote which
deserves to be remembered.  When M. de Vendome took Barcelona, the
Montjoui (which is as it were its citadel) was commanded by the Prince of
Darmstadt.  He was of the house of Hesse, and had gone into Spain to seek
employment; he was a relative of the Queen of Spain, and, being a very
well-made man, had not, it was said, displeased her.  It was said also,
and by people whose word was not without weight, that the same council of
Vienna, which for reasons of state had made no scruple of poisoning the
late Queen of Spain (daughter of Monsieur), because she had no children,
and because she had, also, too much ascendancy over the heart of her
husband; it was said, I say, that this same council had no scruples upon
another point.  After poisoning the first Queen, it had remarried the
King of Spain to a sister of the Empress.  She was tall, majestic, not
without beauty and capacity, and, guided by the ministers of the Emperor,
soon acquired much influence over the King her husband.  So far all was
well, but the most important thing was wanting--she had no children.  The
council had hoped some from this second marriage, because it had lured
itself into the belief that previously the fault rested with the late
Queen.  After some years, this same council, being no longer able to
disguise the fact that the King could have no children, sent the Prince
of Darmstadt into Spain, for the purpose of establishing himself there,
and of ingratiating himself into the favour of the Queen to such an
extent that this defect might be remedied.  The Prince of Darmstadt was
well received; he obtained command in the army; defended, as I have said,
Barcelona; and obtained a good footing at the Court.  But the object for
which he had been more especially sent he could not accomplish.  I will
not say whether the Queen was inaccessible from her own fault or that of
others.  Nor will I say, although I have been assured, but I believe by
persons without good knowledge of the subject, that naturally it was
impossible for her to become a mother.  I will simply say that the Prince
of Darmstadt was on the best terms with the King and the Queen, and had
opportunities very rare in that country, without any fruit which could
put the succession of the monarchy in safety against the different
pretensions afloat, or reassure on that head the politic council of

But to return to France.

Madame de Maintenon, despite the height to which her insignificance had
risen, had yet her troubles.  Her brother, who was called the Comte
d'Aubigne, was of but little worth, yet always spoke as though no man
were his equal, complained that he had not been made Marechal of France
--sometimes said that he had taken his baton in money, and constantly
bullied Madame de Maintenon because she did not make him a duke and a
peer.  He spent his time running after girls in the Tuileries, always had
several on his hands, and lived and spent his money with their families
and friends of the same kidney.  He was just fit for a strait-waistcoat,
but comical, full of wit and unexpected repartees.  A good, humorous
fellow, and honest-polite, and not too impertinent on account of his
sister's fortune.  Yet it was a pleasure to hear him talk of the time of
Scarron and the Hotel d'Albret, and of the gallantries and adventures of
his sister, which he contrasted with her present position and devotion.
He would talk in this manner, not before one or two, but in a
compromising manner, quite openly in the Tuileries gardens, or in the
galleries of Versailles, before everybody, and would often drolly speak
of the King as "the brother-in-law."  I have frequently heard him talk in
this manner; above all, when he came (more often than was desired) to
dine with my father and mother, who were much embarrassed with him; at
which I used to laugh in my sleeve.

A brother like this was a great annoyance to Madame de Maintenon.  His
wife, an obscure creature, more obscure, if possible, than her birth;
--foolish to the last degree, and of humble mien, was almost equally so.
Madame de Maintenon determined to rid herself of both.  She persuaded her
brother to enter a society that had been established by a M. Doyen, at
St. Sulpice, for decayed gentlemen.  His wife at the same time was
induced to retire into another community, where, however, she did not
fail to say to her companions that her fate was very hard, and that she
wished to be free.  As for d'Aubigne he concealed from nobody that his
sister was putting a joke on him by trying to persuade him that he was
devout, declared that he was pestered by priests, and that he should give
up the ghost in M. Doyen's house.  He could not stand it long, and went
back to his girls and to the Tuileries, and wherever he could; but they
caught him again, and placed him under the guardianship of one of the
stupidest priests of St. Sulpice, who followed him everywhere like his
shadow, and made him miserable.  The fellow's name was Madot: he was good
for no other employment, but gained his pay in this one by an assiduity
of which perhaps no one else would have been capable.  The only child of
this Comte d'Aubigne was a daughter, taken care of by Madame de
Maintenon, and educated under her eyes as though her own child.

Towards the end of the year, and not long after my return from the army,
the King fixed the day for the marriage of the Duc de Bourgogne to the
young Princesse de Savoy.  He announced that on that occasion he should
be glad to see a magnificent Court; and he himself, who for a long time
had worn only the most simple habits, ordered the most superb.  This was
enough; no one thought of consulting his purse or his state; everyone
tried to surpass his neighbour in richness and invention.  Gold and
silver scarcely sufficed: the shops of the dealers were emptied in a few
days; in a word luxury the most unbridled reigned over Court and city,
for the fete had a huge crowd of spectators.  Things went to such a
point, that the King almost repented of what he had said, and remarked,
that he could not understand how husbands could be such fools as to ruin
themselves by dresses for their wives; he might have added, by dresses
for themselves.  But the impulse had been given; there was now no time to
remedy it, and I believe the King at heart was glad; for it pleased him
during the fetes to look at all the dresses.  He loved passionately all
kinds of sumptuosity at his Court; and he who should have held only to
what had been said, as to the folly of expense, would have grown little
in favour.  There was no means, therefore, of being wise among so many
fools.  Several dresses were necessary.  Those for Madame Saint-Simon and
myself cost us twenty thousand francs.  Workmen were wanting to make up
so many rich habits.  Madame la Duchesse actually sent her people to take
some by force who were working at the Duc de Rohan's!  The King heard of
it, did not like it, and had the workmen sent back immediately to the
Hotel de Rohan, although the Duc de Rohan was one of the men he liked the
least in all France.  The King did another thing, which showed that he
desired everybody to be magnificent: he himself chose the design for the
embroidery of the Princess.  The embroiderer said he would leave all his
other designs for that.  The King would not permit this, but caused him
to finish the work he had in hand, and to set himself afterwards at the
other; adding, that if it was not ready in time, the Princess could do
without it.

The marriage was fixed for Saturday, the 7th of December; and, to avoid
disputes and difficulties, the King suppressed all ceremonies.  The day
arrived.  At an early hour all the Court went to Monseigneur the Duc de
Bourgogne, who went afterwards to the Princess.  A little before mid-day
the procession started from the salon, and proceeded to the chapel.

Cardinal de Coislin performed the marriage service.

As soon as the ceremony was finished, a courier, ready at the door of the
chapel, started for Turin.  The day passed wearily.  The King and Queen
of England came about seven o'clock in the evening, and some time
afterwards supper was served.  Upon rising from the table, the Princess
was shown to her bed, none but ladies being allowed to remain in the
chamber.  Her chemise was given her by the Queen of England through the
Duchesse de Lude.  The Duc de Bourgogne undressed in another room, in the
midst of all the Court, and seated upon a folding-chair.  The King of
England gave him his shirt, which was presented by the Duc de
Beauvilliers.  As soon as the Duchesse de Bourgogne was in bed, the Duc
de Bourgogne entered, and placed himself at her side, in the presence of
all the Court.  Immediately afterwards everybody went away from the
nuptial chamber, except Monseigneur, the ladies of the Princess, and the
Duc de Beauvilliers, who remained at the pillow by the side of his pupil,
with the Duchesse de Lude on the other side.  Monseigneur stopped a
quarter of an hour talking with the newly-married couple, then he made
his son get up, after having told him to kiss the Princess, in spite of
the opposition of the Duchesse de Lude.  As it proved, too, her
opposition was not wrong.  The King said he did not wish that his
grandson should kiss the end of the Princess's finger until they were
completely on the footing of man and wife.  Monsieur le Duc de Bourgogne
after this re-dressed himself in the ante-chamber, and went to his own
bed as usual.  The little Duc de Berry, spirited and resolute, did not
approve of the docility of his brother, and declared that he would have
remained in bed.  The young couple were not, indeed, allowed to live
together as man and wife until nearly two years afterwards.  The first
night that this privilege was granted them, the King repaired to their
chamber hoping to surprise them as they went to bed; but he found the
doors closed, and would not allow them to be opened.  The marriage-fetes
spread over several days.  On the Sunday there was an assembly in the
apartments of the new Duchesse de Bourgogne.  It was magnificent by the
prodigious number of ladies seated in a circle, or standing behind the
stools, gentlemen in turn behind them, and the dresses of all beautiful.
It commenced at six o'clock.  The King came at the end, and led all the
ladies into the saloon near the chapel, where was a fine collation, and
the music.  At nine o'clock he conducted Monsieur and Madame la Duchesse
de Bourgogne to the apartment of the latter, and all was finished for the
day.  The Princess continued to live just as before, and the ladies had
strict orders never to leave her alone with her husband.

On the Wednesday there was a grand ball in the gallery, superbly
ornamented for the occasion.  There was such a crowd, and such disorder,
that even the King was inconvenienced, and Monsieur was pushed and
knocked about in the crush.  How other people fared may be imagined.  No
place was kept--strength or chance decided everything--people squeezed in
where they could.  This spoiled all the fete.  About nine o'clock
refreshments were handed round, and at half-past ten supper was served.
Only the Princesses of the blood and the royal family were admitted to
it.  On the following Sunday there was another ball, but this time
matters were so arranged that no crowding or inconvenience occurred.  The
ball commenced at seven o'clock and was admirable; everybody appeared in
dresses that had not previously been seen.  The King found that of Madame
de Saint-Simon much to his taste, and gave it the palm over all the

Madame de Maintenon did not appear at these balls, at least only for half
an hour at each.  On the following Tuesday all the Court went at four
o'clock in the afternoon to Trianon, where all gambled until the arrival
of the King and Queen of England.  The King took them into the theatre,
where Destouches's opera of Isse was very well performed.  The opera
being finished, everybody went his way, and thus these marriage-fetes
were brought to an end.

Tesse had married his eldest daughter to La Varenne last year, and now
married his second daughter to Maulevrier, son of a brother of Colbert.
This mention of La Varenne brings to my recollection a very pleasant
anecdote of his ancestor, the La Varenne so known in all the memoirs of
the time as having risen from the position of scullion to that of cook,
and then to that of cloak-bearer to Henry IV., whom he served in his
pleasures, and afterwards in his state-affairs.  At the death of the
King, La Varenne retired, very old and very rich, into the country.
Birds were much in vogue at that time, and he often amused himself with
falconry.  One day a magpie perched on one of his trees, and neither
sticks nor stones could dislodge it.  La Varenne and a number of
sportsmen gathered around the tree and tried to drive away the magpie.
Importuned with all this noise, the bird at last began to cry repeatedly
with all its might, "Pandar!  Pandar!"

Now La Varenne had gained all he possessed by that trade.  Hearing the
magpie repeat again and again the same word, he took it into his head
that by a miracle, like the observation Balaam's ass made to his master,
the bird was reproaching him for his sins.  He was so troubled that he
could not help showing it; then, more and more agitated, he told the
cause of his disturbance to the company, who laughed at him in the first
place, but, upon finding that he was growing really ill, they endeavoured
to convince him that the magpie belonged to a neighbouring village, where
it had learned the word.  It was all in vain: La Varenne was so ill that
he was obliged to be carried home; fever seized him and in four days he


Here perhaps is the place to speak of Charles IV., Duc de Lorraine, so
well known by his genius, and the extremities to which he was urged.  He
was married in 1621 to the Duchesse Nicole, his cousin-german, but after
a time ceased to live with her.  Being at Brussels he fell in love with
Madame de Cantecroix, a widow.  He bribed a courier to bring him news of
the death of the Duchesse Nicole; he circulated the report throughout the
town, wore mourning, and fourteen days afterwards, in April, 1637,
married Madame de Cantecroix.  In a short time it was discovered that the
Duchesse Nicole was full of life and health, and had not even been ill.
Madame de Cantecroix made believe that she had been duped, but still
lived with the Duke.  They continued to repute the Duchesse Nicole as
dead, and lived together in the face of the world as though effectually
married, although there had never been any question either before or
since of dissolving the first marriage.  The Duc Charles had by this fine
marriage a daughter and then a son, both perfectly illegitimate, and
universally regarded as such.  Of these the daughter married Comte de
Lislebonne, by whom she had four children.  The son, educated under his
father's eye as legitimate, was called Prince de Vaudemont, and by that
name has ever since been known.  He entered the service of Spain,
distinguished himself in the army, obtained the support of the Prince of
Orange, and ultimately rose to the very highest influence and prosperity.
People were astonished this year, that while the Princess of Savoy was at
Fontainebleau, just before her marriage, she was taken several times by
Madame de Maintenon to a little unknown convent at Moret, where there was
nothing to amuse her, and no nuns who were known.  Madame de Maintenon
often went there, and Monseigneur with his children sometimes; the late
Queen used to go also.  This awakened much curiosity and gave rise to
many reports.  It seems that in this convent there was a woman of colour,
a Moorish woman, who had been placed there very young by Bontems, valet
of the King.  She received the utmost care and attention, but never was
shown to anybody.  When the late Queen or Madame de Maintenon went, they
did not always see her, but always watched over her welfare.  She was
treated with more consideration than people the most distinguished; and
herself made much of the care that was taken of her, and the mystery by
which she was surrounded.  Although she lived regularly, it was easy to
see she was not too contented with her position.  Hearing Monseigneur
hunt in the forest one day, she forgot herself so far as to exclaim,
"My brother is hunting!"  It was pretended that she was a daughter of the
King and Queen, but that she had been hidden away on account of her
colour; and the report was spread that the Queen had had a miscarriage.
Many people believed this story; but whether it was true or not has
remained an enigma.

The year 1698 commenced by a reconciliation between the Jesuits and the
Archbishop of Rheims.  That prelate upon the occasion of an ordinance had
expressed himself upon matters of doctrine and morality in a manner that
displeased the Jesuits.  They acted towards him in their usual manner, by
writing an attack upon him, which appeared without any author's name.
But the Archbishop complained to the King, and altogether stood his
ground so firmly, that in the end the Jesuits were glad to give way,
disavow the book, and arrange the reconciliation which took place.

The Czar, Peter the Great, Emperor of Russia, had at this time already
commenced his voyages; he was in Holland, learning ship-building.
Although incognito, he wished to be recognised, but after his own
fashion; and was annoyed that, being so near to England, no embassy was
sent to him from that country, which he wished to ally himself with for
commercial reasons.

At last an embassy arrived; he delayed for some time to give it an
audience, but in the end fixed the day and hour at which he would see it.
The reception, however, was to take place on board a large Dutch vessel
that he was going to examine.  There were two ambassadors; they thought
the meeting-place rather an odd one, but were obliged to go there.  When
they arrived on board the Czar sent word that he was in the "top," and
that it was there he would see them.  The ambassadors, whose feet were
unaccustomed to rope-ladders, tried to excuse themselves from mounting;
but it was all in vain.  The Czar would receive them in the "top" or not
at all.  At last they were compelled to ascend, and the meeting took
place on that narrow place high up in the air.  The Czar received them
there with as much majesty as though he had been upon his throne,
listened to their harangue, replied very graciously, and then laughed at
the fear painted upon their faces, and good-humouredly gave them to
understand that he had punished them thus for arriving so late.

After this the Czar passed into England, curious to see and learn as much
as possible; and, having well fulfilled his views, repaired into Holland.
He wished to visit France, but the King civilly declined to receive him.
He went, therefore, much mortified, to Vienna instead.  Three weeks after
his arrival he was informed of a conspiracy that had been formed against
him in Moscow.  He hastened there at once, and found that it was headed
by his own sister; he put her in prison, and hanged her most guilty
accomplices to the bars of his windows, as many each day as the bars
would hold.  I have related at once all that regards the Czar for this
year, in order not to leap without ceasing from one matter to another; I
shall do this, and for the same reason, with that which follows.

The King of England was, as I have before said, at the height of
satisfaction at having been recognised by the King (Louis XIV.), and at
finding himself secure upon the throne.  But a usurper is never tranquil
and content.  William was annoyed by the residence of the legitimate King
and his family at Saint Germains.  It was too close to the King (of
France), and too near England to leave him without disquietude.  He had
tried hard at Ryswick to obtain the dismissal of James II.  from the
realm, or at least from the Court of France, but without effect.
Afterwards he sent the Duke of St. Albans to our King openly, in order to
compliment him upon the marriage of the Duc de Bourgogne, but in reality
to obtain the dismissal.

The Duke of St. Albans meeting with no success, the Duke of Portland was
sent to succeed him.  The Duke of Portland came over with a numerous and
superb suite; he kept up a magnificent table, and had horses, liveries,
furniture, and dresses of the most tasteful and costly kind.  He was on
his way when a fire destroyed Whitehall, the largest and ugliest palace
in Europe, and which has not since been rebuilt; so that the kings are
lodged, and very badly, at St. James's Palace.

Portland had his first audience of the King on the 4th of February, and
remained four months in France.  His politeness, his courtly and gallant
manners, and the good cheer he gave, charmed everybody, and made him
universally popular.  It became the fashion to give fetes in his honour;
and the astonishing fact is, that the King, who at heart was more
offended than ever with William of Orange, treated this ambassador with
the most marked distinction.  One evening he even gave Portland his
bedroom candlestick, a favour only accorded to the most considerable
persons, and always regarded as a special mark of the King's bounty.

Notwithstanding all these attentions, Portland was as unsuccessful as his
predecessor.  The King had firmly resolved to continue his protection to
James II., and nothing could shake this determination.  Portland was
warned from the first, that if he attempted to speak to the King upon the
point, his labour would be thrown away; he wisely therefore kept silence,
and went home again without in any way having fulfilled the mission upon
which he had been sent.

We had another distinguished foreigner arrive in France about this time,
--I mean, the Prince of Parma, respecting whom I remember a pleasing
adventure.  At Fontainebleau more great dancing-parties are given than
elsewhere, and Cardinal d'Estrees wished to give one there in honour of
this Prince.  I and many others were invited to the banquet; but the
Prince himself, for whom the invitation was specially provided, was
forgotten.  The Cardinal had given invitations right and left, but by
some omission the Prince had not had one sent to him.  On the morning of
the dinner this discovery was made.  The Prince was at once sent to, but
he was engaged, and for several days.  The dinner therefore took place
without him; the Cardinal was much laughed at for his absence of mind.
He was often similarly forgetful.

The Bishop of Poitiers died at the commencement of this year, and his
bishopric was given at Easter to the Abbe de Caudelet.  The Abbe was a
very good man, but made himself an enemy, who circulated the blackest
calumnies against him.  Amongst other impostures it was said that the
Abbe had gambled all Good Friday; the truth being, that in the evening,
after all the services were over, he went to see the Marechale de Crequi,
who prevailed upon him to amuse her for an hour by playing at piquet.
But the calumny had such effect, that the bishopric of Poitiers was taken
from him, and he retired into Brittany, where he passed the rest of his
life in solitude and piety.  His brother in the meantime fully proved to
Pere de la Chaise the falsehood of this accusation; and he, who was
upright and good, did all he could to bestow some other living upon the
Abbe, in recompense for that he had been stripped of.  But the King would
not consent, although often importuned, and even reproached for his

It was known, too, who was the author of the calumny.  It was the Abbe de
la Chatre, who for a long time had been chaplain to the King, and who was
enraged against everyone who was made bishop before him.  He was a man
not wanting in intelligence, but bitter, disagreeable, punctilious; very
ignorant, because he would never study, and so destitute of morality,
that I saw him say mass in the chapel on Ash Wednesday, after having
passed a night, masked at a ball, where he said and did the most filthy
things, as seen and heard by M. de La Vrilliere, before whom he unmasked,
and who related this to me: half an hour after, I met the Abbe de la
Chatre, dressed and going to the altar.  Other adventures had already
deprived him of all chance of being made bishop by the King.

The old Villars died at this time.  I have already mentioned him as
having been made chevalier d'honneur to the Duchesse de Chartres at her
marriage.  I mention him now, because I omitted to say before the origin
of his name of Orondat, by which he was generally known, and which did
not displease him.  This is the circumstance that gave rise to it.
Madame de Choisy, a lady of the fashionable world, went one day to see
the Comtesse de Fiesque, and found there a large company.  The Countess
had a young girl living with her, whose name was Mademoiselle
d'Outrelaise, but who was called the Divine.  Madame de Choisy, wishing
to go into the bedroom, said she would go there, and see the Divine.
Mounting rapidly, she found in the chamber a young and very pretty girl,
Mademoiselle Bellefonds, and a man, who escaped immediately upon seeing
her.  The face of this man being perfectly well made, so struck her,
that, upon coming down again, she said it could only be that of Orondat.
Now that romances are happily no longer read, it is necessary to say that
Orondat is a character in Cyrus, celebrated by his figure and his good
looks, and who charmed all the heroines of that romance, which was then
much in vogue.  The greater part of the company knew that Villars was
upstairs to see Mademoiselle de Bellefonds, with whom he was much in
love, and whom he soon afterwards married.  Everybody therefore smiled at
this adventure of Orondat, and the name clung ever afterwards to Villars.

The Prince de Conti lost, before this time, his son, Prince la Roche-sur-
Yon, who was only four years old.  The King wore mourning for him,
although it was the custom not to do so for children under seven years of
age.  But the King had already departed from this custom for one of the
children of M. du Maine, and he dared not afterwards act differently
towards the children of a prince of the blood.  Just at the end of
September, M. du Maine lost another child, his only son.  The King wept
very much, and, although the child was considerably under seven years of
age, wore mourning for it.  The marriage of Mademoiselle to M. de
Lorraine was then just upon the point of taking place; and Monsieur
(father of Mademoiselle) begged that this mourning might be laid aside
when the marriage was celebrated.  The King agreed, but Madame la
Duchesse and the Princesse de Conti believed it apparently beneath them
to render this respect to Monsieur, and refused to comply.  The King
commanded them to do so, but they pushed the matter so far as to say that
they had no other clothes.  Upon this, the King ordered them to send and
get some directly.  They were obliged to obey, and admit themselves
vanquished; but they did so not without great vexation.  M. de Cambrai's
affairs still continued to make a great stir among the prelates and at
the Court.  Madame Guyon was transferred from the Vincennes to the
Bastille, and it was believed she would remain there all her life.  The
Ducs de Chevreuse and Beauvilliers lost all favour with M. de Maintenon,
and narrowly escaped losing the favour of the King.  An attempt was in
fact made, which Madame de Maintenon strongly supported, to get them
disgraced; and, but for the Archbishop of Paris, this would have taken
place.  But this prelate, thoroughly upright and conscientious,
counselled the King against such a step, to the great vexation of his
relations, who were the chief plotters in the conspiracy to overthrow the
two Dukes.  As for M. de Cambrai's book 'Les Maxinies des Saints', it was
as little liked as ever, and underwent rather a strong criticism at this
time from M. de La Trappe, which did not do much to improve its
reputation.  At the commencement of the dispute M. de Meaux had sent a
copy of 'Les Maximes des Saints' to M. de La Trappe, asking as a friend
for his opinion of the work.  M. de La Trappe read it, and was much
scandalized.  The more he studied it, the more this sentiment penetrated
him.  At last, after having well examined the book, he sent his opinion
to M. de Meaux, believing it would be considered as private, and not be
shown to anybody.  He did not measure his words, therefore, but wrote
openly, that if M. de Cambrai was right he might burn the Evangelists,
and complain of Jesus Christ, who could have come into the world only to
deceive us.  The frightful force of this phrase was so terrifying, that
M. de Meaux thought it worthy of being shown to Madame de Maintenon; and
she, seeking only to crush M. de Cambrai with all the authorities
possible, would insist upon this opinion of M. de La Trappe being

It may be imagined what triumphing there was on the one side, and what
piercing cries on the other.  The friends of M. de Cambrai complained
most bitterly that M. de La Trappe had mixed himself up in the matter,
and had passed such a violent and cruel sentence upon a book then under
the consideration of the Pope.  M. de La Trappe on his side was much
afflicted that his letter had been published.  He wrote to M. de Meaux
protesting against this breach of confidence; and said that, although he
had only expressed what he really thought, he should have been careful to
use more measured language, had he supposed his letter would have seen
the light.  He said all he could to heal the wounds his words had caused,
but M. de Cambrai and his friends never forgave him for having written

This circumstance caused much discussion, and M. de La Trappe, to whom I
was passionately attached, was frequently spoken of in a manner that
caused me much annoyance.  Riding out one day in a coach with some of my
friends, the conversation took this turn.  I listened in silence for some
time, and then, feeling no longer able to support the discourse, desired
to be set down, so that my friends might talk at their ease, without pain
to me.  They tried to retain me, but I insisted and carried my point.
Another time, Charost, one of my friends, spoke so disdainfully of M. de
La Trappe, and I replied to him with such warmth, that on the instant he
was seized with a fit, tottered, stammered, his throat swelled, his eyes
seemed starting from his head, and his tongue from his mouth.  Madame de
Saint-Simon and the other ladies who were present flew to his assistance;
one unfastened his cravat and his shirt-collar, another threw a jug of
water over him and made him drink something; but as for me, I was struck
motionless at the sudden change brought about by an excess of anger and
infatuation.  Charost was soon restored, and when he left I was taken to
task by the ladies.  In reply I simply smiled.  I gained this by the
occurrence, that Charost never committed himself again upon the subject
of M. de La Trappe.

Before quitting this theme, I will relate an anecdote which has found
belief.  It has been said, that when M. de La Trappe was the Abbe de
Rance he was much in love with the beautiful Madame de Montbazon, and
that he was well treated by her.  On one occasion after leaving her, in
perfect health, in order to go into the country, he learnt that she had
fallen ill.  He hastened back, entered hurriedly into her chamber, and
the first sight he saw there was her head, that the surgeons, in opening
her, had separated from her body.  It was the first intimation he had had
that she was dead, and the surprise and horror of the sight so converted
him that immediately afterwards he retired from the world.  There is
nothing true in all this except the foundation upon which the fiction
arose.  I have frankly asked M. de La Trappe upon this matter, and from
him I have learned that he was one of the friends of Madame de Montbazon,
but that so far from being ignorant of the time of her death, he was by
her side at the time, administered the sacrament to her, and had never
quitted her during the few days she was ill.  The truth is, her sudden
death so touched him, that it made him carry out his intention of
retiring from the world--an intention, however, he had formed for many

The affair of M. de Cambrai was not finally settled until the
commencement of the following year, 1699, but went on making more noise
day by day.  At the date I have named the verdict from Rome arrived
Twenty-three propositions of the 'Maximes des Saints' were declared rash,
dangerous, erroneous--'in globo'--and the Pope excommunicated those who
read the book or kept it in their houses.  The King was much pleased with
this condemnation, and openly expressed his satisfaction.  Madame de
Maintenon appeared at the summit of joy.  As for M. de Cambrai, he learnt
his fate in a moment which would have overwhelmed a man with less
resources in himself.  He was on the point of mounting into the pulpit:
he was by no means troubled; put aside the sermon he had prepared, and,
without delaying a moment, took for subject the submission due to the
Church; he treated this theme in a powerful and touching manner;
announced the condemnation of his book; retracted the opinions he had
professed; and concluded his sermon by a perfect acquiescence and
submission to the judgment the Pope had just pronounced.  Two days
afterwards he published his retraction, condemned his book, prohibited
the reading of it, acquiesced and submitted himself anew to his
condemnation, and in the clearest terms took away from himself all means
of returning to his opinions.  A submission so prompt, so clear, so
perfect, was generally admired, although there were not wanting censors
who wished he had shown less readiness in giving way.  His friends
believed the submission would be so flattering to the Pope, that M. de
Cambrai might rely upon advancement to a cardinalship, and steps were
taken, but without any good result, to bring about that event.


About this time the King caused Charnace to be arrested in a province to
which he had been banished.  He was accused of many wicked things, and;
amongst others, of coining.  Charnace was a lad of spirit, who had been
page to the King and officer in the body-guard.  Having retired to his
own house, he often played off many a prank.  One of these I will
mention, as being full of wit and very laughable.

He had a very long and perfectly beautiful avenue before his house in
Anjou, but in the midst of it were the cottage and garden of a peasant;
and neither Charnace, nor his father before him, could prevail upon him
to remove, although they offered him large sums.  Charnace at last
determined to gain his point by stratagem.  The peasant was a tailor,
and lived all alone, without wife or child.  One day Charnace sent for
him, said he wanted a Court suit in all haste, and, agreeing to lodge and
feed him, stipulated that he should not leave the house until it was
done.  The tailor agreed, and set himself to the work.  While he was thus
occupied, Charnace had the dimensions of his house and garden taken with
the utmost exactitude; made a plan of the interior, showing the precise
position of the furniture and the utensils; and, when all was done,
pulled down the house and removed it a short distance off.

Then it was arranged as before with a similar looking garden, and at the
same time the spot on which it had previously stood was smoothed and
levelled.  All this was done before the suit was finished.  The work
being at length over on both sides, Charnace amused the tailor until it
was quite dark, paid him, and dismissed him content.  The man went on his
way down the avenue; but, finding the distance longer than usual, looked
about, and perceived he had gone too far.  Returning, he searched
diligently for his house, but without being able to find it.  The night
passed in this exercise.  When the day came, he rubbed his eyes, thinking
they might have been in fault; but as he found them as clear as usual,
began to believe that the devil had carried away his house, garden and
all.  By dint of wandering to and fro, and casting his eyes in every
direction, he saw at last a house which was as like to his as are two
drops of water to each other.  Curiosity tempted him to go and examine
it.  He did so, and became convinced it was his own.  He entered, found
everything inside as he had left it, and then became quite persuaded he
had been tricked by a sorcerer.  The day was not, however, very far
advanced before he learned the truth through the banter of his
neighbours.  In fury he talked of going to law, or demanding justice, but
was laughed at everywhere.  The King when he heard of it laughed also;
and Charnace had his avenue free.  If he had never done anything worse
than this, he would have preserved his reputation and his liberty.

A strange scene happened at Meudon after supper one evening, towards the
end of July.  The Prince de Conti and the Grand Prieur were playing, and
a dispute arose respecting the game.  The Grand Prieur, inflated by pride
on account of the favours the King had showered upon him, and rendered
audacious by being placed almost on a level with the Princes of the
blood, used words which would have been too strong even towards an equal.
The Prince de Conti answered by a repartee, in which the other's honesty
at play and his courage in war--both, in truth, little to boast about--
were attacked.  Upon this the Grand Prieur flew into a passion, flung
away the cards, and demanded satisfaction, sword in hand.  The Prince de
Conti, with a smile of contempt, reminded him that he was wanting in
respect, and at the same time said he could have the satisfaction he
asked for whenever he pleased.  The arrival of Monseigneur, in his
dressing-gown, put an end to the fray.  He ordered the Marquis de
Gesvres, who was one of the courtiers present, to report the whole affair
to the King, and that every one should go to bed.  On the morrow the King
was informed of what had taken place, and immediately ordered the Grand
Prieur to go to the Bastille.  He was obliged to obey, and remained in
confinement several days.  The affair made a great stir at Court.  The
Princes of the blood took a very high tone, and the illegitimates were
much embarrassed.  At last, on the 7th of August, the affair was finally
accommodated through the intercession of Monseigneur.  The Grand Prieur
demanded pardon of the Prince de Conti in the presence of his brother, M.
de Vendome, who was obliged to swallow this bitter draught, although
against his will, in order to appease the Princes of the blood, who were
extremely excited.

Nearly at the same time, that is to say, on the 29th of May, in the
morning Madame de Saint-Simon was happily delivered of a child.  God did
us the grace to give us a son.  He bore, as I had, the name of Vidame of
Chartres.  I do not know why people have the fancy for these odd names,
but they seduce in all nations, and they who feel the triviality of them,
imitate them.  It is true that the titles of Count and Marquis have
fallen into the dust because of the quantity of people without wealth,
and even without land, who usurp them; and that they have become so
worthless, that people of quality who are Marquises or Counts (if they
will permit me to say it) are silly enough to be annoyed if those titles
are given to them in conversation.  It is certain, however, that these
titles emanated from landed creations, and that in their origin they had
functions attached to them, which, they have since outlived.  The
vidames, on the contrary, were only principal officers of certain
bishops, with authority to lead all the rest of their seigneurs' vassals
to the field, either to fight against other lords, or in the armies that
our kings used to assemble to combat their enemies before the creation of
a standing army put an end to the employment of vassals (there being no
further need for them), and to all the power and authority of the
seigneurs.  There is thus no comparison between the title of vidame,
which only marks a vassal, and the titles which by fief emanate from the
King.  Yet because the few Vidames who have been known were illustrious,
the name has appeared grand, and for this reason was given to me, and
afterwards by me to my son:

Some little time before this, the King resolved to show all Europe, which
believed his resources exhausted by a long war, that in the midst of
profound peace, he was as fully prepared as ever for arms.  He wished at
the same time, to present a superb spectacle to Madame de Maintenon,
under pretext of teaching the young Duc de Bourgogne his first lesson in
war.  He gave all the necessary orders, therefore, for forming a camp at
Compiegne, to be commanded by the Marechal de Boufflers under the young
Duke.  On Thursday, the 28th of August, all the Court set out for the
camp.  Sixty thousand men were assembled there.  The King, as at the
marriage of the Duc de Bourgogne, had announced that he counted upon
seeing the troops look their best.  The consequence of this was to excite
the army to an emulation that was repented of afterwards.  Not only were
the troops in such beautiful order that it was impossible to give the
palm to any one corps, but their commanders added the finery and
magnificence of the Court to the majestic and warlike beauty of the men,
of the arms, and of the horses; and the officers exhausted their means in
uniforms which would have graced a fete.

Colonels, and even simple captains, kept open table; but the Marechal de
Boufflers outstripped everybody by his expenditure, by his magnificence,
and his good taste.  Never was seen a spectacle so transcendent--so
dazzling--and (it must be said) so terrifying.  At all hours, day or
night, the Marechal's table was open to every comer--whether officer,
courtier, or spectator.  All were welcomed and invited, with the utmost
civility and attention, to partake of the good things provided.  There
was every kind of hot and cold liquors; everything which can be the most
widely and the most splendidly comprehended under the term refreshment:
French and foreign wines, and the rarest liqueurs in the utmost
abundance.  Measures were so well taken that quantities of game and
venison arrived from all sides; and the seas of Normandy, of Holland, of
England, of Brittany, even the Mediterranean, furnished all they
contained--the most unheard-of, extraordinary, and most exquisite--at a
given day and hour with inimitable order, and by a prodigious number of
horsemen and little express carriages.  Even the water was fetched from
Sainte Reine, from the Seine, and from sources the most esteemed; and it
is impossible to imagine anything of any kind which was not at once ready
for the obscurest as for the most distinguished visitor, the guest most
expected, and the guest not expected at all.  Wooden houses and
magnificent tents stretched all around, in number sufficient to form a
camp of themselves, and were furnished in the most superb manner, like
the houses in Paris.  Kitchens and rooms for every purpose were there,
and the whole was marked by an order and cleanliness that excited
surprise and admiration.  The King, wishing that the magnificence of this
camp should be seen by the ambassadors, invited them there, and prepared
lodgings for them.  But the ambassadors claimed a silly distinction,
which the King would not grant, and they refused his invitation.  This
distinction I call silly because it brings no advantage with it of any
kind.  I am ignorant of its origin, but this is what it consists in.
When, as upon such an occasion as this, lodgings are allotted to the
Court, the quartermaster writes in chalk, "for Monsieur Such-a-one," upon
those intended for Princes of the blood, cardinals, and foreign princes;
but for none other.  The King would not allow the "for" to be written
upon the lodgings of the ambassadors; and the ambassadors, therefore,
kept away.  The King was much piqued at this, and I heard him say at
supper, that if he treated them as they deserved, he should only allow
them to come to Court at audience times, as was the custom everywhere

The King arrived at the camp on Saturday, the 30th of August, and went
with the Duc and Duchesse de Bourgogne and others to the quarters of
Marechal de Boufflers, where a magnificent collation was served up to
them--so magnificent that when the King returned, he said it would be
useless for the Duc de Bourgogne to attempt anything so splendid; and
that whenever he went to the camp he ought to dine with Marechal de
Bouffiers.  In effect, the King himself soon after dined there, and led
to the Marechal's table the King of England, who was passing three or
four days in the camp.

On these occasions the King pressed Marechal de Boufflers to be seated.
He would never comply, but waited upon the King while the Duc de
Grammont, his brother-in-law, waited upon Monseigneur.

The King amused himself much in pointing out the disposition of the
troops to the ladies of the Court, and in the evening showed them a grand

A very pleasant adventure happened at this review to Count Tesse, colonel
of dragoons.  Two days previously M. de Lauzun, in the course of chit-
chat, asked him how he intended to dress at the review; and persuaded him
that, it being the custom, he must appear at the head of his troops in a
grey hat, or that he would assuredly displease the King.  Tesse, grateful
for this information, and ashamed of his ignorance, thanked M. de Lauzun,
and sent off for a hat in all haste to Paris.  The King, as M. de Lauzun
well knew, had an aversion to grey, and nobody had worn it for several
years.  When, therefore, on the day of the review he saw Tesse in a hat
of that colour, with a black feather, and a huge cockade dangling and
flaunting above, he called to him, and asked him why he wore it.  Tesse
replied that it was the privilege of the colonel-general to wear that day
a grey hat.  "A grey hat," replied the King; "where the devil did you
learn that?"

"From M. de, Lauzun, Sire, for whom you created the charge," said Tesse,
all embarrassment.  On the instant, the good Lauzun vanished, bursting
with laughter, and the King assured Tesse that M. de Lauzun had merely
been joking with him.  I never saw a man so confounded as Tesse at this.
He remained with downcast eyes, looking at his hat, with a sadness and
confusion that rendered the scene perfect.  He was obliged to treat the
matter as a joke, but was for a long time much tormented about it, and
much ashamed of it.

Nearly every day the Princes dined with Marechal de Boufflers, whose
splendour and abundance knew no end.  Everybody who visited him, even the
humblest, was served with liberality and attention.  All the villages and
farms for four leagues round Compiegne were filled with people, French,
and foreigners, yet there was no disorder.  The gentlemen and valets at
the Marechal's quarters were of themselves quite a world, each more
polite than his neighbour, and all incessantly engaged from five o'clock
in the morning until ten and eleven o'clock at night, doing the honours
to various guests.  I return in spite of myself to the Marechal's
liberality; because, who ever saw it, cannot forget, or ever cease to be
in a state of astonishment and admiration at its abundance and
sumptuousness, or at the order, never deranged for a moment at a single
point, that prevailed.

The King wished to show the Court all the manoeuvres of war; the siege of
Compiegne was therefore undertaken, according to due form, with lines,
trenches, batteries, mines, &c.  On Saturday, the 13th of September, the
assault took place.  To witness it, the King, Madame de Maintenon, all
the ladies of the Court, and a number of gentlemen, stationed themselves
upon an old rampart, from which the plain and all the disposition of the
troops could be seen.  I was in the half circle very close to the King.
It was the most beautiful sight that can be imagined, to see all that
army, and the prodigious number of spectators on horse and foot, and that
game of attack and defence so cleverly conducted.

But a spectacle of another sort, that I could paint forty years hence as
well as to-day, so strongly did it strike me, was that which from the
summit of this rampart the King gave to all his army, and to the
innumerable crowd of spectators of all kinds in the plain below.  Madame
de Maintenon faced the plain and the troops in her sedan-chair-alone,
between its three windows drawn up-her porters having retired to a
distance.  On the left pole in front sat Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne;
and on the same side in a semicircle, standing, were Madame la Duchesse,
Madame la Princesse de Conti, and all the ladies, and behind them again,
many men.  At the right window was the King, standing, and a little in
the rear, a semicircle of the most distinguished men of the Court.  The
King was nearly always uncovered; and every now and then stooped to speak
to Madame de Maintenon, and explain to her what she saw, and the reason
of each movement.  Each time that he did so she was obliging enough to
open the window four or five inches, but never half way; for I noticed
particularly, and I admit that I was more attentive to this spectacle
than to that of the troops.  Sometimes she opened of her own accord to
ask some question of him, but generally it was he who, without waiting
for her, stooped down to instruct her of what was passing; and sometimes,
if she did not notice him, he tapped at the glass to make her open it.
He never spoke, save to her, except when he gave a few brief orders, or
just answered Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne, who wanted to make him
speak, and with whom Madame de Maintenon carried on a conversation by
signs, without opening the front window, through which the young Princess
screamed to her from time to time.  I watched the countenance of every
one carefully; all expressed surprise tempered with prudence and shame,
that was, as it were, ashamed of itself: every one behind the chair and
in the semicircle watched this scene more than what was going on in the
army.  The King often put his hat on the top of the chair in order to get
his head in to speak; and this continual exercise tired his loins very
much.  Monseigneur was on horseback in the plain with the young Princes.
It was about five o'clock in the afternoon, and the weather was as
brilliant as could be desired.

Opposite the sedan-chair was an opening with some steps cut through the
wall, and communicating with the plain below.  It had been made for the
purpose of fetching orders from the King, should they be necessary.  The
case happened.  Crenan, who commanded, sent Conillac, an officer in one
of the defending regiments, to ask for some instructions from the King.
Conillac had been stationed at the foot of the rampart, where what was
passing above could not be seen.  He mounted the steps; and as soon as
his head and shoulders were at the top, caught sight of the chair, the
King, and all the assembled company.  He was not prepared for such a
scene, and it struck him with such astonishment, that he stopped short,
with mouth and eyes wide open-surprise painted upon every feature.  I see
him now as distinctly as I did then.  The King, as well as all the rest
of the company, remarked the agitation of Conillac, and said to him with
emotion, "Well, Conillac! come up."  Conillac remained motionless, and
the King continued, "Come up.  What is the matter?" Conillac, thus
addressed, finished his ascent, and came towards the King with slow and
trembling steps, rolling his eyes from right to left like one deranged.
Then he stammered something, but in a tone so low that it could not be
heard.  "What do you say?" cried the King.  "Speak up."  But Conillac was
unable; and the King, finding he could get nothing out of him, told him
to go away.  He did not need to be told twice, but disappeared at once.
As soon as he was gone, the King, looking round, said, "I don't know what
is the matter with Conillac.  He has lost his wits; he did not remember
what he had to say to me."  No one answered.

Towards the moment of the capitulation, Madame de Maintenon apparently
asked permission to go away, for the King cried, "The chairmen of
Madame!"  They came and took her away; in less than a quarter of an hour
afterwards the King retired also, and nearly everybody else.  There was
much interchange of glances, nudging with elbows, and then whisperings in
the ear.  Everybody was full of what had taken place on the ramparts
between the King and Madame de Maintenon.  Even the soldiers asked what
meant that sedan-chair and the King every moment stooping to put his head
inside of it.  It became necessary gently to silence these questions of
the troops.  What effect this sight had upon foreigners present, and what
they said of it, may be imagined.  All over Europe it was as much talked
of as the camp of Compiegne itself, with all its pomp and prodigious

The last act of this great drama was a sham fight.  The execution was
perfect; but the commander, Rose, who was supposed to be beaten, would
not yield.  Marechal de Boufflers sent and told him more than once that
it was time.  Rose flew into a passion, and would not obey.  The King
laughed much at this, and said, "Rose does not like to be beaten."  At
last he himself sent the order for retreat.  Rose was forced then to
comply; but he did it with a very bad grace, and abused the bearer of the

The King left the camp on Monday the 22d of September, much pleased with
the troops.  He gave, in parting, six hundred francs to each cavalry
captain, and three hundred francs to each captain of infantry.  He gave
as much to the majors of all the regiments, and distributed some favours
to his household.  To Marechal de Boufflers he presented one hundred
thousand francs.  All these gifts together amounted to something: but
separately were as mere drops of water.  There was not a single regiment
that was not ruined, officers and men, for several years.  As for
Marechal de Boufflers, I leave it to be imagined what a hundred thousand
francs were to him whose magnificence astounded all Europe, described as
it was by foreigners who were witnesses of it, and who day after day
could scarcely believe their own eyes.


Here I will relate an adventure, which shows that, however wise and
enlightened a man may be, he is never infallible.  M. de La Trappe had
selected from amongst his brethren one who was to be his successor.  The
name of this monk was D. Francois Gervaise.  He had been in the monastery
for some years, had lived regularly during that time, and had gained the
confidence of M. de La Trappe.  As soon, however, as he received this
appointment, his manners began to change.  He acted as though he were
already master, brought disorder and ill-feeling into the monastery, and
sorely grieved M. de La Trapp; who, however, looked upon this affliction
as the work of Heaven, and meekly resigned him self to it.  At last,
Francois Gervaise was by the merest chance detected openly, under
circumstances which blasted his character for ever.  His companion in
guilt was brought before M. de La Trappe, to leave no doubt upon the
matter.  D. Francois Gervaise, utterly prostrated, resigned his office,
and left La Trappe. Yet, even after this, he had the hardihood to show
himself in the world, and to try and work himself into the favour of Pere
la Chaise.  A discovery that was made, effectually stopped short his
hopes in this direction.  A letter of his was found, written to a nun
with whom he had been intimate, whom he loved, and by whom he was
passionately loved.  It was a tissue of filthiness and stark indecency,
enough to make the most abandoned tremble.  The pleasures, the regrets,
the desires, the hopes of this precious pair, were all expressed in the
boldest language, and with the utmost licence.  I believe that so many
abominations are not uttered in several days, even in the worst places.
For this offence Gervaise might have been confined in a dungeon all his
life, but he was allowed to go at large.  He wandered from monastery to
monastery for five or six years, and always caused so much disorder
wherever he stopped, that at last the superiors thought it best to let
him live as he liked in a curacy of his brother's.  He never ceased
troubling La Trappe, to which he wished to return; so that at last I
obtained a 'lettre de cachet', which prohibited him from approaching
within thirty leagues of the abbey, and within twenty of Paris.  It was I
who made known to him that his abominations had been discovered.  He was
in no way disturbed, declared he was glad to be free, and assured me with
the hypocrisy which never left him, that in his solitude he was going to
occupy himself in studying the Holy Scriptures.

Bonnceil, introducer of the ambassadors, being dead, Breteuil obtained
his post.  Breteuil was not without intellect, but aped courtly manners,
called himself Baron de Breteuil, and was much tormented and laughed at
by his friends.  One day, dining at the house of Madame de Pontchartrain,
and, speaking very authoritatively, Madame de Pontchartrain disputed with
him, and, to test his knowledge, offered to make a bet that he did not
know who wrote the Lord's Prayer.  He defended himself as well as he was
able, and succeeded in leaving the table without being called upon to
decide the point.  Caumartin, who saw his embarrassment, ran to him, and
kindly whispered in his ear that Moses was the author of the Lord's
Prayer.  Thus strengthened, Breteuil returned to the attack, brought,
while taking coffee, the conversation back again to the bet; and, after
reproaching Madame de Pontchartrain for supposing him ignorant upon such
a point, and declaring he was ashamed of being obliged to say such a
trivial thing, pronounced emphatically that it was Moses who had written
the Lord's Prayer.  The burst of laughter that, of course, followed this,
overwhelmed him with confusion.  Poor Breteuil was for a long time at
loggerheads with his friend, and the Lord's Prayer became a standing
reproach to him.

He had a friend, the Marquis de Gesvres, who, upon some points, was not
much better informed.  Talking one day in the cabinet of the King, and
admiring in the tone of a connoisseur some fine paintings of the
Crucifixion by the first masters, he remarked that they were all by one

He was laughed at, and the different painters were named, as recognized
by their style.

"Not at all," said the Marquis, "the painter is called INRI; do you not
see his name upon all the pictures?"  What followed after such gross
stupidity and ignorance may be imagined.

At the end of this year the King resolved to undertake three grand
projects, which ought to have been carried out long before: the chapel of
Versailles, the Church of the Invalides, and the altar of Notre-Dame de
Paris.  This last was a vow of Louis XIII., made when, he no longer was
able to accomplish it, and which he had left to his successor, who had
been more than fifty years without thinking of it.

On the 6th of January, upon the reception of the ambassadors at the house
of the Duchesse de Bourogogne, an adventure happened which I will here
relate.  M. de Lorraine belonged to a family which had been noted for its
pretensions, and for the disputes of precedency in which it engaged.  He
was as prone to this absurdity as the rest, and on this occasion incited
the Princesse d'Harcourt, one of his relations, to act in a manner that
scandalised all the Court.  Entering the room in which the ambassadors
were to be received and where a large number of ladies were already
collected, she glided behind the Duchesse de Rohan, and told her to pass
to the left.  The Duchesse de Rohan, much surprised, replied that she was
very well placed already.  Whereupon, the Princesse d'Harcourt, who was
tall and strong, made no further ado, but with her two arms seized the
Duchesse de Rohan, turned her round, and sat down in her place.  All the
ladies were strangely scandalised at this, but none dared say a word, not
even Madame de Lude, lady in waiting on the Duchesse de Bourgogne, who,
for her part also, felt the insolence of the act, but dared not speak,
being so young.  As for the Duchesse de Rohan, feeling that opposition
must lead to fisticuffs, she curtseyed to the Duchess, and quietly
retired to another place.  A few minutes after this, Madame de Saint-
Simon, who was then with child, feeling herself unwell, and tired of
standing, seated herself upon the first cushion she could find.  It so
happened, that in the position she thus occupied, she had taken
precedence of Madame d'Armagnac by two degrees.  Madame d'Armagnac,
perceiving it, spoke to her upon the subject.  Madame de Saint-Simon, who
had only placed herself there for a moment, did not reply, but went

As soon as I learnt of the first adventure, I thought it important that
such an insult should not be borne, and I went and conferred with M. de
la Rochefoucauld upon the subject, at the same time that Marechal de
Boufflers spoke of it to M. de Noailles.  I called upon other of my
friends, and the opinion was that the Duc de Rohan should complain to the
King on the morrow of the treatment his wife had received.

In the evening while I was at the King's supper, I was sent for by Madame
de Saint-Simon, who informed me that the Lorraines, afraid of the
complaints that would probably be addressed to the King upon what had
taken place between the Princesse d'Harcourt and the Duchesse de Rohan,
had availed themselves of what happened between Madame de Saint-Simon and
Madame d'Armagnac, in order to be the first to complain, so that one
might balance the other.  Here was a specimen of the artifice of these
gentlemen, which much enraged me.  On the instant I determined to lose no
time in speaking to the King; and that very evening I related what had
occurred, in so far as Madame de Saint-Simon was concerned, but made no
allusion to M. de Rohan's affair, thinking it best to leave that to be
settled by itself on the morrow.  The King replied to me very graciously,
and I retired, after assuring him that all I had said was true from
beginning to end.

The next day the Duc de Rohan made his complaint.  The King, who had
already been fully informed of the matter, received him well, praised the
respect and moderation of Madame de Rohan, declared Madame d'Harcourt to
have been very impertinent, and said some very hard words upon the

I found afterwards, that Madame de Maintenon, who much favoured Madame
d'Harcourt, had all the trouble in the world to persuade the King not to
exclude her from the next journey to Marly.  She received a severe
reprimand from the King, a good scolding from Madame de Maintenon, and
was compelled publicly to ask pardon of the Duchesse de Rohan.  This she
did; but with a crawling baseness equal to her previous audacity.  Such
was the end of this strange history.

There appeared at this time a book entitled "Probleme," but without name
of author, and directed against M. de Paris, declaring that he had
uttered sentiments favourable to the Jansenists being at Chalons, and
unfavourable being at Paris.  The book came from the Jesuits, who could
not pardon M. de Paris for having become archbishop without their
assistance.  It was condemned and burnt by decree of the Parliament, and
the Jesuits had to swallow all the shame of it.  The author was soon
after discovered.  He was named Boileau; not the friend of Bontems, who
so often preached before the King, and still less the celebrated poet and
author of the 'Flagellants', but a doctor of much wit and learning whom
M. de Paris had taken into his favour and treated like a brother.  Who
would have believed that "Probleme" could spring from such a man?  M. de
Paris was much hurt; but instead of imprisoning Boileau for the rest of
his days, as he might have done, he acted the part of a great bishop, and
gave him a good canonical of Saint Honore, which became vacant a few days
afterwards.  Boileau, who was quite without means, completed his
dishonour by accepting it.

The honest people of the Court regretted a cynic who died at this time,
I mean the Chevalier de Coislin.  He was a most extraordinary man, very
splenetic, and very difficult to deal with.  He rarely left Versailles,
and never went to see the king.  I have seen him get out of the way not
to meet him.  He lived with Cardinal Coislin, his brother.  If anybody
displeased him, he would go and sulk in his own room; and if, whilst at
table, any one came whom he did not like, he would throw away his plate,
go off to sulk, or to finish his dinner all alone.  One circumstance will
paint him completely.  Being on a journey once with his brothers, the Duc
de Coislin and the Cardinal de Coislin, the party rested for the night at
the house of a vivacious and very pretty bourgeoise.  The Duc de Coislin
was an exceedingly polite man, and bestowed amiable compliments and
civilities upon their hostess, much to the disgust of the Chevalier.  At
parting, the Duke renewed the politeness he had displayed so abundantly
the previous evening, and delayed the others by his long-winded
flatteries.  When, at last, they left the house, and were two or three
leagues away from it, the Chevalier de Coislin said, that, in spite of
all this politeness, he had reason to believe that their pretty hostess
would not long be pleased with the Duke.  The Duke, disturbed, asked his
reason for thinking so.  "Do you wish to learn it?" said the Chevalier;
"well, then, you must know that, disgusted by your compliments, I went up
into the bedroom in which you slept, and made a filthy mess on the floor,
which the landlady will no doubt attribute to you, despite all your fine

At this there was loud laughter, but the Duke was in fury, and wished to
return in order to clear up his character.  Although it rained hard, they
had all the pains in the world to hinder him, and still more to bring
about a reconciliation.  Nothing was more pleasant than to hear the
brothers relate this adventure each in his own way.

Two cruel effects of gambling were noticed at this time.  Reineville, a
lieutenant of the body-guard, a general officer distinguished in war,
very well treated by the King, and much esteemed by the captain of the
Guards, suddenly disappeared, and could not be found anywhere, although
the utmost care was taken to search for him.   He loved gaming.  He had
lost what he could not pay.  He was a man of honour, and could not
sustain his misfortune.  Twelve or fifteen years afterwards he was
recognised among the Bavarian troops, in which he was serving in order to
gain his bread and to live unknown.  The other case was still worse.
Permillac, a man of much intelligence and talent, had lost more than he
possessed, and blew his brains out one morning in bed.  He was much liked
throughout the army; had taken a friendship for me, and I for him.
Everybody pitied him, and I much regretted him.

Nearly at the same time we lost the celebrated Racine, so known by his
beautiful plays.  No one possessed a greater talent or a more agreeable
mien.  There was nothing of the poet in his manners: he had the air of a
well-bred and modest man, and at last that of a good man.  He had
friends, the most illustrious, at the Court as well as among men of
letters.  I leave it to the latter to speak of him in a better way than I
can.  He wrote, for the amusement of the King and Madame de Maintenon,
and to exercise the young ladies of Saint Cyr, two dramatic masterpieces,
Esther and Athalie.  They were very difficult to write, because there
could be no love in them, and because they are sacred tragedies, in
which, from respect to the Holy Scriptures, it was necessary rigidly to
keep to the historical truth.  They were several times played at Saint
Cyr before a select Court.  Racine was charged with the history of the
King, conjointly with Despreaux, his friend.  This employment, the pieces
I have just spoken of, and his friends, gained for Racine some special
favours: It sometimes happened that the King had no ministers with him,
as on Fridays, and, above all, when the bad weather of winter rendered
the sittings very long; then he would send for Racine to amuse him and
Madame de Maintenon.  Unfortunately the poet was oftentimes very absent.
It happened one evening that, talking with Racine upon the theatre, the
King asked why comedy was so much out of fashion.  Racine gave several
reasons, and concluded by naming the principal,--namely, that for want of
new pieces the comedians gave old ones, and, amongst others, those of
Scarron, which were worth nothing, and which found no favour with
anybody.  At this the poor widow blushed, not for the reputation of the
cripple attacked, but at hearing his name uttered in presence of his
successor!  The King was also embarrassed, and the unhappy Racine, by the
silence which followed, felt what a slip he had made.  He remained the
most confounded of the three, without daring to raise his eyes or to open
his mouth.  This silence did not terminate for several moments, so heavy
and profound was the surprise.  The end was that the King sent away
Racine, saying he was going to work.  The poet never afterwards recovered
his position.  Neither the King nor Madame de Maintenon ever spoke to him
again, or even looked at him; and he conceived so much sorrow at this,
that he fell into a languor, and died two years afterwards.  At his
death, Valincourt was chosen to work in his place with Despreaux upon the
history of the King.

The King, who had just paid the heavy gaming and tradesmen's debts of
Madame la Duchesse, paid also those of Monseigneur, which amounted to
fifty thousand francs, undertook the payment of the buildings at Meudon,
and, in lieu of fifteen hundred pistoles a month which he had allowed
Monseigneur, gave him fifty thousand crowns.  M. de la Rochefoucauld,
always necessitous and pitiful in the midst of riches, a prey to his
servants, obtained an increase of forty-two thousand francs a-year upon
the salary he received as Grand Veneur, although it was but a short time
since the King had paid his debts.  The King gave also, but in secret,
twenty thousand francs a-year to M. de Chartres, who had spent so much in
journeys and building that he feared he should be unable to pay his
debts.  He had asked for an abbey; but as he had already one, the King
did not like to give him another, lest it should be thought too much.

M. de Vendome began at last to think about his health, which his
debauches had thrown into a very bad state.  He took public leave of the
King and of all the Court before going away, to put himself in the hands
of the doctors.  It was the first and only example of such impudence.
From this time he lost ground.  The King said, at parting, that he hoped
he would come back in such a state that people might kiss him without
danger!  His going in triumph, where another would have gone in shame and
secrecy, was startling and disgusting.  He was nearly three months under
the most skilful treatment-and returned to the Court with half his nose,
his teeth out, and a physiognomy entirely changed, almost idiotic.  The
King was so much struck by this change, that he recommended the courtiers
not to appear to notice it, for fear of afflicting M. de Vendome.  That
was taking much interest in him assuredly.  As, moreover, he had departed
in triumph upon this medical expedition, so he returned triumphant by the
reception of the King, which was imitated by all the Court.  He remained
only a few days, and then, his mirror telling sad tales, went away to
Anet, to see if nose and teeth would come back to him with his hair.

A strange adventure, which happened at this time, terrified everybody,
and gave rise to many surmises.  Savary was found assassinated in his
house at Paris he kept only a valet and a maid-servant, and they were
discovered murdered at the same time, quite dressed, like their master,
and in different parts of the house.  It appeared by writings found
there, that the crime was one of revenge: it was supposed to have been
committed in broad daylight.  Savary was a citizen of Paris, very rich,
without occupation, and lived like an epicurean.  He had some friends of
the highest rank, and gave parties, of all kinds of pleasure, at his
house, politics sometimes being discussed.  The cause of this
assassination was never known; but so much of it was found out, that no
one dared to search for more.  Few doubted but that the deed had been
done by a very ugly little man, but of a blood so highly respected, that
all forms were dispensed with, in the fear lest it should be brought home
to him; and, after the first excitement, everybody ceased to speak of
this tragic history.

On the night between the 3rd and 4th of June, a daring robbery was
effected at the grand stables of Versailles.  All the horse-cloths and
trappings, worth at least fifty thousand crowns, were carried off, and so
cleverly and with such speed, although the night was short, that no
traces of them could ever afterwards be found.  This theft reminds me of
another which took place a little before the commencement of these
memoirs.  The grand apartment at Versailles, that is to say, from the
gallery to the tribune, was hung with crimson velvet, trimmed and fringed
with gold.  One fine morning the fringe and trimmings were all found to
have been cut away.  This appeared extraordinary in a place so frequented
all day, so well closed at night, and so well guarded at all times.
Bontems, the King's valet, was in despair, and did his utmost to discover
the thieves, but without success.

Five or six days afterwards, I was at the King's supper, with nobody but
Daqum, chief physician, between the King and me, and nobody at all
between one and the table.  Suddenly I perceived a large black form in
the air, but before I could tell what it was, it fell upon the end of the
King's table just before the cover which had been laid for Monseigneur
and Madame.  By the noise it made in falling, and the weight of the thing
itself, it seemed as though the table must be broken.  The plates jumped
up, but none were upset, and the thing, as luck would have it, did not
fall upon any of them, but simply upon the cloth.  The King moved his
head half round, and without being moved in any way said, "I think that
is my fringe!"

It was indeed a bundle, larger than a flat-brimmed priest's hat, about
two feet in height, and shaped like a pyramid.  It had come from behind
me, from towards the middle door of the two ante-chambers, and a piece of
fringe getting loose in the air, had fallen upon the King's wig, from
which it was removed by Livry, a gentleman-in-waiting.  Livry also opened
the bundle, and saw that it did indeed contain the fringes all twisted
up, and everybody saw likewise.  A murmur was heard.  Livry wishing to
take away the bundle found a paper attached to it.  He took the paper and
left the bundle.  The King stretched out his hand and said, "Let us see."
Livry, and with reason, would not give up the paper, but stepped back,
read it, and then passed it to Daquin, in whose hands I read it.  The
writing, counterfeited and long like that of a woman, was in these
words:--"Take back your fringes, Bontems; they are not worth the trouble
of keeping--my compliments to the King."

The paper was rolled up, not folded: the King wished to take it from
Daquin, who, after much hesitation, allowed him to read it, but did not
let it out of his hands.  "Well, that is very insolent!" said the King,
but in quite a placid unmoved tone--as it were, an historical tone.
Afterwards he ordered the bundle to be taken away.  Livry found it so
heavy that he could scarcely lift it from the table, and gave it to an
attendant who presented himself.  The King spoke no more of this matter,
nobody else dared to do so; and the supper finished as though nothing had

Besides the excess of insolence and impudence of this act, it was so
perilous as to be scarcely understood.  How could any one, without being
seconded by accomplices, throw a bundle of this weight and volume in the
midst of a crowd such as was always present at the supper of the King, so
dense that it could with difficulty be passed through?  How, in spite of
a circle of accomplices, could a movement of the arms necessary for such
a throw escape all eyes?  The Duc de Gesvres was in waiting.  Neither he
nor anybody else thought of closing the doors until the King had left the
table.  It may be guessed whether the guilty parties remained until then,
having had more than three-quarters of an hour to escape, and every issue
being free.  Only one person was discovered, who was not known, but he
proved to be a very honest man, and was dismissed after a short
detention.  Nothing has since been discovered respecting this theft or
its bold restitution.


On the 12th August, Madame de Saint-Simon was happily delivered of a
second son, who bore the name of Marquis de Ruffec.  A singular event
which happened soon after, made all the world marvel.

There arrived at Versailles a farrier, from the little town of Salon, in
Provence, who asked to see the King in private.  In spite of the rebuffs
he met with, he persisted in his request, so that at last it got to the
ears of the King.  The King sent word that he was not accustomed to grant
such audiences to whoever liked to ask for them.  Thereupon the farrier
declared that if he was allowed to see the King he would tell him things
so secret and so unknown to everybody else that he would be persuaded of
their importance, demanding, if the King would not see him, to be sent to
a minister of state.  Upon this the King allowed him to have an interview
with one of his secretaries, Barbezieux.  But Barbezieux was not a
minister of state, and to the great surprise of everybody, the farrier,
who had only just arrived from the country, and who had never before left
it or his trade, replied, that not being a minister of state he would not
speak with him.  Upon this he was allowed to see Pomponne, and converse
with him; and this is the story he told:

He said, that returning home late one evening he found himself surrounded
by a great light, close against a tree and near Salon.  A woman clad in
white--but altogether in a royal manner, and beautiful, fair, and very
dazzling--called him by his name, commanded him to listen to her, and
spake to him more than half-an-hour.  She told him she was the Queen,
who had been the wife of the King; to whom she ordered him to go and say
what she had communicated; assuring him that God would assist him through
all the journey, and that upon a secret thing he should say, the King,
who alone knew that secret, would recognise the truth of all he uttered.
She said that in case he could not see the King he was to speak with a
minister of state, telling him certain things, but reserving certain
others for the King alone.  She told him, moreover, to set out at once,
assuring him he would be punished with death if he neglected to acquit
himself of his commission.  The farrier promised to obey her in
everything, and the queen then disappeared.  He found himself in darkness
near the tree.  He lay down and passed the night there, scarcely knowing
whether he was awake or asleep.  In the morning he went home, persuaded
that what he had seen was a mere delusion and folly, and said nothing
about it to a living soul.

Two days afterwards he was passing by the same place when the same vision
appeared to him, and he was addressed in the same terms.  Fresh threats
of punishment were uttered if he did not comply, and he was ordered to go
at once to the Intendant of the province, who would assuredly furnish him
with money, after saying what he had seen.  This time the farrier was
convinced there was no delusion in the matter; but, halting between his
fears and doubts, knew not what to do, told no one what had passed,
and was in great perplexity.  He remained thus eight days, and at last
had resolved not to make the journey; when, passing by the same spot,
he saw and heard the same vision, which bestowed upon him so many
dreadful menaces that he no longer thought of anything but setting out
immediately.  In two days from that time he presented himself, at Aix,
to the Intendant of the province, who, without a moment's hesitation,
urged him to pursue his journey, and gave him sufficient money to travel
by a public conveyance.  Nothing more of the story was ever known.

The farrier had three interviews with M. de Pomponne, each of two hours'
length.  M. de Pomponne rendered, in private, an account of these to the
King, who desired him to speak more fully upon the point in a council
composed of the Ducs de Beauvilliers, Pontchartrain, Torcy, and Pomponne
himself; Monseigneur to be excluded.  This council sat very long, perhaps
because other things were spoken of.  Be that as it may, the King after
this wished to converse with the farrier, and did so in his cabinet.  Two
days afterwards he saw the man again; at each time was nearly an hour
with him, and was careful that no one was within hearing.

The day after the first interview, as the King was descending the
staircase, to go a-hunting, M. de Duras, who was in waiting, and who was
upon such a footing that he said almost what he liked, began to speak of
this farrier with contempt, and, quoting the bad proverb, said, "The man
was mad, or the King was not noble."  At this the King stopped, and,
turning round, a thing he scarcely ever did in walking, replied, "If that
be so, I am not noble, for I have discoursed with him long, he has spoken
to me with much good sense, and I assure you he is far from being mad."

These last words were pronounced with a sustained gravity which greatly
surprised those near, and which in the midst of deep silence opened all
eyes and ears.  After the second interview the King felt persuaded that
one circumstance had been related to him by the farrier, which he alone
knew, and which had happened more than twenty years before.  It was that
he had seen a phantom in the forest of Saint Germains.  Of this phantom
he had never breathed a syllable to anybody.

The King on several other occasions spoke favourably of the farrier;
moreover, he paid all the expenses the man had been put to, gave him a
gratuity, sent him back free, and wrote to the Intendant of the province
to take particular care of him, and never to let him want for anything
all his life.

The most surprising thing of all this is, that none of the ministers
could be induced to speak a word upon the occurrence.  Their most
intimate friends continually questioned them, but without being able to
draw forth a syllable.  The ministers either affected to laugh at the
matter or answered evasively.  This was the case whenever I questioned
M. de Beauvilliers or M. de Pontchartrain, and I knew from their most
intimate friends that nothing more could ever be obtained from M. de
Pomponne or M. de Torcy.  As for the farrier himself, he was equally
reserved.  He was a simple, honest, and modest man, about fifty years of
age.  Whenever addressed upon this subject, he cut short all discourse by
saying, "I am not allowed to speak," and nothing more could be extracted
from him.  When he returned to his home he conducted himself just as
before, gave himself no airs, and never boasted of the interview he had
had with the King and his ministers.  He went back to his trade, and
worked at it as usual.

Such is the singular story which filled everybody with astonishment, but
which nobody could understand.  It is true that some people persuaded
themselves, and tried to persuade others, that the whole affair was a
clever trick, of which the simple farrier had been the dupe.  They said
that a certain Madame Arnoul, who passed for a witch, and who, having
known Madame de Maintenon when she was Madame Scarron, still kept up a
secret intimacy with her, had caused the three visions to appear to the
farrier, in order to oblige the King to declare Madame de Maintenon
queen.  But the truth of the matter was never known.

The King bestowed at this time some more distinctions on his illegitimate
children.  M. du Maine, as grand-master of the artillery, had to be
received at the Chambre des Comptes; and his place ought to have been,
according to custom, immediately above that of the senior member.  But
the King wished him to be put between the first and second presidents;
and this was done.  The King accorded also to the Princesse de Conti that
her two ladies of honour should be allowed to sit at the Duchesse de
Bourgogne's table.  It was a privilege that no lady of honour to a
Princess of the blood had ever been allowed.  But the King gave these
distinctions to the ladies of his illegitimate children, and refused it
to those of the Princesses of the blood.

In thus according honours, the King seemed to merit some new ones
himself.  But nothing fresh could be thought of.  What had been done
therefore at his statue in the Place des Victoires, was done over again
in the Place Vendome on the 13th August, after midday.  Another statue
which had been erected there was uncovered.  The Duc de Gesvres, Governor
of Paris, was in attendance on horseback, at the head of the city troops,
and made turns, and reverences, and other ceremonies, imitated from those
in use at the consecration of the Roman Emperors.  There were, it is
true, no incense and no victims: something more in harmony with the title
of Christian King was necessary.  In the evening, there was upon the
river a fine illumination, which Monsieur and Madame went to see.

A difficulty arose soon after this with Denmark.  The Prince Royal had
become King, and announced the circumstance to our King, but would not
receive the reply sent him because he was not styled in it "Majesty."
We had never accorded to the Kings of Denmark this title, and they had
always been contented with that of "Serenity."  The King in his turn
would not wear mourning for the King of Denmark, just dead, although he
always did so for any crowned head, whether related to him or not.  This
state of things lasted some months; until, in the end, the new King of
Denmark gave way, received the reply as it had been first sent, and our
King wore mourning as if the time for it had not long since passed.

Boucherat, chancellor and keeper of the seals, died on the 2nd of
September.  Harlay, as I have previously said, had been promised this
appointment when it became vacant.  But the part he had taken in our case
with M. de Luxembourg had made him so lose ground, that the appointment
was not given to him.  M. de la Rochefoucauld, above all, had undermined
him in the favour of the King; and none of us had lost an opportunity of
assisting in this work.  Our joy, therefore, was extreme when we saw all
Harlay's hopes frustrated, and we did not fail to let it burst forth.
The vexation that Harlay conceived was so great, that he became
absolutely intractable, and often cried out with a bitterness he could
not contain, that he should be left to die in the dust of the palace.
His weakness was such, that he could not prevent himself six weeks after
from complaining to the King at Fontainebleau, where he was playing the
valet with his accustomed suppleness and deceit.  The King put him off
with fine speeches, and by appointing him to take part in a commission
then sitting for the purpose of bringing about a reduction in the price
of corn in Paris and the suburbs, where it had become very dear.  Harlay
made a semblance of being contented, but remained not the less annoyed.
His health and his head were at last so much attacked that he was forced
to quit his post: he then fell into contempt after having excited so much
hatred.  The chancellorship was given to Pontchartrain, and the office of
comptroller-general, which became vacant at the same time, was given to
Chamillart; a very honest man, who owed his first advancement to his
skill at billiards, of which game the King was formerly very fond.
It was while Chamillart was accustomed to play billiards with the King,
at least three times a week, that an incident happened which ought not to
be forgotten.  Chamillart was Counsellor of the Parliament at that time.
He had just reported on a case that had been submitted to him.
The losing party came to him, and complained that he had omitted to bring
forward a document that had been given into his hands, and that would
assuredly have turned the verdict.  Chamillart searched for the document,
found it, and saw that the complainer was right.  He said so, and added,
--"I do not know how the document escaped me, but it decides in your
favour.  You claimed twenty thousand francs, and it is my fault you did
not get them.  Come to-morrow, and I will pay you."  Chamillart, although
then by no means rich, scraped together all the money he had, borrowing
the rest, and paid the man as he had promised, only demanding that the
matter should be kept a secret.  But after this, feeling that billiards
three times a week interfered with his legal duties, he surrendered part
of them, and thus left himself more free for other charges he was obliged
to attend to.

The Comtesse de Fiesque died very aged, while the Court was at
Fontainebleau this year.  She had passed her life with the most frivolous
of the great world.  Two incidents amongst a thousand will characterise
her.  She was very straitened in means, because she had frittered away
all her substance, or allowed herself to be pillaged by her business
people.  When those beautiful mirrors were first introduced she obtained
one, although they were then very dear and very rare.  "Ah, Countess!"
said her friends, "where did you find that?"

"Oh!" replied she, "I had a miserable piece of land, which only yielded
me corn; I have sold it, and I have this mirror instead.  Is not this
excellent?  Who would hesitate between corn and this beautiful mirror?"

On another occasion she harangued with her son, who was as poor as a rat,
for the purpose of persuading him to make a good match and thus enrich
himself.  Her son, who had no desire to marry, allowed her to talk on,
and pretended to listen to her reasons: She was delighted--entered into a
description of the wife she destined for him, painting her as young,
rich, an only child, beautiful, well-educated, and with parents who would
be delighted to agree to the marriage.  When she had finished, he pressed
her for the name of this charming and desirable person.  The Countess
said she was the daughter of Jacquier, a man well known to everybody,
and who had been a contractor of provisions to the armies of M. de
Turenne.  Upon this, her son burst out into a hearty laugh, and she in
anger demanded why he did so and what he found so ridiculous in the

The truth was, Jacquier had no children, as the Countess soon remembered.
At which she said it was a great pity, since no marriage would have
better suited all parties.  She was full of such oddities, which she
persisted in for some time with anger, but at which she was the first to
laugh.  People said of her that she had never been more than eighteen
years old.  The memoirs of Mademoiselle paint her well.  She lived with
Mademoiselle, and passed all her life in quarrels about trifles.

It was immediately after leaving Fontainebleau that the marriage between
the Duc and Duchesse de Bourgogne was consummated.  It was upon this
occasion that the King named four gentlemen to wait upon the Duke,--
four who in truth could not have been more badly chosen.  One of them,
Gamaches, was a gossip; who never knew what he was doing or saying--
who knew nothing of the world, or the Court, or of war, although he had
always been in the army.  D'O was another; but of him I have spoken.
Cheverny was the third, and Saumery the fourth.  Saumery had been raised
out of obscurity by M. de Beauvilliers.  Never was man so intriguing, so
truckling, so mean, so boastful, so ambitious, so intent upon fortune,
and all this without disguise, without veil, without shame!  Saumery had
been wounded, and no man ever made so much of such a mishap.  I used to
say of him that he limped audaciously, and it was true.  He would speak
of personages the most distinguished, whose ante-chambers even he had
scarcely seen, as though he spoke of his equals or of his particular
friends.  He related what he had heard, and was not ashamed to say before
people who at least had common sense, "Poor Mons. Turenne said to me,"
M. de Turenne never having probably heard of his existence.  With
Monsieur in full he honoured nobody.  It was Mons. de Beauvilliers, Mons.
de Chevreuse, and so on; except with those whose names he clipped off
short, as he frequently would even with Princes of the blood.  I have
heard him say many times, "the Princesse de Conti," in speaking of the
daughter of the King; and "the Prince de Conti," in speaking of Monsieur
her brother-in-law!  As for the chief nobles of the Court, it was rare
for him to give them the Monsieur or the Mons.  It was Marechal
d'Humieres, and so on with the others.  Fatuity and insolence were united
in him, and by dint of mounting a hundred staircases a day, and bowing
and scraping everywhere, he had gained the ear of I know not how many
people.  His wife was a tall creature, as impertinent as he, who wore the
breeches, and before whom he dared not breathe.  Her effrontery blushed
at nothing, and after many gallantries she had linked herself on to M. de
Duras, whom she governed, and of whom she was publicly and absolutely the
mistress, living at his expense.  Children, friends, servants, all were
at her mercy; even Madame de Duras herself when she came, which was but
seldom, from the country.

Such were the people whom the King placed near M. le Duc de Bourgogne.

The Duc de Gesvres, a malicious old man, a cruel husband and unnatural
father, sadly annoyed Marechal de Villeroy towards the end of this year,
having previously treated me very scurvily for some advice I gave him
respecting the ceremonies to be observed at the reception by the King of
M. de Lorraine as Duc de Bar.  M. de Gesvres and M. de Villeroy had both
had fathers who made large fortunes and who became secretaries of state.
One morning M. de Gesvres was waiting for the King, with a number of
other courtiers, when M. de Villeroy arrived, with all that noise and
those airs he had long assumed, and which his favour and his appointments
rendered more superb.  I know not whether this annoyed De Gesvres, more
than usual, but as soon as the other had placed himself, he said,
"Monsieur le Marechal, it must be admitted that you and I are very
lucky."  The Marechal, surprised at a remark which seemed to be suggested
by nothing, assented with a modest air, and, shaking his head and his
wig, began to talk to some one else.  But M. de Gesvres had not commenced
without a purpose.  He went on, addressed M. de Villeroy point-blank,
admiring their mutual good fortune, but when he came to speak of the
father of each, "Let us go no further," said he, "for what did our
fathers spring from?  From tradesmen; even tradesmen they were
themselves.  Yours was the son of a dealer in fresh fish at the markets,
and mine of a pedlar, or, perhaps, worse.  Gentlemen," said he,
addressing the company, "have we not reason to think our fortune
prodigious--the Marechal and I?"  The Marechal would have liked to
strangle M. de Gesvres, or to see him dead--but what can be done with a
man who, in order to say something cutting to you, says it to himself
first?  Everybody was silent, and all eyes were lowered.  Many, however,
were not sorry to see M. de Villeroy so pleasantly humiliated.  The King
came and put an end to the scene, which was the talk of the Court for
several days.

Omissions must be repaired as soon as they are perceived.  Other matters
have carried me away.  At the commencement of April, Ticquet, Counsellor
at the Parliament, was assassinated in his own house; and if he did not
die, it was not the fault of his porter, or of the soldier who had
attempted to kill him, and who left him for dead, disturbed by a noise
they heard.  This councillor, who was a very poor man, had complained to
the King, the preceding year, of the conduct of his wife with
Montgeorges, captain in the Guards, and much esteemed.  The King
prohibited Montgeorges from seeing the wife of the councillor again.

Such having been the case, when the crime was attempted, suspicion fell
upon Montgeorges and the wife of Ticquet, a beautiful, gallant, and bold
woman, who took a very high tone in the matter.  She was advised to fly,
and one of my friends offered to assist her to do so, maintaining that in
all such cases it is safer to be far off than close at hand.  The woman
would listen to no such advice, and in a few days she was no longer able.
The porter and the soldier were arrested and tortured, and Madame
Ticquet, who was foolish enough to allow herself to be arrested, also
underwent the same examination, and avowed all.  She was condemned to
lose her head, and her accomplice to be broken on the wheel.  Montgeorges
managed so well, that he was not legally criminated.  When Ticquet heard
the sentence, he came with all his family to the King, and sued for
mercy.  But the King would not listen to him, and the execution took
place on Wednesday, the 17th of June, after mid-day, at the Greve.  All
the windows of the Hotel de Ville, and of the houses in the Place de
Greve, in the streets that lead to it from the Conciergerie of the palace
where Madame Ticquet was confined, were filled with spectators, men and
women, many of title and distinction.  There were even friends of both
sexes of this unhappy woman, who felt no shame or horror in going there.
In the streets the crowd was so great that it could not be passed
through.  In general, pity was felt for the culprit; people hoped she
would be pardoned, and it was because they hoped so, that they went to
see her die.  But such is the world; so unreasoning, and so little in
accord with itself.


The year 1700 commenced by a reform.  The King declared that he would no
longer bear the expense of the changes that the courtiers introduced into
their apartments.  It had cost him more than sixty thousand francs since
the Court left Fontainebleau.  It is believed that Madame de Mailly was
the cause of this determination of the King; for during the last two or
three years she had made changes in her apartments every year.

A difficulty occurred at this time which much mortified the King.  Little
by little he had taken all the ambassadors to visit Messieurs du Maine
and de Toulouse, as though they were Princes of the blood.  The nuncio,
Cavallerini, visited them thus, but upon his return to Rome was so taken
to task for it, that his successor, Delfini, did not dare to imitate him.
The cardinals considered that they had lowered themselves, since
Richelieu and Mazarm, by treating even the Princes of the blood on terms
of equality, and giving them their hand, which had not been customary m
the time of the two first ministers just named.  To do so to the
illegitimate offspring of the King, and on occasions of ceremony,
appeared to them monstrous.  Negotiations were carried on for a month,
but Delfini would not bend, and although in every other respect he had
afforded great satisfaction during his nunciature, no farewell audience
was given to him; nor even a secret audience.  He was deprived of the
gift of a silver vessel worth eighteen hundred francs, that it was
customary to present to the cardinal nuncios at their departure: and he
went away without saying adieu to anybody.

Some time before, M. de Monaco had been sent as ambassador to Rome.  He
claimed to be addressed by the title of "Highness," and persisted in it
with so much obstinacy that he isolated, himself from almost everybody,
and brought the affairs of his embassy nearly to a standstill by the
fetters he imposed upon them in the most necessary transactions.  Tired
at last of the resistance he met with, he determined to refuse the title
of "Excellence," although it might fairly belong to them, to all who
refused to address him as "Highness."  This finished his affair; for
after that determination no one would see him, and the business of the
embassy suffered even more than before.  It is difficult to comprehend
why the King permitted such a man to remain as his representative at a
foreign Court.

Madame de Navailles died on the 14th of February: Her mother, Madame de
Neuillant, who became a widow, was avarice itself.  I cannot say by what
accident or chance it was that Madame de Maintenon in returning young and
poor from America, where she had lost her father and mother, fell in
landing at Rochelle into the hands of Madame de Neuillant, who lived in
Poitou.  Madame de Neuillant took home Madame de Maintenon, but could not
resolve to feed her without making her do something in return.  Madame de
Maintenon was charged therefore with the key of the granary, had to
measure out the corn and to see that it was given to the horses.  It was
Madame de Neuillant who brought Madame de Maintenon to Paris, and to get
rid of her married her to Scarron, and then retired into Poitou.

Madame de Navailles was the eldest daughter of this Madame de Neuillant,
and it was her husband, M. de Navailles, who, serving under M. le Prince
in Flanders, received from that General a strong reprimand for his
ignorance.  M. le Prince wanted to find the exact position of a little
brook which his maps did not mark.  To assist him in the search, M. de
Navailles brought a map of the world!  On another occasion, visiting
M. Colbert, at Sceaux, the only thing M. de Navailles could find to
praise was the endive of the kitchen garden: and when on the occasion of
the Huguenots the difficulty of changing religion was spoken of, he
declared that if God had been good enough to make him a Turk, he should
have remained so.

Madame de Navailles had been lady of honour to the Queen-mother, and lost
that place by a strange adventure.

She was a woman of spirit and of virtue, and the young ladies of honour
were put under her charge.  The King was at this time young and gallant.
So long as he held aloof from the chamber of the young ladies, Madame de
Navailles meddled not, but she kept her eye fixed upon all that she
controlled.  She soon perceived that the King was beginning to amuse
himself, and immediately after she found that a door had secretly been
made into the chamber of the young ladies; that this door communicated
with a staircase by which the King mounted into the room at night, and
was hidden during the day by the back of a bed placed against it.  Upon
this Madame de Navailles held counsel with her husband.  On one side was
virtue and honour, on the other, the King's anger, disgrace, and exile.
The husband and wife did not long hesitate.  Madame de Navailles at once
took her measures, and so well, that in a few hours one evening the door
was entirely closed up.  During the same night the King, thinking to
enter as usual by the little staircase, was much surprised to no longer
find a door.  He groped, he searched, he could not comprehend the
disappearance of the door, or by what means it had become wall again.
Anger seized him; he doubted not that the door had been closed by Madame
de Navailles and her husband.  He soon found that such was the case, and
on the instant stripped them of almost all their offices, and exiled them
from the Court.  The exile was not long; the Queen-mother on her death-
bed implored him to receive back Monsieur and Madame de Navailles, and he
could not refuse.  They returned, and M. de Navailles nine years
afterwards was made Marechal of France.  After this Madame de Navailles
rarely appeared at the Court.  Madame de Maintenon could not refuse her
distinctions and special favours, but they were accorded rarely and by
moments.  The King always remembered his door; Madame de Maintenon always
remembered the hay and barley of Madame de Neuillant, and neither years
nor devotion could deaden the bitterness of the recollection.

From just before Candlemas-day to Easter of this year, nothing was heard
of but balls and pleasures of the Court.  The King gave at Versailles and
at Marly several masquerades, by which he was much amused, under pretext
of amusing the Duchesse de Bourgogne.  At one of these balls at Marly a
ridiculous scene occurred.  Dancers were wanting and Madame de Luxembourg
on account of this obtained an invitation, but with great difficulty, for
she lived in such a fashion that no woman would see her.  Monsieur de
Luxembourg was perhaps the only person in France who was ignorant of
Madame de Luxembourg's conduct.  He lived with his wife on apparently
good terms and as though he had not the slightest mistrust of her.  On
this occasion, because of the want of dancers, the King made older people
dance than was customary, and among others M. de Luxembourg.  Everybody
was compelled to be masked.  M. de Luxembourg spoke on this subject to
M. le Prince, who, malicious as any monkey, determined to divert all the
Court and himself at the Duke's expense.  He invited M. de Luxembourg to
supper, and after that meal was over, masked him according to his fancy.

Soon after my arrival at the ball, I saw a figure strangely clad in long
flowing muslin, and with a headdress on which was fixed the horns of a
stag, so high that they became entangled in the chandelier.  Of course
everybody was much astonished at so strange a sight, and all thought that
that mask must be very sure of his wife to deck himself so.  Suddenly the
mask turned round and showed us M. de Luxembourg.  The burst of laughter
at this was scandalous.  Good M. de Luxembourg, who never was very
remarkable for wit, benignly took all this laughter as having been
excited simply by the singularity of his costume, and to the questions
addressed him, replied quite simply that his dress had been arranged by
M. le Prince; then, turning to the right and to the left, he admired
himself and strutted with pleasure at having been masked by M. le Prince.
In a moment more the ladies arrived, and the King immediately after them.
The laughter commenced anew as loudly as ever, and M. de Luxembourg
presented himself to the company with a confidence that was ravishing.
His wife had heard nothing of this masquerading, and when she saw it,
lost countenance, brazen as she was.  Everybody stared at her and her
husband, and seemed dying of laughter.  M. le Prince looked at the scene
from behind the King, and inwardly laughed at his malicious trick.  This
amusement lasted throughout all the ball, and the King, self-contained as
he usually was, laughed also; people were never tired of admiring an
invention so, cruelly ridiculous, and spoke of it for several days.

No evening passed on which there was not a ball.  The chancellor's wife
gave one which was a fete the most gallant and the most magnificent
possible.  There were different rooms for the fancy-dress ball, for the
masqueraders, for a superb collation, for shops of all countries,
Chinese, Japanese, &c., where many singular and beautiful things were
sold, but no money taken; they were presents for the Duchesse de
Bourgogne and the ladies.  Everybody was especially diverted at this
entertainment, which did not finish until eight o'clock in the morning.
Madame de Saint-Simon and I passed the last three weeks of this time
without ever seeing the day.  Certain dancers were only allowed to leave
off dancing at the same time as the Duchesse de Bourgogne.  One morning,
at Marty, wishing to escape too early, the Duchess caused me to be
forbidden to pass the doors of the salon; several of us had the same
fate.  I was delighted when Ash Wednesday arrived; and I remained a day
or two dead beat, and Madame de Saint-Simon could not get over Shrove

La Bourlie, brother of Guiscard, after having quitted the service, had
retired to his estate near Cevennes, where he led a life of much licence.
About this time a robbery was committed in his house; he suspected one of
the servants, and on his own authority put the man to the torture.  This
circumstance could not remain so secret but that complaints spread
abroad.  The offence was a capital one.  La Bourlie fled from the realm,
and did many strange things until his death, which was still more
strange; but of which it is not yet time to speak.

Madame la Duchesse, whose heavy tradesmen's debts the King had paid not
long since, had not dared to speak of her gambling debts, also very
heavy.  They increased, and, entirely unable to pay them, she found
herself in the greatest embarrassment.  She feared, above all things,
lest M. le Prince or M. le Duc should hear of this.  In this extremity
she addressed herself to Madame de Maintenon, laying bare the state of
her finances, without the slightest disguise.  Madame de Maintenon had
pity on her situation, and arranged that the King should pay her debts,
abstain from scolding her, and keep her secret.  Thus, in a few weeks,
Madame la Duchesse found herself free of debts, without anybody whom she
feared having known even of their existence.

Langlee was entrusted with the payment and arrangement of these debts.
He was a singular kind of man at the Court, and deserves a word.  Born of
obscure parents, who had enriched themselves, he had early been
introduced into the great world, and had devoted himself to play, gaining
an immense fortune; but without being accused of the least unfairness.
With but little or no wit, but much knowledge of the world, he had
succeeded in securing many friends, and in making his way at the Court.
He joined in all the King's parties, at the time of his mistresses.
Similarity of tastes attached Langlee to Monsieur, but he never lost
sight of the King.  At all the fetes Langlee was present, he took part in
the journeys, he was invited to Marly, was intimate with all the King's
mistresses; then with all the daughters of the King, with whom indeed he
was so familiar that he often spoke to them with the utmost freedom.  He
had become such a master of fashions and of fetes that none of the latter
were given, even by Princes of the blood, except under his directions;
and no houses were bought, built, furnished, or ornamented, without his
taste being consulted.  There were no marriages of which the dresses and
the presents were not chosen, or at least approved, by him.  He was on
intimate terms with the most distinguished people of the Court; and often
took improper advantage of his position.  To the daughters of the King
and to a number of female friends he said horribly filthy things, and
that too in their own houses, at St. Cloud or at Marly.  He was often
made a confidant in matters of gallantry, and continued to be made so all
his life.  For he was a sure man, had nothing disagreeable about him, was
obliging, always ready to serve others with his purse or his influence,
and was on bad terms with no one.

While everybody, during all this winter, was at balls and amusements,
the beautiful Madame de Soubise--for she was so still--employed herself
with more serious matters.  She had just bought, very cheap, the immense
Hotel de Guise, that the King assisted her to pay for.  Assisted also by
the King, she took steps to make her bastard son canon of Strasbourg;
intrigued so well that his birth was made to pass muster, although among
Germans there is a great horror of illegitimacy, and he was received into
the chapter.  This point gained, she laid her plans for carrying out
another, and a higher one, nothing less than that of making her son
Archbishop of Strasbourg.

But there was an obstacle, in the way.  This obstacle was the Abbe
d'Auvergne (nephew of Cardinal de Bouillon), who had the highest position
in the chapter, that of Grand Prevot, had been there much longer than the
Abbe de Soubise, was older, and of more consequence.  His reputation,
however, was against him; his habits were publicly known to be those of
the Greeks, whilst his intellect resembled theirs in no way.  By his
stupidity he published his bad conduct, his perfect ignorance, his
dissipation, his ambition; and to sustain himself he had only a low,
stinking, continual vanity, which drew upon him as much disdain as did
his habits, alienated him from all the world, and constantly subjected
him to ridicule.

The Abbe de Soubise had, on the contrary, everything smiling in his
favour, even his exterior, which showed that he was born of the tenderest
amours.  Upon the farms of the Sorbonne he had much distinguished
himself.  He had been made Prior of Sorbonne, and had shone conspicuously
in that position, gaining eulogies of the most flattering kind from
everybody, and highly pleasing the King.  After this, he entered the
seminary of Saint Magloire, then much in vogue, and gained the good
graces of the Archbishop of Paris, by whom that seminary was favoured.
On every side the Abbe de Soubise was regarded, either as a marvel of
learning, or a miracle of piety and purity of manners.  He had made
himself loved everywhere, and his gentleness, his politeness, his
intelligence, his graces, and his talent for securing friends, confirmed
more and more the reputation he had established.

The Abbe d'Auvergne had a relative, the Cardinal de Furstenberg, who also
had two nephews, canons of Strasbourg, and in a position to become
claimants to the bishopric.  Madame de Soubise rightly thought that her
first step must be to gain over the Cardinal to her side.  There was a
channel through which this could be done which at once suggested itself
to her mind.  Cardinal Furstenberg, it was said, had been much enamoured
of the Comtesse de La Marck, and had married her to one of his nephews,
in order that he might thus see her more easily.  It was also said that
he had been well treated, and it is certain that nothing was so striking
as the resemblance, feature for feature, of the Comte de La Marck to
Cardinal de Furstenberg.  If the Count was not the son of the Cardinal he
was nothing to him.  The attachment of Cardinal Furstenberg for the
Comtesse de La Marck did not abate when she became by her marriage
Comtesse de Furstenberg; indeed he could not exist without her; she lived
and reigned in his house.  Her son, the Comte de La Marck, lived there
also, and her dominion over the Cardinal was so public, that whoever had
affairs with him spoke to the Countess, if he wished to succeed.  She had
been very beautiful, and at fifty-two years of age, still showed it,
although tall, stout, and coarse featured as a Swiss guard in woman's
clothes.  She was, moreover, bold, audacious, talking loudly and always
with authority; was polished, however, and of good manners when she
pleased.  Being the most imperious woman in the world, the Cardinal was
fairly tied to her apron-strings, and scarcely dared to breathe in her
presence.  In dress and finery she spent like a prodigal, played every
night, and lost large sums, oftentimes staking her jewels and her various
ornaments.  She was a woman who loved herself alone, who wished for
everything, and who refused herself nothing, not even, it was said,
certain gallantries which the poor Cardinal was obliged to pay for, as
for everything else.  Her extravagance was such, that she was obliged to
pass six or seven months of the year in the country, in order to have
enough to spend in Paris during the remainder of the year.

It was to the Comtesse de Furstenberg, therefore, that Madame de Soubise
addressed herself in order to gain over the support of Cardinal de
Furstenberg, in behalf of her son.  Rumour said, and it was never
contradicted, that Madame de Soubise paid much money to the Cardinal
through the Countess, in order to carry this point.  It is certain that
in addition to the prodigious pensions the Cardinal drew from the King,
he touched at this time a gratification of forty thousand crowns, that it
was pretended had been long promised him.

Madame de Soubise having thus assured herself of the Countess and the
Cardinal (and they having been privately thanked by the King), she caused
an order to be sent to Cardinal de Bouillon, who was then at Rome,
requesting him to ask the Pope in the name of the King, for a bull
summoning the Chapter of Strasbourg to meet and elect a coadjutor and a
declaration of the eligibility of the Abbe de Soubise.

But here a new obstacle arose in the path of Madame de Soubise.  Cardinal
de Bouillon, a man of excessive pride and pretension, who upon reaching
Rome claimed to be addressed as "Most Eminent Highness," and obtaining
this title from nobody except his servants, set himself at loggerheads
with all the city--Cardinal de Bouillon, I say, was himself canon of
Strasbourg, and uncle of the Abbe d'Auvergne.  So anxious was the
Cardinal to secure the advancement of the Abbe d'Auvergne, that he had
already made a daring and fraudulent attempt to procure for him a
cardinalship.  But the false representations which he made in order to
carry his point, having been seen through, his attempt came to nothing,
and he himself lost all favour with the King for his deceit.  He,
however; hoped to make the Abbe d'Auvergne bishop of Strasbourg, and was
overpowered, therefore, when he saw this magnificent prey about to escape
him.  The news came upon him like a thunderbolt.  It was bad enough to
see his hopes trampled under foot; it was insupportable to be obliged to
aid in crushing them.  Vexation so transported and blinded him, that he
forgot the relative positions of himself and of Madame de Soubise, and
imagined that he should be able to make the King break a resolution he
had taken, and an engagement he had entered into.  He sent therefore, as
though he had been a great man, a letter to the King, telling him that he
had not thought sufficiently upon this matter, and raising scruples
against it.  At the same time he despatched a letter to the canons of
Strasbourg, full of gall and compliments, trying to persuade them that
the Abbe de Soubise was too young for the honour intended him, and
plainly intimating that the Cardinal de Furstenberg had been gained over
by a heavy bribe paid to the Comtesse de Furstenberg.  These letters.
made a terrible uproar.

I was at the palace on Tuesday, March 30th, and after supper I saw Madame
de Soubise arrive, leading the Comtesse de Furstenberg, both of whom
posted themselves at the door of the King's cabinet.  It was not that
Madame de Soubise had not the privilege of entering if she pleased, but
she preferred making her complaint as public as the charges made against
her by Cardinal de Bouillon had become.  I approached in order to witness
the scene.  Madame de Soubise appeared scarcely able to contain herself,
and the Countess seemed furious.  As the King passed, they stopped him.
Madame de Soubise said two words in a low tone.  The Countess in a louder
strain demanded justice against the Cardinal de Bouillon, who, she said,
not content in his pride and ambition with disregarding the orders of the
King, had calumniated her and Cardinal de Furstenberg in the most
atrocious manner, and had not even spared Madame de Soubise herself.  The
King replied to her with much politeness, assured her she should be
contented, and passed on.

Madame de Soubise was so much the more piqued because Cardinal de
Bouillon had acquainted the King with the simony she had committed,
and assuredly if he had not been ignorant of this he would never have
supported her in the affair.  She hastened therefore to secure the
success of her son, and was so well served by the whispered authority of
the King, and the money she had spent, that the Abbe de Soubise was
elected by unanimity Coadjutor of Strasbourg.

As for the Cardinal de Bouillon, foiled in all his attempts to prevent
the election, he wrote a second letter to the King, more foolish than the
first.  This filled the cup to overflowing.  For reply, he received
orders, by a courier, to quit Rome immediately and to retire to Cluni or
to Tournus, at his choice, until further orders.  This order appeared so
cruel to him that he could not make up his mind to obey.  He was
underdoyen of the sacred college.  Cibo, the doyen, was no longer able to
leave his bed.  To become doyen, it was necessary to be in Rome when the
appointment became vacant.  Cardinal de Bouillon wrote therefore to the
King, begging to be allowed to stay a short time, in order to pray the
Pope to set aside this rule, and give him permission to succeed to the
doyenship, even although absent from Rome when it became vacant.  He knew
he should not obtain this permission, but he asked for it in order to
gain time, hoping that in the meanwhile Cardinal Cibo might die, or even
the Pope himself, whose health had been threatened with ruin for some
time.  This request of the Cardinal de Bouillon was refused.  There
seemed nothing for him but to comply with the orders he had received.
But he had evaded them so long that he thought he might continue to do
so.  He wrote to Pere la Chaise, begging him to ask the King for
permission to remain at Rome until the death of Cardinal Cibo, adding
that he would wait for a reply at Caprarole, a magnificent house of the
Duke of Parma, at eight leagues from Rome.  He addressed himself to Pere
la Chaise, because M. de Torcy, to whom he had previously written, had
been forbidden to open his letters, and had sent him word to that effect.
Having, too, been always on the best of terms with the Jesuits, he hoped
for good assistance from Pere la Chaise.  But he found this door closed
like that of M. de Torcy.  Pere la Chaise wrote to Cardinal de Bouillon
that he too was prohibited from opening his letters.  At the same time a
new order was sent to the Cardinal to set out immediately.  Just after he
had read it Cardinal Cibo died, and the Cardinal de Bouillon hastened at
once to Rome to secure the doyenship, writing to the King to say that he
had done so, that he would depart in twenty-four hours, and expressing a
hope that this delay would not be refused him.  This was laughing at the
King and his orders, and becoming doyen in spite of him.  The King,
therefore, displayed his anger immediately he learnt this last act of
disobedience.  He sent word immediately to M. de Monaco to command the
Cardinal de Bouillon to surrender his charge of grand chaplain, to give
up his cordon bleu, and to take down the arms of France from the door of
his palace; M. de Monaco was also ordered to prohibit all French people
in Rome from seeing Cardinal de Bouillon, or from having any
communication with him.  M. de Monaco, who hated the Cardinal, hastened
willingly to obey these instructions.  The Cardinal appeared overwhelmed,
but he did not even then give in.  He pretended that his charge of grand
chaplain was a crown office, of which he could not be dispossessed,
without resigning.  The King, out of all patience with a disobedience so
stubborn and so marked, ordered, by a decree in council, on the 12th
September, the seizure of all the Cardinal's estates, laical and
ecclesiastical, the latter to be confiscated to the state, the former to
be divided into three portions, and applied to various uses.  The same
day the charge of grand chaplain was given to Cardinal Coislin, and that
of chief chaplain to the Bishop of Metz.  The despair of the Cardinal
de Bouillon, on hearing of this decree, was extreme.  Pride had hitherto
hindered him from believing that matters would be pushed so far against
him.  He sent in his resignation only when it was no longer needed of
him.  His order he would not give up.  M. de Monaco warned him that,
in case of refusal, he had orders to snatch it from his neck.  Upon this
the Cardinal saw the folly of holding out against the orders of the King.
He quitted then the marks of the order, but he was pitiful enough to wear
a narrow blue ribbon, with a cross of gold attached, under his cassock,
and tried from time to time to show a little of the blue.  A short time
afterwards, to make the best of a bad bargain, he tried to persuade
himself and others, that no cardinal was at liberty to wear the orders of
any prince.  But it was rather late in the day to think of this, after
having worn the order of the King for thirty years, as grand chaplain;
and everybody thought so, and laughed at the idea.


Chateauneuf, Secretary of State, died about this time.  He had asked that
his son, La Vrilliere, might be allowed to succeed him, and was much
vexed that the King refused this favour.  The news of Chateauneuf's death
was brought to La Vrilliere by a courier, at five o'clock in the morning.
He did not lose his wits at the news, but at once sent and woke up the
Princesse d'Harcourt, and begged her to come and see him instantly.
Opening his purse, he prayed her to go and see Madame de Maintenon as
soon as she got up, and propose his marriage with Mademoiselle de Mailly,
whom he would take without dowry, if the King gave him his father's
appointments.  The Princesse d'Harcourt, whose habit it was to accept any
sum, from a crown upwards, willingly undertook this strange business.
She went upon her errand immediately, and then repaired to Madame de
Mailly, who without property, and burdened with a troop of children--sons
and daughters, was in no way averse to the marriage.

The King, upon getting up, was duly made acquainted with La Vrilliere's
proposal, and at once agreed to it.  There was only one person opposed to
the marriage, and that was Mademoiselle de Mailly.  She was not quite
twelve years of age.  She burst out a-crying, and declared she was very
unhappy, that she would not mind marrying a poor man, if necessary,
provided he was a gentleman, but that to marry a paltry bourgeois, in
order to make his fortune, was odious to her.  She was furious against
her mother and against Madame de Maintenon.  She could not be kept quiet
or appeased, or hindered from making grimaces at La Vrilliere and all his
family, who came to see her and her mother.

They felt it; but the bargain was made, and was too good to be broken.
They thought Mademoiselle de Mailly's annoyance would pass with her
youth--but they were mistaken.  Mademoiselle de Mailly always was sore at
having been made Madame de la Vrilliere, and people often observed it.

At the marriage of Monseigneur the Duc de Bourgogne, the King had offered
to augment considerably his monthly income.  The young Prince, who found
it sufficient, replied with thanks, and said that if money failed him at
any time he would take the liberty, of asking the King for more.  Finding
himself short just now, he was as good as his word.  The King praised him
highly, and told him to ask whenever he wanted money, not through a third
person, but direct, as he had done in this instance.  The King, moreover,
told the Duc de Bourgogne to play without fear, for it was of no
consequence how much such persons as he might lose.  The King was pleased
with confidence, but liked not less to see himself feared; and when timid
people who spoke to him discovered themselves, and grew embarrassed in
their discourse, nothing better made their court, or advanced their

The Archbishop of Rheims presided this year over the assembly of the
clergy, which was held every five years.  It took place on this occasion
at Saint Germains, although the King of England occupied the chateau.  M.
de Rheims kept open table there, and had some champagne that was much
vaunted.  The King of England, who drank scarcely any other wine, heard
of this and asked for some.  The Archbishop sent him six bottles.  Some
time after, the King of England, who had much relished the wine, sent and
asked for more.  The Archbishop, more sparing of his wine than of his
money, bluntly sent word that his wine was not mad, and did not run
through the streets; and sent none.  However accustomed people might be
to the rudeness of the Archbishop, this appeared so strange that it was
much spoken of: but that was all.

M. de Vendome took another public leave of the King, the Princes, and the
Princesses, in order to place himself again under the doctor's hands.
He perceived at last that he was not cured, and that it would be long
before he was; so went to Anet to try and recover his health, but without
success better than before.  He brought back a face upon which his state
was still more plainly printed than at first.  Madame d'Uzes, only
daughter of the Prince de Monaco, died of this disease.  She was a woman
of merit--very virtuous and unhappy--who merited a better fate.
M. d'Uzes was an obscure man, who frequented the lowest society, and
suffered less from its effects than his wife, who was much pitied and
regretted.  Her children perished of the same disease, and she left none
behind her.--[Syphilis.  D.W.]

Soon after this the King ordered the Comtes d'Uzes and d'Albert to go to
the Conciergerie for having fought a duel against the Comtes de Rontzau,
a Dane, and Schwartzenberg, an Austrian.  Uzes gave himself up, but the
Comte d'Albert did not do so for a long Time, and was broken for his
disobedience.  He had been on more than good terms with Madame de
Luxembourg--the Comte de Rontzau also: hence the quarrel; the cause of
which was known by everybody, and made a great stir.  Everybody knew it,
at least, except M. de Luxembourg, and said nothing, but was glad of it;
and yet in every direction he asked the reason; but, as may be imagined,
could find nobody to tell him, so that he went over and over again to M.
le Prince de Conti, his most intimate friend, praying him for information
upon the subject.  M. de Conti related to me that on one occasion, coming
from Meudon, he was so solicited by M. de Luxembourg on this account,
that he was completely embarrassed, and never suffered to such an extent
in all his life.  He contrived to put off M. de Luxembourg, and said
nothing, but was glad indeed to get away from him at the end of the

Le Notre died about this time, after having been eighty-eight years in
perfect health, and with all his faculties and good taste to the very
last.  He was illustrious, as having been the first designer of those
beautiful gardens which adorn France, and which, indeed, have so
surpassed the gardens of Italy, that the most famous masters of that
country come here to admire and learn.  Le Notre had a probity, an
exactitude, and an uprightness which made him esteemed and loved by
everybody.  He never forgot his position, and was always perfectly
disinterested.  He worked for private people as for the King, and with
the same application--seeking only to aid nature, and to attain the
beautiful by the shortest road.  He was of a charming simplicity and
truthfulness.  The Pope, upon one occasion, begged the King to lend him
Le Notre for some months.  On entering the Pope's chamber, instead of
going down upon his knees, Le Notre ran to the Holy Father, clasped him
round the neck, kissed him on the two cheeks, and said--"Good morning,
Reverend Father; how well you look, and how glad I am to see you in such
good health."

The Pope, who was Clement X., Altieri, burst out laughing with all his
might.  He was delighted with this odd salutation, and showed his
friendship towards the gardener in a thousand ways.  Upon Le Notre's
return, the King led him into the gardens of Versailles, and showed him
what had been done in his absence.  About the Colonnade he said nothing.
The King pressed him to give his opinion thereupon.

"Why, sire," said Le Notre, "what can I say?  Of a mason you have made a
gardener, and he has given you a sample of his trade."

The King kept silence and everybody laughed; and it was true that this
morsel of architecture, which was anything but a fountain, and yet which
was intended to be one, was much out of place in a garden.  A month
before Le Notre's death, the King, who liked to see him and to make him
talk, led him into the gardens, and on account of his great age, placed
him in a wheeled chair, by the side of his own.  Upon this Le Notre said,
"Ah, my poor father, if you were living and could see a simple gardener
like me, your son, wheeled along in a chair by the side of the greatest
King in the world, nothing would be wanting to my joy!"

Le Notre was Overseer of the Public Buildings, and lodged at the
Tuileries, the garden of which (his design), together with the Palace,
being under his charge.  All that he did is still much superior to
everything that has been done since, whatever care may have been taken to
imitate and follow him as closely as possible.  He used to say of flower-
beds that they were only good for nurses, who, not being able to quit the
children, walked on them with their eyes, and admired them from the
second floor.  He excelled, nevertheless, in flowerbeds, as in everything
concerning gardens; but he made little account of them, and he was right,
for they are the spots upon which people never walk.

The King of England (William III.) lost the Duke of Gloucester, heir-
presumptive to the crown.  He was eleven years of age, and was the only
son of the Princess of Denmark, sister of the defunct Queen Mary, wife of
William.  His preceptor was Doctor Burnet, Bishop of Salisbury, who was
in the secret of the invasion, and who passed into England with the
Prince of Orange at the Revolution, of which Revolution he has left a
very fraudulent history, and many other works of as little truth and good
faith.  The underpreceptor was the famous Vassor, author of the "History
of Louis XIII.,"  which would be read with more pleasure if there were
less spite against the Catholic religion, and less passion against the
King.  With those exceptions it is excellent and true.  Vassor must have
been singularly well informed of the anecdotes that he relates, and which
escape almost all historians.  I have found there, for instance, the Day
of the Dupes related precisely as my father has related it to me, and
several other curious things not less exact.  This author has made such a
stir that it is worth while to say something about him.  He was a priest
of the Oratory, and in much estimation as a man whose manners were
without reproach.  After a time, however, he was found to have disclosed
a secret that had been entrusted to him, and to have acted the spy on
behalf of the Jesuits.  The proofs of his treason were found upon his
table, and were so conclusive that there was nothing for him but to leave
the Oratory.  He did so, and being deserted by his Jesuit employers,
threw himself into La Trappe.  But he did not enter the place in a proper
spirit, and in a few days withdrew.  After this he went to the Abbey of
Perseigne, hired a lodging there, and remained several months.  But he
was continually at loggerheads with the monks.  Their garden was separate
from his only by a thick hedge; their fowls could jump over it.  He laid
the blame upon the monks, and one day caught as many of their fowls as he
could; cut off their beaks and their spurs with a cleaver, and threw them
back again over the hedge.  This was cruelty so marked that I could not
refrain from relating it.

Vassor did not long remain in this retreat, but returned to Paris, and
still being unable to gain a living, passed into Holland, from rage and
hunger became a Protestant, and set himself to work to live by his pen.
His knowledge, talent, and intelligence procured him many friends, and
his reputation reached England, into which country he passed, hoping to
gain there more fortune than in Holland.  Burnet received him with open
arms, and obtained for him the post of under-preceptor to the Duke of
Gloucester.  It would have been difficult to have found two instructors
so opposed to the Catholics and to France, or so well suited to the King
as teachers of his successor.

Among so many things which paved the way for the greatest events, a very
strange one happened, which from its singularity merits a short recital.
For many years the Comtesse de Verrue lived at Turin, mistress, publicly,
of M. de Savoie.  The Comtesse de Verrue was daughter of the Duc de
Luynes, and had been married in Piedmont, when she was only fourteen
years of age, to the Comte de Verrue, young, handsome, rich, and honest;
whose mother was lady of honour to Madame de Savoie.

M. de Savoie often met the Comtesse de Verrue, and soon found her much to
his taste.  She saw this, and said so to her husband and her mother-in-
law.  They praised her, but took no further notice of the matter.  M. de
Savoie redoubled his attentions, and, contrary to his usual custom, gave
fetes, which the Comtesse de Verrue felt were for her.  She did all she
could not to attend them, but her mother-in-law quarrelled with her, said
she wished to play the important, and that it was her vanity which gave
her these ideas.  Her husband, more gentle, desired her to attend these
fetes, saying that even if M. de Savoie were really in love with her, it
would not do to fail in anything towards him.  Soon after M. de Savoie
spoke to the Comtesse de Verrue.  She told her husband and her mother-in-
law, and used every entreaty in order to prevail upon them to let her go
and pass some time in the country.  They would not listen to her, and
seeing no other course open, she feigned to be ill, and had herself sent
to the waters of Bourbon.  She wrote to her father, the Duc de Luynes, to
meet her there, and set out under the charge of the Abbe de Verrue; uncle
of her husband.  As soon as the Duc de Luynes arrived at Bourbon, and
became acquainted with the danger which threatened his daughter; he
conferred with the Abbe as to the best course to adopt, and agreed with
him that the Countess should remain away from Turin some time, in order
that M. de Savoie might get cured of his passion.  M. de Luynes little
thought that he had conferred with a wolf who wished to carry off his
lamb.  The Abbe de Verrue, it seems, was himself violently in love with
the Countess, and directly her father had gone declared the state of his
heart.  Finding himself only repulsed, the miserable old man turned his
love into hate; ill-treated the Countess, and upon her return to Turin,
lost no opportunity of injuring her in the eyes of her husband and her

The Comtesse de Verrue suffered this for some time, but at last her
virtue yielded to the bad treatment she received.  She listened to M. de
Savoie, and delivered herself up to him in order to free herself from
persecution.  Is not this a real romance?  But it happened in our own
time, under the eyes and to the knowledge of everybody.

When the truth became known, the Verrues were in despair, although they
had only themselves to blame for what had happened.  Soon the new
mistress ruled all the Court of Savoy, whose sovereign was at her feet as
before a goddess.  She disposed of the favours of her lover, and was
feared and courted by the ministry.  Her haughtiness made her hated; she
was poisoned; M. de Savoie gave her a subtle antidote, which fortunately
cured her, and without injury to her beauty.  Her reign still lasted.
After a while she had the small-pox.  M. de Savoie tended her during this
illness, as though he had been a nurse; and although her face suffered a
little by it, he loved her not the less.  But he loved her after his own
fashion.  He kept her shut up from view, and at last she grew so tired of
her restraint that she determined to fly.  She conferred with her
brother, the Chevalier de Luynes, who served with much distinction in the
navy, and together they arranged the matter.

They seized an opportunity when M. de Savoie had gone on a tour to
Chambery, and departed furtively.  Crossing our frontier, they arrived m
Paris, where the Comtesse de Verrue, who had grown very rich, took a
house, and by degrees succeeded in getting people to come and see her,
though, at first, owing to the scandal of her life, this was difficult.
In the end, her opulence gained her a large number of friends, and she
availed herself so well of her opportunities, that she became of much
importance, and influenced strongly the government.  But that time goes
beyond my memoirs.  She left in Turin a son and a daughter, both
recognised by M. de Savoie, after the manner of our King.  He loved
passionately these, illegitimate children, and married the daughter to
the Prince de Carignan.

Mademoiselle de Conde died at Paris on October 24th, after a long
illness, from a disease in the chest, which consumed her less than the
torments she experienced without end from M. le Prince, her father, whose
continual caprices were the plague of all those over whom he could
exercise them.  Almost all the children of M. le Prince were little
bigger than dwarfs, which caused M. le Prince, who was tall, to say in
pleasantry, that if his race went on always thus diminishing it would
come to nothing.  People attributed the cause to a dwarf that Madame la
Princesse had had for a long time near her.

At the funeral of Mademoiselle de Conde, a very indecorous incident
happened.  My mother, who was invited to take part in the ceremony, went
to the Hotel de Conde, in a coach and six horses, to join Mademoiselle
d'Enghien.  When the procession was about to start the Duchesse de
Chatillon tried to take precedence of my mother.  But my mother called
upon Mademoiselle d'Enghien to prevent this, or else to allow her to
return.  Madame de Chatillon persisted in her attempt, saying that
relationship decided the question of precedence on these occasions, and
that she was a nearer relative to the deceased than my mother.  My
mother, in a cold but haughty tone, replied that she could pardon this
mistake on account of the youth and ignorance of Madame de Chatillon; but
that in all such cases it was rank and not relationship which decided the
point.  The dispute was at last put to an end by Madame de Chatillon
giving way.  But when the procession started an attempt was made by her
coachman to drive before the coach of my mother, and one of the company
had to descend and decide the dispute.  On the morrow M. le Prince sent
to apologise to my mother for the occurrence that had taken place, and
came himself shortly afterwards full of compliments and excuses.  I never
could understand what induced Madame de Chatillon to take this fancy into
her head; but she was much ashamed of it afterwards, and made many
excuses to my mother.

I experienced, shortly after this, at Fontainebleau, one of the greatest
afflictions I had ever endured.  I mean the loss of M. de La Trappe,
These Memoirs are too profane to treat slightly of a life so sublimely
holy, and of a death so glorious and precious before God.  I will content
myself with saying here that praises of M. de La Trappe were so much the
more great and prolonged because the King eulogised him in public; that
he wished to see narrations of his death; and that he spoke more than
once of it to his grandsons by way of instruction.  In every part of
Europe this great loss was severely felt.  The Church wept for him, and
the world even rendered him justice.  His death, so happy for him and so
sad for his friends, happened on the 26th of October, towards half-past
twelve, in the arms of his bishop, and in presence of his community, at
the age of nearly seventy-seven years, and after nearly forty years of
the most prodigious penance.  I cannot omit, however, the most touching
and the most honourable mark of his friendship.  Lying upon the ground,
on straw and ashes, in order to die like all the brethren of La Trappe,
he deigned, of his own accord, to recollect me, and charged the Abbe La
Trappe to send word to me, on his part, that as he was quite sure of my
affection for him, he reckoned that I should not doubt of his tenderness
for me.  I check myself at this point; everything I could add would be
too much out of place here.



For the last two or three years the King of Spain had been in very weak
health, and in danger of his life several times.  He had no children, and
no hope of having any.  The question, therefore, of the succession to his
vast empire began now to agitate every European Court.  The King of
England (William III.), who since his usurpation had much augmented his
credit by the grand alliance he had formed against France, and of which
he had been the soul and the chief up to the Peace of Ryswick, undertook
to arrange this question in a manner that should prevent war when the
King of Spain died.  His plan was to give Spain, the Indies, the Low
Countries, and the title of King of Spain to the Archduke, second son of
the Emperor; Guipuscoa, Naples, Sicily, and Lorraine to France; and the
Milanese to M. de Lorraine, as compensation for taking away from him his

The King of England made this proposition first of all to our King; who,
tired of war, and anxious for repose, as was natural at his age, made few
difficulties, and soon accepted.  M. de Lorraine was not in a position to
refuse his consent to a change recommended by England, France, and
Holland.  Thus much being settled, the Emperor was next applied to.  But
he was not so easy to persuade: he wished to inherit the entire
succession, and would not brook the idea of seeing the House of Austria
driven from Italy, as it would have been if the King of England's
proposal had been carried out.  He therefore declared it was altogether
unheard of and unnatural to divide a succession under such circumstances,
and that he would hear nothing upon the subject until after the death of
the King of Spain.  The resistance he made caused the whole scheme to
come to the ears of the King of Spain, instead of remaining a secret, as
was intended.

The King of Spain made a great stir in consequence of what had taken
place, as though the project had been formed to strip him, during his
lifetime, of his realm.  His ambassador in England spoke so insolently
that he was ordered to leave the country by William, and retired to
Flanders.  The Emperor, who did not wish to quarrel with England,
intervened at this point, and brought about a reconciliation between the
two powers.  The Spanish ambassador returned to London.

The Emperor next endeavoured to strengthen his party in Spain.  The
reigning Queen was his sister-in-law and was all-powerful.  Such of the
nobility and of the ministers who would not bend before her she caused to
be dismissed; and none were favoured by her who were not partisans of the
House of Austria.  The Emperor had, therefore, a powerful ally at the
Court of Madrid to aid him in carrying out his plans; and the King was so
much in his favour, that he had made a will bequeathing his succession to
the Archduke.  Everything therefore seemed to promise success to the

But just at this time, a small party arose in Spain, equally opposed to
the Emperor, and to the propositions of the King of England.  This party
consisted at first of only five persons: namely, Villafranca, Medina-
Sidonia, Villagarcias, Villena, and San Estevan, all of them nobles, and
well instructed in the affairs of government.  Their wish was to prevent
the dismemberment of the Spanish kingdom by conferring the whole
succession upon the son of the only son of the Queen of France, Maria
Theresa, sister of the King of Spain.  There were, however, two great
obstacles in their path.  Maria Theresa, upon her marriage with our King,
had solemnly renounced all claim to the Spanish throne, and these
renunciations had been repeated at the Peace of the Pyrenees.  The other
obstacle was the affection the King of Spain bore to the House of
Austria,--an affection which naturally would render him opposed to any
project by which a rival house would be aggrandised at its expense.

As to the first obstacle, these politicians were of opinion that the
renunciations made by Maria Theresa held good only as far as they applied
to the object for which they were made.  That object was to prevent the
crowns of France and Spain from being united upon one head, as might have
happened in the person of the Dauphin.  But now that the Dauphin had
three sons, the second of whom could be called to the throne of Spain,
the renunciations of the Queen became of no import.  As to the second
obstacle, it was only to be removed by great perseverance and exertions;
but they determined to leave no stone unturned to achieve their ends.

One of the first resolutions of this little party was to bind one another
to secrecy.  Their next was to admit into their confidence Cardinal
Portocarrero, a determined enemy to the Queen.  Then they commenced an
attack upon the Queen in the council; and being supported by the popular
voice, succeeded in driving out of the country Madame Berlips, a German
favourite of hers, who was much hated on account of the undue influence
she exerted, and the rapacity she displayed.  The next measure was of
equal importance.  Madrid and its environs groaned under the weight of
a regiment of Germans commanded by the Prince of Darmstadt.  The council
decreed that this regiment should be disbanded, and the Prince thanked
for his assistance.  These two blows following upon each other so
closely, frightened the Queen, isolated her, and put it out of her power
to act during the rest of the life of the King.

There was yet one of the preliminary steps to take, without which it was
thought that success would not be certain.  This was to dismiss the
King's Confessor, who had been given to him by the Queen, and who was a
zealous Austrian.

Cardinal Portocarrero was charged with this duty, and he succeeded so
well, that two birds were killed with one stone.  The Confessor was
dismissed, and another was put in his place, who could be relied upon to
do and say exactly as he was requested.  Thus, the King of Spain was
influenced in his conscience, which had over him so much the more power,
because he was beginning to look upon the things of this world by the
glare of that terrible flambeau that is lighted for the dying.  The
Confessor and the Cardinal, after a short time, began unceasingly to
attack the King upon the subject of the succession.  The King, enfeebled
by illness, and by a lifetime of weak health, had little power of
resistance.  Pressed by the many temporal, and affrighted by the many
spiritual reasons which were brought forward by the two ecclesiastics,
with no friend near whose opinion he could consult, no Austrian at hand
to confer with, and no Spaniard who was not opposed to Austria;--the King
fell into a profound perplexity, and in this strait, proposed to consult
the Pope, as an authority whose decision would be infallible.  The
Cardinal, who felt persuaded that the Pope was sufficiently enlightened
and sufficiently impartial to declare in favour of France, assented to
this step; and the King of Spain accordingly wrote a long letter to Rome,
feeling much relieved by the course he had adopted.

The Pope replied at once and in the most decided manner.  He said he saw
clearly that the children of the Dauphin were the next heirs to the
Spanish throne, and that the House of Austria had not the smallest right
to it.  He recommended therefore the King of Spain to render justice to
whom justice was due, and to assign the succession of his monarchy to a
son of France.  This reply, and the letter which had given rise to it,
were kept so profoundly secret that they were not known in Spain until
after the King's death.

Directly the Pope's answer had been received the King was pressed to make
a fresh will, and to destroy that which he had previously made in favour
of the Archduke.  The new will accordingly was at once drawn up and
signed; and the old one burned in the presence, of several witnesses.
Matters having arrived at this point, it was thought opportune to admit
others to the knowledge of what had taken place.  The council of state,
consisting of eight members, four of whom were already in the secret, was
made acquainted with the movements of the new party; and, after a little
hesitation, were gained over.

The King, meantime, was drawing near to his end.  A few days after he had
signed the new will he was at the last extremity, and in a few days more
he died.  In his last moments the Queen had been kept from him as much as
possible, and was unable in any way to interfere with the plans that had
been so deeply laid.  As soon as the King was dead the first thing to be
done was to open his will.  The council of state assembled for that
purpose, and all the grandees of Spain who were in the capital took part
in it, The singularity and the importance of such an event, interesting
many millions of men, drew all Madrid to the palace, and the rooms
adjoining that in which the council assembled were filled to suffocation.
All the foreign ministers besieged the door.  Every one sought to be the
first to know the choice of the King who had just died, in order to be
the first to inform his court.  Blecourt, our ambassador, was there with
the others, without knowing more than they; and Count d'Harrach,
ambassador from the Emperor, who counted upon the will in favour of the
Archduke, was there also, with a triumphant look, just opposite the door,
and close by it.

At last the door opened, and immediately closed again.  The Duc
d'Abrantes, a man of much wit and humour, but not to be trifled with,
came out.  He wished to have the pleasure of announcing upon whom the
successorship had fallen, and was surrounded as soon as he appeared.
Keeping silence, and turning his eyes on all sides, he fixed them for a
moment on Blecourt, then looked in another direction, as if seeking some
one else.  Blecourt interpreted this action as a bad omen.  The Duc
d'Abrantes feigning at last to discover the Count d'Harrach, assumed a
gratified look, flew to him, embraced him, and said aloud in Spanish,
"Sir, it is with much pleasure;" then pausing, as though to embrace him
better, he added: "Yes, sir, it is with an extreme joy that for all my
life," here the embraces were redoubled as an excuse for a second pause,
after which he went on--"and with the greatest contentment that I part
from you, and take leave of the very august House of Austria."  So saying
he clove the crowd, and every one ran after him to know the name of the
real heir.

The astonishment and indignation of Count d'Harrach disabled him from
speaking, but showed themselves upon his face in all their extent.  He
remained motionless some moments, and then went away in the greatest
confusion at the manner in which he had been duped.

Blecourt, on the other hand, ran home without asking other information,
and at once despatched to the King a courier, who fell ill at Bayonne,
and was replaced by one named by Harcourt, then at Bayonne getting ready
for the occupation of Guipuscoa.  The news arrived at Court
(Fontainebleau) in the month of November.  The King was going out
shooting that day; but, upon learning what had taken place, at once
countermanded the sport, announced the death of the King of Spain, and at
three o'clock held a council of the ministers in the apartments of Madame
de Maintenon.  This council lasted until past seven o'clock in the
evening.  Monseigneur, who had been out wolf-hunting, returned in time to
attend it.  On the next morning, Wednesday, another council was held, and
in the evening a third, in the apartments of Madame de Maintenon.
However accustomed persons were at the Court to the favour Madame de
Maintenon enjoyed there, they were extremely surprised to see two
councils assembled in her rooms for the greatest and most important
deliberation that had taken place during this long reign, or indeed
during many others.

The King, Monseigneur, the Chancellor, the Duc de Brinvilliers, Torcy,
and Madame de Maintenon, were the only persons who deliberated upon this
affair.  Madame de Maintenon preserved at first a modest silence; but the
King forced her to give her opinion after everybody had spoken except
herself.  The council was divided.  Two were for keeping to the treaty
that had been signed with King William, two for accepting the will.
Monseigneur, drowned as he was in fat and sloth, appeared in quite
another character from his usual ones at these councils.  To the great
surprise of the King and his assistants, when it was his turn to speak he
expressed himself with force in favour of accepting the testament.  Then,
turning towards the King in a respectful but firm manner, he said that he
took the liberty of asking for his inheritance, that the monarchy of
Spain belonged to the Queen his mother, and consequently to him; that he
surrendered it willingly to his second son for the tranquillity of
Europe; but that to none other would he yield an inch of ground.  These
words, spoken with an inflamed countenance, caused excessive surprise,
The King listened very attentively, and then said to Madame de Maintenon,
"And you, Madame, what do you think upon all this?"  She began by
affecting modesty; but pressed, and even commanded to speak, she
expressed herself with becoming confusion; briefly sang the praises of
Monseigneur, whom she feared and liked but little--sentiments perfectly
reciprocated--and at last was for accepting the will.

[Illustration: Madame Maintenon In Conferance--Painted by Sir John

The King did not yet declare himself.  He said that the affair might well
be allowed to sleep for four-and-twenty hours, in order that they might
ascertain if the Spaniards approved the choice of their King.  He
dismissed the council, but ordered it to meet again the next evening at
the same hour and place.  Next day, several couriers arrived from Spain,
and the news they brought left no doubt upon the King's mind as to the
wishes of the Spanish nobles and people upon the subject of the will.
When therefore the council reassembled in the apartments of Madame de
Maintenon, the King, after fully discussing the matter, resolved to
accept the will.

At the first receipt of the news the King and his ministers had been
overwhelmed with a surprise that they could not recover from for several
days.  When the news was spread abroad, the Court was equally surprised.
The foreign ministers passed whole nights deliberating upon the course
the King would adopt.  Nothing else was spoken of but this matter.  The
King one evening, to divert himself, asked the princesses their opinion.
They replied that he should send M. le Duc d'Anjou (the second son of
Monseigneur), into Spain, and that this was the general sentiment.
"I am sure," replied the King, "that whatever course I adopt many people
will condemn me."

At last, on Tuesday, the 16th of November, the King publicly declared
himself.  The Spanish ambassador had received intelligence which proved
the eagerness of Spain to welcome the Duc d'Anjou as its King.  There
seemed to be no doubt of the matter.  The King, immediately after getting
up, called the ambassador into his cabinet, where M. le Duc d'Anjou had
already arrived.  Then, pointing to the Duke, he told the ambassador he
might salute him as King of Spain.  The ambassador threw himself upon his
knees after the fashion of his country, and addressed to the Duke a
tolerably long compliment in the Spanish language.  Immediately
afterwards, the King, contrary to all custom, opened the two folding
doors of his cabinet, and commanded everybody to enter.  It was a very
full Court that day.  The King, majestically turning his eyes towards the
numerous company, and showing them M. le Duc d'Anjou said--"Gentlemen,
behold the King of Spain.  His birth called him to that crown: the late
King also has called him to it by his will; the whole nation wished for
him, and has asked me for him eagerly; it is the will of heaven: I have
obeyed it with pleasure."  And then, turning towards his grandson, he
said, "Be a good Spaniard, that is your first duty; but remember that you
are a Frenchman born, in order that the union between the two nations may
be preserved; it will be the means of rendering both happy, and of
preserving the peace of Europe."  Pointing afterwards with his finger to
the Duc d'Anjou, to indicate him to the ambassador, the King added, "If
he follows my counsels you will be a grandee, and soon; he cannot do
better than follow your advice."

When the hubbub of the courtiers had subsided, the two other sons of
France, brothers of M. d'Anjou, arrived, and all three embraced one
another tenderly several times, with tears in their eyes.  The ambassador
of the Emperor immediately entered, little suspecting what had taken
place, and was confounded when he learned the news.  The King afterwards
went to mass, during which at his right hand was the new King of Spain,
who during the rest of his stay in France, was publicly treated in every
respect as a sovereign, by the King and all the Court.

The joy of Monseigneur at all this was very great.  He seemed beside
himself, and continually repeated that no man had ever found himself in a
condition to say as he could, "The King my father, and the King my son."
If he had known the prophecy which from his birth had been said of him,
"A King's son, a King's father, and never a King," which everybody had
heard repeated a thousand times, I think he would not have so much
rejoiced, however vain may be such prophecies.  The King himself was so
overcome, that at supper he turned to the Spanish ambassador and said
that the whole affair seemed to him like a dream.  In public, as I have
observed, the new King of Spain was treated in every respect as a
sovereign, but in private he was still the Duc d'Anjou.  He passed his
evenings in the apartments of Madame de Maintenon, where he played at all
sorts of children's games, scampering to and fro with Messeigneurs his
brothers, with Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne, and with the few ladies
to whom access was permitted.

On Friday, the 19th of November, the new King of Spain put on mourning.
Two days after, the King did the same.  On Monday, the 22nd, letters were
received from the Elector of Bavaria, stating that the King of Spain had
been proclaimed at Brussels with much rejoicing and illuminations.  On
Sunday, the 28th, M. Vaudemont, governor of the Milanese, sent word that
he had been proclaimed in that territory, and with the same
demonstrations of joy as at Brussels.

On Saturday, the 4th of December, the King of Spain set out for his
dominions.  The King rode with him in his coach as far as Sceaux,
surrounded in pomp by many more guards than usual, gendarmes and light
horse, all the road covered with coaches and people; and Sceaux, where
they arrived a little after midday, full of ladies and courtiers, guarded
by two companies of Musketeers.  There was a good deal of leave-taking,
and all the family was collected alone in the last room of the apartment;
but as the doors were left open, the tears they shed so bitterly could be
seen.  In presenting the King of Spain to the Princes of the blood, the
King said--"Behold the Princes of my blood and of yours; the two nations
from this time ought to regard themselves as one nation; they ought to
have the same interests; therefore I wish these Princes to be attached to
you as to me; you cannot have friends more faithful or more certain."
All this lasted a good hour and a half.  But the time of separation at
last came.  The King conducted the King of Spain to the end of the
apartment, and embraced him several times, holding him a long while in.
his arms.  Monseigneur did the same.  The spectacle was extremely

The King returned into the palace for some time, in order to recover
himself.  Monseigneur got into a caleche alone, and went to Meudon; and
the King of Spain, with his brother, M. de Noailles, and a large number
of courtiers, set out on his journey.  The King gave to his grandson
twenty-one purses of a thousand louis each, for pocket-money, and much
money besides for presents.  Let us leave them on their journey, and
admire the Providence which sports with the thoughts of men and disposes
of states.  What would have said Ferdinand and Isabella, Charles V.  and
Philip II., who so many times attempted to conquer France, and who have
been so frequently accused of aspiring to universal monarchy, and Philip
IV., even, with all his precautions at the marriage of the King and at
the Peace of the Pyrenees,--what would they have said, to see a son of
France become King of Spain, by the will and testament of the last of
their blood in Spain, and by the universal wish of all the Spaniards--
without plot, without intrigue, without a shot being fired on our part,
and without the sanction of our King, nay even to his extreme surprise
and that of all his ministers, who had only the trouble of making up
their minds and of accepting?  What great and wise reflections might be
made thereon!  But they would be out of place in these Memoirs.

The King of Spain arrived in Madrid on the 19th February.  From his first
entrance into the country he had everywhere been most warmly welcomed.
Acclamations were uttered when he appeared; fetes and bull-fights were
given in his honour; the nobles and ladies pressed around him.  He had
been proclaimed in Madrid some time before, in the midst of
demonstrations of joy.  Now that he had arrived among his subjects there,
that joy burst out anew.  There was such a crowd in the streets that
sixty people were stifled!  All along the line of route were an infinity
of coaches filled with ladies richly decked.  The streets through which
he passed were hung in the Spanish fashion; stands were placed, adorned
with fine pictures and a vast number of silver vessels; triumphal arches
were built from side to side.  It is impossible to conceive a greater or
more general demonstration of joy.  The Buen-Retiro, where the new King
took up his quarters, was filled with the Court and the nobility.  The
junta and a number of great men received him at the door, and the
Cardinal Portocarrero, who was there, threw himself on his knees, and
wished to kiss the King's hand.  But the King would not permit this;
raised the Cardinal, embraced him, and treated him as his father.  The
Cardinal wept with joy, and could not take his eyes off the King.  He was
just then in the flower of his first youth--fair like the late King
Charles, and the Queen his grandmother; grave, silent, measured, self-
contained, formed exactly to live among Spaniards.  With all this, very
attentive in his demeanour, and paying everybody the attention due to
him, having taken lessons from d'Harcourt on the way.  Indeed he took off
his hat or raised it to nearly everybody, so that the Spaniards spoke on
the subject to the Duc d'Harcourt, who replied to them that the King in
all essential things would conform himself to usage, but that in others
he must be allowed to act according to French politeness.  It cannot be
imagined how much these trifling external attentions attached all hearts
to this Prince.

He was, indeed, completely triumphant in Spain, and the Austrian party as
completely routed.  The Queen of Spain was sent away from Madrid, and
banished to Toledo, where she remained with but a small suite, and still
less consideration.  Each day the nobles, the citizens, and the people
had given fresh proof of their hatred against the Germans and against the
Queen.  She had been almost entirely abandoned, and was refused the most
ordinary necessaries of her state.


Shortly after his arrival in Madrid, the new King of Spain began to look
about him for a wife, and his marriage with the second daughter of M. de
Savoie (younger sister of Madame de Bourgogne) was decided upon as an
alliance of much honour and importance to M. de Savoie, and, by binding
him to her interest, of much utility to France.  An extraordinary
ambassador (Homodei, brother of the Cardinal of that name) was sent to
Turin to sign the contract of marriage, and bring back the new Queen into
Spain.  He was also appointed her Ecuyer, and the Princesse des Ursins
was selected as her 'Camarera Mayor', a very important office.  The
Princesse des Ursins seemed just adapted for it.  A Spanish lady could
not have been relied upon: a lady of our court would not have been fit
for the post.  The Princesse des Ursins was, as it were, both French and
Spanish--French by birth, Spanish by marriage.  She had passed the
greater part of her life in Rome and Italy, and was a widow without
children.  I shall have more hereafter to say of this celebrated woman,
who so long and so publicly governed the Court and Crown of Spain, and
who has made so much stir in the world by her reign and by her fall; at
present let me finish with the new Queen of Spain.

She was married, then, at Turin, on the 11th of September, with but
little display, the King being represented by procuration, and set out on
the 13th for Nice, where she was to embark on board the Spanish galleys
for Barcelona.  The King of Spain, meanwhile, after hearing news that he
had been proclaimed with much unanimity and rejoicing in Peru and Mexico,
left Madrid on the 5th of September, to journey through Aragon and
Catalonia to Barcelona to meet his wife.  He was much welcomed on his
route, above all by Saragossa, which received him magnificently.

The new Queen of Spain, brought by the French galleys to Nice, was so
fatigued with the sea when she arrived there, that she determined to
finish the rest of the journey by land, through Provence and Languedoc.
Her graces, her presence of mind, the aptness and the politeness of her
short replies, and her judicious curiosity, remarkable at her age,
surprised everybody, and gave great hopes to the Princesse des Ursins.

When within two days' journey of Barcelona, the Queen was met by a
messenger, bearing presents and compliments from the King.  All her
household joined her at the same time, being sent on in advance for that
purpose, and her Piedmontese attendants were dismissed.  She appeared
more affected by this separation than Madame de Bourgogne had been when
parting from her attendants.  She wept bitterly, and seemed quite lost in
the midst of so many new faces, the most familiar of which (that of
Madame des Ursins) was quite fresh to her.  Upon arriving at Figueras,
the King, impatient to see her, went on before on horseback.  In this
first embarrassment Madame des Ursins, although completely unknown to the
King, and but little known to the Queen, was of great service to both.

Upon arriving at Figueras, the bishop diocesan married them anew, with
little ceremony, and soon after they sat down to supper, waited upon by
the Princesse des Ursins and the ladies of the palace, half the dishes
being French, half Spanish.  This mixture displeased the ladies of the
palace and several of the Spanish grandees, who plotted with the ladies
openly to mark their displeasure; and they did so in a scandalous manner.
Under one pretext or another--such as the weight or heat of the dishes--
not one of the French dishes arrived upon the table; all were upset;
while the Spanish dishes, on the contrary, were served without any
accident.  The affectation and air of chagrin, to say the least of it,
of the ladies of the palace, were too visible not to be perceived.  But
the King and Queen were wise enough to appear not to notice this; and
Madame des Ursins, much astonished, said not a word.

After a long and disagreeable supper, the King and Queen withdrew.  Then
feelings which had been kept in during supper overflowed.  The Queen wept
for her Piedmontese women.  Like a child, as she was, she thought herself
lost in the hands of ladies so insolent; and when it was time to go to
bed, she said flatly that she would not go, and that she wished to return
home.  Everything was done to console her; but the astonishment and
embarrassment were great indeed when it was found that all was of no
avail.  The King had undressed, and was awaiting her.  Madame des Ursins
was at length obliged to go and tell him the resolution the Queen had
taken.  He was piqued and annoyed.  He had until that time lived with the
completest regularity; which had contributed to make him find the
Princess more to his taste than he might otherwise have done.  He was
therefore affected by her 'fantaisie', and by the same reason easily
persuaded that she would not keep to it beyond the first night.  They did
not see each other therefore until the morrow, and after they were
dressed.  It was lucky that by the Spanish custom no one was permitted to
be present when the newly-married pair went to bed; or this affair, which
went no further than the young couple, Madame des Ursins, and one or two
domestics, might have made a very unpleasant noise.

Madame des Ursins consulted with two of the courtiers, as to the best
measures to be adopted with a child who showed so much force and
resolution.  The night was passed in exhortations and in promises upon
what had occurred at the supper; and the Queen consented at last to
remain Queen.  The Duke of Medina-Sidonia and Count San Estevan were
consulted on the morrow.  They were of opinion that in his turn the King,
in order to mortify her and reduce her to terms, should not visit the
Queen on the following night.  This opinion was acted upon.  The King and
Queen did not see each other in private that day.  In the evening the
Queen was very sorry.  Her pride and her little vanity were wounded;
perhaps also she had found the King to her taste.

The ladies and the grand seigneurs who had attended at the supper were
lectured for what had occurred there.  Excuses, promises, demands for
pardon, followed; all was put right; the third day was tranquil, and the
third night still more agreeable to the young people.  On the fourth day
they went to Barcelona, where only fetes and pleasures awaited them.
Soon after they set out for Madrid.

At the commencement of the following year (1702), it was resolved, after
much debate, at our court, that Philip V. should make a journey to Italy,
and on Easter-day he set out.  He went to Naples, Leghorn, Milan, and
Alessandria.  While at the first-named place a conspiracy which had been
hatching against his life was discovered, and put down.  But other things
which previously occurred in Italy ought to have been related before.  I
must therefore return to them now.

From the moment that Philip V. ascended the Spanish throne it was seen
that a war was certain.  England maintained for some time an obstinate
silence, refusing to acknowledge the new King; the Dutch secretly
murmured against him, and the Emperor openly prepared for battle.  Italy,
it was evident at once, would be the spot on which hostilities would
commence, and our King lost no time in taking measures to be ready for
events.  By land and by sea every preparation was made for the struggle
about to take place.

After some time the war, waited for and expected by all Europe, at last
broke out, by some Imperialist troops firing upon a handful of men near
Albaredo.  One Spaniard was killed, and all the rest of the men were
taken prisoners.  The Imperialists would not give them up until a cartel
was arranged.  The King, upon hearing this, at once despatched the
general officers to Italy.  Our troops were to be commanded by Catinat,
under M. de Savoie; and the Spanish troops by Vaudemont, who was
Governor-General of the Milanese, and to whom, and his dislike to our
King, I have before alluded.

Vaudemont at once began to plot to overthrow Catinat, in conjunction with
Tesse, who had expected the command, and who was irritated because it had
not been given to him.  They were in communication with Chamillart,
Minister of War, who aided them, as did other friends at Court, to be
hereafter named, in carrying out their object.  It was all the more easy
because they had to do with a man who depended for support solely upon
his own talent, and whose virtue and simplicity raised him above all
intrigue and scheming; and who, with much ability and intelligence, was
severe in command, very laconic, disinterested, and of exceeding pure

Prince Eugene commanded the army of the Emperor in Italy.  The first two
generals under him, in order of rank, were allied with Vaudemont: one, in
fact, was his only son; the other was the son of a friend of his.  The
least reflection ought to have opened all eyes to the conduct of
Vaudemont, and to have discerned it to be more than suspicious.  Catinat
soon found it out.  He could plan nothing against the enemy that they did
not learn immediately; and he never attempted any movement without
finding himself opposed by a force more than double his own; so gross was
this treachery.

Catinat often complained of this: he sent word of it to the Court, but
without daring to draw any conclusion from what happened.  Nobody
sustained him at Court, for Vaudemont had everybody in his favour.  He
captured our general officers by his politeness, his magnificence, and,
above all, by presenting them with abundant supplies.  All the useful,
and the agreeable, came from his side; all the dryness, all the
exactitude, came from Catinat.  It need not be asked which of the two had
all hearts.  In fine, Tesse and Vaudemont carried out their schemes so
well that Catinat could do nothing.

While these schemes were going on, the Imperialists were enabled to gain
time, to strengthen themselves, to cross the rivers without obstacle, to,
approach us; and, acquainted with everything as they were, to attack a
portion of our army on the 9th July, at Capri, with five regiments of
cavalry and dragoons.  Prince Eugene led this attack without his coming
being in the least degree suspected, and fell suddenly upon our troops.
Tesse, who was in the immediate neighbourhood with some dragoons,
advanced rapidly upon hearing this, but only with a few dragoons.  A long
resistance was made, but at last retreat became necessary.  It was
accomplished in excellent order, and without disturbance from the enemy;
but our loss was very great, many officers of rank being among the dead.

Such was our first exploit in Italy; all the fault of which was
attributed to Catinat.  Tesse and Vaudemont did everything in their power
to secure his disgrace.  The King, indeed, thus prejudiced against
Catinat, determined to take from him the command, and appointed the
Marechal de Villeroy as his successor.  The surprise of everybody at this
was very great, for no one expected that the Marechal de Villeroy would
repair the fault of Catinat.  On the evening of his appointment, this
general was exposed in a very straightforward and public manner by M. de
Duras.  He did not like the Marechal de Villeroy; and, while everybody
else was applauding, took the Marechal by the arm, and said, "Monsieur le
Marechal, everybody is paying you compliments upon your departure to
Italy, I keep mine until you return;" and then, bursting out laughing, he
looked round upon the company.  Villeroy remained confounded, without
offering a word.  Everybody smiled and looked down.  The King took no

Catinat, when the command was taken out of his hands by the Marechal de
Villeroy, made himself admired on every side by the moderation and
tranquillity with which he conducted himself.  If Vaudemont was satisfied
with the success of his schemes, it was far otherwise with Tesse, who had
merely intrigued against Catinat for the purpose of obtaining the command
of the army.  He did all in his power to ingratiate himself into the
favour of the Marechal de Villeroy; but the Marechal received these
advances very coldly.  Tesse's schemes against Catinat were beginning to
be scented out; he was accused of having wished the Imperialists to
succeed at Capri, and of indirectly aiding them by keeping back his
troops; his tirades against Catinat, too, made him suspected.  The
Marechal de Villeroy would have nothing to do with him.  His conduct was
contrasted with that of Catinat, who, free after his fall to retire from
the army, continued to remain there, with rare modesty, interfering in

The first campaign passed without notable incident, except an
unsuccessful attack upon Chiari, by our troops on the 1st of September.
M. de Savoie led the attack; but was so firmly met by Prince Eugene, who
was in an excellent position for defence, that he could do nothing, and
in the end was compelled to retire disgracefully.  We lost five or six
colonels and many men, and had a large number wounded.  This action much
astonished our army, and encouraged that of the enemy, who did almost as
they wished during the rest of the campaign.

Towards the end of this campaign, the grand airs of familiarity which the
Marechal de Villeroy gave himself with M. de Savoie drew upon him a cruel
rebuke, not to say an affront.  M. de Savoie being in the midst of all
the generals and of the flower of the army, opened, while talking, his
snuff-box, and was about to take a pinch of snuff, when M. de Villeroy,
who was standing near, stretched out his hand and put it into the box
without saying a word.  M. de Savoie flushed up, and instantly threw all
the snuff upon the ground, gave the box to one of his attendants, and
told him to fill it again.  The Marechal, not knowing what to do with
himself, swallowed his shame without daring to say a word, M. de Savoie
continuing the conversation that he had not interrupted, except to ask
for the fresh snuff.

The campaign passed away, our troops always retreating, the Imperialists
always gaining ground; they continually increasing in numbers; we
diminishing little by little every day.  The Marechal de Villeroy and
Prince Eugene each took up his winter quarters and crossed the frontier:
M. de Savoie returned to Turin, and Catinat went to Paris.  The King
received him well, but spoke of nothing but unimportant matters, and gave
him no private audience, nor did he ask for one.

Prince Eugene, who was more knowing than the Marechal de Villeroy, had
obliged him to winter in the midst of the Milanese, and kept him closely
pressed there, while his own troops enjoyed perfect liberty, by means of
which they much disturbed ours.  In this advantageous situation, Prince
Eugene conceived the design of surprising the centre of our quarters, and
by that blow to make himself master of our positions, and afterwards of
Milan, and other places of the country, all in very bad order; thus
finishing effectively and suddenly his conquest.

Cremona was our centre, and it was defended by a strong garrison.  Prince
Eugene ascertained that there was at Cremona an ancient aqueduct which
extended far out into the country, and which started from the town in the
vault of a house occupied by a priest.  He also learnt that this aqueduct
had been recently cleaned, but that it carried very little water, and
that in former times the town had been surprised by means of it.  He
caused the entrance of the aqueduct, in the country, to be reconnoitred,
he gained over the priest in whose vault it ended, and who lived close to
one of the gates of the city, which was walled up and but little guarded;
he sent into Cremona as many chosen soldiers as he could, disguised as
priests or peasants, and these hiding themselves in the house of the
friendly priest, obtained secretly as many axes as they could.  Then the
Prince despatched five hundred picked men and officers to march by the
aqueduct to the priest's vault; he put Thomas de Vaudemont, son of the
Governor General of the Milanese, at the head of a large detachment of
troops, with orders to occupy a redoubt that defended the Po, and to come
by the bridge to his assistance, when the struggle commenced in the town;
and he charged the soldiers secreted in the priest's house to break down
the walled-up gate, so as to admit the troops whom he would lead there.

Everything, thus concerted with exactness, was executed with precision,
and with all possible secrecy and success.  It was on the 1st of
February, 1702, at break of day, that the surprise was attempted.  The
Marechal de Villeroy had only arrived in the town on the previous night.
The first person who got scent of what was going forward was the cook of
the Lieutenant-General Crenan, who going out in the early morning to buy
provisions, saw the streets full of soldiers, whose uniforms were unknown
to him.  He ran back and awakened his master.  Neither he nor his valets
would believe what the cook said, but nevertheless Crenan hurriedly
dressed himself, went out, and was only too soon convinced that it was

At the same time, by a piece of good luck, which proved the saving of
Cremona, a regiment under the command of D'Entragues, drew up in battle
array in one of the public places.  D'Entragues was a bold and skilful
soldier, with a great desire to distinguish himself.  He wished to review
this regiment, and had commenced business before the dawn.  While the
light was still uncertain and feeble, and his battalions were under arms,
he indistinctly perceived infantry troops forming at the end of the
street, in front of him.  He knew by the order's given on the previous
evening that no other review was to take place except his own.  He
immediately feared, therefore, some surprise, marched at once to these
troops, whom he found to be Imperialists, charged them, overthrew them,
sustained the shock of the fresh troops which arrived, and kept up a
defence so obstinate, that he gave time to all the town to awake, and to
the majority of the troops to take up arms.  Without him, all would have
been slaughtered as they slept.

Just at dawn the Marechal de Villeroy, already up and dressed, was
writing in his chamber.  He heard a noise, called for a horse, and
followed by a single aide-de-camp and a page, threaded his way through
the streets to the grand place, which is always the rendezvous in case of
alarm.  At the turning of one of the streets he fell into the midst of an
Imperialist corps de garde, who surrounded him and arrested him.  Feeling
that it was impossible to defend himself, the Marechal de Villeroy
whispered his name to the officer, and promised him ten thousand
pistoles, a regiment, and the grandest recompenses from the King, to be
allowed to escape.  The officer was, however, above all bribes, said he
had not served the Emperor so long in order to end by betraying him, and
conducted the Marechal de Villeroy to Prince Eugene, who did not receive
him so well as he himself would have been received, under similar
circumstances, by the Marechal.  While in the suite of Prince Eugene,
Villeroy saw Crenan led in prisoner, and wounded to the death, and
exclaimed that he should like to be in his place.  A moment after they
were both sent out of the town, and passed the day, guarded, in the coach
of Prince Eugene.

Revel, become commander-in-chief by the capture of the Marechal de
Villeroy, tried to rally the troops.  There was a fight in every street;
the troops dispersed about, some in detachments, several scarcely armed;
some only in their shirts fought with the greatest bravery.  They were
driven at last to the ramparts, where they had time to look about them,
to rally and form themselves.  If the enemy had not allowed our troops
time to gain the ramparts, or if they had driven them beyond this
position, when they reached it, the town could never have held out.  But
the imperialists kept themselves entirely towards the centre of the town,
and made no effort to fall upon our men, or to drive them from the

Praslin, who had the command of our cavalry, put himself at the head of
some Irish battalions which under him did wonders.  Although continually
occupied in defending and attacking, Praslin conceived the idea that the
safety of Cremona depended upon the destruction of the bridge of the Po,
so that the Imperialists could not receive reinforcements from that
point.  He repeated this so many times, that Revel was informed of it,
and ordered Praslin to do what he thought most advisable in the matter.
Thereupon, Praslin instantly commanded the bridge to be broken down:
There was not a moment to lose.  Thomas de Vaudemont was already
approaching the bridge at the head of his troops.  But the bridge,
nevertheless, was destroyed before his eyes, and with all his musketeers
he was not able to prevent it.

It was now three o'clock in the afternoon.  Prince Eugene was at the
Hotel de Ville, swearing in the magistrates.  Leaving that place, and
finding that his troops were giving way, he ascended the cathedral
steeple to see what was passing in different parts of the town, and to
discover why the troops of Thomas de Vaudemont did not arrive.  He had
scarcely reached the top of the steeple, when he saw his detachments on
the banks of the Po, and the bridge broken, thus rendering their
assistance useless.  He was not more satisfied with what he discovered in
every other direction.  Furious at seeing his enterprise in such bad
case, after having been so nearly successful, he descended, tearing his
hair and yelling.  From that time, although superior in force, he thought
of nothing but retreat.

Revel, who saw that his troops were overwhelmed by hunger, fatigue, and
wounds, for since the break of day they had had no repose or leisure,
thought on his side of withdrawing his men into the castle of Cremona,
in order, at least, to defend himself under cover, and to obtain a
capitulation.  So that the two opposing chiefs each thought at one and
the same time of retreat.

Towards the evening therefore the combat slackened on both sides, until
our troops made a last effort to drive the enemy from one of the gates of
the town; so as to have that gate free and open during the night to let
in assistance.  The Irish seconded so well this attack, that it was at
length successful.  A tolerably long calm succeeded this last struggle.
Revel, nevertheless, thought of withdrawing his troops to the castle,
when Mahony, an Irish officer who had fought bravely as a lion all day,
proposed to go and see what was passing all around.  It was already
growing dark; the reconnoiterers profited by this.  They saw that
everything was tranquil, and understood that the enemy had retreated.
This grand news was carried to Revel, who, with many around him, was a
long time in believing it.  Persuaded at last, he left everything as it
was then, until broad daylight, when he found that the enemy had gone,
and that the streets and public places were filled with the wounded, the
dying, and the dead.  He made arrangements for everything, and dispatched
Mahony to the King.

Prince Eugene retreated all that night with the detachment he had led,
and made the Marechal de Villeroy, disarmed and badly mounted, follow
him, very indecently.  The Marechal was afterwards sent to Gratz in
Styria.  Crenan died in the coach of the Marechal de Villeroy.
D'Entragues, to whose valour the safety of Cremona was owing, did not
survive this glorious day.  Our loss was great; that of the enemy

The news of this, the most surprising event that has been heard of in
recent ages, was brought to the King at Marly on the 9th of February,
1702, by Mahony.  Soon after it arrived I heard of it, and at once
hastened to the chateau, where I found a great buzzing and several groups
of people talking.  Mahony was closeted a long time with the King.  At
the end of an hour the King came out of his cabinet, and spoke strongly
in praise of what had occurred.  He took pleasure in dwelling at great
length upon Mahony, and declared that he had never heard anybody give
such a clear and good account of an occurrence as he.  The King kindly
added that he should bestow a thousand francs a year upon Mahony, and a
brevet of Colonel.

In the evening M. le Prince de Conti told me that the King had decorated
Revel, and made Praslin Lieutenant-General.  As the latter was one of my
particular friends, this intelligence gave me much joy.  I asked again to
be more sure of the news.  The other principal officers were advanced in
proportion to their grades, and many received pensions.

As for the Marechal de Villeroy he was treated as those who excite envy
and then become unfortunate are always treated.  The King, however,
openly took his part; and in truth it was no fault of the Marechal, who
had arrived at Cremona the day before the surprise, that he was taken
prisoner directly he set his foot in the street.--How could he know of
the aqueduct, the barred-up gate, and the concealed soldiers?
Nevertheless, his friends were plunged into the greatest grief, and his
wife, who had not been duped by the eclat which accompanied her husband
upon his departure for Italy, but who feared for the result, was
completely overwhelmed, and for a long time could not be prevailed upon
to see anybody.

M. de Vendome was appointed successor to M. de Villeroy, in command of
the army in Italy.


But it is time now for me to go back to other matters, and to start again
from the commencement of 1701, from which I have been led by reciting, in
a continuous story, the particulars of our first campaign in Italy.

Barbezieux had viewed with discontent the elevation of Chamillart.  His
pride and presumption rose in arms against it; but as there was no remedy
he gave himself up to debauch, to dissipate his annoyance.  He had built
between Versailles and Vaucresson, at the end of the park of Saint Cloud,
a house in the open fields, called l'Etang, which though in the dismalest
position in the world had cost him millions.  He went there to feast and
riot with his friends; and committing excesses above his strength, was
seized with a fever, and died in a few days, looking death steadily in
the face.  He was told of his approaching end by the Archbishop of
Rheims; for he would not believe Fagon.

He was thirty-three years of age, with a striking and expressive
countenance, and much wit and aptitude for labour.  He was remarkable for
grace, fine manners, and winning ways; but his pride and ambition were
excessive, and when his fits of ill-temper came, nothing could repress
them.  Resistance always excited and irritated him.  He had accustomed
the King--whenever he had drunk too much, or when a party of pleasure was
toward--to put off work to another time.  It was a great question,
whether the State gained or lost most by his death?

As soon as he was dead, Saint-Pouange went to Marly to tell the news to
the King, who was so prepared for it that two hours before, starting from
Versailles, he had left La Vrilliere behind to put the seals everywhere.
Fagon, who had condemned him at once, had never loved him or his father,
and was accused of over-bleeding him on purpose.  At any rate he allowed,
at one of his last visits, expressions of joy to escape him because
recovery was impossible.  Barbezieux used to annoy people very much by
answering aloud when they spoke to him in whispers, and by keeping
visitors waiting whilst he was playing with his dogs or some base

Many people, especially divers beautiful ladies, lost much by his death.
Some of the latter looked very disconsolate in the salon at Marly; but
when they had gone to table, and the cake had been cut (it was Twelfth
Night), the King manifested a joy which seemed to command imitation.
He was not content with exclaiming "The Queen drinks," but as in a common
wine-shop, he clattered his spoon and fork on his plate, and made others
do so likewise, which caused a strange din, that lasted at intervals all
through the supper.  The snivellers made more noise than the others, and
uttered louder screams of laughter; and the nearest relatives and best
friends were still more riotous.  On the morrow all signs of grief had

Chamillart was appointed in the place of Barbezieux, as Secretary of
State; and wanted to give up the Finance, but the King, remembering the
disputes of Louvois and Colbert, insisted on his occupying both posts.
Chamillart was a very worthy man, with clean hands and the best
intentions; polite, patient, obliging, a good friend, and a moderate
enemy, loving his country, but his King better; and on very good terms
with him and Madame de Maintenon.  His mind was limited and; like all
persons of little wit and knowledge, he was obstinate and pig-headed--
smiling affectedly with a gentle compassion on whoever opposed reasons to
his, but utterly incapable of understanding them--consequently a dupe in
friendship, in business, in everything; governed by all who could manage
to win his admiration, or on very slight grounds could claim his
affection.  His capacity was small, and yet he believed he knew
everything, which was the more pitiable, as all this came to him with his
places, and arose more from stupidity than presumption--not at all from
vanity, of which he was divested.  The most remarkable thing is that the
chief origin of the King's tender regard for him was this very
incapacity.  He used to confess it to the King at every opportunity; and
the King took pleasure in directing and instructing him, so that he was
interested in his successes as if they had been his own, and always
excused him.  The world and the Court excused him also, charmed by the
facility with which he received people, the pleasure he felt in granting
requests and rendering services, the gentleness and regretfulness of his
refusals, and his indefatigable patience as a listener.  His memory was
so great that he remembered all matters submitted to him, which gave
pleasure to people who were afraid of being forgotten.  He wrote
excellently; and his clear, flowing, and precise style was extremely
pleasing to the King and Madame de Maintenon, who were never weary of
praising him, encouraging him, and congratulating themselves for having
placed upon such weak shoulders two burdens, each of which was sufficient
to overwhelm the most sturdy.

Rose, secretary in the King's cabinet, died, aged about eighty-six, at
the commencement of the year 1701.  For nearly fifty years he had held
the office of the "pen," as it is called.  To have the "pen," is to be a
public forger, and to do what would cost anybody else his life.  This
office consists in imitating so exactly the handwriting of the King; that
the real cannot be distinguished from the counterfeit.  In this manner
are written all the letters that the King ought or wishes to write with
his own hand, but which, nevertheless, he will not take the trouble to
write.  Sovereigns and people of high rank, even generals and others of
importance, employ a secretary of this kind.  It is not possible to make
a great King speak with more dignity than did Rose; nor with more fitness
to each person, and upon every subject.  The King signed all the letters
Rose wrote, and the characters were so alike it was impossible to find
the smallest difference.  Many important things had passed through the
hands of Rose: He was extremely faithful and secret, and the King put
entire trust in him.

Rose was artful, scheming, adroit, and dangerous.  There are stories
without number of him; and I will relate one or two solely because they
characterise him, and those to whom they also relate.

He had, near Chantilly, a nice house and grounds that he much liked, and
that he often visited.  This little property bordered the estate of M. le
Prince, who, not liking so close a neighbour, wished to get rid of him.
M. le Prince endeavoured to induce Rose to give up his house and grounds,
but all to no effect; and at last tried to annoy him in various ways into
acquiescence.  Among other of his tricks, he put about four hundred
foxes, old and young, into Rose's park.  It may be imagined what disorder
this company made there, and the surprise of Rose and his servants at an
inexhaustible ant-hill of foxes come to one night!

The worthy fellow, who was anger and vehemence itself, knew only too well
who had treated him thus scurvily, and straightway went to the King,
requesting to be allowed to ask him rather a rough question.  The King,
quite accustomed to him and to his jokes,--for he was pleasant and very
witty, demanded what was the matter.

"What is the matter, Sire?" replied Rose, with a face all flushed.
"Why, I beg you will tell me if we have two Kings in France?"

"What do you mean?" said the King, surprised, and flushing in his turn.

"What I mean, Sire, is, that if M. le Prince is King like you, folks must
weep and lower their heads before that tyrant.  If he is only Prince of
the blood, I ask justice from you, Sire, for you owe it to all your
subjects, and you ought not to suffer them to be the prey of M. le
Prince," said Rose; and he related everything that had taken place,
concluding with the adventure of the foxes.

The King promised that he would speak to M. le Prince in a manner to
insure the future repose of Rose; and, indeed, he ordered all the foxes
to be removed from the worthy man's park, all the damages they had made
to be repaired, and all the expenses incurred to be paid by M. le Prince.
M. le Prince was too good a courtier to fail in obeying this order, and
never afterwards troubled Rose in the least thing; but, on the contrary,
made all the advances towards a reconciliation.  Rose was obliged to
receive them, but held himself aloof, nevertheless, and continually let
slip some raillery against M. le Prince.  I and fifty others were one day
witnesses of this.

M. le Prince was accustomed to pay his court to the ministers as they
stood waiting to attend the council in the King's chamber; and although
he had nothing to say, spoke to them with the mien of a client obliged to
fawn.  One morning, when there was a large assembly of the Court in this
chamber, and M. le Prince had been cajoling the ministers with much
suppleness and flattery, Secretary Rose, who saw what had been going on,
went up to him on a sudden, and said aloud, putting one finger under his
closed eye, as was sometimes his habit, "Sir, I have seen your scheming
here with all these gentlemen, and for several days; it is not for
nothing.  I have known the Court and mankind many years; and am not to be
imposed upon: I see clearly where matters point:" and this with turns and
inflections of voice which thoroughly embarrassed M. le Prince, who
defended himself as he could.  Every one crowded to hear what was going
on; and at last Rose, taking M. le Prince respectfully by his arm, said,
with a cunning and meaning smile; "Is it not that you wish to be made
first Prince of the blood royal?"  Then he turned on his heel, and
slipped off.  The Prince was stupefied; and all present tried in vain to
restrain their laughter.

Rose had never pardoned M. de Duras an ill turn the latter had served
him.  During one of the Court journeys, the carriage in which Rose was
riding broke down.  He took a horse; but, not being a good equestrian,
was very soon pitched into a hole full of mud.  While there M. de Duras
passed, and Rose from the midst of the mire cried for help.  But M. de
Duras, instead of giving assistance, looked from his coach-window, burst
out laughing, and cried out: "What a luxurious horse thus to roll upon
Roses!"--and with this witticism passed gently on through the mud.  The
next comer, the Duc de Coislin, was more charitable; he picked up the
worthy man, who was so furious, so carried away by anger, that it was
some time before he could say who he was.  But the worst was to come; for
M. de Duras, who feared nobody, and whose tongue was accustomed to wag as
freely as that of Rose, told the story to the King and to all the Court,
who much laughed at it.  This outraged Rose to such a point, that he
never afterwards approached M. de Duras, and only spoke of him in fury.
Whenever he hazarded some joke upon M. de Duras, the King began to laugh,
and reminded him of the mud-ducking he had received.

Towards the end of his life, Rose married his granddaughter, who was to
be his heiress, to Portail, since Chief President of the Parliament.
The marriage was not a happy one; the young spouse despised her husband;
and said that instead of entering into a good house, she had remained at
the portal.  At last her husband and his father complained to Rose.  He
paid no attention at first; but, tired out at last, said if his
granddaughter persisted in her bad conduct, he would disinherit her.
There were no complaints after this.

Rose was a little man, neither fat nor lean, with a tolerably handsome
face, keen expression, piercing eyes sparkling with cleverness; a little
cloak, a satin skull-cap over his grey hairs, a smooth collar, almost
like an Abbe's, and his pocket-handkerchief always between his coat and
his vest.  He used to say that it was nearer his nose there.  He had
taken me into his friendship.  He laughed very freely at the foreign
princes; and always called the Dukes with whom he was familiar, "Your
Ducal Highness," in ridicule of the sham Highnesses.  He was extremely
neat and brisk, and full of sense to the last; he was a sort of


On Saturday, the 19th of March, in the evening, the King was about to
undress himself, when he heard cries in his chamber, which was full of
courtiers; everybody calling for Fagon and Felix.  Monseigneur had been
taken very ill.  He had passed the day at Meudon, where he had eaten only
a collation; at the King's supper he had made amends by gorging himself
nigh to bursting with fish.  He was a great eater, like the King, and
like the Queens his mother and grandmother.  He had not appeared after
supper, but had jest gone down to his own room from the King's cabinet,
and was about to undress himself, when all at once he lost consciousness.
His valets, frightened out of their wits, and some courtiers who were
near, ran to the King's chambers, to his chief physician and his chief
surgeon with the hubbub which I have mentioned above.  The King, all
unbuttoned, started to his feet immediately, and descended by a little
dark, narrow, and steep staircase towards the chamber of Monseigneur.
Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne arrived at the same time, and in an
instant the chamber, which was vast, was filled.

They found Monseigneur half naked: his servants endeavouring to make him
walk erect, and dragging rather than leading him about.  He did not know
the King, who spoke to him, nor anybody else; and defended himself as
long as he could against Felix, who, in this pressing necessity, hazarded
bleeding him, and succeeded.  Consciousness returned.  Monseigneur asked
for a confessor; the King had already sent for, the cure.  Many emetics
were given to him: but two hours passed before they operated.  At half-
past two in the morning, no further danger appearing, the King, who had
shed tears, went to bed, leaving orders that he was to be awakened if any
fresh accident happened.  At five o'clock, however, all the effect having
passed, the doctors went away, and made everybody leave the sick chamber.
During the night all Paris hastened hither.  Monseigneur was compelled to
keep his room for eight or ten days; and took care in future not to gorge
himself so much with food.  Had this accident happened a quarter of an
hour later, the chief valet de chambre, who slept in his room, would have
found him dead in his bed.

Paris loved Monseigneur, perhaps because he often went to the opera.
The fish-fags of the Halles thought it would be proper to exhibit their
affection, and deputed four stout gossips to wait upon him: they were
admitted.  One of them took him round the neck and kissed him on both
cheeks; the others kissed his hand.  They were all very well received.
Bontems showed them over the apartments, and treated them to a dinner.
Monseigneur gave them some money, and the King did so also.  They
determined not to remain in debt, and had a fine Te Deum sung at Saint
Eustache, and then feasted.

For some time past Monsieur had been sorely grieved that his son, M. le
Duc de Chartres, had not been appointed to the command of an army.  When
M. de Chartres married, the King, who had converted his nephew by force
into a son-in-law, promised him all kinds of favours; but except those
which were written down in black and white had not given him any.  M. de
Chartres, annoyed at this, and at the manner m which the illegitimate
children were promoted over his head, had given himself up to all kinds
of youthful follies and excesses.  The King was surprised to find
Monsieur agree with his son's ambition; but gave a flat refusal when
overtures were made to him on the subject.  All hope of rising to a high
command was thus forbidden to the Duc de Chartres; so that Madame had a
fine excuse for sneering at the weakness which had been shown by
Monsieur, who, on his part, had long before repented of it.  He winked,
therefore, at all the escapades performed or threatened by his son, and
said nothing, not being sorry that the King should become uneasy, which
was soon the case.

The King at last spoke to Monsieur; and being coldly received, reproached
him for not knowing how to exercise authority over his son.  Upon this
Monsieur fired up; and, quite as much from foregone decision as from
anger, in his turn asked the King what was to be done with a son at such
an age: who was sick of treading the galleries of Versailles and the
pavement of the Court; of being married as he was, and of remaining, as
it were, naked, whilst his brothers-in-law were clothed in dignities,
governments, establishments, and offices,--against all policy and all
example.  His son, he said, was worse off than any one in the King's
service, for all others could earn distinction; added, that idleness was
the mother of all vice, and that it gave him much pain to see his only
son abandon himself to debauchery and bad company; but that it would be
cruel to blame a young man, forced as it were into these follies, and to
say nothing against him by whom he was thus forced.

Who was astonished to hear this straightforward language?  Why, the King.
Monsieur had never let out to within a thousand leagues of this tone,
which was only the more annoying because supported by unanswerable
reasons that did not convince.  Mastering his embarrassments however, the
King answered as a brother rather than as a sovereign; endeavouring, by
gentle words, to calm the excitement of Monsieur.  But Monsieur was stung
to the quick by the King's neglect of M. de Chartres, and would not be
pacified; yet the real subject of the annoyance was never once alluded
to, whilst the one kept it steadily in his mind; and the other was
determined not to yield.  The conversation lasted very long, and was
pushed very far; Monsieur throughout taking the high tone, the King very
gentle.  They separated in this manner,--Monsieur frowning, but not
daring to burst out; the King annoyed, but not wishing to estrange his
brother, much less to let their squabble be known.

As Monsieur passed most of his summers at Saint Cloud, the separation
which this occasioned put them at their ease whilst waiting for a
reconciliation; and Monsieur came less often than before, but when he did
filled all their private interviews with bitter talk.  In public little
or nothing appeared, except that familiar people remarked politeness and
attention on the King's part, coldness on that of Monsieur--moods not
common to either.  Nevertheless, being advised not to push matters too
far, he read a lecture to his son, and made him change his conduct by
degrees.  But Monsieur still remained irritated against the King; and
this completely upset him, accustomed as he always had been to live on
the best of terms with his brother, and to be treated by him in every
respect as such--except that the King would not allow Monsieur to become
a great personage.

Ordinarily, whenever Monsieur or Madame were unwell, even if their little
finger ached, the King visited them at once; and continued his visits if
the sickness lasted.  But now, Madame had been laid up for six weeks with
a tertian fever, for which she would do nothing, because she treated
herself in her German fashion, and despised physic and doctors.  The
King, who, besides the affair of M. le Duc de Chartres, was secretly
angered with her, as will presently be seen, had not been to see her,
although Monsieur had urged him to do so during those flying visits which
he made to Versailles without sleeping there.  This was taken by
Monsieur, who was ignorant of the private cause of indignation alluded
to, for a public mark of extreme disrespect; and being proud and
sensitive he was piqued thereby to the last degree.

He had other mental troubles to torment him.  For some time past he had
had a confessor who, although a Jesuit, kept as tight a hand over him as
he could.  He was a gentleman of good birth, and of Brittany, by name le
Pere du Trevoux.  He forbade Monsieur not only certain strange pleasures,
but many which he thought he could innocently indulge in as a penance for
his past life.  He often told him that he had no mind to be damned on his
account; and that if he was thought too harsh let another confessor be
appointed.  He also told him to take great care of himself, as he was
old, worn out with debauchery, fat, short-necked, and, according to all
appearance, likely to die soon of apoplexy.  These were terrible words to
a prince the most voluptuous and the most attached to life that had been
seen for a long time; who had always passed his days in the most
luxurious idleness and who was the most incapable by nature of all
serious application, of all serious reading, and of all self-examination.
He was afraid of the devil; and he remembered that his former confessor
had resigned for similar reasons as this new one was actuated by.  He was
forced now, therefore, to look a little into himself, and to live in a
manner that, for him, might be considered rigid.  From time to time he
said many prayers; he obeyed his confessor, and rendered an account to
him of the conduct he had prescribed in respect to play and many other
things, and patiently suffered his confessor's long discourses.  He
became sad, dejected, and spoke less than usual--that is to say, only
about as much as three or four women--so that everybody soon saw this
great change.  It would have been strange if all these troubles together
had not made a great revolution in a man like Monsieur, full-bodied, and
a great eater, not only at meals, but all the day.

On Thursday, the 8th of June, he went from Saint Cloud to dine with the
King at Marly; and, as was his custom, entered the cabinet as soon as the
Council of State went out.  He found the King angry with M. de Chartres
for neglecting his wife, and allowing her to seek consolation for this
neglect in the society of others.  M. de Chartres was at that time
enamoured of Mademoiselle de Sary, maid of honour to Madame, and carried
on his suit in the most open and flagrant manner.  The King took this for
his theme, and very stiffly reproached Monsieur for the conduct of his
son.  Monsieur, who needed little to exasperate him, tartly replied, that
fathers who had led certain lives had little authority over their
children, and little right to blame them.  The King, who felt the point
of the answer, fell back on the patience of his daughter, and said that
at least she ought not to be allowed to see the truth so clearly.  But
Monsieur was resolved to have his fling, and recalled, in the most
aggravating manner, the conduct the King had adopted towards his Queen,
with respect to his mistresses, even allowing the latter to accompany him
in his journeys--the Queen at his side, and all in the same coach.  This
last remark drove the King beyond all patience, and he redoubled his
reproaches, so that presently both were shouting to each other at the top
of their voices.  The door of the room in which they wrangled was open,
and only covered by a curtain, as was the custom at Marly, and the
adjoining room was full of courtiers, waiting to see the King go by to
dinner.  On the other side was a little salon, devoted to very private
purposes, and filled with valets, who could hear distinctly every word of
what passed.  The attendant without, upon hearing this noise, entered,
and told the King how many people were within hearing, and immediately
retired.  The conversation did not stop, however; it was simply carried
on in a lower tone.  Monsieur continued his reproaches; said that the
King, in marrying his daughter to M. de Chartres, had promised marvels,
and had done nothing; that for his part he had wished his son to serve,
to keep him out of the way of these intrigues, but that his demands had
been vain; that it was no wonder M. de Chartres amused himself, by way of
consolation, for the neglect he had been treated with.  Monsieur added,
that he saw only too plainly the truth of what had been predicted,
namely, that he would have all the shame and dishonour of the marriage
without ever deriving any profit from it.  The King, more and more
carried away by anger, replied, that the war would soon oblige him to
make some retrenchments, and that he would commence by cutting down the
pensions of Monsieur, since he showed himself so little accommodating.

At this moment the King was informed that his dinner was ready, and both
he and Monsieur left the room and went to table, Monsieur, all fury,
flushed, and with eyes inflamed by anger.  His face thus crimsoned
induced some ladies who were at table, and some courtiers behind--but
more for the purpose of saying something than anything else--to make the
remark, that Monsieur, by his appearance, had great need of bleeding.
The same thing had been said some time before at Saint Cloud; he was
absolutely too full; and, indeed, he had himself admitted that it was
true.  Even the King, in spite of their squabbles, had more than once
pressed him to consent.  But Tancrede, his head surgeon, was old, and an
unskilful bleeder: he had missed fire once.  Monsieur would not be bled
by him; and not to vex him was good enough to refuse being bled by
another, and to die in consequence.

Upon hearing this observation about bleeding, the King spoke to him again
on the subject; and said that he did not know what prevented him from
having him at once taken to his room, and bled by force.  The dinner
passed in the ordinary manner; and Monsieur ate extremely, as he did at
all his meals, to say nothing of an abundant supply of chocolate in the
morning, and what he swallowed all day in the shape of fruit, pastry,
preserves, and every kind of dainties, with which indeed the tables of
his cabinets and his pockets were always filled.

Upon rising from the table, the King, in his carriage, alone went to
Saint Germain, to visit the King and Queen of England.  Other members of
the family went there likewise separately; and Monsieur, after going
there also, returned to Saint Cloud.

In the evening, after supper, the King was in his cabinet, with
Monseigneur and the Princesses, as at Versailles, when a messenger came
from Saint Cloud, and asked to see the King in the name of the Duc de
Chartres.  He was admitted into the cabinet, and said that Monsieur had
been taken very ill while at supper; that he had been bled, that he was
better, but that an emetic had been given to him.  The fact was, Monsieur
had supped as usual with the ladies, who were at Saint Cloud.  During the
meal, as he poured out a glass of liqueur for Madame de Bouillon, it was
perceived that he stammered, and pointed at something with his hand.  As
it was customary with him sometimes to speak Spanish, some of the ladies
asked what he said, others cried aloud.  All this was the work of an
instant, and immediately afterwards Monsieur fell in a fit of apoplexy
upon M. de Chartres, who supported him.  He was taken into his room,
shaken, moved about, bled considerably, and had strong emetics
administered to him, but scarcely any signs of life did he show.

Upon hearing this news, the King, who had been accustomed to fly to visit
Monsieur for a mere nothing, went to Madame de Maintenon's, and had her
waked up.  He passed a quarter of an hour with her, and then, towards
midnight, returning to his room, ordered his coach to be got ready, and
sent the Marquis de Gesvres to Saint Cloud, to see if Monsieur was worse,
in which case he was to return and wake him; and they went quickly to
bed.  Besides the particular relations in which they were at that time, I
think that the King suspected some artifice; that he went in consequence
to consult Madame de Maintenon, and preferred sinning against all laws of
propriety to running the chance of being duped.  Madame de Maintenon did
not like Monsieur.  She feared him.  He paid her very little court, and
despite all his timidity and his more than deference, observations
escaped him at times, when he was with the King, which marked his disdain
of her, and the shame that he felt of public opinion.  She was not eager,
therefore, to advise the King to go and visit him, still less to commence
a journey by night, the loss of rest, and the witnessing a spectacle so
sad, and so likely to touch him, and make him make reflections on
himself; for she hoped that if things went quietly he might be spared the
trouble altogether.

A moment after the King had got into bed, a page came to say that
Monsieur was better, and that he had just asked for some Schaffhausen
water, which is excellent for apoplexy.  An hour and a half later,
another messenger came, awakened the King, and told him that the emetic
had no effect, and that Monsieur was very ill.  At this the King rose and
set out at once.  On the way he met the Marquis de Gesvres, who was
coming to fetch him, and brought similar news.  It may be imagined what a
hubbub and disorder there was this night at Marly, and what horror at
Saint Cloud, that palace of delight!  Everybody who was at Marly hastened
as he was best able to Saint Cloud.  Whoever was first ready started
together.  Men and women jostled each other, and then threw themselves
into the coaches without order and without regard to etiquette.
Monseigneur was with Madame la Duchesse.  He was so struck by what had
occurred, and its resemblance to what he himself had experienced, that he
could scarcely stand, and was dragged, almost carried, to the carriage,
all trembling.

The King arrived at Saint Cloud before three o'clock in the morning.
Monsieur had not had a moment's consciousness since his attack.  A ray of
intelligence came to him for an instant, while his confessor, Pere du
Trevoux, went to say mass, but it returned no more.  The most horrible
sights have often ridiculous contrasts.  When the said confessor came
back, he cried, "Monsieur, do you not know your confessor?  Do you not
know the good little Pere du Trevoux, who is speaking to you?" and thus
caused the less afflicted to laugh indecently.

The King appeared much moved; naturally he wept with great facility; he
was, therefore, all tears.  He had never had cause not to love his
brother tenderly; although on bad terms with him for the last two months,
these sad moments recalled all his tenderness; perhaps, too, he
reproached himself for having hastened death by the scene of the morning.
And finally, Monsieur was younger than he by two years, and all his life
had enjoyed as good health as he, and better!  The King heard mass at
Saint Cloud;  and, towards eight o'clock in the morning, Monsieur being
past all hope, Madame de Maintenon and Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne
persuaded the King to stay no longer, and accordingly returned with him
in his carriage to Marly.  As he was going out and was showing some sign
of affection to M. de Chartres--both weeping very much--that young Prince
did not fail to take advantage of the opportunity.  "Oh Sire!" he
exclaimed, embracing the King's thighs, "what will become of me?  I lose
Monsieur, and I know that you do not like me."  The King, surprised and
much touched, embraced him, and said all the tender things he could.

On arriving at Marly, the King went with the Duchesse de Bourgogne to
Madame de Maintenon.  Three hours after came M. Fagon, who had been
ordered not to leave Monsieur until he was dead or better--which could
not be but by miracle.  The King said, as soon as he saw him: "Well!
M. Fagon, my brother is dead?"--"Yes, Sire," said Fagon, "no remedy has
taken effect."

The King wept a good deal.  He was pressed to dine with Madame de
Maintenon; but he would not do so, and had his dinner, as usual, with the
ladies.  The tears often ran down his cheek, during the meal, which was
short.  After this, he shut himself up in Madame de Maintenon's rooms
until seven o'clock, and then took a turn in his garden.  Afterwards he
worked with Chamillart and Pontchartrain; and arranged all the funeral
ceremonies of Monsieur.  He supped an hour before his customary time, and
went to bed soon afterwards.

At the departure from St. Cloud of the King, all the crowd assembled
there little by little withdrew, so that Monsieur dying, stretched upon a
couch in his cabinet, remained exposed to the scullions and the lower
officers of the household, the majority of whom, either by affection or
interest, were much afflicted.  The chief officers and others who lost
posts and pensions filled the air with their cries; whilst all the women
who were at Saint Cloud, and who lost their consideration and their
amusement, ran here and there, crying, with dishevelled hair, like
Bacchantes.  The Duchesse de la Ferme, who had basely married her
daughter to one of Monsieur's minions, named La Carte, came into the
cabinet; and, whilst gazing on the Prince, who still palpitated there,
exclaimed, giving vent to her profound reflections, "Pardi!  Here is a
daughter well married!"

"A very important matter!" cried Chatillon, who himself lost everything
by this death.  "Is this a moment to consider whether your daughter is
well married or not?"

Madame, who had never had great affection or great esteem for Monsieur,
but who felt her loss and her fall, meanwhile remained in her cabinet,
and in the midst of her grief cried out, with all her might, "No convent!
Let no one talk of a convent!  I will have nothing to do with a convent!"
The good Princess had not lost her judgment.  She knew that, by her
compact of marriage, she had to choose, on becoming a widow, between a
convent and the chateau of Montargis.  She liked neither alternative; but
she had greater fear of the convent than of Montargis; and perhaps
thought it would be easier to escape from the latter than the former.
She knew she had much to fear from the King, although she did not yet
know all, and although he had been properly polite to her, considering
the occasion.

Next morning, Friday, M. de Chartres, came to the King, who was still in
bed, and who spoke to him in a very friendly manner.  He said that the
Duke must for the future regard him as his father; that he would take
care of his position and his interests; that he had forgotten all the
little causes of anger he had had against him; that he hoped the Duke
would also forget them; that he begged that the advances of friendship he
made, might serve to attach him to him, and make their two hearts belong
to one another again.  It may easily be conceived how well M. de Chartres
answered all this.


After such a frightful spectacle as had been witnessed, so many tears and
so much tenderness, nobody doubted that the three, days which remained of
the stay at Marly would be exceedingly sad.  But, on the very morrow of
the day on which Monsieur died, some ladies of the palace, upon entering
the apartments of Madame de Maintenon, where was the King with the
Duchesse de Bourgogne, about twelve o'clock, heard her from the chamber
where they were, next to hers, singing opera tunes.  A little while
after, the King, seeing the Duchesse de Bourgogne very sad in a corner of
the room, asked Madame de Maintenon, with surprise, why the said Duchess
was so melancholy; set himself to work to rouse her; then played with her
and some ladies of the palace he had called in to join in the sport.
This was not all.  Before rising from the dinner table, at a little after
two o'clock, and twenty-six hours after the death of Monsieur,
Monseigneur the Duc de Bourgogne asked the Duc de Montfort if he would
play at brelan.

"At brelan!" cried Montfort, in extreme astonishment; "you cannot mean
it!  Monsieur is still warm."

"Pardon me," replied the Prince, "I do mean it though.  The King does not
wish that we should be dull here at Marly, and has ordered me to make
everybody play; and, for fear that nobody should dare to begin, to set,
myself, the example;" and with this he began to play at brelan; and the
salon was soon filled with gaming tables.

Such was the affection of the King: such that of Madame de Maintenon!
She felt the loss of Monsieur as a deliverance, and could scarcely
restrain her joy; and it was with the greatest difficulty she succeeded
in putting on a mournful countenance.  She saw that the King was already
consoled; nothing could therefore be more becoming than for her to divert
him, and nothing suited her better than to bring things back into their
usual course, so that there might be no more talk of Monsieur nor of
affliction.  For propriety of appearance she cared nothing.  The thing
could not fail, however, to be scandalous; and in whispers was found so.
Monseigneur, though he had appeared to like Monsieur, who had given him
all sorts of balls and amusements, and shown him every kind of attention
and complaisance, went out wolf hunting the very day after his death;
and, upon his return, finding play going on in the salons, went without
hesitation and played himself like the rest.  Monseigneur le Duc de
Bourgogne and M. le Duc de Berry only saw Monsieur on public occasions,
and therefore could not be much moved by his loss.  But Madame la
Duchesse was extremely touched by this event.  He was her grandfather;
and she tenderly loved her mother, who loved Monsieur; and Monsieur had
always been very kind to her, and provided all kinds of diversion for
her.  Although not very loving to anybody, she loved Monsieur; and was
much affected not to dare to show her grief, which she indulged a long
time in private.  What the grief of Madame was has already been seen.

As for M. de Chartres, he was much affected by his loss.  The father and
son loved each other extremely.  Monsieur was a gentle and indulgent
parent, who had never constrained his son.  But if the Duke's heart was
touched, his reason also was.  Besides the great assistance it was to him
to have a father, brother of the King, that father was, as it were,
a barrier between him and the King, under whose hand he now found himself
directly placed.  His greatness, his consideration, the comfort of his
house and his life, would, therefore, depend on him alone.  Assiduity,
propriety of conduct, a certain manner, and, above all, a very different
deportment towards his wife, would now become the price of everything he
could expect to obtain from the King.  Madame la Duchesse de Chartres,
although well treated by Monsieur, was glad to be delivered from him; for
he was a barrier betwixt her and the King, that left her at the mercy of
her husband.  She was charmed to be quit of the duty of following
Monsieur to Paris or Saint Cloud, where she found herself, as it were, in
a foreign country, with faces which she never saw anywhere else, which
did not make her welcome; and where she was exposed to the contempt and
humour of Madame, who little spared her.  She expected for the future
never to leave the Court, and to be not only exempt from paying her court
to Monsieur, but that Madame and her husband would for the future be
obliged to treat her in quite another manner.

The bulk of the Court regretted Monsieur, for it was he who set all
pleasure a-going; and when he left it, life and merriment seemed to have
disappeared likewise.  Setting aside his obstinacy with regard to the
Princes, he loved the order of rank; preferences, and distinctions: he
caused them to be observed as much as possible, and himself set the
example.  He loved great people; and was so affable and polite, that
crowds came to him.  The difference which he knew how to make, and which
he never failed to make, between every one according to his position,
contributed greatly to his popularity.  In his receptions, by his greater
or less, or more neglectful attention, and by his words, he always marked
in a flattering manner the differences made by birth and dignity, by age
and merit, and by profession; and all this with a dignity natural to him,
and a constant facility which he had acquired.  His familiarity obliged,
and yet no rash people ever ventured to take advantage of it.  He visited
or sent exactly when it was proper; and under his roof he allowed a
complete liberty, without injury to the respect shown him, or to a
perfect court air.

He had learned from the Queen his mother, and well remembered this art.
The crowd, therefore, constantly flocked towards the Palais Royal.

At Saint Cloud, where all his numerous household used to assemble, there
were many ladies who, to speak the truth, would scarcely have been
received elsewhere, but many also of a higher set, and great store of
gamblers.  The pleasures of all kinds of games, and the singular beauty
of the place, where a thousand caleches were always ready to whirl even
the most lazy ladies through the walks, soft music and good cheer, made
it a palace of delight, grace, and magnificence.

All this without any assistance from Madame, who dined and supped with
the ladies and Monsieur, rode out sometimes in a caleche with one of
them, often sulked with the company, made herself feared for her harsh
and surly temper--frequently even for her words; and passed her days in a
little cabinet she had chosen, where the windows were ten feet from the
ground, gazing perpetually on the portraits of Paladins and other German
princes, with which she had tapestried the walls; and writing every day
with her own hand whole volumes of letters, of which she always kept
autograph copies.  Monsieur had never been able to bend her to a more
human way of life; and lived decently with her, without caring for her
person in any way.

For his part, Monsieur, who had very gallantly won the battle of Cassel,
and who had always shown courage in the sieges where he had served, had
only the bad qualities that distinguish women.  With more knowledge of
the world than wit, with no reading, though he had a vast and exact
acquaintance with noble houses, their births and marriages, he was good
for nothing.  Nobody was so flabby in body and mind, no one so weak,
so timid, so open to deception, so led by the nose, so despised by his
favourites, often so roughly treated by them.  He was quarrelsome in
small matters, incapable of keeping any secret, suspicious, mistrustful;
fond of spreading reports in his Court to make mischief, to learn what
was really going on or just to amuse himself: he fetched and carried from
one to the other.  With so many defects, unrelated to any virtue, he had
such an abominable taste, that his gifts and the fortunes that he gave to
those he took into favour had rendered him publicly scandalous.  He
neither respected times nor places.  His minions, who owed him
everything, sometimes treated him most insolently; and he had often much
to do to appease horrible jealousies.  He lived in continual hot water
with his favourites, to say nothing of the quarrels of that troop of
ladies of a very decided character--many of whom were very malicious,
and, most, more than malicious--with whom Monsieur used to divert
himself, entering into all their wretched squabbles.

The Chevaliers de Lorraine and Chatillon had both made a large fortune by
their good looks, with which he was more smitten than with those of any
other of his favourites.  Chatillon, who had neither head, nor sense, nor
wit, got on in this way, and acquired fortune.  The other behaved like a
Guisard, who blushes at nothing provided he succeeds; and governed
Monsieur with a high hand all his life, was overwhelmed with money and
benefices, did what he liked for his family, lived always publicly as the
master with Monsieur; and as he had, with the pride of the Guises, their
art and cleverness, he contrived to get between the King and Monsieur,
to be dealt with gingerly, if not feared by both, and was almost as
important a man with the one as with the other.  He had the finest
apartments in the Palais Royal and Saint Cloud, and a pension of ten
thousand crowns.  He remained in his apartments after the death of
Monsieur, but would not from pride continue to receive the pension, which
from pride was offered him.  Although it would have been difficult to be
more timid and submissive than was Monsieur with the King--for he
flattered both his ministers and his mistresses--he, nevertheless,
mingled with his respectful demeanour the demeanour of a brother, and the
free and easy ways of one.  In private, he was yet more unconstrained;
always taking an armed chair, and never waiting until the King told him
to sit.  In the Cabinet, after the King appeared, no other Prince sat
besides him, not even Monseigneur.  But in what regarded his service, and
his manner of approaching and leaving the King, no private person could
behave with more respect; and he naturally did everything with grace and
dignity.  He never, however, was able to bend to Madame de Maintenon
completely, nor avoid making small attacks on her to the King, nor avoid
satirising her pretty broadly in person.  It was not her success that
annoyed him; but simply the idea that La Scarron had become his sister-
in-law; this was insupportable to him.  Monsieur was extremely vain, but
not haughty, very sensitive, and a great stickler for what was due to
him.  Upon one occasion he complained to the King that M. le Duc had for
some time neglected to attend upon him, as he was bound, and had boasted
that he would not do it.  The King replied, that it was not a thing to be
angry about, that he ought to seek an opportunity to be served by M. le
Duc, and if he would not, to affront him.  Accordingly, one morning at
Marly, as he was dressing, seeing M. le Duc walking in the garden,
Monsieur opened the window and called to him.  Monsieur le Duc came up,
and entered the room.  Then, while one remark was leading to another,
Monsieur slipped off his dressing-gown, and then his shirt.  A valet de
chambre standing by, at once slipped a clean shirt into the hands of M.
le Duc, who, caught thus in a trap, was compelled to offer the garment to
Monsieur, as it was his duty to do.  As soon as Monsieur had received it,
he burst out laughing, and said--"Good-bye, cousin, go away.  I do not
want to delay you longer."  M. le Duc felt the point of this, and went
away very angry, and continued so in consequence of the high tone
Monsieur afterwards kept up on the subject.

Monsieur was a little round-bellied man, who wore such high-heeled shoes
that he seemed mounted always upon stilts; was always decked out like a
woman, covered everywhere with rings, bracelets, jewels; with a long
black wig, powdered, and curled in front; with ribbons wherever he could
put them; steeped in perfumes, and in fine a model of cleanliness.  He
was accused of putting on an imperceptible touch of rouge.  He had a long
nose, good eyes and mouth, a full but very long face.  All his portraits
resembled him.  I was piqued to see that his features recalled those of
Louis XIII., to whom; except in matters of courage, he was so completely

On Saturday, the 11th of June, the Court returned to Versailles.  On
arriving there the King went to visit Madame and her son and daughter-in-
law separately.  Madame, very much troubled by reflection on her position
with regard to the King, had sent the Duchesse de Ventadour to Madame de
Maintenon.  The latter replied to the message only in general terms; said
she would visit Madame after dinner, and requested that the Duchess might
be present at the interview.  It was Sunday, the morning after the return
from Marly.  After the first compliments, every one went out except
Madame de Ventadour.  Then Madame requested Madame de Maintenon to sit
down; and she must have felt her position keenly to bring her to this.

She began the conversation by complaining of the indifference with which
the King had treated her during her illness.  Madame de Maintenon allowed
her to talk on; and when she had finished, said that the King had
commanded her to say that their common loss effaced all the past,
provided that he had reason to be better satisfied for the future, not
only as regarded M. le Duc de Chartres, but other matters also.  Upon
this Madame exclaimed and protested that, except in as far as regarded
her son, she had never given cause for displeasure; and went on
alternating complaints and justifications.  Precisely at the point when
she was most emphatic, Madame de Maintenon drew forth a letter from her
pocket and asked if the handwriting was known to her.  It was a letter
from Madame to the Duchess of Hanover, in which she said, after giving
news of the Court, that no one knew what to say of the intercourse
between the King and Madame de Maintenon, whether it was that of marriage
or of concubinage; and then, touching upon other matters, launched out
upon the misery of the realm: that, she said, was too great to be
relieved.  This letter had been opened at the post--as almost all letters
were at that time, and are indeed still--and sent to the King.  It may be
imagined that this was a thunderstroke to Madame: it nearly killed her.
She burst into tears; and Madame de Maintenon very quietly and demurely
began to represent to her the contents of the letter in all its parts,
especially as it was addressed to a foreign country.  Madame de Ventadour
interposed with some twaddle, to give Madame time to breathe and recover
sufficiently to say something.  The best excuse was the admission of what
could not be denied, with supplications for pardon, expressions of
repentance, prayers, promises.  But Madame de Maintenon had not finished
yet.  Having got rid of the commission she had been charged with by the
King, she next turned to her own business: she asked Madame how it was,
that after being so friendly with her a long time ago, she had suddenly
ceased to bestow any regard upon her, and had continued to treat her with
coldness ever since.  At this, Madame thinking herself quite safe, said
that the coldness was on the part of Madame de Maintenon, who had all on
a sudden discontinued the friendly intercourse which formerly existed
between them.  As before, Madame de Maintenon allowed Madame to talk her
fill before she replied.  She then said she was about to divulge a secret
which had never escaped her mouth, although she had for ten years been at
liberty to tell it; and she forthwith related a thousand most offensive
things which had been uttered against her by Madame to the late Madame la
Dauphine.  This latter, falling out with Madame, had related all these
things to Madame de Maintenon, who now brought them forward triumphantly.

At this new blow, Madame was thunderstruck, and stood like a statue.
There was nothing for it but to behave as before--that is to say, shed
tears, cry, ask pardon, humble herself, and beg for mercy.  Madame de
Maintenon triumphed coldly over her for a long time,--allowing her to
excite herself in talking, and weeping, and taking her hands, which she
did with increasing energy and humility.  This was a terrible humiliation
for such a haughty German.  Madame de Maintenon at last gave way, as she
had always meant to do after having satiated her vengeance.  They
embraced, promised forgetfulness on both sides, and a new friendship from
that time.  The King, who was not ignorant of what had occurred, took
back Madame into favour.  She went neither to a convent nor to Montargis,
but was allowed to remain in Paris, and her pension was augmented.  As
for M. le Duc de Chartres, he was prodigiously well treated.  The King
gave him all the pensions Monsieur had enjoyed, besides allowing him to
retain his own; so that he had one million eight hundred thousand livres
a year; added to the Palais Royal, Saint Cloud, and other mansions.  He
had a Swiss guard, which none but the sons of France had ever had before;
in fact he retained all the privileges his father had enjoyed, and he
took the name of Duc d'Orleans.  The pensions of Madame de Chartres were
augmented.  All these honours so great and so unheard of bestowed on M.
de Chartres, and an income of a hundred thousand crowns more than his
father, were due solely to the quarrel which had recently taken place
between Monsieur and the King, as to the marriage M. de Chartres had
made.  People accustom themselves to everything, but this prodigious good
fortune infinitely surprised everybody.  The Princes of the blood were
extremely mortified.  To console them, the King immediately gave to M. le
Prince all the advantages of a first Prince of the blood, and added ten
thousand crowns to his pension.

Madame wore deep mourning for forty days, after which she threw it almost
entirely aside, with the King's permission.  He did not like to see such
sad-looking things before his eyes every day.  Madame went about in
public, and with the Court, in her half-mourning, under pretence that
being with the King, and living under his roof, she was of the family.
But her conduct was not the less thought strange in spite of this excuse.
During the winter, as the King could not well go to the theatre, the
theatre cane to him, in the apartments of Madame de Maintenon, where
comedies with music were played.  The King wore mourning for six months,
and paid all the expenses of the superb funeral which took place on the
13th of June.

While upon the subject of Monsieur, I will relate an anecdote known to
but few people, concerning the death of his first wife, Henriette
d'Angleterre, whom nobody doubts was poisoned.  Her gallantries made
Monsieur jealous; and his tastes made her furious.  His favourites, whom
she hated, did all in their power to sow discord between them, in order
to dispose of Monsieur at their will.  The Chevalier de Lorraine, then in
the prime of his first youth (having been born in 1643) completely ruled
over Monsieur, and made Madame feel that he had this power.  She,
charming and young, could not suffer this, and complained to the King,
so that M. de Lorraine was exiled.  When Monsieur heard this, he swooned,
then melted into tears, and throwing himself at the feet of the King,
implored him to recall M. de Lorraine.  But his prayers were useless,
and, rushing away in fury, he retired into the country and remained there
until, ashamed of a thing so publicly disgraceful, he returned to Paris
and lived with Madame as before.

Although M. de Lorraine was banished, two of his intimate friends,
D'Effiat and the Count de Beuvron, remained in the household of Monsieur.
The absence of M. de Lorraine nipped all their hopes of success, and made
them fear that some other favourite might arrive from whom they could
hope for nothing.  They saw no chance that M. de Lorraine's exile would
speedily terminate; for Madame (Henriette d'Angleterre) was in greater
favour with the King than ever, and had just been sent by him into
England on a mysterious errand in which she had perfectly succeeded.
She returned triumphant and very well in health.  This gave the last blow
to the hopes of D'Effiat and Beuvron, as to the return of M. de Lorraine,
who had gone to Italy to try to get rid of his vexation.  I know not
which of the three thought of it first, but the Chevalier de Lorraine
sent a sure and rapid poison to his two friends by a messenger who did
not probably know what he carried.

At Saint Cloud, Madame was in the habit of taking a glass of endive-
water, at about seven o'clock in the evening.  A servant of hers used to
make it, and then put it away in a cupboard where there was some ordinary
water for the use of Madame if she found the other too bitter.  The
cupboard was in an antechamber which served as the public passage by
which the apartments of Madame were reached.  D'Effiat took notice of all
these things, and on the 29th of June, 1670, he went to the ante-chamber;
saw that he was unobserved and that nobody was near, and threw the poison
into the endive-water; then hearing some one approaching, he seized the
jug of common water and feigned to be putting it back in its place just
as the servant, before alluded to, entered and asked him sharply what he
was doing in that cupboard.  D'Effiat, without losing countenance, asked
his pardon, and said, that being thirsty, and knowing there was some
water in the cupboard, he could not resist drinking.  The servant
grumbled; and D'Effiat, trying to appease him, entered the apartments of
Madame, like the other courtiers, and began talking without the slightest

What followed an hour afterwards does not belong to my subject, and has
made only too much stir throughout all Europe.  Madame died on the
morrow, June 30, at three o'clock in the morning; and the King was
profoundly prostrated with grief.  Apparently during the day, some
indications showed him that Purnon, chief steward of Madame, was in the
secret of her decease.  Purnon was brought before him privately, and was
threatened with instant death, unless he disclosed all; full pardon being
on the contrary promised him if he did.  Purnon, thus pressed, admitted
that Madame had been poisoned, and under the circumstance I have just
related.  "And my brother," said the King, "did he know of this?"--
"No, Sire, not one of us was stupid enough to tell him; he has no
secrecy, he would have betrayed us."  On hearing this answer the King
uttered a great "ah!" like a man oppressed, who suddenly breathes again.

Purnon was immediately set at liberty; and years afterwards related this
narrative to M. Joly de Fleury, procureur-general of the Parliament, by
which magistrate it was related to me.  From this same magistrate I
learned that, a few days before the second marriage of Monsieur, the King
took Madame aside and told her that circumstance, assuring her that he
was too honest a man to wish her to marry his brother, if that brother
could be capable of such a crime.  Madame profited by what she heard.
Purnon remained in her service; but after a time she pretended to find
faults in him, and made him resign; he sold his post accordingly, towards
the end of 1674, to Maurel de Vaulonne, and quitted her service.


A the breaking out of the war in Italy this year Segur bought the
government of the Foix country from Tallard, one of the generals called
away to serve in that war.  Segur had been in his youth a very handsome
fellow; he was at that time in the Black Musketeers, and this company was
always quartered at Nemours while the Court was at Fontainebleau.  Segur
played very well upon the lute; but found life dull, nevertheless, at
Nemours, made the acquaintance of the Abbesse de la Joye, a place hard
by, and charmed her ears and eyes so much that she became with child by
him.  After some months the Abbess pleaded illness, left the convent, and
set out for the waters, as she said.  Putting off her journey too long,
she was obliged to stop a night at Fontainebleau; and in consequence of
the Court being there, could find no accommodation, except in a wretched
little inn already full of company.  She had delayed so long that the
pangs of labour seized her in the night, and the cries she uttered
brought all the house to her assistance.  She was delivered of a child
then and there; and the next morning this fact was the talk of the town.

The Duc de Saint Aignan, one of the first of the courtiers who learned
it, went straight to the King, who was brisk and free enough in those
days, and related to him what had occurred; the King laughed heartily at
the poor Abbess, who, while trying to hide her shame, had come into the
very midst of the Court.  Nobody knew then that her abbey was only four
leagues distant, but everybody learned it soon, and the Duc de Saint
Aignan among the first.

When he returned to his house, he found long faces on every side.  His
servants made signs one to another, but nobody said a word.  He perceived
this, and asked what was the matter; but, for some time, no one dared to
reply.  At last a valet-de-chambre grew bold enough to say to Saint
Aignan, that the Abbess, whose adventure had afforded so much mirth, was
his own daughter; and that, after he had gone to the King, she had sent
for assistance, in order to get out of the place where she was staying.

It was now the Duke's turn to be confused.  After having made the King
and all the Court laugh at this adventure, he became himself the
laughing-stock of everybody.  He bore the affair as well as he could;
carried away the Abbess and her baggage; and, as the scandal was public,
made her send in her resignation and hide herself in another convent,
where she lived more than forty years.

That worthy man, Saint-Herem, died this year at his house in Auvergne, to
which he had retired.  Everybody liked him; and M. de Rochefoucauld had
reproached the King for not making him Chevalier of the Order.  The King
had confounded him with Courtine, his brother-in-law, for they had
married two sisters; but when put right had not given the favour.

Madame de Saint-Herem was the most singular creature in the world, not
only in face but in manners.  She half boiled her thigh one day in the
Seine, near Fontainebleau, where she was bathing.  The river was too
cold; she wished to warm it, and had a quantity of water heated and
thrown into the stream just above her.  The water reaching her before it
could grow cold, scalded her so much that she was forced to keep her bed.

When it thundered, she used to squat herself under a couch and make all
her servants lie above, one upon the other, so that if the thunderbolt
fell, it might have its effect upon them before penetrating to her.  She
had ruined herself and her husband, though they were rich, through sheer
imbecility; and it is incredible the amount of money she spent in her

The best adventure which happened to her, among a thousand others, was at
her house in the Place Royale, where she was one day attacked by a
madman, who, finding her alone in her chamber, was very enterprising.
The good lady, hideous at eighteen, but who was at this time eighty and a
widow, cried aloud as well as she could.  Her servants heard her at last,
ran to her assistance, and found her all disordered, struggling in the
hands of this raging madman.  The man was found to be really out of his
senses when brought before the tribunal, and the story amused everybody.

The health of the King of England (James II.), which had for some time
been very languishing, grew weaker towards the middle of August of this
year, and by the 8th of September completely gave way.  There was no
longer any hope.  The King, Madame de Maintenon, and all the royal
persons, visited him often.  He received the last sacrament with a piety
in keeping with his past life, and his death was expected every instant.
In this conjuncture the King made a resolve more worthy of Louis XII., or
Francis I., than of his own wisdom.  On Tuesday, the 13th of September,
he went from Marly to Saint Germain.  The King of England was so ill that
when the King was announced to him he scarcely opened his eyes for an
instant.  The King told him that he might die in peace respecting the
Prince of Wales, whom he would recognise as King of England, Scotland,
and Ireland.

The few English who were there threw themselves upon their knees, but the
King of England gave no signs of life.  The gratitude of the Prince of
Wales and of his mother, when they heard what the King had said, may be
imagined.  Returned to Marly, the King repeated to all the Court what he
had said.  Nothing was heard but praises and applause.

Yet reflections did not fail to be made promptly, if not publicly.  It
was seen, that to recognise the Prince of Wales was to act in direct
opposition to the recognition of the Prince of Orange as King of England,
that the King had declared at the Peace of Ryswick.  It was to wound the
Prince of Orange in the tenderest point, and to invite England and
Holland to become allies of the Emperor against France.  As for the
Prince of Wales, this recognition was no solid advantage to him, but was
calculated to make the party opposed to him in England only more bitter
and vigilant in their opposition.

The King of England, in the few intervals of intelligence he had,
appeared much impressed by what the King had done.  He died about three
o'clock in the afternoon of the 16th September of this year, 1701.
He had requested that there might he no display at his funeral, and his
wish was faithfully observed.  He was buried on the Saturday, at seven
o'clock in the evening, in the church of the English Benedictines at
Paris, Rue St. Jacques, without pomp, and attended by but few mourners.
His body rests in the chapel, like that of the simplest private person,
until the time, apparently very distant, when it shall be transported to
England.  His heart is at the Filles de Sainte Marie, of Chaillot.

Immediately afterwards, the Prince of Wales was received by the King as
King of England, with all the formalities and state with which his father
before him had been received.  Soon afterwards he was recognised by the
new King of Spain.

The Count of Manchester, English ambassador in France, ceased to appear
at Versailles after this recognition of the Prince of Wales by the King,
and immediately quitted his post and left the country without any leave-
taking.  King William heard, while in Holland, of the death of James II.
and of this recognition.  He was at table with some German princes and
other lords when the news arrived; did not utter a word, except to
announce the death; but blushed, pulled down his hat, and could not keep
his countenance.  He sent orders to London, to drive out Poussin, acting
as French ambassador, immediately; and Poussin directly crossed the sea
and arrived at Calais.

This event was itself followed by the signing of the great treaty of
alliance, offensive and defensive, against France and Spain, by Austria,
England, and Holland; in which they afterwards succeeded in engaging
other powers, which compelled the King to increase the number of his

Just after the return of the Court from Fontainebleau, a strange scene
happened at St. Maur, in a pretty house there which M. le Duc possessed.
He was at this house one night with five or six intimate friends, whom he
had invited to pass the night there.  One of these friends was the Comte
de Fiesque.  At table, and before the wine had begun to circulate, a
dispute upon some historical point arose between him and M. le Duc.  The
Comte de Fiesque, who had some intellect and learning, strongly sustained
his opinion.  M. le Duc sustained his; and for want of better reasons,
threw a plate at the head of Fiesque, drove him from the table and out of
the house.  So sudden and strange a scene frightened the guests.  The
Comte de Fiesque, who had gone to M. le Duc's house with the intention of
passing the night there, had not retained a carriage, went to ask shelter
of the cure, and got back to Paris the next day as early in the morning
as he could.  It may be imagined that the rest of the supper and of the
evening was terribly dull.  M. le Duc remained fuming (perhaps against
himself, but without saying so), and could not be induced to apologise
for the affront.  It made a great stir in society, and things remained
thus several months.  After a while, friends mixed themselves in the
matter; M. le Duc, completely himself again, made all the advances
towards a reconciliation.  The Comte de Fiesque received them, and the
reconciliation took place.  The most surprising thing is, that after this
they continued on as good terms as though nothing had passed between

The year 1702 commenced with balls at Versailles, many of which were
masquerades.  Madame du Maine gave several in her chamber, always keeping
her bed because she was in the family-way; which made rather a singular
spectacle.  There were several balls at Marly, but the majority were not
masquerades.  The King often witnessed, but in strict privacy, and always
in the apartments of Madame de Maintenon, sacred dramas such as
"Absalon," "Athalie," &c.  Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne, M. le Duc
d'Orleans, the Comte and Comtesse d'Anjou, the young Comte de Noailles,
Mademoiselle de Melun, urged by the Noailles, played the principal
characters in very magnificent stage dresses.  Baron, the excellent old
actor, instructed them and played with them.  M. de Noailles and his
clever wife were the inventors and promoters of these interior pleasures,
for the purpose of intruding themselves more and more into the society of
the King, in support of the alliance of Madame de Maintenon.

Only forty spectators were admitted to the representations.  Madame was
sometimes invited by the King, because she liked plays.  This favour was
much sought after.  Madame de Maintenon wished to show that she had
forgotten the past.

Longepierre had written a very singular piece called "Electra," which was
played on a magnificent stage erected in Madame de Conti's house, and all
the Court flocked several times to see it.  This piece was without love,
but full of other passions and of most interesting situations.  I think
it had been written in the hopes that the King would go and see it.  But
he contented himself with hearing it talked about, and the representation
was confined to the Hotel de Conti.  Longepierre would not allow it to be
given elsewhere.  He was an intriguing fellow of much wit, gentle,
insinuating, and who, under a tranquillity and indifference and a very
deceitful philosophy, thrust himself everywhere, and meddled with
everything in order to make his fortune.  He succeeded in intruding
himself into favour with the Duc d'Orleans, but behaved so badly that he
was driven away.

The death of the Abbe de Vatteville occurred at the commencement of this
year, and made some noise, on account of the prodigies of the Abbe's
life.  This Vatteville was the younger son of a Franche-Comte family;
early in life he joined the Order of the Chartreux monks, and was
ordained priest.  He had much intellect, but was of an impetuous spirit,
and soon began to chafe under the yoke of a religious life.  He
determined, therefore, to set himself free from it, and procured some
secular habits, pistols, and a horse.  Just as he was about to escape
over the walls of the monastery by means of a ladder, the prior entered
his cell.

Vatteville made no to-do, but at once drew a pistol, shot the prior dead,
and effected his escape.

Two or three days afterwards, travelling over the country and avoiding
as much as possible the frequented places, he arrived at a wretched
roadside inn, and asked what there was in the house.  The landlord
replied--"A leg of mutton and a capon."--"Good!" replied our unfrocked
monk; "put them down to roast."

The landlord replied that they were too much for a single person, and
that he had nothing else for the whole house.  The monk upon this flew
into a passion, and declared that the least the landlord could do was to
give him what he would pay for; and that he had sufficient appetite to
eat both leg of mutton and capon.  They were accordingly put down to the
fire, the landlord not daring to say another word.  While they were
cooking, a traveller on horseback arrived at the inn, and learning that
they were for one person, was much astonished.  He offered to pay his
share to be allowed to dine off them with the stranger who had ordered
this dinner; but the landlord told him he was afraid the gentleman would
not consent to the arrangement.  Thereupon the traveller went upstairs,
and civilly asked Vatteville if he might dine with him on paying half of
the expense.  Vatteville would not consent, and a dispute soon arose
between the two; to be brief, the monk served this traveller as he had
served the prior, killed him with a pistol shot.  After this he went
downstairs tranquilly, and in the midst of the fright of the landlord and
of the whole house, had the leg of mutton and capon served up to him,
picked both to the very bone, paid his score, remounted his horse, and
went his way.

Not knowing what course to take, he went to Turkey, and in order to
succeed there, had himself circumcised, put on the turban, and entered
into the militia.  His blasphemy advanced him, his talents and his colour
distinguished him; he became Bacha, and the confidential man in the
Morea, where the Turks were making war against the Venetians.  He
determined to make use of this position in order to advance his own
interests, and entering into communication with the generalissimo of the
Republic, promised to betray into his hands several secret places
belonging to the Turks, but on certain conditions.  These were,
absolution from the Pope for all crimes of his life, his murders and his
apostasy included; security against the Chartreux and against being
placed in any other Order; full restitution of his civil rights, and
liberty to exercise his profession of priest with the right of possessing
all benefices of every kind.  The Venetians thought the bargain too good
to be refused, and the Pope, in the interest of the Church, accorded all
the demands of the Bacha.  When Vatteville was quite assured that his
conditions would be complied with, he took his measures so well that he
executed perfectly all he had undertaken.  Immediately after he threw
himself into the Venetian army, and passed into Italy.  He was well
received at Rome by the Pope, and returned to his family in Franche-
Comte, and amused himself by braving the Chartreux.

At the first conquest of the Franche-Comte, he intrigued so well with the
Queen-mother and the ministry, that he was promised the Archbishopric of
Besancon; but the Pope cried out against this on account of his murders,
circumcision, and apostasy.  The King sided with the Pope, and Vatteville
was obliged to be contented with the abbey of Baume, another good abbey
in Picardy, and divers other advantages.

Except when he came to the Court, where he was always received with great
distinction, he remained at his abbey of Baume, living there like a grand
seigneur, keeping a fine pack of hounds, a good table, entertaining
jovial company, keeping mistresses very freely; tyrannising over his
tenants and his neighbours in the most absolute manner.  The intendants
gave way to him, and by express orders of the Court allowed him to act
much as he pleased, even with the taxes, which he regulated at his will,
and in his conduct was oftentimes very violent.  With these manners and
this bearing, which caused him to be both feared and respected, he would
often amuse himself by going to see the Chartreux, in order to plume
himself on having quitted their frock.  He played much at hombre, and
frequently gained 'codille' (a term of the game), so that the name of the
Abbe Codille was given to him.  He lived in this manner always with the
same licence and in the same consideration, until nearly ninety years of


The changes which took place in the army after the Peace of Ryswick, were
very great and very strange.  The excellence of the regiments, the merits
of the officers, those who commanded, all were forgotten by Barbezieux,
young and impetuous, whom the King allowed to act as he liked.  My
regiment was disbanded, and my company was incorporated with that of
Count d'Uzes, brother-in-law of Duras, who looked well after the
interests of his relative.  I was thus deprived of command, without
regiment, without company, and the only opportunity offered me was to
serve in a regiment commanded by Saint Morris, where I should have been,
as it were, at the lowest step of the ladder, with my whole military
career to begin over again.

I had served at the head of my regiment during four campaigns, with
applause and reputation, I am bold enough to say it.  I thought therefore
I was entitled to better treatment than this.  Promotions were made; five
officers, all my juniors, were placed over my head.  I resolved then to
leave the service, but not to take a rash step.  I consulted first with
several friends before sending in my resignation.  All whom I consulted
advised me to quit the service, but for a long time I could not resolve
to do so.  Nearly three months passed, during which I suffered cruel
anguish of mind from my irresolution.  I knew that if I left the army I
should be certain to incur the anger of the King, and I do not hesitate
to say that this was not a matter of indifference to me.  The King was
always annoyed when anybody ceased to serve; he called it "quitting him;"
and made his anger felt for a long time.  At last, however, I determined
on my course of action.

I wrote a short letter to the King, in which, without making any
complaints, I said that as my health was not good (it had given me some
trouble on different occasions) I begged to be allowed to quit his
service, and said that I hoped I should be permitted to console myself
for leaving the army by assiduously attending upon him at the Court:
After despatching this letter I went away immediately to Paris.

I learnt afterwards from my friends, that upon receiving my letter the
King called Chamillart to him, and said with emotion: "Well!  Monsieur,
here is another man who quits us!--" and he read my letter word for word.
I did not learn that anything else escaped him.

As for me, I did not return to Versailles for a whole week, or see the
King again until Easter Monday.  After his supper that evening, and when
about to undress himself, he paid me a distinction, a mere trifle I
admit, and which I should be ashamed to mention if it did not under the
circumstances serve as a characteristic of him.

Although the place he undressed in was very well illuminated, the
chaplain at the evening prayers there held in his hand a lighted candle,
which he gave afterwards to the chief valet-de-chambre, who carried it
before the King until he reached his arm-chair, and then handed it to
whomever the King ordered him to give it to.  On this evening the King,
glancing all around him, cast his eye upon me, and told the valet to give
the candle to me.  It was an honour which he bestowed sometimes upon one,
sometimes upon another, according to his whim, but which, by his manner
of bestowing it, was always coveted, as a great distinction.  My surprise
may be imagined when I heard myself named aloud for this office, not only
on this but on many other occasions.  It was not that there was any lack
of people of consideration to hold the candle; but the King was
sufficiently piqued by my retirement not to wish everybody to see that
he was so.

For three years he failed not to make me feel to what extent he was angry
with me.  He spoke to me no longer; he scarcely bestowed a glance upon
me, and never once alluded to my letter.  To show that his annoyance did
not extend to my wife, but that it was solely and wholly directed against
me, he bestowed, about eight months after, several marks of favour upon
Madame de Saint-Simon.  She was continually invited to the suppers at
Trianon--an honour which had never before been granted her.  I only
laughed at this.  Madame de Saint-Simon was not invited to Marly; because
the husbands always, by right, accompanied their wives there, apartments
being given for both.  At Trianon it was different.  Nobody was allowed
to sleep there except those absolutely in attendance.  The King wished,
therefore, the better to mark by this distinction that the exclusion was
intended for me alone, and that my wife had no part in it.

Notwithstanding this; I persevered in my ordinary assiduity, without ever
asking to be invited to Marly, and lived agreeably with my wife and my
friends.  I have thought it best to finish with this subject at once--now
I must go back to my starting point.

At the commencement of this year (1702) it seemed as though the
flatterers of the King foresaw that the prosperity of his reign was at
an end, and that henceforth they would only have to praise him for his
constancy.  The great number of medals that had been struck on all
occasions--the most ordinary not having been forgotten--were collected,
engraved, and destined for a medallic history.  The Abbes Tallemant,
Toureil, and Dacier, three learned members of the Academy, were charged
with the explanation to be placed opposite each of these medals, in a
large volume of the most magnificent impression of the Louvre.  As the
history commenced at the death of Louis XIII., his medal was placed at
the head of the book, and thus it became necessary to say something of
him in the preface.

As it was known that I had a correct knowledge of Louis XIII., I was
asked to write that portion of the preface which related to him.  I
consented to this, but on condition that I should be spared the ridicule
of it in society, and that the matter should be faithfully kept secret.
I wrote my theme then, which cost me little more than a morning, being of
small extent.  I had the fate of authors: my writing was praised, and
appeared to answer all expectations.  I congratulated myself, delighted
at having devoted two or three hours to a grateful duty--for so I
considered it.

But when my essay was examined, the three gentlemen above-named were
affrighted.  There are truths the unstudied simplicity of which emits a
lustre which obscures all the results of an eloquence which exaggerates
or extenuates; Louis XIII. furnished such proofs in abundance.  I had
contented myself by showing them forth; but this picture tarnished those
which followed--so at least it appeared to those who had gilded the
latter.  They applied themselves, therefore, to cut out, or weaken,
everything that might, by comparison, obscure their hero.  But as they
found at last that it was not me they had to correct, but the thing
itself, they gave up the task altogether, threw aside my writing, and
printed the history without any notice whatever of Louis XIII. under his
portrait--except to note that his death caused his son to ascend the

Reflections upon this kind of iniquity would carry me too far.

In the early part of this year (1702), King William (of England), worn
out before his time with labours and business, in which he had been
engaged all his life, and which he had carried on with a capacity, an
address, a superiority of genius that acquired for him supreme authority
in Holland, the crown of England, the confidence, and, to speak the
truth, the complete dictatorship of all Europe--except France;--King
William, I say, had fallen into a wasting of strength and of health
which, without attacking or diminishing his intellect, or causing him to
relax the infinite labours of his cabinet, was accompanied by a
deficiency of breath, which aggravated the asthma he had had for several
years.  He felt his condition, and his powerful genius did not disavow
it.  Under forged names he consulted the most eminent physicians of
Europe, among others, Fagon; who, having to do, as he thought, with a
cure, replied in all sincerity, and with out dissimulation, that he must
prepare for a speedy death.  His illness increasing, William consulted
Fagon, anew, but this time openly.  The physician recognised the malady
of the cure--he did not change his opinion, but expressed it in a less
decided manner, and prescribed with much feeling the remedies most likely
if not to cure, at least to prolong.  These remedies were followed and
gave relief; but at last the time had arrived when William was to feel
that the greatest men finish like the humblest and to see the nothingness
of what the world calls great destinies.

He rode out as often as he could; but no longer having the strength to
hold himself on horseback, received a fall, which hastened his end by the
shock it gave him.  He occupied himself with religion as little as he had
all his life.  He ordered everything, and spoke to his ministers and his
familiars with a surprising tranquillity, which did not abandon him until
the last moment.  Although crushed with pain, he had the satisfaction of
thinking that he had consummated a great alliance, which would last after
his death, and that it would strike the great blow against France, which
he had projected.  This thought, which flattered him even in the hour of
death, stood in place of all other consolation,--a consolation frivolous
and cruelly deceitful, which left him soon the prey to eternal truths!
For two days he was sustained by strong waters and spirituous liquors.
His last nourishment was a cup of chocolate.  He died the 19th March,
1702, at ten o'clock in the morning.

The Princess Anne, his sister-in-law, wife of Prince George of Denmark,
was at the same time proclaimed queen.  A few days after, she declared
her husband Grand Admiral and Commander-in-Chief (generalissimo),
recalled the Earl of Rochester, her maternal uncle, and the Earl of
Sunderland, and sent the Count of Marlborough, afterwards so well known,
to Holland to follow out there all the plans of his predecessor.

The King did not learn this death until the Saturday morning following,
by a courier from Calais.  A boat had escaped, in spite of the vigilance
which had closed the ports.  The King was silent upon the news, except to
Monseigneur and to Madame de Maintenon.  On the next day confirmation of
the intelligence arrived from all parts.  The King no longer made a
secret of it, but spoke little on the subject, and affected much
indifference respecting it.  With the recollection of all the indecent
follies committed in Paris during the last war, when it was believed that
William had been killed at the battle of the Boyne in Ireland, the
necessary precautions against falling into the same error were taken by
the King's orders.

The King simply declared that he would not wear mourning, and prohibited
the Duc de Bouillon, the Marechal de Duras and the Marechal de Lorges,
who were all related to William, from doing so--an act probably without
example.  Nearly all England and the United Provinces mourned the loss of
William.  Some good republicans alone breathed again with joy in secret,
at having recovered their liberty.  The grand alliance was very sensibly
touched by this loss, but found itself so well cemented, that the spirit
of William continued to animate it; and Heinsius, his confidant,
perpetuated it, and inspired all the chiefs of the republic, their allies
and their generals, with it, so that it scarcely appeared that William
was no more.

I have related, in its proper place, all that happened to Catinat in
Italy, when the schemes of Tesse and M. de Vaudemont caused him to be
dismissed from the command of the army.  After the signing of the
alliance against France by the Emperor, England, and Holland, the war
took a more extended field.  It became necessary to send an army to the
Rhine.  There was nothing for it but to have recourse to Catinat.

Since his return from Italy, he had almost always lived at his little
house of Saint Gratien, beyond Saint Denis, where he bore with wisdom the
injury that had been done him and the neglect he had experienced upon his
return, surrounded by his family and a small number of friends.
Chamillart one day sent for him, saying that he had the King's order to
talk with him.  Catinat went accordingly to Chamillart, from whom he
learned that he was destined for the Rhine; he refused the command, and
only accepted it after a long dispute, by the necessity of obedience.

On the morrow, the 11th of March, the King called Catinat into his
cabinet.  The conversation was amiable on the part of the King, serious
and respectful on the part of Catinat.  The King, who perceived this,
wished to make him speak about Italy, and pressed him to explain what had
really passed there.  Catinat excused himself, saying that everything
belonged to the past, and that it was useless now to rake up matters
which would give him a bad opinion of the people who served him, and
nourish eternal enmity.  The King admired the sagacity and virtue of
Catinat, but, wishing to sound the depths of certain things, and discover
who was really to blame, pressed him more and more to speak out;
mentioning certain things which Catinat had not rendered an account of,
and others he had been silent upon, all of which had come to him from
other sources.

Catinat, who, by his conversation of the previous evening with
Chamillart, suspected that the King would say something to him, had
brought his papers to Versailles.  Sure of his position, he declared that
he had not in any way failed to render account to Chamillart or to the
King, and detailed the very things that had just been mentioned to him.
He begged that a messenger might be despatched in order to search his
cassette, in which the proofs of what he had advanced could be seen,
truths that Chamillart, if present, he said, would not dare to disavow.
The King took him at his word, and sent in search of Chamillart.

When he arrived, the King related to him the conversation that had just
taken place.  Chamillart replied with an embarrassed voice, that there
was no necessity to wait for the cassette of Catinat, for he admitted
that the accusation against him was true in every respect.  The King,
much astonished, reproved him for his infidelity in keeping silence upon
these comments, whereby Catinat had lost his favour.

Chamillart, his eyes lowered, allowed the King to say on; but as he felt
that his anger was rising; said.  "Sire, you are right; but it is not my

"And whose is it, then?" replied the King warmly.  "Is it mine?"

"Certainly not, Sire," said Chamillart, trembling; "but I am bold enough
to tell you, with the most exact truth, that it is not mine."

The King insisting, Chamillart was obliged to explain, that having shown
the letters of Catinat to Madame de Maintenon, she had commanded him to
keep them from his Majesty, and to say not a syllable about them.
Chamillart added, that Madame de Maintenon was not far off, and
supplicated the King to ask her the truth of this matter.

In his turn, the King was now more embarrassed than Chamillart; lowering
his voice, he said that it was inconceivable how Madame de Maintenon felt
interested in his comfort, and endeavoured to keep from him everything
that might vex him, and without showing any more displeasure, turned to
Marshal Catinat, said he was delighted with an explanation which showed
that nobody was wrong; addressed several gracious remarks to the Marshal;
begged him to remain on good terms with Chamillart, and hastened to quit
them and enter into his private cabinet.

Catinat, more ashamed of what he had just heard and seen than pleased
with a justification so complete, paid some compliments to Chamillart,
who, out of his wits at the perilous explanation he had given, received
them, and returned them as well as he could.  They left the cabinet soon
after, and the selection of Catinat by the King for the command of the
army of the Rhine was declared.

Reflections upon this affair present themselves of their own accord.
The King verified what had been said that very evening with Madame de
Maintenon.  They were only on better terms than ever in consequence.  She
approved of Chamillart for avowing all; and this minister was only the
better treated afterwards by the King and by Madame de Maintenon.

As for Catinat, he took the command he had been called to, but did not
remain long in it.  The explanations that had passed, all the more
dangerous because in his favour, were not of a kind to prove otherwise
than hurtful to him.  He soon resigned his command, finding himself too
much obstructed to do anything, and retired to his house of Saint
Gratien, near Saint Denis, which he scarcely ever left, and where he saw
only a few private friends, sorry that he had ever left it, and that he
had listened to the cajoleries of the King.



Canaples, brother of the Marechal de Crequi, wished to marry Mademoiselle
de Vivonne who was no longer young, but was distinguished by talent,
virtue and high birth; she had not a penny.  The Cardinal de Coislin,
thinking Canaples too old to marry, told him so.  Canaples said he wanted
to have children.  "Children!" exclaimed the Cardinal.  "But she is so
virtuous!"  Everybody burst out laughing; and the more willingly, as the
Cardinal, very pure in his manners, was still more so in his language.
His saying was verified by the event: the marriage proved sterile.

The Duc de Coislin died about this time.  I have related in its proper
place an adventure that happened to him and his brother, the Chevalier de
Coislin: now I will say something more of the Duke.  He was a very little
man, of much humour and virtue, but of a politeness that was unendurable,
and that passed all bounds, though not incompatible with dignity.  He had
been lieutenant-general in the army.  Upon one occasion, after a battle
in which he had taken part, one of the Rhingraves who had been made
prisoner, fell to his lot.  The Duc de Coislin wished to give up to the
other his bed, which consisted indeed of but a mattress.  They
complimented each other so much, the one pressing, the other refusing,
that in the end they both slept upon the ground, leaving the mattress
between them.  The Rhingrave in due time came to Paris and called on the
Duc de Coislin.  When he was going, there was such a profusion of
compliments, and the Duke insisted so much on seeing him out, that the
Rhingrave, as a last resource, ran out of the room, and double locked the
door outside.  M. de Coislin was not thus to be outdone.  His apartments
were only a few feet above the ground.  He opened the window accordingly,
leaped out into the court, and arrived thus at the entrance-door before
the Rhingrave, who thought the devil must have carried him there.  The
Duc de Coislin, however, had managed to put his thumb out of joint by
this leap.  He called in Felix, chief surgeon of the King, who soon put
the thumb to rights.  Soon afterwards Felix made a call upon M. de
Coislin to see how he was, and found that the cure was perfect.  As he
was about to leave, M. de Coislin must needs open the door for him.
Felix, with a shower of bows, tried hard to prevent this, and while they
were thus vying in politeness, each with a hand upon the door, the Duke
suddenly drew back; he had put his thumb out of joint again, and Felix
was obliged to attend to it on the spot!  It may be imagined what
laughter this story caused the King, and everybody else, when it became

There was no end to the outrageous civilities of M. de Coislin.  On
returning from Fontainebleau one day, we, that is Madame de Saint-Simon
and myself, encountered M. de Coislin and his son, M. de Metz, on foot
upon the pavement of Ponthierry, where their coach had broken down.  We
sent word, accordingly, that we should be glad to accommodate them in
ours.  But message followed message on both sides; and at last I was
compelled to alight and to walk through the mud, begging them to mount
into my coach.  M. de Coislin, yielding to my prayers, consented to this.
M. de Metz was furious with him for his compliments, and at last
prevailed on him.  When M. de Coislin had accepted my offer and we had
nothing more to do than to gain the coach, he began to capitulate, and to
protest that he would not displace the two young ladies he saw seated in
the vehicle.  I told him that the two young ladies were chambermaids, who
could well afford to wait until the other carriage was mended, and then
continue their journey in that.  But he would not hear of this; and at
last all that M. de Metz and I could do was to compromise the matter, by
agreeing to take one of the chambermaids with us.  When we arrived at the
coach, they both descended, in order to allow us to mount.  During the
compliments that passed--and they were not short--I told the servant who
held the coach-door open, to close it as soon as I was inside, and to
order the coachman to drive on at once.  This was done; but M. de Coislin
immediately began to cry aloud that he would jump out if we did not stop
for the young ladies; and he set himself to do so in such an odd manner,
that I had only time to catch hold of the belt of his breeches and hold
him back; but he still, with his head hanging out of the window,
exclaimed that he would leap out, and pulled against me.  At this
absurdity I called to the coachman to stop; the Duke with difficulty
recovered himself, and persisted that he would have thrown himself out.
The chambermaid was ordered to mount, and mount she did, all covered with
mud, which daubed us; and she nearly crushed M. de Metz and me in this
carriage fit only for four.

M. de Coislin could not bear that at parting anybody should give him the
"last touch;" a piece of sport, rarely cared for except in early youth,
and out of which arises a chase by the person touched, in order to catch
him by whom he has been touched.  One evening, when the Court was at
Nancy, and just as everybody was going to bed, M. de Longueville spoke a
few words in private to two of his torch-bearers, and then touching the
Duc de Coislin, said he had given him the last touch, and scampered away,
the Duke hotly pursuing him.  Once a little in advance, M. de Longueville
hid himself in a doorway, allowed M. de Coislin to pass on, and then went
quietly home to bed.  Meanwhile the Duke, lighted by the torch-bearers,
searched for M. de Longueville all over the town, but meeting with no
success, was obliged to give up the chase, and went home all in a sweat.
He was obliged of course to laugh a good deal at this joke, but he
evidently did not like it over much.

With all his politeness, which was in no way put on, M. de Coislin could,
when he pleased, show a great deal of firmness, and a resolution to
maintain his proper dignity worthy of much praise.  At Nancy, on this
same occasion, the Duc de Crequi, not finding apartments provided for him
to his taste on arriving in town, went, in his brutal manner, and seized
upon those allotted to the Duc de Coislin.  The Duke, arriving a moment
after, found his servants turned into the street, and soon learned who
had sent them there.  M. de Crequi had precedence of him in rank; he said
not a word, therefore, but went to the apartments provided for the
Marechal de Crequi (brother of the other), served him exactly as he
himself had just been served, and took up his quarters there.  The
Marechal de Crequi arrived in his turn, learned what had occurred, and
immediately seized upon the apartments of Cavoye, in order to teach him
how to provide quarters in future so as to avoid all disputes.

On another occasion, M. de Coislin went to the Sorbonne to listen to a
thesis sustained by the second son of M. de Bouillon.  When persons of
distinction gave these discourses, it was customary for the Princes of
the blood, and for many of the Court, to go and hear them.  M. de Coislin
was at that time almost last in order of precedence among the Dukes.
When he took his seat, therefore, knowing that a number of them would
probably arrive, he left several rows of vacant places in front of him,
and sat himself down.  Immediately afterwards, Novion, Chief President of
the Parliament, arrived, and seated himself in front of M. de Coislin.
Astonished at this act of madness, M. de Coislin said not a word, but
took an arm-chair, and, while Novion turned his head to speak to Cardinal
de Bouillon, placed that arm-chair in front of the Chief President in
such a manner that he was as it were imprisoned, and unable to stir.
M. de Coislin then sat down.  This was done so rapidly, that nobody saw
it until it was finished.  When once it was observed, a great stir arose.
Cardinal de Bouillon tried to intervene.  M. de Coislin replied, that
since the Chief President had forgotten his position he must be taught
it, and would not budge.  The other presidents were in a fright, and
Novion, enraged by the offence put on him, knew not what to do.  It was
in vain that Cardinal de Bouillon on one side, and his brother on the
other, tried to persuade M. de Coislin to give way.  He would not listen
to them.  They sent a message to him to say that somebody wanted to see
him at the door on most important business.  But this had no effect.
"There is no business so important," replied M. de Coislin, "as that of
teaching M. le Premier President what he owes me, and nothing will make
me go from this place unless M. le President, whom you see behind me,
goes away first."

At last M. le Prince was sent for, and he with much persuasion
endeavoured to induce M. de Coislin to release the Chief President from
his prison.  But for some time M. de Coislin would listen as little to M.
le Prince as he had listened to the others, and threatened to keep Novion
thus shut up during all the thesis.  At length, he consented to set the
Chief President free, but only on condition that he left the building
immediately; that M. le Prince should guarantee this; and that no
"juggling tricks" (that was the term he made use of), should be played
off to defeat the agreement.  M. le Prince at once gave his word that
everything should be as he required, and M. de Coislin then rose, moved
away his arm-chair, and said to the Chief President, "Go away, sir! go
away, sir!"  Novion did on the instant go away, in the utmost confusion,
and jumped into his coach.  M. de Coislin thereupon took back his chair
to its former position and composed himself to listen again.

On every side M. de Coislin was praised for the firmness he had shown.
The Princes of the blood called upon him the same evening, and
complimented him for the course he had adopted; and so many other
visitors came during the evening that his house was quite full until a
late hour.  On the morrow the King also praised him for his conduct, and
severely blamed the Chief President.  Nay more, he commanded the latter
to go to M. de Coislin, at his house, and beg pardon of him.  It is easy
to comprehend the shame and despair of Novion at being ordered to take so
humiliating a step, especially after what had already happened to him.
He prevailed upon M. le Coislin, through the mediation of friends, to
spare him this pain, and M. de Coislin had the generosity to do so.  He
agreed therefore that when Novion called upon him he would pretend to be
out, and this was done.  The King, when he heard of it, praised very
highly the forbearance of the Duke.

He was not an old man when he died, but was eaten up with the gout, which
he sometimes had in his eyes, in his nose, and in his tongue.  When in
this state, his room was filled with the best company.  He was very
generally liked, was truth itself in his dealings and his words, and was
one of my friends, as he had been the friend of my father before me.

The President de Novion, above alluded to, was a man given up to
iniquity, whom money and obscure mistresses alone influenced.  Lawyers
complained of his caprices, and pleaders of his injustice.  At last, he
went so far as to change decisions of the court when they were given him
to sign, which was not found out for some time, but which led to his
disgrace.  He was replaced by Harlay in 1689; and lived in ignominy for
four years more.

About this time died Petit, a great physician, who had wit, knowledge,
experience, and probity; and yet lived to the last without being ever
brought to admit the circulation of the blood.

A rather strange novelty was observed at Fontainebleau: Madame publicly
at the play, in the second year of her mourning for Monsieur!  She made
some objections at first, but the King persuaded her, saying that what
took place in his palace ought not to be considered as public.

On Saturday, the 22nd of October of this year (1702), at about ten in the
morning, I had the misfortune to lose my father-in-law, the Marechal de
Lorges, who died from the effects of an unskilful operation performed
upon him for the stone.  He had been brought up as a Protestant, and had
practised that religion.  But he had consulted on the one hand with
Bossuet, and on the other hand with M. Claude, (Protestant) minister of
Charenton, without acquainting them that he was thus in communication
with both.  In the end the arguments of Bossuet so convinced him that he
lost from that time all his doubts, became steadfastly attached to the
Catholic religion, and strove hard to convert to it all the Protestants
with whom he spoke.  M. de Turenne, with whom he was intimately allied,
was in a similar state of mind, and, singularly enough, his doubts were
resolved at the same time, and in exactly the same manner, as those of M.
de Lorges.  The joy of the two friends, who had both feared they should
be estranged from each other when they announced their conversion, was
very great.  The Comtesse de Roye, sister to M. de Lorges, was sorely
affected at this change, and she would not consent to see him except on
condition that he never spoke of it.

M. de Lorges commanded with great distinction in Holland and elsewhere,
and at the death of M. de Turenne, took for the time, and with great
honour, his place.  He was made Marshal of France on the 21st of
February, 1676, not before he had fairly won that distinction.  The
remainder of his career showed his capacity in many ways, and acquired
for him the esteem of all.  His family were affected beyond measure at
his loss.  That house was in truth terrible to see.  Never was man so
tenderly or so universally regretted, or so worthy of being so.  Besides
my own grief, I had to sustain that of Madame de Saint-Simon, whom many
times I thought I should lose.  Nothing was comparable to the attachment
she had for her father, or the tenderness he had for her; nothing more
perfectly alike than their hearts and their dispositions.  As for me, I
loved him as a father, and he loved me as a son, with the most entire and
sweetest confidence.

About the same time died the Duchesse de Gesvres, separated from a
husband who had been the scourge of his family, and had dissipated
millions of her fortune.  She was a sort of witch, tall and lean, who
walked like an ostrich.  She sometimes came to Court, with the odd look
and famished expression to which her husband had brought her.  Virtue,
wit, and dignity distinguished her.  I remember that one summer the King
took to going very often in the evening to Trianon, and that once for all
he gave permission to all the Court, men and women, to follow him.  There
was a grand collation for the Princesses, his daughters, who took their
friends there, and indeed all the women went to it if they pleased.  One
day the Duchesse de Gesvres took it into her head to go to Trianon and
partake of this meal; her age, her rarity at Court, her accoutrements,
and her face, provoked the Princesses to make fun of her in whispers with
their fair visitors.  She perceived this, and without being embarrassed,
took them up so sharply, that they were silenced, and looked down.  But
this was not all: after the collation she began to talk so freely and yet
so humorously about them that they were frightened, and went and made
their excuses, and very frankly asked for quarter.  Madame de Gesvres was
good enough to grant them this, but said it was only on condition that
they learned how to behave.  Never afterwards did they venture to look at
her impertinently.  Nothing was ever so magnificent as these soirees of
Trianon.  All the flowers of the parterres were renewed every day; and I
have seen the King and all the Court obliged to go away because of the
tuberoses, the odour of which perfumed the air, but so powerfully, on
account of their quantity, that nobody could remain in the garden,
although very vast, and stretching like a terrace all along the canal.


The Prince d'Harcourt at last obtained permission to wait on the King,
after having never appeared at Court for seventeen years.  He had
followed the King in all his conquests in the Low Countries and Franche-
Comte; but he had remained little at the Court since his voyage to Spain,
whither he had accompanied the daughter of Monsieur to the King, Charles
II., her husband.  The Prince d'Harcourt took service with Venice, and
fought in the Morea until the Republic made peace with the Turks.  He was
tall, well made; and, although he looked like a nobleman and had wit,
reminded one at the same time of a country actor.  He was a great liar,
and a libertine in body and mind; a great spendthrift, a great and
impudent swindler, with a tendency to low debauchery, that cursed him all
his life.  Having fluttered about a long time after his return, and found
it impossible either to live with his wife--which is not surprising--or
accommodate himself to the Court or to Paris, he set up his rest at Lyons
with wine, street-walkers, a society to match, a pack of hounds, and a
gaming-table to support his extravagance and enable him to live at the
expense of the dupes, the imbeciles, and the sons of fat tradesmen, whom
he could lure into his nets.  Thus he spent many years, and seemed to
forget that there existed in the world another country besides Lyons.
At last he got tired, and returned to Paris.  The King, who despised him,
let him alone, but would not see him; and it was only after two months of
begging for him by the Lorraines, that he received permission to present
himself.  His wife, the Princesse d'Harcourt, was a favourite of Madame
de Maintenon.  The origin of their friendship is traced to the fact that
Brancas, the father of the Princess, had been one of the lovers of Madame
de Maintenon.  No claim less powerful could have induced the latter to
take into her favour a person who was so little worthy.  Like all women
who know nothing but what chance has taught them, and who have long
languished in obscurity before arriving at splendour, Madame de Maintenon
was dazzled by the very name of Princess, even if assumed: as to a real
Princess, nothing equalled her in her opinion.  The Princess then tried
hard to get the Prince invited to Marly, but without success.  Upon this
she pretended to sulk, in hopes that Madame de Maintenon would exert all
her influence; but in this she was mistaken.  The Prince accordingly by
degrees got disgusted with the Court, and retired into the provinces for
a time.

The Princesse d'Harcourt was a sort of personage whom it is good to make
known, in order better to lay bare a Court which did not scruple to
receive such as she.  She had once been beautiful and gay; but though not
old, all her grace and beauty had vanished.  The rose had become an ugly
thorn.  At the time I speak of she was a tall, fat creature, mightily
brisk in her movements, with a complexion like milk-porridge; great,
ugly, thick lips, and hair like tow, always sticking out and hanging down
in disorder, like all the rest of her fittings out.  Dirty, slatternly,
always intriguing, pretending, enterprising, quarrelling--always low as
the grass or high as the rainbow, according to the person with whom she
had to deal: she was a blonde Fury, nay more, a harpy: she had all the
effrontery of one, and the deceit and violence; all the avarice and the
audacity; moreover, all the gluttony, and all the promptitude to relieve
herself from the effects thereof; so that she drove out of their wits
those at whose house she dined; was often a victim of her confidence; and
was many a time sent to the devil by the servants of M. du Maine and M.
le Grand.  She, however, was never in the least embarrassed, tucked up
her petticoats and went her way; then returned, saying she had been
unwell.  People were accustomed to it.

Whenever money was to be made by scheming and bribery, she was there to
make it.  At play she always cheated, and if found out stormed and raged;
but pocketed what she had won.  People looked upon her as they would have
looked upon a fish-fag, and did not like to commit themselves by
quarrelling with her.  At the end of every game she used to say that she
gave whatever might have been unfairly gained to those who had gained it,
and hoped that others would do likewise.  For she was very devout by
profession, and thought by so doing to put her conscience in safety;
because, she used to add, in play there is always some mistake.  She went
to church always, and constantly took the sacrament, very often after
having played until four o'clock in the morning.

One day, when there was a grand fete at Fontainebleau, Madame la
Marechale de Villeroy persuaded her, out of malice, to sit down and play,
instead of going to evening prayers.  She resisted some time, saying that
Madame de Maintenon was going; but the Marechale laughed at her for
believing that her patron could see who was and who was not at the
chapel: so down they sat to play.  When the prayers were over, Madame de
Maintenon, by the merest accident--for she scarcely ever visited any one
--went to the apartments of the Marechale de Villeroy.  The door was
flung back, and she was announced.  This was a thunderbolt for the
Princesse d'Harcourt.  "I am ruined," cried she, unable to restrain
herself; "she will see me playing, and I ought to have been at chapel!"
Down fell the cards from her hands, and down fell she all abroad in her
chair.  The Marechale laughed most heartily at so complete an adventure.
Madame de Maintenon entered slowly, and found the Princess in this state,
with five or six persons.  The Marechale de Villeroy, who was full of
wit, began to say that, whilst doing her a great honour, Madame was the
cause of great disorder; and showed her the Princesse d'Harcourt in her
state of discomfiture.  Madame de Maintenon smiled with majestic
kindness, and addressing the Princesse d'Harcourt, "Is this the way,"
said she; "that you go to prayers?"  Thereupon the Princess flew out of
her half-faint into a sort of fury; said that this was the kind of trick
that was played off upon her; that no doubt the Marechale knew that
Madame de Maintenon was coming, and for that reason had persecuted her to
play.  "Persecuted!" exclaimed the Marechale, "I thought I could not
receive you better than by proposing a game; it is true you were for a
moment troubled at missing the chapel, but your tastes carried the day.
--This, Madame, is my whole crime," continued she, addressing Madame de
Maintenon.  Upon this, everybody laughed louder than before: Madame de
Maintenon, in order to stop the quarrel; commanded them both to continue
their game; and they continued accordingly, the Princesse d'Harcourt,
still grumbling, quite beside herself, blinded with fury, so as to commit
fresh mistakes every minute.  So ridiculous an adventure diverted the
Court for several days; for this beautiful Princess was equally feared,
hated, and despised.

Monseigneur le Duc and Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne continually played
off pranks upon her.  They put, one day, crackers all along the avenue of
the chateau at Marly, that led to the Perspective where she lodged.  She
was horribly afraid of everything.  The Duke and Duchess bribed two
porters to be ready to take her into the mischief.  When she was right in
the middle of the avenue the crackers began to go off; and she to cry
aloud for mercy; the chairman set her down and ran for it.  There she
was, then, struggling in her chair, furiously enough to upset it, and
yelling like a demon.  At this the company, which had gathered at the
door of the chateau to see the fun, ran to her assistance, in order to
have the pleasure of enjoying the scene more fully.  Thereupon she set to
abusing everybody right and left, commencing with Monseigneur and Madame
la Duchesse de Bourgogne.  At another time M. de Bourgogne put a cracker
under her chair in the salon, where she was playing at piquet.  As he was
about to set fire to this cracker, some charitable soul warned him that
it would maim her, and he desisted.

Sometimes they used to send about twenty Swiss guards, with drums, into
her chamber, who roused her from her first sleep by their horrid din.
Another time--and these scenes were always at Marly--they waited until
very late for her to go to bed and sleep.  She lodged not far from the
post of the captain of the guards, who was at that time the Marechal de
Lorges.  It had snowed very hard, and had frozen.  Madame la Duchesse de
Bourgogne and her suite gathered snow from the terrace which is on a
level with their lodgings; and, in order to be better supplied, waked up,
to assist them, the Marechal's people, who did not let them want for
ammunition.  Then, with a false key, and lights, they gently slipped into
the chamber of the Princesse d'Harcourt; and, suddenly drawing the
curtains of her bed, pelted her amain with snowballs.  The filthy
creature, waking up with a start, bruised and stifled in snow, with which
even her ears were filled, with dishevelled hair, yelling at the top of
her voice, and wriggling like an eel, without knowing where to hide,
formed a spectacle that diverted people more than half an hour: so that
at last the nymph swam in her bed, from which the water flowed
everywhere, slushing all the chamber.  It was enough to make one die of
laughter.  On the morrow she sulked, and was more than ever laughed at
for her pains.

Her fits of sulkiness came over her either when the tricks played were
too violent, or when M. le Grand abused her.  He thought, very properly,
that a person who bore the name of Lorraine should not put herself so
much on the footing of a buffoon; and, as he was a rough speaker, he
sometimes said the most abominable things to her at table; upon which the
Princess would burst out crying, and then, being enraged, would sulk.
The Duchesse de Bourgogne used then to pretend to sulk, too; but the
other did not hold out long, and came crawling back to her, crying,
begging pardon for having sulked, and praying that she might not cease to
be a source of amusement!  After some time the Duchess would allow
herself to be melted, and the Princess was more villainously treated than
ever, for the Duchesse de Bourgogne had her own way in everything.
Neither the King nor Madame de Maintenon found fault with what she did,
so that the Princesse d'Harcourt had no resource; she did not even dare
to complain of those who aided in tormenting her; yet it would not have
been prudent in any one to make her an enemy.

The Princesse d'Harcourt paid her servants so badly that they concocted a
plan, and one fine day drew up on the Pont Neuf.  The coachman and
footmen got down, and came and spoke to her at the door, in language she
was not used to hear.  Her ladies and chambermaid got down, and went
away, leaving her to shift as she might.  Upon this she set herself to
harangue the blackguards who collected, and was only too happy to find a
man, who mounted upon the seat and drove her home.  Another time, Madame
de Saint-Simon, returning from Versailles, overtook her, walking in full
dress in the street, and with her train under her arms.  Madame de Saint-
Simon stopped, offered her assistance, and found that she had been left
by her servants, as on the Pont Neuf.  It was volume the second of that
story; and even when she came back she found her house deserted, every
one having gone away at once by agreement.  She was very violent with her
servants, beat them, and changed diem every day.

Upon one occasion, she took into her service a strong and robust
chambermaid, to whom, from the first day of her arrival, she gave many
slaps and boxes on the ear.  The chambermaid said nothing, but after
submitting to this treatment for five or six days, conferred with the
other servants; and one morning, while in her mistress's room, locked the
door without being perceived, said something to bring down punishment
upon her, and at the first box on the ear she received, flew upon the
Princesse d'Harcourt, gave her no end of thumps and slaps, knocked her
down, kicked her, mauled her from her head to her feet, and when she was
tired of this exercise, left her on the ground, all torn and dishevelled,
howling like a devil.  The chambermaid then quitted the room, double-
locked the door on the outside, gained the staircase, and fled the house.

Every day the Princess was fighting, or mixed up in some adventures.
Her neighbours at Marly said they could not sleep for the riot she made
at night; and I remember that, after one of these scenes, everybody went
to see the room of the Duchesse de Villeroy and that of Madame d'Espinoy,
who had put their bed in the middle of their room, and who related their
night vigils to every one.

Such was this favourite of Madame de Maintenon; so insolent and so
insupportable to every one, but who had favours and preferences for those
who brought her over, and who had raised so many young men, amassed their
wealth, and made herself feared even by the Prince and minister.


In a previous page I have alluded to the Princesse des Ursins, when she
was appointed 'Camerera Mayor' to the Queen of Spain on her marriage.
As I have now to occupy myself more particularly with her, it may be as
well to give a description of this extraordinary woman, which I omitted
when I first spoke of her.

Anne Marie de la Tremoille, was daughter of M. de Noirmoutiers, who
figured sufficiently in the troubles of the minority to be made a 'Duc a
brevet'.  She first married M. Talleyrand, who called himself Prince de
Chalais, and who was obliged to quit the kingdom for engaging in the
famous duel against Messieurs de la Frette.  She followed her husband to
Spain, where he died.  Having gone to Rome, she got into favour with the
Cardinals de Bouillon and d'Estrees, first on account of her name and
nation, and afterwards for more tender reasons.  In order to detain her
at Rome, these dignitaries thought of obtaining her an establishment.
She had no children, and almost no fortune, they wrote to Court that so
important a man as the Duc de Bracciano, Prince des Ursins, was worth
gaining; and that the way to arrive at this result was to have him
married to Madame de Chalais.  The Duke was persuaded by the two
Cardinals that he was in love with Madame de Chalais: and so the affair
was arranged.  Madame des Ursins displayed all her wit and charms at
Rome; and soon her palace became a sort of court, where all the best
company assembled.  It grew to be the fashion to go there.

The husband amidst all this counts for not much.  There was sometimes a
little disagreement between the two, without open rupture; yet they were
now and then glad to separate.  This is why the Duchesse de Bracciano
made two journeys to France: the second time she spent four or five years
there.  It was then I knew her, or rather formed a particular friendship
with her.  My mother had made her acquaintance during her previous visit.
She lodged near us.  Her wit, her grace, her manners enchanted me: she
received me with tenderness and I was always at her house.  It was she
who proposed to me a marriage with Mlle. de Royan, which I rejected for
the reason already given.

When Madame des Ursins was appointed 'Camerera Mayor', she was a widow,
without children.  No one could have been better suited for the post.
A lady of our court would not have done: a Spanish lady was not to be
depended on, and might have easily disgusted the Queen.  The Princesse
des Ursins appeared to be a middle term.  She was French, had been in
Spain, and she passed a great part of her life at Rome, and in Italy.
She was of the house of La Tremoille: her husband was chief of the house
of Ursins, a grandee of Spain, and Prince of the Soglio.  She was also on
very good terms with the Duchess of Savoy, and with the Queen of
Portugal.  The Cardinal d'Estrees, also, was known to have remained her
friend, after having been something more in their youth; and he gave
information that the Cardinal Portocarrero had been much in love with her
at Rome, and that they were then on very good terms.  As it was through
the latter Cardinal that it was necessary to govern everything, this
circumstance was considered very important.

Age and health were also appropriate; and likewise her appearance.  She
was rather tall than otherwise, a brunette, with blue eyes of the most
varied expression, in figure perfect, with a most exquisite bosom; her
face, without being beautiful, was charming; she was extremely noble in
air, very majestic in demeanour, full of graces so natural and so
continual in everything, that I have never seen any one approach her,
either in form or mind.  Her wit was copious and of all kinds: she was
flattering, caressing, insinuating, moderate, wishing to please for
pleasing's sake, with charms irresistible when she strove to persuade and
win over; accompanying all this, she had a grandeur that encouraged
instead of frightening; a delicious conversation, inexhaustible and very
amusing, for she had seen many countries and persons; a voice and way of
speaking extremely agreeable, and full of sweetness.  She had read much,
and reflected much.  She knew how to choose the best society, how to
receive them, and could even have held a court; was polite,
distinguished; and above all was careful never to take a step in advance
without dignity and discretion.  She was eminently fitted for intrigue,
in which, from taste; she had passed her time at Rome; with much
ambition, but of that vast kind, far above her sex, and the common run of
men--a desire to occupy a great position and to govern.  A love for
gallantry and personal vanity were her foibles, and these clung to her
until her latest day; consequently, she dressed in a way that no longer
became her, and as she advanced in life, removed further from propriety
in this particular.  She was an ardent and excellent friend--of a
friendship that time and absence never enfeebled; and, consequently, an
implacable enemy, pursuing her hatred to the infernal regions.  While
caring little for the means by which she gained her ends, she tried as
much as possible to reach them by honest means.  Secret, not only for
herself, but for her friends, she was yet, of a decorous gaiety, and so
governed her humours, that at all times and in everything she was
mistress of herself.  Such was the Princesse des Ursins.

From the first moment on which she entered the service of the Queen of
Spain, it became her desire to govern not only the Queen, but the King;
and by this means the realm itself.  Such a grand project had need of
support from our King, who, at the commencement, ruled the Court of Spain
as much as his own Court, with entire influence over all matters.

The young Queen of Spain had been not less carefully educated than her
sister, the Duchesse de Bourgogne.  She had even when so young much
intelligence and firmness, without being incapable of restraint; and as
time went on, improved still further, and displayed a constancy and
courage which were admirably set off by her meekness and natural graces.
According to everything I have heard said in France and in Spain, she
possessed all qualities that were necessary to make her adored.  Indeed
she became a divinity among the Spaniards, and to their affection for
her, Philip V. was more than once indebted for his crown.  Lords, ladies,
soldiers, and the people still remember her with tears in their eyes; and
even after the lapse of so many years, are not yet consoled for her loss.

Madame des Ursins soon managed to obtain the entire confidence of this
Queen; and during the absence of Philip V. in Italy, assisted her in the
administration of all public offices.  She even accompanied her to the
junta, it not being thought proper that the Queen should be alone amid
such an assemblage of men.  In this way she became acquainted with
everything that was passing, and knew all the affairs of the Government.

This step gained, it will be imagined that the Princesse des Ursins did
not forget to pay her court most assiduously to our King and to Madame de
Maintenon.  She continually sent them an exact account of everything
relating to the Queen--making her appear in the most favourable light
possible.  Little by little she introduced into her letters details
respecting public events; without, however, conveying a suspicion of her
own ambition, or that she wished to meddle in these matters.  Anchored in
this way, she next began to flatter Madame de Maintenon, and by degrees
to hint that she might rule over Spain, even more firmly than she ruled
over France, if she would entrust her commands to Madame des Ursins.
Madame des Ursins offered, in fact, to be the instrument of Madame de
Maintenon; representing how much better it would be to rule affairs in
this manner, than through the instrumentality of the ministers of either

Madame de Maintenon, whose passion it was to know everything, to mix
herself in everything, and to govern everything, was, enchanted by the
siren.  This method of governing Spain without ministers appeared to her
an admirable idea.  She embraced it with avidity, without reflecting that
she would govern only in appearance, since she would know nothing except
through the Princesse des Ursins, see nothing except in the light in
which she presented it.  From that time dates the intimate union which
existed between these two important women, the unbounded authority of
Madame des Ursins, the fall of all those who had placed Philip V. upon
the throne, and of all our ministers in Spain who stood in the way of the
new power.

Such an alliance being made between the two women, it was necessary to
draw the King of Spain into the same net.  This was not a very arduous
task.  Nature and art indeed had combined to make it easy.

Younger brother of an excitable, violent, and robust Prince, Philip V,
had been bred up in a submission and dependence that were necessary for
the repose of the Royal family.  Until the testament of Charles II., the
Duc d'Anjou was necessarily regarded as destined to be a subject all his
life; and therefore could not be too much abased by education, and
trained to patience and obedience: That supreme law, the reason of state,
demanded this preference, for the safety and happiness of the kingdom,
of the elder over the younger brother.  His mind for this reason was
purposely narrowed and beaten down, and his natural docility and
gentleness greatly assisted in the process, He was quite formed to be
led, although he had enough judgment left to choose the better of two
courses proposed to him, and even to express himself in good phrase, when
the slowness, not to say the laziness, of his mind did not prevent him
from speaking at all.  His great piety contributed to weaken his mind;
and, being joined to very lively passions, made it disagreeable and even
dangerous for him to be separated from his Queen.  It may easily be
conceived, therefore, how he loved her; and that he allowed himself to be
guided by her in all things.  As the Queen herself was guided in all
things by Madame des Ursins, the influence of this latter was all-

Soon, indeed, the junta became a mere show.  Everything was brought
before the King in private, and he gave no decision until the Queen and
Madame des Ursins had passed theirs.  This conduct met with no opposition
from our Court, but our ministers at the Court of Spain and the Spanish
ministers here soon began to complain of it.  The first to do so were
Cardinals d'Estrees and Portocarrero.  Madame de Maintenon laughed at
them, and Madame des Ursins, of whom they were old friends, soon showed
them that she did not mean to abate one jot of her power.  She first
endeavoured to bring about a coldness between the two, and this succeeded
so well, that in consequence of the quarrels that resulted, the Spanish
Cardinal, Portocarrero (who, it will be remembered, had played an
important part in bringing Philip to the Spanish throne) wished to quit
the junta.  But Madame des Ursins, who thought that the time had not yet
arrived for this step, persuaded him to remain, and endeavoured to
flatter his vanity by an expedient altogether ridiculous.  She gave him
the command of a regiment of guards, and he, priest, archbishop, primate
and cardinal, accepted it, and was, of course, well laughed at by
everybody for his pains.  The two cardinals soon after became reconciled
to each other, feeling, perhaps, the necessity of uniting against the
common enemy.  But they could come to no better understanding with her.
Disagreements continued, so that at last, feeling her position perfectly
secure, the Princesse des Ursins begged permission to retire into Italy,
knowing full well that she would not be taken at her word, and hoping by
this means to deliver herself of these stumbling-blocks in her path.

Our ministers, who felt they would lose all control over Spanish affairs
if Madame des Ursins was allowed to remain mistress, did all in their
power to support the D'Estrees.  But Madame de Maintenon pleaded so well
with the King, representing the good policy of allowing a woman so much
attached to him, and to the Spanish Queen, as was Madame des Ursins, to
remain where she was, that he entirely swallowed the bait; the D'Estrees
were left without support; the French ambassador at Madrid was virtually
deprived of all power: the Spanish ministers were fettered in their every
movement, and the authority of Madame des Ursins became stronger than
ever.  All public affairs passed through her hands.  The King decided
nothing without conferring with the Queen and her.

While excluding almost all the ministers from public offices, Madame des
Ursins admitted a few favourites into her confidence.  Amongst them was
D'Harcourt, who stood well with Madame de Maintenon, and who cared little
for the means by which he obtained consideration; Orry, who had the
management of the finances; and D'Aubigny, son of a Procureur in Paris.
The last was a tall, handsome fellow, well made, and active in mind and
body; who for many years had been with the Princess, as a sort of squire,
and on very intimate terms with her.  One day, when, followed by some of
the ministers, she entered a room in which he was writing, he burst out
into exclamations against her, without being aware that she was not
alone, swore at her, asked her why she could not leave him an hour in
peace, called her by the strangest names, and all this with so much
impetuosity that she had no time to show him who were behind her.  When
he found it out, he ran from the room, leaving Madame des Ursins so
confused that the ministers looked for two or three minutes upon the
walls of the room in order to give her time to recover herself.  Soon
after this, D'Aubigny had a splendid suite of apartments, that had
formerly been occupied by Maria Theresa (afterwards wife of Louis XIV.),
placed at his disposal, with some rooms added, in despite of the murmurs
that arose at a distinction so strange accorded to this favourite.

At length, Cardinal d'Estrees, continually in arms against Madame des
Ursins, and continually defeated, could not bear his position any longer,
but asked to be immediately recalled.  All that the ministry could do was
to obtain permission for the Abbe d'Estrees (nephew of the Cardinal) to
remain as Ambassador of France at Madrid.  As for Portocarrero, seeing
the step his associate had taken, he resolved to quit public business
also, and resigned his place accordingly.  Several others who stood in
the way of the Princesse des Ursins were got rid of at the same time, so
that she was now left mistress of the field.  She governed absolutely in
all things; the ministers became instruments in her hands; the King and
Queen agents to work out her will.  She was at the highest pinnacle of
power.  Together with Orry she enjoyed a power such as no one had ever
attained since the time of the Duke of Lerma and of Olivares.

In the mean time the Archduke was declared King of Spain by the Emperor,
who made no mystery of his intention of attacking Spain by way of
Portugal.  The Archduke soon afterwards was recognised by Holland,
England, Portugal, Brandenburg, Savoy, and Hanover, as King of Spain,
under the title of Charles III., and soon after by the other powers of
Europe.  The Duke of Savoy had been treacherous to us, had shown that he
was in league with the Emperor.  The King accordingly had broken off all
relations with him, and sent an army to invade his territory.  It need be
no cause of surprise, therefore, that the Archduke was recognised by
Savoy.  While our armies were fighting with varied fortune those of the
Emperor and his allies, in different parts of Europe, notably upon the
Rhine, Madame des Ursins was pressing matters to extremities in Spain.
Dazzled by her success in expelling the two cardinals from public
affairs, and all the ministers who had assisted in placing Philip V.
upon the throne, she committed a blunder of which she soon had cause to

I have said, that when Cardinal d'Estrees quitted Spain, the Abbe
d'Estrees was left behind, so that France should not be altogether
unrepresented in an official manner at the Court of Madrid.  Madame des
Ursins did not like this arrangement, but as Madame de Maintenon insisted
upon it, she was obliged to accept it with as good grace as possible.
The Abbe, vain of his family and of his position, was not a man much to
be feared as it seemed.  Madame des Ursins accordingly laughed at and
despised him.  He was admitted to the council, but was quite without
influence there, and when he attempted to make any representations to
Madame des Ursins or to Orry, they listened to him without attending in
the least to what he said.  The Princess reigned supreme, and thought of
nothing but getting rid of all who attempted to divide her authority.
At last she obtained such a command over the poor Abbe d'Estrees, so
teased and hampered him, that he consented to the hitherto unheard-of
arrangement, that the Ambassador of France should not write to the King
without first concerting his letter with her, and then show her its
contents before he despatched it.  But such restraint as this became, in
a short time, so fettering, that the Abbe determined to break away from
it.  He wrote a letter to the King, without showing it to Madame des
Ursins.  She soon had scent of what he had done; seized the letter as it
passed through the post, opened it, and, as she expected, found its
contents were not of a kind to give her much satisfaction.  But what
piqued her most was, to find details exaggerating the authority of
D'Aubigny, and a statement to the effect that it was generally believed
she had married him.  Beside herself with rage and vexation, she wrote
with her own hand upon the margin of the letter, 'Pour mariee non'
("At any rate, not married"), showed it in this state to the King and
Queen of Spain, to a number of other people, always with strange
clamouring, and finally crowned her folly by sending it to the King
(Louis XIV.), with furious complaints against the Abbe for writing it
without her knowledge, and for inflicting upon her such an atrocious
injury as to mention this pretended marriage.  Her letter and its
enclosure reached the King at a very inopportune moment.  Just before,
he had received a letter, which, taken in connection with this of the
Princesse des Ursins, struck a blow at her power of the most decisive


Some little time previously it had been thought necessary to send an army
to the frontiers of Portugal to oppose the Archduke.  A French general
was wanted to command this army.  Madame des Ursins, who had been very
intimate with the King of England (James II.) and his Queen, thought she
would please them if she gave this post to the Duke of Berwick,
illegitimate son of King James.  She proposed this therefore; and our
King, out of regard for his brother monarch, and from a natural affection
for bastards, consented to the appointment; but as the Duke of Berwick
had never before commanded an army, he stipulated that Pursegur, known to
be a skilful officer, should go with him and assist him with his counsels
and advice.

Pursegur set out before the Duke of Berwick.  From the Pyrenees as far as
Madrid, he found every provision made for the subsistence of the French
troops, and sent a very advantageous account to the King of this
circumstance.  Arrived at Madrid, he had interviews with Orry (who, as I
have already mentioned, had the finances under his control, and who was a
mere instrument in the hands of Madame des Ursins), and was assured by
the minister that all the magazines along the line of route to the
frontiers of Portugal were abundantly filled with supplies for the French
troops, that all the money necessary was ready; and that nothing, in
fact, should fail in the course of the campaign.  Pursegur, who had found
nothing wanting up to that time, never doubted but that these statements
were perfectly correct; and had no suspicion that a minister would have
the effrontery to show him in detail all these precautions if he had
taken none.  Pleased, then, to the utmost degree, he wrote to the King in
praise of Orry, and consequently of Madame des Ursins and her wise
government.  Full of these ideas, he set out for the frontier of Portugal
to reconnoitre the ground himself, and arrange everything for the arrival
of the army and its general.  What was his surprise, when he found that
from Madrid to the frontier not a single preparation had been made for
the troops, and that in consequence all that Orry had shown him, drawn
out upon paper, was utterly fictitious.  His vexation upon finding that
nothing upon which he had reckoned was provided, may be imagined.  He at
once wrote to the King, in order to contradict all that he had recently

This conduct of Orry--his impudence, I may say--in deceiving a man who
immediately after would have under his eyes the proof of his deceit, is a
thing past all comprehension.  It is easy to understand that rogues
should steal, but not that they should have the audacity to do so in the
face of facts which so quickly and so easily could prove their villainy.

It was Pursegur's letter then, detailing this rascality on the part of
Orry, that had reached the King just before that respecting the Abbe
d'Estrees.  The two disclosed a state of things that could not be allowed
any longer to exist.  Our ministers, who, step by step, had been deprived
of all control over the affairs of Spain, profited by the discontentment
of the King to reclaim their functions.  Harcourt and Madame de Maintenon
did all they could to ward off the blow from Madame des Ursins, but
without effect.  The King determined to banish her to Rome and to dismiss
Orry from his post.

It was felt, however, that these steps must be taken cautiously, to avoid
offending too deeply the King and Queen of Spain, who supported their
favourite through every emergency.

In the first place, then, a simple reprimand was sent to the Princesse
des Ursins for the violation of the respect due to the King, by opening a
letter addressed to him by one of his ambassadors.  The Abbe d'Estrees,
who expected that Madame des Ursins would be at once disgraced, and who
had made a great outcry when his letter was opened, fell into such
despair when he saw how lightly she was let off, that he asked for his
dismissal.  He was taken at his word; and this was a new triumph for
Madame des Ursins, who thought herself more secure than ever.  Her
triumph was of but short duration.  The King wrote to Philip,
recommending him to head in person the army for the frontiers of
Portugal, which, in spite of Orry's deception, it was still determined to
send.  No sooner was Philip fairly away, separated from the Queen and
Madame des Ursins, and no longer under their influence, than the King
wrote to the Queen of Spain, requesting her, in terms that could not be
disputed, to dismiss at once and for ever her favourite 'Camerera Mayor'.
The Queen, in despair at the idea of losing a friend and adviser to whom
she had been so much attached, believed herself lost.  At the same time
that the King wrote to the Queen of Spain, he also wrote to the Princesse
des Ursins, ordering her to quit Madrid immediately, to leave Spain, and
to retire into Italy.

At this conjuncture of affairs, when the Queen was in despair, Madame des
Ursins did not lose her composure.  She opened her eyes to all that had
passed since she had violated D'Estrees' letter, and saw the vanity of
the triumph she had recently enjoyed.  She felt at once that for the
present all was lost, that her only hope was to be allowed to remain in
France.  She made all her arrangements, therefore, so that affairs might
proceed in her absence as much as possible as though she were present,
and then prepared to set out.  Dawdling day by day, she put off her
departure as long as could be, and when at length she left Madrid only
went to Alcala, a few leagues distant.  She stopped there under various
pretexts, and at length, after five weeks of delay, set out for Bayonne,
journeying as slowly as she could and stopping as often as she dared.

She lost no opportunity of demanding an audience at Versailles, in order
to clear herself of the charge which weighed upon her, and her
importunities at length were not without effect.  The most terrible
storms at Court soon blow over.  The King (Louis XIV.) was satisfied with
the success of his plans.  He had been revenged in every way, and had
humbled the pride of the Princesse des Ursins.  It was not necessary to
excite the anger of the Queen and King of Spain by too great harshness
against their fallen friend.  Madame de Maintenon took advantage of this
change in the temper of the King, and by dint of persuasion and scheming
succeeded in obtaining from him the permission for Madame des Ursins to
remain in France.  Toulouse was fixed upon for her residence.  It was a
place that just suited her, and from which communication with Spain was
easy.  Here accordingly she took up her residence, determined to watch
well the course of events, and to avail herself of every opportunity that
could bring about her complete reconciliation with the King (Louis XIV.),
and obtain for her in consequence the permission to return to Madrid.

In the mean time, the King and Queen of Spain, distressed beyond measure
at the loss of their favourite, thought only of the best means of
obtaining her recall.  They plotted with such ministers as were
favourable to her; they openly quarrelled with and thwarted those who
were her opponents, so that the most important matters perished in their
hands.  Nay more, upon the King of Spain's return, the Queen persuaded
him to oppose in all things the wishes of the King (Louis XIV.), his
grandfather, and to neglect his counsels with studied care.  Our King
complained of this with bitterness.  The aim of it was to tire him out,
and to make him understand that it was only Madame des Ursins, well
treated and sent back, who could restore Spanish affairs to their
original state, and cause his authority to be respected.  Madame de
Maintenon, on her side, neglected no opportunity of pressing the King to
allow Madame des Ursins, not to return into Spain--that would have been
to spoil all by asking too much but simply to come to Versailles in order
to have the opportunity of justifying herself for her past conduct.  From
other quarters the King was similarly importuned.  Tired at last of the
obstinate opposition he met with in Spain from the Queen; who governed
completely her husband, he gave permission to Madame des Ursins to come
to Versailles to plead her own cause.  Self-imprisoned as he was in
seclusion, the truth never approached him, and he was the only man in the
two kingdoms who had no suspicion that the arrival of Madame ales Ursins
at the Court was the certain sign of her speedy return to Spain more
powerful than ever.  But he was fatigued with the constant resistance he
met with; with the disorder which this occasioned in public affairs at a
time too when, as I will afterwards explain, the closest union was
necessary between the two crowns in order to repel the common enemy, and
these motives induced him, to the astonishment of his ministers, to grant
the favour requested of him.

However well informed Madame des Ursins might be of all that was being
done on her account, this permission surpassed her hopes.  Her joy
accordingly was very great; but it did not at all carry her away.  She
saw that her return to Spain would now depend upon herself.  She
determined to put on the air of one who is disgraced, but who hopes, and
yet is humiliated.  She instructed all her friends to assume the same
manner; took all measures with infinite presence of mind; did not hurry
her departure, and yet set out with sufficient promptness to prevent any
coldness springing up, and to show with what eagerness she profited by
the favour accorded to her, and which she had so much wished.

No sooner was the courier gone who carried this news to her, than the
rumour of her return was whispered all over the Court, and became
publicly confirmed a few days afterwards.  The movement that it produced
at Court was inconceivable.  Only the friends of Madame des Ursins were
able to remain in a tolerably tranquil state.  Everybody opened his eyes
and comprehended that the return of such an important personage was a
fact that could not be insignificant.  People prepared themselves for a
sort of rising sun that was going to change and renew many things in
nature.  On every side were seen people who had scarcely ever uttered her
name, and who now boasted of their intimacy with her and of her
friendship for them.  Other people were seen, who, although openly allied
with her enemies, had the baseness to affect transports of joy at her
forthcoming return, and to flatter those whom they thought likely to
favour them with her.

She reached Paris on Sunday, the 4th of January, 1705.  The Duc d'Albe
met her several miles out of the city, escorted her to his house, and
gave a fete in her honour there.  Several persons of distinction went out
to meet her.  Madame des Ursins had reason to be surprised at an entry so
triumphant: she would not, however, stay with the Duc and Duchesse
d'Albe, but took up her quarters with the Comtesse d'Egmont, niece of the
Archbishop of Aix; the said Archbishop having been instrumental in
obtaining her recall.  The King was at Marly.  I was there with Madame de
Saint-Simon.  During the remainder of the stay at Marly everybody flocked
to the house of Madame des Ursins, anxious to pay her their court.
However flattered she may have been by this concourse, she had matters to
occupy her, pleaded want of repose, and shut her door to three people out
of four who called upon her.  Curiosity, perhaps fashion, drew this great
crowd to her.  The ministers were startled by it.  Torcy had orders from
the King to go, and see her: he did so; and from that moment Madame des
Ursins changed her tone.  Until then her manner had been modest,
supplicating, nearly timid.  She now saw and heard so much that from
defendant, which she had intended to be, she thought herself in a
condition to become accuser; and to demand justice of those who, abusing
the confidence of the King, had drawn upon her such a long and cruel
punishment, and made her a show for the two kingdoms.  All that happened
to her surpassed her hopes.  Several times when with me she has expressed
her astonishment; and with me has laughed at many people, often of much
consideration, whom she scarcely knew, or who had been strongly opposed
to her, and who basely crouched at her feet.

The King returned to Versailles on Saturday, the 10th of January.  Madame
des Ursins arrived there the same day.  I went immediately to see her,
not having been able to do so before, because I could not quit Marly.  My
mother had seen a great deal of Madame des Ursins at Paris.  I had always
been on good terms with her, and had received on all occasions proofs of
her friendship.  She received me very well, spoke with much freedom, and
said she promised herself the pleasure of seeing me again, and of talking
with me more at her ease.  On, the morrow, Sunday, she dined at home
alone, dressed herself in grand style, and went to the King, with whom
she remained alone two hours and a half conversing in his cabinet.  From
there she went to the Duchesse de Bourgogne, with whom she also conversed
a long time alone.  In the evening, the King said, while in Madame de
Maintenon's apartments, that there were still many things upon which he
had not yet spoken to Madame des Ursins.  The next day she saw Madame de
Maintenon in private for a long time, and much at her ease.  She had an
interview soon after with the King and Madame de Maintenon, which was
also very long.

A month after this a special courier arrived from the King and Queen of
Spain, to thank the King (Louis XIV.) for his conduct towards the
Princesse des Ursins.  From that moment it was announced that she would
remain at Court until the month of April, in order to attend to her
affairs and her health.  It was already to have made a grand step to be
mistress enough to announce thus her stay.  Nobody in truth doubted of
her return to Spain, but the word was not yet said.  She avoided all
explanations, and it may be believed did not have many indiscreet
questions put to her upon the subject.

So many and such long audiences with the King, followed by so much
serenity, had a great effect upon the world, and the crowd that flocked
to see Madame des Ursins was greater than ever; but under various
pretences she shut herself up and would see only a few intimate friends,
foremost among which were Madame de Saint-Simon and myself.  Whilst
triumphant beyond all her hopes in Paris, she was at work in Spain, and
with equal success.  Rivas, who had drawn up the will of the late King
Charles II., was disgraced, and never afterwards rose to favour.  The Duc
de Grammont, our ambassador at Madrid, was so overwhelmed with annoyance,
that he asked for his recall.  Amelot, whom Madame des Ursins favoured,
was appointed in his place, and many who had been disgraced were
reinstated in office; everything was ordered according to her wishes.

We returned to Marly, where many balls took place.  It need not be
doubted that Madame des Ursins was among the invited.  Apartments were
given her, and nothing could equal the triumphant air with which she took
possession of them, the continual attentions of the King to her, as
though she were some little foreign queen just arrived at his Court, or
the majestic fashion in which she received them, mingled with grace and
respectful politeness, then almost out of date, and which recalled the
stately old dames of the Queen-mother.  She never came without the King,
who appeared to be completely occupied with her, talking with her,
pointing out objects for her inspection, seeking her opinion and her
approbation with an air of gallantry, even of flattery, which never
ceased.  The frequent private conversations that she had with him in the
apartment of Madame de Maintenon, and which lasted an hour, and sometimes
double that time; those that she very often had in the morning alone with
Madame de Maintenon, rendered her the divinity of the Court.  The
Princesses encircled her the moment she appeared anywhere, and went to
see her in her chamber.  Nothing was more surprising than the servile
eagerness with which the greatest people, the highest in power and the
most in favour, clustered around her.  Her very glances were counted, and
her words, addressed even to ladies of the highest rank, imprinted upon
them a look of ravishment.

I went nearly every morning to her house: she always rose very early,
dressed herself at once, so that she was never seen at her toilette.
I was in advance of the hour fixed for the most important visitors, and
we talked with the same liberty as of yore.  I learnt from her many
details, and the opinion of the King and of Madame de Maintenon upon many
people.  We often used to laugh in concert at the truckling to her of
persons the most considerable, and of the disdain they drew upon
themselves, although she did not testify it to them.  We laughed too at
the falsehood of others, who after having done her all the injury in
their power ever since her arrival, lavished upon her all kinds of
flatteries, and boasted of their affection for her and of zeal in her
cause.  I was flattered with this confidence of the dictatress of the
Court.  It drew upon me a sudden consideration; for people of the
greatest distinction often found me alone with her in the morning, and
the messengers who rained down at that time reported that they had found
me with her, and that they had not been able to speak to her.  Oftentimes
in the salon she called me to her, or at other times I went to her and
whispered a word in her ear, with an air of ease and liberty much envied
but little imitated.  She never met Madame de Saint-Simon without going
to her, praising her, making her join in the conversation that was
passing around; oftentimes leading her to the glass and adjusting her
head-dress or her robe as she might have done in private to a daughter.
People asked with surprise and much annoyance whence came such a great
friendship which had never been suspected by anybody?  What completed the
torment of the majority, was to see Madame des Ursins, as soon as she
quitted the chamber of Madame de Maintenon, go immediately to Madame de
Saint-Simon, lead her aside, and speak to her in a low tone.  This opened
the eyes of everybody and drew upon us many civilities.

A more solid gratification to us were the kind things Madame des Ursins
said in our behalf to the King and Madame de Maintenon.  She spoke in the
highest praise of Madame de Saint-Simon, and declared that there was no
woman at Court so fitting as she, so expressly made by her virtue, good
conduct, and ability, to be lady of the Palace, or even lady-of-honour to
Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne, should the post become vacant.  Madame
des Ursins did not forget me; but a woman was more susceptible of her
praise.  It made, therefore, all the more impression.  This kind manner
towards us did not change during all her stay at Court.

At all the balls which Madame des Ursins attended, she was treated with
much distinction, and at one she obtained permission for the Duc and
Duchesse d'Albe to be present, but with some little trouble.  I say with
some little trouble, because no ambassador, no foreigner, had ever,
with one exception, been admitted to Marly.  It was a great favour,
therefore, for Madame des Ursins to obtain.  The King, too, treated the
Duc and Duchesse d'Albe, throughout the evening with marked respect, and
placed the latter in the most distinguished position, not only in the
ball-room but at supper.  When he went to bed, too, he gave the Duc
d'Albe his candlestick; an honour the importance of which I have already

At the other balls Madame des Ursins seated herself near the Grand
Chamberlain, and looked at everybody with her lorgnette.  At every moment
the King turned round to speak to her and Madame de Maintenon, who came
for half an hour or so to these balls, and on her account displaced the
Grand Chamberlain, who put himself behind her.  In this manner she joined
Madame des Ursins, and was close to the King--the conversation between
the three being continual.  What appeared extremely singular was to see
Madame des Ursins in the salon with a little spaniel in her arms, as
though she had been in her own house.  People could not sufficiently
express their astonishment at a familiarity which even Madame la Duchesse
de Bourgogne would not have dared to venture; still less could they do so
when they saw the King caress this little dog over and over again.  In
fine, such a high flight has never been seen.  People could not accustom
themselves to it, and those who knew the King and his Court are surprised
still, when they think of it, after so many years.  There was no longer
any doubt that Madame des Ursins would return into Spain.  All her
frequent private conversations with the King and Madame de Maintenon were
upon that country.  I will only add here that her return took place in
due time; and that her influence became more paramount than ever.


In relating what happened to Madame des Ursins upon her return to Spain,
I have carried the narrative into the year 1705.  It is not necessary to
retrace our steps.  Towards the end of 1703 Courtin died.  He had early
shone at the Council, and had been made Intendant of Picardy.
M. de Chaulnes, whose estates were there, begged him to tax them as
lightly as possible.  Courtin, who was a very intimate friend of M. de
Chaulnes, complied with his request; but the next year, in going over his
accounts, he found that to do a good turn to M. de Chaulnes he had done
an ill turn to many others--that is to say, he had relieved M. de
Chaulnes at the expense of other parishes, which he had overcharged.
The trouble this caused him made him search deeply into the matter, and
he found that the wrong he had done amounted to forty thousand francs.
Without a second thought he paid back this money, and asked to be
recalled.  As he was much esteemed, his request was not at once complied
with, but he represented so well that he could not pass his life doing
wrong, and unable to serve his friends, that at last what he asked was
granted.  He afterwards had several embassies, went to England as
ambassador, and was very successful in that capacity.  I cannot quit
Courtin without relating an adventure he had one day with Fieubet, a
Councillor of State like himself.  As they were going to Saint Germain
they were stopped by several men and robbed; robbery was common in those
days, and Fieubet lost all he had in his pockets.  When the thieves had
left them, and while Fieubet was complaining of his misfortune, Courtin
began to applaud himself for having saved his watch and fifty pistoles
that he had time to slip into his trowsers.  Immediately on hearing this,
Fieubet put his head out of the coach window, and called back the
thieves, who came sure enough to see what he wanted.

"Gentlemen," said he, "you appear to be honest folks in distress; it is
not reasonable that you should be the dupes of this gentleman, who his
swindled you out of fifty pistoles and his watch."  And then turning to
Courtin, he smilingly said: "You told me so yourself, monsieur; so give
the things up like a man, without being searched."

The astonishment and indignation of Courtin were such that he allowed
money and watch to be taken from him without uttering a single word; but
when the thieves were gone away, he would have strangled Fieubet had not
this latter been the stronger of the two.  Fieubet only laughed at him;
and upon arriving at Saint Germain told the adventure to everybody he
met.  Their friends had all the trouble in the world to reconcile them.

The year finished with an affair in which I was not a little interested.
During the year there were several grand fetes, at which the King went to
High Mass and vespers.  On these occasions a lady of the Court, named by
the Queen, or when there was none, by the Dauphiness, made a collection
for the poor.  The house of Lorraine, always anxious to increase its
importance, shirked impudently this duty, in order thereby to give itself
a new distinction, and assimilate its rank to that of the Princes of the
blood.  It was a long time before this was perceived.  At last the
Duchesse de Noailles, the Duchesse de Guiche, her daughter, the Marechal
de Boufflers, and others, took notice of it; and I was soon after
informed of it.  I determined that the matter should be arranged, and
that justice should be done.

The Duchesse de Lude was first spoken to on the subject; she, weak and
timid, did not dare to do anything; but at last was induced to speak to
Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne, who, wishing to judge for herself as to
the truth of the matter, ordered Madame de Montbazon to make the
collection for the poor at the next fete that took place.  Although very
well, Madame de Montbazon pretended to be ill, stopped in bed half a day,
and excused herself on this ground from performing the duty.  Madame de
Bourgogne was annoyed, but she did not dare to push matters farther; and,
in consequence of this refusal, none of the Duchesses would make the
collection.  Other ladies of quality soon perceived this, and they also
refused to serve; so that the collection fell into all sorts of hands,
and sometimes was not made at all.  Matters went on so far, indeed, that
the King at last grew angry, and threatened to make Madame de Bourgogne
herself take this office.  But refusals still followed upon refusals, and
the bomb thus at length was ready to burst.

The King, who at last ordered the daughter of M. le Grand to take the
plate on New Year's Day, 1704., had, it seems, got scent of the part I
was taking in this matter, and expressed himself to Madame de Maintenon,
as I learnt, as very discontented with me and one or two other Dukes.
He said that the Dukes were much less obedient to him than the Princes;
and that although many Duchesses had refused to make the collection, the
moment he had proposed that the daughter of M. le Grand should take it,
M. le Grand consented.  On the next day, early in the morning, I saw
Chamillart, who related to me that on the previous evening, before he had
had time to open his business, the King had burst out in anger against
me, saying it was very strange, but that since I had quitted the army I
did nothing but meddle in matters of rank and bring actions against
everybody; finishing, by declaring that if he acted well he should send
me so far away that I should be unable to importune him any more.
Chamillart added, that he had done all in his power to appease the King,
but with little effect.

After consulting with my friends, I determined to go up to the King and
boldly ask to speak to him in his cabinet, believing that to be the
wisest course I could pursue.  He was not yet so reconciled to me as he
afterwards became, and, in fact, was sorely out of humour with me.  This
step did not seem, therefore, altogether unattended with danger; but,
as I have said, I resolved to take it.  As he passed, therefore, from his
dinner that same day, I asked permission to follow him into his cabinet.
Without replying to me, he made a sign that I might enter, and went into
the embrasure of the window.

When we were quite alone I explained, at considerable length, my reasons
for acting in this matter, declaring that it was from no disrespect to
his Majesty that I had requested Madame de Saint-Simon and the other
Duchesses to refuse to collect for the poor, but simply to bring those to
account who had claimed without reason to be exempt from this duty.
I added, keeping my eyes fixed upon the King all the time, that I begged
him to believe that none of his subjects were more submissive to his will
or more willing to acknowledge the supremacy of his authority in all
things than the Dukes.  Until this his tone and manner had been very
severe; but now they both softened, and he said, with much goodness and
familiarity, that "that was how it was proper to speak and think," and
other remarks equally gracious.  I took then the opportunity of
expressing the sorrow I felt at seeing, that while my sole endeavour was
to please him, my enemies did all they could to blacken me in his eyes,
indicating that I suspected M. le Grand, who had never pardoned me for
the part I took in the affair of the Princesse d'Harcourt, was one of the
number.  After I had finished the King remained still a moment, as if
ready to hear if I had anything more to say, and then quitted me with a
bow, slight but very gracious, saying it was well, and that he was
pleased with me.

I learnt afterwards that he said the same thing of me in the evening to
Chamillart, but, nevertheless, that he did not seem at all shaken in his
prejudice in favour of M. le Grand.  The King was in fact very easy to
prejudice, difficult to lead back, and most unwilling to seek
enlightenment, or to listen to any explanations, if authority was in the
slightest degree at stake.  Whoever had the address to make a question
take this shape, might be assured that the King would throw aside all
consideration of justice, right, and reason, and dismiss all evidence.
It was by playing on this chord that his ministers knew how to manage him
with so much art, and to make themselves despotic masters, causing him to
believe all they wished, while at the same time they rendered him
inaccessible to explanation, and to those who might have explained.

I have, perhaps, too much expanded an affair which might have been more
compressed.  But in addition to the fact that I was mixed up in it, it is
by these little private details, as it seems to me, that the characters
of the Court and King are best made known.

In the early part of the next year, 1704., the King made La Queue, who
was a captain of cavalry, campmaster.  This La Queue was seigneur of the
place of which he bore the name, distant six leagues from Versailles, and
as much from Dreux.  He had married a girl that the King had had by a
gardener's wife.  Bontems, the confidential valet of the King, had
brought about the marriage without declaring the names of the father or
the mother of the girl; but La Queue knew it, and promised himself a
fortune.  The girl herself was tall and strongly resembled the King.
Unfortunately for her, she knew the secret of her birth, and much envied
her three sisters--recognised, and so grandly married.  She lived on very
good terms with her husband--always, however, in the greatest privacy--
and had several children by him.  La Queue himself, although by this
marriage son-in-law of the King, seldom appeared at the Court, and, when
there, was on the same footing as the simplest soldier.  Bontems did not
fail from time to time to give him money.  The wife of La Queue lived
very melancholily for twenty years in her village, never left it, and
scarcely ever went abroad for fear of betraying herself.

On Wednesday, the 25th of June, Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne had a son
born to him.  This event caused great joy to the King and the Court.
The town shared their delight, and carried their enthusiasm almost to
madness, by the excess of their demonstration and their fetes.  The King
gave a fete at Marly, and made the most magnificent presents to Madame la
Duchesse de Bourgogne when she left her bed.  But we soon had reason to
repent of so much joy, for the child died in less than a year--and of so
much money unwisely spent, in fetes when it was wanted for more pressing
purposes.  Even while these rejoicings were being celebrated, news
reached us which spread consternation in every family, and cast a gloom
over the whole city.

I have already said that a grand alliance, with the Emperor at its head,
had been formed against France, and that our troops were opposing the
Allies in various parts of Europe.  The Elector of Bavaria had joined his
forces to ours, and had already done us some service.  On the 12th of
August he led his men into the plain of Hochstedt, where, during the
previous year, he had gained a victory over the Imperialists.  In this
plain he was joined by our troops, who took up positions right and left
of him, under the command of Tallard and Marsin.  The Elector himself had
command of all.  Soon after their arrival at Hochstedt, they received
intelligence that Prince Eugene, with the Imperialist forces, and the
Duke of Marlborough with the English were coming to meet them.  Our
generals had, however, all the day before them to choose their ground,
and to make their dispositions.  It would have been difficult to succeed
worse, both with the one and the other.  A brook, by no means of a miry
kind, ran parallel to our army; and in front of it a spring, which formed
a long and large quagmire, nearly separated the two lines of Marshal
Tallard.  It was a strange situation for a general to take up, who is
master of a vast plain; and it became, as will be seen, a very sad one.
At his extreme right was the large village of Blenheim, in which, by a
blindness without example, he had placed twenty-six battalions of
infantry, six regiments of dragoons, and a brigade of cavalry.  It was an
entire army merely for the purpose of holding this village, and
supporting his right, and of course he had all these troops the less to
aid him in the battle which took place.  The first battle of Hochstedt
afforded a lesson which ought to have been studied on this occasion.
There were many officers present, too, who had been at that battle; but
they were not consulted.  One of two courses was open, either to take up
a position behind the brook, and parallel to it, so as to dispute its
passage with the enemies, or to take advantage of the disorder they would
be thrown into in crossing it by attacking them then.  Both these plans
were good; the second was the better; but neither was adopted.  What was
done was, to leave a large space between our troops and the brook, that
the enemy might pass at their ease, and be overthrown afterwards, as was
said.  With such dispositions it is impossible to doubt but that our
chiefs were struck with blindness.  The Danube flowed near enough to
Blenheim to be of sufficient support to our right, better indeed than
that village, which consequently there was no necessity to hold.

The enemies arrived on the 13th of August at the dawn, and at once took
up their position on the banks of the brook.  Their surprise must have
been great to see our army so far off, drawn up in battle array.  They
profited by the extent of ground left to them, crossed the brook at
nearly every point, formed themselves in several lines on the side to
which they crossed, and then extended themselves at their ease, without
receiving the slightest opposition.  This is exact truth, but without any
appearance of being so; and posterity will with difficulty believe it.
It was nearly eight o'clock before all these dispositions, which our
troops saw made without moving, were completed.  Prince Eugene with his
army had the right; the Duke of Marlborough the left.  The latter thus
opposed to the forces of Tallard, and Prince Eugene to those of Marsin.

The battle commenced; and in one part was so far favourable to us that
the attack of Prince Eugene was repulsed by Marsin, who might have
profited by this circumstance but for the unfortunate position of our
right.  Two things contributed to place us at a disadvantage.  The second
line, separated by the quagmire I have alluded to from the first line,
could not sustain it properly; and in consequence of the long bend it was
necessary to make round this quagmire, neither line, after receiving or
making a charge, could retire quickly to rally and return again to the
attack.  As for the infantry, the twenty-six battalions shut up in
Blenheim left a great gap in it that could not fail to, be felt.  The
English, who soon perceived the advantage they might obtain from this
want of infantry, and from the difficulty with which our cavalry of the
right was rallied, profited by these circumstances with the readiness of
people who have plenty of ground at their disposal.  They redoubled their
charges, and to say all in one word, they defeated at their first attack
all this army, notwithstanding the efforts of our general officers and of
several regiments to repel them.  The army of the Elector, entirely
unsupported, and taken in flank by the English, wavered in its turn.
All the valour of the Bavarians, all the prodigies of the Elector, were
unable to remedy the effects of this wavering.  Thus was seen, at one and
the same time, the army of Tallard beaten and thrown into the utmost
disorder; that of the Elector sustaining itself with great intrepidity,
but already in retreat; and that of Marsin charging and gaining ground
upon Prince Eugene.  It was not until Marsin learnt of the defeat of
Tallard and of the Elector, that he ceased to pursue his advantages, and
commenced his retreat.  This retreat he was able to make without being

[Illustration: After The Battle of Blenheim--Painted by R. Canton

In the mean time the troops in Blenheim had been twice attacked, and had
twice repulsed the enemy.  Tallard had given orders to these troops on no
account to leave their positions, nor to allow a single man even to quit
them.  Now, seeing his army defeated and in flight, he wished to
countermand these orders.  He was riding in hot haste to Blenheim to do
so, with only two attendants, when all three were surrounded, recognised,
and taken prisoners.

These troops shut up in Blenheim had been left under the command of
Blansac, camp-marshal, and Clerembault, lieutenant-general.  During the
battle this latter was missed, and could nowhere be found.  It was known
afterwards that, for fear of being killed, he had endeavoured to escape
across the Danube on horseback attended by a single valet.  The valet
passed over the river in safety, but his master went to the bottom.
Blansac, thus left alone in command, was much troubled by the disorders
he saw and heard, and by the want which he felt of fresh orders.  He sent
a messenger to Tallard for instructions how to act, but his messenger was
stopped on the road, and taken prisoner.  I only repeat what Blansac
himself reported in his defence, which was equally ill-received by the
King and the public, but which had no contradictors, for nobody was
witness of what took place at Blenheim except those actually there, and
they all, the principals at least, agreed in their story.  What some of
the soldiers said was not of a kind that could altogether be relied upon.

While Blansac was in this trouble, he saw Denonville, one of our officers
who had been taken prisoner, coming towards the village, accompanied by
an officer who waved a handkerchief in the air and demanded a parley.
Denonville was a young man, very handsome and well made, who being a
great favourite with Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne had become
presumptuous and somewhat audacious.  Instead of speaking in private to
Blansac and the other principal officers--since he had undertaken so
strange a mission--Denonville, who had some intellect, plenty of fine
talk, and a mighty opinion of himself, set to work haranguing the troops,
trying to persuade them to surrender themselves prisoners of war, so that
they might preserve themselves for the service of the King.  Blansac, who
saw the wavering this caused among the troops, sharply told Denonville to
hold his tongue, and began himself to harangue the troops in a contrary
spirit.  But it was to late.  The mischief was done.  Only one regiment,
that of Navarre, applauded him, all the rest maintained a dull silence.
I remind my readers that it is Blansac's version of the story I am

Soon after Denonville and his companion had returned to the enemy, an
English lord came, demanding a parley with the commandant.  He was
admitted to Blansac, to whom he said that the Duke of Marlborough had
sent him to say that he had forty battalions and sixty pieces of cannon
at his disposal, with reinforcements to any extent at command; that he
should surround the village on all sides; that the army of Tallard was in
flight, and the remains of that of the Elector in retreat; that Tallard
and many general officers were prisoners; that Blansac could hope for no
reinforcements; and that, therefore, he had better at once make an
honourable capitulation, and surrender, himself with all his men
prisoners of war, than attempt a struggle in which he was sure to be
worsted with great loss.  Blansac wanted to dismiss this messenger at
once, but the Englishman pressed him to advance a few steps out of the
village, and see with his own eyes the defeat of the Electoral army, and
the preparations that were made on the other side to continue the battle.
Blansac accordingly, attended by one of his officers, followed this lord,
and was astounded to see with his own eyes that all he had just heard was
true.  Returned into Bleinheim, Blansac assembled all his principal
officers, made them acquainted with the proposition that had been made,
and told them what he had himself seen.  Every one comprehended what a
frightful shock it would be for the country when it learnt that they had
surrendered themselves prisoners of war; but all things well considered,
it was thought best to accept these terms, and so preserve to the King
the twenty-six battalions and the twelve squadrons of dragoons who were
there.  This terrible capitulation was at once, therefore, drawn up and
signed by Blansac, the general officers, and the heads of every corps
except that of Navarre, which was thus the sole one which refused.

The number of prisoners that fell to the enemy in this battle was
infinite.  The Duke of Marlborough took charge of the most distinguished,
until he could carry them away to England, to grace his triumph there.
He treated them all, even the humblest, with the utmost attention,
consideration, and politeness, and with a modesty that did him even more
honour than his victory.  Those that came under the charge of Prince
Louis of Baden were much less kindly treated.

The King received the cruel news of this battle on the 21st of August, by
a courier from the Marechal de Villeroy.  By this courier the King learnt
that a battle had taken place on the 13th; had lasted from eight o'clock
in the morning until evening; that the entire army of Tallard was killed
or taken prisoners; that it was not known what had become of Tallard
himself, or whether the Elector and Marsin had been at the action.  The
private letters that arrived were all opened to see what news they
contained, but no fresh information could be got from them.  For six days
the King remained in this uncertainty as to the real losses that had been
sustained.  Everybody was afraid to write bad news; all the letters which
from time to time arrived, gave, therefore, but an unsatisfactory account
of what had taken place.  The King used every means in his power to
obtain some news.  Every post that came in was examined by him, but there
was little found to satisfy him.  Neither the King nor anybody else could
understand, from what had reached them, how it was that an entire army
had been placed inside a village, and had surrendered itself by a signed
capitulation.  It puzzled every brain.  At last the details, that had
oozed out little by little, augmented to a perfect stream by the
arrival of one of our officers, who, taken prisoner, had been allowed by
the Duke of Marlborough to go to Paris to relate to the King the
misfortune that had happened to him.

We were not accustomed to misfortunes.  This one, very reasonably, was
utterly unexpected.  It seemed in every way the result of bad
generalship, of an unjustifiable disposition of troops, and of a series
of gross and incredible errors.  The commotion was general.  There was
scarcely an illustrious family that had not had one of its members
killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.  Other families were in the same
case.  The public sorrow and indignation burst out without restraint.
Nobody who had taken part in this humiliation was spared; the generals
and the private soldiers alike came in for blame.  Denonville was
ignominiously broken for the speech he had made at Blenheim.  The
generals, however, were entirely let off.  All the punishment fell upon
certain regiments, which were broken, and upon certain unimportant
officers--the guilty and innocent mixed together.  The outcry was
universal.  The grief of the King at this ignominy and this loss, at the
moment when he imagined that the fate of the Emperor was in his hands,
may be imagined.  At a time when he might have counted upon striking a
decisive blow, he saw himself reduced to act simply on the defensive, in
order to preserve his troops; and had to repair the loss of an entire
army, killed or taken prisoners.  The sequel showed not less that the
hand of God was weighty upon us.  All judgment was lost.  We trembled
even in the midst of Alsace.

In the midst of all this public sorrow, the rejoicing and the fetes for
the birth of the Duc de Bretagne son of Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne,
were not discontinued.  The city gave a firework fete upon the river,
that Monseigneur, the Princes, his sons, and Madame la Duchesse de
Bourgogne, with many ladies and courtiers, came to see from the windows
of the Louvre, magnificent cheer and refreshments being provided for
them.  This was a contrast which irritated the people, who would not
understand that it was meant for magnanimity.  A few days afterwards the
King gave an illumination and a fete at Marly, to which the Court of
Saint Germain was invited; and which was all in honour of Madame la
Duchesse de Bourgogne.  He thanked the Prevot des Marchand for the
fireworks upon the river, and said that Monseigneur and Madame had found
them very beautiful.

Shortly after this, I received a letter from one of my friends, the Duc
de Montfort, who had always been in the army of the Marechal de Villeroy.
He sent word to me, that upon his return he intended to break his sword,
and retire from the army.  His letter was written in such a despairing
tone that, fearing lest with his burning courage he might commit some
martial folly, I conjured him not to throw himself into danger for the
sake of being killed.  It seemed that I had anticipated his intentions.
A convoy of money was to be sent to Landau.  Twice he asked to be allowed
to take charge of this convoy, and twice he was told it was too
insignificant a charge for a camp-marshal to undertake.  The third time
that he asked this favour, he obtained it by pure importunity.  He
carried the money safely into Landau, without meeting with any obstacle.
On his return he saw some hussars roving about.  Without a moment's
hesitation he resolved to give chase to them.  He was with difficulty
restrained for some time, and a last, breaking away, he set off to attack
them, followed by only two officers.  The hussars dispersed themselves,
and retreated; the Duc de Montfort followed them, rode into the midst of
them, was surrounded on all sides, and soon received a blow which
overturned him.  In a few moments after, being carried off by his men, he
died, having only had time to confess himself, and to arrive at his
quarters.  He was infinitely regretted by everybody who had known him.
The grief of his family may be imagined.


The King did not long remain without some consolation for the loss of the
battle of Hochstedt (Blenheim).  The Comte de Toulouse--very different in
every respect from his brother, the Duc du Maine--was wearied with
cruising in the Mediterranean, without daring to attack enemies that were
too strong for him.  He had, therefore, obtained reinforcements this
year, so that he was in a state to measure his forces with any opponent.
The English fleet was under the command of Admiral Rooks.  The Comte de
Toulouse wished above all things to attack.  He asked permission to do
so, and, the permission being granted, he set about his enterprise.  He
met the fleet of Admiral Rooks near Malaga, on the 24th of September of
this year, and fought with it from ten o'clock in the morning until eight
o'clock in the evening.  The fleets, as far as the number of vessels was
concerned, were nearly equal.  So furious or so obstinate a sea-fight had
not been seen for a long time.  They had always the wind upon our fleet,
yet all the advantage was on the side of the Comte de Toulouse, who could
boast that he had obtained the victory, and whose vessel fought that of
Rooks, dismasted it, and pursued it all next day towards the coast of
Barbary, where the Admiral retired.  The enemy lost six thousand men; the
ship of the Dutch Vice-Admiral was blown up; several others were sunk,
and some dismasted.  Our fleet lost neither ship nor mast, but the
victory cost the lives of many distinguished people, in addition to those
of fifteen hundred soldiers or sailors killed or wounded.

Towards evening on the 25th, by dint of maneuvers, aided by the wind, our
fleet came up again with that of Rooks.  The Comte de Toulouse was for
attacking it again on the morrow, and showed that if the attack were
successful, Gibraltar would be the first result of the victory.  That
famous place, which commands the important strait of the same name, had
been allowed to fall into neglect, and was defended by a miserable
garrison of forty men.  In this state it had of course easily fallen into
the hands of the enemies.  But they had not yet had time to man it with a
much superior force, and Admiral Rooks once defeated, it must have
surrendered to us.

The Comte de Toulouse urged his advice with all the energy of which he
was capable, and he was supported in opinion by others of more experience
than himself.  But D'O, the mentor of the fleet, against whose counsel he
had been expressly ordered by the King never to act, opposed the project
of another attack with such disdainful determination, that the Comte had
no course open but to give way.  The annoyance which this caused
throughout the fleet was very great.  It soon was known what would have
become of the enemy's fleet had it been attacked, and that Gibraltar
would have been found in exactly the same state as when abandoned.  The
Comte de Toulouse acquired great honour in this campaign, and his stupid
teacher lost little, because he had little to lose.

M. de Mantua having surrendered his state to the King, thereby rendering
us a most important service in Italy, found himself ill at ease in his
territory, which had become the theatre of war, and had come incognito to
Paris.  He had apartments provided for him in the Luxembourg, furnished
magnificently with the Crown furniture, and was very graciously received
by the King.  The principal object of his journey was to marry some
French lady; and as he made no secret of this intention, more than one
plot was laid in order to provide him with a wife.  M. de Vaudemont,
intent upon aggrandizing the house of Lorraine, wished.  M de Mantua to
marry a member of that family, and fixed upon Mademoiselle d'Elboeuf for
his bride.  The Lorraines did all in their power to induce M. de Mantua
to accept her.  But M. le Prince had also his designs in this matter.  He
had a daughter; whom he knew not how to get off his hands, and he thought
that in more ways than one it would be to his advantage to marry her to
the Duke of Mantua.  He explained his views to the King, who gave him
permission to follow them out, and promised to serve him with all his
protection.  But when the subject was broached to M. de Mantua, he
declined this match in such a respectful, yet firm, manner that M. le
Prince felt he must abandon all hope of carrying it out.  The Lorraines
were not more successful in their designs.  When M. de Vaudemont had
first spoken of Mademoiselle d'Elboeuf, M. de Mantua had appeared to
listen favourably.  This was in Italy.  Now that he was in Paris he acted
very differently.  It was in vain that Mademoiselle d'Elboeuf was thrust
in his way, as though by chance, at the promenades, in the churches; her
beauty, which might have touched many others, made no impression upon
him.  The fact was that M. de Mantua, even long before leaving his state,
had fixed upon a wife.

Supping one evening with the Duc de Lesdiguieres, a little before the
death of the latter, he saw a ring with a portrait in it; upon the Duke's
finger.  He begged to be allowed to look at the portrait, was charmed
with it, and said he should be very happy to have such a beautiful
mistress.  The Duke at this burst out laughing, and said it was the
portrait of his wife.  As soon as the Duc de Lesdiguieres was dead,
de Mantua thought only of marrying the young widowed Duchess.  He sought
her everywhere when he arrived in Paris, but without being able to find
her; because she was in the first year of her widowhood.  He therefore
unbosomed himself to Torcy, who reported the matter to the King.  The
King approved of the design of M. de Mantua, and charged the Marechal de
Duras to speak to the Duchesse de Lesdiguieres, who was his daughter.
The Duchess was equally surprised and afflicted when she learned what was
in progress.  She testified to her father her repugnance to abandon
herself to the caprices and the jealousy of an old Italian 'debauche' the
horror she  felt at the idea of being left alone with him in Italy; and
the reasonable fear she had of her health, with a man whose own could not
be good.

I was promptly made acquainted with this affair; for Madame de
Lesdiguieres and Madame de Saint-Simon were on the most intimate terms.
I did everything in my power to persuade Madame de Lesdirguieres to
content to the match, insisting at once on her family position, on the
reason of state, and on the pleasure of ousting Madame d'Elboeuf,--but it
was all in vain.  I never saw such firmness.  Pontchartrain, who came and
reasoned with her, was even less successful than I, for he excited her by
threats and menaces.  M. le Prince himself supported us--having no longer
any hope for himself, and fearing, above all things, M. de Mantua's
marriage with a Lorraine--and did all he could to persuade Madame de
Lesdiguieres to give in.  I renewed my efforts in the same direction, but
with no better success than before.  Nevertheless, M. de Mantua,
irritated by not being able to see Madame de Lesdirguieres, resolved to
go and wait for her on a Sunday at the Minimes.  He found her shut up in
a chapel, and drew near the door in order to see her as she went out.  He
was not much gratified; her thick crape veil was lowered; it was with
difficulty he could get a glance at her.  Resolved to succeed, he spoke
to Torcy, intimating that Madame de Lesdiguieres ought not to refuse such
a slight favour as to allow herself to be seen in a church.  Torcy
communicated this to the King, who sent word to Madame de Lesdiguieres
that she must consent to the favour M. de Mantua demanded.  She could not
refuse after this.  M. de Mantua went accordingly, and waited for her in
the same place, where he had once already so badly seen her.  He found
her, in the chapel, and drew near the door, as before.  She came out, her
veil raised, passed lightly before him, made him a sliding courtesy as
she glided by, in reply to his bow, and reached her coach.

M. de Mantua was charmed; he redoubled his efforts with the King and M.
de Duras; the matter was discussed in full council, like an affair of
state--indeed it was one; and it was resolved to amuse M. de Mantua, and
yet at the same time to do everything to vanquish this resistance of
Madame de Lesdiguieres, except employing the full authority of the King,
which the King himself did not wish to exert.  Everything was promised to
her on the part of the King: that it should be his Majesty who would make
the stipulations of the marriage contract; that it should be his Majesty
who would give her a dowry, and would guarantee her return to France if
she became a widow, and assure her his protection while she remained a
wife; in one word, everything was tried, and in the gentlest and most
honourable manner, to persuade her.  Her mother lent us her house one
afternoon, in order that we might speak more at length and more at our
ease there to Madame de Lesdiguieres than we could at the Hotel de Duras.
We only gained a torrent of tears for our pains.

A few days after this, I was very much astonished to hear Chamillart
relate to me all that had passed at this interview.  I learnt afterwards
that Madame de Lesdiguieres, fearing that if, entirely unsupported, she
persisted in her refusal, it might draw upon her the anger of the King,
had begged Chamillart to implore his Majesty not to insist upon this
marriage.  M. de Mantua hearing this, turned his thoughts elsewhere; and
she was at last delivered of a pursuit which had become a painful
persecution to her.  Chamillart served her so well that the affair came
to an end; and the King, flattered perhaps by the desire this young
Duchess showed to remain his subject instead of becoming a sovereign,
passed a eulogium upon her the same evening in his cabinet to his family
and to the Princesses, by whom it was spread abroad through society.

I may as well finish this matter at once.  The Lorraines, who had watched
very closely the affair up to this point, took hope again directly they
heard of the resolution M. de Mantua had formed to abandon his pursuit of
Madame de Lesdiguieres.  They, in their turn, were closely watched by
M. le Prince, who so excited the King against them, that Madame d'Elboeuf
received orders from him not to continue pressing her suit upon M. de
Mantua.  That did not stop them.  They felt that the King would not
interfere with them by an express prohibition, and sure, by past
experience, of being on better terms with him afterwards than before,
they pursued their object with obstinacy.  By dint of much plotting and
scheming, and by the aid of their creatures, they contrived to overcome
the repugnance of M. de Mantua to Mademoiselle d'Elboeuf, which at bottom
could be only caprice--her beauty, her figure, and her birth taken into
account.  But Mademoiselle d'Elboeuf, in her turn, was as opposed to
marriage with M. de Mantua as Madame de Lesdiguieres had been.  She was,
however, brought round ere long, and then the consent of the King was the
only thing left to be obtained.  The Lorraines made use of their usual
suppleness in order to gain that.  They represented the impolicy of
interfering with the selection of a sovereign who was the ally of France,
and who wished to select a wife from among her subjects, and succeeded so
well, that the King determined to become neutral; that is to say, neither
to prohibit nor to sanction this match.  M. le Prince was instrumental in
inducing the King to take this neutral position; and he furthermore
caused the stipulation to be made, that it should not be celebrated in
France, but at Mantua.

After parting with the King, M. de Mantua, on the 21st of September, went
to Nemours, slept there, and then set out for Italy.  At the same time
Madame and Mademoiselle d'Elboeuf, with Madame de Pompadour, sister of
the former, passed through Fontainebleau without going to see a soul, and
followed their prey lest he should change his mind and escape them until
the road he was to take branched off from that they were to go by; he in
fact intending to travel by sea and they by land.  On the way their fears
redoubled.  Arrived at Nevers, and lodged in a hostelrie, they thought it
would not be well to commit themselves further without more certain
security: Madame de Pompadour therefore proposed to M. de Mantua not to
delay his happiness any longer, but to celebrate his marriage at once.
He defended himself as well as he could, but was at last obliged to give
in.  During this indecent dispute, the Bishop was sent to.  He had just
died, and the Grand Vicar, not knowing what might be the wishes of the
King upon this marriage, refused to celebrate it.  The chaplain was
therefore appealed to, and he at once married Mademoiselle d'Elboeuf to
M. de Mantua in the hotel.  As soon as the ceremony was over, Madame
d'Elboeuf wished to leave her daughter alone with M. de Mantua, and
although he strongly objected to this, everybody quitted the room,
leaving only the newly married couple there, and Madame de Pompadour
outside upon the step listening to what passed between them.  But finding
after a while that both were very much embarrassed, and that M. de Mantua
did little but cry out for the company to return, she conferred with her
sister, and they agreed to give him his liberty.  Immediately he had
obtained it, he mounted his horse, though it was not early, and did not
see them again until they reached Italy--though all went the same road as
far as Lyons.  The news of this strange celebration of marriage was soon
spread abroad with all the ridicule which attached to it.

The King was very much annoyed when he learnt that his orders had been
thus disobeyed.  The Lorraines plastered over the affair by representing
that they feared an affront from M. de Mantua, and indeed it did not seem
at all unlikely that M. de Mantua, forced as it were into compliance with
their wishes, might have liked nothing better than to reach Italy and
then laugh at them.  Meanwhile, Madame d'Elboeuf and her daughter
embarked on board the royal galleys and started for Italy.  On the way
they were fiercely chased by some African corsairs, and it is a great
pity they were not taken to finish the romance.

However, upon arriving in Italy, the marriage was again celebrated, this
time with all the forms necessary for the occasion.  But Madame d'Elboeuf
had no cause to rejoice that she had succeeded in thus disposing of her
daughter.  The new Duchesse de Mantua was guarded by her husband with the
utmost jealousy.  She was not allowed to see anybody except her mother,
and that only for an hour each day.  Her women entered her apartment only
to dress and undress her.  The Duke walled up very high all the windows
of his house, and caused his wife to, be guarded by old women.  She
passed her days thus in a cruel prison.  This treatment, which I did not
expect, and the little consideration, not to say contempt, shown here for
M. de Mantua since his departure, consoled me much for the invincible
obstinacy of Madame de Lesdiguieres.  Six months after, Madame d'Elboeuf
returned, beside herself with vexation, but too vain to show it.  She
disguised the misfortune of her daughter, and appeared to be offended if
it was spoken of; but all our letters from the army showed that the news
was true.  The strangest thing of all is, that the Lorraines after this
journey were as well treated by the King as if they had never undertaken
it; a fact which shows their art and ascendency.

I have dwelt too long perhaps upon this matter.  It appeared to me to
merit attention by its singularity, and still more so because it is by
facts of this sort that is shown what was the composition of the Court of
the King.

About this time the Comtesse d'Auvergne finished a short life by an
illness very strange and uncommon.  When she married the Comte d'Auvergne
she was a Huguenot, and he much wanted to make her turn Catholic.
A famous advocate of that time, who was named Chardon, had been a
Huguenot, and his wife also; they had made a semblance, however, of
abjuring, but made no open profession of Catholicism.  Chardon was
sustained by his great reputation, and by the number of protectors he had
made for himself.

One morning he and his wife were in their coach before the Hotel-Dieu,
waiting for a reply that their lackey was a very long time in bringing
them.  Madame Chardon glanced by chance upon the grand portal of Notre
Dame, and little by little fell into a profound reverie, which might be
better called reflection.  Her husband, who at last perceived this, asked
her what had sent her into such deep thought, and pushed her elbow even
to draw a reply from her.  She told him then what she was thinking about.
Pointing to Notre Dame, she said that it was many centuries before Luther
and Calvin that those images of saints had been sculptured over that
portal; that this proved that saints had long since been invoked; the
opposition of the reformers to this ancient opinion was a novelty; that
this novelty rendered suspicious other dogmas against the antiquity of
Catholicism that they taught; that these reflections, which she had never
before made, gave her much disquietude, and made her form the resolution
to seek to enlighten herself.

Chardon thought his wife right, and from that day they laid themselves
out to seek the truth, then to consult, then to be instructed.  This
lasted a year, and then they made a new abjuration, and both ever
afterwards passed their lives in zeal and good works.  Madame Chardon
converted many Huguenots.  The Comte d'Auvergne took his wife to her.
The Countess was converted by her, and became a very good Catholic.  When
she died she was extremely regretted by all the relatives of her husband,
although at first they had looked upon her coldly.

In the month of this September, a strange attempt at assassination
occurred.  Vervins had been forced into many suits against his relatives,
and was upon the point of gaining them all, when one of his cousins-
german, who called himself the Abbe de Pre, caused him to be attacked as
he passed in his coach along the Quai de la Tournelle, before the
community of Madame de Miramion.  Vervins was wounded with several sword
cuts, and also his coachman, who wished to defend him.  In consequence of
the complaint Vervins made, the Abbe escaped abroad, whence he never
returned, and soon after, his crime being proved, was condemned to be
broken alive on the wheel.  Vervins had long been menaced with an attack
by the Abbe.  Vervins was an agreeable, well-made man, but very idle.
He had entered the army; but quitted it soon, and retired to his estates
in Picardy.  There he shut himself up without any cause of disgust or of
displeasure, without being in any embarrassment, for on the contrary he
was well to do, and all his affairs were in good order, and he never
married; without motives of piety, for piety was not at all in his vein;
without being in bad health, for his health was always perfect; without a
taste for improvement, for no workmen were ever seen in his house; still
less on account of the chase, for he never went to it.  Yet he stayed in
his house for several years, without intercourse with a soul, and, what
is most incomprehensible, without budging from his bed, except to allow
it to be made.  He dined there, and often all alone; he transacted what
little business he had to do there, and received while there the few
people he could not refuse admission to; and each day, from the moment he
opened his eyes until he closed them again, worked at tapestry, or read a
little; he persevered until his death in this strange fashion of
existence; so uniquely singular, that I have wished to describe it.


There presents itself to my memory an anecdote which it would be very
prudent perhaps to be silent upon, and which is very curious for anybody
who has seen things so closely as I have, to describe.  What determines
me to relate it is that the fact is not altogether unknown, and that
every Court swarms with similar adventures.  Must it be said then?  We
had amongst us a charming young Princess who, by her graces, her
attentions, and her original manners, had taken possession of the hearts
of the King, of Madame de Maintenon, and of her husband, Monseigneur le
Duc de Bourgogne.  The extreme discontent so justly felt against her
father, M. de Savoie, had not made the slightest alteration in their
tenderness for her.  The King, who hid nothing from her, who worked with
his ministers in her presence whenever she liked to enter, took care not
to say a word in her hearing against her father.  In private, she clasped
the King round the neck at all hours, jumped upon his knees, tormented
him with all sorts of sportiveness, rummaged among his papers, opened his
letters end read them in his presence, sometimes in spite of him; and
acted in the same manner with Madame de Maintenon.  Despite this extreme
liberty, she never spoke against any one: gracious to all, she
endeavoured to ward off blows from all whenever she could; was attentive
to the private comforts of the King, even the humblest: kind to all who
served her, and living with her ladies, as with friends, in complete
liberty, old and young; she was the darling of the Court, adored by all;
everybody, great and small, was anxious to please her; everybody missed
her when she was away; when she reappeared the void was filled up; in a
word, she had attached all hearts to her; but while in this brilliant
situation she lost her own.

Nangis, now a very commonplace Marshal of France, was at that time in
full bloom.  He had an agreeable but not an uncommon face; was well made,
without anything marvellous; and had been educated in intrigue by the
Marechale de Rochefort, his grandmother, and Madame de Blansac, his
mother, who were skilled mistresses of that art.  Early introduced by
them into the great world of which they were, so to speak, the centre,
he had no talent but that of pleasing women, of speaking their language,
and of monopolising the most desirable by a discretion beyond his years,
and which did not belong to his time.  Nobody was more in vogue than he.
He had had the command of a regiment when he was quite a child.  He had
shown firmness, application, and brilliant valour in war, that the ladies
had made the most of, and they sufficed at his age; he was of the Court
of Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne, about the same age, and well treated
by him.

The Duc de Bourgogne, passionately in love with his wife, was not so well
made as Nangis; but the Princess reciprocated his ardor so perfectly that
up to his death he never suspected that her glances had wandered to any
one else.  They fell, however, upon Nangis, and soon redoubled.  Nangis
was not ungrateful, but he feared the thunderbolt; and his heart, too,
was already engaged.  Madame de la Vrilliere, who, without beauty, was
pretty and grateful as Love, had made this conquest.  She was, as I have
said, daughter of Madame de Mailly, Dame d'Atours of Madame la Duchesse
de Bourgogne; and was always near her.  Jealousy soon enlightened her as
to what was taking place.  Far from yielding her conquest to the Duchess;
she made a point of preserving it, of disputing its possession, and
carrying it off.  This struggle threw Nangis into a terrible
embarrassment.  He feared the fury of Madame de la Vrilliere, who
affected to be more ready to break out than in reality she was.  Besides
his love for her, he feared the result of an outburst, and already saw
his fortune lost.  On the other hand, any reserve of his towards the
Duchess, who had so much power in her hands--and seemed destined to
have more--and who he knew was not likely to suffer a rival
--might, he felt, be his ruin.  This perplexity, for those who were aware
of it, gave rise to continual scenes.  I was then a constant visitor of
Madame de Blansac, at Paris, and of the Marechale de Rochefort, at
Versailles; and, through them and several other ladies of the Court, with
whom I was intimate, I learnt, day by day, everything that passed.  In
addition to the fact that nothing diverted me more, the results of this
affair might be great; and it was my especial ambition to be well
informed of everything.  At length, all members of the Court who were
assiduous and enlightened understood the state of affairs; but either
through fear or from love to the Duchess, the whole Court was silent, saw
everything, whispered discreetly, and actually kept the secret that was
not entrusted to it.  The struggle between the two ladies, not without
bitterness, and sometimes insolence on the part of Madame de la
Vrilliere, nor without suffering and displeasure gently manifested on the
part of Madame de Bourgogne, was for a long time a singular sight.

Whether Nangis, too faithful to his first love, needed some grains of
jealousy to excite him, or whether things fell out naturally, it happened
that he found a rival.  Maulevrier, son of a brother of Colbert who had
died of grief at not being named Marshal of France, was this rival.  He
had married a daughter of the Marechal de Tesse, and was not very
agreeable in appearance--his face, indeed, was very commonplace.  He was
by no means framed for gallantry; but he had wit, and a mind fertile in
intrigues, with a measureless ambition that was sometimes pushed to
madness.  His wife was pretty, not clever, quarrelsome, and under a
virginal appearance; mischievous to the last degree.  As daughter of a
man for whom Madame de Bourgogne had much gratitude for the part he had
taken in negotiating her marriage, and the Peace of Savoy, she was easily
enabled to make her way at Court, and her husband with her.  He soon
sniffed what was passing in respect to Nangis, and obtained means of
access to Madame de Bourgogne, through the influence of his father-in-
law; was assiduous in his attentions; and at length, excited by example,
dared to sigh.  Tired of not being understood, he ventured to write.  It
is pretended that he sent his letters through one of the Court ladies,
who thought they came from Tesse, delivered them, and handed him back the
answers, as though for delivery by him.  I will not add what more was
believed.  I will simply say that this affair was as soon perceived as
had been the other, and was treated, with the same silence.

Under pretext of friendship, Madame de Bourgogne went more than once--on
account of the speedy departure of her husband (for the army), attended
some, times by La Maintenon,--to the house of Madame de Maulevrier, to
weep with her.  The Court smiled.  Whether the tears were for Madame de
Maulevrier or for Nangis, was doubtful.  But Nangis, nevertheless,
aroused by this rivalry, threw Madame de la Vrilliere into terrible
grief, and into a humour over which she was not mistress.

This tocsin made itself heard by Maulevrier.  What will not a man think
of doing when possessed to excess by love or ambition?  He pretended to
have something the matter with his chest, put himself on a milk diet,
made believe that he had lost his voice, and was sufficiently master of
himself to refrain from uttering an intelligible word during a whole
year; by these means evading the campaign and remaining at the Court.
He was mad enough to relate this project, and many others, to his friend
the Duc de Lorges, from whom, in turn, I learnt it.  The fact was, that
bringing himself thus to the necessity of never speaking to anybody
except in their ear, he had the liberty of speaking low to--Madame la
Duchesse de Bourgogne before all the Court without impropriety and
without suspicion.  In this manner he said to her whatever he wished day
by day, and was never overheard.  He also contrived to say things the
short answers to which were equally unheard.  He so accustomed people to
this manner of speaking that they took no more notice of it than was
expressed in pity for such a sad state; but it happened that those who
approached the nearest to Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne when Maulevrier
was at her side, soon knew enough not to be eager to draw near her again
when she was thus situated.  This trick lasted more than a year: his
conversation was principally composed of reproaches--but reproaches
rarely succeed in love.  Maulevrier, judging by the ill-humour of Madame
de la Vrilliere, believed Nangis to be happy.  Jealousy and rage
transported him at last to the extremity of folly.

One day, as Madame de Bourgogne was coming from mass and he knew that
Dangeau, her chevalier d'honneur, was absent, he gave her his hand.  The
attendants had accustomed themselves to let him have this honour, on
account of his distinguished voice, so as to allow him to speak by the
way, and retired respectfully so as not to hear what he said.  The ladies
always followed far behind, so that, in the midst of all the Court, he
had, from the chapel to the apartments of Madame de Bourgogne, the full
advantages of a private interview--advantages that he had availed himself
of several times.  On this day he railed against Nangis to Madame de
Bourgogne, called him by all sorts of names, threatened to tell
everything to the King and to Madame de Maintenon, and to the Duc de
Bourgogne, squeezed her fingers as if he would break them, and led her in
this manner, like a madman as he was, to her apartments.  Upon entering
them she was ready to swoon.  Trembling all over she entered her
wardrobe, called one of her favourite ladies, Madame de Nogaret, to her,
related what had occurred, saying she knew not how she had reached her
rooms, or how it was she had not sunk beneath the floor, or died.  She
had never been so dismayed.  The same day Madame de Nogaret related this
to Madame de Saint-Simon and to me, in the strictest confidence.  She
counselled the Duchess to behave gently with such a dangerous madman, and
to avoid committing herself in any way with him.  The worst was, that
after this he threatened and said many things against Nangis, as a man
with whom he was deeply offended, and whom he meant to call to account.
Although he gave no reason for this, the reason was only too evident.
The fear of Madame de Bourgogne at this may be imagined, and also that of
Nangis.  He was brave and cared for nobody; but to be mixed up in such an
affair as this made him quake with fright.  He beheld his fortune and his
happiness in the hands of a furious madman.  He shunned Maulevrier from
that time as much as possible, showed himself but little, and held his

For six weeks Madame de Bourgogne lived in the most measured manner, and
in mortal tremors of fear, without, however, anything happening.  I know
not who warned Tesse of what was going on.  But when he learnt it he
acted like a man of ability.  He persuaded his son-in-law, Maulevrier, to
follow him to Spain, as to a place where his fortune was assured to him.
He spoke to Fagon, who saw all and knew all.  He understood matters in a
moment, and at once said, that as so many remedies had been tried
ineffectually for Maulevrier, he must go to a warmer climate, as a winter
in France would inevitably kill him.  It was then as a remedy, and as
people go to the waters, that he went to Spain.  The King and all the
Court believed this, and neither the King nor Madame de Maintenon offered
any objections.  As soon as Tesse knew this he hurried his son-in-law out
of the realm, and so put a stop to his follies and the mortal fear they
had caused.  To finish this adventure at once, although it will lead me
far beyond the date of other matters to be spoken of after, let me say
what became of Maulevrier after this point of the narrative.

He went first to Spain with Tesse.  On the way they had an interview with
Madame des Ursins, and succeeded in gaining her favour so completely,
that, upon arriving at Madrid, the King and Queen of Spain, informed of
this, welcomed them with much cordiality.  Maulevrier soon became a great
favourite with the Queen of Spain.  It has been said, that he wished to
please her, and that he succeeded.  At all events he often had long
interviews with her in private, and these made people think and talk.

Maulevrier began to believe it time to reap after having so well sown.
He counted upon nothing less than being made grandee of Spain, and would
have obtained this favour but for his indiscretion.  News of what was in
store for him was noised abroad.  The Duc de Grammont, then our
ambassador at Madrid, wrote word to the King of the rumours that were in
circulation of Maulevrier's audacious conduct towards the Queen of Spain,
and of the reward it was to meet with.  The King at once sent a very
strong letter to the King of Spain about Maulevrier, who, by the same
courier, was prohibited from accepting any favour that might be offered
him.  He was ordered at the same time to join Tesse at Gibraltar.  He had
already done so at the instance of Tesse himself; so the courier went
from Madrid to Gibraltar to find him.  His rage and vexation upon seeing
himself deprived of the recompense he had considered certain were very
great.  But they yielded in time to the hopes he formed of success, and
he determined to set off for Madrid and thence to Versailles.  His
father-in-law tried to retain him at the siege, but in vain.  His
representations and his authority were alike useless.  Maulevrier hoped
to gain over the King and Queen of Spain so completely, that our King
would be forced, as it were, to range himself on their side; but the Duc
de Grammont at once wrote word that Maulevrier had left the siege of
Gibraltar and returned to Madrid.  This disobedience was at once
chastised.  A courier was immediately despatched to Maulevrier,
commanding him to set out for France.  He took leave of the King and
Queen of Spain like a man without hope, and left Spain.  The most
remarkable thing is, that upon arriving at Paris, and finding the Court
at Marly, and his wife there also, he asked permission to go too, the
husbands being allowed by right to accompany their wives there, and the
King, to avoid a disturbance, did not refuse him.

At first everything seemed to smile upon Maulervrier.  He had, as I have
said, made friends with Madame des Ursins when he was on the road to
Spain.  He had done so chiefly by vaunting his intimacy with Madame de
Bourgogne, and by showing to Madame des Ursins that he was in many of the
secrets of the Court.  Accordingly, upon his return, she took him by the
hand and showed a disposition towards him which could not fail to
reinstate him in favour.  She spoke well of him to Madame de Maintenon,
who, always much smitten with new friends, received him well, and often
had conversations with him which lasted more than three hours.  Madame de
Maintenon mentioned him to the King, and Maulevrier, who had returned out
of all hope, now saw himself in a more favourable position than ever.

But the old cause of trouble still existed, and with fresh complications.
Nangis was still in favour, and his appearance made Maulevrier miserable.
There was a new rival too in the field, the Abbe de Polignac.

Pleasing, nay most fascinating in manner, the Abbe was a man to gain all
hearts.  He stopped at no flattery to succeed in this.  One day when
following the King through the gardens of Marly, it came on to rain.
The King considerately noticed the Abbe's dress, little calculated to
keep off rain.  "It is no matter, Sire," said De Polignac, "the rain of
Marly does not wet."  People laughed much at this, and these words were a
standing reproach to the soft-spoken Abbe.

One of the means by which the Abbe gained the favour of the King was by
being the lover of Madame du Maine.  His success at length was great in
every direction.  He even envied the situations of Nangis and Maulevrier;
and sought to participate in the same happiness.  He took the same road.
Madame d'O and the Marechale de Coeuvres became his friends.

He sought to be heard, and was heard.  At last he faced the danger of the
Swiss, and on fine nights was seen with the Duchess in the gardens.
Nangis diminished in favour.  Maulevrier on his return increased in fury.
The Abbe met with the same fate as they: everything was perceived: people
talked about the matter in whispers, but silence was kept.  This triumph,
in spite of his age, did not satisfy the Abbe: he aimed at something more
solid.  He wished to arrive at the cardinalship, and to further his views
he thought it advisable to ingratiate himself into the favour of Monsieur
de Bourgogne.  He sought introduction to them through friends of mine,
whom I warned against him as a man without scruple, and intent only upon
advancing himself.  My warnings were in vain.  My friends would not heed
me, and the Abbe de Polignac succeeded in gaining the confidence of
Monsieur de Bourgogne, as well as the favour of Madame de Bourgogne.

Maulevrier had thus two sources of annoyance--the Abbe de Polignac and
Nangis.  Of the latter he showed himself so jealous, that Madame de
Maulevrier, out of pique, made advances to him.  Nangis, to screen
himself the better, replied to her.  Maulevrier perceived this.  He knew
his wife to be sufficiently wicked to make him fear her.  So many
troubles of heart and brain transported him.  He lost his head.

One day the Marechale de Coeuvres came to see him, apparently on some
message of reconciliation.  He shut the door upon her; barricaded her
within, and through the door quarrelled with her, even to abuse, for an
hour, during which she had the patience to remain there without being
able to see him.  After this he went rarely to Court, but generally kept
himself shut up at home.

Sometimes he would go out all alone at the strangest hours, take a fiacre
and drive away to the back of the Chartreux or to other remote spots.
Alighting there, he would whistle, and a grey-headed old man would
advance and give him a packet, or one would be thrown to him from a
window, or he would pick up a box filled with despatches, hidden behind a
post.  I heard of these mysterious doings from people to whom he was vain
and indiscreet enough to boast of them.  He continually wrote letters to
Madame de Bourgogne, and to Madame de Maintenon, but more frequently to
the former.  Madame Cantin was their agent; and I know people who have
seen letters of hers in which she assured Maulevrier, in the strongest
terms, that he might ever reckon on the Duchess.

He made a last journey to Versailles, where he saw his mistress in
private, and quarrelled with her cruelly.  After dining with Torcy he
returned to Paris.  There, torn by a thousand storms of love, of
jealousy, of ambition, his head was so troubled that doctors were obliged
to be called in, and he was forbidden to see any but the most
indispensable persons, and those at the hours when he was least ill.
A hundred visions passed through his brain.  Now like a madman he would
speak only of Spain, of Madame de Bourgogne, of Nangis, whom he wished to
kill or to have assassinated; now full of remorse towards M. de
Bourgogne, he made reflections so curious to hear, that no one dared to
remain with him, and he was left alone.  At other times, recalling his
early days, he had nothing but ideas of retreat and penitence.  Then a
confession was necessary in order to banish his despair as to the mercy
of God.  Often he thought himself very ill and upon the point of death.

The world, however, and even his nearest friends persuaded themselves
that he was only playing a part; and hoping to put an end to it, they
declared to him that he passed for mad in society, and that it behoved
him to rise out of such a strange state and show himself.  This was the
last blow and it overwhelmed him.  Furious at finding that this opinion
was ruining all the designs of his ambition, he delivered himself up to
despair.  Although watched with extreme care by his wife, by particular
friends, and by his servants, he took his measures so well, that on the
Good Friday of the year 1706, at about eight o'clock in the morning, he
slipped away from them all, entered a passage behind his room, opened the
window, threw himself into the court below, and dashed out his brains
upon the pavement.  Such was the end of an ambitious man, who, by his
wild and dangerous passions, lost his wits, and then his life, a tragic
victim of himself.

Madame de Bourgogne learnt the news at night.  In public she showed no
emotion, but in private some tears escaped her.  They might have been of
pity, but were not so charitably interpreted.  Soon after, it was noticed
that Madame de Maintenon seemed embarrassed and harsh towards Madame de
Bourgogne.  It was no longer doubted that Madame de Maintenon had heard
the whole story.  She often had long interviews with Madame de Bourgogne,
who always left them in tears.  Her sadness grew so much, and her eyes
were so often red, that Monsieur de Bourgogne at last became alarmed.
But he had no suspicion of the truth, and was easily satisfied with the
explanation he received.  Madame de Bourgogne felt the necessity,
however, of appearing gayer, and showed herself so.  As for the Abbe de
Polignac, it was felt that that dangerous person was best away.  He
received therefore a post which called him away, as it were, into exile;
and though he delayed his departure as long as possible, was at length
obliged to go.  Madame de Bourgogne took leave of him in a manner that
showed how much she was affected.  Some rather insolent verses were
written upon this event; and were found written on a balustrade by
Madame, who was not discreet enough or good enough to forget them.  But
they made little noise; everybody loved Madame de Bourgogne, and hid
these verses as much as possible.


At the beginning of October, news reached the Court, which was at
Fontainebleau, that M. de Duras was at the point of death.  Upon hearing
this, Madame de Saint-Simon and Madame de Lauzun, who were both related
to M. Duras, wished to absent themselves from the Court performances that
were to take place in the palace that evening.  They expressed this wish
to Madame de Bourgogne, who approved of it, but said she was afraid the
King would not do the same.  He had been very angry lately because the
ladies had neglected to go full dressed to the Court performances.  A few
words he had spoken made everybody take good care not to rouse his anger
on this point again.  He expected so much accordingly from everybody who
attended the Court, that Madame de Bourgogne was afraid he would not
consent to dispense with the attendance of Madame de Saint-Simon and
Madame de Lauzun on this occasion.  They compromised the matter,
therefore, by dressing themselves, going to the room where the
performance was held, and, under pretext of not finding places, going
away; Madame de Bourgogne agreeing to explain their absence in this way
to the King.  I notice this very insignificant bagatelle to show how the
King thought only of himself, and how much he wished to be obeyed; and
that that which would not have been pardoned to the nieces of a dying
man, except at the Court, was a duty there, and one which it needed great
address to escape from, without seriously infringing the etiquette

After the return of the Court from Fontainebleau this year, Puysieux came
back from Switzerland, having been sent there as ambassador.  Puysieux
was a little fat man, very agreeable, pleasant, and witty, one of the
best fellows in the world, in fact.  As he had much wit, and thoroughly
knew the King, he bethought himself of making the best of his position;
and as his Majesty testified much friendship for him on his return, and
declared himself satisfied with his mission in Switzerland, Puysieux
asked if what he heard was not mere compliment, and whether he could
count upon it.  As the King assured him that he might do so, Puysieux
assumed a brisk air, and said that he was not so sure of that, and that
he was not pleased with his Majesty.

"And why not?" said the King.

"Why not?" replied Puysieux; "why, because although the most honest man
in your realm, you have not kept to a promise you made me more than fifty
years ago."

"What promise?" asked the King.

"What promise, Sire?" said Puysieux; "you have a good memory, you cannot
have forgotten it.  Does not your Majesty remember that one day, having
the honour to play at blindman's buff with you at my grandmother's, you
put your cordon bleu on my back, the better to hide yourself; and that
when, after the game, I restored it to you, you promised to give it me
when you became master; you have long been so, thoroughly master, and
nevertheless that cordon bleu is still to come."

The King, who recollected the circumstance, here burst out laughing, and
told Puysieux he was in the right, and that a chapter should be held on
the first day of the new year expressly for the purpose of receiving him
into the order.  And so in fact it was, and Puysieux received the cordon
bleu on the day the King had named.  This fact is not important, but it
is amusing.  It is altogether singular in connection with a prince as
serious and as imposing as Louis XIV.; and it is one of those little
Court anecdotes which are curious.

Here is another more important fact, the consequences of which are still
felt by the State.  Pontchartrain, Secretary of State for the Navy, was
the plague of it, as of all those who were under his cruel dependence.
He was a man who, with some-amount of ability, was disagreeable and
pedantic to an excess; who loved evil for its own sake; who was jealous
even of his father; who was a cruel tyrant towards his wife, a woman all
docility and goodness; who was in one word a monster, whom the King kept
in office only because he feared him.  An admiral was the abhorrence of
Pontchartrain, and an admiral who was an illegitimate son of the King,
he loathed.  There was nothing, therefore, that he had not done during
the war to thwart the Comte de Toulouse; he laid some obstacles
everywhere in his path; he had tried to keep him out of the command of
the fleet, and failing this, had done everything to render the fleet

These were bold strokes against a person the King so much loved, but
Pontchartrain knew the weak side of the King; he knew how to balance the
father against the master, to bring forward the admiral and set aside the
son.  In this manner the Secretary of State was able to put obstacles in
the way of the Comte de Toulouse that threw him almost into despair, and
the Count could do little to defend himself.  It was a well-known fact at
sea and in the ports where the ships touched, and it angered all the
fleet.  Pontchartrain accordingly was abhorred there, while the Comte de
Toulouse, by his amiability and other good qualities, was adored.

At last, the annoyance he caused became so unendurable, that the Comte de
Toulouse, at the end of his cruise in the Mediterranean, returned to
Court and determined to expose the doings of Pontchartrain to the King.

The very day he had made up his mind to do this, and just before he
intended to have his interview with the King, Madame Pontchartrain,
casting aside her natural timidity and modesty, came to him, and with
tears in her eyes begged him not to bring about the ruin of her husband.
The Comte de Toulouse was softened.  He admitted afterwards that he could
not resist the sweetness and sorrow of Madame de Pontchartrain, and that
all his resolutions, his weapons, fell from his hands at the thought of
the sorrow which the poor woman would undergo, after the fall of her
brutal husband, left entirely in the hands of such a furious Cyclops.
In this manner Pontchartrain was saved, but it cost dear to the State.
The fear he was in of succumbing under the glory or under the vengeance
of an admiral who was son of the King determined him to ruin the fleet
itself, so as to render it incapable of receiving the admiral again.
He determined to do this, and kept to his word, as was afterwards only
too clearly verified by the facts.  The Comte de Toulouse saw no more
either ports or vessels, and from that time only very feeble squadrons
went out, and even those very seldom.  Pontchartrain, had the impudence
to boast of this before my face.

When I last spoke of Madame des Ursins, I described her as living in the
midst of the Court, flattered and caressed by all, and on the highest
terms of favour with the King and Madame de Maintenon.  She found her
position, indeed, so far above her hopes, that she began to waver in her
intention of returning to Spain.  The age and the health of Madame de
Maintenon tempted her.  She would have preferred to govern here rather
than in Spain.  Flattered by the attentions paid her, she thought those
attentions, or, I may say, rather those servile adorations, would
continue for ever, and that in time she might arrive at the highest point
of power.  The Archbishop of Aix and her brother divined her thoughts,
for she did not dare to avow them, and showed her in the clearest way
that those thoughts were calculated to lead her astray.  They explained
to her that the only interest Madame de Maintenon had in favouring her
was on account of Spain.  Madame des Ursins--once back in that country,
Madame de Maintenon looked forward to a recommencement of those relations
which had formerly existed between them, by which the government of Spain
in appearance, if not in reality, passed through her hands.  They
therefore advised Madame des Ursins on no account to think of remaining
in France, at the same time suggesting that it would not be amiss to stop
there long enough to cause some inquietude to Madame de Maintenon, so as
to gain as much advantage as possible from it.

The solidity of these reasons persuaded Madame des Ursins to follow the
advice given her.  She resolved to depart, but not until after a delay by
which she meant to profit to the utmost.  We shall soon see what success
attended her schemes.  The terms upon which I stood with her enabled me
to have knowledge of all the sentiments that had passed through her mind:
her extreme desire, upon arriving in Paris, to return to Spain; the
intoxication which seized her in consequence of the treatment she
received, and which made her balance this desire; and her final
resolution.  It was not until afterwards, however, that I learnt all the
details I have just related.

It was not long before Madame de Maintenon began to feel impatient at the
long-delayed departure of Madame des Ursins.  She spoke at last upon the
subject, and pressed Madame des Ursins to set out for Spain.  This was
just what the other wanted.  She said that as she had been driven out of
Spain like a criminal, she must go back with honour, if Madame de
Maintenon wished her to gain the confidence and esteem of the Spaniards.
That although she had been treated by the King with every consideration
and goodness, many people in Spain were, and would be, ignorant of it,
and that, therefore, her return to favour ought to be made known in as
public and convincing a manner as was her disgrace.  This was said with
all that eloquence and persuasiveness for which Madame des Ursins was
remarkable.  The effect of it exceeded her hopes.

The favours she obtained were prodigious.  Twenty thousand livres by way
of annual pension, and thirty thousand for her journey.  One of her
brothers, M. de Noirmoutiers, blind since the age of eighteen or twenty,
was made hereditary duke; another, the Abbe de la Tremoille, of exceeding
bad life, and much despised in Rome, where he lived, was made cardinal.
What a success was this!  How many obstacles had to be overcome in order
to attain it!  Yet this was what Madame des Ursins obtained, so anxious
was Madame de Maintenon to get rid of her and to send her to reign in
Spain, that she might reign there herself.  Pleased and loaded with
favour as never subject was before, Madame des Ursins set out towards the
middle of July, and was nearly a month on the road.  It may be imagined
what sort of a reception awaited her in Spain.  The King and the Queen
went a day's journey out of Madrid to meet her.  Here, then, we see again
at the height of power this woman, whose fall the King but a short time
since had so ardently desired, and whose separation from the King and
Queen of Spain he had applauded himself for bringing about with so much
tact.  What a change in a few months!

The war continued this year, but without bringing any great success to
our arms.  Villars, at Circk, outmanoeuvred Marlborough in a manner that
would have done credit to the greatest general.  Marlborough, compelled
to change the plan of campaign he had determined on, returned into
Flanders, where the Marechal de Villeroy was stationed with his forces.
Nothing of importance occurred during the campaign, and the two armies
went into winter quarters at the end of October.

I cannot quit Flanders without relating another instance of the pleasant
malignity of M. de Lauzun.  In marrying a daughter of the Marechal de
Lorges, he had hoped, as I have already said, to return into the
confidence of the King by means of the Marechal, and so be again
entrusted with military command.  Finding these hopes frustrated, he
thought of another means of reinstating himself in favour.  He determined
to go to the waters of Aix-la-Chapelle, not, as may be believed, for his
health, but in order to ingratiate himself with the important foreigners
whom he thought to find there, learn some of the enemy's plans, and come
back with an account of them to the King, who would, no doubt, reward him
for his zeal.  But he was deceived in his calculation.  Aix-la-Chapelle,
generally so full of foreigners of rank, was this year, owing to the war,
almost empty.  M. de Lauzun found, therefore, nobody of consequence from
whom he could obtain any useful information.  Before his return, he
visited the Marechal de Villeroy, who received him with all military
honours, and conducted him all over the army, pointing out to him the
enemy's post; for the two armies were then quite close to each other.
His extreme anxiety, however, to get information, and the multitude of
his questions, irritated the officers who were ordered to do the honours
to him; and, in going about, they actually, at their own risk, exposed
him often to be shot or taken.  They did not know that his courage was
extreme; and were quite taken aback by his calmness, and, his evident
readiness to push on even farther than they chose to venture.

On returning to Court, M. de Lauzun was of course pressed by everybody to
relate all he knew of the position of the two armies.  But he held
himself aloof from all questioners, and would not answer.  On the day
after his arrival he went to pay his court to Monseigneur, who did not
like him, but who also was no friend to the Marechal de Villeroy.
Monseigneur put many questions to him upon the situation of the two
armies, and upon the reasons which had prevented them from engaging each
other.  M. de Lauzun shirked reply, like a man who wished to be pressed;
did not deny that he had well inspected the position of the two armies,
but instead of answering Monseigneur, dwelt upon the beauty of our
troops, their gaiety at finding themselves so near an enemy, and their
eagerness to fight.  Pushed at last to the point at which he wished to
arrive, "I will tell you, Monseigneur," said he, "since you absolutely
command me; I scanned most minutely the front of the two armies to the
right and to the left, and all the ground between them.  It is true there
is no brook, and that I saw; neither are there any ravines, nor hollow
roads ascending or descending; but it is true that there were other
hindrances which I particularly remarked."

"But what hindrance could there be," said Monseigneur, "since there was
nothing between the two armies?"

M. de Lauzun allowed himself to be pressed upon this point, constantly
repeating the list of hindrances that did not exist, but keeping silent
upon the others.  At last, driven into a corner, he took his snuff-box
from his pocket.

"You see," said he, to Monseigneur, "there is one thing which much
embarrasses the feet, the furze that grows upon the ground, where M. le
Marechal de Villeroy is encamped.  The furze, it is true, is not mixed
with any other plant, either hard or thorny; but it is a high furze, as
high, as high, let me see, what shall I say?"--and he looked all around
to find some object of comparison--"as high, I assure you, as this

Monseigneur burst out laughing at this sally, and all the company
followed his example, in the midst of which M. de Lauzun turned on his
heel and left the room.  His joke soon spread all over the Court and the
town, and in the evening was told to the King.  This was all the thanks
M. de Villeroy obtained from M. de Lauzun for the honours he had paid
him; and this was M. de Lauzun's consolation for his ill-success at Aix-

In Italy our armies were not more successful than elsewhere.  From time
to time, M. de Vendome attacked some unimportant post, and, having
carried it, despatched couriers to the King, magnifying the importance
of the exploit.  But the fact was, all these successes led to nothing.
On one occasion, at Cassano, M. de Vendome was so vigorously attacked by
Prince Louis of Baden that, in spite of his contempt and his audacity,
he gave himself up for lost.  When danger was most imminent, instead of
remaining at his post, he retired from the field of battle to a distant
country-house, and began to consider how a retreat might be managed.
The Grand Prieur, his brother, was in command under him, and was ordered
to remain upon the field; but he was more intent upon saving his skin
than on obeying orders, and so, at the very outset of the fight, ran away
to a country-house hard by.  M. de Vendome strangely enough had sat down
to eat at the country-house whither he had retired, and was in the midst
of his meal when news was brought him that, owing to the prodigies
performed by one of his officers, Le Guerchois, the fortunes of the day
had changed, and Prince Louis of Baden was retiring.  M. Vendome had
great difficulty to believe this, but ordered his horse, mounted, and,
pushing on, concluded the combat gloriously.  He did not fail, of course,
to claim all the honours of this victory, which in reality was a barren
one; and sent word of his triumph to the King.  He dared to say that the
loss of the enemy was more than thirteen thousand; and our loss less than
three thousand--whereas, the loss was at least equal.  This exploit,
nevertheless, resounded at the Court and through the town as an advantage
the most complete and the most decisive, and due entirely to the
vigilance, valour, and capacity of Vendome.  Not a word was said of his
country-house, or the interrupted meal.  These facts were only known
after the return of the general officers.  As for the Grand Prieur, his
poltroonery had been so public, his flight so disgraceful--for he had
taken troops with him to protect the country-house in which he sought
shelter--that he could not be pardoned.  The two brothers quarrelled upon
these points, and in the end the Grand Prieur was obliged to give up his
command.  He retired to his house at Clichy, near Paris; but, tiring of
that place, he went to Rome, made the acquaintance there of the Marquise
de Richelieu, a wanderer like himself, and passed some time with her at
Genoa.  Leaving that city, he went to Chalons-sur-Saone, which had been
fixed upon as the place of his a exile, and there gave himself up to the
debaucheries in which he usually lived.  From this time until the Regency
we shall see nothing more of him.  I shall only add, therefore, that he
never went sober to bed during thirty years, but was always carried
thither dead drunk: was a liar, swindler, and thief; a rogue to the
marrow of his bones, rotted with vile diseases; the most contemptible and
yet most dangerous fellow in the world.

One day-I am speaking of a time many years previous to the date of the
occurrences just related-one day there was a great hunting party at Saint
Germain.  The chase was pursued so long, that the King gave up, and
returned to Saint Germain.  A number of courtiers, among whom was M. de
Lauzun, who related this story to me, continued their sport; and just as
darkness was coming on, discovered that they had lost their way.  After a
time, they espied a light, by which they guided their steps, and at
length reached the door of a kind of castle.  They knocked, they called
aloud, they named themselves, and asked for hospitality.  It was then
between ten and eleven at night, and towards the end of autumn.  The door
was opened to them.  The master of the house came forth.  He made them
take their boots off, and warm themselves; he put their horses into his
stables; and at the same time had a supper prepared for his guests, who
stood much in need of it.  They did not wait long for the meal; yet when
served it proved excellent; the wines served with it, too, were of
several kinds, and excellent likewise: as for the master of the house, he
was so polite and respectful, yet without being ceremonious or eager.



Two very different persons died towards the latter part of this year.
The first was Lamoignon, Chief President; the second, Ninon, known by the
name of Mademoiselle de l'Enclos.  Of Lamoignon I will relate a single
anecdote, curious and instructive, which will show the corruption of
which he was capable.

One day--I am speaking of a time many years previous to the date of the
occurrences just related--one day there was a great hunting party at
Saint Germain.  The chase was pursued so long, that the King gave up,
and returned to Saint Germain.  A number of courtiers, among whom was
M. de Lauzun, who related this story to me, continued their sport; and
just as darkness was coming on, discovered that they had lost their way.
After a time, they espied a light, by which they guided their steps, and
at length reached the door of a kind of castle.  They knocked, they
called aloud, they named themselves, and asked for hospitality.  It was
then between ten and eleven at night, and towards the end of autumn.
The door was opened to them.  The master of the house came forth.
He made them take their boots off, and warm themselves; he put their
horses into his stables; and at the same time had a supper prepared for
his guests, who stood much in need of it.  They did not wait long for the
meal; yet when served it proved excellent; the wines served with it, too,
were of several kinds, and excellent likewise: as for the master of the
house, he was so polite and respectful, yet without being ceremonious or
eager, that it was evident he had frequented the best company.  The
courtiers soon learnt that his name vitas Fargues, that the place was
called Courson, and that he had lived there in retirement several years.
After having supped, Fargues showed each of them into a separate bedroom,
where they were waited upon by his valets with every proper attention.
In the morning, as soon as the courtiers had dressed themselves, they
found an excellent breakfast awaiting them; and upon leaving the table
they saw their horses ready for them, and as thoroughly attended to as
they had been themselves.  Charmed with the politeness and with the
manners of Fargues, and touched by his hospitable reception of them, they
made him many offers of service, and made their way back to Saint
Germain.  Their non-appearance on the previous night had been the common
talk, their return and the adventure they had met with was no less so.

These gentlemen were then the very flower of the Court, and all of them
very intimate with the King.  They related to him, therefore, their
story, the manner of their reception, and highly praised the master of
the house and his good cheer.  The King asked his name, and, as soon as
he heard it, exclaimed, "What, Fargues!  is he so near here, then?"
The courtiers redoubled their praises, and the King said no more; but
soon after, went to the Queen-mother, and told her what had happened.

Fargues, indeed, was no stranger, either to her or to the King.  He had
taken a prominent part in the movements of Paris against the Court and
Cardinal Mazarin.  If he had not been hanged, it was because he was well
supported by his party, who had him included in the amnesty granted to
those who had been engaged in these troubles.  Fearing, however, that the
hatred of his enemies might place his life in danger if he remained in
Paris, he retired from the capital to this country-house which has just
been mentioned, where he continued to live in strict privacy, even when
the death of Cardinal Mazarin seemed to render such seclusion no longer

The King and the Queen-mother, who had pardoned Fargues in spite of
themselves, were much annoyed at finding that he was living in opulence
and tranquillity so near the Court; thought him extremely bold to do so;
and determined to punish him for this and for his former insolence.  They
directed Lamoignon, therefore, to find out something in the past life of
Fargues for which punishment might be awarded; and Lamoignon, eager to
please, and make a profit out of his eagerness, was not long in
satisfying them.  He made researches, and found means to implicate
Fargues in a murder that had been committed in Paris at the height of the
troubles.  Officers were accordingly sent to Courson, and its owner was

Fargues was much astonished when he learnt of what he was accused.  He
exculpated himself, nevertheless, completely; alleging, moreover, that as
the murder of which he was accused had been committed during the
troubles, the amnesty in which he was included effaced all memory of the
deed, according to law and usage, which had never been contested until
this occasion.  The courtiers who had been so well treated by the unhappy
man, did everything they could with the judges and the King to obtain the
release of the accused.  It was all in vain.  Fargues was decapitated at
once, and all his wealth was given by way of recompense to the Chief-
President Lamoignon, who had no scruple thus to enrich himself with the
blood of the innocent.

The other person who died at the same time was, as I have said, Ninon,
the famous courtesan, known, since age had compelled her to quit that
trade, as Mademoiselle de l'Enclos.  She was a new example of the triumph
of vice carried on cleverly and repaired by some virtue.  The stir that
she made, and still more the disorder that she caused among the highest
and most brilliant youth, overcame the extreme indulgence that, not
without cause, the Queen-mother entertained for persons whose conduct was
gallant, and more than gallant, and made her send her an order to retire
into a convent.  But Ninon, observing that no especial convent was named,
said, with a great courtesy, to the officer who brought the order, that,
as the option was left to her, she would choose "the convent of the
Cordeliers at Paris;" which impudent joke so diverted the Queen that she
left her alone for the future.  Ninon never had but one lover at a time--
but her admirers were numberless--so that when wearied of one incumbent
she told him so frankly, and took another: The abandoned one might groan
and complain; her decree was without appeal; and this creature had
acquired such an influence, that the deserted lovers never dared to take
revenge on the favoured one, and were too happy to remain on the footing
of friend of the house.  She sometimes kept faithful to one, when he
pleased her very much, during an entire campaign.

Ninon had illustrious friends of all sorts, and had so much wit that she
preserved them all and kept them on good terms with each other; or, at
least, no quarrels ever came to light.  There was an external respect and
decency about everything that passed in her house, such as princesses of
the highest rank have rarely been able to preserve in their intrigues.

In this way she had among her friends a selection of the best members of
the Court; so that it became the fashion to be received by her, and it
was useful to be so, on account of the connections that were thus formed.

There was never any gambling there, nor loud laughing, nor disputes, nor
talk about religion or politics; but much and elegant wit, ancient and
modern stories, news of gallantries, yet without scandal.  All was
delicate, light, measured; and she herself maintained the conversation by
her wit and her great knowledge of facts.  The respect which, strange to
say, she had acquired, and the number and distinction of her friends and
acquaintances, continued when her charms ceased to attract; and when
propriety and fashion compelled her to use only intellectual baits.  She
knew all the intrigues of the old and the new Court, serious and
otherwise; her conversation was charming; she was disinterested,
faithful, secret, safe to the last degree; and, setting aside her
frailty, virtuous and full of probity.  She frequently succoured her
friends with money and influence; constantly did them the most important
services, and very faithfully kept the secrets or the money deposits that
were confided to her.

She had been intimate with Madame de Maintenon during the whole of her
residence at Paris; but Madame de Maintenon, although not daring to
disavow this friendship, did not like to hear her spoken about.

She wrote to Ninon with amity from time to time, even until her death;
and Ninon in like manner, when she wanted to serve any friend in whom she
took great interest, wrote to Madame de Maintenon, who did her what
service she required efficaciously and with promptness.

But since Madame de Maintenon came to power, they had only seen each
other two or three times, and then in secret.

Ninon was remarkable for her repartees.  One that she made to the last
Marechal de Choiseul is worth repeating.  The Marechal was virtue itself,
but not fond of company or blessed with much wit.  One day, after a long
visit he had paid her, Ninon gaped, looked at the Marechal, and cried:

"Oh, my lord! how many virtues you make me detest!"

A line from I know not what play.  The laughter at this may be imagined.
L'Enclos lived, long beyond her eightieth year, always healthy, visited,
respected.  She gave her last years to God, and her death was the news of
the day.  The singularity of this personage has made me extend my
observations upon her.

A short time after the death of Mademoiselle de l'Enclos, a terrible
adventure happened to Courtenvaux, eldest son of M. de Louvois.
Courtenvaux was commander of the Cent-Suisses, fond of obscure debauches;
with a ridiculous voice, miserly, quarrelsome, though modest and
respectful; and in fine a very stupid fellow.  The King, more eager to
know all that was passing than most people believed, although they gave
him credit for not a little curiosity in this respect, had authorised
Bontems to engage a number of Swiss in addition to those posted at the
doors, and in the parks and gardens.  These attendants had orders to
stroll morning, noon, and night, along the corridors, the passages, the
staircases, even into the private places, and, when it was fine, in the
court-yards and gardens; and in secret to watch people, to follow them,
to notice where they went, to notice who was there, to listen to all the
conversation they could hear, and to make reports of their discoveries.
This was assiduously done at Versailles, at Marly, at Trianon, at
Fontainebleau, and in all the places where the King was.  These new
attendants vexed Courtenvaux considerably, for over such new-comers he
had no sort of authority.  This season, at Fontainebleau, a room, which
had formerly been occupied by a party of the Cent-Suisses and of the
body-guard, was given up entirely to the new corps.  The room was in a
public passage of communication indispensable to all in the chateau, and
in consequence, excellently well adapted for watching those who passed
through it.  Courtenvaux, more than ever vexed by this new arrangement,
regarded it as a fresh encroachment upon his authority, and flew into a
violent rage with the new-comers, and railed at them in good set terms.
They allowed him to fume as he would; they had their orders, and were too
wise to be disturbed by his rage.  The King, who heard of all this, sent
at once for Courtenvaux.  As soon as he appeared in the cabinet, the King
called to him from the other end of the room, without giving him time to
approach, and in a rage so terrible, and for him so novel, that not only
Courtenvaux, but Princes, Princesses, and everybody in the chamber,
trembled.  Menaces that his post should be taken away from him, terms the
most severe and the most unusual, rained upon Courtenvaux, who, fainting
with fright, and ready to sink under the ground, had neither the time nor
the means to prefer a word.  The reprimand finished by the King saying,
"Get out."  He had scarcely the strength to obey.

The cause of this strange scene was that Courtenvaux, by the fuss he had
made, had drawn the attention of the whole Court to the change effected
by the King, and that, when once seen, its object was clear to all eyes.
The King, who hid his spy system with the greatest care, had counted upon
this change passing unperceived, and was beside himself with anger when
he found it made apparent to everybody by Courtenvaux's noise.  He never
regained the King's favour during the rest of his life; and but for his
family he would certainly have been driven away, and his office taken
from him.

Let me speak now of something of more moment.

The war, as I have said, still continued, but without bringing us any
advantages.  On the contrary, our losses in Germany and Italy by
sickness, rather than by the sword, were so great that it was resolved to
augment each company by five men; and, at the same time, twenty-five
thousand militia were raised, thus causing great ruin and great
desolation in the provinces.  The King was rocked into the belief that
the people were all anxious to enter this militia, and, from time to
time, at Marly, specimens of those enlisted were shown to him, and their
joy and eagerness to serve made much of.  I have heard this often; while,
at the same time, I knew from my own tenantry, and from everything that
was said, that the raising of this militia carried despair everywhere,
and that many people mutilated themselves in order to exempt themselves
from serving.  Nobody at the Court was ignorant of this.  People lowered
their eyes when they saw the deceit practised upon the King, and the
credulity he displayed, and afterwards whispered one to another what they
thought of flattery so ruinous.  Fresh regiments, too, were raised at
this time, and a crowd of new colonels and staffs created, instead of
giving a new battalion or a squadron additional to regiments already in
existence.  I saw quite plainly towards what rock we were drifting.  We
had met losses at Hochstedt, Gibraltar, and Barcelona; Catalonia and the
neighbouring countries were in revolt; Italy yielding us nothing but
miserable successes; Spain exhausted; France, failing in men and money,
and with incapable generals, protected by the Court against their faults.
I saw all these things so plainly that I could not avoid making
reflections, or reporting them to my friends in office.  I thought that
it was time to finish the war before we sank still lower, and that it
might be finished by giving to the Archduke what we could not defend, and
making a division of the rest.  My plan was to leave Philip V.
possession of all Italy, except those parts which belonged to the Grand
Duke, the republics of Venice and Genoa, and the ecclesiastical states of
Naples and Sicily; our King to have Lorraine and some other slight
additions of territory; and to place elsewhere the Dukes of Savoy, of
Lorraine, of Parma, and of Modem.  I related this plan to the Chancellor
and to Chamillart, amongst others.  The contrast between their replies
was striking.  The Chancellor, after having listened to me very
attentively, said, if my plan were adopted, he would most willingly kiss
my toe for joy.  Chamillart, with gravity replied, that the King would
not give up a single mill of all the Spanish succession.  Then I felt the
blindness which had fallen upon us, and how much the results of it were
to be dreaded.

Nevertheless, the King, as if to mock at misfortune and to show his
enemies the little uneasiness he felt, determined, at the commencement of
the new year, 1706, that the Court should be gayer than ever.  He
announced that there would be balls at Marly every time he was there this
winter, and he named those who were to dance there; and said he should be
very glad to see balls given to Madame de Bourgogne at Versailles.
Accordingly, many took place there, and also at Marly, and from time to
time there were masquerades.  One day, the King wished that everybody,
even the most aged, who were at Marly, should go to the ball masked; and,
to avoid all distinction, he went there himself with a gauze robe above
his habit; but such a slight disguise was for himself alone; everybody
else was completely disguised.  M. and Madame de Beauvilliers were there
perfectly disguised.  When I say they were there, those who knew the
Court will admit that I have said more than enough.  I had the pleasure
of seeing them, and of quietly laughing with them.  At all these balls
the King made people dance who had long since passed the age for doing
so.  As for the Comte de Brionne and the Chevalier de Sully, their
dancing was so perfect that there was no age for them.


In the midst of all this gaiety, that is to say on the 12th of February,
1706, one of our generals, of whom I have often spoken, I mean M. de
Vendome, arrived at Marly.  He had not quitted Italy since succeeding to
Marechal de Villeroy, after the affair of Cremona.  His battles, such as
they were, the places he had taken, the authority he had assumed, the
reputation he had usurped, his incomprehensible successes with the King,
the certainty of the support he leaned on,--all this inspired him with
the desire to come and enjoy at Court a situation so brilliant, and which
so far surpassed what he had a right to expect.  But before speaking of
the reception which was given him, and of the incredible ascendancy he
took, let me paint him from the life a little more completely than I have
yet done.

Vendome was of ordinary height, rather stout, but vigorous and active:
with a very noble countenance and lofty mien.  There was much natural
grace in his carriage and words; he had a good deal of innate wit, which
he had not cultivated, and spoke easily, supported by a natural boldness,
which afterwards turned to the wildest audacity; he knew the world and
the Court; was above all things an admirable courtier; was polite when
necessary, but insolent when he dared--familiar with common people--in
reality, full of the most ravenous pride.  As his rank rose and his
favour increased, his obstinacy, and pig-headedness increased too, so
that at last he would listen to no advice whatever, and was inaccessible
to all, except a small number of familiars and valets.  No one better
than he knew the subserviency of the French character, or took more
advantage of it.  Little by little he accustomed his subalterns, and then
from one to the other all his army, to call him nothing but
"Monseigneur," and "Your Highness."  In time the gangrene spread, and
even lieutenant-generals and the most distinguished people did not dare
to address him in any other manner.

The most wonderful thing to whoever knew the King--so gallant to the
ladies during a long part of his life, so devout the other, and often
importunate to make others do as he did--was that the said King had
always a singular horror of the inhabitants of the Cities of the Plain;
and yet M. de Vendome, though most odiously stained with that vice--so
publicly that he treated it as an ordinary gallantry--never found his
favour diminished on that account.  The Court, Anet, the army, knew of
these abominations.  Valets and subaltern officers soon found the way to
promotion.  I have already mentioned how publicly he placed himself in
the doctor's hands, and how basely the Court acted, imitating the King,
who would never have pardoned a legitimate prince what he indulged so
strangely in Vendome.

The idleness of M. de Vendome was equally matter of notoriety.  More than
once he ran the risk of being taken prisoner from mere indolence.  He
rarely himself saw anything at the army, trusting to his familiars when
ready to trust anybody.  The way he employed his day prevented any real
attention to business.  He was filthy in the extreme, and proud of it.
Fools called it simplicity.  His bed was always full of dogs and bitches,
who littered at his side, the pops rolling in the clothes.  He himself
was under constraint in nothing.  One of his theses was, that everybody
resembled him, but was not honest enough to confess it as he was.  He
mentioned this once to the Princesse de Conti--the cleanest person in the
world, and the most delicate in her cleanliness.

He rose rather late when at the army.  In this situation he wrote his
letters, and gave his morning orders.  Whoever had business with him,
general officers and distinguished persons, could speak to him then.  He
had accustomed the army to this infamy.  At the same time he gobbled his
breakfast; and whilst he ate, listened, or gave orders, many spectators
always standing round.... (I must be excused these disgraceful details,
in order better to make him known)....  On shaving days he used the same
vessel to lather his chin in.  This, according to him, was a simplicity
of manner worthy of the ancient Romans, and which condemned the splendour
and superfluity of the others.  When all was over, he dressed; then
played high at piquet or hombre; or rode out, if it was absolutely
necessary.  All was now over for the day.  He supped copiously with his
familiars: was a great eater, of wonderful gluttony; a connoisseur in no
dish, liked fish much, but the stale and stinking better than the good.
The meal prolonged itself in theses and disputes, and above all in praise
and flattery.

He would never have forgiven the slightest blame from any one.  He wanted
to pass for the first captain of his age, and spoke with indecent
contempt of Prince Eugene and all the others.  The faintest contradiction
would have been a crime.  The soldier and the subaltern adored him for
his familiarity with them, and the licence he allowed in order to gain
their hearts; for all which he made up by excessive haughtiness towards
whoever was elevated by rank or birth.

On one occasion the Duke of Parma sent the bishop of that place to
negotiate some affair with him; but M. de Vendome took such disgusting
liberties in his presence, that the ecclesiastic, though without saying a
word, returned to Parma, and declared to his master that never would he
undertake such an embassy again.  In his place another envoy was sent,
the famous Alberoni.  He was the son of a gardener, who became an Abbe in
order to get on.  He was full of buffoonery; and pleased M. de Parma as
might a valet who amused him, but he soon showed talent and capacity for
affairs.  The Duke thought that the night-chair of M. de Vendome required
no other ambassador than Alberoni, who was accordingly sent to conclude
what the bishop had left undone.  The Abbe determined to please, and was
not proud.  M. de Vendome exhibited himself as before; and Alberoni, by
an infamous act of personal adoration, gained his heart.  He was
thenceforth much with him, made cheese-soup and other odd messes for him;
and finally worked his way.  It is true he was cudgelled by some one he
had offended, for a thousand paces, in sight of the whole army, but this
did not prevent his advancement.  Vendome liked such an unscrupulous
flatterer; and yet as we have seen, he was not in want of praise.  The
extraordinary favour shown him by the King--the credulity with which his
accounts of victories were received--showed to every one in what
direction their laudation was to be sent.

Such was the man whom the King and the whole Court hastened to caress and
flatter from the first moment of his arrival amongst us.  There was a
terrible hubbub: boys, porters, and valets rallied round his postchaise
when he reached Marly.  Scarcely had he ascended into his chamber, than
everybody, princes, bastards and all the rest, ran after him.  The
ministers followed: so that in a short time nobody was left in the salon
but the ladies.  M. de Beauvilliers was at Vaucresson.  As for me, I
remained spectator, and did not go and adore this idol.

In a few minutes Vendome was sent for by the King and Monseigneur.  As
soon as he could dress himself, surrounded as he was by such a crowd, he
went to the salon, carried by it rather than environed.  Monseigneur
stopped the music that was playing, in order to embrace him.  The King
left the cabinet where he was at work, and came out to meet him,
embracing him several times.  Chamillart on the morrow gave a fete in his
honour at L'Etang, which lasted two days.  Following his example,
Pontchartrain, Torcy, and the most distinguished lords of the Court, did
the same.  People begged and entreated to give him fetes; people begged
and entreated to be invited to them.  Never was triumph equal to his;
each step he took procured him a new one.  It is not too much to say,
that everybody disappeared before him; Princes of the blood, ministers,
the grandest seigneurs, all appeared only to show how high he was above
them; even the King seemed only to remain King to elevate him more.

The people joined in this enthusiasm, both in Versailles and at Paris,
where he went under pretence of going to the opera.  As he passed along
the streets crowds collected to cheer him; they billed him at the doors,
and every seat was taken in advance; people pushed and squeezed
everywhere, and the price of admission was doubled, as on the nights of
first performances.  Vendome, who received all these homages with extreme
ease, was yet internally surprised by a folly so universal.  He feared
that all this heat would not last out even the short stay he intended to
make.  To keep himself more in reserve, he asked and obtained permission
to go to Anet, in the intervals between the journeys to Marly.  All the
Court, however, followed him there, and the King was pleased rather than
otherwise, at seeing Versailles half deserted for Anet, actually asking
some if they had been, others, when they intended to go.

It was evident that every one had resolved to raise M. de Vendome to the
rank of a hero.  He determined to profit by the resolution.  If they made
him Mars, why should he not act as such?  He claimed to be appointed
commander of the Marechals of France, and although the King refused him
this favour, he accorded him one which was but the stepping-stone to it.
M. de Vendome went away towards the middle of March to command the army
in Italy, with a letter signed by the King himself, promising him that if
a Marechal of France were sent to Italy, that Marechal was to take
commands from him.  M. de Vendome was content, and determined to obtain
all he asked on a future day.  The disposition of the armies had been
arranged just before.  Tesse, for Catalonia and Spain; Berwick, for the
frontier of Portugal; Marechal Villars, for Alsace; Marsin, for the
Moselle; Marechal de Villeroy, for Flanders; and M. de Vendome, as I have
said, for Italy.

Now that I am speaking of the armies, let me give here an account of all
our military operations this year, so as to complete that subject at

M. de Vendome commenced his Italian campaign by a victory.  He attacked
the troops of Prince Eugene upon the heights of Calcinato, drove them
before him, killed three thousand men, took twenty standards, ten pieces
of cannon, and eight thousand prisoners.  It was a rout rather than a
combat.  The enemy was much inferior in force to us, and was without its
general, Prince Eugene, he not having returned to open the campaign.  He
came back, however, the day after this engagement, soon re-established
order among his troops, and M. de Vendome from that time, far from being
able to recommence the attack, was obliged to keep strictly on the
defensive while he remained in Italy.  He did not fail to make the most
of his victory, which, however, to say the truth, led to nothing.

Our armies just now were, it must be admitted, in by no means a good
condition.  The generals owed their promotion to favour and fantasy.
The King thought he gave them capacity when he gave them their patents.
Under M. de Turenne the army had afforded, as in a school, opportunities
for young officers to learn the art of warfare, and to qualify themselves
step by step to take command.  They were promoted as they showed signs of
their capacity, and gave proof of their talent.  Now, however, it was
very different.  Promotion was granted according to length of service,
thus rendering all application and diligence unnecessary, except when M.
de Louvois suggested to the King such officers as he had private reasons
for being favourable to, and whose actions he could control.  He
persuaded the King that it was he himself who ought to direct the armies
from his cabinet.  The King, flattered by this, swallowed the bait, and
Louvois himself was thus enabled to govern in the name of the King, to
keep the generals in leading-strings, and to fetter their every movement.
In consequence of the way in which promotions were made, the greatest
ignorance prevailed amongst all grades of officers.  None knew scarcely
anything more than mere routine duties, and sometimes not even so much as
that.  The luxury which had inundated the army, too, where everybody
wished to live as delicately as at Paris, hindered the general officers
from associating with the other officers, and in consequence from knowing
and appreciating them.  As a matter of course, there were no longer any
deliberations upon the state of affairs, in which the young might profit
by the counsels of the old, and the army profit by the discussions of
all.  The young officers talked only of pay and women; the old, of forage
and equipages; the generals spent half their time in writing costly
despatches, often useless, and sending them away by couriers.  The luxury
of the Court and city had spread into the army, so that delicacies were
carried there unknown formerly.  Nothing was spoken of but hot dishes in
the marches and in the detachments; and the repasts that were carried to
the trenches, during sieges, were not only well served, but ices and
fruits were partaken of as at a fete, and a profusion of all sorts of
liqueurs.  Expense ruined the officers, who vied with one another in
their endeavours to appear magnificent; and the things to be carried, the
work to be done, quadrupled the number of domestics and grooms, who often
starved.  For a long time, people had complained of all this; even those
who were put to the expenses, which ruined them; but none dared to spend
less.  At last, that is to say, in the spring of the following year, the
King made severe rules, with the object of bringing about a reform in
this particular.  There is no country in Europe where there are so many
fine laws, or where the observance of them is of shorter duration.  It
often happens, that in the first year all are infringed, and in the
second, forgotten.  Such was the army at this time, and we soon had
abundant opportunities to note its incapacity to overcome the enemies
with whom we had to contend.

The King wished to open this campaign with two battles; one in Italy, the
other in Flanders.  His desire was to some extent gratified in the former
case; but in the other he met with a sad and cruel disappointment.  Since
the departure of Marechal de Villeroy for Flanders, the King had more
than once pressed him to engage the enemy.  The Marechal, piqued with
these reiterated orders, which he considered as reflections upon his
courage, determined to risk anything in order to satisfy the desire of
the King.  But the King did not wish this.  At the same time that he
wished for a battle in Flanders, he wished to place Villeroy in a state
to fight it.  He sent orders, therefore, to Marsin to take eighteen
battalions and twenty squadrons of his army, to proceed to the Moselle,
where he would find twenty others, and then to march with the whole into
Flanders, and join Marechal de Villeroy.  At the same time he prohibited
the latter from doing anything until this reinforcement reached him.
Four couriers, one after the other, carried this prohibition to the
Marechal; but he had determined to give battle without assistance, and he
did so, with what result will be seen.

On the 24th of May he posted himself between the villages of Taviers and
Ramillies.  He was superior in force to the Duke of Marlborough, who was
opposed to him, and this fact gave him confidence.  Yet the position
which he had taken up was one which was well known to be bad.  The late
M. de Luxembourg had declared it so, and had avoided it.  M. de Villeroy
had been a witness of this, but it was his destiny and that of France
that he should forget it.  Before he took up this position he announced
that it was his intention to do so to M. d'Orleans.  M. d'Orleans said
publicly to all who came to listen, that if M. de Villeroy did so he
would be beaten.  M. d'Orleans proved to be only too good a prophet.

Just as M. de Villeroy had taken up his position and made his
arrangements, the Elector arrived in hot haste from Brussels.  It was
too late now to blame what had been done.  There was nothing for it but
to complete what had been already begun, and await the result.

It was about two hours after midday when the enemy arrived within range,
and came under our fire from Ramillies.  It forced them to halt until
their cannon could be brought into play, which was soon done.  The
cannonade lasted a good hour.  At the end of that time they marched to
Taviers, where a part of our army was posted, found but little
resistance, and made themselves masters of that place.  From that moment
they brought their cavalry to bear.  They perceived that there was a
marsh which covered our left, but which hindered our two wings from
joining.  They made good use of the advantage this gave them.  We were
taken in the rear at more than one point, and Taviers being no longer
able to assist us, Ramillies itself fell, after a prodigious fire and an
obstinate resistance.  The Comte de Guiche at the head of the regiment of
Guards defended it for four hours, and performed prodigies, but in the
end he was obliged to give way.  All this time our left had been utterly
useless with its nose in the marsh, no enemy in front of it, and with
strict orders not to budge from its position.

[Illustration: Marlborough At Ramillies--Painted by R. Canton Woodville

Our retreat commenced in good order, but soon the night came and threw us
into confusion.  The defile of Judoigne became so gorged with baggage and
with the wrecks of the artillery we had been able to save, that
everything was taken from us there.  Nevertheless, we arrived at Louvain,
and then not feeling in safety, passed the canal of Wilworde without
being very closely followed by the enemy.

We lost in this battle four thousand men, and many prisoners of rank, all
of whom were treated with much politeness by Marlborough.  Brussels was
one of the first-fruits he gathered of this victory, which had such grave
and important results.

The King did not learn this disaster until Wednesday, the 26th of May,
at his waking.  I was at Versailles.  Never was such trouble or such
consternation.  The worst was, that only the broad fact was known; for
six days we were without a courier to give us details.  Even the post was
stopped.  Days seemed like years in the ignorance of everybody as to
details, and in the inquietude of everybody for relatives and friends.
The King was forced to ask one and another for news; but nobody could
tell him any.  Worn out at last by the silence, he determined to despatch
Chamillart to Flanders to ascertain the real state of affairs.
Chamillart accordingly left Versailles on Sunday, the 30th of May, to the
astonishment of all the Court, at seeing a man charged with the war and
the finance department sent on such an errand.  He astonished no less the
army when he arrived at Courtrai, where it had stationed itself.  Having
gained all the information he sought, Chamillart returned to Versailles
on Friday, the 4th of June, at about eight o'clock in the evening, and at
once went to the King, who was in the apartments of Madame de Maintenon.
It was known then that the army, after several hasty marches, finding
itself at Ghent, the Elector of Bavaria had insisted that it ought at
least to remain there.  A council of war was held, the Marechal de
Villeroy, who was quite discouraged by the loss he had sustained, opposed
the advice of the Elector.  Ghent was abandoned, so was the open country.
The army was separated and distributed here and there, under the command
of the general officers.  In this way, with the exception of Namur, Mons,
and a very few other places, all the Spanish Low Countries were lost, and
a part of ours, even.  Never was rapidity equal to this.  The enemies
were as much astonished as we.

However tranquilly the King sustained in appearance this misfortune, he
felt it to the quick.  He was so affected by what was said of his body-
guards, that he spoke of them himself with bitterness.  Court warriors
testified in their favour, but persuaded nobody.  But the King seized
these testimonies with joy, and sent word to the Guards that he was well
contended with them.  Others, however, were not so easily satisfied.

This sad reverse and the discontent of the Elector made the King feel at
last that his favourites must give way to those better able to fill their
places.  Villeroy, who, since his defeat, had quite lost his head, and
who, if he had been a general of the Empire, would have lost it in
reality in another manner, received several strong hints from the King
that he ought to give up his command.  But he either could not or would
not understand them, and so tired out the King's patience, at length.
But he was informed in language which admitted of no misapprehension that
he must return.  Even then, the King was so kindly disposed towards him,
that he said the Marechal had begged to be recalled with such obstinacy
that he could not refuse him.  But M. de Villeroy was absurd enough to
reject this salve for his honour; which led to his disgrace.  M. de
Vendome had orders to leave Italy, and succeed to the command in
Flanders, where the enemies had very promptly taken Ostend and Nieuport.


Meanwhile, as I have promised to relate, in a continuous narrative, all
our military operations of this year, let me say what passed in other
directions.  The siege of Barcelona made no progress.  Our engineers were
so slow and so ignorant, that they did next to nothing.  They were so
venal, too, that they aided the enemy rather than us by their movements.
According to a new rule made by the King, whenever they changed the
position of their guns, they were entitled to a pecuniary recompense.
Accordingly, they passed all their time in uselessly changing about from
place to place, in order to receive the recompense which thus became due
to them.

Our fleet, too, hearing that a much superior naval force was coming to
the assistance of the enemy, and being, thanks to Pontchartrain, utterly
unable to meet it, was obliged to weigh anchor, and sailed away to
Toulon.  The enemy's fleet arrived, and the besieged at once took new
courage.  Tesse, who had joined the siege, saw at once that it was
useless to continue it.  We had for some time depended upon the open sea
for supplies.  Now that the English fleet had arrived, we could depend
upon the sea no longer.  The King of Spain saw, at last, that there was
no help for it but to raise the siege.

It was raised accordingly on the night between the 10th and 11th of May,
after fourteen days' bombardment.  We abandoned one hundred pieces of
artillery; one hundred and fifty thousand pounds of powder; thirty
thousand sacks of flour; twenty thousand sacks of sevade, a kind of oats;
and a great number of bombs, cannon-balls, and implements.  As Catalonia
was in revolt, it was felt that retreat could not take place in that
direction; it was determined, therefore, to retire by the way of the
French frontier.  For eight days, however, our troops were harassed in
flank and rear by Miquelets, who followed us from mountain to mountain.
It was not until the Duc de Noailles, whose father had done some service
to the chiefs of these Miquelets, had parleyed with them, and made terms
with them, that our troops were relieved from these cruel wasps.  We
suffered much loss in our retreat, which, with the siege, cost us full
four thousand men.  The army stopped at Roussillon, and the King of
Spain, escorted by two regiments of dragoons, made the best of his way to
Madrid.  That city was itself in danger from the Portuguese, and, indeed,
fell into their hands soon after.  The Queen, who, with her children, had
left it in time to avoid capture, felt matters to be in such extremity,
that she despatched all the jewels belonging to herself and her husband
to France.  They were placed in the custody of the King.  Among them was
that famous pear-shaped pearl called the Peregrine, which, for its
weight, its form, its size, and its water, is beyond all price and all

The King of Spain effected a junction with the army of Berwick, and both
set to work to reconquer the places the Portuguese had taken from them.
In this they were successful.  The Portuguese, much harassed by the
people of Castille, were forced to abandon all they had gained; and the
King of Spain was enabled to enter Madrid towards the end of September,
where he was received with much rejoicing.

In Italy we experienced the most disastrous misfortunes.  M. de Vendome,
having been called from the command to go into Flanders, M. d'Orleans,
after some deliberation, was appointed to take his place.  M. d'Orleans
set out from Paris on the 1st of July, with twenty-eight horses and five
chaises, to arrive in three days at Lyons, and then to hasten on into
Italy.  La Feuillade was besieging Turin.  M. d'Orleans went to the
siege.  He was magnificently received by La Feuillade, and shown all over
the works.  He found everything defective.  La Feuillade was very young,
and very inexperienced.  I have already related an adventure of his, that
of his seizing upon the coffers of his uncle, and so forestalling his
inheritance.  To recover from the disgrace this occurrence brought upon
him, he had married a daughter of Chamillart.  Favoured by this minister,
but coldly looked upon by the King, he had succeeded in obtaining command
in the army, and had been appointed to conduct this siege.  Inflated by
the importance of his position, and by the support of Chamillart, he
would listen to no advice from any one.  M. d'Orleans attempted to bring
about some changes, and gave orders to that effect, but as soon as he was
gone, La Feuillade countermanded those orders and had everything his own
way.  The siege accordingly went on with the same ill-success as before.

M. d'Orleans joined M. de Vendome on the 17th of July, upon the Mincio.
The pretended hero had just made some irreparable faults.  He had allowed
Prince Eugene to pass the Po, nearly in front of him, and nobody knew
what had become of twelve of our battalions posted near the place where
this passage had been made.  Prince Eugene had taken all the boats that
we had upon the river.  We could not cross it, therefore, and follow the
enemy without making a bridge.  Vendome feared lest his faults should be
perceived.  He wished that his successor should remain charged with them.
M. d'Orleans, indeed, soon saw all the faults that M. de Vendome had
committed, and tried hard to induce the latter to aid him to repair them.
But M. de Vendome would not listen to his representations, and started
away almost immediately to take the command of the army in Flanders,
leaving M. d'Orleans to get out of the difficulty as he might.

M. d'Orleans, abandoned to himself (except when interfered with by
Marechal de Marsin, under whose tutelage he was), could do nothing.  He
found as much opposition to his plans from Marsin as he had found from M.
de Vendome.  Marsin wished to keep in the good graces of La Feuillade,
son-in-law of the all-powerful minister, and would not adopt the views of
M. d'Orleans.  This latter had proposed to dispute the passage of the
Tanaro, a confluent of the Po, with the enemy, or compel them to accept
battle.  An intercepted letter, in cypher, from Prince Eugene to the
Emperor, which fell into our hands, proved, subsequently, that this
course would have been the right one to adopt; but the proof came too
late; the decyphering table having been forgotten at Versailles!
M. d'Orleans had in the mean time been forced to lead his army to Turin,
to assist the besiegers, instead of waiting to stop the passage of the
troops that were destined for the aid of the besieged.  He arrived at
Turin on the 28th of August, in the evening.  La Feuillade, now under two
masters, grew, it might be imagined, more docile.  But no!  He allied
himself with Marsin (without whom M. d'Orleans could do nothing), and so
gained him over that they acted completely in accord.  When M. d'Orleans
was convinced, soon after his arrival, that the enemy was approaching to
succour Turin, he suggested that they should be opposed as they attempted
the passage of the Dora.

But his advice was not listened to.  He was displeased with everything.
He found that all the orders he had given had been disregarded.  He found
the siege works bad, imperfect, very wet, and very ill-guarded.  He tried
to remedy all these defects, but he was opposed at every step.  A council
of war was held.  M. d'Orleans stated his views, but all the officers
present, with one honourable exception, servilely chimed in with the
views of Marsin and La Feuillade, and things remained as they were.
M. d'Orleans, thereupon, protested that he washed his hands of all the
misfortunes that might happen in consequence of his advice being
neglected.  He declared that as he was no longer master over anything,
it was not just that he should bear any part of the blame which would
entail to those in command.  He asked, therefore, for his post-chaise,
and wished immediately to quit the army.  La Feuillade and Marsin,
however, begged him to remain, and upon second thoughts he thought it
better to do so.  The simple reason of all this opposition was, that La
Feuillade, being very young and very vain, wished to have all the honours
of the siege.  He was afraid that if the counsel of M. d'Orleans
prevailed, some of that honour would be taken from him.  This was the
real reason, and to this France owes the disastrous failure of the siege
of Turin.

After the council of war, M. d'Orleans ceased to take any share in the
command, walked about or stopped at home, like a man who had nothing to
do with what was passing around him.  On the night of the 6th to the 7th
of September, he rose from his bed alarmed by information sent to him in
a letter, that Prince Eugene was about to attack the castle of Pianezza,
in order to cross the Dora, and so proceed to attack the besiegers.  He
hastened at once to Marsin, showed him the letter, and recommended that
troops should at once be sent to dispute the passage of a brook that the
enemies had yet to cross, even supposing them to be masters of Pianezza.
Even as he was speaking, confirmation of the intelligence he had received
was brought by one of our officers.  But it was resolved, in the Eternal
decrees, that France should be struck to the heart that day.

Marsin would listen to none of the arguments of M. d'Orleans.  He
maintained that it would be unsafe to leave the lines; that the news was
false; that Prince Eugene could not possibly arrive so promptly; he would
give no orders; and he counselled M. d'Orleans to go back to bed.  The
Prince, more piqued and more disgusted than ever, retired to his quarters
fully resolved to abandon everything to the blind and deaf, who would
neither see nor hear.

Soon after entering his chamber the news spread from all parts of the
arrival of Prince Eugene.  He did not stir.  Some general officers came,
and forced him to mount his horse.  He went forth negligently at a
walking pace.  What had taken place during the previous days had made so
much noise that even the common soldiers were ashamed of it.  They liked
him, and murmured because he would no longer command them.  One of them
called him by his name, and asked him if he refused them his sword.  This
question did more than all that the general officers had been able to do.
M. d'Orleans replied to the soldier, that he would not refuse to serve
them, and at once resolved to lend all his aid to Marsin and La

But it was no longer possible to leave the lines.  The enemy was in
sight, and advanced so diligently, that there was no time to make
arrangements.  Marsin, more dead than alive, was incapable of giving any
order or any advice.  But La Feuillade still persevered in his obstinacy.
He disputed the orders of the Duc d'Orleans, and prevented their
execution, possessed by I know not what demon.

The attack was commenced about ten o'clock in the morning, was pushed
with incredible vigour, and sustained, at first, in the same manner.
Prince Eugene poured his troops into those places which the smallness of
our forces had compelled us to leave open.  Marsin, towards the middle of
the battle, received a wound which incapacitated him from further
service, end was taken prisoner immediately after.  Le Feuillade ran
about like a madman, tearing his hair, and incapable of giving any order.
The Duc d'Orleans preserved his coolness, and did wonders to save the
day.  Finding our men beginning to waver, he called the officers by their
names, aroused the soldiers by his voice, and himself led the squadrons
and battalions to the charge.  Vanquished at last by pain, and weakened
by the blood he had lost, he was constrained to retire a little, to have
his wounds dressed.  He scarcely gave himself time for this, however, but
returned at once where the fire was hottest.  Three times the enemy had
been repulsed and their guns spiked by one of our officers, Le Guerchois,
with his brigade of the old marine, when, enfeebled by the losses he had
sustained, he called upon a neighbouring brigade to advance with him to
oppose a number of fresh battalions the enemy had sent against him.  This
brigade and its brigadier refused bluntly to aid him.  It was positively
known afterwards, that had Le Guerchois sustained this fourth charge,
Prince Eugene would have retreated.

This was the last moment of the little order that there had been at this
battle.  All that followed was only trouble, confusion, disorder, flight,
discomfiture.  The most terrible thing is, that the general officers,
with but few exceptions, more intent upon their equipage and upon what
they had saved by pillage, added to the confusion instead of diminishing
it, and were worse than useless.

M. d'Orleans, convinced at last that it was impossible to re-establish
the day, thought only how to retire as advantageously as possible.  He
withdrew his light artillery, his ammunition, everything that was at the
siege, even at the most advanced of its works, and attended to everything
with a presence of mind that allowed nothing to escape him.  Then,
gathering round him all the officers he could collect, he explained to
them that nothing but retreat was open to them, and that the road to
Italy was that which they ought to pursue.  By this means they would
leave the victorious army of the enemy in a country entirely ruined and
desolate, and hinder it from returning into Italy, where the army of the
King, on the contrary, would have abundance, and where it would cut off
all succour from the others.

This proposition dismayed to the last degree our officers, who hoped at
least to reap the fruit of this disaster by returning to France with the
money with which they were gorged.  La Feuillade opposed it with so much
impatience, that the Prince, exasperated by an effrontery so sustained,
told him to hold his peace and let others speak.  Others did speak, but
only one was for following the counsel of M. d'Orleans.  Feeling himself
now, however, the master, he stopped all further discussion, and gave
orders that the retreat to Italy should commence.  This was all he could
do.  His body and his brain were equally exhausted.  After having waited
some little time, he was compelled to throw himself into a post-chaise,
and in that to continue the journey.

The officers obeyed his orders most unwillingly.  They murmured amongst
each other so loudly that the Duc d'Orleans, justly irritated by so much
opposition to his will, made them hold their peace.  The retreat
continued.  But it was decreed that the spirit of error and vertigo
should ruin us and save the allies.  As the army was about to cross the
bridge over the Ticino, and march into Italy, information was brought to
M. d'Orleans, that the enemy occupied the roads by which it was
indispensable to pass.  M. d'Orleans, not believing this intelligence,
persisted in going forward.  Our officers, thus foiled, for it was known
afterwards that the story was their invention, and that the passes were
entirely free, hit upon another expedient.  They declared there were no
more provisions or ammunition, and that it was accordingly impossible to
go into Italy.  M. d'Orleans, worn out by so much criminal disobedience,
and weakened by his wound, could hold out no longer.  He threw himself
back in the chaise, and said they might go where they would.  The army
therefore turned about, and directed itself towards Pignerol, losing many
equipages from our rear-guard during the night in the mountains, although
that rear-guard was protected by Albergotti, and was not annoyed by the

The joy of the enemy at their success was unbounded.  They could scarcely
believe in it.  Their army was just at its last gasp.  They had not more
than four days' supply of powder left in the place.  After the victory,
M. de Savoie and Prince Eugene lost no time in idle rejoicings.  They
thought only how to profit by a success so unheard of and so unexpected.
They retook rapidly all the places in Piedmont and Lombardy that we
occupied, and we had no power to prevent them.

Never battle cost fewer soldiers than that of Turin; never was retreat
more undisturbed than ours; yet never were results more frightful or more
rapid.  Ramillies, with a light loss, cost the Spanish Low Countries and
part of ours: Turin cost all Italy by the ambition of La Feuillade, the
incapacity of Marsin, the avarice, the trickery, the disobedience of the
general officers opposed to M, d'Orleans.  So complete was the rout of
our army, that it was found impossible to restore it sufficiently to send
it back to Italy, not at least before the following spring.  M. d'Orleans
returned therefore to Versailles, on Monday, the 8th of November, and was
well received by the King.  La Feuillade arrived on Monday, the 13th of
December, having remained several days at Paris without daring to go to
Versailles.  He was taken to the King by Chamillart.  As soon as the King
saw them enter he rose, went to the door, and without giving them time to
utter a word, said to La Feuillade, "Monsieur, we are both very
unfortunate!" and instantly turned his back upon him.  La Feuillade, on
the threshold of the door that he had not had time to cross, left the
place immediately, without having dared to say a single word.  The King
always afterwards turned his eye from La Feuillade, and would never speak
to him.  Such was the fall of this Phaeton.  He saw that he had no more
hope, and retired from the army; although there was no baseness that he
did not afterwards employ to return to command.  I think there never was
a more wrong-headed man or a man more radically dishonest, even to the
marrow of his bones.  As for Marsin, he died soon after his capture, from
the effect of his wounds.


Such was our military history of the year 1706--history of losses and
dishonour.  It may be imagined in what condition was the exchequer with
so many demands upon its treasures.  For the last two or three years the
King had been obliged, on account of the expenses of the war, and the
losses we had sustained, to cut down the presents that he made at the
commencement of the year.  Thirty-five thousand louis in gold was the sum
he ordinarily spent in this manner.  This year, 1707, he diminished it by
ten thousand Louis.  It was upon Madame de Montespan that the blow fell.
Since she had quitted the Court the King gave her twelve thousand Louis
of gold each year.  This year he sent word to her that he could only give
her eight.  Madame de Montespan testified not the least surprise.  She
replied, that she was only sorry for the poor, to whom indeed she gave
with profusion.  A short time after the King had made this reduction,
that is, on the 8th of January, Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne gave
birth to a son.  The joy was great, but the King prohibited all those
expenses which had been made at the birth of the first-born of Madame de
Bourgogne, and which had amounted to a large sum.  The want of money
indeed made itself felt so much at this time, that the King was obliged
to seek for resources as a private person might have done.  A mining
speculator, named Rodes, having pretended that he had discovered many
veins of gold in the Pyrenees, assistance was given him in order that he
might bring these treasures to light.

He declared that with eighteen hundred workmen he would furnish a million
(francs' worth of gold) each week.  Fifty-two millions a-year would have
been a fine increase of revenue.  However, after waiting some little
time, no gold was forthcoming, and the money that had been spent to
assist this enterprise was found to be pure loss.

The difficulty of finding money to carry on the affairs of the nation
continued to grow so irksome that Chamillart, who had both the finance
and the war departments under his control, was unable to stand against
the increased trouble and vexation which this state of things brought
him.  More than once he had represented that this double work was too
much for him.  But the King had in former times expressed so much
annoyance from the troubles that arose between the finance and war
departments, that he would not separate them, after having once joined
them together.  At last, Chamillart could bear up against his heavy load
no longer.  The vapours seized him: he had attacks of giddiness in the
head; his digestion was obstructed; he grew thin as a lath.  He wrote
again to the King, begging to be released from his duties, and frankly
stated that, in the state he was, if some relief was not afforded him,
everything would go wrong and perish.  He always left a large margin to
his letters, and upon this the King generally wrote his reply.
Chamillart showed me this letter when it came back to him, and I saw upon
it with great surprise, in the handwriting of the King, this short note:
"Well! let us perish together."

The necessity for money had now become so great, that all sorts of means
were adopted to obtain it.  Amongst other things, a tax was established
upon baptisms and marriages.  This tax was extremely onerous and odious.
The result of it was a strange confusion.  Poor people, and many of
humble means, baptised their children themselves, without carrying them
to the church, and were married at home by reciprocal consent and before
witnesses, when they could find no priest who would marry them without
formality.  In consequence of this there were no longer any baptismal
extracts; no longer any certainty as to baptisms or births; and the
children of the marriages solemnised in the way I have stated above were
illegitimate in the eyes of the law.  Researches and rigours in respect
to abuses so prejudicial were redoubled therefore; that is to say, they
were redoubled for the purpose of collecting the tax.

From public cries and murmurs the people in some places passed to
sedition.  Matters went so far at Cahors, that two battalions which were
there had great difficulty in holding the town against the armed
peasants; and troops intended for Spain were obliged to be sent there.
It was found necessary to suspend the operation of the tax, but it was
with great trouble that the movement of Quercy was put down, and the
peasants, who had armed and collected together, induced to retire into
their villages.  In Perigord they rose, pillaged the bureaux, and
rendered themselves masters of a little town and some castles, and forced
some gentlemen to put themselves at their head.  They declared publicly
that they would pay the old taxes to King, curate, and lord, but that
they would pay no more, or hear a word of any other taxes or vexation.
In the end it was found necessary to drop this tax upon baptism and
marriages, to the great regret of the tax-gatherers, who, by all manner
of vexations and rogueries, had enriched themselves cruelly.

It was at this time, and in consequence, to some extent, of these events,
that a man who had acquired the highest distinction in France was brought
to the tomb in bitterness and grief, for that which in any other country
would have covered him with honour.  Vauban, for it is to him that I
allude, patriot as he was, had all his life been touched with the misery
of the people and the vexations they suffered.  The knowledge that his
offices gave him of the necessity for expense, the little hope he had
that the King would retrench in matters of splendour and amusement, made
him groan to see no remedy to an oppression which increased in weight
from day to day.  Feeling this, he made no journey that he did not
collect information upon the value and produce of the land, upon the
trade and industry of the towns and provinces, on the nature of the
imposts, and the manner of collecting them.  Not content with this, he
secretly sent to such places as he could not visit himself, or even to
those he had visited, to instruct him in everything, and compare the
reports he received with those he had himself made.  The last twenty
years of his life were spent in these researches, and at considerable
cost to himself.  In, the end, he convinced himself that the land was the
only real wealth, and he set himself to work to form a new system.

He had already made much progress, when several little books appeared by
Boisguilbert, lieutenant-general at Rouen, who long since had had the
same views as Vauban, and had wanted to make them known.  From this
labour had resulted a learned and profound book, in which a system was
explained by which the people could be relieved of all the expenses they
supported, and from every tax, and by which the revenue collected would
go at once into the treasury of the King, instead of enriching, first the
traitants, the intendants, and the finance ministers.  These latter,
therefore, were opposed to the system, and their opposition, as will be
seen, was of no slight consequence.

Vauban read this book with much attention.  He differed on some points
with the author, but agreed with him in the main.  Boisguilbert wished to
preserve some imposts upon foreign commerce and upon provisions.  Vauban
wished to abolish all imposts, and to substitute for them two taxes, one
upon the land, the other upon trade and industry.  His book, in which he
put forth these ideas, was full of information and figures, all arranged
with the utmost clearness, simplicity, and exactitude.

But it had a grand fault.  It described a course which, if followed,
would have ruined an army of financiers, of clerks, of functionaries of
all kinds; it would have forced them to live at their own expense,
instead of at the expense of the people; and it would have sapped the
foundations of those immense fortunes that are seen to grow up in such a
short time.  This was enough to cause its failure.

All the people interested in opposing the work set up a cry.  They saw
place, power, everything, about to fly from their grasp, if the counsels
of Vauban were acted upon.  What wonder, then, that the King, who was
surrounded by these people, listened to their reasons, and received with
a very ill grace Marechal Vauban when he presented his book to him.  The
ministers, it may well be believed, did not give him a better welcome.
From that moment his services, his military capacity (unique of its
kind), his virtues, the affection the King had had for him, all were
forgotten.  The King saw only in Marechal Vauban a man led astray by love
for the people, a criminal who attacked the authority of the ministers,
and consequently that of the King.  He explained himself to this effect
without scruple.

The unhappy Marechal could not survive the loss of his royal master's
favour, or stand up against the enmity the King's explanations had
created against him; he died a few months after consumed with grief, and
with an affliction nothing could soften, and to which the King was
insensible to such a point, that he made semblance of not perceiving that
he had lost a servitor so useful and so illustrious.  Vauban, justly
celebrated over all Europe, was regretted in France by all who were not
financiers or their supporters.

Boisguilbert, whom this event ought to have rendered wise, could not
contain himself.  One of the objections which had been urged against his
theories, was the difficulty of carrying out changes in the midst of a
great war.  He now published a book refuting this point, and describing
such a number of abuses then existing, to abolish which, he asked, was it
necessary to wait for peace, that the ministers were outraged.
Boisguilbert was exiled to Auvergne.  I did all in my power to revoke
this sentence, having known Boisguilbert at Rouen, but did not succeed
until the end of two months.  He was then allowed to return to Rouen, but
was severely reprimanded, and stripped of his functions for some little
time.  He was amply indemnified, however, for this by the crowd of
people, and the acclamations with which he was received.

It is due to Chamillart to say, that he was the only minister who had
listened with any attention to these new systems of Vauban and
Boisguilbert.  He indeed made trial of the plans suggested by the former,
but the circumstances were not favourable to his success, and they of
course failed.  Some time after, instead of following the system of
Vauban, and reducing the imposts, fresh ones were added.  Who would have
said to the Marechal that all his labours for the relief of the people of
France would lead to new imposts, more harsh, more permanent, and more
heavy than he protested against?  It is a terrible lesson against all
improvements in matters of taxation and finance.

But it is time, now, that I should retrace my steps to other matters,
which, if related in due order of time, should have found a place ere
this.  And first, let me relate the particulars concerning a trial in
which I was engaged, and which I have deferred allusion to until now, so
as not to entangle the thread of my narrative.

My sister, as I have said in its proper place, had married the Duc de
Brissac, and the marriage had not been a happy one.  After a time, in
fact, they separated.  My sister at her death left me her universal
legatee; and shortly after this, M. de Brissac brought an action against
me on her account for five hundred thousand francs.  After his death, his
representatives continued the action, which I resisted, not only
maintaining that I owed none of the five hundred thousand francs, but
claiming to have two hundred thousand owing to me, out of six hundred
thousand which had formed the dowry of my sister.

When M. de Brissac died, there seemed some probability that his peerage
would become extinct; for the Comte de Cosse, who claimed to succeed him,
was opposed by a number of peers, and but for me might have failed to
establish his pretensions.  I, however, as his claim was just, interested
myself in him, supported him with all my influence, and gained for him
the support of several influential peers: so that in the end he was
recognised as Duc de Brissac, and received as such at the parliament on
the 6th of May, 1700.

Having succeeded thus to the titles and estates of his predecessor, he
succeeded also to his liabilities, debts, and engagements.  Among these
was the trial against me for five hundred thousand francs.  Cosse felt so
thoroughly that he owed his rank to me, that he offered to give me five
hundred thousand francs, so as to indemnify me against an adverse
decision in the cause.  Now, as I have said, I not only resisted this
demand made upon me for five hundred thousand francs, but I, in my turn,
claimed two hundred thousand francs, and my claim, once admitted, all the
personal creditors of the late Duc de Brissac (creditors who, of course,
had to be paid by the new Duke) would have been forced to stand aside
until my debt was settled.

I, therefore, refused this offer of Cosse, lest other creditors should
hear of the arrangement, and force him to make a similar one with them.
He was overwhelmed with a generosity so little expected, and we became
more intimately connected from that day.

Cosse, once received as Duc de Brissac, I no longer feared to push
forward the action I had commenced for the recovery of the two hundred
thousand francs due to me, and which I had interrupted only on his
account.  I had gained it twice running against the late Duc de Brissac,
at the parliament of Rouen; but the Duchesse d'Aumont, who in the last
years of his life had lent him money, and whose debt was in danger,
succeeded in getting this cause sent up for appeal to the parliament at
Paris, where she threw obstacle upon obstacle in its path, and caused
judgment to be delayed month after month.  When I came to take active
steps in the matter, my surprise--to use no stronger word--was great, to
find Cosse, after all I had done for him, favouring the pretensions of
the Duchesse d'Aumont, and lending her his aid to establish them.
However, he and the Duchesse d'Aumont lost their cause, for when it was
submitted to the judges of the council at Paris, it was sent back to
Rouen, and they had to pay damages and expenses.

For years the affair had been ready to be judged at Rouen, but M.
d'Aumont every year, by means of his letters of state, obtained a
postponement.  At last, however, M. d'Aumont died, and I was assured that
the letters of state should not be again produced, and that in
consequence no further adjournment should take place.  I and Madame de
Saint-Simon at once set out, therefore, for Rouen, where we were
exceedingly well received, fetes and entertainments being continually
given in our honour.

After we had been there but eight or ten days, I received a letter from
Pontchartrain, who sent me word that the King had learnt with surprise I
was at Rouen, and had charged him to ask me why I was there: so attentive
was the King as to what became of the people of mark, he was accustomed
to see around him!  My reply was not difficult.

Meanwhile our cause proceeded.  The parliament, that is to say, the Grand
Chamber, suspended all other business in order to finish ours.  The
affair was already far advanced, when it was interrupted by an obstacle,
of all obstacles the least possible to foresee.  The letters of state had
again been put in, for the purpose of obtaining another adjournment.

My design is not to weary by recitals, which interest only myself; but I
must explain this matter fully.  It was Monday evening.  The parliament
of Rouen ended on the following Saturday.  If we waited until the opening
of the next parliament, we should have to begin our cause from the
beginning, and with new presidents and judges, who would know nothing of
the facts.  What was to be done?  To appeal to the King seemed
impossible, for he was at Marly, and, while there, never listened to such
matters.  By the time he left Marly, it would be too late to apply to

Madame de Saint-Simon and others advised me, however, at all hazards, to
go straight to the King, instead of sending a courier, as I thought of
doing, and to keep my journey secret.  I followed their advice, and
setting out at once, arrived at Marly on Tuesday morning, the 8th of
August, at eight of the clock.  The Chancellor and Chamillart, to whom I
told my errand, pitied me, but gave me no hope of success.  Nevertheless,
a council of state was to be held on the following morning, presided over
by the King, and my petition was laid before it.  The letters of state
were thrown out by every voice.  This information was brought to me at
mid-day.  I partook of a hasty dinner, and turned back to Rouen, where I
arrived on Thursday, at eight o'clock in the morning, three hours after a
courier, by whom I had sent this unhoped-for news.

I brought with me, besides the order respecting the letters of state, an
order to the parliament to proceed to judgment at once.  It was laid
before the judges very early on Saturday, the 11th of August, the last
day of the parliament.  From four o'clock in the morning we had an
infinite number of visitors, wanting to accompany us to the palace.  The
parliament had been much irritated against these letters of state, after
having suspended all other business for us.  The withdrawal of these
letters was now announced.  We gained our cause, with penalties and
expenses, amid acclamations which resounded through the court, and which
followed us into the streets.  We could scarcely enter our street, so
full was it with the crowd, or our house, which was equally crowded.  Our
kitchen chimney soon after took fire, and it was only a marvel that it
was extinguished, without damage, after having strongly warned us, and
turned our joy into bitterness.  There was only the master of the house
who was unmoved.  We dined, however, with a grand company; and after
stopping one or two days more to thank our friends, we went to see the
sea at Dieppe, and then to Cani, to a beautiful house belonging to our
host at Rouen.

As for Madame d'Aumont, she was furious at the ill-success of her affair.
It was she who had obtained the letters of state from the steward of her
son-in-law.  Her son-in-law had promised me that they should not be used,
and wrote at once to say he had had no hand in their production.  M. de
Brissac, who had been afraid to look me in the face ever since he had
taken part in this matter, and with whom I had openly broken, was now so
much ashamed that he avoided me everywhere.


It was just at the commencement of the year 1706, that I received a piece
of news which almost took away my breath by its suddenness, and by the
surprise it caused me.  I was on very intimate terms with Gualterio, the
nuncio of the Pope.  Just about this time we were without an ambassador
at Rome.  The nuncio spoke to me about this post; but at my age--I was
but thirty--and knowing the unwillingness of the King to employ young men
in public affairs, I paid no attention to his words.  Eight days
afterwards he entered my chamber-one Tuesday, about an hour after mid-
day-his arms open, joy painted upon his face, and embracing me, told me
to shut my door, and even that of my antechamber, so that he should not
be seen.  I was to go to Rome as ambassador.  I made him repeat this
twice over: it seemed so impossible.  If one of the portraits in my
chamber had spoken to me, I could not have been more surprised.
Gualterio begged me to keep the matter secret, saying, that the
appointment would be officially announced to me ere long.

I went immediately and sought out Chamillart, reproaching him for not
having apprised me of this good news.  He smiled at my anger, and said
that the King had ordered the news to be kept secret.  I admit that I was
flattered at being chosen at my age for an embassy so important.  I was
advised on every side to accept it, and this I determined to do.  I could
not understand, however, how it was I had been selected.  Torcy, years
afterwards, when the King was dead, related to me how it came about.  At
this time I had no relations with Torcy; it was not until long afterwards
that friendship grew up between us.

He said, then, that the embassy being vacant, the King wished to fill up
that appointment, and wished also that a Duke should be ambassador.  He
took an almanack and began reading the names of the Dukes, commencing
with M. de Uzes.  He made no stop until he came to my name.  Then he said
(to Torcy), "What do you think of him?  He is young, but he is good," &c.
The King, after hearing a few opinions expressed by those around him,
shut up the almanack, and said it was not worth while to go farther,
determined that I should be ambassador, but ordered the appointment to be
kept secret.  I learnt this, more than ten years after its occurrence,
from a true man, who had no longer any interest or reason to disguise
anything from me.

Advised on all sides by my friends to accept the post offered to me, I
did not long hesitate to do so.  Madame de Saint-Simon gave me the same
advice, although she herself was pained at the idea of quitting her
family.  I cannot refuse myself the pleasure of relating here what the
three ministers each said of my wife, a woman then of only twenty-seven
years of age.  All three, unknown to each other, and without solicitation
on my part, counselled me to keep none of the affairs of my embassy
secret from her, but to give her a place at the end of the table when I
read or wrote my despatches, and to consult her with deference upon
everything.  I have rarely so much relished advice as I did in this case.
Although, as things fell out, I could not follow it at Rome, I had
followed it long before, and continued to do so all my life.  I kept
nothing secret from her, and I had good reason to be pleased that I did
not.  Her counsel was always wise, judicious, and useful, and oftentimes
she warded off from me many inconveniences.

But to continue the narrative of this embassy.  It was soon so generally
known that I was going to Rome, that as we danced at Marly, we heard
people say, "Look!  M. l'Ambassadeur and Madame l'Ambassadrice are
dancing."  After this I wished the announcement to be made public as soon
as possible, but the King was not to be hurried.  Day after day passed
by, and still I was kept in suspense.  At last, about the middle of
April, I had an interview with Chamillart one day, just after he came out
of the council at which I knew my fate had been decided.  I learnt then
that the King had determined to send no ambassador to Rome.  The Abbe de
La Tremoille was already there; he had been made Cardinal, and was to
remain and attend to the affairs of the embassy.  I found out afterwards
that I had reason to attribute to Madame de Maintenon and M. du Maine the
change in the King's intention towards me.  Madame de Saint-Simon was
delighted.  It seemed as though she foresaw the strange discredit in
which the affairs of the King were going to fall in Italy, the
embarrassment and the disorder that public misfortunes would cause the
finances, and the cruel situation to which all things would have reduced
us at Rome.  As for me, I had had so much leisure to console myself
beforehand, that I had need of no more.  I felt, however, that I had now
lost all favour with the King, and, indeed, he estranged himself from me
more and more each day.  By what means I recovered myself it is not yet
time to tell.

On the night between the 3rd and 4th of February, Cardinal Coislin,
Bishop of Orleans, died.  He was a little man, very fat, who looked like
a village curate.  His purity of manners and his virtues caused him to be
much loved.  Two good actions of his life deserve to be remembered.

When, after the revocation of the edict of Nantes, the King determined to
convert the Huguenots by means of dragoons and torture, a regiment was
sent to Orleans, to be spread abroad in the diocese.  As soon as it
arrived, M. d'Orleans sent word to the officers that they might make his
house their home; that their horses should be lodged in his stables.  He
begged them not to allow a single one of their men to leave the town, to
make the slightest disorder; to say no word to the Huguenots, and not to
lodge in their houses.  He resolved to be obeyed, and he was.  The
regiment stayed a month; and cost him a good deal.  At the end of that
time he so managed matters that the soldiers were sent away, and none
came again.  This conduct, so full of charity, so opposed to that of
nearly all the other dioceses, gained as many Huguenots as were gained by
the barbarities they suffered elsewhere.  It needed some courage, to say
nothing of generosity, to act thus, and to silently blame, as it were,
the conduct of the King.

The other action of M. d'Orleans was less public and less dangerous,
but was not less good.  He secretly gave away many alms to the poor,
in addition to those he gave publicly.  Among those whom he succoured
was a poor, broken-down gentleman, without wife or child, to whom he gave
four hundred livres of pension, and a place at his table whenever he was
at Orleans.  One morning the servants of M. d'Orleans told their master
that ten pieces of plate were missing, and that suspicion fell upon the
gentleman.  M. d'Orleans could not believe him guilty, but as he did not
make his appearance at the house for several days, was forced at last to
imagine he was so.  Upon this he sent for the gentleman, who admitted
himself to be the offender.

M. d'Orleans said he must have been strangely pressed to commit an action
of this nature, and reproached him for not having mentioned his wants.
Then, drawing twenty Louis from his pocket, he gave them to the
gentleman, told him to forget what had occurred, and to use his table
as before.  M. d'Orleans prohibited his servants to mention their
suspicions, and this anecdote would never have been known, had it not
been told by the gentleman himself, penetrated with confusion and

M. d'Orleans, after he became cardinal, was often pressed by his friends
to give up his bishopric.  But this he would not listen to.  The King had
for him a respect that was almost devotion.  When Madame de Bourgogne was
about to be delivered of her first child, the King sent a courier to M.
d'Orleans requesting him to come to Court immediately, and to remain
there until after the delivery.  When the child was born, the King would
not allow it to be sprinkled by any other hand than that of M. d'Orleans.
The poor man, very fat, as I have said, always sweated very much;--on
this occasion, wrapped up in his cloak and his lawn, his body ran with
sweat in such abundance, that in the antechamber the floor was wet all
round where he stood.  All the Court was much afflicted at his death; the
King more than anybody spoke his praises.  It was known after his death,
from his valet de chambre, that he mortified himself continually with
instruments of penitence, and that he rose every night and passed an hour
on his knees in prayer.  He received the sacraments with great piety, and
died the night following as he had lived.

Heudicourt the younger, a species of very mischievous satyr, and much
mixed up in grand intrigues of gallantry, made, about this time, a song
upon the grand 'prevot' and his family.  It was so simple, so true to
nature, withal so pleasant, that some one having whispered it in the ear
of the Marechal de Boufflers at chapel, he could not refrain from
bursting into laughter, although he was in attendance at the mass of the
King.  The Marechal was the gravest and most serious man in all France;
the greatest slave to decorum.  The King turned round therefore, in
surprise, which augmented considerably when he saw the Marechal de
Boufflers nigh to bursting with laughter, and the tears running down his
cheeks.  On turning into his cabinet, he called the Marechal, and asked
what had got him in that state at the mass.  The Marechal repeated the
song to him.  Thereupon the King burst out louder than the Marechal had,
and for a whole fortnight afterwards could not help smiling whenever he
saw the grand 'prevot' or any of his family.  The song soon spread about,
and much diverted the Court and the town.

I should particularly avoid soiling this page with an account of the
operation for fistula which Courcillon, only son of Dangeau, had
performed upon him, but for the extreme ridicule with which it was
accompanied.  Courcillon was a dashing young fellow, much given to witty
sayings, to mischief, to impiety, and to the filthiest debauchery, of
which latter, indeed, this operation passed publicly as the fruit.  His
mother, Madams Dangeau, was in the strictest intimacy with Madame de
Maintenon.  They two alone, of all the Court, were ignorant of the life
Courcillon led.  Madame was much afflicted; and quitted his bed-side,
even for a moment, with pain.  Madame de Maintenon entered into her
sorrow, and went every day to bear her company at the pillow of
Courcillon.  Madame d'Heudicourt, another intimate friend of Madame de
Maintenon, was admitted there also, but scarcely anybody else.
Courcillon listened to them, spoke devotionally to them, and uttered the
reflections suggested by his state.  They, all admiration, published
everywhere that he was a saint.  Madame d'Heudicourt and a few others who
listened to these discourses, and who knew the pilgrim well, and saw him
loll out his tongue at them on the sly, knew not what to do to prevent
their laughter, and as soon as they could get away went and related all
they had heard to their friends.  Courcillon, who thought it a mighty
honour to have Madame de Maintenon every day for nurse, but who,
nevertheless, was dying of weariness, used to see his friends in the
evening (when Madame de Maintenon and his mother were gone), and would
relate to them, with burlesque exaggeration, all the miseries he had
suffered during the day, and ridicule the devotional discourses he had
listened to.  All the time his illness lasted, Madame de Maintenon came
every day to see him, so that her credulity, which no one dared to
enlighten, was the laughing-stock of the Court.  She conceived such a
high opinion of the virtue of Courcillon, that she cited him always as an
example, and the King also formed the same opinion.  Courcillon took good
care not to try and cultivate it when he became cured; yet neither the
King nor Madame de Maintenon opened their eyes, or changed their conduct
towards him.  Madame de Maintenon, it must be said, except in the sublime
intrigue of her government and with the King, was always the queen of

It would seem that there are, at certain times, fashions in crimes as in
clothes.  At the period of the Voysins and the Brinvilliers, there were
nothing but poisoners abroad; and against these, a court was expressly
instituted, called ardente, because it condemned them to the flames.  At
the time of which I am now speaking, 1703, for I forgot to relate what
follows in its proper place, forgers of writings were in the ascendant,
and became so common, that a chamber was established composed of
councillors of state and others, solely to judge the accusations which
this sort of criminals gave rise to.

The Bouillons wished to be recognised as descended, by male issue, of the
Counts of Auvergne, and to claim all kinds of distinctions and honours in
consequence.  They had, however, no proofs of this, but, on the contrary,
their genealogy proved it to be false.  All on a sudden, an old document
that had been interred in the obscurity of ages in the church of Brioude,
was presented to Cardinal Bouillon.  It had all the marks of antiquity,
and contained a triumphant proof of the descent of the house of La Tour,
to which the Bouillons belonged, from the ancient Counts of Auvergne.
The Cardinal was delighted to have in his hands this precious document.
But to avoid all suspicion, he affected modesty, and hesitated to give
faith to evidence so decisive.  He spoke in confidence to all the learned
men he knew, and begged them to examine the document with care, so that
he might not be the dupe of a too easy belief in it.

Whether the examiners were deceived by the document, or whether they
allowed themselves to be seduced into believing it, as is more than
probable, from fear of giving offence to the Cardinal, need not be
discussed.  It is enough to say that they pronounced in favour of the
deed, and that Father Mabillon, that Benedictine so well known throughout
all Europe by his sense and his candour, was led by the others to share
their opinion.

After this, Cardinal de Bouillon no longer affected any doubt about the
authenticity of the discovery.  All his friends complimented him upon it,
the majority to see how he would receive their congratulations.  It was a
chaos rather than a mixture, of vanity the most outrageous, modesty the
most affected, and joy the most immoderate which he could not restrain.

Unfortunately, De Bar, who had found the precious document, and who had
presented it to Cardinal de Bouillon, was arrested and put in prison a
short time after this, charged with many forgeries.  This event made some
stir, and caused suspicion to fall upon the document, which was now
attentively examined through many new spectacles.  Learned men
unacquainted with the Bouillons contested it, and De Bar was so pushed
upon this point, that he made many delicate admissions.  Alarm at once
spread among the Bouillons.  They did all in their power to ward off the
blow that was about to fall.  Seeing the tribunal firm, and fully
resolved to follow the affair to the end, they openly solicited for De
Bar, and employed all their credit to gain his liberation.  At last,
finding the tribunal inflexible, they were reduced to take an extreme
resolution.  M. de Bouillon admitted to the King, that his brother,
Cardinal de Bouillon, might, unknown to all of them, have brought forward
facts he could not prove.  He added, that putting himself in the King's
hands, he begged that the affair might be stopped at once, out of
consideration for those whose only guilt was too great credulity, and too
much confidence in a brother who had deceived them.  The King, with more
of friendship for M. de Bouillon than of reflection as to what he owed by
way of reparation for a public offence, agreed to this course.

De Bar, convicted of having fabricated this document, by his own
admission before the public tribunal, was not condemned to death, but to
perpetual imprisonment.  As may be believed, this adventure made a great
stir; but what cannot be believed so easily is, the conduct of the
Messieurs Bouillon about fifteen months afterwards.

At the time when the false document above referred to was discovered,
Cardinal de Bouillon had commissioned Baluze, a man much given to
genealogical studies, to write the history of the house of Auvergne.
In this history, the descent, by male issue; of the Bouillons from the
Counts of Auvergne, was established upon the evidence supplied by this
document.  At least, nobody doubted that such was the case, and the world
was strangely scandalised to see the work appear after that document had
been pronounced to be a forgery.  Many learned men and friends of Baluze
considered him so dishonoured by it, that they broke off all relations
with him, and this put the finishing touch to the confusion of this

On Thursday, the 7th of March, 1707, a strange event troubled the King,
and filled the Court and the town with rumours.  Beringhen, first master
of the horse, left Versailles at seven o'clock in the evening of that
day, to go to Paris, alone in one of the King's coaches, two of the royal
footmen behind, and a groom carrying a torch before him on the seventh
horse.  The carriage had reached the plain of Bissancourt, and was
passing between a farm on the road near Sevres bridge and a cabaret,
called the "Dawn of Day," when it was stopped by fifteen or sixteen men
on horseback, who seized on Beringhen, hurried him into a post-chaise in
waiting, and drove off with him.  The King's carriage, with the coachman,
footmen, and groom, was allowed to go back to Versailles.  As soon as it
reached Versailles the King was informed of what had taken place.  He
sent immediately to his four Secretaries of State, ordering them to send
couriers everywhere to the frontiers, with instructions to the governors
to guard all the passages, so that if these horsemen were foreign
enemies, as was suspected, they would be caught in attempting to pass out
of the kingdom.  It was known that a party of the enemy had entered
Artois, that they had committed no disorders, but that they were there
still.  Although people found it difficult, at first, to believe that
Beringhen had been carried off by a party such as this, yet as it was
known that he had no enemies, that he was not reputed sufficiently rich
to afford hope of a large ransom, and that not one of our wealthiest
financiers had been seized in this manner, this explanation was at last
accepted as the right one.

So in fact it proved.  A certain Guetem, a fiddler of the Elector of
Bavaria, had entered the service of Holland, had taken part in her war
against France, and had become a colonel.  Chatting one evening with his
comrades, he laid a wager that he would carry off some one of mark
between Paris and Versailles.  He obtained a passport, and thirty chosen
men, nearly all of whom were officers.  They passed the rivers disguised
as traders, by which means they were enabled to post their relays [of
horses].  Several of them had remained seven or eight days at Sevres,
Saint Cloud, and Boulogne, from which they had the hardihood to go to
Versailles and see the King sup.  One of these was caught on the day
after the disappearance of Beringhen, and when interrogated by
Chamillart, replied with a tolerable amount of impudence.  Another was
caught in the forest of Chantilly by one of the servants of M. le Prince.
From him it became known that relays of horses and a post-chaise had been
provided at Morliere for the prisoner when he should arrive there, and
that he had already passed the Oise.

As I have said, couriers were despatched to the governors of the
frontiers; in addition to this, information of what had taken place was
sent to all the intendants of the frontier, to all the troops in quarters
there.  Several of the King's guards, too, and the grooms of the stable,
went in pursuit of the captors of Beringhen.  Notwithstanding the
diligence used, the horsemen had traversed the Somme and had gone four
leagues beyond Ham-Beringhen, guarded by the officers, and pledged to
offer no resistance--when the party was stopped by a quartermaster and
two detachments of the Livry regiment.  Beringhen was at once set at
liberty.  Guetem and his companion were made prisoners.

The grand fault they had committed was to allow the King's carriage and
the footmen to go back to Versailles so soon after the abduction.  Had
they led away the coach under cover of the night, and so kept the King in
ignorance of their doings until the next day, they would have had more
time for their retreat.  Instead of doing this they fatigued themselves
by too much haste.  They had grown tired of waiting for a carriage that
seemed likely to contain somebody of mark.  The Chancellor had passed,
but in broad daylight, and they were afraid in consequence to stop him.
M. le Duc d'Orleans had passed, but in a post-chaise, which they
mistrusted.  At last Beringhen appeared in one of the King's coaches,
attended by servants in the King's livery, and wearing his cordon Neu, as
was his custom.  They thought they had found a prize indeed.  They soon
learnt with whom they had to deal, and told him also who they were.
Guetem bestowed upon Beringhen all kinds of attention, and testified a
great desire to spare him as much as possible all fatigue.  He pushed his
attentions so far that they caused his failure.  He allowed Beringhen to
stop and rest on two occasions.  The party missed one of their relays,
and that delayed them very much.

Beringhen, delighted with his rescue, and very grateful for the good
treatment he had received, changed places with Guetem and his companions,
led them to Ham, and in his turn treated them well.  He wrote to his wife
and to Charnillart announcing his release, and these letters were read
with much satisfaction by the King.

On Tuesday, the 29th of March, Beringhen arrived at Versailles, about
eight o'clock in the evening, and went at once to the King, who was in
the apartments of Madame de Maintenon, and who received him well, and
made him relate all his adventures.  But the King was not pleased when he
found the officers of the stable in a state of great delight, and
preparing fireworks to welcome Beringhen back.  He prohibited all these
marks of rejoicing, and would not allow the fireworks to be let off.  He
had these little jealousies.  He wished that all should be devoted to him
alone, without reserve and without division.  All the Court, however,
showed interest in this return, and Beringhen was consoled by the public
welcome he received for his fatigue.

Guetem and his officers, while waiting the pleasure of the King, were
lodged in Beringhen's house in Paris, where they were treated above their
deserts.  Beringhen obtained permission for Guetem to see the King.  He
did more; he presented Guetem to the King, who praised him for having so
well treated his prisoner, and said that war always ought to be conducted
properly.  Guetem, who was not without wit, replied, that he was so
astonished to find himself before the greatest King in the world, and to
find that King doing him the honour of speaking to him, that he had not
power enough to answer.  He remained ten or twelve days in Beringhen's
house to see Paris, the Opera and the Comedy, and became the talk of the
town.  People ran after him everywhere, and the most distinguished were
not ashamed to do likewise.  On all sides he was applauded for an act of
temerity, which might have passed for insolence.  Beringhen regaled him,
furnished him with carriages and servants to accompany him, and, at
parting, with money and considerable presents.  Guetem went on his parole
to Rheims to rejoin his comrades until exchanged, and had the town for
prison.  Nearly all the others had escaped.  The project was nothing less
than to carry off Monseigneur, or one of the princes, his sons.

This ridiculous adventure gave rise to precautions, excessive in the
first place, and which caused sad obstructions of bridges and gates.  It
caused, too, a number of people to be arrested.  The hunting parties of
the princes were for some time interfered with, until matters resumed
their usual course.  But it was not bad fun to see, during some time, the
terror of ladies, and even of men, of the Court, who no longer dared go
abroad except in broad daylight, even then with little assurance, and
imagining themselves everywhere in marvellous danger of capture.

I have related in its proper place the adventure of Madame la Princesse
de Conti with Mademoiselle Choin and the attachment of Monseigneur for
the latter.  This attachment was only augmented by the difficulty of
seeing each other.

Mademoiselle Choin retired to the house of Lacroix, one of her relatives
at Paris, where she lived quite hidden.  She was informed of the rare
days when Monseigneur dined alone at Meudon, without sleeping there.  She
went there the day before in a fiacre, passed through the courts on foot,
ill clad, like a common sort of woman going to see some officer at
Meudon, and, by a back staircase, was admitted to Monseigneur who passed
some hours with her in a little apartment on the first floor.  In time
she came there with a lady's-maid, her parcel in her pocket, on the
evenings of the days that Monseigneur slept there.

She remained in this apartment without seeing anybody, attended by her
lady's-maid, and waited upon by a servant who alone was in the secret.

Little by little the friends of Monseigneur were allowed to see her;
and amongst these were M. le Prince de Conti, Monseigneur le Duc de
Bourgogne, Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne, and M. le Duc de Berry.
There was always, however, an air of mystery about the matter.  The
parties that took place were kept secret, although frequent, and were
called parvulos.

Mademoiselle Choin remained in her little apartment only for the
convenience of Monseigneur.  She slept in the bed and in the grand
apartment where Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne lodged when the King was
at Meudon.  She always sat in an arm-chair before Monseigneur; Madame de
Bourgogne sat on a stool.  Mademoiselle Choin never rose for her; in
speaking of her, even before Monseigneur and the company, she used to say
"the Duchesse de Bourgogne," and lived with her as Madame de Maintenon
did excepting that "darling" and "my aunt," were terms not exchanged
between them, and that Madame de Bourgogne was not nearly so free, or so
much at her ease, as with the King and Madame de Maintenon.  Monsieur de
Bourgogne was much in restraint.  His manners did not agree with those of
that world.  Monseigneur le Duc de Berry, who was more free, was quite at

Mademoiselle Choin went on fete-days to hear mass in the chapel at six
o'clock in the morning, well wrapped up, and took her meals alone, when
Monseigneur did not eat with her.  When he was alone with her, the doors
were all guarded and barricaded to keep out intruders.  People regarded
her as being to Monseigneur, what Madame de Maintenon was to the King.
All the batteries for the future were directed and pointed towards her.
People schemed to gain permission to visit her at Paris; people paid
court to her friends and acquaintances, Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne
sought to please her, was respectful to her, attentive to her friends,
not always with success.  She acted towards Monseigneur le Duc de
Bourgogne like a mother-in-law, and sometimes spoke with such authority
and bluntness to Madame de Bourgogne as to make her cry.

The King and Madame de Maintenon were in no way ignorant of all this, but
they held their tongues, and all the Court who knew it, spoke only in
whispers of it.  This is enough for the present; it will serve to explain
many things, of which I shall speak anon.


On Wednesday, the 27th of May, 1707, at three o'clock in the morning,
Madame de Montespan, aged sixty, died very suddenly at the waters of
Bourbon.  Her death made much stir, although she had long retired from
the Court and from the world, and preserved no trace of the commanding
influence she had so long possessed.  I need not go back beyond my own
experience, and to the time of her reign as mistress of the King.  I will
simply say, because the anecdote is little known, that her conduct was
more the fault of her husband than her own.  She warned him as soon as
she suspected the King to be in love with her; and told him when there
was no longer any doubt upon her mind.  She assured him that a great
entertainment that the King gave was in her honour.  She pressed him,
she entreated him in the most eloquent manner, to take her away to his
estates of Guyenne, and leave her there until the King had forgotten her
or chosen another mistress.  It was all to no purpose; and Montespan was
not long before repentance seized him; for his torment was that he loved
her all his life, and died still in love with her--although he would
never consent to see her again after the first scandal.

Nor will I speak of the divers degrees which the fear of the devil at
various times put to her separation from the Court; and I will elsewhere
speak of Madame de Maintenon, who owed her everything, who fed her on
serpents, and who at last ousted her from the Court.  What no one dared
to say, what the King himself dared not, M. du Maine, her son, dared.
M. de Meaux (Bossuet) did the rest.  She went in tears and fury, and
never forgave M. du Maine, who by his strange service gained over for
ever to his interests the heart and the mighty influence of Madame de

The mistress, retired amongst the Community of Saint Joseph, which she
had built, was long in accustoming herself to it.  She carried about her
idleness and unhappiness to Bourbon, to Fontevrault, to D'Antin; she was
many years without succeeding in obtaining mastery over herself.  At last
God touched her.  Her sin had never been accompanied by forgetfulness;
she used often to leave the King to go and pray in her cabinet; nothing
could ever make her evade any fast day or meagre day; her austerity in
fasting continued amidst all her dissipation.  She gave alms, was
esteemed by good people, never gave way to doubt of impiety; but she was
imperious, haughty and overbearing, full of mockery, and of all the
qualities by which beauty with the power it bestows is naturally
accompanied.  Being resolved at last to take advantage of an opportunity
which had been given her against her will, she put herself in the hands
of Pere de la Tour, that famous General of the Oratory.  From that moment
to the time of her death her conversion continued steadily, and her
penitence augmented.  She had first to get rid of the secret fondness she
still entertained for the Court, even of the hopes which, however
chimerical, had always flattered her.  She was persuaded that nothing but
the fear of the devil had forced the King to separate himself from her,
that it was nothing but this fear that had raised Madame de Maintenon to
the height she had attained; that age and ill-health, which she was
pleased to imagine, would soon clear the way; that when the King was a
widower, she being a widow, nothing would oppose their reunion, which
might easily be brought about by their affection for their children.
These children entertained similar hopes, and were therefore assiduous in
their attention to her for some time.

Pere de la Tour made her perform a terrible act of penitence.  It was to
ask pardon of her husband, and to submit herself to his commands.  To all
who knew Madame de Montespan this will seem the most heroic sacrifice.
M. de Montespan, however, imposed no restraint upon his wife.  He sent
word that he wished in no way to interfere with her, or even to see her.
She experienced no further trouble, therefore, on this score.

Little by little she gave almost all she had to the poor.  She worked for
them several hours a day, making stout shirts and such things for them.
Her table, that she had loved to excess, became the most frugal; her
fasts multiplied; she would interrupt her meals in order to go and pray.
Her mortifications were continued; her chemises and her sheets were of
rough linen, of the hardest and thickest kind, but hidden under others of
ordinary kind.  She unceasingly wore bracelets, garters, and a girdle,
all armed with iron points, which oftentimes inflicted wounds upon her;
and her tongue, formerly so dangerous, had also its peculiar penance
imposed on it.  She was, moreover, so tormented with the fear of death,
that she employed several women, whose sole occupation was to watch her.
She went to sleep with all the curtains of her bed open, many lights in
her chamber, and her women around her.  Whenever she awoke she wished to
find them chatting, playing, or enjoying themselves, so as to re-assure
herself against their drowsiness.

With all this she could never throw off the manners of a queen.  She had
an arm-chair in her chamber with its back turned to the foot of the bed.
There was no other in the chamber, not even when her natural children
came to see her, not even for Madame la Duchesse d'Orleans.  She was
oftentimes visited by the most distinguished people of the Court, and she
spoke like a queen to all.  She treated everybody with much respect, and
was treated so in turn.  I have mentioned in its proper place, that a
short time before her death, the King gave her a hundred thousand francs
to buy an estate; but this present was not gratis, for she had to send
back a necklace worth a hundred and fifty thousand, to which the King
made additions, and bestowed it on the Duchesse de Bourgogne.

The last time Madame de Montespan went to Bourbon she paid all her
charitable pensions and gratuities two years in advance and doubled her
alms.  Although in good health she had a presentiment that she should
return no more.  This presentiment, in effect, proved correct.  She felt
herself so ill one night, although she had been very well just before,
that she confessed herself, and received the sacrament.  Previous to this
she called all her servants into her room and made a public confession of
her public sins, asking pardon for the scandal she had caused with a
humility so decent, so profound, so penitent, that nothing could be more
edifying.  She received the last sacrament with an ardent piety.  The
fear of death which all her life had so continually troubled her,
disappeared suddenly, and disturbed her no more.  She died, without
regret, occupied only with thoughts of eternity, and with a sweetness and
tranquillity that accompanied all her actions.

Her only son by Monsieur de Montespan, whom she had treated like a
mother-in-law, until her separation from the King, but who had since
returned to her affection, D'Antin, arrived just before her death.  She
looked at him, and only said that he saw her in a very different state to
what he had seen her at Bellegarde.  As soon as she was dead he set out
for Paris, leaving orders for her obsequies, which were strange, or were
strangely executed.  Her body, formerly so perfect, became the prey of
the unskilfulness and the ignorance of a surgeon.  The obsequies were at
the discretion of the commonest valets, all the rest of the house having
suddenly deserted.  The body remained a long time at the door of the
house, whilst the canons of the Sainte Chapelle and the priests of the
parish disputed about the order of precedence with more than indecency.
It was put in keeping under care of the parish, like the corpse of the
meanest citizen of the place, and not until a long time afterwards was it
sent to Poitiers to be placed in the family tomb, and then with an
unworthy parsimony.  Madame de Montespan was bitterly regretted by all
the poor of the province, amongst whom she spread an infinity of alms, as
well as amongst others of different degree.

As for the King, his perfect insensibility at the death of a mistress he
had so passionately loved, and for so many years, was so extreme, that
Madame de Bourgogne could not keep her surprise from him.  He replied,
tranquilly, that since he had dismissed her he had reckoned upon never
seeing her again, and that thus she was from that time dead to him.  It
is easy to believe that the grief of the children he had had by her did
not please him.  Those children did not dare to wear mourning for a
mother not recognised.  Their appearance, therefore, contrasted with that
of the children of Madame de la Valliere, who had just died, and for whom
they were wearing mourning.  Nothing could equal the grief which Madame
la Duchesse d'Orleans, Madame la Duchesse, and the Comte de Toulouse
exhibited.  The grief of Madame la Duchesse especially was astonishing,
for she always prided herself on loving nobody; still more astonishing
was the grief of M. le Duc, so inaccessible to friendship.  We must
remember, however, that this death put an end to many hopes.  M. du
Maine, for his part, could scarcely repress his joy at the death of his
mother, and after having stopped away from Marly two days, returned and
caused the Comte de Toulouse to be recalled likewise.  Madame de
Maintenon, delivered of a former rival, whose place she had taken, ought,
it might have been thought, to have felt relieved.  It was otherwise;
remorse for the benefits she had received from Madame de Montespan, and
for the manner in which those benefits had been repaid, overwhelmed her.
Tears stole down her cheeks, and she went into a strange privacy to hide
them.  Madame de Bourgogne, who followed, was speechless with

The life and conduct of so famous a mistress, subsequent to her forced
retirement, have appeared to me sufficiently curious to describe at
length; and what happened at her death was equally characteristic of the

The death of the Duchesse de Nemours, which followed quickly upon that of
Madame de Montespart, made still more stir in the world, but of another
kind.  Madame de Nemours was daughter, by a first marriage, of the last
Duc de Longueville.  She was extremely rich, and lived in great
splendour.  She had a strange look, and a droll way of dressing, big
eyes, with which she could scarcely see, a shoulder that constantly
twitched, grey hairs that she wore flowing, and a very imposing air.
She had a very bad temper, and could not forgive.  When somebody asked
her if she said the Pater, she replied, yes, but that she passed by
without saying it the clause respecting pardon for our enemies.  She did
not like her kinsfolk, the Matignons, and would never see nor speak to
any of them.  One day talking to the King at a window of his cabinet,
she saw Matignon passing in the court below.  Whereupon she set to
spitting five or six times running, and then turned to the King and
begged his pardon, saying, that she could never see a Matignon without
spitting in that manner.  It may be imagined that devotion did not
incommode her.  She herself used to tell a story, that having entered one
day a confessional, without being followed into the church, neither her
appearance nor her dress gave her confessor an idea of her rank.  She
spoke of her great wealth, and said much about the Princes de Conde and
de Conti.  The confessor told her to pass by all that.  She, feeling that
the case was a serious one, insisted upon explaining and made allusion to
her large estates and her millions.  The good priest believed her mad,
and told her to calm herself; to get rid of such ideas; to think no more
of them; and above all to eat good soups, if she had the means to procure
them.  Seized with anger she rose and left the place.  The confessor out
of curiosity followed her to the door.  When he saw the good lady, whom
he thought mad, received by grooms, waiting women, and so on, he had like
to have fallen backwards; but he ran to the coach door and asked her
pardon.  It was now her turn to laugh at him, and she got off scot-free
that day from the confessional.

Madame de Nemours had amongst other possessions the sovereignty of
Neufchatel.  As soon as she was dead, various claimants arose to dispute
the succession.  Madame de Mailly laid claim to it, as to the succession
to the principality of Orange, upon the strength of a very doubtful
alliance with the house of Chalons, and hoped to be supported by Madame
de Maintenon.  But Madame de Maintenon laughed at her chimeras, as they
were laughed at in Switzerland.

M. le Prince de Conti was another claimant.  He based his right upon the
will of the last Duc de Longueville, by which he had been called to all
the Duke's wealth, after the Comte de Saint Paul, his brother, and his
posterity.  In addition to these, there were Matignon and the dowager
Duchesse de Lesdiguieres, who claimed Neufchatel by right of their
relationship to Madame de Nemours.

Matignon was an intimate friend of Chamillart, who did not like the
Prince de Conti, and was the declared enemy of the Marechal de Villeroy,
the representative of Madame de Lesdiguieres, in this affair.
Chamillart, therefore, persuaded the King to remain neutral, and aided
Matignon by money and influence to get the start of the other claimants.

The haughty citizens of Neufchatel saw then all these suitors begging for
their suffrages, when a minister of the Elector of Brandenbourg appeared
amongst them, and disputed the pretensions of the Prince de Conti in
favour of his master, the Elector of Brandenbourg (King of Prussia), who
drew his claim from the family of Chalons.  It was more distant; more
entangled if possible, than that of Madame de Mailly.  He only made use
of it, therefore, as a pretext.  His reasons were his religion, in
conformity with that of the country; the support of the neighbouring
Protestant cantons, allies, and protectors of Neufchatel; the pressing
reflection that the principality of Orange having fallen by the death of
William III. to M. le Prince de Conti, the King (Louis XIV.) had
appropriated it and recompensed him for it: and that he might act
similarly if Neufchatel fell to one of his subjects; lastly, a treaty
produced in good form, by which, in the event of the death of Madame de
Nemours, England and Holland agreed to declare for the Elector of
Brandenbourg, and to assist him by force in procuring this little state.
This minister of the Elector was in concert with the Protestant cantons,
who upon his declaration at once sided with him; and who, by the money
spent, the conformity of religion, the power of the Elector, the
reflection of what had happened at Orange, found nearly all the suffrages
favourable.  So striking while the iron was hot, they obtained a
provisional judgment from Neufchatel, which adjudged their state to the
Elector until the peace; and in consequence of this, his minister was put
into actual possession, and M. le Prince de Conti saw himself constrained
to return more shamefully than he had returned once before, and was
followed by the other claimants.

Madame de Mailly made such an uproar at the news of this intrusion of the
Elector, that at last the attention of our ministers was awakened.  They
found, with her, that it was the duty of the King not to allow this
morsel to be carried off from his subjects; and that there was danger in
leaving it in the hands of such a powerful Protestant prince, capable of
making a fortified place of it so close to the county of Burgundy, and on
a frontier so little protected.  Thereupon, the King despatched a courier
to our minister in Switzerland, with orders to go to Neufchatel, and
employ every means, even menaces, to exclude the Elector, and to promise
that the neutrality of France should be maintained if one of her subjects
was selected, no matter which one.  It was too late.  The affair was
finished; the cantons were engaged, without means of withdrawing.  They,
moreover, were piqued into resistance, by an appeal to their honour by
the electoral minister, who insisted on the menaces of Puysieux, our
representative, to whose memoir the ministers of England and Holland
printed a violent reply.  The provisional judgment received no
alteration.  Shame was felt; and resentment was testified during six
weeks; after which, for lack of being able to do better, this resentment
was appeased of itself.  It may be imagined what hope remained to the
claimants of reversing at the peace this provisional judgment, and of
struggling against a prince so powerful and so solidly supported.  No
mention of it was afterwards made, and Neufchatel has remained ever since
fully and peaceably to this prince, who was even expressly confirmed in
his possession at the peace by France.

The armies assembled this year towards the end of May, and the campaign
commenced.  The Duc de Vendome was in command in Flanders, under the
Elector of Bavaria, and by his slothfulness and inattention, allowed
Marlborough to steal a march upon him, which, but for the failure of some
of the arrangements, might have caused serious loss to our troops.  The
enemy was content to keep simply on the defensive after this, having
projects of attack in hand elsewhere to which I shall soon allude.

On the Rhine, the Marechal de Villars was in command, and was opposed by
the Marquis of Bayreuth, and afterwards by the Duke of Hanover, since
King of England.  Villars was so far successful, that finding himself
feebly opposed by the Imperials, he penetrated into Germany, after having
made himself master of Heidelberg, Mannheim, and all the Palatinate, and
seized upon a number of cannons, provisions, and munitions of war.  He
did not forget to tax the enemy wherever he went.  He gathered immense
sums--treasures beyond all his hopes.  Thus gorged, he could not hope
that his brigandage would remain unknown.  He put on a bold face and
wrote to the King, that the army would cost him nothing this year.
Villars begged at the same time to be allowed to appropriate some of the
money he had acquired to the levelling of a hill on his estate which
displeased him.  Another than he would have been dishonoured by such a
request.  But it made no difference in his respect, except with the
public, with whom, however, he occupied himself but little.  His booty
clutched, he thought of withdrawing from the enemy's country, and passing
the Rhine.

He crossed it tranquilly, with his army and his immense booty, despite
the attempts of the Duke of Hanover to prevent him, and as soon as he was
on this side, had no care but how to terminate the campaign in repose.
Thus finished a campaign tolerably brilliant, if the sordid and
prodigious gain of the general had not soiled it.  Yet that general, on
his return, was not less well received by the King.

At sea we had successes.  Frobin, with vessels more feeble than the four
English ones of seventy guns, which convoyed a fleet of eighteen ships
loaded with provisions and articles of war, took two of those vessels of
war and the eighteen merchantmen, after four hours' fighting, and set
fire to one of the two others.  Three months after he took at the mouth
of the Dwiria seven richly-loaded Dutch merchant-ships, bound for
Muscovy.  He took or sunk more than fifty during this campaign.
Afterwards he took three large English ships of war that he led to Brest,
and sank another of a hundred guns.  The English of New England and of
New York were not more successful in Acadia; they attacked our colony
twelve days running, without success, and were obliged to retire with
much loss.

The maritime year finished by a terrible tempest upon the coast of
Holland, which caused many vessels to perish in the Texel, and submerged
a large number of districts and villages.  France had also its share of
these catastrophes.  The Loire overflowed in a manner hitherto unheard
of, broke down the embankments, inundated and covered with sand many
parts of the country, carried away villages, drowned numbers of people
and a quantity of cattle, and caused damage to the amount of above eight
millions.  This was another of our obligations to M. de la Feuillade--an
obligation which we have not yet escaped from.  Nature, wiser than man,
had placed rocks in the Loire above Roanne, which prevented navigation to
that place, the principal in the duchy of M. de la Feuillade.  His
father, tempted by the profit of this navigation, wished to get rid of
the rocks.  Orleans, Blois, Tours, in one word, all the places on the
Loire, opposed this.  They represented the danger of inundations; they
were listened to, and although the M. de la Feuillade of that day was a
favourite, and on good terms with M. Colbert, he was not allowed to carry
out his wishes with respect to these rocks.  His son, the M. de la
Feuillade whom we have seen figuring with so little distinction at the
siege of Turin, had more credit.  Without listening to anybody, he blew
up the rocks, and the navigation was rendered free in his favour; the
inundations that they used to prevent have overflowed since at immense
loss to the King and private individuals.  The cause was clearly seen
afterwards, but then it was too late.

The little effort made by the enemy in Flanders and Germany, had a cause,
which began to be perceived towards the middle of July.  We had been
forced to abandon Italy.  By a shameful treaty that was made, all our
troops had retired from that country into Savoy.  We had given up
everything.  Prince Eugene, who had had the glory of driving us out of
Italy, remained there some time, and then entered the county of Nice.

Forty of the enemy's vessels arrived at Nice shortly afterwards, and
landed artillery.  M. de Savoie arrived there also, with six or seven
thousand men.  It was now no longer hidden that the siege of Toulon was
determined on.  Every preparation was at once made to defend the place.
Tesse was in command.  The delay of a day on the part of the enemy saved
Toulon, and it may be said, France.  M. de Savoie had been promised money
by the English.  They disputed a whole day about the payment, and so
retarded the departure of the fleet from Nice.  In the end, seeing M. de
Savoie firm, they paid him a million, which he received himself.  But in
the mean time twenty-one of our battalions had had time to arrive at
Toulon.  They decided the fortune of the siege.  After several
unsuccessful attempts to take the place, the enemy gave up the siege and
retired in the night, between the 22nd and 23rd of August, in good order,
and without being disturbed.  Our troops could obtain no sort of
assistance from the people of Provence, so as to harass M. de Savoie in
his passage of the Var.  They refused money, militia, and provisions
bluntly, saying that it was no matter to them who came, and that M. de
Savoie could not torment them more than they were tormented already.

The important news of a deliverance so desired arrived at Marly on
Friday, the 26th of August, and overwhelmed all the Court with joy.  A
scandalous fuss arose, however, out of this event.  The first courier who
brought the intelligence of it, had been despatched by the commander of
the fleet, and had been conducted to the King by Pontchartrain, who had
the affairs of the navy under his control.  The courier sent by Tesse,
who commanded the land forces, did not arrive until some hours after the
other.  Chamillart, who received this second courier, was piqued to
excess that Pontchartrain had outstripped him with the news.  He declared
that the news did not belong to the navy, and consequently Pontchartrain
had no right to carry it to the King.  The public, strangely enough,
sided with Chamillart, and on every side Pontchartrain was treated as a
greedy usurper.  Nobody had sufficient sense to reflect upon the anger
which a master would feel against a servant who, having the information
by which that master could be relieved from extreme anxiety, should yet
withhold the information for six or eight hours, on the ground that to
tell it was the duty of another servant!

The strangest thing is, that the King, who was the most interested, had
not the force to declare himself on either side, but kept silent.  The
torrent was so impetuous that Pontchartrain had only to lower his head,
keep silent, and let the waters pass.  Such was the weakness of the King
for his ministers.  I recollect that, in 1702, the Duc de Villeroy
brought to Marly the important news of the battle of Luzzara.  But,
because Chamillart was not there, he hid himself, left the King and the
Court in the utmost anxiety, and did not announce his news until long
after, when Chamillart, hearing of his arrival, hastened to join him and
present him to the King.  The King was so far from being displeased, that
he made the Duc de Villeroy Lieutenant-General before dismissing him.

There is another odd thing that I must relate before quitting this
affair.  Tesse, as I have said, was charged with the defence of Toulon by
land.  It was a charge of no slight importance.  He was in a country
where nothing was prepared, and where everything was wanting; the fleet
of the enemy and their army were near at hand, commanded by two of the
most skilful captains of the day: if they succeeded, the kingdom itself
was in danger, and the road open to the enemy even to Paris.  A general
thus situated would have been in no humour for jesting, it might have
been thought.  But this was not the case with Tesse.  He found time to
write to Pontchartrain all the details of the war and all that passed
amongst our troops in the style of Don Quixote, of whom he called himself
the wretched squire and the Sancho; and everything he wrote he adapted to
the adventures of that romance.  Pontchartrain showed me these letters;
they made him die with laughing, he admired them so; and in truth they
were very comical, and he imitated that romance with more wit than I
believed him to possess.  It appeared to me incredible, however, that a
man should write thus, at such a critical time, to curry, favour with a
secretary of state.  I could not have believed it had I not seen it.



I went this summer to Forges, to try, by means of the waters there, to
get rid of a tertian fever that quinquina only suspended.  While there I
heard of a new enterprise on the part of the Princes of the blood, who,
in the discredit in which the King held them, profited without measure by
his desire for the grandeur of the illegitimate children, to acquire new
advantages which were suffered because the others shared them.  This was
the case in question.

After the elevation of the mass--at the King's communion--a folding-chair
was pushed to the foot of the altar, was covered with a piece of stuff,
and then with a large cloth, which hung down before and behind.  At the
Pater the chaplain rose and whispered in the King's ear the names of all
the Dukes who were in the chapel.  The King named two, always the oldest,
to each of whom the chaplain advanced and made a reverence.  During the
communion of the priest the King rose, and went and knelt down on the
bare floor behind this folding seat, and took hold of the cloth; at the
same time the two Dukes, the elder on the right, the other on the left,
each took hold of a corner of the cloth; the two chaplains took hold of
the other two corners of the same cloth, on the side of the altar, all
four kneeling, and the captain of the guards also kneeling and behind the
King.  The communion received and the oblation taken some moments
afterwards, the King remained a little while in the same place, then
returned to his own, followed by the two Dukes and the captain of the
guards, who took theirs.  If a son of France happened to be there alone,
he alone held the right corner of the cloth, and nobody the other; and
when M. le Duc d'Orleans was there, and no son of France was present, M.
le Duc d'Orleans held the cloth in like manner.  If a Prince of the blood
were alone present, however, he held the cloth, but a Duke was called
forward to assist him.  He was not privileged to act without the Duke.

The Princes of the blood wanted to change this; they were envious of the
distinction accorded to M. d'Orleans, and wished to put themselves on the
same footing.  Accordingly, at the Assumption of this year, they managed
so well that M. le Duc served alone at the altar at the King's communion,
no Duke being called upon to come and join him.  The surprise at this was
very great.  The Duc de la Force and the Marechal de Boufflers, who ought
to have served, were both present.  I wrote to this last to say that such
a thing had never happened before, and that it was contrary to all
precedent.  I wrote, too, to M. d'Orleans, who was then in Spain,
informing him of the circumstance.  When he returned he complained to the
King.  But the King merely said that the Dukes ought to have presented
themselves and taken hold of the cloth.  But how could they have done so,
without being requested, as was customary, to come forward?  What would
the king have thought of them if they had?  To conclude, nothing could be
made of the matter, and it remained thus.  Never then, since that time,
did I go to the communions of the King.

An incident occurred at Marly about the same time, which made much stir.
The ladies who were invited to Marly had the privilege of dining with the
King.  Tables were placed for them, and they took up positions according
to their rank.  The non-titled ladies had also their special place.  It
so happened one day; that Madame de Torcy (an untitled lady) placed
herself above the Duchesse de Duras, who arrived at table a moment after
her.  Madame de Torcy offered to give up her place, but it was a little
late, and the offer passed away in compliments.  The King entered, and
put himself at table.  As soon as he sat down, he saw the place Madame de
Torcy had taken, and fixed such a serious and surprised look upon her,
that she again offered to give up her place to the Duchesse de Duras; but
the offer was again declined.  All through the dinner the King scarcely
ever took his eyes off Madame de Torcy, said hardly a word, and bore a
look of anger that rendered everybody very attentive, and even troubled
the Duchesse de Duras.

Upon rising from the table, the King passed, according to custom, into
the apartments of Madame de Maintenon, followed by the Princesses of the
blood, who grouped themselves around him upon stools; the others who
entered, kept at a distance.  Almost before he had seated himself in his
chair, he said to Madame de Maintenon, that he had just been witness of
an act of "incredible insolence" (that was the term he used) which had
thrown him into such a rage that he had been unable to eat: that such an
enterprise would have been insupportable in a woman of the highest
quality; but coming, as it did, from a mere bourgeoise, it had so
affected him, that ten times he had been upon the point of making her
leave the table, and that he was only restrained by consideration for her
husband.  After this outbreak he made a long discourse upon the genealogy
of Madame de Torcy's family, and other matters; and then, to the
astonishment of all present, grew as angry as ever against Madame de
Torcy.  He went off then into a discourse upon the dignity of the Dukes,
and in conclusion, he charged the Princesses to tell Madame de Torcy to
what extent he had found her conduct impertinent.  The Princesses looked
at each other, and not one seemed to like this commission; whereupon the
King, growing more angry, said; that it must be undertaken however, and
left the robes; The news of what had taken place, and of the King's
choler, soon spread all over the Court.  It was believed, however, that
all was over, and that no more would be heard of the matter.  Yet the
very same evening the King broke out again with even more bitterness than
before.  On the morrow, too, surprise was great indeed, when it was found
that the King, immediately after dinner, could talk of nothing but this
subject, and that, too, without any softening of tone.  At last he was
assured that Madame de Torcy had been spoken to, and this appeased him a
little.  Torcy was obliged to write him a letter, apologising for the
fault of Madame de Torcy; and the King at this grew content.  It may be
imagined what a sensation this adventure produced all through the Court.

While upon the subject of the King, let me relate an anecdote of him,
which should have found a place ere this.  When M. d'Orleans was about to
start for Spain, he named the officers who were to be of his suite.
Amongst others was Fontpertius.  At that name the King put on a serious

"What! my nephew," he said.  "Fontpertius!  the son of a Jansenist--of
that silly woman who ran everywhere after M. Arnould!  I do not wish that
man to go with you."

"By my faith, Sire," replied the Duc d'Orleans, "I know not what the
mother has done; but as for the son, he is far enough from being a
Jansenist, I'll answer for it; for he does not believe in God."

"Is it possible, my nephew?"  said the King, softening.

"Nothing more certain, Sire, I assure you."

"Well, since it is so," said the King, "there is no harm: you can take
him with you."

This scene--for it can be called by no other name--took place in the
morning.  After dinner M. d'Orleans repeated it to me, bursting with
laughter, word for word, just as I have written it.  When we had both
well laughed at this, we admired the profound instruction of a discreet
and religious King, who considered it better not to believe in God than
to be a Jansenist, and who thought there was less danger to his nephew
from the impiety of an unbeliever than from the doctrines of a sectarian.
M. d'Orleans could not contain himself while he told the story, and never
spoke of it without laughing until the tears came into his eyes.  It ran
all through the Court and all over the town, and the marvellous thing
was, that the King was not angry at this.  It was a testimony of his
attachment to the good doctrine which withdrew him further and further
from Jansenism.  The majority of people laughed with all their heart.
Others, more wise, felt rather disposed to weep than to laugh, in
considering to what excess of blindness the King had reached.

For a long time a most important project had knocked at every door,
without being able to obtain a hearing anywhere.  The project was this:--
Hough, an English gentleman full of talent and knowledge, and who, above
all, knew profoundly the laws of his country, had filled various posts in
England.  As first a minister by profession, and furious against King
James; afterwards a Catholic and King James's spy, he had been delivered
up to King William, who pardoned him.  He profited by this only to
continue his services to James.  He was taken several times, and always
escaped from the Tower of London and other prisons.  Being no longer able
to dwell in England he came to France, where he occupied himself always
with the same line of business, and was paid for that by the King (Louis
XIV.) and by King James, the latter of whom he unceasingly sought to re-
establish.  The union of Scotland with England appeared to him a
favourable conjuncture, by the despair of that ancient kingdom at seeing
itself reduced into a province under the yoke of the English.  The
Jacobite party remained there; the vexation caused by this forced union
had increased it, by the desire felt to break that union with the aid of
a King that they would have reestablished.  Hough, who was aware of the
fermentation going on, made several secret journeys to Scotland, and
planned an invasion of that country; but, as I have said, for a long time
could get no one to listen to him.

The King, indeed, was so tired of such enterprises, that nobody dared to
speak to him upon this.  All drew back.  No one liked to bell the cat.
At last, however, Madame de Maintenon being gained over, the King was
induced to listen to the project.  As soon as his consent was gained to
it, another scheme was added to the first.  This was to profit by the
disorder in which the Spanish Low Countries were thrown, and to make them
revolt against the Imperialists at the very moment when the affair of
Scotland would bewilder the allies, and deprive them of all support from
England.  Bergheyck, a man well acquainted with the state of those
countries, was consulted, and thought the scheme good.  He and the Duc de
Vendome conferred upon it in presence of the King.

After talking over various matters, the discussion fell, upon the Meuse,
and its position with reference to Maastricht.  Vendome held that the
Meuse flowed in a certain direction.  Bergheyck opposed him.  Vendome,
indignant that a civilian should dare to dispute military movements with
him, grew warm.  The other remained respectful and cool, but firm.
Vendome laughed at Bergheyck, as at an ignorant fellow who did not know
the position of places.  Bergheyck maintained his point.  Vendome grew
more and more hot.  If he was right, what he proposed was easy enough; if
wrong, it was impossible.  It was in vain that Vendome pretended to treat
with disdain his opponent; Bergheyck was not to be put down, and the
King, tired out at last with a discussion upon a simple question of fact,
examined the maps.  He found at once that Bergheyck was right.  Any other
than the King would have felt by this what manner of man was this general
of his taste, of his heart, and of his confidence; any other than Vendome
would have been confounded; but it was Bergheyck in reality who was so,
to see the army in such hands and the blindness of the King for him!  He
was immediately sent into Flanders to work up a revolt, and he did it so
well, that success seemed certain, dependent, of course, upon success in

The preparations for the invasion of that country were at once commenced.
Thirty vessels were armed at Dunkerque and in the neighbouring ports.
The Chevalier de Forbin was chosen to command the squadron.  Four
thousand men were brought from Flanders to Dunkerque; and it was given
out that this movement was a mere change of garrison.  The secret of the
expedition was well kept; but the misfortune was that things were done
too slowly.  The fleet, which depended upon Pontchartrain, was not ready
in time, and that which depended upon Chamillart, was still more
behindhand.  The two ministers threw the fault upon each other; but the
truth is, both were to blame.  Pontchartrain was more than accused of
delaying matters from unwillingness; the other from powerlessness.

Great care was taken that no movement should be seen at Saint Germain.
The affair, however, began in time to get noised abroad.  A prodigious
quantity of arms and clothing for the Scotch had been embarked; the
movements by sea and land became only too visible upon the coast.  At
last, on Wednesday, the 6th of March, the King of England set out from
Saint Germain.  He was attended by the Duke of Perth, who had been his
sub-preceptor; by the two Hamiltons, by Middleton, and a very few others.
But his departure had been postponed too long.  At the moment when all
were ready to start, people learned with surprise that the English fleet
had appeared in sight, and was blockading Dunkerque.  Our troops, who
were already on board ship, were at once landed.  The King of England
cried out so loudly against this, and proposed so eagerly that an attempt
should be made to pass the enemy at all risks, that a fleet was sent out
to reconnoitre the enemy, and the troops were re-embarked.  But then a
fresh mischance happened.  The Princess of England had had the measles,
and was barely growing convalescent at the time of the departure of the
King, her brother.  She had been prevented from seeing him, lest he
should be attacked by the same complaint.  In spite of this precaution,
however, it declared itself upon him at Dunkerque, just as the troops
were re-embarked.  He was in despair, and wished to be wrapped up in
blankets and carried on board.  The doctors said that it would kill him;
and he was obliged to remain.  The worst of it was, that two of five
Scotch deputies who had been hidden at Montrouge near Paris, had been
sent into Scotland a fortnight before, to announce the immediate arrival
of the King with arms and troops.  The movement which it was felt this
announcement would create, increased the impatience for departure.  At
last, on Saturday, the 19th of March, the King of England, half cured and
very weak, determined to embark in spite of his physicians, and did so.
The enemy's vessels hats retired; so, at six o'clock in the morning, our
ships set sail with a good breeze, and in the midst of a mist, which hid
them from view in about an hour.

Forty-eight hours after the departure of our squadron, twenty-seven
English ships of war appeared before Dunkerque.  But our fleet was away.
The very first night it experienced a furious tempest.  The ship in which
was the King of England took shelter afterwards behind the works of
Ostend.  During the storm, another ship was separated from the squadron,
and was obliged to take refuge on the coast of Picardy.  This vessel, a
frigate, was commanded by Rambure, a lieutenant.  As, soon as he was able
he sailed after the squadron that he believed already in Scotland.  He
directed his course towards Edinburgh, and found no vessel during all the
voyage.  As he approached the mouth of the river, he saw around him a
number of barques and small vessels that he could not avoid, and that he
determined in consequence to approach with as good a grace as possible.
The masters of these ships' told him that the King was expected with
impatience, but that they had no news of him, that they had come out to
meet him, and that they would send pilots to Rambure, to conduct him up
the river to Edinburgh, where all was hope and joy.  Rambure, equally
surprised that the squadron which bore the King of England had not
appeared, and by the publicity of his forthcoming arrival, went up
towards Edinburgh more and more surrounded by barques, which addressed to
him the same language.  A gentleman of the country passed from one of
these barques upon the frigate.  He told Rambure that the principal
noblemen of Scotland had resolved to act together, that these noblemen
could count upon more than twenty thousand men ready to take up arms, and
that all the towns awaited only the arrival of the King to proclaim him.

More and more troubled that the squadron did not appear, Rambure, after a
time, turned back and went in search of it.  As he approached the mouth
of the river, which he had so lately entered, he heard a great noise of
cannon out at sea, and a short time afterwards he saw many vessels of war
there.  Approaching more and more, and quitting the river, he
distinguished our squadron, chased by twenty-six large ships of war and a
number of other vessels, all of which he soon lost sight of, so much was
our squadron in advance.  He continued on his course in order to join
them; but he could not do so until all had passed by the mouth of the
river.  Then steering clear of the rear-guard of the English ships, he
remarked that the English fleet was hotly chasing the ship of the King of
England, which ran along the coast, however, amid the fire of cannon and
oftentimes of musketry.  Rambure tried, for a long time, to profit by the
lightness of his frigate to get ahead; but, always cut off by the enemy's
vessels, and continually in danger of being taken, he returned to
Dunkerque, where he immediately despatched to the Court this sad and
disturbing news.  He was followed, five or six days after, by the King of
England, who returned to Dunkerque on the 7th of April, with his vessels
badly knocked about.

It seems that the ship in which was the Prince, after experiencing the
storm I have already alluded to, set sail again with its squadron, but
twice got out of its reckoning within forty-eight hours; a fact not easy
to understand in a voyage from Ostend to Edinburgh.  This circumstance
gave time to the English to join them; thereupon the King held a council,
and much time was lost in deliberations.  When the squadron drew near the
river, the enemy was so close upon us, that to enter, without fighting
either inside or out, seemed impossible.  In this emergency it was
suggested that our ships should go on to Inverness, about eighteen or
twenty leagues further off.  But this was objected to by Middleton and
the Chevalier Forbin, who declared that the King of England was expected
only at Edinburgh, and that it was useless to go elsewhere; and
accordingly the project was given up, and the ships returned to France.

This return, however, was not accomplished without some difficulty.  The
enemy's fleet attacked the rear guard of ours, and after an obstinate
combat, took two vessels of war and some other vessels.  Among the
prisoners made by the English were the Marquis de Levi, Lord Griffin, and
the two sons of Middleton; who all, after suffering some little bad
treatment, were conducted to London.

Lord Griffin was an old Englishman, who deserves a word of special
mention.  A firm Protestant, but much attached to the King of England, he
knew nothing of this expedition until after the King's departure.  He
went immediately in quest of the Queen.  With English freedom he
reproached her for the little confidence she had had in him, in spite of
his services and his constant fidelity, and finished by assuring her that
neither his age nor his religion would hinder him from serving the King
to the last drop of his blood.  He spoke so feelingly that the Queen was
ashamed.  After this he went to Versailles, asked M. de Toulouse for a
hundred Louis and a horse, and without delay rode off to Dunkerque, where
he embarked with the others.  In London he was condemned to death; but
he showed so much firmness and such disdain of death, that his judges
were too much ashamed to avow the execution to be carried out.  The Queen
sent him one respite, then another, although he had never asked for
either, and finally he was allowed to remain at liberty in London on
parole.  He always received fresh respites, and lived in London as if it
his own country, well received everywhere.  Being informed that these
respites would never cease, he lived thus several years, and died very
old, a natural death.  The other prisoners were equally well treated.  It
was in this expedition that the King of England first assumed the title
of the Chevalier de Saint George, and that his enemies gave him that of
the Pretender; both of which have remained to him.  He showed much will
and firmness, which he spoiled by a docility, the result of a bad
education, austere and confined, that devotion, ill understood, together
with the desire of maintaining him in fear and dependence, caused the
Queen (who, with all her sanctity, always wished to dominate) to give
him.  He asked to serve in the next campaign in Flanders, and wished to
go there at once, or remain near Dunkerque.  Service was promised him,
but he was made to return to Saint Germain.  Hough, who had been made a
peer of Ireland before starting, preceded him with the journals of the
voyage, and that of Forbin, to whom the King gave a thousand crowns
pension and ten thousand as a recompense.

The King of England arrived at Saint Germain on Friday, the 20th of
April, and came with the Queen, the following Sunday, to Marly, where our
King was.  The two Kings embraced each other several times, in the
presence of the two Courts.  But the visit altogether was a sad one.  The
Courts, which met in the garden, returned towards the Chateau, exchanging
indifferent words in an indifferent way.

Middleton was strongly suspected of having acquainted the English with
our project.  They acted, at all events, as if they had been informed of
everything, and wished to appear to know nothing.  They made a semblance
of sending their fleet to escort a convoy to Portugal; they got in
readiness the few troops they had in England and sent them towards
Scotland; and the Queen, under various pretexts, detained in London,
until the affair had failed, the Duke of Hamilton, the most powerful
Scotch lord; and the life and soul of the expedition.  When all was over,
she made no arrests, and wisely avoided throwing Scotland into despair.
This conduct much augmented her authority in England, attached all hearts
to her, and took away all desire of stirring again by taking away all
hope of success.  Thus failed a project so well and so secretly conducted
until the end, which was pitiable; and with this project failed that of
the Low Countries, which was no longer thought of.

The allies uttered loud cries against this attempt on the part of a power
they believed at its last gasp, and which, while pretending to seek
peace, thought of nothing less than the invasion of Great Britain.  The
effect of our failure was to bind closer, and to irritate more and more
this formidable alliance.


Brissac, Major of the Body-guards, died of age and ennui about this time,
more than eighty years old, at his country-house, to which he had not
long retired.  The King had made use of him to put the Guards upon that
grand military footing they have reached.  He had acquired the confidence
of the King by his inexorable exactitude, his honesty, and his aptitude.
He was a sort of wild boar, who had all the appearance of a bad man,
without being so in reality; but his manners were, it must be admitted,
harsh and disagreeable.  The King, speaking one day of the majors of the
troops, said that if they were good, they were sure to be hated.

"If it is necessary to be perfectly hated in order to be a good major,"
replied M. de Duras, who was behind the King with the baton, "behold,
Sire, the best major in France!" and he took Brissac, all confusion, by
the arm.  The King laughed, though he would have thought such a sally
very bad in any other; but M. de Duras had put himself on such a free
footing, that he stopped at nothing before the King, and often said the
sharpest things.  This major had very robust health, and laughed at the
doctors--very often, even before the King, at Fagon, whom nobody else
would have dared to attack.  Fagon replied by disdain, often by anger,
and with all his wit was embarrassed.  These short scenes were sometimes
very amusing.

Brissac, a few years before his retirement, served the Court ladies a
nice turn.  All through the winter they attended evening prayers on
Thursdays and Sundays, because the King went there; and, under the
pretence of reading their prayer-books, had little tapers before them,
which cast a light on their faces, and enabled the King to recognise them
as he passed.  On the evenings when they knew he would not go, scarcely
one of them went.  One evening, when the King was expected, all the
ladies had arrived, and were in their places, and the guards were at
their doors.  Suddenly, Brissac appeared in the King's place, lifted his
baton, and cried aloud, "Guards of the King, withdraw, return to your
quarters; the King is not coming this evening."  The guards withdrew; but
after they had proceeded a short distance, were stopped by brigadiers
posted for the purpose, and told to return in a few minutes.  What
Brissac had said was a joke.  The ladies at once began to murmur one to
another.  In a moment or two all the candles were put out, and the
ladies, with but few exceptions, left the chapel.  Soon after the King
arrived, and, much astonished to see so few ladies present, asked how it
was that nobody was there.  At the conclusion of the prayers Brissac
related what he had done, not without dwelling on the piety of the Court
ladies.  The King and all who accompanied him laughed heartily.  The
story soon spread, and these ladies would have strangled Brissac if they
had been able.

The Duchesse de Bourgogne being in the family way this spring, was much
inconvenienced.  The King wished to go to Fontainebleau at the
commencement of the fine season, contrary to his usual custom; and had
declared this wish.  In the mean time he desired to pay visits to Marly.
Madame de Bourgogne much amused him; he could not do without her, yet so
much movement was not suitable to her state.  Madame de Maintenon was
uneasy, and Fagon gently intimated his opinion.  This annoyed the King,
accustomed to restrain himself for nothing, and spoiled by having seen
his mistresses travel when big with child, or when just recovering from
their confinement, and always in full dress.  The hints against going to
Marly bothered him, but did not make him give them up.  All he would
consent to was, that the journey should put off from the day after
Quasimodo to the Wednesday of the following week; but nothing could make
him delay his amusement, beyond that time, or induce him to allow the
Princess to remain at Versailles.

[Illustration: The King's Walk At Versailles--Painted by J. L. Jerome--484]

On the following Saturday, as the King was taking a walk after mass, and
amusing himself at the carp basin between the Chateau and the
Perspective, we saw the Duchesse de Lude coming towards him on foot and
all alone, which, as no lady was with the King, was a rarity in the
morning.  We understood that she had something important to say to him,
and when he was a short distance from her, we stopped so as to allow him
to join her alone.  The interview was not long.  She went away again, and
the King came back towards us and near the carps without saying a word.
Each saw clearly what was in the wind, and nobody was eager to speak.  At
last the King, when quite close to the basin, looked at the principal
people around, and without addressing anybody, said, with an air of
vexation, these few words:

"The Duchesse de Bourgogne is hurt."

M. de la Rochefoucauld at once uttered an exclamation.  M. de Bouillon,
the Duc de Tresmes, and Marechal de Boufflers repeated in a low tone the
words I have named; and M. de la Rochefoucauld returning to the charge,
declared emphatically that it was the greatest misfortune in the world,
and that as she had already wounded herself on other occasions, she might
never, perhaps, have any more children.

"And if so," interrupted the King all on a sudden, with anger, "what is
that to me?  Has she not already a son; and if he should die, is not the
Duc de Berry old enough to marry and have one?  What matters it to the
who succeeds me,--the one or the other?  Are the not all equally my
grandchildren?"  And immediately, with impetuosity he added, "Thank God,
she is wounded, since she was to be so; and I shall no longer be annoyed
in my journeys and in everything I wish to do, by the representations of
doctors, and the reasonings of matrons.  I shall go and come at my
pleasure, and shall be left in peace."

A silence so deep that an ant might be heard to walk, succeeded this
strange outburst.  All eyes were lowered; no one hardly dared to breathe.
All remained stupefied.  Even the domestics and the gardeners stood

This silence lasted more than a quarter of an hour.  The King broke it as
he leaned upon a balustrade to speak of a carp.  Nobody replied.  He
addressed himself afterwards on the subject of these carps to domestics,
who did not ordinarily join in the conversation.  Nothing but carps was
spoken of with them.  All was languishing, and the King went away some
time after.  As soon as we dared look at each other--out of his sight,
our eyes met and told all.  Everybody there was for the moment the
confidant of his neighbour.  We admired--we marvelled--we grieved, we
shrugged our shoulders.  However distant may be that scene, it is always
equally present to me.  M. de la Rochefoucauld was in a fury, and this
time without being wrong.  The chief ecuyer was ready to faint with
affright; I myself examined everybody with my eyes and ears, and was
satisfied with myself for having long since thought that the King loved
and cared for himself alone, and was himself his only object in life.

This strange discourse sounded far and wide-much beyond Marly.

Let me here relate another anecdote of the King--a trifle I was witness
of.  It was on the 7th of May, of this year, and at Marly.  The King
walking round the gardens, showing them to Bergheyck, and talking with
him upon the approaching campaign in Flanders, stopped before one of the
pavilions.  It was that occupied by Desmarets, who had recently succeeded
Chamillart in the direction of the finances, and who was at work within
with Samuel Bernard, the famous banker, the richest man in Europe, and
whose money dealings were the largest.  The King observed to Desmarets
that he was very glad to see him with M. Bernard; then immediately said
to this latter:

"You are just the man never to have seen Marly--come and see it now; I
will give you up afterwards to Desmarets."

Bernard followed, and while the walk lasted the King spoke only to
Bergheyck and to Bernard, leading them everywhere, and showing them
everything with the grace he so well knew how to employ when he desired
to overwhelm.  I admired, and I was not the only one, this species of
prostitution of the King, so niggard of his words, to a man of Bernard's
degree.  I was not long in learning the cause of it, and I admired to see
how low the greatest kings sometimes find themselves reduced.

Our finances just then were exhausted.  Desmarets no longer knew of what
wood to make a crutch.  He had been to Paris knocking at every door.  But
the most exact engagements had been so often broken that he found nothing
but excuses and closed doors.  Bernard, like the rest, would advance
nothing.  Much was due to him.  In vain Desmarets represented to him the
pressing necessity for money, and the enormous gains he had made out of
the King.  Bernard remained unshakeable.  The King and the minister were
cruelly embarrassed.  Desmarets said to the King that, after all was said
and done, only Samuel Bernard could draw them out of the mess, because it
was not doubtful that he had plenty of money everywhere; that the only
thing needed was to vanquish his determination and the obstinacy--even
insolence--he had shown; that he was a man crazy with vanity, and capable
of opening his purse if the King deigned to flatter him.

It was agreed, therefore, that Desmarets should invite Bernard to dinner
--should walk with him--and that the King should come and disturb them as
I have related.  Bernard was the dupe of this scheme; he returned from
his walk with the King enchanted to such an extent that he said he would
prefer ruining himself rather than leave in embarrassment a Prince who
had just treated him so graciously, and whose eulogiums he uttered with
enthusiasm!  Desmarets profited by this trick immediately, and drew much
more from it than he had proposed to himself..

The Prince de Leon had an adventure just about this time, which made much
noise.  He was a great, ugly, idle, mischievous fellow, son of the Duc de
Rohan, who had given him the title I have just named.  He had served in
one campaign very indolently, and then quitted the army, under pretence
of ill-health, to serve no more.  Glib in speech, and with the manners of
the great world, he was full of caprices and fancies; although a great
gambler and spendthrift, he was miserly, and cared only for himself.  He
had been enamoured of Florence, an actress, whom M. d'Orleans had for a
long time kept, and by whom he had children, one of whom is now
Archbishop of Cambrai.  M. de Leon also had several children by this
creature, and spent large sums upon her.  When he went in place of his
father to open the States of Brittany, she accompanied him in a coach and
six horses, with a ridiculous scandal.  His father was in agony lest he
should marry her.  He offered to insure her five thousand francs a-year
pension, and to take care of their children, if M. de Leon would quit
her.  But M. de Leon would not hear of this, and his father accordingly
complained to the King.  The King summoned M. de Leon into his cabinet;
but the young man pleaded his cause so well there, that he gained pity
rather than condemnation.  Nevertheless, La Florence was carried away
from a pretty little house at the Ternes, near Paris, where M. de Leon
kept her, and was put in a convent.  M. de Leon became furious; for some
time he would neither see nor speak of his father or mother, and repulsed
all idea of marriage.

At last, however, no longer hoping to see his actress, he not only
consented, but wished to marry.  His parents were delighted at this, and
at once looked about for a wife for him.  Their choice, fell upon the
eldest daughter of the Duc de Roquelaure, who, although humpbacked and
extremely ugly, she was to be very rich some day, and was, in fact, a
very good match.  The affair had been arranged and concluded up to a
certain point, when all was broken off, in consequence of the haughty
obstinacy with which the Duchesse de Roquelaure demanded a larger sum
with M. de Leon than M. de Rohan chose to give.

The young couple were in despair: M. de Leon, lest his father should
always act in this way, as an excuse for giving him nothing; the young
lady, because she, feared she should rot in a convent, through the
avarice of her mother, and never marry.  She was more than twenty-four
years, of age; he was more than eight-and-twenty.  She was in the convent
of the Daughters of the Cross in the Faubourg Saint Antoine.

As soon as M. de Leon learnt that the marriage was broken off, he
hastened to the convent; and told all to Mademoiselle de Roquelaure;
played the passionate, the despairing; said that if they waited for their
parents' consent they would never marry; and that she would rot in her
convent.  He proposed, therefore, that, in spite of their parents, they
should marry and be their own guardians.  She agreed to this project; and
he went away in order to execute it.

One of the most intimate friends of Madame de Roquelaure was Madame de la
Vieuville, and she was the only person (excepting Madame de Roquelaure
herself) to whom the Superior of the convent had permission to confide
Mademoiselle de Roquelaure.  Madame de la Vieuville often came to see
Mademoiselle de Roquelaure to take her out, and sometimes sent for her.
M. de Leon was made acquainted with this, and took his measures
accordingly.  He procured a coach of the same size, shape, and fittings
as that of Madame de la Vieuville, with her arms upon it, and with three
servants in her livery; he counterfeited a letter in her handwriting and
with her seal, and sent this coach with a lackey well instructed to carry
the letter to the convent, on Tuesday morning, the 29th of May, at the
hour Madame de la Vieuville was accustomed to send for her.

Mademoiselle de Roquelaure, who had been let into the scheme, carried the
letter to the Superior of the convent, and said Madame de la Vieuville
had sent for her.  Had the Superior any message to send?

The Superior, accustomed to these invitations; did not even look at the
letter, but gave her consent at once.  Mademoiselle de Roquelaure,
accompanied solely by her governess, left the convent immediately, and
entered the coach, which drove off directly.  At the first turning it
stopped, and the Prince de Leon, who had been in waiting, jumped-in.  The
governess at this began to cry out with all her might; but at the very
first sound M. de Leon thrust a handkerchief into her mouth and stifled
the noise.  The coachman meanwhile lashed his horses, and the vehicle
went off at full speed to Bruyeres near Menilmontant, the country-house
of the Duc de Lorges, my brother-in-law, and friend of the Prince de
Leon, and who, with the Comte de Rieux, awaited the runaway pair.

An interdicted and wandering priest was in waiting, and as soon as they
arrived married them.  My brother-in-law then led these nice young people
into a fine chamber, where they were undressed, put to bed, and left
alone for two or three hours.  A good meal was then given to them, after
which the bride was put into the coach, with her attendant, who was in
despair, and driven back to the convent.

Mademoiselle de Roquelaure at once went deliberately to the Superior,
told her all that happened, and then calmly went into her chamber, and
wrote a fine letter to her mother, giving her an account of her marriage,
and asking for pardon; the Superior of the convent, the attendants, and
all the household being, meanwhile, in the utmost emotion at what had

The rage of the Duchesse de Roquelaure at this incident may be imagined.
In her first unreasoning fury, she went to Madame de la Vieuville, who,
all in ignorance of what had happened, was utterly at a loss to
understand her stormy and insulting reproaches.  At last Madame de
Roquelaure saw that her friend was innocent of all connection with the
matter; and turned the current of her wrath upon M. de Leon, against whom
she felt the more indignant, inasmuch as he had treated her with much
respect and attention since the rupture, and had thus, to some extent,
gained her heart.  Against her daughter she was also indignant, not only
for what she had done, but because she had exhibited much gaiety and
freedom of spirit at the marriage repast, and had diverted the company by
some songs.

The Duc and Duchesse de Rohan were on their side equally furious,
although less to be pitied, and made a strange uproar.  Their son,
troubled to know how to extricate himself from this affair, had recourse
to his aunt, Soubise, so as to assure himself of the King.  She sent him
to Pontchartrain to see the chancellor.  M. de Leon saw him the day after
this fine marriage, at five o'clock in the morning, as he was dressing.
The chancellor advised him to do all he could to gain the pardon of his
father and of Madame de Roquelaure.  But he had scarcely begun to speak,
when Madame de Roquelaure sent word to say, that she was close at hand,
and wished the chancellor to come and see her.  He did so, and she
immediately poured out all her griefs to him, saying that she came not to
ask, his advice, but to state her complaint as to a friend (they were
very intimate), and as to the chief officer of justice to demand justice
of him.  When he attempted to put in a word on behalf of M. de Leon, her
fury burst out anew; she would not listen to his words, but drove off to
Marly, where she had an interview with Madame de Maintenon, and by her
was presented to the King.

As soon as she was in his presence, she fell down on her knees before
him, and demanded justice in its fullest extent against M. de Leon.  The
King raised her with the gallantry of a prince to whom she had not been
indifferent, and sought to console her; but as she still insisted upon
justice, he asked her if she knew fully what she asked for, which was
nothing less than the head of M. de Leon.  She redoubled her entreaties
notwithstanding this information, so that the King at last promised her
that she should have complete justice.  With that, and many compliments,
he quitted her, and passed into his own rooms with a very serious air,
and without stopping for anybody.

The news of this interview, and of what had taken place, soon spread
through the chamber.  Scarcely had people begun to pity Madame de
Roquelaure, than some, by aversion for the grand imperial airs of this
poor mother,--the majority, seized by mirth at the idea of a creature,
well known to be very ugly and humpbacked, being carried off by such an
ugly gallant,--burst out laughing, even to tears, and with an uproar
completely scandalous.  Madame de Maintenon abandoned herself to mirth,
like the rest, and corrected the others at last, by saying it was not
very charitable, in a tone that could impose upon no one.

Madame de Saint-Simon and I were at Paris.  We knew with all Paris of
this affair, but were ignorant of the place of the marriage and the part
M. de Lorges had had in it, when the third day after the adventure I was
startled out of my sleep at five o'clock in the morning, and saw my
curtains and my windows open at the same time, and Madame de Saint-Simon
and her brother (M. de Lorges) before me.  They related to me all that
had occurred, and then went away to consult with a skilful person what
course to adopt, leaving me to dress.  I never saw a man so crestfallen
as M. de Lorges.  He had confessed what he had done to a clever lawyer,
who had much frightened him.  After quitting him, he had hastened to us
to make us go and see Pontchartrain.  The most serious things are
sometimes accompanied with the most ridiculous.  M. de Lorges upon
arriving knocked at the door of a little room which preceded the chamber
of Madame de Saint-Simon.  My daughter was rather unwell.  Madame de
Saint-Simon thought she was worse, and supposing it was I who had
knocked, ran and opened the door.  At the sight of her brother she ran
back to her bed, to which he followed her, in order to relate his
disaster.  She rang for the windows to be opened, in order that she might
see better.  It so happened that she had taken the evening before a new
servant, a country girl of sixteen, who slept in the little room.  M. de
Lorges, in a hurry to be off, told this girl to make haste in opening the
windows, and then to go away and close the door.  At this, the simple
girl, all amazed, took her robe and her cotillon, and went upstairs to an
old chambermaid, awoke her, and with much hesitation told her what had
just happened, and that she had left by the bedside of Madame de Saint
Simon a fine gentleman, very young, all powdered, curled, and decorated,
who had driven her very quickly out of the chamber.  She was all of a
tremble, and much astonished.  She soon learnt who he was.  The story was
told to us, and in spite of our disquietude, much diverted us.

We hurried away to the chancellor, and he advised the priest, the
witnesses to the signatures of the marriage, and, in fact, all concerned,
to keep out of the way, except M. de Lorges, who he assured us had
nothing to fear.  We went afterwards to Chamillart, whom we found much
displeased, but in little alarm.  The King had ordered an account to be
drawn up of the whole affair.  Nevertheless, in spite of the uproar made
on all sides, people began to see that the King would not abandon to
public dishonour the daughter of Madame de Roquelaure, nor doom to the
scaffold or to civil death in foreign countries the nephew of Madame de

Friends of M. and Madame de Roquelaure tried to arrange matters.  They
represented that it would be better to accept the marriage as it was than
to expose a daughter to cruel dishonour.  Strange enough, the Duc and
Duchesse de Rohan were the most stormy.  They wished to drive a very hard
bargain in the matter, and made proposals so out of the way, that nothing
could have been arranged but for the King.  He did what he had never done
before in all his life; he entered into all the details; he begged, then
commanded as master; he had separate interviews with the parties
concerned; and finally appointed the Duc d'Aumont and the chancellor to
draw up the conditions of the marriage.

As Madame de Rohan, even after this, still refused to give her consent,
the King sent for her, and said that if she and her husband did not at
once give in, he would make the marriage valid by his own sovereign
authority.  Finally, after so much noise, anguish, and trouble, the
contract was signed by the two families, assembled at the house of the
Duchesse de Roquelaure.  The banns were published, and the marriage took
place at the church of the Convent of the Cross, where Mademoiselle de
Roquelaure had been confined since her beautiful marriage, guarded night
and day by five or six nuns.  She entered the church by one door, Prince
de Leon by another; not a compliment or a word passed between them; the
curate said mass; married them; they mounted a coach, and drove off to
the house of a friend some leagues from Paris.  They paid for their folly
by a cruel indigence which lasted all their lives, neither of them having
survived the Duc de Rohan, Monsieur de Roquelaure, or Madame de
Roquelaure.  They left several children.


The war this year proceeded much as before.  M. d'Orleans went to Spain
again.  Before taking the field he stopped at Madrid to arrange matters.
There he found nothing prepared, and every thing in disorder.  He was
compelled to work day after day, for many hours, in order to obtain the
most necessary supplies.  This is what accounted for a delay which was
maliciously interpreted at Paris into love for the Queen.  M. le Duc was
angry at the idleness in which he was kept; even Madame la Duchesse, who
hated him, because she had formerly loved him too well, industriously
circulated this report, which was believed at Court, in the city, even in
foreign countries, everywhere, save in Spain, where the truth was too
well known.  It was while he was thus engaged that he gave utterance to a
pleasantry that made Madame de Maintenon and Madame des Ursins his two
most bitter enemies for ever afterwards.

One evening he was at table with several French and Spanish gentlemen,
all occupied with his vexation against Madame des Ursins, who governed
everything, and who had not thought of even the smallest thing for the
campaign.  The supper and the wine somewhat affected M. d'Orleans.  Still
full of his vexation, he took a glass, and, looking at the company, made
an allusion in a toast to the two women, one the captain, the other the
lieutenant, who governed France and Spain, and that in so coarse and yet
humorous a manner, that it struck at once the imagination of the guests.

No comment was made, but everybody burst out laughing, sense of drollery
overcoming prudence, for it was well known that the she-captain was
Madame de Maintenon, and the she-lieutenant Madame des Ursins.  The
health was drunk, although the words were not repeated, and the scandal
was strange.

Half an hour at most after this, Madame des Ursins was informed of what
had taken place.  She knew well who were meant by the toast, and was
transported with rage.  She at once wrote an account of the circumstance
to Madame de Maintenon, who, for her part, was quite as furious.  'Inde
ira'.  They never pardoned M. d'Orleans, and we shall see how very nearly
they succeeded in compassing his death.  Until then, Madame de Maintenon
had neither liked nor disliked M. d'Orleans.  Madame des Ursins had
omitted nothing in order to please him.  From that moment they swore the
ruin of this prince.  All the rest of the King's life M. d'Orleans did
not fail to find that Madame de Maintenon was an implacable and cruel
enemy.  The sad state to which she succeeded in reducing him influenced
him during all the rest of his life.  As for Madame des Ursins, he soon
found a change in her manner.  She endeavoured that everything should
fail that passed through his hands.  There are some wounds that can never
be healed; and it must be admitted that the Duke's toast inflicted one
especially of that sort.  He felt this; did not attempt any
reconciliation; and followed his usual course.  I know not if he ever,
repented of what he had said, whatever cause he may have had, so droll
did it seem to him, but he has many times spoken of it since to me,
laughing with all his might.  I saw all the sad results which might arise
from his speech, and nevertheless, while reproaching M. d'Orleans, I
could not help laughing myself, so well, so simply; and so wittily
expressed was his ridicule of the government on this and the other side
of the Pyrenees.

At last, M. le Duc d'Orleans found means to enter upon his campaign, but
was so ill-provided, that he never was supplied with more than a
fortnight's subsistence in advance.  He obtained several small successes;
but these were more than swallowed up by a fatal loss in another
direction.  The island of Sardinia, which was then under the Spanish
Crown, was lost through the misconduct of the viceroy, the Duke of
Veragua, and taken possession of by the troops of the Archduke.  In the
month of October, the island of Minorca also fell into the hands of the
Archduke.  Port Mahon made but little resistance; so that with this
conquest and Gibraltar, the English found themselves able to rule in the
Mediterranean, to winter entire fleets there, and to blockade all the
ports of Spain upon that sea.  Leaving Spain in this situation, let us
turn to Flanders.

Early in July, we took Ghent and Bruges by surprise, and the news of
these successes was received with the most unbridled joy at
Fontainebleau.  It appeared easy to profit by these two conquests,
obtained without difficulty, by passing the Escaut, burning Oudenarde,
closing the country to the enemies, and cutting them off from all
supplies.  Ours were very abundant, and came by water, with a camp that
could not be attacked.  M. de Vendome agreed to all this; and alleged
nothing against it.  There was only one difficulty in the way; his
idleness and unwillingness to move from quarters where he was
comfortable.  He wished to enjoy those quarters as long as possible, and
maintained, therefore, that these movements would be just as good if
delayed.  Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne maintained on the contrary,
with all the army--even the favourites of M. de Vendome--that it would be
better to execute the operation at once, that there was no reason for
delay, and that delay might prove disastrous.  He argued in vain.
Vendome disliked fatigue and change of quarters.  They interfered with
the daily life he was accustomed to lead, and which I have elsewhere
described.  He would not move.

Marlborough clearly seeing that M. de Vendome did not at once take
advantage of his position, determined to put it out of his power to do
so.  To reach Oudenarde, Marlborough had a journey to make of twenty-five
leagues.  Vendome was so placed that he could have gained it in six
leagues at the most.  Marlborough put himself in motion with so much
diligence that he stole three forced marches before Vendome had the
slightest suspicion or information of them.  The news reached him in
time, but he treated it with contempt according to his custom, assuring
himself that he should outstrip the enemy by setting out the next
morning.  Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne pressed him to start that
evening; such as dared represented to him the necessity and the
importance of doing so.  All was vain--in spite of repeated information
of the enemy's march.  The neglect was such that bridges had not been
thought of for a little brook at the head of the camp, which it was
necessary to cross.

On the next day, Wednesday, the 11th of July, a party of our troops,
under the command of Biron, which had been sent on in advance to the
Escaut, discovered, after passing it as they could, for the bridges were
not yet made, all the army of the enemy bending round towards them, the
rear of their columns touching at Oudenarde, where they also had crossed.
Biron at once despatched a messenger to the Princes and to M. de Vendome
to inform them of this, and to ask for orders.  Vendome, annoyed by
information so different to what he expected, maintained that it could
not be true.  As he was disputing, an officer arrived from Biron to
confirm the news; but this only irritated Vendome anew, and made him more
obstinate.  A third messenger arrived, and then M. de Vendome, still
affecting disbelief of the news sent him, flew in a passion, but
nevertheless mounted his horse, saying that all this was the work of the
devil, and that such diligence was impossible.  He sent orders to Biron
to attack the enemy, promising to support him immediately.  He told the
Princes, at the same time, to gently follow with the whole of the army,
while he placed himself at the head of his columns, and pushed on briskly
to Biron.

Biron meanwhile placed his troops as well as he could, on ground very
unequal and much cut up.  He wished to execute the order he had received,
less from any hopes of success in a combat so vastly disproportioned than
to secure himself from the blame of a general so ready to censure those
who did not follow his instructions.  But he was advised so strongly not
to take so hazardous a step, that he refrained.  Marechal Matignon, who
arrived soon after, indeed specially prohibited him from acting.

While this was passing, Biron heard sharp firing on his left, beyond the
village.  He hastened there, and found an encounter of infantry going on.
He sustained it as well as he could, whilst the enemy were gaining ground
on the left, and, the ground being difficult (there was a ravine there),
the enemy were kept at bay until M. de Vendome came up.  The troops he
brought were all out of breath.  As soon as they arrived, they threw
themselves amidst the hedges, nearly all in columns, and sustained thus
the attacks of the enemies, and an engagement which every moment grew
hotter, without having the means to arranging themselves in any order.
The columns that arrived from time to time to the relief of these were as
out of breath as the others; and were at once sharply charged by the
enemies; who, being extended in lines and in order, knew well how to
profit by our disorder.  The confusion was very great: the new-comers had
no time to rally; there was a long interval between the platoons engaged
and those meant to sustain them; the cavalry and the household troops
were mixed up pell-mell with the infantry, which increased the disorder
to such a point that our troops no longer recognised each other.  This
enabled the enemy to fill up the ravine with fascines sufficient to
enable them to pass it, and allowed the rear of their army to make a
grand tour by our right to gain the head of the ravine, and take us in
flank there.

Towards this same right were the Princes, who for some time had been
looking from a mill at so strange a combat, so disadvantageously
commenced.  As soon as our troops saw pouring down upon them others much
more numerous, they gave way towards their left with so much promptitude
that the attendants of the Princes became mixed up with their masters,--
and all were hurried away towards the thick of the fight, with a rapidity
and confusion that were indecent.  The Princes showed themselves
everywhere, and in places the most exposed, displaying much valour and
coolness, encouraging the men, praising the officers, asking the
principal officers what was to be done, and telling M. de Vendome what
they thought.

The inequality of the ground that the enemies found in advancing, after
having driven in our right, enabled our them to rally and to resist.  But
this resistance was of short duration.  Every one had been engaged in
hand-to-hand combats; every one was worn out with lassitude and despair
of success, and a confusion so general and so unheard-of.  The household
troops owed their escape to the mistake of one of the enemy's officers,
who carried an order to the red coats, thinking them his own men.  He was
taken, and seeing that he was about to share the peril with our troops,
warned them that they were going to be surrounded.  They retired in some
disorder, and so avoided this.

The disorder increased, however, every moment.  Nobody recognised his
troop.  All were pell-mell, cavalry, infantry, dragoons; not a battalion,
not a squadron together, and all in confusion, one upon the other.

Night came.  We had lost much ground, one-half of the army had not
finished arriving.  In this sad situation the Princes consulted with M.
de Vendome as to what was to be done.  He, furious at being so terribly
out of his reckoning, affronted everybody.  Monseigneur le Duc de
Bourgogne wished to speak; but Vendome intoxicated with choler and
authority; closed his mouth, by saying to him in an imperious voice
before everybody, "That he came to the army only on condition of obeying
him."  These enormous words, pronounced at a moment in which everybody
felt so terribly the weight of the obedience rendered to his idleness and
obstinacy, made everybody tremble with indignation.  The young Prince to
whom they were addressed, hesitated, mastered himself, and kept silence.
Vendome went on declaring that the battle was not lost--that it could be
recommenced the next morning, when the rest of the army had arrived, and
so on.  No one of consequence cared to reply.

From every side soon came information, however, that the disorder was
extreme.  Pursegur, Matignon, Sousternon, Cheladet, Purguyon, all brought
the same news.  Vendome, seeing that it was useless to resist, all this
testimony, and beside himself with rage, cried, "Oh, very well,
gentlemen!  I see clearly what you wish.  We must retire, then;" and
looking at Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne, he added, "I know you have
long wished to do so, Monseigneur."

These words, which could not fail to be taken in a double sense, were
pronounced exactly as I relate them, and were emphasized in a manner to
leave no doubt as to their signification.  Monseigneur le Duc de
Bourgogne remained silent as before, and for some time the silence was
unbroken.  At last, Pursegur interrupted it, by asking how the retreat
was to be executed.  Each, then, spoke confusedly.  Vendome, in his turn,
kept silence from vexation or embarrassment; then he said they must march
to Ghent, without adding how, or anything else.

The day had been very fatiguing; the retreat was long and perilous.  The
Princes mounted their horses, and took the road to Ghent.  Vendome set
out without giving any orders, or seeing to anything.  The general
officers returned to their posts, and of themselves gave the order to
retreat.  Yet so great was the confusion, that the Chevalier Rosel,
lieutenant-general, at the head of a hundred squadrons, received no
orders.  In the morning he found himself with his hundred squadrons,
which had been utterly forgotten.  He at once commenced his march; but to
retreat in full daylight was very difficult, as he soon found.  He had to
sustain the attacks of the enemy during several hours of his march.

Elsewhere, also, the difficulty of retreating was great.  Fighting went
on at various points all night, and the enemy were on the alert.  Some of
the troops of our right, while debating as to the means of retreat, found
they were about to be surrounded by the enemy.  The Vidame of Amiens saw
that not a moment was to be lost.  He cried to the light horse, of which
he was captain, "Follow me," and pierced his way through a line of the
enemy's cavalry.  He then found himself in front of a line of infantry,
which fired upon him, but opened to give him passage.  At the same
moment, the household troops and others, profiting by a movement so bold,
followed the Vidame and his men, and all escaped together to Ghent, led
on by the Vidame, to whose sense and courage the safety of these troops
was owing.

M. de Vendome arrived at Ghent, between seven and eight o'clock in the
morning.  Even at this moment he did not forget his disgusting habits,
and as soon as he set foot to ground.... in sight of all the troops as
they came by,--then at once went to bed, without giving any orders, or
seeing to anything, and remained more than thirty hours without rising,
in order to repose himself after his fatigues.  He learnt that
Monseigneur de Bourgogne and the army had pushed on to Lawendeghem; but
he paid no attention to it, and continued to sup and to sleep at Ghent
several days running, without attending to anything.


As soon as Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne arrived at Lawendeghem, he
wrote a short letter to the King, and referred him for details to M. de
Vendome.  But at the same time he wrote to the Duchess, very clearly
expressing to her where the fault lay.  M. de Vendome, on his side, wrote
to the King, and tried to persuade him that the battle had not been
disadvantageous to us.  A short time afterwards, he wrote again, telling
the King that he could have beaten the enemies had he been sustained; and
that, if, contrary to his advice, retreat had not been determined on, he
would certainly have beaten them the next day.  For the details he
referred to Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne.

I had always feared that some ill-fortune would fall to the lot of
Monseigneur, le Duc de Bourgogne if he served under M. de Vendome at the
army.  When I first learned that he was going to Flanders with M. de
Vendome, I expressed my apprehensions to M. de Beauvilliers, who treated
them as unreasonable and ridiculous.  He soon had good cause to admit
that I had not spoken without justice.  Our disasters at Oudenarde were
very great.  We had many men and officers killed and wounded, four
thousand men and seven hundred officers taken prisoners, and a prodigious
quantity missing and dispersed.  All these losses were, as I have shown,
entirely due to the laziness and inattention of M. de Vendome.  Yet the
friends of that general--and he had many at the Court and in the army--
actually had the audacity to lay the blame upon Monseigneur le Duc de
Bourgogne.  This was what I had foreseen, viz., M. de Vendome, in case
any misfortune occurred, would be sure to throw the burden of it upon
Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne.

Alberoni, who, as I have said, was one of M. de Vendome's creatures,
published a deceitful and impudent letter, in which he endeavoured to
prove that M. de Vendome had acted throughout like a good general, but
that he had been thwarted by Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne.  This
letter was distributed everywhere, and well served the purpose for which
it was intended.  Another writer, Campistron---a poor, starving poet,
ready to do anything to live--went further.  He wrote a letter, in which
Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne was personally attacked in the tenderest
points, and in which Marechal Matignon was said to merit a court-martial
for having counselled retreat.  This letter, like the other, although
circulated with more precaution, was shown even in the cafes and in the
theatres; in the public places of gambling and debauchery; on the
promenades, and amongst the news-vendors.  Copies of it were even shown
in the provinces, and in foreign countries; but always with much
circumspection.  Another letter soon afterwards appeared, apologising for
M. de Vendome.  This was written by Comte d'Evreux, and was of much the
same tone as the two others.

A powerful cabal was in fact got up against Monseigneur de Bourgogne.
Vaudeville, verses, atrocious songs against him, ran all over Paris and
the provinces with a licence and a rapidity that no one checked; while at
the Court, the libertines and the fashionables applauded; so that in six
days it was thought disgraceful to speak with any measure of this Prince,
even in his father's house.

Madame de Bourgogne could not witness all this uproar against her
husband, without feeling sensibly affected by it.  She had been made
acquainted by Monseigneur de Bourgogne with the true state of the case.
She saw her own happiness and reputation at stake.  Though very gentle,
and still more timid, the grandeur of the occasion raised her above
herself.  She was cruelly wounded by the insults of Vendome to her
husband, and by all the atrocities and falsehoods his emissaries
published.  She gained Madame de Maintenon, and the first result of this
step was, that the King censured Chamillart for not speaking of the
letters in circulation, and ordered him to write to Alberoni and D'Evreux
(Campistron, strangely enough, was forgotten), commanding them to keep
silence for the future.

The cabal was amazed to see Madame de Maintenon on the side of Madame de
Bourgogne, while M. du Maine (who was generally in accord with Madame de
Maintenon) was for M. de Vendome.  They concluded that the King had been
led away, but that if they held firm, his partiality for M. de Vendome,
for M. du Maine, and for bastardy in general, would bring him round to
them.  In point of fact, the King was led now one way, and now another,
with a leaning always towards M. de Vendome.

Soon after this, Chamillart, who was completely of the party of M. de
Vendome, thought fit to write a letter to Monseigneur le Duc de
Bourgogne, in which he counselled him to live on good terms with his
general.  Madame de Bourgogne never forgave Chamillart this letter, and
was always annoyed with her husband that he acted upon it.  His religious
sentiments induced him to do so.  Vendome so profited by the advances
made to him by the young Prince, that he audaciously brought Alberoni
with him when he visited Monseigneur de Bourgogne.  This weakness of
Monseigneur de Bourgogne lost him many friends, and made his enemies more
bold than ever: Madame de Bourgogne, however, did not despair.  She wrote
to her husband that for M. de Vendome she had more aversion and contempt
than for any one else in the world, and that nothing would make her
forget what he had done.  We shall see with what courage she knew how to
keep her word.

While the discussions upon the battle of Oudenarde were yet proceeding,
a league was formed with France against the Emperor by all the states of
Italy.  The King (Louis XIV.) accepted, however, too late, a project he
himself ought to have proposed and executed.  He lost perhaps the most
precious opportunity he had had during all his reign.  The step he at
last took was so apparent that it alarmed the allies, and put them on
their guard.  Except Flanders, they did nothing in any other spot, and
turned all their attention to Italy.

Let us return, however, to Flanders.

Prince Eugene, with a large booty gathered in Artois and elsewhere, had
fixed himself at Brussels.  He wished to bear off his spoils, which
required more than five thousand waggons to carry it, and which consisted
in great part of provisions, worth three million five hundred thousand
francs, and set out with them to join the army of the Duke of
Marlborough.  Our troops could not, of course, be in ignorance of this.
M. de Vendome wished to attack the convoy with half his troops.  The
project seemed good, and, in case of success, would have brought results
equally honourable and useful.  Monseigneur de Bourgogne, however,
opposed the attack, I know not why; and M. de Vendome, so obstinate until
then, gave in to him in this case.  His object was to ruin the Prince
utterly, for allowing such a good chance to escape, the blame resting
entirely upon him.  Obstinacy and audacity had served M. de Vendome at
Oudenarde: he expected no less a success now from his deference.

Some anxiety was felt just about this time for Lille, which it was feared
the enemy would lay siege to.  Boufflers went to command there, at his
own request, end found the place very ill-garrisoned with raw troops,
many of whom had never smelt powder.  M. de Vendome, however, laughed at
the idea of the siege of Lille, as something mad and ridiculous.
Nevertheless, the town was invested on the 12th of August, as the King
duly learned on the 14th.  Even then, flattery did its work.  The friends
of Vendome declared that such an enterprise was the best, thing that
could happen to France, as the besiegers, inferior in numbers to our
army, were sure to be miserably beaten.  M. de Vendome, in the mean time,
did not budge from the post he had taken up near Ghent.  The King wrote
to him to go with his army to the relief of Lille.  M. de Vendome still
delayed; another courier was sent, with the same result.  At this, the
King, losing temper, despatched another courier, with orders to
Monseigneur de Bourgogne, to lead the army to Lille, if M. de Vendome
refused to do so.  At this, M. de Vendome awoke from his lethargy.  He
set out for Lille, but took the longest road, and dawdled as long as he
could on the way, stopping five days at Mons Puenelle, amongst other

The agitation, meanwhile, in Paris, was extreme.  The King demanded news
of the siege from his courtiers, and could not understand why no couriers
arrived.  It was generally expected that some decisive battle had been
fought.  Each day increased the uneasiness.  The Princes and the
principal noblemen of the Court were at the army.  Every one at
Versailles feared for the safety of a relative or friend.  Prayers were
offered everywhere.  Madame de Bourgogne passed whole nights in the
chapel, when people thought her in bed, and drove her women to despair.
Following her example, ladies who had husbands at the army stirred not
from the churches.  Gaming, conversation ceased.  Fear was painted upon
every face, and seen in every speech, without shame.  If a horse passed a
little quickly, everybody ran without knowing where.  The apartments of
Chamillart were crowded with lackeys, even into the street, sent by
people desiring to be informed of the moment that a courier arrived; and
this terror and uncertainty lasted nearly a month.  The provinces were
even more troubled than Paris.  The King wrote to the Bishop, in order
that they should offer up prayers in terms which suited with the danger
of the time.  It may be judged what was the general impression and alarm.

It is true, that in the midst of this trepidation, the partisans of M. de
Vendome affected to pity that poor Prince Eugene, and to declare that he
must inevitably fail in his undertaking; but these discourses did not
impose upon me.  I knew what kind of enemies we had to deal with, and I
foresaw the worst results from the idleness and inattention of M. de
Vendome.  One evening, in the presence of Chamillart and five or six
others, annoyed by the conversation which passed, I offered to bet four
pistoles that there would be no general battle, and that Lille would be
taken without being relieved.  This strange proposition excited much
surprise, and caused many questions to be addressed to me.  I would
explain nothing at all; but sustained my proposal in the English manner,
and my bet was taken; Cani, who accepted it, thanking me for the present
of four pistoles I was making him, as he said.  The stakes were placed in
the hand of Chamillart.

By the next day, the news of my bet had spread a frightful uproar.  The
partisans of M. de Vendome, knowing I was no friend to them, took this
opportunity to damage me in the eyes of the King.  They so far succeeded
that I entirely lost favour with him, without however suspecting it, for
more than two months.  All that I could do then, was to let the storm
pass over my head and keep silent, so as not to make matters worse.
Meanwhile, M. de Vendome continued the inactive policy he had hitherto
followed.  In despite of reiterated advice from the King, he took no
steps to attack the enemy.  Monseigneur de Bourgogne was for doing so,
but Vendome would make no movement.  As before, too, he contrived to
throw all the blame of his inactivity upon Monseigneur de Bourgogne.  He
succeeded so well in making this believed, that his followers in the army
cried out against the followers of Monseigneur de Bourgogne wherever they
appeared.  Chamillart was sent by the King to report upon the state and
position of our troops, and if a battle had taken place and proved
unfavourable to us, to prevent such sad results as had taken place after
Ramillies.  Chamillart came back on the 18th of September. No battle had
been fought, but M. de Vendome felt sure, he said, of cutting off all
supplies from the enemy, and thus compelling them to raise the siege.
The King had need of these intervals of consolation and hope.  Master as
he might be of his words and of his features, he profoundly felt the
powerlessness to resist his enemies that he fell into day by day.  What I
have related, about Samuel Bernard, the banker, to whom he almost did the
honours of his gardens at Marly, in order to draw from him the assistance
he had refused, is a great proof of this.  It was much remarked at
Fontainebleau, just as Lille was invested, that, the city of Paris coming
to harangue him on the occasion of the oath taken by Bignon, new Prevot
des Marchand, he replied, not only with kindness, but that he made use of
the term "gratitude for his good city," and that in doing so he lost
countenance,--two things which during all his reign had never escaped
him.  On the other hand, he sometimes had intervals of firmness which
edificed less than they surprised.  When everybody at the Court was in
the anxiety I have already described, he offended them by going out every
day hunting or walking, so that they could not know, until after his
return, the news which might arrive when he was out.

As for Monseigneur, he seemed altogether exempt from anxiety.  After
Ramillies, when everybody was waiting for the return of Chamillart, to
learn the truth, Monseigneur went away to dine at Meudon, saying he
should learn the news soon enough.  From this time he showed no more
interest in what was passing.  When news was brought that Lille was
invested, he turned on his heel before the letter announcing it had been
read to the end.  The King called him back to hear the rest.  He returned
and heard it.  The reading finished, he went away, without offering a
word.  Entering the apartments of the Princesse de Conti, he found there
Madame d'Espinoy, who had much property in Flanders, and who had wished
to take a trip there.

"Madame," said he, smiling, as he arrived, "how would you do just now to
get to Lille?"  And at once made them acquainted with the investment.
These things really wounded the Princesse de Conti.  Arriving at
Fontainebleau one day, during the movements of the army, Monseigneur set
to work reciting, for amusement, a long list of strange names of places
in the forest.

"Dear me, Monseigneur," cried she, "what a good memory you have.  What a
pity it is loaded with such things only!"  If he felt the reproach, he
did not profit by it.

As for Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne, Monseigneur (his father) was ill-
disposed towards him, and readily swallowed all that was said in his
dispraise.  Monseigneur had no sympathy with the piety of his son; it
constrained and bothered him.  The cabal well profited by this.  They
succeeded to such an extent in alienating the father from the son, that
it is only strict truth to say that no one dared to speak well of
Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne in the presence of Monseigneur.  From
this it may be imagined what was the licence and freedom of speech
elsewhere against this Prince.  They reached such a point, indeed, that
the King, not daring to complain publicly against the Prince de Conti,
who hated Vendome, for speaking in favour of Monseigneur de Bourgogne,
reprimanded him sharply in reality for having done so, but ostensibly
because he had talked about the affairs of Flanders at his sister's.
Madame de Bourgogne did all she could to turn the current that was
setting in against her husband; and in this she was assisted by Madame de
Maintenon, who was annoyed to the last degree to see that other people
had more influence over the King than she had.

The siege of Lille meanwhile continued, and at last it began to be seen
that, instead of attempting to fight a grand battle, the wisest course
would be to throw assistance into the place.  An attempt was made to do
so, but it was now too late.

The besieged, under the guidance of Marechal Boufflers, who watched over
all, and attended to all, in a manner that gained him all hearts, made a
gallant and determined resistance.  A volume would be necessary in order
to relate all the marvels of capacity and valour displayed in this
defence.  Our troops disputed the ground inch by inch.  They repulsed,
three times running, the enemy from a mill, took it the third time, and
burnt it.  They sustained an attack, in three places at once, of ten
thousand men, from nine o'clock in the evening to three o'clock in the
morning, without giving way.  They re-captured the sole traverse the
enemy had been able to take from them.  They drove out the besiegers from
the projecting angles of the counterscarp, which they had kept possession
of for eight days.  They twice repulsed seven thousand men who attacked
their covered way and an outwork; at the third attack they lost an angle
of the outwork; but remained masters of all the rest.

So many attacks and engagements terribly weakened the garrison.  On the
28th of September some assistance was sent to the besieged by the daring
of the Chevalier de Luxembourg.  It enabled them to sustain with vigour
the fresh attacks that were directed against them, to repulse the enemy,
and, by a grand sortie, to damage some of their works, and kill many of
their men.  But all was in vain.  The enemy returned again and again to
the attack.  Every attempt to cut off their supplies failed.  Finally, on
the 23rd of October, a capitulation was signed.  The place had become
untenable; three new breaches had been made on the 20th and 21st; powder
and ammunition were failing; the provisions were almost all eaten up
there was nothing for it but to give in.

Marechal Boufflers obtained all he asked, and retired into the citadel
with all the prisoners of war, after two months of resistance.  He
offered discharge to all the soldiers who did not wish to enter the
citadel.  But not one of the six thousand he had left to him accepted it.
They were all ready for a new resistance, and when their chief appeared
among them their joy burst out in the most flattering praises of him.  It
was on Friday, the 26th of October, that they shut themselves up in the

The enemy opened their trenches before the citadel on the 29th of
October.  On the 7th of November they made a grand attack, but were
repulsed with considerable loss.  But they did not flinch from their
work, and Boufflers began to see that he could not long hold out.  By the
commencement of December he had only twenty thousand pounds of powder
left; very little of other munitions, and still less food.  In the town
and the citadel they had eaten eight hundred horses.  Boufflers, as soon
as the others were reduced to this food, had it served upon his own
table, and ate of it like the rest.  The King, learning in what state
these soldiers were, personally sent word to Boufflers to surrender, but
the Marechal, even after he had received this order, delayed many days to
obey it.

At last, in want of the commonest necessaries, and able to protract his
defence no longer, he beat a parley, signed a capitulation on the 9th of
December, obtaining all he asked, and retired from Lille.  Prince Eugene,
to whom he surrendered, treated him with much distinction and friendship,
invited him to dinner several times,--overwhelmed him, in fact, with
attention and civilities.  The Prince was glad indeed to have brought to
a successful issue such a difficult siege.


The position of Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne at the army continued to
be equivocal.  He was constantly in collision with M. de Vendome.  The
latter, after the loss of Lille, wished to defend the Escaut, without any
regard to its extent of forty miles.  The Duc de Bourgogne, as far as he
dared, took the part of Berwick, who maintained that the defence was
impossible.  The King, hearing of all these disputes, actually sent
Chamillart to the army to compose them; and it was a curious sight to
behold this penman, this financier, acting as arbiter between generals on
the most delicate operations of war.  Chamillart continued to admire
Vendome, and treated the Duc de Bourgogne with little respect, both at
the army, and, after his return, in conversation with the King.  His
report was given in presence of Madame de Maintenon, who listened without
daring to say a word, and repeated everything to the Duchesse de
Bourgogne.  We may imagine what passed between them, and the anger of the
Princess against the minister.  For the present, however, nothing could
be done.  Berwick was soon afterwards almost disgraced.  As soon as he
was gone, M. de Vendome wrote to the King, saying, that he was sure of
preventing the enemy from passing the Escaut--that he answered for it on
his head.  With such a guarantee from a man in such favour at Court, who
could doubt?  Yet, shortly after, Marlborough crossed the Escaut in four
places, and Vendome actually wrote to the King, begging him to remember
that he had always declared the defence of the Escaut to be, impossible!

The cabal made a great noise to cover this monstrous audacity, and
endeavoured to renew the attack against the Duc de Bourgogne.  We shall
see what success attended their efforts.  The army was at Soissons, near
Tournai, in a profound tranquillity, the opium of which had gained the
Duc de Bourgogne when news of the approach of the enemy was brought.
M. de Vendome advanced in that direction, and sent word to the Duke, that
he thought he ought to advance on the morrow with all his army.  The Duke
was going to bed when he received the letter; and although it was too
late to repulse the enemy, was much blamed for continuing to undress
himself, and putting off action till the morrow.

To this fault he added another.  He had eaten; it was very early; and it
was no longer proper to march.  It was necessary to wait fresh orders
from M. de Vendome.  Tournai was near.  The Duc de Bourgogne went there
to have a game at tennis.  This sudden party of pleasure strongly
scandalized the army, and raised all manner of unpleasant talk.
Advantage was taken of the young Prince's imprudence to throw upon him
the blame of what was caused by the negligence of M. de Vendome.

A serious and disastrous action that took place during these operations
was actually kept a secret from the King, until the Duc de la Tremoille,
whose son was engaged there, let out the truth.  Annoyed that the King
said nothing to him on the way in which his son had distinguished
himself, he took the opportunity, whilst he was serving the King, to talk
of the passage of the Escaut, and said that his son's regiment had much
suffered.  "How, suffered?"  cried the King; "nothing has happened."
Whereupon the Duke related all to him.  The King listened with the
greatest attention, and questioned him, and admitted before everybody
that he knew nothing of all this.  His surprise, and the surprise it
occasioned, may be imagined.  It happened that when the King left table,
Chamillart unexpectedly came into his cabinet.  He was soon asked about
the action of the Escaut, and why it had not been reported.  The
minister, embarrassed, said that it was a thing of no consequence.  The
king continued to press him, mentioned details, and talked of the
regiment of the Prince of Tarento.  Chamillart then admitted that what
happened at the passage was so disagreeable, and the combat so
disagreeable, but so little important, that Madame de Maintenon, to whom
he had reported all, had thought it best not to trouble the King upon the
matter, and it had accordingly been agreed not to trouble him.  Upon this
singular answer the King stopped short in his questions, and said not a
word more.

The Escaut being forced, the citadel of Lille on the point of being
taken, our army exhausted with fatigue was at last dispersed, to the
scandal of everybody; for it was known that Ghent was about to be
besieged.  The Princes received orders to return to Court, but they
insisted on the propriety of remaining with the army.  M. de Vendome, who
began to fear the effect of his rashness and insolence, tried to obtain
permission to pass the winter with the army on the frontier.

He was not listened to.  The Princes received orders most positively to
return to Court, and accordingly set out.

The Duchesse de Bourgogne was very anxious about the way in which the
Duke was to be received, and eager to talk to him and explain how matters
stood, before he saw the King or anybody else. I sent a message to him
that he ought to contrive to arrive after midnight, in order to pass two
or three hours with the Duchess, and perhaps see Madame de Maintenon
early in the morning.  My message was not received; at any rate not
followed.  The Duc de Bourgogne arrived on the 11th of December, a little
after seven o'clock in the evening, just as Monseigneur had gone to the
play, whither the Duchess had not gone, in order to wait for her husband.
I know not why he alighted in the Cour des Princes, instead of the Great
Court.  I was put then in the apartments of the Comtesse de Roncy, from
which I could see all that passed.  I came down, and saw the Prince
ascending the steps between the Ducs de Beauvilliers and De la
Rocheguyon, who happened to be there.  He looked quite satisfied, was
gay, and laughing, and spoke right and left.  I bowed to him.  He did me
the honour to embrace me in a way that showed me he knew better what was
going on than how to maintain his dignity.  He then talked only to me,
and whispered that he knew what I had said.  A troop of courtiers met
him.  In their midst he passed the Great Hall of the Guards, and instead
of going to Madame de Maintenon's by the private door, though the nearest
way, went to the great public entrance.  There was no one there but the
King and Madame de Maintenon, with Pontchartrain; for I do not count the
Duchesse de Bourgogne.  Pontchartrain noted well what passed at the
interview, and related it all to me that very evening.

As soon as in Madame de Maintenon's apartment was heard the rumour which
usually precedes such an arrival, the King became sufficiently
embarrassed to change countenance several times.  The Duchesse de
Bourgogne appeared somewhat tremulous, and fluttered about the room to
hide her trouble, pretending not to know exactly by which door the Prince
would arrive.  Madame de Maintenon was thoughtful.  Suddenly all the
doors flew open: the young Prince advanced towards the King, who, master
of himself, more than any one ever was, lost at once all embarrassment,
took two or three steps towards his grandson, embraced him with some
demonstration of tenderness, spoke of his voyage, and then pointing to
the Princess, said, with a smiling countenance: "Do you say nothing to
her?" The Prince turned a moment towards her, and answered respectfully,
as if he dared not turn away from the King, and did not move.  He then
saluted Madame de Maintenon, who received him well.  Talk of travel,
beds, roads, and so forth, lasted, all standing, some half-quarter of an
hour; then the King said it would not be fair to deprive him any longer
of the pleasure of being alone with Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne, and
that they would have time enough to see each other.  The Prince made a
bow to the King, another to Madame de Maintenon, passed before the few
ladies of the palace who had taken courage to put their heads into the
room, entered the neighbouring cabinet, where he embraced the Duchess,
saluted the ladies who were there, that is, kissed them; remained a few
moments, and then went into his apartment, where he shut himself up with
the Duchesse de Bourgogne.

Their tete-a-tete lasted two hours and more: just towards the end, Madame
d'O was let in; soon after the Marechal d'Estrees entered, and soon after
that the Duchesse de Bourgogne came out with them, and returned into the
great cabinet of Madame de Maintenon.  Monseigneur came there as usual,
on returning from the comedy.  Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne, troubled
that the Duke did not hurry himself to come and salute his father, went
to fetch him, and came back saying that he was putting on his powder; but
observing that Monseigneur was little satisfied with this want of
eagerness, sent again to hurry him.  Just then the Marechale d'Estrees,
hair-brained and light, and free to say just what came into her head,
began to attack Monseigneur for waiting so tranquilly for his son,
instead of going himself to embrace him.  This random expression did not
succeed.  Monseigneur replied stiffly that it was not for him to seek the
Duc de Bourgogne; but the duty of the Duc de Bourgogne to seek him.  He
came at last.  The reception was pretty good, but did not by any means
equal that of the King.  Almost immediately the King rang, and everybody
went to the supper-room.

During the supper, M. le Duc de Berry arrived, and came to salute the
King at table.  To greet him all hearts opened.  The King embraced him
very tenderly.  Monseigneur only looked at him tenderly, not daring to
embrace his (youngest) son in presence of the King.  All present courted
him.  He remained standing near the King all the rest of the supper, and
there was no talk save of post-horses, of roads, and such like trifles.
The King spoke sufficiently at table to Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne;
but to the Duc de Berry, he assumed a very different air.  Afterwards,
there was a supper for the Duc de Berry in the apartments of the Duchesse
de Bourgogne; but the conjugal impatience of the Duc de Bourgogne cut it
rather too short.

I expressed to the Duc de Beauvilliers, with my accustomed freedom, that
the Duc de Bourgogne seemed to me very gay on returning from so sad a
campaign.  He could not deny this, and made up his mind to give a hint on
the subject.  Everybody indeed blamed so misplaced a gaiety.  Two or
three days after his arrival the Duc de Bourgogne passed three hours with
the King in the apartments of Madame de Maintenon.  I was afraid that,
his piety would withhold him from letting out on the subject of M. de
Vendome, but I heard that he spoke on that subject without restraint,
impelled by the advice of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, and also by the Duc
de Beauvilliers, who set his conscience at ease.  His account of the
campaign, of affairs, of things, of advices, of proceedings, was
complete.  Another, perhaps, less virtuous, might have used weightier
terms; but at any rate everything was said with a completeness beyond all
hope, if we consider who spoke and who listened.  The Duke concluded with
an eager prayer to be given an army in the next campaign, and with the
promise of the King to that effect.  Soon after an explanation took place
with Monseigneur at Meudon, Mademoiselle Choin being present.  With the
latter he spoke much more in private: she had taken his part with
Monseigneur.  The Duchesse de Bourgogne had gained her over.  The
connection of this girl with Madame de Maintenon was beginning to grow
very close indeed.

Gamaches had been to the army with the Duc do Bourgogne, and being a
free-tongued man had often spoken out very sharply on the puerilities in
which he indulged in company with the Duc de Berry, influenced by his
example.  One day returning from mass, in company with the Duke on a
critical day, when he would rather have seen him on horseback; he said
aloud, "You will certainly win the kingdom of heaven; but as for the
kingdom of the earth, Prince Eugene and Marlborough know how to seek it
better than you."  What he said quite as publicly to the two Princes on
their treatment of the King of England, was admirable.  That Prince
(known as the Chevalier de Saint George) served incognito, with a modesty
that the Princes took advantage of to treat him with the greatest
indifference and contempt.  Towards the end of the campaign, Gamaches,
exasperated with their conduct, exclaimed to them in the presence of
everybody: "Is this a wager?  speak frankly; if so, you have won, there
can be no doubt of that; but now, speak a little to the Chevalier de
Saint George, and treat him more politely."  These sallies, however, were
too public to produce any good effect.  They were suffered, but not
attended to.

The citadel of Lille capitulated as we have seen, with the consent of the
King, who was obliged to acknowledge that the Marechal de Boufflers had
done all he could, and that further defence was impossible.  Prince
Eugene treated Boufflers with the greatest possible consideration.  The
enemy at this time made no secret of their intention to invest Ghent,
which made the dispersal of our army the more shameful; but necessity
commanded, for no more provisions were to be got.

M. de Vendome arrived at Versailles on the morning of December 15th, and
saluted the King as he left table.  The King embraced him with a sort of
enthusiasm that made his cabal triumph.  He monopolised all conversation
during the dinner, but only trifles were talked of.  The King said he
would talk to him next day at Madame de Maintenon's.  This delay, which
was new to him, did not seem of good augury.  He went to pay his respects
to M. de Bourgogne, who received him well in spite of all that had
passed.  Then Vendome went to wait on Monseigneur at the Princesse de
Coriti's: here he thought himself in his stronghold.  He was received
excellently, and the conversation turned on nothings.  He wished to take
advantage of this, and proposed a visit to Anet.  His surprise and that
of those present were great at the uncertain reply of Monseigneur, who
caused it to be understood, and rather stiffly too, that he would not go.
Vendome appeared embarrassed, and abridged his visit.  I met him at the
end of the gallery of the new wing, as I was coming from M. de
Beauvilliers, turning towards the steps in the middle of the gallery.  He
was alone, without torches or valets, with Alberoni, followed by a man I
did not know.  I saw him by the light of my torches; we saluted each
other politely, though we had not much acquaintance one with the other.
He seemed chagrined, and was going to M. du Maine, his counsel and
principal support.

Next day he passed an hour with the King at Madame de Maintenon's.  He
remained eight or ten days at Versailles or at Meudon, and never went to
the Duchesse de Bourgogne's.  This was nothing new for him.  The mixture
of grandeur and irregularity which he had long affected seemed to him to
have freed him from the most indispensable duties.  His Abbe Alberoni
showed himself at the King's mass in the character of a courtier with
unparalleled effrontery.  At last they went to Anet.  Even before he went
he perceived some diminution in his position, since he lowered himself so
far as to invite people to come and see him, he, who in former years made
it a favour to receive the most distinguished persons.  He soon perceived
the falling-off in the number of his visitors.  Some excused themselves
from going; others promised to go and did not.  Every one made a
difficulty about a journey of fifteen leagues, which, the year before,
was considered as easy and as necessary as that of Marly.  Vendome
remained at Anet until the first voyage to Marly, when he came; and he
always came to Marly and Meudon, never to Versailles, until the change of
which I shall soon have occasion to speak.

The Marechal de Boufflers returned to Court from his first but
unsuccessful defence of Lille, and was received in a triumphant manner,
and overwhelmed with honours and rewards.  This contrast with Vendome was
remarkable: the one raised by force of trickery, heaping up mountains
like the giants, leaning on vice, lies, audacity, on a cabal inimical to
the state and its heirs, a factitious hero, made such by will in despite
of truth;--the other, without cabal, with no support but virtue and
modesty, was inundated with favours, and the applause of enemies was
followed by the acclamations of the public, so that the nature of even
courtiers changed, and they were happy in the recompenses showered upon

Some days after the return of the Duc de Bourgogne Cheverny had an
interview with him, on leaving which he told me what I cannot refrain
from relating here, though it is necessarily with confusion that I write
it.  He said that, speaking freely with him on what had been circulated
during the campaign, the Prince observed that he knew how and with what
vivacity I had expressed myself, and that he was informed of the manner
in which the Prince de Conti had given his opinion, and added that with
the approval of two such men, that of others might be dispensed with.
Cheverny, a very truthful man, came full of this to tell it to me at
once.  I was filled with confusion at being placed beside a man as
superior to me in knowledge of war as he was in rank and birth; but I
felt with gratitude how well M. de Beauvilliers had kept his word and
spoken in my favour.

The last evening of this year (1708) was very remarkable, because there
had not yet been an example of any such thing.  The King having retired
after supper to his cabinet with his family, as usual, Chamillart came
without being sent for.  He whispered in the King's ear that he had a
long despatch from the Marechal de Boufflers.  Immediately the King said
good-night to Monseigneur and the Princesses, who went out with every one
else; and the King actually worked for an hour with his minister before
going to bed, so excited was he by the great project for retaking Lille!

Since the fall of Lille, in fact, Chamillart, impressed with the
importance of the place being in our possession, had laid out a plan by
which he were to lay siege to it and recapture it.  One part of his plan
was, that the King should conduct the siege in person.  Another was that,
as money was so difficult to obtain, the ladies of the Court should not
accompany the King, as their presence caused a large increase of expense
for carriages, servants, and so on.  He confided his project to the King,
under a strict promise that it would be kept secret from Madame de
Maintenon.  He feared, and with reason, that if she heard of it she would
object to being separated from the King for such a long time as would be
necessary for the siege: Chamillart was warned that if he acted thus,
hiding his plant from Madame de Maintenon, to whom he owed everything,
she would assuredly ruin him, but he paid no attention to the warning.
He felt all the danger he ran, but he was courageous; he loved the State,
and, if I may say so, he loved the King as a mistress.  He followed his
own counsels then, and made the King acquainted with his project.

The King was at once delighted with it.  He entered into the details
submitted to him by Chamillart with the liveliest interest, and promised
to carry out all that was proposed.  He sent for Boufflers, who had
returned from Lille, and having, as I have said, recompensed him for his
brave defence of that place with a peerage and other marks of favour,
despatched him privately into Flanders to make preparations for the
siege.  The abandonment of Ghent by our troop, after a short and
miserable defence, made him more than ever anxious to carry out this

But the King had been so unused to keep a secret from Madame de
Maintenon, that he felt himself constrained in attempting to do so now.
He confided to her, therefore, the admirable plan of Chamillart.  She had
the address to hide her surprise, and the strength to dissimulate
perfectly her vexation; she praised the project; she appeared charmed
with it; she entered into the details; she spoke of them to Chamillart;
admired his zeal, his labour, his diligence, and, above all, his ability,
in having conceived and rendered possible so fine and grand a project.

From that moment, however, she forgot nothing in order to ensure its
failure.  The first sight of it had made her tremble.  To be separated
from the King during a long siege; to abandon him to a minister to whom
he would be grateful for all the success of that siege; a minister, too,
who, although her creature, had dared to submit this project to the King
without informing her; who, moreover, had recently offended her by
marrying his son into a family she considered inimical to her, and by
supporting M. de Vendome against Monseigneur de Bourgogne!  These were
considerations that determined her to bring about the failure of
Chamillart's project and the disgrace of Chamillart himself.

She employed her art so well, that after a time the project upon Lille
did not appear so easy to the King as at first.  Soon after, it seemed
difficult; then too hazardous and ruinous; so that at last it was
abandoned, and Boufflers had orders to cease his preparations and return
to France!  She succeeded thus in an affair she considered the most
important she had undertaken during all her life.  Chamillart was much
touched, but little surprised: As soon as he knew his secret had been
confided to Madame de Maintenon he had feeble hope for it.  Now he began
to fear for himself.


One of the reasons Madame de Maintenon had brought forward, which much
assisted her in opposing the siege of Lille, was the excessive cold of
this winter.  The winter was, in fact, terrible; the memory of man could
find no parallel to it.  The frost came suddenly on Twelfth Night, and
lasted nearly two months, beyond all recollection.  In four days the
Seine and all the other rivers were frozen, and,--what had never been
seen before,--the sea froze all along the coasts, so as to bear carts,
even heavily laden, upon it.  Curious observers pretended that this cold
surpassed what had ever been felt in Sweden and Denmark.  The tribunals
were closed a considerable time.  The worst thing was, that it completely
thawed for seven or eight days, and then froze again as rudely as before.
This caused the complete destruction of all kinds of vegetation--even
fruit-trees; and others of the most hardy kind, were destroyed.  The
violence of the cold was such, that the strongest elixirs and the most
spirituous liquors broke their bottles in cupboards of rooms with fires
in them, and surrounded by chimneys, in several parts of the chateau of
Versailles.  As I myself was one evening supping with the Duc de
Villeroy, in his little bedroom, I saw bottles that had come from a well-
heated kitchen, and that had been put on the chimney-piece of this bed-
room (which was close to the kitchen), so frozen, that pieces of ice fell
into our glasses as we poured out from them.  The second frost ruined
everything.  There were no walnut-trees, no olive-trees, no apple-trees,
no vines left, none worth speaking of, at least.  The other trees died in
great numbers; the gardens perished, and all the grain in the earth.  It
is impossible to imagine the desolation of this general ruin.  Everybody
held tight his old grain.  The price of bread increased in proportion to
the despair for the next harvest.  The most knowing resowed barley where
there had been wheat, and were imitated by the majority.  They were the
most successful, and saved all; but the police bethought themselves of
prohibiting this, and repented too late!  Divers edicts were published
respecting grain, researches were made and granaries filled;
commissioners were appointed to scour the provinces, and all these steps
contributed to increase the general dearness and poverty, and that, too,
at a time when, as was afterwards proved, there was enough corn in the
country to feed all France for two years, without a fresh ear being

Many people believed that the finance gentlemen had clutched at this
occasion to seize upon all the corn in the kingdom, by emissaries they
sent about, in order to sell it at whatever price they wished for the
profit of the King, not forgetting their own.  The fact that a large
quantity of corn that the King had bought, and that had spoiled upon the
Loire, was thrown into the water in consequence, did not shake this
opinion, as the accident could not be hidden.  It is certain that the
price of corn was equal in all the markets of the realm; that at Paris,
commissioners fixed the price by force, and often obliged the vendors to
raise it in spite of themselves; that when people cried out, "How long
will this scarcity last?" some commissioners in a market, close to my
house, near Saint Germain-des-Pres, replied openly, "As long as you
please," moved by compassion and indignation, meaning thereby, as long as
the people chose to submit to the regulation, according to which no corn
entered Paris, except on an order of D'Argenson.  D'Argenson was the
lieutenant of police.  The bakers were treated with the utmost rigour in
order to keep up the price of bread all over France.  In the provinces,
officers called intendents did what D'Argenson did at Paris.  On all the
markets, the corn that was not sold at the hour fixed for closing was
forcibly carried off; those who, from pity, sold their corn lower than
the fixed rate were punished with cruelty!

Marechal, the King's surgeon, had the courage and the probity to tell all
these things to the King, and to state the sinister opinions it gave rise
to among all classes, even the most enlightened.  The King appeared
touched, was not offended with Marechal, but did nothing.

In several places large stores of corn were collected; by the government
authorities, but with the greatest possible secrecy.  Private people were
expressly forbidden to do this, and informers were encouraged to; betray
them.  A poor fellow, having bethought himself of informing against one
of the stores alluded to above, was severely punished for his pains.  The
Parliament assembled to debate upon these disorders.  It came to the
resolution of submitting various proposals to the King, which it deemed
likely to improve the condition of the country, and offered to send its
Conseillers to examine into the conduct of the monopolists.  As soon as
the King heard of this, he flew into a strange passion, and his first
intention was to send a harsh message to the Parliament to attend to law
trials, and not to mix with matters that did not concern it.  The
chancellor did not dare to represent to, the King that what the
Parliament wished to do belonged to its province, but calmed him by
representing the respect and affection with which the Parliament regarded
him, and that he was master either to accept or refuse its offers.  No
reprimand was given, therefore, to the Parliament, but it was informed
that the King prohibited it from meddling with the corn question.
However accustomed the Parliament, as well as all the other public
bodies, might be to humiliations, it was exceedingly vexed by this
treatment, and obeyed with the greatest grief.  The public was,
nevertheless, much affected by the conduct of the Parliament, and felt
that if the Finance Ministry had been innocent in the matter, the King
would have been pleased with what had taken place, which was in no
respect an attack on the absolute and unbounded authority of which he was
so vilely jealous.

In the country a somewhat similar incident occurred.  The Parliament of
Burgundy, seeing the province in the direst necessity, wrote to the
Intendant, who did not bestir himself the least in the world.  In this
pressing danger of a murderous famine, the members assembled to debate
upon the course to adopt.  Nothing was said or done more than was
necessary, and all with infinite discretion, yet the King was no sooner
informed of it than he grew extremely irritated.  He sent a severe
reprimand to this Parliament; prohibited it from meddling again in the
matter; and ordered the President, who had conducted the assembly, to
come at once to Court to explain his conduct.  He came, and but for the
intervention of M. le Duc would have been deprived of his post,
irreproachable as his conduct had been.  He received a sharp scolding
from the King, and was then allowed to depart.  At the end of a few weeks
he returned to Dijon, where it had been resolved to receive him in
triumph; but, like a wise and experienced man, he shunned these
attentions, arranging so that he arrived at Dijon at four o'clock in the
morning.  The other Parliaments, with these examples before them, were
afraid to act, and allowed the Intendants and their emissaries to have it
all their own way.  It was at this time that those commissioners were
appointed, to whom I have already alluded, who acted under the authority
of the Intendants, and without dependence of any kind upon the
Parliaments.  True, a court of appeal against their decisions was
established, but it was a mere mockery.  The members who composed it did
not set out to fulfil their duties until three months after having been

Then, matters had been so arranged that they received no appeals, and
found no cases to judge.  All this dark work remained, therefore, in the
hands of D'Argenson and the Intendants, and it continued to be done with
the same harshness as ever.

Without passing a more definite judgment on those who invented and
profited by this scheme, it may be said that there has scarcely been a
century which has produced one more mysterious, more daring, better
arranged, and resulting in an oppression so enduring, so sure, so cruel.
The sums it produced were innumerable; and innumerable were the people
who died literally of hunger, and those who perished afterwards of the
maladies caused by the extremity of misery; innumerable also were the
families who were ruined, whose ruin brought down a torrent of other

Despite all this, payments hitherto most strictly made began to cease.
Those of the customs, those of the divers loans, the dividends upon the
Hotel de Ville--in all times so sacred--all were suspended; these last
alone continued, but with delays, then with retrenchments, which
desolated nearly all the families of Paris and many others.  At the same
time the taxes--increased, multiplied, and exacted with the most extreme
rigour--completed the devastation of France.

Everything rose incredibly in price, while nothing was left to buy with,
even at the cheapest rate; and although--the majority of the cattle had
perished for want of food, and by the misery of those who kept them, a
new monopoly was established upon, horned beasts.  A great number of
people who, in preceding years, used to relieve the poor, found,
themselves so reduced as to be able to subsist only with great
difficulty, and many of them received alms in secret.  It is impossible
to say how many others laid siege to the hospitals, until then the
shame and punishment of the poor; how many ruined hospitals revomited
forth their inmates to the public charge--that is to say, sent them away
to die actually of hunger; and how many decent families shut themselves
up in garrets to die of want.

It is impossible to say, moreover, how all this misery warmed up zeal and
charity, or how immense were the alms distributed.  But want increasing
each instant, an indiscreet and tyrannical charity imagined new taxes for
the benefit of the poor.  They were imposed, and, added to so many
others, vexed numbers of people, who were annoyed at being compelled to
pay, who would have preferred giving voluntarily.  Thus, these new taxes,
instead of helping the poor, really took away assistance from them, and
left them worse off than before.  The strangest thing of all is, that
these taxes in favour of the poor were, perpetuated and appropriated by
the King, and are received by the financiers on his account to this day
as a branch of the revenue, the name of them not having even been
changed.  The same thing has happened with respect to the annual tax for
keeping up the highways and thoroughfares of the kingdom.  The majority
of the bridges were broken, and the high roads had become impracticable.
Trade, which suffered by this, awakened attention.  The Intendant of
Champagne determined to mend the roads by parties of men, whom he
compelled to work for nothing, not even giving them bread.  He was
imitated everywhere, and was made Counsellor of State.  The people died
of hunger and misery at this work, while those who overlooked them made
fortunes.  In the end the thing was found to be impracticable, and was
abandoned, and so were the roads.  But the impost for making them and
keeping them up did not in the least stop during this experiment or
since, nor has it ceased to be appropriated as a branch of the King's

But to return to the year 1709.  People never ceased wondering what had
become of all the money of the realm.  Nobody could any longer pay,
because nobody was paid: the country-people, overwhelmed with exactions
and with valueless property, had become insolvent: trade no longer
yielded anything--good faith and confidence were at an end.  Thus the
King had no resources, except in terror and in his unlimited power,
which, boundless as it was, failed also for want of having something to
take and to exercise itself upon.  There was no more circulation, no
means of re-establishing it.  All was perishing step by step; the realm
was entirely exhausted; the troops, even, were not paid, although no one
could imagine what was done with the millions that came into the King's
coffers.  The unfed soldiers, disheartened too at being so badly
commanded, were always unsuccessful; there was no capacity in generals or
ministers; no appointment except by whim or intrigue; nothing was
punished, nothing examined, nothing weighed: there was equal impotence to
sustain the war and bring about peace: all suffered, yet none dared to
put the hand to this arch, tottering as it was and ready to fall.

This was the frightful state to which we were reduced, when envoys were
sent into Holland to try and bring about peace.  The picture is exact,
faithful, and not overcharged.  It was necessary to present it as it was,
in order to explain the extremity to which we were reduced, the enormity
of the concessions which the King made to obtain peace, and the visible
miracle of Him who sets bounds to the seas, by which France was allowed
to escape from the hands of Europe, resolved and ready to destroy her.

Meanwhile the money was re-coined; and its increase to a third more than
its intrinsic value, brought some profit to the King, but ruin to private
people, and a disorder to trade which completed its annihilation.

Samuel Bernard, the banker, overthrew all Lyons by his prodigious
bankruptcy, which caused the most terrible results.  Desmarets assisted
him as much as possible.  The discredit into which paper money had
fallen, was the cause of his failure.  He had issued notes to the amount
of twenty millions, and owed almost as much at Lyons.  Fourteen millions
were given to him in assignats, in order to draw him out of his
difficulties.  It is pretended that he found means to gain much by his
bankruptcy, but this seems doubtful.

The winter at length passed away.  In the spring so many disorders took
place in the market of Paris, that more guards than usual were kept in
the city.  At Saint Roch there was a disturbance, on account of a poor
fellow who had fallen, and been trampled under foot; and the crowd, which
was very large, was very insolent to D'Argenson, Lieutenant of Police,
who had hastened there.  M. de la Rochefoucauld, who had retired from the
Court to Chenil, on account of his loss of sight, received an atrocious
letter against the King, in which it was plainly intimated that there
were still Ravaillacs left in the world; and to this madness was added an
eulogy of Brutus.  M. de la Rochefoucauld at once went in all haste to
the King with this letter.  His sudden appearance showed that something
important had occurred, and the object of his visit, of course, soon
became known.  He was very ill received for coming so publicly on such an
errand.  The Ducs de Beauvilliers and de Bouillon, it seems, had received
similar letters, but had given them to the King privately.  The King for
some days was much troubled, but after due reflection, he came to the
conclusion that people who menace and warn have less intention of
committing a crime than of causing alarm.

What annoyed the King more was, the inundation of placards, the most
daring and the most unmeasured, against his person, his conduct, and his
government--placards, which for a long time were found pasted upon the
gates of Paris, the churches, the public places; above all upon the
statues; which during the night were insulted in various fashions, the
marks being seen the next morning, and the inscriptions erased.  There
were also, multitudes of verses and songs, in which nothing was spared.

We were in this state until the 16th of May.  The procession of Saint
Genevieve took place.  This procession never takes place except in times
of the direst necessity; and then, only in virtue of orders from the
King, the Parliament, or the Archbishop of Paris.  On the one hand, it
was hoped that it would bring succour to the country; on the other, that
it would amuse the people.

It was shortly after this, when the news of the arrogant demands of the
allies, and the vain attempts of the King to obtain an honourable peace
became known, that the Duchesse de Grammont conceived the idea of
offering her plate to the King, to replenish his impoverished exchequer,
and to afford him means carry on the war.  She hoped that her example
would be followed by all the Court, and that she alone would have the
merit and the profit of suggesting the idea.  Unfortunately for this
hope, the Duke, her husband, spoke of the project to Marechal Boufflers,
who thought it so good, that he noised it abroad, and made such a stir,
exhorting everybody to adopt it, that he passed for the inventor, and; no
mention was made of the Duke or the old Duchesse de Grammont, the latter
of whom was much enraged at this.

The project made a great hubbub at the Court.  Nobody dared to refuse to
offer his plate, yet each offered it with much regret.  Some had been
keeping it as a last resource, which they; were very sorry to deprive
themselves of; others feared the dirtiness of copper and earthenware;
others again were annoyed at being obliged to imitate an ungrateful
fashion, all the merit of which would go to the inventor.  It was in vain
that Pontchartrain objected to the project, as one from which only
trifling benefit could be derived, and which would do great injury to
France by acting as a proclamation of its embarrassed state to all the
world, at home and abroad.  The King would not listen to his reasonings,
but declared himself willing to receive all the plate that was sent to
him as a free-will offering.  He announced this; and two means were
indicated at the same time, which all good citizens might follow.  One
was, to send their plate to the King's goldsmith; the other, to send it
to the Mint.  Those who made an unconditional gift of their plate, sent
it to the former, who kept a register of the names and of the number of
marks he received.  The King regularly looked over this list; at least at
first, and promised in general terms to restore to everybody the weight
of metal they gave when his affairs permitted--a promise nobody believed
in or hoped to see executed.  Those who wished to be paid for their plate
sent it to the Mint.  It was weighed on arrival; the names were written,
the marks and the date; payment was made according as money could be
found.  Many people were not sorry thus to sell, their plate without
shame.  But the loss and the damage were inestimable in admirable
ornaments of all kinds, with which much of the plate of the rich was
embellished.  When an account came to be drawn up, it was found that not
a hundred people were upon the list of Launay, the goldsmith; and the
total product of the gift did not amount to three millions.  I confess
that I was very late in sending any plate.  When I found that I was
almost the only one of my rank using silver, I sent plate to the value of
a thousand pistoles to the Mint, and locked up the rest.  All the great
people turned to earthenware, exhausted the shops where it was sold, and
set the trade in it on fire, while common folks continued to use their
silver.  Even the King thought of using earthenware, having sent his gold
vessels to the Mint, but afterwards decided upon plated metal and silver;
the Princes and Princesses of the blood used crockery.

Ere three months were over his head the King felt all the shame and the
weakness of having consented to this surrendering of plate, and avowed
that he repented of it.  The inundations of the Loire, which happened at
the same time, and caused the utmost disorder, did not restore the Court
or the public to good humour.  The losses they caused, and the damage
they did, were very considerable, and ruined many private people, and
desolated home trade.

Summer came.  The dearness of all things, and of bread in particular,
continued to cause frequent commotions all over the realm.  Although, as
I have said, the guards of Paris were much increased, above all in the
markets and the suspected places, they were unable to hinder disturbances
from breaking out.  In many of these D'Argenson nearly lost his life.

Monseigneur arriving and returning from the Opera, was assailed by the
populace and by women in great numbers crying, "Bread!  Bread!" so that
he was afraid, even in the midst of his guards, who did not dare to
disperse the crowd for fear of worse happening.  He got away by throwing
money to the people, and promising wonders; but as the wonders did not
follow, he no longer dared to go to Paris.

The King himself from his windows heard the people of Versailles crying
aloud in the street.  The discourses they held were daring and continual
in the streets and public places; they uttered complaints, sharp, and but
little measured, against the government, and even against the King's
person; and even exhorted each other no longer to be so enduring, saying
that nothing worse could happen to them than what they suffered, dying as
they were of starvation.

To amuse the people, the idle and the poor were employed to level a
rather large hillock which remained upon the Boulevard, between the
Portes Saint Denis and Saint Martin; and for all salary, bad bread in
small quantities was distributed to these workers.  If happened that on
Tuesday morning, the 20th of August, there was no bread for a large
number of these people.  A woman amongst others cried out at this, which
excited the rest to do likewise.  The archers appointed to watch over
these labourers, threatened the woman; she only cried the louder;
thereupon the archers seized her and indiscreetly put her in an adjoining
pillory.  In a moment all her companions ran to her aid, pulled down the
pillory, and scoured the streets, pillaging the bakers and pastrycooks.
One by one the shops closed.  The disorder increased and spread through
the neighbouring streets; no harm was done anybody, but the cry was
"Bread!  Bread!" and bread was seized everywhere.

It so fell out that Marechal Boufflers, who little thought what was
happening, was in the neighbourhood, calling upon his notary.  Surprised
at the fright he saw everywhere, and learning, the cause, he wished of
himself to appease it.  Accompanied by the Duc de Gramont, he directed
himself towards the scene of the disturbance, although advised not to do
so.  When he arrived at the top of the Rue Saint Denis, the crowd and the
tumult made him judge that it would be best to alight from his coach.  He
advanced, therefore, on foot with the Duc de Grammont among the furious
and infinite crowd of people, of whom he asked the cause of this uproar,
promised them bread, spoke his best with gentleness but firmness, and
remonstrated with them.  He was listened to.  Cries, several times
repeated, of "Vive M. le Marechal de Boufflers!" burst from the crowd.
M. de Boufflers walked thus with M. de Grammont all along the Rue aux
Ours and the neighbouring streets, into the very centre of the sedition,
in fact.  The people begged him to represent their misery to the King,
and to obtain for them some food.  He promised this, and upon his word
being given all were appeased and all dispersed with thanks and fresh
acclamations of "Vive M. le Marechal de Boufflers!" He did a real service
that day.  D'Argenson had marched to the spot with troops; and had it not
been for the Marechal, blood would have been spilt, and things might have
gone very far.

The Marechal had scarcely reached his own house in the Place Royale than
he was informed that the sedition had broken out with even greater force
in the Faubourg Saint Antoine.  He ran there immediately, with the Duc de
Grammont, and appeased it as he had appeased the other.  He returned to
his own home to eat a mouthful or two, and then set out for Versailles.
Scarcely had he left the Place Royale than the people in the streets and
the shopkeepers cried to him to have pity on them, and to get them some
bread, always with "Vive M. le Marechal de Boufflers!" He was conducted
thus as far as the quay of the Louvre.

On arriving at Versailles he went straight to the King, told him what had
occurred, and was much thanked.  He was even offered by the King the
command of Paris,--troops, citizens, police, and all; but this he
declined, Paris, as he said, having already a governor and proper
officers to conduct its affairs.  He afterwards, however, willingly lent
his aid to them in office, and the modesty with which he acted brought
him new glory.

Immediately after, the supply of bread was carefully looked to.  Paris
was filled with patrols, perhaps with too many, but they succeeded so
well that no fresh disturbances took place.


After his return from the campaign, M. de Vendome continued to be paid
like a general serving in winter, and to enjoy many other advantages.
From all this, people inferred that he would serve during the following
campaign; nobody dared to doubt as much, and the cabal derived new
strength therefrom.  But their little triumph was not of long
continuance.  M. de Vendome came to Versailles for the ceremony of the
Order on Candlemas-Day.  He then learned that he was not to serve, and
that he was no longer to receive general's pay.  The blow was violent,
and he felt it to its fullest extent; but, with a prudence that equalled
his former imprudence, he swallowed the pill without making a face,
because he feared other more bitter ones, which he felt he had deserved.
This it was that, for the first time in his life, made him moderate.  He
did not affect to conceal what had taken place, but did not say whether
it was in consequence of any request of his, or whether he was glad or
sorry,--giving it out as an indifferent piece of news; and changed
nothing but his language, the audacity of which he diminished as no
longer suited to the times.  He sold his equipages.

M. le Prince de Conti died February 22, aged not quite forty-five.  His
face had been charming; even the defects of his body and mind had
infinite graces.  His shoulders were too high; his head was a little on
one side; his laugh would have seemed a bray in any one else; his mind
was strangely absent.  He was gallant with the women, in love with many,
well treated by several; he was even coquettish with men.  He endeavoured
to please the cobbler, the lackey, the porter, as well as the Minister of
State, the Grand Seigneur, the General, all so naturally that success was
certain.  He was consequently the constant delight of every one, of the
Court, the armies; the divinity of the people, the idol of the soldiers,
the hero of the officers, the hope of whatever was most distinguished,
the love of the Parliament, the friend of the learned, and often the
admiration of the historian, of jurisconsults, of astronomers, and
mathematicians, the most profound.  He was especially learned in
genealogies, and knew their chimeras and their realities.  With him the
useful and the polite, the agreeable and the deep, all was distinct and
in its place.  He had friends, knew how to choose them, cultivate them,
visit them, live with them, put himself on their level without
haughtiness or baseness.  But this man, so amiable, so charming, so
delicious, loved nothing.  He had and desired friends, as other people
have and desire articles of furniture.  Although with much self-respect
he was a humble courtier, and showed too much how greatly he was in want
of support and assistance from all sides; he was avaricious, greedy of
fortune, ardent and unjust.  The King could not bear him, and was grieved
with the respect he was obliged to show him, and which he was careful
never to trespass over by a single jot.  Certain intercepted letters had
excited a hatred against him in Madame de Maintenon, and an indignation
in the King which nothing could efface.  The riches, the talents, the
agreeable qualities, the great reputation which this Prince had acquired,
the general love of all, became crimes in him.  The contrast with M. du
Maine excited daily irritation and jealousy.  The very purity of his
blood was a reproach to him.  Even his friends were odious, and felt that
this was so.  At last, however, various causes made him to be chosen, in
the midst of a very marked disgrace, to command the army in Flanders.  He
was delighted, and gave himself up to the most agreeable hopes.  But it
was no longer time: he had sought to drown his sorrow at wearing out his
life unoccupied in wine and other pleasures, for which his age and his
already enfeebled body were no longer suited.  His health gave way.  He
felt it soon.  The tardy return to favour which he had enjoyed made him
regret life more.  He perished slowly, regretting to have been brought to
death's door by disgrace, and the impossibility of being restored by the
unexpected opening of a brilliant career.

The Prince, against the custom of those of his rank, had been very well
educated.  He was full of instruction.  The disorders of his life had
clouded his knowledge but not extinguished it, and he often read to brush
up his learning.  He chose M. de la Tour to prepare him, and help him to
die well.  He was so attached to life that all his courage was required.
For three months crowds of visitors filled his palace, and the people
even collected in the place before it.  The churches echoed with prayers
for his life.  The members of his family often went to pay for masses for
him; and found that others had already done so.  All questions were about
his health.  People stopped each other in the street to inquire; passers-
by were called to by shopmen, anxious to know whether the Prince de Conti
was to live or to die.  Amidst all this, Monseigneur never visited him;
and, to the indignation of all Paris, passed along the quay near the
Louvre going to the Opera, whilst the sacraments were being carried to
the Prince on the other side.  He was compelled by public opinion to make
a short visit after this.  The Prince died at last in his arm-chair,
surrounded by a few worthy people.  Regrets were universal; but perhaps
he gained by his disgrace.  His heart was firmer than his head.  He might
have been timid at the head of an army or in the Council of the King if
he had entered it.  The King was much relieved by his death; Madame de
Maintenon also; M. le Duc much more; for M. du Maine it was a
deliverance, and for M. de Vendome a consolation.  Monseigneur learned it
at Meudon as he was going out to hunt, and showed no feeling of any kind.

The death of M. le Prince de Conti seemed to the Duc de Vendome a
considerable advantage, because he was thus delivered from a rival most
embarrassing by the superiority of his birth, just when he was about to
be placed in a high military position.  I have already mentioned
Vendome's exclusion from command.  The fall of this Prince of the Proud
had been begun we have now reached the second step, between which and the
third there was a space of between two and three months; but as the third
had no connection with any other event, I will relate it at once.

Whatever reasons existed to induce the King to take from M. de Vendome
the command of his armies, I know not if all the art and credit of Madame
de Maintenon would not have been employed in vain, together with the
intrigues of M. du Maine, without an adventure, which I must at once
explain, to set before the reader's eyes the issue of the terrible
struggle, pushed to such extremes, between Vendome, seconded by his
formidable cabal, and the necessary, heir of the Crown, supported by his
wife, the favourite of the King, and Madame de Maintenon, which last; to
speak clearly, as all the Court saw, for thirty years governed him

When M. de Vendome returned from Flanders, he had a short interview with
the King, in which he made many bitter complaints against Pursegur, one
of his lieutenant-generals, whose sole offence was that he was much
attached to M. de Bourgogne.  Pursegur was a great favourite with the
King, and often, on account of the business of the infantry regiment, of
which the thought himself the private colonel, had private interviews
with him, and was held in high estimation for his capacity and virtue.
He, in his turn, came back from Flanders, and had a private audience of
the King.  The complaints that had been made against him by M. de Vendome
were repeated to him by the King, who, however, did not mention from whom
they came.  Pursegur defended himself so well, that the King in his
surprise mentioned this latter fact.  At the name of Vendome, Pursegur
lost all patience.  He described, to the King all the faults, the
impertinences; the obstinacy, the insolence of M. de Vendome, with a
precision and clearness which made his listener very attentive and very
fruitful in questions.  Pursegur, seeing that he might go on, gave
himself rein, unmasked M. de Vendome from top to toe, described his
ordinary life at the army, the incapacity of his body, the incapacity of
his judgment, the prejudice of his mind, the absurdity and crudity of his
maxims, his utter ignorance of the art of war, and showed to
demonstration, that it was only by a profusion of miracles France had not
been ruined by him--lost a hundred times over.

The conversation lasted more than two hours.  The' King, long since
convinced of the capacity, fidelity, and truthfulness of Pursegur, at
last opened his eyes to the truth respecting this Vendome, hidden with so
much art until then, and regarded as a hero and the tutelary genius of
France.  He was vexed and ashamed of his credulity, and from the date of
this conversation Vendome fell at once from his favour.

Pursegur, naturally humble, gentle, and modest, but truthful, and on this
occasion piqued, went out into the gallery after his conversation, and
made a general report of it to all, virtuously, braving Vendome and all
his cabal.  This cabal trembled with rage; Vendome still more so.  They
answered by miserable reasonings, which nobody cared for.  This was what
led to the suppression of his pay, and his retirement to Anet, where he
affected a philosophical indifference.

Crestfallen as he was, he continued to sustain at Meudon and Marly the
grand manners he had usurped at the time of his prosperity.  After having
got over the first embarrassment, he put on again his haughty air, and
ruled the roast.  To see him at Meudon you would have said he was
certainly the master of the saloon, and by his free and easy manner to
Monseigneur, and, when he dared, to the King, he would have been thought
the principal person there.  Monseigneur de Bourgogne supported this--his
piety made him do so--but Madame de Bourgogne was grievously offended,
and watched her opportunity to get rid of M. de Vendome altogether.

It came, the first journey the King made to Marly after Easter.  'Brelan'
was then the fashion.  Monseigneur, playing at it one day with Madame de
Bourgogne and others, and being in want of a fifth player, sent for M. de
Vendome from the other end of the saloon, to come and join the party.
That instant Madame de Bourgogne said modestly, but very intelligibly, to
Monseigneur, that the presence of M. de Vendome at Marly was sufficiently
painful to her, without having him at play with her, and that she begged
he might be dispensed with.  Monseigneur, who had sent for Vendome
without the slightest reflection, looked round the room, and sent for
somebody else.  When Vendome arrived, his place was taken, and he had to
suffer this annoyance before all the company.  It may be imagined to what
an extent this superb gentleman was stung by the affront.  He served no
longer; he commanded no longer; he was no longer the adored idol; he
found himself in the paternal mansion of the Prince he had so cruelly
offended, and the outraged wife of that Prince was more than a match for
him.  He turned upon his heel, absented himself from the room as soon as
he could, and retired to his own chamber, there to storm at his leisure.

Other and more cruel annoyances were yet in store for him, however.
Madame de Bourgogne reflected on what had just taken place.  The facility
with which she had succeeded in one respect encouraged her, but she was a
little troubled to know how the King would take what she had done, and
accordingly, whilst playing, she resolved to push matters still further,
both to ruin her guest utterly and to get out of her embarrassment; for,
despite her extreme familiarity, she was easily embarrassed, being gentle
and timid.  The 'brelan' over, she ran to Madame de Maintenon; told her
what had just occurred; said that the presence of M. de Vendome at Marly
was a continual insult to her; and begged her to solicit the King to
forbid M. de Vendome to come there.  Madame de Maintenon, only too glad.
to have an opportunity of revenging herself upon an enemy who had set her
at defiance, and against whom all her batteries had at one time failed,
consented to this request.  She spoke out to the King, who, completely
weary of M. de Vendome, and troubled to have under his eyes a man whom he
could not doubt was discontented, at once granted what was asked.  Before
going to bed, he charged one of his valets to tell M. de Vendome the next
morning, that henceforth he was to absent himself from Marly, his
presence there being disagreeable to Madame de Bourgogne.

It may be imagined into what an excess of despair M. de Vendome fell, at
a message so unexpected, and which sapped the foundations of all his
hopes.  He kept silent, however, for fear of making matters worse, did
not venture attempting, to speak to the King, and hastily retired to
Clichy to hide his rage and shame.  The news of his banishment from Marly
soon spread abroad, and made so much stir, that to show it was not worth
attention, he returned two days before the end of the visit, and stopped
until the end in a continual shame and embarrassment.  He set out for
Anet at the same time that the King set out for Versailles, and has never
since put his foot in Marly.

But another bitter draught was to be mixed for him.  Banished from Marly,
he had yet the privilege of going to Meudon.  He did not fail to avail
himself of this every time Monseigneur was there, and stopped as long as
he stopped, although in the times of his splendour he had never stayed
more than one or two days.  It was seldom that Monseigneur visited Meudon
without Madame la Duchesse de Bourgogne going to see him.  And yet M. de
Vendome never failed audaciously to present himself before her, as if to
make her feel that at all events in Monseigneur's house he was a match
for her.  Guided by former experience, the Princess gently suffered this
in silence, and watched her opportunity.  It soon came.

Two months afterwards it happened that, while Monseigneur was at Meudon,
the King, Madame de Maintenon; and Madame de Bourgogne, came to dine with
him.  Madame de Maintenon wished to talk with Mademoiselle Choin without
sending for her to Versailles, and the King, as may be believed, was in
the secret.  I mention this to account for the King's visit.
M. de Vendome, who was at Meudon as usual, was stupid enough to present
himself at the coach door as the King and his companions descended.
Madame de Bourgogne was much offended, constrained herself less than
usual, and turned away her head with affectation, after a sort of sham
salute.  He felt the sting, but had the folly to approach her again after
dinner, while she was playing.  He experienced the same treatment, but
this time in a still more marked manner.  Stung to the quick and out of
countenance, he went up to his chamber, and did not descend until very
late.  During this time Madame de Bourgogne spoke to Monseigneur of the
conduct of M. de Vendorne, and the same evening she addressed herself to
Madame de Maintenon, and openly complained to the King.  She represented
to him how hard it was to her to be treated by Monseigneur with less
respect than by the King: for while the latter had banished M. de Vendome
from Marly, the former continued to grant him an asylum at Meudon.

M. de Vendome, on his side, complained bitterly to Monseigneur of the
strange persecution that he suffered everywhere from Madame de Bourgogne;
but Monseigneur replied to him so coldly that he withdrew with tears in
his eyes, determined, however, not to give up until he had obtained some
sort of satisfaction.  He set his friends to work to speak to
Monseigneur; all they could draw from him was, that M. de Vendome must
avoid Madame de Bourgogne whenever she came to Meudon, and that it was
the smallest respect he owed her until she was reconciled to him.  A
reply so dry and so precise was cruelly felt; but M. de Vendome was not
at the end of the chastisement he had more than merited.  The next day
put an end to all discussion upon the matter.

He was card-playing after dinner in a private cabinet, when D'Antin
arrived from Versailles.  He approached the players, and asked what was
the position of the game, with an eagerness which made M. de Vendome
inquire the reason.  D'Antin said he had to render an account to him of
the matter he had entrusted him with.

"I!" exclaimed Vendome, with surprise, "I have entrusted you with

"Pardon me," replied D'Antin; "you do not recollect, then, that I have an
answer to make to you?"

From this perseverance M. de Vendome comprehended that something was
amiss, quitted his game, and went into an obscure wardrobe with D'Antin,
who told him that he had been ordered by the King to beg Monseigneur not
to invite M. de Vendome to Meudon any more; that his presence there was
as unpleasant to Madame de Bourgogne as it had been at Marly.  Upon this,
Vendome, transported with fury, vomited forth all that his rage inspired
him with.  He spoke to Monseigneur in the evening, but was listened to as
coldly as before.  Vendome passed the rest of his visit in a rage and
embarrassment easy to conceive, and on the day Monseigneur returned to
Versailles he hurried straight to Anet.

But he was unable to remain quiet anywhere; so went off with his dogs,
under pretence of going a hunting, to pass a month in his estate of La
Ferme-Aleps, where he had no proper lodging and no society, and gave
there free vent to his rage.  Thence he returned again to Anet, where he
remained abandoned by every one.  Into this solitude, into this startling
and public seclusion, incapable of sustaining a fall so complete, after a
long habit of attaining everything, and doing everything he pleased, of
being the idol of the world, of the Court, of the armies, of making his
very vices adored, and his greatest faults admired, his defects
commended, so that he dared to conceive the prodigious design of ruining
and destroying the necessary heir of the Crown, though he had never
received anything but evidences of tenderness from him, and triumphed
over him for eight months with the most scandalous success; it was, I
say, thus that this Colossus was overthrown by the breath of a prudent
and courageous princess, who earned by this act merited applause.  All
who were concerned with her, were charmed to see of what she was capable;
and all who were opposed to her and her husband trembled.  The cabal, so
formidable, so lofty, so accredited, so closely united to overthrow them,
and reign, after the King, under Monseigneur in their place--these
chiefs, male and female, so enterprising and audacious, fell now into
mortal discouragement and fear.  It was a pleasure to see them work their
way back with art and extreme humility, and turn round those of the
opposite party who remained influential, and whom they had hitherto
despised; and especially to see with what embarrassment, what fear, what
terror, they began to crawl before the young Princess, and wretchedly
court the Duc de Bourgogne and his friends, and bend to them in the most
extraordinary manner.

As for M. de Vendome, without any resource, save what he found in his
vices and his valets, he did not refrain from bragging among them of the
friendship of Monseigneur for him, of which he said he was well assured.
Violence had been done to Monseigneur's feelings.  He was reduced to this
misery of hoping that his words would be spread about by these valets,
and would procure him some consideration from those who thought of the
future.  But the present was insupportable to him.  To escape from it, he
thought of serving in Spain, and wrote to Madame des Ursins asking
employment.  The King was annoyed at this step, and flatly refused to let
him go to Spain.  His intrigue, therefore, came to an end at once.

Nobody gained more by the fall of M. de Vendome than Madame de Maintenon.
Besides the joy she felt in overthrowing a man who, through M. du Maine,
owed everything to her, and yet dared to resist her so long and
successfully, she felt, also, that her credit became still more the
terror of the Court; for no one doubted that what had occurred was a
great example of her power.  We shall presently see how she furnished
another, which startled no less.


It is time now to retrace my steps to the point from which I have been
led away in relating all the incidents which arose out of the terrible
winter and the scarcity it caused.

The Court at that time beheld the renewal of a ministry; which from the
time it had lasted was worn down to its very roots, and which was on
that account only the more agreeable to the King.  On the 20th of
January, the Pere La Chaise, the confessor of the King, died at a very
advanced age.  He was of good family, and his father would have been rich
had he not had a dozen children.  Pere La Chaise succeeded in 1675 to
Pere Ferrier as confessor of the King, and occupied that post thirty-two
years.  The festival of Easter often caused him politic absences during
the attachment of the King for Madame de Montespan.  On one occasion he
sent in his place the Pere Deschamps, who bravely refused absolution.
The Pere La Chaise was of mediocre mind but of good character, just,
upright, sensible, prudent, gentle, and moderate, an enemy of informers,
and of violence of every kind. He kept clear of many scandalous
transactions, befriended the Archbishop of Cambrai as much as he could,
refused to push the Port Royal des Champs to its destruction, and always
had on his table a copy of the New Testament of Pere Quesnel, saying that
he liked what was good wherever he found it.  When near his eightieth
year, with his head and his health still good, he wished to retire, but
the King would not hear of it.  Soon after, his faculties became worn
out, and feeling this, he repeated his wish.  The Jesuits, who perceived
his failing more than he did himself, and felt the diminution of his
credit, exhorted him to make way for another who should have the grace
and zeal of novelty.  For his part he sincerely desired repose, and he
pressed the King to allow him to take it, but all in vain.  He was
obliged to bear his burthen to the very end.  Even the infirmities and
the decrepitude that afflicted could not deliver him.  Decaying legs,
memory extinguished, judgment collapsed, all his faculties confused,
strange inconveniences for a confessor--nothing could disgust the King,
and he persisted in having this corpse brought to him and carrying on
customary business with it.  At last, two days after a return from
Versailles, he grew much weaker, received the sacrament, wrote with his
own hand a long letter to the King, received a very rapid and hurried one
in reply, and soon after died at five o'clock in the morning very
peaceably.  His confessor asked him two things, whether he had acted
according to his conscience, and whether he had thought of the interests
and honour of the company of Jesuits; and to both these questions he
answered satisfactorily.

The news was brought to the King as he came out of his cabinet.  He
received it like a Prince accustomed to losses, praised the Pere La
Chaise for his goodness, and then said smilingly, before all the
courtiers, and quite aloud, to the two fathers who had come to announce
the death: "He was so good that I sometimes reproached him for it, and he
used to reply to me: 'It is not I who am good; it is you who are hard.'"

Truly the fathers and all the auditors were so surprised at this that
they lowered their eyes.  The remark spread directly; nobody was able to
blame the Pere La Chaise.  He was generally regretted, for he had done
much good and never harm except in self-defence.  Marechal, first surgeon
of the King, and possessed of his confidence, related once to me and
Madame de Saint-Simon, a very important anecdote referring to this time.
He said that the King, talking to him privately of the Pere La Chaise,
and praising him for his attachment, related one of the great proofs he
had given of it.  A few years before his death the Pere said that he felt
getting old, and that the King might soon have to choose a new confessor;
he begged that that confessor might be chosen from among the Jesuits,
that he knew them well, that they were far from deserving all that had
been said against them, but still--he knew them well--and that attachment
for the King and desire for his safety induced him to conjure him to act
as he requested; because the company contained many sorts of minds and
characters which could not be answered for, and must not be reduced to
despair, and that the King must not incur a risk--that in fact an unlucky
blow is soon given, and had been given before then.  Marechal turned pale
at this recital of the King, and concealed as well as he could the
disorder it caused in him.  We must remember that Henry IV. recalled the
Jesuits, and loaded them with gifts merely from fear of them.  The King
was not superior to Henry IV.  He took care not to forget the
communication of the Pere La Chaise, or expose himself to the vengeance
of the company by choosing a confessor out of their limits.  He wanted to
live, and to live in safety.  He requested the Ducs de Chevreuse and de
Beauvilliers to make secret inquiries for a proper person.  They fell
into a trap made, were dupes themselves, and the Church and State the

The Pere Tellier, in fact, was chosen as successor of Pere La Chaise, and
a terrible successor he made.  Harsh, exact, laborious, enemy of all
dissipation, of all amusement, of all society, incapable of associating
even with his colleagues, he demanded no leniency for himself and
accorded none to others.  His brain and his health were of iron; his
conduct was so also; his nature was savage and cruel.  He was profoundly
false, deceitful, hidden under a thousand folds; and when he could show
himself and make himself feared, he yielded nothing, laughed at the most
express promises when he no longer cared to keep to them, and pursued
with fury those who had trusted to them.  He was the terror even of the
Jesuits, and was so violent to them that they scarcely dared approach
him.  His exterior kept faith with his interior.  He would have been
terrible to meet in a dark lane.  His physiognomy was cloudy, false,
terrible; his eyes were burning, evil, extremely squinting; his aspect
struck all with dismay.  The whole aim of his life was to advance the
interests of his Society; that was his god; his life had been absorbed in
that study: surprisingly ignorant, insolent, impudent, impetuous, without
measure and without discretion, all means were good that furthered his

The first time Pere Tellier saw the King in his cabinet, after having
been presented to him, there was nobody but Bloin and Fagon in a corner.
Fagon, bent double and leaning on his stick, watched the interview and
studied the physiognomy of this new personage his duckings, and
scrapings, and his words.  The King asked him if he were a relation of
MM. le Tellier.  The good father humbled himself in the dust.  "I, Sire!"
answered he, "a relative of MM. le Tellier!  I am very different from
that.  I am a poor peasant of Lower Normandy, where my father was a
farmer."  Fagon, who watched him in every movement, twisted himself up to
look at Bloin, and said, pointing to the Jesuit: "Monsieur, what a cursed
--------!"  Then shrugging his shoulders, he curved over his stick again.

It turned out that he was not mistaken in his strange judgment of a
confessor.  This Tellier made all the grimaces, not to say the
hypocritical monkey-tricks of a man who was afraid of his place, and only
took it out of, deference to his company.

I have dwelt thus upon this new confessor, because from him have come the
incredible tempests under, which the Church, the State, knowledge, and
doctrine, and many good people of all kinds, are still groaning; and,
because I had a more intimate acquaintance with this terrible personage
than had any man at the Court.  He introduced himself to me in fact, to
my surprise; and although I did all in my power to shun his acquaintance,
I could not succeed.  He was too dangerous a man to be treated with
anything but great prudence.

During the autumn of this year, he gave a sample of his quality in the
part he took in the destruction of the celebrated monastery of Port Royal
des Champs.  I need not dwell at any great length upon the origin and
progress of the two religious parties, the Jansenists and the Molinists;
enough has been written on both sides to form a whole library.  It is
enough for me to say that the Molinists were so called because they
adopted the views expounded by, the Pere Molina in a book he wrote
against the doctrines of St. Augustine and of the Church of Rome, upon
the subject of spiritual grace.  The Pere Molina was a Jesuit, and it was
by the Jesuits his book was brought forward and supported.  Finding,
however, that the views it expounded met with general opposition, not
only throughout France, but at Rome, they had recourse to their usual
artifices on feeling themselves embarrassed, turned themselves into
accusers instead of defendants, and invented a heresy that had neither
author nor follower, which they attributed to Cornelius Jansenius, Bishop
of Ypres.  Many and long were the discussions at Rome upon this ideal
heresy, invented by the Jesuits solely for the purpose of weakening the
adversaries of Molina.  To oppose his doctrines was to be a Jansenist.
That in substance was what was meant by Jansenism.

At the monastery of Port Royal des Champs, a number of holy and learned
personages lived in retirement.  Some wrote, some gathered youths around
them, and instructed them in science and piety.  The finest moral works,
works which have thrown the most light upon the science and practice, of
religion, and have been found so by everybody, issued from their hands.
These men entered into the quarrel against Molinism.  This was enough to
excite against them the hatred of the Jesuits and to determine that body
to attempt their destruction.

They were accused of Jansenism, and defended themselves perfectly; but at
the same time they carried the war into the enemy's camp, especially by
the ingenious "Provincial Letters" of the famous Pascal.

The quarrel grew more hot between the Jesuits and Port Royal, and was
telling against the former, when the Pere Tellier brought all his
influence to bear, to change the current of success.  He was, as I have
said, an ardent man, whose divinity was his Molinism, and the company to
which he belonged.  Confessor to the King, he saw himself in a good
position to exercise unlimited authority.  He saw that the King was very
ignorant, and prejudiced upon all religious matters; that he was
surrounded by people as ignorant and as prejudiced as himself, Madame de
Maintenon, M. de Beauvilliers, M. de Chevreuse, and others, and he
determined to take good advantage of this state of things.

Step by step he gained over the King to his views, and convinced him that
the destruction of the monastery of Port Royal des Champs was a duty
which he owed to his conscience, and the cause of religion.  This point
gained, the means to destroy the establishment were soon resolved on.

There was another monastery called Port Royal, at Paws, in addition to
the one in question.  It was now pretended that the latter had only been
allowed to exist by tolerance, and that it was necessary one should cease
to exist.  Of the two, it was alleged that it was better to preserve the
one, at Paris.  A decree in council was, therefore, rendered, in virtue
of which, on the night from the 28th to the 29th of October, the abbey of
Port Royal des Champs was secretly invested by troops, and, on the next
morning, the officer in command made all the inmates assemble, showed
them a 'lettre de cachet', and, without giving them more than a quarter
of an hour's warning, carried off everybody and everything.  He had
brought with him many coaches, with an elderly woman in each; he put the
nuns in these coaches, and sent them away to their destinations, which
were different monasteries, at ten, twenty, thirty, forty, and even fifty
leagues distant, each coach accompanied by mounted archers, just as
public women are carried away from a house of ill-fame!  I pass in
silence all the accompaniments of this scene, so touching and so
strangely new.  There have been entire volumes written upon it.

The treatment that these nuns received in their various prisons, in order
to force them to sign a condemnation of themselves, is the matter of
other volumes, which, in spite of the vigilance of the oppressors, were
soon in everybody's hands; public indignation so burst out, that the
Court and the Jesuits even were embarrassed with it.  But the Pere
Tellier was not a man to stop half-way anywhere.  He finished this matter
directly; decree followed decree, 'Lettres de cachet' followed 'lettres
de cachet'.  The families who had relatives buried in the cemetery of
Port Royal des Champs were ordered to exhume and carry them elsewhere.
All the others were thrown into the cemetery of an adjoining parish, with
the indecency that may: be imagined.  Afterwards, the house, the church,
and all the buildings were razed to the ground, so that not one stone was
left upon another.  All the materials were sold, the ground was ploughed
up, and sown--not with salt, it is true, but that was all the favour it
received!  The scandal at this reached even to Rome.  I have restricted
myself to this simple and short recital of an expedition so military and
so odious.



The death of D'Avaux, who had formerly been our ambassador in Holland,
occurred in the early part of this year (1709).  D'Avaux was one of the
first to hear of the project of William of Orange upon England, when that
project was still only in embryo, and kept profoundly secret.  He
apprised the King (Louis XIV.) of it, but was laughed at.  Barillon, then
our ambassador in England, was listened to in preference.  He, deceived
by Sunderland and the other perfidious ministers of James II.; assured
our Court that D'Avaux's reports were mere chimeras.  It was not until it
was impossible any longer to doubt that credit was given to them.  The
steps that we then took, instead of disconcerting all the measures of the
conspirators, as we could have done, did not interfere with the working
out of any one of their plans.  All liberty was left, in fact, to William
to carry out his scheme.  The anecdote which explains how this happened
is so curious, that it deserves to be mentioned here.

Louvois, who was then Minister of War, was also superintendent of the
buildings.  The King, who liked building, and who had cast off all his
mistresses, had pulled down the little porcelain Trianon he had made for
Madame de Montespan, and was rebuilding it in the form it still retains.
One day he perceived, for his glance was most searching, that one window
was a trifle narrower than the others.  He showed it to Louvois, in order
that it might be altered, which, as it was not then finished, was easy to
do.  Louvois sustained that the window was all right.  The King insisted
then, and on the morrow also, but Louvois, pigheaded and inflated with
his authority, would not yield.

The next day the King saw Le Notre in the gallery.  Although his trade
was gardens rather than houses, the King did not fail to consult him upon
the latter.  He asked him if he had been to Trianon.  Le Notre replied
that he had not.  The King ordered him to go.  On the morrow he saw Le
Notre again; same question, same answer.  The King comprehended the
reason of this, and a little annoyed, commanded him to be there that
afternoon at a given time.  Le Notre did not dare to disobey this time.
The King arrived, and Louvois being present, they returned to the subject
of the window, which Louvois obstinately said was as broad as the rest.
The King wished Le Notre to measure it, for he knew that, upright and
true, he would openly say what he found.  Louvois, piqued, grew angry.
The King, who was not less so, allowed him to say his say.  Le Notre,
meanwhile, did not stir.  At last, the King made him go, Louvois still
grumbling, and maintaining his assertion with audacity and little
measure.  Le Notre measured the window, and said that the King was right
by several inches.  Louvois still wished to argue, but the King silenced
him, and commanded him to see that the window was altered at once,
contrary to custom abusing him most harshly.

What annoyed Louvois most was, that this scene passed not only before all
the officers of the buildings, but in presence of all who followed the
King in his promenades, nobles, courtiers, officers of the guard, and
others, even all the rolete.  The dressing given to Louvois was smart and
long, mixed with reflections upon the fault of this window, which, not
noticed so soon, might have spoiled all the facade, and compelled it to
be re-built.

Louvois, who was not accustomed to be thus treated, returned home in
fury, and like a man in despair.  His familiars were frightened, and in
their disquietude angled to learn what had happened.  At last he told
them, said he was lost, and that for a few inches the King forgot all his
services, which had led to so many conquests; he declared that henceforth
he would leave the trowel to the King, bring about a war, and so arrange
matters that the King should have good need of him!

He soon kept his word.  He caused a war to grow out of the affair of the
double election of Cologne, of the Prince of Bavaria, and of the Cardinal
of Furstenberg; he confirmed it in carrying the flames into the
Palatinate, and in leaving, as I have said, all liberty to the project
upon England; he put the finishing touch to his work by forcing the Duke
of Savoy into the arms of his enemies, and making him become, by the
position of his country, our enemy, the most difficult and the most
ruinous.  All that I have here related was clearly brought to light in
due time.

Boisseuil died shortly after D'Avaux.  He was a tall, big man, warm and
violent, a great gambler, bad tempered,--who often treated M. le Grand
and Madame d'Armagnac, great people as they were, so that the company
were ashamed,--and who swore in the saloon of Marly as if he had been in
a tap-room.  He was feared; and he said to women whatever came uppermost
when the fury of a cut-throat seized him.  During a journey the King and
Court made to Nancy, Boisseuil one evening sat down to play in the house
of one of the courtiers.  A player happened to be there who played very
high.  Boisseuil lost a good deal, and was very angry.  He thought he
perceived that this gentleman, who was only permitted on account of his
play, was cheating, and made such good use of his eyes that he soon found
this was the case, and all on a sudden stretched across the table and
seized the gambler's hand, which he held upon the table, with the cards
he was going to deal.  The gentleman, very much astonished, wished to
withdraw his hand, and was angry.  Boisseuil, stronger than he, said that
he was a rogue, and that the company should see it, and immediately
shaking his hand with fury put in evidence his deceit.  The player,
confounded, rose and went away.  The game went on, and lasted long into
the night.  When finished, Boisseuil went away.  As he was leaving the
door he found a man stuck against the wall--it was the player--who called
him to account for the insult he had received.  Boisseuil replied that he
should give him no satisfaction, and that he was a rogue.

"That may be," said the player, "but I don't like to be told so."

They went away directly and fought.  Boisseuil received two wounds, from
one of which he was like to die.  The other escaped without injury.

I have said, that after the affair of M. de Cambrai, Madame de Maintenon
had taken a rooted dislike to M. de Beauvilliers.  She had become
reconciled to him in appearance during the time that Monseigneur de
Bourgogne was a victim to the calumnies of M. de Vendome, because she had
need of him.  Now that Monseigneur de Bourgogne was brought back to
favour, and M. de Vendome was disgraced, her antipathy for M, de
Beauvilliers burst out anew, and she set her wits to work to get rid of
him from the Council of State, of which he was a member.  The witch
wished to introduce her favourite Harcourt there in his place, and worked
so well to bring about this result that the King promised he should be

His word given, or rather snatched from him, the King was embarrassed as
to how, to keep it, for he did not wish openly to proclaim Harcourt
minister.  It was agreed, therefore, that at the next Council Harcourt
should be present, as though by accident, in the King's ante-chamber;
that, Spanish matters being brought up, the King should propose to
consult Harcourt, and immediately after should direct search to be made
far him, to see if, by chance, he was close at hand; that upon finding
him, he should be conducted to the Council, made to enter and seat
himself, and ever afterwards be regarded as a Minister of State.

This arrangement was kept extremely secret, according to the express
commands of the King: I knew it, however, just before it was to be
executed, and I saw at once that the day of Harcourt's entry into the
Council would be the day of M. de Beauvilliers' disgrace.  I sent,
therefore, at once for M. de Beauvilliers, begging him to come to my
house immediately, and that I would then tell him why I could not come to
him.  Without great precaution everything becomes known at Court.

In less than half an hour M. de Beauvilliers arrived, tolerably disturbed
at my message.  I asked him if he knew anything, and I turned him about,
less to pump him than to make him ashamed of his ignorance, and to
persuade him the better afterwards to do what I wished.  When I had well
trotted out his ignorance, I apprised him of what I had just learnt.  He
was astounded; he so little expected it!  I had not much trouble to
persuade him that, although his expulsion might not yet be determined on,
the intrusion of Harcourt must pave the way for it.  He admitted to me
that for some days he had found, the King cold and embarrassed with him,
but that he had paid little attention to the circumstance, the reason of
which was now clear.  There was no time to lose.  In twenty-four hours
all would be over.  I therefore took the liberty in the first instance of
scolding him for his profound ignorance of what passed at the Court, and
was bold enough to say to him that he had only to thank himself for the
situation he found himself in.  He let me say to the end without growing
angry, then smiled, and said, "Well!  what do you think I ought to do?"

That was just what I wanted.  I replied that there was only one course
open to him, and that was to have an interview with the King early the
next morning; to say to him, that he had been informed Harcourt was about
to enter the Council; that he thought the affairs of State would suffer
rather than otherwise if Harcourt did so; and finally, to allude to the
change that had taken place in the King's manner towards him lately, and
to say, with all respect, affection, and submission, that he was equally
ready to continue serving the King or to give up his appointments, as his
Majesty might desire.

M. de Beauvilliers took pleasure in listening to me.  He embraced me
closely, and promised to follow the course I had marked out.

The next morning I went straight to him, and learned that he had
perfectly succeeded.  He had spoken exactly as I had suggested.  The King
appeared astonished and piqued that the secret of Harcourt's entry into
the Council was discovered.  He would not hear a word as to resignation
of office on the part of M. de Beauvilliers, and appeared more satisfied
with him than ever.  Whether, without this interview, he would have been
lost, I know not, but by the coldness and embarrassment of the King
before that interview, and during the first part of it, I am nearly
persuaded that he would.  M. de Beauvilliers embraced me again very
tenderly--more than once.

As for Harcourt, sure of his good fortune, and scarcely able to contain
his joy, he arrived at the meeting place.  Time ran on.  During the
Council there are only the most subaltern people in the antechambers and
a few courtiers who pass that way to go from one wing to another.  Each
of these subalterns eagerly asked M. d'Harcourt what he wanted, if he
wished for anything, and importuned him strongly.  He was obliged to
remain there, although he had no pretext.  He went and came, limping with
his stick, not knowing what to reply to the passers-by, or the attendants
by whom he was remarked.  At last, after waiting long, he returned as he
came, much disturbed at not having been called.  He sent word so to
Madame de Maintenon, who, in her turn, was as much disturbed, the King
not having said a word to her, and she not having dared to say a word to
him.  She consoled Harcourt, hoping that at the next Council he would be
called.  At her wish he waited again, as before, during another Council,
but with as little success.  He was very much annoyed, comprehending that
the affair had fallen through.

Madame de Maintenon did not, however, like to be defeated in this way.
After waiting some time she spoke to the King, reminding him what he had
promised to do.  The King replied in confusion that he had thought better
of it; that Harcourt was on bad terms with all the Ministers, and might,
if admitted to the Council, cause them much embarrassment; he preferred,
therefore, things to remain as they were.  This was said in a manner that
admitted of no reply.

Madame de Maintenon felt herself beaten; Harcourt was in despair.  M. de
Beauvilliers was quite reestablished in the favour of the King.  I
pretended to have known nothing of this affair, and innocent asked many
questions about it when all was over.  I was happy to the last degree
that everything had turned out so well.

M. le Prince, who for more than two years had not appeared at the Court,
died at Paris a little after midnight on the night between Easter Sunday
and Monday, the last of March and first of April, and in his seventy-
sixth year.  No man had ever more ability of all kinds, extending even to
the arts and mechanics more valour, and, when it pleased him, more
discernment, grace, politeness, and nobility.  But then no man had ever
before so many useless talents, so much genius of no avail, or an
imagination so calculated to be a bugbear to itself and a plague to
others.  Abjectly and vilely servile even to lackeys, he scrupled not to
use the lowest and paltriest means to gain his ends.  Unnatural son,
cruel father, terrible husband, detestable master, pernicious neighbour;
without friendship, without friends--incapable of having any jealous,
suspicious, ever restless, full of slyness and artifices to discover and
to scrutinise all, (in which he was unceasingly occupied, aided by an
extreme vivacity and a surprising penetration,) choleric and headstrong
to excess even for trifles, difficult of access, never in accord with
himself, and keeping all around him in a tremble; to conclude,
impetuosity and avarice were his masters, which monopolised him always.
With all this he was a man difficult to be proof against when he put in
play the pleasing qualities he possessed.

Madame la Princesse, his wife, was his continual victim.  She was
disgustingly ugly, virtuous, and foolish, a little humpbacked, and stunk
like a skunk, even from a distance.  All these things did not hinder M.
le Prince from being jealous of her even to fury up to the very last.
The piety, the indefatigable attention of Madame la Princesse, her
sweetness, her novice-like submission, could not guarantee her from
frequent injuries, or from kicks, and blows with the fist, which were not
rare.  She was not mistress even of the most trifling things; she did not
dare to propose or ask anything.  He made her set out from one place to
another the moment the fancy took him.  Often when seated in their coach
he made her descend, or return from the end of the street, then
recommence the journey after dinner, or the next day.  This see-sawing
lasted once fifteen days running, before a trip to Fontainebleau.  At
other times he sent for her from church, made her quit high mass, and
sometimes sent for her the moment she was going to receive the sacrament;
she was obliged to return at once and put off her communion to another
occasion.  It was not that he wanted her, but it was merely to gratify
his whim that he thus troubled her.

He was always of, uncertain habits, and had four dinners ready for him
every day; one at Paris, one at Ecouen, one at Chantilly, and one where
the Court was.  But the expense of this arrangement was not great; he
dined on soup, and the half of a fowl roasted upon a crust of bread; the
other half serving for the next day.  He rarely invited anybody to
dinner, but when he did, no man could be more polite or attentive to his

Formerly he had been in love with several ladies of the Court; then,
nothing cost too much.  He was grace, magnificence, gallantry in person--
a Jupiter transformed into a shower of gold.  Now he disguised himself as
a lackey, another time as a female broker in articles for the toilette;
and now in another fashion.  He was the most ingenious man in the world.
He once gave a grand fete solely for the purpose of retarding the journey
into Italy of a lady with whom he was enamoured, with whom he was on good
terms, and whose husband he amused by making verses.  He hired all the
houses on one side of a street near Saint Sulpice, furnished them, and
pierced the connecting walls, in order to be able thus to reach the place
of rendezvous without being suspected.

Jealous and cruel to his mistresses, he had, amongst others, the Marquise
de Richelieu; whom I name, because she is not worth the trouble of being
silent upon.  He was hopelessly smitten and spent millions upon her and
to learn her movements.  He knew that the Comte de Roucy shared her
favours (it was for her that sagacious Count proposed to put straw before
the house in order to guarantee her against the sound of the church
bells, of which she complained).  M. le Prince reproached her for
favouring the Count.  She defended herself; but he watched her so
closely, that he brought home the offence to her without her being able
to deny it.  The fear of losing a lover so rich as was M. le Prince
furnished her on the spot with an excellent suggestion for putting him at
ease.  She proposed to make an appointment at her own house with the
Comte de Roucy, M. le Prince's people to lie in wait, and when the Count
appeared, to make away with him.  Instead of the success she expected
from a proposition so humane and ingenious, M. le Prince was so horror-
struck, that he warned the Comte de Roucy, and never saw the Marquise de
Richelieu again all his life.

The most surprising thing was, that with so much ability, penetration,
activity, and valour, as had M. le Prince, with the desire to be as great
a warrior as the Great Conde, his father, he could never succeed in
understanding even the first elements of the military art.  Instructed as
he was by his father, he never acquired the least aptitude in war.  It
was a profession was not born for, and for which he could not qualify
himself by study.  During the last fifteen or twenty years of his life,
he was accused of something more than fierceness and ferocity.
Wanderings were noticed in his conduct, which were not exhibited in his
own house alone.  Entering one morning into the apartment of the
Marechale de Noailles (she herself has related this to me) as her bed was
being made, and there being only the counterpane to put on, he stopped
short at the door, crying with transport, "Oh, the nice bed, the nice
bed!"  took a spring, leaped upon the bed, rolled himself upon it seven
or eight times, then descended and made his excuses to the Marechale,
saying that her bed was so clean and so well-made, that he could not
hinder himself from jumping upon it; and this, although there had never
been anything between them; and when the Marechale, who all her life had
been above suspicion, was at an age at which she could not give birth to
any.  Her servants remained stupefied, and she as much as they.  She got
out of the difficulty by laughing and treating it as a joke.  It was
whispered that there were times when M. le Prince believed himself a dog,
or some other beast, whose manners he imitated; and I have known people
very worthy of faith who have assured me they have seen him at the going
to bed of the King suddenly throw his head into the air several times
running, and open his mouth quite wide, like a dog while barking, yet
without making a noise.  It is certain, that for a long time nobody saw
him except a single valet, who had control over him, and who did not
annoy him.

In the latter part of his life he attended in a ridiculously minute
manner to his diet and its results, and entered into discussions which
drove his doctors to despair.  Fever and gout at last attacked him, and
he augmented them by the course he pursued.  Finot, our physician and
his, at times knew not what to do with him.  What embarrassed Finot most,
as he related to us more than once, was that M. le Prince would eat
nothing, for the simple reason, as he alleged, that he was dead, and that
dead men did not eat!  It was necessary, however, that he should take
something, or he would have really died.  Finot, and another doctor who
attended him, determined to agree with him that he was dead, but to
maintain that dead men sometimes eat.  They offered to produce dead men
of this kind; and, in point of fact, led to M. le Prince some persons
unknown to him, who pretended to be dead, but who ate nevertheless.  This
trick succeeded, but he would never eat except with these men and Finot.
On that condition he ate well, and this jealousy lasted a long time, and
drove Finot to despair by its duration; who, nevertheless, sometimes
nearly died of laughter in relating to us what passed at these repasts,
and the conversation from the other world heard there.

M. le Prince's malady augmenting, Madame la Princesse grew bold enough to
ask him if he did not wish to think of his conscience, and to see a
confessor.  He amused himself tolerably long in refusing to do so.  Some
months before he had seen in secret Pere de la Tour.  He had sent to the
reverend father asking him to, come by night and disguised.  Pere de la
Tour, surprised to the last degree at so wild a proposition, replied that
the respect he owed to the cloth would prevent him visiting M. le Prince
in disguise; but that he would come in his ordinary attire.  M. le Prince
agreed to this last imposed condition.  He made the Pere de la Tour enter
at night by a little back door, at which an attendant was in waiting to
receive him.  He was led by this attendant, who had a lantern in one hand
and a key in the other, through many long and obscure passages; and
through many doors, which were opened and closed upon him as he passed.
Having arrived at last at the sick-chamber, he confessed M. le Prince,
and was conducted out of the house in the same manner and by the same way
as before.  These visits were repeated during several months.

The Prince's malady rapidly increased and became extreme.  The doctors
found him so ill on the night of Easter Sunday that they proposed to him
the sacrament for the next day.  He disputed with them, and said that if
he was so very bad it would be better to take the sacraments at once, and
have done with them.  They in their turn opposed this, saying there was
no need of so much hurry.  At last, for fear of incensing him, they
consented, and he received all hurriedly the last sacraments.  A little
while after he called M. le Duc to him, and spoke of the honours he
wished at his funeral, mentioning those which had been omitted at the
funeral of his father, but which he did not wish to be omitted from his.
He talked of nothing but this and of the sums he had spent at Chantilly,
until his reason began to wander.

Not a soul regretted him; neither servants, nor friends, neither child
nor wife.  Indeed the Princess was so ashamed of her tears that she made
excuses for them.  This was scarcely to be wondered at.


It is time now that I should speak of our military operations this year
and of the progress of the war.  Let me commence by stating the
disposition of our armies at the beginning of the campaign.

Marechal Boufflers, having become dangerously ill, was unable to take
command in Flanders.  Marechal de Villars was accordingly appointed in
his stead under Monseigneur, and with him served the King of England,
under his incognito of the previous year, and M. le Duc de Berry, as
volunteers.  The Marechal d'Harcourt was appointed to command upon the
Rhine under Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne.  M. d'Orleans commanded in
Spain; Marechal Berwick in Dauphiny; and the Duc de Noailles in
Roussillon, as usual.  The generals went to their destinations, but the
Princes remained at the Court.

Before I relate what we did in war, let me here state the strange
opposition of our ministers in their attempts to bring about peace.
Since Villars had introduced Chamillart to Court, he had heard it said
that M. de Louvois did everybody's business as much as he could; and took
it into his head that having succeeded to M. de Louvois he ought to act
exactly like him. For some time past, accordingly, Chamillart, with the
knowledge of the King, had sent people to Holland and elsewhere to
negotiate for peace, although he had no right to do so, Torcy being the
minister to whose department this business belonged.  Torcy likewise sent
people to Holland and elsewhere with a similar object, and these
ambassadors of the two ministers, instead of working in common, did all
in their power thwart each other.  They succeeded so well that it was
said they seemed in foreign countries ministers of different powers,
whose interests were quite opposed.  This manner of conducting business
gave a most injurious idea of our government, and tended very  much to
bring it into ridicule.  Those who sincerely wished to treat with us,
found themselves so embarrassed between the rival factions, that they did
not know what to do; and others made our disagreements a plausible
pretext for not listening to our propositions.

At last Torcy was so annoyed with the interference of Chamillart, that he
called the latter to account for it, and made him sign an agreement by
which he bound himself to enter into no negotiations for peace and to mix
himself in no foreign affairs; and so this absurdity came to an end.

In Italy, early this year, we received a check of no small importance.  I
have mentioned that we were invited to join in an Italian league, having
for its object to oppose the Emperor.  We joined this league, but not
before its existence had been noised abroad, and put the allies on their
guard as to the danger they ran of losing Italy.  Therefore the
Imperialists entered the Papal States, laid them under contribution,
ravaged them, lived there in true Tartar style, and snapped their fingers
at the Pope, who cried aloud as he could obtain no redress and no
assistance.  Pushed at last to extremity by the military occupation which
desolated his States, he yielded to all the rashes of the Emperor, and
recognised the Archduke as King of Spain.  Philip V. immediately ceased
all intercourse with Rome, and dismissed the nuncio from Madrid.  The
Imperialists, even after the Pope had ceded to their wishes, treated him
with the utmost disdain, and continued to ravage, his territories.  The
Imperialist minister at Rome actually gave a comedy and a ball in his
palace there, contrary to the express orders of the Pope, who had
forbidden all kinds of amusement in this period of calamity.  When
remonstrated with by the Pope, this minister said that he had promised a
fete to the ladies, and could not break his word, The strangest thing is,
that after this public instance of contempt the nephews of the Pope went
to the fete, and the Pope had the weakness to suffer it.

In Spain, everything went wrong, and people began to think it would be
best to give up that country to the house of Austria, under the hope that
by this means the war would be terminated.  It was therefore seriously
resolved to recall all our troops from Spain, and to give orders to
Madame des Ursins to quit the country.  Instructions were accordingly
sent to this effect.  The King and Queen of Spain, in the greatest alarm
at such a violent determination, cried aloud against it, and begged that
the execution of it might at least be suspended for a while.

At this, our King paused and called a Council to discuss the subject.
It was ultimately agreed to leave sixty-six battalions of our troops to
the King of Spain, but to withdraw all the rest.  This compromise
satisfied nobody.  Those who wished to support Spain said this assistance
was not enough.  The other party said it was too much.

This determination being arrived at, it seemed as though the only thing
to be done was to send M. d'Orleans to Spain to take command there.  But
now will be seen the effect of that mischievous pleasantry of his upon
Madame de Maintenon and Madame des Ursins, the "she-captain," and the
"she-lieutenant"--as he called them, in the gross language to which I
have before alluded.  Those two ladies had not forgiven him his
witticism, and had determined to accomplish his disgrace.  His own
thoughtless conduct assisted them it bringing about this result.

The King one day asked him if he had much desire to return into Spain.
He replied in a manner evidencing his willingness to serve, marking no
eagerness.  He did not notice that there might be a secret meaning,
hidden under this question.  When he related to me what had passed
between him and the King, I blamed the feebleness of his reply, and
represented to him the ill effect it would create if at such a time he
evinced any desire to keep out of the campaign.  He appeared convinced by
my arguments, and to wish with more eagerness than before to return to

A few days after, the King asked him, on what terms he believed himself
with the Princesse des Ursins; and when M. d'Orleans replied that he
believed himself to be on good terms with her, as he had done all in his
power to be so, the King said that he feared it was not thus, since she
had asked that he should not be again sent to Spain, saying that he had
leagued himself with all her enemies there, and that a secretary of his,
named Renaut, whom he had left behind him, kept up such strict and secret
intercourse with those enemies, that she was obliged to demand his recall
lest he might do wrong to the name of his master.

Upon this, M. d'Orleans replied that he was infinitely surprised at these
complaints of Madame des Ursins, since he had done nothing to deserve
them.  The King, after reflecting for a moment, said he thought, all
things considered, that M. d'Orleans had better not return to Spain.
In a few days it was publicly known that he would not go.  The withdrawal
of so many of our troops from Spain was the reason alleged.  At the same
time the King gave orders to M. d'Orleans to send for his equipages from
Spain, and added in his ear, that he had better send some one of sense
for them, who might be the bearer of a protest, if Philip V. quitted his
throne.  At least this is what M. d'Orleans told me, although few people
believed him in the end.

M. d'Orleans chose for this errand a man named Flotte, very skilful in
intrigue, in which he had, so to speak, been always brought up.  He went
straight to Madrid, and one of his first employments when he arrived
there was to look for Renaut, the secretary just alluded to.  But Renaut
was nowhere to be found, nor could any news be heard of him.  Flotte
stayed some time in Madrid, and then went to the army, which was still in
quarters.  He remained there three weeks, idling from quarter to quarter,
saluting the Marechal in command, who was much surprised at his long
stay, and who pressed him to return into France.  At last Flotte took
leave of the Marechal, asking him for an escort for himself and a
commissary, with whom he meant to go in company across the Pyrenees.
Twenty dragoons were given him as escort, and he and the commissary set
out in a chaise.

They had not proceeded far before Flotte perceived that they were
followed by other troops besides those guarding them.  Flotte fearing
that something was meant by this, slipped a pocket-book into the hands of
the commissary, requesting him to take care of it.  Shortly afterwards
the chaise was surrounded by troops, and stopped; the two travellers were
made to alight.  The commissary was ordered to give up the pocket-book,
an order that he complied with very rapidly, and Flotte was made
prisoner, and escorted back to the spot he had just left.

The news of this occurrence reached the King on the 12th of July, by the
ordinary courier from Madrid.

The King informed M. d'Orleans of it, who, having learnt it by a private
courier six days before, affected nevertheless surprise, and said it was
strange that one of his people should have been thus arrested, and that
as his Majesty was concerned, it was for him to demand the reason.  The
King replied, that in fact the injury regarded him more than M.
d'Orleans, and that he would give orders to Torcy to write as was
necessary to Spain.

It is not difficult to believe that such an explosion made a great noise,
both in France and Spain; but the noise it made at first was nothing to
that which followed.  A cabal was formed against Monsieur le Duc
d'Orleans.  It was said that he had plotted to place himself upon the
Spanish throne, by driving out Philip V., under pretext of his
incapacity, of the domination of Madame des Ursins, and of the
abandonment of the country by France; that he had treated with Stanhope,
commander of the English troops in Spain, and with whom he was known to
be on friendly terms, in order to be protected by the Archduke.  This was
the report most widely spread.  Others went further.  In these M.
d'Orleans was accused of nothing less than of intending to divorce
himself from Madame la Duchesse d'Orleans, as having been married to her
by force; of intending to marry the sister of the Empress (widow of
Charles II.), and of mounting with her upon the Spanish throne; to marry
Madame d'Argenton, as the Queen Dowager was sure to have no children, and
finally, to poison Madame d'Orleans.

Meanwhile the reply from Spain came not.  The King and Monseigneur
treated M. d'Orleans with a coldness which made him sorely ill at ease;
the majority of the courtiers, following this example, withdrew from him.
He was left almost alone.

I learnt at last from M. d'Orleans how far he was deserving of public
censure, and what had given colouring to the reports spread against him.
He admitted to me, that several of the Spanish grandees had persuaded him
that it was not possible the King of Spain could stand, and had proposed
to him to hasten his fall, and take his place; that he had rejected this
proposition with indignation, but had been induced to promise, that if
Philip V. fell of himself, without hope of rising, he would not object to
mounting the vacant throne, believing that by so doing he would be doing
good to our King, by preserving Spain to his house.

As soon as I heard this, I advised him to make a clean breast of it to
the King, and to ask his pardon for having acted in this matter without
his orders and without his knowledge.  He thought my advice good, and
acted upon it.  But the King was too much under the influence of the
enemies of M. d'Orleans, to listen favourably to what was said to him.
The facts of the case, too, were much against M. d'Orleans.  Both Renaut
and Flotte had been entrusted with his secret.  The former had openly
leagued himself with the enemies of Madame des Ursins, and acted with the
utmost imprudence.  He had been privately arrested just before the
arrival of Flotte.  When this latter was arrested, papers were found upon
him which brought everything to light.  The views of M. d'Orleans and of
those who supported him were clearly shown.  The King would not listen to
anything in favour of his nephew.

The whole Court cried out against M. d'Orleans; never was such an uproar
heard.  He was accused of plotting to overthrow the King of Spain, he, a
Prince of the blood, and so closely allied to the two crowns!
Monseigneur, usually so plunged in apathy, roused himself to fury against
M. d'Orleans, and insisted upon nothing less than a criminal prosecution.
He insisted so strongly upon this, that the King at last consented that
it should take place, and gave orders to the chancellor to examine the
forms requisite in such a case.  While the chancellor was about this
work, I went to see him one day, and represented to him so strongly, that
M. d'Orleans' misdemeanour did not concern us at all, and could only be
judged before a Spanish tribunal, that the idea of a criminal trial was
altogether abandoned almost immediately after.  M. d'Orleans was allowed
to remain in peace.

Madame des Ursins and Madame de Maintenon had so far triumphed, however,
that M. d'Orleans found himself plunged in the deepest disgrace.  He was
universally shunned.  Whenever he appeared, people flew away, so that
they might not be seen in communication with him.  His solitude was so
great, that for a whole month only one friend entered his house.  In the
midst of this desertion, he had no resource but debauchery, and the
society of his mistress, Madame d'Argenton.  The disorder and scandal of
his life had for a long time offended the King, the Court, and the
public.  They now unhappily confirmed everybody in the bad opinion they
had formed of him.  That the long disgrace he suffered continued to
confirm him in his bad habits, and that it explains to some extent his
after-conduct, there can be no doubt.  But I must leave him now, and
return to other matters.


But, meanwhile, a great change had taken place at Court.  Chamillart had
committed the mistake of allowing the advancement of D'Harcourt to the
head of an army.  The poor man did not see the danger; and when warned of
it, thought his cleverness would preserve him.  Reports of his fall had
already begun to circulate, and D'Antin had been spoken of in his place.
I warned his daughter Dreux, the only one of the family to whom it was
possible to speak with profit.  The mother, with little wit and knowledge
of the Court, full of apparent confidence and sham cunning, received all
advice ill.  The brothers were imbecile, the son was a child and a
simpleton, the two other daughters too light-headed.  I had often warned
Madame de Dreux of the enmity of the Duchesse de Bourgogne; and she had
spoken to her on the subject.  The Princess had answered very coldly that
she was mistaken, that she had no such enmity.  At last I succeeded, in
this indirect way, in forcing Chamillart to speak to the King on the
reports that were abroad; but he did so in a half-and-half way, and
committed the capital mistake of not naming the successor which public
rumour mentioned.  The King appeared touched, and gave him all sorts of
assurances of friendship, and made as if he liked him better than ever.
I do not know if Chamillart was then near his destruction, and whether
this conversation set him up again; but from the day it took place all
reports died away, and the Court thought him perfectly re-established.

But his enemies continued to work against him.  Madame de Maintenon and
the Duchesse de Bourgogne abated not a jot in their enmity.  The Marechal
d'Harcourt lost no opportunity of pulling him to pieces.  One day, among
others, he was declaiming violently against him at Madame de Maintenon's,
whom he knew he should thus please.  She asked him whom he would put in
his place.  "M. Fagon, Madame," he replied coldly.  She laughed, but said
this was not a thing to joke about; but he maintained seriously that the
old doctor would make a much better minister than Chamillart, for he had
some intelligence, which would make up for his ignorance of many matters;
but what could be expected of a man who was ignorant and stupid too?  The
cunning Norman knew well the effect this strange parallel would have; and
it is indeed inco