By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Louis XIV and La Grande Mademoiselle - 1652-1693
Author: Barine, Arvede
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Louis XIV and La Grande Mademoiselle - 1652-1693" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


    =The Youth of La Grande Mademoiselle

    Authorized English Version. Octavo. Fully
    Illustrated. (By mail, $3.25.) Net, $3.00

    =Louis XIV. and La Grande Mademoiselle

    Authorized English Version. Octavo. Fully
    Illustrated. (By mail, $3.25.) Net, $3.00

    =_G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS_=

    =_New York_=              =_London_=

[Illustration: Cliché Braun, Clément & Cie. =MADEMOISELLE DE
MONTPENSIER= She is holding the portrait of her father, Gaston D'Orléans
From the painting by Pierre Bourgnignon in the Musée de Versailles. By
permission of Messrs. Hachette & Co.]

    Louis XIV
    La Grande Mademoiselle



    Arvède Barine

    Author of "The Youth of La Grande Mademoiselle"

    _Authorised English Version_

    G. P. Putnam's Sons

    New York and London
    The Knickerbocker Press

    COPYRIGHT, 1905



    The Knickerbocker Press, New York


In the volume entitled _The Youth of La Grande Mademoiselle_ I have
tried to present the conditions of France during the period in which the
ancient liberties of the people and the turbulent society which had
abused its privileges suffered, in the one case death, in the other

As is always the case, a lack of proper discipline had prepared the way
for absolute rule, and the young King who was about to assume full power
was an enigma to his subjects. The nearest relatives of Louis had always
found him impenetrable. The Grande Mademoiselle had been brought up side
by side with her cousin, but she was entirely ignorant of his real
character, knowing only that he was silent and appeared timid. In her
failure to understand the King, Mademoiselle showed herself again a true
child of her century.

At the moment in which the Prince assumed full power, his true
disposition, thoughts, and beliefs were entirely hidden from the public,
and Saint-Simon has contributed to this ignorance by prolonging it to
posterity. Louis XIV. was over fifty when this terrible writer appeared
at Court. The _Mémoires_ of Saint-Simon present the portrait of a man
almost old; this portrait however is so powerful, so living that it
obliterates every other. The public sees only the Louis of Saint-Simon;
for it, the youthful King as he lived during the troubled and passionate
period of his career, the period that was most interesting, because most
vital, has never existed.

The official history of the times aids in giving a false impression of
Louis XIV., figuring him in a sort of hieratic attitude between an idol
and a manikin. The portraits of Versailles again mask the Louis of the
young Court, the man for whose favour Molière and the Libertines fought
with varying chances of success.

In the present volume I have tried to raise a corner of this mask.

The _Mémoires_ of Louis XIV., completely edited for the first time
according to any methodical plan in 1860, have greatly aided me in this
task. They abound in confessions, sometimes aside, sometimes direct, of
the matters that occupied the thoughts of the youthful author. The
Grande Mademoiselle, capable of neither reserve nor dissimulation, has
proved the next most valuable guide in the attempt to penetrate into the
intimate life of Louis. As related by her, the perpetual difficulties
with the Prince throw a vivid light upon the kind of incompatibility of
temper which existed at the beginning of the reign between absolute
power and the survivors of the Fronde.

How the young King succeeded in directing his generation toward new
ideas and sentiments and how the Grande Mademoiselle, too late carried
away by the torrent, became in the end a victim to its force, will be
seen in the course of the present volume, provided, that is, that I have
not overestimated my powers in touching upon a subject very obscure,
very delicate, with facts drawn from a period the most frequently
referred to and yet in some respects the least comprehended of the
entire history of France.

                                                                A. B.




Exile--Provincial Life--Conversation at Saint-Fargeau--Sentiment
towards Nature in the Seventeenth Century--Differences
between Mademoiselle and her Father--Mademoiselle Returns
to Court                                                          1-57


The Education of Louis XIV.--Manners--Poverty--Charity--Vincent
de Paul, a Secret Society--Marriage of Louis XIV.--His
Arrival at Power on the Death of Mazarin--He Re-educates
Himself                                                         58-119


Mademoiselle at the Luxembourg--Her Salon--The "Anatomies"
of the Heart--Projects of Marriage, and New Exile--Louis
XIV. and the Libertines--Fragility of Fortune in Land--_Fêtes
Galantes_                                                      120-184


Increasing Importance of the Affairs of Love--The Corrupters of
Morals--Birth of Dramatic Music and its Influence--Love
in Racine--Louis XIV. and the Nobility--The King is
Polygamous                                                     185-236


The Grande Mademoiselle in Love--Sketch of Lauzun and their
Romance--The Court on its Travels--Death of Madame--Announcement
of the Marriage of Mademoiselle--General Consternation--Louis
XIV. Breaks the Affair                                         237-303


Was Mademoiselle secretly Married?--Imprisonment of Lauzun--Splendour
and Decadence of France--_La Chambre Ardente_--Mademoiselle
Purchases Lauzun's Freedom--Their Embroilment--Death
of the Grande Mademoiselle--Death of Lauzun--Conclusion        304-377

INDEX                                                              379



MADEMOISELLE DE MONTPENSIER                _Frontispiece_
    She is holding the portrait of her father, Gaston d'Orléans.
      From the painting by Pierre Bourguignon in the
      Musée de Versailles. By permission of Messrs. Hachette
      & Co.

    From the enamel by Petitot in the South Kensington Museum.

CARDINAL DE RETZ                                                    24
    Showing him in his coadjuteur days. After the painting
      by Deveria.

JULIUS HARDOUIN MANSART                                             26
    After the painting by Vivien.

JEAN DE LA FONTAINE                                                 54
    From an engraving by Grevedon.

LOUIS XIV. AS A BOY, DEDICATING HIS CROWN                           62
    After the painting by Greg Huret.

LOUIS XIV. AS A YOUNG MAN                                           72
    From a chalk drawing in the British Museum Print Room.

FRANÇOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD                                       130
    From the engraving by Hopwood after the painting by Petitot.

HÉLÈNE LAMBERT, MADAME DE MOTTEVILLE                               150
    After the painting by De Largillière.

LOUISE DE LA VALLIÈRE                                              154
    From the engraving by Flameng after the painting by

JEAN BAPTISTE COLBERT                                              170
    After the painting by Champaign.

   THE KING AT VERSAILLES                                          172
       From the engraving by Israel Silvestre.

    From the engraving by Israel Silvestre.

GENERAL VIEW OF THE CHÂTEAU OF VERSAILLES                          176
    From the engraving by Israel Silvestre, 1664.

    From the engraving by S. le Clerc, 1677.

JEAN BAPTISTE POQUELIN MOLIÈRE                                     180
    After the painting by Noël Coypel.

MADAME HENRIETTE D'ORLÉANS                                         194
    From the painting by Mignard in the National Portrait
      Gallery. (Photograph by Walker, London.)

MADAME DE MONTESPAN                                                200
    From the engraving by Flameng after the painting by Mignard.

LA VOISIN                                                          206
    From a print in the Bibliothèque Nationale.

JEAN BAPTISTE DE LULLI                                             216
    After a contemporary print by Bonnart.

BOILEAU                                                            220
    After the painting by H. Rigaud.

Duc de Lauzun                                                      244
    By permission of Messrs. Hachette & Co.

MADAME DE SÉVIGNÉ                                                  282
    From the painting by Pietro Mignard in the Uffizi Gallery,
      Florence. (Photograph by Alinari.)

    From an engraving by Israel Silvestre, 1673.

    From an engraving by Israel Silvestre, 1675.

  FOUNTAIN OF THE DRAGON                                           334
    From an engraving by Israel Silvestre, 1676.

DUCHESSE DE LA VALLIÈRE AND HER CHILDREN                           336
    From the painting by P. Mignard in the possession of the
      Marquise d'Oilliamson.

  OF THE CARMELITES                                                338
    After the painting by D. Plaats.

MADAME DE MAINTENON                                                340
    After the painting by P. Mignard in 1694.



     Exile--Provincial Life--Conversation at
     Saint-Fargeau--Sentiment towards Nature in the Seventeenth
     Century--Differences between Mademoiselle and her
     Father--Mademoiselle Returns to Court.

The Fronde was an abortive revolution. It was condemned in advance, the
leaders having never clearly known what ends they were seeking. The
consequences of its failure proved to be of profound importance to
France. The civil disorders existing between 1648 and 1652 were the last
efforts of the French against the establishing of absolute monarchy, to
the strengthening of which the entire regency of Anne of Austria had
tended. The end of these disorders signified that the nation, wearied
and discouraged, had accepted the new régime. The result was a great
transformation, political and moral, so great that the Fronde may be
considered as clearly marking a separation between two periods of French
history--a deep abyss as it were between the times which precede and
those which follow.

The leaders of the Fronde had been dispersed by the return of the King
to his capital on October 21, 1652. When the exiles returned, some
sooner, some later, the last after the Peace of the Pyrénées (November
7, 1659), so great a change had taken place in ideas and customs that
more than one exile felt himself in a strange land.

It was necessary to adjust oneself to the new atmosphere. It was very
much the same situation--though the Frondeurs were under much lighter
accusations--as that experienced by the _émigrés_ returning under the
Consulate. The Princess, the events of whose heroic years have been
related, offers an excellent example of this condition.

When the Grande Mademoiselle, who had urged on the civil war in order to
force Louis XIV. into marriage with herself, obtained at the end of five
years, permission to return to Court, she brought with her the old
undisciplined habits which were no longer in fashion, and in the end
incurred much that was disagreeable. Exile had not weakened her pride.
According to a celebrated formula, she had learned nothing, she had
forgotten nothing; she remained that person of impulse of whom Mme. de
Sévigné said, "I do not care to mix myself with her impetuosities."[1]

Far be it from me to reproach Mademoiselle! All honour be to her who
stood firm in the age of servility which succeeded the Fronde! In other
respects exile had been most healthful for her. She had been obliged to
seek in herself resources the finding of which surprised her.
Mademoiselle naïvely admires herself in her _Mémoires_[2] for never
having experienced a single moment of ennui "in the greatest desert in
the world," and surely she deserves praise, as her first experiences at
Saint-Fargeau would have crushed most women.

The reader will be convinced of this if he imagines himself in her
company the night of arrival in the early days of November, 1652. At the
end of _The Youth of La Grande Mademoiselle_ we left her weeping without
shame before her entire suite. Her dream of glory had evaporated.
Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orléans would never be queen of France. She would
take no more cities; pass no more troops at review to the sound of
trumpet and cannon. Three weeks previous, the great Condé had treated
her as a companion in arms. She rejoiced the soldiers by her martial
carriage, and any one of them would have been not only surprised but
very indignant if it had been suggested that she was capable of being
almost as cowardly as her father, the "_triste_ Gaston."

Now all that was finished, even the romantic flight. While playing
hide-and-seek with imaginary pursuers, the Grande Mademoiselle had
fallen into a state of physical and moral prostration. The heroine of
Orléans and of Porte Saint-Antoine sobbed like a little child because
she "had too much grief" and was "too afraid"[3]; the aspect of her
future home had taken away the last remnants of courage.

The Château of Saint-Fargeau, begun under Hugh Capet and often repaired,
particularly during the fifteenth century, seemed more like a fortress
than a peaceful dwelling. Its heavy mass dominated the valley of the
Loing, a region of great and dense forests, with few clearings. Itself
enveloped with brushwood and protected by deep moats, the château
harmonised well with the surroundings. Its windows opened at a great
height above the ground, and its towers were strong. The body of the
building was massive and bare, united by strong ramparts forming an
_enceinte_ irregular with severe appearance.

The _ensemble_ was imposing, never smiling. Saint-Fargeau, long
uninhabited, was almost a ruin filled with rats at the time when
Mademoiselle presented herself as a fugitive. She was shown into a room
with a prop in the centre. Coming from the palace of the Tuileries, this
sight overwhelmed her, and made her realise the depth of her fall. She
had an access of despair: "I am most unfortunate to be absent from
Court, to have only a dwelling as ugly as this, and to realise that this
is the best of my châteaux." Her fear became terror when she discovered
that doors and windows were lacking. A report came from a valet that she
was sought for imprisonment, and she was too confused to reflect that
if the King had ordered her arrest locks would have been useless.

From the enamel by Petitot in the South Kensington Museum]

She continued her journey to reach a little château, situated two
leagues from Saint-Fargeau, which was reported safer. "Imagine," says
she, "with what pleasure I made the extra journey. I had risen two hours
before daylight; I had ridden twenty-two miles upon a horse already worn
out with previous travel. We arrived at our destination at three in the
morning; I went to bed in haste." The crisis was short. The next day it
was explained to Mademoiselle that Saint-Fargeau had two exits in case
of alarm. She returned in consequence on the fourth day, and there was
no more question of grief, nor even ill-temper; from that moment the
place was "good and strong."

The Princess adapted herself to the glassless windows, the broken
ceilings, the absence of doors, and all the rest. The great ladies of
the seventeenth century were fortunately not too particular.
Mademoiselle encamped in a cellar while the apartment above was being
repaired, and was forced to borrow a bed. She recovered all her gaiety
before the comicality of the situation: "for the first cousin of the
King of France." "Happily for me," wrote she, "the bailiff of the
château had been recently married; therefore he possessed a new bed."
The bed of Madame the Bailiff was the great resource of the château. It
was returned as soon as the Princess received her own from Paris, but it
was again used to give a resting-place to the Christmas guests, many of
whom appeared--a fact to the credit of the French nobility--as soon as
it was known where the illustrious unfortunate was passing her period of

Mademoiselle did not know how to provide for these guests and the most
important were lodged with the bailiff. The Duchess of Sully and her
sister, the Marquise of Laval, came together for a prolonged sojourn and
performed the office of shuttle between the cellar in which the Grande
Mademoiselle held her court and "the new bed of the city of
Saint-Fargeau." Ladies of quality arriving at this time lodged where
they could with small regard to comfort, and this condition lasted until
the château was put in order. Every one suffered but nobody complained.
There was a certain elegance in this haughty fashion of ignoring
comfort, the importance of which in our own days seems in comparison
rather bourgeois, in the worst sense of the word.

Gradually all was arranged. The château was restored, the apartments
enlarged.[4] The overgrowth of the approaches gave place to a terrace
from which to the surprise of all a charming view was discovered. The
Saint-Fargeau of the Capets and of the first Valois, "a place so wild,"
says Mademoiselle, "that when I arrived, only herbs fit for soup were to
be found," became a beautiful residence, hospitable and animated.

The mistress of the place loved open air and movement, as did all the
French nobility before an absolute monarchy, in the interest of order
and peace, had trained them to rest tranquilly in the salons of
Versailles. Muscular decadence commenced with the French at the epoch
when it became the fashion to pass the days in silk stockings and
practising bows, under punishment of being excluded from all society.
Violent exercises were abandoned or made more gentle.[5] Attention was
paid only to what gave majestic grace to the body in harmony with the
Versailles "Galerie of Mirrors."

The bourgeoisie were eager to imitate the people of quality, and the
higher classes paid for their fine manners or their attempts at fine
manners with the headaches and nervous disorders of the eighteenth
century. The taste for sport has only reappeared in France during our
own times. We are now witnessing its resurrection.

This taste, however, was still lively immediately after the Fronde, and
Mademoiselle abandoned herself to it with passion. She ordered from
England a pack of hounds and hunters. She possessed many equipages. With
a game of marl before the château, indoor games for rainy days, violins
from the Tuileries to play for dancing, it would be difficult to find a
court more brisk, more constantly in joyous movement.

Mademoiselle, whom nothing tired, set an example, and seasoned these
"games of action" with _causeries_, some of which happily have been
preserved for us by Segrais,[6] her Secretary of the Commandments.
Thanks to him, we know, even admitting that he may have slightly
rearranged his reports, what they talked about at the court of
Saint-Fargeau, and one cannot fail to be somewhat surprised. He tells us
all sorts of things of which we never should have dreamed, things that
we have never imagined as subjects of interest in the seventeenth
century. In this age which believed itself entirely indifferent towards
nature, conversation nevertheless fell ceaselessly upon the beauties of
landscape. People paused to admire "points of view," sought them, and
endeavoured to explain why they were beautiful. The reasons given were,
that those who knew how to enjoy a large forest and "the beautiful
carpet of moss at the feet," actually preferred landscapes made more
intelligible through the intervention of man. A desert pleased them less
than an inhabited country, a wild landscape less than sunny collections
of cultivated fields and orchards symmetrically planted, recalling "the
agreeable variety of parterres made by the ingenuity of man."

Mademoiselle praises in her _Mémoires_ the view from the end of the
terrace. She attempts to describe it and fails. Segrais also tries in
vain. It was impossible at that epoch. The vocabulary did not exist
which could furnish words to describe a landscape. The creation of our
descriptive vocabulary is one of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's[7] greatest
glories. In compensation, Segrais knew very well how to explain why the
beauty of the view, about which he had so ineffectively written, pleased
him and his companions. He said that, arranged by chance, it conformed
to the rules of classic pictures and in no way appeared the sole work of
nature. Neither the valley of the Loing nor the immense marsh which
closed this side of the château, nor the island in the midst of this
marsh, with clumps of trees, nor the church and small height which could
be perceived, seemed placed without human intervention. "And this,"
writes Segrais, "is so well represented in those excellent landscapes of
the great artists, that all who look upon it believe that they have seen
the marsh, church, and little island in a thousand pictures."

Literature, imaginative literature at least, also held a considerable
place in the conversation. Mademoiselle, who had read nothing before her
sojourn at Saint-Fargeau, was anxious to make up for lost time. "I am a
very ignorant creature," writes she, at the beginning of her exile,
"detesting reading and having seen only the gazettes. Henceforth I am
going to apply myself and see if it be possible to like a thing from
deliberate determination."

Success surpassed her hopes; she conceived a passion for reading. In the
winter of 1652-1653, during which there were few distractions, and the
château was given over to workmen; when the bad weather and the rough
roads rendered Saint-Fargeau unapproachable, and left the castle
solitary, she read, or listened to reading while plying her needle,
without being bored.

     I laboured from morning till night at my work and descended
     from my chamber only to dine or to be present at mass. The
     winter weather was so bad that walking was impossible. If there
     ever was a moment of fine weather I rode, or if the ground was
     too frozen I walked a little to watch my workmen. While I sewed
     some one read to me, and it was at this period that I began to
     love reading as I have done ever since.

At the end of some years of banishment her "erudition" struck Dr. Huet,
who met her at the baths of Forges. "She loves history passionately,"
says he in his _Mémoires_, "but above all, romances, so-called. While
her women were dressing her hair, she desired me to read aloud, and no
matter what the subject, it provoked a thousand questions on her part.
In this I well recognised the acuteness of her mind."

The fashionable romances easily pleased a Princess who had a grandeur of
soul and loved to meet it in others. They were the works of
Gomberville,[8] of La Calprenède, and of Mlle. de Scudéry, in which the
sheepfolds and dove-cotes of l'Astrée had yielded to the heroic
adventures and grand sentiments of princes warlike and proud, who,
notwithstanding their exotic names, were the same who resisted under
Richelieu, and lead the Fronde under Mazarin. The generations born in
the first third of the century were charmed with the resemblance to
their own heroes which these tales offered them. They went wild with
delight over Scythe, Oroondate, or the Grand Cyrus, as they were
fascinated with Saint-Preux and Lelia, and many readers remained
faithful till death to these writers who had so well expressed the
ideals of their youth.

At sixty, La Rochefoucauld re-read La Calprenède. Mme. de Sévigné was a
grandmother when she found herself "glued" to _Cléopâtre_. "The beauty
of the sentiments," writes she, "and the violence of the passions, the
grandeur of the events, and the marvellous successes of the redoubtable
swords, all enchain me as if I were still a little child. The sentiments
are of a perfection which satisfy my conception of beautiful souls."[9]

Realism and Naturalism have in the present day destroyed the capacity
for enthusiasm for heroes of romance. One's imagination can hardly be
kindled by a Coupeau or a Nana, nor even by a Madame Bovary, whatever
may be the literary value of the works in which they figure. For the
little court of Saint-Fargeau it was hardly possible to speak calmly of
the favourite heroes. One day, followed by a numerous assemblage,
Mademoiselle drove in the fresh valley of the Loing and descended from
her chariot under the tall willows which bordered the little river. It
was spring and the sun was radiant. The new grass and the growing leaves
offered a picture so "laughing" that nothing else could at first be
spoken of. While walking, the conversation finally turned upon romance,
and each fought for the favourite hero. The discussion was waxing warm
when the Princess, who had hardly spoken, intervened to moderate its
ardour. After avowing that she had read but little, she gave an eulogium
upon Roman history, or rather what it might become, better comprehended
in the hands of a learned writer, and criticised the custom of giving
French manners to Greeks, Persians, or Indians.

Mademoiselle desired greater "historic truth" and what might be
designated as more local colour. Why not frankly take characters from
French contemporaries? "I am astonished," she said in ending, "that so
many people of intelligence who have created for us such worthy
Scythians and such generous Parthians have not taken the same pleasure
in imagining as accomplished French cavaliers or princes: whose
adventures would not have been less pleasing." After a moment's
silence, objections were advanced. The idea of writing a romance upon
the "war of Paris" seemed very daring. One young lady very naïvely urged
that the author would not know how to name his characters. "The French,"
said she, "naturally love foreign names. Arabaze, Iphidamante, Crosmane,
are beautiful names; Rohan, Lorraine, Montmorency, are nothing of the

The old Mme. de Choissy, with the authority given by her noted
intelligence, tried to prove that in an imaginative recital both time
and space must be distant. One Marquise appeared wearied of the kings
and emperors of romance, and desired heroes taken from the middle class.
Another, Mme. de Mauny, who was supposed[10] to have invented the
expression "_s'encanailler_" asserted that it was forbidden to heroes of
romance to do or say anything derogatory to pure sentiment, which was
possible to those of "high birth only." Mademoiselle maintained the
necessity of observation and truth for the tale, but she admitted that
the author of a great romance, writing as a "poet," had the right to
imagine events, instead of servilely copying them. "The tale," said she,
"relates things as they are, the romance as they should be."

This distinction neither lacks acuteness nor a certain justice, and we
should like to know how much Segrais had contributed to it. No one
having replied to this last remark, the Princess remounted her carriage,
and gave the order to follow the pack of hounds, which had just started
a hare a few steps off. She was obeyed, in spite of the obstacles which
the country presented, and she returned to the château, very well
satisfied with her afternoon.

At Saint-Fargeau they talked more frequently of love than of either
literature or the beauties of nature. Love is a subject of which women
never weary, and about which they always have something to say.
Mademoiselle lent herself completely to such conversation; it was she
who one day posed a question the subtlety of which the Hôtel Rambouillet
might have enjoyed. "Whose absence causes the greater anguish, a lover
who should be loved or one who should not be?"

She consented to admit the ideas of l'Astrée upon the fatality of
passion, on the condition that the effects should be limited to
personages of romance, or in real life to those of humble birth. Segrais
makes her say without protest in a tale[11] ascribed to her "Man is not
free to love or not to love as he pleases." In the depths of her soul,
in her most intimate thoughts, Mademoiselle had never been further from
comprehending love, never had she more energetically refused for it any
beauty, any grandeur. One of her ladies, the gracious Frontenac, with
her eyes "filled with light," had made a marriage of inclination, an act
absurd, base, and shameful in the judgment of Mademoiselle, her
mistress. The marriage turned out badly. M. de Frontenac was eccentric.
His young wife at first feared, then hated him, and at Saint-Fargeau
there passed between the couple tragi-comic scenes, of which no one
could be ignorant.

Mademoiselle had just commenced her _Mémoires_.[12] She eagerly relates
the conjugal quarrels of M. and Mme. de Frontenac with more details than
it would be suitable to repeat, and this was the opportunity for an
outburst against the folly of trying to found marriage upon the most
fickle of human feelings. She writes:

     I have always had a strong aversion for even legitimate love.
     This passion appears to me unworthy of a noble soul; but I am
     now confirmed in this opinion, and I comprehend well that
     reason has but little to do with affairs of passion. Passion
     passes quickly, is never, in fact, of long duration. One may be
     unhappy for life in entering upon marriage for so transient a
     feeling, but on the other hand, happy if one marries for reason
     and other imaginable considerations, even if physical aversion
     exists; for I believe that one often loves more with this
     aversion conquered.

The principle may be sage, but the Grande Mademoiselle is too sure of
her fact. This "even if aversion exists" is difficult to digest. The
Princess was nearing her thirtieth year, when she treated love with
contempt, and nothing had yet warned her of the imprudence of defying
nature; so she believed herself well protected.

In the spring of 1683, the rumour had spread that she and M. le Prince
de Condé had promised to marry, in the expectation and hope of being
soon relieved of the Princess de Condé, now a hopeless invalid, and that
the imagination of Mademoiselle, for lack of heart, pressed her
"furiously" in this affair. The Parisian salons had discovered no other
explanation for the hostile attitude which she persisted in maintaining
towards the Court of France, which she had so much interest in
conciliating. It was inconceivable that without some reason of this kind
she should compromise herself as she did, for a Prince who had become an
alien and whom she might never again see. Why betray news through
letters which always fell into the hands of Mazarin? Why leave to Condé,
now a Spanish General, the companies raised under the Fronde with the
funds of Mademoiselle and bearing her name? Either she had lost her
senses or one might expect some romantic prank, which could only be
unravelled by marriage.

"Have you told everything?" demanded Mademoiselle of the old Countess de
Fiesque, her former governess, one morning, when this last poured out
the comments of the world. "No," said the good woman. Her mistress let
her proceed, then expressed herself as indignant that she should have
been believed capable of marrying on account of a sudden passion; the
other reproaches had not touched her.

She declared that M. le Prince had never spoken of marriage, that it
would be time to think of this if Madame la Princesse should die, when
M. le Prince should be pardoned, when he should formally demand her
hand, and the King should approve the affair.

     I believe [continued she] that I should marry him finding in
     his personality only what is grand, heroic, and worthy of the
     name I bear. But that I should marry like a young lady of
     romance, that he should come to seek me upon a palfrey
     destroying all barriers in the road; and on the other hand that
     I should mount another palfrey like Mme. Oriane[13]; I assure
     you this would not suit my temper, and I am very indignant
     against those people who have thought it possible.

At this point the Princess was silent. It would have been the moment to
confess the true key to her conduct; but one must avow that, in spite of
her fine words and her expressed contempt for lovers, she was after all
a true Princess of romance, led by her imagination.

The idea of making war upon the King from the bottom of a cellar had
amused her, and still more the thinking of herself as the price of peace
between her cousin and Condé, and she had not wished to look further.

While the tempest gathered over her head, the great preoccupation of
Mademoiselle was the installation of a theatre in her dilapidated
château, in which the country workmen had not yet succeeded in arranging
a suitable bedroom for her. She could no longer live without the comedy;
the theatre must come first. It was ready in February, 1653, and
inaugurated immediately by a wandering troop, engaged for the season.
The hall was commodious, but very cold. The court of Saint-Fargeau
descended from its garrets entirely muffled, the ladies in fur hoods.
The country people, only too delighted to be invited to shiver in such
good company, hastened from distances of ten leagues. Mademoiselle was
perfectly contented: "I listened to the play with more pleasure than
ever before."

We no longer understand what it means to love truly the theatre.
According to the gazette of Loret, the opening piece was a pastoral,
"half gay, half moral." Mademoiselle loved this sort, slightly out of
fashion; Segrais has preserved an agreeable reminiscence of a summer's
evening passed in the forest, with the natural background of high trees,
listening to an ancient "Amaryllis" repolished and arranged for the
stage by some penny-a-liner.

Mademoiselle loved, what is more, everything pertaining to the theatre
from tragedy to trained dogs. One reads in a little squib written by her
as a pastime,[14] and printed for the diversion of her friends,
"Comedians are essentials--at least for the French and Italians.
Jugglers, rope dancers, _buveurs d'eau_, without forgetting marionettes
and bell players, dogs trained to leap, and monkeys as examples to our
own; violins and merry-andrews and good dancers." This skit should not
be taken too seriously, but it well accords with the account left us by
an eye-witness of one of the representations at Saint-Fargeau. The piece
was called _Country Pleasures_, an operetta. The greatest applause fell
neither to the Goddess Flora, nor to the "melancholy lover," but to two
children disguised as monkeys, and executing songs with the "cadence
which belongs to those animals."

Twice a week, the pleasures and cares of Saint-Fargeau were varied by
the arrival of messengers bringing letters and gazettes. News not to be
trusted to the post was received through guests from Paris or by special
messengers. The news consisted mainly of political events, but it fell
to the exiles to discover the springs and to draw the morals from the
facts. This talent of divining, possessed in a high degree by the
Parisians, has never passed the _banlieue_. It cannot be carried away.

Mademoiselle herself had never attained the art. Even at the Tuileries
she used to say: "I can never guess anything." Once in her place of
refuge, she comprehended nothing of the real significance of passing
events. For those who were not Provincials there was nothing clearer
than the conduct of the Court of France, after its return to the
capital. Mademoiselle had fled from the Tuileries October 21, 1652. The
next day the young King held a _Lit de Justice_, in which the Parliament
was forbidden to occupy itself with the general affairs of the kingdom.
Banishments and pursuits immediately commenced, but the gazettes hardly
referred to them. From their pages one might have gathered that Paris
was entirely absorbed in its pleasures.

The post of November brought to Saint-Fargeau description of the first
Court ball and some lines on a new _Lit de Justice_ (November 13th), in
which the Prince de Condé and his adherents had been declared criminals
"de lèse majesté." The December number of the _Gazette_ gave news of the
arrest of Retz, who had rallied before the end of the Fronde, and the
account of a great marriage with enumeration of gifts and names of
donors, exactly as in our modern journals. The January number was made
interesting by the accounts of the several successes of Turenne over
Condé and the Spanish troops, and by the news of the death of an ancient
aunt of Mademoiselle who had been in retreat for seven or eight years.
The necrological article took a larger space in the gazette of Loret
than that absorbed by the warlike and political news together.

The third of the following month the revolutionary era was closed by the
triumphal return of Mazarin. Louis XIV. travelled three leagues to meet

    _Encor qu'il fait un temps étrange
    Temps de vent, de pluie et de fange_,

and took him back in his own carriage to the Louvre, where a sumptuous
festival, fireworks, and homage, more or less sincere, from the crowds
of courtiers, awaited him.

The attention of the Parisians was at once directed to a grand ballet
with mechanical devices and changes of scene, danced three times by the
King and the flower of his nobility,[15] before a public analogous to
that of the free representations of July 14th in Paris. Places were
reserved for the Court and its guests, who really made part of the
spectacle, but otherwise all entered who desired. The crowd besieged the
doors to see what will probably never again be witnessed: a monarch
sufficiently sure of his prestige to dare to pirouet, costumed as a
mythological divinity, or stagger as a thief who had drunk too much,
before the _canaille_ of his capital.

The following day, a journalist bitterly bewails in his paper having
seen nothing at all, although he had stood in line three hours and
waited eight hours in the hall. This journalist exacted and obtained
consideration; at the second representation, the chronicler before
carelessly treated was lead in ceremony to the "reserved places." He was
not yet content, not being in front. He showed himself, however, a good
fellow and wrote an article admiring all, even a scene in which the joke
to-day seems somewhat inhuman. It was a dance of cripples, the
contortions of these miserable beings causing much laughter.

Of the abuses which gave rise to the Fronde, no living soul breathed a
word. Not one of these abuses had disappeared. For the most part they
had been aggravated by the general disorder; but France resembled an
invalid who had so far found only charlatans for physicians; it was
weary of remedies. "The people of Paris," wrote André d'Ormesson, "were
disgusted with Princes and did not longer wish to feed upon war."

One might say the same of the Provinces. They remained for the most part
troubled and miserable, their hate now turning against the nobility,
with whom the four years of anarchy had brought back the manners of the
feudal brigands. Deceived on all sides, betrayed by all its pretended
saviours, the country began again to put its faith in the central power.
It was only necessary that this last should regain its strength day by
day, and it was clear to the Parisians as well as to the Provinces that
the first use royalty would make of convalescence would be to cripple
the nobility so that a revival of the Fronde would be impossible.

The period had passed in which the King could be aided by the nobles
according to their own methods not his, as at the time in which they had
fought against him, to deliver him from his first minister. Louis XIV.
wished now to be served in his own way, which was to be obeyed, and he
felt the strength to impose obedience. It required all the naïveté of
Mademoiselle to be able to imagine that she could make the King as an
old Frondeur admit the distinctions between M. le Prince whose success
one had the right to desire, and the Spanish soldiers led by this same
Prince in whom one must not be interested. She had so little realisation
of the change which had taken place in sentiments, from the date of her
exile, that she did not even attempt to conceal her grief at the news of
the victory at Arras brought back by Turenne, August 27, 1654.

The Grande Mademoiselle believed herself in accord with her King and
country when she wrote in her _Mémoires_: "I have not desired the
Spaniards to gain advantage over the French, but I do wish that M. le
Prince might do so and I cannot persuade myself that this is against the
service of the King." It was then four months since the young monarch
had entered, whip in hand, into his Parliament and forbade it to mix
itself with his affairs; but his cousin had no more comprehended this
warning than the others which had preceded it. It had not once occurred
to her that the cadet branches of the royal family were amongst the
vanquished and that the relations of the King of France, very far from
being in a position to dictate to him, would henceforth be the most
strictly held in leash of all his subjects. Only the approach of the
great revolution gave them an opportunity to regain their importance and
we know how much Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette were able to
congratulate themselves over this fact.

Monsieur Gaston undertook to bring his daughter to a realisation of the
truth. It had been said that as long as he lived bitter experiences
would come to Mademoiselle through this dangerous Prince.

Gaston d'Orléans had disappeared from the stage at the end of the
Fronde, like a true hero of comedy. His wife said, half weeping, half
laughing, that he seemed to her a Tewlin, a celebrated comic actor who
filled the rôle designated to-day as the "king of operetta."

The return of the Court to Paris had been announced to the Luxembourg by
a letter from Louis XIV. This news had entirely upset Monsieur and he
blustered with so much appearance of truth that Mademoiselle had once
more been convinced. "He was so completely beside himself," relates de
Retz, "that one would judge from his manner of speaking, that he was
already on horseback, completely armed and ready to cover with blood the
plains of St. Denis and Grenelle."

Madame was terrified; she endeavoured to pacify him, but the more she
tried the more vigorously he threatened to annihilate everything. His
martial ardour vanished when he received a decree of banishment (October
21, 1652). It was at the date the King was entering Paris, and cannon
were heard on all sides, the populace, according to the custom of the
times, firing in the air as a sign of joy. Nothing, however, could
persuade Monsieur, old Parisian as he was, that these charges did not
come from the King's guards, and that the palace was not being besieged.

[Illustration: =CARDINAL DE RETZ= Showing him in his Coadjuteur days.
After the painting by Deveria.]

He was overcome with terror; moved to and fro with agitation; sent
constantly to inquire what was going on, and finally hastened his
departure, which should not have taken place till the next day before
dawn. He drew a free breath only upon arriving at the valley of
Chevreuse. No one dreamed of retaining him--on the contrary, Mazarin,
who governed France from the depths of his exile, was resolved to have
no more trouble with him. "Let his Royal Highness depart with his
appanage,"[16] wrote he. His Royal Highness having arrived at the
Château of Limours, Michel Le Tellier, Secretary of State and War,
hastened to find him, and it was a repetition of the former scenes with

In his final adieus to public life, Gaston d'Orléans denounced Retz as
before he had denounced Chalais, Montmorency, Cinq-Mars, and many
others. When he had said all that he wished, thus preparing the arrest
of the Cardinal, who was to astonish Mademoiselle by arriving at
Saint-Fargeau, the King permitted him to retire to Blois.[17] Monsieur
obeyed with ill-grace; he felt that they were burying him alive.

This was not the first time that he had dwelt at Blois in spite of
himself. The forced sojourn made at that place under Louis XIII. had not
been disagreeable, constraint aside, because he was not definitely
limited, and he succeeded, being young and gay, in living like "a little
king of Yvetot." He had rebuilt according to his own taste (1635-1638)
a portion of the château after the plans of François Mansard, "the
cleverest architect of his times,"[18] the uncle of the builder of the
Palace of Versailles.

Chambord served him for a country-seat, near at hand, and fruitful for
the kitchen garden, with forests teeming with game for hunting-grounds,
and amiable people for subjects, who had guarded a monarchical faith and
considered themselves much honoured when the brother of the King deigned
to flatter them and their daughters.

Saint-Fargeau was steep and gloomy; Blois, on the contrary, with its sky
full of caresses, showed itself the worthy forerunner of the Angevine

    Coteaux riants y sont des deux côtés,
    Coteaux non pas si voisins de la nue,
    Qu'en Limousin, mais coteaux enchantés,
    Belles maisons, beaux parcs et bien plantés,
    Prés verdoyants donc ce pays abonde,
    Vignes et bois, tant de diversités
    Qu'on croit d'abord être en un autre monde.[19]

It is a tourist of the time who so speaks, La Fontaine, who visited
Blois in 1663, and described it to his wife in a letter half prose, half
verse. The city had charmed him on account of its beautiful situation
and the amiable manners of its inhabitants: "Life is very polished
here, possibly has always been so, the climate and the beauty of the
country contributing to its charm; probably the sojourn of Monsieur or
the number of pretty women has caused this politeness."

[Illustration: =JULIUS HARDOUIN MANSART= After the painting by Vivien]

As a man of taste, La Fontaine had admired the portion of the château of
Francis I., without regularity and order; as a good liver he had
appreciated the excellent breakfast at the inn. As a good traveller, he
had gossiped sufficiently with the people of the place to realise how
happy they were under the gentle reign of Gaston.

The traces of the civil wars had been quickly effaced in these fertile
and populous provinces. La Fontaine gaily retook his route towards
Amboise; he saw the smile of France, and he was made to enjoy it.

In this first time of peaceful enjoyment one of the great pleasures of
Monsieur was to pass through his domains as an idle prince; descending
here from his carriage to chase a stag, stopping there his boat to dine
upon the grass, inviting himself into any dwellings belonging to either
nobles or bourgeoisie in which he found pretty women.

He embarked one day on one of those covered boats which the pictures of
the seventeenth century show us. They were called "galiotes," and were
used in voyaging upon rivers and canals. "Monsieur," relates an
eye-witness, "had commanded a second boat in which he put a quantity of
provisions, and the officers of his _ménage_, those of the kitchen as
well as the wardrobe; the horses were led along the bank."

He took ten or twelve of his suite with himself, and when he reached
some beautiful and agreeable island, he disembarked and ordered dinner
and supper to be served under the shade.

"Certainly one might say that all cares were banished from our society,
that life went on without restraint, playing, drinking, eating, sleeping
at will, that time meant nothing; at last the master, although son and
brother of great kings, had put himself in the rank of his

Thus they drifted down the stream as far as Brittany. The weather was
perfect. The châteaux of the Loire defiled before the galiote. These
people travelled as if they were poets.

As soon, however, as Richelieu permitted, Gaston rushed to Paris and
again plunged into politics; which meant to him only cowardice and
betrayals, but which nevertheless fascinated him. This was his favourite
vice which nothing would have induced him to correct, for politics gave
him a round of new sensations. To hold the life of a friend in one's
hand, knowing in advance that he will be delivered to the executioner,
and at the same time bitterly to bewail his loss; to realise also that
the present grief will surely vanish and that one can joyously take
another life in the hand,--such events evidently make days most
interesting, when neither conscience nor heart are tender. These
excitements had filled the public career of Gaston, and when he found
himself again in his château of Blois, almost twenty years after the
radiant voyage down the Loire, for ever deprived, according to all
probabilities, of the strong emotions whose savour Le Tellier had
permitted him to taste for the last time in the interview at Limours,
existence appeared to him intolerably pale and empty.

The good which he could do and actually was doing, did not interest him;
he bitterly regretted the evil no longer in his power.

No one, even amongst his enemies, has ever accused him of being wicked.
Only physicians can analyse such morbid natures. Monsieur had commenced
by struggling against ennui. He had collected a fine library and had
attracted literary people to his court, in the hopes of refinding the
taste for literature which had animated his youth. He recalled his
collections of objects of art and curiosities, continued them and began
new. Nothing, however, really interested him, except a botanical garden
with which he occupied himself with pleasure.

Everything seemed infinitely puerile to a man who had contributed so
long to the making of history; it had become impossible for him to
attach any importance to the little verses of his "beaux esprits," or to
become impassioned over impaled birds or even an antique medal.

Weary of war, he threw himself into devotion. The gazette of Loret made
this fact part of the official news of France and kept the country
informed of his progress in the path of piety. The first sign which he
gave of his conversion was to correct himself of a fault which had
formerly brought from Richelieu useless remonstrances. This Prince with
so refined a taste, cursed and swore abominably. The habit had been
caught by those near him; we know that Mademoiselle herself used lively
words in moments of irritation. In December, 1652, oaths and blasphemies
were severely forbidden at the court of Blois, and Monsieur insisted
upon obedience.

To-day, reports the gazette[21]:

    Aucun de ceux qui sont à lui,
    Quelque malheur qui lui survienne,
    N'oserait jurer la mordienne.

One learns, afterwards, that these fine beginnings were not belied, and
that Monsieur was now "less often at home than in the church." The
Parisians and the Court of France had much difficulty in believing that
repentance should have come to a spirit so free and so skeptical. His
piety would have been entirely estimable "if his laziness had not in
some portion aided his virtue." But however this may be, the devotion of
Gaston was not the less sincere. He reformed his life, and succeeded in
finding, at the foot of the altar, not perhaps contentment, but some
patience and resignation.

This did not come, however, for a long time; the beginning of his
definite exile was filled with miserable agitations and complaints
without dignity. Madame rejoined him with their little flock of
daughters.[22] This Princess did not add to the animation of the
château. Entirely occupied with her own health, she lived shut up,
without any other distraction than that of eating from morning till
night, "in order to cure her melancholies," relates the Grande
Mademoiselle, "but which really increases her ills." She gave no orders,
only sent for her daughters ten minutes in the morning and evening,
never spoke to them except to say "Hold yourselves erect, raise your
head"; this was her sole instruction. She never saw them again during
the day and never inquired what they were doing.

The governess in her turn neglected her pupils, who were abandoned to
the care of inferiors. Their father found nothing to criticise in these
educational methods; Anne of Austria had not brought up her sons very
differently. Besides, Monsieur was a submissive husband. He considered
his wife's judgment good, and that she possessed much more intelligence
than was indicated by her large, frightened eyes.

"This one," said Tallemant, "is a poor idiot, who nevertheless has
intelligence." Mme. de Motteville judged her exactly the same. Madame
was not loved because she was not amiable, but no one was astonished at
her ascendancy over her husband.

Gaston's court, contrary to that of his daughter, was almost deserted.
Disgrace for this couple had been the signal for general abandonment.
During the first years, Gaston took the trouble to entertain his guests;
he became again, for some hours, the incomparable talker, who knew a
thousand beautiful tales and found charming methods of telling them.[23]
Chapelle and Bachaumont were received at the château on their passage to
Blois in 1656, and brought back the pleasantest remembrances of the
dinners of the Duc d'Orléans.

    La d'une obligeante manière,
    D'un visage ouvert et riant,
    Il nous fit bonne et grande chère,
    Nous donnant a son ordinaire
    Tout ce que Blois a de friand.

"The table arrangements were the neatest possible, not even a crumb of
bread was allowed on the table. Well polished glasses of all sorts stood
upon the buffet, and ice was abundant. The hall was prepared for the
evening dance, all the beauties of the neighbouring cities invited, all
the violins from the provinces collected."[24] After a short time,
however, the effort of entertaining became a burden upon Monsieur. He
cared for nothing but repose, and he would have passed the remainder of
his days in sleeping with open eyes, if it had not been for his daughter
of Saint-Fargeau, the terrible Mademoiselle, from whom he had separated
at Paris after a painful explanation, and who had never left him in
peace since that time.

She had commenced by coming to seek him in spite of frequent commands,
to which she paid not the least attention. The Grande Mademoiselle,
openly allied to Condé, was a compromising guest for a Prince possessed
at this epoch with the desire to retake his place near the throne. In
vain she declared that she had recalled her troops from the army of the
Prince, her father knew very well that she was mocking him, and received
her coldly on the evening of her first arrival (December, 1652). "He
came to meet me at the door of his room, and said, 'I do not dare to
come out because I have a swollen cheek.'" A moment after Monsieur heard
from afar a joyous voice; it was Mademoiselle relating the adventures
during her flight to Saint-Fargeau. Monsieur could hold out no longer.
He approached, made her recommence, and laughed with the others. The ice
was broken. The fourth day, however, he said to Préfontaine, the man of
confidence of Mademoiselle, while walking in the park of Chambord, "I
love my daughter very much, but I have many obligations, and shall be
easier if she stays here but little."

Mademoiselle departed the next day. The following month (January, 1653),
Monsieur and Madame made a sojourn at Orléans. In spite of new orders,
Mademoiselle came to pass a day with them. "I did not wait for escort,"
wrote she, "I departed suddenly from Saint-Fargeau and went to

This determination to impose herself upon people whom she saw with but
little pleasure, is difficult to explain. Monsieur and Madame, who
feared her, welcomed her, and her father said in bidding her farewell,
"The affairs of your minority have never been settled. I wish to close
this business. Give orders for this to your people."

Mademoiselle did not wait for a second request. "In consequence I wrote
to Paris, then to Blois, a host of writings which were somewhat
wearisome." Monsieur had his own projects. It was the single opportunity
to extract a little money for the daughters by his second wife.

These young princesses had nothing to expect from their own mother, and
very little from their father, whose pensions and appointments were
destined to disappear with him. Madame was preoccupied with this

     For a long time [reports one of their intimates][25] Madame has
     skilfully urged Monsieur to think of his affairs, and to put
     some solid property aside for her children, telling him that he
     possessed nothing in the world not reversible to the crown in
     case he had no male children, and that their daughters would be
     left to the mercy of the court and the ministers for their

Until Gaston's disgrace, Madame had obtained nothing, and for cause. Her
husband ruined himself at play; he had been seen to lose a half-million
francs to the famous Chevalier de Gramont. He reformed only at Blois,
too late to begin to save; his debts crushed him, and his pensions were
paid most irregularly. The fortune of Mademoiselle presented itself as
the sole means of floating the House of Orléans, and the accounts of her
minority were the troubled waters in which it was proposed to fish.
Monsieur did not suspect how much the exile and the influence of
Préfontaine had changed his daughter.

The Préfontaine type has disappeared with the ancient régime. There is
no place in our democratic society for these men at once servants and
friends; friends however who remained in the background. Persons of this
kind were frequently met with in the great families of former times, and
nothing appeared more natural than the dog-like devotion to their
masters, always exacting and often ungrateful. The Grande Mademoiselle
was not ungrateful but she was violent, and it was always upon the
patient Préfontaine that she vented her anger. He was the counsellor,
the factotum shrewd and firm, to whom all affairs came, the confidant
who knew her most secret projects of marriage without ceasing to be the
domestic of no account.

His mistress could do nothing without him, and she does not even tell
us--she who loses herself in the smallest details when they concerned
people of quality in her suite--at what date this precious man entered
her service. She mentions him for the first time in 1651, without
saying who he is or where he comes from. From that date she never ceased
to speak of him as long as the troubled times lasted, but left him in
the shadow nevertheless in her _Mémoires_. When we have said that he was
a gentleman, that there was no reason for his devotion to Mademoiselle
but his own choice, we have told all we know about him. He had found the
affairs of his mistress in a very bad condition, and so he warned her;
Monsieur, her father, had been a negligent guardian and what is more an
untrustworthy one. At first Mademoiselle would not listen to
Préfontaine. It was at Paris in the midst of the fire of the Fronde, and
she had other things to think of.

Préfontaine returned to the charge at Saint-Fargeau, where time
abounded, and was better received. A new sentiment had awakened in
Mademoiselle. She commenced to love money. She took interest in her
affairs, and skilfully applied herself to economising with so much
success that she would have soon risen to be a Countess Pimbesche.

Ideas of order and economy, rarely found with princesses of this epoch,
occurred to her. "It is not sufficient," said she one day to
Préfontaine, "to have an eye upon my legal affairs and the increase of
my revenues; but it is also necessary to supervise the expenses of my
house. I am convinced that I am robbed, and to prevent this, I wish to
be accounted to as if I were a private person."

This was not beneath a great Princess. Examination proved that she _was_
robbed by her people. After being assured of this, she took upon herself
the duty of supervising all the accounts twice a week, "even to the

She knew the price of everything; "who could have predicted when I lived
at Court, that I should ever know how much bricks, lime, plaster,
carriages cost, what are the daily wages of the workmen, in fine all the
details of a building, and that every Saturday I should myself settle
the accounts: every one would have been skeptical." And still more the
people at large; it was really almost incredible. She quickly perceived
that Monsieur had not taken his duties as guardian very seriously. It
was in his belief both the right and duty of the chief of the Orléans
family to advance the general interests of the House, even at the
expense of individual members. The daughter by the first marriage was
enormously rich. What could be more just than to use her fortune for the
common good? What more natural than to throw upon her the burden of
debts contracted to add to the éclat of the family? or to give a little
of her superfluity to her young sisters in view of their establishment?

Gaston sent to his daughter for signature an act conceived in this
spirit, and received the clearest refusal. Very respectfully but with
firmness Mademoiselle assured him that henceforth she intended to hold
to her legal rights, which guaranteed the integrity of her fortune.
Monsieur threw himself into a great rage, but knew not what more to do.
Politics gave him unexpected aid. A gentleman sent as courier by Condé
into France had just been arrested. Among other letters was found one
without address, but evidently destined for Mademoiselle and most
compromising for her.

Mazarin charged the Archbishop of Embrun to take a copy of this to
Gaston. The dispatch in which the prelate renders account of his mission
has been preserved. Here is one of the significant passages:

                                              BLOIS, March 31, 1653.


     I arrived Sunday evening in this city where I was received most
     warmly by Monsieur.... Immediately upon arrival I had a
     conference of an hour with him alone in his cabinet. I pointed
     out to him through the letter addressed to Mademoiselle her
     relations to M. le Prince, the Spaniards, and M. de Lorraine,
     which were all visibly marked in the letter. He declared
     himself very ill satisfied with Mademoiselle, but that the
     Queen knew that they had never been eight hours at a time
     together: and that at this moment she was trying to cause
     trouble in demanding account of his care of her wealth when he
     was guardian, and that it was thus impossible to doubt his
     anger. I told him that I had orders to beseech his Royal
     Highness to make two observations upon the letter; the first:
     that Mademoiselle as long as she enjoyed the free possession of
     her immense wealth could assist any party she pleased, and that
     the King in order to check this had resolved to place
     administrators or a commission over her property to preserve it
     for her own use, but without permitting its abuse. His Royal
     Highness should be left the choice of these commissioners.

     The second remark was, that it was to be feared, according to
     the news in the letter, that if M. le Prince advanced,
     Mademoiselle would join him, and that the King in this
     difficulty demanded counsel of him as the person most
     interested in the conduct of Mademoiselle. Gaston replied: that
     he had ordered his daughter to join him at Orléans, Tuesday of
     Holy Week; and he would bring her back to Blois, and keep her
     near him.

     I have also, my Lord, talked over the same subjects with Madame
     as with Monsieur, knowing that she was very intelligent, and
     also that Monsieur deferred much to her opinions.

Mazarin took no action upon this communication of the Archbishop of

It was sufficient to intimate to Monsieur that he was authorised not to
worry himself about a rebel, and Gaston on his side asked nothing

Sure of being for the present under Court protection, he poured forth
bitter words and threats against this disobedient and heartless
daughter, who forgot her duty. Sometimes he wrote to her that "if she
did not willingly give everything he demanded he would take possession
of all the property and only give her what he pleased."

Sometimes he cast fire and flame between her and the public: "She does
not love her sisters; says they are beggars; that after my death she
will see them demand alms, without giving a penny. She wishes to see my
children in the poor-house," and other sentiments of the same kind,
which were repeated at Saint-Fargeau.

Mademoiselle herself dreamed one day that Monsieur thought of enclosing
her in a convent, "that this was the intention of the King," and that
she must prepare for his coming. At the same time she was warned from
Paris that her father had promised the Court to arrest her as soon as
she arrived at Blois. Things reached such a pass that Gaston could no
longer hear the name of his daughter without flying into a passion.

The Princess had at first showed herself fearless. Knowing that the
letter of Condé did not have any address, she denied that it was meant
for her and took a high hand with her father; "I assert that they cannot
take away my property unless I am proved either mad or criminal and I
know very well that I am neither one nor the other."

Reflection, however, diminished her assurance. The idea of "being
arrested" terrified her, and it was this fate, in the opinion of her
ladies, which awaited her at Blois--for which reason Monsieur, having
previously forbidden her to come, now ordered her to meet him.

She wept torrents of tears; she was ill when she was obliged to obey and
she confesses that on arriving at Blois she quite lost her head from
terror. It was the story of the hare and the frogs. The projects of
Gaston, whatever they may have been, vanished at sight of this agitated
person and he had no other thought than of calming his daughter and
avoiding scenes.

For this he exerted all his grace, which was much, and forced
Mademoiselle, reassured and calmed, to acknowledge that her father could
be "charming."

The days rolled by and the question of their differences was not touched
upon. "I wanted one day to speak to him about my affairs and he fled and
would pay no attention."

Mademoiselle felt the delights of a country covered with superb châteaux
in which she was fêted, and amiable cities which fired cannon in her
honour. She made excursions during a large part of the summer (1653) and
finally separated from her father most amicably. Eight days after, the
situation however was more sombre than before her departure for Blois.
The demands of Monsieur had not diminished, his language became still
more hard and menacing.

These differences lasted many years. Mademoiselle lets it be understood
that it was a question of considerable sums. She relates sadly the
progress of the ill-will of her father; how painful her sojourn at Blois
had been, so that she wept from morning till night; how without the
influence of Préfontaine she would have retired into a Carmelite
convent; "not to be a religieuse, God having never given me that
vocation, but to live away from the world for some years." The ennui of
the cloister life would have been compensated by the thought that it was
an economical one. "I should save much money," said she; and this
thought consoled her. Once it was believed that an amicable solution was
imminent. The father and daughter had submitted themselves to the
arbitration of the maternal grandmother of Mademoiselle, the old Mme.
de Guise, who had made them promise in writing to sign "all that she
wished without reading the stipulations."

The only result was a more definite embroilment. Mme. de Guise[26] "was
devoted to her House,"[27] that ambitious and intriguing House of
Lorraine into which she had married, and with which she was again
connected through the second wife of Gaston, sister of the Duke
Henri.[28] When Mademoiselle, after "signing without reading," realised
the force of the "transaction" into which she had been led by her
grandmother, she declared that Mme. de Guise had despoiled her with
shocking bad faith, in order that her half-sisters, the little
Lorraines, should no longer be menaced with the "poor-house." The love
of family had extinguished with Mme. de Guise, as with Monsieur, all
considerations of justice and sense of duty towards her own
granddaughter. All this happened at Orléans in the month of May, 1655.
Mademoiselle, indignant, ran to her grandmother:

     I told her that it was evident that she loved the House of
     Lorraine better than the House of Bourbon; that she was right
     in seeking to give money to my sisters, that they would have
     little from Madame, and this showed me, indeed, to be a lady of
     great wealth, enough to provide for others, and that
     the fortune of my family should be established upon what could be
     seized from me; but as I was so much above them that they could
     receive my benefactions, it would serve them better to depend upon
     my liberality rather than to attempt to swindle me; that this would
     be better before both God and man.

This scene lasted three hours. The same day Monsieur was warned that
Mademoiselle refused to be "duped." He gave a precipitate order for
departure, and declined to receive his daughter. In the disorder that
ensued Madame almost went dinnerless and appeared much disconcerted.

The attendants intervened to save appearances at least, and a formal
leave was taken, but this was all; the complete rupture was consummated.
Upon the return to Saint-Fargeau, Mademoiselle at once learned that
Monsieur had taken away her men of business, including the indispensable
Préfontaine, and had left her without even a secretary. This gives a
vision of the authority possessed by the chief of a family, and its
limitations, with the princely houses of this epoch. We perceive how
much better the fortune of Mademoiselle was defended against her father
than her person and her independence. Monsieur did not dare to take away
her money without a free and formal assent; he knew that if things were
not done regularly "in a hundred years the heirs of Mademoiselle could
torment the children of Monsieur." In revenge for this disability he
tyrannised over her household. And here he was in his full right.

He could shut her up in a convent or in the Château of Amboise, as many
counselled him to do, and this again would be within his legal powers.
If he did nothing of the kind, it was only because, being nervous and
impressionable, he dreaded feminine tears.

Mademoiselle realised that she was at his mercy; it did not occur to her
to contest the parental authority--outside of the question of money. She
wept, "suffered much," but she did not attempt to save Préfontaine.

The years which followed were sad ones for her. Until this time she had
had but two days of grief a week, those upon which the courier arrived,
on account of the business letters which must be read and answered. She
confined herself to her study to conceal her red eyes, but her
correspondence once sent off, "I only thought," says she, "of amusing

Conditions changed when she was forced to understand that Monsieur, that
father so contemptible, from whom she had suffered so much since her
infancy, but so amiable that she admired and loved him notwithstanding,
had no kind of affection for her. Very sensitive, in spite of her
brusqueness, Mademoiselle experienced a profound grief at this
reflection. Her temper gave way in a moment in which the young ladies of
her suite, commencing to find the exile long, and to regret Paris, were
ill-disposed to patience. There was coldness, frictions, and finally
that domestic war, the account of which fills a large space in the
_Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle.

Petty griefs, small intrigues, and much gossip rendered insupportable to
one another persons condemned to daily intercourse. Affairs became so
strained between some of the parties that communication was impossible,
and this state of things lasted until the most discontented, Mmes. de
Fiesque and de Frontenac, had formed the determination to return to

These quarrels had the effect of spoiling for Mademoiselle
Saint-Fargeau, inclining her to submission to the Court; but mere
mention is sufficient, and we shall not again refer to them.

Mademoiselle commenced to be convinced of the imprudence of being at
odds with the Court and her father at the same time. Her obstinacy in
sustaining Condé had ended by seriously vexing Mazarin. The nobility
felt this attitude and showed less fondness for the Princess. In 1655
she approached to six leagues from Paris. She counted much upon
visitors; very few appeared. "I was responsible for so many illnesses,"
says she wittily, "for all those who did not dare to confess that they
feared to embroil themselves with the Court, feigned maladies or
accidents in extraordinary numbers."

The third day she received an order to "return." This misadventure
enlightened her; Mademoiselle admitted the necessity of making peace
with royalty. Just at this period the Prince de Condé grew less
interesting to her, as his chances of becoming a widower diminished.
Mme. la Princesse became gradually re-established in health, and each of
her steps towards recovery made Mademoiselle a little less warm for M.
le Prince. This latter perceived the change, and at once altered his
tone. "There is no rupture," says the Duc d'Aumale, "but one can
perceive the progress of the coolness and its accordance with _certain_

A letter from Condé, received after the journey to the environs of
Paris, gave warning of the end of a friendship which on one side at
least was entirely political.

                                           BRUSSELS, March 6, 1655.

... As to this change which you declare to perceive in me, you do me
much injustice and it seems to me that I have more right to reproach you
than you me. Since your long silence the tone of your letters plainly
indicates how different your present sentiments are from those of past
times. This is not true of my own; they remain always the same and if
you believe otherwise and if you lend faith to the rumours which my
enemies start, it is my misfortune, not crime; for I protest there is
nothing in them, that affairs are not in this state, and if they were I
should never listen to a proposition without full consideration for your
interests and satisfaction, also not without your consent and

You will recognise the truth of this statement through my conduct and
not one of my actions will ever give the lie to the words which I now
give you, even if you should have forgotten all the fine sentiments you
had when you came to see our army, which I can hardly consider possible
for a generous person like you.

I knew that you came to Lésigny and that, the Court disapproving
of this, you received orders to return, which fact gave me much

Mademoiselle did not longer want a pretext for withdrawing her pin from
the game. The embroilment with her father furnished it. She immediately
prayed Condé to write to her no more. "It is necessary to hold back,"
said she to herself, "and if I am able without baseness to come into
accord with the Cardinal Mazarin, I will do it in order to withdraw
myself from the persecutions of his Royal Highness."

Some days later the Comte de Bethune transmitted to the Cardinal
overtures of peace from the Grande Mademoiselle. The Cardinal desired
pledges. She sent a recall for the companies from the Spanish army, upon
which M. le Prince without warning "held the soldiers and put the
officers in prison."

In vain the indignation of Mademoiselle. "It is seven or eight years,"
wrote Condé to one of the agents, "since I have really had the favour of
Mademoiselle; I formerly possessed her good graces, but if she now
wishes to withdraw them I must accept, without desperation."[29] Here is
a man liberated rather than grieved.

Thus failed, one after the other, the menaces directed by the Fronde
against royalty. The project of alliance between the two cadet branches
of the House of Bourbon had been inspired in Mademoiselle by the desire
to marry. Few of the ideas of all those which menaced the throne which
had entered into the brain of the revolutionary leaders seemed so
dangerous and caused so much care to Mazarin. We must recollect that he
would have been ready, in order to appease the cadet branches, to marry
the little Louis XIV. to his great cousin.

Reassured at length by the promises of Mademoiselle, who engaged herself
to have nothing more to do with M. le Prince, Mazarin took the trouble
to overcome his wrath and permitted her to expect the recompense for her

In general, Mazarin had shown himself easy with the repentant Frondeurs.
The Prince de Conti had been fêted at the Louvre in 1654. It is true
that he accepted the hand of a niece of Mazarin in marriage, Anne Marie
Martinozzi, on conditions which put him in bad odour with the public.
"This marriage," wrote d'Ormesson,[30] "is one of the most signal marks
of the inconsistency of human affairs and the fickleness of the French
character to be seen in our times."

After Conti, another Prince, Monsieur, in person, entirely submerged as
he was in laziness and devotions, exerted himself sufficiently to come
to Court. The welcome involved conditions which contained nothing hard
nor unusual for Gaston d'Orléans; it cost him nothing but the
abandonment of some last friends. In truth, he received but little in
exchange. When he came to salute the King everyone made him feel that he
was already "in the ranks of the dead," according to the expression of
Mme. de Motteville. The ill-humour caused by this impression quickly
sent him back to Blois, which was precisely what was wished.

It was the men of business who profited above all by this
reconciliation. They had greater freedom to harass Mademoiselle, and
left her neither time nor repose. Their end was to make her execute the
transaction signed at Orléans, but she held her own, without counsel or
secretary. She only suffered from an enormous labour, of which her
minority accounts were only a chapter, and not the most considerable.
The administration of the immense domains had fallen entirely upon
herself. It was now Mademoiselle who opened the mass of letters arriving
from her registers, foresters, controllers, lawyers, farmers, and single
subjects--in short, from all who in the principalities of Dombes or of
Roche-sur-Yonne, in the duchies of Montpensier or of Catellerault, had
an account to settle with her, an order to demand of her, or a claim to

It was Mademoiselle herself who replied; she who followed the numerous
lawsuits necessitated by the paternal management; she who terminated the
great affair of Champigny, of which the echo was wide-spread on account
of the rank of the parties and of the remembrances awakened by the

Champigny was a productive territory situated in Touraine, and an
inheritance of Mademoiselle. Richelieu had despoiled her of it when she
was only a child, through a forced exchange for the Château of
Bois-le-Vicomte, in the environs of Meaux.

Become mistress of her own fortune, Mademoiselle summoned the heirs of
the Cardinal to give restitution, and had just gained her suit when
Monsieur took away Préfontaine. The decree returning Champigny to her
allowed her also damages, the amount to be decided by experts, for
buildings destroyed and woods spoiled. Mademoiselle estimated that these
damages might reach a large sum; she knew that with her father at Blois
the rumour ran that she had been placed in cruel embarrassments and that
it would be repeated to all comers that she had obtained almost nothing
from this source. This report excited her to action. The moment arrived;
Mademoiselle went to Champigny, and remained there during several weeks,
spending entire days upon the heels of eighteen experts, procurers,
lawyers, gentlemen, masons, carpenters, wood merchants, collected
together to value the damages. She had long explanations with that "good
soul Madelaine," counsellor of the Parliament, and charged with
directing the investigation, who was confounded at the knowledge of the
Princess. He said to her: "You know our business better than we
ourselves, and you talk of affairs like a lawyer." Operations finished,
Mademoiselle had the pleasure of writing to Blois that this doubtful
affair from which she was supposed to receive only "50,000 francs,
really amounted to 550,000." She came out less generously from her
litigation with her father. Mazarin rendered Mademoiselle the bad
service of having her suit introduced by the King's counsellor. A decree
confirmed the decision of Mme. de Guise, and there was nothing to do but
to obey. Mademoiselle signed, "furiously" weeping, the act which
despoiled her, and submitted with despair to the departure for Blois.

She was going to visit her father, after having the thought flash
through her mind that he could order her assassination. It is said there
had been some question of this at Blois. "Immersed in melancholy
reveries, I dreamed that his Royal Highness was a son of the Médicis,
and I even reflected that the poison of the Médicis must have already
entered my veins and caused such thoughts."

Her father, on the other hand, was going to overwhelm her with
tenderness after having permitted it to be said without protest that
Mademoiselle was preparing a trap, with the purpose of poisoning one of
his gentlemen.

Considering the times and the family, this was a situation only a little
"strained"; but Mademoiselle was so little a "Médicis" that she made her
journey a prey to a poignant grief, which was plainly to be read upon
her countenance by the attendants at her arrival at Blois.

"Upon my arrival I felt a sudden chill. I went directly to the chamber
of Monsieur; he saluted me and told me he was glad to see me. I replied
that I was delighted to have this honour. He was much embarrassed."
Neither the one nor the other knew what more to say. Mademoiselle
silently forced back her tears. Monsieur, to give himself composure,
caressed the greyhounds of his daughter, La Reine and Madame Souris.
Finally he said: "Let us go to seek Madame."

"She received me very civilly and made many friendly remarks. As soon as
I was in my own chamber, Monsieur came to see me and talked as if
nothing disagreeable had passed between us." A single quarter of an hour
had sufficed to bring back to him his freedom of spirit, and he made an
effort to regain the affections of his daughter.

She had never known him to continue to be severe; Monsieur counted upon
this fact. He was attentive, flattered her weaknesses great and small,
amused her with projects of marriage, and treated her greyhounds as
personages of importance; he could be seen at midnight in the lower
court in the midst of the dunghill, inquiring about Madame Souris, who
had met with an accident. He did still better; he wrote to Mazarin
asking for an accommodation with Mademoiselle.

After the rupture with Condé, it was evident from signs not to be
mistaken that the hour was approaching in which the all-powerful
minister would pardon the heroine of Orléans and of Porte Saint-Antoine.
In the month of July, 1656, Mademoiselle went to the baths of Forges, in
Normandy. She had passed in sight of Paris; had sojourned in the suburbs
without anxiety, and her name this time had not made "every one ill."

Visitors had flocked. Mademoiselle had entertained at dinner all the
princesses and duchesses then in Paris; and she drew the conclusion,
knowing the Court and the courtiers, that her exile was nearing an end.
"In truth," says she, "I do not feel as much joy at the thought as I
should have believed. When one reaches the end of a misery like mine,
its remembrance lasts so long and the grief forms such a barrier against
joy that it is long before the wall is sufficiently melted to permit
happiness to be again enjoyed."

Nevertheless the news of the letter from her father to Mazarin put her
in a great agitation. The Court of France was then in the east of France
where Turenne made his annual campaign against M. le Prince and the
Spaniards. Mademoiselle resolved to approach in order to sooner receive
the response of the Cardinal.

She quitted Blois as she had arrived there, a stranger. One single thing
could have touched her: the recall of Préfontaine and of her other
servitors struck down for having been faithful. This Monsieur had
absolutely refused; his exaggerated politeness and his grimaces of
tenderness had only the result of alienating his daughter. She felt
that he detested her and she no longer loved him.

Upon the route to Paris she doubled the length between her
stopping-places. Impatience gained as she neared the end and the
"barrier of grief" permitted itself gradually to be penetrated by joy.

She again saw, in passing, Étampes[31] and its ruins, which already
dated back five years and were found untouched by La Fontaine in 1663.
So long and difficult in certain regions was the uplifting of France,
after the wars of the Fronde, never taken very seriously by historians,
doubtless because too many women were concerned in them.

"We looked with pity at the environs of Étampes," wrote La Fontaine.[32]
"Imagine rows of houses without roofs, without windows, pierced on all
sides; nothing could be more desolate and hideous." He talked of it
during an entire evening, not having the soul of a heroine of the
Fronde, but Mademoiselle had traversed with indifference these same
ruins in which the grass flourished in default of inhabitants to wear it
away. No remorse, no regret, however light, for her share in the
responsibility for the ruin of this innocent people, had touched her
mind, and yet she was considered to possess a tender heart.

[Illustration: =JEAN DE LA FONTAINE= From an engraving by Grevedon]

She learned at Saint-Cloud that she had been invited to rejoin the Court
at Sedan. Mademoiselle took a route through Reims. She thus traversed
Champagne, which had been a battle-field during the more than twenty
years of the wars with Spain[33]; and which appeared the picture of
desolation. The country was depopulated, numbers of villages burned, and
the cities ruined by pillage and forced contributions of war.

More curious in regard to things which interest _la canaille_,
Mademoiselle might have heard from the mouths of the survivors that of
all the enemies who had trampled upon and oppressed this unfortunate
people, the most cruel and barbarous had been her ally, the Prince de
Condé, with whom were always found her own companies. She would not the
less have written in her _Mémoires_, entirely unconsciously, apropos of
her trouble in obtaining pardon from the Court: "I had really no
difference with the Court, and I was criminal only because I was the
daughter of his Royal Highness."

We have hardly the right to reproach her with this monstrous phrase. To
betray one's country was a thing of too frequent occurrence to cause
much embarrassment. The only men of this epoch who reached the point of
considering the common people[34] and attaching the least importance to
their sufferings were revolutionary spirits or disciples of St. Vincent
de Paul.

Mademoiselle had no leaning towards extremes. Neither her birth nor the
slightly superficial cast of her mind fostered free opinions. During her
journey in Champagne, she was delighted to hear again the clink of arms
and the sound of trumpets. Mazarin had sent a large escort. The
skirmishers of the enemy swept the country even to the environs of
Reims. A number of the people of the Court, seizing the occasion, joined
themselves to her, in order to profit by her gens d'armes and light

Colbert also placed himself under her protection with chariots loaded
with money which he was taking to Sedan, and this important convoy was
surrounded by the same "military pomp, as if it had guarded the person
of the King."

The great precautions were, perhaps, on account of the chariots of
money; the honours, however, were for Mademoiselle, and they much
flattered her vanity. The commandant of the escort demanded the order
from her. When she appeared the troops gave the military salute. A
regiment which she met on her route solicited the honour of being
presented to her. She examined it closely, as a warlike Princess who
understood military affairs, and of whom the grand Condé had said one
day, apropos of a movement of troops, that "Gustavus Adolphus could not
have done better." A certain halt upon the grass in a meadow through
which flowed a stream left an indelible impression. Mademoiselle offered
dinner this day to all the escort and almost all the convoy. The sight
of the meadow crowded with uniformed men and horses recalled to her the
campaigns of her fine heroic times. "The trumpets sounded during dinner;
this gave completely the air of a true army march." She arrived at Sedan
intoxicated by the military spectacle of her route, and her entry showed
this. Considering her late exile the lack of modesty might well be
criticised. The Queen, Anne of Austria, driving for pleasure in the
environs of Sedan, saw a chariot appear with horses at full gallop
surrounded by a mass of cavalry: "I arrived in this field at full speed
with gens d'armes and light riders, their trumpets sounding in a manner
sufficiently triumphant."

The entire Court of France recognised the Grande Mademoiselle before
actually seeing her. Exile had not changed her, and this entrance truly
indicated her weaknesses.


[Footnote 1: Letter of January 19, 1689.]

[Footnote 2: _Mémoires de Mademoiselle de Montpensier._ Edited by

[Footnote 3: _Mémoires de Mademoiselle de Montpensier._ Edited by

[Footnote 4: The Château of Saint-Fargeau still exists, but the interior
has been transformed since a great fire which occurred in 1752; the
apartments of Mademoiselle no longer remain. Cf. _Les Châteaux
d'Ancy-le-Franc, de Saint-Fargeau_, etc., by the Baron Chaillou des

[Footnote 5: Cf. _Les Sports et jeux d'exercice dans l'ancienne France_,
by J. J. Jusserand.]

[Footnote 6: LES NOUVELLES FRANÇAISES, ou _Les divertissements de la
princesse Aurélie_, by Segrais, Paris, 2 vols., 1656-1657. The last of
the "Nouvelles françaises," _Floridon, ou l'amour imprudent_, is the
history of the intrigues in the harem which led to the death of Bajazet.
Racine had certainly read it when he wrote his tragedy.]

[Footnote 7: See _Bernardin de Saint-Pierre_, in the Collection of
Grands écrivains. Paris, Hochette.]

[Footnote 8: His _Polexandre_ had appeared, 1629-1637; his last romance,
_La Jeune Alcidiane_, in 1651; _Cassandre_ and _Cléopâtre_, by La
Calprenède, in 1642-1647. _Arlamène, ou le Grand Cyrus_, by Mlle. de
Scudéry, was published 1649-1653.]

[Footnote 9: Letters of the 12th and 15th of July, 1671, to Mme. de

[Footnote 10: See _Le dictionnaire des Précieuses_, by Somaize.]

[Footnote 11: _Eugénie, ou la force du destin._]

[Footnote 12: Mademoiselle commenced her _Mémoires_ shortly after her
arrival at Saint-Fargeau. She interrupted them in 1660, resumed them in
1677, and definitely abandoned them in 1688, five years before her

[Footnote 13: Oriane was the mistress of Amadis.]

[Footnote 14: _La relation de l'Isle imaginaire_, printed in 1659, also
_L'histoire de la Princesse de Paphlagonie_. We shall again refer to

[Footnote 15: These representations took place in the grand hall of the
Petit Bourbon, near the Louvre. (Cf. _L'Histoire de Paris_, by

[Footnote 16: Letter of October 12th, to the Abbé Foucquet.]

[Footnote 17: _Mémoires de Montglat._]

[Footnote 18: _Mémoires du Marquis de Sourches._ Cf. _L'Histoire du
château de Blois_, by La Saussaye.]

[Footnote 19: Letter of September 3, 1663.]

[Footnote 20: Nicolas Goulas, _Mémoires_.]

[Footnote 21: Gazette of August 22, 1654.]

[Footnote 22: Four, but the last died at an early age.]

[Footnote 23: _Mémoires de Bussy-Rabutin._]

[Footnote 24: _Voyage de Chapelle et de Bachaumont._]

[Footnote 25: _Mémoires de Nicolas Goulas._]

[Footnote 26: Saint-Simon, _Écrits inédits_.]

[Footnote 27: Henriette-Catherine, Duchesse de Joyeuse, first married to
Henri de Bourbon, Duc de Montpensier, by whom she had Marie de Bourbon,
mother of Mademoiselle; married for the second time to Charles de
Lorraine, Duc de Guise, by whom she had several children.]

[Footnote 28: Henri de Lorraine reigned from 1608 to 1624.]

[Footnote 29: Letter of August 10, 1657, to the Comte d'Auteuil.]

[Footnote 30: André d'Ormesson died in 1665, dean of the Council of
State. Some fragments of his memoirs have been published by Chéruel, in
the course of the Journal of his son, Olivier d'Ormesson.]

[Footnote 31: Turenne had conquered the troops of the Prince at Étampes
(May, 1652), upon the occasion of a review in honour of Mademoiselle and
of the disorder which resulted. See _The Youth of La Grande
Mademoiselle_. Some weeks later, he besieged the town.]

[Footnote 32: Letter to his wife, August 3, 1663.]

[Footnote 33: Richelieu had declared war with Spain March 26, 1635.]

[Footnote 34: The phrase is by Bussy-Rabutin.]

Chapter II

     The Education of Louis XIV.--Manners--Poverty--Charity--Vincent
     de Paul, a Secret Society--Marriage of Louis XIV.--His Arrival
     at Power, on the Death of Mazarin--He Re-educates himself.

The remembrance of the Fronde was destined to remain a heavy weight
during the remainder of the reign of Louis XIV. Its shadow dominated for
more than half a century interior politics and decided the fate, good
and bad, of the great families.

The word "Liberty" had become synonymous with "Licence, Confusion,
Disorder,"[35] and the ancient Frondeurs passed the remainder of their
lives in disgrace, or at least in disfavour. The Grande Mademoiselle was
never pardoned, although she did not wish to avow this, even to herself.
She might have realised the fact at once upon her return to Court, if
she had not decided to believe the contrary. Warnings were not wanting.
The first was her encounter with the Queen Mother in the field of Sedan.

When Anne of Austria saw arrive to sound of trumpets, with manner at
ease and triumphant, this insolent Princess who had drawn her cannon
upon the King, hardly embracing her niece, the Queen Mother burst into
reproaches, and declared that after the battle of Saint-Antoine, "if she
had held her, she would have strangled her."[36] Mademoiselle wept; the
Court looked on. "I have forgotten everything," said the Queen at
length, and her niece was eager to believe her. The meeting with the
King was still more significant. He arrived on horseback, soaked and
muddy, from the city of Montmédy, taken that same day from the Spaniards
(August 7, 1657).

His mother said to him, "Behold a young lady, whom I present to you and
who is very sorry to have been so naughty; she will be 'very good' in
future." The young King only laughed and replied by talking of the siege
of Montmédy.

Mademoiselle nevertheless departed from Sedan filled with joyous
thoughts. She imagined reading in all eyes the news of marriage with the
brother of the King, the little Monsieur. He was seventeen, she thirty,
with hair already partially white.

Some months ensued, passed in a half retreat, and the Grande
Mademoiselle remained with the Court during the years of transition in
which the personal government of Louis XIV. was maturing. A new régime
was being born and a new world with it.

One could gradually see this new formation relegating to the shadow of
the past the old spirit of independence, and stifling the confused
aspirations of the country towards any legal liberties. Mazarin
incarnated this great political movement. On the eve of disappearance,
this unpopular minister had become all France.

He was master; no one thought any longer of resisting him; but he was
always detested, never admired. France having at this date neither
journals nor parliamentary debates, the foreign policy of Mazarin, which
in our eyes did him so much honour, remained very little known even at
Paris. This explains why his glory has been in large part posthumous. It
has increased in measure as it has been possible to judge of his entire
policy, from documents contained in our national archives or in those of
other countries. His correspondence displays so fine a diplomatic
genius, that the historians have turned aside from the evil side of the
man, his littlenesses, in order to give full weight to his services as
minister. Precisely a contrary course had been taken in the seventeenth
century. Little besides the Cardinal's defects, open to all eyes, were
realised. Bad fortune had redoubled his rapacity. Mazarin had guarded in
his heart the experience of poverty at the time in which he was expelled
from the kingdom. He had sworn to himself that he would not again be
taken without "ammunition." He had worked industriously since his return
in putting aside millions in safe keeping. Everything aided him in
raising this kind of war treasure. He sold high functions of State, and
also those belonging to low degree, even to that of laundress to the
Queen. He shared the benefits with the corsairs to whom he gave letters
of marque. He undertook contracts for public service, pocketed the
money, left our ambassadors without salaries, our vessels and
fortifications without means of subsistence. The army was crying with
hunger and thirst as soon as he made himself its sutler and its
commissariat. He furnished bread of diminished purity and even found
means, said the courtiers, to make the soldiers, so rarely paid
themselves, pay for the water they drank. Turenne once broke up his
plate to distribute the pieces to his troops, who were perishing from

Comical scenes mingled with these tragic ones. Bussy-Rabutin, who served
in the army of Turenne, had been fortunate at play. The Cardinal had
learned of this, and ordered it to be represented to Bussy that his pay
which had been pledged in the game would be guarded by the Cardinal as
his portion of the gain. He had extended his traffic into the royal
palace. It was he who furnished furniture and utensils. He undertook to
provide the Court mourning, and costumes for the fêtes: when the King
danced a ballet, his first minister gained by the decorations and
accessories. The housekeeping accounts passed through his hands. During
the campaign of 1658, he suppressed the King's cook, in order to
appropriate to himself what the table would have cost. Louis XIV. was
forced to invite himself to dine with this one and that one. Mazarin
touched even his pocket money and the young King permitted it with a
patience which was a constant source of astonishment to the courtiers.
His mother was neither better treated nor less submissive.

The Cardinal was as jealous of his authority as of his money. The King
had no voice in his council; when he accorded a pardon, however trivial,
his first minister revoked it, "scolding him like a schoolboy."[37]

It was said of the Queen Mother that her influence was only worth a
hundred crowns, and she agreed. Still more, she was scolded from morning
till night. Age had rendered Mazarin insupportable. He had no delicacy
with the King, still less with the King's mother: the courtiers shrugged
their shoulders in hearing him speak to Anne of Austria "as to a

The Queen was not insensible to this rudeness. She confessed to the
faithful Motteville "that the Cardinal had become so bad tempered and so
avaricious that she did not know how in the future it was going to be
possible to live with him." But it did not seem to occur to her that it
might be possible to live without the Cardinal. Can it be believed that
Anne of Austria and Mazarin were married, as La Palatine,[39] mother of
the Regent, asserted? As they gradually grew old, one is tempted to
believe it, so strongly the spectacle offered by these illustrious
persons, he so disagreeable, she so submissive, gives the impression
of two destinies "united together," according to the expression of the
Cardinal himself,[40] "by bonds which could not be broken." The question
to be solved is, could Mazarin marry? According to tradition he was not
a priest. According to the Euridite that point is open to
discussion.[41] Until this matter is fixed, the marriage of Anne of
Austria with her minister will remain among historical enigmas, for
everything said will be words in the air.


     Jesus-Christ Roy du Ciel et de la Terre, ie vous adore et
     reconnois pour le Roy des Roys. C'est de vostre Majesté Diuine
     que ie tiens ma Couronne: mon Dieu ie vous l'offre, pour la
     Gloire de la trés Saincte Trinité, et pour l'honneur de la
     Reine des Agnes la Sacrée Vierge Marie que iay choisy pour ma
     Protectrice, et des Estats que vous m'auez donné; Seigneur
     baillez moy vostre crainte et une si grande Sagesse et
     humilité, que ie puisse deuenir un homme selon vostre coeur; en
     sorte que ie merite efficacement le tiltre aimable de Louis
     Dieu donné le Pacifique pour maintenir vostre Peuple en Paix,
     afin qu'il vous serve avec tranquilité, et l'acomplissement de
     toutes les Vertus.


     Adorable Redempteur Jesus-Christ, qui estes le distributeur des
     Couronnes, receuez la pieté du Roy tres-Crestien, et exaucez
     ses Prieres respectueses faites par l'entremise de vostre
     Saincte Mere Vierge, que linfluence des Graces du St. Esprit
     luy soit donnée, afin croissant en aage, it croisse aussi en
     telle Sagesse, qu'il puisse maintenir vostre peuple in Paix,
     pour mieux obseruer vos saincts commandemens.

(Translation of the above.)


     Jesus Christ, King of the Heavens and the Earth, I adore Thee
     and recognize Thee for the King of Kings, the divine majesty
     from whom I receive my crown, which I offer to Thee for the
     Glory of the Most Holy Trinity, and for the honor of the Queen
     of Angels, the blessed Virgin Mary, whom I have chosen as my
     Protector, and also of the States which Thou hast given me.
     Lord grant me due reverence and that I may possess so much
     wisdom and humility that I may become a man after Thine own
     heart, so that I may truly merit the title of the Beloved
     Louis, the God-given and peaceful, and be able to maintain Thy
     people in peace that they may live in tranquillity and
     virtuously serve Thee.


     Adorable Redeemer Jesus Christ; who art the giver of crowns;
     regard the piety of the most Christian King and listen to his
     prayers for the intervention of the most blessed Mother Virgin;
     and grant that the influence of the Holy Spirit may so be
     poured out upon him that as he increases in years he may also
     grow in wisdom; and that he may keep Thy people in peace that
     they may better be able to preserve Thy commands.

[Illustration: =LOUIS XIV. AS A BOY, DEDICATING HIS CROWN= After the
painting by Greg Huret]

The patience of Louis XIV. can only be explained by his entire bringing
up and by the state of mind which had been its fruit.

Louis's cradle had been surrounded by a crowd of servitors charged to
watch over his least movement. His mother adored him and, for a queen,
occupied herself much with him. Nevertheless, there could hardly a child
be found throughout the entire kingdom so badly cared for as the son of
the King.

Louis XIV. had never forgotten this neglect and spoke of it all his life
with bitterness.

"The King always surprises me," relates Mme. de Maintenon at Saint Cyr,
"when he speaks to me of his education. His governesses gossiped the
entire day, and left him in the hands of their maids without paying any
attention to the young Prince." The maids abandoned him to his own
devices and he was once found in the basin of the fountain in the Palais
Royal. One of his greatest pleasures was to prowl in the kitchens with
his brother, the little Monsieur. "He ate everything he could lay his
hands on without paying attention to its healthfulness. If they were
frying an omelette, he would break off a piece, which he and Monsieur
devoured in some corner."[42] One day when the two little Princes thus
put their fingers into the prepared dishes, the cooks impatiently drove
them away with blows from dishcloths. He played with any one. "His most
frequent companion," again relates Mme. de Maintenon, "was the daughter
of the Queen's own maid." When he was withdrawn from such surroundings,
to be led to his mother, or to figure in some ceremony, he appeared a
bashful boy who looked at people with embarrassment without knowing what
to say, and who cruelly suffered from this shyness.

One day after they had given him a lesson, his timidity prevented him
from remembering the right words and he burst into tears with rage and
anger. The King of France to make a fool of himself!

At five and a half years, they gave him a tutor and many masters,[43]
but he learned nothing. Mazarin for reasons known to himself would not
force him to work; and circumstances favoured the views of the first
minister. The Fronde came, and rendered any study impossible on account
of the complete upsetting of the daily life of the Court of France,
which was only encamped when it was not actually on the move. Louis XIV.
was fourteen at the date of the reinstallation of the Court at the
Louvre and there was no question of making him recover the lost time; he
thenceforth passed his days in hunting, in studying steps for the
ballet, and in amusing himself with the nieces of the Cardinal. The
political world believed that it divined the reason for this limited
education and severely expressed its opinion about it. "The King," wrote
the Ambassador from Venice,[44] "applies himself the entire day to
learning the ballet.... Games, dances, and comedies are the only
subjects of conversation with the King, the intention being to turn him
aside from affairs more solid and important." The Ambassador returns to
the same subject upon the occasion of an Italian opera,[45] in which the
King exhibited himself as Apollo surrounded by beautiful persons
representing the nine muses:

     Certain people blame this affair, but these do not understand the
     politics of the Cardinal, who keeps the King expressly occupied
     with pastimes, in order to turn his attention from solid and
     important pursuits, and whilst the King is concerned in rolling
     machines of wood upon the stage, the Cardinal moves and rolls at
     his good pleasure, upon the theatre of France, all the machines of

Some few observers, of whom Mazarin himself was one, divined that this
youth, with his air of being absorbed in tomfooleries, secretly
reflected upon his profession of King, and upon the means of rendering
himself capable of sustaining it. Nature had endowed him with the
instinct of command, joined to a very lively sentiment of the duties of
his rank. Louis says in his _Mémoires_, "even from infancy the names
alone of the kings _fainéants_ and mayors of the palace gave me pain if
pronounced in my presence."[46]

His preceptor, the Abbé of Péréfixe, had encouraged this sentiment, at
the same time, however, permitting his pupil, by a contradiction for
which perhaps he was not responsible, to take the road which leads in
the direction of idleness, and thus making it possible for Louis to
become a true King _fainéant_ himself.

Péréfixe had written for the young King a history of King Henry the
Great in which one reads

     that royalty is not the trade of a do-nothing, that it consists
     almost entirely of action, that a King should make a pleasure
     of his duty, that his enjoyment should be in reigning and he
     only should know how to reign, that is, he should himself hold
     the helm of the state. His glory is interested in this.
     In truth, who does not know that there can be no honour in bearing
     a title whose functions one does not fulfil--

a doctrine which would suppress the first ministers and by which Louis
XIV. profited later.

Chance came to the aid of the preceptor. On June 19, 1651, the ancient
governess of the King, Mme. de Lansac, disturbed him in the midst of a
lesson, in order to make a gift of "three letters written by Catherine
de Médicis to Henry III.,[47] her son, for his edification." Péréfixe
took the letters and read them aloud, the King listening "with much
attention." One of them was almost a memorial.[48] In it, Catherine gave
to her son the same precept as Péréfixe to his pupil: "a king must
reign," that is to say, carry out the functions belonging to his title.
In order to "reign," one must begin to work at once upon awakening, read
all the dispatches and afterwards the replies, speak personally to the
agents, receive every morning accounts of receipts and expenditures;
pursue this course from morning till night, and every day of one's life.
It was the programme for a slave to power. Louis XIV. made it his own,
in the bottom of his soul; he was not yet thirteen.

Such beautiful resolutions however, were destined to remain dead so long
as Mazarin lived. They could only be executed to the detriment of his
authority, and the idea of entering into a struggle with the Cardinal
was repugnant to the young King, partially on account of old affection,
partially on account of timidity and the habit of obedience.

The mind of Louis XIV. had however been awakened and the fruits of this
awakening were later visible, but for a time he was content to find good
excuses for leaving affairs alone. He explains in his _Mémoires_ that he
was arrested by political reasons; as he had too much experience also
(however strange this word may appear when applied to a child so
foolishly brought up) not to realise the danger of a revolution in the
royal palace in the present condition of France after the devastations
of the civil wars.

In default of the science which one draws from books, Louis XIV. had
received lessons in realities from the Fronde: The riots and barricades,
the vehement discourse of the Parliament to his mother, the humiliating
flights with the Court, the periods of poverty in which his servants had
no dinner and he himself slept with his sheets full of holes, and wore
clothes too short, the battles in which his subjects fired upon him, the
treasons of his relations and of his nobility and their shameful
bargains; nothing of all this had been lost upon the young King.

With a surface order re-established, he perceived how troubled the
situation remained at bottom, how precarious, and he judged it prudent
to defer what he both "wished" and "feared," says very clearly his
_Mémoires_. He queries if this were an error:

     It is necessary [says he] to represent to one's self the state
     of affairs: Agitations throughout the entire kingdom were at
     their height; a foreign war continued in which a thousand
     advantages had been lost to France owing to these domestic
     troubles; a Prince of my own blood and a very great name at the
     head of my enemies; many cabals in the state; the Parliaments
     still in possession of usurped authority; in my own Court very
     little of either fidelity or interest, and above all my
     subjects, apparently the most submissive, were as great a care
     and as much to be suspected as those most openly rebellious.

Was this the moment in which to expose the country to new shocks?

Louis XIV. had remained convinced[49] to the contrary, avowing, however,
that he had much to criticise in the fashions of Mazarin,

     a minister [pursued he] re-established in spite of so many
     factions, very able, very adroit, who loved me and whom I
     loved, and who had rendered me great services, but whose
     thoughts and manners were naturally very different from mine,
     and whom I could not always contradict nor discredit without
     anew exciting, by that image, however erroneous, of disgrace,
     the same tempests which had been so difficult to calm.

The King had also to take into consideration his own extreme youth, and
his ignorance of affairs. He relates in regard to this point his ardent
desire for glory, his fear of beginning ill, "for one can never retrieve
one's self"; his attention to the course of events "in secret and
without a confidant"; his joy when he discovered that people both able
and consummate shared his fashion of thinking.

Considering everything, had there ever been a being urged forward and
retarded so equally, in his design to take upon himself "the guidance of
the state"?

This curious page has no other defect than that of having been dictated
by a man matured, in whose thoughts things have taken a clearness not
existing in the mind of the youth, and who believes himself to recollect
"determinations" when there existed in reality only "desires."

Louis XIV. would be unpardonable if full credit were given to his
_Mémoires_. Why, if he saw so clearly, did he grumble at any kind of
work? When Louis was sixteen, Mazarin had arranged with him some days in
which he might be present at a council. The King was bored and retired
to talk of the next ballet and to play the guitar with his intimates.
Mazarin was obliged to scold him to force him to return and remain at
the council.

With a capacity for trifling, he cared for nothing serious, and there
was much laziness contained in his resolution to leave all to his
minister. The Court had formed its own opinion: it considered the young
King incapable of application. It was also said that he lacked
intelligence, and in this belief there was no error. Louis himself
alluded to this and said with simplicity, "I am very stupid."

The libertine youth who surrounded him, and whom his solemn air
restrained, did not conceal the fact that they found him a great bore,
as probably did also Madame de Maintenon a half-century later. The
Guiche and the Vardes believed him doomed to insignificance and did not
trouble themselves much about him. The city was less convinced that he
was a cipher, perhaps because otherwise it could not so easily have
taken his part. Paris was commencing to fear those princes with whom,
for one reason or another, first ministers were necessary, and the
Parisian bourgeoisie was on the watch for some proof of intelligence in
the young monarch. "It is said that the mind of the King is awakening,"
wrote Guy Patin in 1654; "God be thanked!"

This first light not having an apparent development, Paris, whilst
waiting for something better, admired the looks of the sovereign. "I
have to-day seen the King on his way to the chase," again wrote Guy
Patin four years later. "A fine Prince, strong and healthy; he is tall
and graceful; it is a pity that he does not better understand his
duties."[50] His serious air was also lauded, his dislike to debauchery
in any form, and the modesty which made him bravely reply before the
entire Court, to a question about a new play: "I never judge a subject
about which I know nothing."[51]

This was not the response of a fool.

In fine, as he was very cold, very capable of dissimulation, as he spoke
little, through calculation as much as through instinct, and generally
confined his conversation to trifles, this youth upon whom all France
had its eyes fixed remained an unknown quantity to his subjects.

In September, 1657, two strangers crossing the Pont Neuf found
themselves in the midst of a pressure of people. The crowd precipitated
itself with cries of joy towards a carriage whose livery had been

It was the Grande Mademoiselle returning from exile, and coming to take
possession of the palace of the Luxembourg, in which her father
permitted her to lodge, feeling certain that he himself should never
return to it. The two strangers noted in their _Journal de Voyage_[52]
that the Parisians bore a "particular affection" for this Princess,
because she had behaved like a "true amazon" during the civil war.

The Court had resigned itself to the inevitable. Mademoiselle had
remained popular in Paris, and her exploits during the Fronde and her
fine bearing at the head of her regiment were remembered with
enthusiasm. She only passed through the city at this time, having
affairs to regulate in the Provinces. Upon her definite return on
December 31st, the Court and the city crowded to see her. The Luxembourg
overflowed during several days, after which, when society had convinced
itself that Mademoiselle had no longer a face "fresh as a fully blown
rose,"[53] its curiosity was satisfied and it occupied itself with
something else.

[Illustration: =LOUIS XIV. AS A YOUNG MAN= From a chalk drawing in the
British Museum Print Room]

Mademoiselle herself had much to do. The idea of marrying the little
Monsieur had not left her mind since the meeting at Sedan. She was
assured that the Prince was dying of desire for her, and Mademoiselle
naïvely responded that she very well perceived this. "This does not
displease me," adds she; "a young Prince, handsome, well-made, brother
of the King, appears a good match."

In expectation of the betrothal, she stopped her pursuits of the happy
interval at Saint-Fargeau in which she had loved intellectual pleasures,
in order to make herself the comrade of a child only absorbed in
pastimes belonging to his age, and passed the winter in dancing, in
masquerading, in rushing through the promenades and the booths of the
fair of Saint-Germain.[54]

The public remarked that the little Monsieur appeared "not very gay"
with his tall cousin, and troubled himself but little to entertain
her,[55] and that he would have preferred other companions better suited
to his seventeen years.

Mademoiselle did not perceive this. Philip, Duke of Anjou, had a face of
insipid beauty posed upon a little round body. He did not lack _esprit_,
had not an evil disposition, and would have made an amiable prince if
reasons of state had not tended to reduce him to the condition of a

His mother and Mazarin had brought him up as a girl, for fear of his
later troubling his elder brother, and this education had only too well
succeeded. By means of sending him to play with the future Abbé de
Choisy, who put on a robe and patches to receive him; by means of having
him dressed and barbered by the Queen's maids of honour and putting him
in petticoats and occupying him with dolls, he had been made an
ambiguous being, a species of defective girl having only the weaknesses
of his own sex. Monsieur had a new coat every day and it worried him to
spot it, and to be seen with his hair undressed or in profile when he
believed himself handsomer in full face. Paris possessed no greater
gossip; he babbled, he meddled, he embroiled people by repeating
everything, and this amused him.

Mademoiselle considered it her duty to "preach" to him of "noble deeds,"
but she wasted her time. He was laziness and weakness itself. The two
cousins were ill-adapted to each other in every way.

When they entered a salon together, Monsieur short and full, attired in
the costume of a hunter, his garments sewed from head to foot with
precious stones, Mademoiselle a little masculine of figure and manner
and negligent in her dress, they were a singular couple. Those who did
not know them opened their eyes wide, and they were often seen together
in the winter at least, for the society was at this date most mixed,
even in the most élite circles.

From Epiphany to Ash-Wednesday, the Parisians had no greater pleasure
than to promenade masked at night, and to enter without invitation into
any house where an entertainment was taking place. Louis XIV. gladly
joined in these gaieties. Upon one evening of Mardi-Gras, when he was
thus running the streets with Mademoiselle, they met Monsieur dressed as
a girl with blond hair.[56] Keepers of inns sent their guests to profit
by this chance of free entry. A young Dutchman related that he went the
same night "with those of his inn" to five great balls, the first at the
house of Mme. de Villeroy, the last with the Duchess of Valentinois, and
that he had seen at each place more than two hundred masks.[57]

The crowd would not permit that entrance should be refused on any

The same Dutchman reports with a note of bitterness that on another
evening it had been impossible to penetrate into the house of the
Maréchal de l'Hôpital, because the King being there, measures had been
taken to avoid too great a crowd. Custom obliged every one to submit to
receiving society, choice or not. At a grand fête given by the Duc de
Lesdiguières, which in the bottom of his heart he was offering to Mme.
de Sévigné, "The King had hardly departed when the crowd commenced to
scuffle and to pillage every thing, until, as it was stated, it became
necessary to replace the candles of the chandeliers four or five times
and this single article cost M. de Lesdiguières more than a hundred

Such domestic manners had the encouragement of the King, who also left
his doors open upon the evenings on which he danced a ballet. He did
better still. He went officially to sup "with the Sieur de la
Bazinière," ancient lackey become financier and millionaire, and having
the bearing, the manners, and the ribbon cascades of the Marquis de
Mascarille. He desired that Mademoiselle should invite to the
Luxembourg, Mme. de l'Hôpital, ancient laundress married twice for her
beautiful eyes; the first time by a _partisan_, the second by a Marshal
of France. These lessons were not lost upon the nobility. Mésalliances
were no more discredited, even the lowest, the most shameful, provided
that the dot was sufficient. A Duke and Peer had married the daughter of
an old charioteer. The Maréchal d'Estrées was the son-in-law of a
_partisan_ known under the name of Morin the Jew. Many others could be
cited, for the tendency increased from year to year.

In 1665, the King having entered Parliament,[59] in order to confirm an
edict, a group of men amongst whom was Olivier d'Ormesson were regarding
the Tribune in which were seated the ladies of the Court. Some one
thought of counting how many of these were daughters of parvenues or of
business men; he found three out of six. Two others were nieces of
Mazarin, married to French nobles.[60] The single one of aristocratic
descent was Mlle. d'Alençon, a half-sister of the Grande Mademoiselle.
One could hardly have anticipated such figures, even allowing for

The King, however, approved of this state of affairs and the nobility
was ruined; every one seized on what support he could. The general
course of affairs was favourable to this confusion of rank. From the
triumphal re-entry of Mazarin in 1653, until his death in 1661, a kind
of universal freedom continued at the Court which surprised the ancient
Frondeurs on their return from exile. The young monarch himself
encouraged familiarities and lack of etiquette.

It was the nieces of the Cardinal who were largely responsible for these
changes in manners and who gained their own profit through the
additional freedom, since Marie, the third of the Mancini, was soon to
almost touch the crown with the tip of her finger. Mademoiselle had some
trouble in accustoming herself to the new manners towards the King.

     For me [says she], brought up to have great respect, this is
     most astonishing, and I have remained long time without
     habituating myself to this new freedom. But when I saw how
     others acted, when the Queen told me one day that the
     King hated ceremony, then I yielded; for without this high
     authority the faults of manner could not be possible with others.

The pompous Louis XIV. wearing the great wig of the portraits did not
yet exist, and the Louvre of 1658 but little resembled the particular
and formal Versailles of the time of Saint-Simon.[61]

The licence extended to morals. Numbers of women of rank behaved badly,
some incurred the suspicion of venality, and no faults were novelties;
but vice keeps low company and it was this result which proud people
like Mademoiselle could not suffer.

When it was related to her that the Duchesse de Châtillon, daughter of
Montmorency-Boutteville, had received money from the Abbé Foucquet[62]
and wiped out the debt by permitting such lackey-like jokes as breaking
her mirrors with blows of the foot, she was revolted. "It is a strange
thing," wrote she, "this difference of time; who would have said to the
Admiral Coligny, 'The wife of your grandson will be maltreated by the
Abbé Foucquet'?--he would not have believed it, and there was no mention
at all of this name of Foucquet in his time."

In the mind of Mademoiselle, who had lived through so many periods, it
was the low birth of the Abbé which would have affected the Admiral.
"Whatever may be said," added she, "I can never believe that persons of
quality abandon themselves to the point which their slanderers say. For
even if they did not consider their own safety, worldly honour is in my
opinion so beautiful a thing that I do not comprehend how any one can
despise it."

Mademoiselle did not transgress upon the respect due to the hierarchy of
rank; for the rest, she contented herself with what are called the
morals of respectable people, which have always been sufficiently
lenient. She understood, however, all the difference between this
morality and Christian principles.

The _Provinciales_ (1656) had made it clear to the blindest that it was
necessary to choose between the two. Mademoiselle had under this
influence made a visit to Port Royal des Champs[63] and had been
entirely won by these "admirable people" who lived like saints and who
spoke and wrote "the finest eloquence," while the Jesuits would have
done better to remain silent, "having nothing good to say and saying it
very badly," "for assuredly there were never fewer preachers amongst
them than at present nor fewer good writers, as appears by their
letters. This is why for all sorts of reasons they would have done
better not to write."

Seeing Mademoiselle so favourably impressed, one of the Monsieurs of
Port Royal, Arnauld d'Andilly, said upon her departure, "You are going
to the Court; you can give to the Queen account of what you have
seen."--"I assure you that I will willingly do this."

Knowing her disposition, there is but little doubt that she kept her
word; but this was all. The worthy Mademoiselle, incapable of anything
low or base, did not dream for a second of allowing the austere
morality, ill fitted for the needs of a court, to intervene in
influencing her judgments upon others, or in the choice of her friends.
She blamed the Duchesse de Châtillon for reasons with which virtue,
properly named, had nothing to do. We see her soon after meeting Mme. de
Montespan, because common morality has nothing to blame in a King's

Mme. de Sévigné agreed with Mademoiselle and they were not alone. This
attitude gave a kind of revenge to the Jesuits.

Tastes became as common as sentiments; those of the King were not yet
formed, and the pleasure taken in the ballet in the theatre of the
Louvre injured the taste for what was, in fact, no longer tragedy.
Corneille had given up writing for the first time in 1652, after the
failure of his _Pertharite_. The following year, Quinault made his debut
and pleased. He taught in his tragi-comedies, flowery and tender, that
"Love makes everything permissible," which had been said by Honoré
d'Urfé in _l'Astrée_, a half-century previous, and he retied, without
difficulty, after the Corneillian parenthesis, the thread of a doctrine
which has been transmitted without interruption to our own days.

Love justifies everything, for the right of passion is sacred, nothing
subsists before it.

    Dans l'empire amoureux,
    Le devoir n'a point de puissance.

    L'éclat de beaux yeux adoucit bien un crime;
    Au regard des amants tout parait légitime.[64]

The idea which this verse expresses can be found throughout the works of
Quinault. He has said it again and again, with the same langourous,
insinuating sweetness, for a period which lasted more than thirty years,
and in the beginning no one very seriously divided with him the
attention of the public.

At the appearance of his first piece in 1653, Racine was fourteen;
Molière did not return to Paris until 1658. Corneille, in truth, was
preparing his return to the theatre; but he found when his last
tragedies were played, that he had done well to study Quinault, and in
doing this he had not wasted his time;--a decisive proof of the echo to
which souls responded,[65] and of the increasing immorality of the new

Thus the Court of France lost its prestige. The éclat cast by the Fronde
upon the men and women seeking great adventures had been replaced by no
new enthusiasms. The pleasures to which entire lives were devoted had
not always been refining, as we have seen above, and people had not
grown in intelligence. The bold crowd of the Mazarins gave the tone to
the Louvre, and this tone lacked delicacy. The Queen, Anne of Austria,
groaned internally, but she had loosed the reins; except in the affair
of her son's marriage she had nothing to refuse to the nieces of
Cardinal Mazarin.

Because the Court was in general lazy and frivolous, a hasty opinion of
the remainder of France should not be formed. The Court did not fairly
represent the entire nation; outside of it there was room for other
opinions and sentiments. It was during the years of 1650 to 1656, which
appear to us at first sight almost a moral desert, that private charity
made in the midst of France one of its greatest efforts, an effort very
much to the honour of all concerned in it.

I have noticed elsewhere[66] the frightful poverty of the country during
the Fronde. This distress which was changing into desert places one
strip after another of French territory, must be relieved, and amongst
those in authority no one was found capable of doing it.

It is hardly possible to represent to one's self to-day the condition
left by the simple passage of an army belonging to a civilised people,
through a French or German land, two or three hundred years ago.

The idea of restricting the sufferings caused by war to those which are
inevitable is a novel one. In the seventeenth century, on the contrary,
the effort was to increase them. The chiefs for the most part showed a
savage desire to excite the mania for destruction which is so easily
aroused with soldiers during a campaign. Towards the end of the Fronde,
some troops belonging to Condé, then in the service of the King of
Spain, occupied his old province of Bourgogne. If any district of France
could have hoped to be respected by the Prince, it was this one; his
father had possessed it before him and it was full of their friends.
Ties of this kind, however, were of no advantage. March 23, 1652, the
States of Bourgogne wrote to M. de Bielle, their deputy at Court:

     The enemies having already burned fourteen villages [the names
     follow], besides others since burned, these fire-fiends are
     still in campaign and continuing these horrible ravages, all
     which has been under the express order of M. le Prince, which
     the commandant [de la ville] de Seurre has received, to burn
     the entire Province if it be possible. The same Sieur de Bielle
     can judge by the account of these fires, to which there has so
     far been no impediment presented, in what state the Province
     will be in a short time.

The common soldier troubled himself little whether the sacked region was
on the one or the other side of the frontier. He made hardly any

Some weeks after the fires in Bourgogne, two armies tortured the Brie.
The one belonged to the King, the other to the Duc de Lorraine, and
there was only a shade less of cruelty with the French forces than with
the others. When all the troops had passed, the country was filled with
charnel houses, and there are charnel houses and charnel houses.

That of Rampillon,[67] particularly atrocious, must be placed to the
account of the Lorraines: "at each step one met mutilated people, with
scattered limbs; women cut in four quarters after violation; men
expiring under the ruins of burning houses, others spitted."[68] No
trouble was taken to suppress these hells of infection.

It would be difficult to find any fashion of carrying on a war both more
ferocious and more stupid. Some chiefs of divisions, precursers of
humanitarian ideas, timidly protested, in the name of interest only,
against a system which always gave to campaigning armies the plague,
famine, and universal hatred. A letter addressed to Mazarin, and signed
by four of these, Fabert at the head, supplicates him to arrest the
ravages of a foreigner in the services of France, M. de Rosen. Mazarin
took care to pay no attention to this protest: it would have been
necessary first to pay Rosen and his soldiers. If it is expected to find
any sense of responsibility in the State, in the opinion of
contemporaries, for saving the survivors, left without bread, animals,
nor harvests, without roof and without working tools, there is
disappointment; the State held itself no more responsible for public
disasters than for the poor, always with it.

The conception of social duty was not yet born. Public assistance was in
its infancy, and the little which existed had been completely
disorganised by the general disorders; like everything else. Each city
took care of its beggars or neglected them according to its own
resources and circumstances. On the other hand, the idea of Christian
charity had taken a strong hold upon some circles, under the combined
influence of the Jansenism which exacted from its devotees a living
faith; of a secret Catholic society whose existence is one of the most
curious historical discoveries of these last years[69]; and of a poor
saint whose peasant airs and whose patched _soutane_ caused much
laughter when he presented himself before the Queen. Vincent de Paul is
easily recognised. Relations with great people had not changed him. It
was said of him after years of Court society, "M. Vincent is always M.
Vincent," and this was true: men of this calibre never change, happily
for the world.

He became the keynote of the impulse which caused the regeneration of
provincial life, almost ruined by the wars of the Fronde. Even after the
work was ended it would be difficult to decide upon the share of each of
these bodies in this colossal enterprise. The society to which allusion
has been made was founded in 1627, by the Duc de Ventadour, whose
mystical thought had led him, as often happens, to essentially practical
works. The name of Compagnie du Saint Sacrement was given it, and
without doubt its supreme end was "to make honoured the Holy Sacrament."

Precisely on account of this, the society sought to "procure" for itself
"all the good" in its power, for nothing is more profitable to religion
than support, material as well as spiritual and moral, distributed under
its inspiration and as one might say on its own part.

One passes easily from the practice of charity, a source of precious
teaching, to the correction of manners. After comes the desire to
control souls, which naturally leads to the destruction of heresies,
with or without gentleness.

This programme was responsible for many admirable charitable works, two
centuries in advance of current ideas, and, at the same time, for
cruelties, infamies, all the vices inseparable from the sectarian spirit
in which the end justifies the means.

Once started, the society rapidly increased, always hidden, and
multiplying precautions not to be discovered, since neither clergy nor
royalty were well disposed towards this mysterious force, from which
they were constantly receiving shocks without being able to discover
whence came the blows.

It was an occult power, analogous in its extent and its intolerance, and
even in the ways and means employed, to the Free Masonry of the present.

The Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement had links throughout France and in all
classes. Anne of Austria was included in its sacred band and a shoemaker
played in it an important rôle. Vincent de Paul enrolled himself in the
ranks towards the year 1635, contributed to the good, and probably was
ignorant of the evil to be found in its folds. Dating from his
affiliation, his charitable works so mingled with those of the society
that it was no longer to be recognised. The society brought to the Saint
powerful succour, and aided him effectively in finding the support of
which he had need; it would be difficult to say from whom came the first
idea of many good works.

As for what at present concerns us, however, the point of departure is
known. It was neither Vincent de Paul nor the Compagnie du
Saint-Sacrement which conceived and put in train the prodigious work of
relieving the Provinces. The first committee of relief was founded in
Paris, in 1649, by a Janséniste, M. de Bernières, who was also
responsible for the invention of the printed "Relations" which were
informing all France of the miseries to be relieved. It was the first
time that Charity had aided itself through publicity. It soon found the
value of this. M. de Bernières and his committee, in which the wives of
members of Parliament dominated, were soon able to commence in Picardie
and Champagne the distribution of bread, clothing, grain, and working
implements. Hospitals were established. They put an end to the frightful
feeling of desolation of these unfortunate populations, pillaged during
so many years by mercenaries of all races and tongues. But the number of
workers was small even if their zeal was great, and the Janséniste
community was not equipped for a task of this dimension. From the end of
the following year, the direction of the enterprise passed entirely into
the hands of Vincent de Paul, who led with him his army of sisters of
charity, his mission priests, and an entire contingent of allies, secret
but absolutely devoted.

It does not seem as if at first there was any conflict. Mme. de
Lamoignon and the Présidente de Herse were the right arms of M. Vincent
as they had been of M. de Bernières. When the Queen of Poland,[70] a
spiritual daughter of Port-Royal and brought up in France, wished to
subscribe to the work, she sent her money to the Mother Angélique,
telling her to communicate with M. Vincent. But this harmony was of
short duration. The members of what the public were going to baptise
with the sobriquet of "Cabale des Dévots," not being able to discover
the real name, could not suffer the Janséniste concurrence in charitable
works. They showered upon M. de Bernières a mass of odious calumnies and
denunciations which resulted in the exile of this good man.

This was one of the most abominable of the bad actions to which a
sectarian spirit has pushed human beings.

The "Relations" were continued under the direction of Vincent de Paul.
One knows through them and through the documents of the time, the
details of the task undertaken. The first necessity for the public
health was the clearing the surface of the ground, in the provinces in
which there had been fighting, of the putrifying bodies, and of the
filthiness left by the armies. There was one village from which such an
odour exhaled that no one would approach it. A "Relation" of 1652
describes in these terms the environs of Paris:

     At Étréchy, the living are mingled with the dead, and the
     country is full of the latter. At Villeneuve-Saint-Georges,
     Crosne, Limay, one hundred and seventy-four ill people were
     found in the last extremity, with neither beds, clothes, nor

     It was necessary to commence by taking away the seeds of
     infection which increased the maladies, by interring the
     corpses of men, of dead horses and cattle, and removing the
     heaps of dirt which the armies had left behind. The cleansing
     of the soil was the specialty of M. Vincent and one of his most
     signal benefits. He employed for this work his mission priests
     and his sisters of charity. The missionaries placed themselves
     at the head of the workmen, the sisters sought the abandoned
     sick. Cloth and cap died at need "the arms in the hand," said
     their chief, but their work was good; and finally the work was
     taken hold of in the right way.

After the dead the living:

     The curé of Boult[71] [reports another "Relation"] assures us
     that he buried three of his parishioners dead from hunger;
     others were living only upon cut-up straw mixed with earth, of
     which was composed a food called bread. Five tainted and
     decaying horses were devoured; an old man aged seventy-five years
     had entered the presbytery to roast a piece of horse-flesh, the
     animal having died of scab fifteen days previously, was infected
     with worms, and had been found cast into a foul ditch.... At
     Saint-Quentin, in the faubourgs, in which the houses had been
     demolished, the missionaries discovered the last inhabitants in
     miserable huts, "in each of which," wrote one of them, "I found one
     or two sick, in one single hut ten; two widows, each having four
     children, slept together on the ground, having nothing whatever,
     not even a sheet." Another Ecclesiastic, in his visit, having met
     with many closed doors, upon forcing them open discovered that the
     sick were too feeble to open them having eaten nothing during two
     days, and having beneath them only a little half rotten straw; the
     number of these poor was so great that without succour from Paris,
     the citizens under the apprehension of a siege, not being able to
     nourish them, had resolved to cast them over the walls.

Millions were needed to relieve such distress, but Vincent de Paul and
his associates had a better dream; they wished to put these dying
populations in a condition to work again and to undertake the reparation
of the ruins themselves. The enterprise was organised in spite of
obstacles which appeared insurmountable, the exhaustion of France and
the difficulty of communication being the principal. The Parisians
raised enormous sums and sent gifts of all kinds of materials, and found
the means of transporting provisions. The committee divided the environs
of Paris; Mme. Joly took the care of one village; the Présidente de
Nesmond, four villages; and so on. Missionaries were sent outside the
boundaries. One of the later biographers of Vincent de Paul[72] values
at twelve millions of francs, at this date worth about sixty millions,
the sums distributed, without counting money spent directly for the work
of piety nor for the support of those engaged in it. However this may
be, this latter body certainly consumed a large portion. The immensity
of the enterprise, and its apparent boldness, gives us an idea of the
wealth and power of the middle classes of the seventeenth century. After
Vincent de Paul and M. de Bernières, the honour for this work of relief
belongs to the parliamentary world and the Parisian bourgeoisie; the
aristocracy only playing a very secondary rôle. The middle classes
provided for this enormous effort, at a period in which all revenues
failed at once. We are told that many were forced to borrow, that others
sold their jewels and articles of silver; still this supposes luxury and
credit. In one way or another, the citizen was in a position to give,
while the small noble of Lorraine or of Beauce was obliged to receive;
and this emphasises an historic lesson. Gentlemen as well as peasants
lacked bread. After remaining two days without eating, one is ready to
accept alms; at the end of three days, to demand them on account of the
children. The decadence of the one class, the ascension of the other
until their turn comes; it has always been the same since the world

One last detail, and perhaps the most significant:

There is no reference in the Memoirs of the times[73] to the principal
work of Vincent de Paul. Their authors would have made it a matter of
conscience not to forget a Court intrigue or a scandalous adventure; but
what can be interesting in people who are naked and hungry? One avoids
speaking of them. It is even better not to think of them. In 1652, the
year in which poverty was at its height in oppressed Paris, the Mother
Angélique wrote from Port-Royal, to the Queen of Poland (June 28th):

     With the exception of the few actually engaged in charity, the
     rest of the world live in as much luxury as ever. The Court and
     the Tuileries are as thronged as ever, collations and the rest
     of the superfluities go on as always. Paris amuses itself with
     the same fury as if its streets were not filled with frightful
     spectacles. And, what is more horrible, fashion will not suffer
     the priests to preach penitence (Letter of July 12th).

The lack of pity for the poor was almost general among the so-called
higher classes. There is no need of too carefully inquiring as to what
is passing in hovels.

Vincent de Paul and his allies struggled six years. Not once did the
government come to their aid, and the war always continued; for one ruin
relieved, the armies made ten others. The group of the "good souls" who
had made these prodigious sacrifices was at length used up, as one might
say, and was never reinforced, in spite of the inexhaustible source of
devotion offered by the Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement. This body had been
composed of men and women so exceptional in character, as well as in
intelligence, that its ranks, emptied by death, and by the exhaustion of
means and courage, could not be filled up. In 1655, the receipts of the
committee were visibly diminished. Two years later, the resources were
entirely exhausted and the work of relief remained unfinished.

It was well that it was attempted; a leven of good has remained from it
in the national soul.

The actual benefits however, were promptly effaced; the famine of 1659
to 1662, especially in the latter year, counts amongst the most
frightful of the century, perhaps in our entire history. The excess of
material poverty engendered immense moral misery, particularly in the
large cities, in which luxury stood side by side with the most frightful
conditions, and Paris became both excitable and evil, as always when it

The Carnival of 1660 was the most noisy and disorderly which old
Parisians had ever known. Great and small sought amusement with a kind
of rage, and dissensions and quarrels abounded from the top to the
bottom of the social scale. Public places were noisy with riots and
affrays. During the nights, masks were masters of the streets, and as
has been seen above, no security existed with these composite crowds,
which stole candles from the houses into which they had surged.

One ball alone received in a single evening the visit of sixty-five
masks, who ran through the city three nights in succession. These
hysterics in Paris, while France was dying with hunger, are so much the
more striking, inasmuch as the Court was not there to communicate to the
outer world its eternal need of agitation and amusement. Louis XIV.
spent a large portion of these critical years in journeying through his
kingdom. One of the first journeys, lasting from October 27th to the
following January 27th, had for its end the meeting of the Princess of
Savoie at Lyons. There had been some question of marrying this Princess
to the young King. On passing to Dijon, the Court stopped more than
fifteen days. Mademoiselle tells us the reason for this delay; it is not
very glorious for royalty. The Parliament of Dijon refused to register
certain edicts which aggravated the burdens of the province. Le Tellier,
"on the part of the King," promised that there should be no more
difficulty if the states of Bourgogne would bring their subsidy to a sum
which was indicated. "Upon which they agreed to what was demanded and
presented themselves to account to the King."

Upon the next day, with a cynical contempt for the royal promise, "Her
Majesty went to the Dijon Parliament to register the deeds."[74]
Mademoiselle had the curiosity to be present at the session. The first
president did the only thing in his power. He courageously expressed his
"regrets" and was praised by all those who heard him.

The Court hastily departed the following day, leaving Dijon and the
entire province "in a certain consternation." Mademoiselle blamed only
the manner of action. At the bottom of her heart, she had the belief of
her times: that the sovereign owed only control to his people, and that
there was no question of giving them happiness.

Some weeks after the incident at Lyons, the vicinity of the principality
of Dombes[75] gave her the desire to visit this place, which she had
never seen. Dombes did not pay any impost to the King, and this fact
alone sufficed to render it prosperous. Mademoiselle was scandalised at
this prosperity. The peasants were well clothed, "they ate meat four
times a day," and there were "no really poor people" in the country;
"also," pursued Mademoiselle, "they, up to this time, have paid no
duties, and it would perhaps be better that they should do so, for they
are do-nothings, taking no interest in either work or trade."

The people had left everything and dressed themselves in their fine
clothes to receive Mademoiselle. In order to thank them, Mademoiselle
drew from them all the money she could. It is necessary to recollect,
however, that in the eyes of the great, even those of the better sort, a
peasant was hardly a man. It would hardly be worth while for us to be
indignant at this attitude. We now admit that the so-called superior
races have the right to exploit those considered inferior, and thus at
need destroy them. It was the habit of our fathers to treat a lower
class as to-day we treat a less advanced race; the sentiment is
precisely the same.

Upon her return from Dombes, Mademoiselle found the Court again at
Lyons. Every one was all eyes and ears for a spectacle which might
derange the admitted ideas of kings. Marie Mancini was trying to make
Louis XIV. marry her, and the attempt had not so absurd an air as might
be imagined. The Savoie project had failed under painful conditions,
which gave subject of thought to the courtiers. The King had conducted
himself like an ill-bred man to the Princess Marguerite.

People were demanding whether the Spanish marriage was also going to
fail, and with it the so greatly desired peace, because it pleased two
lovers, one of whom ought not to have forgotten his kingly duties, to
proclaim the sovereign rights of passion. Anne of Austria became uneasy.
Mazarin, yielding to temptation, left the field to his niece, who "took
possession" of the young King with looks and speech. She fascinated him,
and he swore all that she wished. The contest was not an equal one
between the passionate Italian and the timid and somewhat unformed Louis

On his return from Lyons, Louis knelt down before his mother and
Mazarin, supplicating them to permit him to marry the one he loved. He
found them inflexible. The Queen realised that such a _mésalliance_
would cast disrepute on royalty. The Cardinal was torn by conflicting
emotions, but in the end sent away his niece.

A second journey lasted more than a year. The Court set out on June 29,
1659, and passed through Blois. It stopped with Gaston. We owe to the
_Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle a last glimpse of this Prince, formerly so
brilliant, now become a lazy good-for-nothing in his provincial life,
where nothing of Parisian fashion was found; neither toilettes nor
cooking, nor household elegance, nor even Monsieur himself, who no
longer knew how to receive, and was vexed that the King should kill his
pheasants. He permitted it to be seen that he was put out, and this
became so plain that every one was eager to depart, and there was a
sudden scattering.

The eldest of his daughters by his last marriage, Marguerite d'Orléans,
had a great reputation for beauty. Her parents had for a long time
anticipated seeing her Queen of France.

On the night of the King's arrival at Blois, this damsel was disfigured
with mosquito bites. Her dancing was much extolled, but on this special
evening, she danced very badly. Gaston had announced that this little
girl of ten "would astonish every one with her brilliant conversation."
No one could draw a single word from her. In short, nothing succeeded.
Mademoiselle was not especially vexed at this failure; she had trembled
at the thought of seeing her younger sister "above her."

Hardly had the Court remounted their carriages, before the royal
cavalcade, according to the universal custom, commenced to mock its
hosts. The King joked at the sight of his uncle's face on seeing the
pheasants fall dead. Mademoiselle laughed with the others. She had,
however, been moved by a tender scene played by her father.

He had come to awaken her at four o'clock in the morning:

     He seated himself on my bed and said: "I believe that you will
     not be vexed at being waked since I shall not soon have the
     chance of again seeing you. You are going to take a long
     journey. I am old, exhausted; I may die during your absence. If
     I do die, I recommend your sisters to you. I know very well
     that you do not love Madame: that her behaviour towards you has
     not been all it should be; but her children have had nothing to
     do with this, for my sake take care of them. They will have
     need of you; as for Madame, she will be of little help to

     He embraced me three or four times. I received all this with
     much tenderness; for I have a good heart. We separated on the
     best terms, and I went again to sleep.

Mademoiselle believed that at length they again loved each other. Six
weeks later a scandal broke out at the Court of France, then at

The Duc de Savoie had refused to marry the Princess Marguerite
d'Orléans, and Mademoiselle was accused of having secretly written to
him that her sister was a humpback. The accusation came from Gaston
himself, who said that he had proof of it. This was a most disagreeable
incident for Mademoiselle and further illusion was impossible; Gaston
was always Gaston, the most dangerous man in France.

From Bordeaux, the Court went to Toulouse; there it was rejoined by
Mazarin, who had just signed the peace of the Pyrénées (November 7, 1659).

All histories give the articles of this peace. The results for Europe
have been summed up in some brilliant lines written by the great German
historian, Leopold Ranke, who had been struck with the advantages which
this treaty gave France over Germany:

     If it were necessary to characterise in a general fashion the
     results of this peace ... we would say that the importance of
     the treaty consisted in the formation and extension of the
     great (geographically) military system of the French monarchy.
     On all sides, to the Pyrénées, to the Alps, above all, to the
     frontiers of the German Empire and of the Netherlands, France
     acquired new fortified points ... many positions as important
     for defence as favourable for attack. The position of France
     upon the upper Rhine, which it owes to the peace of Westphalia,
     received by this new treaty its greatest extension.[76]

Mazarin found that he had done well in himself following the
campaigning armies. He knew the military importance of most of the
places. The Spanish negotiator could not have said as much. In the
interior, the first comer could easily comprehend the political benefits
of a treaty which should as far as possible abolish the past. Condé had
been included in the terms of the peace and returned to France, well
resolved to keep quiet. He rejoined the Court at Aix, January 27, 1660,
and found there was a certain curiosity exhibited as to how he would be

Mademoiselle hastened to Anne of Austria: "My niece," said the Queen to
her, "return to your own dwelling; M. le Prince has especially asked
that I should be absolutely alone when I first receive him."

     I began to smile with vexation, but said: "I am nobody; I
     believe that M. le Prince will be very astonished if he does
     not find me here." The Queen insisted in a very sharp tone; I
     went away resolved to complain to M. le Cardinal; this I did on
     the following day, saying that if such a thing happened again,
     I should leave the Court. He made many excuses. This was
     Mazarin's system. He poured forth explanations but in no way
     changed his methods in the future.

It is known that M. le Prince demanded pardon on his knees, and that he
found before him in Louis XIV. a judge grave and cold, who held himself
"very straight."[77] To fight against the King was decidedly no more to
be considered a joke; it could not be overlooked, even if one were the
conqueror of Rocroy.

Mademoiselle did not succeed in comprehending the real situation. Condé,
surprised and deceived, felt his way. One evening at a dance, when
talking with Mademoiselle, the King joined them. The conversation fell
upon the Fronde. On the part of a man of as much _esprit_ as M. le
Prince, one can well believe that this was not by chance: "The war was
much spoken of," relates Mademoiselle, "and we joked at all the follies
of which we had been guilty, the King with the best grace in the world
joining in these pleasantries. Although I was suffering with a severe
headache, I was not in the least bored." Mademoiselle had laughed
without any second thoughts. Condé, clearer sighted, trembled during the
remainder of his days, before this monarch so capable of dissimulation,
and so perfectly master of himself.

Almost at the same moment there expired another of those belated feudal
ideas, which neither royalty nor manners could any longer suffer among
the nobility. Gaston d'Orléans died at Blois, February 2nd,[78] his
death being caused by an attack of apoplexy. They had heard him murmur
from his bed regarding his wife and children, _Domus mea domus
desolationis vocabitur_ ("My house will be called the House of
Desolation"). He spoke better than he knew. Madame surpassed herself in
blunders, and still more. She went to dinner while her husband was
receiving the last unction, sent away the servants of Monsieur
immediately after the final sigh, locked up everything, and concerned
herself no more. Her women refused a sheet in which to wrap the body; it
was necessary to beg one from the ladies of the Court. Some priests came
to sit up with the dead, but finding neither "light nor fire" they
returned, and the corpse remained alone, more completely abandoned than
had been that of his brother, the King, Louis XIII. The body was borne
without "pomp or expense"[79] to Saint-Denis, and the widow hastened to
Paris, to take possession of the Palace of the Luxembourg, in the
absence of Mademoiselle.

The Court did not take the trouble to feign regrets. The King gave the
tone in saying to his cousin, gaily, after the first formal compliments:
"You will see my brother to-morrow in a training mantle. I believe that
he is delighted at the news of your father's death. He believes that he
is heir to all his belongings and state; he can talk of nothing else;
but he must wait awhile."

Anne of Austria heard this, and smiled. "It is true," pursues
Mademoiselle, "that Monsieur appeared the next day in a wonderful
mantle." Mademoiselle had great difficulty in keeping her own
countenance. Her grief was, however, very real, notwithstanding the
past, or rather, perhaps, on account of what had gone before; it was,
however, only an impulse affected by the impression of the moment. She
exhibited this sorrow a little too effectively:

     I wished to wear the most formal and deepest mourning. Every
     one of my household was clad in black, even to the cooks, the
     servants, and the valets; the coverings of the mules, all the
     caparisons of my horses and of the other beasts of burden.
     Nothing could be more beautiful the first time we marched than
     to see this grand train, expressive of grief. It had an air
     very magnificent and of real grandeur. Everybody says how much
     wealth she must possess!

The mules' mourning is well worth the training mantle of the little
Monsieur. This magnificent funeral pomp had the one inconvenience of
recalling to all comers that Mademoiselle must resign other pleasures.
At the end of some weeks, she would have willingly resumed her share in
Court gaieties; Anne of Austria kindly commanded her to return to life.

The summer was, however, approaching. The Court continued to drag itself
from city to city, waiting until it should please the King of Spain to
bring his daughter, and the time seemed long. Mazarin shut himself up to
work. Louis drilled the soldiers of his guard. The Queen Mother spent
long days in convents. Mademoiselle wrote, or worked tapestry. A large
number of the courtiers, no longer able to stand the ennui, had returned
to Paris; those who remained, lived lives of complete idleness. The King
had at this time a fine occasion to study the condition of his
provinces; but he did not possess an investigating mind. He spent long
months in front of the Pyrénées, without seeking to know anything of
their formation, showing an unusual indifference to knowledge, even for
this period. One of the few persons who risked themselves in the
Pyrénées, Mme. de Motteville, relates her astonishment at discovering
valleys, torrents, cultivated fields, and inhabitants. She had believed
that she should only find a great wall of rock, "deserted and untilled."

The journey went on; but nature had not yet the right of entrance into
literature, and society spoke but rarely of its charms. Of the vast
world, only what came directly under the eyes of the individual was

At length, on June 2d (1660), the Court of France, "kicking its heels"
at Saint-Jean-de-Luz during an entire month, received news of the
arrival at Fontarabia of Philip IV. and of the Infanta Marie Thérèse.
The next day, the marriage ceremonies commenced.

Six long days and the best intentions on both sides were needed to
consummate this great affair without offending etiquette. The problem
presented was this: How to marry the King of France with the daughter of
the King of Spain, without permitting the King of France to put his foot
on Spanish territory, nor the King of Spain on that belonging to France,
and at the same time not to allow the Infanta to quit her father before
the ceremony had actually taken place?

On the side of the French Court, whose discipline left much to be
desired, difficulties of detail arose constantly to complicate affairs.
The little Monsieur wept for desire to go to Fontarabia to see a Spanish
ceremony; but etiquette made it necessary to consider this brother of
the King the present heir presumptive to the crown, and, alleged Louis
XIV., "the heir presumptive of Spain could not enter France to see a

After consideration of this point, the heir was forbidden to pass the
frontier. Then Mademoiselle arrived, who wished to be of the party. She
represented that the order was not applicable to her, and cited the
Salic law which gave her the right to traverse the Bidassoa: "I do not
inherit," said she; "I should have some compensation. Since daughters
are of no value in France, they should at least be permitted to enjoy

Mazarin convoked the ministers to submit this argument. The discussion
lasted "three or four hours." Finally, Mademoiselle gained her cause,
although the King himself was rather against her. The important question
of "trains" gave also some embarrassment to the Cardinal. A duke had
offered to bear the train of Mademoiselle in the nuptial cortége.
Mazarin was obliged to seek two other dukes for the younger sisters of
Mademoiselle, two children whom the lady of honour of their mother had
led to the marriage. He could only find a marquis and a count; the dukes
hid themselves. The lady of honour uttered loud protests; "her
Princesses must have 'tail-bearers' as titled as those of their tall
sister, or they should not go at all." "I will do what I can," replied
the Cardinal; "but no one wishes the task."

Mademoiselle had the good grace to sacrifice her duke, and Mazarin
believed the affair terminated, when the Princess Palatine[81] caused a
novel incident, upon the day of the ceremony, and even when the last
moment was approaching. She appeared in the Queen's chamber, wearing a
train, to which, being a foreign Princess, she had no right. La Palatine
had counted upon the general confusion to smuggle herself in and to
create a precedent. It was needful to delay matters. The train had been
reported to Mademoiselle, and no marriage should prevent her protest.
The Cardinal and after him the King were forced to listen to a discourse
upon the limitations of foreign princesses. "I believe," writes
Mademoiselle, "that I was very eloquent." She proved herself at least
very convincing, for La Palatine received the order to take off her

But it is necessary to retrace our steps; trains have carried us too
far. The relations between the two monarchs had been regulated with a
minutia worthy of Asiatic courts. They met only in a hall, built
expressly for the purpose upon the Isle des Faisans, and on horseback
upon the frontier. The building was half in French, half in Spanish
territory. The decorations of the two sides were different. Louis XIV.
must walk upon French carpets, Philip IV. upon Spanish ones. The one
must only sit upon a French chair, write only upon a French table with
French ink, seek the time only from a French clock, placed in his half
of the hall; the other guarded himself with the same care from every
object not Spanish. Two opposite doors gave passage at precisely the
same instant. An equal number of steps led them to the place where the
red carpet of France joined the gold and silver one of Spain; and the
two Kings addressed each other and embraced over the frontier. Thus
demanded the laws of ceremonial monarchy. Their rigour commenced to
astonish the good people of France. The interviews upon the Isle des
Faisans became legendary. La Fontaine has alluded to them in one of his
last fables, _Les Deux Chèvres_,[82] in which he has found no better
comparison for the solemnity with which the two goats, equally "tainted"
with their rank, equally curbed, advanced towards each other upon the
fragile and narrow bridge.

      Je m'imagine voir, avec Louis le Grand,
    Philippe quatre qui s'avance
    Dans l'isle de la Conférence[83]
      Ainsi s'avançaient pas à pas,
      Nez à nez, nos aventurières.

When all was arranged, on June 3rd, neither the bride and bridegroom nor
their parents having seen each other, the King of France, represented by
Don Luis de Haro, was married by proxy in the church of Fontarabia to
the Infanta Marie-Thérèse.

This was the expedient which saved the dignity of the two crowns. After
the ceremony, the new Queen returned to her father. She wrote the next
day a letter of official compliment to her husband. We possess the
response of Louis XIV., in which he has well performed a somewhat
difficult task.

    SAINT-JEAN-DE-LUZ, June 4, 1660.

     To receive at the same time a letter from your Majesty, and the
     news of the celebration of our marriage, and to be on the eve
     of seeing you, these are assuredly causes of indelible joy for

     My cousin, the Duke of Créqui, first gentleman of my chamber,
     whom I am sending expressly to your Majesty, will communicate
     to you the sentiments of my heart, in which you will remark
     always increasingly an extreme impatience to convey these
     sentiments in person.

     He will also present to you some trifles on my part.

The same day, in the afternoon, Anne of Austria met for the first time
with her brother and niece together. The interview took place in the
hall of the Isle des Faisans. Philip IV. astonished the French,
decidedly less bound up in tradition than the Spanish. Philip dwelt so
immobile in his gravity that one would have hardly taken him for a
living man.[84]

Anne of Austria wishing to embrace her brother, whom she had not seen
for forty-five years, he decided to make a movement, but it was only "to
withdraw his head so far that she could not catch it."[85] The Queen
Mother had forgotten the customs of her own land. To embrace in Spain
was not to kiss; it only consisted in giving a greeting without touching
the lips, as we see done at the Comédie Française by personages of the
classic repertoire. Kissing was, as we read in Molière only permitted in
certain rare cases. In the _Malade Imaginaire_, Thomas Diafoirus
consults his father before kissing his fiancée: "Shall I kiss her?"
"Yes," replies M. Diafoirus.

The evening of the interview, June 4th, Mademoiselle was curious to know
whether the King of Spain had kissed the Queen Mother. "I asked her; she
told me 'no'; that they had embraced according to the fashion of their
own country."

How was this strange fashion established at the Court of France, and
from there transferred to our theatres? Was it after the marriage of
Louis XIV.? I leave to the amateurs of the theatre the solving of this
little problem in dramatic history.

They brought a French chair for the Queen Mother, a Spanish one for
Philip IV., and they seated themselves nearly "upon the line which
separated the two kingdoms."[86]

Marie-Thérèse, Infanta of Spain and bride by proxy of the King of
France, was still to be seated. Should this be done in France or Spain?
upon a Spanish or French chair? They brought one Spanish and two French
cushions; piled them upon Spanish territory, and the young Queen found
herself seated in a mixed fashion, suitable to her ambiguous situation.

Louis XIV. did not accompany his mother. Etiquette did not yet permit
the new couple to address a word to each other. It had been arranged
that the King of France should ride along the banks of the Bidassoa and
that the Infanta should regard him from afar through the window. A
romantic impatience which seized the husband with longing to become
acquainted with his wife caused this part of the programme to fail.
Louis XIV. looked at Marie-Thérèse through a half-open door. They
regarded each other some seconds, and then returned, she to Fontarabia,
he to Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

On Sunday, the sixth, they saw each other officially at the Isle des
Faisans. Affairs were but little further advanced; Philip IV. had
declared that the Infanta must conceal her impressions until she arrived
on French territory. On the seventh, Anne of Austria brought her
daughter-in-law to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, where the young people could at
length converse together, awaiting the definite celebration of the
marriage, which took place June 9th in the church of Saint-Jean-de-Luz.

Some days later, the Court retook the road to Paris. Marie-Thérèse made
her solemn entrance into the capital, August 20th. The procession
departed from Vincennes. "It was necessary to rise at four o'clock in
the morning," reports Mademoiselle, who had a frightful sick headache.
At five o'clock, every one was in gala costume, and they reached the
Louvre at seven in the evening. Mademoiselle was at the end of her
endurance; but a Princess of the blood had no right to be ill on the day
of a Queen's entrance. Sometimes ridiculous and sometimes ferocious;
such appears ancient etiquette to our democratic generation. Monarchs
formerly felt the value of its services too keenly to shrink from
submitting to its dictates. They knew that a demi-god never descends
with impunity from his pedestal. It is impossible to witness his efforts
at remounting without laughter. To-day the Princes themselves desire
less etiquette. The monarchical sentiment is not sufficiently strong to
make them willing to support the ennui of ceremonial; they are capable
of any sacrifice of dignity to escape it. We see them resign to others
their rank and privileges in the hope of finding in obscurity the
happiness which they have missed in the King's palace.

The present lack of form makes it difficult for the mass to take royalty
seriously, and thus vanish together the respect for formal courtesies
and for aristocracies. Louis XIV. and Philip IV. in spite of La
Fontaine, were in the right in attaching capital importance to the
placing their feet upon the right carpets. This precision of etiquette
prolonged the existence of the monarchy.

Life retook its habitual course in the Palace of the Louvre. The King
was studying a new ballet. Very few persons remarked that he found time
also to make long visits upon Mazarin. The Cardinal, feeling himself in
the clutches of death, was preparing his pupil for his "great trade" of
sovereign. He made him acquainted with affairs, spoke to him in
confidence of the people connected with the administration of the
kingdom; discussed political questions, and recommended him to have no
longer a first minister.[87] The one thing which he could not yet
resolve to do was to permit the King to give a direct order. His dying
hands would not let fall a half-crown or relax an atom of authority.

The young Queen was astonished at the money restrictions which had
oppressed her since her sojourn in France; Mazarin supervised her
household through the intermediary of Colbert, "who saved upon
everything,"[88] and he (Mazarin) pocketed the savings. On New Year's
day, he absorbed for himself three-fourths of the gifts of
Marie-Thérèse. The Queen Mother having shown some discontent, "the poor
Monsieur the Cardinal," as she called him, cried out boldly, "Alas! if
she knew from whence comes this money and that it is the blood of the
people, she would not be so liberal."

In vain Mazarin hastened; he did not have time to finish his task.
February 11, 1661, the King, realising that his minister was lost, began
to weep and to say that he did not know what he should do. All France
experienced the same fears. It did not occur to any that the King was
capable of governing, or that he would take the trouble to do so. The
doubt was only as to the name of the one who should take the helm in
place of the Cardinal. Anne of Austria believed in chance; Condé had one
party amongst the nobility. The Parisian bourgeoisie said to itself that
Retz was perhaps going to return from over sea "for necessity."[89] The
ministers admitted that there was only one man fitted for the position.

While these various intrigues were progressing, Mazarin expired (March
6th), and some hours later there came that _coup de théâtre_ of which
one reads in all histories. Louis XIV. signified to his ministers and
grandees his intention of himself governing. Those who knew him well,
beginning with his own mother, did nothing but laugh, persuaded that it
was only a fire of straw. Louis at first shut himself up entirely alone
during two hours, in order to establish a "rule of life"[90] as an
effective monarch. The programme resulting from this meditation
surprisingly resembles the one given by Catherine de Médicis in the
letter already cited. It exacts the qualities of a great worker. From
that day, Louis showed these qualities. "For above all," says he in his
_Mémoires_, "I resolved not to have a first minister, and not to permit
to be filled by another the functions belonging to the King, as long as
I bear the title."

The passage in which he describes his "wedding" with the joy of work is
moving and beautiful. It is even poetical.

     I felt immediately my spirit and courage elevated. I found
     myself a different individual. I discovered in myself a mind
     which I did not know existed, and I reproached myself for
     having so long ignored this joy. The timidity which judgment at
     first gave caused me pain, above all when it was necessary to
     speak in public a little lengthily. This timidity, however, was
     dissipated little by little.

     At length it seemed to me I was really King and born to rule. I
     experienced a sense of well-being difficult to express.

Louis would now have need of all his courage. In measure as his mind
became "elevated," shame for his gross ignorance overcame him. "When
reason," says he, "commences to become solid, one feels a cutting and
just chagrin in finding oneself ignorant of what all others know."

The practical utility of his neglected studies was realised by him. Not
to know history with his "trade" was a difficulty felt every instant.
Not to be capable of deciphering alone a Latin letter when Rome and the
Empire wrote their dispatches only in Latin, was an insupportable
slavery to others. Never to have read anything upon the "art of war"
when the ambition was aroused to become an expert in this art and to
acquire glory through it, "was to put brakes on one's own wheels." The
young King's education must be remade; the only difficulty was the
finding sufficient leisure. He would not allow himself to be hindered by
other difficulties, of which the principal one was the danger of
hazarding the newly acquired authority by returning to the schoolroom.

Louis XIV. braved public opinion with remarkable courage. This is one of
the finest periods of his life. He proved himself truly great by his
sentiment of professional duty, and by his empire over himself, the day
upon which he dared to say to himself as the bourgeois gentleman of
Molière was forced to say, knowing well the ridicule to which he was
exposed: "I wish ... to be able to reason among intelligent people."

In order to do him full justice, it is necessary to remember the foolish
effect at that date produced by a scholar of twenty-three.[91] Classes
were then finished at fifteen or sixteen, and the memory of them was
inseparably connected with birch rods, without whose aid there was no
teaching in the seventeenth century. When it was known that the King was
again taking Latin lessons from his ancient preceptor, and that he
passed hours in writing themes, the courtiers might easily have had it
upon the end of their tongues to demand as Mme. Jourdain of M. Jourdain:
"Are you at your age going to college to be whipped?"

He did not console himself with the illusion that his rank would save
him from such railleries. He confesses _à propos_ of history, which he
wished to study again, how keenly sensitive he was to the thought of
what might be said. "One single scruple embarrassed me, which was, that
I had a certain shame, considering my position in the world, of
redescending into an occupation to which I should earlier have devoted
myself." Everything had yielded to the desire "not to be deprived of the
knowledge that every worthy man should have."

In spite of these efforts, Louis was never educated; he never knew
Latin, which was deemed the real knowledge of the seventeenth century,
in which century the language was well taught. Too much business or too
many pleasures prevented the young King from pursuing his design during
a sufficiently long period. It is possible, also, that his lack of
natural facility may have discouraged him. Louis XIV. had memory and
judgment, but his intelligence was slow. In short, he abandoned his
studies too soon; he felt, and repeated till the day of his death the
confession, "I am ignorant."

But Louis never relaxed the labours belonging to him as chief of the
State. His days were regulated once for all. Mme. de Motteville tells
the arrangement the day following the death of Mazarin. Saint-Simon
gives it again a half-century later, and it is identical. Apart from
extraordinary and unexpected business, and formal functions, so numerous
and important at this epoch, the King regularly devoted six to eight
hours daily to ordinary business. Add to these hours the time for
sleeping and eating, for seeing his family and taking the fresh air, and
but little time would have been left for diversion if the King had not
had the capacity of doing without sleep almost at will. It was this
physical gift which permitted him to provide as largely for pleasure as
for work. Nevertheless, the Court had trouble in adapting itself to the
new régime. It did not know what to do while the King worked.

"It is more wearisome here than can be imagined," wrote the Duc
d'Enghien, son of the great Condé, in 1664. "The King is shut up almost
the entire afternoon."[92] Outside the Court, the people could have
cried with joy. It had been a delightful surprise to discover a great
worker in this ballet dancer. Paris was ready to permit him to indulge
in his little weaknesses, provided that he would govern, that he himself
would use his power. The bourgeoisie Frondeuse was disarmed.

     It is necessary [wrote Guy Patin to a friend] that I should
     share with you a thought which I find very amusing. M. de
     Vendome has said that our good King resembles a young doctor
     who has much ardour for his profession, but who demands some
     _quid pro quo_. I know those who see him intimately, who have
     assured me that he has very good intentions and, that as soon
     as he is _completely the master_, he will persuade all the
     world of them. Amen.[93]

The italicised words are significant of the opinion of Guy Patin. In
establishing absolute monarchy, Louis XIV. had the good wishes of all.
Other testimony quite as remarkable exists to confirm this statement.
After the death of Mazarin, Olivier d'Ormesson, who had been of the
opposition party in the Parliament, and whose independence would soon
cost him his career, let three entire years roll by before admitting any
statement in his journal to the detriment of the King. This writer also
believes in Louis, and, on the whole, approves of the compensations
(_quid pro quo_) demanded by the governing novice.

After the first astonishment, the sudden change in Louis's methods
provoked but few commentaries in the immediate surroundings of the King.
Anne of Austria had a fit of vexation in realising that she would never
again have any influence; after which, indolence aiding, her course was
taken. The Queen Mother had no objection on principle to absolute
monarchy: she had always favoured it. She could not, as a Spanish
Princess, conceive of royalty being the least limited. Once resigned to
the new situation, she became a truly maternal old Queen, who preached
virtue to youth, and endeavoured to lighten the monotony of her
daughter-in-law's life.

Marie-Thérèse had only one single political opinion; good government was
that under which a king could pass much time with his wife. This poor
little wife died without having ever really lived with her husband.

Mademoiselle had no reason to regret the first ministers; there had been
too little reason to enjoy the two with whom she had had intercourse.
She imagined herself liberated from all dependence through the death of
the Cardinal, succeeding that of her father, and this thought was most
agreeable to her. She did not perceive that she had only changed
masters, and that the new one would prove himself infinitely more
difficult to please, more exacting, than that sceptical Italian who
confined himself to watching that she did not carry away her millions to
strangers and who simply mocked at everything else.

Mademoiselle finally passed through the state of apprenticeship to
absolute monarchy. Her eyes were opened only on the day on which the
thunder cloud burst upon her.


[Footnote 35: See the _Mémoires de Louis XIV._, edited by Charles
Dreyss. The _Mémoires_ of Louis XIV. were not written by himself. He
dictated them to his secretaries afterward adding notes in his own
handwriting and correcting the proofs. See the _Introduction_ by M.

[Footnote 36: _Mémoires de Mademoiselle de Montpensier. Mémoires de

[Footnote 37: Montglat.]

[Footnote 38: _Id._]

[Footnote 39: Letters of January 3, 1717, of September 27, 1718, and of
July, 1722. Madame adds in this last: "Now, all the circumstances are

[Footnote 40: Letter to the Queen, Anne of Austria, October 27, 1651.]

[Footnote 41: March 23, 1865, Père Theiner, Guardian of the Secret
Archives of the Vatican, replied to some one who had pressed the
question: "Our acts of December 16, 1641, in which Jules Mazarin was
created Cardinal, do not say whether or not he was a priest. How could
he then have been admitted to the order of Cardinal-priest? No doubt he
was a priest." The letter of Père Theiner has been published by M. Jules
Loiseleur in his _Problèmes historiques_.]

[Footnote 42: _Letters of Madame de Maintenon_ edited by Geoffroy.]

[Footnote 43: For further details see the excellent volume of M.
Lacour-Gayet, _L'éducation politique de Louis XIV._]

[Footnote 44: December 24th, _Relations des ambassadeurs vénitiens_.]

[Footnote 45: The letter is dated April 21, 1654. Louis XIV. was then
fifteen and a half years of age.]

[Footnote 46: Mme. de Motteville had heard him express the same idea.
_Cf._ his _Mémoires_, v., 101, ed. Petitot.]

[Footnote 47: _Les fragments des mémoires inédits_ by Dubois, valet of
Louis XIV., published by Léon Aubineau in the _Biblothéque de l'École
des Chartes_, and in his _Notices littéraires_ upon the 17th century.]

[Footnote 48: _Cf._ Lacour-Gayet, p. 203.]

[Footnote 49: M. Dreyss dates the writing of this portion of the
_Mémoires_ about 1670.]

[Footnote 50: Letters of June 9, 1654, and April 9, 1658.]

[Footnote 51: _Segraisiana._ Louis XIV. was seventeen when he made this

[Footnote 52: _Journal de voyage de deux jeunes Hollandais à Paris_

[Footnote 53: _Mémoires de Mme. de Motteville._]

[Footnote 54: The fair of Saint-Germain was held between Saint-Sulpice
and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, from February 3d to the evening before Palm
Sunday. The Court and the populace elbowed each other there.]

[Footnote 55: _Journal de deux jeunes Hollandais._]

[Footnote 56: _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle.]

[Footnote 57: _Journal de deux jeunes Hollandais._]

[Footnote 58: _Journal de deux jeunes Hollandais._]

[Footnote 59: April 29th.]

[Footnote 60: To the Duc de Bouillon and to the son of the Marshal Duc
de La Meilleraye, who took the title of Duc de Mazarin.]

[Footnote 61: It must not be forgotten that Saint-Simon was presented at
Court in 1692. Louis XIV. was then fifty-four, and had reigned
forty-nine years. Saint-Simon only knew the end of the reign.]

[Footnote 62: Brother of the Superintendent of Finances.]

[Footnote 63: In the summer of 1657.]

[Footnote 64: _Vers d'Atys_, opera played in 1676, and _d'Astrate_,
tragedy of 1663.]

[Footnote 65: The phrase is M. Jules Lemâitre's.]

[Footnote 66: See _The Youth of La Grande Mademoiselle_. For this
chapter _cf._ _La misère au temps de la Fronde et Saint-Vincent de
Paul_, by Feillet; _La cabale des dévots_, by Raoul Allier;
_Saint-Vincent de Paul_, by Emanuel Broglie; _Saint-Vincent de Paul et
les Goudi_, by Chantelauze; _Port-Royal_, by Sainte-Beuve.]

[Footnote 67: Village of the arrondissement of Provins.]

[Footnote 68: Feillet, _La misère au temps de la Fronde_.]

[Footnote 69: See the volume of Raoul Allier, _La cabale des dévots_.]

[Footnote 70: Marie de Gonzague.]

[Footnote 71: En Picardie.]

[Footnote 72: M. Emanuel de Broglie.]

[Footnote 73: Saul in the _Journal des guerres civiles de
Dubuisson-Aubenay_. He mentions the date of December 2, 1650, upon which
"large donations" were sent into Champagne, by Mmes. de Lamoignon and de
Herse, Messieurs de Bernières, Lenain, etc.]

[Footnote 74: The Parliament of Dijon had a bad reputation with the
ministers, who accused it of refusing all reform. This does not excuse
such a lack of good faith.]

[Footnote 75: Dombes was a small independent principality which had only
been definitely united to France on March 28, 1782; its capital was

[Footnote 76: _Histoire de France._ Tr. by Jacques Porchat and Miot.
Paris, 1886.]

[Footnote 77: _Mémoires de Montglat; Mémoires de Mme. de Motteville._]

[Footnote 78: The ball took place on the 3rd. Several days elapsed
before the news of the death reached Aix.]

[Footnote 79: _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle.]

[Footnote 80: _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle.]

[Footnote 81: Anne de Gonzague.]

[Footnote 82: This appeared in 1691.]

[Footnote 83: Isle des Faisans was also called _Isle de la Conférence_,
since Mazarin had there discussed the treaty of the Pyrénées with Luis
de Haro.]

[Footnote 84: _Mémoires de Montglat._]

[Footnote 85: _Mémoires de Mme. de Motteville._]

[Footnote 86: _Ibid._]

[Footnote 87: There exists in the _Archives d'Affaires étrangères_ a
fragment of the instructions of Mazarin to Louis XIV., written under the
dictation of the King. M. Chantelauze, who discovered it, published it
in the _Correspondant_ of August 10, 1881.]

[Footnote 88: Motteville.]

[Footnote 89: Guy Patin. Letter of January 28, 1661.]

[Footnote 90: Motteville.]

[Footnote 91: He was even twenty-four when he asked Péréfixe again to
give him Latin lessons.]

[Footnote 92: Letter of June 27th to the Queen of Poland (_Archives de
Chantilly_). The King dined at one o'clock.]

[Footnote 93: Letter of July 15, 1661.]


     Mademoiselle at the Luxembourg--Her Salon--The "Anatomies" of
     the Heart--Projects of Marriage, and New Exile--Louis XIV. and
     the Libertines--Fragility of Fortune in Land--_Fêtes Galantes_.

With the approach of her thirty-fifth year, the Grande Mademoiselle
perceived by diverse signs that she was no longer young. She was forced
to recognise that her strength had its limitations, which fact had never
before been forced upon her. On February 7, 1662, Louis XIV. danced for
the first time a grand ballet entitled the "Amours of Hercules," and his
cousin of Montpensier took part. She was ill from fatigue. Another kind
of weariness overcame her; she became bored with fêtes. She had been
present at so many gala occasions since her entrance into the world, and
had seen so many festivals and fireworks, garlands of flowers and
allegorical chariots, that she was now quickly satiated.

The King still loved this kind of abundant pleasure; those which he
offered to his Court sometimes lasted successive days and nights,
without giving time to breathe, and all being expected to feel continued
amusement. Mademoiselle was no longer capable of this. She was beginning
to long for the repose of home. Her sick headaches contributed to this
disability; age had increased them, and all women know that it is better
to suffer a headache in solitude. After a lively struggle, she had
returned to the palace of the Luxembourg and was lodging under the same
roof as her stepmother. The old Madame would have gladly relinquished a
neighbour whose presence presaged nothing good, but no one had sustained
the contention as no one was in the least interested in her welfare. One
reads in a fugitive leaf of the times issued on July 21, 1660: "This
affair was deliberated upon in the Court, and it was found that
Mademoiselle had the right to demand one of the apartments free, and
that Madame could not refuse it." It is said that the King wrote to
Madame in order to soften the blow; it was necessary to drain the bitter
cup to the dregs, and at a time in which Madame had great need of
tranquillity to install at her very door this tempestuous stepdaughter,
with whom no peace was possible.

Madame had "vapours," otherwise called a nervous malady. She was afraid
of noise, of movement, and of being forced to speak, and Mademoiselle
insisted upon making "scenes." "I teased her often," says the Princess
in her _Mémoires_, "and very much despised her (in which I was wrong),
and she always responded as one who feared me, and with much
submission." The public did not consider it worth while to waste pity
upon Madame, because she bored every one; a fault never pardoned. Anne
of Austria, herself a very amiable woman, when not opposed, could never
suffer her inoffensive sister-in-law. The Queen Mother said to
Mademoiselle, who did not need this encouragement: "Her person, her
temper, and her manners are odious to me." The public was fundamentally
right in its antipathy. Madame was one of those people who render virtue
hateful, and in thus doing are very injurious to humanity.

The Luxembourg was commodious and gay. Mademoiselle enjoyed it, and it
pleased her to arrange for herself a grand existence as a Princess, rich
and independent. Nothing could be more displeasing to the Court. As soon
as Louis XIV. had assumed full power, he let it be seen that he wished
no social centre in his kingdom other than his own palace. His cousin
did not take this fact into account. This was not bravado. It was due to
the impossibility of comprehending that "a person of her quality" could
be reduced to the rôle of satellite.

It is certain that nature had not prepared her for this rôle. "I would
rather pass my life in solitude," wrote she, "than restrain in any way
my proud humour, even at the expense of my fortune. I have no
complaisance, and I demand a great deal from others."[94] She also adds:
"I do not willingly praise others and very rarely blame myself." With
this avowed disposition, it would perhaps have been wiser not to go too
often to the Louvre. It was a great imprudence to attract the crowd to
herself as she had done at the time in which she was openly opposing the

The salon of Mademoiselle became the first in Paris, the most
interesting and select. Since Paris had tasted the pleasures of clever
conversation and discovered, under the direction of Mme. de Rambouillet,
the genius of this delicate art, it could not do without it. The
initiator was still living, but she was old and ill, and her circle had
long been dispersed.[95]

Mlle. de Scudéry had collected together as many of the remnants of her
first salon as she could, and had thus laid the foundation for the
famous Saturdays, at which wit and knowledge were dispensed in
abundance. Nevertheless, it was not the same. The Saturdays of "Sapho"
brought back the literary people to the pedantry from which Mme. de
Rambouillet had more or less delivered them. They were left too much to
themselves, and, thus isolated, they had lost a certain intellectual
grace acquired by the friction between the aristocrats and the

The mind as well as the body has its own manners, and they may be bad or
good. In 1661, the Court alone had breeding. There existed no other
society in which the first comer understood how to speak a language easy
and _galant_, well adapted to plumed hats and elegant bows. These
belonged to the traditions of the place. Such courtesies were lacking
with the learned friends of Mlle. de Scudéry, who no longer felt
themselves spurred on by the fine gentlemen, so alert, capable of such
light railleries, and detesting pedants.

The feminine society of the Saturdays had also too little intercourse
with duchesses and marquises to replace the Hôtel Rambouillet. Mlle.
Bocquet, who filled a large place in the chronicles of the Saturdays,
was very amiable and played the lute "marvellously,"[96] but she
belonged to the small bourgeoisie. Mlle. Dupré, another intimate, was an
intelligent and educated girl, who had made a special study of
philosophy. She quoted Descartes too often to have "the air _galant_" in
conversation. As much could be said of others. Mlle. de Scudéry herself,
who had been received in the best company and who had formally combated
the "Blue-stockingism" with admirable good sense, had not written
thirty-two octavo volumes with impunity. There still remained a little
ink on the end of her fingers. It seemed as if all the pedants of France
held their classes in her house. Plays upon words filled the papers
scattered about, upon which "Prosecutions" were held. The "Illustrious
Sapho" had truly inspired Molière when he wrote _Les Précieuses
Ridicules_; in vain, M. Cousin refuses to believe it.[97] I do not
myself think that she escaped.

Mademoiselle rendered to the wits of the day the service of sending them
back to the Court for lessons in language and manners. We are well
informed of this, thanks to the fantasy of a Princess which produced a
little literature upon the model offered by the Luxembourg.

In 1657, Mademoiselle, being at Champigny for the Richelieu lawsuit, the
Princess of Tarente[98] and Mlle. de la Trémouille[99] showed her their
literary portraits written by themselves.[100] These were imitations of
those which Mlle. de Scudéry, creator of the kind, gave in her
romances,--the personalities to be divined with a key. "I had never
before seen anything of the kind; I found them very _galants_, and wrote
my own." After her own, she made others, and exacted them from those
about her.

From this resulted a repertoire unique of its kind, in which noble
personages, of both sexes and all ages, have been so obliging as not to
leave us ignorant of themselves, from the state of their teeth to their
opinions upon love, nor have they omitted to present similar details
concerning their friends.

The collection of these _Portraits_[101] reveals to us how the
aristocracy then viewed itself, or, at least, how it wished to be
estimated by others. The ordinary beginning was to picture the face and
bearing. The fashion was to do this with sincerity, which by no means
indicates modesty. The famous Duchesse de Châtillon warned readers that
she was going to speak with a naïveté "the greatest possible."

     This is why [continues she] I can say that I have the most
     beautiful and best formed figure which has ever been seen.
     There is none so regular, so free, so easy. My bearing is
     entirely agreeable, and in all my actions I have an air
     infinitely _spirituel_. My face is a most perfect oval,
     according to all standards; my forehead is slightly elevated,
     which aids the regularity of the oval. My eyes are brown, very
     brilliant, and very deeply set; the gaze is very gentle and, at
     the same time, full of fire and spirit. I have a well-made
     nose, and as for the mouth, it is not only fine and well
     coloured, but infinitely agreeable, made so by a thousand
     little natural expressions not to be seen in any other mouths.
     My teeth are very beautiful and regular. I have a very small
     chin. I have not a very white skin. My hair is a clear
     chestnut, and very lustrous. My neck is more beautiful than
     ugly. As for my arms and hands, I am not proud of them; but the
     skin is very soft and smooth. It would be impossible to find a
     thigh better made than mine or a foot better turned.

The description of the physique was a rule of the Portraits, not even
the _religieuses_ believing that it should be dispensed with.

Among the Portraits is found one of an Abbess who visited Mademoiselle,
the inspiring Marie-Éléonore de Rohan, a person much esteemed on account
of her mother, the famous Duchesse de Montbazon, but very disconcerting,
notwithstanding, for our modern ideals of monastic life.

She divided herself between the cloister and the world, sufficiently
edifying when it was needful, lively and brilliant the remainder of the
time, and as natural in the one rôle as in the other. The Abbess
composed works of piety for her nuns,--among others _La Morale de
Salomon_, many times re-edited, and the _Paraphrases des sept Psaumes de
la Pénitence_. The lady of society placed herself before her mirror and
wrote without a shade of embarrassment: "I have some haughtiness in my
physiognomy and some modesty. I have too large a nose, a mouth not
disagreeable, lips suitable, and teeth neither beautiful nor ugly." This
"nose too large" shocked the savant Huet. In reproducing the portrait of
Mme. l'Abbesse, he wrote: "As the beauty of the nose is one to which I
am very sensitive, permit, Madame, that I should begin with yours. It is
large; it is white, slightly aquiline, and gives something _spirituel_
to your smile."

Another phrase of Huet's gives us a vision of how these
pseudo-religieuses, whose species was destined to disappear with the
reform of convents, a not regrettable fact, accommodated the convent
garb with coquetry: "One cannot imagine," pursued the future bishop,
"more beautiful hair than yours; it is ash colour, blond, curls in a
very agreeable manner, and admirably suits your face, as far as I have
been able to judge, when it has escaped by chance, in spite of your care
to conceal it."

After the body comes the temper, tastes, qualities, and defects of the
mind. Here lies the lasting interest of the Portraits. It is valuable to
know from first hand, through its own confidences, that this
aristocratic society, from which the King exacted the complete sacrifice
of its independence, hated nothing more than restraint, and did not
hesitate to say so. Men and women, speaking for themselves, return
constantly to this point, and always in the same terms: "I hate
restraint. Restraint is insupportable to me." "I have an aversion for
all that is called restraint." "I suffer oppression impatiently and I
passionately love liberty."

From the point of view of absolute monarchy and the discipline which it
wished to impose upon the Court, the French nobility had very bad
habits. This nobility professed love of the chivalric virtues, and
hatred of anything resembling baseness or disloyalty. In this, it was
sincere, only we must admit that opinions are constantly changing even
in relation to morals, and that to-day, we might have difficulty in
agreeing with a gentleman of 1660 as to what is loyal or base and what
is not. Honour commanded the gentleman to avenge offences against
himself without too closely examining into the methods of so doing.
Custom authorised him to be unjust and to act with bad faith towards the
lowly, common, and feeble, in particular when money was owed. Honesty
was a bourgeois virtue. Mademoiselle considered it unworthy that people
of quality should abuse their authority to "ruin miserable creditors,"
but she was an exception.

The obligations of "honour" were extending to all conditions. Vatel was
praised for having killed himself because the fish did not rise. "It
was said," wrote Mme. de Sévigné, "that this sort of honour was a

It was not the same with another sentiment which filled the plays of
Corneille and which is constantly referred to in all the writings of the
time. General consent reserved for people of quality the privilege of
having ideas of "Glory and of the 'Beautiful' or the True," which led,
according to Huet's definition, to the desire for grand things. The
desire for "true glory," which is carefully distinguished from what he
called the "halo of glory," was the aristocratic sentiment "par
excellence." Even among the authors of the _Portraits_, every one was
not considered to possess the high capacity for strongly feeling this

In spite of the prevailing licentiousness of the Court, there still
remained in this brilliant society many pure women. At the same time,
virtue was not particularly honoured. It was a matter of personal taste,
the nobility only attaching a secondary and conventional importance to
its practice. The women "pure," or those who were supposed so to be,
received praise from friendly pens. The others were not looked at
askance, except by the Jansenists and other sombre spirits.

The young Comtesse de Fiesque, with whom Mademoiselle had been embroiled
at Saint-Fargeau, had a well-established reputation for gallantry. The
anonymous author of her Portrait makes allusion to this, and hastens to
add, "Truly this does her no harm." No harm at all! Mademoiselle did
not think of it when Mme. de Fiesque came to demand pardon for her
impertinences: "She threw herself on her knees before me; I raised her
up and embraced her; she wept with joy. She is a worthy woman, only too
easily led away, but good at heart."

Naturally men spoke very freely of women; it was like the crowing of
cocks. An anonymous writer, who might have been the poet Racan,[102]
represents himself as "very ugly, very stammering, and very
disagreeable, very grumbling besides and untruthful," and goes on, "I am
very bold with women and quite as successful as if I were good-looking
and possessed the most agreeable qualities in the world to make myself
well received. I have indeed found myself sometimes as you see me..."
There is still greater contempt expressed for women in the following
passage from the Portrait of La Rochefoucauld by himself: "Formerly I
was a little _galant_; now not at all, although still youthful. I have
renounced all flirtations. I am only astonished that there should still
be so many worthy people who occupy themselves in culling these 'little
flowers.'" Considering Mme. de Longueville, this statement is rather
hard. I would remark in passing, that La Rochefoucauld was
forty-five[103] at the moment in which he found himself somewhat
"young to renounce flirtations." Molière, however, was soon to make all
Paris laugh at the expense of Arnolphe,[104] who indulged in love
affairs at the age of forty-two. Shall we conclude that Molière
attempted to lessen the limit of the age of love, or was it only in the
theatre that fashion exacted young lovers? I leave this question to the
clever. It is not without importance in the history of sentiments.

[Illustration: =FRANÇOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD= From the engraving by
Hopwood after the painting by Petitot]

The fashion of Portraits lasted but little more than two years with
those who were its sponsors; as soon as the custom reached the
bourgeoisie, the people of quality abandoned it. The very lively taste
developed in the middle class, in their turn, for this diversion proved
of real service to literature. The imitators of the "Galerie" learned,
as previously the creators of the game had done, to know the "interior
of people."[105] "The anatomies" of their own hearts, imperfect as they
were, habituated them to discern the "qualities and temper of
people,"[106] and thus a large public was prepared to comprehend the
women of Racine.

Mademoiselle was one of the first to profit by the "soul studies" which
she had brought into favour. There remains a little passage in a portion
of her _Mémoires_, written after 1660, which clearly indicates this.
Progress is equally marked in a little romance with a key, entitled
_Histoire de la Princesse de Paphlagonie_, which was composed and
printed at Bordeaux in 1659, during the prolonged sojourn of the Court
at that place.

This is not the only imaginative work for which this facile pen[107] is
responsible, but it is the only one worthy of notice. The subject is
without interest; Mademoiselle has incorporated in a literary tale the
absurd quarrels of her household: "I made a little history which was
finished in three days, by writing in the evening after returning from
the Queen." In compensation, there are in the _Princesse de Paphlagonie_
some sketches after nature, written with a firm and live touch, a
novelty with Mademoiselle. A passage upon the blue room of Mme. de
Rambouillet will prove a great aid in any attempt to reconstruct an
elegant interior under Louis XIV., if the experiment should ever be made
as has been suggested of playing the comedies of Molière in the true
"chamber" of Philaminte or of Célimène. Others have spoken of the rooms
in which Mme. de Rambouillet received. The harmonious decoration and the
scholarly disorder have been before described, yet no one but
Mademoiselle has given us the intimate atmosphere of the sanctuary, with
its measured and discreet light, its luxury of flowers, its objects of
art, and its small but choice library betraying the tastes and the
preferences of the divinity of the place. The description resembles
more nearly the salon of an intelligent woman of the twentieth century
than a suite of the Château of Versailles.

The guests of Mademoiselle profited also by the refinement of her
tastes. She enforced one single rule in her salon: cards were banished.
No one was exposed to the danger of being ruined, as was the case in the
circle of the King, who encouraged heavy play. It did not displease
Louis XIV. to be the Providence of the losers, this again being a method
of keeping his nobles in hand. His cousin in no way shared in such
considerations. She said: "I hate to play cards," and only played when
it was impossible to avoid doing so. She did not at all like to lose. It
was remarked that the Luxembourg had gained in gaiety with the exclusion
of gambling games. "There is a hundred times as much laughter," relates
the Abbé de Choisy,[108] at this date very young and a frequent guest at
the palace of the Luxembourg, where he met numerous companions of his
own age.

The three daughters of the old Madame, Mlles. d'Orléans, d'Alençon, and
de Valois,[109] were always with their step-sister. They escaped from
their deserted apartment to run towards the noise and movement; their
life was too sad with Madame and her eternal "vapours." Relegated to
their chambers as at Blois, with some childish companions, among whom
was Louise de La Vallière,[110] still unknown, they lived in a state of
distrust of their almost invisible mother, who never addressed a word to
them except in scolding.

At least, with Mademoiselle one had the right to move. Young people had
great freedom. Little games were organised. Parties of hide and seek and
blind-man's-buff were enjoyed. "As I had violin players, it was easy to
dance in any room sufficiently distant from Madame." The Abbé de Choisy
adds a gracious detail: "There were violinists, but ordinarily they were
silent and we danced to singing. It is so charming to dance to the sound
of the voice." While the young moved gaily about, their elders had also
their little games.

Everything yielded, however, to the unequalled pleasure of conversation.
Among those who gave éclat to the Luxembourg, the names of La
Rochefoucauld, Segrais, Mme. de Lafayette, and Mme. de Sévigné may be
mentioned. Mademoiselle herself often led the conversation, beating the
drums a little, her fashion in everything, but also with a certain
spontaneity which she always displayed.

Conversation was, during more than a century, even to the time of the
Revolution, to be the great delight of intelligent France, and this
pleasure rendered incomparable service to the French language, which had
rather deteriorated during the first periods of the seventeenth century.
It was immediately perceived that the worst fault for a talker was to
speak like a book, and the French owe to this simple observation the
lesson which taught them to become the first in the world for vivacity
and naturalness in the art of conversation. The habitués of the
Luxembourg only regretted that the conversation did not oftener turn
upon love. But, in this respect, Mademoiselle was not as complaisant as
at Saint-Fargeau. We have seen that, in practice, she closed her eyes;
this simplified life. For her own pleasure, she preferred other topics;
this particular one became at length insupportable to her. "I am much
criticised," says she in her _Portrait_, "because the verses I like the
least, are those which are passionate, for I have not a tender soul."
Besides, she had really nothing more to say upon the subject of love.
She had just made her profession of faith in a correspondence with Mme.
de Motteville, who, while awaiting something better, circulated a
manuscript in which one reads, "Its conditions are shameful; it is
robbery and unjust, without faith and without equity. It is an impiety;
it mocks the holy sacrament. Marriage adjusts nothing: everything is
given to man."

"Let us escape from slavery," cried Mademoiselle. "Let there be at least
one corner of the globe in which one can say that women are their own
mistresses." Every one has the right to despise love and marriage,
provided only that one does not insist on applying this sentiment only
to others. The youth of the Luxembourg knew too well that Mademoiselle
sought with an increasing ardour that "slavery" against which in
conversation or in writing she called her sex to revolt. Her intimate
friends realised that she was inventing illusions, under the influence
of a possible possession which induced a belief in their reality. She
had believed in an eager tenderness on the part of the little Monsieur
who had married some one else. After the restoration of the Stuarts
(April, 1660), she imagined (the recital is fully given in her
_Mémoires_) that the King, Charles II., whom she had refused with
disdain when he was only a poor pretender, had no other intention in
remounting the throne than again to demand her hand, and that she would
nobly respond: "I do not deserve this, having rejected your suit when
you were in disgrace. The remembrance of this would always rest on our
two hearts and would prevent true happiness." This fine response has
been quoted a hundred times. Unfortunately, it is very clearly proved
through the testimony of English documents[111] that Mademoiselle had no
occasion to make it.

Advances, alas! had come from one side only and had been ill received.
"I very much desire the marriage of Mademoiselle," wrote Lady
Derby[112] to her sister-in-law, Mme. de la Trémouille, through whom
passed the "insinuations," "but the King has a great aversion to it on
account of the contempt which she has shown him. I have spoken of her to
Marquis d'Ormond, but I have met with little encouragement." In another
letter: "I have proposed Mademoiselle, but I have little hope. If the
King looks for wealth, we can hardly expect greater than with
Mademoiselle. But I fear that having been despised in his poverty, he
may be little disposed to regard such a marriage." Charles II. would
listen to nothing; he had guarded a grudge against his cousin. On the
other hand, there is every appearance of truth when she states that the
old Duc Charles III. de Lorraine,[113] had demanded her "on his knees"
for a youth of eighteen, Prince Charles de Lorraine, his nephew, who
became afterwards one of the most famous Austrian generals. It was a
question, as can well be understood, of a political combination.

Unfortunately, Prince Charles himself had another project, better suited
to his age. He was in love with the eldest daughter of Madame,
Marguerite d'Orléans, who returned his affection with all her heart. The
youthful society of the Luxembourg accuses Mademoiselle of having,
through jealousy, caused this project to fail. "The affair had been
advanced," relates that gossip, the Abbé de Choisy, "but the old
Mademoiselle had talked and cackled so much that she spoiled
everything." She was desperate at the thought of her younger sisters,
beggars compared to herself, marrying under her very eyes. Marguerite
d'Orléans made, out of spite, a marriage which turned out badly,[114]
but through which Mademoiselle in no way profited. Owing to a singular
change of desire, from the day on which it had depended upon herself to
marry Prince Charles, she had only felt contempt for this little prince
"_sans forts_."[115]

These caprices made the King impatient, who ended by making negotiations
with Lorraine without any longer occupying himself with his cousin.
Louis XIV. still retained the old monarchical principles in relation to
the marriage of princesses. He regarded them simply from the point of
view of politics; questions to be settled by governments and into which
sentiments must not be permitted to intrude. The idea that every human
being has a right to happiness did not belong to his times, and if it
had been suggested, the King would have surely condemned it, for it
insisted upon individual interests as opposed to those of the community,
the rights of which appeared specially sacred to the people of the
seventeenth century.

Louis XIV. did not believe for himself that he had the right to accept
only the agreeable duties belonging to his "trade of king," since he had
undertaken an existence devoted to strenuous labour, when it would have
been so pleasant to do nothing. According to his principle, the higher
the position of an individual, the more it was fitting that he should
sacrifice his own desires to the public good. Mademoiselle had the
honour of being his first cousin; he had firmly resolved to marry her,
or not to marry her, to bestow her hand upon a hero or a monster,
according as he should judge it useful to "the service of the King."
There was a certain grandeur in this fashion of recognising

It had not occurred to the King that Mademoiselle would ever have the
audacity to resist him. It can be said that any real understanding
between the two was an impossibility. Mademoiselle had lived too long in
the midst of the opposition to yield to the notion of absolute royal
power without limitations and including all possible persons. Louis XIV.
had a too profound faith in the doctrine of the divine right of kings to
refuse for himself any of the prerogatives devolving upon him. Both
these opinions represented Frenchmen at large; but for the moment
Mademoiselle was being borne along by the ebbing tide, Louis XIV. by the
rising one.

This Prince had entered the world at an opportune moment to profit by a
doctrine which, according to a happy expression, seemed made for him as
he for it. After the Reform, the enforcing the old theory of the divine
origin of power had a beneficial result. The populace in many a country
and province had found themselves as much interested as the sovereigns
in suppressing the political power of the Pope outside of his own
States, and resenting his interference in the affairs of other

In France, in the sixteenth century, one meets with Calvinist
theologians amongst the writers who claimed that princes received their
power directly from God, and from God alone. The immediate consequence
of this doctrine was to heighten the éclat of royalty. Princes became
images of divinity, and even something more; Louis XIV., not yet five,
heard himself spoken of as the "Divinity made visible." Two years later,
the Royal Catechism[116] explained to him that he was "Vice-Dieu."
Twenty years later Louis XIV. was "Dieu," without any qualification, and
Bossuet himself declared it from the pulpit. On April 2, 1662, preaching
at the Louvre and speaking of the duties of kings, Bossuet cried: "O
Gods of nations and of lands, you must die like mortals; nevertheless,
until Death, you are Gods."

When a man hears such statements without shrinking, he is quite ready to
accept all the consequences. "Kings," writes an anonymous person, "are
absolute lords of all who breathe in any portion of their empire."[117]

Louis XIV. has very clearly formulated the same thought in his
_Mémoires_: "The one who has given kings to men has wished that they
should be respected as his lieutenants, reserving for himself alone the
right to examine their conduct. It is the divine wish that any one born
a subject should obey without question."[118] It must be added that
Louis had arrived at these conclusions under a pressure of public
opinion, which had become impatiently desirous of giving to monarchy the
strength needed to place the shattered land again in a condition of

On the death of Mazarin, France resembled a large establishment whose
cupboards, confided to a negligent steward, had not during an entire
generation been put in order. A flash of vivid hope passed through
France on seeing its young monarch, vigorously aided by Colbert, put the
broom to the mass of abuses and inequities which bore the name of
administration, and show himself resolved, in spite of resistance, to
introduce into the great public services order and moral cleanliness.

This was not finished without tears and grinding of teeth, not without
some injustice also, as in the case of Foucquet, assuredly culpable, but
paying for many others, of whom Mazarin was the first. But this
cleansing _was_ accomplished. First, the finances were attacked, with
the happy result that people paid less and that the imposts returned
more; then justice,--law reform was commenced in 1665, and the "grands
jours" of Auvergne were opened the same year; the army,--the soldiers,
paid regularly, committed fewer disorders, and the nobility learned,
willingly or not, military obedience.

At the same time, industry and commerce increased to such an extent
that, from 1668, orders flooded Paris "from the entire world" for a vast
number of articles which ten years previous had been imported. The
ambassador from Venice, Giustiniani, writes this statement to his

The strong will of the master had put the country in motion. Louis XIV.
was confirmed in his high opinion of absolute monarchy. The same year in
which Bossuet had encouraged him to believe himself above ordinary
humanity, the King decided, with a perfectly equable conscience, to
marry the Grande Mademoiselle to a veritable monster, in the interest of
a political combination which he held at heart, for he returns to it
several times in his _Mémoires_. His father-in-law, Philippe IV.,
menaced the independence of Portugal.[119] Louis XIV. hesitated to
assist Portugal openly, on account of the treaty of the Pyrénées.[120]
On the other hand, he considered double-dealing more honest to the
Spaniards than their conduct might be to him if opportunity permitted.
"I cannot doubt that they would have been the first to violate the
treaty of the Pyrénées on a thousand points, and I should believe myself
failing in my duty to the State, if, through being more scrupulous, I
should permit them freely to ruin Portugal, and to fall back upon me
with their entire strength."

It seemed to him that he could conciliate all by aiding Portugal
secretly, and Turenne had no repugnance to this course. This kind of
action was then called, and is often still designated, sagacious

Such being the situation, Turenne came one afternoon to seek
Mademoiselle in her cabinet. The account of this interview has been
preserved for us by the Princess, and we can this time trust her
accuracy. Her _Mémoires_ are in accord with contemporary witnesses. It
was towards the end of the winter of 1662. Turenne seated himself at the
corner of the fireplace and began with tender protestations. "As I am
somewhat brusque, I at once demanded of him, 'What is the question?' He
replied: 'I wish to marry you.' I interrupted him, saying: 'That is not
easy; I am content with my condition.'

"'I will make you Queen. Listen to me. Let me tell you everything, and
afterward you can speak. I wish to make you Queen of Portugal.' 'Fi!'
cried I to myself, 'I do not wish it.' He went on: 'Maidens of your
quality have no desires; they must act as the King wills.'"

The monarch whose mention makes Mademoiselle cry "Fi!" was called
Alphonse VI., and was not yet twenty. At twenty-three, the Abbé de
Saint-Romain,[121] our envoy to Portugal, reported that he could
neither read nor write. In compensation, he pulled the ears and tore out
the hair of those who approached him, and this was in his "good days";
in the bad ones, he struck, indifferently with his feet, hands, or
sword, any one who vexed him. His subjects no longer dared to pass
through the streets at night, because one of his diversions was to
charge at them suddenly in the "darkness and to try to spit them."

In person, Alphonse VI. was a fat little barrel, paralysed in one limb,
"gluttonous and dirty," almost always drunk, and vomiting after his
meals. He wore six or seven coats one over the other, amongst which "a
petticoat of three hundred taffetas, embroidered with pistol shots";
upon his head, a hood falling over his eyes, several caps over this, one
of which covered the ears, and an "English bonnet" over all. "His body,"
pursues the Abbé, "smells horribly, and he has always bad ulcers in the
softer portions ... and these offences could not be supported if he did
not bathe once daily in winter, twice in other seasons." Fear obliged
him to make "seventeen people always sleep in his chamber."

Turenne, however, forced himself to gild this rather bitter pill. He
pointed out to Mademoiselle how useful it would be and for what reasons
to have a French princess on the throne of Portugal. He promised her,
knowing her special weakness, that she should be absolute mistress of
the "great and powerful army"; that the King would give it entirely
over to her by degrees. Without doubt, Alphonse VI. was a paralytic,
"but," asserted Turenne, "this does not appear when he is dressed; he
only slightly drags one leg, and is a little awkward with his arm. So
much the better, if his intelligence also is a little slow. It is not
known whether or not he has any wit; after all, it is only good form for
husbands to be gay."

"But," replied Mademoiselle, "to be the link of a perpetual war between
France and Spain seems to me a very undesirable position." The situation
would be still worse if, as she was convinced would be the case, the two
crowns should arrive at an accommodation.

"A truly beautiful future: to have a drunken and paralytic husband, whom
the Spaniards would chase from his kingdom, and to return to France to
demand alms, when all my wealth has been dissipated, and to remain only
the queen of some little village. It is good to be Mademoiselle in
France with five hundred thousand francs of income, and nothing to
demand of the Court. Thus placed, it is foolish to move. If the Court
becomes weariness, one can retire to one's château in the country, in
which a little private court of one's own can be held. It is very
diverting also to build new houses. Finally, as mistress of one's own
wishes one is happy, for one does what one wills."

"But," returned Turenne, "remaining Mademoiselle, even admitting all
that you have said, you are still subject to the King. He commands what
he wills; when his wishes are refused, he scolds; a thousand
disagreeable things are felt at Court; often the King goes farther, he
chases people away. When they are content in one place, he sends them to
another. He orders journeys from one end of the kingdom to the other.
Sometimes, he imprisons recalcitrants in their own homes, or sends them
into convents, and in the end, obedience must come. What can you reply
to this?"

"That people of your station do not menace those of mine," cried
Mademoiselle in anger; "that I know what I must do; that if the King
says anything contrary, I will see what I shall respond to him."

She forbade Turenne to mention this affair again, and withdrew. "Five or
six days later, he again addressed me." At this time, some common
friends were present. Mademoiselle grew anxious. How far was Turenne the
authorised messenger of the King? She wrote to the latter to provoke an
explanation. No response. She confided her trouble to the Queen Mother,
who confined herself to these words: "If the King wishes this, it is a
terrible pity; he is master; as for me, I have nothing to say in the

"I was in frightful haste," adds Mademoiselle, "that the time for the
Baths of Forges should come, and that I might go away." The season
arrived. It was needful to take leave of the King. She wished to have
the Court plainly understand her intention: "'Sire, if your Majesty is
thinking of my establishment, here is M. de Béziers, who will go to
Turin; he can negotiate my marriage with M. de Savoie.'--'I will think
of you when it suits me, and marry you when it will be of service to
me,' in a dry tone which much frightened me. After this, he saluted me
very coldly, and I went away and I took my waters."

Mademoiselle had the imprudence both to talk and write. Bussy-Rabutin
even pretends that "she had written a letter to the King of Spain, which
was intercepted," suggesting a fête in his neighbourhood; but this is
difficult to believe, however inconsiderate Mademoiselle sometimes was.

From Forges, Mademoiselle went to the Château d'Eu, which she had bought
a short time before. It was at this place, October 15, 1662, that she
received from the King commands to return to Saint-Fargeau, "until new
orders." Upon the route she met letters from every one.

To be banished for having refused to marry Alphonse VI.,--the country
was not yet ready for these consequences of the new régime. It was soon
known that Mademoiselle had ordered from Paris "needles, canvas, and
silk," as if she expected to have on her hands plenty of spare time. But
if affairs remained at this point, she was not paying too dearly for the
pleasure of escaping being made Queen of Portugal. This was her own
opinion, and she became very amiable.

       *       *       *       *       *

The departure of Mademoiselle did not leave a large vacuum in the young
Court; there was at the official ceremonies one princess the less, and
this was all. For the new generation had passed with the King to the
front ranks; the Grande Mademoiselle was now only the "old
Mademoiselle," as Abbé de Choisy called her. The youthful loves and the
pleasures belonging to twenty years had nothing to do with her, nor,
what is more, with the Queen Mother, who had in old age become a
preacher, and who now belonged to the "dévots" grouped under her

Molière by his impiety scandalised these pious people who considered it
wicked for the King to have mistresses.

The question still waiting to be solved was, on which side the master
would definitely range himself. For the moment, Louis XIV. leaned very
strongly towards the friends of good-nature and of his joyous freedom.
Would he be gained over by these? Would the logic of events and ideas
lead him to shake off the trammel of religious practices, then that of
belief, in the fashion of Hugues de Lionne, of the Bussy-Rabutins, of
the Guiche, of the Roquelaure, of the Vardes, and a hundred other
"Libertins," who only saw in the practices of religion a collection of
silly tricks? The obtaining an answer to this query was really the
important affair of the year 1662, a much more serious interest than any
preoccupation in regard to the chronicle of the doings at the Luxembourg
or at Saint-Fargeau.

The young Queen was anxious; she scented danger, but she knew only how
to groan and weep, without comprehending that red eyes and a grumbling
tone were not the best attractions for retaining a husband. She had not
even the consolation of being pitied, having only made the one friend,
Anne of Austria, who in default of something better, forced herself to
preserve some illusions upon the melancholy of the little Queen's

It would have been hard to find a better creature than Marie-Thérèse,
fresh and round, who leapt with joy the day following her marriage, and
related ingenuously to Mme. de Motteville her little romance.
Marie-Thérèse had always remembered that her mother,[122] who died when
she was only six, had repeated that she desired to see her Queen of
France; that this was the only possible happiness, or, if not attained,
nothing remained but a convent. The little Princess had grown up with
the thought of France. Louis XIV. had been the _Prince Charmant_ of her
infant dreams. When she knew that a French lord came "post haste" to
demand her hand for his master, it seemed to her entirely natural. She
had spied from a window the arrival of M. de Gramont.[123] He had passed
by very quickly, followed by many other Frenchmen, decorated with gold
and silver, and covered with feathers and ribbons of all colours. One
might have said, "a _parterre_ of flowers, bearing the royal demand,"
related the young Queen, becoming poetical for the first and last time
in her life.

Once married, Marie-Thérèse had demanded of her husband the promise that
they should never be separated, either by day or night, if it possibly
could be avoided. Louis XIV. promised and kept his word, but it was a
useless precaution.

According to Mme. de Motteville and Mme. de Maintenon,[124] the Queen
did not know how to conduct herself toward her husband. She was stupid
in her manner of showing her devotion; if the King wanted her, she would
refuse to sacrifice a prayer in order to be with him. She had also an
"ill-directed" jealousy; if the King did not desire her company, she did
not sufficiently distinguish, in her complaints, against those who wiled
him away, between Mlle. de La Vallière and the Council of Ministers. Her
ill temper was discouraging. If the King led her with him, she
complained of everything; if he did not, there were floods of tears. If
the dinner was not to her taste she sulked; if it pleased her, tormented
herself: "Everything will be eaten, nothing will be left for me." "And
the King jeered at her," added Mademoiselle, having the honour,
through her birth, of being often found amongst those who "eat

[Illustration: =HÉLÈNE LAMBERT, MADAME DE MOTTEVILLE= After the painting
by De Largillière]

Marie-Thérèse was good, generous, virtue itself, she had a violent
passion for her husband, and with all this she was a person to be
avoided. Mme. de Maintenon summed up the situation in saying that "the
Queen knew how to love but not how to please; the reverse of the King,
who possessed qualities for pleasing all, without being capable of a
strong affection. All women except his own wife were agreeable to him."

Free-thinkers and debauchees did not have to consider Marie-Thérèse; she
had not a shadow of influence over her husband. For different reasons,
neither Monsieur, the brother of the King, nor the wife of Monsieur were
any obstacles. Much has been said of the seductive power of Mme.
Henrietta of England[125]; of her irresistible grace, her delicate
beauty, and her special charm. These characteristics, very rare with a
great princess, had proved of great value during her youth of
humiliating poverty, when she was reduced to living as a "private
person." She had then met with "all celebrities, all civility, and all
humanity, even upon ordinary conditions,[126] and nothing perhaps had
contributed more to make her love men and adore women." Her faults were
great, but they were not weighed against her, on account of that gift of
pleasing which was in her and which circumstances had developed. Madame
was a hidden evil influence, and an openly dangerous one. She could
become the centre of low Court intrigues, without losing, or even
risking, the loss of her empire over hearts. To this first good fortune
was united that of having Bossuet to shelter her memory.

Henrietta of England has traversed "centuries protected by his
[Bossuet's] funeral oration," as she passed through her life protected
by the fascination with which nature endows certain women, by no means
always the best ones.

Monsieur since our last encounter with him had not improved. He had, as
might be said, publicly and without shame, established himself in vice,
and in vice of the worst kind. Marriage had done nothing for him. "The
miracle of inflaming the heart of this prince," discreetly explains Mme.
de La Fayette, "was reserved for no woman belonging to the social
world."[127] Delivered over to a crowd of very exacting favourites who
never left him a moment free from domestic complications, Monsieur had,
according to the expressive word of his mother, become indisputably an
intriguer. Between Madame and himself, their court was a place of
inconceivable agitation, a sink of lies and calumnies, of small
perfidies, and little treasons, which make one sick, even when related
by Mme. de La Fayette.

Truly, I hardly know whether or not in writing her _Histoire de Madame
Henriette_ this latter has rendered a service to her dear Princess.
With the exception of the first pages, before the marriage, and of the
beautiful death scene at the end, the rest is a tissue of nothings so
contemptible in every respect that the book falls from one's hands: and
this is all that the author of the _Princesse de Clèves_ has found to
say about a person so prominent; of a sister-in-law to whom Louis XIV.
confided political secrets and whom he loved almost _too_ dearly.

Among all the personages belonging to the royal family, the Libertins
had only to consider the Queen Mother, their declared enemy, and the
King himself, as yet too reserved for it to be divined how he
contemplated accommodating pleasure and religion. It had not taken long
to perceive that he would not restrain himself in pleasure. He was
married, June 9, 1660. A year later commenced the series of mistresses
imposed upon the royal household and upon France, they and their
children, in a fashion which recalls Oriental polygamy rather than the
manners of the Occident. Louis XIV. had felt himself incapable of a
virtuous life. One day, when his mother, profiting by the tenderness
awakened by a reconciliation--they had not spoken for some time to each
other--represented the scandal of his liaison with Mlle. de La Vallière,
he responded cordially with tears of grief which proceeded from the
bottom of his heart, where were still some remains of his former
piety,--"that he knew his wrong; that he felt sometimes the pain and
shame of it; that he had tried his best not to offend God and not to
yield to his passions, but he was forced to confess that they were
stronger than his reason, that he could not resist their violence, and
that he no longer felt any desire so to do."[128]

This conversation took place in July, 1664. The following autumn, the
King having found the Queen, his wife, in tears in her oratoire on
account of a too-well founded jealousy, he gave her the hope of finding
him at thirty "a good husband,"--a somewhat cynical suggestion.

He not only had "violent passions," but he had not discovered any
reasons for restraining himself in regard to women. One reads in his
_Mémoires_, which were written for the dauphin to see, a passage worthy
of Lord Chesterfield, in which he gives his son his ideas upon the
subject of kings' mistresses.

The page referred to relates to the year 1667, in which commenced the
war of the _Dévolution_:[129]

     Before departing for the army, I sent an edict to Parliament. I
     raised to a Duchy the territory of Vaujours in favour of Mlle.
     de La Vallière and recognised a daughter of mine by her. For,
     resolving in accompanying the army not to remain apart from
     possible perils, I thought it just to assure to the child the
     honour of her birth, and to give to her mother an establishment
     suitable to the affection which since her sixth year I had felt
     for her. I might have done well not to mention this attachment,
     the example of which is not good to follow; but having drawn
     much instruction from the failings
     of others, I have not wished to deprive you of the lessons you may
     learn from mine.

[Illustration: =LOUISE DE LA VALLIÈRE= From the engraving by Flameng
after the painting by Petitot] [Blank Page]

The first instruction to draw from his failings was that it was not
needful to waste time on women; "that the time devoted to love should
never be taken to the prejudice of other duties." The second
consideration was that in abandoning the heart it was necessary to
remain absolute master of one's mind: that the tenderness of a lover
should be separated from the resolutions of a sovereign; that the fair
one who gives pleasure should never be permitted to speak of affairs, or
of those who serve us, and that the two portions of life should be kept
entirely apart. "You will remember how I have warned you on various
occasions of the harmful influence of favourites; that of a mistress is
still more dangerous."

Louis XIV. insisted at length upon the mental weakness which makes women
dangerous. He had studied them from an intimate point of view, and he
judged "these animals" almost as did Arnolphe. "They are," said he to
the Dauphin, "eloquent in their expressions, pressing in their prayers,
obstinate in their sentiments. No secret can be safe with them. They
always act with calculation, and consequently use 'cunning and
artifice.' However much it may cost to a loving heart, a Prince cannot
take too many 'precautions' with his mistresses. This is a duty imposed
upon him by the throne itself."

Poor La Vallière, so disinterested, so little of an intriguer! What
grief if she had read these cruel pages!

The counsels we have just read are very politic, very prudent; they have
nothing to do with either morality or religion. The royal _Mémoires_, in
another part indeed, add that "the Prince should always be a perfect
model of virtue," and also that it is a Christian duty to abstain from
all illicit commerce, "which is _almost never innocent_."

As a matter of fact, Louis XIV. had not extracted much in regard to
moral discipline from a cult of which he knew only the forms. During his
infancy, his mother had reserved to herself his religious education. She
had led him at an early age into the churches, where she passed a
portion of each day, and she had communicated to him a little of her
narrow and mechanical piety. Louis XIV. never understood any other kind.
He knew his catechism but little better than his Latin grammar. This
ignorance was, perhaps, aggravated by the fact of his realising the need
of a knowledge of Latin in order to read diplomatic despatches, while he
could see no use whatever in knowing the facts of religion.

He never changed in this respect; Mme. de Maintenon herself made vain
efforts. The second Madame, La Palatine, did not succeed better. She
wrote: "If he only believed that he should listen to his confessor and
recite his _Pater Noster_, all would go well and his devotion would be

Holding these ideas, the King was very vexed, deified as he was by a
crowd of adulators, to meet among his subjects men sufficiently bold to
blame his conduct and to frankly tell him so. Some prelates showed
severity. It belonged to their profession to do so. But that courtiers,
and even, as it was related, a simple bourgeois of Paris, should dare to
address remonstrances to their sovereign,--this could not be
tolerated,--especially as their reproaches excited his mother against
him,--at the risk of an embroilment, which in fact occurred.

As good politics, if for no other reason, Louis XIV. was resolved not to
permit any interference in his affairs. He felt somewhat vaguely that
all these people were uniting to teach him a lesson. He suspected a
considerable organised force behind this _Cabale des Dévots_, who
represented austerity at Court, and whom the Libertins of the Louvre

We know this organised force. We have seen it at work in a former
chapter under the name of _The Compagnie du Saint Sacrement_, when it
was engaged with Vincent de Paul in the great charitable undertakings of
the century.[131] The malevolent nickname of _Cabale des Dévots_ had
been given, towards the year 1658, by the many who abominated the
society without knowing its true title or its organisation, simply
because it disturbed the course of their own existence.

Since the date at which we last saw the organisation at work, the
management had been offering the same mixture of good and evil.

Everything that it had done for the relief of the poor, the prisoners,
the galley slaves, and other miserable beings, to protect them against
abuse and tyranny, and to raise them morally, had been above all praise;
as had also its efforts to assure a certain amount of decency in the
streets, or to combat in the higher classes the two curses of the time,
duels and gambling. As much cannot be said of the narrow and fanatical
opinions which rendered it a persecutor and police agent, of its taste
for spying or accusing, of its barbarity in regard to heretics and men
of genius. It easily became dangerous and malignant, and it was
difficult to find defence against this occult power which had "eyes and
ears everywhere." Mazarin, whom it secretly tormented through anonymous
letters, had sought and pursued it with eagerness, and during the last
months of his life the society was forced to hide itself. After the
death of the Cardinal, the _Compagnie_ again put itself in motion, and
it is evident that it had regained confidence, for with only the Queen
Mother for its friend it dared to attack the King.

At this epoch, Anne of Austria is a very interesting person. The
_Compagnie du Saint Sacrement_ had become a political party since it
tried to make sure of the King, and if it had succeeded, the history of
the entire reign would have been altered. Delivered to its influence,
the State would not have delayed until the Great Revolution to trouble
its conscience about the duties towards the people at large.

The imprudence of the conduct of the society towards the King, and his
indiscretions, gave the game to the Libertins. They did not despair,
considering the discontent of the King, of attracting him to themselves,
to their incredulity, their lack of docility towards religious belief,
and in truth, without going to the point of regretting their final
check, we can hardly be sorry that this "routine intelligence" should
have received a slight shock.

The mind of Louis XIV., so remarkable for its justice and solidity, was
the opposite of the modern mind in its total absence of curiosity and in
the difficulty of changing its point of view. The King had need of
skeptical reading. As he never read, the assaults of the Libertins
rendered him the service of slightly moving his ideas; they deranged him
in his habits of mechanical practices.

Olivier d'Ormesson, who was of the _Compagnie du Saint Sacrement_,
wrote, after the Pentecost of 1664, "that the King had not performed his
devotions at the fête, and that Monsieur having demanded if he intended
to 'practice,' he had replied that he was no longer going to be a
hypocrite like himself, who was confessing only to please the Queen

The conscience of the King was passing through a crisis; every one felt
this. In the presence of an event of such importance, the misfortunes
of the Grande Mademoiselle, already but little in the thoughts of the
rising generation, completely lost interest. Everything was forgotten.

During the first months of her exile, Mademoiselle was occupied in
opposing the King. Louis XIV. had not abandoned the idea of marrying her
to Alphonse VI., and Turenne was endeavouring to make her "reasonable,"
from which resulted an "interchange of letters" and of official visits
which had the good side of breaking the monotony at Saint-Fargeau. This
time, the life there was very dull. The old animation had not returned.
Too proud to avow it, Mademoiselle expressed herself cheerfully in her
letters. On November 9, 1662, she wrote to Bussy-Rabutin: "I believe
that the sojourn which I shall make here will be longer than you desire.
If I were not afraid of appearing too indifferent, I should say that I
care but little. Perhaps this would be true; but it is not well to
always speak the truth."[133]

Her _Mémoires_ are more sincere. She relates that at the end of five
months, she wrote to the King that she should die if she remained
longer; that it was an unhealthy place on account of the marshes by
which the château was surrounded; that she "did not believe herself to
have done anything which merited death, and such a death, ... and if he
wished her to make a long penitence for the crimes which she had _not_
committed, she supplicated him to permit her to go to Eu." Louis XIV.
permitted Eu, but made Mademoiselle understand that he had not renounced
the project of marriage with the King of Portugal, and that he hoped to
lead her, through his kindness, "to the sentiments she should have." She
did not delay to discuss the matter. "I departed at once and quitted
Saint-Fargeau without regret." This was a final adieu.

Mademoiselle had just bought the Comté d'Eu, under circumstances which
show how the landed and manorial estates of the ancient régime, which
from a distance appear so solid, were in reality held by the most
fragile tenure and at the mercy of any accident. The Comté d'Eu was the
property of the illustrious and powerful family of Guise. In 1654, the
proprietor of the moment, Louis de Lorraine, duc de Joyeuse, was killed
at the siege of Arras, leaving an only son of youthful age, Louis Joseph
de Lorraine, Prince de Joinville. This child had for guardian his aunt,
Mlle. de Guise, an intelligent and important person, the oracle of the
family, says Saint-Simon. He had also two other guardians, one of whom,
Claude de Bourdeville, Comte de Montresor, had secretly married Mlle. de
Guise. These three guardians soon perceived that they were powerless to
defend the interests confided to them. The Comté d'Eu was burdened with
two million francs of debt, a figure which would not have led to
disaster if the Duc de Joyeuse had been there to make his rights
respected and to reclaim his share of the monarchical manna; such as
pensions, gratifications of the King, benefices, governments, Court
charges. But he was dead, and the property of the minor had been put to
the quarry, by the people of affairs on the one hand, and the Norman
peasants on the other. Against these business sharks, the guardians were
obliged, after years of struggle, to invoke the aid of Parliament. They
addressed a petition[134] in which they stated that their ward, because
he was a child "destitute of the powerful means" which his father would
have possessed, had become the victim of usurers and rogues. The two
million debt of the Comté d'Eu had been largely bought up by artificial
and suspicious creditors, with whom it was impossible to arrive at any

These fishers in troubled waters had brought the disorder to its height
in practising seizures. The entire revenue was exhausted by expenses.
The guardians besought Parliament to extricate them from this slough in
ordering a replevin "of all the seizures and judgments, and in according
that there should be a reprieve from all prosecutions and executions
against them during two years." They hoped with this respite to arrive
at a general liquidation.

Against the Norman peasants no one saw anything to do but quickly to
outwit them through the sale of the Comté d'Eu to a master capable of
overawing them. The difficulty, under the conditions in France at that
time, was to find a person of quality able to dispose of several

Mademoiselle, who always had money, had at once been thought of. At
first, she was too occupied in fighting her father, but the idea struck
her favourably, and as soon as her hands were free she remembered the
suggestion. The bargain was concluded in 1657. This affair did not suit
the pettifoggers. There were so many opposing clauses, so many legal
complications, so many lawsuits, and so many decrees needed in order to
place Mademoiselle in power, and to make it possible for her to possess
Eu in due form, that years rolled by, as the petition of the two
guardians testifies, before the peasants of Eu were deranged in their
work of moles. During the delay, they had continued to devour the
substance of the princely orphan, aided it must be said by other Normans
not peasants, who did not show themselves more scrupulous or less

How both gentles and peasants acted can be exactly known through the
Archives of Eu. At the time of the guardian petition, Mademoiselle had
sent one of her men to take account of the state of affairs.

The report of the agent, completed by other business papers,[135]
establishes that the Comté of Eu drew more than half its revenue from
its forest. This forest, which still exists, contains from ten to eleven
thousand acres,[136] is eight to nine leagues long, and should have been
formed of trees of all ages, if the inhabitants had not worked so
industriously that it was difficult to find a "piece of timber." It was,
at the date of which we are speaking, only underwood, and often only
scrub bushes, on account of the cattle which "damaged it." The entire
neigbourhood had contributed to this extraordinary destruction of a
forest of eight leagues.

The inhabitants of twenty villages, several abbeys, gentlemen, priests,
simple private people had come, under pretext of "ancient rights," to
take the wood as if it belonged to them. The guards of the forest and
their relatives and friends had likewise helped themselves. The
officials of the domain had cut, wrongly or rightly, what the public had
left, and to complete the ruin of the woods, every one had sent cows or
pigs to run through the young bushes.

The agent of Mademoiselle concluded that it was absolutely needful to
stop this pillage, or even "fifty thousand francs' worth of wood could
never be secured annually." He pointed out other abuses; in the absence
of a firm hand the nature of seignorial privilege rendered these
inevitable. I have myself seen many tables of the revenues of the Comté
Eu in the seventeenth century. The frauds must have been easy and
tempting, the collecting of imposts most costly. One notes a payment
due at Christmas, in money and material, by inhabitants, possessors of
any real estate, "house or hovel," field or garden:

     "Francis Guignon of the village of Cyrel owes 40 sols 2 capons,
     on account of a house in the said Cyrel." "François de Buc ...
     owes 8 sols a third of a capon, on account of a house."
     "Guillaume Fumechon ... owes 43 sols and 2 capons on account of
     half an acre of land." "The heirs of Jean Dree owe 8 sols and
     the half of a capon." "Jean Rose 31 sols, 2 fowls and 11 eggs,
     on account of meadow lands." "The Sieur de Saint-Igny of Mesnil
     at Caux owes 4 francs 9 sols, 10 bushels of wheat and the same
     quantity of oats." "Alizon owes 3 sols, 6 deniers and one third
     of a capon." A cultivator owes "78 quarts of wheat, 15 bushels
     of oats and a fowl." Another "2 bushels 1 quart of oats and a
     quarter of a goose." Another "5 quarters of a goose,"

and so on through 350 folio pages.

The impost called "_du travers_" was enforced upon merchandise entering
Eu by the gate of Picardy. So much was paid by chariot or loaded horse.
Butchers paid for "every head of cattle, sow, or pig, one denier, for
each white beast, an obole"; vendors of fish for each basket borne upon
the arm, "2 deniers"; furriers for each skin, an obole.

Then comes the impost "upon the 'old clothes,' or 'dyed materials' for
which is due for every bed sold in the city of Eu, new or old, 4
deniers; and for each robe, doublet, or pair of stockings, or any other
article for the use of man or woman, when sold, 1 denier."

The linen merchant also owed one denier, upon pain of amend, for each
cut sold. There was levied a tax upon the measuring of grain and the
weighing of merchandise. The mills were the property of the Lord of Eu,
and grinding was not permitted except for him. The agent of Mademoiselle
recommended the enforcing of this, which had been neglected, with the
result of diminished revenue.

The fishers of Tréport paid 500 herrings at each drawing of the nets;
outsiders who came to fish in the Tréport, 100 herrings. All stray
animals not reclaimed before one year belonged to the Lord of Eu, and
all royal fish, like sturgeons, whales, porpoises, 8 "_oues de mer_,"
and other large fish.

This is not all, but it is sufficient to explain the rapidity with which
the revenue of a seignorial property melted away when the master was not
there to make the little world afraid, to solicit judges, in case of
lawsuits, according to the usage, and to apply to the King in need, for
an important person, having, according to the popular expression, "the
long arm."

Both evil and possible remedy were known. The deplorable state in which
affairs had been found had not at all disturbed the agent of
Mademoiselle. Knowing his mistress, he did not doubt that she would get
the better of the Normans, and he predicted success. "When everything is
put in order," said he, "(as appears will easily be accomplished) the
Comté of Eu will be a profitable estate yielding a great revenue." The
use of the word "easily" was a slight exaggeration. The Comté of Eu was
finally "adjudged" to Mademoiselle de Montpensier, by "decree" of the
Parliament of Paris, August 20, 1660, for the sum of 2,550,000 francs.
She undertook at once to save the remnants of the forest and found the
population leagued against her to guard its prey.

At the end of six months, Mademoiselle felt that she was hardly strong
enough for the task, and addressed herself to the King.[137] She
explained to him that for the surveillance of her forest she had
established a numerous guard which "cost much to support," but that the
inhabitants had

     formed the habit of entering boldly into the said forest and of
     committing all sorts of misdemeanours, boasting that they would
     continue so to do; that they had just killed with a gun shot in
     his stomach, one of her guards for having tried to prevent a
     theft of wood; that they were threatening others to have them
     appointed collectors of imposts, which would leave them no time
     to guard; that they taxed them as peasants, also with other
     impositions; that, in one word, the best was done to render the
     position of guard untenable.

Mademoiselle consequently begged the King that he would particularly
forbid the inhabitants to carry arms or to have them in their homes,
and, on the other hand, that he would permit her guards to be armed. She
reclaimed for them also certain privileges which would enable them to
punish delinquents. Louis XIV. accorded all, and it proved possible to
stop the depredations. On the death of Mademoiselle, the forest of Eu
was again filled with full-grown trees.

As to suppressing the "rights," it was useless to be first cousin to the
King; this could not be accomplished. All that could be done was to
prevent these rights multiplying and to limit as far as practicable
their exactions. Between the possessors of these "rights" and the
proprietor, there was a chronic state of hostility.

There still exist special "rights" in France; every one can for himself
observe the inconvenience of the system. The only one of those
interested who derived no profits from the game was the little Prince de
Joinville, his creditors having continued their man[oe]uvres to avoid
any settlement.

On March 27, 1661, the Parliament of Paris rendered a decree which
obliged them to accept payment. Eight years had elapsed since the death
of the Duc de Joyeuse. The budget of debts had reached the sum of two
millions of francs.[138] When all was finally settled, instead of having
a balance for their ward, the guardians found themselves in face of a
deficit of more than 150,000 francs.

We have already seen how Gaston, in his position as chief of the House,
had boldly pillaged the fortune of his minor daughter. In the present
case, on the contrary, it was the loss of the father which had given
opportunity for the spoliation of a child. Mazarin had left Gaston
alone as a punishment to Mademoiselle for her conduct during the Fronde.
Louis XIV. seems to have taken little interest in the offshoot of the
turbulent and ambitious family of Guise. In both cases, the favourable
or unfavourable attitude of royalty had decided the issue of an affair
of money.

Mademoiselle took official possession of Eu on August 24, 1661. An entry
such as she loved had been arranged, with procession, banners, Venetian
lanterns, speeches, musket salutes, and the firing of cannon from all
the artillery in the city[139]--one dozen pieces of cannon and forty
_boëtes_ upon the ramparts and eight cannon and forty _boëtes_ upon the
terrace of the château. Mademoiselle returned the following year, but
only actually installed herself at Eu in 1663 after having obtained
permission to leave Saint-Fargeau: "I am resolved to pass my winter
here, without any chagrin at the thought." She watched her workmen,
walked a great deal, and busied herself in the domestic offices. She
also received visits: "There were many provincial people, reasonable
enough; a number of persons of rank; but my heart was heavy. Comedians
came to offer themselves; but I was in no humour for them. I began to be
discouraged. I read; I worked; days were occupied in writing; all these
things made the time pass insensibly."

This page of the _Mémoires_ permits a glimpse of a rather restricted
life. A letter from Mademoiselle to Bussy-Rabutin confirms and
accentuates the impression:

    EU, November 28, 1663.

     Here is the single response to your letters. I claim that you
     should write four to my one, and I believe that this will be
     better for you; for what can one send from a desert like this,
     in which one sees no one all winter, the roads being
     impracticable for people from a distance, from Paris for
     instance, and the winds being so strong on the plains through
     which neighbours must pass that the north-west wind is feared
     by all as a furious beast.

The situation of the Château d'Eu is melancholy enough, the sea wind
truly "ferocious" in the environs. The gazettes from Paris were filled
with descriptions of fêtes and visions of glory, which contrasted with
the mediocrity of a provincial court. Mademoiselle had in vain decided
not to be bored. She discovered that she, like the rest of France, had
no life far from the King; there was nothing left but shadow.

In the memorable conversation in which Louis XIV. avowed to his mother
that he was no longer master of his passions, Anne of Austria had warned
him that he was "too intoxicated with his own grandeur."[140] She spoke
truly; the infatuation had been rapid. The excuse for the King was the
fact that the entire world shared in his self-admiration. It is not our
plan to give any account of the internal government, or of diplomatic
action, which relates to the early attempts of Louis XIV., so
fruitful in great results and so glorious for himself. We limit
ourselves to stating the fact. The superiority of France is manifested
in the first contact with England and Spain, and was not less clearly
felt on the other side of the Rhine. Louis, says a German historian,
possessed an influence in the German Empire, at least in its western
portions, equal if not superior to the authority of the Emperor.[141]

Strangers were almost always struck by the solicitude of his government
for artisans and commercial people.

[Illustration: =JEAN BAPTISTE COLBERT= After the painting by Champaign]

Without doubt, sentimental reasons did not count for much; when Colbert
forbade the collectors of taxes to take the cattle from the labourers,
he was simply applying in the name of the King the principles of a good
business man who considers his debtor. But the benefit was no less
great. From whatever point of view one looked, France gave to other
nations the impression of a progressive people. It was recognised that
she had taken the position of head of Europe. The country at large felt
this. It very justly considered this upward flight due to the personal
efforts of its young King, and was grateful for his enormous labour.

Louis well understood this. It was a "party cry" to insist on all
occasions upon the trouble which he took in his "trade of King" and the
great fatigues which he endured for the public good. The _Gazette_, as
an official journal, never failed to emphasise this. Every event was
coloured to this end.

Apropos of a trip of eight days, the journal wrote[142]: "This Prince,
as indefatigable as Hercules in his labours," etc. It justified the
royal ballets, which were most costly, by the excuse of the excessive
brain work of the chief of state.

"On the eighth [January, 1663], the King, wearied with the pains with
which His Majesty works so indefatigably for the welfare of his
subjects, enjoyed in the palace of the Cardinal the diversion of a
ballet of seven acts, called the _Ballet des Arts_."

Louis XIV. danced in the _Ballet des Arts_ three times; Mlles. de
Vallière, de Sévigné, and de Mortemart had a lively success in it; the
latter was on the eve of becoming Mme. de Montespan.[143] The accounts
of the representations of the new ballet alternate in the _Gazette_ with
the funeral ceremonies in honour of a daughter of the King and Queen,
who died at six weeks of age on December 30th.

Louis XIV. had wept over his loss with that superficial sensibility in
which he resembles, strange as it seems, the philosophers of the
seventeenth century. He could have given points to Diderot in regard to
the facility of pouring out torrents of tears, and he often astonished
the Court by his emotion. He deceived the Queen from morning till
evening, and he cried to see her weep when he quitted her. He brought
forth crocodile tears for the death of his father-in-law.[144] In a turn
of the hand, again like Diderot, he forgot his existence, and lost on
his account neither a step in the dance nor a _galant rendezvous_.

by Israel Silvestre

To the ballet succeeded other "relaxations," and it is curious to see
the _Gazette_ taking the pains to explain that the King had well earned
a simple trip for pleasure (April 7, 1663): "This week the King, in
order to gain some relief from the continual application for the
establishing the felicity of his subjects, has enjoyed the diversion of
a little journey to Saint-Germain-en-Laye and to Versailles."

The mundane chronicles[145] falling into line, Louis XIV. saw his
"glory" as a great worker ascending into the clouds, together with his
"glory" as a man of war, and in one word as "universal hero." He could
not even exercise his musketeers without the _Gazette's_ issuing an
extra leaf upon the "admiration of all spectators."[146]

All France struck the same note. When he went to take possession of
Dunkerque,[147] he passed before a plaster Olympus, fabricated for the
occasion. "He witnessed Neptune, who respectfully lowered his trident;
the spirits of the Earth and Sea prostrated before this mighty
Prince"--that is to say, himself, and he permitted his official journal
to regale the country with these follies; it was clear in his eyes that
Neptune and his Court only did their duty. Every one was prepared to
deify him, and he received this homage with pleasure. This atmosphere of
worship was very harmful to a man born with much good sense and with
many superior parts. The brilliancy of his Court, for which he was
considered responsible, contributed also to the general dazzle.

The surging crowd of twenty years later did not yet exist, when the
Château of Versailles was finished, and Louis XIV. held his nobility
lodged under his own hand,[148] only moving from his side to make a
campaign. The young Court was only numerous at intervals. It will
shortly be seen how much it had increased in May, 1664. On the 27th of
the following month, the Duc d'Enghien wrote from Fontainebleau: "There
are almost no women here, and but few men. Never has the Court been so
small."[149] On August 16th, also at Fontainebleau, the Queen Mother gave
a ball; she had only sixteen ladies and as many men.[150] In October,
the Court is at Paris, and the King gives a fête: "The ball was not
fine," writes the grand Condé, "the greater number of the ladies
being still in the country. In all Paris, only fourteen could be

From the engraving by Israel Silvestre]

During these first years, the nobility was not yet encouraged to leave
all, to come to live under the shadow of the throne. Those having
provincial charges "obtained with difficulty leave of absence."[152]
Those lacking money to appear with fitting magnificence had little aid
to expect from royalty; the shower of gold did not begin to fall until
later, and Louis XIV. even passed for being close-fisted.

"Besides his natural temperament," said Condé, "which is not given to
lavishness, he is held back by M. Colbert, who is still less given to
spending, particularly when he is not persuaded of the advantage of the
affair for which money must be scattered."[153] It is well known that
Colbert did not love waste; but he did know how to be liberal, even for
expenses of luxury. No one was more convinced of the advantage of
display for a sovereign, and he spared neither pains nor state pennies
in making the grand festivals with which his master entertained the
Court and city, unrivalled in Europe. And they were unparalleled,
especially in the early years when tastes, like everything else, were
young. Even the faults, by which perhaps the tastes were benefited, were

What is called impulse with the very young man takes the name of vice
with the mature, and, whatever may be said, the one is much uglier than
the other.

Louis XIV. was only twenty-three when he fell in love with Mlle. de La
Vallière, and the festivities which he offered in her honour expressed
this freshness. There were exquisite fairy scenes with the light
decorations of flowers and leaves. The most famous, on account of
Molière's partial authorship, was called the _Plaisirs de l'Ile
enchantée_, which was given at Versailles in May, 1664. It lasted three
days, and was prolonged three days more, in spite of the great number of
invitations and the difficulties occasioned by the immense crowd. The
Court, says a "Relation,"[154] arrived the fifth of May, and the King
entertained till the fourteenth six hundred guests, beside a quantity of
people needed for the dance and comedy, and of artisans of all sorts
from Paris, so numerous that it appeared a small army.

All now known of Versailles must be forgotten if we wish to picture it
in 1664. Versailles was then a small village surrounded on three sides
by fields and marshes.[155] The fourth side was occupied by a château
which would have been spacious for a private person, but which meant
little for a court; a few dependencies; the beginning of a garden
planted by Le Nôtre. That was all.

engraving by Israel Silvestre, 1664]

Colbert considered Versailles already too large, as soon as Louis XIV.
decided to offer anything more to his guests than the four walls of
their chambers. It will be remembered[156] that when Mademoiselle came
to Saint-Germain to visit the Queen Mother she brought her own furniture
and cook. Not even food was provided. This was the general rule.

Louis XIV. aspired to great hospitality, and commenced his reform at
Versailles. "What is very peculiar in this house," wrote Colbert in
1663, "is that his Majesty has desired all apartments given to guests to
be furnished. He also orders every one to be fed and provided with all
necessities, even to the wood and candles in the chambers, which has
never been the custom in royal establishments."

Colbert was evidently in a bad humour. There were, however, but few
apartments to offer in the Château of Versailles; the 600 guests soon
perceived this fact themselves.

The journal of Olivier d'Ormesson contains on the date of May 13 the
following lines: "This same day, Mme. de Sévigné has related to us the
diversions of Versailles, which have lasted from Wednesday till
Sunday[157]: courses of bague, ballets, comedies, fireworks, and other
beautiful inventions; but all the courtiers were enraged, for the King
took no care of them, and Monsieurs de Guise and d'Elbeuf could hardly
find a hole in which to shelter themselves." It is to be noted that the
Duc de Guise must costume himself and all his lackeys.

The thême of the fête had been drawn from _Roland furieux_, and had been
made to accord with up-to-date episodes, by a courtier expert in this
kind of work, the Duc de Saint-Aignan. During three days and three
nights, a volunteer company, composed of Louis XIV., Molière, and the
greatest nobles of France, with the prettiest actresses of Paris,
embellished the imaginations of Ariosto, in the presence of two queens
and of an immense Court which seemed, says the _Gazette_, to have
"exhausted the Indies"[158] in order to cover itself with precious
stones. Halls of verdure, arches of flowers, and the vault of heaven
formed the frame in which deployed the mythological processions, the
games of chivalry, the ballets, the festivities for the "little army,"
and the first two representations of Molière, of which one was to be the
striking literary event of the century. In the evening, lamps hung upon
the trees were lighted and the fête continued during the night. Gentle
and tender music softened this apotheosis of love, of which the
heroine--and this gave an added charm--remained hidden in the crowd;
Louise de La Vallière was still neither "recognised" nor duchess.

The first of the great days of the fête was open to all. The King of
France and the flower of the nobility as Paladins of Charlemagne,
clothed and armed "à la grecque," according to the seventeenth century
ideas of local colour, took part in a tournament before a sumptuous
assembly who, at the appearance of the master, uttered "cries of joy and

engraving by S. le Clerc, 1677]

Louis XIV. sought these exhibitions. He shone in them and attributed to
them an importance which in his _Mémoires_ he explains to his son. He
believed them very efficacious for binding together the affections of
the people, above all those of high rank, and the sovereign. The
populace have always loved spectacles, and for the nobility, the more
closely the King keeps it at Court, the more pains he must take to show
that there is no aversion between sovereign and subject, but simply a
question of reason and duty. Nothing serves better for this than
carrousels and other diversions of the same nature: "This society of
pleasure, which gives to the courtiers an honest familiarity with us,
touches and charms them more than can be told."

The partakers in the "Tournament" of 1664 had in reality been very proud
of the honour done them. They appeared covered with gold, silver, and
jewelry, escorted by pages and gentlemen gallantly equipped. After them,
defiled allegorical chariots, personages of fable, and strange animals,
Molière as the god Pan, one of his comrades mounted upon an elephant,
another upon a camel.

At the supper in the open air, which terminated the day, the royal table
was served by the _corps de ballet_, who, dancing and whirling bore in
the different dishes. The cavaliers of the tournament, with their
helmets covered with feathers of various colours, and wearing the
mantles of the course, stood erect behind the guests. Two hundred masks,
bearing torches of white wax illumined this admirable living picture,
worthy of the great poet who inspired it.

The next day was occupied in giving to the two hundred guests a lesson
in natural philosophy, no longer symbolical and veiled, but clear and
direct; it was perfectly comprehended and the spectators were convinced.
The lesson was from Molière, who had written his _Princesse
d'Elide_[160] in the design well formed of "celebrating" and
"justifying" the loves of the King and La Vallière. The _Récit de
l'Aurore_ will be recalled which opens the piece.

    Dans l'âge où l'on est amiable,
    Rien n'est si beau que d'aimer.

    Soupirer librement pour un amant fidèle,
    Et braver ceux qui voudraient vous blâmer.

It will also be recollected that the five acts which follow are only the
development, full of insistence, of that invitation to the ladies of the
Court not to merit the "name of cruel." After serious affairs,
innocent pleasures followed, the most applauded of which was a piece of
fireworks which embraced "the heavens, the earth, and the waters."

[Illustration: =JEAN BAPTISTE POQUELIN MOLIÈRE= After the painting by
Noël Coypel]

Every one was already thinking of departure, when on Monday, May 12th,
Molière presented the first act of _Tartuffe_.

The connivance of the King appears well established. Father Rapin
relates that the "sect of the _Dévots_" had, since the time of Mazarin,
rendered itself so insupportable by its indiscreet advice, that the
King, "in order to ridicule them, had permitted Molière to represent
them on the stage." The _Dévots_ had seen the blow coming, and did their
best to avoid it; the annals of the _Compagnie du Saint Sacrement_
affirm this.[161] They report that there was "strong talk" in the séance
of April 17th, in the attempt to accomplish the suppression of the
wicked comedy _Tartuffe_.

Each member of the _Compagnie_ charged himself to speak to any friends
who had credit at Court, "begging aid in preventing its representation."
The effort was vain. _Tartuffe_ was acted. The spectators divined
without difficulty whom Molière had in view, and the _Dévots_ heard with
emotion this openly significant expression of contempt of religious
forms, in less than one week after the _Princesse d'Elide_ had thrown
its weight upon the side of questionable morals.

From the point of view of a general principle, the two pieces naturally
followed each other; they were two chapters of the same gospel. The King
had the air of being about to pass to the enemy and of uniting himself
with the Libertins. The Cabal made a desperate effort and _Tartuffe_ was
forbidden; at the same time no one imagined that the battle was

An extraordinary agitation around the King might have been seen during
the weeks which followed the fêtes of Versailles. The Court at once
departed for Fontainebleau; the two parties disputed the entire summer
over the young monarch.

Louis himself had skirmished with both. The King felt at the same time a
personal revolt against the constraints of the Church, and the need of a
politic catholicity which would sustain the practices of religion for
State reasons, because he could not do without their aid. These two
fashions of thinking can easily be accommodated together, and the King
was in train to learn how to do this. After a little delay, the
conciliation between the two points of view was completed in his mind.

While waiting, he lived in the midst of floods of tears. The summer was
a very troubled one.

Such events held the attention of Paris, but the poor Mademoiselle,
forgotten in the Château d'Eu, fretted so much that at length her pride
was conquered. "Upon the news of the pregnancy of the Queen," says the
_Mémoires_, "I decided to write, dreaming that perhaps the King wished
to be besought," and she abased herself to do this. She at first
expressed the hope that the child might be a son. "I exaggerated with
good faith the desire which I had, and I showed the grief I felt in
being forced to remain so long without the honour of seeing him [the
King]. I said everything I could to oblige him to permit me to return."

She wrote at the same time to Colbert, who was considered the powerful
man of the ministry:

    EU, March 23, 1664.


     In bearing testimony to the King of the joy which I have in the
     pregnancy of the Queen, I am daring to command his good graces,
     and the permission for an audience to ask them in person.

     I trust that you will assist me with your good offices to
     obtain so precious a favour. If I cannot succeed in obtaining
     this, I beg to be permitted to pass through Paris before
     May,[162] having three considerable lawsuits at this date. I
     look, on this occasion, for the continuation of your good


The King waited two months before responding:



     It consoles me much to find you in the state of mind which your
     letter shows. I willingly forget the past and permit you not
     only to pass through Paris, but also either to dwell there, or
     to choose any other place of residence which may be agreeable
     to you, and even to come here in case you wish it, if you
     assure me that your conduct will always give me reason for
     cherishing you and for treating you properly as a personage so
     nearly related.

     I thank you for the affection with which you write to me of the
     Queen's pregnancy and pray, etc.


Some days later Mademoiselle was _en route_ for Fontainebleau, well
resolved to show herself. She was transported with joy at having
recovered liberty of movement, but the Court at this time inspired her
with terror. The ground had become too slippery for a person of her
temperament, loving so much her independence and rebellious to all


[Footnote 94: "_Portrait de Mademoiselle fait par elle-même_" (Nov.,
1657) in _La Galerie des Portraits de Mademoiselle de Montpensier_,
edited by Éduard de Barthélemy (Paris, 1860).]

[Footnote 95: Mme. de Rambouillet died very aged in 1665. Her influence
ended in 1650.]

[Footnote 96: _Le Grand Cyrus._ The greater part of the friends of Mlle.
de Scudéry are given assumed names. Mlle. Bocquet is called Agélaste.]

[Footnote 97: Cf. _La Société française au XVII{e}. siècle_, vol., ch.

[Footnote 98: This is the friend of Mme. de Sévigné.]

[Footnote 99: Sister-in-law of the preceding. She married, in 1662,
Bernard, Duke of Saxe-Jena.]

[Footnote 100: Mademoiselle says in her _Mémoires_ that they "_had_" them
written. This is an error.]

[Footnote 101: _La Galerie des Portraits._]

[Footnote 102: M. de Barthélemy, editor of the _Galerie des Portraits_,
called Honorat de Bueil, marquis de Racan; born in 1589, died in 1670.]

[Footnote 103: Or forty-six, depending upon the date of the Portrait,
1658 or 1659.]

[Footnote 104: _L'École des Femmes_ was issued in 1662.]

[Footnote 105: The expression is from the beautiful Marquise de Mauny,
who formed part of the little Court of Saint-Fargeau.]

[Footnote 106: From Mme. de Sainctôt, wife of the master of ceremonies
and introducer of ambassadors under Louis XIV. She was a friend of

[Footnote 107: The others are, _Vie de Madame de Fouquerolles_, supposed
autobiography of a lady mixed up with Fronde intrigues (MS. exists in
the library of the Arsenal), and _La Relation de l'Isle imaginaire_
(1658), badinage upon an episode in _Don Quixote_.]

[Footnote 108: _Mémoires._ François-Timoléon de Choisy was born in 1644.
There is some question as to who was his mother.]

[Footnote 109: Marguerite Louise d'Orléans was born July 28, 1645;
Elisabeth, called Mlle. d'Alençon, December 26, 1646;
Françoise-Madeleine, called Mlle. de Valois, October 13, 1648.]

[Footnote 110: Born at Tours in 1644. Her father, Laurent de La Baume Le
Blanc, Seigneur de La Vallière, dying in 1654, her mother remarried
Jacques de Courtavel, marquis de Saint-Remi, maître d'hôtel de Gaston

[Footnote 111: Cf. _Madame, Memoirs of Henrietta, Duchess of Orléans_,
by Julia Cartwright (London, 1894).]

[Footnote 112: Lady Derby was a La Trémouille. The sister-in-law to whom
the letters are addressed was the sister of Turenne.]

[Footnote 113: Or Charles IV.; there are two methods of counting the
Dukes of Lorraine.]

[Footnote 114: See the very curious volume by M. Rodocanachi, _Les
Infortunes d'une petite-fille d'Henri IV._ The marriage of the Princess
Marguerite with the Duke of Tuscany took place April 19, 1661.]

[Footnote 115: _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle.]

[Footnote 116: Par Fortin de la Hoguete (1645).]

[Footnote 117: _L'Image du Souverain_ (1649).]

[Footnote 118: _Mémoires pour 1667._ Ed. by Charles Dreyss.]

[Footnote 119: Portugal had again become independent in 1640.]

[Footnote 120: _Mémoires_ for the year 1661.]

[Footnote 121: Mignet, _Négociations relatives à la succession

[Footnote 122: Élisabeth de France, daughter of Henry IV., born in 1602.
She married Philip IV., in 1615, gave birth to Marie-Thérèse in 1638,
and died in 1644.]

[Footnote 123: This was the Marshal de Gramont, father of the Comte de
Guiche. The "magnificence" and the "_galanterie_" of his journey to
Madrid to demand the Infanta have left lively memories.]

[Footnote 124: _Souvenirs de Madame de Caylus_, _Mémoires de Mme. de
Motteville_, _Souvenirs sur Madame de Maintenon_, published by the Comte
de Haussonville and M. G. Hanotaux.]

[Footnote 125: Married on April 1, 1661, at seventeen. Monsieur
(Philippe de France, duc d'Orléans) was then twenty-one.]

[Footnote 126: _Histoire de Madame Henriette d'Angleterre_, by Mme. de
La Fayette.]

[Footnote 127: _Histoire de Madame de Henriette_, etc.]

[Footnote 128: _Mémoires de Mme. de Motteville._]

[Footnote 129: War between relations in regard to property.]

[Footnote 130: Letter of July 9, 1749, and _passim_, in his

[Footnote 131: Cf. _La Cabale des Dévots_, by M. Raoul Allier.]

[Footnote 132: _Journal d'Olivier Lefèvre d'Ormesson._]

[Footnote 133: _Mémoires de Bussy-Rabutin._]

[Footnote 134: _À nos Seigneurs de Parlement._--Archives of the Château
of Eu. Mgr. le Duc d'Orléans has thrown open to me the Archives of Eu
with a liberality for which I here heartily express my gratitude.]

[Footnote 135: _Déclaration par le Menu du Comté d'Eu_ (May 8, 1660),
and _Inventoire général du Comté d'Eu_ (July 1, 1663).]

[Footnote 136: The Norman acre contains 81 acres and 71 _centiares._]

[Footnote 137: Her request to the King was dated February 9, 1661
(Archives of Eu).]

[Footnote 138: The debts amounted exactly to 2,700,718 frs. 18 sols.
(_Liste des Créanciers_ in Archives of the Château of Eu). It will be
remembered that Mademoiselle paid for Eu 2,550,000 frs.]

[Footnote 139: The account of the entry of Mademoiselle is in the
Archives of the Château of Eu.]

[Footnote 140: Motteville.]

[Footnote 141: _Histoire de France_, by Leopold Ranke.]

[Footnote 142: _Numéro_ of September 14, 1663.]

[Footnote 143: The marriage took place on January 28th.]

[Footnote 144: Philippe IV. died September 17, 1665.]

[Footnote 145: Cf. _La Relation des Divertissements que le Roi a donnés
aux Reines_, etc., by Marigny (June, 1664).]

[Footnote 146: Number of July, 21, 1663, and _passim_.]

[Footnote 147: Louis XIV. had bought Dunkerque from the King of England.
The city was delivered November 27, 1662. For account of the entrance of
the King, see the _Gazette_.]

[Footnote 148: Louis XIV. was installed at Versailles, as a residence,
May 6, 1682.]

[Footnote 149: Letter to the Queen of Poland, Marie de Gonzague
(Archives of Chantilly). The Duc d'Enghien had married, December 11,
1663, Anne de Barière, daughter of the Princess Palatine and niece of
Marie de Gonzague.]

[Footnote 150: _Journal d'Olivier d'Ormesson._]

[Footnote 151: Letter of October 31st to the Queen of Poland (Archives
of Chantilly).]

[Footnote 152: Cf. _De La Vallière à Montespan_, by Jean Lemoine and
André Lichtenberger.]

[Footnote 153: Letter dated December 28, 1663, to the Queen of Poland
(Archives of Chantilly).]

[Footnote 154: See the _Molière_ of the _Grands Écrivains_, v., iv.]

[Footnote 155: See the contemporary engravings. Some reproductions will
be found in the beautiful work of M. de Nolhac, _La Création de

[Footnote 156: See the _Youth of La Grande Mademoiselle_.]

[Footnote 157: From the 7th to the 11th of May, the first two days and
the last two not counted.]

[Footnote 158: Number of February 3, 1663, apropos of a ball given at
the Louvre by the King on January 31st.]

[Footnote 159: For this portion, see the _Gazette_ of May 17th, the
letters from Loret of the 10th and 17th, various _Relations du temps_,
the _Molière_ of the _Grands Écrivains_, etc.]

[Footnote 160: _Louise de La Vallière_, by J. Lair.]

[Footnote 161: See _La Cabale des Dévots_, by M. Raoul Allier.]

[Footnote 162: A doubtful phrase.]


     Increasing Importance of the Affairs of Love--The Corrupters of
     Morals--Birth of Dramatic Music and its Influence--Love in
     Racine--Louis XIV. and the Nobility--The King is Polygamous.

It was neither through compassion nor through friendship that Louis XIV.
had recalled from exile a second time his cousin Mlle. de Montpensier.
He had renounced the idea of marrying her to Alphonse VI. since she
persisted in her refusal, but he pursued the plan of giving her in
marriage "where it would be useful to his service."

And there was reason for entertaining another project. While she was in
penitence at Eu, one of the little sisters, Mlle. de Valois, had married
the Duc de Savoie, Charles Emmanuel II., and had died (January 14,
1664), at the end of some months of wedded life. The widowhood of
princes is rarely a matter of long duration. The King had immediately
arranged to offer the millions of the Grande Mademoiselle to the Duc de
Savoie, it being of first importance to bring back this territory to
France, and to recompense the King of Portugal by giving him one of the
princesses of Nemours.[163]

The new combination was well known in the political world. One reads in
the journal of Olivier d'Ormesson on the date of June 4, 1664: "M. Le
Pelletier[164] tells me of the return of Mlle. d'Orléans, and that the
King had written to her with his own hand, permitting her to come back,
without saying anything to the Queen Mother; but this was with the
Savoie marriage in sight." Louis XIV. had not resigned himself without
effort to the idea of procuring so fine an establishment for an ancient
Frondeuse. It may be seen through a letter from the grand Condé to the
Queen of Poland that the royal rancour had yielded for reasons of State:

    Fontainebleau, June 3, 1664.

     Mademoiselle having written to the King about the pregnancy of
     the Queen, his Majesty has himself responded, which is a mark
     of softened feelings, and every one believes that she will
     return and that his Majesty will consent to her marriage with
     M. de Savoie, which up to this time he has not desired, because
     he preferred that of Mlle. d'Alençon[165]: but as she is very
     ugly, and as an additional distinction is badly marked with
     small-pox, he has reason to believe that M. de Savoie will not
     be willing to espouse her; and he fears that there may be a
     question of a union with the Austrian House, and thus I
     believe, in spite of his own dislikes, he will wish to hasten
     the marriage of Mademoiselle which, however, is not so certain
     as it appears.[166]

There was no danger of pouts in regard to this prospective husband;
this the King well understood. Mademoiselle arrived at Fontainebleau
during the first fortnight of June, 1664. The entire Court had met her
upon the highway.

Mademoiselle was the first to whom the King had yielded since assuming
the reins of government. This was a glory; she, indeed, felt it and held
her head high. Louis XIV. had the good taste to ignore this attitude. He
greeted her graciously and limited his vengeance to teasing her during
the few days she passed with him. "Confess," said he to her, "that you
are very bored." She cried, "I assure you not at all, and I often think
that the Court is very much deceived if it believes me disenchanted, for
I have not experienced a moment's dulness."

The King, however, believed only what pleased him. One evening, after
the play, he led her upon a little terrace and spoke in these terms:
"The past must be forgotten. Be persuaded that you will receive all good
treatment from me in the future, and that I am contemplating your
establishment. Naturally, M. de Savoie is a better match than formerly;
his mother is dead. He will recognise the difference between your sister
and yourself. Thus you will be very happy and I shall work seriously to
accomplish this." The King's discourse was followed by an exchange of
effusions. "We embraced each other, my cousin and I," said the King in
reappearing before his Court, and the signal word was at once

The Grande Mademoiselle passed an almost triumphal week at Fontainebleau.
The repose of provincial life was hard to bear in comparison. The King,
the ministers, and the ambassadors all worked for the marriage. There
was nothing to do but to leave them to act. Mademoiselle wished to aid.
To commence she undertook to reduce to silence the old Madame, who was
outraged by her eagerness to replace her younger sister.

Dissatisfactions grew into quarrels and Louis XIV. was forced to
intervene, and to silence all these women. He wrote to Mademoiselle:



     I cannot prevent my aunt's people from talking, but I hardly
     believe that she would say that I have promised her protection
     against you.

     I love you and consider you, as much as the most pressing
     desires which pass through your brain are capable of inspiring
     me, and assuredly it is my intention to give you pleasure in
     every degree possible. I only avow that you can do much on your
     part in facilitating things a little; this is my only request,
     and having nothing to add to so sincere an explanation of my
     sentiments, I finish this letter, praying God, etc.

     Written at Fontainebleau, July 12, 1664.

    Signed: Louis.[167]

It was beyond the strength of Mademoiselle to abstain from interference.
Her anxiety to be the fly on the wheel drew upon her a new letter from
the King. The tone is that of a very impatient man.



     I see clearly by your last letter that you are not accurately
     informed of what is passing in Piedmont; for I have been
     obliged to be very badly satisfied with my ambassador, in that
     he has executed my orders with so much warmth that the Duc de
     Savoie complains through his despatches to Count Carrocio of
     apparently being forced into an action which should be the
     freest, even to the smallest particular. Judge by this fact if
     the conduct proposed and suggested to you is wise?

     I perceive even malice in those who give you such advice; for
     their desire is to put you in such a state of mind that if the
     affair fail it is I who am to blame.

     I see that you are already persuaded that success depends upon
     my simple wish expressing my desire on one side or the other,
     but I am not resolved to conduct myself according to the
     caprices of those people.

     I have told you that I sincerely wish your satisfaction and I
     again affirm it. The friendship alone which I have for you
     would give me this feeling, and I realise also that the scheme
     is beneficial for me.

     You must not doubt, therefore, that I will do all which will be
     really useful in furthering the affair; as for the means, it is
     not too much to say that I see better what should be done than
     those who speak and write to you. However, I pray God, etc.

     At Vincennes, September 2, 1664.

    Signed; Louis.

The King spoke the truth: the Duc de Savoie did not want the Grande
Mademoiselle. Charles Emmanuel had never digested the affront received
upon the journey to Lyons, from which he had seen his sister return
Duchess of Parma when he had imagined to receive her as Queen of
France.[168] He was not averse to revenging himself on Louis XIV. by
refusing a princess of his family whose age above all "made him afraid,
for he desired children."[169]

He had also an account to regulate with Mademoiselle, who had disdained
him at the time in which she was young and beautiful. At this distant
date, Charles Emmanuel, although her junior by seventeen years, had not
concealed the fact that he would have been ready to marry her, "so much
did he esteem her person and also her great wealth."[170]

But it was with the Duc de Savoie as with the Prince of Wales, and later
with the Prince de Lorraine:

    Quoi? moi! quoi? ces gens-là! l'on radote, je pense,
    A moi les proposer! hélas! ils font pitié:
        Voyez un peu la belle espèce.[171]

Having become less exacting with years, Mademoiselle at length found a
man who did not disdain to play the part of substitute for his betters.

The Duke remained firm, and it was again a Nemours,[172] sister of the
Queen of Portugal, who inherited the husband destined for the Grande

Equally difficult, the same fate fell upon Mademoiselle as upon the
marriageable daughter in La Fontaine: she was to be reduced to wed a
cadet of Gascony, the _malotru_ of the fable. I believe that La
Fontaine had Mademoiselle in his mind when writing _La Fille_. It has
been queried whether this subject was not borrowed from the _Epigram_ of
Martial. There is no need for so distant a search. On July 8, 1664, La
Fontaine had been appointed "gentleman-in-waiting to the dowager
Duchesse d'Orléans."[173] He was, therefore, in a position to be well
informed concerning the projects for marriage which failed, and the
ridiculous actions of the daughter of the house. We possess his
confidences upon the household of the Luxembourg, on the one side of the
apartments of Madame, on the other those of Mademoiselle, in an epistle
dedicated to Mignon, the little dog of his mistress.

For La Fontaine, the Luxembourg was the palace in which there was no
place for lovers. The tender passion was forbidden _chez_ Madame, where
it was necessary to be contented with the "pious smiles" of Mme. de
Crissé, the original of the Countess de Pimbesche, and to bear in mind
the presence of an old Capuchin become Bishop of Bethléem in
Nivernais,[174] who supervised the conversations. "Speak low," says the
letter _Pour Mignon_.

    Si l'évêque de Bethléem
      Nous entendait, Dieu sait la vie.

There was not even the resource of fleeing to the "Divinity" opposite.
Under that shelter, lovers were less well regarded year by year, and La
Fontaine divined why: the antipathy always evinced by Mademoiselle was
now doubled by envy.

The check in regard to the Savoie marriage had brought on a painful
crisis in the life of this poor unattached heroine. For the first time,
she had been made to feel that she had passed the marriageable age, and
she was one of those unfortunates who cannot easily resign themselves to
the fall from the purely feminine portion of existence.

The revolt against nature frequently causes whimsicalities; a terrible
injustice toward those doleful creatures who often have asked no better
than to obey nature's laws in becoming wives and mothers. Nervous
maladies give to the soul-tragedy a burlesque outside, and the world
laughs without comprehending. Mademoiselle was one of these
unfortunates. La Fontaine had well discovered it when he wrote:

    Son miroir lui disait: "Prenez vite un mari."
    Je ne sais quel désir le lui disait aussi:
    Le désir peut loger chez une précieuse.

It is very difficult to relate the decline of the Grande Mademoiselle
without provoking a smile at least, and it would be a pity, however, if
this proud figure should leave the even slight impression of that of
Bélise. She was left disabled, without aim in life, at the very moment
in which women in general were being excluded from action, after having
been slightly intoxicated with power under Anne of Austria. Men had at
that time encouraged women to enter into public life. Thanks to
masculine complicity, feminine influence and power had mounted high, and
the weaker sex enjoyed one of the most romantic moments of its entire

The habit of treating women as the equals of men had been fully formed
when the will of a monarch who distrusted them precipitated the sex from
its giddy height.

It has been seen _à propos_ of La Vallière with what contempt Louis XIV.
spoke of women in his _Mémoires_. Upon this subject he had truly
Oriental ideas, approaching those held by his Spanish ancestors,
inherited by them from the Moors. Louis could not do without women, but
he wanted them only for amusement. He did not really believe them
capable of giving anything else, judging them inferior and dangerous,
perhaps in remembrance of Marie Mancini, who had almost enticed him into
a crime against royalty.

Hardly had the King come to power when all who had issued from their
sphere must re-enter it. Love was the only affair of importance in which
women were permitted to share. Louis XIV. made no exception in favour of
his mistresses. Mme. de Montespan tyrannised a little over him in spite
of his fine theories. The others, however, were looked upon only in the
light of beautiful and amusing creatures.

When, towards the end of the reign, Mme. de Maintenon had the glory of
again raising the sex to the position of being esteemed by the King,
she alone benefited. In general, nothing was gained for women at large;
the impression in regard to their true position had been too deep.
Suddenly reduced to an existence with a narrow horizon, women found it
colourless and mean. They demanded love, since this was all that was
left to them to supply those violent emotions to which they had become
accustomed in the camps and councils. As the result of this new attitude
many strange events occurred, but they were little noticed as long as
the Queen Mother remained of this world. Anne of Austria succeeded in
saving appearances, if in nothing else. Once dead, there came the
downfall, and strange things became frightful ones.

It was at Versailles in the midst of the Bengal fires of the "Île
enchantée" that the Queen Mother felt the first pangs of the cancer
which finally caused her death.

Paris followed with grief the course of her illness. Anne of Austria,
remaining without influence, had again become popular. "She preserves
harmony," wrote d'Ormesson, "and although she cannot be credited with
much good, she still prevents much that is evil" (June 5, 1665). It is
known that it was owing to her that a certain decency was maintained at
the Court of France; that without her, Louis XIV. and his sister-in-law
Henrietta would not have perceived in time that they already cared too
much for each other and that the rumour of this was "making much noise
at Court."[175]

[Illustration: =MADAME HENRIETTE D'ORLÉANS= From the painting by Mignard
in the National Portrait Gallery (Photograph by Walker, London)]

The Queen Mother was forced to open eyes which wished to remain closed.
She had spoken frankly, and her plainness had perhaps saved the kingdom
of France from an ineffaceable stain. Such service cannot be forgotten
by honest people. To gratitude was added a sincere admiration for her
courage under suffering. The poor woman endured without complaint, and
with an incredible tranquillity, nine months of sharp pain increased by
the barbarous remedies applied by a crowd of quacks.

In the royal family, the sentiments were mixed. Louis XIV., as Mme. de
Motteville had well remarked, was a man full of "contradictions." He
cherished his mother. During a previous malady, a short time before the
cancer declared itself, he had cared for her night and day with a
devotion and also a skill which astonished the attendants.

The thought of now losing her gave him seasons of stifling sobs. At the
same time, his mother was a little too much of a personage. She troubled
him by her clairvoyance. He experienced a certain relief at the
knowledge that the time was approaching when she would no longer be able
to watch his course of life. In all probability, he was himself ignorant
of this feeling, but it was apparent to observers. When she was actually
dying, affection bore away all other considerations, and the King almost
fainted. Hardly was she interred when the pleasure of feeling himself
entirely free again became ascendant.

The attachment of Monsieur for his mother was his best emotion. His
grief possessed no hidden relief and forced him to be always near the
invalid's bed. "The odour was so frightful," reports Mademoiselle, "that
after seeing the wound dressed it was impossible to sup." Monsieur
passed all his time in the chamber and tried to demonstrate his
tenderness. Sometimes most ridiculous ideas occurred to him; but he was
not the less touching, through his never-failing tears, on account of
his sincerity.

At length, Anne of Austria herself sent her son away. Monsieur returned
to his pleasures and forgot his grief in them; he would not have been
Philippe Duc d'Anjou if he had acted differently. When the end drew
near, timid and submissive as he was, he would not be sent away. The
King withdrew, obeying the custom which forbids princes, as formerly
gods, to witness death. Louis twice told his brother not to remain
longer, and only received the response "that he could not obey him in
this, but he promised that it was the only point, during his entire
life, on which he would ever disobey."[176]

A cry of Monsieur piercing the walls announced to Louis that the end had

The young Queen Marie-Thérèse, who was losing all, justified the
reputation of "fool" which the Court gave her. She permitted herself to
be persuaded that her position would be made higher, through all the
privileges left to her by the death of the Queen Mother, and she was
more than half consoled by this chimera.

Mademoiselle scrupulously observed the proprieties; which is all that
can be said. Anne of Austria had emphasised in a solemn hour the
tenacity of the rancour against her niece. The evening before death, she
took farewell of all. Two only appeared forgotten; "I was astonished,
after all that had passed," relates Mademoiselle, "that she did not say
a word to M. le Prince or to me, who were both there, especially
slighting me who was brought up near her." It was precisely on account
of "all that had passed." Anne of Austria gave a good example to the
King: she expired without pardoning the leaders of the Fronde.

Great changes followed this death. Louis XIV. lost his mother January
20, 1660; on the 27th of the same month, a deputation came from
Parliament "to pay their compliments to the King." d'Ormesson was of
this body. "I went afterwards," says his Journal, "to mass with the
King, at which there were present the Queen, M. le Dauphin, Monsieur and
Mlle. de La Vallière, whom the Queen has taken near her, through
complaisance for the King, in which she shows her wisdom." Louis XIV.
officially presented his mistress to the people, and assigned her rank
immediately below that of his legitimate wife. During his mother's life
he would not have dared to do this.

Two months later he was delivered from the _Cabale des Dévots_, and
from its intrusive observations, through the disappearance of the
_Compagnie du Saint Sacrement_. It does not appear impossible that the
death of the Queen may have slightly hastened this event. Anne of
Austria had been acquainted with the society for a long period,[177] and
had testified for it during many years of absolute devotion. She had
guarded it from Mazarin. She did more: there is proof that she deceived
her minister for the sake of the _Compagnie_. The situation changed with
the death of the Cardinal. There is nothing to warrant the belief that
Anne of Austria, whether restrained by fear or by some scruple, was
willing, after the death of Mazarin, to deceive Louis XIV. for the sake
of a secret society.

Actively pursued by Colbert, who divined an occult force behind the
adversaries to his power, the _Compagnie_ fell back upon its habitual
protector, and had the bitter disappointment of beseeching in vain. The
devotion of Anne of Austria was henceforth to be a silent one. As long
as she remained on earth, all hope was not lost; she might be brought
back to the bosom of the fold, and better success might be looked for
another time. Her death caused the final disorganisation. The society
had not, during a long period, dared to reunite. Deprived of the mother
of the King, it practically yielded. It dissolves and vanishes into thin
air. Its register stops April 8, 1666. Have the records of the various
prosecutions been destroyed or scattered? Have all the documents been
destroyed through prudence? Suppositions are free. It is with this
mysterious brotherhood as with those water-courses which disappear under
the ground. Their traces are lost. It even happens that they bear
another name when they again spring to the surface. Such without doubt
has been the fate of the "Compagnie du Saint Sacrement," for the
sectarian spirit which has been its most significant mark has never lost
its rights in the land; in our own days we still see it placing itself
in France at the service of very different schools of thought and

In this beginning of April (1666) in which the _Cabale des Dévots_ had
avowed itself vanquished, the Court was struck with the animation of the

"A journey was made to Mouchy," wrote Mademoiselle, "where three days
were passed in reviews. The King ordered a quantity of troops to be
assembled; he also invited many ladies. All these were in mourning.
There was much diversion; the King was in gay spirits; he sang and made
verses during the progress." Although these were not the only ones,
Louis did not compose many songs during his life.

He enjoyed feeling free from those wearisome persons who had abused the
patronage of his mother in creating themselves censors of their
sovereign. No one except his confessor and his preachers concerned
themselves further with his sins. When Bossuet and Bourdaloue were
appointed Court preachers they restrained themselves but little; but
Louis XIV. bore their reproaches with equanimity. It was their duty, and
Christians of that date, even bad ones, recognised what they owed to the
Church, and bent their heads before the pulpit. Bossuet cried out in the
presence of the entire Court that "immoral manners are always bad
manners," and that "there is a God in heaven who avenges the sins of the
people, and who, above all, avenges the sins of Kings."[178] He launched
apostrophies at Mlle. de La Vallière: "O creatures, shameful idols,
withdraw from this Court. Shadows, phantoms, dissipate yourselves in the
presence of the truth; false love, deceitful love, canst thou stand
before it?"

Bourdaloue, who found Mme. de Montespan in the place of Mlle. de La
Vallière, reproached the King for his "debauches," and openly demanded
of him in his sermon if he had kept his promise of rupture: "Have you
not again seen this person fatal to your firmness and constancy? Have
you no more sought occasions so _dangerous_ for you?"

Mme. de Sévigné went one day to hear him at Saint-Germain, where he
preached a Lenten sermon before the King and Queen. She returned
confounded and angry at his boldness: "We heard after dinner the sermon
of Bourdaloue, who speaks with all his force, launching truths with
lowered bridle, attacking adultery on every side; regardless
of all, he rides straight on."[179] Louis XIV. accepted these
public reproaches without protest; there was, however, but little

[Illustration: =MADAME DE MONTESPAN= From the engraving by Flameng after
the painting by Mignard]

One effect of the death of the Queen Mother was that rivals to Mlle. de
La Vallière were free to appear; also there was a great increase in the
number of charlatans and alchemists, who found more easily an
aristocratic clientèle. Diviners and sorcerers also played an important
rôle in the love life of this society--the most polished in the world.

The practice of the magic arts was at that date considered one of the
most flourishing Parisian industries. The inhabitants of the streets
little frequented, or of the suburbs, were accustomed to the movement
which took place in the early morning, or in the evening at dusk, around
certain isolated houses.[180] People of all ranks, on foot, in carriages
or in chairs, women masked or muffled, succeeded each other before a
closed door, which only opened at a particular sign.

The state of mind which led this crowd to the clairvoyant was to be
found in all classes of society, from the highest to the lowest. Public
credulity was passing through a period of expansion, apparently very
much at odds with the splendid intellect of France at that date, at
which, however, those who believe the simple formulas of history will
not be astonished. Two of our grand classic writers have left pages
which bear witness to the extent of the evil, existing at the very
moment in which France became the actual head of Europe.

Molière mocks at occult science and its adepts, through a long play, or
rather a libretto for a ballet,[181] which he wrote for the King in
1670, named as we already know, _Les Amants Magnifiques_. The _dramatis
personæ_ are divided into two camps according to a rule of his own, in a
fashion very unpleasant for the grandees of this world, Molière allowing
them the precedence in folly. It was sufficient for his heroes to be
illustrious through rank, to endow them with a blind faith in all
conjurers. "The truth of astrology," says the Prince Iphicrate, "is an
incontestable fact, and no one can dispute against the certitude of its
predictions." This is also the opinion of the Prince Timoclès: "I am
sufficiently incredulous in regard to many things, but as for astrology,
there is nothing more certain and more constant than the success with
which horoscopes may be drawn." The Princess Aristione also agrees, and
is anxious in finding that her daughter is less convinced.

This is a commencement of a freedom of thought, and one cannot know to
what it may lead: "My daughter," says the mother, "you have a little
incredulity which never leaves you."

Disbelief in astrology and sorcery is represented in the play of
Molière, figuring in the name of "Clitidas, court jester," and of
another person of obscure birth, "Sostrate, general of the army," who
takes the part of Clitidas against the calmer prophets and other
exploiters of human folly.

     There is nothing more agreeable [says he] than all the great
     promises of this sublime knowledge. To transform everything
     into gold; to find immortal life; to heal by words; to make
     oneself beloved by the person of one's desires; to know all the
     secrets of the future; to call down from the sky at will
     impressions upon metals which bear happiness to mortals[182];
     to command demons; to render armies invisible and soldiers
     invulnerable--all this is doubtless charming, and there are
     people who have no trouble in believing in the possibility; it
     is the easiest thing in the world for some men to be convinced,
     but for me, I avow that my grosser mind has some difficulty in
     comprehending and in believing.

La Fontaine has treated the same subject in three of his fables. It is
in one of these, _Les Devineresses_, published in 1678, consequently
before the famous drama _Les Poisons_, in which he shows himself very
well acquainted with what the police had not yet been sufficiently
clever to discover. He knew marvellously well the existence of the
_poudre de succession_ and of the _poudre pour l'amour_:

      Une femme, à Paris, faisait la pythonisse.
    On l'allait consulter sur chaque événement;
    Perdait-on un chiffon, avait-on un amant,
    Un mari vivant trop, au gré de son épouse,
    Une mère fâcheuse, une femme jalouse,
      Chez la Devineuse on courait,
    Pour se faire annoncer ce que l'on désirait.

The warning was not heeded, and it needed the "burning chamber" of 1680
to make honest people comprehend that "clairvoyant" was too often
another name for "seller of poisons." La Fontaine had, however, given no
new information about the confidence inspired. This fact was already too
well known.

This dangerous agency, of which we have already had a glimpse on the
occasion of the first search for Lesage and Mariette, merits some
descriptive details. In Paris, during a period of twenty years, it was
so mixed up with intrigues and crimes that it exercised a real influence
over the morals of the Parisian world and through it over the affairs at

Like a wave of madness it swept over the heads especially of the women.
Many of these, even those not directly mingling in political life, were
in a state of revolt, inconsolable for having lost the importance
acquired during the civil troubles.

Women had been emancipated by the force of affairs. During the actual
fighting and the general disorders which ensued, the habit of remaining
in the shade of obedience was lost; also the considering themselves only
as objects of luxury.

Louis XIV. had undertaken the task of bringing the sex back to the
playing of a decorative or utilitarian rôle. It was almost as if to-day
we should demand of our daughters, so free, so mingled with the general
movement, to return suddenly to the self-effacement and the thousand
restraints of our own youth. They would be transported with rage.

In 1666, the larger portion of the clients of the necromancer sought
above everything else a secret by the aid of which they might shake off
the yoke that had again fallen upon their shoulders. The husband was the
natural incarnation of this yoke. It was therefore against him that the
revolt was habitually directed. The wives addressed themselves to a
clairvoyant. The first consultation was generally innocent enough.

The clairvoyant counselled new-comers to go to the good Saint Denis,
always a succour for women unhappy in their domestic life, and to the
indefatigable Saint Antoine de Padua. She reserved until later the
giving of certain powders, only hinting at their existence, the secret
of which had been brought from Italy and which were sought at Paris by
both provincials and strangers.

It is now known through contemporaneous documents that arsenic was an
element in these powders, and that so many persons accused themselves in
confession of having "poisoned some one" that the priests of Nôtre-Dame
at length gave warning to the authorities (1673). Did the penitents,
especially the women, always speak the truth? Popular imagination is so
quickly fired when poisoning is suggested, that it may well be queried
whether a portion of the unfortunates were not rather hysterical and
victims of hallucinations. It is probable that the true answer will
never be known. Physicians at that time were the doctors of Molière, and
the science of chemistry did not exist.

With the husband softened or suppressed, the women demanded love to
replace emotion in their contracted and faded existence. The task of the
necromancer thus consisted in interesting God or the devil in the heart
pangs of her client and of arousing an affection in the breast of the
man she designated. This was the beginning for the new clients; the end
was the black mass with its obscene rites or the bloody mass, for which
a small infant was strangled.

All the forms of conjuration were used between the two, every charm,
every talisman and many "kinds of powders," not always inoffensive. The
consultations were paid for according to the rank or fortune of the
clients. In default of money, a jewel was given or even a signed note,
the imprudence of which last proceeding it is hardly needful to point

In the year of the death of Anne of Austria, one of the clairvoyants
most frequented was the wife of a hosier named Antoine Montvoisin, whose
shop was situated upon the Pont Marie, which to-day still unites the
right bank of the Seine with the isle Saint-Louis. The Pont Marie, as
almost all the bridges of Paris at that date, had a double row of
houses, with shops beneath, which formed a very animated street. The
affairs of Montvoisin, however, had not prospered. He had tried several
commercial undertakings without success. He had been dry-goods merchant
and jeweller, and had always "lost his shops," according to the
expression of his wife, Catherine Montvoisin, familiarly called "the

[Illustration: =LA VOISIN= From a print in the Bibliothèque Nationale]

It is under this latter name that she became celebrated in the annals of
crime. La Voisin the fortune-teller is the same as La Voisin the
poisoner. At the date of the hosiery shop, she had not yet attracted the
attention of justice, in spite of her installation, but ill-assured, on
the Pont Marie, which obliged her to have a double domicile, or to give
rendezvous at the house of her confrère. She gained large sums of money.
The price for consultation varied from a single piece to several
thousand francs, or from an old rag to a necklace of precious stones,
and again she drew something from the acolytes of both sexes who
assisted in her wicked works. It was known from herself that her
property was held in her own right, her husband having been always
unfortunate in business. In spite of this precaution, the money slipped
through her fingers. It is true that she had expenses, children to bring
up and relatives to support. She said: "I have ten persons to feed," but
she was economical for others. La Voisin gave a crown a week to her
mother and brought up her daughter as a small shop-keeper. It was she
herself who, in company with other miserables of her own kind, spent
madly. The position of husband of a poisoner seems to have been a
precarious one. Antoine Montvoisin was familiar with the nature of his
wife's industry, but his conscience did not forbid his profiting by it
for his own comfort. His conscience also permitted him to appropriate
to himself money entrusted to him by his wife to execute the orders for
the _neuvaines_. He was as much a free-thinker as any of the Vardes or
Guiches, and convinced that the _neuvaines_ were absolutely useless. As
to going further, to putting his own "paw in the dish," he was
successfully prudent. He was never anxious; but he was actually daily in
danger of being poisoned, for La Voisin could not suffer this coward.
She would have liked to replace him by a veritable associate, and
between the pair, there were perpetual fights for pre-eminence in

The good man Antoine would certainly have died through poisoning in
spite of all his care, if he had not conceived the ingenious idea of
uniting himself with an executioner, to whom he confided the situation.
It was agreed between the two that, if Montvoisin should die before his
wife, the hangman should speak and demand an autopsy. La Voisin became
afraid. She tried to poison her husband on a journey, but did not
succeed, and finally considered it safer to keep him with her.

She had benefited, as had also the entire corporation, by the hopes
awakened in the breasts of many of the pretty women among the
aristocracy by the death of the Queen Mother.

Anne of Austria had taken so ill the first digression of her son from
the paths of virtue that the aspirants for the succession to Mlle. de La
Vallière had preserved a certain discretion. When the rebuffs of the old
Queen were no longer to be feared, the passions were unchained and a
flock of youthful, ambitious women addressed themselves to the "duties
of fashion" in order to arrive at the good graces of the King.[183] The
boldest demanded at the same time "something against Mlle. de La
Vallière." Amongst these young women was found the Marquise de
Montespan, who loved neither her husband nor the King, but who was
harrassed by her creditors, was very conscious of her own value, and
determined to be "recognised mistress," since this was now a position
admitted and classified.

She was as "beautiful as the day," says Saint-Simon, without being
"perfectly agreeable";--the correction is by Mme. de La Fayette. She had
all the wit possible, was delicious in eccentricities and courtesies. In
spite of so much brilliancy, the King rather avoided her and she was
reduced to amusing Marie-Thérèse, who admitted her freely, having full
confidence in her virtue. The Queen had been deceived by the pious
austerities of the young Marquise, by her frequent communions, and by a
mass of religious practices which were really actuated by a sincere
sentiment, and which Mme. de Montespan preserved as far as she could,
notwithstanding the scandals of her after life. Understood in this
manner, a sense of duty towards religion did not prevent resorting to
sorceresses. It rather led in this direction in giving to the perverse
soul "the vague consciousness of something beyond."[184]

Mme. de Montespan became one of the best clients of La Voisin, regarding
neither the expense nor the decency of the ceremonies, provided that the
devil would make her the beloved of Louis XIV. Faring better than her
rivals, she received the value of her money. She began her campaign in
the course of the year 1666. The _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle, very full
on this subject, and elsewhere confirmed, inform us that in the spring
of 1667, Mme. de Montespan had supplanted La Vallière; it was the young
Queen alone who was ignorant of this fact.

Less than two years after, La Voisin had the imprudence to make a
disturbance because two of her aids had not acted honestly toward her.
One of these was a priest, called Mariette, attached to the Church of
Saint Severin. La Voisin made use of him in sacrilegious practices. The
other, Lesage, was a sort of Jack of all trades, who recoiled before no
abomination. La Voisin accused them of having assaulted one of her
clients, Mme. de Montespan, a fact true enough, but useless to proclaim
from the housetops.

"The quarrel having made some noise," reports La Reynie, "and the King,
having learned that these people were practising impieties and
sacrileges, had them watched." Mariette and Lesage were arrested. The
examinations have been preserved for us. Here is an essential passage:
Mariette avowed without hesitation to having spoken the Gospels "over
the heads of various persons," a form of conjuration relatively
innocent. The names were demanded. "Over the heads of the Lady de Bougy,
Mme. de Montespan, la Duverger, M. de Ravetot, all of which persons
Lesage had led to him."[185]

With this information secured, Louis XIV. ordered prosecution:

    SAINT-GERMAIN, August 16, 1668.

     I write this letter to tell you that it is my intention to have
     the said Mariette and Dubuisson[186] conducted from my château
     to the Châtelet of the City of Paris, for the continuation of
     their prosecution.

One may be sure that the King did not lose this inquest from view. Louis
XIV. was most eager for police details and this affair touched him too
nearly to be forgotten.

At the beginning of the investigation, it was discovered that Mariette
was first cousin to the wife of the judge. On account of this
connection, the Châtelet estimated that it was for the honour of the
magistracy to stifle the affair. He brought every effort to accomplish
this and evidently met with practical approbation from the powerful of
this world, for history permits us to see numerous irregularities.

La Voisin, returning to her senses, heartily seconded the Justice in his
efforts to obtain succour from those in high positions. Mariette and
Lesage, after a period of trials and difficulties, were left in peace to
occupy themselves with their ambiguous trade. Both of these men figured
again in the monster process of 1680, in which they were among those who
spread details concerning the abominable practices with which the Mme. de
Montespan had been connected during long years. It does not matter here
whether these details are additions to the truth or not, for it is only
Louis XIV. who interests us, not Mme. de Montespan.

The letter cited above proves all that is necessary, that the King knew,
from the year 1668, that his new mistress had connection with the
criminal world, and that she had intimate interviews with ignoble
persons, submitted to degrading contact, and had practised in their
company sacrilegious rites. This monarch who passed for being so
delicately keen in matters of punishment showed himself singularly
little moved.

Surrounded by free-thinkers without prejudices, himself more or less of
a free-thinker, he resembles so little, either morally or physically,
the bewigged figure of the end of the reign, and of the _Mémoires_ of
Saint-Simon, that he appears as another individual. How easily both
proprieties and punishments are put on one side when passion reigns,
but how much more alive, how much more of a natural human being,
compared to the wooden figure of the portraits of Versailles, is the
King as now seen; Louis XIV. is decidedly an enigmatical quantity.

It would be inexact to state that passions had become more lively than
they were during the wars of the Fronde, an epoch especially ardent; but
they had certainly changed their character, as had the tastes, ideas,
literature, and fashions in general. This is the usual course of events,
and, as we have seen, the movement was precipitated under the influence
of a monarch all-powerful, determined to efface the past.

An artistic event which should not be overlooked had favoured the
designs of Louis XIV., in opening unknown perspectives to the curious
after new sensations, already numerous in the seventeenth century.
Dramatic music made its entry into the modern world. It brought with it,
according to the phrase of one of its historians, M. Romain
Rolland,[187] an "unlimited power for expressing passion, and with
passionate emotion all that remains incommunicable through the medium of
language alone." We may or may not love music, but it must be admitted
that a creation of this nature will certainly exercise a strong
influence over the refined portion of a nation.

French society could not escape. The new art was in train to modify the
nervous system, if I dare thus speak, of the world in which flourished,
under the royal protection, those rather perilous ideas upon the rights
of nature and the fatality of passion. Day by day, new chords were
struck upon impressionable hearts. Dramatic music was born in Italy; as
might well be. In the year 1597, upon a carnival evening, a rich
Florentine entertained a choice audience with a musical tragedy called
_Dafné_, of which the score is lost. According to one of the guests,
"the pleasure and astonishment which seized the soul of the auditors
before so novel a spectacle could hardly be expressed."

M. Romain Rolland confirms this testimony: "It was like a thunderbolt.
All felt themselves in the presence of a new art." In ten years Italian
opera reached its full growth, thanks chiefly to a composer of genius,
Monteverde, whose _Ariane_ caused an audience of more than six thousand
persons to burst into sobs on its first representation.

The art of singing had marched side by side with dramatic music and
attained its height almost at once. A famous soprano, Vittori, threw the
public into almost inconceivable transports. "Many persons were suddenly
forced to loosen their garments in order to breathe, so suffocated were
they with emotion."

Everywhere musical theatres were erected. The large cities built
several; Venice alone had five, and this number was not sufficient. The
opera was given in palaces and private salons; "Bologna possessed more
than sixty private theatres, without mentioning the convents and
colleges." The clergy were caught in the whirlwind; monks and nuns
chanted operas, cardinals became stage managers of scenes, a future pope
wrote librettos. It was an epidemic, a frenzy, and Italy did not go mad
with impunity. In its beginning, the opera is responsible for grave
disorders, both nervous and moral; it became _too_ much of a passion.
Mazarin already possessed this taste before his establishment in France.
He wished to initiate his adopted country into the joys, almost to be
dreaded, which had so suddenly enriched human life, and he brought from
Italy one after the other four Italian troupes, the first in 1645, the
last a short time before his death.

The result was easy to predict. A spectacle patronised by the Cardinal
became a matter of politics. Applauded by the partisans of the minister,
derided by his adversaries, the Italian opera met with so strong an
opposition that it was necessary to renounce it for the time, but the
lesson was not lost.

French composers heretofore devoted to ballets and masquerades had not
received unheedingly the revelation of the dramatic style; their
ambition was also aroused to express the tempests of the soul, and they
began to grope along the new path.

The attempt was not at once successful; but their efforts familiarised
the public with the idea of a musical language of passion. In 1664, the
song was considered the natural interpreter of love. Molière fixes the
date in his _Princesse d'Elide_, in which Moron does not succeed in
gaining the ear of Philis because he speaks, instead of singing his
declaration. Philis flees and Moron cries out: "Behold how it is: if I
had been able to sing, I should have done better. Most women of to-day
only let themselves be courted through the ears; this is the reason that
the entire world has become musical, and one can succeed with the fair
only by making them listen to little songs and verses. I must learn to
sing like others."

It was indeed somewhat different in 1671, when French opera arrived
on the scene.[188] It had hardly seen the light when it became, as a
result of the association of Quinault with Lulli, a counsellor of

While the decorations and the dances charmed the eyes, as the "machines"
amused by their complications, the words and music, outdoing the
_Princesse d'Elide_,[189] murmured unceasingly with the same caressing
languor that no youthful beings have the right, for any motive whatever,
to deny to themselves the duty of loving. "Yield, give yourselves up to
transports," chants a chorus of _Amadis_. The thirteen "lyrical
tragedies" given by Quinault and Lulli from 1673 to 1686 are all
constructed upon this one theme. They gave expression to the one
single idea; "Yield! surrender yourselves!" and resulted in producing a
certain eloquence from their monotony. When these lyrics are played on
the piano,[190] a better means of hearing them failing, one cannot but
feel that in spite of their insipidity the continuous appeal to the
senses might produce in the end, particularly in the atmosphere of a
theatre, a strong effect.

[Illustration: =JEAN BAPTISTE DE LULLI= After a contemporary print by

Moralists recognised this. All will remember the violent attack of
Boileau upon the opera. To-day we consider this attack as having been
too narrowly virtuous, even a little ridiculous. It can be explained,
however, in considering what a novelty it was to see people seized with
nervous attacks and fits of weeping while listening to singing. Was it
the "loose morals" of Quinault which caused these? Was it the new music?
In either case, the worthy Boileau was excusable for his alarm.

France had not yet reached the point of excitability which existed in
Italy. The French are not a sufficiently musical race for this; but in a
less degree, the country submitted to the extraordinary power of the
dramatic style. It is known through Mme. de Sévigné that if the French
listeners did not invariably "burst into sobs" or "suffocate with
emotion," more than one auditor, including herself, wept silently in
hearing the fine passages.

Fashion also swayed affairs, and we know of what fashion is capable in

Saint Evremond has written a comedy entitled _The Operas_. In the list
of _dramatis personæ_, one reads: "Mlle. Crisotine become mad through
the hearing of operas. Tirsolet, a young man from Lyons, also became mad
through operas." A third person relates that "nothing else is spoken of
in Paris. Women and even young children knew the operas by heart, and
there is hardly a house in which entire scenes are not sung." How nearly
France and Italy are approached in this. The Louvre party caught the
fashion, the courtiers, being eager to imitate the King, a great admirer
of Lulli.

It had happened that Louis remarked during the rehearsals of _Alceste_
"that if he were at Paris when the opera should be played, he would go
every day." "This phrase," adds Mme. de Sévigné "is worth a hundred
thousand francs to Baptiste."[191] This was no affectation on the part
of the King; he really loved music, as can be recognised through
unmistakable signs. Louis XIV. had throughout his life the taste and
more than a taste for music; to which he added a longing to be himself a
performer, a desire that can never be satisfied with the most skilled
professional entertainments. As a youth, he played the guitar and took
part in ensemble playing. As a man, he found that he had a good voice,
and knew how to use it in amateur reunions.

It can even be said that he sang not only at suitable but also at
unsuitable moments: the day after the death of his son, the Grand
Dauphin, the ladies of the Palace heard with surprise the King singing
opera prologues. During his later years, when it was difficult to amuse
him, Mme. de Maintenon organized musicales in her salon and Louis always
enjoyed these. One evening when she substituted vespers[192] for the
scores of Lulli, the King made no criticism and even intoned the
vespers. Provided it was music, all kinds were good; but the King showed
a certain predilection for the kind which he had seen created, already
so rich in new emotions and which bore rare promise for the future of
the artistic world, and the monarch possessed all the qualities needed
to enjoy it profoundly.

The reader cannot fail to perceive through the witness of his frequent
bursts of tears that Louis was of a nervous disposition, somewhat
concealed under the cold and calm exterior which he had imposed upon
himself. In advancing age, this tendency to tears became almost a
malady. Mme. de Maintenon, in a letter dated 1705, writing to a friend
of the "vapours" of the King and of his sombre humour, makes the remark
that he is "sometimes overcome with weeping which he cannot restrain."

He was a sensualist to whom themes of love were always attractive.
"Yield! Surrender!" the King never ceased to repeat on his own behalf
to the pretty women of his Court. For the rest, Quinault and Lulli made
him choose the subjects for their operas; and Louis had therefore a
responsibility for the voluptuousness which exhaled from their works.

Dramatic music has now established itself. The civilised world discovers
with delight that this art has an unlimited capacity for expressing
passion, and all the passions, even the highest, the purest, and this
latter includes love. It has also been recognised that music can speak
in its own words outside of the theatre, in a symphony, in a simple
sonata, and that there exists no art so benevolent, so reposeful, and so
reassuring to troubled souls. In spite of this, in spite of all,
moralists have never been willing to throw down their weapons before
music. Emanuel Kant was clearly hostile to it; he said, "It enervates
man,"[193] and he turned away his disciples from its joys. Tolstoi has
been unkind to it in the _Kreutzer Sonata_.

All forces can become dangerous; it depends on the "use made of
them,"[194] and also upon the souls which receive the impulse; they must
be of the calibre to support its force.

The action of music upon French society has never, so far as I know,
been methodically studied in relation to its effects, both physical and
moral. If a historian be found, he will issue from the psychological
laboratories, scientifically equipped, in which the observer conceals
the physician: on this condition only can he speak with authority.

[Illustration: =BOILEAU= After the painting by H. Rigaud]

The Grande Mademoiselle cared but little for music. Nevertheless she
extols Lulli in her _Mémoires_: "He makes the most beatific airs in the
world." The glory of Baptiste touched her because he was "her own,"
arriving from Italy some time before the Fronde. "He came to France with
my late uncle the Chevalier de Guise. I had prayed him to bring me an
Italian, with whom I could speak and learn the language."

Lulli was only a boy of thirteen at the time that he was brought to
France. Between the Italian lessons, he filled the office of cook.
Later, admitted among the violins of Mademoiselle, it is related that he
was chased away for having satirised his mistress in song. This recalls
other events:

     I was exiled: he did not wish to live in the country: he
     demanded leave to go away: I accorded it, and since he has made
     his fortune, for he is a great merry-andrew.

Lulli always remained a buffoon in the mind of Mademoiselle, although
she assisted at his triumphs and survived him.

Mademoiselle preserved the taste for literature formed at Saint-Fargeau.
Her name is associated with several incidents, great and small, of the
literary history of the times. In 1669, when _Tartuffe_ was definitely
authorised, she wished to have it performed in her salon. This fact is
noteworthy as the Church still forbade its representation. On August
21, Mademoiselle gave a fête. When most of the guests had departed,
"_Tartuffe_, the fashionable piece, was played before twenty women and
numbers of men."[195] Did the end of the phrase contain a slight
excuse--"which was the fashionable piece"? However this may be,
Mademoiselle could boast to her confessor that she had been "economical"
with Molière. The entertainment at the Luxembourg was paid for with
three hundred francs given to the actors, the current price being for
such a performance five hundred and fifty francs. Thus the virtuous
homes evidenced their piety!

On another occasion, Mademoiselle had the honour, if the Abbé d'Olivet
may be believed, of supplying Molière with an entire scene ready made:
and what a scene! Among the _habitués_ of the salon figured one of the
victims of Boileau, the impudent Abbé Cotin, who not finding himself
sufficiently _étrillé_ (thrashed) had provoked new retaliations in
gossiping about Molière.

One day he brought some verses of his own composition to the palace of
the Luxembourg to read them to Mademoiselle. In the midst of her
admiration another writer, supposed to be Ménage, entered. Mademoiselle
committed the error of showing the verses of the Abbé and, without
mentioning the name of the author, of defending the expressed opinions.
The result was the scene between Vadius and Trissotin (at first named
"Tricotin" lest one should be deceived). It was only needful for
Molière to give the touch of genius as in the sonnet to the Princess
Uranie and in the verses upon the _Carosse Amarante_. In these two
cases, it is well known that the lines are copied word for word from a
volume written by the Abbé Cotin.[196]

Many echoes of the grand literary battle of the century[197] still
resounded in the Luxembourg. The success of the first tragedies of
Racine irritated that portion of the public, always large, which has a
horror of being disturbed in its habits of thought by importunate
novelties. Such a disturbance is a punishment to many persons, whether
the moving force comes from literature, science, or art. There are many
examples of this fixed state of mind to be found in the past century: it
will suffice to recall the struggles hardly yet quieted between Pasteur
and Wagner.

Racine appeared on the scene as a revolutionary force. He and Molière,
sustained by their friend Boileau, presented a dramatic art absolutely
new, which was separated by a gulf from that of Corneille and for which
nothing had prepared the way. Corneille's predecessors were Mairet, the
du Ryers and many others: Racine stood alone. He was the first and the
last to make tragedy realistic, with the subject simple, the characters
scrupulously true to nature, and the language often audaciously

Louis XIV. applauded. Racine and the King well comprehended each other.
Heinrich Heine has given the reason for this in one of those phrases
which throw light upon an entire period: "Racine is the first modern
poet, as Louis XIV. was the first modern King."

The young Court applauded cordially with the King. It also belonged to
the new régime; but for the old Court, for the survivors of the Hôtel
Rambouillet, the tragedy of Racine was as shocking, as displeasing, as
were the first realistic romances to the faithful adherents of
romanticism, and for the same reasons. In spite of the difficulty so
many have, of sympathising with the ideas of the one called a little
disdainfully "the gentle Racine," "the elegant Racine," this writer
appeared neither gentle nor elegant to three-fourths of the salon, to
the "old Court" of the Grande Mademoiselle. The _Pyrrhus_ seemed to them
"brutal," the Phèdre, a "madwoman" "the blackness" of Nero or Narcisse
entirely beyond what should be permitted on the stage.

Not that the personages of Corneille or of his predecessors acted less
wickedly, but their brutes and villains were nevertheless "heroes" and
that made all the difference. The personages created by Racine were only
"men," simple men, who used words "low and grovelling," bourgeois
words, expressions such as "Quoi qu'il en soit, que fais je, que
dis-je!"[198] and did not even realise the sense: more than three
hundred improper terms have been counted in _Andromaque_. Racine would
have fared better if his poetic methods had not been in some way a
criticism upon the cleverness of Corneille. This was the real grievance,
obliging the adorers of the old poet to condemn the insolent one.

Mme. de Sévigné, who could not always prevent herself, although "mad
with Corneille," from admiring Racine, or from letting him perceive it,
hastened to correct herself when this happened. She wrote to her
daughter, "_Bajazet_ is beautiful," and added six lines further on, as a
person who has a reproach to make, "Believe me, nothing will approach (I
do not say surpass) some divine passages of Corneille." Having thus
regulated her conscience, she returned to _Bajazet_ to avow that she had
"wept more than twenty tears" (letter dated January 15, 1672), but her
letter evidently left her with a slight feeling of discomfort. Two
months later, she attenuated the praise of the new piece, to which she
now accorded only "agreeable things," and declared Corneille to be
another order of genius: "My daughter, let us take care not to compare
Racine with him, let us well perceive the difference!"

Almost all of Mademoiselle's generation showed themselves as jealous as
Mme. de Sévigné for the glory of Corneille. To the admiration inspired
by his genius is added the tender gratitude that we guard for works in
which live again the ideals of our youth. It is our own thoughts, our
fine dreams of early days, that we love in these productions.

The tragedy of Racine signified that the day of Corneille had passed;
its success indicated the inroad of new ideas and pointed definitely to
the fact that those faithful to the ancient worship had really been
relegated to the position of old fogies. This is never an agreeable
position when one feels still alive and with no very active realisation
that old age is approaching. People of letters are the first to suffer
from these revolutions of taste which leave surviving only works of the
first rank while the rest are cast away into oblivion.

As we know, the _litterateurs_ who frequented the salon of Mademoiselle
were all enemies of Racine, half on account of loyalty to Corneille,
half on their own behalf, through an instinct of self-preservation.
Besides Ménage and the Abbé Cotin, whom we have lately encountered
speaking frankly to each other, besides the amiable Segrais whose
literary powers were too light to lead him far, there was the Abbé
Boyer, whose tragedies Segrais desired to be pardoned, because he was a
"sufficiently good academician," and that worthy old man De Chapelain,
illustrious until the day upon which his verses went to press. There was
some reason for accusing Mademoiselle of having been the "centre of the
opposition to the new poetry."[199] To say this is, however, to
exaggerate her rôle. We shall see later that she was far too occupied in
living through her own tragedy to be actively interested in those being
enacted upon the boards. Loaded with injuries and calumnies by the
Vadius and the Trissotins, menaced with thrashings by the aristocratic
protectors of these great men of the salon, Racine ran the risk of being
crushed, and was saved only by the signal favour of the King. Neither he
nor Molière would have accomplished their work if Louis XIV. had not
sustained them against all critics. This is a service for which we
should not limit our gratitude. The reflection upon this great debt
arouses a tenderness towards a Prince with whom we are otherwise not
always sympathetic.

It is possible that there was some politics in his attitude. The success
of writers so new fell in well with his design of making a _tabula rasa_
of the detested past: but after all the main reason for which protection
was accorded was affection.

When Louis XIV. laughed "even till his sides ached"[200] over the _École
des Femmes_, at which amusement the dévots and prudes were indignant,
when he saved the _Plaideurs_, almost hissed in the Hôtel de Bourgogne,
by "bursts of laughter, so great that the Court was astonished,"[201]
there was no calculation: he was honestly amused, like any one else. It
was also a true and frank admiration which caused him to dry his tears
at _Iphigenie_, and to order the repetition of _Mithridate_. He loved
the "new" for two reasons: because he had good taste, and because the
heroes of the later writers were of the kind needful for his generation.
It has been seen how marvellously Molière and the King understood each
other, and the mention of Racine recalls to us the profound phrase of
Heine. Racine revealed himself in the _Andromaque_ as the "first modern
poet." Hermione and Oreste have only a distant relationship with the
heroes of Corneille. They are already "those possessed by love, the
great passionates with whom love becomes a malady, who love to the brink
of crime, and even till death."

With these characters, it can be said that modern love, profound,
tender, melancholy, impregnated with soul, and at the same time troubled
by the obscure influences of the nervous life, makes its entrance into
French literature. Oreste shows a sadness, a despair, a madness, which a
century and a half later burst forth in love romances. Louis XIV. had
not waited for Racine for his education in passion. When Marie Mancini
fascinated him, he was one of the first examples of the modern type of
those "possessed by love," and he had never forgotten this crisis; in
fact he never forgot anything. This episode in the life of the young
King had been a good apprenticeship for the comprehending of the love of
Oreste or of Phédre as the true love malady, as a fatality against which
our single will is only a feeble weapon.

Around the King, Mme. Henriette, Mme. de Montespan, all the young Court
and some shrewd spirits of the old, with Condé at the head, rendered
justice to the truth of the "anatomies of the heart," in the tragedy of
Racine. Mademoiselle was incapable of this; she believed too firmly in
the superhuman strength of the heroes of Corneille, with whom the will
laughs at resistance, whether the opposition arises in the soul or in
the exterior world, to admit the fatality of passion. Nevertheless, it
was the Grande Mademoiselle herself who was going to demonstrate clearly
to all France that it was impossible to escape fate, when this fate
points to love. Here we meet the great misfortune of her life!

An atmosphere of passion, and an intimacy with people whose sole
occupation was to render themselves attractive, was somewhat dangerous
for an old maid, sensitive without realising it. Mademoiselle had the
singular desire, which later cost her dearly, to make an ally of Mme. de
Montespan and thus to form a part of the chosen society of the Court.

She sought the company of the mistress and received service from her.
Mme. de Montespan was her interpreter with the King. In return
Mademoiselle endeavoured to calm M. de Montespan who, for serious or for
trivial reasons[202] "flew into passions," like a "madman" or "wild
person," against Madame his wife. "He is my relative and I scolded
him," says the _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle. As a connoisseur,
Mademoiselle hugely enjoyed the original wit of Mme. de Montespan. The
pleasure found in returning the ball in conversation was the foundation
of the intimacy.

With the growing idleness of the Court, pleasure in pure cleverness
increased. The play of the mind was the sole resource against ennui.
Wit, no matter at whose expense, became the enjoyment. The wise and
prudent Mme. de Maintenon succumbed like Mademoiselle, when her turn
came, to the irresistible charm of a conversation which "renders
agreeable the most serious matters, and ennobles the most trivial."[203]

During the sharpest quarrel between Mademoiselle and Mme. de Montespan,
the enjoyment of the opponent's wit was so keen that they parted with
pain. "Mme. de Montespan and I," wrote Mme. de Maintenon in 1681,[204]
"have to-day taken a walk, holding each other's arms and laughing
heartily; we are not more in accord for this." There can never be too
much cleverness, but there is an inconvenience in there being nothing
behind the wit, and this is one of the rocks towards which Louis XIV.
was pushing the French nobility. He made it impossible for those pacing
his antechambers to indulge in any intellectual effort other than that
of seeking pretty phrases to amuse the listeners.

A gentleman of quality commences his day at eight in the morning
standing in waiting before the door of the king. Salutes are given and
returned. The elegants comb their locks, glancing out of the corner of
their eyes at those entering. Molière permits us to be present at the
"final assault" through verses but little known:

    Grattez du peigne a la porte[205]
    De la chambre du Roi;
    Ou si, comme je prévoi,
    La presse s'y trouve forte,
    Montrez de loin vôtre chapeau,
    Ou montez sur quelque chose
    Pour faire voir votre museau,
    Et criez sans aucune pause,
    D'un ton rien moins que naturel;
    "Monsieur l'huissier, pour le marquis un tel"
    Jetez-vous dans la foule, et tranchez du notable,
    Coudoyez un chacun, point du tout quartier,
    Pressez, poussez, faites le diable
    Pour vous mettre le premier.[206]

M. le Marquis enters. The chamber is already crowded. He "gains ground
step by step," succeeds in seeing the King put on his shoes, for Louis
performs this act with his own royal hands, and thus passes the first
hour. The exciting event is repeated in the evening when the King takes
off his shoes. The Marquis had already, at one o'clock, witnessed the
consumption of the royal soup, and two or three times in the course of
the day had delighted his eyes with the sight of the King passing to
and fro on his way to mass or to take the fresh air.

During the intervals, the courtiers were charged with certain puerile
occupations. The round of homages were made to the various members of
the royal family and the prominent personages of the day, and there was
gambling and other pleasures. The only relief for this complete idleness
was to be found in an active campaign if there happened to be a war on
hand. Let the courtier be admired for being able under such adverse
circumstances to keep his wit awake and alert for attack and response,
and also for the capacity of finding the military virtues when again
called upon to exercise them.

Fortunately, the latter virtues were deeply ingrained in the breasts of
the French gentlemen of this period, and it is not to their discredit if
the other faculties, mental and physical, the exercise of which was
plainly discouraged by the King, should have so fallen into disuse that
their children suffered. The final descendants of four or five
generations of those living this absurd life were the _émigrés_ of the
great Revolution, all heroes, almost all clever, or at least appearing
so, and in general people of wit, but without character. This fact can
hardly be too much emphasised: never has a monarch laboured with greater
skill and method than Louis XIV. in the successful attempt to annihilate
the nobility and to ruin its reputation. This is one of the most serious
souvenirs of the wars of the Fronde.

It was with the women as with the men--the same subjection, the same
emptiness of life, from which arose the weakness of Mademoiselle for
Mme. de Montespan. The situation of recognised mistress "affects
nothing"; Mademoiselle had never considered that the virtue of others
concerned her. The novelty of the situation, the unexpected prerogatives
accruing to the new position, and the habits resulting, gave rise to
some of the most curious incidents of the reign, and also strengthened
an intimacy which survived many shocks.

As soon as Louis XIV. formally established his mistresses at Court, it
had been needful to frame new rules of etiquette. At first these rules
were understood rather than formulated, but contemporary writers give
evidence of their existence. It was the new regulations which gave
scandal, rather than the fact of a weakness too common to all men of all
times. The people had found the phrase suitable enough when it ran to
gaze on "the three queens" in one carriage; Mlle. de La Vallière and
Mme. de Montespan were publicly at the same time occupying the rank of
secondary wives to the King. When the royal family made its solemn
visits to any of its members who were mortally ill, these two ladies
arrived after the King and Queen. Mademoiselle met them at the death-bed
of Mme. Henriette; "Mme. de Montespan and La Vallière came." She met
them again over the cradle of a daughter of Louis XIV. and of
Marie-Thérèse, who died as an infant. "I found her in the last
extremity.... We staid almost the entire night watching her die; Mme.
de Montespan and Mme. de La Vallière were also there." The latter
escaped from such honours as often as she could. Mme. de Montespan liked
them better, and added to them. She had placed herself upon the footing
of the Queen in regard to ordinary visits, which she never returned.
"Never," says Saint-Simon, "not even to Monsieur or Madame or to the
Grande Mademoiselle, or to the Hôtel de Condé."

The same hauteur was displayed in the manner of receiving the princes
and princesses of the blood, and this "exterior of Queen" followed her
into the retreat! All were accustomed to it.

"The habit of respect was preserved without murmur," says again
Saint-Simon, who recalled Mme. de Montespan, disgraced and passing her
time in penitence, nevertheless continuing to hold court in her
convent,[207] with as royal an etiquette as at Saint-Germain or

     The back of her armchair was formed by the foot-piece of the
     bed, and there was no other chair in the room. Monsieur and the
     Grande Mademoiselle had always loved her, and often went to see
     her; for these, chairs were brought, and also for Madame la
     Princesse; but Mme. de Montespan did not dream of deranging
     herself for her own people nor for those they brought with
     them.... One can judge by this how she received "all the

The "all the world," which included some of the most distinguished,
contented themselves with small "chairs with backs," or simple camp
stools. No one was offended, and "all France came"; I do not know by
what fantasy it was considered a duty to make visits from time to
time. She spoke to each like a queen holding her court, who honours in
"addressing." Marie-Thérèse herself, in the time in which Mme. de
Montespan was the actual sovereign, had submitted to the long empire of
custom. In 1675, the fourth year of the war in Holland, Louis XIV. being
with the army while Mme. de Montespan was at her château at Clagny, one
of their sons was "slightly ill."[208] The Queen considered it her duty
to visit the child and to comfort the mother. She went to seek Mme. de
Montespan, and led her one day to the Trianon, another to dine in some
favourite convent, an example which brought the crowd to Clagny and made
an end of hesitancy. "The wife of her firm (_solide_) friend," wrote
Mme. de Sévigné, "visited her, and afterward the entire family in turn.
She takes precedence of all the Duchesses." (July 3, 1675.)

There had been a time in which this fashion of ignoring rank would have
excited the indignation of Mademoiselle; but this time was far distant,
farther than she herself realised. In 1667 she had cried very loud
because her second sister, Mademoiselle d'Alençon, had made a
_mésalliance_ in marrying a simple seigneur, the Duc de Guise, and she
had looked very gloomily at the pair. The time had passed for such
pride, as the poor woman was herself ready for a worse _mésalliance_.
Her patience was at an end. Her agitation while Louis XIV. was
attempting marriage negotiations with the Duc de Savoie must not be
forgotten. No prince had thought of her since this affront. She was
considered too old. She would not confess this to be the case, but she
felt it, and a tempest gathered in the depths of her heart. The storm
burst in 1669. It is impossible to say in what measure nature alone was
responsible, and what was due to the atmosphere of moral disorder and
voluptuousness which Mademoiselle was now inhaling at the Court in the
frequent companionship of the favourite. One thing is certain, the
Grande Mademoiselle did not try to struggle against the passion which
seized her; her attitude was rather that of a person who sought its


[Footnote 163: The Mlles. de Nemours were daughters of Elisabeth de
Vendôme, sister of the Duc de Beaufort, and of Henri de Savoie, Duc de
Nemours, who was killed in a duel by his brother-in-law (July 30, 1652).
The younger sister married Alphonse VI. June 28, 1666.]

[Footnote 164: Claude Le Pelletier, then President of Inquests. After,
he was Minister of State and Controller-General of Finances.]

[Footnote 165: Mlle. d'Alençon, the second of the half-sisters of

[Footnote 166: _Archives de Chantilly._]

[Footnote 167: _[OE]uvres de Louis XIV. Lettres particulières_, Paris,

[Footnote 168: _L'ambassadeur de la Fuente au roi d'Espagne_; Paris,
January 27, 1664. (_Archives de la Bastile._) The Princesse de Savoie
refused by Louis XIV; had decided to marry the Duc de Parma.]

[Footnote 169: _Mémoires de Mme. de Motteville._]

[Footnote 170: The Archbishop of Embrun to Father Brienne; Turin Aug. 1,

[Footnote 171: La Fontaine: _La Fille_, fable, published for the first
time in the edition 1679.]

[Footnote 172: Marie-Jeanne-Baptiste de Nemours married Charles Emmanuel
II., May 11, 1665.]

[Footnote 173: And not Madame Henriette, as has been said in error.]

[Footnote 174: Bethléem was a suburb of Clamecy.]

[Footnote 175: Mme. de La Fayette, _Histoire de Madame Henriette_.]

[Footnote 176: _Mémoires de Mme. de Motteville._]

[Footnote 177: See Raoul Allier, _La Cabale des Dévots_.]

[Footnote 178: Lenten sermons for the year 1662.]

[Footnote 179: Letter of March 29, 1680.]

[Footnote 180: _Archives de la Bastille_, by François Ravaisson, vols.
iv., v., and vi., _passim_.]

[Footnote 181: See the review of the play in _Molière_ of the _Grands
Écrivains de la France_ (Hachette).]

[Footnote 182: Allusion to certain talismans.]

[Footnote 183: _Archives de la Bastille_: Rapport de la Reynie,
lieutenant-general of police, à Louvois (1680, no other date).]

[Footnote 184: _La Magie dans l'Inde antique_, by Victor Henry.]

[Footnote 185: Interrogatory of June 30, 1668. Mme. de Bougy was the
widow of the Marquis of this name, lieutenant-general. La Duverger was
occupied with magic. The Marquis de Ravetot had married Catherine de
Grammont, daughter of the Marshal.]

[Footnote 186: Another name for Lesage.]

[Footnote 187: _Histoire de l'Opéra en Europe_, by M. Romain Rolland.
Cf. _Histoire de la Musique dramatique en France_, by Chouquet, _Les
Origines de l'Opéra français_, by Nuitter and Thoinan.]

[Footnote 188: The first opera worthy of the name was _Pomone_, by
Cambert. It will be learned in special works how French opera differed
from Italian and through what a chain of circumstances it occurred that
a Florentine, Baptiste Lulli, was the true founder.]

[Footnote 189: See above.]

[Footnote 190: A selection of the operas of Lulli, for piano and voice,
has appeared in the Collection Michaelis.]

[Footnote 191: Letter dated December 1, 1673.]

[Footnote 192: _Introduction par M. le Comte d' Haussonville, aux
Souvenirs sur Mme. de Maintenon._]

[Footnote 193: _Kant als Mensch_, by Erich Adickes.]

[Footnote 194: Romain Rolland.]

[Footnote 195: _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle.]

[Footnote 196: _OEuvres galantes en vers et en prose_, by M. Cotin.]

[Footnote 197: For this see _Les Ennemis de Racine_, by F. Deltour; _Les
Époques du Théâtre français_, and _Les Études critiques sur l'Histoire
de la Littérature française_ by M. F. Brunetière; the memoirs and
correspondence of the times; the collection of _Mercure galant_; _les
préfaces de Racine_, etc.]

[Footnote 198: Criticism by Boursault.]

[Footnote 199: Deltour, _Les Ennemies de Racine_.]

[Footnote 200: _Gazette de Loret_, January 13, 1663.]

[Footnote 201: _Mémoires sur la vie et les ouvrages de Jean Racine_, by
Louis Racine.]

[Footnote 202: See the volume by MM. Jean Lemoine and André
Lichtenberger, _De La Vallière à Montespan_.]

[Footnote 203: _Souvenirs sur Mme. de Maintenon._--_Les Cahiers de Mlle.
d'Aumale_, with an _Introduction_ by M. G. Hanotaux.]

[Footnote 204: May 27, to M. de Montchevreuil.]

[Footnote 205: "_Frappez_" would have been misunderstood.]

[Footnote 206: _Remerciement au Roi_ (1663).]

[Footnote 207: The Convent of Saint-Joseph, rue Saint Dominique; Mme. de
Montespan had constructed in it an apartment for herself.]

[Footnote 208: The Comte de Vexin, who died young.--Mme. de Sévigné,
letter dated June 14, 1675.]


     The Grande Mademoiselle in Love--Sketch of Lauzun and their
     Romance--The Court on its Travels--Death of
     Madame--Announcement of the Marriage of Mademoiselle--General
     Consternation--Louis XIV. Breaks the Affair.

In the spring of 1669, Louis XIV. one day was listening to the Comtesse
de Soissons sing. She was the second of the Mazarin nieces, and the only
really wicked one in the family. She sang a new song containing many
naughty couplets, in which mud was thrown upon some of the courtiers.
Men and women received their packet under the guise of mock praise,
according to a fashion much in vogue. The phrase "mock praise" had
become the name of a form of satire, which made an almost unique
literature. The King permitted the couplets to pass in silence. He did
not even protest at this one:

    Et pour M. Le Grand,[209]
    Il est tout mystère;
    Quand il est galant,
    Il a comme La Vallière
    L'esprit pénétrant.

The Countess then arrived at a couplet on Puyguilhem, better known under
the name of Lauzun.[210]

    De la cour
    La vertu la plus pure
    Est en Péguilin....

At this place the King interrupted: "If it is wished to vex him, they
are wrong, but when people act as he has done, they must be let alone;
as for others, they are badly treated." The sudden displeasure of the
King at the mention of Puyguilhem caused a general silence, and the song
stopped at this point.

The Grande Mademoiselle was present at this scene, and was surprised to
discover that she was not indifferent to its import. Up to this time,
she had scarcely known Lauzun, who did not belong to her coterie. "It
pleased me," says her _Mémoires_, "to hear the manner in which the King
spoke of him; I felt some instinct of the future." This was the first
warning of the passion which had already insinuated itself into the
depths of her heart; but she did not yet comprehend it. The idea came to
her, however, of seizing an occasion to converse with Lauzun. She felt
an inclination for this at once. "He has," said she, "a manner of
explaining himself which is very extraordinary." Mademoiselle was
interested, but she still believed that it was only the conversational
capacity which pleased her in the little cadet of Gascony. She began to
query, however, why, having been sufficiently content during her five
years of exile, she was now so willing to remain a fixture. The year had
ended before she found a satisfactory response to this question: "I went
in the month of December (the 6th) to Saint-Germain, from which I did
not depart. I soon accustomed myself to it. Ordinarily, I only stayed
three or four days, and my present long sojourn surprised every one."

On the 31st, she decided at length to return to Paris: "I was very bored
there, and could not discover what I had done at Saint-Germain which had
so much diverted me." She hastened to rejoin the Court, without knowing
why, and commenced again her conversations with Lauzun, but still
remained unconscious of any sentiment. She only knew that she was
troubled and agitated, and discontented with her condition, and that she
felt a desire to marry. The desire dated back a long time, but of late
it had become so insistent that Mademoiselle was forced to examine
herself seriously.

The passage in which she relates her discovery is charmingly natural and
significantly true:

     I reasoned with myself (for I did not speak to any one) and I
     said, 'this is no longer a vague thought; it must have some
     object.' I did not discover who it was. I sought, I dreamed,
     but could not find out. Finally, after some days of anxiety, I
     perceived that it was M. de Lauzun whom I loved, who had glided
     into my heart. I thought him the most worthy man in the world,
     the most agreeable; nothing was lacking to make me happy but a
     husband like him, whom I should love and who would love me
     devotedly; that heretofore I had never been loved; that it was
     necessary once in life to taste the sweetness of being adored by
     some one, which would make worth while the sufferings caused by
     the pangs of love.

This explanation of her own heart was followed by days of intoxication.
Mademoiselle lived in a dream, and all was easy, all was arranged: "It
appeared to me that I found more pleasure in seeing him and in talking
to him than heretofore; that the days in which he was absent, I was
bored, and I believe that the same feeling came to him; that he did not
care to confess this, but the pains he took to come wherever he was
likely to meet me made the fact clear." In the absence of Lauzun, she
sought solitude in order to think of him freely. "I was delighted to be
alone in my chamber; I formed plans of what I could do for him which
would give him a higher position."

One single thought, characteristic of her generation, came to trouble
her happiness; she queried of herself if the great princesses of the
theatre of Corneille would have married a cadet of Gascogne. Assuredly,
passion blows where it listeth. Corneille had never denied this; but he
had maintained that the will should render us masters of our affections,
and his plays bear witness that love, even when founded in a just
feeling of admiration, can efface itself before the sentiment of the
duty owed to rank. Happily, poets, even when they are named Corneille,
sometimes contradict themselves, and Mademoiselle, who had seen plays
since the days of swaddling clothes, well knew her _répertoire_. She now
recalled for her comfort a passage in the _Suite du Menteur_ which
clearly established the "predestination of marriage, and the foresight
of God," so that it was a Christian duty to submit without resistance to
sentiments sent to us "from the sky."

Although sure of her own memory, which was indeed excellent,
Mademoiselle sent in great haste to Paris to secure a copy of the play,
and found the page (Act IV.) in which Mélisse confides to Lise his love
for Dorante:

    Quand les ordres du ciel nous ont faits l'un pour l'autre,
    Lise, c'est un accord bientôt fait que le nôtre.
    Sa main entre les c[oe]urs, par un secret pouvoir,
    Sème l'intelligence avant que de se voir;
    Il prépare si bien l'amant et la maîtresse,
    Que leur âme au seul nom s'émeut et s'intéresse.
    On s'estime, on se cherche, on s'aime en un moment;
    Tout ce qu'on s'entredit persuade aisément;
    Et, sans s'inquiéter de mille peurs frivoles,
    La foi semble courir au-devant des paroles.

How was it possible to doubt for a single instant after having read
these verses that there is impiety in disobeying the "commands" to love
which come to us from on high? Nevertheless, serious conflicts took
place in the soul of the royal pupil of Corneille. Sometimes she
represented to herself with vivacity the joys of marriage, among the
keenest of which would be the witnessing the vexation of her heirs, who
were already beginning to find that she was making them wait too long,
and whom she longed to disappoint. Sometimes her mind could only dwell
upon the scandal which such a _mésalliance_ would cause, the reprobation
of some, and the laughter of others, and then her pride rose in arms.
She thus on one day desired the marriage eagerly, while on the next she
detested the thought of it, the vacillation depending upon the fact of
her having between times seen or not seen M. de Lauzun.

This struggle between the head and the heart was prolonged during
several weeks;

     finally, after having often passed and repassed the pro and con
     through my brain, my heart decided the affair, and it was in
     the Church of Recollects in which I took my final resolution.
     Never had I felt so much devotion in church, and those who
     regarded me perceived that I was much absorbed; I believe that
     God surprised me with His commands. The next day, which was the
     second of March, I was very gay.

If Mademoiselle had been of the age of Juliet, this would have been a
pretty romance. But she was perhaps slightly too mature to play with the
grand passion.

The man who was the cause of these agitations is one of the best-known
figures of his times. Traces of him are found in all the contemporary
writings. The singularity of his personality joined to the prodigies of
his luck, good and bad, had made him an object of interest to his
contemporaries. It was of him that La Bruyère said: "No one can guess
how he lives."[211] The political world, the ministers at the head,
observed him with an anxious attention, because he had accomplished the
miracle of becoming the favourite of the King, while possessing
precisely the defects which Louis XIV. feared the most. Lauzun did not
attain the position of such a favourite as the Constable de Luynes under
Louis XIII., but he secured sufficient influence to accumulate offices
and honours.

Antonin Nompar de Caumont, Marquis de Puyguilhem, later Comte de Lauzun,
was born in 1633 (or 1632) of an ancient family of Périgord. His parents
had nine children and nothing to give to the younger ones; but their
birth assured to this youthful throng access to the Court and hope of
aid from it. The third of the boys resembled Poucet in form and also
possessed his keenness of mind. It was decided to send him to seek his
fortune, not in the forest, as with the hero of the tale, but in the
vicinity of the Court of France, the parents being convinced that with
his acuteness he would not permit himself to be eaten by the ogre, but
would rather succeed in devouring others.

The Maréchal de Gramont, first cousin of the old Lauzun, saw arrive at
his mansion a very little man, with the face of "a flayed cat,"[212]
surrounded with flaxen hair, who claimed to be fourteen years of age.
This grotesque person was as lively as a sparrow and Gascon to the tips
of his fingers.

The Marshal kept him and provided for his education. In winter the
little man went to the "academy" to learn to dance, to shoot, and to
ride. In the summer he campaigned with a cavalry regiment belonging to
his uncle. There was apparently no plan for serious study of any kind,
nor even any attention paid to making the youth read. Complete ignorance
was still accepted among the nobility without remark; there had been
little change for the better in this respect since the previous century.
The parents of Lauzun had well judged. In a short time the boy had
wormed himself into the most imposing mansions, the most sacred
chambers. He was seen with the King, he was met in the company of
beautiful ladies. The Court and the city became familiar with his
furtive and impudent physiognomy, which soon grew haughty and insolent.
At eighteen, his father gave him his first military charge. At
twenty-four, he possessed a regiment; then suddenly, when the King came
to power, he received advancements, favours, an always increasing and
inexplicable credit, which aroused for him the hatred of Louvois, for in
the frequent discussions in relation to the service, "the favourite
always conquered." One of his tricks, which was unparalleled for
impudence, and the discovery of which might well have crushed him for
ever, ended in proving his strength.


Cliché Braun, Clément & Cie.


By permission of Messrs. Hachette & Co.]

At about the time when he attracted the attention of the Grande
Mademoiselle, the insatiable little man extracted from his master (under
the condition of secrecy for fear of Louvois) the promise of being
shortly made Grand Master of Artillery. Lauzun was foolish enough not to
be silent. Louvois, once warned, made such strong and convincing
opposition that the King was aroused, and the favourite heard no more of
the appointment. In his anxiety he appealed to Mme. de Montespan. She
was his great friend and promised her aid; but he was distrustful and
wished to "have his mind clear"; then occurred a scene which outraged
Saint-Simon himself, as he related it long after. This writer avows in
his _Mémoires_ that it would have been incredible "if the truth had not
been attested by all the Court."

Like most great workers, Louis XIV. was orderly and methodical in
everything. He had fixed hours for his ministers and for appearing in
public, hours for his wife and for his mistresses. It could always be
known where he was and what he was doing. Mme. de Montespan's hour was
in the afternoon. With the complicity of a chambermaid Lauzun was
introduced into the room, concealed himself under the bed, and by
keeping his ears open soon "cleared his mind." Mme. de Montespan did not
forget him in her conversation, but he heard himself severely criticised
and his bad character exploited; the slight dependence which could be
placed upon him and his arrogance towards Louvois were also emphasised.
All these charges were made with so much wit that the King, carried
away, replied with almost as little charity.

The listener under the bed, through rage and constraint, was thrown into
a "great perspiration." Finally the King returned to his own affairs and
Mme. de Montespan to hers, which were to attire themselves for a ballet.
After her toilet, Madame found Lauzun at her door. He offered
his hand and demanded if he dared flatter himself that she had
remembered him with the King. She assured him that she had not failed to
do so, and expatiated upon "all the services which she had just rendered
him." M. de Lauzun permitted her to finish, only forcing her to walk
slowly, and then softly in a low voice repeated, word for word, all that
had passed between the King and herself, without leaving out a single
phrase; and always retaining the sweet and gentle voice, he proceeded to
call her the most infamous names, assured her that he would "spoil her
face," and led her most unwillingly to the ballet, more dead than alive,
and almost without consciousness.

The King and Mme. de Montespan both believed that it was only the devil
himself who could have so accurately reported what had been said.
Royalty and the mistress were in trouble, and in a "horrible rage"; they
had not yet recovered their equanimity when the favourite recommenced
his intrigues.

Three days after this apparently inexplicable event, he came to break
his sword before the King, declaiming that he would no longer serve a
prince who forswore his word for a ---- (the word cannot be repeated).
The conduct of Louis XIV. at this juncture has remained famous. He
opened the window and threw out his cane, saying that he should regret
having struck a gentleman.

The next day Lauzun found himself in the Bastile, and it might have been
supposed for a long sojourn, under a monarch who never as a child had
pardoned a lack of respect. The public was still more astonished to
learn, at the end of the second month, that it was the King who sought
pardon, and Lauzun who held his head high, refusing recompense and
asserting that the prison was preferable to the Court.

The feelings of Louvois and others can be imagined during the strange
interchange of visits between Saint-Germain and the Bastile, for the
purpose of obtaining from this dangerous personage the acceptance of the
much-desired charge of Captain of the Body Guard; also the alarm at the
prompt[213] return of the favourite, more of a spoiled child than before
the punishment.

Whence came this credit with a prince so little susceptible to
influence, who had always pretended to be as opposed to the rule of
favourites as of prime ministers? In what did this little Lauzun show
special merit? and what attracted women who pursued and sought his
favour through cajoleries and gifts? Little Poucet he still was; for he
had not increased in stature. "He is," wrote Bussy-Rabutin, "one of the
smallest men God has ever made."[214] He had not become more beautiful.
We can on this point believe the testimony of Mademoiselle herself.
However strong her passion, she is yet able to paint Lauzun in these
terms, writing to Mme. de Noailles: "He is a small man. No one can say
that his figure is not the straightest, prettiest, most agreeable. The
limbs are fine; he has good presence in all that he does; but little
hair, blond mixed with grey, ill-combed, and often somewhat greasy; fine
blue eyes, but generally red; a shrewd air; a pretty countenance. His
smile pleases. The end of his nose is pointed and red; something
elevated in his physiognomy; very negligent in attire; when, however, it
appeals to him to be careful, he looks very well. Behold the man!"

This is not an alluring picture. There was but little to attract. It was
murmured that he possessed secret methods of making himself beloved. "As
for his temper and manners," continues Mademoiselle, "I defy any one to
understand them, to explain or to imitate them." The world was not
entirely of this opinion. It could recognise at least that M. de Lauzun
was "the most insolent little man born in the century,"[215] also the
most malicious. Many cruel traits were ascribed to him, and his fashion
of turning on his heel and plunging into the crowd before his victims
had regained their composure was well known.

The world was also well assured that the favourite was an intriguer.
Lauzun was always occupied with some machination, even against those to
whom he was indifferent; this kept his hand in. For the rest,
Mademoiselle was right; he was _not_ understood. He was very
intelligent. His clever phrases were repeated. For example, his response
to the wife of a minister who said rather foolishly, in emphasising the
trouble her husband gave himself: "There is nothing more embarrassing
than the position of the one who holds _la queue de la poêle_, is
there?" "Pardon, Madame, there are those who are within."

But Lauzun also loved to play the imbecile and to utter with the tone of
a simpleton phrases without sense; he indulged in this singular taste
even before the King. The contrast was great between his pretensions to
the "haughty air" and the desire to be imposing and the habit of
adorning himself in grotesque costumes in order to see whether any one
dared to laugh at M. de Lauzun. He was once found at home arrayed in a
dressing gown and great wig, his mantle over the gown, a nightcap upon
his wig, and a plumed hat above all. Thus attired, he walked up and down
scanning his domestics, and woe to him who did not keep his countenance.

He was at once avaricious and lavish, ungrateful and the reverse,
delighting in evil but at the same time loyal as relative or friend
while not ceasing to be dangerous. He undertook at one time to advance
in the world his nephew, lately come from Périgord. He furnished him
with a purse and took the trouble to present him at Court, at which
their apparition was an event. They were pointed out to every one, and
no one, not even the King, composed as he was by profession, could help
laughing; Lauzun had indulged in the fantasy of dressing his nephew in
the costume of his grandfather. The poor lad felt so ridiculous that he
almost died from shame, and fled from Paris without daring to show
himself again.

In this freak, his uncle had not acted maliciously: he had simply
disregarded consequences. There was certainly a strain of madness in
Lauzun. If not too large, a tinge of this kind often gives to people a
certain fascination. It had captivated Mademoiselle, who in trying to
define her attraction for Lauzun was forced to conclude, "Finally, he
pleased me; and I love him passionately."

The King had also not been insensible to this indefinable charm, but it
must be said that he had been slightly dazzled by the perfection of the
qualities of a courtier which were shown by this half-madman. The Court
of France possessed no more servile being bowing down before the master
than "the most insolent little man seen during the century." This Gascon
played comedies of devotion for the benefit of Louis XIV. and flattered
him in the most shameful manner, which succeeded only too well.

The King was persuaded that M. de Lauzun loved him alone, lived but for
him, and had no thought apart, and the King was touched by this
illusion. He found such absolute devotion delightful, and was ready to
pardon much to the man who gave so good an example to other courtiers.

But even in giving full weight to the originality and the
unscrupulousness of this man, which undoubtedly added to his force, and
also bearing in mind that Louis XIV. did not entirely escape a certain
terror which his favourite inspired, it is still difficult to account
for a success so disproportioned to the merit. Lauzun had almost reached
the heights when the mad strain became ascendant and ruined him. Once
decided upon her desires, Mademoiselle became completely absorbed in
finding the best means of satisfying these. The first steps appeared to
be the most difficult. Considering her rank, the advances must be made
by her, and it fell to the Grande Mademoiselle to demand the hand of M.
de Lauzun. Everything had been prepared and the Princess did not
anticipate a refusal. But it was not sufficient to be married; she
wished to live her romance, to be loved, and to be told so, and this
delight was not easy to attain. "I do not know," says she, "if he
perceived what was in my heart. I was dying of desire to give him an
opportunity to tell me what his feelings were to me. I knew not how to
accomplish this."

Probably in all the Court there did not exist another woman so naïve as
Mademoiselle in regard to the manipulation of a lover! After having
seriously thought over the matter, she decided upon a classic expedient.
She resolved to tell Lauzun that it was a question of an alliance, and
that she wished to ask his advice. If he loved her, he would certainly
betray himself. She entered upon the attempt, on the same second of
March on which she had awakened so gaily, and met her lover in the
palace of the Queen, at the time when that lady retired to her
_oratoire_ to "pray God."

While Marie-Thérèse was prolonging her devotions a certain freedom was
permitted in the anteroom.

"I went to him and led him near a window. With his pride and his haughty
air, he appeared to me the Emperor of all the world. I commenced: 'You
have testified so much friendship for me during so long a time, that I
have the utmost confidence in you, and I do not wish to act without your
advice.'" Lauzun protested, as was fitting, his gratitude and his
devotion, and Mademoiselle continued: "It is plainly to be seen that the
King wishes to marry me to the Prince de Lorraine; have you heard this
mentioned?" No, he had "heard nothing of it." Mademoiselle poured out
some confused explanations as to her reasons for wishing to remain in
France, in the hope of finding at length true happiness. "For myself,"
concluded she, "I cannot love what I do not esteem." Lauzun approved
all and demanded: "Do you think of marrying?" She responded naïvely, "I
become enraged when I hear people calculating upon my succession." "Ah,"
said he, "nothing would give me greater delight than to marry." At this
moment, the Queen came out of the _oratoire_ and it was necessary to
part. Lauzun had betrayed nothing. Nevertheless, Mademoiselle felt very
happy: "I thought, there is one important step taken, and he can no
longer mistake my sentiments; on the first occasion, I will learn his. I
was well content with myself and with what I had done."

Lauzun had in fact really comprehended that the Grande Mademoiselle was
throwing herself at his head, and he was well pleased to enter into the
game at all risks, in order to gain what he could. Without actually
reaching the marriage ceremony, the love of a grand princess can be of
advantage in many ways. He took pains, therefore, to renew the
conversation, and employed all his art, all his wit, in default of
feeling, in keeping the flame alight in the breast of the old maid and
in flattering the weaknesses which united with the movements of her
heart in increasing the desire for marriage. Mademoiselle could not
support the vision of the heirs always on the watch; Lauzun accentuated
and sympathised with her annoyance at overhearing such phrases as "This
one will have that territory, another will inherit this land." "I find
your vexation very reasonable," said he, "for one should live as long
as possible and not love those who desire our death."

Mademoiselle could not resign herself to growing old. This was not
coquetry, of which she could not be accused; it was the conviction that
on account of her high birth she was a privileged creature. She said
very seriously, "People of my quality are always young," and she dressed
as at twenty, and continued to dance.

Lauzun attacked this delicate subject and did not hesitate to speak
unpleasant truths before offering the soothing balm held in reserve. It
was his habit to treat women brutally in order to make them submissive,
and in this case there were double reasons for doing so. "His maxim,"
relates Saint-Simon, "was that the Bourbons must be rudely treated and
the rod must be held high over their heads, without which no empire
could be preserved over them." This system had succeeded tolerably well
with Louis XIV. Lauzun could well believe, in these early times, that it
would also be successful with his cousin, so humbly did she accept his

He said to her: "I find that you are right to take a husband, nothing in
the world being so ridiculous, no matter what may be the rank, as to see
a woman of forty wrapped up in the pleasures of the world, like a girl
of fifteen, who thinks of nothing else. At this age, a woman should be a
nun or at least a _dévote_, or she should remain at home modestly

He admitted that Mademoiselle, on account of her high rank, might
constitute an exception, and that she might be permitted at long
intervals to hear one or two acts of the opera; but her duty as old maid
was "to attend vespers, and to listen to sermons, to receive the
benediction, to go to assemblies for the poor, and to the hospitals." Or
else to marry; this was the alternative which pointed his moral. "For
once married," continued he, "a woman can go anywhere at any age; she
dresses like others, to please her husband, and goes to amusements
because he wishes his wife not to appear peculiar."

Every word impressed itself on the mind of the loving Princess. When
Saint-Simon, who was intimate with Lauzun, read the _Mémoires_ of
Mademoiselle, he found the account of this adventure so true and lively
that he renounced the attempt to relate it himself. "Whoever knew Lauzun
will at once recognise him in all that Mademoiselle relates, and his
voice can almost be heard." Through a very natural contradiction, the
Grande Mademoiselle, even at the height of her passion, preserved "some
regret that she would no longer be queen in foreign lands." Lauzun tried
to banish this regret. He represented to her that the trouble of playing
at royalty

     surpassed the pleasure. If you had been really Queen or Empress
     you would soon have been bored.... You can now dwell here all
     your life.... If you desire to marry you can raise a man to be
     the equal in grandeur and power to sovereigns. Above all, he
     will realise that you have taken pleasure in bringing him to
     prominence; he will be deeply grateful. It would not be needful
     to describe the man who may possess so much honour; for in pleasing
     you and in being your choice, he must of necessity be an estimable
     being. He will lack nothing; but where is he?

This language, so clear in its import to the reader, did not entirely
satisfy Mademoiselle. The poor Princess was ever expecting an avowal or
caresses which never came. Lauzun acted the disinterested friend, the
person who was entirely out of the running, and he detailed all the
reasons which made an unequal marriage distasteful to him. Far from
seeking her, he held himself at a respectful distance when he met her.
"It was I," says she, "who sought him." His reserve and his reticence
added fuel to the flames, and this diverted him, but for the moment he
did not dare to promise himself anything more than greater credit at

In the meantime, the Duchesse de Longueville[216] wished to establish
the Count de Saint-Paul, the one of her sons who resembled "infinitely"
La Rochefoucauld. In spite of the great difference in age--her son was
only twenty--she thought of Mademoiselle, who remained by far the best
match in the kingdom, and commenced overtures. These were eluded, but
with a gentleness which astonished the social world. Mademoiselle had
her reasons: "For myself, who had my own desires buried in my heart, it
did not at all vex me that the report should be spread that there was
question of marrying me to M. de Longueville.[217] It occurred to me
that this might in some measure accustom people to my future action."

For once, the diplomacy of Mademoiselle did not prove a failure, and her
calculations were found to be justified. Some days later, when the
affair was being discussed before Lauzun, one of his friends, who had
perceived that the Princess was listening with pleasure, asked him why
he did not try his fortune.[218] Others joined in the suggestion and all
assured him that nothing was impossible for a man so advanced in the
good graces of the King. Lauzun expressed himself shocked at the idea of
an alliance with Mademoiselle; but on returning to his lodging, he
ruminated the entire night upon this conversation, and from that time
the thought did not appear to him so chimerical. It was necessary,
however, to delay the assurance; the King led the Court into Flanders
and gave the command of the escort to his favourite.

This was a political journey. Spain had been vanquished almost without
resistance in the war of Dévolution[219] (1667-1668). Louis XIV. deemed
it useful to display French royalty in all its pomp to the populations
lately united with his kingdom, by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (May 2,
1668), and all prepared to make a fine figure in a spectacle whose
strangeness finds nothing analogous in modern life.

In 1658, Loret the journalist had valued at about twelve hundred souls
(the servitors were not included) the convoy formed by the Court at its
departure for Lyons. This figure was certainly surpassed in 1670, when
the royal family alone, more than complete, since it included Mme. de
Montespan and Mlle. de La Vallière, took in their train a suite of
several thousand persons, not counting the army of escorts.

This suite was composed of ladies and maids of honour, gentlemen, pages,
domestics of all orders and of both sexes, footmen and valets of valets.
The King even brought his nurse with him. On the other hand, the
nobility were better disciplined than in the times of Mazarin and Anne
of Austria, and no one had dared to remain behind. The departure was
from Saint-Germain, April 28. Pellison wrote the next day to his friend
Mlle. de Scudéry: "It is impossible to tell you how numerous the Court
is; it is much larger than at Saint-Germain or Paris. Every one has

The quantity of luggage gave to this crowd the appearance of a wandering
nomadic tribe. All the personages of high rank took with them complete
sets of furniture. Louis XIV. had on this journey "a chamber of crimson
damask," for ordinary use, and another "very magnificent" where greater
accommodation would be had. The bed of the last was "of green velvet
embroidered with gold, immensely large, which could of itself fill
several small rooms." There were also entire suites of needful furniture
when the King lodged at his ease, and the same for the Queen, beautiful
Gobelin tapestries and a quantity of silver plaques,[221] chandeliers of
silver, and other pieces.

The commissary department carried a monster cooking apparatus and
necessary utensils to supply, morning and evening, several large tables
with food served on plated dishes. When all was unpacked, their
Majesties were "almost as at the Tuileries."

Monsieur could not do without pretty things nor infinite variation of
toilet; he was much encumbered on a journey. Mademoiselle, demanding
little, had nevertheless her rank to maintain, and her "campaign
chamber" was imposing. On one journey, she was obliged to lodge ten days
in a peasant's hut where the ceilings were so low that it was necessary
to increase the height of the room by digging out the ground which
formed the floor, in order to erect the canopy of her bed. Those of the
courtiers obliged, from their rank as chiefs of _Commandments_, to keep
open table led with them a staff of domestics and enough material for an
itinerant inn. Others wished to make themselves conspicuous by the
fineness of their equipage. That of Lauzun had been much admired at his
departure from Paris. "He passed through the St. Honoré," wrote
Mademoiselle, who had come across him by chance; "he was very splendid
and magnificent." The most modest carried at least a camp-bed, under
pain of sleeping upon mother earth during the entire trip.

The train of chariots, carts, and horses, or mules with pack-saddles,
which rolled along the route to Flanders in 1670, can be pictured; also
the difficulty of uniting luggage and owner when the resting-places were
scattered over an entire village or group of villages; the accidents of
all sorts which happened to the caravan, on roads almost always in a
frightful condition, and in traversing rivers often without bridges; the
indifference of some, the impatience of others, and the universal
disorder; the anguish of losing one's cooks if one were a Marie-Thérèse,
the desolation of not finding the rouge and powder if one were Monsieur
or some pretty woman! Surely those who preserved their equanimity
through such trials and under excessive fatigue deserve praise.

Louis XIV. was a good traveller, arranged everything for himself, and
expected others to do as much. He detested groans, timid women, and
those to whom a bed was important. The Queen Marie-Thérèse began to
grumble before actually stepping into her coach, and the fact that she
was in a placid frame of mind during a trip was spread far and wide as
a piece of good news. The frugal suppers and the nights passed in a
waggon, while awaiting the carriage which had missed the way, appeared
to her frightful calamities. The bad condition of the roads made her
weep, and she uttered loud cries in traversing fords. She was once found
in tears, stopping the horses in the open plain and refusing to go on or
to turn back. An intelligent interest in new surroundings did not give
her compensation for her woes, for she possessed no curiosity. The
conferences with which the King entertained the ladies along the route,
upon military tactics and fortifications, mortally bored and wearied the
poor Queen, and she did not know how to conceal her feelings.

To tell the truth, among all the women who pressed behind the King upon
the ramparts of the cities or on the fortifications of old
battle-fields, appearing to absorb his words and explanations,
Mademoiselle was the only one who really listened with pleasure. Since
the exploits during the Fronde, the Princess had always considered
herself as belonging to the profession of arms.

Monsieur had one great resource in travelling. When he joined the King,
he brought with him some choice bits of gossip which entertained the
entire coach. In the evening, when the beds were being anxiously
awaited, he started games, or ordered the King's violins and gave a
dance. If no other place offered, the company would use a barn for the
impromptu ball. Monsieur, however, was much annoyed at any mishaps which
might interfere with his toilet, and could never take accidents of this
kind lightly.

The journey of 1670 was made more difficult by torrents of rain, and the
one who was generally drenched was the Commander-in-chief of the troops,
who was obliged to stand with uncovered head to receive the King's
orders. Monsieur looked with a sort of indignation upon the piteous
countenance of Lauzun, his hair uncurled and dripping, and once said:
"Nothing would induce me to show myself in such a condition. He does not
look at all well with his wet hair; I have never seen a man so

Mademoiselle was more indignant than Monsieur; chiefly over the fact
that any one could consider M. de Lauzun ugly "in any state," and that
the King should gaily expose him to the risk of catching cold. "M. de
Lauzun is always without a hat and has his head drenched. I said to the
King, 'Sire, command him to cover his head; he will be ill.' I said this
so repeatedly that I was afraid my solicitude would be noticed."

Mademoiselle cared but little on her own account for the discomforts of
the journey. No woman made fewer grimaces at a bad supper, or for being
forced to make a bedchamber of her carriage, and sometimes to sleep upon
a chair. She did not, however, enjoy the reputation of being a good
traveller, on account of the insurmountable terror which water
inspired. During a ford, she cried out as loudly as the Queen; the signs
of the King's impatience could not restrain her; "as soon as I see it,"
said she, of the water, "I no longer know what I am doing."

The rest of the party belonging to the caravan resigned themselves to
the discomforts of camping through "the grace of God." It was realised
that any expression of discontent caused the danger of incurring the
royal displeasure, and discomfort was expected as a necessary
accompaniment of a royal progress.

In 1667, Court had passed one night at the Château of Mailly near
Amiens. The Abbé de Montigny, Almoner of the Queen, wrote the next day
to some friends, "Mailly, ladies, is a caravansary. There was such a
crowd that Mme. de Montausier slept upon a heap of straw in a cupboard,
the daughters of the Queen in a barn on some wheat, and your humble
servant on a pile of charcoal."[223] In 1670 the account of the night of
the 3d of May filled many letters. May 3d had been a painful day. The
immense convoy had departed from Saint-Quentin for Landrecies at an
early hour, during a beating rain, which had visibly increased the
water-courses and swamps. Hour by hour the vehicles sank deeper in the
mud and the roads were encumbered with horses and mules, dead or
overcome, with carts sunk in the mire, and with overturned baggage. It
was not long before the chariots met the same fate. The Maréchal de
Bellefonte was forced to abandon his in a slough, and make the remainder
of his way to the resting-place on foot, in the company of Benserade and
two others. M. de Crussol[224] met the water above the doors of the
carriage in traversing the Sambre, and M. de Bouligneux,[225] who
followed him, was forced to unharness in the middle of the stream and to
save himself on one of the horses. When it came to the Queen and
Mademoiselle, it was in vain to promise to conduct them to another ford
reported as "very safe." Their cries and agitation were such that the
attempt was abandoned. They sought shelter in the single habitation on
the bank. It was a poor hut composed of two connecting rooms with only
the ground for floor; on entering, Mademoiselle sank up to the knees in
a muddy hole. Landrecies was upon the other bank of the Sambre. The
night fell and all were dying with hunger, for there had been no meal
since Saint-Quentin. The King, very discontented, declared that no
further attempt should be made to proceed and the night should be passed
in the carriages. Mademoiselle remounted into hers, put on her nightcap
and undressed. She could not, however, close her eyes; "for there was
such a frightful noise." Some one said, "The King and Queen are going to
sup." Mademoiselle ordered herself borne through the mud into the hut,
and found the Queen very sulky. Marie-Thérèse had no bed and was
lamenting, saying "that she would be ill if she did not sleep," and
demanding what was the pleasure in such journeyings.

Louis XIV. added the last touch to her vexation in proposing that the
entire royal family and some intimates should sleep in the largest of
the two rooms, letting the other serve as a military headquarters for
Lauzun. "Look," said the King, "they are bringing mattresses;
Romecourt[226] has an entirely new bed upon which you can sleep."
"What!" cried the Queen, "sleep all together in one room? that will be
horrible!" "But," rejoined the King, "you'll be completely dressed.
There can be no harm. I find none." Mademoiselle, chosen as arbitrator,
found no impropriety, and the Queen yielded.

The city of Landrecies had provided their sovereigns with a "bouillon
very thin," the distasteful appearance of which alarmed Marie-Thérèse.
She refused it with disgust. When it was well understood that she would
not touch it, the King and Mademoiselle, aided by Monsieur and Madame,
devoured it in an instant; as soon as it was all gone, the Queen said,
"I wanted some soup and you have eaten it all." Every one began to
laugh, in spite of etiquette; when there appeared a large dish of
chicken cutlets, also sent from Landrecies, which was eaten with
avidity, soothing the injured feelings of the Queen. "The dish
contained," relates Mademoiselle, "meat so hard that it took all one's
strength to pull a chicken apart."

When the company retired for the night, those not yet prepared arrayed
themselves in nightcaps and dressing-gowns,[227] and French royalty for
this memorable night must be represented in the apparel of Argan.

In the corner of the chimney, upon the bed of Romecourt, lay the Queen,
turned so that she might see all that was passing. "You have only to
keep open your curtain," suggested the King; "you will be able to see us

Near to the Queen, upon a mattress, lay Mme. de Bethune, the lady of
honour, and Mme. de Thianges, sister of Mme. de Montespan, pressed
together for lack of space. Monsieur and Madame, Louis XIV. and the
Grande Mademoiselle, Mlle. de La Vallière, and Mme. de Montespan, a
duchess and a maid of honour were crowded on the remaining mattresses,
placed at right angles and proving a most troublesome obstruction to the
officers going and coming on official business to the headquarters in
the other room. Happily, the King at length ordered Lauzun to use a hole
in the outer wall for his commands. The royal dormitory was at last left
in peace, and the occupants could slumber.

At four in the morning, Louvois gave warning that a bridge had been
built. Mademoiselle awakened the King and all got up. It was not a
beautiful spectacle. Locks were hanging in disorder and countenances
were wrinkled. Mademoiselle believed herself less disfigured than the
others, because she felt very red, and she rejoiced, as she found it
impossible to avoid the glance of Lauzun. The royal party mounted into
their carriages and attended mass at Landrecies, after which these
august personages went to bed and reposed a portion of the day.

The same evening Mademoiselle, only half aroused, was severely scolded
by Lauzun for her ridiculous dread of the water. This was very sweet to
her; it being the first time he had taken such a liberty, and the most
passionate women in the early days of love adore the masterful tone. The
two saw each other less often than at Saint-Germain, but with more
freedom. The chances of travel gave, from time to time, the opportunity
for long tête-à-têtes, by which they profited; she, to become more
pressing, he, to make himself more keenly desired.

Lauzun said one day that he thought of retiring from the world. "I am
having a vision of such beautiful and great hopes; and if they are only
delusions I shall die of grief."

"But," said Mademoiselle, "do you never think of marrying?"

"The one thing of importance in marriage," replied he, "would be belief
in the virtue of the lady, for if there had been the slightest lapse I
would have none of her; even if it were a question of yourself, far
above others as you are!"

He said this because there was a rumour that the King had the plan of
marrying Mlle. de La Vallière to his favourite.

Mademoiselle cried out ingenuously: "But you would wish me; for I am
good. 'Do not talk even delightful nonsense, when we are speaking
seriously.' But return then to me."

This was precisely what he did not wish. He recollected all at once that
the Venetian Ambassador was expecting him.

On another occasion, Mademoiselle said to him, in confessing the fact
that she was "entirely resolved to marry," and that her choice was made:
"I intend to speak to the King, and to have the wedding in Flanders;
that will make less stir than at Paris."

"Ah, I beseech you not to do this!" cried Lauzun alarmed, for he did not
consider the ground sufficiently prepared, "I do not wish it; ... I am
absolutely opposed to it." Some days after, they were together looking
through a window and exchanging impressions upon the persons of quality
who were passing, "their forms, their bearing, their appearance, their
wit." At length, Lauzun remarked, "Judging by what I hear, none of these
would suit you?" "Assuredly not," replied Mademoiselle, "I wish that the
person of my choice might go by, that I could point him out to you."

As every one had now passed, she continued: "He must be sought, there is
still some one else." After this, relates her _Mémoires_, "he smiled and
we talked of something else."

They had arrived at the point of smiles and mutual intelligence.
Nevertheless the Court returned to Saint-Germain (June 7th) without
Mademoiselle having obtained the decisive word for which she was meekly
begging. Lauzun opposed some barriers to every advance. Acting through
prudence or calculation, he was to have cause to congratulate himself.

Fifteen days elapsed in _détours_ and feigned flights. Mademoiselle was
exasperated. Comprehending perfectly well that a Gascony cadet could not
say bluntly, "Take me!" she still was so little capable of subterfuge
that she found the "manners of M. de Lauzun towards her extraordinary."
Lauzun was too subtle for one so simple. La Bruyère himself was going to
renounce the hope of penetrating into his motives, and to avow it in the
passage in which he paints him under the name of Straton: "A character
equivocal, unintelligible; an enigma; a problem never solved."

Persuaded that her lover held back through respect, Mademoiselle
resolved to attack affairs boldly. On June 20th, she went to enjoy the
diversions of the fine season[228] at Versailles. Monsieur and Madame
were at their château at Saint-Cloud. Mademoiselle followed the Court.
Lauzun was absent, but he took pains from time to time to appear in the
Queen's salon. One evening, when he had met Mademoiselle and when he was
chaffing her on the subject of the Duc de Longueville, the Princess said
to him vivaciously: "Assuredly I shall marry; but it will not be with
that person. I pray that I may speak with you to-morrow, for I am
resolved to address the King and I desire that all should be finished
before July 1st." He replied: "I am going to-morrow to Paris, and Sunday
without fail I shall be here, and we will then talk over everything; I
begin also to desire to have all ended."

On Sunday (June 29th), towards evening, Lauzun had not yet arrived.
Mademoiselle was notified that the Queen was awaiting her for the daily
drive. She went out quickly, and ran across the Comte d'Ayen,[229] who
had also an appearance of being in haste, and who said to her in
passing, "Madame is dying; I am seeking M. Vallot,[230] whom the King
has commanded me to lead to her!" Below in her carriage the Queen
related the tale of the glass of chicory water and the fact that Madame
believed herself to be poisoned. All were astonished and exclaimed, "Ah,
what a horror!" People looked at each other and did not know what to do.
Marie-Thérèse descended from her carriage and was peacefully entering a
boat on the grand canal, when a gentleman arrived in haste; Madame was
in extremity and besought the Queen not to delay if she wished to see
her alive. The château was speedily regained, where the confusion
recommenced. The Queen demanded every instant: "What shall I do? What
shall I do?" She could not decide to go herself, and she prevented
Mademoiselle from departing without her. Finally, the King appeared. He
took the Queen in his coach with Mademoiselle and the Comtesse de
Soissons. Mlle. de La Vallière and Mme. de Montespan followed. It was
eleven o'clock when the royal family descended at the gate of the
Château Saint-Cloud.

The spectacle which awaited it has been described a hundred times. A
poor little dishevelled figure, pathetic from suffering, and already
drawn by the approach of the dying agony, lay upon the bed. The
unfastened chemise permitted her emaciation to be seen, and she was so
pale that if it had not been for her cries it might have been thought
that the end had already come. We know through Mme. de La Fayette[231]
that the first sentiments of the spectators had been those of pity,
natural in such a case, and here doubled by the sight of the frightful
sufferings and the gentleness of this young and charming being in the
presence of death. The state of Madame had touched even her husband, so
embittered against her by her frivolities, and only the sound of
"weeping was heard in the chamber."

With the entrance of the sovereigns and their suite the aspect of the
room was at once altered. Louis was indeed sincerely affected,
Mademoiselle much moved, and many of the others felt "that they were
losing with Madame all the joy, all the agreeableness, all the pleasures
of the Court."[232] But egotism and intrigue marched on the heels of
their Majesties. Even while weeping, each began to dream over the
consequences of this death. Who would inherit the prestige of Madame?
Whom would Monsieur marry? Would it be the Grande Mademoiselle? How
would this affect the interests of each? The dying woman felt a sudden
chill in the atmosphere. "She perceived with pain the tranquillity of
every one," reports Mademoiselle, "and I have never seen any sight so
pitiable as her state when she realised the real attitude of those
surrounding her bed. The crowd kept on talking, moving about in the
room, almost laughing."

Monsieur was only "astonished" at what was happening. Mademoiselle
having urged him to send for a priest, he said, "Whom shall we call?
Whose name will appear well in the _Gazette_?" This preoccupation truly
reveals Monsieur.

After the departure of the King, who took away others in his train, the
scene again changed. Monsieur had sent for Bossuet, who, in a letter to
one of his brothers, has related details of these last hours. To judge
from this letter, it appears that the presence of the priest at the
bedside of Madame turned all minds from terrestrial preoccupations and
banished all thoughts except those impressed by the grandeur of death.
Madame herself gave the example, proving with her last sigh that she
felt she was accomplishing "the most important action of life."[233] "I
found her fully conscious," said Bossuet, "speaking and acting without
ostentation, without effort, without violence; but so well, so suitably,
with so much courage and piety, that I was completely overcome." Thus
God had the last word!

On returning to Versailles, the Queen quietly ate her supper.
Mademoiselle perceived Lauzun among those present. "In rising from
table, I said to him, 'This is very disconcerting.' He replied, 'Very,
and I am afraid that it may spoil our plans.' I responded, 'Ah, no. No
matter what may happen.'"

The poor woman could not sleep during the night: how rid herself of
Monsieur, if the King should wish "the marriage"? At six in the morning,
word came from Saint-Cloud that Madame was dead. "At this news,"
continues Mademoiselle, "the King resolved to take medicine," and
Mademoiselle, arriving with the Queen, found him in a dressing-gown,
weeping bitterly over the loss of Madame, and very tenderly pitying his
own woe. He said to Mademoiselle: "Come, watch me take medicine; let us
make no more fuss; better act as I am doing." After his draught he
retired, and the morning was passed in his bedchamber speaking of the

In the afternoon, the King dressed and went to consult Mademoiselle, as
the great authority in matters of Court etiquette, upon the proper
arrangements for the funeral ceremony. After these details had been
discussed, the King spoke the word she was expecting and dreading: "'My
cousin, here is a vacant place, will you fill it?' I became pale as
death, and said, 'You are the master, your wish is mine.' He urged me to
speak frankly. I said, 'I can say nothing about this.' 'But have you any
aversion to the idea?' I was silent; he went on, 'I will further the
affair and report to you.'"

In the salons, the crowd of courtiers was busily engaged in remarrying
Monsieur. The question was, "To whom?" and every one looked at the
Grande Mademoiselle. Lauzun bore the situation like a man of spirit,
without troubling himself with useless regrets or feigning a loving
despair which was very foreign to his nature. His manner was free, very
gay, too easy to please Mademoiselle when he congratulated her and
refused to listen to her protestations that "it would never be." "The
King said that he wished you would marry Monsieur; it will be necessary
to obey." He besought her not to hesitate, and dilated on the joys of
grandeur, and the happiness she might have with Monsieur. She responded,
"I am more than fifteen, and I do not propose to accept a life fit only
for children."

Of all the honours attached to the rank of sister-in-law to the King,
one alone appealed to her,--that she would then have a good place in the
royal carriage, instead of being always on the basket seat, and she
represented to Lauzun that the "good place would not long remain
vacant." It would be assigned to the children of the King as soon as
they should be grown up. Once he added: "The past must be forgotten. I
remember nothing of what you have told me; I have lately forgotten all."

Another time, he showed that he was not ignorant of what he was losing.
She had just repeated, "Ah, this shall never be!" "But yes," rejoined
Lauzun, "I shall be glad; for I prefer your grandeur to my own joy and
fortune; I owe you too much to feel otherwise." "He had never before
admitted as much," remarks Mademoiselle. After such delightful
conversations, she shut herself up to weep. The idea of marrying
Monsieur was odious to her, for other reasons besides the desires
aroused by her passion.

Not that she suspected him of having poisoned his wife. Mademoiselle
considered her cousin incapable of such a crime. But she could not bear
the thought of the many favourites of Monsieur and of their power. One
of these, M. de Beuvron,[234] had confirmed this repugnance by coming
insolently and inopportunely to assure her of his protection and of that
of the Chevalier de Lorraine. He frankly told her: "It will be more to
our advantage to have you than a German princess without a sou, who
would only be an expense, while you have so much that the allowance of
Monsieur can be spent for his liberalities; thus we shall come off
better." This was not a clever address to a princess who sincerely loved
money. The following displayed even less tact: "If we aid in making your
marriage, you will be under obligation to us, and you will realise our

Mademoiselle heard all and recounted the conversation to the King. "He
has spoken like a fool," said Louis with his shrewd common-sense.
Mademoiselle could not resign herself to this alliance, and Lauzun
trembled lest he should be held responsible. He came once again, to find
the Princess with the Queen, and said to her:

     I come very humbly to supplicate, that you will speak no more
     to me. I am most unhappy at displeasing Monsieur. He might
     believe that all the difficulties you are making come from me.
     Thus I shall no longer enjoy the honour of addressing you. Do
     not summon me, for I shall not respond. Do not write to me, nor
     address me in any way. I am in despair to be forced to act in
     this fashion; but I must do so for love of you.

She equivocated, tried to retain him. He repeated to her his accustomed
refrain that he must obey, and coldly took leave while she cried out:
"Do not go away! What, shall I speak to you no more?" From that day
Lauzun carefully avoided her. One day, when Mademoiselle requested him
to re-knot her muff ribbon, he replied "that he was not sufficiently
adroit," and yielded to Mlle. de La Vallière. He even avoided glancing
in her direction.

Louis XIV. had found his brother well convinced of the advantage of
marrying many millions; Monsieur only demanded delay, not wishing, with
the rumours which were circulating, to appear too eager to replace the
dead. Mademoiselle also on her side was endeavouring to hinder the
progress of affairs. Success crowned the efforts of both, and the month
of September was well advanced when the King said to his cousin in the
presence of the Queen: "My brother has spoken to me; he wishes in case
you have no children that you should make his daughter your heir,[235]
and he says he will be well content not to have any more offspring,
provided he is assured that my daughter shall marry his son. I
counselled him to desire children, because this could not be a

Monsieur was thirteen years younger than Mademoiselle, and the latter
very well understood the significance of words. She began to laugh. "I
have never heard persons on the brink of marriage say that they did not
wish children, and I hardly know whether this is a courteous
proposition. What does your Majesty think?" The King also laughed. "My
brother has said so many ridiculous things on this subject that I have
advised silence."

The joking continued in spite of the Queen, who cried out, "This is
really disagreeable!" Finally, Mademoiselle concluded in a serious tone:
"Although I am no longer young, I have not reached the age at which
children are impossible.... Such suggestions are most disagreeable to
me." The King also became serious, and warned his cousin that she could
never expect from him the gift of any government or any appointment
which would permit the exercise of power, but only precious stones and
furniture and other playthings. This again was a lesson from the Fronde,
and in his _Mémoires_[236] Louis confirms this same resolution.
Mademoiselle thanked her cousin somewhat ironically for what he had done
to render Monsieur desirable, and, realising by the questions of the
King that some hints had reached his ears, she pictured in covered words
the future of which she had had a glimpse. The Queen demanded her
meaning, but the King remained silent. "I do hope," observed
Mademoiselle in ending, "that I may be permitted to act as I wish and
that the King will not force me against my desires." "No, surely,"
replied Louis, "I will leave you free and will never constrain any one";
he added an instant after, "Let us go to dinner," and they separated.
Some weeks rolled by. The favourites of Monsieur were cold about an
alliance which the temper of Mademoiselle might make somewhat difficult,
and which might in the end prove _not_ to their advantage.[237]

Events moved quietly enough when the Princess one evening in October
supplicated the King that there should be no more said of the project.
Louis XIV. appeared to be indifferent. Monsieur was at first vexed and
then dismissed the subject from his thoughts. Marie-Thérèse alone,
interested neither in her brother-in-law nor in her cousin, "was in
despair," relates Mademoiselle, "for she wishes that we should marry and
have children." But no one paid much attention to the despair of
Marie-Thérèse. Lauzun approved the course of Mademoiselle and ceased to
avoid her. That was all. For an ambitious man, he was not a really
clever schemer; he had too great a fear of being duped. He again assumed
a sombre attitude and refused to hear the name of the one chosen by
Mademoiselle. On a certain Thursday evening, when she had menaced him
with the threat of breathing against the mirror and of writing the name
of the man she loved, midnight sounded during this contest. "Nothing
more can be said," observed Mademoiselle, "for it is already Friday."
The next day, taking a sheet of paper, she wrote distinctly, "It is
you," and sealed it. "That day I met him only on the way to supper. I
said: 'I have the name in my pocket, but I do not wish to give it to you
on Friday.' He responded: 'Give it to me! I promise that I will put it
under my pillow and that I will not open the paper until midnight has
passed.'" She did not trust him, and it did not occur to him to
sacrifice a race that had been arranged for the Saturday. "Ah, well, I
will wait until Sunday," said Mademoiselle with inconceivable patience,
and her only vengeance was to let herself be implored a little, before
giving up the paper. The couple were alone in a corner of the fireplace,
in the salon of the Queen. "I drew forth the leaf, upon which only a
single word was written, which, however, told much; I showed it to him,
and then replaced it in my pocket, afterward in my muff. He urged me
very strongly to give it to him, saying that his heart was beating
rapidly.... Before yielding I said, 'You will reply on the same
leaf.'"... In the evening she did not dare to raise her eyes; he
declared that she was mocking him, that "he was not sufficiently foolish
to be deceived," and this was the theme of the letter which he remitted
to her. At the same time, he thought of the prodigious elevation which
he was beginning to realise was a possibility before him. He was at last
aroused, and could not always refrain from responding seriously to
Mademoiselle. She spoke of the happiness which awaited them, and of her
plans to make him the greatest lord in the kingdom. He counselled her
always to bow before fate, but one day he added: "In marrying, the
temperament of those throwing their fates together should be known. I
will disclose mine." He said that he possessed a nature bizarre and
unsociable, being able to live only in the wake of the King; "thus I
shall be a peculiar and not very diverting husband." Later, he amplified
a little, affirming that he was cured of desire for women, and had no
more ambition. "When a post was proposed to me I refused it. After all,
do you really want me?"--"Yes; I wish you."--"Do you find nothing in my
person which is disgusting?" This question was reasonable enough. Lauzun
was decidedly "unclean"[238]--but it roused the indignation of
Mademoiselle: "When you say that you are afraid of not pleasing, you are
simply mocking; you have pleased too easily in your life; but now about
me, do you find anything unpleasant in my face? I believe that my only
exterior fault is my teeth, which are not fine. That is a defect of my
race, which fact bears its own compensations." "Assuredly" replied he,
and she could not extract the expected compliment.

In the course of these events, the Court returned to the Louvre and the
Tuileries, Mademoiselle to the Luxembourg. After much hesitation Lauzun
consented that Mademoiselle should write a letter in which she should
supplicate the King to forget all that he had said against mixed
marriages, and permit her to be happy. The contemporaneous opinion was
that Lauzun had made the first move. The Spanish _Chargé d'Affaires_
wrote from Paris, December 21: "It is certain, as every one says, that
he has arrived at this point with the authorisation and permission of
the King."[239] The public voice, whose echo has been preserved for us
by the novelists of the period, added that Mme. de Montespan had been
mixed up in the affair, a version which two of her letters to Lauzun
confirm,[240] and that she had obtained the consent of the King by
saying: "Ah, Sire, let him alone. He has merit enough for this."[241]

There was evidently some secret bond between the mistress and Lauzun
which united them when any mischief was at hand. The King had responded
to Mademoiselle without actually saying yes, or no; he confessed that
her letter had astonished him and asked her to reflect again. He
repeated the advice three days later, during a _tête-à-tête_ which took
place behind closed doors at two o'clock in the morning. "I neither
counsel you nor forbid you; but I pray you to consider well." He added
that the affair was being discussed and that many people disliked M. de
Lauzun. "Think over this fact and take your own measures."

[Illustration: =MADAME DE SÉVIGNÉ= From the painting by Pietro Mignard
in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence (Photograph by Alinari)]

The couple profited by the warning. On Monday, December 15, 1670, in the
afternoon, the Ducs de Montausier and de Crégny, the Maréchal d'Albret
and the Marquis de Guitry presented themselves before Louis XIV., and
demanded the hand of the Grande Mademoiselle for M. de Lauzun, "as
deputies from the French nobility, who would consider it a great
honour and grace if the King would permit a simple gentleman to marry a
Princess of the blood."[242] This proceeding was a plan of Lauzun's. It
succeeded with the King, and after he had been thanked in the name of
the entire nobility of the kingdom, Mademoiselle, who was apparently
listening to the reading of a sermon, behind the chair of the Queen, was
notified that M. de Montausier was asking for her. The Duke reported the
good reception which they had received and ended in these terms: "Your
affair is accomplished, but I counsel you not to let things lag; if you
follow my advice, you will marry this very night."

"I was convinced that he was right" adds Mademoiselle, "and I prayed him
to give the same advice to M. de Lauzun if he should see him before I

There is no clearer fact in history than the evidence of the
consternation into which France was thrown by the news that the Duchesse
de Montpensier, granddaughter of Henri IV., was to marry the Comte de
Lauzun, "a simple (qualified) gentleman." To-day, an alliance of this
kind, provided it does not concern the heir to the throne, is only a
piece of society gossip, even in lands still profoundly loyal to
monarchical sentiments. In the seventeenth century such an event touched
so nearly the social hierarchy upon which all rested that Mademoiselle,
in thus confusing social ranks, appeared to have failed seriously in
her duty as Princess.

Louis, as King, had not considered it his duty to oppose. The criticism
was more severe inasmuch as custom, encouraged by illustrious examples,
offered to lovers separated by birth easy means for completing their
private happiness, sustaining at the same time public decorum.
"Marriages of conscience" had been invented for such cases; why not be
content with this means of doing your duty and of satisfying at the same
time conscience and passion? Paris sought a reply to this question, and
the whole city was whispering and busying itself in a manner not easily
to be forgotten.

Ten years later, when the trials of the "Corrupters" disturbed the
community, some one wrote to Mme. de Sévigné that "the last two days
have been as agitated as during the time when the news of the projected
marriage between the Grande Mademoiselle and M. de Lauzun was announced.
All were seeking news and, eager with curiosity, were running from one
house to another to gather details."[243]

The princes and princesses of the blood considered themselves insulted,
and rebelled, a boldness so unexpected, on account of their habitual
submission, that even Louis XIV. was somewhat moved. The timid
Marie-Thérèse gave the example. Mademoiselle came to announce formally
the proposed marriage. "I entirely disapprove," said the Queen in a very
sharp tone, "and the King will never sanction it." "He does approve it,
Madame, that is settled." "You would do better never to marry, to keep
your wealth for my son Anjou."[244] Anger gave the Queen courage to
address the King, who was vexed, and the result was a scene, tears, a
night of despair; but also nothing gained, and finally the Queen was
forced into a public declaration that she would sign the contract.

Monsieur loudly protested. He heaped abuses on the "deputies of French
nobility," reproached Mademoiselle in the presence of the King for being
"without heart," and said that she was a person who should be "placed in
an insane asylum,"[245] and also declared that he would _not_ sign the
contract. The gravest accusation made by Monsieur was a statement,
repeated to all, that Mademoiselle had said that the King had himself
counselled the marriage. In vain Mademoiselle asserted that she had said
nothing of the kind; the charge made a great impression upon Louis, and
he expressed his first regret over the affair. The Prince de Condé,
sometimes taunted with having become, somewhat late in life, an
accomplished courtier, remonstrated respectfully but firmly with the

The old Madame, forgotten in her corner of the Luxembourg, never really
felt the wave of disgust and protest, but she was sufficiently aroused
from her apathy to sign a letter to the King, written in her name by M.
Le Pelletier, President of the Department of Inquests. Outside the Court
circle, Louis XIV. felt himself blamed by all classes of society. The
nobles in general refused to ratify the "Mandate" that the deputies had
given in their name. Without doubt, the honour of this marriage would be
great: the permission given to a princess of the blood to marry so far
beneath her rank, a most unexpected favour from a monarch who had worked
so systematically to undermine the power of the aristocracy; but the
larger portion of the French nobility was so much impressed with the
danger of insulting royalty, and weakening the sentiment of the sanctity
of the Heaven-sent rulers, that it joined in the criticism of the rest
of the nation.

The Parliamentary world and the society of the higher middle class were
equally outraged. It was plain that the marriage could be made only with
the King's consent, and the giving of this was considered a "shame." The
bourgeoisie showed an inconceivable irritation; Segrais heard Guilloire,
Intendant of Mademoiselle, say to his mistress in an excited tone,
knowing very well that he was risking his position, "You are derided and
hated by all Europe." As to the common people, their attitude was
touching. "They were," reports a witness,[246] "in a state of
consternation." They grieved as if their Prince had deceived them.

The enemies of Lauzun increased the discontent and endeavoured to gain
time. Louvois was credited with having persuaded the Archbishop of Paris
to forbid the bans. The minister felt himself directly menaced, and this
was also the opinion of the political world, in which many believed that
the projected marriage was a stroke directed "against M. de Louvois, an
avowed enemy of M. de Lauzun,"[247] by Colbert and Mme. de Montespan.

While the tempest was gathering, the friends of the two lovers pressed
them to hasten the end. "In the name of God," said Rochefort, Captain of
the Guards, "Marry to-day rather than to-morrow!" Montausier "scolded"
them for dallying. Mme. de Sévigné represented to Mademoiselle that they
"were tempting God and the King."[248]

Nothing can be done for people who are walking in the clouds. Lauzun,
"intoxicated with vanity,"[249] believed himself already safe in port,
sheltered from all trouble, with the King and Mme. de Montespan on his
side. Mademoiselle, "dazzled by love," permitted herself to be guided.
Her first desire had been to marry upon the evening of the deputation to
the King, without saying anything about it, but Lauzun refused. "He was
persuaded that Mme. de Montespan would not fail him, and that nothing
could now turn the King against him, and considered everything secure,
saying, "I distrust only you." To marry thus clandestinely would not
satisfy his vanity. He wished that the deed should be done as "from
crown to crown, openly and with all forms observed." He desired the
chapel of the Tuileries, pomp, a crowd, rows of astonished and envious
faces, "rich livery" that he had hastened to order for the occasion. In
short, he longed for the moon and he did not succeed in seizing it.

Tuesday, December 16th, was passed in talking, in expressing
astonishment, in paying compliments. A multitude came to the Luxembourg,
among whom the Archbishop of Reims, brother of Louvois, who said to
Mademoiselle: "Would you do me the injury of choosing any other than
myself to perform the marriage ceremony?" Another had already solicited
the honour, a proof that so far a rupture had not been thought of.
Mademoiselle replied: "M. the Archbishop of Paris has said that he
desired the office."

Wednesday, there was a fresh crowd, Louvois in person and all the
ministers; but there was no longer the same cordiality, and Mademoiselle
herself perceived the difference. "They made low bows, they conversed,
but no longer about the affair." The evening of the same day, the
Princess gave to Lauzun ("awaiting something better," said Mme. de
Sévigné), the Comté of Eu, which represented the first peerage of
France, assuring the first rank, the Principality of Dombes and the
Duchy of Montpensier, of which last Lauzun assumed the title and name.
It was agreed that the ceremony should take place the next day at noon.
On Thursday, the 18th, the contract was not yet prepared; the lawyers
had delayed on purpose. Towards evening, Lauzun, who was losing his
assurance, offered to break with Mademoiselle.

She was offended and tried once more to make him declare his love, but
he responded, "I will say I love you only when we issue from church."
There was no longer question of the Tuileries chapel, nor even of
dazzling the Parisians, and Friday found a new delay, Mademoiselle
having herself wavered.

After consideration, a rendezvous was arranged at Charenton, in the
house of a friend, where the wedding was to be secretly solemnised the
next evening at midnight, without even an archbishop. The Parisian offer
began to inspire distrust: "The curé of the place would do well enough."

When all was settled, Mademoiselle amused herself with showing to her
intimates the chamber that she had arranged for the future Duc de
Montpensier. "It was magnificently furnished," relates the Abbé de
Choisy. "'Do not you think,' said Mademoiselle to us, 'that a Gascony
cadet will be sufficiently well lodged?'" Lauzun took leave early to
pass the night in a "bath house," as was the custom before a wedding.
Mademoiselle opposed this, because he was suffering from a bad cold. He
had also "trouble with his eyes." I said to him, "Your eyes are very
red." He replied, "Do they make you ill?" I said, "No; for they are in
no way disgusting." It may be noticed that these illustrious lovers did
not possess the light graces of conversation; their phrases were
singularly heavy. "These ladies are mocking us," pursued the Princess.
"I do not know, however, what caused me to have a presentiment. I began
to weep in seeing him depart; he, too, was sad; we were ridiculed. The
ladies also departed, only Mme. de Nogent remaining."

This last was the sister of Lauzun, and Mademoiselle had, during the
past months, been very intimate with her.

While time was thus being wasted at the Luxembourg, Louis submitted to
the almost universal antagonism and withdrew his authorisation to the
alliance. "The Queen and the princes of the blood redoubled their
entreaties; the Maréchal de Villeroy[250] threw himself upon his knees,
with tears in his eyes; the ministers and all those approaching the King
expressed the voice of the people. At length God touched the King's
heart."[251] God? No, but a creature of flesh; Mme. de Montespan for the
second time betrayed Lauzun.

La Fare affirms the statement that it was the counsel of Mme. de
Maintenon (still only Mme. Scarron) painfully earning her bread in
bringing up in obscurity the children of Mme. de Montespan and the
King. Mme. Scarron had cleverness and prudence, and at that time was far
from any thought of rivalry; the King could not suffer her. She said
later that he had taken her for a "learned woman," only caring for
"sublime things"[252]; and Louis distrusted Philimantes. It was,
therefore, as a disinterested friend that she "pointed out to Mme. de
Montespan the tempest which she would draw down upon her head in
sustaining Lauzun in this affair; that the royal family and the King
himself would reproach her for the steps she had urged. Mme. Scarron
succeeded so well that the one who urged the marriage was responsible
for preventing it."[253]

Louis XIV. yielded to the urgency of Mme. de Montespan and sent to the
Luxembourg for Mademoiselle. It was eight o'clock in the evening.
Mademoiselle uttered a cry on hearing that the King commanded her
presence. "I am in despair; my marriage is broken." On reaching the
Tuileries, the Princess was led to the King by the back staircase, and
quickly perceived that something was being concealed from her. In fact,
Louis had hidden Condé behind a door, that he might listen and be
witness to what passed.

     The door was closed behind me. I found the King alone, moved
     and sad. "I am in despair at the thought of what I must tell
     you. I am told that the world is saying that I am
     sacrificing you to make Lauzun's fortune; that this would injure me
     in foreign lands, and that I must not permit the affair to be
     consummated. You are right in complaining of me; beat me if you
     wish. I will bear the weight of any expression of anger in which
     you may indulge, and feel that I merit your indignation." "Ah!"
     cried I, "Sire, what do you tell me? What cruelty!"

She mingled protestations with reproaches, sobbed out her despair on her
knees, and pleaded to know the fate of Lauzun. "Where is he, Sire, M. de
Lauzun?" "Do not be troubled! No harm shall come to him."

True sorrow is always eloquent, and Louis XIV. let his own emotion be
visible without shame:

     He threw himself on his knees and embraced me. We wept together
     three quarters of an hour, his cheek pressed against mine, he
     weeping bitterly as I did: "Ah! why have you wasted time in
     reflection? why did you not hasten?"--"Alas, Sire! who could
     have distrusted your Majesty's word? You have never failed any
     one before, and you now begin with me and M. de Lauzun! I shall
     die, and be happy in dying. I had never loved any one before in
     all my life; I now love, and love passionately and in good
     faith, the most worthy man in your kingdom; my only joy and
     pleasure will be in his elevation. I hoped to pass the
     remainder of my days agreeably with him, and in honouring and
     loving you as warmly as my husband. You gave him to me; you now
     take him away; it is tearing out my heart."

Some one coughed behind the door. "To whom are you betraying me, Sire?
Can it be M. le Prince?" Mademoiselle grew bitter, and the King wished
to end the scene; but she continued to supplicate him: "What, Sire, will
you not yield to my tears?" He replied, raising his voice so that he
might be heard, "Kings must satisfy the public"; and added, an instant
after, "It is late; I can say no more nor differently, even if you
remained longer." "He embraced me and conducted me to the door."

Such is the recital of Mademoiselle. Another account of the interview
exists, dictated the same evening by Louis to his Minister of Foreign
Affairs, as the following letter, written the next morning, testifies.
Before the King had risen, M. de Lyonne wrote in haste to M. de
Pomponne, the French Ambassador to Holland:

     I am overwhelmed with business, and have no time for details,
     but I do not doubt that every letter from Paris has brought
     news of the projected marriage of the Grande Mademoiselle with
     Comte de Lauzun. I must now warn you that the King broke this
     off yesterday at eleven o'clock in the evening, so that few
     people could be aware of the fact before the departure of the
     post. I have already outlined a circular letter from his
     Majesty, to be sent to all the Foreign Ministers, to inform
     them of what has passed in regard to this affair during the
     past seven or eight days; but as the King does not wake before
     nine o'clock, and as the courier will by that time have
     departed, his Majesty will not be able to sign in time for the
     letters to be forwarded to-day, and you must be contented with
     the simple news, that the affair is ended. I pray you to send a
     copy of this note to M. le Chevalier de Terlon and to the Sieur
     Rousseau,[254] and to advise them that I have requested you so
     to do.

Before referring to the circular letter of His Majesty upon the subject
which caused the cries and tears of his poor cousin, it should be noted
that it seemed perfectly natural, to judge by the documents of the
times, to advise officially foreign powers of events with which they
were actually but little concerned. In the opinion of the seventeenth
century, the man was inseparable from the sovereign, and France was
deeply impressed with the universal importance of Louis XIV. and by
consequence of the obligations devolving upon him. "He must account to
all Europe for his actions," says, in regard to the "Affair Lauzun," the
"relation" already quoted.[255]

It is also well to recollect, in order to understand the text of the
letter, that one of the half-sisters of Mademoiselle had married the Duc
de Guise, cadet of the House of Lorraine; an alliance hardly less
unequal in the eyes of the French aristocracy than that of Lauzun with
the Princess. This marriage had excited but little attention, there
being a wide difference between the importance of the sisters. Referring
to this event, the "Deputies of the nobility of France" had not failed
to assert that the nobles of France and the officers of the Crown were
quite equal to foreign princes, and in particular to the "Lorraines" in
spite of their pretensions. With this explanation, the text of the long
despatch addressed to the ambassadors is given. It begins in these

     As what has taken place during the past five or six days in
     regard to a plan formed by my cousin for marrying the Comte de
     Lauzun, one of the Captains of the Body Guard, will probably make a
     great noise everywhere, and as my conduct in the matter is liable
     to be interpreted malignantly, and to be blamed by those who may be
     incorrectly informed of the facts, I believe it a duty to instruct
     all my Foreign Ministers."

The King then explains in detail the affair, and this explanation
exactly accords with the recital of Mademoiselle, save that Louis XIV.
states that he was opposed to the marriage from the beginning, and only
yielded because he was weary of the discussion, being constantly
harassed by his cousin and the Deputies of the nobility: "She
[Mademoiselle] continued ... through notes and every other available
means to press me urgently to give the consent she demanded of me, as
this alone could, as she said, give the happiness and repose of her
life." The Deputies had also represented to him

     that after having consented to the marriage of my cousin de
     Guise, not only without making the least difficulty but with
     pleasure, I should resist this, so ardently desired by her
     sister, I should clearly show that I made a great distinction
     between the cadets of royal houses and the Officers of my
     Crown. Such a distinction Spain did not make, but on the other
     hand, gave precedence to its own Grandees over any foreign
     Princes, and it was impossible that the making of this
     difference in France should not greatly mortify the entire
     nobility of the kingdom. In conclusion, the urgency of these
     four persons was so strong, and their reasons so convincing,
     especially that emphasising the danger of insulting the French
     nobility, that I yielded, and gave consent to the marriage,
     shrugging my shoulders at the folly of my cousin, and only
     saying that as she was forty-three, she might do as she pleased.

He continued, "From this moment it was considered that the affair was
concluded." Then follow the details already known, preparations for the
ceremony, the crowd at the Luxembourg; rumours "very injurious" that the
King was responsible for the marriage, wishing to favour Lauzun; and
finally, the resolve to break off the affair.

This is the single point on which Louis XIV. believed it to be his duty
to restrict his confidences to the universe. He passes over in silence
the supplications of Mme de Montespan and the fact of Condé being hidden
behind the door:

     I sent for my cousin. I declared to her, that I would not
     suffer her to cross the frontier for marriage, and that I could
     not consent that she should marry any Prince who was my
     subject,[256] but that she might choose among the (qualified)
     nobles of France, with the exception of Lauzun, and that I
     myself would conduct her to church.

It is superfluous to tell you with what grief she received this
announcement, how she wept and sobbed. She threw herself upon her knees.
"I had pierced her heart with a hundred dagger strokes; she wished to
die"; I remained firm.

The King added that he made the same communication to Lauzun, "and I may
say that he received it with all the self-control, submission, and
resignation which I could desire."[257] It is with the unfavourable
comparison to Mademoiselle that this curious document terminates. Louis
displayed but little generosity before a grief so deep.

The Princess regained her chamber in a pitiable state. She went into
hysterics and broke the windows of the carriage. At the Luxembourg, the
salon was filled with a curious crowd awaiting her return. "Two of her
footmen entered into the room, saying in loud voices, 'Depart at once,
by degrees.' Every one scattered immediately; but I remained the last,
and saw Mademoiselle advance from the hall of the Guards like a
dishevelled fury, menacing heaven and earth with extended arms." She had
barely time to regain a slight degree of calm, when Lauzun entered,
accompanied by Messieurs de Montausier, Créqui, and Guitry. "On seeing
him, I uttered loud cries, and he could hardly restrain himself from
weeping." The nobles of France came at the command of the King to thank
the granddaughter of Henri IV. for the honour that she wished to confer
upon them. M. de Montausier bore the address.

Mademoiselle sobbed. M. de Lauzun had, with full understanding, taken
the expected attitude, of a man who blesses the most cruel blows coming
from the hand of his King. "M. de Lauzun," wrote Mme de Sévigné, "has
played his rôle to perfection; he has sustained his misfortune with
firmness and courage, and has nevertheless displayed a grief, mingled
with profound respect, which has won the admiration of all."[258]

The Princess would have been contented with something less admirable.
She said to him: "'You show such strength of mind, that all will believe
you to be indifferent to me. What do you say?' and I sobbed with each
word." He responded very coolly: "If you take my counsel, you will go
to-morrow to dine at the Tuileries, and will thank the King for the
honour that he has done you, in having prevented an action of which you
would have repented all your life." She led her lover aside and had the
pleasure of seeing him weep. "He could not speak, nor could I. I could
only say: 'What! I am never to see you more? I shall certainly die.'
Then we turned around.... These gentlemen departed; I went to bed; I
remained twenty-four hours almost without consciousness." She forbade
any one to be admitted. Her door was, however, opened on Friday morning
for Mme. de Sévigné. Just twenty-four hours had elapsed since
Mademoiselle had overflowed with joy before her friend and despised any
warnings. "I found her in bed[259]; she redoubled her cries on seeing
me; called me, embraced me, and deluged me with her tears. She said:
'Alas! do you remember what you said yesterday? Ah! what cruel
prudence!' I wept through sympathy with her woe." A little later the
King was announced. "When he entered," reports Mademoiselle, "I began to
cry with all my strength; he embraced me and placed his cheek against
mine. I said, 'Your Majesty acts like monkeys who stifle their children
embracing them.'" As he was promising all kinds of wonderful things to
console her, among others "that he would do fine things for M. de
Lauzun," she had the presence of mind, in spite of her anguish, to
demand if she might not see her friend again. The reply of the King
should be remembered, as it brought serious results for his cousin. He
said: "I do not forbid you to see him; ... and assuredly you cannot take
advice of a worthier man in regard to any of your affairs than Lauzun."
She hastened to confirm the permission. "It is my intention, Sire, and I
am very happy that you desire that he should continue to be my best
friend; but at least, Sire, you will not change as you did before? I
cannot help reproaching you."

The succeeding days she was obliged to reopen her doors, and the same
crowd which had feigned to rejoice with her now pretended to pity her.
It was necessary to see again the same faces, to submit to curious
looks, glances filled with raillery, and to reply to _banal_ remarks.
There was much joking in Paris at her having received condolences in
bed, after the fashion of widows. "I have heard in the salon of Mme. de
Maintenon," relates Mme. de Caylus,[260] "that she cried out in her
despair, 'He should be there beside me!'"

A grand Princess, to be dying of love and for a simple cadet from
Gascogne, almost a country fellow; this was a novel spectacle, which so
shocked all ideas of decorum that the public could not take to heart
very seriously this slightly theatrical grief. It was pretended that
Louis had said, "This is only a fantasy born in three days and which
will pass as rapidly." True or false, the King wished to believe this,
and the phrase received general approbation. It relieved the fashionable
world from the duty of sympathising with the unfortunate, who was eating
out her own heart, and visibly fading away.

"I grew thin, with hollow cheeks, as a person who neither eats nor
sleeps, and I wept the minute that I was alone, or when I met any
friends of M. de Lauzun and they talked of events which had any
connection with him. I always desired to speak of him." The hope of a
speedy death was her sole consolation, for no one, she was convinced had
so deeply suffered. "My state was pitiable, and it must have been
experienced to be appreciated, for such feelings cannot be expressed. It
is necessary to know one's self, in order to judge, and no one can have
felt a grief equal to mine; there is nothing which can compare with it."
This is the universal language of disappointed lovers; but the
expressive phrase below is not at the disposal of all souls. It is only
applicable to moments in which the excess of grief renders it almost
unconscious: "On account of feeling too much, I felt nothing."

The fifth day, etiquette exacted that she should find herself consoled.
Her duties as Princess were recalled to her. "It was needful to go to
Court, it was not well to pass eight days without seeing the King."

In vain she fought against such cruel exactions; she was forced to make
a spectacle of herself, still with "discomposed face, red and swollen
eyes, with constant floods of tears, at proper or improper moments, with
sharp cries at sight of Lauzun."

Lauzun opened his eyes wide upon her as upon a naughty child, and
severely menaced her: "If you act in this manner, I will never be found
again in the same room with you!" But she could not compose herself. One
evening, at a great Court ball, she stopped in the middle of a dance and
began to weep. The King rose and placed his hat before her face, leading
her out of the room and explaining, "My cousin has vapours." The public
did not pity her. It would have liked to celebrate her defeat. "All have
praised the King for this action," wrote Olivier d'Ormesson.

Louis XIV. was again popular, a transient popularity which lasted only a
few days. "It may be said that not only the Court, but the entire
kingdom has rejoiced in the rupture of the proposed marriage."[261] The
sentiment of approval was unanimous. As to the Princess, who was guilty
of asserting the right to "personal happiness," opinion judged her
severely. The seventeenth century did not admit, as has been seen, that
individual sentiments or the interests of the heart could predominate
over the exactions of rank or society, and the age of the lovers and
disparity of their appearance, she so tall, he almost a dwarf, aroused
ridicule instead of sympathy. The Grande Mademoiselle was suddenly
rewarded "with contempt," "for," says La Fare, "if this contemplated
alliance appeared extraordinary as soon as the news was made public, it
became ridiculous as soon as it was broken."

It is agreeable to meet among these people, who were right in the main,
but who were malicious and uncharitable, one good Samaritan.

While Mme. de Sévigné wrote gaily, "All is finished,"[262] the tears of
Mademoiselle inspired kind and courageous words from a person
comparatively obscure, and who excused herself from corresponding
because she did not have enough "wit." A letter, dated January 21, 1671,
addressed to Bussy-Rabutin by Mme. de Scudéry, sister-in-law of the
illustrious Madeleine, contains this paragraph:

     I will say nothing of the affair of Mademoiselle. You are no
     doubt acquainted with all that has passed. I will only add
     that, if you realise what a great passion can be, in the heart
     of a pure woman like the Princess, you will not wonder, but
     will have sympathy. For myself, who know nothing of love
     through experience, I comprehend that Mademoiselle is much
     to be pitied; for she has become sleepless. During the day she
     is agitated and weeps, and in fact is leading the most miserable
     existence possible.[263]

Bussy-Rabutin replied (A Chaseu, January 29, 1671):

     I comprehend what passion means in a woman of the age and
     temperament of Mademoiselle, who has preserved her heart
     hitherto untouched, and I confess that this tale arouses my
     pity. Love seems to me a malady like the small-pox; the later
     it attacks the victim, the more severe the illness.

The writer had indeed well understood the characteristics of late love
on only its displeasing side. But his attitude was, unfortunately, the
one adopted by almost every one.

Regarded half-pityingly, but with an undercurrent of ridicule, the
Grande Mademoiselle ceased to be interesting to the fickle French
public. The fall from favour was very definite. The heroine of the
Fronde was effaced in the eyes of contemporaries, and remained only a
ridiculous old maid, whose woes amused the gallery.


[Footnote 209: The Grande Equerry, Louis de Lorraine, Comte d' Armagnac.]

[Footnote 210: The Marquis de Puyguilhem (written Péguilin) had taken
the name of Comte de Lauzun the following January. The latter title will
be used in this volume.]

[Footnote 211: See the portrait of Straton in the chapter entitled "De
la Cour."]

[Footnote 212: Saint-Simon, _Écrits inédits_.]

[Footnote 213: Lauzun became Captain of the Body Guard in July, 1669.]

[Footnote 214: Letter to Mme. de Sévigné, dated February 2, 1669.]

[Footnote 215: _Mémoires et Réflexions_ of the Marquis de la Fare.]

[Footnote 216: The sister of the Grand Condé. Upon her part in the
Fronde, see _The Youth of La Grande Mademoiselle_.]

[Footnote 217: M. de Saint-Paul began toward this time to bear the name
of de Longueville.]

[Footnote 218: This conversation, which gives the key to the conduct of
Lauzun, is reported in _Le Perroquet or Les amours de Mademoiselle_, an
anonymous recital printed by M. Livet following the _Histoire amoureuse
des Gaules_ (Paris, Jannet, 1857); and in the _Histoire de Mademoiselle
et du Comte de Losun_ (Bibl. Saint-Geneviève MS. 3208), not always
sources to be relied on, but to be trusted here.]

[Footnote 219: War between relatives for the succession.]

[Footnote 220: _Lettres historiques._ Pellison accompanied the Court as

[Footnote 221: Plaques: pieces of embossed silver, at the lower part of
which was placed a chandelier.]

[Footnote 222: _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle.]

[Footnote 223: _De La Vallière à Montespan_, by Jean Lemoine and André

[Footnote 224: Emmanuel II. de Crussol, Duc d'Uzès. He married the
daughter of the Duc de Montausier and of Julie d'Angennes.]

[Footnote 225: Probably the uncle by marriage of Bussy-Rabutin.]

[Footnote 226: Romecourt was Lieutenant of the King's Guards.]

[Footnote 227: It is evident that these last were carried in the private
carriages, ready for any accident.]

[Footnote 228: _Gazette de Renaudot._]

[Footnote 229: Captain of the Body Guard. Afterward, Duc de Noailles,
and Marshal of France.]

[Footnote 230: First physician to the King.]

[Footnote 231: _Histoire de Madame Henriette d'Angleterre._]

[Footnote 232: Mme. de Sévigné to Bussy-Rabutin. Letter of July 6,

[Footnote 233: Mme. de Sévigné to Bussy-Rabutin (letter dated January
15, 1687), speaking of Condé's death.]

[Footnote 234: Charles d'Harcourt, chevalier, afterward Comte de
Beuvron, was one of those whom rumour accused of having contributed to
the death of Madame.]

[Footnote 235: Monsieur had two daughters by his first marriage;
Marie-Louise d'Orléans, who married, in 1679, Charles II. of Spain, and
Anne-Marie de Valois, married, in 1684, to Victor-Amédée II., Duc de

[Footnote 236: Cf. _Mémoires de Louis XIV_. "for the year 1666." Edited
by Charles Dreyss.]

[Footnote 237: Cf. _Segraisiana._]

[Footnote 238: _Mémoires de l'Abbé de Choisy._]

[Footnote 239: Don Miguel de Iturrieta to Don Diego de la Torre.
_Archives de la Bastille._]

[Footnote 240: _Mme. de Montespan et Louis XIV._, by P. Clément.]

[Footnote 241: _Histoire_ etc. (Bibl. Sainte-Geneviève, MS. 3208). The
same version is found with slight variations in _Le Perroquet_, etc.]

[Footnote 242: _Mémoires de la Fare._]

[Footnote 243: Letter dated January 26, 1680.]

[Footnote 244: Second son of Louis XIV. He died young.]

[Footnote 245: _Cf._ for this chapter, the _Mélanges_ of Philibert
Delamare (Bibl. Nationale, French MS. 23,251), the _Journal_ of
d'Ormesson, and generally the memoirs, correspondences, pamphlets, and
songs of the period.]

[Footnote 246: Philibert Delamare, _loc. cit._]

[Footnote 247: _Journal_ of Olivier d'Ormesson.]

[Footnote 248: Letter to Coulanges, December 31st. The letter announcing
the marriage, too well known to quote, is dated the 15th.]

[Footnote 249: _Mémoires de la Fare._]

[Footnote 250: Ancient Governor of the King, who had kept a strong
affection for his pupil.]

[Footnote 251: Philibert Delamare, _loc. cit._]

[Footnote 252: Mme. de Maintenon, _Lettres historiques et édifiantes_;
_cf. Mémoire de Mlle. d'Aumale_, published by M. le Comte

[Footnote 253: The Abbé de Choisy relates the same scene, but attributes
it to the Princesse de Carignan (Marie de Bourbon-Soissons,

[Footnote 254: The French Chargé d'Affaires in Sweden and Germany,
_Archives de la Bastille_.]

[Footnote 255: Philibert Delamare, _loc. cit._]

[Footnote 256: This exclusion probably refers to the Prince de Condé,
with whom an alliance would have been considered a danger to the peace
of France.]

[Footnote 257: _La Correspondance de Pomponne_ (Bibl. de l'Arsenal,
4712, 1598, 11. F.), fol. 373. M. Chéruel in the appendix to volume iv.
of _the Mémoires de Mademoiselle_, and M. Livet in _l'Histoire amoureuse
des Gaules_, have published this letter after an inexact copy.]

[Footnote 258: Letter dated December 24, 1670.]

[Footnote 259: Letter dated December 31, ----.]

[Footnote 260: _Souvenirs et Correspondance._]

[Footnote 261: Philibert Delamare, _loc. cit._]

[Footnote 262: Letter dated December 24, 1670.]

[Footnote 263: _Correspondance de Bussy-Rabutin_, published by Ludovic


     Was Mademoiselle secretly Married?--Imprisonment of
     Lauzun--Splendour and Decadence of France--_La Chambre
     Ardente_--Mademoiselle purchases Lauzun's Freedom--Their
     Embroilment--Death of the Grande Mademoiselle--Death of

Many of the events remaining to be recorded are very obscure. If they
had any importance, they would have figured in the collections of
historic enigmas and problems waiting to be solved; but they hardly
merit the honour, as few of them have had any such influence over the
destinies of France as had, for instance, the fact of the subjection of
Anne of Austria to Mazarin. Nor do any possess the romantic attraction
which attached to the legend of the "Man with the Iron Mask" before its
explanation. Petty details, however, bring the French society of this
period near to us, and the fact that events cannot always be interpreted
makes them seem more like real life. It is only in romances that all is

The most obscure of these smaller problems is the question of the
marriage of Mademoiselle with the "little man," as she herself called

Contemporary opinion has been almost unanimous in its belief in this
marriage. Neither date nor place nor names of the possible witnesses
have ever been satisfactorily established, as was done in the case of
the union of Louis XIV. and Mme. de Maintenon. There is no written proof
of the fact; Mademoiselle had the habit of burning her letters, and made
no exception in favour of those from Lauzun. She states this fact with
regret, in her _Mémoires_. We are thus reduced to moral proofs. It is
true that these are strong in favour of the event having taken place;
but they are not altogether unanswerable.

The belief that a secret bond had remained, after the official rupture,
rested in the mind of most people interested. One of the
correspondents[264] of Bussy-Rabutin wrote to him, February 17, 1671:
"Mademoiselle sometimes still weeps when she reflects, but often she
laughs and is at her ease. Her lover continues to see her and no one
opposes it. I do not know what will happen." Three weeks later, Mme. de
Scudéry made allusion to the same rumour (Paris, March 6, 1671):
"Mademoiselle is always conversing with M. de Lauzun. Their
conversations begin and end with tears. I assure you, however, that
there will be no result." Bussy was among those who believed that it
"would come to something." He replied on the 13th to Mme. de Scudéry: "I
am convinced that the affair of Mademoiselle and Lauzun will have a
happy issue, not in the manner they at first hoped, but in a more secret
method to which the King will consent."

Would Mademoiselle accept this other way? Doubt is permissible.
_Marriages of conscience_, if fashionable in the seventeenth century,
created false situations, sometimes very humiliating ones, to a person
not an absolute sovereign accountable to no one, and in a position to
let the truth come out or not as it pleased him. For the rest of
mortals, secret marriages must actually remain concealed, or there would
result endless difficulties. On this account, the married pair could
only meet through a happy chance, which is not agreeable, while it was
also almost impossible to escape suspicious commentaries and the
uncomfortable dependence upon the fidelity of servants. Segrais would
never believe that Mademoiselle had married Lauzun, and one of the
reasons given was "that she sent away Madelon, her chambermaid, and she
would not have done this if Madelon had been able to gossip." Segrais
might have added that his mistress had always severely criticised the
equivocations arising from _marriages of conscience_.

But all was changed after the serious conversation between the King and
Mademoiselle behind the closed doors. Mademoiselle encouraged Lauzun to
assume airs of authority, and she was meekly submissive. "He regarded me
with such a look that I no longer dared to weep, the power that he had
over me retaining my tears. It is much wiser not to lose self-control!"

It was by his advice that she cleared her palace of all who had blamed
their first plan. M. de Montausier and Mme. de Sévigné tried in vain to
save Segrais, who "was their special friend." "She cannot be touched,"
wrote Mme. de Sévigné, "upon a subject which approaches to within nine
hundred leagues of a certain cape."[265] It was Lauzun who designated
the successor of Guillore, her Intendant, and who submitted the choice
to the King. This might give rise to remark. Lauzun warned Mademoiselle
of this danger. "It may be said in the world that I wish to rule you
completely." She responded: "Please God that you should; that is what I
profoundly desire." Mademoiselle had confirmed through new acts the
lavish gifts assured by the contract, and the King rivalled his cousin
in generosity. If the courtiers can be believed, Louis had promised
Lauzun that he should lose nothing by _not_ marrying Mademoiselle. In
any case, he heaped favours upon him. The first gift was the government
of Berri, with fifty thousand francs to pay his debts and the hope that
Fortune would continue her benedictions. Louvois grew anxious and
amassed shiploads of hatred against the favourite.

The winter passed in this manner. In the spring, the Court returned to
Flanders. During a sojourn at Dunkerque so much was said of the intimacy
of the "dwarf" with the Grande Mademoiselle, that the report reached the
ears of the Princess: "The rumour is circulating that we were married
before leaving Paris, and the _Gazette de Hollande_ confirms this. Some
one brought the paper to me; I showed it to Lauzun, who laughed." Two
pages further on, another conversation proves that the news was at least
premature; but the public had the right to be deceived, so tender and
familiar was the intercourse between the couple.

There was a question in this same spring of a trip to Fontainebleau:

     I said to M. de Lauzun, "Take care to wear a cap when you are
     in the forest; the evening dew is bad for the teeth, and
     further you are subject to weak eyes and to catching cold. The
     air of Fontainebleau makes the hair fall out." He replied: "I
     certainly must try to preserve my teeth. I also fear cold; but
     as for the red eyes with which you are constantly reproaching
     me, they are caused by wakefulness, with which I have been
     troubled for some time. As for my hair, I have too little left
     to take further pains about it."

She preached neatness to him. "If you are slovenly, it will be said that
I have bad taste. For my sake, you must be careful." Lauzun only
laughed. Indeed, she scolded him through jealousy, fearing that he was
escaping from her influence and going she did not know where, and
perceiving this, he cajoled her. "As soon as he saw that I wished to
scold him, he had unequalled methods for putting me in a good humour."
All this folly resembled a honeymoon, and the _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle
for this same year include a passage which is almost a confession. "It
is still said that we are married. We neither of us say anything, it
being only our particular friends who would dare to address us, and it
is easy to laugh at them, only saying, 'The King knows all.'"

The conduct of Mademoiselle during the ten years following being a
perpetual and striking confirmation of this half-confession, the fact of
the secret marriage would seem to be assured, and the date would be
placed between May and November, 1671, if it were not for a last
quotation, to be given at its proper date, which again throws doubt upon
the event.

Whatever the truth may be, it would appear that Mademoiselle had known
how to reunite the broken fragments of her happiness; but Lauzun, for a
second time, lost everything. He had easily learned that he owed the
rupture of the first plan to Mme. de Montespan, and had conceived so
furious a hate against this false friend that he lost his head.

After a scene worthy of fishwives, in which he had called her names
impossible to print, he would proceed to declaim against her in the
salons, with the utmost violence, and sometimes at only a few steps from
her ears. The courtiers marvelled at the excessive insolence on the one
side and the curious patience on the other, for Mme. de Montespan
endured these outrages without whispering a single protest. It was
rumoured that she had once been his mistress, and that his power was
derived from this fact.

It is to this enforced penitence of the all-powerful favourite that Mme.
Scarron alluded when at a supper, the account of which is given by Mme.
de Sévigné[266]: "she dilated upon the horrible agitations in a country
very well known, the continual rage of the little Lauzun, and the black
chagrin or the sad boredom of the ladies of Saint-Germain; and suggested
that the most envied was perhaps not always exempt." Mme. Scarron had
seen the "horrible agitations" very near, for it was she who had
intervened against Lauzun; it was upon her representations that Mme. de
Montespan had ended by saying to the King that "she did not believe that
her life was safe as long as this man was free."[267]

Lauzun was arrested at Saint-Germain, in his chamber, the evening of
November 25, 1671. The evening previous, Mademoiselle had departed for
Paris declaring: "I do not know what is the matter; I am in such
dreadful apprehension that I cannot remain here." She wept on the way.
She very well knew the cause. One of her friends had been asked, "if M.
de Lauzun had been arrested," and this query had worried her.

Delayed by chance or by precaution, the news of the arrest did not reach
the Luxembourg until twenty-four hours later. Lauzun was already on the
road to Pignerol. Before him hastened M. de Nallot, a man of confidence
despatched by Louvois, who certainly felt a ferocious joy in the action,
to bear the instructions of his master to the Sieur de Saint-Mars,
governor of the prison of Pignerol, and of those enclosed within its
walls. Foucquet had been during seven years under the care of
Saint-Mars, who had followed orders with such fidelity that Louvois did
not doubt that he would be obeyed as blindly in any commands it might
please him to give regarding Lauzun. The instructions gave orders to
imprison him with one valet, and never to permit him to leave the
fortress nor to have any communication with the outer world.

Saint-Mars thus responded:

    PIGNEROL, December 9, 1671.

     Monseigneur, M. de Nallot arrived here on the fifth instant,
     conveying the note of instructions you have been pleased to
     send me.... He will report to you my haste in preparing the
     apartment for M. de Lauzun; he will tell you, Monseigneur, that
     I will lodge him in the two low vaulted chambers which are over
     those of M. Foucquet: these are the ones with the barred
     windows you yourself[268] examined. From the way in which I
     have arranged the place, I can respond with my life for the
     safety of the person of M. de Lauzun, and also the certainty of
     intercepting any news sent or received.

     I engage upon my honour, Monseigneur, that as long as this
     gentleman is under my care you will hear no further word about
     him, it will be as if he already lay _in pace_.

     The place prepared is so constructed that I can have holes
     made, through which I can spy into the apartment. I shall also
     know all that he does and says through the reports of a valet
     whom I will furnish as you have ordered; I have found one with
     much trouble, because the clever ones do not wish to pass their
     life in prison. You order that mass shall be celebrated for M.
     de Lauzun only on fête days and Sundays and I will scrupulously
     follow the letter of your instructions.... The Confessor of M.
     Foucquet will attend the new prisoner on Easter and at no other
     time, whatever may happen. My only desire is to carry out exactly
     the orders with which you have honoured me: I shall always endeavour
     to do this with zeal, passion, and fidelity, so I trust that you
     may be content with my small services.[269]

All the officials of the citadel had written to Louvois after the
arrival of his agent, so great an impression had been made. It was said
that M. de Lauzun was a great criminal and a very dangerous one to
necessitate such precautions. Each wished to show his special zeal.
Louis XIV. was also well informed about the prison destined for his old

Louvois showed the King the plan he had received. The apartment
consisted of two low vaulted rooms facing a deserted court, through
which no one ever passed. The windows were darkened by iron bars and
were covered with a sort of basket-work used in prisons, to prevent the
occupant seeing or being seen. Noises from without, even those from the
guards and the kitchen, did not penetrate into this remote place, the
most "noiseless" of all the citadel, on account of the enormous
thickness of the walls and of the vaulting. "Never," said one of the
letters, "will M. Foucquet know that he has a companion." The
correspondents of Louvois unanimously insisted upon the necessity of
preventing any risk of escape. A screen of iron was placed in the
embrasure of the windows and a _vissante_ inserted in the chimney to
prevent M. de Lauzun and M. de Foucquet from communicating with each

When this new command left Saint-Germain, Lauzun was already locked up
at Pignerol. He appeared very sad and depressed during the journey. His
grief was changed into fury at sight of the dungeon which awaited him.
Saint-Mars wrote to Louvois (December 22, 1671): "Monseigneur, my
prisoner is in so profound a grief, that I can hardly describe it. He
said to me that I had made him a lodging _sæcula sæculorum_." Lauzun
declared that he would lose his reason, and his agitation seemed to
point to this danger.

     [December 30] I do not believe, Monseigneur, that I can send
     you any news of my prisoner's being more tranquil; he is in so
     profound a grief that he does nothing but sigh and beat the
     ground with his feet. He asked me once if I knew the cause of
     his detention; I replied that I never received any news of this
     sort lest I should be tempted to tell it.

Lauzun had well divined the cause of his arrest, but he had not been
told. All explanation had been refused at Saint-Germain, and the
condemning him to such a dungeon with the most rigorous secrecy, with no
declared reason, seemed a crying and tyrannical act of injustice.
Saint-Mars began to fear a tragic ending.

     [January 12, 1672] Monseigneur ... he is overwhelmed with so
     extraordinary a grief that I fear he may lose his reason, or
     kill himself, which last he has threatened several times.... As
     I do not stop to listen to his ravings, he accuses me of having
     grown hard and pitiless through my long occupation as jailer;
     and repeats that he has never been judged and that his worst
     suffering is caused by the fact that he is ignorant of his

He had never been judged! This was the refrain during ten long years!
Foucquet, his neighbour, had judges, _indépendants_ or not; he had known
the cause of his accusation, and his defence had been heard. Lauzun was
in his vault through the good pleasure of the King without having had a
chance to justify himself, and this grievance caused his revolt.

When Mademoiselle was told of the arrest of Lauzun, she was so overcome
that she was astonished "that she did not die." She remained in a most
pitiable state until the next day. She was counselled not to delay an
appeal to the King, and it was needful to form some plan. If there had
been only herself to consider, Mademoiselle would have been ready to bid
adieu to the world; but there was Lauzun, who was, according to the
custom then legal, to be accused when he could not defend himself, and
there was only herself to plead his cause with the King.

It was impossible to abandon her lover, and Mademoiselle found strength
to rise and to go to Saint-Germain. She only reached the King in the
evening at supper. "He regarded me with a sad and embarrassed air. I
looked at him with tears in my eyes, but said nothing; I know what he
said in returning after to the ladies[270]: 'My cousin has been very
courteous, she has been silent.' He would have been imprudent to address
me, as I was prepared to reply to all."

The Court of France was at that date very gay and animated. Monsieur had
just remarried (November 16), with Elisabeth Charlotte de Bavière,
Princess Palatine, famed for the originality of her mind and the
freshness of her language. The King, who, without wit, had good taste,
was charmed with his new sister-in-law, and was lavish with fêtes in her
honour. At first, Mademoiselle considered it a duty to be present. She
pathetically relates the history of an abominable evening during which
she was obliged to appear to be enjoying the spectacle of a ballet,
while her thoughts were far distant, following a coach surrounded by

     To think that he was absent; that it was bitterly cold and was
     snowing heavily, and that my dear one was on the open road on
     his way to prison; to picture his sufferings and his pitiable
     appearance made my heart ache. I believe that it would deceive
     those who should have been there with him to see me here, not
     realising the torture it gives me. My single consolation is
     that these constant sacrifices I am making for the King,
     may in the end arouse his pity for M. de Lauzun and renew his
     tenderness, for I am not able to persuade myself that he no longer
     loves him. I should be only too content if my sacrifices can
     accomplish any results. This is my motive for remaining near the
     Court since Lauzun's imprisonment, and forces me from a sense of
     duty to do many things which I should have avoided if I had only
     consulted my inclinations. With a heart pierced with tender grief,
     I should have so willingly remained at home in solitude rather than
     to drag myself through the gay scenes of the Court festivities."

After each effort, she allowed herself slight relaxation and retired to
weep in some corner, then returning to the King with red and swollen
eyes. "I am persuaded" wrote she, apropos of a trip with the Court,
"that my presence has recalled the memory of M. de Lauzun; this is the
reason why I wish to be always before the eyes of the King.... I cannot
believe that he will not feel that my looks are ever supplicating him."
Mademoiselle was very ingenious in her efforts to refer constantly to
the absent one. If a grated window was passed she began to sigh and to
pity those in prison. If there was a rumour that Lauzun was ill, she
solicited by letter the softening of the régime. Louis never responded,
but he did not show any displeasure. The enemies of the disgraced one
endeavoured to detach the Princess from her lover. They knew her
weakness; she was very jealous, and there might easily be occasion in
regard to Lauzun, known as the greatest libertine of this licentious
Court. At the moment of arrest his papers had been seized. There were
many letters; locks of hair and other love tokens, carefully ticketed,
and a sort of secret museum enclosing portraits that Louis XIV. ordered
to be destroyed,--not promptly enough, however, as many persons enjoyed
a glimpse of them, and were able to identify the originals.

The "caskets" of Lauzun were the great social scandal of the winter, and
there were people enough to exploit the contents to Mademoiselle. They
gained nothing for their pains; she had the wisdom not to listen. They
belonged to the past. The same kind friends endeavoured to open her eyes
to the fact that she had been deceived in giving her heart to a man who
only desired her millions. They said: "He did not love you; when he was
promised wealth, appointments, he readily left you; the day on which the
King broke the marriage, Lauzun gambled all the evening with the
greatest tranquility; he cares nothing about you." Mademoiselle allows
in her _Mémoires_ that she began to be disturbed when she was forced to
hear such statements from morning till night during a series of years.
Her own remembrances only too well confirmed the truth. She had never
received a word of tenderness from Lauzun, not even a truly gracious
word. But misfortune is an invincible safeguard with generous souls.
Mademoiselle relates that her heart "fought against itself" in favour of
her lover, and the heart conquered, since each new year found her still
devoted, still indefatigable in her efforts to obtain his release.

At the end of eight years there could be no more doubt. Contemporaries
and those of the next generation have tried in vain to discover why
Louis XIV. attached so serious an importance to preventing Lauzun from
receiving news. Of what was he afraid? Was it essential for the safety
of France to insist upon such minute precautions?

One day, fresh linen was to be forwarded to Lauzun from Saint-Germain.
Louvois wrote to Saint-Mars (February 2, 1672): "Have this washed two or
three times before giving it to him." Saint-Mars signified that he
comprehended and replied (February 20):

     I shall not fail to have the linen you are sending to Lauzun
     thoroughly wet after having every seam examined, any writing
     which may be upon the linen will thus vanish. Everything which
     is brought out of his room is put at once in a tub of water
     after being examined, and the laundress bringing it from the
     river dries it before the fire in the presence of my officers,
     who take turn at this duty, week by week. I also take the same
     precautions with the towels, napkins, etc.

Another time, an ancient servant of Lauzun was arrested near Pignerol,
who, realising that he was a prisoner, killed himself, and letters were
found on the body. Had there been any intercourse with the prisoner?
This thought cast Louvois into an inconceivable agitation. He wished at
every cost to clear up the affair, and he found time even during the war
with Holland to write letter after letter to Pignerol to order that
trace of accomplices should be sought.

Men, presumably companions of the dead, were arrested. Two of them, who
had fled to Turin, were delivered up through diplomatic action. It was
necessary to make them speak "through any means, no matter what"; the
question as to whether M. de Lauzun had received news must be solved.
The attendants at Pignerol were much perturbed. An officer wrote to
Louvois to "conjure" him to denounce the suspected among the soldiers
under his orders, that I may arrest them and attach them as villains."
And if his two nephews, who were in the citadel, should be found to be
the guilty ones he "would be their first executioner." Saint-Mars was
humiliated and offended that he should be suspected of being hoodwinked.
He became ferocious against the "miserable beings" who had drawn down
upon him this insult, and he willingly put them to the torture; "for, to
tell the truth," wrote he to Louvois, "I have only to find the smallest
charge against a soldier or domestic, and I would hang him at once"
(August 20). Some weeks later he summed up the result of the inquest in
these terms (October 7): "I cannot swear that an attempt has not been
made to communicate with Lauzun, but I can pledge my life in the
assurance that the effort has not been successful."

Saint-Mars had another grief. Louvois recommended to him incessantly to
make his prisoner talk and to report every word, even the most trivial,
but Lauzun would not utter a syllable. "I do not know why," wrote
Saint-Mars, naïvely, "but he distrusts me, and hardly dares to speak to
me" (February 10, 1672). On March 19: "He is always in a state of
extraordinary distrust of me." Louvois insisted, and received
discouraged letters. (March 30:) "When I make a visit, our conversation
is so dry and difficult that we often pace the room a hundred times
without interchanging a word." Saint-Mars in vain sought innocent
topics. He tried to converse about the weather. M. de Lauzun interrupted
him under the pretext that the state of the weather was a matter of
indifference to him, since, from his dungeon, he could see "neither moon
nor sun."

Saint-Mars inquired about his health. M. de Lauzun cut him short, in
declaring that "his health was a matter of no consequence to any one,
and that he was really only too well." Saint-Mars did not know what more
to say. He became furious. Lauzun perceived this, and grew even more
taciturn. It was a fair and even fight. At the end of a year, Saint-Mars
had not advanced an inch.

     [January 7, 1673] When I said good morning or good evening, and
     when I asked him how he felt, he made low bows, saying that he
     was well enough to offer his most humble respects; after having
     thanked him, we walked some time together without speaking to
     each other, and, as I wished to retire, I asked him if he had
     anything to demand. He made again a very low bow and conducted
     me to the door of the room; this is the point at which we have
     arrived, and I am afraid that we shall make no further

Saint-Mars tried to force the situation. It was he who furnished the
prisoner with everything; who gave him clothes, furniture, bought his
eye-glasses, or ordered a wig. He thought that a method of making him
speak would be to give him nothing that he did not demand. Lauzun
invented a mute language.

Saint-Mars would perceive, in entering, some wornout or broken object
placed in a conspicuous position, having the air of saying something.
"Sometimes," wrote the governor of the citadel, "I feign not to notice,
and in order to oblige me to speak, Lauzun will direct his steps so as
to pass the object again and again until I am forced to comprehend."
(May 6, 1672.)

The valet was almost as close as his master. Saint-Mars did not cease to
lament the trouble which "these people" gave him. Prisoners' valets
shared the fate of their masters. Once confined, they passed the sill of
the prison only with the culprit; that is to say, in many cases never,
which fact rendered it extremely difficult to procure servants. The one
with Lauzun was a "wicked rascal" who had been bribed, but who at the
end of three months refused to do his duty as spy.

Saint-Mars was indignant (February 20, 1672): "With your permission, I
will put him [the valet] in a place that I reserve, which makes the dumb
speak after a month's sojourn. I shall learn all from him, and I am
certain that he will not forget the least trifle." Upon reflection,
however, Saint-Mars ended by being patient. How was he to replace the
fellow? "No one of the valets attached to the citadel would enter this
dungeon if I paid him millions. They have noticed that those whom I have
placed with M. Foucquet never come out." Louvois never knew, in spite of
earnest desire, what thoughts the fallen favourite was conceiving in his

There was a slight recompense, however, on the days on which Lauzun fell
into a rage, which often happened. The prisoner could not digest the
fact that his questions remained unanswered. This might be reasonable
enough if he asked if France were at war, or if Mademoiselle were
married; but why refuse news of his own affairs? Why conceal from him
the fact of his mother being alive or dead? His vexation became rage. He
poured out a torrent of imprecations and bitter complaints, and Louvois
had the pleasure of hearing by the next mail that silence did not
indicate absence of suffering.

One day (January 28, 1673), after giving an account of one of these
explosions, Saint-Mars added: "He said all this, weeping hot tears and
crying that he detested his miserable life; he complained loudly of the
horrible dungeon which I have given him, where he has lost his sight and
his health." The wails of grief echoed even through Paris, leaking out
from the cabinet of Louvois and the chamber of Mme. de Montespan, and
the public demanded with curiosity what Lauzun had done to deserve a
punishment so rigorous. "I can never believe," wrote Mademoiselle,
"that it is by the orders of the King." It was easily guessed that
Louvois was avenging his frights and Mme. de Montespan her humiliations;
but why did the King permit such severity? for Louis had never appeared
to take very much to heart the entanglements of these two Court powers
with his favourite.

It is needful to recollect that the seventeenth century had no greater
respect for human liberty than for human life. Only rank and birth were
of value, and these were honoured in a greater degree than it is
possible now to comprehend. This same Louvois, who was tormenting Lauzun
almost to the point of insanity, had hastened to send him a
silver-service, and had asked him to complain if his guards were

"M. de Saint-Mars," wrote the Minister, "has orders never to fail in
according the respect due to your birth and to the position which you
have held at Court" (December 12, 1672). From like considerations, the
birth of Lauzun had brought him new furniture, but not a single object
of any kind which could aid him in inventing occupation or employment.

This was the real punishment: a complete inaction with not a single echo
from the outer world which might prevent his mind from continually
turning inward upon itself. Lauzun only obtained a few books at long
intervals, and always with great difficulty, after every page had been
examined in detail; messages written in invisible ink were feared, and
phrases which might throw light upon the events of the day. When the
choice of literature was left to Saint-Mars, he confined himself to _Le
Tableau de la Pénitence_ or the _Pédagogue chrétien_. The contents of
these were well known and, also, "they might be useful to lighten his

It will be remembered that Mademoiselle had scolded the "little man" to
make him take greater care of his person and toilet. In prison, Lauzun
had grown very careless. (April 20, 1672:) "He grows so negligent that
for three weeks he has worn a handkerchief knotted around his neck in
place of a cravat." From note of July 30, 1672, more than seven months
after his arrival: "He has not had his room swept, nor his glass rinsed;
he is extremely negligent." Lauzun had permitted his beard to grow,
which contributed to his neglected appearance. Saint-Mars declared that
it was a half-yard long. (February 11, 1673:) "He is as disorderly at
his meals as in his person and in his apartment."

Years passed. In 1673, they pruned the trees which cut off the light.
This was the only change. In 1674, the prisoner almost died. His health
was shattered and his temper changed. He became tranquil, except for an
occasional access of anger, and was very polite to his jailer, who
attributed this metamorphosis to the effects of the books of piety and
the holy water freely supplied. Saint-Mars found him "very often" on his
knees, saying his prayers before an image of the Virgin, and had much
joy in the change.

In 1676, in the month of February, Louvois received a letter,[271] the
contents of which passed through Paris like a flash of lightning. M. de
Lauzun had almost succeeded in effecting his escape; and neither by door
nor window, the ordinary method in romances. He had made a hole in the
dungeon of Pignerol by scratching with old knives, pieces of kitchen
utensils, etc., and had succeeded in piercing the thick vault below his
chamber. Lauzun rolled through this opening, and found himself between
four walls, before a barred window. He began again to scrape; he
demolished one of the corners of the window, unfastened one of the bars,
and saw that he was several fathoms above the ground. His foresight had
caused him to collect a quantity of napkins, from which he made a rope
ladder; "the best made in the world," wrote Mademoiselle, with
admiration for the sample sent to Louvois.

He descended by this ladder to the moat surrounding the fortress,
"pierced the wall on the side of the moat,"[272] encountered a rock, and
recommenced at a short distance from the place of the first attempt";
the new passage led into a court of the citadel. Lauzun reached the
ground one morning at daybreak. He had passed three days in scraping; it
was this occupation which had kept him tranquil. Only an open door, and
he would have been saved. He would well have deserved success as a
reward for his industry and patience. But all was firmly closed, and he
was stopped by an incorruptible sentinel.

The poor prisoner was brought back to his dungeon, and Louvois stormed
at the authorities of Pignerol, who permitted walls and windows to be
demolished without perceiving that anything strange was occurring.
Repairs and numerous new measures of precaution were ordered, and
Saint-Mars, very much abashed, swore by all the gods that such a thing
should never again happen.

In spite of these oaths, many of the prisoners succeeded in gaining
access to their neighbours, according to the account of
Saint-Simon.[273] It seems that the open chimneys of ancient times had
become an ordinary means of communication between the dungeons of
Pignerol. "A hole was made in the pipe, which was carefully closed
during the day," and with mutual aid the prisoners ascended and
descended. Lauzun was placed in relation with various prisoners, of whom
one was Foucquet, who believed him to be mad when listening to his
account of the failure of the plan of marriage with the Grande
Mademoiselle. These gentlemen must have resembled chimney sweeps.

Saint-Mars, however, only knew of these practices after the death of
Foucquet; the troubles of Lauzun were then at an end. The death of the
eldest brother, which occurred in 1677, had brought new conditions.
Lauzun became head of the family. His sister, Mme. de Nogent,
represented to the King that it was needful for the preservation of the
"House" that M. de Lauzun should be permitted to put his affairs in
order, and she had no difficulty in obtaining a hearing. Although the
individual counted for little, the "House" was a thing sacred, even in
the eyes of Louis XIV. Saint-Mars was ordered to receive Mme. de Nogent,
another of the brothers, Chevalier de Lauzun, and their advocate, M.
Isarn, and to permit them to meet with his prisoner, exacting the
promise that only business should be discussed. He forbade a single
word, "under any pretext whatever," of Mlle. de Montpensier. An account
of these interviews, sketched by Isarn, remains. It must not be
forgotten in reading this document that Lauzun had a great interest in
inspiring a lively pity in the hearts of these people who were returning
to Paris. After long preliminaries, Isarn arrived for the first
interview with Lauzun, whom no one had seen for six years.

     [October 29, 1667] Two o'clock having come, M. de Saint-Mars,
     after sending away all the attendants, asked M. Isarn to enter
     his room where six chairs were arranged around a table, and M.
     de Saint-Mars retiring, returned after a moment leading M. le
     Comte de Lauzun, supporting him by the arm, for the Comte could
     hardly sustain himself, it may be on account of the open air,
     the bright light, or the weakness caused by his illness.

     At this sight, I confess, Monsieur, that we were moved with
     pity, for we remarked his haggard face and the extreme pallor
     of the countenance, as much as could be seen under the long
     beard and moustaches, the eyes subdued with sadness and
     languor, so that it would be impossible not to be moved with
     compassion. I can hardly express the grief of Madame his sister
     and Monsieur his brother. A chair near the fire was given to
     him, facing the window, but he shrank back, saying in a low
     voice, and coughing, that the bright light made his eyes and
     head burn. M. de Saint-Mars turned his prisoner away from the
     window, placing himself on one side and M. the Commissioner on
     the other. I was at the side of M. de Saint-Mars, having my
     papers before me on the table. Mme. de Nogent could not
     restrain her tears, and we remained some time without speaking.

When they were all somewhat composed, Isarn entered into a summary of
the affairs to be regulated. At the first pause, Lauzun interrupted. "He
said coldly, that having been kept for six years and a portion of a
seventh in a very restricted prison, and not having heard any business
details for so long a time, and having met no one, his mind had become
so 'sealed,' and his intelligence so clouded, that it was impossible for
him to comprehend anything I was saying." He added affectionate words
for his sister, touching sentiments upon his grief at having displeased
the King, and, as if overcome by the remembrance of his much-loved
master, he carried his handkerchief to his eyes, "where it remained a
long time."

This spectacle provoked such an outburst of tears and groans that it was
impossible to continue the conference. Lauzun "withdrew with Saint-Mars
without speaking." The sister was carried away in a dead faint. The
Chevalier de Lauzun, ill with emotion, retired for the night, and Isarn
shared in the general affliction. At the following sessions, Lauzun
repeated that he comprehended nothing that his advocate said, but he
gave him at the same time some instructions, "with much judgment and
clearness." Touching scenes followed. One day, after having obtained
permission, the prisoner asked if his mother were living, and there was,
in this case, no need of pretence to make the scene impressive. At the
last interview, he charged his sister to implore the pity of the King
and the pardon of Louvois, in humble and submissive terms, which showed
a man conquered, crushed, and henceforth inoffensive.

It may be through compassion, it may be, as was hinted, through some new
and mysterious combination, that this appeal produced a relaxation in
the prison discipline, which ended in a half-freedom. Lauzun was
permitted to give dinners, to buy saddle horses, "to ride in the court
and on the bastions."[274] At length arrived a detachment of musketeers,
charged to conduct him to the baths of Bourbon, under pretext that he
was suffering with one of his arms.

He quitted Pignerol April 22, 1681. Foucquet had died March 23, 1680.
This left to Saint-Mars only a single man of note; the Man with the Iron
Mask had been in the fortress some time at this date.

Robinson Crusoe, leaving his island, was not more of a stranger to the
course of events than a state prisoner after years of life in a dungeon.
Foucquet had believed in listening to Lauzun that he was mentally
deranged. When it was the fate of the latter to again come in contact
with ordinary life, he found much difficulty in placing himself in the
current. The history of France had been lengthened by a chapter while he
was raging in his dungeon. The intimate story of Court life, the most
important for an ancient favourite desirous of regaining a foothold,
would have filled a volume with its tragi-comic complications. At first
glance, the chapter of national history was dazzling. The war with
Holland had given to France, Franche-Comté; to Louis XIV., a glory and
power which had raised him in European opinion above all other

In the eyes of strangers, he was more than a king, he was _the_ King,
the incarnation of the monarchical idea, the Prince who had made France
the mistress of the civilised world.

     Never, in modern Europe [says a German historian[275] who
     always considers the interests of France as opposed to those of
     Germany] has there been a development of military power over
     land and sea, for attack and defence, so extraordinary as that
     to which France had attained during the war, and preserved
     during the ensuing peace; never before had a single will
     exercised so extended a command over troops so well trained and
     yet so submissive.

engraving by Israel Silvestre, 1673]

France was admired and feared. "Louis XIV.," says Ranke again, "reduced
several of the German princes individually, and the Empire at large, to
a degree of abasement to which they had not fallen during centuries."
Spain itself was menaced with the loss of its independence. Europe
recognised that in "the history of the world there were few periods in
which civilisation had so rapidly advanced and literature was so
brilliant as that under Louis XIV."

Such was France viewed from without, during the years which separated
the peace of Nimèguen (1679) from the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes
(1685). This brilliant picture showed, however, some shadows; the
vanquished guarded a deep resentment, and the former allies were
detached without always being replaced by new ones; but the country
considered itself sufficiently strong to support its isolation.

Seen from within, France presented to the superficial observer an
appearance of prosperity. Upon a closer examination, however, it could
be predicted that the lean years were approaching. Many provinces had
fallen back into misery. There was a general discontent, the
disaffection made rapid progress; the idea of centralised and absolute
power, so well received at first, was beginning to pall upon the
community. Four years after the death of Mazarin and the arrival to
power of Louis XIV. keen-sighted men became anxious.

Olivier d'Ormesson, like all the world at first under the influence of
the charm of the young King, wrote in 1665 (March): "No one dares
protest, although all suffer and have their hearts filled with despair;
every one says that it is impossible for this state of things to last,
the conduct of affairs being too unjust and violent."[276] Olivier
d'Ormesson had personal griefs. He had been disgraced for having shown
himself too independent at the time of the prosecution of Foucquet, and
he was also one of those old politicians, liberal after their own
fashion, who held firmly to the privileges belonging to their class, and
who were not accustomed to see criticisms of the King punished more
severely than blasphemies against the Deity. In 1668, a poor old man
from Saint-Germain was accused "of having said that the King was a
tyrant, and that there still existed some Ravaillacs and people of
courage and virtue." He was condemned to have his tongue cut out and to
be sent to the galleys. "It is said," adds d'Ormesson, "that
cutting out the tongue is a new punishment, and that it was formerly the
custom simply to pierce the tongue of blasphemers." From the point of
view of the times, the opinion of d'Ormesson is a little
too advanced.

But the same criticism cannot be made of Colbert, then enjoying great
favour and naturally a man of severity. In 1666 Colbert warned Louis
XIV., in an almost brutal memorial, that through his extravagances he
was leading France to ruin.


From an engraving by Israel Silvestre, 1675]

The memorial commenced by declaring that he (Colbert) did not wish
stinginess where it was a matter concerning a good army or fleet, or in
sustaining the suitable magnificence of his master in foreign lands, or
in any useful expenditures, among which he included the proper
representation of a great sovereign. He affirmed that in all these
matters he would rather urge a certain lavishness, and this was the
truth. But he could not share in the responsibility for the enormous
leakage by which the public wealth was being exhausted, for the millions
squandered in fantastic camps, in fêtes costing incredible sums,[277]
and in insane gambling debts.[278]

The memorial mentions also pensions and other gratifications given out
freely, and makes other specifications, of which one merits some
details, for it is curious, but rarely referred to, and according to
Colbert led to the most dangerous consequences. As will be understood,
nothing other than actual war cost France so dearly under Louis XIV., as
the monarch's passion for playing at soldier in the presence of
beautiful ladies. This mania at first glance appears innocent enough,
only rather childish.

Colbert pointed out the inevitable effects. The King assembled armies to
afford to the "_ladies_" the spectacle of a camp or the simulation of a
siege, or the troops were reviewed in places agreeable for women,
instead of awaiting him in their barracks.

The result was, that the perpetual marching of troops to and fro was
causing the exhaustion of the provinces, for "it is sufficient to say
that such a city or halting-place has suffered within six months a
hundred different impositions of troops, and that there are but few
places which have not been obliged to stand at least fifty."

The troops lived as they liked, entering and departing from their
various lodging-places. "It can be affirmed distinctly that these places
were left in a condition to which they would have been brought by a long
war." If the King knew "how many peasants of Champagne, and the other
provinces lying near the frontier, are passing and arranging to pass to
other countries," he would comprehend that this state of affairs could
not last.

The most delicate reproof was yet to be made, and Colbert approached it
courageously. Serious ridicule had fallen upon the great monarch for
these fantastic games for the benefit of his "_ladies_," not only with
the French, but also among foreigners only too ready to seize an
occasion for unfriendly comment.


From an engraving by Israel Silvestre, 1676]

Louis had just installed a camp at Moret, motley and smart, with pretty
tents for the Amazons. "It is said," wrote d'Ormesson, "that the siege
of Moret will be made in due form, in order to show the '_ladies_' the
method of taking places by assault. People in general, disgusted and
annoyed, treat this review as childish trifling for a King, and it is
badly thought of in foreign countries."

Olivier d'Ormesson did not display great merit in writing his comments
in his journal for his eyes alone, but Colbert wrote for the King and
had still many criticisms to add.

"It is further advisable for your Majesty to know two things which no
one has before dared to report: one that there has been a poster in
Paris, bearing the words _Louis XIV. will give an exhibition of
Marionettes in the plain at Moret_; the other, the publication of a
libel, still more bitter, upon the distinguished deeds of the fantastic
captains." The King read the memorial and re-read it in the presence of
Colbert, but the following year saw a new camp, in which the royal tent,
composed of six sumptuous rooms, "was filled with cavaliers gorgeously
attired, and better fitted to attract the enemy than to make him
flee."[279] Colbert did not succeed, even in time of war, in preventing
a single trip to the frontier with a long train of women in rare
apparel, and mistresses for whose accommodation it was necessary to put
masons at work at every halting-place.

From Louvois, March 7, 1671:

"Arrange chamber marked V for Mme. de Montespan, opening a door in the
place marked 1.... Mme. de La Vallière will lodge in the chamber marked
Y, in which a door must be made in the place marked 3N...." The expense
of the numerous doors, with many others equally irregular, entered into
the budget of the Minister of War.

How was it possible to keep the budget accounts? How reduce unnecessary
expenses? Colbert himself was obliged in his budget of the Marine to
give space to the "_ladies_." In 1678, Mme. de Montespan conceived the
fantasy of fitting out a privateer, a vessel belonging to the King, be
it understood, manned with the royal sailors. Some weeks later, a second
and third vessel were sent out in the same manner as privateers, always
at the King's expense, "by Mme. de Montespan and the Comtesse de
Soissons."[280] Including everything, the taste of Louis XIV. for
conversation and the society of women, without mentioning the rest of
his follies, probably cost France more than all the buildings erected by
the Grand Monarch, but the one outlay can be calculated, and the other

The large expenses of Versailles and of Marly are often alluded to,
while the unfortunate peasants, who fled across the frontier after every
military spectacle offered to the "_ladies_," are forgotten. Louis XIV.
was incapable of keeping accounts; that is his sole excuse. It is
strange, however, that a man so methodical, having a mind so steady, so
well regulated, had never been able to comprehend that figures are
figures, and that no one is able to make two crowns out of one. Colbert
never succeeded in controlling the waste of his master, even in cases
when the added profusion in no way increased the pleasure, and appears
to us as a mere barbarous lavishness.


From the painting by P. Mignard in the possession of the Marquise

It is known that in the seventeenth century the repasts were abundant.
Those of Louis XIV. were excessively so. In 1664, the King, having
invited the Pope's legate to dine with him _tête-à-tête_, those in
attendance counted the dishes; there were eighty, not including
thirty-eight for dessert. This was certainly excessive, and Colbert had
said in the Memorial of 1660, "I declare to your Majesty ... that a
useless meal, costing a thousand crowns, gives me an incredible pain."

But the lavishness of fifteen years later was far greater. On January
16, 1680, the King married Mlle. de Blois, his daughter by La Vallière,
to Prince Louis-Armand de Conti, nephew of the great Condé. "The wedding
festival was royal," wrote Bussy-Rabutin; "there were seven hundred
dishes on a single table, served in five courses, that is to say, one
hundred and forty dishes to each course." Mme. de Sévigné points the
moral. "The young husband was ill the entire night. It would be a
temptation to say 'Well deserved!'"

If, from the incensed and suffering people, the attention is turned
towards the Court, the difference between without and within is perhaps
as clearly marked, although more difficult to define. Without, there is
splendour, adulations given and received; within, a profound moral
misery; with some, debauch and poverty; with others, discouragement and
bitterness. Mme. de Sévigné, in a letter of 1680, has unconsciously
painted, in six lines, the state of degradation to which the King had
systematically reduced the nobility of France, lined up, as it were, to
catch purses thrown to them January 12: "The King is enormously liberal
in truth; it is not needful to despair; one may not be a valet, but in
making one's court, something may fall upon one's head. What is certain
is that far from him [the King], all seems valueless; formerly it was

If souls were debased under Louis, he must be held in large part
responsible. The same can be said in regard to the deterioration of
manners and morals. France, before the time of Louis XIV., was
accustomed enough to both mistresses and bastards, but not to the
prerogatives of second wives conferred on the first, nor the
legitimatising of adulteries which encouraged his subjects to consider
no longer seriously either law or morality. The example of the master
ended in deadening consciences already somewhat feeble, and husbands
might be seen encouraging their wives, the mothers of their daughters,
to imitate La Vallière and de Montespan.


After the painting by D. Plaats]

Louis had been in some degree punished for having played sultan.
Polygamy cannot exist without some discomfort, in a land in which women
have any position. Few men, even upon the stage, have had so many
quarrels with their mistresses, quarrels often violent, humiliating, as
well as painful, as this majestic monarch, before whom the universe
trembled. Royalty does not exist before a jealous mistress, and Louis
XIV. was faithful only to one, Mme. de Maintenon.

The young King had been spoiled by Louise de La Vallière, who was
gentleness itself, and whom love inclined to pardon all. None of the
other mistresses really loved Louis, except perhaps Marie Mancini. Louis
did not really please women; it was only the King for whose favour they

Mlle. de La Vallière had entered the Carmelite convent in 1674. Left
alone upon the "breach," Mme. de Montespan defended the situation like a
lioness. She was naturally sharp-tempered, and her fits of anger were
often ungovernable,[281] as witnesses say, and Louis did not possess the
force which innocence alone gives. Among the rivals who contended with
Mme. de Montespan, many, in spite of her efforts, succeeded in enjoying
their year, or at least their day. When she became enraged, and the King
was forced to bend his neck under the tempest, "she often scolded him
and he did not assert himself."[282] This was his method of expiation.
The ephemeral reign of Mlle. de Fontanges came. She also was
passionate, and she treated the King with "more authority than the
others."[283] Louis called Mme. de Maintenon to his aid, and charged her
to appease these furies. Stormy scenes began to weary him.

It had been remarked since 1675 that Louis aspired to moments of "repose
and of liberty." Mme. de Montespan, with all her intelligence, could not
comprehend that there comes a time of life at which men can no longer
live in the midst of tempests, and this error was the cause of her ruin.

The King acquired the habit of fleeing for refuge to Mme. de Maintenon,
where he found an atmosphere of peace and enjoyed refreshing

It was the first time that an intelligent woman had spoken seriously to
him, without seeking to attract a declaration of love, nor to divert him
with trifles, but to distract him agreeably from his work, and also to
make him reflect upon certain subjects which did not always appeal to
him. For example, what the sinner who had taken the wife of another
might expect in the next world. She recalled to him the fact that there
was a police in heaven as in the palaces of the King of France, and she
asked him: "What would you say if some one should tell your Majesty that
one of the musketeers you love had seduced a married woman, and that
this woman was actually living with him? I am certain that before
evening this man would depart from the palace, never to return,
however late it might be."[284]

[Illustration: =MADAME DE MAINTENON=

After the painting by P. Mignard in 1694]

The King laughed. He had never been more in love with Mme. de
Montespan,--this happened in 1675, before the Jubilee, which separated
them three or four months,--but he was not vexed with Mme. de Maintenon;
already he "could not live without her."[285] One may or may not feel
sympathy with this last, but it is certain that without her, without the
empire that she knew how to gain over a prince ardent for pleasure, but
by no means a veritable libertine, Louis XIV. might have ended
shamefully. To every one their deserts. The Queen Marie-Thérèse was
right in according her friendship to Mme. de Maintenon, who secured for
her, somewhat late it is true, a certain consideration and some
affectionate demonstration to which the poor Queen was not accustomed.

When the King had passed forty, tranquillity became a need. He believed
he had assured it by giving to Mme. de Montespan her official dismissal
as the recognised mistress. The date of this event is known. March 29,
1679, the Comtesse de Soissons was prayed to yield to the ancient
favourite her charge as superintendent of the palace of the Queen, a
position which afforded a kind of regulated retreat. The next day, Mme.
de Montespan wrote to the Duc de Noailles to announce to him this
arrangement, and she added: "Truly this is very bearable. The King only
comes into my room after mass and after supper. It is much better to see
each other rarely with pleasure than often with boredom." The world was
not deceived: "I really believe," wrote Bussy (April 11th), "that the
King, just as he is, has given this position for past favours."

From Mme. de Scudéry to Bussy, October 29, 1679: "A diversion has been
established for Mme. de Montespan for this winter, and provided that she
can do without love, she will retain the consideration of the King. This
is all that an honest man can do when he ceases to love." Bussy
responded, November 4th: "If Mme. de Montespan is wise she will dream
only of cards and will leave the King in peace on the subject of love;
for it is impossible through complaints and scoldings to lure back
unfaithful lovers."

Mme. de Montespan was _not_ wise. In the hope of bringing the King back
to her arms by force, she redoubled the disagreeable scenes. At this
moment, an obscure past, filled with vague and frightful events, rose
against her, and the expiation for having too much loved became almost
tragic in its character.

La Voisin, the poisoner, cannot be forgotten, nor the prosecution in
1668, which had revealed to the young King the connection of his new
mistress with the world of malefactors. This affair was stifled, but the
evil continued in its subterranean influence. The merchants of love
philters and of poisons and the priests of satanic rites saw their
clients increasing in number year by year. When the crimes finally came
to the surface, and Louis established (March 7, 1679) the "_Chambre
ardente_" to purify France from the gangrene, so many Parisians were
connected in one way or another with the accused that the King had
against him a powerful current of opinion. This is, perhaps, the most
significant feature of the sad affair. Instead of being crushed with
shame in learning how many were compromised, the higher classes were
indignant against the equal justice which refused to give them special
consideration. They murmured loudly, and for once the people were with
them, for the populace remained staunch to the sorcerers. The clamours
were so menacing that the judges of the "_Chambre ardente_" felt
themselves in danger: "I know," wrote Bussy-Rabutin on April 1st, "the
chamber instituted to examine the 'corrupters,' and also know that
Messieurs de Bezons and de La Reynie do not pass from Paris to Vincennes
without an escort of the Kings Guards."[286] Louis XIV. was obliged
several times to strengthen the resolution of these judges; sometimes in
openly commanding them to "judge truly"[287] without any distinction of
person, condition, or sex; sometimes by assuring them through official
letter of his "protection."[288]

The first executions before the _Chambre ardente_ took place in
February, 1679, and the list of the names of those arrested or of those
to whom notices of warrants to appear as witnesses had been served, a
list which made so great an excitement on account of the aristocrats
included,[289] is dated January 23, 1680. It had been at least four
months before,[290] that there had come to the ears of the King, as some
one was reading to him the account of the last examinations, two
familiar names. Who is Mlle. des [OE]illets, ancient "follower" of Mme.
de Montespan? Who is Cato, her maid, and what had they to do with La
Voisin and with those like her? These same names again appearing in the
list of January 6, 1680, the King, while declaring that the witnesses
must certainly have lied,[291] ordered the Procurer-General, M. Robert,
"to pay strict attention to this particular case."

This was done, with the result that Louis was forced to ask himself if
the woman whom he adored above all others, and who had borne him seven
children, was a vile "corrupter"; if this perfect body for which he had
risked the safety of his soul had taken part in the ignoble ceremonies
of the infamous Guibourg? If, discontented with the thought of sharing
his favours with rivals, she might not in an access of jealousy have
tried to poison him, the King? He sought the truth, but did not find it.
In waiting further developments, Louis led his mistress with him
wherever he might go, and she was always making a disturbance of some
sort. The King grew less patient; that was the only difference.

From Bussy-Rabutin, May 18, 1680:

"The King ... as he was mounting into his carriage with the Queen had
some rough words with Mme. de Montespan, about the scents with which she
deluged herself, which made his Majesty ill. The King at first spoke
politely, but as she responded sharply, his Majesty grew warm." On the
25th, Mme. de Sévigné noted another "serious embroilment." This time
Colbert succeeded in reconciling them. The situation grew painful. A
long series of letters and _mémoires_ have been found in which La Reynie
discusses for the King the charges accumulated against Mme. de
Montespan. The picture is given of the doubts and fluctuations of an
honest man whose responsibilities somewhat rankle in his breast, and who
sees an equal peril in dishonouring the throne and in permitting a
guilty woman to remain near the King. Louis passed through many
successive stages of conviction during the prosecution. The further the
examination proceeded, the stronger became the presumption of guilt,
without, however, bringing positive proofs.

On July 12, 1680, La Reynie summed up for his master the history of the
"petition to be used in poisoning the King." On October 11th he declared
that he should be ruined in the affair, and supplicated his Majesty to
reflect whether it would be for the "welfare of the State," to make
these "horrors" public. In the month of May following, he avowed that he
had erred on some points and that there was more evil than at first
appeared. The marvellous control that Louis possessed over himself
prevented outward betrayal; but certainly these uncertainties, these
inferior conflicts, and it is to be hoped some sense of shame and
remorse, became chastisements for his faults. On her side, Mme. de
Montespan, in spite of the secret of her possible guilt being well
guarded both at Court and by the judges and police, could not be
ignorant that Mlle. des [OE]illets had been interrogated, confronted
with witnesses, and imprisoned for life in the general Hospital at
Tours.[292] Mme. de Montespan then knew that she had been denounced, but
with what proof? What did the King think? What curious meetings between
these two beings must have taken place. What conversations during which
the King and his mistress were closely observing each other.

Court life, nevertheless, pursued its monotonous course, and Mme. de
Montespan continued to figure in positions of honour. In March, 1689,
she goes to meet the Dauphin[293] with the rest of the Court, and it is
she who has charge of the choice and arrangement of the wedding
presents, "being the woman in the world," wrote Mademoiselle, "who knows
the best forms." In July, the King led her to Versailles with her
sister, Mme. de Thianges, and her niece, the beautiful Duchesse de
Nevers. This lady the mother and aunt were cynically offering to the
Monarch.[294] In February, 1681, "a lottery was opened at Mme. de
Montespan's, of which the largest prize was one hundred thousand francs,
and there were a hundred others offered of one hundred pistoles each."
In July, 1682, the _Chambre ardente_ was suddenly suppressed. Of the
three hundred accused, thirty-six people of no importance had been
executed, one hundred sent to the galleys, or to prisons, or convents,
or exiled; the noted among them always gaining some concessions. The
dungeons of Paris and Vincennes were crowded. The smaller fry were
released, and the remainder were scattered, without any other trial,
through the provincial prisons, to await a death rarely slow in coming
to relieve their misery.

From Louvois to M. de Chauvelin, Intendant, December 16, 1682,
announcing the arrival of one of these convoys:

     Above all, please take care to prevent any of these gentlemen
     from proclaiming aloud, a thing which has already occurred, any
     of the absurd statements connected with Mme. de Montespan,
     which have been proved to be absolutely without foundation.
     Threaten a punishment so severe at the first utterance that
     they will not dare to breathe a word further.

This letter ended the connection of Mme. de Montespan with the affair of
the "corrupters of morals" or the poisoners. She was saved, but was this
due to proofs of innocence or to reasons of State, to the refusal of
Louis to credit the testimony of an Abbé Guibourg or Lesage, or to the
remnants of an old tenderness? The few men with whom it had been
necessary to share the secrets which would respond to these questions
were so perfectly mute that contemporaries suspected nothing. They saw
the ancient favourite a little neglected, but always dreaming of the
possibility of reasserting herself, as the many pages of the _Mémoires_
of Mademoiselle testify. All this was in the natural course of events.

One single indication of what Louis XIV. thought at the bottom of his
soul is possessed; a letter from the King to Colbert, who knew all.
Mademoiselle had prayed Mme. de Montespan to solicit some favour for
Lauzun. The King charged Colbert to reply for him (October, 1681): "You
will politely explain to her that I always receive the marks of her
friendship and confidence with pleasure, and that I am very vexed when
it is not possible to do what she desires, but at this time I can do no
more than I have already done."[295] Did he believe the mistress
innocent or had he pardoned her?

The first preoccupation of Lauzun, in returning to the world, must have
been to make clear to himself through legitimate or illegitimate means
the chronology of the King's love affairs, a history so essential for
the comprehension of the interior life of the Court.

The main facts for this record have been already given in the preceding
chapter. The returned prisoner had afterwards to learn all that
Mademoiselle had accomplished for him during his captivity, and of what
the public thought of her efforts, and he recognised that no one in
France except Segrais doubted the fact of their marriage. That the
marriage had taken place before his imprisonment was the prevalent
belief, which was never really shaken. It again came to light in the
eighteenth century. The historian Anquetil saw at Tréport, in 1744, an
old person of more than seventy years of age, who resembled the
portraits of the Grande Mademoiselle and did not know from whence came
her pension.[296] This person believed herself to be the daughter of the
Duchesse de Montpensier, and local tradition confirmed this conviction.
There were, however, no absolute proofs, and it will be seen further on
how this question of the marriage with Lauzun is brought up over and
over again in the biography of the Grande Mademoiselle, with a monotony
slightly fatiguing and without it being possible to ever obtain a clear

Whatever the fact may be, the Princess gave a very fine example of
constancy and fidelity. She lived for ten years absorbed in a single
thought. The _Mémoires_ for the year 1673 say: "I remember nothing which
has taken place during the past winter. My grief occupies me so much
that I have but little interest in the actions of others." To liberate
Lauzun had become a fixed idea, and she attached herself to the steps of
the King and to those of Mme. de Montespan, without permitting herself
to remember the ill that they had committed, as it was they alone who
could loosen the bonds. The more they showed themselves inexorable, the
more Mademoiselle redoubled her assiduities. In 1676 she enjoyed for the
brief space of two hours the delusion that Louis XIV. at length, at the
end of ten years, was moved with a feeling of compassion. The news of
the attempted escape of Lauzun had just been received. "I learned that
the King had listened to the account with some sign of humanity, I can
hardly say of pity. If he had felt this, would he [Lauzun] still be

The Princess wrote to the King, but received no response; and again four
years rolled by. Mme. de Montespan was no longer favourite. The
courtiers considered it shrewd to neglect her. Better inspired,
Mademoiselle continued to stand fast by her, and the result proved the
wisdom of this course, in the dramatic moment, for Louis, of the affair
of the corrupters. It was in the spring of 1680, while denunciations
were falling upon the fallen favourite as upon all those connected with
La Voisin, that Mademoiselle remarked by certain movements and a change
of tone that something was stirring between Mme. de Montespan and the
fortress of Pignerol:

     I went to her daily and she appeared touched by the thought of
     M. de Lauzun.... She often said to me: "But think how you can
     make yourself agreeable to the King, that he may accord to you
     what you desire so dearly." She threw out such suggestions from
     time to time, which advised me that they were thinking of my

The phrase of a friend came back to her: "But you should let them hope
that you will make M. de Maine your heir." She recalled other hints
which at first had passed unnoticed, and understood that a bargain was

The monarch and his ancient favourite had agreed between them to sell to
Mademoiselle the freedom of the man she loved so deeply. What was to be
the price? This was not yet disclosed. It was some time before
Mademoiselle comprehended, and then she was so disconcerted that she
said nothing. She felt that the combat was not an equal one between
herself, from whom passion had taken away all judgment, and Mme. de
Montespan, who was perfectly calm, and she hesitated, fearing some
snare: "Finally, I resolved to make M. de Maine my heir, provided that
the King would send for Lauzun and consent that I should marry him."
Some third person brought these conditions to Mme. de Montespan and was
received with open arms. Louis XIV. thanked his cousin graciously
without making any allusion to the condition; he could always assert
that he had made no promise.

Mademoiselle wished that he would at least give her some news of Lauzun.
Mme. de Montespan responded to her insistence: "It is necessary to have
patience," and affairs remained at this point.

At the end of some weeks, Mademoiselle perceived that she was no longer
free. She had counted upon taking her time and having sureties before
proceeding further. An immediate execution of the deed of gift was
insisted upon, and she was so harassed that she no longer felt at
liberty to breathe freely.

"The King must not be played with," declared Mme. de Montespan; "when a
promise is made it must be kept." "But," objected Mademoiselle, "I wish
the freedom of M. de Lauzun, and suppose that after what I have done I
should find myself deceived, and my friend should not be liberated?"
Louvois was then sent to frighten her, or Colbert in order to compass
some concession. It was no longer a matter of testament.

A donation while living[297] was exacted, of the Principality of Dombes
and of the Comté of Eu without reference to the rest, and this
assignment was obtained, in spite of complaints and the bitterest tears;
"for they were demanding precisely what had been given to Lauzun, and
Mademoiselle could not without difficulty resolve to despoil her lover."
She finally comprehended that the King would not cease persecuting her
until she consented, and, feeling no hope of diminishing the
demands,[298] she yielded.

The gift to the Duc de Maine was signed February 2, 1681. It gave some
agreeable days to Mademoiselle. The King assured her of his gratitude.
"At supper he regarded me pleasantly and conversed with me; this was
most charming." Nevertheless, Lauzun did not appear. One day Mme. de
Montespan informed the Princess that the King would never permit Lauzun
to be Duc de Montpensier, and that it would be necessary to have a
secret marriage. The Princess cried out: "What! Madame, I am to permit
him to live with me as my husband with no marriage ceremony! Of what
will the world think me capable?"

This passage in the _Mémoires_ apparently fixes the date of marriage
after the return of Lauzun from his captivity. There exist, however, a
number of moral proofs against this later date.

Some time after this conversation, in the beginning of April, 1681, the
Court being at Saint-Germain, Mme. de Montespan announced to
Mademoiselle the immediate departure of Lauzun for the Baths of
Bourbon, and she then drew her, slightly against her will, to the end of
the terrace, far from indiscreet ears. "When we were in the Val, which
is a garden at the end of the Park of Saint-Germain, she said to me,
'The King has asked me to tell you that he does not wish you to dream of
ever marrying M. de Lauzun, at least, officially.'"

Mademoiselle had been tricked.

"Upon this, I began to weep and to talk about the gifts I had made, only
on the one condition. Mme. de Montespan said, 'I have promised nothing.'
She had gained what she wished, and was willing enough to bear anything
I might say." In the evening it was necessary to assume a delighted air
and thank the King for Lauzun's freedom; a single sign of ill-humour and
Mademoiselle ran the risk of receiving nothing in exchange for her

There remained the task of forcing Lauzun to renounce the gifts formerly
presented to him. Mme. de Montespan took the route to Bourbon, where
"she found greater difficulty than she had anticipated." Her demands so
surpassed the expectations of the late prisoner that he revolted. There
were many disputes, many despatches, and many delays,[299] at the end of
which the obstinate one, having been reimprisoned,[300] was so harassed
with threats and promises that he finally yielded. His signature was
given; he believed himself free. Instead of liberty, he received an
order of exile to Amboise. He also had been duped. This affair is
odious from beginning to end.

Mademoiselle was Lauzun's resource and providence. She compensated him
as far as might be with a fresh devotion, in which Saint-Fargeau figured
as an item, and found means to pay him nearly 300,000 francs[301] over
what the King would have been obliged to give him if he had not been
sent to Pignerol. With much difficulty, the importunities of
Mademoiselle obtained the desired permission for the ex-prisoner to
salute the King and afterward to dwell where it pleased him, on the
single condition that he would not approach the Court. Access to this
was strictly forbidden; but what would it have mattered, when he would
have humbled himself before his master?

Alas! the charm was broken, and for ever. In March, 1682, at the single
interview granted, Lauzun threw himself ten times, consecutively, at the
feet of Louis XIV.--the King himself relates this--and employed all his
grace, all his flatteries, without succeeding in breaking the ice.

Received coolly and dismissed without delay, there was nothing left but
to fall back upon Mademoiselle. They had not yet met, and it is a
terrible test of devotion to meet after eleven years, and to endeavour
to again open the page closed by misfortune. The Grande Mademoiselle of
the time previous to the imprisonment at Pignerol singularly resembled
the Hermione of Racine, in her jealousy and violence. The one of 1682
was not yet a tranquil person, but Hermione was an old woman, and
Pyrrhus a licentious greybeard, who was endeavouring to recompense
himself for the time lost in prison.

Years had not made Lauzun in love with his benefactress, and he arrived
to meet her well resolved to finish simply with expressions of gratitude
and of love. Mademoiselle was well aware of his infidelities. The grief,
mingled with irritation, which she felt displayed itself in a sort of
stiffness and embarrassment. The great joy she had anticipated in again
seeing her lover, she did not realise.

She had existed ten long years for this moment, and when it came, she
desired to escape. She went to await Lauzun at Mme. de Montespan's, a
first piece of absurdity. "M. de Lauzun," say her _Mémoires_, "arrived
after his interview with the King; he wore an old undress uniform with
short waistcoat, almost in rags, and a very ugly wig.[302] He sank at my
feet with much grace. Then Mme. de Montespan led us into a cabinet, and
said, 'You will be glad to speak together.' She then went away, and I
followed her." A second ridiculous action! Lauzun profited by the delay
to salute the rest of the royal family. On returning, he found his
Princess with Mme. de Montespan and did not see her an instant alone:
"He told me that he had been cordially received, and that this he owed
to me; that I was his only source of good, the one from which he
received all. He made certain amiable propositions, and in thus acting
he was only wise. I was silent; I was astonished."

This interview finished, Lauzun considered himself free from his
obligations and returned to Paris with a peaceful conscience.
Mademoiselle dared not follow him too quickly. The fourth day they were
at Choisy, a new mansion that Mademoiselle had built two leagues from
Sceaux. Lauzun regarded the Princess while she was having her head
adorned with flame-coloured ribbons. "He said, 'I was astonished to see
the Queen with many-coloured ribbons on her head.' 'You must find it
wrong, then, that I should wear them, who am older?' He did not reply. I
told him that rank permitted the decoration for a longer period."
Mademoiselle had at first written, "People of my rank are always young,"
but had effaced the phrase. Lauzun knew well how to restore her to a
good-humour, and he let himself be scolded, escaping towards evening to
return to his pleasures.

The fifth day they again disputed. Lauzun was in the wrong; he had
spoken of his visits to Choisy as duties. Mademoiselle, however, injured
her cause with sharpness. "I see clearly," said she, "that in this world
people who do good are mocked, as they are bores." Lauzun, vexed,
demanded, "How much longer is this pleasantry to last?" "As long as I
please; I have the right to say all I wish, and you are bound to
listen." Lauzun showed "much impatience to depart," and this was not
altogether unnatural, considering the nature of man. At another
interview, it was the lover who was the first to show irritation. To be
no longer of any importance in the world of society, to be two steps
from the Court without being free to enter, this was more than he could
bear. He accused Mademoiselle of having managed very badly and having
only done harm; "if she had not interfered with his affairs," he would
have come out of prison under better conditions. Mme. de Montespan
overheard the accusation and was very indignant at this injustice and
ingratitude, and the Princess united with her in reproaches. It would be
difficult to find a clear moment in the midst of these frequent
quarrels, in which the pair would have desired to marry, if they had not
done so before Pignerol. Here is again a moral proof to add to the

About every two days, Lauzun became metamorphosed, and was again for
some hours, or at least minutes, for Mademoiselle the former "little
man" whose eccentricities gave an indescribable charm, difficult to
explain, but impossible to deny. He had not the least trouble in again
captivating his mistress. As soon as he assumed the sweet and submissive
air and the enigmatical smile which she had so dearly loved (even
combined with the manners which she sometimes distrusted, "of being
acquainted with everything without speaking or copying"), Mademoiselle
fell anew under the charm and could refuse nothing. But this happy state
of affairs never lasted. The time to obtain from her some new
concession, another service, and the exaggerated manner of the convict
dragging his chain reappeared. He loved to exasperate her jealousy. If
nothing better offered, "he amused himself with grisettes,"[303] even
after the royal family had received him as cousin "understood," if not
avowed, and when all Paris was congratulating Mademoiselle on his happy

Other serious difficulties arose from the fact of Lauzun considering the
money of Mademoiselle as his own. Choisy appeared to him a useless
expense; he found much fault with its management. "The terraces cost
immense sums," said he one day while walking in the grounds; "what good
are they?" The Princess had sold in his absence a chain of pearls.
"Where is the money?" demanded Lauzun. He wished to hold the purse
strings, and no longer to be a "beggar." It astonished him that
Mademoiselle had not thought of preparing for him, before his arrival,
"a beautiful apartment," of organising his establishment, of placing one
of her carriages at his disposal.

He complained openly in the social world that she left him without a
penny; that she had only given him some diamonds, worth perhaps one
thousand pistoles in all--and what stones, so "ugly"!--and that he had
immediately sold them to obtain means of "subsistence." This is the
perpetual complaint of the youthful husband, who wishes to be
recompensed for the devotion lavished upon an elderly wife. The
"beautiful apartment" existed and awaited him, but it was at the Château
of Eu; the King would not tolerate his presence at the Luxembourg.

Those who had the good fortune to visit Eu before the fire of 1902 will
not have forgotten the flight of Loves on the ceiling of a chamber
situated above that belonging to Mademoiselle. The Chamber of the Loves
was the one designed for Lauzun, who failed, however, to honour the
symbol. After a delay of three weeks, he no sooner arrived than he
committed the unpardonable imprudence of running after the village
girls, under the very eyes of Mademoiselle. This was too much. The
mistress of the château beat Lauzun, scratched his face, and turned him
out of doors. There he should stay. He was sufficiently shrewd to desire
an accommodation. The Comtesse de Fiesque served as intermediary.

In the Château of Eu there was a long gallery filled with family
portraits. Mademoiselle appeared at one end; "he [Lauzun] was at the
other, and he crept along on his knees the entire length of the gallery,
till he reached the feet of Mademoiselle."[304] Possibly they forgave
each other sincerely, but when friction once exists between married
couples it continues, whether in the palace of princes or in the huts of
charcoal burners. Such scenes, more or less stormy, occurred again in
the future. Lauzun grew weary of being beaten, and in his turn used
force with the Princess, and this happened several times. In the end,
disgusted with each other, they fought for the last time and separated,
never to meet again.

The final quarrel is related in detail in the _Mémoires_ of
Mademoiselle. It happened in the spring of 1684. France was at war with
Spain. On April 22d the King departed to join his army, refusing to
permit Lauzun to accompany him, who imagined, rightly or wrongly, that
Mademoiselle was responsible for the prohibition, and was indignant. He
went to the Luxembourg, where a reception of raillery exasperated him
still further:

     I met him laughing, and said: "You must retire to
     Saint-Fargeau; you will be a laughing stock if you remain at
     Paris, as you were not permitted to go with the King, and I
     shall be very vexed if it is believed that it is I who have
     caused you to remain behind." He replied: "I am going away, and
     bid you farewell; I shall never see you again." I said: "It
     would have been better if we had never met; but better late
     than never." "You have ruined my career," replied he; "you
     might as well have cut my throat; it is your fault that I am
     not with the King; you asked him to leave me behind." "Oh, that
     is false; he will tell you so himself." Lauzun grew more and
     more angry, and I remained very calm. I said to him: "Adieu,
     then"; and I entered my boudoir. I remained there some time; on
     returning, I found him still there. The ladies present said:
     "Do you not wish to play cards?" I approached him,
     saying: "This is too much; keep your promise;
     go away." He finally withdrew.

This rupture made a great scandal. Dangeau, who had followed the King to
the frontier, noted on May 6th, in his journal: "The news comes from
Paris that Mademoiselle has forbidden M. de Lauzun to appear again
before her." Thus ends meanly and miserably, with a scene worthy of
Dickens, the most famous passion of the century, after that of Chimène
and Rodrigue. The first interest in the affair abated, the hero of the
romance sank into obscurity. Mademoiselle cast herself into an ecstasy
of pious devotion, from which the virtue of pardoning the offences of
others was apparently excluded.

Lauzun sought some support to which to attach himself, and did not
easily find it. He realised too late that one could not quarrel with
impunity with a princess of the blood. He made attempts at
reconciliation, which Mademoiselle repulsed; she had loved with too much
ardour not to be capable of furious hate. The career of both lovers
appeared to be finished, when the fantastic star which had guided Lauzun
towards so many adventures, marvellous if not always agreeable, led him
to England during the autumn of 1688. He sought a more hospitable court,
he found a revolution and glory. "I admire the star of M. de Lauzun,"
wrote Mme. de Sévigné, "which again brings its light over the horizon
when it was supposed to be for ever extinguished" (December 24, 1688).

The name of Lauzun was actually again on the lips of all. He had saved
the Queen of England and her son, and had brought them to Calais at
great risk, and suddenly assumed the pose of a true hero, wrongly
despised and persecuted. "It is long," at once said Louis, "since Lauzun
has seen my writing. I believe that he will rejoice at receiving a
letter from me." The royal missive bore to the former favourite more
than the pardon for the past; it spoke of "impatience to see him
again."[305] Mademoiselle considered this an outrage against herself;
the ministers and courtiers, a menace. (December 27th): "He [Lauzun] has
found the road again to Versailles by way of London; but he alone is
joyful." The Princess is indignant at the thought that the King is again
content with him, and that he can return to Court.[306]

In vain the King sent Seignelay to say to his cousin, as a sort of
excuse and consolation: "After such services rendered by Lauzun, it is
my duty to see him." Mademoiselle grew angry, and said, "This is then
the gratitude I receive for having despoiled myself for the sake of the
King's children." One of the friends of M. de Lauzun was charged to
present her with a letter. She threw it into the fire unread.[307] When
it was realised that she was not to be appeased, people ceased to
concern themselves with her and her bad temper. Lauzun re-entered in
triumph the Court of France, and Bussy-Rabutin, in a letter to Mme. de
Sévigné,[308] summed up the record of his career (February 2, 1689): "We
have seen him in favour, we have seen him submerged, and now behold he
is again riding the waves. Do you remember a childish game in which one
says, 'I have seen him alive, I have seen him dead, I have seen him
alive after his death'? This tells his history."

The "second volume of the romance" offers to those interested an account
of the solemn conferring upon the little Lauzun, in the church of Notre
Dame, by King James II., of the Order of the Garter. To this chapter
succeeds one less brilliant. Lauzun received the appointment as
commander of the French troops sent to Ireland to sustain the cause of
legitimate monarchy. He lacked the necessary qualifications for this
post. He astonished his officers with his incapacity, and made them
blush by displaying "a longing to return to France,"[309] which was not

Louis XIV. consented to make Lauzun Duke, upon "the urgent prayer"[310]
of their Britannic Majesties, but his opinion once formed never changed.
The King never again employed the new Duke in any official capacity, and
this omission was always bitterly resented.

As a result of many years of reflection, Mademoiselle at length arrived
at the conviction, an accepted commonplace, that happiness is not for
the prominent upon this earth. Without actually compensating her for her
troubles, this discovery brought a certain consolation. She had, at this
period, as neighbour in Normandy, a young and charming woman called the
Comtesse de Bayard, who became in the following century the godmother of
Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, and who furnished her godson with
material[311] afterwards woven into tales made charming by his
delicately sentimental language. One of these tales by Saint-Pierre is
founded upon the romance of the Grande Mademoiselle. Mme. de Bayard
liked to recall how, in their lonely walks, the Princess would linger to
make the villagers relate the tales of their loves and marriages; how
her eyes would fill with tears, and how, returning into the Château of
Eu, she would say that she would have been happier in a hut.

To tears succeeded a certain childishness; the execrable Court life had
educated her only for a puerile old age, and she hastened to Versailles
from time to time, fearing to miss a tournament or some spectacle of
this kind. On March 15, 1693, she was seized at Paris with a disease of
the bladder which rapidly increased in severity.[312] The Luxembourg
was besieged with seekers after news; the fear of losing the Grande
Mademoiselle had aroused anew her popularity. Monsieur and Madame, who
loved her, came to nurse her. Lauzun begged to be admitted, but was
refused. The condition grew rapidly worse, and the physicians, not
knowing what to do, administered five doses of an emetic, the
fashionable remedy that winter for all diseases, with the result that
she soon saw the mournful procession of the royal family defile around
her bed, the sure sign that all hope had passed.

The Princess died on April 15th, at the age of sixty-six years, and was
buried at Saint-Denis with much pomp. In the midst of the ceremony, an
urn, in which through a curious arrangement the entrails were enclosed,
"broke with a frightful noise and emitted a sudden and intolerable
odour."[313] Some women fainted, while the rest of those present gained
the open air by running. "All was soon perfumed and decorum was
re-established," but this occurrence became the jest of Paris. It was
fated that the Grande Mademoiselle should always arouse a little
ridicule, even at her interment.

Lauzun went into deep mourning, and made, on the day of the funeral, an
offer of marriage, to prove that he was really a widower. Having, on
this occasion, been refused, he married (1695) the younger daughter of
the Maréchal de Lorges and became the brother-in-law of Saint-Simon.

Mme. de Lauzun was a child of fourteen,[314] to whom Lauzun, with his
sixty-three years, appeared so old that she had accepted him in the
expectation of being quickly a widow.

She flattered herself that at the end of "two or three years at
most"[315] she would find herself independent, rich, and, above all, a
duchess, and this idea captivated her. But Lauzun could never be counted
upon. His wife was obliged to endure him for nearly thirty years, passed
in suffering torments from morning till night from the loving husband.
The King had said to the Maréchal de Lorges, in learning of the marriage
of his youngest daughter: "You are bold to take Lauzun into your family;
I trust that you may not repent it." Repentance was prompt and bitter.
Mademoiselle was right, it was impossible to live with Lauzun. It was
through miracles of patience that his new wife bore to the end, and
miracles should never be exacted in wedded life. The mean little
calculation at the beginning had been amply expiated by the time that
Mme. de Lauzun finally became a widow. Even to the end, Lauzun had
remained one of the ornaments and curiosities of the Court of France,
noted for his grand manner, the eccentricities of his habits, the
splendour of his habitation, and for the indescribable elegance and ease
of conversation and bearing, which at that time was not to be acquired
at Versailles.

At ninety he himself drove, and sometimes with fiery animals. One day,
when he was training a fresh colt in the Bois de Boulogne, the King,
Louis XIV., passed. Lauzun executed before him a "hundred capers" and
filled the spectators with admiration, by his "address, his strength,
and his grace."[316] He still often enjoyed "pretty" moments. But there
was a reverse side to the medal: the malignant dwarf "frightened all who
approached him with his wicked wit and his hateful tricks." From afar,
Lauzun is very amusing under this aspect; he excelled in buffoonery. In
extreme age, he suffered from a malady which almost killed him. One day,
when he was very ill, he perceived reflected in a mirror the forms of
two of his heirs who entered the chamber on tiptoe, fancying themselves
concealed behind the curtains, to ascertain with their own eyes how long
they were to be forced to wait. Lauzun feigned to perceive nothing and
began to pray in a loud voice as one who believes himself alone. He
demanded pardon of God for his past life, and lamented that his time for
repentance was so short. He exclaimed that there was only a single way
to secure his safety, which was to devote the wealth which God had given
him to paying for his sins, and this he engaged to do with all his
heart. He promised to leave to the hospital all that he possessed,
without abstracting a single penny. He made this declaration with so
much fervour and with so penetrating an accent that his heirs fled away
in despair, to relate the misfortune to Mme. de Lauzun. This scene
properly terminates the career of this extraordinary personage,
unscrupulous and malignant to the last. Lauzun died in 1723, at over
ninety years of age.

Mademoiselle was the last to disappear of the grand figures belonging to
the time of the Fronde. Retz, Condé, Turenne, La Rochefoucauld, Mme. de
Chevreuse, Mme. de Longueville, had departed before her.

The only one of the ancient rebels which could not perish, the Hôtel de
Ville of Paris, had been suppressed from history by royal ordinance for
the period corresponding to the Fronde. The accounts of the prosecutions
of the Council recorded the revolutionary sentiments which prevailed at
the capital during the civil war. The King ordered all the
registers[317] to be destroyed, and the destruction included every
record relating to public affairs for the years 1646-1653.

It may be said without too much calumniating the heart of Louis XIV.
that the death of his cousin afforded a certain relief. She was too
lively a reminder of the execrable period which he did his best to
banish from his own memory as well as from that of the public.
Saint-Simon, newly arrived at the Court at the date of the death of
Mademoiselle, had time to convince himself that she was in the eyes of
the King always the unpardoned and unpardonable heroine of the combat of
the Porte Saint-Antoine. "I heard him reproach his cousin once at
supper, joking it is true, but a little roughly, for having turned the
cannon of the Bastile upon his troops."

The royal rancour extended to the city of Paris, eternal cradle of
French revolutions. Not being able to suppress the capital, Louis XIV.
banished himself from its gates. On May 6, 1682, unfortunate date for
the French monarchy, the Court installed itself definitely at
Versailles, and henceforth left this place only for sojourns at the
various country seats, as Fontainebleau and Marly. Paris was abandoned,
left to do penance. Not only did Louis XIV. desert this city as a place
of residence, but he visited it rarely. It was remarked that he often
made long detours rather than to pass through Paris. The nobility and
ministers followed the King to Versailles. Royalty and the capital
turned their backs on each other.

Another important event influenced the ideas of Court decorum and
propriety. The Queen Marie-Thérèse dying in 1683 (July 30), Louis XIV.
in the course of the winter following formally married Mme. de
Maintenon. The physiognomy of the Court, what Saint-Simon would have
called the bark (_écorce_), entirely changed its character. At the
moment of ending this long study it is, then, a different world to which
adieu must be said from the one which was found at the beginning, and
the transformation did not end with the "bark." The principal cause of
the change, the establishment of absolute monarchy, had acted violently
upon France in shaking the nation to its depths, as do all changes not
developing from national tradition.

Absolute monarchy was not a French tradition. It was an importation from
Spain. Anne of Austria, who did not understand any other régime, had
educated her son to accept her ideas and habits of thought, and the
substitution of king for minister was, at the death of Mazarin,
accomplished without shock. It was, however, a real _coup d'état_.

Before Louis XIV. the royal power, without being submitted to precise
limitations, from time to time hurled itself against certain rights,
themselves often loosely defined. There existed privileges of the
Parliament, others of the State, together with those of the nobles, and
others belonging to bodies and individuals, which when united left the
King of France in a situation resembling that in which Gulliver found
himself, when the Liliputians bound him with hundreds of minute threads.
Each single thread was of no consequence; through the compression of all
together every movement was paralysed. Louis XIV. resolutely broke the
numerous threads which had trammelled the power of his predecessors. He
freed himself in suppressing the ancient liberties of France. No student
of history can be ignorant of the material results, so splendid at
first, so disastrous in the end; but certain moral consequences of his
government have been perhaps less clearly remarked.

The French aristocracy ceased from the second generation to be a nursery
for men of action. This was the result desired from the policy of
keeping it chained to the steps of the throne. The end had been attained
at the date of the King's death. Saint-Simon, who cannot be suspected of
hostility towards the nobility, certifies to this. When the Duke arrived
at power under the Regent, his brain swarming with projects for
replacing the aristocrats in positions of importance, and when he sought
great names with which to fill great posts, he realised that he was too
late. The "nursery" was empty. The difficulty, say the _Mémoires_

     lay in the ignorance, the frivolity, and the lack of
     application of a nobility which had been accustomed to lives of
     frivolity and uselessness; a nobility that was good for nothing
     but to let itself be killed, and that reached the battle-field
     itself only through the force of heredity. For the remainder of
     the time, it was content to stagnate in an existence without a
     purpose. It had delivered itself over to idleness and felt keen
     disgust for all education, excepting that relating to military
     matters. The result was a general incapacity and unfitness for

It is proper to render to Cæsar what belongs to Cæsar. The effacement of
the French aristocracy is not to be laid at the door of the great
Revolution, which acted only upon an accomplished fact; it was the
personal work of Louis XIV.

The higher classes also, contrary to the generally received opinion,
suffered from a serious moral abasement. This fact is the more striking,
as at no other period has France possessed so many elements for giving
to life decorum and dignity. Through a deplorable misfortune, social
groups which ought, through their solid principles, to have served as
the support of public morality had incurred, one after the other, the
serious displeasure of royalty. Among the Catholics, the disciples of
Bérulle and of Vincent de Paul had compromised themselves in the affair
of the _Compagnie du Saint Sacrement_. No government worthy of the name
can suffer itself to be led by a secret society, whatever the purpose or
character of such society may be. The Jansenists had shared with the
reformers in the discontent that the least expression of a desire for
independence, no matter in what domain, inspired in Louis XIV.

His distrust even reached the interior life of his subjects. Every one,
under penalty of being considered a rebel, must feel and think like the
King. This was with Louis a fixed idea, and during his reign gave a
peculiar character to the religious persecutions. Jansenists and
Protestants were pursued much oftener as enemies of the King than as
enemies of God.

The hostility of the Prince to the three principal seats of the French
conscience, and the destruction of two of these, left the field clear
for the licentiousness which marked the end of the reign. Excessive
dissipation is always supposed to belong particularly to the time of
the Regency, but the abscess had existed for a long time before the
death of Louis XIV. caused it to break. A letter as early as 1680
states, "Our fathers were not more chaste than we are; but ... now the
vices are decorated and refined."[318] The evil had made rapid progress
under the mantle of hypocrisy, which covered the Court of France from
the time of the rule of Mme. de Maintenon. This last well perceived the
danger and groaned over it to no purpose. Strangers were struck with the
conditions. "All is more concentrated," wrote one of them in 1690, "more
reserved, more restrained, than the peculiar genius of the nation can

The real misfortune was that Louis, who had been brought up and matured
in an entirely formal religion, had permitted himself to be imposed upon
by scoffers, who came disguised as believers, in order to make their
court. The King, who had permitted the representation of _Tartuffe_, had
not sufficiently meditated upon its import.

A final misdeed, and not the least for which the absolute régime is
responsible, was the launching of the nation in pursuit of one of the
most dangerous of political chimeras, that of the need of spiritual
unity. Louis XIV. revoked the Edict of Nantes in the name of the fetich
that a good Frenchman must be of his King's faith. A century later, the
Terror cut off heads in the name of a unity of opinion, because a
Frenchman ought to be virtuous in the fashion of Rousseau and of
Robespierre. The reader may continue for himself the series, and count
the acts of oppression committed in the nineteenth century, while even
the twentieth century, young as it still is, presents examples of the
attempt to enforce upon the nation a uniformity of thought which, if
once attained, would signify intellectual death. For in politics, as in
religion, as in art, in literature, in all, diversity is life.

It is through this capital error that the reign of Louis XIV., so
glorious in many respects, was the precursor of the great Revolution and
really made its coming inevitable. The Jacobins are in some measure the
heirs of the great King. Fundamentally, the mania for spiritual and
moral unity is simply, under a less odious name, the horror of liberty;
a sentiment old as the world, but which in the earlier portion of the
seventeenth century had been far from dominant. The word "liberty"
occurs again and again in the writings of many people of that period,
theorists, jurists, and great nobles, at every point in which they touch
politics. The expression contained for them nothing revolutionary. What
they were demanding was rather a return to past methods, and, above all,
it did not enter their thoughts to associate with liberty the word
"equality." It is the eighteenth century, more philosophical, if perhaps
less reasonable, that first conceived the idea of uniting two really
incompatible things, without perceiving that one of the two was destined
to annihilate the other.

If absolute royalty had remained at Paris, it would have clearly
realised the point at which the nation no longer was in sympathy with
its rule. At Versailles it saw nothing; it shut itself up in its own
tomb. The divorce was consummated between the Court and the Capital, one
contenting itself with being figurative and ornamental, the other
actively controlling opinions, since royalty had renounced the office of
directing the public mind and thoughts.

It will be recollected that the rôle of universal arbitrator was played
by the "young Court," the youthful King at its head, at the time in
which there was daily contact with Paris, and when the Court was always
in the advance in ideas as in fashions. The residence at Versailles
ended the possibility of these times ever returning; there was no longer
any bond between the King of France and the merchant of the rue St.
Denis. In consequence, Paris employed itself in the eighteenth century
in the evolution of minds. The Court had decided upon the success of the
plays of Molière, the Parisian parquet criticised those of Beaumarchais.

If it be considered that the interior politics of Louis XIV. were
constantly dominated by a horror of the Fronde, it will be recognised
that this abortive revolution brought in its train consequences almost
as grave as if it had been successful. This is the reason it has seemed
permissible to make the history of the ideas and sentiments existing
during the wars of the Fronde and the succeeding forty years circle
around the incidents in the life of the Grande Mademoiselle. She was a
truly representative figure of this generation, and on this account will
always merit the attention of historians, and by a double claim, through
the interest in her proud conception of life, and through the importance
of the evil for which she was partly responsible and by the results of
which she was herself overwhelmed. No one possessed in a higher degree
than this Princess the great qualities belonging to her epoch, and no
one preserved them so intact without thought of the danger after the
retaining of such opinions had become a cause of disgrace.

Neither Retz nor the great Condé showed signs in their old age of their
characteristics displayed under the Fronde; both had become calmed. The
Grande Mademoiselle remained always the Grande Mademoiselle, and this
steadfastness, while sometimes a difficulty, was more often her real
title to glory.


[Footnote 264: M. du Honsett, Ancient Intendant of Finance. He had just
purchased the office of Chancellor of Monsieur.]

[Footnote 265: Letter dated April 1, 1671.]

[Footnote 266: Letter dated January 13, 1672.]

[Footnote 267: _Mémoires de La Fare._ _Cf._ the _Mémoires de Choisy,
Segraisiana_, etc.]

[Footnote 268: Louvois had visited Pignerol the preceding year.]

[Footnote 269: The authorities quoted in this and the following chapter,
upon the captivity of Lauzun, are in part unpublished and drawn from the
Archives of the Minister of War, in part borrowed from the _Archives de
la Bastille_, by M. Ravaisson. See also a collection of historic
documents of 1829: _Histoire de la Détention des Philosophes_, by J.

[Footnote 270: Mme. de Montespan and Mlle. de La Vallière were
designated briefly "_les Dames_."]

[Footnote 271: This letter has been lost or destroyed.]

[Footnote 272: Louvois to Saint-Mars, March 2, 1676.]

[Footnote 273: The letter from Saint-Mars (March 23, 1680) giving an
account of the communications between the dungeons has never been found,
any more than that telling of the flight of Lauzun.]

[Footnote 274: Louvois to Saint-Mars, November 28, 1679.]

[Footnote 275: Leopold von Ranke, _Histoire de France_.]

[Footnote 276: _Journal d'Olivier Lefèvre d'Ormesson._]

[Footnote 277: Two years after this warning Louis XIV. gave at
Versailles, in honour of Mme. de Montespan, a fête for which special
buildings were created. The ballroom, only used _one night_, was marble
and porphyry; the rest in accordance.]

[Footnote 278: A loss of more than 100,000 crowns was not rare at the
gaming table of the King. March 6, 1670, Mme. de Montespan lost 400,000
pistoles in one night; at eight in the morning she regained 500,000. The
pistole is worth about ten francs. In 1682, three years after her
disgrace, she lost at one time 700,000 crowns which she did not regain.
The King paid her debts.]

[Footnote 279: Letter of Mme. de Châtrier, attached to the House of
Condé; _De La Vallière à Montespan_, by Jean Lemoine and André

[Footnote 280: Letter from Colbert to the Intendant de Rochefort (April
16, 1678).]

[Footnote 281: _Mémoires de la Fare._]

[Footnote 282: _Mémoires de Mlle. de Montpensier._]

[Footnote 283: _Mémoires de l'Abbé de Choisy._]

[Footnote 284: _Souvenirs sur Mme. de Maintenon._--_Les Cahiers de Mlle.
d'Aumale_, with an introduction by M. G. Hanotaux.]

[Footnote 285: _Ibid._]

[Footnote 286: Letter to the Marquis de Trichateau.]

[Footnote 287: Note by La Reynie (December 27, 1679). The documents of
the _Affaire des poisons_ form more than 1300 pages of the _Archives de
la Bastille_, and they are not complete. Certain especial depositions,
particularly compromising for Mme. de Montespan, are lacking, and were
probably burned by order of Louis XIV.]

[Footnote 288: Louvois to Boucherat, President of the _Chambre_,
February 4, 1680.]

[Footnote 289: It included the Comtesse de Soissons, the Marquise
d'Alluye (the King saved both), the Duc de Luxembourg (victim of an
error), the Vicomtesse de Polignac, the Marquis de Feuquières, the
Princesse de Tingry, the Maréchale de la Ferté, the Duchesse de
Bouillon, etc.]

[Footnote 290: Cf. _Archives de la Bastille_, the "_Note autographe_" of
La Reynie, dated September 17, 1679. Was this the first time that these
names had appeared? The destruction of portions of the testimony through
the orders of the King does not permit the real truth to be disclosed.]

[Footnote 291: Louvois to M. Robert, January 15, 1680.]

[Footnote 292: She died there September 8, 1686. Cato seems to have been
dismissed, although she had been placed with Mme. de Montespan by La

[Footnote 293: Marie-Anne-Christine de Bavière, coming to marry the
Grand Dauphin.]

[Footnote 294: Cf. _Les souvenirs de Mme. de Caylus_ and--among
others--the letter of Mme. de Sévigné dated July 17, 1680.]

[Footnote 295: _Mme. de Montespan et Louis XIV._]

[Footnote 296: _Louis XIV., sa Cour et le Régent_, by Anquetil (Paris,

[Footnote 297: The gift to be enjoyed only after the death of

[Footnote 298: _Mémoires de Saint-Simon._]

[Footnote 299: Saint-Simon, _Écrits inédits_.]

[Footnote 300: At Chalon-sur-Saône.]

[Footnote 301: Exactly, according to the official figures, 284,940

[Footnote 302: The coat called a _brevet_, because it could only be worn
with a _brevet_ from the King, was changed every year. It was thus very
out of fashion at the end of twelve years. Lauzun had worn a wig at
Pignerol, to protect his head against the dampness of his dungeon.]

[Footnote 303: _Écrits inédits_, Saint-Simon.]

[Footnote 304: Saint-Simon, _Mémoires_. Saint-Simon takes his details
from an eye-witness.]

[Footnote 305: Saint-Simon, _Écrits inédits_.]

[Footnote 306: Sévigné.]

[Footnote 307: _Mémoires de la Cour de France_, by Mme. de La Fayette.]

[Footnote 308: Sévigné, January 6, 1689.]

[Footnote 309: Letter of M. d'Amfreville, general-officer of the marine
to Seignelay, in the _Histoire de Louvois_, by Camille Rousset.]

[Footnote 310: Saint-Simon, _Écrits inédits_.]

[Footnote 311: _[Oe]uvres completes_, of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre
(Paris, 1830), vol. i.; _Essai sur la Vie_ by Aimé-Martin.]

[Footnote 312: Cf. the _Gazette_ for 1693, and the series of the
_Mercure Galant_ monthly periodical, founded in 1672 by Donneau de

[Footnote 313: Saint-Simon, _Mémoires_.]

[Footnote 314: Saint-Simon says fifteen. He is mistaken; the act of
marriage says fourteen.]

[Footnote 315: _Mémoires_, Saint-Simon.]

[Footnote 316: Saint-Simon, _Mémoires_.]

[Footnote 317: The royal ordinance is dated July 7, 1668. Louis XIV. was
ever ignorant of the fact that the councillors of the Hôtel de Ville had
passed nights in copying what was to be burned, so that the documents
supposed to be destroyed still exist.]

[Footnote 318: From La Rivière to Bussy-Rabutin.]

[Footnote 319: _Relation de la Cour de France_, by Ézéchiel Spanheim,
envoy extraordinary from Brandenbourg.]



Absolute monarchy, establishment of, in France, 7, 118, 142;
  a Spanish importation, 371

Adickes, Erich, _Kant als Mensch_ by, 220

Aimé-Martin, _Essai sur la Vie_, by, 365

Aix, Court at, 100-102

Aix-la-Chapelle, treaty of, 258

Albret, Maréchal d', 282

_Alceste_ (Lulli), 218

Alençon, Elisabeth, Mlle, d', daughter of Monsieur, 77, 133, 186;
  marriage of, 235, 294

Allier, Raoul, _La Cabale des Dévots_, by, 83, 85, 157, 181, 198

Alluye, Marquise d', 344

Alphonse VI., King of Portugal, 142-145, 160, 185

_Amadis_, 216

_Amants Magnifiques, Les_ (Molière), 202

_Amaryllis_, 18

_Ambassadeur de la Fuente au roi d'Espagne, L'_, 189

Amboise, Château of, 27, 44, 354

Amfreville, M. d', 364

Amiens, 263

"Amours of Hercules," 120

Andilly, Arnauld, d', 79

_Andromaque_ (Racine), 225, 228

Angélique, Mother, 88, 92

Angennes, Julie d', 264

Anjou, Philippe, Duc d' (the little Monsieur), proposed marriage of,
    with Mademoiselle, 59, 73, 272-278;
  character of, 74, 102, 105, 152, 196, 261, 262, 271, 272;
  becomes Duc d'Orléans, 102;
  marries Henrietta of England, 136, 151, 152;
  marries Princess Palatine, 156, 315;
  daughters of, 277;
  opposed to mésalliance of Mlle., 285

Anjou, son of Louis XIV., 285

Anne of Austria, regency of, 1;
  education of her sons, 31, 63-65, 74, 371;
  relations of, with Mazarin, 62, 63, 82, 112, 304;
  reception of Mademoiselle, 57-59, and lack of Court etiquette, 76-79,
  member of Compagnie du Saint-Sacrement, 87, 103, 148, 158, 198;
  prevents marriage of Louis and Marie Mancini, 82, 97;
  receives Condé, 100;
  interview of, with Philip IV., 108-110;
  favours absolute monarchy, 118, 146, 371;
  be friends Marie-Thérèse, 118, 149;
  detests Madame, 122;
  reproaches Louis, 153, 170;
  influence of, 153, 159, 192, 194, 195, 208;
  illness and death of, 194-197;
  effect of death of, 195, 197, 200, 201, 206, 208, 209

Anquetil, _Louis XIV., sa Cour et le Régent_, by, 349

_Archives de la Bastille_ (Ravaisson), 189, 201, 209, 282, 293, 312,
  343, 344
_Archives de Chantilly_, 117, 174, 175, 186

_Archives_ of Eu. _See_ Eu

_Ariane_ (Monteverde), 214

Armagnac, Louis de Lorraine, Comte d', 237

Arras, siege of, 23, 161

_Artamène, ou le Grand Cyrus_ (Scudéry), 11

_Astrate_, 81

_Astrée, L'_(d'Urfé), 11, 14, 80

Aubineau, Léon, 67

Aumale, Duc d', 46

Aumale, Mlle. d', _Mémoires_ of, 291

Auteuil, Comte d', 47

Ayen, Comte d' (Duc de Noailles), 270


Bachaumont, 32

_Bajazet_ (Racine), 8, 225

_Ballet des Arts_, 172

Bartélemy, Eduard de (Honorat de Bueil, Marquis de Racan), editor
 _La Galerie des Portraits_, etc., 122, 130

Bastile, the, 247, 370

_Bastille, Archives de la._ _See Archives_

Bavière, Anne de. _See_ Palatine

Bavière, Elisabeth Charlotte de (Madame). _See_ Palatine

Bavière, Marie Anne Christine de, 347

Bayard, Comtesse de, 365

Bazinière, Sieur de la, 76

Beaufort, Duc de, 185

Bellefonte, Marshal of, 264

Bernières, M. de, 87, 88, 91, 92;
  _Relations_ of, 87-90

Berri, government of, 307

Bérulle, 373

Bethléem, Bishop of, 191

Béthune, Comte de, 47

Béthune, Mme. de, 266

Beuvron, Charles d'Harcourt, Comte de, 275

Béziers, M. de, 147

Bezon, M. de, 343

Bidassoa, river, 105, 110

Bielle, Sieur de, 83

Blois, forced sojourn of Monsieur at, 25-35, 39-41, 49-53, 97, 98, 134;
  court at, 97

Blois, Mlle. de, marriage of, 337

Bocquet, Mlle. (Agélaste), 124

Boileau, 217, 222, 223

Bois-le-Vicomte, Château of, 50

Bologna, theatres in, 215

Bordeaux, Court at, 98, 99, 132

Bossuet, Court preacher, 140, 142, 200;
  funeral oration of, 152;
  at death-bed of Madame, 272, 273

Boucherat, 344

Bougy, Lady de, 211

Bouillon, Duc de, 77

Bouillon, Duchesse de, 344

Bouligneux, M. de, 264

Boult, 89

Bourbon, Baths of, 329, 354

Bourbon, Henri de. _See_ Montpensier

Bourbon, House of, 42, 47

Bourbon, Marie de, 42

Bourdaloue, Court preacher, 200

Bourgogne, Hôtel de, 227

Bourgogne, province of, 83, 94

Boursault, 225

Boyer, Abbé, tragedies of, 226

Brandenbourg, 374

Brie, province of, 83, 84

Brienne, Father, 190

Broglie, Emmanuel de, _Saint Vincent de Paul_, by, 82, 91

Brunetière, M. F., _Les Époques du Théâtre français_;
  _Les Études critiques sur l'Histoire de la Littérature française_,
     by, 223

Bussy-Rabutin, _Mémoires_ of, cited, 32, 55, 61, 147, 148, 160, 248, 337,
    342, 343, 345;
  letters to, 272, 273, 302, 305, 342, 374;
  _Correspondance de_, 303, 364


_Cabale des Dévots, La_ (Allier), 83, 85, 88, 148, 157, 181, 198, 199

_Cahiers de Mlle. d'Aumale, Les_, 230, 341

Cambert, _Pomone_, opera by, 216

Carignan, Princesse de, 291

Carrosse _Amarante_, 223

Cartwright, Julia, _Madame, Memoirs of Henrietta, Duchesse of Orleans_,
   by, 136

_Cassandre_ (La Calprenède), 11

Cato, Mme. de Montespan's maid, 344, 346

Caylus, Mme. de, _Souvenirs et Correspondance_ of, 300;
  _Souvenirs de_, 150, 347

Chaillou des Barres, Baron, _Les Châteaux d'Ancy-le-France,
    de Saint-Fargeau_, etc., by, 6

Chalais, 25

Chalon-sur-Saône, 354

Chambord, 26, 33

_Chambre ardente_, established by Louis, 204, 343, 344;
  suppression of, 347

Champagne, province of, 55, 56, 87, 92, 334

Champigny lawsuit, 49, 50, 125

Chantelauze, _Saint Vincent de Paul et les Gondi_, by, 82, 112

Chantilly, _see Archives_ of

Chapelle, 32

Charenton, 289

Charles II. (of England), 136

Charles II. (of Spain), marriage of, 277

_Châteaux d'Ancy-le-France, de Saint-Fargeau_, etc., _Les_
   (Chaillou des Barres), 6

Châtelet, the, 211

Châtellerault, duchy of, 49

Châtillon, Duchesse de, 78, 80, 126

Châtrier, Mme. de, 335

Chauvelin, M. de, 347

Chéruel, editor, 3, 48, 297

Chevreuse, Mme. de, 369

Choisy, Mlle.'s mansion at, 357, 359

Choisy, François-Timoléon, Abbé de, _Mémoires_ of, 74, 133, 134,
  138, 281, 289, 291, 310, 340

Choisy, Mme. de, 13

Chouquet, _Histoire de la Musique dramatique en France_, by, 213

Cinq-Mars, 25

Clagny, Château of, 235

Clairvoyants, 201-207

Clamecy, 191

Clément, P., _Mme. de Montespan et Louis XIV._, by, 282

_Cléopâtre_ (La Calprenède), 11

Colbert, protected by Mademoiselle's escort, 56;
  reorganises finances, 141, 171, 177;
  letters to, 183, 348;
  enemy of _Compagnie du Saint Sacrement_, 198;
  opposes Louvois, 287;
  protests against King's extravagance, 332-337;
  mediation of, 345, 352

Coligny, Admiral de, 78

Comédie Française, 109

Condé, Prince de (the Great), 3, 56, 117, 256, 377;
  alliance of, with Mademoiselle, 3, 16, 17, 33, 45, 56, 369;
  defeat of, 20, 23, 54;
  letters of, 38-40, 46, 147, 174, 186;
  rupture of, with Mlle., 46, 47, 52;
  cruelty of army of, 55, 83;
  pardoned, 100, 101, 113;
  son of, 117;
  appreciation of Racine, 229;
  opposes Mlle.'s marriage, 285, 291, 292, 296

Condé, Princesse de, 16, 17, 46

Conti, Louis Armand, Prince de, marriage of, 48, 337

Corneille, 80, 81, 129, 223-226, 228, 240, 241

_Correspondance de Bussy-Rabutin_, 303

_Correspondance de Pomponne, La_, 297

_Correspondant_, the, 112

Cotin, Abbé, _[OE]uvres galantes en vers et en prose_, by, 220, 223, 226

Coulanges, 287

_Country Pleasures_, operetta, 19

Court of France, Mademoiselle returns to, 2, 57-59, 72;
  in disgrace with, 16, 19, 45, 55;
  returns to Paris, 19-21, 65, 110, 281;
  Monsieur under protection of, 39, 40, 48;
  journeys of, 53, 68, 94-104, 108, 110, 132, 257, 258, 307;
  manners and morals of, 76-79, 81, 82, 123-125, 128-131, 338;
  etiquette of, 78, 104-111, 233;
  occupations of, 103, 230-232;
  the young, 148, 174, 224, 229, 376;
  brilliancy of, 174, 258-260, 315;
  size of, 174, 175, 258;
  at Versailles, 174, 176-182, 333, 365, 370, 376;
  at Fontainebleau, 182, 184;
  literary tastes of, 224, 227, 229, 376;
  at Saint-Germain, 269, 353, 354;
  changed character of, 370, 371, 374

Court of Saint-Fargeau, 6-10, 17-20, 129-131, 135

Cousin, _La Société française au XVIIème siècle_, by, 124

_Création de Versailles, la_ (de Nolhac), 176

Crégny, Duc de, 282

Crequi, 297

Crissé, Mme. de, original of Countess de Pimbesche, 191

Crosné, 89

Crussol, Emmanuel II., de. _See_ Uzès


_Dafné_, musical tragedy, 214

_Dames, les_ (the "ladies"), 315, 334-336

Dauphin, the Grand, 154, 155, 179;
  marriage of, 347;
  death of, 219

De Chapelain, 226

_Déclaration par le Menu du Comté d'Eu_, 163

Delamare, Philibert, _Mélanges_, by, 285, 286, 290, 294, 301

Delaure, _Histoire de Paris_, by, 21

_De La Vallière à Montespan_ (Lemoine and Lichtenberger), 175, 229,
    263, 335

Delort, J., _Histoire de la Détention des Philosophes_, by, 312

Deltour, F., _Les Ennemis de Racine_, by, 223, 226

Derby, Lady, 137

_Deux Chèvres_ (La Fontaine), _Les_, 107

_Devineresses, Les_ (La Fontaine), 203

_Dévolution_, war of the, 154, 257

Diafoirus, Thomas, 109

_Dictionnaire des Précieuses, Le_ (Somaize), 13

Diderot, 172

Dijon, Court at, 94, 95

Divine Right of Kings, doctrine of, 139-142

Dombes, principality of, 49, 95;
  given to Lauzun, 288;
  demanded for Duc du Maine, 352

Dreyss, Charles, editor of _Mémoires_ of Louis XIV., 58, 69, 141, 278

Dubois, _Les Fragments des Mémoires inédits_, by, 67

Dubuisson (Lesage). _See_ Lesage

Dubuisson-Aubenay, _Journal des Guerres civiles_, by, 92

Dunkerque, 173, 307

Dupré, Mlle., 124


_École des Femmes_ (Molière),131, 227

_Écrits inédits_ (Saint-Simon), 354, 359, 363, 364

_Éducation politique de Louis XIV., L'_ (Lacour-Gayet) 64

Elbeuf, M. d', 178

Elisabeth de France, mother of Marie-Thérèse, 149

Embrun, Archbishop of, 38, 39 190

Enghien, Duc d', 117;
  marriage of, 174

_Ennemis de Racine, Les_ (Deltour), 223, 226

_Époques du Théâtre français, Les_ (Brunetière), 223

_Essai sur la Vie_ (Aimé-Martin), 365

Estrées, Maréchal d', 76

Étampes, 54

Étrechy, 89

_Études critiques sur l'Histoire de la Littérature française,
   Les_ (Brunetière), 223

Eu, Château d', 147, 170;
  _Archives_ of, 162, 163, 167-169;
  Mademoiselle at, 169, 182, 183, 360-363, 365

Eu, Comté d', property of the Guise, 161;
  sale of, 161-167;
  revenue from, 162-166;
  given to Lauzun, 288;
  given to Duc du Maine, 352, 353

_Eugénie, ou la force du destin_, 14


Fabert, 84

Famine of 1659-1662, 93

Feillet, _La misère au temps de la Fronde et Saint Vincent de Paul_, by,
   82, 84

Ferté, Maréchale de la, 344

Feuquieres, Marquis de, 344

Fiesque, Comtesse de, 16, 45, 129, 360

_Fille, la_, fable of (La Fontaine), 190-191

Flanders, Court in, 257, 307

Fontainebleau, Court at, 174, 182-188, 308

Fontanges, Mlle. de, 339, 340

Fontarabia, marriage of Louis XIV. at, 104, 105, 110

Forges, Baths of, 10, 53, 146

Foucquet, Abbé, 25, 78;
  punishment of, 141;
  imprisonment of, 311-313, 326, 330;
  death of, 326, 329

_Fragments des Mémoires inédits, Les_ (Dubois), 67

France, failure of Fronde important to, 1;
  fondness for sport in, 7;
  results of absolute monarchy in, 7, 371, 372;
  wars of with Spain, 16, 20, 55, 59, 145, 361;
  famine and misery in, 54, 55, 82-94, 331, 334;
  advantages to, from peace of the Pyrénées, 99;
  conversation, the delight of intelligent, 123, 135;
  reforms of Louis and Colbert in, 141, 142, 171;
  increase of industry and commerce, 142;
  "rights" in, 168;
  growing power and influence of, 171;
  influence of women in, 193, 194;
  belief in astrology and sorcery, 201-212;
  introduction of dramatic music into, 213-217;
  war of, with Holland, 235, 318, 330;
  consternation in, over projected marriage of Mademoiselle, 283, 284,
    286, 290, 292, 294, 295, 297;
  mistress of the world, 330, 331;
  moral deterioration of, 338, 372-374

France, Court of. _See_ Court

Franche-Comté, 330

Francis I., 27

Fronde, the, failure of, 1, 47;
  effect of, 1, 58, 65, 68, 376;
  leaders of, 2, 11, 81, 369;
  Mademoiselle the heroine of, 3, 53, 59, 72, 370;
  wars of, 16, 20, 36, 54, 82-85, 213, 221, 232, 377;
  abuses giving rise to, 21, 22

Frondeurs, the, 2, 47, 58, 77, 369

Frontenac, Mme. de, 14, 15, 45


_Galerie des Portraits de Mlle. de Montpensier, la_, 122, 125-127,
   129-131, 135

Gaston, Duc d'Orléans. _See_ Orléans

_Gazette de Hollande_, 307

_Gazette_ of Loret, 18, 20, 30, 171-174, 178, 179, 227, 272, 365

_Gazette de Renaudot_, 269

Geoffroy, editor of _Letters of Mme. de Maintenon_, 64

Germany, peace of the Pyrénées unfavourable to, 99;
  humiliated by Louis XIV., 171, 331

Giustiniani, Venetian Ambassador, 142

Gomberville, works of, 11

Gonzague, Anne de. _See_ Palatine

Gonzague, Marie de. _See_ Poland

Goulas, Nicolas, _Mémoires_ of, 28, 34

Gramont, Catherine de, 211

Gramont, Chevalier de, 35

Gramont, Maréchal de, 149, 211

_Grand Cyrus, Le_ (Scudéry), 11, 124

Grignan, Mme. de, 11

Guibourg, Abbé, 345, 348

Guiche, Comte de, 71, 148, 149

Guilloire, 286, 307

Guise, Charles de Lorraine, Duc de, 42

Guise, Chevalier de, 221

Guise, Duc de, 177, 178;
  married Mlle. d'Orléans, 294, 295

Guise, Duchesse de (grandmother of Mademoiselle), 42, 51

Guise, family of, 161. _See also_ Lorraine

Guise, Mlle. de, marriage of, 161

Guitry, Marquis de, 282, 297


Hachette, 202

Hanotaux, M. G., 150, 230, 341

Haro, Don Luis de, 107, 108

Haussonville, Comte d', 150, 219, 291

Heine, Heinrich, 224, 228

Henrietta of England (Madame) wife of Philippe, Duc d'Orléans, 130,
   151-153, 191;
  relations of, with Louis XIV., 194, 228;
  death of, 233, 270-273, 275;
  daughters of, 277

Henry III., 67

Henry IV., 149, 283

Henry, Victor, _La Magie dans l'Inde antique_, by, 210

Herse, Présidente de, 88, 92

_Histoire amoureuse des Gaules L'_, 297

_Histoire du Château de Blois, L'_, (La Saussaye), 26

_Histoire de France_ (Porchat and Miot, trs.), 99

_Histoire de France_ (von Ranke), 330

_Histoire de Louvois_ (Rousset), 364

_Histoire de Madame Henriette d'Angleterre_ (La Fayette), 151-153, 194,

_Histoire de Mlle. et du Comte de Losun_, 257

_Histoire de la Musique dramatique en France_ (Chouquet), 213

_Histoire de l'Opéra en Europe_ (Rolland), 213

_Histoire de Paris, L'_ (Delaure), 21

_Histoire de la Princesse de Paphlagonie_ (Mademoiselle), 132

_Histoires de la Détention des Philosophes_ (Delort), 312

Hoguete, Fortin de la, 140

Holland, war between France and, 235, 318, 330

Honsett, M. du, 305

Hôpital, Maréchal de l', 75

Hôpital, Mme. de l', 76

Hospitals, establishment of, 87

Hôtel Rambouillet, 14, 124

Hôtel de Ville, the, 369

Huet, Dr., _Mémoires_ of, 10, 127, 129


_Image du Souverain, L'_, 140

_Infortunes d'une petite-fille d'Henri IV., Les_ (Rodocanachi), 138

_Inventaire général du Comté d'Eu_, 163

_Iphigénie_ (Racine), 227

Isarn, M., 327-329

Isle des Faisans (_Isle de la Conférence_), 106-110

Isle Saint-Louis, 206

Iturrieta, Don Miguel de, 282


Jacobins, the, 375

Jansenism, 85

Jansenists, 87, 88, 129, 373

Jesuits, the, 79, 80, 83

_Jeune Alcidiane, La_ (Gomberville), 11

Joinville, Prince de. _See_ Lorraine

Joly, Mme., 90

Jourdain, Mme., 115

_Journal des Guerres civiles_ (Dubuisson-Aubenay), 92

_Journal d'Olivier Lefèvre d'Ormesson_, 159, 174, 177, 186, 194, 197,
   285, 287, 301, 332, 335

_Journal de Voyage de deux jeunes Hollandais à Paris_, 72, 73, 75, 76

Joyeuse, Duc de. _See_ Lorraine

Joyeuse, Henriette Catherine, Duchesse de. _See_ Montpensier

Jusserand, J. J., _Les sports et jeux d'exercice dans l'ancienne France_,
   by, 7


Kant, Emanuel, 220

_Kant als Mensch_ (Adickes), 220

_Kreutzer Sonata_ (Tolstoi), 220


La Bruyère, 269

La Calprenède, _Cassandre_ and _Cléopâtre_, by, 11

Lacour-Gayet, _L'Éducation politique de Louis XIV._, by, 64, 67

La Duverger, 211

La Fare, Marquis de, _Mémoires et Réflexions_ of, 248, 283, 287, 290,
   302, 310, 339

La Fayette, Mme. de, 134;
  _Histoire de Madame Henriette d'Angleterre_, 151-153, 194, 271;
  _Princesse de Clèves_, by, 153;
  _Mémoires de la Cour de France_, 209, 363

La Fontaine, letters of, 26, 27, 54;
  fables of, 107, 111, 109, 203;
  appointment of, 191

Lair, J. _Louise de La Vallière_, by, 180

Lalanne, Ludovic, 303

Lamoignon, Mme. de, 88, 92

Landrecies, 263-265

Lansac, Mme. de, 67

La Reynie, Lieut.-General of Police, 209, 210, 343-346

La Rivière, 374

La Rochefoucauld, 11, 130, 134, 256, 369

La Saussaye, _L'Histoire du Château de Blois_, by, 26

Lauzun, Antonin Nompar de Caumont, Marquis de Puyguilhem, Comte de, 238;
  career of, 243-247;
  intrigues of, 245, 246, 249-251;
  relations of with Mme. de Montespan, 245, 246, 282, 287, 290, 309;
  description of, 243, 244, 248, 262, 324, 356;
  in the Bastile, 247;
  character of, 248-251, 269, 287, 356-359, 367-369;
  projected marriage of Mademoiselle with, 251-257, 267-270, 276,
   279-281, 284, 293;
  tacit consent of Louis to marriage, 281-283;
  generous gifts of Mademoiselle to, 288, 289, 355;
  marriage broken off, 290-297, 317, 326;
  question of secret marriage with Mlle., 304-308, 349;
  arrest and imprisonment of, 310-324, 350;
  the "caskets" of, 317;
  attempted escape of, 325, 326, 350;
  communicates with Foucquet, 326;
  interview of, with his family, 327-329;
  released from prison, 329, 349, 354, 359;
  forced to renounce gifts of Mlle., 353, 354;
  reimprisoned, 354;
  forbidden to return to Court, 354, 355, 360, 361;
  saves Queen of England, 363;
  Order of the Garter and title conferred upon, 364;
  marriage of, 366;
  death of, 369

Lauzun, Chevalier de, 327

Lauzun, Mme. de, married life of, 366-369

Laval, Marquise of, 6

La Vallière, Laurent de La Baume Le Blanc, Seigneur de, 134

La Vallière, Louise de, youth of, 134;
  relations of, with Louis XIV., 150, 153-156, 172, 176, 178, 193;
  made Duchess, 154;
  position of, officially recognised, 197, 233, 234, 258, 315, 334, 336;
  attacked by Bossuet, 200;
  successor to, 208-210;
  marriage of daughter, 337;
  character of, 339;
  retires to convent, 339

La Voisin, the poisoner, 207, 208, 210, 212;
  clients of, 207, 208, 210-212, 342, 344-346, 351

Lemaître, Jules, 81

Lemoine, Jean, and André Lichtenberger, _De La Vallière à Montespan_, by,
   175, 229, 263, 335

Le Nôtre, 176

Le Pelletier, Claude, 186, 286

Lesage (Dubuisson), 204;
  arrest and trial of, 210-212, 348

Lesdiguières, Duc de, 75, 76

Lésigny, 46

Le Tellier, Michel, 25, 94

_Lettres historiques et édifiantes._ _See_ Maintenon

Libertins, the, 148, 153, 157, 159, 182

Lichtenberger, André. _See_ Lemoine

Limay, 89

Limours, Château of, 25

Lionne, Hugues de, 148

_Lit de Justice_, 19, 20

Livet, 257, 297

Loing, valley of the, 4, 9, 12

Loire, the, 28, 29

Loiseleur, Jules, _Problèmes historiques_, by, 63

Longueville, Duc de (Count de Saint-Paul), 256, 257, 270

Longueville, Duchesse de, 256, 369

Loret, _Gazette_ of, 18, 20, 30, 171-174, 178, 179, 227, 258, 272, 365

Lorges, Maréchal de, daughter of, marries Lauzun, 366-369

Lorraine, Charles III., Duc de, 137

Lorraine, Chevalier de, 275

Lorraine, Duc de, cruelty of army of, 38, 84

Lorraine, Henri de, 42

Lorraine, House of, 42, 294

Lorraine, Louis de, Comte d'Armagnac, 237

Lorraine, Louis de, Duc de Guise, 294, 295

Lorraine, Louis de, Duc de Joyeuse, death of, 161, 168

Lorraine, Louis Joseph de, Prince de Joinville, 161, 168

Lorraine, Marguerite de (Madame). _See_ Orléans

Lorraine, Prince Charles de, 137

Lorraine, Prince de, 252

Louis XIII., 25, 243;
  death of, 102

Louis XIV., returns to Paris, 2, 19, 24;
  occupations of Court of, 7, 230-232;
  dictates to Parliament, 19, 23;
  holds _Lit de Justice_, 19, 20;
  escorts Mazarin to Paris, 20;
  fondness of, for fêtes and ballets, 21, 75, 120, 172, 176, 178-181,
  growing power of, 22-24, 59, 170, 171;
  education of, 31, 63-68, 371;
  proposed marriages of, 48, 77, 94, 96;
  permits Mademoiselle to return to Court, 57-59;
  effect of Fronde upon, 58, 65, 68, 278, 370;
  character of, 68-72, 101;
  lack of etiquette at Court, in youth of, 77, 78;
  infatuation of, for Marie Mancini, 77, 97, 193, 228;
  cruelty of armies of, 84;
  journeys of, 94, 97-100, 103, 104, 199, 257;
  pardons Condé, 100, 101;
  ignorance of, 103, 104, 112-116;
  marriage of, with Marie-Thérèse, 103-111;
  interviews of, with Philip IV., 106, 107;
  letters of, 108, 183, 184, 188, 189;
  begins to govern without minister, 113, 114;
  systematic regulation of his time, 116, 117;
  growth of absolute monarchy, 118, 119, 128, 138-142, 371;
  fondness of, for gaming, 133, 333;
  reforms abuses with Colbert, 141, 142;
  proposes marriage of Mlle. with King of Portugal, 142-146, 160, 185;
  banishes Mlle. for refusing marriage, 147, 148, 161;
  Queen's lack of influence over, 149-151, 154;
  passionate temperament of, 153-155, 170, 193, 219, 220;
  relations of, with Madame, 153, 194, 228;
  strained relations with his mother, 153, 157;
  relations of, with La Vallière, 153-156, 172, 176, 193, 197;
  _Mémoires_ written for Dauphin, 154-156, 179;
  opinion of women, 155, 193, 194;
  conduct of, disapproved, 157-159;
  religious opinions of, 156, 212, 213, 374;
  influence of Mme. de Maintenon upon, 156, 193, 219, 339;
  acquires Dunkerque, 173;
  takes up permanent residence at Versailles, 174, 370;
  size of Court, 174, 175, 258;
  hospitality of, 175-177;
  plans Savoie marriage for Mademoiselle, 185-190, 236;
  effect of mother's death on, 195-197, 199;
  relations of, with Mme. de Montespan, 193, 209, 210, 212, 229, 333,
  frames rules of etiquette relating to position of mistresses, 197,
    233-235, 315, 334-336;
  boldness of Court preachers, 200, 201;
  orders prosecution of Mariette and Lesage, 210-212;
  lover of music, 218-220;
  sustains Racine and Molière, 224, 227, 228;
  death of infant daughter, 233;
  with the army, 235, 361;
  Lauzun a favourite of, 243-247, 250, 251, 254, 257;
  discomforts of travelling in 1670, 258-267;
  plans marriage of Mlle. with Monsieur, 274, 276-278;
  tacitly consents to marriage of Mademoiselle with Lauzun, 282, 283,
  withdraws consent, 290-293, 295, 296;
  treatment of Mademoiselle, 299-301;
  Lauzun's imprisonment, 312-315, 323;
  charmed with new sister-in-law, 315;
  brilliancy of reign of, 330, 331, 375;
  power and importance of, 330-332;
  extravagance of, 332-339;
  love of martial display, 333-336;
  marriage of Mlle. de Blois, 337;
  responsible for deterioration of manners and morals, 338-341, 372;
  finds presumptive proof of guilt of Madame de Montespan, 343-347, 349;
  orders destruction of records, 343, 344, 369;
  turns to Mme. de Maintenon, 339-341;
  dismisses Mme. de Montespan, 341, 342;
  establishes the _Chambre ardente_, 343;
  suppresses the _Chambre ardente_, 347;
  marriage of, with Mme. de Maintenon, 305, 370;
  effect of reign of, upon France, 371-373;
  _Mémoires_ of, 58, 66, 68-70, 114, 141, 142, 154-156, 179, 193, 278,

_Louise de La Vallière_ (Lair), 180

Louvois, letters to, 209, 311, 325;
  enemy of Lauzun, 244, 245, 247, 287, 288;
  instructions of, concerning Lauzun, 310-313, 318-323, 325;
  letters of, 344, 347;
  sent to coerce Mademoiselle, 352

Louvre, Palace of the, Mazarin returns to, 20;
  Court at, 65, 78, 82, 111, 112, 122;
  fête at, 178

Lulli, Baptiste, operas of, 216, 217, 218, 220, 221

Luxembourg, Duc de, 344

Luxembourg, palace of the, Monsieur at, 24;
  Mademoiselle returns to, 72, 76, 121;
  Madame occupies, 102, 121, 191, 285;
  salon of Mademoiselle at, 122, 123, 125, 133-136, 148, 222, 223, 288,
   296, 297, 361

Luynes, Constable de, 243

Lyonne, M. de, 293

Lyons, Court at, 94, 96, 258


Madame. See Orléans, Henrietta, and Palatine

_Madame de Montespan et Louis XIV._ (Clément), 282, 349

_Madame, Memoirs of Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans_ (Cartwright), 136

Madelaine, 50

Mademoiselle, La Grande. See Montpensier

_Magie dans l'Inde antique, La_ (Henry), 210

Mailly, Château of, 263

Maine, Duc du, 351, 352

Maintenon, Mme. de (Mme. Scarron), _Letters of_ (Geoffroy, ed.), 63, 64;
  _Souvenirs sur_, 150, 151, 230;
  influence of, over Louis XIV., 71, 156, 193, 219, 339-341, 374;
  governess to King's children, 290, 309, 310;
  _Lettres historiques et édifiantes_, of, 291;
  King marries, 305, 370

Mairet, 223

_Malade Imaginaire_ (Molière), 109

Mancini, Marie, niece of Mazarin, 77, 96, 193, 228, 339

"Mandate," the, 286

Mansard, François, 26

Man with the Iron Mask, the, 304, 329

Marie Antoinette, 23

Marie Thérèse, Infanta of Spain, marriage of, with Louis XIV., 103-111;
  political opinions of, 118;
  unhappy married life of, 149-151, 154, 172;
  character of, 149-151, 196, 252, 260, 261, 264-266, 271;
  friendly relations of, with Mme. de Montespan, 209, 210, 233-235;
  friendship of, for Mme. de Maintenon, 341;
  death of, 370

Mariette, priest, 204, 210;
  arrest and trial of, 210-212

Marigny, _La Relation des Divertissements que le Roi a donnés aux
   Reines_, by, 173

Marly, 336

Martinozzi, Anne Marie, niece of Mazarin, 48

Mascarille, Marquis de, 76

Mauny, Marquise de, 13, 131

Mazarin, Cardinal, power of, 11, 16, 25, 38, 39, 45, 47;
  triumphal return of, 20;
  obtains pardon for Mademoiselle, 48, 52, 53, 56;
  detestation of, 60, 61;
  rapacity of, 60-62, 112;
  relations of, with Anne of Austria, 62, 63, 304;
  created Cardinal, 63;
  treatment of Louis XIV., 65-67, 69, 70, 74;
  nieces of, 77, 82, 96, 97, 237;
  letter of protest to, 84;
  signs peace of Pyrénées, 99, 107;
  difficulties of, in settling points of etiquette relating to King's
   marriage, 105, 106;
  instructions of, to Louis, 112, 113;
  death of, 113, 116, 141;
  opposition of, to _Compagnie du Saint Sacrement_, 158, 198;
  introduces Italian opera into France, 215

Médicis, Catherine de', 67, 113

Meilleraye, Duc de la (Duc de Mazarin), 77

_Mélanges_ (Delamare), 285

_Mémoires._ _See_ Aumale, Bussy-Rabutin, Choisy, Goulas, Huet, La Fare,
  La Fayette, Montpensier, Motteville, Saint-Simon, Sourches, etc.

_Mémoires_ of Louis XIV. _See_ under Louis (editors, Dreyss and Petitot).

_Mémoires de Montglat_, 25, 59, 62, 100, 108

_Mémoires-Relations du temps_, 179

_Mémoires sur la Vie et les Ouvrages de Jean Racine_ (Racine), 227

Ménage, 222, 226

_Mercure Galant_, 365

Mignet, _Négociations relatives à la succession d'Espagne_, by, 143

Miot. _See_ Porchat.

_Misère au temps de la Fronde et Saint Vincent de Paul, La_ (Feillet),
   82, 84

_Mithridate_ (Racine), 228

Molière, returns to Paris, 81;
  plays of, 109, 124, 131, 132, 180, 181, 202, 216, 231, 374, 376;
  representations of, given at Versailles and the Luxembourg, 178, 180,
   181, 221, 222;
  opposition to Racine and, 223-227;
  King sustains, 227, 228

"Molière," of the _Grands Écrivains de la France_ (Hachette), 176, 179,

Monsieur, _See_ Orléans, Gaston, Duc d'.

Monsieur, the little. _See_ Anjou, Philippe, Duc d'.

Montausier, Duc de, 264, 282, 287, 297, 306

Montausier, Mme. de, 263

Montbazon, Duchesse de, 126

Montchevreuil, M. de, 230

Montespan, Marquis de, 229

Montespan, Marquise de, supplants La Vallière, 80, 193, 209, 210;
  marriage of, 172, 209, 229;
  description of, 209, 230;
  client of La Voisin, 210, 212, 342;
  criminal charges against, 212, 344-348;
  position of, 233, 258-271, 315, 334-336;
  assumes habits of royalty, 233-235;
  relations of, with Lauzun, 245, 246, 282, 287, 354;
  betrays Lauzun, 290, 291, 296, 309, 310, 322, 323;
  children of, 290, 344, 351, 352;
  extravagance of, 333, 336;
  character of, 339, 340, 342;
  dismissal of, 341, 342, 350, 351;
  evidence against destroyed, 343

Monteverde, _Ariane_, by, 214

Montigny, Abbé de, 263

Montmédy, 59

Montmorency-Boutteville, 78

Montmorency, 25

Montpensier, Anne Marie Louise d'Orléans, Duchess of, La Grande
  possible marriage of, with Louis XIV., 2, 48;
  character of, 2, 56, 59, 184

Montpensier, Mlle., alliance of, with Condé, 3, 16, 17, 33, 38, 45,
   55, 56;
  exiled to Saint-Fargeau, 3-20, 32-39, 43-48;
  heroine of Porte Saint-Antoine, 3, 53, 58, 59, 72, 261, 370;
  amusements at court of St.-Fargeau, 7-10, 17-20, 148;
  literary tastes of, 8-10, 15, 18, 73, 132, 221, 224-226, 229;
  begins her _Mémoires_, 15;
  rumoured marriage of, with Condé, 16;
  litigation of, with father, 34, 37, 41-44, 51-54;
  wealth of, 35-38, 145, 163, 185, 256;
  skilful management of her affairs, 36, 37, 49;
  breaks with Condé, 46, 47, 52;
  makes overtures to Mazarin, 47, 48;
  wins Champigny lawsuit, 49-51, 125;
  permitted to return to Court, 54, 55, 57-59;
  never fully forgiven, 58, 59, 101, 169, 186, 197, 370;
  proposed marriage of, with little Monsieur, 59, 73, 272-278;
  takes up residence in the Luxembourg, 72, 121, 122;
  popularity of, in Paris, 72, 366;
  description of, 72-74;
  astonished at lack of etiquette at Court, 75-79;
  visits Port-Royal, 79, 80;
  visits Dombes, 95, 96;
  Monsieur's duplicity towards, 98, 99;
  grieves at death of Monsieur, 102, 103;
  present at marriage of Louis XIV., 105-111;
  ill-health of, 120;
  salon of, 122-125, 131-136, 148, 223, 224, 226;
  describes blue room of Mme. de Rambouillet, 132, 133;
  letters of, 160, 170, 183;
  letters to, 183, 188, 189, 348;
  proposed marriages of, 136-138;
  grudge of Charles II. against, 136, 137;
  King plans marriage of, with King of Portugal, 142-146, 160, 161;
  refuses to marry Alphonse, 145-147, 160, 185;
  second exile of, 147, 160-170, 182, 184;
  proposed marriage of, with Duc de Savoie, 147, 185-190, 236;
  buys Comté d'Eu, 161-168;
  installed at Eu, 169, 170;
  recalled to Court, 184-187;
  failure of proposed marriages of, 189-192;
  patroness of Lulli, 221;
  cultivates Mme. de Montespan, 229, 230, 233-236;
  change in sentiments of, 235;
  advancing age of, 236, 254, 277, 278;
  infatuation of, for Lauzun, 238-242, 250, 262, 279-281, 359, 360;
  describes Lauzun, 248;
  makes proposals of marriage to, 251-256, 267-270, 279, 280;
  Lauzun's treatment of, 253-256, 261, 275-277, 279, 281, 357-360;
  proposed de Longueville marriage of, 256, 257, 270;
  as a traveller, 262-267;
  at death-bed of Madame, 270-272;
  King's tacit consent to marriage with Lauzun, 281-283, 286;
  criticism of projected marriage by all classes, 285, 286;
  bestows principalities and titles upon Lauzun, 288, 307;
  preparing for marriage, 289, 290, 296;
  King refuses consent, 290-293, 295, 296, 353, 354;
  marriage with Lauzun broken off, 291-293, 296, 297, 317, 326;
  appeals in vain to King, 291-293, 315, 316;
  grief and despair of, 296-303;
  wide-spread belief in secret marriage of, 304-309, 349, 353, 358;
  learns of Lauzun's arrest and imprisonment, 310-314;
  efforts of, to obtain release of Lauzun, 317, 318, 348-352;
  traditional daughter of, 349;
  price demanded from, for liberation of Lauzun, 351, 352;
  makes Duc du Maine her heir, 351, 352;
  tricked by Louis and Mme. de Montespan, 354;
  Lauzun forced to renounce gifts of, 354;
  compensates Lauzun, 355;
  devotion of, to Lauzun after his liberation, 356-360;
  constant quarrels with Lauzun, 357-361;
  final break with Lauzun, 362, 363, 366;
  illness and death of, 365, 366;
  burial of, at St. Denis, 366;
  last of actors in the Fronde, 369;
  great qualities of, 377

Montpensier, Mlle., _Mémoires_ of, 3, 4, 8, 15, 23, 36, 45, 55, 59,
  79, 97, 98, 102, 105, 106, 121, 125, 131, 136, 138, 143, 160, 169,
  182, 210, 221, 222, 230, 238-240, 255, 256, 262, 269, 297, 305, 308,
  315-317, 339, 347, 348, 350, 353, 356, 361

Montpensier, duchy of, 49;
  given to Lauzun, 288

Montpensier, Henri de Bourbon, Duc de, 42

Montpensier, Henriette Catherine de Joyeuse, Duchesse de, 42

Montresor, Claude de Bourdeville, Comte de, 161

Montvoisin, Antoine, 206-208

Montvoisin, Catherine "La Voisin" the poisoner, 207, 208, 210, 212

_Morale de Salomon, La_, 127

Moret, mock siege of, 334, 335

Morin the Jew, 76

Mortemart, Mlle. de (Mme. de Montespan), 172

Motteville, Mme. de, 31, 49, 62, 66, 116, 135, 149, 150, 195;
  _Mémoires_ of, 73, 100, 104, 109, 112, 113, 116, 135, 149, 150, 154,
  170, 190, 195

Mouchy, 199


Nallot, M. de, 310, 311

Nantes, Revocation of Edict of, 331, 374

Necromancy, 202-207

_Négociations relatives à la succession d'Espagne_ (Mignet), 143

Nemours, Henri de Savoie, Duc de, 185

Nemours, Marie-Jeanne Baptiste de, 190

Nemours, the Mesdemoiselles de, 185, 190

Nesmond, Présidente de, 90

Nevers, Duchesse de, 347

Nimeguen, peace of, 331

Noailles, Duc de(Comte d' Ayen), 270

Noailles, Mme. de, 248

Nogent, Mme. de, 290, 327-329

Nolhac, M. de, _La Création de Versailles_, by, 176

_Nouvelles Françaises, Les_ (Segrais), 8

Nuitter and Thoinan, _Les Origines de l'Opéra Français_, by, 213


Oeillets, Mlle. des, 346

_Oeuvres complètes_ (Saint-Pierre), 365

_Oeuvres galantes en vers et en prose_ (Cotin), 223

_Oeuvres de Louis XIV. Lettres particulières_, 188

Olivet, Abbé d', 222

Opera, Italian, birth of, 214-216;
  French, 215, 216

_Origines de l'Opéra Français, Les_ (Nuitter and Thoinan), 213

Orléans, city of, 33, 34, 39, 42, 49, 53

Orléans, House of, 35, 37

Orléans, Gaston, Duc d' (Monsieur), character of, 3, 23-25, 28-30,
   44, 52, 97-99;
  exiled to Blois, 24-33;
  piety of, 29, 30;
  children of, 31, 34, 37, 39, 42, 77, 97-99, 105, 106, 133, 134, 137,
   138, 186, 235, 294;
  pillages daughter's fortune, 35-37, 39-44, 168;
  under Court protection, 38-40, 48, 49;
  litigation of, with Mademoiselle, 37, 41-44, 51-54;
  death and burial of, 101, 102

Orléans, Henrietta of England (Madame), wife of Philippe Duc d'.
   _See_ Henrietta

Orléans, Marguerite de Lorraine (Madame), second wife of Gaston, Duc d',
   24, 43, 191, 285, 286;
  daughters of, 31, 34, 37, 39, 42, 77, 97-99, 105, 106, 133, 134, 137,
   138, 186, 188, 235, 294;
  character of, 101, 102, 121, 122, 133, 134

Orléans, Marguerite Louise, Mlle. d', daughter of Monsieur, 97, 98, 133;
  marriage of, 137, 138

Orléans, Marie Louise d', daughter of little Monsieur, 277;
  marriage of, 277

Orléans, Mgr. Duc d', 162

Orléans, Philippe, Duc d'. _See_ Anjou

Ormesson, André d', 22, 48

Ormesson, Olivier Lefèvre d', _Journal_ of, 48, 76, 118, 159, 174,
  177, 186, 194, 197, 285, 287, 301, 331, 332, 335;
  disgrace of, 118, 332

Ormond, Marquis d', 137


Palatine, Anne de Bavière, Princesse, 174

Palatine, Anne de Gonzague, Princesse, 106

Palatine, Elisabeth Charlotte de Bavière, Princesse (Madame), second
  wife of Philippe Duc d'Orléans, 62, 156, 315

_Paraphrases des sept Psaumes de la Pénitence_, 127

Paris, Archbishop of, 287, 288

Paris, King and Court return to, 2, 19-21, 24, 65, 110, 174, 281;
  opinion of King in, 71;
  committee of relief founded in, 87-93;
  carnival in, 93, 94;
  Queen's entrance into, 111;
  commerce in, 142;
  magic arts in, 201-206, 342-344;
  bridges of, 206;
  lampoons against Louis in, 335;
  dungeons of, 347;
  cradle of French revolutions, 370, 376

Parliament, the, Louis XIV. dictates to, 19, 20, 23, 76;
  dictates to royalty, 68, 69;
  petition to, 162;
  decrees of, 167, 168;
  privileges of, 371

Parma, Duc de, 189

Patin, Guy, letters of, 71, 113, 117

_Pédagogue chrétien_, 324

Pellison, _Lettres historiques_, by, 258

Péréfixe, Abbé de, 66, 67, 115

_Perroquet ou Les Amours de Mademoiselle_, Le 257, 282

_Pertharite_ (Corneille), 80

Petitot, editor _Mémoires_ of Louis XIV., 66

_Phèdre_ (Racine), 224

Philip IV. of Spain, 103, 104, 142, 149;
  interviews of, with Louis XIV. and Anne of Austria, 106-110;
  death of, 173

Picardy, 87, 165

Pignerol, fortress of, 310, 311, 318, 319, 325, 329, 351, 355, 356, 358

Pimbesche, Countess of, original of, 36, 191

_Plaideurs_ (Racine), 227

_Plaisirs de l'Ile enchantée_, 176

_Poisons, Les_ (La Fontaine), 203

Poland, Marie de Gonzague, Queen of, and Port-Royal, 88, 92;
  letters to, 117, 174, 175, 186

_Polexandre_ (Gomberville), 11

Polignac, Vicomtesse de, 344

Pomponne, M. de, 293, 297;
  _La Correspondance de Pomponne_, 297

Pont Marie, 206

Porchat, Jacques, and Miot, _Histoire de France_, tr. by, 99

Porte Saint-Antoine, heroine of, 3, 53, 59, 72, 370

Port Royal des Champs, 79, 88, 92

_Port-Royal_ (Sainte-Beuve), 82

Portugal, independence of, threatened, 142;
  King of, 143-145, 160, 185

Portugal, Queen of, 190

_Précieuses Ridicules, Les_ (Molière), 124

Préfontaine, 33, 35, 36, 41, 43, 44, 50, 53

_Princesse de Clèves_ (La Fayette), 153

_Princesse d'Elide_ (Molière), 180, 216

_Problèmes Historiques_ (Loiseleur), 63

_Provinciales_, the, 79

Provins, 84

Puyguilhem, Marquis de. See Lauzun

Pyrénées, peace of the, 2, 99, 100, 107

_Pyrrhus_ (Racine), 224


"Queens, the three," 233

Quinault, tragedies of, 80, 81, 216, 217, 220


Racan, Honorat de Bueil, Marquis de. _See_ Barthélemy

Racine, Jean, tragedies of, 8, 81, 223-229;
  and Corneille compared, 223-227;
  King's appreciation of, 224, 227, 228

Racine, Louis, _Mémoires sur la Vie et les Ouvrages de Jean Racine_,
  by, 227

Rambouillet, Hôtel, 14, 224

Rambouillet, Mme. de, salon of, 123

Rampillon, 84

Ranke, Leopold von, _Histoire de France_, by, 99, 330

Rapin, Father, 181

Ravaisson, François, _Archives de la Bastille_, by, 201, 312

Ravetot, Marquis de, 211

Regent, the, 62, 372, 374

Reims, 55, 56

Reims, Archbishop of, 288

_Relation de la Cour de France_ (Spanheim), 374

_Relation des Divertissements que le Roi a donnés aux Reines,
  La_ (Marigny), 173

_Relation de l'Ile imaginaire, La_ (Mademoiselle), 18, 132

_Relations des Ambassadeurs Venitiens_, 65

_Relations_ of de Bernières, 87-90

_Remerciement au Roi_ (Molière), 231

Retz, Cardinal de, 20, 24, 25, 113, 369, 377

Richelieu, 11, 25, 28, 30, 50, 55

Robert, Procurer-General, 344

Robespierre, 375

Rochefort, 287, 336

Roche-sur-Yon, 49

Rocroy, 101

Rodocanachi, M., _Les Infortunes d'une petite-fille d' Henri IV._, by,

Rohan, Marie-Eleonore de, Abbess, 126, 127

_Roland furieux_, 178

Rolland, Romain, _Histoire de l'Opéra en Europe_, by, 213, 220

Romecourt, 265, 266

Roquelaure, 148

Rosen, de, 84

Rousseau, Sieur, 293

Rousset, Camille, _Histoire de Louvois_, by, 364


Sainctôt, Mme. de, 131

Saint-Aignan, Duc de, 178

Saint Antoine de Padua, 205

Saint-Cloud, Château of, 54, 269

Saint-Cyr, 63

Saint-Denis, burial of Monsieur at, 102;
  burial of Mademoiselle at, 366

Sainte-Beuve, _Port-Royal_, by, 82

Saint Evremond, _The Operas_, by, 218

Saint-Fargeau, Château of, Mademoiselle exiled to, 3-6, 36, 73;
  Mademoiselle's Court at, 6-10, 12, 17-20, 129-131, 135;
  Mademoiselle again exiled to, 147, 148, 160, 169

Saint-Geneviève MS., 257

Saint-Germain-des Prés, 73

Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Court at, 173, 177, 239, 247, 258, 269, 310,
  313, 318, 353, 354

Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Court at, 104, 108;
  marriage of Louis XIV., at, 110

Saint-Joseph, Convent of, 234

Saint-Mars, Sieur de, 310, 311;
  letter of, 313;
  letters to, 318-321, 325-327, 329

Saint-Paul, Comte de (Duc de Longueville), 256, 257

Saint-Pierre, Bernardin de, 9;
  _[OE]uvres complètes_ of, 365

Saint Quentin, 263

Saint-Rémi, Jacques de Courtavel, Marquis de, 134

Saint-Romain, Abbé de, 143

_Saint Sacrement, Compagnie du_, founding of, 85-87, 93;
  charitable work of, 157, 158;
  nicknamed, 157;
  disapproves of King's conduct, 157-159, 373;
  blow aimed at, 181;
  disorganisation of, 198, 199

Saint-Severin, Church of, 210

Saint-Simon, Duc de, at Court, 78, 116, 369, 370, 372;
  _Mémoires_ of, 116, 161, 209, 212, 234, 245, 255, 326, 353, 360,
   366-368, 372;
  _Écrits inédits_ of, 354, 359, 363, 364

Saint-Sulpice, 73

Saint Vincent de Paul, character and influence of, 85;
  joins _Compagnie du Saint Sacrement_, 87, 373;
  head of relief work, 88-90, 157

_Saint Vincent de Paul_ (Broglie), 82, 91

_Saint Vincent de Paul et les Gondi_ (Chantelauze), 82

Salic law, the, 105

Sambre, the, 264

Savoie, Charles Emmanuel II., Duc de, marriages of, 99, 147, 185,
   186, 190, 236;
  revenges himself on Louis and Mlle., 189, 190

Savoie, Marguerite, Princesse de, Louis XIV. refused to marry, 94,
   96, 189;
  marries Duc de Parma, 189

Savoie, Victor-Amédée II., Duc de, marriage of, 277

Saxe-Jena, Bernard, Duke of, 125

Scarron, Mme. de. _See_ Maintenon

Sceaux, 357

Scudéry, Madeleine, Mlle. de, 258, 302;
  _Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus_, by, 11, 125;
  Saturdays of, 123, 124

Scudéry, Mme. de, 302, 342

Sedan, 55-59, 73

Segrais, Mademoiselle's secretary, 8, 9, 13, 134, 226, 286, 306, 307,
  _Les Nouvelles Françaises_, by, 8, 9

_Segraisiana_, 71, 279, 310

Seignelay, 363, 364

Seine, the, 206

Sévigné, Mme. de, 75, 80, 134, 177, 200;
  letters of, 2, 11, 129, 217, 218, 225, 235, 287, 288, 307, 310, 337,
   338, 345, 347, 362;
  letters to, 248, 284, 364

Soissons, Comtesse de, 237, 271, 336, 341, 344

Soissons, Marie de Bourbon-, 291

Somaize, _Le Dictionnaire des Précieuses_, by, 13

Sourches, Marquis de, _Mémoires_ of, 26

_Souvenirs de Mme. de Caylus_, 150, 347

_Souvenirs et Correspondance_ of Mme. de Caylus, 300

_Souvenirs sur Mme. de Maintenon_, 150, 219, 230, 341

Spain, wars of, with France, 16, 20, 23, 38, 55, 59, 83, 361;
  King of, 103, 104, 142, 149, 173;
  etiquette of Court of, 104-111;
  absolute monarchy an importation from, 118, 371;
  war of Dévolution in, 154, 257;
  marriage of Infanta of,--_see_ Marie-Thérèse;
  power of France over, 171, 331

Spanheim, Ézéchiel, _Relation de la Cour de France_, by, 374

_Sports et jeux d'exercice dans l'ancienne France, Les_ (Jusserand), 7

_Suite du Menteur_ (Corneille), 241


_Tableau de la Pénitence, Le_, 324

Tallemant, 31

Tarente, Princess of, 125

_Tartuffe_ (Molière), 181, 182, 221, 222, 374

Terlon, Chevalier de, 293

Theiner, Père, 63

_The Operas_ (Saint Evremond), 218

Thianges, Mme. de, 266, 347

Thoinan. _See_ Nuitter

Tingry, Princesse de, 344

Tolstoi, _Kreutzer Sonata_, by, 220

Torre, Don Diego de la, 282

Toulouse, Court at, 99

Tourraine, 50

Tours, 346

Trémouille, Mlle. de la, 125, 137

Tréport, 166, 349

Trévoux, 95

Trianon, 235

Trichateau, Marquis de, 343

Tuileries, palace of the, 4, 19, 123

Turenne, 20, 23, 53, 54, 61, 137, 369;
  visits and letters of, to Mademoiselle, 143-146, 160

Turin, 147, 319

Tuscany, Duke of, 138


Urfé, Honoré d', _l'Astrée_, by, 14, 80

Uzès, Emmanuel II. de Crussol, Duc d', 264


Valentinois, Duchess of, 75

Vallot, 270

Valois, Anne Marie de, daughter of the little Monsieur, 277;
  marriage of, 277

Valois, Françoise-Madeleine, Mlle. de, daughter of Monsieur, 133;
  marriage and death of, 185, 188

Vardes, 71, 148

Vatel 128

Vaujours, duchy of, 154

Vendôme, Elisabeth de, 185

Vendôme, M. de, 117

Venice, opera houses of, 214

Ventadour, Duc de, 85, 86

Versailles, palace of, 26;
  Louis XIV. takes up residence at, 174, 370, 376;
  fêtes, 176-182, 269, 333, 365, etc.;
  expenses of, 336, 337

_Vers d'Atys_, 81

Vexin, Comte de, 235

_Vie de Madame de Fouquerolles_ (Mademoiselle), 132

Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, 89

Villeroy, Maréchal de, 290

Villeroy, Mme. de, 75

Vincennes, 111, 347

Visé, Donneau de _Mecure Galant_, 365

Vittori, 214

Voiture, 131

_Voyage de Chapelle et de Bachaumont_, 32


Westphalia, peace of, 99

_A Selection from the Catalogue of_



Complete Catalogues sent on application [Blank Page]


The Youth _of_ La Grande Mademoiselle


_Authorized English Version_

Octavo. With 25 illustrations from contemporaneous sources. Net, $3.00.
(By mail, $3.25.)

"A book that is decidedly interesting and that is well worth reading.
The subject and the heroine is enough to make the volume attractive....
The volume is handsomely printed, and the illustrations are
representative as well as accurate."--_The London Spectator._

"This brilliant biography sparkles and intoxicates with literary
vivacity. In connection with the career of the astonishing heroine, the
author presents a picture that has hardly been surpassed of Court life
and politics in France in the seventeenth century. The illustrations
from contemporary prints add greatly to the attractiveness of this
fascinating volume."--_Chicago Evening Post._

Louis XIV _and_ La Grande Mademoiselle


_Authorized English Version_

Octavo. With 30 illustrations. Net, $3.00. (By mail, $3.25)

(Uniform with "The Youth of La Grande Mademoiselle")

"A new work on La Grande Mademoiselle by Arvède Barine is a promise of
delight to all who love wit and wisdom.... It is bewildering to think of
the many crowns and coronets that might have rested on the brow of the
dramatic heroine, a heroine who appears and disappears in clouds of
dust, with regiments of cavalry wheeling and whirling around her to the
sound of the trumpets--the stern devotee of reason who dismissed one of
her maids because she married for love--the philosopher who debated in
her mimic court whether an accepted lover is more unhappy than a
rejected lover in the absence of the beloved.... The story of this
heroine is told by Barine with that art which conceals art.... It forms
a fitting supplement to the equally delightful volume which preceded it
describing "The Youth of La Grande Mademoiselle."--_London Times._

_New York_ · G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS · _London_

    Portraits of
    the Seventeenth Century

    By C. A. Sainte-Beuve


    Two Parts. Octavo. With about 30 Illustrations
    Sold separately. Each, $2.50 net


    Cardinal Richelieu
    Duc de Rohan
    Cardinal Mazarin
    Duc de la Rochefoucauld
    Duchesse de Longueville
    Cardinal de Retz
    Ninon de l'Enclos
    Tallemant des Réaux
    Abbé de Rancé
    La Grande Mademoiselle
    Comtesse de la Fayette
    Duchesse d'Orléans
    Louis XIV.
    Louise de la Valliere


    History of the French Academy
    Mlle. de Scudéry
    La Fontaine
    Mme. de Sévigné
    Mme. de Caylus
    Comte Antoine Hamilton
    The Princesse des Ursins

"The translator is a true servant and friend, not the proverbial
traducer; none but Miss Wormeley could have been selected for the task,
and she has given of her best, her indefatigable, conscientious,
intellectual best, which has made her the mistress of a difficult
art."--_The N. Y. Evening Mail._

=Send for Descriptive Circular=

            =G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS=
    =New York=                   =London=

Little French Masterpieces

Representative Tales by the Best
French Authors

Edited by

Translations by

 With portraits in Photogravure. Issued in a small
 and attractive form

_Six volumes, 16{o}, in a box, cloth, $6.00_
             _Limp leather, $7.50_
_Also sold separately_       _Cloth, $1.00_       _Leather, $1.25_

  =I. Prosper Mérimée.= Introduction by Grace King.

 =II. Gustave Flaubert.= Introduction by Frank Thomas

=III. Théophile Gautier.= Introduction by Frédéric-César de

 =IV. Alphonse Daudet.= Introduction by William P. Trent.

  =V. Guy de Maupassant.= Introduction by Arthur Symons.

 =VI. Honoré de Balzac.= Introduction by F. Brunetière.

"A capital idea is here admirably carried out. The supremacy of the
French in the delicately finished short story is undisputed, and the six
authors here represented are the finest flowers of this development of
French literature. The little volumes are all that is charming in
outward appearance, are literally volumes for the pocket, have portraits
of the authors, and each is introduced by a competent critic. The
stories themselves are well chosen and carefully translated."--_The

            =G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS=
    =New York=                   =London=


=Romance of the French Abbeys=

     Octavo. With 2 Coloured, 9 Photogravure, 50 other
     Illustrations, and Ornamental Headpieces

     "A delightful blending of history, art and romance.... Many of
     the stories related are thrilling and none the less exciting
     because they belong to history."--_Chicago Dial._

     "The book fully carries out the suggestion of Guizot, 'If you
     are fond of romance, read history.'"--_Boston Transcript._

=Romance of the Feudal Châteaux=

     Octavo. With 40 Photogravure and other Illustrations

"The author has retold the legends and traditions which cluster about
the châteaux and castles, which have come down from the Middle Ages,
with the skillful touch of the artist and the grace of the practiced
writer.... The story of France takes on a new light as studied in
connection with the architecture of these fortified homes."--_Christian

=Romance of the Renaissance Châteaux=

     Octavo. With 40 Photogravure and other Illustrations

"The romances of those beautiful châteaux are placed by the author on
the lips of the people who lived in them. She gives us a feeling of
intimacy with characters whose names belong to history."--_N. Y. Mail
and Express._

"A book of high merit.... Good history, good story, and good
art."--_Hartford Courant._

=Romance of the Bourbon Châteaux=

     Octavo. With Coloured Frontispiece and 47 Photogravure and
     other Illustrations

"Told with a keen eye to the romantic elements, and a clear
understanding of historical significance."--_Boston Transcript._

"It is a book that will be read with interest this year or ten or twenty
years hence."--_Hartford Courant._

=Four volumes. Illustrated. Each, in a box, net, $3.00 (By mail, $3.25.)
The set, 4 volumes in a box, net, $12.00=

            =G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS=
    =New York=                   =London=


  Note: Tags that surround the word =G. P.= indicate bold.
  Tags that surround the word _Hartford Courant._ indicate italics.

  Transcriber's notes:

  Letters surrounded with {e} represent supertext.

  P.26. 'Qu'en croit' should be .Qu'on croit'.
  P. 62. cammandemens should be commandemens. Changed.
  P.62. 'voster' should be 'vostre'. Changed.
  P.91. 'bourgeosie' should be 'bourgeoisie'. Changed.
  Fontainbleau changed with Fontainebleau throughout the text.
  P.187. vengance should be vengeance. Changed.
  Footnote [187] < index. 'l'Opera' should be Histoire de 'l'Opéra'.
  P.132. Footnote 107: 'l'Île' shoulde be 'l'Isle', changed.
  Took out 'Court of France continued' in index. P. 382.
  P.212, 'de' Mme. de changed to 'the' Mme. de.
  P.229 'trival'. changed to 'trivial'.
  Footone [269]. 'Historie' should be 'Histoire'.
  P.329, 'Lauzon' should be 'Lauzun'.
  P.347, 'suddently'should be 'suddenly'.
  P.379. Arras, 'seige' of, should be 'siege'.
  P.383. conversation, the delight of intelligent,
  P.369. arrived 'a' the court should be 'at'.

  These correction are not indicated.

  Fixed multiple instances of:

  Fontainbleau to Fontainebleau.
  Blois, Mlle. de

  Accents that have been fixed:



       *       *       *       *       *

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Louis XIV and La Grande Mademoiselle - 1652-1693" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.