Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court and of the Regency — Volume 02
121 Pages
English

Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court and of the Regency — Volume 02

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs of Louis XIV. and the Regency, Book II., by Elizabeth-Charlotte,Duchesse d'OrleansThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Memoirs of Louis XIV. and the Regency, Book II.Author: Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'OrleansRelease Date: September 29, 2006 [EBook #3856]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS ***Produced by David WidgerMEMOIRS OF THE COURT OF LOUIS XIV. AND OF THEREGENCYBeing the Secret Memoirs of the Mother of the Regent,MADAME ELIZABETH-CHARLOTTE OF BAVARIA, DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS.BOOK 2.Philippe I., Duc d'OrleansPhilippe II., Duc d'Orleans, Regent of FranceThe Affairs of the RegencyThe Duchesse d'Orleans, Consort of the RegentThe Dauphine, Princess of Bavaria.Adelaide of Savoy, the Second DauphineThe First DauphinThe Duke of Burgundy, the Second DauphinPetite MadameSECTION VIII.—PHILIPPE I., DUC D'ORLEANS.Cardinal Mazarin perceiving that the King had less readiness than his brother, was apprehensive lest the latter shouldbecome too learned; he therefore enjoined the preceptor to let him play, and not to suffer him to apply to his studies."What can you be thinking of, M. la Mothe le Vayer," said the Cardinal; "would you try to make the King's ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs ofLouis XIV. and the Regency, Book II., by Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'OrleansThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Memoirs of Louis XIV. and the Regency,Book II.Author: Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'OrleansRelease Date: September 29, 2006 [EBook #3856]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS ***Produced by David Widger
MEMOIRS OF THECOURT OF LOUIS XIV.AND OF THE REGENCYBeing the Secret Memoirs of the Mother of theRegent,MADAME ELIZABETH-CHARLOTTE OFBAVARIA, DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS.
BOOK 2.Philippe I., Duc d'OrleansPhilippe II., Duc d'Orleans, Regent of FranceThe Affairs of the RegencyThe Duchesse d'Orleans, Consort of the RegentThe Dauphine, Princess of Bavaria.Adelaide of Savoy, the Second DauphineThe First DauphinThe Duke of Burgundy, the Second DauphinPetite Madame
SECTION VIII.—PHILIPPE I.,DUC D'ORLEANS.Cardinal Mazarin perceiving that the King had lessreadiness than his brother, was apprehensive lestthe latter should become too learned; he thereforeenjoined the preceptor to let him play, and not tosuffer him to apply to his studies."What can you be thinking of, M. la Mothe leVayer," said the Cardinal; "would you try to makethe King's brother a clever man? If he should bemore wise than his brother, he would not bequalified for implicit obedience."Never were two brothers more totally different intheir appearance than the King and Monsieur. TheKing was tall, with light hair; his mien was good andhis deportment manly. Monsieur, without having avulgar air, was very small; his hair and eye-browswere quite black, his eyes were dark, his face longand narrow, his nose large, his mouth small, andhis teeth very bad; he was fond of play, of holdingdrawing-rooms, of eating, dancing and dress; inshort, of all that women are fond of. The King lovedthe chase, music and the theatre; my husbandrather affected large parties and masquerades: hisbrother was a man of great gallantry, and I do notbelieve my husband was ever in love during his life.He danced well, but in a feminine manner; he couldnot dance like a man because his shoes were toohigh-heeled. Excepting when he was with the army,
he would never get on horseback. The soldiersused to say that he was more afraid of being sun-burnt and of the blackness of the powder than ofthe musket-balls; and it was very true. He was veryfond of building. Before he had the Palais Royalcompleted, and particularly the grand apartment,the place was, in my opinion, perfectly horrible,although in the Queen-mother's time it had beenvery much admired. He was so fond of the ringingof bells that he used to go to Paris on All Souls'Day for the purpose of hearing the bells, which arerung during the whole of the vigils on that day heliked no other music, and was often laughed at forit by his friends. He would join in the joke, andconfess that a peal of bells delighted him beyondall expression. He liked Paris better than any otherplace, because his secretary was there, and helived under less restraint than at Versailles. Hewrote so badly that he was often puzzled to readhis own letters, and would bring them to me todecipher them."Here, Madame," he used to say, laughing, "youare accustomed to my writing; be so good as toread me this, for I really cannot tell what I havebeen writing." We have often laughed at it.He was of a good disposition enough, and if he hadnot yielded so entirely to the bad advice of hisfavourites, he would have been the best master inthe world. I loved him, although he had caused mea great deal of pain; but during the last three yearsof his life that was totally altered. I had brought himto laugh at his own weakness, and even to take
jokes without caring for them. From the period thatI had been calumniated and accused, he wouldsuffer no one again to annoy me; he had the mostperfect confidence in me, and took my part sodecidedly, that his favourites dared not practiseagainst me. But before that I had suffered terribly.I was just about to be happy, when Providencethought fit to deprive me of my poor husband. Forthirty years I had been labouring to gain him tomyself, and, just as my design seemed to beaccomplished, he died. He had been so muchimportuned upon the subject of my affection forhim that he begged me for Heaven's sake not tolove him any longer, because it was sotroublesome. I never suffered him to go aloneanywhere without his express orders.The King often complained that he had not beenallowed to converse sufficiently with people in hisyouth; but taciturnity was a part of his character,for Monsieur, who was brought up with him,conversed with everybody. The King often laughed,and said that Monsieur's chattering had put him outof conceit with talking. We used to joke Monsieurupon his once asking questions of a person whocame to see him."I suppose, Monsieur," said he, "you come fromthe army?""No, Monsieur," replied the visitor, "I have neverjoined it.""You arrive here, then, from your country house?"
"Monsieur, I have no country house.""In that case, I imagine you are living at Paris withyour family?""Monsieur, I am not married."Everybody present at this burst into a laugh, andMonsieur in some confusion had nothing more tosay. It is true that Monsieur was more generallyliked at Paris than the King, on account of hisaffability. When the King, however, wished to makehimself agreeable to any person, his manners werethe most engaging possible, and he won people'shearts much more readily than my husband; forthe latter, as well as my son, was too generallycivil. He did not distinguish people sufficiently, andbehaved very well only to those who were attachedto the Chevalier de Lorraine and his favourites.Monsieur was not of a temper to feel any sorrowvery deeply. He loved his children too well even toreprove them when they deserved it; and if he hadoccasion to make complaints of them, he used tocome to me with them."But, Monsieur," I have said, "they are yourchildren as well as mine, why do you not correctthem?"He replied, "I do not know how to scold, andbesides they would not care for me if I did; theyfear no one but you."By always threatening the children with me, he
kept them in constant fear of me. He estrangedthem from me as much as possible, but he left meto exercise more authority over my elder daughterand over the Queen of Sicily than over my son; hecould not, however, prevent my occasionally tellingthem what I thought. My daughter never gave meany cause to complain of her. Monsieur wasalways jealous of the children, and was afraid theywould love me better than him: it was for thisreason that he made them believe I disapproved ofalmost all they did. I generally pretended not to seethis contrivance.Without being really fond of any woman, Monsieurused to amuse himself all day in the company ofold and young ladies to please the King: in ordernot to be out of the Court fashion, he evenpretended to be amorous; but he could not keepup a deception so contrary to his naturalinclination. Madame de Fiennes said to him oneday, "You are in much more danger from the ladiesyou visit, than they are from you." It was even saidthat Madame de Monaco had attempted to givehim some violent proofs of her affection. Hepretended to be in love with Madame de Grancey;but if she had had no other lover than Monsieurshe might have preserved her reputation. Nothingculpable ever passed between them; and healways endeavoured to avoid being alone with her.She herself said that whenever they happened tobe alone he was in the greatest terror, andpretended to have the toothache or the headache.They told a story of the lady asking him to touchher, and that he put on his gloves before doing so.
I have often heard him rallied about this anecdote,and have often laughed at it.Madame de Grancey was one of the most foolishwomen in the world. She was very handsome atthe time of my arrival in France, and her figure wasas good as her face; besides, she was not somuch disregarded by others as by my husband;for, before the Chevalier de Lorraine became herlover, she had had a child. I knew well that nothinghad passed between Monsieur and Grancey, and Iwas never jealous of them; but I could not endurethat she should derive a profit from my household,and that no person could purchase an employmentin it without paying a douceur to her. I was alsooften indignant at her insolence to me, and at herfrequently embroiling me with Monsieur. It was forthese reasons, and not from jealousy, as wasfancied by those who knew nothing about it, that Isometimes sharply reprimanded her. The Chevalierde Lorraine, upon his return from Rome, becameher declared lover. It was through his contrivances,and those of D'Effiat, that she was brought into thehouse of Monsieur, who really cared nothing abouther. Her continued solicitations and the behaviourof the Chevalier de Lorraine had so muchdisgusted Monsieur, that if he had lived he wouldhave got rid of them both.He had become tired of the Chevalier de Lorrainebecause he had found out that his attachment tohim proceeded from interested motives. WhenMonsieur, misled by his favourites, did somethingwhich was neither just nor expedient, I used to say
to him, "Out of complaisance to the Chevalier deLorraine, you put your good sense into yourpocket, and button it up so tight that it cannot beseen."After my husband's death I saw Grancey onlyonce; I met her in the garden. When she ceased tobe handsome, she fell into utter despair; and sogreat a change took place in her appearance thatno one would have known her. Her nose, before sobeautiful, grew long and large, and was coveredwith pimples, over each of which she put a patch;this had a very singular effect; the red and whitepaint, too, did not adhere to her face. Her eyeswere hollow and sunken, and the alteration whichthis had caused in her face cannot be imagined. InSpain they, lock up all the ladies at night, even tothe septuagenary femmes de chambre. WhenGrancey followed our Queen to Spain as damed'atour, she was locked up in the evening, and wasin great grief about it.When she was dying, she cried, "Ah, mon Dieu,must I die, who have never once thought ofdeath?"She had never done anything but sit at play withher lovers until five or six o'clock in the morning,feast, and smoke tobacco, and follow uncontrolledher natural inclinations.When she reached her climacteric, she said, indespair, "Alas, I am growing old, I shall have nomore children."