THE MEMOIRS OF LOUIS XIV. AND THE REGENCY - V2
THE MEMOIRS OF LOUIS XIV. AND THE REGENCY - V2
[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks or pointers at the end of
each file for those who may wish to sample the author's ideas before
making an entire meal of them. D.W.]
MEMOIRS OF THE COURT OF LOUIS XIV. AND OF THE REGENCY v2
Being the Secret Memoirs of the Mother of the Regent
MADAME ELIZABETH-CHARLOTTE OF BAVARIA DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS.
Philippe I. Duc d'Orleans
Philippe II. Duc d'Orleans Regent of France
The Affairs of the Regency
The Duchesse d'Orleans Consort of the Regent
The Dauphine Princess of Bavaria.
Adelaide of Savoy the Second Dauphine
The First Dauphin
The Duke of Burgundy the Second Dauphin
PHILIPPE I. DUC D'ORLEANS.
Cardinal Mazarin perceiving that the King had less readiness than his
brother was apprehensive lest the latter should become 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 brother a clever man? If he should be
more wise than his brother he would not be qualified for implicit
Never were two brothers more totally different in their appearance than
the King and Monsieur. The King was tall with light hair; his mien was
good and his deportment manly. Monsieur without having a vulgar air
was very small; his hair and eye-brows were quite black his eyes were
dark his face long and narrow his nose large his mouth small and his
teeth very bad; he was fond of play of holding drawing-rooms of eating
dancing and dress; in short of all that women are fond of. The King
loved the chase music and the theatre; my husband rather affected large
parties and masquerades: his brother was a man of great gallantry and I
do not believe my husband was ever in love during his life. He danced
well but in a feminine manner; he could not dance like a man because his
shoes were too high-heeled. Excepting when he was with the army he
would never get on horseback. The soldiers used to say that he was more
afraid of being sun-burnt and of the blackness of the powder than of the
musket-balls; and it was very true. He was very fond of building.
Before he had the Palais Royal completed and particularly the grand
apartment the place was in my opinion perfectly horrible although in
the Queen-mother's time it had been very much admired. He was so fond of
the ringing of bells that he used to go to Paris on All Souls' Day for
the purpose of hearing the bells which are rung during the whole of the
vigils on that day he liked no other music and was often laughed at for
it by his friends. He would join in the joke and confess that a peal of
bells delighted him beyond all expression. He liked Paris better than
any other place because his secretary was there and he lived under less
restraint than at Versailles. He wrote so badly that he was often
puzzled to read his own letters and would bring them to me to decipher
"Here Madame" he used to say laughing "you are accustomed to my
writing; be so good as to read me this for I really cannot tell what I
have been writing." We have often laughed at it.
He was of a good disposition enough and if he had not yielded so
entirely to the bad advice of his favourites he would have been the best
master in the world. I loved him although he had caused me a great deal
of pain; but during the last three years of his life that was totally
altered. I had brought him to laugh at his own weakness and even to
take jokes without caring for them. From the period that I had been
calumniated and accused he would suffer no one again to annoy me; he had
the most perfect confidence in me and took my part so decidedly that
his favourites dared not practise against me. But before that I had
suffered terribly. I was just about to be happy when Providence thought
fit to deprive me of my poor husband. For thirty years I had been
labouring to gain him to myself and just as my design seemed to be
accomplished he died. He had been so much importuned upon the subject
of my affection for him that he begged me for Heaven's sake not to love
him any longer because it was so troublesome. I never suffered him to
go alone anywhere without his express orders.
The King often complained that he had not been allowed to converse
sufficiently with people in his youth; 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 out of conceit with talking. We used to joke Monsieur upon
his once asking questions of a person who came to see him.
"I suppose Monsieur" said he "you come from the army?"
"No Monsieur" replied the visitor "I have never joined 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 with your family?"
"Monsieur I am not married."
Everybody present at this burst into a laugh and Monsieur in some
confusion had nothing more to say. It is true that Monsieur was more
generally liked at Paris than the King on account of his affability.
When the King however wished to make himself agreeable to any person
his manners were the most engaging possible and he won people's hearts
much more readily than my husband; for the latter as well as my son was
too generally civil. He did not distinguish people sufficiently and
behaved very well only to those who were attached to the Chevalier de
Lorraine * and his favourites.