The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete
Duc de Saint-Simon

Part 20 out of 20

Puyguilhem himself, and saying where he had left him.

Louvois hated Puyguilhem, friend of Colbert, his rival, and he feared his
influence in a post which had so many intimate relations with his
department of the war, the functions and authority of which he invaded
as much as possible, a proceeding which he felt Puyguilhem was not the
kind of man to suffer. He embraces Nyert, thanking him, dismisses him as
quickly as possible, takes some papers to serve as an excuse, descends,
and finds Puyguilhem and Nyert in the chamber, as above described. Nyert
pretends to be surprised to see Louvois arrive, and says to him that the
council has not broken up.

"No matter," replied Louvois, "I must enter, I have something important
to say to the King;" and thereupon he enters. The King, surprised to see
him, asks what brings him there, rises, and goes to him. Louvois draws
him into the embrasure of a window, and says he knows that his Majesty is
going to declare Puyguilhem grand master of the artillery; that he is
waiting in the adjoining room for the breaking up of the council; that
his Majesty is fully master of his favours and of his choice, but that he
(Louvois) thinks it his duty to represent to him the incompatibility
between Puyguilhem and him, his caprices, his pride; that he will wish to
change everything in the artillery; that this post has such intimate
relations with the war department, that continual quarrels will arise
between the two, with which his Majesty will be importuned at every

The King is piqued to see his secret known by him from whom, above all,
he wished to hide it; he replies to Louvois, with a very serious air,
that the appointment is not yet made, dismisses him, and reseats himself
at the council. A moment after it breaks up. The King leaves to go to
mass, sees Puyguilhem, and passes without saying anything to him.
Puyguilhem, much astonished, waits all the rest of the day, and seeing
that the promised declaration does not come, speaks of it to the King at
night. The King replies to him that it cannot be yet, and that he will
see; the ambiguity of the response, and the cold tone, alarm Puyguilhem;
he is in favour with the ladies, and speaks the jargon of gallantry; he
goes to Madame de Montespan, to whom he states his disquietude, and
conjures her to put an end to it. She promises him wonders, and amuses
him thus several days.

Tired of this, and not being able to divine whence comes his failure, he
takes a resolution--incredible if it was not attested by all the Court of
that time. The King was in the habit of visiting Madame de Montespan in
the afternoon, and of remaining with her some time. Puyguilhem was on
terms of tender intimacy with one of the chambermaids of Madame de
Montespan. She privately introduced him into the room where the King
visited Madame de Montespan, and he secreted himself under the bed. In
this position he was able to hear all the conversation that took place
between the King and his mistress above, and he learned by it that it was
Louvois who had ousted him; that the King was very angry at the secret
having got wind, and had changed his resolution to avoid quarrels between
the artillery and the war department; and, finally, that Madame de
Montespan, who had promised him her good offices, was doing him all the
harm she could. A cough, the least movement, the slightest accident,
might have betrayed the foolhardy Puyguilhem, and then what would have
become of him? These are things the recital of which takes the breath
away, and terrifies at the same time.

Puyguilhem was more fortunate than prudent, and was not discovered. The
King and his mistress at last closed their conversation; the King dressed
himself again, and went to his own rooms. Madame de Montespan went away
to her toilette, in order to prepare for the rehearsal of a ballet to
which the King, the Queen, and all the Court were going. The chambermaid
drew Puyguilhem from under the bed, and he went and glued himself against
the door of Madame de Montespan's chamber.

When Madame de Montespan came forth, in order to go to the rehearsal of
the ballet, he presented his hand to her, and asked her, with an air of
gentleness and of respect, if he might flatter himself that she had
deigned to think of him when with the King. She assured him that she had
not failed, and enumerated services she had; she said, just rendered him.
Here and there he credulously interrupted her with questions, the better
to entrap her; then, drawing near her, he told her she was a liar, a
hussy, a harlot, and repeated to her, word for word, her conversation
with the King!

Madame de Montespan was so amazed that she had not strength enough to
reply one word; with difficulty she reached the place she was going to,
and with difficulty overcame and hid the trembling of her legs and of her
whole body; so that upon arriving at the room where the rehearsal was to
take place, she fainted. All the Court was already there. The King, in
great fright, came to her; it was not without much trouble she was
restored to herself. The same evening she related to the King what had
just happened, never doubting it was the devil who had so promptly and so
precisely informed Puyguilhem of all that she had said to the King. The
King was extremely irritated at the insult Madame de Montespan had
received, and was much troubled to divine how Puyguilhem had been so
exactly and so suddenly instructed.

Puyguilhem, on his side, was furious at losing the artillery, so that the
King and he were under strange constraint together. This could last only
a few days. Puyguilhem, with his grandes entrees, seized his opportunity
and had a private audience with the King. He spoke to him of the
artillery, and audaciously summoned him to keep his word. The King
replied that he was not bound by it, since he had given it under secrecy,
which he (Puyguilhem) had broken.

Upon this Puyguilhem retreats a few steps, turns his back upon the King,
draws his sword, breaks the blade of it with his foot, and cries out in
fury, that he will never in his life serve a prince who has so shamefully
broken his word. The King, transported with anger, performed in that
moment the finest action perhaps of his life. He instantly turned round,
opened the window, threw his cane outside, said he should be sorry to
strike a man of quality, and left the room.

The next morning, Puyguilhem, who had not dared to show himself since,
was arrested in his chamber, and conducted to the Bastille. He was an
intimate friend of Guitz, favourite of the King, for whom his Majesty had
created the post of grand master of the wardrobe. Guitz had the courage
to speak to the King in favour of Puyguilhem, and to try and reawaken the
infinite liking he had conceived for the young Gascon. He succeeded so
well in touching the King, by showing him that the refusal of such a
grand post as the artillery had turned Puyguilhem's head, that his
Majesty wished to make amends far this refusal. He offered the post of
captain of the King's guards to Puyguilhem, who, seeing this incredible
and prompt return of favour, re-assumed sufficient audacity to refuse it,
flattering himself he should thus gain a better appointment. The King
was not discouraged. Guitz went and preached to his friend in the
Bastille, and with great trouble made him agree to have the goodness to
accept the King's offer. As soon as he had accepted it he left the
Bastille, went and saluted the King, and took the oaths of his new post,
selling that which he occupied in the dragoons.

He had in 1665 the government of Berry, at the death of Marechal de
Clerembault. I will not speak here of his adventures with Mademoiselle,
which she herself so naively relates in her memoirs, or of his extreme
folly in delaying his marriage with her (to which the King had
consented), in order to have fine liveries, and get the marriage
celebrated at the King's mass, which gave time to Monsieur (incited by M.
le Prince) to make representations to the King, which induced him to
retract his consent, breaking off thus the marriage. Mademoiselle made a
terrible uproar, but Puyguilhem, who since the death of his father had
taken the name of Comte de Lauzun, made this great sacrifice with good
grace, and with more wisdom than belonged to him. He had the company of
the hundred gentlemen, with battle-axes, of the King's household, which
his father had had, and he had just been made lieutenant-general.

Lauzun was in love with Madame de Monaco, an intimate friend of Madame,
and in all her Intrigues: He was very jealous of her, and was not pleased
with her. One summer's afternoon he went to Saint-Cloud, and found
Madame and her Court seated upon the ground, enjoying the air, and Madame
de Monaco half lying down, one of her hands open and outstretched.
Lauzun played the gallant with the ladies, and turned round so neatly
that he placed his heel in the palm of Madame de Monaco, made a pirouette
there, and departed. Madame de Monaco had strength enough to utter no
cry, no word!

A short time after he did worse. He learnt that the King was on intimate
terms with Madame de Monaco, learnt also the hour at which Bontems, the
valet, conducted her, enveloped in a cloak, by a back staircase, upon the
landing-place of which was a door leading into the King's cabinet, and in
front of it a private cabinet. Lauzun anticipates the hour, and lies in
ambush in the private cabinet, fastening it from within with a hook, and
sees through the keyhole the King open the door of the cabinet, put the
key outside (in the lock) and close the door again. Lauzun waits a
little, comes out of his hiding-place, listens at the door in which the
King had just placed the key, locks it, and takes out the key, which he
throws into the private cabinet, in which he again shuts himself up.

Some time after Bontems and the lady arrive. Much astonished not to find
the key in the door of the King's cabinet, Bontems gently taps at the
door several times, but in vain; finally so loudly does he tap that the
King hears the sound. Bontems says he is there, and asks his Majesty to
open, because the key is not in the door. The King replies that he has
just put it there. Bontems looks on the ground for it, the King
meanwhile trying to open the door from the inside, and finding it double-
locked. Of course all three are much astonished and much annoyed; the
conversation is carried on through the door, and they cannot determine
how this accident has happened. The King exhausts himself in efforts to
force the door, in spite of its being double-locked. At last they are
obliged to say good-bye through the door, and Lauzun, who hears every
word they utter, and who sees them through the keyhole, laughs in his
sleeve at their mishap with infinite enjoyment.


In 1670 the King wished to make a triumphant journey with the ladies,
under pretext of visiting his possessions in Flanders, accompanied by an
army, and by all his household troops, so that the alarm was great in the
Low Countries, which he took no pains to appease. He gave the command of
all to Lauzun, with the patent of army-general. Lauzun performed the
duties of his post with much intelligence, and with extreme gallantry and
magnificence. This brilliancy, and this distinguished mark of favour,
made Louvois, whom Lauzun in no way spared, think very seriously. He
united with Madame de Montespan (who had not pardoned the discovery
Lauzun had made, or the atrocious insults he had bestowed upon her), and
the two worked so well that they reawakened in the King's mind
recollections of the broken sword, the refusal in the Bastille of the
post of captain of the guards, and made his Majesty look upon Lauzun as a
man who no longer knew himself, who had suborned Mademoiselle until he
had been within an inch of marrying her, and of assuring to himself
immense wealth; finally, as a man, very dangerous on account of his
audacity, and who had taken it into his head to gain the devotion of the
troops by his magnificence, his services to the officers, and by the
manner in which he had treated them during the Flanders journey, making
himself adored. They made him out criminal for having remained the
friend of, and on terms of great intimacy with, the Comtesse de Soissons,
driven from the Court and suspected of crimes. They must have accused
Lauzun also of crimes which I have never heard of, in order to procure
for him the barbarous treatment they succeeded in subjecting him to.

Their intrigues lasted all the year, 1671, without Lauzun discovering
anything by the visage of the King, or that of Madame de Montespan. Both
the King and his mistress treated him with their ordinary distinction and
familiarity. He was a good judge of jewels (knowing also how to set them
well), and Madame de Montespan often employed him in this capacity. One
evening, in the middle of November, 1671, he arrived from Paris, where
Madame de Montespan had sent him in the morning for some precious stones,
and as he was about to enter his chamber he was arrested by the Marechal
de Rochefort, captain of the guards.

Lauzun, in the utmost surprise, wished to know why, to see the King or
Madame de Montespan--at least, to write to them; everything was refused
him. He was taken to the Bastille, and shortly afterwards to Pignerol,
where he was shut up in a low-roofed dungeon. His post of captain of the
body-guard was given to M. de Luxembourg, and the government of Berry to
the Duc de la Rochefoucauld, who, at the death of Guitz, at the passage
of the Rhine, 12th June, 1672, was made grand master of the wardrobe.

It may be imagined what was the state of a man like Lauzun, precipitated,
in a twinkling, from such a height to a dungeon in the chateau of
Pignerol, without seeing anybody, and ignorant of his crime. He bore up,
however, pretty well, but at last fell so ill that he began to think
about confession. I have heard him relate that he feared a fictitious
priest, and that, consequently, he obstinately insisted upon a Capuchin;
and as soon as he came he seized him by the beard, and tugged at it,
as hard as he could, on all sides, in order to see that it was not a sham
one! He was four or five years in his gaol. Prisoners find employment
which necessity teaches them. There ware prisoners above him and at the
side of him. They found means to speak to him. This intercourse led
them to make a hole, well hidden, so as to talk more easily; then to
increase it, and visit each other.

The superintendent Fouquet had been enclosed near them ever since
December, 1664. He knew by his neighbours (who had found means of seeing
him) that Lauzun was under them. Fouquet, who received no news, hoped
for some from him, and had a great desire to see him. He, had left
Lauzun a young man, dawning at the Court, introduced by the Marechal de
Grammont, well received at the house of the Comtesse de Soissons, which
the King never quitted, and already looked upon favourably. The
prisoners, who had become intimate with Lauzun, persuaded him to allow
himself to be drawn up through their hole, in order to see Fouquet in
their dungeon. Lauzun was very willing. They met, and Lauzun began
relating, accordingly, his fortunes and his misfortunes, to Fouquet. The
unhappy superintendent opened wide his ears and eyes when he heard this
young Gasepan (once only too happy to be welcomed and harboured by the
Marechal de Grammont) talk of having been general of dragoons, captain of
the guards, with the patent and functions of army-general! Fouquet no
longer knew where he was, believed Lauzun mad, and that he was relating
his visions, when he described how he had missed the artillery, and what
had passed afterwards thereupon: but he was convinced that madness had
reached its climax, and was afraid to be with Lauzun, when he heard him
talk of his marriage with Mademoiselle, agreed to by the King, how
broken, and the wealth she had assured to him. This much curbed their
intercourse, as far as Fouquet was concerned, for he, believing the brain
of Lauzun completely turned, took for fairy tales all the stories the
Gascon told him of what had happened in the world, from the imprisonment
of the one to the imprisonment of the other.

The confinement of Fouquet was a little relieved before that of Lauzun.
His wife and some officers of the chateau of Pignerol had permission to
see him, and to tell him the news of the day. One of the first things he
did was to tell them of this poor Puyguilhem, whom he had left young, and
on a tolerably good footing for his age, at the Court, and whose head was
now completely turned, his madness hidden within the prison walls; but
what was his astonishment when they all assured him that what he had
heard was perfectly true! He did not return to the subject, and was
tempted to believe them all mad together. It was some time before he was

In his turn, Lauzun was taken from his dungeon, and had a chamber, and
soon after had the same liberty that had been given to Fouquet; finally,
they were allowed to see each other as much as they liked. I have never
known what displeased Lauzun, but he left Pignerol the enemy of Fouquet,
and did him afterwards all the harm he could, and after his death
extended his animosity to his family.

During the long imprisonment of Lauzun, Madame de Nogent, one of his
sisters, took such care of his revenues that he left Pignerol extremely

Mademoiselle, meanwhile, was inconsolable at this long and harsh
imprisonment, and took all possible measures to deliver Lauzun. The King
at last resolved to turn this to the profit of the Duc du Maine, and to
make Mademoiselle pay dear for the release of her lover. He caused a
proposition to be made to her, which was nothing less than to assure to
the Duc du Maine, and his posterity after her death, the countdom of Eu,
the Duchy of Aumale, and the principality of Domfes! The gift was
enormous, not only as regards the value, but the dignity and extent of
these three slices. Moreover, she had given the first two to Lauzun,
with the Duchy of Saint-Forgeon, and the fine estate of Thiers, in
Auvergne, when their marriage was broken off, and she would have been
obliged to make him renounce Eu and Aumale before she could have disposed
of them in favour of the Duc du Maine. Mademoiselle could not, make up
her mind to this yoke, or to strip Lauzun of such considerable benefits.
She was importuned to the utmost, finally menaced by the ministers, now
Louvois, now Colbert. With the latter she was better pleased, because he
had always been on good terms with Lauzun, and because he handled her
more gently than Louvois, who, an enemy of her lover, always spoke in the
harshest terms. Mademoiselle unceasingly felt that the King did not like
her, and that he had never pardoned her the Orleans journey, still less
her doings at the Bastille, when she fired its cannons upon the King's
troops, and saved thus M. le Prince and his people, at the combat of the
Faubourg Saint-Antoine. Feeling, therefore, that the King, hopelessly
estranged from her, and consenting to give liberty to Lauzun only from
his passion for elevating and enriching his bastards, would not cease to
persecute her until she had consented--despairing of better terms, she
agreed to the gift, with the most bitter tears and complaints. But it
was found that, in order to make valid the renunciation of Lauzun, he
must be set at liberty, so that it was pretended he had need of the
waters of Bourbon, and Madame de Montespan also, in order that they might
confer together upon this affair.

Lauzun was taken guarded to Bourbon by a detachment of musketeers,
commanded by Maupertuis. Lauzun saw Madame de Montespan at Bourbon; but
he was so indignant at the terms proposed to him as the condition of his
liberty, that after long disputes he would hear nothing more on the
subject, and was reconducted to Pignerol as he had been brought.

This firmness did not suit the King, intent upon the fortune of his well-
beloved bastard. He sent Madame de Nogent to Pignerol; then Borin (a
friend of Lauzun, and who was mixed up in all his affairs), with menaces
and promises. Borin, with great trouble, obtained the consent of Lauzun,
and brought about a second journey to Bourbon for him and Madame de
Montespan, with the same pretext of the waters. Lauzun was conducted
there as before, and never pardoned Maupertuis the severe pedantry of his
exactitude. This last journey was made in the autumn of 1680. Lauzun
consented to everything. Madame de Montespan returned triumphant.
Maupertuis and his musketeers took leave of Lauzun at Bourbon, whence he
had permission to go and reside at Angers; and immediately after, this
exile was enlarged, so that he had the liberty of all Anjou and Lorraine.
The consummation of the affair was deferred until the commencement of
February, 1681, in order to give him a greater air of liberty. Thus
Lauzun had from Mademoiselle only Saint-Forgeon and Thiers, after having
been on the point of marrying her, and of succeeding to all her immense
wealth. The Duc du Maine was instructed to make his court to
Mademoiselle, who always received him very coldly, and who saw him take
her arms, with much vexation, as a mark of his gratitude, in reality for
the Sake of the honour it brought him; for the arms were those of Gaston,
which the Comte de Toulouse afterwards took, not for the same reason, but
under pretext of conformity with his brother; and they have handed them
down to their children.

Lauzun, who had been led to expect much more gentle treatment, remained
four years in these two provinces, of which he grew as weary as was
Mademoiselle at his absence. She cried out in anger against Madame de
Montespan and her son; complained loudly that after having been so
pitilessly fleeced, Lauzun was still kept removed from her; and made such
a stir that at last she obtained permission for him to return to Paris,
with entire liberty; on condition, however, that he did not approach
within two leagues of any place where the King might be.

Lauzun came, therefore, to Paris, and assiduously visited his
benefactors. The weariness of this kind of exile, although so softened,
led him into high play, at which he was extremely successful; always a
good and sure player, and very straightforward, he gained largely.
Monsieur, who sometimes made little visits to Paris, and who played very
high, permitted him to join the gambling parties of the Palais Royal,
then those of Saint-Cloud. Lauzun passed thus several years, gaining and
lending much money very nobly; but the nearer he found himself to the
Court, and to the great world, the more insupportable became to him the
prohibition he had received.

Finally, being no longer able to bear it, he asked the King for
permission to go to England, where high play was much in vogue. He
obtained it, and took with him a good deal of money, which secured him an
open-armed reception in London, where he was not less successful than in

James II., then reigning, received Lauzun with distinction. But the
Revolution was already brewing. It burst after Lauzun had been in
England eight or ten months. It seemed made expressly for him, by the
success he derived from it, as everybody is aware. James II., no longer
knowing what was to become of him--betrayed by his favourites and his
ministers, abandoned by all his nation, the Prince of Orange master of
all hearts, the troops, the navy, and ready to enter London--the unhappy
monarch confided to Lauzun what he held most dear--the Queen and the
Prince of Wales, whom Lauzun happily conducted to Calais. The Queen at
once despatched a courier to the King, in the midst of the compliments of
which she insinuated that by the side of her joy at finding herself and
her son in security under his protection, was her grief at not daring to
bring with her him to whom she owed her safety.

The reply of the King, after much generous and gallant sentiment, was,
that he shared this obligation with her, and that he hastened to show it
to her, by restoring the Comte de Lauzun to favour.

In effect, when the Queen presented Lauzun to the King, in the Palace of
Saint-Germain (where the King, with all the family and all the Court,
came to meet her), he treated him as of old, gave him the privilege of
the grandes entrees, and promised him a lodging at Versailles, which he
received immediately after. From that day he always went to Marly, and
to Fontainebleau, and, in fact, never after quitted the Court. It may be
imagined what was the delight of such an ambitious courtier, so
completely re-established in such a sudden and brilliant manner. He had
also a lodging in the chateau of Saint-Germain, chosen as the residence
of this fugitive Court, at which King James soon arrived.

Lauzun, like a skilful courtier, made all possible use of the two Courts,
and procured for himself many interviews with the King, in which he
received minor commissions. Finally, he played his cards so well that
the King permitted him to receive in Notre Dame, at Paris, the Order of
the Garter, from the hands of the King of England, accorded to him at his
second passage into Ireland the rank of lieutenant-general of his
auxiliary army, and permitted at the same time that he should be of the
staff of the King of England, who lost Ireland during the same campaign
at the battle of the Boyne. He returned into France with the Comte de
Lauzun, for whom he obtained letters of the Duke; which were verified at
the Parliament in May, 1692. What a miraculous return of fortune! But
what a fortune, in comparison with that of marrying Mademoiselle, with
the donation of all her prodigious wealth, and the title and dignity of
Duke and Peer of Montpensier. What a monstrous pedestal! And with
children by this marriage, what a flight might not Lauzun have taken, and
who can say where he might have arrived?


I have elsewhere related Lauzun's humours, his notable wanton tricks, and
his rare singularity.

He enjoyed, during the rest of his long life, intimacy with the King,
distinction at the Court, great consideration, extreme abundance, kept up
the state of a great nobleman, with one of the most magnificent houses of
the Court, and the best table, morning and evening, most honourably
frequented, and at Paris the same, after the King's death: All this did
not content him. He could only approach the King with outside
familiarity; he felt that the mind and the heart of that monarch were on
their guard against him, and in an estrangement that not all his art nor
all his application could ever overcome. This is what made him marry my
sister-in-law, hoping thus to re-establish himself in serious intercourse
with the King by means of the army that M. le Marechal de Lorge commanded
in Germany; but his project failed, as has been seen. This is what made
him bring about the marriage of the Duc de Lorge with the daughter of
Chamillart, in order to reinstate himself by means of that ministry;
but without success. This is what made him undertake the journey to Aix-
la-Chapelle, under the pretext of the waters, to obtain information which
might lead to private interviews with the King, respecting the peace;
but he was again unsuccessful. All his projects failed; in fact, he
unceasingly sorrowed, and believed himself in profound disgrace--even
saying so. He left nothing undone in order to pay his court, at bottom
with meanness, but externally with dignity; and he every year celebrated
a sort of anniversary of his disgrace, by extraordinary acts, of which
ill-humour and solitude were oftentimes absurdly the fruit. He himself
spoke of it, and used to say that he was not rational at the annual
return of this epoch, which was stronger than he. He thought he pleased
the King by this refinement of attention, without perceiving he was
laughed at.

By nature he was extraordinary in everything, and took pleasure in
affecting to be more so, even at home, and among his valets. He
counterfeited the deaf and the blind, the better to see and hear without
exciting suspicion, and diverted himself by laughing at fools, even the
most elevated, by holding with them a language which had no sense. His
manners were measured, reserved, gentle, even respectful; and from his
low and honeyed tongue, came piercing remarks, overwhelming by their
justice, their force, or their satire, composed of two or three words,
perhaps, and sometimes uttered with an air of naivete or of distraction,
as though he was not thinking of what he said. Thus he was feared,
without exception, by everybody, and with many acquaintances he had few
or no friends, although he merited them by his ardor in seeing everybody
as much as he could, and by his readiness in opening his purse. He liked
to gather together foreigners of any distinction, and perfectly did the
honours of the Court. But devouring ambition poisoned his life; yet he
was a very good and useful relative.

During the summer which followed the death of Louis XIV. there was a
review of the King's household troops, led by M. le Duc d'Orleans, in the
plain by the side of the Bois de Boulogne. Passy, where M. de Lauzun had
a pretty house, is on the other side. Madame de Lauzun was there with
company, and I slept there the evening before the review. Madame de
Poitiers, a young widow, and one of our relatives, was there too, and was
dying to see the review, like a young person who has seen nothing, but
who dares not show herself in public in the first months of her mourning.

How she could be taken was discussed in the company, and it was decided
that Madame de Lauzun could conduct her a little way, buried in her
carriage. In the midst of the gaiety of this party, M. de Lauzun arrived
from Paris, where he had gone in the morning. He was told what had just
been decided. As soon as he learnt it he flew into a fury, was no longer
master of himself, broke off the engagement, almost foaming at the mouth;
said the most disagreeable things to his wife in the strongest, the
harshest, the most insulting, and the most foolish terms. She gently
wept; Madame de Poitiers sobbed outright, and all the company felt the
utmost embarrassment. The evening appeared an age, and the saddest
refectory repast a gay meal by the side of our supper. He was wild in
the midst of the profoundest silence; scarcely a word was said. He
quitted the table, as usual, at the fruit, and went to bed. An attempt
was made to say something afterwards by way of relief, but Madame de
Lauzun politely and wisely stopped the conversation, and brought out
cards in order to turn the subject.

The next morning I went to M. de Lauzun, in order to tell him in plain
language my opinion of the scene of the previous evening. I had not the
time. As soon as he saw me enter he extended his arms, and cried that I
saw a madman, who did not deserve my visit, but an asylum; passed the
strongest eulogies upon his wife (which assuredly she merited), said he
was not worthy of her, and that he ought to kiss the ground upon which
she walked; overwhelmed himself with blame; then, with tears in his eyes,
said he was more worthy of pity than of anger; that he must admit to me
all his shame and misery; that he was more than eighty years of age; that
he had neither children nor survivors; that he had been captain of the
guards; that though he might be so again, he should be incapable of the
function; that he unceasingly said this to himself, and that yet with all
this he could not console himself for having been so no longer during the
many years since he had lost his post; that he had never been able to
draw the dagger from his heart; that everything which recalled the memory
of the past made him beside himself, and that to hear that his wife was
going to take Madame de Poitiers to see a review of the body-guards, in
which he now counted for nothing, had turned his head, and had rendered
him wild to the extent I had seen; that he no longer dared show himself
before any one after this evidence of madness; that he was going to lock
himself up in his chamber, and that he threw himself at my feet in order
to conjure me to go and find his wife, and try to induce her to take pity
on and pardon a senseless old man, who was dying with grief and shame.
This admission, so sincere and so dolorous to make, penetrated me. I
sought only to console him and compose him. The reconciliation was not
difficult; we drew him from his chamber, not without trouble, and he
evinced during several days as much disinclination to show himself, as I
was told, for I went away in the evening, my occupations keeping me very

I have often reflected, apropos of this, upon the extreme misfortune of
allowing ourselves to be carried away by the intoxication of the world,
and into the formidable state of an ambitious man, whom neither riches
nor comfort, neither dignity acquired nor age, can satisfy, and who,
instead of tranquilly enjoying what he possesses, and appreciating the
happiness of it, exhausts himself in regrets, and in useless and
continual bitterness. But we die as we have lived, and 'tis rare it
happens otherwise. This madness respecting the captaincy of the guards
so cruelly dominated M. de Lauzun, that he often dressed himself in a
blue coat, with silver lace, which, without being exactly the uniform of
the captain of, the body-guards, resembled it closely, and would have
rendered him ridiculous if he had not accustomed people to it, made
himself feared, and risen above all ridicule.

With all his scheming and cringing he fell foul of everybody, always
saying some biting remark with dove-like gentleness. Ministers,
generals, fortunate people and their families, were the most ill-treated.
He had, as it were, usurped the right of saying and doing what he
pleased; nobody daring to be angry with him. The Grammonts alone were
excepted. He always remembered the hospitality and the protection he had
received from them at the outset of his life. He liked them; he
interested himself in them; he was in respect before them. Old Comte
Grammont took advantage of this and revenged the Court by the sallies he
constantly made against Lauzun, who never returned them or grew angry,
but gently avoided him. He always did a good deal for the children of
his sisters.

During the plague the Bishop of Marseilles had much signalised himself by
wealth spent and danger incurred. When the plague had completely passed
away, M. de Lauzun asked M. le Duc d'Orleans for an abbey for the Bishop.
The Regent gave away some livings soon after, and forgot M. de
Marseilles. Lauzun pretended to be ignorant of it, and asked M. le Duc
d'Orleans if he had had the goodness to remember him. The Regent was
embarrassed. The Duc de Lauzun, as though to relieve him from his
embarrassment, said, in a gentle and respectful tone, "Monsieur, he will
do better another time," and with this sarcasm rendered the Regent dumb,
and went away smiling. The story got abroad, and M. le Duc d'Orleans
repaired his forgetfulness by the bishopric of Laon, and upon the refusal
of M. de Marseilles to change, gave him a fat abbey.

M. de Lauzun hindered also a promotion of Marshal of France by the
ridicule he cast upon the candidates. He said to the Regent, with that
gentle and respectful tone he knew so well how to assume, that in case
any useless Marshals of France (as he said) were made, he begged his
Royal Highness to remember that he was the oldest lieutenant-general of
the realm, and that he had had the honour of commanding armies with the
patent of general. I have elsewhere related other of his witty remarks.
He could not keep them in; envy and jealousy urged him to utter them, and
as his bon-mots always went straight to the point, they were always much

We were on terms of continual intimacy; he had rendered me real solid
friendly services of himself, and I paid him all sorts of respectful
attentions, and he paid me the same. Nevertheless, I did not always
escape his tongue; and on one occasion, he was perhaps within an inch of
doing me much injury by it.

The King (Louis XIV.) was declining; Lauzun felt it, and began to think
of the future. Few people were in favour with M. le Duc d'Orleans;
nevertheless, it was seen that his grandeur was approaching. All eyes
were upon him, shining with malignity, consequently upon me, who for a
long time had been the sole courtier who remained publicly attached to
him, the sole in his confidence. M. de Lauzun came to dine at my house,
and found us at table. The company he saw apparently displeased him; for
he went away to Torcy, with whom I had no intimacy, and who was also at
table, with many people opposed to M. le Duc d'Orleans, Tallard, among
others, and Tesse.

"Monsieur," said Lauzun to Torcy, with a gentle and timid air, familiar
to him, "take pity upon me, I have just tried to dine with M. de Saint-
Simon. I found him at table, with company; I took care not to sit down
with them, as I did not wish to be the 'zeste' of the cabal. I have come
here to find one."

They all burst out laughing. The remark instantly ran over all
Versailles. Madame de Maintenon and M. du Maine at once heard it, and
nevertheless no sign was anywhere made. To have been angry would only
have been to spread it wider: I took the matter as the scratch of an ill-
natured cat, and did not allow Lauzun to perceive that I knew it.

Two or three years before his death he had an illness which reduced him
to extremity. We were all very assiduous, but he would see none of us,
except Madame de Saint-Simon, and her but once. Languet, cure of Saint-
Sulpice, often went to him, and discoursed most admirably to him. One
day, when he was there, the Duc de la Force glided into the chamber:
M. de Lauzun did not like him at all, and often laughed at him. He
received him tolerably well, and continued to talk aloud with the cure.

Suddenly he turned to the cure, complimented and thanked him, said he had
nothing more valuable to give him than his blessing, drew his arm from
the bed, pronounced the blessing, and gave it to him. Then turning to
the Duc de la Force, Lauzun said he had always loved and respected him as
the head of his house, and that as such he asked him for his blessing.

These two men, the cure and the Duc de la Force, were astonished, could
not utter a word. The sick man redoubled his instances. M. de la Force,
recovering himself, found the thing so amusing, that he gave his
blessing; and in fear lest he should explode, left the room, and came to
us in the adjoining chamber, bursting with laughter, and scarcely able to
relate what had happened to him.

A moment after, the cure came also, all abroad, but smiling as much as
possible, so as to put a good face on the matter. Lauzun knew that he
was ardent and skilful in drawing money from people for the building of a
church, and had often said he would never fall into his net; he suspected
that the worthy cure's assiduities had an interested motive, and laughed
at him in giving him only his blessing (which he ought to have received
from him), and in perseveringly asking the Duc de la Force for his. The
cure, who saw the point of the joke, was much mortified, but, like a
sensible man, he was not less frequent in his visits to M. de Lauzun
after this; but the patient cut short his visits, and would not
understand the language he spoke.

Another day, while he was still very ill, Biron and his wife made bold to
enter his room on tiptoe, and kept behind his curtains, out of sight, as
they thought; but he perceived them by means of the glass on the chimney-
piece. Lauzun liked Biron tolerably well, but Madame Biron not at all;
she was, nevertheless, his niece, and his principal heiress; he thought
her mercenary, and all her manners insupportable to him. In that he was
like the rest of the world. He was shocked by this unscrupulous entrance
into his chamber, and felt that, impatient for her inheritance, she came
in order to make sure of it, if he should die directly. He wished to
make her repent of this, and to divert himself at her expense. He
begins, therefore; to utter aloud, as though believing himself alone, an
ejaculatory orison, asking pardon of God for his past life, expressing
himself as though persuaded his death was nigh, and saying that, grieved
at his inability to do penance, he wishes at least to make use of all the
wealth he possesses, in order to redeem his sins, and bequeath that
wealth to the hospitals without any reserve; says it is the sole road to
salvation left to him by God, after having passed a long life without
thinking of the future; and thanks God for this sole resource left him,
which he adopts with all his heart!

He accompanied this resolution with a tone so touched, so persuaded, so
determined, that Biron and his wife did not doubt for a moment he was
going to execute his design, or that they should be deprived of all the
succession. They had no desire to spy any more, and went, confounded, to
the Duchesse de Lauzun, to relate to her the cruel decree they had just
heard pronounced, conjuring her to try and moderate it. Thereupon the
patient sent for the notaries, and Madame Biron believed herself lost.
It was exactly the design of the testator to produce this idea. He made
the notaries wait; then allowed them to enter, and dictated his will,
which was a death-blow to Madame de Biron. Nevertheless, he delayed
signing it, and finding himself better and better, did not sign it at
all. He was much diverted with this farce, and could not restrain his
laughter at it, when reestablished. Despite his age, and the gravity of
his illness, he was promptly cured and restored to his usual health.

He was internally as strong as a lion, though externally very delicate.
He dined and supped very heartily every day of an excellent and very
delicate cheer, always with good company, evening and morning; eating of
everything, 'gras' and 'maigre', with no choice except that of his taste
and no moderation. He took chocolate in the morning, and had always on
the table the fruits in season, and biscuits; at other times beer, cider,
lemonade, and other similar drinks iced; and as he passed to and fro, ate
and drank at this table every afternoon, exhorting others to do the same.
In this way he left table or the fruit, and immediately went to bed.

I recollect that once, among others, he ate at my house, after his
illness, so much fish, vegetables, and all sorts of things (I having no
power to hinder him), that in the evening we quietly sent to learn
whether he had not felt the effects of them. He was found at table
eating with good appetite.

His gallantry was long faithful to him. Mademoiselle was jealous of it,
and that often controlled him. I have heard Madame de Fontenelles ( a
very enviable woman, of much intelligence, very truthful, and of singular
virtue), I have heard her say, that being at Eu with Mademoiselle,
M. de Lauzun came there and could not desist from running after the
girls; Mademoiselle knew it, was angry, scratched him, and drove him from
her presence. The Comtesse de Fiesque reconciled them. Mademoiselle
appeared at the end of a long gallery; Lauzun was at the other end, and
he traversed the whole length of it on his knees until he reached the
feet of Mademoiselle. These scenes, more or less moving, often took
place afterwards. Lauzun allowed himself to be beaten, and in his turn
soundly beat Mademoiselle; and this happened several times, until at
last, tired of each other, they quarrelled once for all and never saw
each other again; he kept several portraits of her, however, in his house
or upon him, and never spoke of her without much respect. Nobody doubted
they had been secretly married. At her death he assumed a livery almost
black, with silver lace; this he changed into white with a little blue
upon gold, when silver was prohibited upon liveries.

His temper, naturally scornful and capricious, rendered more so by prison
and solitude, had made him a recluse and dreamer; so that having in his
house the best of company, he left them to Madame de Lauzun, and withdrew
alone all the afternoon, several hours running, almost always without
books, for he read only a few works of fancy--a very few--and without
sequence; so that he knew nothing except what he had seen, and until the
last was exclusively occupied with the Court and the news of the great
world. I have a thousand times regretted his radical incapacity to write
down what he had seen and done. It would have been a treasure of the
most curious anecdotes, but he had no perseverance, no application. I
have often tried to draw from him some morsels. Another misfortune. He
began to relate; in the recital names occurred of people who had taken
part in what he wished to relate. He instantly quitted the principal
object of the story in order to hang on to one of these persons, and
immediately after to some other person connected with the first, then to
a third, in the manner of the romances; he threaded through a dozen
histories at once, which made him lose ground and drove him from one to
the other without ever finishing anything; and with this his words were
very confused, so that it was impossible to learn anything from him or
retain anything he said. For the rest, his conversation was always
constrained by caprice or policy; and was amusing only by starts, and by
the malicious witticisms which sprung out of it. A few months after his
last illness, that is to say, when he was more than ninety years of age,
he broke in his horses and made a hundred passades at the Bois de
Boulogne (before the King, who was going to the Muette), upon a colt he
had just trained, surprising the spectators by his address, his firmness,
and his grace. These details about him might go on for ever.

His last illness came on without warning, almost in a moment, with the
most horrible of all ills, a cancer in the mouth. He endured it to the
last with incredible patience and firmness, without complaint, without
spleen, without the slightest repining; he was insupportable to himself.
When he saw his illness somewhat advanced, he withdrew into a little
apartment (which he had hired with this object in the interior of the
Convent of the Petits Augustins, into which there was an entrance from
his house) to die in repose there, inaccessible to Madame de Biron and
every other woman, except his wife, who had permission to go in at all
hours, followed by one of her attendants.

Into this retreat Lauzun gave access only to his nephews and brothers-in-
law, and to them as little as possible. He thought only of profiting by
his terrible state, of giving all his time to the pious discourses of his
confessor and of some of the pious people of the house, and to holy
reading; to everything, in fact, which best could prepare him for death.
When we saw him, no disorder, nothing lugubrious, no trace of suffering,
politeness, tranquillity, conversation but little animated, indifference
to what was passing in the world, speaking of it little and with
difficulty; little or no morality, still less talk of his state; and this
uniformity, so courageous and so peaceful, was sustained full four months
until the end; but during the last ten or twelve days he would see
neither brothers-in-law nor nephews, and as for his wife, promptly
dismissed her. He received all the sacraments very edifyingly, and
preserved his senses to the last moment: The morning of the day during
the night of which he died, he sent for Biron, said he had done for him
all that Madame de Lauzun had wished; that by his testament he gave him
all his wealth, except a trifling legacy to the son of his other sister,
and some recompenses to his domestics; that all he had done for him since
his marriage, and what he did in dying, he (Biron) entirely owed to
Madame de Lauzun; that he must never forget the gratitude he owed her;
that he prohibited him, by the authority of uncle and testator, ever to
cause her any trouble or annoyance, or to have any process against her,
no matter of what kind. It was Biron himself who told me this the next
day, in the terms I have given. M. de Lauzun said adieu to him in a firm
tone, and dismissed him. He prohibited, and reasonably, all ceremony; he
was buried at the Petits Augustins; he had nothing from the King but the
ancient company of the battle-axes, which was suppressed two days after.
A month before his death he had sent for Dillon (charged here with the
affairs of King James, and a very distinguished officer general), to whom
he surrendered his collar of the Order of the Garter, and a George of
onyx, encircled with perfectly beautiful and large diamonds, to be sent
back to the Prince.

I perceive at last, that I have been very prolix upon this man, but the
extraordinary singularity of his life, and my close connexion with him,
appear to me sufficient excuses for making him known, especially as he
did not sufficiently figure in general affairs to expect much notice in
the histories that will appear. Another sentiment has extended my
recital. I am drawing near a term I fear to reach, because my desires
cannot be in harmony with the truth; they are ardent, consequently
gainful, because the other sentiment is terrible, and cannot in any way
be palliated; the terror of arriving there has stopped me--nailed me
where I was--frozen me.

It will easily be seen that I speak of the death (and what a death!) of
M. le Duc d'Orleans; and this frightful recital, especially after such a
long attachment (it lasted all his life, and will last all mine),
penetrates me with terror and with grief for him. The Regent had said,
when he died he should like to die suddenly: I shudder to my very marrow,
with the horrible suspicion that God, in His anger, granted his desire.


The new chateau of Meudon, completely furnished, had been restored to me
since the return of the Court to Versailles, just as I had had it before
the Court came to Meudon. The Duc and Duchesse d'Humieres were with us
there, and good company. One morning towards the end of October, 1723,
the Duc d'Humieres wished me to conduct him to Versailles, to thank M. le
Duc d'Orleans.

We found the Regent dressing in the vault he used as his wardrobe. He
was upon his chair among his valets, and one or two of his principal
officers. His look terrified me. I saw a man with hanging head, a
purple-red complexion, and a heavy stupid air. He did not even see me
approach. His people told him. He slowly turned his head towards me,
and asked me with a thick tongue what brought me. I told him. I had
intended to pass him to come into the room where he dressed himself, so
as not to keep the Duc d'Humieres waiting; but I was so astonished that I
stood stock still.

I took Simiane, first gentleman of his chamber, into a window, and
testified to him my surprise and my fear at the state in which I saw M.
le Duc d'Orleans.

Simiane replied that for a long time he had been so in the morning; that
to-day there was nothing extraordinary about him, and that I was
surprised simply because I did not see him at those hours; that nothing
would be seen when he had shaken himself a little in dressing. There was
still, however, much to be seen when he came to dress himself. The
Regent received the thanks of the Duc d'Humieres with an astonished and
heavy air; he who always was so gracious and so polite to everybody, and
who so well knew how to express himself, scarcely replied to him! A
moment after, M. d'Humieres and I withdrew. We dined with the Duc de
Gesvres, who led him to the King to thank his Majesty.

The condition of M. le Duc d'Orleans made me make many reflections. For
a very long time the Secretaries of State had told me that during the
first hours of the morning they could have made him pass anything they
wished, or sign what might have been the most hurtful to him. It was the
fruit of his suppers. Within the last year he himself had more than once
told me that Chirac doctored him unceasingly, without effect; because he
was so full that he sat down to table every evening without hunger,
without any desire to eat, though he took nothing in the morning, and
simply a cup of chocolate between one and two o'clock in the day (before
everybody), it being then the time to see him in public. I had not kept
dumb with him thereupon, but all my representations were perfectly
useless. I knew moreover, that Chirac had continually told him that the
habitual continuance of his suppers would lead him to apoplexy, or dropsy
on the chest, because his respiration was interrupted at times; upon
which he had cried out against this latter malady, which was a slow,
suffocating, annoying preparation for death, saying that he preferred
apoplexy, which surprised and which killed at once, without allowing time
to think of it!

Another man, instead of crying out against this kind of death with which
he was menaced, and of preferring another, allowing him no time for
reflection, would have thought about leading a sober, healthy, and decent
life, which, with the temperament he had, would have procured him a very
long time, exceeding agreeable in the situation--very probably durable--
in which he found himself; but such was the double blindness of this
unhappy prince.

I was on terms of much intimacy with M. de Frejus, and since, in default
of M. le Duc d'Orleans, there must be another master besides the King,
until he could take command, I preferred this prelate to any other. I
went to him, therefore, and told him what I had seen this morning of the
state of M. le Duc d'Orleans. I predicted that his death must soon come,
and that it would arrive suddenly, without warning. I counselled Frejus,
therefore, to have all his arrangements ready with the King, in order to
fill up the Regent's place of prime minister when it should become
vacant. M. de Frejus appeared very grateful for the advice, but was
measured and modest as though he thought the post much above him!

On the 22nd of December, 1723, I went from Meudon to Versailles to see
M. le Duc d'Orleans; I was three-quarters of an hour with him in his
cabinet, where I had found him alone. We walked to and fro there,
talking of affairs of which he was going to give an account to the King
that day. I found no difference in him, his state was, as usual, languid
and heavy, as it had been for some time, but his judgment was clear as
ever. I immediately returned to Meudon, and chatted there some time with
Madame de Saint-Simon on arriving. On account of the season we had
little company. I left Madame de Saint-Simon in her cabinet, and went
into mine.

About an hour after, at most, I heard cries and a sudden uproar. I ran
out and I found Madame de Saint-Simon quite terrified, bringing to me a
groom of the Marquis de Ruffec, who wrote to me from Versailles, that
M. le Duc d'Orleans was in a apoplectic fit. I was deeply moved, but not
surprised; I had expected it, as I have shown, for a long time.
I impatiently waited for my carriage, which was a long while coming,
on account of the distance of the new chateau from the stables. I flung
myself inside; and was driven as fast as possible.

At the park gate I met another courier from M. de Ruffec, who stopped me,
and said it was all over. I remained there more than half an hour
absorbed in grief and reflection. At the end I resolved to go to
Versailles, and shut myself up in my rooms; I learnt there the
particulars of the event.

M. le Duc d'Orleans had everything prepared to go and work with the King.
While waiting the hour, he chatted with Madame Falari, one of his
mistresses. They were close to each other, both seated in armchairs,
when suddenly he fell against her, and never from that moment had the
slightest glimmer of consciousness.

La Falari, frightened as much as may be imagined, cried with all her
might for help, and redoubled her cries. Seeing that nobody replied, she
supported as best she could this poor prince upon the contiguous arms of
the two chairs, ran into the grand cabinet, into the chamber, into the
ante-chambers, without finding a soul; finally, into the court and the
lower gallery. It was the hour at which M. le Duc d'Orleans worked with
the King, an hour when people were sure no one would come and see him,
and that he had no need of them, because he ascended to the King's room
by the little staircase from his vault, that is to say his wardrobe. At
last La Falari found somebody, and sent the first who came to hand for
help. Chance; or rather providence, had arranged this sad event at a
time when everybody was ordinarily away upon business or visits, so that
a full half-hour elapsed before doctor or surgeon appeared, and about as
long before any domestics of M. le Duc d'Orleans could be found.

As soon as the faculty had examined the Regent; they judged his case
hopeless. He was hastily extended upon the floor, and bled, but he gave
not the slightest sign of life, do what they might to him. In an
instant, after the first announcement, everybody flocked to the spot; the
great and the little cabinet were full of people. In less than two hours
all was over, and little by little the solitude became as great as the
crowd had been. As soon as assistance came, La Falari flew away and
gained Paris as quickly as possible.

La Vrilliere was one of the first who learnt of the attack of apoplexy.
He instantly ran and informed the King and the Bishop of Frejus. Then M.
le Duc, like a skilful courtier, resolved to make the best of his time;
he at once ran home and drew up at all hazards the patent appointing M.
le Duc prime minister, thinking it probable that that prince would be
named. Nor was he deceived. At the first intelligence of apoplexy,
Frejus proposed M. le Duc to the King, having probably made his
arrangements in advance. M. le Duc arrived soon after, and entered the
cabinet where he saw the King, looking very sad, his eyes red and

Scarcely had he entered than Frejus said aloud to the King, that in the
loss he had sustained by the death of M. le Duc d'Orleans (whom he very
briefly eulogised), his Majesty could not do better than beg M. le Duc,
there present, to charge himself with everything, and accept the post of
prime minister M. le Duc d'Orleans had filled. The King, without saying
a word, looked at Frejus, and consented by a sign of the head, and M. le
Duc uttered his thanks.

La Vrilliere, transported with joy at the prompt policy he had followed,
had in his pocket the form of an oath taken by the prime minister, copied
from that taken by M. le Duc d'Orleans, and proposed to Frejus to
administer it immediately. Frejus proposed it to the King as a fitting
thing, and M. le Duc instantly took it. Shortly after, M. le Duc went
away; the crowd in the adjoining rooms augmented his suite, and in a
moment nothing was talked of but M. le Duc.

M. le Duc de Chartres (the Regent's son), very awkward, but a libertine,
was at Paris with an opera dancer he kept. He received the courier which
brought him the news of the apoplexy, and on the road (to Versailles),
another with the news of death. Upon descending from his coach, he found
no crowd, but simply the Duc de Noailles, and De Guiche, who very
'apertement' offered him their services, and all they could do for him.
He received them as though they were begging-messengers whom he was in a
hurry to get rid of, bolted upstairs to his mother, to whom he said he
had just met two men who wished to bamboozle him, but that he had not
been such a fool as to let them. This remarkable evidence of
intelligence, judgment, and policy, promised at once all that this prince
has since performed. It was with much trouble he was made to comprehend
that he had acted with gross stupidity; he continued, nevertheless, to
act as before.

He was not less of a cub in the interview I shortly afterwards had with
him. Feeling it my duty to pay a visit of condolence to Madame la
Duchesse d'Orleans, although I had not been on terms of intimacy with her
for a long while, I sent a message to her to learn whether my presence
would be agreeable. I was told that Madame la Duchesse d'Orleans would
be very glad to see me. I accordingly immediately went to her.

I found her in bed, with a few ladies and her chief officers around, and
M. le Duc de Chartres making decorum do double duty for grief. As soon
as I approached her she spoke to me of the grievous misfortune--not a
word of our private differences. I had stipulated thus. M. le Duc de
Chartres went away to his own rooms. Our dragging conversation I put an
end to as soon as possible.

From Madame la Duchesse d'Orleans I went to M. le Duc de Chartres. He
occupied the room his father had used before being Regent. They told me
he was engaged. I went again three times during the same morning. At
the last his valet de chambre was ashamed, and apprised him of my visit,
in despite of me. He came across the threshold of the door of his
cabinet, where he had been occupied with some very common people; they
were just the sort of people suited to him.

I saw a man before me stupefied and dumfounded, not afflicted, but so
embarrassed that he knew not where he was. I paid him the strongest, the
clearest, the most energetic of compliments, in a loud voice. He took
me, apparently, for some repetition of the Ducs de Guiche and de
Noailles, and did not do me the honour to reply one word.

I waited some moments, and seeing that nothing would come out of the
mouth of this image, I made my reverence and withdrew, he advancing not
one step to conduct me, as he ought to have done, all along his
apartment, but reburying himself in his cabinet. It is true that in
retiring I cast my eyes upon the company, right and left, who appeared to
me much surprised. I went home very weary of dancing attendance at the

The death of M. le Duc d'Orleans made a great sensation abroad and at
home; but foreign countries rendered him incomparably more justice, and
regretted him much more, than the French. Although foreigners knew his
feebleness, and although the English had strangely abused it, their
experience had not the less persuaded them of the range of his mind, of
the greatness of his genius and of his views, of his singular
penetration, of the sagacity and address of his policy, of the fertility
of his expedients and of his resources, of the dexterity of his conduct
under all changes of circumstances and events, of his clearness in
considering objects and combining things; of his superiority over his
ministers, and over those that various powers sent to him; of the
exquisite discernment he displayed in investigating affairs; of his
learned ability in immediately replying to everything when he wished.
The majority of our Court did not regret him, however. The life he had
led displeased the Church people; but more still, the treatment they had
received from his hands.

The day after death, the corpse of M. le Duc d'Orleans was taken from
Versailles to Saint-Cloud, and the next day the ceremonies commenced.
His heart was carried from Saint-Cloud to the Val de Grace by the
Archbishop of Rouen, chief almoner of the defunct Prince. The burial
took place at Saint-Denis, the funeral procession passing through Paris,
with the greatest pomp. The obsequies were delayed until the 12th of
February. M. le Duc de Chartres became Duc d'Orleans.

After this event, I carried out a determination I had long resolved on.
I appeared before the new masters of the realm as seldom as possible--
only, in fact, upon such occasions where it would have been inconsistent
with my position to stop away. My situation at the Court had totally
changed. The loss of the dear Prince, the Duc de Bourgogne, was the
first blow I had received. The loss of the Regent was the second. But
what a wide gulf separated these two men!


A cardinal may be poisoned, stabbed, got rid of altogether
A good friend when a friend at all, which was rare
A King's son, a King's father, and never a King
A lingering fear lest the sick man should recover
A king is made for his subjects, and not the subjects for him
Admit our ignorance, and not to give fictions and inventions
Aptitude did not come up to my desire
Arranged his affairs that he died without money
Artagnan, captain of the grey musketeers
Believed that to undertake and succeed were only the same things
But with a crawling baseness equal to her previous audacity
Capacity was small, and yet he believed he knew everything
Compelled to pay, who would have preferred giving voluntarily
Conjugal impatience of the Duc de Bourgogne
Countries of the Inquisition, where science is a crime
Danger of inducing hypocrisy by placing devotion too high
Death came to laugh at him for the sweating labour he had taken
Depopulated a quarter of the realm
Desmarets no longer knew of what wood to make a crutch
Enriched one at the expense of the other
Exceeded all that was promised of her, and all that I had hoped
Few would be enriched at the expense of the many
For penance: "we must make our servants fast"
For want of better support I sustained myself with courage
Found it easier to fly into a rage than to reply
From bad to worse was easy
He had pleased (the King) by his drugs
He limped audaciously
He was often firm in promises
He was so good that I sometimes reproached him for it
He was born bored; he was so accustomed to live out of himself
He liked nobody to be in any way superior to him
He was scarcely taught how to read or write
He was accused of putting on an imperceptible touch of rouge
Height to which her insignificance had risen
His death, so happy for him and so sad for his friends
His habits were publicly known to be those of the Greeks
His great piety contributed to weaken his mind
I abhorred to gain at the expense of others
Ignorance and superstition the first of virtues
Imagining themselves everywhere in marvellous danger of capture
In order to say something cutting to you, says it to himself
Indiscreet and tyrannical charity
Interests of all interested painted on their faces
It is a sign that I have touched the sore point
Jesuits: all means were good that furthered his designs
Juggle, which put the wealth of Peter into the pockets of Paul
King was being wheeled in his easy chair in the gardens
Less easily forget the injuries we inflict than those received
Madame de Maintenon in returning young and poor from America
Make religion a little more palpable
Manifesto of a man who disgorges his bile
Mightily tired of masters and books
Monseigneur, who had been out wolf-hunting
More facility I have as King to gratify myself
My wife went to bed, and received a crowd of visitors
Never been able to bend her to a more human way of life
Never was a man so ready with tears, so backward with grief
No means, therefore, of being wise among so many fools
Not allowing ecclesiastics to meddle with public affairs
Of a politeness that was unendurable
Oh, my lord! how many virtues you make me detest
Omissions must be repaired as soon as they are perceived
Others were not allowed to dream as he had lived
People who had only sores to share
People with difficulty believe what they have seen
Persuaded themselves they understood each other
Polite when necessary, but insolent when he dared
Pope excommunicated those who read the book or kept it
Pope not been ashamed to extol the Saint-Bartholomew
Promotion was granted according to length of service
Received all the Court in her bed
Reproaches rarely succeed in love
Revocation of the edict of Nantes
Rome must be infallible, or she is nothing
Said that if they were good, they were sure to be hated
Saw peace desired were they less inclined to listen to terms
Scarcely any history has been written at first hand
Seeing him eat olives with a fork!
She lose her head, and her accomplice to be broken on the wheel
Spark of ambition would have destroyed all his edifice
Spoil all by asking too much
Spoke only about as much as three or four women
Supported by unanswerable reasons that did not convince
Suspicion of a goitre, which did not ill become her
Teacher lost little, because he had little to lose
The clergy, to whom envy is not unfamiliar
The porter and the soldier were arrested and tortured
The shortness of each day was his only sorrow
The most horrible sights have often ridiculous contrasts
The argument of interest is the best of all with monks
The nothingness of what the world calls great destinies
The safest place on the Continent
There was no end to the outrageous civilities of M. de Coislin
Touched, but like a man who does not wish to seem so
Unreasonable love of admiration, was his ruin
We die as we have lived, and 'tis rare it happens otherwise
Whatever course I adopt many people will condemn me
Whitehall, the largest and ugliest palace in Europe
Who counted others only as they stood in relation to himself
Wise and disdainful silence is difficult to keep under reverses
With him one's life was safe
World; so unreasoning, and so little in accord with itself


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