Birth and Family. Early Life. Desire to join the Army. Enter the icon

Birth and Family. Early Life. Desire to join the Army. Enter the

НазваниеBirth and Family. Early Life. Desire to join the Army. Enter the
Дата конвертации10.08.2012
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Birth and Family.--Early Life.--Desire to join the Army.--Enter the

Musketeers.--The Campaign Commences.--Camp of Gevries.--Siege of Namur.

--Dreadful Weather.--Gentlemen Carrying Corn.--Sufferings during the

Siege.--The Monks of Marlaigne.--Rival Couriers.--Naval Battle.--

Playing with Fire-arms.--A Prediction Verified.


The King's Natural Children.--Proposed Marriage of the Duc de Chartres.--

Influence of Dubois.--The Duke and the King.--An Apartment.--Announcement

of the Marriage.--Anger of Madame.--Household of the Duchess.--Villars

and Rochefort.--Friend of King's Mistresses.--The Marriage Ceremony.--

Toilette of the Duchess.--Son of Montbron.--Marriage of M. du Maine.--

Duchess of Hanover.--Duc de Choiseul.--La Grande Mademoiselle.


Death of My Father.--Anecdotes of Louis XIII.--The Cardinal de

Richelieu.--The Duc de Bellegarde.--Madame de Hautefort.--My Father's

Enemy.--His Services and Reward.--A Duel against Law.--An Answer to a

Libel.--M. de la Rochefoucauld.--My Father's Gratitude to Louis XIII.


Position of the Prince of Orange.--Strange Conduct of the King.--Surprise

and Indignation.--Battle of Neerwinden.--My Return to Paris.--Death of La

Vauguyon.--Symptoms of Madness.--Vauguyon at the Bastille.--Projects of

Marriage.--M. de Beauvilliers.--A Negotiation for a Wife.--My Failure.--

Visit to La Trappe.


M. de Luxembourg's Claim of Precedence.--Origin of the Claim.--Duc de

Piney.--Character of Harlay.--Progress of the Trial.--Luxembourg and

Richelieu.--Double-dealing of Harlay.--The Duc de Gesvres.--Return to the

Seat of War.--Divers Operations.--Origin of These Memoirs.


Quarrels of the Princesses.--Mademoiselle Choin.--A Disgraceful Affair.--

M. de Noyon.--Comic Scene at the Academie.--Anger and Forgiveness of

M. de Noyon.--M. de Noailles in Disgrace.--How He Gets into Favour Again.

--M. de Vendome in Command.--Character of M. de Luxembourg.-- The Trial

for Precedence Again.--An Insolent Lawyer.--Extraordinary Decree.


Harlay and the Dutch.
--Death of the Princess of Orange.--Count

Koenigsmarck.--A New Proposal of Marriage.--My Marriage.--That of M. de

Lauzun.--Its Result.--La Fontaine and Mignard.--Illness of the Marechal

de Lorges.--Operations on the Rhine.--Village of Seckenheim.--An Episode

of War.--Cowardice of M. du Maine.--Despair of the King, Who Takes a

Knave in the Act.--Bon Mot of M. d'Elboeuf.


The Abbe de Fenelon.--The Jansenists and St. Sulpice.--Alliance with

Madame Guyon.--Preceptor of the Royal Children.--Acquaintance with Madame

de Maintenon.--Appointment to Cambrai.--Disclosure of Madame Guyon's

Doctrines.--Her Disgrace.--Bossuet and Fenelon.--Two Rival Books.--

Disgrace of Fenelon.


I was born on the night of the 15th of January, 1675, of Claude Duc de

Saint-Simon, Peer of France, and of his second wife Charlotte de

l'Aubepine. I was the only child of that marriage. By his first wife,

Diana de Budos, my father had had only a daughter. He married her to the

Duc de Brissac, Peer of France, only brother of the Duchesse de Villeroy.

She died in 1684, without children,--having been long before separated

from a husband who was unworthy of her--leaving me heir of all her


I bore the name of the Vidame de Chartres; and was educated with great

care and attention. My mother, who was remarkable for virtue,

perseverance, and sense, busied herself continually in forming my mind

and body. She feared for me the usual fate of young men, who believe

their fortunes made, and who find themselves their own masters early in

life. It was not likely that my father, born in 1606, would live long

enough to ward off from me this danger; and my mother repeatedly

impressed on, me how necessary it was for a young man, the son of the

favourite of a King long dead,--with no new friends at Court,--to acquire

some personal value of his own. She succeeded in stimulating my courage;

and in exciting in me the desire to make the acquisitions she laid stress

on; but my aptitude for study and the sciences did not come up to my

desire to succeed in them. However, I had an innate inclination for

reading, especially works of history; and thus was inspired with ambition

to emulate the examples presented to my imagination,--to do something and

become somebody, which partly made amends for my coldness for letters.

In fact, I have always thought that if I had been allowed to read history

more constantly, instead of losing my time in studies for which I had no

aptness, I might have made some figure in the world.

What I read of my own accord, of history, and, above all, of the personal

memoirs of the times since Francis I., bred in me the desire to write

down what I might myself see. The hope of advancement, and of becoming

familiar with the affairs of my time, stirred me. The annoyances I might

thus bring upon myself did not fail to present themselves to my mind; but

the firm resolution I made to keep my writings secret from everybody,

appeared to me to remedy all evils. I commenced my memoirs then in July,

1694, being at that time colonel of a cavalry regiment bearing my name,

in the camp of Guinsheim, upon the old Rhine, in the army commanded by

the Marechal Duc de Lorges.

In 1691 I was studying my philosophy and beginning to learn to ride at an

academy at Rochefort, getting mightily tired of masters and books, and

anxious to join the army. The siege of Mons, formed by the King in

person, at the commencement of the spring, had drawn away all the young

men of my age to commence their first campaign; and, what piqued me most,

the Duc de Chartres was there, too. I had been, as it were, educated

with him. I was younger than he by eight months; and if the expression

be allowed in speaking of young people, so unequal in position,

friendship had united us. I made up my mind, therefore, to escape from

my leading-strings; but pass lightly over the artifices I used in order

to attain success. I addressed myself to my mother. I soon saw that she

trifled with me. I had recourse to my father, whom I made believe that

the King, having led a great siege this year, would rest the next.

I said nothing of this to my mother, who did not discover my plot until

it was just upon the point, of execution.

The King had determined rigidly to adhere to a rule he had laid down--

namely, that none who entered the service, except his illegitimate

children, and the Princes of the blood royal, should be exempt from

serving for a year in one of his two companies of musketeers; and passing

afterwards through the ordeal of being private or subaltern in one of the

regiments of cavalry or infantry, before receiving permission to purchase

a regiment. My father took me, therefore, to Versailles, where he had

not been for many years, and begged of the King admission for me into the

Musketeers. It was on the day of St. Simon and St. Jude, at half-past

twelve, and just as his Majesty came out of the council.

The King did my father the honour of embracing him three times, and then

turned towards me. Finding that I was little and of delicate appearance,

he said I was still very young; to which my father replied, that I should

be able in consequence to serve longer. Thereupon the King demanded in

which of the two companies he wished to put me; and my father named that

commanded by Maupertuis, who was one of his friends. The King relied

much upon the information given him by the captains of the two companies

of Musketeers, as to the young men who served in them. I have reason for

believing, that I owe to Maupertuis the first good opinion that his

Majesty had of me.

Three months after entering the Musketeers, that is to say, in the March

of the following year, the King held a review of his guards, and of the

gendarmerie, at Compiegne, and I mounted guard once at the palace.

During this little journey there was talk of a much more important one.

My joy was extreme; but my father, who had not counted upon this,

repented of having believed me, when I told him that the King would no

doubt rest at Paris this year. My mother, after a little vexation and

pouting at finding me enrolled by my father against her will, did not

fail to bring him to reason, and to make him provide me with an equipment

of thirty-five horses or mules, and means to live honourably.

A grievous annoyance happened in our house about three weeks before my

departure. A steward of my father named Tesse, who had been with him

many years, disappeared all at once with fifty thousand francs due to

various tradesfolk. He had written out false receipts from these people,

and put them in his accounts. He was a little man, gentle, affable, and

clever; who had shown some probity, and who had many friends.

The King set out on the 10th of May, 1692, with the ladies; and I

performed the journey on horseback with the soldiers and all the

attendants, like the other Musketeers, and continued to do so through the

whole campaign. I was accompanied by two gentlemen; the one had been my

tutor, the other was my mother's squire. The King's army was formed at

the camp of Gevries; that of M. de Luxembourg almost joined it: The

ladies were at Mons, two leagues distant. The King made them come into

his camp, where he entertained them; and then showed them, perhaps; the

most superb review which had ever been seen. The two armies were ranged

in two lines, the right of M. de Luxembourg's touching the left of the

King's,--the whole extending over three leagues of ground.

After stopping ten days at Gevries, the two armies separated and marched.

Two days afterwards the seige of Namur was declared. The King arrived

there in five days. Monseigneur (son of the King); Monsieur (Duc

d'Orleans, brother of the King); M. le Prince (de Conde) and Marechal

d'Humieres; all four, the one under the other, commanded in the King's

army under the King himself. The Duc de Luxembourg, sole general of his

own army, covered the siege operations, and observed the enemy. The

ladies went away to Dinant. On the third day of the march M. le Prince

went forward to invest the place.

The celebrated Vauban, the life and soul of all the sieges the King made,

was of opinion that the town should be attacked separately from the

castle; and his advice was acted upon. The Baron de Bresse, however,

who had fortified the place, was for attacking town and castle together.

He was a humble down-looking man, whose physiognomy promised nothing, but

who soon acquired the confidence of the King, and the esteem of the army.

The Prince de Conde, Marechal d'Humieres, and the Marquis de Boufflers

each led an attack. There was nothing worthy of note during the ten days

the siege lasted. On the eleventh day, after the trenches had been

opened, a parley was beaten and a capitulation made almost as the

besieged desired it. They withdrew to the castle; and it was agreed that

it should not be attacked from the town-side, and that the town was not

to be battered by it. During the siege the King was almost always in his

tent; and the weather remained constantly warm and serene. We lost

scarcely anybody of consequence. The Comte de Toulouse received a slight

wound in the arm while quite close to the King, who from a prominent

place was witnessing the attack of a half-moon, which was carried in

broad daylight by a detachment of the oldest of the two companies of


The siege of the castle next commenced. The position of the camp was

changed. The King's tents and those of all the Court were pitched in a

beautiful meadow about five hundred paces from the monastery of

Marlaigne. The fine weather changed to rain, which fell with an

abundance and perseverance never before known by any one in the army.

This circumstance increased the reputation of Saint Medard, whose fete

falls on the 8th of June. It rained in torrents that day, and it is said

that when such is the case it will rain for forty days afterwards. By

chance it happened so this year. The soldiers in despair at this deluge

uttered many imprecations against the Saint; and looked for images of

him, burning and breaking as many as they could find. The rains sadly

interfered with the progress of the siege. The tents of the King could

only be communicated with by paths laid with fascines which required to

be renewed every day, as they sank down into the soil. The camps and

quarters were no longer accessible; the trenches were full of mud and

water, and it took often three days to remove cannon from one battery to

another. The waggons became useless, too, so that the transport of

bombs, shot, and so forth, could not be performed except upon the backs

of mules and of horses taken from the equipages of the Court and the

army. The state of the roads deprived the Duc de Luxembourg of the use

of waggons and other vehicles. His army was perishing for want of grain.

To remedy this inconvenience the King ordered all his household troops to

mount every day on horseback by detachments, and to take sacks of grain

upon their cruppers to a village where they were to be received and

counted by the officers of the Duc de Luxembourg. Although the household

of the King had scarcely any repose during this siege, what with carrying

fascines, furnishing guards, and other daily services, this increase of

duty was given to it because the cavalry served continually also, and was

reduced almost entirely to leaves of trees for provender.

The household of the King, accustomed to all sorts of distinctions,

complained bitterly of this task. But the King turned a deaf ear to

them, and would be obeyed. On the first day some of the Gendarmes and of

the light horse of the guard arrived early in the morning at the depot of

the sacks, and commenced murmuring and exciting each other by their

discourses. They threw down the sacks at last and flatly refused to

carry them. I had been asked very politely if I would be of the

detachment for the sacks or of some other. I decided for the sacks,

because I felt that I might thereby advance myself, the subject having

already made much noise. I arrived with the detachment of the Musketeers

at the moment of the refusal of the others; and I loaded my sack before

their eyes. Marin, a brigadier of cavalry and lieutenant of the body

guards, who was there to superintend the operation, noticed me, and full

of anger at the refusal he had just met with, exclaimed that as I did not

think such work beneath me, the rest would do well to imitate my example.

Without a word being spoken each took up his sack; and from that time

forward no further difficulty occurred in the matter. As soon as the

detachment had gone, Marin went straight to the King and told him what

had occurred. This was a service which procured for me several obliging

discourses from his Majesty, who during the rest of the siege always

sought to say something agreeable every time he met me.

The twenty-seventh day after opening the trenches, that is, the first of

July, 1692, a parley was sounded by the Prince de Barbanqon, governor of

the place,--a fortunate circumstance for the besiegers, who were worn

out with fatigue; and destitute of means, on account of the wretched

weather which still continued, and which had turned the whole country

round into a quagmire. Even the horses of the King lived upon leaves,

and not a horse of all our numerous cavalry ever thoroughly recovered

from the effects of such sorry fare. It is certain that without the

presence of the King the siege might never have been successful; but he

being there, everybody was stimulated. Yet had the place held out ten

days longer, there is no saying what might have happened. Before the end

of the siege the King was so much fatigued with his exertions, that a new

attack of gout came on, with more pain than ever, and compelled him to

keep his bed, where, however, he thought of everything, and laid out his

plans as though he had been at Versailles.

During the entire siege, the Prince of Orange (William III. of England)

had unavailingly used all his science to dislodge the Duc de Luxembourg;

but he had to do with a man who in matters of war was his superior, and

who continued so all his life. Namur, which, by the surrender of the

castle, was now entirely in our power, was one of the strongest places in

the Low Countries, and had hitherto boasted of having never changed

masters. The inhabitants could not restrain their tears of sorrow. Even

the monks of Marlaigne were profoundly moved, so much so, that they could

not disguise their grief. The King, feeling for the loss of their corn

that they had sent for safety into Namur, gave them double the quantity,

and abundant alms. He incommoded them as little as possible, and would

not permit the passage of cannon across their park, until it was found

impossible to transport it by any other road. Notwithstanding these acts

of goodness, they could scarcely look upon a Frenchman after the taking

of the place; and one actually refused to give a bottle of beer to an

usher of the King's antechamber, although offered a bottle of champagne

in exchange for it!

A circumstance happened just after the taking of Namur, which might have

led to the saddest results, under any other prince than the King. Before

he entered the town, a strict examination of every place was made,

although by the capitulation all the mines, magazines, &c., had to be

shown. At a visit paid to the Jesuits, they pretended to show

everything, expressing, however, surprise and something more, that their

bare word was not enough. But on examining here and there, where they

did not expect search would be made, their cellars were found to be

stored with gunpowder, of which they had taken good care to say no word.

What they meant to do with it is uncertain. It was carried away, and as

they were Jesuits nothing was done.

During the course of this siege, the King suffered a cruel

disappointment. James II. of England, then a refugee in France, had

advised the King to give battle to the English fleet. Joined to that of

Holland it was very superior to the sea forces of France. Tourville, our

admiral, so famous for his valour and skill, pointed this circumstance

out to the King. But it was all to no effect. He was ordered to attack

the enemy. He did so. Many of his ships were burnt, and the victory was

won by the English. A courier entrusted with this sad intelligence was

despatched to the King. On his way he was joined by another courier, who

pressed him for his news. The first courier knew that if he gave up his

news, the other, who was better mounted, would outstrip him, and be the

first to carry it to the King. He told his companion, therefore, an idle

tale, very different indeed from the truth, for he changed the defeat

into a great victory. Having gained this wonderful intelligence, the

second courier put spurs to his horse, and hurried away to the King's

camp, eager to be the bearer of good tidings. He reached the camp first,
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