Death of Archbishop Harlay. Scene at Conflans.\"The Good Langres.\" icon

Death of Archbishop Harlay. Scene at Conflans."The Good Langres."

НазваниеDeath of Archbishop Harlay. Scene at Conflans."The Good Langres."
Дата конвертации10.08.2012
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Death of Archbishop Harlay.--Scene at Conflans.--"The Good Langres."--

A Scene at Marly.--Princesses Smoke Pipes!--Fortunes of Cavoye.--

Mademoiselle de Coetlogon.--Madame de Guise.--Madame de Miramion.--Madame

de Sevigne.--Father Seraphin.--An Angry Bishop.--Death of La Bruyere.--

Burglary by a Duke.--Proposed Marriage of the Duc de Bourgogne.--The

Duchesse de Lude.--A Dangerous Lady.--Madame d'O.--Arrival of the

Duchesse de Bourgogne.


My Return to Fontainebleau.--A Calumny at Court.--Portrait of M. de La

Trappe.--A False Painter.--Fast Living at the "Desert."--Comte

d'Auvergne.--Perfidy of Harlay.--M. de Monaco.--Madame Panache.--The

Italian Actor and the "False Prude".


A Scientific Retreat.--The Peace of Ryswick.--Prince of Conti King of

Poland.--His Voyage and Reception.--King of England Acknowledged.--Duc de

Conde in Burgundy.--Strange Death of Santeuil.--Duties of the Prince of

Darmstadt in Spain.--Madame de Maintenon's Brother.--Extravagant Dresses.

Marriage of the Duc de Bourgogne.--The Bedding of the Princesse.--Grand

Balls.--A Scandalous Bird.


An Odd Marriage.--Black Daughter of the King.--Travels of Peter the

Great.--Magnificent English Ambassador.--The Prince of Parma.--

A Dissolute Abbe.--Orondat.--Dispute about Mourning.--M. de Cambrai's

Book Condemned by M. de La Trappe.--Anecdote of the Head of Madame de

Montbazon.--Condemnation of Fenelon by the Pope.--His Submission.


Charnace.--An Odd Ejectment.--A Squabble at Cards.--Birth of My Son.--

The Camp at Compiegne.--Splendour of Marechal Boufflers.--Pique of the

Ambassadors.--Tesse's Grey Hat.--A Sham Siege.--A Singular Scene.--

The King and Madame de Maintenon.--An Astonished Officer.--

Breaking-up of the Camp.


Gervaise Monk of La Trappe.----His Disgusting Profligacy.--The Author of

the Lord's Prayer.--A Struggle for Precedence.--Madame de Saint-Simon.--

The End of the Quarrel.--Death of the Chevalier de Coislin.--A Ludicrous

Incident.--Death of Racine.--The King and the Poet.--King Pays Debts of

Courtiers.--Impudence of M. de Vendome.--A Mysterious Murder.--

Extraordinary Theft.


The Farrier of Salon.--Apparition of a Queen.--The Farrier Comes to

Versailles.--Revelations to the Queen.--Supposed Explanation.--

New Distinctions to the Bastards.--New Statue of the King.--

Disappointment of Harlay.--Honesty of Chamillart.--The Comtesse de

Fiesque.--Daughter of Jacquier.--Impudence of Saumery.--Amusing Scene.--

Attempted Murder.


Reform at Court.--Cardinal Delfini.--Pride of M. de Monaco.--Early Life

of Madame de Maintenon.--Madame de Navailles.--Balls at Marly.--An Odd

Mask.--Great Dancing--Fortunes of Langlee.--His Coarseness.--The Abbe de

Soubise.--Intrigues for His Promotion.--Disgrace and Obstinacy of

Cardinal de Bouillon.


A Marriage Bargain.--Mademoiselle de Mailly.--James II.--Begging

Champagne.--A Duel.--Death of Le Notre.--His Character.--History of

Vassor.--Comtesse de Verrue and Her Romance with M. de Savoie.--A Race of

Dwarfs.--An Indecorous Incident.--Death of M. de La Trappe.


To return now to the date from which I started. On the 6th of August,

1695, Harlay, Arch-bishop of Paris, died of epilepsy at Conflans. He was

a prelate of profound knowledge and ability, very amiable, and of most

gallant manners. For some time past he had lost favour with the King and

with Madame de Maintenon, for opposing the declaration of her marriage--

of which marriage he had been one of the three witnesses. The clergy,

who perceived his fall, and to whom envy is not unfamiliar, took pleasure

in revenging themselves upon M. de Paris, for the domination, although

gentle and kindly, he had exercised. Unaccustomed to this decay of his

power, all the graces of his mind and body withered. He could find no

resource but to shut himself up with his dear friend the Duchesse de

Lesdiguieres, whom he saw every day of his life, either at her own house

or at Conflans, where he had laid out a delicious garden, kept so

strictly clean, that as the two walked, gardeners followed at a distance,

and effaced their footprints with rakes. The vapours seized the

Archbishop, and turned themselves into slight attacks of epilepsy. He

felt this, but prohibited his servants to send for help, when they should

see him attacked; and he was only too well obeyed. The Duchesse de

Lesdiguieres never slept at Conflans, but she went there every afternoon,

and was always alone with him. On the 6th of August, he passed the

morning, as usual, until dinner-time; his steward came there to him, and

found him in his cabinet, fallen back upon a sofa; he was dead. The

celebrated Jesuit-Father Gaillard preached his funeral sermon, and

carefully eluded pointing the moral of the event. The King and Madame de

Maintenon were much relieved by the loss of M. de Paris. Various places

he had held were at once distributed. His archbishopric and his

nomination to the cardinalship required more discussion. The King learnt

the news of the death of M. de Paris on the 6th. On the 8th, in going as

usual to his cabinet, he went straight up to the Bishop of Orleans, led

him to the Cardinals de Bouillon and de Fursternberg, and said to them:-

"Gentlemen, I think you will thank me for giving you an associate like M.

d'Orleans, to whom I give my nomination to the cardinalship." At this

word the Bishop, who little expected such a scene, fell at the King's

feet and embraced his knees. He was a man whose face spoke at once of

the virtue and benignity he possessed. In youth he was so pious, that

young and old were afraid to say afoul word in his presence. Although

very rich, he appropriated scarcely any of his wealth to himself, but

gave it away for good works. The modesty and the simplicity with which

M. d'Orleans sustained his nomination, increased the universal esteem in

which he was held.

The archbishopric of Paris was given to a brother of the Duc de Noailles-

the Bishop of Chalons-sur-Marne--M. de Noailles thus reaping the fruit of

his wise sacrifice to M. de Vendome, before related. M. de Chalons was

of singular goodness and modesty. He did not wish for this preferment,

and seeing from far the prospect of its being given to him, hastened to

declare himself against the Jesuits, in the expectation that Pere la

Chaise, who was of them, and who was always consulted upon these

occasions, might oppose him. But it happened, perhaps for the first

time, that Madame de Maintenon, who felt restrained by the Jesuits, did

not consult Pere la Chaise, and the preferment was made without his

knowledge, and without that of M. de Chalons. The affront was a violent

one, and the Jesuits never forgave the new Archbishop: he was, however,

so little anxious for the office, that it was only after repeated orders

he could be made to accept it.

The Bishop of Langres also died about this time. He was a true

gentleman, much liked, and called "the good Langres." There was nothing

bad about him, except his manners; he was not made for a bishop--gambled

very much, and staked high. M. de Vendome and others won largely at

billiards of him, two or three times. He said no word, but, on returning

to Langres, did nothing but practise billiards in secret for six months.

When next in Paris, he was again asked to play, and his adversaries, who

thought him as unskilful as before, expected an easy victory but, to

their astonishment, he gained almost every game, won back much more than

he had lost, and then laughed in the faces of his companions.

I paid about this time, my first journey to Marly, and a singular scene

happened there. The King at dinner, setting aside his usual gravity,

laughed and joked very much with Madame la Duchesse, eating olives with

her in sport, and thereby causing her to drink more than usual--which he

also pretended to do. Upon rising from the table the King, seeing the

Princesse de Conti look extremely serious, said, dryly, that her gravity

did not accommodate itself to their drunkenness. The Princess, piqued,

allowed the King to pass without saying anything; and then, turning to

Madame de Chatillon, said, in the midst of the noise, whilst everybody

was washing his mouth, "that she would rather be grave than be a wine-

sack" (alluding to some bouts a little prolonged that her sister had

recently had).

The saying was heard by the Duchesse de Chartres, who replied, loud

enough to be heard, in her slow and trembling voice, that she preferred

to be a "winesack" rather than a "rag-sack" (sac d guenilles) by which

she alluded to the Clermont and La Choin adventure I have related before.

This remark was so cruel that it met with no reply; it spread through

Marly, and thence to Paris; and Madame la Duchesse, who had the art of

writing witty songs, made one upon this theme. The Princesse de Conti

was in despair, for she had not the same weapon at her disposal.

Monsieur tried to reconcile them gave them a dinner at Meudon--but they

returned from it as they went.

The end of the year was stormy at Marly. One evening, after the King had

gone to bed, and while Monseigneur was playing in the saloon, the

Duchesse de Chartres and Madame la Duchesse (who were bound together by

their mutual aversion to the Princesse de Conti) sat down to a supper in

the chamber of the first-named. Monseigneur, upon retiring late to his

own room, found them smoking with pipes, which they had sent for from the

Swiss Guards! Knowing what would happen if the smell were discovered, he

made them leave off, but the smoke had betrayed them. The King next day

severely scolded them, at which the Princesse de Conti triumphed.

Nevertheless, these broils multiplied, and the King at last grew so weary

of them that one evening he called the Princesses before him, and

threatened that if they did not improve he would banish them all from the

Court. The measure had its effect; calm and decorum returned, and

supplied the place of friendship.

There were many marriages this winter, and amongst them one very strange

--a marriage of love, between a brother of Feuquiere's, who had never

done much, and the daughter of the celebrated Mignard, first painter of

his time. This daughter was still so beautiful, that Bloin, chief valet

of the King, had kept her for some time, with the knowledge of every one,

and used his influence to make the King sign the marriage-contract.

There are in all Courts persons who, without wit and without

distinguished birth, without patrons, or service rendered, pierce into

the intimacy of the most brilliant, and succeed at last, I know not how,

in forcing the world to look upon them as somebody. Such a person was

Cavoye. Rising from nothing, he became Grand Marechal des Logis in the

royal household: he arrived at that office by a perfect romance. He was

one of the best made men in France, and was much in favour with the

ladies. He first appeared at the Court at a time when much duelling was

taking place, in spite of the edicts. Cavoye, brave and skilful,

acquired so much reputation m this particular, that the name of "Brave

Cavoye" has stuck to him ever since. An ugly but very good creature,

Mademoiselle de Coetlogon, one of the Queen's waiting-women, fill in love

with him, even to madness. She made all the advances; but Cavoye treated

her so cruelly, nay, sometimes so brutally, that (wonderful to say)

everybody pitied her, and the King at last interfered, and commanded him

to be more humane. Cavoye went to the army; the poor Coetlogon was in

tears until his return. In the winter, for being second in a duel, he

was sent to the Bastille. Then the grief of Coetlogon knew no bounds:

she threw aside all ornaments, and clad herself as meanly as possible;

she begged the King to grant Cavoye his liberty, and, upon the King's

refusing, quarrelled with him violently, and when in return he laughed at

her, became so furious, that she would have used her nails, had he not

been too wise to expose himself to them. Then she refused to attend to

her duties, would not serve the King, saying, that he did not deserve it,

and grew so yellow and ill, that at last she was allowed to visit her

lover at the Bastille. When he was liberated, her joy was extreme, she

decked herself out anon, but it was with difficulty that she consented to

be reconciled to the King.

Cavoye had many times been promised an appointment, but had never

received one such as he wished. The office of Grand Marechal des Logis

had just become vacant: the King offered it to Cavoye, but on condition

that he should marry Mademoiselle Coetlogon. Cavoye sniffed a little

longer, but was obliged to submit to this condition at last. They were

married, and she has still the same admiration for him, and it is

sometimes fine fun to see the caresses she gives him before all the

world, and the constrained gravity with which he receives them. The

history of Cavoye would fill a volume, but this I have selected suffices

for its singularity, which assuredly is without example.

About this time the King of England thought matters were ripe for an

attempt to reinstate himself upon the throne. The Duke of Berwick had

been secretly into England, where he narrowly escaped being arrested,

and upon his report these hopes were built. Great preparations were

made, but they came to nothing, as was always the case with the projects

of this unhappy prince.

Madame de Guise died at this time. Her father was the brother of Louis

XIII., and she, humpbacked and deformed to excess, had married the last

Duc de Guise, rather than not marry at all. During all their lives, she

compelled him to pay her all the deference due to her rank. At table he

stood while she unfolded her napkin and seated herself, and did not sit

until she told him to do so, and then at the end of the table. This form

was observed every day of their lives. She was equally severe in such

matters of etiquette with all the rest of the world. She would keep her

diocesan, the Bishop of Seez, standing for entire hours, while she was

seated in her arm-chair and never once offered him a seat even in the

corner. She was in other things an entirely good and sensible woman.

Not until after her death was it discovered that she had been afflicted

for a long time with a cancer, which appeared as though about to burst.

God spared her this pain.

We lost, in the month of March, Madame de Miramion, aged sixty-six. She

was a bourgeoise, married, and in the same year became a widow very rich,

young, and beautiful. Bussy Rabutin, so known by his 'Histoire Amoureuse

des Gaules', and by the profound disgrace it drew upon him, and still

more by the vanity of his mind and the baseness of his heart, wished

absolutely to marry her, and actually carried her off to a chateau. Upon

arriving at the place, she pronounced before everybody assembled there a

vow of chastity, and then dared Bussy to do his worst. He, strangely

discomfited by this action, at once set her at liberty, and tried to

accommodate the affair. From that moment she devoted herself entirely,

to works of piety, and was much esteemed by the King. She was the first

woman of her condition who wrote above her door, "Hotel de Nesmond."

Everybody cried out, and was scandalised, but the writing remained, and

became the example and the father of those of all kinds which little by

little have inundated Paris.

Madame de Sevigne, so amiable and of such excellent company, died some

time after at Grignan, at the house of her daughter, her idol, but who

merited little to be so. I was very intimate with the young Marquis de

Grignan, her grandson. This woman, by her natural graces, the sweetness

of her wit, communicated these qualities to those who had them not; she

was besides extremely good, and knew thoroughly many things without ever

wishing to appear as though she knew anything.

Father Seraphin preached during Lent this year at the Court. His

sermons, in which he often repeated twice running the same phrase, were

much in vogue. It was from him that came the saying, "Without God there

is no wit." The King was much pleased with him, and reproached M. de

Vendome and M. de la Rochefoucauld because they never went to hear his

sermons. M. de Vendome replied off-hand, that he did not care to go to

hear a man who said whatever he pleased without allowing anybody to reply

to him, and made the King smile by this sally. But M. de la

Rochefoucauld treated the matter in another manner he said that he could

not induce himself to go like the merest hanger-on about the Court, and

beg a seat of the officer who distributed them, and then betake himself

early to church in order to have a good one, and wait about in order to

put himself where it might please that officer to place him. Whereupon

the King immediately gave him a fourth seat behind him, by the side of

the Grand Chamberlain, so that everywhere he is thus placed.

M. d'Orleans had been in the habit of seating himself there (although his

right place was on the prie-Dieu), and little by little had accustomed

himself to consider it as his proper place. When he found himself driven

away, he made a great ado, and, not daring to complain to the King,

quarrelled with M. de la Rochefoucauld, who, until then, had been one of

his particular friends. The affair soon made a great stir; the friends

of both parties mixed themselves up in it. The King tried in vain to

make M. d'Orleans listen to reason; the prelate was inflexible, and when

he found he could gain nothing by clamour and complaint, he retired in

high dudgeon into his diocese: he remained there some time, and upon his

return resumed his complaints with more determination than ever; he fell

at the feet of the King, protesting that he would rather die than see his

office degraded. M. de la Rochefoucauld entreated the King to be allowed

to surrender the seat in favour of M. d'Orleans. But the King would not

change his decision; he said that if the matter were to be decided

between M. d'Orleans and a lackey, he would give the seat to the lackey

rather than to M. d'Orleans. Upon this the prelate returned to his

diocese, which he would have been wiser never to have quitted in order to

obtain a place which did not belong to him.

As the King really esteemed M. d'Orleans, he determined to appease his

anger; and to put an end to this dispute he gave therefore the bishopric

of Metz to the nephew of M. d'Orleans; and by this means a reconciliation

was established. M. d'Orleans and M. de la Rochefoucauld joined hands

again, and the King looked on delighted.

The public lost soon after a man illustrious by his genius, by his style,

and by his knowledge of men, I mean La Bruyere, who died of apoplexy at

Versailles, after having surpassed Theophrastus in his own manner, and

after painting, in the new characters, the men of our days in a manner

inimitable. He was besides a very honest man, of excellent breeding,
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