Chapter XVIII icon

Chapter XVIII

НазваниеChapter XVIII
Дата конвертации10.08.2012
Размер346.2 Kb.
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8



Settlement of the Spanish Succession.--King William III.--New Party in

Spain.--Their Attack on the Queen.--Perplexity of the King.--His Will.--

Scene at the Palace.--News Sent to France.--Council at Madame de

Maintenon's.--The King's Decision.--A Public Declaration.--Treatment of

the New King.--His Departure for Spain.--Reflections.--Philip V. Arrives

in Spain.--The Queen Dowager Banished.


Marriage of Phillip V.--The Queen's Journey.--Rival Dishes.--

A Delicate Quarrel.--The King's journey to Italy.--The Intrigues against

Catinat.--Vaudemont s Success.--Appointment of Villeroy.--The First

Campaign.--A Snuffbox.--Prince Eugene's Plan.--Attack and Defence of

Cremona.--Villeroy Made Prisoner.--Appointment of M. de Vendome.


Discontent and Death of Barbezieux.--His Character.--Elevation of

Chamillart.--Strange Reasons of His Success.--Death of Rose.--Anecdotes.

--An Invasion of Foxes.--M. le Prince.--A Horse upon Roses.--Marriage of

His Daughter: His Manners and Appearance


Monseigneur's Indigestion.--The King Disturbed.--The Ladies of the

Halle.--Quarrel of the King and His Brother.--Mutual Reproaches.--

Monsieur's Confessors.--A New Scene of Wrangling.--Monsieur at Table.--

He Is Seized with Apoplexy.--The News Carried to Marly.--How Received by

the King.--Death of Monsieur.--Various Forms of Grief.--The Duc de



The Dead Soon Forgotten.--Feelings of Madame de Maintenon.--And of the

Duc de Chartres.--Of the Courtiers.--Madame's Mode of Life.--Character of

Monsieur.--Anecdote of M. le Prince.--Strange Interview of Madame de

Maintenon with Madame.--Mourning at Court.--Death of Henriette

d'Angleterre.--A Poisoning Scene.--The King and the Accomplice.


Scandalous Adventure of the Abbesse de la Joye.--Anecdote of Madame de

Saint-Herem.--Death of James II. and Recognition of His Son.--Alliance

against France.--Scene at St. Maur.--Balls and Plays.--The "Electra" of

Longepierre--Romantic Adventures of the Abbe de Vatterville.


Changes in the Army.
--I Leave the Service.--Annoyance of the King.--The

Medallic History of the Reign.--Louis XIII.--Death of William III.--

Accession of Queen Anne.--The Alliance Continued.--Anecdotes of Catinat.

--Madame de Maintenon and the King.


For the last two or three years the King of Spain had been in very weak

health, and in danger of his life several times. He had no children, and

no hope of having any. The question, therefore, of the succession to his

vast empire began now to agitate every European Court. The King of

England (William III.), who since his usurpation had much augmented his

credit by the grand alliance he had formed against France, and of which

he had been the soul and the chief up to the Peace of Ryswick, undertook

to arrange this question in a manner that should prevent war when the

King of Spain died. His plan was to give Spain, the Indies, the Low

Countries, and the title of King of Spain to the Archduke, second son of

the Emperor; Guipuscoa, Naples, Sicily, and Lorraine to France; and the

Milanese to M. de Lorraine, as compensation for taking away from him his


The King of England made this proposition first of all to our King; who,

tired of war, and anxious for repose, as was natural at his age, made few

difficulties, and soon accepted. M. de Lorraine was not in a position to

refuse his consent to a change recommended by England, France, and

Holland. Thus much being settled, the Emperor was next applied to. But

he was not so easy to persuade: he wished to inherit the entire

succession, and would not brook the idea of seeing the House of Austria

driven from Italy, as it would have been if the King of England's

proposal had been carried out. He therefore declared it was altogether

unheard of and unnatural to divide a succession under such circumstances,

and that he would hear nothing upon the subject until after the death of

the King of Spain. The resistance he made caused the whole scheme to

come to the ears of the King of Spain, instead of remaining a secret, as

was intended.

The King of Spain made a great stir in consequence of what had taken

place, as though the project had been formed to strip him, during his

lifetime, of his realm. His ambassador in England spoke so insolently

that he was ordered to leave the country by William, and retired to

Flanders. The Emperor, who did not wish to quarrel with England,

intervened at this point, and brought about a reconciliation between the

two powers. The Spanish ambassador returned to London.

The Emperor next endeavoured to strengthen his party in Spain. The

reigning Queen was his sister-in-law and was all-powerful. Such of the

nobility and of the ministers who would not bend before her she caused to

be dismissed; and none were favoured by her who were not partisans of the

House of Austria. The Emperor had, therefore, a powerful ally at the

Court of Madrid to aid him in carrying out his plans; and the King was so

much in his favour, that he had made a will bequeathing his succession to

the Archduke. Everything therefore seemed to promise success to the


But just at this time, a small party arose in Spain, equally opposed to

the Emperor, and to the propositions of the King of England. This party

consisted at first of only five persons: namely, Villafranca, Medina-

Sidonia, Villagarcias, Villena, and San Estevan, all of them nobles, and

well instructed in the affairs of government. Their wish was to prevent

the dismemberment of the Spanish kingdom by conferring the whole

succession upon the son of the only son of the Queen of France, Maria

Theresa, sister of the King of Spain. There were, however, two great

obstacles in their path. Maria Theresa, upon her marriage with our King,

had solemnly renounced all claim to the Spanish throne, and these

renunciations had been repeated at the Peace of the Pyrenees. The other

obstacle was the affection the King of Spain bore to the House of

Austria,--an affection which naturally would render him opposed to any

project by which a rival house would be aggrandised at its expense.

As to the first obstacle, these politicians were of opinion that the

renunciations made by Maria Theresa held good only as far as they applied

to the object for which they were made. That object was to prevent the

crowns of France and Spain from being united upon one head, as might have

happened in the person of the Dauphin. But now that the Dauphin had

three sons, the second of whom could be called to the throne of Spain,

the renunciations of the Queen became of no import. As to the second

obstacle, it was only to be removed by great perseverance and exertions;

but they determined to leave no stone unturned to achieve their ends.

One of the first resolutions of this little party was to bind one another

to secrecy. Their next was to admit into their confidence Cardinal

Portocarrero, a determined enemy to the Queen. Then they commenced an

attack upon the Queen in the council; and being supported by the popular

voice, succeeded in driving out of the country Madame Berlips, a German

favourite of hers, who was much hated on account of the undue influence

she exerted, and the rapacity she displayed. The next measure was of

equal importance. Madrid and its environs groaned under the weight of

a regiment of Germans commanded by the Prince of Darmstadt. The council

decreed that this regiment should be disbanded, and the Prince thanked

for his assistance. These two blows following upon each other so

closely, frightened the Queen, isolated her, and put it out of her power

to act during the rest of the life of the King.

There was yet one of the preliminary steps to take, without which it was

thought that success would not be certain. This was to dismiss the

King's Confessor, who had been given to him by the Queen, and who was a

zealous Austrian.

Cardinal Portocarrero was charged with this duty, and he succeeded so

well, that two birds were killed with one stone. The Confessor was

dismissed, and another was put in his place, who could be relied upon to

do and say exactly as he was requested. Thus, the King of Spain was

influenced in his conscience, which had over him so much the more power,

because he was beginning to look upon the things of this world by the

glare of that terrible flambeau that is lighted for the dying. The

Confessor and the Cardinal, after a short time, began unceasingly to

attack the King upon the subject of the succession. The King, enfeebled

by illness, and by a lifetime of weak health, had little power of

resistance. Pressed by the many temporal, and affrighted by the many

spiritual reasons which were brought forward by the two ecclesiastics,

with no friend near whose opinion he could consult, no Austrian at hand

to confer with, and no Spaniard who was not opposed to Austria;--the King

fell into a profound perplexity, and in this strait, proposed to consult

the Pope, as an authority whose decision would be infallible. The

Cardinal, who felt persuaded that the Pope was sufficiently enlightened

and sufficiently impartial to declare in favour of France, assented to

this step; and the King of Spain accordingly wrote a long letter to Rome,

feeling much relieved by the course he had adopted.

The Pope replied at once and in the most decided manner. He said he saw

clearly that the children of the Dauphin were the next heirs to the

Spanish throne, and that the House of Austria had not the smallest right

to it. He recommended therefore the King of Spain to render justice to

whom justice was due, and to assign the succession of his monarchy to a

son of France. This reply, and the letter which had given rise to it,

were kept so profoundly secret that they were not known in Spain until

after the King's death.

Directly the Pope's answer had been received the King was pressed to make

a fresh will, and to destroy that which he had previously made in favour

of the Archduke. The new will accordingly was at once drawn up and

signed; and the old one burned in the presence, of several witnesses.

Matters having arrived at this point, it was thought opportune to admit

others to the knowledge of what had taken place. The council of state,

consisting of eight members, four of whom were already in the secret, was

made acquainted with the movements of the new party; and, after a little

hesitation, were gained over.

The King, meantime, was drawing near to his end. A few days after he had

signed the new will he was at the last extremity, and in a few days more

he died. In his last moments the Queen had been kept from him as much as

possible, and was unable in any way to interfere with the plans that had

been so deeply laid. As soon as the King was dead the first thing to be

done was to open his will. The council of state assembled for that

purpose, and all the grandees of Spain who were in the capital took part

in it, The singularity and the importance of such an event, interesting

many millions of men, drew all Madrid to the palace, and the rooms

adjoining that in which the council assembled were filled to suffocation.

All the foreign ministers besieged the door. Every one sought to be the

first to know the choice of the King who had just died, in order to be

the first to inform his court. Blecourt, our ambassador, was there with

the others, without knowing more than they; and Count d'Harrach,

ambassador from the Emperor, who counted upon the will in favour of the

Archduke, was there also, with a triumphant look, just opposite the door,

and close by it.

At last the door opened, and immediately closed again. The Duc

d'Abrantes, a man of much wit and humour, but not to be trifled with,

came out. He wished to have the pleasure of announcing upon whom the

successorship had fallen, and was surrounded as soon as he appeared.

Keeping silence, and turning his eyes on all sides, he fixed them for a

moment on Blecourt, then looked in another direction, as if seeking some

one else. Blecourt interpreted this action as a bad omen. The Duc

d'Abrantes feigning at last to discover the Count d'Harrach, assumed a

gratified look, flew to him, embraced him, and said aloud in Spanish,

"Sir, it is with much pleasure;" then pausing, as though to embrace him

better, he added: "Yes, sir, it is with an extreme joy that for all my

life," here the embraces were redoubled as an excuse for a second pause,

after which he went on--"and with the greatest contentment that I part

from you, and take leave of the very august House of Austria." So saying

he clove the crowd, and every one ran after him to know the name of the

real heir.

The astonishment and indignation of Count d'Harrach disabled him from

speaking, but showed themselves upon his face in all their extent. He

remained motionless some moments, and then went away in the greatest

confusion at the manner in which he had been duped.

Blecourt, on the other hand, ran home without asking other information,

and at once despatched to the King a courier, who fell ill at Bayonne,

and was replaced by one named by Harcourt, then at Bayonne getting ready

for the occupation of Guipuscoa. The news arrived at Court

(Fontainebleau) in the month of November. The King was going out

shooting that day; but, upon learning what had taken place, at once

countermanded the sport, announced the death of the King of Spain, and at

three o'clock held a council of the ministers in the apartments of Madame

de Maintenon. This council lasted until past seven o'clock in the

evening. Monseigneur, who had been out wolf-hunting, returned in time to

attend it. On the next morning, Wednesday, another council was held, and

in the evening a third, in the apartments of Madame de Maintenon.

However accustomed persons were at the Court to the favour Madame de

Maintenon enjoyed there, they were extremely surprised to see two

councils assembled in her rooms for the greatest and most important

deliberation that had taken place during this long reign, or indeed

during many others.

The King, Monseigneur, the Chancellor, the Duc de Brinvilliers, Torcy,

and Madame de Maintenon, were the only persons who deliberated upon this

affair. Madame de Maintenon preserved at first a modest silence; but the

King forced her to give her opinion after everybody had spoken except

herself. The council was divided. Two were for keeping to the treaty

that had been signed with King William, two for accepting the will.

Monseigneur, drowned as he was in fat and sloth, appeared in quite

another character from his usual ones at these councils. To the great

surprise of the King and his assistants, when it was his turn to speak he

expressed himself with force in favour of accepting the testament. Then,

turning towards the King in a respectful but firm manner, he said that he

took the liberty of asking for his inheritance, that the monarchy of

Spain belonged to the Queen his mother, and consequently to him; that he

surrendered it willingly to his second son for the tranquillity of

Europe; but that to none other would he yield an inch of ground. These

words, spoken with an inflamed countenance, caused excessive surprise,

The King listened very attentively, and then said to Madame de Maintenon,

"And you, Madame, what do you think upon all this?" She began by

affecting modesty; but pressed, and even commanded to speak, she

expressed herself with becoming confusion; briefly sang the praises of

Monseigneur, whom she feared and liked but little--sentiments perfectly

reciprocated--and at last was for accepting the will.

The King did not yet declare himself. He said that the affair might well

be allowed to sleep for four-and-twenty hours, in order that they might

ascertain if the Spaniards approved the choice of their King. He

dismissed the council, but ordered it to meet again the next evening at

the same hour and place. Next day, several couriers arrived from Spain,

and the news they brought left no doubt upon the King's mind as to the

wishes of the Spanish nobles and people upon the subject of the will.

When therefore the council reassembled in the apartments of Madame de

Maintenon, the King, after fully discussing the matter, resolved to

accept the will.

At the first receipt of the news the King and his ministers had been

overwhelmed with a surprise that they could not recover from for several

days. When the news was spread abroad, the Court was equally surprised.

The foreign ministers passed whole nights deliberating upon the course

the King would adopt. Nothing else was spoken of but this matter. The

King one evening, to divert himself, asked the princesses their opinion.

They replied that he should send M. le Duc d'Anjou (the second son of

Monseigneur), into Spain, and that this was the general sentiment.

"I am sure," replied the King, "that whatever course I adopt many people

will condemn me."

At last, on Tuesday, the 16th of November, the King publicly declared

himself. The Spanish ambassador had received intelligence which proved

the eagerness of Spain to welcome the Duc d'Anjou as its King. There

seemed to be no doubt of the matter. The King, immediately after getting

up, called the ambassador into his cabinet, where M. le Duc d'Anjou had

already arrived. Then, pointing to the Duke, he told the ambassador he

might salute him as King of Spain. The ambassador threw himself upon his

knees after the fashion of his country, and addressed to the Duke a

tolerably long compliment in the Spanish language. Immediately

afterwards, the King, contrary to all custom, opened the two folding

doors of his cabinet, and commanded everybody to enter. It was a very

full Court that day. The King, majestically turning his eyes towards the

numerous company, and showing them M. le Duc d'Anjou said--"Gentlemen,

behold the King of Spain. His birth called him to that crown: the late

King also has called him to it by his will; the whole nation wished for

him, and has asked me for him eagerly; it is the will of heaven: I have

obeyed it with pleasure." And then, turning towards his grandson, he

said, "Be a good Spaniard, that is your first duty; but remember that you

are a Frenchman born, in order that the union between the two nations may

be preserved; it will be the means of rendering both happy, and of

preserving the peace of Europe." Pointing afterwards with his finger to

the Duc d'Anjou, to indicate him to the ambassador, the King added, "If

he follows my counsels you will be a grandee, and soon; he cannot do

better than follow your advice."

When the hubbub of the courtiers had subsided, the two other sons of

France, brothers of M. d'Anjou, arrived, and all three embraced one

another tenderly several times, with tears in their eyes. The ambassador

of the Emperor immediately entered, little suspecting what had taken

place, and was confounded when he learned the news. The King afterwards

went to mass, during which at his right hand was the new King of Spain,
  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8


Chapter XVIII iconДокументы
1. /Ivrel/Core Rules/Addendums/Monster Addendum 1 [Draconians].doc
2. /Ivrel/Core...

Chapter XVIII iconДокументы
1. /kachesov1/_contents.doc
2. /kachesov1/_preface.doc
Chapter XVIII iconЭкономическое развитие Европы XVII – XVIII века (в схемах) Ученика 7-а класса лицея имени Д. Кантемира
Социально-экономическое развитие Молдовы во второй половине xvii-середине XVIII веков
Chapter XVIII iconСергей Говорун из истории богословских споров XVIII века по проблеме латинского крещения
Православие. Мы не будем рассматривать этот вопрос полностью, но затронем его в контексте первой попытки его комплексного богословско-канонического...
Chapter XVIII iconChapter XXXIII

Chapter XVIII iconChapter XLVII

Chapter XVIII iconChapter LXXVIII

Chapter XVIII iconChapter LXXXVIII

Chapter XVIII iconChapter cxiii

Chapter XVIII iconChapter XXXIX

Разместите кнопку на своём сайте:

База данных защищена авторским правом © 2000-2014
При копировании материала обязательно указание активной ссылки открытой для индексации.
обратиться к администрации

Разработка сайта — Веб студия Адаманов