Anecdote of Canaples.--Death of the Duc de Coislin.--Anecdotes of His
Unbearable Politeness.--Eccentric Character.--President de Novion.--
Death of M. de Lorges.--Death of the Duchesse de Gesvres.
The Prince d'Harcourt.--His Character and That of His Wife.--Odd Court
Lady.--She Cheats at Play.--Scene at Fontainebleau.--Crackers at Marly.--
Snowballing a Princess.--Strange Manners of Madame d'Harcourt.--
Rebellion among Her Servants.--A Vigorous Chambermaid.
Madame des Ursins.--Her Marriage and Character.--The Queen of Spain.--
Ambition of Madame de Maintenon.--Coronation of Philip V.--A Cardinal
Made Colonel.--Favourites of Madame des Ursins.--Her Complete Triumph.--
A Mistake.--A Despatch Violated.--Madame des Ursins in Disgrace.
Appointment of the Duke of Berwick.--Deception Practised by Orry.--Anger
of Louis XIV.--Dismissal of Madame des Ursins.--Her Intrigues to Return.
--Annoyance of the King and Queen of Spain.--Intrigues at Versailles.--
Triumphant Return of Madame des Ursins to Court.--Baseness of the
Courtiers.--Her Return to Spain Resolved On.
An Honest Courtier.--Robbery of Courtin and Fieubet.--An Important
Affair.--My Interview with the King.--His Jealousy of His Authority.--
Madame La Queue, the King's Daughter.--Battle of Blenheim or Hochstedt.--
Our Defeat.--Effect of the News on the King.--Public Grief and Public
Rejoicing.--Death of My Friend Montfort.
Naval Battle of Malaga.--Danger of Gibraltar.--Duke of Mantua in Search
of a Wife.--Duchesse de Lesdiguieres.--Strange Intrigues.--Mademoiselle
d'Elboeuf Carries off the Prize.--A Curious Marriage.--Its Result.--
History of a Conversion to Catholicism.--Attempted Assassination. --
Fascination of the Duchesse de Bourgogne.--Fortunes of Nangis.--He Is
Loved by the Duchesse and Her Dame d'Atours.--Discretion of the Court.--
Maulevrier.--His Courtship of the Duchess.--Singular Trick.--Its Strange
Success.--Mad Conduct of Maulevrier--He Is Sent to Spain.--His Adventures
There.--His Return and Tragical Catastrophe.
Death of M. de Duras.--Selfishness of the King.--Anecdote of Puysieux.--
Character of Pontchartrain.--Why He Ruined the French Fleet.--Madame des
Ursins at Last Resolves to Return to Spain.--Favours Heaped upon Her.--
M. de Lauzun at the Army.--His bon mot.--Conduct of M. de Vendome.--
Disgrace and Character of the Grand Prieur.
Canaples, brother of the Marechal de Crequi, wished to marry Mademoiselle
de Vivonne who was no longer young, but was distinguished by talent,
virtue and high birth; she had not a penny. The Cardinal de Coislin,
thinking Canaples too old to marry, told him so. Canaples said he wanted
to have children. "Children!" exclaimed the Cardinal. "But she is so
virtuous!" Everybody burst out laughing; and the more willingly, as the
Cardinal, very pure in his manners, was still more so in his language.
His saying was verified by the event: the marriage proved sterile.
The Duc de Coislin died about this time. I have related in its proper
place an adventure that happened to him and his brother, the Chevalier de
Coislin: now I will say something more of the Duke. He was a very little
man, of much humour and virtue, but of a politeness that was unendurable,
and that passed all bounds, though not incompatible with dignity. He had
been lieutenant-general in the army. Upon one occasion, after a battle
in which he had taken part, one of the Rhingraves who had been made
prisoner, fell to his lot. The Duc de Coislin wished to give up to the
other his bed, which consisted indeed of but a mattress. They
complimented each other so much, the one pressing, the other refusing,
that in the end they both slept upon the ground, leaving the mattress
between them. The Rhingrave in due time came to Paris and called on the
Duc de Coislin. When he was going, there was such a profusion of
compliments, and the Duke insisted so much on seeing him out, that the
Rhingrave, as a last resource, ran out of the room, and double locked the
door outside. M. de Coislin was not thus to be outdone. His apartments
were only a few feet above the ground. He opened the window accordingly,
leaped out into the court, and arrived thus at the entrance-door before
the Rhingrave, who thought the devil must have carried him there. The
Duc de Coislin, however, had managed to put his thumb out of joint by
this leap. He called in Felix, chief surgeon of the King, who soon put
the thumb to rights. Soon afterwards Felix made a call upon M. de
Coislin to see how he was, and found that the cure was perfect. As he
was about to leave, M. de Coislin must needs open the door for him.
Felix, with a shower of bows, tried hard to prevent this, and while they
were thus vying in politeness, each with a hand upon the door, the Duke
suddenly drew back; he had put his thumb out of joint again, and Felix
was obliged to attend to it on the spot! It may be imagined what
laughter this story caused the King, and everybody else, when it became
There was no end to the outrageous civilities of M. de Coislin. On
returning from Fontainebleau one day, we, that is Madame de Saint-Simon
and myself, encountered M. de Coislin and his son, M. de Metz, on foot
upon the pavement of Ponthierry, where their coach had broken down. We
sent word, accordingly, that we should be glad to accommodate them in
ours. But message followed message on both sides; and at last I was
compelled to alight and to walk through the mud, begging them to mount
into my coach. M. de Coislin, yielding to my prayers, consented to this.
M. de Metz was furious with him for his compliments, and at last
prevailed on him. When M. de Coislin had accepted my offer and we had
nothing more to do than to gain the coach, he began to capitulate, and to
protest that he would not displace the two young ladies he saw seated in
the vehicle. I told him that the two young ladies were chambermaids, who
could well afford to wait until the other carriage was mended, and then
continue their journey in that. But he would not hear of this; and at
last all that M. de Metz and I could do was to compromise the matter, by
agreeing to take one of the chambermaids with us. When we arrived at the
coach, they both descended, in order to allow us to mount. During the
compliments that passed--and they were not short--I told the servant who
held the coach-door open, to close it as soon as I was inside, and to
order the coachman to drive on at once. This was done; but M. de Coislin
immediately began to cry aloud that he would jump out if we did not stop
for the young ladies; and he set himself to do so in such an odd manner,
that I had only time to catch hold of the belt of his breeches and hold
him back; but he still, with his head hanging out of the window,
exclaimed that he would leap out, and pulled against me. At this
absurdity I called to the coachman to stop; the Duke with difficulty
recovered himself, and persisted that he would have thrown himself out.
The chambermaid was ordered to mount, and mount she did, all covered with
mud, which daubed us; and she nearly crushed M. de Metz and me in this
carriage fit only for four.
M. de Coislin could not bear that at parting anybody should give him the
"last touch;" a piece of sport, rarely cared for except in early youth,
and out of which arises a chase by the person touched, in order to catch
him by whom he has been touched. One evening, when the Court was at
Nancy, and just as everybody was going to bed, M. de Longueville spoke a
few words in private to two of his torch-bearers, and then touching the
Duc de Coislin, said he had given him the last touch, and scampered away,
the Duke hotly pursuing him. Once a little in advance, M. de Longueville
hid himself in a doorway, allowed M. de Coislin to pass on, and then went
quietly home to bed. Meanwhile the Duke, lighted by the torch-bearers,
searched for M. de Longueville all over the town, but meeting with no
success, was obliged to give up the chase, and went home all in a sweat.
He was obliged of course to laugh a good deal at this joke, but he
evidently did not like it over much.
With all his politeness, which was in no way put on, M. de Coislin could,
when he pleased, show a great deal of firmness, and a resolution to
maintain his proper dignity worthy of much praise. At Nancy, on this
same occasion, the Duc de Crequi, not finding apartments provided for him
to his taste on arriving in town, went, in his brutal manner, and seized
upon those allotted to the Duc de Coislin. The Duke, arriving a moment
after, found his servants turned into the street, and soon learned who
had sent them there. M. de Crequi had precedence of him in rank; he said
not a word, therefore, but went to the apartments provided for the
Marechal de Crequi (brother of the other), served him exactly as he
himself had just been served, and took up his quarters there. The
Marechal de Crequi arrived in his turn, learned what had occurred, and
immediately seized upon the apartments of Cavoye, in order to teach him
how to provide quarters in future so as to avoid all disputes.
On another occasion, M. de Coislin went to the Sorbonne to listen to a
thesis sustained by the second son of M. de Bouillon. When persons of
distinction gave these discourses, it was customary for the Princes of
the blood, and for many of the Court, to go and hear them. M. de Coislin
was at that time almost last in order of precedence among the Dukes.
When he took his seat, therefore, knowing that a number of them would
probably arrive, he left several rows of vacant places in front of him,
and sat himself down. Immediately afterwards, Novion, Chief President of
the Parliament, arrived, and seated himself in front of M. de Coislin.
Astonished at this act of madness, M. de Coislin said not a word, but
took an arm-chair, and, while Novion turned his head to speak to Cardinal
de Bouillon, placed that arm-chair in front of the Chief President in
such a manner that he was as it were imprisoned, and unable to stir.
M. de Coislin then sat down. This was done so rapidly, that nobody saw
it until it was finished. When once it was observed, a great stir arose.
Cardinal de Bouillon tried to intervene. M. de Coislin replied, that
since the Chief President had forgotten his position he must be taught
it, and would not budge. The other presidents were in a fright, and
Novion, enraged by the offence put on him, knew not what to do. It was
in vain that Cardinal de Bouillon on one side, and his brother on the
other, tried to persuade M. de Coislin to give way. He would not listen
to them. They sent a message to him to say that somebody wanted to see
him at the door on most important business. But this had no effect.
"There is no business so important," replied M. de Coislin, "as that of
teaching M. le Premier President what he owes me, and nothing will make
me go from this place unless M. le President, whom you see behind me,
goes away first."
At last M. le Prince was sent for, and he with much persuasion
endeavoured to induce M. de Coislin to release the Chief President from
his prison. But for some time M. de Coislin would listen as little to M.
le Prince as he had listened to the others, and threatened to keep Novion
thus shut up during all the thesis. At length, he consented to set the
Chief President free, but only on condition that he left the building
immediately; that M. le Prince should guarantee this; and that no
"juggling tricks" (that was the term he made use of), should be played
off to defeat the agreement. M. le Prince at once gave his word that
everything should be as he required, and M. de Coislin then rose, moved
away his arm-chair, and said to the Chief President, "Go away, sir! go
away, sir! "Novion did on the instant go away, in the utmost confusion,
and jumped into his coach. M. de Coislin thereupon took back his chair
to its former position and composed himself to listen again.
On every side M. de Coislin was praised for the firmness he had shown.
The Princes of the blood called upon him the same evening, and
complimented him for the course he had adopted; and so many other
visitors came during the evening that his house was quite full until a
late hour. On the morrow the King also praised him for his conduct, and
severely blamed the Chief President. Nay more, he commanded the latter
to go to M. de Coislin, at his house, and beg pardon of him. It is easy
to comprehend the shame and despair of Novion at being ordered to take so
humiliating a step, especially after what had already happened to him.
He prevailed upon M. le Coislin, through the mediation of friends, to
spare him this pain, and M. de Coislin had the generosity to do so. He
agreed therefore that when Novion called upon him he would pretend to be
out, and this was done. The King, when he heard of it, praised very
highly the forbearance of the Duke.
He was not an old man when he died, but was eaten up with the gout, which
he sometimes had in his eyes, in his nose, and in his tongue. When in
this state, his room was filled with the best company. He was very
generally liked, was truth itself in his dealings and his words, and was
one of my friends, as he had been the friend of my father before me.
The President de Novion, above alluded to, was a man given up to
iniquity, whom money and obscure mistresses alone influenced. Lawyers
complained of his caprices, and pleaders of his injustice. At last, he
went so far as to change decisions of the court when they were given him
to sign, which was not found out for some time, but which led to his
disgrace. He was replaced by Harlay in 1689; and lived in ignominy for
four years more.
About this time died Petit, a great physician, who had wit, knowledge,
experience, and probity; and yet lived to the last without being ever
brought to admit the circulation of the blood.
A rather strange novelty was observed at Fontainebleau: Madame publicly
at the play, in the second year of her mourning for Monsieur! She made
some objections at first, but the King persuaded her, saying that what
took place in his palace ought not to be considered as public.
On Saturday, the 22nd of October of this year (1702), at about ten in the
morning, I had the misfortune to lose my father-in-law, the Marechal de
Lorges, who died from the effects of an unskilful operation performed
upon him for the stone. He had been brought up as a Protestant, and had
practised that religion. But he had consulted on the one hand with
Bossuet, and on the other hand with M. Claude, (Protestant) minister of
Charenton, without acquainting them that he was thus in communication
with both. In the end the arguments of Bossuet so convinced him that he
lost from that time all his doubts, became steadfastly attached to the
Catholic religion, and strove hard to convert to it all the Protestants
with whom he spoke. M. de Turenne, with whom he was intimately allied,
was in a similar state of mind, and, singularly enough, his doubts were
resolved at the same time, and in exactly the same manner, as those of M.
de Lorges. The joy of the two friends, who had both feared they should
be estranged from each other when they announced their conversion, was
very great. The Comtesse de Roye, sister to M. de Lorges, was sorely
affected at this change, and she would not consent to see him except on
condition that he never spoke of it.
M. de Lorges commanded with great distinction in Holland and elsewhere,
and at the death of M. de Turenne, took for the time, and with great
honour, his place. He was made Marshal of France on the 21st of
February, 1676, not before he had fairly won that distinction. The
remainder of his career showed his capacity in many ways, and acquired
for him the esteem of all. His family were affected beyond measure at
his loss. That house was in truth terrible to see. Never was man so
tenderly or so universally regretted, or so worthy of being so. Besides
my own grief, I had to sustain that of Madame de Saint-Simon, whom many
times I thought I should lose. Nothing was comparable to the attachment
she had for her father, or the tenderness he had for her; nothing more
perfectly alike than their hearts and their dispositions. As for me, I
loved him as a father, and he loved me as a son, with the most entire and
About the same time died the Duchesse de Gesvres, separated from a
husband who had been the scourge of his family, and had dissipated
millions of her fortune. She was a sort of witch, tall and lean, who
walked like an ostrich. She sometimes came to Court, with the odd look
and famished expression to which her husband had brought her. Virtue,
wit, and dignity distinguished her. I remember that one summer the King
took to going very often in the evening to Trianon, and that once for all
he gave permission to all the Court, men and women, to follow him. There
was a grand collation for the Princesses, his daughters, who took their
friends there, and indeed all the women went to it if they pleased. One
day the Duchesse de Gesvres took it into her head to go to Trianon and
partake of this meal; her age, her rarity at Court, her accoutrements,
and her face, provoked the Princesses to make fun of her in whispers with
their fair visitors. She perceived this, and without being embarrassed,
took them up so sharply, that they were silenced, and looked down. But
this was not all: after the collation she began to talk so freely and yet
so humorously about them that they were frightened, and went and made
their excuses, and very frankly asked for quarter. Madame de Gesvres was
good enough to grant them this, but said it was only on condition that
they learned how to behave. Never afterwards did they venture to look at
her impertinently. Nothing was ever so magnificent as these soirees of
Trianon. All the flowers of the parterres were renewed every day; and I
have seen the King and all the Court obliged to go away because of the
tuberoses, the odour of which perfumed the air, but so powerfully, on
account of their quantity, that nobody could remain in the garden,
although very vast, and stretching like a terrace all along the canal.
The Prince d'Harcourt at last obtained permission to wait on the King,
after having never appeared at Court for seventeen years. He had
followed the King in all his conquests in the Low Countries and Franche-
Comte; but he had remained little at the Court since his voyage to Spain,
whither he had accompanied the daughter of Monsieur to the King, Charles
II., her husband. The Prince d'Harcourt took service with Venice, and
fought in the Morea until the Republic made peace with the Turks. He was
tall, well made; and, although he looked like a nobleman and had wit,
reminded one at the same time of a country actor. He was a great liar,
and a libertine in body and mind; a great spendthrift, a great and
|Praise Of Death Deceased in mind decree of Death|
|Character and Position of the Duc d'Orleans-His Manners, Talents, and||Документы|
1. /Death Before Dishonour/02 - Power-Struggle.txt
1. /deathangel/Death Angel - Act III-90.doc
|Join me in death (him)||Report to the president death of milan babic|
|Angel Of Death Auschwitz, the meaning of pain||The King's Selfishness. Defeat of the Czar. Death of Catinat. Last|