Chapter LXXVIII icon


НазваниеChapter LXXVIII
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External Life of Louis XIV.--At the Army.--Etiquette of the King's

Table.--Court Manners and Customs.--The Rising of the King.--Morning

Occupations.--Secret Amours.--Going to Mass.--Councils.--Thursdays.--

Fridays.--Ceremony of the King's Dinner.--The King's Brother.--After

Dinner.--The Drive.--Walks at Marly and Elsewhere.--Stag--hunting.--Play-

tables.--Lotteries.--Visits to Madame de Maintenon.--Supper.--The King

Retires to Rest.--Medicine Days.--Kings Religious Observances.--Fervency

in Lent.--At Mass.--Costume.--Politeness of the King for the Court of

Saint-Germain.--Feelings of the Court at His Death.--Relief of Madame de

Maintenon.--Of the Duchesse d'Orleans.--Of the Court Generally.--Joy of

Paris and the Whole of France.--Decency of Foreigners.--Burial of the



Surprise of M. d'Orleans at the King's Death.--My Interview with Him.--

Dispute about Hats.--M. du Maine at the Parliament.--His Reception.--

My Protest.--The King's Will.--Its Contents and Reception.--Speech of the

Duc d'Orleans.--Its Effect.--His Speech on the Codicil.--Violent

Discussion.--Curious Scene.--Interruption for Dinner.--Return to the

Parliament.--Abrogation of the Codicil.--New Scheme of Government.--

The Regent Visits Madame de Maintenon.--The Establishment of Saint-Cyr.--

The Regent's Liberality to Madame de Maintenon.


The Young King's Cold.--'Lettres des Cachet' Revived.--A Melancholy

Story.--A Loan from Crosat.--Retrenchments.--Unpaid Ambassadors.--Council

of the Regency.--Influence of Lord Stair.--The Pretender.--His Departure

from Bar.--Colonel Douglas.--The Pursuit.--Adventure at Nonancourt.--Its

Upshot.--Madame l'Hospital.--Ingratitude of the Pretender.


Behaviour of the Duchesse de Berry.--Her Arrogance Checked by Public

Opinion.--Walls up the Luxembourg Garden.--La Muette.--Her Strange Amour

with Rion.--Extraordinary Details.--The Duchess at the Carmelites.--

Weakness of the Regent.--His Daily Round of Life.--His Suppers.--

How He Squandered His Time.--His Impenetrability.--Scandal of His Life.--

Public Balls at the Opera.


First Appearance of Law.--His Banking Project Supported by the Regent.--

Discussed by the Regent with Me.--Approved by the Council and Registered.

--My Interviews with Law.--His Reasons for Seeking My Friendship.--

Arouet de Voltaire.


Rise of Alberoni.--Intimacy of France and England.--Gibraltar Proposed to

be Given Up.--Louville the Agent.--His Departure.--Arrives at Madrid.--

Alarm of Alberoni.--His Audacious Intrigues.--Louville in the Bath.--

His Attempts to See the King.--Defeated.--Driven out of Spain.--Impudence

of Alberoni.--Treaty between France and England.--Stipulation with

Reference to the Pretender.


The Lieutenant of Police.--Jealousy of Parliament.--Arrest of Pomereu

Resolved On.--His Imprisonment and Sudden Release.--Proposed Destruction

of Marly.--How I Prevented It.--Sale of the Furniture.--I Obtain the

'Grandes Entrees'.--Their Importance and Nature.--Afterwards Lavished

Indiscriminately.--Adventure of the Diamond called "The Regent."--Bought

for the Crown of France.


Death of the Duchesse de Lesdiguieres.--Cavoye and His Wife.--Peter the

Great.--His Visit to France.--Enmity to England.--Its Cause.--Kourakin,

the Russian Ambassador.--The Czar Studies Rome.--Makes Himself the Head

of Religion.--New Desires for Rome--Ultimately Suppressed.--Preparations

to Receive the Czar at Paris.--His Arrival at Dunkerque.--At Beaumont.--

Dislikes the Fine Quarters Provided for Him.--His Singular Manners, and

Those of His Suite.


Personal Appearance of the Czar.--His Meals.--Invited by the Regent.--

His Interview with the King--He Returns the Visit.--Excursion in Paris.--

Visits Madame.--Drinks Beer at the Opera.--At the Invalides.--Meudon.--

Issy.--The Tuileries.--Versailles.--Hunt at Fontainebleau.--Saint--Cyr.--

Extraordinary Interview with Madame de Maintenon.--My Meeting with the

Czar at D'Antin's.--The Ladies Crowd to See Him.--Interchange of

Presents.--A Review.--Party Visits.--Desire of the Czar to Be United to



Courson in Languedoc.--Complaints of Perigueux.--Deputies to Paris.--

Disunion at the Council.--Intrigues of the Duc de Noailles.--Scene.--

I Support the Perigueux People.--Triumph.--My Quarrel with Noailles.--

The Order of the Pavilion.


After having thus described with truth and the most exact fidelity all

that has come to my knowledge through my own experience, or others

qualified to speak of Louis XIV. during the last twenty-two years of his

life: and after having shown him such as he was, without prejudice

(although I have permitted myself to use the arguments naturally

resulting from things), nothing remains but to describe the outside life

of this monarch, during my residence at the Court.

However insipid and perhaps superfluous details so well known may appear

after what has been already given, lessons will be found therein for

kings who may wish to make themselves respected, and who may wish to

respect themselves. What determines me still more is, that details

wearying, nay annoying, to instructed readers, who had been witnesses of

what I relate, soon escape the knowledge of posterity; and that

experience shows us how much we regret that no one takes upon himself a

labour, in his own time so ungrateful, but in future years so

interesting, and by which princes, who have made quite as much stir as

the one in question, are characterise. Although it may be difficult to

steer clear of repetitions, I will do my best to avoid them.

I will not speak much of the King's manner of living when with the army.

His hours were determined by what was to be done, though he held his

councils regularly; I will simply say, that morning and evening he ate

with people privileged to have that honour. When any one wished to claim

it, the first gentleman of the chamber on duty was appealed to. He gave

the answer, and if favourable you presented yourself the next day to the

King, who said to you, "Monsieur, seat yourself at table." That being

done, all was done. Ever afterwards you were at liberty to take a place

at the King's table, but with discretion. The number of the persons from

whom a choice was made was, however, very limited. Even very high

military rank did not suffice. M. de Vauban, at the siege of Namur, was

overwhelmed by the distinction. The King did the same honour at Namur to

the Abbe de Grancey, who exposed himself everywhere to confess the

wounded and encourage the troops. No other Abbe was ever so

distinguished. All the clergy were excluded save the cardinals, and the

bishops, piers, or the ecclesiastics who held the rank of foreign


At these repasts everybody was covered; it would have been a want of

respect, of which you would have been immediately informed, if you had

not kept your hat on your head. The King alone was uncovered. When the

King wished to speak to you, or you had occasion to speak to him, you

uncovered. You uncovered, also, when Monseigneur or Monsieur spoke to

you, or you to them. For Princes of the blood you merely put your hand

to your hat. The King alone had an armchair. All the rest of the

company, Monseigneur included, had seats, with backs of black morocco

leather, which could be folded up to be carried, and which were called

"parrots." Except at the army, the King never ate with any man, under

whatever circumstances; not even with the Princes of the Blood, save

sometimes at their wedding feasts.

Let us return now to the Court.

At eight o'clock the chief valet de chambre on duty, who alone had slept

in the royal chamber, and who had dressed himself, awoke the King. The

chief physician, the chief surgeon, and the nurse (as long as she lived),

entered at the same time; the latter kissed the King; the others rubbed

and often changed his shirt, because he was in the habit of sweating a

great deal. At the quarter, the grand chamberlain was called (or, in his

absence, the first gentleman of the chamber), and those who had what was

called the 'grandes entrees'. The chamberlain (or chief gentleman) drew

back the curtains which had been closed again; and presented the holy-

water from the vase, at the head of the bed. These gentlemen stayed but

a moment, and that was the time to speak to the King, if any one had

anything to ask of him; in which case the rest stood aside. When,

contrary to custom, nobody had ought to say, they were there but for a

few moments. He who had opened the curtains and presented the holy-

water, presented also a prayer-book. Then all passed into the cabinet of

the council. A very short religious service being over, the King called,

they re-entered, The same officer gave him his dressing-gown; immediately

after, other privileged courtiers entered, and then everybody, in time to

find the King putting on his shoes and stockings, for he did almost

everything himself and with address and grace. Every other day we saw

him shave himself; and he had a little short wig in which he always

appeared, even in bed, and on medicine days. He often spoke of the

chase, and sometimes said a-word to somebody. No toilette table was near

him; he had simply a mirror held before him.

As soon as he was dressed, he prayed to God, at the side of his bed,

where all the clergy present knelt, the cardinals without cushions, all

the laity remaining standing; and the captain of the guards came to the

balustrade during the prayer, after which the King passed into his


He found there, or was followed by all who had the entree, a very

numerous company, for it included everybody in any office. He gave

orders to each for the day; thus within a half a quarter of an hour it

was known what he meant to do; and then all this crowd left directly.

The bastards, a few favourites; and the valets alone were left. It was

then a good opportunity for talking with the King; for example, about

plans of gardens and buildings; and conversation lasted more or less

according to the person engaged in it.

All the Court meantime waited for the King in the gallery, the captain of

the guard being alone in the chamber seated at the door of the cabinet.

At morning the Court awaited in the saloon; at Trianon in the front rooms

as at Meudon; at Fontainebleau in the chamber and ante-chamber. During

this pause the King gave audiences when he wished to accord any; spoke

with whoever he might wish to speak secretly to, and gave secret

interviews to foreign ministers in presence of Torcy. They were called

"secret" simply to distinguish them from the uncommon ones by the


The King went to mass, where his musicians always sang an anthem. He did

not go below--except on grand fetes or at ceremonies. Whilst he was

going to and returning from mass, everybody spoke to him who wished,

after apprising the captain of the guard, if they were not distinguished;

and he came and went by the door of the cabinet into the gallery. During

the mass the ministers assembled in the King's chamber, where

distinguished people could go and speak or chat with them. The King

amused himself a little upon returning from mass and asked almost

immediately for the council. Then the morning was finished.

On Sunday, and often on Monday, there was a council of state; on Tuesday

a finance council; on Wednesday council of state; on Saturday finance

council: rarely were two held in one day or any on Thursday or Friday.

Once or twice a month there was a council of despatches on Monday

morning; but the order that the Secretaries of State took every morning

between the King's rising and his mass, much abridged this kind of

business. All the ministers were seated accordingly to rank, except at

the council of despatches, where all stood except the sons of France, the

Chancellor, and the Duc de Beauvilliers.

Thursday morning was almost always blank. It was the day for audiences

that the King wished to give--often unknown to any--back-stair audiences.

It was also the grand day taken advantage of by the bastards, the valets,

etc., because the King had nothing to do. On Friday after the mass the

King was with his confessor, and the length of their audiences was

limited by nothing, and might last until dinner. At Fontainebleau on the

mornings when there was no council, the King usually passed from mass to

Madame de Maintenon's, and so at Trianon and Marly. It was the time for

their tete-a-tete without interruption. Often on the days when there was

no council the dinner hour was advanced, more or less for the chase or

the promenade. The ordinary hour was one o'clock; if the council still

lasted, then the dinner waited and nothing was said to the King.

The dinner was always 'au petit couvert', that is, the King ate by

himself in his chamber upon a square table in front of the middle window.

It was more or less abundant, for he ordered in the morning whether it

was to be "a little," or "very little" service. But even at this last,

there were always many dishes, and three courses without counting the

fruit. The dinner being ready, the principal courtiers entered; then all

who were known; and the gentleman of the chamber on duty informed the


I have seen, but very rarely, Monseigneur and his sons standing at their

dinners, the King not offering them a seat. I have continually seen

there the Princes of the blood and the cardinals. I have often seen

there also Monsieur, either on arriving from Saint-Cloud to see the King,

or arriving from the council of despatches (the only one he entered),

give the King his napkin and remain standing. A little while afterwards,

the King, seeing that he did not go away, asked him if he would not sit

down; he bowed, and the King ordered a seat to be brought for him. A

stool was put behind him. Some moments after the King said, "Nay then,

sit down, my brother." Monsieur bowed and seated himself until the end

of the dinner, when he presented the napkin.

At other times when he came from Saint-Cloud, the King, on arriving at

the table, asked for a plate for Monsieur, or asked him if he would dine.

If he refused, he went away a moment after, and there was no mention of a

seat; if he accepted, the King asked for a plate for him. The table was

square, he placed himself at one end, his back to the cabinet. Then the

Grand Chamberlain (or the first gentleman of the chamber) gave him drink

and plates, taking them from him as he finished with them, exactly as he

served the King; but Monsieur received all this attention with strongly

marked politeness. When he dined thus with the King he much enlivened

the conversation. The King ordinarily spoke little at table unless some

family favourite was near. It was the same at hid rising. Ladies

scarcely ever were seen at these little dinners.

I have, however, seen the Marechale de la Mothe, who came in because she

had been used to do so as governess to the children of France, and who

received a seat, because she was a Duchess. Grand dinners were very

rare, and only took place on grand occasions, and then ladies were


Upon leaving the table the King immediately entered his cabinet. That

was the time for distinguished people to speak to him. He stopped at the

door a moment to listen, then entered; very rarely did any one follow

him, never without asking him for permission to do so; and for this few

had the courage. If followed he placed himself in the embrasure of the

window nearest to the door of the cabinet, which immediately closed of

itself, and which you were obliged to open yourself on quitting the King.

This also was the time for the bastards and the valets.

The King amused himself by feeding his dogs, and remained with them more

or less time, then asked for his wardrobe, changed before the very few

distinguished people it pleased the first gentleman of the chamber to

admit there, and immediately went out by the back stairs into the court

of marble to get into his coach. From the bottom of that staircase to

the coach, any one spoke to him who wished.

The King was fond of air, and when deprived of it his health suffered; he

had headaches and vapours caused by the undue use he had formerly made of

perfumes, so that for many years he could not endure any, except the

odour of orange flowers; therefore if you had to approach anywhere near

him you did well not to carry them.

As he was but little sensitive to heat or cold, or even to rain, the

weather was seldom sufficiently bad to prevent his going abroad. He went

out for three objects: stag-hunting, once or more each week; shooting in

his parks (and no man handled a gun with more grace or skill), once or

twice each week; and walking in his gardens for exercise, and to see his

workmen. Sometimes he made picnics with ladies, in the forest at Marly

or at Fontainebleau, and in this last place, promenades with all the

Court around the canal, which was a magnificent spectacle. Nobody

followed him in his other promenades but those who held principal

offices, except at Versailles or in the gardens of Trianon. Marly had a

privilege unknown to the other places. On going out from the chateau,

the King said aloud, "Your hats, gentlemen," and immediately courtiers,

officers of the guard, everybody, in fact, covered their heads, as he

would have been much displeased had they not done so; and this lasted all

the promenade, that is four or five hours in summer, or in other seasons,

when he dined early at Versailles to go and walk at Marly, and not sleep


The stag-hunting parties were on an extensive scale. At Fontainebleau

every one went who wished; elsewhere only those were allowed to go who

had obtained the permission once for all, and those who had obtained

leave to wear the justau-corps, which was a blue uniform with silver and

gold lace, lined with red. The King did not like too many people at

these parties. He did not care for you to go if you were not fond of the

chase. He thought that ridiculous, and never bore ill-will to those who

stopped away altogether.

It was the same with the play-table, which he liked to see always well

frequented--with high stakes--in the saloon at Marly, for lansquenet and

other games. He amused himself at Fontainebleau during bad weather by

seeing good players at tennis, in which he had formerly excelled; and at

Marly by seeing mall played, in which he had also been skilful.

Sometimes when there was no council, he would make presents of stuff, or

of silverware, or jewels, to the ladies, by means of a lottery, for the

tickets of which they paid nothing. Madame de Maintenon drew lots with

the others, and almost always gave at once what she gained. The King

took no ticket.

Upon returning home from walks or drives, anybody, as I have said, might
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Chapter LXXVIII iconДокументы
1. /Ivrel/Core Rules/Addendums/Monster Addendum 1 [Draconians].doc
2. /Ivrel/Core...

Chapter LXXVIII iconДокументы
1. /kachesov1/_contents.doc
2. /kachesov1/_preface.doc
Chapter LXXVIII iconChapter IV the article

Chapter LXXVIII iconContents. Chapter I

Chapter LXXVIII iconChapter 9 a few Questions

Chapter LXXVIII iconChapter 5 "Who are these aliens?"

Chapter LXXVIII iconChapter cxiii

Chapter LXXVIII iconChapter xcvii

Chapter LXXVIII iconChapter LXXXVIII

Chapter LXXVIII iconChapter XLVII

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