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had been prosperous, would have been unnoticed by all but those who could turn them to account.
27th September 1707.- Fontainebleau. The Court of England is here. The Queen is extremely depressed. The King is desirous of going to the army. He is full of piety. The Princess is tall and well made : more animated than her brother, and transported with joy at being at Fontainebleau.' .
16th October 1707.-" The Court of England once more gives the appearance of a Court to this place. Fifty ladies, magnificently dressed, appear every day. We had eighty-two carriages in our last drive. The Princess has succeeded very well. She is gay and clever.'
17th November 1707.- Notwithstanding the popularity of the Prin.. cess of England, our politicians pretend that she must not be thought of for the Duke de Berry; for she might easily become Queen of England, and her pretensions would become a source of perpetual wars.'
8th July 1709.-_' I do not believe the King of England has any intention of visiting the King of Sweden (Charles XII.) These Princes are too pious in their respective religions to agree well together.'
16th October 1709.- The King of England fought gallantly at Malplaquet. The English were charmed with his bravery, and Marlborough drank his health in the evening,' (an anecdote which may be doubted.)
21st April 1710.- The King of England sets out literally incognito, with only two or three attendants.'
13th September 1709.— The King of England has not a day of health. The Queen suffers from our present pecuniary distress.'
24th April 1712.– The poor Princess Louisa * (Stuart) is dead. She had every good and amiable quality.'
6th December 1712.- The King of England edifies us all by his devout attention at mass. He has excellent qualities—religion, probity, good sense, honour. His character is prudent. He has no vivacity. His accent and manner are more English than those of many who have never been out of London.'
230 October 1713,- The health of our pious Queen of England is in a bad state. She and her son want the necessaries of life. Out of mere good nature she returns from the convent at Chaillot, to her little court at St Germains, where she will meet sufferers whom she cannot relieve.'
15th January 1714 - The Queen of England is very languishing. She has no fear of her son's changing his religion. He has written to her, “ I will sooner die than be wanting to God and religion.”
: * The hand of this unfortunate Princess was proposed by Dr Pitcairn to Charles XII. as a reward for that Prince's interposition for the Jacobites.
• Sis felix, faveasque bonis Suecissime Cæsar
Sic faveat Lodoix Gallo-Britanna Tibi.' It must be owned, that the two words which close the first line savour strongly of nonsense.
The Regent, Duke of Orleans, has so much of that striking singularity which arises from the mixture of brilliant and even amiable qualities with monstrous vices, that almost all decent particulars of him are acceptable.
26th September 1706.— The heroes of romance are not more brave than the Duke of Orleans.' He concealed his first wound, and was compelled to show the second, because his arm fell down on his side.' .
In the year 1709, he obtained, through the instances of the Court of Madrid, a terre titrée (or a manor with a title of honour annexed to it) for his mistress, Mad. de Sercy, after a long contest with Mad. de Maintenon's morality, which fills a considerable space in this correspondence.
29th April 1709.- The Dutchess of Orleans is pregnant, at which Mad. de Sercy is said to be much offended.' This lady seems to have been one of the boldest of her profession. She lodged in the Palais Royal, exactly opposite to the Dutchess, and took furniture out of St Cloud for her own use.'
In the year 1707, she tells her correspondent the circumstances of the death of Mad. de Montespan, and the sorrow of her children, as if she had never seen her, and with all the coldness and minuteness of a mere collector of news. In March 1711, the death of the most celebrated poet in France is thus drily, and almost contemptuously, notified. “The satirist Des Preaux is dead a few days ago.' The extraordinary mortality of the Royal Family, in the year 1712, is announced with little appearance of feeling, certainly with no affectation of it, and without any allusion to the horrible rumours of poison which prevailed at the time. The only anecdote which can be called literary is, that the second representation of Athalie (which had been first represented under the auspices of Mad. de Maintenon at St Cyr, more than twenty years before) took place at the Dutchess de Maine's private theatre, on the 3d of December 1714. So slow was the progress to fame of a tragedy, which is since become the boast of the drama, and perhaps of the literature, of France.
There was not in Spain, in 1707, a surgeon or a midwife to whom the Queen could be trusted. Even a nurse was sent from France. "The nurse whom we send to the Queen is the
reverse of most of her trade – modest, polite and respectful.' A great body of candidates, for the honour of being wet nurse to the Prince of Asturias, were collected and received at Madrid, in a manner so singular, that we shall leave Mad. des Ursins to describe it.
30th May 1707.-- Nurses for the Prince of Asturias were collected from the farthest parts of Spain. Twelve candidates have been procured, seven whose children are born, and five pregnant. I thought that
the Royal I a few days asdy, notified. in France
creatures who were to suckle the first blood of the world ought to be the objects of general respect. I sent three of the Queen's carriages to meet them, and twelve gentlemen of the household to compliment them in form. They made their entry into Madrid amidst the acclamations and blessings of the people, and they came into the palace by a garden through which their Majesties only pass. I went to receive them into the Queen's gallery, and embraced them with all my heart. I then conducted them to her Majesty, who did not disdain to advance to receive them. The children made a great noise, and showed the goodness of their mother's milk, by the strength of their voices in crying. They knelt to thank her Majesty. Some of them wept for joy, others showed their gratitude by a thousand flattering, but natural speeches, which would have affected you. They then sat down to a great collation, of which they had much need. They were afterwards shown into their rooms, which were hung with the handsomest tapestries, and had every accommodation. The King came to visit them. At their supper I sat at the head of the table, and tasted every thing myself, to see that nothing was too fat or high seasoned. Some of them had not disagreeable countenances ; none of them had spoiled teeth, and all were in good health.
Among other needs which could not be supplied in Spain, the Queen earnestly begged Mad. de Maintenon to send her a cook, her chief cook being dead, and the second being spoiled by his long residence at Madrid, since his arrival in the train of Queen Louisa of Orleans. “The Queen makes a great fi
gure at the Cabinet Council, where she regularly takes her 6 seat. '-Madame des Ursins seems to countenance the rumours of the horrible treatment experienced by the Princess of Ora leans, the first Queen of Charles II.- When at the Escu
rial,' says she, I had not the courage to look at the place 6 where Queen Louisa was buried. If this Princess conseo crated her misfortunes, as I believe she did, she must be a
saint, for she had terrible sufferings, and I do not believe there
ever was a life more miserable than that which she led. '- I won• der how the Kings of Spain could leave Valladolid, an a
greeable town, with a cheerful palace, and a beautiful neigh• bourhood, for Madrid, which is certainly the ugliest town • in the Spain.'
But to return to Versailles. The following observation of Mad. de Maintenon is, both for severity and sense, worthy of La Rochefoucault; and it has the merit (which he has not) of being free from the affectation of epigrammatic poignancy. . We must submit to live with deceitful, ungrateful, and wic• ked men; for the world is full of them. They abound most ' in Courts, where passions are kept up by interests. '- The letters of both ladies allude to the excessive eating and irre.
whated her she have miserespain i palacertainly
gular hours of the young Dutchess of Burgundy, of whose
gluttony so much is said, that we might be almost tempted to * ascribe her premature death to that disgusting species of intemperance. It is from other authorities that we know the coarseness of her manners, and the nauseous grossness of her exhibitions.
Though Louis XIV. was the veriest tool in all public measures, he was to the last degree self-willed in the personal management of the Court. The affairs of France were ruled by Mad. de Maintenon; But in the arrangements of a journey to Fontainebleau, she was in her turn a slave. Her complaints are bitter, and show a very hardly-worked slave. "My infir“ mities might be borne, if I could pass a life more suitable to 'my age. But Versailles, Marly, Meudon, Trianon, and Fon"tainebleau, oblige me to live as if I were only twenty. I am s often obliged to get out of bed at Versailles, in order to seek 6 rest on my bed at St Cyr, and go, for form's sake, afterwards . to sleep at Marly.'
In August 1713, as she grew older and more infirm, she feels and speaks still more sharply. · Nothing but the extraordinary health and strength of the King could be a consolation for the manner in which he treats those he best loves. If he made me eat half so much as he eats himself, I should not long be alive. We must not speak of inconvenience. He thinks of nothing but show and symmetry, grandeur and magnificence. He would rather have all the winds blow through his doors, than that they should not be exactly opposite to each other. I have seen him in a room with four doors and four windows, very large, and of equal size, all open. We are going to Fontainebleau, which will be still worse. As there is no preparation for the winter, I expect to suffer much.'
At Rambouillet, in August 1714, she says,
• The King is, without exaggeration, better than he was twenty years ago. He eats as much as ever, especially at night, which makes one tremble. We are engaged in sports from morning to night. Every day the deer is cut up under my windows. Our Princesses are more robust than our soldiers, and add the freedom of a country life to the dissipątion of the town.'
We are tempted to extract the following anecdote, by the whimsical resemblance of some of its circumstances to a recent abduction in our own country,
8th June 1708.-" The Prince de Leon, eldest son of the Duc de Rohạn, wished to marry Mad. de Roquelaure. The parents could not agree on the fortune ; but the parties exchanged promises of marriage. The young lady was placed in a convent in the Fauxbourg St An. toine, with orders that she was not to go abroad without her governess any where but to the house of Mad. de Vieuville. The
Prince de Leon dressed his servants in that lady's livery, and putting her arms on his carriage, sent it to fetch Mad. de Roquelaure to her mother, who was said by the servants to be waiting for her at Mad. de Vieuville's. She went with her governess, who, seeing that the carriage took the wrong road, attempted to stop it, and, not succeeding, cried out for help. She was gagged; and the Prince de Leon came up to the carriage and took the young lady to a country house, where they were married, The Roquelaure family threaten a prosecution. The Dutchess of Burgundy was transported with the story, and said she liked such adventures. When the noise has subsided, the best measure will be to submit to a regular marriage.'
The last sentence in these volumes written by Mad. de Maintenon, is the following,
Ilth September 1715.— I have seen the King die like a saint and a hero. I have quitted the world which I disliked. I am in the most agreeable retirement that I can desire, As to society, I can have none.
The inmates of this house (St Cyr) know nothing of what I have seen, and are acquainted with nothing but the rules of their own community.'
She şurvived her Royal husband more than four years. The only celebrated visitor who disturbed her retirement was the Czar Peter. That illustrious barbarian, who could not perhaps have performed the grand part allotted to him in history without an apparently monstrous union of brutal grossness and savage ferocity, with the genius of a reformer and the magnanimous ambition of a lawgiver, was probably as much unfitted by his high as by his low qualities, to appreciate her character, or to comprehend the nature of her ascendant over a feebler though more civilized monarche .
The Memoirs of the Prince de Montbarey contain the life of a silly and worthless man, written of necessity without talent, and never of the slightest value, except where it produces an effect the very reverse of that intended by the writer. He is an unwilling, and indeed unconscious witness against himself and his fellows. Perhaps the ideal ugliness of the character of a thorough-paced courtier was never more nearly embodied than in the person of M. de Montbarey. He wanted indeed the refinement, the delicacy, and the occasional vivacity or dignity which belong to the better specimens of the race. But no life could be divided between frivolity, profligacy, and servile ambition, with a more exact conformity to the most approved models. The instinct of the animal taught him to be content with the little, the vain, and the mean; never to vențure on deeds of energy or violence, and not to aspire so high as the perpetration of crimes.