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Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court and of the Regency — Volume 01

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116 pages
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs of Louis XIV. and the Regency, Book I., by Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchessed'OrleansThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Memoirs of Louis XIV. and the Regency, Book I.Author: Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'OrleansRelease Date: September 29, 2006 [EBook #3855]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS ***Produced by David WidgerMEMOIRS OF THE COURT OF LOUIS XIV. AND OF THEREGENCYBeing the Secret Memoirs of the Mother of the Regent,MADAME ELIZABETH-CHARLOTTE OF BAVARIA, DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS.Complete[Illustration: Bookcover][Illustration: Titlepage]BOOK 1.PREFACE.The Duchesse d'Orleans, commonly though incorrectly styled the Princess of Bavaria, was known to have maintained avery extensive correspondence with her relations and friends in different parts of Europe. Nearly eight hundred of herletters, written to the Princess Wilhelmina Charlotte of Wales and the Duke Antoine-Ulric of Brunswick, were foundamongst the papers left by the Duchess Elizabeth of Brunswick at her death, in 1767. These appeared to be so curiousthat the Court of Brunswick ordered De Praun, a Privy Councillor, to make extracts of such parts as were mostinteresting. A copy of his extracts ...
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs ofLouis XIV. and the Regency, Book I., by Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'OrleansThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Memoirs of Louis XIV. and the Regency,Book I.Author: Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'OrleansRelease Date: September 29, 2006 [EBook #3855]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS ***Produced by David Widger
MEMOIRS OF THECOURT OF LOUIS XIV.AND OF THE REGENCYBeing the Secret Memoirs of the Mother of theRegent,MADAME ELIZABETH-CHARLOTTE OFBAVARIA, DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS.Complete[Illustration: Bookcover][Illustration: Titlepage]BOOK 1.PREFACE.The Duchesse d'Orleans, commonly thoughincorrectly styled the Princess of Bavaria, wasknown to have maintained a very extensivecorrespondence with her relations and friends in
different parts of Europe. Nearly eight hundred ofher letters, written to the Princess WilhelminaCharlotte of Wales and the Duke Antoine-Ulric ofBrunswick, were found amongst the papers left bythe Duchess Elizabeth of Brunswick at her death,in 1767. These appeared to be so curious that theCourt of Brunswick ordered De Praun, a PrivyCouncillor, to make extracts of such parts as weremost interesting. A copy of his extracts was sent toFrance, where it remained a long time withoutbeing published. In 1788, however, an editionappeared, but so mutilated and disfigured, eitherthrough the prudence of the editor or the scissorsof the censor, that the more piquant traits of thecorrespondence had entirely disappeared. Thebold, original expressions of the German weremodified and enfeebled by the timid translator, andall the names of individuals and families weresuppressed, except when they carried with themno sort of responsibility. A great many passages ofthe original correspondence were omitted, while, tomake up for the deficiencies, the editor inserted aquantity of pedantic and useless notes. In spite ofall these faults and the existence of more faithfuleditions, this translation was reprinted in 1807. Theexistence of any other edition being unknown to itseditor, it differed in nothing from the preceding,except that the dates of some of the letters weresuppressed, a part of the notes cut out, and somepassages added from the Memoirs of Saint-Simon,together with a life, or rather panegyric, of thePrincess, which bore no slight resemblance to avillage homily.
A copy of the extracts made by M. de Praun fell bysome chance into the hands of Count de Veltheim,under whose direction they were published atStrasburg, in 1789, with no other alterations thanthe correction of the obsolete and viciousorthography of the Princess.In 1789 a work was published at Dantzick, inGermany, entitled, Confessions of the PrincessElizabeth-Charlotte of Orleans, extracted from herletters addressed, between the years 1702 and1722, to her former governess, Madame deHarling, and her husband. The editor asserts thatthis correspondence amounted to nearly fourhundred letters. A great part of these are onlyrepetitions of what she had before written to thePrincess of Wales and the Duke of Brunswick.Since that period no new collections haveappeared, although it is sufficiently well known thatother manuscripts are in existence.In 1820 M. Schutz published at Leipsig the Life andCharacter of Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchessed'Orleans, with an Extract of the more remarkableparts of her Correspondence. This is made up ofthe two German editions of 1789 and 1791; but theeditor adopted a new arrangement, andsuppressed such of the dates and facts as heconsidered useless. His suppressions, however,were not very judicious; without dates one is at aloss to know to what epoch the facts related by thePrincess ought to be referred, and the Frenchproper names are as incorrect as in the edition ofStrasburg.
Feeling much surprise that in France there shouldhave been no more authentic edition of thecorrespondence of the Regent-mother than themiserable translation of 1788 and 1807, we haveset about rendering a service to the history ofFrench manners by a new and more faithfuledition. The present is a translation of theStrasburg edition, arranged in a more appropriateorder, with the addition of such other passages aswere contained in the German collections. Thedates have been inserted wherever they appearednecessary, and notes have been added whereverthe text required explanation, or where we wishedto compare the assertions of the Princess withother testimonies. The Princess, in the salons ofthe Palais Royal, wrote in a style not very unlikethat which might be expected in the present dayfrom the tenants of its garrets. A more completebiography than any which has hitherto been drawnup is likewise added to the present edition. In otherrespects we have faithfully followed the originalStrasburg edition. The style of the Duchess will besometimes found a little singular, and her chit-chatindiscreet and often audacious; but we cannotrefuse our respect to the firmness and proprietywith which she conducted herself in the midst of ahypocritical and corrupt Court. The reader,however, must form his own judgment on thecorrespondence of this extraordinary woman; ourbusiness is, not to excite a prejudice in favour of oragainst her, but merely to present him with afaithful copy of her letters.Some doubts were expressed about the
authenticity of the correspondence when themutilated edition of 1788 appeared; but these havelong since subsided,longer questioned. and its genuineness is no
TABLE OF CONTENTSBOOK 1. Preface Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchessed'Orleans Louis XIV Mademoiselle de FontangeMadame de la Valliere Madame de MontespanMadame de Maintenon The Queen-Consort ofLouis XIV.BOOK 2. Philippe I., Duc d'Orleans Philippe II.,Duc d'Orleans, Regent of France The Affairs ofthe Regency The Duchesse d'Orleans, Consortof the Regent The Dauphine, Princess ofBavaria. Adelaide of Savoy, the SecondDauphine The First Dauphin The Duke ofBurgundy, the Second Dauphin Petite MadameBOOK 3. Henrietta of England, Monsieur's FirstConsort The Due de Berri The Duchesse deBerri Mademoiselle d'Orleans, Louise-Adelaidede Chartres Mademoiselle de Valois, Consort ofthe Prince of Modena The Illegitimate Childrenof the Regent, Duc d'Orleans The Chevalier deLorraine Philip V., King of Spain The Duchess,Consort of the Duc de Bourbon The YoungerDuchess Duc Louis de Bourbon Francois-Louis,Prince de Conti La Grande Princesse de ContiThe Princess Palatine, Consort of PrinceFrancois-Louis de Conti The Princesse deConti, Louise-Elizabeth, Consort of Louis-Armand Louis-Armand, Prince de Conti TheAbbe Dubois Mr. Law
BOOK 4. Victor Amadeus II. The GrandDuchess, Consort of Cosimo II. of Florence TheDuchesse de Lorraine, Elizabeth-Charlotted'Orleans The Duc du Maine The Duchesse duMaine Louvois Louis XV. Anecdotes andHistorical Particulars of Various PersonsExplanatory NotesSECRET COURTMEMOIRS.MADAME ELIZABETH-CHARLOTTE OFBAVARIA, DUCHESSE D ORLEANS.'[Illustration: Duchesse d'Orleans and Her Children—116]
SECTION I.If my father had loved me as well as I loved him hewould never have sent me into a country sodangerous as this, to which I came through pureobedience and against my own inclination. Hereduplicity passes for wit, and frankness is lookedupon as folly. I am neither cunning nor mysterious.I am often told I lead too monotonous a life, andam asked why I do not take a part in certainaffairs. This is frankly the reason: I am old; I standmore in need of repose than of agitation, and I willbegin nothing that I cannot, easily finish. I havenever learned to govern; I am not conversant withpolitics, nor with state affairs, and I am now too faradvanced in years to learn things so difficult. Myson, I thank God, has sense enough, and candirect these things without me; besides, I shouldexcite too much the jealousy of his wife—[Marie-Francoise de Bourbon, the legitimate daughter ofLouis XIV. and of Madame de Montespan,Duchesse d'Orleans.]—and his eldest daughter,—[Marie-Louise-Elizabeth d'Orleans, married on the17th of July, 1710, to Charles of France, Duc deBerri.]—whom he loves better than me; eternalquarrels would ensue, which would not at all suitmy views. I have been tormented enough, but Ihave always forborne, and have endeavoured toset a proper example to my son's wife and hisdaughter; for this kingdom has long had themisfortune to be too much governed by women,