Dangeau’s Diary, January 1685

Philippe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau
Philippe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau

1st. — The King gave Monseigneur, le Grand Dauphin, a New Year’s present of four thousand pistoles, besides the fifteen hundred he allows him monthly. He also presented Monsieur with a similar gift.

2d. — The Nuncio came, on the part of the Pope, to solicit a month’s delay for the Genoese. The King replied, that he was resolved to make no alteration in the conditions he had imposed on them, but that in consideration of the Pope’s petition, he would grant them time until the beginning of February; on condition, however, that unless in that interval they took measures to satisfy him, he should make them pay a hundred thousand crowns a week, beginning from the 1st of February. At the same time, he declared to the Nuncio, that he would not take the city of Genoa, or any other place in the territories of the republic, for fear of disturbing the peace he had just given to Europe and that he should march his troops to impose contributions, and leave a memorable example of his vengeance to all who might dare to offend him. Bergeret and young Corneille were received at the Academy, and Racine, who was president, answered their harangues with much grace and elegance.

5th. — The King did not keep Twelfth day; he supped en famille as usual; but after supper sent a cake to Madame de Montespan’s. In the morning he made Racine repeat to him, in his cabinet, the harangue he had pronounced at the Academy on the day of the reception of Bergeret and young Corneille, which the courtiers admired as much as when he delivered it at the Academy.

8th. — The Marquis de Gevres and the Count de Grammont obtained from his Majesty a grant of land in Paris, where they will establish a kind of market. They assert that it will be worth 24,000 francs per annum to them, half of which will go to the projectors. The Academy of Saumur has been condemned. Thus the protestants have only one place left in France for the study of theology, namely Puylaurens.

10th. — This day the King ordered forty battalions and six thousand horse to be in readiness to march into Italy in the beginning of February. News arrived that the Algerines had given up to Commodore d’Aufreville many Christian slaves of all nations, whom they set at liberty out of respect for the King. Amongst these slaves were some Englishmen, who insisted that the Algerines had liberated them solely through fear of the King of England, their master, and refused to acknowledge themselves under any obligation to the King of France. D’Aufreville therefore sent them on shore again, and the Algerines immediately put them on board their gallies.

16th. — Little Brunet* was sent to Saint Lazare; and the King ordered Monsieur de Seignelay to tell Lully that he forgave him the past, but that in future he must conduct himself more cautiously.

20th. — There was neither drawing room nor play; for it is the anniversary of the decease of the Queen-Mother, who died in 1666.

21st. — We heard that the Comtesse de Soissons, riding on a sledge, as is customary at Amsterdam, had been run away with by her horse and broken her arm, and had received severe injury in the head.

24th. — Monsieur l’abbe de Soubise maintained some theses in the Sorbonne; he answered with his hat on; the King having given orders to that effect to the Syndic. He was styled Serenissimus Princeps.

28th. — Advices from Genoa state that the Doge will come, as required by the King. They are waiting for the return of the courier who was dispatched to the Pope at Rome with intelligence of this resolution of the Genoese.
29th. — Monsieur intimated to Flamarens through Terat, his secretary of orders, that his services were not agreeable; that he should be repaid the forty thousand crowns, which his place had cost him. That the money was ready, and that Monsieur forbade him ever to appear in his presence again. That very evening Flamarens went again, as usual, into the drawing room at the King’s apartment, when Monsieur came, he flew into a violent passion, and told his Majesty, that but for the respect which he owed him, he would have severely punished a man who had dared to disobey him.

30th. — It was known in the morning that Monsieur was much displeased at Monsieur Flamarens having passed the night in his house, and that he had in the evening sent him an order, accompanied with threats, to quit it, which he did with great expedition. His Lady attended at Monsieur’s levee, fell upon her knees, and intreated him to pardon her husband.

31st. — The Chevalier de Chaumont took leave of the King, upon his going as ambassador to Siam. The Mandarins set off above a month since, and are waiting for him at Brest, where they must embark before the end of February, if they are desirous of completing their voyage this year, for the winds are almost regular under the line and should they let this season pass, they would not be able to effect their long voyage. The King has made the Mandarins some very handsome presents, and they have bought many French curiosities for the King of Siam. What they have been most anxious about, are looking glasses and enamel. They carry out with them a great number of handsome mirrors, for a gallery lately erected by their King.

*a young ‘music-page’ Lully had a scandalous affair with, from which he never fully recovered in the eyes of Louis XIV

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