Dangeau’s Diary, November 1685

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

1st. — The Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon has written a letter to his Majesty, which was delivered to him by Bloin, but which his Majesty would not read. The Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon informs his Majesty, that finding himself in dis grace, he conceives it his duty to absent himself from court, and that he should go to Isle-Adam, there to await the return of his Majesty’s favour. The Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon did not think proper to follow the advice of Monsieur le Duc, for he returned from Chantilly to court, and he has equally neglected it on this occasion, not having communicated his intentions to him. He, however, passes through Chantilly, intending to give the Prince an explanation of his proceedings. It is much feared that this affair will compromise the Princes de Conti with Monsieur le Duc. About six o’clock in the evening, the King sent for M. Boucherat, made him chancellor, and gave him the seals. Bontemps fetched him in his coach. Monsieur Boucherat is above sixty years of age. The King sent for Monseigneur and the Dauphine to his cabinet, and showed them the seals before he gave them to the new chancellor. It is not yet known whether he will be a minister of state. Frequently the chancellors are not so, which was the case with Monsieur d’Aligre and Monsieur de Seguier.

4th. — The Prince de Conti, who has had a fever these three days, has found himself worse, and towards evening the small pox made its appearance. Mademoiselle de Viantaire, who had also been in attendance upon the Princesse de Conti, found herself indisposed about the same time, and has likewise exhibited symptoms of the same disease. The King sent to inquire after the Prince de Conti, and even observed aloud, that he should be very sorry if it were thought he was not deeply interested in his welfare.

5th. — The Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon returned here to see his brother, and was closeted with him. So that most likely he will catch the small pox as his brother had done by being in attendance upon his lady. The latter has insisted upon seeing the Prince de Conti, which, from motives of delicacy, the Prince would not allow. She, however, insisted upon it, and is now paying every attention to her consort.

9th. — At eight o’clock in the morning, the King was informed that the Prince de Conti (Louis-Armand de Bourbon-Conti) was dying. That he had lost all recollection, and had received extreme unction. An hour afterwards he died, without being able to receive the sacraments. Last night when Madame de Conti quitted his room, he was very feverish, and was thought to be in danger. Upon waking this morning at five o’clock, he felt his head bewildered, and could say nothing more than, Oh! My head, my head! All the medicines he took afterwards were without effect. Madame de Conti saw him, but he did not recognize her. The affliction for the death of the unfortunate Prince is very general, and is considerably increased by the circumstances attending it. The Princess de Conti has set off for Versailles, the Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon for Chantilly, whither Monsieur le Duc and Madame la Duchesse have also gone to see Monsieur le Prince, who was attacked by fever yesterday, and whom this melancholy event will affect very severely. The King saw the Princess de Conti before she set off, and sent immediately for Monsieur d’Argouges, to arrange the affairs of the deceased. There was neither comedy nor opera. In the evening, the Dauphine received visitors for about a quarter of an hour before supper. The King conversed a long time this morning with Monsieur d’Argouges, about the affairs of the Princesse de Conti, whom he had seen this morning. Monsieur le Prince arrived at Versailles, he had been some days at Paris, whither he had come to see the Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon, being unwilling that the latter should come to Chantilly, and believing that his presence was necessary at Paris to terminate the business devolved on him by the death of the Prince de Conti. The King went into deep mourning for the Prince de Conti, as did also the Dauphin and Dauphine, who will not leave it off till Christmas.

14th. — The King walked in the orangery of Versailles, which he found very magnificent. He saw the equestrian statue of the Chevalier Bernini, which is placed there, and thought the man and horse so ill executed, that he resolved not only to have them taken down, but destroyed.

19th. — I am informed that the King has regulated the affairs of the Princesse de Conti in presence of herself and Monsieur d’Argouges. She retains four gentlemen, two who belong to her, and Blezel and Devau, who were attached to the Prince de Conti. It is said that she will also take another lady of honour besides Madame de Bury and the number of her maids of honour will also be increased. Her net revenue is ninety thousand crowns, all her household being paid, she will have clear thirty-six thousand livres at the year’s end. She is allowed twelve thousand crowns for dress, and one hundred thousand francs for pocket money.

20th. — I have learnt that Monsieur le Prince told the King, that the regulation was, that in case of failure in the elder branch, among Princes of the Blood, the younger should take the name, but that the Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon did not wish to take the name of Prince de Conti, without having the King’s approbation. The King replied, that they might follow the usual course. He will therefore be styled the Prince de Conti.

21st. — This day at the Prince’s, a reconciliation was effected between the Duc de Montauzier and the Duc d’Uzes, who had chosen for arbiters, the Duc de Rochefaucault, the Duc de Beauvilliers and me. Monsieur le Prince made them embrace, and the reconciliation was very sincere. Monsieur de Montauzier conducted himself wonderfully well, and the Duc d’Uzes was much affected, and sincerely promised all that Monsieur le Prince asked of him.

22d. — This day, the Princess de Conti was visible. The King, the Dauphin and Dauphine, Monsieur and Madame went there, and all the Princes of the Blood were in her apartments, and did the honours.

23d. — We have learnt from Monsieur, that the King of Spain has given the Queen, his wife, the key with three wards. It opens all the apartments and even the galleries, where may be heard the deliberations which take place in the council chamber. It is the greatest mark of confidence the Kings of Spain can give, and one which is very rarely granted to their Queens.

25th. — The King has settled a pension of two thousand crowns upon Vivans, an old brigadier of cavalry, who was converted two months since.


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