Dangeau’s Diary, September 1686

Philippe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau

1st. — The King gave audience to the ambassadors from Siam, upon a throne raised for him at the end of the gallery adjoining the apartments of the Dauphine: the arrangements were admirable, and his Majesty said that he was indebted for them to Monsieur D’Aumont, first gentleman of the bed-chamber for that year: the ambassadors spoke very well. The Abbé de Lyonne, the missionary, acted as their interpreter. They remained at the foot of the throne till the moment they presented to the King their master’s letter; for which purpose they ascended to the last step: all were uncovered except the King, who once or twice took off his hat: the Siamese testified profound respect, and returned to the end of the gallery walking backwards, being anxious not to turn their backs on the King: there are three ambassadors; their suite consists of four gentlemen and two secretaries; the whole nine sit down to table together; the rest are attendants. The second ambassador had been in that quality to China; and the King of Siam sent him to Paris, that he might compare the countries of France and China, which he thinks the two most magnificent in the world.

2d. — The Siamese went to Maintenon to see the works in progress there. All the infantry were drawn up under arms before them. The officers saluted them with the pike, and received the word of command from them. In short, they had all kinds of honours shewn them.

6th. — Monseigneur set oft this morning for Anet. He dined there and afterwards hunted the stag. In the evening, he had the opera of Acis and Galatea, which Monsieur de Vendome has had composed to entertain his friends. Lully, with all the dancers and singers, male and female, is there and will remain there during Monseigneur’s stay. It will cost Monsieur de Vendome four or five thousand pistoles. I attended Monseigneur to Anet.

9th. — I arrived at the King’s levee, who was much pleased to hear that Monseigneur was enjoying himself at Anet and that the young people in his train conducted themselves with so much propriety. I asked the King if it would be agreeable to him that they should come to Maintenon; his Majesty answered, that they might all of them do so, and that he had permitted everybody to follow him hither.

11th. — The lieutenant Civil, and the president of the Court of Aids, brought the King a letter from Monsieur de Grenoble, their brother, who has been nominated cardinal by the Pope.

23d. — Madame de Montespan said to the King, after dinner, that she had a favour to ask of him during the stay at Marly, which was, to allow her to entertain the people of the second carriage, and to divert the anti-chamber.

25th. — His Majesty has resolved to fortify the tete-du-pont of Huningen, on the banks of the Rhine. He has caused it to be communicated to the princes of Germany, by his ministers there, that he was willing to indemnify the Marquis of Baden for the lands upon which the new fortifications would be erected, and that he had been unwilling to make any innovations while the Emperor was engaged in affairs so uncertain as that of the siege of Buda, but that now, when everything succeeded to his wishes, and when his Majesty learnt that leagues were formed against him in the empire, he was happy in having nothing to fear, and in being able to render his strong places inexpugnable by those who wished to make war upon him, or to interrupt the commerce of his subjects.

28th. — His Majesty has notified to the Elector of Brandenbourg and the Duke of Brunswick, that they had acted well in relieving the city of Hamburg, but that, as the King of Denmark had with drawn his troops, they ought not to molest them in their retreat and that, if they were determined to attack them, he must declare for him, it not being possible for him to abandon the interests of a King, his ally.

 

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