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Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, February 1661 – Party like 1660

Chronologie de la vie de Louis XIV, February 1661

Cardinal Mazarin painted by Pierre Mignard.

1 February, the King and Queen return from Vincennes, where the court resides, in the evening. The illness of Cardinal Mazarin, who remains bedridden, troubles the King.

2 February, Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, the King makes his devotions at the Oratorians, and afterwards, wearing the collier de l’ordre, observes the procession, which takes place at the Louvre, with the Queen. Before both attend mass at the Louvre chapel.

2 February, the King and Queen return to the Oratorians in the afternoon to attend mass and hear the sermon of Father Chapuis.

2 February, the court remembers the late Monsieur (Gaston de France), brother of the late King, it being the first anniversary of his death.

6 February, the Louvre is on fire! A fire breaks out in the early hours of the morning in a gallery of the King’s Pavilion, caused by careless workmen while decorating the walls of the room for a ballet.

6 February, the Louvre burns! The flames move quickly through the draughty rooms. The bedridden Cardinal Mazarin, whose rooms are next to the source of the fire, is carried out through pitch black smoke to safety.

6 February, the Louvre is afire! Servants and soldiers rush to dose the flames with buckets of water, but the fire still spreads. The Queen Mother sends for the sacrament. Que Dieu nous aide.

6 February, the roof of the Louvre burns! The priests the Queen Mother sent for arrive from Saint-Germain and as they stand by the gates, the wind shifts, as if commanded by God, and the fire can finally be brought under control.

6 February, the King and Queen, as well as the Queen Mother, leave the Louvre for Saint-Germain. The fire caused great devastation.

6 February, Cardinal Mazarin is attended by twelve doctors, the ordeal of the morning has weakened him further. One of the doctors believes the Cardinal might just live for another two months at best.

7 February, Cardinal Mazarin’s condition is worrisome. He can hardly breathe, for his lungs were badly affected by the black smoke of the Louvre fire. The Cardinal is brought to Vincennes, where the court still resides.

8 February, the King declares his intention to make an end to the usurpation of titles of nobility.

8 February, the King receives the deputies of the general assembly of the clergy. The Bishop de Lavaur (Jean Vincent de Tulle) speaks with his Most Christian Majesty. Their Majesties then return to Saint-Germain for the night.

10 February, the Louvre is cleaned as best as possible from the soot, for the Ballet de l’impatience, with sixteen entries in two parts, planned to be staged for the first time on the 19th in the Galerie du Louvre.

13 February, the King and Queen leave Saint-Germain for Paris, but do not stay there long, and proceed to Vincennes, with the rest of the court, in order to visit Cardinal Mazarin.

15 February, his Majesty receives Johann Franz von Wicka, envoy of the Archduke of Innsbruck, before his departure from France.

18 February, the King prepares for his participation in the Ballet de l’impatience. It will be the highlight of the winter season.

19 February, le Roi danse! His Majesty takes part in the Ballet de l’impatience in various roles. His grace and elegance of steps is admired by everyone. All of the court applauds this magnificent King, especially the ladies.

20 February, the King and Queen go to Saint-Denis, to meet the dowager Queen of England and her daughter, the Princesse d’Angleterre, who have just returned from England. Their Majesties escort her Majesty and the Princesse to Paris afterwards.

22 February, le Roi danse! The King participates in the Ballet de l’impatience again. All of the court came to witness the spectacle for the second time.

23 February, the King and Queen are at Vincennes, where Cardinal Mazarin still lies ill. The dowager Queen of England visits them there.

26 February, le Roi danse! The Ballet de l’impatience is performed for the third time at the Louvre.

28 February, his Majesty signs the documents for the traité de Vincennes, which returns the duchy of Bar to the Duc de Lorraine. In turn, the Duc yields to the King various other lands.

28 February, at Vincennes, the King and Queen sign the contract of marriage between the Grand maître de l’artillerie, Armand-Charles de La Porte de La Meilleraye, and Mademoiselle Hortense Mancini, niece of Cardinal Mazarin.

28 February, their Majesties attend the engagement ceremony of the Grand maître de l’artillerie and Mademoiselle Mancini, which takes place in the chapel and is witnessed by all of the court.