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Dangeau’s Diary, December 1684 – Party like 1660

Dangeau’s Diary, December 1684

Philippe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau

1st — This evening, Madame de Grignan came to thank his Majesty for the four thousand crowns which he had given Monsieur de Grignan, for the extraordinary expenses he had on the coast, in Provence. The Comtet told us that the Duke of Savoy had ordered the Prince de Carignan to quit his states, and was endeavouring to find means to annul his marriage.

6th. — A new ordinance has been published respecting deserters, in future they will not be punished with death, but marked in the cheek and send to the gallies.

17th. — It was reported that Monsieur de Terme had been cruelly ill used on Saturday evening in the lower gallery*.

21st. — The nuncio came this morning to request his Majesty to grant the Genoese a month’s delay. The King replied, that it would be contrary to the interest of the state, and injurious to his own reputation and refused it.

25th. — The King and Monseigneur passed almost the whole day in the chapel and father Bourdaloue preached and in his farewell compliment to the King, attacked a vice which he strongly advised his Majesty to eradicate from his court. This sermon was very remarkable.

26th. — The Princes de Conti having complained with much asperity of Monsieur de la Feuillade, for having caused them to be followed on Christmas Eve, when they supped at Monsieur de l’Anglee’s, the King declared that it had been done by his orders, to prevent any disturbance between them and the Comte de Soissons. The major declared that the King had given orders to inform him of every person, who should talk during mass.

27th. — We heard that the King had been speaking to Monseigneur, respecting the conduct of many of his domestics, and had requested him to put a stop to the intimacy of the Chevalier de Lorraine with Madame de Grancey, which Monseigneur promised to do.

31st. — In the evening, after supper, Madame de Montespan presented to the King a book superbly bound and full of pictures in miniature, representing all the towns taken by the King in Holland, in 1672. This book cost her, as she in formed us, four thousand pistoles. Racine and Despreaux wrote all the descriptions, and added an historical eulogium on his Majesty. It is Madame de Montespan’s New Year’s gift to the King. Nothing could be richer, better executed, or more beautiful.


*Monsieur de Terme was a bit of a spy accused to tell everything he heard and saw to the King. That evening the Princesse de Conti and Monsieur le Duc had hired a Swiss to give Monsieur de Terme a cudgeling that forced him to remain in bed for some days.