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Dangeau’s Diary, December 1686 – Party like 1660

Dangeau’s Diary, December 1686

Philippe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau

10th. — The King has been very well today. He suffers very little and is very tranquil, but the intelligence he received this evening of the danger of Monsieur le Prince (le Grand Condé), has afflicted him very much. He conversed with Monsieur le Duc (Duc d’Enghien/Duc de Bourbon) a long time, who set off in all haste to attend his father. The Prince de Conti has also left Chantilly for Fontainebleau, where Monsieur le Prince would not permit him to go on account of the infectious air. It is thought that the King will recall the Prince de Conti to court, and will pardon him and that his Majesty is anxious to afford this consolation to Monsieur le Prince in his last moments, whose utmost wish is to see his nephew reinstated in the King’s favour.

11th. — The King suffered much today and told us that what had increased his disorder, was the intelligence of the death of Monsieur le Prince. He regrets him very deeply. Monsieur le Prince had written him, with his dying hand, a most affectionate and pathetic letter. He concludes by thanking his Majesty for having forgiven the Prince de Conti, thanks God for having permitted him to hear that good news, and assures the King that he now dies content. Monsieur le Duc, before setting off from here yesterday, had informed the King, that nothing could give consolation to his father, but the assurance, before he died, that Monsieur de Conti had regained his favour and the King then told him, that he might inform Monsieur le Prince, that he sincerely forgave the Prince de Conti.

12th. — Monsieur le Duc and Monsieur le Prince de Conti have returned to Paris. The King sent Monsieur de Villequier, first gentleman of the bed-chamber for the year, and the Dauphine commissioned me to present their compliments. It is impossible to conceive how much Monsieur le Prince is regretted by the King, the court, and the people. The mourning for him will last fifteen days. It is usually worn only ten days for princes of the blood.

16th. — Monsieur le Duc, the Duc de Bourbon, and the Prince de Conti, have had a private audience of the King. The Prince de Conti spoke to the King with great propriety and his Majesty answered him with much kindness, and like a man anxious to forget grievances. The King told Monsieur le Duc to take the title of Monsieur le Prince, and the Duc de Bourbon will retain that of Duc de Bourbon, but he will only be styled Monsieur le Duc. His father and grandfather, during the life-time of their father, were called Duc d’Enghien.

24th. — The Bishop of Autun carried the heart of Monsieur le Prince to the Jesuists’ church in Paris. His son and the Prince de Conti were there to receive it. The heart was deposited with the usual ceremonics upon a small table, placed near the chapel, which contains the heart of Henri, Prince de Condé.

25th. — The King heard, in the gallery of the chapel, high mass celebrated by the Bishop of Boulogne, and after dinner he heard a sermon, by Father Bourdaloue, and also attended vespers and the benediction. At the conclusion of his sermon, Father Bourdaloue congratulated the King upon the recovery of his health, in a manner the most touching and pathetic. The King would not put on mourning today for the Empress, it being violet colour, as he wishes that the Prince, who is returned from Paris, may still see him in black, which is the mourning for his father.

26th. — The Duchesse de Bourbon has returned to court. The King has seen her, but not having yet recovered her complexion, she has not been to the Dauphine, nor does she see Monseigneur.