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Dangeau’s Diary, October 1686 – Party like 1660

Dangeau’s Diary, October 1686

Philippe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau

2d. — Within these few days past, the King has very frequently seen the Siamese ambassadors, both in his little apartment, where he has said a thousand obliging things to them, and also in his gardens, into which he allowed no-one to enter, in order that they might observe everything with the greater ease and convenience. They are delighted with his Majesty’s goodness, but were not so satisfied when they arrived at Paris, there being many places on their route where they were ill received, especially at Orleans. They proceed to Flanders, to view the conquests of the King. They will neither go into Alsace nor on the Rhine, the journey being too long and as they would suffer too much from the cold, which already affects them here, so much so, that they ask if the winter will last long. The Siamese ambassadors, have had an audience of all the princesses of the blood, who received them in bed. Armchairs were presented to them. The other mandarins remained standing.

5th. — The King thinks the presents made to the Dauphine by the Siamese ambassadors very handsome and he is also well satisfied with the presents made him by Monsieur Constance, the favourite of the King of Siam. They are beautiful and magnificent. Monsieur Constance requests the protection of the King and it appears that he thinks of retiring into France, in case of the death of his master, the King of Siam.

6th. — I have learnt that Monsieur Choppin, the lieutenant criminal, has been sent to prison. He is accused of having carried off a woman, and of having prosecuted her husband. This affair is rendered still worse, from the husband having been nearly condemned for the murder of his wife, who had disappeared.

10th. — Monseigneur, Madame la Duchesse de Bourbon and the Princess de Conti, rode out. The maids of honour are no longer permitted to ride, the last excursion having given dissatisfaction.

12th. — The Dauphine arrived in the evening at Essone, where she passed the night. She is carried in a sedan-chair by forty-two porters and proceeds almost as fast as in a coach.

20th. — The King, after dinner, went to see tennis played. At dinner, he related to us, the melancholy adventure of a capuchin, named Belmont, who had been a musqueteer. He was one of the bravest fellows in the world, and even after taking the cowl, had given many proofs of courage, having never quitted the trenches and being always at the head of the troops, in order to confess the wounded. Marshal Lorges told the King that he has seen him for two hours between two fires, and though wounded in the thigh, refusing to retire, because he would confess the wounded.

23d. — A little dwarf, not more than sixteen inches high, was exhibited at court. He is the smallest ever seen, and is thirty-six years of age. He was a schoolmaster at his village in Brittany.

24th. — Monsieur de Vendome entreated the King very earnestly not to imprison Castille, an officer of the guards, who had neglected his duty, owing to his being engaged to play at tennis with Monsieur de Vendome. The King thought the excuse insufficient. His Majesty insisted upon the officer going to prison, and would not, in the least, listen to Monsieur de Vendome, who seemed to be much interested in the matter.

27th. — The marriage of the Comte de Beuvron with Madame de Teaubon, was announced. The King and Madame have been in the secret these two years past, and the King had, unknown to any one, increased de Beuvron’s pension by two-thousand crowns. Monsieur de Seignelay and de Beuvron’s intimate friends are much displeased with him for thus making a secret of his marriage.

28th. — After dinner the King went to hunt the boar at Toilles. Monseigneur and the ladies were on horseback and the Dauphine was in the carriage with the King. All the ladies, except those who were not on horseback, were in the carriages belonging to the Dauphine. There was a party in the evening. The King, according to custom, played at billiards, the head of the boar was given to Roubeis, who had killed him, and who, after the Persian fashion, presented the ear to the King on the point of his sword. The boar wounded Monsieur de Villequier in the foot, rather severely, and knocked down Saint-Maur, but without hurting him.