THE MEMOIRES OF THE Dutchess Mazarin.
SInce the Obligations I owe you are of that Nature, that I ought to conceal nothing from you, wherein I can testifie my Ac∣knowledgments of them, I am willing to gratifie you with the true Relation of my Life, being you desire it: Not that I am ignorant, how hard it is to speak discreetly of one's self. And you know how averse I am in my Nature, from explaining to the World, matters wherein I am so neerly concer∣ned; Page 2yet it is very Natural to defend one's self from Calumny; and to make appear, to those, of whom we have re∣ceived considerable Services, that we are not so unworthy of their Favours, as the traducing World would make us ap∣pear to be: Nor can I spend the time of my Solitary Retreat, with more Inno∣cence. But if what I am going to ac∣quaint you with, seem to favour much of the Romance, impute it rather to my Destiny, than to my Inclinati∣on.
I know the chief Glory of a Woman ought to consist, in not making her self to be publickly talked of. And those that know me, know like-wise that I never took much pleasure in things that make too much Noise. But it is not alwayes in our choise to live our own way: And there is a kind of Fatality, even in those things that seem to depend upon the wi∣sest Conduct. I would not trouble you with the account of my Birth, if those that envied my Uncles Glory, had not en∣deavoured to tarnish the Lustre thereof: But since their Fury spared nothing that was his, It is lawful for me, to let you know that I am descended from one of Page 3the most Illustrious Families of Rome; and that my Ancestors these three hun∣dred years have held a Rank so emi∣nent and considerable, that I might pass my dayes happily, though I had never been Heiresse to a first Minister of France.
The Accademy of Good Witts which began in that Country, at the Nuptials of one of our Family, made it appear in what esteem that House was in, at that time: And as a farther addition of Happiness, I had the advantage to be descended from a Father, that was one of the most accomplished and best qua∣lified of our Family. I was but six years old when I was brought into France; and a few years after Monsi∣eur M. rejected the Marriage of my Sister, (afterwards marryed to the Constable of Collonna) and conceived such a vio∣lent Passion for me that upon a time he told Madam D' Eguillon; that if he could but have the happiness to be mar∣ryed to me, it would not grieve him to dye three Months after. The success surpassed his desire, he has married me; and yet, God be thanked, he is alive still. Upon the first report of his Page 4refusing my Sister, the Cardinal was much offended; and would often say, He had rather marry me to a Serving-man. But he was not the only man I had the ill Fortune to please. An Ita∣lian Eunuch, Musician to the Cardinal, was accused, for having a Kindness for me: But the truth is, That it was as much for my Sister as for me. He was also jeered for being in love with the beautiful Statues that were in the Pal∣lace M. This man's Love certainly was unlucky, since those poor Statues were so cruelly punished for it, as well as I, though they were as little in fault. It was no fault of my Sisters, that I was not in love with something, as well as I was beloved. As she had a sincere Inclination for the King, she would have been glad to see me ingaged with some such Folly. But, being extream young and childish, I could fix to no∣thing. All that she could obtain from me, to oblige her, was to shew some Complasance to those of my Age, that diverted me most, in our little Play-games, which then took up all my time and thoughts; though they were often interrupted by the King's Presence; Page 5who seldom stirred from our House; though he conversed amongst us with wonderful goodness. He had so much of Serious and solid, (not to say of Majesty) in all his wayes, that he could not keep himself from striking through us, a most aweful Respect, even beyond his intentions. My Sister was no way disturbed at his Presence, who ever else was. And you may easily conceive that his Assiduity had Charms for those who were cause he had none for others. As the things which Passion makes us do, seem ridiculous to those that have never known what that passion is. My Sisters, exposed her very often to our Rallery. One time amongst the rest, we Jeered her, because she, seeing at a a distance, a Gentleman of the House, who was about the King's Stature, with his back to her, ran to him with open arms, crying, Ha my poor Sire! An o∣ther thing that made us Sport about that time, was a Pleasantry of the Car∣dinals, with Madam de Bouillon, which was about six years old. The Court was then at Lafere. One day as he made sport with her about some Gallant that he said she had: at last he began to chide Page 6her, for being with Child. The Re∣sentment which she shewed, diverted all so, that it was agreed she should be still told of it. They streightened her Cloaths from time to time; and they made her believe that she was growing very big.
This continued as long as it was thought necessary, to perswade her, to the likely-hood of her being with Child. Yet she would never believe any thing of it, and denyed it with a great deal of heat, until the time of her Lying-in came, she found betwixt her Sheets, in the morning, a Child new born. You cannot imagine the Astonishment and Grief she was in, at this sight. Such a thing, said she, ne∣ver happned to any, but to the Virgin Mary and my self; for I never felt any kind of Pain. The Queen came to con∣dole with her, and offered to be God-mother; many came to Gossip with her, as newly brought to bed: And that which at first was but a Past-time, within doors, came to be the publick Divertisment of all the Court. They pressed her hard to tell who was the Fa∣ther; but all they could get from her, Page 7was only, That it could be none but the King, or the Count of Guich, because no other man but those two had ever kis∣sed her.
For my part, being three years el∣der than her, I was infinitely proud that I knew the truth of the matter; and I could never be weary of laugh∣ing, to make people take notice that I knew it. You will hardly believe, that at those years, when there is nothing less thought of, than of reasoning upon things, I should make as serious Re∣flexions, as I ever did of any thing of this Life. It is true, notwithstanding, that my greatest Delight was at that time, to shut my self up alone, to write what-ever came into my head. It is not long since, some of those Papers fell into my hands: And I do assure you, I was strangely surprized to find things so far surpassing the Capacity of a little Girle. They were Doubts and Questions which I proposed to my self, upon all things, which gave me trouble to comprehend. I could ne∣ver sufficiently satisfie my Fancy in deciding them: But still I sought with Obstinacy, what I could not dive into, Page 8nor find. And if in my Conduct since, I have not shewed much, I have at least this Consolation, that I had a ve∣ry great desire to attain to good Judg∣ment. I remember about that time, writing to a young Lady, for whom I had a great kindness; I began to grow weary of writing so often, I love you, in one and the same Letter; and gave her to understand, that here-after I would only make a Cross to signifie these three Words. Following this new invention, it happened some times that I writ to this Lady, letters where∣in there was nothing else to be seen but whole lines of Crosses, one after ano∣ther. One of these Letters fell after∣wards into the hands of some, whom it concerned to find out the Mystery; but could never find fault with so God∣ly a Cypher. My Enfancy being pas∣sed amongst these innocent Amuse∣ments, or Past-times, they began to talk of a Match for me. Fortune, that intended to make me the unhappiest Woman living, began to flatter me, with the shew of making me a Queen; and had like to have render'd the man, she destined for me, most odious to Page 9me, by the comparison of those, where∣with she first did cajole my Imaginati∣on. Yet I can truly say for my self, that those Illustrious Matches never dazled my fancy. And Monsieur M. dares not say, that he ever found me guilty of any Vain-glory, above my condition. All the World knows how many repeated Treaties were on foot, to Match me with a great Potentate. As for the Duke of Savoy, you know what has been said in the Journey to Lyons, and that that Affair was broken off, upon the Cardinal's obstinate refu∣sal, to abandon Geneva, in considera∣tion of that Marriage. We lodged at Bell-Court; and our Chamber Win∣dows, which open'd towards the Mar∣ket-place, were low enough for one to get in with ease. Madam de Venel our Governess was so used to her trade of over-looking us, that she rose even in her sleep, to see what we were doing. One night as my Sister lay asleep with her mouth open, Madam de Venell, af∣ter her accustomed manner, coming a∣sleep as she was, to grope in the dark, happen'd to thrust her finger into her mouth, so far, that my Sister starting Page 10out of her sleep, made her Teeth al∣most meet in her Finger. Judg you the Amazement they both were in to find themselves in this posture, when they were throughly awake. My Sister was in a grievous fret. The Story was told the King the next day; and the Court had the Divertisment of laughing at it.
The Cardinal, whether it were through Modesty or Dissimulation shewed himself as averse, as the Queen to the Kings pursuit of my Si∣ster.
As soon as the Marriage with Spaine was concluded, nothing was so much in his thoughts as how handsomly to send her further off, fearing lest she might be a hindrance to it; a litle af∣ter our return from Lyons he sent us to stay for him at Fountain-bleau; from thence he carried us to Pontois, where he left it to her Choice, to retire, to what placed she pleased, she Chose Rochelle: The Cardinal willing to wean her a litle more, made Mon∣sieur Frejus at Brouage, to propose to her the Marriage of the Constable Collonna. but she rejected it; her in∣clinations Page 11being not yet drawn into Italy by what drew her thither since. He had resolved to carry Madam de Bouillon and me to the Marriage; But my Sister obstinately refusing to let us go, when he sent for us, unless she might go too; he chose rather to de∣prive himself of the Pleasure of seeing us there, than to let her come with us. At their return from the Frontiers, we were sent for to Fountain-bleau, where the Court then was. The King looked but coldly upon my Sister; and his Change began to make her resolve to marry into Italy. She would often pray me to tell her as many ill things of the King as I could. But besides; that it was hard to speak ill of such a Prince as he, who lived amongst us with that Familiarity and charming Sweetness; I being but ten years old then, I could not well comprehend what it was she would have; all I could do for her, Loving her tenderly, and seeing her all in Teares, was to weep for her Misfortunes with her, until she might, at my turn, bear me Com∣pany to weep mine. The Aversion the Cardinal had for her fondness to the Page 12King, made him conceive a great un∣kindness for her; and as this intrigue began with her first coming into the World, it may be said, that he hard∣ly ever loved her. My Brother's Humour was nothing more pleasing to him, and his Conduct muchless; e∣specially since he was accused to have been of the Debauch of Roissi. One of the things which most displeased him in us, was the want of Devotion; you cannot imagine how much he was discontented at it. He seft no Ar∣guments untried, to induce us to have more. On a time complaining that we did not frequent the Church eve∣ry day; he said, We had neither Pie∣ty nor Honour: At least, said he, If you will not do it for God's sake, do it for the Worlds sake.
Though I was as much concerned in his Remonstrances, as the rest; yet either because I was the youngest, and so the less faulty; or that he saw something in my humour that pleased him better, He had for along time as much tender∣ness for me, as he had aversion for them; which made him to chuse me, to leave his Estate and Name, to the Page 13man he should wed me to; which like∣wise made him more Circumspect in the care of my Education, than of the rest, and at last also displeased when he believed I had given him cause. He was very apprehensive of my ingage∣ing my Affections to any one; Ma∣dam de Vennel, who had directions to pry into all my Actions, would be continually speaking to me of every one that came to visit me, or were likely to ingage my love, to discover by my Discourse my Thoughts of every Body; but I having no tie more to one than to another, she could never make any Discovery, and she had been in Ig∣norance to this hour had not the in∣discretion of my Sister made her be∣lieve what was not. I told you that she would always press me to love somthing. She importuned me for some Years to tell her if none of the Court pleased me more than another; at last being over come with her intreaties, I told her, I saw a Youth in the house, that I liked above the rest, but that I should be very sorry he should be half so pleasing in my Eye as the King was in hers. Over joyed to have drawn Page 14this Confession from me, she asked me his Name, but I knew it not. And though she took all the paines imagi∣nable to make me describe him, she was above two moneth vexing of me before she could find him out. She understood at last that it was an Itali∣an Gentleman newly come from be∣ing Page of the great Chamber who was then but one of the sub-Lieute∣nants in the Guards, but has been since Killed in a higher employment in Flanders. She told me his Name, and likewise made her self merry with the King about my pre∣tended inclinations, from whom she could conceal nothing. The Cardinal knew it a little after, and believeing it quite another thing than it really was, spoke to me of it in very harsh terms. It was the right way to make somthing of nothing; and if I were capable of in∣gageing my self for spight, his repro∣ches might incline me to deserve them. As this Gentleman was familiar in the House, the Noise the Cardinal made about it, reached his Ear, and raised in him Thoughts which he perhaps ne∣ver had before; at length he found Page 15means to make them known to me, and by my Sisters good will I should have answred his Passion, instead of despising and rejecting it. In the mean time the Cardinals Distemper grew every day worse and worse, the desire he had to Eternize his Name, carried him above the indignation he had conceived against me. He broke his Mind to the Bishop of Frejus, and desired to know his Opinion of seve∣ral Persons, and which of them he thought properest for me. This Bi∣shop won before by Monsieur M. up∣on promise of fifty thousand Crowns, forgot nothing that might deserve them; but he never had them: For he returned the Bond which was gi∣ven him, intimating, He had a greater mind to the Bishoprick of Eureux if it could be gotten for him. But the King having disposed of it to ano∣ther, notwithstanding Monsieur M. his soliciting for the space of two moneths. Monsieur Frejus deman∣ded the fifty thousand Crowns, but Monsieur M. was no longer in the mind to Pay them. As soon as the marriage was concluded, he sent me Page 16a great, Cabinet wherein amongst o∣ther Rich things, there was ten thou∣sand Pistols in Gold. I gave great part of this gold to my Brother and Sisters, to lessen their hatred of my Opulencies, which they could not see without Envy, what ever meen they made. I never put them to the trouble of asking me, for the Key was always in the Cabinet, and who would, might take, for me. One day wanting other divertisement, we threw above three Hundred Pistols out at the Windows of the Pallace Mazarine; to have the pleasure of see∣ing a Company of Servants that were in the Court to scramble and fight for them. This Prodigallity being told the Cardinal, it caused so much Displeasure in him, that it is believed it hastned his end; but whether it were so or no, he died within eight days after, and left me the Richest Heiress, but the unhappiest Woman, in all Christendome. Upon the first Tidings of his Death, my Brother and my Sister, instead of be∣ing sorry, Cryed to one another, God be thanked he is gon. And to tell Page 17you the Truth, I was not much more afflicted; and it is a remarkable thing, that a man of that merit that all his Life had laboured to raise, and enrich his Family, should never receive o∣ther Thanks from them, than appa∣rent signs of hatred and aversion even after his Death.
But if you knew with what severity he treated us, you would be less surpri∣sed at this. Never man had so sweet a behaviour abroad and in publick, and so harsh and severe at home, all our humours and inclinations were point blank opposite to his. Add to this the Tyrannical Subjection we were kept in. The tenderness of our years, and the in∣sensibility and carelesness we had for all things, to which to much plenty; & pro∣sperity reduces most Persons of this Age, in spite of all their good Nature.
For my own particular, Fortune has taken Care to punish my Ingrati∣tude by those misfortunes, which have continually followed me, one in the Neck of another, ever since his Death: I know not what fore-know∣ledge my Sister had of them; but upon the first Discontents vvhich I fell Page 18into after my Marriage, she told me by way of Consolation, Go, go, you will yet be more unhappy than I. Monsieur de Lorraine vvho for a long time vvas passionatly in Love vvith her, made use of all his Rethorick to per∣swade her to marry Him, and Con∣tinued his pursuite even after the Cardinals Death. The Queen Mo∣ther, vvho vvould by no means have her stay in France, charged Madam de Vennel to break off this Intreague at any rate. But all their Endeavours had been fruitless, had they not been seconded by certain Reasons unknown to all the World.
And though the King had the Gene∣rasity to give her, her Choyce of any man else in France, if she could not fancy Monsieur de Loraine, and that he seemed to be sensibly displeased at her resolution to go out of France, her evil Stars Drew her into Italy against all Reason.
The Constable who at first belei∣ved that the Amours of Kings could not be innocent, was so much trans∣ported Page 19with joy to find the contrary in the person of my Sister, that he made litle account of not being the first that had gain'd her heart; he left his bad Opinion that he had, which all Italians have, of the liberty which Ladies have in France and made her live with the same freedom in Rome, since he found she used it so discreetly. In the mean time the Eunuch her Confi∣dent, who now by his absence, and the Cardinals Death, Lived without Cre∣dit, undertook to make himself neces∣sary about me; but besides that, my my own Nature made me a stranger to to all sorts of intregues Monsieur M. Kept too strict an Eye over all my Actions. He enraged at this Obstacle, took a Resolution to be Revenged of Monsieur M. himself.
This man kept his access to the King with the same freedome he enjoyed when he vvas my Sisters Confident. He makes a great Complaint to him of the Severity Monsieur M. used to∣wards me, That he was obliged to take my part as having been the Cardinals Creature and my particular Servant. That Monsieur Mazarine was jealous Page 20of all the World. And above all of his Majesty; and he caused me to be watch∣ed very narrowly in all places where the King (vvho had no thoughts of me) might see me, and that besides, he took upon Him, as if he were a great Minister, and that he Threatned to banish all the Italians out of Paris.
To all this, the King only answered, That if what he said was true, the Duke of Mazarine was a Fool, and that though He had inherited Cardinal Ma∣zarines VVealth, he had not his Power; All that was true of this Report, was only that Monsieur Mazarine, being informed of this Eunuques intregues, threatned to put him out of the Pallace of Mazarine where he had Lodgings. Not content with what he had done, he was so unwise as to boast of it before a Lady of Quality of Province called Madam de Ruz, who was I know not how acquainted with Monsieur Maza∣rine, she tells him of the ill Office that had been done him. He had a mind to place about me some Lady, who with∣out the Name of Governant might per∣form the function; and finding this Ma∣dam de Ruz very proper to act this Part, Page 21he made Choice of her, as an acknowledg∣ment for the Intelligence she gave him; He prayes her to find out some means to get her self presented to me without letting me know that he was acquainted with her; Monsieur de Frejus spake to me of her as from himself sometime af∣terwards; and brought her to me up a paire of back Staires, one day when Monsieur Mazarine was a Hunting. I was much taken with her, and as I knew, that if it were perceived that I liked her, I should not be permitted to have her; I was not willing any of the house should see her before she were received into my Family. One day, as I was alone with her, Madam de Vennel came suddainly into the Room, and broke a busk we had set to bar the Dore, and shut our selves in. Of a suddain Madam de Ruz, with a wonder∣ful Presence of Wit, began to roul her Eyes in her head, to Weep, and Cry with the Tone of a Beggar, that she was a poor Gentlewoman of Loraine, and prayed me to take Compassion of her mi∣sery. As she had the Ayr of her Face extream Brisk and Lively, as most of the Provincialls have, her Grimasle Page 22succeeded so well, and so disguised her, that I my self could hardly know her again. Madam de Vennel was so terri∣bly affrighted at her, that she run as far off from her as she could, and told all about since, that she found the Devil in my Chamber. Monsieur Mazarine's Cunning Artifice in the Choice of this Woman, in a season wherein he could not yet have any Subject to Complain of any of my Actions, may suffice to instruct you with his natural Diffi∣dence, and in what disposition of mind he Married me. As he apprehended my abode in Paris, he continually marched me about to his Lord - ships, and Governments; during the first three or four Years of our Marriage, I made three Journies into Alsatia, and as many into Brittany, besides se∣veral others to Nevers, Maine, Bour∣bon, Sedan, and other places. Have∣ing no greater delight in Paris, but the pleasure of seeing him, it was not so irksome to me, as it might be to a Person of my Age to be deprived of the divertisements of the Court. And perhaps I should never have been ty∣red with this wandering kind of Life, Page 23if he had not too much abused my Complacency. He has often made me travel two hundred Leagues when I was big with Child, and very near my time; my Relations and Friends were apprehensive of the Dangers to which he Exposed my Health, & endeavoured to make me sensible of them, but it was along time in vain; VVhat would they say, If they had known that I could not once speak to any of my Domes∣ticks but they were turned away the next day? That I could not receive two Visits fuccessively from any one man but he was presently forbid the House; and if I shewed more kindness for any of my Maids more than for the rest, she was immediately taken away from me. If I called for my Coach, and he thought it not conveni∣ent to let me go abroad, he would laughing forbid the Coach to be made ready, and then would Droll upon it so long till the hour was past to go where I designed. He would be con∣tent that I should see none in the world but himself. Above all, he could not endure that I should see his Kindred, nor mine own; mine, because they be∣gun Page 24to take my part; his own, because they did no more approve of his Con∣duct than mine did.
I was a long time Lodged at the Ar∣senal with Madam de Oradous his Cousin, without ever being permitted see her. The Innocence of my Recre∣ations, which were capable to put a∣ny man else of his Humour out of doubt, who had reserved any Regard for my Age, gave him as much dis∣quiet as if they had been very Crimi∣nal. Some times he said, It was a sin to play with my Servants at Cock — all At other times he said, It was a haynous Crime to go to Bed Late. Once when Monsieur Colbert, desired to know all his Grievances, and Cau∣ses of Complaint against me, he could never alledge any other than these two; He often sayd, One could not in Conscience go to Court, and much less to Plays; somtimes my Devotions were too short: In fine, his Peevish∣ness upon my account was such, that I verily believe, if any one would se∣tiously ask him how, and after what sort he would have me live, that he could not agree with himself about Page 25the manner. He ought indeed to have said, That Knowing of what value I was, he could not be too solicitous of me; That the Conversation of the World being so Contagious, what ever Sport or Ralleries was made of him, he would en∣deavour to hinder my being spoiled, because he loved me more than his own proper Reputation. But if it was his love for me, that made him Treat me after this fantastical Fashi∣on, it were to be wished for, for both our quiets, that he had honoured me with a little more of his indifference. No sooner did he perceive that I took de∣light in any place, but I was immedi∣ately hurried from thence, though there were never so great a reason for my stay there. We were at Maine when the News was brought of the Journey to Marsal; he had Or∣der to be there, and sent me into Brittaine to keep Company with his Father, who was at the meeting of the States there, while he was preparing himself at Paris for his Journey; he had intelligence from some of his Spies, (by whom I was continually beset and watched) that I passed my Page 26time there very pleasantly; he fell sick upon it, and sent for me away with all speed. His Father understanding that his Physitians advised him to go to the VVaters of Bourbon, would not let me go, alleadging, That a Man while he Drank those VVaters must ab∣stain from VVomen. Upon this News he fell into a Swoun for vexation, and after several Couriers sent for me, his Father at last let me go; I went with him to Bourbon, where I remained a moneth shut up with him in a Cham∣ber, to see him spue up his Wa∣ters, without so much as visiting Ma∣dam the Princess, who was there, and to whom he had the Honor to be Re∣lated. He could not presently be induced to believe that it was his Fa∣ther that kept me from departing out of Britany; and notwithstanding all the assurance he receaved of it since, He maintained always, that I had been better pleased to pass my time there, than come and solace him in his sick∣ness. It had not been hard for me to justifie my self, if he would but hear me. But that he avoided still the most he could, because all the blame Page 27would be found of his side in the clea∣ring of the matter, and he would ne∣ver acknowledg himself in an Errour: nothing afflicted me more than his a∣version to be Informed or Convinced of a mistake, because he took upon him the jurisdiction of treating me continually as guilty. Some time after∣wards being obliged for the Kings Ser∣vice to go into Brittaine, he took such an obstinate Resolution to have me with him, and writ such strange things upon this occasion to the Abbot de Effiat his near kinsman, that I was forced to go from Paris three weeks after I was brought to Bed. Few VVomen of my Quality would have done the like; but what would not one do for the enjoying of so great a good, as Peace? And to mend the matter, he made me lodg in one of the wretchedest Villages in all that Country, and in so miserable a Cottage, that we were constrained to be out of dores all day. He always made Choise of such places because I should see no Company, also far from seeing any of the people of those Villages: those whose civility or business brought thither to see him, Page 28were forced to lie in the Fields for want of Inns; and if they displeased him never so little, he sent them of Errands, about several businesses which depended upon him in this Province. Yet we spent six months in this plea∣sant place, in the year 1666. Another time being alone, at Bourbon, having sent me into Britain, he understood by his Spies that I diverted my self very pleasantly with Madam de Coaquin, and that few days passed but we appointed to take the Aire either at Land or by Sea: His wonted disquiet seizing him, he sends for me to meet him at Nevers, where, as he said, there were very good Comedians amongst other divertisements. I began to be weary of making so ma∣ny idle Journeys, I writ to Monsieur Colbert to complain; but being advised by him to go, I was much surprised to find Monsieur Mazarine upon the Road ten Leagues from Nevers, com∣ing to Paris with my Brother who was returning out of Italy. He would never give me any Reason why he dealt so strangly with me; we went without any farther clearing of this doubt, to confine our selves at our Page 29Cassine, near Sedan, whither my Bro∣ther, out of Complaisance, seeing me very melancholly, accompanied us. It was there first that Monsieur Maza∣rin made shew as if he were Jealous of him, not knowing otherwise how to be rid of him; & being unwilling to have such a witness of his domestick pro∣ceedings, you may judge of my re∣sentment for so base and wicked a suspi∣cion; but if all these out rages, by hearing them related, seem hard to be indured, the manner with which he did them, was yet something more cruel & barbarous. I will give you one scant∣ling, by which you shall judge of the rest: Being one Night with the Queen, I saw him coming towards me ve∣ry pleasant, and with a constrained and affected Smile publiquely made me this Complement. Madam, I have good Newes to tell you, the King has just now Commanded me to go into Alsatia. Monsieur de Roque∣laure who was then present, moved, as well as the rest of the Company, with this silly Affectation, but more frank than the rest, could not refrain telling him, That this was Page 30fine Newes indeed to be told with so much Joy to a woman of my Condition. But Monsieur Mazarine disdaining to reply, went quietly out of the Room very proud of his Gallantry. The King hearing of it, was moved to pitty. He took the paines to tell me himself, that my stay there should be only for three months, and kept his word with me, as he always did.
If I did not apprehend to tyre your Patience, I could tell you a thousand such little malitious tricks which he playd me, without any manner of ne∣cessity, out of the meer pleasure he took to torment me. Fancy then to your self, continual oppositions to my most innocent desires; and an Im∣placable hatiled against all those I lo∣wed, or loved me; an undesatigable care to bring into my presence all those I hated mortally, and to corrupt those of my Servants whom I most trusted, to betray my Secrets if I had any; a studious Application to cry the down every where, and make my Actions odious to all peo∣ple. In fine, all that the Malignity of Page 31the by - got Cabal could invent or practise, in a house where it had absolute Tyranny, against a simple young Woman, careless, and whose want of circumspection in her Actions, gave every day new matter to her Enemies to insult over her. I boldly make use of this expression, By - got Cabal, because I cannot think that I erre against the most strict Rules of Christianity, when I presume that those Devotes by whose directi∣ons Monsieur Mazarine doth Regu∣late his Actions, are not truly so, having promoted the Dissipation of so many Millions.
And this is the fatal Article that has made me lose all patience, and that has been the true beginning of all my misfortunes. If Monsieur Mazarine had only taken delight in overwhel∣ming me with sadness and grief, and in exposing my Health and my Life to his most unreasonable caprice; and in making me pass my best days in an unparalled slavery, since Heaven has been pleased to make him my Master; I should have endeavoured to allay and qualifie my misfortunes by my Page 32Sighs and Tears, and my complaints to my particular Friends: But when I saw, that by his incredible Dilapida∣tions, and profuseness, my son, who might have been the Richest Gentle∣man in France, was in danger of be∣ing the poorest; there was no resist∣ing the force of Nature, and mother∣ly Love carried it over all other Con∣siderations of Duty, or the moderation I proposed to my self. I saw every day vast summs go away; movables of inestimable price, Offices, Govern∣ments; and all the Rich remaines of my Unkles Fortune, the Fruits of his La∣bours, and the Rewards of his Ser∣vices; I saw as much sold as came to three Millions before I took any pub∣lick notice of it. And I had hardly any thing left me of Value, but my Jewels; when Monsieur Mazarine took an occasion to seize upon them, He took his opportunity to lay hold of them, one Night as I came late home from the City. Desiring to know the Reason of this Proceeding, before I went to bed, he told me, That I being of a free and liberal Na∣ture, he was afraid I should give away Page 33some of them, and that he had not ta∣ken them from me, but with intention to return them again with the addition of others. I answered him, that it were to be wished his liberality had been as re∣gular as mine, that I was satisfied with them I had already, and that I would not go to bed until I had them again. And seeing that to what ever I could say, he only replied with unpleasant Ralleries, expressed with a malicious Laugh, or a scorning calmness of Voice, but in reallity most tart and bitter, I went out of the Room all in Despaire, and passed to my Brothers Pallace, extreamly perplexed, not knowing what course to take.
Madam de Bouillon whom we Pre∣sently sent for, having heard this my new occasion of complaint, told me I was well enough served, since I had suffered so much already without say∣ing a Word. I resolved to have gon away with her in that very instant, if Madam de Belinzani whom we like∣wise sent for, had not hindred me, in∣treating me to stay until she had spo∣ken to Monsieur Mazarine. But he had given order that none should be Page 34admitted; yet Madam de Belinzani through much obstinate pressing was suffered to come unto him, but would not give her leave to speak, nor could she get any other Answer, but that her business, could not be so urgent with him, as to oblige her to come at so unrea∣sonable an hour; but that if she had a∣ny thing to say to him, he was going next morning to St. Germain, and he would give her a meeting at the Cross of Nantare. Madam de Belinzani being returned as ill satisfied, as we, at so unreasonable a Rallary; it was con∣cluded I should go to lie at Madam de Bouillions, the next day all my Relati∣ons being come thither about my con∣cern, Madam the Countess was de∣sired to acquaint the King with it. He received her very Graciously. And Madam the Princess of Carignan was Commanded to come and carry me with her to the Hotel of Soisson; after staying there about two months I was obliged to return with Monsieur Ma∣zarine, even without having my Jew∣els restored to me, or with any other satisfaction, but to be allowed to dis∣charge some Women which he placed Page 35about me whom I did not like, that was the only Favour I could obtain. When I pressed to have my Jewels restored, Madam the Countess was the first that told me I did very ill. The Court was always against me e∣ver since that time. It is well known of what Consequence that is in all manner of business. I told the King in these Termes, That I should Comfort my self to see Monsieur Ma∣zarin so much favour'd against me, if he were so in all other things, and if the litle help he found in his other affairs did not make it appeare that he had no other friends, but my Enemies. As this ac∣cord was rather a triumph for him than a real accomodation, it made him too haughty, to let it be of any long continuance. An hour before my going to the Pallace Mazarine I sent thither a Groom of the Chamber, whom Ma∣dam the Countess had prefered to me since my coming thither, with some of my things. Monsieur Mazarine, that knew him as well as I did, having asked him what he would have, or who he belonged to; bad him be gon a∣bout his busiess, without letting him stay until I came.Page 36
This poor fellow met me about two hundred paces from my House, and told me what happned; and though Madam the Countess, who came to conduct me, perceived that this was a Just Cause of a new breach; she per∣swaded me to pass forward, and when she had brought me to the staire - foot, she took her leave of me, being unwil∣ling to see Monsieur Mazarine, because he had used all his endeavours to have me removed to the Pallace of Conty, as if the Hotel of Soisson where she lived, had not been as convenient, and as safe a place for me. I begun imme∣diately to beg that this Servant might be received again into my retinue, but all in vaine, although the necessity I saw my self reduced to, by the Autho∣rity of the Powers, made me show submissions beyond my natural inclina∣on: But I had a man to deal with, that knew how to make use of the con∣juncture. Seeing then that he payd me with bald Excuses, and as bad Jests, I resolved to leave him the second time, and to withdraw my self to my Brothers House. But Monsieur Ma∣rine (as you shall perceive by the se∣quel) Page 37had taken a course that I should not go out when I pleased, meaning to make me a Prisoner in my own house; seeing me offer to go, he threw himself in my way, and pushed me ve∣ry rudely to stop my passage. But my Grief and Vexation supplying me with more than ordinary strength, I thrust by him in spight of all he could do; and though he called out to the Servants to shut all the Doors, and the Court - Gate especially; they seeing me all in Tears, none durst obey: I was fain to go round by the Street, (where∣in there was a great throng of People) in this sad condition; alone, a foot, and at noon-day, to get to my accusto∣med Sanctuary.
This was the Effect of that Provi∣dence, that made him wall up the door, by which there was a Communication betwixt my Brother's Pallace and mine; and through which I made my escape the time before. But this pre-caution gave occasion to all men that knew of it, to judge that he never intended me any better usage for the future, (if I return'd again to him) than I had be∣fore received at his hands; having ta∣ken Page 38such care to secure me for the time to-come.
As soon as I came to my Brothers, I writ to the King, to give him an ac∣count of my proceeding: And Madam the Countesse carryed me with her to the Pallace of Soissons: But after five or six dayes Monsieur De Louvoy came to me from the King, to propose to me to retire into some Nunnery; but Madam the Countesse would not con∣sent to that; but brought it about, that Monsieur Mazarine should be obliged to come and agree, and carry me home with him, upon condition that she would be friends with him.
Presently after this, my Brother went away for Italy; partly to make it ap∣pear, that he did not contribute any thing to a mis-understanding betwixt Monsieur Mazarin and me; and that it should not be his fault, if we did not live peaceably together. But I enjoyed but an out-side appearance of that Quiet∣ness which I hoped to have: For, not∣withstanding all my Resolutions of Pa∣tience, there passed not one day for three Months, that we continued to∣gether, without some jarring, and cau∣ses of disgust.Page 39
At the end of this time, he took a fancy to go into Alsatia; and instead of gratifying me, and obliging me with his Kindness to go (as I had resolved to do) along with him: He was so ill advised, as to force me to entertain a Woman that I could no way approve of.
This his Quarrel about a trifle, made me open my Eyes, and to think better of what course I was to take.
My Friends had the goodness to repre∣sent to me, the little Security I must hope for, from a man of that Caprice, in a place so Remote, and where his Power was so absolute. That after what had passed betwixt us, I was a Fool to ima∣gine I should ever be suffered to return from thence: That he had sent my Jew∣els before, for no other reason, but to confine himself for ever to that his Go∣vernment, where he should not be obliged to give any account of his Conduct, as at Paris; and if ever I should have need of my Friends, I should be so far from them, that they could do me no other good, but unprofitably, to wish my Condition were better.Page 40
These Considerations, that were but too apparent, and too well grounded, made me take Sanctuary once more at Madam the Countesses, the night be∣fore Monsieur Mazarine was to begin his Journey, fearing lest he would have used Violence to have forced me along with him.
I was so full of Perplexity and Di∣straction, to see my self anew reduced to this Necessity, that I forgot to bring away my small Jewels, which were left me, for my daily use; and might be worth about fifty thousand Crowns; as they were the only Treasure I had left; Madam the Countesse was so pro∣vident as to ask me for them, as soon as she saw me: by that means I had time enough to send for them away. He came the next day to know what I meant: Answer was made him that I meant two things; the one, Not to go into Alsatia; the other, That he should restore me my great Jewels, which he sent before unto Alsatia, and which were the first cause of our Breach. For Alsatia he would have been contented to excuse me, since he saw no great likely-hood of being able to perswade Page 41me to it. But for my Jewels, he would make no peremptory answer; there∣fore as soon as she left us, Madam the Princess of Baden carried me to Mons. Colberts, to beseech him to seize them into his own hands. He believed I ought not to be refused that Favour: They were forced to be brought back; and they have remained ever since in his hands.
Now the Question was, What should become of me? Monsieur Ma∣zarine left me my Choice of going to live at the Hotel de Conty, or at Abbey of Chelles, the only two places in the World, he knew I hated mortally, and that for very just Reasons. The Oppression of Spirit under which I lay, would not give me leave to determine which I should chuse of those two pla∣ces, equally odious to me: I was fain to let others chuse for me; and the reasons I had against the Pallace of Conty being more prevalent, the Ab∣bey of Chelles was preferred before that of Conty.
Here it was in this Solitude, that I had time to make Reflections upon the Duty, which my Friends told me was Page 42incumbent upon me, to desire a Sepa∣ration of Goods, in favour of my poor Children, before Monsieur Mazarine had spent all; which at last I resolved to do. Though I was convinced in my own Sense, I ought to solicite it; yet the particular Reasons I had to referre all this to, Monsieur Colbert's Judge∣ment whom I caused to be sounded upon this matter; and finding him a∣verse to it, put a stop to all.
Some six months afterwards Mon∣sieur Mazarine coming out of Alsa∣tia, made me a Visit as he passed that way; to oblige me to discharge two young women, which Madam the Coun∣tesse had given me since his departure for Alsatia. I did not believe my self bound to satisfie his Desires in this particular, being I knew it was for no other reason he desired it, but out of his Animosity against her. His Resent∣ment of this Denial put him upon pe∣titioning the King to have me remov∣ed from thence, to some other Mona∣stery, upon I know not what pre∣texts. But the real Truth was, because the Abbesse of Chelles, who was his Aunt, treated me civilly; and that I Page 43was well enough satisfied with my a∣bode there. He prevailed; and though that Abbesse was, as she had cause, much offended; and gave as favoura∣ble an account of my behaviour there, as could be desired. Yet Monsieur Le Premier came to tell me, That I should oblige the King in going to the Nunnery of St. Maries of the Bastile: And Ma∣dam De Toussi came with six Guards to conduct me.
Some time after Monsieur Maza∣rine going into Britany, came thither to see me; but was presently out of all Patience, because I wore Patches, (for I had some on by chance that day) and told me he would not speak to me untill I had taken them off.
No man ever made his Demands with such unreasonable haughtiness, as deserved rather to be refused than granted; and chiefly, when he believ∣ed that Conscience was concerned; and that also was the reason I would not put off my Patches; to shew him it was neither of my Belief nor Inten∣tion to offend God with this kind of Dresse.
After Contesting a whole hour about Page 44this in vain, he at last began to tell me his mind, notwithstanding my pat∣ches; and pressed me with as little suc∣cess to go with him into Brittany. I was then more inclinable to go to Law with him than to follow him. I obtain∣ed leave of his Majesty to commence my Suit, having been Conducted to Him by the Princess of Baden. But Monsieur Colbert, who was very un∣willing to consent to it, for Reasons that admitted of no Answer, in any other Conjuncture: It put along de∣lay to it; until at last Madam De Cour∣sel being put into the same Monastery with me; I obtained, by the favour of some Friends that she had at Court, leave to Commence my Suit.
As she was a very beautiful person, and of a very pleasant humour, I had Complaisance enough for her, to joyn with her in playing some Tricks to the Nunns.
The King has been told a hundred ridiculous Stories about it: That we used to put Ink into the Holy-Water-Pot to smut the good old Nunns: That we used to run through their Dormi∣tory, at the time of their first Sleep, Page 45with a great many little Doggs, yel∣ping and yellowing; and twenty other such Fooleries, either altogether inven∣ted, or much exaggarated. As for ex∣ample, having desired them to let us have some water to wash our Feet, The Nuns concerted amongst them∣selves to refuse us what was ne∣cessary, and to find fault, as if we had been put in there to observe their Rule. It is true, that we filled two great Chests that where over the Dor∣mitory, with Water, and not taking notice, that the floor was ill soynted, the water run through, and wet all the poor Nunns beds. If you were at that time at Court, you will easily re∣member that this accident was repre∣sented there as a meer Horse-boyes pranke. It is also true, that under Colour of keeping us Company, they would never suffer us to go out of their Sights. The eldest amongst the Religious women were chosen for this purpose, as being the hardest to be suborned; but we having nothing else to do but to run about, we soon tyred them out one after another, and one or two of them sprained their Page 46Leggs, striving to run after us. I should not tell you these litle odd Fol∣lies, if Monsieur Mazarins partisans had not published them before; and since they represented them as so many Crimes, I am glad you know all the enormities of them. After we had been three months in this Covent, we had Leave to go to Chelles; where I knew we should be more Civilly trea∣ted, though we could not have so many Visits; and Monsieur Maza∣rine Arrived the same day from Brit∣tany, that we were removed thither. Some few days after, Monsieur Ma∣zarine Comes with a Guard of three∣score Horse, with pretention from Monsieur de Paris to enter the Mo∣nastery, and carry me away by force. But the Abbess not only refused him entrance, but put all the Keyes of the House into my hands, to free me even from the suspition of the evil she might have done me. With this Condition only, that I would speak to Monsieur Mazarine. I asked him what he would have? but he still replied, I was not the Abbess. I answered him, I was the Abbess for him that Day, since all the Keyes of Page 47the House were in my Power, and there was no getting in for him but by my Favour. He turned his Back, and went his way. A Gentleman that Madam the Countess sent, to know how I did, Carried this News to Paris, and sayd, that it was repor∣ted at Chelles, that Monsieur Maza∣riue went off, onely with designe to returne againe in the Night. You have heard vvithout doubt how Ma∣dam de Bovi•on, Monsieur the Count, Monsieur de Bovillon, and a number of the greatest Persons about the Court got on Horse-back upon this Report, to come to my Resque.
At this Noise, they made, Madam Courcelles, and I took them for my Ene∣mies; but our Fears vvas not so great but that vve thought upon an expedient to hide our selves; there vvas a hole in the Grate of our Par∣leour bigg enough for a great Dish to pass; and vve never till then thought one could Creep through it: Yet vve both got in at that Hole, but it vvas vvith so much difficulty, that if Monsieur Mazarin himself had been in that Parlour he vvould never sus∣pect Page 48that place, and would have looked for us any vvhere else, than there. But vvhen we found our Er∣ror, the shame and confusion we vvere in, made us resolve to shoot that Gulph once more vvithout Cal∣ling any body to our Ayd. Madam de Courcelle got easily through, but I was above a quarter of an hour be∣twixt two barrs of Iron, and almost squeesed to Death vvithout being a∣ble to get in or out. But though I vvas horribly pinched, I would not consent any should be Called to help us; and Madam Courcel never left tugging until she had me out. I went to thank them all, and after they had Joked a while upon Monsieur Ma∣zarines attempt to Catch nothing, they all returned back. In the mean time I had such a Decree, as I desired in in the third Court of Enquests: this Court consisted most of young men of great VVit and Eloquence, and they all strove who should be most forward to serve me. The scope of the Decretal Order was, That I should be allowed twenty thousand Livers a year. That I should live at the Pallace Page 49Mazarine, and Monsieur Mazarine at the Arsenal. And what was more important? That Monsieur Mazarine should be Obliged to produce the goods or their value, which I declared he dis∣sipated. Madam the Princess of Ca∣riginan came to put me into possession. There I found all the Servants that I had need of, already Chosen by Mon∣sieur Mazarine; but I thanked them all for their good will. Madam the Countess who always unseasonally put me in mind of my Generosity, would fain perswade me that it was below me to exact the allowance the Par∣liament had Assigned me. But Mon∣sieur Mazarine was not a man that would give me any thing without be∣ing Compell'd; and I must have whereby to subject. It is true, she asked me if I had need of money; but she could not be Ignorant of that; and were it not for my small Jew∣els, and the helps I had from my Brother, my Affairs had been in a ve∣ry ill posture. He return'd out of Italy ten days after my Decree; and although he vvas very angry at my Law-sute, for those very Reasons Page 50that made Mons. Colvert to disapprove of it, and that he always foretold me that madam the Countess vvould for∣sake me as soon as she had ingaged me in this business; yet I found every morning upon my Toylet more mo∣ney than I needed, without ever be∣ing able truly to discover from vvhnce it came.
In the intrim Monsieur Mazarine remov'd the Suit unto the Great Chamber, for a new Trial; it vvas so order'd, that the King interposed in our affair to make a final accom∣modation betwixt us. VVe both Signed a VVriting to the King to this effect, That Monsieur Mazarine should return to Lodge at the Palace Maza∣rine, but that I should have the liber∣ty to Chose all my own Servants, ex∣cepting my Gentleman of the Horse, who was to be recommended to me by Monsieur Colbert; that we should live each in their own Apartments, that I should not be obliged to follow him in any of his Journeys: and as for the se∣paration of Goods, I desired the Mini∣sters of state should be Arbitrator, there∣of, and that we should inviolably ob∣serve Page 51and obey their Award. Upon the same day that I signed this VVriting, I meeting Madam de Brisack at the Fair, who told me Laughing, Madam, you are plastred up again for the third time. Nor were we truly friends, for Monsieur Mazarine made it his business to thwart me in all things, of vvhich I could instance many particu∣larities; but one shall serve that made noise enough; I had ordered a Stage to be Erected in my own appartment, to have a Comedy Acted for some Persons of the Court. But Monsieur Maza∣rine caused it to be pulled down two houres before it vvas to be made use of, because it was a Holy Day, and a Comedie was a prophane Divertisement. But all this did not hinder, but that we saw one another very Civilly e∣very after Noon; for vve neither eat, nor lay together, though Monsieur Mazarine would have it otherwise understood; but our award mentio∣ned nothing of it.
Nor could I see any likely-hood, that our Affairs should remain long in this posture: and if happily our Affairs must be referred again to the Parliar∣ment, Page 52I was loath to expose my self to the drudgery of Solliciting, being great with Child.
Nor was my Apprehensions vain; For, Monsieur Mazarine was soon weary of what he had done; and there∣upon begged of His Majesty to tear the Writings, and to Release us of our Ingagements. Neither would I consent to it, but upon condition that his Majesty would never more inter∣pose into our Business, neither one way nor other: His Majesty was Graciously pleased to pass His Word, that he would not, and has ever since kept His Promise. This brought us a∣gain into Parliament; and our Suit was followed with more Bitterness on both sides than ever.
Monsieur Mazarine and his Adhe∣rents forgot nothing since that time, that might sully my Reputation to the World; and a bove, all make me hateful to His Majesty.
The Extravagancies of Monsieur Courcelles, amongst other things, fur∣nished them with an Admirable Inven∣tion. I had forgotten to tell you, that when I left Chelles, I prevailed so far, Page 53that I got leave for his Wife to come a•• live with me She was no sooner there, but those that formerly had been instrumental to draw her away from her Husband, being glad to put her again into his Possession, found means, I know not how, to let him in∣to the Pallace Mazarine, whilst I was abroad; and managed her so, that her Husband and she went away together as good friends as ever. One day as I came to giver her a Visit, she was so foolish as to deny her self, though Mr. Cavoy's Coach stood at the Door. In the first transports of my Passion, for this her Rudeness, her Husband came unluckily in the way, to whom I could not forbear saying something of i•.
This foolish Fellow of late hankered after an occasion to fight Cavoy; and was loath it should be thought that he was Jealous of the best of his Friends, but that it was upon some other ac∣count. The most Plausible he could find, was, to pretend himself every where in in love with me; giving out, That his Wife had in her keeping some Letters of mine that were of Consequence, and which I had written to some Gentleman Page 54of the Court; That she put them into Cavoye's hands; and that Cavoy, 〈◊〉 a Rascal, shewed them about; but that he would force him with his Sword to re∣restore them, as he had promised meso to do.
Although this Story was Ridiculous enough, and as ill contrived as might be, yet it found Belief; and some were so soolish as to report it for a Truth.
He did worse than all this; he had the Impudence to tell me to my Face of it, in the Court-Yard of the Pallace Mazarine. I told him, that knowing better than any other, that all he had said was not true; I could not imagine he could have any other Design in it, but to make himself merry: and that, if I knew that he had the least intention of Fighting upon this Ridiculous Pretence, I would immediately acquaint Monsieur the Count with it, who was just by, and heard some part of our Discourse.
Coursel perceiving, by the manner and tone of my Voice, that I would not understand Rallery, made signe with a nod of his head, that it was on∣ly in jest; not daring to speak it out, Page 55because of Monsieur the Count, who joyned us at the same time.
It is easie to guess how great my a∣mazement was, when I understood the next day that they had not only fought, but that likewise in the Ac∣cord they made amongst themselves in the Field, He had the Impudence to maintain this Fiction to the end; and to except a Woman from the Se∣cret they had mutually promised to keep. He was so well pleased with him∣self, that he could not contain himself, but Braggs of this Exception to all people without Exception; which made the matter publick, and was the occasion that they both were sent to the Conciergery, to do Penance for one man's Folly. They were not wan∣ting at Court in their Censures of me, upon this occasion, treating me with the Attributes of Incendary, make-bate and Brutal; That I should be the occa∣sion of cutting many other Throats, if I could.
One of my Grooms of the Cham∣ber being dangerously wounded about that time by some of his drunken Comrades, they had the Charity to Page 56inform the King, That this Fellow was privy to all my Secrets, and that having found that he betrayed his Trust, I took course to have him assassinated. The insolent Liberty people took to charge me with these Calumnies, obliged me to speak to the King about it. Madam the Dutchess, in whose Company I went to him, told him as she entred the Room, That she brought him that Criminal, that wicked Woman, of whom so many evil things had been told him. The King was pleased to tell me, That he never gave Credit to any of those Re∣ports: But his manner of delivering this, was so succinct, and so far from the accustomed Civility with which he used to hear me, that all others but my self, would have doubted of the Truth of what he said; you know the Court is a land of much contradiction. The Compassion which perhaps peo∣ple took of me, when they saw me shut up in a Convent, was changed in∣to Envy, to see me appear in the Queens with-drawing Room, and to make a much better appearance there than I had a mind to. Yet I had no other pretention, but to endeavour to Page 57make some tollerable Agreement with Monsieur Mazarine; but those by whose Counsels I regulated my Acti∣ons and Affairs, having other ends, ruined my business, by endeavouring to make their own succeed; & so abusing my simplicity, and the blind Obedi∣ence I gave to all their Advices, made me run up and down to this place, and that man, without under∣standing the reason or consequence of it.
Admidst all these Troubles and Vex∣ations, our Suit went forward, and Mounsieur Mazarine found the same favour amongst the Old men, which I had obtained of the Young. After three months time, I had Intelligence, That he had gained the Hearts of the great Chamber, that his Cabal carried all before them there, that he was like to have such a Decree as he desired; that although they did grant me the separa∣tion of Goods, they would not leave me that of my Bed, which I then enjoyed, and therefore was no part of my Request to them; and lastly, that the Judges could not dispence with themselves from ordering me to go to Cohabit with my Page 58Husband, though they had been as fa∣vourable as they were then avers to me. If this account had been given me by people of less credit then they from whom I had it, I might have had the liberty of publishing the Names of my Authors. But as they run a ha∣zard in telling it, so they were cau∣tious in exacting my Secrecy, which I will eternally keep inviolable to them. You may judge what usage I was like to have of Monsieur Mazarine, if I should be forced by Act of Parliament to return to him, after the causes of Resentments which he pretended to have against me, and have both Court and Parliament, contrary to me.
These were the Motives that pro∣duced that strange and so much blam∣ed Resolution, which I took, of re∣tiring into Italy, to my Friends and Relations, seeing now no lon∣ger Refuge or Security for me in France.
My Brother, who was at once, the nearest, the dearest, and the discreet∣est of my Relations, was also of the first that approved of my Resolution, Page 59and offered me all he could doe to fa∣vour it. The Chevalier of Rohan, his intimate Friend, and mine, having, I know not how heard of it, spoke to us so knowingly of it, that we could not without Impudence con∣ceal it from him, nor without some kind of Ingratitude refuse his assist∣ance.
My Designe was not to go directly then to Rome, but only to Millan, to see my Sister the Constable of Col•nna, whither I writ to her to come, and stay for me, that she might bear me Com∣pany to Bruxelles; that from thence, as being nearer, we might with more ease, negotiate some more durable and advantagious Agreement with Monsieur Mazarine than the former had proved.
Monsieur De Rohan begged that he might come to us thither along with my Brother, when we should be arri∣ved there; nor could we in Civility refuse it him. I had some reasons to believe, that Monsieur Mazarine would be more easily wrought to a better accomodation, when he should once see me out of France. And the ter∣rible Page 60Apprehensions I marked in him every time I threatned to be gone, would not suffer me to doubt of it.
The Despaire to which he did often reduce me, made me many times tell him, That if I were once out of of his reach, I would make him run far enough, before he should over-take me.
But to my misfortune, he never belie∣ved I had so much courage, untill he saw it. After I had taken this Resolution, I so much neglected my suit, that I have a hundred times since wondred, that those, who were concerned in it, did not perceive it. Madam the Countess, of whom I was most affraid was the only person that had some suspicion of it, but she gave it no Credit: She came almost every day to my Bro∣thers, where she found us always very merry in appearance, to deceive the World; she cried out upon me, be∣cause I did not solicit my business, that it was a great shame for me to let my suit be lost for want of looking after it. Some eight days before I parted, She was there when one of my Bro∣thers Page 61Gentlemen, called Parnullac, came to take his leave of us, He pre∣tended to go to see his Father, who (as he said) had some command in Lorraine among the Horse. But in Truth, it was to order Post Horses to be ready for me upon that Road, which I chose because it was the unlikeliest to be suspected. The sight of this man that was to begin my enterprise, put me into such disorder, that I have since wondered how the Countess did not take notice of it; she was taken up with glossing upon my Negligence in the midst of so many important Concerns. That it was not the time to stay all day in my Chamber undressed, playing upon my Guittare, and that this kind of Carelesness made her al∣most believe what was reported, that I intended to fly into Italy. These un∣profitable Remonstrances ended in an Exhortation to me, to go with her to St. Germaine to make my Court at least. But I pray'd her excuse; having other business that concerned me nearer. It was absolutely neces∣sary for my concerns that she should be at St. Germaine when I parted; for Page 62if she were at Paris; in the distrust she had had of my Conduct, it had been almost impossible, but she would have suspected somthing of my in∣tention.
In fine, VVednesday the thirteenth of June in the year one thousand six Hundred and sixty eight, being the day appointed for my Departure, whil'st I was putting my litle Af∣fairs in order against Night, she sent for me to go dine with her at Saint Germaine; I was about to send her word I could not go, but the messenger was ordered to take no denial, but that I must go; which made me ap∣prehend my Plot was discovered; but as we must allways in such kind of matters presume we are not disco∣vered, though we see never so great appearances to the Contrary, I thought it expedient to Promise, I would meet her there lest she should come her self to fetch me.
When dinner time was over, and I did not appear, she sent to conjure me not to fail to come thither before Night. I excused my self as well as I could for breaking my Word, and Page 63bid them assure her that I would not fail to be there at Night; but ten of the Clock being passed, and no News of me, she took her Coach and came streight towards Parts. She was come above half way when she met my Brother, who lest Paris at the same time I did, to impart my Design to Monsieur De Louvoy. She asked him abruptly, Where I was? But he ask∣ed her, If she had not met me? she said No: He replyed coldly, That sure then I had taken the other Road; for, that he saw me come away before he took Coach.
Monsieur Mazarine came to awake the King at three of the Clock in the morning, to beseech him that he would give order, That I should be pursued. But His Majesty had the Generosity to answer him: That he would not break the Promise he had made when he tore our Award, never to meddle with any of our Concerns, one way nor another; nei∣ther was it likely to over-take me now, being so long gone; and having taken my Measures at leasure as I had done.
But this Answer was otherwise ren∣dred to the world; and you have surely Page 64heard of the Verses which were made of this Subject, which begins thus:
And ended with this Joke upon the Revelations he had, during the Queens great sickness, touching the King and Madam La Valiers.
Monsieur Mazarine, seeing he could obtain nothing to his purpose of the King, went to Monsieur Colbert, who advised him to send some Person of Credit after me, to offer me my own Terms so I would come back. It was one Monsieur Louvier, one of the Lieutenants of the Ordinance who was sent; and you may judge from the place where he over-took me, that the King had reason to say, It was then too late to follow me.Page 65
Whilst things passed thus at Court, I ran a strange Carreir: and I do assure you, that if I had fore-seen all the In∣conveniencies that attends such a Jour∣ney, I should rather have chosen to end my dayes betwixt four Walls, or make my self away with Steel or Poy∣son, than to expose my Reputation, to those Calumnies that are inevitable to all Women of my Age and Quality, that are separated from their Hus∣bands.
Though I had not Experience e∣nough, nor those that were of my Counsel, fore-cast enough; yet I was not without many Conflicts with my self before I could absolutely come to a setled Determination: And my Irre∣solutions were so troblesom to me, that if you could but see them, you would more easily comprehend that nothing but the necessity I saw my self reduced to, could hurry me to so pernicious an Enterprise.
I can with great Truth assure you, that all my Divertisments were but feigned since I had formed this designe; and that Madam the Countess was much in the wrong in reproaching me with Page 66my tranquility of mind; I scarce took any rest, nor eat, nor drank much for above eight days before; and I was so much troubled when I par∣ted, that I was fain to send back from the Gate of St. Anthony, to fetch the Box in which was my money and my Jewels which I had forgotten. It is a great Truth that I never dreamed that I should ever want money, but experience hath taught me it is com∣monly the first thing, that is wanting, especially to those, that having always lived in great plenty of it, never know the necessity and importance of dis∣creetly managing it.
Nevertheless, I left the Keys of my Appartment with my Brother, that he might seize upon my Plate, Fur∣niture and other things of Value. But he was so Careless as to let Monsieur Mazarine prevent him up∣on the same token that somtime af∣terward he sould some of my things to Madam La Valter for a hundred thousand Francks. My Train Con∣sisted of a maid I had but six months, called Nannon, dressed immans Ap∣parel, as I was, a man of my Brothers Page 67called Narcissus, with whom I had no acquaintance, and a Gentleman be∣longing to Monsieur Rohan called Cour∣bevil, whom I had never seen before. My Brother prayed Monsieur Rohan not to leave me until he had seen me out of Town, I parted with him without the Gate of St. Anthony, and drove on in a Goach with six Horses, to a house belonging to the Princess of Guimene his mother, ten Leagues from Paris. From thence I went six or seven Leagues in a Caleche; but these kind of Carriages were too slow for my Fears, therefore I took Horse, and Arrived at Bar, the Friday following about Noon; from thence (seeing my self out of France) I went no further than Nancy that Night. The Duke of Lorraine hearing of my Arrival, and desireing to see me, was so Civil as not to press it, when he understood I was unwilling. The Resident of France was very earnest to have me stopped there, but in vain; and the Duke, to Compleat his Generosity, gave me a Lieutenant and twenty of his Guards to Conduct me into Swis∣zerland. VVe were almost every where known to be VVomen; and Page 68Nanon still through forgetfulness cal∣led me Madam; whether for this Reason, or that my Face gave some Cause of suspition; the People wat∣ched us through the Keyhole, when we had shut our selves in, and saw our long Tresses, which as soon as we were at liberty we untied, be∣cause they were very troublesome to us under our Perriwigs.
Nanon was extreme low of stature, and so unfit to be Cloathed in mens Apparel, that I could never look up∣on her without Laughing. The Night that I lay at Nancy, where we reas∣sumed our Womens Apparel, I was so overjoyed to see my self out of danger, that I gave my self the liber∣ty of diverting me a litle at my or∣dinary Sports, and as I ran after her to Laugh at her, I fell on my Knee so that I hurt it, but I did not feel it then; some dayes after I cau∣sed a Bed to be made in a pittiful Village of the French County, to rest my self while Dinner was a prepa∣ring, but of a suddain such a grie∣vous paine took me in that Knee, that I was not able to rise; but on Page 69I must go, therefore having been let blood by a woman for want of ano∣ther Chirurgion, I followed my Jour∣ney in a Litter till I came to New∣castle, where the people perswaded themselves, that I was Madam de Longe∣ville; you cannot Imagine the Joy, the people expressed to see me, being not used to see Women of Quality of France, passe through their Country; nor could they comprehend that any other then the Dutchess of Longe∣ville could have business that way. I know some would have layd hold of this occasion, and made use of their kindness, to tast of the sweetness of Soveraignity, however the mistake was advantagious to me; and what I wanted in Age, I gained in qualli∣ty. But this Authority seemed to me too great and too good for a Fugitive; I was also so unskilfully handled, that my paine grew worse, in so much that I had once thoughts of returning to Paris; and were it not that Millain was nearer, and that I hoped to be sooner and safer there, I had pursu∣ed my first Thoughts.
Some few days after, as I passed Page 70through a litle Town of Swiszerland, where we were all like to be knock∣ed on the Head, by our Ignorance of their Language: and to compleat our happiness, we understood when we came to Altauph, that we must pass our Quarantaine there, before we should be suffred to enter the Territo∣ries of Millan. There it was my stock of Patience was quite spent For I faw my self in a Barbarous Coun∣try, most desperately Sick, full of grievous Pain; and for Help, you shall Judg by what hapned to Na∣cassus, whether there was much to be hoped for in that place. For he ay∣ling somthing, sent for a Chirurgion to let him Blood, they brought him a Far∣rier, who going to let him Blood with his Flemmes missed the Vain, and Na•assus threatning to kill him, the Fellow still answered Coldly, that he had not hurt the Artery.
But what consummated and through∣ly carried my Condition, even be∣yond Despair, was the Division that I found in my Family, and their con∣tinual Jarring. Narcissus took it Ill, that Courbevill who had been in my Page 71Family but seven or eight dayes, should take upon him to meddle with any thing without his leave; and the same reason made Nanon quarrel with them both; but while Narcissus and she Jarred in this manner, they were wholly useless to me, and did nothing but out of spite to thwart one another.
On the other side Courbevill was very diligent to help me; and I am still perswaded, had it not been for him, I had been forced to had my Legg cut off. And as my distressed Con∣dition made me very thankful, and acknowledging for every little ser∣vice; and commending his particular Care of me, put them two quite out of Humour; and thereupon aban∣don'd me wholly to his Care of me.
It was at the time of this Quaran∣tine, that La Louvier over-took me; but I remitted his Deliberation of what he proposed to me, to our Ar∣rival at Millan, whither I came some few dayes after, by the favour and means of the Duke of Sest, Bro∣ther in Law to the Constable, and Governour of that Country: He un∣derstood Page 72how I was detained at Al∣tauph, and he remitted eighteen dayes of my Quarantine. My Sister and the Constable came to meet me at a House of theirs four dayes Journey from Millan, where we stayed some dayes, and thence we went to Millan, where in six weeks that we staied there, we received nine Couriers from Parris.
I understood that presently after my flight, the Judges had declared themselves in my favour against Mon∣sieur Mazarine; and that the Resolu∣tion I had taken, gave at the same time both Admiration and Pitty to all reasonable people; and that Monsieur Turren himself had spoken to the King in my behalf. But things quickly changed of face by my friends joyning with Monsieur Mazarine, in an Ap∣peal against my Brother and Monsieur Rohan, who alledged in his Bill, that they had stole me away.
I know that Monsieur Mazarine sent one after me with power to take Information, from place to place, all the Road that I passed, of all my A∣ctions and Demeanure.
And this perhaps is the greatest and Page 73only Obligation I owe him, since this mans Depositions which are Recorded in Parliament, are undeniable Testi∣monies of the Innocence of my car∣riage and conduct throughout this Journey, against all the Allegations and Aspersions of my Enemies. But this was not the best Story in his Bug∣get: I had written to my Brother, and to Monsieur Rohan before I left New Castel; to my Brother to let him know where, and how I was; and to Monsieur Rohan, to thank him for the Service he did me at my coming away, in facilitating my Departure. I had commanded Narcissus to send away these Letters by the Post, but whether it was that his hatred to Courbevill reach∣ed as far as his Masters that gave him me, or that it was meer negligence, he confessed at Millan that he forgot Mon∣sieur Rohan's Letter upon the Mantle-Tree in the Post-master's House at New-Castle, to whom he had given it incharge. La Louvier finding it as he came that way, carried it with him, and gave it to Monsieur Mazarine, who made wonderful use of it, and with such success, that it set all the World Page 74against me: And it was upon this Letter that he grounded his Request, sometimes after, that I ought to for∣feit all my Rights, which is never pra∣ctised but against Women, convinced of the highest Infamy and Lewedness.
I told you that Monsieur Rohan had obtained my Brothers consent to come to us to Brussels, when we should be arrived there. The Need we had of him, having made us conclude the matter so; it was natural enough to mention this to him, in a Letter that was designed principally to shew him my Acknowledgements and Gratitude. This was Evidence enough for Mon∣sieur Mazarine to prove a Confedera∣cy betwixt us, and that the Chevalier was in love with me. But besides, that his Affections were known to the whole Court to be ingaged else-where then, and to a Person of that Eminent Quality, that he was Banished for it: His manner of proceeding did no way shew any such thing. It was truly the part of a good Friend to furnish me with means to convey my self far off, and to put me into the hands of trusty Servants; But it was no way Page 75that of a true Lover; there are very few that being favoured with a Con∣fidence of this Nature, would be per∣swaded to lose sight of their Mistriss in so Extraordinary an Occasion as this.
Notwithstanding all this, the world gave Credit to what Monsieur Maza∣rine would have pass for a Truth: As for my Brother, he had, as you have seen by the Story, took up a Jealou∣sie of him, to render him suspected in all my Concerns; that by this means he might deprive me of so considera∣ble a Support: there is nothing so inno∣cent, but is poisoned, to maintain & car∣ry on so detestable a Calumny; they produced Letters in verse, for want of other Evidences
Posterity (if happily any thing of our Business does reach it) will hardly believe that a man of my Brothers Gravity should be examined upon In∣terrogatories about such Trifles; and that they should be seriously discussed before so grave a Bench: That they should make such a Detestable use of so innocent a Commerce of Wit and Fancy, betwixt persons so nearly Re∣lated: To conclude, That the Esteem and Friendship I had for a Brother, Page 76of a Desert and Merit so well known, and so justly due to him, and who loved me intirely well, should be made use of as an injust Pretence and Cou∣lour for so Black and so Cruel a Defa∣mation.
It will be hard to find stranger Ex∣amples of the Misfortunes of a Per∣son of my Quality, Sex, and Age.
The most sacred Tyes of Nature and Reason, become the most horrible Crimes when Jealousie and Envy comes to descant upon them: and there is nothing impossible to a man that makes Profession of Piety and Devotion, rather than he shall be thought in the wrong; the most Innocent and Up∣right Persons in the World, shall be thought the most Infamous, and the most Abominable. I may perhaps be thought in Passion; but the Remem∣brance of so Barbarous a Wrong, and so Cruel Usage, has run me into a Su∣perfluous Digression. For, it is very difficult to keep an even Temper in Relating such Sad and Lamentable Things.
Nor is it easie to leave wondring that People should be so malicious as Page 77to tax me with a Business so known to the World as the Friendship and Union that was betwixt my Sister the Constable, my Brother, and my Self.
The whole Court of France have seen a Letter, which he writ from Rome sometime after our Marriages, wherein he represents to one of his Friends, his Happiness in having two Sisters whom he loved so well, living in two of the Greatest and most Fa∣mous Cityes of the World, Rome and Paris. He ended his Letter with these two Verses.
It is not unluckily, but that Monsi∣eur Mazarine would have made use of these Verses, in his Suit, if my Sister (whom he endeavoured to gain, and set against me) had not been con∣cerned in them as well as I: For, they are, at least, as Criminal and Faulty as the other Letter, of which he made Page 78use. My Brother writ me that other Letter to St. Germain, where I was some dayes, after Monsieur Mazarine had caused the Stage to be thrown down, which I told you I had ordered to be set up in my Appartment. It be∣gun thus:
He continues it with returning me thanks for writing to him, and giving me an account of his Health; and af∣ter he goes on thus:
The rest is nothing. As I was shew∣ing this Letter to some of my Friends at Court, the Count of Grammon came and snatched it out of my hands and carryed it to the King; it was read publickly before Him, and there was none of all the Court that was any way scandalized at it, but one of the King's Page 81Chyrurgions, named Eliam: This man, who in Appearance was zea∣lous for his Patients, hearing these Words,
All my Friends, at the same time, Signed a Paper to him, joyntly pray∣ing Monsieur the Constable not to re∣ceive me into his House; but he laugh∣ed at their Folly. And they had likewise sent with them these other scandulous Letters. There came to me at the same time a particular Courier from the Countesse, to excuse her self to me about this; but by word of mouth on∣ly.
I confess my Constancy was not of strength enough to receive so great a Page 82Shock of so many Afflictions together. I fell into a deep Melancholly, and these kind of proceedings leaving me no hope of an Accomodation, I left off the Thoughts of going to Bruxelles. Hereupon my Brother arrives; and instead of Comforting me, he began a∣nother Persecution against me, so much the more Cruel, because it had such a Specious Foundation.
It was agreed, that Courbevil should be sent back as soon as I came to Millain. But he having understood the Crimi∣nal Process that was begun at Paris, in which he was made a party; he threw himself at my Feet, and represented to me, That he could not return to his Master, without carrying his Head to a Scaffold; and that having not whereby to subsist any where else, he should be ut∣terly ruined if I discharged him my Ser∣vice. This Gentleman had been so serviceable to me in my greatest Neces∣sities, that I believed I could not a∣bandon him without extream Ingrati∣titude; therefore I passed my word to him that I would not put him away, as long as he would please to stay with me. And the cruel Displeasures which Page 83I received for having kept him, have not yet perswaded me that I ought not to have given him my word to con∣tinue him in my Service.
Narcissus and Nanon enraged be∣cause I kept him, told my Brother that he talked insolently of him; what they alledged he had said was likely enough; my Brother believed them, and would have me turn him away: But as I knew who it was that had done him this ill Office, I could neither believe it, nor discharge him. But my Resolution to keep him drove Narcissus and Na•on into despair; at last the best Expedient they could find to force me to satisfie their desire, was to give out that Courbevil was in love with me.
My Brother, who would seem igno∣rant of these services, and of the Pro∣mise I gave him, and the Obligations I owed to this man, because he believ∣ed himself affronted by him, and be∣ing accustomed to receive no Denyal from me, was afraid there was some∣thing extraordinary in my Obstinacy not to dismiss him: and was confirm∣ed in this Opinion, when after highly Page 84representing to me the Report that was spread abroad, he saw I would not yield to part with him. This ri∣diculous Calumny instead of convin∣cing, did rather exasperate me: And I was so neerly touched to find he gave Credit to it, that I could no longer endure him. The Constable and my Sister were first of my side, against him; but they too turned to his side at last. Then there was nothing but fending and proving betwixt us four, and I was still in the fault; and they justified themselves at my Cost.
This kind of Life, full of Vexati∣ons and Resentments, against a Bro∣ther and a Sister whom I loved so dear∣ly, and whose Society alone I thought sufficient to make me happy, made me at last, though late, to compre∣hend that we must set our Hearts upon nothing in this World.
In the midst of these Disquiets we came to Venis, where the Constable was not well at his ease, because per∣haps he saw my Sister was too well pleased to be there. He promised me great matters to induce me to go to Rome; That he would ingage his Holy∣ness Page 85should protect me; and that he would omit nothing to divert me from the deep Melancholly he saw me inclined to. Seeing my self so cruelly persecuted by my Brother, I thought it convenient, by my Complaisance, to manage the Constable's Kindness. We went all to Sienne, to Cardinal Chigies; from whence, after three Weeks stay there, my Brother having fallen out with us, returned to Venis without taking leave of us, and we steered our course to∣wards Rome; where the heats were so Excessive, that we were forced to retire for six weeks to Marine, a house of Pleasure, belonging to my Brother-in-Law, the Constable.
About the time we returned to Rome, my Brother came thither with a Gentleman belonging to Monsieur de Rohan, to cause (as I have been told) Courbevil to be Assassinated. I have been informed that Courbevil finding himself extream ill at Ve•ise, he be∣lieved himself Poysoned; and in this Belief he writ terrible Letters to Pa∣ris against my Brother: and Monsieur De Rohan, whom he believed of Intel∣ligence with my Brother to have him Page 86turned him out of my Service; that these Letters falling into Monsieur De Rohan's hands, he sent them back to my Brother, desiring him to Chastise Cour∣bivil according to his Deserts. The indiscretion of this Courbevil, and the unpleasing Noise this Business made in the World, together with the desire I had to be at quiet, made me resolve at last to discharge Courbevil; not doubt∣ing but he would willingly acquit me of my Promise which I had given him.
My Request to the the President of Champlastreux his Son, who did nego∣tiate betwixt my Brother and me, was, That he should not presse me with so much Imperiousness to this Deferrence; and that I might be allowed to go and so∣journe with my Aunt Martinozzi. An Hour before Courbevil was to leave my House, my Aunt being already come to carry me with her, my Sister was in such a rage because I would no long∣er stay at her house, that she begun to play upon him before me, and to ask him, If he would not once more move me, and perswade me to let him stay yet this time? The man being in Page 87despair for his going away, answered her fiercely, That if I did not command him to go he would not, and that he ca∣red for none there but me. She bad him to get him gone, and that he should un∣derstand what it was to speak to her in her own Pallace with so little Respect. He went out in a great Fury, and I had reason to believe that there was some mischief intended against him; and therefore thinking my self bound to save his Life, I had him along with me to my Uncles House, the Cardinal Mancini, from thence I went to my Aunt's House, where I staid some time shut close up as in a Prison.
As Melancholy as I was, I could not hold Laughing at a request she made me, to dance the Mattassin Dance, to the Sound of my Guitar to divert me from Sadness, I know not whe∣ther it was this my Refuse that did exasperate her against me; but one day as I was at the Window, she commanded me very roughly to get me from thence, That it was not the custome at Rome to stand looking out at VVindows. Another time as I stood at it, she sent me her Ghostly Father to tell Page 88me That she would cause me to be haled from it be force. This Monk was so insolent in the delivery of his message, that the Tears gushed out of my Eyes. Cardinal Chigeis Gentleman of the Horse, who was managing of Horses before the House, hearing me complain, came up to offer me his Service, but when I saw him, I had no power of saying any more. For all that, he went and tould his Lord, That I had neither eat nor drank in two days. Cardinal Chigie was trou∣bled at it, and pittied my condition; and Cardinal Mancini telling him, that Monsieur Mazarine desired I would Re∣tire for fifteen Days into a Monastery, wherein there was a Sister of Cardinal Mazarins; I took him at his VVord. My Brother and Sister seeing the Deplorable State in which I was, be∣gan to reflect upon their passed usage to me, and could not be quiet until I had pardoned them.
But I would not consent that my Brother should see me, yet at last they overcome me in this too; and though I said that their Repentance could not redress the Injuries they had done my Page 89Reputation, the easiness of my Nature carried me to yield even this time, notwithstanding the just cause of In∣dignation which I had against them. I confess my Heart hardens at the Relation. I know nothing so Cruel in ones Life, as to see those People come boldly to us that have done us unpardonable Injuries. It is enough to be mortally affronted by them, with∣out being persecuted with their Re∣pentance too.
This Reflection with many others, which I had occasion to make in my recess made me resolve to return into France, and to throw my self at Mon∣sieur Mazarines Feet, and rather trust to his Mercy without Capitulating, than to remain still exposed to as ma∣ny more irksome, and heart breaking adventures, as I had already run through. I made my Aunt Marti∣nozzi to write to the Princesse of Conty her Daughter about it, and I was preparing to be gon as soon as the Answer was come, some few Days after Courbevil found means to let me understand, That after he had been some Dayes kept close at CardinalPage 90Mancinies, he was conveyed to Civita Vetchia, where he had been a Prisoner for six Weeks: and where he was like to remain (as he sent me word, long e∣nough) unless I would please to have the goodness to solicite for him. Though I had reason never more to concern my self with him; yet because I would not leave my Work imperfect, I begged his Liberty of Francisco Ʋin∣cenzo Rospigliosi, the Popes Nephew, who thereupon commanded his In∣largment.
In the intrim, the time which I was to stay in the Convent being elapsed, Cardinal Mancini made answer to the instances; my Sister, unknown to me, had used to get me out of the Mona∣stery, That he advised me to stay there a little longer, because it would be ad∣vantagious for me, that the Answer which was expected out of France should find me there; And this Answer was, That after I had remained two years in that Monastery, Mons. Mazarine would consider what he should do with me.
Cardinal Mancini by all means would have me submit to this Condi∣tion; Page 91and truly in the great affliction of mind into which Mons. Mazarine's Harshness had cast me, I might have been perswaded to any thing: But my Sister would not let me stay there by no means; she caused the Queen of Sweden to be solicited to that end, who gave me her promise to re∣ceive me into her house; all the diffi∣culty was, how I should make my E∣scape.
My Sister came to see me that After∣noon I intended it; and as we were packing up to be gone, and that Nanon was grown as broad as she was long, with the Fardles, that she had put round about her, every where under her cloaths; we had Intelligence that the Queen of Sweden, by the Advice of her Counsel, had retracted the Promise she had given me. How un∣welcome soever this News was, it was resolved I should make my Escape.
My Sister begun to take her leave to be gone, and I making as if I would wait upon her down Stairs; my Aunt Mazarine used all the Arguments she Page 92had to oblige me to stay in my Cham∣ber, because I had been Ill along time; but I was not to commit such an Er∣rour.
My Sisters Children, not having the Liberty of coming within the Cloyster, as she had, and were brought that day on purpose to amuse my Aunt in the Parlour; that we might not be pestred with her, stayed for her at the Door, which as soon as the Abbess came to open, Nanon threw her self out of it, as it were with Joy, to make much of them, and I after her. As they had no suspicion of our Designe, the Lady Abbess durst not stay me by force; nor had she much time to consider of it, for I was immediately got in∣to my Sisters Coach, and so drive a∣way.
My Sister had the priviledge, of car∣ring a certain number of Women with her into the Cloyster, as often as she came thither; my Aunt through vex∣ation and anger stopped two of them, that came in with her that day, though they were no way privy to our Plot: my poor old Aunt took the matter Page 93so much to heart, that she dyed within few Dayes after, of the Displeasure she had taken for my Escape.
We caused the Coach to drive streight to Cardinal Chigies, to im∣plore his protection, but we found him not; he came a little after to my Sisters, and seemed very cold in the matter, fearing the Pope's Displea∣sure; but his Holiness made this Ans∣wer to Cardinal Mancinies complaint, That if he had known that I was kept against my Will in the Convent, he would have come himself to fetch me out.
Not being able yet to resolve to live in my Sisters house, I went to lodge in the street called du Cours in our paternal House, where the Roman Accadamy was ever kept. Cardinal Mancini was so angry at it, that he turned one of the Sisters out of the House, who would have incommoded me if she had staid: But he soon after took the Op∣portunity of my absence, being gone to Marrine, (to my Brother-in-laws) to seize, and take possession of the House: So that, I was forced at my re∣turn to take another.Page 94
I was at length reduced to pawn my Jewels for my Subsistance: I had bor∣rowed but three thousand Crowns up∣on them, when I was informed the man that lent it me was in danger of breaking. But when I went to Re∣deem them, I found that Madam Martinozzi had prevented me, and paid the money, but would not return the Jewels. Whereupon the Consta∣ble of Colonna taking no notice of her having them, prevailed so by his Au∣thority and Threats to this man, that he was forced to get them back from her; since he was not to let any Body have them, but those that put them into his hands.
Monsieur Mazarine was writ to, to redeem them; but he made answer, That there they should stay for him, that I might be deprived of all wayes to subsist, the better to reduce me to my Duty.
I was necessitated to let one Grillon, a great Friend to my Brother, and the Constable, lay down the mony they lay in for, which I repayed in some small time after.Page 95
The trouble of seeing my self redu∣ced to the Exigency of receiving Ob∣ligations from people that might a∣buse me in my need, and the strait I was in, made me a little after resolve to take a journey into France, to try to get a Pension of Monsieur Maza∣rine.
I went with my Brother, who was going to be married to Madamoisel De Tiange: And it is to this Alliance that I owe the good Success of my Voyage. We were neer six months upon the Road; when we were come to the Frontiers, we concluded that he should go before, and that I should stay behind, until he had taken the care that was necessary for my Securi∣ty in France. But our Friends having given us an account of the Disaster of the poor Statues that were in the Pal∣lace Mazarine, and that the Conjun∣cture seemed favourable, we went together as far as Nevers, where he left me, and went on towards the Court in company with Grillon who o∣vertook us at Millain.
As soon as Monsieur Mazarine un∣derstood that we were upon the Road Page 96coming into France, he sent Polastron, Captain of his Guards to inform him∣self exactly of the Course of Life we lead, who raised all the Sheriffs and Provosts about Nevers, to be aiding and assisting to the Commissary, who came to put the Order of Parliament in Execution; whereby they were Authorized to Seize and Arrest me. My Brother having complained to the the King of this proceeding, his Ma∣jesty was in the mind to have sent for me by his Authority; but Monsieur Colbert judging it more for my Ad∣vantage to manage Monsieur Mazarine as much as was possible. The King sent him Command to signe an Order of Appointment that I might come quiet∣ly to my Agreement; which he did with Tears in his Eyes; perceiving that if he did not do it, the King would proceed further in my be∣half.
This Order came luckily to Nevers the same day that Monsieur Palluan, Counseller of the Great Chamber, came thither to Arrest me. I received like∣wise at the same time Command to come to the Lys: my Brother was Page 97married the same day that I arrived. Whilst I was there, Monsieur Maza∣rine sent to make several Overtures of Agreement with me; but it was by the mediation of a wretched sort of People, in whom I could place no Con∣fidence, or without giving me any As∣surance, that he would stand to any thing that should be agreed upon. He told the King, That my Brother kept me off from coming to any Accord, and that he governed me with a Tyrannical Authority; and that if I did not stand so much in Awe of him, I should be much more Tractable. The King to clear this Doubt, sent for me three months after, by Madam Bellinzani, with an Officer, and some of his Guards, in Madam Colbert's Coach; for, my Brother had begged of the King that I should lodge at Madam Colbert's House, as a place where none should be permit∣ted to force me to dissemble my Thoughts. Two or three dayes after, he commanded I should wait upon him at Madam De Mont Espan's House.
I shall never forget his Goodness towards me; He prayed me to con∣sider, Page 98That if he had not done better for me hitherto, it was my own Conduct that hindered him, and took from him the means; That I should truly tell him what I would have done; That if I was abso∣lutely resolved to return again into Italy, he would cause a Pension of two thousand four hundred Livers to be setled upon me: But that he advised me to stay; That he would make my Agreement as advantagious for me as I could desire; That I should not be obliged to follow Monsieur Mazarine in any of his Jur∣neys; That he should have nothing to do with my Domesticks; And that if his Caresses were odious to me, I should not be compelled to suffer them presently; That he gave me until the next day to consider of it, and give him my An∣swer.
I could easily have given him then the same Answer I made to him the next day; which was, That I could not consent to return to Monsieur Mazarine, after having endeavoured to ruine my Reputation, as he had done; and after refusing to receive me, when I sent him offers from Rome to throw my self in∣to his Arms, without any Capitulation or Page 99bartering for Conditions, at a time when he knew me reduced to the last Extre∣mities of Want, and necessity: That in despight of all the Precautions that should be taken against the Capricious∣ness of his Humor, I should be put to suffer a hundered little Injuries, with which, it would be very unfit to impor∣tune His Majesty upon all Occasions. That I accepted of the Pension with an humble and hearty Acknowledgment of His Majesties great Favour there∣in.
After such just and lawful Reasons, you will be surprized to hear that the World condemned my Resolution Extreamely; but the Descants of Courtiers are very different from o∣ther men's Judgments. Amongst o∣thers, Madam De Montespan, and Ma∣dam Colbert, used all their best Ar∣guments to perswade me to stay; and Monsieur De Lauzun asked me, What I intended to do with my two thousand four hundered Livers? That I should squander them away at the first Inn I came to, and that I should be compelled to come afterward with Shame and Con∣fusion to ask for more, which would not Page 100be granted me. But he did not know, that my Wants had taught me how to husband my Mony. Not but that I perceived it was a thing almost impos∣sible, long to subsist handsomly upon this inconsiderable Allowance.
But besides that, I could get no more; and that Monsieur Mazarine would not let me live at Paris without his be∣ing with me; I thought I might, with this help, gain time to take other mea∣sures.
Monsieur Mazarine wanting other matter to bespatter my Carriage, told the King, That I was making me a Ca∣sack to go dressed in man's Apparel. But his Majesty was pleased to tell him, That he durst pass his Word, that I intended no such thing.
Madam Belinzany had order with an Exempt of his Guards to conduct me to Rome, and to have two of His Guards to attend us to the Fron∣tier.
I received so many Civilities from the Duke of Savoy in my passage through Turin, that I even then took a Resolution, if ever I came to leave Rome, to come and take up my Recess Page 101in his Territories. I arrived at Rome three months after, and some time af∣terwards Grillon came thither to plunge me, in spight of all I could do, into new Troubles.
I had made a Resolution to receive no Visits from any, during my abode in France: Grillon pretending he ought to be excepted, because of the Ser∣vice he had done me at Rome, in the Redeeming my Jewels; presently af∣ter my Arrival there, he came once to the Lys, in the Countesses company, to visit me. But I never would see him after. His Resentment for this Refu∣sal transported him beyond Belief.
While I stayed for the Commissary at Nevers, my Brother's Steward, for my better Security, got me Lodgings in one of the Towers, of a Convent that was joyning to the Castle; and having but few Servants left me, he preferred to me one of my Brother's Guards, who had been turned out for some slight Fault.
This man was very diligent in his place, to induce me to beg his pardon, in hope of which, I let him follow me to the Lys. A Raskal of a Cook Page 102of mine, to please Grillon, who had bribed him, goes and tells him, That this Wretch was very Officious, and en∣deavoured to render himself necessary about me; and that he had sometimes in∣gresse into the Convent. Grillon, with∣out further Examination, reports this Story all about, to that height, that when I came to Paris, Madam Col∣bert would not let this man stay in my Service within her Doors.
Judge you in what amazement I was in, when I understood this Story, and with what Promptness I discharged my new Officer; and what my Resent∣ments, and just Indignation against this wicked Grillons villainy was; and whe∣ther I was not surprized, as I passed through Lyons to see him have the im∣pudence to offer to come again into my sight, under the pretence of bring∣ing me a Letter from my Brother, to beg I would forget all. The indiffe∣rence and neglect I shewed him then, enraged him more than ever.
When he came to Rome, he under∣stood that Monsieur de Marsan came sometimes to see me; and after a thousand ridiculous Extravagancies Page 103that passed betwixt them, they had at last that idle Quarrel which you have heard of, wherein without much hurt to one another, they had the pleasure once more to make me the subject of peoples talk. Sometime after this, my Sister determined to retire into France, pretending several Causes of Complaint against the Constable; it would be too tedious to relate the Ar∣guments I used to disswade her from this Journey, the displeasures the like resolution had drawn me into, made me more eloquent, but to no purpose; for the same Stars, or their influences, that drove me into Italy, drew her into France.
As she was always sure of me, she made no difficulty to draw me in to be of the party; and because I had no tie at Rome when she was not there, and that I believed I should lessen the dangers she was to run through, by partaking and sharing them with her, I did not stick to follow her. I only represented to her, how I should be for∣ced to leave her as soon we were Arri∣ved in France. Nothing was so griev∣ous to her, as this inavoidable neces∣sity, Page 104and nothing perswaded me more to yeeld to the force of her Reasons, than to see that they brought her to consent to our separation.
The Chevalier of Lorrain owed her greater Obligations than to fail to serve her in this occasion, for she quarrell'd with all Rome, upon his and his brothers account; they were welcom in no house in Rome but at hers; and she had de∣clared her self for them in very nice points against Cardinal Chigi and the Constable himself. Yet for all this she receaved no other Service from them, but huge and mighty promises of what they would do for her by their Credit in France; nor did they per∣form in that neither: as for her design the Chevalier thought it sufficient to tell her; That if she had no bodies Advice to guide her but her own, he should be much concerned for her, but that since Madam Mazarine was of her Counsel, she might rest upon her Conduct, since she had more Witt and more Courage than was needful for a much more hazardous Enterprize.
He litle thought then that he should be called back into France so soon as he Page 105was; if he had done what he ought, we should have been there long before him; and people would not have had occasion to say, that we followed him: but my Sister who relied wholly upon him, was forced to put off her Jour∣ney when she saw her self left in the Lurch by him. After his departure for France, she brok her mind to ano∣ther person of Eminent Quality, whom she believed her friend, because she had by her kindness and Favors Obli∣ged him to be so. But he only told her, That the Chevalier of Lorraine ought to have helped her upon this occasi∣on. He asked me what I intended to do with my self, and whether I had perswaded my Sister to this Voyage? He can yet justifie, that I made him this Answer. That I did not; that I knew I could not stay in France, neither was my intention at all to come there but under the Protection of a passport which the King of France sent my Sister for her self and her Retinue; and that my designe was to retire into Savoy, as soon as I left her in a place of safe∣ty. In fine, having taken all the pre∣caution that humane prudence could think of, against any hazard that might Page 106besal us in France, we order'd a Barque to attend us at Civita - vetchia. And upon a very fine Day in May, the Constable having told us at dinner, that he was to go twelve miles from Rome, to see his Stud, and that if he did not come home before it was late, we should not look for him that Night. My Sister would needs lay hold upon this occasion, though we had nothing in readiness to be gone. We left word that we were going to Fresca∣ti; and so took only one of her Maids, and Nanon dressed in man's Apparel, as we were under our own Cloaths in my Coach: We came to Civitta - Vetchia about two of the Clock in the morning, when all the Gates were shut; so that, we were forced to drive into the middle of a thick Wood, there to wait until our Bark were found.
My Groom of the Chambers, who took upon him to guide us, having run up and down a great while without find∣ing it, was fain to hire another, which he found there, for a Thousand Crowns.Page 107
While he was thus imployed, my Postilion impatient of having no Tid∣ings one way or other, took one of the Coach Horses, and had the Luck to meet with our own Bark. But it was late when he came back: We were fain to walk five mile afoot to come to it; and so got on board a∣bout three of the Clock, without ha∣ving eaten or drunk since we left Rome.
Our chiefest happiness was, that we fell into the hands of a very honest and understanding Master; any other but him, would have thrown us over∣board, after taking what we had, from us; for, he perceived as soon as he saw us, that we were no Beggars; and told us as much. His Crue asked us, If we had not kill'd the Pope? To shew you how skillful he was, he ma∣naged his Way so well, that we came in eight dayes to Ciouta in Province, where we landed at Eleven a Clock at Night; From thence we arrived at Marseiles about five in the morning, a Horse-back; where we found the King's Orders, and the Past-ports, at the President's House.Page 108
The Constable most luckily stayd three Days away from Rome, and therefore it was late before he suspect∣ed the Truth. There was not a Fable so horrible to be invented by the wickedness of man, but was reported of us; to that Degree that they gave it out, that we were fled into Turkey, insomuch that the Constable was fain to beg of the Pope to Excommunicate all those that should intermedle with, or talk of us. He dispatched four∣teen Courriers so many several ways after us; and one of them made such hast, that he got to Marseiles before us. There came likewise thither a litle after one belonging to him, of those kind of men, whom they call Brauos in Italy.
My Groom of the Chambers being gone, I knew not whither, to get Ne∣cessaries for his Journey to Paris, whi∣ther my Sister was to send him. And we four Women were by our selves without other Company, in that very Inn to which this man came to lodge. Nanon saw him first, and knew him presently; she quickly gave us the A∣larm; we sent immediately to the In∣tendent, Page 109to pray him to send us some Guards, which he instantly did. My Groom of the Chamber coming back from the Town, was desired by this man to let him speak to us, which he did, very civilly exhorting us to return back to Rome: But was glad to be gone thither himself, with the only Satisfa∣ction of having a Letter from my Si∣ster to his Master.
This Adventure made us go to lodge at the Intendant's house, and from thence, some few dayes after∣wards, to Aix, where we stayed a month, and whither Madam de Grig∣nan was so Charitable, as to send us some Shifts, adding, That we travelled like True Roman Heroines, with abun∣dance of Jewels, but no clean Linnen. From thence, we went to Mirabeau; thence to Montpellier; Whence my Sister went to Visit Monsieur de Var∣des; and from Montpellier to Mon∣frein, where I learnt that Polastron was hard by coming from Paris under pretence of being sent by Monsieur Mazarine to Complement my Sister; Page 110But in truth, to cause me to be ar∣rested by Vertue of his damnable Or∣der.
When I heard of his coming, I walk∣ed alone, away into the Garden, a∣mong the Fish-ponds, to let him pass by; but when he found I was not with my Sister, he would not stay, but pretends hast to go on, thinking I was gone back, and so to overtake me; but he was mistaken; for instead of following me, he went further from me.
Thence I parted for Arles, by Wa∣ter upon the Rhone; from thence I went by Land to Martigues; and af∣ter by Sea to Nice, and from Nice to Turim, and so on to Mommeil∣lan.
My Sister having taken the necessary Orders for my Security, from Monsieur L'Esdignieres, sent for me from Mom∣meillan to Grenoble: To which place my Brother came to us, and staid there with us seven or eight Dayes: and some eight Dayes after we dire∣cted our Journey to Lyons: And my Sister taking the Road to Paris, I Page 111took that of Chambery; where at last I found that Quiet, which I so long in vain had sought for: and where I have remained ever since, with much more Calmnesse and Tran∣quillity of mind, than a Woman as wretched, and as unhappy as my self should hope to enjoy.