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Dangeau, is the tone of indifference in which he always mentions himself and his amiable wife; it serves however to excuse his coldness on other occasions, when we should have been indignant at his apparent want of feeling.
St. Simon finally accuses him of' fadeur,' or insipidity :-from the caustic pen of St. Simon this is praise--for, as he admits that Dangeau possessed good sense, knowledge of the world, a faculty of writing verses, and a kind of wit,' we may be satisfied that the quality which St. Simon considered as insipidity was really good nature—a quality which his acrid spirit must have despised. As the three foregoing topics were the only ones of blame which the gay malice of Madame de Sévigné and the gloomy severity of St. Simon could find, we may safely believe the rest of their character of Dangeau,-confirmed by the unanimous voice of all his contemporaries—that to his good sense he added good conduct and pure morals, agreeableness in society, accurate probity and nice honour: and the internal evidence of his Journal gives us (as Madame de Genlis justly remarks) the most entire confidence in bis veracity and in the accuracy of every event he relates, and almost of every word he writes.
The greatest defect in his character was what his contemporaries considered as one of his greatest merits-he played extremely deep, extremely well, and with great success a success, owing altogether, as we are told,' to his extraordinary powers of calculation, which enabled him,' says Grouvelle, to form the most scientific combinations without appearing to think about it;' and Fontenelle, in the éloge pronounced upon him in the Academy, celebrates this power of his mind, and gives a remarkable instance of it.
'He asked some favour of the king, which Louis promised, on condition that, during the game which they were about to play, Dangeau should compose one handred verses-exactly one hundred, not one more or less. After the game, at which he appeared as little occupied as usual, he repeated the hundred verses ; he had made them, counted them and arranged them in his memory, and these three efforts of the mind had not been disturbed by the hurry of play.'
Madame de Genlis very shrewdly suggests that, as the king had not bargained that the verses should be good, Dangeau, instead of these three mental operations, contented himself with extemporising the hundred verses after the game was over ; which would not be very difficult to a professed versitier : but if--as St. Simon tells the story, and as seems to agree with the fashion of the times -it was a set of • bouts-rimés des plus sauvages,' which Louis gave to be filled up, it would add to the difficulties already stated, and suppose a prodigious readiness in the poet.
Dangeau Dangeau was so remarkable for his skill at play, that Madame de Sévigné relates, that one of her amusements when she went to court was to admire Dangeau at the card table. Our readers will not be sorry to see the passage, which is characteristic, not only of Dangeau, but of the French court at that period. It is to be found in ber letter of the 29th July, 1676, giving her daughter an account of A DAY AT VERSAILLES.-We lament that our translation will afford our English readers but a very imperfect notion of the charms of the style of this extraordinary woman, who is as unrivalled in her own department of literature as Shakspeare and Molière are in theirs.
29th July, 1676. * I went on Saturday with Villars to Versailles. I need not iell you of the Queen's toilette, the mass, the dinner-you know it all; but at three o'clock the king rose from table, and he, the Queen, Monsieur, Madame, Mademoiselle, all the princes and princesses, Madame de Montespan, all her suite, all the courtiers, all the ladies--in short, what we call the Court of France—were assembled in that beautiful apartment which you know. It is divinely furnished-every thing is magnificent-one does not know what it is to be too hot-we walk about here and there, and are not incommoded any where :-at last a table of reversi* gives a form to the crowd, and a place to every one.
The king is next to Madame de Montespan, who deals : the Duke of Orleans, the Queen, and Madame de Soubise; Dangeau and Co.; Langée and Co.; -a thousand louis are poured out on the cloth-there are no other counters. I saw Dangeau play !—what fools we all are compared to him—he minds nothing but his business, and wins when every one else loses :-he neglects nothing--takes advantage of every thing—is never absent-in a word, his skill defies fortune, and accordingly 200,000 francs in ten days, 100,000 crowns in a fortnight, all go to his receiptbook.
• He was so good as to say that I was a partner in his play, by which I got a very convenient and agreeable place. I saluted the king in the way you taught me, which he returned as if I had been youyg and handsome-I received a thousand compliments--you know what it is to have a word from every body! This agreeable confusion without confusion lasts from three o'clock till six. If a courier arrives, the king retires for a moment to read his letters, and returns immediately. There is always some music going on, which has a very good effect; the king listens to the music, and chats with the ladies about him. At last, at sis o'clock, they stop playing-they have no trouble in settling their reckoningsthere are no counters—the lowest pools are five, six, seven hundred Louis—the great ones a thousand, or twelve hundred—they put in five each at first—that makes one hundred, and the dealer puts in ten more --then they give four Louis each to wboever has Quinola-some pass, others play, but when you play without winning the pool, you must put in sixteen to teach you how to play rashly: they talk all together, and for ever, and of every thing." How many hearts ?"_“ Two !"" I have three !"-" I have one !"-" I have four!”—“ He has only three !" —and Dangeau-delighted with all this prattle--turns up the trump, makes his calculations, sees whom he has against him-in short-in short, I was glad to see such an excess of skill. He it is, who really knows “le dessous des cartes.”
* A kind of game long since out of fashion, and now almost forgotten; it seems to have been a compound of Loo and Commerce—the Quinola or Pam was the knave of hearts.
“ At ten o'clock they get into their carriages; the King, Madame de Montespan, the Duke of Orleans, and Madame de Thianges, and the good Heudicourt on the dickey, that is, as if one were in the upper gallery. You know how these calashes are made. The Queen was in another with the princesses; and then every body else, grouped as they liked. Then they go on the water in gondolas, with music, they return at ten -the play is ready-it is over : twelve strikes-supper is brought in, and so passes Saturday.”
This lively picture of such frightful gambling, of the adulterous triumph of Madame de Montespan, and of the humiliating part to which the Queen was condemned, will induce our readers to concur with Madame de Sévigné, who, amused as she had been by the scene she has described, calls it nevertheless, with her usual
pure taste and good judgment,' l'iniqua corte.'
The Marquis of Dangeau began his Journal in the year 1681, and continued with extraordinary perseverance to record from day to day whatever appeared worthy of his notice down to 1720: there seem to have been but two intervals, one in 1709, on account of the illness of his only son, wounded at Malplaquet; the other in 1712, on the death of the younger Dauphine-an amiable young princess, whose fate cast a gloom over France, not unlike
• That which of late v'er pale Britannia pass’d.' His notes are extremely succinct, not to say dry, and relate to all subjects, the most trifling as well as the most important, and, preferably perhaps to the former. Our readers will judge of the extent of the original manuscript, when we inform him that Mad. de Genlis' abridgment contains tifteen hundred octavo pages, and that M. Lémontey has added above three hundred pages more. Such an immense mass has for a century past deterred every printer from undertaking its publication, and though it was known to exist, and though the curious throughout Europe were anxious about it, it would never probably have seen the light but for the inclination of Madame de Genlis towards the history of Louis XIV., which induced her to wind through this labyrinth, and to select for publication such articles as appeared to her the most interesting. Those who read merely for amusement will consider, we fear,
this eternal chronicle of small facts and proper names as insufferably tedious: but those who have a taste for this kind of writing, and some previous knowledge of the personages to whom it relates, will be pleased at meeting so many of their old friends, and amused with the transactious, great aud small, which Dangeau records of them ; ubile those who look still deeper into the work will find a great deal of chronological and some historical inforination, with many important views of the manners and morals of the age, of the character of the sovereign and his ministers, and of the secret springs and personal motives of many considerable events.
But this collection is, above all, rich in matters of court etiquette. It is indeed a text-book of this kind of learning, and if the present king of France were not so much of a philosophe, and so willing to forget all the fornis and feelings of the ancient monarchy, we should be inclined to felicitate him on the recovery of a work as important to the re-establishment of courtly regulations, as the finding the Justinian Pandects was to the revival of the Roman law. We suspect that it was in the search of matter for her Dictionnaire des Etiquettes that Madame de Genlis became acquainted with Dangeau; she has in that work large obligations to him, which she has now repaid by generously bringing him forward in his own character.
Dangeau's punctilious anxiety about etiquette was so great as not to contine itself to Versailles; he was not indifferent to the proceedings of the English court, where the easy negligence of Charles the Second and the unbending ceremony of James alike called forth his animadversions.
• We learn that the King of England (James II.) received the Maréchal de Lorges (the French ambassador) covered and sitting; the late king, his brother, was not used so to receive the ministers of France, or even of other kings; this exception has surprized us by its novelty, though, strictly speaking, it may be right. The late king was so little inclined to any kind of ceremony that when M. de Vaudémont went to the English court, and wanted to stipulate thai(being a grandee of Spain) he should cover himself at his audience, Charles replied to those who spoke to him about il-“ Let him cover himself if he will, provided he does not force me to do so 100." The present king has also regulated that ambassadors and foreign ministers should hereafter only speak 10 him at formal audiences; this is also a great change, for the king, his brother, gave audience at all bours and every where, and most frequently at his mistresses, and without any preparation.- March 20th, 1685.'
James was right in this point of etiquette, and he initated the exanıple set him (as we see in Bassompierie's account of his own embassy) by his father; it was also the custom of the court of France : avd Dangeau's surprize therefore only shows the arrogant pretensions which that court was inclined to advance of being VOL. XIX. NO. XXXVIII.
treated with more respect than it paid. Charles's answer to the Prince de Vaudémont reminds us of his pleasant rebuke to Penn the Quaker, who not only persisted in wearing his own hat in the sovereign's presence, but condescendingly invited the king to put on his : No, Friend Penn,' said the good-humoured monarch,' it is the custom that only one person should be covered here.?
When James, expelled at the Revolution, arrives in France, Dangeau's chief concern in the affair is the several questions of precedency and etiquette to which the presence of the two kings and the generosity of Louis give occasion. It is strange, and shews the costive style in which Dangeau writes, that this generosity-one of the noblest traits of Louis's history-does not draw a single word of admiration or applause from the phlegmatic chronicler: he even relates—without any remark, and as coldly as he does the morning or evening compliments-the fine expression with which Louis took leave of James, when setting out to attempt the recovery of his kingdom. The best wish I can make for you, Sir, is that I may never see you again; if however fortune should oblige you to return, you will still find me what you have already found me. 25th Feb. 1689.'
We have heard that when the Prince Regent was taking leave. of the present French king, at Dover, His Royal Highness addressed him in these words of Louis XIV.-a well-timed compliment, which, besides its obvious import, had the merit of reminding his Majesty of the generosity of his great ancestor, and of a king of France's having paid, to an unfortunate sovereign, the same attentions which, under happier auspices, he himself now received.
Of two of Charles II.'s sons, Dangeau gives us anecdotes, of which we, at least, were before ignorant.
“The Duke of St. Albans, son of the king of England, and of Miss Gouin (Gwyon), an actress, was presented to the king; the Queen Dowager gave him a pension of 2,000 pieces, without which he could not subsist.'--Nouv. Mém. Aloy $th, 16si.
It was but the year before that he was created a Duke, and appointed to some very lucrative offices. James (less generous than the Queen Dowager, to whom the very existence of the young duke was an insult) had, it would seem, resumed all these grants. We are now the less surprized at reading that the Duke of St. Albans was abroad at the time of the Revolution, and that bis regiment, with his lieutenant-colonel at its head, was one of the first that went over to the Prince of Orange.
The king was pleased to assist at the abjuration of the Duke of Richmond. * Note. This conversion (to popery) did not last long. The Duke re