The Memoirs of Louis XIV
The Duchesse De Lorraine, Elizabeth-Charlotte
Consort Of Leopold Joseph-Charles De Lorraine
My daughter is ugly; even more so than she was, for the fine complexion which she once
had has become sun-burnt. This makes a great difference in the appearance, and causes a
person to look old. She has an ugly round nose, and her eyes are sunken; but her shape is
preserved, and, as she dances well, and her manners are easy and polished, any one may
see that she is a person of breeding. I know many people who pique themselves upon
their good manners, and who still have not so much reason as she has. At all events I am
content with my child as she is; and I would rather see her ugly and virtuous than pretty
and profligate like the rest.
Whenever the time of her accouchement approaches, she never fails to bid her friends
adieu, in the notion that she will die. Fortunately she has hitherto always escaped well.
When jealousy is once suffered to take root, it is impossible to extirpate it--therefore it is
better not to let it gain ground. My daughter pretends not to be affected by hers, but she
often suffers great affliction from it. This is not astonishing, because she is very fond of
her children; and the woman with whom the Duke is infatuated, together with her
husband, do not leave him a farthing; they completely ruin his household. Craon is an
accursed cuckold and a treacherous man. The Duc de Lorraine knows that my daughter is
acquainted with everything, and I believe he likes her the better that she does not
remonstrate with him, but endures all patiently. He is occasionally kind to her, and,
provided that he only says tender things to her, she is content and cheerful.
I should almost believe that the Duke's mistress has given him a philtre, as Neidschin did
to the Elector of Saxony. When he does not see her, it is said he perspires copiously at the
head, and, in order that the cuckold of a husband may say nothing about the affair, the
Duke suffers him to do whatever he pleases. He and his wife, who is gouvernante, rule
everything, although neither the one nor the other has any feeling of honour. She is to
come hither, it seems, with the Duke and Duchess.
The Duc de Lorraine is here incog.
[He came to Paris for the purpose of soliciting an arrondissement in Champagne and the
title of Royal Highness. Through the influence of his mother-in-law he obtained both the
one and the other. By virtue of a treaty very disadvantageous for France, but which was
nevertheless registered by the Parliament, he increased his states by adding to them a
great number of villages.]
under the title of the Comte de Blamont. Formerly the chase was his greatest passion; but
now, it seems, the swain is wholly amorous. It is in vain for him to attempt to conceal it;