The Memoirs of Louis XIV
The Duc Du Maine, Louis-Augustus
The Duc du Maine flattered himself that he would marry my daughter. Madame de
Maintenon and Madame de Montespan were arranging this project in presence of several
merchants, to whom they paid no attention, but the latter, engaging in the conversation,
said, "Ladies, do not think of any such thing, for it will cost you your lives if you bring
about that marriage."
Madame de Maintenon was dreadfully frightened at this, and immediately went to the
King to persuade him to relinquish the affair.
The Duc du Maine possesses talent, which he displays particularly in his manner of
relating anything. He knows very well who is his mother, but he has never had the least
affection for any one but his gouvernante, against whom he never bore ill-will, although
she displaced his mother and put herself in her room. My son will not believe that the
Duc du Maine is the King's son. He has always been treacherous, and is feared and hated
at Court as an arch tale-bearer. He has done many persons very ill offices with the King;
and those in particular to whom he promised most were those who have had the greatest
reason to complain of him. His little wife is worse even than he, for the husband is
sometimes restrained by fear; but she mingles the pathetic occasionally in her comedies.
It is certain that there does not exist a more false and wicked couple in the whole world
than they are.
I can readily believe that the Comte de Toulouse is the King's son; but I have always
thought that the Duc du Maine is the son of Terme, who was a false knave, and the
greatest tale-bearer in the Court.
That old Maintenon had persuaded the King that the Duc du Maine was full of piety and
virtue. When he reported evil tales of any persons, she pretended that it was for their
good, and to induce the King to correct them. The King was, therefore, induced to fancy
everything he did admirable, and to take him for a saint. The confessor, Le Pere Letellier,
contributed to keep up this good opinion in order to pay court to the old woman; and the
late Chancellor, M. Voisin, by her orders continued to aid the King's delusion.
The Duc du Maine fancied that, since he had succeeded in getting himself declared a
Prince of the blood, he should not find it difficult on that account to attain the royal
dignity, and that he could easily arrange everything with respect to my son and the other
Princes of the blood. For this reason he and the old woman industriously circulated the
report that my son had poisoned the Dauphine and the Duc de Berri. The Duc du Maine
was instigated by Madame de Montespan and Madame de Maintenon to report things
secretly to the King; at first for the purpose of making him bark like a cur at all whom
they disliked, and afterwards for the King's diversion, and to make themselves beloved by