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The Memoirs of Louis XIV

Henrietta Of England, The First Wife Of Monsieur,
Brother Of Louis XIV
It is true that the late Madame was extremely unhappy; she confided too much in people
who betrayed her: she was more to be pitied than blamed, being connected with very
wicked persons, about whom I could give some particulars. Young, pretty and gay, she
was surrounded by some of the greatest coquettes in the world, the mistresses of her
bitterest foes, and who sought only to thrust her into some unfortunate situation and to
embroil her with Monsieur. Madame de Coetquen was the Chevalier de Lorraine's
mistress, although Madame did not know it; and she contrived that the Marechal de
Turenne should become attached to her. Madame having told the Marshal all her secrets
respecting the negotiations with England, he repeated them to his mistress, Madame de
Coetquen, whom he believed to be devoted to his mistress. This woman went every night
to the Chevalier de Lorraine and betrayed them all. The Chevalier used this opportunity
to stir up Monsieur's indignation against Madame, telling him that he passed with the
King for a simpleton, who could not hold his tongue; that he would lose all confidence,
and that his wife would have everything in her own hand. Monsieur wished to know all
the particulars from Madame; but she refused to tell him her brother's secrets, and this
widened the breach between them. She became enraged, and had the Chevalier de
Lorraine and his brother driven away, which in the end cost her own life; she, however,
died with the consciousness of never having done her husband any harm. She was the
confidante of the King, to whom it had been hinted that it might be expedient to give
some employment to Monsieur, who might otherwise make himself beloved in the Court
and in the city. For this reason the King assisted Madame in her affairs of gallantry, in
order to occupy his brother. I have this from the King himself. Madame was besides in
great credit with her brother, Charles II. (of England). Louis XIV. wished to gain him
over through his sister, wherefore it was necessary to take part with her, and she was
always better treated than I have been. The late Monsieur never suspected his wife of
infidelity with the King, her brother-in-law, he told me, all her life, and would not have
been silent with respect to this intrigue if he had believed it. I think that with respect to
this great injustice is done to Madame. It would have been too much to deceive at once
the brother and the nephew, the father and the son.
The late Monsieur was very much disturbed at his wife's coquetry; but he dared not
behave ill to her, because she was protected by the King.
The Queen-mother of England had not brought up her children well: she at first left them
in the society of femmes de chambre, who gratified all their caprices; and having
afterwards married them at a very early age, they followed the bad example of their
mother. Both of them met with unhappy deaths; the one was poisoned, and the other died
in child-birth.
Monsieur was himself the cause of Madame's intrigue with the Comte de Guiche. He was
one of the favourites of the late Monsieur, and was said to have been handsome once.
Monsieur earnestly requested Madame to shew some favour to the Comte de Guiche, and