The Memoirs of Louis XIV HTML version

Mademoiselle D'orleans, Louise-Adelaide De Chartres
Mademoiselle de Chartres, Madame d'Orleans' second daughter, is well made, and is the
handsomest of my granddaughters. She has a fine skin, a superb complexion, very white
teeth, good eyes, and a faultless shape, but she stammers a little; her hands are extremely
delicate, the red and white are beautifully and naturally mingled in her skin. I never saw
finer teeth; they are like a row of pearls; and her gums are no less beautiful. A Prince of
Auhalt who is here is very much in love with her; but the good gentleman is ugly enough,
so that there is no danger. She dances well, and sings better; reads music at sight, and
understands the accompaniment perfectly; and she sings without any grimace. She
persists in her project of becoming a nun; but I think she would be better in the world,
and do all in my power to change her determination: it seems, however, to be a folly
which there is no eradicating. Her tastes are all masculine; she loves dogs, horses, and
riding; all day long she is playing with gunpowder, making fusees and other artificial
fireworks. She has a pair of pistols, which she is incessantly firing; she fears nothing in
the world, and likes nothing which women in general like; she cares little about her
person, and for this reason I think she will make a good nun.
She does not become a nun through jealousy of her sister, but from the fear of being
tormented by her mother and sister, whom she loves very much, and in this she is right.
She and her sister are not fond of their mother's favourites, and cannot endure to flatter
them. They have no very reverent notions, either, of their mother's brother, and this is the
cause of dissensions. I never saw my granddaughter in better spirits than on Sunday last;
she was with her sister, on horseback, laughing, and apparently in great glee. At eight
o'clock in the evening her mother arrived; we played until supper; I thought we were
afterwards going to play again, but Madame d'Orleans begged me to go into the cabinet
with her and Mademoiselle d'Orleans; the child there fell on her knees, and begged my
permission, and her mother's, to go to Chelles to perform her devotions. I said she might
do that anywhere, that the place mattered not, but that all depended upon her own heart,
and the preparation which she made. She, however, persisted in her desire to go to
Chelles. I said to her mother:
"You must decide whether your daughter shall go to Chelles or not."
She replied, "We cannot hinder her performing her devotions."
[In the Memoirs of the time it is said that Mademoiselle de Chartres, being at the Opera
with her mother, exclaimed, while Caucherau was singing a very tender air," Ah! my dear
Caucherau!" and that her mother, thinking this rather too expressive, resolved to send her
to a convent.]