The Memoirs of Louis XIV
It is impossible for any child to be more agreeable than our young King; he has large,
dark eyes and long, crisp eyelashes; a good complexion, a charming little mouth, long
and thick dark-brown hair, little red cheeks, a stout and well-formed body, and very
pretty hands and feet; his gait is noble and lofty, and he puts on his hat exactly like the
late King. The shape of his face is neither too long nor too short; but the worst thing, and
which he inherits from his mother, is, that he changes colour very frequently. Sometimes
he looks ill, but in half an hour his colour will have returned. His manners are easy, and it
may be said, without flattery, that he dances very well. He is quick and clever in all that
he attempts; he has already (1720) begun to shoot at pheasants and partridges, and has a
great passion for shooting.
He is as like his mother as one drop of water is to another; he has sense enough, and all
that he seems to want is a little more affability. He is terribly haughty, and already knows
what respect is. His look is what may be called agreeable, but his air is milder than his
character, for his little head is rather an obstinate and wilful one.
The young King was full of grief when Madame de Ventadour quitted him. She said to
him, "Sire, I shall come back this evening; mind that you behave very well during my
"My dear mamma," replied he, "if you leave me I cannot behave well."
He does not care at all for any of the other women.
The Marechal de Villeroi teases the young King sometimes about not speaking to me
enough, and sometimes about not walking with me. This afflicts the poor child and makes
him cry. His figure is neat, but he will speak only to persons he is accustomed to.
On the 12th August (1717), the young King fell out of his bed in the morning; a valet de
chambre, who saw him falling, threw himself adroitly on the ground, so that the child
might tumble upon him and not hurt himself; the little rogue thrust himself under the bed
and would not speak, that he might frighten his attendants.
The King's brother died of the small-pox in consequence of being injudiciously blooded;
this one, who is younger than his brother, was also attacked, but the femme de chambre
concealed it, kept him warm, and continued to give him Alicant wine, by which means
they preserved his life.
The King has invented an order which he bestows: upon the boys with whom he plays. It
is a blue and white ribbon, to which is suspended an enamelled oval plate, representing a
star and the tent or pavilion in which he plays on the terrace (1717).