The Ancient Regime eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 652 pages of information about The Ancient Regime.

Saint-Faron, says Boiteau, set down at 18,000 livres, is worth 120,000 livres.

The abbey of Saint-Germain des Près (in the stewardships), is put down at 100,000 livres.  The Comte de Clermont, who formerly had it, leased it at 160, 000 livres, “not including reserved fields and all that the farmers furnished in straw and oats for his horses.” (Jules Cousin, “Comte de Clermont and his Court.”)

Saint-Waas d’Arras, according to “La France Ecclésiastique,” brings 40,000 livres.  Cardinal de Rohan refused 1,000 livres per month for his portion offered to him by the monks. (Duc de Lévis, “Souvenirs,” p. 156).  Its value thus is about 300,000 livres.

Remiremont, the abbess always being a royal princess, one of the most powerful monasteries, the richest and best endowed, is officially valued at the ridiculous sum of 15,000 livres. --------------------------------------


On the education of princes and princesses.

An entire chapter might be devoted to this subject; I shall cite but a few texts.

(Barbier, “Journal,” October, 1670).  The Dauphine has just given birth to an infant.

“La jeune princesse en est a sa quatrieme nourrice. . . .  Jai appris à cette occasion que tout se fait par forme à la cour, suivant un protocole de médecin, en sorte que c’est un miracle d’élever un prince et une princesse.  La nourrice n’a d’autres fonctions que de donner à têter à l’enfant quand on le lui apporte; elle ne peut pas lui toucher.  Il y a des remueuses et femmes préposées pour cela, mais qui n’ont point d’ordre à recevoir de la nourrice.  Il y a des heures pour remuer l’enfant, trois ou quatre fois dans la journée.  Si l’enfant dort, on le réveille pour le remuer.  Si, après avoir été changé, il fait dans ses langes, il reste ainsi trois ou quatre heures dans son ordure.  Si une epingle le pique, la nourrice ne doit pas l’ôter; il faut chercher et attendre une autre femme; l’enfant crie dans tons ces cas, il se tuurmente et s’échauffe, en sorte que c’est une vraie misère que toutes ces cérémonies.”

(Madame de Genlis, “Souvenirs de Félicie,” p.74.  Conversation with Madame Louise, daughter of Louis XV., and recently become a Carmelite).

“I should like to know what troubled you most in getting accustomed to your new profession?

“You could never imagine,” she replied, smiling.  “It was the descent of a small flight of steps alone by myself.  At first it seemed to me a dreadful precipice, and I was obliged to sit down on the steps and slide down in that attitude.” — “A princess, indeed, who had never descended any but the grand staircase at Versailles, leaning on the arm of her cavalier in waiting and surrounded by pages, necessarily trembled on finding herself alone on the brink of steep winding steps. (Such is) the education, so absurd in many respects, generally bestowed on persons of this rank; always watched from infancy, followed, assisted, escorted and everything anticipated, (they) are thus, in great part, deprived of the faculties with which nature has endowed them.”

Project Gutenberg
The Ancient Regime from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook