The moment was ill chosen; just then Mademoiselle de Montpensier was striving to break the fetters of her dear De Lauzun; she certainly did not wish to get him out of one prison, and then put herself into another. Every one blamed this reformer’s foolish presumption, and Mademoiselle, thoroughly exasperated, forbade her servants to admit him. It was said that he had worked two or three miracles, and brought certain dead people back to life.
“I will rebuild his monastery for him in marble if he will give us back poor little Vegin, and the Duc d’Anjou,” said the King to me.
The remark almost brought tears to my eyes, just as I was about to joke with his Majesty about the fellow and his miracles.
Well satisfied with his Parisian harvest, the Abbe le Bouthilier de Rance went straight to his convent, where the inmates were persevering enough to be silent, fast, dig, catch their death of cold, and beat themselves for him.
Madame Cormeil, wishing to have a good look at the man, sent to inform him of her illness. Would-be saints are much afraid of words with a double meaning. In no whit disconcerted, he replied that he had devoted his entire zeal to the poor in spirit, and that Madame Cormeil was not of their number.
The Court Goes to Flanders.—Nancy.—Ravon.—Sainte
Mines.—Dancing and Death.—A German Sovereign’s Respectful Visit.—The
Young Strasburg Priests.—The Good Bailiff of Chatenoi.—The Bridge at
Brisach.—The Capucin Monk Presented to the Queen.
Before relating that which I have to say about the Queen and her precautions against myself, I would not omit certain curious incidents during the journey that the King caused us to take in Alsatia and Flanders, when he captured Maestricht and Courtrai.
The King having left us behind at Nancy, a splendid town where a large proportion of the nobility grieved for the loss of Messieurs de Lorraine, their legitimate sovereigns, the Queen soon saw that here she was more honoured than beloved. It was this position which suggested to her the idea of going to Spa, close by, and of taking the waters for some days.
If the Infanta was anxious to escape from the frigid courtesies of the Lorraine aristocracy, I also longed to have a short holiday, and to keep away from the Queen, as well for the sake of her peace of mind as for my own. My doctor forbade me to take the Spa waters, as they were too sulphurous; he ordered me those of Pont-a-Mousson. Hardly had I moved there, when orders came for us all to meet at Luneville, and thence we set out to rejoin the King.
Horrible was the first night of our journey spent at Ravon, in the Vosges Mountains. The house in which Mademoiselle de Montpensier and I lodged was a dilapidated cottage, full of holes, and propped up in several places. Lying in bed, we heard the creaking of the beams and rafters. Two days afterwards the house, so they told us, collapsed.