Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court and of the Regency — Volume 13 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 89 pages of information about Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court and of the Regency — Volume 13.

At last the public was satisfied.  The small-pox seized Law’s son, and (on account of its keeping him from the ballet) caused universal joy.  The ballet was danced several times, its success answering in no way to the Marechal de Villeroy.  The King was so wearied, so fatigued, with learning, with rehearsing, and with dancing this ballet, that he took an aversion for these fetes and for everything offering display, which has never quitted him since, and which does not fail to leave a void in the Court; so that this ballet ceased sooner than was intended, and the Marechal de Villeroy never dared to propose another.

M. le Duc d’Orleans, either by his usual facility, or to smooth down the new elevation of Law to the post of comptroller-general, bestowed a number of pecuniary favours; he gave 600,000 livres to La Fare, captain of his guard; 200,000 livres to Castries, chevalier d’honneur to Madame la Duchesse d’Orleans; 200,000 livres to the old Prince de Courtenay, who much needed them; 20,000 livres pension to the Prince de Talmont; 6000 livres to the Marquise de Bellefonds, who already had a similar sum; and moved by cries on the part of M. le Prince de Conti, 60,000 livres to the Comte de la Marche his son, scarcely three years old; he gave, also, smaller amounts to various others.  Seeing so much depredation, and no recovery to hope for, I asked M. le Duc d’Orleans to attach 12,000 livres, by way of increase, to my government of Senlis, which was worth only 1000 livres, and of which my second son had the reversion.  I obtained it at once.

CHAPTER C

About the commencement of the new year, 1720, the system of Law approached its end.  If he had been content with his bank his bank within wise and proper limits—­the money of the realm might have been doubled, and an extreme facility afforded to commerce and to private enterprise, because, the establishment always being prepared to meet its liabilities, the notes it issued would have been as good as ready money, and sometimes even preferable, on account of the facility of transport.  It must be admitted, however, as I declared to M. le Duc d’Orleans in his cabinet, and as I openly said in the Council of the Regency when the bank passed there, that good as this establishment might be in itself, it could only be so in a republic, or in a monarchy, like that of England, where the finances are absolutely governed by those who furnish them, and who simply furnish as much or as little as they please; but in a trivial, changing, and more than absolute state like France solidity necessarily is wanting, consequently confidence (at least of a discreet and proper kind):  since a king, and under his name, a mistress, a minister, favourites; still more, extreme necessities, such as the deceased King experienced in the years 1707-8-9 and 10,—­a hundred things, in fact, could overthrow the bank, the allurements of which were,

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