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Memoirs of Madame la Marquise de Montespan — Complete
Description: - The reign of the King who now so happily and so gloriously rules over France will one day exercise the talent of the most skilful historians. But these men of genius, deprived of the advantage of seeing the great monarch whose portrait they fain would draw, will search everywhere among the souvenirs of contemporaries and base their judgments upon our testimony. It is this great consideration which has made me determined to devote some of my hours of leisure to narrating, in these accurate and truthful Memoirs, the events of which I myself am witness. Naturally enough, the position which I fill at the great theatre of the Court has made me the object of much false admiration, and much real satire. Many men who owed to me their elevation or their success have defamed me; many women have belittled my position after vain efforts to secure the King's regard. In what I now write, scant notice will be taken of all such ingratitude. Before my establishment at Court I had met with hypocrisy of this sort in the world; and a man must, indeed, be reckless of expense who daily entertains at his board a score of insolent detractors. I have too much wit to be blind to the fact that I am not precisely in my proper place. But, all things considered, I flatter myself that posterity will let certain weighty circumstances tell in my favour. An accomplished monarch, to greet whom the Queen of Sheba would have come from the uttermost ends of the earth, has deemed me worthy of his entertainment, and has found amusement in my society. He has told me of the esteem which the French have for Gabrielle d'Estrees, and, like that of Gabrielle, my heart has let itself be captured, not by a great king, but by the most honest man of his realm. To France, Gabrielle gave the Vendome, to-day our support. The princes, my sons, give promise of virtues as excellent, and will be worthy to aspire to destinies as noble. It is my desire and my duty to give no thought to my private griefs begotten of an ill-assorted marriage. May the King ever be adored by his people; may my children ever be beloved and cherished by the King; I am happy, and I desire to be so.
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