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Memoirs of Louis XIV and His Court and of the Rege

Produced by David Widger

MEMOIRS OF THE COURT OF LOUIS XIV. AND OF THE REGENCY

Being the Secret Memoirs of the Mother of the Regent, MADAME ELIZABETH-CHARLOTTE OF BAVARIA, DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS.

BOOK 4.

Victor Amadeus II. The Grand Duchess, Consort of Cosimo II. of Florence The Duchesse de Lorraine, Elizabeth-Charlotte d'Orleans The Duc du Maine The Duchesse du Maine Louvois Louis XV. Anecdotes and Historical Particulars of Various Persons Explanatory Notes

SECTION XXXV.--VICTOR AMADEUS, KING OF SICILY.

It is said that the King of Sicily is always in ill humour, and that he is always quarrelling with his mistresses. He and Madame de Verrue have quarrelled, they say, for whole days together. I wonder how the good Queen can love him with such constancy; but she is a most virtuous person and patience itself. Since the King had no mistresses he lives upon better terms with her. Devotion has softened his heart and his temper.

Madame de Verrue is, I dare say, forty-eight years of age (1718). I shared some of the profits of her theft by buying of her 160 medals of gold, the half of those which she stole from the King of Sicily. She had also boxes filled with silver medals, but they were all sold in England.

[The Comtesse de Verrue was married at the age of thirteen years. Victor Amadeus, then King of Sardinia, fell in love with her. She would have resisted, and wrote to her mother and her husband, who were both absent. They only joked her about it. She then took that step which all the world knows. At the age of eighteen, being at a dinner with a relation of her husband's, she was poisoned. The person she suspected was the same that was dining with her; he did not quit her, and wanted to have her blooded. Just at this time the Spanish Ambassador at Piedmont sent her a counter-poison which had a happy effect: she recovered, but never would mention whom she suspected. She got tired of the King, and persuaded her brother, the Chevalier de Lugner, to come and carry her off, the King being then upon a journey. The rendezvous was in a chapel about four leagues distant from Turin. She had a little parrot with her. Her brother arrived, they set out together, and, after having proceeded four leagues on her journey, she remembered that she had forgotten her parrot in the chapel. Without regarding the danger to which she exposed her brother, she insisted upon returning to look for her parrot, and did so. She died in Paris in the beginning of the reign of Louis XV. She was fond of literary persons, and collected about her some of the best company of that day, among whom her wit and grace enabled her to cut a brilliant figure. She was the intimate friend of the poet La Faye, whom she advised in his compositions, and whose life she made delightful. Her fondness for the arts and pleasure procured for her the appellation of 'Dame de Volupte', and she wrote this epitaph upon herself:


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