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Saint-Simon Duke of; Memoirs of Louis XIV and the Regency

SKU: SaintSimon Dukeof AB0610225 $19.00
Memoirs of Louis XIV and the Regency by the Duke of Saint-Simon. Translated by Bayle St. John vol. I only of three published by M. Walter Dunne, New York in 1901. With a special introduction by Leon Vallee, Bibliothecaire a la Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Color photogravure after Mercier frontispiece aDeath of Louis XIIIawith additional photogravure after A. Moreau. Color pub. advertising plate after front endpaper. Black leather boards with French Royal Seal in gilt with a double-rule, then triple-rule gilt border with corner embellishments. Spine has 3.5 cm. x 12.5 cm. leather loss at foot and a 2 cm. x 3.5 cm. loss at head. Title, subject, author and vol. # are attached. Gilt top edge and deckled fore-edge and bottom edge. Color Royal Seal on pastedowns and endpapers. 403 off-white pages without foxing, spotting, tear or loss. Edge-wear, bumps, scuffs and shelf-wear are more than consistent with age. Text is complete. Binding is tight. No inscriptions or marks. No dust jacket. Volume measures: 16.5 cm. x 23.8 cm. (lg. Octavo). Louis XIV (5 September 1638 a'' 1 September 1715), known as the Sun King (French: le Roi Soleil), was King of France and of Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days, and is the longest documented reign of any European monarch. Louis began personally governing France in 1661 after the death of his prime minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the theory of the divine right of kings, which advocates the divine origin and lack of temporal restraint of monarchical rule, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralized state governed from the capital. He sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling the noble elite to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. For much of Louis's reign, France stood as the leading European power, engaging in three major warsa''the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, and the War of the Spanish Successiona''and two minor conflictsa''the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. He encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political, military and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Colbert, Turenne and Vauban, as well as MoliAre, Racine, Boileau, La Fontaine, Lully, Le Brun, Rigaud, Le Vau, Mansart, Perrault and Le NA'tre. Upon his death just days before his seventy-seventh birthday, Louis was succeeded by his five-year-old great-grandson who became Louis XV. All his intermediate heirsa''his son Louis, le Grand Dauphin; the Dauphin's eldest son Louis, duc de Bourgogne; and Bourgogne's eldest son Louis, duc de Bretagnea''predeceased Louis. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 in the ChAteau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria. His birth came after twenty-three years of his estranged parents' childlessness, leading contemporaries to regard him as a divine gift, and his birth, a miracle. Thus, he was named "Louis-DieudonnA" (Louis-God-given); also he bore the traditional title of French heirs apparenta''Dauphin. Louis was a product of noteworthy European ruling houses. His paternal grandparents were Henri IV and Marie de' Medici; and both his maternal grandparents were Habsburgsa''Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria. Through them, Louis was descended from various historical figures, such as Holy Roman Emperorsa''Charles V and Frederick Barbarossa. Other ancestors included the first monarchs of a united Spaina''Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragona''and the founder of Russia's first dynastya''Rurik the Viking. Louis was also a descendant of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy and the poet, Charles d'OrlAans, as well as the last of the great Condottieria''Giovanni de' Medici. Most importantly for his and his descendant's rights to the throne, Louis was descended in the direct legitimate male line from Saint Louis, and through him, from Hugh Capet, the first King of France. Tracing Louis's ancestry to the tenth generation, genealogist C. Carretier calculated his ancestry to be approximately 28% French, 26% Spanish, 11% Austro-German and 10% Portuguese, the rest being Italian, Slavic, English, Savoyard and Lorrainer. Recognising that his death was imminent, Louis XIII prepared for his son's impending minority rule. He decreed that a regency council should rule on Louis's behalf for the duration of the minority. Contrary to custom, he did not make Anne the sole regent despite her having given birth to Louis and his brother, Philippe, because he doubted her political abilities. He did however make her the head of the Council. On 14 May 1643, with Louis XIII dead and Louis XIV on the throne, Anne had her husband's will annulled by the Parlement de Paris (a judicial body comprising mostly nobles and high clergymen), abolished the regency council and became the sole regent. She then entrusted power to Cardinal Mazarin. Subsequently, in 1648, Mazarin successfully negotiated the Peace of Westphalia. Although war continued between France and Spain until the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, the Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years' War in Germany. Its terms ensured Dutch independence from Spain, awarded some autonomy to the various German princes, and granted Sweden seats on the Reichstag and territories to control the mouths of the Oder, Elbe and Weser. However, it profited France the most. Austria ceded to France all Habsburg lands and claims in Alsace and acknowledged French de facto sovereignty over the Three Bishoprics. Moreover, eager to emancipate themselves from Habsburg domination, petty German states sought French protection. This anticipated the formation of the 1658 League of the Rhine, leading to the further diminution of Imperial power. As the Thirty Years' War petered out, a civil wara''the Frondea''erupted. It effectively checked France's ability to exploit the Peace of Westphalia. Mazarin had largely pursued the policies of his predecessor, Cardinal Richelieu, augmenting the Crown's power at the expense of the nobility and the Parlements. The Frondeurs, political heirs of the turbulent feudal aristocracy, sought to protect their traditional feudal privileges from an increasingly centralized and centralizing royal government. Furthermore, they believed their traditional influence and authority was being usurped by the recently ennobled (the Noblesse de Robe) who administered the Kingdom and on whom the Monarchy increasingly began to rely. This belief intensified their resentment. In 1648, Mazarin attempted to tax members of the Parlement de Paris. The members not only refused to comply, but also ordered all his earlier financial edicts burned. Buoyed by the victory of Louis, duc da'Enghien (later le Grand CondA) at Lens, Mazarin arrested certain members in a show of force. Ironically, Paris erupted in rioting. A mob of angry Parisians broke into the royal palace and demanded to see their king. Led into the royal bedchamber, they gazed upon Louis, who was feigning sleep, were appeased and quietly departed. The threat to the royal family and Monarchy prompted Anne to flee Paris with the King and his courtiers. Shortly thereafter, the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia allowed CondA's army to return to aid Louis and his court. As this first Fronde (Fronde parlementaire, 1648a''1649) ended, a second (Fronde des princes, 1650a''1653) began. Unlike that which preceded it, tales of sordid intrigue and half-hearted warfare characterised this second phase of upper-class insurrection. This rebellion represented to the aristocracy a protest against and a reversal of their political demotion from vassals to courtiers. It was headed by the highest-ranking French nobles, from Louis's uncle, Gaston, duc d'OrlAans, and first cousin, la Grande Mademoiselle; to more distantly-related Princes of the Blood, like CondA, his brother, Conti, and their sister the duchesse de Longueville; to dukes of legitimised royal descent, like Henri, duc de Longueville, and FranAis, duc de Beaufort; and to princes Atrangers, such as FrAdAric Maurice, duc de Bouillon, and his brother, the famous Marshal of France, Turenne, as well as the duchesse de Chevreuse; and scions of France's oldest families, like FranAois, duc de La Rochefoucauld. The Frondeurs claimed to act on Louis's behalf and in his real interest against his mother and Mazarin. However, Louis's coming-of-age and subsequent coronation deprived them of their pretext for revolt. Thus, the Fronde gradually lost steam and ended in 1653, when Mazarin returned triumphant after having fled into exile on several occasions. On Mazarin's death in 1661, Louis assumed personal control of the reins of government. He was able to utilize the widespread public yearning for peace, law and order, resulting from prolonged foreign war and domestic civil strife, to further consolidate central political authority and reforms at the feudal aristocracy's expense. Praising his ability to wisely choose and encourage men of talent, Chateaubriand noted that "it is the voice of genius of all kinds which sounds from the tomb of Louis". Louis commenced his personal reign with administrative and fiscal reforms. In 1661, the treasury verged on bankruptcy. To rectify the situation, Louis chose Jean-Baptiste Colbert as ContrA'leur gAnAral des Finances in 1665. However, Louis first had to eliminate Nicolas Fouquet, the Surintendant des Finances. Fouquet was charged with embezzlement. The Parlement found him guilty and sentenced him to exile. However, Louis commuted the sentence to life-imprisonment and also abolished Fouquet's post. Although Fouquet's financial indiscretions were not really very different from Mazarin before or Colbert after him, his ambition was worrying to Louis. He had, for example, built an opulent chAteau at Vaux-le-Vicomte where he lavishly entertained a comparatively poorer Louis. He appeared eager to succeed Mazarin and Richelieu in assuming power, and indiscreetly purchased and privately fortified Belle Ae. These acts sealed his doom. Divested of Fouquet, Colbert reduced the national debt through more efficient taxation. The principal taxes included the aides and douanes (both customs duties), the gabelle (a tax on salt), and the taille (a tax on land). Louis and Colbert also had wide-ranging plans to bolster French commerce and trade. Colbert's mercantilist administration established new industries and encouraged manufacturers and inventors, such as the Lyon silk manufacturers and the Manufacture des Gobelins, a producer of tapestries. He also invited to France manufacturers and artisans from all over Europe, like Murano glassmakers, Swedish ironworkers, and Dutch shipbuilders. In this way, he aimed to decrease foreign imports while increasing French exports, hence reducing the net outflow of precious metals from France. Louis also instituted reforms in military administration through Le Tellier and his son Louvois. They helped to curb the independent spirit of the nobility, imposing order on them at court and in the army. Gone were the days when generals protracted war at the frontiers, while bickering over precedence and ignoring orders from the capital and the larger politico-diplomatic picture. The old military aristocracy (the Noblesse d'ApAe) also ceased to have a monopoly over senior military positions and rank. Louvois, in particular, pledged himself to modernizing the army, re-organizing it into a professional, disciplined and well-trained force. He was devoted to providing for the soldiers' material well-being and morale, and even tried to direct campaigns. The law also did not escape Louis's attention, as is reflected in the numerous Grandes Ordonnances he enacted. Pre-revolutionary France was a patchwork of legal systems, with as many coutumes as there were provinces, and two co-existing legal traditionsa''customary law in the northern pays de droit coutumier and Roman civil law in the southern pays de droit Acrit. The Grande Ordonnance de ProcAdure Civile of 1667, also known as Code Louis, was a comprehensive legal code attempting a uniform regulation of civil procedure throughout legally irregular France. It prescribed inter alia baptismal, marriage and death records in the State's registers, not the Church's, and also strictly regulated the right to remonstrance of the Parlements. The Code Louis played an important part in French legal history as the basis for the Code NapolAon, itself the origin of many modern legal codes. One of Louis's more infamous decrees was the Grande Ordonnance sur les Colonies of 1685, also known as Code Noir. Although it sanctioned slavery, it did humanise the practice by prohibiting the separation of families. Additionally, in the colonies, only Roman Catholics could own slaves, and these had to be baptised. The Sun King generously financed the royal court, and supported those who worked under him. He brought the AcadAmie FranAaise under his patronage, and became its "Protector". He allowed Classical French literature to flourish by protecting such writers as MoliAre, Racine and La Fontaine, whose works remain greatly influential to this day. Louis also patronised the visual arts by funding and commissioning various artists, such as Charles Le Brun, Pierre Mignard, Antoine Coysevox and Hyacinthe Rigaud whose works became famous throughout Europe. In music, composers and musicians, like Lully, ChambonniAres and FranAois Couperin thrived and influenced many others. Through four main building campaigns, Louis converted a hunting lodge built by Louis XIII into the spectacular Palace of Versailles. With the exception of the current Royal Chapel built at the end of Louis's reign, the Palace achieved much of its current appearance after the third building campaign. That was when Louis officially moved the royal court to Versailles on 6 May 1682. Versailles became a dazzling, awe-inspiring setting for state affairs and the reception of foreign dignitaries. At Versailles, the King alone assumed the attention, which was not shared with the Capital or People. Several reasons have been suggested for the creation of the extravagant and stately palace, as well as the relocation of the monarchy's seat. For example, Saint-Simon speculated that Louis viewed Versailles as an isolated power center where treasonous cabals could be more readily discovered and foiled. Alternatively, the Fronde caused Louis to allegedly hate Paris, which he abandoned for a country retreat. However, his many improvements, embellishments and developments of Paris, such as the establishment of a police and street-lighting, lend little credence to this theory. As further examples of his continued care for the Capital, Louis constructed the "HA'tel des Invalides"a''a military complex and home to this day for officers and soldiers rendered infirm either by injury or age. While pharmacology was still quite rudimentary, les Invalides pioneered new treatments and set new standards for hospice treatment. The conclusion of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1668 also induced Louis to demolish the northern walls of Paris in 1670 and replace them with wide tree-lined boulevards. Moreover, Louis also renovated and improved the Louvre and many other royal residences. Bernini was originally to plan additions to the Louvre. However, his plans would have meant the destruction of much of the existing structure, replacing it with an Italian summer villa in the centre of Paris. Bernini's plans were eventually shelved in favour of Perrault's elegant colonnade. With the relocation of the court to Versailles, the Louvre was given over to the Arts and the public. In June 1686, on the advice of his secret wife, Madame de Maintenon, Louis signed letters patent creating the "Institut de Saint-Louis" at Saint-Cyr for "filles pauvres de la noblesse" (poor noble girls) between the ages of seven and twenty. Construction had begun two years previously. Saint-Cyr was at the time the only educational institution for girls in France that was not a convent. Admission of the 250 students was dependent on evidence documenting at least four generations of nobility on their father's side. Madame de Maintenon took great pleasure in this school and was finally to die there. By the early 1680s, therefore, Louis had greatly augmented French influence in the world. Domestically, he successfully increased the Crown's influence and authority over the Church and aristocracy. Louis initially supported traditional Gallicanism, which limited papal authority in France, and convened an AssemblAe du ClergA in November 1681. Before its dissolution eight months later, the Assembly had accepted the Declaration of the Clergy of France, which increased royal authority at the expense of papal power. Without royal approval, bishops could not leave France and appeals could not be made to the Pope. Moreover, government officials could not be excommunicated for acts committed in pursuance of their duties. Although the King could make ecclesiastical law, all papal regulations without royal assent were invalid in France. The Pope unsurprisingly repudiated the Declaration. By attaching them to his court, Louis also achieved increased control over the French aristocracy. Pensions and privileges necessary to live in a style appropriate to their rank were only possible by waiting constantly on Louis. Moreover, by entertaining, impressing and domesticating them with extravagant luxury and other distractions, Louis expected them to remain under his scrutiny. This prevented them from passing time on their own estates and in their regional power-bases, from which they historically waged local wars and plotted resistance to royal authority. Louis thus compelled and seduced the old military aristocracy (the noblesse d'ApAe) into becoming his ceremonial courtiers, further weakening their power. The underlying rationale for Louis's actions could be found in experiences of the Fronde. Louis judged that royal power better thrived by filling high executive or administrative posts with commoners or the relatively more recent bureaucratic aristocracy (the noblesse de robe). These could be more easily dismissed than a grandee of ancient lineage whose entrenched influence would be more difficult to destroy. In fact, Louis's final victory over the nobility may have ensured the end of major French civil wars until the Revolution about a century later. Indeed, Lynn calculated that a significant reduction in years with civil war occurred after Louis's reign. The 1680s would see France not only becoming more isolated from its former allies, but also at the height and apogee of its power. Louis's policy of RAunions brought France to its largest extent during his reign. Furthermore, the bombardment of the Barbary pirate strongholds of Algiers and Tripoli produced favourable treaties and the liberation of Christian slaves. Lastly, in 1684, Louis ordered the bombardment of Genoa for its support of Spain in previous wars, and procured Genoese submission and an official apology by the Doge at Versailles. Having been married in 1660, Louis and Maria Theresa of Spain had six children. However, only one child, the eldest, survived to adulthood a'' Louis, le Grand Dauphin, known as "Monseigneur". Maria Theresa died in 1683, whereupon Louis remarked that she had caused him unease on no other occasion. Despite evidence of affection early on in their marriage, Louis did not remain faithful to Maria Theresa for long. He took a series of mistresses, both official and unofficial, amongst which are Mademoiselle de La ValliAre, Madame de Montespan, and Mademoiselle de Fontanges. Through these liaisons, he produced numerous illegitimate children, most of whom he married to members of cadet branches of the royal family. Nonetheless, Louis proved more faithful to his second wife, Madame de Maintenon. It is believed that they were married secretly on or around 10 October 1683 at Versailles. This marriage, though never announced or publicly discussed, was an open secret and lasted till his death. After a reign of 72 years, Louis died of gangrene at Versailles on 1 September 1715, four days before his 77th birthday. Reciting the psalm Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina (O Lord, make haste to help me), Louis "yielded up his soul without any effort, like a candle going out". His body lies in Royal Basilica of Saint Denis outside Paris. The Dauphin had predeceased Louis in 1711, leaving three children a'' Louis, Duke of Burgundy; Philip V; and Charles, Duke of Berry. The eldest, Bourgogne, followed in 1712, and was himself soon followed by his elder son, Louis, Duke of Brittany. Thus, on Louis XIV's deathbed, his heir was his five-year-old great-grandson, Louis, Duke of Anjou, Burgundy's youngest son, and Dauphin after his grandfather's, father's and elder brother's deaths in short succession. Louis foresaw a minority and sought to restrict the power of his nephew, Philippe d'OrlAans, who as closest surviving legitimate relative in France would become the prospective Louis XV's regent. Accordingly, he created a regency council as Louis XIII did in anticipation of his own minority with some power vested in his illegitimate son, Louis Auguste de Bourbon. OrlAans, however, would have Louis's will annulled in the Parlement de Paris after his death and make himself sole Regent. He stripped Maine and his brother, Louis Alexandre de Bourbon, of the rank of "prince of the Blood", which Louis had given them, and significantly reduced Maine's power and privileges. According to Philippe de Dangeau's Journal, on his deathbed, Louis allegedly said to the future Louis XV: "Do not follow the bad example which I have set you; I have often undertaken war too lightly and have sustained it for vanity. Do not imitate me, but be a peaceful prince, and may you apply yourself principally to the alleviation of the burdens of your subjects". However, following the fashion of Baroque piety, Louis may have judged himself too harshly. He successfully placed a French prince on the Spanish throne, effectively ending the old Habsburg threat from across the Pyrenees; despite political instability, the Bourbons have survived and reign in Spain to this day. His foreign, military and domestic expenditure bankrupted the State and may have contributed to the Revolution, though this is questionable given that his successors had over seventy years between his death and the Revolution to initiate preventative reforms. Moreover, it was the State, not the country, which was impoverished in Louis's time. One need only look to Lettres Persanes by the socio-political thinker-commentator Montesquieu to observe the wealth and opulence in France at the end of Louis's reign. Whatever the case, however, Louis strengthened the Crown's authority over the traditional feudal elites, marking the beginning of the modern State. He fought against several great European alliances, and often triumphed, presenting France ten new provinces, an overseas empire and the pre-eminent position in Europe. These political and military victories along with numerous cultural achievements earned France the admiration of Europe for its power, success, sophistication, products, values, and way of life. Louis's reign eventually served as an example to Enlightenment Europe, and French became the lingua franca for the entire European elite, even to Romanov Russia. Indeed, as Montesquieu wrote, "[Louis] established the greatness of France by building Versailles and Marly". Saint-Simon, who claimed Louis slighted him, criticised him thus: "There was nothing he liked so much as flattery, or, to put it more plainly, adulation; the coarser and clumsier it was, the more he relished it". However, the anti-Bourbon Napoleon honoured Louis as "the only King of France worthy of the name" and "a great king". Even the German Protestant philosopher Leibniz commended him as "one of the greatest kings that ever was", and Lord Acton went so far as to describe Louis as "by far the ablest man who was born in modern times on the steps of a throne." Finally, comparing Louis to Augustus, Voltaire, the apostle of the Enlightenment, dubbed his reign "an eternally memorable age" and "le Grand SiAcle" (the "Great Century").