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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Marriage
By Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon (1675–1755)
 
From the ‘Memoirs’

ALL this winter my mother was solely occupied in finding a good match for me. Some attempt was made to marry me to Mademoiselle de Royan. It would have been a noble and rich marriage; but I was alone, Mademoiselle de Royan was an orphan, and I wished a father-in-law and a family upon whom I could lean. During the preceding year there had been some talk of the eldest daughter of Maréchal de Lorges for me. The affair had fallen through, almost as soon as suggested; and now, on both sides, there was a desire to recommence negotiations. The probity, the integrity, the freedom of Maréchal de Lorges pleased me infinitely, and everything tended to give me an extreme desire for this marriage. Madame de Lorges by her virtue and good sense was all I could wish for as the mother of my future wife. Mademoiselle de Lorges was a blonde, with complexion and figure perfect, a very amiable face, an extremely noble and modest deportment, and with I know not what of majesty derived from her air of virtue and of natural gentleness. The Maréchal had five other daughters; but I liked this one best beyond comparison, and hoped to find with her that happiness which she since has given me. As she has become my wife, I will abstain here from saying more about her, unless it be that she has exceeded all that was promised of her, and all that I myself had hoped.  1
  My marriage being agreed upon and arranged, the Maréchal de Lorges spoke of it to the King, who had the goodness to reply to him that he could not do better, and to speak of me very obligingly. The marriage accordingly took place at the Hôtel de Lorges, on the 8th of April, 1695; which I have always regarded, and with good reason, as the happiest day of my life. My mother treated me like the best mother in the world. On the Thursday before Quasimodo the contract was signed; a grand repast followed; at midnight the curé of St. Roch said mass, and married us in the chapel of the house. On the eve, my mother had sent forty thousand livres’ worth of precious stones to Mademoiselle de Lorges, and I six hundred louis in a corbeille filled with all the knick-knacks that are given on these occasions.  2
  We slept in the grand apartment of the Hôtel de Lorges. On the morrow, after dinner, my wife went to bed, and received a crowd of visitors, who came to pay their respects and to gratify their curiosity. The next evening we went to Versailles, and were received by Madame de Maintenon and the King. On arriving at the supper-table, the King said to the new duchess, “Madame, will you be pleased to seat yourself?”  3
  His napkin being unfolded, he saw all the duchesses and princesses still standing: and rising in his chair, he said to Madame de Saint-Simon, “Madame, I have already begged you to be seated;” and all immediately seated themselves. On the morrow, Madame de Saint-Simon received all the court in her bed,—in the apartment of the Duchesse d’Arpajon, as being more handy, being on the ground floor. Our festivities were finished by a supper that I gave to the former friends of my father, whose acquaintance I had always cultivated with great care.  4
 
 
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