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ments as the Princes of the Blood. Notifications are made to the foreign ambassadors and ministers, who however do not attend, not being able to agree about their rank. The list of the ambassadors thus honoured is concluded by a note of Mr Prior"We never take any notice of the Pope's Nuncio."
All at first went smoothly, but before the event difficulties arose. Portland, in one of his letters, declares that every imaginable difficulty and annoyance was thrown in his way; at any rate, the French court seems to have advanced pretensions of a novel character.
On the 6th, Monsieur Bonneuil, the introducer of ambassadors, told Mr Prior that M. Sainctot, the other introducer, would engage my Lord to invite the Duchess of Verneuil to his entry, as a princess of the blood. This proposal Portland flatly refused. He declared that nothing should come between the coach of the Count de Toulouse and his own; that he would not submit to the attempted innovation; that he would not invite the duchess; and that he consequently hoped she would not send her coach; but that if, notwithstanding his protestations, she should send it, he should be obliged to order his men to make it go back again; or if it should get into the rank by force or stratagem, he would that moment get out of the king's coach, and return to his house in his own coach. Finally, his excellency proposed to defer his entry till he could receive instructions from the king his master. A correspondence ensued on this point between Torsi, the introducer, and Lord Portland. Torsi insisted on the right of the king to assign any rank he might best please to the Duchesse de Verneuil. But as the entry was settled, and his Majesty did not wish to disturb the arrangements, Portland carried his point. The real position of the Duchesse de Verneuil appears never to have been precisely defined. The daughter of the Chancellor Séguier, and widow of the Duc de Verneuil, a natural son of Henri IV. by Mademoiselle d'Entraigues,* she was first
recognised as a princess of the blood at the marriage of the Duke of Chartres in 1692. The honours of a prince of the blood were thereby conferred on her deceased husband, who had never dreamt of such distinction. The Duc d'Uzès found the circumstance so pleasant, that he walked before her, crying, "Place, place à Madame Charlotte Séguier." She was subsequently admitted to the ceremonial portion of royal solemnities and rejoicings, but never, as it would appear, on a footing of perfect equality. Even at the marriage of the Duke of Burgundy in 1697, her invitation included only the wedding-day, and none of the subsequent festivities.
The point, however, must have been previously decided. More than one ambassador had arrived at Paris since the exaltation of Madame de Verneuil to the princely dignity. The fault doubtless lay with Sainctot, the introducer: he was a terrible man, and constantly the cause of errors. Not long before the arrival of Portland, he had induced the Duchess du Lude, principal lady of the Duchess of Burgundy, to advance to the antechamber at the reception of an ambassador of Savoy. For some time no other ambassador would accept an audience without the same ceremony. Correspondence ensued, and couriers were despatched to different courts of Europe. The affair was not settled until the French minister declared, in writing, that the peculiarity attending the recep tion of the Savoyard ambassador had been the result of a mistake, and should occur no more. For this blunder, the king, we are informed, in metaphorical language, "washed the head" of his officer. But this was not the only occasion in which Sainctot showed himself disqualified for the office he had purchased. St Simon justly exposes him to eternal execration for having inveigled the young Duchess of Burgundy into kissing on the cheek Mademoiselle Heemskerke, daughter of the ambassador from Holland. The distinction was due only to the ambassador's wife. On this occasion, also, it is reported that the head of Sainc
* Mémoires de Sully.
tot was severely washed by his Most Christian Majesty.
At about ten o'clock on the morning appointed for the entry, the English nobility and gentry came to my Lord's house to pay their respects to his excellency. They dined about eleven, after which my Lord sent his pages, coaches, led-horses, and footmen, to the Maison Rambouillet. He then repaired thither himself in a private coach, his gentlemen in theirs. They arrived about twelve at ye said house, where ye Princes of the Blood sent their coaches, their écuyers remaining to return in those coaches. These gentlemen were received by my Lord in the outward chamber, as soon as they were alighted out of their coaches. The Ambassadors and Forrein Ministers sent also each a gentleman in a coach-and-six. The gentlemen were received by some of the fourteen gentlemen that attended his excellency at their alighting out of the coach, and by his excy. at ye door of ye inward room. Each having payed his compliments, returned in the coach of his principal as he came.
Thus were received the écuyers or gentlemen from the princes of the blood, and the gentlemen who brought compliments from the joint ministers, Pomponne and Torsi.*
At three o'clock arrived the king's coach with Monsieur de Boufflers, the marshal charged, according to custom, with conducting the ambassador on his entry, My Lord gave him the hand and honours in the house. The marshal gave my Lord the pass in going into the king's coach, and ye upper hand when he
came in it.
Then began the march which even the French, accustomed to magnificence, acknowledged as magnificent. And, indeed, these solemnities had every right to be so entitled; for we are informed that the Embassy, which lasted less than five months, cost King William fourscore thousand pounds.+
At my entrée, says Portland in a confidential letter to his master, I was much surprised to see the great concourse, not only of the lower orders of Paris, whose curiosity is a matter of course, but all the people of quality in the city, of all ages, and both sexes, were looking out at the windows and the balconies. As I passed over the Pont Neuf, some persons exclaimed, "Good Heaven! what do we witness to-day?" A scene that demands our attention; the solemn entry of a monarch whom for the last eight years we have been burning on this same bridge.
First in the march was the coach of the marshal with eight horses, and six pages on horseback, and one écuyer before it, about thirty paces before the rest, and, as they call it, hors du rang, to guide the procession.
Then came one of the king's messengers, and one of my Lord's gentlemen of the horse, twelve led horses, each having rich hozens of my lord's livery, led by twelve grooms, each on horseback, my Lord's first gentlemen of the horse, twelve pages on horseback, and sixty footmen.
These preceded the king's coach, in which were my Lord Ambassador, the marshal, Bonneuil the introducer, and Lord Westmoreland. The introducer, in this and public ceremonies, is always on the left hand of my Lord, supposed to be nearest him, and for that reason has place, having a right to be in that coach where my Lord Westmoreland was only invited by his excellency as a stranger. Consequently Bonneuil had place.
Next followed the Duchess of Burgundy's coach, with her écuyer and three of the ambassador's suite; Monsieur's coach with the same, including Mr Prior; Madam's coach, and the coaches of the princes and princesses, with the rest of the English gentlemen, as their birth or employment gave them place. “Their footmen, who had all new liverys,
It is scarcely necessary to inform the readers that Torcy, or, as he is called by Mr Prior, Torsi, was son-in-law of Pompoune, and his coadjutor. Pomponne advised, Torsy signed-Dangeau.
† Kennet; Grimblot.
and very fine, walked by the coaches, where their masters were."
At the end of this long line came my Lord's carriages, six in number, coaches and chariots, drawn by eight and six horses respectively, and escorted by Swiss gentlemen on horseback, and servants on foot. These carried the members of my Lord's immediate family. The coaches of Monsieur Torsi and of Bonneuil closed the array.
My Lord had, in the morning, sent his own officers to the Hôtel des Ambassadeurs to receive the present the king makes him of fish, (it being Lent), bread, candles, &c. He ordered his own sideboard of plate to be sett up. My lord stayed there from Sunday night to Wednesday night. Ten of his own servants lay there. He had five tables for ninety-two people. Monsieur d'Igny, one of the Maistres d'Hôtel du Roy, had order to wait on my Lord during his stay, besides others of the king's servants.
Having arrived at the Hôtel des Ambassadeurs in the order described, my Lord descended from the coach, took the hand of Boufflers, and entered every room before him, till, being come into ye bedchamber (supposed then to be in his own house), he did the honours, gave the chair and the hand to the marshal, and conducted him to his coach, which he saw go away. About half an hour afterwards the king sent a compliment to the ambassador by the Duke d'Aumont. The secretary and gentlemen received him at his coming out of ye coach. My Lord received him half-way of the stairs, and gave him the hand and the chair, the introducer having one also at the ambassador's left. The ambassador conducted the duke to his coach, and saw it go away. Till this moment all had gone smoothly. But now Bonneuil, as we shall see, began to put forward pretensions wholly untenable.
pair of stairs (there being two pair of stairs, each divided into fourteen steps), Monsieur Bonneuil stopped the gentleman, and insisted that my lord ought to come thus farr to him. His excellency sent Mr d'Allone, one of his secretaries, to inform Monsieur Bonneuil that neither his instructions, nor the examples of his predecessors, would justify his coming so far. The introducteur insisted yet more vehemently, and with passion, that my Lord ought to give the same honour to the marquis as to him who came from his Majesty. My Lord returned that he would not do it, and if the marquis did not think proper to advance, my Lord could not receive the honour of his visit. The introducteur, seeing it impossible to bring my Lord to what he pretended, cried out, "Allons donc, montons, montons," which, accordingly, ye marquis did. My Lord came down half-way the first part of the stairs to meet him, gave him the honours, and an armed chair, and saw him to his coach, but did not stay to see the coach move, which Monsieur Bonneuil would have had him to have done.
Presently after came Monsieur de Sassenage from Monsieur. Bonneuil again insisted on greater honours than those accorded to Villecerf, whereon he was subjected by Portland to the same lavatory process already experienced by his colleague at the hands of the king. The conductor of ambassadors, writes Portland, behaved impertinently in public, which obliged me to treat him as became a person who has the honour to represent your majesty. Upon which the dispute ended for the time, and I received the latter (Sassenage) as I had done the former. But the conductor of ambassadors was confounded and irritated.
On the departure of d'Aumont arrived the Marquis de Villecerf, Chevalier d'Honneur to the Duke of Burgundy. The ambassador, coming to the topp of the stairs, and being ready to go down some of the steps, in order to receive the marquis in the middle of the first
The departure of Sassenage gave rise to a scene in which Bonneuil talked passionately. Mr Prior referred to the Memorial concerted, before the entry, between the Embassy and Bonneuil. The latter insisted that there was in the Mémoire quasi les mêmes honneurs aux Envoyés de la Duchesse, &c. qu'à celuy du Roi. This was refuted by Mr Prior, who let the conductor see that the expres
sion did not run so, nor was there any ground to think it should. The dispute ran high, until the arrival of Monsieur de la Rougère, on the part of Madame, and the renewal of pretensions by the conductor. Monsieur Bonneuil made all imaginable haste to get down to Monsieur Rougère, and told him that it was not advisable for him to come up, for that my Lord had not given Monsieur Sassenage the honours due to him. He then returned to tell the ambassador that, unless he would see the coach go, the visit could not be made. My Lord said very plainly that he would receive Monsieur de la Rougère no otherwise than he had done Monsieur de Sassenage; so the introducteur hindered him from coming up, and the visit was not made. The conductor acted in the same manner in regard to a gentleman from the Duchesse de Chartres. He then crowned his crimes by going away in anger, without supping with my Lord, as he should have done, or taking his leave decently, repeating what my Lord had said, that his excellency would not act according to Monsieur Bonneuil's prescription. Monsieur Bonneuil therefore said, as he was leaving, that there was nothing more for him to do since things went at this rate. After receiving one or two gentlemen, untroubled by the punctilious Bonneuil, the ambassador supped, with the ceremony as usual.
The next day Portland sent to Versailles to Messieurs de Pomponne and Torsi, to complain of what had happened. He declared his respect for the princes, but represented that they could not expect for their representatives the same amount of honours as were paid to the representatives of the king. Monsieur de Torsi replied that the matter had been brought before the council by Bonneuil, who had been rebuked for his indecent behaviour. Later in the morning the two conductors came to my Lord in order to concert matter for his audience, whereon my Lord chid Bonneuil for his passion, and gave him to understand that he was in the wrong. "I spoke to him," says Portland, was befitting. He was ashamed and speechless.' Portland subsequently sent to inquire
of the nuncio as to what had happened at his entry. His answer justified the proceedings of the English ambassador. But it turned out that the Portuguese ambassador, doubtless imposed on by the representations of the conductor, had gone down a larger number of steps to every one than was generally considered necessary or convenient.
To Madame the gallant Portland made an explanation. He let her know that he was sorry for what had happened, that he hoped she was persuaded of the respect he had for her, and that he should always pay it as far as his character would give him leave. Madame answered, very obligingly, that she could take nothing ill that was not done with an ill intention, that she did not understand the ceremonial, and for whatever might happen between the ambassador and herself, she was not less the servant of my Lord Portland. Monsieur, who understood etiquette, decided in favour of the ambassador, and blamed the conductor.
The 11th of March was the day appointed for the audience. The ambassador prepared himself by a study of the titles employed by persons of his rank to the personages he was about to encounter.
The secretary drew up a regular schedule for the occasion. The king was Sire and Votre Majesté. The Dauphin, the Dukes of Burgundy, Anjou, and Berri-the two latter only fourteen and twelve years of age respectively-Monseigneur and Vous. To the Duchess of Burgundy and to Madame, Madame and Vous. To Monsieur was assigned the same title as to the Dukes. Monsieur and Madame liked the title of Vous simply, better than that of Royal Highness, because it put them more on the same footing with the Dauphin and with the Duke and Duchess of Burgundy.
The Duke of Chartres was Monseigneur and Votre Altesse Royale. The same title, mutatis mutando, was given to his wife. The family of Condé and the Bastards were accosted as Monsieur or Madame, and Votre Altesse," mais non pas roy
The princes return the visit to my
Lord, who gives them in his house the same honours he received in theirs, though they affect a little more, as will be seen in the continuance of this relation.
March ye 11th. My Lord having sent his pages and equipages before with his six coaches, the first empty, the other five filled by the gentlemen belonging to his own family, the lords and other gentlemen being likewise gone before in their own or his coaches.
The procession commenced almost in the same order and with the same performers as before. On this occasion, however, the Comte de Marsan, brother to Count d'Armagnac, was substituted for Boufflers. It was the
custom for a marshal to conduct ambassadors at their entry; but at their audience they were introduced by a prince of the house of Savoy or Lorraine. The honour of the prince was not given to the Venetian ambassador, who had a mareschal only. The point was, however, conceded in the following November to Monsieur Errizzo at his audience of leave.
at his right hand, and Mons. Bonneuil at his left. Monsieur Sainctot was a little behind him, as was likewise the secretary, with my Lord's credential letters. The hundred Swiss were ranged from the vestibule to the top of the stairs: their drums did not beat. At the bottom of the stairs my Lord was received by the Marquis de Blainville, grand-maistre des cérémonies, who went up with him at the entry into the grand chamber. His excellency was received by the Captain of the Guards-in-waiting, the Duc de Noailles, who went on his right, a little before the princes. The footmen went through the Guard Chamber, and entered the antechamber, where they ranged themselves on both sides. The écuyers and pages went into the second antechamber, and did the like. The gentlemen went into the audience, where they ought to have ranged themselves on both sides, from the balustrade to the door, to make a way for my Lord, but the crowd was so thick that it was impossible. It was with the greatest difficulty that my Lord got to the balustrade. The king himself spoke twice to have them make place, and, when my Lord came, complimented him upon the pains he had taken to get through the crowd. He declared himself very glad to see so many English subjects with his own. The courtiers afterwards called Portland's attention to these facts. Never, said they, had the king been seen to speak to an ambassador first, or in so familiar a manner. Portland appears a little annoyed that they were, or seemed to be, surprised at his not having been embarrassed at seeing the king surrounded by such a multitude of courtiers.
In the first court the foot-guards were ranged in battalia, the French on one side and the Swiss on the other; the drums beating an appeal (as the French term it), the colours were displayed, but the officers only saluting with their hats. In the second court the guard they call Hoquetons were ranged. All the coaches went in, and my Lord alighted at the Chamber of Ambassadors, as all his retinue likewise did, and found there the English nobility and gentry who were to attend him to his audience. His excellency stayed there a quarter of an hour, when Monsieur Bonneuil, who had gone to Versailles the day before to adjust matters, informed him that the king was ready to receive him, and his excellency went to his audience thus: The footmen, The écuyers, The pages, The gentlemen; those of the greatest quality nearest my Lord, so that my Lord Westmoreland went immediately before him (Lord Ambassador), the Prince
After the few words of civility on the king's part, my Lord, taking the credential letters from his secretary, entered the balustrade alone. The prince stood without the balustrade. There were only with the king the three young princes, his grandsons, and three or four more of the greatest quality. The king stood before his chair. My Lord, after the usual reverences, made his harangue covered, uncovering only when he named the "king, my master," or 'your majesty," the king uncover