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LOUIS XIV.

brother passionately attacked the minister, and for a moment it was believed that Richelieu was dismissed and that the queen mother and a Spanish policy had triumphed. But the sequel only strengthened the power of the minister. He regained his ascendancy over the king, punished his enemies and forced Marie de' Medici and Gaston of Orleans to sue for pardon. In 1631 Gaston fled to Lorraine and the queen-mother to Brussels. Gaston soon returned, to plot, to fail and to sue for pardon again and again; but Marie de'Medici ended her life in exile.

Richelieu's position was much strengthened by these incidents, but to the end of life he had to struggle against Conspiracies which were designed to deprive him of the king's support, and usually Gaston of Orleans had some share in these movements. In 1632 the duke of Montmorency's conspiracy brought its leader to the scaffold. But the last great effort to overthrow Richelieu was closely connected with the king. Louis XIII. had from the beginning of his reign had favourites—-young men for the most part with whom he lived freely and intimately and spoke of public affairs lightly and unreservedly; and who in consequence often exaggerated their influence over him. Henri d'Effat, marquis de Cinq-Mars, was the last of these favourites. The king is said to have allowed him to speak hostilely of Richelieu and even to recall the assassination of Marshal d'Ancre. Cinq-Mars believed himself secure of the king's favour. He entered into negotiations with Spain and was secretly supported by Gaston of Orleans. But Richelieu discovered his treasonous relations with Spain and by this means defeated his plot. Louis was reconciled to his minister. “We have lived too long together to be separated” he is reported to have said (September 1642). Yet when Richelieu died in December of the same year he allowed himself to speak of him in a jealous and satirical tone. He died himself a few months later (May 1643).

His nature was timid, lethargic and melancholy, and his court was not marked by the scandals which had been seen under Henry IV. Yet Mademoiselle de la Fayette and Madame d'Hautefort and others are said to have been his mistresses. His brother Gaston survived him, but gave unexpectedly littlentrouble during the wars of the Fronde which ensued on the death of Louis XIII.

The chief source of information on Louis XIll.'s life is to be found in the contemporary memoirs, of which the chief are: Bassompierre, Fontenay-Mareuil, Gaston d'Orléans, Montrésor, Omer Talon. Richelieu's own Memoirs are chiefly concerned with politics and diplomacy. Of modern works those most directly bearing on the king's personal life are R. de Beauchamp, Louis XIII. d'apres sa correspondence avec le cardinal de Richelieu; G. Hanotaux, Histoire du cardinal de Richelieu (1893-1896); Rossignol, Louis XIII. avant Richelieu; M. Topin, Louis XIII. et Richelieu (1876). See too Professor R. Lodge, Richelieu; ]. B. H. R. Capefigue, Richelieu, Mazarin et la Fronde (1835-1836); and Dr J. H. Bridges, Richelieu, Mazarin and Colbert (1866).

For full bibliography see G. Monod, Bibliographic de l'histoire de France; Cambridge Modern History, vol. iv. (“ The Thirty Years War"); Lavisse et Rambaud, Histoire géuérale, vol. v. (“ Guerres de religion ). (A. J. G.* )


LOUIS XIV. (1638–1715), king of France, was born at Saint-Germain-en-Laye on the 5th of September 1638. His father, Louis XIII., had married Anne of Austria, daughter of Philip III., in 1615, but for twenty years the marriage had remained without issue. The childlessness of the king was a constant threat to the policy of his great minister Richelieu; for the king's brother and heir, Gaston of Orleans, was a determined opponent of that policy. The birth of the prince who was destined to reign as Louis XIV. was therefore hailed as a triumph, not less important than any of those won by diplomacy or arms. The death of his father made Louis XIV. king on the 14th of May 1643, but he had to wait sixteen years before he began to rule. Power lay for some time in the hands of the queen-mother and in those of her minister, Cardinal Mazarin, who found it difficult to maintain the power of the throne and the integrity of French territory during the domestic troubles of the Fronde and the last stages of the Thirty Year's War. The minister was hated as a foreigner, and the childhood of the king weakened the royal authority. Twice the court had to flee from Paris; once when there was a rumour of intended flight the populace was admitted to see the king in his bed. The memory of these humiliations played their part in developing later the autocratic ideas of Louis. Mazarin, in spite of all disadvantages, triumphed alike over his domestic and his foreign opponents. The Fronde was at an end by 1653; the peace of Westphalia (1648) and the peace of the Pyrenees (1659) marked the success of the arms and of the diplomacy of France. Louis XIV. was now twenty-one years of age and was anxious to rule as well as to reign. The peace of the Pyrenees was a decisive event in his personal history as well as in that of France, for one of its most important stipulations referred to his marriage. He had already been strongly attracted to one of the nieces of Mazarin, but reasons of state triumphed over personal impulse; and it was agreed that the new friendship with Spain should be cemented by the marriage of Louis to his cousin, the Infanta Maria Theresa. A large dowry was stipulated for; and in consideration of this the king promised to forgo all claims that his wife might otherwise possess to the Spanish crown or any part of its territories. The dowry was never paid, and the king held himself free of his promise.

The marriage took place at once, and the king entered Paris in triumph in 1660. Mazarin died in the next year; but so strong was the feeling that the kings of France could only rule through a first minister that it was generally expected that Mazarin would soon have a successor. The king, however, at once announced his intention of being his own first minister; and from this resolution he never swerved; Whatever great qualities he may have lacked he certainly possessed industry and patience in the highest degree. He built up a thoroughly personal system of government, and presided constantly over the council and many of its committees. He was fond of gaiety and of sport; but neither ever turned him away from the punctual and laborious discharge of his royal duties. Even the greatest of his ministers found themselves controlled by the king. Fouquet, the finance minister, had accumulated enormous wealth during the late disturbances, and seemed to possess power and ambition too great for a subject. Louis XIV. found it necessary almost to conspire against him; he was overthrown and condemned to perpetual imprisonment. Those who had most of the king's confidence afterwards were Colbert for home affairs; Lionne for diplomacy; Louvois for war; but as his reign proceeded he became more self-confident and more intolerant of independence of judgment in his ministers.

His court was from the first one of great brilliance. In art and in literature, the great period, which is usually called by the king's name, had in some respects passed its zenith when he began to reign. But France was unquestionably the first state in Europe both in arms and arts, and within France the authority of the king was practically undisputed. The nation, proud of its pre-eminence and weary of civil war, saw in the king-its true representative and the guarantee of its unity and success. Louis was singularly well fitted by his physical and intellectual gifts for the role of Grand Monarque and he played it to perfection. His wife Maria Theresa bore him children but there was no community of tastes between them, and the chief influence at court is to be found not in the queen but in the succession of avowed mistresses. Mademoiselle de la Vallière held the position from 1662 to 1670; she was then ousted by Madame de Montespan, who had fiercely intrigued for it, and whose proud and ambitious temper offered a great contrast to her rival. She held her position from 1670 to 1679 and then gave place to the still more famous Madame de Maintenon, who ruled, however, not as mistress but as wife. The events that brought about this incident form the strangest episode in the king's private life. Madame de Maintenon was the widow of the dramatist Scarron, and first came into relationship with the king as governess to his illegitimate children. She was a woman of unstained life and strongly religious temperament; and it was by this that she gained so great an influence over the king. Through her influence the king was reconciled to his wife, and, when Maria Theresa