Monday, 30 April 2018

The House of d'Harcourt

While the seigneurie of Harcourt had been in place since the viking invasion it was not until the 11th century that the ruling family was first mentioned amongst the French aristocracy. Until 1700 the name of Harcourt in a title was held by the Comte d'Harcourt; however, in this year, Louis XIV bestowed the title of Duc d'Harcourt on Henri d'Harcourt. Henri was a descendant of the younger members of the Harcourt-family and hailed himself from the Marquis de Beuvron.

The last Comte d'Harcourt from the Harcourt-family was Jean VII d'Harcourt who had two daughters but no sons and died in 1452. In this instance he divided his legacy between his daughters. The eldest had married into the Vaudémont-family and the youngest into the Rieux-family. Since Salic law prevents females from inheriting the title of Comte d'Harcourt was technically no longer held by the Harcourt-family; thus, the eldest branch had died out in the male line.

The Marquis de Beuvron & the Duc d'Harcourt

The cadet branch survived and produced first the Marquises de Beuvron and then the Ducs d'Harcourt.

1. François III d'Harcourt and (I) Catherine Le Tellier, (II) Angélique de Fabert

François III was born in 1627 and held the titles of Marquis de Beuvron, de Beaufou and de La Meilleraye.

Catherine Le Tellier had been born in 1628 and died at just 31 years old. She and François had three children:

  • Marie Léonore d'Harcourt
  • Henri d'Harcourt, Duc d'Harcourt
  • Odet d'Harcourt

Angélique was born in 1649 and had previously been married to the Marquis de Genlis. When both she and François were widowed they married in 1677. They, too, had three children:

  • Catherine Angélique d'Harcourt, Marquise de Chalmazel
  • Louis François d'Harcourt, Comte de Sézanne 
  • Henriette d'Harcourt, Comtesse de Béthune

2. Henri d'Harcourt and Marie Anne Claude Brûlart de Genlis

Henri entered the army at at the age of 18 and participated in the Dutch Wars of Louis XIV. Here he apparently distinguished himself because he was entrusted with the ambassadorship to Spain. This happened to be a particularly important post since it was the time when Carlos II died - this eventually sparked the War of the Spanish Succession. It is not quite clear what part he played in the scheming immediately following the Spanish king's death but Louis XIV was sufficiently grateful. As a consequence he was elevated to the rank of Duc d'Harcourt.

The couple had eight children:

  • Charlotte Henriette d'Harcourt, nun
  • François IV d'Harcourt, Duc d'Harcourt
  • Louis Henri d'Harcourt, Comte de Beuvron
  • Louis Abraham d'Harcourt, Abbé and Duc d'Harcourt
  • Claude Lydie d'Harcourt, Marquise de Mailloc
  • Louise Angélique d'Harcourt, nun
  • Anne Pierre d'Harcourt, Duc d'Harcourt
  • Henri Claude d'Harcourt, Comte d'Harcourt

3. François IV d'Harcourt and (I) Marguerite Sophie Louise de Neufville, (II) Marie Madeleine Le Tellier de Barbezieux

François fought during the Wars of the Polish and Austrian Succession where he distinguished herself enough to be made Marèchal de France in 1746. He was further adorned with the Order of the Holy Spirit. His first marriage to Marguerite Sophie Louise did not result in any children.

Marie Madeleine was the granddaughter of Louis XIV's notorious minister, Louis de Louvois. They had three children:

  • Françoise-Claire d'Harcourt, Marquise d'Hautefort
  • Angélique Adélaïde d'Harcourt, Princesse de Croÿ-Solre
  • Gabrielle Lydie d'Harcourt, Marquise de Nangis
  • Louis François d'Harcourt
François III d'Harcourt, Marquis de Beuvron (1627 - 1705)
François IV

4. Anne Pierre d'Harcourt and Eulalie de Beaupoil de Sainte-Aulaire

The only son of François IV d'Harcourt died before his father which meant that the dukedom went to François' younger brother, Anne Pierre.

Like his father and grandfather Anne took up arms for his king and fought in numerous battles - including some of the more famous of the 18th century such as the siege of Tournai and the battle of Fontenoy. Anne was given two governorships; that of Normandy and that of Sedan.

Eulalie was the sole heir of the Marquis de Sainte-Aulaire. She was considered to be a great beauty and was for awhile considered to be the successor the Madame de Mailly as Louis XV's maîtresse-en-titre. While she did have an affair with the king she never did manage to oust Madame de Mailly. She and Anne Pierre had five children:

  • François-Henri d'Harcourt, Duc d'Harcourt
  • Anne François d'Harcourt, Duc de Beuvron
  • Anne Henri d'Harcourt
  • Anne Louise d'Harcourt
  • Louise Angélique d'Harcourt

Château de Tocqueville - Portrait d'Anne Pierre d'Harcourt (1701-1783)
Anne Pierre d'Harcourt


5. François-Henri d'Harcourt and Catherine Scholastique d'Aubusson La Feuillade

François-Henri partook in the War of the Austrian Succession where he obtained the rank of Marèchal de France. Once he returned to court he was given the prestigious post of governor to the dauphin. Louis XVI had actually met François-Henri beforehand when the king stayed overnight at the Château de Thury-Harcourt in Normandy where François-Henri continued his father's governorship. He fled during the revolution and represented the Comte de Provence in London.

Catherine had one child by François-Henri:

  • Anne Catherine Gabrielle d'Harcourt, Duchesse de Mortemart

Fragonard - François-Henri d'Harcourt.jpg

Interesting facts and anecdotes

  • François-Henri and his younger brother, Anne-François, hosted Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette at Chebourg where the port was being modernized by the duc d'Harcourt
  • Louis XIV had intended that Henri d'Harcourt should act as governor of Louis XV but Henri died just three years after the Sun King
  • The house boasted no less than seven lieutenant generals and three marèchaux de France - just in the period this blog cover!


Saturday, 28 April 2018

The Purge of the "Italian Vice"

That Louis XIV had always turned a blind eye to his brother's open homosexuality can easily be explained. Should Louis' own line fail, it would be almost impossible for Philippe to be accepted by the people and the court as king due to his reputation. Keeping Philippe away from power helped Louis consolidating his own absolutism. However, there is also another element that must be considered. Louis and Philippe had always had a close relationship and it is not unlikely that the king was willing to grant his brother the freedom to express his sexuality in lieu of actual influence. 

Naturally, Philippe d'Orléans was not the only homosexual at the court of Louis XIV. It was a well-known secret and equally well-understood that as long as you had a level of discretion - and the rank to protect you - you could do as you please. It was quite a different situation beyond the palace walls where homosexuality could very well result in a sentence of capital punishment.

Ever since the death of Anne of Austria both Philippe and Louis had been more indulgent in their love affairs. Louis took less pains to conceal his extramarital liaisons while Philippe openly flaunted his own lovers - male and female. So far, the status quo on this particular area was calm.

That was to change in the early 1680's when Louis XIV learned of a shocking degree of debauchery. His own son by Louise de La Vallière, the Comte de Vermandois, confessed that he knew of and had himself participated in a group (called "The Holy Fraternity of Glorious Pederasts") whose degree of self-indulgence and excesses had crossed all lines. 

Louis, Count of Vermandois.PNG
The Comte de Vermandois

What truly shocked the king was that the group concerned where young gentlemen at his court who were being "corrupted" by older nobles. According to the Comte de Vermandois those who had been amongst the foremost in seducing the young men were to be found in Philippe d'Orléans' closest circle: the Chevalier de Lorraine and the Marquis d'Effiat.

While Louis was furious he did not want a rupture with his brother. Instead of exiling what would have been the vast majority of Philippe's friends the king took out his wrath on the other aristocrats whose sexuality was deemed to be deviant in that era.
The result was a veritable purge from court of high-ranking gentlemen. The Prince de Turenne was amongst the first to be given his marching orders; he was soon joined by the Marquis de Créquy, the Marquis de Mailly and the Marquis de Saint-Maure.

The scandal spread higher and higher into the ranks of the court until it reached the Prince de La Roche-sur-Yon. This prince was the brother of the Prince de Conti and would eventually assume that title himself - he would even be dispatched off to Poland where the king had intended for him to ascend to the throne. That did not quite materialize and when he returned to court he was greeted warmly enough by the king but was never in his good graces.

Philippe d'Orléans dreaded another exile for his beloved Chevalier and sought out Madame de Maintenon to plead on his behalf. Either she did not or it did not work because by 1682 the Chevalier was sent packing once again.

Undated oil on canvas portrait of François Louis de Bourbon, Prince of Conti by a member of the École Française.jpg
Prince de La Roche-sur-Yon

As for the Comte de Vermandois - who had begun it all - he was looked on with concern by his august father. At the time it was widely considered that young people could be induced to commit (as it was a crime) indecent acts that would otherwise not have occurred to them. The problem was that Vermandois had admitted to having partaken in these unfortunate liaisons which must surely leave a stain on his reputation. Some sources claim that Louis XIV had the young man brought to his apartment where he was flogged for his transgressions. 
It was suggested that he was to marry but nothing came of that. In an attempt to make the court focus on something else the king sent him away to the army. Vermandois was to die the following year so he did not live with the stigma for long.

"The Holy Fraternity of Glorious Pederasts" managed to survive the purge and had also been noted to have been in full function during the reign of Louis Philippe.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Inner Circle of Philippe, Duc d'Orléans

Louis XIV never allowed his younger brother to obtain any political power at Versailles; consequently, the Duc d'Orléans was obliged to spend his time as best he could. While he did prove himself in battle, these were few and far between. Meanwhile, Philippe established his own court that moved between Palais-Royal, Saint-Cloud and other of his private estates. 
It did not take long for Philippe's faction to become infamous for their behaviour. On several occasions the group of friends were divided by royal will; the Chevalier de Lorraine found himself exiled on several occasions for example. 

These were the people who made up the fast set of Philippe d'Orléans:

Philippe de Lorraine, Chevalier de Lorraine
He became Philippe's official lover in 1658 when he was promptly installed in the Palais Royal. As most already know his relationship with Philippe lasted until the latter's death in 1701. The Chevalier was never on good terms with either of Philippe's wives. His reign as favourite caused quite a stir to both Henrietta and Elizabeth-Charlotte. He was even accused of having poisoned Henrietta but the autopsy proved that to be false. Elizabeth-Charlotte became so vexed by the Chevalier's constant harassment that she threatened to retire to a convent.
The Chevalier was exiled by Louis XIV on the petition of Henrietta in 1670. As for Monsieur, it was said that he was very much under his lover's spell. Thus, the Chevalier definitely made part of the settled circle of Philippe.

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Chevalier de Lorraine 

Louise Élisabeth de Rouxel, Mademoiselle de Grancey
The young Mademoiselle de Grancey was one of Philippe's earliest female friends. It has been speculated that rumours were circulated that the two were lovers as a distraction from Philippe's homosexual inclinations. She was quickly given both an apartment within Palais-Royal and a small house at Saint-Cloud. Due to her being in Philippe's confidence she was soon said to be the queen of his court.
However, Philippe's friendship with her became somewhat cooled when she began an affair with the Chevalier de Lorraine. Philippe was outraged but forgave the both of them and made little of his threats to throw both of them out of Palais-Royal. He also tried to get her the position of dame d'atours to Elizabeth-Charlotte but the Duchesse d'Orléans was firmly against it.

Liselotte got a brief respite from Mademoiselle de Grancey when Monsieur's eldest daughter, Marie-Louise, married the king of Spain. Mademoiselle went with her to Madrid but soon returned to France. Here, Philippe made sure that she was provided for by giving her the position of governess to his children.

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Louise Élisabeth de Rouxel

Antoine Coëffier de Ruzé d'Effiat, Marquis d'Effiat
Entering into the service of Monsieur in the first half of the 1660's, Antoine made sure not to be seen as a threat to the Chevalier de Lorraine. Thus, the two became quite good friends and aided each other as far as possible. Monsieur made him his écuyer - that is his master of horses. Like the Chevalier, he was accused of having participated in Henrietta's poisoning. Elizabeth-Charlotte definitely thought him capable of it; she described him as a spawn of the devil.
He - unlike the Chevalier - managed to also keep on good terms with Louis XIV. Upon the death of the king he found himself as part of the regency council. He would eventually outlive both Philippe and the Chevalier - remaining friends with them both throughout his life.

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Antoine Coëffier de Ruzé d'Effiat

Henrietta Gordon, Madame de Gourdon
The Scottish-born lady had come to court with the intention of securing herself a prominent position. After having refused several posts she was finally made maid of honour to Anne of Austria. It was most likely here she met Philippe d'Orléans. By 1658 La Grande Mademoiselle reported that the two were fast friends; Philippe was said to often advise her on her dress and hair.
Possibly due to Philippe's influence she was placed in Henriettta's household which did not please the first Madame. Likewise, she became unpopular with Elizabeth-Charlotte once she had taken her place in her household too.

She appears to have been quite fond of intrigue and made a good deal of enemies. For a while she did hold a prominent position at Monsieur's court but appears to have been somewhat phased out eventually.

Armand de Gramont, Comte de Guiche
Both Armand and his sister - the Princesse de Monaco - were members of the household of the Duc and Duchesse d'Orléans respectively. A celebrated beauty, Philippe became quite enamoured with his new servant and had an affair with him. Unlike the Marquis d'Effiat and the Chevalier de Lorraine, Armand was on very good terms with Henrietta. They were said to have been lovers and Armand was exiled for a while for conspiring with Henrietta to get rid of Louise de La Vallière.
His relationship with Philippe appears to have been quite shocking to the onlookers. Armand was often downright disrespectful to Philippe and was even seen to kick Monsieur during a masked ball. Nevertheless, Philippe seemed to have put up with it. He died in 1673 just four years after having returned from exile.

Guy Armand de Gramont.jpg
Armand de Gramont

Louise d'Esparbès de Lussan, Comtesse de Polastron

Born on 19 October 1764, Louise was the daughter of Louis-François d'Esparbès and Marie Catherine Julie Rougeot. Unfortunately, she never got to know her mother; Marie Catherine died soon after giving birth to Louise. Neither did she remain in her father's house for long. In 1776 she was placed in the Pentemont Abbey where she was to receive her education. Here she would not be completely alone since many daughters of the aristocracy were sent here to receive their basic education.

Once she was old enough to marry, Louise was removed from her cloistered life and wed to Adhémar de Polastron on 5 June 1780 at Versailles. As she was now a married woman she could be officially presented at court. However, Louise was taken suddenly and seriously ill which caused her family to fear for her life. She recovered, however, and was presented later than anticipated in December. On the occasion she wore diamonds lent to her by the queen herself.

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Identified as Louise

Her new husband had paved the way for the young Comtesse de Polastron to a life in the inner circles of Marie Antoinette; Adhémar was the half-brother of Yolanda de Polastron, Duchesse de Polignac. It did not take long before her good connections resulted in an official position at court. Louise was made dame du palais to Marie Antoinette; after five years of marriage Louise found herself to be pregnant. As it happens this would be her only child by her husband. The child - Louis de Polastron - was born in 1785. This could possibly be due to the fact that the delivery was very difficult - at some point her life was despaired of.
Louise appears to have had genuine friendship with the queen. She is a frequent guest at Petit Trianon and can often be found in the queen's apartment or in her company. 

While at Versailles Louise attracted a quite prominent lover. Charles de Bourbon, Comte d'Artois (brother of Louis XVI) was immediately intrigued by her reportedly good looks. However, the otherwise notorious womanizer was not initially successful. Louise refused his first advances and suggested friendship instead. That was not to last long and a close relationship developed between them. Charles became so attached to her that he made her his own "maîtresse-en-titre". Despite their close relationship Louise never had any children by him.
At this point Louis and Adhémar's relationship was not good. They had little in common and Adhémar was not interested in court life. Consequently, they were rarely together.

Louise d'Esparbès

Louise's life at court is abruptly interrupted by the political unrest stirring in France in the end of the 1780's. Once the threat to the queen's inner circle becomes too imminent most are ordered by the queen to go into exile. Louise takes her son and follow her parents into exile. She is at first settled in Bern but later removes herself to Rome.
While in exile Louise and the Comte d'Artois miss each other terribly. Finally, when Charles has settled in Coblentz Louise joins him there with her son. Louise remained a firm loyalist to the throne. Knowing that the crown's finances are in dire need of assistance, Louise offers what is left of her own fortune. Louise would eventually become the hostess of the increasing number of émigrés; she offered her protection as far as she could.

One thing that separated her from other influential mistresses was that she was never interested in achieving political power. Nevertheless, she was constantly applied to for favours but the applicants were sorely disappointed.

The couple eventually went to Scotland and from there on to London. Here, Louise settled in a house splendidly decorated. Her relationship with the Comte d'Artois was stronger than ever - despite the Comtesse d'Artois being still very much present.
Louise's health was never robust and was deteriorating rapidly. After a few years in England she contracted what is believed to have been tuberculosis. It was not until late in her illness that people began to truly worry. On her deathbed Louise is concerned about the eternal soul of her lover; after all, his life has not been particularly exemplary. She makes him promise to devote himself to god which he does willingly. Louise died on 27 March 1804 in London.  

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Marie Antoinette: A Journey

Title: Marie Antoinette: A Journey

Author: Antonia Fraser

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

This book by Antonia Fraser was the first book I had on Marie Antoinette - and it definitely set the bar high. Without a doubt this is one of the - if not the - most complete book on the doomed queen. Fraser manages to combine historical facts with an eloquent writing which makes it a treat to read. Also, while reading it you are left with a feeling that the relevant information is provided without becoming a boring lecture.

As a reader you are led through her childhood in Vienna through her years as dauphine and finally her reign as queen. But more importantly, you are given a genuine portrait of a woman whom history has completely condemned. This description of her character is thoroughly backed by minute facts which rends a historically accurate portrait. 

For those of you who fell in love with Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" (2006) it will probably be interesting to know that the movie in large parts follows this book. 

Frankly, there is not much more to say. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in either Marie Antoinette herself, the French Revolution or the era in general. 

Billedresultat for marie antoinette a journey

Monday, 23 April 2018

The Insanity of Henri Jules de Bourbon-Condé

The son and heir of the Grand Condé, Henri Jules de Bourbon-Condé, inherited the title of Prince de Condé in 1686. However, as the prince's life progressed it became painfully obvious that all was not right with his mental health. One of the most evident symptoms was overpowering hallucinations.

In some instances he would hallucinate wildly; one instance took place when he was on route to Bourgogne. He became utterly convinced that he was a hare - yes, the animal - and gave orders to forbid all churches from ringing their bells for fear of running into the forest. Such illusions were not infrequent during the last twenty years of the prince's life. In another instance it was not a hare but a plant; as all plants must he thought it necessary to be watered. For this particular purpose he ordered his manservant to water him in the garden of his hôtel but the manservant refused and ran away.

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Henri Jules de Bourbon Condé

While these scenes were definitely eccentric they were hardly a threat to this life. But his mental disorder could have a life-threatening impact on his life. Once under the illusion that he had died, Henri Jules refused to eat which naturally meant that he became dangerously thin. According to the Comte de Maurepas his life was only saved when his servants came up with the idea of dressing up as ghosts - one as the deceased Marèchal de Luxembourg and the other as Henri Jules' grandfather - and intreating him to eat something. Oddly, it worked.

One of the hallucinations that most frequently overpowered Henri Jules was the conviction that he was a bat. The Comte de Maurepas relates that he even ordered a room to be furnished with dark draperies and kept in complete darkness - like a cave.
What is rather odd about these illusions is that the prince does not appear to have lost any use of his senses - that is his physical senses. His vision, hearing, touch etc. was not damaged by his frequent dark periods of the mind.

It also appears that these delusions were not constant. He could be remarkably "normal" for long periods of time and would then suddenly be seized by some sort of fantastical conviction. The severity also seems to have varied. One source mentions that Henri Jules sometimes fell into one of these fits when the king was present but could then control it so much as to "withdraw into a window" where he would "stuff curtains into his mouth" to quiet the involuntary barks and sounds that would escape his mouth. This suggests that not only was he aware that his behaviour was not quite normal but that he was also endeavouring to hide his condition. 

In other instances it was harder to control his outbursts. When he participated in the many hunts at Versailles he was often under the delusion that he himself was one of the hunting dogs. This often led him to "bark without sound"; or in other words, he would make the face and muscle contractions of one who is barking but no sound came out. 
There can be little doubt that Henri Jules suffered a great deal from his disorder. His rank alone - First Prince of the Blood - meant that his presence was often required at court where the other courtiers were not merciful in their comments.

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At the time his condition was politely referred to as vapours at court; in private more people probably called it madness. We now know that he suffered from clinical lycanthropy; this disorder makes the sufferer believe that they are transforming into an animal. Today, it is thought that clinical lycanthropy is actually a "bi-product" of another mental disorder. This could be schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or clinical depression. Physically, the cerebral cortex (which controls - amongst others - a person's perception of his/her own body) has been observed to be unusually active in patients suffering from clinical lycanthropy. This means that during one of these fits the patient actually firmly believes that they are transforming into another animal.

Sadly, there is still no definitive cure or treatment for this particular disorder. Had it not been for Henri Jules' high rank he would undoubtedly have ended his days in a mental asylum under appalling conditions.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

The Appearance of Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon

Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon was born as a princesse du sang or princess of the blood - and very proud of it. However, soon after her birth it became apparent that something was not quite right about the young girl's arm. Some sources describes the arm as completely lame while others claim that it was very inflexible and could not extend completely. 
When she was forced to marry the Duc du Maine (legitimized son of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan) the courtiers got a new subject for jokes on the couple's expense. Since the Duchesse had bad arm and the Duc had a stunted leg, they were ironically referred to as the "beautiful couple". Louise Bénédicte herself was often called "the penguin" due to her arm. In her portraits the handicap has been delicately hidden by leaving one arm often by her side while the other is elegantly raised.

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Louise Bénédicte de Bourbon

Her stature was very short; so short, in fact, that her sister called her the "doll of the blood". Madame estimated that she was not taller than a child of about ten years old. This shortness of stature ran in the family since her sister, Anne Marie de Bourbon, was equally short. According to the Duc de Saint-Simon it was the fact that Louise Bénédicte was about an inch taller than her sisters which finally made the Duc du Maine choose her - despite her not being the eldest.
It has been suggested that her portraits have focused so much on high hair-dos to take attention away from her tiny figure. However, this could simply be her following the fashions of her time.

Elizabeth-Charlotte of the Palatinate had more to say on the looks of the Duchesse du Maine. While Madame allowed that she had an even skin, fine eyes and fair hair she had terribly irregular teeth which were unfortunately shown whenever the Duchesse smiled since her smile was very wide. That her blue eyes were fine there was general agreement on. They had a lively expression and a good shape; their gleam was said to clearly show that she possessed a good degree of natural intelligence or shrewdness. Nevertheless, the Abbé de Chaulieu might have gone a bit overboard when he concocted the following verse in praise of those very organs:

Whoso can win a look from Madame du Maine and knows the power of her eyes, what need has he to seek other gods..?

Likewise, other songs compared her eyes to the stars in the sky. 

Relateret billede
It is hardly a coincidence that her companions are
children and thus shorter than her - the only adult
is kneeling

Unfortunately, the Duchesse does not seem to know how to take advantage of the good features she did have. More than one observer noticed that her beautiful skin was marred by too much rouge.
Unlike many of her counterparts Louise Bénédicte did not have a fondness for food which meant that she would keep her slim figure throughout her life. 

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Quotes: Reign of Louis XIV

Since correct quotations are always somewhat obscure feel free to comment if you have heard that a certain quote has been attributed to someone else.

"Why do you weep? Did you think I was immortal?"

Louis XIV on his deathbed 

"They will have to reckon with me and I shall be their queen"

Marie Adélaïde of Savoy

"You will assist me with counsels when I ask for them"
Louis XIV (to his ministers) 

"We are never satisfied with having done well; and in endeavouring to do better, we do much worse"
Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, Marquise de Sévigné 

"The greatest weakness of all weaknesses is to fear too much to appear weak"
Jacques-Bénigne Bousset

"This is the only grief she has ever caused me"
Louis XIV (on the death of Marie Thérèse)

"At court, far from regarding ambition as a sin, people regard it as a virtue, or if it passes for a vice, then it is regarded as the sin of great souls, and the sins of great souls are preferred to the virtues of the simple and the small"
Louis Bourdaloue 

"If by the shedding of my blood , I could have prevented my son's marriage, I would willingly have done so"
Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate

"I must enjoy myself , because I cannot enjoy myself long, for I shall die this year"

Marie Adélaïde of Savoy (coincidentally in the year she died)

"I care not that he loves me but that he marries me"
Françoise Marie de Bourbon (daughter of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan)

"My cousin, when one is so loaded with laurels as you, one cannot walk but with difficulty"
Louis XIV to the Grand Condé

"I could easier reconcile all of Europe than two women" 
Louis XIV

"As you know, God is usually on the side of the big squadrons against the small"
Roger de Rabutin, Comte de Bussy 

"I ought to weep for his birth far more than for his death"
Louise de La Vallière (on learning of her son's death) 

"Eloquence: saying the proper thing and stopping"
François de La Rochefoucauld, Duc de La Rochefoucauld 

"If I was not a king, I should lose my temper"
Louis XIV (upon learning of the Duc de Lauzun's insolence to the Grand Dauphin) 

"Great rogues hang the little ones"
Cardinal Mazarin

"Our virtues are often, in reality, no better than vices disguised"
François de La Rochefoucauld, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

 "I believe that the histories that will be written about this court after we are gone will be better and more entertaining than any novel, and I am afraid that those who come after us  will not be able to believe them and think they are just fairy tales"

Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate 

Quotes: Reign of Louis XV

Since correct quotations are always somewhat obscure feel free to comment if you have heard that a certain quote has been attributed to someone else.

"You see what a victory costs. The blood of our enemies is still the blood of men. The true glory is to spare it."
Louis XV to Louis Ferdinand following the Battle of Fontenoy

"The king loves women, and yet there is absolutely no gallantry in his spirit"
Duc de Luynes

"It seems extraordinary that the eldest daughter of France should not be marrying a crowned head"
Barbier (on the marriage of Louise Élisabeth to the Duke of Parma)

"Madame, I am delighted that the first favour you should ask of me should be an act of mercy"
Louis XV to Madame du Barry

"He could not make a prince du sang without me; but I could make one without him"
Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon, Princesse de Conti (on her husband) 

"If he lives, he must marry"

Louis IV Henri de Bourbon-Condé (on the near-fatal illness of Louis XV in 1725)

"There are many people at Versailles today"
Marie Antoinette to Madame du Barry