Mlle de Montpensier asserted that Marie de Lorraine spent part of her stay at Montmartre weeping about the death of the last male Guise (see my Musing "A Guise child dies..."), and part of it plotting. Indeed, she accuses her aunt of having urged Mme de Guise to "quitter force choses qu'elle devoit avoir de son fils pour fort peu d'argent."1 The surviving sources contain too little information to permit weighing this accusation and determining whether Marie de Lorraine did in fact virtually steal some of the property that Isabelle d'Orléans should have inherited from her son. There is, however, no doubt that she settled the estate with an astonishing and inhabitual rapidity — and she did so by threatening to make public the existence of her children, just as she had in 1671.
Mme de Guise was in a position to make claims on the estates that the House of Guise owned in Lorraine; and if she was willing to have her child declared "intestate," she could become his heir and sue Mlle de Guise. Such a step would, of course, "destroy the good relations that have existed between them" over the years. In reality, Mme de Guise and her advisers were primarily concerned with making sure that Marie de Lorraine did not use her secret weapon. Thus Her Royal Highness agreed to accept the douaire of 60,000 livres specified by her wedding contract and renounce all her claims and rights to Guise property — a decision made "to the great satisfaction of Mlle de Guise and Mme de Montmartre." As a result of this agreement, Mlle de Guise remained the heir to the vast property — and the vast debts — of the House of Guise. Since she could not legally alienate the duchy of Guise during her lifetime, the duchy would cease to exist after her death, although her legal heirs could claim the estate at that time. As for the Hôtel de Guise, it could be passed on to the Duke of Elbeuf, head of the Lorraines in France. One imponderable was, however, creating "a great deal of curiosity": what would Mlle de Guise do "in favor of her children by Montrésor, who live in Flanders"? No answer to this question was, of course, possible, "because if she made some declaration, she would immediately lose her rank as a princess."2 Three weeks after little Alençon's funeral, Mlle de Guise therefore paid 66,000 livres to Mme de Guise, and Her Royal Highness ceded to Mlle de Guise all her rights to all the property that Alençon had inherited from his father.3
In a sense, by working out this agreement, Marie de Lorraine was taking a first step in preparing for her own death. In her autograph will, the princess states explicitly the motive behind all her actions between mid-March 1675 and her death in 1688. "Dieu ayant permis que je demeurasse seule de la Maison de Guise," she wrote, she had begun to act as the representative of all the Guises who had preceded her and, as part of this role, to do good deeds in their name:
Je Marie de Lorraine Duchesse de Guise [...] desirant d'employer ce qui me reste de vie à me préparer à la mort et considerent que la disposition des biens de ma Maison qui sont touts aujourdui entre mes mains est une des principalles choses dont j'aurai à rendre compte à Dieu, j'ay resolu de faire mon testament [...] pour satisfaire aussi aux obligations de ma consience, et de celles de touts ceux dont Dieu a permis que j'aye recueilli les successions.4
Was it more for this reason than from the desire to cheat Mme de Guise that she hastened to take back the "biens de sa Maison," that is, the property that she had inherited from her parents, her brothers and her nephew, and that had then been passed to her great-nephew for the duration of his brief life.
After some two months of seclusion, first Mme de Guise and then Mlle de Guise finally agreed to see the Florentine resident and his brother, who had been sent post-haste by the Medicis and had been vainly attempting to gain access to the Guise apartments so that he might read aloud the letter of condolence he had brought from his master. When Mlle de Guise finally admitted the Florentine into her presence, she explained away her behavior by asserting that she had been waiting "for a bed that conformed to the style practiced in her household when receiving such compliments." And indeed, Marie de Lorraine treated this audience as a state event. Garbed in black from head to foot, even to his taffeta cape with its silver fringe, the envoy was addressed the aging princess, lying in her state bed in a room crowded with a "grand number of ladies she had invited to witness the event."5 In her apartment at Versailles, Mme de Guise presided over a similar audience in late September, thereby ending the deepest of her mourning.6
Thus mourning once again silenced the house musicians of the two Guises in March 1675 and kept them silent until late September. And indeed, Charpentier added nothing to the notebooks of his French series during those six months. This state of affairs may not have troubled him at first, for he was caught up in Circé and apparently had to be at the theater three times each week to participate in performances. Despite this busy calender, can he have felt no anxiety about his future? If his patronnesses had only kept him on so that he could one day serve the Duke of Alençon, would they now dismiss him? Would they "establish" him elsewhere?
During these eight months of uncertainty, the patron who had given Charpentier numerous commissions in 1671 and 1672 reappeared on the scene. This was the patron who had access to soloists, choir and orchestra and who apparently had supplied the composer with the "simulijesuit" paper. Is it a mere coincidence that, early in 1675, Father Pierre de Verthamon returned to professed house on the rue Saint-Antoine, after a three-year stint at the Collège de Clermont on the other side of the city?7 Was it therefore for the Jesuits that Charpentier began work on a psalm (H. 167) during the early months of 1675? This work was written for the large ensemble that seems to be the one the reverend fathers of the rue Saint-Antoine routinely engaged for high holidays. The composer copied this psalm into cahier XIX, on the verso of the final page of Circé, which he must have finished transcribing during the early weeks of 1675. It therefore would seem that the psalm was composed for an "extraordinary" religious event that took place at Saint-Louis early in 1675. He also wrote two antiphons for instruments (H. 516 and 517) and copied them out with a different quill and ink than he had used when transcribing the psalm. This suggests, but of course does not prove, that the antiphons were intended for a different service — a hypothesis that seems confirmed by the fact that the psalm is appropriate for matins while the antiphons follow psalms recited during vespers services. These three works most certainly were composed during the first months of 1675, for they are followed by a prelude for Mementote peccatores (H 425a), a lenten work that Charpentier copied onto the final page of cahier XIX. Mementote peccatores itself probably was transcribed onto the first sheets of cahier XX, since lost. Was it lost because Jacques Edouard made the notebook available to Ballard in 1725 and failed to ask for it back? Indeed, this "dialogue between Christ and sinners" survived in this printed version and in a copy that Sébastien de Brossard later obtained either from the composer himself or from the Guise musician Loulié. That the Latin text was written by Jean Commire, Jesuit, adds credence to the hypothesis that some, and perhaps all the religious works in cahier XIX, were commissioned for services at Saint-Louis. This commission to set Father Commire's text to music may have produced Marc-Antoine Charpentier first "motet dramatique" — or, at least, the first he wrote after his return to France. Receiving this commission was a great honor, because Jean Commire's Latin poetry was highly esteemed by his contemporaries:
La nature lui avoit donné un esprit également éclairé & solide, & la lecture assidue des meilleurs Auteurs de l'Antiquité, répandit sur son style une aménité & une abondance qu'on ne peut s'empêcher d'amirer dans ses Ouvrages. Peut-être, depuis le siécle d'Auguste, personne n'a-t-il mieux pris le génie de la Poësie Lyrique. Dans ses Odes on voit des pensées sublimes, des images vives, une élocution pure, un arrangement noble & harmonieux qu'on n'avoit guéres trouvé depuis Horace. [...] Jusques dans ses moindres piéces on découvre un goût d'antiquité, qui le rapproche beaucoup des Ecrivains de la belle Latinité. [...] Tout cela fut soutenu d'une vraye & solide piété [...].8
Charpentier surely did his utmost to rise to the level of this renowned Latinist and to weave into this work a harmony that created these "images vives," an "arrangement noble et harmonieux" of his musical phrasing, and a punctilious attention to syllable length so that the "élocution pure" for which Commire was famed would not suffer the least distortion.
The loss of cahiers XX, XXI and XXII, which span the period between approximately May 1675 and late 1677, prevents learning more about what seems to be a renewed association with the Jesuits. Charpentier's activities as composer for the Guises can, on the other hand, be deduced from the notebooks of the French series. He wrote little for the Guises in 1675, owing to the princesses' mourning and the multitude of financial details they had to resolve. Fate having dashed all their plans for François-Joseph's future, the two Guise women were once again pondering how they would spend the rest of their lives. Their first idea was to move out of the hôtel de Guise and never again have to pass through the vast rooms in which Louis-Joseph de Lorraine's ghost seemed to hover, and to also abandon the even vaster rooms of the Luxembourg, where little François-Joseph's cries and laughter had echoed until so recently. When Mme de Guise left the seclusion of Montmartre in the late summer of 1675, she approached her sumptuous apartment near Saint-Sulpice with dread and with copious tears: "ce fut des pleurs en rentrant à Luxembourg." Mlle de Guise likewise avoided setting foot in the palace: "elle n'y est venue qu'une fois cette année  que ma soeur a été malade," recalled Mlle de Montpensier. For these reasons — and primarily because Bishop Roquette recommended it — Mlle de Guise "put it into Mme de Guise's head" to "vendre la moitié de Luxembourg à M. le Prince." (This planned sale may explain in part why Mme de Guise paid 90,000 to Mme d'Aiguillon in mid-April, in order to regain her rights to the so-called "petit Luxembourg."9) In exchange, Isabelle d'Orléans would receive the Hôtel de Condé, which was very close to the Luxembourg, and an annuity of 15,000 livres a year. "Ce qui me fait croire que c'étoit mademoiselle de Guise qui l'avoit conseillée," concluded Mlle de Montpensier (ever negative about her aunt), "c'est qu'elle devait loger avec ma soeur à l'hôtel de Condé, et qu'elle auroit vendu l'hôtel de Guise; ainsi elle y auroit gagné tout."10
"Cela se ménagea par l'évêque d'Autun," continues Montpensier, "sans que l'on en sût rien." Bishop Roquette, "qui est un tracassier, homme de mauvaise fois, bien avec tout le monde, et qui gouverne mademoiselle de Guise," had first succeeded in patching things up between the two Guises and — once he had succeeded in getting the grieving women to think along the same lines — had begun negotiations with the Grand Condé. Long one of the most faithful servants of the House of Condé, the Bishop of Autun was doubtlessly motivated by concerns more momentous than helping Marie de Lorraine acquire an apartment where she could live rent-free the rest of her life. He was clearly trying to make sure that the Grand Condé's son would literally get his foot into the door of the Luxembourg, so that, as owners of half the palace, the Condés would have a better chance to gain control of Mlle de Montpensier's property when she died. Having gotten wind of these machinations, Montpensier hied herself off to talk with the King, who was outraged at the news and prevented the agreement from being signed. Monsieur le Prince denied all knowledge of the affair; it was, he insisted, "une affaire que l'évêque d'Autun avoit fait avec M. le Duc," his son. In the end, Mlle de Montpensier's advisors declared that the Luxembourg could not be sold, "le roi voulant toujours en être le maître." Extremely "embarrassed," Condé and his son apologized to her and to Louis XIV.
Thus the Luxembourg remained the residence of a disappointed Mme de Guise, who had already "été à l'hôtel de Condé avec mademoiselle de Guise et avoit visité toute la maison et destiné les appartements." When reproached for her conduct, Her Royal Highness replied: "Quoi! me faire demeurer malgré moi dans la maison où est mort mon fils!" Rather than sleep at the Luxembourg, she sought shelter from the Carmelites of the rue du Bouloir; and, whenever someone came to the convent to reason with her, she would head for Versailles. "Son procédé fut fort blâmé," concluded Mlle de Montpensier, "et celui de M. le Prince."
During this months, Isabelle d'Orléans began, the Florentines noted, casting off Mlle de Guise's authority. Her first step was to exclude from her circle "the people she doesn't really want to see" — among them Alzau (who had made the fateful trip to England with the Duke of Guise), who conveniently for Her Royal Highness, was in Languedoc, apparently visiting his family. Alzau's pleas for reinstatment were to no avail.11
For some nine months Isabelle d'Orléans did everything she could to avoid lodging under the roof where her small son had died. After July 1675 she would frequently escape the Luxembourg and be carried in her sedan chair to the butte of Montmartre (depicted here, towering over the "Chapelle des Martyrs" where the new abbey church would be built in 1687) to be near her sister, the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, who had just been "imprisoned" there after separating from her husband, Cosimo de Medici.
Against her better judgment, Mme de Montmartre had more or less been forced by Louis XIV to accept the illustrious prisonner. Endless tales of Marie-Louise d'Orléans' escapades in far- off Florence had found their way to the Abbess's quarters, and she knew that controlling Mme de Toscane would be as difficult as controlling a crafty fox or a spoiled child. During the first half of 1675 Françoise-Renée de Lorraine, Abbess of Montmartre, found herself supervising preparations for the Grand Duchess's arrival in July: a makeshift apartment, a small oratory and furnishings such as a "bed of state" that were essential for someone of her social rank. She doubtlessly realized from the outset what Cosimo III de Medicis took several years to learn: Mme de Toscane had no intention of shutting herself off from the world and its pleasures, and she would do her utmost to escape from the nun-like life her husband had prescribed in his negotiations with Louis XIV. It was inevitable that she would rebel over "carrying out her novenas," "praying in her oratory for a half hour" every day and "using a small stairway in the church so that she can take communion without leaving her apartment. The Grand Duke naively imagined that his estranged wife would be cut off from contact with all men other than a select group of priests, but the Florentine resident quickly realized how incorrect this image was: in Mme de Guise's apartment at Montmartre he once found "many women and men together" and, he added, "I see that life there is less strict than in Italy." And, loving music as she did, Mme de Toscane would be sure to seize every opportunity to sing, play and even dance, even though the Grand Duke considered such conduct worthy of "great condemnation," because ladies who live a life of retreat in a convent simply do not do such things.12
Early in July 1675, Mlle de Guise, Mme de Guise and Mme de Montmartre briefly left the seclusion of the abbey and started off for Fontainebleau, to await Mme de Toscane, who was slowly making her way northward from Marseille. The Grand Duchess's entourage included "a page, two filles d'honneur de France and two from Florence, with a few footmen," but the king immediately authorized an additional "four officers" — one of them doubtlessly Sainte-Mesmes, who had long "belonged" to the family.
It immediately became clear that she was not at all interested in following the terms of her agreement with Cosimo "qu'elle passeroit [à Montmartre] le reste de ses jours, sans jamais se trouver à la Cour de France." Indeed, Louis XIV did not conceal his inclination to welcome her at court:
Etant arrivée à Montmartre, Elle fut visitée de Monsieur, Madame et des Ministres Etrangers. On jugea en France que sa beauté s'estoit extremement accruë en Italie, et que pourtant c'est dommage qu'une si belle Princesse fut renfermée en un Cloître pour toute sa vie. Le Roy l'alla aussi voir à Montmartre, et dit qu'il avoit eu la plus grande peine du monde pour se dispenser de voir cette Princesse, à laquelle contre son sentiment il avoit permis de demeurer en un Cloître, tout le reste de ses jours, et qu'il n'auroit point plus dejoye que de la voir à la Cour, afin qu'elle fût participante des Plaisirs dont l'on y jouissoit. Il la loua ensuite de sa beauté.13
It is therefore no surprise that Mme de Toscane was promptly invited to attend courtly entertainments.
The newcomer immediately sowed discord among the residents of Montmartre and the laypersons who periodically sojourned there. Mme de Toscane "est une fille de grande vertu et de beaucoup de mérite," admitted Mlle de Montpensier, "et comme les religieuses n'oublient pas leur communauté elle se trouva bien de la venue de ma soeur." The barb that ends this compliment flies in the face of irrefutable evidence about Mme de Montmartre's reticence over becoming the Grand Duchess's jailor. Montpensier's barbed remark suggests that the Abbess was overjoyed at the idea of eventually owing the house that the Grand Duke had prepared for his estranged wife, a "maison fort belle, dont la moitié est en dedans, qui sera un très-bon logement pour l'abbesse quelque jour, et [l'autre] au dehors fort commode, où logent ses gens, [avec] de beaux parloirs; ce qui n'étoit pas à Montmartre."14 For such a wealthly family, eventual ownership of this house scarcely compensated for the time and energy the Abbess wasted, week in and week out, taking note of each transgression committed by her prisoner and smoothing over disputes among Mmes de Guise and Toscane and Mlle de Montpensier.
(Click here for pictures of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre; and above all, Go to the Wikipedia page on Saint Pierre de Montmartre and, near the very bottom, select the "virtual tour in 360 degrees"!)
The following layout of the lodgings for secular people at Montmartre was drawn by Dumolin in 1931 for his article on the abbey (Bulletin de la Société de l'histoire de Paris et de l'Ile-de-France). The abbey church (A) and cloister are visible at the left. "B" and "C" indicate the grand entry door that bore the arms of the House of Guise. It was in the vicinity of this gate that Mlle de Guise built her private apartment in the early 1670s. 'K" (just inside the entry gate) is the parloir" where Mme de Toscane would hold musical events involving both nuns and lay people and where she met with her dancing and music teachers. To the right of the parloir stretched a wing where laywomen could stay, with small bedrooms and a "salon" (T). From these rooms the women could enter the cloister (which was circled by the quarters occupied by the nuns) and could move on to the church. The structures at the bottom of the plan were outbuildings: stables, granary, and so forth. "O" and "P" represent the gardens. As far as one can judge, Mme de Toscane's lodging was astride the wall to the right.
The lovely house built for Mme de Toscane, destined to house the abbess one day, at first indeed must have seemed a prison. "On lui prépare ici," wrote Mme de Sévigné, "une prison à Montmartre, dont elle seroit effrayée, si elle n'espéroit point de la faire changer; c'est à quoi elle sera attrapée: ils sont ravis en Toscane d'en être défaits."15 The unfortunate princess had indeed been "trapped": although Louis XIV invited his cousin to court, he refused to mitigate any of the conditions that the Grand Duke had stipulated for his wife's conduct. Thus Mme de Toscane was so to speak a prisoner; her talkative charm was not likely to win full-time residency at court: "Elle est d'une tristesse effroyable," continued Mme de Sévigné, who had just paid her a visit. "Elle est suffoquée par toutes les Guisardes." For some court gossip about Mme de Toscane, read our Fugitive Piece containing letters from Monsieur de Sainte-Mesmes
"All the Guisardes": this is, of course, primarily an allusion to Mme de Guise, Mme de Montmartre and Mlle de Guise. But the epithet also evokes the "guisarde" climate at the abbey: many of the nuns came from families who had long been close to the Guises. In other words, after the summer of 1675, a court of sorts existed at Montmartre, a court composed of nuns, noblewomen (including Mme de Sévigné) and the "girls" who accompanied these ladies wherever they went. This feminine coterie was complemented by a select group of devout men: priests, M. Du Bois, Doctor Noël Vallant (the physician for the abbey, for the Hôtel de Guise and for Mme de Guise and her domestics) — and, doubtlessly, the male musicians of the Hôtel de Guise, one or more of whom was probably serving as maître de musique to the nuns, as Veillot had done during the 1660s. The presence of these men at Montmartre posed no problem, for Montmartre was a royal abbey and petites-filles de France (that is, Mme de Toscane and Mme de Guise) could have any men and women they wished admitted to a royal establishment. When Carlo Gondi visited the Grand Duchess shortly after her arrival, he therefore found, "in her apartment, women and men together," and, he confessed to Cosimo,"I saw a way of life that is not as strict as in Italy."16 When lay men and women were granted access to a convent, some of the preoccupations of the world outside the walls generally left their mark upon the nuns:
Il n'y a maison si réformée où toutes les dames de la cour n'ayent permission d'entrer: n'avoir point ce privilège, c'est une marque de peu d'autorité. [...] Or, non seulement elles y entrent, mais encore elles y demeurent dès huit ou quinze jours, y mangent et y couchent et y mènent avec elles cinq ou six jeunes filles; chaque religieuse en prendra une, c'est ma cousine, ma confidente et ma dévote. Jugez durant ce temps comme tout va, quel silence, quel retrait, quelle régularité et mortification il y a dans une maison: l'on rit, l'on décharge ses sentiments à son amie, l'on murmure de celles qui ne sont conformes à son humeur, etc.17
Marie de Lorraine had taken steps to create a feminine circle of this sort before Mme de Toscane's arrival at Montmartre in July 1675. Two months earlier, on May 12 — barely six months after Alençon's death — she signed an agreement with a builder for "la construction d'un portail de ladite Eglise [de Montmartre], logement audessus où sont parloirs & cabinets, et du pavillon joignant la porte d'entrée de la cour de l'abbaye."18 In other words, during the months when the Grand Duke of Tuscany was preparing his wife's house astride the abbey walls, Marie de Lorraine was supervising the construction of a small house of her own, adjacent to the abbey entrance, and of several parlors — that is, rooms where nuns and lay people could converse — situated near the church.
The arrival of Mme de Toscane added an element of rivalry that seems to have had repercussions on the career of Marc-Antoine Charpentier. During final six months of 1675, life at Montmartre was turned topsy-turvy. First of all, Mme de Toscane demanded all the rights and privileges due a petite-fille de France and therefore occupied a position superior to everyone else at the abbey other than Mme de Guise — toward whom the Grand Duchess showed an "inner rancor" over the fact that Isabelle had not convinced to king to let Marie-Louis reside at the Luxembourg instead of the abbey. Indeed, the two Royal Highnesses exchanged frequent "pungent words" or showed "great coldness" toward one another, in marked contrast to Mlle de Guise and the Abbess, "who truly live in perfect harmony." Mme de Toscane had not spent four full months at Montmartre before the Abbess had to summon her and Mme de Guise and lay down the law about what she considered proper behavior. Fortunately, Mme de Guise, Mme de Toscane, Mlle de Guise et Mme de Montmartre each had her private apartment within the abbey walls and, when the coldness and pungency became unbearable, could beat a polite retreat. The faithful Marquis de l'Hospital de Sainte-Mesmes, who against his wishes had been appointed Mme de Toscane's chief gentleman, eventually lamented to the Medicis about the suffering he was forced to endure, which included the loss of his long-time lodgings at the Luxembourg (where no one in Toscane's service was permitted to reside) and the constant barbs he had to hear yet not appear to hear:
Je sacrifierois [mon logis] de bon coeur pour l'union de Madame la Grande Duchesse et Madame de Guise, mais comme cela fait un effet tout contraire, et que Mme la G. D. a pris cela pour une rupture que Madame sa soeur veut faire, je n'y pas pu, quelque soing que j'aye prise de tesmoigner de ne m'en pas soucier, empêcher que cela n'ay fait un bruit, et d'autant plus que l'on a veu que je ne m'estois point attiré cet orage pusique Madame de Guise a bien voulu s'en expliquer avec moy avec plus d'honnesteté que je n'en devois attendre, c'est-à-dire, qu'estant à Mme la Grande Duchesse, on ne doit pas espéré de loger dans le Luxembourg. Je vous asseure, Monsieur, que nos petites cours sont épineuses, il s'y mesle des esprits brouillés qui viennent à traverse, dont on a bien de la peine à se parer. Mademoiselle de la Force, qui est auprès de Mme de Guise, n'est pas le moins dangereux, cela fait des histoires dont les gens ausy sérieux que je le suis ne se divertisse [sic] guère. [...] Je fais ce que Madame de Montmartre et Mr le résident [Gondi] me conseille; je souhaiterois que Madame la Grande Duchesse me voulut considérer et traiter selon le rang que j'ay toujours tenu dans le monde.19
"Mais quoyqu'elle ne le fasse pas," he concludes, "I will remain her faithful servant."
When the Grande Mademoiselle joined the group, the dynamics became even more complex, for the haughty princess detested her aunt, Mlle de Guise, and her two half sisters. Two centuries later, it still is painful to read Sainte-Mesmes's account of a Mardi gras party at the Hôtel de Guise:
Mademoiselle de Guise donna à disner le mary gras à Mademoiselle, Madame la Grande Duchesse et Madame de Guise. Mademoiselle n'en estant point priée, mais sachant que ses seurs [sic] y venoient, elle voulu estre de la partie, où estoient aussy Mesdames d'Elbeuf et de Lillebonne, et Mademoiselles ses filles. Ce fut un fort grand repas, non pas dans la quantité mais dans la propreté. Deux heures après le disner, Mademoiselle s'en alla, et toutes les autres s'en allèrent à Montmartre passer le reste de la journée. Mme la Grande Duchesse dut aller, dans un jour ou deux, avec Mesdames ses soeurs voir Monsieur le Dauphin à S. Germain. Il sembleroit sur ce récit qu'elles seroient fort bien ensemble, mais ceux qui voient la contrainte où elles sont, les unes avec les autres, juegent facillement qu'elles ont plus de joye de se dire adieu que de se dire bonjour. [...] Nous savons par expérience qu'elles ne sçauroient durer longtemps en bonne intelligence, et que ce n'est pas peu qu'elles veulent bien chacune de son costé garder le dehars sans en demander davantage.20
Mme de Montmartre was glad that the three sisters didn't really like one another, for it they ever joined forces, they would stir up so many plots and enmities that they were sure to "causer plutôt l'embaras que du repos."21
These moments of discord alternated with hours that were, in the literal sense of the word, marked by "harmony," for the Grand Duchess was a skilled musician. Two weeks after her arrival, she had already coaxed the Abbess to grant her the right to "spend her time" at the grill of the nun's parlor, "in concerte musicale" with Mlle de Guise's "gente," that is, her, gens, her musically-trained domestics.22 By November, she had charmed the Abbess, who once became so engrossed in the "music being played in the parlor" that she neglected to say good-bye to the Florentine resident!23 Some of this music doubtlessly had been composed in Italy, for Mme de Toscane had brought two French women and two Italian maids, one of them the girl called "La Cinthia," who was a musician ("che possiede la Musica," commented the Florentine resident).24 As the months passed, Mme de Toscane convinced her royal cousin to permit her to take music and dancing lessons, the former to improve her skill on the lute, guitar, viol and harpsichord, the latter to permit her to participate in court balls. Her enthusiasm combined with and her musicianship may explain why musicales and group part-singing in the convent parlor soon became the rage, with three Lorraine princesses (Mmes d'Armagnac, de Lillebonne and d'Elbeuf), and several duchesses making "music" in the Grand Duchess's apartment, and Charron de Ménars, Colbert's brother-in-law, doing part-singing on Sunday morning, in the presence of the Abbess and the boarding pupils.26
Mme de Toscane soon began to venture from Montmartre for short visits to Paris, but always in the company of one of the "guisardes" who served as her jailors. By the spring of 1676, she would be attending a weekly lunch at the Hôtel de Guise, usually ornamented by a musical entertainment of some sort; and, when Mme de Guise was not at Alençon or at court, Toscane could count on the same pleasures at the Luxembourg.27
The three Royal Highnesses — Mme de Toscane, Mme de Guise and Mlle de Montpensier — were also frequent visitors to two Carmélite houses of the capital. For a decade, Mme de Guise had been paying visiting the convent of the rue du Bouloir, as part of the queen's suite; and in this house she sought refuge rather than set foot in the Luxembourg. After June 1675, apparently in response to her sister's preferences, she began to shift her allegience from the small convent on the rue du Bouloir to the "Great" Couvent on the rue Saint-Jacques, opposite the convent of the Val-de-Grâce. Then, in mid-October 1675, Mmes de Toscane and Guise, under the watchful and tattle-tale eyes of Mlle de Montpensier — joined by Mme de Longueville — paid the first of many long visits to Louise de La Vallière, the once royal mistress who was now a Carmelite. (It should come as no surprise that the conversation rapidly turned to music in Italy, and that the Grand Duchess did her best to dispell all the "false opinions" that the assembled ladies held on the subject.28
Mlle de Montpensier's memoirs shed light on the reasons underlying this transfer of Mme de Guises affection: "Ma soeur la grande-duchesse eut envie de voir la duchesse de La Vallière, qu'elle avoit fort connue et avec qui elle avoit eu toujours commerce."29 We met the king's mistress, Louise de la Baume Le Blanc, Duchess of La Vallière, when she was one of the demoiselles who cheered the little exiled princesses of Blois. After Gaston d'Orléans' death in 1660, Louise became demoiselle d'honneur to Marguerite de Lorraine and travelled to Paris with Madame and her daughters.30 An extremely close friendship tied beautiful Louise to the lovely Grand Duchess who had spent most of her Florentine years bemoaning her fate. With the return of Mme de Toscane to Paris in 1675, the friendship between the two women was rekindled. During her sporadic visits to Blois, Isabelle d'Orléans had joined in the games that her sisters and Louise played, and she too become fond of the startlingly beautiful girl. Thus it came to pass that, on June 4, 1675, a month before Mme de Toscane's arrival in Paris, Mme de Guise was present at the Great Convent when the former royal mistress took the veil of a Carmelite nun. Over the years, the bond between Mme de Guise and the Great Convent strengthened, and the widowed princess began to take a special pleasure in seeing the woman who was now known as Soeur Louise de la Miséricorde. Isabelle d'Orléans even tried to become a Carmelite herself but had to settle for taking the oath of the third order [source] and for being buried there in a nun's habit.
Is it a coincidence that Mlle de Guise was among the noblewomen who visited the Great Convent during these years? She knew the nuns well, for she had borrowed 44,000 livres from them in 1666 to meet the financial demands created by the death of Duke Henri.31 The Carmelites clearly were attached to Marie de Lorraine, for they presented her with some fine orange trees for the garden of the Hôtel de Guise.32 And so, approaching her maternal "cousin," the superior of the Great Convent, Marie de Lorraine asked to be granted an apartment there and, in return for this honor, offered the nuns 100,000 livres. Fearing that the order's strict rule would be weakened by the day-to-day presence of a princess, even a very devout one, the nuns refused Mlle de Guise the favor she sought.33
In other words, after 1675, the lives of these three women focused upon two prestigious Parisian convents. For both Marie de Lorraine and Isabelle d'Orléans and her sister, Montmartre was at once a country retreat and a private and devout court, while the Great Carmel became their urban retreat, a place to spend a peaceful day meditating in the church and chatting with the nuns during their brief period of recreation. It is therefore quite plausible that, after 1675, many of Charpentier's works for women's voices were performed at one — and probably both — of these convents, for the strictness of the rules that these nuns observed did not prevent them from incorporating lay musicians into their high feasts.
To these devotional centers one must, of course, add the Theatin monastery and Mme de Guise's brand-new chapel honoring St. Gaetan of Thiene, modeled after the chapel of the Virgin at Saint-Joseph-des-Carmes.
The fervent devotional practices of Mlle de Guise and Mme de Guise can be seen in Marc-Antoine Charpentier's notebooks for the period, which suggest that, to show her gratitude to the Theatins and, perhaps, to inaugurate her chapel, Isabelle d'Orléans requested him to write several devotional works, and authorized the hiring of the requisite performers. The works that the composer copied into the French series of notebooks in 1675 fill cahiers 9 to 11. The chief composition is a dramatic motet for a large ensemble entitled Judith sive Bethulia liberata (H. 391). Although, as we have seen, Mementote peccatores may have been written for Lent, 1675, Judith is the earliest extant "oratorio" for large ensemble in the twenty-eight autograph volumes of Charpentier's works. If the original manuscript of Mementote peccatores was in cahier XX, as I surmise, this means that first the Jesuits and then one of the two princesses asked Charpentier to compose in a genre that was virtually unknown in France at the time. Neither the watermarks nor any other sources reveal, however, which of the two patrons was the pioneer and which the imitator. Yet there is no ambiguity about the fact that Judith is by far the more regal of the two pieces (as befits a royal highness), and that its italianism suggests that the recipents of the work were familiar with the oratorio and appreciated this art form. Indeed, is it therefore significant that . Gaetan of Thiene had been a founding member of the Oratory of the Divine Love, created circa 1513 under Pope Leo X? And is there a connection between this sudden appearance, circa September 1675, of an italianate oratorio in Charpentier's French notebooks and the return of Mme de Guise's sister from Florence the previous July? Indeed, was it Marie-Louise d'Orléans, freshly arrived from twelve years at the Medici court, who suggested that Sieur Charpentier might be asked to write an oratorio?
Although the raison d'être of Judith remains conjecture, it is extremely significant that cahiers 9 to 11 bring a radical change in the content of Charpentier's French notebooks. He begins to set to music many long, invented texts, whereas he had previously used set either psalms, hymns or liturgical texts or, occasionally, brief texts that had been created by gluing together a mixture of invented phrases and excerpts from the liturgy. It appears that one, if not both of his patronnesses, had become associated with an "oratory" circa 1675.
The sources do not permit identification of the specific event for which Charpentier composed Judith. There is, however, some evidence that this "historia" was composed at Mme de Guise's request for the Theatins of Saint-Anne-la-Royale. Indeed, the notebook begins with a motet dedicated to Saint Anne: Pour Sainte Anne (H. 315).34 Then comes Judith, a work that, as Catherine Cessac points out, "sonne véritablement comme du Carissimi" and that has a "récitatif très fortement influencé par la manière italienne."35 In other words, did Mme de Guise treat the Theatins to one of the first oratorios written in France? And, over the next nine years, did Charpentier continue to write histoires sacrées for this church, not as the Theatins' official maître de chapelle but as a part of Mme de Guise's devotions? The possibility cannot be ruled out, for Charpentier's histoires sacrées suddenly cease shortly before Paolo Lorenzani's nomination as maître de chapelle for the Theatins in June 1685, with the specific mission of "supplying the requisite musicians" for a "devotion pour les morts à la manière des oratoires de Rome en musique deux jours la semaine."36 (The is the only allusion to an in-house composer and to "oratorios" in the records of the order between 1674 and 1685.) In other words, did the Theatins' decision to establish and pay for an "oratoire" come on the heels of eight years of oratorios furnished gratis by Isabelle d'Orléans?
The hypothesis that some or all of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's histoires sacrées were performed at Sainte-Anne-la-Royale as part of Mme de Guise's devotional exercises (which is not to imply that these same works were not re-performed in one or more of the other churches to which the princesses were linked) is strengthened by a strong parallel between the story of Judith and the life of Isabelle d'Orléans. In 1661 Father Le Moyne dedicated a devotional book to the princess's aunt, Queen Anne of Austria: it presented a "gallery of strong women" whose faith and courage paralleled those of Louis XIII's pious consort. This attractive book, whose existence princess Isabelle could scarcely have ignored, enjoined the queen, as a "public person," to "meditate and pray for the public" and for the propagation of the faith. The Queen must therefore make sure that her piety was a "dévotion d'ordre" and her zeal a "zèle de discipline." The queen must continue to live the "Magnificence ordonné & sujette aux règles" that set her apart from the rest of the court. I have written about the "regular" life of pious women in a separate Musing. So here it suffices to know that, circa 1675, Isabelle d'Orléans had committed herself to living that very sort of life, in the midst of the magnificence that characterized the court of her cousin Louis XIV.
Could Isabelle have failed to see the parallel between her life and her pious aspirations and the life and deeds of the "strong and virtuous widow Judith"? Le Moyne's portrayal of Judith uses many of the images that Father Jerothée de Mortagne would employ many years later in his oration honoring the late Mme de Guise. (The phrases that parallel Isabelle d'Orléans' life are shown in bold type.)
A la mort de son Mary, [Judith] vanquit la Douleur par sa situation & montra qu'avec le sang des Patriarches ses predecesseurs elle avoit herité leur Foy & leur constance. Cette première Adversaire [la Douleur] vaincuë, elle vanquit encore l'Oysiveté, les Delices, & les secondes Affections, qui sont les plus dangereuses Ennemis des jeunes Veufves. Ne pouvant pas quiter sa jeunesse, ni se défaire de sa Beauté [...] elle les affoiblissoit par la priere & par le travail, avec le jeune & le cilice.37
As Judith was born to fight for the faith of her ancestors, the patriarchs, so Isabelle d'Orléans was born to fight for the Catholic faith of her royal forbears. Indeed, she would soon become a militant in the monarchy's battle to convert the Huguenots. Like Judith, Isabelle had mourned openly for her husband and had eventually gained solace in her noble rank and the obligations it imposed upon her. Like Judith, she did not remarry. Instead, like the patriarch's daughter, she turned to prayer, good deeds and the mortification of the flesh. Indeed, it is quite possible that, during her daily private devotions, Princess Isabelle read and reread portrayal Le Moyne's portrayal of Judith and the "réflexion morale" he drew from the conduct of that "femme forte":
"Qu'elles [les femmes] apprennent à reformer le Veufvage; & à se mettre sous le joug de Dieu, apres qu'elles sont dechargées du joug des Hommes. Qu'elles en apprennent enfin, à garder la foy, à la Memoire de leurs Marys décedez; à ne faire jamais divorce avec leurs noms, & à mettre sous leurs cendres tout le feu qui leur peut estre demeuré de reste. Quant à cette celebre action, par laquelle Judith défit toute la Syrie en une Tente, & couppa d'un coup la Teste à toute une Armée; elle apprend aux Hommes, que la Vertu Heroique est du Coeur & non pas du Sexe: Que la Vaillance habillée de fer n'est pas toûjours la plus victorieuse: Et que les mains les plus foibles & les plus delicates, peuvent sauver les Peuples quand Dieu les gouverne.38
As if guided by Le Moyne's meditations on Judith, Isabelle d'Orléans continued to be known as "Madame de Guise," instead of emphasizing her position as duchess of Alençon. And for some twenty years she "valliantly" strove to "save the people," that is, convert to the true and unique faith those people she deemed heretics . Should Mme de Guise's selection of the story of Judith therefore be viewed as her battle cry?
When was Judith performed? The feast day of Saint Anne fell on July 26 in Ancien Régime France, so the performance of Charpentier's music at Sainte-Anne-la-Royale as early as July 1675 seems a distinct possibility. Catherine Cessac has observed that "la bénédiction finale [de Judith] est inspirée d'une lecture de la fête de l'Assomption, où Judith se présente comme le substitut de la Vierge Marie. Il est donc fort possible que cette oeuvre ait été jouée le 15 août."39 The parallel is, however, less substantial than Cessac implies. Indeed, French breviairies of the period suggest that the story of Judith was appropriate for a matins service held between Wednesday, September 25 and Saturday, September 28, 1675: for the text that Charpentier put to music is formed of sentences and phrases excerpted from matins lessons for that week and glued together to form a narrative.40 Now, the chronology of Mme de Guise's negotations with the Theatins reveals that, by early July, the princess was becoming impatient with the Theatins' slowness. She had requested the chapel in May 1675 and plans had been drawn up by July 7, but work had not yet begun. On that day she insisted that the work be "made and perfected" within "three months" — that is, by October 7, one week after the week during which the story of Judith was recited during religious services. Indeed, time clearly was an issue for the princess: the altarpiece must be "punctually executed according to Her Royal Highness's intentions," the chapter noted. Although they wrote "three months" in their registers, were the Theatins actually aiming for a completion date in mid-September and merely giving themselves a bit of extra time to avoid a lawsuit? After all, the delay scarcely can be attributed to Feuillet and Vigarani, who would not have kept a royal highness waiting.
In short, the available evidence, scanty though it is, suggests that Judith was written for performance during the last half of September 1675 and that the performance may have served several purposes simultaneously. The anniversary of the founding of the Theatins fell on September 14, some ten days before the annual celebration of Judith during matins. Since Father Oliva, the general of the Jesuits, was known to have likened the Theatins to Judith, the Italian fathers at Sainte-Anne-la-Royale doubtlessly would have understood the implicit compliment that Mme de Guise was paying their order. Mme de Guise surely held a special dedicatory service to inaugurate her new chapel, which we can assume was completed by the end of September. What better text could she have chosen than the story of Judith, to make a public statement that the donor of this splendid décor intended henceforth to be God's tool, and more specifically a tool dedicated to helping His people? Be that as it may, Carlo Gondi , the Florentine resident, made a point of going to the Theatin church shortly before September 30 — the very week that was liturgically appropriate for the text of Judith!41
Mme de Guise may have been drawn to the Theatins for another reason: the showiness of their special religious services, especially the Christmas festivities and their salut services — the latter so famous, or so infamous that La Bruyère fulminated against them:
Déclarerai-je donc ce que je pense de ce qu'on appelle dans le monde un beau salut, la décoration souvent profane, les places rentenues et payées, les livres distribués comme au théâtre, les entrevues et les rendezvous fréquents, le murmure et les causeries étourdissantes, quelqu'un monte sur une tribune qui y parle familièrement, sèchement, et sans autre zèle que de rassembler le peuple, l'amuser, jusqu'à ce qu'un orchestre, le dirai-je? et des voix qui concertent depuis longtemps se fassent entendre? Est-à moi à m'écrier que le zèle de la maison du Seigneur me consume, et à tirer le voile léger qui couvre les mystères, témoins d'une telle indécence? Quoi? parce qu'on ne danse pas encore aux TT**, me forcer-t-on d'appeller tout ce spectacle office d'Eglise?42
Pious she might now be, but Isabelle d'Orléans apparently contributed to the lavish and wordly saluts at the Theatins that repelled La Bruyère. If so, she was taking her place in a continuum of noblewomen who had helped these fathers prepare their sumptuous services ever since the 1640s. For example, from December 14 to Christmas Eve, the "principales dames de la cour" took turns being patronnesses for the Christmas Novena, popularly called the "Couches de la Vierge." These ladies virtually invaded the convent as they decorated the church, supervised the installation of a Neapolitan manger scene and fussed over the rehearsals of the fine music that attracted the public to Sainte-Anne-la-Royale each year. Each day of the novena brought a musical event, often performed by the "Musique du roi." Year after year these women — among them the Duchess of Lorraine, Isabelle's maternal aunt — took turns paying for these spiritual divertissements. It therefore seems that, once her mourning for her son had ended, Isabelle d'Orléans became one of the nine patronnesses of the Couches de la Vierge. The princess may well have considered this activity as conforming to God's will: after all, she was born on December 26. Is it therefore a mere coincidence that the first of Charpentier's Christmas oratorios dates from December 1676, six months after the end of the princess's official mourning for her little son?
The Christmas Novena and the many services held during the Christmas octave (which included her own birthday, December 26) provided Mme de Guise with the opportunity to merge spiritually with the Christ Child. In the seventeenth century, Christmas was not a joyous season. Indeed, preachers alluded less to the joy surrounding Jesus' birth than to the pain it brought to all concerned: the child cried and shivered in the manger, and the people who had come to adore him likewise trembled with cold. The Nativity symbolized the suffering that mankind must experience, and more particularly the horror that the Child would feel while hanging on the cross in human form. Indeed Jesus' birth prefigured the crucifixion: the newborn's shivering foretold the crucified man's convulsions; the baby's tears foretold the blood that one day would flow down his face and his limbs. Emulating her cousin the King, the petite-fille de France would "melt" before this adorable Child and would lay her grandeur, her power, her life at his feet. Indeed, Jesus desired that, "de son état d'enfance, [l'Eglise] fasse ses plus grandes fêtes, et que dans cette faiblesse et cette simplicité, elle le considère comme l'idée et l'exemplaire de l'enfance spirituelle."44 By decorating the chapel at the Theatins, Her Royal Highness was obeying Jesus' command, was prosternating herself before the Child, was becoming like a child herself.
In 1675, Marie de Lorraine was likewise searching for a chapel to call her very own in one of the convent churches of the capital. Selling the building called the "hôtel de Guise" at Versailles,45 she henceforth structured her day around her devotions, and especially her devotion to the Virgin. An act of foundation that she signed in late 1675 reveals her state of mind: at the convent of Notre Dame de Ferours, near Evreux, she founded annual masses to be celebrated in the "church of Nostre Dame du Désert," specifically, twelve requiem masses for the repose of the soul of the late Duke, her nephew, and eight masses for her and her sister the Abbess, to become requiem masses after their deaths.46
At the time she held the title to a chapel dedicated to Saint Anne, in the Church of the Feuillants, situated on the rue Saint-Honoré near the Palais-Royal. The chapel had belonged to the family since 1610. (In other words, Charpentier's Pour Sainte Anne of 1675, if the piece does indeed date from 1675, can conceivably have been performed in two different churches circa July 26, 1675.) In April 1676, Mlle de Guise gave up this chapel.47 This is a surprising gesture on the part of someone so attached to her family's traditions and so eager to keep them alive. Economizing the 3,000 livres she paid the Feuillants each year surely was not the reason behind this step. If she ceded the chapel, it was because she had set her sights on a more conveniently located chapel, just across the street from the Hôtel de Guise.
Indeed, early in the summer of 1675, she "notified" the commander of the order of the Mercy that she wished to be granted one of the chapels in the small convent church of the rue du Chaume. On July 4 (only three days before the Theatins' deliberations concerning Mme de Guise's chapel) the fathers of the Mercy discussed the matter in the chapter room of the convent:
Le Révérend Père Comandeur a proposé au Conseil du Couvent qu'il avoit esté averty que Mademoiselle de Guise souhaitoit avoir une chapelle dans nre Eglise avec une porte dans le courroir par laquelle elle pourroit entrer de la Rue dans lad. chapelle sans estre veüe ny passer par dedans l'Eglise. Il a esté arresté que le R.P. Comandeur iroit offrir à Son Altesse la chapelle qui est à l'opposite de cele de Monsr Galland, en y reservant un passage pour aller de la sacristie au grand autel, et l'entrée de la rüe dans le courroir joignant l'Eglise sans aucune condition. Lequel offre son Altesse Mademoiselle de Guise a accepté.48
The Mercy fathers unconditionally granted Marie de Lorraine the first chapel to the left upon entering the main door of the church. Eager to avoid the curious glances of bystanders, Mlle de Guise would enter the church by a corridor, been perhaps been carried in her sedan chair from the Porte Clisson to the door of the convent. (If the white damask curtains of the chair were lowered, passersby were being notified that the passenger wished to remain anonymous, even though the Guise coat of arms on the door proclaimed her identity.)
She doubtlessly decorated this chapel to reflect the principal object or objects of her devotions, just as Mme de Guise was decorating her chapel at the Theatins to mirror her veneration for the Christ Child. What emblems, what devotional paintings did Marie de Lorraine place in this chapel? The surviving records of the Merci do not permit an answer to this question, but they do reveal that the chapel granted to Mlle de Guise was not dedicated to one of the saints of the order.49 Can we therefore suppose that Marie de Lorraine, born on August 15, the day of the Assumption of the Virgin, and honored with the name Marie, dedicated her new chapel to the Mother of God — and, more specifically, to Notre Dame de la Rédemption des Captifs, called "Notre Dame de la Mercy"? Creating a chapel dedicated to the Virgin would not be redundant for, as late as 1660, the church of the rue du Chaume apparently housed no chapel specifically dedicated to either the Virgin or the Infant Jesus.50
From her chapel, situated in the rear of the small church, Marie de Lorraine could contemplate the stained-glass window her brother had given the community in 1656. Beside this window rose a "tribune du choeur," a rood screen that separated the nave from the fathers' chapel. Atop this tribune, this "jubé," musicians would take their places on high feast days, as the the violinists engaged by Sieur N*** had done for the musical vespers that this gentleman had organized to please his sweetheart. In like manner, the musicians who performed Lully's works in honor of Saint Raymond Nonant in 1660 surely concealed themselves in this jubé. That day they performed "un motet de Musique admirablement harmonique, le plus rare qui fut jamais, [...] Baptiste en êtoit l'inventeur."51 The motet — and doubtlessly the wages of the musicians — had been offered by Sieur Bernard, "Homme-d'honneur, et, mesmement, Homme Donneur," punned Loret. One of the principal benefactors of the convent, Bernard had not only provided the funds to found the chapel dedicated to that saint but had contributed substantially to the construction of the church.52 In short, receiving a chapel at the Mercy meant being a "donor," that is, offering the reverend fathers money, precious objects, music. The registers of the convent reveal that, although the Guises had no chapel at the Mercy until the mid-1670s, various members of the family had offered costly altar hangings, a stained-glass window and silver candlesticks. And the text of one of Charpentier's compositions (H. 25), which, as we shall see, can only have been written for the Mercy, suggests that Marie de Lorraine commissioned numerous works from him and "donated" them (and the requisite number of musicians) to the church, sometimes for use during the public services sung by the priests and sometimes for the more intimate assemblies of a confraternity.
The royal abbey of Montmartre, the Great Convent of the Carmelites, the churches of the Theatins and the Mercy: these are the four devotional poles about which the two Guisardes gravitated after the summer of 1675. To this should doubtlessly be added the church of Saint- Sulpice, where Mme de Guise built a chapel "revêtue d'une menuiserie d'un assez bon dessein, où sont les armes d'Elisabeth d'Orléans Duchesse de Guise" and where the devout could admire a Nativity painted by Charles de la Fosse.53 (Once again the image of the Christ Child who humbled himself by becoming flesh.) To this list should also be added the Guise chapel at Saint- Jean-en-Grève, although the sources reveal nothing about any services that Mlle de Guise may have held there during the 1670s and 1680s; and the convents that Mme de Guise frequented at Alençon, especially the Clarices, who were especially devoted to the Infant Jesus and where Mme de Guise would spend a good part of each day during the six months she passed each year in her duchy. In short, the princesses did not lack chapels at which the singers and musicians of the hôtel de Guise could perform Sieur Charpentier's works. Indeed, after the summer of 1675, the princesses probably called upon their musicians to perform at any or all of these chapels.
To disabuse oneself of the notion that music was frowned upon at the abbey of Montmartre, see the "Fugitive Piece" that describes a ceremony held in 1657 for the benediction of Mlle de Guise's sister Renée as abbess.
1. Montpensier, Mémoires, IV, p. 371.
2. For this summary of the Alençon financial settlement and Mlle de Guise's options in the future, see Florence, Med. del Prin., 4672, April 12, 1675. The statement about her children was in code. For Mme de Guise's return of all Guise property, see A.N., M.C., LXXV, 175, vendition, April 10, 1675.
3. Titre 137 in little Alençon's inventory, before Bouret and Galoys, 10 Apr. 1675.
4. A.N., M.C., CXII, 398, autograph will deposited on March 12, 1688.
5. Florence, Med. del Prin., 4672, May 31, 1675 and 4676, bill of August 2, 1680.
6. Florence, Med. del Prin., 4672, Sept. 30, 1675.
7. Archives of Society of Jesus, Rome, Franc. 14, (1672); Franc. 15 (1675), no. 36. These triennial records do not show the specific month when the list of residents was drawn up for each Jesuit house, but other documents reveal that rectors generally changed at the end of the calendar year or, less often, in May. Thus Pierre de Verthamon probably was at the Collège de Clermont from the final weeks of 1671 to the final days of 1674.
8. Moreri, Grand Dictionnaire, "Commire, Jean."
9. A.N., M.C., LXXV, 175, sommation, April 15, 1675.
10. Accounts of this affair appear in Montpensier, Mémoires, IV, pp. 372-375 and 530-535. The date can be established thanks to the Gazette d'Amsterdam (B.N., G 4278) which, on February 21, 1676, states: "on dit que M. le Prince traite du Grand Luxembourg avec Mlle de Montpensier et Mme de Guise...."
11. Med. del Prin., 4818, March 18, 1675. Jean-François de Voisins d'Alzau was the son of Jacques (Gaston d'Orléans's maréchal des logis), and was the "chevalier d'honneur" of Mme de Guise. He apparently had ties to the town of Voisins near Carcassonne; and in 1674 he married Paule d'Alibert (who may have been a relative of Jacques II Dalibert, since the latter's mother came from Toulouse, where Paule d'Alibert likewise had family ties). B.N., ms. Carrés d'Hozier, 642, "Voisins," fol. 351, 353.
12. Florence, Med. del Prin., 4767, May 17 and Oct. 25, 1675 and a bill dated July 1675; 4768, Dec. 11 and 25, 1676.
13. Le Mercure Hollandois, contenant les choses les plus remarquables de toute la Terre, arrivées en l'an 1675, jusqu'à l'an 1676, (Amsterdam: H. and T. Boom, 1678), p. 403 (information provided by Jérôme de La Gorce).
14. Montpensier, Mémoires, IV, p. 377.
15. Sévigné, Lettres, I, pp. 739 et 773.
16. Med. del Prin., 4767, file 2, May 17, 1675.
17. From an Epitre au bénédictines du Calvaire quoted by Dom Y. Chaussy, J. Dupaquier et al., L'Abbaye Royale Notre-Dame de Jouarre (Paris, 1961), I, p. 196, n. 29.
18. A.N., M.C., XCIX-267, Indemnity and Donation, March 6, 1676, by which Mlle de Guise offers the pavillon to the abbey.
19. Med. del Prin., 6265, June 1676, autograph letter.
20. Med. del Prin., 6265, February 26, 1678.
21. Med. del Prin., 6265, March 18, 1678.
22. For this crucial letter, which proves that Mlle de Guise had a band of skilled musicians in her pay as early as 1675, see Florence, Med. del Prin., 4767, August 23 1675.
23. Florence, Med. del Prin., 4767, Nov. 8, 1675.
24. Florence, Med. del Prin. 4767, file 4, Feb. 13, 1674.
25. Med. del Prin., 4768, November 27, 1676.
26. Med. del Prin., 4768, February 24, 1676 and June 12, 1676.
27. See for example, Med. del Prin., 4768, January 31, 1676 (a lottery and a "diveritisimento della musica" at the hôtel de Guise; February 8, 1677 (lunch and dancing at the Hôtel de Guise); February 19, 1677 (a magnificent lunch for Monsieur and Madame and the different Lorraines at the Hôtel de Guise); Med. del Prin., 6265, February 26, 1678 (a mardi gras party at the Hôtel de Guise), and so forth.
28. Florence, Med. del Prin., 4767, Oct. 28, 1675.
29. Montpensier, Mémoires, IV, p. 378.
30. On La Vallière and the Orléans, see J.B. Eriau, Louise de la Vallière, de la Cour au Carmel (Paris, 1931), especially pp. 1-12 and 157-170.
31. A.N., M.C., XCIX, 225, constitution, February 26, 1666.
32. B.N., ms. fr. 100754, fol. 275, an allusion, in a letter written by Dr. Valant in July 1683, to the orange trees, "que les grandes carmélites y ont envoyés."
33. J.-B. Eriau, L'Ancien Carmel du Faubourg Saint-Jacques (Paris, 1929), p. 321. (I have not gone to Clamart to check the accuracy of the source that Eriau cites: indeed, since Mme de Guise was the one buried at the Grand Carmel, I wonder if he is correct about it being Mlle de Guise who made this request. It wouldn't be the first time someone confused the two!) If they claimed to be "cousins," it was doubtlessly because of two De Voisins women. Judith Gigault de Bellefonds, who was known as Mère Agnès de Jésus-Maria was the granddaughter of Charlotte de Voisins. The paternal great-grandfather of Henriette-Catherine de Joyeuse, Mlle de Guise's mother, was Françoise de Voisins. Moreri, Grand Dictionnaire, "Gigault," "Joyeuse."
34. It is not altogether certain that this work belongs at the beginning of cahier 9. It is written on a paper that appears nowhere else in the twenty-eight volumes and is preceded and followed by blank pages.The other two sheets of cahier 9 — an unusually thin notebook — are yet another type of paper (and the remainder of Judith was transcribed onto still a different brand). The Mémoire of 1726 does not refer to this motet in honor of St. Anne. Indeed, the cahier should begin with "Languentibus à 3 voix" and should end with "Motet pour St Augustin," B.N., Rés, Vmb ms. 71, fol. 13. In other words, the outer sheets of the cahier clearly disappeared between the compilation of the Mémoire in 1726 and the binding of the manuscripts years later. This does not, however, prove conclusively that the motet for St. Anne was inserted into this notebook by the binders, because the Mémoire fails to mention a number of short works that at the time clearly were already an integral part of the notebook in which they are to be found today.
35. Catherine Cessac, Marc-Antoine Charpentier (Paris, 1988), p. 306.
36. A.N., LL 1587, fol. 57.
37. Père Le Moyne, S.J., La Gallerie des Femmes fortes (Paris: A. Courbé, 1661), p. 60.
38. Le Moyne, Gallerie des Femmes fortes, p. 66.
39. Cessac, Charpentier, p. 306.
40. Breviaire Romain (Paris: G. Josse, 1682), automne, pp. 172-177. On pages 175-76 one finds: "Si cette Semaine icy est la dernière de septembre, aujourd'huy [jeudi] à Matines on commence le livre d'Esther, avec les Respons comme plus bas au V Dimanche de ce mois." If there were five Sundays, additional excerpts from chapters 12 and 13 of Judith were to be read. That Charpentier's Judith includes passages from chapters 12 and 13 supports my dating of this work: in 1675 there were indeed five Sundays in September (September 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29).
41. Med. del Prin., 4672, September 30, 1675.
42. La Bruyère, Les Caractères, "De quelques usages," ¶ 19.
43. Raymond Darricau, Les Clercs réguliers théatins à Paris. Saint-Anne-la-Royale (1644-1793) (Rome, 1961), pp. 40-41.
44. Bérulle et Amelote, quoted by Yvan Leskoutoff, La Sainte et la Fée, Dévotion à l'Enfant Jésus et mode des contes merveilleux à la fin du règne de Louis XIV (Genève, 1987), pp. 42 and 52; and, on the Nativity, pp. 21-26.
45. A.N., M.C., LXXV, 176, obligation, July 8, 1675.
46. A.N., M.C., XCIX, 266, fondation, December 29, 1675.
47. A.N., M.C., XCIX, 268, délaissement, April 29, 1676.
48. A.N., LL 1557, p. 13.
49. See the descriptions of the church in 1630 and in 1657, A.N., LL 1559, fols. 1-3.
50. Dr. Branjon, Duke Henry's physician, offered the church a painting of the Virgin, but its location is not mentioned, A.N., LL 1559, fol. 3v.
51. Loret, Muze, III, p. 249, September 4, 1660.
52. Loret called Bernard a "commis," who "de ses biens a fait tant de part par une ferveur catholique pour achever cette fabrique, qu'elle ne seroit pas sans luy, en l'êtat qu'elle est aujourd'huy," Loret, Muze, II, April 1657. See also A.N., LL 1556, p. 23.
53. Brice, Description, ed. of 1752, III, pp. 450-51.