Saint-Simon laments the Court subservient to its king. I see the rebellious nobles presenting a daily challenge to Louis XIV. Lauzun, being one of the king’s favorites, is also my favorite. Gilette Ziegler chooses as an epigraph a passage from La Bruyere to write about him, “…his life was a dream. What am I saying? We do not even dream they way he lived.”
The first conflict is over Lauzun’s appointment to the king’s army as the chief of artillery. Louvois, the Minister of War, became opposed to Lauzun’s promotion, finding him a little too garrulous for a post of such a high responsibility. Lauzaun, being the ladies man, goes to see his former girl-friend, Madame Montespan. But then, not satisfied, he does some personal reconnaissance, hiding under her bed to eavesdrop on her and Louis XIV pillow talk. This is how he had learned that Louvois prefered some strong silent type and that the king was unwilling to fight it out with his War Minister.
Luazun confronts Louis XIV. Their conversation turns into a quarrel: Lauzun breaks his sword, saying that he is not going to serve the king who cannot keep a promise. Louis throws his cane out of the window, saying that he is too tempted to use it on Lauzun’s back. Then things calm down. Lauzun is thinking about marriage; his wife-to-be is a princess. The king is not opposed to this choice, but unfortunately everyone else is. Pretty soon Lauzun is arrested for calling Madam Montespan a fat whore. And the way Saint-Simon puts it, the woman certainly did not deserve this, for she was just a little plump.
Like Fouquet, Lauzun is arrested by d’Artagnan. Lauzun is locked up in the same prison as Nicolas Fouquet where the two men have some conversations that are worth having. After seven years of prison and numerous attempts to escape, Lauzun is released and secretly marries his princess, then divorces her, goes into self-imposed exile to England and by fighting there fights his way back into the Court of Louis XIV. At the Court of Versailles he is last seen when he is in his late eighties, still riding, now with Louis XV.
This little guy was the biggest Don Juan of Versailles. He was a sweet talker and the most refined gentleman, whose conversation we could call a penetration through the ear; but Lenotre tells us of how he once avenged himself when a girl had not been faithful. The ladies were sitting in a circle on the floor and so he pretended to stumble, stepping on her hand as if by accident.