Sunny Louise and lame La Valliere.
Passionate and self-indulging Louise XIV leaded France not only to moral decline, but also to financial distraction. Dancing parties, duels and lust came together with empty treasury and increasing taxes, while the romantic monarch who was fond of arts thought mostly about theatres and sexual delight. Louise could hardly pass a beautiful woman, and finally his passion became even Henrietta of England, who was the wife of the king’s brother, Philip Duke of Orleans. To be honest, Philip was hardly interested in his beautiful and adventurous wife, as he preferred young man from his escort. The legal partner of Louise, Marie Theresa, also preferred not to pay attention to her husband’s endless love affairs. However, the couple decided to avoid asking for trouble and attracting attention to their relation, explaining often visits of the king to Henrietta’s room by Louise’s falling in love with one of the maids of honor, Luise de La Valliere.
Naturally, Henrietta, who was clever enough, offered the ugliest of the women as a partner. In her childhood poor La Vaillere fell off a horse and as the result she became lame. In addition to that she was unattractive and shy: at that time of beautiful ladies it was an odd thing to fell in love with plain woman.
Henrietta concluded that the lame ,shy and devout woman would make no interest for the king, who was crazy with beautiful things and arts, Louise was like a sun-king. However, being lame didn’t prevent Luise from falling in love. While the light-minded king was busy loving Henrietta, a real deep feeling developed into the woman’s heart and she shared it with one of the friends.
Probably the monarch’s eye that was keen in women beauty would never find the shy lame woman, but once the king heard that very crucial conversation by chance. Luise shared the secret about her love with a friend. It was not the first or the last time that the king heard such kind of confession, but being loved by an innocent seventeen years old girl flattered him and his masculine self-esteem demanded making her his lover. Who knew what would be the end of the story if La Valleire yielded to the king at once. However, even in spite of the fact that the woman loved Louise, she kept strict with him contradicting him for a few months. So, one night the king just simply decided to take the bull by the horns and entered La Valliere’s room through the window. Since that moment the history of France changed its route: the king was violently also insanely in love with the lame modest woman. He tried to fight that passion that was unworthy for a king, but he failed, while the anger of court ladies pounced upon poor Luise. They called her a witch, explained the king’s passion by different kinds of obscenity she offered and calmly waited for the moment to spit after she left.
No love could exist without quarrels and soon the court ladies were pleased, a former admirer of Luise visited Paris and the fact really disappointed the sunny highness. It was the first time Louise didn’t visit his lame lover at night. Luise waited till the morning and then she made her way to cathedral having decided to take the veil and make up for the love which she supposed to be a sin. Having cried till evening, she fainted and lay on the stone floor. She could not see Louise who rushed to her through the cathedral doors, took her in his arms and carried out the cathedral. As a sign of regret of his behavior and making his lover faint, Louise decided to build a beautiful palace for La Valliere, which is nowadays famous as Versailles, the king hurried to finish the palace and give it to his Luise. He loved her and was loved, feeling no shame for his feelings to the lame maid in honor. In the spring of 1663 La Valliere became the official favorite of the king and moved to the new palace.
Although, the devoutness of La Valliere played her false. One day the king was attracted by the innocence of the woman, but a few years after the monarch preferred a gorgeous beauty Francoise-Athenais de Montespan. Unlike Luise, Montespan was passionate and impatient: the new lover didn’t want to wait for a few years, she demanded the status of the official favorite immediately. Since that moment the king’s love to Luise was lost. People said that Anthenais attracted him with magic power as the tender and loving man turned into a libertine and cruel cynic at once. Louise settled his new lover’s apartment just by Luise’s and made them play best friends, watching them carefully.
In 1669 Montespan gave birth to the king’s son and Louise forgot about his lame lover completely. Three years after he made his former lover become the godmother of Athenais’s second child. That was the limit of patience even of such a calm person as Luise de La Valliere: the forgotten favorite was on the stone floor again. But ере time the situation was different, the king, who found peace in Anthenais’s embrace, didn’t do anything to return Luise out of the nunnery. However, the mother superior didn’t allow the woman with such kind of reputation visit the saint place. But stubborn La Valliere, after two months of penance, managed to take the veil and become Sister Luise. At that moment she was only thirty years old.
As for Louise XIV, he seemed frustrated but still decided to let the thing go and stayed with Montespan and other passionate lovers. Luise lived in nunnery for long thirty six years, during that period the king never visited his former lover, even in spite of the fact that he outlived her for five years.