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when I had advanced far in my pregnancy, this care and tenderness of me abated: And once, as my mother-in-law had treated me in a very grating manner, I had the malice to feign a cholic, to give them in my turn some alarm ; but as I saw this little artifice gave them too much pain, I told them I was better. No creature could be more heavily loaden with sickness than I was during my pregnancy. Beside continual heavings, I had so strange a distaste, except for some fruit, that I could not bear the sight of food. I had likewise continual swoonings and violent pains. I had a very sore time in my delivery, and continued long weak. There 'was indeed sufficient to exercise patience, and I was enabled to offer up my sufferings to our LORD. I took a fever, which rendered me so weak, that after several weeks I could scarce bear to be moved, to have my bed made.
bed made. When I began to recover, an imposthume fell upon my breast, which was forced to be laid open in two places, which gave me great pain : Yet all these maladies seemed to me only a shadow of troubles, in comparison of those I suffered in the family; which far from diminishing, daily increased. I was also subject to a very violent head-ach. Indeed life was so wearisome to me, that those maladies which were thought mortal did not frighten me.
This lying-in set off my person, and consequently served to encrease my vanity, I was glad of being marked with regard. And, far from avoiding the ocasions thereof, I went to the public walks, (tho' but seldom ;) and when in the streets, I pulled off my mask out of vanity, and drew off my gloves to shew my hands. Could there be greater folly ? After falling into these weaknesses, I used to weep bitterly at home; yet when occasions offered, I fell into them again.
There happened in the family an affair of great consequence, in regard to our temporals. The loss was very considerable. It cost me strange crosses for above a year, not that I cared for the losses which it caused. But I seemed to be the butt of all the ill humours of the family. It would require a volume to describe all that I suffered during this time. With what pleasure did I sacrifice these temporals; and how often resign myself to have begged my bread, if God had so ordered it ! My mother-in-law was inconsolable. She bid me pray to God for these things; but to me that was wholly impossible. Oh my dearest Lord! never could I pray to thee about the world, or the things thereof; nor sully my sacred addresses to thy Majesty with the dirt of the earth: No, I rather wished to renounce it all, and every thing beside whatsoever, for the sake of thy love, and the enjoyment of thy presence in that kingdom, which is not of this world. I wholly sacrificed myself to thee, even earnestly begging thee rather to reduce our family to beggary, than suffer it to offend thee. In my own mind I excused my mother-in-law, saying to myself, “ if thou hadst taken the pains to scrape
and save like her, thou wouldst not be so “ indifferent at seeing so much lost. Thou enjoyc est what cost thee nothing, and reapest what " thou hast not sowed.” Yet all these thoughts could not make me sensible to our losses. I even formed agreeable ideas of our going to the hospital. No state appeared to me so poor and miserable, which I should not have thought easy, in comparison of the continual domestic persecutions I underwent. My father, who loved me tenderly, and whom I honoured beyond expression, knew nothing of it. God so permitted it, that I should have him also displeased with me for some time; for my mother was continually telling him that I was an ungrateful creature, shewing no regard for them, but all for
husband's family. Appearances were against me; for I did not go to see them near as often as I should have done. But they knew not the captivity I was in; and what I was obliged to bear in defending them. These complaints of my mother, and a trivial affair that fell out, lessened a little my father's fond regard for me; but it did not hold long. My mother-in-law reproached me, saying, “ No afflictions befell them ç till I came into the house. All misfortunes came " along with me.” On the other side, my mother wanted me to exclaim against my husband, which I could never submit to do.
We continued to meet with loss after loss, the King retrenching a considerable share of our revenues, besides great sums of money, which we lost by L'Hotel de Ville, I could have no rest or peace, in the midst of such great amictions, I had no mortal either to console me, or to advise with. My sister, who had educated me, had departed this life. She died two months before my mar. riage ; and I had no confidence in any other.
I declare, that I find much repugnance in saying so many things of my mother-in-law, and yet more in what I mention of my husband, as I doubt not but my own indiscretion, my caprice, and the occasional sallies of a warm temper, drew many of the crosses upon me,
And, altho' I had what the world calls patience, yet I had neither a relish or ļove for the cross, and hence I fell into so many faults. Their conduct towards me, which appears so unreasonable, should not be looked upon
with worldly eyes; we should look higher, and then we shall perceive, that it was directed by Providence
for for my eternal advantage. Indeed I should have yielded to the repugnance I felt, and been totally silent with regard to their treatment of me, were it not in obedience to you Sir.
I now dressed my hair in the most moderate manner, never painted, and to subdue this vanity which still had possession of me, I rarely looked in the glass ; my reading was confined to books of devotion, such as Thomas a Kempis, and the works of St. Francis de Sales. I read these aloud for the improvement of the servants, whilst the maid was combing me, and I suffered myself to be dressed just as she pleased, which freed me from a deal of trouble, and took away the occasions wherein my. vanity used to be exercised, I knew not how things were; but they always liked me, and thought all well in point of dress. If on some particular days I wanted to appear better, it proved worse ; and the more indifferent I was about dress, the better I appeared. How often have I gone to church, not so much to worship God as to be seen. Other women, jealous of me, affirmed that I painted; and told my confessor who chid me for it, tho' I assured him I was innocent. I often spoke in my own praise, and sought to raise myself, by depreciating others : Yet these faults gradually decreased , for I was very sorry afterwards for having committed them. I often examined myself very strictly, writing down my faults and slips, from week to week, and month to month, to see how much I was improved or reformed. But alas! this labour, tho' fatiguing, was but of little service, because I placed most of my trust in my own cares. I wished indeed to be reformed, but my good desires were weak and languid.
My husband's absence was so long, and in the mean time my crosses and vexations at home so great, that I determined to go to him. My motherin-law strongly opposed it ; but this once my father interfering, and insisting on it, she let me go. At my arrival I found he had like to have died. Thro' vexation and fretting he was very much changed; for he could not finish his affairs, having no liberty to attend them, keeping himself concealed at the hotel de Longueville, where Madam de Longueville was extremely kind to me. But as I appeared publickly, he was in great fear lest I should make him known; in a rage he bid me return home; but love, and my long absence from him, surmounting every other reason, he soon relented, and suffered me to stay with him. He kept me eight days, without letting me stir out of his chamber; till, fearing the effects of such a close confinement on my constitution, he desired me to
and take a walk in the garden, where I met Madam de Longueville, who testified great joy on seeing me.
I cannot express all the kindness I met with in this house. All the domestics here served me with emulation, and applauded me on account of my poor miserable person, and exterior deportment: Yet I was much on my guard, against paying too great attention thereto. I never entered into discourse with any man when alone. I admitted none into my coach, not even my relations, unless my husband were in it. Nor did I go into any man's coach. In short, there was not any rule of discretion, which I did not duly observe, to avoid giving any suspicion to my husband, or subject of calumny to others. So much attention had I to a vain point of honour, and so little for the true honour, which is to please God. Every one studied there how to contribute to divert or oblige me.