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birth must be a secret of state, to prevent the misfortunes which would evidently follow the disclosure; as the salic law has been silent concerning the inheritance of a kingdom, on the birth of male twins.

• The event which had been foretold, soon after arrived, for the queen, while the king was at supper, gave birth to a second son much smaller and handsomer than the first; and the poor infant, by his incessant cries, seemed to lament his entrance into a world where so much misery was in store for him. The chancellor then drew up the verbal

process of this extraordinary event, but the king not approving of the first, it was burnt in our presence, and it was not till after he had written a great many that his majesty was satisfied. The first almoner endeavoured to persuade the king, that he ought not to conceal the birth of a prince; to which his majesty replied, that a reason of state absolutely required the most inviolable secresy.

- The king soon after dictated the oath of secresy, which he desired us all to sign; when this iniportant business was concluded, he sealed the oath to the verbal-process, and took possession of it. The royal infant was then given into the hands of the midwife; but to deter her from revealing the secret of its birth, she was menaced with death if she ever gave the least hint of it; we were all, likewise, strictly charged not even to converse with each other on the subject.

• His majesty dreaded nothing so much as a civil war, and he thought that the dissentions which would certainly occur between the two brothers, if they were brought up as such, would certainly occasion one; the cardinal, also, when he was invested with the superintendency of the prince's education, did every thing in his power to keep this apprehension alive.

• The king ordered us to examine carefully the poor child's body, to see if he had any marks by which he might hereafter be known, if his brother should die ; for the king always purposed in that case, to put the royal infant in possession of his rights; for this reason, after having made us all sign the verbal-process, he sealed it with the royal seal.

• During the infancy of the young prince, M. Peronnette, the midwife, treated him as if he were her son, but from her great care and manner of living, every one suspected that he was the illegitimate son of some rich nobleman,

* As soon as the prince's. infancy was over, cardinal Mazarin, on whom his education had devolved, consigned him to my care, with orders to educate him in a manner suitable to the dignity of his birth, but in private. M. Peronnette continued to attend him, in. my house in Burgundy, till her death ; and they were warmly attached to each other.

• { had frequent conversations with the queen during the subsequent disturbances in this kingdom; and her majesty has often said to me, that if the prince's birth should be discovered during the life of the young king, his brother, the male-contents would, she feared, take advantage of it to raise a revolt among the people ; for she added, that it was the opinion of many able physicians, that the last born of twins was the first conceived, and of course the eldest. This fear did not, however, prevent the queen from preserving with the greatest care the written testimonies of the prince's birth; for she intended, if any accident had befallen his brother, to have recognised him, though she had another son.

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• The young prince received as good an education, as I could have wished to have received myself in similar circumstances; and a better one than was bestowed on the acknowledged princes.

· When he was about nineteen, his desire to know who he was increased to a great degree, and he tormented me with continual solicitations to make him acquainted with the author of his existence; the more earnest he was, the more resolute were my refusals; and when he saw. that his entreaties did not avail, he endeavoured to persuade me that he thought he was my son. Often, when he called me by the tender name of father, did I tell him that he deceived himself; but, at length, seeing that he persevered in this opinion, I ceased to contradict him, and gave

bim reason to believe that he was really my son. Ile appeared to credit this, with a view, no doubt, of forcing me by this means to reveal the truth to him; as I afterwards learned that he was at that

very time doing all in his power to discover who he was.

• 'Two years, elapsed in this manner, when an imprudent action, for which I shall érer reproach myself, revealed to him the important se- ; cret of his birth. He knew that I had received, at that time, many expresses from the king; and this circumstance, probably, raised som doubts in his suind, which he sought to clear up by opening my scru toire, in which I had imprudently left many letters from the queen and the cardinal. Ile read them; and their contents, aided by his natural penetration, discovered the whole secret to him.

• I observed about this time that his manners were quite changed, for instead of treating me with affection and respect which I was accustom-' ed to receive from him, he becaine surly and reserved. This alteration at first surprised me, but I too soon learnt the cause.

My suspicions were first roused by his asking me, with great earnestness, to procure him the portraits of the late and present king. I told him in answer, that there had been no good resemblances of either drawn yet; and that I would wait till some eminent painter should ex. ecute their pictures.

· This reply, which he appeared extremely dissatisfied with, was fol lowed by a request to go to Dijon : the extreme disappointment he expressed on being refused, alarmed me, and from that moment I watched his motions more closely. I afterwards learnt that his motive for wishing to visit Dijon was, to see the king's picture; he had an intention also of going from thence to the court, that was then kept at St. Jeande-Las, to see and compare himself with his brother.

• The young prince was then extremely beautiful; and he inspired such an affection in the breast of a young chambermaid, that, in defiance of the strict orders which all ihe domestics had received, not to give the prince any thing he required without my permission, she procured him the king's portrait.

• As soon as the unhappy prince glanced his eye on it, he was forci-. bly struck by its resemblance to himself; and well he might, for one portrait would have served for them both. This sight confirmed all his doubts, and made him furious. He instantly flew to me, exclaiming, in the most violent passiou, “ This is the king! and I am his brother: here is an undeniable proof of it.” Ile then shewed me a letter from cardinal Mazarin that he had stolen out of my scrutoire, in which his birth was mentioned.

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• I now feared that he would contrive means to escape to the court during the celebration of his brother's nuptials; and to prevent this meeting, which I greatly dreaded, I soon after sent a messenger to the king to inform him the prince's having broken open my, scrutoire; by which means he had discovered the secret of his birth ; I also informed him the effects this discovery had produced in his mind. On the receipt of this letter, his majesty instantly ordered us both to be imprisoned. The cardinal was charged with this order; and at the same time acquainted the prince, that his improper conduct was the cause of our common misfortune.

I have continued from that time till this moment a fellow prisoner with the prince; and now feeling that the awful sentence to depart this life has been pronounced by my heavenly judge, I can no longer resuse to calm both my own mind and my pupil's, by a candid declara: tion of this important fact, which may enable him to extricate himself from his present ignominious state, if the king should die without issue. Ought I to be obliged by a forced oath to keep a secret inviolably with which posterity ought to be acquainted?'

This is the historical memoir which the regent delivered to the princess: it does not, indeed, certify that this prince was the prisoner known hy the name of the Iron-mask, but all the foregoing facts agree so well with the extraordinary anecdotes related of this mysterious personage, that it appears beyond contradiction, that this memoir fills up the vácuum relative to the beginning of his life. I will, therefore, subjoin some of the authentic anecdotes which have been given to the public of the Iron-mask, since he arrived with Mr. de Saint-Mars at the state prison in the Isle of Sainte Marguerite.

The first person who mentions the Iron-mask is an anonymous author, in a work entitled, Memoirs of the Court of Persia; he related many authentic anecdotes respecting the prisoner, but is totally mistaken in liis conjectures concerning his rank. These memoirs no sooner appeared, than a crowd of literary men endeavoured to prove who this prisoner was whose extraordinary treatment had excited such universal curiosity. One asserted that he was the duke of Beaufort, who was certainly killed by the Turks while he was defending Candia, in the year 1699. For in the first place it is well known that the Iron-mask was in confinement at · Pignerol before he came to the Isle of Sainte Marguerite, in the year 1662: besides, how was it possible for the duke to be stolen from his army so secretly as for it to escape discovery?. For what reason also was he imprisoned ? and why was it necessary for him to be constantly masked ? Others contested, that the prisoner was the count of Vermendois, a natural son of. Louis the XIV, who died publicly of the small-pox in 1683. Another author contended, that he was the duke of Monmouth, who was beheaded at, London in 1675 : even allowing it possible that Lewis would have consented to imprison the duke to oblige king James, is it probable that he would have conti nued the pleasing office of jailor, after his death, to oblige a sovereign with whom he was at war?

All these chimeras' are now dissipated by this important relation; and the uncommon precautions which were used to conceal the face of the man in the iron mask, is a further proof that he was the identical. prince mentioned in the memoirs; for he was never permitted to walk in the court of the Bastile without his mask; which lie was forbidden


to take off, even in the presence of his physicians. Would this precaution have been taken, if his face had not been a striking likeness of one well known throughout all France? And what face could this bę but that of his brother, Lewis XIV.? to whom this unfortunate prince bore, so great a resemblance, that a slight glance of him, it was feared, would have betrayed the secret which was so ardently wished to be concealed ? Why, also, had he an Italian name given him, though he had no foreign accent? for in the register of his burial, at St. Paul's church he is, called Marchiali. Voltaire seems to haye been the only, writer who was, acquainted with the mystery of this extraordinary prisoner's birth; though, notwithstanding he related many authentic anecdotes of hini, he carefully concealed it.

We will now give the reader a succinct account of the man in the iron mask, extracted from the writings of Voltaire, and many other eminent authors. A few months after the death of cardinal Mazarin, a, young prisoner arrived at the Isle of Sainte Marguerite, whose appearance excited universal curiosity ; his, manners, were graceful and dignified, his person above the middle size, and his face extremely hand

On the way thither he constantly wore a mask made with iron. springs, to enable him to eat without taking it off. It was, at first, believed that this mask was made entirely of iron, from whence he-acquired the name of the man with the iron mask. His attendants had, received orders to kill him if he attempted to take off his mask, or discover himself.

The prisoner remained in this isle till the year 1690, when the governor of Pignerol being promoted to the government of the Bastile, conducted him to that fortress. In his way thither, he stopped with him. at his estate near Palteau. The prisoner arrived there in a litter, surrounded by a numerous guard on horseback, Mr. de Saint Mars eat at the same table with him all the time they. resided-at Palteau; but the . latter was always placed with his back towards the windows; and the peasants, whom curiosity kept constantly, on the watch, observed that Mr. de Saint Mars always sat opposite him with two pistols by the side of his plate. They were waited on by, one servant only, who received: the dishes in the antichamber, and always shut the dining-room door carefully after him when he went out. The prisoner was always mask. ed, even when he passed through the court; the governor also slept in a bed in the same room with him. In the course of their journey, the iron-mask was, one day, heard to ask his keeper whether the king had: any design on his life? No, my prince, he replied, provided that you allow yourself to be conducted without opposition, your life is perfectly secure. The stranger was accommodated as well as it was possible to be in the Bastile; and every thing he expressed a desire for was in stantly procured him. He was particularly partial to fine linen, which did not proceed from vanity, for he was really in want of it; because his constant confinement, and sedentary life, had rendered his skin so delicate that unless his linen was extremely fine, it incommoded him.

He was also fond of playing on the guitar. He never complained of his confinement, nor gave a hint of his rank, The tones of his voice were uncommonly pleasing and interesting.

He was served constantly in plate; and the governor always placed his dishes on the table himself; and when he entered, or retired, he locked the door after him. He tutoyoit (theed and thoued) the governor,

who on the contrary treated him with the greatest respect, and never wore his hat, or sat down in his presence, unless he was desired.

While he resided at Sainte Marguerite's, he wrote his name on a. plate, and threw it out of his window towards a boat lying at the foot of the tower. A fisherman picked it up, and carried it to the governor. Ile was alarmed at the sight of it; and asked the man with great allxinty, whether he could read, and whether any one else had seen the plate? I cannot read, replied the fisherman ; and no one else has seen the plate, as I have this instant found it. The man was, however, kept till the governor was well assured of the truth of his assertions.

He made another attempt to make himself known, which was equally unsuccessful. A young man who lived in the isle, one day perceived something floating under the prisoner's window, and on picking it up, he discovered it to be a very fine shirt, written all over. He carried it immediately to the governor, who, after unfolding it, appeared in the greatest consternation. He inquired of the young man whether he had had the curiosity to read what was written on it? He answered no; but notwithstanding this reply, he was found, a few days after, dead in bis bed. • The fate of the iron-mask excited great curiosity; and a young

officer, who visited Mr. de Sainte Mars when he resided at Sainte Mar. goerite's, was so desirous to see him, that he bribed a sentinel who was stationed in a gallery under the prisoner's window, to let him take his place for a short time. He had a perfect view of him from thence, as he was then without his mask. His face was fair and handsome; and his person tall, and finely formed. His hair was perfectly grey, though he was only in the flower of his age. He spent the whole night in walking up and down the room.

Father Griffet, in his Journal of the Bastile, says, that on the 8th of September, 1698, Mr. de Saint Mars, newly created governor of that fortres-, made his first entrance into it, bringing with him an ancient prisoner, whom he had taken care of at Pignerol, and at the Isle of Sainte Marguerite. His name was not mentioned, and he was kept constantly inasked. , An apartment was prepared for him, by order of the governor before his arrival, fitted up in the most convenient style. When he was allowed to go to mass he was strictly forbid to speak, or uncover his face; and orders were given to the soldiers to fire upon him if he attempted either. As he passed through the court, their pieces were always pointed towards him.

This nnfortunate prince died the 19th of November, 1703, after a short iliness, and was buried in St. Paul's church. The expence of his funeral only amounted to forty livres. His real name and age were concealed from the priests who buried him; for in the register made of his funeral, it was mentioned that he was above forty years old ; and he had told his apothecary, some time before his death, that he thought he must be sixty.

It is a well-known fact, that every thing which he had used was, after his death, burnt and destroyed; even to the doors of his prison. His plate was melted down, and the walls of his chamber were scraped and white-washed. Nay, such was the fear of his having left a letter or

any mark, which might lead to discover who he was, that the very floor of his room was taken up, and the ceiling taken down. In short, every corner was searched into, that no trace might remain of him.

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