Madame de SÉVIGNÉ

a thing which makes everybody cry

Paris, Monday, Dec. 15, 1670.

I am going to tell you a thing the most astonishing, the most surprising, the most marvelous, the most miraculous, the most magnificent, the most confounding, the most unheard of, the most singular, the most extraordinary, the most incredible, the most unforeseen, the greatest, the least, the rarest, the most common, the most public, the most private till today, the most brilliant, the most enviable; in short, a thing of which there is but one example in past ages, and that not an exact one either ; a thing that we can not believe at Paris ; how then will it gain credit at Lyons ? a thing which makes everybody cry, "Lord have mercy upon us !" a thing which causes the greatest joy to Madame de Rohan and Madame de Hauterive; a thing, in fine, which is to happen on Sunday next, when those who are present will doubt , the evidence of their senses ; a thing which, though it is to be done on Sunday, yet perhaps will not be finished on Monday. I can not bring myself to tell it you ; guess what it is. I give you three times to do it in. What, not a word to throw at a dog ? Well then, I find I must tell you. Monsieur de Lauzun is to be married next Sunday at the Louvre, to pray guess to whom !

I give you four times to do it in, I give you six, I give you a hundred.

Says Madame de Coulanges, " It is really very hard to guess; perhaps it is Madame de la Valliere." Indeed, madam, it is not. "It is Mademoiselle de Eetz, then." No, nor she neither ; you are extremely provincial. " Lord bless me," say you, " what stupid wretches we are ! it is Mademoiselle de Colbert all the while." Nay, now you are still further from the mark." Why then it must certainly be Mademoiselle de Crequy." You have it not yet. Well, I find I must tell you at last. He is to be married next Sunday, at the Louvre, with the king's leave, to Mademoiselle, Mademoiselle de, Mademoiselle — guess, pray guess her name ; he is to be married to Mademoiselle, the great Mademoiselle ; Mademoiselle, daughter to the late Monsieur; Mademoiselle, grand-daughter of Henry the IVth; Mademoiselle d'Eu, Mademoiselle de Dombes, Mademoiselle de Montpensier, Mademoiselle d'Orleans, Mademoiselle, the king's cousin-german, Mademoiselle, destined to the throne, Mademoiselle, the only match in France that was worthy of Monsieur. What glorious matter for talk !

If you should burst forth like a bedlamite, say we have told you a lie, that it is false, that we are making a jest of you, and that a pretty jest it is, without wit or invention ; in short, if you abuse us, we shall think you quite in the right ; for we have done just the same things ourselves. Farewell, you will find by the letters you receive this post, whether we tell you truth or not.