V. page 21
`The queen was in another with the princesses; and then everybody
else, grouped as they liked. Then they go on the water in
gondolas, with music; they return at ten; the play is ready, it
is over; twelve strikes, supper is brought in, and so passes
This lively picture of such frightful gambling, of the adulterous
triumph of Madame de Montespan, and of the humiliating part to
which the queen was condemned, will induce our readers to concur
with Madame de Sevigne, who, amused as she had been by the scene
she has described, calls it nevertheless, with her usual pure
taste and good judgment, _l'iniqua corte_, `the iniquitous
Indeed, Madame de Sevigne had ample reason to denounce this
source of her domestic misery. Writing to her son and daughter,
she says:--`You lose all you play for. You have paid five or six
thousand francs for your amusement, and to be abused by fortune.'
If she had at first been fascinated by the spectacle which she so
glowingly describes, the interest of her children soon opened her
eyes to the yawning gulf at the brink of the flowery surface.
Sometimes she explains herself plainly:--`You believe that
everybody plays as honestly as yourself? Call to mind what took
place lately at the Hotel de la Vieuville. Do you remember
The favour of that court, so much coveted, seemed to her to be
purchased at too high a price if it was to be gained by ruinous
complaisances. She trembled every time her son left her to go to
Versailles. She says:--`He tells me he is going to play with his
young master; I shudder at the thought. Four hundred
pistoles are very easily lost: _ce n'est rien pour Admete et
c'est beaucoup pour lui_. If Dangeau is in the game he
will win all the pools: he is an eagle. Then will come to pass,
my daughter, all that God may vouchsafe--_il en arivera, ma
fille, tout ce qu'il plaira a Dieu_.'
 The Dauphin.
 `It is nothing for Admetus, but 'tis much for him.'