The irritation of the latter was greatly Mazarin's own fault; he had tried consistently to play off the king's brother Gaston of Orleans against Conde, and their respective followers against each other, and had also, as his carnets prove, jealously kept any courtier from getting into the good graces of the queen-regent except by his means, so that it was not unnatural that the nobility should hate him, while the queen found herself surrounded by his creatures alone.
That he had many a petty fault there can be no doubt; that he was avaricious and double-dealing was also undoubted; and his carnets show to what unworthy means he had recourse to maintain his influence over the queen.
What that influence was will be always debated, but both his carnets and the Briihl letters show that a real personal affection, amounting to passion on the queen's part, existed.
For his carnets reference must be made to V.
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