The court, whose sentimental history has been related by Madame de Ia Fayette, its official splendours by Loret, and its intrigues by the duc de Saint-Simon, now resembled an infirmary of morose invalid~, presided over by Louis XIV.s elderly wife, Madame de Maintenon, under the domination of the Jesuit le Tellier.
Disease and famine; crushing imposts and extortions; official debasement of the currency; bankruptcy; state prisons; religious and political inquisition; suppression of all institutions for the safe-guarding of rights; tyranny by the intendants; royal, feudal and clerical oppression burdening every faculty and every necessary of life; monstrous and incurable luxury; the horrible drama of poison; the twofold adultery of Madame de Montespan; and the narrow bigotry of Madame de Maintenon-~--all concurred to make the end of the reign a sad contrast with the splendour of its beginning.
Pegency will delegated all the power of the government to a (1715 council on which the duke of Maine, his legitimated son, had the first, but Madame de Maintenon and the Jesuits the predominant place.
FRANCOISE D'[[Aubigne MAINTENON, Marquise De]] (1635-1719), the second wife of Louis XIV., was born in a prison at Niort, on the 27th of November 1635.
In 1674 the king determined to have his children at court, and their governess, who had now made sufficient fortune to buy the estate of Maintenon, accompanied them.