The little girl, looking into the glass of water to see Louis XIV’s death, does not see either his son, the Dauphin, or his grandson, the Duke de Bourgogne, near him.  As well as the other people whom she has already described, she sees only a little boy around five years old, whom a lady is holding by the hand…

Philippe, Duke d'Orleans

When Philippe, Duke d’Orleans, recounts this to his friend, the Duke de Saint-Simon, he asks his opinion of it.  The Duke replies that it is all a lot of rot and

“What is this little boy doing at the King’s bedside, when neither his son nor his grandson are there?”

Philippe explains that they had insisted a great deal…  But that she definitely did not see them.  Saint-Simon wants to know whether she saw the Duke d’Orleans.  Philippe replies that of course she did, but that there was one other thing… 

He asks the magician what would happen to himself after the King’s death…  The wise man asks him if he isn’t afraid to see himself.  Philippe replies that he isn’t…  So, the magician then places himself in front of a wall and delivers himself to new incantations.  After ten or fifteen minutes, Philippe sees his own face on the wall.  Dressed in unknown clothes.

All those around him are able to surmount their fear and recognize the Duke d’Orleans in this vision…  But the strangest part is that he is wearing a crown.  It is neither the crown of France, nor that of Spain, nor of England.  It has four circles and is open-cut at the summit.  The Duke has never seen a crown like it before.  Saint-Simon tells him:

“Be careful that this crown does not go to your head…  and leave this satanical trickery alone!”

This surprising vision took place in 1706.  And the little girl saw exactly what would happen, nine years later at the King’s death.  In 1715, in Louis XIV’s mortuary chamber, neither his son, the Grand Dauphin, nor his grandson, Louis de France, Duke de Bourgogne, the eldest son of the Grand Dauphin, were present.  This memorable reign ended in the sadness of mourning, bankruptcy and wars continually restarting.

And a hecatomb without precedent of all the Princes of the Blood.  The Grand Dauphin, Louis XIV’s elder son, is a mediocre prince whom his father removes from the kingdom’s business.  He dies in 1711, a victim of smallpox.  His younger son, the Duke de Bourgogne, dies the following year from malignant measles a few days after his wife, Adelaide de Savoie.

Dreadfully saddened, Louis XIV then declares his great-grandson, Louis, Duke de Bretagne, aged five, Dauphin de France.  The next day, the child falls ill and dies almost immediately.  Charles, Duke de Berry, the Grand Dauphin’s third son, having become the heir, succumbs, probably from the consequences of a fall from a horse, in 1714.  There remains Philippe, the second son of the Grand Dauphin;  but he is King of Spain since 1700 and “although there are no longer any Pyrenees”, he cannot mount the French throne…

As for the little boy holding his governess’ hand, he is a little orphan, the Duke d’Anjou, the son of the Duke de Bourgogne, therefore Louis XIV’s great-grandson, and future Louis XV, known as the Bien-Aime (Well-Loved).

The famous crown, which is only an abstraction of a real crown, is soon to be worn, we could say, by the Duke d’Orleans when he becomes the Kingdom’s Regent, at the death of the Sun King in 1715.

It is therefore understandable that he is troubled in 1706, and that Saint-Simon is sceptical.  The great memorialist, faithful to his reputation for being a sincere man, concludes this case of clairvoyancy by saying that he is the last one to approve of occult practices.  But that this story appeared so extraordinary to him that he feels that he should tell us about it…

***

The Duke d’Orleans’ contemporaries suspected him of having eliminated family members closer to the throne than himself, so as to approach his own family to it.  The Grand Century was shaken by terrible stories of sorcery, poisons and black masses.  The memory of Madame de Montespan, compromised in 1680 in the Case of the Poisons beside the sinister Voisin, is still in everyone’s minds.  But it seems that it was only gossip and that these insinuations were not supported by any proof.  Such acts did not in any way correspond, either, to the Duke d’Orleans’ character.

Of course, Philippe had no morality.  But his immorality, which was deep-seated, his intelligence, were ever only put at the service of his pleasures.  The opposite of his uncle, the Sun King, he was absolutely without a purposeful mind or any real ambition.  He was however a courageous Prince (he showed that at the Battle of Neerwinden), courteous and generous, and it is difficult to see him in the role of a Nero…

***

It was Louis XIV’s will that the Duke d’Orleans become Regent.  He decides it five days before he dies.  This excludes even more the hypothesis of any responsibility on Philippe’s part in these deaths…

***

Saint-Simon, who reports this vision, is only a second degree witness.  But he is also the most precise and the most conscientious witness of Louis XIV’s century.

***

Saint-Simon does not believe in magic.  Magic even horrifies him.  He is a recalcitrant witness, very little disposed to bring grist to the occultists’ mill.  He is the best witness that can be found.  If he reports this story in his Memoires it is because it has made a profound impression of truth on him.  It is in fact the uncomfortable feeling that this story gives him, that makes him want to exorcise it…

***

Louis XIV is unable to believe in magic because he is very pious.  He had been raised by his mother and his preceptors with very strict Christian principles.  And the Church forbids people to believe in it.  Louis XIV’s century is the century of the triumphant Church.  In its eyes, clairvoyancy is a pagan practice…  Throughout the whole of Antiquity, it was normal to consult oracles and soothsayers.  Then the Church assimilated these practices to diabolism.  But of course paganism did not disappear altogether.  This is why there are still soothsayers.

***

During the XVIIth Century, magic and sorcery lived beside the most fanatical bigotry.  There were about 300 deviners in Paris whom the nobles and city-dwellers often went to consult.

***

Saint-Simon does not give the name of the soothsayer in this story.  He is not a professional and he goes beyond clairvoyancy.  He projects images onto a wall…

***

Parapsychology is making great progress today.  People are seeking to explain clairvoyancy through physics.  There is some research being done on the structure of time….

There is an attempt to find out if time does not have two senses…  In other words, if instead of only flowing from the past to the future, it can also flow the opposite way…  Clairvoyancy could therefore just be information which comes to us, not from the past , but from the future.  Louis Pauwels proposes the following formula to speak about this notion:  in clairvoyancy or in premonitions, we have waves of memory.  But they are very particular memories:  they are memories of the future

***

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