Late in the afternoon on September 17th, 1705, Anne ran a shaky finger across the deep lines that grew below her eyes. “If God had to give a woman wrinkles, he might at least have put them on the soles of her feet, don’t you think Francois?” she said to her accountant.
“Why, you don’t look a day over seventy,” he said to her with a wink.
Anne had been conducting more and more of her day to day business in her bedroom, often still lying beneath the covers. She was tired and had resigned herself to mortality.
“Francois, I don’t have much longer,” she said matter-of-factly.
“Nonsense, madam!” he quickly countered, “Why, you’re still strong as...” But Anne was in no mood to be argued with.
“Stop!” she ordered. “Anyone who can see can tell... Both the Jansenists and the Jesuits are arguing over my soul... and I intend to die at least in the grace of one of them, they can fight over my corpse later... Francois, I’m making a new will... My funeral will be simple; I’m only leaving ten francs for it. That ought to show them there’s a bit of poverty in my soul. But to your son, I want to leave a little too. He’s been such good company, putting up with my locutions.”
“He’ll make a fine lawyer,” Francois said smiling.
“No, Francois!” Anne said with concern. “His mind is full of ideas. I know you’ll be sending him to college soon. Don’t burden him with rigidity. Let him think! The joy of the mind is the measure of its strength!”
When the famed courtesan, Anne "Ninon" de l'Enclos, died at age eighty-three a month later, she bequeathed 2,000 francs to François-Marie Arouet, the nine year old “Voltaire”, for which to buy books.