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Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
With Minute Details of Her Entire
Career as Favorite of Louis XV

"Written by Herself"

by Baron Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon




with a special introduction by
Robert Arnot, M.A.






This delightful (piquant, the comtesse would say) pseudonymous
work was in fact written not "by herself" but by Baron Etienne
Leon Lamothe-Langon (1786-1864).  The persona created is that of
a woman who always tells the truth as she sees it, but it is made
clear to the reader that what the narrator sees is very seldom
exactly the objective truth.  The author ends as well as begins
 (in the middle of the action), thus creating an
illusion of a slice of a journal but simultaneously giving the
reader the uneasy feeling that the first and last chapters seem
to be missing.

The French-style quotation marks have, for ease in typesetting
and use, been changed to American-style quotation marks, and the
dot after the name of Louis XV has been removed to conform to
American punctuation.  Italics are indicated by placing <> around
the word or phrase italicized.  Captions of illustrations are
omitted because the illustrations themselves cannot be inserted.
A few minor editing errors have been silently corrected.  No
other changes have been made; the irregularity in italicizing or
not italicizing, in translating or not translating French words,
and in punctuating quotations of letters, is in the text itself.

Notes are identified as coming from author, tr.  (translator),


TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER I

Letter from Lebel--Visit from Lebel--Nothing conclusive--Another
visit from Lebel--Invitation to sup with the king--Instructions
of the comte Jean to the comtesse

CHAPTER II

A slight preface--Arrival at Versailles--<"La toilette">--Portrait
of the king--The duc de Richelieu--The marquis de Chauvelin--The
duc de la Vauguyon-Supper with the king--The first night--The
following day--The curiosity of comte Jean--Presents from the
king--How disposed of

CHAPTER III

The king's message--Letter from the countess--A second supper at
Versailles--The duc d'Ayen--A short account of M. de Fleury--The
duc de Duras -Conversation with the king--The next day--A visit
from the duc de Richelieu--Visit from the duc de la Vauguyon--Visit
from comte Jean--Visit from the king--A third supper--Favor

CHAPTER IV

The duc d'Aiguillon--The duc de Fronsac--The duchesse de
Grammont--The meeting--Sharp words on both sides--The duc de
Choiseul--Mesdames d'Aiguillon--Letter from the duc d'Aiguillon--
Reply of madame du Barry--Mademoiselle Guimard--The prince de
Soubise--Explanation--The Rohans--Madame de Marsan--Court friendships

CHAPTER V

The duc de la Vauguyon and the comtesse du Barry--The marquis
de Chauvelin and the comtesse--M. de Montbarrey and the comtesse--
Intrigues--Lebel--Arrival of the du Barry family--The comte
d'Hargicourt--The demoiselles du Barry--Marriage of the comtesse--
The marquis de Bonrepos--Correspondences--The broken glass

CHAPTER VI

Journey to Choisy--The comtesse du Barry and Louis XV--The king
of Denmark--The czar Peter--Frederick II--The abbe de la Chapelle--
An experiment--New intrigues--Secret agents-The comtesse and
Louis XV--Of the presentation--Letter of the comtesse to the
duc d'Aiguillon--Reply--Prince de Soubise

CHAPTER VII

The comtesse and the duc d'Aiguillon--M. de Soubise--Louis XV
and the duc d'Aiguillon--Letter from the comtesse  to the king--
Answer of the king-The ""--The comtesse and
Louis XV--The supper--The court ladies mystified--The comtesse
and M. de Sartines

CHAPTER VIII

The sieur Ledoux--The --The duc de la Vrilliere--
Madame de Langeac--M. de Maupeou--Louis XV--The comte Jean

CHAPTER IX

The king of Denmark--The courtesans of Paris--The duc de Choiseul
and the bishop of Orleans--Witty repartees of the king of Denmark--
His visit to madame du Barry--"The court of king Petaud," a satire--
Letter of the duc d'Aiguillon to Voltaire--The duchesse de Grammont
mystified--Unpublished letter of Voltaire's

CHAPTER X

When is the presentation to take place?--Conversation on this
subject with the king--M. de Maupeou and M. de la Vauguyon--
Conversation on the same subject with the king and the duc de
Richelieu--M. de la Vrilliere--M. Bertin---Louis XV and the
comtesse--The king's promise--The fire-works, an anecdote--The
marquise de Castellane--M. de Maupeou at the duc de Choiseul's--
The duchesse de Grammont

CHAPTER XI

A word concerning the duchesse de Choiseul--The apartment of the
Comte de Noailles--The Noailles--Intrigues for presentation--The
comte de Bearn--M. Morand once more--Visit of the comtesse Bearn
to the comtesse du Barry--Conversation--Interested complaisance--
The king and the comtesse du Barry--Dispute and reconciliation

CHAPTER XII

The comtesse de Bearn--The supper--Louis XV--Intrigues against my
presentation--M. de Roquelaure--The scalded foot--The comtesse
d'Aloigny--The duc d'Aiguillon and madame de Bearn--Anger of the
king's daughters--Madame Adelaide and the comtesse du Barry--
Dissatisfaction of the king

CHAPTER XIII

Of the presentation--The king and the duc de Richelieu at comtesse
du Barry's--M. de la Vauguyon--Conversation--Letter of the duke to
the comtesse du Barry--Reply--The countess unites herself with the
Jesuit party--Madame Louise--Madame Sophie--M. Bertin--Madame
de Bercheny

CHAPTER XIV

The princesses consent to the presentation of madame du Barry--
Ingenious artifice employed by the king to offer a present to the
duc de la Vauguyon--Madame du Barry's letter respecting it--The
duke's reply--The king's letter--The court in despair--Couplets
concerning madame du Barry--Her presentation--A change in public
opinion--An evening party at the house of the countess--Joy of her
partizans--Conversation with the chancellor respecting the lady of
the marechal de Mirepoix

CHAPTER XV

The Comte de la Marche, a prince of the blood--Madame de
Beauvoir, his mistress--Madame du Barry complains to the prince
de Soubise of the princess de Guemenee--The king consoles the
countess for this--The duc de Choiseul--The king speaks to him of
madame du Barry--Voltaire writes to her--The opinions of Richelieu
and the king concerning Voltaire

CHAPTER XVI

Unpublished letter of Voltaire to madame du Barry--Reply of the
countess--The marechale de Mirepoix--Her first interview with
madame du Barry--Anecdote of the diamonds of madame de Mirepoix--
The king pays for them--Singular gratitude of the marechale--The
portfolio, and an unpublished letter of the marquise de Pompadour

CHAPTER XVII

Conversation of the marechale de Mirepoix with the comtesse du
Barry on court friendship--Intrigues of madame de Bearn--Preconcerted
meeting with madame de Flaracourt---Rage of madame de Bearn--
Portrait and conversation of madame de Flaracourt with the
comtesse du Barry--Insult from the princesse de Guemenee--Her
banishment--Explanation of the king and the duc de Choiseul
relative to madame du Barry--The comtesse d'Egmont

CHAPTER XVIII

Intrigue of the comtesse d'Egmont with a shopman--His unhappy
fate--The comtesse du Barry protects him--Conduct of Louis XV
upon the occasion--The young man quits France--Madame du Barry's
letter to the comtesse d'Egmont--Quarrel with the marechal de Richelieu

CHAPTER XIX

Madame du Barry separates from madame de Bearn--Letters between
these ladies--Portrait of madame de l'Hopital--The ladder--The
bell--Conversation with madame de Mirepoix--First visit to Chantilly--
Intrigues to prevent the countess from going thither--The king's
Displeasure towards the princesses--The archbishop de Senlis

CHAPTER XX

Unpublished letter of Louis XV--Madame du Barry's cousin, M. de
Maupeou--The comtesse du Barry saves the life of a young girl
seduced by the arts of the cure of her village--She obtains pardon
of the comte and comtesse de Louerne--The king presents her with
Lucienne--A second meeting with the youthful prophet--His further
predictions--He is sought for--His mysterious letter to the countess

CHAPTER XXI

Extraordinary anecdote of Louis XIV and madame de Maintenon--
The comtesse du Barry at Chantilly--Opinion of king and comte de
la Marche respecting the "Iron Mask"--Madame du Barry visits
madame de Lagarde

CHAPTER XXII

The chevalier de la Morliere--Portrait of the duc de Choiseul--
The duc de Choiseul and the comtesse du Barry--No reconciliation
effected--Madame du Barry and the duc d'Aiguillon--Madame du
Barry and Louis XV

CHAPTER XXIII

Dorine--Mademoiselle Choin and the marechal d'Uxelles--Zamor--
M. de Maupeou's wig--Henriette--The duc de Villeroi and Sophie--
Letter from the comtesse du Barry to the duc de Villeroi--His
reply--The countess writes again--Madame du Barry and Sophie--
Louis XV and the comtesse du Barry

CHAPTER XXIV

The prince des Deux Ponts--Prince Max--The dauphin and Marie
Antoinette--The comtesse du Barry and Bridget Rupert--The countess
and Genevieve Mathon--Noel--Fresh amours--Nocturnal adventure--
Conclusion of this intrigue

CHAPTER XXV

Madame du Barry succeeds in alienating Louis XV from the due de
Choiseul--Letter from madame de Grammont--Louis XV--The chancellor
and the countess--Louis XV and the abbe de la Ville--The marechale
de Mirepoix and madame du Barry

CHAPTER XXVI

Baron d'Oigny, general post-master--The king and the countess
read the opened letters--The disgrace of de Choiseul resolved
upon----Anecdote--Spectre of Philip II, king
of Spain--The duc de Choiseul banished--Visits to Chanteloup--The
princesses--The dauphin and dauphiness- Candidates for the ministry

CHAPTER XXVII

The comte de la Marche and the comtesse du Barry--The countess
and the prince de Conde--The duc de la Vauguyon and the countess--
Provisional minister--Refusal of the secretaryship of war--Displeasure
of the king--The marechale de Mirepoix- Unpublished letter from

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