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List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
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against me the two enemies with whom I had been threatened--the
duc de Choiseul and the duchesse de Grammont, his sister.  I must
say, however, that, at first, the brother contented himself with
despising me, but the duchesse was furious; I had offended her
feminine self-love, and she could not forgive me.  I have told you
that she obtained possession of the king by stratagem.  This is
fact.  She was in a place of concealment during a regal debauch,
and when Louis left the table, with his head heated by wine, she
awaited him in his bed to commit a sort of violence on him.  What
curious ambition!  As soon as this noble lady learned my position,
she was desirous of knowing who I was, and I have been told
since all the measures she took to learn this.  She did not
confine her search to the circle of Versailles, but hastened to
prosecute her inquiries in Paris with M. de Sartines.  The
lieutenant of police not suspecting the favor that awaited me,
as well as that which I already enjoyed, and on the other hand
persuaded of that of the Choiseul family, set all his bloodhounds
on my traces.  They did not fail to bring him back a thousand
horrible tales about me, with which he gratified the duchesse,
who, thinking thereby to do me a severe injury, spread in the
chateau a multitude of prejudicial tales against me, hoping that
they would reach the ears of the king and disgust him with his
amour.  It was at this juncture that appeared in the "" those infamous articles, collected in what they call
the Collection of Bachaumont.  From the same source proceeded
the songs  which filled Paris, and were sung
about everywhere.  These scandals produced no other effect than
increasing the attachment which the king had for me, and to
diminish that which he felt for the duc de Choiseul.

Passion never reasons; if it had common sense, it would perceive
that it cannot disgust a lover by vilifying his mistress, but, on
the contrary, interests his self-love in supporting her.  Thus
all these intrigues scathed me not; I did not mention to my
counsellor comte Jean an insult which I met with in the park
at Versailles from madame de Grammont.  I did not tell it to the
king, not wishing to create any disturbance at court.  I avenged
myself by myself, and think I conducted myself remarkably well
in this adventure, which was as follows:

I was walking in the garden with Henriette, who had given me her
arm; it was early in the morning, and the walks appeared solitary.
We walked towards the side of the Ile d'Amour, when we
heard the steps of two persons who came behind us.  Henriette
turned her head and then said to me, "Here are mesdames de Brionne
and de Grammont."  I knew the latter but very slightly, and the
former not at all.  Certainly she could not have been there by
chance; they knew I should be there, and wished to see me closely.
Not suspecting what was to follow, I was delighted at the rencontre.
They passed us with head erect, haughty air; looked at me with a
disdainful stare, laughed rudely and walked away.  Altho' such
behavior offended me, it did not put me out of humor; I thought
it very natural for madame de Grammont to be irritated against me.
Henriette had less magnanimity.  She repeated so often how
impertinent it was thus to insult a female honored by the bounties
of the king, and so far excited my feelings, that instead of
returning as prudence suggested, I followed the steps of these
ladies.  I did not proceed far before I rejoined them; they were
seated on a bench, awaiting my arrival as it appeared.  I passed
close to them, and at that moment the duchesse de Grammont,
raising her voice, said,

"It must be a profitable business to sleep with every body."

I was excessively nettled, and instantly retorted, "At least I
cannot be accused of making a forcible entry into any person's
bed."  The arrow went to the mark and penetrated deeply.  The
whole countenance of the duchesse turned pale, except her lips,
which became blue.  She would have said something foolish, but
madame de Brionne, more cool because touched less nearly, placed
her hand over her companion's mouth.  I in my turn walked away
with Henriette, laughing till tears came into my eyes at this
pleasing victory.

The duchesse de Grammont, who had no further inclination to laugh,
told the whole to her brother.  He, who loved her excessively, too
much so perhaps, reprimanded her, nevertheless, and pointed out
to her the disadvantage in an open struggle with me.  Madame de
Brionne was enjoined to secrecy, but that did not prevent her from
confiding the affair to the dowager duchesse d'Aiguillon.

This latter was a lady of most superior merit, uniting to much
wit more solid acquirements.  She spoke English like a native.
Her death, which happened in 1772, was a great misfortune to her
son, to whom she gave the most excellent counsel.  She told my
adventure to her daughter-in-law, who, excessively ambitious, saw,
without any pain, the increasing attachment of her husband for
me.  I must tell you, in a parenthesis, that I always lived on the
best terms with her, and that, in my disgrace, her friendship did
not weaken.  I must do her this justice.  All my 
have not been equally faithful towards me.

These two ladies knowing this occurrence, the duc d'Aiguillon was
not long kept in ignorance that something had happened.  He came
in haste to see me, and inquired what it was.  But he asked in vain,
I would not tell him.  My secrecy hurt him, and on his return home
he wrote to me.  As I have great pleasure in telling you all that
recalls this amiable gentleman to my mind, I will transcribe his
letter, which will give you an opportunity of judging of the turn
of his mind.

 prince would
protect me.  It was singular for her to speak thus to me; to me
from whom  prince solicited protection.  She did not confine
herself to this, she even insinuated to me that I should be a
gainer in some way.  I laughed outright at this, and said to the
, who was stationed at the door, "Call
mademoiselle's servants."  This annoyed her excessively; all the
muscles of her face were contracted with rage; but she restrained
her wrath, saluted me with an assumed respect, and went away,
after having so worthily acquitted herself of her foolish embassy.

She had quitted me for an hour, when I received a letter from
him who had sent her.  The prince de Soubise begged me to grant
him an interview, in which he could enter into an explanation.  I
replied that I would receive him, and he came the same day.

"I am much pained, madame," said he, on entering, "that
mademoiselle Guimard has communicated with so little address
what I wished to say to you."

"Prince, I think you would have done better to have been the bearer
of your own message.  You know my station here, and would not
have ridiculed me as she has done."

M. de Soubise, much puzzled to know what she had said, asked me
the question.

"Why," I replied, "she said, that if I would follow your counsels,
you would pay me for my condescension."

"Ah!  madame," he exclaimed, "she has completely murdered me.

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