gentlemen and the French ministers and lords, went to the king's cabinet, in which two arm-chairs precisely alike were prepared, but his majesty of Denmark positively refused to be seated. He entered into conversation, and felicitated himself on seeing a monarch, whose renown filled Europe, and whom he should take as his model. During this conversation Christian VII displayed the greatest amiability. Our king, speaking to him, said, "I am old enough to be your father" ; to which he replied, "All my conduct towards you shall be that of a son." This was thought admirable; and at the termination of the interview Louis XV appeared charmed with his brother of Denmark. "He is a complete Frenchman," said he to me, "and I should be sorry if he left me dissatisfied." That same evening Christian VII visited monseigneur the dauphin, in whom he did not find the urbanity of his grandfather. The conversation was short and abridged out of regard to our prince, who only stammered, without being able to find one polished phrase. Never was there in his youth a more timid and awkwardly conducted prince than the present king. I shall mention him and his brothers hereafter, but will now direct my immediate attention to the king of Denmark. He supped the same evening with Louis XV at a table with four and twenty ladies of the court, selected from amongst those most celebrated for the charms of their persons or their wit. As his Danish majesty was greatly struck with madame de Flaracourt, the king asked him how old the lady might be in his opinion. "Thirty, perhaps," was the reply. "Thirty, brother! she is fifty." "Then age has no influence at your court." I shall not copy the "
" to tell you of the sojourn of Christian VII at Paris. I am not writing the journal of this prince but of myself. The king one day said to me, "My brother of Denmark has expressed to the duc de Duras a great desire to pay his respects to you, if you will accede to his wishes. I leave you entirely sovereign mistress of yourself, not without some fear however that the young king will steal away your heart from me." "Ah, sire," I replied, "that is an unjust suspicion; I should be angry about it if it were not a joke, and would refuse to see the king of Denmark did I not know how fully you are assured of my attachment to you." "I should not be so jealous, madame, if I did not set so much value on it," was the reply of the king, as he kissed my hand. The duc de Duras came the next day to inform me of the request of his new king. It was agreed, in order to keep the interview secret, that I should receive him at my own mansion in the Rue de la Jussienne, and that he should come there without suite, and with the strictest incognito. At the day and hour agreed he entered my house, escorting two strangers of admirable presence. One was the king of Denmark, under the name of comte de ------, and the other a nobleman of his suite. Christian VII appeared to me a very handsome man. He had large and singularly expressive eyes; too much so, perhaps, for their brilliancy was not of good augury; and I was not surprised at hearing subsequently that his reason had abandoned him, altho' he possessed and exerted his wit most perfectly during our conversation, in which he displayed the greatest gallantry. I could not reproach him with one single expression that was objectionable, altho' the subject of conversation was delicate. He discoursed of the feelings of the king towards me, and yet said not a word that was unsuited or out of place, nothing but what was in the best taste, and expressed with the utmost delicacy. I asked him if the ladies of Denmark were handsome. "I thought, madame," was his reply, "until now, that the ladies of my kingdom were the most lovely in Europe." We did not talk of myself only: Christian VII spoke of Paris with enthusiasm. "It is the capital of the world," he remarked, "and our states are but the provinces." He sought out our most celebrated and , and was particularly delighted with d'Alembert, Diderot, la Harpe, and M. the comte de Buffon. He greatly regretted that Voltaire was not in Paris, and expressed his great desire to see at Ferney the great genius (as he termed him) who instructed and amused the world. He appeared weary of the fetes which were given, and especially with the deadly-lively company of the two Duras. It was enough to kill you to have only one of them, and you may imagine the torture of being bored with both. The duke had promised Louis XV to be as amusing as possible too! After a conversation of three hours, which his majesty (of course) said had appeared but of a moment, he left me delighted with his person, wit, and manners. When Louis XV saw me, he inquired my opinion of his Danish majesty. "He is," I replied, "a well-educated king, and that they say is a rarity." "True," said Louis XV, "there are so many persons who are interested in our ignorance, that it is a miracle if we escape out of their hands as reasonable beings." I went on to tell the king our conversation. "Ah," cried he, "here is one who will increase the vanity of the literary tribe: they want it, certainly. All these wits are our natural born enemies; and think themselves above us; and the more we honor them, the greater right do they assume to censure and despise us." This was the usual burden of his song: he hated men of learning. Voltaire especially was his detestation, on account of the numerous epigrams which this great man had written against him; and Voltaire had just given fresh subject of offence by publishing " " cried the duke, "would you lose yourself in the eyes of all France? You would place yourself in a fine situation by declaring yourself the persecutrix of Voltaire. Only an enemy could have thus advised you." "That enemy was comte Jean." "Then your imprudence equals your zeal. Do you not perceive the advantage it would give to your adversaries were we to act in this manner? To the hatred of the court would be united that of the , women, and young persons. Voltaire is a god, who is not to be smitten without sacrilege." "Must I then tamely submit to be beaten?" "Yes, for the moment. But it will not last long; I have just written this letter to M. de Voltaire, that peace may be made between you:-- "SIR,--The superiority of your genius places you amongst the number of the potentates of Europe. Every one desires, not only to be at peace with you, but even, if it be possible, to obtain your esteem. I flatter myself with being included in the ranks of your admirers; my uncle has spoken to you many times of my attachment to your person, and I embrace the opportunity of proving this by a means that now presents itself. "Persons in whom you place too much confidence have spread abroad, under your name, copies of a poem, entitled ' ' In this, wherein insult is cast on a personage who should be exempt from such offence, is also outraged, in a most indecent way, a lovely female, whom you would adore as we do, if you had the happiness to know her. Is it for the poet of the lover of Gabrielle to carry desolation into the kingdom of the Graces? "Your correspondents use you ill by leaving you in ignorance, that this young person has immense favor here; that we are all at her feet; that she is all powerful, and her anger is to be particularly avoided. She is the more to be propitiated, as yesterday, in Presence of a certain person whom your verses had greatly irritated, she took up your defence with as much grace as generosity. You see, sir, that you ought not to be on bad terms with her. "My uncle allows me to see, as one of the initiated, what you call your scraps, which are delicious feasts to us. I read them to the lady in question, who takes great delight in reciting, or hearing others recite, your verses, and she begs you will send her some as a proof of your repentance. Under these circumstances, if your bellicose disposition urges you on to war, we hope, before you continue it, that you will loyally and frankly declare it. "In conclusion, be assured that I shall defend you to my utmost, and am for life, "Yours, etc." Whilst we were awaiting Voltaire's reply, I determined to avenge myself on the duchesse de Grammont, who had encouraged him in his attack; and thus did I serve this lady. Persuaded that she did not know the writing of his Danish majesty, I wrote the following letter to her:-- "MADAME LA DUCHESSE,--I have struggled to this time to avoid confessing to you how I am subdued. Happy should I be could I throw myself at your feet. My rank alone must excuse my boldness. Nothing would equal my joy if this evening, at the theatre at madame de Villeroi's, you would appear with blue feathers in your head-dress. I do not add my name; it is one of those which should not be found at the bottom of a declaration of love." In spite of all her penetration, the duchesse de Grammont did not perceive, in the emphatic tone of this letter, that it was a trick. Her self-love made her believe that a woman of more than forty
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