no claim to advancement at court, but it procures the esteem of the courtiers. Remember, my friend, this moral maxim: there is not one of greater truth in my whole journal. The king, unable to interpose his authority in a woman's quarrel, was yet determined on giving a striking proof of the attachment he bore to me. I had up to this period occupied Lebel's apartments in the chateau: it was not befitting my station, and the king thought he would give me those of madame de Pompadour, to which I had some claim. This apartment was now occupied by the comte de Noailles, governor of the chateau, who, as great fool as the rest of his family, began to exclaim most lustily when the king's will was communicated to him. He came to his majesty complaining and lamenting. The king listened very quietly to his list of grievances; and when he had moaned and groaned out his dolorous tale, his majesty said to him, "My dear count, who built the chateau of Versailles?" "Why, sire, your illustrious grandfather." "Well, then, as I am at home, I mean to be master. You may establish the seat of your government where you will; but in two hours the place must be free. I am in earnest." The comte de Noailles departed much disconcerted, took away his furniture, and the same evening I installed myself in the apartments. You must think that this was a fresh cause of chagrin, and created me more enemies. There are certain families who look upon the court as their hereditary domain: the Noailles was one of them. However, there is no grounds of pretension to such a right. Their family took its rise from a certain Adhemar de Noailles,
of Toulouse, ennobled, according to all appearance, by the exercise of his charge in 1459. The grandfather of these Noailles was a domestic of M. de Turenne's, and his family was patronized at court by madame de Maintenon. Everybody knows this. But to return to my presentation. M. de Maupeou, whose good services I can never sufficiently vaunt, came to me one day, and said, "I think that I have found a lady . I have a dame of quality who will do what we want." "Who is it?" said I, with joy. "A comtesse d'Escarbagnas, a litigious lady, with much ambition and avarice. You must see her, talk with her, and understand each other." "But where can we see her?" "That is easy enough. She claims from the house of Saluces a property of three hundred thousand livres: she is very greedy for money. Send some one to her, who shall whisper in her ear that I see you often, and that your protection can serve her greatly in her lawsuit: she will come to you post haste." I approved the counsel of the chancellor; and, in concert with comte Jean, I once again made use of the ministry of the good M. Morand, whom I had recompensed largely for his good and loyal services. This was, however, the last he ever rendered me; for I learned some months after my presentation that he had died of indigestion: a death worthy of such a life and such a man. M. Morand, after having found out the attorney of madame the comtesse de Bearn, went to him under some pretext, and then boasted of my vast influence with the chancellor. The lawyer, to whom madame de Bearn was to pay a visit on that very day, did not fail to repeat what M. Morand had told him. The next day the comtesse, like a true litigant, called upon him: she related her affair to him, and begged him to use his interest with me. "I would do it with pleasure," said the worthy, "if I did not think it better that you should see the comtesse du Barry yourself. I can assure you that she will be delighted to aid you." Madame de Bearn then came to me with M. Morand. Gracious heavens! how simple we were to take so much pains with this lady: had we known her better we should not have been so long in coming to the point. Scarcely any thing was said at this first visit: I contented myself with assuring her of my good will. On the same day the vicomte Adolphe du Barry told his father that that the young de Bearn had asked him the evening before, if I had found a to present me; that in case I had not, his mother would not refuse such a service, should it be desired by the king. Comte Jean and I perfectly understood the lady. She came again, and I renewed the expression of my desire to be useful to her. She replied in a hackneyed phrase, that she should be charmed to prove her gratitude to me. I took her word. "Madame," said I to her, "you cannot be ignorant that I ardently desire to be presented. My husband has sent in his proofs of nobility, which have been received; I now only want a (godmother); if you will officiate in that capacity, I shall owe you a debt of gratitude all my life." "Madame, I am at the king's orders." "But, madame, the king has nothing to do with this. I wish to be presented; will you be my introductress?" "Madame, the first wish of my heart is to be agreeable to you; I only desire that the king indicate in some way, no matter how trifling, his will on this point." "Well, then," I exclaimed, with impatience, "I see you will not give me a direct reply. Why should you wish the king to interfere in what does not concern him? Is it your intention to oblige me; yes or no?" "Yes, madame, certainly; but you must be aware of the tremendous cabal which is raised against you. Can I contend against it alone, and who will sustain me thro' it?" "I will to the full extent of my power as long as I am here, and the king will always do so. I can assure you, that he will be grateful for your exertions in my behalf." "I should like to have half a line from his majesty as a protection and assurance." "And that you will not get. The king's signature must not be compromised in this affair, and I do not think I ought to ask for it; let us therefore, madame, cease this discourse, since you ask such terms for your complaisance." The comtesse de Bearn rose; I did the same; and we parted mutually dissatisfied with each other. My friends, my brother-in-law, and his sisters, impatiently awaited the result of my conversation with madame de Bearn. I told them all that had passed; giving my opinion of this lady as I thought her--a malicious provoking creature. "How soon you torment yourself," said the chancellor to me. "Do you not see that this woman wants a price to be bidden for her? She is yours, body and soul, but first of all she must be paid." "Let that be no obstacle," said comte Jean, "we will give her money, but present us she must." On this it was decided, that, on the following morning, my brother-in-law should go to Paris to find M. Morand, and get him to undertake the arrangement. The next day my brother-in-law went to M. Morand's, and when he had disclosed his message concerning the comtesse, the good Morand began to laugh. He told the count, that the previous evening this lady had sent for him; and, on going to her house, madame de Bearn, as a set-off against the inconveniences which might result to her from being the instrument of my presentation, had stipulated for certain compensations; such, for instance, as a sum of two hundred thousand livres, a written promise of a regiment for her son, and for herself an appointment in the establishment of the future . This was the point aimed at by all the ambitious courtiers. Comte Jean thought these conditions preposterous. He had a from me, and desired M. Morand to offer the lady one hundred thousand livres, and to add an assurance that the king should be importuned to place young Bearn advantageously, and to station the mother to her wishes; and thereupon my brother-in-law returned to Versailles. The comte Jean had scarcely returned an hour, when we received a letter from M. Morand, stating, that he had gone, in consequence of the instructions of comte Jean, to the comtesse de Bearn; that he had found the lady pliant enough on the first point, and disposed to content herself with the half of the sum originally demanded; that on point the second, I mean the appointments of herself and son, she would come to no compromise, and stuck hard and fast to the written promise of the king; that he, Morand, thought this an obstacle not to be overcome unless we subscribed to her wishes. This letter put me in an excessively ill-humor. I saw my presentation deferred till doom's day, or, at least, adjourned . I questioned my friends: the unanimous advice was that I ought to mention it to the king at one of his evening visits; and I determined to do so without loss of time. When his majesty came I received him very graciously, and then said to him, "Congratulate me, sire; I have found my godmother." "Ah, so much the better." (I know that, at the bottom of his heart, he said "so much the .") "And who," asked the king, with impatience, "may the lady be?" "Madame de Bearn, a lady of quality in her own right, and of high nobility on her husband's side." "Yes, he was a , and the son has just left the pages. Ah! she will present you then. That's well; I shall feel favored by her." "Would it not be best, sire, to tell her so yourself?" "Yes, yes, certainly; but after the ceremony." "And why not previously?" "Why? because I do not wish to appear to have forced your presentation." "Well, then," I replied, striking the floor with my foot, "you will not do for me what you would do for a woman who is a complete stranger to you. Many thanks for your excessive kindness." "Well, well, do not scold. Anger does not become you." "No more than this indifference suits you; it is cruel. If you recede from saying a word, what will you do when I tell you of the conditions of madame de Bearn?" "What does the good comtesse ask for?" "Things past conception." "What?" "She has stipulations unlimited." "But what are they then?" "A hundred thousand livres for herself." "What, only that? We will grant so much."
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