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List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
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Madame du Barry gave hospitality to the wounded at the arrest of
the queen.  "These wounded youths have no other regret than that
they have not died for a princess so worthy as your Majesty," she
said.  "What I have done for these brave men is only what they
have merited.  I consoled them, and I respect their wounds when
I think, Madame, that without their devotion, your Majesty would
no longer be alive.  Lucienne is yours, Madame, for was it not
your beneficence which gave it to me?  All I possess has come to
me through the royal family.  I have too much loyalty to forget it."

But negro Zamor became a citizen like Mirabeau.  It was Zamor who
took to Du Barry her lover's head.  It was Zamor who denounced her
at the club of the Jacobins.  "The fealty (faith) of the black man is
white," said the negro.  But he learned how to make it red.  Jeanne
was imprisoned and tried before Dumas.

"Your age?"

"Forty-two years."  She was really forty-seven.  Coquetry even
at the guillotine.

The public accuser, Fouquier Tinville, was not disarmed by the
sweet voluptuousness still possessed by this pale and already
fading beauty.  He accused her of treason against the nation.
Could the defender of Du Barry, who had also defended Marie
Antoinette, find an eloquent word?  No; Fouquier Tinville was
more eloquent than Chauveau-Lagarde.  So the mistress of  Louis
was condemned.  It was eleven o'clock in the evening--the hour
for supper at Versailles when she was queen!

She passed the night in prayer and weeping, or rather in a frenzy
of fright.  In the morning she said it was "too early to die"; she
wished to have a little time in order to make some disclosures.
The Comite sent someone to listen to her.  What did she say?
She revealed all that was hidden away at Lucienne; she gave
word by word an inventory of the treasures she had concealed,
forgetting nothing, for did not each word give her a second of time?

"Have you finished?"  said the inquisitor.  "No," said Jeanne.  "I
have not mentioned a silver syringe concealed under the staircase!"

Meanwhile the horses of destiny stamped with impatience, and
spectators were knocking at the prison gate.  When they put her,
already half dead, on the little cart, she bent her head and grew
pale.  The Du Barry alone--a sinner without redemption.

She saw the people in the square of Louis XV; she struck her
breast three times and murmured: "It is my fault!"  But this
Christian resignation abandoned her when she mounted the
scaffold--there where the statue of Louis XV had been--and she
implored of the executioner:

"One moment, Mr.  Executioner!  One moment more!"

But the executioner was pitiless Sanson.  It was block and the
knife--without the "one moment!"

Such was the last bed of the Du Barry.  Had the almanac of Liege
only predicted to her that the one who would lead her to her bed
for the last time would not be a King but a citizen executioner, it
might have been--but why moralize?

				Robert Arnot				


	*"Editor here means the author, who is assuming
	the persona of the editor of the Comtesse's memoirs.



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

One morning comte Jean entered my apartment, his face beaming
with delight.

'Read," said he, giving me a letter, "read, Jeannette: victory is
ours.  News from Morand.  Lebel is coming to Paris, and will
dine with us.  Are we alone?"

"No, there are two of your countrymen whom you invited yesterday."

"I will write and put them off.  Morand alone must dine with
Lebel; he ought to have a place at the feast which he furnishes
with such good music.  Come, my dear girl, we touch the moment
of importance, it is in your beauty and power of pleasing that I
place all my hopes.  I think I may rely on you; but, above all, do
not forget that you are my sister-in-law."

"Brother-in-law," said I, laughing, "it is not unnecessary that
I should know decidedly to which of family I am married?  The
custom in France is not that a woman be the undivided property
of three brothers."

"That only happens in Venice," replied the comte; "my brother
Elie is too young, you must be the wife of Guillaume, my second
brother."

"Very well; I am the comtesse Guillaume du Barry; that does
famously well; we like to know whom we are married to."

After this conversation, comte Jean insisted on presiding at my
toilette.  He acquitted himself of the task, with a most laughable
attention.  During two good hours, at least, he tormented first
Henriette, and then the female hairdresser, for I had not yet
followed the mode, which began to be very general, of having
my hair dressed by a man.  Comte Jean passed alternately from
my dressing-room to the kitchen.  He knew Lebel was a gallant
and a gourmand*, and he was anxious to please him in all senses
at once.

	*He seems to mean "gourmet" rather than "gourmand."


At one o'clock I was under arms, and prepared to receive him on
whom my destiny depended.  As soon as I reached the drawing-room,
comte Jean compelled me to submit to the test of a rigid examination.

His serious air amused me much as he gazed at me some time in
solemn silence.  At length his forehead relaxed, a smile of
satisfaction played on his lips, and extending his arms
to me, without venturing to touch me, "You are charming, divine,"
he said; "Lebel ought to go and hang himself if he does not fall
down at your knees."

Soon afterwards the folding-doors were hastily opened, and a
servant announced M. Lebel, , with M.
Morand.  The comte went to meet the arrivals, and as I now saw
Lebel for the first time, he presented him to me formally.

"Sister, this is M. Lebel, , who has done
us the honor to come and dine with us."

"And he confers a real pleasure on us," said I, looking smilingly
on M. Lebel.  My look had its effect, for Lebel remained mute and
motionless from admiration at my person.  At length he stammered
out a few incoherent words, which I imagined to be compliments.
The comte watched Lebel anxiously, and Morand began to rub
his hands, saying:

"Well, sir, what think you of our celestial beauty?"

"She is worthy of a throne," replied Lebel, bending his head
before me, and taking my hand, which he pressed respectfully to
his lips.  This reply was, perhaps, inadvertently made, but I took
it as a good augury.  "Yes," added Lebel, "you are the most lovely
creature I ever met, though no one is more in the habit of seeing
handsome females than myself."

"And of causing them to be seen by others," replied comte Jean.

This was an opening which was not followed up by Lebel.  His
first enthusiasm having passed, he measured me from head to foot,
as if he would take an accurate description of my person.

For my part I began to support the looks of Lebel with more assurance.
He was a man of no particular "mark or likelihood," but had made
his way.  Living at Versailles had given him a certain air of easy
impertinence, but you could not discover anything distinguished
in his manners, nothing which concealed his humble extraction.  The
direction of the  gave him much influence with the
king, who found the convenience of such a man, who was willing
to take upon himself all the disagreeable part of his clandestine
amours.  His duties placed him in contact with the ministers, the
lieutenant of police, and the comptroller-general.  The highest
nobility sought his friendship with avidity.  They all had a wife,
a sister, a daughter, whom they wished to make the favorite
sultana; and for this it was necessary to get the ear of Lebel.
Thus, under a libertine prince, the destinies of France were
at the mercy of a .

I should tell you, however, that I never had occasion but to
speak well of him, and that I have the utmost gratitude for all
he did for me.  The attachment he testified on our first meeting
has never been altered.  He gave me his protection as far as it
was necessary for me, and when the favor of the king had accorded
to me a station, whence all the court sought to hurl me, Lebel
seconded me with all his power in my efforts to preserve it.  I
will say, that it is to his vigilance that I owe the overthrow of
more than one conspiracy against me.  He was a warm and sincere
friend, and not at all interested in the services he rendered.  He
did a great deal of good, as well as harm, in private.  I know
poor families whom he has assisted with his own purse, when he
could obtain nothing for them from the king, for Louis was only
prodigal in his pleasures.

However, we dined, and Lebel praised me incessantly to the very
skies, and that with so much warmth, that I was fearful at one time
he would fall in love with me himself, and would not resign me to
another.  Thank heaven, Lebel was a faithful servant.

After dinner, when we left the table, Lebel paid me some
compliments; then pulling out his watch, he spoke of an
appointment at the Marais, and left without saying a word of
seeing us again.

At this abrupt departure, comte Jean and I looked at each other
with astonishment.  As for Morand, he was overjoyed.

"Well, comtesse," said he, "behold the number of your slaves
increased by an illustrious adorer.  You have made a conquest of
M. Lebel, and I am certain he has gone away deeply smitten."

"I hope we shall see him again," said comte Jean.

"Do you doubt it?"

"Assure him," said I, "of the pleasure it will afford us to
receive him as he merits."

Several persons entered, and M. Morand, profiting by the bustle
which their entrance occasioned, approached me, and said, in a
low tone,

"You are in possession of his heart, will you charge me with

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