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List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
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to stand upon your own resources you faint, and are easily overcome."

He endeavoured to make a joke of the affair, but indeed it seemed
to accord as ill with his natural inclination as did the restitution
of the 100,000 livres.  However, he brought them to me the
following day, and as I was expecting the arrival of madame de
Mirepoix, I placed them in a porcelain vase which stood upon my
chimney-piece.  Unfortunately for the marechale, comte Jean
presented himself before she did.  He came to inform me, that my
husband (of whose quitting Toulouse I had forgotten to tell you)
had again arrived in Paris.  I did not disguise the vexation which
this piece of intelligence excited in me.

"And wherefore has comte Guillaume returned to Paris?"
inquired I, angrily.

"Because he is afraid."

"Afraid of what?"  replied I.

"Of being murdered," answered comte Jean: "it is a most horrible
and authentic story.  Imagine to yourself the dangers of his
situation: some brigands, who have a design on his life, have
written him an anonymous billet, in which they protest they will
certainly murder him, unless he deposits 50,000 livres in a certain
place.  You may suppose his terror; money he had none, neither
was his credit sufficiently good to enable him to borrow any.
As a last and only chance, he threw himself into a carriage, and
hastened, tremblingly, to implore your assistance."

"And I am quite certain you will not withhold yours from him,"
answered I

"You are perfectly right," cried he, "but unfortunately just now
I have not a single crown I can call my own; so that it rests
with you alone, my dearest sister, to save the life of this
hapless comte du Barry."

"I am extremely distressed, my dear brother-in-law," replied I,
"that I am just as poor, and as unable to afford the necessary
aid as yourself; my purse is quite empty."

"Faith, my dear sister-in-law, I am not surprised at that if you
convert a china vase into a receptacle for your bank notes."

Saying this, he drew a bundle of notes from the hiding-place in
which I had deposited them.  "Do you know," continued comte
Jean, "I really think we shall find money enough here."  He began
to count them: and when he had finished he said, "My dear sister,
neither your husband nor myself wish to importune you, or put
you to any inconvenience, therefore you shall merely oblige him
with the loan of these 50,000 livres to extricate him from his
present peril; they shall be faithfully and quickly restored to
you, and a note of hand given you for that purpose if you desire
it."  So saying, he divided the money into two parts, replaced
one in the vase, and pocketed the other.

I was very indignant at the cool impudence with which this was
done, and my patience had well nigh forsaken me: however, I
restrained myself; and I was happy enough that I could so far
conquer myself.  My reproaches would not have induced comte Jean
to give me back my money, and would only have roused his violence;
which, when once excited, found vent in language so vehement and
energetic, that I did not desire to hear any more of it than I
could help.  At these moments he selected not the politest expressions,
but those which were the strongest: and besides, such was the
ungovernable nature of comte Jean's temper, that once roused, he
would have treated the king himself with as little consideration
as he did me.  Still, he never deliberately insulted me, nor did
he compose those insulting verses respecting me, which were printed
as his, in "."  This would
have been an indignity I would quickly have caused him to repent
having offered.

"Well," inquired I, "are you very glad to see your brother in Paris?"

'No, 'pon my soul!"  returned he; "but since he is here, we must
do the best we can with him; he was very anxious to see his
sister-in-law and niece.  He says the former is ugly as sin, and
the latter almost as handsome as you."

"Very gallant," replied I; "but tell me, comte Jean, does this
elegant compliment proceed from my husband or yourself?"

We were just then interrupted by the arrival of the  marechale,
and comte Jean retired.

"Well, my dear," she began, "have you seen M. de Sartines, and
did you speak to him respecting those 100,000 livres?"

 "Oh, yes," replied I, "he gave them back to me; but I have
already had half of them stolen from me."

"By comte Jean, I'll engage," cried she.  "Upon my word, that
man is a perfect spendthrift, a prodigal; who, if you do not take
great care, will certainly ruin you.  And what will you do with
the remaining 50,000 livres, my dear friend; where will you
place them?"

"In your hands, my dear marechale; 'tis his majesty's command."

"To that command," answered she, "I must perforce submit"; and,
taking the bundle of notes, she continued, "Assure his majesty
that it will ever be my greatest pride and pleasure to obey his
slightest wish.  My respect for his orders can only be equalled
by my tender friendship for her who is the bearer of the royal
mandate."  Then, deliberately putting the money in her pocket,
she exclaimed, "You must own that comte Jean is a great rogue."


My  alarms--An  of the --Comte Jean
endeavours to direct the king's ideas--A supper at Trianon--Table
talk--The king is seized with illness--His conversation with me--The
joiner's daughter and the small-pox--My despair--Conduct of La
Martiniere the surgeon

I had occasionally some unaccountable whims and caprices.  Among
other follies I took it into my head to become jealous of the
duchesse de Cosse, under the idea that the duke would return to
her, and that I should no longer possess his affections.  Now the
cause of this extravagant conduct was the firmness with which
madame de Cosse refused all overtures to visit me, and I had
really become so spoiled and petted, that I could not be brought
to understand the reasonableness of the duchesse de Cosse refusing
to sanction her rival by her presence.

Yon may perceive that I had not carried my heroic  projects with
regard to madame de Cosse into execution.  Upon these occasions,
the person most to be pitied was the duke, whom I made answerable
for the dignified and virtuous conduct of his wife.  My injustice
drove him nearly to despair, and he used every kind and sensible
argument to convince me of my error, as though it had been possible
for one so headstrong and misguided as myself to listen to or
comprehend the language of reason.  I replied to his tender and
beseeching epistles by every cutting and mortifying remark; in a
word, all common sense appeared to have forsaken me.  Our quarrel
was strongly suspected by part of the court; but the extreme
prudence and forbearance of M. de Cosse prevented their suppositions
from ever obtaining any confirmation.  But this was not the only
subject I had for annoyance.  On the one hand, my emissaries
informed me that the king still continued to visit the baroness de
New---k, although with every appearance of caution and mystery,
by the assistance and connivance of the duc de Duras, who had
given me his solemn promise never again to meddle with the
affair.  The  of the  furnished me
likewise with a long account of the many visits paid by his
majesty to her establishment.  The fact was, the king could not
be satisfied without a continual variety, and his passion, which
ultimately destroyed him, appeared to have come on only as he
advanced in years.

All these things created in my mind an extreme agitation and an
alarm, and, improbable as the thing appeared even to myself, there
were moments when I trembled lest I should be supplanted either
by the baroness or some -fresh object of the king's caprice; and
again a cold dread stole  over me as I anticipated the probability
of the health of Louis XV falling a sacrifice to the irregularity
of his life.  It was well known throughout the chateau, that La
Martiniere, the king's surgeon, had strongly recommended a very
temperate course of life, as essentially necessary to recruit his
constitution, wasted by so many excesses, and had even gone so
far as to recommend his no longer having a mistress; this the
courtiers construed into a prohibition against his possessing a
friend of any other sex than his own; for my own part, I
experienced very slight apprehensions of being dismissed, for I
well knew that Louis XV reckoned too much on my society to
permit my leaving the court, and if one, the more tender, part
of our union were dissolved, etiquette could no longer object to
my presence.  Still the advice of La Martiniere was far from
giving me a reason for congratulation, but these minor grievances
were soon to be swallowed up in one fatal catastrophe, by which
the honours, and pleasures of Versailles were for ever torn from me.

The  of the , fearing that some of the
subordinate members of that establishment might bring me intimation
of what was going on there without her cognizance, came one day
to apprize me that his majesty had fallen desperately in love
with a young orphan of high birth, whom chance had conducted
within the walls of her harem; that to an extraordinary share of
beauty, Julie (for that was the name of my rival) united the most
insatiate ambition; her aims were directed to reducing the king
into a state of the most absolute bondage," and he," said madame,
"bids fair to become all that the designing girl would have him."

Julie feigned the most violent love for her royal admirer, nay

she did not hesitate to carry her language and caresses far
beyond the strict rules of decency; her manners were those of one
accustomed to the most polished society, whilst her expressions
were peculiarly adapted to please one who, like the king, had a
peculiar relish for every thing that was indecent or incorrect.
His majesty either visited her daily or sent for her to the
chateau.  I heard likewise from M. d'Aiguillon, that  the king
had recently given orders that the three uncles and two brothers

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