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." CHAPTER XXXIX 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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