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List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
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gracious sovereign, all are young."

"Come, ladies," said madame de Flaracourt, "let us retire; I for
one, plead guilty of being in need of repose."

"No, no!"  replied the duc de Richelieu, "let us employ the
remaining hours in pleasing and social converse," and with a
tremulous voice he began that charming trio in "Selina and Azor,"
"."  We joined chorus with him, and the
echoes of the palace of Louis XV resounded with the mirthful
strain.  This burst of noisy mirth did not last long, and we
relapsed into increased taciturnity, spite of our endeavours to
keep up a general conversation.  We were all fatigued, though
none but madame de Flaracourt would confess the fact.  Tired
nature called loudly for repose, and we were each compelled to
seek it in the different apartments assigned us.  The duc d'Aiguillon
alone was compelled, by the duties of his office, to return
to Versailles.

Upon entering my chamber I found my brother-in-law there, in
the most violent fit of ill humour, that the king (who was in fact
ignorant of his being at Trianon) had not invited him to supper.
As I have before told you, comte Jean was no favourite with his
majesty, and as I had displayed no wish for his company, Louis
XV had gladly profited by my indifference to omit him upon the
present occasion.  I endeavoured to justify the king, without
succeeding, however, in appeasing comte Jean, who very unceremoniously
consigned us all to the care and company of a certain old
gentleman, whose territory is supposed to lie beneath "the
round globe which we inhabit."

 "I have to thank you," replied I, "for a very flattering mode of
saying 'good night.'"

"Perhaps," answered comte Jean roughly, "you would prefer--"

"Nothing from your lips if you please, my polite brother," cried
I, interrupting him, "nothing you will say in your present humour
can be at all to my taste."

Chon interfered between us, and effected a reconciliation, which
I was the more willing to listen to, that I might enjoy that sleep
my weary eye-lids craved for.  Scarcely was my head on my pillow,
than I fell into a profound sleep: could I but have anticipated
to what I should awake!  It was eleven o'clock on the following
morning when an immense noise of some person entering my chamber,
aroused me from the sweet slumbers I was still buried in.  Vexed
at the disturbance, I inquired, in a peevish tone, "Who is there?"

"Tis I, my sister," replied Chon, "M. de Chamilly is here,
anxious to speak with you upon a matter of great importance."

Chamilly, who was close behind mademoiselle du Barry, begged
to be admitted.

"What is the matter, Chamilly?  "cried I, "and what do you want?
Is mademoiselle Julie to set off into the country immediately?"

"Alas!  madam," replied Chamilly, "his majesty is extremely ill."

These words completely roused me, and raising myself on my arm,
I eagerly repeated, "Ill!  of what does he complain?"

"Of general and universal pain and suffering," replied Chamilly.

"And the female who was here last night, how is she?"

"Nearly as bad, madam; she arose this morning complaining of
illness and languor, which increased so rapidly, that she was
compelled to be carried to one of the nearest beds, where she
now is."

All this tormented me to the greatest degree, and I dismissed
Chamilly for the purpose of rising, although I had no distinct
idea of what it would be most desirable to say or do.  My
sister-in-law, with more self-possession, suggested the propriety
of summoning Bordeu, my physician; a proposal which I at once
concurred in, more especially when she informed me, that La
Martiniere was already sent for, and hourly expected.

"1 trust," said I, "that Bouvart knows nothing of this, for I
neither approve of him as a man or a doctor."

The fact was, I should have trembled for my own power, had both
Bouvart and La Martiniere got the king into their hands.  With La
Martiniere I knew very well I was no favourite; yet it was impossible
to prevent his attendance; the king would never have fancied a
prescription in which he did not concur.

Meanwhile I proceeded with my toilette as rapidly as possible,
that I might, by visiting the king, satisfy myself of the nature of
his malady.  Ere I had finished dressing, my brother-in-law,
who had likewise been aroused by the mention of his majesty's
illness, entered my chamber with a gloomy look; he already saw
the greatness of the danger which threatened us, he had entirely
forgotten our quarrel of the preceding evening, but his temper
was by no means improved by the present state of things.  We
had no need of explaining ourselves by words, and he continued
walking up and down the room with, his arms folded and his eyes
fixed on the floor, till we were joined by the  marechale de
Mirepoix and the comtesse de Forcalquier.  Madame de Flaracourt
had taken her departure at an early hour, either ignorant of
what had occurred or with the intention of being prepared for
whatever might happen.

As yet, it was but little in the power of any person to predict
the coming blow.  "The king is ill," said each of us as we met.
"The king is ill," was the morning salutation of the ducs de
Richelieu, de Noailles, de Duras, and de Cosse.  The prince de
Soubise had followed the example of madame de Flaracourt, and
had quitted Trianon; it seemed as though the hour for defection
were already arrived.  A summons now arrived from his majesty
who wished to see me.  I lost not a moment in repairing to his
apartment, where I found him in bed, apparently in much pain and
uneasiness.  He received me tenderly, took my hands in his, and
kissed them; then exclaimed,

 "I feel more indisposed than I can describe, a weight seems
pressing on my chest, and universal languor appears to chain my
faculties both of body and mind.  I should like to see
La Martiniere."

"And would you not likewise wish to have the advice of Bordeu?"

"'Yes," said he, "let both come, they are both clever men, and
I have full confidence in their skill.  But do you imagine that
my present illness will be of a serious nature?"

"By no means, sire," returned I, "merely temporary, I trust
and believe."

"Perhaps I took more wine than agreed with me last evening; but
where is the marechale?"

"In my chamber with madame de Forcalquier."

"And the prince de Soubise?"

"He has taken flight," replied I, laughing.

"I suppose so," returned Louis XV, "he could not bear a long
absence from Paris; company he must have."

"In that respect he resembles you, sire, for you generally consider
company as a necessary good."

He smiled, and then closing his eyes remained for some minutes
silent and motionless, after a while he said,

"My head is very heavy, so farewell, my sweet friend, I will
endeavour to get some sleep."



"Sleep, sire!"  said I, "and may it prove as healthful and
refreshing as I pray it may."

So saying, I glided out of the room and returned to my friends,
I found madame de Mirepoix and the duc de Cosse waiting for me
in the anteroom.


"How is the king?"  inquired they both in a breath.

"Better than I expected," I replied, "but he is desirous
of sleeping."

"So much the worse," observed the duc de Cosse; "I should have
thought better of his case had he been more wakeful."


"Are you aware of the most imperative step for you to take?"
inquired the marechale de Mirepoix.

"No," said I, "what is it?"

"To keep his majesty at Trianon," replied she; "it will be far
better for you that the present illness should take its course
at Trianon rather than at Versailles."

"I second that advice," cried the duc de Richelieu, who just
then entered the room; "yes, yes, as madame de Mirepoix wisely
observes, this is the place for the king to be ill in."

"But," exclaimed I, "must we not be guided by the
physicians' advice?"

"Do you make sure of Bordeu," said the duke, "and I will speak
to La Martiniere."

M. de Cosse took me aside, and assured me that I might rely upon
him in life or death.  When we had conversed together for some

minutes, I besought of him to leave the place as early as possible;
"Take madame de Forcalquier with you," said I, "your presence
just now at Trianon would be too much commented upon."

He made some difficulties in obeying me, but I insisted and he
went.  After his departure, the duc de Richelieu, the marechale
and myself walked together in the garden.  Our walk was so directed
that we could see through the colonnade every person who arrived
up the avenue.  We spoke but little, and an indescribable feeling
of solemnity was mingled with the few words which passed, when,
all at once, our attention was attracted by the sight of comte
Jean, who rushed towards me in a state of frenzy.

"Accursed day," cried he, stopping when he saw us, "that wretched
girl from Versailles has brought the small-pox with her."

At this fatal news I heaved a deep sigh and fainted.  I was
carried under the portico, while the poor marechale, scarcely
more in her senses than myself, stood over me weeping like a
child, while every endeavour was being made to restore me to
life.  Bordeu, who chanced to be at Versailles, arrived, and
supposing it was on my account he had been summoned, hastened
to my assistance.  The duc de Richelieu and comte Jean informed
him of all that had passed, upon which he requested to see the
unfortunate female immediately; while he was conducted thither,
I remained alone with the marechale and Henriette, who had come
to Trianon with my suite.  My first impulse upon regaining the
use of my senses, was to throw myself in the arms of the marechale.

"What will become of me?"  exclaimed I, weeping, "if the king
should take this fatal malady, he will never survive it."

"Let us hope for the best," answered madame de Mirepoix; "it
would be encouraging grief to believe a misfortune, which we have
at present no reason to suspect."

Comte Jean now rejoined us, accompanied by Bordeu and the duc de
Richelieu; their countenances were gloomy and dejected.  The
miserable victim of ambition had the symptoms of the most malignant

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