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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