against me the two enemies with whom I had been threatened--the duc de Choiseul and the duchesse de Grammont, his sister. I must say, however, that, at first, the brother contented himself with despising me, but the duchesse was furious; I had offended her feminine self-love, and she could not forgive me. I have told you that she obtained possession of the king by stratagem. This is fact. She was in a place of concealment during a regal debauch, and when Louis left the table, with his head heated by wine, she awaited him in his bed to commit a sort of violence on him. What curious ambition! As soon as this noble lady learned my position, she was desirous of knowing who I was, and I have been told since all the measures she took to learn this. She did not confine her search to the circle of Versailles, but hastened to prosecute her inquiries in Paris with M. de Sartines. The lieutenant of police not suspecting the favor that awaited me, as well as that which I already enjoyed, and on the other hand persuaded of that of the Choiseul family, set all his bloodhounds on my traces. They did not fail to bring him back a thousand horrible tales about me, with which he gratified the duchesse, who, thinking thereby to do me a severe injury, spread in the chateau a multitude of prejudicial tales against me, hoping that they would reach the ears of the king and disgust him with his amour. It was at this juncture that appeared in the "
" those infamous articles, collected in what they call the Collection of Bachaumont. From the same source proceeded the songs which filled Paris, and were sung about everywhere. These scandals produced no other effect than increasing the attachment which the king had for me, and to diminish that which he felt for the duc de Choiseul. Passion never reasons; if it had common sense, it would perceive that it cannot disgust a lover by vilifying his mistress, but, on the contrary, interests his self-love in supporting her. Thus all these intrigues scathed me not; I did not mention to my counsellor comte Jean an insult which I met with in the park at Versailles from madame de Grammont. I did not tell it to the king, not wishing to create any disturbance at court. I avenged myself by myself, and think I conducted myself remarkably well in this adventure, which was as follows: I was walking in the garden with Henriette, who had given me her arm; it was early in the morning, and the walks appeared solitary. We walked towards the side of the Ile d'Amour, when we heard the steps of two persons who came behind us. Henriette turned her head and then said to me, "Here are mesdames de Brionne and de Grammont." I knew the latter but very slightly, and the former not at all. Certainly she could not have been there by chance; they knew I should be there, and wished to see me closely. Not suspecting what was to follow, I was delighted at the rencontre. They passed us with head erect, haughty air; looked at me with a disdainful stare, laughed rudely and walked away. Altho' such behavior offended me, it did not put me out of humor; I thought it very natural for madame de Grammont to be irritated against me. Henriette had less magnanimity. She repeated so often how impertinent it was thus to insult a female honored by the bounties of the king, and so far excited my feelings, that instead of returning as prudence suggested, I followed the steps of these ladies. I did not proceed far before I rejoined them; they were seated on a bench, awaiting my arrival as it appeared. I passed close to them, and at that moment the duchesse de Grammont, raising her voice, said, "It must be a profitable business to sleep with every body." I was excessively nettled, and instantly retorted, "At least I cannot be accused of making a forcible entry into any person's bed." The arrow went to the mark and penetrated deeply. The whole countenance of the duchesse turned pale, except her lips, which became blue. She would have said something foolish, but madame de Brionne, more cool because touched less nearly, placed her hand over her companion's mouth. I in my turn walked away with Henriette, laughing till tears came into my eyes at this pleasing victory. The duchesse de Grammont, who had no further inclination to laugh, told the whole to her brother. He, who loved her excessively, too much so perhaps, reprimanded her, nevertheless, and pointed out to her the disadvantage in an open struggle with me. Madame de Brionne was enjoined to secrecy, but that did not prevent her from confiding the affair to the dowager duchesse d'Aiguillon. This latter was a lady of most superior merit, uniting to much wit more solid acquirements. She spoke English like a native. Her death, which happened in 1772, was a great misfortune to her son, to whom she gave the most excellent counsel. She told my adventure to her daughter-in-law, who, excessively ambitious, saw, without any pain, the increasing attachment of her husband for me. I must tell you, in a parenthesis, that I always lived on the best terms with her, and that, in my disgrace, her friendship did not weaken. I must do her this justice. All my have not been equally faithful towards me. These two ladies knowing this occurrence, the duc d'Aiguillon was not long kept in ignorance that something had happened. He came in haste to see me, and inquired what it was. But he asked in vain, I would not tell him. My secrecy hurt him, and on his return home he wrote to me. As I have great pleasure in telling you all that recalls this amiable gentleman to my mind, I will transcribe his letter, which will give you an opportunity of judging of the turn of his mind. prince would protect me. It was singular for her to speak thus to me; to me from whom prince solicited protection. She did not confine herself to this, she even insinuated to me that I should be a gainer in some way. I laughed outright at this, and said to the , who was stationed at the door, "Call mademoiselle's servants." This annoyed her excessively; all the muscles of her face were contracted with rage; but she restrained her wrath, saluted me with an assumed respect, and went away, after having so worthily acquitted herself of her foolish embassy. She had quitted me for an hour, when I received a letter from him who had sent her. The prince de Soubise begged me to grant him an interview, in which he could enter into an explanation. I replied that I would receive him, and he came the same day. "I am much pained, madame," said he, on entering, "that mademoiselle Guimard has communicated with so little address what I wished to say to you." "Prince, I think you would have done better to have been the bearer of your own message. You know my station here, and would not have ridiculed me as she has done." M. de Soubise, much puzzled to know what she had said, asked me the question. "Why," I replied, "she said, that if I would follow your counsels, you would pay me for my condescension." "Ah! madame," he exclaimed, "she has completely murdered me.
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