List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
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women, and endeavored to preserve all the airs of a man of good
breeding in the midst of the grossest debauchery.  He was full of
respect for himself and his house, of which in time of need he
could cite the whole genealogy.  His nomination was a real scandal;
no one dreamt of his ever being minister of war.  It was one of the
thousand follies of old Maurepas, whom the late king knew well, and
called the ballad-maker of the council.

The comte de Montbarrey, whom I had known at Paris, came to me
one fine day, fully powdered, perfumed, and apparelled.  He had a
smile on his lip, a loud tone, and an insolent look.  He came not
to ask my friendship, but my obedience.  He told me that he loved
me to distraction, and of course my head must be equally towards
him.  He amused me.  I let him run out the full length of his line;
and when he had spun it all out, I said to him, "Monsieur, be so
good as to call me to the recollection of madame de Merfort."

She was one of the gambling ladies, and at her house I had
formerly met the chevalier de Montbarrey.  My reply confounded 

him: he saw that he had gone the wrong way to work with me;
and, raising the siege, he left me excessively embarrassed.

Figure to yourself, my friend, what confidence a man, lost in the
crowd of lower courtiers, could inspire me with; for to judge of
the proceedings of the comte de Montbarrey, it would have been
necessary to have seen him as he then was, and not what he became
since the imbecility of M. de Maurepas.  When I told comte Jean
of his visit, he would not believe such insolence.  You must know
that my brother-in-law also wished to direct me, but I did not
consider him sufficiently clever.  His marvellous genius was
eclipsed in politics.  He swore at my ingratitude, and I could
only appease him by an offering of plenty of money.

In the midst of this cross-fire of intrigues, one was devised
against me which might have terminated in my ruin; but, thanks
to the indefatigable activity of comte Jean, only served to fix
me more firmly in my situation.  Lebel, of whom I have said
nothing for this age, came to me one day: his face was sad, and
his look serious.  By his manner I augured that my reign had
passed, and that I must quit my post.  I awaited what he should
say with mortal impatience.  At length he began thus:

"Madame, you have many bitter enemies, who are laboring to
effect your ruin with a blood-thirstiness which nothing can assuage.
They have now spread a report that you are not married.  This
infamous calumny--"

"Ah, is that all?' said I with joy; "no, my dear Lebel, this time
they do not calumniate me.  The worthy creatures for once are right."

"What," said Lebel, in a tone of alarm almost comic, "what, are
you really not married?"


"Are you not the wife of the comte Guillaume du Barry?"


"Then you have deceived the king, and played with me."

"Lebel, my friend, take another tone.  No one has any right to
complain.  You have given me to the king as a person to please
him; I do so.  The rest can be no matter of yours."

"Pardon me, madame; it is a matter of the greatest consequence to
me.  I am terribly compromised in this affair, and you with me."

Lebel told me that the duchesse de Grammont had begged him to call
upon her, and had bitterly reproached him about the mistress he had
procured for the king; the duchesse affirmed that I was a nameless
and unmarried creature; and added, that it was his duty to make
the king acquainted with these particulars, unless I, the pretended
wife of du Barry, would consent to go to England when a large
pension should be assured to me.

"No, my dear Lebel, I will not go to England; I will remain in
France, at Versailles, at the chateau.  If I am not married I will
be; the thing is easily managed."

Lebel.  somewhat assured, begged me to send for comte Jean, and
when he came he (Lebel) recommenced his tale of grief.

"You are drowning yourself in a glass of water," said my future
brother-in-law to him, beginning to treat him with less ceremony;
"go back to the duchesse de Grammont, and tell her that madame
was married at Toulouse.  She will have an inquiry set on foot; in
the mean while my brother will arrive, and the marriage will take
place.  Then we will show the rebels a real comtesse du Barry;
and whether my sister-in-law be a lady of six months' standing or
only of yesterday, that is of no consequence to the king of France."

After this conversation Lebel delivered the message to the duchesse
de Grammont, who told him that she should write to Toulouse to the
attorney-general.  This was what the comte Jean wished and he was
prepared for her.

But, you will say to me, was it certain that your asserted husband
would marry you?  Were there no difficulties to fear?  None.
Comte Guillaume was poor, talented, and ambitious; he liked high
living, and would have sold himself to the devil for riches.  He
was happy in marrying me.  Comte Jean would not have ventured
such a proposal to his other brother, the comte d'Hargicourt, who
had much good sense and great notions of propriety, and who at
Versailles was called the ; a distinction not over
flattering to his two brothers.

The same evening the whole family arrived, and was presented to me
the next day.  My two future sisters-in-law frightened me at first
with their provincial manners and southern accent; but, after a
few minutes, I found that this Gascon pronunciation had many charms
with it.  Mesdemoiselles du Barry were not handsome but very
agreeable.  One was called Isabelle, whom they had nicknamed
, the other's name was Fanchon, and her name had been
abbreviated to "."  The latter had much talent, and even
brought to Versailles with her, an instinctive spirit of diplomacy
which would have done honor to a practised courtier.  She would
have been thought simple, unsophisticated, and yet was full
of plot and cunning.

I was soon much pleased with her, and the king became equally
so.  He was always very much amused at hearing her talk 
(provincially), or recite the verses of one Gondouli, a poet of
Languedoc.  He used to make her jump upon his knees; and altho'
she had passed the first bloom of youth, he played with her like
a child.  But what most particularly diverted the king, was calling
my sister-in-law by her nickname; ","
he was always saying, "do this, go there, come here."  Louis XV
did the same with his own daughters: he had amongst them a ,
a , a , and they were the ladies Victoire,
Adelaide, and Sophie, whom he thus elegantly designated.  I so
soon saw the taste of the king for nicknames that I gave him
one, it was Lafrance.  So far from being angry with me, he laughed
to tears every time that I called him so.  I must confess, , that the anecdote about the coffee is true.* I will only
justify myself by saying, that if I expressed myself coarsely it
was not in consequence of my vulgar education, but because the
king liked such modes of expression.

*Louis XV had a habit of making his own coffee after
dinner.  One day the coffee boiled over the sides of the
pot, and madame du Barry cried out, " Eh, Lafrance,
ton cafe f --- le camp."  (author)

Let me revert to my marriage, which was performed secretly at the
parish of Saint Laurent.  I believe the king knew of it, altho' he
never alluded to it any more than myself.  Thus the malice of my
enemies was completely balked in this affair.  Some days afterwards
comte Jean received a letter from the attorney-general of the
parliament of Toulouse, M. the marquis de Bonrepos-Riquet.  This
gentleman informed my brother-in-law that he had been applied to,
to institute an inquiry at all the notaries, and amongst all the
registers of the parishes for the proof of my marriage; that he
warned us to be on our guard, and that whatever diligence he
might be desired to employ, he should do nothing without informing
us.  We felt the obligation of this proceeding, and my brother-in-law
thanked the attorney-general in my name as well as in his own.  He
told him that it was not at Toulouse that the parties interested
should make their researches for my marriage certificate, but at
Paris, either at the parish church of Saint Laurent, or at the
notary's, Lepot d'Auteuil.  M. de Bonrepos gave part of this reply
to the duchesse de Grammont.  Great was the bustle amongst the
Choiseuls!  I leave you to judge of the fury of the lady or ladies,
for the contesse de Grammont was no less irritated than the other,
always prepossessed with the idea, that to please the king was
to wrong their family.  The comtesse de Grammont had not half the
talent of the duchesse, she had only her faults.  She showed herself
so rude and impertinent towards me, that I was at length compelled,
not to exile her of my own accord, but to allow that she should
be so served.  But I anticipate, for this did not occur until the
following year.

The king by all his kindnesses endeavored to recompense me for
these attacks: he appeared charmed to see me surrounded by my
husband's family.  He placed amongst the pages the vicomte Adolphe
du Barry, son of comte Jean, a young man of great promise, but
whose destiny was so brief and so unfortunate.  My husband's family
testified much affection for me, as did the duc d'Aiguillon, to whom
I daily attached myself.  He carefully kept from me all that could
give me pain, and took a thousand precautions that no unpleasant
reports should reach me.  If we passed a short time without meeting
he wrote to me, and I confess I was delighted with a correspondence
which formed my own style.  Mademoiselle Chon, my sister-in-law,
and I also wrote to each other, and that from one room to another.
I remember that one day, having broken a glass of rock crystal which
she had given me, I announced my misfortune in such solemn style,
and with so well feigned a tone of chagrin, that the letter amused
the whole family.  The king saw it, and was so much pleased that
he kept it, and next day sent me a golden goblet enriched with

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