List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
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Voltaire to Madame du Barry--Her reply


A few words respecting Jean Jacques Rousseau--The comtesse du Barry
is desirous of his acquaintance--The countess visits Jean Jacques
Rousseau--His household furniture--His portrait--Therese--A second
visit from madame du Barry to Jean Jacques Rousseau--The countess
relates her visit to the king--Billet from J.  J.  Rousseau to madame
du Barry--The two duchesses d'Aiguillon


The king's friends--The duc de Fronsac--The duc d'Ayen's remark--
Manner of living at court--The marquis de Dreux--Breze--Education
of Louis XV--The --Its household--Its inmates--
Mere Bompart--Livres expended on the -- Good

Fête given by the comtesse de Valentinois--The comtesse du Barry
feigns an indisposition--Her dress--The duc de Cosse--The comte
and comtesse de Provence--Dramatic entertainment--Favart and
Voisenon--A few observations--A pension--The marechale de
Luxembourg--Adventure of M. de Bombelles--Copy of a letter
addressed to him--Louis XV--M. de Maupeou and madame du Barry


Madame du Barry purchases the services of Marin the gazetteer
--Louis XV and madame de Rumas--M. de Rumas and the comtesse du
Barry--An intrigue----A present upon the occasion--The
duc de Richelieu in disgrace--100,000 livres


A prefatory remark--Madame Brillant--The marechale de Luxembourg's
cat--Despair of the marechale--The ambassador, Beaumarchais, and
the duc de Chaulnes--the comte d'Aranda--Louis XV and his relics--The
abbe de Beauvais--His sermons--He is appointed bishop


M. D----n and madame de Blessac--Anecdote--The rendezvous and the
Ball--The wife of Gaubert--They wish to give her to the king--
Intrigues--Their results--Letter from the duc de la Vrilliere to
the countess--Reply-Reconciliation


Conversation with the king--Marriage of the comte d'Artois--
Intrigues--The place of lady of honor--The marechale de Mirepoix--
The comtesse de Forcalquier and madame du Barry--The comtesse
de Forcalquier and madame Boncault


Marriage of madame Boncault--The comte de Bourbon Busset
--Marriage of comte d'Hargicourt--Disgrace of the comte de
Broglie--He is replaced by M. Lemoine--The king complains of
ennui--Conversations on the subject--Entry into Paris


Visit from a stranger--Madame de Pompadour and a Jacobinical
monk--Continuation of this history--Deliverance of a state
prisoner--A meeting with the stranger


A conspiracy--A scheme for poisoning madame du Barry--The four
bottles--Letter to the duc d'Aiguillon--Advice of the ministers--
Opinion of the physicians--The chancellor and lieutenant of
police--Resolution of the council


Conclusion of this affair--A letter from the --Her
Examination--Arrest of Cabert the Swiss--He dies in the Bastille
of poison--Madame Lorimer is arrested and poisoned---The
innocence of the Jesuits acknowledged--Madame de Mirepoix and
the 100,000 francs--Forgetfulness on the part of the lieutenant of
police--A visit from comte Jean--Madame de Mirepoix


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


La Martiniere causes the king to be removed to Versailles--The
young prophet appears again to madame du Barry--Prediction
respecting cardinal de Richelieu--The joiner's daughter requests
to see madame du Barry--Madame de Mirepoix and the 50,000
francs--A  in the salon of madame du Barry


Interview with the joiner's daughter--Consultation of the physicians
respecting the king--The small-pox declares itself--the comte de
Muy--The princesses--Extreme sensibility of madame de Mirepoix--The
king is kept in ignorance of his real condition--The archbishop of
Paris visits Versailles


First proceedings of the council--The dauphin receives the prelates
with great coolness--Situation of the archbishop of Paris--
Richelieu evades the project for confessing the king--The friends
of madame du Barry come forward--The English physician--The
abbe Terray--Interview with the prince de Soubise--The prince
and the courtiers--La Martiniere informs the king of France the
true nature of his complaint--Consequences of this disclosure


Terror of the king--A complication--Filial piety of the princesses--
Last interview between madame du Barry and Louis XV--Conversation
with the marechale de Mirepoix--The chancellor Maupeou--The
fragment--Comte Jean


The duc d'Aiguillon brings an order for the immediate departure
of madame du Barry--The king's remarks recapitulated--The countess
holds a privy council--Letter to madame de Mirepoix and the ducs
de Cosse and d'Aiguillon--Night of departure--Ruel--Visit from
madame de Forcalquier


The duc d'Aiguillon's first letter--The marechale de Mirepoix
--A second letter from the duc d'Aiguillon--Numerous visitors


A third letter from the duke--The king receives extreme unction--
Letter from madame Victoire to the dauphin--M. de Machault--A
promenade with the duc de Cosse--Kind attention from the prince
des Deux Pouts--A fourth letter from the duc d'Aiguillon--Comte
Jean bids me farewell--M. d'Aiguillon's fifth letter, containing an
account of the death of Louis XV--The duc de la Vrilliere--The --Letter to the queen--Departure for the abbey of

Special Introduction by Robert Arnot

Up to the time of the Du Barry the court of France had been the
stage where the whole political and human drama of that country
was enacted.  Under Louis XV the drama had been transformed into
parades--parades which were of as much importance to the people
as to those who took part in them.  The spectators, hitherto silent,
now began to hiss and be moved.  The scene of the comedy was
changed, and the play was continued among the spectators.  The old
theatre became an ante-chamber or a dressing-room, and was no
longer important except in connection with the Cardinal de Bernis
and the Duc de Richelieu, or Madame de Pompadour and Madame
du Barry.

The monarchy had still a step to take towards its downfall.  It
had already created the  (Louis XV's seraglio),
but had not yet descended to the Parisian house of prostitution.
It made this descent leaning on the arm of Madame du Barry.
Madame du Barry was a moral sister to Manon Lescaut, but instead
of taking herself off to Louisiana to repent, she plunged into the
golden whirlpool at Versailles as a finish to her career.  Could
the coaches of a King mean more than the ordinary carriage of an
abandoned girl?

Jeanne Vaubernier--known in the bagnios by the name of Mademoiselle
Lange--was born at Vaucouleurs, as was Jeanne d'Arc.  Better still,
this later Jeanne said openly at Versailles--dared she say otherwise?--
that she was descended in a straight line from the illustrious,
the venerated, the august, sacred, national maid, Jeanne.*  "Why did
Du Barry come to Paris?'" says Leon Gozlan in that account of the
Château de Lucienne which makes a brilliant and learned chapter in
the history of France.  "Does one ever know precisely why things are
done?  She obeyed the magnet which attracts to Paris all who in
themselves have a title to glory, to celebrity, or to misfortune.
Du Barry had a pretty, provincial face, bright and charming, a face
astonished at everything, hair soft and ash-colored, blue eyes,
veiled and half open, and a skin fair with rose tints.  She was a
child of destiny.  Who could have said, when she crossed the great
town in her basket cart, which rolled lazily along on its massive,
creaking wheels, that some day she would have equipages more
beautiful than any of those which covered her with mud in passing,
and on her arms more laces and diamonds than any of these ladies
attended by footmen in liveries?"

	*A claim which blithely ignored the fact that Jeanne

When Jeanne left the provinces to come to Paris, she found her
native country.  She was granted the freedom of the city, and
expanded in her joy like a delicate plant transplanted into a
hothouse.  She found herself at home for the first time; and felt
that she could rule as a despot over all frequenters of the
streets.  She learned fashion and love at one and the same time.
Gourdan had a hat made for her, and, as a reward, initiated her
into the customs.  But she was called to other destinies.

One day, when she was walking in the Tuileries, a lunatic--and
lunatics have second sight--asked her favor when she should
become queen.  Du Barry said to herself: "This man is mad."  But
then she thought of the Pompadour, blushed--it was the only time--
and turned her eyes towards Versailles.

But Versailles was an unhoped-for shore to such a girl as this,
a girl known to all Paris.  Would the King care to be the lover of
one who had ruled all his courtesans?  Who could say?  The King
often wearied of what he had.  Had not a poet already been found
who compared her to Venus:

O Jeanne, thy beauty seduces
And charms the whole world;
In vain does the duchess redden
And the princess growl;
They know that Venus rides proudly
The foam of the wave.

The poet, while not Voltaire, was no less a man than Bouffiers.

While the King was seeking a mistress--a nocturnal reverse of
Diogenes, fleeing from the lanterns of  the wise--he found Jeanne
Vaubernier.  He thought he could love her for one evening.  "Not
enough," said she, "you must love me until broad daylight."  So
he loved her for a whole day.  What should one eat in order to be
loved by royalty?  Was it necessary to have a coat of arms?  She
had them in number, because she had been loved by all the great
names in the book of heraldry.  And so she begged the Viscount

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