List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
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the utmost displeasure.  They will not fail to obtain great influence
over the future dauphin, and will do you mischief with him; so
that, whether in the actual state of things, or in that which the
age and health of the king must lead us to anticipate, you will
be in a most unfortunate situation at court."

The old bishop, with his mischievous frankness, catechised madame
de Bearn so closely, that at length she replied, that so much
respect and deference did she entertain towards the princesses,
that she would not present me until they should accord their
permission for me to appear.  M. de Roquelaure took this reply
to the Choiseuls.  Madame de Grammont, enchanted, thinking the
point already gained, sent madame de Bearn an invitation to supper
the next day, but this was not the countess's game.  She was
compelled to decide promptly, and she thought to preserve a strict
neutrality until fresh orders should issue.  What do you suppose
she did?  She wrote to us, madame de Grammont and myself, that
she had scalded her foot, and that it was impossible for her to go
from home.

On receiving her note I believed myself betrayed, forsaken.  Comte
Jean and I suspected that this was a feint, and went with all
speed to call on the comtesse de Bearn.  She received us with her
usual courtesy, complained that we had arrived at the very moment
of the dressing of her wound, and told us she would defer it; but
I would not agree to this.  My brother-in-law went into another
room, and madame de Bearn began to unswathe her foot in my
presence with the utmost caution and tenderness.  I awaited the
evidence of her falsehood, when, to my astonishment, I saw a
horrible burn!  I did not for a moment doubt, what was afterwards
confirmed, namely, that madame de Bearn had actually perpetrated
this, and maimed herself with her own free will.  I mentally cursed
her Roman courage, and would have sent my heroic godmother to the
devil with all my heart.

Thus then was my presentation stopped by the foot of madame de
Bearn.  This mischance did not dampen the zeal of my friends.  On
the one hand, comte Jean, after having stirred heaven and earth,
met with the comtesse d'Aloigny.  She consented to become my
godmother immediately after her own presentation, for eighty
thousand livres and the expenses of the ceremony.  But mesdames
received her so unsatisfactorily, that my own feelings told me, I
ought not to be presented at court under her auspices.

We thanked the comtesse d'Aloigny therefore, and sent her, as a
remuneration, twenty thousand livres from the king.

Whilst comte Jean failed on one side, the duc d'Aiguillon
succeeded on another.  He was someway related to madame de Bearn.
He went to visit her, and made her understand that, as the Choiseuls
neither gave nor promised her anything, she would be wrong in
declaring for them: that, on the other hand, if she declared for
me, I could procure for her the favor of the king.  Madame de
Bearn yielded to his persuasions, and charged the duc d'Aiguillon
to say to me, and even herself wrote, that she put herself
entirely into my hands; and that, as soon as she was well, I
might rely on her.  What, I believe, finally decided this lady
was, the fear that if she did not comply with what I required,
I should content myself with the comtesse d'Aloigny.

Now assured of my introductress, I only directed my attention to
the final obstacle of my presentation; I mean the displeasure of
mesdames.  I do not speak of madame Louise, of whom I can only
write in terms of commendation; but I had opposed to me mesdames
Victoire and Sophie, and especially madame Adelaide, who, as the
eldest, gave them their plan of conduct.  This latter, who had
given too much cause to be spoken of herself to have any right to
talk of others, never ceased haranguing about the scandal of my
life; and I had recently, unknown to myself, fallen into complete
disgrace with her.  This is the case.

The apartment from which I had dislodged M. de Noailles had
been requested of the king by madame Adelaide.  Ignorant of this
I had installed myself there.  I soon learned that I had offended
the princess, and instantly hastened to offer her the apartments
she wished to have.  She came into them; but as it was necessary
for me to be accommodated somewhere, the king gave me the former
apartments of his daughter.  This was what madame Adelaide called
an act of tyranny; she made the chateau echo with her complaints:
she said I had driven her out, that I wished to separate her from
her sisters; that I should wean her father's affection entirely
from her.  Such injustice distressed me excessively.  I sent to
request the king to come to me; and when he entered I threw
myself at his feet, entreating him to appease his daughter on any
terms, and to let me go away, since I brought such trouble into
his family.

The king, irritated at madame Adelaide 's conduct, went to her,
and told her, in a private interview, that he would make certain
matters public if she did not hold her tongue; and she, alarmed,
ceased her clamor, or rather, contented herself in complaining
in a lower key.


Of the presentation--The king and the duc de Richelieu at comtesse
du Barry's--M. de la Vauguyon--Conversation--Letter of the duke to
the comtesse du Barry--Reply--The countess unites herself with the
Jesuit party--Madame Louise--Madame Sophie--M. Bertin--Madame
de Bercheny

This fit of anger of madame Adelaide had given additional courage
to the cabal.  It began to exclaim  and plot against me with
redoubled force; hoping thus to intimidate the king, and
effectually bar my presentation; but it only tended to hasten it.
One evening, when the king and the marechal de Richelieu were
with me, he said to me,

"A stop must be put to these clamors.  I see that until you are
presented, there will be doubts perpetually arising and tormenting
us on the subject; and until it takes place I shall have no ease.
!  Let us take the best means in our power of reducing
these malcontents to silence."

" Sire," replied the marechal, "make your will palpable, and you
will see all the court submit."

"Yes, but my daughters?"

"Mesdames know better than any persons the deference due to
your orders."

"I assure you," replied the king, "that it will be an unpleasant
quarter of an hour for me to pass."

"Well, sire, then charge one of us with the mission: the bishop
of Senlis, for instance, or M. de la Vauguyon.  I feel assured
that either of them will acquit himself admirably in the business,
with the previous understanding that your majesty will support
him with your authority."

"I will do so most assuredly; but it will be best not to use it
but at the last extremity.  I have no wish to be made a bugbear
to my family."

"As to the selection of an ambassador," I interrupted, "I beg it
may not fall on M. de Roquelaure; he has been working against
me for some time."

"Why not send M. de Jarente?"  inquired the king.

"Ah, sire," replied the duke, "because we cannot trust him; he

is a gay* fellow.  Madame Sophie might tell him, that he only
took the part of madame du Barry, because he passes his life
amongst petticoats."

Flippant, light-minded, unreliable.  At the time this book
was written "gay" did not carry its present connotation of
homosexuality, nor did it always carry the connotation of
cheerful and happy that preceded the present connotation.

"True enough," said the king, "I prefer the duc de la Vauguyon:
he has a good reputation--"

"And well deserved," said the old marechal, sneering.  "Yes, sire,
he is a pious man; at least, he plays his part well.  "

"Peace, viper; you spare nobody."

"Sire, I am only taking my revenge."

"Why do you not like the governor of my grandsons?"

"In truth, sire, I must confess to you, that except yourself and
the ladies, I have not many likings at Versailles."

Louis XV smiled, and I pulled the bell; when a valet appeared,
I said,

"Go and find M. de la Vauguyon for his majesty."

When we were alone, "What, already?  "said Louis XV.

"Madame is right," replied the duke, "we must strike while the
iron is hot."

The king began to pace up and down the room, which was his
invariable custom when anything disturbed him: then suddenly stopping,

"I should not be astonished at a point blank refusal from M. de
la Vauguyon."

"Oh, sire, make yourself easy; the governor has no inclination to
follow the steps of Montausier or Beauvilliers.  In truth you are
very candid; and I must tell you, that you have too good an
opinion of us."

At this moment M. de la Vauguyon entered.  He saluted the king
with humility; and asked him, in a mild tone of voice, what his
pleasure was with him.

"A real mark of your zeal," was the king's reply.

"And of your gallantry," added the marechal, who saw the hesitation
of the king.  Louis XV was enchanted that another should speak
for him.  M. de Richelieu continued:

"His majesty, monsieur le duc, wishes that you should prepare
mesdames to receive our dear countess here, when she shall appear
before them to pay the homage of her respect and devotion."

The king, emboldened by these words, said, "Yes, my dear duke,
I can only find you in the chateau who have any influence over
the princesses, my daughters.  They have much respect, and no
less friendship, for you.  You will easily bring them to reason."

As M. de la Vauguyon seemed in no hurry to undertake the charge,
the marechal added,

"Yes, sir, to manage this business properly, you and M. de Senlis
are the only men in the kingdom."

The marechal had his reasons for saying this, for a secret jealousy
existed between the governor and the grand almoner.  M. de la
Vauguyon made haste to say, that he could not resist his majesty's
orders, and his desire to be agreeable to me.

"Ah!  you will then do something for me?"  I replied.  "I am
delighted and proud."

"Madame," replied the duke with much gravity, "friends are proved
on occasion."

"The present one proves your attachment to me," said I in my

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