List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
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enter into the views of his grandfather, to whom he pledged his
word, that henceforward prince Max should be treated with more
respect; and he kept his word, for the instant he returned to his
apartments, he commanded the duc de la Vauguyon to add the name
of prince Max to the list of invited persons.  When the paper was
drawn out it was carried to the dauphiness, who was with her
husband.  She read on till she came to the name of prince Max,
which she desired might be erased; but the dauphin interfered.
"Oblige me," cried he, "by suffering this name to remain; his
ancestors have for ages been the friends of our family, and his
alliance may one day be useful to us in Germany."

The dauphiness comprehended the signification of these words,
and her fine eyes were filled with tears.  However, she no longer
insisted upon the erasure, when her husband, who most tenderly
loved her, further declared it to be the king's desire that
nothing should be done which could in any way displease the
prince des Deux Ponts.  He was, therefore, from that period
invited to the house of Marie Antoinette, who indemnified herself
for this compulsory civility, by refusing to bestow upon him one
single smile or gracious word.  It must indeed be agreed that the
dauphiness had brought with her into France too many Austrian
notions, which she was long in losing for those of a wife and
mother; but now at the moment of my writing this, she is much
changed, and is as true a French woman as though she had been
born and bred in Paris.  Unfortunately, the people appear slow in
giving her credit for her altered opinions, and to this mistake
will she owe the loss of that general love and popularity to
which she has such just claims.

Prince Auguste Christian entertained for me a sincere regard,
which I returned with the truest friendship.  My feelings were
as pure and simple as his own, spite of the odious calumnies
with which my enemies have attacked this harmless acquaintance;
but their slander in this matter was no worse than the manner in
which they spoke of every person who visited me.  According to
their report, I was the mistress of all who presented themselves.
'Tis well for you, ye courtly dames, that you may convert friends
into lovers with impunity; be the number ever so large none dares
arraign your conduct; but for those of more humble pretensions it
is indeed considered atrocious to number more than two admirers;
should we ask to swell the list to a third--what comments, what
scandal, what vilifying reports are in circulation!  In this
letter, my friend, I shall speak to you exclusively of myself.
You will find little in my conduct to praise, and I fear,  much
to blame.  You will easily perceive my heart was better than my
head; and dear as your opinion is to me, I write on in the hope,
that should my candid avowal lose me any portion of your esteem,
it will yet obtain me a larger share of your friendship.  The
dismissal of Sophie from my service occasioned a vacancy in my
household.  Immediately her departure was known, I received
numberless solicitations from all who heard of it.  Three days
afterwards, Henriette came to inform me that the wife of an
attorney of Chatelet solicited the task of serving me in Sophie's
stead; that she was a well-looking and respectable person, and
might very probably suit me.

"Will you see her, madam?"  continued Henriette.  "She is
recommended by the marchioness de Montmorency."

"Willingly," answered I; "desire her to come in."  Henriette left
me and quickly returned, introducing the new candidate.

At the first glimpse I recognised Brigitta Rupert, that haughty
girl, who had been my early friend and companion at Saint Aure,
but who found it impossible to continue her friendship and favour
to a humble milliner's girl.  The sight of her occasioned me a
surprise by no means of a pleasing nature; and the involuntary
start I gave, evidently recalled me to her recollection.  In a
moment her cheeks assumed the paleness of death, and her self-love
seemed to suffer the most horrible torments at the light in which
our rencontre mutually placed us.  As soon as she could command
herself sufficiently to speak, she cried,

"Ah!  madam, do I then appear in your presence?"

"Yes," replied I, "before the poor and humble milliner to whom you
so harshly refused your friendship,"

"Fortune has well avenged you, madam," said Brigitta, in a
melancholy tone; "and as I can easily imagine how unpleasant the
sight of me must be, I will hasten to relieve you from it."

These last words touched me, and restored me in a degree to my
natural good temper.

"Brigitta," said I to her, "after the little affection you have
ever manifested for me, it would be impossible as well as unwise
to take you into my service; but let me know in what way I can
best promote the interest of yourself and husband, and I pledge
myself to accomplish it for you."

"I thank you, madam," answered she, resuming her accustomed
haughtiness, "I came to solicit a situation near the person of the
comtesse du Barry.  Since that is refused me, I have nothing more
to request."

"Be it as you please," replied I.  Brigitta made a low courtesy,
and quitted the room.

Henriette, who had been the witness of this scene, expressed her
apprehensions that I should be displeased with her for introducing
an unwelcome visitor to me.  "No," cried I, "'tis not with you I
am vexed., but myself."

"And why so, dear madam?"

"Because I reproach myself with having in my own prosperity
forgotten one of my earliest and dearest friends, who loved me
with the tenderest affection.  Possibly she may now be in trouble
or difficulties, from which I might have a thousand ways of
relieving her; but it is never too late to do good.  To-morrow,
early, you shall set out for Paris; when there, go to the rue Saint
Martin, inquire for the sign of la Bonne Foi; it is kept by a
pastrycook, named M. Mathon, of whom I wish you to learn every
particular relative to his daughter Genevieve."

My wishes were laws to Henriette, who instantly retired to prepare
for her journey.  I had not ventured to desire her to glean any
information concerning the brother of Genevieve, and yet at the
recollection of the handsome Nicolas my heart beat impetuously.
With what impatience did I await the return of Henriette!  at
length she came.

"Well!"  said I.

"I have found out M. Mathon," answered Henriette.

"Which, the father?"

"Yes, madam."

"And what is his present occupation?"

"As usual, madam, superintending his kitchen and shop."

"Is he alone in his business?"

"Oh, no!  madam; he is assisted by his son, a fine dark handsome
young man."

"His son then lives with him?"

"Yes, madam, and he is married."

"Married!--but it is not of this young man I wish to speak, but
of his sister, of Genevieve; tell me of her."

"I only learned, madam, that she had married a tailor, named
Guerard--who, after having been very unsuccessful in business,
died suddenly, leaving her wholly destitute with two young children."

I immediately wrote the following note to my early friend:--

"The comtesse du Barry having heard of the misfortunes of madame
Guerard, and knowing how much she is deserving of a better fate,
is desirous of being useful to her.  She therefore requests madame
Guerard will call next Monday, at two o'clock, on her at her
hotel, rue de la Pussienne."

Poor Genevieve nearly fainted when she received this note, which
was conveyed to her by a footman wearing my livery.  She could
not imagine to whom she was indebted for procuring her such exalted
patronage, and she and her family spent the intervening hours
before her appointed interview in a thousand conjectures on the
subject.  On Monday, punctually at two o'clock, she was at the
hotel dressed in her best, her lovely countenance setting off the
humble style of even her holiday garb.  She knew me the instant
she saw me; and, in the frank simplicity of her own heart imagining
she could judge of mine, she ran to me, and threw herself into
my arms, exclaiming,

"Oh, my dear Jeannette, what pleasure does it afford me to meet
you again.  Oh!  I see how it is; you are the friend of the comtesse
du Barry, and it is to you I shall owe my future good fortune, as
I do this present mark of her favor."

"No, my good Genevieve," cried I, weeping for joy, "she who now
embraces you is the comtesse du Barry."

After we had a little recovered ourselves, I took my friend by the
hand, and led her to a sofa, where we seated ourselves side by
side.  Returning to the scenes of our early youth, I related to
Genevieve all that had occurred since--my adventures, faults,
and favour.  When I had concluded my recital, Genevieve commenced
hers, but it was soon told.  There is little to relate in the life
of a woman who has passed her days in the virtuous discharge of
her duties.

Our mutual confidences being over, and having again exchanged a
most affectionate embrace, I put into the hands of my companion
a portfolio, containing 30,000 livres in bank bills.  I promised
her likewise to obtain for her some lucrative situation.  "Do
more than this for me!"  cried Genevieve.  "Since you will still
grant me your friendship, secure for me the happiness of occasionally
meeting you.  I can with truth declare, that of all your proofs of
kindness and regard, that which I prefer is the pleasure of seeing you."

This ingenuous request touched my heart, and I replied to it by
fondly caressing the warm-hearted Genevieve, and assuring her that
my purse and my house should be ever open to her.  We then resumed
our interesting reminiscences, and Genevieve was the first to
speak of her brother.  At the name of Nicolas I felt the blood
mount to my very forehead, and an indefinable sensation passed
over me at the mention of him who had possessed my virgin love.
I strove, however, to conceal from my friend the powerful emotion
which agitated me, and  I replied, with apparent tranquillity,
that I should be happy to assist her brother with the best of my

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