List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
< < Previous Page     Next Page > >

wishes, but I feel too ill to set about it directly."

I replied, that I was in no hurry; that I should be in Paris some
time yet, and that he might copy it at his leisure.  It was then
settled that it should be ready within a week from that time;
upon which I rose, and ceremoniously saluting Therese, was
conducted to the door by M. Rousseau, whose politeness led him
to escort me thither, holding his cap in his hand.  I retired,
filled with admiration, respect, and pity.

When next I saw the duc d'Aiguillon, I could not refrain from
relating to him all that had happened.  My recital inspired him
with the most lively curiosity to see Rousseau, whom he had
never met in society.  It was then agreed, that when I went to
fetch my music he should accompany me, disguised in a similar
manner to myself, and that I should pass him off as my uncle.  At
the end of the eight days I repaired early as before to Paris;
the duke was not long in joining me there.  He was so inimitably
well disguised, that no person would ever have detected the most
elegant nobleman of the court of France beneath the garb of a
plain country squire.  We set out laughing.  like simpletons at
the easy air with which he wore his new costume; nevertheless
our gaiety disappeared as we reached the habitation of J.  J.
Rousseau.  Spite of ourselves we were compelled to honour and
respect the man of talent and genius, who preferred independence
of ideas to riches, and before whom rank and power were compelled
to lay aside their unmeaning trappings ere they could reach his
presence.  When we reached the fifth landing-place I rang, and
this time the door was opened by Therese, who told us M Rousseau
was out.

"But, madam," answered I, "I am here by the direction of your
husband to fetch away the music he has been engaged in copying
for me."

"Ah, madam," exclaimed she, "is it you?  I did not recollect you
again; pray walk in.  M. Rousseau will be sure to be at home for you."

"So, then," thought I, "even genius has its visiting lists."  We
entered; Jean Jacques formally saluted us, and invited us to be
seated.  He then gave me my music; I inquired what it came to;
he consulted a little memorandum which lay upon the table, and
replied, " So many pages, so much paper, eighteen livres twelve
sous;" which, of course, I instantly paid.  The duc d'Aiguillon,
whom I styled my uncle, was endeavoring to lead Rousseau into
conversation, when the outer bell rang.  Therese went to open
the door, and a gentleman entered, of mature age, although still
preserving his good looks.  The duke regarded him in silence and
immediately made signs for me to hasten our departure; I obeyed,
and took leave of Rousseau, with many thanks his punctuality.  He
accompanied us as before to door, and there I quitted him never
to see him more.  As we were descending the staircase, M. d'Aiguillon
told me that the person who had so hastened our departure was
Duclas, and that his hurry to quit Rousseau arose from his dread
of being recognised by him.  Although M. Duclas was a very excellent
man, I must own that I owed no small grudge for a visit which had
thus abridged ours.

In the evening the duc d'Aiguillon and myself related to the king
our morning's pilgrimage.  I likewise recounted my former visit,
which I had concealed until now.  Louis XV seemed greatly interested
with the recital of it; he asked me a thousand questions, and would
fain hear the most trifling particulars.

"I shall never forget," said Louis XV, "the amazing success
obtained by his '' There certainly were some
beautiful airs", and the king began to hum over the song of

And why, do you suppose?  Because she was one of those fat,
fresh, portly-looking dames of whom you would have said, her
very face and figure bespoke the contented goodness of her
disposition; for who would ever suspect malice could lurk in so
much ?  I think I have already told you that this
lady expired whilst bathing, of an attack of apoplexy, in the
month of June, 1772.  Her son shed many tears at her loss, whilst
I experienced but a very moderate share of grief.

Adieu, my friend; if you are not already terrified at the
multiplicity of the letters which compose my journal, I have yet
much to say; and I flatter myself the continuance of my adventures
will be found no less interesting than those you have perused.


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

< < Previous Page     Next Page > >

Other sites: