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

Lubert, an opera-dancer, very pretty and extraordinarily silly.
M. D------n went to her; "Mademoiselle," said he, "I come to
offer my services to you in the same way that M. de la Trimouille
has offered his to madame de Blessac, with whom I was on
exceedingly intimate terms."

The services of young D------n were accepted, and he was happy.
He then wrote to his former mistress, saying, that anxious to give
her a proof of his sincere attachment he had visited mademoiselle
Lubert, that he might leave her at leisure to receive the visits
of the prince de la Trimouille.

Madame de Blessac, stung to the quick, quarrelled with the prince,
who was excessively enraged with his rival; and there certainly
would have been an affair between these two gentlemen, had not
the king preserved the peace by sending his gentleman to St.
Petersburg as  to the embassy.  M. D------n went to
Russia, therefore, and on his return came to see me, and is now one
of the most welcome and agreeable of the men of my private circle.

As to madame de Blessac, she continued to carry on the war in
grand style.  Her husband dying she married again a foolish count,
three parts ruined, and who speedily dissipated the other quarter
of his own fortune and the whole of his wife's.  Madame Ramosky
then attacked the rich men of the day one after another.  One
alone stood out against her; it was M. de la Garde, who had been
one of my admirers.  Madame Ramoski wrote to him; he did not
answer.  At length she determined on visiting him, and wrote him
a note, to say that she should call upon him about six o'clock in
the evening.  What did M. de la Garde?  Why he gave a ball on
that very evening; and, when madame Ramoski reached his hotel,
she found it illuminated.  As she had come quite unprepared she
was compelled to return as she came, very discontentedly.

But to leave madame de Blessac and M. D------n, and to talk of
my own matters.  We had at this period a very great alarm at the
chateau, caused by the crime of a man, who preferred rather to
assassinate his wife than to allow her to dishonor him.  It is
worthy of narration.

A pretty shopkeeper of Paris, named Gaubert, who lived in the
rue de la Montagne Sainte- Genevieve, had recently married a
woman much younger than himself.  From the Petit Pont to the rue
Mouffetard, madame Gaubert was talked of for her lovely face and
beautiful figure; she was the Venus of the quarter.  Everybody
paid court to her, but she listened to none of her own rank, for
her vanity suggested that she deserved suitors of a loftier rank.

Her husband was very jealous.  Unfortunately M. Gaubert had for
cousin one of the valets of the king: this an, who knew the taste
of his master, thought how he could best turn his pretty cousin
to account.  He spoke to her of the generosity of Louis XV, of
the grandeur of Versailles, and of the part which her beauty
entitled her to play there.  In fact, he so managed to turn the
head of this young woman, that she begged him to obtain for her
a place in the king's favor.  Consequently Girard (that was his
 name) went to madame de Laugeac, and told her the affair as it
was.  She pleased with an opportunity of injuring me, went to
Paris, and betook herself  to the shop of madame Gaubert.
She found her charming, and spoke of her to the duc de la
Vrilliere, and both agreed to show her portrait to his majesty.
But how to procure this portrait?  Her husband was her very shadow,
and never left her.  , who was never at a loss,
issued a  against him, and the unfortunate man
was shut up in Fort l'Eveque.  It was not until the portrait was 
finished that he was set at liberty.

He returned to his home without guessing at the motives of his
detention, but he learned that his wife had had her portrait
painted during his absence, and his jealousy was set to work.
Soon a letter from Girard, a fatal letter, which fell into his
hands, convinced him of the injury done him.  He took his wife
apart, and, feigning a resignation which he did not feel, "My
love," he said, "I loved thee, I love thee still: I thought, too,
that thou wert content with our competence, and wouldst not have
quitted thine husband for any other in the world: I have been
convinced otherwise.  A letter from Girard informs me, that with
thine own consent the king, whom thy portrait has pleased, desires
to see thee this very day.  It is a misfortune, but we must
submit.  Only before thou art established at Versailles, I should
wish thee to dine with me once more.  You can invite cousin
Girard, too, for I owe him something for what he has done for thee."

The young wife promised to return and see her husband.  That
evening at the performance at the court she was seated in the
same box with the marquise de Laugeac; the king's glass was
directed towards her the whole time, and at the termination of
the spectacle it was announced to her, that she was to sleep at
the chateau the next evening.  The project was never realized.

The next day, according to promise, the young wife went to Paris
with the valet.  She informed her husband of the success which
had befallen her, and he appeared delighted.  Dinner being ready,
they seated themselves at table, ate and drank.  Girard began to
laugh at his cousin for his complaisance, when suddenly all desire
to jest left him.  He experienced most horrible pains, and his
cousin suffered as well as himself.  "Wretches!"  said Gaubert to
them, "did you think I would brook dishonor?  No, no!  I have
deceived you both the better to wreak my vengeance.  I am now
happy.  Neither king nor valet shall ever possess my wife.  I have
poisoned you, and you must die."  The two victims implored his
pity.  "Yes," said he to his wife, "thy sufferings pain me, and
I will free you from them."  e then plunged a knife to her heart;
and, turning to Girard, said, "As for thee, I hate thee too much
to kill thee; die.  "And he left him.

The next day M. de Sartines came and told me the whole story.  He
had learnt them from the valet, who had survived his poisoning for
some hours.  Gaubert could not be found, and it was feared that
he would attempt some desperate deed.  No one dared mention it to
the king, but the captain of the guards and the first gentleman
in waiting took every possible precaution; and when Louis XV
asked for the young female who was to be brought to him, they
told him that she had died of a violent distemper.  It was not
until some days afterwards that the terror which pervaded the
chateau ceased.  They had found the body of the unfortunate
Gaubert on the banks of the Seine.

In spite of what had passed, the duc de la Vrilliere had the
impudence to present himself to me.  I treated him with disdain,
reproaching him and Laugeac for their conduct.  He left me in
despair, and wrote me the following letter:--

"MADAME LA COMTESSE,-Your anger kills me.  I am
guilty, but not so much so as you may imagine.  The
duty of my office compels me to do many things
which are disagreeable to me.  In the affair for
which you have so slightingly treated me there
was no intent to injure you, but only to procure
for the king an amusement which should make him
the more estimate your charms and your society.
Forgive a fault in which my heart bore no share; I
am sufficiently miserable, and shall not know
repose until I be reinstated in your good graces.

"As for the poor marchioness she is no more to
blame than myself.  She feels for you as much esteem
as attachment, and is anxious to prove it at any
opportunity.  I beseech you not to treat her
rigorously.  Think that we only work together for
the good of the king, and that it would be unjust
of you to hate us because we have endeavored to
please this excellent prince.  I hope that, contented
with this justification, you will not refuse to grant
me the double amnesty which I ask of your goodness."

I replied thus:--

"Your letter, monsieur le duc, seduces me no
more than your words.  I know you well, and 

appreciate you fully.  I was ignorant up to this
time, that amongst the duties of your office,
certain such functions were imposed upon you.
It appears that you attend to them as well as to
others, and I sincerely compliment you thereupon;
I beg of you to announce it in the 'Court Kalendar.'
It will add, I am convinced, to the universal esteem
in which you are held.

"As to madame de Laugeac, she is even more
insignificant than you, and that is not saying much.
I thank her for her esteem and attachment, but
can dispense with any marks of them; no good can
come from such an one as she.  Thus, M. le duc,
keep quiet both of you, and do not again attempt
measures which may compromise me.  Do your
business and leave me to mine.

"I am, with all due consideration,

"Your servant,


I mentioned this to the king, who insisted on reconciling me with
, who came and knelt to me.  I  granted the pardon
sought, out of regard for Louis XV; but from that moment the
contempt I felt for the duke increased an hundredfold.


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

The king was much annoyed at the indifference I evinced for all
state secrets, and frequently observed to me, "You are not at all
like madame de Pompadour: she was never satisfied unless she
knew all that was going on, and was permitted to take an active
part in every transaction; she would frequently scold me for not
telling her things of which I was myself ignorant.  She was at
the bottom of the most secret intrigues, and watched every turn
of my countenance, as though she sought to read in my eyes the
inmost thoughts of my mind.  Never," continued the king, "did
woman more earnestly desire supreme command; and so completely
had she learned to play my part, that I have frequently surprised
her giving private instructions to my ambassadors, differing

< < Previous Page     Next Page > >

Other sites: