List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
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altogether from what I myself had dictated to them.  Upon the same
principle she maintained at various courts envoys and ministers,
who acted by her orders, and in her name; she even succeeded in
obtaining the friendship of the grave and austere Marie Therese,
who ultimately carried her condescension so far, as only to address
the marchioness by the title of 'cousin' and 'dear friend.'  I must
confess, however, that these proceedings on the part of madame
de Pompadour were by no means agreeable to me, and I even prefer
your ignorance of politics to her incessant interference with them."

This was said by Louis XV upon the occasion of the approaching
marriage of the comte d'Artois, the object of universal cabal and
court intrigue to all but myself, who preserved perfect tranquillity
 amidst the general excitement that prevailed.

Various reasons made the marriage of this prince a matter of
imperative necessity.  In the first place, the open gallantry of
the young count had attracted a crowd of disreputable personages
of both sexes to Versailles, and many scandalous adventures
occurred within the chateau itself; secondly, a motive still more
important in the eyes of Louis XV, originated in the circumstance
of neither the marriage of the dauphin nor that of the comte de
Provence having been blest with any offspring.  The king began
to despair of seeing any descendants in a direct line, unless
indeed heaven should smile upon the wedded life of the comte
d'Artois.  Louis XV disliked the princes of the blood, and the
bare idea that the duc d'Orleans might one day wield his sceptre
would have been worse than death.

Many alliances were proposed for the prince.  Marie Josephe,
infanta of Spain, was then in her twentieth year, and consequently
too old.  The princess Marie- Francoise-Benedictine-Anne-Elizabeth-
Josephe-Antonine-Laurence-Ignace- Therese -Gertrude-Marguerite-
Rose, etc., etc., of Portugal, although younger than the first-
mentioned lady, was yet considered as past the age that  would
have rendered her a suitable match for so young a bridegroom.
The daughter of any of the electoral houses of Germany was not
considered an eligible match, and the pride of the house of Bourbon
could not stoop to so ignoble an alliance.  There was no
alternative left therefore, but to return to the house of Savoy,
and take a sister of the comtesse de Provence.  This proposal
was well received by the royal family, with the exception of
the dauphiness, who dreaded the united power and influence of
the two sisters, if circumstances should ever direct it against
herself or her wishes; and I heard from good authority, that
both the imperial Marie Therese and her daughter made many
remonstrances to the king upon the subject.  "The empress," said
Louis XV, one day, "believes that things are still managed here
as in the days of the marquise de Pompadour and the duc de
Choiseul.  Thank heaven, I am no longer under the dominion of my
friend and her pensionaries.  I shall follow my own inclinations,
and consult, in the marriage of my grandson, the interests of
France rather than those of Austria."

The little attention paid by Louis XV to the representations of
Marie Therese furnished my enemies with a fresh pretext for
venting their spleen.  They accused me of having been bribed by
the court of Turin, which ardently desired a second alliance with
France.  I was most unjustly accused, for I can with truth affirm,
that the comte de la Marmora, ambassador from Piedmont to Paris,
neither by word nor deed made any attempt to interest me in his
success.  The king was the first person who informed me of the
contemplated marriage, and my only fault (if it could be called
one) was having approved of the match.

More than one intrigue was set on foot within the chateau to
separate the princes.  Many were the attempts to sow the seeds
of dissension between the dauphin and the comte d'Artois, as
well as to embroil the dauphin with .  The first
attempt proved abortive, but the faction against 
succeeded so far as to excite a lasting jealousy and mistrust
in the mind of Marie Antoinette.  This princess was far from
contemplating the marriage of the comte d'Artois with any feelings
of pleasure, and when her new sister-in-law became a mother, she
bewailed her own misfortune in being without children with all
 the feelings of a young and affectionate heart.  Heaven did not,
however, always deny her the boon she so ardently desired.

You will, readily believe that the same anxiety prevailed upon
the occasion of this approaching marriage as had existed at the
unions of the dauphin and the comte de Provence, to obtain the
various posts and places the ambition of different persons led
them to desire in the establishment of the newly married pair.
Wishing on my own part to offer the marechale de Mirepoix a proof
of my high estimation of her friendship towards me, I inquired
of her whether a superior employment about the person of the
comtesse d'Artois would be agreeable to her?

"Alas!  my dear creature," replied the good-natured marechale, "I
am too old now to bear the toil and confinement of any service.
The post of lady of honor would suit me excellently well as far
as regards the income attached to it, but by no means agree with
my inclinations as far as discharging its functions goes.  You see
I am perfectly candid with you.  Listen to me; if you really wish
to oblige me, you can do this--give the title to another, and
bestow the pecuniary part of the engagement on me.  In that
manner you will be able to gratify two persons at the same time."

"I will endeavor," said I, "to meet your wishes as far as I
possibly can, and you may be assured that you shall derive some
advantage from this marriage."

And I kept my word by shortly after obtaining for the marechale
a sum of 50,000 livres; a most needful supply, for the poor
marechale had to re-furnish her house, her present fittings-up
being no longer endurable by the eye of modish taste: she likewise
received an augmentation of 20,000 livres to her pension.  This
proceeding was highly acceptable to her, and the king afforded
his assistance with the best possible grace.  He could be generous,
and do things with a good grace when he pleased.

The refusal of the marechale, which it was agreed we should keep
secret, obliged me to cast my eyes upon a worthy substitute, and
I at length decided upon selecting the comtesse de Forcalquier,
a lady who possessed every charm which can charm and attract,
joined to a faultless reputation; and, setting aside her strict
intimacy with myself, the court (envious as it is) could find no
fault with her.  I was convinced she would not be long in
acquiring an ascendency over the mind of the princess and I was
equally well assured she would never turn this influence against
myself; this was a point of no small importance to me.

Madame de Forcalquier most ardently desired the place of lady of
honor, without flattering herself with any hopes of obtaining it;
and, not liking to ask me openly for it, she applied to the duc
de Cosse.  I felt some regret that she had gone to work in so
circuitous a manner, and in consequence wrote her the
following note:--

"MADAM, --I am aware that you are desirous of
obtaining the post of lady of honor.  You should
not have forgotten that I am sufficiently your
friend to have forwarded your wishes by every
possible exertion.  Why did you apply to a third
person in preference to seeking my aid?  I really
am more than half angry with you for so doing.
Believe me, my friends need not the intervention
of any mediator to secure my best services.  You,
too, will regret not having made your first
application to me, when I tell you that I was
reserving for you the very place you were seeking
by so circuitous a route.  Yes, before you had asked
it, the post of lady of honor was yours.  I might
have sought in vain for a person more eminently
qualified for the office than yourself, or one in
whom I could place more unlimited confidence.
Come, my friend, I pray of you, not to thank me,
who have found sufficient reward in the pleasure
of obliging you, but to acknowledge the extreme
kindness and alacrity with which his majesty has
forwarded your wishes.

"Believe me, dear madam,

"Yours, very sincerely,


Madame de Forcalquier was not long in obeying the summons contained
in my note; she embraced me with the warmest gratitude and
friendship, delighted at finding herself so eligibly established
at court, for at that period every person regarded the comte
d'Artois as the only hope of the monarchy; and blinded by the
universal preference bestowed on him, the young prince flattered
himself that the crown would infallibly ornament his brows.  I
have been told, that when first the queen's pregnancy was
perceived, a general lamentation was heard throughout the castle,
and all ranks united in deploring an event which removed the
comte d'Artois from the immediate succession to the throne.

Up to the present moment I knew Madame de Forcalquier only as
one whose many charms, both of mind and person, joined to great
conversational powers and the liveliest wit, had rendered her the
idol of society, and obtained for her the appellation of
.  I knew not that this woman, so light and trifling
in appearance, was capable of one of those lively and sincere
attachments, which neither time nor change of fortune could
destroy or diminish.  She had a particular friend, a madame
Boncault, the widow of a stockbroker, and she was anxious to
contribute to her well-doing.  With this view she solicited of me
the place of lady in waiting for this much-esteemed individual.
Astonished at the request I put a hasty negative on it.

"If you refuse me this fresh favor," said madame de Forcalquier,
"you will prevent me from profiting by your kindness to myself."

"And why so?"  inquired I.

"I owe to madame Boncault," answered she, "more than my life; I
am indebted to her for tranquillity, honor, and the high estimation

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