List Of Contents | Contents of Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
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king looks upon me as almost youthful; while, on the contrary,
his grandson will consider me as a specimen of the days of
Methuselah.  The change of masters can be but to my disadvantage;
let us, therefore, stand firmly together, that we may be the better
enabled to resist the attacks of our enemies."

"Do you consider," inquired I, "that we may rely upon the firmness
of the duc de Duras?"

"As safely as you may on mine," answered he, "so long as he is
not attacked face to face; but if they once assail him with the
arms of etiquette, he is a lost man, he will capitulate.  It is
unfortunate for him that I am not likely to be near him upon
such an occasion."

Comte Jean, who never left me, then took up the conversation,
 and advised M. de Richelieu to leave him to himself as little as
 possible; it was, therefore, agreed that we should cause the duc
de Duras to be constantly surrounded by persons of our party,
who should keep those of our adversaries at a distance.

We had not yet lost all hope of seeing his majesty restored to
health; nature, so languid and powerless in the case of poor
Anne, seemed inclined to make a salutary effort on the part of
the king.

Every instant of this day and the next, that I did not spend by
the sick-bed of Louis XV, were engrossed by most intimate friends,
the ducs d'Aiguillon, de Cosse, etc., mesdames de Mirepoix, de
Forcalquier, de Valentinois, de l'Hopital, de Montmorency, de
Flaracourt, and others.  As yet, none of my party had abandoned
me; the situation of affairs was not, up to the present, sufficiently
 clear to warrant an entire defection.  The good  Genevieve
Mathon, whom chance had conducted to Versailles during the last
week, came to share with Henriette, my sisters-in-law, and my
niece, the torments and uncertainties which distracted my mind.
We were continually in a state of mortal alarm, dreading every
instant to hear that the king was aware of his malady, and the
danger which threatened, and our fears but too well proclaimed
our persuasion that such a moment would be the death-blow to our
hopes.  It happened that in this exigency, as it most commonly
occurs in affairs of great importance, all our apprehensions had
been directed towards the ecclesiastics, while we entirely
overlooked the probability that  the abrupt la Martiniere might,
in one instant, become the cause of our ruin.  All this so entirely
escaped us, that we took not the slightest precaution to prevent it.

No sooner was the news of the king being attacked with small-pox
publicly known, than a doctor Sulton, an English physician, the

pretended professor of an infallible cure for this disease, presented
himself at Versailles, and tendered his services.  The poor man
was simple enough to make his first application to those medical
attendants already intrusted with the management of his majesty,
but neither of them would give any attention to his professions of
skill to overcome so fatal a malady.  On the contrary, they treated
him as a mere quack, declared that they would never consent to
confide the charge of their august patient to the hands of a
stranger whatever he might be.  Sulton returned to Paris, and
obtaining an audience of the duc d'Orleans, related to him what
had passed between himself and the king's physicians.  The prince
made it his business the following day to call upon the princesses,
to whom he related the conversation he had held with doctor Sulton
the preceding evening.

In their eagerness to avail themselves of every chance for promoting
the recovery of their beloved parent, the princesses blamed the
duke for having bestowed so little attention upon the Englishman,
and conjured him to return to Paris, see Sulton, and bring him to
Versailles on the following day.  The duc d'Orleans acted in strict
conformity with their wishes; and although but little satisfied
with the replies made by Sulton to many of his questions relative
to the measures he should pursue in his treatment of the king, he
caused him to accompany him to Versailles, in order that the
princesses might judge for themselves.  The task of receiving
him was undertaken by madame Adelaide.  Sulton underwent a
rigorous examination, and was offered an immense sum for the
discovery of his secret, provided he would allow his remedy to
be subjected to the scrutiny of some of the most celebrated
chemists of the time.  Sulton declared that the thing was
impossible; in the first place, it was too late, the disease was
too far advanced for the application of the remedy to possess
that positive success it would have obtained in the earlier stage
of the malady; in the next place, he could not of himself dispose
of a secret which was the joint property of several members of
his family.

Prayers, promises, entreaties were alike uselessly employed to
 change the resolution of Sulton; the fact was evidently this, he
knew himself to be a mere pretender to his art, for had he been
certain of what he advanced, had he even conceived the most
slender hopes of saving the life of the king, he would not have
hesitated for a single instant to have done all that was asked.

This chance of safety was, therefore, at an end, and spite of
the opinion I entertained of Sulton, I could not but feel sorry
Bordeu had not given him a better reception when he first made
known his professed ability to surmount this fatal disorder.
However, I was careful not to express my dissatisfaction, for it
was but too important for me to avoid any dispute at a time when
the support of my friends had become so essentially necessary to me.

In proportion as the king became worse, my credit also declined.
Two orders, addressed to the comptroller-general and M. de la
Borde, for money, met with no attention.  The latter replied, with
extreme politeness, that the 100,000 francs received by comte
 Jean a few days before the king was taken ill, and the 50,000
paid to madame de Mirepoix recently, must be a convincing proof,
in my eyes, of his friendly intentions towards me, but that he had
no money at present in his possession, the first he received should
 be at my disposal.

The abbe Terray acted with less ceremony, for he came himself to
say, that, so long as the king remained ill, he would pay no money
without his majesty's signature, for which my brother-in-law might
 either ask or wait till there no longer existed any occasion for
 such a precaution; and that, for his own part, he could not
conceive how he could have consumed the enormous sums he had
already drawn from the treasury.

This manner of speaking stung me to the quick.

"I find you," said I to him, "precisely the mean, contemptible
wretch you were described to me; but you are premature.  I am
not yet an exile from court, and yet you seem already to have
forgotten all you owe to me."

"I have a very good memory, madam," replied he, "and if you wish
it, I can count upon my fingers the money you and your family have
received of me.  You will see--"

"What shall I see?"  interrupted I, "unless, indeed, it be an
amount of your regrets that such a sum was not left in your
hands to be pillaged by your mistresses and their spurious
offspring.  Really, to hear you talk, any one would suppose you
a Sully for integrity, and a Colbert in financial talent."

This vigorous reply staggered the selfish and coarse-minded abbe,
who easily perceived that he had carried matters too far, and had
reckoned erroneously upon the feebleness and timidity of my
natural disposition; he attempted to pacify me, but his cowardly
insolence had exasperated me too highly to admit of any apology
or peace-making.

"Have a care what you do," said I, "or rather employ yourself in
packing up whatever may belong to you, for you shall quit your
post whatever may befall.  In the event of the king's death you
will certainly be turned out by his successor, and if he regain
his health, he must then choose between you and me, there can
be no medium.  Henceforward, you may consider me only in the
light of your mortal enemy."

He wished to insist upon my hearing him, but I exclaimed, "Quit
the room, I wish neither to see nor hear more of you."

The abbe saw that it was necessary to obey, he therefore bowed
and retired.  Two hours afterwards he sent me the sum which I
had asked of him for my brother-in-law, accompanied by a most
humble and contrite letter.  Certainly, had I only listened to the
inspiration of my heart, I should have sent back the money
without touching it, and the epistle without reading it; but my
heroism did not suit comte Jean, who chanced to be present.  'Take
 it, take it," cried he; "the only way of punishing such a
miscreant, is to break his purse-strings.  He would, indeed, have
the laugh on his side were your fit of anger to change into a fit
of generosity; besides, this may be the last we shall ever see."

My brother-in-law and the comptroller-general were an excellent
pair.  I treated the latter with silent contempt, not even replying
to his letter; this was, however, my first and only stroke of
vengeance, the disastrous events which followed did not permit
me to pursue my plans for revenging this treacherous and
contemptible conduct.

This quarrel, and the defection of the  abbe, had the
effect of rendering me much indisposed.  My illness was attributed
to an excess of sorrow for the dangerous condition of his majesty,
nor did I contradict the report; for, in truth, I did most
sincerely lament the malady with which the king was suffering,
and my regrets arose far more from a feeling of gratitude and
esteem, than any self-interested calculations.  It was, therefore,
in no very excellent humour that I saw the prince de Soubise
enter my apartment.  You may remember that this nobleman had
quitted Trianon without saying one word to me, and since that
period I had never seen him, although he had punctually made his
inquiries after the king.  When I perceived him, I could not help
inquiring, with something of a sarcastic expression, whether his
majesty had been pronounced convalescent?  The prince

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