By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. — Complete
 - Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady's maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of the Princess Lamballe
Author: Lamballe, Marie Thérèse Louise de Savoie-Carignan, princesse de, Du Hausset, Mme.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. — Complete
 - Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady's maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of the Princess Lamballe" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


Being Secret Memoirs of Madame du Hausset,
Lady’s Maid to Madame de Pompadour,
and of an unknown English Girl
and the Princess Lamballe.

Louis the Fifteenth

“It Was an Indigestion

Madame du Hausset

Madame de Pompadour

Madame Adelaide

Madame Sophie

Madame Elizabeth

Mirabeau and the Queen

Princess de Lamballe

Marie Antoinette in the Temple

Interviewing Little Louis

Marie Antoinette to the Guillotine



We were obliged by circumstances, at one time, to read all the published
memoirs relative to the reign of Louis XV., and had the opportunity of
reading many others which may not see the light for a long time yet to
come, as their publication at present would materially militate against
the interest of the descendants of the writers; and we have no hesitation
in saying that the Memoirs of Madame du Hausset are the only perfectly
sincere ones amongst all those we know.  Sometimes, Madame du Hausset
mistakes, through ignorance, but never does she wilfully mislead, like
Madame Campan, nor keep back a secret, like Madame Roland, and MM.
Bezenval and Ferreires; nor is she ever betrayed by her vanity to invent,
like the Due de Lauzun, MM. Talleyrand, Bertrand de Moleville, Marmontel,
Madame d’Epinay, etc.  When Madame du Hausset is found in contradiction
with other memoirs of the same period, we should never hesitate to give
her account the preference.  Whoever is desirous of accurately knowing
the reign of Louis XV. should run over the very wretched history of
Lacretelle, merely for the dates, and afterwards read the two hundred
pages of the naive du Hausset, who, in every half page, overturns half a
dozen misstatements of this hollow rhetorician.  Madame du Hausset was
often separated from the little and obscure chamber in the Palace of
Versailles, where resided the supreme power, only by a slight door or
curtain, which permitted her to hear all that was said there.  She had
for a ‘cher ami’ the greatest practical philosopher of that period, Dr.
Quesnay, the founder of political economy.  He was physician to Madame de
Pompadour, and one of the sincerest and most single-hearted of men
probably in Paris at the time.  He explained to Madame du Hausset many
things that, but for his assistance, she would have witnessed without


A friend of M. de Marigny (the brother of Madame de Pompadour) called on
him one day and found him burning papers.  Taking up a large packet which
he was going to throw into the fire “This,” said he, “is the journal of a
waiting-woman of my sister’s.  She was a very estimable person, but it is
all gossip; to the fire with it!”  He stopped, and added, “Don’t you
think I am a little like the curate and the barber burning Don Quixote’s
romances?”--“I beg for mercy on this,” said his friend.  “I am fond of
anecdotes, and I shall be sure to find some here which will interest me.”
 “Take it, then,” said M. de Marigny, and gave it him.

The handwriting and the spelling of this journal are very bad.  It
abounds in tautology and repetitions.  Facts are sometimes inverted in
the order of time; but to remedy all these defects it would have been
necessary to recast the whole, which would have completely changed the
character of the work.  The spelling and punctuation were, however,
corrected in the original, and some explanatory notes added.

Madame de Pompadour had two waiting-women of good family.  The one,
Madame du Hausset, who did not change her name; and another, who assumed
a name, and did not publicly announce her quality.  This journal is
evidently the production of the former.

The amours of Louis XV.  were, for a long time, covered with the veil of
mystery.  The public talked of the Parc-aux-Cerfs, but were acquainted
with none of its details.  Louis XIV., who, in the early part of his
reign, had endeavoured to conceal his attachments, towards the close of
it gave them a publicity which in one way increased the scandal; but his
mistresses were all women of quality, entitled by their birth to be
received at Court.  Nothing can better describe the spirit of the time
and the character of the Monarch than these words of Madame de Montespan:

“He does not love me,” said she, “but he thinks he owes it to his
subjects and to his own greatness to have the most beautiful woman in his
kingdom as his mistress.”


An early friend of mine, who married well at Paris, and who has the
reputation of being a very clever woman, has often asked me to write down
what daily passed under my notice; to please her, I made little notes, of
three or four lines each, to recall to my memory the most singular or
interesting facts; as, for instance--attempt to assassinate the King; he
orders Madame de Pompadour to leave the Court; M. de Machaudt’s
ingratitude, etc.--I always promised my friend that I would, some time or
other, reduce all these materials into the form of a regular narrative.
She mentioned the “Recollections of Madame de Caylus,” which were,
however, not then printed; and pressed me so much to produce a similar
work, that I have taken advantage of a few leisure moments to write this,
which I intend to give her, in order that she may arrange it and correct
the style.  I was for a long time about the person of Madame de
Pompadour, and my birth procured for me respectful treatment from
herself, and from some distinguished persons who conceived a regard for
me.  I soon became the intimate friend of Doctor Quesnay, who frequently
came to pass two or three hours with me.

His house was frequented by people of all parties, but the number was
small, and restricted to those who were on terms of greatest intimacy
with him.  All subjects were handled with the utmost freedom, and it is
infinitely to his honour and theirs that nothing was ever repeated.

The Countess D----- also visited me.  She was a frank and lively woman,
and much liked by Madame de Pompadour.  The Baschi family paid me great
attention.  M. de Marigny had received some little services from me, in
the course of the frequent quarrels between him and his sister, and he
had a great friendship for me.  The King was in the constant habit of
seeing me; and an accident, which I shall have occasion to relate,
rendered him very familiar with me.  He talked without any constraint
when I was in the room.  During Madame de Pompadour’s illness I scarcely
ever left her chamber, and passed the night there.  Sometimes, though
rarely, I accompanied her in her carriage with Doctor Quesnay, to whom
she scarcely spoke a word, though he was--a man of great talents.  When I
was alone with her, she talked of many affairs which nearly concerned
her, and she once said to me, “The King and I have such implicit
confidence in you, that we look upon you as a cat, or a dog, and go on
talking as if you were not there.”  There was a little nook, adjoining
her chamber, which has since been altered, where she knew I usually sat
when I was alone, and where I heard everything that was said in the room,
unless it was spoken in a low voice.  But when the King wanted to speak
to her in private, or in the presence of any of his Ministers, he went
with her into a closet, by the side of the chamber, whither she also
retired when she had secret business with the Ministers, or with other
important persons; as, for instance, the Lieutenant of Police, the
Postmaster-General, etc.  All these circumstances brought to my knowledge
a great many things which probity will neither allow me to tell or to
record.  I generally wrote without order of time, so that a fact may be
related before others which preceded it.  Madame de Pompadour had a great
friendship for three Ministers; the first was M. de Machault, to whom she
was indebted for the regulation of her income, and the payment of her
debts.  She gave him the seals, and he retained the first place in her
regard till the attempt to assassinate the King.  Many people said that
his conduct on that occasion was not attributable to bad intentions; that
he thought it his duty to obey the King without making himself in any way
a party to the affair, and that his cold manners gave him the appearance
of an indifference which he did not feel.  Madame de Pompadour regarded
him in the light of a faithless friend; and, perhaps, there was some
justice on both sides.  But for the Abbe de Bernis; M. de Machault might,
probably, have retained his place.

The second Minister, whom Madame de Pompadour liked, was the Abbe de
Bernis.  She was soon disgusted with him when she saw the absurdity of
his conduct.  He gave a singular specimen of this on the very day of his
dismissal.  He had invited a great many people of distinction to a
splendid entertainment, which was to have taken place on the very day
when he received his order of banishment, and had written in the notes of
invitation--M. Le Comte de Lusace will be there.  This Count was the
brother of the Dauphine, and this mention of him was deservedly thought
impertinent.  The King said, wittily enough, “Lambert and Moliere will be
there.”  She scarcely ever spoke of the Cardinal de Bernis after his
dismissal from the Court.

He was extremely ridiculous, but he was a good sort of man.  Madame, the
Infanta, died a little time before, and, by the way, of such a
complication of putrid and malignant diseases, that the Capuchins who
bore the body, and the men who committed it to the grave, were overcome
by the effluvia.  Her papers appeared no less impure in the eyes of the
King.  He discovered that the Abbe de Bernis had been intriguing with
her, and that they had deceived him, and had obtained the Cardinal’s hat
by making use of his name.  The King was so indignant that he was very
near refusing him the barrette.  He did grant it--but just as he would
have thrown a bone to a dog.  The Abbe had always the air of a protege
when he was in the company of Madame de Pompadour.  She had known him in
positive distress.  The Due de Choiseul was very differently situated;
his birth, his air, his manners, gave him claims to consideration, and he
far exceeded every other man in the art of ingratiating himself with
Madame de Pompadour.  She looked upon him as one of the most illustrious
nobles of the Court, as the most able Minister, and the most agreeable
man.  M. de Choiseul had a sister and a wife, whom he had introduced to
her, and who sedulously cultivated her favourable sentiments towards him.
From the time he was Minister, she saw only with his eyes; he had the
talent of amusing her, and his manners to women, generally, were
extremely agreeable.

Two persons--the Lieutenant of Police and the Postmaster-General--were
very much in Madame de Pompadour’s confidence; the latter, however,
became less necessary to her from the time that the King communicated to
M. de Choiseul the secret of the post-office, that is to say, the system
of opening letters and extracting matter from them: this had never been
imparted to M. d’Argenson, in spite of the high favour he enjoyed. I have
heard that M. de Choiseul abused the confidence reposed in him, and
related to his friends the ludicrous stories, and the love affairs,
contained in the letters which were broken open.  The plan they pursued,
as I have heard, was very simple.  Six or seven clerks of the post-office
picked out the letters they were ordered to break open, and took the
impression of the seals with a ball of quicksilver.  Then they put each
letter, with the seal downwards, over a glass of hot water, which melted
the wax without injuring the paper.  It was then opened, the desired
matter extracted, and it was sealed again, by means of the impression.
This is the account of the matter I have heard.  The Postmaster-General
carried the extracts to the King on Sundays.  He was seen coming and
going on this noble errand as openly as the Ministers.  Doctor Quesnay
often, in my presence, flew in such a rage about that infamous Minister,
as he called him, that he foamed at the mouth.  “I would as soon dine
with the hangman as with the Postmaster-General,” said the Doctor.  It
must be acknowledged that this was astonishing language to be uttered in
the apartments of the King’s mistress; yet it went on for twenty years
without being talked of.  “It was probity speaking with earnestness,”
 said M. de Marigny, “and not a mere burst of spite or malignity.”

The Duc de Gontaut was the brother-in-law and friend of M. de Choiseul,
and was assiduous in his attendance on Madame de Pompadour.  The sister
of M. de Choiseul, Madame de Grammont, and his wife were equally constant
in their attentions.  This will sufficiently account for the ascendency
of M. de Choiseul, whom nobody would have ventured to attack.  Chance,
however, discovered to me a secret correspondence of the King, with a man
in a very obscure station.  This man, who had a place in the Farmers
General, of from two to three hundred a year, was related to one of the
young ladies of the Parc-aux-cerfs, by whom he was recommended to the
King.  He was also connected in some way with M. de Broglie, in whom the
King placed great confidence.  Wearied with finding that this
correspondence procured him no advancement, he took the resolution of
writing to me, and requesting an interview, which I granted, after
acquainting Madame de Pompadour with the circumstance.  After a great
deal of preamble and of flattery, he said to me, “Can you give me your
word of honour, and that of Madame de Pompadour, that no mention whatever
of what I am going to tell you will be made to the King?”--“I think I can
assure you that, if you require such a promise from Madame de Pompadour,
and if it can produce no ill consequence to the King’s service, she will
give it you.”  He gave me his word that what he requested would have no
bad effect; upon which I listened to what he had to say.  He shewed me
several memorials, containing accusations of M. de Choiseul, and revealed
some curious circumstances relative to the secret functions of the Comte
de Broglie.  These, however, led rather to conjectures than to certainty,
as to the nature of the services he rendered to the King.  Lastly, he
shewed me several letters in the King’s handwriting.  “I request,” said
he, “that the Marquise de Pompadour will procure for me the place of
Receiver-General of Finances; I will give her information of whatever I
send the King; I will write according to her instructions, and I will
send her his answers.”  As I did not choose to take liberties with the
King’s papers, I only undertook to deliver the memorials.  Madame de
Pompadour having given me her word according to the conditions on which I
had received the communication, I revealed to her everything I had heard.
She sent the memorials to M. de Choiseul, who thought them very
maliciously and very cleverly written.  Madame de Pompadour and he had a
long conference as to the reply that was to be given to the person by
whom those disclosures were made.  What I was commissioned to say was
this: that the place of Receiver-General was at present too important,
and would occasion too much surprise and speculation; that it would not
do to go beyond a place worth fifteen thousand to twenty thousand francs
a year; that they had no desire to pry into the King’s secrets; and that
his correspondence ought not to be communicated to any one; that this did
not apply to papers like those of which I was the bearer, which might
fall into his hands; that he would confer an obligation by communicating
them, in order that blows aimed in the dark, and directed by malignity
and imposture, might be parried.  The answer was respectful and proper,
in what related to the King; it was, however, calculated to counteract
the schemes of the Comte de Broglie, by making M. de Choiseul acquainted
with his attacks, and with the nature of the weapons he employed.  It was
from the Count that he received statements relating to the war and to the
navy; but he had no communication with him concerning foreign affairs,
which the Count, as it was said, transacted immediately with the King.
The Duc de Choiseul got the man who spoke to me recommended to the
Controller-General, without his appearing in the business; he had the
place which was agreed upon, and the hope of a still better, and he
entrusted to me the King’s correspondence, which I told him I should not
mention to Madame de Pompadour, according to her injunctions.  He sent
several memorials to M. de Choiseul, containing accusations of him,
addressed to the King.  This timely information enabled him to refute
them triumphantly.

The King was very fond of having little private correspondences, very
often unknown to Madame de Pompadour: she knew, however, of the existence
of some, for he passed part of his mornings in writing to his family, to
the King of Spain, to Cardinal Tencin, to the Abbe de Broglie, and also
to some obscure persons.  “It is, doubtless, from such people as these,”
 said she to me, one day, “that the King learns expressions which
perfectly surprise me.  For instance, he said to me yesterday, when he
saw a man pass with an old coat on, ‘il y a la un habit bien examine.’ He
once said to me, when he meant to express that a thing was probable, ‘il
y a gros’; I am told this is a saying of the common people, meaning, ‘il
y a gros a parier’.”  I took the liberty to say, “But is it not more
likely from his young ladies at the Parc, that he learns these elegant
expressions?”  She laughed, and said, “You are right; ‘il y a gros’.” The
King, however, used these expressions designedly, and with a laugh.

The King knew a great many anecdotes, and there were people enough who
furnished him with such as were likely to mortify the self-love of
others.  One day, at Choisy, he went into a room where some people were
employed about embroidered furniture, to see how they were going on; and
looking out of the window, he saw at the end of a long avenue two men in
the Choisy uniform.  “Who are those two noblemen?” said he.  Madame de
Pompadour took up her glass, and said, “They are the Duc d’Aumont, and
------”   “Ah!” said the King; “the Duc d’Aumont’s grandfather would be
greatly astonished if he could see his grandson arm in arm with the
grandson of his valet de chambre, L------, in a dress which may be called
a patent of nobility!”  He went on to tell Madame de Pompadour a long
history, to prove the truth of what he said.  The King went out to
accompany her into the garden; and, soon after, Quesnay and M. de Marigny
came in.  I spoke with contempt of some one who was very fond of money.
At this the Doctor laughed, and said, “I had a curious dream last night:
I was in the country of the ancient Germans; I had a large house, stacks
of corn, herds of cattle, a great number of horses, and huge barrels of
ale; but I suffered dreadfully from rheumatism, and knew not how to
manage to go to a fountain, at fifty leagues’ distance, the waters of
which would cure me.  I was to go among a strange people.  An enchanter
appeared before me, and said to me, ‘I pity your distress; here, I will
give you a little packet of the powder of “prelinpinpin”; whoever
receives a little of this from you will lodge you, feed you, and pay you
all sorts of civilities.’  I took the powder, and thanked him.” “Ah!”
 said I, “how I should like to have some powder of prelinpinpin!  I wish I
had a chest full.”--“Well,” said the Doctor, “that powder is money, for
which you have so great a contempt.  Tell me who, of all the men who come
hither, receives the greatest attentions?”--“I do not know,” said I.
“Why,” said he, “it is M. de Monmartel, who comes four or five times a
year.”--“Why does he enjoy so much consideration?”--“Because his coffers
are full of the powder of prelinpinpin.  Everything in existence,” said
he, taking a handful of Louis from his pocket, “is contained in these
little pieces of metal, which will convey you commodiously from one end
of the world to the other.  All men obey those who possess this powder,
and eagerly tender them their services.  To despise money, is to despise
happiness, liberty, in short, enjoyments of every kind.”  A cordon bleu
passed under the window.  “That nobleman,” said I, “is much more
delighted with his cordon bleu than he would be with ten thousand of your
pieces of metal.”--“When I ask the King for a pension,” replied Quesnay,
“I say to him, ‘Give me the means of having a better dinner, a warmer
coat, a carriage to shelter me from the weather, and to transport me from
place to place without fatigue.’  But the man who asks him for that fine
blue ribbon would say, if he had the courage and the honesty to speak as
he feels, ‘I am vain, and it will give me great satisfaction to see
people look at me, as I pass, with an eye of stupid admiration, and make
way, for me; I wish, when I enter a room, to produce an effect, and to
excite the attention of those who may, perhaps, laugh at me when I am
gone; I wish to be called Monseigneur by the multitude.’  Is not all this
mere empty air?  In scarcely any country will this ribbon be of the
slightest use to him; it will give him no power.  My pieces of metal will
give me the power of assisting the unfortunate everywhere.  Long live the
omnipotent powder of prelinpinpin!”  At these last words, we heard a
burst of laughter from the adjoining room, which was only separated by a
door from the one we were in.  The door opened, and in came the King,
Madame de Pompadour, and M. de Gontaut.  “Long live the powder of
prelinpinpin!” said the King. “Doctor, can you get me any of it?”  It
happened that, when the King returned from his walk, he was struck with a
fancy to listen to our conversation.  Madame de Pompadour was extremely
kind to the Doctor, and the King went out laughing, and talking with
great admiration of the powder.  I went away, and so did the Doctor.  I
immediately sat down to commit this conversation to writing.  I was
afterwards told that M. Quesnay was very learned in certain matters
relating to finance, and that he was a great ‘economiste’.  But I do not
know very well what that means.  What I do know for certain is, that he
was very clever, very gay and witty, and a very able physician.

The illness of the little Duke of Burgundy, whose intelligence was much
talked of, for a long time occupied the attention of the Court.  Great
endeavours were made to find out the cause of his malady, and ill-nature
went so far as to assert that his nurse, who had an excellent situation
at Versailles, had communicated to him a nasty disease.  The King shewed
Madame de Pompadour the information he had procured from the province she
came from, as to her conduct.  A silly Bishop thought proper to say she
had been very licentious in her youth.  The poor nurse was told of this,
and begged that he might be made to explain himself.  The Bishop replied,
that she had been at several balls in the town in which she lived, and
that she had gone with her neck uncovered.  The poor man actually thought
this the height of licentiousness.  The King, who had been at first
uneasy, when he came to this, called out, “What a fool!”  After having
long been a source of anxiety to the Court, the Duke died.  Nothing
produces a stronger impression upon Princes, than the spectacle of their
equals dying.  Everybody is occupied about them while ill--but as soon as
they are dead, nobody mentions them.  The King frequently talked about
death--and about funerals, and places of burial.  Nobody could be of a
more melancholy temperament.  Madame de Pompadour once told me that he
experienced a painful sensation whenever he was forced to laugh, and that
he had often begged her to break off a droll story.  He smiled, and that
was all.  In general, he had the most gloomy ideas concerning almost all
events.  When there was a new Minister, he used to say, “He displays his
wares like all the rest, and promises the finest things in the world, not
one of which will be fulfilled.  He does not know this country--he will
see.”  When new projects for reinforcing the navy were laid before him,
he said, “This is the twentieth time I have heard this talked of--France
never will have a navy, I think.”  This I heard from M. de Marigny.

I never saw Madame de Pompadour so rejoiced as at the taking of Mahon.
The King was very glad, too, but he had no belief in the merit of his
courtiers--he looked upon their success as the effect of chance. Marechal
Saxe was, as I have been told, the only man who inspired him with great
esteem.  But he had scarcely ever seen him in his closet, or playing the

M. d’Argenson picked a quarrel with M. de Richelieu, after his victory,
about his return to Paris.  This was intended to prevent his coming to
enjoy his triumph.  He tried to throw the thing upon Madame de Pompadour,
who was enthusiastic about him, and called him by no other name than the
“Minorcan.”  The Chevalier de Montaign was the favourite of the Dauphin,
and much beloved by him for his great devotion.  He fell ill, and
underwent an operation called ‘l’empieme’, which is performed by making
an incision between the ribs, in order to let out the pus; it had, to all
appearance, a favourable result, but the patient grew worse, and could
not breathe.  His medical attendants could not conceive what occasioned
this accident and retarded his cure.  He died almost in the arms of the
Dauphin, who went every day to see him.  The singularity of his disease
determined the surgeons to open the body, and they found, in his chest,
part of the leaden syringe with which decoctions had, as was usual, been
injected into the part in a state of suppuration.  The surgeon, who
committed this act of negligence, took care not to boast of his feat, and
his patient was the victim.  This incident was much talked of by the
King, who related it, I believe, not less than thirty times, according to
his custom; but what occasioned still more conversation about the
Chevalier de Montaign, was a box, found by his bed’s side, containing
haircloths, and shirts, and whips, stained with blood.  This circumstance
was spoken of one evening at supper, at Madame de Pompadour’s, and not
one of the guests seemed at all tempted to imitate the Chevalier.  Eight
or ten days afterwards, the following tale was sent to the King, to
Madame de Pompadour, to the Baschi, and to the Duc d’Ayen.  At first
nobody could understand to what it referred: at last, the Duc d’Ayen
exclaimed, “How stupid we are; this is a joke on the austerities of the
Chevalier de Montaign!”  This appeared clear enough--so much the more so,
as the copies were sent to the Dauphin, the Dauphine, the Abbe de St.
Cyr, and to the Duc de V---.  The latter had the character of a pretender
to devotion, and, in his copy, there was this addition, “You would not be
such a fool, my dear Duke, as to be a ‘faquir’--confess that you would be
very glad to be one of those good monks who lead such a jolly life.” The
Duc de Richelieu was suspected of having employed one of his wits to
write the story.  The King was scandalised at it, and ordered the
Lieutenant of Police to endeavour to find out the author, but either he
could not succeed or he would not betray him.

Japanese Tale.

At a distance of three leagues from the capital of Japan, there is a
temple celebrated for the concourse of persons, of both sexes, and of all
ranks, who crowd thither to worship an idol believed to work miracles.
Three hundred men consecrated to the service of religion, and who can
give proofs of ancient and illustrious descent, serve this temple, and
present to the idol the offerings which are brought from all the
provinces of the empire.  They inhabit a vast and magnificent edifice,
belonging to the temple, and surrounded with gardens where art has
combined with nature to produce enchantment.  I obtained permission to
see the temple, and to walk in the gardens.  A monk advanced in years,
but still full of vigour and vivacity, accompanied me.  I saw several
others, of different ages, who were walking there.  But what surprised me
was to see a great many of them amusing themselves by various agreeable
and sportive games with young girls elegantly dressed, listening to their
songs, and joining in their dances.  The monk, who accompanied me,
listened with great civility and kindness to the questions I put to him
concerning his order.  The following is the sum of his answers to my
numerous interrogations.  The God Faraki, whom we worship, is so called
from a word which signifies the fabricator.  He made all that we
behold--the earth, the stars, the sun, etc.  He has endowed men with
senses, which are so many sources of pleasure, and we think the only way
of shewing our gratitude is to use them.  This opinion will, doubtless,
appear to you much more rational than that of the faquirs of India, who
pass their lives in thwarting nature, and who inflict upon themselves the
most melancholy privations and the most severe sufferings.

As soon as the sun rises, we repair to the mountain you see before us, at
the foot of which flows a stream of the most limpid water, which meanders
in graceful windings through that meadow-enamelled with the loveliest
flowers.  We gather the most fragrant of them, which we carry and lay
upon the altar, together with various fruits, which we receive from the
bounty of Faraki.  We then sing his praises, and execute dances
expressive of our thankfulness, and of all the enjoyments we owe to this
beneficent deity.  The highest of these is that which love produces, and
we testify our ardent gratitude by the manner in which we avail ourselves
of this inestimable gift of Faraki.  Having left the temple, we go into
several shady thickets, where we take a light repast; after which, each
of us employs himself in some unoppressive labour.  Some embroider,
others apply themselves to painting, others cultivate flowers or fruits,
others turn little implements for our use.  Many of these little works
are sold to the people, who purchase them with eagerness.  The money
arising from this sale forms a considerable part of our revenue.  Our
morning is thus devoted to the worship of God and to the exercise of the
sense of Sight, which begins with the first rays of the sun.  The sense
of Taste is gratified by our dinner, and we add to it the pleasure of
Smell.  The most delicious viands are spread for us in apartments strewed
with flowers.  The table is adorned with them, and the most exquisite
wines are handed to us in crystal goblets.  When we have glorified God,
by the agreeable use of the palate, and the olfactory nerve, we enjoy a
delightful sleep of two hours, in bowers of orange trees, roses, and
myrtles.  Having acquired a fresh store of strength and spirits, we
return to our occupations, that we may thus mingle labour with pleasure,
which would lose its zest by long continuance.  After our work, we return
to the temple, to thank God, and to offer him incense.  From thence we go
to the most delightful part of the garden, where we find three hundred
young girls, some of whom form lively dances with the younger of our
monks; the others execute serious dances, which require neither strength
nor agility, and which only keep time to the sound of musical

We talk and laugh with our companions, who are dressed in a light gauze,
and whose tresses are adorned with flowers; we press them to partake of
exquisite sherbets, differently prepared.  The hour of supper being
arrived, we repair to rooms illuminated with the lustre of a thousand
tapers fragrant with amber.  The supper-room is surrounded by three vast
galleries, in which are placed musicians, whose various instruments fill
the mind with the most pleasurable and the softest emotions.  The young
girls are seated at table with us, and, towards the conclusion of the
repast, they sing songs, which are hymns in honour of the God who has
endowed us with senses which shed such a charm over existence, and which
promise us new pleasure from every fresh exercise of them.  After the
repast is ended, we return to the dance, and, when the hour of repose
arrives, we draw from a kind of lottery, in which every one is sure of a
prize; that is, a young girl as his companion for the night.  They are
allotted thus by chance, in order to avoid jealousy, and to prevent
exclusive attachments.  Thus ends the day, and gives place to a night of
delights, which we sanctify by enjoying with due relish that sweetest of
all pleasures, which Faraki has so wisely attached to the reproduction of
our species.  We reverently admire the wisdom and the goodness of Faraki,
who, desiring to secure to the world a continued population, has
implanted in the sexes an invincible mutual attraction, which constantly
draws them towards each other.  Fecundity is the end he proposes, and he
rewards with intoxicating delights those who contribute to the fulfilment
of his designs.  What should we say to the favourite of a King from whom
he had received a beautiful house, and fine estates, and who chose to
spoil the house, to let it fall in ruins, to abandon the cultivation of
the land, and let it become sterile, and covered with thorns?  Such is
the conduct of the faquirs of India, who condemn themselves to the most
melancholy privations, and to the most severe sufferings.  Is not this
insulting Faraki?  Is it not saying to him, I despise your gifts?  Is it
not misrepresenting him and saying, You are malevolent and cruel, and I
know that I can no otherwise please you than by offering you the
spectacle of my miseries?  “I am told,” added he, “that you have, in your
country, faquirs not less insane, not less cruel to themselves.” I
thought, with some reason, that he meant the fathers of La Trappe. The
recital of the matter afforded me much matter for reflection, and I
admired how strange are the systems to which perverted reason gives

The Duc de V----- was a nobleman of high rank and great wealth.  He said
to the King one evening at supper, “Your Majesty does me the favour to
treat me with great kindness: I should be inconsolable if I had the
misfortune to fall under your displeasure.  If such a calamity were to
befall me, I should endeavour to divert my grief by improving some
beautiful estates of mine in such and such a province;” and he thereupon
gave a description of three or four fine seats.  About a month after,
talking of the disgrace of a Minister, he said, “I hope your Majesty will
not withdraw your favour from me; but if I had the misfortune to lose it,
I should be more to be pitied than anybody, for I have no asylum in which
to hide my head.”  All those present, who had heard the description of
the beautiful country houses, looked at each other and laughed.  The King
said to Madame de Pompadour, who sat next to him at table, “People are
very right in saying that a liar ought to have a good memory.”

An event, which made me tremble, as well as Madame, procured me the
familiarity of the King.  In the middle of the night, Madame came into my
chamber, en chemise, and in a state of distraction.  “Here! Here!” said
she, “the King is dying.”  My alarm may be easily imagined.  I put on a
petticoat, and found the King in her bed, panting.  What was to be
done?--it was an indigestion.  We threw water upon him, and he came to
himself.  I made him swallow some Hoffman’s drops, and he said to me, “Do
not make any noise, but go to Quesnay; say that your mistress is ill; and
tell the Doctor’s servants to say nothing about it.”  Quesnay, who lodged
close by, came immediately, and was much astonished to see the King in
that state.  He felt his pulse, and said, “The crisis is over; but, if
the King were sixty years old, this might have been serious.” He went to
seek some drug, and, on his return, set about inundating the King with
perfumed water.  I forget the name of the medicine he made him take, but
the effect was wonderful.  I believe it was the drops of General Lamotte.
I called up one of the girls of the wardrobe to make tea, as if for
myself.  The King took three cups, put on his robe de chambre and his
stockings, and went to his own room, leaning upon the Doctor.  What a
sight it was to see us all three half naked!  Madame put on a robe as
soon as possible, and I did the same, and the King changed his clothes
behind the curtains, which were very decently closed.  He afterwards
spoke of this short attack, and expressed his sense of the attentions
shown him.  An hour after, I felt the greatest possible terror in
thinking that the King might have died in our hands.  Happily, he quickly
recovered himself, and none of the domestics perceived what had taken
place.  I merely told the girl of the wardrobe to put everything to
rights, and she thought it was Madame who had been indisposed.  The King,
the next morning, gave secretly to Quesnay a little note for Madame, in
which he said, ‘Ma chere amie’ must have had a great fright, but let her
reassure herself--I am now well, which the Doctor will certify to you.
From that moment the King became accustomed to me, and, touched by the
interest I had shown for him, he often gave me one of his peculiarly
gracious glances, and made me little presents, and, on every New Year’s
Day, sent me porcelain to the amount of twenty louis d’or.  He told
Madame that he looked upon me in the apartment as a picture or statue,
and never put any constraint upon himself on account of my presence.
Doctor Quesnay received a pension of a thousand crowns for his attention
and silence, and the promise of a place for his son.  The King gave me an
order upon the Treasury for four thousand francs, and Madame had
presented to her a very handsome chiming-clock and the King’s portrait in
a snuffbox.

The King was habitually melancholy, and liked everything which recalled
the idea of death, in spite of the strongest fears of it.  Of this, the
following is an instance: Madame de Pompadour was on her way to Crecy,
when one of the King’s grooms made a sign to her coachman to stop, and
told him that the King’s carriage had broken down, and that, knowing her
to be at no great distance, His Majesty had sent him forward to beg her
to wait for him.  He soon overtook us, and seated himself in Madame de
Pompadour’s carriage, in which were, I think, Madame de Chateau-Renaud,
and Madame de Mirepoix.  The lords in attendance placed themselves in
some other carriages.  I was behind, in a chaise, with Gourbillon, Madame
de Pompadour’s valet de chambre.  We were surprised in a short time by
the King stopping his carriage.  Those which followed, of course stopped
also.  The King called a groom, and said to him, “You see that little
eminence; there are crosses; it must certainly be a burying-ground; go
and see whether there are any graves newly dug.”  The groom galloped up
to it, returned, and said to the King, “There are three quite freshly
made.”  Madame de Pompadour, as she told me, turned away her head with
horror; and the little Marechale gaily said, “This is indeed enough to
make one’s mouth water.”

[The Marechale de Mirepois died at Brussels in 1791, at a very advanced
age, but preserving her wit and gaiety to the last.  The day of her
death, after she had received the Sacrament, the physician told her that
he thought her a good deal better.  She replied, “You tell me bad news:
having packed up, I had rather go.” She was sister of the Prince de
Beauveau.  The Prince de Ligne says, in one of his printed letters: “She
had that enchanting talent which supplies the means of pleasing
everybody.  You would have sworn that she had thought of nothing but you
all her life.”--En.]

Madame de Pompadour spoke of it when I was undressing her in the
evening.  “What a strange pleasure,” said she, “to endeavour to fill
one’s mind with images which one ought to endeavour to banish,
especially when one is surrounded by so many sources of happiness!  But
that is the King’s way; he loves to talk about death.  He said, some
days ago, to M. de Fontanieu, who was, seized with a bleeding at the
nose, at the levee: ‘Take care of yourself; at your age it is a
forerunner of apoplexy.’  The poor man went home frightened, and
absolutely ill.”

I never saw the King so agitated as during the illness of the Dauphin.
The physicians came incessantly to the apartments of Madame de Pompadour,
where the King interrogated them.  There was one from Paris, a very odd
man, called Pousse, who once said to him, “You are a good papa; I like
you for that.  But you know we are all your children, and share your
distress.  Take courage, however; your son will recover.”  Everybody’s
eyes were upon the Duc d’Orleans, who knew not how to look.  He would
have become heir to the crown, the Queen being past the age to have
children.  Madame de ----- said to me, one day, when I was expressing my
surprise at the King’s grief, “It would annoy him beyond measure to have
a Prince of the blood heir apparent.  He does not like them, and looks
upon their relationship to him as so remote, that he would feel
humiliated by it.”  And, in fact, when his son recovered, he said, “The
King of Spain would have had a fine chance.”  It was thought that he was
right in this, and that it would have been agreeable to justice; but
that, if the Duc d’Orleans had been supported by a party, he might have
supported his pretensions to the crown.  It was, doubtless, to remove
this impression that he gave a magnificent fete at St. Cloud on the
occasion of the Dauphin’s recovery.  Madame de Pompadour said to Madame
de Brancas, speaking of this fete, “He wishes to make us forget the
chateau en Espagne he has been dreaming of; in Spain, however, they build
them of solider materials.”  The people did not shew so much joy at the
Dauphin’s recovery.  They looked upon him as a devotee, who did nothing
but sing psalms.  They loved the Duc d’Orleans, who lived in the capital,
and had acquired the name of the King of Paris.  These sentiments were
not just; the Dauphin only sang psalms when imitating the tones of one of
the choristers of the chapel.  The people afterwards acknowledged their
error, and did justice to his virtues.  The Duc d’Orleans paid the most
assiduous court to Madame de Pompadour: the Duchess, on the contrary,
detested her.  It is possible that words were put into the Duchess’s
mouth which she never uttered; but she, certainly, often said most
cutting things.  The King would have sent her into exile, had he listened
only to his resentment; but he feared the eclat of such a proceeding, and
he knew that she would only be the more malicious.  The Duc d’Orleans
was, just then, extremely jealous of the Comte de Melfort; and the
Lieutenant of Police told the King he had strong reasons for believing
that the Duke would stick at nothing to rid himself of this gallant, and
that he thought it his duty to give the Count notice, that he ought to be
upon his guard.  The King said, “He would not dare to attempt any such
violence as you seem to apprehend; but there is a better way: let him try
to surprise them, and he will find me very well inclined to have his
cursed wife shut up; but if he got rid of this lover, she would have
another to-morrow.

“Nay, she has others at this moment; for instance, the Chevalier de
Colbert, and the Comte de l’Aigle.”  Madame de Pompadour, however, told
me these two last affairs were not certain.

An adventure happened about the same time, which the Lieutenant of Police
reported to the King.  The Duchesse d’Orleans had amused herself one
evening, about eight o’clock, with ogling a handsome young Dutchman, whom
she took a fancy to, from a window of the Palais Royal.  The young man,
taking her for a woman of the town, wanted to make short work, at which
she was very much shocked.  She called a Swiss, and made herself known.
The stranger was arrested; but he defended himself by affirming that she
had talked very loosely to him.  He was dismissed, and the Duc d’Orleans
gave his wife a severe reprimand.

The King (who hated her so much that he spoke of her without the
slightest restraint) one day said to Madame de Pompadour, in my presence,
“Her mother knew what she was, for, before her marriage, she never
suffered her to say more than yes and no.  Do you know her joke on the
nomination of Moras?  She sent to congratulate him upon it: two minutes
after, she called back the messenger she had sent, and said, before
everybody present, ‘Before you speak to him, ask the Swiss if he still
has the place.’”  Madame de Pompadour was not vindictive, and, in spite
of the malicious speeches of the Duchesse d’Orleans, she tried to excuse
her conduct.  “Almost all women,” she said, “have lovers; she has not all
that are imputed to her: but her free manners, and her conversation,
which is beyond all bounds, have brought her into general disrepute.”

My companion came into my room the other day, quite delighted.  She had
been with M. de Chenevieres, first Clerk in the War-office, and a
constant correspondent of Voltaire, whom she looks upon as a god.  She
was, by the bye, put into a great rage one day, lately, by a print-seller
in the street, who was crying, “Here is Voltaire, the famous Prussian;
here you see him, with a great bear-skin cap, to keep him from the cold!
Here is the famous Prussian, for six sous!”--“What a profanation!” said
she.  To return to my story: M. de Chenevieres had shewn her some letters
from Voltaire, and M. Marmontel had read an ‘Epistle to his Library’.

M. Quesnay came in for a moment; she told him all this: and, as he did
not appear to take any great interest in it, she asked him if he did not
admire great poets.  “Oh, yes; just as I admire great bilboquet players,”
 said he, in that tone of his, which rendered everything he said
diverting.  “I have written some verses, however,” said he, “and I will
repeat them to you; they are upon a certain M. Rodot, an Intendant of the
Marine, who was very fond of abusing medicine and medical men.  I made
these verses to revenge AEsculapius and Hippocrates.

“What do you say to them?” said the Doctor.  My companion thought them
very pretty, and the Doctor gave me them in his handwriting, begging me,
at the same time, not to give any copies.

Madame de Pompadour joked my companion about her ‘bel-esprit’, but
sometimes she reposed confidence in her.  Knowing that she was often
writing, she said to her, “You are writing a novel, which will appear
some day or other; or, perhaps, the age of Louis XV.: I beg you to treat
me well.”  I have no reason to complain of her.  It signifies very little
to me that she can talk more learnedly than I can about prose and verse.

She never told me her real name; but one day I was malicious enough to
say to her, “Some one was maintaining, yesterday, that the family of
Madame de Mar---- was of more importance than many of good extraction.
They say it is the first in Cadiz.  She had very honourable alliances,
and yet she has thought it no degradation to be governess to Madame de
Pompadour’s daughter.  One day you will see her sons or her nephews
Farmers General, and her granddaughters married to Dukes.”  I had
remarked that Madame de Pompadour for some days had taken chocolate, ‘a
triple vanille et ambre’, at her breakfast; and that she ate truffles and
celery soup: finding her in a very heated state, I one day remonstrated
with her about her diet, to which she paid no attention. I then thought
it right to speak to her friend, the Duchesse de Brancas. “I had remarked
the same thing,” said she, “and I will speak to her about it before you.”
 After she was dressed, Madame de Brancas, accordingly, told her she was
uneasy about her health.  “I have just been talking to her about it,”
 said the Duchess, pointing to me, “and she is of my opinion.”  Madame de
Pompadour seemed a little displeased; at last, she burst into tears.  I
immediately went out, shut the door, and returned to my place to listen.
“My dear friend,” she said to Madame de Brancas, “I am agitated by the
fear of losing the King’s heart by ceasing to be attractive to him.  Men,
you know, set great value on certain things, and I have the misfortune to
be of a very cold temperament.  I, therefore, determined to adopt a
heating diet, in order to remedy this defect, and for two days this
elixir has been of great service to me, or, at least, I have thought I
felt its good effects.”

The Duchesse de Brancas took the phial which was upon the toilet, and
after having smelt at it, “Fie!” said she, and threw it into the fire.
Madame de Pompadour scolded her, and said, “I don’t like to be treated
like a child.”  She wept again, and said, “You don’t know what happened
to me a week ago.  The King, under pretext of the heat of the weather,
lay down upon my sofa, and passed half the night there.  He will take a
disgust to me and have another mistress.”--“You will not avoid that,”
 replied the Duchess, “by following your new diet, and that diet will kill
you; render your company more and more precious to the King by your
gentleness: do not repulse him in his fond moments, and let time do the
rest; the chains of habit will bind him to you for ever.”  They then
embraced; Madame de Pompadour recommended secrecy to Madame de Brancas,
and the diet was abandoned.

A little while after, she said to me, “Our master is better pleased with
me.  This is since I spoke to Quesnay, without, however, telling him all.
He told me, that to accomplish my end, I must try to be in good health,
to digest well, and, for that purpose, take exercise.  I think the Doctor
is right.  I feel quite a different creature.  I adore that man (the
King), I wish so earnestly to be agreeable to him!  But, alas!  sometimes
he says I am a macreuse (a cold-blooded aquatic bird).  I would give my
life to please him.”

One day, the King came in very much heated.  I withdrew to my post, where
I listened.  “What is the matter?” said Madame de Pompadour.  “The long
robes and the clergy,” replied he, “are always at drawn daggers, they
distract me by their quarrels.  But I detest the long robes the most. My
clergy, on the whole, is attached and faithful to me; the others want to
keep me in a state of tutelage.”--“Firmness,” said Madame de Pompadour,
“is the only thing that can subdue them.”--“Robert Saint Vincent is an
incendiary, whom I wish I could banish, but that would make a terrible
tumult.  On the other hand, the Archbishop is an iron-hearted fellow, who
tries to pick quarrels.  Happily, there are some in the Parliament upon
whom I can rely, and who affect to be very violent, but can be softened
upon occasion.  It costs me a few abbeys, and a few secret pensions, to
accomplish this.  There is a certain V--- who serves me very well, while
he appears to be furious on the other side.”--“I can tell you some news
of him, Sire,” said Madame de Pompadour.  “He wrote to me yesterday,
pretending that he is related to me, and begging for an
interview.”--“Well,” said the King, “let him come.  See him; and if he
behaves well, we shall have a pretext for giving him something.”  M. de
Gontaut came in, and seeing that they were talking seriously, said
nothing.  The King walked about in an agitated manner, and suddenly
exclaimed, “The Regent was very wrong in restoring to them the right of
remonstrating; they will end in ruining the State.”--“All, Sire,” said M.
de Gontaut, “it is too strong to be shaken by a set of petty justices.”
 “You don’t know what they do, nor what they think.  They are an assembly
of republicans; however, here is enough of the subject.  Things will last
as they are as long as I shall.  Talk about this on Sunday, Madame, with
M. Berrien.”  Madame d’Amblimont and Madame d’Esparbes came in. “Ah! here
come my kittens,” said Madame de Pompadour; “all that we are about is
Greek to them; but their gaiety restores my tranquility, and enables me
to attend again to serious affairs.  You, Sire, have the chase to divert
you--they answer the same purpose to me.”  The King then began to talk
about his morning’s sport, and Lansmatte.

[See the “Memoirs of Madame Campan,” vol. iii., p. 24.  Many traits of
original and amusing bluntness are related of Lansmatte, one of the
King’s grooms.]

It was necessary to let the King go on upon these subjects, and even,
sometimes, to hear the same story three or four times over, if new
persons came into the room.  Madame de Pompadour never betrayed the least
ennui.  She even sometimes persuaded him to begin his story anew.

I one day said to her, “It appears to me, Madame, that you are fonder
than ever of the Comtesse d’Amblimont.”--“I have reason to be so,” said
she.  “She is unique, I think, for her fidelity to her friends, and for
her honour.  Listen, but tell nobody--four days ago, the King, passing
her to go to supper, approached her, under the pretence of tickling her,
and tried to slip a note into her hand.  D’Amblimont, in her madcap way,
put her hands behind her back, and the King was obliged to pick up the
note, which had fallen on the ground.  Gontaut was the only person who
saw all this, and, after supper, he went up to the little lady, and said,
‘You are an excellent friend.’--‘I did my duty,’ said she, and
immediately put her finger on her lips to enjoin him to be silent. He,
however, informed me of this act of friendship of the little heroine, who
had not told me of it herself.”  I admired the Countess’s virtue, and
Madame de Pompadour said, “She is giddy and headlong; but she has more
sense and more feeling than a thousand prudes and devotees.  D’Esparbes
would not do as much most likely she would meet him more than half-way.
The King appeared disconcerted, but he still pays her great
attentions.”--“You will, doubtless, Madame,” said I, “show your sense of
such admirable conduct.”--“You need not doubt it,” said she, “but I don’t
wish her to think that I am informed of it.”  The King, prompted either
by the remains of his liking, or from the suggestions of Madame de
Pompadour, one morning went to call on Madame d’Amblimont, at Choisy, and
threw round her neck a collar of diamonds and emeralds, worth between
fifty thousand and seventy-five thousand francs.  This happened a long
time after the circumstance I have just related.

There was a large sofa in a little room adjoining Madame de Pompadour’s,
upon which I often reposed.

One evening, towards midnight, a bat flew into the apartment where the
Court was; the King immediately cried out, “Where is General Crillon?”
 (He had just left the room.) “He is the General to command against the
bats.”  This set everybody calling out, “Ou etais tu, Crillon?”  M. de
Crillon soon after came in, and was told where the enemy was.  He
immediately threw off his coat, drew his sword, and commenced an attack
upon the bat, which flew into the closet where I was fast asleep.  I
started out of sleep at the noise, and saw the King and all the company
around me.  This furnished amusement for the rest of the evening.  M. de
Crillon was a very excellent and agreeable man, but he had the fault of
indulging in buffooneries of this kind, which, however, were the result
of his natural gaiety, and not of any subserviency of character.  Such,
however, was not the case with another exalted nobleman, a Knight of the
Golden Fleece, whom Madame saw one day shaking hands with her valet de
chambre.  As he was one of the vainest men at Court, Madame could not
refrain from telling the circumstance to the King; and, as he had no
employment at Court, the King scarcely ever after named him on the Supper

I had a cousin at Saint Cyr, who was married.  She was greatly distressed
at having a relation waiting woman to Madame de Pompadour, and often
treated me in the most mortifying manner.  Madame knew this from Colin,
her steward, and spoke of it to the King.  “I am not surprised at it,”
 said he; “this is a specimen of the silly women of Saint Cyr.  Madame de
Maintenon had excellent intentions, but she made a great mistake.  These
girls are brought up in such a manner, that, unless they are all made
ladies of the palace, they are unhappy and impertinent.”

Some time after, this relation of mine was at my house.  Colin, who knew
her, though she did not know him, came in.  He said to me, “Do you know
that the Prince de Chimay has made a violent attack upon the Chevalier
d’Henin for being equerry to the Marquise.”  At these words, my cousin
looked very much astonished, and said, “Was he not right?”--“I don’t mean
to enter into that question,” said Colin--“but only to repeat his words,
which were these: ‘If you were only a man of moderately good family and
poor, I should not blame you, knowing, as I do, that there are hundreds
such, who would quarrel for your place, as young ladies of family would,
to be about your mistress.  But, recollect, that your relations are
princes of the Empire, and that you bear their name.”--“What, sir,” said
my relation, “the Marquise’s equerry of a princely house?”--“Of the house
of Chimay,” said he; “they take the name of Alsace “--witness the
Cardinal of that name.  Colin went out delighted at what he had said.

“I cannot get over my surprise at what I have heard,” said my relation.
“It is, nevertheless, very true,” replied I; “you may see the Chevalier
d’Henin (that is the family name of the Princes de Chimay), with the
cloak of Madame upon his arm, and walking alongside her sedan-chair, in
order that he may be ready, on her getting in, to cover her shoulders
with her cloak, and then remain in the antechamber, if there is no other
room, till her return.”

From that time, my cousin let me alone; nay, she even applied to me to
get a company of horse for her husband, who was very loath to come and
thank me.  His wife wished him to thank Madame de Pompadour; but the fear
he had lest she should tell him, that it was in consideration of his
relationship to her waiting-woman that he commanded fifty horse,
prevented him.  It was, however, a most surprising thing that a man
belonging to the house of Chimay should be in the service of any lady
whatever; and, the commander of Alsace returned from Malta on purpose to
get him out of Madame de Pompadour’s  household.  He got him a pension of
a hundred louis from his family, and the Marquise gave him a company of
horse.  The Chevalier d’Henin had been page to the Marechal de
Luxembourg, and one can hardly imagine how he could have put his relation
in such a situation; for, generally speaking, all great houses keep up
the consequence of their members.  M. de Machault, the Keeper of the
Seals, had, at the same time, as equerry, a Knight of St. Louis, and a
man of family--the Chevalier de Peribuse--who carried his portfolio, and
walked by the side of the chair.

Whether it was from ambition, or from tenderness, Madame de Pompadour had
a regard for her daughter,--[The daughter of Madame de Pompadour and her
husband, M. d’Atioles.  She was called Alexandrine.]--which seemed to
proceed from the bottom of her heart.  She was brought up like a
Princess, and, like persons of that rank, was called by her Christian
name alone.  The first persons at Court had an eye to this alliance, but
her mother had, perhaps, a better project.  The King had a son by Madame
de Vintimille, who resembled him in face, gesture, and manners.  He was
called the Comte du -----.  Madame de Pompadour had him brought: to
Bellevue.  Colin, her steward, was employed to find means to persuade his
tutor to bring him thither.  They took some refreshment at the house of
the Swiss, and the Marquise, in the course of her walk, appeared to meet
them by accident.  She asked the name of the child, and admired his
beauty.  Her daughter came up at the same moment, and Madame de Pompadour
led them into a part of the garden where she knew the King would come. He
did come, and asked the child’s name.  He was told, and looked
embarrassed when Madame, pointing to them, said they would be a beautiful
couple.  The King played with the girl, without appearing to take any
notice of the boy, who, while he was eating some figs and cakes which
were brought, his attitudes and gestures were so like those of the King,
that Madame de Pompadour was in the utmost astonishment. “Ah!” said she,
“Sire, look at --------.”  --“At what?”  said he.  “Nothing,” replied
Madame, “except that one would think one saw his father.”

“I did not know,” said the King, smiling, “that you were so intimately
acquainted with the Comte du L------ .”--“You ought to embrace him,” said
she, “he is very handsome.”--“I will begin, then, with the young lady,”
 said the King, and embraced them in a cold, constrained manner.  I was
present, having joined Mademoiselle’s governess.  I remarked to Madame,
in the evening, that the King had not appeared very cordial in his
caresses.  “That is his way,” said she; “but do not those children appear
made for each other?  If it was Louis XIV., he would make a Duc du Maine
of the little boy; I do not ask so much; but a place and a dukedom for
his son is very little; and it is because he is his son that I prefer him
to all the little Dukes of the Court.  My grandchildren would blend the
resemblance of their grandfather and grandmother; and this combination,
which I hope to live to see, would, one day, be my greatest delight.” The
tears came into her eyes as she spoke.  Alas! alas! only six months
elapsed, when her darling daughter, the hope of her advanced years, the
object of her fondest wishes, died suddenly.  Madame de Pompadour was
inconsolable, and I must do M. de Marigny the justice to say that he was
deeply afflicted.  His niece was beautiful as an angel, and destined to
the highest fortunes, and I always thought that he had formed the design
of marrying her.  A dukedom would have given him rank; and that, joined
to his place, and to the wealth which she would have had from her mother,
would have made him a man of great importance.  The difference of age was
not sufficient to be a great obstacle.  People, as usual, said the young
lady was poisoned; for the unexpected death of persons who command a
large portion of public attention always gives birth to these rumours.
The King shewed great regret, but more for the grief of Madame than on
account of the loss itself, though he had often caressed the child, and
loaded her with presents.  I owe it, also, to justice, to say that M. de
Marigny, the heir of all Madame de Pompadour’s fortune, after the death
of her daughter, evinced the sincerest and deepest regret every time she
was seriously ill.  She, soon after, began to lay plans for his
establishment.  Several young ladies of the highest birth were thought
of; and, perhaps, he would have been made a Duke, but his turn of mind
indisposed him for schemes either of marriage or ambition.  Ten times he
might have been made Prime Minister, yet he never aspired to it.  “That
is a man,” said Quesnay to me, one day, “who is very little known; nobody
talks of his talents or acquirements, nor of his zealous and efficient
patronage of the arts: no man, since Colbert, has done so much in his
situation: he is, moreover, an extremely honourable man, but people will
not see in him anything but the brother of the favourite; and, because he
is fat, he is thought dull and heavy.”  This was all perfectly true. M.
de Marigny had travelled in Italy with very able artists, and had
acquired taste, and much more information than any of his predecessors
had possessed.  As for the heaviness of his air, it only came upon him
when he grew fat; before that, he had a delightful face.  He was then as
handsome as his sister.  He paid court to nobody, had no vanity, and
confined himself to the society of persons with whom he was at his ease.
He went rather more into company at Court after the King had taken him to
ride with him in his carriage, thinking it then his duty to shew himself
among the courtiers.

Madame called me, one day, into her closet, where the King was walking up
and down in a very serious mood.  “You must,” said she, “pass some days
in a house in the Avenue de St. Cloud, whither I shall send you.  You
will there find a young lady about to lie in.”  The King said nothing,
and I was mute from astonishment.  “You will be mistress of the house,
and preside, like one of the fabulous goddesses, at the accouchement.
Your presence is necessary, in order that everything may pass secretly,
and according to the King’s wish.  You will be present at the baptism,
and name the father and mother.”  The King began to laugh, and said, “The
father is a very honest man;”  Madame added, “beloved by every one, and
adored by those who know him.”  Madame then took from a little cupboard a
small box, and drew from it an aigrette of diamonds, at the same time
saying to the King, “I have my reasons for it not being handsomer.”--“It
is but too much so,” said the King; “how kind you are;” and he then
embraced Madame, who wept with emotion, and, putting her hand upon the
King’s heart, said, “This is what I wish to secure.”  The King’s eyes
then filled with tears, and I also began weeping, without knowing why.
Afterwards, the King said, “Guimard will call upon you every day, to
assist you with his advice, and at the critical moment you will send for
him.  You will say that you expect the sponsors, and a moment after you
will pretend to have received a letter, stating that they cannot come.
You will, of course, affect to be very much embarrassed; and Guimard will
then say that there is nothing for it but to take the first comers.  You
will then appoint as godfather and godmother some beggar, or chairman,
and the servant girl of the house, and to whom you will give but twelve
francs, in order not to attract attention.”--“A louis,” added Madame, “to
obviate anything singular, on the other hand.”--“It is you who make me
economical, under certain circumstances,” said the King.  “Do you
remember the driver of the fiacre?  I wanted to give him a LOUIS, and Duc
d’Ayen said, ‘You will be known;’ so that I gave him a crown.”  He was
going to tell the whole story.  Madame made a sign to him to be silent,
which he obeyed, not without considerable reluctance.  She afterwards
told me that at the time of the fetes given on occasion of the Dauphin’s
marriage, the King came to see her at her mother’s house in a
hackney-coach.  The coachman would not go on, and the King would have
given him a LOUIS.  “The police will hear of it, if you do,” said the Duc
d’Ayen, “and its spies will make inquiries, which will, perhaps, lead to
a discovery.”

“Guimard,” continued the King, “will tell you the names of the father and
mother; he will be present at the ceremony, and make the usual presents.
It is but fair that you also should receive yours;” and, as he said this,
he gave me fifty LOUIS, with that gracious air that he could so well
assume upon certain occasions, and which no person in the kingdom had but
himself.  I kissed his hand and wept.  “You will take care of the
accouchee, will you not?  She is a good creature, who has not invented
gunpowder, and I confide her entirely to your direction; my chancellor
will tell you the rest,” he said, turning to Madame, and then quitted the
room.  “Well, what think you of the part I am playing?” asked Madame. “It
is that of a superior woman, and an excellent friend,” I replied. “It is
his heart I wish to secure,” said she; “and all those young girls who
have no education will not run away with it from me.  I should not be
equally confident were I to see some fine woman belonging to the Court,
or the city, attempt his conquest.”

I asked Madame, if the young lady knew that the King was the father of
her child?  “I do not think she does,” replied she; “but, as he appeared
fond of her, there is some reason to fear that those about her might be
too ready to tell her; otherwise,” said she, shrugging her shoulders,
“she, and all the others, are told that he is a Polish nobleman, a
relation of the Queen, who has apartments in the castle.”  This story was
contrived on account of the cordon bleu, which the King has not always
time to lay aside, because, to do that, he must change his coat, and in
order to account for his having a lodging in the castle so near the King.
There were two little rooms by the side of the chapel, whither the King
retired from his apartment, without being seen by anybody but a sentinel,
who had his orders, and who did not know who passed through those rooms.
The King sometimes went to the Parc-aux-cerfs, or received those young
ladies in the apartments I have mentioned.

I must here interrupt my narrative, to relate a singular adventure, which
is only known to six or seven persons, masters or valets.  At the time of
the attempt to assassinate the King, a young girl, whom he had seen
several times, and for whom he had manifested more tenderness than for
most, was distracted at this horrible event.  The Mother-Abbess of the
Parc-aux-cerfs perceived her extraordinary grief, and managed so as to
make her confess that she knew the Polish Count was the King of France.
She confessed that she had taken from his pocket two letters, one of
which was from the King of Spain, the other from the Abbe de Brogue. This
was discovered afterwards, for neither she nor the Mother-Abbess knew the
names of the writers.  The girl was scolded, and M. Lebel, first valet de
chambre, who had the management of all these affairs, was called; he took
the letters, and carried them to the King, who was very much embarrassed
in what manner to meet a person so well informed of his condition.  The
girl in question, having perceived that the King came secretly to see her
companion, while she was neglected, watched his arrival, and, at the
moment he entered with the Abbess, who was about to withdraw, she rushed
distractedly into the room where her rival was. She immediately threw
herself at the King’s feet.  “Yes,” said she, “you are King of all
France; but that would be nothing to me if you were not also monarch of
my heart: do not forsake me, my beloved sovereign; I was nearly mad when
your life was attempted!”  The Mother-Abbess cried out, “You are mad
now.”  The King embraced her, which appeared to restore her to
tranquility.  They succeeded in getting her out of the room, and a few
days afterwards the unhappy girl was taken to a madhouse, where she was
treated as if she had been insane, for some days.  But she knew well
enough that she was not so, and that the King had really been her lover.
This lamentable affair was related to me by the Mother-Abbess, when I had
some acquaintance with her at the time of the accouchement I have spoken
of, which I never had before, nor since.

To return to my history: Madame de Pompadour said to me, “Be constantly
with the ‘accouchee’, to prevent any stranger, or even the people of the
house, from speaking to her.  You will always say that he is a very rich
Polish nobleman, who is obliged to conceal himself on account of his
relationship to the Queen, who is very devout.  You will find a wet-nurse
in the house, to whom you will deliver the child.  Guimard will manage
all the rest.  You will go to church as a witness; everything must be
conducted as if for a substantial citizen.  The young lady expects to lie
in in five or six days; you will dine with her, and will not leave her
till she is in a state of health to return to the Parc-aux-cerfs, which
she may do in a fortnight, as I imagine, without running any risk.”  I
went, that same evening, to the Avenue de Saint Cloud, where I found the
Abbess and Guimard, an attendant belonging to the castle, but without his
blue coat.  There were, besides, a nurse, a wet-nurse, two old
men-servants, and a girl, who was something between a servant and a
waiting-woman.  The young lady was extremely pretty, and dressed very
elegantly, though not too remarkably.  I supped with her and the
Mother-Abbess, who was called Madame Bertrand.  I had presented the
aigrette Madame de Pompadour gave me before supper, which had greatly
delighted the young lady, and she was in high spirits.

Madame Bertrand had been housekeeper to M. Lebel, first valet de chambre
to the King.  He called her Dominique, and she was entirely in his
confidence.  The young lady chatted with us after supper; she appeared to
be very naive.  The next day, I talked to her in private.  She said to
me, “How is the Count?”  (It was the King whom she called by this title.)
“He will be very sorry not to be with me now; but he was obliged to set
off on a long journey.”  I assented to what she said.  “He is very
handsome,” said she, “and loves me with all his heart.  He promised me an
allowance; but I love him disinterestedly; and, if he would let me, I
would follow him to Poland.”  She afterwards talked to me about her
parents, and about M. Lebel, whom she knew by the name of Durand.  “My
mother,” said she, “kept a large grocer’s shop, and my father was a man
of some consequence; he belonged to the Six Corps, and that, as everybody
knows, is an excellent thing.  He was twice very near being
head-bailiff.”  Her mother had become bankrupt at her father’s death, but
the Count had come to her assistance, and settled upon her fifteen
hundred francs a year, besides giving her six thousand francs down.  On
the sixth day, she was brought to bed, and, according to my instructions,
she was told the child was a girl, though in reality it was a boy; she
was soon to be told that it was dead, in order that no trace of its
existence might remain for a certain time.  It was eventually to be
restored to its mother.  The King gave each of his children about ten
thousand francs a year.  They inherited after each other as they died
off, and seven or eight were already dead.  I returned to Madame de
Pompadour, to whom I had written every day by Guimard.  The next day, the
King sent for me into the room; he did not say a word as to the business
I had been employed upon; but he gave me a large gold snuff-box,
containing two rouleaux of twenty-five louis each.  I curtsied to him,
and retired. Madame asked me a great many questions of the young lady,
and laughed heartily at her simplicity, and at all she had said about the
Polish nobleman.  “He is disgusted with the Princess, and, I think, will
return to Poland for ever, in two months.”--“And the young lady?” said I.
“She will be married in the country,” said she, “with a portion of forty
thousand crowns at the most and a few diamonds.”  This little adventure,
which initiated me into the King’s secrets, far from procuring for me
increased marks of kindness from him, seemed to produce a coldness
towards me; probably because he was ashamed of my knowing his obscure
amours.  He was also embarrassed by the services Madame de Pompadour had
rendered him on this occasion.

Besides the little mistresses of the Parc-aux-cerfs, the King had
sometimes intrigues with ladies of the Court, or from Paris, who wrote to
him.  There was a Madame de L-----, who, though married to a young and
amiable man, with two hundred thousand francs a year, wished absolutely
to become his mistress.  She contrived to have a meeting with him: and
the King, who knew who she was, was persuaded that she was really madly
in love with him.  There is no knowing what might have happened, had she
not died.  Madame was very much alarmed, and was only relieved by her
death from inquietude.  A circumstance took place at this time which
doubled Madame’s friendship for me.  A rich man, who had a situation in
the Revenue Department, called on me one day very secretly, and told me
that he had something of importance to communicate to Madame la Marquise,
but that he should find himself very much embarrassed in communicating it
to her personally, and that he should prefer acquainting me with it. He
then told me, what I already knew, that he had a very beautiful wife, of
whom he was passionately fond; that having on one occasion perceived her
kissing a little ‘porte feuille’, he endeavoured to get possession of it,
supposing there was some mystery attached to it.  One day that she
suddenly left the room to go upstairs to see her sister, who had been
brought to bed, he took the opportunity of opening the porte feuille,
and was very much surprised to find in it a portrait of the King, and a
very tender letter written by His Majesty.  Of the latter he took a copy,
as also of an unfinished letter of his wife, in which she vehemently
entreated the King to allow her to have the pleasure of an interview--the
means she pointed out.  She was to go masked to the public ball at
Versailles, where His Majesty could meet her under favour of a mask. I
assured M. de ------ that I should acquaint Madame with the affair, who
would, no doubt, feel very grateful for the communication. He then added,
“Tell Madame la Marquise that my wife is very clever and very intriguing.
I adore her, and should run distracted were she to be taken from me.”  I
lost not a moment in acquainting Madame with the affair, and gave her the
letter.  She became serious and pensive, and I since learned that she
consulted M. Berrier, Lieutenant of Police, who, by a very simple but
ingeniously conceived plan, put an end to the designs of this lady.  He
demanded an audience of the King, and told him that there was a lady in
Paris who was making free with His Majesty’s name; that he had been given
the copy of a letter, supposed to have been written by His Majesty to the
lady in question.  The copy he put into the King’s hands, who read it in
great confusion, and then tore it furiously to pieces. M. Berrier added,
that it was rumoured that this lady was to meet His Majesty at the public
ball, and, at this very moment, it so happened that a letter was put into
the King’s hand, which proved to be from the lady, appointing the
meeting; at least, M. Berrier judged so, as the King appeared very much
surprised on reading it, and said, “It must be allowed, M. le Lieutenant
of Police, that you are well informed.” M. Berrier added, “I think it my
duty to tell Your Majesty that this lady passes for a very intriguing
person.”  “I believe,” replied the King, “that it is not without
deserving it that she has got that character.”

Madame de Pompadour had many vexations in the midst of all her grandeur.
She often received anonymous letters, threatening her with poison or
assassination: her greatest fear, however, was that of being supplanted
by a rival.  I never saw her in a greater agitation than, one evening, on
her return from the drawing-room at Marly.  She threw down her cloak and
muff, the instant she came in, with an air of ill-humour, and undressed
herself in a hurried manner.  Having dismissed her other women, she said
to me, “I think I never saw anybody so insolent as Madame de Coaslin. I
was seated at the same table with her this evening, at a game of
‘brelan’, and you cannot imagine what I suffered.  The men and women
seemed to come in relays to watch us.  Madame de Coaslin said two or
three times, looking at me, ‘Va tout’, in the most insulting manner.  I
thought I should have fainted, when she said, in a triumphant tone, I
have the ‘brelan’ of kings.  I wish you had seen her courtesy to me on
parting.”--“Did the King,” said I, “show her particular attention?” “You
don’t know him,” said she; “if he were going to lodge her this very night
in my apartment, he would behave coldly to her before people, and would
treat me with the utmost kindness.  This is the effect of his education,
for he is, by nature, kind-hearted and frank.”  Madame de Pompadour’s
alarms lasted for some months, when she, one day, said to me, “That
haughty Marquise has missed her aim; she frightened the King by her grand
airs, and was incessantly teasing him for money.  Now you, perhaps, may
not know that the King would sign an order for forty thousand LOUIS
without a thought, and would give a hundred out of his little private
treasury with the greatest reluctance.  Lebel, who likes me better than
he would a new mistress in my place, either by chance or design had
brought a charming little sultana to the Parc-aux-cerfs, who has cooled
the King a little towards the haughty Vashti, by giving him occupation,
has received a hundred thousand francs, some jewels, and an estate.
Jannette--[The Intendant of Police.]--has rendered me great service, by
showing the King extracts from the letters broken open at the
post-office, concerning the report that Madame de Coaslin was coming into
favour: The King was much impressed by a letter from an old counsellor of
the Parliament, who wrote to one of his friends as follows: ‘It is quite
as reasonable that the King should have a female friend and
confidante--as that we, in our several degrees, should so indulge
ourselves; but it is desirable that  he should keep the one he has; she
is gentle, injures nobody, and her fortune is made.  The one who is now
talked of will be as haughty as high birth can make her.  She must have
an allowance of a million francs a year, since she is said to be
excessively extravagant; her relations must be made Dukes, Governors of
provinces, and Marshals, and, in the end, will surround the King, and
overawe the Ministers.’”

Madame de Pompadour had this passage, which had been sent to her by M.
Jannette, the Intendant of the Police, who enjoyed the King’s entire
confidence.  He had carefully watched the King’s look, while he read the
letter, and he saw that the arguments of this counsellor, who was not a
disaffected person, made a great impression upon him.  Some time
afterwards, Madame de Pompadour said to me, “The haughty Marquise behaved
like Mademoiselle Deschamps, and she is turned off.”

[A courtesan, distinguished for her charms, and still more so for an
extraordinary proof of patriotism.  At a time when the public Treasury
was exhausted, Mademoiselle Deschamps sent all her plate to the Mint.
Louis XIV.  boasted of this act of generous devotion to her country.  The
Duc d’Ayen made it the subject of a pleasantry, which detracted nothing
from the merit of the sacrifice--but which is rather too gay for us to
venture upon.]

This was not Madame’s only subject of alarm.  A relation of Madame
d’Estrades, wife to the Marquis de C----, had made the most pointed
advances to the King, much more than were necessary for a man who justly
thought himself the handsomest man in France, and who was, moreover, a

[The Comtesse d’Estrades, a relative of M. Normand, and a flatterer of
Madame de Pompadour, who brought her to Court, was secretly in the pay of
the Comte d’Argenson.  That Minister, who did not disdain la Fillon, from
whom he extracted useful information, knew all that passed at the Court
of the favourite, by means of Madame d’Estrades, whose ingratitude and
perfidiousness he liberally paid.]

He was perfectly persuaded that every woman would yield to the slightest
desire he might deign to manifest.  He, therefore, thought it a mere
matter of course that women fell in love with him.  M. de Stainville had
a hand in marring the success of that intrigue; and, soon afterwards,
the Marquise de C-----, who was confined to her apartments at Marly, by
her relations, escaped through a closet to a rendezvous, and was caught
with a young man in a corridor.  The Spanish Ambassador, coming out of
his apartments with flambeaux, was the person who witnessed this scene.
Madame d’Estrades affected to know nothing of her cousin’s intrigues,
and kept up an appearance of the tenderest attachment to Madame de
Pompadour, whom she was habitually betraying.  She acted as spy for M.
d’Argenson, in the cabinets, and in Madame de Pompadour’s apartments;
and, when she could discover nothing, she had recourse to her invention,
in order that she might not lose her importance with her lover.  This
Madame d’Estrades owed her whole existence to the bounties of Madame,
and yet, ugly as she was, she had tried to get the King away from her.
One day, when he, had got rather drunk at Choisy (I think, the only time
that, ever happened to him), he went on board a beautiful barge, whither
Madame, being ill of an indigestion, could not accompany him.  Madame
d’Estrades seized this opportunity.  She got into the barge, and, on
their return, as it was dark, she followed the King into a private
closet, where he was believed to be sleeping on a couch, and there went
somewhat beyond any ordinary advances to him.  Her account of the matter
to Madame was, that she had gone into the closet upon her own affairs,
and that the King, had followed her, and had tried to ravish her.  She
was at full liberty to make what story she pleased, for the King knew
neither what he had said, nor what he had done.  I shall finish this
subject by a short history concerning a young lady.  I had been, one
day, to the theatre at Compiegne.  When I returned, Madame asked me
several questions about the play; whether there was much company, and
whether I did not see a very beautiful girl.  I replied, “That there
was, indeed, a girl in a box near mine, who was surrounded by all the
young men about the Court.”  She smiled, and said, “That is Mademoiselle
Dorothee; she went, this evening, to see the King sup in public, and
to-morrow she is to be taken to the hunt.  You are surprised to find me
so well informed, but I know a great deal more about her.  She was
brought here by a Gascon, named Dubarre or Dubarri, who is the greatest
scoundrel in France.  He founds all his hopes of advancement on
Mademoiselle Dorothee’s charms, which he thinks the King cannot resist.
She is, really, very beautiful..  She was pointed out to me in my little
garden, whither she was taken to walk on purpose.  She is the daughter
of a water-carrier, at Strasbourg, and her charming lover demands to be
sent Minister to Cologne, as a beginning.”--“Is it possible, Madame,
that you can have been rendered uneasy by such a creature as
that?”--“Nothing is impossible,” replied she; “though I think the King
would scarcely dare to give such a scandal. Besides, happily, Lebel, to
quiet his conscience, told the King that the beautiful Dorothee’s lover
is infected with a horrid disease;” and, added he, “Your Majesty would
not get rid of that as you have done of the scrofula.” This was quite
enough to keep the young lady at a distance.

“I pity you sincerely, Madame,” said I, “while everybody else envies
you.”  “Ah!” replied she, “my life is that of the Christian, a perpetual
warfare.  This was not the case with the woman who enjoyed the favour of
Louis XIV.  Madame de La Valliere suffered herself to be deceived by
Madame de Montespan, but it was her own fault, or, rather, the effect of
her extreme good nature.  She was entirely devoid of suspicion at first,
because she could not believe her friend perfidious.  Madame de
Montespan’s empire was shaken by Madame de Fontanges, and overthrown by
Madame de Maintenon; but her haughtiness, her caprices, had already
alienated the King.  He had not, however, such rivals as mine; it is
true, their baseness is my security.  I have, in general, little to fear
but casual infidelities, and the chance that they may not all be
sufficiently transitory for my safety.  The King likes variety, but he is
also bound by habit; he fears eclats, and detests manoeuvring women.  The
little Marechale (de Mirepoig) one day said to me, ‘It is your staircase
that the King loves; he is accustomed to go up and down it.  But, if he
found another woman to whom he could talk of hunting and business as he
does to you, it would be just the same to him in three days.’”

I write without plan, order, or date, just as things come into my mind;
and I shall now go to the Abbe de Bernis, whom I liked very much, because
he was good-natured, and treated me kindly.  One day, just as Madame de
Pompadour had finished dressing, M. de Noailles asked to speak to her in
private.  I, accordingly, retired.  The Count looked full of important
business.  I heard their conversation, as there was only the door between

“A circumstance has taken place,” said he, “which I think it my duty to
communicate to the King; but I would not do so without first informing
you of it, since it concerns one of your friends for whom I have the
utmost regard and respect.  The Abbe de Bernis had a mind to shoot, this
morning, and went, with two or three of his people, armed with guns, into
the little park, where the Dauphin would not venture to shoot without
asking the King’s permission.  The guards, surprised at hearing the
report of guns, ran to the spot, and were greatly astonished at the sight
of M. de Bernis.  They very respectfully asked to see his permission,
when they found, to their astonishment, that he had none.  They begged of
him to desist, telling him that, if they did their duty, they should
arrest him; but they must, at all events, instantly acquaint me with the
circumstance, as Ranger of the Park of Versailles.  They added, that the
King must have heard the firing, and that they begged of him to retire.
The Abbe apologized, on the score of ignorance, and assured them that he
had my permission.  ‘The Comte de Noailles,’ said they, ‘could only grant
permission to shoot in the more remote parts, and in the great park.’”
 The Count made a great merit of his eagerness to give the earliest
information to Madame.  She told him to leave the task of communicating
it to the King to her, and begged of him to say nothing about the matter.
M. de Marigny, who did not like the Abbe, came to see me in the evening;
and I affected to know nothing of the story, and to hear it for the first
time from him.  “He must have been out of his senses,” said he, “to shoot
under the King’s windows,”--and enlarged much on the airs he gave
himself.  Madame de Pompadour gave this affair the best colouring she
could the King was, nevertheless, greatly disgusted at it, and twenty
times, since the Abbe’s disgrace, when he passed over that part of the
park, he said, “This is where the Abbe took his pleasure.”  The King
never liked him; and Madame de Pompadour told me one night, after his
disgrace, when I was sitting up with her in her illness, that she saw,
before he had been Minister a week, that he was not fit for his office.
“If that hypocritical Bishop,” said she, speaking of the Bishop of
Mirepoix, “had not prevented the King from granting him a pension of four
hundred louis a year, which he had promised me, he would never have been
appointed Ambassador.  I should, afterwards, have been able to give him
an income of eight hundred louis a year, perhaps the place of master of
the chapel.  Thus he would have been happier, and I should have had
nothing to regret.”  I took the liberty of saying that I did not agree
with her.  That he had yet remaining advantages, of which he could not be
deprived; that his exile would terminate; and that he would then be a
Cardinal, with an income of eight thousand louis a year.  “That is true,”
 she replied; “but I think of the mortifications he has undergone, and of
the ambition which devours him; and, lastly, I think of myself.  I should
have still enjoyed his society, and should have had, in my declining
years, an old and amiable friend, if he had not been Minister.”  The King
sent him away in anger, and was strongly inclined to refuse him the hat.
M. Quesnay told me, some months afterwards, that the Abbe wanted to be
Prime Minister; that he had drawn up a memorial, setting forth that in
difficult crises the public good required that there should be a central
point (that was his expression), towards which everything should be
directed.  Madame de Pompadour would not present the memorial; he
insisted, though she said to him, “You will rain yourself.”  The King
cast his eyes over it, and said “‘central point,’--that is to say
himself, he wants to be Prime Minister.”  Madame tried to apologize for
him, and said, “That expression might refer to the Marechal de
Belle-Isle.”--“Is he not just about to be made Cardinal?” said the King.
“This is a fine manoeuvre; he knows well enough that, by means of that
dignity, he would compel the Ministers to assemble at his house, and then
M. l’Abbe would be the central point.  Wherever there is a Cardinal in
the council, he is sure, in the end, to take the lead.  Louis XIV., for
this reason, did not choose to admit the Cardinal de Janson into the
council, in spite of his great esteem for him.  The Cardinal de Fleury
told me the same thing.  He had some desire that the Cardinal de Tencin
should succeed him; but his sister was such an intrigante that Cardinal
de Fleury advised me to have nothing to do with the matter, and I behaved
so as to destroy all his hopes, and to undeceive others.  M. d’Argenson
has strongly impressed me with the same opinion, and has succeeded in
destroying all my respect for him.”  This is what the King said,
according to my friend Quesnay, who, by the bye, was a great genius, as
everybody said, and a very lively, agreeable man.  He liked to chat with
me about the country.  I had been bred up there, and he used to set me a
talking about the meadows of Normandy and Poitou, the wealth of the
farmers, and the modes of culture.  He was the best-natured man in the
world, and the farthest removed from petty intrigue.  While he lived at
Court, he was much more occupied with the best manner of cultivating land
than with anything that passed around him.  The man whom he esteemed the
most was M. de la Riviere, a Counsellor of Parliament, who was also
Intendant of Martinique; he looked upon him as a man of the greatest
genius, and thought him the only person fit for the financial department
of administration.

The Comtesse d’Estrades, who owed everything to Madame de Pompadour, was
incessantly intriguing against her.  She was clever enough to destroy all
proofs of her manoeuvres, but she could not so easily prevent suspicion.
Her intimate connection with M. d’Argenson gave offence to Madame, and,
for some time, she was more reserved with her.  She, afterwards, did a
thing which justly irritated the King and Madame.  The King, who wrote a
great deal, had written to Madame de Pompadour a long letter concerning
an assembly of the Chambers of Parliament, and had enclosed a letter of
M. Berrien.  Madame was ill, and laid those letters on a little table by
her bedside.  M. de Gontaut came in, and gossipped about trifles, as
usual.  Madame d’Amblimont also came, and stayed but very little time.
Just as I was going to resume a book which I had been reading to Madame,
the Comtesse d’Estrades entered, placed herself near Madame’s bed, and
talked to her for some time.  As soon as she was gone, Madame called me,
asked what was o’clock, and said, “Order my door to be shut, the King
will soon be here.”  I gave the order, and returned; and Madame told me
to give her the King’s letter, which was on the table with some other
papers.  I gave her the papers, and told her there was nothing else.  She
was very uneasy at not finding the letter, and, after enumerating the
persons who had been in the room, she said, “It cannot be the little
Countess, nor Gontaut, who has taken this letter.  It can only be the
Comtesse d’Estrades;--and that is too bad.”  The King came, and was
extremely angry, as Madame told me.  Two days afterwards, he sent Madame
d’Estrades into exile.  There was no doubt that she took the letter; the
King’s handwriting had probably awakened her curiosity.  This occurrence
gave great pain to M. d’Argenson, who was bound to her, as Madame de
Pompadour said, by his love of intrigue.  This redoubled his hatred of
Madame, and she accused him of favouring the publication of a libel, in
which she was represented as a worn-out mistress, reduced to the vile
occupation of providing new objects to please her lover’s appetite.  She
was characterised as superintendent of the Parc-aux-cerfs, which was said
to cost hundreds of thousands of louis a year.  Madame de Pompadour did,
indeed, try to conceal some of the King’s weaknesses, but she never knew
one of the sultanas of that seraglio.  There were, however, scarcely ever
more than two at once, and often only one.  When they married, they
received some jewels, and four thousand louis.  The Parc-aux-cerfs was
sometimes vacant for five or six months.  I was surprised, some time
after, at seeing the Duchesse de Luynes, Lady of Honour to the Queen,
come privately to see Madame de Pompadour.  She afterwards came openly.
One evening, after Madame was in bed, she called me, and said, “My dear,
you will be delighted; the Queen has given me the place of Lady of the
Palace; tomorrow I am to be presented to her: you must make me look
well.”  I knew that the King was not so well pleased at this as she was;
he was afraid that it would give rise to scandal, and that it might be
thought he had forced this nomination upon the Queen.  He had, however,
done no such thing.  It had been represented to the Queen that it was an
act of heroism on her part to forget the past; that all scandal would be
obliterated when Madame de Pompadour was seen to belong to the Court in
an honourable manner; and that it would be the best proof that nothing
more than friendship now subsisted between the King and the favourite.
The Queen received her very graciously.  The devotees flattered
themselves they should be protected by Madame, and, for some time, were
full of her praises.  Several of the Dauphin’s friends came in private to
see her, and some obtained promotion.  The Chevalier du Muy, however,
refused to come.  The King had the greatest possible contempt for them,
and granted them nothing with a good grace.  He, one day, said of a man
of great family, who wished to be made Captain of the Guards, “He is a
double spy, who wants to be paid on both sides.”  This was the moment at
which Madame de Pompadour seemed to me to enjoy the most complete
satisfaction.  The devotees came to visit her without scruple, and did
not forget to make use of every opportunity of serving themselves. Madame
de Lu----- had set them the example.  The Doctor laughed at this change
in affairs, and was very merry at the expense of the saints. “You must
allow, however, that they are consistent,” said I, “and may be sincere.”
 “Yes,” said he; “but then they should not ask for anything.”

One day, I was at Doctor Quesnay’s, whilst Madame de Pompadour was at
the theatre.  The Marquis de Mirabeau came in, and the conversation was,
for some time, extremely tedious to me, running entirely on ‘net
produce’; at length, they talked of other things.

[The author of “L’Ami des Hommes,” one of the leaders of the sect of
Economistes, and father of the celebrated Mirabeau.  After the death of
Quesnay, the Grand Master of the Order, the Marquis de Mirabeau was
unanimously elected his successor.  Mirabeau was not deficient in a
certain enlargement of mind, nor in acquirements, nor even in patriotism;
but his writings are enthusiastical, and show that he had little more
than glimpses of the truth.  The Friend of Man was the enemy of all his
family.  He beat his servants, and did not pay them.  The reports of the
lawsuit with his wife, in 1775, prove that this philosopher possessed, in
the highest possible degree, all the anti-conjugal qualities.  It is said
that his eldest son wrote two contradictory depositions, and was paid by
both sides.]

Mirabeau said, “I think the King looks ill, he grows old.”--“So much the
worse, a thousand times so much the worse,” said Quesnay; “it would be
the greatest possible loss to France if he died;” and he raised his
hands, and sighed deeply.  “I do not doubt that you are attached to the
King, and with reason,” said Mirabeau: “I am attached to him too; but I
never saw you so much moved.”--“Ah!” said Quesnay, “I think of what would
follow.”--“Well, the Dauphin is virtuous.”--“Yes; and full of good
intentions; nor is he deficient in understanding; but canting hypocrites
would possess an absolute empire over a Prince who regards them as
oracles.  The Jesuits would govern the kingdom, as they did at the end of
Louis XIV.’s reign: and you would see the fanatical Bishop of Verdun
Prime Minister, and La Vauguyon all-powerful under some other title. The
Parliaments must then mind how they behave; they will not be better
treated than my friends the philosophers.”--“But they go too far,” said
Mirabeau; “why openly attack religion?”--“I allow that,” replied the
Doctor; “but how is it possible not to be rendered indignant by the
fanaticism of others, and by recollecting all the blood that has flowed
during the last two hundred years?  You must not then again irritate
them, and revive in France the time of Mary in England.  But what is done
is done, and I often exhort them to be moderate; I wish they would follow
the example of our friend Duclos.”--“You are right,” replied Mirabeau;
“he said to me a few days ago, ‘These philosophers are going on at such a
rate that they will force me to go to vespers and high mass;’ but, in
fine, the Dauphin is virtuous, well-informed, and intellectual.”--“It is
the commencement of his reign, I fear,” said Quesnay, “when the imprudent
proceedings of our friends will be represented to him in the most
unfavourable point of view; when the Jansenists and Molinists will make
common cause, and be strongly supported by the Dauphine.  I thought that
M. de Muy was moderate, and that he would temper the headlong fury of the
others; but I heard him say that Voltaire merited condign punishment. Be
assured, sir, that the times of John Huss and Jerome of Prague will
return; but I hope not to live to see it.  I approve of Voltaire having
hunted down the Pompignans: were it not for the ridicule with which he
covered them, that bourgeois Marquis would have been preceptor to the
young Princes, and, aided by his brother, would have succeeded in again
lighting the faggots of persecution.”--“What ought to give you confidence
in the Dauphin,” said Mirabeau, “is, that, notwithstanding the devotion
of Pompignan, he turns him into ridicule.  A short time back, seeing him
strutting about with an air of inflated pride, he said to a person, who
told it to me, ‘Our friend Pompignan thinks that he is something.’” On
returning home, I wrote down this conversation.

I, one day, found Quesnay in great distress.  “Mirabeau,” said he, “is
sent to Vincennes, for his work on taxation.  The Farmers General have
denounced  him, and procured his arrest; his wife is going to throw
herself at the feet of Madame de Pompadour to-day.”  A few minutes
afterwards, I went into Madame’s apartment, to assist at her toilet, and
the Doctor came in.  Madame said to him, “You must be much concerned at
the disgrace of your friend Mirabeau.  I am sorry for it too, for I like
his brother.”  Quesnay replied, “I am very far from believing him to be
actuated by bad intentions, Madame; he loves the King and the people.”
 “Yes,” said she; “his ‘Ami des Hommes’ did him great honour.”  At this
moment the Lieutenant of Police entered, and Madame said to him, “Have
you seen M. de Mirabeau’s book?”--“Yes, Madame; but it was not I who
denounced it?”--“What do you think of it?”--“I think he might have said
almost all it contains with impunity, if he had been more circumspect as
to the manner; there is, among other objectionable passages, this, which
occurs at the beginning: Your Majesty has about twenty millions of
subjects; it is only by means of money that you can obtain their
services, and there is no money.”--“What, is there really that, Doctor?”
 said Madame.  “It is true, they are the first lines in the book, and I
confess that they are imprudent; but, in reading the work, it is clear
that he laments that patriotism is extinct in the hearts of his
fellow-citizens, and that he desires to rekindle it.”  The King entered:
we went out, and I wrote down on Quesnay’s table what I had just heard.
I them returned to finish dressing Madame de Pompadour: she said to me,
“The King is extremely angry with Mirabeau; but I tried to soften him,
and so did the Lieutenant of Police.  This will increase Quesnay’s fears.
Do you know what he said to me to-day?  The King had been talking to him
in my room, and the Doctor appeared timid and agitated.  After the King
was gone, I said to him, ‘You always seem so embarrassed in the King’s
presence, and yet he is so good-natured.’--‘I Madame,’ said he, ‘I left
my native village at the age of forty, and I have very little experience
of the world, nor can I accustom myself to its usages without great
difficulty.  When I am in a room with the King, I say to myself, This is
a man who can order my head to be cut off; and that idea embarrasses
me.’--‘But do not the King’s justice and kindness set you at
ease?’--‘That is very true in reasoning,’ said he; ‘but the sentiment is
more prompt, and inspires me with fear before I have time to say to
myself all that is calculated to allay it.’”

I got her to repeat this conversation, and wrote it down immediately,
that I might not forget it.

An anonymous letter was addressed to the King and Madame de Pompadour;
and, as the author was very anxious that it should not miscarry, he sent
copies to the Lieutenant of Police, sealed and directed to the King, to
Madame de Pompadour, and to M. de Marigny.  This letter produced a strong
impression on Madame, and on the King, and still more, I believe, on the
Duc de Choiseul, who had received a similar one.  I went on my knees to
M. de Marigny, to prevail on him to allow me to copy it, that I might
show it to the Doctor.  It is as follows:

“Sire--It is a zealous servant who writes to Your Majesty.  Truth is
always better, particularly to Kings; habituated to flattery, they see
objects only under those colours most likely to please them.  I have
reflected, and read much; and here is what my meditations have suggested
to me to lay before Your Majesty.  They have accustomed you to be
invisible, and inspired you with a timidity which prevents you from
speaking; thus all direct communication is cut off between the master and
his subjects.  Shut up in the interior of your palace, you are becoming
every day like the Emperors of the East; but see, Sire, their fate!  ‘I
have troops,’ Your Majesty will say; such, also, is their support: but,
when the only security of a King rests upon his troops; when he is only,
as one may say, a King of the soldiers, these latter feel their own
strength, and abuse it. Your finances are in the greatest disorder, and
the great majority of states have perished through this cause.  A
patriotic spirit sustained the ancient states, and united all classes for
the safety of their country.  In the present times, money has taken the
place of this spirit; it has become the universal lever, and you are in
want of it.  A spirit of finance affects every department of the state;
it reigns triumphant at Court; all have become venal; and all distinction
of rank is broken up.  Your Ministers are without genius and capacity
since the dismissal of MM. d’Argenson and de Machault. You alone cannot
judge of their incapacity, because they lay before you what has been
prepared by skilful clerks, but which they pass as their own.  They
provide only for the necessity of the day, but there is no spirit of
government in their acts.  The military changes that have taken place
disgust the troops, and cause the most deserving officers to resign; a
seditious flame has sprung up in the very bosom of the Parliaments; you
seek to corrupt them, and the remedy is worse than the disease.  It is
introducing vice into the sanctuary of justice, and gangrene into the
vital parts of the commonwealth.  Would a corrupted Parliament have
braved the fury of the League, in order to preserve the crown for the
legitimate sovereign?  Forgetting the maxims of Louis XIV., who well
understood the danger of confiding the administration to noblemen, you
have chosen M. de Choiseul, and even given him three departments; which
is a much heavier burden than that which he would have to support as
Prime Minister, because the latter has only to oversee the details
executed by the Secretaries of State.  The public fully appreciate this
dazzling Minister.  He is nothing more than a ‘petit-maitre’, without
talents or information, who has a little phosphorus in his mind.  There
is a thing well worthy of remark, Sire; that is, the open war carried on
against religion.  Henceforward there can spring up no new sects, because
the general belief has been shaken, that no one feels inclined to occupy
himself with difference of sentiment upon some of the articles.  The
Encyclopedists, under pretence of enlightening mankind, are sapping the
foundations of religion. All the different kinds of liberty are
connected; the Philosophers and the Protestants tend towards
republicanism, as well as the Jansenists.  The Philosophers strike at the
root, the others lop the branches; and their efforts, without being
concerted, will one day lay the tree low.  Add to these the Economists;
whose object is political liberty, as that of the others is liberty of
worship, and the Government may find itself, in twenty or thirty years,
undermined in every direction, and will then fall with a crash. If Your
Majesty, struck by this picture, but too true, should ask me for a
remedy, I should say, that it is necessary to bring back the Government
to its principles, and, above all, to lose no time in restoring order to
the state of the finances, because the embarrassments incident to a
country in a state of debt necessitate fresh taxes, which, after grinding
the people, induce them towards revolt.  It is my opinion that Your
Majesty would do well to appear more among your people; to shew your
approbation of useful services, and your displeasure of errors and
prevarications, and neglect of duty: in a word, to let it be seen that
rewards and punishments, appointments and dismissals, proceed from
yourself.  You will then inspire gratitude by your favours, and fear by
your reproaches; you will then be the object of immediate and personal
attachment, instead of which, everything is now referred to your
Ministers. The confidence in the King, which is habitual to your people,
is shewn by the exclamation, so common among them, ‘Ah! if the King knew
it’  They love to believe that the King would remedy all their evils, if
he knew of them.  But, on the other hand, what sort of ideas must they
form of kings, whose duty it is to be informed of everything, and to
superintend everything, that concerns the public, but who are,
nevertheless, ignorant of everything which the discharge of their
functions requires them to know?  ‘Rex, roi, regere, regar, conduire’--to
rule, to conduct--these words sufficiently denote their duties.  What
would be said of a father who got rid of the charge of his children as of
a burthen?

“A time will come, Sire, when the people shall be enlightened--and that
time is probably approaching.  Resume the reins of government, hold them
with a firm hand, and act, so that it cannot be said of you, ‘Faeminas et
scorta volvit ammo et haec principatus praemia putat’:--Sire, if I see
that my sincere advice should have produced any change, I shall continue
it, and enter into more details; if not, I shall remain silent.”

Now that I am upon the subject of anonymous letters to the King, I must
just mention that it is impossible to conceive how frequent they were.
People were extremely assiduous in telling either unpleasant truths, or
alarming lies, with a view to injure others.  As an instance, I shall
transcribe one concerning Voltaire, who paid great court to Madame de
Pompadour when he was in France.  This letter was written long after the

“Madame--M. de Voltaire has just dedicated his tragedy of Tancred to you;
this ought to be an offering of respect and gratitude; but it is, in
fact, an insult, and you will form the same opinion of it as the public
has done if you read it with attention.  You will see that this
distinguished writer appears to betray a consciousness that the subject
of his encomiums is not worthy of them, and to endeavour to excuse
himself for them to the public.  These are his words: ‘I have seen your
graces and talents unfold themselves from your infancy.  At all periods
of your life I have received proofs of your uniform and unchanging
kindness.  If any critic be found to censure the homage I pay you, he
must have a heart formed for ingratitude.  I am under great obligations
to you, Madame, and these obligations it is my duty to proclaim.’

“What do these words really signify, unless that Voltaire feels it may be
thought extraordinary that he should dedicate his work to a woman who
possesses but a small share of the public esteem, and that the sentiment
of gratitude must plead his excuse?  Why should he suppose that the
homage he pays you will be censured, whilst we daily see dedications
addressed to silly gossips who have neither rank nor celebrity, or to
women of exceptional conduct, without any censure being attracted by it?”

M. de Marigny, and Colin, Madame de Pompadour’s steward, were of the same
opinion as Quesnay, that the author of this letter was extremely
malicious; that he insulted Madame, and tried to injure Voltaire; but
that he was, in fact, right.  Voltaire, from that moment, was entirely
out of favour with Madame, and with the King, and he certainly never
discovered the cause.

The King, who admired everything of the age of Louis XIV., and
recollected that the Boileaus and Racines had been protected by that
monarch, who was indebted to them, in part, for the lustre of his reign,
was flattered at having such a man as Voltaire among his subjects. But
still he feared him, and had but little esteem for him.  He could not
help saying, “Moreover, I have treated him as well as Louis XIV. treated
Racine and Boileau.  I have given him, as Louis XIV. gave to Racine, some
pensions, and a place of gentleman in ordinary.  It is not my fault if he
has committed absurdities, and has had the pretension to become a
chamberlain, to wear an order, and sup with a King.  It is not the
fashion in France; and, as there are here a few more men of wit and
noblemen than in Prussia, it would require that I should have a very
large table to assemble them all at it.”  And then he reckoned upon his
fingers, Maupertuis, Fontenelle, La Mothe, Voltaire, Piron, Destouches,
Montesquieu, the Cardinal Polignac.  “Your Majesty forgets,” said some
one, “D’Alembert and Clairaut.”--“And Crebillon,” said he.  “And la
Chaussee, and the younger Crebillon,” said some one.  “He ought to be
more agreeable than his father.”--“And there are also the Abbes Prevot
and d’Olivet.”--“Pretty well,” said the King; “and for the last twenty
years all that (tout cela) would have dined and supped at my table.”

Madame de Pompadour repeated to me this conversation, which I wrote down
the same evening.  M. de Marigny, also, talked to me about it.
“Voltaire,” said he, “has always had a fancy for being Ambassador, and he
did all he could to make the people believe that he was charged with some
political mission, the first time he visited Prussia.”

The people heard of the attempt on the King’s life with transports of
fury, and with the greatest distress.  Their cries were heard under the
windows of Madame de Pompadour’s apartment.  Mobs were collected, and
Madame feared the fate of Madame de Chateauroux.  Her friends came in,
every minute, to give her intelligence.  Her room was, at all times, like
a church; everybody seemed to claim a right to go in and out when he
chose.  Some came, under pretence of sympathising, to observe her
countenance and manner.  She did nothing but weep and faint away.  Doctor
Quesnay never left her, nor did I.  M. de St. Florentin came to see her
several times, so did the Comptroller-General, and M. Rouilld; but M. de
Machault did not come.  The Duchesse de Brancas came very frequently. The
Abbe de Bernis never left us, except to go to enquire for the King. The
tears came in his eyes whenever he looked at Madame.  Doctor Quesnay saw
the King five or six times a day.  “There is nothing to fear,” said he to
Madame.  “If it were anybody else, he might go to a ball.”  My son went
the next day, as he had done the day the event occurred, to see what was
going on at the Castle.  He told us, on his return, that the Keeper of
the Seals was with the King.  I sent him back, to see what course he took
on leaving the King.  He came running back in half an hour, to tell me
that the Keeper of the Seals had gone to his own house, followed by a
crowd of people.  When I told this to Madame, she burst into tears, and
said, “Is that a friend?”  The Abbe de Bernis said, “You must not judge
him hastily, in such a moment as this.”  I returned into the drawing-room
about an hour after, when the Keeper of the Seals entered.  He passed me,
with his usual cold and severe look.  “How is Madame de Pompadour?”  said
he.  “Alas!” replied I, “as you may imagine!”  He passed on to her
closet.  Everybody retired, and he remained for half an hour.  The Abbe
returned and Madame rang.  I went into her room, the Abbe following me.
She was in tears.  “I must go, my dear Abbe,” said she.  I made her take
some orange-flower water, in a silver goblet, for her teeth chattered.
She then told me to call her equerry.  He came in, and she calmly gave
him her orders, to have everything prepared at her hotel, in Paris; to
tell all her people to get ready to go; and to desire her coachman not to
be out of the way.  She then shut herself up, to confer with the Abbe de
Bernis, who left her, to go to the Council.  Her door was then shut,
except to the ladies with whom she was particularly intimate, M. de
Soubise, M. de Gontaut, the Ministers, and some others.  Several ladies,
in the greatest distress, came to talk to me in my room: they compared
the conduct of M. de Machault with that of M. de Richelieu, at Metz.
Madame had related to them the circumstances extremely to the honour of
the Duke, and, by contrast, the severest satire on the Keeper of the
Seals.  “He thinks, or pretends to think,” said she, “that the priests
will be clamorous for my dismissal; but Quesnay and all the physicians
declare that there is not the slightest danger.”  Madame having sent for
me, I saw the Marechale de Mirepoix coming in.  While she was at the
door, she cried out, “What are all those trunks, Madame?  Your people
tell me you are going.”--“Alas!  my dear friend, such is our Master’s
desire, as M. de Machault tells me.”--“And what does he advise?”  said
the Marechale.  “That I should go without delay.”  During this
conversation, I was undressing Madame, who wished to be at her ease on
her chaise-longue.  “Your Beeper of the Seals wants to get the power into
his own hands, and betrays you; he who quits the field loses it.”  I went
out.  M. de Soubise entered, then the Abbe and M. de Marigny.  The
latter, who was very kind to me, came into my room an hour afterwards. I
was alone.  “She will remain,” said he; “but, hush!--she will make an
appearance of going, in order not to set her enemies at work.  It is the
little Marechale who prevailed upon her to stay: her keeper (so she
called M. de Machault) will pay for it.”  Quesnay came in, and, having
heard what was said, with his monkey airs, began to relate a fable of a
fox, who, being at dinner with other beasts, persuaded one of them that
his enemies were seeking him, in order that he might get possession of
his share in his absence.  I did not see Madame again till very late, at
her going to bed.  She was more calm.  Things improved, from day to day,
and de Machault, the faithless friend, was dismissed.  The King returned
to Madame de Pompadour, as usual.  I learnt, by M. de Marigny, that the
Abbe had been, one day, with M. d’Argenson, to endeavour to persuade him
to live on friendly terms with Madame, and that he had been very coldly
received.  “He is the more arrogant,” said he, “on account of Machault’s
dismissal, which leaves the field clear for him, who has more experience,
and more talent; and I fear that he will, therefore, be disposed to
declare war till death.”  The next day, Madame having ordered her chaise,
I was curious to know where she was going, for she went out but little,
except to church, and to the houses of the Ministers.  I was told that
she was gone to visit M. d’Argenson.  She returned in an hour, at
farthest, and seemed very much out of spirits.  She leaned on the
chimneypiece, with her eyes fixed on the border of it.  M. de Bernis
entered.  I waited for her to take off her cloak and gloves.  She had her
hands in her muff.  The Abbe stood looking at her for some minutes; at
last he said, “You look like a sheep in a reflecting mood.”  She awoke
from her reverie, and, throwing her muff on the easy-chair, replied, “It
is a wolf who makes the sheep reflect.”  I went out: the King entered
shortly after, and I heard Madame de Pompadour sobbing.  The Abbe came
into my room, and told me to bring some Hoffman’s drops: the King himself
mixed the draught with sugar, and presented it to her in the kindest
manner possible.  She smiled, and kissed the King’s hands.  I left the
room.  Two days after, very early in the morning, I heard of M.
d’Argenson’s exile.  It was her doing, and was, indeed, the strongest
proof of her influence that could be given.  The King was much attached
to M. d’Argenson, and the war, then carrying on, both by sea and land,
rendered the dismissal of two such Ministers extremely imprudent.  This
was the universal opinion at the time.

Many people talk of the letter of the Comte d’Argenson to Madame
d’Esparbes.  I give it, according to the most correct version:

“The doubtful is, at length, decided.  The Keeper of the Seals is
dismissed.  You will be recalled, my dear Countess, and we shall be
masters of the field.”

It is much less generally known that Arboulin, whom Madame calls Bou-bou,
was supposed to be the person who, on the very day of the dismissal of
the Keeper of the Seals, bribed the Count’s confidential courier, who
gave him this letter.  Is this report founded on truth?  I cannot swear
that it is; but it is asserted that the letter is written in the Count’s
style.  Besides, who could so immediately have invented it?  It, however,
appeared certain, from the extreme displeasure of the King, that he had
some other subject of complaint against M. d’Argenson, besides his
refusing to be reconciled with Madame.  Nobody dares to show the
slightest attachment to the disgraced Minister.  I asked the ladies who
were most intimate with Madame de Pompadour, as well as my own friends,
what they knew of the matter; but they knew nothing.  I can understand
why Madame did not let them into her confidence at that moment.  She will
be less reserved in time.  I care very little about it, since I see that
she is well, and appears happy.

The King said a thing, which did him honour, to a person whose name
Madame withheld from me.  A nobleman, who had been a most assiduous
courtier of the Count, said, rubbing his hands with an air of great joy,
“I have just seen the Comte d’Argenson’s baggage set out.”  When the King
heard him, he went up to Madame, shrugged his shoulders, and said, “And
immediately the cock crew.”

“I believe this is taken from Scripture, where Peter denies Our Lord.  I
confess, this circumstance gave me great pleasure.  It showed that the
King is not the dupe of those around him, and that he hates treachery and

Madame sent for me yesterday evening, at seven o’clock, to read something
to her; the ladies who were intimate with her were at Paris, and M. de
Gontaut ill.  “The King,” said she, “will stay late at the Council this
evening; they are occupied with the affairs of the Parliament again.” She
bade me leave off reading, and I was going to quit the room, but she
called out, “Stop.”  She rose; a letter was brought in for her, and she
took it with an air of impatience and ill-humour.  After a considerable
time she began to talk openly, which only happened when she was extremely
vexed; and, as none of her confidential friends were at hand, she said to
me, “This is from my brother.  It is what he would not have dared to say
to me, so he writes.  I had arranged a marriage for him with the daughter
of a man of title; he appeared to be well inclined to it, and I,
therefore, pledged my word.  He now tells me that he has made inquiries;
that the parents are people of insupportable hauteur; that the daughter
is very badly educated; and that he knows, from authority not to be
doubted, that when she heard this marriage discussed, she spoke of the
connection with the most supreme contempt; that he is certain of this
fact; and that I was still more contemptuously spoken of than himself. In
a word, he begs me to break off the treaty.  But he has let me go too
far; and now he will make these people my irreconcilable enemies.  This
has been put in his head by some of his flatterers; they do not wish him
to change his way of living; and very few of them would be received by
his wife.”  I tried to soften Madame, and, though I did not venture to
tell her so, I thought her brother right.  She persisted in saying these
were lies, and, on the following Sunday, treated her brother very coldly.
He said nothing to me at that time; if he had, he would have embarrassed
me greatly.  Madame atoned for everything by procuring favours, which
were the means of facilitating the young lady’s marriage with a gentleman
of the Court.  Her conduct, two months after marriage, compelled Madame
to confess that her brother had been perfectly right.

I saw my friend, Madame du Chiron.  “Why,” said she, “is the Marquise so
violent an enemy to the Jesuits?  I assure you she is wrong.  All
powerful as she is, she may find herself the worse for their enmity.” I
replied that I knew nothing about the matter.  “It is, however,
unquestionably a fact; and she does not feel that a word more or less
might decide her fate.”--“How do you mean?”  said I.  “Well, I will
explain myself fully,” said she.  “You know what took place at the time
the King was stabbed: an attempt was made to get her out of the Castle
instantly.  The Jesuits have no other object than the salvation of their
penitents; but they are men, and hatred may, without their being aware of
it, influence their minds, and inspire them with a greater degree of
severity than circumstances absolutely demand.  Favour and partiality
may, on the other hand, induce the confessor to make great concessions;
and the shortest interval may suffice to save a favourite, especially if
any decent pretext can be found for prolonging her stay at Court.”  I
agreed with her in all she said, but I told her that I dared not touch
that string.  On reflecting on this conversation afterwards, I was
forcibly struck with this fresh proof of the intrigues of the Jesuits,
which, indeed, I knew well already.  I thought that, in spite of what I
had replied to Madame du Chiron, I ought to communicate this to Madame de
Pompadour, for the ease of my conscience; but that I would abstain from
making any reflection upon it.  “Your friend, Madame du Chiron,” said
she, “is, I perceive, affiliated to the Jesuits, and what she says does
not originate with herself.  She is commissioned by some reverend father,
and I will know by whom.”  Spies were, accordingly, set to watch her
movements, and they discovered that one Father de Saci, and, still more
particularly, one Father Frey, guided this lady’s conduct.  “What a
pity,” said Madame to me, “that the Abbe Chauvelin cannot know this.” He
was the most formidable enemy of the reverend fathers.  Madame du Chiron
always looked upon me as a Jansenist, because I would not espouse the
interests of the good fathers with as much warmth as she did.

Madame is completely absorbed in the Abbe de Bernis, whom she thinks
capable of anything; she talks of him incessantly.  Apropos, of this
Abbe, I must relate an anecdote, which almost makes one believe in
conjurors.  A year, or fifteen months, before her disgrace, Madame de
Pompadour, being at Fontainebleau, sat down to write at a desk, over
which hung a portrait of the King.  While she was, shutting the desk,
after she had finished writing, the picture fell, and struck her
violently on the head..  The persons who saw the accident were alarmed,
and sent for Dr. Quesnay.  He asked the circumstances of the case, and
ordered bleeding and anodynes.  Just, as she had been bled, Madame de
Brancas entered, and saw us all in confusion and agitation, and Madame
lying on her chaise-longue.  She asked what was the matter, and was told.
After having expressed her regret, and having consoled her, she said, “I
ask it as a favour of Madame, and of the King (who had just come in),
that they will instantly send a courier to the Abbe de Bernis, and that
the Marquise will have the goodness to write a letter, merely requesting
him to inform her what his fortune-tellers told him, and to withhold
nothing from the fear of making her uneasy.”  The thing was, done as she
desired, and she then told us that La Bontemps had predicted, from the
dregs in the coffee-cup, in which she read everything, that the head of
her best friend was in danger, but that no fatal consequences would

The next day, the Abbe wrote word that Madame Bontemps also said to him,
“You came into the world almost black,” and that this was the fact.  This
colour, which lasted for some time, was attributed to a picture which
hung at the foot of his, mother’s bed, and which she often looked at.  It
represented a Moor bringing to Cleopatra a basket of flowers, containing
the asp by whose bite she destroyed herself.  He said that she also told
him, “You have a great deal of money about you, but it does not belong to
you;” and that he had actually in his pocket two hundred Louis for the
Duc de La Valliere.  Lastly, he informed us that she said, looking in the
cup, “I see one of your friends--the best--a distinguished lady,
threatened with an accident;” that he confessed that, in spite of all his
philosophy, he turned pale; that she remarked this, looked again into the
cup, and continued, “Her head will be slightly in danger, but of this no
appearance will remain half an hour afterwards.”  It was impossible to
doubt the facts.  They appeared so surprising to the King, that he
desired some inquiry to be made concerning the fortune-teller.  Madame,
however, protected her from the pursuit of the Police.

A man, who was quite as astonishing as this fortune-teller, often visited
Madame de Pompadour.  This was the Comte de St. Germain, who wished to
have it believed that he had lived several centuries.

[St. Germain was an adept--a worthy predecessor of Cagliostro, who
expected to live five hundred years.  The Count de St. Germain pretended
to have already lived two thousand, and, according to him, the account
was still running.  He went so far as to claim the power of transmitting
the gift of long life.  One day, calling upon his servant to, bear
witness to a fact that went pretty far back, the man replied, “I have no
recollection of it, sir; you forget that I have only had the honour of
serving you for five hundred years.”

St. Germain, like all other charlatans of this sort, assumed a theatrical
magnificence, and an air of science calculated to deceive the vulgar.
His best instrument of deception was the phantasmagoria; and as, by means
of this abuse of the science of optics, he called up shades which were
asked for, and almost always recognised, his correspondence with the
other world was a thing proved by the concurrent testimony of numerous

He played the same game in London, Venice, and Holland, but he constantly
regretted Paris, where his miracles were never questioned.

St. Germain passed his latter days at the Court of the Prince of Hesse
Cassel, and died at Plewig, in 1784, in the midst of his enthusiastic
disciples, and to their infinite astonishment at his sharing the common

One day, at her toilet, Madame said to him, in my presence, “What was the
personal appearance of Francis I.?  He was a King I should have
liked.”--“He was, indeed, very captivating,” said St. Germain; and he
proceeded to describe his face and person as one does that of a man one
has accurately observed.  “It is a pity he was too ardent.  I could have
given him some good advice, which would have saved him from all his
misfortunes; but he would not have followed it; for it seems as if a
fatality attended Princes, forcing them to shut their ears, those of the
mind, at least, to the best advice, and especially in the most critical
moments.”--“And the Constable,” said Madame, “what do you say of
him?”--“I cannot say much good or much harm of him,” replied he.  “Was
the Court of Francis I. very brilliant?”--“Very brilliant; but those of
his grandsons infinitely surpassed it.  In the time of Mary Stuart and
Margaret of Valois it was a land of enchantment--a temple, sacred to
pleasures of every kind; those of the mind were not neglected.  The two
Queens were learned, wrote verses, and spoke with captivating grace and
eloquence.”  Madame said, laughing, “You seem to have seen all this.”--“I
have an excellent memory,” said he, “and have read the history of France
with great care.  I sometimes amuse myself, not by making, but by letting
it be believed that I lived in old times.”--“You do not tell me your age,
however, and you give yourself out for very old.  The Comtesse de Gergy,
who was Ambassadress to Venice, I think, fifty years ago, says she knew
you there exactly what you are now.”--“It is true, Madame, that I have
known Madame de Gergy a long time.”--“But, according to what she says,
you would be more than a hundred”--“That is not impossible,” said he,
laughing; “but it is, I allow, still more possible that Madame de Gergy,
for whom I have the greatest respect, may be in her dotage.”--“You have
given her an elixir, the effect of which is surprising. She declares that
for a long time she has felt as if she was only four-and-twenty years of
age; why don’t you give some to the King?”--“Ah! Madame,” said he, with a
sort of terror, “I must be mad to think of giving the King an unknown
drug.”  I went into my room to write down this conversation. Some days
afterwards, the King, Madame de Pompadour, some Lords of the Court, and
the Comte de St. Germain, were talking about his secret for causing the
spots in diamonds to disappear.  The King ordered a diamond of middling
size, which had a spot, to be brought.  It was weighed; and the King said
to the Count, “It is valued at two hundred and forty louis; but it would
be worth four hundred if it had no spot.  Will you try to put a hundred
and sixty louis into my pocket?”  He examined it carefully, and said, “It
may be done; and I will bring it you again in a month.”  At the time
appointed, the Count brought back the diamond without a spot, and gave it
to the King.  It was wrapped in a cloth of amianthus, which he took off.
The King had it weighed, and found it but very little diminished.  The
King sent it to his jeweller by M. de Gontaut, without telling him
anything of what had passed.  The jeweller gave three hundred and eighty
louis for it.  The King, however, sent for it back again, and kept it as
a curiosity.  He could not overcome his surprise, and said that M. de St.
Germain must be worth millions, especially if he had also the secret of
making large diamonds out of a number of small ones.  He neither said
that he had, nor that he had not; but he positively asserted that he
could make pearls grow, and give them the finest water.  The King, paid
him great attention, and so did Madame de Pompadour.  It was from her I
learnt what I have just related. M. Queanay said, talking of the pearls,
“They are produced by a disease in the oyster.  It is possible to know
the cause of it; but, be that as it may, he is not the less a quack,
since he pretends to have the elixir vitae, and to have lived several
centuries.  Our master is, however, infatuated by him, and sometimes
talks of him as if his descent were illustrious.”

I have seen him frequently: he appeared to be about fifty; he was neither
fat nor thin; he had an acute, intelligent look, dressed very simply, but
in good taste; he wore very fine diamonds in his rings, watch, and
snuff-box.  He came, one day, to visit Madame de Pompadour, at a time
when the Court was in full splendour, with knee and shoe-buckles of
diamonds so fine and brilliant that Madame said she did not believe the
King had any equal to them.  He went into the antechamber to take them
off, and brought them to be examined; they were compared with others in
the room, and the Duc de Gontaut, who was present, said they were worth
at least eight thousand louis.  He wore, at the same time, a snuff-box of
inestimable value, and ruby sleeve-buttons, which were perfectly
dazzling.  Nobody could find out by what means this man became so rich
and so remarkable; but the King would not suffer him to be spoken of with
ridicule or contempt.  He was said to be a bastard son of the King of

I learnt, from M. de Marigny, that the relations of the good little
Marechale (de Mirepoix) had been extremely severe upon her, for what they
called the baseness of her conduct, with regard to Madame de Pompadour.
They said she held the stones of the cherries which Madame ate in her
carriage, in her beautiful little hands, and that she sate in the front
of the carriage, while Madame occupied the whole seat in the inside.  The
truth was, that, in going to Crecy, on an insupportably hot day, they
both wished to sit alone, that they might be cooler; and as to the matter
of the cherries, the villagers having brought them some, they ate them to
refresh themselves, while the horses were changed; and the Marechal
emptied her pocket-handkerchief, into which they had both thrown the
cherry-stones, out of the carriage window.  The people who were changing
the horses had given their own version of the affair.

I had, as you know, a very pretty room at Madame’s hotel, whither I
generally went privately.  I had, one day, had visits from two or three
Paris representatives, who told me news; and Madame, having sent for me,
I went to her, and found her with M. de Gontaut.  I could not help
instantly saying to her, “You must be much pleased, Madame, at the noble
action of the Marquis de ------.”  Madame replied, drily, “Hold your
tongue, and listen to what I have to say to you.”  I returned to my
little room, where I found the Comtesse d’Amblimont, to whom I mentioned
Madame’s reception of me.  “I know what is the matter,” said she; “it has
no relation to you.  I will explain it to you.  The Marquis de -------has
told all Paris, that, some days ago, going home at night, alone, and on
foot, he heard cries in a street called Ferou, which is dark, and, in
great part, arched over; that he drew his sword, and went down the
street, in which he saw, by the light of a lamp, a very handsome woman,
to whom some ruffians were offering violence; that he approached, and
that the woman cried out, ‘Save me! save me!’ that he rushed upon the
wretches, two of whom fought him, sword in hand, whilst a third held the
woman, and tried to stop her mouth; that he wounded one in the arm; and
that the ruffians, hearing people pass at the end of the street, and
fearing they might come to his assistance, fled; that he went up to the
lady, who told him that they were not robbers, but villains, one of whom
was desperately in love with her; and that the lady knew not how to
express her gratitude; that she had begged him not to follow her, after
he had conducted her to a fiacre; that she would not tell him her name,
but that she insisted on his accepting a little ring, as a token of
remembrance; and that she promised to see him again, and to tell him her
whole history, if he gave her his address; that he complied with this
request of the lady, whom he represented as a charming person, and who,
in the overflowing of her gratitude, embraced him several times.  This is
all very fine, so far,” said Madame d’Amblimont, “but hear the rest.  The
Marquis de exhibited himself everywhere the next day, with a black ribbon
bound round his arm, near the wrist, in which part he said he had
received a wound.  He related his story to everybody, and everybody
commented upon it after his own fashion.  He went to dine with the
Dauphin, who spoke to him of his bravery, and of his fair unknown, and
told him that he had already complimented the Duc de C---- on the affair.
I forgot to tell you,” continued Madame d’Amblimont, “that, on the very
night of the adventure, he called on Madame d’Estillac, an old gambler,
whose house is open till four in the morning; that everybody there was
surprised at the disordered state in which he appeared; that his bagwig
had fallen off, one skirt of his coat was cut, and his right hand
bleeding.  That they instantly bound it up, and gave him some Rota wine.
Four days ago, the Duc de C---- supped with the King, and sat near M. de
St. Florentin.  He talked to him of his relation’s adventure, and asked
him if he had made any inquiries concerning the lady.  M. de St.
Florentin coldly answered, ‘No!’ and M. de C---- remarked, on asking him
some further questions, that he kept his eyes firmed on his plate,
looking embarrassed, and answered in monosyllables.  He asked him the
reason of this, upon which M. de Florentin told him that it was extremely
distressing to him to see him under such a mistake.  ‘How can you know
that, supposing it to be the fact?’ said M. de ------, ‘Nothing is more
easy to prove,’ replied M. de St. Florentin.  ‘You may imagine that, as
soon as I was informed of the Marquis de ------‘s adventure, I set on
foot inquiries, the result of which was, that, on the night when this
affair was said to have taken place, a party of the watch was set in
ambuscade in this very street, for the purpose of catching a thief who
was coming out of the gaming house; that this party was there four hours,
and heard not the slightest noise.’  M. de C was greatly incensed at this
recital, which M. de St. Florentin ought, indeed, to have communicated to
the King.  He has ordered, or will order, his relation to retire to his

“After this, you will judge, my dear, whether you were very likely to be
graciously received when you went open-mouthed with your compliment to
the Marquise.  This adventure,” continued she, “reminded the King of one
which occurred about fifteen years ago.  The Comte d’E----, who was what
is called ‘enfant d’honneur’ to the Dauphin, and about fourteen years of
age, came into the Dauphin’s apartments, one evening, with his bag-wig
snatched off, and his ruffles torn, and said that, having walked rather
late near the piece of water des Suisses, he had been attacked by two
robbers; that he had refused to give them anything, drawn his sword, and
put himself in an attitude of defence; that one of the robbers was armed
with a sword, the other with a large stick, from which he had received
several blows, but that he had wounded one in the arm, and that, hearing
a noise at that moment, they had fled.  But unluckily for the little
Count, it was known that people were on the spot at the precise time he
mentioned, and had heard nothing.  The Count was pardoned, on account of
his youth.  The Dauphin made him confess the truth, and it was looked
upon as a childish freak to set people talking about him.”

The King disliked the King of Prussia because he knew that the latter was
in the habit of jesting upon his mistress, and the kind of life he led.
It was Frederick’s fault, as I have heard it said, that the King was not
his most steadfast ally and friend, as much as sovereigns can be towards
each other; but the jestings of Frederick had stung him, and made him
conclude the treaty of Versailles.  One day, he entered Madame’s
apartment with a paper in his hand, and said, “The King of Prussia is
certainly a great man; he loves men of talent, and, like Louis XIV., he
wishes to make Europe ring with his favours towards foreign savans. There
is a letter from him, addressed to Milord Marshal, ordering him to
acquaint a ‘superieur’ man of my kingdom (D’Alembert) that he has
granted him a pension;” and, looking at the letter, he read the
following words: “You must know that there is in Paris a man of the
greatest merit, whose fortune is not proportionate to his talents and
character.  I may serve as eyes to the blind goddess, and repair in some
measure the injustice, and I beg you to offer on that account.  I
flatter myself that he will accept this pension because of the pleasure
I shall feel in obliging a man who joins beauty of character to the most
sublime intellectual talents.”

[George Keith, better known under the name of Milord Marshal, was the
eldest son of William Keith, Earl Marshal of Scotland.  He was an avowed
partisan of the Stuarts, and did not lay down the arms he had taken up in
their cause until it became utterly desperate, and drew upon its
defenders useless dangers.  When they were driven from their country, he
renounced it, and took up his residence successively in France, Prussia,
Spain, and Italy.  The delicious country and climate of Valencia he
preferred above any other.

Milord Marshal died in the month of May, 1778.  It was he who said to
Madame Geoffrin, speaking of his brother, who was field-marshal in the
Prussian service, and died on the field of honour, “My brother leaves me
the most glorious inheritance” (he had just laid the whole of Bohemia
under contribution); “his property does not amount to seventy ducats.”  A
eulogium on Milord Marshal, by D’Alembert, is extant.  It is the most
cruelly mangled of all his works, by Linguet]

The King here stopped, on seeing MM. de Ayen and de Gontaut enter, and
then recommenced reading the letter to them, and added, “It was given me
by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, to whom it was confided by Milord
Marshal, for the purpose of obtaining my permission for this sublime
genius to accept the favour.  But,” said the King, “what do you think is
the amount?”  Some said six, eight, ten thousand livres.  “You have not
guessed,” said the King; “it is twelve hundred livres.”--“For sublime
talents,” said the Duc d’Ayen, “it is not much.  But the philosophers
will make Europe resound with this letter, and the King of Prussia will
have the pleasure of making a great noise at little expense.”

The Chevalier de Courten,--[The Chevalier de Courten was a Swiss, and a
man of talent.]--who had been in Prussia, came in, and, hearing this
story told, said, “I have seen what is much better than that: passing
through a village in Prussia, I got out at the posthouse, while I was
waiting for horses; and the postmaster, who was a captain in the Prussian
service, showed me several letters in Frederick’s handwriting, addressed
to his uncle, who was a man of rank, promising him to provide for his
nephews; the provision he made for this, the eldest of these nephews, who
was dreadfully wounded, was the postmastership which he then held.”  M.
de Marigny related this story at Quesnay’s, and added, that the man of
genius above mentioned was D’Alembert, and that the King had permitted
him to accept the pension.  He added, that his sister had suggested to
the King that he had better give D’Alembert a pension of twice the value,
and forbid him to take the King of Prussia’s.  This advice he would not
take, because he looked upon D’Alembert as an infidel.  M. de Marigny
took a copy of the letter, which he lent me.

A certain nobleman, at one time, affected to cast tender glances on
Madame Adelaide.  She was wholly unconscious of it; but, as there are
Arguses at Court, the King was, of course, told of it, and, indeed, he
thought he had perceived it himself.  I know that he came into Madame de
Pompadour’s room one day, in a great passion, and said, “Would you
believe that there is a man in my Court insolent enough to dare to raise
his eyes to one of my daughters?”  Madame had never seen him so
exasperated, and this illustrious nobleman was advised to feign a
necessity for visiting his estates.  He remained there two months. Madame
told me, long after, that she thought that there were no tortures to
which the King would not have condemned any man who had seduced one of
his daughters.  Madame Adelaide, at the time in question, was a charming
person, and united infinite grace, and much talent, to a most agreeable

A courier brought Madame de Pompadour a letter, on reading which she
burst into tears.  It contained the intelligence of the battle of
Rosbach, which M. de Soubise sent her, with all the details.  I heard her
say to the Marechal de Belle-Isle, wiping her eyes, “M. de Soubise is
inconsolable; he does not try to excuse his conduct, he sees nothing but
the disastrous fortune which pursues him.”--“M. de Soubise must, however,
have many things to urge in his own behalf,” said M. de Belle-Isle, “and
so I told the King.”--“It is very noble in you, Marshal, not to suffer an
unfortunate man to be overwhelmed; the public are furious against him,
and what has he done to deserve it?”--“There is not a more honourable nor
a kinder man in the world.  I only fulfil my duty in doing justice to the
truth, and to a man for whom I have the most profound esteem.  The King
will explain to you, Madame, how M. de Soubise was forced to give battle
by the Prince of Sage-Hildbourgshausen, whose troops fled first, and
carried along the French troops.”  Madame would have embraced the old
Marshal if she had dared, she was so delighted with him.

M. de Soubise, having gained a battle, was made Marshal of France: Madame
was enchanted with her friend’s success.  But, either it was unimportant,
or the public were offended at his promotion; nobody talked of it but
Madame’s friends.  This unpopularity was concealed from her, and she said
to Colin, her steward, at her toilet, “Are you not delighted at the
victory M. de Soubise has gained?  What does the public say of it?  He
has taken his revenge well.”  Colin was embarrassed, and knew not what to
answer.  As she pressed him further, he replied that he had been ill, and
had seen nobody for a week.

M. de Marigny came to see me one day, very much out of humour.  I asked
him the cause.  “I have,” said he, “just been intreating my sister not to
make M. le Normand-de-Mezi Minister of the Marine.  I told her that she
was heaping coals of fire upon her own head.  A favourite ought not to
multiply the points of attack upon herself.”  The Doctor entered.  “You,”
 said the Doctor, “are worth your weight in gold, for the good sense and
capacity you have shewn in your office, and for your moderation, but you
will never be appreciated as you deserve; your advice is excellent; there
will never be a ship taken but Madame will be held responsible for it to
the public, and you are very wise not to think of being in the Ministry

One day, when I was at Paris, I went to dine with the Doctor, who
happened to be there at the same time; there were, contrary to his usual
custom, a good many people, and, among others, a handsome young Master of
the Requests, who took a title from some place, the name of which I have
forgotten, but who was a son of M. Turgot, the ‘prevot des marchands’.
They talked a great deal about administration, which was not very amusing
to me; they then fell upon the subject of the love Frenchmen bear to
their Kings.  M. Turgot here joined in the conversation, and said, “This
is not a blind attachment; it is a deeply rooted sentiment, arising from
an indistinct recollection of great benefits.  The French nation--I may
go farther--Europe, and all mankind, owe to a King of France” (I have
forgotten his name)--[Phillip the Long]--“whatever liberty they enjoy. He
established communes, and conferred on an immense number of men a civil
existence.  I am aware that it may be said, with justice, that he served
his own interests by granting these franchises; that the cities paid him
taxes, and that his design was to use them as instruments of weakening
the power of great nobles; but what does that prove, but that this
measure was at once useful, politic, and humane?”  From Kings in general
the conversation turned upon Louis XV., and M. Turgot remarked that his
reign would be always celebrated for the advancement of the sciences, the
progress of knowledge, and of philosophy.  He added that Louis XV.  was
deficient in the quality which Louis XIV.  possessed to excess; that is
to say, in a good opinion of himself; that he was well-informed; that
nobody was more perfectly master of the topography of France; that his
opinion in the Council was always the most judicious; and that it was
much to be lamented that he had not more confidence in himself, or that
he did not rely upon some Minister who enjoyed the confidence of the
nation.  Everybody agreed with him.  I begged M. Quesnay to write down
what young Turgot had said, and showed it to Madame.  She praised this
Master of the Requests greatly, and spoke of him to the King.  “It is a
good breed,” said he.

One day, I went out to walk, and saw, on my return, a great many people
going and coming, and speaking to each other privately: it was evident
that something extraordinary had happened.  I asked a person of my
acquaintance what was the matter.  “Alas!” said he, with tears in his
eyes, “some assassins, who had formed the project of murdering the King,
have inflicted several wounds on a garde-du-corps, who overheard them in
a dark corridor; he is carried to the hospital: and as he has described
the colour of these men’s coats, the Police are in quest of them in all
directions, and some people, dressed in clothes of that colour, are
already arrested.”  I saw Madame with M. de Gontaut, and I hastened home.
She found her door besieged by a multitude of people, and was alarmed:
when she got in, she found the Comte de Noailles.  “What is all this,
Count?”  said she.  He said he was come expressly to speak to her, and
they retired to her closet together.  The conference was not long.  I had
remained in the drawing-room, with Madame’s equerry, the Chevalier de
Solent, Gourbillon, her valet de chambre, and some strangers.  A great
many details were related; but, the wounds being little more than
scratches, and the garde-du-corps having let fall some contradictions, it
was thought that he was an impostor, who had invented all this story to
bring himself into favour.  Before the night was over, this was proved to
be the fact, and, I believe, from his own confession.  The King came,
that evening, to see Madame de Pompadour; he spoke of this occurrence
with great sang froid, and said, “The gentleman who wanted to kill me was
a wicked madman; this is a low scoundrel.”

When he spoke of Damiens, which was only while his trial lasted, he never
called him anything but that gentleman.

I have heard it said that he proposed having him shut up in a dungeon for
life; but that the horrible nature of the crime made the judges insist
upon his suffering all the tortures inflicted upon like occasions.  Great
numbers, many of them women, had a barbarous curiosity to witness the
execution; amongst others, Madame de P------, a very beautiful woman, and
the wife of a Farmer General.  She hired two places at a window for
twelve Louis, and played a game of cards in the room whilst waiting for
the execution to begin.  On this being told to the King, he covered his
eyes with his hands and exclaimed, “Fi, la Vilaine!”  I have been told
that she, and others, thought to pay their court in this way, and
signalise their attachment to the King’s person.

Two things were related to me by M. Duclos at the time of the attempt on
the King’s life.

The first, relative to the Comte de Sponheim, who was the Duc de
Deux-Ponts, and next in succession to the Palatinate and Electorate of
Bavaria.  He was thought to be a great friend to the King, and had made
several long sojourns in France.  He came frequently to see Madame. M.
Duclos told us that the Duc de Deux-Ponts, having learned, at Deux-Ponts,
the attempt on the King’s life, immediately set out in a carriage for
Versailles: “But remark,” said he, “the spirit of ‘courtisanerie’ of a
Prince, who may be Elector of Bavaria and the Palatinate tomorrow. This
was not enough.  When he arrived within ten leagues of Paris, he put on
an enormous pair of jack-boots, mounted a post-horse, and arrived in the
court of the palace cracking his whip.  If this had been real impatience,
and not charlatanism, he would have taken horse twenty leagues from
Paris.”--“I don’t agree with you,” said a gentleman whom I did not know;
“impatience sometimes seizes one towards the end of an undertaking, and
one employs the readiest means then in one’s power. Besides, the Duc de
Deux-Ponts might wish, by showing himself thus on horseback, to serve the
King, to whom he is attached, by proving to Frenchmen how greatly he is
beloved and honoured in other countries.” Duclos resumed: “Well,” said
he, “do you know the story of M. de C-----? The first day the King saw
company, after the attempt of Damiens, M. de C----- pushed so vigorously
through the crowd that he was one of the first to come into the King’s
presence, but he had on so shabby a black coat that it caught the King’s
attention, who burst out laughing, and said, ‘Look at C-----, he has had
the skirt of his coat torn off.’ M. de C----- looked as if he was only
then first conscious of his loss, and said, ‘Sire, there is such a
multitude hurrying to see Your Majesty, that I was obliged to
fight my way through them, and, in the effort, my coat has been
torn.’--‘Fortunately it was not worth much,’ said the Marquis de Souvre,
‘and you could not have chosen a worse one to sacrifice on the

Madame de Pompadour had been very judiciously advised to get her husband,
M. le Normand, sent to Constantinople, as Ambassador.  This would have a
little diminished the scandal caused by seeing Madame de Pompadour, with
the title of Marquise, at Court, and her husband Farmer General at Paris.
But he was so attached to a Paris life, and to his opera habits, that he
could not be prevailed upon to go.  Madame employed a certain M.
d’Arboulin, with whom she had been acquainted before she was at Court, to
negotiate this affair.  He applied to a Mademoiselle Rem, who had been an
opera-dancer, and who was M. le Normand’s mistress.  She made him very
fine promises; but she was like him, and preferred a Paris life.  She
would do nothing in it.

At the time that plays were acted in the little apartments, I obtained a
lieutenancy for one of my relations, by a singular means, which proves
the value the greatest people set upon the slightest access to the Court.
Madame did not like to ask anything of M. d’Argenson, and, being pressed
by my family, who could not imagine that, situated as I was, it could be
difficult for me to obtain a command for a good soldier, I determined to
go and ask the Comte d’Argenson.  I made my request, and presented my
memorial.  He received me coldly, and gave me vague answers.  I went out,
and the Marquis de V-----, who was in his closet, followed me.  “You wish
to obtain a command,” said he; “there is one vacant, which is promised me
for one of my proteges; but if you will do me a favour in return, or
obtain one for me, I will give it to you.  I want to be a police officer,
and you have it in your power to get me a place.”  I told him I did not
understand the purport of his jest.  “I will tell you,” said he;
“Tartuffe is going to be acted in the cabinets, and there is the part of
a police officer, which only consists of a few lines.  Prevail upon
Madame de Pompadour to assign me that part, and the command is yours.” I
promised nothing, but I related the history to Madame, who said she would
arrange it for me.  The thing was done, and I obtained the command, and
the Marquis de V----- thanked Madame as if she had made him a Duke.

The King was often annoyed by the Parliaments, and said a very remarkable
thing concerning them, which M. de Gontaut repeated to Doctor Quesnay in
my presence.  “Yesterday,” said he, “the King walked up and down the room
with an anxious air.  Madame de Pompadour asked him if he was uneasy
about his health, as he had been, for some time, rather unwell.  ‘No,’
replied he; ‘but I am greatly annoyed by all these remonstrances.’--‘What
can come of them,’ said she, ‘that need seriously disquiet Your Majesty?
Are you not master of the Parliaments, as well as of all the rest of the
kingdom?’--‘That is true,’ said the King; ‘but, if it had not been for
these counsellors and presidents, I should never have been stabbed by
that gentleman’ (he always called Damiens so).  ‘Ah!  Sire,’ cried Madame
de Pompadour.  ‘Read the trial,’ said he.  ‘It was the language of those
gentlemen he names which turned his head.’--‘But,’ said Madame, ‘I have
often thought that, if the Archbishop--[M. de Beaumont]--could be sent to
Rome--’--‘Find anybody who will accomplish that business, and I will give
him whatever he pleases.’”  Quesnay said the King was right in all he had
uttered.  The Archbishop was exiled shortly after, and the King was
seriously afflicted at being driven to take such a step.  “What a pity,”
 he often said, “that so excellent a man should be so obstinate.”--“And so
shallow,” said somebody, one day.  “Hold your tongue,” replied the King,
somewhat sternly.  The Archbishop was very charitable, and liberal to
excess, but he often granted pensions without discernment.

[The following is a specimen of the advantages taken of his natural
kindness.  Madame la Caille, who acted the Duennas at the Opera Comique,
was recommended to him as the mother of a family, who deserved his
protection, The worthy prelate asked what he could do for her.
“Monseigneur,” said the actress, “two words from your hand to the Duc de
Richelieu would induce him to grant me a demi-part.” M. de Beaumont, who
was very little acquainted with the language of the theatre, thought that
a demi-part meant a more liberal portion of the Marshal’s alms, and the
note was written in the most pressing manner.  The Marshal answered, that
he thanked the Archbishop for the interest he took in the Theatre
Italien, and in Madame la Caille, who was a very useful person at that
theatre; that, nevertheless, she had a bad voice; but that the
recommendation of the Archbishop was to be preferred to the greatest
talents, and that the demi-part was granted.]

He granted one of an hundred louis to a pretty woman, who was very poor,
and who assumed an illustrious name, to which she had no right.  The fear
lest she should be plunged into vice led him to bestow such excessive
bounty upon her; and the woman was an admirable dissembler.  She went to
the Archbishop’s, covered with a great hood, and, when she left him, she
amused herself with a variety of lovers.

Great people have the bad habit of talking very indiscreetly before their
servants.  M. de Gontaut once said these words, covertly, as he thought,
to the Duc de ------, “That measures had been taken which would,
probably, have the effect of determining the Archbishop to go to Rome,
with a Cardinal’s hat; and that, if he desired it, he was to have a

A very plausible pretext had been found for making this proposition, and
for rendering it flattering to the Archbishop, and agreeable to his
sentiments.  The affair had been very adroitly begun, and success
appeared certain.  The King had the air, towards the Archbishop, of
entire unconsciousness of what was going on.  The negotiator acted as if
he were only following the suggestions of his own mind, for the general
good.  He was a friend of the Archbishop, and was very sure of a liberal
reward.  A valet of the Duc de Gontaut, a very handsome young fellow, had
perfectly caught the sense of what was spoken in a mysterious manner. He
was one of the lovers of the lady of the hundred Louis a year, and had
heard her talk of the Archbishop, whose relation she pretended to be.  He
thought he should secure her good graces by informing her that great
efforts were being made to induce her patron to reside at Rome, with a
view to get him away from Paris.  The lady instantly told the Archbishop,
as she was afraid of losing her pension if he went.  The information
squared so well with the negotiation then on foot, that the Archbishop
had no doubt of its truth.  He cooled, by degrees, in his conversations
with the negotiator, whom he regarded as a traitor, and ended by breaking
with him.  These details were not known till long afterwards.  The lover
of the lady having been sent to the Bicetre, some letters were found
among his papers, which gave a scent of the affair, and he was made to
confess the rest.

In order not to compromise the Duc de Gontaut, the King was told that the
valet had come to a knowledge of the business from a letter which he had
found in his master’s clothes.  The King took his revenge by humiliating
the Archbishop, which he was enabled to do by means of the information he
had obtained concerning the conduct of the lady, his protege.  She was
found guilty of swindling, in concert with her beloved valet; but, before
her punishment was inflicted, the Lieutenant of Police was ordered to lay
before Monseigneur a full account of the conduct of his relation and
pensioner.  The Archbishop had nothing to object to in the proofs which
were submitted to him; he said, with perfect calmness, that she was not
his relation; and, raising his hands to heaven, “She is an unhappy
wretch,” said he, “who has robbed me of the money which was destined for
the poor.  But God knows that, in giving her so large a pension, I did
not act lightly.  I had, at that time, before my eyes the example of a
young woman who once asked me to grant her seventy louis a year,
promising me that she would always live very virtuously, as she had
hitherto done.  I refused her, and she said, on leaving me, ‘I must turn
to the left, Monseigneur, since the way on the right is closed against
me: The unhappy creature has kept her word but too well.  She found means
of establishing a faro-table at her house, which is tolerated; and she
joins to the most profligate conduct in her own person the infamous trade
of a corrupter of youth; her house is the abode of every vice.  Think,
sir, after that, whether it was not an act of prudence, on my part, to
grant the woman in question a pension, suitable to the rank in which I
thought her born, to prevent her abusing the gifts of youth, beauty, and
talents, which she possessed, to her own perdition, and the destruction
of others.”  The Lieutenant of Police told the King that he was touched
with the candour and the noble simplicity of the prelate.  “I never
doubted his virtues,” replied the King, “but I wish he would be quiet.”
 This same Archbishop gave a pension of fifty louis a year to the greatest
scoundrel in Paris.  He is a poet, who writes abominable verses; this
pension is granted on condition that his poems are never printed.  I
learned this fact from M. de Marigny, to whom he recited some of his
horrible verses one evening, when he supped with him, in company with
some people of quality.  He chinked the money in his pocket.  “This is my
good Archbishop’s,” said he, laughing; “I keep my word with him: my poem
will not be printed during my life, but I read it.  What would the good
prelate say if he knew that I shared my last quarter’s allowance with a
charming little opera-dancer?  ‘It is the Archbishop, then, who keeps
me,’ said she to me; ‘Oh, la! how droll that is!’”  The King heard this,
and was much scandalised at it.  “How difficult it is to do good!”  said

The King came into Madame de Pompadour’s room, one day, as she was
finishing dressing.  “I have just had a strange adventure,” said he:
“would you believe that, in going out of my wardroom into my bedroom, I
met a gentleman face to face?”--“My God!  Sire,” cried Madame, terrified.
“It was nothing,” replied he; “but I confess I was greatly surprised: the
man appeared speechless with consternation.  ‘What do you do here?’ said
I, civilly.  He threw himself on his knees, saying, ‘Pardon me, Sire;
and, above all, have me searched: He instantly emptied his pockets
himself; he pulled off his coat in the greatest agitation and terror: at
last he told me that he was cook to -----, and a friend of Beccari, whom
he came to visit; that he had mistaken the staircase, and, finding all
the doors open, he had wandered into the room in which I found him, and
which he would have instantly left: I rang; Guimard came, and was
astonished enough at finding me tete-a-tete with a man in his shirt.  He
begged Guimard to go with him into another room, and to search his whole
person.  After this, the poor devil returned, and put on his coat.
Guimard said to me, ‘He is certainly an honest man, and tells the truth;
this may, besides, be easily ascertained.’  Another of the servants of
the palace came in, and happened to know him.  ‘I will answer for this
good man,’ said, he, ‘who, moreover, makes the best ‘boeuf a carlate’ in
the world.’  As I saw the man was so agitated that he could not stand
steady, I took fifty louis out of my bureau, and said, Here, sir, are
fifty Louis, to quiet your alarms: He went out, after throwing himself at
my feet.”  Madame exclaimed on the impropriety of having the King’s
bedroom thus accessible to everybody.  He talked with great calmness of
this strange apparition, but it was evident that he controlled himself,
and that he had, in fact, been much frightened, as, indeed, he had reason
to be.  Madame highly approved of the gift; and she was the more right in
applauding it, as it was by no means in the King’s usual manner.  M. de
Marigny said, when I told him of this adventure, that he would have
wagered a thousand louis against the King’s making a present of fifty, if
anybody but I had told him of the circumstance.  “It is a singular fact,”
 continued he, “that all of the race of Valois have been liberal to
excess; this is not precisely the case with the Bourbons, who are rather
reproached with avarice.  Henri IV. was said to be avaricious.  He gave
to his mistresses, because he could refuse them nothing; but he played
with the eagerness of a man whose whole fortune depends on the game.
Louis XIV. gave through ostentation.  It is most astonishing,” added he,
“to reflect on what might have happened.  The King might actually have
been assassinated in his chamber, without anybody knowing anything of the
matter and without a possibility of discovering the murderer.”  For more
than a fortnight Madame could not get over this incident.

About that time she had a quarrel with her brother, and both were in the
right.  Proposals were made to him to marry the daughter of one of the
greatest noblemen of the Court, and the King consented to create him a
Duke, and even to make the title hereditary.  Madame was right in wishing
to aggrandise her brother, but he declared that he valued his liberty
above all things, and that he would not sacrifice it except for a person
he really loved.  He was a true Epicurean philosopher, and a man of great
capacity, according to the report of those who knew him well, and judged
him impartially.  It was entirely at his option to have had the reversion
of M. de St. Florentin’s place, and the place of Minister of Marine, when
M. de Machault retired; he said to his sister, at the time, “I spare you
many vexations, by depriving you of a slight satisfaction.  The people
would be unjust to me, however well I might fulfil the duties of my
office.  As to M. de St. Florentin’s place, he may live five-and-twenty
years, so that I should not be the better for it.  Kings’ mistresses are
hated enough on their own account; they need not also draw upon,
themselves the hatred which is directed against Ministers.”  M. Quesnay
repeated this conversation to me.

The King had another mistress, who gave Madame de Pompadour some
uneasiness.  She was a woman of quality, and the wife of one of the most
assiduous courtiers.

A man in immediate attendance on the King’s person, and who had the care
of his clothes, came to me one day, and told me that, as he was very much
attached to Madame, because she was good and useful to the King, he
wished to inform me that, a letter having fallen out of the pocket of a
coat which His Majesty had taken off, he had had the curiosity to read
it, and found it to be from the Comtesse de ----- who had already yielded
to the King’s desires.  In this letter, she required the King to give her
fifty thousand crowns in money, a regiment for one of her relations, and
a bishopric for another, and to dismiss Madame in the space of fifteen
days, etc.  I acquainted Madame with what this man told me, and she acted
with singular greatness of mind.  She said to me, “I ought to inform the
King of this breach of trust of his servant, who may, by the same means,
come to the knowledge of, and make a bad use of, important secrets; but I
feel a repugnance to ruin the man: however, I cannot permit him to remain
near the King’s person, and here is what I shall do: Tell him that there
is a place of ten thousand francs a year vacant in one of the provinces;
let him solicit the Minister of Finance for it, and it shall be granted
to him; but, if he should ever disclose through what interest he has
obtained it, the King shall be made acquainted with his conduct.  By this
means, I think I shall have done all that my attachment and duty
prescribe.  I rid the King of a faithless domestic, without ruining the
individual.”  I did as Madame ordered me: her delicacy and address
inspired me with admiration.  She was not alarmed on account of the lady,
seeing what her pretentions were.  “She drives too quick,” remarked
Madame, “and will certainly be overturned on the road.”  The lady died.

“See what the Court is; all is corruption there, from the highest to the
lowest,” said I to Madame, one day, when she was speaking to me of some
facts, that had come to my knowledge.  “I could tell you many others,”
 replied Madame; “but the little chamber, where you often remain, must
furnish you with a sufficient number.”  This was a little nook, from,
whence I could hear a great part of what passed in Madame’s apartment.
The Lieutenant of Police sometimes came secretly to this apartment, and
waited there.  Three or four persons, of high consideration, also found
their way in, in a mysterious, manner, and several devotees, who were, in
their hearts, enemies of Madame de Pompadour.  But these men had not
petty objects in view: one: required the government of a province;
another, a seat in the Council; a third, a Captaincy of the Guards; and
this man would have obtained it if the Marechale de Mirepoix had not
requested it for her brother, the Prince de Beauvan.  The Chevalier du
Muy was not among these apostates; not even the promise of being High
Constable would have tempted him to make up to Madame, still less to
betray his master, the Dauphin.  This Prince was, to the last degree,
weary of the station he held.  Sometimes, when teased to death by
ambitious people, who pretended to be Catos, or wonderfully devout, he
took part against a Minister against whom he was prepossessed; then
relapsed into his accustomed state of inactivity and ennui.

The King used to say, “My son is lazy; his temper is Polonese--hasty and
changeable; he has no tastes; he cares nothing for hunting, for women, or
for good living; perhaps he imagines that if he were in my place he would
be happy; at first, he would make great changes, create everything anew,
as it were.  In a short time he would be as tired of the rank of King as
he now is of his own; he is only fit to live ‘en philosophe’, with clever
people about him.”  The King added, “He loves what is right; he is truly
virtuous, and does not want under standing.”

M. de St. Germain said, one day, to the King, “To think well of mankind,
one must be neither a Confessor, nor a Minister, nor a Lieutenant of
Police.”--“Nor a King,” said His Majesty.  “Ah! Sire,” replied he, “you
remember the fog we had a few days ago, when we could not see four steps
before us.  Kings are commonly surrounded by still thicker fogs,
collected around them by men of intriguing character, and faithless
Ministers--all, of every class, unite in endeavouring to make things
appear to Kings in any, light but the true one.”  I heard this from the
mouth of the famous Comte de St. Germain, as I was attending upon Madame,
who was ill in bed.  The King was there; and the Count, who was a welcome
visitor, had been admitted.  There were also present, M. de Gontaut,
Madame de Brancas, and the Abbe de Bernis.  I remember that the very same
day, after the Count was gone out, the King talked in a style which gave
Madame great pain.  Speaking of the King of Prussia, he said, “That is a
madman, who will risk all to gain all, and may, perhaps, win the game,
though he has neither religion, morals, nor principles.  He wants to make
a noise in the world, and he will succeed.  Julian, the Apostate, did the
same.”--“I never saw the King so animated before,” observed Madame, when
he was gone out; “and really the comparison with Julian, the Apostate, is
not amiss, considering the irreligion of the King of Prussia.  If he gets
out of his perplexities, surrounded as he is by his enemies, he will be
one of the greatest men in history.”

M. de Bernis remarked, “Madame is correct in her judgment, for she has no
reason to pronounce his praises; nor have I, though I agree with what she
says.”  Madame de Pompadour never enjoyed so much influence as at the
time when M. de Choiseul became one of the Ministry.  From the time of
the Abbe de Bernis she had afforded him her constant support, and he had
been employed in foreign affairs, of which he was said to know but
little.  Madame made the Treaty of Sienna, though the first idea of it
was certainly furnished her by the Abbe.  I have been informed by several
persons that the King often talked to Madame upon this subject; for my
own part, I never heard any conversation relative to it, except the high
praises bestowed by her on the Empress and the Prince de Kaunitz, whom
she had known a good deal of.  She said that he had a clear head, the
head of a statesman.  One day, when she was talking in this strain, some
one tried to cast ridicule upon the Prince on account of the style in
which he wore his hair, and the four valets de chambre, who made the
hair-powder fly in all directions, while Kaunitz ran about that he might
only catch the superfine part of it.  “Aye,” said Madame, “just as
Alcibiades cut off his dog’s tail in order to give the Athenians
something to talk about, and to turn their attention from those things he
wished to conceal.”

Never was the public mind so inflamed against Madame de Pompadour as when
news arrived of the battle of Rosbach.  Every day she received anonymous
letters, full of the grossest abuse; atrocious verses, threats of poison
and assassination.  She continued long a prey to the most acute sorrow,
and could get no sleep but from opiates.  All this discontent was excited
by her protecting the Prince of Soubise; and the Lieutenant of Police had
great difficulty in allaying the ferment of the people.  The King
affirmed that it was not his fault.  M. du Verney was the confidant of
Madame in everything relating to war; a subject which he well understood,
though not a military man by, profession.  The old Marechal de Noailles
called him, in derision, the General of the flour, but Marechal Saxe, one
day, told Madame that Du Verney knew more of military matters than the
old Marshal.  Du Verney once paid a visit to Madame de Pompadour, and
found her in company with the King, the Minister of War, and two
Marshals; he submitted to them the plan of a campaign, which was
generally applauded.  It was through his influence that M. de Richelieu
was appointed to the command of the army, instead of the Marechal
d’Estrdes.  He came to Quesnay two days after, when I was with him. The
Doctor began talking about the art of war, and I remember he said,
“Military men make a great mystery of their art; but what is the reason
that young Princes have always the most brilliant success?  Why, because
they are active and daring.  When Sovereigns command their troops in
person what exploits they perform!  Clearly, because they are at liberty
to run all risks.”  These observations made a lasting impression on my

The first physician came, one day, to see Madame he was talking of madmen
and madness.  The King was present, and everything relating to disease of
any kind interested him.  The first physician said that he could
distinguish the symptoms of approaching madness six months beforehand.
“Are there any persons about the Court likely to become mad?” said the
King.--“I know one who will be imbecile in less than three months,”
 replied he.  The King pressed him to tell the name.  He excused himself
for some time.  At last he said, “It is M. de Sechelles, the
Controller-General.”--“You have a spite against him,” said Madame,
“because he would not grant what you asked”--“That is true,” said he,
“but though that might possibly incline me to tell a disagreeable truth,
it would not make me invent one.  He is losing his intellects from
debility.  He affects gallantry at his age, and I perceive the connection
in his ideas is becoming feeble and irregular.”--The King laughed; but
three months afterwards he came to Madame, saying, “Sechelles gives
evident proofs of dotage in the Council.  We must appoint a successor to
him.”  Madame de Pompadour told me of this on the way to Choisy.  Some
time afterwards, the first physician came to see Madame, and spoke to her
in private. “You are attached to M. Berryer, Madame,” said he, “and I am
sorry to have to warn you that he will be attacked by madness, or by
catalepsy, before long.  I saw him this morning at chapel, sitting on one
of those very low little chairs, which are only, meant to kneel upon.
His knees touched his chin.  I went to his house after Mass; his eyes
were wild, and when his secretary spoke to him, he said, ‘Hold your
tongue, pen.  A pen’s business is to write, and not to speak.’”  Madame,
who liked the Keeper of the Seals, was very much concerned, and begged
the first physician not to mention what he had perceived.  Four days
after this, M. Berryer was seized with catalepsy, after having talked
incoherently. This is a disease which I did not know even by name, and
got it written down for me.  The patient remains in precisely the same
position in which the fit seizes him; one leg or arm elevated, the eyes
wide open, or just as it may happen.  This latter affair was known to all
the Court at the death of the Keeper of the Seals.

When the Marechal de Belle-Isle’s son was killed in battle, Madame
persuaded the King to pay his father a visit.  He was rather reluctant,
and Madame said to him, with an air half angry, half playful:

--------“Barbare! don’t l’orgueil
Croit le sang d’un sujet trop pays d’un coup d’oeil.”

The King laughed, and said, “Whose fine verses are those?”--“Voltaire’s,”
 said Madame ------.

“As barbarous as I am, I gave him the place of gentleman in ordinary, and
a pension,” said the King.

The King went in state to call on the Marshal, followed by all the Court;
and it certainly appeared that this solemn visit consoled the Marshal for
the loss of his son, the sole heir to his name.

When the Marshal died, he was carried to his house on a common
hand-barrow, covered with a shabby cloth.  I met the body.  The bearers
were laughing and singing.  I thought it was some servant, and asked who
it was.  How great was my surprise at learning that these were the
remains of a man abounding in honours and in riches.  Such is the Court;
the dead are always in fault, and cannot be put out of sight too soon.

The King said, “M. Fouquet is dead, I hear.”--“He was no longer Fouquet,”
 replied the Duc d’Ayen; “Your Majesty had permitted him to change that
name, under which, however, he acquired all his reputation.”  The King
shrugged his shoulders.  His Majesty had, in fact, granted him letters
patent, permitting him not to sign Fouquet during his Ministry.  I heard
this on the occasion in question.  M. de Choiseul had the war department
at his death.  He was every day more and more in favour.

Madame treated him with greater distinction than any previous Minister,
and his manners towards her were the most agreeable it is possible to
conceive, at once respectful and gallant.  He never passed a day without
seeing her.  M. de Marigny could not endure M. de Choiseul, but he never
spoke of him, except to his intimate friends.  Calling, one day, at
Quesnay’s, I found him there.  They were talking of M. de Choiseul.  “He
is a mere ‘petit maitre’,” said the Doctor, “and, if he were handsome
just fit to be one of Henri the Third’s favourites.”  The Marquis de
Mirabeau and M. de La Riviere came in.  “This kingdom,” said Mirabeau,
“is in a deplorable state.  There is neither national energy, nor the
only substitute for it--money.”--“It can only be regenerated,” said La
Riviere, “by a conquest, like that of China, or by some great internal
convulsion; but woe to those who live to see that!  The French people do
not do things by halves.”  These words made me tremble, and I hastened
out of the room.  M. de Marigny did the same, though without appearing at
all affected by what had been said.  “You heard De La Riviere,” said
he,--“but don’t be alarmed, the conversations that pass at the Doctor’s
are never repeated; these are honourable men, though rather chimerical.
They know not where to stop.  I think, however, they are in the right
way; only, unfortunately, they go too far.”  I wrote this down

The Comte de St. Germain came to see Madame de Pompadour, who was ill,
and lay on the sofa.  He shewed her a little box, containing topazes,
rubies, and emeralds.  He appeared to have enough to furnish a treasury.
Madame sent for me to see all these beautiful things.  I looked at them
with an air of the utmost astonishment, but I made signs to Madame that I
thought them all false.  The Count felt for something in his pocketbook,
about twice as large as a spectacle-case, and, at length, drew out two or
three little paper packets, which he unfolded, and exhibited a superb
ruby.  He threw on the table, with a contemptuous air, a little cross of
green and white stones.  I looked at it and said, “That is not to be
despised.”  I put it on, and admired it greatly.  The Count begged me to
accept it.  I refused--he urged me to take it.  Madame then refused it
for me.  At length, he pressed it upon me so warmly that Madame, seeing
that it could not be worth above forty Louis, made me a sign to accept
it.  I took the cross, much pleased at the Count’s politeness; and, some
days after, Madame presented him with an enamelled box, upon which was
the portrait of some Grecian sage (whose name I don’t recollect), to whom
she compared him.  I skewed the cross to a jeweller, who valued it at
sixty-five Louis.  The Count offered to bring Madame some enamel
portraits, by Petitot, to look at, and she told him to bring them after
dinner, while the King was hunting.  He shewed his portraits, after which
Madame said to him, “I have heard a great deal of a charming story you
told two days ago, at supper, at M. le Premier’s, of an occurrence you
witnessed fifty or sixty years ago.”  He smiled and said, “It is rather
long.”--“So much the better,” said she, with an air of delight.  Madame
de Gontaut and the ladies came in, and the door was shut; Madame made a
sign to me to sit down behind the screen.  The Count made many apologies
for the ennui which his story would, perhaps, occasion.  He said,
“Sometimes one can tell a story pretty well; at other times it is quite a
different thing.”

“At the beginning of this century, the Marquis de St. Gilles was
Ambassador from Spain to the Hague.  In his youth he had been
particularly intimate with the Count of Moncade, a grandee of Spain, and
one of the richest nobles of that country.  Some months after the
Marquis’s arrival at the Hague, he received a letter from the Count,
entreating him, in the name of their former friendship, to render him the
greatest possible service.  ‘You know,’ said he, ‘my dear Marquis, the
mortification I felt that the name of Moncade was likely to expire with
me.  At length, it pleased heaven to hear my prayers, and to grant me a
son: he gave early promise of dispositions worthy of his birth, but he,
some time since, formed an unfortunate and disgraceful attachment to the
most celebrated actress of the company of Toledo.  I shut my eyes to this
imprudence on the part of a young man whose conduct had, till then,
caused me unmingled satisfaction.  But, having learnt that he was so
blinded by passion as to intend to marry this girl, and that he had even
bound himself by a written promise to that effect, I solicited the King
to have her placed in confinement.  My son, having got information of the
steps I had taken, defeated my intentions by escaping with the object of
his passion.  For more than six months I have vainly endeavoured to
discover where he has concealed himself, but I have now some reason to
think he is at the Hague.  The Count earnestly conjured the Marquis to
make the most rigid search, in order to discover his son’s retreat, and
to endeavour to prevail upon him to return to his home.  ‘It is an act of
justice,’ continued he, ‘to provide for the girl, if she consents to
give up the written promise of marriage which she has received, and I
leave it to your discretion to do what is right for her, as well as to
determine the sum necessary to bring my son to Madrid in a manner
suitable to his condition.  I know not,’ concluded he, ‘whether you are a
father; if you are, you will be able to sympathise in my anxieties.’ The
Count subjoined to this letter an exact description of his son, and the
young woman by whom he was accompanied.

“On the receipt of this letter, the Marquis lost not a moment in sending
to all the inns in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and the Hague, but in vain--he
could find no trace of them.  He began to despair of success, when the
idea struck him that a young French page of his, remarkable for his
quickness and intelligence, might be employed with advantage.  He
promised to reward him handsomely if he succeeded in finding the young
woman, who was the cause of so much anxiety, and gave him the description
of her person.  The page visited all the public places for many days,
without success; at length, one evening, at the play, he saw a young man
and woman, in a box, who attracted his attention.  When he saw that they,
perceived he was looking at them, and withdrew to the back of the box to
avoid his observation, he felt confident that they were the objects of
his search.  He did not take his eyes from the bog, and watched every
movement in it.  The instant the performance ended, he was in the passage
leading from the boxes to the door, and he remarked that the young man,
who, doubtless, observed the dress he wore, tried to conceal himself, as
he passed him, by putting his handkerchief before his face.  He followed
him, at a distance, to the inn called the Vicomte de Turenne, which he
saw him and the woman enter; and, being now certain of success, he ran to
inform the Ambassador.  The Marquis de St. Gilles immediately repaired to
the inn, wrapped in a cloak, and followed by his page and two servants.
He desired the landlord to show him to the room of a young man and woman,
who had lodged for some time in his house.  The landlord, for some time,
refused to do so, unless the Marquis would give their name.  The page
told him to take notice that he was speaking to the Spanish Ambassador,
who had strong reasons for wishing to see the persons in question.  The
innkeeper said they wished not to be known, and that they had absolutely
forbidden him to admit anybody into their apartment who did not ask for
them by name; but that, since the Ambassador desired it, he would show
him their room.  He then conducted them up to a dirty, miserable garret.
He knocked at the door, and waited for some time; he then knocked again
pretty, loudly, upon which the door was half-opened.  At the sight of the
Ambassador and his suite, the person who opened it immediately closed it
again, exclaiming that they, had made a mistake.  The Ambassador pushed
hard against him, forced his way, in, made a sign to his people to wait
outside, and remained in the room.  He saw before him a very handsome
young man, whose appearance perfectly, corresponded with the description,
and a young woman, of great beauty, and remarkably fine person, whose
countenance, form, colour of the hair, etc., were also precisely those
described by the Count of Moncade.  The young man spoke first.  He
complained of the violence used in breaking into the apartment of a
stranger, living in a free country, and under the protection of its laws.
The Ambassador stepped forward to embrace him, and said, ‘It is useless
to feign, my dear Count; I know you, and I do not come here--to give pain
to you or to this lady, whose appearance interests me extremely.’  The
young man replied that he was totally mistaken; that he was not a Count,
but the son of a merchant of Cadiz; that the lady was his wife; and, that
they were travelling for pleasure.  The Ambassador, casting his eyes
round the miserably furnished room, which contained but one bed, and some
packages of the shabbiest kind, lying in disorder about the room, ‘Is
this, my dear child (allow me to address you by a title which is
warranted by my tender regard for your father), is this a fit residence
for the son of the Count of Moncade?’  The young man still protested
against the use of any such language, as addressed to him.  At length,
overcome by the entreaties of the Ambassador, he confessed, weeping, that
he was the son of the Count of Moncade, but declared that nothing should
induce him to return to his father, if he must abandon a woman he adored.
The young woman burst into tears, and threw herself at the feet of the
Ambassador, telling him that she would not be the cause of the ruin of
the young Count; and that generosity, or rather, love, would enable her
to disregard her own happiness, and, for his sake, to separate herself
from him.  The Ambassador admired her noble disinterestedness.  The young
man, on the contrary, received her declaration with the most desperate
grief.  He reproached his mistress, and declared that he would never
abandon so estimable a creature, nor suffer the sublime generosity of her
heart to be turned against herself.  The Ambassador told him that the
Count of Moncade was far from wishing to render her miserable, and that
he was commissioned to provide her with a sum sufficient to enable her to
return into Spain, or to live where she liked.  Her noble sentiments, and
genuine tenderness, he said, inspired him with the greatest interest for
her, and would induce him to go to the utmost limits of his powers, in
the sum he was to give her; that he, therefore, promised her ten thousand
florins, that is to say, about twelve hundred Louis, which would be given
her the moment she surrendered the promise of marriage she had received,
and the Count of Moncade took up his abode in the Ambassador’s house, and
promised to return to Spain.  The young woman seemed perfectly
indifferent to the sum proposed, and wholly absorbed in her lover, and in
the grief of leaving him.  She seemed insensible to everything but the
cruel sacrifice which her reason, and her love itself, demanded.  At
length, drawing from a little portfolio the promise of marriage, signed
by the Count, ‘I know his heart too well,’ said she, ‘to need it.’  Then
she kissed it again and again, with a sort of transport, and delivered it
to the Ambassador, who stood by, astonished at the grandeur of soul he
witnessed.  He promised her that he would never cease to take the
liveliest interest in her fate, and assured the Count of his father’s
forgiveness.  ‘He will receive with open arms,’ said he, ‘the prodigal
son, returning to the bosom of his distressed family; the heart of a
father is an exhaustless mine of tenderness.  How great will be the
felicity of my friend on the receipt of these tidings, after his long
anxiety and affliction; how happy do I esteem myself, at being the
instrument of that felicity?’  Such was, in part, the language of the
Ambassador, which appeared to produce a strong impression on the young
man.  But, fearing lest, during the night, love should regain all his
power, and should triumph over the generous resolution of the lady, the
Marquis pressed the young Count to accompany him to his hotel.  The
tears, the cries of anguish, which marked this cruel separation, cannot
be described; they deeply touched the heart of the Ambassador, who
promised to watch over the young lady.  The Count’s little baggage was
not difficult to remove, and, that very evening, he was installed in the
finest apartment of the Ambassador’s house.  The Marquis was overjoyed at
having restored to the illustrious house of Moncade the heir of its
greatness, and of its magnificent domains.  On the following morning, as
soon as the young Count was up, he found tailors, dealers in cloth, lace,
stuffs, etc., out of which he had only to choose.  Two valets de chambre,
and three laquais, chosen by the Ambassador for their intelligence and
good conduct, were in waiting in his antechamber, and presented
themselves, to receive his orders.  The Ambassador shewed the young Count
the letter he had just written to his father, in which he congratulated
him on possessing a son whose noble sentiments and striking qualities
were worthy of his illustrious blood, and announced his speedy return.
The young lady was not forgotten; he confessed that to her generosity he
was partly indebted for the submission of her lover, and expressed his
conviction that the Count would not disapprove the gift he had made her,
of ten thousand florins.  That sum was remitted, on the same day, to this
noble and interesting girl, who left the Hague without delay.  The
preparations for the Count’s journey were made; a splendid wardrobe and
an excellent carriage were embarked at Rotterdam, in a ship bound for
France, on board which a passage was secured for the Count, who was to
proceed from that country to Spain.  A considerable sum of money, and
letters of credit on Paris, were given him at his departure; and the
parting between the Ambassador and the young Count was most touching. The
Marquis de St. Gilles awaited with impatience the Count’s answer, and
enjoyed his friend’s delight by anticipation.  At the expiration of four
months, he received this long-expected letter.  It would be utterly
impossible to describe his surprise on reading the following words,
‘Heaven, my dear Marquis, never granted me the happiness of becoming a
father, and, in the midst of abundant wealth and honours, the grief of
having no heirs, and seeing an illustrious race end in my person, has
shed the greatest bitterness over my whole existence.  I see, with
extreme regret, that you have been imposed upon by a young adventurer,
who has taken advantage of the knowledge he had, by some means, obtained,
of our old friendship.  But your Excellency must not be the sufferer. The
Count of Moncade is, most assuredly, the person whom you wished to serve;
he is bound to repay what your generous friendship hastened to advance,
in order to procure him a happiness which he would have felt most deeply.
I hope, therefore, Marquis, that your Excellency will have no hesitation
in accepting the remittance contained in this letter, of three thousand
Louis of France, of the disbursal of which you sent me an account.’”

The manner in which the Comte de St. Germain spoke, in the characters of
the young adventurer, his mistress, and the Ambassador, made his audience
weep and laugh by turns.  The story is true in every particular, and the
adventurer surpasses Gusman d’Alfarache in address, according to the
report of some persons present.  Madame de Pompadour thought of having a
play written, founded on this story; and the Count sent it to her in
writing, from which I transcribed it.

M. Duclos came to the Doctor’s, and harangued with his usual warmth.  I
heard him saying to two or three persons, “People are unjust to great
men, Ministers and Princes; nothing, for instance, is more common than to
undervalue their intellect.  I astonished one of these little gentlemen
of the corps of the infallibles, by telling him that I could prove that
there had been more men of ability in the house of Bourbon, for the last
hundred years, than in any other family.”--“You prove that?”  said
somebody, sneeringly.  “Yes,” said Duclos; “and I will tell you how.  The
great Conde, you will allow, was no fool; and the Duchesse de Longueville
is cited as one of the wittiest women that ever lived.  The Regent was a
man who had few equals, in every kind of talent and acquirement.  The
Prince de Conti, who was elected King of Poland, was celebrated for his
intelligence, and, in poetry, was the successful rival of La Fare and St.
Aulaire.  The Duke of Burgundy was learned and enlightened.  His Duchess,
the daughter of Louis XIV., was remarkably clever, and wrote epigrams and
couplets.  The Duc du Maine is generally spoken of only for his weakness,
but nobody had a more agreeable wit.  His wife was mad, but she had an
extensive acquaintance with letters, good taste in poetry, and a
brilliant and inexhaustible imagination.  Here are instances enough, I
think,” said he; “and, as I am no flatterer, and hate to appear one, I
will not speak of the living.”  His hearers were astonished at this
enumeration, and all of them agreed in the truth of what he had said.
He added, “Don’t we daily hear of silly D’Argenson, because he has a
good-natured air, and a bourgeois tone?  and yet, I believe, there have
not been many Ministers comparable to him in knowledge and in
enlightened views.”

[Rene LOUIS d’Argenson, who was Minister for Foreign Affairs.  He was the
author of ‘Considerations sur le Gouvernement’, and of several other
works, from which succeeding political writers have drawn, and still draw
ideas, which they give to the world as new. This man, remarkable not only
for profound and original thinking, but for clear and forcible
expression, was, nevertheless, D’Argenson la bete.  It is said, however,
that he affected the simplicity, and even silliness of manner, which
procured him that appellation.  If, as we hope, the unedited memoirs left
by Rene d’Argenson will be given to the world, they will be found fully
to justify the opinion of Duclos, with regard to this Minister, and the
inappropriateness of his nickname.]

I took a pen, which lay on the Doctor’s table, and begged M. Duclos to
repeat to me all the names he had mentioned, and the eulogium he had
bestowed on each.  “If,” said he, “you show that to the Marquise, tell
her how the conversation arose, and that I did not say it in order that
it might come to her ears, and eventually, perhaps, to those of another
person.  I am an historiographer, and I will render justice, but I
shall, also, often inflict it.”--“I will answer for that,” said the
Doctor, “and our master will be represented as he really is.  Louis XIV.
liked verses, and patronised poets; that was very well, perhaps, in his
time, because one must begin with something; but this age will be very
superior to the last.  It must be acknowledged that Louis XV., in
sending astronomers to Mexico and Peru, to measure the earth, has a
higher claim to our respect than if he directed an opera.  He has thrown
down the barriers which opposed the progress of philosophy, in spite of
the clamour of the devotees: the Encyclopaedia will do honour to his
reign.”  Duclos, during this speech, shook his head.  I went away, and
tried to write down all I had heard, while it was fresh.  I had the part
which related to the Princes of the Bourbon race copied by a valet, who
wrote a beautiful hand, and I gave it to Madame de Pompadour.  But she
said to me, “What! is Duclos an acquaintance of yours?  Do you want to
play the ‘bel esprit’, my dear good woman?  That will not sit well upon
you.”  The truth is, that nothing can be further from my inclination.  I
told her that I met him accidentally at the Doctor’s, where he generally
spent an hour when he came to Versailles.  “The King knows him to be a
worthy man,” said she.

Madame de Pompadour was ill, and the King came to see her several times a
day.  I generally left the room when he entered, but, having stayed a few
minutes, on one occasion, to give her a glass of chicory water, I heard
the King mention Madame d’Egmont.  Madame raised her eyes to heaven, and
said, “That name always recalls to me a most melancholy and barbarous
affair; but it was not my fault.”  These words dwelt in my mind, and,
particularly, the tone in which they were uttered.  As I stayed with
Madame till three o’clock in the morning, reading to her a part of the
time, it was easy for me to try to satisfy my curiosity.  I seized a
moment, when the reading was interrupted, to say, “You looked dreadfully
shocked, Madame, when the King pronounced the name of D’Egmont.”  At
these words, she again raised her eyes, and said, “You would feel as I
do, if you knew the affair.”--“It must, then, be deeply affecting, for I
do not think that it personally concerns you, Madame.”--“No,” said she,
“it does not; as, however, I am not the only person acquainted with this
history, and as I know you to be discreet, I will tell it you.  The last
Comte d’Egmont married a reputed daughter of the Duc de Villars; but the
Duchess had never lived with her husband, and the Comtesse d’Egmont is,
in fact, a daughter of the Chevalier d’Orleans.--[Legitimate son of the
Regent, Grand Prior of France.]--At the death of her husband, young,
beautiful, agreeable, and heiress to an immense fortune, she attracted
the suit and homage of all the most distinguished men at Court.  Her
mother’s director, one day, came into her room and requested a private
interview; he then revealed to her that she was the offspring of an
adulterous intercourse, for which her mother had been doing penance for
five-and-twenty years.  ‘She could not,’ said he, ‘oppose your former
marriage, although it caused her extreme distress.  Heaven did not grant
you children; but, if you marry again, you run the risk, Madame, of
transmitting to another family the immense wealth, which does not, in
fact, belong to you, and which is the price of crime.’

“The Comtesse d’Egmont heard this recital with horror.  At the same
instant, her mother entered, and, on her knees, besought her daughter to
avert her eternal damnation.  Madame d’Egmont tried to calm her own and
her mother’s mind.  ‘What can I do?’ said she, to her.  ‘Consecrate
yourself wholly to God,’ replied the director, ‘and thus expiate your
mother’s crime.’  The Countess, in her terror, promised whatever they
asked, and proposed to enter the Carmelites.  I was informed of it, and
spoke to the King about the barbarous tyranny the Duchesse de Villars and
the director were about to exercise over this unhappy young woman; but we
knew not how to prevent it.  The King, with the utmost kindness,
prevailed on the Queen to offer her the situation of Lady of the Palace,
and desired the Duchess’s friends to persuade her to endeavour to deter
her daughter from becoming a Carmelite.  It was all in vain; the wretched
victim was sacrificed.”

Madame took it into her head to consult a fortuneteller, called Madame
Bontemps, who had told M. de Bernis’s fortune, as I have already related,
and had surprised him by her predictions.  M. de Choiseul, to whom she
mentioned the matter, said that the woman had also foretold fine things
that were to happen to him.  “I know it,” said she, “and, in return, you
promised her a carriage, but the poor woman goes on foot still.”  Madame
told me this, and asked me how she could disguise herself, so as to see
the woman without being known.  I dared not propose any scheme then, for
fear it should not succeed; but, two days after, I talked to her surgeon
about the art, which some beggars practise, of counterfeiting sores, and
altering their features.  He said that was easy enough.  I let the thing
drop, and, after an interval of some minutes, I said, “If one could
change one’s features, one might have great diversion at the opera, or at
balls.  What alterations would it be necessary to make in me, now, to
render it impossible to recognise me?”--“In the first place,” said he,
“you must alter the colour of your hair, then you must have a false nose,
and put a spot on some part of your face, or a wart, or a few hairs.” I
laughed, and said, “Help me to contrive this for the next ball; I have
not been to one for twenty years; but I am dying to puzzle somebody, and
to tell him things which no one but I can tell him.  I shall come home,
and go to bed, in a quarter of an hour.”--“I must take the measure of
your nose,” said he; “or do you take it with wax, and I will have a nose
made: you can get a flaxen or brown wig.”  I repeated to Madame what the
surgeon had told me: she was delighted at it.  I took the measure of her
nose, and of my own, and carried them to the surgeon, who, in two days,
gave me the two noses, and a wart, which Madame stuck under her left eye,
and some paint for the eyebrows.  The noses were most delicately made, of
a bladder, I think, and these, with the ether disguises, rendered it
impossible to recognize the face, and yet did not produce any shocking
appearance.  All this being accomplished, nothing remained but to give
notice to the fortuneteller; we waited for a little excursion to Paris,
which Madame was to take, to look at her house.  I then got a person,
with whom I had no connection, to speak to a waiting-woman of the
Duchesse de Ruffec, to obtain an interview with the woman.  She made some
difficulty, on account of the Police; but we promised secrecy, and
appointed the place of meeting.  Nothing could be more contrary to Madame
de Pompadour’s character, which was one of extreme timidity, than to
engage in such an adventure.  But her curiosity was raised to the highest
pitch, and, moreover, everything was so well arranged that there was not
the slightest risk.  Madame had let M. de Gontaut, and her valet de
chambre, into the secret.  The latter had hired two rooms for his niece,
who was then ill, at Versailles, near Madame’s hotel.  We went out in the
evening, followed by the valet de chambre, who was a safe man, and by the
Duke, all on foot.  We had not, at farthest, above two hundred steps to
go.  We were shown into two small rooms, in which were fires.  The two
men remained in one, and we in the other.  Madame had thrown herself on a
sofa.  She had on a night-cap, which concealed half her face, in an
unstudied manner.  I was near the fire, leaning on a table, on which were
two candles.  There were lying on the chairs, near us, some clothes, of
small value.  The fortune-teller rang--a little servant-girl let her in,
and then went to wait in the room where the gentlemen were.  Coffee-cups,
and a coffee-pot, were set; and I had taken care to place, upon a little
buffet, some cakes, and a bottle of Malaga wine, having heard that Madame
Bontemps assisted her inspiration with that liquor.  Her face, indeed,
sufficiently proclaimed it.  “Is that lady ill?”  said she, seeing Madame
de Pompadour stretched languidly on the sofa.  I told her that she would
soon be better, but that she had kept her room for a week.  She heated
the coffee, and prepared the two cups, which she carefully wiped,
observing that nothing impure must enter into this operation.  I affected
to be very anxious for a glass of wine, in order to give our oracle a
pretext for assuaging her thirst, which she did, without much entreaty.
When she had drunk two or three small glasses (for I had taken care not
to have large ones), she poured the coffee into one of the two large
cups.  “This is yours,” said she; “and this is your friends’s; let them
stand a little.”  She then observed our hands and our faces; after which
she drew a looking-glass from her pocket, into which she told us to look,
while she looked at the reflections of our faces.  She next took a glass
of wine, and immediately threw herself into a fit of enthusiasm, while
she inspected my cup, and considered all the lines formed by the dregs of
the coffee she had poured out.  She began by saying, “That is
well--prosperity--but there is a black mark--distresses.  A man becomes a
comforter.  Here, in this corner, are friends, who support you.  Ah! who
is he that persecutes them?  But justice triumphs--after rain,
sunshine--a long journey successful.  There, do you see these little
bags?  That is money which has been paid--to you, of course, I mean.
That is well.  Do you see that arm?”--“Yes.”--“That is an arm supporting
something: a woman veiled; I see her; it is you.  All this is clear to
me.  I hear, as it were, a voice speaking to me.  You are no longer
attacked.  I see it, because the clouds in that direction are passed off
(pointing to a clearer spot).  But, stay--I see small lines which branch
out from the main spot.  These are sons, daughters, nephews--that is
pretty well.” She appeared overpowered with the effort she was making.
At length, she added, “That is all.  You have had good luck
first--misfortune afterward. You have had a friend, who has exerted
himself with success to extricate you from it.  You have had lawsuits--at
length fortune has been reconciled to you, and will change no more.”  She
drank another glass of wine.  “Your health, Madame,” said she to the
Marquise, and went through the same ceremonies with the cup.  At length,
she broke out, “Neither fair nor foul.  I see there, in the distance, a
serene sky; and then all these things that appear to ascend all these
things are applauses.  Here is a grave man, who stretches out his arms.
Do you see?--look attentively.”--“That is true,” said Madame de
Pompadour, with surprise (there was, indeed, some appearance of the
kind).  “He points to something square that is an open coffer.  Fine
weather.  But, look! there are clouds of azure and gold, which surround
you.  Do you see that ship on the high sea?  How favourable the wind is!
You are on board; you land in a beautiful country, of which you become
the Queen.  Ah! what do I see?  Look there--look at that hideous,
crooked, lame man, who is pursuing you--but he is going on a fool’s
errand.  I see a very great man, who supports you in his arms.  Here,
look! he is a kind of giant. There is a great deal of gold and silver--a
few clouds here and there. But you have nothing to fear.  The vessel will
be sometimes tossed about, but it will not be lost.  Dixi.”  Madame said,
“When shall I die, and of what disease?”--“I never speak of that,” said
she; “see here, rather but fate will not permit it.  I will shew you how
fate confounds everything”--shewing her several confused lumps of the
coffee-dregs.  “Well, never mind as to the time, then, only tell me the
kind of death.”  The fortune-teller looked in the cup, and said, “You
will have time to prepare yourself.”  I gave her only two Louis, to avoid
doing anything remarkable.  She left us, after begging us to keep her
secret, and we rejoined the Duc de Gontaut, to whom we related everything
that had passed.  He laughed heartily, and said, “Her coffee-dregs are
like the clouds--you may see what you please in them.”

There was one thing in my horoscope which struck me, that was the
comforter; because one of my uncles had taken great care of me, and had
rendered me the most essential services.  It is also true that I
afterwards had an important lawsuit; and, lastly, there was the money
which had come into my hands through Madame de Pompadour’s patronage and
bounty.  As for Madame, her husband was represented accurately enough by
the man with the coffer; then the country of which she became Queen
seemed to relate to her present situation at Court; but the most
remarkable thing was the crooked and lame man, in whom Madame thought she
recognized the Duc de V-----, who was very much deformed.  Madame was
delighted with her adventure and her horoscope, which she thought
corresponded very remarkably with the truth.  Two days after, she sent
for M. de St. Florentin, and begged him not to molest the fortuneteller.
He laughed, and replied that he knew why she interceded for this woman.
Madame asked him why he laughed.  He related every circumstance of her
expedition with astonishing exactness;--[M. de St.  Florentin was
Minister for Paris, to whom the Lieutenant of Police was
accountable.]--but he knew nothing of what had been said, or, at least,
so he pretended. He promised Madame that, provided Bontemps did nothing
which called for notice, she should not be obstructed in the exercise of
her profession, especially if she followed it in secret.  “I know her,”
 added he, “and I, like other people, have had the curiosity to consult
her.  She is the wife of a soldier in the guards.  She is a clever woman
in her way, but she drinks.  Four or five years ago, she got such hold on
the mind of Madame de Ruffec, that she made her believe she could procure
her an elixir of beauty, which would restore her to what she was at
twenty-five. The Duchess pays high for the drugs of which this elixir is
compounded; and sometimes they are bad: sometimes, the sun, to which they
were exposed, was not powerful enough; sometimes, the influence of a
certain constellation was wanting.  Sometimes, she has the courage to
assure the Duchess that she really is grown handsomer, and actually
succeeds in making her believe it.”  But the history of this woman’s
daughter is still more curious.  She was exquisitely beautiful, and the
Duchess brought her up in her own house.  Bontemps predicted to the girl,
in the Duchess’s presence, that she would marry a man of two thousand
Louis a year.  This was not very likely to happen to the daughter of a
soldier in the guards.  It did happen, nevertheless.  The little Bontemps
married the President Beaudouin, who was mad.  But, the tragical part of
the story is, that her mother had also foretold that she would die in
childbirth of her first child, and that she did actually die in
child-birth, at the age of eighteen, doubtless under a strong impression
of her mother’s prophecy, to which the improbable event of her marriage
had given such extraordinary weight.  Madame told the King of the
adventure her curiosity had led her into, at which he laughed, and said
he wished the Police had arrested her.  He added a very sensible remark.
“In order to judge,” said he, “of the truth or falsehood of such
predictions, one ought to collect fifty of them.  It would be found that
they are almost always made up of the same phrases, which are sometimes
inapplicable, and some times hit the mark.  But the first are
rarely-mentioned, while the others are always insisted on.”

I have heard, and, indeed, it is certainly true, that M. de Bridge lived
on terms of intimacy with Madame, when she was Madame d’Aioles.  He used
to ride on horseback with her, and, as he is so handsome a man, that he
has retained the name of the handsome man, it was natural enough that he
should be thought the lover of a very handsome woman.  I have heard
something more than this.  I was told that the King said to M. de Bridge,
“Confess, now, that you were her lover.  She has acknowledged it to me,
and I exact from you this proof of sincerity.”  M. de. Bridge replied,
that Madame de Pompadour was at liberty to say what she pleased for her
own amusement, or for any other reason; but that he, for his part, could
not assert a falsehood; that he had been, her friend; that she was a
charming companion, and had great talents; that he delighted in her
society;  but that his intercourse with her had never gone beyond the
bounds of friendship.  He added, that her husband was present in all
their parties, that he watched her with a jealous eye, and that he would
not have suffered him to be so much with her if he had conceived the
least suspicion of the kind.  The King persisted, and told him he was
wrong to endeavour to conceal a fact which was unquestionable.  It was
rumoured, also, that the Abbe de Bernis had been a favoured lover of
hers.  The said Abbe was rather a coxcomb; he had a handsome face, and
wrote poetry.  Madame de Pompadour was the theme of his gallant verses.
He sometimes received the compliments of his friends upon his success
with a smile which left some room for conjecture, although he denied the
thing in words.  It was, for some time, reported at Court that she was in
love with the Prince de Beauvau: he is a man distinguished for his
gallantries, his air of rank and fashion, and his high play; he is
brother to the little Marechale: for all these reasons, Madame is very
civil to him, but there is nothing marked in her behaviour.  She knows,
besides, that he is in love with a very agreeable woman.

Now that I am on the subject of lovers, I cannot avoid speaking of M. de
Choiseul.  Madame likes him better than any of those I have just
mentioned, but he is not her lover.  A lady, whom I know perfectly well,
but whom I do not chose to denounce to Madame, invented a story about
them, which was utterly false.  She said, as I have good reason to
believe, that one day, hearing the King coming, I ran to Madame’s closet
door; that I coughed in a particular manner; and that the King having,
happily, stopped a moment to talk to some ladies, there was time to
adjust matters, so that Madame came out of the closet with me and M. de
Choiseul, as if we had been all three sitting together.  It is very true
that I went in to carry something to Madame, without knowing that the
King was come, and that she came out of the closet with M. de Choiseul,
who had a paper in his hand, and that I followed her a few minutes after.
The King asked M. de Choiseul what that paper was which he had in his
hand.  He replied that it contained the remonstrance from the Parliament.

Three or four ladies witnessed what I now relate, and as, with the
exception of one, they were all excellent women, and greatly attached to
Madame, my suspicions could fall on none but the one in question, whom I
will not name, because her brother has always treated me with great
kindness.  Madame de Pompadour had a lively imagination and great
sensibility, but nothing could exceed the coldness of her temperament. It
would, besides, have been extremely difficult for her, surrounded as she
was, to keep up an intercourse of that kind with any man.  It is true
that this difficulty would have been diminished in the case of an
all-powerful Minister, who had constant pretexts for seeing her in
private. But there was a much more decisive fact--M. de Choiseul had a
charming mistress--the Princess de R------, and Madame knew it, and often
spoke of her.  He had, besides, some remains of liking for the Princess
de Kinski, who followed him from Vienna.  It is true that he soon after
discovered how ridiculous she was.  All these circumstances combined
were, surely, sufficient to deter Madame from engaging in a love affair
with the Duke; but his talents and agreeable qualities captivated her.
He was not handsome, but he had manners peculiar to himself, an agreeable
vivacity, a delightful gaiety; this was the general opinion of his
character.  He was much attached to Madame, and though this might, at
first, be inspired by a consciousness of the importance of her friendship
to his interest, yet, after he had acquired sufficient political strength
to stand alone, he was not the less devoted to her, nor less assiduous in
his attentions. He knew her friendship for me, and he one day said to me,
with great feeling, “I am afraid, my dear Madame du Hausset, that she
will sink into a state of complete dejection, and die of melancholy.  Try
to divert her.”  What a fate for the favourite of the greatest monarch in
existence! thought I.

One day, Madame de Pompadour had retired to her closet with M. Berryer.
Madame d’Amblimont stayed with Madame de Gontaut, who called me to talk
about my son.  A moment after, M. de Gontaut came in and said,
“D’Amblimont, who shall have the Swiss guards?”--“Stop a moment,” said
she; “let me call my council----, M. de Choiseul.”--“That is not so very
bad a thought,” said M. de Gontaut, “but I assure you, you are the first
person who has suggested it.”  He immediately left us, and Madame
d’Amblimont said, “I’ll lay a wager he is going to communicate my idea to
M. de Choiseul.”  He returned very shortly, and, M. Berrier having left
the room, he said to Madame de Pompadour, “A singular thought has entered
d’Amblimont’s head.”--“What absurdity now?”  said Madame.  “Not so great
an absurdity neither,” said he.  “She says the Swiss guards ought to be
given to M. de Choiseul, and, really, if the King has not positively
promised M. de Soubise, I don’t see what he can do better.”--“The King
has promised nothing,” said Madame, “and the hopes I gave him were of the
vaguest kind.  I only told him it was possible.  But though I have a
great regard for M. de Soubise, I do not think his merits comparable to
those of M. de Choiseul.”  When the King came in, Madame, doubtless, told
him of this suggestion.  A quarter of an hour afterwards, I went into the
room to speak to her, and I heard the King say, “You will see that,
because the Duc du Maine, and his children, had that place, he will think
he ought to have it, on account of his rank as Prince (Soubise); but the
Marechal de Bassompierre was not a Prince; and, by the bye, the Duc de
Choiseul is his grandnephew; do you know that?”--“Your Majesty is better
acquainted with the history of France than anybody,” replied Madame.  Two
days after this, Madame de said to me, “I have two great delights; M. de
Soubise will not have the Swiss guards, and Madame de Marsan will be
ready to burst with rage at it; this is the first: and M. de Choiseul
will have them; this is the greatest.”


[The whole of this passage is in a different handwriting.]

There was a universal talk of a young lady with whom the King was as much
in love as it was possible for him to be.  Her name was Romans.  She was
said to be a charming girl.  Madame de Pompadour knew of the King’s
visits, and her confidantes brought her most alarming reports of the
affair.  The Marechale de Mirepoix, who had the best head in Madame’s
council, was the only one who encouraged her.  “I do not tell you,” said
she, “that he loves you better than her; and if she could be transported
hither by the stroke of a fairy’s wand; if she could entertain him this
evening at supper; if she were familiar with all his tastes, there would,
perhaps, be sufficient reason for you to tremble for your power.  But
Princes are, above all, pre-eminently the slaves of habit.  The King’s
attachment to you is like that he bears to your apartment, your
furniture.  You have formed yourself to his manners and habits; you know
how to listen and reply to his stories; he is under no constraint with
you; he has no fear of boring you.  How do you think he could have
resolution to uproot all this in a day, to form a new establishment, and
to make a public exhibition of himself by so striking a change in his
arrangements?”  The young lady became pregnant; the reports current among
the people, and even those at Court, alarmed Madame dreadfully.  It was
said that the King meant to legitimate the child, and to give the mother
a title.  “All that,” said Madame de Mirepoix, “is in the style of Louis
XIV.--such dignified proceedings are very unlike those of our master.”
 Mademoiselle Romans lost all her influence over the King by her
indiscreet boasting.  She was even treated with harshness and violence,
which were in no degree instigated by Madame.  Her house was searched,
and her papers seized; but the most important, those which substantiated
the fact of the King’s paternity, had been withdrawn.  At length she gave
birth to a son, who was christened under the name of Bourbon, son of
Charles de Bourbon, Captain of Horse.  The mother thought the eyes of all
France were fixed upon her, and beheld in her son a future Duc du Maine.
She suckled him herself, and she used to carry him in a sort of basket to
the Bois de Boulogne.  Both mother and child were covered with the finest
laces.  She sat down upon the grass in a solitary spot, which, however,
was soon well known, and there gave suck to her royal babe.  Madame had
great curiosity to see her, and took me, one day, to the manufactory at
Sevres, without telling me what she projected.  After she had bought some
cups, she said, “I want to go and walk in the Bois de Boulogne,” and gave
orders to the coachman to stop at a certain spot where she wished to
alight.  She had got the most accurate directions, and when she drew near
the young lady’s haunt she gave me her arm, drew her bonnet over her
eyes, and held her pocket-handkerchief before the lower part of her face.
We walked, for some minutes, in a path, from whence we could see the lady
suckling her child.  Her jet black hair was turned up, and confined by a
diamond comb.  She looked earnestly at us.  Madame bowed to her, and
whispered to me, pushing me by the elbow, “Speak to her.”  I stepped
forward, and exclaimed, “What a lovely child!”--“Yes, Madame,” replied
she, “I must confess that he is, though I am his mother.”  Madame, who
had hold of my arm, trembled, and I was not very firm.  Mademoiselle
Romans said to me, “Do you live in this neighbourhood?”--“Yes, Madame,”
 replied I, “I live at Auteuil with this lady, who is just now suffering
from a most dreadful toothache.”--“I pity her sincerely, for I know that
tormenting pain well.”  I looked all around, for fear any one should come
up who might recognise us.  I took courage to ask her whether the child’s
father was a handsome man.  “Very handsome, and, if I told you his name,
you would agree with me.”--“I have the honour of knowing him, then,
Madame?”--“Most probably you do.”  Madame, fearing, as I did, some
rencontre, said a few words in a low tone, apologizing for having
intruded upon her, and we took our leave.  We looked behind us,
repeatedly, to see if we were followed, and got into the carriage without
being perceived.  “It must be confessed that both mother and child are
beautiful creatures,” said Madame--“not to mention the father; the infant
has his eyes.  If the King had come up while we were there, do you think
he would have recognised us?”--“I don’t doubt that he would, Madame, and
then what an agitation I should have been in, and what a scene it would
have been for the bystanders! and, above all, what a surprise to her!” In
the evening, Madame made the King a present of the cups she had bought,
but she did not mention her walk, for fear Mademoiselle Romans should
tell him that two ladies, who knew him, had met her there such a day.
Madame de Mirepoix said to Madame, “Be assured, the King cares very
little about children; he has enough of them, and he will not be troubled
with the mother or the son.  See what sort of notice he takes of the
Comte de I-----, who is strikingly like him.  He never speaks of him, and
I am convinced that he will never do anything for him.  Again and again I
tell you, we do not live under Louis XIV.”  Madame de Mirepoix had been
Ambassadress to London, and had often heard the English make this remark.

Some alterations had been made in Madame de Pompadour’s rooms, and I had
no longer, as heretofore, the niche in which I had been permitted to sit,
to hear Caffarelli, and, in later times, Mademoiselle Fel and Jeliotte.
I, therefore, went more frequently to my lodgings in town, where I
usually received my friends: more particularly when Madame visited her
little hermitage, whither M. de Gontaut commonly accompanied her.  Madame
du Chiron, the wife of the Head Clerk in the War-Office, came to see me.
“I feel,” said she, “greatly embarrassed, in speaking to you about an
affair, which will, perhaps, embarrass you also.  This is the state of
the case.  A very poor woman, to whom I have sometimes given a little
assistance, pretends to be a relation of the Marquise de Pompadour.  Here
is her petition.”  I read it, and said that the woman had better write
directly to Madame, and that I was sure, if what she asserted was true,
her application would be successful.  Madame du Chiron followed my
advice.  The woman wrote she was in the lowest depth of poverty, and I
learnt that Madame sent her six Louis until she could gain more accurate
information as to the truth of her story.  Colin, who was commissioned to
take the money, made inquiries of M. de Malvoiain, a relation of Madame,
and a very respectable officer.  The fact was found to be as she had
stated it.  Madame then sent her a hundred louis, and promised her a
pension of sixty louis a year.  All this was done with great expedition,
and Madame had a visit of thanks from her poor relation, as soon as she
had procured decent clothes to come in.  That day the King happened to
come in at an unusual hour, and saw this person going out.  He asked who
it was.  “It is a very poor relation of mine,” replied Madame.  “She
came, then, to beg for some assistance?”--“No,” said she.  “What did she
come for, then?”--“To thank me for a little service I have rendered her,”
 said she, blushing from the fear of seeming to boast of her liberality.
“Well,” said the King; “since she is your relation, allow me to have the
pleasure of serving her too.  I will give her fifty louis a year out of
my private purse, and, you know, she may send for the first year’s
allowance to-morrow.”  Madame burst into tears, and kissed the King’s
hand several times.  She told me this three days afterwards, when I was
nursing her in a slight attack of fever.  I could not refrain from
weeping myself at this instance of the King’s kindness.  The next day, I
called on Madame du Chiron to tell her of the good fortune of her
protege; I forgot to say that, after Madame had related the affair to me,
I told her what part I had taken in it.  She approved my conduct, and
allowed me to inform my friend of the King’s goodness.  This action,
which showed no less delicate politeness towards her than sensibility to
the sufferings of the poor woman, made a deeper impression on Madame’s
heart than a pension of two thousand a year given to herself.

Madame had terrible palpitations of the heart.  Her heart actually seemed
to leap.  She consulted several physicians.  I recollect that one of them
made her walk up and down the room, lift a weight, and move quickly.  On
her expressing some surprise, he said, “I do this to ascertain whether
the organ is diseased; in that case motion quickens the pulsation; if
that effect is not produced, the complaint proceeds from the nerves.” I
repeated this to my oracle, Quesnay.  He knew very little of this
physician, but he said his treatment was that of a clever man.  His name
was Renard; he was scarcely known beyond the Marais.  Madame often
appeared suffocated, and sighed continually.  One day, under pretence of
presenting a petition to M. de Choiseul, as he was going out, I said, in
a low voice, that I wished to see him a few minutes on an affair of
importance to my mistress.  He told me to come as soon as I pleased, and
that I should be admitted.  I told him that Madame was extremely
depressed; that she gave way to distressing thoughts, which she would not
communicate; that she, one day, said to me, “The fortune-teller told me I
should have time to prepare myself; I believe it, for I shall be worn to
death by melancholy.”  M. de Choiseul appeared much affected; he praised
my zeal, and said that he had already perceived some indications of what
I told him; that he would not mention my name, but would try to draw from
her an explanation.  I don’t know what he said to her; but, from that
time, she was much more calm.  One day, but long afterwards, Madame said
to M. de Gontaut, “I am generally thought to have great influence, but if
it were not for M. de Choiseul, I should not be able to obtain a Cross of
St. Louis.”

The King and Madame de Pompadour had a very high opinion of Madame de
Choiseul.  Madame said, “She always says the right thing in the right
place.”  Madame de Grammont was not so agreeable to them; and I think
that this was to be attributed, in part, to the sound of her voice, and
to her blunt manner of speaking; for she was said to be a woman of great
sense, and devotedly attached to the King and Madame de Pompadour.  Some
people pretended that she tried to captivate the King, and to supplant
Madame: nothing could be more false, or more ridiculously improbable.
Madame saw a great deal of these two ladies, who were extremely attentive
to her.  She one day remarked to the Duc d’Ayen,--[Afterwards Marechal de
Noaines.] that M. de Choiseul was very fond of his sisters.  “I know it,
Madame,” said he, “and many sisters are the better for that.”--“What do
you mean?”  said she.  “Why,” said he, “as the Duc de Choiseul loves his
sister, it is thought fashionable to do the same; and I know silly girls,
whose brothers formerly cared nothing about them, who are now most
tenderly beloved.  No sooner does their little finger ache, than their
brothers are running about to fetch physicians from all corners of Paris.
They flatter themselves that somebody will say, in M. de Choiseul’s
drawing-room, ‘How passionately M. de ------ loves his sister; he would
certainly die if he had the misfortune to lose her.’”  Madame related
this to her brother, in my presence, adding, that she could not give it
in the Duke’s comic manner.  M. de Marigny said, “I have had the start of
them all, without making so much noise; and my dear little sister knows
that I loved her tenderly before Madame de Grammont left her convent.
The Duc d’Ayen, however, is not very wrong; he has made the most of it in
his lively manner, but it is partly true.”--“I forgot,” replied Madame,
“that the Duke said, ‘I want extremely to be in the fashion, but which
sister shall I take up?  Madame de Caumont is a devil incarnate, Madame
de Villars drinks, Madame d’Armagnac is a bore, Madame de la Marck is
half mad.’”--“These are fine family portraits, Duke,” said Madame.  The
Duc de Gontaut laughed, during the whole of this conversation,
immoderately. Madame repeated it, one day, when she kept her bed.  M. de
G----- also began to talk of his sister, Madame du Roure.  I think, at
least, that is the name he mentioned.  He was very gay, and had the art
of creating gaiety.  Somebody said, he is an excellent piece of furniture
for a favourite.  He makes her laugh, and asks for nothing either for
himself or for others; he cannot excite jealousy, and he meddles in
nothing. He was called the White Eunuch.  Madame’s illness increased so
rapidly that we were alarmed about her; but bleeding in the foot cured
her as if by a miracle.  The King watched her with the greatest
solicitude; and I don’t know whether his attentions did not contribute as
much to the cure as the bleeding.  M. de Choiseul remarked, some days
after, that she appeared in better spirits.  I told him that I thought
this improvement might be attributed to the same cause.



I should consider it great presumption to intrude upon the public
anything respecting myself, were there any other way of establishing the
authenticity of the facts and papers I am about to present.  To the
history of my own peculiar situation, amid the great events I record,
which made me the depositary of information and documents so important, I
proceed, therefore, though reluctantly, without further preamble.

I was for many years in the confidential service of the Princesse de
Lamballe, and the most important materials which form my history have
been derived not only from the conversations, but the private papers of
my lamented patroness.  It remains for me to show how I became acquainted
with Her Highness, and by what means the papers I allude to came into my

Though, from my birth, and the rank of those who were the cause of it
(had it not been from political motives kept from my knowledge), in point
of interest I ought to have been very independent, I was indebted for my
resources in early life to His Grace the late Duke of Norfolk and Lady
Mary Duncan.  By them I was placed for education in the Irish Convent,
Rue du Bacq, Faubourg St. Germain, at Paris, where the immortal Sacchini,
the instructor of the Queen, gave me lessons in music.  Pleased with my
progress, the celebrated composer, when one day teaching Marie
Antoinette, so highly overrated to that illustrious lady my infant
natural talents and acquired science in his art, in the presence of her
very shadow, the Princesse de Lamballe, as to excite in Her Majesty an
eager desire for the opportunity of hearing me, which the Princess
volunteered to obtain by going herself to the convent next morning with
Sacchini.  It was enjoined upon the composer, as I afterwards learned,
that he was neither to apprise me who Her Highness was, nor to what
motive I was indebted for her visit.  To this Sacchini readily agreed,
adding, after disclosing to them my connections and situation, “Your
Majesty will be, perhaps, still more surprised, when I, as an Italian,
and her German master, who is a German, declare that she speaks both
these languages like a native, though born in England; and is as well
disposed to the Catholic faith, and as well versed in it, as if she had
been a member of that Church all her life.”

This last observation decided my future good fortune: there was no
interest in the minds of the Queen and Princess paramount to that of
making proselytes to their creed.

The Princess, faithful to her promise, accompanied Sacchini.  Whether it
was chance, ability, or good fortune, let me not attempt to conjecture;
but from that moment I became the protege of this ever-regretted angel.
Political circumstances presently facilitated her introduction of me to
the Queen.  My combining a readiness in the Italian and German languages,
with my knowledge of English and French, greatly promoted my power of
being useful at that crisis, which, with some claims to their confidence
of a higher order, made this august, lamented, injured pair more like
mothers to me than mistresses, till we were parted by their murder.

The circumstances I have just mentioned show that to mere curiosity, the
characteristic passion of our sex and so often its ruin, I am to ascribe
the introduction, which was only prevented by events unparalleled in
history from proving the most fortunate in my life as it is the most
cherished in my recollection.

It will be seen, in the course of the following pages, how often I was
employed on confidential missions, frequently by myself, and, in some
instances, as the attendant of the Princess.  The nature of my situation,
the trust reposed in me, the commissions with which I was honoured, and
the affecting charges of which I was the bearer, flattered my pride and
determined me to make myself an exception to the rule that “no woman can
keep a secret.”  Few ever knew exactly where I was, what I was doing, and
much less the importance of my occupation.  I had passed from England to
France, made two journeys to Italy and Germany, three to the Archduchess
Maria Christiana, Governess of the Low Countries, and returned back to
France, before any of my friends in England were aware of my retreat, or
of my ever having accompanied the Princess.  Though my letters were
written and dated at Paris, they were all forwarded to England by way of
Holland or Germany, that no clue should be given for annoyances from idle
curiosity.  It is to this discreetness, to this inviolable secrecy,
firmness, and fidelity, which I so early in life displayed to the august
personages who stood in need of such a person, that I owe the unlimited
confidence of my illustrious benefactress, through which I was furnished
with the valuable materials I am now submitting to the public.

I was repeatedly a witness, by the side of the Princesse de Lamballe, of
the appalling scenes of the bonnet rouge, of murders a la lanterne, and
of numberless insults to the unfortunate Royal Family of Louis XVI., when
the Queen was generally selected as the most marked victim of malicious
indignity.  Having had the honour of so often beholding this much injured
Queen, and never without remarking how amiable in her manners, how
condescendingly kind in her deportment towards every one about her, how
charitably generous, and withal, how beautiful she was,--I looked upon
her as a model of perfection.  But when I found the public feeling so
much at variance with my own, the difference became utterly
unaccountable.  I longed for some explanation of the mystery.  One day I
was insulted in the Tuileries, because I had alighted from my horse to
walk there without wearing the national ribbon.  On this I met the
Princess: the conversation which grew out of my adventure emboldened me
to question her on a theme to me inexplicable.

“What,” asked I, “can it be which makes the people so outrageous against
the Queen?”

Her Highness condescended to reply in the complimentary terms which I am
about to relate, but without answering my question.

“My dear friend!” exclaimed she, “for from this moment I beg you will
consider me in that light, never having been blessed with children of my
own, I feel there is no way of acquitting myself of the obligations you
have heaped upon me, by the fidelity with which you have executed the
various commissions entrusted to your charge, but by adopting you as one
of my own family.  I am satisfied with you, yes, highly satisfied with
you, on the score of your religious principles; and as soon as the
troubles subside, and we have a little calm after them, my father-in-law
and myself will be present at the ceremony of your confirmation.”

The goodness of my benefactress silenced me gratitude would not allow me
to persevere for the moment.  But from what I had already seen of Her
Majesty the Queen, I was too much interested to lose sight of my
object,--not, let me be believed, from idle womanish curiosity, but from
that real, strong, personal interest which I, in common with all who ever
had the honour of being in her presence, felt for that much-injured, most
engaging sovereign.

A propitious circumstance unexpectedly occurred, which gave me an
opportunity, without any appearance of officious earnestness, to renew
the attempt to gain the end I had in view.

I was riding in the carriage with the Princesse de Lamballe, when a lady
drove by, who saluted my benefactress with marked attention and respect.
There was something in the manner of the Princess, after receiving the
salute, which impelled me, spite of myself, to ask who the lady was.

“Madame de Genlis,” exclaimed Her Highness, with a shudder of disgust,
“that lamb’s face with a wolf’s heart, and a fog’s cunning.”  Or, to
quote her own Italian phrase which I have here translated, “colla faccia
d’agnello, il cuore dun lupo, a la dritura della volpe.”

In the course of these pages the cause of this strong feeling against
Madame de Genlis will be explained.  To dwell on it now would only turn
me aside from my narrative.  To pursue my story, therefore:

When we arrived at my lodgings (which were then, for private reasons, at
the Irish Convent, where Sacchini and other masters attended to further
me in the accomplishments of the fine arts), “Sing me something,” said
the Princess, “‘Cantate mi qualche cosa’, for I never see that woman”
 (meaning Madame de Genlis) “but I feel ill and out of humour.  I wish it
may not be the foreboding of some great evil!”

I sang a little rondo, in which Her Highness and the Queen always
delighted, and which they would never set me free without making me sing,
though I had given them twenty before it.

[The rondo I allude to was written by Sarti for the celebrated Marches!
Lungi da to ben mio, and is the same in which he was so successful in
England, when he introduced it in London in the opera of Giulo Sabino.]

Her Highness honoured me with even more than usual praise.  I kissed the
hand which had so generously applauded my infant talents, and said, “Now,
my dearest Princess, as you are so kind and good-humoured, tell me
something about the Queen!”

She looked at me with her eyes full of tears.  For an instant they stood
in their sockets as if petrified: and then, after a pause, “I cannot,”
 answered she in Italian, as she usually did, “I cannot refuse you
anything.  ‘Non posso neyarti niente’.  It would take me an age to tell
you the many causes which have conspired against this much-injured Queen!
I fear none who are near her person will escape the threatening storm
that hovers over our heads.  The leading causes of the clamour against
her have been, if you must know, Nature; her beauty; her power of
pleasing; her birth; her rank; her marriage; the King himself; her
mother; her imperfect education; and, above all, her unfortunate
partialities for the Abbe Vermond; for the Duchesse de Polignac; for
myself, perhaps; and last, but not least, the thorough, unsuspecting
goodness of her heart!

“But, since you seem to be so much concerned for her exalted, persecuted
Majesty, you shall have a Journal I myself began on my first coming to
France, and which I have continued ever since I have been honoured with
the confidence of Her Majesty, in graciously giving me that unlooked-for
situation at the head of her household, which honour and justice prevent
my renouncing under any difficulties, and which I never will quit but
with my life!”

She wept as she spoke, and her last words were almost choked with sobs.

Seeing her so much affected, I humbly begged pardon for having
unintentionally caused her tears, and begged permission to accompany her
to the Tuileries.

“No,” said she, “you have hitherto conducted yourself with a profound
prudence, which has insured you my confidence.  Do not let your curiosity
change your system.  You shall have the Journal.  But be careful.  Read
it only by yourself, and do not show it to any one.  On these conditions
you shall have it.”

I was in the act of promising, when Her Highness stopped me.

“I want no particular promises.  I have sufficient proofs of your
adherence to truth.  Only answer me simply in the affirmative.”

I said I would certainly obey her injunctions most religiously.

She then left me, and directed that I should walk in a particular part of
the private alleys of the Tuileries, between three and four o’clock in
the afternoon.  I did so; and from her own hand I there received her
private Journal.

In the following September of this same year (1792) she was murdered!

Journalising copiously, for the purpose of amassing authentic materials
for the future historian, was always a favourite practice of the French,
and seems to have been particularly in vogue in the age I mention.  The
press has sent forth whole libraries of these records since the
Revolution, and it is notorious that Louis XV. left Secret Memoirs,
written by his own hand, of what passed before this convulsion; and had
not the papers of the Tuileries shared in the wreck of royalty, it would
have been seen that Louis XVI. had made some progress in the memoirs of
his time; and even his beautiful and unfortunate Queen had herself made
extensive notes and collections for the record of her own disastrous
career.  Hence it must be obvious how one so nearly connected in
situation and suffering with her much-injured mistress, as the Princesse
de Lamballe, would naturally fall into a similar habit had she even no
stronger temptation than fashion and example.  But self-communion, by
means of the pen, is invariably the consolation of strong feeling, and
reflecting minds under great calamities, especially when their
intercourse with the world has been checked or poisoned by its malice.

The editor of these pages herself fell into the habit of which she
speaks; and it being usual with her benefactress to converse with all the
unreserve which every honest mind shows when it feels it can confide, her
humble attendant, not to lose facts of such importance, commonly made
notes of what she heard.  In any other person’s hands the Journal of the
Princess would have been incomplete; especially as it was written in a
rambling manner, and was never intended for publication.  But connected
by her confidential conversations with me, and the recital of the events
to which I personally bear testimony, I trust it will be found the basis
of a satisfactory record, which I pledge myself to be a true one.

I do not know, however, that, at my time of life, and after a lapse of
thirty years, I should have been roused to the arrangement of the papers
which I have combined to form this narrative, had I not met with the work
of Madame Campan upon the same subject.

This lady has said much that is true respecting the Queen; but she has
omitted much, and much she has misrepresented: not, I dare say,
purposely, but from ignorance, and being wrongly informed.  She was often
absent from the service, and on such occasions must have been compelled
to obtain her knowledge at second-hand.  She herself told me, in 1803, at
Rouen, that at a very important epoch the peril of her life forced her
from the seat of action.  With the Princesse de Lamballe, who was so much
about the Queen, she never had any particular connexion.  The Princess
certainly esteemed her for her devotedness to the Queen; but there was a
natural reserve in the Princess’s character, and a mistrust resulting
from circumstances of all those who saw much company, as Madame Campan
did.  Hence no intimacy was encouraged.  Madame Campan never came to the
Princess without being sent for.

An attempt has been made since the Revolution utterly to destroy faith in
the alleged attachment of Madame Campan to the Queen, by the fact of her
having received the daughters of many of the regicides for education into
her establishment at Rouen.  Far be it from me to sanction so unjust a
censure.  Although what I mention hurt her character very much in the
estimation of her former friends, and constituted one of the grounds of
the dissolution of her establishment at Rouen, on the restoration of the
Bourbons, and may possibly in some degree have deprived her of such aids
from their adherents as might have made her work unquestionable, yet what
else, let me ask, could have been done by one dependent upon her
exertions for support, and in the power of Napoleon’s family and his
emissaries?  On the contrary, I would give my public testimony in favour
of the fidelity of her feelings, though in many instances I must withhold
it from the fidelity of her narrative.  Her being utterly isolated from
the illustrious individual nearest to the Queen must necessarily leave
much to be desired in her record.  During the whole term of the Princesse
de Lamballe’s superintendence of the Queen’s household, Madame Campan
never had any special communication with my benefactress, excepting once,
about the things which were to go to Brussels, before the journey to
Varennes; and once again, relative to a person of the Queen’s household,
who had received the visits of Petion, the Mayor of Paris, at her private
lodgings.  This last communication I myself particularly remember,
because on that occasion the Princess, addressing me in her own native
language, Madame Campan, observing it, considered me as an Italian, till,
by a circumstance I shall presently relate, she was undeceived.

I should anticipate the order of events, and incur the necessity of
speaking twice of the same things, were I here to specify the express
errors in the work of Madame Campan.  Suffice it now that I observe
generally her want of knowledge of the Princesse de Lamballe; her
omission of many of the most interesting circumstances of the Revolution;
her silence upon important anecdotes of the King, the Queen, and several
members of the first assembly; her mistakes concerning the Princesse de
Lamballe’s relations with the Duchesse de Polignac, Comte de Fersan,
Mirabeau, the Cardinal de Rohan, and others; her great miscalculation of
the time when the Queen’s confidence in Barnave began, and when that of
the Empress-mother in Rohan ended; her misrepresentation of particulars
relating to Joseph II.; and her blunders concerning the affair of the
necklace, and regarding the libel Madame Lamotte published in England,
with the connivance of Calonne:--all these will be considered, with
numberless other statements equally requiring correction in their turn.
What she has omitted I trust I shall supply; and where she has gone
astray I hope to set her right; that, between the two, the future
biographer of my august benefactresses may be in no want of authentic
materials to do full justice to their honoured memories.

I said in a preceding paragraph that I should relate a circumstance about
Madame Campan, which happened after she had taken me for an Italian and
before she was aware of my being in the service of the Princess.

Madame Campan, though she had seen me not only at the time I mention but
before and after, had always passed me without notice.  One Sunday, when
in the gallery of the Tuileries with Madame de Stael, the Queen, with her
usual suite, of which Madame Campan formed one, was going, according to
custom, to hear Mass, Her Majesty perceived me and most graciously
addressed me in German.  Madame Campan appeared greatly surprised at
this, but walked on and said nothing.  Ever afterwards, however, she
treated me whenever we met with marked civility.

Another edition of Boswell to those who got a nod from Dr. Johnson!

The reader will find in the course of this work that on the 2nd of
August, 1792, from the kindness and humanity of my august
benefactresses, I was compelled to accept a mission to Italy, devised
merely to send me from the sanguinary scenes of which they foresaw they
and theirs must presently become victims.  Early in the following month
the Princesse de Lamballe was murdered.  As my history extends beyond the
period I have mentioned, it is fitting I should explain the indisputable
authorities whence I derived such particulars as I did not see.

A person, high in the confidence of the Princess, through the means of
the honest coachman of whom I shall have occasion to speak, supplied me
with regular details of whatever took place, till she herself, with the
rest of the ladies and other attendants, being separated from the Royal
Family, was immured in the prison of La Force.  When I returned to Paris
after this dire tempest, Madame Clery and her friend, Madame de Beaumont,
a natural daughter of Louis XV., with Monsieur Chambon of Rheims, who
never left Paris during the time, confirmed the correctness of my papers.
The Madame Clery I mention is the same who assisted her husband in his
faithful attendance upon the Royal Family in the Temple; and this
exemplary man added his testimony to the rest, in the presence of the
Duchesse de Guiche Grammont, at Pyrmont in Germany, when I there met him
in the suite of the late sovereign of France, Louis XVIII., at a concert.
After the 10th of August, I had also a continued correspondence: with
many persons at Paris, who supplied me with thorough accounts of the
succeeding horrors, in letters directed to Sir William Hamilton, at
Naples, and by him forwarded to me.  And in addition to all these high
sources, many particular circumstances: have been disclosed to me by
individuals, whose authority, when I have used it, I have generally
affixed to the facts they have enabled me to communicate.

It now only remains for me to mention that I have endeavoured to arrange
everything, derived either from the papers of the Princesse de Lamballe,
or from her remarks, my own observation, or the intelligence of others,
in chronological order.  It will readily be seen by the reader where the
Princess herself speaks, as I have invariably set apart my own
recollections and remarks in paragraphs and notes, which are not only
indicated by the heading of each chapter, but by the context of the
passages themselves.  I have also begun and ended what the Princess says
with inverted commas.  All the earlier part, of the work preceding her
personal introduction proceeds principally from her pen or her lips: I
have done little more than change it from Italian into English, and
embody thoughts and sentiments that were often disjointed and detached.
And throughout, whether she or others speak, I may safely say this work
will be found the most circumstantial, and assuredly the most authentic,
upon the subject of which it treats, of all that have yet been presented
to the public of Great Britain.  The press has been prolific in fabulous
writings upon these times, which have been devoured with avidity.  I hope
John Bull is not so devoted to gilded foreign fictions as to spurn the
unadorned truth from one of his downright countrywomen: and let me advise
him en passant, not to treat us beauties of native growth with
indifference at home; for we readily find compensation in the regard,
patronage, and admiration of every nation in Europe.  I am old now, and
may speak freely.

I have no interest whatever in the work I submit but that of endeavouring
to redeem the character of so many injured victims.  Would to Heaven my
memory were less acute, and that I could obliterate from the knowledge of
the world and posterity the names of their infamous destroyers; I mean,
not the executioners who terminated their mortal existence for in their
miserable situation that early martyrdom was an act of grace--but I mean
some, perhaps still living, who with foul cowardice, stabbing like
assassins in the dark, undermined their fair fame, and morally murdered
them, long before their deaths, by daily traducing virtues the slanderers
never possessed, from mere jealousy of the glory they knew themselves
incapable of deserving.

Montesquieu says, “If there be a God, He must be just!”  That divine
justice, after centuries, has been fully established on the descendants
of the cruel, sanguinary conquerers of South America and its butchered
harmless Emperor Montezuma and his innocent offspring, who are now
teaching Spain a moral lesson in freeing themselves from its insatiable
thirst for blood and wealth, while God Himself has refused that blessing
to the Spaniards which they denied to the Americans!  Oh, France!  what
hast thou not already suffered, and what hast thou not yet to suffer,
when to thee, like Spain, it shall visit their descendants even unto the
fourth generation?

To my insignificant losses in so mighty a ruin perhaps I ought not to
allude.  I should not presume even to mention that fatal convulsion which
shook all Europe and has since left the nations in that state of agitated
undulation which succeeds a tempest upon the ocean, were it not for the
opportunity it gives me to declare the bounty of my benefactresses.  All
my own property went down in the wreck; and the mariner who escapes only
with his life can never recur to the scene of his escape without a
shudder.  Many persons are still living, of the first respectability, who
well remember my quitting this country, though very young, on the budding
of a brilliant career.  Had those prospects been followed up they would
have placed me beyond the caprice of fickle fortune.  But the dazzling
lustre of crown favours and princely patronage outweighed the slow,
though more solid hopes of self-achieved independence.  I certainly was
then almost a child, and my vanity, perhaps, of the honour of being
useful to two such illustrious personages got the better of every other
sentiment.  But now when I reflect, I look back with consternation on the
many risks I ran, on the many times I stared death in the face with no
fear but that of being obstructed in my efforts to serve, even with my
life, the interests dearest to my heart--that of implicit obedience to
these truly benevolent and generous Princesses, who only wanted the means
to render me as happy and independent as their cruel destiny has since
made me wretched and miserable!  Had not death deprived me of their
patronage I should have had no reason to regret any sacrifice I could
have made for them, for through the Princess, Her Majesty, unasked, had
done me the honour to promise me the reversion of a most lucrative as
well as highly respectable post in her employ.  In these august
personages I lost my best friends; I lost everything--except the tears,
which bathe the paper as I write tears of gratitude, which will never
cease to flow to the memory of their martyrdom.



“The character of Maria Theresa, the Empress-mother of Marie Antoinette,
is sufficiently known.  The same spirit of ambition and enterprise which
had already animated her contentions with France in the latter part of
her career impelled her to wish for its alliance.  In addition to other
hopes she had been encouraged to imagine that LOUIS XV. might one day aid
her in recovering the provinces which the King of Prussia had violently
wrested from her ancient dominions.  She felt the many advantages to be
derived from a union with her ancient enemy, and she looked for its
accomplishment by the marriage of her daughter.

“Policy, in sovereigns, is paramount to every other consideration.  They
regard beauty as a source of profit, like managers of theatres, who, when
a female candidate is offered, ask whether she is young and
handsome,--not whether she has talent.  Maria Theresa believed that her
daughter’s beauty would prove more powerful over France than her own
armies.  Like Catharine II., her envied contemporary, she consulted no
ties of nature in the disposal of her children,--a system more in
character where the knout is the logician than among nations boasting
higher civilization: indeed her rivalry with Catharine even made her
grossly neglect their education.  Jealous of the rising power of the
North, she saw that it was the purpose of Russia to counteract her views
in Poland and Turkey through France, and so totally forgot her domestic
duties in the desire to thwart the ascendency of Catharine that she often
suffered eight or ten days to go by without even seeing her children,
allowing even the essential sources of instruction to remain unprovided.
Her very caresses were scarcely given but for display, when the children
were admitted to be shown to some great personage; and if they were
overwhelmed with kindness, it was merely to excite a belief that they
were the constant care and companions of her leisure hours.  When they
grew up they became the mere instruments of her ambition.  The fate of
one of them will show how their mother’s worldliness was rewarded.

“A leading object of Maria Theresa’s policy was the attainment of
influence over Italy.  For this purpose she first married one of the
Archduchesses to the imbecile Duke of Parma.  Her second manoeuvre was to
contrive that Charles III.  should seek the Archduchess Josepha for his
younger son, the King of Naples.  When everything had been settled, and
the ceremony by proxy had taken place, it was thought proper to sound the
Princess as to how far she felt inclined to aid her mother’s designs in
the Court of Naples.  ‘Scripture says,’ was her reply, ‘that when a woman
is married she belongs to the country of her husband.’

“‘But the policy of State?’ exclaimed Maria Theresa.

“‘Is that above religion?’ cried the Princess.

“This unexpected answer of the Archduchess was so totally opposite to the
views of the Empress that she was for a considerable time undecided
whether she would allow her daughter to depart, till, worn out by
perplexities, she at last consented, but bade the Archduchess, previous
to setting off for this much desired country of her new husband, to go
down to the tombs, and in the vaults of her ancestors offer up to Heaven
a fervent prayer for the departed souls of those she was about to leave.

“Only a few days before that a Princess had been buried in the vaults--I
think Joseph the Second’s second wife, who had died of the small-pox.

“The Archduchess Josepha obeyed her Imperial mother’s cruel commands,
took leave of all her friends and relatives, as if conscious of the
result, caught the same disease, and in a few days died!

“The Archduchess Carolina was now tutored to become her sister’s
substitute, and when deemed adequately qualified was sent to Naples,
where she certainly never forgot she was an Austrian nor the interest of
the Court of Vienna.  One circumstance concerning her and her mother
fully illustrates the character of both.  On the marriage, the
Archduchess found that Spanish etiquette did not allow the Queen to have
the honour of dining at the same table as the King.  She apprised her
mother.  Maria Theresa instantly wrote to the Marchese Tenucei, then
Prime Minister at the Court of Naples, to say that, if her daughter, now
Queen of Naples, was to be considered less than the King her husband, she
would send an army to fetch her back to Vienna, and the King might
purchase a Georgian slave, for an Austrian Princess should not be thus
humbled.  Maria Theresa need not have given herself all this trouble, for
before, the letter arrived the Queen of Naples had dismissed all the
Ministry, upset the Cabinet of Naples, and turned out even the King
himself from her bedchamber!  So much for the overthrow of Spanish
etiquette by Austrian policy.  The King of Spain became outrageous at the
influence of Maria Theresa, but there was no alternative.

“The other daughter of the Empress was married, as I have observed
already, to the Duke of Parma for the purpose of promoting the Austrian
strength in Italy against that of France, to which the Court of, Parma,
as well as that of Modena, had been long attached.

“The fourth Archduchess, Marie Antoinette, being the youngest and most
beautiful of the family, was destined for France.  There were three older
than Marie Antoinette; but she, being much lovelier than her sisters, was
selected on account of her charms.  Her husband was never considered by
the contrivers of the scheme: he was known to have no sway whatever, not
even in the choice of his own wife!  But the character of Louis XV.  was
recollected, and calculations drawn from it, upon the probable power
which youth and beauty might obtain over such a King and Court.

“It was during the time when Madame de Pompadour directed, not only the
King, but all France with most despotic sway, that the union of the
Archduchess Marie Antoinette with the grandson of Louis XV.  was
proposed.  The plan received the warmest support of Choiseul, then
Minister, and the ardent co-operation of Pompadour.  Indeed it was to
her, the Duc de Choiseul, and the Comte de Mercy, the whole affair may be
ascribed.  So highly was she flattered by the attention with which Maria
Theresa distinguished her, in consequence of her zeal, by presents and by
the title ‘dear cousin,’ which she used in writing to her, that she left
no stone unturned till the proxy of the Dauphin was sent to Vienna, to
marry Marie Antoinette in his name.

“All the interest by which this union was supported could not, however,
subdue a prejudice against it, not only among many of the Court, the
Cabinet, and the nation, but in the Royal Family itself.  France has
never looked with complacency upon alliances with the House of Austria:
enemies to this one avowed themselves as soon as it was declared.  The
daughters of Louis XV. openly expressed their aversion; but the stronger
influence prevailed, and Marie Antoinette became the Dauphine.

“Brienne, Archbishop of Toulouse, and afterwards of Sens, suggested the
appointment of the Librarian of the College des Quatre Nations, the Abbe
Vermond, as instructor to the Dauphine in French.  The Abbe Vermond was
accordingly despatched by Louis XV. to Vienna.  The consequences of this
appointment will be seen in the sequel.  Perhaps not the least fatal of
them arose from his gratitude to the Archbishop, who recommended him.
Some years afterwards, in influencing his pupil, when Queen, to help
Brienne to the Ministry, he did her and her kingdom more injury than
their worst foes.  Of the Abbe’s power over Marie Antoinette there are
various opinions; of his capacity there is but one--he was superficial
and cunning.  On his arrival at Vienna he became the tool of Maria
Theresa.  While there, he received a salary as the daughter’s tutor, and
when he returned to France, a much larger one as the mother’s spy. He was
more ambitious to be thought a great man, in his power over his pupil,
than a rich one.  He was too Jesuitical to wish to be deemed rich. He
knew that superfluous emoluments would soon have overthrown the authority
he derived from conferring, rather than receiving favours; and hence he
never soared to any higher post.  He was generally considered to be
disinterested.  How far his private fortunes benefited by his station has
never appeared; nor is it known whether, by the elevation of his friend
and patron to the Ministry in the time of Louis XVI., he gained anything
beyond the gratification of vanity, from having been the cause: it is
probable he did not, for if he had, from the general odium against that
promotion, no doubt it would have been exposed, unless the influence of
the Queen was his protection, as it proved in so many cases where he
grossly erred.  From the first he was an evil to Marie Antoinette; and
ultimately habit rendered him a necessary evil.

“The education of the Dauphine was circumscribed; though very free in her
manners, she was very deficient in other respects; and hence it was she
so much avoided all society of females who were better informed than
herself, courting in preference the lively tittle-tattle of the other
sex, who were, in turn, better pleased with the gaieties of youth and
beauty than the more substantial logical witticisms of antiquated
Court-dowagers.  To this may be ascribed her ungovernable passion for
great societies, balls, masquerades, and all kinds of public and private
amusements, as well as her subsequent attachment to the Duchesse de
Polignac, who so much encouraged them for the pastime of her friend and
sovereign.  Though naturally averse to everything requiring study or
application, Marie Antoinette was very assiduous in preparing herself for
the parts she performed in the various comedies, farces, and cantatas
given at her private theatre; and their acquirement seemed to cost her no
trouble.  These innocent diversions became a source of calumny against
her; yet they formed almost the only part of her German education, about
which Maria Theresa had been particular: the Empress-mother deemed them
so valuable to her children that she ordered the celebrated Metastasio to
write some of his most sublime cantatas for the evening recreations of
her sisters and herself.  And what can more conduce to elegant literary
knowledge, or be less dangerous to the morals of the young, than domestic
recitation of the finest flights of the intellect?  Certain it is that
Marie Antoinette never forgot her idolatry of her master Metastasio; and
it would have been well for her had all concerned in her education done
her equal justice.  The Abbe Vermond encouraged these studies; and the
King himself afterwards sanctioned the translation of the works of his
Queen’s revered instructor, and their publication at her own expense, in
a superb edition, that she might gratify her fondness the more
conveniently by reciting them in French.  When Marie Antoinette herself
became a mother, and oppressed from the change of circumstances, she
regretted much that she had not in early life cultivated her mind more
extensively.  ‘What a resource,’ would she exclaim, is a mind well stored
against human casualties!’ She determined to avoid in her own offspring
the error, of which she felt herself the victim, committed by her
Imperial mother, for whose fault, though she suffered, she would invent
excuses.  ‘The Empress,’ she would say, was left a young widow with ten
or twelve children; she had been accustomed, even during the Emperor’s
life, to head her vast empire, and she thought it would be unjust to
sacrifice to her own children the welfare of the numerous family which
afterwards devolved upon her exclusive government and protection.’

“Most unfortunately for Marie Antoinette, her great supporter, Madame de
Pompadour, died before the Archduchess came to France.  The pilot who was
to steer the young mariner safe into port was no more, when she arrived
at it.  The Austrian interest had sunk with its patroness.  The
intriguers of the Court no sooner saw the King without an avowed
favourite than they sought to give him one who should further their own
views and crush the Choiseul party, which had been sustained by
Pompadour.  The licentious Duc de Richelieu was the pander on this
occasion.  The low, vulgar Du Barry was by him introduced to the King,
and Richelieu had the honour of enthroning a successor to Pompadour, and
supplying Louis XV. with the last of his mistresses.  Madame de Grammont,
who had been the royal confidante during the interregnum, gave up to the
rising star.  The effect of a new power was presently seen in new events.
All the Ministers known to be attached to the Austrian interest were
dismissed; and the time for the arrival of the young bride, the
Archduchess of Austria, who was about to be installed Dauphine of France,
was at hand, and she came to meet scarcely a friend, and many foes--of
whom even her beauty, her gentleness, and her simplicity, were doomed to
swell the phalanx.”


“On the marriage night, Louis XV. said gaily to the Dauphin, who was
supping with his usual heartiness, ‘Don’t overcharge your stomach

“‘Why, I always sleep best after a hearty supper,’ replied the Dauphin,
with the greatest coolness.

“The supper being ended, he accompanied his Dauphine to her chamber, and
at the door, with the greatest politeness, wished her a good night.  Next
morning, upon his saying, when he met her at breakfast, that he hoped she
had slept well, Marie Antoinette replied, ‘Excellently well, for I had no
one to disturb me!’

“The Princesse de Guemenee, who was then at the head of the household, on
hearing the Dauphine moving very early in her apartment, ventured to
enter it, and, not seeing the Dauphin, exclaimed, ‘Bless me! he is risen
as usual!’--‘Whom do you mean?’ asked Marie Antoinette.  The Princess
misconstruing the interrogation, was going to retire, when the Dauphine
said, ‘I have heard a great deal of French politeness, but I think I am
married to the most polite of the nation!’--‘What, then, he is
risen?’--‘No, no, no!’ exclaimed the Dauphine, ‘there has been no rising;
he has never lain down here.  He left me at the door of my apartment with
his hat in his hand, and hastened from me as if embarrassed with my

“After Marie Antoinette became a mother she would often laugh and tell
Louis XVI. of his bridal politeness, and ask him if in the interim
between that and the consummation he had studied his maiden aunts or his
tutor on the subject.  On this he would laugh most excessively.

“Scarcely was Marie Antoinette seated in her new country before the
virulence of Court intrigue against her became active.  She was beset on
all sides by enemies open and concealed, who never slackened their
persecutions.  All the family of Louis XV., consisting of those maiden
aunts of the Dauphin just adverted to (among whom Madame Adelaide was
specially implacable), were incensed at the marriage, not only from their
hatred to Austria, but because it had accomplished the ambition of an
obnoxious favourite to give a wife to the Dauphin of their kingdom.  On
the credulous and timid mind of the Prince, then in the leading strings
of this pious sisterhood, they impressed the misfortunes to his country
and to the interest of the Bourbon family, which must spring from the
Austrian influence through the medium of his bride.  No means were left
unessayed to steel him against her sway.  I remember once to have heard
Her Majesty remark to Louis XVI., in answer to some particular
observations he made, ‘These, Sire, are the sentiments of our aunts, I am
sure.’  And, indeed, great must have been their ascendency over him in
youth, for up to a late date he entertained a very high respect for their
capacity and judgment.  Great indeed must it have been to have prevailed
against all the seducing allurements of a beautiful and fascinating young
bride, whose amiableness, vivacity, and wit became the universal
admiration, and whose graceful manner of address few ever equalled and
none ever surpassed; nay, even so to have prevailed as to form one of the
great sources of his aversion to consummate the marriage!  Since the
death of the late Queen, their mother, these four Princesses (who, it was
said, if old maids, were not so from choice) had received and performed
the exclusive honours of the Court.  It could not have diminished their
dislike for the young and lovely new-comer to see themselves under the
necessity of abandoning their dignities and giving up their station.  So
eager were they to contrive themes of complaint against her, that when
she visited them in the simple attire in which she so much delighted,
‘sans ceremonie’, unaccompanied by a troop of horse and a squadron of
footguards, they complained to their father, who hinted to Marie
Antoinette that such a relaxation of the royal dignity would be attended
with considerable injury to French manufactures, to trade, and to the
respect due to her rank.  ‘My State and Court dresses,’ replied she,
‘shall not be less brilliant than those of any former Dauphine or Queen
of France, if such be the pleasure of the King,--but to my grandpapa I
appeal for some indulgence with respect to my undress private costume of
the morning.

“It was dangerous for one in whose conduct so many prying eyes were
seeking for sources of accusation to gratify herself even by the
overthrow of an absurdity, when that overthrow might incur the stigma of
innovation.  The Court of Versailles was jealous of its Spanish
inquisitorial etiquette.  It had been strictly wedded to its pageantries
since the time of the great Anne of Austria.  The sagacious and prudent
provisions of this illustrious contriver were deemed the ne plus ultra of
royal female policy.  A cargo of whalebone was yearly obtained by her to
construct such stays for the Maids of Honour as might adequately conceal
the Court accidents which generally--poor ladies!--befell them in
rotation every nine months.

“But Marie Antoinette could not sacrifice her predilection for a
simplicity quite English, to prudential considerations.  Indeed, she was
too young to conceive it even desirable.  So much did she delight in
being unshackled by finery that she would hurry from Court to fling off
her royal robes and ornaments, exclaiming, when freed from them, ‘Thank
Heaven, I am out of harness!’

“But she had natural advantages, which gave her enemies a pretext for
ascribing this antipathy to the established fashion to mere vanity.  It
is not impossible that she might have derived some pleasure from
displaying a figure so beautiful, with no adornment except its native
gracefulness; but how great must have been the chagrin of the Princesses,
of many of the Court ladies, indeed, of all in any way ungainly or
deformed, when called to exhibit themselves by the side of a bewitching
person like hers, unaided by the whalebone and horse-hair paddings with
which they had hitherto been made up, and which placed the best form on a
level with the worst?  The prudes who practised illicitly, and felt the
convenience of a guise which so well concealed the effect of their
frailties, were neither the least formidable nor the least numerous of
the enemies created by this revolution of costume; and the Dauphine was
voted by common consent--for what greater crime could there be in
France?--the heretic Martin Luther of female fashions!  The four
Princesses, her aunts, were as bitter against the disrespect with which
the Dauphine treated the armour, which they called dress, as if they
themselves had benefited by the immunities it could, confer.

“Indeed, most of the old Court ladies embattled themselves against Marie
Antoinette’s encroachments upon their habits.  The leader of them was a
real medallion, whose costume, character, and notions spoke a genealogy
perfectly antediluvian; who even to the latter days of Louis XV., amid a
Court so irregular, persisted in her precision.  So systematic a
supporter of the antique could be no other than the declared foe of any
change, and, of course, deemed the desertion of large sack gowns,
monstrous Court hoops, and the old notions of appendages attached to
them, for tight waists and short petticoats, an awful demonstration of
the depravity of the time!--[The editor needs scarcely add, that the
allusion of the Princess is to Madame de Noailles.]

“This lady had been first lady to the sole Queen of Louis XV.  She was
retained in the same station for Marie Antoinette.  Her motions were
regulated like clock-work.  So methodical was she in all her operations
of mind and body, that, from the beginning of the year to its end, she
never deviated a moment.  Every hour had its peculiar occupation.  Her
element was etiquette, but the etiquette of ages before the flood.  She
had her rules even for the width of petticoats, that the Queens and
Princesses might have no temptation to straddle over a rivulet, or
crossing, of unroyal size.

“The Queen of Louis XV.  having been totally subservient in her movements
night and day to the wishes of the Comtesse de Noailles, it will be
readily conceived how great a shock this lady must have sustained on
being informed one morning that the Dauphine had actually risen in the
night, and her ladyship not by to witness a ceremony from which most
ladies would have felt no little pleasure in being spared, but which, on
this occasion, admitted of no delay!  Notwithstanding the Dauphine
excused herself by the assurance of the urgency allowing no time to call
the Countess, she nearly fainted at not having been present at that,
which others sometimes faint at, if too near!  This unaccustomed
watchfulness so annoyed Marie Antoinette, that, determined to laugh her
out of it, she ordered an immense bottle of hartshorn to be placed upon
her toilet.  Being asked what use was to be made of the hartshorn, she
said it was to prevent her first Lady of Honour from falling into
hysterics when the calls of nature were uncivil enough to exclude her
from being of the party.  This, as may be presumed, had its desired
effect, and Marie Antoinette was ever afterwards allowed free access at
least to one of her apartments, and leave to perform that in private
which few individuals except Princesses do with parade and publicity.

“These things, however, planted the seeds of rancour against Marie
Antoinette, which Madame de Noailles carried with her to the grave. It
will be seen that she declared against her at a crisis of great
importance.  The laughable title of Madame Etiquette, which the Dauphine
gave her, clung to her through life; though conferred only in merriment,
it never was forgiven.

“The Dauphine seemed to be under a sort of fatality with regard to all
those who had any power of doing her mischief either with her husband or
the Court.  The Duc de Vauguyon, the Dauphin’s tutor, who both from
principle and interest hated everything Austrian, and anything whatever
which threatened to lessen his despotic influence so long exercised over
the mind of his pupil, which he foresaw would be endangered were the
Prince once out of his leading-strings and swayed by a young wife, made
use of all the influence which old courtiers can command over the minds
they have formed (more generally for their own ends than those of
uprightness) to poison that of the young Prince against his bride.

“Never were there more intrigues among the female slaves in the Seraglio
of Constantinople for the Grand Signior’s handkerchief than were
continually harassing one party against the other at the Court of
Versailles.  The Dauphine was even attacked through her own tutor, the
Abbe Vermond.  A cabal was got up between the Abbe and Madame Marsan,
instructress of the sisters of Louis XVI. (the Princesses Clotilde and
Elizabeth) upon the subject of education.  Nothing grew out of this
affair excepting a new stimulus to the party spirit against the Austrian
influence, or, in other words, the Austrian Princess; and such was
probably its purpose.  Of course every trifle becomes Court tattle.  This
was made a mighty business of, for want of a worse.  The royal aunts
naturally took the part of Madame Marsan.  They maintained that their
royal nieces, the French Princesses, were much better educated than the
German Archduchesses had been by the Austrian Empress.  They attempted to
found their assertion upon the embonpoint of the French Princesses.  They
said that their nieces, by the exercise of religious principles, obtained
the advantage of solid flesh, while the Austrian Archduchesses, by
wasting themselves in idleness and profane pursuits, grew thin and
meagre, and were equally exhausted in their minds and bodies!  At this
the Abbe Vermond, as the tutor of Marie Antoinette, felt himself highly
offended, and called on Comte de Mercy, then the Imperial Ambassador, to
apprise him of the insult the Empire had received over the shoulders of
the Dauphine’s tutor.  The Ambassador gravely replied that he should
certainly send off a courier immediately to Vienna to inform the Empress
that the only fault the French Court could find with Marie Antoinette was
her being not so unwieldy as their own Princesses, and bringing charms
with her to a bridegroom, on whom even charms so transcendent could make
no impression!  Thus the matter was laughed off, but it left, ridiculous
as it was, new bitter enemies to the cause of the illustrious stranger.

“The new favourite, Madame du Barry, whose sway was now supreme, was of
course joined by the whole vitiated intriguing Court of Versailles.  The
King’s favourite is always that of his parasites, however degraded.  The
politics of the De Pompadour party were still feared, though De Pompadour
herself was no more, for Choiseul had friends who were still active in
his behalf.  The power which had been raised to crush the power that was
still struggling formed a rallying point for those who hated Austria,
which the deposed Ministry had supported; and even the King’s daughters,
much as they abhorred the vulgarity of Du Barry, were led, by dislike for
the Dauphine, to pay their devotions to their father’s mistress.  The
influence of the rising sun, Marie Antoinette, whose beauteous rays of
blooming youth warmed every heart in her favour, was feared by the new
favourite as well as by the old maidens.  Louis XV. had already expressed
a sufficient interest for the friendless royal stranger to awaken the
jealousy of Du Barry, and she was as little disposed to share the King’s
affections with another, as his daughters were to welcome a future Queen
from Austria in their palace.  Mortified at the attachment the King daily
evinced, she strained every nerve to raise a party to destroy his
predilections.  She called to her aid the strength of ridicule, than
which no weapon is more false or deadly.  She laughed at qualities she
could not comprehend, and underrated what she could not imitate.  The Duc
de Richelieu, who had been instrumental to her good fortune, and for whom
(remembering the old adage: when one hand washes the other both are made
clean) she procured the command of the army--this Duke, the triumphant
general of Mahon and one of the most distinguished noblemen of France,
did not blush to become the secret agent of a depraved meretrix in the
conspiracy to blacken the character of her victim!  The Princesses, of
course, joined the jealous Phryne against their niece, the daughter of
the Caesars, whose only faults were those of nature, for at that time she
could have no other excepting those personal perfections which were the
main source of all their malice.  By one considered as an usurper, by the
others as an intruder, both were in consequence industrious in the quiet
work of ruin by whispers and detraction.

“To an impolitic act of the Dauphine herself may be in part ascribed the
unwonted virulence of the jealousy and resentment of Du Barry.  The old
dotard, Louis XV., was so indelicate as to have her present at the first
supper of the Dauphine at Versailles.  Madame la Marechale de Beaumont,
the Duchesse de Choiseul, and the Duchesse de Grammont were there also;
but upon the favourite taking her seat at table they expressed themselves
very freely to Louis XV. respecting the insult they conceived offered to
the young Dauphine, left the royal party, and never appeared again at
Court till after the King’s death.  In consequence of this scene, Marie
Antoinette, at the instigation of the Abbe Vermond, wrote to her mother,
the Empress, complaining of the slight put upon her rank, birth, and
dignity, and requesting the Empress would signify her displeasure to the
Court of France, as she had done to that of Spain on a similar occasion
in favour of her sister, the Queen of Naples.

“This letter, which was intercepted, got to the knowledge of the Court
and excited some clamour.  To say the worst, it could only be looked upon
as an ebullition of the folly of youth.  But insignificant as such
matters were in fact, malignity converted them into the locust, which
destroyed the fruit she was sent to cultivate.

“Maria Theresa, old fox that she was, too true to her system to retract
the policy, which formerly, laid her open to the criticism of all the
civilised Courts of Europe for opening the correspondence with De
Pompadour, to whose influence she owed her daughter’s footing in
France--a correspondence whereby she degraded the dignity of her sex and
the honour of her crown--and at the same time suspecting that it was not
her daughter, but Vermond, from private motives, who complained, wrote
the following laconic reply to the remonstrance:

“‘Where the sovereign himself presides, no guest can be exceptionable.’

“Such sentiments are very much in contradiction with the character of
Maria Theresa.  She was always solicitous to impress the world with her
high notion of moral rectitude.  Certainly, such advice, however politic,
ought not to have proceeded from a mother so religious as Maria Theresa
wished herself to be thought; especially to a young Princess who, though
enthusiastically fond of admiration, at least had discretion to see and
feel the impropriety of her being degraded to the level of a female like
Du Barry, and, withal, courage to avow it.  This, of itself, was quite
enough to shake the virtue of Marie Antoinette; or, at least, Maria
Theresa’s letter was of a cast to make her callous to the observance of
all its scruples.  And in that vitiated, depraved Court, she too soon,
unfortunately, took the hint of her maternal counsellor in not only
tolerating, but imitating, the object she despised.  Being one day told
that Du Barry was the person who most contributed to amuse Louis XV.,
‘Then,’ said she, innocently, ‘I declare myself her rival; for I will try
who can best amuse my grandpapa for the future.  I will exert all my
powers to please and divert him, and then we shall see who can best

“Du Barry was by when this was said, and she never forgave it.  To this,
and to the letter, her rancour may principally be ascribed.  To all those
of the Court party who owed their places and preferments to her exclusive
influence, and who held them subject to her caprice, she, of course,
communicated the venom.

“Meanwhile, the Dauphin saw Marie Antoinette mimicking the monkey tricks
with which this low Sultana amused her dotard, without being aware of the
cause.  He was not pleased; and this circumstance, coupled with his
natural coolness and indifference for a union he had been taught to deem
impolitic and dangerous to the interests of France, created in his
virtuous mind that sort of disgust which remained so long an enigma to
the Court and all the kingdom, excepting his royal aunts, who did the
best they could to confirm it into so decided an aversion as might induce
him to impel his grandfather to annul the marriage and send the Dauphine
back to Vienna.”

“After the Dauphin’s marriage, the Comte d’Artois and his brother
Monsieur--[Afterwards Louis XVIII., and the former the present Charles
X.]--returned from their travels to Versailles.  The former was delighted
with the young Dauphine, and, seeing her so decidedly neglected by her
husband, endeavoured to console her by a marked attention, but for which
she would have been totally isolated, for, excepting the old King, who
became more and more enraptured with the grace, beauty, and vivacity of
his young granddaughter, not another individual in the Royal Family was
really interested in her favour.  The kindness of a personage so
important was of too much weight not to awaken calumny.  It was, of
course, endeavoured to be turned against her.  Possibilities, and even
probabilities, conspired to give a pretext for the scandal which already
began to be whispered about the Dauphine and D’Artois.  It would have
been no wonder had a reciprocal attachment arisen between a virgin wife,
so long neglected by her husband, and one whose congeniality of character
pointed him out as a more desirable partner than the Dauphin.  But there
is abundant evidence of the perfect innocence of their intercourse.  Du
Barry was most earnest in endeavouring, from first to last, to establish
its impurity, because the Dauphine induced the gay young Prince to join
in all her girlish schemes to tease and circumvent the favourite.  But
when this young Prince and his brother were married to the two Princesses
of Piedmont, the intimacy between their brides and the Dauphine proved
there could have been no doubt that Du Barry had invented a calumny, and
that no feeling existed but one altogether sisterly.  The three stranger
Princesses were indeed inseparable; and these marriages, with that of the
French Princess, Clotilde, to the Prince of Piedmont, created
considerable changes in the coteries of Court.

“The machinations against Marie Antoinette could not be concealed from
the Empress-mother.  An extraordinary Ambassador was consequently sent
from Vienna to complain of them to the Court of Versailles, with
directions that the remonstrance should be supported and backed by the
Comte de Mercy, then Austrian Ambassador at the Court of France.  Louis
XV. was the only person to whom the communication was news.  This old
dilettanti of the sex was so much engaged between his seraglio of the
Parc-aux-cerfs and Du Barry that he knew less of what was passing in his
palace than those at Constantinople.  On being informed by the Austrian
Ambassador, he sent an Ambassador of his own to Vienna to assure the
Empress that he was perfectly satisfied of the innocent conduct of his
newly acquired granddaughter.

“Among the intrigues within intrigues of the time I mention, there was
one which shows that perhaps Du Barry’s distrust of the constancy of her
paramour, and apprehension from the effect on him of the charms of the
Dauphine, in whom he became daily more interested, were not utterly
without foundation.  In this instance even her friend, the Duc de
Richelieu, that notorious seducer, by lending himself to the secret
purposes of the King, became a traitor to the cause of the King’s
favourite, to which he had sworn allegiance, and which he had supported
by defaming her whom he now became anxious to make his Queen.

“It has already been said, that the famous Duchesse de Grammont was one
of the confidential friends of Louis XV.  before he took Du Barry under
his especial protection.  Of course, there can be no difficulty in
conceiving how likely a person she would be, to aid any purpose of the
King which should displace the favourite, by whom she herself had been
obliged to retire, by ties of a higher order, to which she might prove

“Louis XV. actually flattered himself with the hope of obtaining
advantages from the Dauphin’s coolness towards the Dauphine.  He
encouraged it, and even threw many obstacles in the way of the
consummation of the marriage.  The apartments of the young couple were
placed at opposite ends of the palace, so that the Dauphin could not
approach that of his Dauphine without a publicity which his bashfulness
could not brook.

“Louis XV. now began to act upon his secret passion to supplant his
grandson, and make the Dauphine his own Queen, by endeavouring to secure
her affections to himself.  His attentions were backed by gifts of
diamonds, pearls, and other valuables, and it was at this period that
Boehmer, the jeweller, first received the order for that famous necklace,
which subsequently produced such dreadful consequences, and which was
originally meant as a kingly present to the intended Queen, though
afterwards destined for Du Barry, had not the King died before the
completion of the bargain for it.

“The Queen herself one day told me, ‘Heaven knows if ever I should have
had the blessing of being a mother had I not one evening surprised the
Dauphin, when the subject was adverted to, in the expression of a sort of
regret at our being placed so far asunder from each other.  Indeed, he
never honoured me with any proof of his affection so explicit as that you
have just witnessed’--for the King had that moment kissed her, as he left
the apartment--‘from the time of our marriage till the consummation. The
most I ever received from him was a squeeze of the hand in secret. His
extreme modesty, and perhaps his utter ignorance of the intercourse with
woman, dreaded the exposure of crossing the palace to my bedchamber; and
no doubt the accomplishment would have occurred sooner, could it have
been effectuated in privacy.  The hint he gave emboldened me with
courage, when he next left me, as usual, at the door of my apartment, to
mention it to the Duchesse de Grammont, then the confidential friend of
Louis XV., who laughed me almost out of countenance; saying, in her gay
manner of expressing herself, “If I were as young and as beautiful a wife
as you are I should certainly not trouble myself to remove the obstacle
by going to him while there were others of superior rank ready to supply
his place.”  Before she quitted me, however, she said: “Well, child, make
yourself easy: you shall no longer be separated from the object of your
wishes: I will mention it to the King, your grandpapa, and he will soon
order your husband’s apartment to be changed for one nearer your own.”
 And the change shortly afterwards took place.

“‘Here,’ continued the Queen, ‘I accuse myself of a want of that courage
which every virtuous wife ought to exercise in not having complained of
the visible neglect shown me long, long before I did; for this, perhaps,
would have spared both of us the many bitter pangs originating in the
seeming coldness, whence have arisen all the scandalous stories against
my character--which have often interrupted the full enjoyment I should
have felt had they not made me tremble for the security of that
attachment, of which I had so many proofs, and which formed my only
consolation amid all the malice that for yearn had been endeavouring to
deprive me of it!  So far as regards my husband’s estimation, thank fate,
I have defied their wickedness!  Would to Heaven I could have been
equally secure in the estimation of my people--the object nearest to my
heart, after the King and my dear children!’”

[The Dauphine could not understand the first allusion of the Duchess; but
it is evident that the vile intriguer took this opportunity of sounding
her upon what she was commissioned to carry on in favour of Louis XV.,
and it is equally apparent that when she heard Marie Antoinette express
herself decidedly in favour of her young husband, and distinctly saw how
utterly groundless were the hopes of his secret rival, she was led
thereby to abandon her wicked project; and perhaps the change of
apartments was the best mask that could have been devised to hide the

“The present period appears to have been one of the happiest in the life
of Marie Antoinette.  Her intimate society consisted of the King’s
brothers, and their Princesses, with the King’s saint-like sister
Elizabeth; and they lived entirely together, excepting when the Dauphine
dined in public.  These ties seemed to be drawn daily closer for some
time, till the subsequent intimacy with the Polignacs.  Even when the
Comtesse d’Artois lay-in, the Dauphine, then become Queen, transferred
her parties to the apartments of that Princess, rather than lose the
gratification of her society.

“During all this time, however, Du Barry, the Duc d’Aiguillon, and the
aunts-Princesses, took special care to keep themselves between her and
any tenderness on the part of the husband Dauphin, and, from different
motives uniting in one end, tried every means to get the object of their
hatred sent back to Vienna.”


“The Empress-mother was thoroughly aware of all that was going on.  Her
anxiety, not only about her daughter, but her State policy, which it may
be apprehended was in her mind the stronger motive of the two, encouraged
the machinations of an individual who must now appear upon the stage of
action, and to whose arts may be ascribed the worst of the sufferings of
Marie Antoinette.

“I allude to the Cardinal Prince de Rohan.

“At this time he was Ambassador at the Court of Vienna.  The reliance the
Empress placed on him favoured his criminal machinations against her
daughter’s reputation.  He was the cause of her sending spies to watch
the conduct of the Dauphine, besides a list of persons proper for her to
cultivate, as well as of those it was deemed desirable for her to exclude
from her confidence.

“As the Empress knew all those who, though high in office in Versailles,
secretly received pensions from Vienna, she could, of course, tell,
without much expense of sagacity, who were in the Austrian interest.  The
Dauphine was warned that she was surrounded by persons who were not her

“The conduct of Maria Theresa towards her daughter, the Queen of Naples,
will sufficiently explain how much the Empress must have been chagrined
at the absolute indifference of Marie Antoinette to the State policy
which was intended to have been served in sending her to France.  A less
fitting instrument for the purpose could not have been selected by the
mother.  Marie Antoinette had much less of the politician about her than
either of her surviving sisters; and so much was she addicted to
amusement, that she never even thought of entering into State affairs
till forced by the King’s neglect of his most essential prerogatives, and
called upon by the Ministers themselves to screen them from
responsibility.  Indeed, the latter cause prevailed upon her to take her
seat in the Cabinet Council (though she took it with great reluctance)
long before she was impelled thither by events and her consciousness of
its necessity.  She would often exclaim to me: ‘How happy I was during
the lifetime of Louis XV.!  No cares to disturb my peaceful slumbers!  No
responsibility to agitate my mind!  No fears of erring, of partiality, of
injustice, to break in upon my enjoyments!  All, all happiness, my dear
Princess, vanishes from the bosom of a woman if she once deviate from the
prescribed domestic character of her sex!  Nothing was ever framed more
wise than the Salique Laws, which in France and many parts of Germany
exclude women from reigning, for few of us have that masculine capacity
so necessary to conduct with impartiality and justice the affairs of

“To this feeling of the impropriety of feminine interference in masculine
duties, coupled with her attachment to France, both from principle and
feeling, may be ascribed the neglect of her German connexions, which led
to many mortifying reproaches, and the still more galling espionage to
which she was subjected in her own palace by her mother.  These are,
however, so many proofs of the falsehood of the allegations by which she
suffered so deeply afterwards, of having sacrificed the interests of her
husband’s kingdom to her predilection for her mother’s empire.

“The subtle Rohan designed to turn the anxiety of Maria Theresa about the
Dauphine to account, and he was also aware that the ambition of the
Empress was paramount in Maria Theresa’s bosom to the love for her child.
He was about to play a deep and more than double game.  By increasing the
mother’s jealousy of the daughter, and at the same time enhancing the
importance of the advantages afforded by her situation, to forward the
interests of the mother, he, no doubt, hoped to get both within his
power: for who can tell what wild expectation might not have animated
such a mind as Rohan’s at the prospect of governing not only the Court of
France but that of Austria?--the Court of France, through a secret
influence of his own dictation thrown around the Dauphine by the mother’s
alarm; and that of Austria, through a way he pointed out, in which the
object that was most longed for by the mother’s ambition seemed most
likely to be achieved!  While he endeavoured to make Maria Theresa beset
her daughter with the spies I have mentioned, and which were generally of
his own selection, he at the same time endeavoured to strengthen her
impression of how important it was to her schemes to insure the
daughter’s co-operation.  Conscious of the eagerness of Maria Theresa for
the recovery of the rich province which Frederick the Great of Prussia
had wrested from her ancient dominions, he pressed upon her credulity the
assurance that the influence of which the Dauphine was capable over Louis
XV., by the youthful beauty’s charms acting upon the dotard’s admiration,
would readily induce that monarch to give such aid to Austria as must
insure the restoration of what it lost.  Silesia, it has been before
observed, was always a topic by means of which the weak side of Maria
Theresa could be attacked with success.  There is generally some peculiar
frailty in the ambitious, through which the artful can throw them off
their guard.  The weak and tyrannical Philip II., whenever the recovery
of Holland and the Low Countries was proposed to him, was always ready to
rush headlong into any scheme for its accomplishment; the bloody Queen
Mary, his wife, declared that at her death the loss of Calais would be
found engraven on her heart; and to Maria Theresa, Silesia was the
Holland and the Calais for which her wounded pride was thirsting.

“But Maria Theresa was wary, even in the midst of the credulity of her
ambition.  The Baron de Neni was sent by her privately to Versailles to
examine, personally, whether there was anything in Marie Antoinette’s
conduct requiring the extreme vigilance which had been represented as
indispensable.  The report of the Baron de Neni to his royal mistress was
such as to convince her she had been misled and her daughter
misrepresented by Rohan.  The Empress instantly forbade him her presence.

“The Cardinal upon this, unknown to the Court of Vienna, and indeed, to
every one, except his factotum, principal agent, and secretary, the Abbe
Georgel, left the Austrian capital, and came to Versailles, covering his
disgrace by pretended leave of absence.  On seeing Marie Antoinette he
fell enthusiastically in love with her.  To gain her confidence he
disclosed the conduct which had been observed towards her by the Empress,
and, in confirmation of the correctness of his disclosure, admitted that
he had himself chosen the spies which had been set on her.  Indignant at
such meanness in her mother, and despising the prelate, who could be base
enough to commit a deed equally corrupt and uncalled for, and even thus
wantonly betrayed when committed, the Dauphine suddenly withdrew from his
presence, and gave orders that he should never be admitted to any of her

“But his imagination was too much heated by a guilty passion of the
blackest hue to recede; and his nature too presumptuous and fertile in
expedients to be disconcerted.  He soon found means to conciliate both
mother and daughter; and both by pretending to manage with the one the
self-same plot which, with the other, he was recommending himself by
pretending to overthrow.  To elude detection he interrupted the regular
correspondence between the Empress and the Dauphine, and created a
coolness by preventing the communications which would have unmasked him,
that gave additional security to the success of his deception.

“By the most diabolical arts he obtained an interview with the Dauphine,
in which he regained her confidence.  He made her believe that he had
been commissioned by her mother, as she had shown so little interest for
the house of Austria, to settle a marriage for her sister, the
Archduchess Elizabeth, with Louis XV.  The Dauphine was deeply affected
at the statement.  She could not conceal her agitation.  She
involuntarily confessed how much she should deplore such an alliance. The
Cardinal instantly perceived his advantage, and was too subtle to let it
pass.  He declared that, as it was to him the negotiation had been
confided, if the Dauphine would keep her own counsel, never communicate
their conversation to the Empress, but leave the whole matter to his
management and only assure him that he was forgiven, he would pledge
himself to arrange things to her satisfaction.  The Dauphine, not wishing
to see another raised to the throne over her head and to her scorn, under
the assurance that no one knew of the intention or could prevent it but
the Cardinal, promised him her faith and favour; and thus rashly fell
into the springs of this wily intriguer.

“Exulting to find Marie Antoinette in his power, the Cardinal left
Versailles as privately as he arrived there, for Vienna.  His next object
was to ensnare the Empress, as he had done her daughter; and by a
singular caprice, fortune, during his absence, had been preparing for him
the means.

“The Abbe Georgel, his secretary, by underhand manoeuvres, to which he
was accustomed, had obtained access to all the secret State
correspondence, in which the Empress had expressed herself fully to the
Comte de Mercy relative to the views of Russia and Prussia upon Poland,
whereby her own plans were much thwarted.  The acquirement of copies of
these documents naturally gave the Cardinal free access to the Court and
a ready introduction once more to the Empress.  She was too much
committed by his possession of such weapons not to be most happy to make
her peace with him; and he was too sagacious not to make the best use of
his opportunity.  To regain her confidence, he betrayed some of the
subaltern agents, through whose treachery he had procured his evidences,
and, in farther confirmation of his resources, showed the Empress several
dispatches from her own Ministers to the Courts of Russia and Prussia. He
had long, he said, been in possession of similar views of aggrandisement,
upon which these Courts were about to act; and had, for a while, even
incurred Her Imperial Majesty’s displeasure, merely because he was not in
a situation fully to explain; but that he had now thought of the means to
crush their schemes before they could be put in practice. He apprised her
of his being aware that Her Imperial Majesty’s Ministers were actively
carrying on a correspondence with Russia, with a view of joining her in
checking the French co-operation with the Grand Signior; and warned her
that if this design were secretly pursued, it would defeat the very views
she had in sharing in the spoliation of Poland; and if openly, it would
be deemed an avowal of hostilities against the Court of France, whose
political system would certainly impel it to resist any attack upon the
divan of Constantinople, that the balance of power in Europe might be
maintained against the formidable ambition of Catherine, whose gigantic
hopes had been already too much realised.

“Maria Theresa was no less astonished at these disclosures of the
Cardinal than the Dauphine had been at his communication concerning her.
She plainly saw that all her plans were known, and might be defeated from
their detection.

“The Cardinal, having succeeded in alarming the Empress, took from his
pocket a fabulous correspondence, hatched by his secretary, the Abbe
Georgel.  ‘There, Madame,’ said he, ‘this will convince Your Majesty that
the warm interest I have taken in your Imperial house has carried me
farther than I was justified in having gone; but seeing the sterility of
the Dauphine, or, as it is reported by some of the Court, the total
disgust the Dauphin has to consummate the marriage, the coldness of your
daughter towards the interest of your Court, and the prospect of a race
from the Comtesse d’Artois, for the consequences of which there is no
answering, I have, unknown to Your Imperial Majesty, taken upon myself to
propose to LOUIS XV. a marriage with the Archduchess Elizabeth, who, on
becoming Queen of France, will immediately have it in her power to
forward the Austrian interest; for LOUIS XV., as the first proof of his
affection to his young bride, will at once secure to your Empire the aid
you stand so much in need of against the ambition of these two rising
States.  The recovery of Your Imperial Majesty’s ancient dominions may
then be looked upon as accomplished from the influence of the French

“The bait was swallowed.  Maria Theresa was so overjoyed at this scheme
that she totally forgot all former animosity against the Cardinal.  She
was encouraged to ascribe the silence of Marie Antoinette (whose letters
had been intercepted by the Cardinal himself) to her resentment of this
project concerning her sister; and the deluded Empress, availing herself
of the pretended zeal of the Cardinal for the interest of her family,
gave him full powers to return to France and secretly negotiate the
alliance for her daughter Elizabeth, which was by no means to be
disclosed to the Dauphine till the King’s proxy should be appointed to
perform the ceremony at Vienna.  This was all the Cardinal wished for.

“Meanwhile, in order to obtain a still greater ascendency over the Court
of France, he had expended immense sums to bribe secretaries and
Ministers; and couriers were even stopped to have copies taken of all the
correspondence to and from Austria.

“At the same crisis the Empress was informed by Prince Kaunitz that the
Cardinal and his suite at the palace of the French Ambassador carried on
such an immense and barefaced traffic of French manufactures of every
description that Maria Theresa thought proper, in order to prevent future
abuse, to abolish the privilege which gave to Ministers and Ambassadors
an opportunity of defrauding the revenue.  Though this law was levelled
exclusively at the Cardinal, it was thought convenient under the
circumstances to avoid irritating him, and it was consequently made
general.  But, the Comte de Mercy now obtaining some clue to his
duplicity, an intimation was given to the Court at Versailles, to which
the King replied, ‘If the Empress be dissatisfied with the French
Ambassador, he shall be recalled.’  But though completely unmasked, none
dared publicly to accuse him, each party fearing a discovery of its own
intrigue.  His official recall did not in consequence take place for some
time; and the Cardinal, not thinking it prudent to go back till Louis XV.
should be no more, lest some unforeseen discovery of his project for
supplying her royal paramour with a Queen should rouse Du Barry to get
his Cardinalship sent to the Bastille for life, remained fixed in his
post, waiting for events.

“At length Louis XV. expired, and the Cardinal returned to Versailles. He
contrived to obtain a private audience of the young Queen.  He presumed
upon her former facility in listening to him, and was about to betray the
last confidence of Maria Theresa; but the Queen, shocked at the knowledge
which she had obtained of his having been equally treacherous to her and
to her mother, in disgust and alarm left the room without receiving a
letter he had brought her from Maria Theresa, and without deigning to
address a single word to him.  In the heat of her passion and resentment,
she was nearly exposing all she knew of his infamies to the King, when
the coolheaded Princesse Elizabeth opposed her, from the seeming
imprudence of such an abrupt discovery; alleging that it might cause an
open rupture between the two Courts, as it had already been the source of
a reserve and coolness, which had not yet been explained.  The Queen was
determined never more to commit herself by seeing the Cardinal.  She
accordingly sent for her mother’s letter, which he himself delivered into
the hands of her confidential messenger, who advised the Queen not to
betray the Cardinal to the King, lest, in so doing, she should never be
able to guard herself against the domestic spies, by whom, perhaps, she
was even yet surrounded!  The Cardinal, conceiving, from the impunity of
his conduct, that he still held the Queen in check, through the influence
of her fears of his disclosing her weakness upon the subject of the
obstruction she threw in the way of her sister’s marriage, did not resign
the hope of converting that ascendency to his future profit.

“The fatal silence to which Her Majesty was thus unfortunately advised I
regret from the bottom of my soul!  All the successive vile plots of the
Cardinal against the peace and reputation of the Queen may be attributed
to this ill-judged prudence!  Though it resulted from an honest desire of
screening Her Majesty from the resentment or revenge to which she might
have subjected herself from this villain, who had already injured her in
her own estimation for having been credulous enough to have listened to
him, yet from this circumstance it is that the Prince de Rohan built the
foundation of all the after frauds and machinations with which he
blackened the character and destroyed the comfort of his illustrious
victim.  It is obvious that a mere exclusion from Court was too mild a
punishment for such offences, and it was but too natural that such a mind
as his, driven from the royal presence, and, of course, from all the
noble societies to which it led (the anti-Court party excepted), should
brood over the means of inveigling the Queen into a consent for his
reappearance before her and the gay world, which was his only element,
and if her favour should prove unattainable to revenge himself by her

“On the Cardinal’s return to France, all his numerous and powerful
friends beset the King and Queen to allow of his restoration to his
embassy; but though on his arrival at Versailles, finding the Court had
removed to Compiegne, he had a short audience there of the King, all
efforts in his favour were thrown away.  Equally unsuccessful was every
intercession with the Empress-mother.  She had become thoroughly awakened
to his worthlessness, and she declared she would never more even receive
him in her dominions as a visitor.  The Cardinal, being apprised of this
by some of his intimates, was at last persuaded to give up the idea of
further importunity; and, pocketing his disgrace, retired with his hey
dukes and his secretary, the Abbe Georgel, to whom may be attributed all
the artful intrigues of his disgraceful diplomacy.

“It is evident that Rohan had no idea, during all his schemes to supplant
the Dauphine by marrying her sister to the King, that the secret hope of
Louis XV. had been to divorce the Dauphin and marry the slighted bride
himself.  Perhaps it is fortunate that Rohan did not know this.  A brain
so fertile in mischief as his might have converted such a circumstance to
baneful uses.  But the death of Louis XV. put an end to all the then
existing schemes for a change in her position.  It was to her a real,
though but a momentary triumph.  From the hour of her arrival she had a
powerful party to cope with; and the fact of her being an Austrian,
independent of the jealousy created by her charms, was, in itself, a
spell to conjure up armies, against which she stood alone, isolated in
the face of embattled myriads!  But she now reared her head, and her foes
trembled in her presence.  Yet she could not guard against the moles busy
in the earth secretly to undermine her.  Nay, had not Louis XV. died at
the moment he did, there is scarcely a doubt, from the number and the
quality of the hostile influences working on the credulity of the young
Dauphin, that Marie Antoinette would have been very harshly dealt
with,--even the more so from the partiality of the dotard who believed
himself to be reigning.  But she has been preserved from her enemies to
become their sovereign; and if her crowned brow has erewhile been stung
by thorns in its coronal, let me not despair of their being hereafter
smothered in yet unblown roses.”


“The accession of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette to the crown of France
took place (May 10, 1774) under the most propitious auspices!

“After the long, corrupt reign of an old debauched Prince, whose vices
were degrading to himself and to a nation groaning under the lash of
prostitution and caprice, the most cheering changes were expected from
the known exemplariness of his successor and the amiableness of his
consort.  Both were looked up to as models of goodness.  The virtues of
Louis XVI. were so generally known that all France hastened to
acknowledge them, while the Queen’s fascinations acted like a charm on
all who had not been invincibly prejudiced against the many excellent
qualities which entitled her to love and admiration.  Indeed, I never
heard an insinuation against either the King or Queen but from those
depraved minds which never possessed virtue enough to imitate theirs, or
were jealous of the wonderful powers of pleasing that so eminently
distinguished Marie Antoinette from the rest of her sex.

“On the death of Louis XV. the entire Court removed from Versailles to
the palace of La Muette, situate in the Bois de Boulogne, very near
Paris.  The confluence of Parisians, who came in crowds joyfully to hail
the death of the old vitiated Sovereign, and the accession of his adored
successors, became quite annoying to the whole Royal Family.  The
enthusiasm with which the Parisians hailed their young King, and in
particular his amiable young partner, lasted for many days.  These
spontaneous evidences of attachment were regarded as prognostics of a
long reign of happiness.  If any inference can be drawn from public
opinion, could there be a stronger assurance than this one of
uninterrupted future tranquility to its objects?

“To the Queen herself it was a double triumph.  The conspirators, whose
depravity had been labouring to make her their victim, departed from the
scene of power.  The husband, who for four years had been callous to her
attractions, became awakened to them.  A complete change in the domestic
system of the palace was wrought suddenly.  The young King, during the
interval which elapsed between the death and the interment of his
grandfather, from Court etiquette was confined to his apartments.  The
youthful couple therefore saw each other with less restraint.  The
marriage was consummated.  Marie Antoinette from this moment may date
that influence over the heart (would I might add over the head and
policy!) of the King, which never slackened during the remainder of their

“Madame du Barry was much better dealt with by the young King, whom she
had always treated with the greatest levity, than she, or her numerous
courtiers, expected.  She was allowed her pension, and the entire
enjoyment of all her ill-gotten and accumulated wealth; but, of course,
excluded from ever appearing at Court, and politically exiled from Paris
to the Chateau aux Dames.

“This implacable foe and her infamous coadjutors being removed from
further interference in matters of State by the expulsion of all their
own Ministers, their rivals, the Duc de Choiseul and his party, by whom
Marie Antoinette had been brought to France, were now in high expectation
of finding the direction of the Government, by the Queen’s influence,
restored to that nobleman.  But the King’s choice was already made.  He
had been ruled by his aunts, and appointed Ministers suggested by them
and his late grandfather’s friends, who feared the preponderance of the
Austrian influence.  The three ladies, Madame la Marechale de Beauveau,
the Duchesse de Choiseul, and the Duchesse de Grammont, who were all
well-known to Louis XVI. and stood high in his opinion for many excellent
qualities, and especially for their independent assertion of their own
and the Dauphine’s dignity by retiring from Court in consequence of the
supper at which Du Barry was introduced these ladies, though received on
their return thither with peculiar welcome, in vain united their efforts
with those of the Queen and the Abbe Vermond, to overcome the prejudice
which opposed Choiseul’s reinstatement.  It was all in vain.  The royal
aunts, Adelaide especially, hated Choiseul for the sake of Austria, and
his agency in bringing Marie Antoinette to France; and so did the King’s
tutor and governor, the Duc de Vauguyon, who had ever been hostile to any
sort of friendship with Vienna; and these formed a host impenetrable even
to the influence of the Queen, which was opposed by all the leaders of
the prevailing party, who, though they were beginning externally to
court, admire, and idolize her, secretly surrounded her by their noxious
and viperous intrigues, and, while they lived in her bosom, fattened on
the destruction of her fame!

“One of the earliest of the paltry insinuations against Marie Antoinette
emanated from her not counterfeiting deep affliction at the decease of
the old King.  A few days after that event, the Court received the
regular visits of condolence and congratulation of the nobility, whose
duty prescribes their attendance upon such occasions; and some of them,
among whom were the daughters of Louis XV., not finding a young Queen of
nineteen hypocritically bathed in tears, on returning to their abodes
declared her the most indecorous of Princesses, and diffused a strong
impression of her want of feeling.  At the head of these detractors were
Mesdames de Guemenee and Marsan, rival pretenders to the favours of the
Cardinal de Rohan, who, having by the death of Louis XV. lost their
influence and their unlimited power to appoint and dismiss Ministers,
themselves became ministers to their own evil geniuses, in calumniating
her whose legitimate elevation annihilated their monstrous pretensions!

“The Abbe Vermond, seeing the defeat of the party of the Duc de Choiseul,
by whom he had been sent to the Court of Vienna on the recommendation of
Brienne, began to tremble for his own security.  As soon as the Court had
arrived at Choisy, and he was assured of the marriage having been
consummated, he obtained, with the Queen’s consent, an audience of the
King, for the purpose of soliciting his sanction to his continuing in his
situation.  On submitting his suit to the King, His Majesty merely gave a
shrug of the shoulders, and turned to converse with the Duc d’Aiguillon,
who at that moment entered the room.  The Abbe stood stupefied, and the
Queen, seeing the crestfallen humour of her tutor, laughed and cheered
him by remarking, ‘There is more meaning in the shrug of a King than in
the embrace of a Minister.  The one always promises, but is seldom
sincere; the other is generally sincere, but never promises.’  The Abbe,
not knowing how to interpret the dumb answer, finding the King’s back
turned and his conversation with D’Aiguillon continuing, was retiring
with a shrug of his own shoulders to the Queen, when she exclaimed,
good-humouredly, to Louis, laughing and pointing to the Abbe, ‘Look!
look! see how readily a Church dignitary can imitate the good Christian
King, who is at the head of the Church.’  The King, seeing the Abbe still
waiting, said, dryly, ‘Monsieur, you are confirmed in your situation,’
and then resumed his conversation with the Duke.

“This anecdote is a sufficient proof that LOUIS XVI.  had no
prepossession in favour of the Abbe Vermond, and that it was merely not
to wound the feelings of the Queen that he was tolerated.  The Queen
herself was conscious of this, and used frequently to say to me how much
she was indebted to the King for such deference to her private choice, in
allowing Vermond to be her secretary, as she did not remember the King’s
ever having held any communication with the Abbe during the whole time he
was attached to the service, though the Abbe always expressed himself
with the greatest respect towards the King.

“The decorum of Marie Antoinette would not allow her to endure those
public exhibitions of the ceremony, of dressing herself which had been
customary at Court.  This reserve was highly approved by His Majesty; and
one of the first reforms she introduced, after the accession, was in the
internal discipline of her own apartment.

“It was during one of the visits, apart from Court etiquette, to the
toilet of the Queen, that the Duchesse de Chartres, afterwards Duchesse
d’Orleans, introduced the famous Mademoiselle Bertin, who afterwards
became so celebrated as the Queen’s milliner--the first that was ever
allowed to approach a royal palace; and it was months before Marie
Antoinette had courage to receive her milliner in any other than the
private apartment which, by the alteration Her Majesty had made in the
arrangements of the household, she set apart for the purpose of dressing
in comfort by herself and free from all intruders.

“Till then the Queen was not only very plain in her attire, but very,
economical--a circumstance which, I have often heard her say, gave great
umbrage to the other Princesses of the Court of Versailles, who never
showed themselves, from the moment they rose till they returned to bed,
except in full dress; while she herself made all her morning visits in a
simple white cambric gown and straw hat.  This simplicity, unfortunately,
like many other trifles, whose consequences no foresight would have
predicted, tended much to injure Marie Antoinette, not only with the
Court dandies, but the nation; by whom, though she was always censured,
she was as suddenly imitated in all she wore or did.

“From the private closet, which Marie Antoinette reserved to herself, and
had now opened to her milliner, she would retire, after the great points
of habiliment were accomplished, to those who were waiting with memorials
at her public toilet, where the hairdresser would finish putting the
ornaments in Her Majesty’s hair.

“The King made Marie Antoinette a present of Le Petit Trianon.  Much has
been said of the extravagant expense lavished by her upon this spot.  I
can only declare that the greater part of the articles of furniture which
had not been worn out by time or were not worm or moth-eaten, and her own
bed among them, were taken from the apartments of former Queens, and some
of them had actually belonged to Anne of Austria, who, like Marie
Antoinette, had purchased them out of her private savings.  Hence it is
clear that neither of the two Queens were chargeable to the State even
for those little indulgences which every private lady of property is
permitted from her husband, without coming under the lash of censure.

“Her allowance as Queen of France was no more than 300,000 francs.  It is
well known that she was generous, liberal, and very charitable; that she
paid all her expenses regularly respecting her household, Trianon, her
dresses, diamonds, millinery, and everything else; her Court
establishment excepted, and some few articles, which were paid by the
civil list.  She was one of the first Queens in Europe, had the first
establishment in Europe, and was obliged to keep up the most refined and
luxurious Court in Europe; and all upon means no greater than had been
assigned to many of the former bigoted Queens, who led a cloistered life,
retired from the world without circulating their wealth among the nation
which supplied them with so large a revenue; and yet who lived and died
uncensured for hoarding from the nation what ought at least to have been
in part expended for its advantage.

“And yet of all the extra expenditure which the dignity and circumstances
of Marie Antoinette exacted, not a franc came from the public Treasury;
but everything out of Her Majesty’s private purse and savings from the
above three hundred thousand francs, which was an infinitely less sum
than Louis XIV. had lavished yearly on the Duchesse de Montespan, and
less than half what Louis XV. had expended on the last two favourites, De
Pompadour and Du Barry.  These two women, as clearly appeared from the
private registers, found among the papers of Louis XV. after his death,
by Louis XVI. (but which, out of respect for the memory of his
grandfather, he destroyed), these two women had amassed more property in
diamonds and other valuables than all the Queens of France from the days
of Catherine de Medicis up to those of Marie Antoinette.

“Such was the goodness of heart of the excellent Queen of Louis XVI.,
such the benevolence of her character, that not only did she pay all the
pensions of the invalids left by her predecessors, but she distributed in
public and private charities greater sums than any of the former Queens,
thus increasing her expenses without any proportionate augmentation of
her resources.”

[Indeed, could Louis XVI. have foreseen--when, in order not to expose the
character of his predecessor and to honour the dignity of the throne and
monarchy of France, he destroyed the papers of his grandfather--what an
arm of strength he would have possessed in preserving them, against the
accusers of his unfortunate Queen and himself, he never could have thrown
away such means of establishing a most honourable contrast between his
own and former reigns.  His career exhibits no superfluous expenditure.
Its economy was most rigid.  No sovereign was ever more scrupulous with
the public money. He never had any public or private predilection; no
dilapidated Minister for a favourite: no courtesan intrigue.  For gaming
he had no fondness; and, if his abilities were not splendid, he certainly
had no predominating vices.]


[I must once more quit the journal of the Princess.  Her Highness here
ceases to record particulars of the early part of the reign of Louis
XVI., and everything essential upon those times is too well known to
render it desirable to detain the reader by an attempt to supply the
deficiency.  It is enough to state that the secret unhappiness of the
Queen at not yet having the assurance of an heir was by no means weakened
by the impatience of the people, nor by the accouchement of the Comtesse
d’Artois of the Duc d’Angouleme.  While the Queen continued the intimacy,
and even held her parties at the apartments of the Duchess that she might
watch over her friend, even in this triumph over herself, the poissardes
grossly insulted her in her misfortune, and coarsely called on her to
give heirs to the throne!

A consolation, however, for the unkind feeling of the populace was about
to arise in the delights of one of her strongest friendships. I am come
to the epoch when Her Majesty first formed an acquaintance with the
Princesse de Lamballe.

After a few words of my own on the family of Her Highness, I shall leave
her to pursue her beautiful and artless narrative of her parentage, early
sorrows, and introduction to Her Majesty, unbroken.

The journal of the history of Marie Antoinette, after this slight
interruption for the private history of her friend, will become blended
with the journal of the Princesse de Lamballe, and both thenceforward
will proceed in their course together, like their destinies, which from
that moment never became disunited.]


[MARIA THERESA LOUISA CARIGNAN, Princess of Savoy, was born at Turin on
the 8th September, 1749.  She had three sisters; two of them were married
at Rome, one to the Prince Doria Pamfili, the other to the Prince
Colonna; and the third at Vienna, to the Prince Lobkowitz, whose son was
the great patron of the immortal Haydn, the celebrated composer.

The celebrated Haydn was, even at the age of 74, when I last saw him at
Vienna, till the most good-humoured bon vivant of his age.  He delighted
in telling the origin of his good fortune, which he said he entirely owed
to a bad wife.

When he was first married, he said, finding no remedy against domestic
squabbles, he used to quit his bad half and go and enjoy himself with his
good friends, who were Hungarians and Germans, for weeks together.  Once,
having returned home after a considerable absence, his wife, while he was
in bed next morning, followed her husband’s example: she did even more,
for she took all his clothes, even to his shoes, stockings, and small
clothes, nay, everything he had, along with her!  Thus situated, he was
under the necessity of doing something to cover his nakedness; and this,
he himself acknowledged, was the first cause of his seriously applying
himself to the profession which has since made his name immortal.

He used to laugh, saying, “I was from that time so habituated to study
that my wife, often fearing it would injure me, would threaten me with
the same operation if I did not go out and amuse myself; but then,” added
he, “I was grown old, and she was sick and no longer jealous.”  He spoke
remarkably good Italian, though he had never been in Italy, and on my
going to Vienna to hear his “Creation,” he promised to accompany me back
to Italy; but he unfortunately died before I returned to Vienna from

She had a brother also, the Prince Carignan, who, marrying against the
consent of his family, was no longer received by them; but the
unremitting and affectionate attention which the Princesse de Lamballe
paid to him and his new connexions was an ample compensation for the loss
he sustained in the severity of his other sisters.

With regard to the early life of the Princesse de Lamballe, the arranger
of these pages must now leave her to pursue her own beautiful and artless
narrative unbroken, up to the epoch of her appointment to the household
of the Queen.  It will be recollected that the papers of which the
reception has been already described in the introduction formed the
private journal of this most amiable Princess; and those passages
relating to her own early life being the most connected part of them, it
has been thought that to disturb them would be a kind of sacrilege.
After the appointment of Her Highness to the superintendence of the
Queen’s household, her manuscripts again become confused, and fall into
scraps and fragments, which will require to be once more rendered clear
by the recollections of events and conversations by which the preceding
chapters have been assisted.]

“I was the favourite child of a numerous family, and intended, almost at
my birth--as is generally the case among Princes who are nearly allied to
crowned heads--to be united to one of the Princes, my near relation, of
the royal house of Sardinia.

“A few years after this, the Duc and Duchesse de Penthievre arrived at
Turin, on their way to Italy, for the purpose of visiting the different
Courts, to make suitable marriage contracts for both their infant

“These two children were Mademoiselle de Penthievre, afterwards the
unhappy Duchesse d’Orleans, and their idolised son, the Prince de

[The father of Louis Alexander Joseph Stanislaus de Bourbon Penthievre,
Prince de Lamballe, was the son of Comte de Toulouse, himself a natural
son of Louis XIV. and Madame de Montespan, who was considered as the most
wealthy of all the natural children, in consequence of Madame de
Montespan having artfully entrapped the famous Mademoiselle de
Moutpensier to make over her immense fortune to him as her heir after her
death, as the price of liberating her husband from imprisonment in the
Bastille, and herself from a ruinous prosecution, for having contracted
this marriage contrary to the express commands of her royal cousin, Louis
XIV.--Vide Histoire de Louis XIV. par Voltaire.]

“Happy would it have been both for the Prince who was destined to the
former and the Princess who was given to the latter, had these
unfortunate alliances never taken place.

“The Duc and Duchesse de Penthievre became so singularly attached to my
beloved parents, and, in particular, to myself, that the very day they
first dined at the Court of Turin, they mentioned the wish they had
formed of uniting me to their young son, the Prince de Lamballe.

“The King of Sardinia, as the head of the house of Savoy and Carignan,
said there had been some conversation as to my becoming a member of his
royal family; but as I was so very young at the time, many political
reasons might arise to create motives for a change in the projected
alliance.  ‘If, therefore, the Prince de Carignan,’ said the King, ‘be
anxious to settle his daughter’s marriage, by any immediate matrimonial
alliance, I certainly shall not avail myself of any prior engagement, nor
oppose any obstacle in the way of its solemnisation.’

“The consent of the King being thus unexpectedly obtained by the Prince,
so desirable did the arrangement seem to the Duke and Duchess that the
next day the contract was concluded with my parents for my becoming the
wife of their only son, the Prince de Lamballe.

“I was too young to be consulted.  Perhaps had I been older the result
would have been the same, for it generally happens in these great family
alliances that the parties most interested, and whose happiness is most
concerned, are the least thought of.  The Prince was, I believe, at
Paris, under the tuition of his governess, and I was in the nursery,
heedless, and totally ignorant of my future good or evil destination!

“So truly happy and domestic a life as that led by the Duc and Duchesse
de Penthievre seemed to my family to offer an example too propitious not
to secure to me a degree of felicity with a private Prince, very rarely
the result of royal unions!  Of course, their consent was given with
alacrity.  When I was called upon to do homage to my future parents, I
had so little idea, from my extreme youthfulness, of what was going on
that I set them all laughing, when, on being asked if I should like to
become the consort of the Prince de Lamballe, I said, ‘Yes, I am very
fond of music!’ No, my dear,’ resumed the good and tender-hearted Duc de
Penthievre, ‘I mean, would you have any objection to become his
wife?’--‘No, nor any other person’s!’ was the innocent reply, which
increased the mirth of all the guests at my expense.

“Happy, happy days of youthful, thoughtless innocence, luxuriously felt
and appreciated under the thatched roof of the cottage, but unknown and
unattainable beneath the massive pile of a royal palace and a gemmed
crown!  Scarcely had I entered my teens when my adopted parents strewed
flowers of the sweetest fragrance to lead me to the sacred altar, that
promised the bliss of busses, but which, too soon, from the foul
machinations of envy, jealousy, avarice, and a still more criminal
passion, proved to me the altar of my sacrifice!

“My misery and my uninterrupted grief may be dated from the day my
beloved sister-in-law, Mademoiselle de Penthievre, sullied her hand by
its union with the Duc de Chartres.--[Afterwards Duc d’Orleans, and the
celebrated revolutionary Philippe Egalite.]--From that moment all
comfort, all prospect of connubial happiness, left my young and
affectionate heart, plucked thence by the very roots, never more again to
bloom there.  Religion and philosophy were the only remedies remaining.

“I was a bride when an infant, a wife before I was a woman, a widow
before I was a mother, or had the prospect of becoming one!  Our union
was, perhaps, an exception to the general rule.  We became insensibly the
more attached to each other the more we were acquainted, which rendered
the more severe the separation, when we were torn asunder never to meet
again in this world!

“After I left Turin, though everything for my reception at the palaces of
Toulouse and Rambouillet had been prepared in the most sumptuous style of
magnificence, yet such was my agitation that I remained convulsively
speechless for many hours, and all the affectionate attention of the
family of the Duc de Penthievre could not calm my feelings.

“Among those who came about me was the bridegroom himself, whom I had
never yet seen.  So anxious was he to have his first acquaintance
incognito that he set off from Paris the moment he was apprised of my
arrival in France and presented himself as the Prince’s page.  As he had
outgrown the figure of his portrait, I received him as such; but the
Prince, being better pleased with me than he had apprehended he should
be, could scarcely avoid discovering himself.  During our journey to
Paris I myself disclosed the interest with which the supposed page had
inspired me.  ‘I hope,’ exclaimed I, ‘my Prince will allow his page to
attend me, for I like him much.’

“What was my surprise when the Duc de Penthievre presented me to the
Prince and I found in him the page for whom I had already felt such an
interest!  We both laughed and wanted words to express our mutual
sentiments.  This was really love at first sight.

[The young Prince was enraptured at finding his lovely bride so superior
in personal charms to the description which had been given of her, and
even to the portrait sent to him from Turin.  Indeed, she must have been
a most beautiful creature, for when I left her in the year 1792, though
then five-and-forty years of age, from the freshness of her complexion,
the elegance of her figure, and the dignity of her deportment, she
certainly did not appear to be more than thirty.  She had a fine head of
hair, and she took great pleasure in showing it unornamented.  I remember
one day, on her coming hastily from the bath, as she was putting on her
dress, her cap falling off, her hair completely covered her!

The circumstances of her death always make me shudder at the recollection
of this incident!  I have been assured by Mesdames Mackau, de Soucle, the
Comtesse de Noailles (not Duchesse, as Mademoiselle Bertin has created
her in her Memoirs of that name), and others, that the Princesse de
Lamballe was considered the most beautiful and accomplished Princess at
the Court of Louis XV., adorned with all the grace, virtue, and elegance
of manner which so eminently distinguished her through life.]

“The Duc de Chartres, then possessing a very handsome person and most
insinuating address, soon gained the affections of the amiable
Mademoiselle Penthievre.  Becoming thus a member of the same family, he
paid me the most assiduous attention.  From my being his sister-in-law,
and knowing he was aware of my great attachment to his young wife, I
could have no idea that his views were criminally levelled at my honour,
my happiness, and my future peace of mind.  How, therefore, was I
astonished and shocked when he discovered to me his desire to supplant
the legitimate object of my affections, whose love for me equalled mine
for him!  I did not expose this baseness of the Duc de Chartres, out of
filial affection for my adopted father, the Duc de Penthievre; out of the
love I bore his amiable daughter, she being pregnant; and, above all, in
consequence of the fear I was under of compromising the life of the
Prince, my husband, who I apprehended might be lost to me if I did not
suffer in silence.  But still, through my silence he was lost--and oh,
how dreadfully!  The Prince was totally in the dark as to the real
character of his brother-in-law.  He blindly became every day more and
more attached to the man, who was then endeavouring by the foulest means
to blast the fairest prospects of his future happiness in life!  But my
guardian angel protected me from becoming a victim to seduction,
defeating every attack by that prudence which has hitherto been my
invincible shield.

“Guilt, unpunished in its first crime, rushes onward, and hurrying from
one misdeed to another, like the flood-tide, drives all before it!  My
silence, and his being defeated without reproach, armed him with courage
for fresh daring, and he too well succeeded in embittering the future
days of my life, as well as those of his own affectionate wife, and his
illustrious father-in-law, the virtuous Duc de Penthievre, who was to all
a father.

“To revenge himself upon me for the repulse he met with, this man
inveigled my young, inexperienced husband from his bridal bed to those
infected with the nauseous poison of every vice!  Poor youth!  he soon
became the prey of every refinement upon dissipation and studied
debauchery, till at length his sufferings made his life a burthen, and he
died in the most excruciating agonies both of mind and body, in the arms
of a disconsolate wife and a distracted father--and thus, in a few short
months, at the age of eighteen, was I left a widow to lament my having
become a wife!

“I was in this situation, retired from the world and absorbed in grief,
with the ever beloved and revered illustrious father of my murdered lord,
endeavouring to sooth his pangs for the loss of those comforts in a child
with which my cruel disappointment forbade my ever being blest--though,
in the endeavour to soothe, I often only aggravated both his and my own
misery at our irretrievable loss--when a ray of unexpected light burst
upon my dreariness.  It was amid this gloom of human agony, these
heartrending scenes of real mourning, that the brilliant star shone to
disperse the clouds which hovered over our drooping heads,--to dry the
hot briny tears which were parching up our miserable vegetating
existence--it was in this crisis that Marie Antoinette came, like a
messenger sent down from Heaven, graciously to offer the balm of comfort
in the sweetest language of human compassion.  The pure emotions of her
generous soul made her unceasing, unremitting, in her visits to two
mortals who must else have perished under the weight of their
misfortunes.  But for the consolation of her warm friendship we must have
sunk into utter despair!

“From that moment I became seriously attached to the Queen of France. She
dedicated a great portion of her time to calm the anguish of my poor
heart, though I had not yet accepted the honour of becoming a member of
Her Majesty’s household.  Indeed, I was a considerable time before I
could think of undertaking a charge I felt myself so completely incapable
of fulfilling.  I endeavoured to check the tears that were pouring down
my cheeks, to conceal in the Queen’s presence the real feelings of my
heart, but the effort only served to increase my anguish when she had
departed.  Her attachment to me, and the cordiality with which she
distinguished herself towards the Duc de Penthievre, gave her a place in
that heart, which had been chilled by the fatal vacuum left by its first
inhabitant; and Marie Antoinette was the only rival through life that
usurped his pretensions, though she could never wean me completely from
his memory.

“My health, from the melancholy life I led, had so much declined that my
affectionate father, the Duc de Penthievre, with whom I continued to
reside, was anxious that I should emerge from my retirement for the
benefit of my health.  Sensible of his affection, and having always
honoured his counsels, I took his advice in this instance.  It being in
the hard winter, when so many persons were out of bread, the Queen, the
Duchesse d’Orleans, the Duc de Penthievre, and myself, introduced the
German sledges, in which we were followed by most of the nobility and the
rich citizens.  This afforded considerable employment to different
artificers.  The first use I made of my own new vehicle was to visit, in
company with the Duc de Penthievre, the necessitous poor families and our
pensioners.  In the course of our rounds we met the Queen.

“‘I suppose,’ exclaimed Her Majesty, ‘you also are laying a good
foundation for my work!  Heavens!  what must the poor feel!  I am wrapped
up like a diamond in a box, covered with furs, and yet I am chilled with

“‘That feeling sentiment,’ said the Duke, ‘will soon warm many a cold
family’s heart with gratitude to bless Your Majesty!’

“‘Why, yes,’ replied Her Majesty, showing a long piece of paper
containing the names of those to whom she intended to afford relief, ‘I
have only collected two hundred yet on my list, but the cure will do the
rest and help me to draw the strings of my privy purse!  But I have not
half done my rounds.  I daresay before I return to Versailles I shall
have as many more, and, since we are engaged in the same business, pray
come into my sledge and do not take my work out of my hands!  Let me have
for once the merit of doing something good!’

“On the coming up of a number of other vehicles belonging to the sledge
party, the Queen added, ‘Do not say anything about what I have been
telling you!’ for Her Majesty never wished what she did in the way of
charity or donations should be publicly known, the old pensioners
excepted, who, being on the list, could not be concealed; especially as
she continued to pay all those she found of the late Queen of Louis XV.
She was remarkably delicate and timid with respect to hurting the
feelings of any one; and, fearing the Duc de Penthievre might not be
pleased at her pressing me to leave him in order to join her, she said,
‘Well, I will let you off, Princess, on your both promising to dine with
me at Trianon; for the King is hunting, not deer, but wood for the poor,
and he will see his game off to Paris before he comes back:

“The Duke begged to be excused, but wished me to accept the invitation,
which I did, and we parted, each to pursue our different sledge

“At the hour appointed, I made my appearance at Trianon, and had the
honour to dine tete-a-tete with Her Majesty, which was much more
congenial to my feelings than if there had been a party, as I was still
very low-spirited and unhappy.

“After dinner, ‘My dear Princess,’ said the Queen to me, ‘at your time of
life you must not give yourself up entirely to the dead.  You wrong the
living.  We have not been sent into the world for ourselves.  I have felt
much for your situation, and still do so, and therefore hope, as long as
the weather permits, that you will favour me with your company to enlarge
our sledge excursions.  The King and my dear sister Elizabeth are also
much interested about your coming on a visit to Versailles.  What think
you of our plan.

“I thanked Her Majesty, the King, and the Princess, for their kindness,
but I observed that my state of health and mind could so little
correspond in any way with the gratitude I should owe them for their
royal favours that I trusted a refusal would be attributed to the fact of
my consciousness how much rather my society must prove an annoyance and a
burthen than a source of pleasure.

“My tears flowing down my cheeks rapidly while I was speaking, the Queen,
with that kindness for which she was so eminently distinguished, took me
by the hand, and with her handkerchief dried my face.

“‘I am,’ said the Queen, I about to renew a situation which has for some
time past lain dormant; and I hope, my dear Princess, therewith to
establish my own private views, in forming the happiness of a worthy

“I replied that such a plan must insure Her Majesty the desired object
she had in view, as no individual could be otherwise than happy under the
immediate auspices of so benevolent and generous a Sovereign.

“The Queen, with great affability, as if pleased with my observation,
only said, ‘If you really think as you speak, my views are accomplished.’

“My carriage was announced, and I then left Her Majesty, highly pleased
at her gracious condescension, which evidently emanated from the kind
wish to raise my drooping spirits from their melancholy.

“Gratitude would not permit me to continue long without demonstrating to
Her Majesty the sentiments her kindness had awakened in my heart.

“I returned next day with my sister-in-law, the Duchesse d’Orleans, who
was much esteemed by the Queen, and we joined the sledge parties with Her

“On the third or fourth day of these excursions I again had the honour to
dine with Her Majesty, when, in the presence of the Princesse Elizabeth,
she asked me if I were still of the same opinion with respect to the
person it was her intention to add to her household?

“I myself had totally forgotten the topic and entreated Her Majesty’s
pardon for my want of memory, and begged she would signify to what
subject she alluded.

“The Princesse Elizabeth laughed.  ‘I thought,’ cried she, ‘that you had
known it long ago!  The Queen, with His Majesty’s consent, has nominated
you, my dear Princess (embracing me), superintendent of her household.’

“The Queen, also embracing me, said, ‘Yes; it is very true.  You said the
individual destined to such a situation could not be otherwise than
happy; and I am myself thoroughly happy in being able thus to contribute
towards rendering you so.’

“I was perfectly at a loss for a moment or two, but, recovering myself
from the effect of this unexpected and unlooked for preferment, I thanked
Her Majesty with the best grace I was able for such an unmerited mark of

“The Queen, perceiving my embarrassment, observed, ‘I knew I should
surprise you; but I thought your being established at Versailles much
more desirable for one of your rank and youth than to be, as you were,
with the Duc de Penthievre; who, much as I esteem his amiable character
and numerous great virtues, is by no means the most cheering companion
for my charming Princess.  From this moment let our friendships be united
in the common interest of each other’s happiness.’

“The Queen took me by the hand.  The Princesse Elizabeth, joining hers,
exclaimed to the Queen, ‘Oh, my dear sister!  let me make the trio in
this happy union of friends!’

“In the society of her adored Majesty and of her saint-like sister
Elizabeth I have found my only balm of consolation!  Their graciously
condescending to sympathise in the grief with which I was overwhelmed
from the cruel disappointment of my first love, filled up in some degree
the vacuum left by his loss, who was so prematurely ravished from me in
the flower of youth, leaving me a widow at eighteen; and though that loss
is one I never can replace or forget, the poignancy of its effect has
been in a great degree softened by the kindnesses of my excellent
father-in-law, the Duc de Penthievre, and the relations resulting from my
situation with, and the never-ceasing attachment of my beloved royal


[The connexion of the Princesse de Lamballe with the Queen, of which she
has herself described the origin in the preceding chapter, proved so
important in its influence upon the reputation and fate of both these
illustrious victims, that I must once more withdraw the attention of the
reader, to explain, from personal observation and confidential
disclosures, the leading causes of the violent dislike which was kindled
in the public against an intimacy that it would have been most fortunate
had Her Majesty preferred through life to every other.

The selection of a friend by the Queen, and the sudden elevation of that
friend to the highest station in the royal household, could not fail to
alarm the selfishness of courtiers, who always feel themselves injured by
the favour shown to others.  An obsolete office was revived in favour of
the Princesse de Lamballe.  In the time of Maria Leckzinska, wife of
Louis XV., the office of superintendent, then held by Mademoiselle de
Clermont, was suppressed when its holder died.  The office gave a control
over the inclinations of Queens, by which Maria Leckzinska was sometimes
inconvenienced; and it had lain dormant ever since.  Its restoration by a
Queen who it was believed could be guided by no motive but the desire to
seek pretexts for showing undue favour, was of course eyed askance, and
ere long openly calumniated.

The Comtesse de Noailles, who never could forget the title the Queen gave
her of Madame Etiquette, nor forgive the frequent jokes which Her Majesty
passed upon her antiquated formality, availed herself of the opportunity
offered by her husband’s being raised to the dignity of Marshal of
France, to resign her situation on the appointment of the Princesse de
Lamballe as superintendent.  The Countess retired with feelings
embittered against her royal mistress, and her annoyance in the sequel
ripened into enmity.  The Countess was attached to a very powerful party,
not only at Court but scattered throughout the kingdom.  Her discontent
arose from the circumstance of no longer having to take her orders from
the Queen direct, but from her superintendent.  Ridiculous as this may
seem to an impartial observer, it created one of the most powerful
hostilities against which Her Majesty had afterwards to contend.

Though the Queen esteemed the Comtesse de Noailles for her many good
qualities, yet she was so much put out of her way by the rigour with
which the Countess enforced forms which to Her Majesty appeared puerile
and absurd, that she felt relieved, and secretly gratified, by her
retirement.  It will be shown hereafter to what an excess the Countess
was eventually carried by her malice.

One of the popular objections to the revival of the office of
superintendent in favour of the Princesse de Lamballe arose from its
reputed extravagance.  This was as groundless as the other charges
against the Queen.  The etiquettes of dress, and the requisite increase
of every other expense, from the augmentation of every article of the
necessaries as well as the luxuries of life, made a treble difference
between the expenditure of the circumscribed Court of Maria Leckzinska
and that of Louis XVI.; yet the Princesse de Lamballe received no more
salary than had been allotted to Mademoiselle de Clermont in the selfsame
situation half a century before.

(And even that salary she never appropriated to any private use of her
own, being amply supplied through the generous bounty of her
father-in-law, the Duc de Penthievre; and latterly, to my knowledge, so
far from receiving any pay, she often paid the Queen’s and Princesse
Elizabeth’s bills out of her own purse.)

So far from possessing the slightest propensity either to extravagance in
herself or to the encouragement of extravagance in others, the Princesse
de Lamballe was a model of prudence, and upon those subjects, as indeed
upon all others, the Queen could not have had a more discreet counsellor.
She eminently contributed to the charities of the Queen, who was the
mother of the fatherless, the support of the widow, and the general
protectress and refuge of suffering humanity.  Previously to the purchase
of any article of luxury, the Princess would call for the list of the
pensioners: if anything was due on that account, it was instantly paid,
and the luxury dispensed with.

She never made her appearance in the Queen’s apartments except at
established hours.  This was scrupulously observed till the Revolution.
Circumstances then obliged her to break through forms. The Queen would
only receive communications, either written or verbal, upon the subjects
growing out of that wretched crisis, in the presence of the Princess; and
hence her apartments were open to all who had occasion to see Her
Majesty.  This made their intercourse more constant and unceremonious.
But before this, the Princess only went to the royal presence at fixed
hours, unless she had memorials to present to the King, Queen, or
Ministers, in favour of such as asked for justice or mercy.  Hence,
whenever the Princess entered before the stated times, the Queen would
run and embrace her, and exclaim: “Well, my dear Princesse de Lamballe!
what widow, what orphan, what suffering or oppressed petitioner am I to
thank for this visit?  for I know you never come to me empty-handed when
you come unexpectedly!”  The Princess, on these occasions, often had the
petitioners waiting in an adjoining apartment, that they might instantly
avail themselves of any inclination the Queen might show to see them.

Once the Princess was deceived by a female painter of doubtful character,
who supplicated her to present a work she had executed to the Queen.  I
myself afterwards returned that work to its owner. Thenceforward, the
Princess became very rigid in her inquiries, previous to taking the least
interest in any application, or consenting to present any one personally
to the King or Queen.  She required thoroughly to be informed of the
nature of the request, and of the merit and character of the applicant,
before she would attend to either.  Owing to this caution Her Highness
scarcely ever after met with a negative.  In cases of great importance,
though the Queen’s compassionate and good heart needed no stimulus to
impel her to forward the means of justice, the Princess would call the
influence of the Princesse Elizabeth to her aid; and Elizabeth never sued
in vain.

Marie Antoinette paid the greatest attention to all memorials.  They were
regularly collected every week by Her Majesty’s private secretary, the
Abbe Vermond.  I have myself seen many of them, when returned from the
Princesse de Lamballe, with the Queen’s marginal notes in her own
handwriting, and the answers dictated by Her Majesty to the different,
officers of the departments relative to the nature of the respective
demands.  She always recommended the greatest attention to all public
documents, and annexed notes to such as passed through her hands to
prevent their being thrown aside or lost.

One of those who were least satisfied with the appointment of the
Princesse de Lamballe to the office of superintendent was her
brother-in-law, the Duc d’Orleans, who, having attempted her virtue on
various occasions and been repulsed, became mortified and alarmed at her
situation as a check to his future enterprise.

At one time the Duc and Duchesse d’Orleans were most constant and
assiduous in their attendance on Marie Antoinette.  They were at all her
parties.  The Queen was very fond of the Duchess.  It is supposed that
the interest Her Majesty took in that lady, and the steps to which some
time afterwards that interest led, planted the first seeds of the
unrelenting and misguided hostility which, in the deadliest times of the
Revolution, animated the Orleanists against the throne.

The Duc d’Orleans, then Duc de Chartres, was never a favourite of the
Queen.  He was only tolerated at Court on account of his wife and of the
great intimacy which subsisted between him and the Comte d’Artois.  Louis
XVI. had often expressed his disapprobation of the Duke’s character,
which his conduct daily justified.

The Princesse de Lamballe could have no cause to think of her
brother-in-law but with horror.  He had insulted her, and, in revenge at
his defeat, had, it was said, deprived her, by the most awful means, of
her husband.  The Princess was tenderly attached to her sister-in-law,
the Duchess.  Her attachment could not but make her look very
unfavourably upon the circumstance of the Duke’s subjecting his wife to
the humiliation of residing in the palace with Madame de Genlis, and
being forced to receive a person of morals so incorrect as the guardian
of her children.  The Duchess had complained to her father, the Duc de
Penthievre, in the presence of the Princesse de Lamballe, of the very
great ascendency Madame de Genlis exercised over her husband; and had
even requested the Queen to use her influence in detaching the Duke from
this connexion.

(It was generally understood that the Duke had a daughter by Madame de
Genlis.  This daughter, when grown up, was married to the late Irish Lord
Robert Fitzgerald.)

But she had too much gentleness of nature not presently to forget her
resentment.  Being much devoted to her husband, rather than irritate him
to further neglect by personal remonstrance, she determined to make the
best of a bad business, and tolerated Madame de Genlis, although she made
no secret among her friends and relations of the reason why she did so.
Nay, so far did her wish not to disoblige her husband prevail over her
own feelings as to induce her to yield at last to his importunities by
frequently proposing to present Madame de Genlis to the Queen.  But
Madame de Genilis never could obtain either a public or a private
audience. Though the Queen was a great admirer of merit and was fond of
encouraging talents, of which Madame de Genlis was by no means deficient,
yet even the account the Duchess herself had given, had Her Majesty
possessed no other means of knowledge, would have sealed that lady’s
exclusion from the opportunities of display at Court which she sought so

There was another source of exasperation against the Duc d’Orleans; and
the great cause of a new and, though less obtrusive, yet perhaps an
equally dangerous foe under all the circumstances, in Madame de Genlis.
The anonymous slander of the one was circulated through all France by the
other; and spleen and disappointment feathered the venomed arrows shot at
the heart of power by malice and ambition. Be the charge true or false,
these anonymous libels were generally considered as the offspring of this
lady: they were industriously scattered by the Duc d’Orleans; and their
frequent refutation by the Queen’s friends only increased the malignant
industry of their inventor.

An event which proved the most serious of all that ever happened to the
Queen, and the consequences of which were distinctly foreseen by the
Princesse de Lamballe and others of her true friends, was now growing to

The deposed Court oracle, the Comtesse de Noailles, had been succeeded as
literary leader by the Comtesse Diane de Polignac. She was a favourite of
the Comte d’Artois, and was the first lady in attendance upon the
Countess, his wife.

(The Comtesse Diane de Polignac had a much better education, and
considerably more natural capacity, than her sister-in-law, the Duchess,
and the Queen merely disliked her for her prudish affectation.  The
Comtesse d’Artois grew jealous of the Count’s intimacy with the Comtesse
Diane.  While she considered herself as the only one of the Royal Family
likely to be mother of a future sovereign, she was silent, or perhaps too
much engrossed by her castles in the air to think of anything but
diadems; but when she saw the Queen producing heirs, she grew out of
humour at her lost popularity, and began to turn her attention to her
husband’s Endymionship to this now Diana!  When she had made up her mind
to get her rival out of her house, she consulted one of the family; but
being told that the best means for a wife to keep her husband out of
harm’s way was to provide him with a domestic occupation for his leisure
hours at home, than which nothing could be better than a handmaid under
the same roof, she made a merit of necessity and submitted ever after to
retain the Comtesse Diane, as she had been prudently advised. The
Comtesse Diane, in consequence, remained in the family even up to the
17th October, 1789, when she left Versailles in company with the De
Polignacs and the D’Artois, who all emigrated together from France to
Italy and lived at Stria on the Brenta, near Venice, for some time, till
the Comtesse d’Artois went to Turin.)

The Queen’s conduct had always been very cool to her.  She deemed her a
self-sufficient coquette.  However, the Comtesse Diane was a constant
attendant at the gay parties which were then the fashion of the Court,
though not greatly admired.

The reader will scarcely need to be informed that the event to which I
have just alluded is the introduction by the Comtesse Diane of her
sister-in-law, the Comtesse Julie de Polignac, to the Queen; and having
brought the record up to this point I here once more dismiss my own pen
for that of the Princesse de Lamballe.

It will be obvious to every one that I must have been indebted to the
conversations of my beloved patroness for most of the sentiments and
nearly all the facts I have just been stating; and had the period on
which she has written so little as to drive me to the necessity of
writing for her been less pregnant with circumstances almost entirely
personal to herself, no doubt I should have found more upon that period
in her manuscript.  But the year of which Her Highness says so little was
the year of happiness and exclusive favour; and the Princess was above
the vanity of boasting, even privately in the self-confessional of her
diary.  She resumes her records with her apprehensions; and thus
proceeds, describing the introduction of the Comtesse Julie de Polignac,
regretting her ascendency over the Queen, and foreseeing its fatal

“I had been only a twelvemonth in Her Majesty’s service, which I believe
was the happiest period of both our lives, when, at one of the Court
assemblies, the Comtesse Julie de Polignac was first introduced by her
sister-in-law, the Comtesse Diane de Polignac, to the Queen.

“She had lived in the country, quite a retired life, and appeared to be
more the motherly woman, and the domestic wife, than the ambitious Court
lady, or royal sycophant.  She was easy of access, and elegantly plain in
her dress and deportment.

“Her appearance at Court was as fatal to the Queen as it was propitious
to herself!

“She seemed formed by nature to become a royal favourite, unassuming,
remarkably complaisant, possessing a refined taste, with a good-natured
disposition, not handsome, but well formed, and untainted by haughtiness
or pomposity.

“It would appear, from the effect her introduction had on the Queen, that
her domestic virtues were written in her countenance; for she became a
royal favourite before she had time to become a candidate for royal

“The Queen’s sudden attachment to the Comtesse Julie produced no
alteration in my conduct, while I saw nothing extraordinary to alarm me
for the consequences of any particular marked partiality, by which the
character and popularity of Her Majesty might be endangered.

“But, seeing the progress this lady made in the feelings of the Queen’s
enemies, it became my duty, from the situation I held, to caution Her
Majesty against the risks she ran in making her favourites friends; for
it was very soon apparent how highly the Court disapproved of this
intimacy and partiality: and the same feeling soon found its way to the
many-headed monster, the people, who only saw the favourite without
considering the charge she held.  Scarcely had she felt the warm rays of
royal favour, when the chilling blasts of envy and malice began to nip it
in the bud of all its promised bliss.  Even long before she touched the
pinnacle of her grandeur as governess of the royal children the blackest
calumny began to show itself in prints, caricatures, songs, and pamphlets
of every description.

“A reciprocity of friendship between a Queen and a subject, by those who
never felt the existence of such a feeling as friendship, could only be
considered in a criminal point of view.  But by what perversion could
suspicion frown upon the ties between two married women, both living in
the greatest harmony with their respective husbands, especially when both
became mothers and were so devoted to their offspring?  This boundless
friendship did glow between this calumniated pair calumniated because the
sacredness and peculiarity of the sentiment which united them was too
pure to be understood by the grovelling minds who made themselves their
sentencers.  The friend is the friend’s shadow.  The real sentiment of
friendship, of which disinterested sympathy is the sign, cannot exist
unless between two of the same sex, because a physical difference
involuntarily modifies the complexion of the intimacy where the sexes are
opposite, even though there be no physical relations.  The Queen of
France had love in her eyes and Heaven in her soul.  The Duchesse de
Polignac, whose person beamed with every charm, could never have been
condemned, like the Friars of La Trappe, to the mere memento mori.

“When I had made the representations to Her Majesty which duty exacted
from me on perceiving her ungovernable partiality for her new favourite,
that I might not importune her by the awkwardness naturally arising from
my constant exposure to the necessity of witnessing an intimacy she knew
I did not sanction, I obtained permission from my royal mistress to visit
my father-in-law, the Duc de Penthievre, at Rambouillet, his

“Soon after I arrived there, I was taken suddenly ill after dinner with
the most excruciating pains in my stomach.  I thought myself dying.
Indeed, I should have been so but for the fortunate and timely discovery
that I was poisoned certainly, not intentionally, by any one belonging to
my dear father’s household; but by some execrable hand which had an
interest in my death.

“The affair was hushed up with a vague report that some of the made
dishes had been prepared in a stew-pan long out of use, which the clerk
of the Duke’s kitchen had forgotten to get properly tinned.

“This was a doubtful story for many reasons.  Indeed, I firmly believe
that the poison given me had been prepared in the salt, for every one at
table had eaten of the same dish without suffering the smallest

“The news of this accident had scarcely arrived at Versailles, when the
Queen, astounded, and, in excessive anxiety, instantly sent off her
physician, and her private secretary, the Abbe Vermond, to bring me back
to my apartments at Versailles, with strict orders not to leave me a
moment at the Duke’s, for fear of a second attempt of the same nature.
Her Majesty had imputed the first to the earnestness I had always shown
in support of her interests, and she seemed now more ardent in her
kindness towards me from the idea of my being exposed through her means
to the treachery of assassins in the dark.  The Queen awaited our coming
impatiently, and, not seeing the carriages return so quickly as she
fancied they ought to arrive, she herself set off for Rambouillet, and
did not leave me till she had prevailed on me to quit my father-in-law’s,
and we both returned together the same night to Versailles, where the
Queen in person dedicated all her attention to the restoration of my

“As yet, however, nothing in particular had discovered that splendour for
which the De Polignacs were afterwards so conspicuous.

“Indeed, so little were their circumstances calculated for a Court life,
that when the friends of Madame de Polignac perceived the growing
attachment of the young Queen to the palladium of their hopes, in order
to impel Her Majesty’s friendship to repair the deficiencies of fortune,
they advised the magnet to quit the Court abruptly, assigning the want of
means as the motive of her retreat.  The story got wind, and proved

“The Queen, to secure the society of her friend, soon supplied the
resources she required and took away the necessity for her retirement.
But the die was cast.  In gaining one friend she sacrificed a host.  By
this act of imprudent preference she lost forever the affections of the
old nobility.  This was the gale which drove her back among the breakers.

“I saw the coming storm, and endeavoured to make my Sovereign feel its
danger.  Presuming that my example would be followed, I withdrew from the
De Polignac society, and vainly flattered myself that prudence would
impel others not to encourage Her Majesty’s amiable infatuation till the
consequences should be irretrievable.  But Sovereigns are always
surrounded by those who make it a point to reconcile them to their
follies, however flagrant, and keep them on good terms with themselves,
however severely they may be censured by the world.

“If I had read the book of fate I could not have seen more distinctly the
fatal results which actually took place from this unfortunate connexion.
The Duchess and myself always lived in the greatest harmony, and equally
shared the confidence of the Queen; but it was my duty not to sanction
Her Majesty’s marked favouritism by my presence.  The Queen often
expressed her discontent to me upon the subject.  She used to tell me how
much it grieved her to be denied success in her darling desire of uniting
her friends with each other, as they were already united in her own
heart.  Finding my resolution unalterable, she was mortified, but gave up
her pursuit.  When she became assured that all importunity was useless,
she ever after avoided wounding my feelings by remonstrance, and allowed
me to pursue the system I had adopted, rather than deprive herself of my
society, which would have been the consequence had I not been left at
liberty to follow the dictates of my own sense of propriety in a course
from which I was resolved that even Her Majesty’s displeasure should not
make me swerve.

“Once in particular, at an entertainment given to the Emperor Joseph at
Trianon, I remember the Queen took the opportunity to repeat how much she
felt herself mortified at the course in which I persisted of never making
my appearance at the Duchesse de Polignac’s parties.

“I replied, ‘I believe, Madame, we are both of us disappointed; but Your
Majesty has your remedy, by replacing me by a lady less scrupulous.’

“‘I was too sanguine,’ said the Queen, ‘in having flattered myself that I
had chosen two friends who would form, from their sympathising and
uniting their sentiments with each other, a society which would embellish
my private life as much as they adorn their public stations.’

“I said it was by my unalterable friendship and my loyal and dutiful
attachment to the sacred person of Her Majesty that I had been prompted
to a line of conduct in which the motives whence it arose would impel me
to persist while I had the honour to hold a situation under Her Majesty’s

“The Queen, embracing me, exclaimed, ‘That will be for life, for death
alone can separate us!’

“This is the last conversation I recollect to have had with the Queen
upon this distressing subject.

“The Abbe Vermond, who had been Her Majesty’s tutor, but who was now her
private secretary, began to dread that his influence over her, from
having been her confidential adviser from her youth upwards, would suffer
from the rising authority of the all-predominant new favourite.
Consequently, he thought proper to remonstrate, not with Her Majesty, but
with those about her royal person.  The Queen took no notice of these
side-wind complaints, not wishing to enter into any explanation of her
conduct.  On this the Abbe withdrew from Court.  But he only retired for
a short time, and that to make better terms for the future.  Here was a
new spring for those who were supplying the army of calumniators with
poison.  Happy had it been, perhaps, for France and the Queen if Vermond
had never returned.  But the Abbe was something like a distant country
cousin of an English Minister, a man of no talents, but who hoped for
employment through the power of his kinsman.  ‘There is nothing on hand
now,’ answered the Minister, ‘but a Bishop’s mitre or a Field-marshal’s
staff.’--‘Oh, very well,’ replied the countryman; ‘either will do for me
till something better turns up.’ The Abbe, in his retirement finding
leisure to reflect that there was no probability of anything ‘better
turning up’ than his post of private secretary, tutor, confidant, and
counsellor (and that not always the most correct) of a young and amiable
Queen of France, soon made his reappearance and kept his jealousy of the
De Polignacs ever after to himself.

“The Abbe Vermond enjoyed much influence with regard to ecclesiastical
preferments.  He was too fond of his situation ever to contradict or
thwart Her Majesty in any of her plans; too much of a courtier to assail
her ears with the language of truth; and by far too much a clergyman to
interest himself but for Mother Church.

“In short, he was more culpable in not doing his duty than in the
mischief he occasioned, for he certainly oftener misled the Queen by his
silence than by his advice.”


“I have already mentioned that Marie Antoinette had no decided taste for
literature.  Her mind rather sought its amusements in the ball-room, the
promenade, the theatre, especially when she herself was a performer, and
the concert-room, than in her library and among her books.  Her coldness
towards literary men may in, some degree be accounted for by the disgust
which she took at the calumnies and caricatures resulting from her
mother’s partiality for her own revered teacher, the great Metastasio.
The resemblance of most of Maria Theresa’s children to that poet was
coupled with the great patronage he received from the Empress; and much
less than these circumstances would have been quite enough to furnish a
tale for the slanderer, injurious to the reputation of any exalted

“The taste of Marie Antoinette for private theatricals was kept up till
the clouds of the Revolution darkened over all her enjoyments.

“These innocent amusements were made subjects of censure against her by
the many courtiers who were denied access to them; while some, who were
permitted to be present, were too well pleased with the opportunity of
sneering at her mediocrity in the art, which those, who could not see
her, were ready to criticise with the utmost severity.  It is believed
that Madame de Genlis found this too favourable an opportunity to be
slighted.  Anonymous satires upon the Queen’s performances, which were
attributed to the malice of that authoress, were frequently shown to Her
Majesty by good-natured friends.  The Duc de Fronsac also, from some
situation he held at Court, though not included in the private household
of Her Majesty at Trianon, conceiving himself highly injured by not being
suffered to interfere, was much exasperated, and took no pains to prevent
others from receiving the infection of his resentment.

“Of all the arts, music was the only one which Her Majesty ever warmly
patronised.  For music she was an enthusiast.  Had her talents in this
art been cultivated, it is certain from her judgment in it that she would
have made very considerable progress.  She sang little French airs with
great taste and feeling.  She improved much under the tuition of the
great composer, her master, the celebrated Sacchini.  After his death,
Sapio was named his successor; but, between the death of one master and
the appointment of another, the revolutionary horrors so increased that
her mind was no longer in a state to listen to anything but the howlings
of the tempest.

“In her happier days of power, the great Gluck was brought at her request
from Germany to Paris.  He cost nothing to the public Treasury, for Her
Majesty paid all his expenses out of her own purse, leaving him the
profits of his operas, which attracted immense sums to the theatre.

“Marie Antoinette paid for the musical education of the French singer,
Garat, and pensioned him for her private concerts.

“Her Majesty was the great patroness of the celebrated Viotti, who was
also attached to her private musical parties.  Before Viotti began to
perform his concertos, Her Majesty, with the most amiable condescension,
would go round the music saloon, and say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I
request you will be silent, and very attentive, and not enter into
conversation, while Mr. Viotti is playing, for it interrupts him in the
execution of his fine performance.

“Gluck composed his Armida in compliment to the personal charms of Marie
Antoinette.  I never saw Her Majesty more interested about anything than
she was for its success.  She became a perfect slave to it.  She had the
gracious condescension to hear all the pieces through, at Gluck’s
request, before they were submitted to the stage for rehearsal.  Gluck
said he always improved his music after he saw the effect it had upon Her

“He was coming out of the Queen’s apartment one day, after he had been
performing one of these pieces for Her Majesty’s approbation, when I
followed and congratulated him on the increased success he had met with
from the whole band of the opera at every rehearsal.  ‘O my dear
Princess!’ cried he, ‘it wants nothing to make it be applauded up to the
seven skies but two such delightful heads as Her Majesty’s and your
own.’--‘Oh, if that be all,’ answered I, ‘we’ll have them painted for
you, Mr. Gluck!’--‘No, no, no!  you do not understand me,’ replied Gluck,
‘I mean real, real heads.  My actresses are very ugly, and Armida and her
confidential lady ought to be very handsome:

“However great the success of the opera of Armida, and certainly it was
one of the best productions ever exhibited on the French stage, no one
had a better opinion of its composition than Gluck himself.  He was quite
mad about it.  He told the Queen that the air of France had invigorated
his musical genius, and that, after having had the honour of seeing Her
Majesty, his ideas were so much inspired that his compositions resembled
her, and became alike angelic and sublime!

“The first artist who undertook the part of Armida was Madame Saint
Huberti.  The Queen was very partial to her.  She was principal female
singer at the French opera, was a German by birth, and strongly
recommended by Gluck for her good natural voice.  At Her Majesty’s
request, Gluck himself taught Madame Saint Huberti the part of Armida.
Sacchini, also, at the command of Marie Antoinette, instructed her in the
style and sublimity of the Italian school, and Mdlle. Benin, the Queen’s
dressmaker and milliner, was ordered to furnish the complete dress for
the character.

“The Queen, perhaps, was more liberal to this lady than to any other
actress upon the stage.  She had frequently paid her debts, which were
very considerable, for she dressed like a Queen whenever she represented

“Gluck’s consciousness of the merit of his own works, and of their
dignity, excited no small jealousy, during the getting up of Armida, in
his rival with the public, the great Vestris, to whom he scarcely left
space to exhibit the graces of his art; and many severe disputes took
place between the two rival sharers of the Parisian enthusiasm.  Indeed,
it was at one time feared that the success of Armida would be endangered,
unless an equal share of the performance were conceded to the dancers.
But Gluck, whose German obstinacy would not give up a note, told Vestris
he might compose a ballet in which he would leave him his own way
entirely; but that an artist whose profession only taught him to reason
with his heels should not kick about works like Armida at his pleasure.
‘My subject,’ added Gluck, ‘is taken from the immortal Tasso.  My music
has been logically composed, and with the ideas of my head; and, of
course, there is very little room left for capering.  If Tasso had
thought proper to make Rinaldo a dancer he never would have designated
him a warrior.’

“Rinaldo was the part Vestris wished to be allotted to his son.  However,
through the interference of the Queen, Vestris prudently took the part as
it had been originally finished by Gluck.

“The Queen was a great admirer and patroness of Augustus Vestris, the god
of dance, as he was styled.  Augustus Vestris never lost Her Majesty’s
favour, though he very often lost his sense of the respect he owed to the
public, and showed airs and refused to dance.  Once he did so when Her
Majesty was at the opera.  Upon some frivolous pretext he refused to
appear.  He was, in consequence, immediately arrested.  His father,
alarmed at his son’s temerity, flew to me, and with the most earnest
supplications implored I would condescend to endeavour to obtain the
pardon of Her Majesty.  ‘My son,’ cried he, ‘did not know that Her
Majesty had honoured the theatre with her presence.  Had he been aware of
it, could he have refused to dance for his most bounteous benefactress?
I, too, am grieved beyond the power of language to describe, by this mal
apropos contretemps between the two houses of Vestris and Bourbon, as we
have always lived in the greatest harmony ever since we came from
Florence to Paris.  My son is very sorry and will dance most bewitchingly
if Her Majesty will graciously condescend to order his release!’

“I repeated the conversation verbatim, to Her Majesty, who enjoyed the
arrogance of the Florentine, and sent her page to order young Vestris to
be set immediately at liberty.

“Having exerted all the wonderful powers of his art, the Queen applauded
him very much.  When Her Majesty was about leaving her box, old Vestris
appeared at the entrance, leading his son to thank the Queen.

“‘Ah, Monsieur Vestris,’ said the Queen to the father, you never danced
as your son has done this evening.’

“‘That’s very natural, Madame,’ answered old Vestris, ‘I never had a
Vestris, please Your Majesty, for a master.’

“‘Then you have the greater merit,’ replied the Queen, turning round to
old Vestris--‘Ah, I shall never forget you and Mademoiselle Guimard
dancing the minuet de la cour.’

“On this old Vestris held up his head with that peculiar grace for which
he was so much distinguished.  The old man, though ridiculously vain, was
very much of a gentleman in his manners.  The father of Vestris was a
painter of some celebrity at Florence, and originally from Tuscany.”


“The visit of the favourite brother of Marie Antoinette, the Emperor
Joseph the Second, to France, had been long and anxiously expected, and
was welcomed by her with delight.  The pleasure Her Majesty discovered at
having him with her is scarcely credible; and the affectionate tenderness
with which the Emperor frequently expressed himself on seeing his
favourite sister evinced that their joys were mutual.

“Like everything else, however, which gratified and obliged the Queen,
her evil star converted even this into a misfortune.  It was said that
the French Treasury, which was not overflowing, was still more reduced by
the Queen’s partiality for her brother.  She was accused of having given
him immense sums of money; which was utterly false.

“The finances of Joseph were at that time in a situation too superior to
those of France to admit of such extravagance, or even to render it
desirable.  The circumstance which gave a colour to the charge was this:

“The Emperor, in order to facilitate the trade of his Brabant subjects,
had it in contemplation to open the navigation of the Scheldt.  This
measure would have been ruinous to many of the skippers, as well as to
the internal commerce of France.  It was considered equally dangerous to
the trade and navigation of the North Hollanders.  To prevent it,
negotiations were carried on by the French Minister, though professedly
for the mutual interest of both countries, yet entirely at the
instigation and on account of the Dutch.  The weighty argument of the
Dutch to prevent the Emperor from accomplishing a purpose they so much
dreaded was a sum of many millions, which passed by means of some monied
speculation in the Exchange through France to its destination at Vienna.
It was to see this affair settled that the Emperor declared in Vienna his
intention of taking France in his way from Italy, before he should go
back to Austria.

“The certainty of a transmission of money from France to Austria was
quite enough to awaken the malevolent, who would have taken care, even
had they inquired into the source whence the money came, never to have
made it public.  The opportunity was too favourable not to be made the
pretext to raise a clamour against the Queen for robbing France to favour
and enrich Austria.

“The Emperor, who had never seen me, though he had often heard me spoken
of at the Court of Turin, expressed a wish, soon after his arrival, that
I should be presented to him.  The immediate cause of this let me

“I was very much attached to the Princesse Clotilde, whom I had caused to
be united to Prince Charles Emanuel of Piedmont.  Our family had, indeed,
been principally instrumental in the alliances of the two brothers of the
King of France with the two Piedmontese Princesses, as I had been in the
marriage of the Piedmontese Prince with the Princess of France.  When the
Emperor Joseph visited the Court of Turin he was requested when he saw me
in Paris to signify the King of Sardinia’s satisfaction at my good
offices.  Consequently, the Emperor lost no time in delivering his

“When I was just entering the Queen’s apartment to be presented, ‘Here,’
said Her Majesty, leading me to the Emperor, ‘is the Princess,’ and, then
turning to me, exclaimed, ‘Mercy, how cold you are!’ The Emperor answered
Her Majesty in German, ‘What heat can you expect from the hand of one
whose heart resides with the dead?’ and subjoined, in the same language,
‘What a pity that so charming a head should be fixed on a dead body.’

“I affected to understand the Emperor literally, and set him and the
Queen laughing by thanking His Imperial Majesty for the compliment.

“The Emperor was exceedingly affable and full of anecdote.  Marie
Antoinette resembled him in her general manners.  The similitude in their
easy openness of address towards persons of merit was very striking. Both
always endeavoured to encourage persons of every class to speak their
minds freely, with this difference, that Her Majesty in so doing never
forgot her dignity or her rank at Court.  Sometimes, however, I have seen
her, though so perfect in her deportment with inferiors, much intimidated
and sometimes embarrassed in the presence of the Princes and Princesses,
her equals, who for the first time visited Versailles: indeed, so much as
to give them a very incorrect idea of her capacity. It was by no means an
easy matter to cause Her Majesty to unfold her real sentiments or
character on a first acquaintance.

“I remember the Emperor one evening at supper when he was exceedingly
good-humoured, talkative, and amusing.  He had visited all his Italian
relations, and had a word for each, man, woman, or child--not a soul was
spared.  The King scarcely once opened his mouth, except to laugh at some
of the Emperor’s jokes upon his Italian relations.

“He began by asking the Queen if she punished her husband by making him
keep as many Lents in the same year as her sister did the King of Naples.
The Queen not knowing what the Emperor meant, he explained himself, and
said, ‘When the King of Naples offends his Queen she keeps him on short
commons and ‘soupe maigre’ till he has expiated the offence by the
penance of humbling himself; and then, and not till then, permits him to
return and share the nuptial rights of her bed.’

“‘This sister of mine,’ said the Emperor, ‘is a proficient Queen in the
art of man training.  My other sister, the Duchess of Parma, is equally
scientific in breaking-in horses; for she is constantly in the stables
with her grooms, by which she ‘grooms’ a pretty sum yearly in buying,
selling, and breaking-in; while the simpleton, her husband, is ringing
the bells with the Friars of Colorno to call his good subjects to Mass.

“‘My brother Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany, feeds his subjects with
plans of economy, a dish that costs nothing, and not only saves him a
multitude of troubles in public buildings and public institutions, but
keeps the public money in his private coffers; which is one of the
greatest and most classical discoveries a Sovereign can possibly
accomplish, and I give Leopold much credit for his ingenuity.

“‘My dear brother Ferdinand, Archduke of Milan, considering he is only
Governor of Lombardy, is not without industry; and I am told, when out of
the glimpse of his dragon the holy Beatrice, his Archduchess, sells his
corn in the time of war to my enemies, as he does to my friends in the
time of peace.  So he loses nothing by his speculations!’

“The Queen checked the Emperor repeatedly, though she could not help
smiling at his caricatures.

“‘As to you, my dear Marie Antoinette,’ continued the Emperor, not
heeding her, ‘I see you have made great progress in the art of painting.
You have lavished more colour on one cheek than Rubens would have
required for all the figures in his cartoons.’ Observing one of the
Ladies of Honour still more highly rouged than the Queen, he said, ‘I
suppose I look like a death’s head upon a tombstone, among all these
high-coloured furies.’

“The Queen again tried to interrupt the Emperor, but he was not to be put
out of countenance.

“He said he had no doubt, when he arrived at Brussels, that he should
hear of the progress of his sister, the Archduchess Maria Christina, in
her money negotiations with the banker Valkeers, who made a good stock
for her husband’s jobs.

“‘If Maria Christina’s gardens and palace at Lakin could speak,’ observed
he, ‘what a spectacle of events would they not produce!  What a number of
fine sights my own family would afford!

“‘When I get to Cologne,’ pursued the Emperor, there I shall see my great
fat brother Maximilian, in his little electorate, spending his yearly
revenue upon an ecclesiastical procession; for priests, like opposition,
never bark but to get into the manger; never walk empty-handed; rosaries
and good cheer always wind up their holy work; and my good Maximilian, as
head of his Church, has scarcely feet to waddle into it.  Feasting and
fasting produce the same effect.  In wind and food he is quite an
adept--puffing, from one cause or the other, like a smith’s bellows!’

“Indeed, the Elector of Cologne was really grown so very fat, that, like
his Imperial mother, he could scarcely walk.  He would so over-eat
himself at these ecclesiastical dinners, to make his guests welcome,
that, from indigestion, he would be puffing and blowing, an hour
afterwards, for breath.

“‘As I have begun the family visits,’ continued the Emperor, ‘I must not
pass by the Archduchess Mariana and the Lady Abbess at Clagenfurt; or,
the Lord knows, I shall never hear the end of their klagens.--[A German
word which signifies complaining.]--The first, I am told, is grown so
ugly, and, of course, so neglected by mankind, that she is become an
utter stranger to any attachment, excepting the fleshy embraces of the
disgusting wen that encircles her neck and bosom, and makes her head
appear like a black spot upon a large sheet of white paper.  Therefore
klagen is all I can expect from that quarter of female flesh, and I dare
say it will be levelled against the whole race of mankind for their want
of taste in not admiring her exuberance of human craw!

“‘As to the Lady Abbess, she is one of my best recruiting sergeants. She
is so fond of training cadets for the benefit of the army that they learn
more from her system in one month than at the military academy at
Neustadt in a whole year.  She is her mother’s own daughter.  She
understands military tactics thoroughly.  She and I never quarrel, except
when I garrison her citadel with invalids.  She and the canoness,
Mariana, would rather see a few young ensigns than all the staffs of the
oldest Field-marshals!’

“The Queen often made signs to the Emperor to desist from thus exposing
every member of his family, and seemed to feel mortified; but the more
Her Majesty endeavoured to check his freedom, and make him silent, the
more he enlarged upon the subject.  He did not even omit Maria Theresa,
who, he said, in consequence of some papers found on persons arrested as
spies from the Prussian camp, during the seven years’ war, was reported
to have been greatly surprised to have discovered that her husband, the
Emperor Francis I., supplied the enemy’s army with all kinds of provision
from her stores.

“The King scarcely ever answered excepting when the Emperor told the
Queen that her staircase and antechamber at Versailles resembled more the
Turkish bazars of Constantinople than a royal palace.  ‘But,’ added he,
laughing, ‘I suppose you would not allow the nuisance of hawkers and
pedlars almost under your nose, if the sweet perfumes of a handsome
present did not compensate for the disagreeable effluvia exhaling from
their filthy traffic.’

[It was an old custom, in the passages and staircase of all the royal
palaces, for tradespeople to sell their merchandise for the accommodation
of the Court.]

“On this, Louis XVI., in a tone of voice somewhat varying from his usual
mildness, assured the Emperor that neither himself nor the Queen derived
any advantage from the custom, beyond the convenience of purchasing
articles inside the palace at any moment they were wanted, without being
forced to send for them elsewhere.

“‘That is the very reason, my dear brother,’ replied Joseph, ‘why I would
not allow these shops to be where they are.  The temptation to lavish
money to little purpose is too strong; and women have not philosophy
enough to resist having things they like, when they can be obtained
easily, though they may not be wanted.’

“‘Custom,’ answered the King--

“‘True,’ exclaimed the Queen, interrupting him; custom, my dear brother,
obliges us to tolerate in France many things which you, in Austria, have.
long since abolished; but the French are not to be: treated like the
Germans.  A Frenchman is a slave to habit.  His very caprice in the
change of fashion proceeds more from habit than genius or invention. His
very restlessness of character is systematic; and old customs and
national habits in a nation virtually spirituelle must not be trifled
with.  The tree torn up by the roots dies for want of nourishment; but,
on the contrary, when lopped carefully only of its branches the pruning
makes it more valuable to the cultivator and more pleasing to the
beholder.  So it is with national prejudices, which are often but the
excrescences of national virtues.  Root them out and you root out virtue
and all.  They must only be: pruned and turned to profit.  A Frenchman is
more easily killed than subdued.  Even his follies generally spring from
a high sense of national dignity and honour, which foreigners cannot but

“The Emperor Joseph while in France mixed in all sorts of society, to
gain information with respect, to the popular feeling towards his sister,
and instruction as to the manners and modes of life and thinking of the
French.  To this end he would often associate with the lowest of the
common people, and generally gave them a louis for their loss of time in
attending to him.

“One day, when he was walking with the young Princesse Elizabeth and
myself in the public gardens at Versailles and in deep conversation with
us, two or three of these louis ladies came up to my side and, not
knowing who I was, whispered, ‘There’s no use in paying such attention to
the stranger: after all, when he has got what he wants, he’ll only give
you a louis apiece and then send you about your business.’”


“I remember an old lady who could not bear to be told of deaths.  ‘Psha!
Pshaw!’ she would exclaim.  ‘Bring me no tales of funerals!  Talk of
births and of those who are likely to be blest with them!  These are the
joys which gladden old hearts and fill youthful ones with ecstasy!  It is
our own reproduction in children which makes us quit the world happy and
contented; because then we only retire to make room for another race,
bringing with them all those faculties which are in us decayed; and
capable, which we ourselves have ceased to be, of taking our parts and
figuring on the stage of life so long as it may please the Supreme
Manager to busy them in earthly scenes!  Then talk no more to me of weeds
and mourning, but show me christenings and all those who give employ to
the baptismal font!’

“Such also was the exulting feeling of Marie Antoinette when she no
longer doubted of her wished-for pregnancy.  The idea of becoming a
mother filled her soul with an exuberant delight, which made the very
pavement on which she trod vibrate with the words, ‘I shall be a mother!
I shall be a mother!’  She was so overjoyed that she not only made it
public throughout France but despatches were sent off to all her royal
relatives.  And was not her rapture natural?  so long as she had waited
for the result of every youthful union, and so coarsely as she had been
reproached with her misfortune!  Now came her triumph.  She could now
prove to the world, like all the descendants of the house of Austria,
that there was no defect with her.  The satirists and the malevolent were
silenced.  Louis XVI., from the cold, insensible bridegroom, became the
infatuated admirer of his long-neglected wife.  The enthusiasm with which
the event was hailed by all France atoned for the partial insults she had
received before it.  The splendid fetes, balls, and entertainments,
indiscriminately lavished by all ranks throughout the kingdom on this
occasion, augmented those of the Queen and the Court to a pitch of
magnificence surpassing the most luxurious and voluptuous times of the
great and brilliant Louis XIV.  Entertainments were given even to the
domestics of every description belonging to the royal establishments.
Indeed, so general was the joy that, among those who could do no more,
there could scarcely be found a father or mother in France who, before
they took their wine, did not first offer up a prayer for the prosperous
pregnancy of their beloved Queen.

“And yet, though the situation of Marie Antoinette was now become the
theme of a whole nation’s exultation, she herself, the owner of the
precious burthen, selected by Heaven as its special depositary, was the
only one censured for expressing all her happiness!

“Those models of decorum, the virtuous Princesses, her aunts, deemed it
highly indelicate in Her Majesty to have given public marks of her
satisfaction to those deputed to compliment her on her prosperous
situation.  To avow the joy she felt was in their eyes indecent and
unqueenly.  Where was the shrinking bashfulness of that one of these
Princesses who had herself been so clamorous to Louis XV.  against her
husband, the Duke of Modena, for not having consummated her own marriage?

“The party of the dismissed favourite Du Barry were still working
underground.  Their pestiferous vapours issued from the recesses of the
earth, to obscure the brightness of the rising sun, which was now rapidly
towering to its climax, to obliterate the little planets which had once
endeavoured to eclipse its beautiful rays, but were now incapable of
competition, and unable to endure its lustre.  This malignant nest of
serpents began to poison the minds of the courtiers, as soon as the
pregnancy was obvious, by innuendoes on the partiality of the Comte
d’Artois for the Queen; and at length, infamously, and openly, dared to
point him out as the cause?

“Thus, in the heart of the Court itself, originated this most atrocious
slander, long before it reached the nation, and so much assisted to
destroy Her Majesty’s popularity with a people, who now adored her
amiableness, her general kind-heartedness, and her unbounded charity.

“I have repeatedly seen the Queen and the Comte d’Artois together under
circumstances in which there could have been no concealment of her real
feelings; and I can firmly and boldly assert the falsehood of this
allegation against my royal mistress.  The only attentions Marie
Antoinette received in the earlier part of her residence in France were
from her grandfather and her brothers-in-law.  Of these, the Comte
d’Artois was the only one who, from youth and liveliness of character,
thoroughly sympathised with his sister.  But, beyond the little freedoms
of two young and innocent playmates, nothing can be charged upon their
intimacy,--no familiarity whatever farther than was warranted by their
relationship.  I can bear witness that Her Majesty’s attachment for the
Comte d’Artois never differed in its nature from what she felt for her
brother the Emperor Joseph.

[When the King thought proper to be reconciled to the Queen after the
death of his grandfather, Louis XV., and when she became a mother, she
really was very much attached to Louis XVI., as may be proved from her
never quitting him, and suffering all the horrid sacrifices she endured,
through the whole period of the Revolution, rather than leave her
husband, her children, or her sister.  Marie Antoinette might have saved
her life twenty times, had not the King’s safety, united with her own and
that of her family, impelled her to reject every proposition of

“It is very likely that the slander of which I speak derived some colour
of probability afterwards with the million, from the Queen’s
thoughtlessness, relative to the challenge which passed between the Comte
d’Artois and the Duc de Bourbon.  In right of my station, I was one of
Her Majesty’s confidential counsellors, and it became my duty to put
restraint upon her inclinations, whenever I conceived they led her wrong.
In this instance, I exercised my prerogative decidedly, and even so much
so as to create displeasure; but I anticipated the consequences, which
actually ensued, and preferred to risk my royal mistress’s displeasure
rather than her reputation.  The dispute, which led to the duel, was on
some point of etiquette; and the Baron de Besenval was to attend as
second to one of the parties.  From the Queen’s attachment for her royal
brother, she wished the affair to be amicably arranged, without the
knowledge either of the King, who was ignorant of what had taken place,
or of the parties; which could only be effected by her seeing the Baron
in the most private manner.  I opposed Her Majesty’s allowing any
interview with the Baron upon any terms, unless sanctioned by the King.
This unexpected and peremptory refusal obliged the Queen to transfer her
confidence to the librarian, who introduced the Baron into one of the
private apartments of Her Majesty’s women, communicating with that of the
Queen, where Her Majesty could see the Baron without the exposure of
passing any of the other attendants.  The Baron was quite gray, and
upwards of sixty years of age!  But the self-conceited dotard soon caused
the Queen to repent her misplaced confidence, and from his unwarrantable
impudence on that occasion, when he found himself alone with the Queen,
Her Majesty, though he was a constant member of the societies of the De
Polignacs, ever after treated him with sovereign contempt.

“The Queen herself afterwards described to me the Baron’s presumptuous
attack upon her credulity. From this circumstance I thenceforward totally
excluded him from my parties, where Her Majesty was always a regular

“The coolness to which my determination not to allow the interview gave
rise between Her Majesty and myself was but momentary.  The Queen had too
much discernment not to appreciate the basis upon which my denial was
grounded, even before she was convinced by the result how correct had
been my reflection.  She felt her error, and, by the mediation of the
Duke of Dorset, we were reunited more closely than ever, and so, I trust,
we shall remain till death!

“There was much more attempted to be made of another instance, in which I
exercised the duty of my office, than the truth justified--the nightly
promenades on the terrace at Versailles, or at Trianon.  Though no
amusement could have been more harmless or innocent for a private
individual, yet I certainly, disapproved it for a Queen, and therefore
withheld the sanction of my attendance.  My sole objection was on the
score of dignity.  I well knew that Du Barry and her infamous party were
constant spies upon the Queen on every occasion of such a nature; and
that they would not fail to exaggerate her every movement to her
prejudice.  Though Du Barry could not form one of the party, which was a
great source of heartburning, it was easy for her, under the
circumstances, to mingle with the throng.  When I suggested these
objections to the Queen, Her Majesty, feeling no inward cause of
reproach, and being sanctioned in what she did by the King himself,
laughed at the idea of these little excursions affording food for
scandal.  I assured Her Majesty that I had every reason to be convinced
that Du Barry was often in disguise, not far from the seat where Her
Majesty and the Princesse Elizabeth could be overheard in their most
secret conversations with each other.  ‘Listeners,’ replied the Queen,
‘never hear any good of themselves.’

“‘My dear Lamballe,’ she continued, ‘you have taken such a dislike to
this woman that you cannot conceive she can be occupied but in mischief.
This is uncharitable.  She certainly has no reason to be dissatisfied
with either the King or myself.  We have both left her in the full
enjoyment of all she possessed, except the right of appearing at Court or
continuing in the society her conduct had too long disgraced.’

“I said it was very true, but that I should be happier to find Her
Majesty so scrupulous as never to give an opportunity even for the
falsehoods of her enemies.

“Her Majesty turned the matter off, as usual, by saying she had no idea
of injuring others, and could not believe that any one would wantonly
injure her, adding, ‘The Duchess and the Princesse Elizabeth, my two
sisters, and all the other ladies, are coming to hear the concert this
evening, and you will be delighted.’

“I excused myself under the plea of the night air disagreeing with my
health, and returned to Versailles without ever making myself one of the
nocturnal members of Her Majesty’s society, well knowing she could
dispense with my presence, there being more than enough ever ready to
hurry her by their own imprudence into the folly of despising criticisms,
which I always endeavoured to avoid, though I did not fear them.  Of
these I cannot but consider her secretary as one.  The following
circumstance connected with the promenades is a proof:

“The Abbe Vermond was present one day when Marie Antoinette observed that
she felt rather indisposed.  I attributed it to Her Majesty’s having
lightened her dress and exposed herself too much to the night air.
‘Heavens, madame!’ cried the Abbe, ‘would you always have Her Majesty
cased up in steel armour, and not take the fresh air, without being
surrounded by a troop of horse and foot, as a Field-marshal is when going
to storm a fortress?  Pray, Princess, now that Her Majesty, has freed
herself from the annoying shackles of Madame Etiquette (the Comtesse de
Noailles), let her enjoy the pleasure of a simple robe and breathe freely
the fresh morning dew, as has been her custom all her life (and as her
mother before her, the Empress Maria Theresa, has done and continues to
do, even to this day), unfettered by antiquated absurdities!  Let me be
anything rather than a Queen of France, if I must be doomed to the
slavery of such tyrannical rules!’

“‘True; but, sir,’ replied I, ‘you should reflect that if you were a
Queen of France, France, in making you mistress of her destinies, and
placing you at the head of her nation, would in return look for respect
from you to her customs and manners.  I am born an Italian, but I
renounced all national peculiarities of thinking and acting the moment I
set my foot on French ground.’

“‘And so did I,’ said Marie Antoinette.

“‘I know you did, Madame,’ I answered; but I am replying to your
preceptor; and I only wish he saw things in the same light I do.  When we
are at Rome, we should do as Rome does.  You have never had a regicide
Bertrand de Gurdon, a Ravillac or a Damiens in Germany; but they have
been common in France, and the Sovereigns of France cannot be too
circumspect in their maintenance of ancient etiquette to command the
dignified respect of a frivolous and versatile people.’

“The Queen, though she did not strictly adhere to my counsels or the
Abbe’s advice, had too much good sense to allow herself to be prejudiced
against me by her preceptor; but the Abbe never entered on the propriety
or impropriety of the Queen’s conduct before me, and from the moment I
have mentioned studiously avoided, in my presence, anything which could
lead to discussion on the change of dress and amusements introduced by
Her Majesty.

“Although I disapproved of Her Majesty’s deviations from established
forms in this, or, indeed, any respect, yet I never, before or after,
expressed my opinion before a third person.

“Never should I have been so firmly and so long attached to Marie
Antoinette, had I not known that her native thorough goodness of heart
had been warped and misguided, though acting at the same time with the
best intentions, by a false notion of her real innocence being a
sufficient shield against the public censure of such innovations upon
national prejudices, as she thought prayer to introduce,--the fatal error
of conscious rectitude, encouraged in its regardlessness of appearances
by those very persons who well knew that it is only by appearances a
nation can judge of its rulers.

“I remember a ludicrous circumstance arising from the Queen’s innocent
curiosity, in which, if there were anything to blame, I myself am to be
censured for lending myself to it so heartily to satisfy Her Majesty.

“When the Chevalier d’Eon was allowed to return to France, Her Majesty
expressed a particular inclination to see this extraordinary character.
From prudential as well as political motives, she was at first easily
persuaded to repress her desire.  However, by a most ludicrous
occurrence, it was revived, and nothing would do but she must have a
sight of the being who had for some time been the talk of every society,
and at the period to which I allude was become the mirth of all Paris.

“The Chevalier being one day in a very large party of both sexes, in
which, though his appearance had more of the old soldier in it than of
the character he was compelled ‘malgre lui’, to adopt, many of the
guests having no idea to what sex this nondescript animal really
belonged, the conversation after dinner happened to turn on the manly
exercise of fencing.

[It may be necessary to observe here that the Chevalier, having for some
particular motives been banished from France, was afterwards permitted to
return only on condition of never appearing but in the disguised dress of
a female, though he was always habited in the male costume underneath

Heated by a subject to him so interesting, the Chevalier, forgetful of
the respect due to his assumed garb, started from his seat, and, pulling
up his petticoats, threw himself on guard.  Though dressed in male
attire underneath, this sudden freak sent all the ladies--and many of
the gentlemen out of the room in double--quick time.  The Chevalier,
however, instantly recovering from the first impulse, quietly pat down
his, upper garment, and begged pardon in, a gentlemanly manner for
having for a moment deviated from the forma of his imposed situation.
All, the gossips of Paris were presently amused with the story, which,
of coarse, reached the Court, with every droll particular of the pulling
up and clapping down the cumbrous paraphernalia of a hoop petticoat.

“The King and Queen, from the manner in which they enjoyed the tale when
told them (and certainly it lost nothing in the report), would not have
been the least amused of the party had they been present.  His Majesty
shook the room with laughing, and the Queen, the Princesse Elizabeth, and
the other ladies were convulsed at the description.

“When we were alone, ‘How I should like,’ said the Queen, ‘to see this
curious man-woman!’--‘Indeed,’ replied I, ‘I have not less curiosity than
yourself, and I think we may contrive to let Your Majesty have a peep at
him--her, I mean!--without compromising your dignity, or offending the
Minister who interdicted the Chevalier from appearing in your presence. I
know he has expressed the greatest mortification, and that his wish to
see Your Majesty is almost irrepressible.’

“‘But how will you be able to contrive this without its being known to
the King, or to the Comte de Vergennes, who would never forgive me?’
exclaimed Her Majesty.

“‘Why, on Sunday, when you go to chapel, I will cause him, by some means
or other, to make his appearance, en grande costume, among the group of
ladies who are generally waiting there to be presented to Your Majesty.’

“‘Oh, you charming creature!’ said the Queen.  ‘But won’t the Minister
banish or exile him for it?’

“‘No, no!  He has only been forbidden an audience of Your Majesty at
Court,’ I replied.

“In good earnest, on the Sunday following, the Chevalier was dressed en
costume, with a large hoop, very long train, sack, five rows of ruffles,
an immensely high powdered female wig, very beautiful lappets, white
gloves, an elegant fan in his hand, his beard closely shaved, his neck
and ears adorned with diamond rings and necklaces, and assuming all the
airs and graces of a fine lady!

“But, unluckily, his anxiety was so great, the moment the Queen made her
appearance, to get a sight of Her Majesty, that, on rushing before the
other ladies, his wig and head-dress fell off his head; and, before they
could be well replaced, he made so, ridiculous a figure, by clapping
them, in his confusion, hind part before, that the King, the Queen, and
the whole suite, could scarcely refrain from laughing; aloud in the

“Thus ended the long longed for sight of this famous man-woman!

“As to me, it was a great while before I could recover myself.  Even now,
I laugh whenever I think of this great lady deprived of her head
ornaments, with her bald pate laid bare, to the derision of such a
multitude of Parisians, always prompt to divert themselves at the expense
of others.  However, the affair passed off unheeded, and no one but the
Queen and myself ever knew that we ourselves had been innocently the
cause of this comical adventure.  When we met after Mass, we were so
overpowered, that neither of us could speak for laughing.  The Bishop who
officiated said it was lucky he had no sermon to preach that day, for it
would have been difficult for him to have recollected himself, or to have
maintained his gravity.  The ridiculous appearance of the Chevalier, he
added, was so continually presenting itself before him during the service
that it was as much as he could do to restrain himself from laughing, by
keeping his eyes constantly riveted on the book.  Indeed, the oddity of
the affair was greatly heightened when, in the middle of the Mass, some
charitable hand having adjusted the wig of the Chevalier, he re-entered
the chapel as if nothing had happened, and, placing himself exactly
opposite the altar, with his train upon his arm, stood fanning himself, a
la coquette, with an inflexible self-possession which only rendered it
the more difficult for those around him to maintain their composure.

“Thus ended the Queen’s curiosity.  The result only made the Chevalier’s
company in greater request, for every one became more anxious than ever
to know the masculine lady who had lost her wig!”



[From the time that the Princesse de Lamballe saw the ties between the
Queen and her favourite De Polignac drawing closer she became less
assiduous in her attendance at Court, being reluctant to importune the
friends by her presence at an intimacy which she did not approve.  She
could not, however, withhold her accustomed attentions, as the period of
Her Majesty’s accouchement approached; and she has thus noted the
circumstance of the birth of the Duchesse d’Angouleme, on the 19th of
December, 1778.]

“The moment for the accomplishment of the Queen’s darling hope was now at
hand: she was about to become a mother.

“It had been agreed between Her Majesty and myself, that I was to place
myself so near the accoucheur, Vermond, as to be the first to
distinguish the sex of the new-born infant, and if she should be
delivered of a Dauphin to say, in Italian, ‘Il figlio e nato.’

[Brother to the Abbe, whose pride was so great at this honour conferred
on his relative, that he never spoke of him without denominating him
Monsieur mon frere, d’accoucher de sa Majeste, Vermond.]

“Her Majesty was, however, foiled even in this the most blissful of her
desires.  She was delivered of a daughter instead of a Dauphin.

“From the immense crowd that burst into the apartment the instant Vermond
said, The Queen is happily delivered, Her Majesty was nearly suffocated.
I had hold of her hand, and as I said ‘La regina e andato’, mistaking
‘andato’ for ‘nato’, between the joy of giving birth to a son and the
pressure of the crowd, Her Majesty fainted.  Overcome by the dangerous
situation in which I saw my royal mistress, I myself was carried out of
the room in a lifeless state.  The situation of Her Majesty was for some
time very doubtful, till the people were dragged with violence from about
her, that she might have air.  On her recovering, the King was the first
person who told her that she was the mother of a very fine Princess.

“‘Well, then,’ said the Queen, ‘I am like my mother, for at my birth she
also wished for a son instead of a daughter; and you have lost your
wager:’ for the King had betted with Maria Theresa that it would be a

“The King answered her by repeating the lines Metastasio had written on
that occasion.

“‘Io perdei: l’augusta figlia
A pagar, m’a condemnato;
Ma s’e ver the a voi somiglia
Tutto il moudo ha guadagnato.’”

[The Princesse de Lamballe again ceased to be constantly about the Queen.
Her danger was over, she was a mother, and the attentions of
disinterested friendship were no longer indispensable.  She herself about
this time met with a deep affliction.  She lost both of her own parents;
and to her sorrows may, in a great degree, be ascribed her silence upon
the events which intervened between the birth of Madame and that of the
Dauphin.  She was as assiduous as ever in her attentions to Her Majesty
on her second lying-in.  The circumstances of the death of Maria Theresa,
the Queen’s mother, in the interval which divided the two accouchements,
and Her Majesty’s anguish, and refusal to see any but De Lamballe and De
Polignac, are too well known to detain us longer from the notes of the
Princess.  It is enough for the reader to know that the friendship of Her
Majesty for her superintendent seemed to be gradually reviving in all its
early enthusiasm, by her unremitting kindness during the confinements of
the Queen, till, at length, they became more attached than ever. But, not
to anticipate, let me return to the narrative.]

“The public feeling had undergone a great change with respect to Her
Majesty from the time of her first accouchement.  Still, she was not the
mother of a future King.  The people looked upon her as belonging to them
more than she had done before, and faction was silenced by the general
delight.  But she had not yet attained the climax of her felicity.  A
second pregnancy gave a new excitement to the nation; and, at length, on
the 22nd October, 1781, dawned the day of hope.

“In consequence of what happened on the first accouchement, measures were
taken to prevent similar disasters on the second.  The number admitted
into the apartment was circumscribed.  The silence observed left the
Queen in uncertainty of the sex to which she had given birth, till, with
tears of joy, the King said to her: ‘Madame, the hopes of the nation, and
mine, are fulfilled.  You are the mother of a Dauphin.’

“The Princesse Elizabeth and myself were so overjoyed that we embraced
every one in the room.

“At this time Their Majesties were adored.  Marie Antoinette, with all
her beauty and amiableness, was a mere cipher in the eyes of France
previous to her becoming the mother of an heir to the Crown; but her
popularity now arose to a pitch of unequalled enthusiasm.

“I have heard of but one expression to Her Majesty upon this occasion in
any way savouring of discontent.  This came from the royal aunts.  On
Marie Antoinette’s expressing to them her joy in having brought a Dauphin
to the nation, they replied, ‘We will only repeat our father’s
observation on a similar subject.  When one of our sisters complained to
his late Majesty that, as her Italian husband had copied the Dauphin’s
whim, she could not, though long a bride, boast of being a wife, or hope
to become a mother--“a prudent Princess,” replied Louis XV., “never wants
heirs!”’  But the feeling of the royal aunts was an exception to the
general sentiment, which really seemed like madness.

“I remember a proof of this which happened at the time.  Chancing to
cross the King’s path as he was going to Marly and I coming from
Rambouillet, my two postillions jumped from their horses, threw
themselves on the high road upon their knees, though it was very dirty,
and remained there, offering up their benedictions, till he was out of

“The felicity of the Queen was too great not to be soon overcast.  The
unbounded influence of the De Polignacs was now at its zenith.  It could
not fail of being attacked.  Every engine of malice, envy, and detraction
was let loose; and, in the vilest calumnies against the character of the
Duchess, her royal mistress was included.

“It was, in truth, a most singular fatality, in the life of Marie
Antoinette that she could do nothing, however beneficial or
disinterested, for which she was not either criticised or censured. She
had a tenacity, of character which made her cling more closely to
attachments from which she saw others desirous of estranging her; and
this firmness, however excellent in principle, was, in her case, fatal in
its effects.  The Abbe Vermond, Her Majesty’s confessor and tutor, and,
unfortunately, in many respects, her ambitious guide, was really alarmed
at the rising favour of the Duchess; and, though he knew the very
obstacles thrown in her way only strengthened her resolution as to any
favourite object, yet he ventured to head an intrigue to destroy the
great influence of the De Polignacs, which, as he might have foreseen,
only served to hasten their aggrandisement.

“At this crisis the dissipation of the Duc de Guemenee caused him to
become a bankrupt.  I know not whether it can be said in principle, but
certainly it may in property, ‘It is an ill wind that blows no one any
good.’  The Princess, his wife, having been obliged to leave her
residence at Versailles, in consequence of the Duke’s dismissal from the
King’s service on account of the disordered state of his pecuniary
circumstances, the situation of governess to the royal children became
necessarily vacant, and was immediately transferred to the Duchesse de
Polignac.  The Queen, to enable her friend to support her station with
all the eclat suitable to its dignity, took care to supply ample means
from her own private purse.  A most magnificent suite of apartments was
ordered to be arranged, under the immediate inspection of the Queen’s
maitre d’hotel, at Her Majesty’s expense.

“Is there anything on earth more natural than the lively interest which
inspires a mother towards those who have the care of her offspring? What,
then, must have been the feelings of a Queen of France who had been
deprived of that blessing for which connubial attachments are formed, and
which, vice versa, constitutes the only real happiness of every young
female, what must have been, I say, the ecstasy of Marie Antoinette when
she not only found herself a mother, but the dear pledges of all her
future bliss in the hands of one whose friendship allowed her the
unrestrained exercise of maternal affection,--a climax of felicity
combining not only the pleasures of an ordinary mother, but the
greatness, the dignity, and the flattering popularity of a Queen of

“Though the pension of the Duchesse de Polignac was no more than that
usually allotted to all former governesses of the royal children of
France, yet circumstances tempted her to a display not a little injurious
to her popularity as well as to that of her royal mistress.  She gave too
many pretexts to imputations of extravagance.  Yet she had neither
patronage, nor sinecures, nor immunities beyond the few inseparable from
the office she held, and which had been the same for centuries under the
Monarchy of France.  But it must be remembered, as an excuse for the
splendour of her establishment, that she entered her office upon a
footing very different from that of any of her predecessors.  Her mansion
was not the quiet, retired, simple household of the governess of the
royal children, as formerly: it had become the magnificent resort of the
first Queen in Europe; the daily haunt of Her Majesty.  The Queen
certainly visited the former governess, as she had done the Duchesse de
Duras and many other frequenters of her Court parties; but she made the
Duchesse de Polignac’s her Court; and all the courtiers of that Court,
and, I may say, the great personages of all France, as well as the
Ministers and all foreigners of distinction, held there their usual
rendezvous; consequently, there was nothing wanting but the guards in
attendance in the Queen’s apartments to have made it a royal residence
suitable for the reception of the illustrious personages that were in the
constant habit of visiting these levees, assemblies, balls, routs,
picnics, dinner, supper, and card parties.

[I have seen ladies at the Princesse de Lamballe’s come from these card
parties with their laps so blackened by the quantities of gold received
in them, that they have been obliged to change their dresses to go to
supper.  Many a chevalier d’industree and young military spendthrift has
made his harvest here.  Thousands were won and lost, and the ladies were
generally the dupes of all those who were the constant speculative
attendants.  The Princease de Lamballe did not like play, but when it was
necessary she did play, and won or lost to a limited extent; but the
prescribed sum once exhausted or gained she left off.  In set parties,
such as those of whist, she never played except when one was wanted,
often excusing herself on the score of its requiring more attention than
it was in her power to give to it and her reluctance to sacrifice her
partner; though I have heard Beau Dillon, the Duke of Dorset, Lord Edward
Dillon, and many others say that she understood and played the game much
better than many who had a higher opinion of their skill in it.  Lord
Edward Fitzgerald was admitted to the parties at the Duchesse de
Polignac’s on his first coming to Paris; but when his connection with the
Duc d’Orleans and Madame de Genlis became known he was informed that his
society would be dispensed with.  The famous, or rather the infamous,
Beckford was also excluded.]

“Much as some of the higher classes of the nobility felt aggrieved at the
preference given by the Queen to the Duchesse de Polignac, that which
raised against Her Majesty the most implacable resentment was her
frequenting the parties of her favourite more than those of any other of
the ‘haut ton’.  These assemblies, from the situation held by the
Duchess, could not always be the most select.  Many of the guests who
chanced to get access to them from a mere glimpse of the Queen--whose
general good-humour, vivacity, and constant wish to please all around her
would often make her commit herself unconsciously and
unintentionally--would fabricate anecdotes of things they had neither
seen nor heard; and which never had existence, except in their own wicked
imaginations.  The scene of the inventions, circulated against Her
Majesty through France, was, in consequence, generally placed at the
Duchess’s; but they were usually so distinctly and obviously false that
no notice was taken of them, nor was any attempt made to check their

“Exemplary as was the friendship between this enthusiastic pair, how much
more fortunate for both would it have been had it never happened!  I
foresaw the results long, long before they took place; but the Queen was
not to be thwarted.  Fearful she might attribute my anxiety for her
general safety to unworthy personal views, I was often silent, even when
duty bade me speak.  I was, perhaps, too scrupulous about seeming
officious or jealous of the predilection shown to the Duchess.
Experience had taught me the inutility of representing consequences, and
I had no wish to quarrel with the Queen.  Indeed, there was a degree of
coldness towards me on the part of Her Majesty for having gone so far as
I had done.  It was not until after the birth of the Duc de Normandie,
her third child, in March, 1785, that her friendship resumed its
primitive warmth.

“As the children grew, Her Majesty’s attachment for their governess grew
with them.  All that has been said of Tasso’s Armida was nothing to this
luxurious temple of maternal affection.  Never was female friendship more
strongly cemented, or less disturbed by the nauseous poison of envy,
malice, or mean jealousy.  The Queen was in the plenitude of every
earthly enjoyment, from being able to see and contribute to the education
of the children she tenderly loved, unrestrained by the gothic etiquette
with which all former royal mothers had been fettered, but which the kind
indulgence of the Duchesse de Polignac broke through, as unnatural and
unworthy of the enlightened and affectionate.  The Duchess was herself an
attentive, careful mother.  She felt for the Queen, and encouraged her
maternal sympathies, so doubly endeared by the long, long disappointment
which had preceded their gratification.  The sacrifice of all the cold
forms of state policy by the new governess, and the free access she gave
the royal mother to her children, so unprecedented in the Court of
France, rendered Marie Antoinette so grateful that it may justly be said
she divided her heart between the governess and the governed.  Habit soon
made it necessary for her existence that she should dedicate the whole of
her time, not taken up in public ceremonies or parties, to the
cultivation of the minds of her children.  Conscious of her own
deficiency in this respect, she determined to redeem this error in her
offspring.  The love of the frivolous amusements of society, for which
the want of higher cultivation left room in her mind, was humoured by the
gaieties of the Duchesse de Polignac’s assemblies; while her nobler
dispositions were encouraged by the privileges of the favourite’s
station.  Thus, all her inclinations harmonising with the habits and
position of her friend, Marie Antoinette literally passed the greatest
part of some years in company with the Duchesse de Polignac,--either
amidst the glare and bustle of public recreation, or in the private
apartment of the governess and her children, increasing as much as
possible the kindness of the one for the benefit and comfort of the
others.  The attachment of the Duchess to the royal children was returned
by the Queen’s affection for the offspring of the Duchess.  So much was
Her Majesty interested in favour of the daughter of the Duchess, that,
before that young lady was fifteen years of age, she herself contrived
and accomplished her marriage with the Duc de Guiche, then ‘maitre de
ceremonie’ to Her Majesty, and whose interests were essentially, promoted
by this alliance.

[The Duc de Guiche, since Duc de Grammont, has proved how much he merited
the distinction he received, in consequence of the attachment between the
Queen and his mother-in-law, by the devotedness with which he followed
the fallen fortunes of the Bourbons till their restoration, since which
he has not been forgotten.  The Duchess, his wife, who at her marriage
was beaming with all the beauties of her age, and adorned by art and
nature with every accomplishment, though she came into notice at a time
when the Court had scarcely recovered itself from the debauched morals by
which it had been so long degraded by a De Pompadour and a Du Barry, has
yet preserved her character, by the strictness of her conduct, free from
the censorious criticisms of an epoch in which some of the purest could
not escape unassailed.  I saw her at Pyrmont in 1803; and even then,
though the mother of many children, she looked as young and beautiful as
ever.  She was remarkably well educated and accomplished, a profound
musician on the harp and pianoforte, graceful in her conversation, and a
most charming dancer.  She seemed to bear the vicissitudes of fortune
with a philosophical courage and resignation not often to be met with in
light-headed French women.  She was amiable in her manners, easy of
access, always lively and cheerful, and enthusiastically attached to the
country whence she was then excluded.  She constantly accompanied the
wife of the late Louis XVIII. during her travels in Germany, as her
husband the Duke did His Majesty during his residence at Mittau, in
Courland, etc.  I have had the honour of seeing the Duke twice since the
Revolution; once, on my coming from Russia, at General Binkingdroff’s,
Governor of Mittau, and since, in Portland Place, at the French
Ambassador’s, on his coming to England in the name of his Sovereign, to
congratulate the King of England on his accession to the throne.]

“The great cabals, which agitated the Court in consequence of the favour
shown to the De Polignacs, were not slow in declaring themselves.  The
Comtesse de Noailles was one of the foremost among the discontented.  Her
resignation, upon the appointment of a superintendent, was a sufficient
evidence of her real feeling; but when she now saw a place filled, to
which she conceived her family had a claim, her displeasure could not be
silent, and her dislike to the Queen began to express itself without

“Another source of dissatisfaction against the Queen was her extreme
partiality for the English.  After the peace of Versailles, in 1783, the
English flocked into France, and I believe if a poodle dog had come from
England it would have met with a good reception from Her Majesty.  This
was natural enough.  The American war had been carried on entirely
against her wish; though, from the influence she was supposed to exercise
in the Cabinet, it was presumed to have been managed entirely by herself.
This odious opinion she wished personally to destroy; and it could only
be done by the distinction with which, after the peace, she treated the
whole English nation.’

[The daughter of the Duchesse de Polignac (of my meeting with whom I have
already spoken in a note), entering with me upon the subject of France
and of old times, observed that had the Queen limited her attachment to
the person of her mother, she would not have given all the annoyance
which she did to the nobility.  It was to these partialities to the
English, the Duchesse de Guiche Grammont alluded.  I do not know the
lady’s name distinctly, but I am certain I have heard the beautiful Lady
Sarah Bunbury mentioned by the Princesse de Lamballe as having received
particular attention from the Queen; for the Princess had heard much
about this lady and “a certain great personage” in England; but, on
discovering her acquaintance with the Duc de Lauzun, Her Majesty withdrew
from the intimacy, though not soon enough to prevent its having given
food for scandal.  “You must remember,” added the Duchesse de Guiche
Grammont, “how much the Queen was censured for her enthusiasm about Lady
Spencer.”  I replied that I did remember the much-ado about nothing there
was regarding some English lady, to whom the Queen took a liking, whose
name I could not exactly recall; but I knew well she studied to please
the English in general.  Of this Lady Spencer it is that the Princess
speaks in one of the following pages of this chapter.]

“Several of the English nobility were on a familiar footing at the
parties of the Duchesse de Polignac.  This was quite enough for the
slanderers.  They were all ranked, and that publicly, as lovers of Her
Majesty.  I recollect when there were no less than five different private
commissioners out, to suppress the libels that were in circulation over
all France, against the Queen and Lord Edward Dillon, the Duke of Dorset,
Lord George Conway, Arthur Dillon, as well as Count Fersen, the Duc de
Lauzun, and the Comte d’Artois, who were all not only constant
frequenters of Polignac’s but visitors of Marie Antoinette.

“By the false policy of Her Majesty’s advisers, these enemies and
libellers, instead of being brought to the condign punishment their
infamy deserved, were privately hushed into silence, out of delicacy to
the Queen’s feelings, by large sums of money and pensions, which
encouraged numbers to commit the same enormity in the hope of obtaining
the same recompense.

“But these were mercenary wretches, from whom no better could have been
expected.  A legitimate mode of robbery had been pressed upon their
notice by the Government itself, and they thought it only a matter of
fair speculation to make the best of it.  There were some libellers,
however, of a higher order, in comparison with whose motives for slander,
those of the mere scandal-jobbers were white as the driven snow.  Of
these, one of the worst was the Duc de Lauzun.

“The first motive of the Queen’s strong dislike to the Duc de Lauzun
sprang from Her Majesty’s attachment to the Duchesse d’Orleans, whom she
really loved.  She was greatly displeased at the injury inflicted upon
her valued friend by De Lauzun, in estranging the affection of the Duc
d’Orleans from his wife by introducing him to depraved society.  Among
the associates to which this connection led the Duc d’Orleans were a
certain Madame Duthee and Madame Buffon.

“When De Lauzun, after having been expelled from the drawing-room of the
Queen for his insolent presumption,--[The allusion here is to the affair
of the heron plume.]--meeting with coolness at the King’s levee, sought
to cover his disgrace by appearing at the assemblies of the Duchesse de
Polignac, Her Grace was too sincerely the friend of her Sovereign and
benefactress not to perceive the drift of his conduct.  She consequently
signified to the self-sufficient coxcomb that her assemblies were not
open to the public.  Being thus shut out from Their Majesties, and, as a
natural result, excluded from the most brilliant societies of Paris, De
Lauzun, from a most diabolical spirit of revenge, joined the nefarious
party which had succeeded in poisoning the mind of the Duc d’Orleans, and
from the hordes of which, like the burning lava from Etna, issued
calumnies which swept the most virtuous and innocent victims that ever
breathed to their destruction!

“Among the Queen’s favourites, and those most in request at the De
Polignac parties, was the good Lady Spencer, with whom I became most
intimately acquainted when I first went to England; and from whom, as
well as from her two charming daughters, the Duchess of Devonshire and
Lady Duncannon, since Lady Besborough, I received the greatest marks of
cordial hospitality.  In consequence, when her ladyship came to France, I
hastened to present her to the Queen.  Her Majesty, taking a great liking
to the amiable Englishwoman, and wishing to profit by her private
conversations and society, gave orders that Lady Spencer should pass to
her private closet whenever she came to Versailles, without the formal
ceremony of waiting in the antechamber to be announced.

“One day, Her Majesty, Lady Spencer, and myself were observing the
difficulty there was in acquiring a correct pronunciation of the English
language, when Lady Spencer remarked that it only required a little

“‘I beg your pardon,’ said the Queen, ‘that’s not all, because there are
many things you do not call by their proper names, as they are in the

“‘Pray what are they, please Your Majesty?’

“‘Well, I will give you an instance.  For example, ‘les culottes’--what
do you call them?’

“‘Small clothes,’ replied her ladyship.

“‘Ma foi!  how can they be called small clothes for one large man?  Now I
do look in the dictionary, and I find, for the word culottes--breeches.’

“‘Oh, please Your Majesty, we never call them by that name in England.’

“‘Voila done, j’ai raison!’

“‘We say “inexpressibles”!’

“‘Ah, c’est mieux!  Dat do please me ver much better.  Il y a du bon sens
la dedans.  C’est une autre chose!’

“In the midst of this curious dialogue, in came the Duke of Dorset, Lord
Edward Dillon, Count Fersen, and several English gentlemen, who, as they
were going to the King’s hunt, were all dressed in new buckskin breeches.

“‘I do not like,’ exclaimed the Queen to them, dem yellow irresistibles!’

“Lady Spencer nearly fainted.  ‘Vat make you so frightful, my dear lady?’
said the Queen to her ladyship, who was covering her face with her hands.
‘I am terrified at Your Majesty’s mistake’--‘Comment?  did you no tell me
just now, dat in England de lady call les culottes
“irresistibles”?’--‘Oh, mercy!  I never could have made such a mistake,
as to have applied to that part of the male dress such a word.  I said,
please Your Majesty, inexpressibles.’

“On this the gentlemen all laughed most heartily.

“‘Vell, vell,’ replied the Queen, ‘do, my dear lady, discompose yourself.
I vill no more call de breeches irresistibles, but say small clothes, if
even elles sont upon a giant!’

“At the repetition of the naughty word breeches, poor Lady Spencer’s
English delicacy quite overcame her.  Forgetting where she was, and also
the company she was in, she ran from the room with her cross stick in her
hand, ready to lay it on the shoulders of any one who should attempt to
obstruct her passage, flew into her carriage, and drove off full speed,
as if fearful of being contaminated,--all to the no small amusement of
the male guests.

“Her Majesty and I laughed till the very tears ran down our cheeks.  The
Duke of Dorset, to keep up the joke, said there really were some counties
in England where they called ‘culottes irresistibles.

“Now that I am upon the subject of England, and the peace of 1783, which
brought such throngs of English over to France, there occurs to me a
circumstance, relating to the treaty of commerce signed at that time,
which exhibits the Comte de Vergennes to some advantage; and with that
let me dismiss the topic.

“The Comte de Vergennes, was one of the most distinguished Ministers of
France.  I was intimately acquainted with him.  His general character for
uprightness prompted his Sovereign to govern in a manner congenial to his
own goodness of heart, which was certainly most for the advantage of his
subjects.  Vergennes cautioned Louis against the hypocritical adulations
of his privileged courtiers.  The Count had been schooled in State policy
by the great Venetian senator, Francis Foscari, the subtlest politician
of his age, whom he consulted during his life on every important matter;
and he was not very easily to be deceived.

“When the treaty of commerce took place, at the period I mention, the
experienced Vergennes foresaw--what afterwards really happened--that
France would be inundated with British manufactures; but Calonne
obstinately maintained the contrary, till he was severely reminded of the
consequence of his misguided policy, in the insults inflicted on him by
enraged mobs of thousands of French artificers, whenever he appeared in
public.  But though the mania for British goods had literally caused an
entire stagnation of business in the French manufacturing towns, and
thrown throngs upon the ‘pave’ for want of employment, yet M. de Calonne
either did not see, or pretended not to see, the errors he had committed.
Being informed that the Comte de Vergennes had attributed the public
disorders to his fallacious policy, M. de Calonne sent a friend to the
Count demanding satisfaction for the charge of having caused the riots.
The Count calmly replied that he was too much of a man of honour to take
so great an advantage, as to avail himself of the opportunity offered, by
killing a man who had only one life to dispose of, when there were so
many with a prior claim, who were anxious to destroy him ‘en societe’. I
Bid M. de Calonne,’ continued the Count, ‘first get out of that scrape,
as the English boxers do when their eyes are closed up after a pitched
battle.  He has been playing at blind man’s buff, but the poverty to
which he has reduced so many of our tradespeople has torn the English
bandage from his eyes!’  For three or four days the Comte de Vergennes
visited publicly, and showed himself everywhere in and about Paris; but
M. de Calonne was so well convinced of the truth of the old fox’s satire
that he pocketed his annoyance, and no more was said about fighting.
Indeed, the Comte de Vergennes gave hints of being able to show that M.
de Calonne had been bribed into the treaty.”

[The Princesse de Lamballe has alluded in a former page to the happiness
which the Queen enjoyed during the visits of the foreign Princes to the
Court of France.  Her papers contain a few passages upon the opinions Her
Majesty entertained of the royal travellers; which, although in the order
of time they should have been mentioned before the peace with England,
yet, not to disturb the chain of the narrative, respecting the connection
with the Princesse de Lamballe, of the prevailing libels, and the
partiality shown towards the English, I have reserved them for the
conclusion of the present chapter.  The timidity of the Queen in the
presence of the illustrious strangers, and her agitation when about to
receive them, have, I think, been already spoken of.  Upon the subject of
the royal travellers themselves, and other personages, the Princess
expresses herself thus:]

“The Queen had never been an admirer of Catharine II.  Notwithstanding
her studied policy for the advancement of civilization in her internal
empire, the means which, aided by the Princess Dashkoff, she made use of
to seat herself on the imperial throne of her weak husband, Peter the
Third, had made her more understood than esteemed.  Yet when her son, the
Grand Duke of the North,--[Afterwards the unhappy Emperor Paul.]--and the
Grand Duchess, his wife, came to France, their description of Catharine’s
real character so shocked the maternal sensibility of Marie Antoinette
that she could scarcely hear the name of the Empress without shuddering.
The Grand Duke spoke of Catharine without the least disguise.  He said he
travelled merely for the security of his life from his mother, who had
surrounded him with creatures that were his sworn enemies, her own spies
and infamous favourites, to whose caprices they were utterly subordinate.
He was aware that the dangerous credulity of the Empress might be every
hour excited by these wretches to the destruction of himself and his
Duchess, and, therefore, he had in absence sought the only refuge.  He
had no wish, he said, ever to return to his native country, till Heaven
should check his mother’s doubts respecting his dutiful filial affection
towards her, or till God should be pleased to take her into His sacred

“The King was petrified at the Duke’s description of his situation, and
the Queen could not refrain from tears when the Duchess, his wife,
confirmed all her husband had uttered on the subject.  The Duchess said
she had been warned by the untimely fate of the Princess d’Armstadt, her
predecessor, the first wife of the Grand Duke, to elude similar jealousy
and suspicion on the part of her mother-in-law, by seclusion from the
Court, in a country residence with her husband; indeed, that she had made
it a point never to visit Petersburg, except on the express invitation of
the Empress, as if she had been a foreigner.

“In this system the Grand Duchess persevered, even after her return from
her travels.  When she became pregnant, and drew near her accouchement,
the Empress-mother permitted her to come to Petersburg for that purpose;
but, as soon as the ceremony required by the etiquette of the Imperial
Court on those occasions ended, the Duchess immediately returned to her

“This Princess was remarkably well-educated; she possessed a great deal
of good, sound sense, and had profited by the instructions of some of the
best German tutors during her very early years.  It was the policy of her
father, the Duke of Wirtemberg, who had a large family, to educate his
children as ‘quietists’ in matters of religion.  He foresaw that the
natural charms and acquired abilities of his daughters would one day call
them to be the ornaments of the most distinguished Courts in Europe, and
he thought it prudent not to instil early prejudices in favour of
peculiar forms of religion which might afterwards present an obstacle to
their aggrandisement.

[The first daughter of the Duke of Wirtemberg was the first wife of the
present Emperor of Austria.  She embraced the Catholic faith and died
very young, two days before the Emperor Joseph the Second, at Vienna.
The present Empress Dowager, late wife to Paul, became a proselyte to the
Greek religion on her arrival at Petersburg.  The son of the Duke of
Wirtemburg, who succeeded him in the Dukedom, was a Protestant, it being
his interest to profess that religion for the security of his
inheritance.  Prince Ferdinand, who was in the Austrian service, and a
long time Governor of Vienna, was a Catholic, as he could not otherwise
have enjoyed that office.  He was of a very superior character to the
Duke, his brother.  Prince Louis, who held a commission under the
Prussian Monarch, followed the religion of the country where he served,
and the other Princes, who were in the employment of Sweden and other
countries, found no difficulty in conforming themselves to the religion
of the Sovereigns under whom they served.  None of them having any
established forms of worship, they naturally embraced that which conduced
most to their aggrandisement, emolument, or dignity.]

“The notorious vices of the King of Denmark, and his total neglect both
of his young Queen, Carolina Matilda, and of the interest of his distant
dominions, while in Paris, created a feeling in the Queen’s mind towards
that house which was not a little heightened by her disgust at the King
of Sweden, when he visited the Court of Versailles.  This King, though
much more crafty than his brother-in-law, the King of Denmark, who
revelled openly in his depravities, was not less vicious.  The deception
he made use of in usurping part of the rights of his people, combined
with the worthlessness and duplicity, of his private conduct, excited a
strong indignation in the mind of Marie Antoinette, of which she was
scarcely capable of withholding the expression in his presence.

“It was during the visit of the Duke and Duchess of the North, that the
Cardinal de Rohan again appeared upon the scene.  For eight or ten years
he had never been allowed to show himself at Court, and had been totally
shut out of every society where the Queen visited.  On the arrival of the
illustrious, travellers at Versailles, the Queen, at her own expense,
gave them a grand fete at her private palace, in the gardens of Trianon,
similar to the one given by the Comte de Provence--[Afterwards Louis
XVIII.]--to Her Majesty, in the gardens of Brunoi.

“On the eve of the fete, the Cardinal waited upon, me to know if he would
be permitted to appear there in the character he had the honour to hold
at Court, I replied that I had made it a rule never to interfere in the
private or public amusements of the Court, and that His Eminence must be
the best judge how far he, could obtrude himself upon the Queen’s private
parties, to which only a select number had been invited, in consequence
of the confined spot where the fete was to be given.

“The Cardinal left me, not much satisfied at his reception.  Determined
to follow, as usual, his own misguided passion, he immediately went too
Trianon, disguised with a large cloak.  He saw the porter, and bribed
him.  He only wished, he said, to be placed in a situation whence he
might see the Duke and Duchess of the North without being seen; but no
sooner did he perceive the porter engaged at some distance than he left
his cloak at the lodge, and went forward in his Cardinal’s dress, as if
he had been one of the invited guests, placing himself purposely in the
Queen’s path to attract her attention as she rode by in the carriage with
the Duke and Duchess.

“The Queen was shocked and thunderstruck at seeing him.  But, great as
was her annoyance, knowing the Cardinal had not been invited and ought
not to have been there, she only discharged the porter who had been
seduced to let him in; and, though the King, on being made acquainted
with his treachery, would have banished His Eminence a hundred leagues
from the capital, yet the Queen, the royal aunts, the Princesse
Elizabeth, and myself, not to make the affair public, and thereby
disgrace the high order of his ecclesiastical dignity, prevented the King
from exercising his authority by commanding instant exile.

“Indeed, the Queen could never get the better of her fears of being some
day, or in some way or other, betrayed by the Cardinal, for having made
him the confidant of the mortification she would have suffered if the
projected marriage of Louis XV. and her sister had been solemnized.  On
this account she uniformly opposed whatever harshness the King at any
time intended against the Cardinal.

“Thus was this wicked prelate left at leisure to premeditate the horrid
plot of the famous necklace, the ever memorable fraud, which so fatally
verified the presentiments of the Queen.”


[The production of ‘Le Mariage de Figaro’, by Beaumarchais, upon the
stage at Paris, so replete with indecorous and slanderous allusions to
the Royal Family, had spread the prejudices against the Queen through the
whole kingdom and every rank of France, just in time to prepare all minds
for the deadly blow which Her Majesty received from the infamous plot of
the diamond necklace.  From this year, crimes and misfortunes trod
closely on each others’ heels in the history of the ill-starred Queen;
and one calamity only disappeared to make way for a greater.

The destruction of the papers which would have thoroughly explained the
transaction has still left all its essential particulars in some degree
of mystery; and the interest of the clergy, who supported one of their
own body, coupled with the arts and bribes of the high houses connected
with the plotting prelate, must, of course, have discoloured greatly even
what was well known.

It will be recollected that before the accession of Louis XVI.  the
Cardinal de Rohan was disgraced in consequence of his intrigues; that all
his ingenuity was afterwards unremittingly exerted to obtain renewed
favour; that he once obtruded himself upon the notice of the Queen in the
gardens of Trianon, and that his conduct in so doing excited the
indignation it deserved, but was left unpunished owing to the entreaties
of the best friends of the Queen, and her own secret horror of a man who
had already caused her so much anguish.

With the histories of the fraud every one is acquainted.  That of Madame
Campan, as far as it goes, is sufficiently detailed and correct to spare
me the necessity of expatiating upon this theme of villany.  Yet, to
assist the reader’s memory, before returning to the Journal of the
Princesse de Lamballe, I shall recapitulate the leading particulars.

The Cardinal had become connected with a young, but artful and
necessitous, woman, of the name of Lamotte.  It was known that the
darling ambition of the Cardinal was to regain the favour of the Queen.

The necklace, which has been already spoken of, and which was originally
destined by Louis XV. for Marie Antoinette--had her hand, by divorce,
been transferred to him--but which, though afterwards intended by Louis
XV. for his mistress, Du Barry, never came to her in consequence of his
death--this fatal necklace was still in existence, and in the possession
of the crown jewellers, Boehmer and Bassange.  It was valued at eighteen
hundred thousand livres.  The jewellers had often pressed it upon the
Queen, and even the King himself had enforced its acceptance.  But the
Queen dreaded the expense, especially at an epoch of pecuniary difficulty
in the State, much more than she coveted the jewels, and uniformly and
resolutely declined them, although they had been proposed to her on very
easy terms of payment, as she really did not like ornaments.

It was made to appear at the parliamentary investigation that the artful
Lamotte had impelled the Cardinal to believe that she herself was in
communication with the Queen; that she had interested Her Majesty in
favour of the long slighted Cardinal; that she had fabricated a
correspondence, in which professions of penitence on the part of De Rohan
were answered by assurances of forgiveness from the Queen.  The result of
this correspondence was represented to be the engagement of the Cardinal
to negotiate the purchase of the necklace secretly, by a contract for
periodical payments.  To the forgery of papers was added, it was
declared, the substitution of the Queen’s person, by dressing up a girl
of the Palais Royal to represent Her Majesty, whom she in some degree
resembled, in a secret and rapid interview with Rohan in a dark grove of
the gardens of Versailles, where she was to give the Cardinal a rose, in
token of her royal approbation, and then hastily disappear. The
importunity of the jewellers, on the failure of the stipulated payment,
disclosed the plot.  A direct appeal of theirs to the Queen, to save them
from ruin, was the immediate source of detection.  The Cardinal was
arrested, and all the parties tried. But the Cardinal was acquitted, and
Lamotte and a subordinate agent alone punished.  The quack Cagliostro was
also in the plot, but he, too, escaped, like his confederate, the
Cardinal, who was made to appear as the dupe of Lamotte.

The Queen never got over the effect of this affair.  Her friends well
knew the danger of severe measures towards one capable of collecting
around him strong support against a power already so much weakened by
faction and discord.  But the indignation of conscious innocence
insulted, prevailed, though to its ruin!

But it is time to let the Princesse de Lamballe give her own impressions
upon this fatal subject, and in her own words.]

“How could Messieurs Boehmer and Bassange presume that the Queen would
have employed any third person to obtain an article of such value,
without enabling them to produce an unequivocal document signed by her
own hand and countersigned by mine, as had ever been the rule during my
superintendence of the household, whenever anything was ordered from the
jewellers by Her Majesty?  Why did not Messieurs Boehmer and Bassange
wait on me, when they saw a document unauthorised by me, and so widely
departing from the established forms?  I must still think, as I have
often said to the King, that Boehmer and Bassange wished to get rid of
this dead weight of diamonds in any way; and the Queen having
unfortunately been led by me to hush up many foul libels against her
reputation, as I then thought it prudent she should do, rather than
compromise her character with wretches capable of doing anything to
injure her, these jewellers, judging from this erroneous policy of the
past, imagined that in this instance, also, rather than hazard exposure,
Her Majesty would pay them for the necklace.  This was a compromise which
I myself resisted, though so decidedly adverse to bringing the affair
before the nation by a public trial.  Of such an explosion, I foresaw the
consequences, and I ardently entreated the King and Queen to take other
measures.  But, though till now so hostile to severity with the Cardinal,
the Queen felt herself so insulted by the proceeding that she gave up
every other consideration to make manifest her innocence.

“The wary Comte de Vergennes did all he could to prevent the affair from
getting before the public.  Against the opinion of the King and the whole
council of Ministers, he opposed judicial proceedings.  Not that he
conceived the Cardinal altogether guiltless; but he foresaw the fatal
consequences that must result to Her Majesty, from bringing to trial an
ecclesiastic of such rank; for he well knew that the host of the higher
orders of the nobility, to whom the prelate was allied, would naturally
strain every point to blacken the character of the King and Queen, as the
only means of exonerating their kinsman in the eyes of the world from the
criminal mystery attached to that most diabolical intrigue against the
fair fame of Marie Antoinette.  The Count could not bear the idea of the
Queen’s name being coupled with those of the vile wretches, Lamotte and
the mountebank Cagliostro, and therefore wished the King to chastise the
Cardinal by a partial exile, which might have been removed at pleasure.
But the Queen’s party too fatally seconded her feelings, and prevailed.

“I sat by Her Majesty’s bedside the whole of the night, after I heard
what had been determined against the Cardinal by the council of
Ministers, to beg her to use all her interest with the King to persuade
him to revoke the order of the warrant for the prelate’s arrest.  To this
the Queen replied, ‘Then the King, the Ministers, and the people, will
all deem me guilty.’

“Her Majesty’s remark stopped all farther argument upon the subject, and
I had the inconsolable grief to see my royal mistress rushing upon
dangers which I had no power of preventing her from bringing upon

“The slanderers who had imputed such unbounded influence to the Queen
over the mind of Louis XVI. should have been consistent enough to
consider that, with but a twentieth part of the tithe of her imputed
power, uncontrolled as she then was by national authority, she might,
without any exposure to third persons, have at once sent one of her pages
to the garde-meuble and other royal depositaries, replete with hidden
treasures of precious stones which never saw the light, and thence have
supplied herself with more than enough to form ten necklaces, or to have
fully satisfied, in any way she liked, the most unbounded passion for
diamonds, for the use of which she would never have been called to

“But the truth is, the Queen had no love of ornaments.  A proof occurred
very soon after I had the honour to be nominated Her Majesty’s
superintendent.  On the day of the great fete of the Cordon Bleu, when it
was the etiquette to wear diamonds and pearls, the Queen had omitted
putting them on.  As there had been a greater affluence of visitors than
usual that morning, and Her Majesty’s toilet was overthronged by Princes
and Princesses, I fancied in the bustle that the omission proceeded from
forgetfulness.  Consequently, I sent the tirewoman, in the Queen’s
hearing, to order the jewels to be brought in.  Smilingly, Her Majesty
replied, ‘No, no!  I have not forgotten these gaudy things; but I do not
intend that the lustre of my eyes should be outshone by the one, or the
whiteness of my teeth by the other; however, as you wish art to eclipse
nature, I’ll wear them to satisfy you, ma belle dame!’

“The King was always so thoroughly indulgent to Her Majesty, with regard
both to her public and private conduct, that she never had any pretext
for those reserves which sometimes tempt Queens as well as the wives of
private individuals to commit themselves to third persons for articles of
high value, which their caprice indiscreetly impels them to procure
unknown to their natural guardians.  Marie Antoinette had no reproach or
censure for plunging into excesses beyond her means to apprehend from her
royal husband.  On the contrary, the King himself had spontaneously
offered to purchase the necklace from the jewellers, who had urged it on
him without limiting any time for payment.  It was the intention of His
Majesty to have liquidated it out of his private purse.  But Marie
Antoinette declined the gift.  Twice in my presence was the refusal
repeated before Messieurs Boehmer and Bassange.  Who, then, can for a
moment presume, after all these circumstances, that the Queen of France,
with a nation’s wealth at her feet and thousands of individuals offering
her millions, which she never accepted, would have so far degraded
herself and the honour of the nation, of which she was born to be the
ornament, as to place herself gratuitously in the power of a knot of
wretches, headed by a man whose general bad character for years had
excluded him from Court and every respectable society, and had made the
Queen herself mark him as an object of the utmost aversion.

“If these circumstances be not sufficient adequately to open the eyes of
those whom prejudice has blinded, and whose ears have been deafened
against truth, by the clamours of sinister conspirators against the
monarchy instead of the monarchs; if all these circumstances, I repeat,
do not completely acquit the Queen, argument, or even ocular
demonstration itself, would be thrown away.  Posterity will judge
impartially, and with impartial judges the integrity of Marie Antoinette
needs no defender.

“When the natural tendency of the character of De Rohan to romantic and
extraordinary intrigue is considered in connection with the associates he
had gathered around him, the plot of the necklace ceases to be a source
of wonder.  At the time the Cardinal was most at a loss for means to meet
the necessities of his extravagance, and to obtain some means of access
to the Queen, the mountebank quack, Cagliostro, made his appearance in
France.  His fame had soon flown from Strasburg to Paris, the magnet of
vices and the seat of criminals.  The Prince-Cardinal, known of old as a
seeker after everything of notoriety, soon became the intimate of one who
flattered him with the accomplishment of all his dreams in the
realization of the philosopher’s stone; converting puffs and French paste
into brilliants; Roman pearls into Oriental ones; and turning earth to
gold.  The Cardinal, always in want of means to supply the insatiable
exigencies of his ungovernable vices, had been the dupe through life of
his own credulity--a drowning man catching at a straw!  But instead of
making gold of base materials, Cagliostro’s brass soon relieved his blind
adherent of all his sterling metal.  As many needy persons enlisted under
the banners of this nostrum speculator, it is not to be wondered at that
the infamous name of the Comtesse de Lamotte, and others of the same
stamp, should have thus fallen into an association of the Prince-Cardinal
or that her libellous stories of the Queen of France should have found
eager promulgators, where the real diamonds of the famous necklace being
taken apart were divided piecemeal among a horde of the most depraved
sharpers that ever existed to make human nature blush at its own

[Cagliostro, when he came to Rome, for I know not whether there had been
any previous intimacy, got acquainted with a certain Marchese Vivaldi, a
Roman, whose wife had been for years the chere amie of the last Venetian
Ambassador, Peter Pesaro, a noble patrician, and who has ever since his
embassy at Rome been his constant companion and now resides with him in
England.  No men in Europe are more constant in their attachments than
the Venetians.  Pesaro is the sole proprietor of one of the moat
beautiful and magnificent palaces on the Grand Canal at Venice, though he
now lives in the outskirts of London, in a small house, not so large as
one of the offices of his immense noble palace, where his agent transacts
his business. The husband of Pesaro’s chere amie, the Marchese Vivaldi,
when Cagliostro was arrested and sent to the Castello Santo Angelo at
Rome, was obliged to fly his country, and went to Venice, where he was
kept secreted and maintained by the Marquis Solari, and it was only
through his means and those of the Cardinal Consalvi, then known only as
the musical Abbe Consalvi, from his great attachment to the immortal
Cimarosa, that Vivaldi was ever allowed to return to his native country;
but Consalvi, who was the friend of Vivaldi, feeling with the Marquis
Solari much interested for his situation, they together contrived to
convince Pius VI. that he was more to be pitied than blamed, and thus
obtained his recall.  I have merely given this note as a further warning
to be drawn from the connections of the Cardinal de Rohan, to deter
hunters after novelty from forming ties with innovators and impostors.
Cagliostro was ultimately condemned, by the Roman laws under Pope Pius
VI., for life, to the galleys, where he died.

Proverbs ought to be respected; for it is said that no phrase becomes a
proverb until after a century’s experience of its truth. In England it is
proverbial to judge of men by the company they keep.  Judge of the
Cardinal de Rohan from his most intimate friend, the galley-slave.]

“Eight or ten years had elapsed from the time Her Majesty had last seen
the Cardinal to speak to him, with the exception of the casual glance as
she drove by when he furtively introduced himself into the garden at the
fete at Trianon, till he was brought to the King’s cabinet when arrested,
and interrogated, and confronted with her face to face.  The Prince
started when he saw her.  The comparison of her features with those of
the guilty wretch who had dared to personate her in the garden at
Versailles completely destroyed his self-possession.  Her Majesty’s
person was become fuller, and her face was much longer than that of the
infamous D’Oliva.  He could neither speak nor write an intelligible reply
to the questions put to him.  All he could utter, and that only in broken
accents, was, ‘I’ll pay!  I’ll pay Messieurs Bassange.’

“Had he not speedily recovered himself, all the mystery in which this
affair has been left, so injuriously to the Queen, might have been
prevented.  His papers would have declared the history of every
particular, and distinctly established the extent of his crime and the
thorough innocence of Marie Antoinette of any connivance at the fraud, or
any knowledge of the necklace.  But when the Cardinal was ordered by the
King’s Council to be put under arrest, his self-possession returned.  He
was given in charge to an officer totally unacquainted with the nature of
the accusation.  Considering only the character of his prisoner as one of
the highest dignitaries of the Church, from ignorance and inexperience,
he left the Cardinal an opportunity to write a German note to his
factotum, the Abbe Georgel.  In this note the trusty secretary was
ordered to destroy all the letters of Cagliostro, Madame de Lamotte, and
the other wretched associates of the infamous conspiracy; and the traitor
was scarcely in custody when every evidence of his treason had
disappeared.  The note to Georgel saved his master from expiating his
offence at the Place de Grave.

“The consequences of the affair would have been less injurious, however,
had it been managed, even as it stood, with better judgment and temper.
But it was improperly entrusted to the Baron de Breteuil and the Abbe
Vermond, both sworn enemies of the Cardinal.  Their main object was the
ruin of him they hated, and they listened only to their resentments. They
never weighed the danger of publicly prosecuting an individual whose
condemnation would involve the first families in France, for he was
allied even to many of the Princes of the blood.  They should have
considered that exalted personages, naturally feeling as if any crime
proved against their kinsman would be a stain upon themselves, would of
course resort to every artifice to exonerate the accused.  To criminate
the Queen was the only and the obvious method.  Few are those nearest the
Crown who are not most jealous of its wearers!  Look at the long civil
wars of York and Lancaster, and the short reign of Richard.  The downfall
of Kings meets less resistance than that of their inferiors.

“Still, notwithstanding all the deplorable blunders committed in this
business of De Rohan, justice was not smothered without great difficulty.
His acquittal cost the families of De Rohan and De Conde more than a
million of livres, distributed among all ranks of the clergy; besides
immense sums sent to the Court of Rome to make it invalidate the judgment
of the civil authority of France upon so high a member of the Church, and
to induce it to order the Cardinal’s being sent to Rome by way of
screening him from the prosecution, under the plausible pretext of more
rigid justice.

“Considerable sums in money and jewels were also lavished on all the
female relatives of the peers of France, who were destined to sit on the
trial.  The Abbe Georgel bribed the press, and extravagantly paid all the
literary pens in France to produce the most Jesuitical and sophisticated
arguments in his patron’s justification.  Though these writers dared not
accuse or in any way criminate the Queen, yet the respectful doubts, with
which their defence of her were seasoned, did indefinitely more mischief
than any direct attack, which could have been directly answered.

“The long cherished, but till now smothered, resentment of the Comtesse
de Noailles, the scrupulous Madame Etiquette, burst forth on this
occasion.  Openly joining the Cardinal’s party against her former
mistress and Sovereign, she recruited and armed all in favour of her
protege; for it was by her intrigues De Rohan had been nominated
Ambassador to Vienna.  Mesdames de Guemenee and Marsan, rival pretenders
to favours of His Eminence, were equally earnest to support him against
the Queen.  In short, there was scarcely a family of distinction in
France that, from the libels which then inundated the kingdom, did not
consider the King as having infringed on their prerogatives and
privileges in accusing the Cardinal.

“Shortly after the acquittal of this most artful, and, in the present
instance, certainly too fortunate prelate, the Princesse de Conde came to
congratulate me on the Queen’s innocence, and her kinsman’s liberation
from the Bastille.

“Without the slightest observation, I produced to the Princess documents
in proof of the immense sums she alone had expended in bribing the judges
and other persons, to save her relation, the Cardinal, by criminating Her

“The Princesse de Conde instantly fell into violent hysterics, and was
carried home apparently, lifeless.

“I have often reproached myself for having given that sudden shock and
poignant anguish to Her Highness, but I could not have supposed that one
who came so barefacedly to impress me with the Cardinal’s innocence,
could have been less firm in refuting her own guilt.

“I never mentioned the circumstance to the Queen.  Had I done so, Her
Highness would have been forever excluded from the Court and the royal
presence.  This was no time to increase the enemies of Her Majesty, and,
the affair of the trial being ended, I thought it best to prevent any
further breach from a discord between the Court and the house of Conde.
However, from a coldness subsisting ever after between the Princess and
myself, I doubt not that the Queen had her suspicions that all was not as
it should be in that quarter.  Indeed, though Her Majesty never confessed
it, I think she herself had discovered something at that very time not
altogether to the credit of the Princesse de Conde, for she ceased going,
from that period, to any of the fetes given at Chantilly.

“These were but a small portion of the various instruments successfully
levelled by parties, even the least suspected, to blacken and destroy the
fair fame of Marie Antoinette.

“The document which so justly alarmed the Princesse de Conde, when I
showed it to her came into my hands in the following manner:

“Whenever a distressed family, or any particular individual, applied to
me for relief, or was otherwise recommended for charitable purposes, I
generally sent my little English protegee--whose veracity, well knowing
the goodness of her heart, I could rely--to ascertain whether their
claims were really well grounded.

[Indeed, I never deceived the Princess on these occasions.  She was so
generously charitable that I should have conceived it a crime. When I
could get no satisfactory information, I said I could not trace anything
undeserving her charity, and left Her Highness to exercise her own

“One day I received an earnest memorial from a family, desiring to make
some private communications of peculiar delicacy.  I sent my usual
ambassadress to inquire into its import.  On making her mission known,
she found no difficulty in ascertaining the object of the application. It
proceeded from conscientious distress of mind.  A relation of this family
had been the regular confessor of a convent.  With the Lady Abbess of
this convent and her trusty nuns, the Princesse de Conde had deposited
considerable sums of money, to be bestowed in creating influence in
favour of the Cardinal de Rohan.  The confessor, being a man of some
consideration among the clergy, was applied to, to use his influence with
the needier members of the Church more immediately about him, as well as
those of higher station, to whom he had access, in furthering the
purposes of the Princesse de Conde.  The bribes were applied as intended.
But, at the near approach of death, the confessor was struck with
remorse.  He begged his family, without mentioning his name, to send the
accounts and vouchers of the sums he had so distributed, to me, as a
proof of his contrition, that I might make what use of them I should
think proper.  The papers were handed to my messenger, who pledged her
word of honour that I would certainly adhere to the dying man’s last
injunctions.  She desired they might be sealed up by the family, and by
them directed to me.--[To this day, I neither know the name of the
convent or the confessor.]--She then hastened back to our place of
rendezvous, where I waited for her, and where she consigned the packet
into my own hands.

“That part of the papers which compromised only the Princesse de Conde
was shown by me to the Princess on the occasion I have mentioned.  It was
natural enough that she should have been shocked at the detection of
having suborned the clergy and others with heavy bribes to avert the
deserved fate of the Cardinal.  I kept this part of the packet secret
till the King’s two aunts, who had also been warm advocates in favour of
the prelate, left Paris for Rome.  Then, as Pius VI. had interested
himself as head of the Church for the honour of one of its members, I
gave them these very papers to deliver to His Holiness for his private
perusal.  I was desirous of enabling this truly charitable and Christian
head of our sacred religion to judge how far his interference was
justified by facts.  I am thoroughly convinced that, had he been sooner
furnished with these evidences, instead of blaming the royal proceeding,
he would have urged it on, nay, would himself have been the first to
advise that the foul conspiracy should be dragged into open day.

“The Comte de Vergennes told me that the King displayed the greatest
impartiality throughout the whole investigation for the exculpation of
the Queen, and made good his title on this, as he did on every occasion
where his own unbiassed feelings and opinions were called into action, to
great esteem for much higher qualities than the world has usually given
him credit for.

“I have been accused of having opened the prison doors of the culprit
Lamotte for her escape; but the charge is false.  I interested myself, as
was my duty, to shield the Queen from public reproach by having Lamotte
sent to a place of penitence; but I never interfered, except to lessen
her punishment, after the judicial proceedings.  The diamonds, in the
hands of her vile associates at Paris, procured her ample means to
escape.  I should have been the Queen’s greatest enemy had I been the
cause of giving liberty to one who acted, and might naturally have been
expected to act, as this depraved woman did.

“Through the private correspondence which was carried on between this
country and England, after I had left it, I was informed that M. de
Calonne, whom the Queen never liked, and who was called to the
administration against her will--which he knew, and consequently became
one of her secret enemies in the affair of the necklace--was discovered
to have been actively employed against Her Majesty in the work published
in London by Lamotte.

“Mr. Sheridan was the gentleman who first gave me this information.

“I immediately sent a trusty person by the Queen’s orders to London, to
buy up the whole work.  It was too late.  It had been already so widely
circulated that its consequences could no longer be prevented.  I was
lucky enough, however, for a considerable sum, to get a copy from a
person intimate with the author, the margin of which, in the handwriting
of M. de Calonne, actually contained numerous additional circumstances
which were to have been published in a second edition!  This publication
my agent, aided by some English gentlemen, arrived in time to suppress.

“The copy I allude to was brought to Paris and shown to the Queen.  She
instantly flew with it in her hands to the King’s cabinet.

“‘Now, Sire,’ exclaimed she, ‘I hope you will be convinced that my
enemies are those whom I have long considered as the most pernicious of
Your Majesty’s Councillors--your own Cabinet Ministers--your M. de
Calonne!--respecting whom I have often given you my opinion, which,
unfortunately, has always been attributed to mere female caprice, or as
having been biassed by the intrigues of Court favourites!  This, I hope,
Your Majesty will now be able to contradict!’

“The King all this time was looking over the different pages containing
M. de Calonne’s additions on their margins.  On recognising the
hand-writing, His Majesty was so affected by this discovered treachery of
his Minister and the agitation of his calumniated Queen that he could
scarcely articulate.

“‘Where,’ said he, I did you procure this?’

“‘Through the means, Sire, of some of the worthy members of that nation
your treacherous Ministers made our enemy--from England!  where your
unfortunate Queen, your injured wife, is compassionated!’

“‘Who got it for you?’

“‘My dearest, my real, and my only sincere friend, the Princesse de

“The King requested I should be sent for.  I came.  As may be imagined, I
was received with the warmest sentiments of affection by both Their
Majesties.  I then laid before the King the letter of Mr. Sheridan, which
was, in substance, as follows:


“‘A work of mine, which I did not choose should be printed, was published
in Dublin and transmitted to be sold in London.  As soon as I was
informed of it, and had procured a spurious copy, I went to the
bookseller to put a stop to its circulation.  I there met with a copy of
the work of Madame de Lamotte, which has been corrected by some one at
Paris and sent back to the bookseller for a second edition.  Though not
in time to suppress the first edition, owing to its rapid circulation, I
have had interest enough, through the means of the bookseller of whom I
speak, to remit you the copy which has been sent as the basis of a new
one.  The corrections, I am told, are by one of the King’s Ministers.  If
true, I should imagine the writer will be easily traced.

“‘I am happy that it has been in my power to make this discovery, and I
hope it will be the means of putting a stop to this most scandalous
publication.  I feel myself honoured in having contributed thus far to
the wishes of Her Majesty, which I hope I have fulfilled to the entire
satisfaction of Your Highness.

“‘Should anything further transpire on this subject, I will give you the
earliest information.

“‘I remain, madame, with profound respect, Your Highness’ most devoted,

“‘very humble servant,


[Madame Campan mentions in her work that the Queen had informed her of
the treachery of the Minister, but did not enter into particulars, nor
explain the mode or source of its detection. Notwithstanding the parties
had bound themselves for the sums they received not to reprint the work,
a second edition appeared a short time afterwards in London.  This, which
was again bought up by the French Ambassador, was the same which was to
have been burned by the King’s command at the china manufactory at

“M. de Calonne immediately received the King’s mandate to resign the
portfolio.  The Minister desired that he might be allowed to give his
resignation to the King himself.  His request was granted.  The Queen was
present at the interview.  The work in question was produced.  On
beholding it, the Minister nearly fainted.  The King got up and left the
room.  The Queen, who remained, told M. de Calonne that His Majesty had
no further occasion for his services.  He fell on his knees.  He was not
allowed to speak, but was desired to leave Paris.

“The dismissal and disgrace of M. de Calonne were scarcely known before
all Paris vociferated that they were owing to the intrigues of the
favourite De Polignac, in consequence of his having refused to administer
to her own superfluous extravagance and the Queen’s repeated demands on
the Treasury to satisfy the numerous dependants of the Duchess.

“This, however, was soon officially disproved by the exhibition of a
written proposition of Calonne’s to the Queen, to supply an additional
hundred thousand francs that year to her annual revenue, which Her
Majesty refused.  As for the Duchesse de Polignac, so far from having
caused the disgrace, she was not even aware of the circumstance from
which it arose; nor did the Minister himself ever know how, or by what
agency, his falsehood was so thoroughly unmasked.”


[The work which is here spoken of, the Queen kept, as a proof of the
treachery of Calonne towards her and his Sovereign, till the storming of
the Tuileries on the 10th of August, 1792, when, with the rest of the
papers and property plundered on that memorable occasion, it fell into
the hands of the ferocious mob.

M. de Calonne soon after left France for Italy.  There he lived for some
time in the palace of a particular friend of mine and the Marquis, my
husband, the Countess Francese Tressino, at Vicenza.

In consequence of our going every season to take the mineral waters and
use the baths at Valdagno, we had often occasion to be in company with M.
de Calonne, both at Vicenza and Valdagno, where I must do him the justice
to say he conducted himself with the greatest circumspection in speaking
of the Revolution.

Though he evidently avoided the topic which terminates this chapter, yet
one day, being closely pressed upon the subject, he said forgeries were
daily committed on Ministers, and were most particularly so in France at
the period in question; that he had borne the blame of various
imprudencies neither authorized nor executed by him; that much had been
done and supposed to have been done with his sanction, of which he had
not the slightest knowledge. This he observed generally, without
specifying any express instance.

He was then asked whether he did not consider himself responsible for the
mischief he occasioned by declaring the nation in a state of bankruptcy.
He said, “No, not in the least.  There was no other way of preventing
enormous sums from being daily lavished, as they then were, on herds of
worthless beings; that the Queen had sought to cultivate a state of
private domestic society, but that, in the attempt, she only warmed in
her bosom domestic vipers, who fed on the vital spirit of her
generosity.”  He mentioned no names.

I then took the liberty of asking him his opinion of the Princesse de

“Oh, madame!  had the rest of Her Majesty’s numerous attendants possessed
the tenth part of that unfortunate Victim’s virtues, Her Majesty would
never have been led into the errors which all France must deplore!

“I shall never forget her,” continued he, “the day I went to take leave
of her.  She was sitting on a sofa when I entered.  On seeing me, she
rose immediately.  Before I could utter a syllable, ‘Monsieur,’ said the
Princess, ‘you are accused of being the Queen’s enemy.  Acquit yourself
of the foul deed imputed to you, and I shall be happy to serve you as far
as lies in my power.  Till then, I must decline holding any communication
with an individual thus situated. I am her friend, and cannot receive any
one known to be otherwise.’

“There was something,” added he, “so sublime, so dignified, and
altogether so firm, though mild in her manner, that she appeared not to
belong to a race of earthly beings!”

Seeing the tears fall from his eyes, while he was thus eulogising her
whose memory I shall ever venerate, I almost forgave him the mischief of
his imprudence, which led to her untimely end.  I therefore carefully
avoided wounding his few gray hairs and latter days, and left him still
untold that it was by her, of whom he thought so highly, that his
uncontradicted treachery had been discovered.


“Of the many instances in which the Queen’s exertions to serve those whom
she conceived likely to benefit and relieve the nation, turned to the
injury, not only of herself, but those whom she patronised and the cause
she would strengthen, one of the most unpopular was that of the promotion
of Brienne, Archbishop of Sens, to the Ministry.  Her interest in his
favour was entirely created by the Abbe Vermond, himself too superficial
to pronounce upon any qualities, and especially such as were requisite
for so high a station.  By many, the partiality which prompted Vermond to
espouse the interests of the Archbishop was ascribed to the amiable
sentiment of gratitude for the recommendation of that dignitary, by which
Vermond himself first obtained his situation at Court; but there were
others, who have been deemed deeper in the secret, who impute it to the
less honourable source of self-interest, to the mere spirit of
ostentation, to the hope of its enabling him to bring about the
destruction of the De Polignacs.  Be this as it may, the Abbe well knew
that a Minister indebted for his elevation solely to the Queen would be
supported by her to the last.

“This, unluckily, proved the case.  Marie Antoinette persisted in
upholding every act of Brienne, till his ignorance and unpardonable
blunders drew down the general indignation of the people against Her
Majesty and her protege, with whom she was identified.  The King had
assented to the appointment with no other view than that of not being
utterly isolated and to show a respect for his consort’s choice. But the
incapable Minister was presently compelled to retire not only from
office, but from Paris.  Never was a Minister more detested while in
power, or a people more enthusiastically satisfied at his going out.  His
effigy was burnt in every town of France, and the general illuminations
and bonfires in the capital were accompanied by hooting and hissing the
deposed statesman to the barriers.

“The Queen, prompted by the Abbe Vermond, even after Brienne’s
dismission, gave him tokens of her royal munificence.  Her Majesty feared
that her acting otherwise to a Minister, who had been honoured by her
confidence, would operate as a check to prevent all men of celebrity from
exposing their fortunes to so ungracious a return for lending their best
services to the State, which now stood in need of the most skilful
pilots.  Such were the motives assigned by Her Majesty herself to me,
when I took the liberty, of expostulating with her respecting the dangers
which threatened herself and family, from this continued devotedness to a
Minister against whom the nation had pronounced so strongly.  I could not
but applaud the delicacy of the feeling upon which her conduct had been
grounded; nor could I blame her, in my heart, for the uprightness of her
principle, in showing that what she had once undertaken should not be
abandoned through female caprice.  I told Her Majesty that the system
upon which she acted was praiseworthy; and that its application in the
present instance would have been so had the Archbishop possessed as much
talent as he lacked; but, that now it was quite requisite for her to stop
the public clamour by renouncing her protection of a man who had so
seriously endangered the public tranquillity and her own reputation.

“As a proof how far my caution was well founded, there was an immense
riotous mob raised about this time against the Queen, in consequence of
her having, appointed the dismissed Minister’s niece, Madame de Canisy,
to a place at Court, and having given her picture, set in diamonds, to
the Archbishop himself.

“The Queen, in many cases, was by far too communicative to some of her
household, who immediately divulged all they gathered from her unreserve.
How could these circumstances have transpired to the people but from
those nearest the person of Her Majesty, who, knowing the public feeling
better than their royal mistress could be supposed to know it, did their
own feeling little credit by the mischievous exposure?  The people were
exasperated beyond all conception.  The Abbe Vermond placed before Her
Majesty the consequences of her communicativeness, and from this time
forward she never repeated the error.  After the lesson she had received,
none of her female attendants, not even the Duchesse de Polignac, to whom
she would have confided her very existence, could, had they been ever so
much disposed, have drawn anything upon public matters from her.  With
me, as her superintendent and entitled by my situation to interrogate and
give her counsel, she was not, of course, under the same restriction. To
his other representations of the consequences of the Queen’s indiscreet
openness, the Abbe Vermond added that, being obliged to write all the
letters, private and public, he often found himself greatly embarrassed
by affairs having gone forth to the world beforehand.  One misfortune of
putting this seal upon the lips of Her Majesty was that it placed her
more thoroughly in the Abbe’s power.  She was, of course, obliged to rely
implicitly upon him concerning many points, which, had they undergone the
discussion necessarily resulting from free conversation, would have been
shown to her under very different aspects. A man with a better heart,
less Jesuitical, and not so much interested as Vermond was to keep his
place, would have been a safer monitor.

“Though the Archbishop of Sens was so much hated and despised, much may
be said in apology for his disasters.  His unpopularity, and the Queen’s
support of him against the people, was certainly a vital blow to the
monarchy.  There is no doubt of his having been a poor substitute for the
great men who had so gloriously beaten the political paths of
administration, particularly the Comte de Vergennes and Necker. But at
that time, when France was threatened by its great convulsion, where is
the genius which might not have committed itself?  And here is a man
coming to rule amidst revolutionary feelings, with no knowledge whatever
of revolutionary principles--a pilot steering into one harbour by the
chart of another.  I am by no means a vindicator of the Archbishop’s
obstinacy in offering himself a candidate for a situation entirely
foreign to the occupations, habits, and studies of his whole life; but
his intentions may have been good enough, and we must not charge the
physician with murder who has only mistaken the disease, and, though
wrong in his judgment, has been zealous and conscientious; nor must we
blame the comedians for the faults of the comedy.  The errors were not so
much in the men who did not succeed as in the manners of the times.

“The part which the Queen was now openly compelled to bear, in the
management of public affairs, increased the public feeling against her
from dislike to hatred.  Her Majesty was unhappy, not only from the
necessity which called her out of the sphere to which she thought her sex
ought to be confined, but from the divisions which existed in the Royal
Family upon points in which their common safety required a common scheme
of action.  Her favourite brother-in-law, D’Artois, had espoused the side
of D’ORLEANS, and the popular party seemed to prevail against her, even
with the King.

“The various parliamentary assemblies, which had swept on their course,
under various denominations, in rapid and stormy succession, were now
followed by one which, like Aaron’s rod, was to swallow up the rest. Its
approach was regarded by the Queen with ominous reluctance. At length,
however, the moment for the meeting of the States General at Versailles
arrived.  Necker was once more in favour, and a sort of forlorn hope of
better times dawned upon the perplexed monarch, in his anticipations from
this assembly.

“The night before the procession of the instalment of the States General
was to take place, it being my duty to attend Her Majesty, I received an
anonymous letter, cautioning me not to be seen that day by her side. I
immediately went to the King’s apartments and showed him the letter. His
Majesty humanely enjoined me to abide by its counsels.  I told him I
hoped he would for once permit me to exercise my own discretion; for if
my royal Sovereign were in danger, it was then that her attendants should
be most eager to rally round her, in order to watch over her safety and
encourage her fortitude.

“While we were thus occupied, the Queen and my sister-in-law, the
Duchesse d’Orleans, entered the King’s apartment, to settle some part of
the etiquette respecting the procession.

“‘I wish,’ exclaimed the Duchess, ‘that this procession were over; or
that it were never to take place; or that none of us had to be there; or
else, being obliged, that we had all passed, and were comfortably at home

“‘Its taking place,’ answered the Queen, ‘never had my sanction,
especially at Versailles.  M. Necker appears to be in its favour, and
answers for its success.  I wish he may not be deceived; but I much fear
that he is guided more by the mistaken hope of maintaining his own
popularity by this impolitic meeting, than by any conscientious
confidence in its advantage to the King’s authority.’

“The King, having in his hand the letter which I had just brought him,
presented it to the Queen.

“‘This, my dear Duchess,’ cried the Queen, I comes from the Palais Royal
manufactory, [Palais d’ Orleans.  D.W.] to poison the very first
sentiments of delight at the union expected between the King and his
subjects, by innuendoes of the danger which must result from my being
present at it.  Look at the insidiousness of the thing!  Under a pretext
of kindness, cautions against the effect of their attachment are given to
my most sincere and affectionate attendants, whose fidelity none dare
attack openly.  I am, however, rejoiced that Lamballe has been

“‘Against what?’ replied I.

“‘Against appearing in the procession,’ answered the Queen.

“‘It is only,’ I exclaimed, ‘by putting me in the grave they can ever
withdraw me from Your Majesty.  While I have life and Your Majesty’s
sanction, force only will prevent me from doing my duty.  Fifty thousand
daggers, Madame, were they all raised against me, would have no power to
shake the firmness of my character or the earnestness of my attachment. I
pity the wretches who have so little penetration.  Victim or no victim,
nothing shall ever induce me to quit Your Majesty.’

“The Queen and Duchess, both in tears, embraced me.  After the Duchess
had taken her leave, the King and Queen hinted their suspicions that she
had been apprised of the letter, and had made this visit expressly to
observe what effect it had produced, well knowing at the time that some
attempt was meditated by the hired mob and purchased deputies already
brought over to the D’ORLEANS faction.  Not that the slightest suspicion
of collusion could ever be attached to the good Duchesse d’Orleans
against the Queen.  The intentions of the Duchess were known to be as
virtuous and pure as those of her husband’s party were criminal and
mischievous.  But, no doubt, she had intimations of the result intended;
and, unable to avert the storm or prevent its cause, had been instigated
by her strong attachment to me, as well as the paternal affection her
father, the Duc de Penthievre, bore me, to attempt to lessen the
exasperation of the Palais Royal party and the Duke, her husband, against
me, by dissuading me from running any risk upon the occasion.

“The next day, May 5, 1789, at the very moment when all the resources of
nature and art seemed exhausted to render the Queen a paragon of
loveliness beyond anything I had ever before witnessed, even in her; when
every impartial eye was eager to behold and feast on that form whose
beauty warmed every heart in her favour; at that moment a horde of
miscreants, just as she came within sight of the Assembly, thundered in
her ears, ‘Orleans forever!’ three or four times, while she and the King
were left to pass unheeded.  Even the warning of the letter, from which
she had reason to expect some commotions, suggested to her imagination
nothing like this, and she was dreadfully shaken.  I sprang forward to
support her.  The King’s party, prepared for the attack, shouted ‘Vive le
roi!  Vive la reine!’  As I turned, I saw some of the members lividly
pale, as if fearing their machinations had been discovered; but, as they
passed, they said in the hearing of Her Majesty, ‘Remember, you are the
daughter of Maria Theresa.’--‘True,’ answered the Queen.  The Duc de
Biron, Orleans, La Fayette, Mirabeau, and the Mayor of Paris, seeing Her
Majesty’s emotion, came up, and were going to stop the procession.  All,
in apparent agitation, cried out ‘Halt!’  The Queen, sternly looking at
them, made a sign with her head to proceed, recovered herself, and moved
forward in the train, with all the dignity and self-possession for which
she was so eminently distinguished.

“But this self-command in public proved nearly fatal to Her Majesty on
her return to her apartment.  There her real feelings broke forth, and
their violence was so great as to cause the bracelets on her wrists and
the pearls in her necklace to burst from the threads and settings, before
her women and the ladies in attendance could have time to take them off.
She remained many hours in a most alarming state of strong convulsions.
Her clothes were obliged to be cut from her body, to give her ease; but
as soon as she was undressed, and tears came to her relief, she flew
alternately to the Princesse Elizabeth and to myself; but we were both
too much overwhelmed to give her the consolation of which she stood so
much in need.

“Barnave that very evening came to my private apartment, and tendered his
services to the Queen.  He told me he wished Her Majesty to be convinced
that he was a Frenchman; that he only desired his country might be
governed by salutary laws, and not by the caprice of weak sovereigns, or
a vitiated, corrupt Ministry; that the clergy and nobility ought to
contribute to the wants of the State equally with every other class of
the King’s subjects; that when this was accomplished, and abuses were
removed, by such a national representation as would enable the Minister,
Necker, to accomplish his plans for the liquidation of the national debt,
I might assure Her Majesty that both the King and herself would find
themselves happier in a constitutional government than they had ever yet
been; for such a government would set them free from all dependence on
the caprice of Ministers, and lessen a responsibility of which they now
experienced the misery; that if the King sincerely entered into the
spirit of regenerating the French nation, he would find among the present
representatives many members of probity, loyal and honourable in their
intentions, who would never become the destroyers of a limited legitimate
monarchy, or the corrupt regicides of a rump Parliament, such as brought
the wayward Charles the First, of England, to the fatal block.

“I attempted to relate the conversation to the Queen.  She listened with
the greatest attention till I came to the part concerning the
constitutional King, when Her Majesty lost her patience, and prevented me
from proceeding.

[This and other conversations, which will be found in subsequent pages,
will prove that Barnave’s sentiments in favour of the Royal Family long
preceded the affair at Varennes, the beginning of which Madame Campan
assigns to it.  Indeed it must by this time be evident to the reader that
Madame Campan, though very correct in relating all she knew, with respect
to the history of Marie Antoinette, was not in possession of matters
foreign to her occupation about the person of the Queen, and, in
particular, that she could communicate little concerning those important
intrigues carried on respecting the different deputies of the first
Assembly, till in the latter days of the Revolution, when it became
necessary, from the pressure of events, that she should be made a sort of
confidante, in order to prevent her from compromising the persons of the
Queen and the Princesse de Lamballe: a trust, of her claim to which her
undoubted fidelity was an ample pledge.  Still, however, she was often
absent from Court at moments of great importance, and was obliged to take
her information, upon much which she has recorded, from hearsay, which
has led her, as I have before stated, into frequent mistakes.]

“The expense of the insulting scene, which had so overcome Her Majesty,
was five hundred thousand francs!  This sum was paid by the agents of the
Palais Royal, and its execution entrusted principally to Mirabeau,
Bailly, the Mayor of Paris, and another individual, who was afterwards
brought over to the Court party.

“The history of the Assembly itself on the day following, the 6th of May,
is too well known.  The sudden perturbation of a guilty conscience, which
overcame the Duc d’Orleans, seemed like an awful warning.  He had
scarcely commenced his inflammatory address to the Assembly, when some
one, who felt incommoded by the stifling heat of the hall, exclaimed,
‘Throw open the windows!’ The conspirator fancied he heard in this his
death sentence.  He fainted, and was conducted home in the greatest
agitation.  Madame de Bouffon was at the Palais Royal when the Duke was
taken thither.  The Duchesse d’Orleans was at the palace of the Duc de
Penthievre, her father, while the Duke himself was at the Hotel Thoulouse
with me, where he was to dine, and where we were waiting for the Duchess
to come and join us, by appointment.  But Madame de Bouffon was so
alarmed by the state in which she saw the Duc d’Orleans that she
instantly left the Palais Royal, and despatched his valet express to
bring her thither.  My sister-in-law sent an excuse to me for not coming
to dinner, and an explanation to her father for so abruptly leaving his
palace, and hastened home to her husband.  It was some days before he
recovered; and his father-in-law, his wife, and myself were not without
hopes that he would see in this an omen to prevent him from persisting
any longer in his opposition to the Royal Family.

“The effects of the recall of the popular Minister, Necker, did not
satisfy the King.  Necker soon became an object of suspicion to the Court
party, and especially to His Majesty and the Queen.  He was known to have
maintained an understanding with D’ORLEANS.  The miscarriage of many
plans and the misfortunes which succeeded were the result of this
connection, though it was openly disavowed.  The first suspicion of the
coalition arose thus:

“When the Duke had his bust carried about Paris, after his unworthy
schemes against the King had been discovered, it was thrown into the
mire.  Necker passing, perhaps by mere accident, stopped his carriage,
and expressing himself with some resentment for such treatment to a
Prince of the blood and a friend of the people, ordered the bust to be
taken to the Palais Royal, where it was washed, crowned with laurel, and
thence, with Necker’s own bust, carried to Versailles.  The King’s aunts,
coming from Bellevue as the procession was upon the road, ordered the
guards to send the men away who bore the busts, that the King and Queen
might not be insulted with the sight.  This circumstance caused another
riot, which was attributed to Their Majesties.  The dismission of the
Minister was the obvious result.  It is certain, however, that, in
obeying the mandate of exile, Necker had no wish to exercise the
advantage he possessed from his great popularity.  His retirement was
sudden and secret; and, although it was mentioned that very evening by
the Baroness de Stael to the Comte de Chinon, so little bustle was made
about his withdrawing from France, that it was even stated at the time to
have been utterly unknown, even to his daughter.

“Necker himself ascribed his dismission to the influence of the De
Polignacs; but he was totally mistaken, for the Duchesse de Polignac was
the last person to have had any influence in matters of State, whatever
might have been the case with those who surrounded her.  She was devoid
of ambition or capacity to give her weight; and the Queen was not so
pliant in points of high import as to allow herself to be governed or
overruled, unless her mind was thoroughly convinced.  In that respect,
she was something like Catharine II., who always distinguished her
favourites from her Minister; but in the present case she had no choice,
and was under the necessity of yielding to the boisterous voice of a

“From this epoch, I saw all the persons who had any wish to communicate
with the Queen on matters relative to the public business, and Her
Majesty was generally present when they came, and received them in my
apartments.  The Duchesse de Polignac never, to my knowledge, entered
into any of these State questions; yet there was no promotion in the
civil, military, or ministerial department, which she has not been
charged with having influenced the Queen to make, though there were few
of them who were not nominated by the King and his Ministers, even
unknown to the Queen herself.

“The prevailing dissatisfaction against Her Majesty and the favourite De
Polignac now began to take so many forms, and produce effects so
dreadful, as to wring her own feelings, as well as those of her royal
mistress, with the most intense anguish.  Let me mention one gross and
barbarous instance in proof of what I say.

“After the birth of the Queen’s second son, the Duc de Normandie, who was
afterwards Dauphin, the Duke and Duchess of Harcourt, outrageously
jealous of the ascendency of the governess of the Dauphin, excited the
young Prince’s hatred toward Madame de Polignac to such a pitch that he
would take nothing from her hands, but often, young as he was at the
time, order her out of the apartment, and treat her remonstrances with
the utmost contempt.  The Duchess bitterly complained of the Harcourts to
the Queen; for she really sacrificed the whole of her time to the care
and attention required by this young Prince, and she did so from sincere
attachment, and that he might not be irritated in his declining state of
health.  The Queen was deeply hurt at these dissensions between the
governor and governess.  Her Majesty endeavoured to pacify the mind of
the young Prince, by literally making herself a slave to his childish
caprices, which in all probability would have created the confidence so
desired, when a most cruel, unnatural, I may say diabolical, report
prevailed to alienate the child’s affections even from his mother, in
making him believe that, owing to his deformity and growing ugliness, she
had transferred all her tenderness to his younger brother, who certainly
was very superior in health and beauty to the puny Dauphin. Making a
pretext of this calumny, the governor of the heir-apparent was malicious
enough to prohibit him from eating or drinking anything but what first
passed through the hands of his physicians; and so strong was the
impression made by this interdict on the mind of the young Dauphin that
he never after saw the Queen but with the greatest terror.  The feelings
of his disconsolate parent may be more readily conceived than described.
So may the mortification of his governess, the Duchesse de Polignac,
herself so tender, so affectionate a mother.  Fortunately for himself,
and happily for his wretched parents, this royal youth, whose life,
though short, had been so full of suffering, died at Versailles on the
4th of June, 1789, and, though only between seven and eight years of age
at the time of his decease, he had given proofs of intellectual
precocity, which would probably have made continued life, amidst the
scenes of wretchedness, which succeeded, anything to him but a blessing.

“The cabals of the Duke of Harcourt, to which I have just adverted,
against the Duchesse de Polignac, were the mere result of foul malice and
ambition.  Harcourt wished to get his wife, who was the sworn enemy of De
Polignac, created governess to the Dauphin, instead of the Queen’s
favourite.  Most of the criminal stories against the Duchesse de
Polignac, and which did equal injury to the Queen, were fabricated by the
Harcourts, for the purpose of excluding their rival from her situation.

“Barnave, meanwhile, continued faithful to his liberal principles, but
equally faithful to his desire of bringing Their Majesties over to those
principles, and making them republican Sovereigns.  He lost no
opportunity of availing himself of my permission for him to call whenever
he chose on public business; and he continued to urge the same points,
upon which he had before been so much in earnest, although with no better
effect.  Both the King and the Queen looked with suspicion upon Barnave,
and with still more suspicion upon his politics.

“The next time I received him, ‘Madame,’ exclaimed the deputy to me,
‘since our last interview I have pondered well on the situation of the
King; and, as an honest Frenchman, attached to my lawful Sovereign, and
anxious for his future prosperous reign, I am decidedly of opinion that
his own safety, as well as the dignity of the crown of France, and the
happiness of his subjects, can only be secured by his giving his country
a Constitution, which will at once place his establishment beyond the
caprice and the tyranny of corrupt administrations, and secure hereafter
the first monarchy in Europe from the possibility of sinking under weak
Princes, by whom the royal splendour of France has too often been debased
into the mere tool of vicious and mercenary noblesse, and sycophantic
courtiers.  A King, protected by a Constitution, can do no wrong.  He is
unshackled with responsibility.  He is empowered with the comfort of
exercising the executive authority for the benefit of the nation, while
all the harsher duties, and all the censures they create, devolve on
others.  It is, therefore, madame, through your means, and the well-known
friendship you have ever evinced for the Royal Family, and the general
welfare of the French nation, that I wish to obtain a private audience of
Her Majesty, the Queen, in order to induce her to exert the never-failing
ascendency she has ever possessed over the mind of our good King, in
persuading him to the sacrifice of a small proportion of his power, for
the sake of preserving the monarchy to his heirs; and posterity will
record the virtues of a Prince who has been magnanimous enough, of his
own free will, to resign the unlawful part of his prerogatives, usurped
by his predecessors, for the blessing and pleasure of giving liberty to a
beloved people, among whom both the King and Queen will find many
Hampdens and Sidneys, but very few Cromwells.  Besides, madame, we must
make a merit of necessity.  The times are pregnant with events, and it is
more prudent to support the palladium of the ancient monarchy than risk
its total overthrow; and fall it must, if the diseased excrescences, of
which the people complain, and which threaten to carry death into the
very heart of the tree, be not lopped away in time by the Sovereign

“I heard the deputy with the greatest attention.  I promised to fulfil
his commission.  The better to execute my task, I retired the moment he
left me, and wrote down all I could recollect of his discourse, that it
might be thoroughly placed before the Queen the first opportunity.

“When I communicated the conversation to Her Majesty, she listened with
the most gracious condescension, till I came to the part wherein Barnave
so forcibly impressed the necessity of adopting a constitutional
monarchy.  Here, as she had done once before, when I repeated some former
observations of Barnave to her, Marie Antoinette somewhat lost her
equanimity.  She rose from her seat, and exclaimed:

“‘What! is an absolute Prince, and the hereditary Sovereign of the
ancient monarchy of France, to become the tool of a plebeian faction, who
will, their point once gained, dethrone him for his imbecile
complaisance?  Do they wish to imitate the English Revolution of 1648,
and reproduce the sanguinary times of the unfortunate and weak Charles
the First?  To make France a commonwealth!  Well! be it so!  But before I
advise the King to such a step, or give my consent to it, they shall bury
me under the ruins of the monarchy.’

“‘But what answer,’ said I, ‘does Your Majesty wish me to return to the
deputy’s request for a private audience?’

“‘What answer?’ exclaimed the Queen.  No answer at all is the best answer
to such a presumptuous proposition!  I tremble for the consequences of
the impression their disloyal manoeuvres have made upon the minds of the
people, and I have no faith whatever in their proffered services to the
King.  However, on reflection, it may be expedient to temporise. Continue
to see him.  Learn, if possible, how far he may be trusted; but do not
fix any time, as yet, for the desired audience.  I wish to apprise the
King, first, of his interview with you, Princess.  This conversation does
not agree with what he and Mirabeau proposed about the King’s recovering
his prerogatives.  Are these the prerogatives with which he flattered the
King?  Binding him hand and foot, and excluding him from every privilege,
and then casting him a helpless dependant on the caprice of a volatile
plebeian faction!  The French nation is very different from the English.
The first rules of the established ancient order of the government broken
through, they will violate twenty others, and the King will be
sacrificed, before this frivolous people again organise themselves with
any sort of regular government.’

“Agreeably to Her Majesty’s commands, I continued to see Barnave.  I
communicated with him by letter,’ at his private lodgings at Passy, and
at Vitry; but it was long before the Queen could be brought to consent to
the audience he solicited.

[Of these letters I was generally the bearer.  I recollect that day
perfectly.  I was copying some letters for the Princesse de Lamballe,
when the Prince de Conti came in.  The Prince lived not only to see, but
to feel the errors of his system.  He attained a great age.  He outlived
the glory of his country.  Like many others, the first gleam of political
regeneration led him into a system, which drove him out of France, to
implore the shelter of a foreign asylum, that he might not fall a victim
to his own credulity.  I had an opportunity of witnessing in his latter
days his sincere repentance; and to this it is fit that I should bear
testimony. There were no bounds to the execration with which he expressed
himself towards the murderers of those victims, whose death he lamented
with a bitterness in which some remorse was mingled, from the impression
that his own early errors in favour of the Revolution had unintentionally
accelerated their untimely end.  This was a source to him of deep and
perpetual self-reproach.

There was an eccentricity in the appearance, dress, and manners of the
Prince de Conti, which well deserves recording.

He wore to the very last--and it was in Barcelona, so late as 1803, that
I last had the honour of conversing with him--a white rich stuff dress
frock coat, of the cut and fashion of Louis XIV., which, being without
any collar, had buttons and button-holes from the neck to the bottom of
the skirt, and was padded and stiffened with buckram.  The cuffs were
very large, of a different colour, and turned up to the elbows.  The
whole was lined with white satin, which, from its being very much
moth-eaten, appeared as if it had been dotted on purpose to show the
buckram between the satin lining. His waistcoat was of rich green striped
silk, bound with gold lace; the buttons and buttonholes of gold; the
flaps very large, and completely covering his small clothes; which
happened very apropos, for they scarcely reached his knees, over which he
wore large striped silk stockings, that came half-way up his thighs.  His
shoes had high heels, and reached half up his legs; the buckles were
small, and set round with paste.  A very narrow stiff stock decorated his
neck.  He carried a hat, with a white feather on the inside, under his
arm.  His ruffles were of very handsome point lace.  His few gray hairs
were gathered in a little round bag.  The wig alone was wanting to make
him a thorough picture of the polished age of the founder of Versailles
and Marly.

He had all that princely politeness of manner which so eminently
distinguished the old school of French nobility, previous to the
Revolution.  He was the thorough gentleman, a character by no means so
readily to be met with in these days of refinement as one would imagine.
He never addressed the softer sex but with ease and elegance, and
admiration of their persons.

Could Louis XIV.  have believed, had it been told to him when he placed
this branch of the Bourbons on the throne of Iberia, that it would one
day refuse to give shelter at the Court of Madrid to one of his family,
for fear of offending a Corsican usurper!]

“Indeed, Her Majesty had such an aversion to all who had declared
themselves for any innovation upon the existing power of the monarchy,
that she was very reluctant to give audience upon the subject to any
person, not even excepting the Princes of the blood.  The Comte d’Artois
himself, leaning as he did to the popular side, had ceased to be welcome.
Expressions he had made use of, concerning the necessity for some change,
had occasioned the coolness, which was already of considerable standing.

“One day the Prince de Conti came to me, to complain of the Queen’s
refusing to receive him, because he had expressed himself to the same
effect as had the Comte d’Artois on the subject of the Tiers Etat.

“‘And does Your Highness,’ replied I, ‘imagine that the Queen is less
displeased with the conduct of the Comte d’Artois on that head than she
is with you, Prince?  I can assure Your Highness, that at this moment
there subsists a very great degree of coolness between Her Majesty and
her royal brother-in-law, whom she loves as if he were her own brother.
Though she makes every allowance for his political inexperience, and well
knows the goodness of his heart and the rectitude of his intentions, yet
policy will not permit her to change her sentiments.’

“‘That may be,’ said the Prince, ‘but while Her Majesty continues to
honour with her royal presence the Duchesse de Polignac, whose friends,
as well as herself, are all enthusiastically mad in favour of the
constitutional system, she shows an undue partiality, by countenancing
one branch of the party and not the other; particularly so, as the great
and notorious leader of the opposition, which the Queen frowns upon, is
the sister-in-law of this very Duchesse de Polignac, and the avowed
favourite of the Comte d’Artois, by whom, and the councils of the Palais
Royal, he is supposed to be totally governed in his political career.’

“‘The Queen,’ replied I, ‘is certainly her own mistress.  She sees, I
believe, many persons more from habit than any other motive; to which,
Your Highness is aware, many Princes often make sacrifices.  Your
Highness cannot suppose I can have the temerity to control Her Majesty,
in the selection of her friends, or in her sentiments respecting them.’

“‘No,’ exclaimed the Prince, ‘I imagine not.  But she might just as well
see any of us; for we are no more enemies of the Crown than the party she
is cherishing by constantly appearing among them; which, according to her
avowed maxims concerning the not sanctioning any but supporters of the
absolute monarchy, is in direct opposition to her own sentiments.

“‘Who,’ continued His Highness, ‘caused that infernal comedy, ‘Le Mariage
de Figaro’, to be brought out, but the party of the Duchesse de Polignac?

[Note of the Princesse de Lamballe:--The Prince de Conti never could
speak of Beaumarchais but with the greatest contempt.  There was
something personal in this exasperation.  Beaumarchais had satirized the
Prince.  ‘The Spanish Barber’ was founded on a circumstance which
happened at a country house between Conti and a young lady, during the
reign of Louis XV., when intrigues of every kind were practised and
almost sanctioned.  The poet has exposed the Prince by making him the
Doctor Bartolo of his play.  The affair which supplied the story was
hushed up at Court, and the Prince was punished only by the loss of his
mistress, who became the wife of another.]

The play is a critique on the whole Royal Family, from the drawing up of
the curtain to its fall.  It burlesques the ways and manners of every
individual connected with the Court of Versailles.  Not a scene but
touches some of their characters.  Are not the Queen herself and the
Comte d’Artois lampooned and caricatured in the garden scenes, and the
most slanderous ridicule cast upon their innocent evening walks on the
terrace?  Does not Beaumarchais plainly show in it, to every impartial
eye, the means which the Comtesse Diane has taken publicly to demonstrate
her jealousy of the Queen’s ascendency over the Comte d’Artois?  Is it
not from the same sentiment that she roused the jealousy of the Comtesse
d’Artois against Her Majesty?’

“‘All these circumstances,’ observed I, ‘the King prudently foresaw when
he read the manuscript, and caused it to be read to the Queen, to
convince her of the nature of its characters and the dangerous tendency
likely to arise from its performance.  Of this Your Highness is aware. It
is not for me to apprise you that, to avert the excitement inevitable
from its being brought upon the stage, and under a thorough conviction of
the mischief it would produce in turning the minds of the people against
the Queen, His Majesty solemnly declared that the comedy should not be
performed in Paris; and that he would never sanction its being brought
before the public on any stage in France.’

“‘Bah! bah! madame!’ exclaimed De Conti.  The Queen has acted like a
child in this affair, as in many others.  In defiance of His Majesty’s
determination, did not the Queen herself, through the fatal influence of
her favourite, whose party wearied her out by continued importunities,
cause the King to revoke his express mandate?  And what has been the
consequence of Her Majesty’s ungovernable partiality for these De

“‘You know, Prince,’ said I, ‘better than I do.’

“‘The proofs of its bad consequences,’ pursued His Highness, ‘are more
strongly verified than ever by your own withdrawing from the Queen’s
parties since her unreserved acknowledgment of her partiality (fatal
partiality!) for those who will be her ruin; for they are her worst

“‘Pardon me, Prince,’ answered I, ‘I have not withdrawn myself from the
Queen, but from the new parties, with whose politics I cannot identify
myself, besides some exceptions I have taken against those who frequent

“‘Bah! bah!’ exclaimed De Conti, ‘your sagacity has got the better of
your curiosity.  All the wit and humour of that traitor Beaumarchais
never seduced you to cultivate his society, as all the rest of the
Queen’s party have done.’

“‘I never knew him to be accused of treason.’

“‘Why, what do you call a fellow who sent arms to the Americans before
the war was declared, without his Sovereign’s consent?’

“‘In that affair, I consider the Ministers as criminal as himself; for
the Queen, to this day, believes that Beaumarchais was sanctioned by them
and, you know, Her Majesty has ever since had an insuperable dislike to
both De Maurepas and De Vergennes.  But I have nothing to do with these

“‘Yes, yes, I understand you, Princess.  Let her romp and play with the
‘compate vous’,--[A kind of game of forfeits, introduced for the
diversion of the royal children and those of the Duchesse de
Polignac.]--but who will ‘compatire’ (make allowance for) her folly?
Bah! bah! bah! She is inconsistent, Princess.  Not that I mean by this to
insinuate that the Duchess is not the sincere friend and well-wisher of
the Queen.  Her immediate existence, her interest, and that of her
family, are all dependent on the royal bounty.  But can the Duchess
answer for the same sincerity towards the Queen, with respect to her
innumerable guests? No!  Are not the sentiments of the Duchesses
sister-in-law, the Comtesse Diane, in direct opposition to the absolute
monarchy?  Has she not always been an enthusiastic advocate for all those
that have supported the American war?  Who was it that crowned, at a
public assembly, the democratical straight hairs of Dr. Franklin?  Why
the same Madame Comtesse Diane!  Who was ‘capa turpa’ in applauding the
men who were framing the American Constitution at Paris?  Madame Comtesse
Diane!  Who was it, in like manner, that opposed all the Queen’s
arguments against the political conduct of France and Spain, relative to
the war with England, in favour of the American Independence?  The
Comtesse Diane! Not for the love of that rising nation, or for the sacred
cause of liberty; but from a taste for notoriety, a spirit of envy and
jealousy, an apprehension lest the personal charms of the Queen might rob
her of a part of those affections, which she herself exclusively hoped to
alienate from that abortion, the Comtesse d’Artois, in whose service she
is Maid of Honour, and handmaid to the Count.  My dear Princess, these
are facts proved.  Beaumarchais has delineated them all.  Why, then,
refuse to see me?  Why withdraw her former confidence from the Comte
d’Artois, when she lives in the society which promulgates antimonarchical
principles?  These are sad evidences of Her Majesty’s inconsistency.  She
might as well see the Duc d’Orleans’

“Here my feelings overwhelmed me.  I could contain myself no longer.  The
tears gushed from my eyes.

“‘Oh, Prince!’ exclaimed I, in a bitter agony of grief--‘Oh, Prince!
touch not that fatal string.  For how many years has he not caused these
briny tears of mine to flow from my burning eyes!  The scalding drops
have nearly parched up the spring of life!’”


“The dismissal of M. Necker irritated the people beyond description. They
looked upon themselves as insulted in their favourite.  Mob succeeded
mob, each more mischievous and daring than the former.  The Duc d’Orleans
continued busy in his work of secret destruction.  In one of the popular
risings, a sabre struck his bust, and its head fell, severed from its
body.  Many of the rioters (for the ignorant are always superstitious)
shrunk back at this omen of evil to their idol.  His real friends
endeavoured to deduce a salutary warning to him from the circumstance.  I
was by when the Duc de Penthievre told him, in the presence of his
daughter, that he might look upon this accident as prophetic of the fate
of his own head, as well as the ruin of his family, if he persisted.  He
made no answer, but left the room.

“On the 14th of July, and two or three days preceding, the commotions
took a definite object.  The destruction of the Bastille was the point
proposed, and it was achieved.  Arms were obtained from the old
pensioners at the Hotel des Invalides.  Fifty thousand livres were
distributed among the chiefs of those who influenced the Invalides to
give up the arms.

“The massacre of the Marquis de Launay, commandant of the place, and of
M. de Flesselles, and the fall of the citadel itself, were the

“Her Majesty was greatly affected when she heard of the murder of these
officers and the taking of the Bastille.  She frequently told me that the
horrid circumstance originated in a diabolical Court intrigue, but never
explained the particulars of the intrigue.  She declared that both the
officers and the citadel might have been saved had not the King’s orders
for the march of the troops from Versailles, and the environs of Paris,
been disobeyed.  She blamed the precipitation of De Launay in ordering up
the drawbridge and directing the few troops on it to fire upon the
people.  ‘There,’ she added, ‘the Marquis committed himself; as, in case
of not succeeding, he could have no retreat, which every commander should
take care to secure, before he allows the commencement of a general

[Certainly, the French Revolution may date its epoch as far back as the
taking of the Bastille; from that moment the troubles progressively
continued, till the final extirpation of its illustrious victims.  I was
just returning from a mission to England when the storms began to
threaten not only the most violent effects to France itself, but to all
the land which was not divided from it by the watery element.  The spirit
of liberty, as the vine, which produces the most luxurious fruit, when
abused becomes the most pernicious poison, was stalking abroad and
revelling in blood and massacre.  I myself was a witness to the
enthusiastic national ball given on the ruins of the Bastille, while it
was still stained and reeking with the hot blood of its late keeper,
whose head I saw carried in triumph.  Such was the effect on me that the
Princesse de Lamballe asked me if I had known the Marquis de Launay.  I
answered in the negative; but told her from the knowledge I had of the
English Revolution, I was fearful of a result similar to what followed
the fall of the heads of Buckingham and Stafford.  The Princess
mentioning my observation to the Duc de Penthievre, they both burst into

The death of the Dauphin, the horrible Revolution of the 14th of July,
the troubles about Necker, the insults and threats offered to the Comte
d’Artois and herself,--overwhelmed the Queen with the most poignant

“She was most desirous of some understanding being established between
the government and the representatives of the people, which she urged
upon the King the expediency of personally attempting.

“The King, therefore, at her reiterated remonstrances and requests,
presented himself, on the following day, with his brothers, to the
National Assembly, to assure them of his firm determination to support
the measures of the deputies, in everything conducive to the general good
of his subjects.  As a proof of his intentions, he said he had commanded
the troops to leave Paris and Versailles.

“The King left the Assembly, as he had gone thither, on foot, amid the
vociferations of ‘Vive le roi!’ and it was only through the enthusiasm of
the deputies, who thus hailed His Majesty, and followed him in crowds to
the palace, that the Comte d’Artois escaped the fury of an outrageous

“The people filled every avenue of the palace, which vibrated with cries
for the King, the Queen, and the Dauphin to show themselves at the

“‘Send for the Duchesse de Polignac to bring the royal children,’ cried I
to Her Majesty.

“‘Not for the world!’ exclaimed the Queen.  ‘She will be assassinated,
and my children too, if she make her appearance before this infuriate
mob.  Let Madame and the Dauphin be brought unaccompanied.’

“The Queen, on this occasion, imitated her Imperial mother, Maria
Theresa.  She took the Dauphin in her arms, and Madame by her side, as
that Empress had done when she presented herself to the Hungarian
magnates; but the reception here was very different.  It was not
‘moriamur pro nostra regina’.  Not that they were ill received; but the
furious party of the Duc d’Orleans often interrupted the cries of ‘Vive
le roi!  Vive la reine!’ etc., with those of ‘Vive la nation!  Vive d’
Orleans!’ and many severe remarks on the family of the De Polignacs,
which proved that the Queen’s caution on this occasion was exceedingly

“Not to wound the feelings of the Duchesse de Polignac, I kept myself at
a distance behind the Queen; but I was loudly called for by the mobility,
and, ‘malgre moi’, was obliged, at the King and Queen’s request, to come

“As I approached the balcony, I perceived one of the well-known agents of
the Duc d’Orleans, whom I had noticed some time before in the throng,
menacing me, the moment I made my appearance, with his upreared hand in
fury.  I was greatly terrified, but suppressed my agitation, and saluted
the populace; but, fearful of exhibiting my weakness in sight of the
wretch who had alarmed me, withdrew instantly, and had no sooner
re-entered than I sunk motionless in the arms of one of the attendants.
Luckily, this did not take place till I left the balcony.  Had it been
otherwise, the triumph to my declared enemies would have been too great.

“Recovering, I found myself surrounded by the Royal Family, who were all
kindness and concern for my situation; but I could not subdue my tremor
and affright.  The horrid image of that monster seemed, still to threaten

“‘Come, come!’ said the King, ‘be not alarmed, I shall order a council of
all the Ministers and deputies to-morrow, who will soon put an end to
these riots!’

“We were ere long joined by the Prince de Conde, the Duc de Bourbon, and
others, who implored the King not to part with the army, but to place
himself, with all the Princes of the blood, at its head, as the only
means to restore tranquillity to the country, and secure his own safety.

“The Queen was decidedly of the same opinion; and added, that, if the
army were to depart, the King and his family ought to go with it; but the
King, on the contrary, said he would not decide upon any measures
whatever till he had heard the opinion of the Council.

“The Queen, notwithstanding the King’s indecision, was occupied, during
the rest of the day and the whole of the night, in preparing for her
intended; journey, as she hoped to persuade the King to follow the advice
of the Princes, and not wait the result of the next day’s deliberation.
Nay, so desirous was she of this, that she threw herself on her knees to
the King, imploring him to leave Versailles and head the army, and
offering to accompany him herself, on horseback, in uniform; but it was
like speaking to a corpse  he never answered.

“The Duchesse de Polignac came to Her Majesty in a state of the greatest
agitation, in consequence of M. de Chinon having just apprised her that a
most malicious report had been secretly spread among the deputies at
Versailles that they were all to be blown up at their next meeting.

“The Queen was as much surprised as the Duchess, and scarcely less
agitated.  These wretched friends could only, in silence, compare notes
of their mutual cruel misfortunes.  Both for a time remained speechless
at this new calamity.  Surely this was not wanting to be added to those
by which the Queen was already so bitterly oppressed.

“I was sent for by Her Majesty.  Count Fersen accompanied me.  He had
just communicated to me what the Duchess had already repeated from M.
Chinon to the Queen.

“The rumour had been set afloat merely as a new pretext for the
continuation of the riots.

“The communication of the report, so likely to produce a disastrous
effect, took place while the King was with his Ministers deliberating
whether he should go to Paris, or save himself and family by joining the

“His Majesty was called from the council to the Queen’s apartment, and
was there made acquainted with the circumstance which had so awakened the
terror of the royal party.  He calmly replied, ‘It is some days since
this invention has been spread among the deputies; I was aware of it from
the first; but from its being utterly impossible to be listened to for a
moment by any one, I did not wish to afflict you by the mention of an
impotent fabrication, which I myself treated with the contempt it justly
merited.  Nevertheless, I did not forget, yesterday, in the presence of
both my brothers, who accompanied me to the National Assembly, there to
exculpate myself from an imputation at which my nature revolts; and, from
the manner in which it was received, I flatter myself that every honest
Frenchman was fully satisfied that my religion will ever be an
insurmountable barrier against my harbouring sentiments allied in the
slightest degree to such actions.

“The King embraced the Queen, begged she would tranquilise herself,
calmed the fears of the two ladies, thanked the gentlemen for the
interest they took in his favour, and returned to the council, who, in
his absence, had determined on his going to the Hotel de Ville at Paris,
suggesting at the same time the names of several persons likely to be
well received, if His Majesty thought proper to allow their accompanying

“During this interval, the Queen, still flattering herself that she
should pursue her wished-for journey, ordered the carriages to be
prepared and sent off to Rambouillet, where she said she should sleep;
but this Her Majesty only stated for the purpose of distracting the
attention of her pages and others about her from her real purpose.  As it
was well known that M. de St. Priest had pointed out Rambouillet as a fit
asylum for the mob, she fancied that an understanding on the part of her
suite that they were to halt there, and prepare for her reception, would
protect her project of proceeding much farther.

“When the council had broken up and the King returned, he said to the
Queen, ‘It is decided.’

“‘To go, I hope?’ said Her Majesty.

“‘No’--(though in appearance calm, the words remained on the lips of the
King, and he stood for some moments incapable of utterance; but,
recovering, added)--‘To Paris!’

“The Queen, at the word Paris, became frantic.  She flung herself wildly
into the arms of her friends.

“‘Nous sommes perdus! nous sommes perdus!’ cried she, in a passion of
tears.  But her dread was not for herself.  She felt only for the danger
to which the King was now going to expose himself; and she flew to him,
and hung on his neck.

“‘And what,’ exclaimed she, ‘is to become of all our faithful friends and

“‘I advise them all,’ answered His Majesty, ‘to make the best of their
way out of France; and that as soon as possible.’

“By this time, the apartments of the Queen were filled with the
attendants and the royal children, anxiously expecting every moment to
receive the Queen’s command to proceed on their journey, but they were
all ordered to retire to whence they came.

“The scene was that of a real tragedy.  Nothing broke the silence but
groans of the deepest affliction.  Our consternation at the counter order
cast all into a state of stupefied insensibility.

“The Queen was the only one whose fortitude bore her up proudly under
this weight of misfortunes.  Recovering from the frenzy of the first
impression, she adjured her friends, by the love and obedience they had
ever shown her and the King, to prepare immediately to fulfil his mandate
and make themselves ready for the cruel separation!

“The Duchesse de Polignac and myself were, for some hours, in a state of
agony and delirium.

“When the Queen saw the body-guards drawn up to accompany the King’s
departure, she ran to the window, threw apart the sash, and was going to
speak to them, to recommend the King to their care; but the Count Fersen
prevented it.

“‘For God’s sake, Madame,’--exclaimed he, ‘do not commit yourself to the
suspicion of having any doubts of the people!’

“When the King entered to take leave of her, and of all his most faithful
attendants, he could only articulate, ‘Adieu!’ But when the Queen saw him
accompanied by the Comte d’Estaing and others, whom, from their new
principles, she knew to be popular favourites, she had command enough of
herself not to shed a tear in their presence.

“No sooner, however, had the King left the room than it was as much as
the Count Fersen, Princesse Elizabeth, and all of us could do to recover
her from the most violent convulsions.  At last, coming to herself, she
retired with the Princess, the Duchess, and myself to await the King’s
return; at the same time requesting the Count Fersen to follow His
Majesty to the Hotel de Ville.  Again and again she implored the Count,
as she went, in case the King should be detained, to interest himself
with all the foreign Ministers to interpose for his liberation.

“Versailles, when the King was gone, seemed like a city deserted in
consequence of the plague.  The palace was completely abandoned.  All the
attendants were dispersed.  No one was seen in the streets.  Terror
prevailed.  It was universally believed that the King would be detained
in Paris.  The high road from Versailles to Paris was crowded with all
ranks of people, as if to catch a last look of their Sovereign.

“The Count Fersen set off instantly, pursuant to the Queen’s desire.  He
saw all that passed, and on his return related to me the history of that
horrid day.

“He arrived at Paris just in time to see His Majesty take the national
cockade from M. Bailly and place it in his hat.  He, felt the Hotel de
Ville shake with the long-continued cries of ‘Vive le roi!’ in
consequence, which so affected the King that, for some moments, he was
unable to express himself.  ‘I myself,’ added the Count, ‘was so moved at
the effect on His Majesty, in being thus warmly received by his Parisian
subjects, which portrayed the paternal emotions of his long-lacerated
heart, that every other feeling was paralysed for a moment, in exultation
at the apparent unanimity between the Sovereign and his people.  But it
did not,’ continued the Ambassador, ‘paralyse the artful tongue of
Bailly, the Mayor of Paris.  I could have kicked the fellow for his
malignant impudence; for, even in the cunning compliment he framed, he
studied to humble the afflicted Monarch by telling the people it was to
them he owed the sovereign authority.

“‘But,’ pursued the Count, ‘considering the situation of Louis XVI. and
that of his family, agonised as they must have been during his absence,
from the Queen’s impression that the Parisians would never again allow
him to see Versailles, how great was our rapture when we saw him safely
replaced in his carriage, and returning to those who were still lamenting
him as lost!

“‘When I left Her Majesty in the morning, she was nearly in a state of
mental aberration.  When I saw her again in the evening, the King by her
side, surrounded by her family, the Princesse Eizabeth, and yourself,
madame’ said the kind Count, ‘she appeared to me like a person risen from
the dead and restored to life.  Her excess of joy at the first moment was
beyond description!’

“Count Fersen might well say the first moment, for the pleasure of the
Queen was of short duration.  Her heart was doomed to bleed afresh, when
the thrill of delight, at what she considered the escape of her husband,
was past, for she had already seen her chosen friend, the Duchesse de
Polignac, for the last time.

“Her Majesty was but just recovered from the effects of the morning’s
agitation, when the Duchess, the Duke, his sister, and all his family set
off.  It was impossible for her to take leave of her friend.  The hour
was late--about midnight.  At the same time departed the Comte d’Artois
and his family, the Prince de Conde and his, the Prince of Hesse
d’Armstadt, and all those who were likely to be suspected by the people.

“Her Majesty desired the Count Fersen to see the Duchess in her name.
When the King heard the request, he exclaimed:

“‘What a cruel state for Sovereigns, my dear Count!  To be compelled to
separate ourselves from our most faithful attendants, and not be allowed,
for fear of compromising others or our own lives, to take a last

“‘Ah!’ said the Queen, ‘I fear so too.  I fear it is a last farewell to
all our friends!’

“The Count saw the Duchess a few moments before she left Versailles.
Pisani, the Venetian Ambassador, and Count Fersen, helped her on the
coachbox, where she rode disguised.

“What must have been most poignantly mortifying to the fallen favourite
was, that, in the course of her journey, she met with her greatest enemy,
(Necker) who was returning, triumphant, to Paris, called by the voice of
that very nation by whom she and her family were now forced from its
territory,--Necker, who himself conceived that she, who now went by him
into exile, while he himself returned to the greatest of victories, had
thwarted all his former plans of operation, and, from her influence over
the Queen, had caused his dismission and temporary banishment.

“For my own part, I cannot but consider this sudden desertion of France
by those nearest the throne as ill-judged.  Had all the Royal Family,
remained, is it likely that the King and Queen would have been watched
with such despotic vigilance?  Would not confidence have created
confidence, and the breach have been less wide between the King and his

“When the father and his family will now be thoroughly reconciled, Heaven
alone can tell!”


“Barnave often lamented his having been betrayed, by a love of notoriety,
into many schemes, of which his impetuosity blinded him to the
consequences.  With tears in his eyes, he implored me to impress the
Queen’s mind with the sad truths he inculcated.  He said his motives had
been uniformly the same, however he might have erred in carrying them
into action; but now he relied on my friendship for my royal mistress to
give efficacy to his earnest desire to atone for those faults, of which
he had become convinced by dear-bought experience.  He gave me a list of
names for Her Majesty, in which were specified all the Jacobins who had
emissaries throughout France, for the purpose of creating on the same
day, and at the same hour, an alarm of something like the ‘Vesparo
Siciliano’ (a general insurrection to murder all the nobility and burn
their palaces, which, in fact, took place in many parts of France), the
object of which was to give the Assembly, by whom all the regular troops
were disbanded, a pretext for arming the people as a national guard, thus
creating a perpetual national faction.

“The hordes of every faubourg now paraded in this new democratic livery.
Even some of them, who were in the actual service of the Court, made no
scruple of decorating themselves thus, in the very face of their
Sovereign.  The King complained, but the answer made to him was that the
nation commanded.

“The very first time Their Majesties went to the royal chapel, after the
embodying of the troops with the national guards, all the persons
belonging to it were accoutred in the national uniform.  The Queen was
highly incensed, and deeply affected at this insult offered to the King’s
authority by the persons employed in the sacred occupations of the
Church.  ‘Such persons,’ said Her Majesty, ‘would, I had hoped, have been
the last to interfere with politics.’  She was about to order all those
who preferred their uniforms to their employments to be discharged from
the King’s service; but my advice, coupled with that of Barnave,
dissuaded her from executing so dangerous a threat.  On being assured
that those, perhaps, who might be selected to replace the offenders might
refuse the service, if not allowed the same ridiculous prerogatives, and
thus expose Their Royal Majesties to double mortification, the Queen
seemed satisfied, and no more was said upon the subject, except to an
Italian soprano, to whom the King signified his displeasure at his
singing a ‘salva regina’ in the dress of a grenadier of the new faction.

“The singer took the hint and never again intruded his uniform into the

“Necker, notwithstanding the enthusiasm his return produced upon the
people, felt mortified in having lost the confidence of the King.  He
came to me, exclaiming that, unless Their Majesties distinguished him by
some mark of their royal favour, his influence must be lost with the
National Assembly.  He perceived, he said, that the councils of the King
were more governed by the advice of the Queen’s favourite, the Abbe
Vermond, than by his (Necker’s).  He begged I would assure Her Majesty
that Vermond was quite as obnoxious to the people as the Duchesse de
Polignac had ever been; for it was generally known that Her Majesty was
completely guided by him, and, therefore, for her own safety and the
tranquillity of national affairs, he humbly suggested the prudence of
sending him from the Court, at least for a time.

“I was petrified at hearing a Minister dare presume thus to dictate the
line of conduct which the Queen of France, his Sovereign, should pursue
with respect to her most private servants.  Such was my indignation at
this cruel wish to dismiss every object of her choice, especially one
from whom, owing to long habits of intimacy since her childhood, a
separation would be rendered, by her present situation, peculiarly cruel,
that nothing but the circumstances in which the Court then stood could
have given me patience to listen to him.

“I made no answer.  Upon my silence, Necker subjoined, ‘You must
perceive, Princess, that I am actuated for the general good of the

“‘And I hope, monsieur, for the prerogatives of the monarchy also,’
replied I.

“‘Certainly,’ said Necker.  ‘But if Their Majesties continue to be guided
by others, and will not follow my advice, I cannot answer for the

“I assured the Minister that I would be the faithful bearer of his
commission, however unpleasant.

“Knowing the character of the Queen, in not much relishing being dictated
to with respect to her conduct in relation to the persons of her
household, especially the Abbe Vermond, and aware, at the same time, of
her dislike to Necker, who thus undertook to be her director, I felt
rather awkward in being the medium of the Minister’s suggestions.  But
what was my surprise, on finding her prepared, and totally indifferent as
to the privation.

“‘I foresaw,’ replied Her Majesty, ‘that Vermond would become odious to
the present order of things, merely because he had been a faithful
servant, and long attached to my interest; but you may tell M. Necker
that the Abbe leaves Versailles this very night, by my express order, for

“If the proposal of Necker astonished me, the Queen’s reception of it
astonished me still more.  What a lesson is this for royal favourites!
The man who had been her tutor, and who, almost from her childhood, never
left her, the constant confidant for fifteen or sixteen years, was now
sent off without a seeming regret.

“I doubt not, however, that the Queen had some very powerful secret
motive for the sudden change in her conduct towards the Abbe, for she was
ever just in all her concerns, even to her avowed enemies; but I was
happy that she seemed to express no particular regret at the Minister’s
suggested policy.  I presume, from the result, that I myself had
overrated the influence of the Abbe over the mind of his royal pupil;
that he had by no means the sway imputed to him; and that Marie
Antoinette merely considered him as the necessary instrument of her
private correspondence, which he had wholly managed.

[The truth is, Her Majesty had already taken leave of the Abbe, in the
presence of the King, unknown to the Princess; or, more properly, the
Abbe had taken an affectionate leave of them.]

“But a circumstance presently occurred which aroused Her Majesty from
this calmness and indifference.  The King came in to inform her that La
Fayette, during the night, had caused the guards to desert from the
palace of Versailles.

“The effect on her of this intelligence was like the lightning which
precedes a loud clap of thunder.

“Everything that followed was perfectly in character, and shook every
nerve of the royal authority.

“‘Thus,’ exclaimed Marie Antoinette, ‘thus, Sire, have you humiliated
yourself, in condescending to go to Paris, without having accomplished
the object.  You have not regained the confidence of your subjects.  Oh,
how bitterly do I deplore the loss of that confidence!  It exists no
longer.  Alas!  when will it be restored!’

“The French guards, indeed, had been in open insurrection through the
months of June and July, and all that could be done was to preserve one
single company of grenadiers, by means of their commander, the Baron de
Leval, faithful to their colours.  This company had now been influenced
by General La Fayette to desert and join their companions, who had
enrolled themselves in the Paris national guard.

“Messieurs de Bouille and de Luxembourg being interrogated by the Queen
respecting the spirit of the troops under their immediate command, M. de
Bouille answered, Madame, I should be very sorry to be compelled to
undertake any internal operation with men who have been seduced from
their allegiance, and are daily paid by a faction which aims at the
overthrow of its legitimate Sovereign.  I would not answer for a man that
has been in the neighbourhood of the seditious national troops, or that
has read the inflammatory discussions of the National Assembly.  If Your
Majesty and the King wish well to the nation--I am sorry to say it--its
happiness depends on your quitting immediately the scenes of riot and
placing yourselves in a situation to treat with the National Assembly on
equal terms, whereby the King may be unbiassed and unfettered by a
compulsive, overbearing mob; and this can only be achieved by your flying
to a place of safety.  That you may find such a place, I will answer with
my life!’

“‘Yes,’ said M. de Luxembourg, ‘I think we may both safely answer that,
in such a case, you will find a few Frenchmen ready to risk a little to
save all!’  And both concurred that there was no hope of salvation for
the King or country but through the resolution they advised.

“‘This,’ said the Queen, ‘will be a very difficult task.  His Majesty, I
fear, will never consent to leave France.’

“‘Then, Madame,’ replied they, ‘we can only regret that we have nothing
to offer but our own perseverance in the love and service of our King and
his oppressed family, to whom we deplore we can now be useful only with
our feeble wishes.’

“‘Well, gentlemen,’ answered Her Majesty, ‘you must not despair of better
prospects.  I will take an early opportunity of communicating your loyal
sentiments to the King, and will hear his opinion on the subject before I
give you a definite answer.  I thank you, in the name of His Majesty, as
well as on my own account, for your good intentions towards us.’

“Scarcely had these gentlemen left the palace, when a report prevailed
that the King, his family, and Ministers, were about to withdraw to some
fortified situation.  It was also industriously rumoured that, as soon as
they were in safety, the National Assembly would be forcibly dismissed,
as the Parliament had been by Louis XIV.  The reports gained universal
belief when it became known that the King had ordered the Flanders
regiment to Versailles.

“The National Assembly now daily watched the royal power more and more
assiduously.  New sacrifices of the prerogatives of the nobles were
incessantly proposed by them to the King.

“When His Majesty told the Queen that he had been advised by Necker to
sanction the abolition of the privileged nobility, and that all
distinctions, except the order of the Holy Ghost to himself and the
Dauphin, were also annihilated by the Assembly, even to the order of
Maria Theresa, which she could no longer wear, ‘These, Sire,’ answered
she, in extreme anguish, ‘are trifles, so far as they regard myself. I do
not think I have twice worn the order of Maria Theresa since my arrival
in this once happy country.  I need it not.  The immortal memory of her
who gave me being is engraven on my heart; that I shall wear forever,
none can wrest it from me.  But what grieves me to the soul is your
having sanctioned these decrees of the National Assembly upon the mere
‘ipse dixit’ of M. Necker.’

“‘I have only, given my sanction to such as I thought most necessary to
tranquilise the minds of those who doubted my sincerity; but I have
withheld it from others, which, for the good of my people, require
maturer consideration.  On these, in a full Council, and in your
presence, I shall again deliberate.’

“‘Oh, said the Queen, with tears in her eyes, could but the people hear
you, and know, once for all, how to appreciate the goodness of your
heart, as I do now, they would cast themselves at your feet, and
supplicate your forgiveness for having shown such ingratitude to your
paternal interest for their welfare!’

“But this unfortunate refusal to sanction all the decrees sent by the
National Assembly, though it proceeded from the best motives, produced
the worst effects.  Duport, De Lameth, and Barnave well knew the troubles
such a course must create.  Of this they forewarned His Majesty, before
any measure was laid before him for approval.  They cautioned him not to
trifle with the deputies.  They assured him that half measures would only
rouse suspicion.  They enforced the necessity of uniform assentation, in
order to lull the Mirabeau party, who were canvassing for a majority to
set up D’ORLEANS, to whose interest Mirabeau and his myrmidons were then
devoted.  The scheme of Duport, De Lameth, and Barnave was to thwart and
weaken the Mirabeau and Orleans faction, by gradually persuading them, in
consequence of the King’s compliance with whatever the Assembly exacted,
that they could do no better than to let him into a share of the
executive power; for now nothing was left to His Majesty but
responsibility, while the privileges of grace and justice had become
merely nominal, with the one dangerous exception of the veto, to which he
could never have recourse without imminent peril to his cause and to

“Unfortunately for His Majesty’s interest, he was too scrupulous to act,
even through momentary policy, distinctly against his conscience.  When
he gave way, it was with reluctance, and often with an avowal, more or
less express, that he only complied with necessity against conviction.
His very sincerity made him appear the reverse.  His adherents
consequently dwindled, while the Orleans faction became immeasurably

“In the midst of these perplexities, an Austrian courier was stopped with
despatches from Prince Kaunitz.  These, though unsought for on the part
of Her Majesty, though they contained a friendly advice to her to submit
to the circumstances of the times, and though, luckily, they were couched
in terms favourable to the Constitution, showed the mob that there was a
correspondence with Vienna, carried on by the Queen, and neither Austria
nor the Queen were deemed the friends either of the people or of the
Constitution.  To have received the letters was enough for the faction.

“Affairs were now ripening gradually into something like a crisis, when
the Flanders regiment arrived.  The note of preparation had been sounded.
‘Let us go to Versailles, and bring the King away from his evil
counsellors,’ was already in the mouths of the Parisians.

“In the meantime, Dumourier, who had been leagued with the Orleans
faction, became disgusted with it.  He knew the deep schemes of treason
which were in train against the Royal Family, and, in disguise, sought
the Queen at Versailles, and had an interview with Her Majesty in my
presence.  He assured her that an abominable insurrection was ripe for
explosion among the mobs of the faubourgs; gave her the names of the
leaders, who had received money to promote its organisation; and warned
her that the massacre of the Royal Family was the object of the
manoeuvre, for the purpose of declaring the Duke of Orleans the
constitutional King; that he was to be proclaimed by Mirabeau, who had
already received a considerable sum in advance, for distribution among
the populace, to ensure their support; and that Mirabeau, in return for
his co-operation, was to be created a Duke, with the office of Prime
Minister and Secretary of State, and to have the framing of the
Constitution, which was to be modelled from that of Great Britain.  It
was farther concerted that D’ORLEANS was to show himself in the midst of
the confusion, and the crown to be conferred upon him by public

“On his knees Dumourier implored Her Majesty to regard his voluntary
discovery of this infamous and diabolical plot as a proof of his sincere
repentance.  He declared he came disinterestedly to offer himself as a
sacrifice to save her, the King, and her family from the horrors then
threatening their lives, from the violence of an outrageous mob of
regicides; he called God to witness that he was actuated by no other wish
than to atone for his error, and die in their defence; he looked for no
reward beyond the King’s forgiveness of his having joined the Orleans
faction; he never had any view in joining that faction but that of aiding
the Duke, for the good of his country, in the reform of ministerial
abuses, and strengthening the royal authority by the salutary laws of the
National Assembly; but he no sooner discovered that impure schemes of
personal aggrandisement gave the real impulse to these pretended
reformers than he forsook their unholy course.  He supplicated Her
Majesty to lose no time, but to allow him to save her from the
destruction to which she would inevitably be exposed; that he was ready
to throw himself at the King’s feet, to implore his forgiveness also, and
to assure him of his profound penitence, and his determination to
renounce forever the factious Orleans party.

“As Her Majesty would not see any of those who offered themselves, except
in my presence, I availed myself, in this instance, of the opportunity it
gave me by enforcing the arguments of Dumourier.  But all I could say,
all the earnest representations to be deduced from this critical crisis,
could not prevail with her, even so far as to persuade her to temporise
with Dumourier, as she had done with many others on similar occasions.
She was deaf and inexorable.  She treated all he had said as the effusion
of an overheated imagination, and told him she had no faith in traitors.
Dumourier remained upon his knees while she was replying, as if
stupefied; but at the word traitor he started and roused himself; and
then, in a state almost of madness, seized the Queen’s dress, exclaiming,
‘Allow yourself to be persuaded before it is too late!  Let not your
misguided prejudice against me hurry you to your own and your children’s
destruction; let it not get the better, Madame, of your good sense and
reason; the fatal moment is near; it is at hand!’ Upon this, turning, he
addressed himself to me.

“‘Oh, Princess,’ he cried, ‘be her guardian angel, as you have hitherto
been her only friend, and use your never-failing influence.  I take God
once more to witness, that I am sincere in all I have said; that all I
have disclosed is true.  This will be the last time I shall have it in my
power to be of any essential service to you, Madame, and my Sovereign.
The National Assembly will put it out of my power for the future, without
becoming a traitor to my country.’

“‘Rise, monsieur,’ said the Queen, ‘and serve your country better than
you have served your King!’

“‘Madame, I obey.’

“When he was about to leave the room, I again, with tears, besought Her
Majesty not to let him depart thus, but to give him some hope, that,
after reflection, she might perhaps endeavour to soothe the King’s anger.
But in vain.  He withdrew very much affected. I even ventured, after his
departure, to intercede for his recall.

“‘He has pledged himself,’ said I, ‘to save you, Madame!’

“‘My dear Princess,’ replied the Queen, ‘the goodness of your own heart
will not allow you to have sinister ideas of others.  This man is like
all of the same stamp.  They are all traitors; and will only hurry us the
sooner, if we suffer ourselves to be deceived by them, to an ignominious
death!  I seek no safety for myself.’

“‘But he offered to serve the King also, Madame.’

“‘I am not,’ answered Her Majesty, ‘Henrietta of France.  I will never
stoop to ask a pension of the murderers of my husband; nor will I leave
the King, my son, or my adopted country, or even meanly owe my existence
to wretches who have destroyed the dignity of the Crown and trampled
under foot the most ancient monarchy in Europe!  Under its ruins they
will bury their King and myself.  To owe our safety to them would be more
hateful than any death they can prepare for us.’

“While the Queen was in this state of agitation, a note was presented to
me with a list of the names of the officers of the Flanders regiment,
requesting the honour of an audience of the Queen.

“The very idea of seeing the Flanders officers flushed Her Majesty’s
countenance with an ecstasy of joy.  She said she would retire to compose
herself, and receive them in two hours.

“The Queen saw the officers in her private cabinet, and in my presence.
They were presented to her by me.  They told Her Majesty that, though
they had changed their paymaster, they had not changed their allegiance
to their Sovereign or herself, but were ready to defend both with their
lives.  They placed one hand on the hilt of their swords, and, solemnly
lifting the other up to Heaven, swore that the weapons should never be
wielded but for the defence of the King and Queen, against all foes,
whether foreign or domestic.

“This unexpected loyalty burst on us like the beauteous rainbow, after a
tempest, by the dawn of which we are taught to believe the world is saved
from a second deluge.

“The countenance of Her Majesty brightened over the gloom which had
oppressed her, like the heavenly sun dispersing threatening clouds, and
making the heart of the poor mariner bound with joy.  Her eyes spoke her
secret rapture.  It was evident she felt even unusual dignity in the
presence of these noble-hearted warriors, when comparing them with him
whom she had just dismissed.  She graciously condescended to speak to
every one of them, and one and all were enchanted with her affability.

“She said she was no longer the Queen who could compensate loyalty and
valour; but the brave soldier found his reward in the fidelity of his
service, which formed the glory of his immortality.  She assured them she
had ever been attached to the army, and would make it her study to
recommend every individual, meriting attention, to the King.

“Loud bursts of repeated acclamations and shouts of ‘Vive la reine!’
instantly followed her remarks.  She thanked the officers most
graciously; and, fearing to commit herself, by saying more, took her
leave, attended by me; but immediately sent me back, to thank them again
in her name.

“They departed, shouting as they went, ‘Vive la reine! Vive la Princesse!
Vive le roi, le Dauphin, et toute la famille royale!’

“When the National Assembly saw the officers going to and coming from the
King’s palace with such demonstrations of enthusiasm, they took alarm,
and the regicide faction hastened on the crisis for which it had been
longing.  It was by no means unusual for the chiefs of regiments,
destined to form part of the garrison of a royal residence, to be
received by the Sovereign on their arrival, and certainly only natural
that they should be so; but in times of excitement trifling events have
powerful effects.

“But if the National Assembly began to tremble for their own safety, and
had already taken secret, measures to secure it, by conspiring to put an
instantaneous end to the King’s power, against which they had so long
been plotting, when the Flanders regiment arrived, it may be readily
conceived what must have been their emotions on the fraternisation of
this regiment with the body-guard, and on the scene to which the dinner,
given to the former troops by the latter, so unpremeditatedly led.

“On the day of this fatal dinner I remarked to the Queen, ‘What a
beautiful sight it must be to behold, in these troublesome times, the
happy union of such a meeting!’

“‘It must indeed!’ replied the King; ‘and the pleasure I feel in knowing
it would be redoubled had I the privilege of entertaining the Flanders
regiment, as the body-guards are doing.’

“‘Heaven forbid!’ cried Her Majesty; ‘Heaven forbid that you should think
of such a thing!  The Assembly would never forgive us!’

“After we had dined, the Queen sent to the Marquise de Tourzel for the
Dauphin.  When he came, the Queen told him about her having seen the
brave officers on their arrival; and how gaily those good officers had
left the palace, declaring they would die rather than suffer any harm to
come to him, or his papa and mamma; and that at that very time they were
all dining at the theatre.

“‘Dining in the theatre, mamma?’ said the young, Prince.  ‘I never heard
of people dining in a theatre!’

“‘No, my dear child,’ replied Her Majesty, ‘it is not generally allowed;
but they are doing so, because the body-guards are giving a dinner to
this good Flanders regiment; and the Flanders regiment are so brave that
the guards chose the finest place they could think of to entertain them
in, to show how much they like them; that is the reason why they are
dining in the gay, painted theatre.’

“‘Oh, mamma!’ exclaimed the Dauphin, whom the Queen adored, ‘Oh, papa!’
cried he, looking at the King, ‘how I should like to see them!’

“‘Let us go and satisfy the child!’ said the King, instantly starting up
from his seat.

“The Queen took the Dauphin by the hand, and they proceeded to the
theatre.  It was all done in a moment.  There was no premeditation on the
part of the King or Queen; no invitation on the part of the officers. Had
I been asked, I should certainly have followed the Queen; but just as the
King rose, I left the room.  The Prince being eager to see the festival,
they set off immediately, and when I returned to the apartment they were
gone.  Not being very well, I remained where I was; but most of the
household had already followed Their Majesties.

“On the Royal Family making their appearance, they were received with the
most unequivocal shouts of general enthusiasm by the troops.  Intoxicated
with the pleasure of seeing Their Majesties among them, and overheated
with the juice of the grape, they gave themselves up to every excess of
joy, which the circumstances and the situation of Their Majesties were so
well calculated to inspire.  ‘Oh! Richard! oh, mon roi!’ was sung, as
well as many other loyal songs.  The healths of the King, Queen, and
Dauphin were drunk, till the regiments were really inebriated with the
mingled influence of wine and shouting vivas!

“When the royal party retired, they were followed by all the military to
the very palace doors, where they sung, danced, embraced each other, and
gave way to all the frantic demonstrations of devotedness to the royal
cause which the excitement of the scene and the table could produce.
Throngs, of course, collected to get near the Royal Family.  Many persons
in the rush were trampled on, and one or two men, it was said, crushed to
death.  The Dauphin and King were delighted; but the Queen, in giving the
Princesse Elizabeth and myself an account of the festival, foresaw the
fatal result which would ensue; and deeply deplored the marked enthusiasm
with which they had been greeted and followed by the military.

“There was one more military spectacle, a public breakfast which took
place on the second of October.  Though none of the Royal Family appeared
at it, it was no less injurious to their interests than the former.  The
enemies of the Crown spread reports all over Paris, that the King and
Queen had manoeuvred to pervert the minds of the troops so far as to make
them declare against the measures of the National Assembly.  It is not
likely that the Assembly, or politics, were even spoken of at the
breakfast; but the report did as much mischief as the reality would have
done.  This was quite sufficient to encourage the D’ORLEANS and Mirabeau
faction in the Assembly to the immediate execution of their
long-meditated scheme, of overthrowing the monarchy.

“On the very day following, Duport, De Lameth, and Barnave sent their
confidential agent to apprise the Queen that certain deputies had already
fully matured a plot to remove the King, nay, to confine Her Majesty from
him in a distant part of France, that her influence over his mind might
no farther thwart their premeditated establishment of a Constitution.

“But others of this body, and the more powerful and subtle portion, had a
deeper object, so depraved, that, even when forewarned, the Queen could
not deem it possible; but of which she was soon convinced by their
infernal acts.

“The riotous faction, for the purpose of accelerating this denouement,
had contrived, by buying up all the corn and sending it out of the
country, to reduce the populace to famine, and then to make it appear
that the King and Queen had been the monopolisers, and the extravagance
of Marie Antoinette and her largesses to Austria and her favourites, the
cause.  The plot was so deeply laid that the wretches who, undertook to
effect the diabolical scheme were metamorphosed in the Queen’s livery, so
that all the odium might fall on her unfortunate Majesty.  At the head of
the commission of monopolisers was Luckner, who had taken a violent
dislike to the Queen, in consequence of his having been refused some
preferment, which he attributed to her influence.  Mirabeau, who was
still in the background, and longing to take a more prominent part,
helped it on as much as possible.  Pinet, who had been a confidential
agent of the Duc d’Orleans, himself told the Duc de Penthievre that
D’ORLEANS had monopolised all the corn.  This communication, and the
activity of the Count Fersen, saved France, and Paris in particular, from
perishing for the want of bread.  Even at the moment of the abominable
masquerade, in which Her Majesty’s agents were made to appear the enemies
who were starving the French people, out of revenge for the checks
imposed by them on the royal authority, it was well known to all the
Court that both Her Majesty and the King were grieved to the soul at
their piteous want, and distributed immense sums for the relief of the
poor sufferers, as did the Duc de Penthievre, the Duchesse d’Orleans, the
Prince de Conde, the Duc and Duchesse de Bourbon, and others; but these
acts were done privately, while he who had created the necessity took to
himself the exclusive credit of the relief, and employed thousands daily
to propagate reports of his generosity.  Mirabeau, then the factotum
agent of the operations of the Palais Royal and its demagogues, greatly
added to the support of this impression.  Indeed, till undeceived
afterwards, he believed it to be really the Duc d’Orleans who had
succoured the people.

“I dispensed two hundred and twenty thousand livres merely to discover
the names of the agents who had been employed to carry on this nefarious
plot to exasperate the people against the throne by starvation imputed to
the Sovereign.  Though money achieved the discovery in time to clear the
characters of my royal mistress and the King, the detection only followed
the mischief of the crime.  But even the rage thus wickedly excited was
not enough to carry through the plot.  In the faubourgs of Paris, where
the women became furies, two hundred thousand livres were distributed ere
the horror could be completely exposed.

“But it is time for me to enter upon the scenes to which all the
intrigues I have detailed were intended to lead--the removal of the Royal
Family from Versailles.

“My heart sickens when I retrace these moments of anguish.  The point to
which they are to conduct us yet remains one of the mysteries of fate.”


“Her Majesty had been so thoroughly lulled into security by the
enthusiasm of the regiments at Versailles that she treated all the
reports from Paris with contempt.  Nothing was apprehended from that
quarter, and no preparations were consequently made for resistance or
protection.  She was at Little Trianon when the news of the approach of
the desolating torrent arrived.  The King was hunting.  I presented to
her the commandant of the troops at Versailles, who assured Her Majesty
that a murderous faction, too powerful, perhaps, for resistance, was
marching principally against her royal person, with La Fayette at their
head, and implored her to put herself and valuables in immediate safety;
particularly all her correspondence with the Princes, emigrants, and
foreign Courts, if she had no means of destroying them.

“Though the Queen was somewhat awakened to the truth by this earnest
appeal, yet she still considered the extent of the danger as exaggerated,
and looked upon the representation as partaking, in a considerable
degree, of the nature of all reports in times of popular commotion.

“Presently, however, a more startling omen appeared, in a much milder but
ambiguous communication from General La Fayette.  He stated that he was
on his march from Paris with the national guard, and part of the people,
coming to make remonstrances; but he begged Her Majesty to rest assured
that no disorder would take place, and that he himself would vouch that
there should be none.

“The King was instantly sent for to the heights of Meudon, while the
Queen set off from Little Trianon, with me, for Versailles.

“The first movements were commenced by a few women, or men in women’s
clothes, at the palace gates of Versailles.  The guards refused them
entrance, from an order they had received to that effect from La Fayette.
The consternation produced by their resentment was a mere prelude to the
horrid tragedy that succeeded.

“The information now pouring in from different quarters increased Her
Majesty’s alarm every moment.  The order of La Fayette, not to let the
women be admitted, convinced her that there was something in agitation,
which his unexplained letter made her sensible was more to be feared than
if he had signified the real situation and danger to which she was

“A messenger was forthwith despatched for M. La Fayette, and another, by
order of the Queen, for M. de St. Priest, to prepare a retreat for the
Royal Family, as the Parisian mob’s advance could no longer be doubted.
Everything necessary was accordingly got ready.

“La Fayette now arrived at Versailles in obedience to the message, and,
in the presence of all the Court and Ministers, assured the King that he
could answer for the Paris army, at the head of which he intended to
march, to prevent disorders; and advised the admission of the women into
the palace, who, he said, had nothing to propose but a simple memorial
relative to the scarcity of bread.

“The Queen said to him, ‘Remember, monsieur, you have pledged your honour
for the King’s safety.’

“‘And I hope, Madame, to be able to redeem it.’

“He then left Versailles to return to his post with the army.

“A limited number of the women were at length admitted; and so completely
did they seem satisfied with the reception they met with from the King,
as, in all appearance, to have quieted their riotous companions.  The
language of menace and remonstrance had changed into shouts of ‘Vive le
roi!’  The apprehensions of Their Majesties were subdued; and the whole
system of operation, which had been previously adopted for the Royal
Family’s quitting Versailles, was, in consequence, unfortunately changed.

“But the troops, that had been hitherto under arms for the preservation
of order, in going back to their hotel, were assailed and fired at by the

“The return of the body-guards, thus insulted in going to and coming from
the palace, caused the Queen and the Court to resume the resolution of
instantly retiring from Versailles; but it was now too late.  They were
stopped by the municipality and the mob of the city, who were animated to
excess against the Queen by one of the bass singers of the French
opera.--[La Haise]

“Every hope of tranquillity was now shaken by the hideous howlings which
arose from all quarters.  Intended flight had become impracticable.
Atrocious expressions were levelled against the Queen, too shocking for
repetition.  I shudder when I reflect to what a degree of outrage the
‘poissardes’ of Paris were excited, to express their abominable designs
on the life of that most adored of Sovereigns.

“Early in the evening Her Majesty came to my apartment, in company with
one of her female attendants.  She was greatly agitated.  She brought all
her jewels and a considerable quantity of papers, which she had begun to
collect together immediately on her arrival from Trianon, as the
commandant had recommended.

[Neither Her Majesty nor the Princess ever returned to Versailles after
the sixth of that fatal October!  Part of the papers, brought by the
Queen to the apartment of the Princess, were tacked by me on two of my
petticoats; the under one three fold, one on the other, and outside; and
the upper one, three or four fold double on the inside; and thus I left
the room with this paper undergarment, which put me to no inconvenience.
Returning to the Princess, I was ordered to go to Lisle, there take the
papers from their hiding-place, and deliver them, with others, to the
same person who received the box, of which mention will be found in
another part of this work.  I was not to take any letters, and was to
come back immediately.

As I was leaving the apartment Her Majesty said something to Her Highness
which I did not hear.  The Princess turned round very quickly, and
kissing me on the forehead, said in Italian, “My dear little
Englishwoman, for Heaven’s sake be careful of yourself, for I should
never forgive myself if any misfortune were to befall you.” “Nor I,” said
Her Majesty.]

“Notwithstanding the fatigue and agitation which the Queen must have
suffered during the day, and the continued threats, horrible howlings,
and discharge of firearms during the night, she had courage enough to
visit the bedchambers of her children and then to retire to rest in her

“But her rest was soon fearfully interrupted.  Horrid cries at her
chamber door of ‘Save the Queen!  Save the Queen!  or she will be
assassinated!’ aroused her.  The faithful guardian who gave the alarm was
never heard more.  He was murdered in her defence!  Her Majesty herself
only escaped the poignards of immediate death by flying to the King’s
apartment, almost in the same state as she lay in bed, not having had
time to screen herself with any covering but what was casually thrown
over her by the women who assisted her in her flight; while one well
acquainted with the palace is said to have been seen busily engaged in
encouraging the regicides who thus sought her for midnight murder.  The
faithful guards who defended the entrance to the room of the intended
victim of these desperadoes took shelter in the room itself upon her
leaving it, and were alike threatened with instant death by the grenadier
assassins for having defeated them in their fiend-like purpose; they
were, however, saved by the generous interposition and courage of two
gentlemen, who, offering themselves as victims in their place, thus
brought about a temporary accommodation between the regular troops and
the national guard.

“All this time General La Fayette never once appeared.  It is presumed
that he himself had been deceived as to the horrid designs of the mob,
and did not choose to show himself, finding it impossible to check the
impetuosity of the horde he had himself brought to action, in concurring
to countenance their first movements from Paris.  Posterity will decide
how far he was justified in pledging himself for the safety of the Royal
Family, while he was heading a riotous mob, whose atrocities were
guaranteed from punishment or check by the sanction of his presence and
the faith reposed in his assurance.  Was he ignorant, or did he only
pretend to be so, of the incalculable mischief inevitable from giving
power and a reliance on impunity to such an unreasoning mass?  By any
military operation, as commander-in-chief, he might have turned the tide.
And why did he not avail himself of that authority with which he had been
invested by the National Assembly, as the delegates of the nation, for
the general safety and guardianship of the people?  for the people, of
whom he was the avowed protector, were themselves in peril: it was only
the humanity (or rather, in such a crisis, the imbecility) of Louis XVI.
that prevented them from being fired on; and they would inevitably have
been sacrificed, and that through the want of policy in their leader, had
not this mistaken mercy of the King prevented his guards from offering
resistance to the murderers of his brave defenders!

“The cry of ‘Queen!  Queen!’ now resounded from the lips of the cannibals
stained with the blood of her faithful guards.  She appeared, shielded by
filial affection, between her two innocent children, the threatened
orphans!  But the sight of so much innocence and heroic courage paralysed
the hands uplifted for their massacre!

“A tiger voice cried out, ‘No children!’  The infants were hurried away
from the maternal side, only to witness the author of their being
offering up herself, eagerly and instantly, to the sacrifice, an ardent
and delighted victim to the hoped-for preservation of those, perhaps,
orphans, dearer to her far than life!  Her resignation and firm step in
facing the savage cry that was thundering against her, disarmed the
ferocious beasts that were hungering and roaring for their prey!

“Mirabeau, whose immense head and gross figure could not be mistaken, is
said to have been the first among the mob to have sonorously chanted, ‘To
Paris!’  His myrmidons echoed and re-echoed the cry upon the signal. He
then hastened to the Assembly to contravene any measures the King might
ask in opposition.  The riots increasing, the Queen said to His Majesty:

“‘Oh, Sire!  why am I not animated with the courage of Maria Theresa? Let
me go with my children to the National Assembly, as she did to the
Hungarian Senate, with my Imperial brother, Joseph, in her arms and
Leopold in her womb, when Charles the Seventh of Bavaria had deprived her
of all her German dominions, and she had already written to the Duchesse
de Lorraine to prepare her an asylum, not knowing where she should be
delivered of the precious charge she was then bearing; but I, like the
mother of the Gracchi, like Cornelia, more esteemed for my birth than for
my marriage, am the wife of the King of France, and I see we shall be
murdered in our beds for the want of our own exertions!’

“The King remained as if paralysed and stupefied, and made no answer. The
Princesse Elizabeth then threw herself at the Queen’s feet, imploring her
to consent to go to Paris.

“‘To Paris!’ exclaimed Her Majesty.

“‘Yes, Madame,’ said the King.  ‘I will put an end to these horrors; and
tell the people so.’

“On this, without waiting for the Queen’s answer, he opened the balcony,
and told the populace he was ready to depart with his family.

“This sudden change caused a change equally sudden in the rabble mob. All
shouted, ‘Vive le roi!  Vive la nation!’

“Re-entering the room from the window, the King said, ‘It is done.  This
affair will soon be terminated.’

“‘And with it,’ said the Queen, ‘the monarchy!’

“‘Better that, Madame, than running the risk, as I did some hours since,
of seeing you and my children sacrificed!’

“‘That, Sire, will be the consequence of our not having left Versailles.
Whatever you determine, it is my duty to obey.  As to myself, I am
resigned to my fate.’  On this she burst into a flood of tears.  ‘I only
feel for your humiliated state, and for the safety of our children.’

“The Royal Family departed without having consulted any of the Ministers,
military or civil, or the National Assembly, by whom they were followed.

“Scarcely had they arrived at Paris when the Queen recollected that she
had taken with her no change of dress, either for herself or her
children, and they were obliged to ask permission of the National
Assembly to allow them to send for their different wardrobes.

“What a situation for an absolute King and Queen, which, but a few hours
previous, they had been!

“I now took up my residence with Their Majesties at the Tuileries,--that
odious Tuileries, which I can not name but with horror, where the
malignant spirit of rebellion has, perhaps, dragged us to an untimely

“Monsieur and Madame had another residence.  Bailly, the Mayor of Paris,
and La Fayette became the royal jailers.

“The Princesse Elizabeth and myself could not but deeply deplore, when we
saw the predictions of Dumourier so dreadfully confirmed by the result,
that Her Majesty should have so slighted his timely information, and
scorned his penitence.  But delicacy bade us lament in silence; and,
while we grieved over her present sufferings, we could not but mourn the
loss of a barrier against future aggression, in the rejection of this
general’s proffered services.

“It will be remembered, that Dumourier in his disclosure declared that
the object of this commotion was to place the Duc d’Orleans upon the
throne, and that Mirabeau, who was a prime mover, was to share in the
profits of the usurpation.

[But the heart of the traitor Duke failed him at the important crisis.
Though he was said to have been recognised through a vulgar disguise,
stimulating the assassins to the attempted murder of Her Majesty, yet,
when the moment to show himself had arrived, he was nowhere to be found.
The most propitious moment for the execution of the foul crime was lost,
and with it the confidence of his party. Mirabeau was disgusted.  So far
from wishing longer to offer him the crown, he struck it forever from his
head, and turned against him. He openly protested he would no longer set
up traitors who were cowards.]

“Soon after this event, Her Majesty, in tears, came to tell me that the
King, having had positive proof of the agency of the Duc d’Orleans in the
riots of Versailles, had commenced some proceedings, which had given the
Duke the alarm, and exiled him to Villers-Cotterets.  The Queen added
that the King’s only object had been to assure the general tranquillity,
and especially her own security, against whose life the conspiracy seemed
most distinctly levelled.

“‘Oh, Princess!’ continued Her Majesty, in a flood of tears, ‘the King’s
love for me, and his wish to restore order to his people, have been our
ruin!  He should have struck off the head of D’ORLEANS, or overlooked his
crime!  Why did he not consult me before he took a step so important?  I
have lost a friend also in his wife!  For, however criminal he may be,
she loves him.’

“I assured Her Majesty that I could not think the Duchesse d’Orleans
would be so inconsiderate as to withdraw her affection on that account.

“‘She certainly will,’ replied Marie Antoinette.  ‘She is the
affectionate mother of his children, and cannot but hate those who have
been the cause of his exile.  I know it will be laid to my charge, and
added to the hatred the husband has so long borne me; I shall now become
the object of the wife’s resentment.’

“In the midst of one of the paroxysms of Her Majesty’s agonising
agitation after leaving Versailles, for the past, the present, and the
future state of the Royal Family, when the Princesse Elizabeth and myself
were in vain endeavouring to calm her, a deputation was announced from
the National Assembly and the City of Paris, requesting the honour of the
appearance of the King and herself at the theatre.

“‘Is it possible, my dear Princess,’ cried she, on the announcement,
‘that I can enjoy any public amusement while I am still chilled with
horror at the blood these people have spilled, the blood of the faithful
defenders of our lives?  I can forgive them, but I cannot so easily
forget it.’

“Count Fersen and the Austrian Ambassador now entered, both anxious to
know Her Majesty’s intentions with regard to visiting the theatre, in
order to make a party to ensure her a good reception; but all their
persuasions were unavailing.  She thanked the deputation for their
friendship; but at the same time told them that her mind was still too
much agitated from recent scenes to receive any pleasure but in the
domestic cares of her family, and that, for a time, she must decline
every other amusement.

“At this moment the Spanish and English Ambassadors came to pay their
respects to Her Majesty on the same subject as the others.  As they
entered, Count Fersen observed to the Queen, looking around:

“‘Courage, Madame!  We are as many nations as persons in this
room--English, German, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, and French; and all
equally ready to form a rampart around you against aggression.  All these
nations will, I believe, admit that the French (bowing to the Princesse
Elizabeth) are the most volatile of the six; and Your Majesty may rely on
it that they will love you, now that you are more closely among them,
more tenderly than ever.’

“‘Let me live to be convinced of that, monsieur, and my happiness will be
concentrated in its demonstration.’

“‘Indeed, gentlemen,’ said the Princesse Elizabeth, the Queen has yet had
but little reason to love the French.’

“‘Where is our Ambassador,’ said I, ‘and the Neapolitan?’

“‘I have had the pleasure of seeing them early this morning,’ replied the
Queen; ‘but I told them, also, that indisposition prevented my going into
public.  They will be at our card-party in your apartment this evening,
where I hope to see these gentlemen.  The only parties,’ continued Her
Majesty, addressing herself to the Princesse Elizabeth and the
Ambassadors, ‘the only parties I shall visit in future will be those of
the Princesse de Lamballe, my superintendent; as, in so doing, I shall
have no occasion to go out of the palace, which, from what has happened,
seems to me the only prudent course.’

“‘Come, come, Madame,’ exclaimed the Ambassadors; I do not give way to
gloomy ideas.  All will yet be well.’

“‘I hope so,’ answered Her Majesty; ‘but till that hope is realized, the
wounds I have suffered will make existence a burden to me!’

“The Duchesse de Luynes, like many others, had been a zealous partisan of
the new order of things, and had expressed herself with great
indiscretion in the presence of the Queen.  But the Duchess was brought
to her senses when she saw herself, and all the mad, democratical
nobility, under the overpowering weight of Jacobinism, deprived of every
privileged prerogative and levelled and stripped of hereditary

“She came to me one day, weeping, to beg I would make use of my good
offices in her favour with the Queen, whom she was grieved that she had
so grossly offended by an unguarded speech.

“‘On my knees,’ continued the Duchess, I am I ready to supplicate the
pardon of Her Majesty.  I cannot live without her forgiveness.  One of my
servants has opened my eyes, by telling me that the Revolution can make a
Duchess a beggar, but cannot make a beggar a Duchess.’

“‘Unfortunately,’ said I, ‘if some of these faithful servants had been
listened to, they would still be such, and not now our masters; but I can
assure you, Duchess, that the Queen has long since forgiven you.  See!
Her Majesty comes to tell you so herself.’

“The Duchess fell upon her knees.  The Queen, with her usual goodness of
heart, clasped her in her arms, and, with tears in her eyes, said:

“‘We have all of us need of forgiveness.  Our errors and misfortunes are
general.  Think no more of the past; but let us unite in not sinning for
the future:

“‘Heaven knows how many sins I have to atone for,’ replied the Duchess,
‘from the follies of youth; but now, at an age of discretion and in
adversity, oh, how bitterly do I reproach myself for my past levities!
But,’ continued she, ‘has Your Majesty really forgiven me?’

“‘As I hope to be forgiven!’ exclaimed Marie Antoinette.  ‘No penitent in
the sight of God is more acceptable than the one who makes a voluntary
sacrifice by confessing error.  Forget and forgive is the language of our
Blessed Redeemer.  I have adopted it in regard to my enemies, and surely
my friends have a right to claim it.  Come, Duchess, I will conduct you
to the King and Elizabeth, who will rejoice in the recovery of one of our
lost sheep; for we sorely feel the diminution of the flock that once
surrounded us!’

“At this token of kindness, the Duchess was so much overcome that she
fell at the Queen’s feet motionless, and it was some time before she

“From the moment of Her Majesty’s arrival at Paris from Versailles, she
solely occupied herself with the education of her children,-excepting
when she resorted to my parties, the only ones, as she had at first
determined, which she ever honoured with her attendance.  In order to
discover, as far as possible, the sentiments of certain persons, I gave
almost general invitations, whereby, from her amiable manners and
gracious condescension, she became very popular.  By these means I hoped
to replace Her Majesty in the good estimation of her numerous visitors;
but, notwithstanding every exertion, she could not succeed in dispelling
the gloom with which the Revolution had overcast all her former gaiety.
Though treated with ceremonious respect, she missed the cordiality to
which she had been so long accustomed, and which she so much prized. From
the great emigration of the higher classes of the nobility, the societies
themselves were no longer what they had been.  Madame Necker and Madame
de Stael were pretty regular visitors.  But the most agreeable company
had lost its zest for Marie Antoinette; and she was really become afraid
of large assemblies, and scarcely ever saw a group of persons collected
together without fearing some plot against the King.

“Indeed, it is a peculiarity which has from the first marked, and still
continues to distinguish, the whole conduct and distrust of my royal
mistress, that it never operates to create any fears for herself, but
invariably refers to the safety of His Majesty.

“I had enlarged my circle and made my parties extensive, solely to
relieve the oppressed spirits of the Queen; but the very circumstance
which induced me to make them so general soon rendered them intolerable
to her; for the conversations at last became solely confined to the
topics of the Revolution, a subject frequently the more distressing from
the presence of the sons of the Duc d’Orleans.  Though I loved my
sister-in-law and my nephews, I could not see them without fear, nor
could my royal mistress be at ease with them, or in the midst of such
distressing indications as perpetually intruded upon her, even beneath my
roof, of the spirit which animated the great body of the people for the
propagation of anti-monarchical principles.

“My parties were, consequently, broken up; and the Queen ceased to be
seen in society.  Then commenced the unconquerable power over her of
those forebodings which have clung to her with such pertinacity ever

“I observed that Her Majesty would often indulge in the most melancholy
predictions long before the fatal discussion took place in the Assembly
respecting the King’s abdication.  The daily insolence with which she saw
His Majesty’s authority deprived forever of the power of accomplishing
what he had most at heart for the good of his people gave her more
anguish than the outrages so frequently heaped upon herself; but her
misery was wrought up to a pitch altogether unutterable, whenever she saw
those around her suffer for their attachment to her in her misfortunes.

“The Princesse Elizabeth has been from the beginning an unwavering
comforter.  She still flatters Marie Antoinette that Heaven will spare
her for better times to reward our fidelity and her own agonies.  The
pious consolations of Her Highness have never failed to make the most
serious impression on our wretched situation.  Indeed, each of us strives
to pour the balm of comfort into the wounded hearts of the others, while
not one of us, in reality, dares to flatter herself with what we all so
ardently wish for in regard to our fellow-sufferers.  Delusions, even
sustained by facts, have long since been exhausted.  Our only hope on
this side of the grave is in our all-merciful Redeemer!”


Editors Commentary:

The reader will not, I trust, be dissatisfied at reposing for a moment
from the sad story of the Princesse de Lamballe to hear some ridiculous
circumstances which occurred to me individually; and which, though they
form no part of the history, are sufficiently illustrative of the temper
of the times.

I had been sent to England to put some letters into the postoffice for
the Prince de Conde, and had just returned.  The fashion then in England
was a black dress, Spanish hat, and yellow satin lining, with three
ostrich feathers forming the Prince of Wales’s crest, and bearing his
inscription, ‘Ich dien,’ (“I serve.”)  I also brought with me a white
satin cloak, trimmed with white fur. This crest and motto date as far
back, I believe, as the time of Edward, the Black Prince.

In this dress, I went to the French opera.  Scarcely was I seated in the
bog, when I heard shouts of, “En bas les couleurs de d’empereur!  En

I was very busy talking to a person in the box, and, having been
accustomed to hear and see partial riots in the pit, I paid no attention;
never dreaming that my poor hat and feathers, and cloak, were the cause
of the commotion, till an officer in the national guard very politely
knocked at the door of the box, and told me I must either take them off
or leave the theatre.

There is nothing I more dislike than the being thought particular, or
disposed to attract attention by dress.  The moment, therefore, I found
myself thus unintentionally the object of a whole theatre’s disturbance,
in the first impulse of indignation, I impetuously caught off the cloak
and hat, and flung them into the pit, at the very faces of the rioters.

The theatre instantly rang with applause.  The obnoxious articles were
carefully folded up and taken to the officer of the guard, who, when I
left the box, at the end of the opera, brought them to me and offered to
assist me in putting them on; but I refused them with true cavalier-like
loftiness, and entered my carriage without either hat or cloak.

There were many of the audience collected round the carriage at the time,
who, witnessing my rejection of the insulted colours, again loudly
cheered me; but insisted on the officer’s placing the hat and cloak in
the carriage, which drove off amidst the most violent acclamations.

Another day, as I was going to walk in the Tuileries (which I generally
did after riding on horseback), the guards crossed their bayonets at the
gate and forbade my entering.  I asked them why.  They told me no one was
allowed to walk there without the national ribbon.

Now, I always had one of these national ribbons about me, from the time
they were first worn; but I kept it in the inside of my riding-habit; and
on that day, in particular, my supply was unusually ample, for I had on a
new riding-habit, the petticoat of which was so very long and heavy that
I bought a large quantity to tie round my waist, and fasten up the dress,
to prevent it from falling about my feet.

However, I was determined to plague the guards for their impudence.  My
English beau, who was as pale as death, and knew I had the ribbon, kept
pinching my arm, and whispering, “Show it, show it; zounds, madame, show
it!  We shall be sent to prison! show it! show it!”  But I took care to
keep my interrupters in parley till a sufficient mob was collected, and
then I produced my colours.

The soldiers were consequently most gloriously hissed, and would have
been maltreated by the mob, and sent to the guard-house by their officer,
but for my intercession; on which I was again applauded all through the
gardens as La Brave Anglaise.  But my beau declared he would never go
out with me again: unless I wore the ribbon on the outside of my hat,
which I never did and never would do.

At that time the Queen used to occupy herself much in fancy needle-works.
Knowing, from arrangements, that I was every day in a certain part of the
Tuileries, Her Majesty, when she heard the shout of La Brave Anglaise!
immediately called the Princesse de Lamballe to know if she had sent me
on any message.  Being answered in the negative, one of the pages was
despatched to ascertain the meaning of the cry.  The Royal Family lived
in so continual a state of alarm that it was apprehended I had got into
some scrape; but I had left the Tuileries before the messenger arrived,
and was already with the Princesse de Lamballe, relating the
circumstances.  The Princess told Her Majesty, who graciously observed,
“I am very happy that she got off so well; but caution her to be more
prudent for the future.  A cause, however bad, is rather aided than
weakened by unreasonable displays of contempt for it.  These unnecessary
excitements of the popular jealousy do us no good.”

I was, of course, severely reprimanded by the Princess for my frolic,
though she enjoyed it of all things, and afterwards laughed most

The Princess told me, a few days after these circumstances of the
national ribbon and the Austrian colours had taken place at the theatre,
that some one belonging to the private correspondence at the palace had
been at the French opera on the night the disturbance took place there,
and, without knowing the person to whom it related, had told the whole
story to the King.

The Queen and the Princesses Elizabeth and de Lamballe being present,
laughed very heartily.  The two latter knew it already from myself, the
fountain head, but the Princesse Elizabeth said:

“Poor lady!  what a fright she must have been in, to have had her things
taken away from her at the theatre.”

“No fright at all,” said the King; “for a young woman who could act thus
firmly under such an insolent outrage will always triumph over cowards,
unmanly enough to abuse their advantages by insulting her.  She was not a
Frenchwoman, I’ll answer for it.”

“Oh, no, Sire.  She is an Englishwoman,” said the Princesse de Lamballe.

“I am glad of it,” exclaimed the King; “for when she returns to England
this will be a good personal specimen for the information of some of her
countrymen, who have rejoiced at what they call the regeneration of the
French nation; a nation once considered the most polished in Europe, but
now become the most uncivil, and I wish I may never have occasion to add,
the most barbarous!  An insult offered, wantonly, to either sex, at any
time, is the result of insubordination; but when offered to a woman, it
is a direct violation of civilised hospitality, and an abuse of power
which never before tarnished that government now so much the topic of
abuse by the enemies of order and legitimate authority.  The French
Princes, it is true, have been absolute; still I never governed
despotically, but always by the advice of my counsellors and Cabinet
Ministers.  If they have erred, my conscience is void of reproach.  I
wish the National Assembly may govern for the future with equal prudence,
equity, and justice; but they have given a poor earnest in pulling down
one fabric before they have laid the solid foundation of another.  I am
very happy that their agents, who, though they call themselves the
guardians of public order have hitherto destroyed its course, have, in
the courage of this English lady, met with some resistance to their
insolence, in foolishly occupying themselves with petty matters, while
those of vital import are totally neglected.”

It is almost superfluous to mention that, at the epoch of which I am
speaking in the Revolution, the Royal Family were in so much distrust of
every one about them, and very necessarily and justly so, that none were
ever confided in for affairs, however trifling, without first having
their fidelity repeatedly put to the test.  I was myself under this
probation long before I knew that such had ever been imposed.

With the private correspondence I had already been for some time
entrusted; and it was only previous to employing me on secret missions of
any consequence that I was subject to the severer scrutiny.  Even before
I was sent abroad, great art was necessary to elude the vigilance of
prying eyes in the royal circle; and, in order to render my activity
available to important purposes, my connection with the Court was long
kept secret.  Many stratagems were devised to mislead the Arguses of the
police.  To this end, after the disorders of the Revolution began, I
never entered the palaces but on an understood signal, for which I have
been often obliged to attend many hours in the gardens of Versailles, as
I had subsequently done in that of the Tuileries.

To pass the time unnoticed, I used generally to take a book, and seat
myself, occupied in reading, sometimes in one spot, sometimes in another;
but with my man and maid servant always within call, though never where
they could be seen.

On one of these occasions, a person, though not totally masked yet
sufficiently disguised to prevent my recognising his features, came
behind my seat, and said he wished to speak to me.  I turned round and
asked his business.

“That’s coming to the point!” he answered.  “Walk a little way with me,
and I will tell you.”

Not to excite suspicion, I walked into a more retired part of the garden,
after a secret signal to my man servant, who followed me unperceived by
the stranger.

“I am commissioned,” said my mysterious companion, “to make you a very
handsome present, if you will tell me what you are waiting for.”

I laughed, and was turning from him, saying, “Is this all your business?”

“No,” he replied.

“Then keep it to yourself.  I am not waiting here for any one or
anything; but am merely occupied in reading and killing time to the best

“Are you a poetess?”


“And scarcely a woman; for your answers are very short.”

“Very likely.”

“But I have something of importance to communicate-----”

“That is impossible.”

“But listen to me-----”

“You are mistaken in your person.”

“But surely you will not be so unreasonable as not to hear what I have to

“I am a stranger in this country, and can have nothing of importance with
one I do not know.”

“You have quarrelled with your lover and are in an ill-humour.

“Perhaps so.  Well! come! I believe you have guessed the cause.”

“Ah! it is the fate of us all to get into scrapes!  But you will soon
make it up; and now let me entreat your attention to what I have to

I became impatient, and called my servant.

“Madame,” resumed the stranger, “I am a gentleman, and mean no harm.  But
I assure you, you stand in your own light.  I know more about you than
you think I do.”


“Yes, madame, you are waiting here for an august personage.”

At this last sentence, my lips laughed, while my heart trembled.

“I wish to caution you,” continued he, “how you embark in plans of this

“Monsieur, I repeat, you have taken me for some other person.  I will no
longer listen to one who is either a maniac or an officious intruder.”

Upon this, the stranger bowed and left me; but I could perceive that he
was not displeased with my answers, though I was not a little agitated,
and longed to see Her Highness to relate to her this curious adventure.

In a few hours I did so.  The Princess was perfectly satisfied with my
manner of proceeding, only she thought it singular, she said, that the
stranger should suspect I was there in attendance for some person of
rank; and she repeated, three or four times, “I am heartily glad that you
did not commit yourself by any decided answer.  What sort of a man was

“Very much of the gentleman; above the middle stature; and, from what I
could see of his countenance, rather handsome than otherwise.”

“Was he a Frenchman?”

“No. I think he spoke good French and English, with an Irish accent.”

“Then I know who it is,” exclaimed she.  “It is Dillon: I know it from
some doubts which arose between Her Majesty, Dillon, and myself,
respecting sending you upon a confidential mission.  Oh, come hither!
come hither!” continued Her Highness, overwhelming me with kisses.  “How
glad, how very glad I am, that the Queen will be convinced I was not
deceived in what I told Her Majesty respecting you.  Take no notice of
what I am telling you; but he was sent from the Queen, to tempt you into
some imprudence, or to be convinced, by your not falling into the snare,
that she might rely on your fidelity.”

“What! doubt my fidelity?” said I.

“Oh, my dear, you must excuse Her Majesty.  We live in critical times.
You will be the more rewarded, and much more esteemed, for this proof of
your firmness.  Do you think you should know him, if you were to see him

“Certainly, I should, if he were in the same disguise.

“That, I fear, will be rather difficult to accomplish.  However, you
shall go in your carriage and wait at the door of his sister, the
Marquise of Desmond; where I will send for him to come to me at four
o’clock to-morrow.  In this way, you will have an opportunity of seeing
him on horseback, as he always pays his morning visits riding.”

I would willingly have taken a sleeping draught, and never did I wait
more anxiously than for the hour of four.

I left the Princess, and, in crossing from the Carrousel to go to the
Place Vendome, it rained very fast, and there glanced by me, on
horseback, the same military cloak in which the stranger had been
wrapped.  My carriage was driving so fast that I still remained in doubt
as to the wearer’s person.

Next day, however, as appointed, I repaired to the place of rendezvous;
and I could almost have sworn, from the height of the person who alighted
from his horse, that he was my mysterious questioner.

Still, I was not thoroughly certain.  I watched the Princess coming out,
and followed her carriage to the Champs Elysees and told her what I

“Well,” replied she, “we must think no more about it; nor must it ever be
mentioned to him, should you by any chance meet him.”

I said I should certainly obey Her Highness.

A guilty conscience needs no accuser.  A few days after I was riding on
horseback in the Bois de Boulogne, when Lord Edward Fitzgerald came up to
speak to me.  Dillon was passing at the time, and, seeing Lord Edward,
stopped, took off his hat, and observed, “A very pleasant day for riding,
madame!”  Then, looking me full in the face, he added, “I beg your
pardon, madame, I mistook you for another lady with whom Lord Edward is
often in company.”

I said there was no offence; but the moment I heard him speak I was no
longer in doubt of his being the identical person.

When I had learnt the ciphering and deciphering, and was to be sent to
Italy, the Queen acknowledged to the Princesse de Lamballe that she was
fully persuaded I might be trusted, as she had good reason to know that
my fidelity was not to be doubted or shaken.

Dear, hapless Princess!  She said to me, in one of her confidential
conversations on these matters, “The Queen has been so cruelly deceived
and so much watched that she almost fears her own shadow; but it gives me
great pleasure that Her Majesty had been herself confirmed by one of her
own emissaries in what I never for a moment doubted.

“But do not fancy,” continued the Princess, laughing, “that you have had
only this spy to encounter.  Many others have watched your motions and
your conversations, and all concur in saying you are the devil, and they
could make nothing of you.  But that, ‘mia cara piccola diavolina’, is
just what we want!”


Editor in continuation.

I am compelled, with reluctance, to continue personally upon the stage,
and must do so for the three ensuing chapters, in order to put my readers
in possession of circumstances explanatory of the next portion of the
Journal of the Princesse de Lamballe.

Even the particulars I am about to mention can give but a very faint idea
of the state of alarm in which the Royal Family lived, and the perpetual
watchfulness and strange and involved expedients that were found
necessary for their protection.  Their most trifling communications were
scrutinized with so much jealousy that when any of importance were to be
made it required a dexterity almost miraculous to screen them from the
ever-watchful eye of espionage.

I was often made instrumental in evading the curiosity of others, without
ever receiving any clue to the gratification of my own, even had I been
troubled with such impertinence.  The anecdote I am about to mention will
show how cautious a game it was thought necessary to play; and the result
of my half-information will evince that over-caution may produce evils
almost equal to total carelessness.

Some time previous to the flight of the Royal Family from Paris, the
Princesse de Lamballe told me she wanted some repairs made to the locks
of certain dressing and writing-desks; but she would prefer having them
done at my apartments, and by a locksmith who lived at a distance from
the palace.

When the boxes were repaired, I was sent with one of them to Lisle, where
another person took charge of it for the Archduchess at Brussels.

There was something which strongly marked the kind-heartedness of the
Princesse de Lamballe in a part of this transaction.  I had left Paris
without a passport, and Her Highness, fearing it might expose me to
inconvenience, sent an express after me.  The express arrived three hours
before I did, and the person to whom I have alluded came out of Brussels
in his carriage to meet me and receive the box.  At the same time, he
gave me a sealed letter, without any address.  I asked him from whom he
received it, and to whom it was to be delivered.  He said he was only
instructed to deliver it to the lady with the box, and he showed me the
Queen’s cipher.  I took the letter, and, after partaking of some
refreshments, returned with it, according to my orders.

On my arrival at Paris, the Princesse de Lamballe told me her motive for
sending the express, who, she said, informed her, on his return, that I
had a letter for the Queen.  I said it was more than I knew.  “Oh, I
suppose that is because the letter bears no address,” replied she; “but
you were shown the cipher, and that is all which is necessary.”

She did not take the letter, and I could not help remarking how far, in
this instance, the rigour of etiquette was kept up, even between these
close friends.  The Princess, not having herself received the letter,
could not take it from my hands to deliver without Her Majesty’s express
command.  This being obtained, she asked me for it, and gave it to Her
Majesty.  The circumstance convinced me that the Princess exercised much
less influence over the Queen, and was much more directed by Her
Majesty’s authority, than has been imagined.

Two or three days after my arrival at Paris, my servant lost the key of
my writing-desk, and, to remedy the evil, he brought me the same
locksmith I had employed on the repairs just mentioned.  As it was
necessary I should be present to remove my papers when the lock was taken
off, of course I saw the man.  While I was busy clearing the desk, with
an air of great familiarity he said, “I have had jobs to do here before
now, my girl, as your sweetheart there well knows.”

I humoured his mistake in taking me for my own maid and my servant’s
sweetheart, and I pertly answered, “Very likely.”

“Oh, yes, I have,” said he; “it was I who repaired the Queen’s boxes in
this very room.”

Knowing I had never received anything of the sort from Her Majesty, and
utterly unaware that the boxes the Princess sent to my apartments had
been the Queen’s, I was greatly surprised.  Seeing my confusion, he said,
“I know the boxes as well as I know myself.  I am the King’s locksmith,
my dear, and I and the King worked together many years.  Why, I know
every creek and corner of the palace, aye, and I know everything that’s
going on in them, too--queer doings!  Lord, my pretty damsel, I made a
secret place in the palace to hide the King’s papers, where the devil
himself would never find them out, if I or the King didn’t tell!”

Though I wished him at the devil every moment he detained me from
disclosing his information at the palace, yet I played off the soubrette
upon him till he became so interested I thought he never would have gone.
At last, however, he took his departure, and the moment he disappeared,
out of the house I flew.

The agitation and surprise of the Princess at what I related were
extreme.  “Wait,” cried she; “I must go and inform the Queen instantly.”
 In going out of the room, “Great God, what a discovery!” exclaimed Her

It was not long before she returned.  Luckily, I was dressed for dinner.
She took me by the hand and, unable to speak, led me to the private
closet of the Queen.

Her Majesty graciously condescended to thank me for the letter I had
taken charge of.  She told me that for the future all letters to her
would be without any superscription; and desired me, if any should be
given to me by persons I had not before seen, and the cipher were shown
at the same time, to receive and deliver them myself into her hands, as
the production of the cipher would be a sufficient pledge of their

Being desired to repeat the conversation with Gamin, “There, Princess!”
 exclaimed Her Majesty, “Am I not the crow of evil forebodings?  I trust
the King will never again be credulous enough to employ this man.  I have
long had an extreme aversion to His Majesty’s familiarity with him; but
he shall hear his impudence himself from your own lips, my good little
Englishwoman; and then he will not think it is prepossession or

A few evenings elapsed, and I thought no more of the subject, till one
night I was ordered to the palace by the Princess, which never happened
but on very particular occasions, as she was fearful of exciting
suspicion by any appearance of close intimacy with one so much about
Paris upon the secret embassies of the Court.

When I entered the apartment, the King, the Queen, and the Princesse
Elizabeth were, as if by accident, in an adjoining room; but, from what
followed, I am certain they all came purposely to hear my deposition. I
was presently commanded to present myself to the august party.

The King was in deep conversation with the Princesse Elizabeth.  I must
confess I felt rather embarrassed.  I could not form an idea why I was
thus honoured.  The Princesse de Lamballe graciously took me by the hand.

“Now tell His Majesty, yourself, what Gamin said to you.”

I began to revive, perceiving now wherefore I was summoned. I accordingly
related, in the presence of the royal guests assembled, as I had done
before Her Majesty and the Princesse de Lamballe, the scene as it

When I came to that part where he said, “where the devil himself could
never find them out,” His Majesty approached from the balcony, at which
he had been talking with the Princesse Elizabeth, and said, “Well!  he is
very right--but neither he nor the devil shall find them out, for they
shall be removed this very night.”

[Which was done; and these are, therefore, no doubt, the papers and
portfolio of which Madame Campan speaks, vol.  ii., p.  142, as having
been entrusted to her care after being taken from their hiding-place by
the King himself.]

The King, the Queen, and the Princesse Elizabeth most graciously said,
“Nous sommes bien obligis, ma petite anglaise!” and Her Majesty added,
“Now, my dear, tell me all the rest about this man, whom I have long
suspected for his wickedness.”

I said he had been guilty of no hostile indications, and that the chief
fault I had to find with him was his exceeding familiarity in mentioning
himself before the King, saying, “I and the King.”

“Go on,” said Her Majesty; “give us the whole as it occurred, and let us
form our own conclusions.”

“Yes,” cried the Princess, “parlate sciolto.”--“Si Si,” rejoined the
Queen, “parlate tutto--yes, yes, speak out and tell us all.”

I then related the remainder of the conversation, which very much alarmed
the royal party, and it was agreed that, to avoid suspicion, I should
next day send for the locksmith and desire him, as an excuse, to look at
the locks of my trunks and travelling carriage, and set off in his
presence to take up my pretended mistress on the road to Calais, that he
might not suspect I had any connection with any one about the Court. I
was strictly enjoined by Her Majesty to tell him that the man servant had
had the boxes from some one to get them repaired, without either my
knowledge or that of my mistress, and, by her pretended orders, to give
him a discharge upon the spot for having dared to use her apartments as a
workshop for the business of other people.

“Now,” said the Princesse de Lamballe, “now play the comic part you acted
between your servant and Gamin:” which I did, as well as I could
recollect it, and the royal audience were so much amused, that I had the
honour to remain in the room and see them play at cards.  At length,
however, there came three gentle taps at the outer door.  “Ora a tempo
perche vene andata,” exclaimed Her Highness at the sound, having ordered
a person to call with this signal to see me out of the palace to the Rue
Nicaise, where my carriage was in waiting to conduct me home.

It is not possible for me to describe the gracious condescension of the
Queen and the Princesse Elizabeth, in expressing their sentiments for the
accidental discovery I had made.  Amid their assurances of tender
interest and concern, they both reproved me mildly for my imprudence in
having, when I went to Brussels, hurried from Paris without my passport.
They gave me prudential cautions with regard to my future conduct and
residence at Paris; and it was principally owing to the united
persuasions and remonstrances of these three angels in human form that I
took six or seven different lodgings, where the Princesse de Lamballe
used to meet me by turns; because had I gone often to the palace, as many
others did, or waited for Her Highness regularly in any one spot, I
should, infallibly, have been discovered.

“Gracious God!”  exclaimed Her Majesty in the course of this
conversation, “am I born to be the misfortune of every one who shows an
interest in serving me?  Tell my sister, when you return to Brussels
again--and do not forget to say I desired you to tell her--our cruel
situation!  She does not believe that we are surrounded by enemies, even
in our most private seclusions! in our prison! that we are even thrown
exclusively upon foreigners in our most confidential affairs; that in
France there is scarcely an individual to whom we can look!  They betray
us for their own safety, which is endangered by any exertions in our
favour.  Tell her this,” repeated the Queen three or four times.

The next day I punctually obeyed my orders.  Gamin was sent for to look
at the locks, and received six francs for his opinion.  The man servant
was reproved by me on behalf of my supposed mistress, and, in the
presence of Gamin, discharged for having brought suspicious things into
the house.

The man being tutored in his part, begged Gamin to plead for my
intercession with our mistress.  I remained inexorable, as he knew I
should.  While Gamin was still by I discharged the bill at the house, got
into my carriage, and took the road towards Calais.

At Saint Denis, however, I feigned to be taken ill, and in two days
returned to Paris.

Even this simple act required management.  I contrived it in the
following manner.  I walked out on the high road leading to the capital
for the purpose of meeting my servant at a place which had been fixed for
the meeting before I left Paris.  I found him on horseback at his post,
with a carriage prepared for my return.  As soon as I was out of sight he
made the best of his way forward, went to the inn with a note from me,
and returned with my carriage and baggage I had to lodgings at Passy.

The joy of the Princess on seeing me safe again brought tears into her
eyes; and, when I related the scene I played off before Gamin against my
servant, she laughed most heavily.  “But surely,” said she, “you have not
really discharged the poor man?”--“Oh, no,” replied I; “he acted his part
so well before the locksmith, that I should be very sorry to lose such an
apt scholar.”

“You must perform this ‘buffa scena’,” observed Her Highness, “to the
Queen.  She has been very anxious to know the result; but her spirits are
so depressed that I fear she will not come to my party this evening.
However, if she do not, I will see her to-morrow, and you shall make her
laugh.  It would be a charity, for she has not done so from the heart for
many a day!”


Editor in continuation:

Every one who has read at all is familiar with the immortal panegyric of
the great Edmund Burke upon Marie Antoinette.  It is known that this
illustrious man was not mean enough to flatter; yet his eloquent praises
of her as a Princess, a woman, and a beauty, inspiring something beyond
what any other woman could excite, have been called flattery by those who
never knew her; those who did, must feel them to be, if possible, even
below the truth.  But the admiration of Mr. Burke was set down even to a
baser motive, and, like everything else, converted into a source of
slander for political purposes, long before that worthy palladium of
British liberty had even thought of interesting himself for the welfare
of France, which his prophetic eye saw plainly was the common cause of
all Europe.

But, keenly as that great statesman looked into futurity, little did he
think, when he visited the Queen in all her splendour at Trianon, and
spoke so warmly of the cordial reception he had met with at Versailles
from the Duc and Duchesse de Polignac, that he should have so soon to
deplore their tragic fate!

Could his suggestions to Her Majesty, when he was in France, have been
put in force, there is scarcely a doubt that the Revolution might have
been averted, or crushed.  But he did not limit his friendship to
personal advice.  It is not generally known that the Queen carried on,
through the medium of the Princesse de Lamballe, a very extensive
correspondence with Mr. Burke.  He recommended wise and vast plans; and
these, if possible, would have been adopted.  The substance of some of
the leading ones I can recall from the journal of Her Highness and
letters which I have myself frequently deciphered.  I shall endeavour,
succinctly, to detail such of them as I remember.

Mr. Burke recommended the suppression of all superfluous religious
institutions, which had not public seminaries to support.  Their lands,
he advised, should be divided, without regard to any distinction but that
of merit, among such members of the army and other useful classes of
society, as, after having served the specified time, should have risen,
through their good conduct, to either civil or military preferment.  By
calculations upon the landed interest, it appeared that every individual
under the operation of this bounty would, in the course of twenty years,
possess a yearly income of from five to seven hundred francs.

Another of the schemes suggested by Mr. Burke was to purge the kingdom of
all the troops which had been corrupted from their allegiance by the
intrigues growing out of the first meeting of the Notables.  He proposed
that they should sail at the same time, or nearly so, to be colonized in
the different French islands and Madagascar; and, in their place, a new
national guard created, who should be bound to the interest of the
legitimate Government by receiving the waste crown lands to be shared
among them, from the common soldier to its generals and Field-marshals.
Thus would the whole mass of rebellious blood have been reformed.  To
ensure an effectual change, Mr. Burke advised the enrolment, in rotation,
of sixty thousand Irish troops, twenty thousand always to remain in
France, and forty thousand in reversion for the same service.  The
lynx-eyed statesman saw clearly, from the murders of the Marquis de
Launay and M. Flesselles, and from the destruction of the Bastille, and
of the ramparts of Paris, that party had not armed itself against Louis,
but against the throne.  It was therefore necessary to produce a
permanent revolution in the army.

[Mr. Burke was too great a statesman not to be the friend of his
country’s interest.  He also saw that, from the destruction of the
monarchy in France, England had more to fear than to gain.  He well knew
that the French Revolution was not, like that of the Americans, founded
on grievances and urged in support of a great and disinterested
principle.  He was aware that so restless a people, when they had
overthrown the monarchy, would not limit the overthrow to their own
country.  After Mr. Burke’s death, Mr. Fox was applied to, and was
decidedly of the same opinion.  Mr. Sheridan was interrogated, and, at
the request of the Princesse de Lamballe, he presented, for the Queen’s
inspection, plans nearly equal to those of the above two great statesmen;
and what is most singular and scarcely credible is that one and all of
the opposition party in England strenuously exerted themselves for the
upholding of the monarchy in France.  Many circumstances which came to my
knowledge before and after the death of Louis XVI. prove that Mr. Pitt
himself was averse to the republican principles being organized so near a
constitutional monarchy as France was to Great Britain.  Though the
conduct of the Duc d’Orleans was generally reprobated, I firmly believe
that if he had possessed sufficient courage to have usurped the crown and
re-established the monarchy, he would have been treated with in
preference to the republicans.  I am the more confirmed in this opinion
by a conversation between the Princesse de Lamballe and Mirabeau, in
which he said a republic in France would never thrive.]

There was another suggestion to secure troops around the throne of a more
loyal temper.  It was planned to incorporate all the French soldiers, who
had not voluntarily deserted the royal standard, with two-thirds of
Swiss, German, and Low Country forces, among whom were to be divided,
after ten years’ service, certain portions of the crown lands, which were
to be held by presenting every year a flag of acknowledgment to the King
and Queen; with the preference of serving in the civil or military
departments, according to the merit or capacity of the respective
individuals.  Messieurs de Broglie, de Bouille, de Luxembourg, and
others, were to have been commanders.  But this plan, like many others,
was foiled in its birth, and, it is said, through the intrigues of

However, all concurred in the necessity of ridding France, upon the most
plausible pretexts, of the fomenters of its ruin.  Now arose a fresh
difficulty.  Transports were wanted, and in considerable numbers.

A navy agent in England was applied to for the supply of these
transports.  So great was the number required, and so peculiar the
circumstances, that the agent declined interfering without the sanction
of his Government.

A new dilemma succeeded.  Might not the King of England place improper
constructions on this extensive shipment of troops from the different
ports of France for her West India possessions?  Might it not be fancied
that it involved secret designs on the British settlements in that

All these circumstances required that some communication should be opened
with the Court of St. James; and the critical posture of affairs exacted
that such communication should be less diplomatic than confidential.

It will be recollected that, at the very commencement of the reign of
Louis XVI., there were troubles in Britanny, which the severe
governorship of the Duc d’Aiguillon augmented.  The Bretons took
privileges with them, when they became blended with the kingdom of
France, by the marriage of Anne of Brittany with Charles VIII., beyond
those of any other of its provinces.  These privileges they seemed rather
disposed to extend than relinquish, and were by no means reserved in the
expression of their resolution.  It was considered expedient to place a
firm, but conciliatory, Governor over them, and the Duc de Penthievre was
appointed to this difficult trust.  The Duke was accompanied to his
vice-royalty by his daughter-in-law, the Princesse de Lamballe, who, by
her extremely judicious management of the female part of the province,
did more for the restoration of order than could have been achieved by
armies.  The remembrance of this circumstance induced the Queen to regard
Her Highness as a fit person to send secretly to England at this very
important crisis; and the purpose was greatly encouraged by a wish to
remove her from a scene of such daily increasing peril.

For privacy, it was deemed expedient that Her Highness should withdraw to
Aumale, under the plea of ill-health, and thence proceed to England; and
it was also by way of Aumale that she as secretly returned, after the
fatal disaster of the stoppage, to discourage the impression of her ever
having been out of France.

The mission was even unknown to the French Minister at the Court of St.

The Princess was ordered by Her Majesty to cultivate the acquaintance of
the late Duchess of Gordon, who was supposed to possess more influence
than any woman in England--in order to learn the sentiments of Mr. Pitt
relative to the revolutionary troubles.  The Duchess, however, was too
much of an Englishwoman, and Mr. Pitt too much interested in the ruin of
France, to give her the least clue to the truth.

In order to fathom the sentiments of the opposition party, the Princess
cultivated the society also of the late Duchess of Devonshire, but with
as little success.  The opposition party foresaw too much risk in
bringing anything before the house to alarm the prejudices of the nation.

The French Ambassador, too, jealous of the unexplained purpose of the
Princess, did all he could to render her expedition fruitless.

Nevertheless, though disappointed in some of her main objects with regard
to influence and information, she became so great a favourite at the
British Court that she obtained full permission of the King and Queen of
England to signify to her royal mistress and friend that the specific
request she came to make would be complied with.

[The Princess visited Bath, Windsor, Brighton, and many other parts of
England, and associated with all parties.  She managed her conduct so
judiciously that the real object of her visit was never suspected.  In
all these excursions I had the honour to attend her confidentially.  I
was the only person entrusted with papers from Her Highness to Her
Majesty.  I had many things to copy, of which the originals went to
France.  Twice during the term of Her Highness’s residence in England I
was sent by Her Majesty with papers communicating the result of the
secret mission to the Queen of Naples.  On the second of these two trips,
being obliged to travel night and day, I could only keep my eyes open by
means of the strongest coffee.  When I reached my destination I was
immediately compelled to decipher the despatches with the Queen of Naples
in the office of the Secretary of State.  That done, General Acton
ordered some one, I know not whom, to conduct me, I know not where, but
it was to a place where, after a sound sleep of twenty-four hours, I
awoke thoroughly refreshed, and without a vestige of fatigue either of
mind or body.  On waking, lest anything should transpire, I was desired
to quit Naples instantly, without seeing the British Minister.  To make
assurance doubly sure, General Acton sent a person from his office to
accompany me out of the city on horseback; and, to screen me from the
attack of robbers, this person went on with me as far as the Roman

In the meantime, however, the troubles in France were so rapidly
increasing from hour to hour, that it became impossible for the
Government to carry any of their plans into effect.  This particular one,
on the very eve of its accomplishment, was marred, as it was imagined, by
the secret intervention of the friends of Mirabeau.  The Government
became more and more infirm and wavering in its purposes; the Princess
was left without instructions, and under such circumstances as to expose
her to the supposition of having trifled with the good-will of Their
Majesties of England.

In this dilemma I was sent off from England to the Queen of France. I
left Her Highness at Bath, but when I returned she had quitted Bath for
Brighton.  I am unacquainted with the nature of all the papers she
received, but I well remember the agony they seemed to inflict on her.
She sent off a packet by express that very night to Windsor.

The Princess immediately began the preparations for her return.  Her own
journal is explicit on this point of her history, and therefore I shall
leave her to speak for herself.  I must not, however, omit to mention the
remark she made to me upon the subject of her reception in Great Britain.
With these, let me dismiss the present chapter.

“The general cordiality with which I have been received in your country,”
 said Her Highness, “has made a lasting impression upon my heart. In
particular, never shall I forget the kindness of the Queen of England,
the Duchess of Devonshire, and her truly virtuous mother, Lady Spencer.
It gave me a cruel pang to be obliged to undervalue the obligations with
which they overwhelmed me by leaving England as I did, without giving
them an opportunity of carrying their good intentions, which, I had
myself solicited, into effect.  But we cannot command fate.  Now that the
King has determined to accept the Constitution (and you know my
sentiments upon the article respecting ecclesiastics), I conceive it my
duty to follow Their Majesties’ example in submitting to the laws of the
nation.  Be assured, ‘Inglesina’, it will be my ambition to bring about
one of the happiest ages of French history.  I shall endeavour to create
that confidence so necessary for the restoration to their native land of
the Princes of the blood, and all the emigrants who abandoned the King,
their families, and their country, while doubtful whether His Majesty
would or would not concede this new charter; but now that the doubt
exists no longer, I trust we shall all meet again, the happier for the
privation to which we have been doomed from absence.  As the limitation
of the monarchy removes every kind of responsibility from the monarch,
the Queen will again taste the blissful sweets she once enjoyed during
the reign of Louis XV.  in the domestic tranquillity of her home at
Trianon.  Often has she wept those times in which she will again rejoice.
Oh, how I long for their return!  I fly to greet the coming period of
future happiness to us all!”


Although I am not making myself the historian of France, yet it may not
be amiss to mention that it was during this absence of Her Highness that
Necker finally retired from power and from France.

The return of this Minister had been very much against the consent of Her
Majesty and the King.  They both feared what actually happened soon
afterwards.  They foresaw that he would be swept away by the current of
popularity from his deference to the royal authority.  It was to preserve
the favour of the mob that he allowed them to commit the shocking murders
of M. de Foulon (who had succeeded him on his first dismission as
Minister of Louis XVI.) and of Berthier, his son-in-law.  The union of
Necker with D’ORLEANS, on this occasion, added to the cold indifference
with which Barnave in one of his speeches expressed himself concerning
the shedding of human blood, certainly animated the factious assassins to
methodical murder, and frustrated all the efforts of La Fayette to save
these victims from the enraged populace, to whom both unfortunately fell
a sacrifice.

Necker, like La Fayette, when too late, felt the absurdity of relying
upon the idolatry of the populace.  The one fancied he could command the
Parisian ‘poissardes’ as easily as his own battalions; and the other
persuaded himself that the mob, which had been hired to carry about his
bust, would as readily promulgate his theories.

But he forgot that the people in their greatest independence are only the
puppets of demagogues; and he lost himself by not gaining over that class
which, of all others, possesses most power over the million, I mean the
men of the bar, who, arguing more logically than the rest of the world,
felt that from the new Constitution the long robe was playing a losing
game, and therefore discouraged a system which offered nothing to their
personal ambition or private emolument.  Lawyers, like priests, are never
over-ripe for any changes or innovations, except such as tend to their
personal interest.  The more perplexed the state of public and private
affairs, the better for them.  Therefore, in revolutions, as a body, they
remain neuter, unless it is made for their benefit to act.  Individually,
they are a set of necessary evils; and, for the sake of the bar, the
bench, and the gibbet, require to be humoured.  But any legislator who
attempts to render laws clear, concise, and explanatory, and to divest
them of the quibbles whereby these expounders--or confounders--of codes
fatten on the credulity of States and the miseries of unfortunate
millions, will necessarily encounter opposition, direct or indirect, in
every measure at all likely to reduce the influence of this most
abominable horde of human depredators.  It was Necker’s error to have
gone so directly to the point with the lawyers that they at once saw his
scope; and thus he himself defeated his hopes of their support, the want
of which utterly baffled all his speculations.

[The great Frederick of Prussia, on being told of the numbers of lawyers
there were in England, said he wished he had them in his country.  “Why?”
 some one enquired.  “To do the greatest benefit in my power to
society.”--“How so?”--“Why to hang one-half as an example to the other!”]

When Necker undertook to re-establish the finances, and to reform
generally the abuses in the Government, he was the most popular Minister
(Lord Chatham, when the great Pitt, excepted) in Europe.  Yet his errors
were innumerable, though possessing such sound knowledge and judgment,
such a superabundance of political contrivance, diplomatic coolness, and
mathematical calculation, the result of deep thought aided by great
practical experience.

But how futile he made all these appear when he declared the national
bankruptcy.  Could anything be more absurd than the assumption, by the
individual, of a personal instead of a national guarantee of part of a
national debt?--an undertaking too hazardous and by far too ambiguous,
even for a monarch who is not backed by his kingdom--flow doubly frantic,
then, for a subject!  Necker imagined that the above declaration and his
own Quixotic generosity would have opened the coffers of the great body
of rich proprietors, and brought them forward to aid the national crisis.
But he was mistaken.  The nation then had no interest in his financial
system.  The effect it produced was the very reverse of what was
expected.  Every proprietor began to fear the ambition of the Minister,
who undertook impossibilities.  The being bound for the debts of an
individual, and justifying bail in a court of law in commercial matters,
affords no criterion for judging of, or regulating, the pecuniary
difficulties of a nation.  Necker’s conduct in this case was, in my
humble opinion, as impolitic as that of a man who, after telling his
friends that he is ruined past redemption, asks for a loan of money. The
conclusion is, if he obtains the loan, that “the fool and his money are
soon parted.”

It was during the same interval of Her Highness’s stay in England, that
the discontent ran so high between the people and the clergy.

I have frequently heard the Princesse de Lamballe ascribe the King’s not
sanctioning the decrees against the clergy to the influence of his aunt,
the Carmelite nun, Madame Louise.  During the life of her father, Louis
XV., she nearly engrossed all the Church benefices by her intrigues.  She
had her regular conclaves of all orders of the Church.  From the Bishop
to the sexton, all depended on her for preferment; and, till the
Revolution, she maintained equal power over the mind of Louis XVI. upon
similar matters.  The Queen would often express her disapprobation; but
the King was so scrupulous, whenever the discussion fell on the topic of
religion, that she made it a point not to contrast her opinion with his,
from a conviction that she was unequal to cope with him on that head,
upon which he was generally very animated.

It is perfectly certain that the French clergy, by refusing to contribute
to the exigencies of the State, created some of the primary horrors of
the Revolution.  They enjoyed one-third the national revenues, yet they
were the first to withhold their assistance from the national wants. I
have heard the Princesse de Lamballe say, “The Princesse Elizabeth and
myself used our utmost exertion to induce some of the higher orders of
the clergy to set the example and obtain for themselves the credit of
offering up a part of the revenues, the whole of which we knew must be
forfeited if they continued obstinate; but it was impossible to move

The characters of some of the leading dignitaries of the time
sufficiently explain their selfish and pernicious conduct; when churchmen
trifle with the altar, be their motives what they may, they destroy the
faith they possess, and give examples to the flock entrusted to their
care, of which no foresight can measure the baleful consequences.  Who
that is false to his God can be expected to remain faithful to his
Sovereign?  When a man, as a Catholic Bishop, marries, and, under the
mask of patriotism, becomes the declared tool of all work to every
faction, and is the weathercock, shifting to any quarter according to the
wind,--such a man can be of no real service to any party: and yet has a
man of this kind been by turns the primum mobile of them all, even to the
present times, and was one of those great Church fomenters of the
troubles of which we speak, who disgraced the virtuous reign of Louis


Amidst the perplexities of the Royal Family it was perfectly unavoidable
that repeated proposals should have been made at various times for them
to escape these dangers by flight.  The Queen had been frequently and
most earnestly entreated to withdraw alone; and the King, the Princesse
Elizabeth, the Princesse de Lamballe, the royal children, with their
little hands uplifted, and all those attached to Marie Antoinette, after
the horrid business at Versailles, united to supplicate her to quit
France and shelter herself from the peril hanging over her existence.
Often and often have I heard the Princesse de Lamballe repeat the words
in which Her Majesty uniformly rejected the proposition.  “I have no
wish,” cried the Queen, “for myself.  My life or death must be encircled
by the arms of my husband and my family.  With them, and with them only,
will I live or die.”

It would have been impossible to have persuaded her to leave France
without her children.  If any woman on earth could have been justified in
so doing, it would have been Marie Antoinette.  But she was above such
unnatural selfishness, though she had so many examples to encourage her;
for, even amongst the members of her own family, self-preservation had
been considered paramount to every other consideration.

I have heard the Princess say that Pope Pius VI. was the only one of all
the Sovereigns who offered the slightest condolence or assistance to
Louis XVI. and his family.  “The Pope’s letter,” added she, “when shown
to me by the Queen, drew tears from my eyes.  It really was in a style of
such Christian tenderness and princely feeling as could only be dictated
by a pious and illuminated head of the Christian Church.  He implored not
only all the family of Louis XVI., but even extended his entreaties to me
[the Princesse de Lamballe] to leave Paris, and save themselves, by
taking refuge in his dominions, from the horrors which so cruelly
overwhelmed them.  The King’s aunts were the only ones who profited by
the invitation.  Madame Elizabeth was to have been of the party, but
could not be persuaded to leave the King and Queen.”

As the clouds grew more threatening, it is scarcely to be credited how
many persons interested themselves for the same purpose, and what
numberless schemes were devised to break the fetters which had been
imposed on the Royal Family, by their jailers, the Assembly.

A party, unknown to the King and Queen, was even forming under the
direction of the Princesse Elizabeth; but as soon as Their Majesties were
apprised of it, it was given up as dangerous to the interests of the
Royal Family, because it thwarted the plans of the Marquis de Bouille.
Indeed, Her Majesty could never be brought to determine on any plan for
her own or the King’s safety until their royal aunts, the Princesses
Victoria and Adelaide, had left Paris.

The first attempt to fly was made early in the year 1791, at St.  Cloud,
where the horses had been in preparation nearly a fortnight; but the
scheme was abandoned in consequence of having been entrusted to too many
persons.  This the Queen acknowledged.  She had it often in her power to
escape alone with her son, but would not consent.

The second attempt was made in the spring of the same year at Paris.  The
guards shut the gates of the Tuileries, and would not allow the King’s
carriage to pass.  Even though a large sum of money had been expended to
form a party to overpower the mutineers, the treacherous mercenaries did
not appear.  The expedition was, of course, obliged to be relinquished.

Many of the royal household were very ill-treated, and some lives
unfortunately lost.

At last, the deplorable journey did take place.  The intention had been
communicated by Her Majesty to the Princesse de Lamballe before she went
abroad, and it was agreed that, whenever it was carried into effect, the
Queen should write to Her Highness from Montmedi, where the two friends
were once more to have been reunited.

Soon after the departure of the Princess, the arrangements for the fatal
journey to Varennes were commenced, but with blamable and fatal

Mirabeau was the first person who advised the King to withdraw; but he
recommended that it should be alone, or, at most, with the Dauphin only.
He was of opinion that the overthrow of the Constitution could not be
achieved while the Royal Family remained in Paris.  His first idea was
that the King should go to the sea-coast, where he would have it in his
power instantly to escape to England, if the Assembly, through his
(Mirabeau’s), means, did not comply with the royal propositions.  Though
many of the King’s advisers were for a distinct and open rejection of the
Constitution, it was the decided impression of Mirabeau that he ought to
stoop to conquer, and temporize by an instantaneous acceptance, through
which he might gain time to put himself in an attitude to make such terms
as would at once neutralize the act and the faction by which it was
forced upon him.  Others imagined that His Majesty was too conscientious
to avail himself of any such subterfuge, and that, having once given his
sanction, he would adhere to it rigidly.  This third party of the royal
counsellors were therefore for a cautious consideration of the document,
clause by clause, dreading the consequences of an ‘ex abrupto’ signature
in binding the Sovereign, not only against his policy, but his will.

In the midst of all these distracting doubts, however, the departure was
resolved upon.  Mirabeau had many interviews with the Count Fersen upon
the subject.  It was his great object to prevent the flight from being
encumbered.  But the King would not be persuaded to separate himself from
the Queen and the rest of the family, and entrusted the project to too
many advisers.  Had he been guided by Fersen only, he would have

The natural consequence of a secret being in so many hands was felt in
the result.  Those whom it was most important to keep in ignorance were
the first on the alert.  The weakness of the Queen in insisting upon
taking a remarkable dressing-case with her, and, to get it away
unobserved, ordering a facsimile to be made under the pretext of
intending it as a present to her sister at Brussels, awakened the
suspicion of a favourite, but false female attendant, then intriguing
with the aide-de-camp of La Fayette.  The rest is easily to be conceived.
The Assembly were apprised of all the preparations for the departure a
week or more before it occurred.  La Fayette, himself, it is believed,
knew and encouraged it, that he might have the glory of stopping the
fugitive himself; but he was overruled by the Assembly.

When the secretary of the Austrian Ambassador came publicly, by
arrangement, to ask permission of the Queen to take the model of the
dressing-case in question, the very woman to whom I have alluded was in
attendance at Her Majesty’s toilet.  The paramour of the woman was with
her, watching the motions of the Royal Family on the night they passed
from their own apartments to those of the Duc de Villequier in order to
get into the carriage; and by this paramour was La Fayette instantly
informed of the departure.  The traitress discovered that Her Majesty was
on the eve of setting off by seeing her diamonds packed up.  All these
things were fully known to the Assembly, of which the Queen herself was
afterwards apprised by the Mayor of Paris.

In the suite of the Count Fersen there was a young Swede who had an
intrigue purposely with one of the Queen’s women, from whom he obtained
many important disclosures relative to the times.

[Alvise de Pisani, the last venetian Ambassador to the King, who was my
husband’s particular friend, and with whom I was myself long acquainted,
and have been ever since to this day, as well as with all his noble
family, during my many years’ residence at Venice, told me this
circumstance while walking with him at his country-seat at Stra, which
was subsequently taken from him by Napoleon, and made the Imperial palace
of the viceroy, and is now that of the German reigning Prince.]

The Swede mentioned this to his patron, who advised Her Majesty to
discharge a certain number of these women, among whom was the one who
afterwards proved her betrayer.  It was suggested to dismiss a number at
once, that the guilty person might not suspect the exclusion to be
levelled against her in particular.  Had the Queen allowed herself to be
directed in this affair by Fersen, the chain of communication would have
been broken, and the Royal Family would not have been stopped at
Varennes, but have got clear out of France, many hours before they could
have been perceived by the Assembly; but Her Majesty never could believe
that she had anything to fear from the quarter against which she was

It is not generally known that a very considerable sum had been given to
the head recruiting sergeant, Mirabeau, to enlist such of the
constituents as could be won with gold to be ready with a majority in
favour of the royal fugitives.  But the death of Mirabeau, previous to
this event, leaves it doubtful how far he distributed the bribes
conscientiously; indeed, it is rather to be questioned whether he did not
retain the money, or much of it, in his own hands, since the strongly
hoped for and dearly paid majority never gave proof of existence, either
before or after the journey to Varennes.  Immense bribes were also given
to the Mayor of Paris, which proved equally ineffective.

Had Mirabeau lived till the affair of Varennes, it is not impossible that
his genius might have given a different complexion to the result.  He had
already treated with the Queen and the Princess for a reconciliation; and
in the apartments of Her Highness had frequent evening, and early
morning, audiences of the Queen.

It is pretty certain, however, that the recantation of Mirabeau, from
avowed democracy to aristocracy and royalty, through the medium of
enriching himself by a ‘salva regina’, made his friends prepare for him
that just retribution, which ended in a ‘de profundis’.  At a period when
all his vices were called to aid one virtuous action, his thread of
vicious life was shortened, and he; no doubt, became the victim of his
insatiable avarice.  That he was poisoned is not to be disproved; though
it was thought necessary to keep it from the knowledge of the people.

I have often heard Her Highness say, “When I reflect on the precautions
which were taken to keep the interviews with Mirabeau profoundly secret
that he never conversed but with the King, the Queen, and myself--his
untimely death must be attributed to his own indiscreet enthusiasm, in
having confidentially entrusted the success with which he flattered
himself, from the ascendency he had gained over the Court, to some one
who betrayed him.  His death, so very unexpectedly, and at that crisis,
made a deep impression on the mind of the Queen.  She really believed him
capable of redressing the monarchy, and he certainly was the only one of
the turncoat constitutionalists in whom she placed any confidence.  Would
to Heaven that she had had more in Barnave, and that she had listened to
Dumourier!  These I would have trusted more, far more readily than the
mercenary Mirabeau!”

I now return, once more, to the journal of the Princess.


“In the midst of the perplexing debates upon the course most advisable
with regard to the Constitution after the unfortunate return from
Varennes, I sent off my little English amanuensis to Paris to bring me,
through the means of another trusty person I had placed about the Queen,
the earliest information concerning the situation of affairs.  On her
return she brought me a ring, which Her Majesty had graciously,
condescended to send me, set with her own hair, which had whitened like
that of a person of eighty, from the anguish the Varennes affair had
wrought upon her mind; and bearing the inscription, ‘Bleached by sorrow.’
This ring was accompanied by the following letter:


“‘The King has made up his mind to the acceptance of the Constitution,
and it will ere long be proclaimed publicly.  A few days ago I was
secretly waited upon and closeted in your apartment with many of our
faithful friends,--in particular, Alexandre de Lameth, Duport, Barnave,
Montmorin, Bertrand de Moleville, et cetera.  The two latter opposed the
King’s Council, the Ministers, and the numerous other advisers of an
immediate and unscrutinizing acceptance.  They were a small minority, and
could not prevail with me to exercise my influence with His Majesty in
support of their opinion, when all the rest seemed so confident that a
contrary course must re-establish the tranquillity of the nation and our
own happiness, weaken the party of the Jacobins against us, and greatly
increase that of the nation in our favor.

“‘Your absence obliged me to call Elizabeth to my aid in managing the
coming and going of the deputies to and from the Pavilion of Flora,
unperceived by the spies of our enemies.  She executed her charge so
adroitly, that the visitors were not seen by any of the household.  Poor
Elizabeth!  little did I look for such circumspection in one so
unacquainted with the intrigues of Court, or the dangers surrounding us,
which they would now fain persuade us no longer exist.  God grant it may
be so! and that I may once more freely embrace and open my heart to the
only friend I have nearest to it.  But though this is my most ardent
wish, yet, my dear, dearest Lamballe, I leave it to yourself to act as
your feelings dictate.  Many about us profess to see the future as clear
as the sun at noon-day.  But, I confess, my vision is still dim.  I
cannot look into events with the security of others--who confound logic
with their wishes.  The King, Elizabeth, and all of us, are anxious for
your return.  But it would grieve us sorely for you to come back to such
scenes as you have already witnessed.  Judge and act from your own
impressions.  If we do not see you, send me the result of your interview
at the precipice.--[The name the Queen gave to Mr. Pitt]--‘Vostra cara
picciolca Inglesina’ will deliver you many letters.  After looking over
the envelopes, you will either send her with them as soon as possible or
forward them as addressed, as you may think most advisable at the time
you receive them.

          “‘Ever, ever, and forever,

         “‘Your affectionate,


“There was another hurried and abrupt note from Her Majesty among these
papers, obviously written later than the first.  It lamented the cruel
privations to which she was doomed at the Tuileries, in consequence of
the impeded flight, and declared that what the Royal Family were forced
to suffer, from being totally deprived of every individual of their
former friends and attendants to condole with, excepting the equally
oppressed and unhappy Princesse Elizabeth, was utterly insupportable.

“On the receipt of these much esteemed epistles, I returned, as my duty
directed, to the best of Queens, and most sincere of friends.  My arrival
at Paris, though so much wished for, was totally unexpected.

“At our first meeting, the Queen was so agitated that she was utterly at
a loss to explain the satisfaction she felt in beholding me once more
near her royal person.  Seeing the ring on my finger, which she had done
me the honour of sending me, she pointed to her hair, once so beautiful,
but now, like that of an old woman, not only gray, but deprived of all
its softness, quite stiff and dried up.

“Madame Elizabeth, the King, and the rest of our little circle, lavished
on me the most endearing caresses.  The dear Dauphin said to me, ‘You
will not go away again, I hope, Princess?  Oh, mamma has cried so since
you left us!’

“I had wept enough before, but this dear little angel brought tears into
the eyes of us all.”

“When I mentioned to Her Majesty the affectionate sympathy expressed by
the King and Queen of England in her sufferings, and their regret at the
state of public affairs in France, ‘It is most noble and praiseworthy in
them to feel thus,’ exclaimed Marie Antoinette; ‘and the more so
considering the illiberal part imputed to us against those Sovereigns in
the rebellion of their ultramarine subjects, to which, Heaven knows, I
never gave my approbation.  Had I done so, how poignant would be my
remorse at the retribution of our own sufferings, and the pity of those I
had so injured!  No.  I was, perhaps, the only silent individual amongst
millions of infatuated enthusiasts at General La Fayette’s return to
Paris, nor did I sanction any of the fetes given to Dr. Franklin, or the
American Ambassadors at the time.  I could not conceive it prudent for
the Queen of an absolute monarchy to countenance any of their newfangled
philosophical experiments with my presence.  Now, I feel the reward in my
own conscience.  I exult in my freedom from a self-reproach, which would
have been altogether insupportable under the kindness of which you

“As soon as I was settled in my apartment, which was on the same floor
with that of the Queen, she condescended to relate to me every particular
of her unfortunate journey.  I saw the pain it gave her to retrace the
scenes, and begged her to desist till time should have, in some degree,
assuaged the poignancy of her feelings.  ‘That,’ cried she, embracing me,
I can never be!  Never, never will that horrid circumstance of my life
lose its vividness in my recollection.  What agony, to have seen those
faithful servants tied before us on the carriage, like common criminals!
All, all may be attributed to the King’s goodness of heart, which
produces want of courage, nay, even timidity, in the most trying scenes.
As poor King Charles the First, when he was betrayed in the Isle of
Wight, would have saved himself, and perhaps thousands, had he permitted
the sacrifice of one traitor, so might Louis XVI. have averted calamities
so fearful that I dare not name, though I distinctly foresee them, had he
exerted his authority where he only called up his compassion.’

“‘For Heaven’s sake,’ replied I, ‘do not torment yourself by these cruel

“‘These are gone by,’ continued Her Majesty, and greater still than even
these.  How can I describe my grief at what I endured in the Assembly,
from the studied humiliation to which the King and the royal authority
were there reduced in the face of the national representatives! from
seeing the King on his return choked with anguish at the mortifications
to which I was doomed to behold the majesty of a French Sovereign
humbled!  These events bespeak clouds, which, like the horrid waterspout
at sea, nothing can dispel but cannon!  The dignity of the Crown, the
sovereignty itself, is threatened; and this I shall write this very night
to the Emperor.  I see no hope of internal tranquillity without the
powerful aid of foreign force.

[The only difference of any moment which ever existed between the Queen
and the Princesse de Lamballe as to their sentiments on the Revolution
was on this subject.  Her Highness wished Marie Antoinette to rely on the
many persons who had offered and promised to serve the cause of the
monarchy with their internal resources, and not depend on the Princes and
foreign armies.  This salutary advice she never could enforce on the
Queen’s mind, though she had to that effect been importuned by upwards of
two hundred persona, all zealous to show their penitence for former
errors by their present devotedness.

“Whenever,” observed Her Highness, “we came to that point, the Queen
(upon seriously reflecting that these persons had been active instruments
in promoting the first changes in the monarchy, for which she never
forgave them from her heart) would hesitate and doubt; and never could I
bring Her Majesty definitely to believe the profferers to be sincere.
Hence, they were trifled with, till one by one she either lost them, or
saw them sacrificed to an attachment, which her own distrust and
indecision rendered fruitless.”]

The King has allowed himself to be too much led to attempt to recover his
power through any sort of mediation.  Still, the very idea of owing our
liberty to any foreign army distracts me for the consequences.’

“My reinstatement in my apartments at the Pavilion of Flora seemed not
only to give universal satisfaction to every individual of the Royal
Family, but it was hailed with much enthusiasm by many deputies of the
constituent Assembly.  I was honoured with the respective visits of all
who were in any degree well disposed to the royal cause.

“One day, when Barnave and others were present with the Queen, ‘Now,’
exclaimed one of the deputies, ‘now that this good Princess is returned
to her adopted country, the active zeal of Her Highness, coupled with
Your Majesty’s powerful influence over the mind of the King for the
welfare of his subjects, will give fresh vigour to the full execution of
the Constitution.’

“My visitors were earnest in their invitations for me to go to the
Assembly to hear an interesting discussion, which was to be brought
forward upon the King’s spontaneous acceptance of the Constitution.

“I went; and amidst the plaudits for the good King’s condescension, how
was my heart lacerated to hear Robespierre denounce three of the most
distinguished of the members, who had requested my attendance, as
traitors to their country!

“This was the first and only Assembly discussion I ever attended; and how
dearly did I pay for my curiosity!  I was accompanied by my ‘cara
Inglesina’, who, always on the alert, exclaimed, ‘Let me entreat Your
Highness not to remain any longer in this place.  You are too deeply
moved to dissemble.’

“I took her judicious advice, and the moment I could leave the Assembly
unperceived, I hastened back to the Queen to beg her, for God’s sake, to
be upon her guard; for, from what I had just heard at the Assembly, I
feared the Jacobins had discovered her plans with Barnave, De Lameth,
Duport, and others of the royal party.  Her countenance, for some
minutes, seemed to be the only sensitive part of her.  It was perpetually
shifting from a high florid colour to the paleness of death.  When her
first emotions gave way to nature, she threw herself into my arms, and,
for some time, her feelings were so overcome by the dangers which
threatened these worthy men, that she could only in the bitterness of her
anguish exclaim, ‘Oh! this is all on my account!’  And I think she was
almost as much alarmed for the safety of these faithful men, as she had
been for that of the King on the 17th of July, when the Jacobins in the
Champ de Mars called out to have the King brought to trial--a day of
which the horrors were never effaced from her memory!

“The King and Princesse Elizabeth fortunately came in at the moment; but
even our united efforts were unavailable.  The grief of Her Majesty at
feeling herself the cause of the misfortunes of these faithful adherents,
now devoted victims of their earnestness in foiling the machinations
against the liberty and life of the King and herself, made her nearly
frantic.  She too well knew that to be accused was to incur instant
death.  That she retained her senses under the convulsion of her feelings
can only be ascribed to that wonderful strength of mind, which triumphed
over every bodily weakness, and still sustains her under every emergency.

“The King and the Princesse Elizabeth, by whom Barnave had been much
esteemed ever since the journey from Varennes, were both inconsolable. I
really believe the Queen entirely owed her instantaneous recovery from
that deadly lethargic state, in which she had been thrown by her grief
for the destined sacrifice, to the exuberant goodness of the King’s
heart, who instantly resolved to compromise his own existence, to save
those who had forfeited theirs for him and his family.

“Seeing the emotion of the Queen, ‘I will go myself to the Assembly,’
said Louis XVI., ‘and declare their innocence.’

“The Queen sprang forward, as if on the wings of an angel, and grasping
the King in her arms, cried, ‘Will you hasten their deaths by confirming
the impression of your keeping up an understanding with them?  Gracious
Heaven!  Oh, that I could recall the acts of attachment they have shown
us, since to these they are now falling victims!  I would save them,’
continued Her Majesty, ‘with my own blood; but, Sire, it is useless.  We
should only expose ourselves to the vindictive spirit of the Jacobins
without aiding the cause of our devoted friends.’

“‘Who,’ asked she, I was the guilty wretch that accused our unfortunate


“‘Robespierre!’ echoed Her Majesty.  ‘Oh, God!  then he is numbered with
the dead!  This fellow is too fond of blood to be tempted with money. But
you, Sire, must not interfere!’

“Notwithstanding these doubts, however, I undertook, at the King’s and
Queen’s most earnest desire, to get some one to feel the pulse of
Robespierre, for the salvation of these our only palladium to the
constitutional monarchy.  To the first application, though made through
the medium of one of his earliest college intimates, Carrier, the wretch
was utterly deaf and insensible.  Of this failure I hastened to apprise
Her Majesty.  ‘Was any, sum,’ asked she, ‘named as a compensation for
suspending this trial?’--‘None,’ replied I.  ‘I had no commands to that
effect.’--‘Then let the attempt be renewed, and back it with the argument
of a cheque for a hundred thousand livres on M. Laborde.  He has saved my
life and the King’s, and, as far as is in my power, I am determined to
save his.  Barnave has exposed his life more than any of our unfortunate
friends, and if we can but succeed in saving him, he will speedily be
enabled to save his colleagues.  Should the sum I name be insufficient,
my jewels shall be disposed of to make up a larger one.  Fly to your
agent, dear Princess!  Lose not a moment to intercede in behalf of these
our only true friends!’

“I did so, and was fortunate enough to gain over to my personal
entreaties one who had the courage to propose the business; and a hundred
and fifty thousand livres procured them a suspension of accusation.  All,
however, are still watched with such severity of scrutiny that I tremble,
even now, for the result.

[And with reason; for all, eventually, were sacrificed upon the scaffold.
Carrier was the factotum in all the cool, deliberate, sanguinary
operations of Robespierre; when he saw the cheque, he said to the
Princesse de Lamballe: “Madame, though your personal charms and mental
virtues had completely influenced all the authority I could exercise in
favour of your protege, without this interesting argument I should not
have had courage to have renewed the business with the principal agent of
life and death.”]

“It was in the midst of such apprehensions, which struck terror into the
hearts of the King and Queen, that the Tuileries resounded with cries of
multitudes hired to renew those shouts of ‘Vive le roi! vive la famille
royale!’ which were once spontaneous.

“In one of the moments of our deepest affliction, multitudes were
thronging the gardens and enjoying the celebration of the acceptance of
the Constitution.  What a contrast to the feelings of the unhappy inmates
of the palace!  We may well say, that many an aching heart rides in a
carriage, while the pedestrian is happy!

“The fetes on this occasion were very brilliant.  The King, the Queen,
and the Royal Family were invited to take part in this first national
festival.  They did so, by appearing in their carriage through the
streets of Paris, and the Champs Elysees, escorted only by the Parisian
guard, there being no other at the time.  The mob was so great that the
royal carriage could only keep pace with the foot-passengers.

“Their Majesties were in general well received.  The only exceptions were
a few of the Jacobin members of the Assembly, who, even on this occasion,
sought every means to afflict the hearts, and shock the ears, of Their
Majesties, by causing republican principles to be vociferated at the very
doors of their carriage.

“The good sense of the King and Queen prevented them from taking any
notice of these insults while in public; but no sooner had they returned
to the castle, than the Queen gave way to her grief at the premeditated
humiliation she was continually witnessing to the majesty of the
constitutional monarchy,--an insult less to the King himself than to the
nation, which had acknowledged him their Sovereign.

“When the royal party entered the apartment, they found M. de Montmorin
with me, who had come to talk over these matters, secure that at such a
moment we should not be surprised.

“On hearing the Queen’s observation, M. de Montmorin made no secret of
the necessity there was of Their Majesties dissembling their feelings;
the avowal of which, he said, would only tend to forward the triumph of
Jacobinism, ‘which,’ added he, ‘I am sorry to see predominates in the
Assembly, and keeps in subordination all the public and private clubs.’

“‘What!’ exclaimed the Princesse Elizabeth, can that be possible, after
the King has accepted the Constitution?’

“‘Yes,’ said the Queen; these people, my dear Elizabeth, wish for a
Constitution which sanctions the overthrow of him by whom it has been

“‘In this,’ observed M. de Montmorin, ‘as on some other points, I
perfectly agree with Your Majesty and the King, notwithstanding I have
been opposed by the whole Council and many other honest constituent
members, as well as the Cabinet of Vienna.  And it is still, as it has
ever been, my firm opinion, that the King ought, previous to the
acceptance of the Constitution, to have been allowed, for the security of
its future organization, to have examined it maturely; which, not having
been the case, I foresee the dangerous situation in which His Majesty
stands, and I foresee, too, the non-promulgation of this charter.
Malouet, who is an honest man, is of my opinion.  Duport, De Lameth,
Barnave, and even La Fayette are intimidated at the prevailing spirit of
the Jacobins.  They were all with the best intentions for Your Majesty’s
present safety, for the acceptance in toto, but without reflecting on the
consequences which must follow should the nation be deceived.  But I, who
am, and ever shall be, attached to royalty, regret the step, though I am
clear in my impression as to the only course which ought to succeed it.
The throne can now only be made secure by the most unequivocal frankness
of proceeding on the part of the Crown.  It is not enough to have
conceded, it is necessary also to show that the concession has some more
solid origin than mere expediency.  It should be made with a good grace.
Every motive of prudence, as well as of necessity, requires that the
monarch himself, and all those most interested for his safety, should,
neither in looks, manners, or conversation, seem as if they felt a regret
for what has been lost, but rather appear satisfied with what has been

“‘In that case,’ said the Queen, ‘we should lose all the support of the

“‘Every royalist, Madame,’ replied he, ‘who, at this critical crisis,
does not avow the sentiments of a constitutionalist, is a nail in the
King’s untimely coffin.’

“‘Gracious God!’ cried the Queen; ‘that would destroy the only hope
which still flatters our drooping existence.  Symptoms of moderation, or
any conciliatory measures we might be inclined to show, of our free will,
to the constitutionalists, would be immediately considered as a desertion
of our supporters, and treachery to ourselves, by the royalists.’

“‘It would be placed entirely out of my power, Madame,’ replied M. de
Montmorin, ‘to make my attachment to the persons of Your Majesties
available for the maintenance of your rights, did I permit the factious,
overbearing party which prevails to see into my real zeal for the
restoration of the royal authority, so necessary for their own future
honour, security, and happiness.  Could they see this, I should be
accused as a national traitor, or even worse, and sent out of the world
by a sudden death of ignominy, merely to glut their hatred of monarchy;
and it is therefore I dissemble.’

“‘I perfectly agree with you,’ answered the Queen.  That cruel moment
when I witnessed the humiliating state to which royalty had been reduced
by the constituents, when they placed the President of their Assembly
upon a level with the King; gave a plebeian, exercising his functions pro
tempore, prerogatives in the face of the nation to trample down
hereditary monarchy and legislative authority--that cruel moment
discovered the fatal truth.  In the anguish of my heart, I told His
Majesty that he had outlived his kingly authority: Here she burst into
tears, hiding her face in her handkerchief.

“With the mildness of a saint, the angelic Princesse Elizabeth exclaimed,
turning to the King, ‘Say something to the Queen, to calm her anguish!’

“‘It will be of no avail,’ said the King; ‘her grief adds to my
affliction.  I have been the innocent cause of her participating in this
total ruin, and as it is only her fortitude which has hitherto supported
me, with the same philosophical and religious resignation we must await
what fate destines!’

“‘Yes,’ observed M. de Montmorin; ‘but Providence has also given us the
rational faculty of opposing imminent danger, and by activity and
exertion obviating its consequences.’

“‘In what manner, sir?’ cried the Queen; ‘tell me how this is to be
effected, and, with the King’s sanction, I am ready to do anything to
avert the storm, which so loudly threatens the august head of the French

“‘Vienna, Madame,’ replied he; ‘Vienna!  Your Majesty’s presence at
Vienna would do more for the King’s safety, and the nation’s future
tranquillity, than the most powerful army.’

“‘We have long since suggested,’ said the Princesse Elizabeth, ‘that Her
Majesty should fly from France and take refuge----’

“‘Pardon me, Princess,’ interrupted M. de Montmorin, ‘it is not for
refuge solely I would have Her Majesty go thither.  It is to give
efficacy to the love she bears the King and his family, in being there
the powerful advocate to check the fallacious march of a foreign army to
invade us for the subjection of the French nation.  All these external
attempts will prove abortive, and only tend to exasperate the French to
crime and madness.  Here I coincide with my coadjutors, Barnave, Duport,
De Lameth, etc.  The principle on which the re-establishment of the order
and tranquillity of France depends, can be effected only by the
non-interference of foreign powers.  Let them leave the rational
resources of our own internal force to re-establish our real interests,
which every honest Frenchman will strive to secure, if not thwarted by
the threats and menaces of those who have no right to interfere.
Besides, Madame, they are too far from us to afford immediate relief from
the present dangers internally surrounding us.  These are the points of
fearful import.  It is not the threats and menaces of a foreign army
which can subdue a nation’s internal factions.  These only rouse them to
prolong disorders.  National commotions can be quelled only by national
spirit, whose fury, once exhausted on those who have aroused it, leave it
free to look within, and work a reform upon itself.’

“M. de Montmorin, after many other prudent exhortations and remarks, and
some advice with regard to the King and Queen’s household, took his.
leave.  He was no sooner gone than it was decided by the King that Marie
Antoinette, accompanied by myself and some other ladies, and the
gentlemen of the bedchamber, couriers, etc., should set out forthwith for

[The Princease de Lamballe sent me directions that very evening, some
time after midnight, to be at our place of rendezvous early in the
morning.  I was overjoyed at the style of the note.  It was the least
mysterious I had ever received from Her Highness.  I inferred that some
fortunate event had occurred, with which, knowing how deeply I was
interested in the fate of her on whom my own so much depended, she was,
eager to make me acquainted.

But what was my surprise, on entering the church fixed on for the
meeting, to see the Queen’s unknown confessor beckoning me to come to
him.  I approached.  He bade me wait till after Mass, when he had
something to communicate from the Princess.

This confessor officiated in the place of the one whom Mirabeau had
seduced to take the constitutional oath.  The Queen and Princess
confessed to him in the private apartment of Her Highness on the ground
floor; though it was never known where, or to whom they confessed, after
the treachery of the royal confessor.  This faithful and worthy successor
was only known as “the known.”  I never heard who he was, or what was his

The Mass being over, I followed him into the sacristy.  He told me that
the Princess, by Her Majesty’s command, wished me to set off immediately
for Strasburg, and there await the arrival of Her Highness, to be in
readiness to follow her and Her Majesty for the copying of the cipher, as
they were going to Vienna.

When everything, however, had been settled for their departure, which it
was agreed was to take place from the house of Count Fersen, the
resolution was suddenly changed; but I was desired to hold myself in
readiness for another journey.]

“To say why this purpose was abandoned is unnecessary.  The same
fatality, which renders every project unattainable, threw insuperable
impediments, in the way of this.”


“The news of the death of the Emperor Leopold, in the midst of the other
distresses of Her Majesty, afflicted her very deeply; the more so because
she had every reason to think he fell a victim to the active part he took
in her favour.  Externally, this monarch certainly demonstrated no very
great inclination to become a member of the coalition of Pilnitz.  He
judged, very justly, that his brother Joseph had not only defeated his
own purposes by too openly and violently asserting the cause of their
unfortunate sister, but had destroyed himself, and, therefore, selected
what he deemed the safer and surer course of secret support.  But all his
caution proved abortive.  The Assembly knew his manoeuvres as well as he
himself did.  He died an untimely death; and the Queen was assured, from
undoubted authority, that both Joseph and Leopold were poisoned in their

“During my short absence in England, the King’s household had undergone a
complete change.  When the emigration first commenced, a revolution in
the officers of the Court took place, but it was of a nature different
from this last; and, by destroying itself, left the field open to those
who now made the palace so intolerable.  The first change to which I
refer arose as follows:

“The greater part of the high offices being vacated by the secession of
the most distinguished nobility, many places fell to persons who had all
their lives occupied very subordinate situations.  These, to retain their
offices, were indiscreet enough publicly to declare their dissent from
all the measures of the Assembly; an absurdity, which, at the
commencement, was encouraged by the Court, till the extreme danger of
encouraging it was discovered too late; and when once the error had been
tolerated, and rewarded, it was found impossible to check it, and stop
these fatal tongues.  The Queen, who disliked the character of
capriciousness, for a long time allowed the injury to go on, by
continuing about her those who inflicted it.  The error, which arose from
delicacy, was imputed to a very different and less honourable feeling,
till the clamour became so great, that she was obliged to yield to it,
and dismiss those who had acted with so much indiscretion.

“The King and Queen did not dare now to express themselves on the subject
of the substitutes who were to succeed.  Consequently they became
surrounded by persons placed by the Assembly as spies.  The most
conspicuous situations were filled by the meanest persons--not, as in the
former case, by such as had risen, though by accident, still regularly to
their places--but by myrmidons of the prevailing power, to whom Their
Majesties were compelled to submit, because their rulers willed it.  All
orders of nobility were abolished.  All the Court ladies, not attached to
the King and Queen personally, abandoned the Court.  No one would be seen
at the Queen’s card-parties, once so crowded, and so much sought after.
We were entirely reduced to the family circle.  The King, when weary of
playing with the Princesse Elizabeth and the Queen, would retire to his
apartments without uttering a word, not from sullenness, but overcome by
silent grief.

“The Queen was occupied continually by the extensive correspondence she
had to carry on with the foreign Sovereigns, the Princes, and the
different parties.  Her Majesty once gave me nearly thirty letters she
had written in the course of two days, which were forwarded by my cara
Inglesina--cara indeed!  for she was of the greatest service.

“Her Majesty slept very little.  But her courage never slackened; and
neither her health, nor her general amiableness, was in the least
affected.  Though few persons could be more sensible than herself to
poignant mortification at seeing her former splendour hourly decrease,
yet she never once complained.  She was, in this respect, a real stoic.

“The palace was now become, what it still remains, like a police office.
It was filled with spies and runners.  Every member of the Assembly, by
some means or other, had his respective emissary.  All the antechambers
were peopled by inveterate Jacobins, by those whose greatest pleasure was
to insult the ears and minds of all whom they considered above themselves
in birth, or rank, or virtue.  So completely were the decencies of life
abolished, that common respect was withheld even from the Royal Family.

“I was determined to persevere in my usual line of conduct, of which the
King and Queen very much approved.  Without setting up for a person of
importance, I saw all who wished for public or private audiences of Their
Majesties.  I carried on no intrigues, and only discharged the humble
duties of my situation to the best of my ability for the general good,
and to secure, as far as possible, the comfort of Their Majesties, who
really were to be pitied, utterly friendless and forsaken as they were.

“M. Laporte, the head of the King’s private police, came to me one day in
great consternation.  He had discovered that schemes were on foot to
poison all the Royal Family, and that, in a private committee of the
Assembly, considerable pensions had been offered for the perpetration of
the crime.  Its facility was increased, as far as regarded the Queen, by
the habit to which Her Majesty had accustomed herself of always keeping
powdered sugar at hand, which, without referring to her attendants, she
would herself mix with water and drink as a beverage whenever she was

“I entreated M. Laporte not to disclose the conspiracy to the Queen till
I had myself had an opportunity of apprising her of his praiseworthy
zeal.  He agreed, on condition that precautions should be immediately
adopted with respect to the persons who attended the kitchen.  This, I
assured him, should be done on the instant.

“At the period I mention, all sorts of etiquette had been abolished. The
custom which prevented my appearing before the Queen, except at stated
hours, had long since been discontinued; and, as all the other
individuals who came before or after the hours of service were eyed with
distrust, and I remained the only one whose access to Their Majesties was
free and unsuspected, though it was very early when M. Laporte called, I
thought it my duty to hasten immediately to my royal mistress.

“I found her in bed.  ‘Has Your Majesty breakfasted?’ said I.

“‘No,’ replied she; ‘will you breakfast with me?’

“‘Most certainly,’ said I, ‘if Your Majesty will insure me against being

“At the word poison Her Majesty started up and looked at me very
earnestly, and with a considerable degree of alarm.

“‘I am only joking,’ continued I; ‘I will breakfast with Your Majesty if
you will give me tea.’

“Tea was presently brought.  ‘In this,’ said I, ‘there is no danger.’

“‘What do you mean?’ asked Her Majesty.

“‘I am ordered,’ replied I, taking up a lump of sugar, ‘not to drink
chocolate, or coffee, or anything with powdered sugar.  These are times
when caution alone can prevent our being sent out of the world with all
our sins upon our heads.’

“‘I am very glad to hear you say so; for you have reason to be
particular, after what you once so cruelly suffered from poison.  But
what has brought that again into your mind just now?’

“‘Well, then, since Your Majesty approves of my circumspection, allow me
to say I think it advisable that we should, at a moment like this
especially, abstain from all sorts of food by which our existence may be
endangered.  For my own part, I mean to give up all made dishes, and
confine myself to the simplest diet.’

“‘Come, come, Princess,’ interrupted Her Majesty; ‘there is more in this
than you wish me to understand.  Fear not.  I am prepared for anything
that may be perpetrated against my own life, but let me preserve from
peril my King, my husband, and my children!’

“My feelings prevented me from continuing to dissemble.  I candidly
repeated all I had heard from M. Laporte.

“Her Majesty instantly rang for one of her confidential women.  ‘Go to
the King,’ said Her Majesty to the attendant, ‘and if you find him alone,
beg him to come to me at once; but, if there are any of the guards or
other persons within hearing, merely say that the Princesse de Lamballe
is with me and is desirous of the loan of a newspaper.’

“The King’s guard, and indeed most of those about him, were no better
than spies, and this caution in the Queen was necessary to prevent any
jealousy from being excited by the sudden message.

“When the messenger left us by ourselves, I observed to Her Majesty that
it would be imprudent to give the least publicity to the circumstance,
for were it really mere suspicion in the head of the police, its
disclosure might only put this scheme into some miscreant’s head, and
tempt him to realize it.  The Queen said I was perfectly right, and it
should be kept secret.

“Our ambassadress was fortunate enough to reach the King’s apartment
unobserved, and to find him unattended, so he received the message
forthwith.  On leaving the apartment, however, she was noticed and
watched.  She immediately went out of the Tuileries as if sent to make
purchases, and some time afterwards returned with some trifling articles
in her hand.

[This incident will give the reader an idea of the cruel situation in
which the first Sovereigns of Europe then stood; and how much they
appreciated the few subjects who devoted themselves to thwart and
mitigate the tyranny practised by the Assembly over these illustrious
victims.  I can speak from my own experience on these matters.  From the
time I last accompanied the Princesse de Lamballe to Paris till I left it
in 1792, what between milliners, dressmakers, flower girls, fancy toy
sellers, perfumers, hawkers of jewellery, purse and gaiter makers, etc.,
I had myself assumed twenty different characters, besides that of a
drummer boy, sometimes blackening my face to enter the palace unnoticed,
and often holding conversations analogous to the sentiments of the
wretches who were piercing my heart with the remarks circumstances
compelled me to encourage.  Indeed, I can safely say I was known, in some
shape or other, to almost everybody, but to no one in my real character,
except the Princess by whom I was so graciously employed.]

“The moment the King appeared, ‘Sire,’ exclaimed Her Majesty, ‘the
Assembly, tired of endeavouring to wear us to death by slow torment, have
devised an expedient to relieve their own anxiety and prevent us from
putting them to further inconvenience.’

“‘What do you mean?’ said the King.  I repeated my conversation with M.
Laporte.  ‘Bah! bah!’ resumed His Majesty, ‘They never will attempt it.
They have fixed on other methods of getting rid of us.  They have not
policy enough to allow our deaths to be ascribed to accident.  They are
too much initiated in great crimes already.’

“‘But,’ asked the Queen, ‘do you not think it highly necessary to make
use of every precaution, when we are morally sure of the probability of
such a plot?’

“‘Most certainly! otherwise we should be, in the eyes of God, almost
guilty of suicide.  But how prevent it? surrounded as we are by persons
who, being seduced to believe that we are plotting against them, feel
justified in the commission of any crime under the false idea of

“‘We may prevent it,’ replied Her Majesty, ‘by abstaining from everything
in our diet wherein poison can be introduced; and that we can manage
without making any stir by the least change either in the kitchen
arrangements or in our own, except, indeed, this one.  Luckily, as we are
restricted in our attendants, we have a fair excuse for dumb waiters,
whereby it will be perfectly easy to choose or discard without exciting

“This, consequently, was the course agreed upon; and every possible
means, direct and indirect, was put into action to secure the future
safety of the Royal Family and prevent the accomplishment of the threat
of poison.”

[On my seeing the Princess next morning, Her Highness condescended to
inform me of the danger to which herself and the Royal Family were
exposed.  She requested I would send my man servant to the persons who
served me, to fill a moderate-sized hamper with wine, salt, chocolate,
biscuits, and liquors, and take it to her apartment, at the Pavilion of
Flora, to be used as occasion required.  All the fresh bread and butter
which was necessary I got made for nearly a fortnight by persons whom I
knew at a distance from the palace, whither I always conveyed it myself.]


Editor in continuation:

I am again, for this and the following chapter, compelled to resume the
pen in my own person, and quit the more agreeable office of a transcriber
for my illustrious patroness.

I have already mentioned that the Princesse de Lamballe, on first
returning from England to France, anticipated great advantages from the
recall of the emigrants.  The desertion of France by so many of the
powerful could not but be a deathblow to the prosperity of the monarchy.
There was no reason for these flights at the time they began.  The
fugitives only set fire to the four quarters of the globe against their
country.  It was natural enough that the servants whom they had left
behind to keep their places should take advantage of their masters’
pusillanimity, and make laws to exclude those who had, uncalled for,
resigned the sway into bolder and more active hands.

I do not mean to impeach the living for the dead; but, when we see those
bearing the lofty titles of Kings and Princesses, escaping with their
wives and families, from an only brother and sister with helpless infant
children, at the hour of danger, we cannot help wishing for a little
plebeian disinterestedness in exalted minds.

I have travelled Europe twice, and I have never seen any woman with that
indescribable charm of person, manner, and character, which distinguished
Marie Antoinette.  This is in itself a distinction quite sufficient to
detach friends from its possessor through envy.  Besides, she was Queen
of France, the woman of highest rank in a most capricious, restless and
libertine nation.  The two Princesses placed nearest to her, and who were
the first to desert her, though both very much inferior in personal and
mental qualifications, no doubt, though not directly, may have
entertained some anticipations of her place.  Such feelings are not
likely to decrease the distaste, which results from comparisons to our
own disadvantage.  It is, therefore, scarcely to be wondered at, that
those nearest to the throne should be least attached to those who fill
it.  How little do such persons think that the grave they are thus
insensibly digging may prove their own!  In this case it only did not by
a miracle.  What the effect of the royal brothers’ and the nobility’s
remaining in France would have been we can only conjecture.  That their
departure caused, great and irreparable evils we know; and we have good
reason to think they caused the greatest.  Those who abandon their houses
on fire, silently give up their claims to the devouring element.  Thus
the first emigration kindled the French flame, which, though for a while
it was got under by a foreign stream, was never completely, extinguished
till subdued by its native current.

The unfortunate Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette ceased to be Sovereigns
from the period they were ignominiously dragged to their jail at the
Tuileries.  From this moment they were abandoned to the vengeance of
miscreants, who were disgracing the nation with unprovoked and useless
murders.  But from this moment also the zeal of the Princesses Elizabeth
and de Lamballe became redoubled.  Out of one hundred individuals and
more, male and female, who had been exclusively occupied about the person
of Marie Antoinette, few, excepting this illustrious pair, and the
inestimable Clery, remained devoted to the last.  The saint-like virtues
of these Princesses, malice itself has not been able to tarnish.  Their
love and unalterable friendship became the shield of their unfortunate
Sovereigns, and their much injured relatives, till the dart struck their
own faithful bosoms.  Princes of the earth!  here is a lesson of
greatness from the great.

Scarcely had the Princesse de Lamballe been reinstated in the Pavilion of
Flora at the Tuileries, when, by the special royal command, and in Her
Majesty’s presence, she wrote to most of the nobility, entreating their
return to France.  She urged them, by every argument, that there was no
other means of saving them and their country from the horrors impending
over them and France, should they persevere in their pernicious absence.
In some of these letters, which I copied, there was written on the
margin, in the Queen’s hand, “I am at her elbow, and repeat the necessity
of your returning, if you love your King, your religion, your Government,
and your country.  Marie Antoinette.  Return!  Return!  Return!”

Among these letters, I remember a large envelope directed to the Duchesse
de Brisac, then residing alternately at the baths of Albano and the
mineral waters at Valdagno, near Vicenza, in the Venetian States.  Her
Grace was charged to deliver letters addressed to Her Majesty’s royal
brothers, the Comte de Provence, and the Comte d’Artois, who were then
residing, I think, at Stra, on the Brenta, in company with Madame de
Polcatre, Diane de Polignac, and others.

A few days after, I took another envelope, addressed to the Count Dufour,
who was at Turin.  It contained letters for M. and Madame de Polignac, M.
and Madame de Guiche Grammont, the King’s aunts at Rome, and the two
Princesses of Piedmont, wives of His Majesty’s brothers.

If, therefore, a judgment can be formed from the impressions of the Royal
Family, who certainly must have had ample information with respect to the
spirit which predominated at Paris at that period, could the nobility
have been prevailed on to have obeyed the mandates of the Queen and
prayers and invocations of the Princess, there can be no doubt that much
bloodshed would have been spared, and the page of history never have been
sullied by the atrocious names which now stand there as beacons of human

The storms were now so fearfully increasing that the King and Queen, the
Duc de Penthievre, the Count Fersen, the Princesse Elizabeth, the
Duchesse d’Orleans, and all the friends of the Princesse de Lamballe,
once more united in anxious wishes for her to quit France.  Even the Pope
himself endeavoured to prevail upon Her Highness to join the royal aunts
at Rome.  To all these applications she replied, “I have nothing to
reproach myself with.  If my inviolable duty and unalterable attachment
to my Sovereigns, who are my relations and my friends; if love for my
dear father and for my adopted country are crimes, in the face of God and
the world I confess my guilt, and shall die happy if in such a cause!”

The Duc de Penthievre, who loved her as well as his own child, the
Duchesse d’Orleans, was too good a man, and too conscientious a Prince,
not to applaud the disinterested firmness of his beloved daughter-in-law;
yet, foreseeing and dreading the fatal consequence which must result from
so much virtue at a time when vice alone predominated, unknown to the
Princesse de Lamballe, he interested the Court of France to write to the
Court of Sardinia to entreat that the King, as head of her family, would
use his good offices in persuading the Princess to leave the scenes of
commotion, in which she was so much exposed, and return to her native
country.  The King of Sardinia, her family, and her particular friend,
the Princess of Piedmont, supplicated ineffectually.  The answer of Her
Highness to the King, at Turin, was as follows:


“I do not recollect that any of our illustrious ancestors of the house of
Savoy, before or since the great hero Charles Emmanuel, of immortal
memory, ever dishonoured or tarnished their illustrious names with
cowardice.  In leaving the Court of France at this awful crisis, I should
be the first.  Can Your Majesty pardon my presumption in differing from
your royal counsel?  The King, Queen, and every member of the Royal
Family of France, both from the ties of blood and policy of States,
demand our united efforts in their defence.  I cannot swerve from my
determination of never quitting them, especially at a moment when they
are abandoned by every one of their former attendants, except myself.  In
happier days Your Majesty may command my obedience; but, in the present
instance, and given up as is the Court of France to their most atrocious
persecutors, I must humbly insist on being guided by my own decision.
During the most brilliant period of the reign of Marie Antoinette, I was
distinguished by the royal favour and bounty.  To abandon her in
adversity, Sire, would stain my character, and that of my illustrious
family, for ages to come, with infamy and cowardice, much more to be
dreaded than the most cruel death.”

Similar answers were returned to all those of her numerous friends and
relatives, who were so eager to shelter her from the dangers threatening
Her Highness and the Royal Family.

Her Highness was persuaded, however, to return once more to England,
under the pretext of completing the mission she had so successfully
began; but it is very clear that neither the King or Queen had any
serious idea of her succeeding, and that their only object was to get her
away from the theatre of disaster.  Circumstances had so completely
changed for the worst, that, though Her Highness was received with great
kindness, her mission was no longer listened to.  The policy of England
shrunk from encouraging twenty thousand French troops to be sent in a
body to the West Indies, and France was left to its fate.  A conversation
with Mr. Burke, in which the disinclination of England to interfere was
distinctly owned, created that deep-rooted grief and apprehension in the
mind of the Queen from which Her Majesty never recovered.  The Princesse
de Lamballe was the only one in her confidence.  It is well known that
the King of England greatly respected the personal virtues of Their
French Majesties; but upon the point of business, both King and Ministers
were now become ambiguous and evasive.  Her Highness, therefore, resolved
to return.  It had already been whispered that she had left France, only
to save herself, like the rest; and she would no longer remain under so
slanderous an imputation.  She felt, too, the necessity of her friendship
to her royal mistress.  Though the Queen of England, by whom Her Highness
was very much esteemed, and many other persons of the first consequence
in the British nation, foreseeing the inevitable fate of the Royal
Family, and of all their faithful adherents, anxiously entreated her not
to quit England, yet she became insensible to every consideration as to
her own situation and only felt the isolated one of her august Sovereign,
her friend, and benefactress.


Editor in continuation:

Events seemed molded expressly to produce the state of feeling which
marked that disastrous day, the 20th of June, 1792.  It frequently
happens that nations, like individuals, rush wildly upon the very dangers
they apprehend, and select such courses as invite what they are most
solicitous to avoid.  So it was with everything preceding this dreadful
day.  By a series of singular occurrences I did not witness its horrors,
though in some degree their victim.  Not to detain my readers
unnecessarily, I will proceed directly to the accident which withdrew me
from the scene.

The apartment of the Princesse de Lamballe, in the Pavilion of Flora,
looked from one side upon the Pont Royal.  On the day of which I speak, a
considerable quantity of combustibles had been thrown from the bridge
into one of her rooms.  The Princess, in great alarm, sent instantly for
me.  She desired to have my English man servant, if he were not afraid,
secreted in her room, while she herself withdrew to another part of the
palace, till the extent of the intended mischief could be ascertained. I
assured Her Highness that I was not only ready to answer for my servant,
but would myself remain with him, as he always went armed, and I was so
certain of his courage and fidelity that I could not hesitate even to
trust my life in his hands.

“For God’s sake, ‘mia cara’,” exclaimed the Princess, “do not risk your
own safety, if you have any value for my friendship.  I desire you not to
go near the Pavilion of Flora.  Your servant’s going is quite sufficient.
Never again let me hear such a proposition.  What!  after having hitherto
conducted yourself so punctually, would you, by one rash act, devote
yourself to ruin, and deprive us of your valuable services?”

I begged Her Highness would pardon the ardour of the dutiful zeal I felt
for her in the moment of danger.

“Yes, yes,” continued she; “that is all very well; but this is not the
first time I have been alarmed at your too great intrepidity; and if ever
I hear of your again attempting to commit yourself so wantonly, I will
have you sent to Turin immediately, there to remain till you have
recovered your senses.  I always thought English heads cool; but I
suppose your residence in France has changed the national character of

Once more, with tears in my eyes, I begged her forgiveness, and, on my
knees, implored that she would not send me away in the hour of danger.
After having so long enjoyed the honour of her confidence, I trusted she
would overlook my fault, particularly as it was the pure emanation of my
resentment at any conspiracy against one I so dearly loved; and to whom I
had been under so many obligations, that the very idea of being deprived
of such a benefactress drove me frantic.

Her Highness burst into tears.  “I know your heart,” exclaimed she; “but
I also know too well our situation, and it is that which makes me tremble
for the consequences which must follow your overstepping the bounds so
necessary to be observed by all of us at this horrid period.”  And then
she called me again her cars ‘Inglesina’, and graciously condescended to
embrace me, and bathed my face with her tears, in token of her
forgiveness, and bade me sit down and compose myself, and weep no more.

Scarcely was I seated, when we were both startled by deafening shouts for
the head of Madame Veto, the name they gave the poor unfortunate Queen.
An immense crowd of cannibals and hired ruffians were already in the
Tuileries, brandishing all sorts of murderous weapons, and howling for
blood!  My recollections from this moment are very indistinct.  I know
that in an instant the apartment was filled; that the Queen, the
Princesse Elizabeth, all the attendants, even the King, I believe,
appeared there.  I myself received a wound upon my hand in warding a blow
from my face; and in the turmoil of the scene, and of the blow, I
fainted, and was conveyed by some humane person to a place of safety, in
the upper part of the palace.

Thus deprived of my senses for several hours, I was spared the agony of
witnessing the scenes of horror that succeeded.  For two or three days I
remained in a state of so much exhaustion and alarm, that when the
Princess came to me I did not know her, nor even where I was.

As soon as I was sufficiently recovered, places were taken for me and
another person in one of the common diligences, by which I was conveyed
to Passy, where the Princess came to me in the greatest confusion.

My companion in the palace was the widow of one of the Swiss guards, who
had been murdered on the 6th of October, in defending the Queen’s
apartment at Versailles.  The poor woman had been herself protected by
Her Majesty, and accompanied me by the express order of the Princesse de
Lamballe.  What the Princess said to her on departing, I know not, for I
only caught the words “general insurrection,” on hearing which the
afflicted woman fell into a fit.  To me, Her Highness merely exclaimed,
“Do not come to Paris till you hear from me;” and immediately set off to
return to the Tuileries.

However, as usual, my courage soon got the better of my strength, and of
every consideration of personal safety.  On the third day, I proposed to
the person who took care of me that we should both walk out together,
and, if there appeared no symptoms of immediate danger, it was agreed
that we might as well get into one of the common conveyances, and proceed
forthwith to Paris; for I could no longer repress my anxiety to learn
what was going on there, and the good creature who was with me was no
less impatient.

When we got into a diligence, I felt the dread of another severe lecture
like the last, and thought it best not to incur fresh blame by new
imprudence.  I therefore told the driver to set us down on the high road
near Paris leading to the Bois de Boulogne.  But before we got so far,
the woods resounded with the howling of mobs, and we heard, “Vive le roi”
 vociferated, mingled with “Down with the King,”--“Down with the Queen;”
 and, what was still more horrible, the two parties were in actual bloody
strife, and the ground was strewn with the bodies of dead men, lying like
slaughtered sheep.

It was fortunate that we were the only persons in the vehicle.  The
driver, observing our extreme agitation, turned round to us.  “Nay, nay,”
 cried he; “do not alarm yourselves.  It is only the constitutionalists
and the Jacobins fighting against each other.  I wish the devil had them

It was evident, however, that, though the man was desirous of quieting
our apprehensions, he was considerably disturbed by his own; for though
he acknowledged he had a wife and children in Paris, who he hoped were
safe, still he dared not venture to proceed, but said, if we wished to be
driven back, he would take us to any place we liked, out of Paris.

Our anxiety to know what was going forward at the Tuileries was now
become intolerable; and the more so, from the necessity we felt of
restraining our feelings.  At last, however, we were in some degree
relieved from this agony of reserve.

“God knows,” exclaimed the driver, “what will be the consequence of all
this bloodshed!  The poor King and Queen are greatly to be pitied!”

This ejaculation restored our courage, and we said he might drive us
wherever he chose out of the sight of those horrors; and it was at length
settled that he should take us to Passy.  “Oh,” cried he, “if you will
allow me, I will take you to my father’s house there; for you seem more
dead than alive, both of you, and ought to go where you can rest in quiet
and safety.”

My companion, who was a German, now addressed me in that language.

“German!” exclaimed the driver on hearing her.  “German!  Why, I am a
German myself, and served the good King, who is much to be pitied, for
many years; and when I was wounded, the Queen, God bless her!  set me up
in the world, as I was made an invalid; and I have ever since been
enabled to support my family respectably.  D---- the Assembly!  I shall
never be a farthing the better for them!”

“Oh,” replied I, “then I suppose you are not a Jacobin?”

The driver, with a torrent of curses, then began execrating the very name
of Jacobin.  This emboldened me to ask him when he had left Paris.  He
replied, “Only this very morning,” and added that the Assembly had shut
the gates of the Tuileries under the pretence of preventing the King and
Queen from being assassinated.  “But that is all a confounded lie,”
 continued he, “invented to keep out the friends of the Royal Family. But,
God knows, they are now so fallen, they have few such left to be turned

“I am more enraged,” pursued he, “at the ingratitude of the nobility than
I am at these hordes of bloodthirsty plunderers, for we all know that the
nobility owe everything to the King.  Why do they not rise en masse to
shield the Royal Family from these bloodhounds?  Can they imagine they
will be spared if the King should be murdered?  I have no patience with

I then asked him our fare.  “Two livres is the fare, but you shall not
pay anything.  I see plainly, ladies, that you are not what you assume to

“My good man,” replied I, “we are not; and therefore take this louis d’or
for your trouble.”

He caught my hand and pressed it to his lips, exclaiming, “I never in my
life knew a man who was faithful to his King, that God did not provide

He then took us to Passy, but advised us not to remain at the place where
we had been staying; and fortunate enough it was for us that we did not,
for the house was set on fire and plundered by a rebel mob very soon

I told the driver how much I was obliged to him for his services, and he
seemed delighted when I promised to give him proofs of my confidence in
his fidelity.

“If,” said I, “you can find out my servant whom I left in Paris, I will
give you another louis d’or.”  I was afraid, at first, to mention where
he was to look for him.

“If he be not dead,” replied the driver, “I will find him out.”

“What!” cried I, “even though he should be at the Tuileries?”

“Why, madame, I am one of the national guard.  I have only to put on my
uniform to be enabled to go to any part of the palace I please.  Tell me
his name, and where you think it likely he may be found, and depend upon
it I will bring him to you.”

“Perhaps,” continued he, “it is your husband disguised as a servant; but
no matter.  Give me a clue, and I’ll warrant you he shall tell you the
rest himself by this time to-morrow.”

“Well, then,” replied I, “he is in the Pavilion of Flora.”

“What, with the Princesse de Lamballe?  Oh, I would go through fire and
water for that good Princess!  She has done me the honour to stand
godmother to one of my children, and allows her a pension.”

I took him at his word.  We changed our quarters to his father’s house, a
very neat little cottage, about a quarter of a mile from the town. He
afterwards rendered me many services in going to and fro from Passy to
Paris; and, as he promised, brought me my servant.

When the poor fellow arrived, his arm was in a sling.  He had been
wounded by a musket shot, received in defence of the Princess.  The
history of his disaster was this:

On the night of the riot, as he was going from the Pont Royal to the
apartment of Her Highness, he detected a group of villains under her
windows.  Six of them were attempting to enter by a ladder.  He fired,
and two fell.  While he was reloading, the others shot at him.  Had he
not, in the flurry of the moment, fired both his pistols at the same
time, he thinks he should not have been wounded, but might have punished
the assailant.  One of the men, he said, could have been easily taken by
the national guard, who so glaringly encouraged the escape that he could
almost swear the guard was a party concerned.  The loss of blood had so
exhausted him that he could not pursue the offender himself, whom
otherwise he could have taken without any difficulty.

As the employing of my servant had only been proposed, and the sudden
interruption of my conversation with Her Highness by the riot had
prevented my ever communicating the project to him, I wondered how he got
into the business, or ascertained so soon that the apartment of the
Princess was in danger.  He explained that he never had heard of its
being so; but my own coachman having left me at the palace that day, and
not hearing of me for some time, had driven home, and, fearing that my
not returning arose from something which had happened, advised him to go
to the Pont Royal and hear what he could learn, as there was a report of
many persons having been murdered and thrown over the bridge.

My man took the advice, and armed himself to be ready in case of attack.
It was between one and two o’clock after midnight when he went.  The
first objects he perceived were these miscreants attempting to scale the

He told me that the Queen had been most grossly insulted; that the gates
of the Tuileries had been shut in consequence; that a small part alone
remained open to the public, who were kept at their distance by a
national ribbon, which none could pass without being instantly arrested.
This had prevented his apprising the Princess of the attempt which he had
accidentally defeated, and which he wished me to communicate to her
immediately.  I did so by letter, which my good driver carried to Paris,
and delivered safe into the hands of our benefactress.

The surprise of the Princess on hearing from me, and her pleasure at my
good fortune in finding by accident such means, baffles all description.
Though she was at the time overwhelmed with the imminent dangers which
threatened her, yet she still found leisure to show her kindness to those
who were doing their best, though in vain, to serve her.  The following
letter, which she sent me in reply, written amidst all the uneasiness it
describes, will speak for her more eloquently than my praises:

“I can understand your anxiety.  It was well for you that you were
unconscious of the dreadful scenes which were passing around you on that
horrid day.  The Princesse de Tarente, Madame de Tourzel, Madame de
Mockau, and all the other ladies of the household owed the safety of
their lives to one of the national guards having given his national
cockade to the Queen.  Her Majesty placed it on her head, unperceived by
the mob.  One of the gentlemen of the King’s wardrobe provided the King
and the Princesse Elizabeth with the same impenetrable shield.  Though
the cannibals came for murder, I could not but admire the enthusiastic
deference that was shown to this symbol of authority, which instantly
paralyzed, the daggers uplifted for our extermination.

“Merlin de Thionville was the stoic head of this party.  The Princesse
Elizabeth having pointed him out to me, I ventured to address him
respecting the dangerous situation to which the Royal Family were daily
exposed.  I flattered him upon his influence over the majority of the
faubourgs, to which only we could look for the extinction of these
disorders.  He replied that the despotism of the Court had set a bad
example to the people; that he felt for the situation of the royal party
as individuals, but he felt much more for the safety of the French
nation, who were in still greater danger than Their Majesties had to
dread, from the Austrian faction, by which a foreign army had been
encouraged to invade the territory of France, where they were now waiting
the opportunity of annihilating French liberty forever!

“To this Her Majesty replied, ‘When the deputies of the Assembly have
permitted, nay, I may say, encouraged this open violation of the King’s
asylum, and, by their indifference to the safety of all those who
surround us, have sanctioned the daily insults to which we have been, and
still are, exposed, it is not to be wondered, at that all Sovereigns
should consider it their interest to make common cause with us, to crush
internal commotions, levelled, not only against the throne, and the
persons of the Sovereign and his family, but against the very principle
of monarchy itself.’

“Here the King, though much intimidated for the situation of the Queen
and his family, for whose heads the wretches were at that very moment
howling in their ears, took up the conversation.

“‘These cruel facts,’ said he, ‘and the menacing situation you even now
witness, fully justify our not rejecting foreign aid, though God knows
how deeply I deplore the necessity of such a cruel resource!  But, when
all internal measures of conciliation have been trodden under foot, and
the authorities, who ought to check it and protect us from these cruel
outrages, are only occupied in daily fomenting the discord between us and
our subjects; though a forlorn hope, what other hope is there of safety?
I foresee the drift of all these commotions, and am resigned; but what
will become of this misguided nation, when the head of it shall be

“Here the King, nearly choked by his feelings, was compelled to pause for
a moment, and he then proceeded.

“‘I should not feel it any sacrifice to give up the guardianship of the
nation, could I, in so doing, insure its future tranquillity; but I
foresee that my blood, like that of one of my unhappy brother
Sovereigns,--[Charles the First, of England.]--will only open the
flood-gates of human misery, the torrent of which, swelled with the best
blood of France, will deluge this once peaceful realm.’

“This, as well as I can recollect, is the substance of what passed at the
castle on this momentous day.  Our situation was extremely doubtful, and
the noise and horrid riots were at times so boisterous, that frequently
we could not, though so near them, distinguish a word the King and Queen
said; and yet, whenever the leaders of these organized ruffians spoke or
threatened, the most respectful stillness instantly prevailed.

“I weep in silence for misfortunes, which I fear are inevitable!  The
King, the Queen, the Princesse Elizabeth and myself, with many others
under this unhappy roof, have never ventured to undress or sleep in bed,
till last night.  None of us any longer reside on the ground floor.

“By the very manly exertions of some of the old officers incorporated in
the national army, the awful riot I have described was overpowered, and
the mob, with difficulty, dispersed.  Among these, I should particularize
Generals de Vomenil, de Mandat, and de Roederer.  Principally by their
means the interior of the Tuileries was at last cleared, though partial
mobs, such as you have often witnessed, still subsist.

“I am thus particular in giving you a full account of this last
revolutionary commotion, that your prudence may still keep you at a
distance from the vortex.  Continue where you are, and tell your man
servant how much I am obliged to him, and, at the same time, how much I
am grieved at his being wounded!  I knew nothing of the affair but from
your letter and your faithful messenger.  He is an old pensioner of mine,
and a good honest fellow.  You may depend on him.  Serve yourself,
through him, in communicating with me.  Though he has had a limited
education, he is not wanting in intellect.  Remember that honesty, in
matters of such vital import, is to be trusted before genius.

“My apartment appears like a barrack, like a bear garden, like anything
but what it was!  Numbers of valuable things have been destroyed, numbers
carried off.  Still, notwithstanding all the horrors of these last days,
it delights me to be able to tell you that no one in the service of the
Royal Family failed in duty at this dreadful crisis.  I think we may
firmly rely on the inviolable attachment of all around us.  No jealousy,
no considerations of etiquette, stood in the way of their exertions to
show themselves worthy of the situations they hold.  The Queen showed the
greatest intrepidity during the whole of these trying scenes.

“At present, I can say no more.  Petion, the Mayor of Paris, has just
been announced; and, I believe, he wishes for an audience of Her Majesty,
though he never made his appearance during the whole time of the riots in
the palace.  Adieu, mia cara Inglesina!”

The receipt of this letter, however it might have affected me to hear
what Her Highness suffered, in common with the rest of the unfortunate
royal inmates of the Tuileries, gave me extreme pleasure from the
assurance it contained of the firmness of those nearest to the sufferers.
I was also sincerely gratified in reflecting on the probity and
disinterested fidelity of this worthy man, which contrasted him, so
strikingly and so advantageously to himself, with many persons of birth
and education, whose attachment could not stand the test of the trying
scenes of the Revolution, which made them abandon and betray, where they
had sworn an allegiance to which they were doubly bound by gratitude.

My man servant was attended, and taken the greatest care of.  The
Princess never missed a day in sending to inquire after his health; and,
on his recovery, the Queen herself not only graciously condescended to
see him, but, besides making him a valuable present, said many flattering
and obliging things of his bravery and disinterestedness.

I should scarcely have deemed these particulars honourable as they are to
the feelings of the illustrious personages from whom they
proceeded--worth mentioning in a work of this kind, did they not give
indications of character rarely to be met with (and, in their case, how
shamefully rewarded!), from having occurred at a crisis when their minds
were occupied in affairs of such deep importance, and amidst the
appalling dangers which hourly threatened their own existence.

Her Majesty’s correspondence with foreign Courts had been so much
increased by these scenes of horror, especially her correspondence with
her relations in Italy, that, ere long, I was sent for back to Paris.


Journal of the Princess resumed and concluded:

“The insurrection of the 20th of June, and the uncertain state of the
safety of the Royal Family, menaced as it was by almost daily riots,
induced a number of well-disposed persons to prevail on General La
Fayette to leave his army and come to Paris, and there personally
remonstrate against these outrages.  Had he been sincere he would have
backed the measure by appearing at the head of his army, then
well-disposed, as Cromwell did when he turned out the rogues who were
seeking the Lord through the blood of their King, and put the keys in his
pocket. Violent disorders require violent remedies.  With an army and a
few pieces of cannon at the door of the Assembly, whose members were
seeking the aid of the devil, for the accomplishment of their horrors, he
might, as was done when the same scene occurred in England in 1668, by
good management; have averted the deluge of blood.  But, by appearing
before the Assembly isolated, without ‘voila mon droit,’ which the King
of Prussia had had engraven on his cannon, he lost the opinion of all

[In this instance the general grossly committed himself, in the opinion
of every impartial observer of his conduct.  He should never have shown
himself in the capital, but at the head of his army. France,
circumstanced as it was, torn by intestine commotion, was only to be
intimidated by the sight of a popular leader at the head of his forces.
Usurped authority can only be quashed by the force of legitimate
authority.  La Fayette being the only individual in France that in
reality possessed such an authority, not having availed himself at a
crisis like the one in which he was called upon to act, rendered his
conduct doubtful, and all his intended operations suspicious to both
parties, whether his feelings were really inclined to prop up the fallen
kingly authority, or his newly-acquired republican principles prompted
him to become the head of the democratical party, for no one can see into
the hearts of men; his popularity from that moment ceased to exist.]

“La Fayette came to the palace frequently, but the King would never see
him.  He was obliged to return, with the additional mortification of
having been deceived in his expected support from the national guard of
Paris, whose pay had been secretly trebled by the National Assembly, in
order to secure them to itself.  His own safety, therefore, required that
he should join the troops under his command.  He left many persons in
whom he thought he could confide; among whom were some who came to me one
day requesting I would present them to the Queen without loss of time, as
a man condemned to be shot had confessed to his captain that there was a
plot laid to murder Her Majesty that very night.

“I hastened to the royal apartment, without mentioning the motive; but
some such catastrophe was no more than what we incessantly expected, from
the almost hourly changes of the national guard, for the real purpose of
giving easy access to all sorts of wretches to the very rooms of the
unfortunate Queen, in order to furnish opportunities for committing the
crime with impunity.

“After I had seen the Queen, the applicants were introduced, and, in my
presence, a paper was handed by them to Her Majesty.  At the moment she
received it, I was obliged to leave her for the purpose of watching an
opportunity for their departure unobserved.  These precautions were
necessary with regard to every person who came to us in the palace,
otherwise the jealousy of the Assembly and its emissaries and the
national guard of the interior might have been alarmed, and we should
have been placed under express and open surveillance.  The confusion
created by the constant change of guard, however, stood us in good stead
in this emergency.  Much passing and repassing took place unheeded in the

“When the visitors had departed, and Her Majesty at one window of the
palace, and I at another, had seen them safe over the Pont Royal, I
returned to Her Majesty.  She then graciously handed me the paper which
they had presented.

“It contained an earnest supplication, signed by many thousand good
citizens, that the King and Queen would sanction the plan of sending the
Dauphin to the army of La Fayette.  They pledged themselves, with the
assistance of the royalists, to rescue the Royal Family.  They, urged
that if once the King could be persuaded to show himself at the head of
his army, without taking any active part, but merely for his own safety
and that of his family, everything might be accomplished with the
greatest tranquillity.

“The Queen exclaimed, ‘What! send my child!  No! never while I breathe!

[Little did this unfortunate mother think that they, who thus pretended
to interest themselves for this beautiful, angelic Prince only a few
months before, would, when she was in her horrid prison after the
butchery of her husband, have required this only comfort to be violently
torn from her maternal arms!

Little, indeed, did she think, when her maternal devotedness thus
repelled the very thought of his being trusted to myriads of sworn
defenders, how soon he would be barbarously consigned by the infamous
Assembly as the foot-stool of the inhuman savage cobbler, Simon, to be
the night-boy of the excrements of the vilest of the works of human

Yet were I an independent Queen, or the regent of a minority, I feel that
I should be inclined to accept the offer, to place myself at the head of
the army, as my immortal mother did, who, by that step, transmitted the
crown of our ancestors to its legitimate descendants.  It is the monarchy
itself which now requires to be asserted.  Though D’ORLEANS is actively
engaged in attempting the dethronement of His Majesty, I do not think the
nation will submit to such a Prince, or to any other monarchical
government, if the present be decidedly destroyed.

“‘All these plans, my dear Princess,’ continued she, ‘are mere castles in
the air.  The mischief is too deeply rooted.  As they have already
frantically declared for the King’s abdication, any strong measure now,
incompetent as we are to assure its success, would at once arm the
advocates of republicanism to proclaim the King’s dethronement.

“‘The cruel observations of Petion to His Majesty, on our ever memorable
return from Varennes, have made a deeper impression than you are aware
of.  When the King observed to him, “What do the French nation want?”--“A
republic,” replied he.  And though he has been the means of already
costing us some thousands, to crush this unnatural propensity, yet I
firmly believe that he himself is at the head of all the civil disorders
fomented for its attainment.  I am the more confirmed in this opinion
from a conversation I had with the good old man, M. De Malesherbes, who
assured me the great sums we were lavishing on this man were thrown away,
for he would be certain, eventually, to betray us: and such an inference
could only have been drawn from the lips of the traitor himself.  Petion
must have given Malesherbes reason to believe this.  I am daily more and
more convinced it will be the case.  Yet, were I to show the least energy
or activity in support of the King’s authority, I should then be accused
of undermining it.  All France would be up in arms against the danger of
female influence.  The King would only be lessened in the general opinion
of the nation, and the kingly authority still more weakened.  Calm
submission to His Majesty is, therefore, the only safe, course for both
of us, and we must wait events.’

“While Her Majesty was thus opening her heart to me, the King and
Princesse Elizabeth entered, to inform her that M. Laporte, the head of
the private police, had discovered, and caused to be arrested, some of
the wretches who had maliciously attempted to fire the palace of the

“‘Set them at liberty!’ exclaimed Her Majesty; ‘or, to clear themselves
and their party, they will accuse us of something worse.’

“‘Such, too, is my opinion, Sire,’ observed I; ‘for however I abhor their
intentions, I have here a letter from one of these miscreants which was
found among the combustibles.  It cautions us not to inhabit the upper
part of the Pavilion.  My not having paid the attention which was
expected to the letter, has aroused the malice of the writer, and caused
a second attempt to be made from the Pont Royal upon my own apartment; in
preventing which, a worthy man has been cruelly wounded in the arm.’

“‘Merciful Heaven!’ exclaimed the poor Queen and the Princesse Elizabeth,
I not dangerously, I hope!

“‘I hope not,’ added I; ‘but the attempt, and its escaping unpunished,
though there were guards all around, is a proof how perilous it will be,
while we are so weak, to kindle their rancour by any show of impotent
resentment; for I have reason to believe it was to that, the want of
attention to the letter of which I speak was imputed.’

“The Queen took this opportunity, of laying before the King the
above-mentioned plan.  His Majesty, seeing it in the name of La Fayette,
took up the paper, and, after he had attentively perused it, tore it in
pieces, exclaiming, ‘What! has not M. La Fayette done mischief enough
yet, but must he even expose the names of so many worthy men by
committing them to paper at a critical period like this, when he is fully
aware that we are in immediate danger of being assailed by a banditti of
inhuman cannibals, who would sacrifice every individual attached to us,
if, unfortunately, such a paper should be found?  I am determined to have
nothing to do with his ruinous plans.  Popularity and ambition made him
the principal promoter of republicanism.  Having failed of becoming a
Washington, he is mad to become a Cromwell.  I have no faith in these
turncoat constitutionalists.’

“I know that the Queen heartily concurred in this sentiment concerning
General La Fayette, as soon as she ascertained his real character, and
discovered that he considered nothing paramount to public notoriety. To
this he had sacrificed the interest of his country, and trampled under
foot the throne; but finding he could not succeed in forming a Republican
Government in France as he had in America, he, like many others, lost his
popularity with the demagogues, and, when too late, came to offer his
services, through me, to the Queen, to recruit a monarchy which his
vanity had undermined to gratify, his chimerical ambition.  Her Majesty
certainly saw him frequently, but never again would she put herself in
the way of being betrayed by one whom she considered faithless to all.”

[Thus ended the proffered services of General La Fayette, who then took
the command of the national army, served against that of the Prince de
Conde, and the Princes of his native country, and was given up with
General Bournonville, De Lameth, and others, by General Dumourier, on the
first defeat of the French, to the Austrians, by whom they were sent to
the fortress of Olmutz in Hungary, where they remained till after the
death of the wretch Robespierre, when they were exchanged for the
Duchesse d’Angouleme, now Dauphine of France.

From the retired life led by General La Fayette on his return to France,
there can be but little doubt that he spent a great part of his time in
reflecting on the fatal errors of his former conduct, as he did not
coincide with any of the revolutionary principles which preceded the
short-lived reign of imperialism.  But though Napoleon too well knew him
to be attached from principle to republicanism--every vestige of which he
had long before destroyed--to employ him in any military capacity, still
he recalled him from his hiding-place, in order to prevent his doing
mischief, as he politically did--every other royalist whom he could bring
under the banners of his imperialism.

Had Napoleon made use of his general knowledge of mankind in other
respects, as he politically did in France over his conquered subjects, in
respecting ancient habits, and gradually weaned them from their natural
prejudices instead of violently forcing all men to become Frenchmen, all
men would have fought for him, and not against him.  These were the
weapons by which his power became annihilated, and which, in the end,
will be the destruction of all potentates who presume to follow his
fallacious plan of forming individuals to a system instead of
accommodating systems to individuals.  The fruits from Southern climes
have been reared in the North, but without their native virtue or vigour.
It is more dangerous to attack the habits of men than their religion.

The British Constitution, though a blessing to Englishmen, is very
ill-suited to nations not accustomed to the climate and its variations.
Every country has peculiarities of thought and manners resulting from the
physical influence of its sky and soil.  Whenever we lose sight of this
truth, we naturally lose the affections of those whose habits we

Here ends the Journal of my lamented benefactress.  I have continued the
history to the close of her career, and that of the Royal Family,
especially as Her Highness herself acted so important a part in many of
the scenes, which are so strongly illustrated by her conversation and
letters.  It is only necessary to add that the papers which I have
arranged were received from Her Highness amidst the disasters which were
now thickening around her and her royal friends.


From the time I left Passy till my final departure from Paris for Italy,
which took place on the 2nd of August, 1792, my residence was almost
exclusively at the capital.  The faithful driver, who had given such
proofs of probity, continued to be of great service, and was put in
perpetual requisition.  I was daily about on the business of the Queen
and the Princess, always disguised, and most frequently as a drummerboy;
on which occasions the driver and my man servant were my companions. My
principal occupation was to hear and take down the debates of the
Assembly, and convey and receive letters from the Queen to the Princesse
de Lamballe, to and from Barnave, Bertrand de Moleville, Alexandre de
Lameth, Deport de Fertre, Duportail, Montmorin, Turbo, De Mandat, the Duc
de Brissac, etc., with whom my illustrious patronesses kept up a
continued correspondence, to which I believe all of them fell a
sacrifice; for, owing to the imprudence of the King in not removing their
communications when he removed the rest of his papers from the Tuileries,
the exposure of their connections with the Court was necessarily
consequent upon the plunder of the palace on the 10th of August, 1792.

In my masquerade visits to the Assembly, I got acquainted with an editor
of one of the papers; I think he told me his name was Duplessie.  Being
pleased with the liveliness of my remarks on some of the organized
disorders, as I termed them, and with some comments I made upon the
meanness of certain disgusting speeches on the patriotic gifts, my new
acquaintance suffered me to take copies of his own shorthand remarks and
reports.  By this means the Queen and the Princess had them before they
appeared in print.  M. Duplessie was on other occasions of great service
to me, especially as a protector in the mobs, for my man servant and the
honest driver were so much occupied in watching the movements of the
various faubourg factions, that I was often left entirely unattended.

The horrors of the Tuileries, both by night and day, were now grown
appallingly beyond description.  Almost unendurable as they had been
before, they were aggravated by the insults of the national guard to
every passenger to and from the palace.  I was myself in so much peril,
that the Princess thought it necessary to procure a trusty person, of
tried courage, to see me through the throngs, with a large bandbox of all
sorts of fashionable millinery, as the mode of ingress and egress least
liable to excite suspicion.

Thus equipped, and guarded by my cicisbeo, I one day found myself, on
entering the Tuileries, in the midst of an immense mob of regular trained
rioters, who, seeing me go towards the palace, directed their attention
entirely to me.  They took me for some one belonging to the Queen’s
milliner, Madame Bertin, who, they said, was fattening upon the public
misery, through the Queen’s extravagance.  The poor Queen herself they
called by names so opprobious that decency will not suffer me to repeat

With a volley of oaths, pressing upon us, they bore us to another part of
the garden, for the purpose of compelling us to behold six or eight of
the most infamous outcasts, amusing themselves, in a state of exposure,
with their accursed hands and arms tinged with blood up to the elbows.
The spot they had chosen for this exhibition of their filthy persons was
immediately before the windows of the apartments of the Queen and the
ladies of the Court.  Here they paraded up and down, to the great
entertainment of a throng of savage rebels, by whom they were applauded
and encouraged with shouts of “Bis! bis!” signifying in English,” Again!

The demoniac interest excited by this scene withdrew the attention of
those who were enjoying it from me, and gave me the opportunity of
escaping unperceived, merely with the loss of my bandbox.  Of that the
infuriated mob made themselves masters; and the hats, caps, bonnets, and
other articles of female attire, were placed on the parts of their
degraded carcases, which, for the honour of human nature, should have
been shot.

Overcome with agony at these insults, I burst from the garden in a flood
of tears.  On passing the gate, I was accosted by a person who exclaimed
in a tone of great kindness, “Qu’as tu, ma bonne?  qu’est ce qui vous
afflige?”  Knowing the risk I should run in representing the real cause
of my concern, I immediately thought of ascribing it to the loss of the
property of which I had been plundered.  I told him I was a poor
milliner, and had been robbed of everything I possessed in the world by
the mob.  “Come back with me,” said he, “and I will have it restored to
you.”  I knew it was of no avail, but policy stimulated me to comply; and
I returned with him into the garden toward the palace.

What should I have felt, had I been aware, when this man came up, that I
was accosted by the villain Danton!  The person who was with me knew him,
but dared not speak, and watched a chance of escaping in the crowd for
fear of being discovered.  When I looked round and found myself alone, I
said I had lost my brother in the confusion, which added to my grief.

“Oh, never mind,” said Danton; “take hold of my arm; no one shall molest
you.  We will look for your brother, and try to recover your things;” and
on we went together: I, weeping, I may truly say, for my life, stopped at
every step, while he related my doleful story to all whose curiosity was
excited by my grief.

On my appearing arm in arm with Danton before the windows of the Queen’s
apartments, we were observed by Her Majesty and the Princesses.  Their
consternation and perplexity, as well as alarm for my safety, may readily
be conceived.  A signal from the window instantly apprised me that I
might enter the palace, to which my return had been for some time
impatiently expected.

Finding it could no longer be of any service to carry on the farce of
seeking my pretended brother, I begged to be escorted out of the mob to
the apartments of the Princesse de Lamballe.

“Oh,” said Danton, “certainly!  and if you had only told the people that
you were going to that good Princess, I am sure your things would not
have been taken from you.  But,” added he, “are you perfectly certain
they were not for that detestable Marie Antoinette?”

“Oh!” I replied, “quite, quite certain!”  All this while the mob was at
my heels.

“Then,” said he, “I will not leave you till you are safe in the
apartments of the Princesse de Lamballe, and I will myself make known to
her your loss: she is so good,” continued he, “that I am convinced she
will make you just compensation.”

I then told him how much I should be obliged by his doing so, as I had
been commissioned to deliver the things, and if I was made to pay for
them, the loss would be more serious than I could bear.

“Bah! bah!” exclaimed he.  “Laissez moi faire!  Laissez moi faire!”

When he came to the inner door, which I pretended to know nothing about,
he told the gentleman of the chamber his name, and said he wished to see
his mistress.

Her Highness came in a few minutes, and from her looks and visible
agitation at the sight of Danton, I feared she would have betrayed both
herself and me.  However, while he was making a long preamble, I made
signs, from which she inferred that all was safe.

When Danton had finished telling her the story, she calmly said to me,
“Do you recollect, child, the things you have been robbed of?”

I replied that, if I had pen and ink, I could even set down the prices.

“Oh, well, then, child, come in,” said Her Highness, “and we will see
what is to be done!”

“There!” exclaimed Danton; “Did I not tell you this before?”  Then,
giving me a hearty squeeze of the hand, he departed, and thus terminated
the millinery speculation, which, I have no doubt, cost Her Highness a
tolerable sum.

As soon as he was gone, the Princess said, “For Heaven’s sake, tell me
the whole of this affair candidly; for the Queen has been in the greatest
agitation at the bare idea of your knowing Danton, ever since we first
saw you walking with him!  He is one of our moat inveterate enemies.”

I said that if they had but witnessed one half of the scenes that I saw,
I was sure their feelings would have been shocked beyond description. “We
did not see all, but we heard too much for the ears of our sex.”

I then related the particulars of our meeting to Her Highness, who
observed, “This accident, however unpleasant, may still turn out to our
advantage.  This fellow believes you to be a marchande de modes, and the
circumstance of his having accompanied you to my apartment will enable
you, in future, to pass to and from the Pavilion unmolested by the
national guard.”

With tears of joy in her eyes for my safety, she could not, however, help
laughing when I told her the farce I kept up respecting the loss of my
brother, and my bandbox with the millinery, for which I was also soon
congratulated most graciously by Her Majesty, who much applauded my
spirit and presence of mind, and condescended, immediately, to entrust me
with letters of the greatest importance, for some of the most
distinguished members of the Assembly, with which I left the palace in
triumph, but taking care to be ready with a proper story of my losses.

When I passed the guard-room, I was pitied by the very wretches, who,
perhaps, had already shared in the spoils; and who would have butchered
me, no doubt, into the bargain, could they have penetrated the real
object of my mission.  They asked me if I had been paid for the loss I
sustained.  I told them I had not, but I was promised that it should be

“Settled!”  said one of the wretches.  “Get the money as soon as you can.
Do not trust to promises of its being settled.  They will all be settled
themselves soon!”

The next day, on going to the palace, I found the Princesse de Lamballe
in the greatest agitation, from the accounts the Court had just received
of the murder of a man belonging to Arthur Dillon, and of the massacres
at Nantes.

“The horrid prints, pamphlets, and caricatures,” cried she, “daily
exhibited under the very windows of the Tuileries, against His Majesty,
the Queen, the Austrian party, and the Coblentz party, the constant
thwarting of every plan, and these last horrors at Nantes, have so
overwhelmed the King that he is nearly become a mere automaton.  Daily
and nightly execrations are howled in his ears.  Look at our boasted
deliverers!  The poor Queen, her children, and all of us belonging to the
palace, are in danger of our lives at merely being seen; while they by
whom we have been so long buoyed up with hope are quarrelling amongst
themselves for the honour and etiquette of precedency, leaving us to the
fury of a race of cannibals, who know no mercy, and will have destroyed
us long before their disputes of etiquette can be settled.”

The utterance of Her Highness while saying this was rendered almost
inarticulate by her tears.

“What support against internal disorganization,” continued she, “is to be
expected from so disorganized a body as the present army of different
nations, having all different interests?”

I said there was no doubt that the Prussian army was on its march, and
would soon be joined by that of the Princes and of Austria.

“You speak as you wish, mia cara Inglesina, but it is all to no purpose.
Would to God they had never been applied to, never been called upon to
interfere.  Oh, that Her Majesty could have been persuaded to listen to
Dumourier and some other of the members, instead of relying on succours
which, I fear, will never enter Paris in our lifetime!  No army can
subdue a nation; especially a nation frenzied by the recent recovery of
its freedom and independence from the shackles of a corrupt and weak
administration.  The King is too good; the Queen has no equal as to
heart; but they have both been most grossly betrayed.  The royalists on
one side, the constitutionalists on the other, will be the victims of the
Jacobins, for they are the most powerful, they are the most united, they
possess the most talent, and they act in a body, and not merely for the
time being.  Believe me, my dear, their plans are too well grounded to be
defeated, as every one framed by the fallacious constitutionalists and
mad-headed royalists has been; and so they will ever be while they
continue to form two separate interests.  From the very first moment when
these two bodies were worked upon separately, I told the Queen that, till
they were united for the same object, the monarchy would be unsafe, and
at the mercy of the Jacobins, who, from hatred to both parties, would
overthrow it themselves to rule despotically over those whom they no
longer respected or feared, but whom they hated, as considering them both
equally their former oppressors.

“May the All-seeing Power,” continued Her Highness, “grant, for the good
of this shattered State, that I may be mistaken, and that my predictions
may prove different in the result; but of this I see no hope, unless in
the strength of our own internal resources.  God knows how powerful they
might prove could they be united at this moment!  But from the anarchy
and division kept up between them, I see no prospect of their being
brought to bear, except in a general overthrow of this, as you have
justly observed, organized system of disorders, from which at some future
period we may obtain a solid, systematic order of government.  Would
Charles the Second ever have reigned after the murder of his father had
England been torn to pieces by different factions?  No!  It was the union
of the body of the nation for its internal tranquillity, the amalgamation
of parties against domestic faction, which gave vigour to the arm of
power, and enabled the nation to check foreign interference abroad, while
it annihilated anarchy at home.  By that means the Protector himself laid
the first stone of the Restoration.  The division of a nation is the
surest harbinger of success to its invaders, the death-blow to its
Sovereign’s authority, and the total destruction of that innate energy by
which alone a country can obtain the dignity of its own independence.”


While Her Highness was thus pondering on the dreadful situation of
France, strengthening her arguments by those historical illustrations,
which, from the past, enabled her to look into the future, a message came
to her from Her Majesty.  She left me, and, in a few minutes, returned to
her apartment, accompanied by the Queen and Her Royal Highness the
Princesse Elizabeth.  I was greatly surprised at seeing these two
illustrious and august personages bathed in tears.  Of course, I could
not be aware of any new motive to create any new or extraordinary
emotion; yet there was in the countenances of all of the party an
appearance different from anything I had ever witnessed in them, or any
other person before; a something which seemed to say, they no longer had
any affinity with the rest of earthly beings.

They had all been just writing to their distant friends and relations. A
fatal presentiment, alas!  too soon verified, told them it was for the
last time.

Her Highness the Princesse de Lamballe now approached me.

“Her Majesty,” observed the Princess, “wishes to give you a mark of her
esteem, in delivering to you, with her own hands, letters to her family,
which it is her intention to entrust to your especial care.

“On this step Her Majesty has resolved, as much to send you out of the
way of danger, as from the conviction occasioned by the firm reliance
your conduct has created in us, that you will faithfully obey the orders
you may receive, and execute our intentions with that peculiar
intelligence which the emergency of the case requires.

“But even the desirable opportunity which offers, through you, for the
accomplishment of her mission, might not have prevailed with Her Majesty
to hasten your departure, had not the wretch Danton twice inquired at the
palace for the ‘little milliner,’ whom he rescued and conducted safe to
the apartments of the Pavilion of Flora.  This, probably, may be a matter
of no real consequence whatever; but it is our duty to avoid danger, and
it has been decided that you should, at least for a time, absent Paris.

“Per cio, mia cara Inglesina, speak now, freely and candidly: is it your
wish to return to England, or go elsewhere?  For though we are all sorry
to lose you, yet it would be a source of still greater sorrow to us,
prizing your services and fidelity as we do, should any plans and
purposes of ours lead you into difficulty or embarrassment.”

“Oh, mon Dieu!  c’est vrai!”  interrupted Her Majesty, her eyes at the
same time filled with tears.

“I should never forgive myself,” continued the Princess, “if I should
prove the cause of any misfortune to you.”

“Nor I!” most graciously subjoined the Queen.

“Therefore,” pursued the Princess, “speak your mind without reserve.”

Here my own feelings, and the sobs of the illustrious party, completely
overcame me, and I could not proceed.  The Princesse de Lamballe clasped
me in her arms.  “Not only letters,” exclaimed she, “but my life I would
trust to the fidelity of my vera, verissima, cara Inglesina!  And now,”
 continued Her Highness, turning round to the Queen, “will it please Your
Majesty to give Inglesina your commands.”

“Here, then,” said the Queen, “is a letter for my dear sister, the Queen
of Naples, which you must deliver into her own hands.  Here is another
for my sister, the Duchess of Parma.  If she should not be at Parma, you
will find her at Colorno.  This is for my brother, the Archduke of Milan;
this for my sister-in-law, the Princesse Clotilde Piedmont, at Turin; and
here are four others.  You will take off the envelope when you get to
Turin, and then put them into the post yourself.  Do not give them to, or
send them by, any person whatsoever.

“Tell my sisters the state of Paris.  Inform them of our cruel situation.
Describe the riots and convulsions you have seen.  Above all, assure them
how dear they are to me, and how much I love them.”

At the word love, Her Majesty threw herself on a sofa and wept bitterly.

The Princesse Elizabeth gave me a letter for her sister, and two for her
aunts, to be delivered to them, if at Rome; but if not, to be put under
cover and sent through the post at Rome to whatever place they might have
made their residence.

I had also a packet of letters to deliver for the Princesse de Lamballe
at Turin; and another for the Duc de Serbelloni at Milan.

Her Majesty and the Princesse Elizabeth not only allowed me the honour to
kiss their hands, but they, both gave me their blessing, and good wishes
for my safe return, and then left me with the Princesse de Lamballe.

Her Majesty had scarcely left the apartment of the Princess, when I
recollected she had forgotten to give me the cipher and the key for the
letters. The Princess immediately went to the Queen’s apartment, and
returned with them shortly after.

“Now that we are alone,” said Her Highness, “I will tell you what Her
Majesty has graciously commanded me to signify to you in her royal name.
The Queen commands me to say that you are provided for for life; and
that, on the first vacancy which may occur, she intends fixing you at

“Therefore mia cara Inglesina, take especial care what you are about, and
obey Her Majesty’s wishes when you are absent, as implicitly as you have
hitherto done all her commands during your abode near her.  You are not
to write to any one.  No one is to be made acquainted with your route.
You are not to leave Paris in your own carriage.  It will be sent after
you by your man servant, who is to join you at Chalon sur Saone.

“I have further to inform you that Her Majesty the Queen, on sending you
the cipher, has at the same time graciously condescended to add these
presents as further marks of her esteem.”

Her Highness then showed me a most beautiful gold watch, chain and seals.

“These,” said she, placing them with her own hands, “Her Majesty desired
me to put round your neck in testimony of her regard.”

At the same time Her Highness presented me, on her own part, with a
beautiful pocketbook, the covers of which were of gold enamelled, with
the word “SOUVENIR” in diamonds on one side, and a large cipher of her
own initials on the other.  The first page contained the names of the
Queen and Her Royal Highness the Princesse Elizabeth, in their own
handwriting.  There was a cheque in it on a Swiss banker, at Milan, of
the name of Bonny.

Having given me these invaluable tokens, Her Highness proceeded with her

“At Chalon,” continued she, “mia cara, your man servant will perhaps
bring you other letters.  Take two places in the stage for yourself and
your femme de chambre, in her name, and give me the memorandum, that our
old friend, the driver, may procure the passports.  You must not be seen;
for there is no doubt that Danton has given the police a full description
of your person.  Now go and prepare: we shall see each other again before
your departure.”

Only a few minutes afterwards my man servant came to me to say that it
would be some hours before the stage would set off, and that there was a
lady in her carriage waiting for me in the Bois de Boulogne.  I hastened
thither.  What was my surprise on finding it was the Princess.  I now saw
her for the last time!

Let me pass lightly over this sad moment.  I must not, however, dismiss
the subject, without noticing the visible changes which had taken place
in the short space of a month, in the appearance of all these illustrious
Princesses.  Their very complexions were no longer the same, as if grief
had changed the whole mass of their blood.  The Queen, in particular,
from the month of July to the 2d of August, looked ten years older.  The
other two Princesses were really worn out with fatigue, anxiety, and the
want of rest, as, during the whole month of July, they scarcely ever
slept, for fear of being murdered in their beds, and only threw
themselves on them, now and then, without undressing.  The King, three or
four times in the night, would go round to their different apartments,
fearful they might be destroyed in their sleep, and ask, “Etes vous la?”
 when they would answer him from within, “Nous sommes encore ici.” Indeed,
if, when nature was exhausted, sleep by chance came to the relief of
their worn-out and languid frames, it was only to awaken them to fresh
horrors, which constantly threatened the convulsion by which they were
finally annihilated.

It would be uncandid in me to be silent concerning the marked difference
I found in the feelings of the two royal sisters of Her Majesty.

I had never had the honour before to execute any commissions for her
Royal Highness the Duchess of Parma, and, of course, took that city in my
way to Naples.

I did not reach Parma till after the horrors which had taken place at the
Tuileries on the 10th of August, 1792.  The whole of the unfortunate
Royal Family of France were then lodged in the Temple.  There was not a
feeling heart in Europe unmoved at their afflicting situation.

I arrived at Colorno, the country residence of the Duchess of Parma, just
as Her Royal Highness was going out on horseback.

I ordered my servant to inform one of the pages that I came by express
from Paris, and requested the honour to know when it would be convenient
for Her Royal Highness to allow me a private audience, as I was going,
post-haste, to Rome and Naples.  Of course, I did not choose to tell my
business either to my own or Her Royal Highness’s servant, being in
honour and duty bound to deliver the letter and the verbal message of her
then truly unfortunate sister in person and in privacy.

The mention of Paris I saw somewhat startled and confused her.  Meantime,
she came near enough to my carriage for me to say to her in German, in
order that none of the servants, French or Italian, might understand,
that I had a letter to deliver into her own hands, without saying from

She then desired I would alight, and she soon followed me; and, after
having very graciously ordered me some refreshments, asked me from whom I
had been sent.

I delivered Her Majesty’s letter.  Before she opened it, she exclaimed,
“‘O Dio!  tutto e perduto e troppo tardi’!  Oh, God!  all is lost, it is
too late!”  I then gave her the cipher and the key.  In a few minutes I
enabled her to decipher the letter.  On getting through it, she again
exclaimed, “‘E tutto inutile’!  it is entirely useless!  I am afraid they
are all lost.  I am sorry you are so situated as not to allow of your
remaining here to rest from your fatigue.  Whenever you come to Parma, I
shall be glad to see you.”

She then took out her pocket handkerchief, shed a few tears, and said
that, as circumstances were now so totally changed, to answer the letter
might only commit her, her sister, and myself; but that if affairs took
the turn she wished, no doubt, her sister would write again.  She then
mounted her horse, and wished me a good journey; and I took leave, and
set off for Rome.

I must confess that the conduct of the Duchess of Parma appeared to me
rather cold, if not unfeeling.  Perhaps she was afraid of showing too
much emotion, and wished to encourage the idea that Princesses ought not
to give way to sensibility, like common mortals.

But how different was the conduct of the Queen of Naples!  She kissed the
letter: she bathed it with her tears!  Scarcely could she allow herself
time to decipher it.  At every sentence she exclaimed, “Oh, my dear, oh,
my adored sister!  What will become of her!  My brothers are now both no
more!  Surely, she will soon be liberated!”  Then, turning suddenly to
me, she asked with eagerness, “Do you not think she will?  Oh, Marie,
Marie!  why did she not fly to Vienna?  Why did she not come to me
instead of writing?  Tell me, for God’s sake, all you know!”

I said I knew nothing further of what had taken place at Paris, having
travelled night and day, except what I had heard from the different
couriers, which I had met and stopped on my route; but I hoped to be
better informed by Sir William Hamilton, as all my letters were to be
sent from France to Turin, and thence on to Sir William at Naples; and if
I found no letters with him, I should immediately set off and return to
Turin or Milan, to be as near France as possible for my speedy return if
necessary.  I ventured to add that it was my earnest prayer that all the
European Sovereigns would feel the necessity of interesting themselves
for the Royal Family of France, with whose fate the fate of monarchy
throughout Europe might be interwoven.

“Oh, God of Heaven!” cried the Queen, “all that dear family may ere now
have been murdered!  Perhaps they are already numbered among the dead!
Oh, my poor, dear, beloved Marie!  Oh, I shall go frantic!  I must send
for General Acton.”

Wringing her hands, she pulled the bell, and in a few minutes the general
came.  On his entering the apartment, she flew to him like one deprived
of reason.

“There!” exclaimed she.  “There!  Behold the fatal consequences!” showing
him the letter.  “Louis XVI. is in the state of Charles the First of
England, and my sister will certainly be murdered.”

“No, no, no!”  exclaimed the general.  “Something will be done.  Calm
yourself, madame.”  Then turning to me, “When,” said he, “did you leave

“When all was lost!” interrupted the Queen.

“Nay,” cried the general; “pray let me speak. All is not lost, you will
find; have but a little patience.”

“Patience!” said the Queen.  “For two years I have heard of nothing else.
Nothing has been done for these unfortunate beings.”  She then threw
herself into a chair.  “Tell him!” cried she to me, “tell him!  tell

I then informed the general that I had left Paris on the 2d of August,
but did not believe at the time, though the daily riots were horrible,
that such a catastrophe could have occurred so soon as eight days after.

The Queen was now quite exhausted, and General Acton rang the bell for
the lady-in-waiting, who entered accompanied by the Duchesse Curigliano
Marini, and they assisted Her Majesty to bed.

When she had retired, “Do not,” said the general to me, “do not go to Sir
William’s to-night.  He is at Caserte.  You seem too much fatigued.”

“More from grief,” replied I, “and reflection on the fatal consequences
that might result to the great personages I have so lately left, than
from the journey.”

“Take my advice,” resumed he.  “You had much better go to bed and rest
yourself.  You look very ill.”

I did as he recommended, and went to the nearest hotel I could find.  I
felt no fatigue of mind or body till I had got into bed, where I was
confined for several days with a most violent fever.  During my illness I
received every attention both from the Court, and our Ambassador and Lady
Hamilton, who kindly visited me every day.  The Queen of Naples I never
again saw till my return in 1793, after the murder of the Queen of
France; and I am glad I did not, for her agony would have acted anew upon
my disordered frame, and might have proved fatal.

I was certainly somewhat prepared for a difference of feeling between the
two Princesses, as the unfortunate Marie Antoinette, in the letters to
the Queen of Naples, always wrote, “To my much beloved sister, the Queen
of the two Sicilies, etc.,” and to the other, merely, “To the Duchess of
Parma, etc.”  But I could never have dreamt of a difference so little
flattering, under such circumstances, to the Duchess of Parma.


From the moment of my departure from Paris on the 2d of August, 1792, the
tragedy hastened to its denouement.  On the night of the 9th, the tocsin
was sounded, and the King and the Royal Family looked upon their fate as
sealed.  Notwithstanding the personal firmness of His Majesty, he was a
coward for others.  He dreaded the responsibility of ordering blood to be
shed, even in defence of his nearest and dearest interests.  Petion,
however, had given the order to repel force by force to De Mandat, who
was murdered upon the steps of the Hotel de Ville.  It has been generally
supposed that Petion had received a bribe for not ordering the cannon
against the Tuileries on the night of the 9th, and that De Mandat was
massacred by the agents of Petion for the purpose of extinguishing all
proof that he was only acting under the instructions of the Mayor.

I shall not undertake to judge of the propriety of the King’s impression
that there was no safety from the insurgents but in the hall, and under
the protection of the Assembly.  Had the members been well disposed
towards him, the event might have proved very different.  But there is
one thing certain.  The Queen would never have consented to this step but
to save the King and her innocent children.  She would have preferred
death to the humiliation of being under obligations to her sworn enemies;
but she was overcome by the King declaring, with tears in his eyes, that
he would not quit the palace without her.  The Princesses Elizabeth and
de Lamballe fell at her feet, implored Her Majesty to obey the King, and
assured her there was no alternative between instant death and refuge
from it in the Assembly.  “Well,” said the Queen, “if our lot be death,
let us away to receive it with the national sanction.”

I need not expatiate on the succession of horrors which now overwhelmed
the royal sufferers.  Their confinement at the Feuillans, and their
subsequent transfer to the Temple, are all topics sufficiently enlarged
upon by many who were actors in the scenes to which they led.  The
Princesse de Lamballe was, while it was permitted, the companion of their
captivity.  But the consolation of her society was considered too great
to be continued.  Her fate had no doubt been predetermined; and,
unwilling to await the slow proceedings of a trial, which it was thought
politic should precede the murder of her royal mistress, it was found
necessary to detach her from the wretched inmates of the Temple, in order
to have her more completely within the control of the miscreants, who
hated her for her virtues.  The expedient was resorted to of casting
suspicion upon the correspondence which Her Highness kept up with the
exterior of the prison, for the purpose of obtaining such necessaries as
were required, in consequence of the utter destitution in which the Royal
Family retired from the Tuileries.  Two men, of the names of Devine and
Priquet, were bribed to create a suspicion, by their informations against
the Queen’s female attendant.  The first declared that on the 18th of
August, while he was on duty near the cell of the King, he saw a woman
about eleven o’clock in the day come from a room in the centre, holding
in one hand three letters, and with the other cautiously opening the door
of the right-hand chamber, whence she presently came back without the
letters and returned into the centre chamber.  He further asserted that
twice, when this woman opened the door, he distinctly saw a letter
half-written, and every evidence of an eagerness to hide it from
observation. The second informant, Priquet, swore that, while on duty as
morning sentinel on the gallery between the two towers, he saw, through
the window of the central chamber, a woman writing with great earnestness
and alarm during the whole time he was on guard.

All the ladies were immediately summoned before the authorities.  The
hour of the separation between the Princess and her royal friend accorded
with the solemnity of the circumstance.  It was nearly midnight when they
were torn asunder, and they never met again.

The examinations were all separate.  That of the Princesse de Lamballe
was as follows:

Q.  Your name?

A.  Marie-Therese-Louise de Savoy, Bourbon Lamballe.

Q.  What do you know of the events which occurred on the 10th of August?

A.  Nothing.

Q.  Where did you pass that day?

A.  As a relative I followed the King to the National Assembly.

Q.  Were you in bed on the nights of the 9th and 10th?

A.  No.

Q.  Where were you then?

A.  In my apartments, at the chateau.

Q.  Did you not go to the apartments of the King in the course of that

A.  Finding there was a likelihood of a commotion, went thither towards
one in the morning.

Q.  You were aware, then, that the people had arisen?

A.  I learnt it from hearing the tocsin.

Q.  Did you see the Swiss and National Guards, who passed the night on
the terrace?

A.  I was at the window, but saw neither.

Q.  Was the King in his apartment when you went thither?

A.  There were a great number of persons in the room, but not the King.

Q.  Did you know of the Mayor of Paris being at the Tuileries?

A.  I heard he was there.

Q.  At what hour did the King go to the National Assembly?

A.  Seven.

Q.  Did he not, before he went, review the troops?  Do you know the oath
he made them swear?

A.  I never heard of any oath.

Q.  Have you any knowledge of cannon being mounted and pointed in the

A.  No.

Q.  Have you ever seen Messrs. Mandat and d’Affry in the chateau?

A.  No.

Q.  Do you know the secret doors of the Tuileries?

A.  I know of no such doors.

Q.  Have you not, since you have been in the Temple, received and written
letters, which you sought to send away secretly?

A.  I have never received or written any letters, excepting such as have
been delivered to the municipal officer.

Q.  Do you know anything of an article of furniture which is making for
Madame Elizabeth?

A.  No.

Q.  Have you not recently received some devotional books?

A.  No.

Q.  What are the books which you have at the Temple?

A.  I have none.

Q.  Do you know anything of a barred staircase?

A.  No.

Q.  What general officers did you see at the Tuileries, on the nights of
the 9th and 10th?

A.  I saw no general officers, I only saw M. Roederer.

For thirteen hours was Her Highness, with her female companions in
misfortune, exposed to these absurd forms, and to the gaze of insulting
and malignant curiosity.  At length, about the middle of the day, they
were told that it was decreed that they should be detained till further
orders, leaving them the choice of prisons, between that of la Force and
of la Salpetriere.

Her Highness immediately decided on the former.  It was at first
determined that she should be separated from Madame de Tourzel, but
humanity so far prevailed as to permit the consolation of her society,
with that of others of her friends and fellow-sufferers, and for a moment
the Princess enjoyed the only comfort left to her, that of exchanging
sympathy with her partners in affliction.  But the cell to which she was
doomed proved her last habitation upon earth.

On the 1st of September the Marseillois began their murderous operations.
Three hundred persons in two days massacred upwards of a thousand defence
less prisoners, confined under the pretext of malpractices against the
State, or rather devotedness to the royal cause.  The spirit which
produced the massacres of the prisons at Paris extended them through the
principal towns and cities all over France.

Even the universal interest felt for the Princesse de Lamballe was of no
avail against this frenzy.  I remember once (as if it were from a
presentiment of what was to occur) the King observing to her, “I never
knew any but fools and sycophants who could keep themselves clear from
the lash of public censure.  How is it, then, that you, my dear Princess,
who are neither, contrive to steer your bark on this dangerous coast
without running against the rocks on which so many good vessels like your
own have been dashed to pieces?”  “Oh, Sire,” replied Her Highness, “my
time is not yet come--I am not dead yet!” Too soon, and too horribly, her
hour did come!

The butchery of the prisons was now commenced.  The Duc de Penthievre set
every engine in operation to save his beloved daughter-in-law.  He sent
for Manuel, who was then Procureur of Paris.  The Duke declared that half
his fortune should be Manuel’s if he could but save the Princesse de
Lamballe and the ladies who were in the same prison with her from the
general massacre.  Manuel promised the Duke that he would instantly set
about removing them all from the reach of the blood-hunters.  He began
with those whose removal was least likely to attract attention, leaving
the Princesse de Lamballe, from motives of policy, to the last.

Meanwhile, other messengers had been dispatched to different quarters for
fear of failure with Manuel.  It was discovered by one of these that the
atrocious tribunal,--[Thibaudeau, Hebert, Simonier, etc.]--who sat in
mock judgment upon the tenants of these gloomy abodes, after satiating
themselves with every studied insult they could devise, were to pronounce
the word “libre!”  It was naturally presumed that the predestined
victims, on hearing this tempting sound, and seeing the doors at the same
moment set open by the clerks of the infamous court, would dart off in
exultation, and, fancying themselves liberated, rush upon the knives of
the barbarians, who were outside, in waiting for their blood!  Hundreds
were thus slaughtered.

To save the Princess from such a sacrifice, it was projected to prevent
her from appearing before the tribunal, and a belief was encouraged that
means would be devised to elude the necessity.  The person who interested
himself for her safety contrived to convey a letter containing these
words: “Let what will happen, for God’s sake do not quit your cell.  You
will be spared.  Adieu.”

Manuel, however, who knew not of this cross arrangement, was better
informed than its projector.

He was aware it would be impossible for Her Highness to escape from
appearing before the tribunal.  He had already removed her companions.
The Princesse de Tarente, the Marquise de Tourzel, her daughter, and
others, were in safety.  But when, true to his promise, he went to the
Princesse de Lamballe, she would not be prevailed upon to quit her cell.
There was no time for parley.  The letter prevailed, and her fate was

The massacre had begun at daybreak.  The fiends had been some hours busy
in the work of death.  The piercing shrieks of the dying victims brought
the Princess and her remaining companion upon their knees, in fervent
prayer for the souls of the departed.  The messengers of the tribunal now
appeared.  The Princess was compelled to attend the summons.  She went,
accompanied by her faithful female attendant.

A glance at the seas of blood, of which she caught a glimpse upon her way
to the Court, had nearly shocked her even to sudden death.  Would it had!
She staggered, but was sustained by her companion.  Her courage
triumphed.  She appeared before the gore-stained tribunes.

After some questions of mere form, Her Highness was commanded to swear to
be faithful to the new order of government, and to hate the King, the
Queen, and royalty.

“To the first,” replied Her Highness, “I willingly submit.  To the
second, how can I accede?  There is nothing of which I can accuse the
Royal Family.  To hate them is against my nature.  They are my
Sovereigns.  They are my friends and relations.  I have served them for
many years, and never have I found reason for the slightest complaint.”

The Princess could no longer articulate.  She fell into the arms of her
attendant.  The fatal signal was pronounced.  She recovered, and,
crossing the court of the prison, which was bathed with the blood of
mutilated victims, involuntarily exclaimed, “Gracious Heaven!  What a
sight is this!” and fell into a fit.

Nearest to her in the mob stood a mulatto, whom she had caused to be
baptized, educated, and maintained; but whom, for ill-conduct, she had
latterly excluded from her presence.  This miscreant struck at her with
his halbert.  The blow removed her cap.  Her luxuriant hair (as if to
hide her angelic beauty from the sight of the murderers, pressing
tiger-like around to pollute that form, the virtues of which equalled its
physical perfection)--her luxuriant hair fell around and veiled her a
moment from view.  An individual, to whom I was nearly allied, seeing the
miscreants somewhat staggered, sprang forward to the rescue; but the
mulatto wounded him.  The Princess was lost to all feeling from the
moment the monster first struck at her.  But the demons would not quit
their prey.  She expired gashed with wounds.

Scarcely was the breath out of her body, when the murderers cut off her
head.  One party of them fixed it, like that of the vilest traitor, on an
immense pole, and bore it in triumph all over Paris; while another
division of the outrageous cannibals were occupied in tearing her clothes
piecemeal from her mangled corpse.  The beauty of that form, though
headless, mutilated and reeking with the hot blood of their foul
crime--how shall I describe it?--excited that atrocious excess of lust,
which impelled these hordes of assassins to satiate their demoniac
passions upon the remains of this virtuous angel.

This incredible crime being perpetrated, the wretches fastened ropes
round the body, arms, and legs, and dragged it naked through the streets
of Paris, till no vestige remained by which it could be distinguished as
belonging to the human species; and then left it among the hundreds of
innocent victims of that awful day, who were heaped up to putrefy in one
confused and disgusting mass.

The head was reserved for other purposes of cruelty and horror.  It was
first borne to the Temple, beneath the windows of the royal prisoners.
The wretches who were hired daily to insult them in their dens of misery,
by proclaiming all the horrors vomited from the national Vesuvius, were
commissioned to redouble their howls of what had befallen the Princesse
de Lamballe.

[These horrid circumstances I had from the Chevalier Clery, who was the
only attendant allowed to assist Louis XVI. and his unhappy family,
during their last captivity; but who was banished from the Temple as soon
as his royal master was beheaded, and never permitted to return.  Clery
told me all this when I met him at Pyrmont, in Germany.  He was then in
attendance upon the late Comtesse de Lisle, wife of Louie XVIII., at
whose musical parties I had often the honour of assisting, when on a
visit to the beautiful Duchesse de Guiche.  On returning to Paris from
Germany, on my way back into Italy, I met the wife of Clery, and her
friend M. Beaumont, both old friends of mine, who confirmed Clery’s
statement, and assured me they were all for two years in hourly
expectation of being sent to the Place de Greve for execution.  The death
of Robespierre saved their lives.

Madame Clery taught Marie Antoinette to play upon the harp.  Madame
Beaumont was a natural daughter of Louis XV.  I had often occasion to be
in their agreeable society; and, as might be expected, their minds were
stored with the most authentic anecdotes and information upon the topics
of the day.]

The Queen sprang up at the name of her friend.  She heard subjoined to,
it, “la voila en triomphe,” and then came shouts and laughter.  She
looked out.  At a distance she perceived something like a Bacchanalian
procession, and thought, as she hoped, that the Princess was coming to
her in triumph from her prison, and her heart rejoiced in the
anticipation of once more being, blessed with her society.  But the King,
who had seen and heard more distinctly from his apartment, flew to that
of the Queen.  That the horrid object might not escape observation, the
monsters had mounted upon each other’s shoulders so as to lift the
bleeding head quite up to the prison bars.  The King came just in time to
snatch Her Majesty from the spot, and thus she was prevented from seeing
it.  He took her up in his arms and carried her to a distant part of the
Temple, but the mob pursued her in her retreat, and howled the fatal
truth even at her, very door, adding that her head would be the next, the
nation would require.  Her Majesty fell into violent hysterics.  The
butchers of human flesh continued in the interior of the Temple, parading
the triumph of their assassination, until the shrieks of the Princesse
Elizabeth at the state in which she saw the Queen, and serious fears for
the safety of the royal prisoners, aroused the commandant to treble the
national guards and chase the barbarians to the outside, where they
remained for hours.


It now remains for me to complete my record by a few facts and
observations relating to the illustrious victims who a short time
survived the Princesse de Lamballe.  I shall add to this painful
narrative some details which have been mentioned to me concerning their
remorseless persecutors, who were not long left unpursued by just and
awful retribution.  Having done this, I shall dismiss the subject.

The execrable and sacrilegious modern French Pharisees, who butchered, on
the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of September, 1792, all the prisoners at Paris, by
these massacres only gave the signal for the more diabolical machinations
which led to the destruction of the still more sacred victims of the 21st
of January, and the 16th of October, 1793, and the myriads who followed.

The King himself never had a doubt with regard to his ultimate fate. His
only wish was to make it the means of emancipation for the Queen and
Royal Family.  It was his intention to appeal to the National Assembly
upon the subject, after his trial.  Such also was the particular wish of
his saint-like sister, the Princesse Elizabeth, who imagined that an
appeal under such circumstances could not be resisted.  But the Queen
strongly opposed the measure; and His Majesty said he should be loath, in
the last moments of his painful existence, in anything to thwart one whom
he loved so tenderly.

He had long accustomed himself, when he spoke of the Queen and royal
infants, in deference to the temper of the times, only to say, “my wife
and children.”  They, as he told Clery, formed a tie, and the only one
remaining, which still bound him to earth.  Their last embraces, he said,
went so to his aching heart, that he could even yet feel their little
hands clinging about him, and see their streaming eyes, and hear their
agonized and broken voices.  The day previous to the fatal catastrophe,
when permitted for the last time to see his family, the Princesse
Elizabeth whispered him, not for herself, but for the Queen and his
helpless innocents, to remember his intentions.  He said he should not
feel himself happy if, in his last hour, he did not give them a proof of
his paternal affection, in obtaining an assurance that the sacrifice of
his life should be the guarantee of theirs.  So intent was his mind upon
this purpose, said Clery to me, that when his assassins came to take him
to the slaughtering-place, he said, “I hope my death will appease the
nation, and that my innocent family, who have suffered on my account,
will now be released.”

The ruffians answered, “The nation, always magnanimous, only seeks to
punish the guilty.  You may be assured your family will be respected.”
 Events have proved how well they kept their word.

It was to fulfil the intention of recommending his family to the people
with his dying breath that he commenced his address upon the scaffold,
when Santerre  ordered the drums to drown his last accents, and the axe
to fall!

The Princesse Elizabeth, and perhaps others of the royal prisoners, hoped
he would have been reprieved, till Herbert, that real ‘Pere du chene’,
with a smile upon his countenance, came triumphantly to announce to the
disconsolate family that Louis was no more!

Perhaps there never was a King more misrepresented and less understood,
especially by the immediate age in which he lived, than Louis XVI.  He
was the victim of natural timidity, increased by the horror of bloodshed,
which the exigencies of the times rendered indispensable to his safety.
He appeared weak in intellect, when he was only so from circumstances. An
overwrought anxiety to be just made him hesitate about the mode of
overcoming the abuses, until its procrastination had destroyed the object
of his wishes.  He had courage sufficient, as well as decision, where
others were not menaced and the danger was confined to himself; but,
where his family or his people were involved, he was utterly unfit to
give direction.  The want of self-sufficiency in his own faculties have
been his, and his throne’s, ruin.  He consulted those who caused him to
swerve from the path his own better reason had dictated, and, in seeking
the best course, he often chose the worst.

The same fatal timidity which pervaded his character extended to his
manners.  From being merely awkward, he at last became uncouth; but from
the natural goodness of his heart, the nearest to him soon lost sight of
his ungentleness from the rectitude of his intentions, and, to parody the
poet, saw his deportment in his feelings.

Previous to the Revolution, Louis XVI. was generally considered gentle
and affable, though never polished.  But the numberless outrages suffered
by his Queen, his family, his friends, and himself, especially towards
the close of his career, soured him to an air of rudeness, utterly
foreign to his nature and to his intention.

It must not be forgotten that he lived in a time of unprecedented
difficulty.  He was a lamb governing tigers.  So far as his own personal
bearing is concerned, who is there among his predecessors, that, replaced
upon the throne, would have resisted the vicissitudes brought about by
internal discord, rebellion, and riot, like himself?  What said he when
one of the heterogeneous, plebeian, revolutionary assemblies not only
insulted him, but added to the insult a laugh?  “If you think you can
govern better, I am ready to resign,” was the mild but firm reply of

How glorious would have been the triumph for the most civilized nation in
the centre of Europe had the insulter taken him at his word.  When the
experimentalists did attempt to govern, we all know, and have too
severely felt, the consequences.  Yet this unfortunate monarch has been
represented to the world as imbecile, and taxed with wanting character,
firmness, and fortitude, because he has been vanquished!  The
despot-conqueror has been vanquished since!

His acquirements were considerable.  His memory was remarkably retentive
and well-stored,--a quality, I should infer from all I have observed,
common to most Sovereigns.  By the multiplicity of persons they are in
the habit of seeing, and the vast variety of objects continually passing
through their minds, this faculty is kept in perpetual exercise.

But the circumstance which probably injured Louis XVI. more than any
other was his familiarity with the locksmith, Gamin.  Innocent as was the
motive whence it arose, this low connection lessened him more with the
whole nation than if he had been the most vicious of Princes.  How
careful Sovereigns ought to be, with respect to the attention they bestow
on men in humble life; especially those whose principles may have been
demoralized by the meanness of the associations consequent upon their
occupation, and whose low origin may have denied them opportunities of
intellectual cultivation.

This observation map even be extended to the liberal arts.  It does not
follow because a monarch is fond of these that he should so far forget
himself as to make their professors his boon companions.  He loses ground
whenever he places his inferiors on a level with himself.  Men are
estimated from the deference they pay to their own stations in society.
The great Frederic of Prussia used to sap, “I must show myself a King,
because my trade is royalty.”

It was only in destitution and anguish that the real character of Louis
developed itself.  He was firm and patient, utterly regardless of
himself, but wrung to the heart for others, not even excepting his
deluded murderers.  Nothing could swerve him from his trust in Heaven,
and he left a glorious example of how far religion can triumph over every
calamity and every insult this world has power to inflict.

There was a national guard, who, at the time of the imprisonment of the
Royal Family, was looked upon as the most violent of Jacobins, and the
sworn enemy of royalty.  On that account the sanguinary agents of the
self-created Assembly employed him to frequent the Temple.  His special
commission was to stimulate the King and Royal Family by every possible
argument to self-destruction.

But this man was a friend in disguise.  He undertook the hateful office
merely to render every service in his power, and convey regular
information of the plots of the Assembly against those whom he was
deputed to persecute.  The better to deceive his companions, he would
read aloud to the Royal Family all the debates of the regicides, which
those who were with him encouraged, believing it meant to torture and
insult, when the real motive was to prepare them to meet every
accusation, by communicating to them each charge as it occurred.  So
thoroughly were the Assembly deceived, that the friendly guard was
allowed free access to the apartments, in order to facilitate, as was
imagined, his wish to agonize and annoy.  By this means, he was enabled
to caution the illustrious prisoners never to betray any emotion at what
he read, and to rely upon his doing his best to soften the rigour of
their fate.

The individual of whom I speak communicated these circumstances to me
himself.  He declared, also, that the Duc d’Orleans came frequently to
the Temple during the imprisonment of Louis XVI., but, always in
disguise; and never, till within a few days after the murder of the poor
King, did he disclose himself.  On that occasion he had bribed the men
who were accustomed to light the fires, to admit him in their stead to
the apartment of the Princesse Elizabeth.  He found her on her knees, in
fervent prayer for the departed soul of her beloved brother.  He
performed this office, totally unperceived by this predestined victim;
but his courage was subdued by her piety.  He dared not extend the
stratagem to the apartment of the Queen.  On leaving the angelic
Princess, he was so overcome by remorse that he: requested my informant
to give him a glass of water, saying, “that woman has unmanned me.”  It
was by this circumstance he was discovered.

The Queen was immediately apprised by the good man of the occurrence.

“Gracious God!” exclaimed Her Majesty, “I thought once or twice that I
had seen him at our miserable dinner hours, occupied with the other
jailers at the outside door.  I even mentioned the circumstance to
Elizabeth, and she replied, “I also have observed a man resembling
D’ORLEANS, but it cannot be he, for the man I noticed had a wooden leg.”

“That was the very disguise he was discovered in this morning, when
preparing, or pretending to prepare, the fire in the Princesse
Elizabeth’s apartment,” replied the national guard.

“Merciful Heaven!”  said the Queen, “is he not yet satisfied?  Must he
even satiate his barbarous brutality with being an eye-witness of the
horrid state into which he has thrown us?  Save me,” continued Her
Majesty, “oh, save me from contaminating my feeble sight, which is almost
exhausted, nearly parched up for the loss of my dear husband, by looking
on him!--Oh, death!  come, come and release me from such a sight!”

“Luckily,” observed the guard to me, “it was the hour of the general jail
dinner, and we were alone; otherwise, I should infallibly have been
discovered, as my tears fell faster than those of the Queen, for really
hers seemed to be nearly exhausted: However,” pursued he, “that D’ORLEANS
did see the Queen, and that the Queen saw him, I am very sure.  From what
passed between them in the month of July, 1793, she was hurried off from
the Temple to the common prison, to take her trial.”  This circumstance
combined, with other motives, to make the Assembly hasten the Duke’s
trial soon after, who had been sent with his young son to Marseilles,
there being no doubt that he wished to rescue the Queen, so as to have
her in his own power.

On the 16th of October, Her Majesty was beheaded.  Her death was
consistent with her life.  She met her fate like a Christian, but still
like a Queen.

Perhaps, had Marie Antoinette been uncontrolled in the exercise of her
judgment, she would have shown a spirit in emergency better adapted to
wrestle with the times than had been discovered by His Majesty.  Certain
it is she was generally esteemed the most proper to be consulted of the
two.  From the imperfect idea which many of the persons in office
entertained of the King’s capacity, few of them ever made any
communication of importance but to the Queen.  Her Majesty never kept a
single circumstance from her husband’s knowledge, and scarcely decided on
the smallest trifle without his consent; but so thorough was his
confidence in the correctness of her judgment that he seldom, if ever,
opposed her decisions.  The Princesse de Lamballe used to say, “Though
Marie Antoinette is not a woman of great or uncommon talents, yet her
long practical knowledge gave her an insight into matters of moment which
she turned to advantage with so much coolness and address amid
difficulties, that I am convinced she only wanted free scope to have
shone in the history of Princes as a great Queen.  Her natural tendencies
were perfectly domestic.  Had she been kept in countenance by the manners
of the times, or favoured earlier by circumstances, she would have sought
her only pleasures in the family circle, and, far from Court intrigue,
have become the model of her sex and age.”

It is by no means to be wondered at that, in her peculiar situation,
surrounded by a thoughtless and dissipated Court, long denied the natural
ties so necessary to such a heart, in the heyday of youth and beauty, and
possessing an animated and lively spirit, she should have given way in
the earlier part of her career to gaiety, and been pleased with a round
of amusement.  The sincere friendship which she afterwards formed for the
Duchesse de Polignac encouraged this predilection.  The plot to destroy
her had already been formed, and her enemies were too sharp-sighted and
adroit not to profit and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by
this weakness.  The miscreant had murdered her character long, long
before they assailed her person.

The charge against her of extravagance has been already refuted.  Her
private palace was furnished from the State lumber rooms, and what was
purchased, paid for out of her savings.  As for her favourites, she never
had but two, and these were no supernumerary expense or encumbrance to
the State.

Perhaps it would have been better had she been more thoroughly directed
by the Princesse de Lamballe.  She was perfectly conscious of her good
qualities, but De Polignac dazzled and humoured her love of amusement and
display of splendour.  Though this favourite was the image of her royal
mistress in her amiable characteristics, the resemblance unfortunately
extended to her weaknesses.  This was not the case with the Princesse de
Lamballe; she possessed steadiness, and was governed by the cool
foresight of her father-in-law, the Duc de Penthievre, which both the
other friends wanted.

The unshaken attachment of the Princesse de Lamballe to the Queen,
notwithstanding the slight at which she at one time had reason to feel
piqued, is one of the strongest evidences against the slanderers of Her
Majesty.  The moral conduct of the Princess has never been called in
question.  Amid the millions of infamous falsehoods invented to vilify
and degrade every other individual connected with the Court, no
imputation, from the moment of her arrival in France, up to the fatal one
of her massacre, ever tarnished her character.  To her opinion, then, the
most prejudiced might look with confidence.  Certainly no one had a
greater opportunity of knowing the real character of Marie Antoinette.
She was an eye-witness to her conduct during the most brilliant and
luxurious portion of her reign; she saw her from the meridian of her
magnificence down to her dejection to the depths of unparalleled misery.
If the unfortunate Queen had ever been guilty of the slightest of those
glaring vices of which she was so generally accused, the Princess must
have been aware of them; and it was not in her nature to have remained
the friend and advocate, even unto death, of one capable of depravity.
Yet not a breath of discord ever arose between them on that score. Virtue
and vice can never harmonize; and even had policy kept Her Highness from
avowing a change of sentiments, it never could have continued her
enthusiasm, which was augmented, and not diminished, by the fall of her
royal friend.  An attachment which holds through every vicissitude must
be deeply rooted from conviction of the integrity of its object.

The friendship that subsisted between this illustrious pair is an
everlasting monument that honours their sex.  The Queen used to say of
her, that she was the only woman she had ever known without gall. “Like
the blessed land of Ireland,” observed Her Majesty, “exempt from the
reptiles elsewhere so dangerous to mankind, so was she freed by
Providence from the venom by which the finest form in others is
empoisoned.  No envy, no ambition, no desire, but to contribute to the
welfare and happiness of her fellow creatures--and yet, with all these
estimable virtues, these angelic qualities, she is doomed, from her
virtuous attachment to our persons, to sink under the weight of that
affliction, which, sooner or later, must bury us all in one common
ruin--a ruin which is threatening hourly.”

These presentiments of the awful result of impending storms were mutual.
From frequent conversations with the Princesse de Lamballe, from the
evidence of her letters and her private papers, and from many remarks
which have been repeated to me personally by Her Highness, and from
persons in her confidence, there is abundant evidence of the forebodings
she constantly had of her own and the Queen’s untimely end.

[A very remarkable circumstance was related to me when I was at Vienna,
after this horrid murder.  The Princess of Lobkowitz, sister to the
Princesse de Lamballe, received a box, with an anonymous letter, telling
her to conceal the box carefully till further notice.  After the riots
had subsided a little in France, she was apprised that the box contained
all, or the greater part, of the jewels belonging to the Princess, and
had been taken from the Tuileries on the 10th of August.

It is supposed that the jewels had been packed by the Princess in
anticipation of her doom, and forwarded to her sister through her agency
or desire.]

There was no friend of the Queen to whom the King showed any deference,
or rather anything like the deference he paid to the Princesse de
Lamballe.  When the Duchesse de Polignac, the Comtesse Diane de Polignac,
the Comte d’Artois, the Duchesse de Guiche, her husband, the present Duc
de Grammont, the Prince of Hesse-Darmstadt, etc., fled from Paris, he and
the Queen, as if they had foreseen the awful catastrophe which was to
destroy her so horribly, entreated her to leave the Court, and take
refuge in Italy.  So also did her father-in-law, the Duc de Penthievre;
but all in vain.  She saw her friend deprived of De Polignac, and all
those near and dear to her heart, and became deaf to every solicitation.
Could such constancy, which looked death in its worst form in the face
unshrinking, have existed without great and estimable qualities in its

The brother-in-law of the Princesse de Lamballe, the Duc d’Orleans, was
her declared enemy merely from her attachment to the Queen.  These three
great victims have been persecuted to the tomb, which had no sooner
closed over the last than the hand of Heaven fell upon their destroyer.
That Louis XVI. was not the friend of this member of his family can
excite no surprise, but must rather challenge admiration.  He had been
seduced by his artful and designing regicide companions to expend
millions to undermine the throne, and shake it to pieces under the feet
of his relative, his Sovereign, the friend of his earliest youth, who was
aware of the treason, and who held the thunderbolt, but would not crush
him.  But they have been foiled in their hope of building a throne for
him upon the ruin they had made, and placed an age where they flattered
him he would find a diadem.

The Prince de Conti told me at Barcelona that the Duchesse d’Orleans had
assured him that, even had the Duc d’Orleans survived, he never could
have attained, his object.  The immense sums he had lavished upon the
horde of his revolutionary satellites had, previous to his death, thrown
him into embarrassment.  The avarice of his party increased as his
resources diminished.  The evil, as evil generally does, would have
wrought its own punishment in either way.  He must have lived suspected
and miserable, had he not died.  But his reckless character did not
desert him at the scaffold.  It is said that before he arrived at the
Place de Greve he ate a very rich ragout, and drank a bottle of
champagne, and left the world as he had gone through it.

The supernumerary, the uncalled-for martyr, the last of the four devoted
royal sufferers, was beheaded the following spring.  For this murder
there could not have been the shadow of a pretext.  The virtues of this
victim were sufficient to redeem the name of Elizabeth from the stain
with which the two of England and Russia, who had already borne it, had
clouded its immortality.

[The eighteen years’ imprisonment and final murder of Mary, Queen of
Scots, by Elizabeth of England, is enough to stigmatize her forever,
independently of the many other acts of tyranny which stain her memory.
The dethronement by Elizabeth of Russia of the innocent Prince Ivan, her
near relation, while yet in the cradle, gives the Northern Empress a
claim to a similar character to the British Queen.]

She had never, in any way, interfered in political events.  Malice
itself had never whispered a circumstance to her dispraise.  After this
wanton assassination, it is scarcely to be expected that the innocent
and candid looks and streaming azure eyes of that angelic infant, the
Dauphin, though raised in humble supplication to his brutal assassins,
with an eloquence which would have disarmed the savage tiger, could have
won wretches so much more pitiless than the most ferocious beasts of the
wilderness, or saved him from their slow but sure poison, whose breath
was worse than the upas tree to all who came within its influence.

The Duchesse d’Angouleme, the only survivor of these wretched captives,
is a living proof of the baleful influence of that contaminated prison,
the infectious tomb of the royal martyrs.  That once lovely countenance,
which, with the goodness and amiableness of her royal father, whose
mildness hung on her lips like the milk and honey of human kindness,
blended the dignity, grace, elegance, and innocent vivacity, which were
the acknowledged characteristics of her beautiful mother, lost for some
time all traces of its original attractions.  The lines of deep-seated
sorrow are not easily obliterated.  If the sanguinary republic had not
wished to obtain by exchange the Generals La Fayette, Bournonville,
Lameth, etc., whom Dumourier had treacherously consigned into the hands
of Austria, there is little: doubt but that, from the prison in which she
was so long doomed to vegetate only to make life a burthen, she would
have been sent to share the fate of her murdered family.

How can the Parisians complain that they found her Royal Highness, on her
return to France, by no means what they required in a Princess?  Can it
be wondered at that her marked grief should be visible when amidst the
murderers of her family?  It should rather be a wonder that she can at
all bear the scenes in which she moves, and not abhor the very name of
Paris, when every step must remind her of some out rage to herself, or
those most dear to her, or of some beloved relative or friend destroyed!
Her return can only be accounted for by the spell of that all-powerful
‘amor patriae’, which sometimes prevails over every other influence.

Before I dismiss this subject, it may not be uninteresting to my readers
to receive some desultory anecdotes that I have heard concerning one or
two of the leading monsters, by whom the horrors upon which I have
expatiated were occasioned.

David, the famous painter, was a member of the sanguinary tribunal which
condemned the King.  On this account he has been banished from France
since the restoration.

If any one deserved this severity, it was David.  It was at the expense
of the Court of Louis XVI.  that this ungrateful being was sent to Rome,
to perfect himself in his sublime art.  His studies finished, he was
pensioned from the same patrons, and upheld as an artist by the special
protection of every member of the Royal Family.

And yet this man, if he may be dignified by the name, had the baseness to
say in the hearing of the unfortunate Louis XVI., when on trial, “Well!
when are we to have his head dressed, a la guillotine.”

At another time, being deputed to visit the Temple, as one of the
committee of public safety, as he held out his snuff-box before the
Princesse Elizabeth, she, conceiving he meant to offer it, took a pinch.
The monster, observing what she had done, darting a look of contempt at
her, instantly threw away the snuff, and dashed the box to pieces on the

Robespierre had a confidential physician, who attended him almost to the
period when he ascended the scaffold, and who was very often obliged,
‘malgre-lui’, to dine tete-a-tete with this monopolizer of human flesh
and blood.  One day he happened to be with him, after a very
extraordinary number had been executed, and amongst the rest, some of the
physician’s most intimate acquaintances.

The unwilling guest was naturally very downcast, and ill at ease, and
could not dissemble his anguish.  He tried to stammer out excuses and get
away from the table.

Robespierre, perceiving his distress, interrogated him as to the cause.

The physician, putting his hand to his head, discovered his reluctance to

Robespierre took him by the hand, assured him he had nothing to fear, and
added, “Come, doctor, you, as a professional man, must be well informed
as to the sentiments of the major part of the Parisians respecting me. I
entreat you, my dear friend, frankly to avow their opinion.  It may
perhaps serve me for the future, as a guide for governing them.”

The physician answered, “I can no longer resist the impulse of nature. I
know I shall thereby oppose myself to your power, but I must tell you,
you are generally abhorred,--considered the Attila, the Sylla, of the
age,--the two-footed plague, that, walks about to fill peaceful abodes
with miseries and family mournings.  The myriads you are daily sending to
the slaughter at the Place de Greve, who have, committed no crime, the
carts of a certain description, you have ordered daily to bear a stated
number to be sacrificed, directing they should be taken from the prisons,
and, if enough are not in the prisons, seized, indiscriminately in the
streets, that no place in the deadly vehicle may be left unoccupied, and
all this without a trial, without even an accusation, and without any
sanction but your own mandate--these things call the public curse upon
you, which is not the less bitter for not being audible.”

“Ah!” said Robespierre, laughing.  “This puts me in mind of a story told
of the cruelty and tyranny, of Pope Sixtus the Fifth, who, having one
night, after he had enjoyed himself at a Bacchanalian supper, when heated
with wine, by way of a ‘bonne bouche’, ordered the first man that should
come through the gate of the ‘Strada del popolo’ at Rome to be
immediately hanged.  Every person at this drunken conclave--nay, all
Rome--considered the Pope a tyrant, the most cruel of tyrants, till it
was made known and proved, after his death, that the wretch so executed
had murdered his father and mother ten years previously.  I know whom I
send to the Place de Greve.  All who go there are guilty, though they may
not seem so.  Go on, what else have you heard?”

“Why, that you have so terrified all descriptions of persons, that they
fear even your very breath, and look upon you as worse than the plague;
and I should not be surprised, if you persist in this course of conduct,
if something serious to yourself should be the consequence, and that ere

Not the least extraordinary part of the story is that this dialogue
between the devil and the doctor took place but a very, few hours
previous to Robespierre’s being denounced by Tallien and Carriere to the
national convention, as a conspirator against the republican cause. In
defending himself from being arrested by the guard, he attempted to shoot
himself, but the ball missed, broke the monster’s jaw-bone only, and
nearly impeded his speaking.

Singularly enough, it was this physician who was sent for to assist and
dress his wounds.  Robespierre replied to the doctor’s observations,
laughing, and in the following language:

“Oh, poor devils! they do not know their own interest.  But my plan of
exterminating the evil will soon teach them.  This is the only thing for
the good of the nation; for, before you can reform a thousand Frenchmen,
you must first lop off half a million of these vagabonds, and, if God
spare my life, in a few months there will be so many the less to breed
internal commotions, and disturb the general peace of Europe.

[When Bonaparte was contriving the Consulship for life, and, in the Irish
way, forced the Italian Republic to volunteer an offer of the Consulship
of Italy, by a deputation to him at Paris, I happened to be there.  Many
Italians, besides the deputies, went on the occasion, and, among them, we
had the good fortune to meet the Abbe Fortis, the celebrated naturalist,
a gentleman of first-rate abilities, who had travelled three-fourths of
the globe in mineralogical research.  The Abbe chanced one day to be in
company with my husband, who was an old acquaintance of his, where many
of the chopfallen deputies, like themselves, true lovers of their
country, could not help declaring their indignation at its degraded
state, and reprobating Bonaparte for rendering it so ridiculous in the
face of Europe and the world.  The Abbe Fords, with the voice of a
Stentor, and spreading his gigantic form, which exceeded six feet in
height, exclaimed: “This would not have been the case had that just and
wise man Robespierre lived but a little longer.”

Every one present was struck with horror at the observation. Noticing the
effect of his words, the Abbe resumed:

“I knew well I should frighten you in showing any partiality for that
bloody monopoliser of human heads.  But you do not know the perfidy of
the French nation so well as I do.  I have lived among them many years.
France is the sink of human deception. A Frenchman will deceive his
father, wife, and child; for deception is his element.  Robespierre knew
this, and acted upon it, as you shall hear.”

The Abbe then related to us the story I have detailed above, verbatim, as
he had it from the son of Esculapius, who himself confirmed it afterwards
in a conversation with the Abbe in our presence.

Having completed his anecdote, “Well,” said the Abbe, “was I not right in
my opinion of this great philosopher and foreseer of evils, when I
observed that had he but lived a few months longer, there would have been
so many less in the world to disturb its tranquillity?”]

The same physician observed that from the immense number of executions
during the sanguinary reign of that monster, the Place de Greve became so
complete a swamp of human blood that it would scarcely hold the
scaffolding of the instrument of death, which, in consequence, was
obliged to be continually moved from one side of the square to the other.
Many of the soldiers and officers, who were obliged to attend these
horrible executions, had constantly their half-boots and stockings filled
with the blood of the poor sufferers; and as, whenever there was any
national festival to be given, it generally followed one of the most
sanguinary of these massacres, the public places, the theatres
especially, all bore the tracks of blood throughout the saloons and

The infamous Carrier, who was the execrable agent of his still more
execrable employer, Robespierre, was left afterwards to join Tallien in a
conspiracy against him, merely to save himself; but did not long survive
his atrocious crimes or his perfidy.

It is impossible to calculate the vast number of private assassinations
committed in the dead of the night, by order of this cannibal, on persons
of every rank and description.

My task is now ended.  Nothing remains for me but the reflections which
these sad and shocking remembrances cannot fail to awaken in all minds,
and especially in mine.  Is it not astonishing that, in an age so
refined, so free from the enormous and flagitious crimes which were the
common stains of barbarous centuries, and at an epoch peculiarly
enlightened by liberal views, the French nation, by all deemed the most
polished since the Christian era, should have given an example of such
wanton, brutal, and coarse depravity to the world, under pretences
altogether chimerical, and, after unprecedented bloodshed and horror,
ended at the point where it began!

The organized system of plunder and anarchy, exercised under different
forms more or less sanguinary, produced no permanent result beyond an
incontestible proof that the versatility of the French nation, and its
puny suppleness of character, utterly incapacitate it for that energetic
enterprise without which there can be no hope of permanent emancipation
from national slavery.  It is my unalterable conviction that the French
will never know how to enjoy an independent and free Constitution.

The tree of liberty unavoidably in all nations has been sprinkled with
human blood; but, when bathed by innocent victims, like the foul weed,
though it spring up, it rots in its infancy, and becomes loathsome and
infectious.  Such has been the case in France; and the result justifies
the Italian satire:

“Un albero senza fruta
Baretta senza testa
Governo che non resta.”


A liar ought to have a good memory
Air of science calculated to deceive the vulgar
And scarcely a woman; for your answers are very short
Bad habit of talking very indiscreetly before others
Beaumarchais sent arms to the Americans
Because he is fat, he is thought dull and heavy
Can make a Duchess a beggar, but cannot make a beggar a Duchess
Canvassing for a majority to set up D’Orleans
Clergy enjoyed one-third the national revenues
Clouds--you may see what you please in them
Danger of confiding the administration to noblemen
Dared to say to me, so he writes
Dead always in fault, and cannot be put out of sight too soon
Declaring the Duke of Orleans the constitutional King
Do not repulse him in his fond moments
Educate his children as quietists in matters of religion
Embonpoint of the French Princesses
Fatal error of conscious rectitude
Feel themselves injured by the favour shown to others
Few individuals except Princesses do with parade and publicity
Foolishly occupying themselves with petty matters
Frailty in the ambitious, through which the artful can act
French people do not do things by halves
Fresh proof of the intrigues of the Jesuits
He who quits the field loses it
Honesty is to be trusted before genius
How difficult it is to do good
I dared not touch that string
Infinite astonishment at his sharing the common destiny
It is an ill wind that blows no one any good
Judge of men by the company they keep
Laughed at qualities she could not comprehend
Les culottes--what do you call them?’ ‘Small clothes’
Listeners never hear any good of themselves
Madame made the Treaty of Sienna
Many an aching heart rides in a carriage
Mind well stored against human casualties
Money the universal lever, and you are in want of it
More dangerous to attack the habits of men than their religion
My little English protegee
No phrase becomes a proverb until after a century’s experience
Offering you the spectacle of my miseries
Only retire to make room for another race
Over-caution may produce evils almost equal to carelessness
Panegyric of the great Edmund Burke upon Marie Antoinette
Pension is granted on condition that his poems are never printed
People in independence are only the puppets of demagogues
Pleasure of making a great noise at little expense
Policy, in sovereigns, is paramount to every other
Quiet work of ruin by whispers and detraction
Regardlessness of appearances
Revolution not as the Americans, founded on grievances
Ridicule, than which no weapon is more false or deadly
Salique Laws
Sending astronomers to Mexico and Peru, to measure the earth
Sentiment is more prompt, and inspires me with fear
She always says the right thing in the right place
She drives quick and will certainly be overturned on the road
Suppression of all superfluous religious institutions
Sworn that she had thought of nothing but you all her life
Thank Heaven, I am out of harness
The King remained as if paralysed and stupefied
These expounders--or confounders--of codes
To be accused was to incur instant death
To despise money, is to despise happiness, liberty...
Traducing virtues the slanderers never possessed
Underrated what she could not imitate
We look upon you as a cat, or a dog, and go on talking
We say “inexpressibles”
 When the only security of a King rests upon his troops
Where the knout is the logician
Who confound logic with their wishes
Wish art to eclipse nature
You tell me bad news: having packed up, I had rather go

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. — Complete
 - Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady's maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of the Princess Lamballe" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.