Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
The duc de la Vauguyon and the comtesse du Barry--The marquis de Chauvelin
and the comtesse--M. de Montbarrey and the comtesse-- Intrigues--Lebel--Arrival
of the du Barry family--The comte d'Hargicourt--The demoiselles du Barry--
Marriage of the comtesse-- The marquis de Bonrepos--Correspondences--The
The prince de Soubise was not the only person who wished to act in the capacity
of mentor to me. M. the duc de la Vauguyon attempted also to be the guide of my
youth. This nobleman was too much of a Jesuit not to have a nose of
prodigiously fine scent. He perceived that the wind was in my favor, and
approached me in consequence. I have mentioned to you his first visit, and he
made me a second a few days afterwards. He appeared very affable, very
conciliating, and insisted particularly several times, and that without any apparent
motive, that the king, not being now engaged in the ties of wedlock, he should
choose some agreeable companion, and assuredly could not do better than
select me. The day after this visit, early in the morning, the duke sent me a
splendid bouquet, a homage which he afterwards repeated, and then called on
me a third time.
During this visit after a conversation on the embarrassments of an introduction at
Versailles, he proposed that I should avoid them.
"You cannot conceal from yourself," he said, "how powerful will be the cabal
against you; and, without including the Choiseuls, you will have especially to fear
the pious party, who will only see in your intimacy with the king, allow me to say,
a crying scandal, and one not profitable for religion."
"If the pious party unite with those who are not so to destroy me," I rejoined,
laughing, "I shall have all France against me."
"No; but perhaps all the chateau. But there is a way of averting the storm. Attach
yourself to the party of honest men who have been so greatly calumniated--the
Jesuits. Philosophy, supported by the duc de Choiseul, has repressed them; but
the high clergy and the mesdames royales are attached strongly to them, and
you would interest them in your fortune by favoring these worthy fathers."
"What! monsieur le duc," cried I, "will messeigneurs the clergy of France, and
mesdames royales and their suite be favorable to me, if I use my influence with
the king in espousing the cause of the society of Jesus?"
"Certainly, madame, and I am authorized to promise you. I give you my word for
this. Endeavor to re-establish the order, and there will not be one of us but will be
zealous in supporting you."
"I certainly am desirous of pleasing your friends; but I can see that, from the first
moment of my appearance at court, I shall be at open war with the Choiseuls and
"What matters it? I confess that the victory will not be easy at first, but there is no
need to exaggerate the difficulties. It is true that the king has esteem for the duc
de Choiseul, but he has much affection for you, which avails much more.