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Memoirs of the Comtesse du Barry
Baron Etienne Leon Lamothe-Langon
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When is the presentation to take place?--Conversation on this subject with the
king--M. de Maupeou and M. de la Vauguyon-- Conversation on the same
subject with the king and the duc de Richelieu--M. de la Vrilliere--M. Bertin---
Louis XV and the comtesse--The king's promise--The fire-works, an anecdote--
The marquise de Castellane--M. de Maupeou at the duc de Choiseul's-- The
duchesse de Grammont
In spite of the love of the duchesse de Grammont, the king of Denmark departed
at last. Louis XV having resumed his former habits, I began to meditate seriously
on my presentation; and my friends employed themselves to the utmost in
furthering my desires and insuring my triumph.
The chancellor, who each day became more attached to my interests, opened
the campaign. One day, when the king was in a rage with the parliaments, the
chancellor seized the opportunity to tell him that the cabal, who were opposed to
my presentation, testified so much resistance, under the idea, and in the hope,
that they would be supported by the parliaments of Paris.
"If your majesty," added the chancellor, "had less condescension towards these
malcontents, they would fear your authority more."
"You will see," replied the king, "that it will be their audacity which will urge me on
to a step, which otherwise I should wish to avoid."
Whilst the hatred which M. de Maupeou bore towards the parliaments served me
in this way, the love of M. de la Vauguyon for the Jesuits turned to even more
advantage. The good duke incessantly talked to me of his dear Jesuits; and I as
constantly replied, that my influence would not be salutary until after my
presentation, M. de la Vauguyon had sense enough to perceive the
embarrassment of my situation, and saw that before I could think of others I must
think of myself. Having taken "sweet counsel" with the powerful heads of his
company, he freely gave me all his influence with the king.
Fortune sent me an auxiliary not less influential than these two gentlemen; I
mean the marechal duc de Richelieu. In the month of January, 1769, he returned
from his government of Guienne to enter on service. He had much credit with the
king, and this (would you believe it?) resulted from his reputation as a man of
intrigue. He told the king every thing that came into his head: he told him one
day, that the Choiseuls boasted that he, the king of France, never dared
introduce his mistress into the state apartments at Versailles.
"Yes," added the duke, "they boast so loudly, that nothing else is talked of in the
province; and at Bordeaux, for instance, there is one merchant who, on the
strength of the enemies of the comtesse, has made a bet that she will never be
"And why do you not imprison these persons?" inquired the king, angrily.
"Because, sire, it appears to me injustice to punish the echo of the fooleries of
"I will conduct myself as regards the presentation of madame du Barry in the
manner which I think best. But is it not an inconceivable contrariety, that one