Commonplace Book – Pages 127-128
- Command of troops was given to the Marechal Duc de Broglie, aided by Baron de Besenval
- July 13, 1789: Duc de Cosse pays a quick visit du Barri to inform her that the regiments are to put down the National Assembly. Duc de Cosse was now colonel of the Swiss corps and confidant.
- July 14th: “all Paris had risen in a body and declared against the royal family…the taking of the Bastille, and the massacre of M. de Launcy, M. Flesselles, and several others.”
- July 15th: du Barri receives a visit from the Marechale de Mirepoix. The Polignacs, the Prince de Conde, the Duc de Bourbon, the Duc d’Enghien and the Prince de Conti have all fled and abandoned them.
- July 17th: “the whole of the Comte d’Artois family…and a greater number of courtiers took the road to Brussels, while the Polignacs, with the Prince de Lambsec, filed off towards Germany.”
- One evening, a strange gentlemen comes to du Barri asking, “You are aware of the spot in the Chateau of Versailles, where the late King concealed a casket of vast importance, and -” “It is evident…that you are in possession of the secret…Louis XV confided this fact only to yourself, the chancellow, and the Prince de Soubise…”
- du Barri refuses to tell, and Madame de Campan takes her to Marie Antoinette. du Barri tells her of the casket, proves her loyalty, and the two forgive eachother.
“Dans les jardins de Trianon
Je cherchais des roses nouvelles
Mais helas! les fleurs les belles
Avaient peri sous l’aquilon
J’eus beau chercher les dons de Flore,
Les hivers les avaient detruits,
Je ne trouvais que des soucis
Qu’humectaient les pleurs de l’Aurore
- “Tis a young man of about 18 years fo age, who comes every day and sings in the same place verses of different songs, each having some reference to myself. I fancied he might be poor, and have sent him some money, which he has always refused, and I cannot doubt that this youthful musician employs this method as an assurance of his love for his queen.”
- Comte de Fersen, a Swiss gentleman, with the Marechal de Mouchy, find Louis XV’s golden casket and deliver it safely to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. “All the papers found in the casket had been consigned to the flames, with the exception of a very thick manuscript written in the late King’s own hand, and which her majesty had reserved for her private perusal.”
- Dec 20, Paris: M. de Laclos is a member of the Orleans party. She confronts him at the opera, and refuses to join his side. She tells him of how the casket was found and the papers inside had been burned, thereby unable to fall into his hands.
- Later, during the night, some robbers, while she was in Paris, broke into Luciennes and stole her diamonds and other items, worth no less than 500,000 crowns.
Commonplace Book – Page 126
- About this time, “public attention became riveted upon the doctrines of a German professor, named Mesmer, who…brought newly-discovered science of magnetism with him to France…Many departed with the conviction that if he were endowed with supernatural powers, he derived them from Lucifer himself.”
- du Barri becomes ones of his “disciples” and sets up a “magnetic apparatus” at Luciennes
- Ash Wednesday, 1780: “The Prince de Lambsec, his brother, and the Princesse de Vandemont were returning from the country…when they overtook a procession of priests carrying extreme unction to a dying man.” The postilion tried to slow down, but the coachman urged the horses to go faster and an attendant priest was run over. “To the great amusement of the young noblemen in the carriage.”
- About this time, the “Messieurs de Chabannes, de Chabrillant, de Louvois, de Champcenity, de Tilly, de Soyecour, de Cosse, de Dillon, de Polignac, de Vaucheuil, de Thiars, de Noailles, etc.” form a recreation club. Marie Antoinette is amused by this idea and joins in a game of “decamptivos” along with the King, Madame, the Comte and Comtesse d’Artois and the Duc and Duchesse de Chartres until 4:00 am.
- du Barri learns that people are trying to give Louis XVI a mistress. The woman’s name is Saint Alban, “beautiful as an angel, but wicked and depraved.” “She is certainly a fine woman, but not nearly so handsome as the queen,” Louis says.
- Justine, from Paris, is chosen next. “You shall receive 200,000 livres if you fail…you must play the hypocrite.” “My dear sir, for 200,000 livres I would pass for a nun if necessary.” Her “brother” a Gascon was to brag about her in the King’s presence. After she is modestly introduced, the King can’t help but find her a little attractive.
- Celine, who has now become a friend and informant to du Barri, learns all this, and explains it all to du Barri. du Barri then feels it is her duty to tell Madame la Duchesse de Graramont.
- Later, Celine tells du Barri that the King had come close, but in the end he refused her charms. Her brother was given 100 louis, and she, 24,000 livres. They were then sent away, and du Barri receives a note simply saying, “All is known, I thank you.”
Commonplace Book – Pages 125-126
- The Baron de Sugere tells du Barri that the Duc de Cosse has been visiting this girl named Celine
- “She is the daughter of the woman who lets out the chairs at St. Sulpice.” The Abbe de Boisgelin took her into his care, but the Marquis de M___ took her away. The Abbe Terray then takes her, but gives her up to the Farmer-general Soulot.
- Comte Jean du Barri then visits her and speaks more of Celine. “She was called Javotte” when with Abbe de Boisgelin; “Mademoiselle Albert” when with the Marquis de Vaudreuil; “Madame Laurent” with Abbe Terray and the “Baronne de Merfleur” when with Soulot.
- Comte Jean formulates a plan. “I have told Celine that upon my return to Paris I was accompanied by a young relation, who had a most ardent curiosity to behold all the beauties of the day, and that I wished she would assist his desire. I mean you to play the part of my cousin.”
- du Barri, dressed as a man, meets Celine twice and “seduces” her. Duc de Cosse walks in, and while Celine is embarrassed, du Barri claims that “he” was indeed giving her “tender endearments.” du Barri tells the Duc de Cosse that “his” name is Vicomte Henri de Beauselle. Duc de Cosse challenges “Henri” to a duel, but du Barri declines, saying “I always refuse on principle.” They then argue, and Duc de Cosse sees through the disguise when she begins crying. Duc de Cosse is forgiven.
Commonplace Book – Pages 124-125
- “Madame la Comtesse du Barri” – For reasons, which have for their object the preservation of the tranquility of my kingdom, and the prevention of any State secrets confided to you being promulgated, I send this order for your immediate removal to Pont aux Dames, accompanied by one female attendant only, and under the escort of the exempt who has the necessary orders. This measure is by no means intended to be either disagreeable or of long duration. I therefore pray God to have you in his holy keeping.” – (Signed) Louis XVI
- Duc de Cosse Brissac: Appointed in 1791 Commander-in-chief of the Constitutional Guard of Louis XVI, a faithful defender of the monarchy. In September of 1789, he would be cut down by a sabre during a massacre in front of Versailles. His bloody head was presented to du Barri.
- “I merely pay the debt I owe to the ancestors of my kingdom and myself.”
- She sells her hotel at Versailles and buys an estate called Saint Vrain, between Orleans and Paris.
- She receives 420 guests from the neighboring noble families and visits from the Duchesse d’Aiguillon and the Duc.
- Her exile ends and she returns to Luciennes in Paris
- 1781: Louis XVI presents Marie with a diamond necklace, that was originally intended for du Barri from Louis XV. “This bijou was valued at 150,000 francs” and after Louis XV’s death, was in the hands of a jeweler.
- March, 1784: The necklace, now valued at 2,000,000 francs “is to be sent by Bohemer, the jeweler, to Constantinople.” He “vainly endeavored to sell it to the King.” The Cardinal Rohan then purchases the necklace for 1,600,000 francs, “to be paid in installments”, “guaranteed” by Marie Antoinette.
- Rohan tells du Barri that he is to meet the queen in the gardens of Versailles after midnight. After which, he is certain he’s on good terms with her.
- August 15th: 5 o’clock pm, the Baron de Sugere (her informer) tells du Barri that Rohan has been arrested. “He is suspected of having betrayed certain State secrets which had come under his knowledge, of having engaged in a conspiracy against the royal family, and of forming designs contrary to the peace and security of his majesty or his dominion.”
- 10 o’clock, Madame de Cerneuil informs her that Rohan is now accused of “stealing a diamond necklace.” Also the Comte and Comtesse de Cagliostro, M. de Villette and Baron de Planta. Here, the Madame de la Motte Valois had hired a girl named Olivia to forge permission to obtain the necklace.
- Cardinal Rohan is declared innocent, the Comtesse de la Motte Valois is sentenced to be flogged, branded, and confined in prison. Everything is carried out, except that she is able to escape to England. The Cardinal is then deprived of being grand almoner and retired to his bishopric in Strasbourg.
Commonplace Book – Page 124
- October 16: The Comte d’Artois is married to Marie Therese of Savoy
- During the ceremony, du Barri wears a dress “composed of cloth of gold with roses tied together by bows of diamonds”; “each of my earrings cost 100,000 crowns”; “my belt and headress proportionally costly”
- Later, du Barri ordered a diamond cigarette from her jeweler. When M. Lebon is forced to be introduced to Marie Antoinette, she is curious and wants to purchase the cigarette and poor M. Lebon is forced to give it up. The King recompenses her with a cigarette box composed of rubies surrounded with large diamonds, and a necklace of four hundred pearls (4-5 grains each)
- At one time, at the Parc-aux-Cerfs, the King had fallen in love with a young orphan of high birth, named Julie. He either visited her daily or sent for her to the Chateau. Her three uncles and two brothers had been given the highest military ranks.
- Suddenly, during this time, the King contracts smallpox. In August of 1774, he dies. But he gave her a miniature to remember him by, and his last words were “Adieu.”
Commonplace Book – Page 123
- du Barri to amuse the King, hears of a celebrated singer named Chasse
- Chasse caused a duel between two women: a Polish woman and a Frenchwoman in the Bois de Boulogne. The Polish was sent from the country and the other shut up in a convent. Another time, Chasse forgot his admission ticket to the Comedie Francaise:
- “Sir, I am Chasse from the Opera.”
“Very well, and you shall be Chasse from the Comedie Francaise.”
- du Barri tells the Duc de Vrilliere to write a letter to Chasse, asking him to “hold himself in readiness to sing on the morrow at a supper with the King.”
- Chasse comes, “in a splendid dress of red velvet, embroidered and ornamented with brass buttons.” He sings, his voice, “sustained and melodious.” The man was 76 yrs old. du Barri sends him a gold snuff-box in the name of the King.
- Comte Jean then finds Ursule Noblin. “Virtuous, pretty and serves her brother, who is sentenced to death. Come Jean primsed Father Noblin to save his son if he resigned Ursule. She is placed in the Parc-aux-Cerfs. The girl obtains the pardon for her brother but she cannot be consoled, and later du Barri learns that she has died.
- Prince de Conde: brave in battle; “more talent than frankness”; “more egotism than disinterestedness”
- M. de Maupeou tells her that the Prince de Conde, the Comte de la Marche and the Prince de Soubise have “united to drive out the real minister, to drive you from Court, and to put in your place a woman (Cleophile) on whom they can depend.”
- du Barri confronts the King, but he sees nothing wrong. She has to be content with just avoiding them and treating them with contempt.
Commonplace Book – Pages 122-123
- The Comte Guillaume arrives from Toulouse to ask for money, she grants the pension, and wants nothing more to do with him.
- In the meantime, du Barri wants a divorce from Rome. She acquires the service of an abbe. She does not name him.
- The Abbe: “the very worst of the ecclesiastical profession”; witty; lively; eager for advancement; covetous of money; later became a prince of the Church
- The Abbe leaves Paris, with a letter of credit for Cardinal de Bernis who represented the King with the Pope. The Cardinal refuses to grant it. The Marechale de Mirepoix says the Abbe Terray is playing her false for he wants to put Madame Dumerval in du Barri’s place. But the King, after being confronted, says he has no interest in her.
- Princesse de Lamballe: young; tolerably pretty; vivacious; “destitute of wit”; “possessed little or no knowledge of Court life; the new favorite
- Comte Jean goes to the Parc-aux-Cerfs and speaks with Madame. There, he views Josephine de M___ (young, lady of quality), Linettle (Flemish) and Dorothee (native of Auvergne). They want to control Dorothee to distract the King from Lamballe. Chamilly is now Lebel’s successor.
- Dorothee had a lover, and learns from him where she really is and her purpose there. She refuses the King. Dorothee is punished by being confined in a cloister. The lover then finds his way to du Barri to ask for release of Dorothee. du Barri gets the King to agree, Dorothee is released and the lovers are married.
- Duc de Cosse Brissac: “one of the most accomplished noblemen of the day”; brave; noble disposition; frank, disinterested conduct; solidity of judgement; “air of chivalrous gallantry”
- du Barri meets him in September in the woods of Fontainebleu. The two fall in love, but he tells her that he is married and loves his wife also. du Barri does not want to come between them. He continues to love her still. The Duchesse de Casse finds out all this but promises to keep quiet.
Commonplace Book – Pages 121-122
- Madame du Fumel: neither handsome nor agreeable; “who would have passed through the world without exciting the smallest notice”; large fortune; illustrious birth; married to Comte d’Hargicourt; “perfect fury”
- Comte d’Hargicourt: “merry creature”; jovial and facetious temperament; witty; boisterous laugh; remained silent if he couldn’t take part in conversation; “virtues were all of the negative kind”; unaffected disposition; “went through the world honestly and inoffensively; du Barri raised him to colonel
- Madame Pater: beautiful; cold; taciturn; haughty; “she seemed to think universal homage her right and claim”; repulsive manners; former husband was jealous and mistrustful; now married to Baron de N___; Comte d’Hargicourt is in love with her
- Marechale de Mirepoix confirms the Duc de Duras is using Comte d’Hargicourt to get Madame Pater close to the King. She heard this amongst Madame du Deffant, Marechale de Luxembourg, Mesdames de Cambis and de Boufflers, the Bishop de Mirepoix and le Carracioli.
- The King acquired on ability to “assume the appearance of friendship towards those very persons he had resolved upon depriving of their place at Court “from the Duc de Villeroi, his tutor, and Cardinal de Fleury, his Mentor.
- Comte Jean bribes the valet Blagnac to raid Madame Pater’s private papers and he claims a letter stating: “I have had extreme honor of being presented to his majesty…but, alas!…this great prince is growing old…although the Comtesse du Barri contrives…to make him believe he is still young.”
Commonplace Book – Pages 120-121
- Madame du Barri, Prince de Soubise take up a cause against the Duc de Richelieu after he forbids Mademoiselle Guimard and the French comedians from appearing elsewhere than on the boards of their own theatre.
- She holds a fete and several pieces are played, from Pandora, an “opera” the words of which were written by Voltaire; then a ballet.
- du Barri promises Mademoiselle Guimard “that his majesty will bear her in mind. M. Buimard thus contracts fresh debts, but the King only gives her an annuity of 1,500 livres, so Barri gives her a pearl necklace and 10,000 livres.
- Comte Jean du Barri wants to marry off his nephew, Vicomte Aldolphe du Barri, to one of the King’s daughters, Mademoiselle de Saint Andre.
- The King’s illegitimate children were fixed a sum of 500,000 livres at birth, and the interest would accumulate until they came of age.
- M. Yon: Guardian of Mademoiselle de Saint Andre; grave; formal; proud of his job
- Yon tells the King that he cannot support the marriage, and reminds him that she ahs already been promised to the M. de la Tour du Pin la Choise.
-Mademoiselle de Tournon: “most beautiful and nobly-born”; “one of the very poorest”; allied to nearly all the Court; related to the Prince de Soubise; incalculable advantage; also related to the Prince de Conde; 17 yrs old
- The Prince de Conde, for his consent, demands liquidation of his debts (a sum of 1,500,000 livres), the purchase price of his palace in Paris and admission into the council as a minister of State.
- The King and the Prince de Conde come to an agreement, but 100,000 “shall be divided between” the Marechale de Mirepoix and the Princesse de Monaco. The marriage was celebrated at St. Roch.
- Du Barri then receives a note from a mysterious lady, saying for her personal safety, she should come to the Baths of Apollo at one o’clock.
- The woman tells her of a plot between the Jesuits and Parliamentarians to kill her and the King. Du Barri “will receive four bottles of orange-flower water, bearing the usual appearances of having come from your perfumer…but it is mingled with a deadly poison.”
- The woman demands 2000 crowns, which will be divided between her and her supporter and the “day after tomorrow” she asks for 100,000 francs.
- The Duc d’Aiguillon is notified and so is M. de Saint Florentin, M. Quesnay (first physician), Messrs Thiebault and Varennes (visiting physicians), M. de la Mortiniere (surgeon), and Messrs Ducor and Prost (apothecaries)
- The woman’s name is Lorimer, she was a widow. Her informant is a Swiss named Calbert (30 yrs). Calbert is arrested, but says he has been the “victim of an enraged woman.” Three days after his admission into the Bastille, he died of violent convulsions. Lorimer is than too arrested, but “at the end of a fortnight” she dies by poison. They cannot find any suspicion or proof against the Jesuits, Father Corbin, Berthier, and Cerutti, or the Parliamentarians. The 100,000 livres promised to Lorimer were never given and had been forgotten in M. de Sartine’s drawer.
Commonplace Book – Pages 119-120
- Marie Antoinette, listening to the King’s daughters, forbids Madame du Barri from attending her balls and parties.
- The Comte du Chatelet tells Marie Antoinette to come to his fete, but she will not go because du Barri is going.
- Marquis de Montesquieu makes several visits to du Barri, he is the first gentleman-in-waiting to the Comte de Provence
- The Princesse de Conti visits du Barri in order to pacify things. She is an old lady, with a “quick and ready wit”
- Duc d’Aiguillon and Abbe Terray agree that it is impossible to effect anything with the King favor of the exiled princes
- Prince de Conti: “gifted with considerable talent”; “studied medals…his love for antiquities almost equalled his admiration of the fair sex”; “he revived in the Isle d’Adam and the salons of the Temple, the orgies”; “antiquarian Sybarite”; “far from being rich”; “the King looked upon him as the enemy of the throne”
- The Prince de Conti is constantly watched by the Secret du Roi and the Comte de Broglie and by the official police of M. de Sartines
- Madame du Barri intervenes to stop the Prince de Conti from being exiled. He is grateful, but undeserving and says so in a letter. The King, in response, says “Yes, that is the case with all you ladies; you care very little for affairs of State, and at the first fine compliment paid you, you shout victory!”
- The King had banished the Jesuits, and his rival, the King of Prussia, declared himself their protector and offered them Silesia. There was also correspondence between Voltaire and Frederic II, and Louis XV is always nervous of scandal and people talking about him.
- Diderot is then invited to visit Catherine of Russia in St. Petersburg. The King hears of this from M. de Chauvelin, and the Prince de Soubise. “Diderot…has never set foot in the Chateau, yet he will take upon himself to repeat a thousand falsehoods respecting my private life.” But Louis XV cannot stop him from going or he will end up in a “never-ending quarrel with her imperial majesty.”
- Louis then writes a letter to M. Durand, the charge d’affaires in St. Petersburg, to keep an eye on Diderot the encyclopaedist.
- “The most indefatigable patron of theatres” was the Bishop of Orleans, M. de Jarente.
- Caron de Beaumarchais: “a man who cannot exist without bustle and confusion”; “cared very little whether good or ill were spoken of him”; possess sense; “he is clever in all schemes of commercial speculation”; “particularly clever and eloquent in his descriptions”; “strong and forcible in argument”; “a jester and a liar”
- Marin: “a Provencal by birth”; “nominated by the M. de Saint Florentin to the post of censor-royal”; “would alternatively applaud or condemn the writing of the philosophers”; for “affixing his sanction to two lines in a play by Dorat,” he had to spend 24 hours in the Bastille”; for permitting an opera, he was “deprived of 2000 francs”
- du Barri knows of a scheme between Marin and Chamilly to “improve your fortunes at the expense of the King.” However, she offers to pay him 520 louis d’or if he will be her secret newsman and royal censor, and he accepts.
- Marin discovers that the King is having an affair with a Madame de Rumas, who is married. She arranges to meet M. de Rumas at Port a l’Anglaise, accompanied by Marechale de Mirepoix. She confronts him, but he denies it, then she confronts Chamilly who promises to make up a story of Madame de Rumas “that should effectively deter him from thinking further of her.”
Commonplace Book – Page 118
- December 24, 1770: M. de Choiseul is dismissed – he is “confined to the estate at Chanteloup”
- Marie Antoinette reacts by “bewailing with many tears”, according to Madame de Campan
- Cardinal de la Roche: “a man of little mind”; “wholly devoid of genius”; “crafty and servile”; “crawling than walking, and bowing even to the ground before all whose necks he was ready to tread on”; “never meddling with any Court intrigue unless for his own interest”
- Geraud, Archbishop of Damas: nuncio to the Pope; “a true Italian”; “mixture of knavery, cunning, malice, good-nature and wit”; “neither word nor look escaped his scrutiny”; “possessed many solid qualities”
- June 5, 1771: Duc d’Aiguillon is appointed minister of foreign affairs
- Madame du Deffant: “high birth and great attainments”; “she passed her life…in a mixture of folly and thoughtlessness”; “her errors were all forgotten and forgiven in consideration of her birth, her numerous connections”; retired to the convent of St. Joseph
- Deffant was intimate friends with Voltaire, d’Alembert, Mesdames de Luxembourg, de Mirepoix, de Boufflers, de Forcalquier, d’Aiguillon, de Beauvau, de Choisseul, de Crussol, de Beauffremont, and de Lauzun.
- Comte de Haga: Crown prince of Sweden; “pleasing as he was handsome”; “conversation was pleasing in the highest degree; “It would make a fine province of France, its inhabitants are Frenchmen in their hearts; and for my own part, I feel myself more than ever bound to France by the gracious and flattering reception your majesty has been pleased to afford me.”
- Duke of Sudermania: “not destined to acquire the high renown of Gustavus III”; “not gifted with the winning frankness of his brother”
- March 1, 1771: The Comte de Haga receives at Paris the news of his father’s decease
- Gustavus III announces his firm resolution “of claiming back from those seditious nobles those rights which they had usurped from” his ancestors
- The Comte de Provence, 15 yrs old, marries Princess Marie Josephine Louise of Savoy, 17 yrs old. The Comte de Provence would afterwards be Louis XVIII. His younger brother, Comte d’Artois, became Charles X.
- Comte d’Artois “impetuous and impatient temperament”; “quick”; “volatile”; “headstrong”; “spurned all restraint”; “plunged eagerly into pleasures wholly unfit for his tender years”
Commonplace Book – Page 117
- Prince de Terigny, Comte d’Escars, the Duc de Fleury “kept up a lively strain of conversation”
- Duc de Fronsac: perpetually changing mistresses; “vilest”; “to speak ill of him is no sin”
- Duc de la Vauguyon, Duc d’Estissac and M. de Durfort: “practiced religion in the face of the world…but with the King they laid aside their religion and reserve…so that they had all the advantages of loose conduct.”
- Lebel wholly manages the Parc-aux-Cerfs, under the superintendence of the Comte de Saint-Florentin. M. de Cerrieres, a former military chief, commands active surveillance. His pay was 12,000 livres a year.
- The Madame: management of domestic affairs; no other name; controlled expenses; preserved good order; “belonging to one of the best families in Burgundy”; “most astonishing mind”; “divided her flock into noble and ignoble”
- Two under-mistresses who kept ladies company; instructed them in polite behavior, musical lessons, dancing, history and literature.
- Male domestics: chosen for age and ugliness; paid highly; but in return for least indiscretion they were sent to linger out in a State prison
- Mere Bompart: small; fat; rather old; “with a good foot”; “a good eye”; “robust as a trooper”; “with a decided ‘cal’ for intrigue”; “drinking nothing but wine”; “telling nothing but lies”; “swearing by or denying God as suited her purpose”
- Parc-aux-Cerfs cost 150,000 livres just for “functionaries and the domestics, the education and board of the eleves. 2,000,000 livres a year for illegitimate children. It was kept up for 34 years; it cost annually 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 livres and that will amount to nearly 150,000,000 (6,250,000 pounds)
- She sees a play called “Rose et Colas”; actors include Clairval and Mademoiselle Caroline
- Madame de Valentinois is granted a 15,000 livres pension
Commonplace Book – Page 116
- Zamor: Presented by Duc de Richelieu; “young African boy”; “full of intelligence and mischief”; “simple in his nature, but wild”; he becomes her little page; given the title Governor of the Pavillon de Luciennes; “responsible for bringing her to the scaffold”
- Prince Charles Auguste Christian: very amiable and offers heaven in his dominion should her position become delicate; his brother is Prince Maximilian Joseph and Antoinette does not trust him, but Louis XV convinces the Dauphine to allow him to attend her parties
- First mentioning of the Secret du Roi. “The Comte de Broglie was a man of great character, who had been exiled at the instance of Choiseul, but was now returned and in charge of the secret police.”
- Louis XV decides to exert more control of the parliament. “I shall present myself in my own person at the palace, and, I flatter myself, I shall bring the parliament to a proper sense of its duty.”
Commonplace Book – Pages 115-116
- April 22, 1770: Madame du Barri’s presentation to the King is under preparation; the King sent her a set of diamonds from Bohemer valued at 150,000 livres
- Spends the evening with the Chancellor, the Bishop of Orleans, M. de Saint-Florentin, M. Bertin, the Prince de Soubise, the Ducs de Richelieu, de la Tremouille, de Duras, d’Aiguillon, and d’Ayen. Also, Mesdames de Bearn, d’Aloigny, and with sisters-in-law.
- Madame la Marechale de Mirepoix: “air of frankness and truth”; “so natural and so perfidious”; “depth in her wit, a piquancy of expression”
- The Princesse de Guemenee insults du Barri and is ordered to assist the Princesse de Marsan, goverante of the royal children of France.
- She learns of the story of the man in the Iron Mask – The identity of this man who died in the Bastille in 1703 is one of histories’ greatest mysteries. His name was kept secret from the highest officials, and he was buried under the name Marchiali. It has been suggested that he was the Duc de Vermandois, son of Louis XIV and La Valliere; the son of Anne of Austria and the Duke of Buckingham, thus an elder brother of Louis XIV; twin brother of Louis XIV; Count Mattioli, an Italian convicted of treachery; or a valet named Dauger, an illegitimate son of Oliver Cromwell. The Iron Mask, it should be noted, was really black velvet.
- First mentioning of Marie Antoinette: “young, beautiful, and fascinating”; “I dreaded her rank; her wit, her many accomplishments”; “my friends…sought by every possible means to irritate me against her”
- “Madame, seems to me a very seducing lady, and I cannot be astonished at any attachment that she may inspire” – Marie Antoinette to Louis XV of Madame du Barri
- Marie Antoinette: between 15-16 yrs, “less beautiful and fair than pleasant and lady-like”; reddish auburn hair; “dazzling” white skin; “beautiful forehead”; “delicious set of teeth”; “well-formed nose”; “eyes full of vivacity and expression”; “majestic and dignified”; “walked well, her figure was well-shaped”; “gestures were more free and unstudied”
- Madame de Grammont steps on the train of Madame du Barri’s dress and tears it apart and then laughs. The King witnesses this and determines to banish her publicly from court. du Barri cannot dissuade him, as she has become a friend of Antoinette. “A woman of energetic mind, clear, clever head and possibly had a heart disposed for friendship.”
- “I choose to be master in my own house; and when those about me refuse to conform to my wishes, they must quit it.” – Louis XV
Commonplace Book – Pages 114-115
“Memoirs of Madame du Barri” – Chapter 3: I Meet the King
- “Remember, not a word of his rank, no cast-down, timid looks at his sovereign power; no bending of knees, or faltering of voice.”
- The King, Louis XV, goes under the name of Baron de Gonesse
- Louis XV: “one of those sentimental egotists who believed he loved the whole world, his subjects and his family; whilst in reality, the sole engrossing object was self.”; “Gifted with many personal and intellectual endowments”; “men of letters were terrifying to his imagination”; “revelled in power”; “entertained the jealousy of Frederic II”; “disliked any appearance of opposition”; “polished manners”; “fine countenance”
- Louis XV was 58 yrs old when he met Madame du Barri
- Louis sends her a diamond clasp worth 60,000 francs, and bank notes of 200,000 livres
- Comte Jean’s sisters, Isabelle (Bischi) and Fanchon (Chon) arrive
- Louis XV’s nicknames for his daughters are Loque, Graille, and Chiffe. (Victoire, Adelaide, and Sophie)
- Madame du Barri nicknames Louis XV, “La France”
- Her marriage to Comte Jean’s brother takes place in secret at the parish of Saint Laurent
- M. de Maupeou: “firm, superior mind”; “ardent yet cool”; “bold but reflective”; overturned the feudal power of the parliaments
Commonplace Book – Pages 113-114
- In Paris, she goes to the house/salon of the Demoiselles Verriere
- Chevalier de la Morliere: “a wretch dishonoured by a thousand villainous transactions, and who was received because he was a desperate fencer”; tyrant of the pit of the Comedie Francaise; pocketed money won but didn’t hand over money lost; became an enemy
- Prince de Soubise: immense fortune; witty; mildness of temper; intimate confidence of the King; not esteemed in city or court; “always to be found where there was estimation to be lost and contempt gained”; he supported notorious places
- M. Radix de Sainte-Foix: small financier; great filch; gallant; witty; agreeable; his company disgusts her
- Jean du Barri: known as the Comte de Serre; about 40 or 45 yrs; bad health; bad humor; not wealthy – incurred debts in Paris; he had a bad temper; gambled; fond of women; very generous; fine tastes for arts
- She lodged with Comte Jean in the Rue des Petits-Champs, opposite the Rue des Moulins
- Winter, 1767: She is approached by an unknown individual who proclaims her fir to be ‘Queen of France’
- M. Morand: “tall, thin man, nearly six feet, with a broad flat face, neck like a crane, legs of an ostrich, grey eyes fringed with red, a mouth which opens from ear to ear to show five or six teeth, and a vile nose crammed with snuff. Wears a coat of mulberry velvet, breeches of the same; a waistcoat covered with silver, a sword as long as Charlemagne’s, and shoes laden with large silver buckles, ornamented with paste.”
- M. the Prince de Salm, M. de la Harpe the author, the vicar of the Archbishop of Toulouse, Mademoiselle Guimard of the Opera, M. Morand, and Comte Jean all eat with Madame du Barri.
- M. Lebel: gallant; gay; fervent adorer of the fair sex; intimate friend of M. Morand
- Comte Jean credited it that Madame du Barri was married to one of his several brothers in Languedoc – she was titled Comtesse in December of 1767
- M. Lebel: “man of no particular mark”; “certain air of easy living”; “nothing distinguishing in his manners”; “highest nobility sought his friendship”; “the valet de chambre”
Commonplace Book – Pages 112-113
- “I was born on the 28th of August, 1744 at Vaucouleurs.”
- “The Vaubernier family, to which my father belonged…”
- “My father, having no fortune…[was] a clerk at the Barrieres.”
- “Madame Dubreuil…proffered her services as my godmother.”
- “M. Billard du Monceau, a financier…had then for a godfather.”
- “I was baptized by the name of Marie-Jeanne…”
-”At the time I was fifteen…my godmother was dead. As to my godfather, he seemed to have forgotten [me]. [Then]…my father died.”
- “On the one side, my uncle Ange Gomart…in the convent of Picpus, and on the other M. Billard du Monceau…”
- “We went to live in the environs of the Place Royale…”
- “She stays with Monceau, and her mother is placed with Madame de Renage, widow of a farmer-general.”
- “I was placed in a boarding school in the Rue des Lions Saint-Paul”
- 15 yrs old: sent to convent of Saint-Aure for further education.
- 16 yrs old: “I was apprenticed to Madame Labille, milliner in the Rue Saint Honore, near the Oratoire and the Barriere des Sergents” – “I now commenced under the name of Mademoiselle Lancon…”
- She first fell in love with Genevieve Mathon’s (friend from boarding school) brother, Nicolas. Then the mousquetaire Comte d’Aubuisson
- 18 yrs old: Moved to live with Madame de Lagarde
- “Madame de Lagarde had two sons – the elder a farmer-general, his brother, a ‘maitre des requetes’, called M. Dudley.”
- “Celebrated characters who frequented the house of Madame de Lagarde:”
M. de Marmontel: “never pleased me; always pedantic; always air of dignity”
M. de Grimm: “cunning fox, witty; German; very ugly; very thin; philosopher; large eyes; white paint on his face; tanned; wrinkled; nicknamed Tyran-le-Blanc”
Diderot: he lays out for effect; calculation in his enthusiasm; “art in his simplicity”; “he was an excellent man, provided his self-love was not irritated, but unfortunately was wounded on the slightest occasion”
D’Alembert: Cannot stand Diderot, “with them the vanity of the author put to flight all philosophical modesty”; “exercised malice whist he sported”; had agreeable little ways
Voltaire: mighty genius; Barri is a great enthusiast of him; glory; reputation; nothing bad to say about him