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 – 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