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.”