Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady
98 Pages
English

Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady's maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of the Princess Lamballe — Volume 1

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs of Louis XV. and XVI., Volume 1 by Madame du Hausset, and of anUnknown English Girl and the Princess LamballeThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: The Memoirs of Louis XV. and XVI., Volume 1 Being Secret Memoirs of Madame du Hausset, Lady's Maid toMadame de Pompadour, and of an Unknown English Girl and The Princess LamballeAuthor: Madame du Hausset, and of an Unknown English Girl and the Princess LamballeRelease Date: December 3, 2004 [EBook #3876]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LOUIS XV. AND XVI. ***Produced by David WidgerMEMOIRS OF LOUIS XV. AND XVI.Being Secret Memoirs of Madame du Hausset, Lady's Maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of an unknown English Girland the Princess LamballeLIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSLouis the Fifteenth"It Was an IndigestionMadame du HaussetMadame de PompadourMadame AdelaideMadame SophieMadame ElizabethMirabeau and the QueenPrincess de LamballeMarie Antoinette in the TempleInterviewing Little LouisMarie Antoinette to the GuillotineADVERTISEMENT.[FROM THE LONDON MAGAZINE, NO. III. NEW SERIES P. 439.]We were obliged by circumstances, at one time, to read all the published memoirs relative to the reign of Louis XV., andhad the opportunity of ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs ofLouis XV. and XVI., Volume 1 by Madame duHausset, and of an Unknown English Girl and thePrincess LamballeThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Memoirs of Louis XV. and XVI., Volume1 Being Secret Memoirs of Madame du Hausset,Lady's Maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of anUnknown English Girl and The Princess LamballeAuthor: Madame du Hausset, and of an UnknownEnglish Girl and the Princess LamballeRelease Date: December 3, 2004 [EBook #3876]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK LOUIS XV. AND XVI. ***Produced by David Widger
MEMOIRS OF LOUISXV. AND XVI.Being Secret Memoirs of Madame du Hausset,Lady's Maid to Madame de Pompadour, and of anunknown English Girl and the Princess LamballeLIST OF ILLUSTRATIONSLouis the Fifteenth"It Was an IndigestionMadame du HaussetMadame de PompadourMadame AdelaideMadame SophieMadame ElizabethMirabeau and the Queen
Princess de LamballeMarie Antoinette in the TempleInterviewing Little LouisMarie Antoinette to the GuillotineADVERTISEMENT.[FROM THE LONDON MAGAZINE, NO. III. NEWSERIES P. 439.]We were obliged by circumstances, at one time, toread all the published memoirs relative to the reignof Louis XV., and had the opportunity of readingmany others which may not see the light for a longtime yet to come, as their publication at presentwould materially militate against the interest of thedescendants of the writers; and we have nohesitation in saying that the Memoirs of Madamedu Hausset are the only perfectly sincere onesamongst all those we know. Sometimes, Madamedu Hausset mistakes, through ignorance, but never
does she wilfully mislead, like Madame Campan,nor keep back a secret, like Madame Roland, andMM. Bezenval and Ferreires; nor is she everbetrayed by her vanity to invent, like the Due deLauzun, MM. Talleyrand, Bertrand de Moleville,Marmontel, Madame d'Epinay, etc. When Madamedu Hausset is found in contradiction with othermemoirs of the same period, we should neverhesitate to give her account the preference.Whoever is desirous of accurately knowing thereign of Louis XV. should run over the verywretched history of Lacretelle, merely for the,dates, and afterwards read the two hundred pagesof the naive du Hausset, who, in every half page,overturns half a dozen misstatements of this hollowrhetorician. Madame du Hausset was oftenseparated from the little and obscure chamber inthe Palace of Versailles, where resided thesupreme power, only by a slight door or curtain,which permitted her to hear all that was said there.She had for a 'cher ami' the greatest practicalphilosopher of that period, Dr. Quesnay, thefounder of political economy. He was physician toMadame de Pompadour, and one of the sincerestand most single-hearted of men probably in Parisat the time. He explained to Madame du Haussetmany things that, but for his assistance, she wouldhave witnessed without understanding.
INTRODUCTION.A friend of M. de Marigny (the brother of Madamede Pompadour) called on him one day and foundhim burning papers. Taking up a large packet"which he was going to throw into the fire "This,said he, "is the journal of a waiting-woman of mysister's. She was a very estimable person, but it isall gossip; to the fire with it!" He stopped, andadded, "Don't you think I am a little like the curateand the barber burning Don Quixote'sromances?"—"I beg for mercy on this," said hisfriend. "I am fond of anecdotes, and I shall be sureto find some here which will interest me." "Take it,then," said M. de Marigny, and gave it him.The handwriting and the spelling of this journal arevery bad. It abounds in tautology and repetitions.Facts are sometimes inverted in the order of time;but to remedy all these defects it would have beennecessary to recast the whole, which would havecompletely changed the character of the work. Thespelling and punctuation were, however, correctedin the original, and some explanatory notes added.Madame de Pompadour had two waiting-women ofgood family. The one, Madame du Hausset, whodid not change her name; and another, whoassumed a name, and did not publicly announceher quality. This journal is evidently the productionof the former.
The amours of Louis XV. were, for a long time,covered with the veil of mystery. The public talkedof the Parc-aux-Cerfs, but were acquainted withnone of its details. Louis XIV., who, in the earlypart of his reign, had endeavoured to conceal hisattachments, towards the close of it gave them apublicity which in one way increased the scandal;but his mistresses were all women of quality,entitled by their birth to be received at Court.Nothing can better describe the spirit of the timeand the character of the Monarch than thesewords of Madame de Montespan:"He does not love me," said she, "but he thinks heowes it to his subjects and to his own greatness tohave the most beautiful woman in his kingdom as"his mistress.SECRET MEMOIRS OFLOUIS XV., ANDMEMOIRS OF MADAME
DU HAUSSET.An early friend of mine, who married well at Paris,and who has the reputation of being a very cleverwoman, has often asked me to write down whatdaily passed under my notice; to please her, Imade little notes, of three or four lines each, torecall to my memory the most singular orinteresting facts; as, for instance—attempt toassassinate the King; he orders Madame dePompadour to leave the Court; M. de Machaudt'singratitude, etc.—I always promised my friend thatI would, some time or other, reduce all thesematerials into the form of a regular narrative. Shementioned the "Recollections of Madame deCaylus," which were, however, not then printed;and pressed me so much to produce a similarwork, that I have taken advantage of a few leisuremoments to write this, which I intend to give her, inorder that she may arrange it and correct the style.I was for a long time about the person of Madamede Pompadour, and my birth procured for merespectful treatment from herself, and from somedistinguished persons who conceived a regard forme. I soon became the intimate friend of DoctorQuesnay, who frequently came to pass two orthree hours with me.His house was frequented by people of all parties,but the number was small, and restricted to thosewho were on terms of greatest intimacy with him.All subjects were handled with the utmost freedom,
and it is infinitely to his honour and theirs thatnothing was ever repeated.The Countess D——- also visited me. She was afrank and lively woman, and much liked byMadame de Pompadour. The Baschi family paidme great attention. M. de Marigny had receivedsome little services from me, in the course of thefrequent quarrels between him and his sister, andhe had a great friendship for me. The King was inthe constant habit of seeing me; and an accident,which I shall have occasion to relate, rendered himvery familiar with me. He talked without anyconstraint when I was in the room. During Madamede Pompadour's illness I scarcely ever left herchamber, and passed the night there. Sometimes,though rarely, I accompanied her in her carriagewith Doctor Quesnay, to whom she scarcely spokea word, though he was—a man of great talents.When I was alone with her, she talked of manyaffairs which nearly concerned her, and she oncesaid to me, "The King and I have such implicitconfidence in you, that we look upon you as a cat,or a dog, and go on talking as if you were notthere." There was a little nook, adjoining herchamber, which has since been altered, where sheknew I usually sat when I was alone, and where Iheard everything that was said in the room, unlessit was spoken in a low voice. But when the Kingwanted to speak to her in private, or in thepresence of any of his Ministers, he went with herinto a closet, by the side of the chamber, whithershe also retired when she had secret business withthe Ministers, or with other important persons; as,
for instance, the Lieutenant of Police, thePostmaster-General, etc. All these circumstancesbrought to my knowledge a great many thingswhich probity will neither allow me to tell or torecord. I generally wrote without order of time, sothat a fact may be related before others whichpreceded it. Madame de Pompadour had a greatfriendship for three Ministers; the first was M. deMachault, to whom she was indebted for theregulation of her income, and the payment of herdebts. She gave him the seals, and he retained thefirst place in her regard till the attempt toassassinate the King. Many people said that hisconduct on that occasion was not attributable tobad intentions; that he thought it his duty to obeythe King without making himself in any way a partyto the affair, and that his cold manners gave himthe appearance of an indifference which he did notfeel. Madame de Pompadour regarded him in thelight of a faithless friend; and, perhaps, there wassome justice on both sides. But for the Abbe deBernis; M. de Machault might, probably, haveretained his place.The second Minister, whom Madame dePompadour liked, was the Abbe de Bernis. Shewas soon disgusted with him when she saw theabsurdity of his conduct. He gave a singularspecimen of this on the very day of his dismissal.He had invited a great many people of distinction toa splendid entertainment, which was to have takenplace on the very day when he received his orderof banishment, and had written in the notes ofinvitation—M. Le Comte de Lusace will be there.
This Count was the brother of the Dauphine, andthis mention of him was deservedly thoughtimpertinent. The King said, wittily enough,"Lambert and Moliere will be there." She scarcelyever spoke of the Cardinal de Bernis after hisdismissal from the Court.He was extremely ridiculous, but he was a goodsort of man. Madame, the Infanta, died a little timebefore, and, by the way, of such a complication ofputrid and malignant diseases, that the Capuchinswho bore the body, and the men who committed itto the grave, were overcome by the effluvia. Herpapers appeared no less impure in the eyes of theKing. He discovered that the Abbe de Bernis hadbeen intriguing with her, and that they haddeceived him, and had obtained the Cardinal's hatby making use of his name. The King was soindignant that he was very near refusing him thebarrette. He did grant it—but just as he would havethrown a bone to a dog. The Abbe had always theair of a protege when he was in the company ofMadame de Pompadour. She had known him inpositive distress. The Due de Choiseul was verydifferently situated; his birth, his air, his manners,gave him claims to consideration, and he farexceeded every other man in the art of ingratiatinghimself with Madame de Pompadour. She lookedupon him as one of the most illustrious nobles ofthe Court, as the most able Minister, and the mostagreeable man. M. de Choiseul had a sister and awife, whom he had introduced to her, and whosedulously cultivated her favourable sentimentstowards him. From the time he was Minister, she