Memoirs of the Courts of Louis XV and XVI. Being secret memoirs of Madame Du Hausset, lady
150 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 6

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs of Louis XV. and XVI., Volume 6 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 6 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 #3881]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 EnglishGirl and the Princess LamballeBOOK 6.SECTION IV."The dismissal of M. Necker irritated the people beyond description. They looked upon themselves as insulted intheir favourite. Mob succeeded mob, each more mischievous and daring than the former. The Duc d'Orleanscontinued busy in his work of secret destruction. In one of the popular risings, a sabre struck his bust, and its headfell, severed from its body. Many of the rioters (for the ignorant are always superstitious) shrunk back at this omen ofevil to their idol. His ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Memoirs ofLouis XV. and XVI., Volume 6 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., Volume6 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 #3881]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 Lamballe
BOOK 6.SECTION IV."The dismissal of M. Necker irritated the peoplebeyond description. They looked upon themselvesas insulted in their favourite. Mob succeeded mob,each more mischievous and daring than theformer. The Duc d'Orleans continued busy in hiswork of secret destruction. In one of the popularrisings, a sabre struck his bust, and its head fell,severed from its body. Many of the rioters (for theignorant are always superstitious) shrunk back atthis omen of evil to their idol. His real friendsendeavoured to deduce a salutary warning to himfrom the circumstance. I was by when the Duc dePenthievre told him, in the presence of hisdaughter, that he might look upon this accident asprophetic of the fate of his own head, as well asthe ruin of his family, if he persisted. He made noanswer, but left the room."On the 14th of July, and two or three dayspreceding, the commotions took a definite object.The destruction of the Bastille was the pointproposed, and it was achieved. Arms wereobtained from the old pensioners at the Hotel desInvalides. Fifty thousand livres were distributedamong the chiefs of those who influenced the
Invalides to give up the arms."The massacre of the Marquis de Launay,commandant of the place, and of M. de Flesselles,and the fall of the citadel itself, were theconsequence."Her Majesty was greatly affected when she heardof the murder of these officers and the taking ofthe Bastille. She frequently told me that the horridcircumstance originated in a diabolical Courtintrigue, but never explained the particulars of theintrigue. She declared that both the officers andthe citadel might have been saved had not theKing's orders for the march of the troops fromVersailles, and the environs of Paris, beendisobeyed. She blamed the precipitation of DeLaunay in ordering up the drawbridge and directingthe few troops on it to fire upon the people. 'There,'she added, 'the Marquis committed himself; as, incase of not succeeding, he could have no retreat,which every commander should take care tosecure, before he allows the commencement of ageneral attack.[Certainly, the French Revolution may date itsepoch as far back as the taking of the Bastille;from that moment the troubles progressivelycontinued, till the final extirpation of its illustriousvictims. I was just returning from a mission toEngland when the storms began to threaten notonly the most violent effects to France itself, but toall the land which was not divided from it by thewatery element. The spirit of liberty, as the vine,
which produces the most luxurious fruit, whenabused becomes the most pernicious poison, wasstalking abroad and revelling in blood andmassacre. I myself was a witness to theenthusiastic national ball given on the ruins of theBastille, while it was still stained and reeking withthe hot blood of its late keeper, whose head I sawcarried in triumph. Such was the effect on me thatthe Princesse de Lamballe asked me if I hadknown the Marquis de Launay. I answered in thenegative; but told her from the knowledge I had ofthe English Revolution, I was fearful of a resultsimilar to what followed the fall of the heads ofBuckingham and Stafford. The Princess mentioningmy observation to the Duc de Penthievre, theyboth burst into tears.]The death of the Dauphin, the horrible Revolutionof the 14th of July, the troubles about Necker, theinsults and threats offered to the Comte d'Artoisand herself,—overwhelmed the Queen with themost poignant grief.]"She was most desirous of some understandingbeing established between the government and therepresentatives of the people, which she urgedupon the King the expediency of personallyattempting."The King, therefore, at her reiteratedremonstrances and requests, presented himself,on the following day, with his brothers, to theNational Assembly, to assure them of his firmdetermination to support the measures of the
deputies, in everything conducive to the generalgood of his subjects. As a proof of his intentions,he said he had commanded the troops to leaveParis and Versailles."The King left the Assembly, as he had gonethither, on foot, amid the vociferations of 'Vive leroi!' and it was only through the enthusiasm of thedeputies, who thus hailed His Majesty, andfollowed him in crowds to the palace, that theComte d'Artois escaped the fury of an outrageousmob."The people filled every avenue of the palace,which vibrated with cries for the King, the Queen,and the Dauphin to show themselves at thebalcony."'Send for the Duchesse de Polignac to bring theroyal children,' cried I to Her Majesty."'Not for the world!' exclaimed the Queen. 'She willbe assassinated, and my children too, if she makeher appearance before this infuriate mob. LetMadame and the Dauphin be broughtunaccompanied.'"The Queen, on this occasion, imitated her Imperialmother, Maria Theresa. She took the Dauphin inher arms, and Madame by her side, as thatEmpress had done when she presented herself tothe Hungarian magnates; but the reception herewas very different. It was not 'moriamur pro nostraregina'. Not that they were ill received; but thefurious party of the Duc d'Orleans often interrupted
furious party of the Duc d'Orleans often interruptedthe cries of 'Vive le roi! Vive la reine!' etc., withthose of 'Vive la nation! Vive d' Orleans!' and manysevere remarks on the family of the De Polignacs,which proved that the Queen's caution on thisoccasion was exceedingly well-judged."Not to wound the feelings of the Duchesse dePolignac, I kept myself at a distance behind theQueen; but I was loudly called for by the mobility,and, 'malgre moi', was obliged, at the King andQueen's request, to come forward."As I approached the balcony, I perceived one ofthe well-known agents of the Duc d'Orleans, whomI had noticed some time before in the throng,menacing me, the moment I made myappearance, with his upreared hand in fury. I wasgreatly terrified, but suppressed my agitation, andsaluted the populace; but, fearful of exhibiting myweakness in sight of the wretch who had alarmedme, withdrew instantly, and had no sooner re-entered than I sunk motionless in the arms of oneof the attendants. Luckily, this did not take place tillI left the balcony. Had it been otherwise, thetriumph to my declared enemies would have beentoo great."Recovering, I found myself surrounded by theRoyal Family, who were all kindness and concernfor my situation; but I could not subdue my tremorand affright. The horrid image of that monsterseemed, still to threaten me."'Come, come!' said the King, 'be not alarmed, I
shall order a council of all the Ministers anddeputies to-morrow, who will soon put an end tothese riots!'"We were ere long joined by the Prince de Conde,the Duc de Bourbon, and others, who implored theKing not to part with the army, but to place himself,with all the Princes of the blood, at its head, as theonly means to restore tranquillity to the country,and secure his own safety."The Queen was decidedly of the same opinion;and added, that, if the army were to depart, theKing and his family ought to go with it; but the King,on the contrary, said he would not decide upon anymeasures whatever till he had heard the opinion ofthe Council."The Queen, notwithstanding the King's indecision,was occupied, during the rest of the day and thewhole of the night, in preparing for her intended;journey, as she hoped to persuade the King tofollow the advice of the Princes, and not wait theresult of the next day's deliberation. Nay, sodesirous was she of this, that she threw herself onher knees to the King, imploring him to leaveVersailles and head the army, and offering toaccompany him herself, on horseback, in uniform;but it was like speaking to a corpse he neveranswered."The Duchesse de Polignac came to Her Majesty ina state of the greatest agitation, in consequence ofM. de Chinon having just apprised her that a most
malicious report had been secretly spread amongthe deputies at Versailles that they were all to beblown up at their next meeting."The Queen was as much surprised as theDuchess, and scarcely less agitated. Thesewretched friends could only, in silence, comparenotes of their mutual cruel misfortunes. Both for atime remained speechless at this new calamity.Surely this was not wanting to be added to thoseby which the Queen was already so bitterlyoppressed."I was sent for by Her Majesty. Count Fersenaccompanied me. He had just communicated tome what the Duchess had already repeated fromM. Chinon to the Queen."The rumour had been set afloat merely as a newpretext for the continuation of the riots."The communication of the report, so likely toproduce a disastrous effect, took place while theKing was with his Ministers deliberating whether heshould go to Paris, or save himself and family byjoining the army."His Majesty was called from the council to theQueen's apartment, and was there madeacquainted with the circumstance which had soawakened the terror of the royal party. He calmlyreplied, 'It is some days since this invention hasbeen spread among the deputies; I was aware of itfrom the first; but from its being utterly impossibleto be listened to for a moment by any one, I did not
to be listened to for a moment by any one, I did notwish to afflict you by the mention of an impotentfabrication, which I myself treated with thecontempt it justly merited. Nevertheless, I did notforget, yesterday, in the presence of both mybrothers, who accompanied me to the NationalAssembly, there to exculpate myself from animputation at which my nature revolts; and, fromthe manner in which it was received, I flatter myselfthat every honest Frenchman was fully satisfiedthat my religion will ever be an insurmountablebarrier against my harbouring sentiments allied inthe slightest degree to such actions."The King embraced the Queen, begged she wouldtranquilise herself, calmed the fears of the twoladies, thanked the gentlemen for the interest theytook in his favour, and returned to the council, who,in his absence, had determined on his going to theHotel de Ville at Paris, suggesting at the same timethe names of several persons likely to be wellreceived, if His Majesty thought proper to allowtheir accompanying him."During this interval, the Queen, still flatteringherself that she should pursue her wished-forjourney, ordered the carriages to be prepared andsent off to Rambouillet, where she said she shouldsleep; but this Her Majesty only stated for thepurpose of distracting the attention of her pagesand others about her from her real purpose. As itwas well known that M. de St. Priest had pointedout Rambouillet as a fit asylum for the mob, shefancied that an understanding on the part of hersuite that they were to halt there, and prepare for