The Old Régime: Court, Salons, and Theatres (2023)

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The Old Régime: Court, Salons, and Theatres is a book by Lady Catherine Charlotte Jackson.


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THE OLD RÉGIME.BY THE SAME AUTHOR,OLD PARIS: Its Court and Literary Salons.THE OLD REGIME: Court, Salons and Theatres.THEOLD RÉGIMECOURT, SALONS, AND THEATRESBYCATHERINE CHARLOTTE, LADY JACKSONaNEW YORKHENRY HOLT AND COMPANY1882944.024JizLIBRARYOF THELELAND STANFORD JUNIORUNIVERSITY.A.3080“ Le dixseptième siècle fut l'époque du génie et des auvre d'imagination;le dixhuitième ſut celle du doute, des recherches et des sciences exactes.“ Aux élans de l'imagination succède l'émulation du savoir, et le bel- esprit remplace le génie. L'orgueil humain met en doute tout ce qu'il ne comprend pas, et le siècle savant devient sceptique . ”De TocqueviLLE.“ Il est des époques où la société ressemble au festin de Balthazar. Elle s'enivre jusqu'au reveil terrible, fatal comme les lettres de feu sur les murs d'airain ."CAPEFigue.CONTENTS.CHAPTER I.INTRODUCTORY .PAGEICHAPTER II .The Council of Regency. -Le Duc d'Orleans declared Regent. —Courting Popularity. –First Acts of the Regent.-Golden Opinions. —The Young King. –His First Lit-de Justice. —The King and his Governor. —The King's FirstPublic Speech. – Popularity of the Regent..... 13CHAPTER III .The Regency. -Its Libertinage. - The Regent's Roués. - Seeking Interviews with Satan. -Madame Lucifer. -Madame,the Regent's Mother. -Audacity of Voltaire. -Character ofthe Regent. -A Boaster of Vices.— Yet Generally Popular.- The Regent's Gallantry .21taCHAPTER IV.-Un Salon très Respectable. —The Hôtel Lambert. -La Marquise de Lambert. —The Palais Mazarin. -Weekly LiteraryDinners. -French Cooks of the Eighteenth Century. - The Wealthy Financiers. -A Party of Old Friends.- La MotteHoudart. -Homer and Madame Dacier. -The Salon Lambert. —The Bureau d'Esprit. —The Goddess of Sceaux.The Marquis de St. Aulaire. - The Duc du Maine. -ADesperate Little Woman. -Portrait of the Duchess.Genealogical Researches. -Drowsy Reading..-29ivCONTENTS.CHAPTER V.PAGE Royal Academy of Music. -Opera, Paniers, and Masks. -“ See Paris, and Die!” — Watteau's Early Studies. - Cos tumes à la Watteau. —Bals de l'Opéra.- La Duchesse deBerri . — La Duchesse, en reine. —La Duchesse, en penitence. —Le Comte de Riom . — Mdme, de Maintenon's Nieces ..... 43CHAPTER VI.Return of the Italian Troupe. —Les Troupes Foraines. - Vaude ville and Opéra Comique. - Winter and Summer Fairs. —Théâtre de la Foire suppressed ..... 52CHAPTER VII.Michel Baron. -Bembourg, as Néron.— Horace and Camille. Adrienne Le Couvreur. — Ths. Corneille's “ Comte d'" -- Baron Returns to the Stage. -A Cæsar; a Baron;a Roscius. —A Second Triumphant Début. —The FirstBaron of France. —The Grand Prêtre, in “ Athalie . ” — ThePrince and the Actor.— “ Mon Pauvre Boyron .” — AnActress's Dinners and Suppers. —Results of Popularity.Voltaire and his Nurse. - Galland's “ ArabianNights.”!56CHAPTER VIII.Racine's Academic Address. -A Political Intrigante.— TheSpanish Plot. —Arrest of La Duchesse du Maine. - Confessions and Apologies. -A Traitor in the Camp. -AGeneral Lover. —The Eye's Eloquence. -A PerseveringLover. -Results of Gallantry. -La Duchesse de Richelieu.- The Duc de Modena. —A Desponding Bride . -A Heartless Lover. -A Learned Academician . -A Noble Ba daud....-68CHAPTER IX.Une Négligée. -Louis XV. —The Financier's Wife. —A Fashionable Financier. —The Vicomte and Vicomtesse de F-: -John Law. -La Banque du Roi . —The MississippiCONTENTS. VPAGECompany. -The Rue Quincampoix. -Cupidity and Despair. -Grand Hôtels and Opera Boxes. —The CourtiersPay their Debts. —The “ Regent” and the “ Sancy .” — TheFirst Blow to the Système. —Deceived and Ruined. –LawEscapes to Flanders.-- A Change from Paris to Brussels.Order out of Disorder ... 80CHAPTER XDeath of Madame de Maintenon. —The Czar's Visit to StCyr. -A Complimentary Salutation . — The Czar Peter inParis. —Thirst for Useful Knowledge .-- Special “ Inter viewing.” — The Invitation to the Ball —Effect of Peter'sVisit to Paris. —Madame de Caylus. —Palais Royal Banquets. –Béchamel, Marin, Soubise. —Supper after theOpera . – Fashions of the Period. —The Ladies' Toilettes.- Les Belles Dames at Supper. -An Example to theCzar... 92CHAPTER XI.The Turkish Ambassador. —The Turk's Blessing. —The King's Unwonted Docility . —The Young King's Amuse.ments. — The King's Pastors and Masters. - The King andhis Confessor.- Massillon's Petit Carême. -The Preaching of Massillon.- Massillon in Society. –Villeroi's Devotion to his King. –A Youthful Gambler. -Projected Marriages. —The Bulle Unigenitus. —A Very Vicious Bull.Taken by the Horns — The Marriages Arranged .. 104CHAPTER XII.The New Cardinal Archbishop. -An Unwilling Bridegroom.-A Sorrowful Fate. —The Château de Rambouillet. -TheRambouillet Ménage... 116CHAPTER XIII .Madame de Tencin. -Gambling at the Hôtel Tencin. -ATerrible Reputation.— “ Le Grand Cyrus. ” — “ Le Comtede Comminges."- - A Delighted Audience. -Voltaire on hisvi CONTENTS.PAGEKnees. -Destouches and Marivaux.-- Veteran Leaders ofSociety. —The Literary Ménagerie. —Madame de Tencin's Suppers. -Up to the Ankles in Mud. - Fontenelle's Mistake... I 20CHAPTER XIV.Exuberant Joy. —Dining in Public . — Public Rejoicings. Loyalty still Flourishes. —The Maréchal de Villeroi.When Louis XIV. was Young. –The Majestic Perruque.A Grand Seigneur of the Old Régime.--Fireworks of theEighteenth Century . — The Young King's Greeting. –The Grand Bow Louis XIV. –Villeroi Dismissed. -Un AbbéElégant.-- The Bishop Retires to Issy.-- Coronation ofLouis XV. -Death of Dubois . — Dubois' Immense Wealth.-Political Lessons. —The Regent First Minister. -Deathof the Regent.... 130CHAPTER XV.Monsieur le Duc. —Taking Time by the Forelock. —The New Limits of Paris. —The Street Lamp Invented . - DarkStreets of Old Paris . -Crossing the Gutters. –What becameof the Children . —The Liveliest City in Europe. - Shop keepers' Sign- boards . —The Lieutenant of Police. -TheTerrible “ Damné. ” — Police Espionage. -A Keeper ofSecrets..... 145CHAPTER XVI.The Palais Royal Gardens. —Married, but Unattached, Cou ples.- Que voulez-vous? C'est la Mode.- La HauteBourgeoisie. — Ennobled Bourgeoises.-- Summer EveningStrolls. -The Chestnut Avenue. -Expulsion of the Infanta.-Supplanting the Bishop.— The Regent's Daughters. —Mdlle. de Vermandois. —Portrait of Louis XV. -The Infanta. —The Rambouillet Circle. - Marie Leczinska.-- TheBishop of Fréjus. —The King's Preceptor. —The Royal Bride. - The Young Bridegroom. - The Queen'sDowry ...... · 155CONTENTS. viiCHAPTER XVII.PAGE .- Sledging at Versailles.- La Dame du Palais. —The Queen's Secluded Life. —Piety of the Queen and King. –TheSound of the Hunting Horn. —The Good Old Days. — TheRain and the Sunshine. —Intrigues of Mdme, de Prie.The Bishop Retires to Issy. -A Domestic Tempest. - AScene at the Theatre. —Two Lettres-de-Cachet. — Pâris Duvernay .–Fortune's Wheel Moves Round . — An Old Normandy Château . - Death of Madame de Prie ...... 170 CHAPT CHAPTER XVIII.Fleury's Economy. -Mimi and Titite.— “ Notre Toulouse.”Mdlle. de Vichy- Chamroud. -A Singular Caprice. —The Epidemic-Ennui. -An Interesting Couple. —A Desolate Normandy Château. —The Ménagerie in Eclipse.Emerging from the Cloud. — " Le Poème de la Ligue."A Pious Theft. - A Noble Chevalier.— “ Rohan je suis . ” .Homage to Madame du Deffant.— “ Adieu, la belle France .”182CHAPTER XIX.- Prayers for a Dauphin. —The Prayer is granted . - Louis XV.a Model Husband. -Baron's Final Retirement. -Death ofAdrienne Le Couvreur.- Jealous Rivals. -Generosity ofAdrienne. -Burial of Malle. Le Couvreur.- Voltaire'sLines on Adrienne.Zaire, ou Les Enfants Trouvés.Grandval the Actor. –The Prime Donne. -Rameau. —TheAbbé Pelligem. -A Musical Cabal. -Voltaire et lesDanseuses. —The Apotheosis of Hercules. -Boucher's Painting Room.. 194CHAPTER XX.A Drawing- Room Picture. —The Young Comte de Mirabeau.–Rival Gambling Salons. —The Foundling, d'Alembert. The Irrepressible Bull. — Mdlle. Daucour. -The Rich Fermier Général. —The Hôtel La Poplinière.-- A Sceneof Enchantment. –A French Mephistopheles. -TheBanished Wife. - The Infamous de Richelieu... 208-viii CONTENT'S.CHAPTER XXI.PAGE-Thé à l'Anglaise and a Lecture. —The Queen's Privy Purse.-The President Hénault.-- Le Marquis d'Argenson.Defence of the Cardinal. —The Cardinal's Petit Coucher.- Mademoiselle Aissé. —The Chevalier d'Aydie. —The Sleep of Death. -History of the Fair Haidée.-- Les Devo tionnettes. -A Warning Sign from on High. -MissBlack .. 217CHAPTER XXII.Conspiracy of the Marmosets. —The Duc de Gêvres. —TheDucal Gambling- House. -An Interesting Invalid. -Court Secrets. — Tapestry-Working Statesmen . —The Queen grows Jealous. —The Coiffure of Madame de Gontaut.Madame de Mailly. -The King accepts a Mistress . —The Petits -Soupers at Choisy. -Stanislaus Leczinski . —TheBrave Bréhant de Plélo. —The Court of Lorraine. -Deathof Madame de Vintimille ... 227CHAPTER XXIII.Jean-Jacques Rousseau. —The Salon of Mdme. Dupin. Jean -Jacques and Mdme. de Crequy.-- Feigned Confi dences. —Jean-Jacques Returns to Paris. —Voltaire'sGrand Homme. -Un Mari, à la Mode Louis XV. - Voltaire's “ Mahomet. ” — Début of Mdlle. Clairon . - A Triumph. -Sensation for the Salons..... 238CHAPTER XXIV.Death of Cardinal Fleury. -His Government of France.Proposed Monument to Fleury.-- Disappointed Ambition. —Threatened Descent on England. —A Rival toMaurice de Saxe. -Seeking Refuge at Versailles. —The King's Hospitality. —The “ Mutual Friend. ” — The Cardinal's Successor. -Going to the Wars. -A Solemn Thanksgiving. —Mdme. Le Normand d'Etioles. -Illnessof the King.- “ Le Bien- Aimé. " -Louis' Letter to theDuchess. -Death of the Duchess. -Her Last Words ..... 246CONTENTS. isCHAPTER XXV.PAGE>Luxurious Style of Living. -The King's First Campaign.Marriage of the Dauphin. -An Effective Riding-Cos tume.- Presented at Versailles.— “ Le Roi s'amuse. " .Throwing the Handkerchief. -An Invitation to Travel. The Queen's Dame du Palais. -La Marquise de Pompadour. — The Royal Will and Pleasure .... 259CHAPTER XXVI.“ Un Dégoût Rhubarbatif. ” —Jeanne Antoinette Poisson.Etiquette of the Old Régime.— Jeanne's Father.- Prettyand Beautiful. –Marriage of Mdlle. Poisson . —Mdme.d'Étioles in Society. —Cleopatra and the Asp. -HighlyPromoted. —The isie of Paris. -Street Lamps.Evening Promenading .... 267-CHAPTER XXVII.Le Maréchal de Saxe. -The Dauphin's Baptism of Fire.Mdme. de Pompadour at the Wars. —Her Heart grewFaint. -A Revulsion of Feeling.— “ Oh, saddle White Surrey!” — Mars and Venus.-- Scenes of the War. -LePoème de Fontenoy.-- Eve of the Battle of Rocoux. —TheBaggage of War. –Living en Bourgeois. -Bravery and itsRewards. -A Soldier of Fortune.... 276CHAPTER XXVIII..“ La Reine de Navarre. ” — “ Le Templede la Gloire. ” — “ IsTrajan satisfied? ” — The King's Petits- Soupers. —TheKing's Morals in Danger. —Horace, Virgil, and Voltaire.-Jealousy of Piron . — The Laurel Crown of Glory . — LesModes Pompadour. –An Evening with the Queen . —TheQueen and the Maréchal.-— “ Ora pro Nobis. " --M. de Saxe Caught Napping. -The Illustrious Mouthier. - LaMarquise Bourgeoise. - Stately Politeness. —The Old Régime ..... ... 287CHAPTER XXIX.The Young Chevalier. —A very Gay Carnival. —Marie Josephe de Saxe. -A Weeping Young Bridegroom . — CourtхCONTENTS.PAGRUsages Contemned. — Popularity of the Chevalier. -Peace of Aix- la-Chapelle. -Charles Edward Arrested. -“ How Time Flies!” — Public Disapprobation. —The Massin London -1748 .. 300CHAPTER XXX.W The Salon of Mdme. Geoffrin . - A Graduate of the Salons.Marie Thérèse Rodet. -Les Glaces des Gobelins. -AConstant Dinner- Guest. -Anecdotes of M. Geoffrin . -AStudent of History. -A Bourgeois Household. --“ LaFontenelle des Femmes. " - An Aged Gallant. -A Cherished Antique. — The Pastorals of Sceaux. — “ Le GrandProsateur. ” — The Well of Ste. Geneviève. – A Joke ofthe Salons. -Le Sublime and le Frivole. -In Quest ofConversation.- From St. Louis to St. Honoré ... 308-CHAPTER XXXI.Madame de Grafigny.- The Duchesse de Richelieu . -ADeath- bed Scene. -An Affectionate Husband. —A Visit tothe Château de Cirey. -Knick- knacks and Objets d’Art.- “ Lettres d'une Peruvienne . ” — “ Lettres d'Aza . ” - M .de La Marche- Courmont. -A Sensitive Authoress.D'Holbach and Helvetius.- Mulle. de Ligneville. -APhilosopher in Love. — The Physician Helvetius. —ARival of Voltaire. —The Epicurean Principle . —A GratefulAnnuitant. -Wonderful Moderation. —The Sweepings ofa Salon .... 321CHAPTER XXXII.-L'Hospice Pompadour. –A Royal Visit to the Hospice .Charles Parrocel. — The Flemish Campaigns. — Abel François Poisson. —The Marquis d'Avant- Hier. TheLittle Brother. -Le Comte de Maurepas. —The FrenchNavy. —The King becomes Sallow . -Le Comte d'Argen.son. —Madame de Pompadour, as Minister. -Brother andSister. -Le Docteur Quesnay. -A Remedy for LowSpirits. -Lessons in Political Economy .. 335CONTENTS. xiCHAPTER XXXIII.PAGERousseau's Prize Essay . - Rousseau, un Vrai.Genevois. - Rous seau's Theories Refuted. — Voltaire et L'Homme Sauvage.-A Morbid State of Feeling. –Thérèse Levasseur.- Jean Jacques Second Essay. —Diderot and Jean-Jacques. —The Trowel versus the Pen. — “ Le Diable à Quatre."L'Homme Sauvage in Society.— “ Jean - Jacques, Love yourCountry . " - An Abjuration ..... 347-CHAPTER XXXIV.Anglo -mania. — A New Source of Favor. — The Wines of Por deaux-A Present from Richelieu. - Château - Lafitte pro moted. -A Challenge to Burgundy. — The École Militaire.-- Its Real Projector. -L'Hôtel des Invalides. —TheAcademy of Architecture . — The Rubens Gallery. -Vernet'sFrench Seaporis.— Jean Honoré Fragonard. —The Painter Chardin. -The Queen's Oratoire. -The Winner of theGrand Prix . - Advice to a Young Artist. -An Admirable Plan . - Funds not Forthcoming..... 357--CHAPTER XXXV.Madame, La Duchesse . — The Promenade de Longchamps. -LaDuchesse, in Court Dress . — Complimentary Fireworks.—The Jesuit, de Sacy. —Give Satan his Due. -An Angry Woman's Letter.— “ Je le Veux . ” — A Perfect Picture of Flora. —The Queen's Toilettes.- I pray you, Sing me aSong. -Grand Triumphal Air. —A very Great Lady.- Alexandrine d'Étioles.Death of Alexandrine. —Le Comtede Kaunitz -Rietberg:-Désagrements of the Chase. —AMartyr to Duty. –Kaunitz at Versailles. - An Ally ofVoltaire . 371-CHAPTER XXXVI.Crébillon and Voltaire.- Voltaire and the Court. -Crébillonat the Toilette.— Rising and Setting Stars . -Adieu, La Belle France. - Clerical and other Cabals. —Lekain'sDébut. –Voltaire's Pupil, at ' Sceaux.— " Heavens! how Ugly he is! " - A Stage-struck Painter.--An Unfortunatexii CONTENTS.PAGBDébutant. - Belcourt invited to Paris. -Advice to aYoung Actor. –Lekain in Despair . - Lekain at Versailles.A Discourteous Greeting . - A Triumph for Lekain . -AReform in Costume. -Clairon's Grande Révérence.Clairon and Marmontel. --A Vexatious Contretemps.... 386CHAPTER XXXVII.A Musical Squabble.— A Latter -day Blessing . – Jean -Jacqueson French Music. — Rameau Converted. —Tweedledumand Tweedledee. -A Question of State . —The Grand'.chambre Banished.— “ Dieu Protège la France . " - Birthof the Duc de Berri. –The Harbinger of Peace ..... 402CHAPTER XXXVIII.Diplomatists in Conference. - An Old Custom Revived.-- AProjected Dethronement. -Les Abbés Sans Fonction.Babet, the Flower Girl. -Drawing- room Priestlings. -APertinent Quotation .— “ Le Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis.”-La Duchesse de Choiseul. -L'Abbé Barthélemy. — Mar.montel's Plays.— “ Les Funérailles de Sésostris. ” —TheShadow of Favor. -Marmontel Consoled. —The Comteand the Maréchal. — Frozen out of Versailles ...... 410-CHAPTER XXXIX.Surrender of Port Mahon. -The Warrior's Welcome. -TheMacedonian Phalanx. -Richelieu's Intrigues . - Le Maréchal d'Estrées. —L'Abbé de Bernis' Suggestion . -A Sad Catastrophe. —The King's Reply to the Dauphin. -A Perplexing Position . —The Prisoner of Dourlens.- “ Nousavons Deux Généraux . ” — Discontent of the People.Royal Economy. -Le Jeu du Roi. —A Startling Event.François Damiens. -In Distress for a Shirt. - Confessedand Absolved. —Damiens' Letter to Louis XV. -The Forceof Habit. - Execution of Damiens .... 422CHAPTER XL.Voltaire , en Grand Seigneur. –Voltaire at Ferney. —Pretty Madame du Bocage. -A Pilgrimage to Ferney. -Death ofCONTENT'S. xiiiPAGE-“ Cher Fontenelle. " — Walpole and Madame du Deffand. “ L'Orphélin de la Chine.” — “ L'Orphélin " and theJesuits.-War à Outrance.— “ De l'Esprit ” of Helvetius.Jesuits and Jansenists. -A Grand Auto -da-Fé. - Philosophism and Loyalty. -A Sojourn in the Bastille .— “ He isa Strange Man .” — Philosopher and Critic ... 439-CHAPTER XLI.The Battle of Rosbach. -A Warrior- Priest. -Soubise at Lutzelbach . - L'Aimable Vainqueur. -Close of the Third Cam paign.- “ Liberty, Equality .” — Le Duc de Choiseul.Braving the Dauphin . - La Divine Sophie Arnould.Disappearance of Sophie. —Manners and Morals. —TheMuse Terpsichore. —The Muse at Longchamps. -AnOpulent Danseuse. —A Real Sister of Mercy ..... 452CHAPTER XLII.-Lady Romancists. “ La Nouvelle Héloise. " —Gallantry and Politeness . — Lackadaisical Vice. —Madame d'Épinay's “ Tame Bear. " - Le Baron Grimm . - L'Homme Sauvage inLove. — La Comtesse d'Houdetot. -A Warrior- Poet andhis Ladylove. — Le Château de Montmorency.-- " Émile"Denounced and Burnt. —Popularity of “ Émile . ” — “ Afterus the Deluge. ” — “ Le Contrat Social.” — “ I do not LoveYou, Sir. ” — Jean-Jacques Marries Thérèse.— “ Devil take Pythagoras!” — Rousseau versus Ragonneau .. 464CHAPTER XLIII.A Humiliating Usage. - An Empty Title. –Failing Health and Spirits. —A Wearying Part to Play. —The quasi Queen of France. — Manufactures Royales. —A Distin guished Artist. -Insensibility of Louis XV.- “ Was sheabout to Die? ” — Death of Mdme. de Pompadour. — Engrav ings of Mdme, de Pompadour.... 477CHAPTER XLIV.«Ah! Poor Duchesse!” — Mdlle Le Espinasse . — Singularly Affectionate. -A Tale of Sentimental Love.— “ BeholdYour Queen! ” -A Horrid Thing to have Nerves. Thexiy CONTENTSPAGEAristocratic Author. -L'Abbé Maury's First Sermon.Madame Doublet de Persan . - Distraction for the Dauphin.-- Death of the Dauphin . - M . Thomas's Eulogy onthe Dauphin . - Piron's Tribute of Laudation . —Death of King Stanislaus. — Bossuet Parodied .... 486-CHAPTER XLV.Birth of Napoleon Buonaparte.- “ Forming ” a Queen ofFrance. The Empress Marie Thérèse. - Madamed'Esparbés Unmasked. --Rival Intrigantes. - Noble Hopes O'erthrown . — Retribution Exacted . Installing theFavorite . -A Favorite's Privileges.-- Enter La Comtesse du Barry .--- The Hair- dresser in a Difficulty.— “ La BelleBourbonnaise . ” . 497CHAPTER XLVI.The Dauphin and his Brothers . -Arrival of the Bride. -ATimid Young Bridegroom . — Les Fêtes Magiques. -Fêteof the City of Paris . -A Terrible Catastrophe. - Lamentation, Mourning, and Woe. -Marie Antoinette ... 506CHAPTER XLVII.Stanislaus Poniatowski . —Madame Geoffrin at Vienna.L'Autrichienne. —Mesdames the King's Daughters.“ Gros Madame.” — L'Ingénue.- The Court of the Dau phine. — A Marriage on the Tapis.— “ Nineveh shall be Overthrown .” — The Candle Extinguished .— “ Et Pourtant, il était à Fontenoy!” ..... 512CHAPTER XLVIII.The Last Lettre-de-Cachet.— “ The Rights of Man .” — “ The Crown Chafes. ” — The Young King and Queen .-- The Queen's Coiffeur. - Hurrying on to Perdition . – Visits toLuviciennes. —The Duc de Cossé- Brissac. - Voltaire'sReturn to Paris . -Voltaire's Reception . —Death of Lekain.-Les Femmes Philosophes . -France Crowns Voltaire.-Death of Voltaire . - L'Ile des Peupliers. —The End ofthe Old Régime... 521-THE OLD RÉGIME.COURT, SALONS, AND THEATRES.CHAPTER I.INTRODUCTORY .aA FEELING of joy thrills through every pulse inthe nation. The French people are aware that their Grand Monarque is stricken down by disease whichseems likely to terminate in death. Deliverance atlast, then, is at hand. Deliverance from a moral incubus, as it were, that has long weighed heavily on all classes, and, ever increasing in oppressiveness, isbecome a burden to them well- nigh intolerable.During the past year the king's health had beenvisibly declining. He had undergone also unusualmental anxiety. The expediency of nominating aCouncil of Regency, and giving his legitimated sons prominent posts in it, had been urged on him with extreme persistency, Ly Madame de Maintenon and theDuchesse du Maine. They suggested that thus would the recently conferred rights of those princes, who, in the possible failure of the legitimate line, were to becalled on to ascend the throne, be more firmly securedto them. At the same time, a needful check would beplaced on the ambitious, even criminal, views attrib uted to the dissolute Duc d'Orleans, in the near pros11Sie sing adoptedIlmseit, it has been 3u1, as if foreseeing = rangementwouldgingeffectto it,-Ithad signed Tamei. Whatshall Riease , and not25 3 subject. "mi seconcessions,Espeaof timeBuscres a 20 that sesstesi be ras perSSLse dissidesto hisToz te recommendasueof Madame

redeatiewerstraris vestitutionhad bezaeransittle wine, but he atese ourseof the night. Heuge:ppetite, whichhe still remuige, not only with imizawberriesand peas, but withsainteddishes.* For another up bravelyenough


esteluis accustomeddailyomtortablesensationsin mm the royal hunts,Imust outof temper,1715 still needlessof buscundhis failingTOUCHING FOR THE KING'S EVIL . 3strength, he gave audience, standing, to the Persianambassador and his suite, and conversed with him,through an interpreter, for a considerable time. Thenext day he was compelled to succumb. His despoticwill had subdued and crushed out the spirit of a greatnation, but its strength was found weakness in thestruggle with failing nature. ' So the Grand Monarquekept his bed that day, hoping to rise on the morrow with strength recruited and well braced up for his cus tomary part in the ceremonial to be observed on thegreat Fête of St. Louis. After receiving the Eucharist, the solemn farce of touching for the king's evil wasthen usually performed, the suppliants kneeling in aline on either side of the corridor leading from the chapel to the palace. As the shadow of the superbLouis fell upon these poor creatures, and the act of grace conveyed in the touch of the royal hand of the“ Anointed of the Lord and eldest son of the Church "was vouchsafed to them, the Cardinal Grand Almoner,with attendant bishops, followed , in great state , repeating the formula, “ The king touches you, may the Lord heal you."It appears that an unusually large number of suffering children had been brought from various parts ofFrance, for this particular fête, as a favorable occasion for the cure of their ailments by the royal touch.Great, therefore, was the disappointment and despair of the friends of these unfortunates, when it was announced that the ceremony could not take place. The king was very languid and weak that morning, andhis physicians declared that an attempt to attendwould be fatal to him. To weakness succeeded pain,but it was not until the 25th, though daily growingworse, sight and hearing also failing him, that he would2 THE OLD RÉGIME.pect of his assuming the regency . The king adopted the course recommended, to free himself, it has beensaid, from further importunity. But, as if foreseeing how little consideration such an arrangement wouldreceive when the time came for giving effect to it,Saint- Simon asserts that when Louis XIV. had signed this important testament, he exclaimed, “ What shallbe will be; but at least I shall be at ease, and notobliged to listen to any more talk on the subject."This was in 1714. He had made these concessions,then, to purchase repose for the brief span of timethat remained to him. But he did not yet allow thathe felt any symptoms of disease. He said he was perfectly well; he indeed resented the allusions to hisimpaired state of health conveyed in the recommenda tions of his physician, at the suggestion of Madame de Maintenon, that his majesty would eat fewer strawberries and green peas. His constitution had beenvigorous. Habitually he drank little wine, but he atevoraciously; often in the course of the night. Hehad always had a very large appetite, which he still re tained and continued to indulge, not only with immoderate quantities of strawberries and peas, but with a variety of highly seasoned dishes. For anothertwelve months he bore up bravely enough; neitherdiscontinued nor shortened his accustomed daily walks, notwithstanding uncomfortable sensations inthe legs, nor absented himself from the royal hunts,though he returned from them much out of temper,being prostrated by fatigue.But, on the 13th of August, 1715, still heedless of the warnings he had received to husband his failing

  • Lettres de Mde. de Maintenon,

TOUCHING FOR THE KING'S EVIL. 3strength, he gave audience, standing, to the Persianambassador and his suite, and conversed with him,through an interpreter, for a considerable time. Thenext day he was compelled to succumb. His despoticwill had subdued and crushed out the spirit of a greatnation, but its strength was found weakness in thestruggle with failing nature . ' So the Grand Monarquekept his bed that day, hoping to rise on the morrow with strength recruited and well braced up for his cus tomary part in the ceremonial to be observed on thegreat Fête of St. Louis. After receiving the Euchar ist, the solemn farce of touching for the king's evil was then usually performed, the suppliants kneeling in aline on either side of the corridor leading from thechapel to the palace. As the shadow of the superbLouis fell upon these poor creatures, and the act of grace conveyed in the touch of the royal hand of the“ Anointed of the Lord and eldest son of the Church"was vouchsafed to them, the Cardinal Grand Almoner,with attendant bishops, followed, in great state, repeating the formula , " The king touches you, may the Lord heal you."It appears that an unusually large number of suffering children had been brought from various parts ofFrance, for this particular fête, as a favorable occasion for the cure of their ailments by the royal touch.Great, therefore, was the disappointment and despairof the friends of these unfortunates, when it was announced that the ceremony could not take place. The king was very languid and weak that morning, andhis physicians declared that an attempt to attendwould be fatal to him. To weakness succeeded pain,but it was not until the 25th, though daily growingworse , sight and hearing also failing him, that he would4THE OLD RÉGIME.believe death to be so near at hand. It was then thatthe Grand Almoner, Cardinal do Rohan, thinking theoccasion one likely to be productive of much spiritualconsolation to the ailing monarch , and of especialbenefit to the halt and the maimed who sought heal ing from his touch, mentioned to the king that thepresbytery was crowded with poor sick folk, comefrom afar, for his Majesty's Fête. The curé of Versailles had charitably assembled them there, and, as means offered , was despatching them to their homes.But the cardinal interfered and prevented this, andobtained the king's consent to the ceremony of theattouchement being performed in his bedchamber, onthe morning of the 26th. The fatigue of it was so great that, although his hands were supported by the ecclesiastics at his bedside, it was not fully completedwhen the king fell heavily back on his cushions, as ifdead.For upwards of five hours he remained in a state ofutter unconsciousness. So little was he expected torevive, that Madame de Maintenon was prevailed onto leave for St. Cyr, and as no signs of returning lifewere perceived after three hours ' anxious watching,the courtiers who crowded the salons and antechambersof the palace, gradually departed to fill the hithertodeserted apartments of the Duc d'Orleans.|But Louis XIV. still lives, recovers from his lengthened swoon and inquires for Madame de Maintenon ,for whom a courier is instantly despatched. Thenews, the unwelcome news, swiftly reaches the PalaisRoyal. Immediately the worshippers of the risingsun fly back to pay homage to the setting luminary;whom, in their precipitancy, when but obscured by apassing cloud, they believed already sunk below theTEMPORARY REVIVAL OF THE KING. 5horizon. Versailles again swarms with anxious inquirers, and the Duc d'Orleans is left once more alone.He laughs cynically at the practical lesson he has re ceived of the truth of the maxim of his former preceptor, the Abbé Dubois, who had striven to impress it indelibly on his mind, that “ the mainspring of all men's actions is sheer self -interest." It is the basis of the duke's moral creed, that virtue is wholly non existent, and that the so - called moral qualities , thoughinvested with names, are but the sentimental imagin ings of the inexperienced and weak- minded.An empiric, who had treated with success some complaints of the same sciatic nature as that fromwhich the king was supposed to be suffering, was per mitted to prescribe for him a so-called elixir. Itseffects were speedy, and apparently beneficial; a satisfaction to the very few who desired the prolongationof a reign already too long by fifteen years, as most persons thought. The revival, however, was but as atransitory gleam from a fading fire; the spark of lifewas too nearly extinct to be rekindled. Louis himselfwas quite conscious of it, and expressed a wish that hissuccessor should be brought to him, and his familyassemble around him. He remarked on the 29th that he had not heard the aubade, or military reveil, whichit was customary, at dawn of day, to play under hischamber windows; and he gave orders that neither it,nor the usual daily performance in the Salle des Gardes,at his dinner hour, of the sixty musicians of his private band, should be discontinued, until the GrandAlmoner announced the administration of the lastsacraments.The regret, the remorse, said to have been evincedby Louis XIV. for many of the acts of his past life; his6 THE OLD RÉGIME. 1injunctions to his youthful heir to avoid treading in the path of vain - glory he had himself pursued, andwhich had brought so much sorrow and suffering on the nation; his recommendation of the aged Madamede Maintenon to the kindness and generosity of hisnephew; and his somewhat specious statement to thatnephew respecting the provisions of his testament, neednot here be enlarged upon. Nor is it necessary to repeat the speeches attributed to him on his death -bed .Those stagey, oratorical death -beds are the reverse ofedifying; and it is probable that the king was as littleloquacious as poor human nature at its last gasp usually is. The Grand Monarque died on the first of September, and the announcement of his death “ washailed throughout France with an explosion of delight;" for it was regarded as the end of a publiccalamity, the removal of the yoke of bondage he hadbound on the neck of the nation.Such was the agitated state of public feeling in thefirst frenzied burst of popular joy, that it was deemed expedient, in order to avoid insult from a turbulent crowd that surrounded Versailles, to convey Madamede Maintenon to St. Cyr, in the private carriage ofMaréchal de Villeroi; also to post small parties ofguards at short intervals along the road, to protect her from ill -treatment should she be recognized. The relics worn by the king, and which, probably, were her gifts, were handed to her. They became objectsof fervent adoration at St. Cyr. A piece of the “ wood of the true cross,” amongst “ the best certified of therelics," she says, she presented to her niece, Madamede Caylus, a lady of very wavering faith and worldlytastes.)DESPOTISM OF LOUIS XIV . 7Louis XIV. had, doubtless, succeeded in convincinghimself, as well as his subjects, that he was the incarnation of glory and grandeur. He was actually thecentre of authority, and the possessor of power moreirresponsible and absolute than any French monarchbefore or since has wielded. To stamp out the vigorof the nation, to suppress the slightest manifestation of national sentiment, were the great objects ofhis reign, from the time of the Fronde. If he hadacquired little else, he had thoroughly acquired theart of reigning with despotic and uncontrolled sway.In that sense, and in that alone, Louis XIV. was agreat king; though very far indeed from being a greatman. He was the light and glory, the sun and centre,of the system of government of which he was the creator. It was his sublime good pleasure, as ruler ofFrance, to be all things to all men; to allow them nowill of their own, but to make his the pivot on whichopinion and feeling throughout the nation shouldturn. And he succeeded; so readily do the Frenchyield to a high-handed despot. Men fell into the habitof saying, “ May his majesty guard me against it," instead of, “ God forbid," and generally of speaking oftheir Grand Monarque with far more humility and rev ,erence than of the Ruler of the universe. L'état,c'était lui — La France, c'était lui ” —Lapatrie had becomean obsolete term, merged in that of “ Le Roi."The dissolute pleasures of his younger days, whenvice was so exquisitely varnished that it was said tohave put on the dignified aspect of virtue, naturally,with advancing years, grew less attractive to him. Heturned then to devotion. His court followed suit.Piety was the fashion; even the bourgeoisie became98 THE OLD RÉGIME.more devout, and all who aspired to win favor wore asanctimonious air.Lorsque le grand Louis brûla d'un tendre amour,Paris devint Cythère, et tout suivit la cour;Quand il se fit dévôt, ardent à la prière,Tout zélé citadin marmota son bréviaire. "Epit, du Gd. Frederic. *Primness was good taste with the beauties of theday, who, however, contrived to invest it with a cer tain air of mockery that was very coquettish, and veryeffective under a sad -colored coiffe. Court ballswere not wholly given up; they were only less frequent, and the hours devoted to them fewer; perhapsbecause they were somewhat formal and dull, notwithstanding the romping and boisterous gayety ofthe young Duchess of Burgundy. State concerts also sometimes took place. Madame de Maintenon wouldhave had them solely devoted to the singing of thecanticles of the Church , But Louis was, in thisrespect, less rigid than she. He still loved to hear hisown praises, and to sing them himself, in the fulsomeverses of Quinault, set to music by Lulli. Lulli's musicwas then thought rather out of date, but the king, who piqued himself on his musical taste, would listen tothe works of no other composer, ignoring altogetherthe rising reputation of Compra and Rameau.In the absence of other excitement, play was pursuedwith increased avidity. The stakes were higher, thelosses more ruinous. It should be remembered that itwas when piety was most in favor with Louis XIV. ,the greatest roué of the eighteenth century made his

  • “ When Louis the great was in love, Paris became Cythera;

When he became devout, every citizen murmured a prayer.”UN LETTRE -DE - CACHET.9début at Marly, and was petted and caressed by thewhole court, including both Madame de Maintenonand the king. “ He is a prodigy," writes the former;“ he is the dearest doll in the world . ” This prodigywas the young Duc de Fronsac, afterwards de Richelieu-a libertine from his youth. He danced, we aretold, with wonderful grace; fenced with inimitableskill; rode with the ease and dashing bearing of anaccomplished cavalier; and sought the good gracesof the ladies with extraordinary success. The piouscourt of Marly was the real scene of “ Les premiersamours de Richelieu .” He was then in his fifteenthyear.From twenty to thirty thousand francs were lost by this brilliant youth in the course of an evening at atête - à - tête game of cards. He made love with exceeding persistency to the Duchess of Burgundy, who at least appears to have been amased by it, and to havesmiled so graciously upon him that it gave rise to many jests, which reached the king's ears and displeased him extremely. Idle tongues were immedi ately silenced; and this dangerous young gentleman-already married to Malle. de Noailles - was dismissedthe court. A lettre-de- cachet, enciosed in a letter of strong complaint, was despatched to his father, whohimself took charge of his hopeful son, and conveyed him to the Bastille. To amuse him, for inability to ramble about Paris was his only punishment, a clever,pleasant-tempered Abbé was sent to him, as companionand tutor. During his confinement he acquired somenotions of reading and writing, and, assisted by the Abbé, was supposed to have translated Virgil. DeFronsac was not a solitary instance of vicious propensities in the rising generation of courtiers at that10 THE OLD RÉGIME.period of hypocritical devotion. Many of the young nobility resembled him, and were looking forward noless anxiously than the bourgeoisie for the ardently desired liberty then anticipated from a change of rulers.Famine and pestilence, meanwhile, were frequent in the provinces, and their victims were numerous. Distress was general, and so extremely severe during theterrible winter of 1709-10, that of the mass of the French people a large proportion could scarcely obtain bread to appease hunger. Yet letters and memoirsáttest that the king was as selfishly extravagant and reckless in expenditure as ever. New taxes were imposed on the suffering people, for the State's cofferswere empty. The needs of the king and his armieswere pressing, and money must be wrung from some quarter. Were not the possessions of his subjects histo their last écu £—the control of their purses, no lessthan the control of their consciences, the indisputable prerogative of his kingly power? Louis XIV. wasconvinced that it was so. Yet he conscientiouslysought for his conviction the sanction of high ecclesi astical authority." Mankind, ” says Dr. Moore, “ are governed by forceand opinion. They were the agents made use of byLouis XIV. in a supreme degree. Aided by them hehad brought his subjects to submit with alacrity to heavier exactions than were ever wrung by tyrannyfrom man.” But although national pride, love of in dependence, and every noble and elevating sentiment seemed to be extinguished in France, yet, as the reignof Louis XIV. drew towards its close, the misery andruin he had wrought in the land kindled in men's hearts the fire of an intense hate, a feverish impatienceof the existing order of things, and an ardent longingFUNERAL OF LOUIS XIV . IIfor the end of it. No wonder, then, that when the endcame it was hailed throughout the land with deliriousjoy, and that the people, as with one voice, shouted thanksgiving to God for the deliverance vouchsafedto them .To the infant prince who succeeded him, Louis XIV.left a kingdom drained to the utmost of its resources;an empty treasury, and a debt of near two hundredmillions sterling; lands ravaged by foreign foes; commerce destroyed, and once flourishing manufacturesextinct. In the ruined provinces, a despairing, depressed population; and amongst the enervated andcorrupt aristocracy, reared amidst the idle pleasuresof a vicious, hypocritical court, not one able statesmanto take the helm of a government, long isolated in theperson of an absolute ruler whose place was now filledby so feeble an image of royalty.Louis XIV. left his heart to the Jesuits. His body,on the 9th of September, was borne with little cere mony to the Abbey of St. Denis. As at the funeralof his father, near seventy - three years before, “ the people" —to use the words of Tallemant des Reaux on that occasion— " followed as joyously as though goingto a wedding.” But even greater indecorum was anticipated. In consequence, the funeral procession, forsak ing the high - road, reached St. Denis by the way of thefields and by -paths. A frantic multitude had assembled in the faubourg, and received “ with gibes andcurses the coffin of the conqueror, whom they accused of being the cause of their troubles, and of wars which sprang only from his arrogance, ambition, and injustice .” * Throughout the day a sort of fair was held

  • Soulavie.

12 THE OLD RÉGIME.on the square near the abbaye, and dancing and sing ing, drinking and jesting, were kept up with vociferousglee until nightfall. “ One would have thought,” says De Tocqueville, “ that the license of the petits soupers of the regency was already descending on the publicsquare."Thus, preluding, as it were, to that ferociously insane joy with which, eighty years later on, his tombwas violated and his ashes scattered to the wind, wascelebrated the passing away of the Grand Monarque,and, with it , as it is customary to say, the grandeurand glory of the old French Monarchy. The revolu tion to be accomplished towards the end of the cen tury may be said to have begun at this time. Theintervening period, though too generally characterizedby frivolity and freedom-even license—in the manners of the day, was, nevertheless, in its social aspectsoften animated and dramatic. Distinct, be it observed ,from those political events and changes of governmentwhich led to anarchy, strife, and bloodshed, and event ually to the overthrow of the monarchy. These arematters to be left to the grave historian to descant upon. Here they need be but very cursorily glancedat; it being attempted only in the following pages topresent a brief sketch of the society of the eighteenth century, in its various phases, from the death of LouisXIV. to the fall of absolutism and the old French Régime, in the person of Louis XVI. and of MarieAntoinette.CHAPTER II.The Council of Regency. -Le Duc d'Orleans declared Regent. Courting Popularity.-- First Acts of the Regent.-- Golden Opinions. —The Young King .-- His First Lit-de- Justice. —The King and his Governor. - The King's First PublicSpeech . — Popularity of the Regent.reLouis XIV. died in the evening; and as in the two preceding reigns, beginning also with agency, no time was lost in summoning the Parliament.That judicial body assembled before ten the next morning, when the princes of the blood, the peers ofthe realm , and a brilliant military cortège, accompaniedthe Duc d'Orleans to a séance of the house of peers.Many were the protestations, on the part of the duke,of his excellent intentions towards the country; of hisanxiety for the preservation of the life, and zeal forthe welfare, of the young king. He also expressed adesire to be guided in the fulfilment of his arduousduties by the enlightened counsels and, if needed, sageremonstrances of the august Parliament there assembled. The testament of Louis XIV. was then opened.Great surprise was evinced, and perhaps felt, bysome few who had listened to the duke's profuse promises of using the great power confided to himwisely, when it was found that by the late king's will he was appointed president only of a Council ofRegency. The Parliament, therefore — whose mostinfluential members had been gained over by the duke'spartisans—being invested, as before, with supreme14 THE OLD RÉGIME.authority for the occasion, at once procoeded to dis cuss the expediency of setting aside the testament of their Grand Monarque. Its most important provisionswere pronounced illegal; no less contrary to all pre cedent than to the statutes of the realm . The chargeof the person of the young king, the control of hisjeducation, and the command of the household troops,were assigned by it to the Duc du Maine. But thisarrangement was unhesitatingly superseded, and without a single dissentient voice, both the title and theuncontrolled powers of regent were conferred on theDuc d'Orleans. The young Duc de Bourbon - Condé -hideous in person, ignorant and depraved , and possessing his full share of the violence of temper and brutality of disposition inherent in his race - put in aclaim to the control of the king's education. Notbeing of the required age, twenty-four, his claim wasdisallowed, and, for the time being, the Duc du Mainewas permitted to hold the sinecure post of superintendent of the child- king's studies.The authority exercised by the parliamentary body had gradually been cut down to zero, during the last forty years, by Louis XIV. Nominally to confirm hisedicts, seemed to be the chief object of the existence of a Parliament. Decrees emanating from it he annulled without scruple, when not fully coincidingwith his own private views. The privilege of remonstrating had long been withheld from it . Howeveroppressive the taxes, or arbitrary and impolitic the measures approved by the king, and imposed on thepeople, submission was the rule, and the Parliament,to preserve its own existence, consented to be dumb.Doubtless, then, some degree of secret satisfaction was felt in annulling the testament of so imperious andCOURTING POPULARITY. 15absolute a ruler. Some secret hope, too , probably,that power and prestige might be regained by thereadiness and unanimity with which the aims of theDuc d'Orleans had been met and accomplished.Nor was this wholly a vain hope. For the regent,courting popularity, and elated by easy victory — the Duc du Maine, whether from timidity or indifference,having opposed no obstacle to it - at once restored to the Parliament its long-withdrawn privilege of remon strating against unsatisfactory edicts. It did notnecessarily follow that the remonstrances would be heeded . The duke, indeed, declared, amidst generalapplause, that he would not consent to have his handstied when it was a question of doing good, but would willingly be fettered should he seem inclined to do evil. He, however, proceeded with undue eagernessto overthrow the Système Louis XIV. , and to makemany ill- considered changes in the administration ofgovernment. Even zealous supporters of his claims,appointed to new posts he had created , the Maréchalde Villars, for instance, urged on him the advisability of carrying out his projected reforms with less hasteand more judgment.He had promised - it was, however, notorious thathe never kept his promises - that taxation should bediminished , and economy be the order of the day in the expenditure of the court. To practise or enforceeconomy was not in his nature or consistent with hishabits. Yet the regent, notwithstanding his viciouscourse of life, had in his character the elements ofseverai good qualities - qualities that might have de veloped into virtues had not the infamous hands inwhich it was his misfortune to be placed in his youth,done their utmost to eradicate all that gave promise16 THE OLD RÉGIME.of good in him. There was frankness and bonhomie inhis manner, and leniency in his disposition. It was readily believed , too, that a sense of justice, no less than feelings of humanity, prompted his first act of authority-an order to throw open the doors of theBastille and set the oppressed free.This was a step that secured for the regent immense popularity. It was a real blessing, too, to many sorrowing families, and to many guiltless victims ofdespotic caprice, who were languishing away life, sickat heart, and longing for deliverance that came not.To one of these unfortunates, the unexpected message“ you are free” proved a message of death. Hope inthat drooping heart had given place to despair, and under the powerful reaction of the startling announcement, the thread of life suddenly snapped. Another,who had spent thirty -five years in the Bastille, heardof freedom with fear and trembling. The outsideworld had lost its interest for him. Friends, relatives,home-all were no more. He therefore humbly prayedto be allowed, as a favor, to spend his remaining dayswithin the walls of that prison in which he had beencondemned to waste away the vigorous years of manhood, but which now, in friendless old age, he clungto as a refuge.Golden opinions rewarded the regent. The peoplelooked hopefully forward to the speedy sweepingaway of the many abuses that had sprung up during the long despotism of Louis XIV. They imagined that past excesses, the scandal of his former life, and the parade he had hitherto made of vice, were to be redeemed by the future employment for the good ofthe nation and the welfare of the king, of the excellent abilities the Duc d'Orleans really possessed.THE YOUNG KING. 17On the 12th of September the youthful Louis XV.was brought from Vincennes to Paris, for the formality of giving his viva voce assent, before the assembledhouse of peers, to the acts done in his name by the regent.Vast was the throng that greeted the first public appearance of this one remaining blossom of royalty.He was attended by those serious and elderly grandeesof the vieille cour, appointed to their several posts bythe late king, and who could not be superseded by theregent without giving color to suspicions, still currentin some quarters, of his designs on the young king'slife. On the arrival of Louis XV . and his suite, theDuc de Fresme, Grand Chamberlain, took the child inhis arms, carried him to the throne, and placed himthere on a cushion. At the foot of the throne sat theDuchesse de Ventadour, la grande gouvernante, stiff and formal, and arrayed in heavy mourning robes of blackand violet velvet, and a long veil of black crape. Theduchess represented on this occasion a queen- mother.Before taking her seat, she announced to the assembledParliament that the chancellor would inform them ofthe will and intention of his majesty. His little majesty's mourning garb was of violet cloth; a full plaited tunic, and jacket with hanging sleeves, lined with black satin and edged with gold fringe. His auburnhair floated over his shoulders in natural curls. A littleviolet crape cap, with a lining of gold tissue, covered his head, and on his neck, suspended by a blue riband,were the crosses of the Orders of St. Louis and of theSt. Esprit - decorations he seemed greatly to admire,and to be very proud of. His leading -strings werecrossed back over his chest and shoulders. They wereof gold cloth, with small pearls worked in, and wereworn to indicate the childhood of the Ruler of France,18 THE OLD RÉGIME...rather than for use. For he was five years of age, andalthough very delicate, and reared hitherto only by extraordinary care and attention, he was a swift runner. He was perfectly well formed, too, though,as a print of the time shows, he had been bandaged and strapped up, as poor infants in those days werewont to be; to which custom the prevalence of deformityand stunted growth were in a great degree due.Louis XV. was a beautiful child . His deep blue eyeshad a rather melancholy, appealing expression, andan earnestness in their gaze, which inspired an interest in him.On the occasion of this first lit- de- justice held in hisname, the child -king, reclining on his cushion, observed with amazement all that took place. With aprofoundly attentive, but somewhat puzzled , air, helistened to the speeches and harangues that were addressed to him, and the oaths of fidelity that followed .He was beginning to show signs of weariness andimpatience, when the dignitaries of the Church thenpresent greatly attracted his notice: perhaps becauseof their magnificent vestments, point-lace, gold crosses,and robes of scarlet and violet; but the especial fascination was the red hat of the Archbishop of Paris,Cardinal de Noailles.The Maréchal Duc de Villeroi - he who so signallyfailed when commanding the armies of France toevince any of the qualities of a great general - wasone of the most finished and stately of the circle ofcourtiers who had surrounded Louis XIV. He nowheld the office of governor to the young king, and inthat capacity stood by his side near the throne.Shocked at the persistency with which his royal chargecontinued, with a long, fixed stare, to regard theTHE KING'S FIRST PUBLIC SPEECH . 19cardinal archbishop, he endeavored to divert his attention from him. But all in vain. He heeded not his governor's whispered reproofs, his admonitory shakings of the head, the great eyes he made, and otherdeprecatory signs of amazement. Meeting at last themaréchal's angry glances, the child replied to them by bursting into tears, stretching out his arms to his gouvernante, and calling out lustily to the maréchal,“ Laissez moi faire; laissez moi, donc!" -— “ leave me alone;I will do as I like.” So that the first public utterance of this baby -king embodied , as was then remarked ,the fundamental law and the principal maxim of ab solute hereditary monarchy.This little outburst of temper and feeling broughtthe business of the lit-de- justice speedily to a close.The royal assent was supposed to be given to the proceedings of the séance; for no coaxings could prevailon his majesty to utter, as entreated, the simple word" Oui." He had expended his energy in asserting hisright to stare at his archbishop as earnestly and aslong as he pleased . It was now his good pleasure toshow his firmness by silence. So the Assembly submitted to accept silence for assent, and at once brokeup.The health of the hope of the nation must not be •risked by needlessly fretting him. It was, indeed, almost too jealously watched over, and the child shieldedwith unslumbering care from the possible approach of harm, by the Maréchal de Villeroi.Between him and the regent the strongest antipathyexisted; and the latter was glad to seize the opportu nity of commenting very openly on the duke's injudi cious severity, as he termed it, in publicly reprimand ing his youthful charge for a childlike and inoffensive20 THE OLD RÉGIME.Three years had scarcely elapsed since the regenthad been hooted through the streets, muů and stonesthrown into his carriage, and an attempt made to forcean entrance into the Palais Royal. The nation atlarge execrated him as the suspected poisoner of the young Duke and Duchess of Burgundy and their son.Now, he was overwhelmed with the applause of thehouse of peers, and returned to the Palais Royalamidst the acclamations of an enthusiastic people, whohailed him as their liberator, and the expected restorerof peace and prosperity to France,.CHAPTER III.The Regency. - Its Libertinage . — The Regent's Roués. - SeekingInterviews with Satan . - Madame Lucifer.- Madame, the Regent's Mother. -Audacity of Voltaire. - Character of the Regent. - A Boaster of Vices. — Yet Generally Popular. –The Regent's Gallantry.THE Regency has been called “ La Fronde des mæurslégères. " The epithet is euphonious. It, however, but inadequately describes that state of moral corruptionwhich, from its centre — the depraved court of the re gent - spread to the social circles of the higher nobles,infected the society of the upper bourgeoisie, and exer cised a baneful influence on the French people generally. Scarcely was France freed from the severe restraint which the despotic will of a single man had solong imposed on her, than the reaction began. Theregent, roused to unusual activity by the unjust par tiality displayed in the late king's will, momentarily renounced his dissolute pleasures. But no sooner werethe reins of government securely in his hands, than hegave the signal, as he had before set the example, and,nothing loth, it would seem, both grands seigneurs andgrandes dames — more eager for license than the nationfor liberty-plunged with him into every excess. Hy pocrisy threw off its mask, and libertinism exhibiteditself with open effrontery.The ladies of the court, the elderly no less than the young, were weary of the domination of Madame deMaintenon, and had looked to be relieved from it with22 THE OLD RÉGIME.her retreat to St. Cyr. The continuance of her mystic influence, and of the “ Système Antiquaille ” of LouisXIV . — as the new generation termed it—under the Duc du Maine, had , therefore, been regarded as an in tolerable infliction; even by those courtiers who werenot of the partisans of the Duc d'Orleans. Many thusbecame supporters of his claims who socially were alienated from him; owing to that singular perversion both of mind and judgment which led him to glory in the reputation he had acquired for frightful depravity and crime. He encouraged, and even setafloat, the most exaggerated reports of his deplorable excesses, and of the unblushing vice that prevailed athis private reunions at the Palais Royal. Thus, as Fénélon remarked, when suspicion fixed on the duke as the poisoner of the Dauphin, “ making credible thatwhich, from its vileness, it was most difficult to givecredit to .”Something of that spirit which animated the youthful frondeurs when in the moats of old Paris theyattacked their less reckless companions, probablyinfluenced the Duc d'Orleans so openly to resort tovicious courses. By his avowed libertinage (meaningthen, disregard of religious observances) and want ofrespect for propriety of conduct, he evinced his contempt for the hypocritical austerity and sham devotionwhich veiled the backslidings of the pious court ofMarly and Versailles. A servile throng of courtiersattended Louis XIV. , adapting their manners to hischanging moods. Their faces were often lugubrious,and their usual dresses “ sad-colored;" for, as the fitof penitence was often very strong, it became neces sary to modify the brilliancy of their garments, to substitute rich embroidery for gold and silver, but never>THE REGENT'S ROUÉS 23ato appear in black. The Duc d'Orleans had also hiscourtiers; the sharers of his pleasures - his dissipated band of “ roués.” More than one explanation has been given of this flattering sobriquet.. Generally, he is saidto have so named them from their having, one and all,earned the unenviable distinction of meriting the rack or wheel - a punishment to which offenders of a lower social rank would have been condemned for the many infamous acts of their dissolute career. On theother hand, it has been asserted, on behalf of this noble fraternity, that the appellation signified rather a bandof congenial spirits, who would not shrink from thetorture of the rack , should such a test of their devotionto their chief ever be required of them. It is, however,unlikely that the duke credited the companions he had christened his “ roués" with any such feeling, as heprofessed to doubt - or, rather, he denied - the existence of disinterestedness, even in the most honorable of men.In his youth he possessed courage and activity, and was believed to have exhibited other soldier-like qual ities; but the selfishness and jealousy of Louis XIV.denied him, as in other instances in his family, the opportunity of distinguishing himself. He took tothe study of chemistry, and obtained by it the repu tation of a poisoner, and a seeker after the philoso pher's stone. He possessed some skill in painting and music, and in the mechanical arts. “ More than a super ficial knowledge," says Duclos. He had also turned his attention to astronomy, with which, as at that periodwas not uncommon, astrology was combined. This,it was believed, was to hold communion with thepowers of darkness; to seek interviews with Satan, assome of the wild young rakes of that day actually did24 THE OLD RÉGIME.-de Richelieu being one of them. But their request to his Satanic majesty to appear was unheeded, and some unexpected noises occurring near the spot where their incantations were performed, these bold spirits tottered away in a dreadful fright, one or two swooning with terror.To return to the young Duc d'Orleans—then de Chartres-his latest tutor was the Abbé Dubois, adissolute priest, but a man of some ability, who, while tutoring him in vice, gained considerable influenceover him. Louis XIV. did not disdain to employ the abbé to overcome his pupil's repugnance to the marriage he had arranged for him with Malle. de Blois,one of his illegitimate daughters. This marriage waslooked upon with extreme disfavor also by Madame,the Princess Charlotte de Bavière, mother of the duke.Like the princes of the House of Condé, when fromtime to time one of the many spurious offshoots ofroyalty was thrust upon them by the king, she regarded the union as a mésalliance and a dishonor.It, however, took place. The bride considered thatshe had conferred a great honor on the Orleans familyby condescending to marry the Duc de Chartres. She was so haughty that he was accustomed to call her Madame Lucifer. At times he compared her toMinerva, who, while acknowledging no mother, gloriedin being the daughter of Jupiter. Soon after the marriage, Monsieur, the duke's father - in whose steps theson had diligently walked—was carried off by apo plexy, subsequently to an interview with the augustLouis, at which some very warm words had passedbetween the brothers. De Chartres then became Ducd'Orleans. His duchess, who, at first, complainedgreatly of her husband's dissipation, soon fell intoMADAME - THE REGENT'S MOTHER. 25similar habits. While Madame, who, though a littleeccentric, was remarkably shrewd and witty, held aloof from the court, she yet kept a vigilant eye openon all that was passing. In her numerous letters to her German friends and relatives, she narrated all thefollies and scandals of the day, and chronicled them for posterity in her Mémoires, with the same piquancy and unsparing causticity; few of the celebrities of the period escaping her lash.Madame, naturally, was much attached to her son,though she was aware of his vices, and greatly lamented them. She accounted for them rather fantastically. At his birth, she said , numberless good genii assembled and endowed him with the germ of everyvirtue. One of the number, however, who arrived late,being annoyed that nothing was left for her to bestow,maliciously decreed that he should want the power of making use of the gifts which the early arrivals hadlavished upon him. “ And my son is still under thecharm of the malicious fairy, " said the princess; " hehas within him the germ of all the virtues, but he can not develop it . " Her head was full of fairy tales andold German legends. She was, however, far too clever and keen - sighted to put faith in them, or to be blindto the results of evil example and corrupt training, of which the regent was so striking and lamentable aninstance.Yet it was, in some sort, true that the regent had noi the power of making use of the good qualities with which many of his contemporaries believed him endowed. Voltaire speaks of him as “ celebrated for courage, wit, and pleasures," as a man born to shine insociety even more than to conduct affairs of state; oneof the most amiable men that ever existed.26 THE OLD RÉGIME.Voltaire, in 1718, had received a striking proof of the regent's amiability, according to the notions ofthose days of lettres - de - cachet. He had just been released from the Bastille, where, for a cutting satire onthe regent and his government, falsely attributed tohim, he had spent the last twelve months. The error being discovered , Voltaire was liberated . While waiting in the antechamber to be introduced to the regent,who proposed to make him pecuniary compensation for his detention, a violent storm came on: thunder,lightning, a perfect whirlwind. To the dismay of anumber of persons, waiting also to see the regent, Voltaire suddenly exclaimed, looking towards the sky,“ They must have a regency up there to produce sucha bad state of things as this . " None dared utter aword, or venture to smile at so astounding a piece of audacity. The speech was immediately made knownto the regent. Voltaire, being introduced, “ This isM. Voltaire who is now leaving the Bastille?" in quired the Duc. “ Oui, Monseigneur, " replied thechamberlain, " unless it be your good pleasure that he should return to it.” But the regent, repeating Voltaire's words, laughed heartily at them, as at a goodjoke. Voltaire, we are told, thanked him for the goodcheer he had been provided with during his sojourn inthe Bastille; adding, however, he trusted his highness would not again trouble himself to provide him witha lodging. Sallies of that kind were regarded withless leniency in the Louis XIV. period.Duclos mentions the duke's “ brilliant valor, and his modesty when referring to his own part in any ac tion.” He thinks he would have been a great generalhad not his advancement been thwarted by the nar row- minded policy of the king; " he was always inCHARACTER OF THE REGENT. 27subjection to the court, " he says, “ and under thetutelage of the army. " In Saint- Simon's portrait ofthe regent ( Saint- Simon, often so eloquently vituperative, colors highly at all times, whether it be to praiseor to blame, yet he knew the regent intimately) , he isrepresented as gifted in a higher degree than are mostmen, with personal fascination and intellectual qualities: " Affable, kindly, frank, easy of access; a pleasant voice, the gift of speech of all kinds. Natural eloquence;precision alike in the most abstract sciences, which hemade plain, in questions of government, of politics,fina nce, law, court etiquette, and common usage, andin all kinds of art and mechanism ." Notwithstandingthese great talents and varied acquirements, he yet describes him as being oppressed by ennui; utterlywithout resource, and finding life barely endurable,except in the midst of those insane pleasures which heactually abhorred, but from long indulgence in couldnot, or would not, give up. Depravity had become amania, whose pernicious influence he no longer hadthe power to shake off. Yet, beneath the dark colorsin which the Duc d'Orleans so strangely delightedthat his character should appear, even Louis XIV.readily discerned “ a boaster of vices he is not guiltyof," and his contemporaries generally have endorsedthis judgment.Such was the regent, Philippe Duc d'Orleans, towhom the destinies of France and her child- king wereto be confided for the next eight years. During thosears, in spite of his depravity, and the ruinous finan cial schemes he sanctioned, the people became muchattached to the man whom they had once followed to his home with hootings and maledictions. “ TheParisians," says Anquetil, “ adored him. He was so28 THE OLD RÉGIME.affable, so courteous, so desirous of obliging." Theair of kindness and interest with which he listened toappeals that were made to him was in itself a charm.He had the art of refusing a request without givingpain, for he appeared pained himself at his inabilityto comply with it. There was something in the earn estness yet gentleness of his looks that was especiallyflattering. The people assembled in crowds to get but a glimpse of him when he left or returned to hispalace, and flocked to the theatres in the hope of see ing him there.He was no less successful in gaining the good opinion of the foreign ministers. For, while the charm of his manners had its usual prepossessing effect, thejustice of his views, his keen political insight, his ready comprehension and clear explanation of themost intricate questions of state, the cautious reserve of his inquiries, and the ease and finesse of his re plies, won the general admiration of the diplomatists.The regent, in short, had suddenly achieved popularity. The youth of the nation was with him, and fair dames admired him; for he was courteous and gallant to the young, deferential in his attentions to the elderly-even the youthful monarch ( a melancholy child,and ennuyé from his infancy ) brightened into smiles and became animated when the regent visited him.If the Duc d'Orleans could but have sustained thischaracter, it would have been well both for himselfand for France. But strength of mind and force of will being wanting, he too often fell back to his accustomed vicious courses, and the qualities that mighthave made him the regenerator of France served but to give attraction to his evil example, and to facilitate the moral perversion of all who came within its influence.!CHAPTER IV .Un Salon très Respectable. — The Hôtel Lambert. - La Marquisede Lambert. —The Palais Mazarin . - Weekly Literary Dinners. -French Cooks of the Eighteenth Century. —The WealthyFinanciers. -A Party of Old Friends. -La Motte- Houdart.Homer and Madame Dacier. The Salon Lambert. -TheBureau d'Esprit. — The Goddess of Sceaux. — The Marquis deSt. Aulaire. —The Duc du Maine. -A Desperate Little Woman.-Portrait of the Duchess. -Genealogical Researches. —Drowsy Reading.The traditions of the once famous salon of the Marquise de Rambouillet had well- nigh died out towards the close of the seventeenth century. Gradually, asthe literary and social celebrities of that period dis appeared from the stage of life, the salons whichclaimed to represent those traditions became extinct,and no new ones were opened to replace them. Those reunions of the noble, the witty, and the learned hadnever been looked on with favor by the king, even in his youth. But when wintry old age crept upon him,with its usual selfish distaste for other enjoymentsthan its own, he regarded with a sterner and stillmore jealous eye whatever appeared to be a counter attraction to the formal etiquette and gloomy piety ofhis court. He would have had the French peoplegrow old and devout with him; forgetting that whileindividuals are passing away, a nation is renewing its youth, and inventing new pleasures for itself.There, however, still existed in Paris a salon of theold type; yet somewhat modified - having yielded, as30 THE OLD RÉGIME,atime went on, to the influence of changing surround ings. It was the salon of Madame de Lambert, agreat lady of the old court, refined in sentiment, polished in manners. It was distinguished as “ un salontrès respectable .” In other words, it was not of the new school of light ways, inaugurated with the regency ,which showed little respect for the convenances hitherto observed in polite society. Madame de Lambert wasthe authoress of several works. They were writtenchiefly for the instruction of her son and daughter,but were held in general esteem in their day. Shehad a considerable acquaintance with Latin and Greek,yet was quite free from pedantry and all affectationof learningSo long back as 1666, Thérèse de Marguenat de Courcelles had married, at the age of nineteen, thewealthy Henri de Lambert, Marquis de Saint- Brés.The Hôtel Lambert, in the Ile St. Louis, then becameher residence: that splendid hôtel, renowned for itselaborately sculptured decorations, its finely carved chimney- pieces, painted panels, ceilings, and stairThey were the work of such artists as LeSueur, Le Brun, Van Ostal, Romanilla, Du Bassan,and other painters and sculptors of eminence. The beautiful saloon known as the “ Salon des Muses,”and the smaller one the “ Cabinet d'Amours, ” were profusely adorned with works of art and exquisite paintings. * In the costliness of its furniture, it vied with the famous Hôtel Lesdiguières; but in itself, as an artistic masterpiece, far surpassed it.cases.Subsequently these were placed in the Musée du Louvre.The Hôtel Lambert was pillaged in the revolutionary times; butlater on was restored with great taste and a considerable outlay byPrince Adam Czartoriski.THE PALAIS MAZARIN . 31In this princely abode, the most distinguished ofthe beau monde, the most celebrated literary men, thepoets, and men of science, both native and foreign,were constantly entertained until the death of theMarquis de Lambert, in 1686-that year so eventfulfor France; the turning- point in the fortunes of thegreat Louis. It was the year of the “ Dragonnades;”the beginning of the reign of Madame de Maintenon.After a short interval of retirement the marquise reopened her salons, and continued to hold her receptions in the same splendid hôtel until 1710. She hadmade her debut in society too late in the century tohave known the celebrated Madame de Rambouillet.But she was familiar with the far- famed salon bleuhaving visited the fair Julie d'Angennes, when , asDuchesse de Montausier, she occasionally received hercircle of friends in the salon that had been the scene ofher own youthful triumphs, and her mother's socialcelebrity. Malle. de Scudéry and Madame de Sévignéhad been Madame de Lambert's intimate friends.She had known also Corneille, Racine, and Molière,and had seen Madame Champmeslé and the famousMichel Baron represent the principal characters intheir dramas. She had heard . Bossuet, Bourdaloue,and Fléchier denounce the vices of the age, and theItalian manners; and speak with a warning voice evento the Grand Monarque himself. In those forty- fouryears, so full of incident, absolutism had passed fromthe height of power to the first stage of its decadence.Owing to family arrangements, the marquise, in1710, left the Ile St. Louis, and took on a lease, for theterm of her life, part of the Hôtel Nevers—that por tion of the vast edifice, the Palais Mazarin, now “ Bibliotheque Nationale,” which the Marquis de Man32 THE OLD RÉGIME.cini had inherited from the cardinal. It had beenbuilt and furnished, as everybody knows, with an utter disregard to cost; for the coffers of the State furnishedthe funds, under the name of “ private expenses."Though still superb, sixty years' use had dimmedmuch of the original splendor of the gold brocades,embroidered satin hangings, etc. , as well as of the decoration of the apartments. But the cardinal'ssuccessors had not found it convenient to renew either one or the other. Madame de Lambert foresaw, ap parently, that her lease of life had yet more than twenty- one years to run. For she thought it worthwhile to spend several thousand pounds on the work of renovation , and to build , from the Rue Colbert, aseparate entrance to her own part of the palace.In the other part lived the Duc de Nevers, grandnephew of the cardinal. He, wavering between theold and new schools, also held frequent receptions, or,to be quite correct, réunions, that being the term specially applied to the social gatherings of the lordlysex, while a salon denoted an assembly of the beaumonde, both gentlemen and ladies, and that a ladypresided .The extensive alterations and embellishments—thelatter including some graceful panel paintings by Watteau, whose talent was then becoming known being completed , and the marquise installed in hernew hôtel, she issued invitations to a select number ofmen of letters to dine with her every Thursday. And a splendid dinner she gave them. For her maîtred'hôtel and chef- de-cuisine were of the élite of their profession. This weekly literary dinner was then an innovation; but it became a generally adopted custom,dating from about the time of the death of Louis XIV.COOKS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 33Heavy dinners, such as that great monarch's astound ing appetite enabled him to consume in the middle ofthe day, went out of fashion; for with ordinary mortals, but to look on those innumerable, piled- up and steaming- hot dishes sufficed to take appetite away.The dinner hour became somewhat later, and thequantity and solidity of the food less regarded than perfection of cookery. In the regent's gay circle, how ever, petits-soupers were far more in favor than granddinners.It may be mentioned, by the way, that the distinguished professors of the gastronomic art, from theregency to within a few years of the revolution, were remarkable for their fertility of imagination , in theinvention of new and delicate dishes. Great skill wasdisplayed in combining the ingredients to ensurepleasure to the palate; also, in giving to their savorycreations artistic forms agreeable to the cultured eye.Their supremacy in this respect is attested by severalof the gastronomic feats of that period, which haveremained unapproached, and confessedly are still un approachable, even by the celebrated artistes of ourown day. The post of chef -de- cuisine was regardedprobably at the period in question as one of greaterdistinction ( be it said without offence) than at thepresent time. For it was rare indeed that the culinary staff was headed by a chef (even of small pretensions, if any such there were ), except in the royalhouseholds and the hôtels of the great nobles; wherethe professors of gastronomy were necessarily of thecordon bleu order.A very broad line had hitherto separated the differ ent classes of the community. Until the facile man ners of the regent emboldened audacious spirits (such34 THE OLD RÉ Voltaire, * for instance) to set at naught the bound aries that hemmed in the wealthy and talented whowere not of the court, even the financiers ( men such as Samuel Bernard) , the wealthiest, and in some sense,therefore, the most influential class in the State, hadscarcely given an instance of the presumption of set ting up a chef. “ They enjoyed their wealth at thattime by stealth ," as somebody has said. Banquetsthat outrivalled those of princes were modestly entrusted to the skill of women cooks. Among these,however, were a few well- trained adepts perfectlyqualified to compete for the palm of excellence withthe most skilful of the culinary brotherhood.But to return to the Palais Cardinal. To the good cheer provided for the guests of Madame de Lambertwere added “ the feast of reason and the flow of soul"provided for the hostess by the guests themselves. Itwas by no means a youthful party. There were the Marquis de Saint- Aulaire, then seventy - five, but des tined to complete his century (according to some accounts, he was one hundred and two when he died );Fontenelle, who attained to the same patriarchal age.Madame de Lambert, herself, was then seventy; andthe celebrated Madame Dacier and her husband, withthe Academician, Louis de Sacy - constant guests at1In the early days of his rising reputation, Voltaire , who hadbeen invited to dine with the Prince de Condé, exclaimed , in replyto the remark of a guest respecting the mixed sort of company hehad met at the table of a nobleman on the previous day, “ We are,all here, either princes or poets!” — in other words, all of equalrank. It was audacious. But the remark that drew it forth mayhave been levelled at the young bourgeois poet, who, conscious of the royalty of his genius, probably appeared a little too much athis case to please his illustrious host.LA MOTTE -HOUDART. 33her table - were verging also on their threescore andten. It was, in fact, a weekly meeting of a circle ofold friends, who, in a green old age, still kept alive the cherished memories of the brilliant society of theiryouth .It was at one of these dinners that the reconciliationtook place between Madame Dacier and the poet-critic,La Motte -Houdart. The estrangement was of olddate, and the incident that gave rise to it is probablywell known. Unacquainted with Greek, La Mõtte had ventured to put the “ Iliad ” into verse from aFrench prose translation; and, furtizer, in the famous dispute on the respective merits of the ancient andmodern authors had declared in favor of the latter.Worse still, his disparaging remarks and notes on Ho.mer had roused the ire of the usually gentle Madame Dacier, who venerated Homer almost as a god. Thepresumption of La Motte amazed her, and she charac terized his criticisms as the result of “ ignorance andvanity, and a want of common- sense .” This condem nation from so high an authority La Motte bore with more meekness than he probably would have done had it come from one of his own sex. To soothe the outraged feelings of the learned lady, he even addressed to her a complimentary ode on her own great attain ments in classic lore. But her indignation was notso easily appeased; and the breach between them was rather widened than otherwise.Madame de Lambert was a great admirer of thecharacter and talents of Madame Dacier, whom she regarded as an honor to her sex- “ uniting," as shesaid, “ vast erudition and the highest domestic virtueswith liveliness and wit that gave a charm to the social circle." She was no less just to the merits of La Motte,36THE OLD RÉGIME.and anxiously sought an occasion to reunite the friendswhose mutual coldness when they met cast a chill onthe gayety of the rest of the party. M. de Valincourt,also an Academician and habítué of her hôtel, chanced ,however, one day at dinner to make some very happy quotation from Madame Dacier's version of the “ Iliad .”La Motte was present. Being seated near Madame de Lambert, he requested permission to propose to herguests to drink to the memory of the great Greek poet,and to the health of his accomplished and learnedtranslator. His proposal, of course, met with general approval. The gentlemen rose, and in foaming bumpers of the famous vin d’Ai pledged Homer and Madame Dacier with great enthusiasm. La femme savantewas subdued. And when Madame de Lambert, takingLa Motte by the hand, led him to her friend that hemight make full confession of his errors as regarded his remarks on the “ Iliad " of Homer, she graciously consented to pardon him. It is not, however, recordedthat Madame Dacier either apologized for the offensiveepithets she had applied to the critic, or that she withdrew them. Yet the reconciliation was probably sincere.Madame Dacier died about three years later - 1720.La Motte wrote her elegy, in terms expressive of highadmiration for the character and remarkable talents ofthat celebrated woman.Besides these weekly dinners, the marquise, everyTuesday, received in the evening a general circle, as she uninterruptedly had done for so many years past.Her salon was one of the very few - probably the onlyone—where no gambling was allowed. But conver sation was to be had, " from grave to gay ” - lively, butrarely severe. No set theme. No dreary discussion,THE SALON LAMBERT. 37as in the old Rambouillet days, on the retention orabolition of this or that word, and precise determination of its meaning for the benefit of future genera tions. The forty arm- chairs had now the monopolyof those subjects which once interested so greatly the pretty women of the salon bleu . The sentimental lovetopics of the précieuse school had also had their day.But, unfortunately, the courtesy of listening to whatothers had to say was going out of fashion. Thecharming talent for conversation, when the piquantremark of one speaker inspired the witty rejoinder orsparkling bon mot of another, and on which a preceding generation had so greatly piqued itself, necessarily was ebbing away too. Everybody wished to be heard,but nobody cared to listen. It was then, in fact, that French women began to evince symptoms of a passionor mania for declaiming rather than conversing. Butin the salon Lambert, manners still received their tone from the hostess; while enough of general politenessyet remained to prevent a whole assembly from talking at once, or one of the number from out- talking all the rest. It was a mania that gradually developeditself through the succeeding years of the eighteenthcentury, until it culminated at the Revolution, and inthe person of Madame de Staël and her political harangues.A modern writer has said that the pomposity andpretensions of the salon Lambert gave rise to the epithet “ bureau d'esprit " ( " office of wit " ). But this is anerror. The first salon so designated was that of theDuchesse d'Aiguillon, the niece of Cardinal de Richelieu . She attempted to establish a salon at the PetitLuxembourg in rivalry of that of the Hôtel de Rambouillet. But although the great cardinal very rarely6638THEOLDRÉGIME.was present, the guests felt that his spirit hovered closely around them in the person of his spies. Formality and restraint were the result. Social enjoyment was banished. The cardinal's troop of dramatists and needy literary hangers-on, of course, sedulously frequented the salon of the duchess, and wrote fulsome verses in honor of their patron. The “ bureau d'esprit,”however, soon closed its doors, and the epithet em ployed to distinguish its dull reunions from the lively assemblages of the salon bleu was revived in the term" les galeries d'esprit" ( " arcades of wit" ), for the pre tentious salon of the Duchesse du Maine at Sceaux.At this time ( first years of the regency ), the duchess was more particularly devoted to political affairs thanto literature; but when she received at her little courtof Sceaux, brilliancy in her guests was indispensable.They must be professed wits, and prove themselvesworthy of their reputation by ingenious and versifiedcompliments which, as soi -disant adorers, they wereexpected, from time to time, to address to the “ god.dess of Sceaux . " And sufficiently wearisome some of the most distinguished among them found this tax onwit. The difference between the two salons is apparentin the lines of one of the worshippers, the Marquis deSaint - Aulaire:“ Je suis las de l'esprit, il me met en courroux,Il me renverse la cervelle;Lambert, je vais chercher un asile chez vous,Entre La Motte et Fontenelle . " *

  • “ I am weary of wit, my brain has rown weak,

I fain would escape from its spell;Lambert, with you an asylum I seek,Between La Motte and Fontenelle. "»THE DUC DU MAINE.39This “ divinity,” as Saint- Aulaire elsewhere poeti cally speaks of the Duchesse du Maine, was well spicedwith diablerie. She was, indeed, a wonderful littlewoman. That pugnacity of spirit and impatience ofcontrol which distinguished the Great Condé, whosegranddaughter she was, had descended to her. Condé,in his boyhood, would smash the windows and destroy everything that lay within his reach, if rain or other caprices of weather occurred to upset any plans ofrecreation he had formed. Happily these propensitiesfound vent in the destruction of the enemies of France,and the impetuousness of his character made him ahero, and the commander of armies, while yet a mereyouth.The valor of the duchess was less signally rewarded.She commanded her husband, and to her iron rule the sluggishness of his nature induced ready obedience.But when it became a question of rousing him to thatdisplay of energy which, it was believed, would securethe influential position assigned to him by the late king's will, the goadings of the duchess were powerless. The translation of the " Anti- Lucretius," bywhich the duke vainly hoped to obtain the first vacantchair in the Academy, and the completion of his col lection of snuff - boxes — of which he already had nearlytwo thousand rich specimens —were spells of more potency than the storming of the valiant little duchesswas able to overcome, though spurred on by an am bitious desire of wielding the sceptre of the regency.However, she had recently availed herself of anopportunity of giving vent to her outraged feelings;her prowess being exhibited in making war on themirrors, furniture, and ornamental portions of her apartments in the Tuileries. M. le Duc, who was a40 THE OLD RÉGIME.nephew of the duchess, having attained his majority,again applied for the superintendence of the king'seducation . The regent and his adviser, Dubois, hatedDu Maine, and were glad to cast further disgraceupon him. The little king, then seven years old, was therefore made to repeat, at a lit- de - justice, that it washis royal will and pleasure Du Maine should be super seded. He was then ordered to resign, and appearsto have been glad to do so.Far otherwise the duchess. When informed that the apartment in the palace which the post gave aright to must be ceded to M. le Duc, her rage wasboundless. “ I will resign it," she at last exclaimed," yes,, I will give up the apartment.” Snatching up arich porcelain vase that stood too near at hand, she dashed it into the wood fire then blazing on thehearth. With the fire- irons she attacked the mirrors,smashed them , and injured the frames. Findingstrength in her fury, she destroyed and damaged alarge portion of furniture, dealing about blows withso much force and rapidity, that the work of demolition went on without any among the awe- strickenwitnesses of it venturing to stay her hand. At lengthshe succumbed to exhaustion, and was carried away by her attendants, leaving for the occupation ofher successor a battle- ground strewed with the tro phies of her victory.This desperate little woman was then about thirty years of age. In height and figure Madame informsus she had the appearance of a child of ten. WhenLouis XIV. desired his son to choose a wife, andordered M. le Prince to give him one of his daughters,Du Maine selected the Princess Anne- Louise, because she was the fraction of an inch taller, or, rather, lessPORTRAIT OF THE DUCHESS. 41short, than her elder sister. She was not exactly alittle fairy thing, or miniature Venus. The not unusual deformity of a displaced and enlarged shoulder was fatal to the symmetry of her slight figure. Her mouth was large, and she opened it widely, displaying, unfortunately, a very bad set of teeth . But shehad fine eyes, a fair complexion, and light hair. She rouged very highly, as most ladies did. “ Yet, " addsMadame, " she might have passed muster had she notbeen insupportably malignant.”This malignant little sprite, when in Paris, was often to be found in the salon Lambert, on Tuesdaysvery patronizing to the women, who were sufficiently obsequious; very gracious to the men, who extolledher wit and paid court to her as a beauty. This was especially the case before the death of Louis XIV.The little duchess was then looking forward to be the dispenser of court favors. As a quasi queen, shewould no doubt have ruled the court, the camp, andthe nation generally with a very high hand. But notonly were these flattering hopes dispelled-still further ignominy was cast on her husband, by the decree depriving him, though conceded to his brother, of the rank conferred upon him when legitimated.The duke was content to retire into private life;but declined to concur in the decree, and consent tohis own degradation in order to obtain certain prom ised concessions. He, however, would not openly resist his enemies. He is said to have feared the confiscation of a part of his immense wealth had he shown himself very refractory. The duchess was of course outrageous. “ Nothing then is left to me," she said," but the disgrace of having condescended to marryyou ." She thought as much of her rank as did Saint42 THE OLD RÉGIME.Simon himself; but with greater excuse for it . Re.tiring from Paris, she made diligent examination intothe genealogies of all the bar-sinister offshoots of theold kings of France. Musty volumes and parchmentslay open on her bed, and were scattered pell- mell about her chamber. So fully did the subject take possession of her mind, that she could turn her thoughts to no other. Her nights were sleepless, and Malle. Delaunay, who was then of the household ofthe duchess, was charged with the pleasant duty ofreading her vivacious mistress to sleep. But she gavelittle heed to the romances and stories that had beenselected-of course, for their somniferous qualities,In the very midst of some drowsy scene that ought tohave closed her eyelids, she would startle her readerherself nodding over her book-with some profound remark; showing that she still was perfectly wideawake, but had been musing only on the rights andprivileges accorded to some brave Dunois, or otherleft- handed Enfant de France. We will leave her forthe present to her genealogical studies, and to thetreason, stratagems, and plots she is meditating.CHAPTER V.Royal Academy of Music. -Opera, Paniers, and Masks.— “ SeeParis, and Die! " —Watteau's Early Studies . - Costumes à la Watteau. Bals de l'Opéra. -La Duchesse de Berri . — La Duchesse, en reine . — La Duchesse, en penitence. — Le Comte de Riom. —Mdme. de Maintenon's Nieces.“ We French ," said Saint- Foix, " are a singing anddancing people." Yet for near twenty years LouisXIV. , who in earlier days so delighted in displayinghis agility before admiring crowds of spectators, had prevented his people, as far as was possible, fromamusing themselves in the same lively way. His own dancing days were over; and his religion was lessjubilant than that of King David of Israel. But,“ times change, and manners with them .”One of the first results of the Orleans rule was therevival of the taste for theatrical amusements. Therewere then but two theatres in Paris—the ThéâtreFrançais and the Royal Academy of Music.had met, at least for some years, with but very languid support, and seemed in a fair way of having per manently to close their doors. The Academy stilloccupied the Salle of the Palais Royal, given by LouisXIV. to Lulli, on the death of Molière. Francine wasnow its nominal director, though the management,since 1712, had been actually carried on by a com mittee of creditors. The privileges originally grantedto Lulli were continued to his successor, who was hisson- in- law.1a44 THE OLD RÉGIME.But the palmy days of court favor had passed away.The receipts of the Royal Academy fell off, until atlength the expenses of management exceeded them inamount, and Francine found himself burdened with adebt of upwards of thirteen thousand pounds. Threerepresentations were given weekly, and the Salle wasalways well filled . But it was comparatively small.A very large proportion, too, of the space in the par.terre was occupied by the free seats of members of theroyal household, while the boxes taken by the year,rented chiefly by the financier class, were remarkablyspacious for the small number of persons supposed tohave chairs in them. One lady, probably, with herenormous paniers, counted for three.The city still took its tone from the court, and the court becoming yet more devout, the opera of the Academy, under the committee, continued to be alosing speculation . When ladies connected with thecourt perchance went to the theatre, to save appear ances and avoid probable disfavor if recognized, theyalways wore masks. Unlet boxes and the seats at thedisposal of the management were, as often as not,largely occupied by friends of certain singers anddancers, whose vanity was flattered by boundless applause, but not a sou was contributed towards theirsalaries. The Duc d'Orleans and his intimates werefrequently present; but wherever they wenttabooed ground to the courtiers of Versailles.Distinguished foreigners, and English travellersespecially, in the early part of the eighteenth century,began to visit Paris more frequently than before, and of course they went to the Opera. The fame of Parishad spread far and wide as the " city of magnificenceand pleasure." But, as often happens with what iswas19“ SEE PARIS, AND DIE! " 45greatly bepraised, its reputation was much beyond its deserts, so far as concerned its outward aspect. The utmost that can be said for old Paris, in that respect,is that no European city could surpass it in dirt and discomfort, and in the squalid appearance of its nar row, dark, dirty streets. Its attractions were all within doors. The formal Englishman was pleased with the gayety, ease, and politeness of the French. The tastefully furnished apartments must have been charmingto eyes accustomed to the stiff, unrelenting Calvinism ( if such an application of the term be allowable) of the rigidly designed William III . and Queen Anne furniture.“ See Paris, and die!" the Parisians were accustomed to say. Die, indeed! What, by the pestilence,or by the dagger of the assassin-which was not anunfrequent occurrence? Better go to the Opera, and live, and rejoice at what you have seen there. For theeye was always gratified by the beauty of the scenery and the charmingly picturesque costumes of thedancers. All the world did not admire the music ofLulli. But every one was delighted with the productions of the fanciful genius of Watteau. It was hewho painted the scenery and designed the dresses. Inthe painting- room of the Opera - house - as an untu tored lad, assistant to a mediocre scene-painter - Watteau learned his art. It was there he perfected hisstyle, after a short absence spent in the atelier of Mitayer, painting Madonnas, Magdalens, and saintsby the dozen ( then greatly in request) for three francsa week, with a daily mess of soup generously thrown into the bargain.Poor Watteau! -in those early days of poverty and suffering were sown the seeds of consumption that46THEOLDRÉGIME.carried him off too soon. Just, too, as fortune hadturned so smilingly towards him , and his “ Venus embarking for the Isle of Cythere" had opened for himthe door of the Academy of Painting; just when his pictures and panels were eagerly in demand; whenevery lady's ambition was to secure a Watteau- paintedfan. The painter worked day and night, but death had already set his seal on him; and after seeking, of all climates in the world, relief in England, Watteau,in 1721 , at the age of thirty -six, breathed his last . Hisnatural genius was never directed by any great masterof his art. He was almost self- taught. Connoisseurs have compared him, as a colorist, with Paul Veronese.If he did not exactly reproduce nature in his pictures,it was nature with a difference that was at least verycharming. His costumes were truly costumes à laWatteau. They were of no period, no class; but were designed in the fairyland of the artist's fancy, and belonged exclusively to the graceful maidens and youthful shepherdesses who figured in the ballets andoperatic fêtes champêtres.What a pity that all the beauty of scenic effect, picturesque dress, and perfection in the arrangement of the operatic stage, should have been half lost to theaudience by the wretched lighting up of tallow candles. When Law, the financier, was made Conseillerd'état by the regent, he gained further popularity with the pleasure- loving public of Paris, during his brief term of power, by substituting wax for tallow in thelighting of the Salle de l'Opéra. He is said to havedone this at his own expense; but whether or not, the reform continued until the glaring, smoky oil - lampswere introduced. Some changes and improvements were made at the same time in the arrangement of theLA DUCHESSE DE BERRI. 47boxes, and the Royal Academy of Music entered upona more successful career.It was then that the bals de l'Opéra were established.They were suggested by the Prince d'Auvergne, Comtede Bouillon, and the privilege of holding them was granted to the Academy of Music by the regent's let ters patent. These balls, from that time to this, havemaintained an evil reputation , though they were proposed with a view of counteracting the disorderly scenes which took place at such assemblies when held in unauthorized places. At the opera balls, a militaryguard did the duty of police, and all brawling and outward indecorum were to be checked by a rigid surveillance. But the regent, himself; the Duc de Noailles,Ministre de Finance; M. de Rouille, Conseiller d'état,and one or two others holding high offices in the government, so far forgot what they owed to society andto their own position, as to appear at these balls after having indulged too freely in the pleasures of thetable. At the opera, the ladies no longer wore masks,but at the opera balls they wore both mask and domino,which sufficed , charitably or otherwise, to cover a multitude of sins. Irregularity of conduct, therefore, instead of receiving a check, met with encouragementfrom these balls under distinguished patronage.Madame de Maintenon, having heard from her nieceof the bals de l'opera , writes: " I am afraid of theseballs, though they tell me perfect order is observed .The regent and his presidents do not dance atthem . ”The Duchesse de Berri, eldest daughter of the regent, was a constant frequenter of the Salle de l'Opéra.She was in mourning for her husband when Louis XIV. died, and had resolved to shorten by one half48THEOLDRÉGIME.the usual period of wearing it. Having done so asregarded the duke, she persuaded the regent to curtail , in the same proportion, the mourning for the king.The tearful time of black and violet being past, theduchess, whose fancy it was to play the queen duringthe regency, appointed for herself four ladies-in -waiting. In one of the grandest of the royal carriages with six gayly caparisoned horses, she then set out,splendidly dressed , on a royal progress through thegood city of Paris. A company of guards precededher, followed by a grand flourish of trumpets and aclashing and banging of cymbals. Great, indeed, wasthe sensation. Heads out of every window; womenand children trooping out from every porte cochère; and every one inquiring of his neighbor who this royal ladycould be. Those who did not recognize Madame de Berri supposed this pretentious personage to be theDuchesse de Lorraine, the regent's sister, then in Pariswith her husband and her husband's chère amie, to dohomage for the duke's duchy of Bar.In the evening, early visitors to the opera were sur prised to see a daïs with canopy of crimson velvetprepared. Presently, in grand state, arrived the Duchesse de Berri. Having taken her seat, four of the ladies and four gentlemen of her newly appointed household grouped themselves gracefully around her.The rest of her suite took up their position in the pit,while her guards remained in attendance. The regentwas inclined to laugh at and to tolerate this freak.Not so the public. Not so the ladies of either of thesections into which society was then divided -- the trèsrespectable of the old court; the peu reputable of the new .The outcry was general. Friends and foes alike,even the loyal band of roués, protested , and the regentLE COMTE DE RIOM . 49was compelled to put a stop to folly that threatenedvery serious results.The Duchesse de Berri was suspected, unjustly perhaps, of having poisoned her husband; but the irregularities of her conduct had alienated from her allsympathy and respect. Her annoyance on this occasion was extreme. For consolation she flew to theconvent of the Carmelites, and spent a day or twothere, as she was accustomed to do after a course ofdissipation. That short season of retirement andprayer, confession and absolution, cleared the conscience and gave tone to the nerves. Erring ladiesleft the comfortable quarters provided for them inthat rigid monastic retreat, again to plunge into the whirlpool of pleasure, with the certainty of shortly reappearing at the convent gates, as fair penitents with a fresh burden of sins to be relieved of.On again visiting the opera , the Duchesse de Berriwent incognita, in a very plain carriage belonging tothe Comte de Riom, and occupied a small grated box,where she could see without being seen. She hadprivately married this Comte de Riom, disregardingthe fact of his being a Knight of Malta, which he hadbecome at her instigation, though his family had intended him for the Church. Singularly enough, hewas grand -nephew of the Duc de Lauzun - still living, and approaching his ninetieth year - who, fifty years before, had privately married another Malle.deMontpensier. The parallel went further. For withthe same harshness as Lauzun had treated “ la grandeMademoiselle,” the Comte de Riom now behavedtowards the duchess. In the Luxembourg Palace,and probably in the same splendid apartment that the Duc de Lauzun had once occupied, now dwelt the>50 THE OLD RÉGIMĖ.Comte de Riom; the duchess being, as stated by Duclos, " an absolute slave to his caprices " -just as Mademoiselle had been infatuated with Lauzun. Yet thecount appears to have been a less attractive personthan his uncle. “ He was ugly,” says Duclos; " facecovered with pimples; polite to all the world; insolent toward the princess."What with extreme jealousy on her side, extravagance and free living on his, scenes that are not pleas ing to dwell upon often occurred between them. Inthe correspondence of Madame de Caylus with Madame de Maintenon during her last years at St. Cyr,the duchess is often alluded to. Alluded to only.They probably feared to write openly; for Madame deCaylus, whose pension had been reduced in amount like all those granted by the late king, except that of Madame de Maintenon, which the regent paid regularly as well as in full-had an apartment in the Luxembourg, which she occupied by favor of the Duchesse de Berri. One seems to detect in the letters ofMadame de Caylus that much is withheld of doingsat the Luxembourg; probably because she has had alarger share in them than she would perhaps care toacknowledge. “ I hear ," writes Madame de Maintenon, “ that you and Madame de Noailles (her other niece) are givingsuppers at the Luxembourg. The expense they involve, and the disorder, I am told, that prevails atthem, cause me extreme pain. The new pensions arerarely paid. Distress is prevalent; all classes are suffering from it. Yet every day we hear that the regent has made some new gift to his mistresses, or con.firmed to them some claim on the taxes. Such anMADAME DE MAINTENON'S NIECES. 51employment of the public money excites many mur murs and complaints.“ The young king, they tell me, is very obstinate;but he will grow out of that as he grows older. The teachings of M. de Fréjus ( Fleury) and our Maréchal(Villeroi ) will, I trust, supply the remedy for it. Hehas sent me his portrait, painted, or rather daubed( barbouillé ') by himself. The Maréchal has promised me that he will not take him again to see Madame de Berri at the Luxembourg."CHAPTER VI.Return of the Italian Troupe . — Les Troupes Foraines.-Vaudeville and Opéra Comique. — Winter and Summer Fairs . — Théâtre de la Foire suppressed.THE Italian comedians, since their banishment fromParis in 1699, had frequently solicited permission toreturn . But the king was inexorable. A piece called" La Fausse Prude," containing allusions to Madamede Maintenon and the sanctimonious court of Versailles, or which the audience had interpreted as such and received with much mirth , had given him greatoffence. Denial of any such intention availed not.The theatre was closed; the Italians were driven fromthe hôtel; the lieutenant of police locked the doors,put the keys in his pocket; and the troop received orders to leave the country immediately. Venturingto appeal to the king against a decree so harsh and so ruinous to them, he remarked— “ They had nothing tocomplain of. They were able to return to Italy in their carriages, though when invited to France theyhad made the journey on foot."However, in 1718, the Italians returned . The Coun-'cillor of State, Rouille, persuaded the regent to allow them to take up their old quarters in the Hôtel de Bourgogne, and to assume the appellation of “ Comédiensdu Regent." Biancotelli only, of the original troop,came with them; for nineteen years had elapsed sincetheir expulsion. But the new troop soon became es.LES TROUPES FORAINES. 53tablished favorites. They were not only clever actors,but able to extend their popularity (Italian being little understood by the bourgeoisie) by giving alternate performances of the same pieces in Italian and French . *The Théâtre Italien, thus becoming partly French ,proved a formidable rival to the Royal Academy, alsoto the Opéra Comique.The players who had given the latter title to theirperformances were called troupes foraines, and mightbe classed as a company of strollers, having no recog .nized local habitation but the temporary theatreserected on a portion of the ground where the summerand winter fairs of St. Germain and St. Laurent wereheld . A desperate struggle the directors had had forsome years to keep the troop together, and to maintain their footing in the face of the various decreesissued for their suppression . That they succeeded indoing so at all was probably owing, as Saint- Foix +says, to the fact that, licentious though they were,they represented the wit and vivacity characteristic ofthe French, as no other troop did, and were largely patronized in consequence. But the Théâtre Français had obtained a decree that silenced their eloquenttongues, and permitted them to play pantomime only.This , they endeavored, for a year or two, partly toevade by the comical device of unrolling long slips ofpaper, on which were written, as sometimes one seesin caricatures, the speeches they were forbidden to

  • Louis Riccoboni, the author of four successful French plays

and several critical and historical works connected with theatricalsubjects, was one of these Italian comedians. Madame Riccoboni,whose romances were so popular about the middle of the century,was his wife.+ “ Essais Historiques . "54 THE OLD RÉGIME.speak, and which were intended to make clear to theaudience what looks and gestures, however eloquent,might have failed to convey.But this clumsy method of giving a play, after been once or twice laughed at, became wearisome,both to actors and audience, and eventually was givenup. The directors of the troop then entered into an arrangement with the Academy of Music, which hadthe power of suppressing musical entertainments, andfor a good round sum bought the privilege of playingvaudeville and comic opera during the fairs of St.Germain and St. Laurent. The new entertainmentprovided was not remarkably refined . But the pieceswere sparkling and witty; no less attractive to thecourt of the regent than to the throng of sellers and buyers who came from far and near to these fairs, forbusiness or pleasure. A thriving trade they carriedon there. The good housewives supplied themselves with linens and woollens, and other useful goods, andthe itinerent merchants took away “ articles de Paris"for the provinces. Everything was sold but firearmsand books; but veracious lives of saints, and accountsof well-attested miracles, were excepted from the prohibition laid on the latter. The ground on which the booths stood belonged to the neighboring monasteries, and was leased out by the monks in small plots.An open shop, with a small room over it, was built on each, and disposed in long lines under halles; thewoodwork of which at the St. Germain fair was muchadmired for its tasteful, if somewhat rudely executedsculpture. At the St. Laurent, or summer fair, anavenue of chestnut trees formed a shady promenade,and the shops were erected on either side of it.The theatres occupied a large space of ground.A THEATRE SUPPRESSED. 55They were not of the travelling -caravan type of theOld English Richardson days; but were built up tobe fixtures on the ground as long as the fairs lasted.And as an extension of time was frequently asked,and, bringing good profits to the monks, as frequentlygranted, the two fairs, from being originally held onthe fête days only of St. Germain and St. Laurent,now divided between them the greater part of theyear. The shopkeepers gradually left to attend otherfairs; but the comic opera was by no means in ahurry to bring its season to a close. Le Sage, theauthor of " Gil Blas;" Dorneval; Fuzelier; and thewitty and dissolute Piron, wrote the vaudevilles andsongs, which, with the lively music and dancing, sopleased the Parisians that the audience soon became too large for the theatre. The directors, therefore, pro posed to erect one on a larger scale.The Théâtre Français, however, had experienced agreat falling off in its receipts. The actors were also not a little indignant at the preference shown for this troupe foraine, at the expense of " Les comédiens duroi. ” Should Piron and Le Sage be allowed to cast Molière, Racine, and Corneille into the shade? Arepresentation on the subject was made in high quar ters, which resulted in the suppression, in 1718, of the spirituel, but licentious, Théâtre de la Foire. The directors appealed to the Parliament; but the Parliament only confirmed the decree. Yet, tenacious of life, the Théâtre de la Foire for a number of years con trived to exist through alternate revivals and suppressions; until comic opera, having assumed “ a tone more decent,” though none the less spirituel, forsook the scene of its early successes, and established itselfin Paris with éclat.CHAPTER VII.Michel Baron . - Bembourg, as Néron.- Horace and Camille.Adrienne Le Couvreur.—Ths. Corneille's “ Comte d'Essex. " .Baron Returns to the Stage. —A Cæsar; a Baron; a Roscius.--A Second Triumphant Début. —The First Baron of France.- The Grand Prêtre, in Athalie . ” — The Prince and theActor.— “ Mon Pauvre Boyron .” — An Actress's Dinners andSuppers. -Results of Popularity . - Voltaire and his Nurse.— Galland's “ Arabian Nights."60It seems singular that a place of amusement of an inferior grade, which, without interference or remonstrance, had been allowed to exist during the latter years of the reign of Louis XIV. , should havebeen suppressed under the regency. And, more surprising still, because of the need of “ a purification ofthe repertory; because respectable people could no longer endure such pieces. ” Its toleration at a time of supposed general piety has been accounted for asbeing a necessary concession to the populace, “ to divert the people from their misery." A sad confession that marners, as M. Bungener remarks, neededbut little change to become openly what, secretly,they can scarcely be said to have ceased to be-bad.During the temporary eclipse of the Théâtre de laFoire and its Opéra Comique, which had proved soattractive a rival to the legitimate drama, one starof the Théâtre Français disappeared. Another brilliant one, however, arose, yet not to take the place ofthe former, who was Bembourg; the latter, Malle.MICHEL BARON . 57Adrienne Le Couvreur. Bembourg had made a greatreputation in the course of the twenty- nine years of his theatrical career. Yet it would seem to have beenowing less to superior ability or genius on his partthan to the general mediocrity of histrionic talent at that period.The great Michel Baron withdrew from the stage in the same year that Bembourg made his début. He was at the very height of his fame, and comparatively young, not more than thirty- nine. He had conceivedan intense disgust for a profession which, howeverexcellent his conduct and private character might be,branded him as an outcast before God and man.Strange inconsistency, too; that which, as a profes sion, brought a curse upon him both for time and eternity, was with impunity pursued as an amusement byroyalty, by great lords and great ladies. They might not only have theatres in their hôtels, as most of themhad, but it was permitted to them to dance and sing,and to perform plays in public, as they often did, yetwithout derogating from dignity, without imperilling salvation. These were things that Baron found “ hardto be understood.” He therefore withdrew in 1691 ,and left a clear stage for Bembourg.Bembourg was one of those actors who “ tear apassion to tatters . " For anger, he exhibited ferocity,and stormed, raged, and shrieked rather than frettedhis hour on the stage. Le Sage satirized him severely. But Le Sage was an unfriendly and partialcritic . The vaudeville writer of the Théâtre de laFoire could hardly be expected to find praise for theshouting and screaming of Corneille by the actors ofthe Théâtre Français, who did their best to put downcomic opera.58 THE OLD RÉGIME.1. Bembourg , as Néron in “ Britannicus," is said tohave been so furious that it taxed the strongest nervesto witness his performance. He yelled and raved sofearfully, that women were compelled to leave thetheatre. Le Mazurier relates that, on one occasion,when “ Les Horaces " was given, the imprecationscene was made so terrible by Bembourg's fury, thatMdlle. Duclos, who played Camille, appeared to bequite overpowered by it . She fled across the stagewith so much precipitancy that, ere she could reachthe side scenes, she fell .Horace, then, descending from the sublime heightsof his tragic rage to become, for the moment, only Bembourg the actor, sank thus to the depths of theridiculous. For, instead of continuing the scene byturning the accident to account and stabbing Camille,there and then (which the play-going Abbé Nadalconsidered the singularity of the contretemps would have justified ), Horace took off his hat, -of course he was in full court dress, -and politely bowing to Camille, gave his hand to assist her to rise. He was thenunder the necessity, as soon as Camille was again onher feet, of getting up a new whirlwind of passion,and renewing his pursuit in order to assassinate herbehind the scenes. Tragedy thus became comedy,and the audience that probably would have applaudedan undesigned, therefore allowable, transgression of the rules of the French drama, laughed heartily atthe incident. Bembourg had to decide, on the instant,between seeming atrocity and obvious absurdity, and opinions differed as to the judiciousness of his choice.It afforded a theme for conversation in the salons, andgave rise to much vivacious discussion . Bembourgwas a striking example of the truth of the maxim ,ADRIENNE LE COUVREUR . 59“ Though one cannot strike truly, he may succeed bystriking violently."Some months before he had made up his mind torepose- on his laurels and enjoy his theatrical pension,Mdlle. Adrienne Le Couvreur appeared at the ThéâtreFrançais, making a brilliant début as Monime in the“ Mithridate” of Racine. The Salle was crowded inevery part, for she came to Paris with a great pro vincial reputation. After this performance it was generally allowed, even by the critics of the parterre,that fame had rather under- than over- stated themerits of this great actress; and her subsequent ap pearances confirmed this decision.Her voice was full and melodious; her delivery perfect. To many of the audience Corneille and Racineeven appeared new, and the beauty of their language revealed for the first time; so naturally yet so forciblywere the words uttered which hitherto had beenmonotonously chanted, shrieked, or declaimed . Fewactresses have approached Mdlle. Le Couvreur in the difficult art of listening. Her expressive countenancedisplaying, as the speaker addressed her, the varyingemotions of her mind with remarkable distinctness.She was slight in figure, and rather above the middle height. Her eyes were dark and brilliant, and herface more remarkable for great intelligence and ex pressiveness than regular beauty of feature. Hergestures were graceful, and an idea may be formed ofthe dignity of her acting from the words of La Motte,who, on entering the salon of Malle. de Lambert afterhaving witnessed the play of “ Le Comte d'Essex , "Mdlle. Le Couvreur being Elizabeth, exclaimed with enthusiasm, “ I have seen to- night a queen among theactors." As Phédre and Cornélie, those who have60 THE OLD RÉGIME.>most studied the annals of the stage believe that her representation of those characters still remains unsurpassed.At that time the dramatis persone of the classical plays of Corneille and Racine wore paniers, powder,and patches, and the full court costume of the Frenchnobility, which scarcely had changed since the days of Henri IV. Nearly half the stage was occupied byprivileged spectators, who sat on benches or struttedabout at their will, and appeared to have some partassigned them in the performance. The buzzing conversation they kept up, their coming and going and changing of places, were serious distractions anddrawbacks; to which was added the semi- darkness ofthe tallow -candle - lighted Salle. An actor or actress must have had wonderful talent to hold captive, inspite of them, the attention of an audience disposed ,before all things, to be critical. This, Mdlle. Le Cou vreur appears to have been equal to. She had alsothe good fortune, soon after the retirement of Bembourg, to derive both artistic support and instructionfrom the return of Michel Baron to the stage.Twenty- nine years had elapsed since his retreat.Old playgoers who remembered him in those days ofhis prime, deplored his decision to risk the great repu tation he had retired with by reappearing in his old age, and before an audience that knew him only by the records of former triumphs. But Baron was ex tremely sensitive on the subject of age. No fadedbelle could be more so. He would have quarrelledwith his best and dearest friend , should he have ventured to suggest age as an obstacle to his purpose.He had also the most exalted idea of his own talents,fortunately with good reason . “ Every century ,"" heA SECOND TRIUMPHANT DÉBUT. 61said , “ could produce a Cæsar, but it had taken twentycenturies to produce a Baron . For, since the time ofRoscius, he knew but of one - himself. ”Baron chose Cinna for his second début. Fifty yearsbefore, he had taken the town by storm in the same character. The announcement of his reappearance init was received with enthusiasm. The regent waspresent, and every nook and corner of the Salle whencea glimpse of the actor could be obtained, or the sound of his voice heard, had its occupant. The French are rarely very noisily demonstrative in the expression of their approval at the theatre, when listening to the masterpieces of their great dramatists. And raptattention is certainly a far greater compliment to an actor than the vulgar uproar by which the frequenters of English theatres are wont to express their satisfac tion; having probably not listened to a line of the speech that seems so much to delight them, and not always being capable of feeling either its beauties ordefects, if they have.Eagerly, then, but in breathless expectation , did the vast audience await the re - entrance on the scene ofthe veteran actor of near threescore and ten. Hecame. It may be said that he came, saw, and con quered. For there was a murmur when he appeared that denoted both approval and astonishment, besidesa prodigious fluttering of fans amongst the ladies.Ladies of every shade of philosophy and morality,those who remembered the Baron of days of yore anddared to confess it, as well as those who did not;ladies of the old court, of the new court, of the hautebourgeoisie, and even of the petite ( these last , common place people who had the effrontery to appear there with their husbands). However, all thought the occa62 THE OLD RÉGIME.( Gsion one of sufficient importance to be graced by theirpresence.“ Why! he is the handsomest cavalier in the world!" .exclaims the Duchesse de Berri to Madame de Caylus,as she peeps out of her grated box. For Baron, withfirmness of gait, and erect as a man in the very summer of life, presents himself, as of old, with a dignityof bearing that even the Grand Monarque at the height of his glory might have envied.Baron was not only the greatest comedian of his time ( playing tragedy and the higher range of comedyequally well ) , but he was considered the handsomestman of his day, and probably none surpassed him in vanity. Contrary to the custom of the period , hishabits were regular and abstemious, by which meanshe retained the vigor of an excellent constitution, and his personal advantages unimpaired, to an unusuallylate period of life. His fine figure, grand manners,and extremely handsome face, of course had some influence in securing the favor of the ladies. But usuallyhe was haughty and overbearing towards his own sex,who tolerated him cnly on account of his immensetalent, which all felt compelled to acknowledge. Thistalent he evidently still possessed, and without anyapparent diminution of the physical qualities that gaveadded interest to the expression of it. He passedthrough the ordeal of representing the haughty Cinna with an éclat worthy of the great reputation acquiredin his younger days; proving his right still to claimthe appellation of “ the first Baron of France . " Baronand Mdlle. Le Couvreur, together, were irresistible,and the Théâtre Français flourished.The real motive of Baron's return to the stage washis extraordinary enthusiasm for his art. The exagTHE HIGH PRIEST " ATHALIE . " 63geration and ranting of Bembourg drove him frantic,and to his evil example he attributed in a great degreethe decadence he perceived in the style of French act ing. As soon, therefore, as Bembourg retired, Baronresolved to afford the younger comedians the benefit of his experience and example. Malle. Le Couvreur,who at one time seemed likely to drop into the monot onous sing-song she so continually heard around her,was saved from it by Baron's warnings and instruc tions. Malle. Duclos, no longer young, had fallen too irretrievably into this vicious habit to reform her style thoroughly, but she was improved by continual re minders. Malle. Belmond, and other young actressesand actors of the troop, were similarly indebted to Baron.In the High Priest in “ Athalie " he is said to havebeen perfectly sublime— “ As sublime in his acting, ”says a French writer, “ as Racine in his verses . " * Неnever declaimed tragedy; he spoke it, and was tender or passionate, according to the character he assumed.His voice was sonorous, just, and flexible; his tones energetic and varied. His silence, his looks; the vary ing expression of his countenance, revealing thechanging emotions of the mind; his attitudes, his ges tures-sparingly employed, yet with perfect art - completing the unfailing effect of an utterance inspired by the sensations of nature. He proved that talent , suchas his, knew no limits, and was unaffected by age.As when he retired from the stage, so when he returned , the motive assigned for it was not generally accepted as the true one. But it was well known thathe was not needy. He was in receipt of two pensions,and possessed private property.He had been veryliberally paid during his retreat for teaching princes64 THE OLD RÉGIME.and princesses to act, and for superintending their performances at the theatre of the palace of Versailles.He always went to and from the Théâtre Français in his own carriage. On one occasion his coachman andservants quarrelled and fought with those of the Princede Conti-such brawls were frequent amongst thecoachmen and lackeys of those days. Baron's servantsappear to have been as arrogant as their master, and having had the worst of this encounter, complained to him loudly of their opponents. Happening to meetthe prince in the theatre, Baron mentioned the occur .rence . And using the term “ Your people and mine, "requested him to reprimand his servants.The prince, one of the regent's roués, thought this unpardonable familiarity. He replied, “ But, my poorBoyron, what do you want me to say? And how thedevil did you take it into your head to have people '? "The amour propre of the actor must have been veryseverely wounded, no less at being tutoyé even by aprince, than addressed as " my poor Boyron .” Boyronwas the original name of his family, but his father,also an actor, and accustomed to play in the theatricalentertainments of the court of Louis XIII. , was fre quently spoken to by the king, who always called himBaron. This name he assumed, his son and othermembers of his family continued to write themselves Baron; and it was sometimes said in jest that theelder Michel Baron had been ennobled by Louis XIII.He was a tolerably good actor, but the real talent ofthis theatrical family centred wholly in Michel Baron ,He made the name illustrious in histrionicannals, and thus secured to all who bore it a certaindegree of favor and tolerance, even when evincing but very mediocre abilities.his son.AN ACTRESS'S DINNERS AND SUPPERS. 65easy to do.Baron was often well received in aristocratic circles.He could entirely throw off the comedian and bewitty and agreeable. But if he felt that he was pat ronized and not welcomed as a man of the great world,he could assume an air that greatly disconcerted hiswould-be patron . He probably took ample revenge on the supercilious Prince de Conti, if there is truth in the anecdote. Anecdotes of Baron are numerous.His great presence of mind was often very serviceableto him on the stage - for envy frequently sought means of embarrassing him, which it was not at all His intimacy with La Motte- Houdart,whose four tragedies owed their success to Baron's impersonation of the principal characters, opened tohim the salon of Madame de Lambert.In that salon Malle. Le Couvreur also, as we learnincidentally from her letters, was sometimes a guest.It may be inferred from it that the “ salon très respecta ble" was a less straitlaoed assembly than might havebeen supposed. Either from a friendly interest in her,or possibly from mere curiosity, as she had a great reputation for wit, Adrienne was much sought after insociety, by the ladies no less than the gentlemen. She herself gave dinners and suppers, and duchesses wentto partake of them. She was the fashion, and she andher guests were neither better nor worse than the age they lived in . It is probable that the society of that period was not more dissolute than when, in the pre ceding century, it was indispensable that every lady should have her “ galant et honnête homme," and a trainof adorers under the name of “ amants inoffensifs."Referring to the invitations she receives, Malle. LeCouvreur remarks: “ If , from indisposition or otherunavoidable cause, I fail to meet a party of ladies,66 THE OLD RÉGIME.6 probably, all of them unknown to me, “ You per ceive, ' one says, she affected the merveilleuse .' ' Ah, 'remarks another, “ ' tis because we have no titlesour husbands hold no appointments at court. ' If Ido go among them , " she continues, " and happen tobe serious — one cannot always be lively with a number of people one has never set eyes on before-they whisper among themselves, raise their eyebrows,shrug their shoulders. “ This, then, is the young person who they say is so witty? ' asks one. • Remarkhow disdainful she is . You cannot please her, ' saysanother, ' unless you know Latin and Greek. She isone of Madame de Lambert's set.' " And thus Mdlle.Adrienne found it difficult to satisfy the people whowere so anxious to make a lioness of her.She succeeded better perhaps with the gentlementhan with the ladies. Voltaire, amongst others, threwhimself at her feet, as he had a habit of doing to women he cared to pay court to.. She played the hero ines of his earlier tragedies, and studied her partsunder his direction. Adrienne Le Couvreur wasreally a good, kind creature; giving all her spare cashto one admirer, selling her diamonds to supply the needs of another, and proving her friendship for Vol taire by courageously nursing him through the small pox-a disease attended in his case with the usualdisfigurement. Before that misfortune, Voltaire is said to have been fairly good - looking. To beguilethe weary hours of a slow convalescence, Adrienne wasaccustomed to sit by his couch and read for his amusement the “ Arabian Nights. " *?3

  • M. Galland, the French translator of the “ Contes Arabes,"

then in everybody's hands, had lately died in Paris. He was wellGALLAND'S “ ARABIAN NIGHTS. " 67known as an Oriental scholar, and much esteemed in literarysociety. Shortly before his death a party of young men, return ing home in a rather hilarious mood from a supper, stopped , withtheir lantern - bearers, before M. Galland's house in the Rue Dauphine. Terrible deeds were of nightly occurrence in the streets ofParis in those good old times; and the loud knocking at the door,and the calling for M. Galland on a cold, dark, wintry nightgreatly alarmed the household. His servant at last cautiouslyopened a window, and inquired the meaning of this disturbance,and who the nocturnal rioters were. They want M. Galland, theytell him. Presently Galland appears at the window in nightcapand dressing- gown. “ Well, gentlemen, what do you want? " heinquires of these noisy visitors. Parodying the phrase with whichhe begins each of the thousand and one chapters of the “ ArabianNights , ” they reply, “ M. Galland, if you are not asleep, tell us some of those stories you know . ” M. Galland's window is im mediately closed with a bang, and the young men , having hadtheir foolish joke out, reassemble their lantern-bearers and depart.The misfortune was that M. Galland was not very well, and the chill he got by being roused from his bed on a cold Januarynight, if it did not actually cause his death, was supposed to havehastened it, as he died very soon after, probably a victim to thefame of his book.CHAPTER VIII.Racine's Academic Address. -A Political Intrigante. — The Span ish Plot. -Arrest of La Duchesse du Maine. - Confessions and Apologies. - A Traitor in the Camp. -A General Lover.– The Eye's Eloquence. —A Persevering Lover. — Results of Gallantry . - La Duchesse de Richelieu. —The Duc de Modena.-A Desponding Bride. - A Heartless Lover. - A LearnedAcademician . - A Noble Badaud .wasTHERE is perhaps no period of French history ofwhich it is more difficult to give, in a very succinct form, a clear idea of the general state of society, than that of the regency of Philippe , Duc d'Orleans. Ita period crowded with incidents , various asnumerous. It was the awakening from torpor andgloom to a life of unrestrained gayety, folly, and vice,and the re - establishing of society under new forms.Political intrigue then found a home in the salons,whence it had been banished since the time of theFronde, but where now the philosophic spirit beganalso to develop itself. Montesquieu had publishedhis witty satire, the “ Lettres Persanes; ” and the influence of Voltaire's sarcastic pen was beginningto be felt. Literature, which under Louis XIV. confined itself chiefly to gathering laurels in the fieldsof poesy and the drama, now ventured on assailingthe government.When Racine was installed in his academic armchair, he told his learned brethren , in his discourse onthat occasion, that their greatest incentive to diligentA POLITICAL INTRIGANTE. 69continuance of their efforts to perfect the French language should be to make it more and more worthy to celebrate the praises of Louis XIV.. One is pained toknow that so great a genius could thus servilely abase himself, and that he could suggest no worthier themefor a language he had so nobly and eloquently otherwise employed. Voltaire might well say, “ Racine wasmore poet than philosopher.”The philosophers of the new republic of letters tooka far different view of the subjects best suited for thedisplay of French eloquence, as well as of their ownposition in the social scale. They no longer cared to seek the patronage of the fashionable world. Ratherthey stood aloof, and held reunions amongst themselves, claiming, as savants and philosophers, to be received as a distinguished section of society. Suchconsideration can hardly be said to have been alreadyaccorded to Voltaire; but by audacity, tact, and talenthe had conquered it for himself. Many prejudices hadyet to be overcome before rank and wealth could receive literary distinction as its equal. But the barriersfell by degrees before the teachers of new doctrines,and the spread of new opinions—destined by and byentirely to overturn the old organization of things.Chief among female political intrigantes of thisperiod was the Duchesse du Maine. That she, a princess of the blood, should have wedded a man contentedto sit quietly down to his studies, and to the collecting of objects of art under the stigma of degraded rank ,was a burning thought to this high- souled little woman . The receptions at Sceaux; the private the atricals, in which she figured with so much éclat; the madrigals addressed to her, sung or recited in herhonor - all were now powerless to charm. Her salon70 THE OLD RÉ Paris became the resort of all who thought theyhad cause to complain of the government of the regency. The disaffected formed a numerous party, and to further their own views lent their aid to the further.ance of the scheme of the duchess. The result was theso-called Spanish plot. Its object was to induce Philip V. to invade France, to secure, if possible, the personof the Duc d'Orleans, to claim the regency of the king dom himself, and of course reinstate the duchess in allthose rights and privileges of royal rank she had beendeprived of.Great pains were taken to conceal this stratagemfrom the duke; and as his attention was absorbed by literary pursuits, and love of retirement often took himfrom Paris to Sceaux, it was not difficult to do so.The scheme was well on its way towards realization.The Spanish ambassador, Prince de Cellamare, andPhilip's first minister, Cardinal Alberoni, were deeply engaged in it. Philip himself, more frequently madthan sane, liked the idea of being regent of that France he loved so much. In his fits of despondency he regarded himself as a usurper of the Spanish throne,lamented his expatriation, often determined to abdi cate, and always cherished the hope of revisitingFrance.But if the Duc du Maine's eyes were sealed, otherand more vigilant ones were open. Espionage was the rule of the French Government. It was the only dutythe police executed with regularity and perseverance.Le Comte d'Argenson ( to whom the sobriquet of “ LeDamné” was given, because of his repulsive counte nance) had for nineteen years been at the head of thedepartment, and had trained his secret agents to an extraordinary degree of perfection. The eyes of HéCONFESSIONS AND APOLOGIES. 71rault, his successor, had been for some time on theduchess. Part of her secret had transpired in the salonof Madame de Tencin, an intrigante also, and amie intime of Dubois-no longer Abbé, but, to the disgraceof the regent, elevated to the Archbishopric of Cambrai, and now Minister of Foreign Affairs. The unusual stir at the Embassy, occasioned by the despatching of emissaries to the Spanish Court, was also remarked by the vigilant lieutenant of police. Aseizure of papers took place, and one of the messen gers was stopped at Poitiers. On the 29th of December, 1718, the duchess, to her dismay, was arrested inParis, and conveyed to the citadel of Dijon. The dukewas found very harmlessly occupied in his study at Sceaux, but was sent to the Château de Dourlens.Malle. Delaunay shared the prison of the duchess, andseveral other members of the duke's household, as well as some military partisans of Spain, were confined inthe Bastille.This " abominable conspiration " -thus it was proclaimed throughout the land - ended in “ confessionsand apologies ” on the part of the duchess, who, after two years' imprisonment, was allowed to return to Sceaux. It was vainly sought to inculpate the duke,much as the regent and M. le Duc desired it. The lat ter especially is said to have felt towards him “ an an tipathy like that which some persons have for certain reptiles or species of vermin ." Against their will, then,he also was liberated, and without any restriction asto his place of residence. But he refused to join the duchess at Sceaux; resenting, as much as it was in his apathetic nature to resent, the two years' imprison ment to which her schemes had subjected him.But the little duchess on this point would not give72 THE OLD RÉGIME.way; though the duke held out for some time against both her commands and entreaties. He had, however,been accustomed to obey; and as she had resolved onhaving him back at Sceaux, which was his favoriteretreat, he at last yielded to her wishes and returned .She also succeeded in making her peace with the re gent, who good -naturedly assured her that he wouldforget altogether what had passed.There yet remained, however, one culprit in the Bas tille - one who had been so deeply and treasonablyconcerned in this terrible plot that the regent declaredhe must lose his head. “ He has done enough , ” he ex.claimed, “ to forfeit four heads if he had them!"“ Four of the handsomest heads in France have notthe beauty of his one!" was the energetic reply. Surelysuch nonsense could have been uttered only by a veryyoung lady.But the regent was by no means moved by it to pity.Handsome or not,” he said, “ it is owned by a worthless person - a disturber of the peace of the kingdom ,and a traitor to his country." If he had added, “ Hehas supplanted me in the good graces of several of theladies of the court,” he would have revealed whatstung him to the quick in this gentleman's behaviorquite as much as the part he had taken in the Spanishaffair. It was, however, no less an affair of treason than the having promised Cardinal Alberoni to deliverBayonne, where this officer's regiment was in garrison,into the hands of the Spanish troops, should Philipdetermine to invade France.This handsome cavalier, now in the Bastille for thethird time, was no other than the young Duc de Richelieu. He is said to have joined the duchess's partyfrom annoyance that no influential post in the governA GENERAL LOVER. 73ment had yet been given to him. But the regent dis liked him, and Richelieu took his revenge by makinga point of stepping in between him and his mistresses.He had not the power of conferring titles upon themand extensive estates, or of making over to their usecertain items of the taxes; but he had the advantageof being but twenty- three, while the regent was forty six. He was exceedingly handsome, too, and veryseductive, but perfectly heartless and thoroughly unprincipled. He squandered his income freely enough,and, though without a particle of feeling, he could assume with success the role of the despairing, passionatelover.He had succeeded not long before in gaining, clan destinely, of course, the affections of Malle, de Charolais , sister of Monsieur le Duc; and his conquests inthe royal houses he greatly piqued himself upon. Shewas very young and exceedingly pretty. Her eyes were beautiful, and so remarkably lustrous that she was recognized by them when wearing a mask. Valois, one of the regent's daughters, a very handsome girl , had also attracted him greatly, when shemade her debut at a court ball given to celebrate the visit to Paris of the Duchesse de Lorraine. The youngduke was almost in love with her; he decidedly admired her, and determined she should know it.difficult. But that gave zest and piquancy to his purpose. It had been difficult to make Malle. de Charolais understand that her smile or frown was life ordeath to him. He was an adept in that “ eloquence,twin - born of thought," the eloquent language of theeyes. But so was the keen - sighted Madame de Prie,the “ amie intime," as it was customary to say, of M. le Duc; and any openly displayed attentions to Malle.It was74 THE OLD RÉ Charolais would have been very unceremoniouslyresented by her brother.But Richelieu had evaded suspicion, and won theyoung princess's heart. He has now a new conquest to achieve, many obstacles to overcome. Malle. deValois has elderly and careful attendants, and appears to be vigilantly guarded. From this circumstance, itmay be observed , in passing, one is willing to believethat the conduct and character of the regent's daugh ters have usually been described with much exaggeration. Mere folly, doubtless, has frequently been mag nified into vice, owing to the unfortunate mania thatprevailed in the court of the regent, and far beyondthat circle, of assuming an air of reckless depravity as a protest against the hypocritical piety of the old courtof Versailles.But to return to Richelieu. To accomplish his object, he had to bribe, to persuade, to make love toserving- women; to assume numerous disguises; towrite, or to get written, love- letters-tender, implor ing, passionate, despairing — and to tax his poor brainto invent methods for their safe delivery to the princess. At every court fête, ball, or concert, the Duc deRichelieu was sure to be present; but not always Malle. de Valois. Though she now comprehendedthat the perfumed notes which reached her hands hid .den in roses or other flowers — so frequently lying on her writing-desk, her embroidery - frame, or toilet- table,and placed there she knew not how—were missives from the handsome young duke, whose despairing,languishing gaze she so often encountered, and replied to with a burning blush.At length an interview took place. The lovers metin the apartment of one of the officials of the houseRESULTS OF GALLANTRY. 751hold, whose services Richelieu had secured. Manystolen meetings followed; the duke always in somenew disguise. The jealous suspicions of Malle. de Charolais, however, led to the discovery of this intimacy.Richelieu had but recently left the Bastille after athree weeks' detention there; the cause of his imprisonment being a desperate encounter with swords between him and the Comte de Gare - at mid -day, in Paris, in the Rue St. Thomas du Louvre - the resultof a violent quarrel concerning an affair of gallantry.It happened at that time that the King of Sardinia made proposals for the hand of Mdlle. de Valois. Itwas therefore desirable, as the regent was willing to accede to them, to hush up the princess's love affair.Richelieu , in consequence, escaped another visit tothe Bastille, but was ordered to join his regiment atBayonne. Madame, however, in her correspondencewith the German courts, related the incident. It wasrepeated, commented upon, and exaggerated, until thetale reached Piedmont, and with all its additions andembellishments came to the ears of the Sardinianking, who forthwith hastened to withdraw his pro posal of marriage.The regent was naturally much incensed, and itbeing immediately afterwards discovered that Richelieu was implicated in the Spanish plot, his arrest wasordered , and for the third time he took up his quarters in the Bastille. Worse than that, he must lay hishandsome head on the block-for the regent hasvowed he shall lose it .Mdlle. de Valois is in despair; she is devotedlyattached to him. Malle. de Charolais the same. Butwho shall write the list of ladies, noble if not royal,76 THE OLD RÉGIME.beautiful if not noble, who with sighs and tears askthe life of this gay Lothario? Even the duchess entreats-the wife whose very existence he determined( and has kept his determination) systematically to ignore, from the day, when but a boy of fourteen, hisfather injudiciously married him to her. She wasMdlle. de Noailles, a young lady some few years his senior; very plain - faced and very sedate. She was tocheck the exuberant spirits of her wild young husband, who already gave promise of becoming the greatest libertine of the age. The bride was eighteen ,petite, and in appearance younger than De Fronsac(his title at that time) . He was tall for his age, well grown and handsome. He had probably forgotten hiswife's existence when she visited him in the Bastille,eight years after their marriage. No other lady wasallowed to see him; all applicants for that favorwere sternly refused. She, however, came as a sur prise upon him; her folly in displaying so much inter est in his fate diverting him greatly.It is doubtful whether the regent could, with impunity, have sent this great lord to the scaffold . More likely a lettre - de - cachet would have banished him to hisestates. But fortune again smiled upon him. Valois continued to weep and lament, and on herknees to implore her father to pardon and release her lover. The regent was annoyed at this importunity,and angrily desired her to desist. But another suitor soon appeared on the scene, the Duc de Modena, who had sent a special envoy to ask Malle. de Valois in marriage. Of this the regent took advantage. He was anxious to marry this daughter, and havingmissed the queenly diadem, he resolved that she should wear the ducal one. The duke having sentA DESPONDING BRIDE. 77his portrait-which, though probably flattered, wasby no means attractive—the regent presented it to thelady. She refused to look at it, or to hear the wordmarriage mentioned. The regent calmly replied thatthe pardon and immediate release of Richelieu de.pended on her promise to accept the Duc de Modena.She caught at the words, " to save her lover's life she would gladly give her own. She would makeeven a greater sacrifice, she would marry the duke."Instantly she gave her promise; exacted her father's;turned her eyes on the frowning brow of the portrait,and swooned.The regent, in this instance, faithfully kept hisword; for Richelieu was walking about Paris the next evening. Some few days after, the ceremony of the marriage, by proxy, took place at the Palais Royal,The regent was anxious to conclude the arrangements,the bride being in a very desponding state of mind .The first feelings of enthusiasm having calmed down,her grief became excessive. The preparations for hermarriage and departure for Italy filled her with terror,and she would take no part in them.“ On the day," says a contemporary memoir, “ thatMdlle. de. Valois was united by proxy to the Duc de Modena, her appearance was that of a victim led tothe sacrifice. Pale, trembling, and tearful , she excitedthe utmost sympathy; while, to add to her distress,prominently placed amongst the guests stood the Duc de Richelieu ." The regent had had the cruelty toinvite him, and he the heartlessness to attend . Besidehim was Malle. de Charolais, with whom, apparentlyunmoved, he occasionally laughed and conversed, both of them observing the bride with a critical eye.False sentimentality had not yet come into fashion,78 THE OLD RÉGIME.)and real emotion was not easily excited amongst the gay company assembled to witness the bridal cere.mony. But the story of the victim and her seducer,though hushed up, and all mention of it carefully suppressed , was well known to every one present. Richelieu's air of bravado inspired, therefore, general contempt. The Duchesse de Modena and Mdlle. deCharolais later in life more thoroughly understoodthe character of the man who had deceived them both,and both learned to despise him. His triste celebrity,however, suffered not from such passing clouds, butrather increased than diminished.Not long before this marriage took place, even Madame de Maintenon, writing from St. Cyr, andreferring to Richelieu, calls him “ my favorite.” Shesays also, " I do not always dislike scapegraces; " butshe adds, " provided they do not pass the bounds of vice and dishonor. " Richelieu had certainly longbefore passed from the scapegrace state to that of viceand dishonor.From some inexplicable motive, he aspired at thistime to an academic arm-chair, and in the course ofthe next year, being not yet twenty - four, a vacancy occurring, he was elected to fill ,it, “ never having written," says Duclos, " anything but a few love-letThrough what powerful female influence heobtained that honor is not stated. ItIt may have grati fied his vanity to have a seat amongst the Forty, but it must have been singular to hear one of the professed guardians of the purity of the French language talklike an illiterate badaud or Parisian cockney. It wasthe fashion to do so at the reunions of the dissoluteyoung men of the regency, and none had cultivatedA NOBLE BADAUD. 79this unenviable accomplishment more sedulously thanthe Duc de Richelieu.Vnez donc M'sieux; v'la quéques Louis. Faut met çadans sa poche; faut pas l' renfermer dans l' secrétaire," etc. ,is a specimen given of his usual manner of speaking.But this is probably a libel . Sentimental love-mak ing could never have thus been carried on. It mighthave succeeded with the grisettes, and been assumed when masked, as well as have diverted both him andhis wild companions to talk in that fashion at their nocturnal revels, nothing more. Yet it has beenasserted that Richelieu had so thoroughly contractedthis habit that he could never entirely divest himselfof it—the badaud would peep out, and often when leastdesired.CHAPTER IX.Une Négligée. —Louis XV. -The Financier's Wife. -A Financier. —The Vicomte and Vicomtesse de FJohn Law . - La Banque du Roi. —The Mississippi Company.- The Rue Quincampoix. -Cupidity and Despair. -GrandHôtels and Opera Boxes. —The Courtiers Pay their Debts. The “ Regent” and the “ Sancy. ” —The First Blow to theSystème. —Deceived and Ruined. —Law Escapes to Flanders .-A Change from Paris to Brussels. -Order out of Disorder.In a splendidly furnished apartment in one of thehôtels of the Place Vendôme sit a lady and gentleman, taking their morning meal—a substantial repast,less of a French than a Scotch breakfast. The nowfashionable coffee -pot is there, prominently in thecentre of the table. The Parisians have been a longtime making up their minds whether to accept or re ject coffee. But merit has prevailed over prejudice.The Vicomte de Béchamel, the regent's maître d'hotel,has already placed on his menus black coffee, in smallcups, for Palais Royal dinners. The ladies have alsodiscovered that it is excellent with milk, and are falling into the habit of sipping their cup of coffee in the morning. Madame de Sévigné, therefore, in herdouble prediction that both coffee and the plays ofRacine were destined to pass out of favor after a veryshort reign, has proved a false prophetess.But the lady and gentleman have finished theirbreakfast. The lady wears an elaborately embroidered négligée of Indian muslin, with ruffles of fine lace,2TIIE FLVANCIER'S WIFE .81the finest that Valenciennes can produce. It is loopedup with rose - colored ribands; the white silk petticoathas a broad border of rose color; the dress, a longflowing sash of the same; and the whole is displayedover a panier of ample size. She has a patch on theleft cheek , another on her chin, and a third on theright temple—those little black patches, you know,that the Duchesse du Maine has just brought into vogue again. There is a soupçon of powder in herhair; her head- dress is of fine lace, with rose-coloredsilk lappets; her mittens are lace, and her high- heeled slippers rose- colored silk , embroidered in white andfrilled with Valenciennes.The lady is by no means the great lady one might suppose her to be, though she is accustomed to giveherself very grand airs. Her elegant toilets, luxurioussurroundings, her half-dozen châteaux, comtés, andmarquisates, have all been so recently showered uponher, that she still is not perfectly at ease under them.To be borne with dignity, these things need “ the aid of use," as Shakespeare says of “ our new clothes, thatcleave not to their mould without." Yet her salon isfrequented by marchionesses and duchesses, and othergreat ladies. Even princesses have been known to waive etiquette and peep in for a moment. If shedoes not exactly look down on her high and mightyguests, she contrives to comport herself stiffly enoughtowards them. She has been made to feel, and stillresents it, that the attraction lies not in her, but in thewizard powers of her husband; that if these greatladies visit her in the evening, it is because he wouldnot grant them a five minutes' interview in his privatebureau in the morning, and that there is just a chance of whispering a word in his ear in her salon. She is6682 THE OLD RÉ them but a solitary cipher, adding nothing what ever to the weight and influence of the substantialqualities attributed to him. Yet her superb diamonds,laces, and toilet generally often raise sighs of envy,and win her many gracious words and smiles.The gentleman so courted and run after by the ladies, as far as being bewigged and beruffled, andwearing a sword at his side, looks like a grandee of the period. Had the time referred to been but a centurynearer to us, one might, after scrutinizing his coun tenance, have guessed him to be an American cousin.His face is so “ cute ," shrewd, and clever; but lessintellectual than cunning. There is now a shade of anxiety upon it, which is remarkable, as contrastingstrangely with the air of audacity and perfect selfpossession it usually wears. The lady, too, seems troubled and thoughtful, as she abstractedly opensand shuts and twirls her exquisite Watteau fan.trembles for the safety of those pretty shepherdesses,so delicately painted on silk, with their lily complexions, their rosebud mouths, charming Swiss hats andcostumes garlanded with flowers. But the reverieis ended by the entrance of a servant.Is this man a servant? He enters with a veryswaggering air. There is a trace of servitude — that isof livery - in his dress, for he wears a red waistcoat;though, for the rest, he has donned the garb of the haute bourgeoisie." Monsieur," he says, " I leave your service to-day.That arrangement I mentioned with the Vicomte deF - is settled, signed, and sealed , and the price ispaid in bank stock of your last issue. But that you may not be inconvenienced by the dearth of servingmen, I have brought here two who are willing to suc>JOHN LAW . 839>ceed to my place. They wait outside your good pleasure to see them . "“ Can they drive well, Joseph?" inquires themaster.“ They can both drive so well, monsieur, thatwhichever of the two you may reject, I shall take intomy own service."“ And Annette?" says the lady inquiringly, referringto her waiting-maid , who is the coachman's wife.Annette, madame, also leaves you to- day. She isnow engaging her maid; and should Joseph and Annette be wanted to -morrow , they must be inquired forat their hôtel, as the Vicomte and Vicomtesse de F- ,for the title goes with the estates. "The lady shrugs her shoulders impatiently. Thegentleman cannot forbear a smile. This transformation of his coachman into a vicomte is his own work,and the change in his own social position is scarcelyless great. But his influence is on the wane, and acrash is at hand.He is the famous Scotch banker, John Law, who, as Montesquieu says, “ turned the State inside out; " who made France, as it were, one vast gambling- house;who demoralized society, by awakening feelings ofcupidity, unknown to it before his chimerical system gave rise to that mania for reckless speculation.“ From the lowest of the people," says Voltaire," even to magistrates, bishops, and princes, the cupidityhe aroused in every rank diverted every mind from anyattention to the public welfare, from all politic andambitious views, filling them with fear of loss and desire of gain."Law was a scheming, calculating man, who in these days would probably be called a " promoter;" but184 THE OLD RÉGIME.that modern term for the successful getters- up ofbubble projects was not then invented, and he was regarded as a clever financier . A fugitive from Eng and for some misdemeanor, as soon as he had crossed the Channel he became a Roman Catholic, obtainedletters of naturalization and permission to establish abank. It was at first of very moderate pretensions.But a flattering prospectus invited depositors, and its notes got well into circulation. The State was then burdened with debt, and the regent was at his wits'end for money—both for his own private uses and for carrying on the government. It was in vain that hetaxed his brain for new sources of income. It proved so unprofitable an article of taxation that it affordedhim'nothing but the barren suggestion of giving to specie a threefold nominal value. At this crisis Lawpresented his project for paying off the debt of thenation. It was submitted to the former Contrôleurgénéral, Nicholas Desmarets, nephew of the great Col bert, and favorably known for his zeal and intelli gence in averting financial difficulties during the lastyears of the reign of Louis XIV. He entirely disap proved Law's scheme. Nevertheless, the regent ac cepted it . HeHe liked liked its its novelty novelty.. Better still , he likedthe certainty, as explained to him more minutely byLaw, of its drawing forth all the hoarded- up cash inthe country, in exchange for stock of the " Banque duRoi,” as Law's bank was henceforth to be called.Without attempting to detail the mode of operation in this famous " Système Law, " - of which anexplanation, more or less clear, is to be found in everyhistory of France—it may be mentioned that therewas established , in connection with the Royal Bank, a" Compagnie de Commerce d'Occident, " which wasTHE RUE QUINCAMPOIX. 85guaranteed to realize fabulous profits by trading in the Mississippi, colonizing Louisiana, and developing its rich mineral resources. Of the Mississippi fewknew more than that it was reported to be a mine ofwealth. This company was about as substantial as itsbubble contemporary, the South Sea Company. But the fever of speculation excited by the desire to secure a share of the imaginary boundless riches that were promised to Frarce, gave rise to scenes in theRue Quincampoix, where the company had its offices,that exceeded in tumultuousness those of Change Alley and Threadneedle Street. Daily, from early dawn,crowds of eager men and women assembled in thatlong, narrow , grimy street, waiting for the opening of the bureau. As the hour drew on, the throng still in creased, all struggling to get nearer the door. Pressing upon each other, some fainted, others fell, and,crushed or trampled upon, were carried away dead.This Rue Quincampoix was the principal stock jobbing rendezvous; and as the whole of the Parisian population had become stock - jobbers, it was a veryanimated part of the city. “ There was no longer either business or society in Paris," says a French wri ter.. “ The workman, the tradesman , the magistrate,the man of letters, concerned themselves only with therise and fall in stocks; the news of the day being their losses and gains. Nowhere was there any other subject of conversation, or any other gambling than gam bling in stocks." Enormous fortunes were made so rapidly that a frenzy for acquiring wealth, difficult to describe, took possession of every one's mind. Many who began their speculations with a single government note of five hundred francs, by taking advantageof the constant fluctuation in the value of specie, bank86 THE OLD RÉGIME.stock, government notes, etc. , in the space of a few weeks were the possessors of millions. “ Servants whocame to Paris at the beginning of the week behind the carriages of their masters, often, through some luckyventure, went home at the end of it in carriages of their own.” Law's coachman was not a solitary in stance of this kind, bui one among many.On the other hand, no less frequently, wealthy families were suddenly reduced to beggary. And suicides,assassinations, and the many crimes born of cupidity and despair, were of daily occurrence. The relativevalue of bank - stock , specie, and government notesoften rose and fell several times in the course of theday. This was regulated solely by Law, attentive only to keep up the speculative fever he had created, and to draw in the cash while continuing to issue new paper. Of this the amount in circulation representedmore than eighty times the value of all the specie inthe kingdom.y At the same time, never had there been known suchprofusion and extravagance in dress, in furniture, in equipages, banquets, and fêtes as prevailed in Paris at this period . For it was not only the sumptuous entertainments given by the regent and the court circle -surpassing all that had been dreamed of in the goodold days of Louis XIV. —that astonished the few per sons who were staid and sedate, or that yet remained of the old school. It was the lavish style of living of those who had suddenly grown rich; often persons ofthe lowest class, yet who could find amongst the mostsplendid hôtels of the old nobility no dwelling sufficiently magnificent for them . In this way some fine specimens of sixteenth and seventeenth century archi tecture disappeared, to make way for new edifices,THE COURTIERS PAY THEIR DEBT'S. 87often never begun. For before the ground was cleared, the wealthy parvenu, who had “ dreamt ofdwelling in marble halls," had been driven back, by aturn of Fortune's wheel, to his pallet in the cellar or garret; or if begun, the building was usually com pleted on a scale very inferior in grandeur and extent to that first proposed.The theatres had their full share of this rich harvestof paper. Never, at the Italiens or the Théâtre Français, had there been witnessed a more splendid arrayof toilettes, or a more brilliant display of diamonds andother jewels than nightly might then have been seenthere. There was as eager a competition for the possession of an opera box as for a share in the Mississippi Company, with this disadvantage to the manager that he could not multiply his boxes, as Law did hisshares, at pleasure. The renter of an opera box had his arms emblazoned on the door. The heraldpainter, not too rich or too proud to work, had a four ishing time of it among the new nobility. For all ofcourse assumed the de, and generally discovered theyhad a right to it; unknown survivors of noble familiessupposed to be extinct being found to be wondrouslynumerous.So long as the Royal Bank commanded confidence,and its notes circulated freely, the reckless style of living, and the feverish pursuit of pleasure it had in duced, went on unabated. Those who, at the floodtide of fortune, had exchanged their bank paper for substantial possessions, of course remained rich.While those who had sold to obtain this much- covetedpaper, looking for enormous dividends, when the goldladen galleons should bring the treasures of Louisiana to France, sank into hopeless poverty; whose end was88 THE OLD RÉGIME.often madness or crime. Rolls of the Royal banknotes, as many as they needed, were supplied to the regent and the grandees of the court. With thesethey followed in extravagance the example of the par venus, and also took the opportunity of paying theirdebts.It was at this time that, advised by Saint- Simon , the famous diamond, known as the “ Regent," was bought.The man in whose possession it was had been em ployed as overlooker in the Golconda mines. Contriving to secrete this fine stone and to leave his occu pation unsuspected, he came to Europe and offered his diamond for sale, without success, at every Europeancourt. Arriving in France, he sought out Law, whotook the diamond to the regent, and proposed to himto purchase it for the king. The price, three millionsof francs in hard cash, induced him to decline. Butat the suggestion of Saint- Simon, Law was authorizedto endeavor to make some arrangement with the owner for a lower sum. Two millions was the price forwhich he at last consented to part with it. But as immediate payment was not convenient, a certain delay was conceded, and the interest for that time on thesum agreed upon was at once handed to him; while,as security for the payment of the two millions, crownjewels to the value of eight millions were deposited inhis hands. *

  • The “ Regent” is considered a much finer stone than the Sancy,

which was bought from a Swiss for an écu , or three francs, by theDuke of Burgundy, some time during the fifteenth century. After passing through several hands it came into the possession of Har lay - de- Sancy as security for 40,000 francs lent to Dom Antonio ofPortugal , who afterwards sold it to Sancy for a further advance of60,000 francs . Sancy disposed of it to James, of England , throughwhom it came into the possession of Louis XIV.DECEIVED AND RUINED. 89The great embezzlement scheme had, up to thistime, satisfied those who profited by it . The regent heaped honors, titles, and estates upon Law; made himCouncillor of State and Comptroller-general of the finances; though, while enriching others, he had not forgotten his own private interests. But the first blowto the “ système" was about to be struck. Just, too,when Monsieur and Madame de Law, finding thehôtel in the Place Vendôme an unsuitable residence,were in treaty for that more commodious one, the splendid Hôtel Soissons. The offices of the Royal Bank were established on the ground -floor of theHôtel Vendome. There, speculating ladies intrudedon Law at all hours-seeking advice as to the expediency of buying or selling in the course of the dayand sometimes, Mdmes. de Parabére and de Tencin,for instance, taking away a bundle of notes with them;notes that might have been issued from any printinghouse, as no precautions whatever were taken againstforgery.The scarcity of specie-all pensions and salaries being also paid in paper-began to be felt as an extreme inconvenience. It even raised suspicions in some minds. A considerable quantity of paper was inconsequence presented at the bank, and cash requested . The next day appeared an edict prohibiting the conversion of the notes into specie, also for bidding all persons to retain possession of more thanfive hundred francs in cash. This created a panic.The Parliament remonstrated, and refused to registerthe edict. Law complained to the regent, and theParliament was banished to Pontoise. New paperwas issued , but could not be put into circulation. Forthe eyes of most persons began to open to the fact90 THE OLD RÉGIME.that they had been deceived and ruined. Numberlesswere the expedients resorted to by Law to restore thecredit of the now decried paper; but none of themavailed.The people thronged the Place Vendôme, andthreatened to attack the bank. Law took refuge inthe Palais Royal. “ Where," says Voltaire, “ I hadformerly seen him enter the saloon, followed by dukesand peers of the realm; by Marshals of France andhigh dignitaries of the Church. ” Now, humiliatedand crestfallen, he seeks the protection of the regent,at whose hands the people without are demanding theman who has brought ruin on the nation. The turbulence of passion is at its height. But the regent,who is more guilty than Law, favors his escape to Flanders. The Duc de Bourbon- Condé lends him hispost- chaise for a part of his journey-he could hardly do less for the man who had enriched him by so manymillions. For, with the exception of a few obscurepersons who made and retained a fortune, it was theregent and the court who were the gainers. The great wealth of several princely and noble housesdates from that time.In being thus, suddenly and wholly unprepared,compeiled to quit Paris, Law was unable to realizehis colossal fortune, which consisted chiefly in extensive landed estates. Two thousand louis, and a fewof his wife's jewels, were said to be all he took from France with him. He passed over to England, where,it was asserted, but with little foundation, that he hadlarge sums of money invested. From London hewent to Venice, schemed and speculated, but without success, and died there in 1729, in circumstances thatdid not denote the possession of much wealth. “ HisORDER OUT OF DISORDER. 91widow , " writes Voltaire, “ I saw while I was in Brussels. She was as humble there as she had beenhaughty and triumphant in Paris.” Such was thedénouement of what the French, with their accustomed levity, were pleased to call “ La Comédie de Law . "The State was more in debt than before. “ Someswindlers," writes Duclos, " of the upper and lower classes had grown rich. The bourgeoisie was ruined:every one was dissatisfied with his position, and commercial morality was at an end.” To add to the general distress, inundations and extensive fires ravaged several of the French provinces, and Marseilles was nearly depopulated by the excessive virulence of theplague.It was absolutely necessary to devise without delay some means for alleviating the wide-spread miserybrought on the country by the exploded “ Système Law ." This difficult financial operation was under taken by the Brothers Pâris, bankers, who had been opponents of Law's system from its outset. By theirgreat financial ability and untiring zeal, they at length succeeded in evoking some sort of order out of disorder; and in effecting an arrangement which,if it failed to meet all ills resulting from the Système,secured at least the eventual payment of the debts ofthe State.CHAPTER X.1 )Death of Madame de Maintenon . — The Czar's Visit to St. Cyr.-A Complimentary Salutation.— The Czar Peter in Paris. Thirst for Useful Knowledge. -Special Interviewing ."The Invitation to the Ball. - Effect of Peter's Visit to Paris.- Madame de Caylus. —Palais Royal Banquets. --Béchamel,Marin, Soubise. -Supper after the Opera. -Fashions of the Period. —The Ladies' Toilettes . -Les Belles Dames at Sup.per. -An Example to the Czar.WHILE the events just referred to were occurring inFrance, there died at St. Cyr, in 1719, the widow of the poor ribald poet, Scarron, and of the great Louis XIV. Madame de Maintenon, then in her eighty fourth year, passed away calmly and with little bodily suffering. Sight and hearing remained with her tothe and her mental faculties were wholly unimpaired. To within a few days of her death, she regu larly corresponded with her nieces, and with many old friends of the old court; and her letters are not only remarkably chatty and cheeriul, but often verywitty.The supersedure of the will of the late king, and more especially the malignant hate with which theDuc du Maine was pursued by the regent and the Ducde Bourbon, affected her deeply. Otherwise she might have continued to live on for some years; though sheconfessed to finding her seclusion a weariness.would have gratified her, she wrote, could she consistently have done so, to have enjoyed more of theItTHE CZAR'S VISIT TO ST. CYR. 93society of those who understood better than the good sisters who presided at St. Cyr the feelings and ideasof one who had passed so much of her life in the great world. But as time went on she resigned herself to that. Her death- blow, no doubt, was the arrest and imprisonment of the Duc du Maine. She was so devotedly attached to him, that anxiety for his safetymade her augur the worst. “ His goodness and piety,and his having been the favorite son of a great king,were his only crimes," she said; " crimes which hisenemies could not forgive him .” She did not live to hear of his release, and his acquittal of all complicity in his wife's political intrigues.The Czar Peter the Great visited Paris shortly before Madame de Maintenon's death. He had a desireto see the woman who, in the decline of life, had captivated the Grand Monarque, and whose secret counselsso largely influenced the affairs of Europe for fullthirty years.Madame de Maintenon consented to receive him. An ante- room and two salons, draped with black, as was customary for royal mourning, led to her chamber, the hangings and furniture of which were of crimson silk damask. She was reclining on her couch, supported by pillows. Two ladies of theestablishment were seated near her. Her dress was aHongréline, or long jacket of gray velvet, and a flat,plaited lace cap, under a black silk coiffe. Over her was spread an ermine coverlet; which may have been intended to indicate royalty, like the ermine mantle thrown over her when her portrait was painted byorder of Louis XIV.Describing the interview herself, she says she received the Czar, after the Maréchal de Villeroi , whointroduced him, had left the room, vrithout any further94 THE OLD RÉGIME.ceremony than that of taking off her black silk mittens; this being the etiquette of the period, when inthe presence of a person of superior rank.The Czar, on entering, paid her a similar compli ment, in the Russian mode of salutation. He closedhis eyes, and, with his arms hanging straight by hisside, slowly bent his body until the tips of his fingers touched the floor; then , as slowly, resumed his upright position. He seated himself in the large arm -chair ofcrimson and gold brocade, arranged for him by theside of the aged invalid's couch, and silently gazed on her so earnestly, that, as she tells Madame de Caylus,she could scarcely forbear a smile. But as in thatposition he obtained only a side view of her, hewheeled round the massive arm-chair with a noisethat was perfectly startling, and looked her straightin the face.He could, had he chosen, have made himself wellunderstood in French. But it was his good pleasureto use the Russian tongue; his ambassador, who ac companied him , serving as interpreter. He was, however, so ill- qualified for the office, that Madame deMaintenon understood little more than that all theCzar had seen at St. Cyr pleased him well, and thathe proposed to found at St. Petersburg a similarestablishment. She replied by a flattering eulogy ofthe late king; to which the Czar listened with profound attention. He then took leave with the sameformal salaam; she half raising herself on her couchto acknowledge it.The habits and tastes of the great Peter were butlittle in accordance with those of the upper classes in France. He was very differently impressed, from what was expected, by the fêtes prepared for his entertainTHE CZAR PETER IN PARIS. 95ment. But what he sought out for his own amusement, as well as instruction, and which scarcely anyone thought of showing him, interested him greatly.He particularly admired the mausoleum of the greatcardinal, in the Sorbonne. But it was rather admira tion of the stern inflexible will of the man whose ashesreposed beneath it than of the skill of the artist in theexecution of the monument. The splendors of the Hôtel Lesdiguières were scarcely of a kind to beappreciated by him; though on his return to his owncapital he instituted changes in his palace and in thetoilet of his beautiful Catherine, which led to the tastefor luxury and magnificence, at first rather barbaric,that developed itself at the Russian court so speedilyafter his death.The Marquis de Tessé played the host at the HôtelLesdiguières. The Marquis de Nesle and Duc deVilleroi were appointed to meet the Czar on the frontier with a suitable escort. The number of elaboratelyembroidered coats, and uniforms covered with goldand silver lace, they thought it necessary to take withthem to do honor to the Russian despot, excited hisridicule, as by degrees they displayed their ample wardrobe. Each morning, each evening, a new costume, while the Czar keeps to his one plain suit ofheavy blue cloth, and laughingly inquires why these French gentlemen employ so bad a tailor, as apparently he cannot supply a coat that pleases well enoughto be worn a second time. Yet the example of those about him so far influenced the great Peter in the matter of personal adornment, that he provided himself with a handsomely embroidered blue satin coat.Probably he first appeared in it at some Parisian fête.History has, however, overlooked that fact, if fact it96THE OLD RÉ, or has not thought it worthy of being handed down to posterity.The bump of inquisitiveness, so characteristic, in itslargeness of development, of the Anglo- Saxon race ofthe nineteenth century, could scarcely have had aplace at all in the cranium of the folk of the early part of the eighteenth. Had the same thirst for useful knowledge existed then as now, there doubtless wouldhave been the same laudable endeavor to slake it .The most persevering and keen-eyed on the staff of“ our own " would have been specially commissioned" to interview, " nulens, volens, the great Russian bear.Prying eyes would have found out for us, together with a hundred other interesting minutiæ, whetherPeter took a bath and put on a fine linen chemise before donning his blue satin coat, or whether the roughmonster had so little sense of harmony and beauty andthe fitness of things as, with unwashed hands, to slipit on over a “ false front,” hiding a red or blue Jersey shirt. Compared with the seventeenth century, Frenchmemoir writers are few in the eighteenth. How invaluable, then, would the gatherings and scrapings of aspecial interviewer have proved at this date; onerestrained by no feelings of false delicacy from turninghis subject inside out, and doing his duty to his pub lic , by telling us all things. It is comforting to knowthat the unborn generation will have scant reason to reproach the present one for any reticence of that sort.But to return for a moment to the blue satin coat.We know that it was worn on that grand and memorable occasion, which may be termed the virtual emancipation of woman in Russia. The issuing of the Ukase,commanding the nobles and court officials, and all whoheld any appointment, civil or military, to come to aPETER'S VISIT TO PARIS. 97ball at his palace, and to bring with them their wives and daughters-poor oppressed women, who, hitherto ,had lived in seclusion under the iron rule of their mas ters — was a very happy stroke of despotism . Many among the great army of saints enrolled in the Holy Calendar, have been canonized for far less deserving deeds. To those who did not readily obey the command of the Czar - and some few did venture toevince a reluctance to let loose their womankind Peter despatched a second command, accompanied by a menace of the knout. This had, of course, its dueeffect. Above all, the company was bidden to come sober, and if they wore swords to leave them at home,as all would be required to dance. To set a good ex ample, Peter and Catherine, very praiseworthily, made a point of taking but half their usual quantity of brandy and tokay that day. Good manners and urbanity therefore prevailed; and this first Russian attempt at a court reunion passed off remarkably well.Though Peter's object in visiting foreign countrieswas chiefly , as we all know, to obtain further insight into whatever was likely to increase the material prosperity of his own, it seems evident that he was not an unobservant spectator of French society, or of woman's influence in it. His visit to Paris led to many socialchanges in Russia. It was probably the cause of his placing Catherine in a more prominent and influentialposition than before. It is remarkable what deference this man, so rough in outward demeanor, soinnately cruel, paid to the lowly- born woman he made his wife, elevated to a throne and crowned with so much pomp and ceremony. Peter certainly took alesson in gallantry while in France, and profited by it.He interested himself in many things that were at98THE OLD RÉGIME.tractive to him from their novelty, which often consisted only in a refinement he was wholly unused to.He was obliged to observe some degree of moderation in his habit of excessive drinking, and was probablyall the better for it. The little king pleased andamused him, though he was growing up a silent, self willed child; petted and spoiled by his elderly guardians, the Maréchal de Villeroi and the Bishop of Fréjus.But among ladies who chiefly attracted the Czar,Madame de Caylus obtained his highest admiration.He had heard of the beauty of Madame de Maintenon's charming niece, and had been very desirous of seeing her. At this time she was no longer young.She had passed the terrible fortieth year, and had lived in seclusion for some years; but during the regency she reappeared in Parisian society - according to Saint- Simon - full of vivacity, and as beautiful and charmingly seductive as ever . She bore away the palm from younger beauties — the frail but lovely Madame de Parabére, and the fair Haidée ( Malle.Aïssé) , whose history is so like a romance.Louis XIV. disliked Madame de Caylus. She was too sparkling, too spirituelle to please him. He was shocked at any unexpected sally of wit, as at “ an in decency," and the youthful Marquise (she was married at thirteen) frequently sinned in that way. More than all she inclined towards Jansenism. Even her aunt could not overlook that; she was, therefore, whenabout nineteen, banished from the court circle, and re mained fourteen years in disgrace. During that time she turned very seriously to devotion; fasted andprayed, and became gloomy, under the spiritual di.rection of a Jansenist priest. By and by she grewBÉCHAMEL, MARIN , SOUBISE . 99weary of so joyless a life; abjured Jansenism, and took aJesuit father for her confessor. This restored her tothe favor of Madame de Maintenon, who then pleadedfor her erring niece with the king. The Grand Monarque, pleased with her repentance, not only vouchsafed his pardon, but also granted an increase of fourthousand francs to her pension of six thousand.Madame de Caylus had recently become a widowa circumstance supposed to have influenced the change in her religious or theological opinions. But whetheror not, the prevailing license seems to have had some effect on her, for Saint- Simon, her great admirer, saysthat both Jansenists and Jesuits were objects of herpleasantries. “ The regency approached, ” he says," and she struck the key-note." Yet during that bril liant period when Law's bank- notes were so plentiful,and the Palais Royal entertainments so magnificent,she seems to have been doubtful as to the proprietyof joining them. Madame de Maintenon was appealedto. She, of course, did not approve the regent's disso lute mode of life; but with reference to these publicbanquets, she replies: “ You must go to them, it will notdo to condemn those in authority . ”Thus sanctioned, Madame de Caylus could, withoutscruple, take her seat with other ladies at these entertainments, to which the nobility and the beau mondegenerally were invited. She even sometimes presided,“ like a rather lively grace; like one of Homer's god .desses; charming all hearts, and making them forgeteverything, even love .” The regent certainly set the fashion in France of good cookery and extravagantliving. The menus of the celebrated Vicomte havebeen pronounced by connoisseurs in gastronomychefs-d'æuvre of their kind; while sauce à la Béchamel,100 THE OLD RÉGIME.1and champagne d la glace are still as much in favor aswhen, a century and a half ago, that sublime geniusinvented them. The Prince de Soubise and his distinguished chef, Marin, who flourished rather later inthe century, originated some very costly dishes; but none of their creations have obtained s'ich generalacceptance, and so long retained undiminished popu larity , as those of the famous Vicomte de Béchamel.It was the fashion at that time at certain hôtels ofthe noblesse to prepare a supper, on opera nights, forten or twelve friends, who were invited during theperformance to return home with the host or hostess.Care was taken to have an equal number of ladies andgentlemen. Returning from the opera or theatre wasa miserable affair in those times. The feeble gleamfrom the lanterns, or the lurid glare of torches, both carried by men - for, as yet, there were no lamps-gavebut a very flickering, uncertain light, often treacherously leading both horses and men into quagmires of accumulated mud, threatening to life and limb. To enter the hall of some splendid hôtel after traversing the gloomy streets, was like passing from Cimmeriandarkness into the bright precincts of fairyland.Girandoles of chased silver or Venetian glass, filled with wax-lights , are ranged on the walls. Splendidcandelabra on the table, which is covered with finestwhite linen from Holland, sparkling crystal glass, andJapanese porcelain , or a magnificent table service insilver; vases and épergnes, filled with flowers andfruits, giving color and beauty to the table arrangements. The champagne is ready, and the more sub stantial part of the supper only waits the presence ofthe guests.And the guests themselves form a brilliant show,THE LADIES TOILETTES. IOIquite worth bestowing a glance upon. The gentlemen wear fewer superfluous puffings of satin and velvet than in the Louis XIV. time. They have also greatlydiminished the height, length, and breadth of theirwigs. Some have altogether dispensed with flowingcurls at the back, and have adopted powder and thebag- wig. The late king was persuaded to try it, but can hardly be said to have adopted it, and in the sizeof his peruke he would not abate an inch. Embroidered silk or velvet coats are still the fashion; but they sit closer to the figure. The voluminous trunk - hoseare entirely abandoned, except on state days, for atighter - fitting garment, with a long embroidered vest.There is an ample display of fine lace in frills and ruffies. Diamonds glitter in buttons, on sword- hilts , andin feather-bordered hats; and the red- heeled shoes, cut in a high flap above the instep, are fastened by elabo.rately chased gold or diamond buckles.The elderly ladies of this period did not follow the changing modes of the younger ones. They continuedto wear the plainer and more suitable style of dressintroduced by Madame de Maintenon. Like the gentlemen, the young ladies have cut downtheir head- dresses to a moderate height. All wear powder. It is thought to be advantageous to the complexion, and to impart lustre to the eyes and brilliancy to the eyelashes. Pearls and diamonds andlace are intertwined with the hair. The blondes arelavish in the use of patches; but it is lamentable tonote that snuff -taking is becoming far too general ahabit, many pretty noses showing traces of it .is, you perceive, no diminution in the spread of thepanier, and the skirt, long and training at the back, iscaught up at the side with bows of riband with long102 THE OLD RÉGIME.floating enus. The shoes are really artistic produc tions, and extravagant as they are in price, it is yetimpossible to speak of such marvels of workmanship as dear. The cordonnier of that day (to translate himinto a shoemaker is to drag him, as it were, from his pedestal) was truly an artist.How gracefully, too, the ruffles of fine point d'Alen çon wave to and fro, as the ladies flutter their fans.“ This is a Lancret,” remarks one of the fair damesas she opens her fan for inspection. “ Watteau, you know, has grown ambitious since the Academy has re ceived his pictures."“ Yes, he has forsaken his shepherdesses, and has sent a really fine picture to the salon this season-12'Infantry on the March .' But he is ill , and I fear willpaint but few more."“ Have you seen the Le Couvreur in Mariamne? "asks another who has just dropped in after the Théâtre Français. “ No? You must then. She is splendid in mourning. Made quite an impression . Voltaire does well to pay homage in that quarter. I am told he is constantly on his knees before her. He knowsthat it is Adrienne more than Mariamne that raisessuch a fureur."Seated round the splendidly appointed table this grand company is really a charming sight. There ismore talking than eating, with the ladies, at least; yetthe foaming vin d'Ai seems to meet with their full ap proval. It is to be feared that it is even growing too much in favor with these fine ladies of the regency.Is it not likely that the great Peter, though fond of going to bed at seven or eight in the evening, mayonce or twice have been present at a petit- souper after the Opera? He was fond of music, and the balletAN EXAMPLE TO THE CZAR. 103pleased him greatly, though he cared little for the per formances of the Théâtre Français.It may be suspected that it was so; and that thesavage breast of the Russian bear was subdued bythe fascinations of the ladies at some brilliant reunionof this sort; that he then and there inwardly resolvedto give the Muscovite Court an empress, and to raise woman in his wide empire to as lofty a pinnacle asthat upon which she was elevated in France.CHAPTER XI.The Turkish Ambassador. –The Turk's Blessing. –The King sUnwonted Docility . —The Young King's Amusements. —TheKing's Pastors and Masters. —The King and his Confessor.Massillon's Petit Carême. —The Preaching of Massillon. Massillon in Society. –Villeroi's Devotion to his King. -AYouthful Gambler. —Projected Marriages. -The Bulle Uni.genitus. —A Very Vicious Bull. —Taken by the Horns – TheMarriages Arranged .--ninth year.“ What does your Excellency think of the beauty ofmy king? Is not he charming, amiable, graceful - aperfect picture? "“ Allah be praised, and preserve this fair child fromall that is evil and ill - omened!!!The questioner is the old Maréchal, Duc de Villeroi,the young king's governor, and now in his seventy He who replies is Mehemet Effendi, Ambassador Extraordinary from the Sultan, Achmet III .The Turk had expressed a wish to see the youthful Louis XV. , and a day had, accordingly, been ap pointed to receive him at Vincennes. Mehemet wasshrewd and observant. He wrote an account of hisembassy, and criticised , with much acuteness, thosemembers of the regent's government with whom the object of his mission brought him in contact. Hespeaks with contempt and disdain of the infamousDubois, then minister for foreign affairs as well as Archbishop of Cambrai. “ He did me the honor,"writes Mehemet, “ to receive me on a carpet of clothTHE KING'S UNWONTED DOCILITY, 105of gold, but could not make up his mind to favor mewith one word of truth ."Of his interview with the youthful sovereign and his governor, he says, “ After being introduced by the maréchal, we entered into a pleasant and friendly conversation on various topics, the little king greatly admiring the Turkish dress, and examining my poig nard very minutely, as we! l as that of my secretary ,and the interpreter's who accompanied me."Villeroi, after Mehemet's reply to his question respecting the child-king's beauty , proceeded to informhim that his king was but eleven years and four months old , and that his figure, as he perceived, was already well developed and finely proportioned.“ Look well at his hair ," he said; “ it is all his own-no wig ."“ And as the maréchal spoke, he turned the child round, ” remarks Mehemet, “ that I might better ob serve his hyacinthine locks. I passed my fingers caressingly through them: they were like threads ofgold; even in length, and falling in curls over hisback and shoulders."“ He can walk well, too, ' said his governor. " Nowlet us see you walk in your very best manner. ' Andthe little king, with the majestic gait of the partridge,walked to the centre of the salon and back again.“ Now , with greater speed, ' he added, " that his Excellency may see how swiftly you can run. ' Immediately the king began to bound with the fleetnessof a young roe up and down the apartment. The maréchal then asked me if I did not think he was anamiable child .“ I answered," says Mehemet, “ fervently, as thechild stood beside me, with his hand clasped in mine,


May the All -powerful Allah, who created this beautiful being, bless and preserve him! ' ”The ambassador appears to have witnessed thislittle farce with the most perfect gravity; and his youthful majesty to have been more docile than usual.All accounts represent him as shy with strangers, and apathetic and obstinate in the extreme.The Turks and their rich Oriental dresses were,however, a novelty to him, which may account for hisunwonted docility, and the readiness with which heobeyed his doting old governor, and allowed him toput him through his paces in so undignified a manner.Owing to the king's delicate health in these early years, he had been permitted to run almost wild, withthe view of strengthening his constitution by much open - air exercise and amusement. It was then scarce .ly expected that he would live to i ttain his majority-his thirteenth year. But it was his governor'sopinion that his life was more in danger from poison than from bodily weakness. Vigilant, therefore, wasthe watch he kept over those who prepared the child's meals; while his shirts, gloves, handkerchiefs, andbed- linen were under the charge of the anxious maré.chal himself.Hitherto the king had received but little instruction. His preceptor, Fleury, Bishop of Fréjus, thought more of gaining his pupil's affection by excessive indulgence, than of cultivating his mind and traininghim in habits of industry. At La Muette-boughtfor him after the death of the Duchesse de Berrithere was a small plot of ground, named by Villeroi" His Majesty's garden," which was dug and planted wholly by himself. He had also a cow, which he milked and tended . But, more objectionable still, heTHE KING'S PASTORS AND MASTERS. 107was allowed to mess about with saucepans and kettles,and prepare his own broth and coffee. Like LouisXIII. he was fond of falcons, and was amused to seethem pick to pieces the poor little live sparrows thatwere given them for food .Not that he was absolutely cruel. But he was of asluggish , apathetic temperament; bored to death,even at this early age. The earnest viciousness ofthese birds of prey was a spectacle that roused himfrom his dreamy discontent; captivated his attention;therefore amused him. His natural insensibility preserved him from feelings of pain or pity at witnessingthe struggles and sufferings of the poor little birds.Such feelings were reserved for himself when any mischance occurred to him. And the boy proved fatherto the man.It was a misfortune for Louis XV. , as Madame deMaintenon observed, “ that he should not have learned obedience as a subject before commanding as a king."But the system of education pursued by the governess, governor, and preceptor appointed by Louis XIV. ,consisted in gratifying his every whim; encouragingevery puerile fancy, without any attempt to inculcatemoral principles or noble and generous sentiments.True, he was taught to say his prayers regularly, andto attend mass daily: but the first was a mere exerciseof the memory, and almost the only one imposed onit; the second, simply a matter of habit and routine.One can imagine that he had heard less of the good ness of God than of the power of the evil one; for,like the two preceding Louis, he stood immensely in fear of his satanic majesty.When he was seven and a half years old the Du chesse de Ventadour gave up her charge entirely into108 THE OLD RÉGIME.the hands of the Duc de Villeroi. The regent thenappointed the Abbé Fleury confessor to the king.Though of the same name, the abbé was not related to the Bishop of Fréjus. He had been sous précepteur to the Duc de Bourgogne, the king's father, was nownear eighty years of age, and for many years had been wholly devoted to literature. His “ History of the Church ” was long considered the best work that had been written on that subject, and its style, though un pretending, natural and forcible. According to Vol.taire , the “ Preliminary Discourses” were superior to the history, being “ almost worthy of a philosopher.”The regent said , “ he selected him to take charge of the king's conscience because he was neither Jansenist,Molinist, nor Ultramontain ."He, however, lived in the palace secluded in his ownapartment, his duties as confessor being too slightly onerous to interrupt his literary pursuits. It was customary for the little king, with his own royal hand, toscrawl out for himself a confession of the peccadilloescf which he considered he had been guilty. This wassubmitted, first, to the bishop, who, having revised it,sent it to the abbé. After looking over it , some wordsof exhortation were addressed to the youthful penitent, and absolution was given; it being an understood arrangement that no questions should ever be put tohim.At about this time the celebrated preacher Massillon was delivering those eloquent discourses known asthe “ Petit carême." The young king was supposedto learn from them both his duty towards his peopleand what his own private conduct should be. Thepopularity of these discourses was immense. Theyhad a vogue which sermons, as sermons, can scarcelyTHE PREACHING OF MASSILLON . 1099 )again hope to attain . “ First, because " ( says that able writer, M. Bungener) " they lack almost entirely theChristian flavor, and are sermons as little as it is possible to be. Throughout them there breathes a spiritof morality, pure and pleasing, but of morality only;of faith there is none. Secondly, philosophy abounds in them , and, as far as it goes, it is good and wisephilosophy; but it is weak, and may with too much facility be made to adapt itself to the ideas, the interests , the passions of the period.”Voltaire is said to have invariably had the “ Petitcarême” lying beside him when writing. He speaks of its author as “ the preacher who best knows theworld. A moderate and tolerant philosopher." Thephilosophers of the new school, with Voltaire at theirhead, vaunted Fénélon and Massillon as being sharersin their opinions and views. The first for attacking authority, by attacking in Telemachus the vices ofLouis XIV.; the second for teaching in the “ Petit carême," and in the name of God, that authorityemanates from the people.Like his famous predecessor Bourdaloue, Massillon did not excel in funeral orations. His great gift ofeloquence seemed to fail him when lauding the imaginary virtues of the dead. One sentence only became celebrated, “ God alone is great, my brethren . " They are the opening words of the funeral oration of LouisXIV. , and were no doubt effective; those to whom theywere addressed having accustomed themselves to believe that the king alone is great. For as Massillon,in the course of his oration, remarked, “ His subjectsalmost raised altars to him ."During the last twenty years of his life, in the re tirement of his diocese of Clermont, Massillon occu110 THE OLD RÉGIME.pied himself in revising his sermons; in improving and polishing their stýle; and, it is said, bringing them more into harmony with the philosophical ideas then prevalent. But whether or not, as they remain to us,they are models of eloquence. Those on true and falseglory contain lessons that Louis XIV. no less than hissuccessor might well indeed have laid to heart. Another on ennui and its remedy, had its counsels been followed , might have spared Louis XV. many an idle hour of melancholy, and weariness of existence.If, as is sometimes asserted, all that these sermonscontain of Christian doctrine is in the text, the rest being mere moral teaching; it must yet be confessedthat it is moral teaching of a very high order, and thatthe world would be none the worse if this mere moral.ity, so ably taught, were more generally put intopractice. Massillon was greatly sought after in so ciety. Like so many of the academic forty, he was afrequenter of the salon of Madame de Lambert. Hisreputation was great as a man of genius; and, thoughinclining to the new school of thought, in urbanity and politeness of manner , he was a follower of the oldcourt. He would never be drawn into a theologicalargument. De Richelieu on one occasion having putsome malapropos question of the sort to irim , he replied, “ I am not in the habit of talking theology except in the pulpit, or in the confessional. You cancome there."Massillon once preached in the Royal Chapel, in thepresence of the young king, his governor, and the court, on the text, “ Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles. ” A text which, be itremarked, has little or no philosophy or Christiandoctrine in it . However, the Duc de Villeroi, whoVILLEROI'S DEVOTION TO HIS KING . IIIwas not only devoted to his king, but also one of the most obsequious courtiers of the old school, was muchaffected by the text. Whenever the preacher, in thecourse of his sermon, repeated it, the old duke wept;his emotion increasing as the discourse proceeded.At last, after gazing on his king with a sort of rapturous expression, as on some beautiful vision, whilethe words happy, etc. , were pronounced, he, whenthey were concluded, pressed his aged hands on hiseyes, bowed his head and sobbed. His king, meanwhile, greatly in the sulks at the length of the sermon, and unable also to comprehend the cause of hisgovernor's emotion, looked first at him, then at thepreacher, with that air of proud defiance he had fromhis childhood, and frowned and pouted his disgustwith both. Woe to thee, O land, etc. , might thenhave been presaged .Yet one must feel pity for this orphan child-solonely, silent, and melancholy. It is not surprisingthat he should have been reserved and shy, accustomed as he was from infancy to be hedged about with the same stiff etiquette as had prevailed in theold king's court. Doomed, too, to the companionshipand care of those aged persons, with whom he couldfeel no sympathy, and who had no tie of relationshipon him, to call it forth . He was fond of Fleury, whowas amiable and gentle, and whose character inspired affection, far more than that of the fussy old Duc deVilleroi, though Villeroi's vigilance was believed — andby Fleury himself — to have thwarted the designs thatat one time existed against the king's life.He seems to have associated scarcely at all with the youthful nobility; who as court pages, or attendants of the Dauphin , were usually brought up withII2 THE OLD RÉGIME.royal children. The effeminate Duc de Gêvres, andMarquis de Sauvré were of the number. They were something older than the king, but their influence onhim was an evil one, as was also that of the Duc deRichelieu, some few years later. Young Louis, however, was already a gambler, and expert at most games of hazard. No check apparently was, in this respect, placed on him , as he frequently staked considerable sums. He was also remarkably eager to win money, and very carefully hoarded his gains.But a circumstance occurred at this time, whichtemporarily occasioned the young monarch much pain and annoyance. There had been a short war withSpain after the discovery and breaking up of the Duchesse du Maine's Spanish plot. The quarrel be ing settled, the regent became desirous of marryingone of his daughters to the Spanish prince—Don Louis,Prince of the Asturias. To induce the king of Spain to lend a favorable ear to his proposal, the regent alsosuggested a marriage between the youthful Infantaand Louis XV. , not yet twelve years old. Philip gave his consent on certain conditions, of a religious, or rather theological character.Although “ very French," and always yearning for hiscountry-his possession of the Spanish crown neverreconciling him to exile-Philip V. had , nevertheless,become a perfect Spaniard in bigotry. He was a furiously zealous supporter of the presumptuous pretensions of the Church of Rome to rule the conscienceof mankind; and he could imagine no more pleasingspectacle to present to the foreign visitors at his court,who were of the fold of the faithful, than a brilliant auto - da - fé, for which there was always a supply of poorheretics kept on hand.THE BULLE UNIGENITUS. I13This he thought infinitely better than the ordinarybull- fights. They are apt to inspire disgust, as well as feelings of pity for the sufferings of the animalsengaged in them, when there is wanting in the spec tator the Spanish enthusiasm that overrules all otherfeeling. But the burning of heretics had a soothingeffect on the agitated mind of Philip. And in thosegood old times it was to many devout Catholics asthe offering up to heaven of a sweet- smelling sacrifice,with the certainty, too, that it was looked upon therewith favor.Philip's conditions, then, were - First, that the BulleUnigenitus, which had for many years been the fertile source of dissension in the Gallican Church, shouldbe unanimously accepted by the French clergy, and registered by the Parliament. Secondly, that the con science of the young king should be confided to the direction of a Jesuit confessor - the good old easygoing Abbé Fleury being required to resign.This second condition was easily complied with.The old abbé was too far advanced on the journey of life to be troubled with worldly ambition. He gathered up his papers and parchments, and went his waycontentedly enough. But the Bulle? * Now, this Bulle Unigenitus had

  • The Bulle Unigenitus, as most persons know, was issued by

Pope Clement XI . in 1713. Its object was to condemn a srnall work, entitled “ Reflexions Morales sur l'Evangile, " published solong before as 1671. It was written by le Père Quesnel , of the Oratoire. The work had had great success, had passed throughseveral editions, and even had met with the approval of the great Bossuet. It was popular also with the Jansenists. This being the case , the Jesuits began to suspect , a new edition being called for after the death of Bossuet, that the work must contain some heret.114 THE OLD RÉGIME.occasioned Louis XIV. infinite worry of mind duringthe last years of his life, and the clergy of France, high and low, had been kept in a continual ferment respecting it. Many had been the heart -burnings felt by bishops and archbishops, and doctors of the Sorbonne,as on the one side it was decreed to accept it, on theother to firmly oppose it. In short, the proverbial bull in a china shop, however viciously determined onoverthrowing and demolishing all the crockery that came in his way, could not have committed more havoc and devastation than did this Papal Bull, in thedestruction of harmony and good feeling amongst the clerical party and Catholics, good and bad generally,who composed the Gallican church .However, what Louis XIV. , with all his despotic authority, could not accomplish; what the cardinalarchbishop of Paris had refused the king on his deathbed-when he sent to request him to accept the Bull,and with the request made an offer of reconciliationDubois, influenced solely by ambitious views, undertook to effect. And he succeeded.The cardinal, for the sake of giving peace to theChurch, and putting an end to the irritating theologiical doctrines. Disputes arose on the subject, which led to arevival of the Jansenist quarrels. Louis XIV. then requested thesovereign pontiff, Clement XI . , to give his opinion of the work.After three years' consideration, the result was the famous BulleUnigenitus, condemning for of Quesnel's propositions. Among them was the following: * One should not be deterred from doingone's duty by the fear of being unjustly excommunicated . ” Ofcourse no Pope could tolerate teaching so heretical as that. LePère Quesnel died, very poor and in exilè, at near ninety years of age, about the time of Philip's demand that the Bull should be accepted in France, if his daughter was to be the queen of LouisXV.THE MARRIAGE ARRANGED . 115cal quarrels which this abominable Bull had given rise to throughout France, consented to accept it. Yet hedid not yield it a hearty consent, but merely allowed conviction to be forced on him sorely against his will.Other recalcitrant prelates, however, thought it rightto follow the cardinal archbishop's example. If in the end it proved that the Bull had only been “ scotched,”not killed, present purposes yet were served , and,above all , the worthy Dubois received his expected reward from Pope Innocent III.The archbishopric of Rheims was offered at thistime to Fleury, with the intention of superseding him as preceptor; his growing influence with the king displeasing Dubois. But Fleury, who had resigned thebishopric of Fréjus for that appointment, now declined to give it up for the archbishopric. Titles, honors,and large revenues were no temptations to him. Heloved power, no doubt; and as he was one of those who believe that to wait and watch for the object de sired is often the surest way of obtaining it , the powerhe coveted , in due time, fell into his hands, when hequietly but firmly grasped it.Philip, however, was satisfied , and the regent had now but to announce to the young king the marriage arranged for him, and to obtain his consent to it.CHAPTER XII.The New Cardinal Archbishop. -An Unwilling Bridegroom . - ASorrowful Fate. - The Château de Rambouillet. - The Ram .bouillet Ménage.BISHOP FLEURY, preceptor; the Abbé Fleury, con fessor; the Maréchal Duc de Villeroi, governor; and,the Duc de Bourbon- Condé, nominal superintendent of the king's education, were assembled in the great hall at Vincennes, the king being seated in hischair of state, to receive the regent.He entered accompanied by Dubois, whom he for mally presented to the king. Then informed him thatto the zeal of the Archbishop of Cambrai he owed the tranquillity of his kingdom; also the peace of the Church of France—the schism that had so long di vided it being, by his earnest efforts, happily ended." An important service indeed," he continued , " forwhich his holiness had rewarded the archbishop witha cardinal's hat."The king bowed , but made no reply. The old marechal stood beside him, as stiff, firm , and upright asthe weight of his eighty years allowed . But neitherhe nor the Bishop of Fréjus appeared to notice theinquiring glances directed towards them by the youngking, when the regent had concluded his address.Accustomed to read in their countenances what etiquette prescribed should be done, he supposed, as theyAN UNWILLING BRIDEGROOM . 117gave no sign of life, that the right and proper thingwas to be silent.The regent then entered on the subject of the mar riage. Instantly young Louis' attention was roused.As the arrangements respecting it were explained to him, the poor boy's dismay increased. The idea of awife filled him with terror. The etiquette always sopersistingly enforced, he at once cast to the winds;and, jumping down from his chair of state, rushed tohis preceptor. Leaning on his shoulder, and throwinghis arms around him, he wept bitterly, and loudlycomplained of the unkindness of the regent.All present endeavored , in turn , to console theiryoung monarch. He was assured that the marriage itself was a far distant event; that his assent to it only was required at that time.“ Come now; come now, my master , ” said the oldduke, coaxingly; " give your consent freely. Youshould do the thing with a good grace, my master."At length, after much expostulation, persuasion, and entreaty, the bishop obtained from him a tearful andunwilling " yes." A short but more gracious replyhad been prepared for him , with the view of sending it to Spain, to gratify his uncle, Philip V. But he refused to repeat it , and escaped from his tormentorsto indulge his sorrow in solitude.A council of regency was held the next day, for thepurpose of receiving the king's announcement of hismarriage. But his majesty's repugnance to matri mony appears even to have increased in the interval.It was with difficulty he was prevailed on to attendthe council; and when there, not a word of the message from the throne would he utter. Silently he sat there, poor child, the tears running down his face.118 THE OLD RÉGIME.And his lot, no doubt, was then felt by him to be cruelindeed; sorrow of the heart in those early years isoften very acute. At last the maréchal was compelledto speak for him, and to inform the council of hismajesty's intention to unite himself in marriage with the Infanta of Spain, etc. , etc.Still it was necessary he should notify that the announcement was made with his approval. He, however, vouchsafed no reply to the question; and thecouncil, like the regent on the previous day, had to be content with a reluctantly whispered utterance,supposed to be “" yes.”"The exchange of the young brides- elect took placesome months afterwards at the Ile des Faisans, where,sixty- two years before, was held the famous conference between Mazarin and Don Haro, which preceded the marriage of Louis XIV. with the Spanish PrincessMaria Théresa. The regent's daughter, Mdlle. deMontpensier, was twelve years of age; the Infanta,Maria Anna Victoria only three. There appears tohave been no ceremony of betrothal. The king would probably have stoutly resisted that, as an attempt toactually marry him.The little princess was taken to the Château de Rambouillet, about nine leagues from Paris, to be brought up there, under the surveillance of the Comtesse de Toulouse, a sister of the Duc de Noailles. TheComte de Toulouse, brother of the Duc du Maine, hadbut recently declared his marriage with this lady. Itseems to have been considered a mésalliance, thoughthe Count was but a legitimated prince. At all events,Rambouillet was rather looked down upon by Sceaux-so far, at least, as the Duchesse du Maine, princess of the blood, was concerned. But the Comtesse was2THE RAMBOUILLET MÉNAGE. 119younger and prettier, which displeased the duchesse.She was infinitely more charming, too, and withoutthat great lady's pretension to the reputation of a witand woman of learning.The park and forest of Rambouillet were of greatextent; and as the king was already fond of the chase,he was a frequent visitor at the château. His youthfulfiancée was, no doubt, placed there on that account, aswell as because the home of the Comte de Toulouseand his wife was one of conjugal fidelity and happi ness, of which instances were rare indeed in the societyof that period.CHAPTER XIII.Madame de Tencin. —Gambling at the Hôtel Tencin. -A Ter rible Reputation .— “ Le Grand Cyrus . ”—“ Le Comte de Comminges. ” — A Delighted Audience. - Voltaire on his Knees.-Destouches and Marivaux.— Veteran Leaders of Society.The Literary Ménagerie. —Madame de Tencin's Suppers. -UFto the Ankles in Mud. -Fontenelle's Mistake.In the midst of fine gardens, adjoining the extensive ones of the hôtel of the wealthy financier, SamuelBernard , in the Place des Victoires, there stood, at thetime of the regency, a very handsome residence, knownas l'Hôtel Tencin. It belonged to Guérin de Tencin,Archbishop d'Embrun, and Chargé- d'Affaires of theChurch at Rouen. To these high ecclesiastical dignities Tencin had been recently raised by the new Cardinal Archbishop Dubois, whom the regent hadmade first Minister of State. Few are said to haveshown less respect for the priestly character thanArchbishop Tencin. But he was a man of considerable talent, and his arguments had gone far to wringfrom Cardinal de Noailles an unwilling acceptance ofthe terrible Bull; therefore his election by Dubois.Madame Alexandrine Guérin de Tencin did the' honors of her brother's hôtel, and her salon was one ofthe most famous of the regency and early part of the reign of Louis XV. Imitating the great Cardinal deRichelieu in the salon of Marion de l'Orme, the Car.GAMBLING AT The Hôtel rencin . 121dinal Dubois established his literary police in the salonof Madame de Tencin.This lady, so witty, so pleasing, receiving her guestsso graciously, yet less with the air of the mistress of the house than with a certain graceful diffidence, as ofa sister dependent on her brother, the archbishop, was one of the most finished of intrigantes. Destined from childhood for the cloister, she was brought up in theConvent of Grenoble, and entered on her novitiate at the usual age; but her repugnance to monastic life wasso intense and persistent that, instead of taking the veil, she was allowed to leave the convent and become chanoinesse of Neuville, near Lyons. Soon after, she appeared in the fashionable world of Paris, and fig ured very prominently at the Court of the regent,amongst such noted women as the Marquises and Comtesses de Prie, de Parabère, du Deffant, d'An tragues, andothers. As amie intime of Dubois, she code had been the means of securing preferment for her brother, who had himself found favor with the regent, wees in the quality of political spy. Both brother and sister, as well as their patron Dubois, had profited largelyby the Système Law.There was yet another Hôtel Tencin, with finegrounds reaching to the gardens of the CapucineConvent—the space now occupied by the Rue de la Paix. This was the property of Madame de Tencin,and before her brother's elevation her salon was heldthere. While Law was Comptroller-general, gambling went on at this hôtel to an immense extent. Fortunes changed hands there more than once in thecourse of an evening, and in passing from one to another, a large share often fell into the lap of the lady who presided.cauitI22 THE OLD RÉGIME.She speculated largely, and risked her valuableshares in the Royal Bank, apparently with extraordinary recklessness; but her lucky star was always inthe ascendant, thanks to the private information shereceived from headquarters. Montesquieu and Voltaire were less fortunate when they yielded to the general allurement. This makes them so bitter whenreferring, not to Madame de Tencin, in whose salonthey were often to be found, but to the famous Système itself.Madame was desirous of being reputed firm in herfriendships, but a terrible enemy. The nickname of" nun unhooded ” had been applied to her, and it wassaid that “ were it to her interest to poison a friend,she would do it; but in the politest and gentlest waypossible." Strange tales, too, were afloat of dark deedsdone in her hôtel. But we know that it was the fashionable mania of the beau monde of the regency to exaggerate its vices; as though the round unvarnishedtale of its doings were not vicious enough. So that we are compelled to believe that that libertine circle,like a certain great potentate, was not so black as itwas painted; and painted by itself. At all events,Madame Tencin was rich at the time now referred to.That would have absolved her, whatever misdeeds shehad been guilty of; though society could in any casehardly cast stones at her-nor did it, for her salon wasone of the most brilliant of the period.Like that of Madame de Lambert it was considereda salon of good literature; but more philosophical,more liberal. Montesquieu, Fontenelle, Le Marquis de Pont- de- Veyle, and his brother le Comte d'Argental ( the last two her nephews) , were of the number of her guests. She had written some three or four shortLE COMTE DE COMMINGES. 123tales, or romances of a sentimental kind. All of themat the time of their appearance were favorably received, both by her own circle and by the fashionableworld generally. " Le Comte de Comminges " hadthe greatest reputation. La Harpe has considered itnot inferior to “ La Princesse de Cleves" of Madamede La Fayette. Indeed, the writings of those ladieswere bound up together in an edition issued in Parisin 1786 or 1787 .Those who have dipped into those lackadaisical tales,will surely be of opinion that they are worthily united . One may be led on, if interested in the period,to wade through the ten portly volumes of Malle, de Scudéry's “ Grand Cyrus; " being certain that while accomplishing that feat, a considerable knowledge ofthe social life of the early half of the seventeenth cen tury has been acquired , and acquaintance made withmost of the celebrities of that epoch. But the sicklysentimentality of La Fayette and Tencin is too overpowering. Should a dose of it ever be taken, another of sal volatile, as a corrective, should always be readyat hand, for of volatility there is less than none in“ Les Chagrins d'Amour," " Le Comte de Comminges,” etc.Nevertheless, the last- named story is said to haveonce had a singular effect on a crowded salon of ladiesand philosophers assembled to hear Madame de Tencin read it. The lady, herself calm and unmoved,read on to the end of the tale , her well-modulatedvoice giving due emphasis to its heart-rending love passages; her audience, meanwhile, being profoundly silent. She felt the compliment and exerted herselfto deserve it.As, with deep pathos, she pronounced the last words,124 THE OLD RÉGIME.she raised her eyes from her manuscript, with an ex pression of grateful thanks, expecting to meet thoseof her friends suffused with tears. What, then, was her astonishment, her indignation, to find that scarcelyan eye was open! The numerous assembly was for the greater part wrapped in peaceful slumber. Thefew that were not, were feebly struggling to keep open the lids that Somnus was gradually closing; or were endeavoring to hide with their handkerchiefs theshame of their irrepressible yawns. Amusement prevailed with Madame de Tencin over her first feeling of indignation; and, meanwhile, the cessation of thedulcet tones that had had so soothing an effect, together with her ringing laugh, aroused the sleepers.Charming story! " cried one. “ Charming! Ma dame de Tencin, it is truly charming," chimed inanother.“ Thank you,” she said. “ I shall re-christen thischarming story and call on all present to subscribe tothe propriety of its new title- A Remedy against Sleeplessness .' "“ Ah! Madame de Tencin ," replied Montesquieu," I perceive that you are alluding to me. Allow meto assure you, allow me to persuade you, that if my eyes, as you may have remarked , were momentarilyIclosed, they were not closed in sleep .”“ Of course not!" cried the rest of the company;“ Madame de Tencin cannot think so. "Now, don't look incredulous. Believe me it wasmerely to allow the mind, by the exclusion of outward objects, to dwell upon and enjoy more completely those exquisitely impassioned ideas with whichyou have endowed your hero, and the beauty of the language in which he expresses them ."66VOLTAIRE ON HIS KNEES. 125“ Of course!" again echoed the company.“ Usbeck,," * she replied, laughingly, “ shall make itthe subject of another Persian letter. He shall de.clare that it would have pleased him much, but for its overpowering effect on his eyelids. And let all hereconfess the same. Now confess, confess, and I willpardon you all , and the archbishop shall give you absolution. I except Fontenelle, his eyes were open,if his ears were closed. And so were those of my fair Haidée, though I imagine the Chevalierſ workedthat miracle."All the wits and rising literary men of the time were diligent frequenters of the salon of Madame de Tencin.Voltaire, of course, had gone on his knees to her. Itwas his habit, from youth to old age ( Grimm says,“ His breeches always bore marks of it " ), to casthimself prostrate before beauty and wit, whethercombined or separate. If either was wanting, te im agined it present, as in those strange lines to Mdme.du Châtelet:“ Ecoutez, respectable Emilie,Vous êtes belle; ainsi donc la moitiéDu genre humain sera votre ennemie . " 8A pure poetical fiction , and a ludicrous one to those acquainted with this colossal belle.Destouches, the dramatist, who had at least achieved

  • One of the personages of Montesquieu's “ Lettres Persanes "

- A satire on the regency .+ The beautiful Circassian, Mdlle. Aissé .| Her lover, the Chevalier d'Aidye - Chevalier of the Order of Malta .& Listen , admired Emilie: you are beautiful, half the humanrace will therefore be your enemics.126 THE OLD RÉGIME.6luge 214 Enceinesellee lione sensational success in his comedy of “ Le Glorieux , " was a constant visitor of this literary salon.Marivaux also, a protégé of Madame, ever torturing hiswits to make a telling epigram of every sentence heuttered.To her efforts, in some degree, was owing a certain short- lived vogue which his pieces occasionally obtained . They are bombastic, and affected in style.Nevertheless, Marivaux evidently was an observer of society . His conceit and pretentiousness are scarcelyless evident. Yet one may detect in his plays the prevailing feeling of the time, in the effort he makes toshow that the reputed best sentiments of humannature are but vanity; that those who put faith inthem are the dupes of their own hearts; all that seemingly is so estimable in the character, so praiseworthy in the conduct, being a mere mask to conceal selfishends.Madame de Tencin was particularly zealous in herendeavors to forward the literary and social career ofthose young men who made their début, as it wastermed, in her salon. It was a custom of that timefor ladies who, in early years, had filled a distin guished position in society, to seek to continue theirinfluence beyond that melancholy period (in Francethe terrible fortieth year) when the last flickeringgleams of youth and beauty are fading away. They erected for themselves a new empire, as it wereformed a new and attractive salon , and as they advanced in years, became the oracles of polite society.The youthful nobility and young men of fortune frequented their circles “ to form themselves," as the phrase went; as also to amuse themselves. Tosucceed in the good graces of one of these veteran,SoTHE LITERARY MENAGERIE. 1279leaders of the beau monde, was to secure “ a brevet of elegance, and knowledge of the world ."François Marie Arouet, so annoyed at not being born a gentleman, as Voltaire * acquired in the salonsthe manners of one, and very early, “ affected thegentleman of letters." There were others - Pironand Crebillon , for instance—to whom the tavern was amore congenial resort. The latter, rough and bearish; the former, witty, but of low, convivial tastes ,and often launching an epigram at this fashionable world of learning. Equally would they have felt outof place in the elegant salon of Madame de Tencin,who was one of those women who took precedence in literary circles. Notwithstanding her sentimentalnovelettes, she was " un bel esprit profond " -far morevivacious and brilliant than Madame du Deffant, and having none of her real or affected fits of ennui.Singularly enough, however, Madame de Tencin gave her distinguished circle of wits and men of let .ters the name of the menagerie. Stranger still , she put her learned animals into a sort of livery. And they did not regard it , apparently, as infra dig . to accept from her every year, as their New Year's gifts,three ells of velvet each, for new small - clothes. Besides, she gave them, three times a week, and all theyear round, a splendid supper - a supper that was renowned, even in those days of recherchés petits - soupers,and pure, sparkling, and iced champagne.

  • The name of Voltaire is probably derived from a very small

property-la ferme de Veautaire-in the district of Asnières-surOise, about ten leagues from Paris , aud which Voltaire inheritedfrom a cousin; changing Veautaire into Vokaire, for euphony'ssake, when assuming the name.128 THE OLD RÉGIME.Montesquieu and Fontenelle she distinguished as her “ animals par excellence.” Fontenelle appears tohave supped everywhere. He dined every Thursdayat Madame de Lambert's, elsewhere probably on other days, and took his “ English tea " ( then beginning tobe fashionable) in any salon where he found it introduced. He allowed nothing in the world to ruffle theplacidity of his temper, and carefully guarded against any disturbing emotions.Once a friend died suddenly, sitting beside him.He quietly desired his servants to remove him, andthere was an end of it. By thus preserving the even tenor of his life, he coaxed on a weak constitution,year after year, until he had eked out a hundred . Hewas already as deaf as a post, but it amused his mindto see what was going on if he could not hear; so that there was no more constant frequenter of the salons than “ le vieux Fontenelle ." The one misfortune ofhis deafness was, that he always fancied he or his works were the subject of conversation, and it was fatiguing to make him hear and believe that he was under a mistake.Mairan , being of the company assembled at Madamede Tencin's one evening, was relating a story of apeasant on a friend's estate who had greatly bewailedthe death of a fellow-workman who had fallen into aditch and was suffocated . “ The mud was so deep,”he said, " that it reached nearly to his ankles."“ Surely, then , " answered the master , " he could have stepped out of it, or you might have assisted him todo so . ” “ Surely, as you say, I might,” replied theman, “ if he had not fallen into it head -foremost."The peasant's naïve remark on his companion's mis fortune raised general laughter. Fontenelle, however,FONTENELLE'S MISTAKE. 1291 )1very gravely said, " I perceive that M. Mairan is talking of my works."This renewed the laughter. “•My Treatise ' on theWorlds ' does not please him, I suppose, ” he said,speaking very sulkily.La Motte undertook the task of explaining to himthe subject of conversation; but, after vociferating for some time in his ears, scarcely convinced him that he was in error, and that his well - deserved reputation was by no means being called in question by the friends and the admirers of his genius, who then sur.rounded him.Had it been otherwise, he would not have allowedtheir censure to fret him, though he thought it rightto make known his suspicions.CHAPTER XIV .Exuberant Joy . — Dining in Public . - Public Rejoicings . - Loyalty still Flourishes . — The Maréchal de Villeroi.- When LouisXIV. was Young. -The Majestic Perruque . - A Grand Seigneurof the Old Régime. - Fireworks of the Eighteenth Century. -The Young King's Greeting . – The Grand Bow Louis XIV. -Villeroi Dismissed . - Un Abbé Elégant. — The Bishop Retires to Issy. -Coronation of Louis XV.- Death of Dubois. –Dubois' Immense Wealth. –Political Lessons . — The RegentFirst Minister. - Death of the Regent.--THERE are crowds in the Rue St. Honorė, in the RueSt. Antoine and the Place du Carrousel. One mightfancy that the whole population of Paris was massed together in that vast multitude pressing around the Tuileries and filling every open space near it. Butthe throng — and a joyous throng it seems-still is increasing; every narrow, winding street and crooked ,dark alley of this dear, delightful, dirty, old city sending forth its contingent to add to the number.An Englishman well might wonder whence thisswarming multitude came; where this vast assemblageof human beings found shelter. For Paris was neverallowed to straggle, like London, in all directions,with its one or two- storyed houses. It had to shoot upwards, and as its population increased, to put storyupon story to the extent of eight or ten.even one above that; perched aloft like a sky- rakerabove the gallant- top- royal sail of a big ship, andforming almost the only breezy dwelling- places oldParis could boast ofSome say,DINING IN PUBLIC. 131Evidently the disasters of the bygone year - disastersso great that even Dubois has been compelled to say,“ Something must be done for the people" -have happily been followed by an event of unusual interest;some alleviation of the penury that prevails; some promise of returning national prosperity, to call forthsuch general rejoicing. In the exuberance of theirjoy, there are some simple folks who warmly embraceany stranger they meet, as though suddenly encoun tering long - lost friends.Many a pretty girl, too, you observe, as she passesalong, is startled by an unexpected embrace from some gay, gallant fellow. Not seldom the pretty girlresents this freedom with a vigor that makes the offender's ears tingle, and deservedly draws uponhim the laughter and witty jests of his companions.But it is a good -tempered crowd, brimful of life andspirits .The Café Procope and Café de la Régence are bothfull of guests, and here, as elsewhere, all is gaiety andmirth. * But except at these cafés, and among thenoisy itinerant vendors of cocoa , pastry, and sweets,little business is doing. Paris has heartily, and with its usual abandon, given itself up to pleasure. But if the shops, for the most part, are closed, many of theshopkeepers have brought out their tables and chairs,and are taking their dinner al fresco, any friend chanc ing to pass being pressed to sit down and share themeal with them.This open -air feasting is attended with difficulties,for side- walks exist not; the streets are very narrow,

  • These cafés of the regency were the first cafés established in

Paris, and , like the London taverns of that date, were muchfrequented by literary men .132 THE OLD RÈGIME.!}1and slope down on either side towards the gutter inthe centre. But the will to dine and be hospitable inpublic being there, the way to do so is, by some means,found out. “ Liberté, égalité, fraternité," generally prevail, and, practically, to a much greater extent thanprobably they will should those words, now fluttering on some people's lips , ever become the nationalmotto.Uninterruptedly these public rejoicings have beengoing on for the last fifteen days. The Church has,of course, borne its part in them; preaching endless thanksgiving sermons, and chanting numberless Te Deums. However, it is beginning to be the generalopinion that there has been rejoicing enough. It isnot wise to take an overdose, even of a good thing.So, in the evening, all is to terminate, with illumina.tions and fireworks, and a grand fête at the Tuileries Better than all , the enthusiastic people are in hopes ofgetting just a glimpse of their king. The old dukewhose attachment to his youthful sovereign has securedfor himself the attachment of the people-will nodoubt bring him out on the balcony to gladden theeyes of his faithful lieges.As for himself, poor boy, the ceremonial, the etiquette,and the fuss that surround him, weigh like a night .mare on his spirits . He will neither appear in the balcony, nor be present at the fête if he can have hisown way. He would rather be milking his cow, ordigging his garden . Nature, indeed, seems to haveintended that a spade should be put in his hands when Fortune, in her lamentable blindness, made the mis .take of handing him a sceptre. But the people,always so hopeful, are looking forward to the reign ofLouis XV. for relief from those burdens which the1THE MARÉCHAL DE VILLEROI. 133Ardent supregency was to have removed. His majority is nighat hand. But a boy of thirteen cannot of course be expected to take sole command of the helm of state;until he can do so, the people have faith in the guidance of Villeroi and Fleury. Philosophy as yet has appeared only in the salons,where it is expanding under the fostering care of fine ladies. Loyalty still flourishes in France, and hasfound earnest expression in the enthusiasm with which the nation has celebrated the young king's restorationto health. Equally did it appear in the grief and anxiety generally exhibited while it seemed probablethat his illness would terminate fatally.pliants crowded the churches, and the nation cried toheaven, “ Spare our king!" He is spared; and thereaction of boundless joy has followed the anxiousfluctuations of hope and fear.As usual, suspicions of poisoning were rife. They rested on the head of Dubois, who had suggested theremoval of the royal patient from Vincennes to more airy quarters at Versailles. The suspicion of an evilintention may have been groundless, but as he attributed only base motives to others, he could notcomplain if he himself was misjudged. Had the kingdied, it is believed that Dubois could not have escapedwith life from the vengeance of the infuriated people.It is singular that neither the regent nor any memberof the government contributed anything towards the expenses of the public festival . The Duc de Villeroi,from his own private purse, shared them with themunicipality of the Hotel de Ville, and even defrayed the cost of the oft-repeated prayers of the Church andthe Te Deum.The old maréchal, Duc de Villeroi, un très grand134 THE OLD RÉGIME:seigneur, in his day, a very handsome man, and still( remember he has passed his eightieth year) of noblepresence, is in manner a perfect specimen of the gallant manners of the old court. His father was governor to Louis XIV. , which was chiefly that monarch's reason for appointing the son, who was brought up with him, to the same post in the household of hissuccessor. The old duke is not so contemptible a personage as the slanderous pen of Saint- Simon repre sents him. He is probably somewhat vainglorious,and his heart swells with a pardonable pride when hetells of that brilliant time when he and Louis XIV.were young. He perceives that a great change has taken place, but he perceives no improvement; andhis views are, in that respect, shared by many.He, too, comforts himself with the hope that muchgood is laid up for France in the womb of the future.But his hope differs from that of the nation, in that itis based on his own constant efforts to train up hisyouthful charge in the traditions of the grand reign ofthe Grand Monarque, with a view to a return to the “ Système Antiquaille. "How keen was the dear old maréchal's anxiety during the illness of young Louis, who it seems was suf fering from a bad sore throat. ( It would be called diphtheria in more enlightened days. ) The maréchalundertook the office of head nurse, and had the broths,etc. , made only by confidential people of his own.Yet, with all his vigilance, Madame de Parabère con trived to slip in and give the sick child some marmalade, which appears to have really done him good. Itwas in grateful remembrance of this and various other surreptitious little presents of bonbons and cakes, that Louis XV. was always so gracious to Madame deTHE MAJESTIC PERRUQUE. 135Parabère; even when the court circle looked coldlyupon her, because, having lost favor, places and pensions were no longer obtainable through her influence.But the maréchal is now as jubilant as but a fewweeks ago he was despondent; and in doing thehonors of this grand fête in celebration of the king's recovery, acquits himself with admirable grace. Hiswrinkled brow, erst so careworn, is now smooth, fair,and polished; a full score of years seem to have passed away from it. He would have liked to resume the“ majestic perruque of Louis XIV . " --as De Tocqueville , sighing over its abandonment, regretfully callsit. But he knows that the ladies would laugh at him,and the graceless young wits make epigrams on the majestic wig. So he contents himself with the paltry perruque of diminished proportions now in vogue;thoroughly powdered at the top, and the ends grace fully tied up in a bag behind . And well it becomeshis venerable, yet still handsome face.His velvet coat is elaborately embroidered, and the lappels of his long satin vest, the same. His rufflesand the ends of his cravat are of point d'Alençon of thefinest texture. A diamond star forms the button inhis hat, and his sword has a diamond- set hilt. Diamonds fasten at the knee his puckered satin breeches;diamond buckles his red- heeled shoes; and the grand crosses of the Orders of the St. Esprit and St. Louisglitter in rubies and diamonds on his breast.Stately and erect stands the old maréchal-a perfect picture of a grand seigneur of the Old Régime. Heleads the young king by the hand to look at the illuminated gardens, and the river lighted up by some hundreds of illuminated boats, ranged on either side136 THE OLD RÉGIME.of the stream . “ Artificial swans and other aquatic .birds float on the water." “ Several whales, launchedfrom behind screens or sheds on the shore, spout fireas they enter the stream. ”A grand display of fireworks closes the fête. From drawings of set pieces used on this and other occasions, one must infer that the French pyrotechnists of that day excelled in their art. Yet facilities fordoing so were few , compared with those afforded by the chemical discoveries and mechanical improvements of recent times. It is probable, however, that transparent paintings were frequently employed toform an effective centre to a border of fire. But whatever they were, they gave immense satisfaction to thepeople, who, attracted by the object of the fête inquestion, came from far and near to see them.Never, perhaps, at any other period of his life, wasLouis XV. so truly “ the well- beloved ” of the nation.How dense the crowd! What an interest the goodpeople of Paris take in their king! Not only in the streets and in the vicinity of the palace; but at everyhouse, heads, two, three, in rows, ranged one aboveanother, peer forth from every window. The top of every wall is taken possession of, and the roofs of thehouses are crowded . No slight projection where afoot can be placed, no piece of cornice which a hand can grasp , but finds some foolhardy enthusiast willingto risk life and limb to seize upon it-fortunate, in deed, if the only result of his scramble be that he sees,what so frequently is seen by scrambling in a crowd nothing at all of what he looked for.“ There's the old maréchal!” exclaim several voices;the closely- packed mass of human beings beginning tomove excitedly.THE YOUNG KING'S GREETING. 137“ Ah! he's bringing us the little king!" is shriekedin a woman's voice.“ Devil take the women! what are they doing here?"says somebody, striving to elbow the woman out of her place, in order to fill it more worthily himself.He sees that the maréchal is leading the king into the balcony.Yes, both are there, hand in hand, representing thethreshold of life and the brink of the grave. Louisis a handsome boy; rather small for his age, as was Louis XIV. , who, from about his thirteenth year,sprang up apace — as this boy, probably, will do. Helooks well in his white- plumed hat and embroidered blue velvet dress. His beautiful hair flows in itsnatural curls, unconfined by black riband and bag,and free from the starch -powder with which old and young are now so lavishly dusted. His jewels andgrand crosses make a glittering show. He wears, you perceive, the “ Sancy " in his hat. Its scintillation iswonderful, as the flickering lights in the balcony and the gleams from the illuminated trees fall upon it .The people greet their young monarch with hearty enthusiasm. The air rings with a cry of delight from thousands of voices. It is, doubtless, a gladdeningsound to the heart of the old duke. But its suddenness and wildness startle the child. He seems to beappealing to his governor; then, advancing a step,raises his hat with much grace. (Villeroi has taughthim the grand bow Louis Quatorze.)Louder, far louder than before, is the people's re sponsive burst of joy. The duke drops the king's hand. Louis, released , seizes the opportunity ofescaping, with a rush , from the terrible din. Thoughsomewhat disconcerted, the duke turns with a benig138 THE OLD RÉGIME.nant air towards the admiring multitude, and, with acertain dignified condescension, that should surelyatone for the want of ceremony in royalty's departure,raises his hat, bends slightly forward, then decampsto discover the hiding-place of his king.The king has taken refuge in the Salle des Gardes,and is reposing in a chair in a quiet corner. Thenoise and excitement of the almost delirious multitude surrounding the Tuileries so agitated him thathe was seized with giddiness in the head. He declared “ That he couldn't stay there." However, hewas sufficiently himself again in the course of half an hour to gratify the earnestly -vociferated prayer of thefrantic people that the maréchal would again gladden their eyes with a sight of their king. Yielding, therefore, to these coaxing words—“ Master, dear master!come now, show yourself just for a moment, only onemoment, to your good people of Paris, who love youso much, and are so longing to see you!” — he gave his hand to his governor, stepped out on the balcony,and received the reward of his condescension in an other uproarious ovation ,Not long after the Maréchal de Villeroi had given so signal a proof of his loyalty and attachment to theyoung king, he was dismissed to his government. Hisexaggerated fears lest the king should be poisoned,made him unwilling to allow even the regent to seehim at any time, unless he were present at the interview. The regent, much annoyed, resented this, andinsisted on his leaving the apartment. Later in theday, an officer arrived with a lettre -de-cachet, when, to his extreme mortification, the old duke was obliged at once to step into the carriage waiting for him , and proceed to Bayonne - there to remain until further orders.THE BISHOP RETIRES TO ISSY. 139The Duc de Charost was appointed to succeed to the post of governor. But the king took Villeroi's departure greatly to heart, Whatever he felt, herarely exhibited any violent emotion. On this occa sion, he laid his face against the back of a chair andsilently wept. He would not eat, he would not speak.When entreated to go out, or to amuse himself in some way, he refused, and remained awake, weeping and sobbing, the whole night through. Still furtherto increase his distress, he learned the next morningthat his preceptor also had left.Between the duke and the bishop there existed afriendship of very long standing. It dated indeedfrom the time when Fleury -- a remarkably handsome man , with a fondness, which with excellent taste heever retained, for ladies' society - was favorably re ceived as " un abbé élégant," and a desperate flirt, in theboudoir circle of Madame de Villeroi. She was considerably younger than the duke. But of course her Airting days were now over. Not exactly (so scandalwhispered ) were those of Fleury. Yet though he didnot now flirt with the duchess, they remained very firmfriends. It was probably, therefore, as much for hersake as for the duke's, that, at the time of their ap pointment as preceptor and governor, he had enteredinto a mutual promise with the duke that if either wasdismissed from his post by the regent, the other shouldresign.Consequently, as soon as the duke was exiled, thebishop hastened away to his little estate at Issy, thence intending, probably, to send in his resignation. Hetook no leave of his royal pupil, as he may have fore seen that the separation would be but a short one.And just so it proved . Louis regretted his fussy, but140 THE OLD RÉGIME.kind old governor

but Fleury

, so amiable and estimable, if far too indulgent, had stood towards him inthe place ofa parent, and had gained his affection assuch. His grief, his despair, was so great when informed that he was absent, and did not, it was supposed, intend to return, that he was pacified only bythe immediate despatch ofa messenger to Issy, witha letter from himself, requiring the bishop immediately to come back from Vincennes.Of course he did not refuse obedience to the royalcommand

and friendship

- even for an old flamecould not have asked it of him. The preceptor wasreceived by his pupil with open arms, and with signsof joy more evident than had ever been observed inhim before. The Duc de Charost took the opportunity of making himself agreeable to the young king,by appearing to share in his joy, and the banishedduke had the mortification of knowing that he was not so necessary to the happiness of his king as he hadfondly supposed.The regent, from his mode of life, had become moreand more indisposed to be troubled with cares of state. Therefore, shortly after he had roused himselfto resent with so much harshness, though naturally disposed to leniency, the foolish suspicions of the old maréchal, he appointed Dubois first minister - in fact,gave up the regency into his hands, that he might be more fully at liberty to devote himself entirely to hispleasures. From the despotic manner in which thecardinal immediately began to exercise his newly acquired power, it was very soon perceived that his ambitious aims were not yet satisfied; and that he would not scruple, in order successfully to realize them , to sacrifice the regent himself.1DEATH OF DUBOIS.141On the 26th of October, 1722, Louis XV. was crowned at Rheims, with much pomp and ceremony.Comte d'Argenson, at this time, compared him, in ap pearance, to Cupid. Yet Cupid enveloped in a goldembroidered ermine- lined mantle of state, with thecrown of Charlemagne on his head, and bearing asceptre and “ hand of justice, ” would surely be ratheroverdressed-his usual costume being so scanty; rarelyanything more than a pair of wings, a quiver full ofarrows, and his bow. Dubois made a great figure on this occasion; taking his place in the cavalcade amongst the highest nobles in the land. On the22d of February following, the king, being then thirteen years and twelve days old, a lit -de-justice was held,and he was publicly declared of age.Dubois, it would seem, needed only opportunity to prove himself capable of greater things than hithertohe had been supposed to be. The regent's power atan end, he gave promise of becoming a most ableminister of state, and desirous of adapting his con duct to the dignity of his position. But a long courseof dissipation had undermined his constitution, andhe died on the roth of August, 1723 , in his sixty-seventh year, a few hours after enduring the agony of apainful operation. He either refused the sacramentsof the church, or on some frivolous pretext eluded partaking of them.The wealth amassed by Dubois, during his shorttenure of power, was enormous. Besides a large sumof money in his strong box, he possessed costly furniture, and a quantity of gold and silver plate of themost artistic workmanship; precious stones of rarebeauty and value; sumptuous equipages, and ( thenmost envied of all, by the nobility) the largest and142 THE OLD RÉGIME.finest stud in France. Rich abbayes and lucrative ap pointments and places, both civil and ecclesiasticallavishly bestowed on himself-brought him an immense revenue, in addition to his large pension for promoting the political views of England with reference to France. He had, doubtless, dreamed of living yet many years to enjoy this vast wealth, and of out.vying, in ostentatious splendor and the magnitude oftheir power, both Richelieu and Mazarin.This was at a time when the State, still sufferingfrom the ruinous results of the “ Système Law ," couldneither pay the salaries of its officers, nor the annui ties of its pensioners. But having provided liberallyfor himself, Dubois had some project in petto, whichwas to restore the credit of the government, and grad ually to refill its coffers.Meanwhile, he had very judiciously arranged, forthe instruction of the young king, a series of what may be termed political lessons. They took place at Versailles, three times a week; and , to impress uponhim their importance, a certain etiquette was prescribed for them. An arm- chair was placed for hismajesty at the centre of a table. On his right sat the regent; on his left Monsieur le Duc. Opposite, on afolding seat, sat Dubois, the Bishop of Fréjus on oneside, the Duc de Charost on the other, also seated on folding chairs.But it was difficult to awaken an interest in so dry atheme, in the mind of a youth who had not been trainedin habits of application, and who was besides indolently disposed. He listened to the subject laid beforehim with an air of lazy resignation to his fate, occasionally glancing at Fleury, as though seeking in his benignant face consolation and sympathy, to enableTHE REGENT FIRST MINISTER. 143him to hold out to the end of the session. He askedfor no explanation, yet gave no signs of understanding, or indeed of heeding the questions discussed.Nevertheless it is probable that the political acumenwhich he is said to have exhibited in after years,whenamusing himself with his secret diplomacy, may havebeen acquired at this time.The regent, according to some writers, regretted Dubois, others say that he jested when he heard of hisdeath, exclaiming, “ So the devil has carried off myjester at last!" But his own health was in a very pre carious state, his face had become of a purple red, asort of stupor often overcame him, and his head was bowed forward on his chest. Everything so disgustedhim, that he was scarcely capable of either fretting orjesting.He, however, assumed Dubois' post of first minister; made an effort to reform his mode of life; and, in order not to set a bad example to the young king,who now sojourned more frequently at the Tuileries,he even, we learn, went so far in his reform as to content himself with but one maîtresse -en - titre, Madamed'Antragues—in the Roman states, Duchesse de Falari . She was the wife of a financier, to whom Clement XI. , for some service of a financial nature, had given the title of Duke.But the excesses of the petits-soupers still went on,and the regent drank the usual quantity of his favorite vin d'Ai. His physicians warned him that dropsy or apoplexy would be the result of his intemperance.“ Not dropsy," he said, “ it is too lingering; deathstares one in the face too long, and I had hoped to meet death from a cannon-ball on the battle- field .”And a death as sudden was granted him. Sitting be>144 THE OLD RÉGIME.side the Duchesse de Falari, he suddenly exclaimed,“ Madelon! Madelon! -save me!" and fell dead ather feet.No physician was at hand. A lackey in attendance opened a vein with a penknife; but the regent neverspoke more. As he had desired, death's shaft hadbeen swift and sure. Thus passed away, in his fortyninth year, Philippe Duc d'Orleans-a man of great abilities, amiable disposition, and much personal fascination; but whose shame or misfortune it was todisbelieve in the existence of virtue, and thus to become a corrupter of the morals of the age, by the evil example of a depraved life and the parade of atheisticprinciples.The young king regretted the regent, and always spoke of him with affection; and many of those whomost lamented the criminal weakness of his characterwere nevertheless his sincerely attached friends.CHAPTER XV.Monsieur le Duc. — Taking Time by the Forelock . - The NewLimits of Paris . — The Street Lamp Invented . - Dark Streets of Old Paris . - Crossing the Gutters . — What became of the Children . The Liveliest City in Europe. --Shopkeepers’ Sign boards. — The Lieutenant of Police. -The Terrible “ Damné."-Police Espionage . — A Keeper of Secrets .-BUILDING in Paris, beyond certain limits, had been rigorously prohibited during the last reign. An inclination to expand beyond them had been resolutelychecked by the decree of 1672. The old walls were then thrown down, and the space assigned by thegreat Louis as the extreme fixed boundary of the cityand its faubourgs was defined and planted. Thus far,and no farther, should the good people of Paris be allowed to extend their dwellings. Upwards theymight rise-as far as Heaven's portal, if they could reach it; but not a foot nearer the sacred precincts of Versailles should they be allowed to approach.· During the regency the prohibition was not strictly enforced. Probably it was looked upon as altogether obsolete, when, most unexpectedly, the edict was renewed at the instance of the Duc de Bourbon. M. leDuc was now first minister, though possessing noespecial capacity for the post. He was without experience, and known only for his rancorous hatred towards the Duc du Maine, and the deep interest he hadtaken in the Système Law. He had supplanted theduke, and by the Système had added to his slender146 THE OLD RÉGIME.means some two or three millions of livres; he also raised the amount of a small income to a very handsome revenue by exchanging Law's paper for fine estates. There was a ferocity in his disposition thatyielded only to the influence of his mistress, Madame de Prie, who governed him absolutely.Having a fancy to govern France also, she despatched her lover, as soon as it was ascertained thatthe regent was actually dead, to seek the king, in orderto request for himself the vacant post of first minister.The young monarch, who was engaged with his preceptor, was greatly embarrassed by the request, and consulted the countenance of Fleury for his answer.But the bishop neither by word nor look expressed approval or disapproval. His face wore its usualcalm and benignant expression. His eyes remained half closed, as though but partly awakened from acomfortable snooze, and desiring only to renew it .The king may have understood this as a nodding as sent, as he at once, without speaking, nodded an affirmative to M. le Duc's application .Most conveniently, the commission was ready,merely requiring to be filled up; possibly it had beenintended for Fleury himself. However , it was signedon the instant, and the Duc took the customary oath;then departed to congratulate his pretty mistress onthe triumph of their coup -de-main, and on her wisdomin advising him to take time by the forelock .It had been thought probable that the Duc de Chartres, the regent's son, might, on his father's death, beroused from his devotions by ambition and the desireof succeeding to his post. But the young duke ( he ,was now twenty -four) continued, as Duc d'Orleans, tolead the same life of seclusion. Some years before,THE NEW LIMITS OF PARIS. 147seduced by the regent's example, he had temporarily shared in his and his roués' excesses. But, disgustedby their extreme licentiousness, he withdrew from thecourt, and led the life of a penitent, controlled entirelyby Jesuit priests. The death of his father producedno change in his conduct or views. He could scarcely,however, be considered sane, being under the influenceof some extraordinary delusions. The wits gave himthe name of “ D'Orleans de Ste. Geneviève."In what way neglect of the restrictions on buildingbeyond the old limits of Paris concerned M. le Duc orMadame de Prie does not appear. But as self - interestwas the guiding star of both, it may be imagined thatthe value of property belonging to one or the other was jeopardized by it . That which, owing to laxityduring the regency in respect of new buildings, had already been done by those who sought quietude and a breath of fresh air - then only obtainable in Paris in the gardens and grounds of convents and the hôtelsof the nobility - could not be easily undone. Newlimits were therefore marked out and planted, soonafter Louis XV. was declared of age - and Paris wasallowed to spread, some hundred yards or so, in the various directions already built upon.Paris at this time - 1724 — was noisier and dirtierthan in the preceding century. The streets had no names affixed to them until 1729. Some unusuallyconspicuous signboard , a neighboring convent, or thehôtel of a grandee, served to distinguish those which were less generally known than the streets speciallyinhabited by certain trades—such as the Rues de laTisseranderie, de la Ferronnerie, Quai des Orfévres,etc. Numbering the houses was not attempted for many a long year after; but every house had a sign148 THE OLD RÉGIME.of some sort, which answered the purpose of a numbber.In 1745 the Abbé Matherot de Préguey invented thestreet- lamp. Until then, an occasional tallow candle,placed in a lantern and suspended aloft some twentyfive feet above the roadway, was the only light themunicipality vouchsafed to guide the footsteps of belated citizens over the marshes and quagmires of the dusky streets. And even these candles, however farthey might throw their feeble beams, and shine, as Portia says, like “ aa good deed in a naughty world ,"could not always be depended upon. They were often puffed out when the wind was strong; and sometimes a thief ( in the candle) guttered them out. The company of lantern- bearers was not then thought of, much less established; so that, unless the midnight wanderer had his own private lanterns and bearers, as many persons had, or carried a lantern himself, what a sad pre dicament he must have been in!To heap the agony still higher, imagine the raincoming heavily down. That, of course, would put out the candles. Some one, perhaps, may reply, “ Noone in his senses would, in that case, go out on foot. "True; but rain often comes on unexpectedly. Paris,too, was becoming exceedingly old. Many of its di.lapidated wooden houses with plastered fronts-dating not less than two hundred years back-appeared to be on the point of falling. With every fall of rain there came crumbling down a portion of this frontage - tothe great danger, and frequently great damage, of passers- by. Deaths from street accidents were not unfrequent. But they were little heeded by the police,and rarely was any enquiry made concerning them.The danger was increased when darkness and rainCROSSING THE GUTTERS. 149came on; the more so as the only means for carrying off the rain from the house was by projecting spoutsfrom the roof and from every story. These numerouscascades formed together a powerful cataract, whilethe central gutter would often be swollen into a rapidrivulet, or even a river, carrying before it the accumu lated dirt of months. In the daytime several planksfastened together would be thrown over the stream,forming a sort of rude and ready bridge. Where thesewere not placed, there was no help for either lady orgentleman indisposed or unable to wade across, butto be carried over the stream on the back or in thearms of some dirty, sturdy fellow, always in waiting,and willing to perform this service for two or threesous.Boileau Despréaux, in his “ Embarras de Paris, " hadlittle praise to bestow on the gay city in 1660. Dufresny and Montesquieu , sixty years later on, in thesame satirical vein, make their Siamese and Persianspeak no less unfavorably of it. Saint- Foix, Duclos,Mercier, Barbier, and other writers, even to the dawnof the revolutionary times, take up the theme in asimilar strain .To be freed from squalor and pestilence-to become,in its outward aspect, a cleanly, healthy city, as well as, socially, a rich, gay, and delightful one-monastery walls had yet to be demolished, and the rule of the Bourbon kings of France to end.Notwithstanding, the population of Paris had increased. But, as observed by the Marquis de Mira beau ( father of the great orator, who had so manyschemes for regenerating France, but not one for man aging his household) , what became of the children?so few of them ever were seen. The mortality150 THE OLD RÉGIME.amongst children was, no doubt, fearful in those pent .up streets, where every noisome trade was carried onwith impunity; one of the most thriving, and as offensive as any, the tallow -chandler's, being everywherein full work. Still, few young children were seen, because all who could afford the expense had their infants reared in the country. The necessity for doing so then,if the parents studied their health, originated the custom that yet survives, though the necessity for it has passed away .But the population of Paris was often considerably increased by immigrants. What names, anything butFrench, are now borne by some of the old familiesof France? - Italian , German, Polish, English, Irish,Spanish. There was something attractive in the old city, in spite of its many shortcomings; and those whosettled in it speedily became Parisians, both in their habits and feelings. On Sundays and fête days theyleft the close streets, and took their pleasure in the various gardens and places of amusement beyond thecity limits, or barriers. The air is light and stimulating there. It has a pleasant effect on the spirits,similar to that of good champagne, only far moreabidingThe sight of the offensively dirty streets by day,their gloom and danger at night, might well have deterred intending settlers from taking up their abode in them, and have repelled foreign visitors from Paris.But from the time of the regency foreign visitorsflocked to it, and it was reputed the liveliest city in Europe.One must remember that the nights were not alwaysdark; that a torrent was not always rushing down from the tall, dilapidated dwellings, or a gulf streamSHOPKEEPERS' SIGNBOARDS. 151always rolling through the grand central gutter. The silvery moonbeams sometimes peered down into the ins and outs of the nine hundred mazy streets, investing them with an air of mystery and romance.The numerous signboards had then a singular effect.Many, indeed, were not boards at all; but figures ofmen and women and animals, or of such objects as the trader dwelt in. St. Anthony and the pig, at the pork- butcher's, was a frequent and appropriate sign,rudely carved, or brilliantly daubed. But whateverthe sign, it was thrust as far as possible from the house, every shopkeeper striving for prominence. In the fickering light of the moon these signs—for instance, some tall , stately “ Justice, " with scales,denoting that good weight and good measure were dealt out there; some dignified St. Anthony; " the good woman,” without her head; or a cavalier with drawn sword - often proved objects of terror to the timid, and to those who were strangers in the land.They were the continual cause of squabbles, though with little or no result, between the tradespeople andthe police; their intrusion on the narrow space of the streets often making it difficult for carriages to passeach other.One feels almost surprised to hear that there was apolice, the need of reform being so glaring, and theutter neglect of every means for effecting one, equally Yet the police was a very respectable force, as far as numbers went; highly trained too, and remark ably vigilant. The head of it, the Lieutenant of Police, was always a mian of distinction. To fill the post with ability, no ordinary qualifications wereneeded; and generally the right man seems to have been found for it, and to have acquitted himself ofSO.152 THE OLD RÉGIME.his duties con amore; the changes being fewer in thisoffice than in any other in the government.But of all who filled the post of Lieutenant of Police,the man whom nature seems specially to have destinedfor it was Marc Réné, Comte d'Argenson. He wasappointed to succeed La Reynie, in 1699, by LouisXIV. , and held the office until 1718, when he resigned.The system of secret police organized by him ( his thousands of invisible agents being of both sexes, andof every station of life) was considered so perfect byhis able successors , Hérault, Berryer, Sartines, LeNoir, and De Crome, by whom it was continued untilthe eve of the Revolution, that they could find nothingto add to or take from it , that did not in some waymar its perfection-so cleverly, wheel within wheel,was it regulated, like a wonderful piece of mechanism.Saint- Simon asserts that there was not a resident inParis, of whose habits and most private affairs d'Ar genson could not obtain the fullest information ata few minutes' notice. His face was so repulsivelyugly that it might with propriety “ have belonged to one of the judges of the infernal regions.” It madehim a terror not only to evil doers, but by the sobriquet it obtained for him “ Le Damné," served also thenurses for frightening fractious, naughty children into being quiet and good.It was that fearful scourge of humanity, the smallpox, which had made such havoc of d'Argenson's face.One would not be surprised to learn that he was tyrannical. For to become so disfigured as to be anobject of disgust or terror to one's fellow creatures, isenough to turn sour every drop of the milk of humankindness, however abundantly it flow in the breast.POLICE ESPIONAGE. 153But this model Lieutenant of Police was one of thekindest, most considerate and humane of men; extremely witty and amusing also, and much soughtafter in society. One can imagine, however, that he was more feared in the salons than loved . He hadnumerous anecdotes generally to relate, always of nameless persons. And it is said, that he sometimeschose this way of putting people who were present,and who would understand his allusions, on their guard against an injudicious freedom of speech.There was no functionary of the State who possessedso much real power as the Lieutenant of Police; andit does not appear that it was ever materially abusedby any one of the six men to whom it was successivelyconfided from 1699 to 1789.Yet, at the best, this wonderfully organized systemof police was but an elaborate political and social espionage which could be tolerated only under a despotism. It was a prying into family concerns; a peering into private letters, even tracing the mysteriouscourse of amorous intrigues, rather than the seeking out of crime and the adopting the readiest means for preventing or punishing it .It is true that while diving into the concerns of per:sons who were accused of no crime, or gathering upin cafés and private salons stray words indiscreetlyuttered ( of no import probably at the time, but whichwere docketed and stowed away for use, if wanted)the secret agents sometimes stumbled on other matters, of which it might be desirable their chief shouldbe informed. But on the whole, the working ofComte d'Argenson's vast and intricate system, servedless to further the ends of justice, to maintain goodorder in the city, and to afford protection to the in.154 THE OLD RÉGIME.habitants, than to furnish a pleasant dish of scandalfor the amusement of his majesty every morning.Louis XIV. delighted in it. The regent cared not for it; he gave too much cause for scandal himself.But young Louis XV. , whom it was of course necessary to initiate in the mysteries of the secret police,was beginning to show a taste for reading other people's letters, and learning, thus surreptitiously, the private sayings and doings of the court and society.Yet there were secrets that both d'Argenson and his successors kept religiously, as it is termed , that is,locked up in their own heart of hearts. For they were merciful men; their large experience having taughtthem the weakness of human nature, and especiallythe weakness to which poor woman is prone. So, aslong as she did not interfere in politics, ai.y othersecrets a fair lady might have were safe in the keep ing of the Lieutenant of Police.CHAPTER XVI.The Palais Royal Gardens. — Married , but Unattached, Couples.-Que voulez-vous? C'est la Mode. -Le Haute Bourgeoisie.-Ennobled Bourgeoises.-- Summer Evening Strolls . - The Chestnut Avenue. -Expulsion of the Infanta . - Supplanting the Bishop. — The Regent's Daughters.- Malle. de Vermandois . - Portrait of Louis XV. -The Infanta. --The RambouilletCircle . --Marie Leczinska. —The Bishop of Fréjus.-- The King's Preceptor. —The Royal Bride. —The Young Bridegroom . — The Queen's Dowry.How poor, how tawdry, the most brilliant illumination of the trees of the Tuileries and Palais Royal,compared with the silvery lustre of the moonlit gardens, on a soft summer night! How delightful tosaunter in that avenue of grand old chestnuts. Thesky so intensely blue, the air so clear, that every glittering star seems to hang by an invisible thread fromthe vault of heaven.It was on nights like this, and in these same gar dens that, eighty years ago, Anne of Austria ( whowith the child Louis XIV. and Cardinal Mazarin,then lived in the Palais Royal) used to promenadefrom midnight till two in the morning, chatting andlaughing with the ladies and gentlemen of her household.Some alterations have been made in the interval ,both in the palace and gardens. The regent who,notwithstanding his lamentable excesses, was a man of much taste and culture, has left a very fine collec156 THE OLD RÉGIME.tion of pictures and objets d'art, as well as a museumof natural history. His pious successor, whose elevated notions of religion lead him to set a good ex ample to his household, and to seek the favorheaven for himself, by crawling from his rooms to hischapel, on his knees, is scarcely capable of appreciating the treasures of art he has inherited. The regent also enlarged and replanted the gardens, and builtthat fine conduit house which supplies the fountainsboth here and at the Tuileries.How the falling drops and the feathery spray sparkle in the moonlight! One might fancy them ashower of diamonds, outvying those that glitter and flash in the ladies' dresses, and in the gentlemen's too--for there is a very grand company here. For saking the theatres and the salons, the ladies ordertheir carriages, and, escorted by their amis intimes,drive hither in the calm summer twilight, to gossip and flirt under the broad spreading trees. But whenthe moonbeams light up the scene, the fashionable promenade is thronged, and often the evening saunter is extended far into the night.No lady has the bad taste to appear here with her husband. What would the world say to so bourgeoislike a proceeding? The gentleman himself would be highly amused at the idea of dancing attendance on his wife. He has, of course, other engagements; justas she has — metal more attractive elsewhere.Should one of these fashionable, married, but unattached, couples meet, perchance, in the course of theevening, it will appear that they are excellentterms. Note the ceremonious politeness with whichthey exchange smiles and bows; surely it leaves nothing to desire. Even should it happen that the husonQUE VOULEZ- VOUS? C'EST LA MODE. 157band of the lady is escorting the wife of her own amiintime, the spectacle only becomes more interesting.From the formal courtesies of the ladies, and profoundly low bows of the gentlemen , they seem to say,“ I wish you much joy of so pleasant a companion ,"and, pleased with the thought, pass smilingly on, each couple exchanging significant glances when it turnsits back on the other. “ Can such things be and overcome us, " etc., somebody exclaims. Mais! Que voulez - vous? C'est la mode.Fashion, as all the world knows, is a tyrannical sovereign who has dethroned good taste without secur ing a firm grasp of its sceptre. But for good or forevil, in manners or dress, or whatever pertains to social life , the decrees of fashion, cost what it may,must be obeyed. In the matter of dress, what sacrifices are not the slaves of fashion willing to make totheir deity! If a decree go forth that the fair sex,fat and thin, put themselves into paniers, or giganticbakers '-baskets, whose modern equivalent was therecently - discarded balloon - like crinoline - how readilydo old and young, rich and poor, hasten to obey.If again , as in the present day, a kind of amphibious party -colored garment, or “ demi - culotte with a mermaid tail," be the costume prescribed for generalwear, immediately the requisite amount of immoralcourage is mustered up, and both the obese and thescraggy, the tall and the short, appear in our streets thus-to say the least-unbecomingly arrayed .At one time it was the fashion to be timid andnervous, and to have fits of the vapors; to cultivatea fastidious and over-strained refinement of speech ,amounting to affectation . At another, the youngerladies are dauntless, daring, and afraid of nothing, and158 THE OLD RÉGIME.affect the slang of the stable. However, let it pass,c'est la mode; a change will occur by and by, and, itmay be hoped, for the better. But a truce to thesesage reflections.. Ere we grow melancholy, we willreturn to the company in the gardens.A decree of 1720 forbade the bourgeoisie to wear diamonds, pearls, or other jewels, or to use either gold or silver plate; it was hoped that they would exchange these superfluities for shares in the Royal Bank. The decree has been but little regarded, youwill observe.There are ladies here of the haute bourgeoisie who,not only in refinement of manners, but in eleganceand richness of toilet, might well be ranked with the most distinguished of the nobility. Indeed , severalhave lately been promoted to the honor - if honor itmay be termed-of marrying into noble houses. Forthe Système Law, without having actually ruinedthem, left many old French families in circumstancesso extremely embarrassed, that, as it was customaryThey were compelled to fatten their estates ”-in other words, retrieve their losses by marryingthe heir of the encumbered estates to the richly endowed heiress of a wealthy bourgeois. There wasnothing that derogated from the dignity of the noblein such an alliance — the high descent of the familyshedding its lustre on the bride, effacing the stigmaof her plebeian birth , and conferring nobility on herchildren.The ennobled dames bourgeoises, of course, are entitled to avail themselves of the privileges of the ele vated class into which they have been so graciouslyreceived; and very readily they do so. Instances have been known of their having gambled away, in a veryto say,SUMMER EVENING STROLLS. 159ashort time, all the wealth brought by marriage intothe husband's noble family—the “ ami intime" securinga very fair share of it . But when bourgeoise marriesbourgeois you will rarely fail to meet her enjoying aquiet walk, or a country ramble, with no other “ intimate friends" than her husband and children.On calm summer evenings, all who are not too weary and toilworn-for it is a hard- working city no less than a gay one-leave their close, noisome dwellings, and come to these gardens — or to those of theTuileries; to the Place Royale; the boulevards (theChamps Elysées were not then planted) , and whereverany open space occurs, to refresh themselves with astroll in the cool evening air. The French look somuch at home when sitting out-of- doors, in their public gardens, or outside their cafés. One can scarcely wonder that casual visitors from a country whose people are of a less expansive nature, and in whom thesocial instinct is much less developed, were longunder the delusion that the French had no idea of ahome, and of that mythical thing the English callcomfort.The close quarters in which, by royal edict, a cen tury and a half ago it was enacted that the inhabitantsof Paris should dwell, no doubt induced the habit ofcongregating on every opportunity wherever a breathof the fresh air of heaven could be had. It led alsoto the rapid increase in the number of cafés whichtook place at that time, and superseded the taverns,formerly the resort of literary men. Now, with the exception of a few, who, like Piron and Crébillon,prefer wine and beer to coffee and cocoa, they arefrequented only by a noisy company of a very inferiorgrade.160 THE OLD RÉGIME.1 1At the period now in question the garden of thePalais Royal is an exceedingly attractive one, welllaid out and planted, the trees generally fine, and thechestnut avenue in full beauty. It is the promenadeespecially favored by the beau monde. There are seatshere and there, and all fully occupied.A numerouscompany saunters up and down, and there is an immense deal of talking and laughing. Conversation iscarried on in no very low key, though all are awarethat the watchful eyes and the listening ears of theLieutenant of Police and his myrmidons are alwaysand everywhere open.“ Remember, that whereveryou are, there amI!" said Hérault, d'Argenson's successor, to one whom he warned in private of the danger of being indiscreetly communicative in public.But when and where since that remote time whenEve, our first mother, flourished, was it ever known that restraint could be imposed on the tongue of anyone of her daughters inclined to prattle? The theme now on every lady's lips is the expulsion, as they termit, of the young Infanta and the king's possibly ap proaching marriage. It is discussed, too, with won derful freedom , as are its originators, M. le Duc andMadame de Prie. We learn from these ladies, so indignant, apparently, and all so eager at once to ex press an opinion on the subject, that the young Infanta,now in her seventh year, has been sent back to Spain.This step has been taken suddenly and abruptly. But by way of soothing the wounded feelings of her parents, orders were given that the discarded little princess should receive on her journey home the honorsdue toa queen of France.The reason alleged for her return is similar to thatconveyed to the Emperor Maximilian in the messageSUPPLANTING TIIE BISHOP . 161of Charles VIII. , when he sent back to Vienna thelittle Austrian princess to whom he had been be trothed in his childhood, and who also had beenbrought up in France. He was twenty- two, he said,and desirous of marrying, but thought a bride in her twelfth year too young for him. ( His choice had.fallen on a princess of sixteen, Anne, reigning Duchessof Brittany, the duchy by this marriage becomingannexed to the French monarchy .) This probably is the precedent of which M. le Duc and his mistressavailed themselves when , with the view of displacingBishop Fleury, his influence being paramount with the young king - now in his fifteenth year - it occurredto them that by marrying this youth to a princess of their own selection, they would be able to supplant the bishop and rule the king through her.The Infanta had nearly reached the Spanish capitalbefore the king and queen were aware of her departurefrom France. Letters announcing it were forwardedto the Abbé de Livry -Sanguin , French Ambassador atLisbon, with orders to pass over to Spain and deliverthem to Philip V. The Abbé is now returned to Paris,to make report of the kind of reception he met withat Madrid . Secrets will ooze out, and the Abbé'sstory, which M. le Duc would fain have suppressed, isthe principal theme of conversation this fine June evening with every sauntering group in the gardens.“ The Abbé wept, ” says one. “ He threw himselfat the king's feet when he made known the object of his mission .”“ Of course he did , ” is the reply; " it is but the or dinary etiquette.”“ Yes, but weeping is not. And the king, when he knew how great an affront had been put on him and162 THE OLD RÉGIME.the Infanta, wept himself. He has but lately left themonastery, as you are aware, to resume the crown ofSpain, the Pope, on the death of his son from small pox, having absolved him from his vow of abdication.He was so deeply moved that he refused to receive theletters from the Abbé. The queen was sent for. Theletters were delivered to her, and she read them withmuch emotion. The Abbé declares—I had it fromhimself — that he was heartily ashamed of his mission,and surprised that the bishop did not prevent it.”“ Chut, chut!” exclaim the more discreet listeners.But the well-informed oracle continues: “ De Livrywas ordered to leave the king's presence, and to quitthe country without delay. All Frenchmen in Spainhave had orders to do the same. ”“ And where is Malle. Beaujolais, the betrothed ofDon Carlos? ”“ She is coming back; the marriage is broken off.Her sister, the young widowed queen, is with her.They have proved themselves worthy daughters of the regent. Philip sends them both out of Spain in thesame carriages and with the same escort that servedfor the ignominious expulsion of the Infanta fromFrance.”“ Have you seen or heard of the Marquise lately?"enquires one lady of another, in an undertone.“ Ma chère, she is scouring the country in search of a queen of France . "“ I heard that she had been to Fontevraud, and was very haughtily received there."“ Yes, she fancied that Mademoiselle de Vermandois,though five years older than the king, might answerher purpose as queen. But the marquise met witha rebuff that not only upset her plans, but disconcertedPORTRAIT OF LOUIS XV. 163her greatly. The princess expressed much surprise that her brother's mistress should presume to visither. When M. le Duc heard of it , he got into one ofhis amiable tempers. “ Let her then ,' he said, ' remainwhere she is, and rule the nuns of Fontevraud.' ”“ But Fleury?"“ Fleury declines to interfere in any project of mar riage; but it is certain that no marriage will take place of which he disapproves."“ And the king?"The reply is a general laugh . Somebody has even the hardihood to whisper“ Timide, imbecile , farouche ,Jamais Louis n'avait dit mot;Pour tonner il ouvre la bouche.Est - ce un tyran? Non, c'est un sot.The ladies are indignant. The young king is de clared to be the handsomest youth in France.grown wonderfully during the last two years. His health is more robust, and he gives promise of beingthe handsomest man in his kingdom. “ L'æil du roi"-a deep sapphire blue—is beginning to be a favorite color with the ladies , outrivalling bleu de ciel.The portrait of Louis XV. by J. B. Vanloo, whopainted Louis XIV. in his old age, is that of a noble looking youth. The artist would willingly havepainted a flattering picture, but found that the nearestapproach he could make to a faithful copy of his modelwould be the nearest approach to physical beauty and

  • Timid, imbecile, and sullen ,

Louis has not spoken once.Now he lifts his voice in thunder.Is he a tyrant? No, a dunce.164 THE OLD RÉGIME.the best proof of his skill . There is grace in the atti tude of the youthful king, and an air of command.It is a well composed and very pleasant picture.Though still diffident and silent among persons withwhom he is little acquainted, the king's manners atthis period are much improved. He is far less brusque;but, owing to his natural shyness, appears most to advantage in the small social circle of the Comtesse deToulouse, where his extreme reserve disappears. Itis at Rambouillet that he has acquired a certain courtlyease and chivalric bearing, which may well entitle himto the appellation " perfect gentleman ," while theyinduce many sanguine persons to expect great thingsfrom him when a few more years shall have passedover his head.What a pity that the bishop, who at any moment could dismiss M. le Duc from his post, should haveallowed him and his mistress to send away the Infanta. She was a wonderfully observant little maiden,and her remarks were astonishingly shrewd for so young a child . She quite understood that she was tobe a queen, and seemed sensible of the dignity of her position. Her fiancé very seldom took notice of her.Excessive timidity restrained him from evincing any great empressement, either towards her or ladies gen erally. He is , indeed , as yet, so little gallant, that heusually avoids le beau sexe. But when he becomes the ,object of attentions which fair dames already areanxious to pay him, he is remarkably polite and def erential.Fleury's own indolence and love of ease have encouraged the similar tendencies of his pupil. It is tobe feared, that until actually compelled by force ofcircumstances to use the great power he holds in hisMARIE LECZINSKA, 165hands, he will make no attempt to put it in action,either for his pupil's or the country's fond of the Rambouillet circle as is the young kinghimself, whom he usually accompanies on his weeklyvisits to the château. The bishop is very socially inclined , and very witty, and the tone of the society hemeets in the salon of the comtesse greatly pleases him.The Comte de Toulouse, who has seen some naval service, is of less studious habits, perhaps somewhat less pious, but decidedly of more genial temperamentthan his brother Du Maine.The count has an only son, the Duc de Penthièvre,some years younger than the king. The domesticated,bourgeois- like life of the count and countess, and theirattachment to each other, provoke the mirth and ridi.cule of society. Nevertheless, they are greatly and generally esteemed .Fleury may have hoped that in their society the king would fall into similar tastes and habits. To acertain extent he has done so, and the dissolute young nobles now lying in wait in the hope of leading him into libertine courses, will probably find considerable difficulty in goading him into vice.But, meanwhile, what has become of the marquise?She is a wonderful woman of business, the daughterof a financier, and on very intimate terms with one of the brothers Paris -Duvernay, who assists her in governing the State. There are rumors that she has at last found a queen who has been accepted at a“ privy council;" that Fleury has not objected, andthat the king, finding he cannot escape matrimony,has quietly submitted to his fate.The rumor proves to be fact. M. le Duc summonsthe Grand" chambre, and Louis XV. announces his166 THE OLD RÉGIME.marriage with Marie Leczinska, daughter of Stanislaus Leczinski, ex- king of Poland.What an outcry! what a general disappointment!“ The daughter of a poor fugitive Polish noble, livingin obscurity on a small pension from France, to be preferred to an Infanta of Spain!" Had she been ofa more suitable age, it would have been some consola tion. Surely, say the ladies, there are young princesses in Europe, of fifteen or sixteen, from amongst more appropriate choice might have beenmade, than of this Polish lady in her twenty- thirdyear, to share the throne of a boy- monarch not yetsixteen! “ Madame de Prie never did look to consequences,” it was remarked. But why should theking accept a bride of her selection? Is it really true then, as whispered about, “ That this handsome boy islittle better than a fool ”?And is Fleury also a fool? He had, it was sup posed, but little ambition. He was seventy- two yearsof age, and not particularly active, though by no means infirm . But so far from being a fool, he was aman of talent and considerable culture, unless he mayhave been considered one for his persistent refusal of high ecclesiastical dignities, because of his unwilling ness to take upon himself any fatiguing or responsible functions. His bishopric of Fréjus he resigned with as little delay as possible; much to the regret of his clergy. For by his economy, and conciliatory spirit,which-as remarked by Voltaire-were the predomi nant parts of his character, he had done much good in his diocese.He gave, as a reason for resigning, that the state ofhis health (which was generally good) did not permit him to discharge satisfactorily the duties of his office.THE KING'S PRECEPTOR. 167The real motive appears to have been the distance of Fréjus ( near Cannes) from the capital, and its un attractiveness, at that period, as a residence. “ Assoon as he saw his wife," he said, “ he was disgustedwith his marriage. " In a letter to Cardinal Quirini,he signed himself, “ Fleury, Bishop of Fréjus, by the wrath of God." His friend, Villeroi, suggested to Louis XIV. his appointment as preceptor to hisyouthful heir. Fleury, however, would have willingly declined it, but was not permitted.The bishop seems to have been in some degree im bued with the pleasure- loving spirit of the age; thoughfar too courtly to accept the philosophical ideas thatwere slowly gaining ground in society. His delightwas in witty conversation, and piquant badinage withthe ladies in the salons, but like Massillon, he declineddiscussion on theology. He was very fond of children;and at Rambouillet the little Infanta, who was muchattached to him, used to sit on his knees while he toldher fairy tales. Such was the man who for ten yearshad been preceptor to the king, who, on his part, confided in, and loved him both as a parent and a friend .Fleury had, doubtless, his reasons for consenting to ,or, rather, not opposing, the marriage of his royal pupil; therefore, the Polish princess became Queen of France, notwithstanding the generally expressed disapproval of the nation. Perhaps no one was surprisedat this unlooked - for elevation so much as poor Stanislaus, her father. More than one version has been given of the manner in which he received the news of thisfreak of fortune in his favor-for Marie Leczinska wasscarcely asked in marriage; Stanislaus was informedmerely that she was accepted. He is said to have keptthis fine piece of news a secret for some days; to have168 THE OLD RÉGIME.revealed it cautiously, fearing its effect on his wife anddaughter. Another, and more probable story, is thathe no sooner knew it than he rushed into the room,and, with true Polish impetuousness, exclaimed , “ On your knees! on your knees, and thank God " -himselfsetting the example. “ Recalled to Poland?" they cried, excitedly. “ No, no! far better - far better!Marie is to be Queen of France! "She was married by proxy at Strasburg Cathedral on the 15th of August, 1725. The king's miniature,set in diamonds, had been presented to her; his beautyand manly appearance highly extolled, and a glowingaccount set before her of the pleasures awaiting herin France. But the intense misery she witnessed onher journey-petitions and appeals meeting her at every town and village, an inconceivable amount ofwretchedness being then general in the provinces sodeeply affected her that she prayed on her arrival that,instead of expending money on fêtes, relief might besent to the suffering people.The public purse was very empty just then, and lit tle money to be had for either fêtes or charity. Theroyal marriage took place on the 4th of September,and there was but scant rejoicing of any sort. Theyoung bridegroom was immensely bored, and annoyedat the part assigned to him-so greatly did he dislikeappearing prominently in public. The bride was farfrom being beautiful, but she was fresh and fair, andlooked younger than she was. Her figure was graceful, and she was gentle and amiable. The bishop was kind, and appeared well satisfied ( he was already aware that he had no feminine rival to fear) , and Louis wastherefore resigned. The ladies, of course, found muchto criticise in their new queen , and laughed exceedTHE QUEEN'S DOWRY. 169ingly at her bourgeois French, which she had acquiredfrom an illiterate waiting maid.Madame de Prie became Dame du Palais de la Reine,and having succeeded in placing Marie Leczinska onthe throne, was now looking forward to the speedy expulsion of the bishop and a long usurpation of power for herself and M. le Duc.This marriage, at the time so generally disapproved,eventually added a fine province to the kingdom - the Duchy of Lorraine. Since the marriage of Anne of Brittany with Charles VIII. , no previous queen hadbrought a dowry of equal value. A stipulated sum of money, only partly paid, or not paid at all, had been the usual marriage portion of the foreign princesses who became queens of France.+CHAPTER XVII.Sledging at Versailles.-La Dame du Palais. — The Queen's Se cluded Life. —Piety of the Queen and King. -The Sound of the Hunting Horn. -The Good Old Days. —The Rain and theSunshine. - Intrigues of Mdme. de Prie. -The Bishop Retires to Issy.-- A Domestic Tempest. -A Scene at the Theatre.-Two Lettres -de-Cachet. - Pâris- Duvernay.-- Fortune's WheelMoves Round. -An Old Normandy Château. -Death of Madame de Prie.The winter of 1725-1726 was of extreme severity in France, and distress and suffering were frightful in the provinces. Many of the lesser nobility workedas hired laborers on lands they had once owned, and starvation and disease prevailed amongst the peasantry. The financial difficulties of the State were increasing, and the pressure of taxation was so great that murmuring was rife throughout the country, andit was found difficult to collect the imposts.But neither the rigor of the season nor the penuryof the exchequer was an evil that seemed to be felt at Versailles. There, the clear crisp air rang withmerry laughter; with the jingling music of silver bells;with the sound of the swift pattering feet of smallfeet horses, that appeared almost to fly with joyous parties of sledgers, over the ice-bound earth, thefrozen lakes, and ornamental waters of the park.Polish fashions had become the rage; and the weather was well suited for the warmly- lined polonaise of velvet and fur, the furred casquette, and furred PolishLA DAME DU PALAIS. 171boots, which the queen had brought into vogue with the sledges.Every courtier had his richly ornamented sledge.The king and queen, with the ladies and gentlemenof the court, amused themselves greatly, while the novelty of this exciting sport lasted. The queen firstappeared in a sledge formed like a sea-shell . It wassupported by Tritons, and rose - crowned cupids were grouped around it. Two fiery little steeds were attached by embroidered crimson leather harness, fromwhich hung innumerable tinkling silver bells. Theshell was lined with crimson velvet, and had cushionsof the same. The king and queen , enveloped in richsables, passed thus equipped through the park of Versailles and over its frozen waters. The courtiers werenot slow to follow their example; but sledging did notsurvive its first season.Among this gay throng, none was more brilliant than Madame de Prie, none more triumphant than M. le Duc; for on none did the queen smile more graciously. She regarded them as her own and her father'sbenefactors, as entitled to her warmest gratitude, andto such favor as her influence with the king might be able to obtain for them. The dame du palais, mean.while, sought to strengthen this feeling, by her constant endeavor to please the royal lady she had raised to the throne; and, thus, insinuated herself into herconfidence and secured her affection .The king had now entered his seventeenth year,and had been six months married. Though evincing none of the enthusiasm of boyish love, he ap peared, in his apathetic way, to be pleased with hispleasant- tempered, gentle, and unassuming bride.Intellectually, Marie Leczinska was not highly172 THE OLD RÉGIME.gifted, and her education had been but a scanty one;she spoke French Auently enougn, but as an uneducated person. It was the despair of the academician,Moncrif, a great purist, who was her reader and in structor in the French language. She did her bestto overcome the faults which, uncorrected, had growninto habits, but never quite succeeded. The king,who spoke, when he made up his mind to speak , with perfect correctness, and with a certain elegance of diction derived from his preceptor, was often amused bythe expressions used by the queen, and the singularand unusual sense in which she employed many words.He, however, found her society sufficiently interestingto induce him to saunter away in her apartments afew of the many idle hours that hung so heavily onhis hands. His visits to Rambouillet continued asusual, but it would seem that the queen did not ac company him thither. She lived in nearly as muchseclusion as when dwelling in her obscure home at Weissenburg. No grand public fêtes, no court revels,had celebrated the marriage of Louis XV. Not manypersons could then remember the public entry into Paris of Louis XIV. and his Spanish bride, and thefestivities that followed. But tradition told of theirsplendor and exaggerated it; and the pleasure- loving Parisians, comparing the imaginary past with the reality of the present, believed that the old state of things must have been better than the new.The queen had been reared in the most superstitious observance of the outward ceremonies of religion.Her great kindness of heart prompted her to indul gence and forbearance towards the fair but frail ladies of the French court. But had she possessed judgmentand sufficient strength of mind to suppress the devoteeTHE SOUND OF THE HUNTING HORN . 173and, while conforming in some measure to circumstan ces, to play more conspicuously, and with some spirit,the part of queen; her influence would probably haveeffected a reform in the manners of the court-when,as a penitent constantly on her prie -dieu, or shut up inher oratory, she inspired only sneering pity, or theprofane laugh.The king never omitted morning prayer, mass, andconfession. There his religion ended. These dutiesperformed he went to his gardening, or his turning.The latter was a new accomplishment, and he had succeeded in it remarkably well-making very presentable snuff -boxes from pieces of the roots of trees.But nowhere was he so free from ennui as at Ram bouillet. A lively and youthful company was usuallyassembled there. Politics and affairs of State weresubjects prohibited in the salon of the Countess. Aword or look from the Count at once put an end tothem, if, perchance, either designedly or otherwise,such topics seemed likely to be brought, or to glide,on the carpet.But the chase in the forests of Rambouillet wasLouis' favorite diversion.. The sound of the huntinghorn , the baying of the dogs, the impatience of hissteed for the sport, all delighted him. They dispelled the languor and inertness that usually oppressed him,and which arose from a singularly indolent state ofmind rendering him wholly incapable of sustainingan interest in any pursuit or amusement, unless ex citement were kept up by continual movement andchange. When weather permitted , the ladies joined these hunting parties, arrayed in blue and green riding-dresses, with lace cravats and ruffles, and hatsà la mousquetaire or à la Garde Française.174 THE OLD RÉ prAt a certain shady spot in the forest, a substantialluncheon was always laid out, servants having beensent on before, with hampers of wine and provisions,re this feast of all the good things in season,They were pleasant repasts. The exhilaration of thechase, the fresh, bracing air, the champagne, the banter , jokes, and gay talk, moved even the moody youngking to brightness and laughter. Usually there was adance on his return to the château; then thé à l'Anglaise;followed , by and by, by supper; for this was especiallyan eating and drinking age, as well as a singing anddancing one. Sometimes, after the dancing, just alittle gambling took place; for Louis liked, and excelled in, both. And if it was a moonlight night,there was often a riding party home -- well armed, ofcourse; for there was a chance of encountering thefamous highwayman Cartouche and his brigand -band;just as in the good old days in merry England.But while young Louis XV. and his court wereamusing themselves, distress in the country was in .creasing. The populace of Paris and its faubourgs were crying for bread, and every necessary of life had become scarcer and dearer. Prayers were daily offered up in the churches, and priestly processions paraded the streets. The silver shrine of Ste. Geneviève was, by order of the Parliament, carried through the city by barefooted priests intoning prayers, andfollowed by a bareheaded multitude, who invoked the intercession of the saints. Alas! neither prayersnor processions availed. No manna descended fromheaven.“ What fools they are with their shrine!" exclaimedMadame de Prie. “ They know not that it is I whomake both the rain and the sunshine." Forthwith theINTRIGUES OF MDME. DE PRIE. 175 .order is issued to bring into the market the grain (obtained chiefly by exaction) which had been hoardedup from the moment that the probability of a scarcitywas foreseen . It is offered now to the hungry people,at prices that put money into the purses of the minis.ter and his mistress. This is the sunshine she shedson the starving populace. Murmurs loud and deep reach the ears of Fleury, and petitions are addressed to the king through his hands. Madame de Prie, thebishop informs M. le Duc, must be dismissed from thecourt; her influence and interference in public affairs being prejudicial to the interests of the State.The lady is highly incensed . “ It is not she whowill leave the court, but the bishop who shall receivehis congé." The partisans of each do their best tocject the other. Madame de Prie and M. le Duc feelsure of the victory. Have they not the wealthy finan .cier, Pâris - Duvernay, to support them; also the queenamong their partisans? But Fleury is not to be drawninto a struggle for power with the mistress of M. leDuc, whom he has suffered for a time to be his locumtenens. He allows them to work out their own downfall; and it is not long delayed.Yielding to the wishes of his preceptor that he would give some attention to the affairs of government, the king was accustomed to spend a short time in his apartment daily, engaged there with his firstminister; the bishop being always present. When thepublic business was disposed of, M. le Duc withdrew,much to his annoyance; for the king remained towrite, or to sign, under the bishop's direction, any documents relating to ecclesiastical affairs — the bishop having the independent charge of Church matters.It occurred to the duke and his mistress, that as the176 THE OLD RÉGIME.king was more bored by these morning sittings thaninterested in them, he might be enticed to hold hisconference with his minister in the apartment of the queen. Her majesty and her dame du palais could thenamuse him; while the minister, occupying himselfwith the State's concerns, would make no demand onhis sovereign's attention-the bishop, of course , being presumed to be absent. The queen consented; herfriends assuring her that it was a most necessary and advisable course.The king was indifferent to this change in thecouncil chamber. But the bishop though neither in formed of it nor invited to attend, yet did not fail to appear as usual, to assist his pupil with his advice.It was determined to exclude him. The duke's opinion was not asked on ecclesiastical affairs; the bishop's should not be accepted on secular ones.ACcordingly, when next he presented himself, entranceto the queen's apartments was refused him. He with drew , but said naught. His royal pupil noticed his absence, and, like the bishop, uttered no remark. Hewas always sparing of his words, and very rarely in .deed carried away by feeling to forget the lessons of dissimulation which, as a necessary part of the educa tion of kings, he had thoroughly mastered.The sitting ended, the king seeks his preceptor.He is not to be found. He has left Versailles.“ Finding that his majesty has no further occasionfor his services or his advice, he has retired to Issy "-to that little country house that may be called the bishop's boudoir; for thither he always betakes himself when, not choosing to complain in words, itpleases him to assume the boudeur.Now is Louis XV. roused, for the first time in hisA DOMESTIC TEMPEST. 177life, to play the absolute monarch and the indignant husband. His deepest feelings are his great reverence and almost filial affection for bishop Fleury.He learns, on further enquiry, that his preceptor hasbeen treated with disrespect; the attendants in theante- room of the queen's apartments having deniedhim entrance. His anger is extreme. M. le Duc,whom he already disliked, strives vainly by excuses and apologies to appease him. With his own handhe has at once to sit down and write the king's com mands to the bishop to return to Versailles; adding pressing entreaties from himself ( for he foresees astorm gathering over his head) that he will make nodelay. The queen is reproached with a vivacity thatnone hitherto had thought the king capable of, whileshe replies only by tears to her incensed young hus band , whose displeasure is by no means subdued byher weepingThis domestic tempest, originating in a palaceintrigue, was discussed with much interest in courtlysalons. It raised the vain hopes of would- be candidates for the post of maîtresse-en - titre. It was the subject of conversation with all who dwelt at Versailles." I remarked , " says Voltaire, “ that this domesticdifference made a deeper impression on people'sminds than the news of the war, which was afterwardsso calamitous to France and to Europe. There wasmuch agitation and questioning; vague and mistrust.ful replies. Some desired a revolution; others fearedit; but all were alarmed . ”Baron was to play Britannicus that same eveningat the Palace Theatre. Voltaire was there when theking and queen arrived-an hour later, he says, than usual; the queen's eyes showing evident traces of re178 THE OLD RÉGIME.cent weeping. The popular repugnance to the king's marriage was not yet overcome, and when, in thecourse of the play, the words" Que tardez - vous, seigneur, à la répudier?”' *were pronounced by Narcissus, almost all who werepresent, we are told, turned their eyes on the queen,to observe the effect on her - a curiosity more indis creet than malicious.On the following day, Fleury returned to Versailles,He took no advantage of this opportunity of revenging himself on his opponent, and uttered no com plaint whatever. He was, in fact, the head of theState, and with that he was content. Very soonafter, however, the king when setting out for Rambouillet, where he had bought a small château orhunting seat, invited M. le Duc to pass the night there, and to hunt with him in the morning. Hedesired him to follow without delay, that he might not be kept waiting for supper. But no sooner hadthe king left Versailles than the Duc de Charost, exgovernor, and now Capitaine des Gardes, entered theapartment of M. le Duc, and, delivering a letter fromthe king, arrested him. Having received his sword,an officer of the guards was summoned to convey hiṁto his place of exile, which in this case, was a verypleasant one-his father's residence, the Château deChantilly—there to remain during his majesty's pleasure.An order to retire to her estate of Courbe -Épine in Normandy, was at the same time delivered to Madame de Prie. Regarding this merely as a temporary

  • Why do you hesitate, my lord, to discard her?

PÄRIS-DUVERNAY. 179eclipse, she took her departure from Versailles in verygood spirits . To bear her company during the sup posed temporary retirement, Madame du Deffant accompanied her. Having quarrelled with both herhusband and her ami intime, she chose to share herfriend's exile until she could make up her mind towhich of them she would be reconciled.The wealthy Pâris- Duvernay, who had assisted the State in the arrangements consequent on the failure of the Système Law, was lodged in the Bastille for atime. The king also summoned a “ Conseil extraor dinaire," to inform his ministers that he, and not the financiers, would henceforth be the head of the State,and that business would be transacted in the apart ments of M. de Fleury. That he, in fact, now sixteen and- a- half years old , was about to reign, and his pre ceptor, at seventy- three, to govern.The Duchesse d'Alincourt succeeded to the vacantpost of dame du Palais de la Reine. The beautiful, andlately married, Duchesse de Boufflers, grand -daughter of Maréchal de Villeroi, and afterwards Duchesse deLuxembourg, was another of her ladies. The queenwas informed of these changes, in a letter from theking, also that the orders of M. de Fleury were to be obeyed by her as implicitly as his own. She submitted , of course, and with good grace; abstaining en tirely for the future from any attempt to interfere inaffairs of State. Yet she appears to have been reallydispleased with a change which the nation, generally,greatly approved. Fleury would not accept the titleof first minister. All power was, however, in his hands.After the disgraceful administration of such men asthe infamous Dubois; the incompetent M. le Duc,ruled by Madame de Prie and Duvernay, the French180 THE OLD RÉGINE.people hailed with delight the accession to power of one in whose wisdom and justice they had confidence;and under whose auspices they looked for the return of order in the government and some respect for morality and decency of manners.A cardinal's hat, which, owing to the intrigues ofM. le Duc, had been for some time withheld, soon after made its appearance, and Fleury received it from the hands of the king. When the cardinal,wearing the insignia of his newly-conferred dignity,presented himself for the ceremony of thanking the king, the young monarch affectionately embraced himin the presence of the court, and, as Duclos remarks,openly expressed as much pleasure as the new cardinal probably inwardly felt.And thus the tables were turned, and fortune'swheel moved round. A few persons went into exile,and many were recalled from it. The old Maréchal deVilleroi again visited Paris, to die in peace there in his eighty-eighth year. The legitimated princes were reinstated in all the privileges of which they had beendeprived, except the right of succeeding to the throne,and the little Duchesse du Maine was made happyagain by this triumph,When Madame de Prie heard of these changes, and—which affected her most—that she was dame dupalais no longer, she comprehended that henceforththe favor of the queen could avail her nothing, andthat she would be received at Versailles no more.Intense grief, the madness of despair, took possession of her mind. Pilon, M. le Duc's physician, was sentfor. He supposed her to be suffering from the complaint then in fashion with fine ladiesma nervous attack, vapors being superseded by nerves. He treatedDEATH OF MADAME DE PRIE . 181her as a malade imaginaire; of disappointed ambition he knew naught. Nor could he have ministered to amind diseased, had he even had the discernment tosuspect the existence of that malady.And so the once brilliant Madame de Prie- " aheavenly creature , ” according to d'Argenson; " wily as a serpent, beautiful, but not so harmless, as the dove, " say others - pined away in her old Normandy château. And a living tomb, indeed, it must havebeen in those days-- especially to one fond of splendor and power; one from whom France had accepted aqueen of her choosing, and who for nearly three yearshad ruled the court of Versailles. After fifteen monthsof exile she died , at the age of twenty- nine. D'Argen son says, she announced, as a sort of prophecy, thather death would take place on a certain day, and verynearly at a certain hour named by her. Two days before the time stated , she secretly sent away her dia.monds—which were of immense value-to some person at Rouen. When her confidential messenger returned, Madame de Prie was no more. She had takenpoison of a violent kind, and her sufferings before death were excessive.It is mentioned, as a reproach to her, that she left bywill to M. le Duc nothing but a mediocre diamond, ofabout the value of five thousand écus.The valuable casket of diamonds and jewels shesecretly disposed of, was believed to have been destined for Pâris -Duvernay.CHAPTER XVIII.Fleury's Economy.-- Mimi and Titite.— " Notre Toulouse. " - Vichy -Chamroud. -A Singular Caprice. - The EpidemicEnnui. -An Interesting Couple . — A Desolate Normandy Château. —The Ménagerie in Eclipse. —Emerging from theCloud . - " Le Poème de la Ligue . ”-A Pious Theft. —A NobleChevalier.-— " Rohan je suis . ” — Homage to Madame du Def.fant.-- " Adieu , la belle France . "No festivities; no amusements. Dulness as depressing as in the gloomiest days of Louis XIV, has suc ceeded the dissipations of the regency. Those whoshared in the pleasures of that corrupt society are in despair. They looked for gaiety, and a perpetual round of fêtes and diversions, on the young monarch's emancipation from the control of tutors and governors.But, from the time when roused, by M. le Duc's con duct, to that temporary display of energy and author ity which led to so entire a change in the personnel ofthe government, he had fallen back to the monotonous and secluded mode of life most congenial to his apa thetic temperament.Fleury, secure against court intrigues, passed muchof his time at Issy, cogitating in retirement on thebest means of maintaining peace with neighboringkingdoms, and in devising schemes for economizingthe revenue. Like the great Sully, whom in this heresembled, he was willing to put money into thetreasury, but grumbled exceedingly at any undue demands on it. But while he reduced the customaryMIMI AND TITITE. 183lavish expenditure of the king's household, and gained his docile pupil's willing assent to it , he also abolishedthe most oppressive of the taxes laid upon the peopleby his predecessor. This, on the one hand, displeased the courtiers; they would not recognize a necessaryor wise economy, but parsimony only, in the diminished pomp and parade of the court. But, on theother, the timely relief afforded a suffering people by the removal of a portion of its burden of imposts,gained the confidence and goodwill of the nation. Itgave renewed buoyancy to long- cherished hopes thatwith the reign of Louis XV. the despotism whichmarked the rule of the Grand Monarque, and theflagrant depravity that disgraced the regency, would give place to a more beneficent administration ofpublic affairs, and a better example of social life . Theprudent, moderate, and upright minister, on whom the young king's free choice had first fallen, was aguarantee of the monarch's desire for the welfare andprosperity of his people. The pleasure he evidently took in the society of his pious and amiable queen,surely also boded that the reign of domestic virtue in France had begun at Versailles, and in the palacewhere it had hitherto been a stranger. But such expectations were then the jest of the salons.“ We are to have a Mimi and Titite at Versailles, Ihear." The lady who speaks, laughs in that sneering, cynical way so characteristic of the Marquise duDeffant.It is she who throws out this remark for the amusement of the company assembled in the salon of her apartment in the Rue St. Dominique.amusing they find it; for Mimi and Titite are nameswhich, in derision , the beau monde has given to theAnd very184 THE OLD RÉ and Comtesse de Toulouse. They actually so far forget what is due to society as to appear in public together, unaccompanied by intimate friend of eitherOften they may be met sauntering in the grounds of their château, just like any poor peasant couple ontheir estate; or, again, taking a quiet canter in theforest, with no other companion than the young Ducde Penthièvre. This son society has christened “ notreToulouse " -it being a bourgeois habit to speak of theheir of the house by the father's surname. M. etMdme. Toitot- Leblond would call their eldest or onlyson " notre Toitot” -reversing the English mode,“" our Jack " or " our Dick , " instead of “ our Jackson,or Dickson."But as many laughs are raised just now, at the ex pense of the marquise, in other salons, as by the witand the cynicism with which she attacks, in her own,the follies of others. She knows it, however, and isunaffected by it; for she knows that the dear friends who compose her society are as little inclined to spareher as she to spare them, when it is a question between a reputation and an epigram . Were it otherwise, whatwould become of wit? and hers is, par excellence, thesalon of the wits, and of the new school of philosophism—though not arrived at the period of its greatest celebrity and influence. The marquise has scarcely yet taken up the sceptre of a queen of society, and constituted herseif the protectress of philosophy andthe philosophers.At this time she is about thirty- one or thirty- two years of age, and, professedly, " the most ennuyée woman in France.” A sceptic and cynic she has been from her childhood. She is of a noble but impoverished Burgundian family - De Vichy- Chamroud. HavingA SINGULAR CAPRICE . 185no fortune, her parents were glad to marry her to the Marquis du Deffant, many years her senior, and farfrom wealthy, but who is said to have been an estimable and honorable man, of whom there were few inthose days. He was sincerely in love with her also,and possessed at least a position in society and a hometo offer, such as a girl without a dowry could hardlyhope for in France.Emancipated by marriage from all inconvenient restraints, the marquise arrived in Paris, and figuredprominently amongst the fair ladies of the regent'scourt. She was less remarkable for beauty than caustic wit - a quality which first attracted the regent, but,eventually , an injudicious application of it was themeans of her losing his favor. The poor marquis,who appears to have been as humble and obedient ahusband as any lady could desire, was the passive vic tim of his young wife's caprice, and, even worse thancaprice, bad temper and discontent. She entirely dis carded him at last - preferring the exclusive society ofher ami intime.She had already begun to play the part of an ennuyée,therefore could not long support the society of her friend: and as she at that time succeeded to an annuityof four thousand écus, she sought a reconciliation withthe marquis, and proposed, as advantageous to both,that they should unite their incomes, and , giving upfriendship, live together in bourgeois fashion . The marquis was delighted with the idea, and acceded withouthesitation to her proposal.. Her friends, Mdmes. deParabère, Aissé, de Prie, de Tencin, and their circlegenerally, were much amused at the singularity of thiscaprice. Their laughter changed not her purpose; norwas she moved from it by a torrent of reproaches from186 THE OLD RÉGIME.her forsaken cicisbeo. This innovation-the ami intime,or domestic lover, being a recognized institution — was a really bold step, which might have brought aboutthe abolition of the nuisance of intimate friends generally, but for that terrible malady - ennui. For the spaceof two months all went on smoothly, even happily, asfar as the marquis was concerned. Her family wasalso much pleased with the change.But, alas! “ All that is bright must fade. ” Thelady's resolve to share her husband's, home fadedaway under the influence of a returning fit of ennui.She declared she could endure his presence no longer,and hastened away, lest ennui should give place to dis gust. Ennui was an epidemic as prevalent then, itwould seem, as vapors or nerves. The king wasaffected by it, and, more or less, society generally.The remedy, with the king, was alternate seclusionand the Rambouillet chase; with society, it was thesalon, though not always an effective one.The separate income of the marquise was hardlyequal to the expense of setting up a salon — a salon thatshould compete with that of Madame de Tencin or ofMadame de Lambert-who, in spite of her eightytwo years, still received weekly, and gave her famous Thursday dinners.Literature and philosophy scarcely cared to show themselves where there was no prospect of dinner orsupper. But where the good things of life were liber ally provided, it mattered not at all to which sectionof society the lady who did the honors belonged.What suppers and dinners were given by the popularsingers and actresses! Mdlle. Le Couvreur, for instance; the singers Malle. Lemaure and Madame Pel lissier-between whom great rivalry existed, the worldA DESOLATE NORMAND” CHÂTEAU. 18766being undecided to which lady to award the palm of prima donna. Again , Malle. Antier, who, as Ceres,had won, by the charm of her singing, the heart, as itwas called , of the Vicomte Lamothe- Houdancourt,not only gave suppers herself, but, with her lover, wasinvited to those of ladies of high rank . Society, welearn, was greatly edified by the “ mutual passion " ofthis interesting couple. The enthusiasm of the gen tleman, the smiling tenderness of the lady—“ Ah! itwas really delightful to see.” “ Alas! the pity on't”it did not last long.If society smiled on this interesting pair of lovers,it looked severely on Madame du Deffant. The outraged feelings of the intimate friend she had forsakenfor her husband, commanded, as naturally they would ,general sympathy. Now, indeed, he had his revenge,and laughed as heartily at the marquis as at the friendless marquise. It was then that the order to retire to her estates was received by Madame de Prie. Themarquise, availing herself of this circumstance, thoughtit would be well, until society had had its laugh out,to go into exile also. Ennuyée in Paris, she yet failed to reflect what she would be at Courbe -Épine her sole companion a disappointed , desponding intrigante. Naturally, she found life intolerable in thatdesolate Normandy château. Her fit of ennui wasmore real than any she had known before. She therefore determined to return; leaving her dear friend toloneliness, grief and despair, which, as we know, deathby her own hand, soon after put an end to.On returning to Paris, the marquise, to her surprise,received a visit from the Bishop of Clermont. Herrelative, the Duchesse de Charost, believing that scepticism and irreligion , more than onmui, were the cause188 THE OLD RÉGIME.of her unsettled frame of mind and general discontent,fancied that Massillon might be able to reason her intoa better state of feeling. Madame du Deffant, speaking of their interview , says, " My understanding wasabashed before the greatness of his intellect; yet Isubmitted not to the force of his reasoning, but to theimportance of the reasoner . ”The salon of Madame de Tencin was at that time suffering a partial eclipse; it might have proved a totalone, but for the money expended in bribes, and theinfluence of the archbishop, her brother. The numerous " animals" who composed her ménagerie, also exerted themselves to help her out of her trouble, beingunwilling to lose their mistress and the good cheerwith which she provided them. Yet her position, forawhile, was regarded as a perilous one.M. La Fresnaye, Conseiller au Grand Conseil, after heavy losses at the gambling table, shot himself inthe boudoir of Madame de Tencin. The ball passedthrough his heart, and he died on the instant. ThePresident and Procureur were sent for, and the Conseiller was buried, at Madame de Tencin's request,secretly, and in the night. This strange story wastold about Paris the next day, and with many particulars so unfavorable to the Canoness that she was arrested , and conveyed to the Châtelet, and thence tothe Bastille. A paper was found in the desk of La Fresnaye, " to be opened only after his death, and inthe presence of his creditors . ” Instead of an arrangement respecting his affairs, which it was supposed tocontain , it was a statement that he was ruined by the arts and deceptions of Madame de Tencin, and thatif he died a violent death it was she who should beaccused of it . She was one of those monsters, heEMERGING FROM THE CLOUD . 189said, who ought to be expelled the kingdom; being capable of the vilest deeds.Much more followed, but the paper was condemnedas malicious and untrue, and after two months' detention she was released from confinement, secure from any renewal of the accusations against her. Anxietyhad told on her health . She was advised, therefore,on her liberation immediately to set out for her estatesin Dauphiné, to recruit both health and spirits, beforereappearing to shine once more as a bright particular star amongst her coterie of wits and philosophic animals.La belle marquise, meanwhile, established herselfin more unpretending style than formerly, in her hôtelin the Rue Ste. Anne. She gave her circle of learned wits and celebrities “ thé à l'Anglaise." Her suppersor dinners were never far- famed, but she was recognized as “ a prodigy of wit," whose sentiments favored the advance of the “ great cause.” Montesquieu, when in Paris during the vacation of the parliament of Bor deaux, of which he was president, was one of the most constant frequenters of her salon . The first success of his “ Esprit des Lois” was due to her exertions in distributing copies, and to her professed admiration of the work as a most brilliant and remarkable pro duction of a man of genius. Such, indeed, was theusual mode of launching a book. The Parisian book sellers ' trade was not then a flourishing one, so difficult was it to obtain permission to publish " Avec privilege du roi."The books most in request were not those openlyexposed for sale on the steps of the Sainte Chapelle,but those which glided furtively into France from the presses of Amsterdam or Brussels. Voltaire was re199 THE OLD RÉGIME.

fused permission to print his “ Henriade." He had desired to dedicate it to the king, and it was presented by Richelieu. Fleury declined to receive it; yet itwas not condemned. A few copies, however, printed elsewhere, were distributed in Paris amongst privatefriends. This coming to the knowledge of some ofthe clergy, application was made for authority toseize them, with a view of suppressing the work en tirely by means of ecclesiastical censure. It was thenentitled “ Le Poème de la Ligue," and was said to contain passages favoring the errors of the “ semi- Pelagians. ” But it was its advocacy of toleration, and especially the appreciative lines on Coligny, * that of fended the clergy; in whom, with some honorable exceptions, a persecuting spirit seemed to be thoughtan atonement for their generally dissolute lives.The " Henriade" was published by subscription inLondon, and dedicated to the Queen. Voltaire'sfriend , Thiriot, received subscriptions for the work inParis, and payment for between twenty and thirtycopies having been made, he put the amount aside fortransmission to England. Some thief, however, entered his apartment while he was absent at high masson Whit- Sunday morning, and stole the money. ( Theclergy should have caught this thief and have canonized him. ) The loss fell wholly on Voltaire; the copiessubscribed for being delivered, though the subscrip

  • To speak approvingly of Coligny, Du Plessis - Mornay, and

other Protestant leaders , was, in the estimation of the court, to disseminate sedition; in that of the clergy; to propagate heresy.“ What noble citizens Coligny, La Noue, Du Plessis- Mornay,D'Aubigné even, if they had not been heretics! ” exclaims a recentbigoted French writer, in a sort of apology for the persecutingspirit of the sixteenth century." ROJAN JE SUIS.” 191tion had vanished. Yet the London edition of theHenriade" was a most successful and profitable one.Montesquieu visited England at about the sametime as Voltaire. The latter had left France on beingreleased from the Bastille, where he had been impris oned for six months for sending a challenge to the Chevalier de Rohan. This magnificent personage,possessing no merit of his own, plumed himself greatlyon his noble birth, and the merits of his ancestors. He disapproved, it appears, of the distinction with whichVoltaire was received in the society of the men ofrank. He took, therefore, the first opportunity thatoffered ( it was at a réunion at the hôtel of the Duc de Richelieu ) of showing his contempt for the plebeian poet, by addressing him in a manner his lackey would almost have resented . Voltaire replied in a politelyveiled sarcasm which amused all present, except the Chevalier. He was highly incensed , but not being sospirituel as the poet he despised, the witty sally wasreceived with disdainful silence. The noble Chevalier, however, revenged himself by ordering his servants, a day or two after, to insult Voltaire whenleaving the hôtel of the Duc de Sully, with whom he had been diningThe two lackeys thrust themselves against him,elbowed him roughly, and nearly threw him downstairs; at the same time greatly enjoying his discomfiture, and treating it as an excellent joke. The Duke,his host, expressed his regret, but took no furthernotice of the matter. The Chevalier was a scion ofthe great Rohan family. He bore on his shield,“ Rohan je suis.” That repelled all who would dare toattack him . The tribunals, too, were not for such ashe. No magistrate would presume to listen to an ac192 THE OLD RÉGIME.cusation against him, much less to punish so high and mighty a delinquent. But Voltaire, stung to the quick by the unprovoked insult he had received , after taking some lessons in the use of the sword , challengedthe Chevalier. The reply was a lettre-de-cachet, and an apartment in the Bastille.The Duc de Richelieu, some few months after, was about to leave Paris in very grand state, as Ambas sador Extraordinary to the Court of Vienna. He andVoltaire were on intimate terms; and as the Duke wasat that time in favor at Versailles, and had obtainedin his appointment to this embassy the wish of his heart, and facility for equipping himself with due splendor-by means of un arrêt de surséance to shieldhim from his creditors, he resolved , before leaving, todo his poet friend a good turn, if possible, by securinghis speedy release. He spoke to the king; also to the queen, who had but recently granted a pension offifteen hundred francs to Voltaire from her own private purse. They referred him to Fleury, who, theaffair being explained to him, granted the duke's re quest immediately.Naturally Voltaire's six months' incarceration hadgiven added keenness to his cynicism, rather thanblunted its sting. His admiration of French institutions had at the same time diminished. He determined therefore to bid adieu for a time to his friendsof the salons, to the budding philosophers, and to the many fair dames he adored. To none did he paygreater homage than to Madame du Deffant. Thereign of the " sublime Emilie " had not then begun ,and the free-thinking marquise commanded his high est admiration . He took every opportunity of speaking of her, of vaunting her understanding, of flatterADIEU, LA BELLE FRANCE! ” 193ing her imagination, and of placing her on the very best terms with herself—though her excessive egoism had already rendered any efforts of that sort super fluous. He praised her wit, and exaggerated excessively the merits of those bagatelles, vers de société, of which so plentiful a crop was then produced - not only in the salon of the marquise, but in every other salon of that day.Of the poetic trifles of Madame du Deffant, Voltairewrote:“ De qui sont ils ces vers heureux,Légers, faciles, gracieux?Ils ont, comme vous, l'art de plaire;Du Deffant, vous êtes la mèreDe ces enfants ingénieux . ” *But Voltaire did not linger long in Paris. Havingbent the knee before the brilliant marquise and thefair Adrienne Le Couvreur, and embraced those friends he called his “ dear angels” —the d'Argentalfamily - he left la belle France, crossed the Channel,and for the next three years took up his bode inEngland.

  • Whose are these easy, graceful lines?

They have, like you, the art of pleasing.You, Du Deffant, are the happy motherOf these Crilliant children .CHAPTER XIX.Prayers for a Dauphin.— The Prayer is granted . — Louis XV. aModel Husband. -Baron's Final Retirement. -Death of Adri .enne Le Couvreur.- Jealous Rivals. -Generosity of Adrienne.– Burial of Mdlle. Le Couvreur. -Voltaire's Lines on Adri.enne. -Zaire, ou Les Enfants Trouvés. - Grandval the Actor.-The Prime Donne.- Rameau . — The Abbé Pelligem. -AMusical Cabal. -Voltaire et les Danseuses. —The Apotheosis of Hercules. -Boucher's Painting Room.Great was the disappointment of the French people when, in August, 1727 , it was announced that twindaughters were born at Versailles - Madame première,et Madame deuxième. Greater still was the outcry inthe following year, when Madame troisième made herappearance. The queen grieved and wept. She feltthat she had not done her duty to the nation. Butthe king consoled her, and received the third littleprincess, we are told, “ with a good grace, and coura geously;" yet he, too, would have given a much warmer welcome to a son.However, it was thought ar!visable to petition heaven for a dauphin; and, accordingly, the Archbishop of Paris ordered public prayer to be made throughout the kingdom for an heir to the throne.The king and queen also went in state to Paris to askthe intercession of Ste. Geneviève. Marie Leczinskahad been three years married, but this was her first visit to the capital. The Parisian world was thereforeanxious to see its queen, and though not too wellTIIE PRAYER IS GRANTED. 195satisfied with her, gave her a cordial reception that proved cheering to her spirits. Barbier describes heras petite, slight in figure, and rather thin. Other accounts speak of her as above the middle height, and of graceful and dignified carriage; while one of herladies of the palace says, rather contemptuously, “ Sheis a good enough sort of a Pole, but a little bourgeoiseand very devout.” All, however, are agreed that shehad no claim to beauty, though her face was not unpleasing, owing to its amiable and gentle expression.She wore, we learn, on this occasion , a pale pink robe of state , with scalloped trimmings, but withoutornament of gold or silver. The “ Sancy " glittered in her hair; the twelve Mazarin diamonds, on her arm,set as a bracelet, and, besides, the whole of the crownjewels apparently — with the exception of the “ Regent," which the king wore in his hat - were arranged as stomacher, necklace, or other ornament for herdress or hair.Thus brilliantly arrayed, and accompanied by the ladies and gentlemen of their household in full courtdress and in the royal state carriages, their majesties traversed Paris. The glittering show delighted thepeople, who rarely witnessed the pomp and display of the court - royal visits to Paris being few and far between. Ste. Geneviève would seem to have lent afavorable ear to the prayers of the royal suppliants and their faithful lieges; for on the 4th of September-their majesties' wedding day-1729, the nation wasgladdened by the news of the birth of a dauphin.Few public rejoicings, however, took place. The king gave no signal, and the nation was as indolentand inert on the subject as their sovereign himself.It was desirable that there should be an heir to the196 THE OLD RÉGIME.throne. He was born. King and people were satis fied; there was an end of it; and the cardinal was fartoo anxious to restore order in the financial system tocountenance, much less to propose, expenditure onfêtes. Unlike Louis XIV. in his youth, Louis XV.shunned gaiety, and communicated his own gloomyapathy to the court. Nothing annoyed or bored him so much as having to take any part in a public ceremony or fête. He would scarcely look at a lady, and at that time was quite a model husband. “ Thequeen , ” he said, “ was prettier than the handsomestladies at court.” But his constancy to the wife whohad been chosen for him was owing more to indiffer ence than admiration. With idleness and quietudehe was then perfectly content, and, had he not beeninterfered with by the more actively evil- mindedyoung men of his court, he would have gone on tothe end of his career, simply, un roi fainéant, insteadof being that and much more.But, while the news from Versailles was receivedwith a languid satisfaction by the world of Paris, an other and widely different announcement excited very lively regret among the society of the capital. It was that of the final performances of Michel Baron,and his retirement from the stage.Owing to the greater popularity of operatic per formances, both at the Academy of Music and Opéra Comique, the Théâtre Français had received but indifferent support until the reappearance of Baron.His and Malle. Le Couvreur's interpretation of theprincipal rôles in the plays of Corneille and Racine,and the tragedies of Voltaire and La Motte, had re vived the vogue of the Théâtre; which was now awell- frequented and fourishing establishment. AsDEATH OF ADRIENNE LE COUVREUR. 197Baron still trod the stage with a firm , elastic step, hisform erect, his bearing noble, the fire of his eye un dimmed, and his finely -modulated voice yet sonorous,flexible, and unfaltering, his intention to retire caused as much surprise as when, ten years before, his reappearance was announced.Strength of will, a resolve not to succumb to the infirmities of age, bore him up through his part" and,” says an eye- witness, “ it was difficult not to yield to the illusion that he was actually the personhe represented ." But, the play ended, it was evidentthat, if he had succeeded for awhile in overcomingphysical weakness, he had suffered much in the strug gle. He accepted , therefore, the warnings of nature, and retired with his great reputation undiminished. His acting gave a temporary revival of publicfavor even to the plays of Pradon. In “ Regulus," avery poor tragedy, he made a deep impression on hisaudience. One of his last appearances was as Ladis laus, in Rotrou's play of “ Vencislaus.” Though unaccustomed to betray any emotion, save that which the character he represented required, on that occa sion, he is said to have hesitated for a moment, as if to overcome personal feeling -- after repeating the words, “ So near the grave, whither I am going . ”The farewell to Baron was an ovation on the partof the public. He died in the following year; sup.posed to be not less than seventy- seven or eight.Under his portrait J. B. Rousseau wrote:" Du vrai, du pathétique, il a fixé le ton,De son art enchanteur l'illusion divinePrêtait un nouveau lustre aux beautés de RacineUn voile aux défauts de Pradon ."

  • He struck the key- note of pathos and truth . The divine il

198 THE OLD RÉGIME.In the same year that the death of Baron occurred,the Comédie Française lost another of its popular favorites—Adrienne Le Couvreur. It was then customary to attribute all deaths of which the exactcause was not known, to poison. The jealousy ofthe Duchesse de Bouillon was said to have occasionedAdrienne's, by means of poisoned pastilles, administered to her by a young abbé. It is a story un.worthy of credit; though probably Scribe's play mayhave contributed to gain credence for it. The ComteMaurice de Saxe was the fickle lover of both thoseladies. But it does not appear that the duchesswho, like the actress, had a large circle of amis intimes -was so jealous of wholly monopolizing the attentions of that butterfly personage as to poison a formermistress: or, that the actress was so piqued by theirtransfer to another, that, forgetting what was dueto the audience, she addressed , from the stage, thepointed speeches of Phédrema part she was playing-to the duchess in her box, and was rewarded forthis impertinence and bad taste by the plaudits of the whole house. Malle. Sauvré, on some other occasion,is said to have addressed a favored rival from thestage; but the fickle lover was not Maurice de Saxe,and the audience was the reverse of sympathetic.Voltaire, one of the most enthusiastic of Mdlle. LeCouvreur's host of admirers, repudiated the idea of poison, and attributed her death to a violent attack ofdysentery. She took no care of her health, was near forty years of age, and had led a life in accordancewith the licentiousness of the period; which was notlusion of his encharting art gave new lustre to the beauties of Racine, and veiled the faults of Pradon .GENEROSITY OF ADRIENNE. 199only little severe towards an actress, necessarily ex posed to very great temptations; but could also regardwith complacency the open depravity of such greatladies as the Duchesse de Bouffleurs, granddaughter ofthe Maréchal de Villeroi. Voltaire himself introducedto Adrienne a friend who became a rival -his dearangel, the Comte d'Argental — who would have married the fascinating actress; but she declined his suit,to the great relief of his family.She doubtless felt more than a passing regard forthe faithless Maurice de Saxe. To enable him toequip his soldiers when he proposed to recover the principality of Courland - to the sovereignty of whichhe had been elected, but was excluded from it by Russia, -Adrienne, who was generous to prodigality,supplied him with the sum of forty thousand francs,the product of the sale of her jewels. Very sincere,too, was her regret when, not long before her death,she heard that he had gone to a ruinous expense andincurred debts in the construction of a “ galère , " which,propelled by mechanism, and probably steam, was to make the voyage up the Seine, from Rouen to Paris,in twenty - four hours. He had obtained, on the cer tificates of two men of science, testifying to the utilityof this project, a privilege or patent from the king.But in spite of the efforts of the best scientific skilland labor then obtainable, he never succeeded in get ting the apparatus into working order. “ Mais, quediable allait- il- faire dans cette galère?" exclaimed Adrienne when she heard of his scheme and its failure.Priestly aid was not sought for Malle. Le Couvreur until it was too late to confess; to declare that she renounced her profession, and to receive absolution .Christian burial was therefore refused, though the200 THE OLD RÉGIME.large sum of a hundred thousand francs, which shecharitably left to the poor, was not rejected by the Church; as consistently it should have been, as the gift of one excommunicated. Two street porters wereemployed to carry her body, in the night, to the corner of the Rue de Bourgogne, and to bury her there.Baron had dreaded a like indignity, but providedagainst it by timely arrangements with the Church.Yet he invariably asserted that he had never felt thesmallest scruple to declaiming before the public thechefs-d'cuvre of the genius of the great French authors;and that nothing, he conceived, could be more irrele vant than to attach shame and disgrace to the recitingof a work which it was deemed glorious to have composed.“ I have seen , ” says Collé, in his memoirs, " Baron,Le Couvreur, and Les Quinault, and they gave methe idea of perfection - and especially Baron; though,when I saw him, he could not have been less thanseventy- three or seventy - five years of age."Thus passed away, almost at the same time, these two great stars of the Théâtre Français. The indig.nant lines written by Voltaire on the ignominy cast on the great French actress by the countenance of thepriesthood to such a burial as hers, were the cause of his again being obliged to leave Paris. He retired toNormandy where he wrote “ Zaïre. " The performance of the graceful Malle. Gaussin in the principal part quickly consoled him for the loss of Adrienne,who, as some persons thought, was excelled by hersuccessor; art-as was the case with Baron - intelligently subdued , aiding and heightening the effect of her natural gifts. Of Adrienne, Voltaire wrote," Nature had taught her, and Cupid finished her eduGRANDVAL, THE ACTOR . 201cation ." Voltaire's play of “ Zaire," achieved an immense success, and many were the heart- burnings it caused amongst would - be rivals. To cast ridiculeupon it in the salons, they gave it a new title, “ La pièce des enfants trouvés. ” This raised many alaugh, but did not diminish the success of the play.Writing tragedies and comedies—which sometimeswere read in the salons, but rarely produced on thestage-was as much a mania at that period, as the writing of novels in the present day.After the retirement of Baron and the death ofMdlle. Le Couvreur, the popularity of the Comédie Française seems to have declined for awhile. Yet itmaintained, undiminished, its reputation as the firsttheatre in Europe; the dramatic ability of the severalmembers of its company forming, as was generallyacknowledged, an assemblage of talent unrivalledelsewhere. Yearly, the old répertoire was gonethrough, Rotrou, Corneille, Molière, Racine, Pradon,and Crébillon's early tragedies. New productionswere less generally approved by the constant habitués of the theatre. The success of a new play might begreat, yet it would be allowed only a limited numberof representations.There were, it appears, fewer successful comedies than tragedies, yet Grandval, who contributed so much to make the fame of “ Le Glorieux ” was then in high repute both as an actor and as " the glass of fashion." Great nobles studied his looks, his gestures,his manner of carrying his cane, of presenting his snuff-box, of taking off his hat; his grandly deferen tial air when conversing with ladies; his entries and exits, and the graceful tournure of the whaleboned skirts of his coat. Happy, indeed, were many of the202 THE OLD RÉGIME.It wasjeunesse dorée if, after diligent practice, they went forth from their cabinets Grandvals; but in their ownopinion, Grandvals improved: so far surpassing theirmodel, that they who studied most to catch the airsand graces of the actor, were fond of jesting in thesalons on Grandval's amusing assumption of the manners of the fashionable world.But the most powerful counter- attraction to theThéâtre Français was at all times the opera. At thisperiod disputes ran so high respecting the pre-eminence in talent and beauty of the three prime donne,that swords were drawn and blood was shed . Нарpily it flowed not from fatal wounds, but from slightscratches and gashes, which the ladies ' admirers respectively felt compelled, in honor, to give and re ceive whenever a word in disparagement of the object of his adoration was uttered in his presence.often elegantly said of Malle. Lemaure, that she was“ as stupid as a post." She had a fine voice, but nomusical culture, and little natural intelligence. Butshe had a pretty face, and was always splendidlydressed.They were advantages that counted for much, formusical taste was but little developed; Lulli most frequently occupied the scene, and the audience wasfamiliar to weariness with the chief of his productions. Madame Pellissier was an artiste of greaterpretensions, whose merits were recognized by themore critical part of her hearers. Little Mdlle. Antierwas both clever and pretty, and sang, it was said,with the tenderness of the dove; which , remindingone of a monotonous cooing, does not seem very high praise. Of the male singers, Thévenard , Chassé, andMurane were most in favor. Murane was subject toRAMEAU. 203frequent fits of religious melancholy, and inclined tomigrate from the operatic stage to the cloister. It isprobable that Francine, Lulli's son- in- law, who so long had the direction of the opera of the Academy,may have been the cause of Lulli's music being for so many years almost exclusively given there.When Destouches, the musician, in 1724 succeeded Francine in the management of the opera, he broughtforward his own musical compositions, which wererather below than above mediocrity. Compra, abetter musician but inferior composer, was not moresuccessful . Yet the talented Rameau, whose musicalgifts had been evident from childhood; who had studied his art in Italy, had published a treatise on harmony, studies in counterpoint, and other theoretical works, with some successful sonatas for the harpsichord, on which he was a skilful performer, could scarcely obtain by teaching, in Paris, the bare meansof subsistence.He had sought the appointment of organist at oneof the churches of Paris, but had failed to obtain it,owing to the opposition he had met with from thepaltry intrigues of jealous mediocrity. Disgustedand disheartened, and suffering from distress, he was glad to accept the place of organist of the Cathedral of Clermont , in Auvergne; his hopes of rising todistinction in the musical world being thus longdeferred, and, at first, apparently at an end.In 1723, Michel Montéclair, first contrebasse of the Orchestra of the Academy of Music, produced anopera , “ Jephthé," which the director accepted , andwhich was well received by the public. Rameau, whowas present at its first representation , was moved by the applause bestowed on it , to abandon his theo.204 THE OLD RÉGIME.retical writings for the composition of operatic music.Yet there seems to have existed somewhere a per sistent determination to thwart his hopes. To get ahearing, he wrote the music for Piron's piece, “ LaRose," which was produced at the Théâtre de la Foireof St. Germain, the composer's name being withheld.It was, however, very successful, and the airs becamepopular.The Abbé Pelligem , a writer of canticles-which it was his singular custom to adapt to airs of the PontNeuf, or tunes of the satirical, often ribald , songs ofthe people—had written a dramatic poem entitled Hippolyte et Anne.” Persuaded by Mdme, de laPoplinière, —wife of the wealthy fermier- général, and daughter of Daucour, of the Théâtre Français-whohad been a pupil of Rameau, the Abbé entrusted his poem to the poor organist to set to music. This wasquickly done, and the piece produced. A cabal, mean while, was got up. Enthusiastic Lullists were joined by some of the singers, and it was determined thatRameau's music should not be heard, but be put downat once.The house was well filled; all, however, were not opponents. Those who went, intending to hear, appear to have been as numerous as those who had determinedthat nothing should be heard. Numerous interruptions occurred. A large number of the rioters were ejected, and notwithstanding the great disadvantages of so tumultuous a first representation , enough was heard by competent connoisseurs to convince themthat France possessed a musician of genius. That, in fact, a greater than Lulli was there. Laborde, writing of him says, “ Music owes to Rameau as much as sci ence does to Newton ." But Rameau was fifty yearsVOLTAIRE ET LES DANSEUSES. 205of age before his talent obtained recognition, and even then it was but grudgingly granted - the Lullist and Ramist contest being kept up for some time. Hisopera of Castor and Pollux completed his triumph.The world then ran after him, lauded him as before ithad dispraised him, and librettists innumerable besieged him with offers of collaboration.Another great attraction at the opera was the ballet.Nicolet, and Mdlles. Sallé and Camargo were theprincipal dancers, and the corps- de- ballet , generally,was very efficient.“ Oh! Camargo, que vous êtes brilliante!Mais, que Sallé est beaucoup plus ravissante, 'wrote Voltaire, uncertain to which of these divinities,“ filles de Terpsichore et l'Amour," the greater homagewas due.There is a very graceful picture by Lancret, the pupil and imitator of Watteau, of Malle. Sallé as awood nymph.“ Ses pas sont mesurés par les grâces,Et composés par les amours,” |again writes the enraptured Voltaire. But whenMdlle. Camargo, whose dancing is described as having the appearance of flying, once more, fluttering her gauzy wings, dazzles him by her rapid flight across the stage, he writes“ Camargo vole en ces beaux lieuxOn voit sans toi languir nos yeux,

  • Oh! Camargo, how brilliant you are!

But how much more charming Sallé.+ Her steps were devised by Cupid, and measured by the graces.206 THE OLD RÉGIME.De tes pas la vivacité,Est l'image de la volupté;Pour te suivre les jeux, les ris,Ont quitté la cour de Cypris. ”1. *The scenery, dresses, and decorations were splendid.The opera, indeed, never succeeded in paying its ex penses, so costly were its scenic effects and general arrangements. The State had continually to release the directors from debt. Yet the opera was greatlypatronized, and the salaries of the principal singers and dancers were small, compared with those received by the great artistes of the present day. The great outlay was in stage decorations and dress.The famous Boucher now painted the scenery. Hewas a pupil of Lemoine, the painter of the " Apotheo sis of Hercules, " on the ceiling of the grand salon of Versailles. The work occupied him four years, but,as he fancied that it did not meet with due appreciation from the king and the cardinal, the disappointment preyed on his mind , and in a moment of despairhe committed suicide. Boucher did not equal hismaster, and was inferior to Watteau, whom he imitated. He had but lately returned from Italy, wherehe had joined Carle Vanloo. Italy, however, was notto his taste. He loved Paris and the libertine life heled there. He cared not for the old masters, and preferred to paint figurantes to saints. Yet, in purelydecorative art, Boucher was unrivalled.Soon after his return to France, he fell in love at

  • All eyes follow thy rapid flight.

' Tis the image of delight.Leaving Cypria, all press after Thy delicious jests and laughter.BOUCHER'S PAINTING ROOM . 207first sight with a young girl, who, with her beauty and a large basket of cherries, made a very pretty picture,as she sat selling her fruit at the corner of a street in Paris. This young girl became his mistress, but soon after died, when Boucher, to dispel his deep grief,plunged into a course of reckless dissipation. The grief was quickly dispelled , it appears, as he shortly after married, but the dissipation continued. Inspite of his meretricious style, and the adverse criti cism he met with, Boucher became the fashion, andpainted fair dames of every degree, and every shade of philosophy.. His painting room was aa perfumed boudoir, draped with plaited pink silk and curtained and festooned with pale blue satin.CHAPTER XX.A Drawing-Room Picture. -The Young Comte de Mirabeau. -Rival Gambling Salons.-- The Foundling, d'Alembert. -The Irrepressible Bull. —Mdlle. Daucour. —The Rich Fermier.Général. —The Hôtel La Poplinière. -A Scene of Enchant.ment. - A French Mephistopheles. --The Banished Wife.The Infamous de Richelieu.a“ What a commotion at the Français last night! ”murmurs a lady, as with an indolent air she reclineson the cushions of a crimson brocaded and gold- lacedsofa in the salon of Mdme. de Tencin. She has scarcelythe air of a Frenchwoman. Her eyes are large, dark,and lustrous. She wears no rouge, and the clear, palebistre tint of her complexion, the strongly marked eyebrows, and masses of dark hair coiled round her head,in a coronet, and guiltless of powder, seem to denotean Oriental origin. Her dress is of rich material, and,on the whole, is of the fashion of the day. Yet it sofar differs in many of its details from the prevailingtaste, as to appear an adaptation of la mode to the styleand fancy of the wearer, more than a full concessionto fashion's decrees.A little negro, fancifully attired, stands near the end of the sofa, fluttering a large bunch of marabout plumes. Most ladies at this period had an attendantnegro boy, but rarely did he appear so harmoniousan accessory as in the very pretty picture formed bythis lady and her slave.“ And what was the cause of the commotion, ma.THE YOUNG COMTE DE MIRABEAU. 209chère?" inquires Madame de Tencin, as she glances attwo young men in earnest conversation at the furtherend of the salon, and who both are her protégés - one,indeed, is her reputed son—they are the youngerHelvetius and d'Alembert.“ All the news and on - dits of the day,” she continues,“ reach you , ma belle Haidée,sooner even than Madamedu Deffant, though Pont de Veyle carries his dailybudget to her. But then you see him first, and youhave d'Argental's report besides. "“ I heard this from the Chevalier ," replies the lady.“ He was at the Français when a party of young officers entered and called loudly for one of Molière'splays, ' Le Tartuffe,' I think, instead of ' Britannicus, 'the piece announced. To not a word of the latterwould they listen; the actors weré hissed wheneverthey attempted to speak. The disturbance at last became so general, that the police with difficulty ejected the rioters and some of the audience who had joinedthem. Foremost among them was the dissipatedyoung Comte de Mirabeau, * who has fallen despe rately in love with Mdlle. d'Angeville, and vows he will marry her in spite of his family.'“ Young Mirabeau marry d'Angeville!" exclaimed Helvetius, advancing towards the ladies. “ He couldas easily persuade the old Marquis himself to consent,as prevail on her to do so. She read his tender billetsdoux last night for the amusement of the company at supper at La Quinault's. Mirabeau will be on hisway to Besançon to -morrow . Duras' regiment isthere, and he joins it.”

  • Father of the great orator.

210 THE OLD RÉGIME.66* Poor boy,” sighs the lady on the sofa. “ He is butseventeen. ”Madame de Tencin replies not; her thoughts have been turned to other objects. “‘ They play at Cav agnole, and play high at La Quinault's? ” she says inquiringly." Sometimes, Madame,” replies Helvetius.“ You were there, then, last night?"“ Frankly, yes, Madame."“ And d'Alembert?"“ D'Alembert also." Helvetius answers for him, and a smile passes over the face of the young man. Fornowhere is gambling more reckless, more ruinous,than in the salon of Madame de Tencin. Helvetius is wealthy; he is a protégé she is proud of. He isyoung, handsome, brilliant; professes atheism, and is approved by Voltaire. She feels that society isgreatly indebted to her for discerning the merits ofthis brilliant young man, and producing him in thesalon at so early an age.. Yet his superfluous cash , sheconsiders, should not be diverted from her tables tofill the purses of actresses.As for d'Alembert, except for a certain interest shetakes in him, it matters not at all . He has nothingto lose. His only assured income is a yearly allowance of twelve hundred francs from the ChevalierDestouches, his reputed father. D'Alembert, as aninfant of a few days old, was found, abandoned, onthe steps of the church of St. Jean-Tourniquet, by aglazier, who took pity on the poor child and carried him home to his wife. These good people broughthim up as their own son; his education being providedfor by Madame de Tencin.When she perceived that he gave promise of beTHE IRREPRESSIBLE BULL. 211coming distinguished among scientific and literarymen, she was desirous of acknowledging him. Butd'Alembert declined the honor, saying, “ The onlymother he knew was the woman who had rescued andnursed him in infancy." On the other hand , it is asserted that he was so mortified at the generally supposed obscurity of his birth, that he would have beenonly too happy to have accepted the recognition of Madame de Tencin or Destouches, had they reallyoffered it . However, he frequents her salon, and her patronage is useful to him. She has lost none of herprestige by the misadventure that caused her tem porary eclipse. She has resumed her place, andshines as brilliantly as ever ammong the stars of theParisian world. Arrived, too, at that uncertain period of life called middle age, Madame de Tencin is even more distinguished than before. Forbiddenphilosophical books are secretly circulated through her influence; young men are formed in manners,initiated in the principles of the new school of thought,and develop their talent for wit in her salon .Her brother, the archbishop, a firm partisan of the Bulle Unigenitus, is at this time engaged in persecuting the venerable old bishop of Sénez, who hasopposed the Bull, and is suspected of Jansenism.Fleury, so fond of peace, is much disturbed by thisresurrection of the irrepressible Bull, as well as by thescenes of daily occurrence in Paris in the cemetery of St. Médard .. There, a fanatical Jansenist, known as the Diâcre- Paris, has recently been buried, aná miracles are said to take place at his tomb. The cemeteryis thronged. The lame man carried there, at oncecasts aside all aid and returns home running and leaping. The blind see; the dumb speak; the deaf212 THE OLD RÉGIME.hear - so it is affirmed . The people, however, aremore inclined to profane jesting than reverence, and the philosophers protest against such scenes, as the work of a knavish priesthood. The cemetery is to be closed, and Tencin, to whom such work is a labor of love, relieves the aged Fleury from much trouble and anxiety by his success in putting down the scandalsof Jansenism, and compelling acceptance of the Bull.Madame de Tencin has, therefore, some influence with the cardinal- minister, and, having become devout, has exerted it on the side of morality. It was she who induced the cardinal to refuse the wealthyLa Poplinière the renewal of his term of fermier général , unless he made his mistress his wife. Hehad long promised to do so; but Malle. Daucour, thelady in question, complained of the delay in the per formance of his promise. Madame de Tencin washer friend. Into her sympathetic ear she pouredthe story of her wrongs. Virtuously indignant, sheundertook Malle. Daucour's cause, requesting onlysecrecy on her part. A word to the cardinal, and ahint from the king — who desired that his court and his people should follow his example of conjugal fidelity - very soon after made Mdlle. Daucour, Ma dame de La Poplinière.M. de La Popliniere was not perhaps the richest ofthe financiers of Paris. The famous Samuel Bernardwas no doubt a much richer man, and the extreme benevolence of his character led him to make a far nobler use of his wealth than M. de La Popliniere did of his. The latter was chiefly known for his magnificent style of living. His hôtel in the Rue St. Antoinewas furnished with a splendor that vied with that of the Hôtel Lesdiguières.The HÔTEL LA POPLINIERE . 213His house at Auteuil, on a smaller scale, was àsort of palace of the genii. Boucher was called from his silk -draped boudoir to paint on the panels of thesalons some of those exquisite designs in which he so greatly excelled. There were fine specimens of Na toire's far- famed decorative work, and portraits ofstage beauties by Carle Vanloo and Largillière, fils( who was called the Vandyke of France, and who con tinued to paint portraits with undiminished skill until near the age of ninety). M. de La Poplinière was not only a liberal patron of the arts, but a giver of sump tuous banquets. His hôtel was the general resort of the wits, choice spirits, philosophers, stars of the the atrical and musical world, painters of celebrity, and a fair sprinkling of the nobility,Naturally, the incense of flattery was unsparingly bestowed on him . It is therefore not surprising to findhim a little vain of his social achievements. But hewas a remarkably genial host, rather distinguished in appearance, and having married Mdlle. Daucour, hepresented her to his friends with some pride. For she was a young and charming woman, very musical, witty,and agreeable, and, as he conceived, did honor to hischoice. Foreigners of distinction often visited M. deLa Poplinière. A portion of his hôtel was set apartfor the reception of the virtuosi of other nations, who,when sojourning in Paris for awhile, accepted , as his guests, the hospitality of his princely establishment.Italian painters, sculptors, and musicians were sure of a gracious welcome, both from Monsieur and Madame.Rameau, patronized by Madame de La Poplinière,had an apartment assigned him , with the appoint ment of organist; a chapel, also a small theatre, beingattached to the hôtel. In the beautiful little theatre214 THE OLD RÉGIME.Rameau officiated as chef d'orchestre. On Sundays, atMass, he improvised on the organ . The mingledsweetness and sadness of his strains; his “ religioussensibility,” as Diderot, then young, was accustomedto say, greatly impressed his hearers; and none more than Diderot himself—the most highly gifted of thephilosophic band, though, unhappily, of so ill-organized a mind.The petits -soupers at Auteuil outrivalled all others.Not merely in the repast itself; in the magnificent silver table service, of artistic design and exquisite work manship; but in the general arrangements. Guests,taken there for the first time, are said to have beenas startlingly surprised as though some brilliantlylighted scene of enchantment had suddenly opened before them. Perfumes Perfumes,, flowers Aowers,, scenic illusions,music, instrumental and vocal, by unseen performers,a perfect intoxication of the senses. No wonder thatMdlle. Daucour should have desired permanently todwell in this fairy bower; that she should have beengrateful to her dear Madame de Tencin for the wordin season dropped into the ear of the good cardinal,always so anxious to help society to reform .She was a much envied woman in the fashionableworld of Paris, in spite of a singularly laughable crot chet of M. de La Poplinière, who, while adopting inother respects the manners and customs of aristocraticscciety, was actually so barbaric in his ideas, that herefused to allow his wife the services of an ami intime.He chose to take the duties of that office on himself,and was so boyishly romantic as to allow it to appearthat he had an affectionate regard for his wife. Somesharp - sighted ladies kept a vigilant eye on her; justto see how she bore such tyranny . But all went onA FRENCH MEPHISTOPHELES. 215well, until “ this long dream of happiness," as it wasjestingly termed, was one evening the subject of con versation and laughter in a salon where a number ofladies were amusing themselves with their “ purfling,"and gentlemen with their embroidery. One of them was that Mephistopheles of French society, of whom it was said “ that like the serpent he was resolved to conquer the world, through woman ” —the infamousDuc de Richelieu .Hitherto he had honored La Poplinière with butlittle of his company. The reunions of artistes possessed small attraction for him, and the host, to hismind, was far too pretentious-putting himself on alevel with grands seigneurs such as he; though Riche lieu, in fact, had but little to plume himself upon in his ancestry. However, he has now a worthy motive for renewing his acquaintance with the magnificent financier, to whom anonymous notes are soon after constantly addressed, attributing disparaging conduct to his wife. He has confidence in her and disregardssuch insinuations. But during her absence at a fête,a more explicit letter reaches him. He is induced topush his inquiries further, and, to his intense dismay,he is compelled to give credence to the accusationsagainst her. He orders that the doors be closed, and admission refused on her return . News of what hasoccurred is carried to her. Meeting with her hus band's friend , the Maréchal de Saxe, she prays him to take her home in his carriage. He does so, andthrusting aside the servant, who would prevent her from entering, he leads her to her husband. “ Listen ,” he says, " for a moment to your wife, she desires to justify herself in your eyes." He then leaves themtogether,11216 THE OLD RÉGIME.La Poplinière is in a distracted state of mind; heturns sadly from his wife, when, throwing herself onher knees, she implores forgiveness for the wrong shehas done him. Her confession increases both hisanger and his grief. He desires her to leave hishouse, and she does so on the following day, to takeup her abode in a humble cottage at Passy, with asmall monthly allowance for her support from herhusband. There she pines away; grief, remorse, despair, soon do their work, and La Poplinière is released from the fair frail wife who had so bitterlydeceived him, but whom, nevertheless, he unceasinglyregrets. As, at the marriage of Malle. de Valois,Richelieu presented himself to gaze unmoved on the grief of the young girl whose love he had won, andwho was sacrificing herself for him, so this insidiousseducer had the audacity and barbarity similarly toinsult the erring wife who, so weakly yielding to hisblandishments, had brought ruin and disgrace on herhead.Richelieu had then just married his second wife,Malle. de Guise, the heiress of the Duc de Lorraine.But he confessed that what pleased him most in thismarriage was the right it gave him to add the cross ofLorraine and the golden eaglets of a sovereign house to his family arms. He therefore was not restrainedby any feeling for his bride from gratifying his desireto ascertain how the financier's wife was affected bythe sudden transition from affluence and happiness tostraitened means, neglect, and contempt.CHAPTER XXI.Thé à l'Anglaise and a Lecture. —The Queen's Privy Purse. -The President Hénault. --Le Marquis d'Argenson . - Defence of the Cardinal. - The Cardinal's Petit Coucher. -Mademoi.selle Aissé. - The Chevalier d'Aidye. -The Sleep of Death. History of the Fair Haidée. —Les Devotionnettes. - A Warn ing Sign from on High. -Miss Black.A LETTER, informing Madame de Tencin of thedeath of her friend and protégée, Madame de la Poplinière, was put into her hands when her thoughts were occupied, as we have noticed, with the rival gamblingtables of the salon Quinault. It afforded her a ready theme for moralizing, as well on the sad event itself,as generally, on the manners of the age. Having leftoff rouge, she could, of course, with much propriety,be severe on that subject. And she was severe, for the especial benefit of the two youths, Helvetius andd'Alembert, respecting whose success in society-notthe society of actresses, as she remarked- she mightnaturally be supposed to feel anxious, as they hadmade their début under her auspices and in her salon.With well simulated reverence they listened to the preaching of the reformed sinner ( for such in somesense she was) , while sipping their tea, ordered in as a support to her lecture. Théà l'Anglaise, in the moresevere salons, such as that of Madame de Tencin, was preferred as an accompaniment to conversation, and " a something to do," to embroidering applique, or cutting out pictures, and the working of worsted roses.218 THE OLD RÉGIME.The tea- table is placed in front of the sofa, where the Circassian lady reclines, though not so much fromindolence as because she is ill. Her malady is consumption, a very prevalent one at the period in ques .tion. It is a fitful, deceptive disease. She fanciesto- day that she really has nothing but a slight feelingof languor to overcome, and she will be perfectly well.Hence her visit to Madame de Tencin, who, afterbeing her inveterate enemy, is become her very dearfriend, but may be her enemy again. It is the way,you know, of womankind to be thus capricious in theirso -called friendships. But let us not moralize: it is' flat, stale , and unprofitable" so to do.The warnings and teachings of the usually brilliant Madame de Tencin had reached the very verge of -drowsiness, when two habitués of her salon fortunatelydropped in and turned the sluggish current of conversation into another channel. One of the arrivalswas the president, Hénault, controller of the queen'shousehold , and keeper of her privy purse — the last anoffice of no great responsibility, for the cardinal allowed but little to be put into the purse. Its disbursements were, therefore, scarcely more importantthan the distributing of pence to the poor. The queenhad, indeed , complained to the king of the cardinal'sstinginess; he, however, only recommended her tofollow his example, and ask him for nothing; whenshe would be sure of meeting with no refusal.But Hénault has a literary reputation, and it isfounded on his chronological histories of France,Spain, and Portugal. His suppers have made himfamous in social circles, and his wit has gained himbrevet rank in the salon of the vivacious Duchesse duMaine. There are people who consider Hénault as,THE PRESIDENT HÉNA ULT. 219before all things, un bon vivant. But his gourmandise,we learn, was the " gourmandise of choice spirits "an enlightened appreciation of the nuances of flavor insavory dishes, and the delicate bouquet of choice wines.Madame du Deffant said of the president ( he waspresident of the parliament of Paris) that " supper was one of the essential qualities of the man. Takethat away, what remains to him?" she asked. Voltaire judged differently , and often addressed flatteringlines to his friend , whose talent he could appreciate as well as his suppers:“ Hénault, fameux par vos soupersEt par votre chronologie,Par des vers au bon coin frappésPleins de douceurs et d'harmonie.“ Les femmes vous ont pris fort souventPour un ignorant fort aimable;Les gens en us, pour un savant,Et le Dieu joufflu de la table Pour un connaisseur fort gourmand. " *Hénault has but just left Madame du Deffant, morethan usually oppressed by the demon ennui. He hasconfided her to the tender care of another devoted friend, the Marquis de Pont de Veyle. Often theMarquis spends the live - long day seated at one corner of her fire -place, the Marquise occupying the opposite side — he gazing upon her, as though enjoying the spectacle of a martyr to ennui, she affecting not to be aware of his presence.Hénault, famous for your suppers , your chronology, and yourverses with the ring of true metal, full of sweetness and harmony.Women often take you for an amiable ignoramus, philosophersfor a savant, and the jolly God of the table for a most fastidiousconnoisseur. ”220 THE OLD RÉGIME.4The other addition to Madame de Tencin's tea- tableguests is the Marquis d'Argenson, a severe censurer of the manners and morals of the period.He complains of the low tone that now prevails incircles that once were called good society. Conversation , he says, is a thing of the past. Philosophy,intent only on breaking down the barriers that shouldseparate classes, fills every salon with a heterogeneousmob, amongst whom he finds himself a stranger, and far more solitary than when alone in his study with no society but that of his books. “ If,” he continues," any subject of interest should perchance be introduced in these salons, immediately the frivolous com pany begin to laugh, to yawn, to talk all at once, to askquestions the most irrelevant; being too idle to listen,too ignorant to reason. He can compare them onlyto a number of birds twittering in a bush , and all piping at random, each one striving only to be loudest. ”The salon in which he has for years been accustomed to lament over the decline of good manners no longerexists. Madame de Lambert has passed away, at theage of eighty- six. " In her circle courtesy was asentiment of the mind, and humanity dwelt in theheart. The politeness which has taken the place of courtesy consists of an infinity of words without meaning; while humanity, having left the heart forthe lips, has no longer any base of esteem or affection .”The Marquis is an admirer of the Cardinal- minister.“ They who would like to see him superseded , ” hesays, “ deny him the genius of a statesman, and con demn his policy as wanting in breadth and boldness.Yet, ” urges the Marquis, in the warmth of his attachTHE CARDINAL'S PETIT COUCHER. 221ment to the old cardinal, " he has given proof of thepossession of the ministerial qualities of justness andsolidity in his views and intentions, and of franknessand good faith in his dealings with foreigners. Hispolicy is sufficiently adroit without being treacherous;he is clear- sighted enough to discern the snares andtraps laid for him by courtiers who would displacehim , and he cleverly avoids them, or, at times, turnsthem to account, without resorting to perfidiousmeans or adopting Machiavellian measures.”Replying to the questioning of the ladies, d'Argen son informs them that he was present on the previousevening at that most ridiculous yet amusing spectacle,called by the people " le petit coucher of the Cardinalking.” What precedent the cardinal could produce for assuming such a prerogative to belong to the post he fills, the Marquis declares he knows not. ForFleury accepts no title but that of Minister of State,though it is certain that the whole power of the State is in his hands-far more so, and more uncontestedly,than it was ever possessed by Richelieu by means of his numerous executions, or by Mazarin with all his intrigues.Every evening the whole of the court, with gentlemen , tradespeople, the idle and the busy, are waiting atthe doors of the cardinal's apartment. When his eminence has passed into his dressing -room , the doors areopened, the people enter and assist at the cardinal'spreparations for bed. They see him divest himselfof his clothing, put on his night- shirt, and comb hisflowing white locks, which time has now very much thinned. During this operation he speaks of the chitchat and news of the day, interspersed with many a jestand bon -mot, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but all of222 THE OLD RÉGIME.which are laughed at and applauded by his auditors.Some remonstrances on this practice of joking in pub lic were addressed to him by the Abbé de Pomprona,who has much influence with the old cardinal, andwished to convince him, without actually saying so,that his joking was rather undignified. He told himan epigram, or two, then current, respecting the petitcoucher itself. But Fleury has not seen fit to make any change-believing the people to be anxious to seehim, and having, as he said, no other spare time inwhich to gratify them without intruding on the hoursdevoted to business of State.As the Marquis ceases speaking, Mdlle. Aissé, or the fair Haidée, as she is sometimes called , rises from thesofa . The fair, pale face is suddenly suffused with aroseate glow; the large soft eyes light up with pleas ure. How graceful, how elegant her figure! By thebeauty that remains, one perceives how beautiful shemust have been in the first blush of youth, when hercharms were the theme of general admiration, and shewas celebrated as“ Aissé quide la Grèce épuisa la beauté.” *She is now thirty -eight or thirty- nine years of age; avictim of consumption, fading away daily, though shecannot realize what is clearly apparent to all but her self. The change from languor to animation has beencaused by the entrance of the Chevalier d'Aidye, a relative of the Marquis de Saint- Aulaire, and a knight of St. John of Jerusalem. It is the dream of Haidée thatthis lover of hers does not marry her, because she willnot consent to an alliance which she believes prejudi

  • “ Aissé who robbed Greece of beauty . "

THE SLEEP OF DEATH , 223cial to his interests. Her own fortune is small, andhe has scarcely at command the means and influenceto purchase a dispensation from his vow of celibacy,even if he desired it . But he is rather the adored thanthe adorer. He submits to be loved, and the love lavished upon him is so strong, so true, that he must bemarble- hearted indeed did he not respond to it with,at least, a tender pity akin to love.But Mdlle. Aissé's chair is waiting. The Chevalier will probably escort her home. Madame de Tencinand her guests compliment and congratulate the beautiful Circassian on her apparently improved health.She looks bright and happy as she leaves the salon,leaning on her Chevalier's arm. But she has exertedherself unusually to-day, and feels much fatigued onarriving at her home; so much so that, reclining ona sofa, she sinks almost immediately into a deep slumber. It has continued an hour or more, yet still shesleeps; she stirs not.The Chevalier waits to say farewell. He is a greatlover of the chase, and is about to leave Paris forawhile, to hunt the wild boar and the wolf on hisestate in the forest of Poitou. He approaches the sofa .He is struck by the ashy paleness of the sleeper; then raises the arm that hangs listlessly by her side. Ah!how cold! how nerveless. All know that touch , andwhat a thrill it sends through the frame -- the Cheva lier's lady-love sleeps the sleep of death!Many had been the guesses and speculations, in years gone by, as to the real origin of Mdlle. Aissé;but latterly, except in the immediate circle in which shewas brought up, the gay world had almost forgottenher. She had withdrawn from it , and the charm ofmore youthful beauties now formed the subject of the224 THE OLD RÉGIME.flattering effusions of drawing- room poets. She firstcame to France at about the age of four years withthe Comte de Ferriol, French Ambassador at the courtof the Sultan. He had bought her for three hundredpiasters in the slave- market at Constantinople, having,when casually passing through it, been struck by her childish grace, her beauty, and her tears. He namedher Haidée, and placed her, on his return, with hisbrother's wife, Madame de Ferriol, to be carefully educated during his further absence in Turkey. Notwithstanding this story, it was generally believed thatthe little girl was the Count's own daughter, and hermother the very handsome Turkish woman who cameto France with them, and resided in his house whilehe remained in Paris.It was, however, given out that Haidée was actually a Circassian princess, captured, with other children andwomen, by a party of Turks on a marauding expedition into the territory of the prince, her father. Indistinct memories were said to float in her mind of thesplendors of the palace that was her early home, andwere received as confirmatory of M. de Ferriol's ac count of his protégée. The Count provided liberallyfor her. She was reared in luxury, and dressed at alltimes as befitted the rank of a princess and her superb Oriental beauty.The hôtel Ferriol was the resort of the beaux espritsof the dissolute society of the regency. Madame deFerriol, like her sister, Madame de Tencin, was a frequenter of the Palais Royal, and was the friend ofMadame de Parabère and the regent's mistresses gen .erally. In this corrupt society the youthful Haidéegrew to womanhood . She says of herself, “ I have been the sport of the passions." But by and byLES DÉVOTIONNETTES. 225Madame de Ferriol and her sister became what the oldcardinal, with a slightly sarcastic smile, used to call" dévotionnettes." They left off rouge, went daily tomass and confessed. Then arose Madame de Ferriol'sanxiety for the conversion of her brother's protégée.But already she was half converted. She had fallenin love with the Chevalier, and desired to reform,fearing that she was unworthy of his love. “ My badconduct has made me wretched , " she exclaims.Henceforth the Chevalier is all the world to her.Yet still she continues to appear at the theatre with Madame de Parabère, rather naïvely expressing a hopethat it may be charitably supposed she is not ac quainted with the secrets of her dissolute life. Voltaire addressed many of his adulatory verses to Mdlle.Aïssé, and sometimes corresponded with her. Thesons of Madame de Ferriol, the Marquis de Pont deVeyle and le Comte d'Argental , were his dear angels.Naturally, then , she had her full share of the poeticincense he distributed so lavishly.When the Comte de Ferriol died, he left his adopted daughter a legacy of fifty thousand francs, and an annuity of four thousand.It would seem that the Duc d'Orleans, son of the regent, had seen and admired Mdlle. Aïssé at thePalais Royal reunions. Having become a widower two years after his marriage with the Princess ofBaden, and hearing that Mdlle. Aïssé had left offrouge and was now a strict devotee, he determined ,after due consideration, to ask her to be his wife-à la main gauche, perchance; or he may have thought that,as a Circassian princess, she was eligible as regarded royal birth; for his ideas concerning the affairs of every-day life were no less singular than his religious>226 THE OLD RÉGIME.>views. On arriving at her residence on his matrimo nial errand, the lady was not at the moment able to receive him. While waiting for her appearance, ithappened that the fastenings of some portion of his clothing gave way. He was much struck by so remarkable a circumstance; and, with devout resignation , received it as a warning sign from on high that the marriage he contemplated was not one of thosemade in heaven, therefore not approved there.Congratulating himself on being spared from havingrun counter to the wishes of Providence, he addressed a few crazy compliments to the lady and took hisleave, without uttering a word on the subject to whichshe owed his visit . He was known to be not quitecompos mentis, so that his eccentricities rarely excitedsurprise. He believed neither in births nor deaths.When told of the death of Mdlle. Aïssé, he was exceedingly angry, said it was impossible; the king had concealed her to keep her out of his sight.A daughter, born in England, when Malle. Aisséwas on a visit to the Countess of Bolingbroke, was christened Célanie, and afterwards brought up inFrance at the Convent of Sens, under the name ofMiss Black. In those very unpleasing letters toMadame Calendrini, consisting chiefly of idle gossipconcerning the depraved society of her day, Mdlle.Aissé's visits to this daughter are sometimes referredto. In 1740 the Chevalier acknowledged Miss Black,and she left her convent to marry the Vicomte de Nan thia — un gentilhomme de Périgord.Voltaire, writing to his dear angel d'Argental, in1761 , mentions the death of the Chevalier d'Aidye,and the end of this little romance. On the history orlegend of this supposed Circassian princess the operaof Haidée is thought to have been founded.CHAPTER XXII.Conspiracy of the Marmosets. — The Duc de Gêvres . - The DucalGambling- House . — An Interesting Invalid . —Court Secrets.Tapestry -Working Statesmen . — The Queen grows Jealous. The Coiffure of Madame de Gontaut. –Madame de Mailly.The King accepts a Mistress. —The Petits-Soupers at Choisy.-Stanislaus Leczinski.- The Brave Bréhant de Plélo . - TheCourt of Lorraine. - Death of Madame de Vintimille.--Very smoothly, very pleasantly, would have glidedon the life of the aged Cardinal- minister, but that,from time to time, theological quarrels were forced onhis attention by the unquiet and domineering spirit ofa portion of the clergy. Still , he kept on the eventenor of his way, on the whole but slightly disturbed by them . If his ministerial course did not alwaysprove a pathway of roses, the thorns that had hitherto beset it were few.When Mazarin died , the chansonniers wrote whatthey called his epitaph:“ Ci git l’Eminence deuxième,Dieu nous garde d'un troisième. ” *But the mild sway of “ Son Eminence troisième," and his economical administration of the finances, alreadygave more than a promise to France of returningnational prosperity. The daily prayer of the people -as the best blessing that heaven could bestow on

  • " Here lies Cardinal number two,

Heaven defend us from a third . "9228 THE OLD RÉGIME.1them — was that the old cardinal's life might be prolonged, and his bodily health and mental vigor continue unimpaired . Clouds, however, were begin ning to obscure the political horizon . There were rumors of war and signs of domestic annoyances.Of the latter was the intrigue named the “ Conspir acy of the Marmosets."The Ducs de Gêvres and d'Epernon, with M. deCoigny, court pages, weary of the monotony of thecourt, and of so unprecedented a state of things as ayoung king without a maîtresse -en -titre, resolved toattempt to bring about the change they had longvainly been waiting for. They looked on the cardinalas the cause of the king's persistent indifference tothe unceasing attacks made upon him by aspiring ladies. By insidiously disparaging him, as too much attached to the " Système Antiquaille," they hoped tosucceed in undermining his influence; also securinghis dismission. The Duc de Richelieu secretly supported these views of the younger courtiers. He wasa favorite with the king, whose ennui he sometimesdispelled by highly embellished narrations of hisnumerous adventures. He would also gayly rally him on his “ extraordinary virtue," and laughingly suggestthat the beautiful Mdlle. de Amor Mdme. de Bmight almost contest the palm of beauty with thequeen.Louis XV. was as remarkably taciturn as polite andgracious in manner. He therefore replied not to this badinage, which he permitted because it amused him.He smiled only; what his thoughts were it would have been difficult to guess. To hint at the cardinal'simperfections was, as Richelieu doubtless knew, more perilous than to insinuate that there were youngerTHE DUCAL GAMBLING -HOUSE . 229and fairer women than the queen. He did not venture to attempt it, but discreetly left that hazardous part of the intrigue to others.The Duc de Gêvres was at his château at St. Quen,when the king suddenly took a fancy to employ his 1'dle hours in working tapestry, as so many gentlemendid at that period. Impatient to begin , a messengerwas despatched immediately to Paris, for canvas for the seats of four chairs, wools, silks , needles, andwhatever else might be needed for his undertaking;another messenger, at the same time, went off in allhaste to summon the Duc de Gêvres to Versailles. Heexcelled in all the fashionable gentlemanlike needlework of the day, and the king wished for instruction from so great a master in the art. The duke lived inprincely style at St. Ouen-chamberlains, gentlemenof the household, and a retinue scarcely less numerous than that usually accompanying the king. Yet he was overwhelmed with debts, and his estates weremortgaged. His hôtel in Paris was let as a gamblinghouse, and from his share of the proceeds of the tables he now derived his sole income. It was, however, alarge one; for gambling had become a mania with allclasses.When the messenger from Versailles arrived at St.Quen, the duke, slightly indisposed it was said, was reclining, supported by cushions, on a couch of greenand gold damask, with curtains of the same, loopedback by green ribands and roses. He was wrappedin a wadded robe de chambre of green and gold silk;but, as a covering for his head, instead of a cap ofsome sort, the interesting invalid wore a gray felt Henri IV. hat, bordered with green and gold andadorned with a long green feather. A green and gold230 THE OLD RÉGIME.1coverlet was partly thrown over him, from under which peeped forth a green and gold slipper. A greenand gold fan , and a bunch of rue for a bouquet, lay on the couch; a green and gold work- table stood besideit, on which were his scissors and prints for applique.His tapestry frame was near at hand; but he wasthen amusing himself with green silk and gold threadknottingIn spite of his distressingly enfeebled condition, the duke magnanimously responded to the call of his sovereign. The Duc d'Epernon ( whose especial weaknesswas a fondness for surgery, and who always had alancet with him; being ready and willing to bleed any one weak enough to allow him ) accompanied hisfriend, and with all speed they proceeded to Versailles.The king had received the materials for his work, and was admiring the designs for his chair seats. Theyoung Comte de Maurepas, already known for hiscaustic remarks, was with him . After listening to theeloquence of the duke on the subject of needlework,but apparently with more contempt than admiration,the count said, addressing the king: “ Sire, yourmajesty is far more courageous than your great an cestor, Louis XIV .”“ How so? " inquired the king." He,” replied Maurepas, “ would never undertake more than one siège ( siege or seat) at a time; but your majesty has the courage to undertake four."Whether the king received this remark as compli mentary or otherwise, we are not informed.The tapestry work afforded the Duc de Gêvres, and the other courtiers in his plot, the opportunity theyhad desired of impressing their views on the mind ofthe king. And they seem to have brought him soTAPESTRIWORKING STATESMEN . 231near to their way of thinking, that he agreed withthem that the cardinal had arrived at a time of lifewhen the business of State must naturally be a burden, and that it was desirable to relieve him of it . Hiscourtiers were delighted; but were unwilling to haveit known that it was they who had advised the dis placement of Fleury. The king promised absolutesecrecy. But the cardinal had more friends than foesin the court. Secrets to be kept there “ should bedumb to very walls.” But this secret was known atIssy, where the cardinal was staying, the very next day.Fleury never remonstrated. Repairing at once to Versailles, he tendered his resignation, assigning, as areason for so doing, those considerations urged on the king by the Duc de Gêvres on the previous morning.The king was confused; he seemed as one consciencestricken. The horrors of the impending situation at the same time rose up before his indolent mind. Howwas he to carry on the government of his kingdom if his preceptor were not at his elbow to direct him?Where find a minister disinterested and able as Fleuryhad proved himself? or, if as able, that could replace the confidant, the friend , the parent he had been tohim from childhood? He implored the old cardinalstill to keep in his hands the guidance of the helm of State; and at the same time informed him who werehis foes, and the nature of their counsels. More disposed to be amused at this shallow intrigue than to take revenge on the tapestry- working statesmen, thecardinal thought the duke and his companions suffi ciently punished by their mortification at the exposureof their schemes, and the order from him, as minister,signed by the king, to refrain from visiting eitherParis or Versailles for the next few months.232 THE OLD RÉGIME.This plot, which threatened so much and achievedso little, was soon after the theme of conversation andlaughter in the salons as the “ conspiracy of the marmosets,” an epithet which did not tend to soothe thevexed feelings of its authors. However, one result ofthis intrigue was to convince the court that the reignof Fleury was to endure to the end of his days. Ashe had passed his eightieth year, there were many whobelieved or hoped that the term of those days wasnigh at hand . Yet it was generally conceded that the king must at once be roused from his lethargy, apathy,or whatever the spell might be, that rendered him insensible to the blandishments of beauty, and blinded him to the faded appearance of the queen. Thefreshness of her complexion was gone; she had a careworn look, and, in her manner generally, there was an expression of languor. With her seven childrengrouped around her, she looked staid and matronlyas a woman of forty, though but in her thirty -firstyear; the king was in his twenty- fourth, and probablymore remarkably handsome than at any other periodof his life.Unfortunately, the queen was growing jealous, and,being wanting in tact and spirit, displayed her feel ings ridiculously. A certain Madame de Gontaut, an exceedingly pretty woman, whom the queen suspected of a desire to supplant her, was made to feelher resentment by a constant fault- finding with herhead- dress. Whenever she made her appearance,dressed, as she believed, to perfection, poor MarieLeczinska would single her out for disapproving remarks. Calling her to her, she proceeded, with an affectation of graciousness, to remedy the supposeddefective arrangement of the lady's coiffure, her object11MADAME DE MAILLY. 233being nothing more than to ruffle and disarrange it,that she might appear to disadvantage in the eyes of the king. It was a very poor ruse, and caused much amusement; to none more than to Madame de Gontautherself-- a sparkling brunette, to whose beauty a slight dishevelment of the hair often gave added piquancy.But it was not Madame de Gontaut, but Mdlle. deNesle-soon after Comtesse de Mailly-who wasdestined to fill the honorable post of maîtresse-en -titre,so long tantalizingly kept vacant. She has been compared to the Duchesse de la Vallière; but except thatthe countess, like the duchess, was a king's mistress,the resemblance between them is not striking. Previous to a full assumption of the new dignity, the etiquette seems to have been, presentation to the queen,and her acceptance of her rival, whether willing ornot, as one of the ladies of the palace.Madame de Mailly, one learns with surprise, was of the Rambouillet circle ( surely a stray black sheep thathad slipped in unawares). She was the eldest of the five daughters of the Marquis de Nesle. Richelieuhad remarked her, as possessing the audacity andeffrontery necessary " to throw herself at the king'shead,” which she did with all the fervor of a bacchante: for she loved the juice of the grape, andespecially foaming champagne, which she challenged the king to drink with her, bumper for bumper. Intheir earlier revels and petits- soupers she far surpassedhim in the quantity she could take with impunity.The cardinal is said to have approved the choice ofthis woman as a mistress for the king. Perceiving that a mistress was inevitable, he looked upon her selection as an affair of State. Madame de Mailly wasconsidered disinterested-attached to the king, in fact.234 THE OLD RÉGIME.She would therefore be an inexpensive superfluity,and as she possessed neither ability nor ambition, it was not likely she would attempt to interfere in theconcerns of government: consequently he regarded her as the most eligible of the many noble ladies then contending for the vacant post.The king had scarcely a voice in the matter. Heneither loved nor admired Madame de Mailly. Hedid not seek her, but accepted her as the mistress provided for him, with the same apathy and indifference he had shown when provided with a wife.Perhaps no young man was ever more entirely thrustinto vice than Louis XV. The dissolute men andwomen of the court, reared in the depraved society ofthe regency, long despaired of his becoming one of them. But the first plunge taken, unhappily, nonedived deeper into the slough of vice than he. Fits of remorse oppressed him at times, and he continuedstrictly to perform the outward duties of religion.The queen, unintellectual and fuli of narrow -mindedbigotry, was incapable of exerting any beneficial influence upon him. The more he became alienatedfrom her, the more humble and timid did she appear in his presence; though, as in his religion, so in everymark of outward respect towards his wife, he wasnever known to fail.Following the example of the great nobles of hiscourt, he had his petite maison — purchasing Choisyfor that purpose. There he had his private kitchen,fitted up with every requisite for the practice of the art of which he was so efficient an amateur. Wearing the white jacket, apron, and cap of a chef-de- cuisine, he would often prepare some choice dish, to regale those of his intimates who were admitted to share in theSTANISLAUS LECZINSKI. 235وorgies of the petits- soupers of Choisy. The disorderthat prevailed there becoming publicly known, so much indignation was expressed by the people thatthe cardinal thought it right to remonstrate on suchconduct. The king replied , “ very dryly,” as DeTocqueville observes: “ I have abandoned to you theconduct of my kingdom, I hope you will leave memaster of my private affairs . ”At about the same time that the change took placein the habits of Louis XV. , news was received of thedeath of Augustus of Poland, and the re- election ofStanislaus to the throne he already had found so unstable a seat. He was by no means desirous of resuming so uncertain a dignity. Russia, his former foe, favored the pretensions of another Elector ofSaxony, Augustus, the late king's son; but threefourths of the nation had pronounced in favor of the deposed King Stanislaus. Content in his retirementat Weissenberg, he still made it a point of honor torespond to the call of his countrymen, lest it shouldappear to them that his courage was not equal to his fortunes. Yet he knew from experience how fickle was the temperament of this “ nation of high- souled cavaliers; ” that fidelity was not to be relied upon, butrather desertion when fidelity should most be needed.Without money or troops—though he probably depended on aid from France-he set out for Poland,entered Warsaw in disguise, and a few days after was proclaimed king by his partisans. A Russian armyof ten thousand men, commanded by the famous Gen eral Munich, with auxiliary troops from Austria, hadalready entered Poland, to support the claims of theElector. The partisans of Stanislaus then fell away from him , or were quickly dispersed; he escaping,236 THE OLD RÉGIME.1with difficulty, to Dantzic, where, however, he was well received .. There he awaited the French troops.Neither Louis XV. nor the cardinal-indisposed aswas the latter to engage in war- could entirely desert him. A small detachment of fifteen hundred men wastherefore embarked in two or three of the crazy old vessels then composing the French navy.Dantzic was besieged by Munich when the Frenchtroops arrived in the Sound. The futility of the aid he had brought induced the commander of the expe dition to refrain from landing his men. But hisreturn to France was opposed by the young ComteBréhant de Plélo, the French Envoy at Copenhagen,He thought it an ignominious flight, dishonoring to France; and, taking upon himself the command of the expedition, Dantzic was again approached. Thetroops were disembarked, and the first Russian lineattacked

but the daring young commander was quickly overpowered. He fell, sword in hand, fight ing, and covered with wounds. He had anticipated

sucha fate

but resolved to brave it

, to save the honorof the French name. His small detachment of troopscapitulated, after holding out for some time in the advantageous position they had taken up. They weresent to St. Petersburg, and, by command of the Empress Anne, treated with marked distinction.Dantzic was taken by the Russian general.A pricewas set on the head of Stanislaus, who, however, aidedby some of his followers, contrived to leave the city unrecognized. After assuming various disguises, and encountering many perilous risks and hair-breadthescapes, always closely pursued by the enemy, he atlast, in sad plight, but in safety, reached Marienwerder, the frontier town of ducal Prussia. The warthat followed these events resulted ina peace which1DEATH OF MDME. DE VINTIMILLE. 237gave the sovereignty of the Duchy of Bar, and Principality of Lorraine, to Stanislaus, with their reversionto France at his death. He retained the title of king;but renounced all claim to the throne of Poland. Inthe course of this war the two great generals of Louis.XIV. lost their lives -- Marshal Villars, in his eightythird year, and Marshal Berwick, the natural son of James II .After so many ups and downs of fortune, Stanislaus was very comfortably settled in the evening of his life.He was much beloved in his new domains, and Lor raine was prosperous and peaceful under his benig nant rule. It became the fashion to pay frequentvisits to the little court of Lorraine, where there wasmuch less cold etiquette, and far more geniality and gayety, than at Versailles: just as the palace Stanislaus built for himself, in imitation of that grandiose structure, was less stately in appearance, but infinitelymore desirable as a dwelling. The happy ending of her father's troubles was a consolation to the queen,in the midst of the many vexations that beset her, andthe frequent mortifications she was subjected to in the dissolute French court.Madame de Mailly no longer reigned at Versailles.Like Stanislaus, she had twice been deposed and reelected . In the intervals,, she left off rouge, confessed,and sojourned for awhile at the Carmelites. Thedeath of her successor had just occurred; and Louis,in silence and solitude, was bemoaning his widowed condition , and refusing to be comforted. Madame de Vintimille had died suddenly, and, as usual, poisonin some form-perfumes, gloves, or billets - doux - wassuspected; suspicion, on this occasion, glancing atMadame de Mailly, and , more absurdly still , even look ing askarce at the old cardinal.CHAPTER XXIII.Jean-Jacques Rousseau .-- The Salon of Mdme. Dupin . - Jean Jacques and Mdme. de Crequy.-- Feigned Confidences. - Jean Jacques Returns to Paris . — Voltaire's Grand Homme. -UnMari, à la Mode Louis XV. -Voltaire's “ Mahomet. ” — Débutof Malle. Clairon.-A Triumph . - Sensation for the Salons.In the autumn of 1741 , Jean- Jacques Rousseauwhom, after a wandering aimless life , we now firsthear of in Paris—had lately arrived from Venice,where he had cultivated, to a certain extent, a natural taste for music. Undue confidence in his musical talent, and in the value of some pleasing but simple com positions, flattered him with the hope of an artisticcareer. He had invented, as he supposed , a new system of musical notation by figures, which he was desirous of explaining in a discourse addressed to themembers of the Académie des Sciences. In August,1742 , M. Reaumer procured him the opportunity he sought, and Jean - Jacques developed his scheme to acommittee of qualified musicians, of whom Rameau,now in merited repute, was one.To his immense disappointment, Rousseau learnedthat his system was not new, and that it had been already pronounced impracticable. He was thenthirty years of age; eaten up by vanity; burning witha desire for notoriety; " willing to be hanged," as Vol taire said, could he but have been gratified by hisname being placed on the scaffold .” An operatictrifie, “ Les Muses Galantes," was the means of intro66THE SALON OF MDME. DUPIN . 23966.ducing him to M. de La Poplinière, at whose privatetheatre it was performed, and met with the approvalof a friendly audience.But Rousseau's ambition soared far beyond the reputation of an amateur; and his arrogance, no less than his ignorance, was displayed in his remark on the works of Rameau, whose life had been spent in the scientific study of music, to which he had been ledby enthusiastic love of it from childhood . Awaywith these distillers of barrack harmonies!” exclaimedJean - Jacques, in his jealousy; while believing also thatRameau had seen a rival in him and his “ MusesGalantes . " Irritable, restless, distrustful, capricious,morbidly sensitive, a martyr to hypochondria, Jean Jacques sometimes awakened sympathy, which heeither repelled with brutality or rewarded with baseingratitude; while those who endeavored to serve him he hated and maligned. Idealized in a hundred vol umes, a hundred years after his death , he no doubt appears a very different person from the Rousseau known to his contemporaries. But with such speculations these pages are not concerned.As secretary in the family of the rich fermier -géné ral, Dupin, Rousseau next appears on the scene. Hehas described the salon of Mdme. Dupin as frequentedby the most distinguished society in Paris. Wealth,beauty, rank and learning; foreign ambassadors, greatnoblemen and titled ladies, forming her circle, according to Jean-Jacques. It may, however, be considereda somewhat exaggerated account of un salon bourgeois.At this time he was “ quite a handsome young man,”Madame de Crequy informs us, in the memoirs edited by M. Chanloup. He had called on Madame de Cre.quy, on the part of Madame Dupin, to inquire into240 THE OLD RÉGIME.the character of a servant. The great lady was surprised that the dame bourgeoise should send to her for information of that nature, and was about to desirethe messenger to make his inquiries of her steward,when a something in the expression of his countenance,she says, interested her.Instead of acting on her first impulse and curtly dismissing him, she desired he would wait awhile. Oninquiry, it appeared that the discharged servant, being a Protestant, had been unwilling to attend prayers inthe private chapel of the château . The orthodoxsteward had therefore dismissed him. On hearingthis, Jean - Jacques, in a melancholy tone, informedMadame de Crequy that he, too, was a Protestant,also a Swiss. This induced the lady to question himfurther, and they were deep in theological argumentwhen the Nuncio was announced.Rousseau had been humbly standing, hat in hand,while Madame de Crequy reasoned with him on hisheresy. He was now motioned to a seat, which, in theutmost confusion, he stumbled into ( his awkwardnesswas excessive) , and the conversation then turned onSwitzerland, which Jean-Jacques described in theglowing language of one carried back in imaginationto the loved and regretted scenes of his youth. Madame de Crequy was convinced that M. Rousseau,although a heretic, possessed great cleverness and awarm heart, with much learning and candor of disposition. She told him she would be glad to see himagain , and when he took leave, rose from her seat tobid him farewell. This, above all things, pleased him.“ He needed it," he said , “ as an encouragement, andto put him at ease in the presence of the great."• The noble, or rather ignoble, savage” was then conJEAN -JACQUES RETURNS TO PARIS. 241cealed under the mask of obsequiousness, and an airof mock humility. A few more years were requiredfully to develop the natural man."In the course of subsequent visits to Madame de Crequy, she discovered that he amused her with“ feigned confidences.” Naturally she was annoyed;but excused it, because she perceived, she said, " thathe had more illusions in his head than want of truthin his character” —a judgment in which leniency and truth were combined. He had an illness, it appears,about this time. On his recovery he obtained, throughthe influence of the Dupin family, the post of privatesecretary to M. de Montaigu, then leaving Paris forVenice, as ambassador. This engagement continued for nearly two years, but with so much mutual dissatisfaction that it is surprising it lasted so long. In1745 Jean-Jacques returned to Paris, poor in purse andwith but gloomy prospects for the future. He was pre paring that pretty little opera, “ Le Dévin du Village. "It was to his music he looked for success.also reading and studying. As a writer his talentwas scarcely yet known even to himself. Somewhereabout this time he made the acquaintance of Grimm and Diderot; but, as Marmontel says, “ Jean-Jacques had not yet taken color."Voltaire had been in Paris occasionally only forseveral years. He says in those brief " Mémoires deM. de Voltaire, écrites par lui-même:" " I was wearyof the idle and turbulent life of Paris; of the crowdof fops; of the worthless books printed with theking's approval and permission; ' and of the mean nesses and plagiarisms of the paltry wretches who dishonored literature, when, in 1733, I became acquainted with a lady whose opinions were much theHe was"242 THE OLD RÉGIME.same as my own.She had taken the resolution tospend several years in the country, far from the tumult of society, in order to cultivate her mind.This lady was the Marquise du Châtelet."She was Voltaire's “ respectable Emilie,” sometimes“ the divine," " the beautiful," " the sublime." He represents her, with much exaggeration, as rivallingMadame Dacier in classical learning. She was a philosopher, of course, a mathematician, metaphysician,geometrician, free-thinker , and " greatman .” Voltairespent six years with her at her château at Cirey, on the frontiers of Lorraine - a dilapidated old château, ofwhich the friends, in the intervals of their literary pursuits, superintended the repairing and embellishing.There, too , they received the visits of the philosophersand savants who passed that way; the amiable Emilie'scourtesies to her learned guests often exciting bitterpangs of jealousy in the breast of Voltaire. For Emilie had a susceptible heart, " great man " though shewas, not only in the complimentary sense in whichVoltaire applied the epithet, but personally also in her outward appearance.She resembled " an ugly grenadier," says her cousin,Madame de Crequy; and all her learning she profanely describes as " a sort of indigestible hotch -potch ." The Marquis du Châtelet was Lieutenant-général of the province of Lorraine. A strict observer of the marital etiquette of the Louis XV. period, he never in truded on the learned leisure of his wife and her" guide, philosopher, and friend."It was, however, in the solitude of Cirey that Voltaire wrote “ Alzire," " Mérope," " L'EnfantProdigue," and " Mahomet," and began his " Histoiregénérale depuis Charlemagne," etc.VOLTAIRE'S “ MAIIOMET. ” 243A lawsuit then obliged Madame du Châtelet to takea journey to Brussels. Voltaire accompanied her; and,her legal business terminating in her favor, she be came the possessor of the splendid Hôtel Lambert,in the Ile St. Louis, where she received the philosophers of extremest opinions, and the prosiest andprofoundest of the savants. But as this terrible blue.stocking gave little or no heed to suppers anddinners, even the most learned animals of the world ofphilosophy preferred the salon and well- spread table of the more hospitable Madame de Tencin.Voltaire, on returning to Paris, was desirous of producing his play of “ Mahomet," at the ThéâtreFrançais. . It had been played at Lille, in 1741 , as hewished to judge of its probable effect before bringing it out in Paris. While present at its first representationat Lille, a note from the King of Prussia, informing him of the victory at Molwitz, was received by Voltaire, who immediately read it to the audience. “ Youwill see," he said to them, “ how this victory will lead to another." But this can scarcely be called witrather it was clap- trap that appears to have answered the purpose he intended. The play of “ Mahomet "was submitted to Crébillon in Paris. The censorcondemned it. Voltaire complained to Fleury , whoreversed the judgment of Crébillon, and the play wasproduced with great success. He afterwards, whenseeking admission to the academy - objection beingtaken by Bishop Boyer to this work—sent it to the Pope, Benedict XIV. , who replied very courteously,adding a gold medal to his thanks for the " Bellissimatragédia . ” Mdlle. Dumesnil played the heroine with her accustomed ability, and contributed greatly tow ards its success. ,244 THE OLD RÉGIME.1The theatre was well attended at this period. The greater part of Voltaire's plays had been written andproduced, and had proved attractive. The companywas also highly talented. Malle. Quinault had retired to enjoy her ample fortune in private liſe,though still comparatively young and at the height of her fame. “ La belle d'Angeville” shone as a soubrette, and Mdlle. Dumesnil was still unrivalled inhigh tragedy, when a new débutante was announced.The début of a new actor or actress, or the first representation of a new play, was sure to bring an overflowing audience, filling every part of the house, andcrowding the stage. The débutante, on this occasion,was a young actress of eighteen or nineteen, who forsome years had wandered with itinerant companies from theatre to theatre through the provinces, playing in tragedy or comedy, or taking the role of primadonna in operatic pieces, and première danseuse in aballet.She had, however, gained some reputation at Rouen in the leading soubrette parts, and was now engaged to play alternately with Mdlle. d'Angeville in the sameline of characters. For her débuts, to the surprise ofthe whole company, she selected three tragedy parts,the opening one being Phèdre, the favorite part of Mdlle. Dumesnil. Her presumption astonished thegreat actress, and excited general ridicule. Curiosity brought a larger audience than usual, and an igno minious failure was anticipated.The curtain rises. The expected Abigail enters.Many of the audience had seen her at Rouen; but few -except that they are aware it is Mdlle. Clairon'sdébut they are to witness-would recognize her in thatstately actress, who treads the stage with the dignitySENSATION FOR THE SALONS. 245 .and grace of a finished artiste. Perhaps now for thefirst time they notice her finely chiselled features, her noble brow , and air of command; little suited indeed to a lively soubrette, but which full well become Phèdre. Her voice, too - so full in its tones, so clear,deep, and impassioned-at once makes its due impression on her hearers.Mdlle. Clairon has certainly taken her audience bysurprise, and the town by storm; for they perceive that a great actress is before them. Her supposed foolish vanity is found to be conscious talent. Theopportunity had come for its development; she hasfully justified the confidence she felt in her own powers, and it is unanimously acknowledged that whatshe attempted she has done well, even more than well-grandly.Three young men of rising literary reputation Diderot, d'Alembert, and Grimm - witnessed this firstappearance of Malle. Clairon in tragedy. They hadexpected an amusing rather than an edifying per formance. Now, they eagerly seek the young actressto offer their congratulations, before leaving the theatre to spread her fame in the salons.CHAPTER XXIV.11Death of Cardinal Fleury .-- His Government of France.- Proposed Monument to Fleury .-- Disappointed Ambition.Threatened Descent on England.-A Rival to Maurice deSaxe. -Seeking Refuge at Versailles. — The King's Hospitality . The “ Mutual Friend. ” -The Cardinal's Successor.Going to the Wars.-- A Solemn Thanksgiving.-- Mdme. LeNormand d'Etioles.-Illness of the King.- " Le Bien -Aimé.”-Louis' Letter to the Duchess . - Death of the Duchess.-- HerLast Words.GREAT changes had taken place in France during the last four years, both politically and socially.There had been war; many notabilities had passed away from the stage of life, and new celebritieshad appeared . In 1736 died Louis XIV.'s favoriteson, the Duc du Maine. His widowed duchess hadsince reappeared in society, and received the beauxesprits, at Sceaux, with even greater éclat than before.The Rambouillet circle was broken up; the Comte deToulouse-several years the duke's junior - having died in 1737. His son, the Duc de Penthièvre, hadgone to the wars, and, at the age of seventeen, haddistinguished himself at the battle of Dettingen - thatbattle so disastrous to France, the ally of CharlesAlbert of Bavière, then contending with Maria Theresa for the Empire of Germany.The Marquis de Fleury, nephew of the cardinal, was killed in that battle, and not long after - January 29,1743—the cardinal died at Issy, while the war, undertaken contrary to his wishes and advice, was still ragCARDINAL FLEURY. 247ing. He had completed, within two or three months,his ninetieth year, and the seventeenth of his government. Rarely has any statesman begun his publiccareer so late in life, or, having done so, retainedpower so long.He was still in full possession of his mental facul ties, but was oppressed with anxious fears as to theresult of the war, and disturbed at the large expendi- .ture of the public money it necessitated. His policyhad been so essentially a policy of peace and conciliation, that he had not thought it necessary even to be ready for war, in order the better to ensure a continuance of peace. " Peace without, economywithin ,” washis political motto, and the heaviest charge brought against him, as minister, was that in his condescensiontowards other nations, and fear of displeasing them,he sacrificed too much for the love, or the need, ofpeace.Unlike Richelieu and Mazarin, Fleury left no fortune to his family. Two or three recently conferredempty titles and honors, and the post of Premier gentilhomme de la chambre, to his nephew, de Rosset, wasall they derived from him. The revenue of his benefice was his only income. His tastes were simple; hewas opposed to any assumption of state, or ostentatious parade. He had amassed no gold or silver plate,no collection of treasures of art. The furniture of hissmall establishment comprised only what was usefuland good, without ornament; its value was estimatedat not more than five thousand écus. “ He governedFrance," writes De Tocqueville, “ as he governed his own well- regulated small household, with the strictestorder, exactness, and economy." The reputation of agreat minister was denied him, but he was regretted9 )248 THE OLD RÉGIME.the space1throughout France as a just and honorable one, who possessing great power, used it to promote, to the best of his ability, the welfare of the people and the prosperity of the nation.As every event, however serious, was then seizedupon for the subject of an epigram , it was said, whenthe cardinal died , that “ France, having been ailing forof a hundred years,had been treated successively by three physicians, all attired in red. Thefirst ( Richelieu) had bled her; the second ( Mazarin)had purged her; and the third ( Fleury) had put her on a diet."The king, with the Dauphin, visited him constantlyduring his last illness, which was rather a gradualsinking of nature than any decided malady. Brought up by him, accustomed to obey him, to confide in him,and to look upon him as a father, Louis XV. , naturally, was much affected by the death of the aged car dinal; more so, probably, than by any other bereavement or occurrence of his life. He, for a long time,proposed to erect a monument to his memory, and was often engaged with Soufflot, the architect, intracing designs for one. But as his sorrow subsided,his natural indolence and the pleasures of his dissolutecourt gradually effaced from his mind the memory ofFleury, and the proposed monument never was executed.The Cardinal de Tencin, who owed his barretta tothe Chevalier Saint- George, had expected to succeedto Fleury's post. But the king, in his last conversa tions with the cardinal- minister, had been counselledby him to take the reins of government into his own hands, and he resolved to follow his counsels. All theintrigues of Madame de Tencin and her friends, toTHREATENED DESCENT ON ENGLAND. 249obtain for her brother the coveted appointment,proved ineffectual — the honorary title of minister, witha seat in the council chamber, but with neither portfolio nor emolument, was the limit of her success.De Tencin had bound himself, in return for his eleva tion to the cardinalate, to support the cause of the Pretender, and to urge on the king the invasion of England. Though without any real weight in the council, he could at least lift his voice in behalf of theChevalier. He did so, and pleaded his cause sowarmly that both king and council, apparently, were gained over to his views.All that he asked was granted. As many vessels asBrest and Rochefort could muster and fit out wereassembled to embark troops. The king declared war against England , and Prince Charles Edward leftRome to join the French and to put himself under the guidance of Maréchal de Saxe. These preparations,however, were actually made for a very different object from the ostensible one. The threatened descenton England concealed a real intention of invadingHolland . The fleet put to sea, but neither England nor Holland could be reached. A violent storm arose-the ships were scattered; some were lost, others,much disabled, contrived to return to France. Theexpedition was at an end, for there was no other fleetto fit out, and the cardinal and his sister lamentedtogether over their inability to evince, as they had proposed, their gratitude to the Chevalier— " But never mind! " exclaimed Richelieu, who found Madame deTencin in tears. “ We have at least shown him theattention .”According to some writers, one of the most poignantsorrows of the old cardinal- minister's last days was250 THE OLD RÉGIME.the prospect he saw of the evil influence of aa mistresson the affairs of State. He had already been accused of jealousy of Madame de Vintimille. Death had re moved her from his path, but in her successor, Madame de la Tournelle, he foresaw for the king evengreater cause for alarm. The former was plain infeature, but lively, witty, and ambitious. The latter,from the imperiousness of her manner, had gained the name of " la grande princesse." She was a youngwidow, very beautiful; ambitious of power, and loftyin her sentiments - being fond of heroes, and determined to make of Louis XV. a hero, and a rival toMaurice de Saxe, whom she especially admired.As her sister was compared to Madame de la Vallière, so she, with as little reason, was likened to Agnes Sorel It should rather have been Madamede Montespan. She had acquired so much influenceover the king, by a system of artful coquetry, and anassumption of grand airs, that to gratify her, heseemed likely to become as prodigal as hitherto he had been parsimonious-prodigal of the public money,of course ( now that there was no cardinal to remon strate), not of his own private hoards, even for the beautiful Madame de la Tournelle. This lady was aprotégée of the Duc de Gêvres - again high in favorand the Duc de Richelieu, who had become the con fidant of the king and his instructor in vice. Toexcite his curiosity, they made her beauty their constant theme of admiration , and arranged her introduction to him in a very singular and unusual manner.She and her sister, Madame de Flavacourt, hadbeen residing with their grandmother, the Duchesse de Mazarin, who dying at this time, and her hôtelbeing inherited by the Comte de Maurepas, the sistersTHE KING'S HOSPITALITY. 251were compelled to seek another abode. The duchesshaving been dame autour de la reine, had an apartmentat Versailles. Taking advantage of this, Madame de la Tournelle had the audacity, on leaving the HôtelMaurepas —having concerted with her friends -toorder her chair to be carried to Versailles when theking and his courtiers were taking the usual promenade on the terrace. * She alighted in front of thepalace, and dismissed her chair- men, to the great surprise of the grandees assembled there — de Gêvres andde Richelieu excepted. After greeting the lady, and. conversing with her for a few minutes, the Duc de Gêvres announced to the king that this was the youngand beautiful Madame de la Tournelle. That, drivenfrom the home of her late relative, she had come toseek a temporary refuge in the duchess's apartment in the royal château.The lady was then led forward and presented to the king by the Duc de Richelieu. His majesty sawthat she was young and fair, and was almost as much charmed by the naïveté of her proceeding as with herbeauty. “ He rallied her on her enterprise ,” Soulavie tells us, and assigned her an apartment in the palace.He also gave shelter to Madame de Flavacourt underhis hospitable roof. The simple Marie Leczinska received Madame de la Tournelle very kindly, and bothshe and her sister were added to the list of her ladiesin waiting. But, alas for the king! the hand of thefair widow is sought by the handsome young Ducd'Agenois, to whose merits, she allows it to be known,she is by no means insensible. She keeps much to

  • All the old usages and etiquette of the time of Louis XIV.

were still rigidly kept up .252 THE OLD RÉGIME.. ----her apartments also

does not always accept the invi tation-for she acknowledges no command -- to share in the convivialities of the petits- soupers at Choisy.

Her pretext isa very bad cold

so that the king enjoys but little of her society. When she does ap

pear, she is usually so muffled up in an ample coiffe being fearful of increasing her cold, or taking a fresh one in the draughty corridors of Versailles - that hismajesty obtains but an occasional furtive glimpse of the beautiful face he longs to leisurely gaze on.Carried on for months, this tantalizing system becomes wearisome. It is intimated to Madame de laTournelle that she will do well to retire from thecourt. Then steps in the“ mutual friend,"— the infamous debauchee—the Duc de Richelieu. He, nownearer fifty than forty, is the assiduous flatterer of thepassions of the king. Honor suffers, no doubt

“ butwhat matter?” as he would say,“ favor is increased.”The handsome d’Agenois may havea face as handsome as the king's, but he hasa remarkably light purse. He cannot transform Madame's small estate ofChateauroux intoa wide domain anda duchy, and addto its modest revenue eighty thousand livres yearly.That isa feat which the king performs. Also, he presents her with the royal letters or documents in which it is stated " we have created our well- beloved,etc.,a duchess for her virtue and merit," enclosed ina richly jewelled casket. All the girlish mischievousness she had hitherto assumed at once disappeared,and the same haughty defiant air adopted by the Marquise de Montespan towards the timid queen ofLouis XIV. poor Marie Leczinska was compelled totolerate in her lady of honor, the stately Duchessede Chateauroux, now maîtresse-en- titre.aTHE CARDINAL'S SUCCESSOR . 253Fleury's advice to the king to dispense with a firstminister, and to take the duties of that office on him self, she warmly approved. But his indolence and indifference were so great that he would scarcely givehimself the trouble even to attend to affairs left incomplete at the cardinal's death— “ he does not seemto notice what takes place in his kingdom ," writesMadame de Tencin, “ but he amuses himself with directing a secret policy.” “ The king's secret ” wasno secret at all, and the aimlessness and futility of his so - called secret policy prevented it from greatly embarrassing his ministers in the conduct of publicaffairs. To certain propositions made to Louis Frederick of Prussia the duchess counselled himto accede. Having done so, she tossed aside his em broidery frame,, commanded him to gird on hissword, and to equip himself for making the approach ing campaign in Flanders.What a sensation it caused at Versailles! Whoshall describe the consternation, from the queen down to the most insignificant lackey-for the news spreadwith astonishing rapidity, from the grand salon to thescullery-when the Duc de Richelieu announced thatMadame de Chateauroux had exacted from the king a promise to place himself at the head of his armies?That she should consent to separate herself from herlover was no less surprising than the unwonted energyof the king. It had not been understood that she,too, was going to the wars—though it was known thatthe mistresses of Louis XIV. had shared the dangers of that great warrior- hero's expeditions, and that inhis triumphal progress through conquered lands “ three queens " accompanied him . It was, however,ascertained at the ante- chamber the next morning254 THE OLD RÉGIME.!11that the duchess also was going, after taking leave ofthe queen, and that the king would receive her at Epernay. “ She was to fight at his side, " said onereport.“ He had named her his aid- de- camp,"said another. It was, indeed,a fertile theme, thisgoing to the wars, for bon-mots, epigrams, and jests.It appears, too, to have been almosta party of pleasure. Elegant carriages, filled with still moreelegant ladies, thronged the roads leading to Nancyand Metz. The king had already performed prodigies of valor when Mdme. la Duchesse arrived, and,to celebrate the taking ofa fortress at which he hadassisted,a Te Deum was about to be said, or sung, inthe Cathedral of Lille. The duchess arrived in hercarriage. Men and women of rank anda crowd ofyoung officers vied with each other in pressing forward to congratulate her. Presently arrived the king,to take part in the solemn thanksgiving. He was on horseback, and surrounded by a brilliant staff - bootedand spurred,a clanking sword,a waving plume, andah! so divinely handsome. Just, too, as the hero hadridden from the terrible field where his deeds of valorhad been done, he entered the old stately cathedral.Most considerately, his prie-dieu was placed imme diately opposite the enclosed seat set apart for the duchess; as though that were the altar where he wouldmost naturally desire to pay his vows and to findacceptance.“ Radiantly happy she looked," we aretold.A noble pride lighted up her beautiful face, and added lustre to her large dark eyes. For the wish ofher heart was accomplished. She, at last, hada loverworthy of her-a lover who was botha hero andaking.Amongst the gay throng that filled the cathedral,1MDME. LE NORMAND D'ETIOLES. 255and placed where a full view of the triumphant dameand her royal lover was obtained, there looked ear nestly upon them a lady, elegantly dressed, young andfair as the duchess, and no less ambitious and unscrupulous, but infinitely more talented — it was Madame le Normand d'Étioles. Her husband had brought herhither to see this fine show and “ the pomp and cir cumstance of war.” But where was the queen? Athome, praying in her oratory - poor simple- mindedwoman. She should have said her prayers at Lille.Balls and fêtes followed the thanksgivings, and ban quets too; for Soubise was there, with Marin and hissubordinates and an army of scullions. The reviews were on a very grand scale. Bezenval says a hundredthousand men were there, besides the forty thousand comprising the army of reserve under the Maréchalde Saxe. The campaign opened with the siege ofMénin; the king, at first, as ardent and valorous as before; but suddenly, either from weariness or ennui,he seemed to lose all interest in the war, no longershowed himself to his army, and passed his timechiefly in the society of the duchess and her sister,Madame de Lauraguais. On the 8th of August, whilea Te Deum was being sung for the successful besieg ing of Château- Dauphin, the king was taken ill . Thenext day malignant fever developed itself, and pro gressed rapidly. The Duc du Richelieu and Madamede Chateauroux affected to disbelieve that he was indanger, and allowed no one but themselves in hisapartment.The young Duc de Chartres, son of the pious Ducd'Orleans, forced the consigne, as representative of his father, first prince of the blood , who alone had theright to do so. With him was Fitz-James, Bishop of256 THE OLD RÉGIME.Soissons. He explained to the king his danger; thenconfessed him, and, after Madame de Chateauroux,by his order, conveyed to her by Count d'Argenson,had been desired to leave Metz, gave him absolutionand administered the last sacraments. The bishopwas also authorized by Louis XV. to publicly expresshis regret for the flagrancy of his life, and the evilexample he had set his people.While the duchess was escaping from the threat ened vengeance of the populace, in a carriage lenther by the Maréchal de Bellisle, Marie Leczinska andthe dauphin were on their way to Metz; where theywere received by the king, then convalescent, with every appearance of pleasure and affection . The newsof his illness and danger had reached Paris in themiddle of the night. The churches were opened, andthe people arose from their beds and thronged to them to pray for his recovery. Their grief and distresswere unbounded. Day and night eager crowds surrounded the houses of the ministers, hoping to learnthat some change for the better had taken place. Onthe 14th the disease took a favorable turn, and a courierwas the next day despatched to Paris with the newsof his convalescence. Transports of delight hailedthe news. The streets rang with the joyous cry , “ Our king is well again .” The courier who brought thewelcome intelligence was carried in triumph throughthe city, and he and his horse were nearly suffocatedby the kisses and embraces of the multitude, in the excitement of joy.Louis speedily recovered, and, after the siege of Fribourg, returned to Paris. The ardent enthusiasmof the welcome he received momentarily affected him,and he asked—as well he might—" what he had doneLOUIS LETTER TO THE DUCHESS. 257to merit so much love." But “ Le bien aimé," thesurname with which he was from time to time distinguished, was not derived from the spontaneous cry of a devoted people, so much as from the gayly launched epithet-taken up and repeated by the almanacs-ofone Vade, whom Voltaire calls “ scoundrel." But allenthusiasm soon ceased. Louis was fearfully bored by it. It seemed to indicate an expectation on thepart of his subjects that the evil example which, whenthe fear of death was before his eyes, he acknowledgedhe had set them was now to give place to a morereputable course of life . This was far from congenial to him, and he became cold and ceremonious in his behavior to the queen; evinced great repugnancetowards the dauphin and covertly was seeking torenew his liaison with the duchess, whose " bien aimé"he alone cared to be.She was assiduously playing sick -nurse to the young Duc d'Agenois, who had been wounded in the Italiancampaign. For her royal lover she affected a supreme contempt that annoyed him excessively. The courtiers, perceiving where his inclinations lay, began topraise the firm and noble conduct of Madame de Chateauroux under the trying ordeal she had passed through at Metz. This gratified the king. Immediately, Maurepas, whom the duchess regarded asher enemy, was despatched with a letter, and furtherwas charged to inform her, verbally, that “ his ma- .jesty had no knowledge of what had occurred at Metz;that his esteem for her remained unchanged, and thathe begged she would return to the court and resume her office of maid of honor to the queen . ” She appeared so well satisfied that she extended her handtowards Maurepas, who respectfully knelt and kissed258 THE OLD RÉ Later in the day, d'Argenson, who had deliveredthe order for her and her sister's retirement fromMetz, appeared with a list of the courtiers and ministers enclosed in a letter from the king, requestingher to erase the names of those whom she would wishbanished from the court. She obeyed. D’Argenson'sname was the first. The next day she fell ill - per haps from the excitement of her triumph-took toher bed, and, after an illness of a few weeks, died on the 4th of December, 1744.Maurepas and d'Argenson were both suspected ofpoisoning the letters they were charged to convey to her. That Jesuit priests, commissioned by the confessors of the queen and the dauphin, had put arsenicin a box of bonbons the king was accustomed to send to her daily -- and which were made by himself - wasanother mode of poisoning, as unlikely as the first, bywhich her death was accounted for.The duchess was the second of the mistresses ofLouis XV. who had died within a year or two of eachother. “ You know whether I have desired yourglory , ” were her last words to him, when he visitedher on her death -bed.CHAPTER XXV .Luxurious Style of Living. — The King's First Campaign . - Mar riage of the Dauphin . - An Effective Riding -Costume. - Presented at Versailles .—“ Le Roi s'amuse . ” — Throwing theHandkerchief.-- An Invitation to Travel. — The Queen's Dame du Palais. -La Marquise de Pompadour. —The Royal Willand Pleasure .DURING the ministry of Cardinal Fleury, economywas the order of the day in the royal household. Theneeds of the State and the financial embarrassmentsresulting from the " Système Law " had made re trenchment an absolute necessity, and the simpletastes and domestic habits of both king and queenhad enabled them readily to conform to it. Many ofthe nobility, whose fortunes had suffered from thespeculative mania, had been glad to avail themselvesof the example of royalty, and, by curtailing super fluities, in some measure to retrieve their losses.But very shortly after the death of the cardinal, agreat and general development of luxury took placein the style of living, both amongst the courtiers of Versailles and the beau monde of Paris, as well as the rich bourgeoisie. The reins of power had fallen fromthe hands of a frugal minister into those of a favorite aof high - flown sentiments and extravagant tastes, andwith a fondness for pomp and parade. In the unusual lavishness of the king, in his gifts to thishaughty dame, the courtiers, doubtless, saw the near260 THE OLD RÉGIME.realization of their long-cherished hopes of a brilliantcourt, presided over by a powerful maîtresse -en -titre,and at once prepared for the much- desired change society, generally, following their example.But had the Duchesse de Chateauroux lived, it isdoubtful whether, with Louis' extremely indolenttemperament and confirmed dislike of showing himself prominently in public, her dream of conductingher lover in triumph through the career of glorymarked out for him would ever have been fulfilled .No less doubtful was the nation's endurance of a repetition of the vainglorious martial promenades anddistantly viewed sieges that were so gratifying to thevanity of Louis XIV. , and so disastrously ruinous tohis subjects. In a domestic sense, the results of theking's first campaign had proved extremely annoyingto him. It was not the death of the duchess—thoughhe mourned her loss nearly a whole month-shemight be worthily replaced from among the numberof “ court ladies” vying with each other to obtainthe preference-but the intense dislike he had conceived for the dauphin, arising out of the scene atMetz.Louis believed that he saw in him signs of joy; anassumption of airs of command, and ill - concealed delight at the prospect of shortly succeeding to thethrone. The silly speech attributed to him when hefirst heard of his father's dangerous condition“ Poor people, whose only dependence is a child ofmy age,” certainly sounds more like a lesson he hadlearnt for the occasion than the spontaneous utterance of a boy. But whichever it may have been, itwas extremely displeasing and offensive to the king.The more so as it was diligently repeated by theMARRIAGE OF THE DAUPHIN . 261Jesuits, or queen's party, and greatly lauded, as giving promise of much thoughtfulness for his people in the expected youthful ruler of France. It was, however,received with a sneer by the courtiers, who preferredthe rule of a king's mistress to the rule of the Jesuit priesthood. And of these two great evils which was the lesser it may have been difficult to decide.The dauphin, at the time the king's life was despaired of at Metz ( August, 1744) , had not quite completed his fifteenth year. He was then betrothed tothe Infanta, Maria Theresa, and in January followingthe marriage was solemnized. The city of Pariscelebrated the auspicious event with great magnificence, and gave several balls and public fêtes. At one of the masked balls, Madame le Normand d'Étioles was present, uninasked. The king also was there,but disguised as a miller. As soon as he perceivedthe fair lady sitting alone on a sofa, he took a seat byher side, and, believing himself unrecognized, began,as he imagined, to mystify her by entering into a conversation respecting the royal hunt in the forest ofSenart.Madame d'Étioles was accustomed to attend thesehunts; her husband's château being situated on the borders of the forest. As she invariably contrived, inthe course of the hunt, to cross the king's path onceor twice, she had been observed by Madame de Chateauroux; who, suspecting her object, bestowedglances on her would-be rival that surely would have annihilated her could they have taken the effect desired. Madame d'Étioles was distinguishedamongst the ladies who joined the king's hunting party for her skill as a horsewoman . She was extremely well mounted; had a fashionable hunting262 THE OLD RÉGIME.wars.equipage in attendance to convey her home, and was conspicuous for the elegance of her riding - dress. Inaccordance with the picturesque taste of that day, itwas of velvet, of the full bright blue known as “ l'æil du roi," and fastened with richly chased goldbuttons. Her hat was of felt, of the same color,edged with gold cord, and adorned with a wavingwhite plume. It was a highly effective costume, in the contrast of its color, with that of the surroundingfoliage, and had not escaped the king's notice. Hehad spoken admiringly of it, as glimpses were caught of its graceful wearer fitting along the paths of the forest.But the hunting- parties came to an end whenMadame de Chateauroux carried off her hero to theThe beautiful Madame d'Étioles might thenhave faded out of his memory, if she had not already taken the precaution of persuading her husband tohave her presented at Versailles by the Princesse deConti. This grande dame, who was overwhelmed withdebts, and was a devotee of the gambling -table, made her presentations a source of income. Ambitiousladies, who had no other means of approaching royalty, might make sure of securing the good offices of the princess, if they could afford to send her a valuable present that was readily convertible into cash. Itsobject was perfectly understood: it was a mere affairof “ exchange for a presentation .” If the applicant had been both liberal and judicious in the choice of an offering, the princess performed her part of the bargain with the best possible grace. In the case of Madame d'Étioles, she declared that she had the greatest satisfaction in presenting at Versailles one of the prettiest women in France.THROWING THE HANDKERCHIEF. 263Though the death of Madame de Chateauroux hadoccurred so recently, the attentions of the king to Madame d'Étioles had been already sufficiently markedto inspire jealousy and alarm in her husband. Hewas desperately in love with his wife, poor man. Herpresentation at court opened no palace gates to him;but he was tortured with the suspicion that it hadopened the doors of the petits-appartements to her.Louis XV. was no stranger, then, to Madamed'Étioles when she met him in the ball- room of theHôtel de Ville, though she did not immediately recognize him. But his voice, which he had not the powerof disguising, always betrayed him, and few personswere present to whom the jovial miller's identity was a mystery, while he fancied his disguise perfect. The lady, however, was discreet, and after a little lively badinage joined the dancers; dropping her handker chief, perhaps designedly, as she rose from her seat.The king picked it up, and for awhile appeared unde cided what to do with it. At last, suddenly, as it seemed, a bright thought occurred to him, and, cross ing the ball-room , he presented the handkerchief to Madame d'Étioles, with a very low bow, and, as re ported, a very gallant compliment, though it reachedonly the ears for which it was intended.“ He has thrown the handkerchief! He has thrownthe handkerchief!” exclaimed the masks, groupingaround him, and taking advantage of their own andthe king's disguise to pester him with piquant witticisms, and sarcastic remarks on the excellence of histaste. This induced his majesty to beat a retreat, andexchange the dusty miller costume for a Turkish one;which would have been more appropriate had he worn it before the ceremony of throwing the handkerchief.264 THE OLD RÉGIME.What a fine theme for the salons, this so- calledthrowing the handkerchief ”! For all Paris and Versailles knew the next day of the king's public “ actof graciousness " towards towards the beautiful Madamed'Étiolés.“ Handsome if you like,, but bourgeoise nevertheless,"exclaimed Madame de Tencin, who had been one of the intimates of Madame de Chateauroux, and who,now getting into years, had become very severe in her strictures on “ the loose morals of these bourgeoisesladies," who presumed to follow the vicious example of their betters. Perceiving the designs of Madame d'Étioles on the king, Madame de Tencin had forsome time made it a point of conscience sedulously toendeavor to thwart them.“ She is a presumptuous bourgeoise, ” cries anotherindignant marquise or comtesse, who cannot, or whowill not, believe that the much -coveted distinction ofsucceeding Madame de Chateauroux can possibly beconferred on any but a lady of the higher nobility.Yet, on the very evening that the incident of the handkerchief took place, there were far -seeing courtiersand court ladies also, at the ball, who bestowed the most gracious of smiles and flattering complimentson the lady whom the king had delighted to honor.A very different view, however, was taken of the honor paid to his wife by M. le Normand d'Étioles.When it came to his ears, “ he made,” we learn, “ afrightful uproar;" threatened to shut up Madame,and to appeal to the Parliament against the tyrannyof the king in destroying the peace and happiness of families by his dissolute life. The result of this outspoken indignation was the rescue of his wife fromthe seclusion with which he had threatened her, andTHE QUEEN'S DAME DU PALAIS. 265an invitation to himself to travel. He was free tochoose in what direction–England, Italy, or elsewhere. He had but to name the country, and the Mousque taires of M. le Lieutenant would have the honor ofescorting him to the frontier. He chose Italy. But exile did not silence his tongue. He continued to inveigh, in no measured terms, against the characterand conduct of the king, until a communication fromthe Papal government bade him cease, or take the consequences of his folly.Madame d'Étioles, in the mean time, was successfullyinstalled at Versailles. One of the dames du palaishaving resigned, the king desired that she should suc ceed to the vacant post. Poor Marie Leczinska ventured mildly to oppose it, and proposed a candidate of her own. The king replied that the lady was not of the required rank. The queen retorted that shewas certainly of much higher birth than Madame d'Étioles. But Louis XV. did not choose to argue thepoint. He silenced the queen as it was customarywith him to silence all opposition to his wishes. " Jele veux ," he said with a very determined air; and ac cordingly the new favorite was presented to the queen,again by the Princesse de Conti, as one of her ladies of the palace, and an apartment assigned her. Ma dame d'Étioles was on this occasion, as, indeed, she issaid always to have been, highly respectful in hermanner towards the queen, who, expecting another haughty Madame de Chateauroux, * was surprised at *

  • Full of superstition, and with a great fear of ghosts, Marie

Leczinska, when she heard of the death of the Duchesse de Cha teauroux at Versailles (where it was not etiquette for any but royal personages to die), became timid and alarmed at nightfall, inexpectation of a ghostly visit from the deceased. An old266 THE OLD RÉGIME.the change, and received La Marquise de Pompadour not only with iess repugnance, but, for a time, withsome show of favor.The king had raised Madame d'Etioles to the need ful rank by conferring on her the title of the extinctnoble family of De Pompadour, whose arms she alsoassumed on receiving a considerable portion of theestates. From this time her favor increased; andgradually Madame de Pompadour took upon herself the office of first minister — ruling France as Fleuryhad done, though with less satisfaction to the nation,by humoring and amusing the king.From her position with reference to Louis XV. , shenaturally experienced more difficulty than the cardinal in maintaining that rule. All on whom places or pensions were not bestowed became her enemies. Thearistocratic society of France, of the middle of theeighteenth century, were far too thoroughly corrupt to take any moral objection to the dispensing of courtfavors beiag placed in the hands of the king's mistress. The only indignity they saw in it was that thelady promoted to that honor was not of noble birth,not one of their noble selves. But the monarch haddeclared it was his royal will and pleasure that should be, and that “ after him might come thedeluge;" so the courtiers, for the most part, were con tent to bow down and lick the dust of the feet of theMarquise de Pompadour.Polish nurse, who had accompanied her to France, and towhom she imparted her fears, bade her be of good comfort. “ Shewill do in the spirit,” she said, “ what she did in the flesh - prefer the king's apartments to your majesty's. So let her wander at herwill. "CHAPTER XXVI.“ Un Dégoût Rhubarbatif. ” — Jeanne Antoinette Poisson . - Etiquette of the Old Régime. - Jeanne's Father. —Pretty and Beautiful. — Marriage of Malle. Poisson. —Mdme. d'Étioles inSociety. -Cleopatra and the Asp. -Highly Promoted. —TheBourgeoisie of Paris . - Street Lamps. -Evening Promenading.The history of Madame de Pompadour has been variously related. She has been greatly exalted andgreatly debased, the object of extravagant praise and no less extravagant invective. “ Educated by a corrupt mother to corrupt a king born religious," are theopening words of Soulavie's Mémoires; and exceedingly ridiculous they are. For if Louis XV, reallywas “ born religious,” it is very certain that he hadentirely lost this innate gift of religion by the time heattained his thirty -fifth year, when he first becamesubject to the influence of Madame de Pompadour.The work of corruption was surely well- nigh completed under the reign of the four sisters De Nesle,and “ Le bien aimé” was now a prey to ennui, andsometimes to fits of remorse so profound that life seemed a burden to him. His tapestry, his amateurcookery, his turning and delving, and other undignified and puerile pursuits, had all lost their charm,while a certain restlessness of spirit gave him “ undégoût rhubarbatif " for everything and everybody under the sun.He sighed for new amusements, new pleasures; and had Madame de Chateauroux been spared to him, he268 THE OLD RÉGIME.possibly might soon have been sighing for new worlds to conquer. But, as it was, when he met Madame dePompadour, he was like a fish out of water - if so humble a simile be permitted. From the age of fiveto thirty- three he had been under the guidance of hispreceptor, and for at least eight or nine years had dis covered no beauty that could compete with that ofthe queen. His preceptor was dead, and his queen,chiefly by her own fault, was no longer his queen ofbeauty. She had tamely yielded her legitimate influence to others. Those others having also disappearedfrom the stage of life, Madame de Pompadour, or rather Madame d'Étioles, then appears prominentlyon the scene, ambitious of taking the sceptre ofFrance from the feeble hands of the king.At the age of three years and a half, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson , it appears, went with her mother andnurse to the house of M. Pâris- Duvernay, to see themarriage procession of the king and queen. It wasnot a very diverting spectacle for so young a child ,and little Jeanne having expressed some impatience was quieted by: “ Look, my child, see the king, thehandsome young king, he is going to be married ."This seems to have made an impression on the youth ful mind of Malle. Jeanne; for when her nurse wasabout to take her in her arms to return home, thechild resisted, clung to the window, and cried lustily.“ Why, what is the matter, my little Jeanne? ” ' inquires the nurse." I want to be married, and I'm waiting for theking," murmurs the child, her eyes streaming withtears.“ Oh! what a pretty little wife for the king,” ex claims her mother, laughingly.ETIQUETTE OF THE OLD RÉGIME. 269Thus is this phrase, apparently a standing joke inthe family, accounted for, in letters attributed to Ma dame de Pompadour. And it is as likely to be trueas the disagreeable origin elsewhere given to it, insome few memoirs of the period, not generally trust worthy. That she was brought up from childhood with the view of her becoming the king's mistress is difficult to believe. For it should be rememberedthat the rigid class distinctions of the old régime werestill in full force at Versailles; and that the halo ofdivinity which surrounded and hedged in the king was not yet so dimmed that a family of the petite bour.geoisie would presume to bring up a daughter with theview of her filling a post to which only the daughters of nobles could pretend. Besides, the king gave noindications, either then or for many years after, ofsinking into a miserable debauchee, as he eventually became.From the letters of Malle. Aïssé, which probablyare authentic, the writer, after deprecating, with herusual sentimentality, the scandals she so evidentlyloves to dwell upon, says: “ Though these things are done in the face of the sun, yet the court is a piousone; and the manners of the two heads of the state( Fleury and the king) very severe. They are irreproachable except on the score of morality . "Jeanne's father was second- clerk in the commisssariat department, an appointment he owed to one of the brothers Pâris. Like too many others, hewas afflicted with the mania for gambling, and as he was more frequently a loser than a gainer, and hismeans also were small, his family was often reducedto great straits. This led to defalcations, or embezzlement of some sort, which compelled him secret270 THE OLD RÉGIME.1ly to leave France. He was tried in his absence, andcondemned to be hanged. Not being forthcoming,he was hanged in effigy, and the whole of his goodswere seized by his creditors, leaving his wife andyoung son and daughter destitute.For some time both brother and sister had beeneducated at the expense of M. le Normand Tournehem. By his liberality Jeanne was not only taughtengraving, that she might have an occupation that would secure her, if needed, a livelihood, but also instructed, by the best masters obtainable, in vocal andinstrumental music

in the then fashionable accom

plishments of dancing and drawing

in languages

,and so forth. Great natural intelligence aiding theseeducational advantages, Jeanne Antoinette Poissonwasa far more highly endowed young lady than most of the daughters of nobles with whom, whilepursuing her studies, she sometimes came in contact

though the difference in rank" forbade any approachto intimacy. Until about her fifteenth year she was so extremelythin that, except in grace of movement, she gave nopromise of becoming" the most beautiful woman of the capital.” “ There was in her countenance , ” says even one who delights to heap obloquy upon her, " amost attractive blending of vivacity and tenderness.It wasa countenance that might be called both pretty and beautiful. To her personal graces was addedthe charm of her many accomplishments

and the thorough instruction she had received imparted great

interest to her conversation.”“A certain art ofbadinage" which she possessed in perfection, and which , though lively and piquant, was refined in tone,highly delighted and amused the distinguished circleMARRIAGE OF MOLLE. POISSON . 271of wits, men of letters, and members of the beau mondewho filled her salon when she became Madame leNormand d'Etioles.She was then between eighteen and nineteen. M. le Normand Tournehem-a man of good family, andone of the farmers- general, therefore rich - had proposed to leave her the half of his property. But his nephew having fallen deeply in love with her, a mar- ,riage was arranged, by which eventually she was tosucceed to the whole of the uncle's fortune. Theconsent of the young man's father was reluctantly given. The daughter of a man who had been hangedin effigy, and who, until recently interest having been made to set aside this disgraceful sentence forthe lesser one of banishment) , dared not return to France lest he should undergo that process in person, was not, he considered, a very desirable match.But he yielded to the infatuation of his son and thewishes of his brother, M. le Normand Tournehem.Most unfortunately, the young lady had no love forher husband. So far as she was concerned, it was oneof those conventional French marriages in which loveis not even a secondary consideration, though affection and happiness often result from them; but inthis instance the bridegroom was deeply in love.“ With ample means at command, and gifts, natural and acquired, such as hers," remarks M. Bungener,“ she might have taken a very high place in society,and would have played a brilliant part in the world,had she never approached the steps of the throne.”She was of the sect of the philosophers, of course;being on terms of friendly intimacy with Voltaire,who sometimes sojourned for a week or ten days together at the Château d'Étioles, where he wrote272 THE OLD RÉGIME.son,some portion of his “ Histoire Générale” and his“ Charles XII. ”; also, as historiographer of France,the account of the king's first campaign in Flanders,from the reports transmitted to him by M. d'Argen With Voltaire she was received at Sceaux,where some dramatic bagatelles he had written for the duchess's theatre were performed. While there they heard of the death of Cardinal Fleury, whom she had once met in the salon of Madame de Carignan,and again at a supper at Madame de Tencin's, wherehis particular notice of her seems to have been rather displeasing to the hostess.Both before and after her marriage she frequentedthe best literary salons — the brilliant artistic and philosophic receptions of the moralist Vauvenargues, atthe Hôtel de Tours; and the grave and learned circleof M. de Chenevières. Crébillon and Voltaire werethen not only at peace, but, apparently, there was friendship between them. The next year there waswar to the knife.It was at a reception at the house of M. de Çhe nevières that Madame d'Étioles first met Marmontel;then very young, and but recently arrived from Toulouse with a great provincial literary reputation.With M. d'Étioles she attended the first representationof his tragedy of “ Cleopatra." It appears that thetheatre was crowded even more than was usual onsuch occasions, the doors being besieged by an anxious crowd long before the time for admission. Thisintense interest was due less to the new play and thegreat actress, Mdlle. Clairon, who played the heroine,than to a mechanical asp, made by the mechanician Vaucanson, and which, held in the hand of Cleopatra, represented all the movements of a live reptile.HIGHLY PROMOTED . 2731The illusion was perfect. But while watching thetwisting and turning of the creature, both author andactress were but little attended to. The mechanicaltriumph of M. Vaucanson proved, indeed, so prejudicial to their success that it had to be abandoned.Marmontel was afterwards one of Madame de Pompadour's protégés, and, generally, rising young artists and literary men found in her an enlightened appreciation of their talents and productions. The salon of Madame d'Étioles would doubtless have become the most brilliant and distinguished of the period, asshe was, herself, the most remarkably talented, gifted,and beautiful woman of her day, had not want ofmoral principles, and an intense love of power, led her to seek the gratification of her ambitious views in the much - envied position of the king's recognizedmistress. To speak of it as a disreputable position is to judge it by a different standard of morality fromthat which prevailed at the period. For the elevation, as it was termed , of Madame d'Etioles shocked only because it was the first instance of une dame bourgeoise,or lady of the middle class, having been so " highly promoted," and accordingly it was resented as one ofthe social innovations of that innovating age on theprivileges of the nobles, and a breach of the etiquetteof the old régime. But when Madame de Pompadourtook up the sceptre of France, she was fully impressed by the idea that her reign would be a long one. Shehad the tact, or the art, to impress the same conviction on others; and thus secured, as her partisans,all who were ambitious and who sought court favor;without which the road to distinction was then closedto most persons. To assist at the toilet of La Marquise de Pompadour was soon, therefore, a favor274 THE OLD RÉGIME.1more eagerly desired than to assist at the petit lever of the king.The court became more brilliant, the salons more animated from the time of her accession to power.The change which French society had for some yearsbeen gradually undergoing seemed to have derivedfrom that eventa fresh impulse. The middle classrapidly rose in importance, while the prestige of thenobility declined. It was owing, however, rather to the flourishing state of French commerce, which,almost extinct when Louis XV. came of age, had been fostered and renewed under the peaceful policy and economical administration of Fleury. The class inwhose hands lay the wealth of the country nowclaimed consideration where, hitherto, it had, at best,been but tolerated

while the great and increasing

spread of the new philosophism tended towards thelevelling of social inequalities, and the depriving thegentilhomme of his long-enjoyed privilege of contemn ing and insulting the bourgeois.Barbier records in his journal( 1745) that" the bourgeoisie of Paris," meaning the trading and shop keeping section, “ are no longer content with theirstation-that they, in fact, know not their place,"since they have been permitted with impunity notonly to abandon the characteristic dress prescribed by Richelieu, to mark the line of separation between themand the upper ranks of society, but also to resume the use of gold, silver, and jewels, forbidden under theregency. Another French writer observes that, inacountry where wealth, without noble descent, hadnever yet obtained social consideration , the parvenumillionaire was now courted and honored far moreEVENING PROMENADING. 275than the needy gentilhomme, though he could prove thenobility of his family for seventeen generations.Trade was prosperous; and men engaged in it had been quietly laying by money while the upper bour geoisie and the nobles had been squandering it. Thesmall dark shops, which hitherto had served for theneeds of the Parisians, were abandoned for more com modious ones, with superior dwelling accommodation.The introduction, at this time, of the street lamps made Paris a brilliantly lighted city, compared withits previous gloom after nightfall. It induced, also,the lighting up of shops, and favored the now gen eral custom of promenading on the Boulevards in theevening—a recreation to which all classes were devoted . Ladies, as well as gentlemen, made use of walking- canes—the bourgeoise presuming also to follow this fashion; just as at home she carried her snuffbox or bonbonnière, and flaunted in silk attire, with awide- spreading panier, and jewels and lace, with asgrand an air as any marquise or duchesse.The various trades no longer congregated each inits own distinct street, but were located indiscriminately in different parts of the city. The most thriving of the shopkeepers began to have their country seatsin the suburbs, and shopmen were employed where,heretofore, wives and daughters attended in the business. “ Now they have their weekly receptions,"says Mercier; " take their tea and coffee; disdain tallow candles, and, like their betters, burn wax- lightsand set out their card- tables for the evening. ”CHAPTER XXVII.Le Maréchal de Saxe . - The Dauphin's Baptism of Fire. Pompadour at the Wars. -Her Heart grew Faint. - A Revulsion of Feeling.— “ Oh, saddle White Surrey! ” —Mars and Venus. -Scenes of the War. —Le Poème de Fontenoy. —Eve of the Battle of Rocoux. -The Baggage of War. –Living enBourgeois. — Bravery and its Rewards. - A Soldier of Fortune.FOLLOWING the example of Madame de Chateau roux, Madame de Pompadour, with more successfulresults, had prevailed on the king to rejoin the army in Flanders; to complete, as she flatteringly observed ,his series of conquests, interrupted by the contretempsof his illness at Metz. The Maréchal de Saxe hadalready left Paris to resume the chief command of theFrench armies, though suffering greatly from languor and weakness; his health being seriously underminedby the excesses of a dissolute life. But his great flow of spirits, his courage and martial ardor, sustainedhim on this trying occasion . To Voltaire's question " what he could do in such a feeble condition ,” the Maréchal replied, “ it was not a question of living,but of setting out . "Yet he was often compelled to dismount while giving his orders for the disposition of the troops in action, and to repose in a litter of wicker- work, whichserved him both for a carriage and a bed. He was avery great soldier, undoubtedly, this son of the beautiful Aurora von Königsmark. His qualities, as such,THE DAUPHIN'S BAPTISM OF FIRE. 277were generally acknowledged by the officers of theFrench army, whose most distinguished generalsserved under him; the more readily, it may be, thathe was not a Frenchman. He was now, with a verynumerous force, investing the strong citadel of Tournai - considered one of the chefs- d'æuvre of Vauban's system of fortification . A battle seemed imminent,and the king being informed of it, yielded to the suggestions of his beautiful mistress, that he should kindle fresh valor in his troops by showing himself at thehead of his armies.Once more, then, the royal hero dons his plumedhelmet, and girds on his valiant sword; and, accompanied by a numerous retinue and brilliant staff, setsout for Flanders, amidst the enthusiastic acclamationsof the Parisian people. On the 6th of May he arrived at Douai, whence, on the following day, he proceeded to Pontachin, to reconnoitre with his generals, theneighborhood of the expected battle - field . The tion of " Lebien aimé" by his troops might have gladdened the heart of Henri IV.; and the vivas loud andlong, repeated from rank to rank, may momentarily have gratified Louis XV. , though these public ovations usually rather annoyed than pleased him.The dauphin on this occasion also visited the armies,to receive his baptism of fire. The relations between Louis and his son were frigid in the extreme. Yet thelatter appears to have been most respectful in his behavior towards the king, never presuming on his rank, but attending the petit lever with the officers ofhis corps—allowing those of higher grade to enterbefore him, and mounting guard at the royal head quarters simply as captain of his regiment of " thedauphin's gendarmes and light-horse." He conductedThe recep278 THE OLD RÉGIME.himself also with as much bravery as could be expected in a youth yet scarcely sixteen, and who, moreover, was restrained from seeking any post of realdanger. A little ostentatious piety, in the publicity with which he performed his devotions-at the instance indeed of his Jesuit confessor, who was glad tooffer, in the face of the armies, this annoyance to the king - was all that could well be complained of.Madame de Pompadour had solicited and obtainedpermission to join the king at the camp of the Maréchal de Saxe. She did not, however, like Madame deChateauroux, take a formal leave of the queen, butdecamped without beat of drum with the minister ofwar, Comte d'Argenson, to whom the king had given leave to offer her a seat in his carriage. Two daysbefore the battle they arrived in the neighborhood ofTournai. D’Argenson immediately proceeded to the king's head- quarters, leaving Madame at a place of safety near Antoin.What anxious fears filled her breast during thoseforty - eight hours! How, at any moment, some unexpected turn of fortune might wrest the sceptre of France from her hand ere she had firmly grasped it!And when the day of the contest came, and the roarof the cannon reached her ears, and the din of battlewas borne on the breeze in fitful and confused sounds,how she trembled! The star of her fortunes seemedto pale, and her ambitious hopes to be crushed in the bud, as she listened to the thunder of war. “ Herheart grew faint, as though ' twould die within her."But her anxiety was not for her hero's life; she knew that he was safe enough out of harm's way.But, ah! should the battle go against him — and Maurice de Saxe was more famous for his retreats thanA REVULSION OF FEELING . 279his victories—what might be the consequence to her?The king had remarked that “ since the days of SaintLouis no king of France had gained any signal victory over the English ." It is against an English army,led by the impetuous young Duke of Cumberland,that the army of France is now fighting. The victorydepends on good generalship — and whatever his sufferings, Maurice de Saxe may be depended on for that-not, as in these degenerate days, on the possession of the most murderous weapons, when, after remorselessly mowing down thousands with their “ monsterguns," pious emperors and kings send telegrams towives and mistresses with the news that “ God hathblessed them with victory "_God being in these civilized times on the side of the latest diabolical inventions, as formerly He was said to favor the biggestbattalions. Oh for the days when, as the old songsays, “ They who make the quarrel may be the onlymen to fight”!But we have wandered from the village of Antoin,where we left the beautiful marquise a prey to anxiousthought. She looks forth from her chamber window,her face is pale, her eye is haggard; she wonders whyhis charger or his chariot is so long in coming. Butin the distance she espies a horseman, another, andagain another. They ride as only aides-de-camp ride,even at reviews—as if for their very lives. The Maréchal Comte d'Estrées brings a message from the kingto the Marquise de Pompadour, with the news of thevictory of Fontenoy. The maréchal tells of the prodigies of valor performed by the king, of the terriblerisks he has run; of his hairbreadth escapes, and thecourage, always so conspicuous in the Bourbon race,of which he has given such startling proofs.280 THE OLD RÉGIME.1Whata revulsion of feeling this news occasions!Despondency had begun to cast its dark shadow o'erthe agitated mind of the marquise

now it is dispelled

by the bright gleams of triumph, and, in the excess ofher joy, she resolves to ride over, personally to con gratulate her hero, to the village of Fontenoy. There,the maréchal informs her, the king may yet be found.“ Oh, saddle White Surrey!” She cannot wait until the cumbrous carriage, with all its fine trappings, isgot ready. Her horse is brought forth

lightly she

mounts it, and outstrips in speed the maréchal andhis aides- de- camp, stopping once in the forest of Barrito gathera branch of oak.The king—with the dauphin, the Maréchal de Saxe,the Duc de Richelieu( the king's aide-de-camp), theDuc de Penthièvre(" notre Toulouse”), and the Prince de Soubise (whose tent was a sort of restaurant during the campaign) , and other staff officers — was enteringthe forest of Barri, when the marquise was seen ap proaching from the opposite side. Louis immediately recognized his ladylove, and, descending as she rodeup, assisted her himself to dismount-she taking that opportunity of fastening the branch of oak in hishelmet. Following the example of the king, thewhole of his brilliant military escort alighted to receive the fair Marquise de Pompadour. The flush ofexcitement heightened the natural bloom of her cheek,and gratified ambition shone in her lustrous dark eyes,as their proud glance rested on the imposing spectaclebefore her. The king( whom, if she did not love, shemay have admired as she would the Apollo Belvedere)was then in the full vigor of manly beauty. As hestood there, with plumed casque in hand, surrounded by the most distinguished generals of the age, andSCENES OF THE WAR. 281crowned with the laurels of victory, fresh from thebattle - field, the overwrought imagination of an ambi tious- minded woman might regard the gay pageantas typical of France, her ruler, and her armies, bowing before her-a dream that, not long after, was literallyfulfilled .This meeting of Mars and Venus in the forest of Barri must have been a very pretty scene, and shedan air of romance on Fontenoy. It served to distractthe mind from the horrors of war ( for fourteen thousand men lay dead on the plain where that desperatebattle had been fought) , and the king immediatelybefore had been moralizing on the subject for thebenefit of his son. The dauphin, in his turn, mightafterwards have moralized on the scene in the forestof Barri, for the benefit of his father, as he stood bareheaded before his mistress. Neither in youth normanhood was the dauphin an attractive personage.He was the slave of Jesuit priests, and displayed but little intelligence and no great amiability. But towitness the deference, the honor, so publicly paid tohis mother's rival, and in which he was himself obligedto take part, must have been mortifying and painfulindeed.While compliments and felicitations were being ex changed, two soldiers of the French Guard arrived,bearing a litter, on which was extended the body ofthe Duc de Grammont. Suddenly struck down by arandom shot he had begged that he might see, andbid adieu to, the king before he died. But life wasfound to be extinct when he reached the royal presence. What a sight for the pretty marquise! Happily, however, her nerves were stronger than was considered quite correct in those days, so that, although>282 THE OLD RÉGIME.anxious eyes were upon her, she felt no inclination tofaint. So far from it , that perceiving M. Du Guesclin propped up against a tree, where he was waiting thearrival of a surgeon-his leg having been shatteredby a spent ball — she hastened, as a sister of mercy, toafford him, while awaiting a more skilful hand, such relief as she was able - dressing and binding up hiswounds with her handkerchief and portions of cambric and lace torn from her dress. The king and allpresent were, naturally, enchanted — even the dauphin smiled kindly upon her.On the following day there was a solemn Te Deum,and a general salvo of the army-all was “ Joy, glory,and tenderness, " as d'Argenson wrote to Voltaire.Three days after the battle arrived Voltaire's “ Poèmede Fontenoy, ” of which thirty thousand copies were distributed amongst the army. He is said to havewritten it in a single day; but, doubtless, it was prepared beforehand, and awaited only d'Argenson's reports of the battle to impart to it certain touches ofvraisemblance.Fontenoy was an important victory to France.Ten days after it Tournai surrendered, which led tothe conquest of the whole of the Austrian Netherlands. The king made a triumphal entry intoTournai, and after visiting other places in Flanders,returned with Madame de Pompadour to Paris, earlyin September, 1745 .The battle of Rocoux brought the campaign to anend. It was fought on the rith of October, and was generally considered as a mere wanton destruction ofhuman life. For though victory remained with the French, neither side lost nor gained territory or other advantage by it. The Maréchal de Saxe, supposed toEVE OF THE BATTLE OF ROCOUX . 2836be dying at the opening of the campaign, seemed to revive and to gain renewed strength as victory fol.lowed victory. Yet even he appeared to be by nomeans elated by the victory of Rocoux, but ratheroppressed by so great and unnecessary' an effusion of blood. It was his custom to have a company of actorsin his suite, to amuse the soldiers, and to keep uptheir spirits when not in action. On the eve of thebattle of Rocoux, the play was thus announced:“ To -morrow there will be no performance, on account of the maréchal intending to give battle. The day after to- morrow we shall have the honor of play ing before you ‘ The Village Chanticleer ' and 'Rhadamiste. 'Yet the maréchal, though thus seemingly assuredof victory, was not in his usual spirits; for with thepresentiment of success, he foresaw also the terriblecarnage that would ensue. The Marquis de Fénélon,nephew of the great Archbishop of Cambrai, was among the slain in that sanguinary contest.shot down in the intrenchments.After the battle the army went into winter quarters,and the Maréchal de Saxe returned to Paris, to participate in the fêtes with which the Hôtel de Ville andthe Parisian people celebrated the return of the king and the successes of the campaign in Flanders. Itwas scarcely possible to exceed in enthusiasm thedemonstrations of joy of the preceding year. Yetthe results of the campaign were more important.The monarch then returned to his people raised, as bya miracle, from the bed of death. Now he came backto them as a conqueror, bearing the palm of victory,and with the reputation , more or less merited, of avaliant soldier.He was284 THE OLD RÉGIME.There were murmurings, it is true - or, amongst themore lenient of “ the well- beloved's ” good people ofParis, expressions of regret—that again he should have deemed a mistress a necessary part of the baggage of war. The custom was, however, an old one,though it would, of course, have been more honored in the breach than the observance. “ The beautifulGabrielle " graced the guerilla camp of the gallantand brave Henri IV. The tearful La Valliere and thehaughty Montespan graced the glass coach of his godship, Louis XIV. , when he took a trip to the wars, andsought glory within ear- shot of the roar of the cannon.A maîtresse -en - titre was, in fact, then regarded as oneof the indispensable trappings of royalty, as also,under the less high -sounding appellation of " amie intime," of every great noble and gentleman of fortune, who rightly considered what was due to his rankand station.If the honest bourgeois but very rarely followed this ·social custom, it was because, on the one hand, it waslooked upon as an especial privilege of his betters; onthe other, that few cared to incur so superfluous an expense, entailing also an inconvenient interferencewith bourgeois habits. Hence the phrase " they live enbourgeois " applied to those who lived reputably andhappily, and respected the ties of marriage and offamily. The murmurings against Louis XV. for doingonly as his predecessors, in that respect, had donearose, then , not from considerations of morality, but chiefly out of the financial condition of the country;which, but recently rescued by strict economy from .the very verge of bankruptcy, was again menaced withdistress-no less by the extravagance of the king'smistresses than by the heavy expenses of the war.1BRAVERY AND ITS REWARDS. 285In addition to the legitimate cost of war, which fellas a burdensome tax on the people, there had arisenthe pernicious custom of conferring large pecuniaryrewards on all officers, of any rank, who hadwitnessedor taken part in an action. The nation had degenerated. The French officer cared so little for hiscountry that nothing spurred him on to be brave inits defence but the expectation of being largely paidfor it. All came forward at the end of the campaignwith complaints of detriment to their fortune by ab sence at the war, and a claim for compensation.Once upon a time, to be decorated with the cross ofSaint- Louis was the most coveted reward of the braveand gallant soldier - now little was thought of it“ They have fastened to my buttonhole," said a lieutenant of grenadiers, “" the sign of my courage, butthey have forgotten the price of my valor . " "Misery, misery,” cried the grandees who had heldall the chief commands, “ misery, misery," while in dulging in every extravagance and luxury. The rank and file who had done all the fighting were, however,rewarded with their congé, and permission to seek asubsistence wherever they could find it, or to be content to starve. Fleury might well dread war; he knewthat the military chiefs were inexorable creditors,rating their doubtful services exorbitantly high, and demanding prompt payment in ready money, with which the coffers of France were rarely overflowing.The parsimony of Louis XV. was proverbial when his own private purse was concerned; but he did notobject to liberality when the nation provided thefunds. The successes of the campaign in Flanders were owing chiefly to the Maréchal de Saxe; and theking, in acknowledgment of his services, conferred on286 THE OLD RÉGIME.him the title of Comte de Saxe, and the post of Maré.chal- Général of the armies of France. He presentedhim also with six of the cannon taken at Rocoux, toplace in front of the Château de Chambord, which,with its wide domain and dependencies—furnishing arevenue of between seven and eight millions of francs-he presented as a gift to the Saxon hero; adding tothis princely donation a pension of forty thousandfrancs. Maurice de Saxe was indeed a fortunate soldier of fortune.1CHAPTER XXVIII." La Reine de Navarre . " - " Le Temple de la Gloire.” — “ Is Trajansatisfied?” —The King's Petits -Soupers. –The King's Morals in Danger. —Horace, Virgil, and Voltaire.-- Jealousy of Pi .ron . — The Laurel Crown of Glory. — Les Modes Pompadour. An Evening with the Queen. —The Queen and the Maréchal.“ Ora pro Nobis. ” — M . de Saxe Caught Napping. – The Illus trious Mouthier. -La Marquise Bourgeoise. —Stately Polite .ness. -The Old Régime.A very brilliant season, both at Paris and Versailles, followed the military successes of France. Re ligious dissensions, parliamentary quarrels, all were forgotten in the general joy. Even the severity of the Jansenists relaxed, and the scruples of the Jesuits gave way, before a nation's enthusiasm. With allclasses, fêtes and rejoicings formed the chief businessof the hour. Had Louis XV. been the god of war in person, greater adulation could not have been paid him. His flatterers found language wanting in words of sufficient force of meaning to convey an idea of the royal warrior's feats of arms, or to express theirgreat admiration of his prowess.Such incense would have seemed natural, and beenacceptable, offered to Louis XIV.; to his successor it gave no satisfaction whatever. The times werechanged; already the old régime had begun to totter.This extravagant praise and fulsome flattery had nowmore the air of mockery than of compliment, and theown288 THE OLD RÉGIME.cue.excitement of war having passed away, Louis wouldinfallibly have sunk back to the apathy and gloomhabitual to him, with intervals of tapestry and cook.ery, had not Madame de Pompadour come to the resIt was at this time that she introduced scenicrepresentations at Versailles, and formed her companyof comedians and dancers—all men of rank, and all happy to obey the favorite's slightest behest.The petite opéra of “ La Reine de Navarre" had beenproduced by Voltaire for the marriage fêtes of the dauphin. At its first representation it had met with the general approval of the court; and great ladies intrigued for the principal rôles, thinking to fascinate the king. But Madame, with her musical attainments and terpsichorean graces, of course reserved for her.self the parts for prima donna and première danseuse.Voltaire, it appears, rather coveted the post of stage manager, but the lady preferred in this, as in more important affairs, to retain the management in her own hands. It was afterwards remarked that thepoet had not been judicious in his choice of a subject,yet the king was so well pleased with the piece thatit procured for Voltaire-at the instance, however, of Madame de Pompadour—the appointment of Gentle man of the Bed- chamber. He was now requested towrite a similar piece, the subject having reference to the war, for a proposed fête at Versailles. The result “ Le Temple de la Gloire,” with a prologue, afterthe manner of Metastasio's productions. It was setto music by Rameau, who had composed the dancesand songs of the “ Reine de Navarre," and was per formed in the petits appartements. In the opening of the piece, Trajan ( Louis XV. ) was seen giving peaceto Europe, and the Temple of Glory afterwards openwas' TRAJAN SATISFIED.” 289ing to receive him. Voltaire had obtained permission to be present at its first representation. It was extremely well received. But the vanity of the poet led to a breach of etiquette on his part that gave greatoffence to Trajan .It was utterly contrary to the usage of the court to address the king. But when he was leaving the thea tre, Voltaire, throwing himself in his way, exclaimed ,“ Is Trajan satisfied? ” This caused a momentaryinterruption to the progress of the king and his re tinue; but a look of astonishment and indignation,that would have fallen as a thunderbolt on a lessdauntless intruder, was the only reply vouchsafed.Madame. de Pompadour, desirous of soothing thewounded amour-propre of her poet- friend, prevailedon the king to allow the offence to pass unnoticed;assuring him that irrepressible admiration of hismajesty's valor, not presumption, had occasioned it.Further to console him for the severity of the rebuke,there was confided to him the drawing up of a manifesto, which it was intended to publish when the projected descent on England should be made, to assistthe vain efforts of the young Pretender, then in Scotland, to gain possession of the English throne. Thedefeat at Culloden put an end to this project.But Voltaire was as little disposed to cvince gratitude for such a commission, as to display any mortifi cation—whatever he might feel—at the rebuff he hadreceived. Louis XV. had made an enemy of one ofwhom Madame de Pompadour - flattering his weak.nesses-would have made a partisan. For she fully appreciated the talents of Voltaire, and his influenceon the opinions of the age. She believed, too, that hemight successfully aid her in weaning the king from290 THE OLD RÉGIME.the habits he had contracted — but which then, perhaps, were too thoroughly confirmed - of drunkenness and gluttony, varied only by his addiction to the chase. The white cotton cap and apron of a chefwere distasteful to her. She would have had him become the patron of men of letters; encourage science and art; embellish his capital, and take some pleasurein intellectual conversation and the society of thesavants.But it was late in the day for Louis XV. to becomethus reformed . It was both his misfortune and hisfault to be too thoroughly perverted; and, besides,he disliked Voltaire. Yet, at the solicitation of thefavorite, he was on the point of inviting him to thepetits - soupers at Versailles. Listening ears, however,had by some means obtained a knowledge of the secret, and before the honor of an invitation wasactually conferred, all the illustrious mediocrities ofthe court were up in arms, to oppose so monstrous an infraction of propriety as that of admitting a poet tosit at the table of a king.The Jesuits were in an extraordinary state of agitation , and, by their denunciations of the diabolicalproject, frightened poor Marie Leczinska and thedauphin out of their senses. “ The king," they toldthem, “ ran the risk of becoming a philosopher!"What more terrible fate could befall him? He stillsaid his prayers daily, and went regularly to Mass,though he had given up his Holy Week devotionsnot caring humbly to ask of his priest a “ ticket ofconfession," which was absolutely necessary since theGallican church had received the horrid Bulle Unigenitus into its bosom, and the pugnacious Christophe de Beaumont reigned as Archbishop of Paris. PreHORACE, VIRGIL, AND VOLTAIRE . 29166dictions, presentiments, anticipations, of some national calamity looming in the future, were at thattime very general. No one knew exactly the nature of the troubíe looked forward to, but each interpretedhis fears according to his opinion of the aspect ofthings then existing in Church and State.The queen and the dauphin, alarmed by the Jesuits-who probably foresaw their own downfall-believedthat the universe would be shaken to its centre ifLouis XV . - guided by the guiding spirit of the age,the mocking sceptical Voltaire - should profess himself of the sect of the philosophers. Yet Voltaire andhis beautiful Emilie” had sat at the table of thequeen's father - the worthy Stanislaus - at whose littlecourt of Lunéville the Marquise de Boufflers played the part of the Marquise de Pompadour at Versailles-and no harm had come of it; though the excellentPole, so much respected by his subjects, was, in fact,very much of a philosopher in his principles. But, asthe poet himself remarked to the Duc de Richelieu,“ Horace and Virgil had dined with Augustus; why,then, should not Voltaire sup with Louis XV.?”Why not, indeed? except that, as Madame de Pompadour sarcastically observed, “ Dunces do not like tofind themselves at the table with a man of genius."So powerful, however, was the influence secretly employed to exclude him from the petits appartements, thathe determined to resign the office conferred on himof Gentleman of the King's Bed -chamber — its dutiesbeing so little in harmony with his feelings and character. The king gave him permission to dispose of his place (worth from two to three hundred thousandfrancs) as then was customary, but allowed him toretain all the privileges attached to it. As Voltaire>292 THE OLD RÉGIME.loved money, that course, naturally, was much moreagreeable to him than resigning.Piron --who professed to be a rival of Voltaire piqued by the favor with which the dramatic trifle of“ Le Temple de la Gloire , ” had been received by thecourt, vented his spleen in a satire upon it. It was amusing and epigrammatic, it must be confessed - far moreso than those with which jealousy had inspired himwhen ridiculing compositions of a more elevatedcharacter - Mérope and Edipus, for instance. Piron ,though so highly appreciated in his congenial tavernsand wine- shops and at the Théâtre de la Foire, couldnot forgive Voltaire his success in the salons and at the Théâtre Français. Never since he put into rhyme the false report that Voltaire had fled from Paris toescape incarceration in the Bastille for his play of“ Mahomet," when in reality the Cardinal had despatched him to Berlin on a secret mission, had Pironomitted any opportunity of disparaging, in scurrilousepigrams, the productions of his rival.Piron was especially a poet of the people. His satire in no way detracted from the success of Vol taire's little piece when it was produced at the opera.Some complimentary lines to the Maréchal de Saxehad been added to the prologue by the author, to berecited on the occasion of his visit to the theatre. Hissiege operations at Rocoux had delayed his return toParis until the public festivities were nearly concluded.To do the honors, as it were, of the hero's triumphthen devolved, at the king's request, chiefly on Madame de Pompadour, who accompanied him to the opera, and by previous arrangement with Malle.Favart, who personated La Gloire, procured an ova tion for the maréchal. Moved by a sudden impulse,LES MODES POMPADOUR. 293as it seemed>, the actress, while reciting the new linesof the prologue, snatched from her head the laurelsshe wore in her character of Glory, and advancingtowards the front of the royal box, then occupiedby De Saxe, laid her leafy crown before him.The whole of the audience, inspired by this act,simultaneously arose, and, with vivas hearty and prolonged, applauded the great soldier with so much en thusiasm that with difficulty he repressed his emotion.Voltaire was present, but out of sight. The maréchal insisted on his coming forward. The applause wasthen renewed, and taken up again and again , vocifer ously , in the course of the piece.From the prevalence of les modes Pompadour amongthe more distinguished and courtly part of the audi ence, it would almost seem that it had been intendedto celebrate also the triumph of the marquise. The number of embroidered coats “ à la Marquise " wornby the gentlemen was remarkable. They were of the color she favored—a full bright blue, once known as“ l'ail du roi, ” now as “ bleu Pompadour. ” The coiffure and fichu à la Marquise, with the panier of diminishedproportions, were also general.Even the inilitary paid their court by wearing the “ rosette à la Pompadour " -her arrangement of thesword- knot of the Maréchal de Saxe, who, not beingvery attentive to the neatness of his dress, had ap peared in the presence of the marquise with his swordknot put on in a rather slovenly fashion. With herown fair hands she arranged it for him, and withso much taste and skill that the officers of his corps generally adopted it. Voltaire also took to a sky- bluecoat at this time, and was faithful to it to the end.Although the poet might not sup with the king, he294 THE OLD RÉGIME.6was invited to sup with the maréchal, whom, with thechief officers of his corps and a number of distin .guished guests, courtiers and ladies, the marquise wasto entertain in her apartments the next evening. Af-.ter the opera, which began and ended early, the maré chal was engaged to the queen. Marie Leczinska hadtaken no part in the fêtes, though more than once requested to do so by the king. Naturally she did notwish to assist at the triumph of her rival; yet she wasanxious that the maréchal should kno that she wasnot insensible to his merits and the services he hadrendered to France.The queen's intimate circle included the Duc andDuchesse de Luynes; the Cardinal de Luynes, theiruncle; M. and Madame de la Vauguyon; the Presi dent Hénault; Madame de Flavacourt, sister of Ma dame de Chateauroux; the Jesuit Père Griffet, andothers. They were said to pass their evenings in the manner supposed to be customary in England -- in reading books of devotion, or in dreary, desultory conversation, with long intervals of silence; oftenending in the company generally being caught nap ping. Sometimes the gameof " What do you promise me?" was introduced by way of recreation. Or the dauphin and the young dauphine would sing psalms to the accompaniment of the harpsichord; the evening concluding, when the circle was sufficiently wide awake, with general prayer. The queen read—thecompany made the responses.The maréchal prepared himself to entertain, ratherthan to be entertained; to tell anecdotes of the war;to laud the courage of the king and the bravery of the dauphin. On arriving, he found the usual circleassembled, and some of them, to his surprise, engaged“ ORA PRO NOBIS.” 295at the card - table - an occupation that appeared toamuse them more than the warrior's tales of the battlefield . The queen lamented with him the miseriesoccasioned by war; complimented him on his successes; but mildly reproved him for entertaining his soldiers with plays, when serious thoughts shouldrather be instilled into their minds, as men about to ·face death. The maréchal explained that it was far -more desirable to keep them bright and cheerful,whatever might befall them , than to oppress theirminds with gloom and the terrors of an approachingend. Opinions differed on the subject, but no onewent to sleep.When about to take leave of the queen, the maré.chal was requested by her, as appropriately concluding their serious discussion, to join with her circle inprayer. Of course he willingly assented. An armchair serving as a prie-dieu , was then placed for eachperson in front of a large crucifix opposite hermajesty's bed ( she received in her bed- chamber) , the whole forming a semicircle. The queen read, as was hercustom , and the kneeling company responded. Allthe saints in the litany were named in their turn, andas each name was pronounced, “ Ora pro nobis " was.duly ejaculated.The list was a long one. The maréchal was not inrobust health. The ovation at the opera, and his longconversation with the queen, had exhausted him.Sooth to say, or shame to say, he fell asleep as heknelt in his arm-chair; the monotony of the oft-re peated “ Ora pro nobis " overcoming his best efforts tokeep his eyes open.The prayers are ended; the company rise fromtheir knees - all except the maréchal. He seems to be296 THE OLD RÉGIME.buried in profound meditation, and is allowed for afew minutes to remain undisturbed. The pious MarieLeczinska knows that the life of this gallant soldier is not free from blame, and she hopes that, suddenlyconscience-stricken, a conversion may, through her,have taken place.But he stirs not. The company, in a circle, standgazing upon him . At last the queen approaches him.“ Come, Monsieur de Saxe," she says softly, “ that'senough for the first time.” There is no response.Presently, a little louder, she speaks, now somewhatdoubtingly: " Do not fatigue yourself, Monsieur deSaxe." The sleeper is partly aroused, and in a loudvoice, to make up for long silence, begins, “ Ora pro nobis, Ora pro nobis." Even the queen and the piousdauphin cannot resist laughing, and the maréchal,now fully aware of what has happened, rises from hisknees, and, with much confusion of face, apologizesto the queen for his misdemeanor. She readily takesinto consideration his fatiguing campaign, his enfeebled state of health, and willingly pardons; believingthat the spirit was willing, though the flesh was weak.How different the scene on the following evening,when the maréchal was received by the brilliant marquise! Her guests are all of high rank, or of distinguished attainments. The supper prepared for themis the production of Mouthier, the famous chef of thepetits appartements, and a man more considered and valued by Louis XV. than the most enlightened of hisministers or the most skilful of his generals. Mou thier prides himself on his ancestry. He is a descendant of a long line of famous cooks, an illustrious culinary family. His art, he firmly believes, is the first inthe world - one that, rightly regarded, would have>aLA JOLIE MARQUISE BOURGEOISE. 297more real influence on the fate of nations than thewiliest policy of all the most able diplomatists of Europe combined.His grandfather was chef to Louis XIV. , and deep in the confidence of Madame de Maintenon, " a verygreat lady,” he says, who, following the gastronomic counsels of Mouthier, managed the Grand Monarque and his ministers as she willed. Faithful to thetraditions of his family, the younger Mouthier mayhave imparted these culinary secrets to Madame dePompadour, and her twenty years of omnipotence inFrance thus be accounted for.At all events, the appointments of her supper- table are splendid, the arrangements artistic , and M. Mouthier's repast no less so. It gives evident satisfactionto all who partake of it; it is mirth -inspiring, as the great artiste probably intended; for the dullest brain isquickened, and some sparkle added to the liveliest.Piquant bon -mots are plentiful, and flashes of wit follow each other in quick succession, in brilliant repartee.The toilets of the ladies, and their gracefully arranged coiffures of flowers and lace, are charming;while the perfect taste of the marquise—who has brought this fashion into vogue-is seen in the ex treme elegance of her own dress, and the artistic refinement exhibited in the furniture and embellishments of her apartment. She is decidedly the star of the court, this " jolie marquise bourgeoise," who, unfor tunately, loving power, to obtain it, “ had been so weak," Marmontel regretfully observes, “ as to wishto please the king, and so unfortunate as to succeed . "Her conversation fascinates even more than her beautyattracts. Her vivacity sets the bright thoughts in298 THE OLD RÉGIME.motion that might have lain dormant in other minds,but for contact with her own.Her suppers were not Bacchanalian feasts, like thoseat wliich, in their youth, Madame de Tencin, Madamedu Deffant, Madame de Caylus, and other esprits fortsof easy manners, assisted under the regency. Themoral tone of society was certainly but very slightlyimproved. But the habits of the king's earlier years,and the grave ministry of Fleury, had compelledprofligacy to veil itself; and if the men and womenwho sat at the table of the Marquise de PompadourMadame du Châtelet was one of them-were not freefrom vice, they at least did not, as formerly, boast ofit as meritorious.Society was probably never more frivolous and corrupt than from about the middle of the eighteenthcentury to the dawn of the Revolution. Its occupations were puerile; the conversation of the fashionablesalons — as distinguished from the three or four philosophical and literary reunions—had degenerated intoidle gossip, or the discussion of a budget of scandalous reports. Yet at no time did the society so pique itselfon its politeness—which was displayed in an overstrained empressement, that gave the idea of friends and acquaintances being intensely interested in eachother; so long, of course, as they remained together.Society, with its falseness, its hollowness, its affectedgeniality, and deceptive mask of politeness, is de scribed with much force and piquancy in Madamede Graffigny's " Lettres d'une péruvienne. "The age of grand manners was especially that ofLouis XIV. All the formal etiquette which then keptordinary mortals at a distance from the sacred person of the king was yet rigidly observed at Versailles, andSTATELY POLITENESS. 299continued to be, far into the reign of the unfortunateLouis XVI. But the grands seigneurs of the middle of the eighteenth century were far less grands than thoseof the preceding one. The poets and literati now held up their heads in the society of princes. In the LouisXIV. period they hardly dared hold up their eyes; and before the magnificent Bashaw , himself, would havefelt honored to be permitted to grovel on their knees-as some of the household still did when they drankthe health of the “ well-beloved.” But the old régime,with its grand manners and stately politeness, was inits decadence. Nothing could restore its prestige, or prevent the spread of philosophism - destined to overthrow both it and the very artificial state of society under which alone it could continue to exist. Notthat politeness was altogether extirpated as the formalities of the old régime died out; enough of it survived, and remains still, to entitle French society to be called the most polished and agreeable in Europe.CHAPTER XXIX.The Young Chevalier. -A very Gay Carnival.- Marie Josephe deSaxe.-A Weeping Young Bridegroom.- Court Usages Contemned.- Popularity of the Chevalier.-Peace of Aix- laChapelle. -Charles Edward Arrested.--" How Time Flies!"Public Disapprobation.—The Mass in London-1748.On the 20th of September, 1746,a small Frenchprivateer, hovering near the coast of Scotland, was seen to run a boat inshore, and presently to receive on board a poor, weary -looking, weather- beaten wanderer. As soon as he had stepped on deck, he turnedtowards the inlet where he had embarked, and waveda handkerchief, asa signal, maybe, that thus far allwas safe, or, perhaps, asa final adieu. It was answered from the rocky heights above, as the littlecraft, crowding all sail, speedily got under way.It was the gallant young Chevalier," Bonnie Prince Charlie," escaping from the land of his fathers. Sincethe fatal defeat at Culloden, he had for five monthswandered,a lonely fugitive, wounded, footsore, and weakened by fatigue; hiding by day in the wild ravines and caverns of the Highlands; sleeping in crevices of the rocks, exposed to all weathers, when no hut was near to shelter him, and suffering from hunger and thirst. Gay, handsome, courageous, ad venturous, romantic, his misfortunes kindled in women's hearts the deepest sympathy and devotion.Tracked from place to place, anda price set on his head, yet none, though abhorring him as a Papist, was)A VERY GAY CARNIVAL. 301found base enough to earn wealth by betraying him;but often, when recognized, he was furnished withsome disguise that enabled him to elude the vigilanceof pursuers.On the roth of October the schooner, which had narrowly escaped capture by an English cruiser, madefor the port of Roscof, near Morlaix. There, in asailor's dress, the prince landed, and was soon on his way to Paris. He was received by the people with many acclamations, and was fêted and entertained atthe Hôtel de Ville. The court also welcomed himwith much distinction. Having rested from his fatigues, and recovered the good looks which his fivemonths of hard living had somewhat marred, he created a great sensation amongst the ladies, who lostno opportunity of magnifying his deeds of arms, andextolling him as a hero of romance. So that PrinceCharlie was the darling of the belles of Paris thatseason, as well as of the belles of Bonnie Scotland.And a very gay season it was—the gayest carnival that had been known for years.There was again a royal marriage on the carpet.The poor young dauphin had become a widower inthe preceding July, and a second bride had beenchosen for him ere his tears were dry for the loss ofthe first, to whom he had been greatly attached.While he wept and lamented silently and alone in hischamber, preparations were being rapidly urged onfor court balls and plays, public festivities and rejoicings. Many were the intrigues which the unexpected death of the Spanish infanta occasioned.Each party strove to further its own interests atcourt by suggesting to the king a princess of its ownchoice.302 THE OLD RÉGIME.The queen seemed to desire an Austrian connec tion . The Jesuits preferred an Italian bride - a niece,or other relative, of the Pope. But the Maréchal deSaxe, then so popular in France, and all- powerfulwith the king, proposed his own niece as dauphine,Marie Josephe de Saxe. She was the daughter of themaréchal's natural brother, the Elector of Saxony,Augustus III . of Poland, who had supplanted KingStanislaus. Both Marie Leczinska and the dauphinwould have opposed this choice, had they possessed any influence. Having none, their objections wouldonly have met with a curt " Je le veux , " for the kingapproved; and his decision once made, for good or for evil, he always abided by it. The young princess,however, was found to be both pretty and amiable;more lively and agreeable, the court generally considered, than the grave and pious Spanish infanta .The feelings of the queen and of the still sorrowingdauphin were not unknown at Dresden, and accord ingly the princess, well trained in the part she had toplay, evinced, on her arrival at Versailles, much tenderness towards the former, much sympathy with thelatter.It was the etiquette of the time that the brideshould wear, in a diamond bracelet, the miniature ofher father. The queen having expressed a desire to see the portrait of Augustus-- to whom Stanislausowed so many of his troubles and years of povertyand obscurity—the young princess, presenting the bracelet, said, “ See, mamma, what a good likeness . "It proved to be no miniature of Augustus, but one of the queen's father she was wearing. The dauphin,poor youth ( he was but little past his seventeenthyear ), was unable to restrain his emotion and tearsCOURT USAGES CONTEMNED. 303during the performance of the marriage ceremony.The princess perceived it . On the conclusion of the rite, addressing her weeping young bridegroom, she said, “ Do not restrain your tears, Monsieur; they show me what I may hope from your esteem, if I amso fortunate as to deserve it . ”This very prim, formal, set speech is found in allthe histories and memoirs, authentic and otherwise,that treat of the events of that period. If ever uttered at all-which, as with so many other silly speeches and sayings recorded as the wisdom of royalty, is doubtful-it proves nothing in favor of the younglady, except that she performed the part she had been taught remarkably well. She, however, knew so littleof the French language that, on her arrival, she wasunable to make herself understood, and needed theservices of a French teacher-far more than MarieLeczinska had once needed those of the academician Moncrif, to correct the inelegancies she had contracted from a bourgeoise instructress. The dauphin himselfundertook to teach his bride French, and it was whilepursuing their linguistic studies that the young couple fell in love. The disgust of the court may be imagined, when the scandal was confirmed that the dau phine, of whom better things had been expected, ac tually was content to live happily with her husbandin bourgeois fashion. It was shameful thus to contemn the usages of the court, and openly to reprovethe king. What an unfortunate father! What an undutiful son! What a silly young bride!None, perhaps, had more enjoyed the festivities ofthis brilliant carnival , or entered with more zest into the rather prolonged gayeties of the marriage fêtes thanPrince Charles Edward. He is said to have exhibited304 THE OLD RÉGIME.cause.a fair share of French volatility, and while forgettinghis own fatigues in the pleasures and dissipations of Paris, to have evinced neither sorrow nor sympathyfor the sufferings - far greater than his own-of those who had followed his fortunes and supported his But at that time, as an opponent of England,he was popular in France with all classes—from the court to the people. The ladies, with greater admira tion for his personal qualities, vied with each other in seeking his good graces. Amongst the nobility many were willing, even eager, to form a matrimonial alliance with him. He probably thought that an honortoo great to confer on any noble house. Royalty,though fallen, must wed with royalty; and the queen,with little reason, put an end to the hopes of many abeauty, by announcing that one of her daughters was destined for the prince.But Madame de Pompadour began to be desirous of peace. The king, at her instance, had once more visited the armies, and the Maréchal de Saxe undertaken to bring about peace by new conquests. M. de SaintSeverin was sent to England to negotiate, while the maréchal besieged the strong places of Holland . Themuch-desired peace, of which Madame de Pompadour,as first minister, took to herself the chief credit, though the precipitancy with which it was concluded met withmuch disapproval - France gaining nothing by eightyears of war but an addition of twelve million livresto her debt - was definitively signed at Aix -la -Chapelle, on the 8th of October, 1748.Immediately after, instead of giving Charles Ed ward his daughter in marriage, Louis XV. despatchedthe Marquis de Puisieux with an order to the princeto quit the kingdom. Several previous intimationsCHARLES EDWARD ARRESTED. 305had been given him that it was desirable he should voluntarily do so. He had chosen to disregard them.He now set at naught the king's order, and made the Parisians aware that he was to be ejected, in compli ance with the demand of the English. At once his popularity increased, and he fancied that any attempt to use force to eject him would be resented by the people. He was, however, quietly arrested in the corridor of the Opera; precautions having been taken , as it was known he was armed, to prevent any resistance.The Marquis de Vaudreuil then conducted him toVincennes.After three days' confinement, the Comte de Maurepas was sent to apologize for the severity of thistreatment, on the ground of imperative necessity.Also, to inform him that he was free to retire to anycountry he chose, on giving his word of honor not toreturn to France, until the ministry had come to anarrangement with England on that point. The king -who had a liking for the young Chevalier, and admired the chivalric spirit that would have led him,with very slight encouragement, again to strike a blowfor the English crown-is said to have much regret ted that he could not act otherwise than rigorouslytowards him.It appears, however, that an asylum in France might possibly have been conceded by the Treaty, had theChevalier been fully aware of the position of Madamede Pompadour. He paid his court to her, as to ayoung and charming woman who pleased the king,and whose energy and animation had given vogue toother entertainments in the dull court of Louis XV.than the customary dreary round of excessive eating and drinking. Her conspicuous talent and wonder306THE OLD RÉGIME.ful resource had enabled her to multiply and vary the amusements in a manner that excited his surprise and admiration. She had accomplished a task that thesagacious Madame de Maintenon confessedly had failed in—that of " amusing a man who was no longeramusable" —having drawn from the king an exclama tion on the rapid fight of time.Oppressed by indolence and his own gloomythoughts, it had been the habit of his life to complain that the days and the hours moved wearily on with leaden feet; but when his sluggish mind was awak ened to take some degree of interest in the new amusements and pursuits created for him by the marquise,he had several times remarked, with surprise, “ Ah!how time flies!” The young Chevalier did not know that the bodily fatigue and labor of brain undergoneby this accomplished lady were very far less the re sults of her love for the king than her love of ministerial power, and that she might probably have taken up his cause, had he sought her in her “ bureau of office," instead of complimenting her like other dang lers at her toilet. He did not comprehend this; yetshe treated him graciously — as she would any other fine young man whose misfortunes she pitied, andwhom she would have endeavored to serve, had he asked her. She thought him a desirable acquisition to the general court circle; and when he went his wayshe, as well as the king, bade him adieu with regret.On the other hand, it has been asserted that Madame de Pompadour, aware that the prince confided in the generosity of Louis XV. to afford him - aspromised before his embarkation for England-a refuge in France, should he need it , reminded the kingof it when the arrest was ordered, and spoke warmlyPUBLIC DISAPPROBATION , 307in the prince's favor. Louis is said to have been extremely annoyed by the urgency of her appeal, and tohave replied, even angrily, “ What would you haveme do, Madame? Must I ruin my kingdom becausethe son of the Chevalier Saint George likes to livein Paris?” He was, in fact, supine only becauseFrance had no navy, and was in this respect powerless against England. The Parisian public, however, expressed their disapprobation of the king's expulsion of the young Chevalier, in their usual mode of givingvent to their feelings and opinions. Epigrams innumerable, more or less keen and cutting; ribald jests,songs of the Pont- Neuf, assailed the ears of royaltyfor by some means they always found their way to Versailles. At the theatres, every speech, every sentence of a play, that could be turned into an allusionto the people's cause of displeasure, was seized on bythe audience and applauded vociferously-none moreso than the line“ Il est roi dans les fers; qu'êtes -vous sur le trône?" *There were many who would have had the king, atall hazards, go to war for the cause of the young Pretender, and believed the people of England to be so anxious to receive him that “ a French corporal andthree grenadiers could place him on the throne.” But Louis XV. followed the wiser counsels of one who toldhim, “ Sire, it is impossible; and if your majesty wishesmass said in London, five hundred thousand men wil!be needed to serve it. " Alas for Protestantism!what a change has since. come over the spirit of the nation!

  • " He is royal in chains; what are you on the throne?"

CHAPTER XXX.The Salon of Mdme. Geoffrin . - A Graduate of the Salons.Marie Thérèse Rodet. -Les Glaces des Gobelins. -A Constant Dinner -Guest. - Anecdotes of M. Geoffrin . - A Studentof History. —A Bourgeois Household.-- " La Fontenelle desFemmes. ” — An Aged Gallant. -A Cherished Antique. --ThePastorals of Sceaux. - " Le Grand Prosateur. ” —The Well ofSte. Geneviève. -A Joke of the Salons. - Grandeur and Fri volity .-- In Quest of Conversation . - From St. Louis to St.Honoré.The certain though gradual passing away of theexclusiveness which had once been so rigorously ob served in the aristocratic society of the old French régime was nowhere more conspicuously marked than ·in the rapidly rising celebrity of the salon of MadameGeoffrin . It was already in great repute, and fre quented by persons of rank and distinction, though Madame Geoffrin herself, both by birth and by mar riage, could but be classed with the middle class ofcitizens.“ Her salon , " says Sainte - Beuve, “ was the best re gulated, best conducted, and most firmly establishedof any salon in France, since the days of the famousHôtel de Rambouillet. It was, in fact, one of theinstitutions of the eighteenth century.” By the deathof Madame de Tencin, who for some time had been infailing health, and the more sudden and unexpectedone of the Marquise du Châtelet, in 1749, two of themost distinguished of the literary and philosophical9THE SALON OF MDME. GEOFFRIN . 309salons were closed. The men of genius and of letters,philosophers, eminent artistes, and all who composedthe social circle of those ladies, passed over, as if byright of inheritance, to the salon of Madame Geoffrin .Not that an entirely new society was thus formed.There were indeed but few first appearances in her circle, but, generally, those who now became the habit ual frequenters of her salon had before been but occa sional visitors. “ Ah! the crafty little woman ,” ex claimed Madame de Tencin, when, in her last illness,Madame Geoffrin assiduously visited her, “ she comes to entrap my animals.” The animals were consideredas more rightfully the property of Madame du Deffant. Her salon had been established some yearswhen Madame Geoffrin threw open the doors of her hôtel, in the Rue St. Honoré, and invited the fashion able world, the philosophers, and literati to enter her salon bourgeois - destined shortly to eclipse all others and to obtain European renown. She was not thenin the heyday of youth and beauty, but had arrived at that discreet period of life usually called middle age,and which supposes a general expectation of com pleting a century-Madame Geoffrin was borderingon fifty.It would have been late in the day to have acquiredsuch wide- spread social celebrity had she only then made her debut in society. But, possessed of ampte means, she had for severalyearspast been quietly receiving, and been herself well received by such leadersof society as Madame de Tencin, Mesdames de Forcalquier and Dupin, as well as in the limited but refined circle of Madame de Graffigny. She had grad uated, as it were, in the salons of the beau monde. Being a keen observer, though but indifferently educated,310 THE OLD RÉGIME.she had acquired there the most charming ease of manner, and a dignified repose, that harmonizedwell with her pleasing personal appearance and heradmirable taste in dress. She wore very fine laces,and the richest materials, either black, or of subdued shades of gray; and without departing conspicuouslyfrom the fashions of the time, modified them considerably, to suit her age and her tall slight figure.As hostess, her tact was perfect, and she is said tohave possessed in an eminent degree that “ savoir vivre which consists in putting every one in his properplace, and keeping one's own." Her opinions wererather deeply tinctured with the prevailing philosophy of the age. But she had her tribune, or private seat,at the church of the Capucines, where the queen andthe dauphine performed their devotions, as she had herbox at the Théâtre des Bouffons and the ThéâtreFrançais, where she sometimes received the visits ofher friends.This celebrated dame bourgeois, who for twenty- fiveyears was the centre of the most brilliant of the social,literary, artistic, and philosophic circles of Paris, wasthe daughter of a valet-de- chambre of the Duchesse de Bourgogne, the mother of Louis XV. Of a specu lative turn, he had risked a small sum, and gained avery large one, when the Système Law was in operation. He was thus enabled to give a handsome dowryto his daughter, Malle. Marie Thérèse Rodet, when she married the thriving bourgeois, M. Geoffrin . Hewas the founder ( or is generally so called ) of the Manufacture de glaces des Gobelins, * also a lieuten

  • The actual founder of this establishment was Rivière-Du

freyny , who, in 1654, under the patronage of Colbert, obtained forA CONSTANT DINNER GUEST.311ant-colonel of the bourgeois militia. This was anhonorary post, without duties or emolument, which gave him a sort of importance in his own and his neighbors' eyes, but interfered not with his habits ofindustry and strict attention to the business by which he eventually realized a large fortune.As there was something artistic in M. Geoffrin's occupation, it brought him in contact with persons ofrank and wealth, with whom he became so far inti.mate that they did not disdain to partake of his libe ral hospitalities - recherchés dinners, etc. His tasteswere so far in harmony with those of his wife, that herather encouraged than checked her inclination forsociety and her efforts to form a distinguished circleof her M. and Madame Geoffrin connectedthemselves, if only in idea, with the nobility by marrying their only daughter to the Marquis de La FertéImbault. When M. Geoffrin , who was considerablyolder than his wife, either retired from business or gave up its management into younger hands, he became Madame Geoffrin's major- domo, and performed the duties of his office admirably.For some years there sat at the bottom of a privilege or patent, which he afterwards sold to a company.At that time the plates of glass were merely blown, and thelargest did not exceed four feet in dimension. But in 1688 a me thod of melting the glass and running it into moulds was inventedby Lucas de Nehon. This was done at a manufactory, on a largescale, at St. Gobin , in Picardy; the sheets of glass being sent to Paris for polishing, framing, etc. Better glass was obtained bythis process, as well as mirrors of a much larger size. The Vene tian mirrors, consequently , became less in demand. M. Geoffrinwas therefore not the founder of the manufactory, but one of thefounder's successors—though he may, probably, have made someimprovements on De Nehon's process.312 THE OLD RÉGIME.)12.1Geoffrin's dinner and supper table a dignified -looking,white- haired old gentleman; bland in his manners,but very modest and retiring; speaking only when spoken to, but looking very happy when the guestsseemed to enjoy the good cheer set before them.When, at last, his accustomed place became vacant,and some brilliant butterfly of Madame's circle of“ occasional visitors " -who perhaps had smiled patronizingly on the silent old gentleman - noticing his absence, perchance would carelessly inquire what hadbecome of her constant dinner- guest, she would re ply, “ Why, that was my husband. Alas! he's dead,poor man" --so little was the consideration shown tothis worthy creature in his own house. Yet it bothpleased and amused him silently to gaze on the throng of rank, fashion, and learning assembled in his wife'ssalons, and to witness her social success.Numerous anecdotes are told of M. Geoffrin , ofwhich one may well question the veracity. Evidentlythis bourgeois gentilhomme was not fitted to play his partin society with the tact and easy grace that distinguished his wife. But it may be doubted whether aman who for many years had successfully conductedan important establishment, requiring much intelligence in its management, was so nearly idiotic asmany of these anecdotes seem to represent him. He is said to have been recommended to read a certain historical work, the first volume being then lentto him, and afterwards changed, as he supposed,through five or six volumes unto the end. The samefirst volume, however, was always returned to him, hereading it over and over again, quite unconscious ofthe joke of his friends. When asked his opinion ofthe work, he said, " It was extremely interesting,A STUDENT OF HISTORY. 313though he had met with a few repetitions, which the author, he fancied, might have avoided ." Also heappears to have been a student of “ Bayle's Ency.clopædia .” But the book being printed in doublecolumns, he read them together as one; often remarking that " it was a most abstruse work ."The President Hénault being one of Madame Geoffrin's faithful followers, M. Geoffrin thought itright to read his “ Histoire Chronologique," and wasmuch surprised after a diligent perusal to learn from it that Louis XIII. was not the son of Louis XII. , andHenri IV. the son of Henry III.; and so on. Withthis enlightened study of history, philosophy, andgeography, his favorite subjects, he profitably employed the leisure hours of the evening of his life, theresults being as amusing to his literary friends as they were interesting to himself. Yet he had brains,taste, and skill enough to produce in his manufactorythe splendid mirrors that rivalled or surpassed those of Venice, and that formed some of the most tasteful ornaments of the royal palaces and hôtels of thenobility-acquiring a handsome fortune by his industry.The Marquis d'Argenson, a great frequenter of the salons, refers in his “ Mémoires," though without mentioning names, to the household arrangements of M.Geoffrin , and the part he took in them.“ I could name," he says, “ a certain household, themaster of which is a man of very ample means, wherethe usual order of things in bourgeois families is entirely reversed - the husband taking upon himself theduties of the wife; and he performs them well. Hespends his mornings in settling accounts, ordering thedinners and suppers, and, with the aid of his chef,Son????314 THE OLD RÉGIME.preparing the menu . The mistress of this establishment has the reputation of being une femme d'esprit.She is epigrammatic and sarcastic, without any ill nature; but her husband, who is entirely at her orders,though he takes his place at her table, rarely ventures to utter a remark. He is, however, a strict man withhis servants. If he perceives any neglect, or any defect in the repast, he reprimands them severely; and they respect him, though they also fear him. He has evenbeen known to remonstrate with his lady wife, whenher expenditure, though she is a prudent woman, andhe a liberal man, has seemed to him larger than necessary . "Notwithstanding these excellent qualities, the periodof Madame Geoffrin's greatest celebrity was after herhusband's death, when the large fortune came entirelyunder her own management. She has been called“ La Fontenelle des femmes," her idea of happiness, likethat great philosopher's, consisting in the absence of all disquietude in her social surroundings, and all dis turbance of the serenity of her mind. But the desireto sail on summer seas, and to have the path of lifespread with a velvet- pile carpet, is as little uncommon,even in these days, as it was in those of Fontenelleand Madame Geoffrin . In her wish, however, thatthe even tenor of her life should run on smoothly and undisturbed, she was not so selfishly influenced as Fontenelle. Her happiness included the happiness of others; for she was kind- hearted and benevolent in theextreme-glad to be of service, assisting many with her purse, and, where that availed not, affording herhearty sympathy. Marmontel was one of her especialfavorites; but, generally, she was interested in thesuccess of young literary men, introducing them toAN AGED GALLANT. 315the princes and courtiers who visited her; some such patronage, even then, having its value.Fontenelle, at the age of ninety -four, was still adangler in the salons. He was always considered par simonious, never offering, or expressing any wil lingness, to aid a needy literary friend. Yet thiswas less, it would seem, from actual parsimony thanfrom a determination to thrust from him all thatwas unpleasant to the eye or painful to the thoughts.But Madame Geoffrin frequently obtained from him large subscriptions for benevolent purposes. Shewould tell him of certain individuals in whom she wasinterested-well known to him in most cases-whohad either fallen into poverty or met with somecatastrophe, and whom it was desirable to assist. Hewould express his regret or surprise, and his approval of her plans; when she would say, “ May I depend on you for forty or fifty louis? " “ Certainly, madame,"he immediately replied; “ I thank you for remindingme of it.” Fontenelle, therefore, should not be tooharshly judged; for it is not every one who will dowhat is considered to be his duty, simply by beingreminded of it.It was in Madame Geoffrin's salon that Fontenelle,wishing still to be gallant, although half way betweenninety and a hundred, observing that a lady haddropped her glove, rose from his seat with the intention of presenting it to her. In attempting to stoop to pick it up, he fell forward on his knees. In an instant he was surrounded. Such a panic among theladies! such a lamentation over their “ dear Fonte.nelle!" For, as was remarked, “ there was as much fussing over him in the salons, and as much care takenof him, as though he had been a rare work of art, or316THE OLD RÉGIME.ness.a valuable piece of old china." On this occasion hewas tenderly assisted to get up again on his feet, but not until he had on his knees, as he said, begged pardonof all those beautiful ladies for his extreme awkward“ Alas! dear ladies," he exclaimed, “ I am no longer eighty!” At that youthful period of his lifehe would have picked up a lady's glove with alacrity.Now, alas! he was getting somewhat into years, andfair ladies must take the will for the deed.The Marquis d'Argenson, after the death of Madamede Lambert, wandered from salon to salon, seeking peace, but finding everywhere a Babel of tongues.He was yearning for conversation, but in that selfasserting age there was nothing but talking. Listening had gone out of fashion with true politeness. Forhis own part, he tells us, he had given up the quest,and had taken the resolution “ to retire and keep silence . " But old habits are often not easily overcome.D'Argenson himself was a great talker; but a talkerof the old school. He did not carry with him tothe social reunion a budget of scandal, determined,whether listened to or not, to leave none of it untold.He liked a long learned disquisition, and preferred totake the leading part in it-more after the pattern ofRambouillet.The last souvenirs of the Rambouillet days still lingered, it was said, in the château and gardens of Sceaux, where the Duchesse du Maine, setting atnaught her threescore and ten years, still masqueradedwith her guests. Chloés and Strephons, with their crooks and their lambs, would spend the soft twilightof the summer nights rambling in shady groves, reposing by purling streams, or supping in grottoes onwhite bread and honey, fresh fruits and cream, untilV“ LE GRAND PROSATEUR.” 317the twittering of birds and the rosy hue of the eastern sky warned this party of imbeciles that it was time to confide their bleating young lambs to the care of areal shepherd, and that they should return to the châ teau - the ladies to repair the injuries done to patchesand paint; the gentlemen to write sonnets on the little hump- backed duchess's beauty. The grounds of Sceaux were specially arranged for these pastoralfrolics.But it was not a travesty of the sentimentalities of the Rambouillet school that d'Argenson pined for;but something that bore a resemblance to its saloncauseur, A modification of it, doubtless. Not one ofthose oratorical exhibitions by which Jean Louis Balzac, “ le grand prosateur," charmed a listening circleof pedantic and romantic belles and beaux - while theclever and amiable Madeleine de Scudéry played the part of the recording angel. Sitting at Balzac's feet,she noted down his eloquent words; the next post conveying them, in multiplied copies, to the furthermost its of France.Ah! M. d'Argenson, your sad, perturbed spirit will ne'er be at rest if, in the degenerate days you have fallen on, you seek in the boudoir of beauty, or the salon of a free- thinker, mental aliment of that substantial kind. A flavorless apology for it is reportedto exist in the salon of the Marquise du Deffant. But this is an error. Her ennui has already ennuyé manyof her former circle; and they have migrated to thehôtel in the Rue St. Honoré. The unfortunate marquise, to add to her weariness of existence, is at thistime threatened with blindness. Sad as is the infliction, an incident connected with it has been the occasion of much laughter and mirth in the thoughtless society of Paris.318 THE OLD RÉGIME.Madame du Deffant, a free -thinker, and professedlywithout any religious belief, or, as she said herself,“ believing in nothing ,” had secretly, with her friend,Pont de Veyle, gone to Nanterre, to drink of the wellof Ste. Geneviève. There, miraculous cures of blindness and diseases of the eyes were supposed to takeplace, when, after devotional homage to the statue, thewaters were drunk with faith in the power and will ofthe saint to confer the boon applied for. Two of heracquaintances, happening to be travelling that way,had visited the well from curiosity; for usually it wassurrounded by suppliants and devotees, who oftencame from afar to seek a cure for themselves, or to bring gifts to secure a similar favor for others. What,then, was their surprise to see the Marquis de Pont de Veyle among the throng!He was not drinking of the miracle- working watershimself, but waiting for a woman to whom a draught had been handed; a stout, elderly woman, enveloped,as if for concealment, in an ample cloak, and wearing a close hood. She proved to be the now nearly blindMadame du Deffant, who, while doubting the existence of God, was not free from the superstition of supposing that some sort of godlike power dwelt in the image of a mythical saint. The marquise and her frienddeparted, unrecognized, as they believed; but the secret expedition to Ste. Geneviève's well was too good a joke to remain unrevealed by her soi - disantfriends. It went the round of the salons, inspiredmany an epigram, and became the subject of muchjesting; no pity, apparently, being felt for the infirmitywhich had been the cause of her weakness. She, however, determined, as day by day the gloom and obscurity increased, and darkness seemed closing aroundGRANDEUR AND FRIVOLIT Y. 319her, to leave for awhile the noise and the bustle andthe giddy life of Paris, with the hope of finding reliefin the quietude of a family château and her native air of Burgundy.It was not then in the salon of the marquise that the fastidious d'Argenson could meet with conversationthat pleased him. Hewent on carping at everything;finding fault with everybody, and confiding his dis- ,content to the pages of his journal. “ France is into decay, ” hewrote, “ and soon we shall have nogood talkers in society. No good dramatic authors,either in tragedy or comedy; no good music or paint ing; no palaces built. Critics only will remain to us-for the age is becoming ignorant, and the greater its ignorance, the more it becomes critical and contemptuous.” But d'Argenson was one of the severest ofcritics; though he was but just when he designated the eighteenth century " the age of perfection in bagatelles;" adding, " as we have degenerated in great things, we have risen in trifles.”He did not immediately recognize the great socialmerits of Madame Geoffrin, but thought it would havebeen more consistent with her position to content herself with being a good housewife, instead of aspiring to be a leader of the best society. Her point of de parture, however, being the possession of a large fortune-without which she could not, of course, haveachieved European fame-she was fully justified in attempting to soar aloft as a star of the world offashion; feeling conscious, as she must have done, thatshe had, over and above her wealth, the qualities that would lead to success.But d'Argenson, in quest of conversation, found itat last in the salon of Madame Geoffrin , and discovered320 THE OLD RÉGIME.> )in Madame herself one of the “ good talkers" whosediminished number he lamented. Though it was wellknown that she was far from being learned, all whoheard her relate any incident or adventure knew also“ that she had exquisite taste in narration . ” She possessed, too, in an eminent degree the talent, or art,of so animating and directing a conversation that allher guests should participate in it; and generally even the philosophers preferred the ease and gayety of hersaion to the restraint of affected learning in that ofMadame de Tencin.The circle of the Marquise du Châtelet had been avery limited one. She was, indeed, scarcely missed insociety, and certainly was not regretted, even by her amant- en - titre -Voltaire. He never mentioned his“ sublime and respectable Emilie " after her death.And he did well. She was a pretentious blue -stocking,a repulsive woman, and as little deserving to be com plimented on her " respectability " as any of the greatladies of that disreputable age. Her learned coteriecontrived to discuss their mathematical problems noless satisfactorily in the Rue St. Honoré than in the Ile St. Louis, as may well be inferred; for thereawaited them there what the marquise usually forgotto provide for her savants — twice a week a good din ner; while every evening the guests of the salon“ supped there luxuriously at will."CHAPTER XXXI.Madame de Graffigny. — The Duchesse de Richelieu. -A Death bed Scene.-- An Affectionate Husband. --A Visit to the Châ.teau de Cirey . - Knick -knacks and Objets d’Art.-— " Lettresd'une Peruvienne . " - " Lettres d'Aza . ” - M . de La Marche.Courmont. - A Sensitive Authoress. —D'Holbach and Helve tius. —Mdlle. de Ligneville. -A Philosopher in Love. —ThePhysician Helvetius. —A Rival of Voltaire . -The Epicurean Principle. — A Grateful Annuitant. - Wonderful Moderation.-The Sweepings of a Salon.When, in 1734, the Duc de Richelieu married hissecond wife, Malle. de Guise, she was accompanied onher journey from Lorraine to Paris by Madame deGraffigny, the widow of Count Huguet de Graffigny,formerly chamberlain to the Duc de Lorraine, thefather of Richelieu's young bride. The count was aman of the most violent character. In his paroxysmsof rage, he often ill - treated the countess, even threatened to take her life. After a few years of marriage,her health had become so much affected by her hus band's brutality that she applied for, and obtained, ajudicial separation. Shortly after she was wholly re leased from her marriage-yoke of misery by the deathof the count in the fortress of Nancy—the fatal result a quarrel with an officer of the Gardes du Corpshaving led to his imprisonment there. *Callot, the famous engraver, was the great- uncle of Madamede Graffigny. Louis XIII . invited him to France, to engrave for322 THE OLD RÉGIME.aThe gentle and amiable Madame de Graffigny,grieved for the sad fate of her unworthy husband,and having, at about the time of his death, also losther two children , was falling into a state of despondency. It was then that Mdlle. de Guise, with theapproval of her friends, proposed to Madame de Graffigny to make the journey to Paris with her; and,after a little hesitation, she was prevailed on to accede to the princess's request. It was thus this distinguished woman, scarcely aware of her own mentalgifts—for her life had hitherto been but a tissue ofsorrows and troubles-was drawn from the seclusionof her home in Lorraine to become, some few yearslater, a star in the literary society of Paris.She was, on her first arrival, extremely well receivedin the salons of the beau monde, whither she accompanied the duchess; for the duke could not, of course,so greatly sin against the laws of society as to appearthere himself with his wife. But he was not atall averse to the discreet Madame de Graffigny, to whom the duchess was greatly attached, playing thepart of chaperon, and keeping aloof all pretenders to the post of ami intime. This institution of politeFrench society he had an insuperable objection to,now that it threatened to interfere with his own do.younghim the picture of the Siege of Rochelle, and of the Ile de Rhé.When requested to engrave also that of Nancy, the capital of theDuchy of Lorraine, of which the king had taken possession ,Callot refused. “ I would rather," he said , “ cut off my thumb,that I might never again take up the graver, than assist in perpetuating the memory of the misfortunes of my country , and of its prince, my sovereign . " Louis XIII. was pleased with Callot's reply, and esteemed him for his noble sentiments. Louis had hispropitious moments, though they occurred only at long intervals..A DEATH - BED SCENE. 323mestic relations. But of all men in the world, whowith so little grace as the Duc de Richelieu could raise his voice against it, or appear to oppose it?It was a maxim of the age to disbelieve in the fidelity of women; and though Richelieu had contemned both the fidelity and affection of Mdlle. de Noailles, his first unfortunate wife, he is said to have made some showof being really interested, for the space of two orthree months, in the Princess de Guise. His anxiety,however, on the vexed subje: t of an ami intime was soon set at rest. Undeserving as he was of anywoman's affection, his second wife was as much de voted to him as the first, and, rejecting as falsehood all the scandal afloat respecting him, believed herselfalso beloved. He smiled, therefore, on the weakness of his wife, as he smiled on that of other weak women;complacently tolerated her affection, but continuedthe same libertine course of life as before.The duchess died at an early age, in 1740.had," says a contemporary writer, " a calm and puresoul; beautiful eyes; a sweet expression; the manner of a queen, and the character of an angel.” WhenRichelieu, hat in hand, politely came to take leave ofher on her death-bed, she murmured, with almost herlast breath, “ How sweet it would be to die in yourarms!” What could he do, when he heard thosedying words, and his eyes met the wistful gaze ofhers? what - though he hated a scene-but lay asidehis hat, approach the bed, and put his arm round thispassionately fond wife! An expression of intense loveand happiness momentarily lighted up her face. Shestrove to turn towards him, and in that dying effortbreathed her last. Those who stood around-amongstthem was Madame de Graffigny - were deeply affected .“ She324 THE OLD RÉGIME.Not so De Richelieu No starting tear dimmed hiseye. But he did not play the hypocrite; feeling no emotion, he feigned none. Gently he withdrew his arm , took up his hat, and silently departed-probably to keep some assignation.After the death of the Duchesse de Richelieu, Ma.dame de Graffigny, on whom the Emperor Francis I.of Lorraine had conferred a pension of considerableamount, fixed her residence in Paris, where in hermodest salon the élite of the learned and brilliantsociety of the capital were accustomed twice a weekto assemble. A year or two before, while on a visit to Nancy, she was urged by Voltaire and the Marquise du Châtelet to spend a week with them at Cirey.She wrote an account of her sojourn in that abode of philosophy, learning, and love; and of the retreatwhich the sublime Emilie and her ami intime constructed for themselves, and adorned as pleased their own fancy.Voltaire appears to have done the honors, and to have conducted Madame de Graffigny through hisown and the Marquise's apartments. They occupied the new wing she had added to the old château, andto which entrance was obtained by the principal por tico and grand staircase of the latter. The furnitureand hangings of Voltaire's rooms were of rich crimsonvelvet. One of them, large but not lofty, was panelled with tapestry and mirrors, the ceiling being formed of framed pictures. Adjoining was a gallery,near forty feet in length, the windows of which lookedon the newly planned gardens, with their grottoes andfountains. It was fitted up like a studio - cases ofbooks, mathematical instruments, writing- tables andchairs, and all the necessary appurtenances for writKNICK -KNACKS AND OBJETS D'ART. 325wasing and study. The walls were of light yellow wainscot, varnished. A stove was let into the wall, andconcealed by a pedestal, on which was a statue of Cupid, with another of Venus on one side, and the Far nesian Hercules on the other - symbolizing, probably,the “ Emilie, you are beautiful" of Voltaire, and “ hewas a marvel of strength " of Madame de Crequy.The apartments of the marquise were hung withrich watered blue silk , bordered with gold fringe.The walls, everywhere wainscot, painted yellow, withlight blue stripes, and varnished. Even her favoritepug dog's house was cushioned, curtained, painted and varnished, light yellow and blue. Bathing-roomsthe same. Voltaire seemed especially to admire thewonderfully numerous collection of “ knick -knackery"his Emilie had amassed, and drew his visitor's attention to it. Every available corner and recess filled with the then so much prized Chinese porcelain-Chinese monsters, vases, etc. The marquise hadseveral cases of finely engraved gems and preciousstones; some Paul Veroneses and other good pictures;beautiful wood -carvings and statuary. The librarywas extensive. But geometry, astronomy, and mathe matics generally, being the beautiful Emilie's favoritestudies, books on those subjects predominated.With her admiration of a quantity of rich furniture,and a rather pell- mell arrangement of a large andvaried collection of objets d'art, Madame de Graffignyends her praises of that home of poetry and science,the Château de Cirey; every part of which, except thenew suite of rooms, she found dirty and uncomfortable in the extreme. But in all the palaces and hôtelsof the nobles at that period, the splendor of the reception - rooms was more than counterbalanced by326 THE OLD RÉGIME.the dirt and discomfort of the private apartments.What miserable holes were the courtiers on service atVersailles content, or compelled to be content, to sleep in and inhabit!Madame de Graffigny's first published work wasatale, entitled“ Le Mauvais Exemple produit autant de Vertus que de Vices," " Nouvelle Espagnole." Itwas written at the request ofa literary coterie shehad joined, each member of which undertook to writea short tale or romance. They were published collectively in 1754, the longest being Madame de Graffigny's. It was considered satirical

the title being

a maxim only vaguely developed, it was said, butseemingly pointed at one or two persons, who felt themselves rather offended by it.Withdrawing from this testy coterie, she wrote andpublished her“ Lettres d'une Péruvienne." The suc cess of this work was immense. It went through manyeditions, and at once established Madame de Graffigny's fame as the most elegant and eloquent prosewriter of the female authors of France. It was soonafter translated into several languages, and the Italiansso greatly admired it that Madame de Graffigny waselecteda member of the Academy of Florence. Mon tesquieu's “ Lettres Persanes" was the first exampleof this kind of satirical writing, and had numerousimitators. But the celebrated“ Lettres d'une Péruvienne" isa work ina far more pure and harmoniousstyle.A delicate vein of irony runs through it . Thethoughts are original , clearly and gracefully expressed,and the character of the French and the manners ofthe period well defined. It is, indeed,a very charming romance, slightly sentimental, of course.Asastory, only, it is interesting, and not too long.111.M. DE LA MARCHE - COURMONT. 327With the “ Lettres d'une péruvienne" there is some.times bound up another and shorter work, entitled“ Lettres d’Aza ou d'un Péruvien, pour servir de suiteà celles d'une Péruvienne. " It was written, afterMadame de Graffigny's death, by M. de La MarcheCourmont. He seems not to have been satisfied withthe conclusion of the story, which leaves the reader to imagine the fair Zilia forgetting, probably, in time,her faithless lover, Aza, and rewarding with her handand heart the devoted Captain Deterville, notwithstanding her vow to be eternally constant to the former,M. de Courmont makes Aza repent and Zilia forgive. He reunites the lovers, and sends them back to Peru in a French man- of-war, ordered by the king fortheir conveyance. There is no charm of style in theseletters. That of Madame de Graffigny is imitated;but Aza has not the Auent pen, the graceful diction,and playful irony of Zilia. One feels a sort of resent.ment towards this M. de La Marche- Courmont-whowas chamberlain to the Margrave of Bareith -for his presumption in detracting from the charm of a pretty romance, by attempting to decide what the author hadchosen to leave doubtful.The success of the “ Lettres Péruviennes" wasshortly followed by that of a five - act play, entitled“ Cénie." It is in prose, and after its first run of sev.eral nights at the Théâtre Français, retained favor for a number of years as one of the stock pieces ofthat establishment. “ Ziman et Zenise” and “ Phaza,"one- act dramas, were written for and performed by the juvenile members of the court of Vienna. Unfortunately, Madame de Graffigny was so extremely sensitive that an unkind criticism or epigram-and the age was prolific of both - wounded her deeplyaHer play,328 THE OLD RÉGIME.“ La Fille d'Aristide,” which was not so successful as“ Cénie,” gave rise to one or two of those silly jests that so often did duty for bon -mots. The amour propreof the authoress suffered so much that she becameseriously ill , and was compelled to lay aside her pen--then employed on another work - and it does notappear that she ever resumed it, except for the benefitof private friends.It is surprising to meet with so extreme an instanceof sensitiveness in one-herself a critic-who so thoroughly comprehended the vivacity and levity of the French character, * and knew that the age, with all its boasted learning and philosophy, was but the " golden age of commonplace writers" -as Villemain describes it — and that though satire, as a contemporary authority ( D'Argenson) remarks, marchait toujours, il marchait à vide.Philosophers of the most advanced opinions met in Madame de Graffigny's salon. Such men, for instance,as the Baron d'Holbach and the younger Helvetius.Both wealthy, of epicurean tastes ( the former es pecially professing atheistical opinions) , and whose works, “ Le Système de Nature” and “ De l’Esprit,”produced some few years later on, were denounced as diabolical productions, and burnt by the public executioner. Yet both these so- called philosophers wereamiable, kind- hearted, and benevolent men. If theyspent much in luxurious living, they expended almostas much in kind and generous acts towards the needy.None sought a service from d'Holbach, or claimed aid

  • Zilia, in the “ Lettres Péruviennes," characterizes the French

as composed only of fire and air -- having escaped unfinished from the hands of the Creator, she imagines , while the more solid ingredients for the organization of the human mind were preparing.MDLLE . DE LIGNEVILLE. 329from him, in vain . If, in his dinners and suppers, hestrove to vie in costliness and elaboration with thebanquets of Lucullus, none the less did he vie withthat noble Roman in the huinane and compassionatefeeling he exhibited. It is not recorded that he tookhim for his model, though possibly he may havedone so.There resided at this time with Madame de Graf.figny a very attractive young lady, Mdlle. de Ligneville, who, with a fair share of beauty, possessed alsothe advantages of a cultivated mind, an amiable temper, and much liveliness and wit. She was Madamede Graffigny's niece, and what in modern phrase is termed “ highly connected;" numerously also, beingone of a family of twenty- two children. Manyadorers would willingly have sought her in marriagebut when her legion of brothers and sisters was mentioned, also the hopelessness of any expectation of adowry, candidates for the honor of her hand shrankback, and Mdlle. de Ligneville seemed likely to remain Mademoiselle to the end of her days. It, however, began to be remarked that M. d'Helvetius, nolonger satisfied with unfailingly visiting Madame de Graffigny on her usual days of reception, was fallinginto the habit of looking in on other occasions, to make polite inquiries concerning her health.Frenchwomen do not like these unexpected callsit upsets all their plans. Be they whom they may,they prefer to know when to expect their friends;and to a literary woman like Madame de Graffignythe intrusion was especially annoying. But Helvetius was perfectly content to pass an hour or two tête - à - têtëwith Malle. de Ligneville in the salon, insisting thatMadame, her aunt, should not on his account be re330 THE OLD RÉGIME.quired to leave her study.. Soon it appeared that this dangerous young philosopher ( Helvetius had fasci nating manners, and was remarkably handsome ) came not to philosophize, but to seek healing balm for awounded heart.The philosopher was in love; and being utterly indifferent to the number of brothers and sisters the fairMalle. de Ligneville might bring him, as well asequally indifferent to her want of a dowry, he, at one morning tête -à - tête, asked her to be his wife. She did not refuse, and her family, of course, rejoiced greatly;while many an anxious mother, with daughters waiting for a husband to unbar the convent gates, turnedpallid with envy-happily concealed by the fashionable thick coating of rouge-when they heard at whatshrine the wealthy and fastidious Helvetius had beenworshipping Hitherto so singularly prosperous in his worldlycareer, he was no less fortunate in his choice of awife. Voltaire, with whom philosophers were all “ great men , ” or addressed by him as such, wrote to the great man Helvetius some poetic lines of con gratulation, and begged to be laid at the lady's feet;where he would certainly have fallen had he beenpresent.To the philosophical reunions and splendid banquets, at which the most distinguished men of thetime assembled, was now added the attractive salon ofthe charming Madame Helvetius. There, during thefour months she and her husband were accustomed tospend every year at their magnificent hôtel in Paris,women of high birth and beauty, of literary and artistic tastes, or remarkable in the social circle fortheir brilliancy, loved to congregate.THE PHYSICIAN HELVETIUS. 331>It is singular that one who professed , and so fullycarried out, the epicurean doctrine that the happinessof mankind consists in pleasure should have owed tothe favor of the pious, self- denying Marie Leczinskathe opportunity of accumulating the immense wealthwhich enabled him to scatter his benefactions with sounsparing a hand, and to enjoy life so luxuriously.He was the son of the physician Helvetius, who rec ommended bleeding in the foot as a probable meansof saving the life of Louis XV. when, during an illness which attacked him at the age of nine years, hisdeath was hourly expected. Other physicians inattendance were strongly opposed to it; but Helve tius persisted in his opinion that it would have afavorable result, and explained his reasons for doingso. This converted two of his medical confrères, andhis advice was followed. The king experienced relieffrom the operation, as Helvetius had foreseen, and speedily recovered .The service rendered the king does not appear tohave had other reward than the grant of an apartment at Versailles—that he might be near at hand to watch over the royal patient's health. His circum stances continued as before, very far from affluent.He was a kindly- natured man, and gave much time to visiting the poor in their sickness, and those frequently recurring calamities—pestilence and famine -which so thinned the population of France. When,,six or seven years after, the king married MarieLeczinska, and her household was formed , Helvetiuswas appointed physician to the queen. Hearing of his former services to the king, she procured him apension of 10,000 francs.The younger Helvetius, as he grew up, rejecting his332 THE OLD RÉGIME.father's profession, was desirous of emulating Voltaire. He began very early to write poetry, or rathershort pieces that passed current as such, in that rhyming age. Subsequently he brought out a tragedy, “ Le Comte de Fiesque;" then took to thestudy of Locke, whose ardent disciple he professed himself. So highly did he appreciate his own productions that he expected their merit would insure his reception as a member of the Academy of Caenhaving been educated in the college of that city.Being but a mere youth, his pretensions were laughedat; but a year or two later influence was made forhim, and, though still under the required age, the object of his ambition was attained .On returning to Paris, Fontenelle became his idol.Madame de Tencin then bestowed her patronage onhim, and in her salon he made the acquaintance andsecured the friendship of Montesquieu and Voltaire,as well as the good graces of Madame du Deffant and ·other philosophical ladies. There was an elevation inhis sentiments, a refinement in his manners, thatpleased these leaders of society, and gained him favoralso with his father's friends, who were of the courtcircle of the queen. He already acted on his epicurean principle, in the pleasant fashion of making him self agreeable to others in order to secure happiness for himself. And the principle was successful in its results. The queen became interested in the fascinating son of her worthy physician, and obtained forhim the place of farmer - general, which gave him atonce, at the age of twenty - three, an income of 100,000 .écus and the opportunity of accumulating millions.But Helvetius did not follow the exacting, grinding system of most of the farmers- general. Often heA GRATEFUL ANNUITANT. 333He wasis said to have defended the cause of the oppressedpeople against the exactions of the Compagnie des Fermes. His office necessitating frequent journeysto the provinces, he was always accompanied by some needy friends, to whom it might be agreeable as apleasurable excursion-as he travelled en grand seig neur, and fared sumptuously every day.fond , too, of giving pensions to those who would dohim the pleasure of accepting them. Marivaux, the dramatist, received one of 2000 francs. In return, heoften behaved with the utmost incivility towards hisbenefactor - his generally unrestrained ill - temper anddiscontent arising from his setting a higher value on his plays than the fashionable world, whose favor he anxiously sought, seemed inclined to award them.His excessive rudeness to Helvetius being, on one occasion, particularly remarked, the latter replied,“ Oh! I overlook that, for the sake of the pleasure he gives me by accepting a small annuity. ”Helvetius had held his place thirteen years, whenit occurred to him that marriage would contribute to his happiness. He was also delighted to find that he would have the further pleasure of making the younglady very happy on whom his choice had fallen , quite independently of his riches, though, to use Dr. John son's expression, he was " rich beyond the dreams ofavarice.” Strange to say, he thought himself rich enough, and before he married resigned his “ charge."His wonderful moderation astonished M. Machault,Contrôleur des Finances. " So you are not insatiable? " he said . Most of the farmers -general wereinsatiable, and Helvetius's resignation of so extremely lucrative a post was probably a solitary instance of the kind.334 THE OLD RÉGIME.It must be left to the imagination to picture to itself all the splendors of the wedding of Mdlle. deLigneville and the wealthy epicurean philosopher.After receiving the felicitations of his friends andentertaining them in princely style, he and his brideleft Paris for his favorite estate and château of Vore,in La Perche. There he hunted the wild boar andfollowed the roe, for he was fond of the chase, andmade everybody happy around him. Or he passedhis mornings, as we are told , in meditating and writing; preparing, in fact, the work that, inspired byMontesquieu's “ Esprit des Lois" -of which Helvetiusdesired to express his opinion - was afterwards tocause so great a sensation in literary society, and togive such a shock to his royal patroness. That workMadame de Graffigny pronounced " made up of thesweepings of her salon, and a dozen or two of herpeople's bons-mots," but the philosophical world attributed it, in great part, to the caustic and atheisticpen of Diderot..واژنCHAPTER XXXII.L'Hospice Pompadour.- A Royal Visit to the Hospice. -CharlesParrocel. —The Flemish Campaigns. -Abel François Poisson.-The Marquis d'Avant- Hier. —The Little Brother. -LeComte de Maurepas. —The French Navy. -The King becomes Sallow. —Le Comte d'Argenson . — Madame de Pompadour, as Minister. -Brother and Sister. —Le DocteurQuesnay. -A Remedy for Low Spirits. —Lessons in PoliticalEconomy.To celebrate the military prowess of Louis XV. ,Madame de Pompadour, after the battle of Fontenoy,founded at Crécy an hospital-or, rather, an alms house, with infirmary attached to it-for the receptionof sixty poor aged invalid men and women, whoseneeds were attended to by twelve of the Sisters of Mercy of St. Vincent de Paul. The château and domain of Crécy, near Abbeville, were a recent presentfrom the king; but to obtain the necessary funds for the establishment of her hospital, the marquise hadprivately sold a part of her diamonds to Rambaud, thecourt jeweller, for near 900,000 francs.When all its arrangements were complete, the hospital was intended to come as a surprise on the king;and it was expected that it would be interestingenough to dispel his ennui for awhile. Already, however, he noticed the unusually long and frequent absence of Madame de Pompadour from Versailles;and the oppressiveness of ennui would probably have soon yielded to a twinge or two of jealousy. But it chanced that the Comte de Vauguyon, who, it should336 THE OLD RÉ remarked, was one of the queen's intimate circle,had been paying a friendly visit to the fair Châtélaineof Crécy.On returning to Versailles, court etiquette required that he should make his bow to the king. Alwaysmore anxious to peer into the private concerns of his courtiers, than to give any attention to business ofState, Louis' persistent questioning-for he saw therewas a secret of some sort-led to the “ Hospice Pom padour” being made known to him rather earlierthan its foundress had proposed. Yet it may have been a mere ruse, to which the pious M. de La Vauguyon had seen fit to lend his countenance.Whether or not, this charming piece of intelligenceserved its purpose, as a new sensation for the king.For, some two or three days after, as the marquise,among her workpeople, was giving her final directions, and, like an able woman of business, examining with her builder the construction of the dormitories,and seeing everything put into the very best order, .the cracking of postilions' whips was heard. Soonthere followed the sound of a bugle; then the roll ofheavy carriages; the trampling of horses, comingnearer and nearer, until the royal retinue stoppedbefore the Hospice Pompadour, and Louis XV.alightedHe was in hunting dress, for there was good sport to be had in the wide domain of Crécy; and the kingproposed sojourning there for two or three days, as the guest of the beautiful châtelaine. Besides his usualtravelling attendants, he was accompanied by M. Philibert d'Orry, Comptroller of the Treasury; *

  • M. d'Orry, who had held his office fourteen years, was imme diately afterwards superseded –M. Machault, an able minister,

CHARLES PARROCEL. 337l'Abbé de Bernis, the protégé of Madame de Pompadour; and M. de Berryer, Lieutenant of Police.Never, perhaps, did the king more truly express satisfaction with any of Madame de Pompadour'snumerous acts of kindness and benevolence, than with this asylum for the aged and afflicted poor. Shehad proposed to dedicate it to him, designated as“ L'Hospice Louis XV .; " and not the least of itsmerits, in his eyes, was that his private purse had contributed nothing towards it . M. de La Vauguyonhad announced it as L'Hospice Pompadour, and thatname, by Louis ' particular desire, it retained.Having completed her thank -offering for the victory of Fontenoy, the indefatigable marquise, as a loverand a patroness of the arts, determined to celebrate the valor of the king in a series of battle- pieces. Hehad been present, in the next campaign , at the victoryof Laufeld, where, as before, the Maréchal de Saxehad commanded in chief. Signal successes at Bergenop- Zoom had followed, and the siege of Maestricht had opened the way for peace. Charles Parrocelwas therefore summoned to attend the marquise. Hewas the son of the famous Joseph Parrocel, who painted the battle- pieces, representing the so- called conquests of the Grand Monarque. Charles had studied his art under his father, and painted well ,in the same style; þut with the disadvantage of never having been asked to perpetuate on canvas the deedsof arms of any royal hero.Within only two or three years of his death, fortune favored him with the opportunity of transmitbut a friend of the favorite , and more complaisant, taking hisplace.338THE OLD RÉGIME.ting his name to posterity, as the worthy pupil of theelder Parrocel. For it was then he was commissionedby Madame de Pompadour to compose a series ofscenes from the Flemish campaigns, in which, as avictor, the figure of the king should be prominent.She was probably influenced in her choice of apainter by her brother, though her own drawings and engravings evince the possession both of skill andjudgment. He, however, was but lately returnedfrom Italy, where, accompanied by Custrin, the en graver, and Le Blanc, the antiquary, he had beentravelling with that able architect, Soufflot, for thecompletion of his artistic studies.Abel François Poisson was a young man of remarkable abilities. He was four or five years youngerthan Madame de Pompadour, and extremely modestand retiring. Of principles of rectitude rare in thosedays, he was painfully sensitive to the dishonor attaching to what most persons thought the brilliantposition of his sister. On the other hand , her favorwith the king had procured his nomination to a postof influence, which, as he knew, would equally havebeen conferred on him had he possessed none of those qualifications that so eminently fitted him forit; or the tastes which made its duties so congenial tohim. It was a post that brought him into officialrelations with the first artists of the day-painters,architects, sculptors, and most men of any artistic orliterary eminence in France. Consequently, he hadin his hands the bestowal of much patronage, andas the king also personally csteemed him , adulationbeset him on every side.In vain, however, were the solicitations of the ,courtiers or of Madame de Pompadour in favor ofLE MARQUIS D'AVANTHIER. 339their protégés. He refused to ask anything of the kingthat did not concern his own department. Thescruples of conscience from which he so often suffered, he quieted by a determination to merit the office he held, faithfully discharging its duties, and never employing, or recommending for employment,any one of whose merit and ability he was not first fully assured.He was created, at the age of nineteen, Marquis deVandières. On his return from Italy, the appointment of Surveyor of Buildings to his Majesty wasconferred on him. He was then but twenty- three , andboth the friends , and the enemies of Madame de Pompadour subsequently acknowledged that by the ability and aptitude he displayed, and the manner in which the functions of his office generally were performed,he had proved that no worthier choice could have been made. His title of De Vandières somewhat annoyedhim; though with others he made a jest of it, as LeMarquis d'Avant- hier. It was changed by the king toDe Marigny, or another title was conferred. Of thislatter he said, “ The fishwomen will now call me Mar. quis des Mariniers, and rightly so. Am not I a fishby birth?”Madame la Marquise was not always quite pleasedwith “ the little brother," as she called her tall, handsomeyoung brother. “ Hewanted tact,” she said; so muchso, that at times she almost regretted she had been themeans of placing him in connection with the court.He would withdraw if he saw her at the theatre or theopera, lo avoid hearing unpleasant remarks. Thisannoyed her. He passed his time, however, chieflywith artists, musicians, and men of ietters . But sometimes he attended amongst the throng who paid340 THE OLD RÉGIME.homage to her at her toilet. Her keen eye then oftendetected the subdued displeasure, and extreme disdain , with which he listened to the fulsome compliments of the servile herd of flatterers cringing aroundher. The king had adopted Madame de Pompadour's epithet of " little brother," when speaking familiarly ofDe Marigny. From that time, whenever he was seen in the galleries of Versailles, immediately a crowd ofcourtiers surrounded him; so eager to claim his friend ship; so interested in all his projects, and in whateverworks of his own he had in hand.Referring to these troublesome attentions, and theunwelcome homage paid him, “ If I chance, " he would say, " to drop my pocket-handkerchief, twenty cordonsbleus will immediately contend for the honor of pick ing it up . " Millionaires of La Ferme générale of fered their daughters in marriage; while to his parvenuescutcheon of De Marigny he might have added the thirty - two quarterings of an ancient house, had hechosen to cast his eyes on the daughter of a noble for a wife. Despising this adulation, cringing, and fawning, he retained his simplicity of character unper verted; appearing at court with a sort of " proud em barrassment, " and remaining honest and honorable in the midst of corruption.His susceptibility was often wounded by the scurrilous epigrams levelled at him by the Comte de Maurepas, Minister of the Navy; the Navy being almost non- existent. Maurepas' relative, M. de Saint-Florentin, had held, with little credit to himself, the officeof Surveyor of Buildings, now so satisfactorily filledby De Marigny; hence De Maurepas' vexation. Hislevity and indiscretion were proverbial; but when,turning from the brother, Maurepas attacked the1THE FRENCH NAVY. 341sister, with equal scurrility and with epithets far more offensive, she, who professed to contemn these licentious doggerel sallies — which passed for wit in thetavern circles where the sottish Piron and Panard presided - at once put an end to them . M. de Maurepaswas required to resign his important appointmentas the head of an imaginary navy, and to retire tohis château, if he had one, there to repent of hisfolly .At that time the office of Minister of the Navy washereditary in the Phelippeaux family, and Jean Phelip peaux, Comte de Maurepas, had succeeded to it at theage of fourteen. The youth of the minister was of little consequence; his post had become a sinecure.Neglect had almost annihilated the French navy.During the administration of Cardinal Fleury, theships of war were left uncared for, to rot and perish in the ports .“ Sire,” said the Maréchal de Belle Isle to LouisXV. , when an invasion of England was projected, “ icould immediately raise an army of five hundredthousand men to defend France against the nations of Europe combined; but where to find five thousandseamen to man the few ships that are left us to contend with an English fleet, I know not.”For twenty- seven years Maurepas had been at thehead of this flourishing department of State.frivolity had often amused the king, and in the courseof these years of leisure he had written songs of thePont -Neuf without number; scandalous histories;epigrams in rhyme, which, for vulgarity and obscenity, might vie with the platitudes of Piron ( nowso admired by our great English wits of the nineteenthcentury) . The buffooneries of Maurepas had , how342 THE OLD RÉGIME.ever, ceased to raise even a languid smile on the still handsome face of the royal ennuye.A rival had crossed the path of the Ministre de laMarine, and Louis soon began actually to yawn at the very sight of Maurepas. Perceiving that his favorwas on the decline, he tortured his fighty brain togive animation to the desultory talk called transacting business with the king. Yet he was not a little sur prised when he received his congé. Probably he wouldhave been even more so, had he known that the dete rioration of the king's fine complexion was one amongthe many private reasons that induced his dismissal.Day after day the marquise exclaimed that “ his maj esty was losing his fine complexion and getting sallow .” Maurepas' inaptitude for business producedthe weariness, she thought, that occasioned thosejaundice tints. No improvement, however, took place until the Pompadour ministry was formed.One obnoxious member only of the old cabinet yet remained, the Comte d'Argenson. His influence,though far less than that of the marquise, was stillpowerful with the king. He had become accustomedto the count, and Louis' indolence, and a certaintimidity that accompanied it, made him ill at easewith new people. The Duchesse de Châteauroux haddemanded his dismissal, as a condition of her returnto Versailles. The king promised compliance. Buther illness ensuing in death, d'Argenson retained hisoffice; the king not sharing the duchess's resentment.So unwilling was Louis to part with his minister, thatalthough there were few requests he would have denied his present beautiful mistress, he prayed her todo him the favor not to urge him again on that point.D'Argenson made himself very agreeable to the king,MADAME DE POMPADOUR AS MINISTER . 343though he was the declared enemy of his mistress,and a favorite of the Jesuit party of which the dauphinwas the head. The result of the king's unwontedfirmness was a truce between the mi ress and theminister.In her private study the affairs of the nation werefully discussed, and intricate business of State ex- ·plained to her. Her great intelligence, and readyand acute perception of the difficulties, or varying as pects, of a question in the course of its discussion, and their bearing on the political situation of France, as concerned both her domestic policy and relations with foreign countries, were remarkable. They won for her many friends, and as many admirers of her mentalgifts, among the men of ability, the aid of whose counsels she sought, as they raised up enemies amongthose who had not expected to find an able minister of State in an accomplished, fascinating woman -- am bitious only of homage, as they imagined, and of enjoying the pomps and vanities of a court.It was the duty of the king to work with his minis ters , and he possessed sufficient ability and judgmentto have been something more than the mere cipher he was in the council chamber. But mental indolencemade him averse to trouble himself with the affairs of his kingdom . Madame de Pompadour sought to coun teract this by taking advantage of any opportunity,as regarded either time or a favorable mood of mind,of placing before him a digest - clear, precise, succinct -of every important question in State affairs. Shewas careful before all things not to weary him; and she had the talent of rendering her conversation with him on the business of the nation interesting, easyand pleasant.344 THE OLD RÉGIME.“ Women , only ,” remarks Capefigue, " are quick todiscern the joys and the weaknesses of the humanspirit, and the shades which escape serious minds."The life of Madame de Pompadour was a life of labor, thought, and care, eventually undermining herhealth and bringing her to a premature grave. We know, of course, that the real object of her unceasingexertions was the retention of political power, thekeeping of the sceptre of France firmly in her grasp.This only could be done by retaining undiminishedher immense influence over the weak mind of the king,who was surrounded by flatterers of both sexes, all eagerly watching for her downfall. But he had allowed her to place her yoke on him, and seemed well content to wear it, for he appreciated her great talents for governing, and the industry which he himself hadnot. The business of her life was therefore to makeher yoke so easy, so pleasant, and, from habit, sonecessary to him , that an effort to shake it off shouldbe an effort that would give him real pain.The young Marquis de Marigny interfered not atall with what may be termed the political life ofMadame de Pompadour. There was in that respecta wide gulf between them; but in their talents andaccomplishments, and their love of the arts, their tasteswere in harmony, and the private circle of the brotherwas, with few exceptions, that of the sister. Her happiest hours were probably those they spent togetherin her private apartments with artists, musicians,and men of letters. Sometimes with only the friendsof their earliest years — Pâris-Duvernay and the Abbéde Bernis, or with le Docteur Quesnay; the founderand patriarch of the philosophical sect, the " Economists ” —whose doctrines, as applied to the adminisA REMEDY FOR LOW SPIRITS. 3456tration of government, were professed and advocatedby the elder Mirabeau, in his “ L'Ami des Hommes,"and afterwards by Turgot and Malesherbes.Quesnay was Madame de Pompadour's physician,and had an entresol apartment assigned him in the palace as a residence. Though inhabiting Versailles or, when in Paris, the splendid Hôtel d'Évreux ( now Élysée Bourbon --- so interesting in its historical asso ciations, and which the marquise had lately bought of the Comte d'Évreux for 650,000 francs) Quesnaymeddled with no court intrigues. He paid his dailyvisit to his patient, whose then languid spirits werebut the forerunners of the gloom and sadness of amind diseased. Though brilliant in society, when alone with her thoughts she was oppressed with mel.ancholy deeper than the king's. She had fullyawakened from her dream of finding happiness in the splendors of a court, and as the favorite of the king.“ The spell has lost its power,” she writes to the Comtesse de Noailles, “ Now I find in my heart onlya great void that nothing can fill."Quesnay, who was eloquent on no other subjectthan rural economy, did his best to cheer the spirits of his fair patient by explaining to her the advantagesto be derived from free trade in grain , and the impetus commerce would receive when his system should be practically adopted. Turgot, Diderot, Helvetius,d'Alembert, and Marigny, would often discuss thetheories of Quesnay for hours together, in his entresol,and, when in Paris, far into the night. Some three orfour years later, the Marquis de Mirabeau became oneof Quesnay's most zealous disciples.The economistic theory of Quesnay was a singularremedy for low spirits, but appears to have been gen346THEOLDRÉGIME.erally successful with Madame de Pompadour. Sheconfessed that, although willing to respond to his anxious wish that she should become a proselyte tohis views, yet she could never comprehend what hecalled his “ chain of axioms,” so irresistible, as he toldher, in their evidence.The “ net products " also—the result of his own andd'Alembert's careful calculations-remained ansolved mystery to her. But the eagerness and warmth of the philosophic doctor, when he got well into his subject, greatly amused his patient, and the conclusionof her lesson in political economy was usually ahearty laugh. As a physician, this may have pleased him; though, as an enthusiastic “ Economist” he wasprobably disappointed.unCHAPTER XXXIII.-Rousseau's Prize Essay. -Rousseau, un Vrai Genevois. -Rous.seau's Theories Refuted. -Voltaire et L'Homme Sauvage.-A Morbid State of Feeling. –Thérèse Levasseur.- Jean Jacques' Second Essay.-Diderot and Jean-Jacques.- The Trowel versus the Pen. — " Le Diable à Quatre. ” —L'HommeSauvage in Society.-- " Jean-Jacques, Love your Country ."An Abjuration.DIDEROT had published, in 1746, his “ Pensées Philosophiques, " an atheistical work, for which he wasshortly after arrested and conveyed to Vincennes.Confinement had so irritating an effect on the violenttemperament and ill - regulated mind of this great gen ius , that there were symptoms of the probability of his imprisonment ending in madness. To avert sogreat a catastrophe, the Lieutenant of Police sug .gested his discharge, and after some little hesitation in high quarters, Diderot was set at liberty. His“ Letters on the Blind , for the Use of Those who See,”then promptly appeared, and procured him a lodging in the Bastille; where the philosophic brotherhood visited him, apparently without restraint.Among them, in 1749, Jean - Jacques Rousseau daily presented himself - his sympathy for the captive phil osopher, inducing him to make an application in his favor to Madame de Pompadour. No notice was taken of it . Indeed , the writings of Diderot, exceptperhaps his notes and criticisms on the pictures and348 THE OLD RÉGIME.painters of his day, are as repelling as he was himself,personally, coarse and repulsive.It was on one of his daily visits to the prisoner ofthe Bastille, that Jean-Jacques , chancing to take up the “ Mercure de France," saw an announcement, of theAcademy of Dijon, proposing as the subject of a prize essay, for open competition, " What is the Influence ofthe Sciences and Arts on Morality? " Rousseau determined to compete for this prize; but was undecidedwhether to depreciate the sciences, or to exalt them;to denounce the arts as fatal to virtue, or to maintainthat their influence was beneficial to mankind. Onhis way back to Paris he sat down under a tree to reflect on the subject. The result was the sophistical essay which gained the prize of the Dijon Academy and brought him prominently into notice in Paris. ThatRousseau wrote from conviction, of course, no one be lieved. Yet it was necessary that arguments in support of such sophisms, as the delights of savage life,and the blissfulness of ignorance, should be, or appearto be, forcible-commending themselves to the imagination, at all events, if not to the understanding. Be ing drawn from the imagination, they imparted a sortof fervor and eloquence to the advocacy of his novelviews of happiness. Yet it is probable that the essaywould have passed altogether unnoticed , had he treatedhis subject more rationally. His style was not likethat of Voltaire, in itself attractive; for, as recentlyobserved, * no Swiss writer of eminence is so littleFrench in his style as Jean-Jacques. “ He was a trueGenevese. "When his essay appeared , the French philosophers

  • In the Revue Suisse.

ROUSSEAU'S THEORIES REFUTED. 349and society generally, believed that they had attained the highest point of civilization and social refinement;and that it was attributable to the immense develop ment and progress of the sciences and arts. Rousseau's affectation of seeing in them only the source of every ill , amused that novelty-loving age, as a pleasant jest; none the less pleasant because disguised by an air of seriousness. * Judging from his subsequentconduct, and from much that he afterwards wrote ( for previously he had professed to love Italy, " Europeowes to her," he said , “ all the arts " ), Rousseau's one great object was to draw attention to himself, and,before all things, to be talked about. And he succeeded.Henceforth, or at least for a time, until he becametoo savage, he was to be met at the sumptuous din .ners and suppers of Baron d'Holbach, and Helvetius.Also, at the reunions and bachelor dinners, given week ly by the young Comte de Frise-a nephew of the Maréchal de Saxe-to whom Baron Grimm was then sec retary. (De Frise had inherited a princely fortunewhile yet a mere youth, and dissipated nearly the whole of it in gambling and riotous living; small- pox soon put an end to his libertine career. ) It was thenthat Jean -Jacques became so intimate with Grimm,who was musical and accomplished, and, being much sought after in the society of the court, often procured for his friend employment as a copier of music. For Rousseau had given up a situation of cashier, obtained

  • King Stanislaus, however, amongst his poets, and surrounded by painters and sculptors, whom he had invited to his court to em

bellish the palaces and public buildings of Nancy and Lunéville,was indignant with Rousseau, and took up his pen to reply to hisarguments and to refute them .350 THE OLD RÉGIME.<for him by the nephew of Madame Dupin, and adoptedthis precarious method of gaining a living.To Voltaire-of whom little was seen in Paris afterthe death of Madame du Châtelet, and the still moreafflicting circumstance of Crébillon being receivedwith favor by Madame de Pompadour - Rousseau sent a copy of his essay. In a letter of thanks containing many flattering expressions, he jestingly remarked , that while reading it , he had felt the strongest inclination to walk on all fours. “ No one evertried so hard , ” he says, “ to make beasts of us. ”Rousseau took great offence at this. He had before been an adinirer of Voltaire; henceforth he becamehis enemy.Though everywhere welcomed with much cordiality,he was far from being at ease in the society he now frequented . Under a modest and reserved exterior,and timidly polite manners, there lurked pride, distrust, envy, and resentment. The luxurious banquetsof d'Holbach; the elegancies that surrounded thewitty and refined Helvetius, displeased Jean - Jacques.There was no geniality in him. Unaccustomed to anysociety but that of the vulgar and illiterate ThérèseLevasseur and her mother, he felt conscious that hewas out of his place, and sat moodily silent in those animated circles; glancing around him furtively andaskance, yet keenly observant of all that took place." No one,,” says Marmontel, “ ever more persistently put into practice the miserable maxim, ‘ One shouldlive with one's friends as if they were some day tobecome one's enemies,' than did Rousseau."The indigence into which he had fallen on his return from Venice in 1745 , may have greatly contributed to deepen his naturally morbid state of feeling,THÉRÈSE LEVASSEUR. 351which with increasing years seemed to grow deeperstill; embittered his life; alienated his friends, and deprived him of much of the legitimate reward of his literary labors.Whether owing to his business occupations, or thathe had not been able to obtain for it an advantageoushearing, " Le Devin du Village,” if finished, had notyet been produced. Some of its songs and airs hewas accustomed to sing and play, wherever he founda harpsichord to accompany him. Generally theywere thought pleasing and pretty, though Rousseau'svoice was thin and harsh, and little calculated to addany charm to his music. Duclos, however, spoke of itfavorably to Madame de Pompadour, and , soon afterRousseau's Dijon success, his operetta was performed at Versailles, and again at Fontainebleau.All who were present, amongst whom were the queen and the princesses, were charmed with it . Themarquise sang the airs, which became popular; andthe king was so well pleased with them that he desiredsee the composer. But the composer, though puffed up with vanity at the success of his musical trifie,shrank from an interview with the king, notwithstanding the sharp goadings of Thérèse. Her displeasurewith “ her man ” was expressed with an eloquence that a fish -woman might have envied. She, poor woman ,saw a pension looming in the distance, and perhaps her children reclaimed from among “ the foundlings. ”And a pension, at the instance of the marquise, mighthave been granted, had Rousseau but temporarily dis pelled Louis'ennui by appearing before him in his Ar menian caftan and robes - a not undignified costume,when appropriately worn, though it transformed poor Jean-Jacques into an eccentric figure of fun .352 THE OLD RÉGIME.The Academy of Dijon again, in the following year,proposing a subject for a prize essay, “ The Origin of the Inequality among Mankind," Rousseau once moretook up his pen. The prize was not on this occasiondecreed to him . But his generally perverted views,and the plausibility with which he sometimes presented them, together with the singularities of hisconduct, sufficed to fix attention upon him. Curiositywas therefore sure to be raised by whatever he wrote.He became the fashion in the salons. Society, desirousof taking a near view of the gentle savage, made alion of him , sought after and courted him .His head was nearly turned by his imaginary socialsuccess. He gave himself extraordinary airs, andsulked and pouted when he thought he was not madeenough of. The ladies coaxed and petted him, butlaughed at him behind his back; as men might do when Aattering a vain, capricious, pretty woman,whose excessive amour-propre was ever in danger of being disquieted by any fancied lack of attention andadmiration.He suffered far less in the more congenial societyof Thérèse. She recalled him to his senses, when hereturned home in a fashionable fit of the vapors. Hiswounded feelings received but rough treatment fromhis wife, “ in the sight of heaven and by the law ofnature, " but whom the salons refused to acknowledge.Thérèse had feelings also, and was not sparing ofstrong epithets when she thought of the wrongs hehad done her.Since Jean- Jacques had frequented the salons of thegreat world, he had often chanced to meet the young Marquis de Marigny, who, like himself, though fromdifferent motives, and in a different manner, main-:THE TROWEL VERSUS THE PEN. 353tained a certain degree of reserve in society. Rousseau seems to have felt attracted towards him, and, inhis awkward, shy way, inclined to a more intimateacquaintance. Diderot, his former bosom- friend, since his release from durance vile, had evinced strongsymptoms of jealousy of Rousseau's notoriety. Cold,caustic, also ready to take offence “ at trifles , " as Marmontel says, Jean - Jacques had become incomprehensible to Diderot.When, too, he considered the strange doctrines henow put forth, his desire, as it seemed, to found a sectwhose aim should be to arrest the progress of civilization; to turn its course backward, as it werepreaching as happiness to men gifted with intellect, astate of nature, what could he think, but that JeanJacques was a madman? “ That man is a lunatic," heexclaimed. One or other of these men must havebeen very much changed to have made intimacy,much less friendship, possible between them.But Diderot was now fully engaged with d’Alem bert in preparing for the first issue of the Encyclopædia; while Rousseau, influenced probably by amusical reputation, and a preference expressed forItalian music, had made the acquaintance of Marigny.The young marquis, as Jean- Jacques, doubtless, wasaware, was the first to patronize Sédaine, " Le restorateur de l'Opéra Comique." Sédaine was a stonemason , and a skilful workman, probably; being entrusted with the reparation of the marble fountains ofthe gardens of Versailles. While thus occupied, heone day contrived to enter into conversation withMarigny, in the course of which he informed him thathe purposed shortly to give up the stonemason's toolsand take to the pen. Marigny smiled.354 THE OLD RÉGIME.6 Better keep to the trade you are master of," hesaid, “ than leave it for one you have to learn .”" It is for the Opéra Comique I propose to write, "he replied. “ Allow me to read to you the play I havewritten .”Permission was readily given. Sédaine read hispiece, afterwards so popular— “ Le Diable à Quatre, ”and Marigny no longer doubted, as he said, the stonemason's ability to use the pen as skilfully as thetrowel. The music of his next piece, “ Le Roi et le Fermier," was composed by Marigny, and proved agreat success. Marigny was an accomplished amateur,and Sédaine, it is scarcely necessary to say, becamethe most popular of the writers of vaudeville and operetta; far surpassing Panard, sometimes called the “ La Fontaine of vaudeville , " Sédaine's pieces possessan interest quite independent of the music, though he was usually fortunate in his musical fellow- laborers.Marigny's receptions were especially artistic and literary, without any pretension to philosophism , and were occasionally attended by Jean - Jacques. It was,however, scarcely consistent with his professed opinions on the subject of the sciences and arts, to frequent a reunion composed almost entirely of personswho made them their principal study. It was evi.dent, notwithstanding, that he had a predilection for their society.Madame de Pompadour was anxious to see this advocate of the life of the backwoods. A special invitation was therefore sent to him, for a reception at which ladies would be present; and Jean- Jacques duly made his appearance. He wore a cloth coat, hazel color,and of the cut then in fashion; linen, fine and white,cambric cravat, without lace, but nicely plaited and—ип" JEAN -JACQUES, LOVE YOUR COUNTRY.” 355got up by Thérèse; no ruffles; small round wig, nopowder; silk breeches, maroon- colored stockings, silver shoe and knee buckles, and cane in his handvrai petit-maître. Though supposed to be always outof health , his complexion is described as ruddy; hisfeatures peculiarly Swiss.On his introduction to Madame de Pompadour, hismanner was flurried and nervous. Desirous of the bear, he was yet restrained by a wish to behave with politeness to this fascinating and all - powerful lady—the more so, perhaps, that he was consciousof being decked out as if for making conquests thatevening. Indeed, some ladies were heard to declarethat “ l'homme sauvage” was really “ quite a handsomefellow . ” “ Le Devin du Village" was of course thefirst subject of conversation. Madame la Marquise somuch admired “ that charming little opera,” that Jean-Jacques was delighted. Vanity tore off his, and compelled him to behave far more like acivilized creature than was his wont-singing andplaying, first at his own suggestion , then at the request of the marquise, several pleasing songs andpieces of his own composing.It is probable that Rousseau might have acquired afair reputation as a composer, had he applied himselfmore steadily to the scientific study of music while inItaly. But he seems to have remained satisfied withthe reputation of a clever amateur, which his “ Muses Galantes," and “ Le Devin du Village," with some few chansonnettes and short pieces for the harpsichordhad gained him. His introduction to Madame de Pompadour led to no results, as regarded his futurecareer, and shortly after it he left Paris for Switzerland ." Jean Jacques, love your country," had been his356THE OLD RÉGIME.father's oft- iterated counsel to him in boyhood; andit may have recurred to him when, after an absence of many years, he determined to revisit the land of hisbirth. The “ Citoyen de Genève," as it was his cus tom to sign himself, was well received by his fellowcitizens. The fame of his pamphlets and music had preceded him. But his public renunciation of the Roman Catholic faith, and return to Protestantism,was more particularly gratifying to them , than thosefirst literary efforts — soon to be succeeded by others that eventually raised a tempest of ill - feeling againsthim, and caused his ejection from the land that now welcomed his return,CHAPTER XXXIV.Anglo-mania. -A New Source of Favor. –The Wines of Bordeaux.-A Present from Richelieu . -Château- Lafitte promoted. -AChallenge to Burgundy . — The École Militaire. -Its RealProjector. -L'Hôtel des Invalides . - The Academy of Architecture. —The Rubens Gallery . -Vernet's French Seapor s.Jean Honoré Fragonard. —The Painter Chardin. —The Queen'sOratoire . —The Winner of the Grand Prix. -Advice to aYoung Artist. —An Admirable Plan. -Funds not ForthcomingGENERALLY, it may be said, that, throughout thelong reign of Louis XV. , industry and commercewere slumbering. Yet there were intervals of partialawakening from this state of inactivity, of which themost notable was from 1748 to 1756—the period thatelapsed between the signing of the peace of Aix -la Chapelle and the beginning of the Seven Years' War.Considerable progress was then made, as well in thearts and sciences as in the manufactures of the country. In its social aspects, it was also a brilliant period-a bright gleam from the fast- setting sun ofthe old régime - luxury in dress, in furniture, in equi pages, everywhere meeting the eye.In certain circles, inoculated by Montesquieu, Vol.taire, and others, with what was termed Anglo- mania,many took the opportunity afforded by the Peace ofvisiting England . Fine ladies and gentlemen set out for “ the tight little island, the land of freedom , " and358THEOLDRÉGIME.the refined court of George II . , with very high expec tations. They returned , alas! with the enthusiasmcf their feelings somewhat chilled . In return,foreigners of distinction , and especially Englishmen,thronged to Paris. Young noblemen frequented its salons, “ to form themselves" in these schools of finished courtesy and perfection of taste.The Duc de Richelieu, now well on the road from fifty to sixty, and, as some assert, with a deep tinge of red in his nose that annoyed him exceedingly, was still held up as the model of a fascinating libertine.One may learn from Lord Chesterfield's letters howthis worthless old rake -for it is he who is alludedto, as achieving so much social success with no higher claims than his fine manners, and his affectation ofhomage to women-was still courted in the salons.Every post he had held throughout his career,whether military or diplomatic, had been conferred for no merit; but was obtained through the intriguesand persistent support of his phalanx of female parti But the wars were over, at least for a time,and the worthy duke was now at full leisure to slay ladies' hearts, and to pursue his drawing- room conquests.At this opportune moment of fêtes and banquets, alucky chance presented itself of increasing his favorwith the king. It won him also the thanks of thecourt, and even of the philosophic band of diners.out. The king, who unfortunately could not be pre.vailed on to stint his libations to the rosy god ofwine, was at this time supplied by the duke with anew sensation of that kind , which also very shortlyafter became the means of imparting new zest to theApician repasts of the rich Baron d'Holbach, of Hé.sans.THE WINES OF BORDEAUX. 3596nault and Helvetius, and the tables of the wealthygenerally.A sudden thought one day struck the languid ,melancholy Louis, when Richelieu, after a short,dreary, and almost silent interview, was taking his leave of the king.“ Do your Bordelais vineyards, Richelieu ," he said,“ produce any drinkable wine?" and " Le Bien aimé"raised himself from his reclining position , as thoughreanimated by the mere sound of the word wine.The duke, recalled, as it were, to the presence of his august sovereign , replied:“ Sire, there are growths of the country which yieldwine not exactly bad. There is what they call in those parts ' Blanc de Sauterne, ' a very palatable wine; by no means to be despised. Then they havea certain Vin Grave, ' which has a strong odor offlint- stone, and resembles Moselle, but keeps better.Also, they have ‘ Médoc'and le · Bizadois. ' But thereis especially one kind of red wine, which the Bordeaux people boast of and praise so extravagantly, that your Majesty would be much amused to hear them.Were one to give heed to their gasconades, one mustsuppose that the earth produces no wine that equalsit; that it is, as they say, “ Nectar for the table of thegods. ' Yet this much- lauded wine is neither a very potent nor generous one; though its bouquet is notbad. In its flavor there is a sort of indescribable,dull, subdued sting or mordant; and it is not at alldisagreeable. For the rest, you may drink as muchas you please of it . It sends you to sleep, that's all;and, to my mind, that's its chief merit.”The description of the wines of Bordeaux seemedto satisfy his majesty, but created no desire to taste66360 THE OLD RÉGIME.them . His favorite sparkling vin d'Ai was still , to hisfancy, the royal wine, fit for kings and princes, andthe fine ladies of his court. Richelieu therefore wenthis way without any order for claret. Two or threeweeks after, however, there arrived at Versailles amessenger of the duke's, from his château near Bordeaux, bringing with him some dozens of the famousred wine so vaunted by the Bordelais. The messen ger had been despatched post haste to fetch it fromthe duke's cellars, that the king's curiosity concern ing Bordeaux wine might be better gratified by tast ing it.A cork was drawn His majesty tasted, and tasted again, after the manner of connoisseurs. He thendrank a glass; hesitated for awhile, but pronounced it “ a passable wine," and the ““ bouquet,” as Richelieu had said, “ not bad." Half-an - hour's reflection produced a desire to taste again — the king wished to bejust. He liked the je ne sais quoi, in its flavor, better,and ended the process of doing it justice by liking it remarkably well. After a second bottle, he unhesi tatingly agreed with the Bordelais that their ChâteauLafitte was fit for the table of the gods; and, higherhonor still , fit to grace the table of the petits- appartements of the King of France and Navarre. Hence forth to that honor it was promoted.Its fame soon spread. For it had not been tampered with; not prepared ( you understand) by skilfulhands, as for the present educated taste of the connoisseurs of the English market. The wines of Bor deaux now took their place on the tables of thewealthy. But until thus brought into favor, throughthis present to the king of Château - Lafitte from the Duc de Richelieu's cellars, no one would have thoughtA CHALLENGE TO BURGUNDY JRGUNDY. 361of offering his guests the wine of Bordeaux-so littlewas it known or esteemed beyond the district of itsgrowth.It was doubtless brought forward to play its partat the banquets, public, private, and royal, which in1751 were given in celebration of the birth of a son to the dauphin. Then Château -Lafitte, publicly repre senting the vineyards of Bordeaux, was as a herald throwing down the gauntlet of defiance to a rival ,maintaining, in the face of all who dared dispute the fact, the pre- eminence of their produce, as bumpers were filled, and the guests, with three times three,drank to the health of Young Burgundy.The eldest son of the dauphin received at this timethe title of Duc de Bourgogne. Louis XV. , though disliking his son, was really well pleased at the birthof this child . It seemed to ensure the direct succes,sion to the throne. The enthusiasm of the Parisiansalso raised his spirits wonderfully. For he was remarkably sensitive to any perceptible loss of popularity, little as he did to deserve the affection of hispeople. Foreign ministers hastened to Versailles tocongratulate the king, and were agreeably surprisedat the cordial reception he gave them. The listless ness with which they were usually received, andwhich was the reason that an audience was so rarelysought of the king, had wholly disappeared. Withoutthrowing aside any of his wonted dignity of manner,his majesty almost condescended to gaiety, and oldcourtiers declared they had never before seen him soapparently happy.A series of grand christening fêtes took place at Versailles. The queen attended them, and the king was sogracious as to assure her that it would give him pleas362 THE OLD RÉGIME.ure to see her more frequently joining in the amuse ments of the court, and the diversions of the petits-ap partements. Paris was brilliantly illuminated for threesuccessive nights, and a sum of 600,000 livres was ordered by the king, in a generous fit, to be expendedon public festivities. At the suggestion, however, ofMadame de Pompadour, it was disposed of in marriage portions to six hundred young girls, whose claims were to be presented in the course of that year. Tocelebrate the auspicious event, she, too, gave a dowry,of a thousand francs each, to fifteen of the villagers'daughters on her three estates of Crecy, Bellevue, and the Marquisate of Pompadour, the number, fifteen ,being intended as a compliment to the king. In this same eventful year was founded the ÉcoleMilitaire. Historians and memoir writers are far from agreeing to whom the first idea of this noble establishment should be assigned. The dauphin has been named, perhaps because, in his boyhood, he seemedinclined to a military life. Debarred, however, by his position from taking any active command, he yet was interested greatly, it is said, in the training of youngmen destined for the army. He may have been so;but he would probably have preferred to found Jesuit monasteries and colleges. Besides, no proposal of his,whatever its merits, would have found favor with the king. Some writers have said, “ France owes theÉcole Militaire to Comte d'Argenson;” others, “ Mar chault was the real projector of the École Militaire;"again, “ This institution is mainly due to the brothers Pâris;" and-least likely of all—the sole merit of ithas been given to Louis XV. himself.But of the few improvements and embellishments carried out in Paris during the reign of Louis XV. ,L'HOTEL DES INVALIDES. 363from 1748, as well as of many that were projected and begun, but afterwards, from want of funds or othercauses, abandoned, the real originator was the Marquis de Marigny. The idea of the École Militaire is saidto have occurred to him in the course of a conversation, with M. Marchault and others, on the public institutions founded in the reign of Louis XIV. , andparticularly the Hôtel des Invalides. The subject wasdiscussed at Choisy, at one of the intimate reunions of the Marquise de Pompadour. There, reposing fromthe cares of government-for nothing was done without her sanction, in any department-she occasionallysought mental recreation in a small circle of congenial friends-intellectual and artistic, as well as many ofhigh rank; for her partisans were numerous in every class of society.With reference to Les Invalides, it was remarkedby one of the company, that although it was a noble institution , affording an honorable retreat to the worn out and needy military man, the boon was still incom plete. It offered him an asylum , after spending thebest years of his life in camps; but if there was afamily, it rendered no assistance in bringing up a son consistently with the rank and profession of the father .The marquise suggested an establishment for thewives and families of disabled soldiers, and Marchault,who was Comptroller of Finances, set to work to calculate its probable expense. His figures were alarm ing, and, together with other obstacles he foresaw toits realization, at once put an end to the project.De Marigny then proposed what he thought a more feasible scheme.. This was a royal school or collegefor the gratuitous support and military education of acertain number of youths, the sons of needy gentle364 THE OLD RÉ, and especially those whose fathers had fallen inbattle in the service of the king. The company wasmuch pleased with this scheme; the marquise wascharmed with it; and Paris -Duvernay, promising tofurnish the requisite funds, she determined to bring itunder the notice of the king. When submitted toLouis XV. , he gave it a most favorable reception .Soufflot was summoned to examine the plans for the building sketched by his pupil, De Marigny. Generally, he approved them , and, with some slight variations,they were adopted. The king fixed at five hundredthe number of pupils to be accommodated; and Madame de Pompadour suggested that the site of the royal military college for youths, whom she designated“ the hope of the nation , ” should be chosen as near as possible to the hôtel of the gallant veterans who.equally, were its pride.De Marigny was an excellent draughtsman. He ,was desirous of reviving the prestige of the FrenchAcademy of Architecture, which had fallen into disrepute. At his request, the king re- established it, as itwere, by granting new letters patent, and creating, in connection with it , a school of architecture in Rome,thus raising it to a level with the Academy of Painting. The side of the Louvre looking towards theSeine, as far as it was continued during the reign of Louis XV. , was completed under De Marigny's superintendence. He would have had the king finish thegalleries connecting it with the Tuileries, in order to place there the Musée d'Antiques and Cabinet de Médailles. But useless, expensive, and inglorious warsemptied the treasury, and the works, resumed fromtime to time, were then entirely discontinued. Louis greatly esteemed De Marigny, and justly so. * HeVERNET'S FRENCH SEAPORT'S. 365was a sensible man," he said, “ who was worth tenbrilliant ones."In the galleries of the Louvre, from the time, of Henri IV. until the great Revolution, apartments and studios were assigned to the principal artists of theday, if they cared to make use of them. There De Marigny might constantly be met with when not em ployed in the galleries of Versailles. He, indeed,lived almost exclusively in the society of artists, writers,and men of science. It was he who undertook the formation of the Rubens gallery; collecting the works of the great painter from the various palaces in which they were dispersed, and, in some instances, disre garded and forgotten. The public exhibition of pic.tures and architectural designs, which first took place at regular intervals in the reign of Louis XV. and in the salon of the Louvre ( whence its present designation ) , was established at his suggestion.He considered that both art and artists, as well as the public,would gain by it .He had become acquainted with Joseph Vernet whilein Rome, and with his talent for marine landscapepainting, by his views of the scenery of Genoa. Henow urged him to leave Rome for Paris. Vernet followed his advice, and received from his friend theking's command to paint those views of the seaportsof France, so well known through the engravings of Le Bas and Cochin. Fifteen of those paintings are inthe Louvre. Vernet was then about thirty - eight, and,as a painter, was at his best. His recent picture, the“ Castle of St. Angelo ," had greatly raised his reputation. His Italian pictures, generally, are more agreeable to the eye than those painted in France. It maybe that the formality of the groups of figures, and the366 THE OLD RÉGIME..little variation of scene, impart an air of monotonyand coldness to the seaports, especially when severalare seen together.De Marigny, like Diderot, was an admirer ofGreuze's Scènes de Famille." “ Greuze," wrote Diderot, " is our painter; he has invented moral painting."While Boucher's fanciful productions, then so much sought after by the beau monde, he designated “ Paysages de l'Opera," and his shepherdesses and goddesses,“ pretty puppets," with the borrowed grace and dignity of " figurantes, with rouge for flesh, and powderfor hair." Diderot had little more esteem for CarleVanloo than for Boucher; yet his portraits are said tobe generally good as likenesses. He had the talent,or art, of catching the expression of the sitter.The young painter who, at the period in question,gave promise of greatest celebrity was Jean HonoréFragonard. At the age of twenty his picture of “ Jer oboam Sacrificing to the Idols," had carried off theacademy's Grand Prix de Rome. It was considered a remarkable production of genius -the painter hav ing received but little instruction. He was of a goodProvençal family; but at his father's death some litigation took place which resulted in the loss of nearlythe whole of his property. Fragonard, much againsthis inclination, was placed as clerk to a notary. He was then eighteen, and more frequently employed himself in making pen-and- ink sketches of cupids andnymphs and pastoral landscapes, than in writing.This did not please the notary. But he discerned somuch talent in these sketchy productions that he recommended the young man's friends to place him withBoucher.Boucher, then at the height of his fame, as a fashETHE PAINTER,, CHARDIN . 367ionable painter, took no pupils who were not alreadytolerably well acquainted with their art. With hispink and blue satin- draped boudoir - atelier constantly thronged with nobles, anxious to secure his cabinetpictures at any price he chose to set on them, orto engage his services, on the same terms, for thedecoration of their salons with some of his inimitable -panel paintings of fétes galantes, or those graceful .arabesques he so tastefully designed, he had no timefor teaching. Boucher's pupils were his assistants,who learned what they pleased to adopt of his style byseeing him paint, and studying the effect of his mannerisms in the pictures retouched and finished by themaster's own hand.Fragonard's sketches were glanced at by Boucher.He nodded his approval of them, and sent the aspir ing youth to Chardin, a brilliant colorist, excellent draughtsman, and an admirable painter of still life.Chardin, after looking over the pen- and- ink sketches that had so pleased the notary, put into Fragonard'shands a palette and brushes, and desired him to paint.It was Rembrandt's method, and succeeded so wellwith Fragonard, that his rapid progress astonishedhis master. He had, however, supplemented his instructions by visiting, at every spare moment, thechurches of Paris, where there were then more finepictures than are to be found in them now; and aftera diligent study of them, reproducing from memorythose that had most particularly struck him.At the end of six months he returned to Boucher,who was as much surprised at his progress as Chardinhad been, and, as pupil without payment, now gladlyreceived him. Another six months glided by. Fragonard had become weary of the grace and dignity368 THE OLD RÉGIME.of the beauties of the coulisses of the opera, whenceBoucher selected his models for his Saint Cecilias and Catherines, and even for the holy Virgin, withwhich he decorated the Oratoire of the pious Marie Leczinska. * Fragonard was also ambitious of com peting for the Grand Prix of the Academy, though he had not even been received there for the course ofstudy from the model. At that time, 1752 , the prize was open to all competitors, and to the astonishmentof all, was won by a youth whose studies were com prised in six months' pen-and - ink sketching in a no tary's books, six months' use of Chardin's colors andbrushes, and six months' study of nature amongst Boucher's theatrical landscapes and fêtes champêtres.Before the young artist set out for Rome, Boucher,who loved Paris far better, took him aside and said,“ My dear Frago, you are about to see in Italy the worksof Raphael, of Michael Angelo, and other masters of the Italian school; but I tell you in confidence, myfriend, you are aa lost man if you set seriously to

  • The king visiting the queen's apartments to inspect Boucher's

paintings , fell , as the phrase is , deeply in love with the face of theholy Virgin. To the great edification of the poor simple- mindedqueen, Louis also fell on his knees before this vision of beauty, and came again to the oratoire more than once to gaze on it . " Wasso much loveliness ,” he asked, a mere creation of Boucher'sfancy? " It was a question for the Lieutenant of Police to repiy to . In a few days he was able to do so . The beautiful face ofthe Virgin was drawn from a living model. She was the painter's mistress , " and,” said De Berryer, who owed his office to šladame de Pompadour, “ worshipped by him .” Louis seemed to reflect.When he spoke again , Berryer replied, " Sire , do not think of it.In such a matter, Boucher is a man to be feared. The émeute ofthe other day " ( which had been rather menacing to Berryer)“ would be followed up by a revolt.”1AN ADMIRABLE PLAN . 369work to form your style by studying the works of thosepeople."It was not only as a patron of the artists of his own day that the Marquis de Marigny was distinguished .He could admire the frequently admirable productionsof Boucher's facile pencil, painted for Louis XV. andMadame de Pompadour, without being insensible tothe superior merit of “ those people.” Andrea del Sarto's masterpiece, and the “ Saint Michael” ( on panel) of Raphael-both, from neglect, fast going to destruction-were by Picot's invention, of which De Marigny bought the secret, transferred to new canvas. Thelevelling of the Champs Élysées, the formation ofthe Place Louis XV. , and the replanting of the Boulevards, were works proposed by him to the king, andfor which he obtained his sanction.Together with Soufflot, he made the plans for thenew church of Ste. Geneviève, and those of the bar.rières of Paris. Assisted by the same architect, heelaborated a design for enlarging, rebuilding, embel lishing, and draining Paris. When finished, he laid it before the king. The work, he calculated, would taketwenty years to complete, and the cost of it he estimated at 30,000,000 frs. , or 1,500,000 frs. per annum.It amused Louis XV. to go into the particulars of thisscheme; so clearly explained, and rendered easily comprehensible by the eagerness of its advocate to recommend it to his notice.“ I fancy,” said the king , “ were your scheme carriedout, that Paris, already the finest city in Europe, wouldbe a finer one still-certainly more airy and spacious."“ Sire, it would be a far healthier city, " replicd DeMarigny. “ There would be less sickness, with proper drainage, pure water, public markets, and wider streets.a370 THE OLD RÉGIME.I1The finest buildings in Paris are for the most partconcealed by narrow, squalid streets and dilapidatedhouses. The Louvre, that might be one of the chiefornaments of the city, is hemmed in by mere hovels.More fountains are wanted, more trees should be planted , more theatres erected, and many monasteriessuppressed.”“ And where, M. de Marigny,” said the king,“ doyou imagineI should find the money you require to carry out your admirable plans?" “ Ah, sire,” he replied, “ such a thought would neverhave occurred to your great ancestor, Louis XIV.”“I wish it had sometimes done so," said the king,“ it would then have occurred less frequently to me.”It was unfortunate that such scruples should have pressed on the conscience of Louis XV. only when theimprovement of his capital, or some similar beneficialobject that would have bettered the condition of hispeople, was in question. He signed orders on the treasurer readily enough for secret service purposes,hose aims and ends, as we know, were not alwaysthe most useful or praiseworthy.CHAPTER XXXV .Madame, La Duchesse. — The Promenade de Longchamps.--- LaDuchesse, in Court Dress. -Complimentary Fireworks. —TheJesuit, de Sacy. -Give Satan his Due. -An Angry Woman's Letter .— “ Je le Veux. ” - A Perfect Picture of Flora . — The Queen's Toilettes. - I pray you, Sing me a Song. –Grand Tri umphal Air. —A very Great Lady.-- Alexandrine d'Étioles.Death of Alexandrine. -Le Comte de Kaunitz-Rietberg.Désagrements of the Chase. —A Martyr to Duty. - Kaunitz atVersailles. -An Ally of Voltaire.“ His majesty has presented me with six beautiful Arabian horses," wrote Madame de Pompadour to theComtesse de Noailles.These six Arab steeds were to have the honor ofdrawing a handsome new coach, of which Martin,coachbuilder to the court, was then superintendingthe completion. Many persons sought permission toexamine this latest specimen of Martin's known skill;and of those who obtained it , the greater part wenttheir way filled with envy or indignation.“ I have expressly ordered," Madame de Pompadourtells the countess, “ that my coach may not be disfig ured by any of those scenes of gallantry with which it is now the fashion to decorate the panels. It is afashion I dislike. It is offensive to good taste .”"The king had recently, on the fête de St. Jean — the fête day of the marquise-raised her to the rank ofduchesse. Hence the need of this new equipage, and372 THE OLD RÉGIME.a change in lier arms; which, from her own designs,were elaborately emblazoned on the panels of her carriage, instead of the fashionable scènes à la Boucher.Some of the carriages of that day were really verybeautifully painted with mythological or pastoral subjects . It was a caprice that for a time almost super seded the labors of the herald painter; notwithstanding the prevailing fondness for the prominent display of highly wrought armorial bearings.The coachmaker's art had progressed considerablyduring the last few years. The carriages were lesscapacious and cumbrous; also easier, lighter, and better slung.This had been especially noticed at the last HolyWeek promenade of Longchamps, whither the beau monde continued to flock . An order of the Archbishopof Paris, in consequence of an accident to Madamede Flavacourt's carriage, through the pressure of thecrowd, had closed the Abbaye doors during the celebration of the grand musical “ Office des Ténèbres” . Thereligious object of this annual promenade, originating with the Orleans family, was therefore at an end. Thepromenade, however, survived as a yearly rival displayof luxury and extravagance, both in toilette and equi page. The name of the fortunate person who generally was considered to have surpassed all others,and to have won the grand prize in this praiseworthycontest, was at that period usually proclaimed.The new carriage, with the six fiery Arabs gaily caparisoned, would doubtless have borne off the bell.But this was not the sort of triumph our new duchesslooked forward to, or indeed would have cared for.She was too prudent, by far, to seek publicly so trivial a distinction. The real arbiter of taste, and the glassTHE DUCHESSE IN HER COURT DRESS. 373of fashion, we know she then was. We are remindedof it , as we, of these degenerate days, stroll up Regent Street and sorrowfully gaze on the dreary exhibitionof painted and glazed cottons, ticketed with her name;wretched imitations of the richly brocaded Pompadour silks . The charming bouquets, and knotted garlands of flowers were either designed by herself, orwere the productions of Boucher's fanciful pencil.He was inimitable in creations of that kind; and asinimitably were they reproduced by the looms of Lyons.Boucher painted the duchesse in her court dress —that splendid toilette and tasteful combination ofsatin, embroidery, laces, and flowers, in which shewas presented anew to the queen. It was on herelevation to the much envied distinction of the tabouret, or right of being seated in the presence of, and near to, royalty - and being kissed on the forehead by the princes and princesses of the blood. The dauphin is said to have performed his part of that ceremonywith very ill grace-hy no means à la Richelieu; or with that air of gallantry towards le beau sexe, so characteristic of his royal father, and which had won him the distinctive appellation of " perfect French gentleman," in addition to that of " Le bien aimé."The dauphin had recently recovered from an attack of small- pox; of a less malignant type than was too frequently the case in those days. Yet it had beensevere enough to raise fears for his life, and to leaveits disfiguring traces on his countenance. During his illness , Madame de Pompadour had evinced much sympathy towards the young dauphine and thequeen. The danger being past, and the convalescenceof the dauphin publicly announced, she celebratedthe event by a féte with fireworks. The latter con6374 THE OLD RÉGIME.sisted of an allegorical device, in which a dolphin was represented gaily disporting himself in his native element, while around were sea- monsters spitting forth fire at him . The monsters were intended to represent the small- pox, and other attacks of illness towhich the dauphin for some years had been subject.Gradually they disappeared from the piece, leaving the dolphin alone in his glory, diverting himself withhis sports and gambols; which typified restored, even improved, health - in spite of the illness that hadthreatened to undermine it.Perhaps an explanation was necessary rightly tounderstand this, for the dauphin interpreted it differently. He saw in this allegory only an insult.The head of the dolphin he fancied a caricature likeness of his own. In the fire -spitting monsters, whichthe people, not seeking for a meaning, admired im mensely as a spectacle, he discerned an intimation tothem that he was abhorred of all who were abouthim. That the profligate Louis XV. disliked hisbigoted Jesuit son was no secret, probably, to the dauphin himself. Yet Madame de Pompadour'ssolicitude respecting him, whether real or affected ,during his illness, does not appear to have displeasedthe king. It was as if in recompense for it, he, inthat same year, created her a duchess. Her elevationat the same time to the honor of the tabouret - thoughthe pretensions of the Duchesse de Luynes were setaside by the king in her favor - gave rise, however, tosome difficulties.It was necessary she should confess, partake of thesacrament, and receive absolution . The queen consulted with the marquise on the subject. The learnedPère De Sacy also visited her, and after a long interaGIVE SATAN HIS DUE. 375view, during which “ he conversed with charminggrace," seemed inclined to the opinion that the pros outweighed the cons, and that it would be possible toabsolve her. But, Jesuit- like, he would not commithimself to any positive decision. He would reflect;he would consult; he would take ten days or a fort night to make up his mind, he said, insinuatingly-atthe same time allowing it to be understood that any obstacles he had raised , or scruples he had suggestedas likely to be raised by his Order, would disappear during that interval. As it is right that every goodChristian should give even Satan his due, no lessChristian- like is it to give the benefit of a doubt evento a Jesuit. Possibly then, just possibly, the goodfather De Sacy may have meant what he said; for thehope was held out to him of becoming the king's confessor. But the strong Jesuitical cabal of the courtof the dauphin and the queen, could not well havebeen defied; influential as he was with his Order, asProcureur Général of Missions. At the expiration of the fortnight, Sacy wrote a long letter, of which thefollowing is a résumé:“ Madame la Marquise - It is impossible to grant you the absolution you ask for. You desire, so you have told me, to fulfil the duties incumbent on every good Christian. The highest of them is to set a good example. To merit and obtain absolution , your first step must be to become reunited to M. d'Étioles; or at least to quit the court-thus edifying your neighbor, who declares himself scandalized by the favorshown you by the king, and your separation from your husband.”On the back of the letter ( returned immediately),she is said to have written as follows:376 THE OLD RÉGIME.How you “ Mon Père, —You are a true Jesuit. You understand me, no doubt, when I tell you so.enjoyed the embarrassment and need you imagined you found me in! I know, of course, that it wouldgratify you much to have me leave the court, and thatyou think me weak and tottering. But, know this.I am as powerful here as you are, and in spite of allthe Jesuits in the world, here I will remain.“ LA MARQUISE DE POMPADOUR,“ Dame du Palais de la Reine. "It is an angry woman's letter, written on the spurof the moment. Reflection would probably have produced a more dignified reply, and one that shouldhave been more cutting and annoying to the Jesuit.But the expulsion of the Jesuits from France wasfrom that time determined upon, and Madame de Pompadour and their persistent enemy, M. de Choiseul,rested not until they had accomplished their object.All difficulties respecting the tabouret were immediatelyovercome. Madame de Pompadour was judicially sep arated from her husband. M. d'Etioles, weary of exile,had some time before solicited and obtained permission to return to France. He had even been so want,ing in self- respect as to accept a lucrative post offeredhim by the king; though his circumstances were afflu .ent, and his daughter was provided for by her mother.The “ je le veux” of Louis had doubtless smoothedthe upward path of Madame de Pompadour's ambition. No obstacles would have confronted her hadshe been a great lady like, for instance, the insolentDe Montespan, whose haughty airs so intimidated thepoor little Spanish wife of the magnificent Louis XIV.Marie Thérèse, indeed, began to doubt whether sheA PERFECT PICTURE OF FLORA. 377“were really the queen, and shrank from the overpowering presence of that " splendid creature," her rival , to the seclusion of her oratory, to weep and to pray. The Grand Monarque and his Montespan, meanwhile, went through their devotions in public-side by side. Thus,edifying all beholders, and setting them a fine example; which, on the authority of a Jesuit, is the very head and front of Christian duty.Once indeed , a poor creature of a curé did venture to refuse absolution to Jupiter's grande-maîtresse. “ Hadthe earth opened beneath him ," as some people say,the great king could not have been more astounded.He was absolutely thunderstruck at the presumptionof this insect of a priest. And it is probable that thepoor man would have been “ embastille " for the termof his natural life, had not his lucky stars happenedto be in the ascendant, while the favor of the haughty marquise was on the wane. It was at the time whenthe pious and unselfish Madame de Maintenon wasworking heart and soul to achieve that great work,the salvation of the Grand Monarque.In the present instance, there is no question of punishing, or treating with contempt a poor parish priest with a scrupulous conscience. It is a great man among the Society of Jesus ( what a misnomer! ) who has presumed to offend a king's favorite, and the society,en masse, shall feel her resentment. She, however,seeks as she always does, to propitiate Marie Leczinska and the princesses; and on the morning afterher triumph appears before the queen carrying abasket of choice flowers, just received from her con servatories at Belle- vue. It is a present to the queenfor the decoration of her apartments. Very charmingthe duchesse looks in her white muslin negligée - a .378 THE OLD RÉGIME.perfect picture of Flora, that Boucher or Fragonardwould have loved to paint. The deep lace on hersleeves is looped back to the elbow with velvet rosettes, displaying the beauty of her arms, as theyencircle her basket of flowers.At no time was Marie Leczinska remarkable fortasteful toilettes. When the becoming Polish fashionshad had their day, she adopted whatever the taste andfancy of the reigning belles of the court brought intofavor. Of late years she had very injudiciously eitherdiscarded or been wholly indifferent to that orna mental setting which every woman needs, though she be a gem of purest ray. The queen had allowed herself to sink into the frumpy old woman, and with hersnuff -box beside her—for she often applied to it-and wrapped up in her sad - colored polonaise, and with acoiffe on her head, looked ten years older than she was.Now and then, when she went to the entertainmentsof the petits-appartements - as her confessor occasionally allowed—to hear Madame de Pompadour sing, sheput herself into the hands of her tiring-women, who usually dressed her very much as they pleased, whichwas not always the most becomingly.It is so long since she voluntarily abdicated herrightful position at court, that she is not very accessi ble to jealous pangs. Yet something of that sorther mind when Madame de Pompadourenters. As she is about to set down her basket, the queen steps forward and prevents her. “ She looksso charming with her basket of flowers , ” she tells her,“ that she must not be relieved of it until she hassung " ( of course, in the character of a coquettishvillage maid) " some appropriate song - one of those pretty chansons she has heard her sing in the DevincrossesGRAND TRIUMPHAL AIR . 379>du Village, ' or other musical piece." Two or threepersons of the queen's intimate circle are with her inher chamber. They smile, as if anticipating someamusement.Madame de Pompadour prays to be excused. Shediscerns an intention to disparage her; to show heroff as a silly, vain woman, eager for admiration, andat whose expense the queen may afford her friends alittle diversion. Marie Leczinska persists in her request. Again she is entreated not to urge it-foretiquette forbids a positive refusal to comply with theroyal command. But the queen is bent on makingher rival act and sing — on making her ridiculous, infact. And Madame de Pompadour, compelled to singagainst her will, is bent on having her revenge.She perceives there is a harpsichord in the room .Placing her basket of flowers on the table, before the queen can prevent her, Madame de Pompadour sitsdown to the instrument, and, instead of the chansonnette she has been asked for, favors the queen and herfriends with her grand triumphal air, “ At last ' tis inmy power," from Lulli's “ Armida," allowing them tomake whatever application of the words they pleased;and it appears they made the right one. Her musicaleducation had been perfect, and her singing of thisgrand air was a tour de force, of which very few who were not professional singers were capable. Thequeen had heard her sing it before - never, perhaps,with the same apparent exultant joy as on the occasion referred to. Poor Marie Leczinska!

  • Young Beaumarchais-then only twenty, gigantic in stature,

and remarkably handsome—had just been appointed by the king to teach music to the three princesses - of course, in the queen'sapartments.380 THE OLD RÉGIME.All the prerogatives of a princess of a sovereignhouse were at this time conferred by the king on Madame de Pompadour, and all the pomp and paradethen deemed indispensable to rank so exalted were fully assumed by her. Except on those occasionswhen it was her own good pleasure to seek relief in the society of a few chosen friends from the wearisome etiquette with which she was surrounded, shewas approached with as much ceremony as the king,even by the members of his family; sharing with himthe homage--and probably receiving the larger share --- paid by courtiers and foreign ministers to royalty.The first woman of her bed -chamber was “ a younglady of rank.” Her chamberlain and first equerrywere men of rank. A Chevalier of the Order of LeSt. Esprit bore her train. Collin, one of the pro cureurs or attorneys of the Châtelet, was her steward,and was decorated expressly for that office, when placed over her household at the Hôtel d'Évreux( Élysée Bourbon ) . The Marquis de Marigny was appointed secretary of the Order of Le St. Esprit,which conferred on him an exceptional cordon bleu ,without proofs of nobility.A handsome pension was given to her father; but hewas required to reside at not less than forty leagues 'distance from Paris, as his presence at court would have been rather embarrassing. He took up his abodein a pleasant part of Champagne, where he seems to have enjoyed life exceedingly, after the ups and downsof his earlier days, and his narrow escape from beinghanged. Her mother had died in 1749, at about thesame time as the “ sublime Emilie,” when condolenceswere exchanged between Madame de Pompadour and Voltaire - Voltaire, of course, pouring forth his sorDEATH OF ALEXANDRINE. 381row and sympathy in rhymes. Her daughter yet remained to her. Alexandrine d'Étioles was then between nine and ten years of age; a remarkably intelligent child; carefully educated, and giving promiseof great musical talent.Marmontel said of the young daughter of his patroness, “ That she was the most spirituelle child in France.” He was accustomed to read his famoustales , “ Contes de Marmontel,” to the mother and daughter. While doing so, he assumed , it appears, acertain air of effeminate affectation - perhaps thinkingto impart further interest to them. The young ladyobserved this, and remarked, sententiously, that " M. Marmontel, when he was reading, had too much the air of a marquise.” This was repeated to Marmontel,and longer than usual le absented himself from the toilette of the duchesse. When she inquired the reason-for she was much interested in her protégé, who,but for her encouragement, would have given up literature-he replied, “ That really he was as muchafraid of Mdlle. Alexandrine's epigrams as of Piron's. 'This was, of course, said jestingly, but it shows that there was piquancy enough in the child's remark to annoy him.Madame de Pompadour had already cast her eyes on the young Duc de Fronsac, De Richelieu's onlyson, as a suitable parti for her daughter. The kingapproved, and mentioned it to De Richelieu , who re .plied, “ Sire, it would be necessary first to obtain theconsent of the family of Lorraine." However, thepoor child died in her twelfth year, in the convent of the Assumption, in the Rue St. Honoré. Her deathwas probably the greatest blow Madame de Pom .padour ever experienced in her affections. For one382 THE OLD RÉGIME.may believe that she loved power, and loved it to excess, yet decline to give entire credence to such awriter as Soulavie, who, in his untrustworthy “ Memoirs,” represents her as bereft of all feeling, and acallous, hard- hearted monster. Her ambitious viewshad included, no doubt, an advantageous marriagefor her daughter. Most mothers have similar aspirations.A project is said to have been on the carpet, at thetime of the child's death, for a marriage with a scionof the house of Nassau. And it is not unlikely. Already the wily, Jesuitical empress, Marie Thérèse,who, through her effeminate ambassador, Count Venceslaus de Kaunitz, was kept well informed of all thattook place at the court of Versailles, had saluted Madame de Pompadour as “ my good cousin . ” Kaunitz prepared the way for Stahremberg. He had signedfor Austria the Treaty of Aix- la- Chapelle, and after wards remained as ambassador to play the agreeable,when at Versailles, both to the king and Madame de Pompadour. In Paris he resided at the Palais Bourbon, and frequented assiduously the receptions ofthe Marquis de Marigny, and of the Duc de Choiseul,then appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs.M. de Kaunitz, notwithstanding his reputation asan able diplomatist, was as much occupied with thecares of the toilette , with the preservation of thesmoothness of his complexion, and the delicate whiteness of his hands, as any effeminate petit- maître of thesalons, or even as the rose- leaf- tinted beauties of thecourt. The count was, as the French say, “ stillyoung;" or, more poetically, " the last rays of youth "still lingered about him . He had reached his fortiethyear-a period of life less terrible to men than to woDÉSAGREMENTS OF THE CHASE . His manners were courtly, and he had, therefore, found favor with the king, who was extremelysensitive on that point. Roughness of character wasfar more offensive to him than were vicious principles,-he shrank from those in whose demeanor he seemedto detect it .So devoted to the chase himself, Louis XV. imagined that no one could be otherwise than delightedby an invitation to join the royal hunt. But alas forpoor Kaunitz! while striving to appear enrapturedwith the sport, he was suffering agonies. Too muchwind, too much sun-either would be fatal to hiscomplexion, and often there was too much of both.Fastidious ladies might have screened themselveswith mask or veil from the attacks of bright Phæbusor rude Boreas. But in presence of a bevy of beauties-amongst whom were the dauphine ( a famoushuntress) , Madame Adelaïde (the king's eldest daughter) , and Madame de Pompadour; all in huntingdress, and, regardless of their complexions, wearinglittle feather- trimmed chapeaux à tricornes — the countwas compelled to appear as reckless of exposure as they were, lest , in screening himself from the weather,he should expose himself to ridicule. It would havebeen like falling into Charybdis in attempting toavoid Scylla.He had invented a sort of paste which, put, soft, onthe hands at night, adhered as it hardened, and remained firm till the morning. When removed, thefairest lady in the land might have envied the lilywhiteness of the count's beautiful hands. He had asmany rules for the preservation of his health as hisbeauty; and greatly it grieved his righteous spirit todepart from them. So that, what with his decorative384 THE OLD RÉ and his hygienic system, he may be said to have been a martyr to duty - his duty, as a diplomatist, tohis sovereign and his country. Duty alone would havedrawn him from his cosey apartment in the Palais Bourbon, and his luxurious private boudoir; where, athis ease, in an elegant robe de chambre that the Duc deGêvres might have envied, he penned long despatches,minutely descriptive of all that was passing aroundhim , whether political or social.Kaunitz was a keen observer. Grimm chargedhim with extreme frivolity; and the effeminacy heaffected justified the charge. But Marie Thérèse put much confidence in him for the carrying out of herviews. He had been intended for the Church, but preferred diplomacy to fasting and praying. His advancement had been rapid; for at the age of fortyhe was at the head of one of the most important of European embassies. The ambassadors ' quarters atVersailles did not quite suit his habits; but he wasnot averse to the dinners and amusements of the petits -appartements. Attending the toilette of Madamede Pompadour was a far more interesting pastime to him than that of witnessing the mysteries of the petit lever of Louis XV. He, however, contrived to perform both those duties with , as was said , “ infinitegrace."He kept the devout Marie Thérèse au courant of allthat was said, done, and suspected at that favoriteabode of royalty; for she liked a dish of court scan dal no less than did Louis XV. himself. The countwas fond of Parisian life, and was supposed to bedeeply tinged with the prevailing philosophism. Hewas a frequenter of the salons, and especially of thatfavorite resort of the ambassadors, where the wholeAN ALLY OF VOLTAIRE. 385aof Europe was often represented—the salon of Madame Geoffrin .When Madame de Pompadour sojourned for awhileat her Hôtel d'Évreux, the Comte de Kaunitz was invariably present at her private receptions. While playing the part of a frivolous man of pleasure, he learnedto estimate fully the energetic character, great attainments, and natural abilities of the mistress of theweak and incompetent Louis XV. In sharing theDuc de Choiseul's opinion, that Madame de Pompadour possessed many of the essential qualities of an able minister of State, as well as great aptitude fordiplomatic negotiation, the count impressed the sameview of her character and abilities on the mind of hissovereign. Taking advantage of this, in a way thatthe empress well knew would prove most flatteringto the amour- propre of such a woman, she began thefamous correspondence which won over to her causethe great influence of la maîtresse -en - titre; made Francethe ally of Austria, and paved the way to the SevenYears' War.But diplomacy and the cares of the toilette did notwholly engross the time and thoughts of the ambassador. He was a frequenter of the theatres; was intimate with Voltaire, and a great admirer of his genius. To Madame de Pompadour he significantly expressed his regret that prejudice on one side andfanaticism on the other should at that critical moment deprive the court of France of the aid of Vol taire's powerful pen.CHAPTER XXXVI.Crébillon and Voltaire . - Voltaire and the Court. -Crébillon atthe Toilette . -Rising and Setting Stars. —Adieu, La BelleFrance. – Clerical and other Cabals . -Lekain's Début.Voltaire's Pupil, at Sceaux.— “ Heavens! how Ugly he is!" — AStage-struck Painter. -An Unfortunate Débutant. - Belcourtinvited to Paris . -Advice to a Young Actor. -Lekain in Despair . - Lekain at Versailles. -A Discourteous Greeting . – ATriumph for Lekain . -A Reform in Costume. -Clairon's Grande Révérence. -Clairon and Marmontel.-- A VexatiousContretemps.The fast- waning popularity of Crébillon experienceda temporary revival through the success of his tragedyof “ Catalina.” It was, however, a success more forcedthan real; got up by his friends, with Piron and otherenemies of Voltaire at their head, and rather for the sake of annoying the latter than serving the former,For Voltaire, though so immensely superior in talent,and his fame European, was not proof against theshafts of envious mediocrity. He was easily rousedto jealousy of even so poor a rival as the aged Crébillon.Crébillon, it is true, had, on this occasion , succeededwhere Voltaire, with all his advantages, and his audacity to boot, had failed . Notwithstanding thathe was no frequenter of the salons, but a lounger of the taverns, a dweller among the poor, in a humblehouse in the Marais- with his pipe and his dogs for companions-Crébillon had been well received by theVOLTAIRE AND THE COURT. 387>king. Louis had even condescended to ask him toread a scene of his “ Catalina , ” and declared himself edified by it. “ Crébillon , ” he said , “ has far moregenius than Voltaire. He is a second Racine.” Thecourtiers echoed these words, and the echo reachedthe ears of Voltaire. Momentarily Crébillon became the fashion, and, better still for the needy poet, theking gave him a pension. Permission to print his works at the Louvre— “ With the approval and permission of the king ” —was also conceded to him.In conversation with Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire appealed, as it were, against this concession. Hethought it an injustice while a similar privilege wasdenied to his own works. And she agreed with thepoet. For though fully aware of his vanity, she appreciated his talent, and was amused by his mockingspirit. She had been present at the private represen- ,tation of “ Rome Sauvée” - “ Catalina " under anothername, and a rival production. It was performed atVoltaire's private theatre in the Rue Traversière — theDuc de Villars playing Catalina, and Voltaire Cicero .She had also heard Crébillon declaim before the king.The old poet was then in his seventy- sixth year. Hishair was white as snow, but abundant; his featureslarge, and the expression of his countenance sombre-at times, while reciting, almost menacing. He hada deep sepulchral voice, and much abruptness in hisgestures; while his rugged verse became harsher tothe ear by his harshness of accentuation.Louis XV. personally disliked Voltaire, and this feeling was nourished by the clamor of the court. Hewas bored, too, by the agitated entreaties of poor Marie Leczinska, to whom the very name of Voltaire was a bugbear. Urged on by the dauphin and his388 THE OLD RÉGIME.Jesuit surroundings, she came as a martyr to implore,on her knees, that the king would uphold the religion of the State - menaced, as she was told , by Voltaire'sreturn to the court. Madame de Pompadour couldnot, then , under such circumstances, plead very warmly for her friend Voltaire, or suggest very earnestly thatthe honors of the Louvre should be conceded to hisworks. Her object was to keep her august sovereignamused and in good humor; not to thwart him in matters comparatively indifferent. When Crébillon,therefore, made his appearance at her toilette, tooffer his thanks for the favors he had received fromthe king, she received him very graciously, and with many kind words. The old poet prayed to beallowed the honor of kissing her hand. The honorwas granted, and Voltaire's jealousy and disgust knewno bounds.It was wonderful that the strong opposition of thepriestly element to his reception by the Academy hadbeen overcome. But, in return, it was resolutely determined to exclude him from the court altogether.He had no longer a Château de Cirey to flee to forrest and consolation; nor did a cordial welcome awaithim at the Hôtel in the Ile St. Louis-for the sublimeEmilie was dead. But he, at least, was now free towander whither he would; so he turned his thoughtstowards Prussia. Frederick's invitations to Potsdamhad for some time past been pressing. The circle ofphilosophers assembled there was incomplete without the brilliant writer, the patriarch of the sect. “ Lethim come to Potsdam; let him make that home offree- thinkers his abode,” and enliven by his presencethe suppers of Sans- Souci-that Frederick, by thegrace of God, King of Prussia and Elector of BranADIEU, LA BELLE FRANCE. 389denburg, may add to these titles the far prouder one“ Possessor of Voltaire. "Yet Voltaire showed no great eagerness to acceptthis flattering invitation, and had he been more gra ciously treated at Versailles might, perhaps, have declined it . But while wounded amour -propre was stillsmarting from the preference expressed by Louis XV.for the plays of Crébillon, it received a further stabfrom some flattering expressions of the great Frederick addressed to the young poet Baculard d’Ar naud, who was then at Berlin. Arnaud ,” wrote theking, in doggerel verse- " Arnaud is a rising, Voltaire a setting sun. ' Of course this was soon on its roadfrom Berlin to Paris, and tarried not by the way. Itwas duly laid before Voltaire, who, having glanced atit, went off into a terrible rage. “ I will go!” he ex claimed, “ I will go and teach this king that Voltaire'ssun is not yet set." He had already bargained with Frederick for the advance of the sum of 16,000 francs,to defray his own expenses on the journey and thoseof Madame Denis, his niece.Louis XV. was then at Compiègne, where a campwas forming, and where the general officers wereamusing their sovereign and themselves with military manæuvres, fêtes, and grand banquets. For Compiègne Voltaire set out without loss of time. He hadno thought of casting off his allegiance to his rightfulmonarch; therefore, though nominally only a Gentleman of the Bed - chamber, he solicited and received permission to visit the court of Berlin , and to accept anydignity the King of Prussia might confer on him . AtCompiègne he found also M. von Raesfeld - an officerin the service of Frederick-who, acting on ordersreceived from Potsdam, had made arrangements for390 THE OLD RÉGIME.facilitating the journey of the poet and his niece tothe Prussian capital . Thus did Voltaire bid an adieu,a long adieu, to la belle France. But though personally absent, the spirit of the mocking philosopher still hovered over her, and his influence was, perhaps, the more deeply felt.Louis XV. returned to Versailles. The busy life ofthe camp had amused him , and relieved him from theworry of domestic dissensions, refractory parliaments,squabbles and differences in the Church, which, noforeign war being now on hand, were, as usual,brought forward to disturb the peace of the kingdom,They were principally fomented by the Archbishop of Paris - Christophe de Beaumont, a man of unconciliating spirit, and an ardent supporter of the BulleUnigenitus - once more thrust into prominence, but now unanimously rejected by the Parliament. Theking interfered - the Pope, Benedict XIV. , was appealed to. The undignified contention continued yetfor some years; in the course of which Louis was prevailed on by Madame de Pompadour to take the bold step of exiling the Archbishop with two or three ofthe most troublesome bishops, supporters of his arbitrary views.Cabals prevailed also both in the theatrical and musical world. Disputes ran high between the partisans of Rameau and French music and those of Pergoleseand Italian music. Also between those who discernedan actor of merit in the débutant Lekain and the supporters of Belcourt, who had been brought from aprovincial company to oppose him. Belcourt had ahandsome person and agreeable manners, and these were, at that time—for he had but little experiencehis chief recommendations. They were sufficient,VOLTAIRE'S PUPIL AT SCEAUX. 391however, to place Lekain at an immense disadvantage-his personal appearance being not only unprepossessing, but repulsive.A contemporary writer, who thought favorably ofLekain's abilities, describes him as of low stature; hislegs thick, short, and rather bowed. His complexion red and spotted; mouth large, with thick lips - thetout- ensemble of his countenance disagreeable, and his -figure ungainly. His voice was hard, grating to theear, and without modulation; and his action was uncouth. His eyes were his only redeeming feature.They were large, full of fire, and most expressive.He, indeed, seems to have been a striking instance of the great power of the eye's eloquence. His débutat the Théâtre Français took place on the 14th September, 1750, as Titus in Voltaire's tragedy of “ Brutus.” Lekain was then in his twenty - first year, andfully conscious of his want of every personal advantage.The ordeal of his first appearance may have been to his imagination partly divested of its terrors by thesuccess he had achieved but ten days before at theDuchesse du Maine's Theatre at Sceaux. He hadplayed there Lentulus in Voltaire's rival play of“ Rome Sauvée." The duchess, who in her earlierdays had been considered a good actress, and whosechâteau continued to resemble a theatre more than aroyal lady's private residence, was most favorably im pressed by the young man's acting. He was a stranger to her; introduced at her theatre by Voltaire, totake a part on that occasion in his tragedy.“ Who is that young actor?" she inquired of the poet.Madame,” he replied, “ he is the first of all actors ,Lekain ."66392 THE OLD RÉGIME.She had heard before of Voltaire's talented protégéand pupil. Having seen him act, she agreed with thepoet that “ Lekain is to play” would one day be an announcement that should fill any theatre, whether inor out of France, and, she added, “ in spite of his ugliness.” But Voltaire could not, or would not, see that. “ The tragic soul " and the latent talent which experience was to develop were alone visible to him .Lekain had gained a warm partisan in the energeticand still romantic old duchess. But her partisanshipavailed him little. He had to conquer his position by courage and patience. His début was the occasionof a tumultuous scene. The theatre, the balcony, and the boxes rejected him; " the men of rank andwomen of fashion " would not look at him, or rather,having looked, turned away their heads, exclaiming,“ Heavens, how ugly he is! and would look no more.But the critics of the pit were more merciful andfar more just. Scrambling with all their might toget nearer the stage ( the pit at that period was with out seats ) , and vociferating that they wanted to hear "-when the laughter and hisses and exclamations ofthe boxes made the actor inaudible—they cheeredhim on by their plaudits. One far-seeing individual,bolder than the rest, exclaimed, “ This man will be the greatest of the royal comedians!” - a prediction received with peals of laughter by the party of the upper regions, and with noisy demonstrations of approval by the pit. It needed, indeed, a degree of confidence and perseverance possessed by few to face the determined opposition the young actor met with for near a year and a half before he was received as sociétaire.Belcourt, at this time, was performing at Bordeaux.A STAGE - STRUCK PAINTER. 393He had no idea of so soon venturing an appearancein Paris, when he was called upon by the cabal of the beau monde to make his début at the Théâtre Français, asa rival to Lekain. Both these actors — they were aboutthe same age—had taken to the stage contrary to thewishes of their families and the earnest advice offriends. Both were well educated. Lekain was theson of a jeweller in good circumstances, and Belcourt's father was the portrait- painter Gilles Colson.On leaving the college of Toulouse he was placed, as pupil, with Carle Vanloo, and it was after the frequentperformance of a part in the little comedies withwhich the fashionable painter sometimes amused hisfriends that young Colson discovered, as he believed,that his vocation was acting, not painting.Nothing could turn him from this fancy. He neg lected the lessons of his master, and got many ascolding for doing ill , or not doing at all, the workassigned him in the studio. But Colson was study ing a part, Néristan, in which he expected, at one bound, to reach the Temple of Fame. Being reproved by his father, he decamped. By some means hereached Besançon, where he met Préville, afterwardsso famous. Under the name of Belcourt, which heretained as a nom de théâtre, Colson made his début.His theatrical wardrobe consisted of a black coat, forgrand court mourning; a pair of velvet breeches, thathad had the honor of being worn by Malle. Claironin a part in which she had assumed male attire; a bag wig, trimmed with black lace; and a pair of shoeswith red heels and paste buckles.Néristan was to take Besançon by storm. But,alas for his high aspirations! when the débutant appeared before the audience his confidence entirely394 THE OLD RÉGIME.forsook him. He became paralyzed with fear. Hewas a well - grown, handsome youth of eighteen. His appearance pleased , and he was encouraged by applause. At last he began his part, speaking scarcely above a whisper; but recovered his voice a little as hewent on. In the scene where Néristan throws himselfat the feet of his lady- love, Belcourt had regained in some degree his composure. Gracefully and energetically he fell on his knees, but, as ill - luck would have it, an accident occurred, at that precise moment,to the velvet garment that had belonged to Mdlle.Clairon, who was less robust than its present wearer.The consequence was an effect on the audience wholly different from that he had intended. The house rangwith shouts of laughter, and the sadly humbleddébutant, overwhelmed with shame and confusion, beata hasty retreat.Three years had elapsed . Belcourt was at Bordeaux, where he played “ les jeunes premiers, ” much to the satisfaction of the citizens, and was highly esteemed for the excellence of his private character.The Duc de Richelieu had seen him perform at Bordeaux. To please the ladies who exclaimed againstthe ugliness of Lekain, he succeeded in getting to gether a powerful party to induce the handsomeBelcourt to visit Paris, and, as a rival to Lekain, tomake his début at the Français. The rage not onlyfor the theatre, but for acting, was then so generalthat, following the example of Versailles, almost every hôtel of any pretensions gave private theatricals. Itwas at the theatre of M. de Clermont- Tonnerre thatLekain's talent was first noticed , and in a play called" Le Mauvais Riche," written by that same Baculard d'Arnaud who, complimented by Frederick, was theADVICE TO A YOUNG ACTOR. 3959immediate cause of Voltaire's hasty journey toPrussia.Lekain had played the principal part, and, as represented by him, the author was astonished at his owncreation. He mentioned the youthful actor to Voltaire , speaking of him as a prodigy. Voltaire's curiosity was roused, and, after seeing him in Arnaud'splay, he sent for Lekain. As was his custom, horeceived him with extended arms, and, embracinghim with enthusiasm , exclaimed, “ Thank Heaven forcreating a being capable of exciting in me the deep and tender emotions I experienced while listening tosuch miserable trash as Arnaud's verses!” He advisedthe young man to cultivate his talent for his ownpleasure and recreation, but to avoid the stage as aprofession . “ It is a noble one," he said; “" but here,in France, hypocrites have branded it with disgrace .But Lekain heeded not this advice; like Belcourt, hewas convinced that his vocation was acting. Voltaireprobably had the same conviction, for forthwith hetook Lekain under his protection, and instructed himat his private theatre in the principal rôles of his owntragedies.Voltaire was not present at the débuts. The strongfeeling of the court against him may have increased the opposition to his portégé. Belcourt appeared firstas Achille in “ Iphigénie en Aulide,” and as Leandre in “ Le Babillard .” Notwithstanding the admiration of the ladies for “ such a handsome man , ” the criticsof the pit pronounced him inferior to Lekain in tragedy. The adverse cabal alone supported Belcourt,while the people crowded in to see Lekain. Hissuperiority was frankly acknowledged by his rival,who desired to return the next day to Bordeaux.396 THE OLD RÉGIME.Those who had brought him thence would not hear of it, and the débuts went on. Lekain played Edipuswith great applause, and was received on trial,” at ayearly salary of 1200 frs . Belcourt, who it was thought might, perhaps, succeed Grandval, was received for“ high comedy;" but poor Lekain, with only his tragicsoul and his fine eyes, continued to meet with so muchopposition that, despairing to overcome it , he thought of leaving France and accepting an engagement offeredhim in Prussia.The Princess Robecq, conjointly with Voltaire, dis suaded him from leaving. He had studied diligentlyduring the sixteen months he was kept, on trial, on his forty pounds a year. With experience, the faults that the critics at first had noticed disappeared, andhis great talent became very strikingly developed.His pronunciation was perfect, which was not always the case with many of the best actors and actresses ofthat day. But the more his merits became evident,the more did envy and jealousy strive to disparagehim. Yet even among the actors there was one (Bel court) who, weary of the intrigues and cabals carriedon both in and out of the theatre, called out energetically, “ If you are not willing to receive him as your equal, you may certainly receive him as yourmaster.”Opposition, at last, came unexpectedly to an end.The actors were commanded to play at Versailles before the king and the court, and Lekain asked permission of Grandval to take the part of Orosmane.“ My friend, you would ruin your prospects entirely , ” said Grandval.“ I am willing to risk that,” replied Lekain.“ Well, in that case I consent; but bear in mind IA DISCOURTEOUS GREETING. 397warned you,” said Grandval, perhaps thinking he was acting as a friend .The day so anxiously looked forward to by Lekain is arrived. King, queen, princesses, Madame de Pom padour, courtiers, and ladies- in- waiting are assembled in the royal theatre of Versailles. Many of this goodly company have not seen the new actor, against whom so pitiless a storm has been raging. This has raisedcuriosity, and Orosmane's entrance is eagerly awaited .He appears. There is a general movement of surprise. “ Ah! how ugly he is!” meets his ear ( onewould have expected more courtesy from great ladiesof the ccurt) . But he had foreseen this; he is accustomed to be thus greeted . If he feels it more than at other times, it is only in increased determination toconquer.As the play proceeds, and the interest of the scene is unfolded , the audience becomes silent and attentive.Soon the actor is forgotten. Whether he is ugly orhandsome no one then knows. It is in Orosmane andhis sorrows they are interested, and for whom thetears are flowing from the eyes of beautiful women.Lekain has triumphed over prejudice; and many ofthose subdued fair ones who had exclaimed so eagerly, “ Ah! how ugly he is!” are now fain to say, as onseveral occasions was afterwards said, “ Ah! howhandsome he is!" .Lekain was received as associate of the ComédieFrançaise as no other actor, before or since, ever was -by the king's command. “ He has made me weep,”said Louis XV. , “ who scarcely know what it is toweep. I receive him . ” It was vexatious to detractors,no doubt; but submission was imperative, for hismajesty added, “ Je le veux ” -a short and ready way398 THE OLD RÉGIME.he had of settling vexed questions, of cutting, as itwere, the Gordian knots of discussion: perhaps notalways with general satisfaction; but in the present instance there were few who did not mentally respond " Amen” to his dictum . None perhaps rejoiced more in the success of Lekain than the man who hadbeen set up by his opponents as his rival . Belcourtand Lekain were firm and attached friends to the endof their career. They began it together, and like their lives it had a similar ending.The French stage owed much to Lekain. He hasbeen called “ the restorer of costumes,” and has notless deserved that of “ benefactor of comedy andcomedians.” He succeeded in putting an end to thecustom-so unfavorable to the actor, so destructive ofscenic effect - of allowing a portion of the audienceto appear on the stage. A row of seats was taken fromthe pit to accommodate those who had patronized thescenic benches. It was a great gain to the actors generally-an immense one to Lekain; and it was onlyfair that he, to whom no favor at all had been shown,should succeed in securing for himself a clear stage. By degrees-being seconded in all his reforms by Mdlle. Clairon, Belcourt, and one or two others—the actors were prevailed on to discard their red heels,paste diamonds, and court dress generally, for theproper costume of the character represented.Lekain is said to have been absolutely hideous in the dress and turban of Genghis Khan. But thatsignified not. By his immense talent he soon over came the first impression. Had he played it as acavalier of the Henry IV. period , or in the grand cos tume of the court of Louis XV. , the absurdity and hisugliness would have been uppermost in the mind; butCLAIRON'S GRANDE RÉVÉRENCE. 399in turban and oriental dress Genghis Khan alone wasthought of. To sink his own personality was his con stant aim. That made him so great an actor. Heloved his art, and wished Lekain to be forgotten in the person he represented .Is anybody old enough in these days to recollect Madame Rachel? If so, he recollects Phèdre. Herdress, in this character, was a reproduction of theclassic robes in which Mdlle. Clairon-discarding thepanier, the plumes, spangles, and frippery that Phèdrehad before appeared in - made, it may be said, a second début, and received an ovation surpassing any triumphshe had hitherto known.Mdlle. Clairon was then about thirty, when a hand some woman is as a rose in its fullest beauty. Shewas eminently the tragic muse -- not tender andpathetic like Mdlle. Dumesnil -- but grand , sublime.The grace and dignity with which she entered and retired, when on the stage, made her sought after by the great ladies of the court; who took lessons of her in" la grande révérence.” The most apt of her pupils is said to have been the young Comtesse d'Egmont,Richelieu's only daughter, married to an old man,rich and with numerous quarterings, very gratifyingto her; but she, poor girl, found an early grave ,the victim of an absorbing, romantic passion for ayounger and less richly endowed suitor.Mdlle. Clairon was also accustomed to read withMdlle, de Richelieu-receiving for each visit twentyfive louis a'or. The duke's carriage was always inwaiting to convey her home; the duke's coachman asregularly receiving from the magnificent actress ten louis d'or as a pourboire.Marmontel was at that time the very humble slave400 THE OLD RÉGIME.of Mdlle. Clairon's caprices. He had lately been seriously ill, and the great actress-imitating AdrienneLe Couvreur's attentions to Voltaire—had beguiledthe weary hours of his convalescence by reading tohim the“ Arabian Nights." She had given him, also,a room in her hôtel; Madame Geoffrin, whom he haddispleased, having withdrawn from him the privilege of occupying a small apartment in her residence;though her salon was still open to him. Marmontelwas much indebted to the talent of Mdlle. Clairon forthe success of his plays, in which the fire of geniusburns but dimly


, as observed bya French writer,though Marmontel may be considereda distinguished writer, his place is among those of the second rank.Caprice might sometimes prevent his fair friendfrom doing her utmost witha part that did not greatlytake her fancy. But at no time did she need the stimulating beverage whence Mdlle. Dumesnil seemedto derive the pathos and tenderness that created so much emotion in her audience. The chance of an overdose was, however, more fatal to an anxious author'shopes than the caprices of the actress's dignified rival .The due proportion of water omitted from her draught,the gentle Dumesnil had, on more than one occasion,become extravagantly energetic, ludicrously lachry mose, and, instead of the tears she was accustomed todraw froma sympathetic audience, was saluted with derisive shouts of laughter. An accident of this kindoccurred on the first representation of one of Marmon tel's plays. The poor author was in despair on wit nessing her eccentricities and the noisy mirth they oc casioned. But Mdlle. Dumesnil being a favorite actress,her patrons pardoned her

and at the next represen tation she made the amende honorable to Marmontel

1A VEXATIOUS CONTRE TEMPS. 401securing, by her fine acting, a favorable reception forhis play. For his obligations to Mdlle. Clairon he wasmade to pay largely. Her carriages and horses, her hôtel in Paris, her château in the country, and generalextravagance made large supplies of cash needful.Funds sometimes failed. Then Marmontel's friendship was put to the test, and a severe one too; for hisown resources were small, and he was compelled toaccept favors from friends to enable him to supply thetemporary needs of a lady who probably never dreamedof repaying the sums he had borrowed for her use.CHAPTER XXXVII.A Musical Squabble.- A Latter -day Blessing . - Jean - Jacques on French Music. —Rameau Converted. —Tweedledum andTweedledee. -A Question of State. - The Grand'chambre Banished.— “ Dieu Protège la France. " -Birth of the Ducde Berri. — The Harbinger of Peace.666“ The queen's corner” and “ the king's corner " were two hostile camps, defiantly facing each other fromopposite sides of the stage of the Opéra de Paris—thebattle- ground on which they nightly contended forvictory. Those who ranged themselves under thestandard of the queen were the allies of the Italiancomposer, Pergolese, and his “ Bouffons, ” or company of Italian singers. The combatants who supportedthe king for the honor of France (and, indeed, thecontention was carried on so rancorously that itthreatened literally to end in a combat) were for upholding the supremacy of French music and the superiority of native singers. Lullists and Ramists, whosome years before had engaged in a similar struggle for pre- eminence, now formed but one camp. ForLulli, though by birth an Italian , had lived in Francefrom boyhood to old age, and acquired there his first notions of music. France had always claimed him asher own, and in his feelings and habits he was essen tially a Frenchman .The bitterness of spirit evinced on both sides, inthis Franco- Italian musical squabble, is really difficultA LATTER - DAY BLESSING . 403upon realize. The cause seems so insignificant, in comparison with the energy so perseveringly expendedIt, however, helps to an understanding ofthe utter frivolity and idleness of the society of theperiod, and the dearth there must have been of ex citement, when every tea- cup storm caused so great acommotion in the world of fashion. It was not only the belles of the salons - pardonably weary of knittingand knotting and embroidery, and of the same dull round of chit-chat, thé à l'Anglaise, and scandal-whowelcomed any little breezy diversion of this kind. The philosophers also, the regenerators of mankind , actual ly put aside for awhile their encyclopædical labors, and entered heart and soul into the musical quarrel.Every one had in his pocket his treatise on music,or a letter of advice or remonstrance to Rameau orPergolese, for which he vainly endeavored to get ahearing in the salons. What if he knew nothing ofmusic? had never given it ten minutes' thought in hislife? He, nevertheless, might gratify himself bywriting an essay upon it, though no one was likely to read it, and express his opinion on the subject, though no one might care to hear it. Unfortunately thereexisted not then that latter-day blessing, a legion of newspapers, so obligingly “ opening their columns tothe thorough ventilation" ( if that be the proper nineteenth- century phrase) of any subject of general interest, or even of no interest at all . This “ institution ofour times” was then but meagrely developed. Otherwise every one might have said his say in his “ Jupi ter," " Pallas,” “ Saturn,” or other favorite luminary;and with the proud consciousness, too, of a world wide circulation being given to his utterances. Whether he could reckon on being as widely read might"404 THE OLD RÉGIME.have been as problematical as in these days, or as getting a hearing then in the salons; where everybody was willing to talk, but no one to listen .Jean- Jacques, who had some musical ideas, thoughhe was not the great maestro he thought himself, of course wrote a letter on the subject. It was ludicrously violent, and its logical conclusion was as follows: “ The French have no music, and cannot haveany; or should they ever have any, it will be so muchthe worse for them .” Rameau's partisans were violentalso. He himself was far more moderate. His ideawas not so much that Italian music was less scientificthan the French, as that the French language did notreadily lend itself to the vocal expression of florid Italian music-a succession of rapid roulades and anoverwhelming torrent of notes. Others-among them Madame de Pompadour, one of the few qualified to give an opinion - while acknowledging that much of the singing was very agreeable, yet detected a greatwant of harmony. The Italian music was considered to fail also when attempting concerted effects, which,from being overwhelmed by a multiplicity of notes,the ear could not seize, the effect produced beingmerely a great noise.Yet the Opéra Bouffe gained ground rapidly. “ LaServa Padrona," the music by Pergolese, the librettoby Goldoni, became an established favorite; themelodies were so lively and natural, while the singers, though comic, were graceful, easy, and elegant.Louis XV. adopted the opinions, musical as well aspolitical, of Madame de Pompadour. But as she -often visited the Opéra Bouffe, and greatly patronized the Italian, Petrini who had invented the pedalharp ( which entirely superseded the guitar, and wasTWEEDLEDUM AND TWEEDLEDEE. 405also for several years a formidable rival to the harpsichord—then waiting for the improveinents that were to give it the name of forte- piano) , it was inferredthat she was not insensible to the charm which Rameau himself confessed he found in Italian music.Opposition to the Opéra Bouffe gradually subsided.Either the contending parties were weary of thestrife, or it had lost its zest when the two great authorities, Rameau and Madame de Pompadour, became more than reconciled, as it appeared, to theinnovation. The latter sang the airs and madethem popular among the ladies, now so devoted totheir harps. Rameau, whose well- earned fame suffered no diminution from the favor shown to Pergolese , was then seventy- one. He was accustomed tosay that, if he were thirty years younger, he would go to Italy and study the new school of music, and that Pergolese should be his model; but that at threescoreand ten it was too late to strike out new paths. He,however, continued to plod on in the old one, andlived to the age of eighty- three. His theoretical works were highly valued, and contributed greatlytowards the advancement of musical science in France.But while this furious musical hubbub was at itsheight, the wrathful contest at the Théâtre Françaishad risen to a white heat. From Paris to Versaillesno subject was discussed with so much interest andvivacity as the rival claims of musicians and actors.Suddenly the dancers bounded into the fray; and itwas on this wise. Many persons, who, like DeanSwift on a similar occasion in England , thought it“ strange that such difference there should be ' twixttweedledum and tweedledee, " had forsaken the Opera for the Français. There, indeed, silence was often406THE OLD RÉGIME.obtained by the sheer force of Lekain's great tragicacting; the opposition of his enemies fading awaybefore it . Or if the tumult exceeded the limits whichthe file of soldiers with fixed bayonets, that invariablysurrounded the pit at that period, thought allowable,the police stepped in , and, under the protection of themilitary, arrested the offenders.The play ended, the ballet began, and, pleasing allparties, had become exceedingly popular. The receipts of the opera- house, never a thriving establishment, though subsidized by the government, began to fall off. The directors thought to remedy this by prohibiting the representation of ballet at the ThéâtreFrançais, and accusing the managers of an infringe ment of their privileges. The “ comédiens du roi”regarded this grievance as a question of State, andremonstrated against the pretensions of the Académiede Musique, in a memorial addressed to the council of government. Not meeting with the ready interference in their favor they had expected, they closedtheir theatre. " If they were not to dance, they wouldnot act.” This step is said to have added greatlyto the arduous duties of the Lieutenant of Police.Crowds assembled , clamoring for admission, demanding the play, but especially calling for the ballet.As the doors continued closed, the military dispersed the people; the rougher portion of whom rambled about Paris or filled the taverns. M. de Sartines,then Lieutenant of Police, was a great advocate for establishing new theatres; a proposal that met withimmense opposition from the three already authorizedby the State. He was accustomed to double thewatch throughout the city during the three weeksof the theatrical vacation. Misdemeanors, he said ,THE GRAND CHAMBRE BANISHED. 407and even serious crimes, were so much more frequentwhen the theatres were closed. He considered thatthey kept the idle and ill - disposed out of mischief, andthat it was better for the honest artisan to go to theplay than the tavern. His manners and morals, hefancied, were likely to be improved there. Others,however, were of opinion that, although lessons ofvirtue might be received at the theatre, impressionsof vice only were carried away. In this dilemma, twoor three of the principal comedians were deputed towait on Madame de Pompadour, requesting her influence to obtain from the Grand chambre an edict authorizing the Théâtre Français to represent balletwithout let or hindrance from the Académie de Musique.But the Grand'chambre itself was in a state of rebellion, and was banished to Pontoise, then to Soissons, and public business was at a standstill. Com.manded by the king to return to the capital andresume its functions, the Grand'chambre declined toobey. The kingdom was, in fact, in a state of anarchy; yet singularly enough it was rich and flourishing. “ If France is prosperous under the rule of such a sovereign as Louis XV.," said Benedict XIV. ,“ there can be no stronger proof of the watchful care of Providence over his people .” Benedict, who wasmore sensible and rational than most of the popes,and who disliked the Jesuits, had been applied to bythe king to settle the distracting differences in the Church. He had striven to conciliate opposing parties; to explain away, though not very successfully,some objections of the Parliament on the subject ofthe still troublesome Bull . But the Bull continuedfor some time as lively and prankish as ever, until,a408 THE OLD RÉGIME.happily, a matador was found to give him his quietus;and , when finally disposed of, a song of triumph waschanted over him, and it was not exactly a eulogy.Gayety and thoughtlessness are so characteristic ofthe French that trifles light as air will often sufficeto arouse them from any temporary depression. The king was, perhaps, as striking an exception to thecommon rule as could have been found in his kingdom. At this time the feeling between him and hispeople had become reciprocally so adverse that thegeneral situation of affairs - aggravated by the arrogance of the exiled Archbishop of Paris, who played the martyr-began to wear a menacing aspect. Louis'fits of melancholy and remorse grew deeper; and all the efforts of Madame de Pompadour to chase awayhis despondency fell short of their usual effect. Hebegan to perceive that even she had lost something ofher accustomed gayety. “ Madame," he said , " if youdo not recover your spirits, I shall have to dance andsing snatches of song to make you merry."Fortunately, at this crisis , the dauphine gave birthto a son-the Duc de Berri-afterwards the unfortunate Louis XVI. He was born on the 23d ofAugust, 1754. Fêtes and rejoicings banished the pre vailing gloom and discontent. The Opera and the Théâtre Français found it convenient to forget their disputes, and to open their doors to crowded audiences. The king took advantage of the birth of thischild to put an end to all rigorous proceedings against his rebellious parliaments and refractory clergy. Asort of general amnesty was proclaimed; celebrated by balls, illuminations, and fireworks; grand ban quets at Paris and Versailles; operas, French andItalian, and grand ballets, in which the future careerTHE HARBINGER OF PEACE. 409of the infant duke was shadowed forth, by entrechatsand pirouettes, as one of happiness and glory. His nativity was cast, and, alas for the credit of theprophets! no cloud, even so big as aa man's hand,, couldbe discerned on the peaceful horizon, to indicate that the deluge—which even Louis XV. foresaw loomingin the murky future -should descend on the head of this poor child and engulf him in its desolating tor rent. Never was so grand a christening: in splendor the festivities, public and private, far surpassed those that took place at the christening of the first -born.This child seemed to come into the world as the har binger of peace to France, and to be received by bothking and people as a pledge of their reconciliation,and the cessation of the domestic troubles that hadrecently so agitated the kingdom.CHAPTER XXXVIII.Diplomatists in Conference . - An Old Custom Revived. -A Projected Dethronement. -Les Abbés Sans Fonction. -Babet,the Flower- girl. – Drawing-room Priestlings. -A Pertinent Quotation.- " Le Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis. ” --La Duchessede Choiseul.— The Abbe Barthélemy. - Marmontel's Plays.“ Les Funérailles de Sésostris . ” — The Shadow of Favor.Marmontel Consoled. –The Comte and the Maréchal. -Frozen-out of Versailles.COUNT STAHREMBERG had succeeded M. de Kaunitzas minister plenipotentiary from the empress-queento Madame de Pompadour. His conferences with the all - powerful lady and her protégé, the Abbé de Bernis,ended in an alliance between Austria and France, and a determination to declare war against England, whohad agreed to aid Prussia by the payment of a con siderable subsidy. The king gave up entirely to hismistress the negotiation of the preparatory treaty;afterwards to be submitted to the Council of State,and approved and signed by himself. It is not herethat its stipulations need be enlarged upon . It suffices to mention that the agents of the “ high contract ing parties,” for the better concealment of their objects from those members of the government who were opposed to an Austrian alliance, met at Babiolethe bijou country- seat of Madame de Pompadour - andthere, in her boudoir, mutually made known and discussed the views and pretensions of their respectivesovereigns.AN OLD CUSTOM REVIVED . 411The jests and gibes of Frederick of Prussia contributed no doubt to the readiness with which bothLouis XV. and Madame de Pompadour entered intothe views of Marie Thérèse, and determined also theEmpress Elizabeth of Russia to assist in the attemptto dispossess him of Silesia. France was to be re warded for her contingent of 24,000 men, with " Belgium as far as Antwerp," and the extension of herfrontiers to the Rhine. Austrians and French, united ,were to take possession of Hanover; the electorate remaining in the hands of the French. But while Madame de Pompadour was engaged in diplomacy, theking at Choisy was besieged by the great ladies of the court; waylaid at every turn; beset wherever it waspossible to meet him. The “ longue amitié," as the tenyears' reign of Madame de Pompadour was beginningto be called, had lasted long enough, in the opinion of the ladies in waiting; who naturally were anxious thatthe king should select her successor from the class to whom the honor, from right of usage, belonged .At this time, too, a custom introduced by Louis XIV. ,but which did not survive him, probably because ofthe extreme youth of his successor, was renewed in consequence of the Court of Justice and the parliaments refusing to reassemble for the despatch of theirpublic duties. It was that all petitions, either requesting favors or complaining of wrongs or abuses, shouldbe made personally to the king. This was burden some, indeed, to one who, besides his natural indolence, was increasingly subject to attacks of profound melancholy, from which neither his favorite courtiersnor the utmost efforts of Madame de Pompadour couldrouse him. During her absence, tender- hearted ladiesgreatly availed themselves of the revived custom , to412 THE OLD RÉGIME.appear before the king as suppliants for unfortunatepersons whose wrongs they were desirous of bringingunder his notice.Many an ambitious husband , also, put forward hiswife to plead for place or promotion; believing thather beauty would prevail, while merits or claims ofhis own would be disregarded. His majesty was " mortally weary" of the persistency of the fair petitioners who sought to inspire him with an interest inthe objects of their real or feigned solicitude, while seeking admiration for themselves. He was fast into a state of despondency and gloomy devotion,when these court intrigues, whose aim was to dethroneher, recalled Madame de Pompadour to Choisy. Thecount and the abbe, meanwhile, betook themselves to the Luxembourg, to the apartments occupied by Du clos—historian of France-to prepare there, unmolested, the plan of alliance for presentation to theking in council. It was signed on the ist of May,1756.The Abbe de Bernis, who had been admitted to take part in the discussion and preparation of this treaty of alliance, was then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, andhad represented France at the courts of Vienna andMadrid. His rise in the world had been rapid, andhad astonished no one, probably, more than himself.Fortune had turned her back on him while he wasmodest in his aspirations, and had coveted only smallfavors. But when he made up his mind for a higherflight, the fickle goddess faced round, gave him her hand, and at a bound he attained wealth and fame.He was the son of a country gentleman, and was bornat St. Marcel d'Ardichel. His father had ruined himself by obstinate litigation concerning the right to aBABET, THE FLOWER GIRL. 413valueless portion of ground. De Bernis was one of those abbes “ sans fonction " who owed their positionto the abuses that sprang up in the Church at the timeof the regency.The younger sons of gentlemen, with little or nofortune or fixed means of subsistence, received thetonsure, put on the dress of an abbe, and at onceformed part of the ecclesiastical body. Many suchabbes figured in the salons, frequented the most libertine circles, and , generally, led dissipated lives whilewaiting for fortune to throw in their way an eligible sinecure - an abbacy, or priory, that did not necessitate residence. These were at the disposal of theking, who would often bestow one at the solicitationof some beauty to whom a gay abbe of the salonsmay have been paying his court. In an instance givenby M. Bungener of the prattle of the fashionable salons,there occurs the following:" Ah! my dear Abbe! good- evening. Is your abbacya good one?"“ Tolerably good , madame. "“ Six or seven livres' income, perhaps? ”“ About ten or twelve, madame. The Abbe de SaintMaur has an abbacy too . "“ Indeed! He is a rabid encyclopædist.”“ What does that prove?"“ That he has plenty of brains, certainly; and thatabbacy had better support a man of genius than afool.”And so thought Madame de Pompadour, for it wasto her that De Bernis owed his rapid rise from a poorrhyming abbe sans fonction to a full - fledged cardinaland royal academician. She is said never to havebeen able entirely to suppress laughter when she saw414 THE OLD RÉGIME.the little fat abbe of former times in the scarlet stockings and hat, robes and laces, of his Eminence, withtwelve tall lackeys, in scarlet liveries , following withsolemn faces this bundle of ecclesiastical frippery.In his sans fonction days he had been generally knownby the sobriquet of “ Babet the flower-girl," from theresemblance of his round, fat, pink-and- white face to that of the little rotund flower - girl who sold flowers at the garden gate of the Capucine convent. Voltairelaughed at hin, and gave him the name of Margot.But the abbe was a clever man; and his stanzas andmadrigals were better than many of Voltaire's, andthan most of the large crop of poetic bagatelles thatthrove so abundantly in those times.De Bernis' first meeting with Madame de Pompadour was when, a young girl of seventeen , she was invited, with her mother, to a ball in celebration of the marriage of a school companion with M. de Mar chais. The abbe seems to have paid her those flirtingattentions and compliments that were generally ex pected from these drawing- room priestlings, andwhich were rendered in exchange for dinners and suppers that would have puzzled most of them to pay for at a restaurant. Very ceremoniously he beggedof Madame Poisson to allow him to make use of herfan a few moments. Babet had probably fatiguedand heated himself overmuch in the dance. Whenthe fan was returned, it was discovered that he had written upon it a very gallant and witty impromptu.What more could be required to gain the firm friend ship of both mother and daughter?-of course he obtained it .Had Babet been that day to consult the old fortuneteller? It was one of that class, who throve on theA PERTINENT QUOTATION. 415credulity of superstitious atheism , then so prevalent inParis, that had foretold him of a great and sudden elevation in the world . Yet he could scarcely hopethat it would come from the quarter whither he had been drawn by youth, beauty, and talent to offer his rhymed compliments. He had rather been led towoo fortune's favors at the hands of M. de La Motte, -Bishop of Amiens. But M. de La Motte, though not .a rigid prelate, was little inclined to bestow his bene.fices on the rose- water abbes of the salons. Yet hegave young De Bernis à polite and smiling reception;chatting gayly with him on the news of the day. Notless gayly did he reply, when his visitor confided tohim that he would be glad to be appointed to anysmall benefice in his diocese which the bishop mightthen havé vacant.“ Quand on sait aimer et plaire,Qu'a -t-on besoin d'autre bien?" *said the bishop, quoting the refrain of one of theabbe's most popular ditties.Soon after his first introduction to Mdlle. Poisson,l'Abbé de Bernis was reciting odes and singing chansonnettes, composed for the occasion, at the marriage festivities of M. and Madame Le Normandd'Étioles. Three or four years passed by. The abbe, who during that interval had been M. d'Étioles' constant guest, then paid his court at the toilet of theMarquise de Pompadour, and of course was not sparing of his songs and madrigals. And very gra ciously the abbe was received; for, as Marmontel says,

  • When one knows how to love and to please, what more can he

want?t416THE OLD RÉGIME.“ simple bourgeoise, she remained in her elevation thekindest woman in the world . "But notwithstanding the liberality of her patronageand readily accorded protection to aspirants for literary and artistic fame, none of the poems or other works so numerously dedicated to her achieved the lasting fame of the fascinating work written by the Abbe Barthélemy to please the Duchesse de Choiseul--" Le Voyage du Jeune Anacharsis en Grèce." Whatare Marmontel's “ Contes Moraux," and the wholemass of stanzas and madrigals of the Abbé de Bernis,compared with the charming offering that Barthélemy laid at the feet of his patroness?Madame de Choiseul was a pretty little woman,exceedingly fond of flattery. A clever woman, ofcourse . What woman of distinction was not in thosedays? Her salon was decidedly philosophical, andboth she and her husband were favorites in the societyof the free- thinkers of the De Conti and De Boufflersschool. The duke being high in the favor and con fidence of Madame de Pompadour, and possessingalso the secret of making himself agreeable to theking, what favors might not be obtained by means ofthat adulation that was so acceptable to the duchess?The savants and literary men who frequented her salons were never weary of chanting pæans in honor of the little divinity, whose sunny smiles and good graces they so earnestly coveted.Her fantastically dressed negro dwarf; her mischievous marmoset; her King Charles spaniel; her rose- ringed parroquet, and other pets of her boudoir,had each and all found poets to sing their praises andextol their beauty. “ The little white feet ” of thefair duchess herself had inspired odes innumerable.THE ABBE BARTHÉLEMY. 417But the choicest offering hitherto laid at those littlewhite feet was the historical tale she had commandedthe abbe to write, and which he read to his duchess.He read, it would seem , as well as he wrote. Hisstyle, so lucid, so eloquent, with a tournure de phrasethat charms and fascinates, pleased her so well thatshe would have his book read to her a second time;and declared that it would gratify her to listen to it athird.Yet Barthélemy was less fortunate than De Bernis.The latter, with only his songs and madrigals, waselected to an academic arm-chair before he had attained his fortieth year. The Abbe Barthélemy waited for that honor until old age. The difference mayhave been owing to favor in one instance, while inthe other there was only modest merit to claim thedistinction.But Louis XV. did not share Madame de Pompadour's predilection for the little rotund poetaster of anabbe. “ He is a fop," said his majesty; " an ill - mannered priest.” But his promotion was rapid when it did come; though he waited some years for his first step of importance. For we learn from Marmontel, whohad presented his homage to the reigning favorite inthe form of a complimentary ode on the occasion of the foundation of the École Militaire, that the marquise, being interested in his poem, gave him permission to visit her with the Abbe de Bernis. This couldnot have been earlier than 1751 or 1752. Duclos andthe abbe, he says, were then accustomed to attend every Sunday at her toilet, and he at this time accompanied them, and was introduced by De Bernis, as the marquise had directed.The abbe had then secured aa sinecure, at Boulogne418THE OLD RÉGIME.sur- Mer; and his ambitious hopes would have been fully attained had the pension of fifty louis d'or he then so earnestly sought been granted him .Marmontel . His own aspirations, he writes, werebounded by a desire for some post in the governmentthat would usefully occupy him in the public service,and make him less dependent on public caprice. The public were not generally enthusiastic in their reception of Marmontel's plays. “ Denis, le Tyran" wasone of the most successful; but their short- livedhonors were more frequently due to the actors thanto the author. Marmontel, himself, was then fullypersuaded that he could never achieve a high repu tation in dramatic writing. Not, however, from anydisparagement of his own abilities, but because hebelieved that all the great subjects of history; all thegreat interests of the human mind; violent passions,tender emotions, tragic situations; every source ofterror, compassion, hatred, love, had been so thoroughly exhausted by the great masters of dramaticart who had lived and written before him, that nothingremained for the writers of his time to exercise their talents upon.Madame de Pompadour, to whom he imparted hisideas on this subject, by no means agreed with him .She advised his continuance in a literary career as theone for which he was best suited, and recommendedhim to follow the example of Voltaire, who replied to the rebuffs of fortune by the production of fresh master- pieces. He received her advice as a command,and began forthwith to torture his brain for the subject of a new play. Nothing better occurred to himthan the dismal one of “ Les Funérailles de Sésostris,"upon which he immediately set to work. When finaTHE SHADOW OF FAVOR.1419ished, he submitted it to his patroness. Having glanced through the MS. , and marked certain pas sages she thought susceptible of improvement, she returned it to him with a few verbal remarks in anundertone, when next he attended her toilet. The impression produced by this incident on all who were present— " marquises, dukes, countesses, princes of the blood" -was instantly manifest in the change of their manner towards the favorite's protégé.Marmontel was astounded. “ Friendly salutations,"he says, “ on all sides; sweet smiles of friendship; andbefore I left the room, I was invited to dinner for afortnight at least." Poor philosopher! He made hisescape as soon as possible, bowing his thanks allround, covered with confusion , as he says, and men tally ejaculating: " Ah! what must favor itself be, ifthe mere shadow of it falling upon me raises me immediately to such immense importance!" But thisshadow of favor did not extend to “ Les Funéraillesde Sésostris,” though it was sent to the Théâtre Français with a letter of recommendation, and an urgentrequest to produce it with every care, and as soon aspossible. But the public voice could not be enlistedin its favor. After its first representation, Marmontelwrote to his patroness that the public, instead of beingdeeply affected , as he had hoped , at " Les Funéraillesde Sésostris," had been moved only to laughter. “ Ihad taken the liberty of boring the public, and thepublic took the liberty of hissing me."

  • Poor young man!" said the king, to whom the let

ter was read . “ The failure of his play must be aspainful to him as the loss of a battle would be to me.Is there no nieans at hand of consoling him, no ac ceptable place vacant to offer?" The place of Secre420 THE OLD RÉGIME.He wastary of Buildings, in De Marigny's department, was ascertained to be vacant; and , at the king's request,the crestfallen dramatist was appointed to it . ThusMarmontel was consoled, and to his great satisfaction;while hoping for something still better.By degrees De Bernis also contrived to insinuate himself into the good graces of the king.concerned in the so- called secret diplomacy with which the indolent and vicious Louis XV. amused himselfplaying, as it were, a sort of hidden political game of chess against Madame de Pompadour and his minis ters; others making the moves, the king directing;but always allowing his agents and himself to becheckmated. The Comte de Broglie was one of Louis'principal instruments in the carrying on of this inane game of diplomacy. In the course of the Seven Years'War he contrived to do France considerable harm , bythe undue confidence he placed in the aimless views of the king, as well as in overrating the importance of his mission, and imparting the same view of it to his brother, the maréchal.The Comte de Broglie was of small stature andslight figure, with that consequential air peculiar to many of the diminutive specimens of humanity. He was a choleric little personage also. The facility with which he could be put into a passion-Bezenval says -greatly amused women, who took much delight in tormenting him. By his own sex, we learn from thesame authority, the little count was but slightingly regarded. The Maréchal de Broglie was cast in arougher mould. He was not of too pleasant a tem per, and his manners were more suited to the camp than the salon; where he was accustomed to let theworld know how good an opinion he had of himself.FROZEN OUT OF VERSAILLES. 421As a general, the reputation of De Broglie was excellent. Unfortunately, however, his jealousy wouldnot allow him to co- operate cordially with the Princede Soubise, who held the more responsible command,and the result was disastrous to France. The marshalsought an interview with the king, for the purpose ofexplaining and justifying his conduct. But Louisreceived him in so icy a manner that the rough sol dier, though he had in his time faced undauntedly agood deal of bad weather, was fairly frozen out of Versailles by the glacial chillness of its atmosphere. He had the folly to trouble his gracioris majesty with along memorial. The reply was an order to him andhis coxcombical little brother to betake themselves totheir estates.It was an arbitrary proceeding on one side; and avery disagreeable one to submit to on the other. Forwhen the château and family domain were far distantfrom the gay world of Paris, an order to reside there was almost like banishment to a living tomb. But itwas the king's favorite way of showing his displeasure; in short, it was the fashion, and every one had to submit.CHAPTER XXXIX.-Surrender of Port Mahon. --The Warrior's Welcome. - The Macedonian Phalanx -Richelieu's Intrigues . — Le Maréchal d'Es trées –L'Abbé de Bernis' Suggestion . - A Sad Catastrophe.The King's Reply to the Dauphin. -A Perplexing Position.The Prisoner of Dourlens.- “ Nous avons Deux Généraux ."Discontent of the People. -Royal Economy - Le Jeu du Roi.-A Startling Event. -François Damiens. -In Distress for aShirt. -Confessed and Absolved. --Damiens' Letter to LouisXV . - The Force of Habit. - Execution of Damiens.-EUROPE was actually at peace, though everywherepreparations were diligently making for war . Madamede Pompadour was at one of her country- seats, nursingher health; which at times was much affected by thepestilent vapors of the stagnant waters of Versailles,and the general unhealthiness of that royal dwelling.The old libertine Duc de Richelieu, taking advantage of her temporary absence, was sighing at thefeet of Madame de Lauraguais; with the view of obtaining, through a certain influence she still had withthe king, as the sister of Madame de Chateauroux,the command of the troops on the southern coast ofFrance.À fleet of eleven ships of the line had been hastilyfitted out, and had already sailed, under the commandof Admiral de La Gallissonnière, for the Mediterranean.Falling in there with the squadron commanded by the unfortunate Admiral Byng, which was carrying supTHE WARRIOR'S WELCOME. 423plies to the garrison of Fort Philip, at Minorca, the French fleet beat of the English and compelled theadmiral to retreat, with some damage to his ships, toGibraltar. At this juncture arrived the duke, to as sume the command his chère amie had procured for him-his lucky stars always bringing him on the sceneto reap where others had sown. At once the admiralembarked the maréchal and his troops, to attempt theassault of Port Mahon. The garrison being withoutprovisions or hope of receiving any, the prospect ofstarvation induced the lieutenant-general in commandto capitulate. Thus the strongest place in Europe,after Gibraltar, fell before the gaze, as it were, of acarpet warrior - un homme à bonnes fortunes.The English shot their admiral. The French overlooked the valor of the naval commander to whomByng had yielded , and the ladies of the court vauntedthe prowess and sang the praises of the great generalto whom Port Mahon had surrendered. Soon, verysoon, he was on his way to the capital. What honorsand substantial rewards did he fancy awaited him , as,with the triumphant air of a victor, crowned with fresh laurels and laden with the spoils of war, hecended the grand staircase of Versailles, and unex.pectedly encountered the king!“ Ah! M. de Richelieu ," said his majesty, “ you aresoon back again. How did you find the figs of Minorca?"“ Sire," replied the gallant duke, somewhat crestfallen, “ I found them extremely sweet, but your ma jesty has changed their sweetness to bitterness . "As Richelieu was a favorite of Louis XV. , beinferred from this reception that he thought less highlyof his brilliant achievement than did the maréchal'sas.66it may424 THE OLD RÉGIME..numerous fair friends. They indeed exclaimed loudlyagainst the “ harshness,” not to say “ brutality," with which the king had welcomed back their hero from thewars. During his absence war had been proclaimed,and he had set his heart on taking the chief commandof the 60,000 men destined to march on Hanover.This army was then being exercised in manœuvres founded, it was said , on those of the famous invincibleMacedonian phalanx, and which had been recommended to the notice of the king by the Comte deSaint- Germain.But the tactics of Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great were ill - received by both subaltern of ficers and men, on whom the worry of them fell. Invain the count strove to inspire the troops with enthusiasm for his system, by relating how fields were won with their glorious phalanx by those heroes ofthe B.C. period, and their destruction of the Persianhosts of Darius. It was voted a ruse of the count'sto introduce the Prussian drill. The army would nothave it. There was now no Maurice de Saxe, with hiscompany of comedians and band of fiddlers, to lead onthe troops to victory. That great soldier—" great only, " as Anquetil says, “ at the head of his men ” .died in 1750, his constitution worn out, as much by intemperance as by the fatigues of the camp.Madame de Pompadour, like Madame de Maintenon at the height of her power, nominated to the chiefcommands in the army as well as to all high offices of State. She did not, however, follow the example ofher predecessor, and make military promotion dependent on the more or less frequent attendance at massand confession. In the present instance her choice was judicious. It fell on Maréchal d'Estrées, who had-RICHELIEU'S INTRIGUES. 425received his military training under the Comte de Saxe. Second in command were the young Duc d'Or leans and the Maréchals de Broglie and Maillebois.The hero of Port Mahon was much disappointed .Intrigues were immediately set on foot to displace d'Estrées-through the agency of women, of course,and their chèrs amis in the army, but under the di rection of Richelieu himself, still the general cher amiof the belles of the court and the salons, in spite of his sixty years, all told, and the yearly increasing redness of his nose.Le Maréchal d'Estrées appears to have been a morecautious general than the dashing military genius un der whom he had learnt the art of war. Or from difference of mental characteristics, he did not so readilyseize all the bearings of his own and his opponent's position, and, calculating the chances in his favor, at once make a rush for victory. When Maréchal de Saxe failed to achieve this, he usually maneuvred tosustain his military reputation by an able retreat. And he did not leave this to chance. He had a singularly clearforesight of the probable ups and downs of fortune in the course of a campaign, and while taking steps to secure victory did not neglect to provide against ignoble defeat.Report after report arrived indirectly from the seatof war, complaining of the dilatoriness of the commander- in - chief, and the restraint it imposed on theardor of the troops. Insidiously this was whisperedabout by the women of the court who were devotedpartisans of the duke; and always with the “ Pray,don't mention it , " so customary with the beau sexe when desirous of an unfavorable story being rapidlyand widely circulated. Jealous officers, and especially426THE OLD RÉGIME.the Comte de Maillebois, wrote several despatches indisparagement of Maréchal d'Estrées. It would seemthat the military disasters of France have, in mostcases, proceeded from the jealousy of general officers.The French troops, so brave and intrepid, so brilliantand ardent in attack, have not often been led by menwho could forget their own petty private interestsand act in concert for the benefit and glory of theircountry.It was suggested by the Abbe de Bernis that theking should take the field , to revive the ardor of the supposed dispirited troops. But Louis XV. , at theage of forty- six or forty- seven, with his ever-increas ing gloominess of mind, was but little inclined toundertake the harassing expedition which the gayLothario of sixty was intriguing in all directions tobe charged with. De Bernis lost favor by this suggestion. The dauphin also was desirous of being sentto the army. But it is one of the misfortunes of anheir- apparent to be doomed to idleness and uselessness.Besides, Louis XV. really disliked his heir. The Well beloved attributed his son's wish to join the armies toan anxiety to win popularity with the troops; to supplant him, in fact, in the affections of the people.The dauphin at this period had, indeed, need ofsome distraction. He was suffering from deep de spondency and remorse, occasioned by a sad catastrophe of which he had inadvertently been the cause.Returning from hunting one day with the king at Compiègne (a diversion he enjoyed so little that he was usually very absent- minded while engaged in it ) ,he was suddenly roused from a contemplative mood by a great agitation and crashing of breakingbranches among the trees on the borders of the forTHE KING'S REPLY TO THE DAUPHIN . 427est. Fancying that one of the animals which hadescaped during the hunt had taken refuge there, heinstantly fired. AA cry of anguish, and the exclamation,“ Ah! I am killed! " thrilled the prince with horror.He alighted, and made his way through the coppice tothe spot whence the sound proceeded; where, to his overwhelming grief, he found the Comte de Cham bord lying on the ground, writhing in agony, andbathed in blood. He had ridden across the forest tojoin the dauphin on his ' return home; and, to avoid along round, was pressing through the underwood,when the prince fired, the rifle -ball entering his breast.All efforts to save him were fruitless; the attemptsto extract the ball only adding to his sufferings. Onthe second day after the accident he died, the dau phin having remained with him to the end. He tookthe count's family under his protection, and, contraryto all usage and etiquette—which occasioned a great commotion in the court-became sponsor to the count's new- born child; whose premature birth had nearly proved fatal to the Countess de Chambord, on hearing of the melancholy fate of her husband. Thethoughtless society of the court was accustomed ,jestingly, to say that the prince might be brought toabsent himself from Sunday's mass, and thus riskbeing put on a diet of bread and water for a twelve month by his Jesuit confessor, if a member of the Chambord family were to make the request. Theusual reply to this was, “ Not to save France would he forego a mass, were the country in flames at herfour corners. ”To his letter requesting to be allowed to visit the armies, the king replied, “ Your letter, my son, hasaffected me to tears. I am proud to recognize that428THE OLD RÉ inherit the sentiments of our fathers; but I cannot let you leave me yet.” If the dauphin was also moved to tears by this affecting answer to his request,they must have been tears of bitterness for the bondage he was held in .Intrigues at Versailles, treason in the camp, and the united supplications of Mesdames de Lauraguais,Flavacourt, and Luxembourg, at last prevailed withthe king, in the absence of Madame de Pompadour who was opposed to the pretensions of Richelieu-tosend the duke to the army to supersede Marshald'Estrées. He arrived while all was enthusiasm forthe victory of Hastembeck, which the Comte deMaillebois, by false intelligence and intentional delays in favor of the enemy, had hoped would provea defeat. But the able generalship of his commander in-chief had converted his expected disgrace into atriumph, and the troops received their new mander with marked displeasure. However, d'Estrées left the army and returned to Paris, whileRichelieu overran and devastated Hanover - demoralizing the soldiery by the license he permitted, and everywhere levying such heavy contributions that hewas enabled, by this shameful plundering, to repairhis ruined fortunes.To have summoned a victorious general from his command to give an account of the unsatisfactory discharge of his duties placed the king in a ratherperplexing and annoying position. The matter wouldhave been passed over silently and unnoticed, but the maréchal demanded a hearing. Of course he wasexonerated from all blame. But Richelieu and thetreacherous Maréchal de Maillebois and his accomplices were shielded from merited disgrace and obloquy by powerful influence and considerations ofcomTWO VALIANT GENERALS. 429family and a great name. All proceedings againstMaillebois were, therefore, suppressed. But, forform's sake, he was invited to make himself a pris oner for a few days at the Château de Dourlens, in the neighborhood of which , having left his command, he then happened to be; new employments and hon ors awaiting his return to the court.It was time that this tottering old régime shouldcome to the ground. Louis XV. knew that already itwas doomed. But he comforted himself with the consciousness that it would last his time; that he wouldnot be troubled to conform to any new order of things, though he exclaimed, more frequently than ever, " After us the deluge." If the people had thenlittle opportunity of speaking their opinions, they atall events contrived to make them known in song.If to know what they thought of the respectivemerits of Le Maréchal d'Estrées and Le Maréchal deRichelieu could have gratified the former, he mighthave heard it gayly sung or shouted in all the mostthronged streets and promenades of Paris, in the following lines:LA RESSEMBLANCE ET LA DIFFÉRENCE. *Nous avons deux généraux,Qui tous deux sont maréchaux;Voilà la ressemblance.L'un de Mars est le favori,Et l'autre l'est de Louis;Voilà la différence.

THE RESEMBLANCE AND THE DIFFERENCE .Two valiant generals have we,And each of them a marshal he;And this resemblance have they.The favorite of Mars is one,As Louis' pet the other's known;Here note the difference, I pray.430 THE OLD RÉGIME.Dans la guerre ils ont tous deux Fait divers exploits fameux;Voilà la ressemblance.A l'un Mahon s'est soumis,Par l'autre il eût été pris;Voilà la différence .Que pour eux dans les combatsLa gloire eut toujours d'appas;Voilà la ressemblance.L'un contre les ennemis,L'autre contre les maris;Voilà la différence .D'être utile à notre roiTous deux se font une loi;Voilà la ressemblance.A Cythère l'un le sert,Et l'autre sur le Weser;Voilà la différence.Famous for deeds they each have done,In various battles fought and won;And this resemblance have they.Port Mahon did to him surrender,When this one starved its last defender;Here note the difference, I pray.To these two heroes , dread alarms,And glory, have the sweetest charms;And this resemblance have they.One bravely fights his country's foes,The other's proud of husbands' woes;Here note the difference, I pray.To be of service to the king,By both is deemed the highest thing;And this resemblance have they.One serves Louis in Cythera,T'other on the banks of Weser;Here note the difference, I pray.DISCONTENT OF THE PEOPLE . 431Cumberland les craint tous deux ,Et cherche à s'éloigner d'eux;Voilà la ressemblance.De l'un il fuit la valeur,Il fuit l'autre l'odeur;Voilà la différence.Dans un beau champ de lauriersOn aperçoit ces guerriers,Voilà la ressemblance.L'un a su les entasser,L'autre veut les ramasser;Voilà la différence.But it was not alone in songs and epigrams thatthe people were content to express their disappro bation of particular acts of injustice, and the adminis tration of government generally. Widespread discontent existed; schism in the Church; discord in families. Menacing language, even when his “ sacredmajesty " was the subject of conversation, often met the ever- open ear of the everywhere present Lieu tenant of Police. Such was the agitation of feeling among the Parisians that, with a keen remembranceof the unceremonious treatment that M. Berryer hadEach fills poor Cumberland with dread,And far from each he hides his head;And this resemblance have they.He fears the stalwart blows of one,He longs the other's scents to shun;Here note the difference, I pray.Both these doughty warriors see,Reaching for the laurel tree;And this resemblance have they.Look, one has decked his brow with leaves ,The other empty-handed grieves;Here note the difference, I pray.432 TILE OLD RÉGIME.once received at the hands of the people—when the haughty and commanding bearing of his wife hadalone saved him from their violence-he scarcelyventured to divulge in high quarters, except to hispatroness, Madame de Pompadour, the disturbed stateof the public mind.To avert further displeasure at the increase of theimposts-necessitated by the expenses of the war the duchess suggested to the king the advisability ofsetting an example of economy to the court, by re ducing the expenditure of the royal household. Shehoped that the nobility, who contributed nothing to the support of the State, might at least be induced tomake the burden of taxation less onerous to the ten ants of their estates, by remitting something of their own exactions. She at once introduced the system on her own domains. Few, probably, followed her lead, or posterity would have heard more of the self sacrificing grandees. The king, at her request, con sented to put down several hunting equipages, at least during the campaign; and to utilize for that purpose a portion of the numerous stud kept up at each of the royal hunting- establishments.The frequent journeys he was accustomed to make to Compiègne, which he was rebuilding, to Fontainebleau, Choisy, and other places, in order to dispel hisennui by change of scene and residence, were, whilethe war lasted , to occur at longer intervals, and withless parade and diminished retinue. There were tobe no theatricals at Versailles, and the works then inprogress at the Louvre were to be indefinitely sus pended.If these plans had been rigidly carried out, it isprobable that the treasury would not have been more>A STARTLING EVENT. 433appreciably benefited than when, to supply the needsof the vainglorious despot, Louis XIV. , gold and silver, priceless in the form of works of art, andbelonging not to him, but to his subjects, were sent to the mint, and there converted into an insignificant sum in louis d'or, livres, and écus. But it suited neitherthe convenience nor the pleasure of Louis XV. to be restricted by the economical arrangements he had, ina moment of ennui, consented to.When there was no theatrical performance at Versailles there was the jeu du roi, at which he lost orwon a thousand or more louis d'or in an evening. Ifhe won, he put his winnings into his own private purse or hoard, for he did not readily take from it; ifhe lost, he reimbursed himself by an order on thetreasury - a draft in the king's own hand, to be paidat sight and no questions asked.But at this stirring period Louis XV. , sunk inslothful apathy, troubled himself scarcely at all eitherabout the progress of the war or the domestic condition of his kingdom. He may have derived some sort of languid amusement from the embarrassmenthis private diplomacy occasioned to secret agents and recognized ministers: diplomacy which would havemade both them and himself utterly ridiculous in theeyes of the European powers, had not the system of espionage, bribery of couriers, and tampering withletters, public and private, been as diligently andsystematically practised by other governments as byhis own, and the king's secret by these means beenbetrayed to every foreign court.A startling event, however, occurred at this time.On the 4th of January, 1757 , as the king was stepping into his carriage to return to Trianon, having been to.434 THE OLD RÉGIME.Versailles to see Madame Victoire, his third daughter , who was suffering from a slight indisposition, aman suddenly pressed forward and stabbed him inthe side. It was six o'clock in the evening; dark,except from the flickering, fitful light of torches.This may have been the reason that a shabbilydressed man, wrapped up in an old brown coat, and with his hat drawn over his eyes, was able, unperceived, to approach so near the entrance of the Salledes Gardes, where the royal carriage and the numerous attendants were waiting. So rapidly was thedeed done that it was unnoticed by the dauphin andthe Duc d'Ayen, who, with the gentlemen of his suiteand officers of the guard following, were attendingthe king to his carriage. He himself was not awarethat he was wounded, but exclaimed, “ Some onestruck me violently with his elbow . "The assassin, François Damiens, might, it would scem, have escaped, had he wished to elude detection.But motionless, and with an unconcerned air, hestood amongst the royal lackeys—the dauphin beingthe first to observe him. Highly indignant that " aastranger of that description ” should presume to ap proach the king, he called to him, in an angry tone,“ Don't you see the king?" At the same momentthe man's hat was knocked from his head by the bay.onet of one of the body- guards, and the principalequerry seized him by the collar of his coat and shookhim violently. Not the slightest resistance did hemake to this treatment, and not a word did he utter.It was then only that the king, having placed hishand on his side, discovered blood upon it. “ I amwounded,” he said; “ this man has stabbed me!Arrest him , but don't kill him .” The wound was aCONFESSED AND ABSOLVED. 435slight one, probably owing to the many wraps inwhich the king was muffled up, on account of theseverity of the weather. He was able without assistance to walk up the grand staircase . But what seems remarkable-as he resided habitually at Versailles-aFrench account of this event, by a contemporary,states “ there was no change of linen to be had for theking, or a valet de chambre to attend him, as he wasthen staying for a few days at . Trianon ." His ma jesty's stock of underclothing, one must therefore in fer, was but a small one, and rigid etiquette of course forbade the use of the dauphin's shirts, even in a caseof such emergency.However, Louis, who began to feel rather faint,was at last undressed. Priests and physicians soonafter arrived . The latter immediately bled him,though he had already lost much blood. Always greatly alarmed at the idea of death, he unceasinglydemanded his Jesuit confessor and the holy oils.The commotion in the palace reached the apartmentof the queen, who, being informed that the king wastaken ill , hastened to him. Madame, I have beenassassinated!” he replied several times to her anxious inquiries.. The penknife wound in his side had beendressed , and he had been placed in a bed “ without sheets ” ( surely the queen might have lent him apair) , and Doctor Lamartinière had pronounced that the wound was not deep, and his majesty's precious life in no danger.But neither king, queen, nor dauphin could be pacified until , in the course of the night, the Abbé deSolini had surrendered the king into the hands ofFather Desmarets, his usual confessor. The ceremonyof confession, absolution, and the holy oils lasted436THE OLD RÉGIME.aseveral hours; after which Louis XV. , with a clear conscience, went comfortably to sleep-an ecclesiasticseated on either side of the bed, and inside the cur tains; the dauphin keeping watch at the foot.The next day, “ universal horror!” — the news had spread like wildfire. “ The king had been stabbed inthe heart, and report proclaimed that he was at thepoint of death . ” All the bells in Paris tolled a funeralknell ( very disturbing they were to Marmontel; who,in the garret his friend Clairon allowed him to use as a study, was writing a tragedy; and these dolefulbells reminded him unpleasantly of “ Les Funéraillesde Sésostris" ); prayers were commanded to be said in all the churches far and near for the space of fortyhours. The rebellious lawyers of the parliament repented of their opposition to the decrees of Le bienaimé, and prayed their president to hasten to Versailles, to lay at the feet of their sovereign their homage and duty, and expressions of heart- felt sympathy.Damiens, over whom it had been thought necessaryto place a guard of sixty soldiers, wrote to the king:“ Sire, I am sorry that I was so unfortunate as togain access to you; but if you do not take your people's part, before many years you, and the dauphin,and many others will perish.."This letter added to the fears of the king, and servedwell the purposes of both Jesuit priests and the in triguers of both sexes' at court. A repetition of thescene at Metz, with Pompadour for Chateauroux, wasfully expected. Comte d'Argenson had the folly prematurely to rejoice in his long-looked - for triumph.But though Louis would give no positive order forMadame de Pompadour's retirement from the court,he allowed it to be intimated to her that she would doTIIE FORCE OF HABIT . 437well to retire and avoid the mortification of being dismissed. For as the soreness of his healing woundmore or less troubled him, so did he balance between resisting or yielding to the advice of those about him.The minister who undertook to intimate to her thisdisgrace was the man who owed his position to her favor and influence, M. Machault. And he appears tohave executed his commission so offensively that itwas replied to much in the same strain as the Père deSacy's letter. “ Madame de Pompadour received no orders from those who were accustomed to obey her. "“ A lackey,” she said, “ would be turned out of thehouse with more consideration ."M. Machault was himself destined to be turned outof the house. The king had kept his bed fifteen days,with little occasion to keep it more than fifteen hours.Beginning to be tired of this, he arose and, from forceof habit, went, for distraction , to the apartments of Madame de Pompadour. Before he left, there were on their way to the ministers, Machault and d'Argenson, two private notes, which ran thus:“ I no longer require your services; I command youto send me your resignation as secretary of state, ofwar, etc. , etc.“ You will retire to your estates.( Signed) “ Louis. "The wretched Damiens, after near three months'imprisonment, was executed with barbarities that makethe blood run cold to read of them; the worthless,contemptible Louis XV. having neither the magnanimity to pardon the man nor the clemency to orderany mitigation of the horrid tortures inflicted uponhim, which an executioner, in full court dress, stood438 THE OLD RÉ to witness, and to ensure their being unsparinglyheaped on the unfortunate creature.The city of Amiens presented a petition, at the instance of M. Gresset, the author of “ Vert Vert,” tobe allowed to change its name to Louisville; but the Bishop of Amiens had the good sense to interfere, and the good people of Amiens were not gratified in their wish to perpetuate the remembrance of their ful.some folly.CHAPTER XL.Voltaire, en Grand Seigneur. - Voltaire at Ferney .- Pretty Madame du Bocage. - A Pilgrimage to Ferney . - Death of “ Cher Fontenelle . " — Walpole and Madame du Deffant.— “ L'Orphé.lin de la Chine. " - " L'Orphélin " and the Jesuits. -War àOutrance. - " De l’Esprit” of Helvetius.— Jesuits and Jansenists . -A Grand Auto-da- Fé. -Philosophism and Loyalty. -A Sojourn in the Bastille. — “ He is a Strange Man. " — Philos.opher and Critic.It was hinted to Louis XV. that Voltaire wouldlike to return to Paris. He replied curtly, “ Let himstay where he is.” The poet was then at the Châteaude Prangin, in the Canton de Vaud, elaborating, at the suggestion of his friend d'Argental, his play of “ L'Orphélin de la Chine," from three acts, in which it was first written, to five. Voltaire had discovered,from unpleasant experience, that the favors of theroyal philosopher of Potsdam were more than coun terbalanced by the mortifications that invariably followed them. The honors and dignities with which he had been invested he had been glad to resign , andwith his niece and his secretary, after some skirmishes in doggerel verse, he had made an ignominious retreat from the Prussian territory-eventually taking up his quarters in Switzerland .Through fortunate commercial and monetary specu lations, the competency he had inherited from his father had grown into an ample fortune. His writ440 THE OLD RÉGIME.onings had brought him fame rather than added to hisincome, and he was able to live en grand seigneur, first at “ Les Delices,” an estate distant a league from Geneva, and afterwards at Ferney, which was French territory, without being at all dependent on the success of his literary labors. He would havebeen glad to have the title of count, which he some times assumed, confirmed to him-deriving it fromthe château and small domain of Tournay, situated between Ferney and Geneva, and bought from the president of the parliament of Dijon.The disfavor of the court, which had become a veryhostile feeling, would have passed away probably during his absence, but for the surreptitious publicationat Geneva, from a falsified manuscript, of a work never intended, as sometimes asserted, to appear inprint. Madame de Pompadour, who appears to have been greatly maligned in this work , had sent him butrecently, as a mark of her esteem and friendship, herportrait, painted by her own hand. On reading the passages in the work referred to, Voltaire felt that afriend at court was lost to him. “ I am lost!” he ex.claimed, as he fretted and fumed , and stamped andraged; for, with all his philosophy, he bore with but little equanimity the minor ills of life.But though absent from the gay and busy capital,Voltaire kept up an active correspondence with greatmen, M.M. the philosophers. Marmontel and Chabanon were especially his protégés and disciples, andto them and his pupil, La Harpe (who as a boy often, when left destitute, had sought the protection ofVoltaire, on whom he was now dependent at Ferney),he looked to carry on his work, perpetuate his doctrines, keep alive his fame, and defend his memory.PRETTY MADAME DU BOCAGE. 441To D'Alembert and Diderot he forwarded his contri.butions to the Encyclopædia; to the Théâtre Français,his new plays-Lekain, for whom the principal rôleswere then written, going over to Ferney, where Voltaire had built a handsome theatre, to receive his in structions and suggestions, and to rehearse his part with him. Numerous short, satirical works, which amodern French writer has called “ feuilletons of thehighest order , " were produced at this time, at shortintervals.Several of the earlier members of the philosophicbrotherhood had died within the last few years — Hénault, the historian and bon vivant; the President, Mon tesquieu; the aged Fontenelle, almost to the last to bemet with in the salons; for he went the round of them,giving an evening to each in its turn, and in all ofthem the centenarian philosopher was received withopen arms. In his latter years he took especial interest in Madame du Bocage, and usually spent an hour or two in the afternoon with her. She was in voguejust then as a poetess, and used to read her pretty little namby- pamby sonnets to the aged savant. If,being exceedingly deaf, he heard not a word of them,he knew that his loss was not great; he could still nod and smile his approval, and pat the little vain girlish widow of forty-two softly on the cheek; very softly,not to damage its delicate pink rouge bloom.Madame du Bocage had written a tragedy, “ LesAmazons." It never attained to the honor of a representation, but it found favor with d'Alembert andDiderot, “ the dispensers of fame." It is said to havecontained some rather bold figures of speech, ad vanced opinions such as may have been looked forfrom amazons, or a female philosopher. Henceforth442 THE OLD RÉGIME.Madame du Bocage was saluted as the tenth muse.Her fame spread, and she actually carried off theRouen Academy's prize for poetry . “ Arrayed as amuse,” we are told, like a carnival goddess, pretty Ma:dame du Bocage set out on the fashionable pilgrimageto the Temple of Ferney, to do homage to “ le dieu Voltaire." An ovation awaited her. As soon as she wasseated, down on his knees went the gallant philoso pher ( he now used a cushion for that purpose, hisknees beginning to feel the effects of continual suddencontact with the floor ). Holding up before her a laurel wreath, “ Madame, ” he said, “ your coiffure lacksbut one ornament; permit me to offer the only one worthy of you .” The goddess bowed her head, andthe god laid his offering on her fair brow .She extended her travels as far as Italy, and herfame preceded her. Sonnets innumerable were laid ather feet, and she was compared to all the stars in thefirmament of heaven. Flattering letters from Voltaire followed her. The little woman's head was completely turned. When she got back to Paris, he wasshocked by the news that “ that dear Fontenelle ” was dead. “ Really! what a pity, poor dear Fontenelle!"He wanted a month and two days of completing hishundred years; and he might have eked out even alonger term, but the war disturbed him, because, as he said, it put an end to pleasant conversation. He disliked to see people around him in a state of excitement, carried away by feeling, and apparently in heated discussion. It disturbed the serene atmosphereof his own tranquil mind. In spite, therefore, of the anxious care of his lady-friends, Fontenelle succumbed to this distracting state of things, and died.Whether deserved or not, he had the reputation ofWALPOLE AND MADAME DU DEFFAND. 443being simply an egoist-never (so said his oldestfriends and admirers) having experienced , in the wholeof his long life, a single emotion either of friendshipor love. “ It is not a heart you have there," saidMadame du Deffant to Fontenelle, pointing to hisleft side, “ but a second brain." She, however, hadbut little reason to reprove his egoism , her own affections being no less self- centred, except in the tender ness she sometimes displayed towards an old blackcat; and, in her old age, a sort of senile fondness for Walpole. Self- interest still was the predominatingfeeling, even in her tender correspondence with him;as she sold his carefully preserved letters for three hundred pounds. Fontenelle did not write letters.He found himself sufficiently interesting to be welltaken care of by the ladies, without the trouble of taking up his pen in their service. Now and then, thosewho made him most comfortable he rewarded witha neatly turned compliment, slyly whispered in theear. Only Madame Geoffrin , as we have said, madedemands on his purse; and, at her bidding, he openedit for charitable purposes to the extent she requested.It was the same with his philosophism; he gave hissanction freely to the new doctrines. He had been accused of atheism; but in his green old age he contributed towards the “ regeneration of humanity "nothing more than a little occasional good - humoredridicule and raillery — and that less for the edificationof his brethren, the philosophers, than for the amusement of the ladies who gathered around him, and whowould say at such times, as laughingly they pattedhis hands, “ Ah! the dear Fontenelle, he is maliciousto - night. ” When, at last, his accustomed arm - chairin the snug corner reserved for him was occupied no444 THE OLD RÉGIME.4more, his loss was lamented for the space of a whole evening, and his praises were warmly sung by thebeauties of all the salons of Paris. In literature andscience he held a very high place. Voltaire says," Hemay be regarded as the most comprehensive geniusthat the age of Louis XIV. has produced.” He mighthave added the age of Louis XV. also.Voltaire's play, before mentioned, of " L'Orphélin de la Chine," had been produced in 1755, at theThéâtre Français. It was the first play in which all the actors wore the proper costume of the characters represented . Though Lekain and Mdlle. Clairon hadbegun and continued this reform, there were actorsand actresses who, because of the expense of a new and greatly varied wardrobe, could only follow theirexample by slow degrees. Besides, some actresseswere fond of displaying whatever diamonds and otherjewels they possessed, no matter what character theywere playing. Some actors, too, liked to fancy themselves for a brief space veritable talons rouges ( Adamwas once represented, wearing that distinguished chaussure of the nobility, and with silk stockings, dia mond knee buckles, lace cravat, ruffles, sword, etc. ).“ L'Orphélin" was successful, despite Fréron's malignant criticism; uniformity and propriety of costume being no doubt in its favor.Two years after, the king having become timid,suspicious, and more desponding since the attack on him by Damiens, and Madame de Pompadour's task more arduous than before, it was proposed that the actors of the Théâtre Français should, for his amusement, play at Versailles " L'Orphélin de la Chine."The dauphin and the Jesuits were opposed to it, and,as usual, poor Marie Leczinska was put forward as a1WAR À OUTRANCE. 445>suppliant, praying that the king would not set his sub jects so bad an example as to sanction a play so pro fane. There were passages in it , she said, unfavorable to religion and to his own royal authority. Louisconsoled her with the assurance that he would thenand ever protect the religion of the State; and M. de Saint- Florentin waited upon her with a copy of theplay, authorized to strike out all that the queen ob jected to. She acknowledged that she had not read aline of it, but implored him to suppress the equivocalpassages which she understood it contained. HerPolish confessor - for she would always confess in the Polish language - not having been present at this interview, the queen, by his orders, was the next morning again on her knees before the king. Againhe raised his suppliant wife and embraced her with apparent affection, and she went her way consoled.But on the following evening “ L'Orphélin de la Chine ” was performed, and met with great approval.Some omissions had probably been made; while the costumes giving greater vividness to the scene, this novelty in some degree prevented a too strict atten tion being paid, by otherwise watchful ears, to the sarcasm slightly lurking in the utterances of some of the characters.But if. Voltaire's play escaped suppression, an op portunity soon offered of attacking the prevailing philosophism under another form. The dauphin, for bidden the display of his military prowess in combat ing the philosophic king of Prussia, resolved to wage war à outrance against the sect whose doctrines hadnot only invaded the salons, but were rapidly infest ing all classes of society.The elder Helvetius had been dead some two or446 THE OLD RÉGIME.three years when, in 1758, his son presented copies of his work, “ De l’Esprit,” to the king, queen, and dauphin, to Madame de Pompadour and other per sons of the court. It had been printed at the Louvre,“ with the approval and permission of the king.” M.Tercier was then censor. He had not troubled himself to examine the work, but took for granted that itwas a mere harmless jeu d'esprit. The presentation copies were very graciously received by the royalfamily; but to the dauphin alone, probably, it occurredto read the book.Oh, horror! he turned to the title - page. Could he believe his eyes! “ By approbation and permission of the king "! “ I'm going to show the queen what finethings her steward publishes,” he exclaimed to theastonished dauphine, as, book in hand, he rushed out of the room and made for the queen's apartments.Great was her majesty's alarm; and while the dauphinhastened to the king to denounce Helvetius and his book, she sent for her confessor. Absolution wasneeded for her thoughtless acceptance of so impiousan offering. The king, too, shuddered . “ Let theprivilege be instantly revoked , ” he cried— “ Je le veux,and Tercier be put under arrest.” The King's Councilforthwith assembled, and a decree was issued declaring it punishable with death to publish any book or pamphlet containing an attack on religion. At thesame time the Encyclopædia was denounced in theParliament, and the privilege granted to d'Alembert by M. d'Argenson withdrawn.The Jesuits intrigued with great energy at this moment, hoping to maintain their footing in France.The Jansenists were as vigorously doing their best to oppose them, even to giving their support to theA GRAND AUTO-DA -FÉ. 447Encyclopædists. “ De l'Esprit" -in which, as alreadyobserved, Diderot is supposed to have greatly aidedHelvetius—was, like its reputed author, refined intone, elevated in sentiment; while the acknowledged writings of Diderot were violent, coarse, and repulsive.Yet he is said to have concealed under an unattractiveexterior a fine nature and generous feelings. “ Del'Esprit , " suggested by " L'Esprit des Lois," was an exposition of the peculiar character of the epicurean philosophy, as understood by Helvetius - a system of virtue and happiness practicable only by the rich,unless, indeed, every man were as large- hearted asHelvetius himself.The Jesuits would have burnt this kindly naturedphilosopher, could they have had their way. Others,more merciful, would only have hanged him. Buttaking into consideration that to adopt measures too harsh towards the offending philosophers would revivethe lately quelled dissensions of the Parliament andthe Church, and their resistance to the king's decrees( for after Louis XV. was attacked by Damiens all parties had agreed to forgive and forget the past) itwas determined to order only an auto- da - fé of the books, to serve as effigies of their authors. The twopublished volumes, A - B , of the Encyclopædia, " De l'Esprit, ” and half a dozen anonymous pamphlets were, by the hand of the public executioner, thenconsigned to the flames. Two or three obscure individuals also, who had too openly expressed their feel ings, were lodged for awhile in the Bastille. Helvetius-of whom Vcitaire says " he was a true philosopher,who has been persecuted on account of a book and his virtue" —immediately, on hearing of the commotion raised by the intrusion of esprit into the royal house448 THE OLD RÉGIME.hold, resigned his post of queen's steward, and left Paris to enjoy, undisturbed for a time, the pleasuresof life at his château of Voré. Tercier, liberated fromarrest, gave up the office of censor. He was dismissedfrom the appointment he also held in the Bureau ofForeign Affairs. But singularly enough, the kingtook him into his confidence and gave him the direc tion of the secret correspondence.“ De l'Esprit,” which pictured happiness under anaspect so different from that of the savagism of Jean - Jacques Rousseau, was near being attacked byl'homme de la nature," but the government prosecution induced him to refrain. Christophe de Beaumontand other prelates launched their thunderbolts against it from every pulpit of Paris and Versailles and place of importance in the land. The Pope, Clement XIII . ,said of it, “ That it combined every kind of poison which could be found in modern books. " “ Del'Esprit,” in consequence, became so widely known,and so anxiously sought after, that it was speedilytranslated into every European language. Edition after edition of the work was smuggled into France from Amsterdam and Geneva, and was immediately bought up - so largely and eagerly was it in demand.Hoping to put a stop to this, and at the same timeto extirpate philosophism, the dauphin, at the King'sCouncil, proposed that sentence of exile should bepronounced against the Encyclopædists. The kinghesitated to take so decided a step, and withheld hisconsent until, as he said, he should have reflectedupon it. In the meanwhile he consulted with Madamede Pompadour. Her advice, supported by the opinionof the Duc de Choiseul — just returned from Vienna,and about to take the direction of foreign affairs - led1PHILOSOPHISM AND LOYALTY. 449him to decline to accede to the dauphin's proposal,conceiving it, as he informed him, fraught with dan ger to the peace of the kingdom. But the king was more intent on checking the authoritative tone as sumed by the prince in the council- chamber than con cerned with the acts of the philosophers.Louis XV. could never divest himself of the ideathat every act of the dauphin was inspired by a yearning for popularity; which he regarded as seeking tosupplant him in the affections of his people. Thatsome feeling of attachment to the once “ Well-beloved "of the nation still lingered in the hearts of the peoplehad recently been evident, in the general horror and consternation expressed by them when the life of their sovereign was supposed to be in danger from the at tack of an assassin. Philosophism, therefore, had not yet extirpated loyalty and a veneration for the throne;though he who sat upon it was so unworthy a repre sentative of kingly power.But to attempt at this crisis rigorously to extirpatephilosophism might, possibly, have served only tohasten on those heavy disasters which Louis XV. wasfar- seeing enough to discern that his own vices, addedto those of his predecessor, were surely preparing forthe future of France. Instead, therefore, of " Afterus the deluge, " as he was constantly exclaiming, thenational calamities, in whatever form they mightcome, might haply, as he saw, fall on his own head.Let, then, the dauphin amuse himself by denouncingtheir books, and let a bonfire be made of them in thePlace de Grève; but as for the philosophers themselves, notwithstanding the decreed penalty of death,not a hair of their heads shall be singed. If one of their number should perchance be requested to sojourn450 THE OLD RÉGIME.for a week or ten days in the Bastille, let him have comfortable quarters; a sumptuous table provided,and a cordon bleu for his chef. No fasting on Fridays,except the soupe maigre that his servant will eat forhim. Let him have writing materials, flowers, andmusic, and all the forbidden philosophical books. In a word, let nothing be wanting to make his visitpleasant. Such was the liberal treatment Marmontelreceived when, for “ Belisarius” and “ Les Incas dePeru," he was provided with quarters for ten days inthe renowned royal fortress. He had really a pleasant time of it; and pursued his literary occupationsundisturbed by the street cries that so wofully an noyed him in his attic study in Malle. Clairon's house.Probably but for distinguished patronage lesssolicitude might have been shown for Marmontel'scomfort and convenience. “ He's a strange man, thatMarmontel,” said Madame de Pompadour, after aninterview he had requested of her, through DoctorQuesnay, at the time of the agitation concerning the denunciation of the Encyclopædia and “ De l'Esprit.”He entered with an alarmingly tragic air. She fancied some terrible disaster had befallen him. “ Madame,"he said , “ that which distresses me is the present stateof the kingdom, occasioned by these quarrels betweenthe clergy and the Parliament. I ask you to reflect,Madame, that the eyes of the country are upon you.Since the dismissal of M. d'Argenson from his office,it is known that all power is in your hands. If the vessel of the State be well guided, the blessing of thepeople will rest on you; if it should be wrecked, it isyou they will accuse as the cause of their calamity.”Madame de Pompadour was disposed to smile atthis lecture. But Marmontel preserved the same seriPHILOSOPHER AND CRITIC. 451)66ous air. “ Madame," he continued very gravely, “ wedepend upon you.” He then made his bow and retired. What a strange man!” she exclaimed. Itis possible, however, that her advice to the king wasinfluenced by this appeal. The philosophers had inher a sympathetic friend, and the Duc de Choiseul,who, under her influence, was about to take the helmof the State, was himself both philosopher and critic,and absolutely under the domination of the Encyclopædists.CHAPTER XLI.- "The Battle of Rosbach . - A Warrior-Priest. - Soubisé at Lutzelbach . — L'Aimable Vainqueur . - Close of the Third Campaign .-“ Liberty, Equality . ” — Le Duc de Choiseul. -Braving theDauphin. -La Divine Sophie Arnould . — Disappearance ofSophie. —Manners and Morals. — The Muse Terpsichore. The Muse at Longchamps . - An Opulent Danseuse. —A RealSister of Mercy.The menacing attitude assumed by the dauphintowards the modern philosophy and its professorsserved rather to propagate the new doctrines, and to gain them adherents, than to check their disseminationamong the people. The French, as De Tocquevillesays, “ do not easily accommodate themselves toliberty .” And it has been sufficiently proved that heavy- handed despotism is a yoke that galls them butlittle when it is associated with what is called glory,however vain- glorious that may actually be. The news of a victory over Frederick of Prussia would atthis particular crisis have raised the careworn, dis pirited people from the depths of despondency to the glowing heights of the seventh heaven. There wouldhave been fêtes, and fireworks, and songs of triumphfrom one end of France to the other.But, sad reverse of this picture, the battle of Ros bach has been fought. And although the gallantcommander- in- chief, “ the handsome courtier," the Prince de Soubise, has managed to save his batteries+A WARRIOR- PRIEST. 453de cuisine, and the vigilance and activity of the Staff Officer of his chef, Marin, have also preserved his camp service of plate from the grasp of the bearishFrederick, who would have sent it to the mint; yet Rosbach is a disastrous defeat for the French. Itutterly neutralizes the first success of their arms in Westphalia; and Soubise, “ such a good comrade, so full of spirit, so gay always, and even so brave, " must resign his command. This is grief inexpressible to Madame de Pompadour, whose firm friend the prince has been from her first appearance at court, and from whose valor, epicurean though he was, she had looked for great achievements.A prince of the house of Condé, M. de Clermont,Abbé de St. Germain - aux -Prés, was despatched to thearmies, at the private recommendation of Cardinal de Bernis to the king, to revive the tarnished lustre of the French arms. But the mantle of the great Condéhad not descended on M. de Clermont. There havebeen warrior- priests who have led troops to victory;but the Abbé de St. Germain- aux- Prés was not apriest of that calibre. He had won his spurs on nowell- fought field; he inspired no enthusiasm among the soldiery, and the generals in command under him criticised very freely the orders he issued . Perhapsthey were negligent in executing them; for twice, asthe declared results of disobedience, portions of thearmy fell into an ambuscade.When, however, for the third time the priestlycommander- in- chief collected his forces, and led themto Crevelt, an elevated spot near Düsseldorf, his arrangements for receiving the enemy's attack weremade with such evident want of tactical skill that aspeedy defeat, with a loss of seven thousand men, and454 THE OLD RÉGIME.a sauve qui peut for the survivors, brought disgrace on him and the military reputation of France. This great soldier- priest did not wait for his dismissal.He attributed the disaster to want of discipline anddisobedience of his orders, and requested his recall.Singularly, however, it was the Prince de Soubise,who, remaining with his army until the end of thecampaign-the season being very far advanced - redeemed, so far as the gallantry of the French soldierwas concerned, the dishonor his successor had heapedon it by taking the lead in an ignominious flight.Seizing, shortly after M. de Clermont's defeat, an opportunity which offered of attacking the Hessiansand Hanoverians, he compelled them to vacate Han over, and replaced the French in the position fromwhich they had been driven. Ten days after, atLutzelberg, the prince effaced the stain which Ros bach had cast on his own reputation as a general,and won there also his marshal's baton. Thus endedthe third year's campaign of this calamitous war.But, however serious the reverses of France, all is well with the Parisians if the misfortunes of the country do but afford them a theme for a witty jest or asong. When the Prince de Soubise returned to Paris,a numerous company of the wild young rakes of the capital danced for a whole night under the windowsof his hôtel, to a tune, just then the rage, called “ La danse de l'aimable vainqueur." Occasionally, to allowthe dancers a short respite from their fatigues, the prince was serenaded, to the same tune, with the fol lowing epigram, in allusion to the ruse by which his army fell into the hands of the Prussian king at Ros bach. All Paris ( then meaning all France) was joy ously singing or shoutingL'AIMABLE VAINQUEUR.455“ Soubise dit, la lanterne à la main;J'ai beau chercher, où diable est mon armée?Elle était là pourtant hier matin;Me l'a-t-on prise, ou l'aurais- je égarée?Ah! je perds tout; je suis un étourdi;Mais attendons au grand jour, à midi.Que vois -je, ô ciel! que mon âme est ravie!Prodige heureux! la voilà , la voilà!Ah! ventrebleu , qu'est ce donc que cela?Je me trompais, c'est l'armée ennemie.” *Le Chevalier de Mirabeau , uncle of the orator,was the reputed author of this popular epigram.The soldier- abbe of the princely house of Condé,also, escaped not the jests and gibes of the populace.On the quays and in all the most frequented parts of Paris various songs, recording his deeds of arms,were sung to the accompaniment of a violin, andthousands of copies were sold among the people.Generally they were contemptuous in tone — for in stance, the following:Moitié casque, moitié rabat,Aussi propre à l'un comme à l'autre,Clermont prêche comme un soldat.Et se bat comme un apôtre.

  • “ With lantern held on high, brave Soubise stood,

And said, The Deuce! Where are my Corps d'Armée?I search in vain! Yet there, by all that's good!I know they camped at noon, but yesterday.Has it been captured? Have I from it strayed?' Tis just my stupid luck to lose my all!Come, daylight! Come, high noon! But see , now praisedBe Heaven! My troops! The sightdelights my soul!Yet what! Good God! my drowsy brain is crazed!The foe I see! I hear their trumpets ' call! ”456THEOLDRÉGIME.“ Est-ce un Abbé? L'Eglise le renie.Un général? Mars l'a bien maltraité.Mais il lui reste au moins l'Académie:N'y fut- il pas muet par dignité?Qu'est-il enfin? Que so .. mérite est mince!Hélas! j'ai beau lui chercher un talent;Un titre auguste éclaire son néant,Pour son malheur le pauvre homme est un prince.Moitié casque, etc.'" *It was at the close of this third campaign that Car dinal de Bernis suggested the advisability of makingproposals of peace. Madame de Pompadour in dignantly rejected the very idea of peace under suchcircumstances: her promise had been given to her “ dear cousin " of Austria to support her cause, andher honor was concerned in supporting it to theutmost resources of France. So the war went on.Another army was raised in the spring; fresh supplies were called for, and the Farmers -general, inorder to furnish them, pressed more heavily on thepeople. With depopulated villages and the provinces sinking under the burden of taxation, no wonder that murmurings arose. “ Liberty, Equality!” as

  • “ Half in helmet, half in mitre,

Just as good for one as t'other,Clermont preaches like a fighter,And fights like a Franciscan brother.1Is he a priest? The Church disowns him.A soldier? Mars denies his claim.In the Academy do we find him?There he sits mute, unknown to fame.In vain I seek for talent; in vain on all my lantern shines;in religion, law, or letters , of his fame we hear no hints:A title , meant to glorify, his nothingness illumines,Alas for his misfortune! the poor man is a princeLE DUC DE CHOISEUL. 457first advanced by Montesquieu, were, though in adifferent sense, pleasant sounds in the ears of the op pressed. They interpreted them as being placed on an equality with the great nobles in their exemption from forced taxation; with liberty, of course, to contribute what they would towards the needs of the State. This, in the case of the great nobles, wasusually nothing at all .But while the provinces were doomed to much sor row and suffering, Paris was gay; little affected, apparently, by the disasters of the war. Philosophism throve, and the “ great work of the eighteenth cen tury," as the projectors and contributors were pleased to call their Encyclopædia, still went on. The determination expressed by the dauphin to continue his raid on that and similar publications, " until the accursed thing should be rooted out of the land,” fur nished the free- thinkers with a theme for many awitty couplet; and many a witty jest that amused thecharming little idol of the salons, the philosophical Duchesse de Choiseul.The Duc de Choiseul was not only Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of War, but, under Madame de Pompadour, he ruled the State; every department of government being directed by persons whollydevoted to him. Though his appearance was commonplace, and his countenance plain to ugliness, hehad an irresistible charm of manner, and the art of fascination , to an extent possessed but by few . Oneof the most brilliant men in society, he was yet little to be relied upon; but he was devoted to MarieThérèse and to Madame de Pompadour, and was farmore influenced by the latter than she was by him.In this respect, however, he but followed the fashion458THE OLD RÉGIME.

  • )

of the time; the extraordinary deference which inen then paid to women, without holding them in veryhigh esteem, and in some instances utterly contem ning them, is very remarkable.The duke's courtly manners, the Auency and elo quence with which he expressed himself, and the talentor tact that enabled him readily to impress the mindof another with the sentiments which seemed to animate his own, made him a most acceptable minister toLouis XV. And none the less acceptable was he forhaving braved the dauphin and reproached him for his subservience to the Jesuits, who in M. de Choiseulhad an uncompromising enemy. The dauphin, in amemorial presented to Louis XV. , represented him as intriguing against them. ““ Ah! fie! Monsieur!" theduke had replied to the prince's energetic defence of the Society of Jesus, " can a dauphin be so ardent inthe cause of the monks?" And again, “ Perhaps,Monsieur, ” he said, “ I may some day be so unfortunate as to be your subject, but assuredly I shall neverbe at your service.” The dauphin complained to the king. He replied that M. de Choiseul had reason to feel wounded by the charge he had brought againsthim. Such expressions, prompted by his just indignation, must therefore be overlooked.But society, philosophical and otherwise, was far lessinterested at this time in the political situation ofFrance, the ill - success of the war, and the distress ofthe provinces, than in the début of a new goddess of the opera -- the youthful divinity, Malle. Sophie Arnould, whose various perfections created a sensation amounting to a fureur. Her voice was declared enchanting, and her method pronounced perfect by the critics, amongst whom was the aged Rameau.LA DIVINE SOPHIE ARNOULD . 459Her beauty captivated all men; turned the heads ofboth nobles and philosophers; broke the hearts andemptied the purses of a few rich Farmers- general andwealthy adorers among la haute bourgcoisie.Her parents are said to have objected to her appearing as a public singer. But as they were people of no higher grade than that of keepers of a lodging-house, orhotel, in the Rue des Fossés St. Germain, it is far more likely that, discovering their daughter had a fine voice,their object was to train her for the operatic stage.Otherwise the instruction, expensive probably, ofprofessors of such high pretensions as Mdlles. Claironand Fell—the former giving her lessons in declamation , the latter in singing - would scarcely have been thought necessary for her.Marmontel, from his intimacy with Malle. Clairon,had had the opportunity of seeing and hearing her promising pupil. At one of his toilet visits to Madamede Pompadour, herself so talented a musician - hespoke of this youthful prodigy. He praised her beauty, her liveliness, her wit, her surprising vocal charmand ability, with a warmth he was, perhaps, scarcely aware of; for he, like the rest of humanity's regenerators, was also under the spell. His patroness smiled at his enthusiasm , and expressed a wish to hear the young lady sing. The following day, Madame dePompadour being at the Hôtel d'Evreux, Malle. Sophiewas introduced to the quasi queen of France, and sangthe music she put before her so much to her satisfac tion that she recommended her to make her débutwithout further delay.Sophie Arnould was but seventeen when she madeher first public appearance; but in no very prominentpart. Between that and her second début an interval460 THE OLD RÉGIME..aof some weeks occurred; during which “ What had become of the beautiful Sophie '?" was a questionanxiously discussed by the fashionable world in everysalon . There were ladies who hoped that she wouldnever return-ladies whose fickle amis intimes had forsaken them, to lay bouquets and billets- doux and their own elegant selves at the feet of this new star of theopera. But all in good time the beautiful Sophiecame back, and her debut in a new opera, by Dau vergne, was announced. She was greeted withstorm of applause. All Paris flocked to hear the truant prima donna; whose fame was increased far beyond what the finest singing ever heard would haveobtained for her, when it was known that her ab sence was owing to her elopement with the Comte deLauraguais.For a wager he had engaged a room at the hotel,and, introducing himself as having just arrived fromthe country with a tragedy in his valise that he hopedto get received at the Théâtre Français, took the op.portunity of wooing the youthful songstress. Beforea fortnight had elapsed, they fled together. At a petitsouper, given to his friends who were in the secret, he announced his success, and that his wager was won.La Comtesse de Lauraguais, the lady at whose feetthe Duc de Richelieu had sighed, and had obtainedthrough her intercession with the king his late em ployments in the army, was the wife of this gallantcount, now the ami intime of Malle. Sophie Arnould.Such were the manners and morals of the age of LouisXV.!The career of Sophie Arnould was one of dissipation and reckless extravagance. She lost very early the beauty of her voice-it became even disagreeable; butTHE MUSE, TERPSICHORE. 461having amassed wealth, she was still able to live insome style, and give balls and fêtes.. Like many otheractresses of her day, she was reduced to great straitsby the Revolution. But she was more fortunate thansome of them, who in the evening- tide of life, from the loss of their property, fell into abject poverty.Another theatrical celebrity, who made her debut ayear or two later, shared with Mdlle. Arnould the en thusiasm and favor of the world of fashion, the philosophic circle and public generally. This was the fa mous danseuse, Mdlle. Guimard. The dancer rivalled the singer in reckless extravagance and dissipation;but beauty was not one of her attributes. Yet shepossessed what was termed " infinite fascination," andhad as many adorers at her feet as the fair Sophie her self. Her form was sylph- like and perfect in grace;and , for lightness and elegance in her movements andattitudes, she might have served painter or sculptoras a model for the Muse Terpsichore. Connected withher Hôtel No. 9 , in the Chaussée d'Antin , she crectedan elegant little theatre that comfortably seated five hundred persons, and in spite of the opposition of thefour Gentíemen of the King's Bed - chamber - who thenregulated theatrical matters—she induced the principal members of the Comédie Française and opera com panies to perform at her “ Temple de Terpsichore, " asshe had named her bijou theatre.She gave suppers three times a week-suppers thatrivalled the artistic creations of Mouthier for the petitsappartements, or those of the more famous Marin, forthe entertainment of the friends of the Prince de Soubise. In the costliness of the crystal and plate of hertable service; in the taste and elegance of the floraldecorations- choice exotics obtained from a distance,462 THE OLD RÉGIME.regardless of expense, of course, or products of theconservatories she had built in the grounds of herhôtel -none of the suppers of the salons of Paris couldbear comparison. The élite of both sexes of the dissolute society of the capital were her guests, and Mon days were specially devoted to them. On Wednesdaysshe received the philosophical world and men of let ters, and on Fridays she entertained her theatricalcomrades. For several years, at the annual promenade of Longchamps, no equipage was so anxiously looked for as that of this modern Phryne. In expensiveness and elaborate ornamentation, as well as in thébeauty of the horses, it surpassed all others, as didalso the splendid toilet of its occupant.Notwithstanding all this ostentation and display,her admirers have declared that she rarely, if ever,overstepped the limits of good taste. Yet when it isborne in mind that this cynosure of all eyes was butan opera- singer parading her ill - gotten wealth in theface of the élite of society, one must differ from her admirers, and consider that not only had Malle. Guimard very far overstepped the limits of good taste,but that “ the élite ” who looked on her doings so approvingly had themselves lost sight of them. Butthese were signs of the times.In 1786 Mdlle. Guimard disposed of her hôtel bylottery. Two thousand five hundred tickets were issued , and sold at a hundred and twenty francs each; thewhole amounting to twelve thousand pounds. This was previous to accepting an engagement in London ,where she appeared, at the Haymarket Opera House,in 1789, being then forty- seven years of age-a rather late period of life to take the town by storm as a syl phide. But the Opera House was burnt down in theA REAL SISTER OF MERCY. 463early summer of that year, the prima donna of the ballet and other danseuses narrowly escaping a frightful death. Perhaps she felt that her day as a dancer was over; that her airy grace and of fascinationwere on the wane. Men's minds were then greatlytroubled; the whole country was agitated; and Parisin 1790 would not have looked so complacently on the -gilded Longchamps equipage of a danseuse as in 1760. ,Very wisely, therefore, Mdlle. Guimard retired fromthe scene of her many triumphs, married M. Despréaux, the ballet- master, and lived as unpretendingly on the snug little fortune she had saved from the superabundance of former days as she had lived osten tatiously at the brilliant height of her career. Oneexcellent trait in her character should cover a multitude of the follies of her youth-she was truly charita ble. During those terrible years that followed herreturn to Paris she privately, but extensively, relieved the distress of the poor, and comforted the sorrowingwith her sympathy-drawing upon herself no atten tion, but doing her good work quietly and, as it ap pears, without molestation. She survived until 1816.powerCHAPTER XLII.Lady Romancists.— " La Nouvelle Héloise." — Gallantry and Politeness. - Lackadaisical Vice. — Madamed'Épinay's “ Tame Bear. " --Le Baron Grimm. -L'Homme Sauvage in Love. —La Comtesse d'Houdetot. -A Warrior - Poet and his Ladylove. —Le Château de Montmorency.— “ Emile” Denounced and Burnt. —Popularity of “ Émile.” — “ After us the Deluge. "--“ Le Contrat Social.” — “ I do not Love You, Sir .” — JeanJacques Marries Thérèse.— “ Devil take Pythagoras!” - Rousseau versus Ragonneau.1The fureur produced by the débuts of the prime donneof dance and song had scarcely subsided, ere a new sensation was created in the salons by the “ Nouvelle Héloise " of Jean- Jacques Rousseau. Works of fiction were comparatively few in those days; so that whenladies not deeply tinged with the new philosophy be came weary of embroidery and persiflage, and desirousof filling up an idle hour or two with a little light reading, they were not perplexed in their choice of awork by an embarras de richesses, in the form of anendless list of attractive titles from the French Mudieof the day.Heroics and pastorals had long gone out of fashion.Society had now so many other distractions that ithad neither time nor, indeed, the old eager appetitefor the consumption of eight or ten goodly- sizedvolumes, filled with the deeds of valiant knights inthe service of beauty oppressed, or with the adven“ LA NOUVELLE HÉLOISE ." 465tures of a roaming company of gentle shepherds andshepherdesses of high degree. In most instances theslim duodecimo had succeeded the portly quarto.The pen of Madame Riccoboni produced several shortromances, and, together with that of Madame Leprincede Beaumont, * drove into exile the extravagant, butonce popular, nightmare stories of the Abbé Prevost.There were also the equivocal “ Contes Moraux ” of Marmontel; the rhymed bagatelles of Saint- Lambert,and of the Chevalier de Boufflers, author of thefavorite tale of “ Aline” -afterwards, as La Reine deGolconde," made the subject of an opera, Aline beingone of the original parts of Sophie Arnould .Rousseau's three octavo volumes † were receivedwith the enthusiasm one would naturally expect fromthe prevailing false sentimentality of the women ofthe period, and the thorough moral corruption thatpervaded the fashionable world generally. Like manyother of the writings of that day, these so-called letters are so repellingly dreary that, except for thechance of meeting with some trait of the manners orfeeling of the time, none, probably, would be led to

  • Madame de Beaumont was the sister of the painter, Leprince,

whose landscapes and Russian interiors, in the style of Teniers,have been much admired by connoisseurs. It is related of thisartist that, being desirous of visiting Russia, he went to Holland,and there embarked for St. Petersburg. On the voyage the vesselwas captured by pirates. As they were stripping it and plundering the passengers, whom they were about to make prisoners,Leprince, perceiving they had not thought his violin worth notice,took it up and began to play an adagio. He was a finished performer, and his music so enchanted his captors that to expresstheir admiration they returned his property, and conveyed thismodern Arion safely to his destination.+ Third Edition, Amsterdam, 1762.466 THE OLD RÉGIME.bestow a glance on them , much less read through thewhole of the collection . Some few letters of this kindand descriptions of scenery may be found in them;for the rest, they are nauseously maudlin. The girlJulie, whose letters contain not a trace of girlish feel ing or expression (and how should they, emanating from a brain and mind so diseased as poor JeanJacques'? ); her ridiculous cousin; the pattern English man, Milord Bomston; the amiably imbecile husband,Walmer; and Saint- Preux-Rousseau himself, nodoubt, as an imaginary preux chevalier - are as unin teresting a set of preaching, whining, miserable sinners as could well be gathered together.The author's preface to this delightful work is singular. It concludes thus: “ If, after reading throughthis book, any one should presume to blame me forpublishing it , he is at liberty to do so, and to tell it toall the world. But let him not come and tell it to me:I feel that, to the end of my life, I could never esteemthat man ." What a terrible announcement! But“ Héloise " was not written for men. All books, as hesays, were at that time written for women: to please and amuse women was every man's object. Frenchgallantry had so decreed; or, more correctly, Frenchpoliteness. For it was also decreed that a man of theworld, while bound to be the slave of every woman's whims, his wife's not excepted, should yet lightly esteem, even contemn, the whole sex. Woman was tohim a creature whose arts he knew, and whom he despised , though , as the weaker vessel, he politely placedher on a pedestal, and flattered her vanity by affecting to be her very humble slave and adorer.Everything, therefore, depended on woman's willand pleasure. No book could succeed, no author,1+11MADAME D'ÉPINAY'S “ TAME BEAR. ” 467whatever his merit, acquire literary reputation, unless woman set her seal on it. Poetry, literature, history,,philosophy, even politics, no matter what subject, in fact, authors might choose; they had to bear in mind that it must be treated in a style acceptable to prettywomen -- and few Barthélemys were there among them.The Bible itself had recently been cut up and arrangedin historiettes galantes for their amusement.Such wasthen the ascendency of woman. Jean- Jacques, bowing before it, wrote his “ Héloise" for the edification of the fine ladies of the salons. “ A corrupt people,” he says, “ must have romances.” His own romance he considered more suited for women thanwere books of philosophy. And for a time it appearsthey thought so too. The one subject of conversation was Rousseau's book, and the glowing language inwhich he had depicted the fervor of intense love. Soskilfully had he varnished lackadaisical vice that inhis and their eyes it looked almost like, or even better than, virtue itself. “ Ah!" exclaimed the ladies, inchorus' Que j'aime cet auteur!Et je vois bien qu'il a le plus grand coeur du monde.Héias! faibles humains quels destins sont les nôtres;Qu'on a mal placé les grandeurs,Qu'on serait heureux si les cours Étaient faits les uns pour les autres! ” *Madame d'Épinay's “ tame bear," as Jean -Jacqueswas called, became at once the rage, the pet of thesalons, and flattery was lavished upon him unsparingly.

  • “ How I love this author! Surely he has the noblest heart in

the world . Alas! feeble creatures that we are, what destinies are ours; tow grandeur is overrated; how happy we should be ifhearts were made for each other!"468 THE OLD RÉGIME.He was residing at this time at the hermitage con structed for him at Les Chevrettes, the estate of Ma dame d'Épinay, in the Vallée de Montmorency. Therehe had written his “ Héloise,” portions of which heoccasionally sent to his patroness, who greatly ad mired his work (as naturally she would ) , and by ex travagant praises in the salons heralded it , as it were,and put expectation on tiptoe for its appearance.Madame d'Epinay was a very fashionable woman,and her salon in Paris one of the most brilliant ofthe wealthy financier class. She had married M. deLalive de Bellegarde, from whom she was separated .Her ami intime was Baron Grimm, then Chargé d'Affaires of the Duc de Gotha. Rousseau, it has been said, introduced him to Madame d'Épinay. But itis far more likely that he was himself introduced byGrimm; for some years before Rousseau first visitedParis, poor and on foot, his hopes of a livelihood basedon the acceptance of his system of musical notation,Grimm, then a young man of twenty- two, was a fre quenter of its most distinguished salons. He had thereputation of being the best- informed man in the capital. It was, indeed, his business to keep himself in formed of all that was passing in the court, in society,and, as far as he could, in the ministerial cabinet also.He corresponded with Frederick II. and other sovereigns of the North, from 1753, and was official news gatherer to the Duchess of Saxe- Gotha; the letters addressed to her passing afterwards, in succession, toseven of the ducal or electoral German courts. Aninclination for collecting the reports of the day, andthe facilities his position afforded him for obtaininginformation of greater importance, rendered his correspondence both valuable and interesting.!HIto pay.L'HOMME SAUVAGE IN LOVE. 469Rousseau was jealous of Grimm, and of course thought him his enemy. Greater folly still, he fell desperately in love with the Comtesse d'Houdetot, the young sister - in - law of Madame d'Épinay, as she was walking in the park of Montmorency. This lady was deeply tinged with the fashionable philosophy.Plutarch's great men were daily growing more and more into the good graces of the ladies, and Madamed'Houdetot's admiration of them had induced her to surround the garden of her country- seat at Sanois with statues of that noble army of the élite of humanity.This may have been an attraction to Jean-Jacques. Surprised, yet amused, to find that she had undesign edly ensnared " l'hommesauvage," his awkward attempts his court to her provoked more smiles than frowns. Jean-Jacques thus encouraged, as he fancied ,persevered in his suit, waylaid the countess in thepark, apprised her of the state of his heart, and, alas!was repelled. None of these great ladies, though privileged at this “ epoch of easy manners " to have atrain of professed lovers, appears to have been desirous of leading captive poor Rousseau, or acceptinghim as ami intime, even at the height of his favor.But Thérèse, whose watchful eyes had discoveredin his restlessness, his agitation, and unusual attention to toilet, that he was engaged in some affair of whichthe secret was withheld from her, took the first opportunity of following the gay Lothario. What was herastonishment, poor woman , to see “ her man ” in hasty pursuit of a fine lady, who, when Jean -Jacques overtook her, turned round and with merry laugh madehim a sort of mocking low courtesy. He, however, seemed ready to fall on his knees before her, while she continued laughing gayly on at the poor woe-begone470 THE OLD RÉGIME.looking creature. Thérèse,, as she afterwards said,could scarcely refrain from rushing forward and letting both lady and gentleman know what she thoughtof them; but she prudently took a different course.She made herself sure that the lady was the Comtesse d'Houdetot, and, being fully persuaded that she was artfully seeking to seduce Jean-Jacques from his allegiance, returned moodily home.Of the reception he met with on his return to thehermitage, no record has been left. But early on thefollowing morning Thérèse went over to Madamed'Épinay and laid her complaint against Madame la Comtesse, who, she said, was doing her best to deprive her of “ her man.” Madame d'Épinay was highly indignant, and bade the excited woman be silent. ButThérèse wept and vehemently accused the countess.“ Don't accuse her, my good sister,” replied Madamed'Epinay, Rousseau has turned his own head, allalone, without anybody's help . ”Soon all the salons of Paris were amused with thetale of the " hapless passion ” of “ l'homme sauvage."There were several versions of it , more or less heartrending. One of them reached the ears of the countess's lover, the Marquis de Saint-Lambert, the poet.He was then with his regiment in Germany, with thearmy of the Prince de Soubise. But Mars must yieldto the call of Venus, and the warrior- poet delays not apost his return to Paris to fight the battle of his ladylove. Rousseau, with his usual baseness, had writtenanonymously to Saint- Lambert in disparagement of the countess, who probably had amused herself witha little flirtation with her strange admirer. On the arrival of the incensed lover, Rousseau concealed him.self; but finding that reparation was seriously deLE CHÂTEAU DE MONTMORENCY. 471manded, he, as was also his custom when treated withthe contempt he so often merited for his slander and falsehood , humbly asked pardon; content to bear in moody silence any humiliations that were put upon him.On this occasion he revenged himself by maligning his benefactress, Madame d'Épinay. Grimm de. -nounced him in the salons, and he and the womenThérèse and her vulgar mother - were compelled toquit the hermitage. But to be the talk of the salons,to occupy public attention, no matter whether creditable or otherwise, was to Jean-Jacques as the breathof life. It helped also to spread the popularity of hisHéloise, and to increase his literary fame. The moreeccentric he became, the more curiosity his book excited. After a short stay at an inn, the Duc andDuchesse de Luxembourg offered him a retreat in the ancient Château of Montmorency. Jean-Jacquesgladly accepted it , and there he wrote his “ Émile."It was printed in Holland, the proofs being addressed under cover to the Director -General of the King'sLibrary – M . de Malesherbes whose duty it was torepress works believed to be of an objectionable character.M. de Malesherbes, however, took a different view of his duties; though it may have been in accordance with that of the minister in power. For the “ Encyclopédie Philosophique" being a second time suspended, at the instance of the dauphin , and an orderissued to search the house where Diderot lived, andto seize his papers, Malesherbes gave the Encyclopædist a day's notice of it , and told him to send themto his bureau, where there would, of course, be nosuspicion of their being concealed. But the suspen472 THE OLD RÉGIME.sion was temporary only; the dauphin was powerlesswhen M. de Choiseul and Madame de Pompadourthought fit to differ from his views and opinions. When " Émile " appeared, it was voted a drowsy book. In “ Émile” the ladies looked for another SaintPreux. Few persons were tempted to wade through four volumes of impracticable suggestions on parentalduties. But the dauphin appears to have been one of the few. He vehemently denounced “ Émile” as “ an outrage against the laws of the family and society,'and " Émile " had the honor of being publicly burnton the Place de Grève. This made its success. Immediately all France was desirous of reading “ Émile.”Edition after edition was smuggled in from Holland,without satisfying the eager demand for it, and it was translated into several languages. It seems extraor dinary that a work, harmless in its very extravagance,should have occasioned so great a commotion.Other causes had long been acting on the public mind, and gradually producing throughout the nationthat restlessness of feeling which culminated in theRevolution. Everything, therefore, that seemed toaim at pulling down the established order of thingswas sure of an enthusiastic reception, and especiallyfrom the class that hoped to profit most by the change.But it was to the Jesuits, who, through their patron,the dauphin, made such a stir in their condemnation of the book, that " Émile " mainly owed its popularity. They hoped to alarm by it the conscience of theking, whose signature to the decree for the expulsionof their Order from France was still delayed. He wasterrified at his own temerity in this act. This theyknew. A very slight matter might turn the scale in their favor. For Louis XV. inclined first to one side,AFTER US THE DELUGE. 473then to the other, as the opposing parties prevailed inthe struggle — the Jesuits, in their efforts to preventtheir expulsion; the minister and the favorite, in theirdetermination to accomplish it.The education of youths of the higher classes ofFrench society had long been in the hands of theJesuits. Simultaneously with their expulsion , shouldsuch a system as that advocated by the author of Émile” be introduced into the country, what incalculable evils might not the godless project be fraughtwith for France! “ After us the deluge," replied theking—“ let the dauphin see to that; " and, after a littlefurther hesitation , he signed the decree. Had Louis XV. read “ Émile"? He might have taken it upwhenhis ' fits of ennui were strongest, and have extracted from it a few hearty laughs. Though prosy anddidactical, yet “ Émile" is amusing. Those who have not read it should get it at once; it is as enlivening asmany a dull novel. A French writer has termed Jean Jacques' educational - or, rather, non - educational system as calculated to produce a nation of thievesor imbeciles " -men fit for the pillory or idiot asylum .Happily it is a system so utterly impracticable that itmay, therefore, be laughed at.Voltaire tried to read “ Emile, ” but found it toowearisome. “ Your mad- brained Jean-Jacques," hewrote to M. Bardes, “ has written but one good thing in his life - his Vicaire Savoyard. ' Depend upon itthat the wretch who let his children die in an almshouse in spite of the pity of one who wished to succorthem is a monster of arrogance, baseness, and con tradictions. ” Voltaire was probably right.“ Le Contrat Social” appeared in the same year,1762 . It was said to be a translation or development9.474 THE OLD RÉGIME.of the doctrines of the Anabaptists of the sixteenthcentury-a theory of government as impracticable ashis theory of education.The warrant once supposed to have been issued by the Parliament of Paris for the arrest of Jean -Jacques, afterthe condemnation and burning of his “ Emile," andwhich, when he was privately informed of it, induced him to accept from the Duc de Vendôme the temporaryshelter of the Temple, was but a practical joke of the Prince de Conti and the Marquis de Saint- Lambert.The Temple still preserved its privilege as a sanctu ary, or place of refuge for debtors and others, againstthe pursuit of the Parliament; and it amused theprince, of whose acquaintance and professed friend ship Rousseau was so vain, to immure him there, and frighten him with a prospect of a lodging in the Bastille. He affected to assist him to escape from France,and Jean- Jacques and his womankind fed with allhaste to Switzerland. He behaved there so arrugantly, and made himself so offensively conspicuous,that he was expelled the republic, and his books wereburnt at Geneva.Voltaire offered him an asylum . A friendly welcome, he said , awaited him, and that at Ferney he might write and philosophize at his ease. JeanJacques replied , “ I do not love you, sir. You corrupt my republic with your plays." “ Our friend JeanJacques," said Voltaire, “ is even more mad than Isupposed." From Switzerland he went to Holland.A letter from Amsterdam , of June, 1762, says, “ The arrogant Jean-Jacques is here. But the Dutch takefar more interest in a cargo of pepper than in him and his paradoxes." England was his next resting- place;but everywhere he fancied himself pursued and perseJEAN - JACQUES MARRIES THÉRÈSE. 4759 )cuted by a host of imaginary enemies. He was hos pitably received by Hume, the historian, and createdby his eccentricities and “ incredible blunders” the sensation that was so gratifying to him . The particulars of his visit , and his disagreement with Hume,whose family did not reckon on receiving Thérèse into their circle, may be found in the writings of Hume, Horace Walpole, and other writers of theperiod. Space is wanting in these pages to follow him step by step.Thérèse, as the result of her visit to England, became legally the wife of Rousseau at Amiens. Shehad threatened to leave him, declaring she could nolonger bear the contempt and disdain which she every where met with. So Jean - Jacques yielded to prejudice. In the course of the twenty years she hadpassed with him, Thérèse had acquired over Rousseauthe kind of power that a nurse exercises over a child.They returned to Paris under the assumed name ofRenou. But no one interfered with him; he had fledfrom a shadow. He and Madame Jean- Jacques lodgedin the Rue de la Plâtrière. Professedly he was now acopier of music; and the ladies of the fashionableworld made this employment, in which he excelled, apretext for peering into the arrangements of his littlehousehold.Rousseau did not like the English before he had visited their country. He liked them still less afterwards. In “ Émile” hespeaks of the brutal characterof the English. “ They call themselves," he says, " agood- natured people.” No other nation, however, heimagines, “ will ever agree with them in this goodopinion of themselves." He attributes their brutalityto a too great fondness for beef and mutton. Duclos,476 THE OLD RÉGIME.who had been reading “ Émile,” amused Madame dePompadour by repeating the “ fine passage," as he termed it , in which Rousseau renews the attacks of Pythagoras against the use of animal food. Seduced,he said, by his eloquence and the great saving of ex pense it promised, he determined to try it.He bought a pound of cherries for his dinner.Finding himself pretty well the next day, he dined on another pound. Resolved to persevere, though hebegan to feel a craving for a slice of beef or the wing of a fowl, he continued the same regimen for nearly aweek. Sunday arrived. It had been his custom to have his dinner sent in on that day to his apartment,and he had given no orders to the contrary. “ I had just swallowed a morsel of bread and some cherries,”he said, " and drunk a glass of water, when my cook and his boy made their appearance with soup and broiled chicken , beef and salad, with other et ceteras.“ Devil take Pythagoras!" I exclaimed . “ Come in,come in , Ragonneau, you are much more sensible than Rousseau .” “ Rousseau!" replied the man.“ Rousseau! My dear., sir, he's a save -all; a spoil .sauce; as sure as my name is Ragonneau.”The Rousseau M. Ragonneau so disdained was arival cook; of whose culinary reputation he was noless jealous than was Voltaire of the undeserved cele brity, as he considered , of Jean - Jacques.1CHAPTER XLIII.A Humiliating Usage . - An Empty Title. -Failing Health and 1Spirits . —A Wearying Part to Play . — The quasi Queen of France.-Manufactures Royales. -A Distinguished Artist. —Insensibility of Louis XV.— “ Was she about to Die? ” — Death of Mdme. de Pompadour.-- Engravings of Mdme, de Pompadour.ARMIES destroyed; an exhausted treasury; everincreasing difficulty in levying and collecting thetaxes; lands lying waste; and murmuring and discontent everywhere rife, at last put an end to thewar. At the close of the seventh campaign, the Ducde Nivernois was despatched to London with proposals of peace.Apparently Madame de Pompadour had not veryclosely examined the Treaty of Aix- la- Chapelle; forgreat was her indignation, after having perused thepreliminary Treaty of Paris, handed to her by M. deChoiseul. An ardent Frenchwoman, she would havegone forth sword in hand, as she said, and compelledthe English and their king to respect France and hersovereign.“ Are not the stipulations of this disgraceful peace sufficiently humiliating to France, that there shouldbe added to the loss of her colonies the further dishonor of George the Third's assumption of the title of her king? "“ Louis XIV. permitted it ,” replied M: de Choiseul.478THE OLD RÉGIME.

61“ Incredible!" rejoined the incensed lady." Madame, it is mere ceremonial—following the an cient diplomatic usage.”humiliating usage, which must be tolerated no longer, unless to the sole title now left to Louis XV.of “ Most Christian King ' there be added King of England, in exchange for King of France, of whichthey have deprived him .”“ Madame, his majesty is assured , as I would nowassure you, that when circumstances are favorablethis formal ceremonial shall be abolished. At presentthey are not. We have now, unfortunately, to giveconsideration to things more important, and whichaffect far more deeply the honor and welfare of ourcountry and our king."The long retention by the English sovereigns of theempty title of King of France was certainly no less foolish than offensive. But the supposed pretensionsof George III. did not excite in Louis XV. the sameindignation as in Madame de Pompadour when she discovered how “ M. de Betfort" had dared to namehis master in this treaty, and M. de Nivernois the baseness to allow him; well knowing that the resources of France would still allow Louis XV. toappear in the field to efface the stain cast upon himself and his people. And it is probable that a warfor that purpose would have been a popular war,and Frenchmen have fought more desperately for anidea of that kind than to save Silesia for MarieThérèse.Howe ver, the treaty, with all its hard conditions,was signed in Paris on the roth of February, 1763.On the 15th Austria and Prussia concluded a separate treaty, signed at Hubertsburg; and the Seven Years'FAILING HEALTH AND SPIRIT'S. 479War was ended-Prussia, though Frederick retainedSilesia, being more thoroughly exhausted by this contest than either France or Austria. Frederick II . , inhis “ Mémoires,” says of his kingdom that its condi .tion at this time could be represented only under theimage of a man covered with wounds, weakened by loss of blood , and ready to sink.” What a scourge toa nation is a “ great” king!Madame de Pompadour-disappointed in the objects for which, in the interests of Marie Thérèse, thewar was undertaken; accused of having brought misery and distress on France, and occasioned theloss of her colonies - after the signing of the Peace,seemed to lose much of the energy of character andanimation of spirit for which hitherto she had been so remarkable, and which had rarely failed of theircheering effect on the king. It was by an effort thatshe now took her accustomed share in the fêtes and entertainments, and in the revelry that, notwithstanding the lamentable ending of the war, and the general outcry that France was ruined, all classes plunged into. Versailles, with its pestilent freshets, had always more or less affected her health, and it was only by frequent change of air that she had been able toreside there at all .For some years she had been regarded less as themaîtresse- en - titre of Louis XV. than as first minister ofState, or even regent of the kingdom; for so littlewas seen of the king, he might almost as well havebeen absent. If he ever interfered in public affairs,it was but to create embarrassment; sometimes expressing his opinions in council, but leaving them tobe adopted or rejected as his ministers thought fit.It was to Madame de Pompadour he looked to en480 THE OLD RÉGIME.force his views, when he had any. From her he received, in a form that amused him as chit- chat, arésumé of the business of State. Anything like drearyofficial routine had become abhorrent to him . Hers,too, was the task, when fits of ennui or weary -mindedness pressed very heavily on him, to devise ameans of captivating his attention, and, by the forceof brightness in her own mind, chasing the gloomfrom his.But what a wearying part to play! What vitality of spirit, what inexhaustive fancy it demanded!What strength of will, too, to overcome the repugnance that wearied nature must sometimes haveopposed to this unflagging task of near twenty years'duration a task whose aim was the exercise and retention of power; the wielding of a sceptre snatched from the grasp of a feeble king; the direction of theaffairs of a nation, and the subjugation of its rulerto her will! To prepare amusements, ever varying,for the king's entertainment in the evening, when his petits - soupers were ended and apathy began to stealover him, her mornings were passed with painters,singers, dancers, musicians, actors and actressesprofessional people of every class. Her artistic imagination was ever inventing new pleasures and diversions “ to prevent this fainéant king from encountering himself.” Louis XV. , in fact, when in his brightest moods existed on a borrowed frame of mind,derived from the efforts of Madame de Pompadourto ward off his ever -recurring fits of gloom .Besides this, the arrival of despatches; political orclerical intrigues, and public affairs generally, requiredher daily attendance in her study. At any hour she might be summoned to grant interviews to the minisMANUFACTURES ROYALES. 481ters of the various departments; to receive a foreignambassador or secretary of state. Maréchals and gen erals who owed their appointments to her presentedthemselves to pay their respects to this quasi Queenof France, on joining the army or returning from it.The lawyers of the rebellious parliaments laid their plaints before her more clearly and dispassionately than before the king; and the wealthy financiers, ofwhom the nearly bankrupt state borrowed money,arranged these transactions, in the first instance, withher.All this was patent to the nation at large, and truly it placed the king before his subjects in a very contemptible light; but it does not give the right toheap opprobrium on Madame de Pompadour as thecause of all the vices of Louis XV. , and of the misfortunes of France. She was the most talented andaccomplished woman of her time; distinguished above all others for her enlightened patronage ofscience and of the arts; also for the encouragementshe gave to the development of improvements invarious manufactures which had stood still or wereon the decline , until, favored by her, a fresh impulsewas given to further progress, and a perfection at tained which has never since been surpassed, and,in fact, rarely equalled.Les Gobelins; the carpets of the Savonnerie; thePorcelaine de Sèvres, were all, at her request, de clared Manufactures royales. Some of the finestspecimens of the products of Sèvres, in ornamental groups of figures, were modelled and painted by Madame de Pompadour as a present to the queen.Boucher, whose taste and fancy were well adapted for work of that kind, sketched many a charming little482 THE OLD RÉGIME.picture for the principal pieces of Madame de Pom padour's table service of Porcelaine de Sèvres. The name of Pompadour is, indeed, intimately associated with a whole school of art of the Louis Quinze period-art so inimitable in its grace and elegance that it has stood the test of time, and remains unsurpassed.Artists and poets and men of science vied with each other in their admiration of her taste and talents. And itwas not mere flattery, but simply the praise due to an enlightened patroness and a distinguished artist,“ If," as says M. Bungener, “ one could forget underwhat title she accomplished her task, it would be con sidered grand and honorable.” But even as the king'smaîtresse-en - titre_bearing in mind what were themanners and morals of aristocratic society — therewas not a woman of rank in the court of Louis XV.who had the right to cast a stone at her. On thecontrary, from that much-envied though unenviableposition which it was both her fault and her mis fortune to have coveted , Madame de Pompadour,simple bourgeoise, might have looked down with disdain on those who bore the proudest names in theland . It was no ordinary woman who, in such aposition, could for twenty years have maintained herascendency over such a man as Louis XV.; haveborne sway undiminished in a court so intriguing andJesuitical; and ruled with ever- increasing power andinfluence in the councils of such a kingdom as France.Bodily fatigue and mental anxiety acting onnaturally delicate constitution threw her at last intoa decline. Her spirits drooped. Yet,, as long as pos sible, she smiled and was gay to cheer her royal lover,and conceal her sufferings from him. At times she had thoughts of leaving the court. “ I weep, ” shea“ WAS SIE ABOUT TO DIE?" 493)wrote to the Marquise de Fontenailles_“ I weep oftenover the ambition which brought me to this place, andthe ambition which keeps me here. " She believed thatthe king would stoically support the news of herdeath, but would find her illness insupportable. Hehad shown so little emotion when his eldest daughter,Madame Royale, married to the Duke of Parma, hadpaid him a visit after some years of absence from France, and immediately after her arrival at Versaillestook the small- pox and died. The Duc de Bourgogne,eldest son of the dauphin, had a year or two before,while at play, met with an accident that occasionedhis death at the age of ten years. Louis was butslightly affected . There was the Duc de Berri to takehis place, and there were two younger sons to take his,should aught befall him.Unable to bear up against increasing weakness,Madame de Pompadour retired to Choisy. Herphysician, Quesnay, thought it his duty to inform theking of her illness, and that it was of a nature thatcould hardly fail to bring her rapidly to the grave.Louis was astonished. “ To the grave? ” he repeated,inquiringly. She, so brilliant, so spirituelle; whose lightlaughter and animating voice had so recently been thelife and soul of his circle of intimates, and underwhose spell darkness and gloom vanished, as by en chantmer: t, from his own moody mind! —was sheabout to die? He was incredulous. But with moreanxiety than was looked for from him, he would not allow that she should remain at Choisy. She must betenderly conveyed to Versailles, even should she diethere. Tenderly, too, he received her, and with affectionate anxiety, apparently, watched the fluctuationsof that deceptive malady, consumption.484 THE OLD RÉGIME.The occasional gleams of hope became fewer andbriefer, and on the morning of the 15th of April, 1764,Madame de Pompadour, then in her forty -second year, very tranquilly breathed her last. The priestwho had been reading to her perceiving, as hethought, that she was dozing, was about quietly toleave the room . Conscious of this, she opened hereyes, and inspired, doubtless, by some warning sensa tion that the final moment was at hand, said, “ Wait,my father, we will go together.” A quarter of anhour elapsed. The priest had then taken his departure, and the king, informed that his mistress was nomore, was gazing fixedly upon her - momentarily, it is said, he betrayed some emotion.His attention to her in her last illness makes itlikely that he should have felt a pang of regret at herdeath-more likely far than that he made the remark attributed to him on the departure of her plainfuneral procession from Versailles. Stepping out onthe balcony to look at it, the weather being dark andcloudy at the time,, it is reported that he said gayly,“ Madame has unpleasant weather for her journey .”She was buried by the side of her daughter in the chapel of the Convent of the Capucines, then in the Rue des Petits- Champs, but since destroyed. Madame de Pompadour left a very large fortune. Her hôtel,afterwards Elysée Bourbon, she bequeathed to theking, with a very fine collection of fine stones, en graved by Guay. She left pensions to her physician ,her intendant, and others. All persons connected with her household were provided for according to the positions they held in it, and very valuable souvenirs were given to many of her friends.The bulk of her property was inherited by her111ENGRAVINGS OF MDME. DE POMPADOUR. 485brother, who, with the Prince de Soubise, to whomshe bequeathed a diamond of great value, was herexecutor. She possessed the finest cabinet of medalsin Europe, and her library , rich in rare MSS. andchoice editions, was valued even then at upwards of amillion of francs. The sale of her collection of antiquefurniture, and art treasures of the rarest kind, lasted six months. A small edition of a series of sixty- threeplates-etchings—engraved by herself, after intagli byGuay, was printed for presents to friends, who eagerlysought a souvenir of a woman remarkable in her life,and whose career forms a portion of history.CHAPTER XLIV.“ Ah! Poor Duchesse!" - Mdlle. de Lespinasse . --Singularly Affectionate.-- A Tale of Sentimental Love.- " Behold YourQueen! " —A Horrid Thing to have Nerves . — The Aristocratic Author.-- L'Abbé Maury's First Sermon . –Madame Doubletde Persan, -Distraction for the Dauphin . - Death of theDauphin. -M. Thomas's Eulogy of the Dauphin. -Piron'sTribute of Laudation .-- Death of King Stanislaus . — Bossuet Parodied.1What great question is this that so agitates thecourt of Louis XV. , that interests both the queen andthe princesses? Even the dauphin is anxious for itssolution—the course of philosophism and Jesuitism being likely, for good or for evil, to be influenced byit. It is discussed with much eagerness in the salons.Attention is absorbed by it, and no other subject islistened to. Will it occasion a further expansion ofthe panier, or bring more generally into favor the di minished amplitude of the hoop? Will head - dressesrise a foot higher, or descend in the same proportion?Then, mysterious hints, nods, and glances, with which artful womankind often veils her own views,are employed by many an ambitious fair dame, toindicate that an intimate acquaintance or bosomfriend actually hopes for a successful result to her persistent efforts to take up the fallen sceptre of thelate duchesse.“ Poor duchesse!" sighs Malle. de Lespinasse, who isreclining on a sofa in the salon of Madame Geoffrin .MDLLE. DE LESPINASSE. 4876Every five minutes or so she does a stitch or two of embroidery, and in the intervals glances at a book which lies open beside her, and which is Sterne's d AC's “ Sentimental Journey.” This lady is the amie intime Salon!of the philosopher d'Alembert, in whose salon she presides; also at his weekly Encyclopædical dinners. Sheis herself a philosopher, very learned, and shares withd'Alembert and Diderot the editing of that wonderful work of the eighteenth century, “ L'Encyclopédie Philosophique." For some two or three years past,twice a week, she has kept Madame Geoffrin in countenance at her dinners to the men of letters and menof the world. She is the only lady invited on theseoccasions. Madame Geoffrin had observed, she said,that a number of ladies at a dinner- party was verydistracting to the gentlemen. Conversation, insteadof being general, became broken , scattered, fragmentary , and wearisome. She was fond of unity herself,and she found that her guests were also.Madame Geoffrin, therefore, took the centre of herdinner- table, and opposite to her placed her charming friend, Mdlle. de Lespinasse. Both these ladies had awonderful talent for leading and sustaining conversation. They played into each other's hands, and keptthe flow of soul equably flowing: not impetuously tointerfere with the enjoyment of the good cheer Ma dame Geoffrin set before her friends, but just enoughto incite that pleasant state of feeling that allows good digestion to wait on appetite. She had no objectionto the presence ofladies at the petits-soupers after herreception. Then they were welcome guests - always,of course, brilliant women and the flower of the greatworld.Malle. de Lespinasse was reputed of noble birth. But488 THE OLD RÉGIME.her escutcheon bore a bar sinister, like that of her friend d'Alembert. She had,, however, been very welleducated, and was brought from Burgundy by Ma dame du Deffant, when first threatened with blindness,to reside with her as companion. She was then just twenty. The philosophers and other frequenters of the salon very soon made it clear to the “ clairvoyant blind woman , ” as Voltaire called the marquise, that they preferred the conversation of the younger lady to hers. Malle. de Lespinasse had no beauty of face. She was remarkably plain, and much marked with thesmall-pox - a common disfigurement at that time - butshe had very fine eyes and beautiful hair. She wastall and of an elegant figure, and dressed with excellenttaste. Her voice was pleasing. She possessed a wonderfully winning tongue, and as La Harpe and otheradmirers said, and a voluminous collection of love letters attest, “ a singularly affectionate soul," for eventually she died of love and grief for a lover's death, and left a group of lovers, distracted withlove, to lament her loss.She had been ten years with Madame du Deffant,when it appeared that Walpce was becoming enchanted also. The old marquise could not toleratethat. ' Disagreements, not to say quarrels, ensued;when d'Alembert, being as madly in love as a philosopher well could be, carried off Malle. de Lespinasse,,and gave her a salon to preside in . Through the interest of the philosophical minister, Choiseul, he obtained for her a pension from the king's privy purse - her claim to it, probably , being her “ singularly affectionate soul;" for in her quality of sub-editor of the Ency clopædia, and d’Alembert's aide- de-camp, she could hardly excite much interest in the king."BEHOLD YOUR QUEEN! " 489orBut to return to the sofa where we left the ladywith her favorite author, pining away, sentimentallyin love with two three philosophers and asmany handsome cavaliers; each one convinced that itis he who reigns supreme in that gentle damsel'sheart, and he alone who inspires those eloquently passionate billets - doux in which to each and all she poursforth the tender tale of her heart's woes. Once moreMdlle. de Lespinasse sighs forth “ Poor duchesse! " forMadame de Pompadour is still the theme of the scan dal-mongers of the salon .“ Why ' poor duchesse '? ” inquires rather brusquely a friend who sits near her. “ Why should you pityher? Very recently I saw her dance, or I should say perform, the ' Menuet de la Cour ' with the most grandly impertinent air in the world. Clairon's ridiculous ‘grande révérence,' which we hear so much of, is not to be compared , for pretentious dignity, with Madamede Pompadour's courtesy. It was a courtesy, certainly;but invested with an air that seemed to say to allpresent, Behold your queen! ' ”'Marmontel," began Lespinasse, apologeticallyMarmontel,” interrupts this chatterer of the salon ," sings her praises, I know - she appointed him His torian of France—now dry your eyes, mademoiselle:your poor duchesse was but a little bourgeoise, who hadcaught a certain air of the court — what is Marmontel buta bourgeois? He is the friend, too, of that brother, the disdainful Marigny, now richer than the king; in fact,as rich as a Jew, and going to marry a Mdlle. Filleul,a cousin or friend, or sister-in-law, or something of that kind, of Marmontel's - a bourgeoise, of course. Hedared not condescend to such a marriage as that - cona490 THE OLD RÉGIME.descend, you know - while his sister, the poor duchessewas living. I hear that the king is really concerned ather death, though he affected gayety and nonchalancefor a day or two. Her apartments are closely shut up,by his order, and he proposes never to reopen thembut time will show. To keep up his spirits he hasdoubled his usual daily dose of champagne, and Richelieu spends his mornings in comforting him . ”“ The old duke will comfort him, if anybody can.He says the king told him-Richelieu keeps no secrets,you know - that although he had sometimes felt that Madame de Pompadour's opinions had more weightin the councils of France than his own, yet her fondness for power of that kind was so intense that to deprive her of it would have been her death. She hadstatesman-like qualities, he said, and he had more confidence in her than in his ministers. ' But this and muchmore must be known to you, mademoiselle. You philos ophersknow everything. Ah! I perceive you are againin tears. You suffer from nerves, I believe, like therest of us. It is a horrid thing to have nerves, is itnot? Dear me! what will d'Alembert say if he per ceives that I have unconsciously made you weep? orle Comte“ Ah! madame, I beg of you- "“ Well, I will not breathe his name. You are far toosensitive, my dear-M. de Buffon is here this evening,I see as usual, in full dress; and, as usual, in hisfavorite arm - chair; reposing on his cane, with his eyeson the ceiling; a benignant smile on his face, and his thoughts up in the clouds, in pursuit of an effective turn for an unsettled phrase now coursing rebelliouslythrough his brain. That horrid Jean-Jacques, youknow>, when he visited Montbard, Buffon being absent,L'ABBÉ MAURY'S FIRST SERMON . 491fell on his knees and kissed the door-step of his study.He imagined him • l'homme de la nature ' in the same sense as himself, when they are far as the poles asunder. Look for a moment on le Comte de Buffon, thetype of the ' aristocratic author. Look at his frilland ruffles of fine point- lace; his embroidered vest;silk stockings, gold shoe-buckles, cocked hat, and gold.headed cane. Then fancy Jean-Jacques, in his slatternly robe and caftan , tramping about Paris, with all the blackguards of the capital at his heels, and thinking it fame. For my part, I love him not. ”“ There are Buffon and Diderot side by side. Ah!what a striking contrast! -would not you say that Buffon had just left the court, and Diderot the tavern? ”“ Diderot is a greatman," replies Mdlle, de Lespinassewith as severe an air as she can assume,“ According to Voltaire-yes; but are you aware that the insults he calls criticisms have just killed poorCarle Vanloo, and that with less judgment than spitehe decries the really pleasing pictures of Carle'snephew , Michel Vanloo? Boucher has now Vanloo'spost of " first painter to the king ” -a new grief for Did erot. * Good- night, my dear, I perceive M. le Comte gazing at me imploringly. I mercifully give up my seat to him . Ah! yet another moment. Have you heard ofthe sermon last night at Madame du Deffant's house?"“ A sermon! No, madame.”“ As you know, she affects to keep up in her salon ,as far as this degenerate age permits, the long-ago -forgotten traditions of the once- famed Hôtel de Rambouillet. You remember, no doubt, the incident of

  • Boucher died in 1770, suddenly-brush in hand, and alone in

his satin -draped boudoir -atélier - before a picture he was painting of “ Venus à sa Toilette."492 THE OLD RÉGIME.young Bossuet preaching there his first sermon, ex temporized at ten minutes' notice, to an assembly ofgreat ladics and their cavaliers. Well, the poor oldblind marquise revived this scene last night in her salon, for the edification of the fine ladies and theiramis intimes there assembled; the hero of it being ayoung abbe of nineteen, recently arrived in Paris, andcaught for the occasion by Pont de Veyle. Wonderful lungs, and already a good philosopher, I hear; hisname, I believe, Maury. Again, good -night - d'Alembert will tell you more about it - M . de Guibert, I see,grows impatient.”All the court news gleaned at Versailles, all thechit- chat and gossip of the capital, served for conver sation, comment, and amplification in the Parisiansalons in the evening. In the salon of Madame Dou blet de Persan, who for forty years inhabited an ' outside apartment” of the convent of Les Filles de St.Thomas, two registers were always lying open, forcontributions of news that her visitors might have gathered in Paris, or elsewhere, in the course of theday. One register was labelled “ doubtful reports; "the other, “ trustworthy information ." Under the di rection of Petit de Bachaumont, the scraps of newswere arranged under different heads, and copied in alegible hand. These manuscript sheets of "“ Nouvellesà la Main ” were then despatched per post to the provinces, and, distributed by Madame's servants, had anextensive sale in Paris. It was from materials thusobtained that Bachaumont wrote his “ Mémoires Secrets . " His friend, Madame Doublet, lived to nearlyà century, and died at last in the convent.Her newsletters circulated in France for near forty years, and her salon was frequented by many persons of celebrity1DEATH OF THE DAUPHIN , 4932011mur00 04eing a15, 200"OuderriisEllerOOTEErisianDoris" OUTde Sand of extreme opinions. But it was not a fashiona ble salon, or reunion of the beau monde. The Lieutenant of Police usually kept a watchful eye on it; forthough no gambler, schemer, or philosopher herself,her doors were hospitably open to all of them.But at this time news was scarce, and, except for thequestion, " Who shall succeed her?" the courtwasdull; “the king was gloomy, and little was seen or known ofhim. The dauphin, whose health was never robust,had taken so deeply to heart the dissolution in France of the Society of Jesus that it was reported he wasfalling into a decline. He had experienced anothervexation in the greater alienation that now existed between him and his father, besides continued deepgrief for the loss of his eldest son. A camp was thenforming at Compiègne, and the king at last consentedto allow him to gratify his military tastes, and to seek distraction in superintending the new maneuvres about to be introduced into the French army. Emancipated from the restraint he had so long endured,and which at his age ( thirty- six) must have been extremely trying, he entered on his new duties and occupations with so much zeal that his weak constitution gave way under the unusual fatigues imposedHe returned to Versailles at the end of theautumn, worn and weary, and after languishing for afew weeks, died on the 20th of December, 1765 .From one end of France to the other, the pulpits resounded with the praises of the dauphin. Hehad rather prematurely announced his intention ofpursuing with extremest rigor the enemies of religion;and of the throne-when he should sit on it .therefore , the hope of the Jesuits. And the clergy generally were anxious at his death to raise him ton, forharef therts;'edinewson it. in allesprodanthus


arlyHe was,WSandity494 THE OLD RÉGIME.the honor of saintship. In exalting so greatly the virtues of the son, they condemned the vices of the king.Louis XV. felt this; but its only effect was to increasehis dislike to that son , whose death, as he told Choiseul, affected him but little , though, for form's sake,he thought it right to remain for awhile in seclusion.The saint of the Jesuits seemed likely to become the saint of their enemies, the philosophers. M. Thomas,the academician, in his eulogy on the dauphin, spoke of him in terms so exaggerated that the philosophicbrotherhood accused him of having “ rather unmasked the batteries. ” “ If the prince, ” said Diderot, “ reallymerited a hundredth part of the praise M. Thomas haslavished upon him, who in this world ever resembled,or could hope to resemble, him? But can any oneapprove such a mass of hyperbole, of which the falsehood is so strikingly evident? What sort of opinion must the father, who well knew his son's faults, formof men of letters, when one of the honestest amongthem can without shame make up his mind to standforth and lie to a whole nation? His sisters, too?And his wife? As for his valets, they will but laughat it .”Grimm, as characteristically, but with less vehe mence, remarked , “ If, in good faith, M. Thomas believes that the dauphin possessed a fourth of the qualities he has ascribed to him, it is very certain thathe is no descendant of Thomas the apostle." By de grees the prince-whose character the king describedas more Polish than French-was idealized by the philosophers, until they had made him one of themselves. The books he openly denounced were de clared to have been, in secret, his constant companions and his most diligent study. Locke “ On the Human Understanding , ” of which, in translation, he and the 9DEATH OF KING STANISLA US. 495the risde Barcelcreases saleusicame themasasketreallys hasied700ealse20101formJesuits had been strenuously active in preventing the circulation in France, was never out of his hands, they said , in the privacy of his study, and was dearer to him than his prayer -book - generally supposed tohave been dearest of all. Even Piron took up his pento laud the dauphin. But it was not the pen of the Piron of former days. Following the fashion of thebeauties of his time, Piron had forsaken the sins of hisyouth, and in his latter years was grown devout. In stead of seeking for Piron, as of old, in the taverns,those who now wanted him sought the old sinner in the churches. His tribute of laudation to the dauphintook the form of sacred poetry, in which , naturally,no low jest was allowed to intrude. He imagined the prince in heaven, and put into his mouth a magnifi cently pious and lugubrious tirade. But what wasPiron without his scurrility and his licentious wit?“ If the dauphin in paradise was occupied in making and reciting such poetry as that," it was remarked,“ he would surely take precedence of M. de Voltaire.”On the 23d of February, 1766, two months afterthe death of her son, poor Marie Leczinska lost her father, King Stanislaus. He was eighty- eight years of age; but the circumstances of his death made itmore affecting Alone in his dressing- room, and seated near the hearth on which some large logs of wood were burning, his robe- de-chambre took fire. Hewas infirm , unable to aid himself, and his cries for assistance were not immediately heard. When hisservant returned to him , he found the old king, who had made great efforts to extinguish the flames, lyingon the floor, his hands and legs very much burnt.The pain of his wounds produced fever, and he diedafter lingering a few days in agony. Stanislaus was greatly beloved in Lorraine. It had become a cusongtandtoo.ughchebethehatdehedtheemieONSanhe496 THE OLD RÉGIME.tom with many of the nobility of the French court,and other wealthy persons, to make frequent visits tohis little capital, which he had taken so much pride inembellishing. His loss was therefore felt at Versailles far beyond the intimate circle of the queen.The funeral discourse delivered on that occasion by the Père Élisée momentarily turned a distressingcatastrophe into a subject for mirth. Thinking, probably, to produce an effect similar to that caused byBossuet, when he began the celebrated oration on thedeath of Madame Henriette d'Angleterre— “ O disastrous, o dreadful night! when, like the crash ofthunder, that awful cry resounded, Madame hasdestroyed herself! Madame is dead!” the Père Éliséebegan. “ O day! O frightful moment! when we heardresound about us long sobs interrupted by these sadwords: The king's clothes are on fire! his life is in danger! the king is dangerously ill! ” - a ridiculousparody, that provoked subdued laughter. As observed by Boulogne, to make it still more perfect heshould have said, “ The king is burning; the king isburnt. ”Death was very busy at that time in the family ofLouis XV. In March, 1767 , the dauphine died, to theextreme grief of the queen, who lost in her almost her only companion and friend. Her daughters wererestless, and dissatisfied with their position-ill brought up in the Convent of Fontevrault, and their education neglected . In the following year the queenalso died. Her malady, apparently, was a deep and settled grief, a gradual pining away. On the 24th ofJune, 1768, it terminated in death, for which, motionless , speechless, she had lain for weeks anxiously, as it seemed , longing and waiting.11CHAPTER XLV.Birth of Napoleon Buonaparte.— “Forming” a Queen of France.-The Empress Marie Thérèse . — Madame d'Esparbés Un masked. - Rival Intrigantes. - Noble Hopes O'erthrown.Retribution Exacted.-- Installing the Favorite. -A Favorite'sPrivileges. — Enter La Comtesse du Barry . - The Hair-dresserin a Difficulty.— “ La Belle Bourbonnaise.”It had been generally expected that>, at the deathof Madame de Pompadour, the favor which M. de Choiseul had for six years enjoyed with the kingwould come to an end; and, in the natural course ofthings, the reign of a new favorite usher in a new min istry . Four years had now passed away. The apartments of Madame de Pompadour yet remained closed,and the Ministère Choiseul, more compact than anyperhaps that had hitherto held power in France, was still supreme.M. de Choiseul's unfailing flow of spirits; his wonderful self - confidence; the tact with which he man aged the king - relieving him of all anxiety, and settingthings before him in a pleasant and satisfactory light-had obtained him so much influence that, althoughsurrounded by enemies watching eagerly for hisdownfall, M. de Choiseul was master of France, or asit was customary to say, “ He possessed the king. "As a minister he has been considered more brilliantthan able; endowed with many agreeable qualitieswhich as a man of the world made him popular in so498THE OLD RÉGIME.ciety, but deficient in the more solid ones that shouldcharacterize a statesman. One of the later acts ofhis ministry was the successful arrangement of the union of Corsica to France, after much opposition inthe island and the hopeless struggle of the brave Paoli for freedom . On the 15th of August, 1768, thisunion was proclaimed, and on its first anniversarywas born the man who, it may be said, was destined to unite France to Corsica - Napoleon Buonaparte.After the death of the queen, Choiseul was anxiousthat Louis XV. should marry an Austrian arch duchess. Mesdames the king's daughters were desirous of fixing his attention on the young Duchessede Lamballe, the widowed daughter - in - law of the Duc de Penthièvre. This would have been a morganaticmarriage; but the king did not incline to either pro posal. He declared also that he was not disposed tofollow the example of his predecessor. To ensure hiscontinuance in power in the event of a change of rulers, the duke obtained the king's consent to negotiate with M. de Kaunitz the marriage of the dauphin,the Duc de Berri, with the Archduchess Marie Antoi.nette, the youngest daughter of the empress- queen.Both Kaunitz and Choiseul claimed for themselvesthe highest political merit for thus powerfully cement ing, as they imagined, the union between the twocrowns and countries.- The dauphin was then little more than thirteenyears of age, and Marie Antoinette twelve. The youngarchduchess was born on an ill - omened day, the ad of November, 1755; that fatal All - Souls' Day when Lisbon, with 30,000 of the people, was destroyed by thegreat earthquake -- an event which struck terror, intothe hearts of the inhabitants of every city in Europe.MADAME D'ESPARBÉS UNMASKED . 499When the marriage was arranged, the actors Aufresne and Sainton and the Abbé de Vermond were engagedto form the giddy young girl, whose education hadbeen entirely neglected , to play her part, as futurequeen, at the court of France. Marie Thérèse sacrificed the happiness of all her daughters to her ambitious political views, and very cruelly the lives of twoof them to her miserable, narrow -minded bigotry andperverted piety. The devout empress --magnified intoa heroine on the strength of the well- known idealized scene that drew from Hungarian gallantry the cry of “ Moriamur pro rege nostro, Maria Theresa ” -whenit served her purposes, could be more than complai sant to the mistresses of Louis XV. , and instructed her young daughter to adopt the same course; looking forward too conſidently to the continued support ofChoiseul.The Baron de Bezenval says of his intimate friendthe Duc de Choiseul that he was “ prone to the weakness—the worst that a man officially employed can have - of yielding too readily to female influence."He could be swayed by the whims of his charming little philosophical duchess, as well as by those of otherclever women. His sister, the Duchesse de Grammont, had considerable power over him; and it was through her that the Ministère Choiseul, which had solong triumphantly defied all attacks upon it, wasfinally overthrown. The duchess had set her heart on succeeding to the vacant throne of Madame de Pompadour. The duke had warded off all other aspirants,and had effectually destroyed the hopes of Madamed'Esparbés, who thought to win the favor of the kingby displaying for his admiration her very beautifulhands when plucking the stalks from some cherries.500 THE OLD RÉGIME.The tribute of admiration was duly paid to thepretty fingers, and to the grace with which they per formed their work. Thus encouraged, she continuedpersistently to pay her devoirs to her gracious sovereign, who, as Madame de Genlis informs us—in heraccount of her presentation at about this time—was still remarkably handsome, and of noble presence;though other reports are less enthusiastic. But it didnot suit Choiseul to admit Madame d'Esparbés toshare the government with him; so notwithstanding his gallantry, he put an end to her schemes, by un masking her, as it were, before the beau monde at Marly;where the king more frequently sojourned than before the death of Madame de Pompadour. As the dukeand several ladies and gentlemen of the court were descending the grand staircase, he tapped Madamed'Esparbés familiarly under the chin, and said aloud,and in a manner understood by all, “ Well, little one,how do you succeed? ” This persiflage, which amused all but the lady herself, he repeated to the king; who was so shocked at her audacious design of making aconquest of him that a lettre- de-cachet was immediatelyissued; and Madame d'Esparbés - informed that she was released from the duty of paying court to hismajesty—was ordered to retire to Montauban, the estate of her father, the Marquis de Lussac.Madame de Grammont attacked the king more insidiously. Louis XV. , to a certain extent, had respected the grief of the queen under the family bereavementsshe had sustained—if but little affected by them himself. In her long illness he seemed concerned andanxious, and visited her often; so far evincing moredecency of feeling, and more regard for her, than those great ladies of her court who were intriguing againstNOBLE HOPES O’ER THROWN. 5019 )each other to obtain the post of maîtresse- en - titre, which-not desiring, one may venture to hope, further todistress the queen-he was in no haste to fill up whileshe lived. They had now no fear of a little bourgeoisebeing againso highly exalted. Choiseul would opposethat, they felt sure; while, further to avert so great acalamity, the highest ladies in the land were patrioti cally willing to sacrifice themselves to save the honor of France and her king.The attentions of the duchess were received byLouis with very marked coldness, which, however,chilled not her ardent ambition to become his “ guide,philosopher , and friend . " " By means of obstinacyand audacity, ” and “ a certain fascinating power of domination " which she gave herself credit for possessing, she yet hoped that her praiseworthy efforts wouldprevail. What, then, was the consternation of thisnoble lady, and that of all the Roman matrons of thecourt, when the duke announced to the free- thinkersof Madame de Grammont's atheistical salon the reopening of Madame de Pompadour's apartments! Fiveyears had nearly elapsed since a key had been turnedin the locks or the shutters been opened. The richgilding was found tarnished, and damp and moth hadbeen destructively busy with the heavy velvet draperies, etc. Costly new furniture is ordered, and theapartments are to be splendidly decorated withoutdelay.But this is not for Madame de Grammont. Mostpersons present are aware of that, and their furtiveglances seem to inquire how she bears it; for they arealso aware of her pretensions. But a few days since the king had told her-perhaps with charitable intention of giving her credit for scruples she had not,502 THE OLD RÉGIME.1though she interpreted it differently — that “ he wouldhave no Dame de Maintenon in his court. "What he needed , he said, was à salon where he couldsup and bring together a little company of intimates under the sceptre of a gracious woman; and sinceMadame de Pompadour he had not found one. " This .phænix, it appears, is found. The duchess discernsplainly the hand of Richelieu in this secret intrigue.Jealousy and intense hate possess her mind, and shedemands of her brother more than his accustomedpersiflage, or mere hostility to this mistress expectant.The death- blow to her hopes must be avenged. Heroutraged feelings exact severe retribution.Forthwith, an infamous parentage; a life of deepestdepravity; low habits, and even worse than coarselanguage, are ascribed to this new mistress of LouisXV.; maîtresse-en - titre she is not yet. Her presentation, according to the etiquette established and observed by the Grand Monarque himself, has not yettaken place; and if Madame de Grammont, aided bya band of pamphleteers and song-writers, can brandher with infamy, it will not. Songs and lampoons andscandalous stories are sung and said and fiddled inevery corner of Paris. Crowds gather round to hearthem; to mock and laugh, and to hiss the name oftheir Well- beloved. What is called the “ story of herlife " is circulated , sold, or given away, just as it happens, in all the most frequented streets and places ofpublic resort. It was on such a foundation as thisthe baseness of a high-born dame, disappointed in herhopes of being the mistress of a worn- out libertineking—that the ill - fame of Madame du Barry longrested .It was surely dishonor enough that a young andA FAVORITE'S PRIVILEGES. 503>beautiful woman, though not of the privileged class,should fill so disgraceful a position. But the greatladies saw in it only usurpation of an exalted postcreated for the daughters of illustrious houses.The day appointed for the installation of the favoritearrived . ( The commands of “ Louis le Grand werevery precise concerning this ceremony. ) She is to be presented to Mesdames, the queen being dead, and her position at court recognized by them. Henceforth she is entitled to recommend to ministers the personsshe favors as applicants for office. And her recommend ition is to be received as a royal command. Sheis entitled to expect visits of etiquette from the grandees of the court and foreign ambassadors; to accompany the king on his numerous journeys from palaceto palace; to visit all branches of the royal family; in short, to have all the privileges and honors of a queen.Without the presentation she could claim no such dis.tinction; with it she is the first lady in the land.has France at her feet; and if like Madame de Pompadour, she has tact, she cannot be expelled from thedignified post to which his majesty has raised her.The hour appointed for the presentation of Madamedu Barry by the Duchesse de Mirepoix had passed, andthere were no signs yet of her arrival. The king hasbeen accustomed to punctuality, and shows some signs of impatience. If Mesdames dared say what theythought, it would be nothing favorable to this “ impertinent grisette who has bewitched the king ” -as thosewho know her only from Madame de Grammont's songs and sonnets are accustomed to call her. Lordsand ladies exchange very meaning glances. They expect this creature to come rushing in and, in her lowpatois and her ignorance of les convenances, horrify the504 THE OLD RÉGIME.august circle with an account of some vulgar cause of delay. The old Duc de Richelieu, the Count d'Aiguillon, and others of their party, begin to look seriousand to wonder what will be the result of this contretemps. It is of course by an intrigue of those whodesire Choiseul's office that the young girl whoseappearance is now by all present so anxiously awaitedhas been introduced to the king — their intention beingto employ her influence to further their own views.The king, in no excellent humor, is about to post pone the ceremony, when Richelieu, who had withdrawn to ascertain why and wherefore this noblecompany should be kept so long in suspense, returns,and informs his majesty that Madame du Barry isthere, but, having unfortunately arrived so late, shewould not enter without permission. His majestypermits. The doors fly open. Enter the grand usher.Numerous attendants. Then the Duchesse de Mirepoix,and by her side, her train borne by a royal page, a visionof youth, beauty, grace, and modesty—the Comtessedu Barry. She is tall, her figure elegant and sylphlike, her complexion brilliantly fair, with a pale rose bloom on her cheek. And it is not rouge, which, withexcellent taste, she never made use of. Her eyes areof a deep violet blue, and she has wavy light- brownhair. *She was twenty- three, but appeared much younger.Her modesty and graceful manners particularly struck the courtiers, also the elegant simplicity of her dress;and it was said by one present that, instead of the

Some accounts speak of her “ fine dark eyes and rich southerncomplexion. But Madame Vigée Le Brun, who painted her portrait, should be good authority; and she describes Madame daBarry as above.“ LA BELLE BOURBONNAISE . " 505acausemid'adigana serie


OSETHE- whisi awaitedietstopurseparte


6TOIVENAIT)lesiteking's mistress, and such a mistress as they had lookedfor, she might have been taken for " a little school-girlwho had just come from her first communion.” Thedelay in her arrival was owing to the difficulty the hair- dresser experienced in getting her rebelliouslycurly hair dressed up to the proper height, and hertorture under the operation . The Duchesse deGram mont, who had passed her fortieth year, was infinitelyannoyed by the denial-in appearance, at least-soforcibly given to her infamous reports. Her rage was not easily appeased, and the next morning the ears ofthe young countess were assailed by the disgracefulsong “ La Belle Bourbonnaise, " sung under her win dows.Madame du Barry was de son siècle, no doubt, as was Madame de Grammont herself. But there is no proof beyond the infamous songs and stories circulated by the duchess and the people she employed that Madame du Barry was the degraded creature she has been described on this more than doubtful authority. She was extravagant, thoughtless, and believed that theriches of the king were boundless. But her kindness of heart; her thoughtful care of the poor and sick on her estate of Luviciennes, where she was greatly be loved; and her desire to aid Louis XVI. and his queen in their affliction, plead strongly in her favor. The devotion, too, of such a man as the Duc de Cosse Brissac could hardly have continued for ten years,undiminished, to a woman vulgar and depraved; andlastly, her death, by the guillotine of the monsters of the Terror, should excuse and expiate many a fault.ajeshusbereboot128901M.ARulauke.michesarrowangvartruckressftheIporiedíCHAPTER XLVI.The Dauphin and his Brothers . -Arrival of the Bride. -A Timid Young Bridegroom. —Les Fêtes Magiques. - Fête of the City of Paris. -A Terrible Catastrophe .-- Lamentation, Mourning,and Woe.- Marie Antoinette.It is the 14th of April, 1770. The Château de Compiègne is filled with guests a brilliant assemblage of the great nobles composing the court of Louis XV.The king, with his three young grandsons -- the dau phin, the Comte de Provence (afterwards Louis XVIII. ),and the Comte d'Artois ( Charles X.), arrived at thechâteau on the evening of the 13th , to receive the Aus trian Archduchess Marie Antoinette Jeanne Josèphede Lorraine, the betrothed of the dauphin . The bride groom elect, a stout, heavy- looking, melancholy boy,wears an air of resigned indifference to his fate thatreminds one of his grandfather, when, at the same age, fifteen and a half, his cousin de Bourbon withhis mistress, Madame de Prie, married him to MarieLeczinska.Of the younger brothers, Monsieur (the Comte deProvence) is as thick and ungainly in figure as the dauphin. But there is more expression in his counte.nance-perhaps he is more intellectual , and possiblya little more crafty. The Comte d'Artois is rather slimly formed, and report credits him with having in herited in a greater degree than either of his brothersARRIVAL OF THE BRIDE. 507the impetuous, chivalrous, restless, yet tyrannicaltemperament of the Poles, of which his father exhibited so large a dash in his character. . But theyare still mere children , and their dispositions andmental faculties but partially developed. The marriages of both these poor boys are, however, arrangedto two little sister Princesses of Savoy.A crowd surrounds the château, and anxious groupsare assembled at every town and village along the lineof road the young Princess is to pass. In so terriblybreak- neck a state were these roads that, in case of amishap to the cortège of the royal bride, they have been thoroughly repaired for the especial occasion of herjourney. The couriers arrive. There is a grand fourish of trumpets; the king and the dauphin mount their horses, and, with a numerous retinue, ride forth to meet and welcome the future queen of France.Notwithstanding his sixty years, Louis XV. makes afar more gallant knight than the dauphin, who wouldmuch prefer to be employed with his last new play thing-a blacksmith's anvil — than in playing the loverto any young lady.The old state travelling carriage is in sight. Putting spurs to his horse, the king leads the way, and,with his plumed hat in his hand, rides up to theside of the cumbrous vehicle. A lively - looking girlof fourteen and a half years, fresh and fair, but withno beauty of feature or even of figure at that time,returns the king's greeting. Her manner betrays that she has been drilled into the necessity of being verydignified. But something of the hoyden is evident in the inclination, with difficulty restrained - though thesolemn eyes of l'Abbé de Vermond are upon her - toburst into laughter at the part she is playing in this508 THE OLD RÉGIME.formal scene. Like the " consecration of the Sultana, "to quote the expression of a French writer, it is conducted according to the rules of etiquette, prescribedand observed a hundred and ten years before by the great Louis XIV. at the reception of his fiancée, Maria Theresa of Spain.The bridegroom on the present occasion is, however, far more like the boy king Louis XIII . , when,being desperately out of temper and naturally frigid,he was obliged to show himself to the good bourgeois of Paris by the side of his sparkling, coquettish youngbride, Anne of Austria. The lively imagination of the present little archduchess had pictured to itself afar more dashing young husband than the gloomy,timid, fat dauphin. He speaks not a word to her.She glances curiously at him now and then, and gen erally meets the eyes of the youthful Comte d'Artois.Both of them smile; for there is more sympathy between this boy and her than the others.remarked at the time that it was a pity they had notbeen destined for each other; but it was a still greaterpity, as subsequent events too well proved, that the marriages of such children should have taken placeat all.The civil part of the ceremony of the fatal marriage of Marie Antoinette and the dauphin was performedon the 15th, and on the following day the nuptial benediction was given at Versailles by the Archbishop of Paris. A series of fêtes followed. And notwithstanding that the exchequer was in its customarychronic state of exhaustion, twenty millions of francs -an almost fabulous sum for that period—were expended upon them. “ Fêtes magiques,” they weretermed, from their surpassing in splendor anythingIt wasFÊTE OF THE CITY OF PARIS. 509then remembered, or, owing to the greater facilitiesavailable, than had probably ever been seen in France,Visitors, noble and royal, flocked from every part ofEurope to witness them; while in the provinces manypersons who, in those non -travelling days, had nevermade the journey to Paris took this favorable opportunity of seeing the reported splendor of their capital. 'These marriage fêtes formed an event in the lives of many people - an event deeply impressed on theirminds by the terrible catastrophe that terminatedthem; and which, in after years, was again broughtvividly before them by the tragic death, on the same spot, of the ill -starred pair whom all classes in Francewere now vying with each other to honor.Never, perhaps, was more luxury and extravagance openly displayed in Paris by the court, the nobles, therich bourgeoisie, and by many who were not at all rich; or more indignation expressed by those wholooked on, unable or unwilling to join in the reckless pursuit of pleasure - so prophetic of evil—then frantically whirling around them. Foreign visitors caughtthis infection of folly, and sought to outrival the Parisians in splendid entertainments in celebration ofthe inauspicious event, in the richness of their equipages and expensiveness of toilet.The public rejoicings had continued for six weeksuninterruptedly. On the 30th of May they were toclose with the fête of the City of Paris; a banquet andball; illuminations, and fireworks at night on thePlace Louis XV. ( now Place de la Concorde), thatwere to surpass all that had preceded them. Thousands of people assembled in the Place. It was thenin course of construction , and with the Rue Royale,also incomplete, surrounded by a scaffolding or hoard510 THE OLD RÉ of wood, that closed the openings, except at onecorner, and was made to serve as a stand, or support,for the set pieces. Most unfortunately, through some mismanagement, this hoarding took fire, and burntrapidly. No means were at hand for extinguishing the flames, and there being but one egress for the mass of people that filled this spacious square, in stantly, with eager haste, all endeavored to makefor it .Crushing upon each other, hundreds were suffocatedby the pressure; those that fell were trampled todeath. Groans and screams “ arose from earth toheaven in one wild shriek .” Frantic cries for help,that none could render. Sounds of agony rent theair, thrilling with painfulest emotion through thebreasts of all who, powerless to aid, were witnesses ofthis fearful scene. Many rushed desperately throughthe wall of flame that surrounded them as a funeralpyre, and, burnt and bleeding, found a terrible deathin the excavations then making for the formation ofthe Rue Royale. A number of the police scatteredamong the people in the enclosure perished withthem. In the fearful disorder that prevailed, theyalso, naturaliy, shared in the mad struggle for life.Nothing, in fact, could be done until the fire hadburnt itself out, and the extent of the calamity wasascertained.Then the dead were separated from the dying; the sufferings of the wounded and burnt attended to inthe hospital, and convents, and nearest hôtels. Innone, it is said , were sympathy, hospitality, and kindcare more freely shown than in the hôtel of the Comtesse du Barry. The youthful couple, greatly distressed at so sad a disaster, gave their first year'sMARIE ANTOINETTE. 511allowance, which had just been paid to them for theirmenus plaisirs, towards mitigating the misery that hadfallen on many poor people. Few, indeed, failed tomake an offering according to their means for thesame charitable purpose.But money, had it been more abundant and liberally forthcoming, could not avail to soothe to any ·great extent the wide- spread sorrow and suffering oc- .casioned by this lamentable event. Neither the sufferers nor the survivors were all of the poorer class.Grief, deep and acute, prevailed in many a well- to - dohousehold , from the sudden and terrible form of itsbereavements.The six weeks of frenzied dissipation closing in " lamentation, mourning, and woe," seem to have been,as it were, a foreshadowing of the career of the frivo lous, vain , and unfortunate Marie Antoinette; onwhose account all these revels took place that were indirectly the cause of the sad catastrophe. In her after- life she was calumniated in her intentions, doubtless, though inexcusable in her conduct; which, worse than thoughtless, deserved censure, justified suspicion,and invited calumny. Some apology may be foundfor her errors in the earlier period of her life, in her wretched bringing- up, and the trying position she was thrown into, at an age scarcely beyond childhood, that of “ the first lady" ( the queen being dead) in the gayestand after that of Catherine of Russia, the most disso lutę court in Europe.CHAPTER XLVII.Stanislaus Poniatowski. -Madame Geoffrin at Vienna . - L'Autri .chienne. —Mesdames the King's Daughters.-- " Gros Madame. "-L'Ingénue. —The Court of the Dauphine. - A Marriage onthe Tapis. — “ Nineveh shall be Overthrown. ” — The CandleExtinguished . - " Et Pourtant, il était à Fontenoy!”-WHEN Catherine II. placed Stanislaus Poniatowskion the throne of Poland, he wrote off to MadameGeoffrin , as soon as he was settled in his palace,Maman, your son is a king. Come and see him ."Poniatowski had been “ formed , ” for his part, in the salon of Madame Geoffrin . He was a philosopher, anadmirer of Voltaire, and the friend of his disciples,d'Alembert, Marmontel, and Diderot. Proud of herbrilliant pupil, of his many accomplishments and success in society, Madame Geoffrin was accustomed to call him her son . She paid the debts he contracted inParis, and kept his pockets fairly supplied with loosecash.That she had much regard for him appeared in thereadiness with which she responded to his invitation.For it was her habit to live all the year round in theRue St. Honoré, where, she said, the air was good andagreed with her, and that the trouble and fatigue ofmoving about did not. She was then nearly seventy,but, at the bidding of her adopted son, she withoutdelay undertook the then arduous journey to Warsaw.Once fairly on her travels, the great event soon becameMADAME GEOFFRIN AT VIENNA. 513known; and Madame Geoffrin, for whose extraordi:nary celebrity-unless derived from her reputation as" the foster -mother of philosophers " —it is difficult toaccount, was entreated by the Empresses of Austriaand Russia to visit Vienna and St. Petersburg.Poniatowski received her with almost royal honors;and the magnificence with which the fascinating roulthanks to Russian bayonets-was then surrounded greatly rejoiced the heart of his adopted mother. It was whispered about that Madame Geoffrin had notdisdained to be the bearer of some political secret.But whether true or not, she was welcomed by Marie Thérèse with great cordiality, and entertained withmuch distinction. The wily empress drew from her flattered guest all possible information concerning the court of Versailles and the society of Paris. Her daughters were introduced , and the little Marie Antoinette, then between ten and eleven, greatly attracted Madame Geoffrin .“ Here is a charming little archduchess," she said,taking the child on her lap. “ How I should like tocarry her away with me to Paris!"“ Take her, take her, " replied Marie Thérèse, laughingly.“ But I do not choose to go,” exclaimed the child;and, before she could be prevented, she escaped fromthe room.When Madame Geoffrin returned, and reopened hersalon, the account she gave of the incidents of herjourney and her visits to foreign courts excited greatinterest. Soon after it became known that a matrimonial alliance with Austria was on the carpet, and the lady who had seen the future Queen of Francewas visited and consulted as an oracle. As the an514 THE OLD RÉGIME.66swers of oracles are generally reputed to have been ,so were those of Madame Geoffrin -- vague, yet bearing the most favorable interpretation, and ultimately disappointing the hopes of the inquirer. It was saidthat Mesdames had privately conferred with her, andthat to them she had spoken less vaguely. She hadfound the court of Vienna dull, to a degree that astonished her; the ceremonious courtesy of French society wanting, and the little archduchess in need of much “ forming."The king's four spinster daughters, of whom theyoungest, Louise Marie ( rather deformed , very ill tempered, but very devout, and who took the veil atthis time) , was thirty - seven, and the eldest forty- three,possessed immense influence over the dauphin . Madame Adélaïde, who had some superstitious objection to an Austrian princess reigning in France, was the first to use disdainfully the epithet " l'Autrichienne"to designate Marie Antoinette. To her mind it conveyed the idea of the absence of all the fascinationsof a Frenchwoman; the utter want of the fine manners which distinguished the polished and exigeante, if corrupt, court of France. The slatternly, idle, andill - behaved German girl was Madame Adélaïde'saversion, and she communicated her feelings to the dauphin, so far as his unimpressionable temperamentwas capable of receiving them .Madame Adélaide had forgotten her own youthfuldays, when, rough- mannered and boisterous, shemight have been mistaken for a boy in petticoats.She scraped away lustily on a violin in those times,climbed trees, jumped over tables and chairs, andwent through the soldiers' exercise, as far as sheknew it; her great regret being that, as a girl, she“ GROS MADAME.” 515could not " lead the drums for papa roi . " The kingused then to call her his “ dragon ." She had been onmore friendly terms than the rest of the royal familywith Madame de Pompadour. She and Madame andthe king took their coffee together in the morning;the king, who excelled in such matters, always preparing it himself. Then there was Madame Victoire,who most resembled Louis XV. , and whose deep blueeyes, like his own, had been greatly admired. Vic toire was the daughter he called “ Pig . " MadameSophie (“ Raven " ) was third on the list, and very like Marie Leczinska in features and kindly disposition.There were yet two other Mesdames, in whom Marie Antoinette found more congenial companions,though a year or two younger than herself. Theywere the sisters of the dauphin, Madame Clotilde andMadame Elizabeth. The former was so enormouslyfat that she was familiarly known by the sobriquet of “ Gros Madame.” When, in 1777, she married thePrince de Piedmont, brother of the two princesses ofSavoy, brides of Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois, the following epigram went the round of the salons:“ Le bon Savoyard qui reclameLe prix de son double présent,En échange reçoit Madame,C'est le payer bien grassement."" *One would have thought that when a bagatelle likethis could interest and amuse society, more leniencywould have been shown to the frivolities and șilly re

  • “ The good Savoyard who demands

The price of the double gift sent,In exchange has Madame on his hands;Overpaid thus, he must be content."516THE OLD RÉGIME.marks of a gay - hearted but ill - taught girl. ButMarie Antoinette was disliked from the first. ThatChoiseul who arranged the marriage should, on her arrival, have been in disgrace was a great disadvantage to her. Owing to her cruel and unmerited fate,she has been idealized into a vision of youthfulbeauty, grace, and goodness. It is certain, however,that her manners were offensive and her temper violent, needing constant rebuke; and that when atFontainebleau, in 1771, serious thoughts were entertained of seeking a divorce.Marie Thérèse, so neglectful of essentials in the bringing up of her daughter, had been very careful toinstruct her — with reference to Madame du Barry“ that she must take things as they were, and keep ongood terms with the comtesse, and, if necessary, flatterher," in order to be successful in her own viewsflattering and pleasing Louis XV. Poor Marie Antoinette on arriving at Versailles began to act on this advice. Not having the art, of course, of so experienced a flatterer as the wily empress- queen, sheoccupied herself with Madame du Barry in a mannerthat offended both her and the king. The questionsshe put to Madame de Noailles, and her observationsto others-repeated and laughed at until they hadgone the round of the court and been considerably amplified on their progress-were not set down to theingenuousness of an innocent girl. She played remarkably well, it was thought, the role of ingénue;much better, indeed, than they gave her credit, some years later on, for playing soubrettes, and other parts,in which she was so fond of exhibiting herself - acting and singing " royally ill ," as those who flattered hermost to her face were accustomed to say in her absence.A MARRIAGE ON THE TAPIS. 517When, two years after, Monsieur and the Comted'Artois married the young princesses of Savoy,Marie Antoinette found life more genial andpleasant at Versailles. This party of married boysand girls became very intimate; formed themselvesinto a society apart; dined and supped in privatetogether, with a small intimate circle of their own,composed of the youngest and most thoughtless ofthe court. They danced, and sang, and performedplays in secret; defying all the rules of etiquette, andoften their revels led to desperate quarrels. Thedauphin held himself much aloof from this vivaciouscoterie, of which the Comte d'Artois and the dauphinewere the hero and heroine. Mesdames were horrified;absented themselves from the card -tables, which, asthe first lady of the courtma severe mortification toMadame Adélaïde - were now placed in the apartment of the dauphine. Madame, however, set up herown tables, carrying with her Madame de Noaillesand all the elder ladies of the court; for they had discovered thay they and their etiquette were subjects ofjest and laughter in the rackety court of the dauphine.At about this time Cardinal de Bernis made a journey to Rome, with a view of inducing the Pope todissolve the marriage of Madame du Barry. LouisXV. had once told Choiseul that he would have no“ Dame de Maintenon" at his court. It now appearedthat he had changed his mind, and contemplated amorganatic marriage with Madame du Barry. Herhusband, Count Guillaume du Barry, had obliginglyfurthered his views, and a " sentence of separation " waspronounced by the tribunals. But the little fat cardinal failed in his mission to Rome. Not that his holiness was unwilling to yield to the behest of his most518 THE OLD RÉGIME.!Christian majesty; but the marriage of Madame duBarry being legally recognized, the Church , it wassaid, had not the power to dissolve it.The difficulty, notwithstanding, would probablyhave been overcome at no distant date, had not theking been attacked by a fatal disease which unexpect edly brought his inglorious career to an end.On the 27th April, 1774, as Louis XV. was on hisroad to the hunt in the forest of St. Germain, he andhis party came in contact with a funeral procession.The road being narrow, they drew aside to allow it to pass. In reply to inquiries, they were informed that itwas the funeral of a young person who had died of thesmall- pox. The king was supposed to have had thisdisease in his childhood-a slight eruption, from which he entirely recovered, after an indisposition ofa few days, having been mistaken for it . When,therefore, he was taken ill, on the 30th of April, hisphysicians, having no suspicion of small- pox, at once bled him freely. Continuing to grow worse, and thenature of his disease becoming developed in its mostmalignant form, precautions were taken for isolatingthe young princes and princesses, who, with the exception of the dauphine, had not had the small- pox.In one of the Lenten sermons, two or three weeksbefore, the Bishop of Senez, M. de Beauvais, hadtaken for his text, when preaching before the king,“ Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”A stirring discourse, in which Paris and its dissolutesociety were compared to Nineveh and its inhabitants,and coming retribution foretold, had caught the conscience of the king. He could not get the subject out of his thoughts, and was anxious for the end of these forty Lenten days. Madame du Barry, to whom he comTHE CANDLE EXTINGUISHED. 519municated his fears, was no less so, being extremelysuperstitious; while the aged libertine, Richelieu,laughed at them both, and endeavored to cheer theking. Two hundred thousand francs were given to the poor and for prayers to Ste. Geneviève, but without avail. Whether or not it be true, as asserted bysome French writers, that Louis XV. really regardedthe bishop's sermon as prophetic, and having relation to himself, it is singular that on the fortieth day after its delivery he was conveyed to St. Denis for burial; as ignominiously as his predecessor had been near sixty years before. His three daughters, who remainedwith him in his illness, took the disease, but recovered;though with its disfiguring traces piteous to see.Several of his attendants died; and the lives of twoor three priests, whose duty it was to watch by this mass of corruption during the night, were sacrificed also .The youthful royal family, assembled in a distant apartment, anxiously awaited the signal of death -- theextinguishing of a candle in the window of the king's bed - chamber. At last the light disappears. All preparations have been made for departure. The car,riage that is to convey them to Choisy stands ready at the entrance-the horses and servants anxious as them.selves to set off. They are rather subdued, these six young people, but, on the whole, far from sad; for alively remark of the Comtesse d'Artois, on the oddness of the manner of their journey, breaks the spell,elicits a hearty laugh from the whole party, and at once there is an end to their mourning.The body of the king was put in a coffin and cov ered with lime. The first conveyance at hand wasbrought forth , and the coffin thrust into it. Twenty520 THE OLD RÉGIME.attendants, in their ordinary dress, without sign ofmourning, followed with torches, and the procession set out for St. Denis, “ at a fast trot, ” as Bezenvalsays in his graphic, and probably the most trustworthy, account of the illness and death of Louis XV.Those who encountered this funeral convoy saluted itwith an imprecation or a handful of mud. Not a soulregretted this worthless king. But a veteran soldiershouldered his musket and saluted as the processionpassed out of the gates of Versailles, in the dead ofthe night, on the 13th of May, 1774. " Etpourtant,”murmured the old soldier, regretfully, “ il était à Fontenoy!"CHAPTER XLVIII.The Last Lettre -de- Cachet.— “ The Rights of Man ." - " TheCrown Chafes. ” — The Young King and Queen .-- The Queen'sCoiffeur. -Hurrying on to Perdition. –Visits to Luviciennes. .-The Duc de Cossé- Brissac . - Voltaire's Return to Paris.Voltaire's Reception. -Death of Lekain .-- Les Femmes Philosophes. - France Crowns Voltaire.- Death of Voltaire. —L'Ile des Peupliers. - The End of the Old Régime.“ A FINE reign which begins with a lettre- de-cachet!"said Madame du Barry, when, with the politest ofbows, the Duc de La Vrillière presented himself at Ruel, whither she had retired at the request of the lateking, and handed her the order to repair forthwith to the Abbaye of Pont- aux- Dames. Had she knownwhat was taking place beyond court circles, she would have said " which ends " rather than " which begins. "For La Vrillière, who had grown old at the head ofthe Administration des Lettres - de -Cachet, ” having“ never had the honor," as Madame de Pompadour said, “ of being dismissed from that post ” -veryshortly after found that his occupation was gone.He had been in the habit of furnishing those lettersto his mistress, Madame de Sabatin, in lieu of the ample sum she needed for pin- money. Any one,therefore, desirous of quietly getting rid of a husband,brother, or father, wife or daughters, had but to make a present to Madame de Sebatin. One of the lastperhaps the very last - lettre -de - cachet issued by royal522 THE OLD RÉGIME.command was that which recommended the maîtresseen - titre of Louis XV. to seclude herself for awhile inthe retreat pointed out to her. The people wouldsubmit to no more of these iniquities; and although at times, in the succeeding reign, a refractory noblewas invited to reside at his estate, he usually declinedthe invitation, now that it was not made by letter.France had accepted the oft- repeated saying of LouisXV. , “ After us the deluge;" accepted it as a consolatory truth, as a guarantee, over and above its ownsecret resolve, that the state of things then existingunder him should come to an end with his reign.The tottering old monarchy and the effete ancient régime were therefore buried together in the unhonored tomb of “ Louis, le Bien -aimé," and the nationlooked forward with hope to the expected reforms ofthe new reign.The many startling events of that reign; the impolitic acts of the weak but well- intentioned king; thecensurable ones of his thoughtless and frivolous queen,can of course be only referred to, and that in the briefest possible manner, in the few concluding pagesof this volume.The old régime was at end; an entire change of sceneát hand; and " the rights of man ," in the philosophicsense, were about to be loudly asserted. “ I see theseeds of a revolution everywhere scattering aroundme," said Voltaire- " a revolution that will, in dueseason, unfailingly arrive, though I shall not have thepleasure of witnessing it. There will then be a finetumult. The young people are lucky indeed; theywill see wonderful doings. The French are tardy inall things; but in the end they attain their objects."Such was the situation of affairs and the feeling of theTHE CROWN CHAFES. 523.acountry when Louis XVI. , not yet twenty years ofage, utterly ignorant of the routine of government and business of State, and giving no evidence of the possession of qualities for successfully coping with the difficulties of the position he was entering upon, wascrowned at Rheims.The crown being placed rather uncomfortably onhis head, " It chafes, " he said. Those present who “heard his remark were struck by it as an unfavorable omen-for this atheistical and philosophical age wasremarkably superstitious. Henri III . had said on asimilar occasion, “ It pricks." Was there possibly a fatesimilar to his in reserve for Louis XVI.? Who couldtell? Yet the similitude of his remark seemed a presage of evil. On the other hand, hopes were high with a portion of the Parisians. Though hitherto a nullity,whom no one had thought of, what was now reported of his private life and principles was encouraging, andthe hopes and expectations of his people were made known to him , as he passed through Paris, by theword " RESURREXIT," placed conspicuously in largecharacters on the statue of Henri IV.king was affected . “ Oh! what a grand word!” heexclaimed, with emotion.With new responsibilities , and positions more promi nent and assured , the different characters of the kingand his brothers became more fully developed. Theincapacity of Louis XVI. was very soon patent to bothcourt and people. “ His soul," says Sainte- Beuvc,“ was unfitted by its very virtues for the rôle. of king."He was sincerely pious, truly kind and humane; butthere was nothing brilliant or attractive in him, eitherintellectually or personally. The queen, for some years, though she interfered greatly in affairs of State,The young524 THE OLD RÉGIME.and intrigued to establish her favorites in influentialposts, had no influence with the king. He was guided,unfortunately for him, by the Comte de Maurepas, whohad been twenty- three years banished from the court,and was recalled, to be the confidential minister of aninexperienced king, at the suggestion of Mesdames.The tastes and pursuits of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. were wholly dissimilar. He was methodical inhis habits, moderate in his expenditure, and his recreations were of the soberest kind. The queen wasincapable of giving her mind to any but the most frivolous occupations. She passed her time like aprofessional actress-her only study, the part she wasto sing or play in the afternoon or evening. Or she was rehearsing with the actor Dazincourt, who instructed her in her favorite rôles — the soubrettes; orinventing with Malle. Guimard new toilets; or head dresses of the most ridiculous extravagance in heightand breadth . Leonard, her hair - dresser, could putfrom ten to twenty yards of gauze in a lady's head dress, a damask table- cloth, or — as he once elegantlyintroduced into aa head head -- dress dress —a lady's cambricchemise.Marie Antoinette grew considerably during the four years that elapsed from her marriage to the death ofLouis XV. When she came to the throne, she wasabout the middle height. Her figure had improved,though, from her lounging, careless habits, she hadbeen bandaged and compressed, to prevent one shoulder growing out. Her long neck now carried herhead very gracefully, and without being either beau tiful or pretty, as her confidential friend, Bezenval,tells us, the expression of her features was agreeablewhen she was in a good humor. This was not tooHURRYING ON TO PERDITION . 525uentialuidedas thee courtr of andamesLouisical inrecten wasmostjike ahe wasr she70 iS; Orearteightoften the case, it appears. The quarrels, and scenesof violence, among the youthful royal family are lamentable to read of. The Comtesse de Provencehad the intensest dislike to the queen, and her hus band shared her feeling.Her midnight rambles with the Comte d'Artois;their opera balls; their visits to Ramponeau's teagarden, in the Courtille des Porcherons; the queen'sconfessed enjoyment of the Shrove Tuesday saturnaliaat the latter low place of amusement , as well as theextraordinary indiscretions that gave rise to calumnious reports against her, are all too well known.The letters of the Comte de Mercy d'Argenteau have revealed nothing new; but they have confirmed muchthat before was deemed doubtful. The affair of thenecklace; Beaumarchais' calumny; the sensation cre ated by his “ Marriage of Figaro ," and the queen's per formance of Susanna - all these things, and manysimilar ones , are also familiar.While the queen was “ hurrying on to perdition ,” asthe empress, her mother, wrote to her, Madame duBarry was holding her court at Luviciennes. She hadwon golden opinions from the nuns of the Abbaye ofPont- aux- Dames. And when, at the end of year anda half, she wrote to Maurepas that “ if she had everknown any of the secrets of State, she had now entirely forgotten them ," he replied that all thingsshould have an end; that she was at liberty to return to Luviciennes, and to visit Paris whenever shepleased. “ Her sweetness and grace had been remarkable," he said, “ and he was glad she had thought sowell of him as to make her application to him ." Hehad also to inform her that the king was pleased togrant her a pension of two thousand crowns.5 put readantbrica fourh ofwasted,TadOulherau:al,ble00526THE OLD RÉGIME,>> )The pension was certainly unnecessary. Madamedu Barry was wealthy. Her château and groundswere a kind of little paradise, and, like the Duc de Choiseul in his exile at Chanteloup, she had always acircle of friends around her. The Duc de Deux- Pontssent his minister to bid her remember that there wasalways a safe retreat, with a warm reception awaiting her, in his domains. The King of Sweden, GustaveIII . , went to her, and made a similar offer, and JosephII . , when in France, spent a whole day at Luviciennes.The gardens are said to have been beautiful. With Madame du Barry on his arm , the emperor visited allthe wonders of her little paradise. When she expressed her gratitude for his kind attentions to " apoor recluse,” “ Madame," he replied, “ beauty is al ways queen, and the whole world her empire."The romantic devotion of the Duc de Cossé- Brissac-Governor of Paris and colonel of the Cent- gardesdu Roi-to Madame du Barry is singular. For tenyears, until he fell a victim to the Revolution, he paid her a sort of passionate worship; such as, in the oldromances of chivalry, gallant knights were supposed to render to the ladies to whom they had sworn fealty.He had made a will providing for her, and recommending her to the care of his daughter as “ one who had been very dear to him .” He had foreseen whattroubles were coming on France; the probability of his own death, and of distress falling on her; but he had not anticipated, it would seem, that the guillotine would claim her also as its victim. The Duc was beheaded not far from Luviciennes, and his bleeding head thrown into her apartment.But before the Revolution had deluged France withblood, and when only the first distant mutterings ofVOLTAIRE'S RETURN TO PARIS. 527Vadamalvarsaear Pantshere wascanna12isited 2:1ske er.5 10 "Brisacthe coming storm were heard , the aged philosopherwho for sixty years “ made unrelenting war against prejudices ” was desirous of once again visiting thecapital, from which he had for twenty-eight years beenbanished. In 1777 he had sent his tragedy of “ Irene"to the Theâtre Français, and some misconception ofthe characters on the part of the actors had considerably annoyed him. Patience in such matters was notone of his virtues. He had therefore a further inducement to undertake the journey in his wish to have histragedy rehearsed under his own eyes. His niece, theMarquise de Villette, recently married at Ferney, butnow settled in Paris, urged him also to come and tomake her house his home.Accompanied by Madame Denis, he imprudently left Ferney at the beginning of February, in weatherof extremest severity. The greatest attention was paid him on the road , and every precaution taken by the postmasters and others to ensure his safety andcomfort. He arrived in Paris on the roth of February, 1778. He was enveloped in a large loose pelisseof crimson velvet, with a small gold cording at theedges, and deeply bordered with sable. His travellingcap was also of velvet and fur. It was carnival time,and a party of revellers, on the look-out for masks,mistook poor old Voltaire for a carnival reveller, andpursued him for a considerable distance. In spite offatigue and the inclemency of the weather, he was nosooner out of his carriage than he set off on foot to theresidence of his dear angel, Le Comte d'Argental, whoreturned with him to the house of M. de Villette.As soon as it was known that Voltaire was in Paris,it occasioned an immense stir and commotion amongstthe clergy, the philosophers, and the court; and indeedcardsor tenhere?posedfealtyec0.11e mrhothatut heotines bedingwith3 of528 THE OLD RÉGIME.amongst persons of all classes. “ Voltaire was againamong them! ” He who had made it the business ofhis life to uproot what he conceived to be error, whosefeelings and opinions, whether absent or present, hada predominating influence in France - his name wason every one's lips, his arrival the one subject of conversation, and all eagerly desired to see him .He rose at seven on the following morning to receive the Prince de Beauvau and two other academicians deputed to welcome him. The rest of “ theforty ” soon followed. D'Alembert, La Harpe, and the philosophic brotherhood were also among the firstto offer their felicitations to their master and thepatriarch of the sect. The French comedians arrivedin a body to pay homage to him, and later in the daythey rehearsed “ Irene ” before him, as he lay in bed,whither the fatigue of his early reception at last com pelled him to retire. Malle. Clairon, in her enthusiasm,fell on her knees before him, he, unfortunately, beingnow too old and stiff to do, as in such cases he hadever been wont to do.On the 12th Voltaire was informed of the death ofLekain, and was so much affected by it that he remained for two or three days in strict seclusion.Meanwhile, courtiers, ministers, men of letters, and all persons of distinction in the capital, including many of the clergy, paid visits of congratulation, ormade anxious inquiries concerning his health . But hewas not received at Versailles, and it was rumored that the Archbishop of Paris had entreated the king to orderhim to retire from the capital. But the vivacious oldpoet made light of these marks of disrespect, and aston ished his admirers by his gayety and the “ prodigiousvivacity ” of his conversation . The learned MadameLES FEMMES PHILOSOPHES. 529She wasNecker paid her respects to him; also Benjamin Franklin , then in Paris with his nephew, whom he presentedto Voltaire and asked his blessing upon him. He re plied by exclaiming in English, and in a loud voice(for he was almost delirious with excitement), “ Lib erty, Tolerance, and Probity!!" The young Abbé de Perigord (Talleyrand ) also craved the benediction“ of him who had freed the nations from the bondage of error." Amongst other celebrities, Madame du Barryis said to have visited him. To her great amusement-having exhausted his repertoire of gallant speeches -he addressed her as " votre divinité ." . “ The fostermother of philosophers ” was not spared to witness this apotheosis of Voltaire. She had died in the previous year; also Malle. de Lespinasse. Only Madame du Deffant still lived; but her salon was closed.about the same age as Voltaire, but far less vivacious -inhabiting an apartment in the convent of St. Joseph,and while waiting for her summons from this world occasionally turning her thoughts towards anothernothing now being left to this femme philosophe andfree- thinker but, as she wrote herself, “ the dread ofeternity.”The sixteenth representation of “ Irene” was about to take place. Voltaire, from his exertions in instructing the actors in their parts, had been compelled to keep his bed . Finding himself somewhat better, hedetermined on witnessing the performance of his play. The theatre was crowded to excess. When heentered the box reserved for him—that of the gentlemen of the bed - chamber — the whole of the audiencerose and cheered him vociferously. A cry, “ Let him be crowned," was taken up and repeated in all partsof the house. Voltaire bowed his thanks, but would530 THE OLD RÉGIME.have declined the proffered honor; nothing of thatkind having before been attempted in France. Butthe audience persisted, exclaiming -- as Buzard, who played the High Priest in “ Irene, " advanced with alaurel crown — “ ' Tis the people; ' tis France that sendsit.” He then yielded to their wishes.The tragedy being ended, and while the audiencewere waiting for the after- piece, the curtain unexpectedly rose, revealing the whole of the company ofcomedians grouped around the bust of Voltaire elevated on a pedestal in the centre of the stage. MadameVestris, who had played Irene, then advanced, andrecited an ode addressed to the poet, whose namewas chanted at certain intervals by the rest of the company, each of whom held a laurel wreath in hishand. The ode ended , the actors and actresses, passing separately before the bust, placed their wreathsupon it, the audience meanwhile applauding withfrenzier enthusiasm .Poor Voltaire, greatly overcome by this scene, wascarried almost fainting from the theatre, preceded byan excited throng hailing him as the Sophocles andHomer of France.Arrived at the hotel of M. de Villette, the courtyardwas found crowded with his friends and people of dis tinction, to offer their congratulations on his recoveryand the triumphal reception he had just met with.Turning towards them, he thanked them in a tone ofunusual emotion for the honors heaped upon him, and,he added, “ for the glory under which he was about to die . "It was his last public appearance. He kept his bed for some days, and, being more composed, MadameDenis, his niece, was proposing to return with him toL'ILE DES PEUPLIERS. 531of thece Bird, thewith aat sendsudienceexpectany olre ele9adamed, andnamieof thein hispasscreates低 融Ferney. But excitement so continued had brought his feeble frame to the gates of death. He ralliedslightly; was feverish and impatient. A large dose of opium threw him into a lethargy.. Momentarily he was roused by the news that the name of Lally -Tollen dal was freed from the disgrace cast upon it by the ignominious and unjust death he had suffered on the scaffold - a gleam of pleasure passed over his counte nance, “ I die content,” he said . “ I see the king isjust."His body was embalmed, and conveyed at night to the Convent of Sellières. Before the bishop, who hadintended to prevent his burial, could issue his orderto that effect the ceremony had been performed. His heart was enclosed in an urn, and placed by M. de Villette in the chamber he had used as his study.The urn bore this inscription_ “ His heart is here, hisspirit everywhere."Thus ended the long career of Voltaire— “ the manwho had dominated his age.”Rousseau— “ the one who had disturbed it " -shortly followed him. In July of the same year -- either dyingby his own hand or suddenly struck down by apo plexy - Jean -Jacques' troubles, discontents, and imaginary wrongs were brought to a close at the retreatM. de Girardin had provided him with at Ermenonville . He was buried there on a small island, l'Ile desPeupliers. On the tomb raised to his memory by Girardin was inscribed, “ Ici repose l'homme de lanature et la verite."Through the summer of 1778 it was the fashion to make the "“philosophic pilgrimage " to the tomb of Jean-Jacques. Marie Antoinette visited it; Madamedu Barry also— “ Le Devin du Village” being per9 )mased bySandvardfdisVETTithe ofandoutbedame7 to532 THE OLD RÉGIME.formed, on their return, at their private theatres.Later in the year, when Monsieur le Comte de Provence was hunting in the Capitainerie de Chantilly ,, the hounds pursued the stag to the Ile des Peupliers;and " without, at the time, being aware of it, " saidMonsieur, “ the animal was killed on the tomb ofl'homme de la nature. ”How the remains of Voltaire and Rousseau weredisturbed by the monsters of the Revolution is wellknown. How liberty degenerated into license, and how Louis XVI. and his queen from weakness toweakness, from folly to folly, too rapidly, and toosurely, hurricd on to their fate, are facts no less familiar to every one.Here then we leave them, with feelings of pity and sympathy; for the fate of Louis XVI. was due farmore to the despotism and depravity of his predeces sors than to political mistakes and faults of his own.Both he and his queen may, in fact, be regarded as the scapegoats of the vices of the Old Régime.11INDEX.ACADEMY OF Music, 54, 406 Achmet III. , 104 Adelaide, Mad. , 383 , 514, 517Agenois, Duc d' , 251, 257 Aidye, Chevalier d', 125 , 222 Aiguillon, Count d' , 504 Aiguillon , Duchesse d' , 37 Aissé , Mademoiselle, 98; in Ma.dame de Tencin's salon , 125 ,185; her illness, 218; herdeath, 222; 269 Aix - la - Chapelle, Peace of,signed , 304; consequences,357; 382; conditions of, 477 Alberoni, Cardinal, 70 Alembert, d' , at Madame de Tencin's, 209, 217; and Ma demoiselle Clairon , 245; an “ Economist ,” 345; prepares the Encyclopædia, 353, 441;privilege withdrawn, 446; and MademoiselleLespinasse, 487,488, 490; 512; visits Voltaire,528 Alincourt, Duchesse d' , 179 Amiens, Bishop of, 438 Angennes, Julie d' , 31 Angeville, Mademoiselle d' , 209,244 Angleterre, Madame Henriette d ', 496 Anne of Austria, 155 , 508 Anne of Brittany, 161 , 169 Anquetil, 27, 424 Antier, Mademoiselle, 187, 202 Antragues, Madame d' , 143 Argenson, Le Comte d' , head of police department, 70; 141;organizes the secret system ,152; 181; on conversation ,Argenson, Le Comte d' , (contd .)220; and Madame de Chậu teauroux, 256, 258; and Ma dame de Pompadour, 278,282; opinion of M. Geoffrin ,313; his character, 316; mem ber of the cabinet, 312; con nection with the Ecole Militaire, 362; commanded to re sign, 436, 437; grants priv ilege to d'Alembert, 446; 450 Argental, Le Comte d ' , in Madame de Tencin's salon, 122;193; wishes to marry Adri enne Le Couvreur, 199; 209,225 , 226, 439; accompanies Voltaire, 527 Argenteau, Comte de Mercy d' ,525 Arnaud, Baculard d' , 389, 394Arnould, Mademoiselle Sophie,458, 465 Arouet, François Marie, 127 Artois, Comte d' , receives MarieAntoinette , 506 , 508; marries a princess of Savoy, 515; at the court of Marie Antoinette,517, 525 Artois , Comtesse d' , 519 Aufresne, 499Augustus of Poland, 235 Augustus of Saxony, 235 , 302 Ayen, Duc d' >, 434BACHAUMONT, Petit DE, 492 Baden , Princess of, 225 Bals de l'Opéra , 47 Balzac, Jean Louis, 317 Banque du Roi , 84 , 89 , 122 Barbier, 149, 274534 INDEX.Bardes, M. , 473 Baron , Michel, 31; retires from the stage, 57; returns to the stage, 60; plays Britannicus,177; his farewell, 196; hisburial , 200Barry, Count Guillaume du,517 Barry, Madame du, Madame de Grammont's opposition to,502; her presentation, 503;her care of the wounded, 510;Marie Antoinette's relationswith, 516; her marriage, 517;her superstition , 518; her re tirement , 521; her return, 525;visits Voltaire, 529, 531 ·Barthélemy, Abbé, 416, 467 Bastille, 16, 26 Bavière, Princess Charlotte de,24Berri, Duchesse de, 47, 106 Berryer, M. , 152, 337 , 368 note,431 Berwick, Marshal, 237 Bezenval, 255 , 420, 499, 520, 524 Biancotelli, 52 Bibliothèque Nationale, 31 Black, Miss, 226 Blois, Mademoiselle de, 24 Bocage, Madame dı, 441 Bolingbroke, Countess of, 226 Bordeaux, Wine of , 358 Bossuet, 31 , 113 note, 492 Boucher, his painting, 206, 213,366; his model, 368 note;paints Madame de Pompa dour, 373; 481 , 491; his death,491 noteBeaujolais, Mademoiselle, 162 Beaumarchais, 379 note, 525 Beaumont, Christophe de, 290 ,390 , 448 Beaumont, Madame Leprince de, 465 Beauvais, M. de, 518Beauvau, Prince de, 528 Béchamel, Vicomte de, 80, 100 Belcourt, 390, 392 , 398 Bellegarde, M. de Lalive, 468 Belle-Isle, Maréchal de, 256,341 Belmond, Mademoiselle, 63Bembourg, 56, 63 Benedict XIV. , 243, 390, 407Bernard , Samuel, 34 , 120, 212 Bernis , de, Abbé and Cardinal,accompanies the king, 337;with Madame de Pompadour,344, 410; his advancement,412; his poetry , 416; member of the academy, 417; in the king's good graces , 420; loses the king's favor, 426; recom mends Clermont, 453; pro poses making peace, 456; vis its Rome, 517 Berri, Duc de, 408, 483, 498Bouffiers, Chevalier de, 465 Boufflers, Duchesse de, 179,199,416 Boufflers, Marquise de, 291 Bouillon, Duchesse de, 198 Boulogne, 496 Bourbon, Duc de, his character,14; hatred of the Duc du Maine, 92; becomes first min.ister, 145; sends back the in fanta, 160; in favor with thequeen , 171; opposes Fleury,175; his arrest, 178; 506 Bourbon-Condé, Duc de, 90, 116 Bourdaloue, 31, 109Bourgogne, Duc de, 108, 361,483 Bourgogne, Duchesse de, 310 Boyer, Bishop, 243 Boyron , 64 Broglie, Comte de, 420 Broglie , Maréchal de, 420, 425 Buffon , M. de, 490 Bulle Unigenitus, The, accepted by the French clergy, 113; 211;" -tickets of confession , ” 290;rejected by Parliament, 390;as lively as ever, 407 Bungener, M. , criticism on Mas.sillon , 109; on Madame de Pompadour, 271; sinecires,. 413; on Madame de Pompa dour, 482INDEX. 533104, 116onBurgundy, Duchess of, 9Buzard, 530Byng, Admiral, 422CALENDRINI, MADAME, 226 Calot, 321 note Camargo, 205 Cambrai, Archbishop of, 71 ,Capefigue, 344 Carignan, Madame de, 272 Carlos , Don , 162 Cartouche, 174 Catherine of Russia, her dress,95; her first court reunion,97; her dissolute court, 511;places Stanislaus thethrone, 512; invites MadameCCGeoffrin, 513 Caylus, Madame de, receives arelic , 6; her suppers , 50; the Czar's admiration , a ratherlively grace,” 98; 298 Cellamare, Prince de, 70 Chabanon , 440 Chambord, Comte de, 427 Chambord, Comtesse de , 427 Champmeslé, Madame, 31 Chardin, 367 Charles Albert of Bavière, 246 Charles Edward, Prince, joinsthe French, 249; Culloden ,289; escapes from Scotland,300; a favorite in France, 303,304; ordered to leave, 304 Charles VIII . , 161,169 Charles X. , 506 Charolais, Mademoiselle de, 73,77 Charost, Duc de, 139, 142 , 178 Charost, Duchesse de, 187 Chartres , Duc de , 24 , 146, 255 Chassé, 202 Châteauroux , Duchesse de, “ aduchess for virtuc and merit , '252; her death, 257; 260; her jealousy, 261; her ghost, 265;267; her example followed ,276, 278; 294; demands d'Ar genson's dismissal, 342; 422Châtelet , Madame du, Voltaire'slines to , 125; at Cirey, 242; at Lunéville, 291; with Madame de Pompadour, 298; her death,308; her character, 320; her house, 324; 350; condolences on her death, 380 Châtelet , Marquisdu, 242 Chenevières, M. de, 272 Chesterfield , Lord, 358 Choiseul, M. de, expels the Jesuits, 376; 382; his opinion of Madame de Pompadour,385; minister, 448, 451, 457,472; the Treaty of Paris , 477;pensions Mademoiselle Lespi nasse , 488; his character, 497 ,499; unmasks Madame d'Es.parbés, 500; 501 , 504; in dis grace, 516; 517, 526 Choiseul, Madame de, 416, 457 Choisy, 234 Clairon, Mademoiselle, her dé but, 244; plays “ Cleopatra , ”272; borrowed plumes, 393;reforms stage dress , 398; the grande révérence, 399; be friends Marmontel, 400, 436;444, 450; teaches Sophie Ar nould, 459; the grande révér ence, 489; visits Voltaire, 528 Clement, Pope, 113 note, 448 Clermont, M. de, Abbé de St. Germain- aux- Prés, 453, 455Clermont, Bishop of, 187 Clermont-Tonnerre, M. de, 394Clotilde, Madame, 515 Cochin, 365Coigny, M. de, 228 Coligni, 190 Collé , 200Collin , 380Colson . Gilles, 393 Comédie Française, 200 Compagnie de Commerce d'Occident, 84 Compra, 203 Conti, Prince de, 64 , 474 Conti , Princesse de, 262, 265 ,416536 INDEX.99Cooks, 33 Corneille, 31 , 196, 201 Cossé- Brissac , Duc de, 505 , 526 Crébillon, his character, 127;201; condemns “ Mahomet,243; 272, 350; his character,386 Crequy, Madame de, 239, 242,325 Cumberland, Duke of, 279, 429,431 Custrin , 338DACIER, MADAME, 34 , 242 Damiens, François, attacks the king, 434; his letter to theking, 436; his execution , 437;444 D'Aubigné, 190 note Daucour, 204 Daucour, Mademoiselle, 212 Dauphin, The,his birth , 195; 248;goes to Metz, 256; displeases the king, 260; his baptism of fire, 277; 280 , 290; his mar riage, 301; has small-pox,373; 387; kills the Comte deChambord, 426; 434, 435, 436,444; reads,“ De l’Esprit,” 445,446, 448; 452; defends the Jes uits, 458; denounces “ Emile,”472; his death , 493 Dauphin , The, (Duc de Berri),his marriage, 498 , 508 Dauvergne, 460 Dazincourt, 524 De Crome, 152Deffant, Marquis du, 185 Deffant, Madame du, her ennui,127; accompanies Madame de Prie, 179; her cynicism .183; Voltaire's admiration for,192; 209; her opinion of Hénault, 219; 298; her animals,309; at Ste . Geneviève's well ,317; a friend of Fontenelle , 332; her egotism, 443; her jealousy, 488; a sermon in her salon , 491; her “ dread of eternity ," 529Delaunay, Mademoiselle, 71 Deņis, Madame, 389, 527 , 530 De Sacy, Père, 374 Desmarets, Father, 435 Desmarets, Nicholas, 84 Despréaux, M., 149, 463 Destouches, 125, 203 , 210 De Tocqueville, 12 , 135 , 235;his opinion of Fleury , 247;452 Deux -Ponts, Duc de, 526 Diâcre - Paris, The, 211 Diderot, his character, 214; 247;witnesses Clairon's début, 245;“ L'Esprit,” 334; an “ Econo mist,” 345; his arrest , 347;his opinion of Rousseau, 353;his judgment of Greuze, 366;441; his writings , 447; his house searched , 471; his rela tions with Mademoiselle Les pinasse, 487; contrasted withBuffon , 491; his opinion of M. Thomas, 494; a friend of Stanislaus, 512 Dorneval, 55 Dragonnades, 31 Dubois, Abbé, his cynicism , 5;tutor to the Duc d'Orleans,24; his hatred of du Maine,40; relations with Madame de Tencin, 71; Mehemet's opin ion of, 104; advocates the Bulle, 114; made Cardinal Archbishop, 116; 120; sus.pected of poisoning the king,133; appointed minister, 140;his death , 141; his administra.tion , 179Duclos, his opinion of the re gent, 23 , 26; of the Comte deRiom , 50; of Richelieu , 78; of the Système Law , 91; of Paris, 149; of " Le Devin du Village , 351; 412, 417; aPythagorean, 475 Duclos, Mademoiselle, 58, 63,180 Dufresny, 149 Du Guesclin, M., 282INDEX. 537Dumesnil, 243 Dumesnil, Madame, 399, 400Dupin, M. , 239 Dupin, Madame, 239, 309, 350 Du Plessis-Mornay, 190 note Duras, 209ÉCOLE MILITAIRE, 362 Economists, 344Egmont, Comtesse d' , 399 Elisée, Père, 496 Elizabeth , Madame, 515 Elizabeth of Russia, 411Elysée Bourbon, 345 , 484 Embrun, Archbishop d' , 120 Épernon , d' , 228 , 230 Épinay, Madamed' , her " tame bear,” 467; her ami intime and i'homme sauvage, 468,469, 470 , 471 Esparbés, Madame d' , 499 Espinasse, Mademoiselle de l '.See Lespinasse Estrées, Maréchal Comte d' ,brings news of Fontenoy, 279;commands the army, 424;superseded, 428; " the Resem blance and the Difference,”429 Etioles, Alexandrine d' , 381 Etioles , Madame le Normand d' ,at Lille, 255; is presented at court , 261; her early life , 271;her marriage, 415. See Poisson,Jeanne Antoinette, and Pon padour, La Marquise de.Étioles, M. le Normand d' ,his indignation , 264; at the theatre, 272; 375; returns to France, 376; his marriage,415 Évreux, Comte d' , 345FALARI, DUCHESSE DE, 143 Favart, Mademoiselle, 292 Fell , 459 Fénélon, 22 , 109, 283 Fénélon, Marquis de, 283 Ferriol , Comte de, 224 Ferriol , Madame de, 224Ferté- Imbault, Marquis de la,311 Filleul, Mademoiselle, 489 Fitz- James, Bishop of Sois .sons, 255 Flavacourt, Madanie de, 250,294, 3-2, 428 Fléchier, 31 Fleury, André, Bishop ' and Cardinal, 51; the king's pre ceptor, 106 , III; refuses anarchbishopric, 115 , 116; un abbé élégant, 139, 146 , 161;leaves Versailles, 175; is re called, 178; his administra.tion , 179; his economy, 182;the Henriade,” 190; givesVoltaire a pension , 192; the resurrection of the Bulle, 211;his character, 220; his career,227; resigns, 231; approves Madamede Mailly, 233; re verses Crébillon's judgment,243; his death, 246; 253; his economy, 259; 266; his morality, 269; 272; commerce un der his administration , 274;dreads war, 285; 298; thenavy, 341 Fleury , Claude, Abbé, 108 ,113, 116 Fleury, Marquis de, 246 Fontenailles, Marquise de, 483 Fontenelle, 34, 122, 125; his character, 128; his selfishness,314, 315; 332; his death , 441,442 Fontenoy, battle of, 279, 335 Forcalquier, Madame de, 309 Fragonard, Jean Honoré, 366 Francine , 43 , 203 Francis I. of Lorraine, 324Franklin , Benjamin, 529 Frederick of Prussia, 253;possessor of Voltaire , 388;411; Grimm's correspondence with, 468; condition of his kingdom , 479 Fréjus, Bishop of, 106, 116,142538 INDEX.Fréjus, M. de; 51. See Fleury,André.Fréron, 444Fresme, Duc de, 17 Frise, Comte de, 319Fronde, The, 21Fronsac, Duc de, 9, 381 Fuzelier, 55Guay, 484, 485 Guibert, M. de, 492Guimard, Mademoiselle, 461 ,524Guise, Mademoiselle de, 216,321 Gustave III . , 526GALLAND, M. ,. 66 noteGallissonnière, Admiral de la,4226 )HAIDÉE, 98 , 125 Haro, Don, 118 Helvetius, 209; warned by Ma dame de Tencin , 217; his marriage, 328, 329; 345, 349,350, 359; “ De L'Esprit,” 445,Gaussin, 200Genlis, Madame de, 500 Geoffrin , Madame, her salon,308 , 319 , 385; displeased with Marmontel, 400; 443; her din ners , 486, 487; her travels,512; her death, 529 Geoffrin , M. , 310 George III., 477 Gêvres, Duc de, court page, 112;conspiracy against Fleury,228; his embroidery, 229; 250,384 Girardin , M. de, 531 Gobelins , Manufacture de glaces des, 310 Goldoni, 404Gontaut, Madame de, 232 Gotha, Duc de, 468 Graffigny, Count Huguet de, 321 Graffigny, Madame de, Lettres d'une Péruvienne,” 298; 309;her history, 321; visit to Vol taire, 324; opinion of “ L'Es prit,” 334 Grammont, Duc de, 281 Grammont, Duchesse de, her attentions to the king, 499,500, 501;opposition to Ma dame du Barry , 502, 503, 505Grandval , 201 , 396 Gresset , M. , 438Greuze, 366 Griffet, Père, 294 Grimm, Baron, 125 , 241; wit.nesses Clairon's début, 245;349, 384; as a news-gatherer,468 , 471 , 494447 Helvetius, Madame, 330 Hénault, keeper of the queen's purse, 218; 294 , 313, 358; his death, 441 Henri III . , 523 Henri IV. , 284, 523 Henriette d'Angleterre, 496 Herault , 70, 152, 160 Holbach , Baron d' , his charac.ter, 328; 349, 350, 358 Homer, 35 Hospice Pompadour, L' , 335 Hôtel des Invalides, L' , 363Houdetot, Comtesse d ' , 469 Hume, 475INFANTA, THE, Maria Anna Vic toria, 112, 118, 160 Innocent III. , 115JOSEPH II . , 526KAUNITZ, COUNT VENCESLAUS DE, 382 , 410, 498 Königsmark, Aurora von, 276LABORDE, 204La Fayette, Madame de, 123 La Fresnaye, M. , 188 La Gallissonnière, Admiral de,422 La Harpe, 440, 488, 528 Lally- Tollendal, 531 Lamartinière, Doctor, 435 Lamballe, Duchesse de, 498INDEX. 539le de, belong


rind11le weer330, biss characLambert, Hôtel de, 30 , 243 Lambert, Madame de, her salon ,30 , 32; 34; her salon , 65 , 110,122; Fontenelle dines with ,128; 186; her death, 220, 316 Lambert, Marquis de, 31 Lamothe-Houdancourt, 187La Motte, de, 59; explains to Fontenelle, 129; 196; refuses de Bernis a benefice, 415 La Motte-Houdart, 35, 65 La Muette, 106 Lancret, 205 La Noue, 190 note La Quinault, 210 La Reynie, 152 Largillière, 213 Lauraguais, Comte de, 460 Lauraguais , Madame de, 255;Richelieu's intrigue with, 422,428; 460 Lauzun, Duc de, 49 La Vrillière, Duc de, 521Law, John , 46, 80, 121 Law , Madame, 80 Le Bas, 365Le Blanc, 338 Le Brun, Madame Vigée, 504 Le Couvreur, Adrienne, her dé but, 56, 59; her popularity,65, 102; 186, 193, 196; her death , 198; 400 Lekain, his début, 390 , 394; 406;visits Voltaire, 441; reforms stage costume, 444; his death,528Lemaure, 186, 202 Lemoine, 206 Le Noir, 152 Leonard, 524 Leprince, 465 note Le Sage, 55 , 57 Lesdiguières Hôtel, 30, 95, 212 Lespinasse, Mademoiselle de,Ligneville, Mademoiselle de,329, 334 Livry-Sanguin, Abbé, 161 Locke, 494 Lorraine, Duc de, 216, 321 Lorraine, Duchesse de, 48 Louis XIII . , 107, 321 note, 508 Louis XIV. , his death , I; hischaracter, 7, 10, 22; his daughter's marriage, 24; 29,40; mourning for, 47; 69; his dislike of Madame de Caylus,98; 107 , 109; trouble with the Bulle Unigenitus, 113 note,114; 118 , 134; appoints d'Ar.genson, 152; 154, 155 , 163,172 , 246; accompanied by “ three queens, ” 253, 284; 297;manners of his court, 298;363, 376; destroys works ofart, 433; 444 , 477, 508 Louis XV ., his first lit-de-jus tice, 17; Mehemet's visit to,104; in church, 111; his mar riage, 116; his illness, 132;his coronation , 141; appoints the Duc de Bourbon first minister, 146; his taste for scandal , 154; sends back the Infanta , 160; his marriage,171; in the council chamber,175; his seclusion , 182; goes in state to Paris, 194; his extraordinary virtue, " 228;mourns for Madame de Vinti mille, 237; regrets Fleury's death, 248; Madame de laTournelle's influence over,259; 259: meets Madamed'Étioles, 261; under the influence of Madame de Pompa dour, 267, 276; at Fontenoy,280, 283; flattered, 287; values Mouthier, 296; banishesCharles Edward, 304 , 305; his illness, 331; L'Hospice Pom padour, 335; " getting sallow ,”342; is pleased with Rousseau's music, 351; makes ac quaintance with Bordeaux,8998SLADS276486, 529 Les Quinault,200 Levasseur, Thérèse, 350; heranger with Rousseau, 351 ,352; her jealousy, 469; 471;her marriage, 475de,1540 INDEX358; has a generous fit, 362;The École Militaire, 364; ad.mires Boucher's Virgin ,368 note; 369; presents Ma dame de Pompadour with horses, 371; dislikes the dau phin, 374; devoted to the chase, 383; 384; pensions Cré billon , 387, 389; commands Lekain's reception, 397; his musical opinions, 404; the Pope's opinion of, 407; his melancholy, 408; 410; his opinion of de Bernis, 417;consoles Marmontel, 419;freezes de Broglie , 421; his“ harshness" to Richelieu,423; his dislike of the dauphin ,426; After us the deluge,429; his economy, 432; his attempted assassination, 433;439; becomes timid, 444: puts Tercier under arrest , 446; 447;refuses to banish the Encyclo pædists, 448; 458; hesitates to expel the Jesuits, 472 , 478;dependence on Madame de Pompadour, 479, 482; 486; his grief for Madame de Pompa dour, 490; his dislike to the dauphin , 493 494; 496; his marriage, 498; his coldness to Madame de Grammont,500; Madame du Barry, 502;receives Marie Antoinette,506 , 507; his daughters, 515;516; contemplates marrying Madame du Barry, 517; his death, 518; the old régime buried with him, 522Louis XVI. , 505; his marriage,508; his coronation, 523; his fate, 532 Louis XVIII., 506Louis, Prince of the Asturias,II2 Louise Marie, 514Lulli, privileges granted to, 43;202, 203; versus Rameau,204; 402Lussac, Marquis de, 500 Luxembourg , Duc de, 179, 471 Luxembourg, Madame de, 428,471 Luxembourg Palace, 49 Luynes, Cardinal de, 294 Luynes, Duc de, 294 Luynes, Duchesse de, 294, 374MACHAULT, M. , 333 , 336 note,437 Madame Royale, 483 Maillebois, 425, 426 , 428 Mailly , Comtesse de, 233, 237 Maine, Duc du, superseded, 14;22, 39; his sluggishness, 70;hated by the regent, 92; 118,145; his death, 246Maine, Duchesse du, her salon ,38; her intrigues, 69; 112, 118,180, 218; masquerading, 316;a partisan of Lekain, 391 Maintenon, Madame de, sug.gests a Council of Regency , 1;leaves Versailles, 6; her influ .ence, 21; 47; letter to Madamede Caylus, 50; 52; Richelieuher favorite, 78; her death ,92; 99, 101 , 107, 297, 306, 377,424, 502.Mairan, 128 Malesherbes, M. de, 345, 471 Mancini, Marquis de, 31 Marchais, M. de, 414 Marchault, 362 Marche-Courmont, M. de la, 327 Margrave of Bareith, 327 Maria Theresa of Austria, 246,382; her love of scandal, 384;411 , 457, 479; sacrifices her daughters, 499; welcomes Ma.dame Geoffrin , 513; instructs Marie Antoinette, 516Maria Theresa of Spain, 118; her marriage; 261; 376, 508 Marie Antoinette , her birth andeducation , 498; her reception ,506; a foreshadowing of her career, 511; as a child, 513 , 514; her associates, 515; ques.INDEX. 541- 500 .de. 179,471rte de, 1249+e, 294,3. 336 wit,»128 294; herrseded,If iness, jo 11, 92;178hersalon., 112, 116ding, 316911, 391 - de, su gency, 11 herinfotions Madame de Noailles, ments Louis, 230; 250; sent 516; her intrigues, 523; visits to recall Madame de ChậtRousseau's tomb, 531; her eauroux, 257; apologizes to fate, 532 Charles Edward, 305; attacks Marie Leczinska, her marriage, Madame de Pompadour, 340;166; sets the fashions, 171; recalled, 524; his opinion of goes in state to Paris, 194; her Madame du Barry, 525.jealousy, 232; receives Ma. Maury , 492 dame de la Tournelle , 251; Maximilian, 160252; goes to Metz, 256; re. Mazarin, Cardinal, 118, 155 ,ceives Madame d'Étioles , 265; 221; his epitaph, 227; 247 frightened by the Jesuits, 290; Mazarin, Duchesse de, 250Orą pro nobis,'Mazarin, Palais , 31 daughter - in - law, 302; her Mehemet Effendi, 104 physician, 331 , 332; 351; the Mercier, 149, 275 king is gracious, 361; the Mesdames, recommend theking in the queen's oratory, Duchesse de Lamballe , 498;368; Madame de Pompa- receive Madame du Barry,dour's revenge, 377; her ter- 503; their character, 514; hor.ror of Voltaire, 387; 435; rified at Marie Antoinette,prays the king not to set a bad 517; take the small -pox, 519;example, 444; her alarm at 524 " l'Esprit,” 446; loses her fa- Mirabeau, Chevalier de, 455 ther, 495; her death , 496; 506, Mirabeau, Marquis de, 149, 209,515 345 Marigny, de, “ a fish by birth ," Mirepoix, Duchesse de, 503, 504 339; his private circle, 344 , Mitayer, 45 345; his reserve, 352; origi- Modena, Duc de, 76 nates the École Militaire, Molière, 31, 201 363; a patron of artists , 369; Moncrif, 172, 303 a cordon bleu , 380; 382, 420; Montaigu, M. 241 inherits Madame de Pompa- Montausier, Duchesse de, 31 dour's property, 484; his mar- Montéclair, 203riąge, 489 Montespan, Madame de, 259,Marin, 100, 255 , 453, 461 252, 284, 376 Marivaux , 126, 333 Montesquieu, his “ Lettres Per Marmontel, 241; Madame de sanes, 68; 83 , 122; he was Pompadour's protégé, 272; 297, not asleep, 124; 125 rote, 128,314, 350, 353; has the air of Esprit des Lois,a marquise, 381; Clairon's 189; 191 , 332 , 357; his death ,slave, 399; 415; his compli- 441; 457 mentary ode, 417; his sudden Montpensier, Mademoiselle de,popularity, 418; writing atragedy, 436; 440; a strange Moore, Doctor, 10man , 450; praises Sophie Mouthier , 296, 461 Arnould , 459; 465; only a Munich , General, 235 bourgeois, 489; 512o Madame Richelieuer death,

306, 377

45,47131dela, 31727ria, 246149; his dal, 381 ices hermes22nstructs49, 1185118,her78Murane, 202 Martin, 371 Massillon, 108, 188 NANTHIA, VICOMTE DE, 226 Maurepas, Comte de, complic | Napoleon Buonaparte, 498irth andeptie.of herd. 515,

; ques.

542 INDEX .Pâris, Brothers, 91 , 362 Pâris-Duvernay, 165, 175; in the Bastille, 179; 181 , 268,3,44; promises funds for the École Militaire, 364 Paris, Growth of, 145 , 275 Paris, Treaty of, 477 Parma, Duke of, 483 Parrocel , Charles, 337 Parrocel, Joseph, 337 Pelligem , 204 Pellissier, Madame, 186, 202 Penthièvre,Duc de, 165; " Notre Toulouse,” 184; goes to the wars, 246; at Fontenoy, 280;Natoire, 213 Necker, Madame, 529 Nehon, Lucas de, 311 note Nesle, Mademoiselle de, 233 Nesle, Marquis de, 95 , 233Nevèrs, Duc de, 32 Nevèrs, Hôtel, 31 Nicolet, 205 Nivernois , Duc de, 477, 478 Noailles, Cardinal de, 18, 120 Noailles, Duc de, 47 , 118 Noailles, Madame de, 50, 345,371, 516, 517 Noailles, Mademoiselle de, 323Persan,OPÉRA BOUFFE, 404Opéra Comique, 53 Opera, The, 202 Orleans, Louis, Duc d' , 225 , 255 ,425 Orleans, Philippe, Duc d' , 4; his promises, 13, 15; his roués , 22;his marriage , 24; his mother,25; at the bals de l'Opéra, 47;70; his daughter's marriage,77; at his wits ' end, 84; 86;buys a diamond, 88; enriches Law, 89; his hatred of the Duc du Maine, 92; arrangesthe king's marriage, 116; ap points Dubois minister, 140;142; his health, 143; his death,144; his collections, 155 Orleans, Duchesse d ' , 24Orme, Marion de l ' , 120 Orry, M. Philibert d' , 336PALAIS ROYAL GARDENS, 155 Panard, 341, 354 Parabère, Mad. de, 98; her pre sents to Louis, 134; 185 , 224 Paris, 44 Paris, Archbishop of, refuses to accept the Bulle , 114; or ders prayers for an heir to the throne, 194; closes the Ab baye doors, 372; the Bulleagain , 390; in exile, 408; 508;asks the king to banish Vol.taire, 528498 Pergolese, 390, 402, 404 Perigord , Abbé de, 529 Madame Doublet de,492 Peter the Great, 93 , IU2 Petit Luxembourg, 37 Petrini, 404 Phelippeaux, Jean, 341 Philip V., his fits of despond ency, 70; his bigotry , 112;his conditions, 113; 117; his reception of the Abbé de Livry-Sanguin, 161 Picot, 369Piedmont, Prince de, 515 Pilon , 180 Piron , 55 , 127, 204; his satire,292; 341 , 381 , 386; grown devout, 495 Plélo , Comte Bréhant de, 236 Poisson, Abel François, 338 Poisson , Jeanne Antoinette ,268 , 415. See Étioles, Madame le Normand d' , and Pompadour, La Marquise de.Poisson , Madame, 414 Police, 151 Pompadour, La Marquise de,receives her title , 266; her character, 267; " the king's little wife,” 268; persuades the king to join the army, 276; at Fontenoy, 278; forms a theat rical company, 288; with the>>INDEX. 543Préguey, Abbé Matherot de, 148 Pretender, The Young, leaves Rome, 249; in Scotland, 289;escapes from Scotland , 300;enters Paris, 303; ordered to leave, 304 Préville, 393Prévost , Abbé, 465 Prie, Madame de, wishes to govern France, 146, 160; in favor with the queen, 171; “ Imake sunshine, ”ished , 178; dies, 180; 185, 187,506 Provence, Comte de, receives Marie Antoinette, 506; his marriage, 515; at the dau.phin's court, 517; 532 Provence, Comtesse de, 525 Puisieux, Marquis de, 304174; ban.Pompadour, La Marquise de (continued .)Maréchal de Saxe at the opera, 292; at supper, 296; de sires peace, 304; amuses the king, 305; founds a hospital,335; fears for his majesty's complexion, 342; 347, 350,351; receives Rousseau, 354;her benevolence, 362; The École Militaire, 363, 364: 368 note; her equipages, 371; her portrait, 373; her elevation to the honor of the tabouret, 374;383, 384; her correspondence with Maria Theresa, 385; receives Crébillon , 387; exiles the archbishop, 390; at the opera , 404; 407; loses her gay ety, 408; 410; advances de Bernis, 413; receives deBernis, 415; encourages Mar. montel, 418; 420; out of health, 422; promotes D'Es trées, 424; 428; urges econo my, 432; recommended to retire, 436; her friendship for Voltaire, 440; her task more arduous, 444; her advice, 448; lectured by Marmontel, 450;her grief for Soubise, 453; re jects the idea of peace, 456; 457; receives Sophie Arnould, 459;_472, 476; indignant at the Treaty of Paris, 477; her labors, 479; her death, 484; opinions concerning her, 489; her apartments still closed, 497; opened again , 501; 502, 503; on friendly terms with Madame Adélaide, 515 , 521 Pomprona, Abbé de, 222 Poniatowski, Stanislaus, 512 Pont-de -Veyle, Le Marquisde,122, 209; 219, 225; at Ste.Geneviève's well , 318; 492 Poplinière, Madame de la, 204,217 Poplinière, M. de la, 212, 239 Pradon, 197, 201QUESNAY, LE DOCTEUR, 344 ,450, 483 Quesnel, Le Père, 113 note Quinault , Mademoiselle, 244 Quirini, Cardinal, 167RACHEL, MADAME, 399Racine, 31; his servility, 68;196, 201 Raesfeld, M. von, 389 Ragonneau, 476 Rambaud, 335 Rambouillet, Château de, 118,316 Rambouillet, Forest of, 173 Rambouillet, Hôtel de, 37, 316,491 Rambouillet, Marquise de, 29, 31 Rameau, his early difficulties,203; appointed organist, 213;239, 390, 402; his opinion of French music, 404; 458 Ramponeau, 525 Raphael, 369 Reaumer, 238 Regent, The. See Orleans,Philippe, Duc d '.Regent, The ( diamond ), 88, 195 Rembrandt, 367544 INDEX.Riccoboni Louis, 53 Riccoboni, Madame, 53 , 465 Richelieu, Duc de, confined in the Bastille, 9; seeking inter iews with Satan, 24; in the Bastille for the third time, 72;his conquests, 73; released from prison, 77; attends the wedding of Mademoiselle de Valois, 77; member of the Academy, 78; a mal- apropos question, 110; 112, 120; pre sents the Henriade,” 190;191; ambassador to Vienna,192; his intrigue with Madamede la Poplinière, 215; his sec ond marriage, 216; 221; opposes Fleury, 228; 247;“ showing attention " to the Pretender, 249; presents Ma dame de la Tournelle to the king, 250; 253; affects to dis believe the king's danger, 255;274; at Fontenoy, 280; 291 ,321; objects to the ami intime,322; his wife's death, 323;sends Louis Bordeaux , 358;his son, 381; brings Belcourt to Paris, 397; his daughter,399; intrigues with Madamede Lauraguais, 422; plots to displace D'Estrées, 425; in command of the army, 428;“ the Resemblance and the Difference, 429; relations with Madame de Lauraguais,460; comforts the king, 490;502; at the reception of Ma dame du Barry, 504; laughs at the king's superstition, 519 Richelieu, Mademoiselle de, 399 Riom, Comte de, 49 Rivière - Dufreyny, 310 note Robecq, Princess, 396 Rocoux, Battle of, 282 Rodet, Mademoiselle Marie Thérèse, 310Rohan, Cardinal de, 4Rohan, Chevalier de, 191 Rosbach, Battle of, 452Rosset, de, 247 Rotrou, 201 Roués, 23 Rouille, M. de, 47, 52Rousseau, J. B. , 197Rousseau, Jean -Jacques, arri val in Paris, 238; musical sys tem, 238; his vanity, 238; Du pin's secretary, 239; calls on Madame de Crequý, 240;feigned confidences, 241; vis its Diderot in prison , 347;wins the prize of the Dijon Academy, 348; offended with Voltaire, 350; his manner,350; “ Le Devin du Village ”performed before the king,351; becomes the fashion, 352;Diderot's opinion of him, 353;his opinion of French music,404; 448; the “ Nouvelle Hé.loise,” 464; in the salon of Ma dame d'Epinay, 468; falls des perately in love with the Com.tesse d'Houdetot, 469; his “ Emile , ” 472; his " ContratSocial," 473; his flight to Switzerland, 474; his answer to Voltaire, 474; goes to Eng land , 474; marries Thérèse,475; 490; his death, 531 Royal Academy, 43SABATIN, MADAME DE, 521 Sacy, Louis de, 34 Saint-Aulaire, Marquis de, 34 ,38 , 222 Sainte - Beuve, 308, 523 Saint- Florentin , M. de, 340, 445 Saint-Foix, 43, 149Saint-George, Chevalier, 248 Saint -Germain , 424 Saint- Lambert, 465, 470, 474 Saint- Severin , M. de, 304 Saint-Simon, his portrait of the Regent, 27; 88; an admirer of Madame de Caylus, 99;134, 152 Sainton, 499 Sallé, Mademoiselle, 205INDEX. 545resumesataSancy, the, 88 note, 137, 195 Stahremberg, 382, 410 Sardinia, King of, 75 Stanislaus Leczinski, his daugh Sartines, M. de, 152, 406 ter marries Louis, 166; his re Sarto, Andrea del, 369 election , 235; his escape, 236;Sauvré, Mademoiselle, 198 settles in Lorraine, 237; a phiSauvré, Marquis de, 112 losopher, 291; 302; 349 note;Savoy, Princesses of, 507 , 515 , his death, 495517 Stanislaus Poniatowski, 512Saxe, Comte Maurice de, Adri- Sterne, 487 enne Le Couvreur's lover, 198; ¡ Sully, 182, 191 intercedes for Madame de la Swift, Dean, 405Poplinière, 215; 249, 250, 255;command of the TALLEMANT DES REAUX, IIarmies, 276; 278, 280; Talleyrand, 529 Rocoux, 282; the king ac- Tencin, Cardinal de, 248 knowledges his services, 285; Tencin, Guerin de, 120, 212 crowned at the opera, 292; Tencin, Hôtel, 120 “ Ora pro nobis , 294; re Tencin, Madame de, amie in ceived by Madame de Pom- tiine of Dubois, 71; her padour, 296; his niece marries salon , 120; her speculations,the dauphin , 302; undertakes 122; her writings, 123; her to conquer peace , 304; 337 , menagerie, 127; 185; 349; his death , 424; his tac- strange story, 188; conver tics, 425. sation in her salon , 208; de Saxe, Marie Josephe de, 302 , 496 sires to acknowledge d'Alem Saxe-Gotha, Duchess of, 468 bert, 211; she moralizes, 217;Scarron , 92 224; the animals prefer her Sceaux, 38 , 69, 118 , 246; mas- salon , 243; intrigues in be querades at, 316; theatre at, half of her brother, 248; 253;391 opposes Madame d'Étioles,Scudéry, Mademoiselle de, 31, 264; 272 , 298; her death , 308;123 , 317 her animals, 309; 320; patro Sédaine , 353 nizes Helvetius , 332 Sénez, Bishop of, 211 Tercier, M. , 446, 448 Seven Years' War, 357, 385 , 478 Tessé, Marquis de, 95Sévigné, Madame de, 31 , 80 Théâtre Français, 43; obtains aSévres, Porcelaine de, 481 decree silencing the Opéra Co. Soissons, Bishop of, 255 mique, 53; a wrathful contest,Soissons, Hôtel, 89 405; “ L'Orphélin de la Chine"Solini , Abbé de, 435 produced at, 444 Sophie, Madame, 515 Théâtre Italien, 53Sorel, Agnes, 250 Thévenard, 202 Soubise, Prince de, his chef, 100, Thomas, M., 494 255; 280, 421; compelled to Toulouse, Comte de, his mar resign , 452; epigram on, 454; riage, 118; his character, 165;461 , 470; Madame de Pom. his habits , 184; his death, 246 padour's executor, 485 Toulouse, Comtesse de, 118, 164,Soufflot, 248, 338, 364, 369 Soulavie , 251 , 267, 382 Tournehem, M. le Normand,Staël, Madame de, 37 270 , 271184546 INDEX.Voltaire. ( Continued .)reur, 66; 68, 69; conquers con sideration, 69; Law's scheme,83,90,91; 108 , 109; unfortunate in speculation, 122; 125; com pliments Madamedu Châtelet,125; his change of name, 127;166, 177; at the theatre, 177;The “ Henriade,” 189: 196; on Adrienne Le Couvreur's death ,198, 200; poetical compli ments , 205; 210; corresponds with Mademoiselle Aissé, 225;226, 238; meets Madame du Châtelet, 241; 257; at the Châ teau d'Étioles, 271; at peacewith Crébillon, 272; 276; " Po ème de Fontenoy," 282; “ La Reine de Navarre, ” 288; “ Is Trajan satisfied? " 289; 320;receives Madame deGraffigny,324; 330, 332, 348, 350; Anglo mania, 357; condoles with Madamede Pompadour, 380;385; his jealousy of Crébillon,386; goes to Potsdam , 388; “ asetting sun, " 389; 391; advises Lekain, 395; 400; laughs at de Bernis, 414; 418; his igno minious retreat from Prussia ,439; his estate, 440; his friends,440; his homage to Madame du Bocage, 442; “ L'Orphélin de la Chine, ” 444; 447; tries to read “ Emile, ” 473; offers Rousseau an asylum, 474; 476,488; kills Vanloo with criti.cisms, 491; 512; prophesies a revolution, 522; arrives in Paris, 527; receives the ac ademicians,9Tournelle, Madame de la, 250 Turgot, 345VADE, 257Valincourt, M. de, 36 Vallière, Duchesse de la, 233, 284 Valois, Mademoiselle de, 73 , 77 ,216 Vandières, Marquis de, 339 Vanloo, Carle, 206, 213; his likenesses, 366; 393; killed by criticism, 491 Vanloo, Michel, 491 Vauban , 277 Vaucanson, 272 Vaudreuil, Marquis de, 305 Vauguyon, Comte de, 335 , 337 Vauguyon, Madame de la, 294 Vauguyon, M. de la, 294 Vauvenargues, 272 Vendôme, Duc de, 474 Vendôme, Hôtel, 89 Ventadour, Duchesse de, 17, 107 Vermandois, Mademoiselle de,162 Vermond, Abbé de, 499, 507 Vernet, Joseph, 365 Versailles, Treaty of, 410 Vestris, Madame, 530 Victoire, Madame, 434, 515Villars, Duc de, 387 Villars, Maréchal de, 15 , 237 Villemain , 328 Villeroi , Madame de, 139 Villeroi, Maréchal Duc de, governor to the king, 18, 51; in troduces the Czar, 93; meetsthe Czar, 95; Mehemet and,104; 108; his devotion to Louis,110; 116 , 133; his character,134; his anxiety, 134; his per ruque, 135; leads forward the young king, 136; is dismissed,138; 167, 179; his death, 180;199 Villette, Marquise de, 527 Villette, M. de , 527, 530, 531 Vintimille, Madame de, 237, 250 Voltaire, 25; his audacity , 26; 34;nursed by Adrienne Le Couv528; Lekain's death , 528; his visitors, 528;“ Irene,” 529; crowned, 529;his death, 531; his burial, 531 .Vrillière, Duc de La, 521WALPOLE, 443, 488 Watteau, decorates the HôtelNevèrs, 32; his life, 45; hisdeath 46; 205, 206 .

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Author: Tuan Roob DDS

Last Updated: 03/09/2023

Views: 6553

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Name: Tuan Roob DDS

Birthday: 1999-11-20

Address: Suite 592 642 Pfannerstill Island, South Keila, LA 74970-3076

Phone: +9617721773649

Job: Marketing Producer

Hobby: Skydiving, Flag Football, Knitting, Running, Lego building, Hunting, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Tuan Roob DDS, I am a friendly, good, energetic, faithful, fantastic, gentle, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.