Memoirs of Marie Antoinette
By Campan

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Book 2. - Chapter I.

I was fifteen years of age when I was appointed reader to Mesdames. I will begin by describing the Court at that period.

Maria Leczinska was just dead; the death of the Dauphin had preceded hers by three years; the Jesuits were suppressed, and piety was to be found at Court only in the apartments of Mesdames. The Duc de Choiseuil ruled.

Etiquette still existed at Court with all the forms it had acquired under Louis XIV.; dignity alone was wanting. As to gaiety, there was none. Versailles was not the place at which to seek for assemblies where French spirit and grace were displayed. The focus of wit and intelligence was Paris.

The King thought of nothing but the pleasures of the chase: it might have been imagined that the courtiers indulged themselves in making epigrams by hearing them say seriously, on those days when the King did not hunt, “The King does nothing to-day."–[In sporting usance (see SOULAIRE, p. 316).]

The arrangement beforehand of his movements was also a matter of great importance with Louis XV. On the first day of the year he noted down in his almanac the days of departure for Compiegne, Fontainebleau, Choisy, etc. The weightiest matters, the most serious events, never deranged this distribution of his time.

Since the death of the Marquise de Pompadour, the King had no titled mistress; he contented himself with his seraglio in the Parc-aux-Cerfs. It is well known that the monarch found the separation of Louis de Bourbon from the King of France the most animating feature of his royal existence. “They would have it so; they thought it for the best,” was his way of expressing himself when the measures of his ministers were unsuccessful. The King delighted to manage the most disgraceful points of his private expenses himself; he one day sold to a head clerk in the War Department a house in which one of his mistresses had lodged; the contract ran in the name of Louis de Bourbon, and the purchaser himself took in a bag the price of the house in gold to the King in his private closet.

     [Until recently little was known about the Parc-aux-Cerfs, and it
     was believed that a great number of young women had been maintained
     there at enormous expense.  The investigations of M. J. A.  Le Roi,
     given in his interesting work, “Curiosites Historiques sur Louis
     XIII., Louis XIV., Louis XV.,” etc., Paris, Plon, 1864, have thrown
     fresh light upon the matter.  The result he arrives at (see page 229
     of his work) is that the house in question (No. 4 Rue St. Mederic,
     on the site of the Pare-aux-Cerfs, or breeding-place for deer, of
     Louis XIII) was very small, and could have held only one girl, the
     woman in charge of her, and a servant.  Most of the girls left it
     only when about to be confined, and it sometimes stood vacant for
     five or six months.  It may have been rented before the date of
     purchase, and other houses seem sometimes to have been used also;
     but in any case, it is evident that both the number of girls and the
     expense incurred have been absurdly exaggerated.  The system
     flourished under Madame de Pompadour, but ceased as soon as Madame
     du Barry obtained full power over the King, and the house was then
     sold to M. J. B. Sevin for 16,000 livres, on 27th May, 1771, Louis
     not acting under the name of Louis de Bourbon, but as King,–"Vente
     par le Roi, notre Sire.”  In 1755 he had also been declared its
     purchaser in a similar manner.  Thus, Madame Campan is in error in
     saying that the King made the contract as Louis de Bourbon.]–[And
     it also possible that Madam Campan was correct and that the house
     she refers to as sold for a “bag of gold” was another of the several
     of the seraglio establishments of Louis XV.  D.W.]

Louis XV. saw very little of his family. He came every morning by a private staircase into the apartment of Madame Adelaide.

     [Louis XV. seemed to feel for Madame Adelaide the tenderness he had
     had for the Duchesse de Bourgogne, his mother, who perished so
     suddenly, under the eyes and almost in the arms of Louis XIV.  The
     birth of Madame Adelaide, 23d March, 1732, was followed by that of
     Madame Victoire Louise Marie Therese on the 11th May, 1733.  Louis
     had, besides, six daughters: Mesdames Sophie and Louise, who are
     mentioned in this chapter; the Princesses Marie and Felicite, who
     died young; Madame Henriette died at Versailles in 1752, aged
     twenty-four; and finally, Madame the Duchess of Parma, who also died
     at the Court.]

He often brought and drank there coffee that he had made himself. Madame Adelaide pulled a bell which apprised Madame Victoire of the King’s visit; Madame Victoire, on rising to go to her sister’s apartment, rang for Madame Sophie, who in her turn rang for Madame Louise. The apartments of Mesdames were of very large dimensions. Madame Louise occupied the farthest room. This latter lady was deformed and very short; the poor Princess used to run with all her might to join the daily meeting, but, having a number of rooms to cross, she frequently in spite of her haste, had only just time to embrace her father before he set out for the chase.

Every evening, at six, Mesdames interrupted my reading to them to accompany the princes to Louis XV.; this visit was called the King’s ’debotter’,–[Debotter, meaning the time of unbooting.]– and was marked by a kind of etiquette. Mesdames put on an enormous hoop, which set out a petticoat ornamented with gold or embroidery; they fastened a long train round their waists, and concealed the undress of the rest of their clothing by a long cloak of black taffety which enveloped them up to the chin. The chevaliers d’honneur, the ladies in waiting, the pages, the equerries, and the ushers bearing large flambeaux, accompanied them to the King. In a moment the whole palace, generally so still, was in motion; the King kissed each Princess on the forehead, and the visit was so short that the reading which it interrupted was frequently resumed at the end of a quarter of an hour; Mesdames returned to their apartments, and untied the strings of their petticoats and trains; they resumed their tapestry, and I my book.

During the summer season the King sometimes came to the residence of Mesdames before the hour of his ’debotter’. One day he found me alone in Madame Victoire’s closet, and asked me where ’Coche’[Piggy] was; I started, and he repeated his question, but without being at all the more understood. When the King was gone I asked Madame of whom he spoke. She told me that it was herself, and very coolly explained to me, that, being the fattest of his daughters, the King had given her the familiar name of ’Coche’; that he called Madame Adelaide, ’Logue’ [Tatters], Madame Sophie, ’Graille’[Mite], and Madame Louise, ’Chiffie’[Rubbish]. The people of the King’s household observed that he knew a great number of such words; possibly he had amused himself with picking them out from dictionaries. If this style of speaking betrayed the habits and tastes of the King, his manner savoured nothing of such vulgarity; his walk was easy and noble, he had a dignified carriage of the head, and his aspect, with out being severe, was imposing; he combined great politeness with a truly regal demeanour, and gracefully saluted the humblest woman whom curiosity led into his path.

He was very expert in a number of trifling matters which never occupy attention but when there is a lack of something better to employ it; for instance, he would knock off the top of an egg-shell at a single stroke of his fork; he therefore always ate eggs when he dined in public, and the Parisians who came on Sundays to see the King dine, returned home less struck with his fine figure than with the dexterity with which he broke his eggs.

Repartees of Louis XV., which marked the keenness of his wit and the elevation of his sentiments, were quoted with pleasure in the assemblies of Versailles.

This Prince was still beloved; it was wished that a style of life suitable to his age and dignity should at length supersede the errors of the past, and justify the love of his subjects. It was painful to judge him harshly. If he had established avowed mistresses at Court, the uniform devotion of the Queen was blamed for it. Mesdames were reproached for not seeking to prevent the King’s forming an intimacy with some new favourite. Madame Henriette, twin sister of the Duchess of Parma, was much regretted, for she had considerable influence over the King’s mind, and it was remarked that if she had lived she would have been assiduous in finding him amusements in the bosom of his family, would have followed him in his short excursions, and would have done the honours of the ’petits soupers’ which he was so fond of giving in his private apartments.

Mesdames too much neglected the means of pleasing the wing, but the cause of that was obvious in the little attention he had paid them in their youth.

In order to console the people under their sufferings, and to shut their eyes to the real depredations on the treasury, the ministers occasionally pressed the most extravagant measures of reform in the King’s household, and even in his personal expenses.

Cardinal Fleury, who in truth had the merit of reestablishing the finances, carried this system of economy so far as to obtain from the King the suppression of the household of the four younger Princesses. They were brought up as mere boarders in a convent eighty leagues distant from the Court. Saint Cyr would have been more suitable for the reception of the King’s daughters; but probably the Cardinal shared some of those prejudices which will always attach to even the most useful institutions, and which, since the death of Louis XIV., had been raised against the noble establishment of Madame de Maintenon. Madame Louise often assured me that at twelve years of age she was not mistress of the whole alphabet, and never learnt to read fluently until after her return to Versailles.

Madame Victoire attributed certain paroxysms of terror, which she was never able to conquer, to the violent alarms she experienced at the Abbey of Fontevrault, whenever she was sent, by way of penance, to pray alone in the vault where the sisters were interred.

A gardener belonging to the abbey died raving mad. His habitation, without the walls, was near a chapel of the abbey, where Mesdames were taken to repeat the prayers for those in the agonies of death. Their prayers were more than once interrupted by the shrieks of the dying man.

When Mesdames, still very young, returned to Court, they enjoyed the friendship of Monseigneur the Dauphin, and profited by his advice. They devoted themselves ardently to study, and gave up almost the whole of their time to it; they enabled themselves to write French correctly, and acquired a good knowledge of history. Italian, English, the higher branches of mathematics, turning and dialing, filled up in succession their leisure moments. Madame Adelaide, in particular, had a most insatiable desire to learn; she was taught to play upon all instruments, from the horn (will it be believed!) to the Jew’s-harp.

Madame Adelaide was graced for a short time with a charming figure; but never did beauty so quickly vanish. Madame Victoire was handsome and very graceful; her address, mien, and smile were in perfect accordance with the goodness of her heart. Madame Sophie was remarkably ugly; never did I behold a person with so unprepossessing an appearance; she walked with the greatest rapidity; and, in order to recognise the people who placed themselves along her path without looking at them, she acquired the habit of leering on one side, like a hare. This Princess was so exceedingly diffident that a person might be with her daily for years together without hearing her utter a single word. It was asserted, however, that she displayed talent, and even amiability, in the society of some favourite ladies. She taught herself a great deal, but she studied alone; the presence of a reader would have disconcerted her very much. There were, however, occasions on which the Princess, generally so intractable, became all at once affable and condescending, and manifested the most communicative good-nature; this would happen during a storm; so great was her alarm on such an occasion that she then approached the most humble, and would ask them a thousand obliging questions; a flash of lightning made her squeeze their hands; a peal of thunder would drive her to embrace them, but with the return of the calm, the Princess resumed her stiffness, her reserve, and her repellent air, and passed all by without taking the slightest notice of any one, until a fresh storm restored to her at once her dread and her affability. [Which reminds one of the elder (and puritanic) Cato who said that he “embraced” his wife only when it thundered, but added that he did enjoy a good thunderstorm. D.W.]

Mesdames found in a beloved brother, whose rare attainments are known to all Frenchmen, a guide in everything wanting to their education. In their august mother, Maria Leczinska, they possessed the noblest example of every pious and social virtue; that Princess, by her eminent qualities and her modest dignity, veiled the failings of the King, and while she lived she preserved in the Court of Louis XV. that decorous and dignified tone which alone secures the respect due to power. The Princesses, her daughters, were worthy of her; and if a few degraded beings did aim the shafts of calumny at them, these shafts dropped harmless, warded off by the elevation of their sentiments and the purity of their conduct.

If Mesdames had not tasked themselves with numerous occupations, they would have been much to be pitied. They loved walking, but could enjoy nothing beyond the public gardens of Versailles; they would have cultivated flowers, but could have no others than those in their windows.

The Marquise de Durfort, since Duchesse de Civrac, afforded to Madame Victoire agreeable society. The Princess spent almost all her evenings with that lady, and ended by fancying herself domiciled with her.

Madame de Narbonne had, in a similar way, taken pains to make her intimate acquaintance pleasant to Madame Adelaide.

Madame Louise had for many years lived in great seclusion; I read to her five hours a day. My voice frequently betrayed the exhaustion of my lungs; the Princess would then prepare sugared water for me, place it by me, and apologise for making me read so long, on the score of having prescribed a course of reading for herself.

One evening, while I was reading, she was informed that M. Bertin, ’ministre des parties casuelles’, desired to speak with her; she went out abruptly, returned, resumed her silks and embroidery, and made me resume my book; when I retired she commanded me to be in her closet the next morning at eleven o’clock. When I got there the Princess was gone out; I learnt that she had gone at seven in the morning to the Convent of the Carmelites of St. Denis, where she was desirous of taking the veil. I went to Madame Victoire; there I heard that the King alone had been acquainted with Madame Louise’s project; that he had kept it faithfully secret, and that, having long previously opposed her wish, he had only on the preceding evening sent her his consent; that she had gone alone into the convent, where she was expected; and that a few minutes afterwards she had made her appearance at the grating, to show to the Princesse de Guistel, who had accompanied her to the convent gate, and to her equerry, the King’s order to leave her in the monastery.

Upon receiving the intelligence of her sister’s departure, Madame Adelaide gave way to violent paroxysms of rage, and reproached the King bitterly for the secret, which he had thought it his duty to preserve. Madame Victoire missed the society of her favourite sister, but she shed tears in silence only. The first time I saw this excellent Princess after Madame Louise’s departure, I threw myself at her feet, kissed her hand, and asked her, with all the confidence of youth, whether she would quit us as Madame Louise had done. She raised me, embraced me; and said, pointing to the lounge upon which she was extended, “Make yourself easy, my dear; I shall never have Louise’s courage. I love the conveniences of life too well; this lounge is my destruction.” As soon as I obtained permission to do so, I went to St. Denis to see my late mistress; she deigned to receive me with her face uncovered, in her private parlour; she told me she had just left the wash-house, and that it was her turn that day to attend to the linen. “I much abused your youthful lungs for two years before the execution of my project,” added she. “I knew that here I could read none but books tending to our salvation, and I wished to review all the historians that had interested me.”

She informed me that the King’s consent for her to go to St. Denis had been brought to her while I was reading; she prided herself, and with reason, upon having returned to her closet without the slightest mark of agitation, though she said she felt so keenly that she could scarcely regain her chair. She added that moralists were right when they said that happiness does not dwell in palaces; that she had proved it; and that, if I desired to be happy, she advised me to come and enjoy a retreat in which the liveliest imagination might find full exercise in the contemplation of a better world. I had no palace, no earthly grandeur to sacrifice to God; nothing but the bosom of a united family; and it is precisely there that the moralists whom she cited have placed true happiness. I replied that, in private life, the absence of a beloved and cherished daughter would be too cruelly felt by her family. The Princess said no more on the subject.

The seclusion of Madame Louise was attributed to various motives; some were unkind enough to suppose it to have been occasioned by her mortification at being, in point of rank, the last of the Princesses. I think I penetrated the true cause. Her aspirations were lofty; she loved everything sublime; often while I was reading she would interrupt me to exclaim, “That is beautiful! that is noble!” There was but one brilliant action that she could perform,–to quit a palace for a cell, and rich garments for a stuff gown. She achieved it!

I saw Madame Louise two or three times more at the grating. I was informed of her death by Louis XVI. “My Aunt Louise,” said he to me, “your old mistress, is just dead at St. Denis. I have this moment received intelligence of it. Her piety and resignation were admirable, and yet the delirium of my good aunt recalled to her recollection that she was a princess, for her last words were, ’To paradise, haste, haste, full speed.’ No doubt she thought she was again giving orders to her equerry.”

     [The retirement of Madame Louise, and her removal from Court, had
     only served to give her up entirely to the intrigues of the clergy.
     She received incessant visits from bishops, archbishops, and
     ambitious priests of every rank; she prevailed on the King, her
     father, to grant many ecclesiastical preferments, and probably
     looked forward to playing an important part when the King, weary of
     his licentious course of life, should begin to think of religion.
     This, perhaps, might have been the case had not a sudden and
     unexpected death put an end to his career.  The project of Madame
     Louise fell to the ground in consequence of this event.  She
     remained in her convent, whence she continued to solicit favours,
     as I knew from the complaints of the Queen, who often said to me,
     “Here is another letter from my Aunt Louise.  She is certainly the
     most intriguing little Carmelite in the kingdom.”  The Court went to
     visit her about three times a year, and I recollect that the Queen,
     intending to take her daughter there, ordered me to get a doll
     dressed like a Carmelite for her, that the young Princess might be
     accustomed, before she went into the convent, to the habit of her
     aunt, the nun.–MADAME CAMPAN]

Madame Victoire, good, sweet-tempered, and affable, lived with the most amiable simplicity in a society wherein she was much caressed; she was adored by her household. Without quitting Versailles, without sacrificing her easy chair, she fulfilled the duties of religion with punctuality, gave to the poor all she possessed, and strictly observed Lent and the fasts. The table of Mesdames acquired a reputation for dishes of abstinence, spread abroad by the assiduous parasites at that of their maitre d’hotel. Madame Victoire was not indifferent to good living, but she had the most religious scruples respecting dishes of which it was allowable to partake at penitential times. I saw her one day exceedingly tormented by her doubts about a water-fowl, which was often served up to her during Lent. The question to be determined was, whether it was ’maigre’ or ’gras’. She consulted a bishop, who happened to be of the party: the prelate immediately assumed the grave attitude of a judge who is about to pronounce sentence. He answered the Princess that, in a similar case of doubt, it had been resolved that after dressing the bird it should be pricked over a very cold silver dish; if the gravy of the animal congealed within a quarter of an hour, the creature was to be accounted flesh; but if the gravy remained in an oily state, it might be eaten without scruple. Madame Victoire immediately made the experiment: the gravy did not congeal; and this was a source of great joy to the Princess, who was very partial to that sort of game. The abstinence which so much occupied the attention of Madame Victoire was so disagreeable to her, that she listened with impatience for the midnight hour of Holy Saturday; and then she was immediately supplied with a good dish of fowl and rice, and sundry other succulent viands. She confessed with such amiable candour her taste for good cheer and the comforts of life, that it would have been necessary to be as severe in principle as insensible to the excellent qualities of the Princess, to consider it a crime in her.

Madame Adelaide had more mind than Madame Victoire; but she was altogether deficient in that kindness which alone creates affection for the great, abrupt manners, a harsh voice, and a short way of speaking, rendering her more than imposing. She carried the idea of the prerogative of rank to a high pitch. One of her chaplains was unlucky enough to say ’Dominus vobiscum’ with rather too easy an air; the Princess rated him soundly for it after mass, and told him to remember that he was not a bishop, and not again to think of officiating in the style of a prelate.

Mesdames lived quite separate from the King. Since the death of Madame de Pompadour he had lived alone. The enemies of the Duc de Choiseul did not know in what department, nor through what channel, they could prepare and bring about the downfall of the man who stood in their way. The King was connected only with women of so low a class that they could not be made use of for any delicate intrigue; moreover, the Parc-aux-Cerfs was a seraglio, the beauties of which were often replaced; it was desirable to give the King a mistress who could form a circle, and in whose drawing- room the long-standing attachment of the King for the Duc de Choiseul might be overcome. It is true that Madame du Barry was selected from a class sufficiently low. Her origin, her education, her habits, and everything about her bore a character of vulgarity and shamelessness; but by marrying her to a man whose pedigree dated from 1400, it was thought scandal would be avoided. The conqueror of Mahon conducted this coarse intrigue.

     [It appeared at this period as if every feeling of dignity was lost.
     “Few noblemen of the French Court,” says a writer of the time,
     “preserved themselves from the general corruption.  The Marechal de
     Brissac was one of the latter.  He was bantered on the strictness of
     his principles of honour and honesty; it was thought strange that he
     should be offended by being thought, like so many others, exposed to
     hymeneal disgrace.  Louis XV., who was present, and laughed at his
     angry fit, said to him: ’Come, M. de Brissac, don’t be angry; ’tis
     but a trifling evil; take courage.’–’Sire,’ replied M. de Brissac,
     ’I possess all kinds of courage, except that which can brave
     shame.’"–NOTE BY THE EDITOR.]

Such a mistress was judiciously selected for the diversion of the latter years of a man weary of grandeur, fatigued with pleasure, and cloyed with voluptuousness. Neither the wit, the talents, the graces of the Marquise de Pompadour, her beauty, nor even her love for the King, would have had any further influence over that worn-out being.

He wanted a Roxalana of familiar gaiety, without any respect for the dignity of the sovereign. Madame du Barry one day so far forgot propriety as to desire to be present at a Council of State. The King was weak enough to consent to it. There she remained ridiculously perched upon the arm of his chair, playing all sorts of childish monkey tricks, calculated to please an old sultan.

Another time she snatched a packet of sealed letters from the King’s hand. Among them she had observed one from Comte de Broglie. She told the King that she knew that rascal Broglie spoke ill of her to him, and that for once, at least, she would make sure he should read nothing respecting her. The King wanted to get the packet again; she resisted, and made him run two or three times round the table, which was in the middle of the council-chamber, and then, on passing the fireplace, she threw the letters into the grate, where they were consumed. The King became furious; he seized his audacious mistress by the arm, and put her out of the door without speaking to her. Madame du Barry thought herself utterly disgraced; she returned home, and remained two hours, alone, abandoned to the utmost distress. The King went to her; she threw herself at his feet, in tears, and he pardoned her.

Madame la Marechale de Beauvau, the Duchesse de Choiseul, and the Duchesse de Grammont had renounced the honour of the King’s intimate acquaintance rather than share it with Madame du Barry. But a few years after the death of Louis XV., Madame la Marechale being alone at the Val, a house belonging to M. de Beauvau, Mademoiselle de Dillon saw the Countess’s calash take shelter in the forest of St. Germain during a violent storm. She invited her in, and the Countess herself related these particulars, which I had from Madame de Beauvau.

The Comte du Barry, surnamed ’le roue’ (the profligate), and Mademoiselle du Barry advised, or rather prompted, Madame du Barry in furtherance of the plans of the party of the Marechal de Richelieu and the Duc d’Aiguillon. Sometimes they even set her to act in such a way as to have a useful influence upon great political measures. Under pretence that the page who accompanied Charles I. in his flight was a Du Barry or Barrymore, they persuaded the Comtesse du Barry to buy in London that fine portrait which we now have in the Museum. She had the picture placed in her drawing-room, and when she saw the King hesitating upon the violent measure of breaking up his Parliament, and forming that which was called the Maupeou Parliament, she desired him to look at the portrait of a king who had given way to his Parliament.

     [The “Memoirs of General Dumouriez,” vol. i., page 142, contain
     some curious particulars about Madame Du Barry; and novel details
     respecting her will be found at page 243 of “Curiosites
     Historiques,” by J. A. Le Rol (Paris, Plon, 1864).  His
     investigations lead to the result that her real name was Jean Becu,
     born, 19th August, 1743, at Vaucouleurs, the natural daughter of
     Anne Becu, otherwise known as “Quantiny.”  Her mother afterwards
     married Nicolas Rancon.  Comte Jean du Barry met her among the demi-
     monde, and succeeded, about 1767, and by the help of his friend
     Label, the valet de chambre of Louis XV., in introducing her to the
     King under the name of Mademoiselle l’Ange.  To be formally
     mistress, a husband had to be found.  The Comte Jean du Barry,
     already married himself, found no difficulty in getting his brother,
     Comte Guillaume, a poor officer of the marine troops, to accept the
     post of husband.  In the marriage-contract, signed on 23d July,
     1768, she was described as the daughter of Anne Becu and of an
     imaginary first husband, Sieur Jean Jacques Gomard de Vaubernier,"
     and three years were taken off her age.  The marriage-contract was
     so drawn as to leave Madame du Barry entirely free from all control
     by her husband.  The marriage was solemnised on 1st September, 1768,
     after which the nominal husband returned to Toulouse.  Madame du
     Barry in later years provided for him; and in 1772, tired of his
     applications, she obtained an act of separation from him.  He
     married later Jeanne Madeleine Lemoine, and died in 1811.  Madame du
     Barry took care of her mother, who figured as Madame de Montrable.
     In all, she received from the King, M. Le Roi calculates, about
     twelve and a half millions of livres.  On the death of Louis XV.
     she had to retire first to the Abbey of Pont-aux-Dames, near Meaux,
     then she was allowed to go to her small house at St. Vrain, near
     Arpajon, and, finally, in 1775, to her chateau at Louveciennes.
     Much to her credit be it said, she retained many of her friends,
     and was on the most intimate terms till his death with the Duc de
     Brissac (Louis Hercule Timoldon de Cosse-Brissac), who was killed at
     Versailles in the massacre of the prisoners in September, 1792,
     leaving at his death a large legacy to her.  Even the Emperor Joseph
     visited her.  In 1791 many of her jewels were stolen and taken to
     England.  This caused her to make several visits to that country,
     where she gained her suit.  But these visits, though she took every
     precaution to legalise them, ruined her.  Betrayed by her servants,
     among them by Zamor, the negro page, she was brought before the
     Revolutionary tribunal, and was guillotined on 8th December, 1793,
     in a frenzy of terror, calling for mercy and for delay up to the
     moment when her head fell.]

The men of ambition who were labouring to overthrow the Duc de Choiseul strengthened themselves by their concentration at the house of the favourite, and succeeded in their project. The bigots, who never forgave that minister the suppression of the Jesuits, and who had always been hostile to a treaty of alliance with Austria, influenced the minds of Mesdames. The Duc de La Vauguyon, the young Dauphin’s governor, infected them with the same prejudices.

Such was the state of the public mind when the young Archduchess Marie Antoinette arrived at the Court of Versailles, just at the moment when the party which brought her there was about to be overthrown.

Madame Adelaide openly avowed her dislike to a princess of the House of Austria; and when M. Campan, my father-in-law, went to receive his orders, at the moment of setting off with the household of the Dauphiness, to go and receive the Archduchess upon the frontiers, she said she disapproved of the marriage of her nephew with an archduchess; and that, if she had the direction of the matter, she would not send for an Austrian.


Book 1.  •  Historic Court Memoirs.  •  Book 2. - Chapter I.  •  Chapter II.  •  Chapter III.  •  Chapter IV.  •  Chapter V.  •  Book 3. - Chapter VI.  •  Chapter VII.  •  Chapter VIII.  •  Chapter IX.  •  Chapter X.  •  Book 4. - Chapter XI.  •  Chapter XII.  •  Chapter XIII.  •  Chapter XIV.