The duc d'Aiguillon brings an order for the immediate departure of madame du Barry--The king's remarks recapitulated--The countess holds a privy council--Letter to madame de Mirepoix and the ducs de Cosse and d'Aiguillon--Night of departure--Ruel--Visit from madame de Forcalquier
I said I did not expect the duc d'Aiguillon; and the grief which was spread over his features, and the large tears which stood in his eyes, persuaded me but too plainly that all hope was at an end.
"Is the king dead?" cried I, in a stifled voice.
"No, madam," replied he, "Louis XV still lives, nor is it by any means certain that the misfortune you apprehend is in store for us."
"He sends me from him, then," exclaimed I, with a convulsive cry, "and my enemies have triumphed."
"His majesty is but of human nature, madam," replied the duke; "he feels himself dangerously ill, dreads the future, and believes that he owes his people a sort of reparation for past errors."
"How, my lord duke," interrupted I, "this grave language in your lips--but no matter. Inform me only at whose desire you state these melancholy facts; speak, I am prepared for your mission, be it what it may."
"You shall hear everything, madam," replied the duke, leading me to an arm-chair. I seated myself; my sisters- in-law, my niece, and comte Jean stood around me, eagerly waiting the duke's communication. "A few hours after you had been removed from his chamber, the king inquired of the princess Adelaide whether it were generally known at Paris that he had the small-pox. The princess replied in the affirmative, adding:
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