"The extinction of a
This letter wrung from me some bitter tears, as well for the king, who had so lavishly bestowed his affections upon me, as for myself. What would now be my fate? Alas! I knew not; all my brilliant prospects were buried in the coffin of my late protector.
The duc d'Aiguillon arrived at Ruel about midnight; he, as well as the other ministers who had been about the late monarch during his last illness, being prohibited by etiquette from following the present monarch to Choisy, whither the whole of the royal family had retired for a few days. He told us that the duc d'Aumont, having commanded La Martiniere to proceed with the embalming of the royal corpse, that physician replied, "Certainly, my lord, it shall be done if you command it, but, in that case, the duties of your office compel you to receive his majesty's bowels in a golden dish; and I protest, that such is the state of the body, that of all who may assist at the operation, not one will survive eight days. It is for your grace to determine what shall be done."
M. d'Aumont thought no more of embalming his late master, but gave orders for the body being immediately placed in a leaden coffin, from which here still issued frightful effluvia.
Up to the moment of my quitting Ruel madame de Mirepoix gave me no token of recollection: I heard that herself and the prince de Beauvau were reconciled, and for her sake I rejoiced at it. No person came near us the whole of the day with the exception of M. de Cosse, and I sat in hourly expectation of some order from court. At length we descried a travelling carriage with six horses, proceeding at a rapid pace up the avenue. "I know that livery," exclaimed I; " 'tis that of my humble adorer, my obsequious slave, my friend at court, the duc de la Vrilliere, commonly called
Mademoiselle du Barry undertook to inform me of the duke's arrival.
"You were not mistaken, dear sister," said she; "the duc de la Vrilliere is the bearer of the king's orders respecting you: but compose yourself, I beseech you."
"Fear not," said I; "I am as calm as you would have me. Tell the vile dissembler, I mean the duke, I await him"
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