He advanced and I followed him, although the noisome effluvia with which the air was loaded produced a sickness I scarcely could surmount. The gloom of the place was still further increased by the dim light of two wax candles placed in a nook of the room.
The priest, having recognised my brother-in-law, and suspecting doubtless who I was, was preparing to withdraw, but the sick girl made signs for him to remain. He obeyed, but removing to a distance, he took his place beside the young man, who, understanding only that strangers had arrived, rose from his seat and displayed his tall gigantic height to the fullest advantage.
Interview with the joiner's daughter--Consultation of the physicians respecting the king--The small-pox declares itself--the comte de Muy--The princesses--Extreme sensibility of madame de Mirepoix--The king is kept in ignorance of his real condition--The archbishop of Paris visits Versailles
The gloomy and mysterious air scattered over the group which presented itself to our eyes filled us with desponding thoughts. There appeared throughout the party a kind of concentrated grief and silent despair which struck us with terror. We remained motionless in the same spot without any persons quitting their fixed attitude to offer us a seat. After some minutes of a deep silence, which I durst not interrupt any more than comte Jean, whose accustomed hardihood seemed effectually checked, the suffering girl raised herself in her bed, and in a hollow voice exclaimed,
"Comtesse du Barry, what brings you here?"
The sound of her hoarse and grating voice made me start, spite of myself.
"My poor child," answered I, tenderly, "I come to see you at your request."
"Yes, yes," replied she, bursting into a frightful fit of laughter, "I wished to see you to thank you for my dishonour, and for the perdition into which you have involved me."
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