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pagation of those tenets with enthusiasm, had in it something strange, which easily became ludicrous, in the polished and gay court near which they sprung up. But while superficial men made themselves merry at their expense, the more rational observer could not fail to respect them for their merits and their virtues, and to be interested in the revival of a kind of connexion little known in modern times, but famous for having first planted and cultivated philosophy among mankind. The Economists were, in reality, and not merely in appearance, a sect of philosophers; they acted from honest zeal for the truth, and not from fashion, eccentric tastes, or the love of singularity; their sole object was to enlighten and improve mankind; and to them, among political inquirers, belongs the rare praise of having first pointed out the natural order of things, or the observed course of nature in the conduct of the world, as the example and guide of human polity.
Secta fuit servare modum, finemque tueri,
Nec sibi sed toto genitum se credere mundo. In the course of this article we have seen several notable illustrations of the manner in which the most important affairs were managed under the tranquil, regular and legitimate government of the Bourbons as long as they owed their crown solely to divine right, and had no occasion to think of their subjects. The sycophants of those days, as well as of the present, called it paternal; but it should seem that the interests of the dear children were somewhat less attended to than the whims of the mistress, a sort of stepmother whose power was so great and whose interference so continual, that we marvel no one ever started against the phrase gouvernement paternel, that of gouvernement de marátre. The following passage deserves to be extracted as carrying with it decisive evidence of the gross mismanagement of publick affairs, wherever the people have no voice. It is a specimen of the manner in which the wheels of government are moved when left to the Prince's sole direction. It is in fact the history (but, of course, the secret history, for in such states there can be no other) of a great change of ministry; the dismissal of a Keeper of the Seals, and a chief Minister of State. We therefore humbly recommend it to the diligent perusal of the Lords Eldon and Castlereagh, who are supposed to feel our rustic mode of governing by parliaments, trials by jury and a free press, as somewhat.cumbrous and burthenscme. By way of preface, we should mention that the time when the follow, ing draina begins, is immediately after Damien's attempt on the King's life, when the efforts made by the parti devot to procure the favourite's dismissal had nearly succeeded. The place is the favourite's room; the actors speak for themselves, and the action takes up about two days. All the rules of the drama are well observed. As the language of the original is not the Law French known to the Chancellor, and as it differs as widely, both in genders, grammar and vocabulary from that French which our Foreign Secretary is said to talk with great fluency and imperturbable boldness-being in short still further removed from his Lordship's French than his parliamentary discourse is from the vulgar tongue, we feel the necessity of departing from our usual plan, and giving a translation of the original scene, for the benefit of those noble personages; but it shall be a faithful and even a literal one. • (Enter, first, Mad. La Marechale de Mirepoix, confidante of Pom
padour ; and on coming in she immediately begins) Mad. de M. What's the matter, Ma'am ? What are all those packages? Your servants say you are going,
Mad. de Pompadour. Alas! My dear friend, the Master * will have it so, according to Mons. de Machant. +
Mad. de M. And what advice did he give the King ?
Mad. de. P. That I should go without delay. Hausset! (calling to the Maid--who comes in and undresses her, that she may be more at her ease upon the sofa.)
Mad. de M. He wishes to have it all his own way, this Keeper of ours, and he is betraying you; whoever leaves the table loses the game. (Enter the Abbé de Bernis, M. de Soubise and M. de Marigni
who all remain closetted with the ladies for an hour. Then cxeunt. Then follows a scene between M. de Marigni and
the Maid.) M. de Marigni. She remains; but mum mum. She'll pretend to go, that her enemies may be quieted—'Tis the little Marechale has decided the matter, but her Keeper will pay the reckoning. (Enter Dr Quesnay-who tells a fable of a fox, who being at table with other beasts, persuaded one of them that his enemies were in pursuit of him, in order to fall heir to his share of the food.) The rest of the piece its denouement, we must give in the narrative of Mad. du Hausset.
• I did not see my mistress again till late at night, when I put her to bed. She was more composed ; things were going on better and better for her and Machant; her faithless friend was dismissed. The King returned to his former habits of frequenting her apartment. I learnt from M. de Marigni that the abbé had been to M. d'Argenson (the Minister of War) to persuade him to live on a more amicable footing with my mistress, and that he had met with a cold reception.
• Not Dr Quesnay--but the King. + Keeper of the Seals and of Mad. de Mirepoix, as well as Minister of the Marine.
| Orig. Motus, which is a vulgar word for silence- and may be of use to our great negotiator at the impending Congress.
“ He is puffed up with Machant's dismissal, said the abbé, as it leaves the field open to the ablest and most expérienced ; and I fear a dreadful struggle may ensue. The next day my mistress having ordered her chair, I was curious to know where she was going, as she seldom went out except to church, or to some of the ministers. I learnt that she went to M. d'Argenson's. An hour afterwards, she returned, and appeared to be very much out of sorts. She stood leaning over the chimney-piece, with her eyes fixed on the jambs. The abbé came in. I waited while she took off her cloak and gloves -she kept her hands in her muff. The abbé looked at her for some minutes, and then said—“ You have the air of a sheep in a reverie.” She roused herself and answered, throwing her muff on the sofa—" It's the wolf that throws the sheep into a reverie.” I left the room. The King came soon after, and I heard my mistress sobbing. The abbé came and bid me bring some Hoffman's drops. The King himself prepared the cordial with sugar, and gave it to her with the most gracious air possible-she candidly smiling and kissing his hands. I left the room ; and heard early in the morning, the next day but one, that M. d'Argenson was banished. It was all his own fault; and this is the greatest proof of her influence my mistress ever gave. The King was extremely fond of M. d'Argenson ; and the war both by sea and land required those two ministers to have remained in office. Such, at least, was the prevailing opinion, at the time, among all classes. '
We may add to this, that her protegé M. de Soubise was kept in the command of the army by lier influence, while he ruined the campaign. The battle of Rosbach, accordingly, threatened to shake her ascendancy, and attempts were made to dismiss her; but some trifling success soon after was gained by the Marshal, and she was confirmed in favour; although our journalist mentions a cruel mortification that happened, from some one to whom Mad. de Pompadour was talking of the ' great victory' of her friend, never having heard of it.
There is no reason whatever to doubt the accuracy of all Mad. du Hausset's details; for, beside the strong internal evidence of the style, and the testimony borne to her character by M. de Marigni, the coincidences of her story, with the narratives of other writers, who were in all probability unknown to her, wherever they touch on the same subject, afford irrefragable proof of her correctness. This remark applies also to the Memoires Secretes of Duclos, which were not published till after Mad. du Hausset's death. The dismissals, for instance, of which we have just seen the secret springs, are mentioned by him (tom. II. p. 441, 516.) in terms quite consistent with the statement of the Journal, as far as he knew the cause of that change; except that he speaks of Machant as Minister of the Marino only, and does not mention the Seals : He adds, that never was there any thing worse timed than turning out those experienced ministers, more especially as their successors were persons of the most manifest incapacity. Indeed, this author (and be it recollected, that he was no gossiping waiting maid, but the Historiographer of France) seems to have been abandantly sensible of the pernicious influence enjoyed by Royal mistresses at the old legitimate Court of Versailles. To Madame de Maintenon he ascribes in detail, the change of Lewis XIV.'s plan of campaign, when she procured the dismissal of Chamillart; and indeed her power during a period of thirtyfive years, was generally admitted by all Europe. Mad. de Pompadour exercised an equal sway: Perhaps, from the character of the King, and the complexion of the times, her influence was more important. Duclos ascribes to it entirely the alliance with Austria, and the war of 1756, admitted by all French politicians to have been the greatest error ever made in foreign affairs, and the cause of all the mischiefs that happened previously to the Revolution. The flatteries of Maria Theresa, and the vanity of being thought her personal friend, were the sole cause of this line of policy.
A trifling anecdote in the Journal shows the trifling causes which were supposed to influence so important a matter as the patronage of the ministers. Mad. du Hausset obtained a military post for a relation, from a person of high rank, on the condition that she made her mistress give the latter a part to play at their private theatricals, which had only a few lines to recite. It must be admitted, however, that these pages are full of proofs showing how generally and cordially the favourite was hated by the publick. The fear of this breaking out in some act of violence, seems now and then to have restrained her; it was indeed the only obstacle to her absolute sway; and it certainly had this effect upon her worthy and philosophical brother, M. de Marigni, who, greatly to her chagrin, constantly resisted all offers of promotion, whether by place, rank or marriage, saying, that for himself he loved a quiet life, and for her, it would be far worse if he acceded to her earnest wishes- as the Royal mistresses are always sufficiently hated on their own account, without sharing in the odium belonging to ministers.'
At the period to which the Journal refers, Turgot was a young man entering into publick life; but there is one passage relating to him which we shall transcribe, although of no very remarkable interest.
• Un jour que j'étois à Paris j'allois diner chez le docteur. Il avoit assez de monde contre son ordinaire, et entre autres un jeune maître des requêtes d'une belle figure, qui portoit un nom de terre dont je ne me souviens pas, mais qui étoit fils du prevôt des Marchands, Turgot. On parla beaucoup d'administration, ce qui d'abord ne m'anima pas; ensuite il fût question de l'amour des François pour leur roi. M. Turgot prit la parole, et dit-—“ Cet amour n'est point aveugle, c'est un sentiment profond et un souvenir confus de grands bienfaits. La nation, et je dirai plus l'Europe et l'humanité, doivent à un roi de France, (j'ai oublié le nom) * la liberté; il a etabli les communes et donné à une multitude immense d'homme une existence civile. Je sais qu'on peut dire avec raison, qu'il a servi son intérêt en les affranchissant ; qu'ils lui ont payé les redevances, et qu'enfin il a voulu par la, affoiblir la puissance des grands et de la noblesse : Mais qu'en resulte-t-il? Que cette operation est à la fois utile, politique et humaine."--Des rois en general, on passa à Louis XV.; et le même M. Turgot dit que son regne seroit à jamais celebre pour l'avancement des sciences, le progres des lumieres et de la philosophie. Il ajouta qu'il manquoit à Louis XV. ce que Louis XIV. avoit de trop, une grande opinion de lui-même; qu'il étoit instruit ; que personne ne connoissoit mieux que lui la topographie de la France; qu'au conseil, son avis étoit toujours le plus juste ; qu'il étoit facheux qu'il n'eut pas plus de confiance en lui-même, et ne plaçât pas sa confiance dans un premier ministre approuvé de la nation. Tout le monde fût de son avis. Je priai M. Quesnay d'ecrire ce qu'avoit dit. le jeune Turgot, et je le montrai à Madame. Elle fit à ce sujet l'eloge de ce maître des requêtes; et en ayant parlé au roi, il dit, “ c'est une bonne race.
Perhaps, without intending to throw the slightest imputation of an artifice or an intrigue upon M. Turgot, we may be permitted to suspect, that this conversation was designed to reach the royal ear, through the faithful Mad. du Hausset. These are necessarily the means of influencing courts and their policy in an arbitrary government. In England, M. Turgot would have attacked the ministry openly in Parliament, or through the press. In France, he was obliged to speak at the waitingwoman of the King's mistress.
There are many traces in this Journal, of the alarms which thinking men felt, even at that time, at the state of publick affairs, and their conviction that some dreadful catastrophe would one day be rendered inevitable by the blind obstinacy of the Court, and its pertinacious refusal of all propositions for a reform of abuses. After some short and inefficient administrations had succeeded to that of d'Argenson and Machant, the Duc de Choiseul, as is well known, was appointed, and carried on the war for the last four years, to the ruin and discomfiture of the French arms.
VOL. XXX, NO. 60.