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dence of circumstances, that the party which favored this alliance, after predominating at court for about fifteen years, lost its influence a very few months after the marriage was effected. The system had never been much relished by the more intelligent and patriotic statesmen of France. regarded as an abandonment of the true national policy, and a mean desertion of the minor German powers, which France was expressly bound to protect by the treaty of Westphalia, as well as by a regard for her own obvious interest.
Cardinal de Richelieu, it was said, at the very moment when he was crushing the Huguenots in France by force of arms, and hunting them out of the country like wild beasts, made no scruple to sacrifice his religious prejudices, and appear in Germany as the ally and protector of the protestant party; and shall France at this time of day, without the appearance of any political inducement, give up their party to be devoured by Austria, merely because Prince Kaunitz has had the address to gain over the king's mistress ? Such sentiments as these were circulated in private, and gradually made an impresssion upon the public opinion. They also found their way freely to the king's ear. The secret cabinet, which he employed as a check upon his ministers, were decidedly anti-Austrian. The celebrated treatise of Favier on the general policy of Europe, which was drawn up at the time as a private report to the king, from this back-stair junto, is little else from beginning to end, than a long invective against the Austrian alliance. The dauphin, father of Louis XVI, was also a decided adherent of this party ; and it thus happened, that this prince, who always expressed and felt a very high respect for his father's opinions, was early imbued with a strong sentiment of disinclination to the country, and probably the person, of his future spouse.
This circumstance, no doubt, had a considerable effect upon his conduct in the early period of his marriage. Meanwhile the credit of the Austrian system was maintained at court against all opposition, by the talents and high character of the Duke de Choiseul, minister of foreign affairs, a statesman of very distinguished ability. The Duke d’Aiguillon, the ostensible leader of the opposition, and a member of the Richelieu family, had inherited the political opinions of his great uncle the cardinal, without his talents, and could not contend on
equal terms with his more potent antagonist, though engaged perhaps in reality in a better cause. Under these circumstances it is a matter of doubt, which party might have finally carried the day, had not the scale been turned in favor of the anti-Austrians by the skilful employment they were able to make of a fortunate accident. The post of mistress became vacant by the death of Madame de Pompadour, who, as we have stated, was the real founder of the Austrian alliance; and the continuance of the system after her death evidently depended, in a great degree, upon the disposition of her successor.
The anti-Austrians had the good luck, and the address, to supply the king with a suitable candidate for this important station, in the person of the well known Madame du Barry; and by means of her influence they soon effected a change of ministry. The Duke de Choiseul was removed, and the Duke d’Aiguillon appointed his successor. From this time the union between the courts of France and Austria was considered as dissolved, although there was no open rupture. The devout and high minded Maria Theresa, though she had condescended to write to Madame de Pompadour with her own hand, and with the affectionate address of ma cousine, made no secret of her contempt for the new mistress, and thus contributed to widen the breach. This change in the state of affairs occurred, only six months after the marriage of Louis and Marie Antoinette had been solemnized by proxy at Vienna, and before the arrival of the bride in France. Thus upon her first entrance into her new country, this unfortunate princess found herself, as it were, upon hostile ground; the dominant party at court, with the mistress at the head of it, her avowed enemies; her friends in disgrace; and her husband strongly prejudiced in secret against the alliance.
There is much reason to suspect, that it was intended at this time by the court party to effect a divorce, and to send the archduchess back. Such a proceeding was so far from being without example, that a similar one actually occurred in France at the commencement of the same reign, when the Regent Duke of Orleans sent home a Spanish princess after she had been married by proxy to Louis XV, then an infant, and had actually arrived in the country. The extraordinary indifference of Louis to his wife's person, which lasted for seven years, and which seems too singular to be accounted for by mere coldness of constitutional temperament, serves to confirm this opinion. The dauphiness herself, as we are told by Madame Campan, was satisfied of it; and attributed the conduct of Louis to the advice of his anti-Austrian connexions. However this may be, it is certain that the position of Marie Antoinette at court, during the whole period when she bore the title of dauphiness, was in many respects embarrassing and irksome. Her heart was bursting in secret with the agony of wounded pride, and neglected beauty, at the very time when she appeared to the dazzled optics of Mr Burke at Versailles, like a bright seraphic vision, cheering and decorating the elevated sphere she was destined to move in-glittering like the morning star-full of life, and splendor, and joy.'
Our learned brethren of the London Quarterly, in their review of the work before us, asserted, that the aversion shown to Marie Antoinette by a part of the court, soon after her arrival, had no connexion with anti-Austrian politics, but was merely the effect of the personal pique felt by the Duke d'Aiguillon, and Madame du Barry, at the neglect with which they were treated by the dauphiness and her mother, and of the machinations of the revolutionary party headed by the Duke of Orleans. These assertions are quite inconsistent with the known history of the period of which we have given a sketch above. The existence at that time of the Austrian and anti-Austrian party is as much a matter of notoriety, as that of the Ultras and Liberaux at present; and the personal aversion shewn by the Empress Maria Theresa, and her daughter, to the Duke d’Aiguillon and Madame du Barry, was obviously the effect, and not the cause, of their political opinions. The empress had no aversion to mistresses in the abstract, or at least none that she could not conquer, when her interest required it, as we have seen from her correspondence with Madame de Pompadour ; and it would be hard to find any reason, independent of political connexions, why she should have treated with neglect the families of Richelieu, Rohan, and others, which stood quite at the head of the old French nobility. Nor is it at all more correct to attribute the unpleasant position, in which the dauphiness found herself at court, to the machinations of the revolutionary party. The philosophers, or free thinkers, the only party then existing, which can be identified in any degree with the subsequent revolutionary one, were openly patronised by the Duke de Choiseul, the leader of the Austrian party, who was a free thinker himself; and, as far as they took any share in the politics of the day, were friendly and not hostile to the dauphiness.
The narrative of Madame Campan enters but little into the political transactions of the time, and is principally taken up with a description of the private occupations and amusements of the court. The following extracts will give the reader an idea of the person and character of Marie Antoinette, at the time of her marriage, and of the manner in which she was received and treated in France.
A superb pavilion was erected upon the frontiers, near Kell, for the reception of the princess, composed of a vast hall, communicating with two apartments; one destined for the ladies and gentlemen from the court of Vienna, and the other for the attendants of the dauphiness, who were the Countess of Noailles, lady of honour; the Duchess of Cossé, tire-woman; four ladies of the palace; the Count of Saulx-Tavannes, first gentleman usher; the Count of Tessé, master of the horse ; the Bishop of Chartres, first chaplain; and the officers of the body guard and pages.
When the dauphiness was entirely undressed, even to her bodylinen and stockings, (a ceremony always observed on these occasions,) in order that she should not retain any thing from a foreign court, the doors were thrown open, and the young princess advanced. As soon as she saw Madame Noailles, she threw herself into her arms, and begged her with tears in her eyes to be her guide, director, and counsellor, in every thing. All were charmed with the airy step, and seducing smile, of this enchanting being. She united the brilliant French gaiety, with a certain expression of august serenity, while the proud bearing of her head and shoulders was such as became the daughter of the Cæsars.'
“The fêtes, which were given at Versailles for the marriage of the dauphin, were very brilliant. The dauphiness arrived there in time to dress, after having slept at Muette, where Louis XV had been to receive her, and where this prince, blinded by feelings unworthy of a sovereign, and father of a family, had made the young princess, the royal family, and the ladies of the court, sup with Madame du Barry.
The dauphiness was hurt at this; and spoke of it openly enough in her private circle, though she knew how to disguise her displeasure in public, where her deportment was perfectly proper.
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She was received at Versailles in an apartment on the ground floor, below that of the late queen, which was not ready till six months after her marriage.
The dauphiness, then at the age of fifteen, blooming with the freshness of youth, appeared more than beautiful to every eye. Her gait combined the imposing deportment of the princesses of her own house with the graces of France; her eyes were mild, and her smile lovely. When she went to the chapel, from the first step that she took in the long gallery, she discovered at a glance, even to the extremity of it, the persons that she ought to salute with the regard due to high rank, those to whom she ought to make only a slight inclination of the head, and those finally who were obliged to content themselves with a smile, and with reading in her eyes a sentiment of benevolence, that consoled them for not having a right to other honors.
• Some time after the marriage festivals, the dauphiness made her entrance into Paris. She was received there with transports of joy. After having dined in the king's apartment at the Tuilleries, she was obliged, by the repeated cries of the crowd, who filled the gardens, to present herself in the balcony, in front of the great alley. She exclaimed, on seeing so many heads pressed together, with their eyes listed towards her, “Great God, what crowds of people!" "Madame," said the old Duke de Brissac, governor of Paris, without disparagement to the claims of Monseigneur the Dauphin, all these persons are so many lovers of yours.” The Dauphin took no umbrage, either at the acclamations of the people, or the homage paid to the dauphiness. A mortifying indifference, a coldness which often degenerated into rudeness, were the only sentiments which he then shewed to the young princess. All her charms produced no effect upon his feelings. He came, as a matter of duty, and placed himself in the bed of the dauphiness, where he often went to sleep without speaking to her. This aversion, which lasted a long time, was said to be the work of the Duke de la Vauguyon.
The dauphiness had in reality no sincere friends at court, except the Duke de Choiseul and his party. Would it be believed, that the projects formed against Marie Antoinette extended to the possibility of a divorce? Many people, holding eminent places at court, have assured me of this; and several facts occurred that confirm the opinion. On occasion of the journey to Fontainebleau, the year of the marriage, the inspector of the buildings was bribed not to finish the apartment of the dauphin, adjoining that of the dauphiness, in order that he might occupy a temporary one at the extremity of the castle. The dauphiness, knowing that this was the result of an intrigue, had the courage to complain to the king, who, after some severe reprimands, gave such positive orders, that the