Memoirs and Letters of Cardinal de Bernis, Published from the Original MSS, Volume 1

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Privately printed for the members of the Versailles historical Society, 1899 - Europe
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Page 46 - The little Marechale (de Mirepoix) one day said to me, ' It is your staircase that the King loves; he is accustomed to go up and down it. But, if he found another woman to whom he could talk of hunting and business as he does to you, it would be just the same to him in three days.
Page 90 - ... parents who continued to let their children sleep with servants after previous servants had been found abusing them sexually, it is obvious that the conditions for child abuse still remained within the control of the parents. Cardinal Bernis, remembering being sexually molested as a child, warned parents that "nothing is so dangerous for morals and perhaps for health as to leave children too long under the care of chambermaids, or even of young ladies brought up in the chateaux. I will add that...
Page 34 - ... Great, who admitted the philosophers in vogue and famous men of letters to his intimate acquaintance. " That is not the way in France," said the King, " and as there are a few more wits and great noblemen here than there are in Prussia, I should want a very big table to gather them all around it." And then he counted on his fingers : " Maupertuis, Fontenelle, La Motte, Voltaire, Piron, Destouches, Montesquieu, Cardinal de Polignac.
Page 36 - unable to invite that troop of philosophers to her salon, would come down herself to see them at table and talk with them.
Page 42 - would have loved Francois I." There exists in the " Cabinet d'Estampes " a Collection entitled " CEuvre de Mme. de Pompadour," consisting of more than sixty engravings or etchings. They are chiefly allegorical subjects, intended to celebrate the memorable events of the day, but there are some which enter more into the idea we form of the charming artist :
Page 37 - ... character, was not a man without intelligence, nor without good sense. Many apt sayings, piquant and sufficiently shrewd repartees are quoted of him, such as come readily from the princes of the house of Bourbon. He seems to have had some judgment, if that word is not too lofty to connect with the species of immobility and sloth in which he liked to keep his mind ; but his greatest need of all was to be governed. He was a Louis XIII. turned into the eighteenth century, with the vices of his time,...
Page 41 - Destiny, which proved more favourable to France than to the Arts. Mme. de Pompadour died at the moment when they thought her out of danger. Well! what remains of that woman who exhausted us in men and money, left us without honour or energy, and who overturned the whole political system of Europe?
Page 43 - ... as gifts to sovereigns. Under the near influence of Versailles, Sevres soon had original marvels to rival those of Old Dresden and Japan. Nowhere does the style called " Pompadour " shine with more delicacy and fancy, or better in its place, than in the porcelain services of that date. This glory, due to a fragile art, is more durable than many others. While M. de Marigny, her brother, summoned Soufflot from Lyons to put him in charge of the construction of Sainte-Genevieve (the Pantheon), she...
Page 135 - Mirepoix's resistance, but he gave me a pension of 1,500 francs out of his privy-purse. 1 The following anecdote I hold from M. Firmin-Didot himself, who told me he had it from the original and from tradition. Bernis, in the days of his great poverty and his dinners with Diderot at six sous a head, was employed as proof-reader by the publishing and printing-house of Didot, great-grandfather of my informant. There he had his lodging and breakfast with the family. One day the head of the house, not...
Page 21 - ... two first powers would make all Europe respectful. Ideas have greatly changed since then." The Abbe" de Bernis, who had quitted the Venetian embassy to take the portfolio of foreign affairs, and who was one of Madame de Pompadour's favorites, was charged with drawing up the treaty. " Notwithstanding his first objections as a man of sense, he did not long resist the general movement which carried away all who surrounded him ; he was dazzled, and thought he was contributing to the greatest political...

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