Upon awaking the following morning I again received news of the king, who was stated to have passed a good night, and even La Martiniere seemed inclined to hope. As yet, then, there were no safe grounds for abandoning me, and about two o'clock in the afternoon I was favoured with a visit from madame de Mirepoix, who, running up to me, exclaimed with her usual vivacity,
"Oh, my dear creature, how I longed to see you!" and then leading me into another chamber, she added,
"Do you know I quite missed you? As I wrote you, my time hung heavily on my hands. What in the world will become of me if I am compelled to resign the delightful hours granted to the envied few who are permitted the < entrée > to the
"It is a point," replied I, "that neither his majesty nor myself once thought of."
"Then such an omission proves him a vile egotist, and you a prodigious simpleton," answered she; "and were I in your place, I would commission the duc d'Aiguillon to make a direct demand of a future provision for you; you really should see about this, and secure to yourself a noble establishment for yourself and your friends, who ought not to suffer for your overstrained delicacy. Look at the duc de Choiseul, who has kept a regular court at Chanteloup, and never wanted for a train of courtiers at it."
After this lesson of worldly wisdom, the excellent marechale gave me a friendly kiss, returned to her carriage, and I saw her no more during my stay at Ruel.
The evening brought with it a second letter from the duc d'Aiguillon, it was as follows:--
"MADAM,--I hasten to acquaint you with the pleasing information of his majesty being considerably better; his strength appears to have returned, and he himself, in the consciousness of improving health, expressed aloud his regret for having been so hasty in advising your removal from him. He has continually repeated, 'How weak and selfish of me thus to afflict my dearest countess! would you not advise me, my friend, to request her immediate return?' Of course, my reply was in the affirmative. His majesty then put the same question to the duc de Richelieu, who answered, that in his opinion it was the best plan he could decide upon. The bulletin signed by the different physicians accompanies this: it leaves me nothing to add but to recommend your bearing with patience this temporary absence from court, to which you will ere long return, more idolized, more sought after, than ever. The duc de la Vrilliere and the abbe Terray present the assurance of their unbounded respect and devotion, etc., etc."