Accordingly, a month after her marriage, Mercy could report to Maria Teresa that she had had complete success, and was a universal favorite; that, besides the king, who openly expressed his satisfaction, she had won the heart of the dauphin, who had been very unqualified in the language in which he had praised both her beauty and her agreeable qualities to his aunts; and that even those princesses were “enchanted” with her. The whole court, and the people in general, extolled her affability, and the graciousness with which she said kind things to all who approached her. Though the well-informed embassador had already discovered signs of the cabals which the mistress and her partisans were forming against her, and had been rendered a little uneasy by the handle which she had more than once afforded to her secret enemies, when, “in gayety of heart and without the slightest ill-will,” she had allowed herself to jest on some persons and circumstances which struck her as ridiculous, her jests being seasoned with a wit and piquancy which rendered them keener to those who were their objects, and more so mischievous to herself. He especially praised the unaffected dignity with which she had received the mistress who had attended in her apartments to pay her court, though in no respect deceived as to the lady’s disposition, her penetration into the characters of all with whom she had been brought into contact, denoting, as it struck him, “a sagacity” which, at her age, was “truly astonishing.”
Marie Antoinette gives her Mother her First Impressions of the Court and of her own Position and Prospects.—Court Life at Versailles.—Marie Antoinette shows her Dislike of Etiquette.—Character of the Duc d’Aiguillon.—Cabals against the Dauphiness.—Jealousy of Mme. du Barri.— The Aunts, too, are Jealous of Her.—She becomes more and more Popular.— Parties for Donkey-riding.—Scantiness of the Dauphiness’s Income.—Her Influence over the King.—The Duc de Choiseul is dismissed.—She begins to have Great Influence over the Dauphin.