Madame de Pompadour

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After us, the deluge.

Madame de Pompadour, born Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson (1721-12-291764-04-15) was a well-known French courtesan and mistress to King Louis XV.


  • Après nous, le déluge.
    • After us, the deluge. I care not what happens when I am dead and gone.
    • Said while the French financial system was on the verge of collapse, as quoted in Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898) by E. Cobham Brewer. Brewer states that this was sometimes attributed to the Austrian statesman Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, but that he was probably simply quoting Madame de Pompadour.

Quotes about de Pompadour

  • When the time came for Pompadour herself to die, she confessed, was given her viaticum, and was from that time forth forbidden to see her lover. And when her body was borne away from Versailles, Louis was thought to have behaved rather badly because he watched the sad procession from a balcony. Let no one suppose that these people lived lives that were any more free from religious and neighbourly censure than the adulterers in our smallest Canadian villages. Even wealth and privilege could not wholly insulate them from that frost.
  • The King had every privilege except that of being at ease. Pompadour provided the atmosphere in which that final luxury was possible. She did not do this, as anyone who thinks about the matter for twenty seconds will know, by twenty years of rapt contemplation of the ceilings of Versailles. Indeed, Pompadour was not a physically ardent woman, and love-making tired her. After about eight years of their association Louis XV did not sleep with her... But it was to Pompadour that he talked, and it was to Pompadour that he listened.

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