LA BASTIE LA BRIERE (Ernest de), member of a good family of Toulouse, born in 1802; very similar in appearance to Louis XIII.; from 1824 to 1829, private secretary to the minister of finances. On the advice of Madame d'Espard, and thus being of service to Eleonore de Chaulieu, he became secretary to Melchior de Canalis and, at the same time, referendary of the Cour des Comptes. He became a chevalier of the Legion of Honor. In 1829 he conducted for Canalis a love romance by correspondence, the heroine of the affair being Marie-Modeste-Mignon de la Bastie (of Havre). He played this part so successfully that she fell in love and marriage was agreed upon. This union, which made him the wealthy Vicomte de la Bastie la Briere, was effected the following February in 1830. Canalis and the minister of 1824 were witnesses for Ernest de la Briere, who fully deserved his good fortune. [The Government Clerks. Modeste Mignon.]
LA BASTIE LA BRIERE (Madame Ernest de), wife of the preceding, born Marie-Modeste Mignon about 1809, younger daughter of Charles Mignon de la Bastie and of Bettina Mignon de la Bastie--born Wallenrod. In 1829, while living with her family at Havre, with the same love, evoked by a passion for literature, which Bettina Brentano d'Arnim conceived for Goethe, she fell in love with Melchior de Canalis; she wrote frequently to the poet in secret, and he responded through the medium of Ernest de la Briere; thus there sprang up between the young girl and the secretary a mutual love which resulted in marriage. The witnesses for Marie-Modeste Mignon were the Duc d'Herouville and Doctor Desplein. As one of the most envied women in Parisian circles, in the time of Louis Philippe, she became the close friend of Mesdames de l'Estorade and Popinot. [Modeste Mignon. The Member for Arcis. Cousin Betty.] La Bastie is sometimes written La Batie.
LA BAUDRAYE[*] (Jean-Athanase-Polydore Milaud de), born in 1780 in Berry, descended from the simple family of Milaud, recently enobled. M. de la Baudraye's father was a good financier of pleasing disposition; his mother was a Casteran la Tour. He was in poor health, his weak constitution being the heritage left him by an immoral father. His father, on dying, also left him a large number of notes to which were affixed the noble signatures of the emigrated aristocracy. His avarice aroused, Polydore de la Baudraye occupied himself, at the time of the Restoration, with collecting these notes; he made frequent trips to Paris; negotiated with Clement Chardin des Lupeaulx at the Hotel de Mayence; obtained, under a promise, afterwards executed, to sell them profitably, some positions and titles, and became successively auditor of the seals, baron, officer of the Legion of Honor and master of petitions. The individual receivership of Sancerre, which became his also, was bought by Gravier. M. de la Baudraye did not leave Sancerre; he married towards 1823 Mademoiselle Dinah Piedefer, became a person of large property following his acquisition to the castle and estate of Anzy, settled this property with the title upon a natural son of his wife; he so worked upon her feelings as to get from her the power of attorney and signature, sailed for America, and became rich through a large patrimony left him by Silas Piedefer--1836-42. At that time he owned in Paris a stately mansion, on rue de l'Arcade, and upon winning back his wife, who had left him, he placed her in it as mistress. He now became count, commander of the Legion of Honor, and peer of France. Frederic de Nucingen received him as such and served him as sponsor, when, in the summer of 1842, the death of Ferdinand d'Orleans necessitated the presence of M. de la Baudraye at Luxembourg. [The Muse of the Department.]
[*] The motto on the Baudraye coat-of-arms was: "Deo patet sic fides et hominibus."
LA BAUDRAYE (Madame Polydore Milaud de), wife of the preceding, born Dinah Piedefer in 1807 or 1808 in Berry; daughter of the Calvinist, Moise Piedefer; niece of Silas Piedefer, from whom she inherited a fortune. She was brilliantly educated at Bourges, in the Chamarolles boarding-school, with Anna de Fontaine, born Grosstete--1819. Five years later, through personal ambition, she gave up Protestantism, that she might gain the protection of the Cardinal-Archbishop of Bourges, and a short time after her conversion she was married, about 1823. For thirteen consecutive years, at least, Madame de la Baudraye reigned in the city of Sancerre and in her country-house, Chateau d'Anzy, at Saint-Satur near by. Her court was composed of a strange mixture of people: the Abbe Duret and Messieurs Clagny, Gravier, Gatien Boirouge. At first, only Clagny and Duret know of the literary attempts of Jan Diaz, pseudonym of Madame de la Baudraye, who had just bought the artistic furniture of the Rougets of Issoudun, and who invited and received two "Parisiens de Sancerre," Horace Bianchon and Etienne Lousteau, in September 1836. A liaison followed with Etienne Lousteau, with whom Madame de la Baudraye lived on rue des Martyrs in Paris from 1837 to 1839. As a result of this union she had two sons, recognized later by M. de la Baudraye. Madame de la Baudraye now putting into use the talent, neglected during her love affair, became a writer. She wrote "A Prince of Bohemia," founded on an anecodote related to her by Raoul Nathan, and probably published this novel. The fear of endless scandal, the entreaties of husband and mother, and the unworthiness of Lousteau, finally led Dinah de la Baudraye to rejoin her husband, who owned an elegant mansion on rue de l'Arcade. This return, which took place in May, 1842, surprised Madame d'Espard, a woman who was not easily astonished. Paris of the reign of Louis Philippe often quoted Dinah de la Baudraye and paid considerable attention to her. During this same year, 1842, she assisted in the first presentation of Leon Gozlan's drama, "The Right Hand and the Left Hand," given at the Odeon. [The Muse of the Department. A Prince of Bohemia. Cousin Betty.]
LA BERGE (De), confessor of Madame de Mortsauf at Clochegourde, strict and virtuous. He died in 1817, mourned on account of his "apostolic strength," by his patron, who appointed as his successor the over- indulgent Francois Birotteau. [The Lily of the Valley.]
LA BERTELLIERE, father of Madame la Gaudiniere, grandfather of Madame Felix Grandet, was lieutenant in the French Guards; he died in 1806, leaving a large fortune. He considered investments a "waste of money." Nearly twenty years later his portrait was still hanging in the hall of Felix Grandet's house at Saumur. [Eugenie Grandet.]
LA BILLARDIERE (Anthanase-Jean-Francoise-Michel, Baron Flamet de), son of a counselor in the Parliament of Bretagne, took part in the Vendean wars as a captain under the name of Nantais, and as negotiator played a singular part at Quiberon. The Restoration rewarded the services of this unintelligent member of the petty nobility, whose Catholicism was more lukewarm than his love of monarchy. He became mayor of the second district of Paris, and division-chief in the Bureau of Finances, thanks to his kinship with a deputy on the Right. He was one of the guests at the famous ball given by his deputy, Cesar Birotteau, whom he had known for twenty years. On his death-bed, at the close of December, 1824, he had designated, although without avail, as his successor, Xavier Rabourdin, one of the division-chiefs and real director of the bureau of which La Billiardiere was the nominal head. The newspapers published obituaries of the deceased. The short notice prepared jointly by Chardin des Lupeaulx, J.-J. Bixiou and F. du Bruel, enumerated the many titles and decorations of Flamet de la Billardiere, gentleman of the king's bedchamber, etc., etc. [The Chouans. Cesar Birotteau. The Government Clerks.]