Madame Carrillac had been mistress to the Duke of Bourbon, but she left the Duke for the Count of Artois. In addition, the Duke’s wife, the Duchess of Bourbon had feelings for the Count of Artois. One night at a masked ball the Count offered his arm to Madame Carrillac, and the Duchess of Bourbon, who was upset about Madame Carrillac, recognized the Count and Madame Carrillac. She then began following the pair spewing sarcastic remarks at Madame Carrillac.
When confronted, Madame Carrillac was annoyed and attempted to escape through the crowd. She was facilitated in her escape by the Count of Artois, and, it was at this point that Duchess of Bourbon tried to rip off the Count of Artois’s mask, snapping the mask’s strings. The Count of Artois, in defending himself, fought back, and, forgetting his position, he rudely crushed the Duchess’s mask on her face and then fled the ballroom.
The incident would have been forgotten if not for a grand supper that the Duchess gave two days later. At the supper she mentioned the masked ball and the insult she received from the Count of Artois. In addition, she accused the Count of being nothing more than a ruffian, which in turn whipped up all the women the Count of Artois had ever offended. They supported the Duchess and denounced the Count’s actions, and, despite his rank, the women encouraged the Duchess to receive satisfaction, which then fell to her husband to call out Count of Artois for his supposed offense. (Read more.)