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One Sunday in October, 1796, Lisette went, after mass, to the palace to present the portrait she had just finished of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth.Adrienne had never opposed his going. Divided between her grief at their separation, her sympathy with his dreams and ideas, and her dislike to oppose his wishes, she, though nearly heartbroken, pretended to be cheerful, stifled her tears, and forced herself to smile and laugh, though her love for him was such that she said she felt as if she would faint when he left her even for a short time, a few hours.

Presently M. L was announced, and Mme. Le Brun having hidden herself behind the curtains, Mme. de Strogonoff ordered him to be shown in, and said to him

Capital letter TMeanwhile, many who would have shrunk from [413] the crimes and horrors for which in their folly they were preparing the way as fast as possible, went on playing with fire, by encouraging the disloyalty that was in the air, sympathising with the outrageous demands put forward by the Radical leaders, circulating libels and inventing lying stories against the Queen and royal family, joining noisily in the abuse of everything that had hitherto been held sacred or respectable, and doing everything in their power to inflame the evil passions and excite the cupidity and violence of the mob.

Paulette? said Napoleon. But she will follow you. I approve of her doing so; the air of Paris does not agree with her, it is only fit for coquettes, a character unbecoming her. She must accompany you, that is understood.Like many other persons, Mme. de Genlis, though she chose to act in a way that she must have known to be suspicious, even if there had been no real harm in it, made a great outcry when the remarks were made, and conclusions drawn that might have naturally been expected.

[317]Mordieu! no.You think me de trs bonne maison, dont you? said the King; well, I myself should find difficulty in entering that order, because in the female line I descend in the eighth degree from a procureur.

[181]Plus nest le temps, où de mes seuls couplets

He seemed, she says distrait, gloomy, and preoccupied, with a strange expression which had something sinister in his face; he walked up and down from one room to another, as if he dreaded conversation or questions. The day was fine. I sent Mademoiselle, my niece, and Pamela into the garden; M. de Sillery followed: I found myself alone with M. le Duc dOrlans. Then I said something about his situation, he hastily interrupted me and said brusquely that he had pledged himself to the Jacobins. I replied that after all that had happened it was a crime and a folly; that he would be their victim.... I advised him to emigrate with his family to America. The Duke smiled disdainfully and answered as he had often done before, that I was well worth being consulted and listened to when it was a question of historical or literary matters, but that I knew nothing about politics.... The conversation became heated, then angry, and suddenly he left me. In the evening I had a long interview with M. de Sillery. I entreated him with tears to leave France; it would have been easy for him to get away and to take with him at least a hundred thousand francs. He listened with emotion; told me he abhorred all the excesses of [434] the Revolution, but that I took too gloomy a view of the outlook. Robespierre and his party were too mediocre to keep their ascendancy long; all the talent and capacity was among the moderates, who would soon re-establish order and morality (they were all put to death soon afterwards); and that he considered it criminal for an honest man to leave France at this moment, as he thereby deprived his country of one more voice for reason and humanity. I insisted, but in vain. He spoke of the Duke of Orlans, saying that in his opinion he was lost, because he was placing all his hopes in the Jacobins, who delighted in degrading him in order to destroy him more easily....

But as dinner-parties then took place in the day-time, often as early as two oclock, Lisette soon found it impossible to spare the time to go to them. What finally decided her to give them up was an absurd contretemps that happened one day when she was going to dine with the Princesse de Rohan-Rochefort. Just as she was dressed in a white satin dress she was wearing for the first time, and ready to get into the carriage, she, like her father in former days, remembered that she wished to look again at a picture she was painting, and going into her studio sat down upon a chair which stood before her easel without noticing that her palette was upon it. The consequences were of course far more disastrous than what had befallen her father; it was impossible to go to the party, and after this she declined as a rule all except evening invitations, of which she had even more than enough.

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But the stories against Mme. de Genlis have never been cleared up. Much that was said about her was undoubtedly false, but there remain serious accusations which can neither be proved nor disproved; and that a long, intimate friendship between a prince of the character of Philippe-galit and a young, attractive woman who was governess to his children should have been no more than a platonic one, passes the bounds of credibility.The high rank, great connections, and splendid fortunes of the daughters of the Duc dAyen caused them to be much sought after, and many brilliant marriages were suggested for Pauline, amongst which they chose a young officer of the regiment of Artois, proposed to them by a relation of his, the Princesse de Chimay, daughter of the Duc de Fitzjames. The young Marquis Joachim de Montagu was then nineteen, had served in the army of Spain, and belonged to one of the most ancient families of Auvergne.

Je nai point les chemises[85]For some time the character of Paul had become more and more gloomy and menacing; his mind was filled with the darkest suspicions, even to the extent of believing that the Empress and his children were conspiring against his life; which was all the more terrible for the Empress Marie, as they had for many years, as long as the Empress Catherine lived, been very happy together, and in spite of everything she still remained deeply attached to him.



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