类型:奇幻地区:չ发布:2020-10-27 05:59:57


Accustomed all her life to be surrounded by friends, to be made much of and allowed to do as she liked wherever she went, she had followed her own fashion of wearing a certain style of dress, artistic, characteristic, but inexpensive. Nobody had objected to the simple toilettes of soft muslin, gracefully arranged, nor to the scarves and handkerchiefs she twisted in her hair. But she became suddenly conscious that they were by no means suitable to appear before the formidable personage, whom she pictured to herself as tall, dark, gloomy, and terrible, moreover the Countess Esterhazy looked at her in astonishment, and with much hesitation saidShe met her daughters in a mountain village near Clermont, and the deep, fervent joy of their restoration to each other out of the shadow of death was increased by finding that the priest had just ventured to reopen the village church, where on the next day, Sunday, they again attended mass in that secluded place, and where Virginie, the younger girl, made her first Communion. And she had seen Rosalie, for Mme. de Grammont heard of her sisters release, and resolved to join her. Having very little money, and travelling by public conveyances being still unsafe, taking her diamonds she rode a mule with her three children in paniers, and her husband walking by her side. Thus they journeyed by steep mountain paths, or country lanes, but always by the most secluded ways possible. When they reached Paris, Adrienne was gone, but they resumed their primitive travelling, followed her to Auvergne, and came up with her at the little town of Brionde.

When she had painted the head and sketched out the arms and figure, Mme. Le Brun was obliged to go to Paris. She intended to come back to finish her work, but she found the murder of Foulon and Berthier had just taken place, and the state of [77] affairs was so alarming that her one object was to get out of France. The portrait fell into the hands of Count Louis de Narbonne, who restored it to her on her returnwhen she finished it.While Louise and Adrienne were still children projects of marriage for them were, of course, discussed, and they were only about thirteen and fourteen when two sons-in-law were approved of and accepted by their parents, with the condition that the proposed arrangements should not be communicated to the young girls for a year, during which they would be allowed often to meet and become well acquainted with their future husbands.

Plauzat was a stately and comfortable, besides being a picturesque abode, with its immense hall hung with crimson damask and family portraits, out of which opened Paulines great bedroom, the walls of which were covered with blue and white tapestry worked by M. de Montagus grandmother, Laure de Fitzjames, grand-daughter of James II. of England.

Louis XIV., to whom the idea of the people allowing the King to do anything he chose must have appeared ludicrous, replied that their love for their King would, indeed, be excessive if they would not bear him out of their sight, and ended by sayingEvery day after dinner, they had their coffee in the splendid pavilion of Louis XV. It was decorated and furnished with the greatest luxury and magnificence, the chimney-piece, doors, and locks were precious works of art.

Far from being forced, as formerly, to keep in the background her marriage with the Duke of Orlans, it was for that very reason that she was high in the favour of the First Consul and the more en vidence she made it, the better it was for her.Mme. Le Brun generally spent the evening alone with Mme. Du Barry by the fireside. The latter would sometimes talk of Louis XV. and his court, always with respect and caution. But she avoided many details and did not seem to wish to talk about that phase of her life. Mme. Le Brun painted three portraits of her in 1786, 1787, and in September, 1789. The first was three-quarters length, in a peignoir with a straw hat; in the second, painted for the Duc de Brissac, she was represented in a white satin dress, leaning one arm on a pedestal and holding a crown in the other hand. This picture was afterwards bought by an old general, and when Mme. Le Brun saw it many years later, the head had been so injured and re-painted that she did not recognise it, though the rest of the picture was intact.

However, she refused to leave Belle Chasse, influenced by affection for her pupils, jealous of any one who might succeed her with them, fear of losing the prestige of having educated them, as she says; and, of course, of being separated from the Duc dOrlans, which she does not say. At any rate she took her own way, and after a journey to England where she was extremely well received, she resumed her usual occupations. The Revolution was drawing nearer and nearer, though people did not realise its approach. A few more far-seeing persons foretold troubles and dangers in the future, but nobody except the well-known Cazotte, had any notion of the fearful tempest about to break over the unhappy kingdom of France.The States-General were to open on May 5th, and the day before M. de Beaune and M. de Montagu went to Versailles to be present, Pauline remaining in Paris to nurse a sick servant.

His was the leading salon of Paris at that time, and Mme. Tallien was the presiding genius there. Music, dancing, and gambling were again the rage, the women called themselves by mythological names and wore costumes so scanty and transparent that they were scarcely any use either for warmth or decency; marriages, celebrated by a civic functionary, were not considered binding, and were frequently and quickly followed by divorce. Society, if such it could be called, was a wild revel of disorder, licence, debauchery, and corruption; while over all hung, like a cloud, the gloomy figures of Billaud-Varennes, Collot dHerbois, Barre, and their Jacobin followers, ready at any moment to bring back the Terror.One of Davids most rising pupils before the Revolution was young Isabey, son of a peasant of Franche Comt, who had made money and was rich.

Flicit seems, however, to have always considered that she made a mistake, or, indeed, as she says, committed a fault, one of the greatest in her life, by doing so; if so, it does not appear to be a surprising one, as the plan certainly would have offered strong attractions and inducements even to a woman less vain and ambitious than she was, but [385] it is certain that it caused many calamities and exercised an evil influence for which no advantages could compensate. She left the h?tel de Puisieux before Madame was up in the morning, as she dreaded the parting, and as her apartment in the Palais Royal was not ready she was lodged in one that had belonged to the Regent, with a door into the rue de Richelieu. She nearly had an accident before she got out of the carriage, and felt low-spirited and unhappy, wishing herself back in her own room at the h?tel de Puisieux as she looked round the luxurious boudoir lined with mirrors, which she did not like at all, and which seemed associated with the orgies of the Regency, of which it had been the scene.To which astounding assertion she replied in those terms of flattery in which alone it was safe to address the individuals who were not tyrants, and whose motto was Liberty, equality, and fraternity.A flight of steps led up to the portico which was the entrance to this concert hall, and was the favourite lounge of the idle, dissipated young men of fashion, who would stand there in groups, making insolent remarks upon the women who came in and out. One evening as Lisette was coming down the steps with her mother, the Duke of Orlans, afterwards the infamous Philippe-galit, stood there with the Marquis de Genlis, both making outrageous remarks to annoy whoever [26] passed them. To the relief of Lisette, however, the Duke, as he pointed her out to his friend, only remarked in a loud voice:



She had stopped to change horses and found that she could get none, as they were being sent all over the country to convey the news. She was consequently obliged to remain all night in her carriage, which was drawn up by the roadside close to a river, from which blew a bitterly cold wind.

[56]Mme. Auguier sent her husbands valet de chambre [81] to help him up, and take him into the kitchen. Presently the valet returned, saying, Madame is indeed too kind; that man is a wretch. Here are some papers which have fallen out of his pocket. He gave them several sheets of papers, one of which began, Down with the Royal Family! down with the nobles! down with the priests! and all of which were filled with a tissue of blasphemies, litanies of the Revolution, threats and predictions horrible enough to make their hair stand on end.



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