“You are suffering,” said the Duchess; “come confide in me, we are both French in a foreign land, and ought to help and comfort each other.” The French Ambassador, Count d’Esterhazy, said that he would come at ten and take her to déjeuner with his wife, who was just then living at Czarskoiesolo. For the first time during her wandering life from court to court, Lisette felt intimidated, and trembled. This was so different from any of her former experiences. At every other court she had been en pays de connaissance. Austrian society was very like Parisian, Rome was the centre of Christendom, the sovereigns of the lesser Italian states were the near relations of her own King and Queen, their religion was the same.
It would have perhaps been no wonder if, after all she had suffered in France, she had identified herself with her mother’s family, and in another home and country forgotten as far as she could the land which must always have such fearful associations for her. But it was not so. Her father had told her that she was to marry no one but her cousin, the Duc d’Angoulême, who, failing her brother, would succeed to the crown; and had written to the same effect to his brother the Comte de Provence.
“Although, thank Heaven, I have never done harm to anybody,” she said. “I agree with the man who said: ‘They accuse me of having stolen the towers of Notre Dame; they are still in their place, but I am going, for it is clear that they have a grudge against me.’”And they proceeded to tell her a number of stories, many of which she did not believe, until she found out to her cost that they were true; but which, nevertheless, filled her mind with uneasy suspicions; while her mother sat by with tears in her eyes, repenting of the new folly by which she had again ruined the happiness of her child.
“I was of no party,” she writes, “but that of religion. I desired the reform of certain abuses, and I saw with joy the demolition of the Bastille, the abolition of lettres de cachet, and droits de chasse. That was all I wanted, my politics did not go farther than that. At the same time no one saw with more grief and horror than I, the excesses committed from the first moments of the taking of the Bastille.... The desire to let my pupils see everything led me on this occasion into imprudence, and caused me to spend some hours in Paris to see from the Jardin de Beaumarchais the people of Paris demolishing the Bastille. I also had a curiosity to see the Cordeliers Club.... I went there and I saw the orators, cobblers, and porters with their wives and mistresses, mounting the tribune and shouting against nobles, priests, and rich people.... I remarked a fishwoman....” This pretty spectacle to which she was said to have taken her pupils, was, of course, approved of by the Duke of Orléans, who made the Duc de Chartres a member of the Jacobin Club, “by the wish of the Duc d’Orléans, assuredly not by mine; but, however, it must be remembered that that society was not then what it afterward became,  although its sentiments were already very exaggerated. However, it was a pretext employed to estrange the Duchess of Orléans from me.”“I can’t. I must go home.”
So saying, he got into the carriage that was waiting at the church door, and she saw no more of him.
Pauline received a letter from Rosalie, written on the night of August 10th. They had left the h?tel de Noailles, which was too dangerous, and were living in concealment. “My father,” wrote Rosalie, “only left the King at the threshold of the Assembly, and has returned to us safe and sound ... but I had no news of M. de Grammont till nine o’clock in the evening.... I got a note from my husband telling me he was safe (he had hidden in a chimney). Half an hour later he arrived himself.... I hasten to write to you at the close of this terrible day....”The Princess Dolgorouki came to see her after being presented to Napoleon, and on her asking how she liked his court, replied, “It is not a court at all; it is a power.”
Lisette was enchanted at this, as she knew that M. Le Brun had rooms full of the most splendid pictures of all the different schools, to which she would thus have constant access. And her anticipations were more than realised, for M. Le Brun was completely fascinated by her, and only too delighted not only to show her the pictures, but to lend her any she liked to copy.M. Le Brun was just then building a house in the rue Gros-Chenet, and one of the reports spread was that M. de Calonne paid for it, although both M. and Mme. Le Brun were making money enough to afford themselves much greater expenditure than that.
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“Oh, well!” said the Countess, “you must anyhow appear to have somebody; I will lend you M. Denon all the time you are here; he will give you his arm, I will take somebody else’s arm, and people will think I have quarrelled with him, for you can’t go about here without un ami.”In 1782 business took M. Le Brun to Flanders, and his wife, who had never travelled, was delighted to accompany him.
Another time a certain M. de Comminges, who had been with him at the école militaire, in reply to his question—The Duchesse d’Ayen—Birth and death of her sons—Her five daughters—Their education at home—Saintly life of the Duchess—Marriage of her eldest daughter to the Vicomte de Noailles—Of the second to the Marquis de la Fayette—Of the Dauphin to the Archduchess Marie Antoinette—The Comtesse de Noailles—Marriages of the Comtes de Provence and d’Artois to the Princesses of Sardinia—Death of Louis XV.—Unhappy marriage of the third daughter of the Duc d’Ayen to the Vicomte du Roure—Afterwards to Vicomte de Thésan—Paulette and Rosalie de Noailles—Adrienne de la Fayette—Radical ideas of the Vicomte de Noailles and Marquis de la Fayette—Displeasure of the family and the King—La Fayette and de Noailles join the American insurgents—Grief and heroism of Adrienne—Marriage of Pauline to the Marquis de Montagu.详情
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