She was happier now than she had been for a long time; she heard every now and then from her father and Rosalie, her husband was with her, and her love for the aunt, who was their good angel, ever increased. But still the terrible death of her mother, sister, and grandmother cast its shadow over her life, added to which was her uncertainty about Adrienne.“I know nothing about painting, but you make me like it.”
The brothers of Napoleon came to see the pictures of Mme. Le Brun, which Lucien especially greatly admired.Mme. de Genlis declares that at this time the Duchess was still free, and insinuates that she displayed indifference to her daughter in not replying to her letters.
The Duke took her back to Lowernberg, where M. de Mun, who had preceded them, had already taken the fatal news to Mme. de Tessé. She received her brother and niece with transports of grief and affection, and did everything she could to comfort them. The list of victims in the paper from Paris contained the names of the Maréchal de Noailles, the Duchesse d’Ayen and the Vicomtesse de Noailles, but it was some time before they could get any details.
“Never repeat those words! I am not bloodthirsty, but if I had a brother and he were capable of offering such advice I would sacrifice him in twenty-four hours to the duration of the monarchy and the tranquillity of the kingdom.” The news spread through the prison and caused general grief. Some of the prisoners got out of the way because they could not bear to see them pass, but most stood in a double row through which they walked. Amidst the murmurs of respect and sorrow a voice cried out—“Mlle. Aimée shall come to Paris to-night. Order the wedding presents, which must be most costly, as I am to act as the young lady’s father on the occasion. I shall provide the dot and wedding-dress, and the wedding will take place as soon as the legal formalities can be arranged. You now know my wishes, and have only to obey them.”
How the Duchess could ever consent to and approve of her children being entirely given up to the care of a woman whose principles were absolutely opposed to her own, is astonishing indeed; and perhaps it is still more so that for many years she did notice the infatuation of her husband, and the vast influence Mme. de Genlis had over him. But her eyes had at last been opened, Mme. de Genlis declares, by a Mme. de Chastellux, who was her enemy, and was jealous of her. However that might be with regard to the connection between Mme. de Genlis and the Duc d’Orléans, no enlightenment was necessary about the Bastille, the Cordeliers Club, and other revolutionary proceedings. That was surely quite enough; besides which the Duchess had long been awakened to the fact that the governess about whom she had been so infatuated had not only carried on an intrigue with and established an all-powerful influence over her husband, but had extended that influence also over her children to such an extent  that her daughter at any rate, if not her two elder sons, probably preferred her to their mother.
The interview closed to the mutual satisfaction of the King and his grandson, neither of them with the slightest idea of any more serious calamity than the quarrels at court between the Houses of Lorraine and Savoy being likely to interfere with the secure and magnificent tranquillity of their lives. But it wanted only eighteen years and a few months to the fall of the Bastille, and though the small-pox cut short the life of Louis XV. before the evil days, they were seen by many of his courtiers as old or older than himself.When she was better she and M. de Montagu took a small furnished apartment and dined at Mme. Le Rebours’, paying pension of 100 francs a month for themselves, the child and nurse. M. de Beaune went to live at a pension set up by the Comtesse de Villeroy, where for a very moderate price he had good food, a good room, and the society of a salon in Paris. He grumbled no more, and they were all much more comfortable than in England.The attraction he felt for Mme. de Genlis, which had such a powerful influence upon her life and so disastrous an effect upon her reputation, had not begun when she first took up her abode at the Palais Royal.
“No; the people will not allow it.”详情
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