“If ever we get our revenge!”“It was an eccentric existence that she led in her youth, it must be confessed. That wandering, restless life had a character all the more strange because at that time it was so unusual; going perpetually from one chateau to another, roaming about the country disguised as a peasant, playing tricks on everybody, eating raw fish, playing the harp like Apollo, dancing, acting, fencing....”
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.Here she finished the portrait of the young Princess von Lichtenstein, as Iris. As she was represented with bare feet, her husband told Mme. Le Brun that when it was hung in his gallery, and the heads of the family came to see it, they were all extremely scandalised, so he had placed a pair of little shoes on the ground under it, and told the grand-parents they had dropped off.
Mme. Le Brun found Lady Hamilton, as she became shortly afterwards—though extraordinarily beautiful—ignorant, ill-dressed, without esprit or conversation, ill-natured, and spiteful in her way of talking about other people, the only topic she seemed capable of discussing. She herself enjoyed Naples, as she did every other pleasant episode in her delightful life. From the loggia opening out of her bedroom she looked down into an orange garden; from her windows she could see constantly some picturesque or beautiful scene. The costumes of the washerwomen who gathered round the fountain, peasant girls dancing the tarantella, the fiery torches of the fishermen scattered over the bay at night, all the life and colour and incident of southern life spread like a panorama before her; and often she would go out in a boat by moonlight or starlight upon the calm sea, looking back upon the town rising like an amphitheatre from the water’s edge.
Among the numbers of men who made love to her more or less seriously, two were especially conspicuous,  the Prince de Listenay and the Marquis de Fontenay.The Queen, too indolent to write to them separately, on one occasion when she was at Compiègne and they at Versailles, wrote as follows:—All laughed at the vision, but the next day she was so ill that her execution was put off, she continued to be so ill that she could not be moved and was forgotten till the 9th Thermidor came and she was saved. She died, as Cazotte had predicted, in her own bed at a great age.
Pauline never cared much for society, and her tastes were not sufficiently intellectual to enable her to take much part in the brilliant conversation or to enter with enthusiasm into the political ideas and principles discussed at the various houses to which she went with Mme. de Bouzolz, who did not trouble herself about philosophy or “ideas”; and M. de Beaune, who was a strong Conservative, and held revolutionary notions in abhorrence.
It was the Grand-Duchess Elizabeth, wife of Alexander, eldest grandson of Catherine II., and as Mme. Le Brun muttered, “It is Psyche!” she came to meet her, and with the most charming courtesy said that she had so longed to see her that she had even dreamed of her, and detained her talking for some time. A few moments afterwards Lisette found herself alone with the Empress Catherine.
About this time she arranged for her brother an excellent marriage which turned out very happily. She had the young people to live with her at first, and M. de Genlis was extremely kind to them; but at the end of some months Mme. de Montesson, in whom she had contrived to arouse an interest in them, took them to live permanently with her.She 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 sister’s 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.
“(Air: ‘Rendez-moi mon écuelle de bois.’)
This foretaste of the Revolution Mme. de Genlis did not like at all, and she began to think she would rather not be in France now that the plans and friends so lately her admiration were succeeding so well.Ma Lise aimait à se voir célébrée.详情
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