类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-11-26 06:19:25


One day at the end of May when she and her daughter were walking in the summer gardens, they noticed that all the shrubs were covered only with buds. Taking a long walk round the gardens and returning to the same place, they found all the buds had burst into leaf.They went by lanes and cross-roads which were so bad that the carriage broke down, and they had to wait for an hour and a half in a tavern full of volunteers, who cast sinister glances at them, asked many questions, but finally allowed them to go on. It was very cold, night was approaching, the roads got worse and worse, and at last they had to get out and walk.

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“It is not I who am in haste; it is the guillotine,” replied the stranger. “To-day I am on the suspected list, to-morrow I shall no doubt be condemned. I have children. I wish to leave them a remembrance of me, that is why I come to ask you to paint my portrait. Will you?

The Comtesse de Provence was delighted to see Mme. Le Brun again, and arranged various excursions, which they made together into the mountains, in spite of the intense heat, for the summer was at its height. After spending some time in Turin, Signor Porporati offered to lend Mme. Le Brun a farm in the country, where he had a few rooms furnished for himself, and where he used often to go in hot weather. This exactly suited her, for the heat was overpowering, her little girl was made quite ill by it; and with joyful haste, she, with the governess, child, and servants, established themselves amongst the meadows, woods, and streams which surrounded the farm house.

Pauline went to confession to one of the old priests, and tried in every way to help her aunt, with more good will than knowledge, for when diligently watering the vegetables and flowers she watered the nettles besides, to the great amusement of Mme. de Tessé.The Princess had therefore, as soon as she could get away from Austria, joined her uncles and aunts and married the Duc d’Angoulême, concentrating all her affection upon those remaining members of her family, who received her with the deepest joy and tenderness.The first personal encounter of Mme. de Genlis with the Revolution was one afternoon in 1790. She had driven with Mademoiselle d’Orléans, the Comte de Beaujolais, Henriette de Sercey, and Pamela, to a village about twelve miles from Paris, where, unluckily, a fair was going on and a great many people collected together. They took it into their heads that the party were the Queen, Madame Royale, and the Dauphin trying to escape, and, surrounding them with anger, forced them to get out of the carriage and refused to believe their explanations.

From her first arrival they set themselves against the Dauphine, they exaggerated the faults and follies which were only those of a thoughtless, wilful child of fifteen, and by their unjustifiable spite gave colour to the infamous and false reports circulated by her enemies. They tried to sow dissension between her and the Comtesse de Provence, hoping by means of his wife to engage their second nephew in a party against her. The fault was chiefly that of Madame Adéla?de, for Madame Victoire was far [201] more gentle and easygoing, and Madame Sophie so dreadfully shy and nervous that she was incapable of taking a leading part in anything.Now Mme. de Tessé was an extremely clever, sensible person, who knew very well how to manage her affairs; and, unlike many of her relations and friends, she did not leave her arrangements and preparations until her life was in imminent danger, and then at a moment’s notice fly from the country, abandoning all her property, with no provision for the future, taking nothing but her clothes and jewels.

Paris seemed to be awaking into life again; the streets were more animated, the people to be seen in them were more numerous and did not all look either brutal or terror-stricken. Art, literature, and social gaiety began to revive.

The Comtesse d’Adhémar, who held a post in the Queen’s household, received one day a note from the Duchesse de Polignac, “Governess of the Children of France,” asking her to go with her to consult a fortune-teller of whom every one was talking. For many persons who declined to believe in God were ready and eager to put confidence in witchcraft, fortune-telling, spiritualism, or any other form of occult proceedings.



“Conduct yourself properly,” said he; “you will make a great marriage. Being colonel at your age, you have a splendid military career before you, and as I look upon you as my son I will get the King to make Sillery into a duchy on the occasion of your marriage.”

Félicité 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.“Are you not the MM. ——?”Paul I.—Terror he inspired—Death of the mother of Mme. Le Brun—Marriage of her daughter—Moscow—The Tsarevitch Alexander—Assassination of Paul I.—“I salute my Emperor”—Mme. Le Brun returns to Paris—Changes—London—Life in England—Paris—Separated from M. Le Brun—Society during the Empire—Caroline Murat—Switzerland—Fall of the Empire—Restoration—Death of M. Le Brun—Of her daughter—Travels in France—Her nieces—Conclusion.



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