类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-12-05 13:39:10


The decline and fall of the Empire were no calamity to her, and she witnessed with heartfelt joy the return of the King, although she was seriously inconvenienced by the arrival of the Allies at Louveciennes in 1814. Although it was only March, she had already established herself there, and on the 31st at about eleven o’clock she had just gone to bed when the village was filled with Prussian soldiers, who pillaged the houses, and three of whom forced their way into her bedroom, accompanied by her Swiss servant Joseph, entreating and remonstrating in vain. They stole her gold snuff-box and many other things, and it was four hours before they could be got out of the house.

Mme. Le Brun allowed her to have her own way [143] in all things; made herself a slave to her caprices, as she had always done; and when her friends remonstrated with her upon her folly, paid no attention to them, or replied that everybody loved or admired her child. Being engaged all day and unable to go out much with Jeanne, she allowed her to go on sledging parties with the Countess Czernicheff, and often to spend the evenings at her house, where she met and fell in love with the Count’s secretary, M. Nigris, a good-looking man of thirty with neither fortune, talent, character, connections, or any recommendation whatever.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.

Divorced—M. de Fontenay escapes to Spain—The mistress of Tallien—Her influence and his saves many lives—Robespierre—Singular circumstances at the birth of Louis XVII.—The vengeance of the Marquis de —— —Enmity of Robespierre—Arrest of Térèzia—La Force.Sheridan took the matter up, the postillions were examined, but all they said was that a strange gentleman had taken them to a public-house and bribed them to take the road they had followed. The hired servant had disappeared. Not wishing to spend the time or money necessary to bring this mysterious affair into a law court, they did nothing more about it, and never understood why it had happened, or what was intended, or anything concerning it.

And Barras pleased her. His distinguished appearance and manners contrasted with those of her present surroundings, and recalled the days when she lived amongst people who were polite and well-bred, knew how to talk and eat and enter a drawing-room, and behave when they were in it; and who wore proper clothes and did not call each other “citoyen,” or any other ridiculous names, and conversation was delightful, and scenes and memories of blood and horror unknown. It may well have been at this time that she began to yearn after that former existence she had been so rashly eager to throw away.

Mme. de Verdun said no more, but went away and sent the doctor. Lisette dismissed him, but he [47] remained concealed in the house until night. The child was born about ten o’clock, and Lisette was at once passionately fond of it, and as unfortunately foolish in her management of it as she was in the way she conducted all her affairs except her painting. She indulged and spoilt it in so deplorable a manner that she ruined her daughter’s disposition and her own comfort and happiness.

Neither a genius nor yet possessed of any great artistic or intellectual talent, without worldly ambition, little attracted by the amusements of society, she was a sort of mixture of a grande dame and a saint.The French army had overrun Belgium, everyone was flying towards Holland; the road was encumbered with vehicles of all kinds. Old post-chaises, great family coaches, open carts, were filled with fugitives; many went down the Rhine in boats.“Well, then, give us the list for you have it in your bosom!” And one brutal fellow tried to tear her corsage to get it.

The family of Noailles was a large and powerful one, and, as Louis XVIII. remarks in his Mémoires, “Les Noailles ... etaient unis comme chair et ongle,” [53] and having been loaded with favours by Louis XIV. and Louis XV., seemed to think they had a natural right to all the best posts and highest honours. [54]Tallien had no wish to separate from Térèzia. He cared more for her than she for him, but he saw that her love was gone; he had failed with her as with everything else. He submitted, and begged to be allowed to accompany Napoleon to Egypt, why, no one could understand, unless he feared he might share the fate of Billaud-Varennes, Collot d’Herbois, Barère, and other of his regicide friends, meditating at Cayenne upon the result of the Revolution. [108]

However, the predictions were fulfilled. Mme. de Marigny, after many misfortunes, died young. The Comte de Flahault was guillotined during the Terror, and the Comtesse escaped with her son to England, where she lived in great poverty in a village near London, until a friend of hers, the Marquis ——, also an emigré, suggested to her that she should write a novel. That same night she began “Adèle de Senanges,” which she sold for £100 to a publisher in London, and after which she continued by her writing to support herself and [44] educate her boy at a good English school. When she returned to France she lived at a small h?tel in an out-of-the-way part of Paris until she married M. de Souza, the Portuguese Ambassador.


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But she was so ill that she could not stand, and as she lay delirious upon her pallet in a high fever, one of her fellow prisoners called to M. Cazotte, who was also imprisoned there, and was famous for having predicted many things which had always come true, especially for his prophecy at the notorious supper of the Prince de Beauvau, at which he had foretold the horrors of the Revolution and the fate of the different guests, now being, or having been, terribly fulfilled. [105]Her extraordinary carelessness about everything but her painting, caused her to make no sort of preparations for this event; and even the day her child was born, although feeling ill and suffering at intervals, she persisted in going on working at a picture of Venus binding the wings of Love.Mme. de Bouzolz delighted in novels, balls, and all the amusements natural to her age; was affectionate, good-hearted, rather thoughtless, but with no harm in her. She soon became devoted to Pauline, and fell a great deal under her influence.

All this was a certainty supposing he had possessed the most moderate talents, and behaved with common decency. But at seventeen he was already notorious, even at the court of Louis XV., for his vicious life; an incorrigible gambler, and over head and ears in debt. His guardian reproached him, and his debts were paid, but the same thing kept happening until, when he was twenty years old, he lost in one night five hundred thousand francs, his debts besides amounting to another hundred thousand.


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