“Cherchons bien les chemisesOne or two of the gentlemen-in-waiting were found stealing the valuable porcelaines de Sèvres in the ante-rooms, to the great anger of the King.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  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.
“Que tu es bon!” exclaimed Alexandre, drawing him aside. “Do you think I mean all that?”
“Have I not spoken plainly? Say no more about it.”Mesdames Adéla?de and Victoire set off early in 1791. Their whole journey was a perpetual danger. After getting their passports signed with difficulty by the Commune, they were denounced at Sèvres by a maid-servant, stopped by the Jacobins and accused of being concerned in plots and of taking money out of the country, and detained for a fortnight, when they managed to get permission to go on, and left at 10 o’clock on a Saturday night, arriving on Sunday morning at Fontainebleau, where they were again stopped and threatened by the mob, who were just going to be joined by the gardes nationaux when a hundred Chasseurs de Lorraine, luckily quartered there, charged the mob, opened the gates, and passed the carriages on. At Arnay-le-Duc they were detained for eleven days, and only allowed to proceed when the Comte de Narbonne appeared with a permission extorted by  Mirabeau from the revolutionary government at Paris.
“And why not grant it?“He seemed,” she says “distrait, gloomy, and preoccupied, with a strange expression which had something sinister in his face; he walked up and down from one room to another, as if he dreaded conversation or questions. The day was fine. I sent Mademoiselle, my niece, and Pamela into the garden; M. de Sillery followed: I found myself alone with M. le Duc d’Orléans. Then I said something about his situation, he hastily interrupted me and said brusquely that he had pledged himself to the Jacobins. I replied that after all that had happened it was a crime and a folly; that he would be their victim.... I advised him to emigrate with his family to America. The Duke smiled disdainfully and answered as he had often done before, that I was well worth being consulted and listened to when it was a question of historical or literary matters, but that I knew nothing about politics.... The conversation became heated, then angry, and suddenly he left me. In the evening I had a long interview with M. de Sillery. I entreated him with tears to leave France; it would have been easy for him to get away and to take with him at least a hundred thousand francs. He listened with emotion; told me he abhorred all the excesses of  the Revolution, but that I took too gloomy a view of the outlook. Robespierre and his party were too mediocre to keep their ascendancy long; all the talent and capacity was among the moderates, who would soon re-establish order and morality (they were all put to death soon afterwards); and that he considered it criminal for an honest man to leave France at this moment, as he thereby deprived his country of one more voice for reason and humanity. I insisted, but in vain. He spoke of the Duke of Orléans, saying that in his opinion he was lost, because he was placing all his hopes in the Jacobins, who delighted in degrading him in order to destroy him more easily....
The Duchess threatened a separation, the position was impossible; Mme. de Genlis withdrew, at any rate for a time, intending to go to England. But Mademoiselle d’Orléans, who was then thirteen, and devoted to her governess, when she found she was gone, cried and fretted till she became so ill that every one was alarmed; she was sent for to come back again, and did so on condition that they should go to England together as soon as it could be arranged.
The brothers of Napoleon came to see the pictures of Mme. Le Brun, which Lucien especially greatly admired.
To escape from France was now both difficult and dangerous. The first to emigrate had been the Comte and Comtesse d’Artois and their children, the Prince de Condé, Duc de Bourbon, Duc d’Enghien, Mlle. de Condé, Prince de Lambesc, Maréchaux de Broglie et de Castries, Duc de la Vauguyon, Comte de Vaudreuil, and a long string  of other great names—Mailly, Bourbon-Busset, d’Aligre, de Mirepoix, all the Polignac and Polastron, the Abbé de Vermont, &c. They left at night under borrowed names. The Queen fainted when she parted from the Duchesse de Polignac, who was carried unconscious to the carriage by the Comte de Vaudreuil. “Monsieur de Chalabre, I wish to know why you took from the game to-night a rouleau of fifty louis?”
Returning at one o’clock one morning from some theatricals at the Princess Menzikoff, she was met by Mme. Charot in consternation announcing that she had been robbed by her German servant of 35,000 francs, that the lad had tried to throw suspicion upon a Russian, but the money having been found upon him he had been arrested by the police, who had taken all the money as a proof, having first counted the gold pieces.Within the first few years of her marriage, Félicité had three children—two girls and a boy.
Those who had dreaded the summoning of the States-General at a time when the public were in so inflamed and critical a state, were soon confirmed in their opinions by the disputes between the three orders, and the general ferment. Disloyal demonstrations were made, the King sent for more troops and dismissed Necker, who, like La Fayette, was unable to quell the storm he had raised; everything was becoming more and more alarming. Just before the fall of the Bastille, Pauline, who was not well at the time, was sent to Bagnères again, where, after stopping at Toulouse to see her little orphan niece Jenny de Thésan, she arrived so dangerously ill that she thought she was going to die, and wrote a touching letter to her sister Rosalie, desiring that her children might be brought up by Mme. de Noailles, but commending them to the care of all her sisters.They next made a tour about England, including Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, Derbyshire, Cambridge, several visits to different country houses, and to the Ladies of Llangollen.
Likewise girls at fourteen or fifteen and even younger, who, with us, wear their hair down their backs, their petticoats half way up to their knees, and spend their time in lessons and play, were wives, mothers, court beauties, and distinguished members of society at the French Court of those days.As time went on and affairs became more and more menacing, Mme. Le Brun began to consider the advisability of leaving the country, and placing herself and her child out of the reach of the dangers and calamities evidently not far distant.MADAME ADéLA?DE详情
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