Alexis de Noailles, who had left France during the reign of Napoleon, entered Paris with the Comte d’Artois; the King and the Duchesse d’Angoulême received with distinguished favour those who had suffered so much in their cause; the Duc de Noailles came from Switzerland and took possession of the h?tel de Noailles, just vacated by the Arch-treasurer of the Empire.But the stories against Mme. de Genlis have never been cleared up. Much that was said about her was undoubtedly false, but there remain serious accusations which can neither be proved nor disproved; and that a long, intimate friendship between a prince of the character of Philippe-égalité and a young, attractive woman who was governess to his children should have been no more than a platonic one, passes the bounds of credibility.
But Louis XVIII. in his Memoirs says:
THERE was a striking contrast between the position of Louis XVI. and that of his predecessors on the throne of France.“Well, but you call yourself friends.”
There had been a sudden silence when he entered; no one saluted him but Mme. Le Brun, who greeted  him with a smile, but all regarded him with curiosity. His dress was not like those of the gentlemen present, nor of their class at all; it had a sort of Bohemian picturesqueness which rather suited his handsome, striking, sarcastic face; he was very young, not more than about twenty, but he spoke and moved with perfect unconcern amongst the uncongenial society into which he had fallen. Mme. Le Brun, tired of the stupid, contradictory remarks of the amateurs who then, as now, were eager to criticise what they knew nothing about, and nearly always said the wrong thing, exclaimed impatiently—
S’il veut de l’honneur et des m?urs,
The emigrés were not likely to forget the murder of those dear to them, their long years of poverty and exile, and to see with patience their homes and possessions in the hands of strangers.
She neither feared death nor desired it, her life was spent for others not for herself, she regretted to leave them, but the thought of the other world, and of those who had gone before her, drew her heart towards that radiant, immortal future, the thought of which had ever been her guide and consolation.Barbier, a lawyer and man of the world, whose journal of eight volumes gives a vivid impression of the life of that time, after remarking that the sentence was a very lenient one,  that the chateau was not so large as that of many a fermier général, and that the building thereof gave employment to many poor people, goes on to say, “As for ‘shame,’ ... if it is because the King has a mistress, why who has not? except M. le duc d’Orléans. ... The Comte de Clermont, Abbé de Saint-Germain-des-Près, openly keeps Mlle. le Duc, who was an opera dancer; she spends three-quarters of the year at Berny, the Abbé’s country house, where she does the honours. She has a fine house in the rue de Richelieu, where the Prince often spends a week. The fathers of the abbey who have business with him go to him there in the morning, for he does not lodge in the palace of the abbey. This goes on in sight of every one, and nobody says a word about it.
Copyright © 2020