The Comte d’Artois did not hesitate to give 1,700 louis for a race horse, or to lose four or five hundred thousand francs in an evening at cards; and the Emperor Joseph II., when under the name of Count von Falkenstein he paid the celebrated visit to France and his sister, wherein he made himself so disagreeable and gave so much offence, was well justified in the contemptuous sarcasm with which he spoke of the squandering of the revenues in racing and gambling.If Térèzia had been in immediate danger she would have been sent to the Conciergerie, which was looked upon as the gate of the guillotine; and she knew that the important thing was to gain time. Many had thus been saved; amongst others Mlle. de Montansier, formerly directress of a theatre. She was imprisoned in the Abbaye, and was condemned with a number of others to be guillotined on the following day.
One wonders what would have happened if the young people had not happened to like each other after all these arrangements; but it appears to have been taken for granted that they would not be so inconsiderate as to disappoint the expectations of their relations, who had taken so much trouble. They would have felt like an Italian lady of our own time, who, in reply to the question of an English friend as to what would happen should a young girl of her family not like the husband selected for her, exclaimed in a tone of horror—“Well! Very well! But he has begun too low down, he will have no room for the legs.”La substance du peuple et la honte du Roi.”
Je veux achever ma journée.”
“What do you want with me?” she asked coolly, “I am not an enemy of the people; you can see by my cockade that I am a patriot.”
“Yes, yes! I know the way to the restaurant!” and as he dragged him along in an iron grasp some guards, who had discovered the escape of the prisoner, recognised and seized him.The marriages of her daughters which had so delighted her ambition, had not brought her all the happiness she expected.
The young princes and princesses could not understand that the resources of the State were not inexhaustible, or that they might not draw whatever they liked from the Treasury when they had spent all their own allowances.When the storm had subsided the peasants were crying and lamenting over the destruction of their crops, and all the large proprietors in the neighbourhood came most generously to their assistance. One rich man distributed forty thousand francs among them. The next year he was one of the first to be massacred.The demi-monde at that time kept themselves apart from the rest of the company; Frenchmen of good position and manners did not appear with them in public. If they were with them at the theatre it was in a closed box; though in her “Souvenirs” Mme. Le Brun declares that the fortunes made by them and the men ruined by their extravagance far surpassed anything of the kind after the Revolution.
The chateau, built close to the river, was large, picturesque, and dilapidated, with immense court-yards and crumbling towers; on the opposite bank was the Abbaye de Sept-Fonts, where Félicité and her brother were often taken for a treat, crossing the Loire in a boat and dining in the guest-room of the abbey.In 1805 she again married, and this time her husband was in every respect the incarnation of all that she had hitherto opposed and objected to.
The Duchess sat by the fire in her armchair, surrounded by her books, her work, and her gold snuff-box; the children sat round her, also reading, working, or talking of anything that interested them.He always adored her, saying she was the good genius of his house. They passed their lives happily together until her death, which took place at Chimay in January, 1835, surrounded by her children, whom she adored. They had several besides her former ones, whom she neither concealed nor separated from.
The strong affection between Alexander I. and his mother lasted as long as she lived.“What nonsense?”Mme. de Genlis made a great display of disinterestedness, she refused the 20,000 francs a year offered her by the Duke as governess to his children, declaring that she would educate them for nothing; she refused also the diamonds sent by the Duke and Duchess as a wedding present to her daughter, neither of which refusals there was the slightest occasion to make, but theatrical, unnecessary things were always what she preferred to do. And at the same time she and her family were becoming very rich. Of course her books, bought by all her friends at court, in society, and everywhere, brought her a good deal, but she always had money for everything she wanted. She was promised for her eldest daughter on her marriage, her own former place at the Palais Royal, and a regiment for her son-in-law, her relations were placed and provided for, and she, of course, lived in state and luxury with the Orléans children, amongst whom her own were educated.详情
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