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Lisette rejoiced at this announcement, for she fancied she would like to live in the country, at any rate for a part of the year.In vain Mme. Le Brun tried to dissuade her from this deplorable marriage, the spoilt young girl, accustomed to have everything she chose, would not give way; the Czernicheff and other objectionable friends she had made supported her against her mother, the worst of all being her governess, Mme. Charot, who had betrayed the confidence of Mme. Le Brun by giving her daughter books to read of which she disapproved, filling her head with folly, and assisting her secretly in this fatal love-affair.

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.

Mme. de Tess had managed to preserve part of her fortune and was comparatively well off. She had more than once suggested that her niece should come to her, but Pauline would not leave her husband and father-in-law as long as she was necessary to them. Now, she saw that it would, as they were in such difficulty, be better to do so. Mme. de Tess, suspecting that her niece was much worse off than she would tell her, sent her a gold snuff-box that had belonged to Mme. de Maintenon, which she sold for a hundred pounds. M. de Montagu decided to ask for hospitality with his maternal grandfather, the Marquis de la Salle who was living at Constance, and M. de Beaune said he would find himself an abode also on the shores of that lake.

Monsieur, you have much to do to repair the crimes of your father. I have doubtless forgotten them, but my family, but France, but Europe will find it difficult not to remember them.... In accepting the name of galit you left the family of Bourbon, nevertheless I consent to recall you into it.... Duc dOrlans, it is finished, from to-day alone we will begin to know each other.The streets and squares were thronged with French refugees, who had fled, and were still flying, from France. They arrived by thousands, men, women, and children of all ranks and ages, most of them without luggage, money, or even food; having had no time to take anything with them or think of anything but saving their lives. The old Duchesse de Villeroi had been supported on the journey by her maid, who had enough money to get food for ten sous a day. Women, who had never been in carts before, were prematurely confined on the road, owing to the jolting; children were crying for food, it was a heartrending spectacle. The King gave orders that food and lodging should be found for them, but there was not room to put them all in; the Comtesse de Provence was having [115] food carried about the streets, and Lisette, like the rest, gave all the help in her power, going round with the equerry of Madame to look for rooms and get provisions.

The young Comte de Beaujolais, in the innocence [427] of his soul, has always remained a Bourbon, and this amiable boy feels a tender sympathy for my misfortunes. The other day he sent me in secret a person named Alexandre, a valet de chambre of good education. This worthy man, whose open expression impressed me in his favour, knelt down when he came near me, wiped away some tears and gave me a letter from the young prince, in which I found the most touching words and the purest sentiments. The good Alexandre begged me to keep this a profound secret, and told me that the Comte de Beaujolais often talked of escaping from his father and dying in arms for the defence of his King.

In many ways it is probable that no one was more capable of giving a first-rate education than Mme. de Genlis, who had herself so much knowledge and experience, such superior talents and genuine love of art, books and study. She was also careful and strict in the religious education of her pupils, and perfectly free from any of the atheistic opinions of the day.Perhaps so; but at this moment I am more than ever the wife of my husband.Dissatisfied with their answers, he said he suspected them of being emigrs and should take them to Valenciennes. Mme. de Genlis thought they were lost, but with admirable presence of mind, she put her arm within his and walked briskly by his side, chaffing him in an almost unintelligible jargon about his want of politeness, laughing, and appearing quite fearless and indifferent.

The Louvre, then filled with works of artthe [148] plunder of the rest of Europewas naturally a great attraction, in fact so absorbed was Lisette in the wonders it contained that she was shut in when it closed, and only escaped passing the night there by knocking violently at a little door she discovered. The aspect of Paris depressed her; still in the streets were the inscriptions, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, which in France bore so horrible a meaning. Many of the friends for whom she inquired had perished on the scaffold; nearly all who survived had lost either parents, husband, wife, or some other near relation. The change in dress gave her a gloomy impression; the absence of powder, which she was accustomed to see in other countries, the numerous black coats which had displaced the gorgeous velvets, satin, and gold lace of former daysin her opinion made a theatre or an evening party look like a funeral; the manners and customs of the new society were astonishing and repulsive to her.


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She remained at La Muette until the Terror began. Mme. Chalgrin, of whom she was an intimate friend, came there to celebrate very quietly the marriage of her daughter. The day after it, both Mme. Chalgrin and Mme. Filleul were arrested by the revolutionists and guillotined a few days later, because they were said to have burnt the candles of the nation.CHAPTER I

So that one would be quite alone? No one could hear anything that went on there?



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