The history of Mme. de Genlis in the emigration differs from the other two, for having contrived to make herself obnoxious both to royalists and republicans her position was far worse than theirs.She heard there was a plot to carry off Mademoiselle d’Orléans, which made her uneasy, and several other things happened which rather alarmed her.
“Je joue du violon.”“I only care for power for the sake of mercy,” she replied. “But now I am not appealing to your clemency, but to your justice.”
“Defended the King! A fine defence, truly! You might as well say that if I give a man poison, and then, when he is in the agonies of death, present him with an antidote, I wish to save him. For that is the way your grandfather defended Louis XVI.
When she was about twelve years old she left Burgundy with her mother and Mlle. de Mars. They travelled partly by boat on the Loire, partly with their own carriage and horses, to Paris, where they established themselves, and where Félicité pursued her musical studies with increased ardour. She must have been a precocious young person, for when she was eleven years old the son of the neighbouring doctor fell in love with her, managed to give her a note, which she showed to Mlle. Mars, and meeting with indignant discouragement, he ran away for three years, after which he came home and married somebody else.
In the huge medi?val palace the Infanta, sister of Marie Antoinette, held her court, and to her Mme. Le Brun was presented by M. de Flavigny.
To gain time in those days was often to gain everything.“What is the use, if my hour has come?”
Each nun had a comfortable cell, and a pretty little garden of her own in the enclosure of the vast garden of the abbey. One nun, who was considered especially fortunate, had in her garden a rock from which came a spring of delicious water.“But——”
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—
They received Mme. Le Brun very kindly, and she next went to see the Comtesse de Provence, for the second and third brothers, the Counts of Provence and Artois, had taken refuge at their sister’s court.
Their great stronghold was the salon of Mme. Geoffrin, where all the radical, atheist, and philosophic parties congregated. D’Alembert, Condorcet, Turgot, Diderot, Morellet, Marmontel, and many other celebrated names were amongst the intimate friends of the singular woman, who although possessing neither rank, beauty, talent, nor any particular gift, had yet succeeded in establishing a salon celebrated not only in France but all over Europe. Owing to her want of rank she could not be presented at court, and yet amongst her guests were many of the greatest names in France, members of the royal family, strangers of rank and distinction. She knew nothing of art or literature, but her Monday dinners and evenings were the resort of all the first artists of the day, and her Wednesdays of the literary and political world.详情
Copyright © 2020