No sooner had the news of their first ephemeral  successes at Longwy and Verdun arrived at Paris, and at the same time the rising in La Vendée become known, than there was a rush to arms, to the frontier, to drive back the invaders from the soil of France. The revolutionists seized their opportunity to declare that the royalists left in France would help the invaders by conspiring at home. It was enough. The thirst for blood and slaughter, never equalled or approached by any other civilised nation, which characterised the French Revolution, burst forth with unheard of atrocity. The September massacres were the result, and of the order for this horrible crime Tallien and Danton were chiefly accused.The first great sorrow was the death of Mme. de la Fayette on Christmas Eve, 1808, at the age of forty-eight. Her health had been completely undermined by the terrible experiences of her imprisonments; and an illness caused by blood-poisoning during her captivity with her husband in Austria, where she was not allowed proper medical attendance, was the climax from which she never really recovered. She died as she had lived, like a saint, at La Grange, surrounded by her broken-hearted husband and family, and by her own request was buried at Picpus, where, chiefly by the exertions of the three sisters, a church had been built close to the now consecrated ground where lay buried their mother, sister, grandmother, with many other victims of the Terror.Térèzia studied Latin with her brothers, spoke Spanish, Italian, and French, with almost equal fluency, conversed with ease and vivacity, sang and  danced enchantingly. Besides all this she was so extraordinarily beautiful, that she attracted general attention.
Il en avait trois grises,A gentleman of the court came home late one night, and could not get into his wife’s room, because the maid, who slept in an ante-room, could or would not be awakened. As he was going very early in the morning to hunt, he  changed his clothes in a hurry without going to bed, and on arriving at the place of meeting was greeted by his friends with a shout of laughter, and inquiries if he wished to exchange his hunting dress for the costume of the Queen’s pages; as he had put on in haste and half-darkness the haut-de-chausse of one of them, which certainly had no business to be in his room.
Et comme le soleil, de saison en saison,The royalists were just now all the more bitter against La Fayette, as he was supposed to have been partly the cause of the death of M. de Favras, who was engaged in a plot for the liberation of the King, which was unfortunately discovered. The King and Queen tried in vain to save him; he was condemned and put to death.When every one was leaving she signed to him to remain, and when they were alone said to him—
Tallien, the member of the Assembly, the blood-stained popular leader, the pro-consul before whom every one trembled in Bordeaux, was five-and-twenty. The Marquise de Fontenay, who stood before him, knowing that her life was in his hands, was not yet twenty.“What the devil of a story are you telling me, Chevalier de ——?” cried his tormentor. “Where did you have supper last night? I believe you have drunk too much.”
The Greatest Names in France—The Maréchale de Noailles—Strange proceedings—Death of the Dauphin—Of the Dauphine—Of the Queen—The Children of France—Louis XIV. and Louis XV.
“‘Yes, my dear son,’ said the King, making use for the first time of that paternal expression; ‘I know as well as you do that this abbé is not well-disposed towards us; but can I take him away from  a young woman whom he has educated,  and who requires somebody to confide in? Besides, she might choose worse; he is a man without personal ambition, religious and upright, in spite of his leaning to the House of Austria. It will be the Dauphin’s business to keep him within proper limits; and now I have warned you about what made me most uneasy I feel more satisfied, for I desire above all things that the peace of my family should never be troubled.’”Divorced—M. de Fontenay escapes to Spain—The mistress of Tallien—Her influence and his saves many lives—Robespierre—Singular circumstances at the birth of Louis XVII.—The vengeance of the Marquis de —— —Enmity of Robespierre—Arrest of Térèzia—La Force.
But she was so ill that she could not stand, and as she lay delirious upon her pallet in a high fever, one of her fellow prisoners called to M. Cazotte, who was also imprisoned there, and was famous for having predicted many things which had always come true, especially for his prophecy at the notorious supper of the Prince de Beauvau, at which he had foretold the horrors of the Revolution and the fate of the different guests, now being, or having been, terribly fulfilled. à Marat,It was the only safeguard he could have found, as his rank and well-known opinions would have otherwise marked him for destruction.
CHAPTER IVThe King had been married to her when he was fifteen and she two-and-twenty; and after the first few years had lived in an open immorality which was very general at his court, and for a long time did not much affect his popularity with the nation, though every now and then caricatures and epigrams more witty than prudent appeared; as, for instance, the following, written upon the base of the pedestal of an equestrian statue of him, around which were grouped the figures of Strength, Prudence, Justice, and Peace:
The day the fatal news of his death arrived, the Abbé stopped short and, instead of the usual prayer, began the De Profundis with a trembling voice. All joined with tears, but when, at the end of it, the old priest was going on to the other prayers, one of the congregation said aloud—“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 égalité you left the family of Bourbon, nevertheless I consent to recall you into it.... Duc d’Orléans, it is finished, from to-day alone we will begin to know each other.”详情
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