Then she went back to Hamburg, where she found her niece happy and prosperous, and where Lady Edward Fitzgerald, who was always devoted to her, came to pay her a visit, greatly to her delight.
Many an abbess, many a chatelaine spent time and money amongst the rich and poor; and there were seigneurs who helped and protected the peasants on their estates and were regarded by them with loyalty and affection. To some extent under the influence of the ideas and prejudices amongst which they had been born and educated, yet they lived upright, honourable, religious lives, surrounded by a mass of oppression, licence, and corruption in the destruction of which they also were overwhelmed.It was by the lake of Ploen, and they were obliged to pass the winter at the little town of that name, for it was October when the cavalcade arrived—M. and  Mme. de Tessé, the Montagu, the de Mun, and the priests, to whom another had been added.
But however hard she worked, the family finances did not become sufficiently flourishing to satisfy Mme. Vigée, who, driven to desperation by their poverty, and of course anxious about the future, everything depending upon the work of a delicate girl of fourteen, resolved to marry again, and unfortunately selected a rich jeweller of her acquaintance, to whose house in the rue St. Honoré she removed with her children after the marriage.In the streets people recognised their own carriages turned into hackney coaches; the shops were full of their things; books with their arms, china, furniture, portraits of their relations, who had perhaps perished on the scaffold. Walking along the boulevard one day soon after her return to Paris she stopped at a shop, and on leaving her address, the lad who was serving her exclaimed—
Balls were not then the crushes they afterwards became. The company was not nearly so numerous; there was plenty of room for those who were not  dancing to see and hear what was going on. Mme. Le Brun, however, never cared for dancing, but preferred the houses where music, acting, or conversation were the amusements. One of her favourite salons was that of the chargé d’affaires of Saxony, M. de Rivière, whose daughter had married her brother Louis Vigée. He and her sister-in-law were constantly at her house. Mme. Vigée acted very well, was a good musician, and extremely pretty. Louis Vigée was also a good amateur actor; no bad or indifferent acting would have been tolerated in the charades and private theatricals in which Talma, Larive, and Le Kain also took part.“Have you found means to conciliate her?” asked the Princess amidst the laughter aroused by this speech.
Poisson d’une arrogance extrême,
“Let her give us the list!” was the cry.“My criticism, Madame, is this. It seemed to me just now that they accused you of having made the eyes too small and the mouth too large. Well, if you will believe me, you will slightly lower the upper eyelids and open imperceptibly the corner of the lips. Thus you will have almost the charm of that sculpturesque and expressive face. The eyes will be still brighter when their brilliance shines from between the eyelids like the sun through the branches.
Sur le Pont Neuf acquises.
In art, as in everything else, it was still the age of the artificial. The great wigs and flowing drapery of the last reign had given place to powder and paint, ribbons and pompons, pink roses, and pale blue satin or velvet, à la Pompadour.The Comtesse de Noailles was a most unfortunate choice to have made for the post in question; for although a woman of the highest character, religious, charitable, and honourable, she was so stiff, precise,  and absolutely the slave of every detail of court etiquette that she only tormented and estranged the young girl, who was ready to be conciliated, and whom she might have influenced and helped. The Dauphine, however, an impetuous, thoughtless girl of fifteen, accustomed to the freedom of her own family life at the court of Vienna, hated and ridiculed the absurd restrictions of the French Court, called the Countess “Madame l’Etiquette,” and took her own way.Louveciennes  was near Marly and Versailles. The chateau built by Louis XV. was in a delightful park, but there was a melancholy feeling about the whole place.
“Indeed, I think we shall go too far;” while the Comtesse du Moley and Mme. Le Brun were horror-stricken at the terrible prospects unfolded to them.IN 1779 Mme. Le Brun painted for the first time the portrait of the Queen, then in the splendour of her youth and beauty.The errors of her youth she abandoned and regretted, and her latter years had by no means the dark and gloomy character that she had pictured to herself, when she left the Palais Royal and fled from France and the Revolution, in whose opening acts she had rejoiced with Philippe-égalité.详情
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