类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-30 21:36:48


Terror-stricken, they agreed that these papers must be shown to the Queen, and when, a day or two afterwards, Mme. Auguier was in waiting, she took them to Marie Antoinette, who read and returned them saying—After the death of her eldest boy, the sight of this picture so affected the Queen that she had it removed, taking care to explain to Mme. Le Brun that this was done only because she could not bear to see it, as it so vividly recalled the child whose loss was at that time such a terrible grief to her.She married, in 1788, the Marquis de Grammont.

à Marat,The Duchesse de Chartres continued for a long time very fond of Mme. de Genlis, who was exceedingly attractive, not only because of her beauty, talents, and accomplishments, but because she was so interesting and amusing that it was impossible to be dull in her company. And though she had many faults she had also many excellent qualities. She was very affectionate and kind to those for whom she really cared, she was charitable, good tempered, and courageous; her reputation so far was good, and her respect for religion made her shun the atheistical philosophic set whose opinions on those points she detested. One friend she had [390] among them, the Comte de Schomberg, was an exception to this rule. He was a friend of Voltaire, and a pronounced atheist, but it was an understood thing that no religious subject should be discussed between them, and no word of impiety spoken in her presence. The events of the Revolution converted M. de Schomberg, and he died some years after it an ardent Christian.

Mme. Le Brun generally spent the evening alone with Mme. Du Barry by the fireside. The latter would sometimes talk of Louis XV. and his court, always with respect and caution. But she avoided many details and did not seem to wish to talk about that phase of her life. Mme. Le Brun painted three portraits of her in 1786, 1787, and in September, 1789. The first was three-quarters length, in a peignoir with a straw hat; in the second, painted for the Duc de Brissac, she was represented in a white satin dress, leaning one arm on a pedestal and holding a crown in the other hand. This picture was afterwards bought by an old general, and when Mme. Le Brun saw it many years later, the head had been so injured and re-painted that she did not recognise it, though the rest of the picture was intact.

David, Chardin, the celebrated genre painter, Van Loo, Gérard, La Tour, Joseph Vernet, and many others were flourishing. Louis Vigée was also an artist. He painted portraits in pastel, of which his daughter says that they were extremely good, many of them worthy of the famous La Tour; also charming scenes after the style of Watteau, in oil.If she had not got away in time there can be no [83] doubt as to what would have been her fate; fortunately her fears made her act with prudence. M. Brongniart, the architect, and his wife, friends of hers, seeing her so pale and altered, persuaded her to go and stay with them for a few days at the Invalides, where they had rooms; she gladly accepted and was taken there by a doctor attached to the Palais Royal, whose servants wore the Orléans livery, the only one that was now respected, and in whose carriage she consequently arrived safely. Her kind friends nursed and tried to comfort her; made her take Bordeaux and soup as she could eat nothing, and tried to reassure her, being amongst those who did not believe in the perils to come. It was no use. When they went out they heard the threats and violent talk of the mob, and the discussions they held with each other; by no means calculated to give comfort to those who were listening.

“Monsieur has forgotten to tell me his name.”Mme. de Genlis never went to the Imperial court, but led a quiet literary life; quiet, that is to say, so far as the word can be applied to one whose salon was the resort of such numbers of people.Poppo, the celebrated violinist, was also seized and dragged before the bloodthirsty comité de salut public.

Another place at which she liked staying was Gennevilliers, which belonged to the Comte de Vaudreuil, a great friend of hers, and one of the subjects of malicious gossip about her. Gennevilliers was not so picturesque as the other places, but there was an excellent private theatre. The Comte d’Artois and all his society always came to the representations there.But he did not at that time recall him to Paris, preferring that he should be a satrap at Bordeaux rather than a conspirator in the Convention; and remarking contemptuously—At last, however, it was finished, and she stood in the presence of Louis XV. He was no longer young, but she thought him handsome and imposing. He had intensely blue eyes, a short but not brusque manner of speaking, and something royal and majestic about his whole bearing which distinguished him from other men. He talked a great deal to Mme. de Puisieux, and made complimentary remarks about Félicité, after which they were presented to the Queen, who was lying in a reclining chair, already suffering from the languor of the fatal illness caused by the recent death of her son, the Dauphin. Then came the presentation to Mesdames, and to the “Children of France,” and in the evening they went to the “jeu de Mesdames.”

But his enemy stood before him with a smile of triumph.Georges de la Fayette, now nineteen, came over from America, and arrived at Wittmold, to the delight of the little colony, after his long separation from his family, and his return was the great event of the winter and the delight of his mother.“But my letter has gone,” he said; “what shall I do?”

The lavish, almost barbaric hospitality of the [131] great Russian nobles both at St. Petersburg and Moscow astonished Mme. Le Brun. Many of them possessed colossal fortunes and kept open house. Prince Narischkin, Grand Equerry, had always a table to sit five-and-twenty or thirty guests.

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“I can’t. I must go home.”

She met her daughters in a mountain village near Clermont, and the deep, fervent joy of their restoration to each other out of the shadow of death was increased by finding that the priest had just ventured to reopen the village church, where on the next day, Sunday, they again attended mass in that secluded place, and where Virginie, the younger girl, made her first Communion. And she had seen Rosalie, for Mme. de Grammont heard of her sister’s release, and resolved to join her. Having very little money, and travelling by public conveyances being still unsafe, taking her diamonds she rode a mule with her three children in paniers, and her husband walking by her side. Thus they journeyed by steep mountain paths, or country lanes, but always by the most secluded ways possible. When they reached Paris, Adrienne was gone, but they resumed their primitive travelling, followed her to Auvergne, and came up with her at the little town of Brionde.



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