But here, in this half-barbarous country, at an immense distance from everywhere she had ever been before, with a different church, a language incomprehensible to her and a sovereign mysterious, powerful, autocratic, whose reputation was sinister, and to whose private character were attached the darkest suspicions, an additional uneasiness was  added to her reflections owing entirely to her habitual careless absence of mind in not having provided herself with a proper toilette for the occasion.
“Can it be the ——”In her brilliant career, although the odious step-father was still a great disadvantage and annoyance, it was impossible that he could inflict much of his company upon her, full and absorbed as her life now was with her professional work and social engagements. The most celebrated foreign visitors to Paris generally came to see her, amongst the first of whom were Count Orloff, one of the assassins of Peter III., whose colossal height and the enormous diamond in his ring seem to have made a great impression upon her; and Count Schouvaloff, Grand Chamberlain, who had been one of the lovers of the Empress Elizabeth II., but was now a man of sixty, extremely courteous, pleasant, and a great favourite in French society.The Duke took her back to Lowernberg, where M. de Mun, who had preceded them, had already taken the fatal news to Mme. de Tessé. She received her brother and niece with transports of grief and affection, and did everything she could to comfort them. The list of victims in the paper from Paris contained the names of the Maréchal de Noailles, the Duchesse d’Ayen and the Vicomtesse de Noailles, but it was some time before they could get any details.
Mme. de Verdun, an intimate friend of hers, came to see her in the morning, and regarding her with disapprobation, asked whether she had got everything ready that she would require; to which Lisette, still occupied with her picture, replied with a look of astonishment that she did not know what she would require.Another and more reprehensible episode took place when the Comte d’Artois, then a lad of sixteen, was just going to be married to the younger sister of the Comtesse de Provence, daughter of the King of Sardinia.There she heard continually of the terrible scenes going on in Paris, and incidentally got news of one or other of her family, and now and then she received a letter from one of them with details which filled her with grief and terror.
The Marquis de Noailles was one of the gentlemen of the household of the Comte de Provence, who did not much like the Noailles, and said that the Marquis was a true member of that family, eager after his own interests and those of his relations. Even the saintly Duchesse de Lesparre, when she resigned her place of dame d’atours to the Comtesse de Provence, was much aggrieved that the latter would not appoint another Noailles, but chose to give the post to the Comtesse de Balbi, a personal friend of her own.
“Oh, well!” said the Countess, “you must anyhow appear to have somebody; I will lend you M. Denon all the time you are here; he will give you his arm, I will take somebody else’s arm, and people will think I have quarrelled with him, for you can’t go about here without un ami.”She tried to question the gaoler when he brought her breakfast of black bread and boiled beans, but he only put his finger on his lips. Every evening she went down to the courtyard and a stone with a note from Tallien was thrown to her. He had hired an attic close by, and his mother had, under another name, gained the gaoler and his wife. But at the end of a week the gaoler was denounced by the spies of Robespierre, and Térèzia transferred to the Carmes.
“Come, Monsieur,” said the police official, “I see there is some mistake. What is your name?”“Madame, you must come, it is the will of God, let us bow to His commands. You are a Christian, I am going with you, I shall not leave you.”
About this time she arranged for her brother an excellent marriage which turned out very happily. She had the young people to live with her at first, and M. de Genlis was extremely kind to them; but at the end of some months Mme. de Montesson, in whom she had contrived to arouse an interest in them, took them to live permanently with her.
“Meyerbeer, but that does not tell you much.
LE PETIT TRIANONTo Lisette she seemed to be about a hundred years of age, though she was not really very old, but her costume, a dark grey dress and a cap over which she wore a large hood tied under her chin, and her bent figure, increased the appearance of age.详情
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