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For with care and good management she contrived to live simply, but quite comfortably. Not that farming or life in the depth of the country were at all her fancy; no, what she liked was a town and a salon frequented by clever, amusing people of the world whose conversation she could enjoy. But she knew well enough that if she settled in a town and had a salon, before very long she would be nearly ruined, whereas at her farm she found no difficulty in supporting herself and those dependent upon her, and helping many others besides.The rest of her life was spent in peace amongst her family, by whom she was adored, in the practices [265] of charity and devotion, which had always made her happiness.

As Saint-Aubin had long been sold, her brother now called himself M. Ducrest.He began at once to draw a horse so well and so boldly that murmurs arose.

IN the autumn of 1790 Lisette went to Naples, with which she was enchanted. She took a house on the Chiaja, looking across the bay to Capri and close to the Russian Embassy. The Ambassador, Count Scawronski, called immediately and begged her to breakfast and dine always at his house, where, although not accepting this invitation, she spent nearly all her evenings. She painted his wife, and, after her, Emma Harte, then the mistress of Sir William Hamilton, as a bacchante, lying on the sea-shore with her splendid chestnut hair falling loosely about her in masses sufficient to cover her. Sir William Hamilton, who was exceedingly avaricious, paid her a hundred louis for the picture, and afterwards sold it in London for three hundred guineas. Later on, Mme. Le Brun, having painted her as a Sybil for the Duc de Brissac after she became Lady Hamilton, copied the head and gave it to Sir William, who sold that also!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 [405] 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.

Lisette now settled down into that Roman life [95] which in those days was the most enchanting that could be imagined. M. Le Brun being no longer able to take possession of her money, she had enough for everything she wanted, and in fact during the years of her Italian career she sent him 1,000 écus in reply to a piteous letter, pleading poverty; and the same sum to her mother.

When the Revolution was over, they both came back to France and strange to say, met and recognised each other at the ruins of their own chateau. While they stood mournfully gazing at them, a regiment of cavalry passed by. The eyes of the commander fell upon them, and suddenly he ordered the regiment to halt, and calling the two young men, said—The Meuse was frozen and must be crossed on foot. Pauline, who was again enceinte, managed, leaning upon her husband’s arm, slipping and stumbling, to get as far as the island in the middle. M. de Montagu insisted on her being carried the rest of the way by a sailor. M. de Beaune was helped by his only servant, Garden, a tiresome German boy of fifteen. They got to Helvoetsluys after dark, crossed next day, and after about a week found a cottage at Margate with a garden going down to the sea, which they took, and with which they were delighted. It stood between the sea and the country, and near them lived the family of M. Le Rebours, President of the Parliament of Paris, faithful Royalists who were happy enough all to have escaped, father, mother, grand-parents, six [235] children, and three old servants. He himself had just then gone to Paris to try to save some of his fortune. They had turned a room into a private chapel where mass was said by an old Abbé; all attended daily, and, needless to say, the prayer for the King was made with special fervour.

Very different was the letter of M. de Sillery. He, at any rate, if he had been wrong and mistaken, was ready and willing to pay the penalty.The Maréchale de Mouchy was furious because the Queen had created or revived an office which she said lessened the importance and dignity of the one she held, and after much fuss and disturbance she resigned her appointment. All the Noailles took her part and went over to the opposition. Although the riches, power, and prestige of that family were undiminished, they were not nearly so much the favourites of the present royal family as they had been of Louis XIV. and Louis XV., which was natural, as they were so much mixed up with the ultra-Liberals, whose ranks had been joined by so many of their nearest relations.A man full of good qualities, brave, disinterested, honourable, a good husband, father, and friend, full of enthusiastic plans and aspirations for the regeneration of society and the improvement of everybody, La Fayette was a failure. He did more harm than good, for, like many other would-be popular leaders, he had gifts and capacity enough to excite and arouse the passions of the populace, but not to guide or control them.


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Lisette thanked the friendly gardes with all her heart, and followed their advice. She sent to take three places in the diligence, but there were none to be had for a fortnight, as so many people who were emigrating travelled by it for greater safety.His first question was for his son, and Pauline really dared not tell him where he was, but when he asked whether he would be long absent, replied “No.” She felt very guilty and unhappy because she was deceiving him; but fortunately he only stayed in London a short time during which he was out day and night; and suddenly he went away on business to another part of England. Meanwhile Pauline thought she would start for France, leaving a letter to M. de Beaune to confess the whole matter.

CHAPTER IXOvercome with emotion at first they looked at each other in silence; then, in a voice broken with sobs, Pauline asked, “Did you see them?”


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