For the same reason he had, at the beginning of his career, married Joséphine, Vicomtesse de Beauharnais; it was true, as he afterwards declared that he loved her better than he ever loved any woman; but all the same he had decided that his wife must be of good blood, good manners, and good society; and although Joséphine was by no means a grande dame, she was in a much better position than himself; and her children’s name, her social connections, her well-bred son and daughter, the charming manners and savoir faire of all three were then and for long afterwards both useful and agreeable to him.Each of the princesses had her own household, and when mere children they gave balls and received the ambassadors. It was the custom that in the absence of the King, Queen, and Dauphin, the watchword should be given to the sentinel by the eldest princess present. On one occasion when this was Madame Adéla?de, her governess, then the Duchesse de Tallard, complained to Cardinal Fleury that it was not proper for the princess, being a young girl, to whisper in a man’s ear. The Cardinal spoke to the King, who decided that although Madame Adéla?de must still give the consigne, she  should first ask her governess the name of which saint she was to say.
She embarked with Adéla?de for Rotterdam, and on arriving at Paris found her daughter, who had neither lost her good looks nor her social attractions, but was otherwise as unsatisfactory as ever. For her husband she had long ceased to care at  all. They had come to Paris to engage some artists for Prince Narischkin, and when M. Nigris returned to Russia, his wife refused to accompany him.There was at this same time a perfect rage for fortune-telling, second sight, and every sort of occult knowledge and experiences.“You think like a scoundrel!”
But while Térèzia congratulated herself that she had happened to be at Bordeaux, the story got  about, and the fierce populace were infuriated at the escape of their intended prey. Their first revenge was directed towards the captain, through whose unguarded talk about “a beautiful woman who looked like a grande dame, and had suddenly appeared and paid him the money,” was the cause of the mischief. They made a furious attack upon him, several of them rushing at him to drag him to the guillotine. But if he was avaricious the English captain was brave and strong, so, drawing his sword with shouts and threats he wounded three or four, drove back the rest, regained his ship, and set sail for England.In the fearful tragedy of the French Revolution, as in many earlier dramas in the history of that nation, one can hardly fail to be struck by the extreme youth of many, perhaps most, of the leading characters, good or bad. And the hero and heroine of this act in the revolutionary drama were young, and both remarkable for their beauty.
Owing to her brilliant success, to the affection and friendship which surrounded her wherever she went, to her absorbing interest in her art, the delightful places and society in which she spent her time, and also to her own sunny, light-hearted nature, her long life, in spite of certain serious domestic drawbacks and sorrows, was a very happy one. Her wonderful capacity for enjoyment, her appreciation of beauty in nature and art, the great interest she took in matters intellectual and political, her pleasure in the society of her numerous friends, and her ardent devotion to the religious and royalist principles of her youth, continued undiminished through the peaceful old age which terminated her brilliant career.
“Because every one is in prison at Paris; even the revolutionists. And I am a revolutionist.”[x]
THE early years of the childhood of Elisabeth Vigée were peaceful and happy enough, and already at a tender age the genius which was to determine and characterise her future life began to appear. According to the usual custom she was placed in a convent to be educated, and though only six years old when she was sent there, she had then and during the five years of her convent life, the habit of drawing and scribbling perpetually and upon everything she could lay her hands on, much to the displeasure of the good Sisters and of her companions.Capital letter WShe remained at La Muette until the Terror began. Mme. Chalgrin, of whom she was an intimate friend, came there to celebrate very quietly the marriage of her daughter. The day after it, both Mme. Chalgrin and Mme. Filleul were arrested by the revolutionists and guillotined a few days later, because they were said to have “burnt the candles of the nation.”
“When I was alone I opened the mysterious letter, and by the light of my lamp I read as follows:“Monsieur has forgotten to tell me his name.”
Not that M. de Montagu shared the opinions of his brothers-in-law, he saw to what they had led. But he thought as many others did and still do, that emigration was a mistake, at any rate for the present,  that precipitation in the matter would irritate moderate men and many who were still undecided, and drive them into the ranks of the Revolutionists, especially if they saw the emigrés preparing to return with a foreign army to fight against their countrymen. What he hoped for was a rapprochement between the royalists and the moderate constitutional party, who, if united, might still save both the monarchy and the reforms. M. de Beaune laughed at the idea, and events prove him to be right; finally, as he could not convince his son, he set off alone.
For more than a year she did not dare to pass the Palais Royal or to cross the place Louis XV., too many phantoms seemed to haunt and reproach her for the past.“If my uncle had known you, he would have overwhelmed you with honours and riches.”详情
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