The announcement caused a tremendous uproar in his family, and the only relations who would have anything to do with them were the Count and Countess de Balincourt, who called at once and took a fancy to the young wife, who was only seventeen, clever, accomplished, attractive, and pretty. Mme. de Montesson also, pleased with the marriage of her niece, paid them an early visit, liked M. de Genlis, and invited them to her house.The three young Orléans princes were, the Duc de Valois, afterwards Louis Philippe, the Duc de Montpensier, and the Comte de Beaujolais. The eldest was eight years old.
“And do you imagine,” cried Mme. Le Brun, “that it is David who has given the taste for the antique? It is not: it is I! It was my Greek supper, which they turned into a Roman orgy, which set the fashion. Fashion is a woman. It is always a woman who imposes the fashion, as the Comtesse Du Barry said.”Mme. Le Brun, alluding to this circumstance,  remarks that in all probability the very heroism and calmness of the victims helped to prolong this horrible state of things.
Likewise girls at fourteen or fifteen and even younger, who, with us, wear their hair down their backs, their petticoats half way up to their knees, and spend their time in lessons and play, were wives, mothers, court beauties, and distinguished members of society at the French Court of those days.Capital letter A
The Prince de Ligne invited them to see his splendid gallery of pictures, chiefly Rubens and Vandyke; they also visited him at his beautiful country place, and after enjoying themselves in Brussels, which was extremely gay, they made a tour in Holland. Mme. Le Brun entered with enthusiasm into all she saw. The quiet, ancient towns of North Holland, with their quaint streets of red-roofed houses built along canals, with only such narrow pavements on each side that no carts or carriages could come there, traffic being carried on by the great barges and boats gliding down the  canals, or on foot and on horseback as the pavements permitted; and Amsterdam with its splendid pictures; after seeing which they returned to Flanders to look again at the masterpieces of Rubens in public and private collections.“Yes, I remember you now; but let me go.”
In Mme. Le Brun, the most gifted of all, we see a beauty, a genius, and a woman unusually charming and attractive, thrown, before she was sixteen, into the society of the magnificent, licentious court of Louis XV. Married to a dissipated, bourgeois spendthrift, for whom she had never cared; sought after, flattered, and worshipped in all the great courts of Europe; courted by fascinating, unscrupulous men of the highest rank, without the protection of family connections and an assured [viii] position; yet her religious principles, exalted character, and passionate devotion to her art, carried her unscathed and honoured through a life of extraordinary dangers and temptations.
“You are Mme. Le Brun, who paints with such perfection, and we are all very glad to know that you are far away from those wicked people.”They went a great deal into society and to the court balls under Napoleon; and Isabey used to design her dresses and make them up on her in this way: when her hair was done and she was all ready except her dress, he would come with a great heap of flowers, ribbons, gauze, crêpe, &c., and with scissors and pins cut out and fasten on the drapery according to his taste so skilfully that it never came off, and looked lovely. On one occasion when they were not well off he cut out flowers of gold and silver paper and stuck them with gum upon tulle; it was pronounced the prettiest dress in the room.
“Of course,” replied Napoleon, “but you should find a marriage for her at once; to-morrow; and then go.”as she sang these words she laid her hand upon  her heart and, turning to the Queen’s box, bowed profoundly. As this was in the beginning of the Revolution, there were many who wished to revenge themselves in consequence, and tried to force her to sing one of the horrible revolutionary songs which were then to be heard constantly upon the stage. She refused indignantly, and left the theatre. Her husband, Dugazon, the comic actor, on the contrary, played an atrocious part during the Revolution. Although he had been loaded with benefits by the royal family, especially the Comte d’Artois, he was one of those who pursued them to Varennes. Mme. Le Brun was told by an eye-witness that he had seen this wretch at the door of the King’s carriage with a gun upon his shoulder.It is satisfactory to know that the brutal, dastardly conduct of the Versailles populace was at any rate punished, in a way they probably had not thought of. The departure of the King and court ruined the place, before so prosperous. The population shrunk to a third of its former numbers.
“Only a royalist would say that!Whatever may be said for or against emigration, one thing is apparent—those who emigrated early  saved not only their lives, but, if they were commonly prudent, part of their property also. Those who emigrated late saved their lives, but lost all their property; while those who remained, or returned, were most likely to lose their liberty, if not their lives.Pauline never cared much for society, and her tastes were not sufficiently intellectual to enable her to take much part in the brilliant conversation or to enter with enthusiasm into the political ideas and principles discussed at the various houses to which she went with Mme. de Bouzolz, who did not trouble herself about philosophy or “ideas”; and M. de Beaune, who was a strong Conservative, and held revolutionary notions in abhorrence.
Directly the Duc de Chartres heard of the project he came to ask to be of the party, and as he was not as yet the open enemy of the royal family, his request was granted.She now painted the whole day except when on Sundays she received in her studio the numbers of people, from the Imperial family downwards, who came to see her portraits; to which she had added a new and great attraction, for she had caused to be sent from Paris her great picture of Marie Antoinette in a blue velvet dress, which excited the deepest interest. The Prince de Condé, when he came to see it, could not speak, but looked at it and burst into tears.详情
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