The salon of the famous Mme. Geoffrin was the great resort of philosophers, literary men of different kinds, painters, musicians, and celebrities of various countries, people distinguished in the political world, or belonging to the court and the great noblesse, French and foreign.“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.”
“I know you are French, Madame,” he muttered with embarrassment.“Sire, when are these two pictures to be exhibited?”“The Duchess sees nothing, or will not see anything, but even shows a strange predilection for Mme. de Genlis, which made Mme. de Barbantane say that it is a love  which would make one believe in witchcraft.”
“Defended the King! A fine defence, truly! You might as well say that if I give a man poison, and then, when he is in the agonies of death, present him with an antidote, I wish to save him. For that is the way your grandfather defended Louis XVI.”He sent a number of the printed copies of his “opinion on the King’s trial,” desiring that some might be forwarded to England. It was as follows:
The fêtes and pageants of the Church and court were most gorgeous and impressive. Even to see the King, royal family and court set off for Versailles, Fontainebleau, or any other of the country palaces was a splendid spectacle, the immense number of state coaches which conveyed the King,  the Dauphin,  Mesdames de France,  their numerous households and those of the other Princes of the blood, made a procession which seemed interminable. It was the custom that on these occasions the court should be in full dress, and Mme. Le Brun, in her “Souvenirs,” mentions that a few years later, after her marriage, she went to see the last of these departures in state for Fontainebleau, and observes that the Queen, the unfortunate Marie Antoinette, covered with diamonds which flashed in the sunshine, and with her regal air and majestic beauty, looked like a goddess surrounded by her nymphs. Countless were the inconsistencies of the faddists of the party to which she belonged, and in the crotchets of which she had educated her daughter, but what duty or reason or “satisfaction” could there be in such a calculation as this?
But her greatest love was for her father; it was almost adoration. Louis Vigée was exactly opposite in disposition to his wife, to whom he was, however, devoted. Kindly, affectionate, light-hearted, and thoughtless, his love for her did not interfere with his admiration for other women; a pretty grisette was quite able to turn his head, and on New Year’s day he would amuse himself by walking about Paris, saluting the prettiest young girls he met, on pretence of wishing them a happy new year.“Will you give me your certificate of residence? all the emigrants have them and prove to me every day that they have never left France.”
That she persistently refused proves how much all these professions were worth, and this time she does in her memoirs blame herself for her conduct; in fact, she declares that she felt ever afterwards a remorse that never left her, and that would be eternal; as she considered herself the cause of the death of her husband. If she had gone with him as he entreated her to do and as she acknowledged that she ought to have done, she could have induced him to leave France with her, he had sufficient money to enable them to live comfortably abroad, and his life would have been saved.
The late Dauphin was said to have regarded with especial affection the unlucky Duc de Berri, who was awkward, plain, brusque, and dull; but the favourite of Louis XV. was his youngest grandson, the handsome, mischievous Comte d’Artois, in whom he recognised something of his own disposition, and upon whom he was often seen to look with a smile of satisfaction.
“‘They may have left out something,’ replied he, laughing. ‘I have no time to lose, and I tell you that I wish to be a great-grandfather as soon as possible.’
“Then you followed the Bourbons into exile?”The one proposed for Louise was the second son of her uncle, the Maréchal Mouchy de Noailles, a lad of sixteen, who bore the title of Vicomte de Noailles, and was in rank, fortune, and character an extremely suitable marriage for her.详情
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