After the Revolution he returned with the other emigrés, and soon after received the inheritance of his uncle, the fourteenth Prince de Chimay, and of the Holy Roman Empire and Grandee of Spain.His was the leading salon of Paris at that time, and Mme. Tallien was the presiding genius there. Music, dancing, and gambling were again the rage, the women called themselves by mythological names and wore costumes so scanty and transparent that they were scarcely any use either for warmth or decency; marriages, celebrated by a civic functionary, were not considered binding, and were frequently and quickly followed by divorce. Society, if such it could be called, was a wild revel of disorder, licence, debauchery, and corruption; while over all hung, like a cloud, the gloomy figures of Billaud-Varennes, Collot d’Herbois, Barère, and their Jacobin followers, ready at any moment to bring back the Terror.
The Duc d’Ayen spent the terrible night of August 9th in the Tuileries, and both of them followed the King to the Assembly. Even M. de Grammont, who had been strongly infected with the ideas of the time, and even belonged to the National Guard, ran great risk of his life by his support of the King on that day.The Duchesse d’Ayen was the only daughter of M. d’Aguesseau de Fresne, Conseiller d’état, and grand-daughter of the great Chancellor d’Aguesseau. From her mother, daughter of M. Dupré, conseiller du parlement, she inherited a fortune of 200,000 livres de rente, in consequence of which her family were able to arrange her marriage with the young heir of the Noailles, then Comte d’Ayen.
This, however, was not done, owing to some palace intrigue, and greatly to the relief of Mme. Le Brun, who much preferred to live by herself in her own way.At Cologne Pauline met her cousin, the Comtesse de Brissac, still in mourning for their relation the Duc de Brissac, late Governor of Paris, and Colonel of the Cent-Suisses, murdered in the streets of Versailles.
“Yes, I remember you now; but let me go.”From this time began her brilliant career. Essentially a woman of the world, delighting in society and amusement, though always praising the pleasures of solitude and retirement, she entered the household of the Duchesse d’Orléans, wife of the infamous Philippe-égalité, and while constantly declaiming against ambition managed to get all her relations lucrative posts at the Palais Royal, and married one if not both her daughters to rich men of rank with notoriously bad reputations.
Balls were not then the crushes they afterwards became. The company was not nearly so numerous; there was plenty of room for those who were not  dancing to see and hear what was going on. Mme. Le Brun, however, never cared for dancing, but preferred the houses where music, acting, or conversation were the amusements. One of her favourite salons was that of the chargé d’affaires of Saxony, M. de Rivière, whose daughter had married her brother Louis Vigée. He and her sister-in-law were constantly at her house. Mme. Vigée acted very well, was a good musician, and extremely pretty. Louis Vigée was also a good amateur actor; no bad or indifferent acting would have been tolerated in the charades and private theatricals in which Talma, Larive, and Le Kain also took part.
“Comtesse de Noailles, you forget the grand-aum?nier, to bless the rising sun after having exorcised the spirits of darkness.”It was dearly bought, however. For some time, for prudence sake, the Marquis kept up his pretence of madness, but after the fall of Robespierre and the Terror he resumed the apparent use of his reason. But the next heir had taken possession of the estates of the family in consequence of the declared madness of its head. The Marquis appealed to the law, but his own notoriety and the last will and letter of the Chevalier —— decided the case against him. He was shut up in the asylum of Charenton, where  he lived for many years, resigning himself after a time to his fate, and dying in extreme old age.
Mme. de Genlis put Mademoiselle d’Orléans into mourning, telling her that it was for the Queen, which she must of course wear, and it was some time before she discovered the truth.Another of her introductions was to Prince von Kaunitz, the great Minister of Maria Theresa, whose power and influence had been such that he was called le cocher de l’Europe;  and whose disinterested single-minded patriotism was shown in his answer, when, having proposed a certain field-marshal as president of the council of war, the Empress remarked—
“It is Mlle. Mars!” Embracing each other with joy, they arranged to meet the following day, and Mlle. Mars presented herself accordingly at the Palais Royal, where they spent the morning talking of old times and of present circumstances. Mlle. Mars was not very happy where she now lived, and Félicité succeeded in placing her as governess to the children of the Princess Louise de Condé, meanwhile seeing her every day. She married soon afterwards.“Votre profession?”详情
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