类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-01 23:43:03


But her household difficulties were serious. Any persons who have passed their youth in ease and comfort, and then find themselves obliged to arrange their lives upon a totally different scale, will understand this. The petty economies which their soul abhors, the absurd mistakes they continually make, often with disastrous results, the perplexity caused by few and incompetent servants, and the doubt as to whether, after all, their expenses will not exceed their resources, hang like millstones round their inexperienced necks in any case.THE last of the four French heroines whose histories are here to be related, differed in her early surroundings and circumstances from the three preceding ones. She was neither the daughter of a powerful noble like the Marquise de Montagu, nor did she belong to the finance or the bourgeoisie like Mme. Le Brun and Mme. Tallien. Her father was noble but poor, her childhood was spent, not in a great capital but in the country, and as she was born nearly ten years before the first and six-and-twenty years before the last of the other three, she saw much more than they did of the old France before it was swept away by the Revolution.ONE of the Royal palaces was La Muette, and it was on one of the journeys there that the Queen took it into her head to see the sun rise. It appeared a harmless fancy enough, and she suggested it to the King.

Aimée de Coigny was no saint or heroine, like the Noailles, La Rochejaquelein, and countless others, whose ardent faith and steadfast devotion raised them above the horrors of their surroundings, and carried them triumphantly through danger, [101] suffering, and death to the life beyond, upon which their hearts were fixed; nor yet a republican enthusiast roughly awakened from dreams of “humanity,” “universal brotherhood,” and “liberty” under the rule of “The People,” whose way of carrying out these principles was so surprising.The brothers went out shooting; there were visits, dances, village fêtes; they dressed up, wrote verses, acted plays, and went to see the “Rosière,” an institution which, in this century, would be an impossibility, and which even then many people were beginning to find silly and useless, as may be shown by the remarks of a M. de Matigny, a magistrate and bailli, who was staying in the house for some theatricals, and whom they tried to persuade to stop another day.And so the time passed, each day full of interest and pleasure, in the gayest and most delightful capital in the world; while the witty, charming, light-hearted society who sang and danced and acted and talked so brilliantly, felt, for the most part, no misgivings about the future, no doubt that this agreeable, satisfactory state of things would go on indefinitely, although they were now only a very few years from the fearful catastrophe towards which they were so rapidly advancing, and in which most of them would be overwhelmed. Death, ruin, exile, horrible prisons, hardships, and dangers of all sorts were in store for them, and those who escaped by good fortune, by the devotion or kindness of others, and occasionally by their own courage, foresight, or presence of mind, met each other again years afterwards as if they had indeed passed through the valley of the shadow of death.

The Vernet [32] were staunch Royalists, and watched with horror and dread only too well justified the breaking out of the Revolution.The makers of the Revolution—Fête à la Nature—Tallien—Dangerous times—An inharmonious marriage—Colonel la Mothe—A Terrorist—The beginning of the emigration—A sinister prophecy.

Louveciennes [36] was near Marly and Versailles. The chateau built by Louis XV. was in a delightful park, but there was a melancholy feeling about the whole place.Mme. Le Brun painted the portrait first of Madame Adéla?de, then of Madame Victoire.

Another place at which she liked staying was Gennevilliers, which belonged to the Comte de Vaudreuil, a great friend of hers, and one of the subjects of malicious gossip about her. Gennevilliers was not so picturesque as the other places, but there was an excellent private theatre. The Comte d’Artois and all his society always came to the representations there.Et les catins et les fripons?

He was deeply in love with Mme. d’Harvelay, whose husband was the banker and intimate friend of M. de Vergennes, then Foreign Minister. Mme. d’Harvelay, who returned his passion and carried on a secret liaison with him, used her influence with her husband to induce M. de Vergennes to push him on. The husband, who was fascinated by Calonne and did not know or suspect what was going on, was persuaded by his wife one day to write a confidential letter to Vergennes on the subject of the general alarm then beginning to be felt about the disastrous state of the finances and the peril threatening the Monarchy itself, in which he declared Calonne to be the only man who could save the situation. The Court was then at Fontainebleau, and it was contrived that this letter should be shown to the King in the evening, after he had retired to supper with his family.“Ah! Madame l’Etiquette,” cried Marie Antoinette, laughing, “God made patience the virtue of kings.”

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It was necessary in the next place to look for a permanent abode, and this seemed to be difficult. The apartment in the French Academy was too small, though every one who knows Rome will understand what a temptation its magnificent situation must have been to stay there.

The weeks following were terrible for Lisette, the anxiety and agitation she was in being increased by the non-appearance of M. de Rivière, who had told her to expect him at Turin. At last, a fortnight later than the day fixed, he arrived, so dreadfully changed that she hardly recognised him. As he crossed the bridge of Beauvoisin he had seen the priests being massacred, and that and all the other atrocities he had witnessed had thrown him into a fever, which had detained him for some time at Chambéry.



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