The Comte d’Artois did not hesitate to give 1,700 louis for a race horse, or to lose four or five hundred thousand francs in an evening at cards; and the Emperor Joseph II., when under the name of Count von Falkenstein he paid the celebrated visit to France and his sister, wherein he made himself so disagreeable and gave so much offence, was well justified in the contemptuous sarcasm with which he spoke of the squandering of the revenues in racing and gambling.
“Name! Oh! my name is the devil,” and he hurried away.
But all kinds of stories were in circulation about her, which, of course, she indignantly denied. One of them concerned the marriage she now made for her second daughter with M. de Valence, a man of  high rank, large fortune, and remarkably bad character, who, moreover, had been for years, and continued to be, the lover of her aunt, Mme. de Montesson. It was positively declared that the Duke of Orléans, going unexpectedly into the room, found Valence on his knees before Mme. de Montesson, who with instant presence of mind, exclaimed—“J’embrasse la gracieuse souveraine, la sainte Henriette, la ridicule Adéla?de la belle Victoire.”
Prince von Kaunitz desired that her picture of the Sibyl should be exhibited for a fortnight in his salon, where all the court and town came to see it. Mme. Le Brun made also the acquaintance of the celebrated painter of battles, Casanova.No sooner had he gone than his father arrived unexpectedly from the Rhine, where he had commanded the Auvergne contingent in the army of Condé, composed almost entirely of gentlemen of that province.The infatuation of Barras for her began also to cool. He left off going to her as at one time to  consult her about everything. If he wished to see her, or she to see him, she must go to him at the Luxembourg.
A fête was given to celebrate the recovery of the King from an illness; at which the little princess, although very unwell, insisted on being present. The nuns gave way, though the child was very feverish and persisted in sitting up very late. The next day she was violently ill with small-pox, and died.At that moment Tallien, who had been sent to Bordeaux by the Revolutinary authorities, appeared upon the scene.Mme. Le Brun went to all the chief watering-places—Bath, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Matlock, &c.—she found English life monotonous, as it certainly was in those days, and hated the climate of London; but she had gathered round her a congenial society, with whom she amused herself very well, and whom she left with regret when she decided to return to France, partly because her ungrateful daughter had arrived there, and was being introduced by her father to many undesirable people.
“Well; what do you want?”
His court was the most splendid, the most extravagant, and the most licentious in Europe; the cruelty and oppression of many of the great nobles and especially the princes of the blood, were notorious; the laws were harsh and unjust to a frightful extent, but they were not of his making. He neglected the Queen, but did not ill-treat her; he was fond of his children and indulgent to them; while, far from being disliked by his subjects, he was called Louis le Bien-aimé.
The Marquis de Noailles was one of the gentlemen of the household of the Comte de Provence, who did not much like the Noailles, and said that the Marquis was a true member of that family, eager after his own interests and those of his relations. Even the saintly Duchesse de Lesparre, when she resigned her place of dame d’atours to the Comtesse de Provence, was much aggrieved that the latter would not appoint another Noailles, but chose to give the post to the Comtesse de Balbi, a personal friend of her own.
“My criticism, Madame, is this. It seemed to me just now that they accused you of having made the eyes too small and the mouth too large. Well, if you will believe me, you will slightly lower the upper eyelids and open imperceptibly the corner of the lips. Thus you will have almost the charm of that sculpturesque and expressive face. The eyes will be still brighter when their brilliance shines from between the eyelids like the sun through the branches.Filled with alarm and sorrow, she hurried to the Princess Dolgorouki, where Count Cobentzel brought them constant news from the palace, where desperate but fruitless efforts were being made to revive the Empress.
“Apropos,” exclaimed Mme. de Fontenay; “have not you begun her portrait?”详情
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