The continual terror in which she now lived began to affect the health of Lisette. She knew perfectly well that she herself was looked upon with sinister eyes by the ruffians, whose bloodthirsty hands would soon hold supreme power in France. Her house in the rue Gros-Chenet, in which she had only lived for three months, was already marked; sulphur was thrown down the grating into the cellars; if she looked out of the windows she saw menacing figures of sans-culottes, shaking their fists at the house.As the fatal car passed through the streets, for the third time his relentless enemy stood before him, and as a slight delay stopped the car close to him, he called out—II LA MARQUISE DE MONTAGU CHAPTER I
They spent their evenings at the Maltese embassy, where the soirées of the Ambassador, Prince Camilla de Rohan, Grand Commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, were frequented by all the most intellectual and distinguished people in Rome. They made excursions to all the enchanting places within reach—Tivoli, Tusculum, Monte Mario, the Villa Adriano, and many another ancient palace or imposing ruin; and when the hot weather made Rome insupportable, they took a house together at Gensano, and spent the rest of the summer in those delicious woods. They hired three donkeys to make excursions, and took possession with delight of the ancient villa which had belonged to Carlo Maratta, some of whose sketches might still be seen on the walls of one of its great halls.
She also was overjoyed to meet the Comtesse de Brionne, Princesse de Lorraine, one of the earliest friends who had shown her unvarying kindness at the beginning of her career—and she resumed her old habit of going often to supper with her. The Polignac, too, had a place near Vienna, in fact, wherever she went Lisette met numbers of her unfortunate countrymen and acquaintance driven into exile, watching in despair the course of events in France.“Name! Oh! my name is the devil,” and he hurried away.
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.“No, General, with Mme. ——”
“Do you wish me to be lost?”She had written to ask a refuge of her uncle, the Duke of Modena, who sent her some money, but said political reasons prevented his receiving her in his duchy. The poor child, naturally merry and high-spirited, had grown quiet and sad, though she bore without complaining the hardships of her lot.
In art, as in everything else, it was still the age of the artificial. The great wigs and flowing drapery of the last reign had given place to powder and paint, ribbons and pompons, pink roses, and pale blue satin or velvet, à la Pompadour.
The news fell like a thunderbolt upon the little household. To Pauline it seemed as if this blow were a forecast of another still more terrible. It was long since she had heard anything of her mother, grandmother, and sisters, and she lived in a state of feverish suspense almost impossible to bear.Far from being forced, as formerly, to keep in the background her marriage with the Duke of Orléans, it was for that very reason that she was high in the favour of the First Consul and the more en évidence she made it, the better it was for her.
Alexander, afterwards Alexander I., resembled his mother in beauty and charm of character; but Constantine was like his father, whose eccentric, gloomy disposition seemed to foreshadow the fate which lay before him. His strange, unbalanced nature alternated between good and evil; capricious and violent, he was yet capable of kindness and generosity.
They let him in, and he saw musicians with desks and instruments, practising for the infernal scene in “Robert le Diable,” which Meyerbeer was going to bring out, and which sufficiently accounted for the chains, groans, and cries of that celebrated chorus.“‘How I regret that the death of this young prince deprived me of the happiness of opening the gates of France to him and rewarding his noble sentiments.’” With a few more words of mingled criticism and compliment, he bowed slightly and turned again to M. Rivarol.详情
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