During her exile in England, she was in the habit of visiting and helping the French who were poor or sick, and one day being in a hospital, and seeing a French soldier evidently very ill, she spoke to him with compassion and offered him money, which he refused, with a strange exclamation, apparently of horror.
“As an Abbess of Montivilliers is not rigorously cloistered, my aunt, who was perfectly charitable and courageous, thought herself obliged to go out to the first court, and did so, at any rate with a cortège suitable to her dignity.The errors of her youth she abandoned and regretted, and her latter years had by no means the dark and gloomy character that she had pictured to herself, when she left the Palais Royal and fled from France and the Revolution, in whose opening acts she had rejoiced with Philippe-égalité.
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.
à MaratThey spent three days in the Artaut family, thankful for the rest, the quietness and the kindness they received. M. Artaut engaged a man he knew to take them on their journey, telling him that they were relations of his, and recommending them to his care. They set off accordingly, and, this journey was indeed a contrast to the last. Their driver took the greatest care of them, and they arrived in safety at the bridge of Beauvoisin, the frontier of France.
So it is in the present day and so it was a hundred years ago; and the little party set off again on their wanderings. They landed in Belgium just as the Prince of Orange had been beaten near Ypres, the Dutch army was retreating in disorder, the shops were shut, every one was flying, it was impossible to get a carriage, and it was not for many hours that they could get away from Bruges upon a sort of char-à-banc with a company of actors, with whom they at last entered Brussels.With a King of five years old, and such a Regent as the Duke of Orléans, they were tolerably sure of both. The reign of pleasure, luxury, and licence began with enthusiasm. Never, during the life of Louis le Grand, had the atmosphere of the Court been what it became under the regency, and under his great-grandson.
This young Prince possessed talent and spirit. Had not his life been sacrificed, the weak, unfortunate Louis XVI. would never have been King, and who can tell how vast might have been the difference in the course of events?
L’histoire d’un roi de vingt ans,“I know neither the Montagne nor the Gironde. I know the people, and I love and serve them. Give me a serge dress and I will go to the hospitals and nurse the sick patriots.”The life of luxurious splendour and open scandal Tallien led with his mistress irritated him nearly as much as the escape of the victims so frequently spared by his mercy, or rather by the all-powerful influence of the woman to whom all Bordeaux now looked for help and protection; besides which the popularity they both enjoyed at Bordeaux excited his jealous uneasiness.
Mme. de Valence seems to have accepted the situation, but by no means with the Griselda-like “satisfaction” of her sister. Very soon her reputation much resembled that of her husband, and many were the anecdotes told to illustrate the manners and customs of their ménage.
The hot weather she used to spend at some house  she took or had lent to her in the country near St. Petersburg.Thus happily and peacefully the rest of her life flowed on; her interest in all political and social matters—art, science, and literature—remaining undiminished, her affection for old friends unaltered, while new ones were constantly added to the number, until on May 29, 1842, she died at the age of eighty-seven.
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