The King, the royal family, but especially the Queen, were becoming every day more unpopular, the reforms introduced seemed to do no good, only to incite the populace to more and more extortionate demands. The King, having neither courage nor decision, inspired neither confidence nor respect.Félicité soon managed to make friends with all her husband’s relations. M. and Mme. de Puisieux not only got over their prejudice against her, but were devoted to her. She spent months together with them at Sillery, and was a great deal with them at Paris, where her great delight was to know every one who could remember the court of Louis XIV., for which she had the most ardent admiration.
One day at the end of May when she and her daughter were walking in the summer gardens, they noticed that all the shrubs were covered only with buds. Taking a long walk round the gardens and returning to the same place, they found all the buds had burst into leaf.
Her dress was a caricature of the latest fashion, her manner was impertinently familiar. She first made a silly exclamation at being addressed as “madame” instead of “citoyenne,” then she turned  over the books on the table and when at length Mme. de Genlis politely explained that being very busy she could not have the honour of detaining her, the strange visitor explained the object of her visit.On one occasion his friends made him believe that there existed the post of “fire-screen to the King,” and that it might possibly be given to him. In order to qualify himself, they persuaded him to stand frequently before the fire until his legs were quite scorched, assuring him when he wished to move away that if he did not persevere he would never be able to fill that post.
“The executioner? You have guessed it, Monseigneur, and that fearful name explains the state of mind in which you see me.”THE early years of the childhood of Elisabeth Vigée were peaceful and happy enough, and already at a tender age the genius which was to determine and characterise her future life began to appear. According to the usual custom she was placed in a convent to be educated, and though only six years old when she was sent there, she had then and during the five years of her convent life, the habit of drawing and scribbling perpetually and upon everything she could lay her hands on, much to the displeasure of the good Sisters and of her companions.
All the young girls, laughing and treating it as a capital joke, crowded round to draw. One of the last drew the black; it was Mlle. de Mirepoix, a dark, handsome girl of five-and-twenty, who was poor and had not yet found a husband.
The ancien régime—Close of the reign of Louis XIV.—The Regent Orléans—The court of Louis XV.—The philosophers—The artists—M. Vigée.His first question was for his son, and Pauline really dared not tell him where he was, but when he asked whether he would be long absent, replied “No.” She felt very guilty and unhappy because she was deceiving him; but fortunately he only stayed in London a short time during which he was out day and night; and suddenly he went away on business to another part of England. Meanwhile Pauline thought she would start for France, leaving a letter to M. de Beaune to confess the whole matter.
The sort of people who frequented the salon of Mme. Tallien had no such ideas. They were a miscellaneous horde collected from the most opposite sources, many of whom were strangers to each other or disliked and feared each other, and who went there for different reasons. When Tallien became less powerful her salon became less and less full; when men ceased to be in love with her they left off going there.CHAPTER IX
They started at ten in the morning in two carriages, the first with six horses, the second, which contained the servants, with four. They had only two men, one French servant of their own, the other hired for the occasion, as they had sent four back to Paris. Their servant, Darnal, observed after a time that they were not going along the Dover road, by which he had been before, and pointed this out to Mme. de Genlis, who spoke to the postillions. They made some excuse, assuring her that they would get back on to the road, but they did nothing of the kind but went on at a rapid pace, saying they would soon be at a village called Dartford, which for a time reassured Mme. de Genlis. However, they did not arrive at Dartford, and presently two well-dressed men passed on foot and called out in distinct French—The general indignation was extended to all who had, or were believed to have, any complicity in the horrors committed, or any connection with the miscreants who were guilty of them; and now Mme. de Genlis began to feel the consequences of the line of conduct she had chosen to adopt.
AS M. Arsène Houssaye truly remarks, the French Revolution was not made by the people. They imagine that they made it, but the real authors were Voltaire, Condorcet, Chamfort, the two Mirabeau, La Fayette and his friends, Necker, Talleyrand, Barras, Saint-Just, &c., nearly all gentlemen, mostly nobles; by Philippe-égalité, Duke of Orléans and prince of the blood; by Louis XVI. himself.详情
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