In the Luxembourg, between six and seven in the evening, a prisoner whose room was at the top of the palace came down and said that he heard the tocsin. In breathless silence all listened, and recognised that fearful sound. Drums were beating, the noise and tumult grew louder and nearer, but whether it meant life or death to them they could not tell; only the discouraged and anxious demeanour of the officials gave them hope. In spite of the opposition of the gaolers several of them rushed up the stairs and got out on the roof to see what was going on. In the rue Tournon they saw an immense crowd with a carriage in the midst, which by the clamour around it they knew must contain some important person. It stopped before the Luxembourg, the name of Robespierre was spoken; it was sent on with him to the Maison Commune.In spite of his friendships with the leaders of the Revolution, his adoption at first of many of their ideas, and the fête Constitutionelle he gave in their honour, M. de Fontenay, like many others, began to see that things were going much further than he expected or wished. He was neither a young, foolish, generous enthusiast like La Fayette, de Ségur, de Noailles, and their set, nor a low ruffian thirsting for plunder and bloodshed, nor a penniless adventurer with everything to gain and nothing to lose; but an elderly man of rank, fortune, and knowledge of the world, who, however he might have tampered with the philosophers and revolutionists, as it was the fashion to do, had no sort of illusions about them, no sympathy whatever with their plans, and the greatest possible objection to being deprived of his title of Marquis, his property, or his life. In fact, he began to consider  whether it would not be more prudent to leave the country and join M. Cabarrus in Spain, for he was not separated from his wife, nor was there any open disagreement between them. They simply seem to have taken their own ways, which were not likely to have been the same. Térèzia was then much more inclined to the Revolution than her husband, believing with all the credulity of youth in the happiness and prosperity it was to establish. Of her life during 1791 and the first part of 1792 little or nothing is known with any certainty, though Mme. d’Abrantès relates an anecdote told by a Colonel La Mothe which points to her being in Bordeaux, living or staying with her brother, M. Cabarrus, and an uncle, M. Jalabert, a banker, each of whom watched her with all the jealousy of a Spanish duenna, the brother being at the same time so disagreeable that it was almost impossible to be in his company without quarrelling with him.
During the latter part of the reign of Louis XV. the rule of perpetual court dress at Marly was given up, and when Louis XVI. came to the throne he tried, but without success, to discourage the gambling, which he hated; but what Marie Antoinette disliked was the stiffness, fatigue, and restraint of these journeys, and she insisted that at Trianon, which the King had given her, she should be free from the  intolerable gêne of the etiquette which the last two reigns had so increased as to be an intolerable burden, in former centuries unknown at the court of France.
Owing to her brilliant success, to the affection and friendship which surrounded her wherever she went, to her absorbing interest in her art, the delightful places and society in which she spent her time, and also to her own sunny, light-hearted nature, her long life, in spite of certain serious domestic drawbacks and sorrows, was a very happy one. Her wonderful capacity for enjoyment, her appreciation of beauty in nature and art, the great interest she took in matters intellectual and political, her pleasure in the society of her numerous friends, and her ardent devotion to the religious and royalist principles of her youth, continued undiminished through the peaceful old age which terminated her brilliant career.Et comme le soleil, de saison en saison,With the same religious and political principles, the conditions of life which surrounded the Marquise de Montagu were totally different. A contrast indeed to the simple, artistic household, the early grief, poverty, and hard work, the odious step-father, the foolish mother, the worthless husband and daughter, the thousand difficulties and disadvantages which beset Mme. Le Brun, were the state and luxury, the sheltered life, the watchful care, and powerful protection bestowed upon the daughter of the house of Noailles; her mother, the saintly, [ix] heroic Duchesse d’Ayen, her husband the gallant, devoted Marquis de Montagu.
They frequented the society of the Queen, went to balls, theatricals, and to suppers given by the esprits forts, such as the Maréchale de Luxembourg, the old Duchesse de la Vallière, a great friend of M. de Beaune, who was a Noailles, and a contemporary of Louis XIV. ; also of the Maréchale de Mirepoix, a leading member of society.
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 beautiful and notorious Mlle. Duthé was often to be seen, amongst others, attended by an Englishman who was not so scrupulous about appearances, and whom Mme. Le Brun saw again with the same person eighteen years afterwards at a theatre in London.
Térèzia Cabarrus—Comes to Paris—Married to the Marquis de Fontenay—Revolutionary sympathies—Unpopularity of Royal Family—The wig of M. de Montyon—The Comte d’Artois and his tutor—The Comte de Provence and Louis XV.
Macdonald, Marmont, and other generals were pointed out during the evening; it was a new world to her.Mute with astonishment they obeyed, and went to Saint-Germain, where Davoust was presented to Mlle. Leclerc, whom he did not like at all. The marriage took place a few days afterwards.Tallien, the member of the Assembly, the blood-stained popular leader, the pro-consul before whom every one trembled in Bordeaux, was five-and-twenty. The Marquise de Fontenay, who stood before him, knowing that her life was in his hands, was not yet twenty.
In spite of all their engagements, Pauline and her sisters found time for an immense amount of charitable work of all sorts. They all took an active part in one way or another, and Pauline even managed to make use of the evenings she spent in society, for she collected money at the houses to which she went to help the poor during the hard winters. During that of 1788 she got a thousand écus in this way. M. de Beaune used to give her a louis every time he won at cards, which was, or he good-naturedly pretended to be, very often.
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“False! Your proof, Monsieur?”
With anguish she saw one cartload of prisoners leave, and she trembled every moment lest she should hear the sound of the wheels of a second in the courtyard of the prison.详情
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