The next morning they went to Raincy, where the Duke and M. de Sillery spent the whole of the day with them. The infatuation between the Duke and Mme. de Genlis seems to have been at an end, if we may trust her account of that last day.
Often in after years did they look back to the happy, sheltered childhood that passed too quickly away, and contrast its peace, security, and magnificence with the sorrows, dangers, and hardships of their later lives.
When Louis XIV. died, people were very tired of this altered state of things. For some time they had been extremely dull and were eager for change and amusement.
“I have said before, I think, that the Comte de Beaujolais did not share the opinions of his family, and I have pleasure in quoting a paragraph on this subject written by Marie Antoinette in a letter to her sister the Archduchess Christine, governess of the Low Countries.Tallien was the acknowledged son of the maitre-d’h?tel of the Marquis de Bercy, but strongly suspected of being the son of the Marquis himself, who was his godfather and paid his expenses at a college from which he ran away when he was  fifteen. Already an atheist and a revolutionist, besides being a lazy scoundrel who would not work, he was, after a violent scene with the Marquis, abandoned by him, after which he quarrelled with his reputed father, a worthy man with several other children, who declined to support him in idleness, and threatened him with his curse. “Taisez-vous, mon père, cela ne se fait plus dans le monde,” was the answer of the future septembriseur. His mother, however, interposed, and it was arranged that he should continue to live at home and should study in the office of a procureur. Step by step he rose into notoriety, until he was elected a member of the commune of Paris, where he was soon recognised as one of the most violent of the revolutionists.
Amongst Lisette’s new Russian friends was the beautiful Princesse Dolgorouki, with whom Count Cobentzel was hopelessly in love; but as Lisette observed, her indifference was not to be wondered at, for Cobentzel was fifty and very ugly; and Potemkin had been in love with her. Besides all his other gifts he was extremely handsome and charming, and his generosity and magnificence were unparalleled.Many cases there were of romantic devotion and loyalty, by which the property of a family had been partly saved for the owners by their faithful servants. Such was the story of the Marquis de ——, whose castle was burnt, and who with his wife perished in the flames. Their two boys managed to escape, but not together. One took refuge in England; the other in Germany, neither of them knowing of the existence of the other.
CHAPTER VIThat the Marquis de Cubières was present proved to be fortunate, as the King, vexed by the reports he heard of the enormous expense of this supper, spoke to him about it and was promptly undeceived.
The camp of Dumouriez lay close at hand, and he had been very good to them; but there would probably be fighting very shortly, and it was said that he and many of his officers had been proscribed by the Convention. It would, she thought, be safer for Mademoiselle d’Orléans to go and give herself up at Valenciennes, when she would most likely only be exiled, if that; than to be taken with Mme. de Genlis, as they would then be sent prisoners to Valenciennes and to the scaffold. And it was a great chance if they could pass the French posts.For she was as much loved as he was detested. German though she was she identified herself with the nation whose crown she wore, she carried on the traditions of Peter the Great and Elizabeth; made friends of the church, the army, and the nobles, and yet had prudence enough to avoid by any open defiance hastening the vengeance of Peter, who, in spite of the warnings of the King of Prussia, despised his enemies, disbelieved in his unpopularity, and occupied himself with projects for adopting as his heir the unfortunate Ivan VI., whom Elizabeth had dethroned and imprisoned, disowning his son, divorcing his wife, and marrying the Countess Woronsoff. Whilst he loitered away his time with the latter at Oranienbaum, the conspiracy broke forth; headed by the brothers Orloff, five men of gigantic stature, powerful and capable in mind and body. They were all in the Guards, and succeeded in bringing over that and six other regiments. Catherine and one of her ladies left the palace in a cart disguised as peasants, then, changing into officers’ uniforms, arrived at the barracks, where Catherine was hailed with enthusiasm by soldiers, clergy, and people as Catherine II., Empress of all the Russias. However, he stayed a year, much to the surprise of Mme. de Genlis, in the first place that he should have kept her in ignorance of his plans, and in the second that he should break his promise to her. His flight had also the result of preventing their journey, for it had irritated the mob, who were now, under their brutal and ferocious leaders, the rulers of France, and they watched with suspicion all the rest of the Orléans family; it would not have been safe for them to attempt to travel. Such was the freedom already achieved by the efforts of their father and his friends.
“Noble comme un Barras,” was, in fact, a common saying of the country.It was in the year 1801 that she received permission to return to France.详情
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