“Paulette?” said Napoleon. “But she will follow you. I approve of her doing so; the air of Paris does not agree with her, it is only fit for coquettes, a character unbecoming her. She must accompany you, that is understood.”At last, in spite of her being unlucky or fanciful, or both, she succeeded in finding a dwelling-place, and as directly she arrived, visits and commissions began to pour upon her, she soon had plenty of money and plenty of society.To her joy she met her old friend Doyen, the painter. He had emigrated two years after her, and arrived at St. Petersburg with no money. The Empress came to his assistance and offered him the directorship of the Academy of Arts. He settled in the Russian capital, where he got plenty of employment, painting both pictures and ceilings for the Empress, who liked him, and for the Russian nobles. The Empress gave him a place near her own box at the theatre, and used often to talk to him.
She was still very young when her father sent her to Paris with her brothers to complete their education, in the charge of an old abbé, their tutor, but to be also under the care of the Marquis de Boisgeloup and his wife, old friends of their father, in whose family they were to live. When they arrived they found that the Marquis de Boisgeloup, Seigneur de la Manceliève and conseiller du Roi et du parlement, had just died.“It is a dress that belonged to my grandfather, Monseigneur; and I think that if every one here had got on the dress of his grandfather, your Highness would not find mine the most curious in the room.”The position was changed indeed since their first meeting, when, unknown and unconsidered, he was invited, in a manner that could scarcely be called complimentary, to criticise the portrait of the beautiful, fashionable woman who now stood before him as lovely as ever, her face pale, and her soft dark eyes raised anxiously to his, but without any symptom of terror.
That 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.She tried to question the gaoler when he brought her breakfast of black bread and boiled beans, but he only put his finger on his lips. Every evening she went down to the courtyard and a stone with a note from Tallien was thrown to her. He had hired an attic close by, and his mother had, under another name, gained the gaoler and his wife. But at the end of a week the gaoler was denounced by the spies of Robespierre, and Térèzia transferred to the Carmes.
He signed to the gaoler, who conducted Mme. de Fontenay back to her cell; and then sat down to write to Robespierre.Meanwhile, those who could not believe in God, set up as their guide the abstraction they called Nature, which, if they had followed to the logical consequences, would have led them back to the state of savages. There were, in fact, some who proposed to live out of doors with very scanty clothing, and who had begun to cut down a tree and light a fire when their plans of life were suddenly frustrated by the appearance of the police.
The news spread through the prison and caused general grief. Some of the prisoners got out of the way because they could not bear to see them pass, but most stood in a double row through which they walked. Amidst the murmurs of respect and sorrow a voice cried out
“J’embrasse la gracieuse souveraine, la sainte Henriette, la ridicule Adéla?de la belle Victoire.”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.
“Nothing but my will!” said Napoleon sternly. “You will go at once to Mme. Campan’s school at Saint-Germain; on your arrival you will ask for your intended bride, to whom you will be presented by her brother, General Leclerc, who is now with my wife, and will accompany you.“I have to go there as a judge to hear all the rubbish and gossip you can imagine for forty-eight hours.”
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“Ah! Madame l’Etiquette,” cried Marie Antoinette, laughing, “God made patience the virtue of kings.”The great picture of Marie Antoinette and her three children, which under Napoleon had been hidden away in a corner at Versailles, was taken out and exhibited at the Salon, where every one crowded to look at it. Again she painted the portraits of the royal family, contrasting the simple, gracious politeness of the Duchesse de Berri, of whom she did two portraits, with the vulgar, pretentious airs of Caroline Murat.Her first great dinner-party was at the house of the sculptor Le Moine, where she met chiefly artists and literary people. It was the custom to sing at dessert, a terrible ordeal for young girls, whose alarm often spoilt their song, but who were obliged to sing all the same.详情
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