类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-11-24 04:12:36


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.The young Marquis and Marquise de Montagu remained for two days at the h?tel de Noailles after the marriage had been celebrated at St. Roch, and then Pauline, with many tears, got into the splendid blue and gold berline which was waiting for her, and drove to the h?tel Montagu, where her father-in-law met her at the foot of the great staircase, and conducted her to the charming rooms prepared for her.

Like all the other emigrées Mme. de Genlis was horrified at the strange manners and customs of the new society, largely composed of vulgar, uneducated [458] persons, often enormously rich, exceedingly pretentious, and with no idea how to conduct themselves.

Society was split into opposing parties, infuriated against each other, quarrels and reproaches took the place of the friendly conversations and diversions of former days. It was not to be wondered at, and her own family once so united was now divided and estranged.“You think me de très bonne maison, don’t you?” said the King; “well, I myself should find difficulty in entering that order, because in the female line I descend in the eighth degree from a procureur.”

Mme. Le Brun now worked so hard that she made herself ill, often having three sittings a day, and she soon became so thin and out of health that her friends interfered, and by order of the doctor she henceforth, after working all the morning and dining in the middle of the day, took a siesta, which she found invaluable all her life. The evenings were always devoted to society.While she was at Romainville there was a most awful storm, the sky which had become deep yellow with black clouds of alarming appearance, seemed to open and pour forth flash after flash of lightning, accompanied by deafening thunder and enormous hailstones, which ravaged the country for forty leagues round Paris. Pale and trembling, Mme. de [80] Ségur and Mme. Le Brun sat looking at each other in terror, fancying that they saw in the awful tempest raging around them, the beginning of the fearful times whose approach they now foresaw.The Ambassador gave her his arm, told her to be sure to kiss the hand of the Empress, and they walked across the park to the palace, where, through a window on the ground floor, they saw a girl of about seventeen watering a pot of pinks. Slight and delicate, with an oval face, regular features, [125] pale complexion, and fair hair curling round her forehead and neck, she wore a loose white tunic tied with a sash round her waist, and against the background of marble columns and hangings of pink and silver, looked like a fairy.

CHAPTER IVMany heroic people, women especially, managed to get stolen interviews with those belonging to them shut up in the different prisons. Mme. de Beuguot used to visit her husband disguised as a washer-woman, and through her devotion, courage, and good management he was ultimately saved. Some [330] bribed or persuaded the more humane gaolers, and one man was visited through all his imprisonment by his two little children who came with no other guardian than their large dog. The faithful creature brought them safe there and back every day, watching carefully that they were not run over.They could not deny this; and to their astonishment the officer, hurriedly saying that he was born on their estate, pressed a purse of gold into the hand of one and marched off. The country was still in a state of anarchy and they never could discover who their benefactor was.

Another and more reprehensible episode took place when the Comte d’Artois, then a lad of sixteen, was just going to be married to the younger sister of the Comtesse de Provence, daughter of the King of Sardinia.“What? A painter ambassador? Doubtless it must have been an ambassador who amused himself by painting.”

But the most extraordinary and absurd person in the family was the Maréchale de Noailles, mother of the Duc d’Ayen, whose eccentricity was such that she might well have been supposed to be mad. It was, however, only upon certain points that her delusions were so singular—otherwise she seems to have been only an eccentric person, whose ideas of rank and position amounted to a mania.

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Their property had been confiscated, their estates seized, and their h?tels and chateaux either burnt or sold.The young Marquis, her cousin, was starting for St. Domingo, and the day before his departure a fête de famille took place, exceedingly characteristic of the France of the eighteenth century.Then the Comte d’Artois insisted on having a [204] place of the same kind, and on its being made and finished in a week; which at enormous expense he succeeded in accomplishing, besides winning from the Queen a bet of 100,000 francs made upon the subject.

ANNE PAULE DOMINIQUE DE NOAILLES was by birth, character, education, and surroundings a complete contrast to our last heroine. She belonged to the great house of Noailles, being the fourth of the five daughters of the Duc d’Ayen, eldest son of the Maréchal Duc de Noailles, a brilliant courtier high in the favour of Louis XV.Lisette, to whom such an invitation was unfamiliar, accepted however; and the Countess then said—



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