类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-29 19:04:25


[462]Early in November the Duc d’Orléans sent [430] M. Maret with a summons to Mme. de Genlis either to bring Mademoiselle back to France or to give her into his care as her escort. Mme. de Genlis, not liking to desert the young girl, though most unwilling to return to France, agreed to accompany her, and before they left, Sheridan, who had fallen violently in love with Pamela, proposed to her and was accepted. It was settled that they should be married in a fortnight, when Mme. de Genlis expected to be back in England.

Mme. de Genlis, however she might blind herself, must have known quite well the real character of Philippe-égalité, and if she had all the desire she professed for the virtue and welfare of her pupils, she can hardly have thought that the example of one of the most dissipated scoundrels in France, whose health, as she owns, was early impaired by his vices, would be desirable for them to follow.She wrote pages and pages to the Duchess, who would not answer the letters except by a few short lines, and refused to enter into the matter at all, but declined to receive Mme. de Genlis at the Palais Royal to dine as usual. Here is an example of what the Duchesse d’Abrantès and others have said about Mme. de Genlis having nothing of the dignity that she might have been expected to possess. Her behaviour contrasts strongly with that of the Duchesse d’Orléans, who, however foolish and credulous she may have been, showed at any rate [422] that she was a Princess of France. It was not for her to discuss or dispute with Mme. de Genlis about her influence with her husband and children; it was for her to give orders and for the governess of her children to obey them. But these late proceedings were different and tangible, and Mme. de Genlis herself owns in her “Mémoires,” written long after, that the objections of the Duchess, which she then thought so exaggerated and unjust, were right and well-founded. She declares that she had no idea how far the Revolution would go, that she was strongly attached to the Monarchy and to religion, which latter was certainly true, and there is no reason to suppose she contemplated a Republic, while the horrors that took place were odious to her.

Another of her introductions was to Prince von Kaunitz, the great Minister of Maria Theresa, whose power and influence had been such that he was called le cocher de l’Europe; [41] and whose disinterested single-minded patriotism was shown in his answer, when, having proposed a certain field-marshal as president of the council of war, the Empress remarked—Of these ruffians the most powerful and influential was Robespierre, who, though cruel, treacherous, and remorseless, was severely moral and abstemious, and whose anger was deeply aroused by the reports he received from Bordeaux.

However, she was so far identified with the Revolutionary party as not only to rejoice at the infamous attack of the mob upon the Bastille, but to consent to her pupils’ request to take them to [415] Paris to see the mob finishing the destruction of that beautiful and historic monument.Barbier, writing in December, 1758, gives another sarcastic verse going about in society, which, as it was directed against the King’s all-powerful mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour, attracted general attention, irritated the King, and caused the author, who was discovered to be an officer of the guards, to be sentenced to a year’s imprisonment, after which to be banished to Malta, as he belonged to the order of St. John of Jerusalem.

Her mother having died in her early life, she was brought up by her father, the Comte de Coigny, at his chateau at Mareuil, an enormous place built by the celebrated Duchesse d’Angoulême (whose husband was the last of the Valois, though with the bend sinister), who died in 1713, and yet was the daughter-in-law of Charles IX., who died 1574. [38]

She met her daughters in a mountain village near Clermont, and the deep, fervent joy of their restoration to each other out of the shadow of death was increased by finding that the priest had just ventured to reopen the village church, where on the next day, Sunday, they again attended mass in that secluded place, and where Virginie, the younger girl, made her first Communion. And she had seen Rosalie, for Mme. de Grammont heard of her sister’s release, and resolved to join her. Having very little money, and travelling by public conveyances being still unsafe, taking her diamonds she rode a mule with her three children in paniers, and her husband walking by her side. Thus they journeyed by steep mountain paths, or country lanes, but always by the most secluded ways possible. When they reached Paris, Adrienne was gone, but they resumed their primitive travelling, followed her to Auvergne, and came up with her at the little town of Brionde.



The young Emperor and Empress showed the same kindness and friendship to Mme. Le Brun as their parents and grandmother, but the time had come when she was resolved to return to France, and in spite of the entreaties of the Emperor and Empress, of her friends, and of her own regret at leaving a country to which she had become attached, she started in September, 1801, for Paris, leaving her ungrateful daughter, her unsatisfactory son-in-law, and her treacherous governess behind.

Although not a great painter he was absolutely devoted to his art, in which he would become so absorbed as to forget everything else. On one occasion he was going out to dinner and had already left the house, when he remembered something he wanted to do to a picture upon which he was working. He therefore went back, took off the wig he was wearing, put on a night-cap, and began to retouch the picture. Presently he got up, went out again, forgetting all about the night-cap which [14] he still had on, and which formed a singular contrast to his coat trimmed with gold braid, and the sword at his side; and would certainly have presented himself at the party to which he was going in this costume had he not fortunately met a neighbour, who stopped him and pointed out the strangeness of his appearance.“‘How I regret that the death of this young prince deprived me of the happiness of opening the gates of France to him and rewarding his noble sentiments.’” [127]It was remarked later that under Louis XIV. no one dared think or speak; under Louis XV. they thought but dared not speak; but under Louis XVI. every one thought and spoke whatever they chose without fear or respect.



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