Inheriting the cool head, calm judgment, and commonsense of her father and grandfather, she did not believe in these extravagant dreams of universal happiness and prosperity. On the contrary, her mind was filled with gloomy forebodings, and during a severe illness that she had, she called her daughters round her bed and spoke to them of  her fears for the future with a sadness and earnestness only too prophetic, and with which Pauline was more strongly impressed than her sisters.La coupe en mes mains encore pleine.
She sent the Countess Woronsoff to her father’s estates in the country, dismissed Poniatowski from St. Petersburg, and tried to reconcile the ill-matched couple; but in vain. She died soon afterwards, and Peter III., a German at heart, proceeded on his accession to make himself hated in Russia by his infatuation for everything Prussian; Prussia being the nation of all others disliked by his subjects. He discarded the French and Austrian alliance, attached himself to Frederic, King of Prussia, and besides all the unpopular changes he made in his own army, accepted the rank of an officer in that of Prussia, wore the Prussian uniform, and declared that he preferred the title of a Prussian Major-General to any other he possessed!Shortly after this he called upon the Comte de Vaudreuil at Versailles one morning just after he was up, and confided to him a financial scheme by which he expected enormous profit, ending by offering M. de Vaudreuil a large sum of money if he would undertake to make it succeed.
IN after life Mme. Le Brun used to say that her girlhood had not been like that of other young girls. And indeed it was not. By the time she was fifteen she was already not only a celebrated portrait painter, but very much sought after in society. A portrait of her mother, which she painted when she was not yet fifteen, excited so much admiration that the Duchesse de Chartres, who had often looked at her with interest from the gardens of the Palais Royal, opposite which she lived, sent for her to paint her portrait, and was so delighted with the pretty, gentle girl whose talents were so extraordinary that she spoke of her to all her friends.Their great stronghold was the salon of Mme. Geoffrin, where all the radical, atheist, and philosophic parties congregated. D’Alembert, Condorcet, Turgot, Diderot, Morellet, Marmontel, and many other celebrated names were amongst the intimate friends of the singular woman, who although possessing neither rank, beauty, talent, nor any particular gift, had yet succeeded in establishing a salon celebrated not only in France but all over Europe. Owing to her want of rank she could not be presented at court, and yet amongst her guests were many of the greatest names in France, members of the royal family, strangers of rank and distinction. She knew nothing of art or literature, but her Monday dinners and evenings were the resort of all the first artists of the day, and her Wednesdays of the literary and political world.
CHAPTER VIIITHE year 1788 was the last of the old régime. Mme. Le Brun was now thirty-two and at the height of her fame and prosperity. She had more commissions than she could execute, more engagements than she could keep, more invitations than she could accept, but her mind was full of gloomy presentiments. She passed the summer as usual between Paris and the country houses where she stayed.
When presented to the Queen it was customary to bow low enough to appear to kneel in order to take up the edge of her dress, but her Majesty never allowed that to be carried to the lips of the lady presented, but let it fall with a slight movement of her fan, which Marie Antoinette always executed with singular grace. A duchess or grande d’Espagne then seated herself before the Queen, but only for a moment, a privilege known as the tabouret. After retiring, of course backwards, with a mantle the train of which had to be eight ells on the ground,  people went to be presented to all the other princes and princesses of the royal family.
“Eh! Madame,” cried the Queen impatiently, “spare us ceremonial in the face of nature.”
“Sire, a modest post in the octroi of my little town would——
The Marquis de Boissy, a devoted Royalist with a long pedigree, went to one of the court balls in the dress of a Marquis of the court of Louis XV. On one of the princes of the blood observing to him—Mme. de Verdun said no more, but went away and sent the doctor. Lisette dismissed him, but he  remained concealed in the house until night. The child was born about ten o’clock, and Lisette was at once passionately fond of it, and as unfortunately foolish in her management of it as she was in the way she conducted all her affairs except her painting. She indulged and spoilt it in so deplorable a manner that she ruined her daughter’s disposition and her own comfort and happiness.C’est pour vous un fort vilain cas
“The same evening I found on my table a  letter carefully enclosed in a double envelope, addressed—详情
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