The state and power of some of these abbesses, and the comfortable, cheerful security of their lives at that time made the position much sought after. It was a splendid provision for the daughters of great houses, and a happy life enough if they did not wish to marry. The following anecdote is given by Mme. de Créquy, and, although it happened rather earlier in the eighteenth century, perhaps forty or fifty years before the time now in question, it is so characteristic of the state of things that still prevailed that it may not be out of place to give it.Que deviendront nos belles dames?
“Have I not spoken plainly? Say no more about it.They went to live at the ancient castle of Chimay,  where they led an intellectual and splendid life, surrounded by the great artists, musicians, and literary men of the day, and by many devoted friends. They spent their winters in Brussels, but a bitter drop in Térèzia’s cup of happiness was the absolute refusal of the King and Queen to receive her at court. The Prince, who was the King’s Chamberlain, had to go without her.
Brilliante sur ma tige, et honneur du jardin,The Chateau de Plauzat—Varennes—Increasing danger—Decided to emigrate—Triumphal progress of La Fayette—The farewell of the Duchesse d’Ayen—Paris—Rosalie—A last mass—Escape to England.
“No one can judge of what society in France was,” wrote Mme. Le Brun in her old age, “who has not seen the times when after the affairs of the day were finished, twelve or fifteen agreeable people would meet at the house of a friend to finish the evening there.”
Returning at one o’clock one morning from some theatricals at the Princess Menzikoff, she was met by Mme. Charot in consternation announcing that she had been robbed by her German servant of 35,000 francs, that the lad had tried to throw suspicion upon a Russian, but the money having been found upon him he had been arrested by the police, who had taken all the money as a proof, having first counted the gold pieces.
“Il en avait trois grisesCHAPTER I
But as long as Pauline remained on the list of emigrées the affairs could not be wound up.One wonders what would have happened if the young people had not happened to like each other after all these arrangements; but it appears to have been taken for granted that they would not be so inconsiderate as to disappoint the expectations of their relations, who had taken so much trouble. They would have felt like an Italian lady of our own time, who, in reply to the question of an English friend as to what would happen should a young girl of her family not like the husband selected for her, exclaimed in a tone of horror—
In 1802 Mme. Le Brun revisited this enchanting place, or rather the ground where it used to be. It was entirely swept away; only a stone marked the spot where had been the centre of the salon.Balls were not then the crushes they afterwards became. The company was not nearly so numerous; there was plenty of room for those who were not  dancing to see and hear what was going on. Mme. Le Brun, however, never cared for dancing, but preferred the houses where music, acting, or conversation were the amusements. One of her favourite salons was that of the chargé d’affaires of Saxony, M. de Rivière, whose daughter had married her brother Louis Vigée. He and her sister-in-law were constantly at her house. Mme. Vigée acted very well, was a good musician, and extremely pretty. Louis Vigée was also a good amateur actor; no bad or indifferent acting would have been tolerated in the charades and private theatricals in which Talma, Larive, and Le Kain also took part.The most important part of the tour to Mme. Le Brun was her visit to Antwerp, then a medi?val city of extraordinary beauty and interest, which have only, in fact, of comparatively recent years been destroyed by the vandalism of its inhabitants. So striking was its appearance, with its walls, gates, and forest of towers rising from the broad Scheldt, that Napoleon, enchanted with its beauty, said it looked like an Arab city, and he gazed upon it with admiration.
Tallien’s face fell.
In 1782 business took M. Le Brun to Flanders, and his wife, who had never travelled, was delighted to accompany him.Mme. de Valence seems to have accepted the situation, but by no means with the Griselda-like “satisfaction” of her sister. Very soon her reputation much resembled that of her husband, and many were the anecdotes told to illustrate the manners and customs of their ménage.详情
Copyright © 2020