But, except in cases of absolute political necessity and at the entreaty of him, who was now not only her uncle and adopted father, but her king, the Duchesse d’Angoulême would receive no one who had in any way injured her mother. She would have nothing to do with Mme. de Stael, and would not even receive Mme. Campan, because she did not believe she had been always thoroughly loyal to her; though in that many people said she was mistaken. Mme. Campan, in her memoirs, professes the greatest affection and respect for her royal mistress, and during the Empire, she always kept in her room a bust of the Queen.
He was one of the earliest to emigrate, and at Coblentz he met his old love, Mme. de Harvelay, now a rich widow and willing to marry him. He spent her fortune, and later on tried to get employment under Napoleon, who would have nothing to do with him, and he died in comparative obscurity.Meanwhile, she and M. de Genlis had fallen in love with each other, and resolved to marry. As he had neither father nor mother, there was nobody whose consent he was absolutely bound to ask; but a powerful relation, M. de Puisieux, who was the head of his family, had already, with his consent, begun to negotiate his marriage with a rich young girl. Instead of telling M. de Puisieux the state of the case while there was still time to retire without difficulty, M. de Genlis said nothing, but proposed that they should at once marry secretly, to which neither Félicité nor her relations seem to have made any objection. She had no money, and had  refused all the marriages proposed to her; here was a man she did like, and who was in all respects unexceptionable, only that he was not well off. But his connections were so brilliant and influential that they could soon put that right, and it was agreed that the marriage should take place from the house of the Marquise de Sercey.
“Saturday—of Messidor!” he exclaimed, when ordering the Moniteur to be dated on a certain day. “We shall be laughed at! But I will do away with the Messidor! I will efface all the inventions of the Jacobins!” And the loyal subjects joined in supplication for the captive, desolate child who was now Louis XVII.But these were not the directions in which the guidance of Nature led most of her followers. It was not to a life of primitive simplicity and discomfort that Térèzia and her friends felt themselves directed; no, the h?tel de Fontenay, in the rue de Paradis, and the chateau of the same name in the country were the scene of ceaseless gaiety and amusement. La Rochefoucauld, Rivarol, Chamfort, La Fayette, the three brothers de Lameth, all of whom were in love with their fascinating hostess; Mirabeau, Barnave, Vergniaud, Robespierre, Camille Desmoulins—all the leaders of the radical party were to be met at her parties, and most of them were present at a splendid entertainment given by the Marquis and Marquise de Fontenay to the Constituants at their chateau, and called, after the fashion of Rousseau, a fête à la Nature.
The provincial assemblies were sitting all over France in 1787-8 in preparation for the States-General which were soon to be summoned with such fatal results. The Duc d’Ayen was president of the assembly of Limousin, M. de Beaune of that of Auvergne; nearly all the men of her family sat in one or the other, and were eager for the reforms which, if they could have been properly carried out and had satisfied the nation, would have indeed been the beginning of a new era of prosperity and happiness.Poisson d’une arrogance extrême,
Not so the Duchess, his wife. Brought up first in a convent and then under the care of her father, whose household, like those of many of the noblesse de robe, was regulated by a strictness and gravity seldom to be seen amongst the rest of the French nobles, Mme. d’Ayen cared very little for society, and preferred to stay at home absorbed in religious duties, charities, and domestic affairs, while her husband amused himself as he chose.
After supper one evening she had retired to her room and was sitting up late, writing; when one of the mirrors moved, and from a door behind it entered M. de Lascaris, and threw himself at her feet. She sprang up with a cry, the table fell upon him, the lamp went out, her maid rushed in—alarmed by her mistress calling loudly for her—in her nightdress candle in hand, while M. de Lascaris disappeared through the door he had came in by, with a cut on his cheek from the table, which excited the curiosity and laughter of the court. To Félicité Italy was one long enchantment, and with reluctance she came back to France.“Ah, Madame! Comme vous étes belle!”
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From this time began her brilliant career. Essentially a woman of the world, delighting in society and amusement, though always praising the pleasures of solitude and retirement, she entered the household of the Duchesse d’Orléans, wife of the infamous Philippe-égalité, and while constantly declaiming against ambition managed to get all her relations lucrative posts at the Palais Royal, and married one if not both her daughters to rich men of rank with notoriously bad reputations.CHAPTER VII
She scarcely dared read the newspapers, since one day on opening one she had seen in the death list the names of nine persons of her acquaintance; and all her Austrian friends tried to prevent her from hearing or knowing what was going on. A letter from her brother, however, brought her the fatal news of the murder of the King and Queen.详情
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