But amidst all this professional and social prosperity Mme. Le Brun was now to experience two severe domestic sorrows, one of which was the loss of her mother, of whose death her brother sent her the news from France. The other, related to her daughter, was entirely owing to her own infatuated folly, and was not at all surprising.
When every one was leaving she signed to him to remain, and when they were alone said to him—Meanwhile, many who would have shrunk from  the crimes and horrors for which in their folly they were preparing the way as fast as possible, went on playing with fire, by encouraging the disloyalty that was in the air, sympathising with the outrageous demands put forward by the Radical leaders, circulating libels and inventing lying stories against the Queen and royal family, joining noisily in the abuse of everything that had hitherto been held sacred or respectable, and doing everything in their power to inflame the evil passions and excite the cupidity and violence of the mob.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.
Dissatisfied with their answers, he said he suspected them of being emigrés and should take them to Valenciennes. Mme. de Genlis thought they were lost, but with admirable presence of mind, she put her arm within his and walked briskly by his side, chaffing him in an almost unintelligible jargon about his want of politeness, laughing, and appearing quite fearless and indifferent.
When the summer came to an end they gave up their visits to the horrible little villa, to the infinite joy of Lisette and her mother.This, however, neither the Princes of the blood, the nobles, nor the French nation would stand, and the project had to be relinquished; but the rapacity and outrageous arrogance and pretensions of “les batards,” as they were called, had aroused such irritation and hatred that Louis XV. took care to go into the opposite extreme. Unlike his predecessor, he cared nothing for the children of his innumerable liaisons, which were of a lower and more degraded type than those of his great-grandfather. He seldom recognised or noticed these children, made only a very moderate provision for them, and allowed them to be of no importance whatever.
“God gives me strength,” she wrote to him, “and He will support me; I have perfect confidence in Him. Adieu; the feeling for all I owe you will follow me to heaven; do not doubt it. Without you what would become of my children? Adieu, Alexis, Alfred, Euphémie. Let God be in your hearts all the days of your lives. Cling to Him without wavering; pray for your father: do all for his true happiness. Remember your mother, and that her only wish has been to keep you for eternity. I hope to find you again with God, and I give you all my last blessing.”
In England—Sheridan—Strange adventure—Raincy—Farewell to Philippe-égalité—Proscribed—Tournay—Pamela—Death of the King.“Enfin, ne pouvant pas distinguer, parmi tant de chemises lesquelles appartenaient à Marat, et les tantes du roi persistant à nier qu’elles eussent, derobé celles du grand homme, la municipalité d’Arnay-ci-devant-le-duc, accorda à Mesdames la permission de continuer leur voyage après les avoir retenues prisonnières l’espace de dix jours.”
“For God’s sake, hold your tongue and let me pass,” said the Chevalier in a low voice. “My life depends upon it. Do you hear? do you understand? I have just escaped from prison; I am condemned to death. If you hold your tongue and let me pass I am saved, but if you keep me and call out my name you will kill me.”
Again one remembers the words of Napoleon to the grandson of Necker, who said that his grandfather defended the King—
The death of her husband in 1834 was her last great sorrow, she survived him five years, and died in January, 1839, at the age of seventy-three, surrounded by those she loved best, who were still left her.详情
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