THERE was a striking contrast between the position of Louis XVI. and that of his predecessors on the throne of France.His friends, hearing of his arrest, organised a plot for his release, established communications with him, and so skilfully arranged that one morning the  Chevalier de —— left the Luxembourg disguised as a soldier, passed into the streets, and thought he was saved.
Madame Vigée Le Brun
In the latter part of the summer of 1792 she was in Paris, which, in spite of her revolutionary professions, was no safe abode even for her, certainly not for her husband. The slightest sympathy shown to an emigré, a priest, a royalist, or any one marked as a prey by the bloodthirsty monsters who were rapidly showing themselves in their true colours, might be the death-warrant of whoever dared to show it. So would any word or gesture of disapproval of the crimes these miscreants were ordering and perpetrating. Their spies were everywhere, and the least accusation, very often only caused by a private grudge, was enough to bring a person, and perhaps their whole family, to prison and the scaffold. In the early days of the Terror, the well-known actor Talma, hearing an acquaintance named Alexandre, a member of his own profession, giving vent in a benign voice to the most atrocious language of the Terrorists, indignantly reproached him.“I inquired in what manner the letter had arrived there, but all those in my service declared they knew nothing about it.“It is perfectly simple,” replied the Count. “Madame being the only woman at the ball whom I did not know, I concluded she had just arrived from the provinces.”
Every now and then they made excursions to Meudon, where they rode upon donkeys, or they visited their grandfathers, M. d’Aguesseau, at Fresne, and the Duc de Noailles at Saint Germain-en-Laye, when they delighted in playing and wandering in the forest.
Telling him that Alexandre was not in, Mme. de Lameth asked him to gather a bunch of roses for Mme. de Fontenay, which he did, and picking up one that fell, he kept it, bowed silently, and went in.
Thus time passed on till she was six-and-twenty, when she formed an intimate friendship with the Marquise de Fontenille, a widow who had come to live in the convent. M. Ducrest, then de Champcéry, a good-looking man of thirty-seven, who had lately left the army, was a relation of Mme. de Fontenille, and often came to the parloir to see her. He also saw Mlle. de Mézières, with whom he fell in love, and whom he proposed to marry. He had a few hundreds a year, the small castle of Champcéry, and a little property besides; while Mlle. de Mézières had less than two thousand pounds, her mother having seized all the rest of the fortune of her father. But such was her unnatural spite against her daughter that she refused her consent for three months, and although she was at last obliged to give it, she would give neither dot, trousseau, nor presents, all of which were provided by the good Abbess.
Why, in that case, Térèzia should have allowed them to interfere with her appears perplexing, as they would, of course, have had no authority to do so. M. La Mothe proceeded to say that he and a certain M. Edouard de C——, both of whom were in love with her, accompanied them to Bagnères de Bigorre. There he and Edouard de C—— quarrelled and fought a duel, in which he, M. La Mothe, was wounded; whereupon Térèzia, touched by his danger and returning his love for her, remained to nurse him, while his rival departed; and informing her uncle and brother that she declined any further interference on their part, dismissed them. That the uncle returned to his bank in Bayonne, and  the brother, with Edouard de C——, to the army; that Cabarrus was killed the following year; and that, after some time, M. La Mothe and Térèzia were separated by circumstances, he having to rejoin his regiment, while she remained at Bordeaux.  But however the principles she had adopted may have relaxed her ideas of morality, they never, as will be seen during the history of her life, interfered with the courage, generosity, and kindness of heart which formed so conspicuous a part of her character, and which so often met with such odious ingratitude.
“The poor Countess! I am representing her reading a romance with the arms of the King. She is the only person who holds to the King now.“I have just had a letter from my husband,” she said; “he tells me that they have put me on the list of emigrés. I shall lose my eight hundred francs de rente, but I console myself for that, as there I am on the list of respectable people.”详情
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