类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-11-25 11:17:58



Her last and only constant love affair was with the poet Lemercier, whose devotion never changed until her death in 1820, when she was forty-two years of age.“So that one would be quite alone? No one could hear anything that went on there?”

“The administrateur de police has just left; he has been to tell me that to-morrow I go to the tribunal, which means to the scaffold. It is indeed unlike the dream I had last night, that Robespierre was dead and the prisons open; but thanks to your incredible cowardice, there will soon be nobody left in France capable of realising it.

There was at this same time a perfect rage for fortune-telling, second sight, and every sort of occult knowledge and experiences.One day, while she was sitting to Mme. Le Brun, Mme. S—— asked her to lend her carriage to her that evening to go to the theatre. Mme. Le Brun consented, but when she ordered the carriage next morning at eleven o’clock she was told that neither carriage, horses, nor coachman had come back. She sent at once to Mme. S——, who had passed the night at the h?tel des Finances and had not yet returned. It was not for some days that Mme. Le Brun made this discovery by means of her coachman, who had been bribed to keep silent, but [68] had nevertheless told the story to several persons in the house.

The disgraceful proceedings and cowardly, preposterous fear of two old ladies, which had made the radical government contemptible and ridiculous, caused the following absurd story to be published in a French newspaper:—

How the Duchess could ever consent to and approve of her children being entirely given up to the care of a woman whose principles were absolutely opposed to her own, is astonishing indeed; and perhaps it is still more so that for many years she did notice the infatuation of her husband, and the vast influence Mme. de Genlis had over him. But her eyes had at last been opened, Mme. de Genlis declares, by a Mme. de Chastellux, who was her enemy, and was jealous of her. However that might be with regard to the connection between Mme. de Genlis and the Duc d’Orléans, no enlightenment was necessary about the Bastille, the Cordeliers Club, and other revolutionary proceedings. That was surely quite enough; besides which the Duchess had long been awakened to the fact that the governess about whom she had been so infatuated had not only carried on an intrigue with and established an all-powerful influence over her husband, but had extended that influence also over her children to such an extent [421] that her daughter at any rate, if not her two elder sons, probably preferred her to their mother.But still, in all ages human nature is the same, and has to be reckoned with under all circumstances, and that people in general are much better than the laws which govern them is evident.The lofty asceticism of her theories and practice was perhaps almost too severe for ordinary mortals living in the world, and in some respects better adapted for a monastic than a secular life; her emigration, so long delayed, was no time of success and happiness: long years of terror, danger, poverty, fearful trials, and sorrows endured with heroic fortitude and angelic patience, passed before she was restored to France and to the ancient castle which was the home and refuge of her later life.

Early in 1789 she was dining at La Malmaison, which then belonged to the Comte de Moley, a rabid Radical; he and the Abbé de Sieyès and several others were present, and so fierce and violent was their talk that even the Abbé de Sieyès said after dinnerFrom the horrors of the Revolution she had fled in time; with the Empire and its worshippers she had never had any sympathy; the episode of the Hundred Days was a new calamity, but when it was past and the King again restored her joy was complete.M. de Beaune was an excellent man, rather hasty-tempered, but generous, honourable, delighted with his daughter-in-law, and most kind and indulgent to her. He took the deepest interest in her health, her [195] dress, and her success in society, into which he constantly went, always insisting upon her accompanying him.

After her brother’s death she lost much of her prestige, and held her salon in the rue St. Honoré, most of her habitués, after her death, transferring themselves to the house of Mme. Geoffrin.



Having lost patience, and seeing nothing but ruin before him, M. de Puisieux appealed to [369] the King, got a lettre de cachet, and shut up his hopeful ward at the Chateau de Saumur, where he remained for five years, while half of what he owed was being paid off. At the end of this time he was ordered to Genlis, where an allowance of fifteen thousand francs was made to him while the remainder of his debts were gradually paid, after which he was allowed to spend three months of the year at Paris, but M. de Puisieux refused to remove the “interdict” until he had made a good marriage. That the lettres de cachet had their abuses is incontestable, but they had their advantages too.I have endeavoured to be accurate in all the dates and incidents, and have derived my information from many sources, including the “Mémoires de Louis XVIII., recueillis par le Duc de D——,” Mémoires de la Comtesse d’Adhémar, de Mme. Campan, MM. de Besenval, de Ségur, &c., also the works of the Duchesse d’Abrantès, Comtesse de Bassanville, Mme. de Créquy, Mme. de Genlis, Mme. Le Brun, MM. Arsène Houssaye, de Lamartine, Turquan, Dauban, Bouquet, and various others, besides two stories never yet published, one of which was given me by a member of the family to which it happened; the other was told me in the presence of the old man who was the hero of it.

“Then I will be guilty too.”Again one remembers the words of Napoleon to the grandson of Necker, who said that his grandfather defended the King—



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