2021-04-17 10:58:08

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ENGLISH The months they spent there were the last of the old life. The vintage went on merrily, the peasants danced before the chateau, little Nomi played with the children, M. de Montagu rode about his farms, meeting and consulting with other owners of neighbouring chateaux, and the news from Paris grew worse and worse. The Duc dAyen was safe, he had been denounced but had escaped to Switzerland, and was living at Lausanne, where Pauline had been to see him from Aix.The Comte de Provence, his brother, remarks in his souvenirs: The court did not like Louis XVI., he was too uncongenial to its ways, and he did not know how to separate himself from it, and to draw nearer to the people, for there are times when a sovereign ought to know how to choose between one and the other. What calamities my unfortunate brother would have spared himself and his family, if he had known how to hold with a firm hand the sceptre Providence had entrusted to him. [84]

Besides the conflict between the new and old ideas, the extravagant hopes of some and the natural misgivings of others, the court was disturbed by the quarrels and jealousies of many of the great nobles who, not contented with occupying the posts they held, aimed at making them hereditary in their families.

The real names of Mlle. de Maintenon were Anne Paule Dominique, which, sonorous as they sound, were those of a poor old man and woman of the labouring class whom the Duchess had chosen to be her daughters godfather and godmother.E. H. BearneYou think me de trs bonne maison, dont you? said the King; well, I myself should find difficulty in entering that order, because in the female line I descend in the eighth degree from a procureur.

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Never, she afterwards remarked, had she seen so many pretty women together as in the salon of Mme. de Thoum; but what surprised her was that most of them did needlework sitting round a large table all the evening. They would also knit in their boxes at the opera; but it was explained that this was for charity. In other respects she found society at Vienna very much the same as at Paris before the advent of the Revolution.M. de Beaune not only refused to receive or speak to the Vicomte de Noailles and La Fayette, but would scarcely allow Pauline to see her sisters, at any rate in his h?tel. When they were announced anywhere he took up his hat and left the house, and the banging of doors in the distance proclaimed his displeasure. It was worse when she was alone with her husband and his father in the evenings. Ever since the fall of the Bastille M. de Beaune had been anxious to emigrate with his family, and Pauline, who shared his opinions, had the same wish. But her husband disapproved of it, and the endless discussions and altercations, in which M. de Beaune was irritated and violent, and his son quiet and respectful though resolute, made her very unhappy.

The following song, one of the many circulating at the time, is a specimen of the least objectionable of its kind:

THE theatre was a passion with Mme. Le Brun, and all the more interesting to her from her friendships with some of the chief actors and actresses, and her acquaintance with most of them, from the great geniuses such as Talma, Mlle. Mars, and Mlle. Clairon to the dbutantes like Mlle. Rancourt, whose career she watched with sympathetic interest. For Mme. Dugazon, sister of Mme. Vestris and aunt of the famous dancer Vestris, she had an unmixed admiration; she was a gifted artist and a Royalist heart and soul. One evening when Mme. Dugazon was playing a soubrette, in which part came a duet with a valet, who sang:[238]

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They spent their evenings at the Maltese embassy, where the soires of the Ambassador, Prince Camilla de Rohan, Grand Commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, were frequented by all the most intellectual and distinguished people in Rome. They made excursions to all the enchanting places within reachTivoli, Tusculum, Monte Mario, the Villa Adriano, and many another ancient palace or imposing ruin; and when the hot weather made Rome insupportable, they took a house together at Gensano, and spent the rest of the summer in those delicious woods. They hired three donkeys to make excursions, and took possession with delight of the ancient villa which had belonged to Carlo Maratta, some of whose sketches might still be seen on the walls of one of its great halls.[140]

The Chasseurs de Lorraine and regiment de Flandre having been sent to Versailles on account of the crimes and murders daily committed there, the gardes-du-corps gave them a splendid banquet in the Salle de Comdie, to which all the troops, including the gardes-nationales, were invited.Her way of living was very simple; she walked about the park summer and winter, visited the poor, to whom she was most kind and generous, wore muslin or cambric dresses, and had very few visitors. The only two women who came much to see her were Mme. de Souza, the Portuguese Ambassadress, and the Marquise de Brunoy. M. de Monville, a pleasant, well-bred man, was frequently there, and one day the Ambassador of Tippoo Sahib arrived to visit her, bringing a present of a number of pieces of muslin richly embroidered with gold, one of which she gave to Mme. Le Brun. The Duc de Brissac was of course there also, but, though evidently established at the chateau, there was nothing either in his manner or that of Mme. Du Barry to indicate anything more than friendship between them. Yet Mme. Le Brun saw plainly enough the strong attachment which cost them both their lives.

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