“Well, I am ——. I was head-gardener at the chateau in the old time, and now, Messieurs, if you will honour me by coming to my house and accepting some refreshment, I will show you something that will surprise you.”
After a few days at Parma, Lisette went on to Modena, Bologna, and Florence, under the escort of the Vicomte de Lespignière, a friend of M. de Flavigny, whose carriage kept close behind her own. As M. de Lespignière was going all the way to Rome—a journey not very safe for a woman with only a governess and child—this was an excellent arrangement; and they journeyed on pleasantly enough through Italy; the calm, sunny days, the enchanting scenes through which they passed, the treasures of art continually lavished around them, the light-hearted courtesy of the lower classes, the careless enjoyment and security of their present surroundings, contrasting strangely with the insolence and discomfort, the  discontent and bitterness, the gloom and terror from which they had so recently escaped.
The Duc de Noailles, her father, finding he could not recover his h?tel, returned philosophically to Switzerland, and bought a house on the Lake of Geneva. He had married the Countess Golowskin, which at first was a grief to his daughters, but after a time they were reconciled to the idea, and got on very well together.
Her love for Tallien was beginning to wane. It had never been more than a mad passion, aroused by excitement, romance, and the strange circumstances which threw them into each other’s way; and kept alive by vanity, interest, gratitude, and perhaps above all by success. She wanted Tallien to be a great power, a great man; and she was beginning to see that he was nothing of the sort. If, when Robespierre fell, instead of helping to set up a government composed of other men, he had seized the reins himself, she would have supported him heart and soul, shared his power, ambition,  and danger, and probably her admiration and pride might have preserved her love for him. But Tallien had not the power to play such a part; he had neither brains nor character to sway the minds of men and hold their wills in bondage to his own. And now he was in a position which in any line of life surely bars the way to success: he was neither one thing or the other.Mme. de Lawoestine, the elder one, whom she describes as an angelic creature in whom no fault could be seen, died at one and twenty in her confinement. It was a terrible shock to her, and, it appears, also to the husband, although the contents of certain tablets of his wife’s, which he found and gave to Mme. de Genlis some days  after her death, would seem to imply that he would not be inconsolable.
Mme. de Genlis went with M. de Valence to see her two days after her return, and was coldly received, but their relations to each other quickly returned to their usual terms.Then she went back to Hamburg, where she found her niece happy and prosperous, and where Lady Edward Fitzgerald, who was always devoted to her, came to pay her a visit, greatly to her delight.
But her aunt, Mme. de Montesson, was most  anxious that she should enter the service of the Duc de Chartres, who was the eldest son of the Duc d’Orléans, and very much opposed to Mme. de Montesson’s designs upon him.
Middle-aged men and women had seen Louis XIV., Louis le Grand, “le Roi Soleil,” as an old man; old people could remember him in the prime of his life, the most magnificent King with the most stately court in Christendom. The Cardinal de Luynes, the  Maréchal de Croz, the Duc de Richelieu and other grands seigneurs who preserved the manners and traditions of that time, were looked upon as models of courtly manners and high-breeding by those who complained that in the reaction and licence of the regency and court of Louis XV., vice and corruption were far more unrestrained, more scandalous, less disguised and altogether more indecorous than under the ceremonious and stately rule of his great-grandfather. The Countess was extremely pretty, attractive, and amiable. One day while she was sitting for her portrait, Mme. Le Brun had occasion to send for Mme. Charot, her nursery-governess, who came in looking so pleased that she asked what had happened.详情
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