“Those sort of men are of no use except to revive vices. They inoculate the people with the licentiousness of the aristocracy. But patience; we will deliver the people from their corrupters, as we have delivered them from their tyrants.” The Duchess sat by the fire in her armchair, surrounded by her books, her work, and her gold snuff-box; the children sat round her, also reading, working, or talking of anything that interested them.
The Duchess threatened a separation, the position was impossible; Mme. de Genlis withdrew, at any rate for a time, intending to go to England. But Mademoiselle d’Orléans, who was then thirteen, and devoted to her governess, when she found she was gone, cried and fretted till she became so ill that every one was alarmed; she was sent for to come back again, and did so on condition that they should go to England together as soon as it could be arranged.
CHAPTER IIThe House of Noailles—The court of Louis XV.—The Dauphin—The Dauphine—An evil omen—The Queen—The Convent of Fontevrault—Death of Mme. Thérèse—The Infanta—Madame Henriette and the Duc d’Orléans—Mesdames Victoire, Sophie, and Louise.
“Je n’ai point les chemises
“I know neither the Montagne nor the Gironde. I know the people, and I love and serve them. Give me a serge dress and I will go to the hospitals and nurse the sick patriots.”CHAPTER II
Meanwhile, she and M. de Genlis had fallen in love with each other, and resolved to marry. As he had neither father nor mother, there was nobody whose consent he was absolutely bound to ask; but a powerful relation, M. de Puisieux, who was the head of his family, had already, with his consent, begun to negotiate his marriage with a rich young girl. Instead of telling M. de Puisieux the state of the case while there was still time to retire without difficulty, M. de Genlis said nothing, but proposed that they should at once marry secretly, to which neither Félicité nor her relations seem to have made any objection. She had no money, and had  refused all the marriages proposed to her; here was a man she did like, and who was in all respects unexceptionable, only that he was not well off. But his connections were so brilliant and influential that they could soon put that right, and it was agreed that the marriage should take place from the house of the Marquise de Sercey.
The French army had overrun Belgium, everyone was flying towards Holland; the road was encumbered with vehicles of all kinds. Old post-chaises, great family coaches, open carts, were filled with fugitives; many went down the Rhine in boats.
“Oui, Sire, quand ils sont polis.”
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