类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-24 14:58:47


There Pauline had a son, and to her great joy he and the children she afterwards had lived to grow up. The farm Mme. de Tessé wished for was called Wittmold, and lay at the other side of the lake upon a plain covered with pasture and ponds, as far as the eye could reach. The house stood on a promontory jutting out into the lake, and was surrounded by fields, apple trees, and pine woods. They crossed the lake in boats, and established themselves there. They could live almost entirely upon the produce of the place, for there was plenty of game, plenty of fish in the lake: the dairy farm paid extremely well, the pasture produced rich, delicious milk; they had a hundred and twenty cows, and made enormous quantities of butter, which they sold at Hamburg. It was pleasant enough in the summer, but in winter the lake was frozen, the roads covered with snow, and the cold wind from the Baltic raved round the house. However, they were thankful for the shelter of a home that most of their friends would have envied, and they lived peacefully there for four years, during which Pauline organised and carried on a great work of charity which, with the assistance of one or two influential friends, soon spread all over Europe. It was a kind of society with branches in different countries, to collect subscriptions for the relief of the French exiles, and it involved an enormous amount of letter-writing, for, if the subscriptions poured into Wittmold, so did letters of entreaty, appealing for help. But Pauline was indefatigable not only in allotting the different sums of money, [255] but in finding employment, placing young girls as governesses, selling drawings and needlework, &c.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.[275]

In Pauline’s family those who, like herself and those about her, got out of the country, were safe from everything but the poverty caused partly by their own improvidence. But of those who remained there was scarcely one who escaped death or the horrors of a revolutionary prison. Only M. and Mme. de Grammont had managed to keep quiet in a distant part of the country, and, of course, at the peril of their lives.

[23]The interview was short and sad; the sisters promised to write frequently, and parted with many tears. Adrienne proceeding on her triumphal progress to establish herself with her husband and children at Chavaniac, Pauline to wait in loneliness and terror at Plauzat for the return of her husband, making preparations to escape with him and their child at the earliest opportunity. But one unspeakable happiness and comfort was given to Pauline before she went forth into exile. The Duchesse d’Ayen came to stay with her for a fortnight on her way to see Adrienne at Chavaniac.

“To ‘receive’ is to have an open house, where one can go every evening with the certainty of finding it lighted up and inhabited, the host ready to receive one with pleasure and courtesy. For that, it is not an absolute necessity to have a superior intellect, to descend from Charlemagne, or to possess two hundred thousand livres de rentes; but it is absolutely necessary to have knowledge of the world and cultivation, qualities which everybody does not possess.The life at Belle Chasse was, as she says, delicious. She had supreme authority, she was dispensed from the trouble of paying visits to any one but [403] Mme. de Puisieux; she had her mother and children to live with her; her husband and brother had posts in the household of the Duc de Chartres.

Potemkin cannot be judged as a commonplace favourite, exalted or destroyed by a caprice; he represented the ambition of Russia in the eighteenth century; after his death Catherine could never replace that splendid and supple intelligence. [47]Fragonard, the Proven?al, had more depth and dramatic feeling, the passion of the south and the love of nature in his work gave a stronger, truer, more impressive tone to his pictures; but Boucher, the favourite painter of Louis XV., the Marquise de Pompadour, and the court would seem from his pictures to have looked upon everything in life as if it were a scene in a carnival or fête. His goddesses and saints, even the holy Virgin herself, were painted from models from the theatre, and looked as if they were; his gardens, roses, silks, satins, nymphs, fountains, and garlands were the supreme fashion; every one wanted him to paint their portrait; he had more commissions than he could execute, and his head was turned by the flattery lavished upon him.

As Saint-Aubin had long been sold, her brother now called himself M. Ducrest.Térèzia asked him to supper to meet the mistress of Ysabeau, whom she thought might influence Ysabeau in his favour. During the supper one of the revolutionary guests, observing a ring with a Love painted on it, and the inscriptionThe first register in the little chapel was of the baptism of Alexandre de Montagu, whose godparents were the Duke de la Rochefoucauld-Dondeauville and Mme. Alexandrine de la Luzerne.

The year after the marriage Louis XV. died, but Louis XVI. would not depart from the attitude his grandfather had assumed, with regard to the morganatic marriage of the Duc d’Orléans.M. Geoffrin did not altogether approve of his wife’s perpetual presence at the h?tel Tencin, which had by no means a good reputation; and when she also began to receive in her own house a few of the literary men whom she met there, philosophers, freethinkers, and various persons upon whom he looked with suspicion, he at first strongly objected. But it was useless. His wife had found the sixteen years of her married life remarkably dull; she had at length, by good fortune, discovered the means of transforming her monotonous existence into one full of interest, and the obscurity which had hitherto been her lot into an increasing celebrity. She turned a deaf ear to his remonstrances, and after a good deal of dissension and quarrelling the husband gave way and contented himself with looking after the household and being a silent guest at the famous dinners given by his wife, until at length, on some one asking her what had become of the old gentleman [38] who was always there and never spoke, she replied—



They all boarded at the La Fayette, but as they were very poor there was very little to eat. They would dine upon ?ufs à la neige, and spend the evening without a fire, wrapped in fur cloaks to keep out the cold of the early spring. M. de Montagu always had declared he had only had one good dinner in Holland, and that was one night when he dined with General Van Ryssel.

The brilliant social success, and the life, a perpetual scene of pleasure, excitement and intense interest, were chequered with all sorts of annoyances. The envy she excited by her social triumphs, the favour of the Duchess, and later, of the Duc de Chartres, displayed itself as usual in slanders, misrepresentations, and different spiteful actions; while the hostility she aroused caused her more astonishment than would have been expected in a woman possessing so much knowledge of the world, and more unhappiness than one might suspect in one so entirely self-satisfied.



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