类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-10-20 06:08:06


The guests were met at the park gates by young girls dressed in white, who gave them bouquets of flowers; they dined out of doors under the shade of chestnut-trees, while a band played airs from “Richard C?ur-de-Lion,” “Castor et Pollux,” etc.; [284] the only contretemps being a sudden gust of wind which took off the wigs of some of the guests: Robespierre amongst the number. Many beautiful women were present, but none could rival their lovely hostess. Toasts were drunk to her beauty, verses improvised to her Spanish eyes, her French esprit; she was declared the goddess of the fête, queen being no longer a popular word.Mme. de Clermont had been married at fifteen to the Comte de Choisi, who was much older than herself, and of whom she was dreadfully afraid; but he was killed at the battle of Minden, and she had just married the Comte de Clermont, who was deeply in love with her. She was young, pretty, very capricious, and a friend of Mme. de Montesson, and with all her faults never dull or tiresome, but full of merry talk and amusing stories; the Comtesse de Polignac and the Marquise de Barbantour were also among the ladies of the household [387] with whom Félicité was now associated; two much older ones were the Comtesses de Rochambault and de Montauban.

Madame Victoire was very pretty, all the rest except the two eldest, were plain; and her parents were delighted with her when she returned from the convent. The King and Dauphin went to meet her at Sceaux and took her to Versailles to the Queen, who embraced her tenderly. Neither she nor her younger sisters were half educated, but the Dauphin, who was very fond of them and had great influence over them persuaded them to study.

“You are wrong, citoyenne, to doubt the justice of the tribunal, we have not created it to assassinate in the name of the law, but to avenge the republic and proclaim innocence.”

Lisette, in fact, liked to paint all the morning, dine by herself at half-past two, then take a siesta, and devote the latter part of the day and evening to social engagements.

Not many days after the Convention had applauded with enthusiasm an extravagant speech about charity, full of absurdities and bombastic sentimentalities, made by Térèzia, Robespierre demanded her arrest of the Comité de salut public.It was on the 27th of July, 1794, that she started on a journey to see her father, who was living in the Canton de Vaud, near the French frontier. For two nights she had not slept from the terrible presentiments which overwhelmed her. Young de Mun went with her, and having slept at Moudon, they set off again at daybreak for Lausanne. As they approached the end of their journey they were suddenly aware of a char-à-banc coming towards [243] them in a cloud of dust, driven by a man with a green umbrella, who stopped, got down and came up to them. It was the Duc d’Ayen, now Duc de Noailles, but so changed that his daughter scarcely recognised him. At once he asked if she had heard the news, and on seeing her agitation, said hastily with forced calmness that he knew nothing, and told M. de Mun to turn back towards Moudon.They both sprang up, declaring it was better to die than to stay with such a monster, and left the room.

A flight of steps led up to the portico which was the entrance to this concert hall, and was the favourite lounge of the idle, dissipated young men of fashion, who would stand there in groups, making insolent remarks upon the women who came in and out. One evening as Lisette was coming down the steps with her mother, the Duke of Orléans, afterwards the infamous Philippe-égalité, stood there with the Marquis de Genlis, both making outrageous remarks to annoy whoever [26] passed them. To the relief of Lisette, however, the Duke, as he pointed her out to his friend, only remarked in a loud voice:

“Yes. What do you want of me?”Mme. de Genlis some time afterwards married her niece, Henriette de Sercey, to a rich merchant in Hamburg, after which she went to Berlin, but where she was denounced to the King, accused, without truth, of receiving the Abbé de Sieyès, then in Berlin, and ordered to leave the Prussian territory.“Eh! how are you, mon ami? I am delighted to see you, my dear Chevalier de——”

“You wouldn’t believe,” she said to Lisette, who came to see her at eight o’clock one evening, and found her alone, “that I have had twenty people to [153] dinner to-day? They all went away directly after the coffee.”



There she rested, spending the days out of doors in the cool green country, and looking forward to her approaching return to France; when one evening a letter was brought her from M. de Rivière, the brother of her sister-in-law, which told her of the horrible events of the 10th of August, the attack on the Tuileries, the imprisonment of the Royal Family, the massacres and horrors of all kinds still going on.

Marat?Sadly she returned to Aix-la-Chapelle, where the news which she had heard at Liége of the September [233] massacres had already arrived, and where, besides their own horror and grief, the emigrés had to listen to the disgust and contempt everywhere expressed by those of other nations for a country in which such atrocities could be perpetuated without the slightest resistance.



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