It is difficult to understand how anybody who had escaped from France at that time should have chosen to go back there, except to save or help somebody dear to them.
“Je joue du violon.”The Comtesse d’Adhémar, who held a post in the Queen’s household, received one day a note from the Duchesse de Polignac, “Governess of the Children of France,” asking her to go with her to consult a fortune-teller of whom every one was talking. For many persons who declined to believe in God were ready and eager to put confidence in witchcraft, fortune-telling, spiritualism, or any other form of occult proceedings.
How the Duchess could ever consent to and approve of her children being entirely given up to the care of a woman whose principles were absolutely opposed to her own, is astonishing indeed; and perhaps it is still more so that for many years she did notice the infatuation of her husband, and the vast influence Mme. de Genlis had over him. But her eyes had at last been opened, Mme. de Genlis declares, by a Mme. de Chastellux, who was her enemy, and was jealous of her. However that might be with regard to the connection between Mme. de Genlis and the Duc d’Orléans, no enlightenment was necessary about the Bastille, the Cordeliers Club, and other revolutionary proceedings. That was surely quite enough; besides which the Duchess had long been awakened to the fact that the governess about whom she had been so infatuated had not only carried on an intrigue with and established an all-powerful influence over her husband, but had extended that influence also over her children to such an extent  that her daughter at any rate, if not her two elder sons, probably preferred her to their mother.Que feront les amis du prince
Their carriage never came, so Mme. de Genlis had to take them home in hers, which appeared about two o’clock, and it was half-past three when she arrived at the h?tel de Puisieux, where everybody was up and in a fever of anxiety, thinking she was killed, for they knew what she did not, that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of persons had perished.
In education, principles, conduct, and nationality, they were absolutely different, but each of them was typical of the time, the class, and the party to which she belonged.Capital letter IIn her brilliant career, although the odious step-father was still a great disadvantage and annoyance, it was impossible that he could inflict much of his company upon her, full and absorbed as her life now was with her professional work and social engagements. The most celebrated foreign visitors to Paris generally came to see her, amongst the first of whom were Count Orloff, one of the assassins of Peter III., whose colossal height and the enormous diamond in his ring seem to have made a great impression upon her; and Count Schouvaloff, Grand Chamberlain, who had been one of the lovers of the Empress Elizabeth II., but was now a man of sixty, extremely courteous, pleasant, and a great favourite in French society.
Alexander, seeing the fearful danger hanging over his mother, his brother, and himself, was silent; and Pahlen, who was the director of the plot, took care that it should go much further than restraint.After expressing her satisfaction, the Empress said—
They were not, according to the general custom, sent to a convent, but brought up at home under her constant supervision. The frequent absence of the Duke, who was usually either at Versailles or with the army,  left them to her undivided care. They  had an excellent governess, but the Duchess herself superintended their studies, they went to mass with her every morning at the Jacobins or St. Roch, dined with her at three o’clock, and spent always some time afterwards in her room, which was very large, was hung with crimson and gold damask, and contained an immense bed.
When Alexander heard of the assassination of his father his grief and horror left no doubt of his ignorance of what had been intended and carried out; and when, on presenting himself to his mother she cried out, “Go away! Go away! I see you stained with your father’s blood!” he replied with tears—
That very day the King, Queen, and royal family were brought from Versailles to Paris by the frantic, howling mob. Louis Vigée, after witnessing their arrival at the H?tel de Ville, came at ten o’clock to see his sister off, and give her the account of what had happened.详情
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