But the woods, the meadows, the Seine, and the general beauty of the landscape delighted Mme. Le Brun, who, after all her wanderings, began to have a longing for rest, became more and more attached to her home as the years passed, and spent more and more of her time there.For some time Félicité had been wishing to obtain a place at court, and it had been suggested that she should be placed in the household of the comtesse de Provence, whose marriage with the second fils de France was about to take place.
L’histoire d’un roi de vingt ans,
She sent her boy to America under the name of Motier, to be brought up under the care of Washington, and then went to Auvergne to see her old aunt, fetch her daughters, and settle her affairs; she had borrowed some money from the Minister of the United States and some diamonds from Rosalie, and had bought back her husband’s chateau  of Chavaniac with the help of the aunt who had brought him up, and who remained there.“With Mlle. Leclerc! I not only find the marriage suitable, I insist on its taking place immediately!”Now Mme. de Tessé was an extremely clever, sensible person, who knew very well how to manage her affairs; and, unlike many of her relations and friends, she did not leave her arrangements and preparations until her life was in imminent danger, and then at a moment’s notice fly from the country, abandoning all her property, with no provision for the future, taking nothing but her clothes and jewels.
Sur des fronts abattus, mon aspect dans ces lieuxThe Comtes de Provence and d’Artois and their wives had got safely over the frontier to Brussels, but the news of the flight and capture of the King, Queen and royal family, came upon them like a thunderbolt. Again it was probable that the fiasco was caused by Louis XVI. Not only had he deferred the flight till it was nearly impossible to accomplish it, but he persisted in their all going together, instead of allowing the party to be divided; if he had consented to which, some of them at least might have been saved. It does not seem really at  all impossible that the Dauphin might have been smuggled out of the kingdom, but their being so many diminished fearfully their chance of escape. Then he kept the carriage waiting for an hour or more when every moment was precious. The whole thing was mismanaged. The time necessary for the journey had been miscalculated. Goguelat went round a longer way with his hussars; they ought to have been at a certain place to meet the royal family, who, when they arrived at the place appointed, found no one. After the arrest at Varennes a message might have been sent to M. Bouillé, who was waiting further on, and would have arrived in time to deliver them. Such, at any rate, was the opinion of persons who had every opportunity of judging of this calamitous failure.  Madame Elizabeth, who might have been in security with her sister at the court of Turin, where their aunts had safely arrived, had stayed to share the captivity and death of the King and Queen.
The young Emperor and Empress showed the same kindness and friendship to Mme. Le Brun as their parents and grandmother, but the time had come when she was resolved to return to France, and in spite of the entreaties of the Emperor and Empress, of her friends, and of her own regret at leaving a country to which she had become attached, she started in September, 1801, for Paris, leaving her ungrateful daughter, her unsatisfactory son-in-law, and her treacherous governess behind.
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,  but in finding employment, placing young girls as governesses, selling drawings and needlework, &c.“You will see,” said Rivarol, “that these haughty Romans whom M. Louis David has brought into fashion with his cold, hard painting, will bring us  through a period of Cato and Brutus. It is the law of contrast. After the solemn airs of Louis XIV., the orgies of Louis XV.; after the suppers of Sardanapalus-Pompadour, the milk and water breakfasts of Titus—Louis XVI. The French nation had too much esprit, they are now going to saturate themselves with stupidity.”But as dinner-parties then took place in the day-time, often as early as two o’clock, Lisette soon found it impossible to spare the time to go to them. What finally decided her to give them up was an absurd contretemps that happened one day when she was going to dine with the Princesse de Rohan-Rochefort. Just as she was dressed in a white satin dress she was wearing for the first time, and ready to get into the carriage, she, like her father in former days, remembered that she wished to look again at a picture she was painting, and going into her studio sat down upon a chair which stood before her easel without noticing that her palette was upon it. The consequences were of course far more disastrous than what had befallen her father; it was impossible to go to the party, and after this she declined as a rule all except evening invitations, of which she had even more than enough.
Another place at which she liked staying was Gennevilliers, which belonged to the Comte de Vaudreuil, a great friend of hers, and one of the subjects of malicious gossip about her. Gennevilliers was not so picturesque as the other places, but there was an excellent private theatre. The Comte d’Artois and all his society always came to the representations there.But his position at Paris was too powerful and his friends too numerous to allow him to be at once attacked with impunity. It was Térèzia who was to be the first victim. Robespierre dreaded her influence, her talents, her popularity, her opinions, and the assistance and support she was to Tallien.
The young Marquis and Marquise de Montagu remained for two days at the h?tel de Noailles after the marriage had been celebrated at St. Roch, and then Pauline, with many tears, got into the splendid blue and gold berline which was waiting for her, and drove to the h?tel Montagu, where her father-in-law met her at the foot of the great staircase, and conducted her to the charming rooms prepared for her.They left Rome late in April, 1792, and travelled slowly along by Perugia, Florence, Siena, Parma, and Mantova to Venice, where they arrived the eve of the Ascension, and saw the splendid ceremony of the marriage of the Doge and the Adriatic. There was a magnificent fête in the evening, the battle of the gondoliers and illumination of the Piazza di San Marco; where a fair as well as the illumination went on for a fortnight.The Duchesse d’Aiguillon had obtained leave to have a thimble, needles, and scissors, with which she worked. Joséphine read and worked; Térèzia told stories and sang.
Many of them occupied the old h?tels of the ruined families of the ancien régime, in which their rough voices, strange language, manners and appearance contrasted as much with those of the former owners, as the new furniture, all gilding, costly stuffs and objects mixed incongruously together, did with the harmonious tapestries, ancient heirlooms, and family portraits which they replaced.详情
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