One dark, gloomy day, during the height of the Terror, he was sitting in his studio early in the morning, busily making up the fire in his stove, for it was bitterly cold. There was a knock at the door, and a woman wrapped in a large cloak stood on the threshold, sayingAnd so the time passed, each day full of interest and pleasure, in the gayest and most delightful capital in the world; while the witty, charming, light-hearted society who sang and danced and acted and talked so brilliantly, felt, for the most part, no misgivings about the future, no doubt that this agreeable, satisfactory state of things would go on indefinitely, although they were now only a very few years from the fearful catastrophe towards which they were so rapidly advancing, and in which most of them would be overwhelmed. Death, ruin, exile, horrible prisons, hardships, and dangers of all sorts were in store for them, and those who escaped by good fortune, by the devotion or kindness of others, and occasionally by their own courage, foresight, or presence of mind, met each other again years afterwards as if they had indeed passed through the valley of the shadow of death.
One day he and other pupils of David had the fancy to spend an idle hour in listening to the debates in the Assemblée, where every one went in and out at their pleasure.The wedding took place in the spring of 1783, before her seventeenth birthday. The presents and corbeille were magnificent, and every day, between the signing of the contract and the marriage, Pauline, in a splendid and always a different dress, received the visits of ceremony usual on these occasions. As her family and her husband’s were related to or connected with every one of the highest rank in France, all the society of Paris passed through the h?tel de Noailles on those interminable evenings, which began at six o’clock and ended with a great supper, while Pauline sat by her mother, and was presented to every one who came.
Amongst Lisette’s new Russian friends was the beautiful Princesse Dolgorouki, with whom Count Cobentzel was hopelessly in love; but as Lisette observed, her indifference was not to be wondered at, for Cobentzel was fifty and very ugly; and Potemkin had been in love with her. Besides all his other gifts he was extremely handsome and charming, and his generosity and magnificence were unparalleled.“Well, then, give us the list for you have it in your bosom!” And one brutal fellow tried to tear her corsage to get it.
Her eldest girl, Caroline, was of a charming disposition, and remarkably beautiful. She inherited her own musical talents and was extremely clever and accomplished. When she was fourteen she was married to a Belgian, the Marquis de Lawoestine; and the wedding was celebrated with great state  at the Palais Royal, the Maréchal Prince de Soubise acting as father to the bridegroom. She gave the young girl a magnificent trousseau, diamonds, plate, porcelaines, &c., and after the ceremony her daughter was left under her care for two years more.Tallien, the member of the Assembly, the blood-stained popular leader, the pro-consul before whom every one trembled in Bordeaux, was five-and-twenty. The Marquise de Fontenay, who stood before him, knowing that her life was in his hands, was not yet twenty.
“I will tell you, Madame,” replied the young man, with an assurance that surprised every one present. They looked at him with astonishment, and he looked at the portrait, and still more earnestly at the Marquise de Fontenay, upon whom his long, ardent gaze made a strange impression. After a few moments’ silence, Mme. Le Brun said—Que deviendront nos grands seigneurs?
Perfectly calm and undisturbed, she helped her mother dress, remarking
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Au banquet de la vie à peine commencé“As an Abbess of Montivilliers is not rigorously cloistered, my aunt, who was perfectly charitable and courageous, thought herself obliged to go out to the first court, and did so, at any rate with a cortège suitable to her dignity.But in a few days there were articles about them in the German papers; letters from Berne to the authorities of Zug reproached them for receiving the son and daughter of the infamous égalité; the people of Zug disliked the attention so generally drawn upon them, the chief magistrate became uneasy, and as politely as he could asked them to go away.
Que puisse faire aux arts la colère céleste!The Comtesse de Noailles frowned.详情
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