Mme. Auguier sent her husbands valet de chambre [81] to help him up, and take him into the kitchen. Presently the valet returned, saying, Madame is indeed too kind; that man is a wretch. Here are some papers which have fallen out of his pocket. He gave them several sheets of papers, one of which began, Down with the Royal Family! down with the nobles! down with the priests! and all of which were filled with a tissue of blasphemies, litanies of the Revolution, threats and predictions horrible enough to make their hair stand on end.

These things are impossible. I shall never believe they meditate such atrocities.

The provincial assemblies were sitting all over France in 1787-8 in preparation for the States-General which were soon to be summoned with such fatal results. The Duc dAyen was president of the assembly of Limousin, M. de Beaune of that of Auvergne; nearly all the men of her family sat in one or the other, and were eager for the reforms which, if they could have been properly carried out and had satisfied the nation, would have indeed been the beginning of a new era of prosperity and happiness. She sent the Countess Woronsoff to her fathers estates in the country, dismissed Poniatowski from St. Petersburg, and tried to reconcile the ill-matched couple; but in vain. She died soon afterwards, and Peter III., a German at heart, proceeded on his accession to make himself hated in Russia by his infatuation for everything Prussian; Prussia being the nation of all others disliked by his subjects. He discarded the French and Austrian alliance, attached himself to Frederic, King of Prussia, and besides all the unpopular changes he made in his own army, accepted the rank of an officer in that of Prussia, wore the Prussian uniform, and declared that he preferred the title of a Prussian Major-General to any other he possessed!

Her first great dinner-party was at the house of the sculptor Le Moine, where she met chiefly artists and literary people. It was the custom to sing at dessert, a terrible ordeal for young girls, whose alarm often spoilt their song, but who were obliged to sing all the same.

One or two of the gentlemen-in-waiting were found stealing the valuable porcelaines de Svres in the ante-rooms, to the great anger of the King. Mme. de Genlis, finding Paris too dear, moved to Versailles where she lived for a time, during which she had the grief of losing her nephew, Csar Ducrest, a promising young officer, who was killed by an accident. Capital letter D

Mme. Geoffrin [18] was born 1699: her father a [37] valet de chambre of the Dauphin. He and her mother died young and left her and her brother to the guardianship of their grandmother, a certain Mme. Chemineau, a woman of strong, upright character, and a devout Catholic, but narrow and without much education. She brought up her grandchildren with care and affection, and married the girl when about fourteen to M. Geoffrin, a rich and worthy commercial man of forty-eight. With him Thrse lived in tranquil obscurity until she was about thirty, when she became acquainted with the celebrated Mlle. Tencin, sister of the Cardinal, over whose house and salon she presided, and who, like Mme. Geoffrin, lived in the rue St. Honor.

But the changed aspect of Paris, the loss of so many she loved, and perhaps most of all the ungrateful conduct of her daughter, depressed Mme. Le Brun so that she lost her spirits, had a perpetual craving to be alone, and for this purpose took a [150] little house in the wood of Meudon, where, except for the visits of the Duchesse de Fleury and one or two other friends who lived near, she could to a certain extent indulge in her new fancy for solitude.

What! Shall I never see my mistress again?

Again the King let slip a golden opportunity, for he could have left that night in perfect safety with a strong escort, and placed himself and the royal [215] family in safety, if only he had taken advantage of the favourable disposition of the troops, but the chance was lost, the demonstration infuriated and alarmed the Revolutionists, who succeeded in corrupting part of the regiment de Flandre, made La Fayette head of the National Guards, and carried the King and royal family to Paris.

The House of NoaillesThe court of Louis XV.The DauphinThe DauphineAn evil omenThe QueenThe Convent of FontevraultDeath of Mme. ThrseThe InfantaMadame Henriette and the Duc dOrlansMesdames Victoire, Sophie, and Louise.

Horrified at the h?tel of Tallien being in the place de lchafaud, she exclaimed

The marriages of her daughters which had so delighted her ambition, had not brought her all the happiness she expected.

No! No! exclaimed Lisette, I have a sitting to-morrow. I shant be confined to-day.

Madame, we are your neighbours; we have come back to advise you to go, and to start as soon as possible. You cannot live here, you are so changed that we are sorry. But do not travel in your carriage; go by the diligence, it is safer.