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But they were very little edified by what they [72] heard and saw. The Abbé Maury was speaking, and the outrageous behaviour, the rows and quarrels, the discreditable manner in which the discussions were carried on, so shocked them that they allowed their disgust to be more apparent than was prudent.

Conspicuous amongst these was Barras, who, though his hands were deeply dyed in the blood of the Terror, belonged to one of the noblest families in Provence.[424]“Yes. What do you want of me?”

The brilliant social success, and the life, a perpetual scene of pleasure, excitement and intense interest, were chequered with all sorts of annoyances. The envy she excited by her social triumphs, the favour of the Duchess, and later, of the Duc de Chartres, displayed itself as usual in slanders, misrepresentations, and different spiteful actions; while the hostility she aroused caused her more astonishment than would have been expected in a woman possessing so much knowledge of the world, and more unhappiness than one might suspect in one so entirely self-satisfied.

Middle-aged men and women had seen Louis XIV., Louis le Grand, “le Roi Soleil,” as an old man; old people could remember him in the prime of his life, the most magnificent King with the most stately court in Christendom. The Cardinal de Luynes, the [4] Maréchal de Croz, the Duc de Richelieu and other grands seigneurs who preserved the manners and traditions of that time, were looked upon as models of courtly manners and high-breeding by those who complained that in the reaction and licence of the regency and court of Louis XV., vice and corruption were far more unrestrained, more scandalous, less disguised and altogether more indecorous than under the ceremonious and stately rule of his great-grandfather. [3]Capital letter AWhen at length she arrived in St. Petersburg she found the city in a frenzy of delight. They danced in the streets, embracing each other, and exclaiming—

“How? A rose? You are to give a rose?”

“It is you who will embrace me! Open the door! Open the door!”It was necessary to settle the succession to the estates of the Duchesse d’Ayen, and it was impossible to arrange this without the meeting of the family. The Vicomte de Noailles was in America, the Marquis de Thésan in Germany, Mme. de Montagu was on the list of emigrées, and could not enter France. Her part of the inheritance had been confiscated, but M. Bertémy, the old family lawyer, had bought and transferred it to the rest of the family, to be given her in better times.

Neither Napoleon nor any of his family had at all the manners and customs suitable to the position in which he had placed them, and he was quite aware of the fact. His mother, as he said, could speak neither French nor Italian properly, but only a kind of Corsican patois, which he was ashamed to hear. He did everything he could to win over the emigrés and those of the old noblesse who had remained [460] in France; his great wish was to mingle the new noblesse he soon began to create with the faubourg St. Germain, and his great disappointment and anger was excited by the non-success of his attempts. From the time he rose to supreme power he contemplated a court and a noblesse for the country and a crown for himself. And that a court formed out of the materials supplied by his generals and their families would be ridiculous he knew, and meant to avoid.They went down the left bank of the Rhine, passing the fortress of Wesel, where La Fayette was imprisoned. With tearful eyes Pauline gazed from the window of the carriage, but dared not ask to stop. M. de Beaune made no remark and pretended not to notice her agitation; but he made no objection to the window being wide open in the bitter cold, as he would usually have done.

[424]Neither Napoleon nor any of his family had at all the manners and customs suitable to the position in which he had placed them, and he was quite aware of the fact. His mother, as he said, could speak neither French nor Italian properly, but only a kind of Corsican patois, which he was ashamed to hear. He did everything he could to win over the emigrés and those of the old noblesse who had remained [460] in France; his great wish was to mingle the new noblesse he soon began to create with the faubourg St. Germain, and his great disappointment and anger was excited by the non-success of his attempts. From the time he rose to supreme power he contemplated a court and a noblesse for the country and a crown for himself. And that a court formed out of the materials supplied by his generals and their families would be ridiculous he knew, and meant to avoid.The fate of Mme. Du Barry is well known. She escaped to England where she was kindly received, and where the great value of her diamonds enabled her to live quite well herself, and also to help many of the emigrés, to whom she was most generous. But the Duc de Brissac had remained concealed at Louveciennes, and she insisted on going back to him. The friends she made in England pointed out the danger of doing so, and did all they could to dissuade her—they even unharnessed the horses of her travelling carriage. It was all useless, she would go. Soon after her return to Louveciennes the Duc de Brissac was seized and carried away from her to be taken to Orléans. On the way he and his companions were attacked and murdered by the mob and his head brought to Mme. Du Barry. Then she herself was betrayed and denounced by a little negro named Zamore, who was in her service, and had been loaded with benefits and kindness by Louis XV. and by herself. In consequence of the denunciation of this wretch she was thrown into prison, tried, and executed at the end of 1793.

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Pauline was almost in despair. Her child died, as all the others had done; letters from home had stopped, she did not know what had become of her mother, sisters, and grandmother; they were in the middle of winter and had only enough money for another month; more and more emigrés were crowding into Brussels, flying from the Terror, which had begun.The Laboullé moved to Paris, and opened a shop at 83, rue de la Roi, afterwards rue Richelieu, which soon became the centre of Royalist plots.“Est-ce à moi de mourir? Tranquille je m’endors,

They went to Rome, Venice, Naples, and all the little Italian Courts, at which they were received with great honour.“Let her give us the list!” was the cry.

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