新华网悦读推广人贺新春——马汝军

At the time of the expedition to St. Domingo he desired to send Leclerc, the husband of his second sister, Pauline. Leclerc hesitated, then said he should be glad to go, but he had a tie which bound him to France. In 1786 Mme. Le Brun received an invitation to paint the portrait of Mme. Du Barry, the once lovely and all powerful favourite of Louis XV. With great curiosity she went down to the chateau of Louveciennes, given to his mistress by the late King, where she still lived in luxury but almost in solitude, for of the courtiers and acquaintances who [74] had crowded round her in the days of her prosperity scarcely any remembered her now.

From the first moment of this interview Tallien was seized with an overpowering passion for her, which he was compelled to conceal by the presence of the gaoler, who waited to re-conduct the prisoner to her cell, and before whom if he showed either pity or sympathy, in spite of all his power as a leader of the Revolution, he would endanger his own safety and increase her danger. Therefore he only bowed, signed to her to sit down, and took a chair opposite her. It was a great sorrow to them both, but was inevitable. Mademoiselle dOrlans was rightly placed in the care of her own family, and the wandering, adventurous life led from this time by Mme. de Genlis was not desirable for the young princess.

I must go back to my house. An emigr is [468] hidden there. I alone know the secret of his hiding-place; if I do not let him out he will be starved to death. With much confusion she replied that she had not had time to have a proper dress made, but she was aware of the impossibility of explaining why, coming straight from Vienna, she had not brought one with her; and the dissatisfied looks of the Ambassadress increased her alarm when it was time to go to the Empress.

Paying no attention to this order, Mme. de Genlis continued her journey to Belle Chasse, where she found her husband, the Duke, and five or six others. Kaunitz was now eighty-three years old, tall, thin, and upright. His great intellect, taste, and judgment seemed unimpaired, and he prided himself on his perfect seat on horseback. In costume and appearance he resembled the splendid cavaliers of the court of Louis XIV.

Vont changer de conduite, amen.

Many of the stories told and assertions made upon the subject are absolutely false, others greatly exaggerated; although nobody who has ever studied the history of any country would imagine that any prison ever existed anywhere, until within the last few years, without a record of crime, oppression, and cruelty.

The Empress Elizabeth, whose own life was a constant succession of love intrigues, disapproved nevertheless of this open and public scandal, particularly when her nephew was reported to be about to divorce his wife in order to marry his mistress.

Tell her, said Mme. Tallien, that I am dsole not to be able to receive her, but I am never alone, because I am always surrounded by those to whom I have had the happiness to be of use.

They stood in astonishment looking after the soldiers, and then turning, walked sorrowfully back to the ruins, where a decently dressed working man who had been observing them, came up and again asked them the same question.

CHAPTER III