“I entreat you to tell me; have you anything against me?”
On the morning of the 4th Thermidor a dagger had been mysteriously sent to Tallien, without a word of explanation. No one knew who had brought it; there it was upon his table. But he knew the dagger, and what it meant. It was a Spanish poignard which belonged to Térèzia. It was then that he went and made his last and useless appeal to Robespierre. Térèzia had again been removed to La Force, and on the 7th Thermidor he received a letter from her.
Of the Dauphine, Marie-Josèphe de Saxe, as well as of his father, their son the Comte de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII., writes in his Memoirs as follows: “His pure soul could not rest on this earth, his crown was not of this world, and he died young. France had to mourn the premature death of a prince, who, if he had lived might perhaps have saved the kingdom from the catastrophe of a blood-stained revolution, and his family from exile and the scaffold.Of the Dauphine, Marie-Josèphe de Saxe, as well as of his father, their son the Comte de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII., writes in his Memoirs as follows: “His pure soul could not rest on this earth, his crown was not of this world, and he died young. France had to mourn the premature death of a prince, who, if he had lived might perhaps have saved the kingdom from the catastrophe of a blood-stained revolution, and his family from exile and the scaffold.
In the huge medi?val palace the Infanta, sister of Marie Antoinette, held her court, and to her Mme. Le Brun was presented by M. de Flavigny.
Mme. Le Brun went to all the chief watering-places—Bath, Brighton, Tunbridge Wells, Matlock, &c.—she found English life monotonous, as it certainly was in those days, and hated the climate of London; but she had gathered round her a congenial society, with whom she amused herself very well, and whom she left with regret when she decided to return to France, partly because her ungrateful daughter had arrived there, and was being introduced by her father to many undesirable people.Whatever might be her private character, Catherine II. was a great sovereign, a wise ruler, and beloved by the Russian people. In her reign Tartary, Lithuania, the Caucasus, Courland, and part of Poland were added to the vast Muscovite Empire; the Russian share of Poland alone added six millions to her subjects. Every branch of the service, every corner of the empire, canals, mines, agriculture, commerce, received her consideration and supervision; art and literature were encouraged and advanced; the progress made by Russia under her rule was enormous.
For with care and good management she contrived to live simply, but quite comfortably. Not that farming or life in the depth of the country were at all her fancy; no, what she liked was a town and a salon frequented by clever, amusing people of the world whose conversation she could enjoy. But she knew well enough that if she settled in a town and had a salon, before very long she would be nearly ruined, whereas at her farm she found no difficulty in supporting herself and those dependent upon her, and helping many others besides.“A rouleau, Madame!”
All the preliminaries were arranged by the families without anything being said upon the subject to the proposed bride, nor probably to the bridegroom either, and when everything was settled it was decided that now nothing was left to do but “to consult the personal inclinations of the young  people,” in preparation for which Pauline was informed in one of the usual family councils of her approaching introduction to her fiancé.
Most of the Imperial Family used to go to her, but her chief friend among them was Julie, Queen of Spain, wife of Joseph Buonaparte, Napoleon’s eldest brother. She was also very fond of Julie’s sister, Désirée, wife of Marshal Bernadotte, afterwards Queen of Sweden. For Bernadotte she had the greatest admiration, saying that his appearance and manners were those of the old court.They began by attending the sale of a magnificent collection of pictures at Brussels, and were received with great kindness and attention by the Princesse d’Aremberg, Prince de Ligne, and many of the most distinguished persons in society.
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