“But my letter has gone,” he said; “what shall I do?”Mme. Le Brun was asked by several persons of importance to repeat this supper, but always declined.
The sort of people who frequented the salon of Mme. Tallien had no such ideas. They were a miscellaneous horde collected from the most opposite sources, many of whom were strangers to each other or disliked and feared each other, and who went there for different reasons. When Tallien became less powerful her salon became less and less full; when men ceased to be in love with her they left off going there.The Duchess threatened a separation, the position was impossible; Mme. de Genlis withdrew, at any rate for a time, intending to go to England. But Mademoiselle d’Orléans, who was then thirteen, and devoted to her governess, when she found she was gone, cried and fretted till she became so ill that every one was alarmed; she was sent for to come back again, and did so on condition that they should go to England together as soon as it could be arranged.“MM. les magistrats, connaissant de réputation les chemises de l’écrivain, répondent avec une gravité toute municipale:
“It cannot be Satan,” said the wife of the concierge, “but it may be conspirators.”It had been remarked that at the moment of the birth of this most unfortunate of princes, the crown which was an ornament on the Queen’s bed fell to the ground, which superstitious persons looked upon as a bad omen.
The life at Belle Chasse was, as she says, delicious. She had supreme authority, she was dispensed from the trouble of paying visits to any one but  Mme. de Puisieux; she had her mother and children to live with her; her husband and brother had posts in the household of the Duc de Chartres.
When Madame Royale was at last released from prison, she did not know the fate of her brother and her aunt, Madame Elizabeth. On hearing that they were dead, she declared that she did not wish to live herself; but her heart soon turned to her French relations, and her one wish was to get to them.Fragonard, the Proven?al, had more depth and dramatic feeling, the passion of the south and the love of nature in his work gave a stronger, truer, more impressive tone to his pictures; but Boucher, the favourite painter of Louis XV., the Marquise de Pompadour, and the court would seem from his pictures to have looked upon everything in life as if it were a scene in a carnival or fête. His goddesses and saints, even the holy Virgin herself, were painted from models from the theatre, and looked as if they were; his gardens, roses, silks, satins, nymphs, fountains, and garlands were the supreme fashion; every one wanted him to paint their portrait; he had more commissions than he could execute, and his head was turned by the flattery lavished upon him.The evenings were spent in brilliant conversation and music, supper was at half-past ten, ten or twelve guests being the usual number at the table.
“Your father must be a little forgotten in order to save him. It all depends on the president of the tribunal, Lacomb.”Joséphine cried and entreated in vain, pointing out the ingratitude he was forcing her to display; but though he always retained his private friendship for Térèzia, he told Joséphine that only respectable women could be received by the wife of the First Consul.
“The Duchess sees nothing, or will not see anything, but even shows a strange predilection for Mme. de Genlis, which made Mme. de Barbantane say that it is a love  which would make one believe in witchcraft.”Poinsinet, the author, was a man of very different calibre. That he had plenty of ability was proved by the fact that on the same evening he obtained three dramatic successes, i.e., Ernelinde at the Opera, Le Cercle at the Fran?ais, and Tom Jones at the Opéra-Comique. But his absurd credulity made him the object of continual practical jokes, or mystifications as they were called.
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With a cry of alarm she tried to draw her sister away, but the wizard, taking her hand, seemed to study it carefully, and suddenly dropped it with a strange exclamation.“I heard you were intending to emigrate with the ci-devant Marquis de Fontenay.”As, during the first years of their lives, even Félicité herself could not begin to instruct them, she paid a daily visit of an hour to them, and occupied herself in writing a book on education for their use and that of her own children. She also wrote “Adèle et Théodore,” and numbers of other books, novels, essays, plays, treatises on education, &c., which had great success.
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