The new ideas were the fashion, people, especially young people, believed with enthusiastic fervour in the absurd and impracticable state of things they imagined they were about to establish, but meanwhile, though they talked of the rights of man and the sufferings of the people, they went on just the same, lavishing enormous sums upon dress, luxury, and costly entertainments.
Neither a genius nor yet possessed of any great artistic or intellectual talent, without worldly ambition, little attracted by the amusements of society, she was a sort of mixture of a grande dame and a saint.
The following song, one of the many circulating at the time, is a specimen of the least objectionable of its kind:
CHAPTER VIMAXIMILIEN ROBESPIERRE“The huissiers and valets de porte, who lived outside the enclosure, had permitted a poor beggar to take shelter every night under a lofty arch leading into the first court of the abbey. He was an unfortunate man, who had neither arms nor legs, and a poor woman, young and, they said, almost pretty, used to come and fetch him each morning with a sort of wheelbarrow, and establish him on the high road to beg. They had bread, soup, and cider given them at the abbey, but very often did not finish them.
It was impossible to spare much time to be absent from Paris, but Mme. Le Brun often spent two or three days at the magnificent chateaux to which she was invited, either to paint a portrait or simply as a guest.The concierge did not half like this, but winter was coming on and a pavilion in the middle of a large garden was difficult to let.
THE society of the Palais Royal was at that time the most brilliant and witty in Paris, and she soon became quite at home there. The Comtesse de Blot, lady of honour to the Duchesse de Chartres, was pleasant enough when she was not trying to pose as a learned woman, at which times her long dissertations were tiresome and absurd; she was also ambitious, and what was worse, avaricious.“If ever we get the upper hand!”
There was also the salon of Mme. du Deffand, who, while more decidedly irreligious and atheistical than Mme. Geoffrin, was her superior in talent, birth, and education, and always spoke of her with the utmost disdain, as a bourgeoise without manners or instruction, who did not know  how to write, pronounce, or spell correctly, and saw no reason why people should not talk of des z’haricots.
“Some misfortune has happened to the King.”
But time and circumstances were obliterating crimes and injuries by the side of which her faults were as nothing. Though it is satisfactory to think that numbers of the Revolutionists received the punishment due to their deeds, there were others who for some reason or other managed not only to escape but to prosper; and with Fouché in a place of power and authority, what, might one ask, had become of all ideas of justice and retribution?详情
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