2021-04-17 01:51:52

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ENGLISH Au banquet de la vie peine commencWith calmness they received the order to go to the Conciergerie, which was, they knew, their death sentence. When they were sent for, the Duchess, who was reading the Imitation of Christ, hastily wrote on a scrap of paper, My children, courage and prayer, put it in the place where she left off, and gave the book to the Duchesse dOrlans to give to her daughters if her life were spared. As she said their names, for once her calmness gave way. The book was wet with her tears, which left their mark upon it always.

The French army had overrun Belgium, everyone was flying towards Holland; the road was encumbered with vehicles of all kinds. Old post-chaises, great family coaches, open carts, were filled with fugitives; many went down the Rhine in boats.

Il en avait trois grises,

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The Queen died three years later. Her death did not make much difference to the court, but devotion to religion in the royal family now seemed to be concentrated in the households of Mesdames.She had only to choose amongst the great personages who wanted their portraits painted; and she spent the time when she was not working in wandering amid the scenes to visit which had been the dream of her life. Ruins of temples, baths, acqueducts, tombs, and monuments of the vanished Empire, gorgeous churches and palaces of the Renaissance, huge never-ending galleries of statues and pictures, the glories of Greek and of medi?val art; Phidias and Praxiteles, Raffaelle, Michael Angelo, and Leonardo; the picturesque beauty of Rome, as it was then, the delicious gardens, since swept away by the greedy vandalism of their owners; the mighty Colosseum; the solemn desolate Campagna; all filled her mind and imagination and distracted her thoughts from France and the horrors going on there. At Rome in those days there certainly seemed to be everything that could be wished for to make life a paradise upon earth. Besides the natural beauty, the historical and arch?ological interest, and the treasures of art, the magnificence of the ecclesiastical functions, church services, stately processions, and entrancing music were a perpetual delight to her. There is no city in the world, she wrote to a [96] friend, in which one could pass ones time so deliciously as in Rome, even if one were deprived of all the resources of good society.

MaratMme. Le Brun painted the portraits and went to the parties of the chief Roman families, but did not form many intimate friendships amongst them, for most of her spare time was spent with the unfortunate refugees from France, of whom there were numbers in Rome during the years she lived there. Many of them were her friends who had, like herself, managed to escape. Amongst these were the Duke and Duchess de Fitz-James and their son, also the Polignac family, with whom Mme. Le Brun refrained out of prudence from being too much seen, lest reports should reach France that she was plotting with them against [97] the Revolution. For although she was out of the clutches of the Radicals and Revolutionists her relations were still within their reach, and might be made to suffer for her.MADAME LE BRUN ET SA FILLE

I hope so, Madame. In my hat are 100,000 livres de rente, a Marquisate, and a dowry, besides my heart and my hand. Thus I put myself into a lottery: here is a heap of tickets of which only one is black, the winning one. So let all the young ladies who wish to marry come and choose one.She was so terribly frightened at a thunderstorm that once when visiting the Comte and Comtesse de Provence, as she stayed rather long and they wanted to go out, the Count had some heavy thing rolled on the floor of the room above, which she took for distant thunder and hurried away to reach home before the storm.

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II LA MARQUISE DE MONTAGU CHAPTER I

For six weeks she lay in state in a great room in the palace, which was illuminated day and night. The Emperor had his father, Peter III., brought from the convent where he was buried to be taken at the same time as Catherine to the fortress where all the Russian monarchs are interred. He obliged the assassins of his father to carry the corners of the funeral pall, and himself, bareheaded, with the Empress and all the ladies of the court, with long trains and veils, walked through the snow and fearful cold in the procession from the palace to the fortress.One day he and other pupils of David had the fancy to spend an idle hour in listening to the debates in the Assemble, where every one went in and out at their pleasure.

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Apr-17 01:51:52