第十六届中国经济论坛掠影

Paris seemed to be awaking into life again; the streets were more animated, the people to be seen in them were more numerous and did not all look either brutal or terror-stricken. Art, literature, and social gaiety began to revive. During the captivity of the Queen, Mme. Laboull was always trying to get to her and very often succeeded; when she always took her some of the perfume. These excellent people saved the lives of numbers of royalists, and how they themselves escaped the guillotine, only Providence can tell. When the surviving members of the royal family returned, the Duchesse dAngoulme sent for her, expressed her deep gratitude, and always loved and protected her.

CHAPTER III

Ma chre amie, he replied, all that I have been hearing makes me think that the world will very soon be upside down. She was still very young when her father sent her to Paris with her brothers to complete their education, in the charge of an old abb, their tutor, but to be also under the care of the Marquis de Boisgeloup and his wife, old friends of their father, in whose family they were to live. When they arrived they found that the Marquis de Boisgeloup, Seigneur de la Mancelive and conseiller du Roi et du parlement, had just died.

Cherchons bien les chemises Here she finished the portrait of the young Princess von Lichtenstein, as Iris. As she was represented with bare feet, her husband told Mme. Le Brun that when it was hung in his gallery, and the heads of the family came to see it, they were all extremely scandalised, so he had placed a pair of little shoes on the ground under it, and told the grand-parents they had dropped off.

Mademoiselle, said the Marquis, what you have won there is myself, your very humble servant, who, if you will allow him, will become your husband. I put myself into my hat, with all my fortune; accept both, for they are yours. An air of gloom was over them all. Mademoiselle dOrlans was crying bitterly. Mme. de Genlis, as she restored her to her fathers care, in the presence of the rest, told him that she resigned her post of governess, and should start for England the next morning.

The wanderings and perils of Pauline were now at an end. From henceforth her home was with her husband and four children in the old chateau of Fontenay, which they repaired and put in order. It was a fortress built in the reign of Charles VI., and afterwards inhabited and decorated by the Duc dEpernon. The great tower of the castle still bore his name, and the blue and gold ceiling of his bedroom still remained. It had an immense park and lakes, and a great avenue of chestnut-trees led up to the chateau. The Abb Cartier, cur of Fontenay, was a man after her own heart. He had known her mother, for he came very young to the parish, which he loved with all his heart, and which he had only once left, on the approach of a revolutionary mob. Leaving the presbytre with all his own things at their mercy, he hid the cross and all the [263] properties of the church, and as to the statues of the saints which he could not remove, he painted them all over, turning them into National Guards with swords by their sides. He was only persuaded by his people to escape when already the drums of the approaching ruffians were heard in the village, in which they quickly appeared, and rushed into the church. But they found it empty, except for the statues, with which, in their republican garb, they dared not meddle, so they turned their fury upon the presbytre, and when the good Abb returned he found the church uninjured, but all the contents of his house stolen or destroyed. As far as possible, M. and Mme. de Montagu led the simple patriarchal life they preferred at Fontenay, where they were adored by the people, to whom they devoted their time, money, and attention. Under the trees before the castle stone benches were placed for the peasants who came on Sunday evenings to sit about and dance, and the young people with whom the old chateau was always filled joined eagerly in their festivities.

After a time a governess was engaged for her, a certain Mlle. de Mars, a young girl of sixteen, whose chief instruction was in music, in which she excelled, but beyond the catechism and a few elementary subjects, knew little or nothing. She was a gentle, devout, sweet-tempered girl, and Flicit soon became passionately attached to her, and as her mother, occupied with her own pursuits and paying and receiving visits, troubled herself very little about the studies of her daughter, the child was left almost entirely to Mlle. Mars and the maids, who, however, were trustworthy women and did her no harm, beyond filling her head with stories of ghosts with which the old chateau might well have been supposed to be haunted. M. de Saint-Aubin kept a pack of hounds, hunted or fished all day, and played the violin in the evening. He had been in the army, but had resigned his commission early in consequence of some foolish scrape.

Her daughter-in-law seems to have got on very well with her, and with all her husbands family. Besides the Marchal de Mouchy, there was another brother, the Marquis de Noailles, and numbers of other relations, nearly all united by the strongest affection and friendship.