军情锐评:“美利坚”号两栖战舰驻日 不利亚太和平稳定(16)

CHAPTER III

Louis XVI., who liked talking to her about her pictures, said one day

And so the time passed, each day full of interest and pleasure, in the gayest and most delightful capital in the world; while the witty, charming, light-hearted society who sang and danced and acted and talked so brilliantly, felt, for the most part, no misgivings about the future, no doubt that this agreeable, satisfactory state of things would go on indefinitely, although they were now only a very few years from the fearful catastrophe towards which they were so rapidly advancing, and in which most of them would be overwhelmed. Death, ruin, exile, horrible prisons, hardships, and dangers of all sorts were in store for them, and those who escaped by good fortune, by the devotion or kindness of others, and occasionally by their own courage, foresight, or presence of mind, met each other again years afterwards as if they had indeed passed through the valley of the shadow of death. The peace of Amiens had just been signed, society was beginning to be reorganised. The Princess Dolgorouki who, to Lisettes great joy, [149] was in Paris, gave a magnificent ball, at which, Lisette remarked, young people of twenty saw for the first time in their lives liveries in the salons and ante-rooms of the ambassadors, and foreigners of distinction richly dressed, wearing orders and decorations. With several of the new beauties she was enchanted, especially Mme. Rcamier and Mme. Tallien. She renewed her acquaintance with Mme. Campan, and went down to dine at her famous school at Saint Germain, where the daughters of all the most distinguished families were now being educated. Madame Murat, sister of Napoleon, was present at dinner, and the First Consul himself came to the evening theatricals, when Esther was acted by the pupils, Mlle. Auguier, niece of Mme. Campan, afterwards wife of Marshal Ney, taking the chief part.

On the night fixed upon the party, consisting of the Queen, the Comtes and Comtesses de Provence and dArtois and some ladies and gentlemen of their households, started at three in the morning for Meudon, where a banquet was prepared, after which they went out on the terraces to see the sun rise. It was a lovely night, lamps were scattered about the gardens, guards were posted everywhere, the Queens ladies followed her closely. There was a splendid sun rise and all passed off well; but a few days afterwards came out an infamous libel called lAurore, containing accusations and statements so atrocious that the King, taking it to the Queen, said

Thrusting him away she pulled out the list, held it up to the sans-culottes, and exclaimed with defiance

Jembrasse la gracieuse souveraine,[65] la sainte Henriette, la ridicule Adla?de la belle Victoire.

DresdenSt. PetersburgThe Empress Catherine II.OrloffPotemkinRussian hospitalityMagnificence of society at St. PetersburgMme. Le Brun is robbedSlanders against herThe Russian Imperial familyPopularity and success of Mme. Le BrunDeath of the Empress Catherine.

Then why say it?

The demi-monde at that time kept themselves apart from the rest of the company; Frenchmen of good position and manners did not appear with them in public. If they were with them at the theatre it was in a closed box; though in her Souvenirs Mme. Le Brun declares that the fortunes made by them and the men ruined by their extravagance far surpassed anything of the kind after the Revolution.

And step by step she was drawing away from the Revolution. She had had enough of it, and she began to feel that disgust and horror were taking the place of the frantic admiration she had entertained for it in former years. And the finishing stroke was put by hearing herself called, as she walked with Tallien in Cours la Reine one evening, Notre Dame de Septembre.