类型:奇幻地区:莫桑比克剧发布:2020-09-20 17:58:54


A curious story is told, that at the time when Louis XIV. was building the palace of Versailles, his then all-powerful mistress, Mme. de la Vallière, said to him that he must, according to the custom, have the horoscope cast of the palace. He laughed at her superstition, but told her he would leave the matter to her. She accordingly consulted an astrologer, who said, “After a hundred years the kings of France will leave Versailles.”His plan succeeded perfectly. He was soon well known to the police as an ex-noble driven mad by the death of his wife, and being considered harmless, was allowed to go where he pleased unmolested.Mme. Le Brun saw Mme. de Narischkin and her sister before she left Russia, for though she only intended to be there for a short time, she remained for six years, making an immense number of friends, and apparently no enemy but Zuboff, the last favourite of the Empress Catherine, an arrogant, conceited young man of two-and-twenty, whom she supposed she had offended by not paying court to him; and therefore he tried all he could to injure her with the Empress.

Her first great dinner-party was at the house of the sculptor Le Moine, where she met chiefly artists and literary people. It was the custom to sing at dessert, a terrible ordeal for young girls, whose alarm often spoilt their song, but who were obliged to sing all the same.

He and Vergennes were said to have wasted the revenues of France, but at any rate he spent money like a gentleman, and when, in 1787, he was dismissed from office, he did not possess an écu.The Marquis de Paroy, a royalist, whose father, a Girondist, had just been arrested, wrote to ask for an interview, sending an illustrated petition, in the taste of the day, to the “goddess of Bordeaux,” with a Cupid he called a sans-culotte, &c. Having received an invitation, he went to her house, where, in the ante-rooms, crowds were waiting with petitions in their hands. Presently folding doors were thrown open and Térèzia appeared, exquisitely dressed, asked for the citoyen Paroy, and invited [312] him to come into her boudoir, which was filled with the traces of her pursuits. Music was upon the open piano, a guitar lay upon a sofa, a harp stood in a corner of the room, an easel, a half-sketched-out miniature, a table covered with drawings, colours, and brushes, an embroidery frame, a writing table piled with petitions, notes, and papers. After the first greeting she said—

“We! friends! Allons donc!”

TWO years and a half had passed and Mme. Le Brun had no desire to leave Vienna, when the Russian Ambassador and several of his compatriots urged her strongly to go to St. Petersburg, where they said the Empress Catherine II. would be extremely pleased to have her.

At this time, however, everything even in these prisons had become much worse, [104] the restrictions were severe, the number executed far greater, the [325] gaolers more brutal, and the perils and horrors of those awful dwellings more unheard of.

The Comtes de Provence and d’Artois and their wives had got safely over the frontier to Brussels, but the news of the flight and capture of the King, Queen and royal family, came upon them like a thunderbolt. Again it was probable that the fiasco was caused by Louis XVI. Not only had he deferred the flight till it was nearly impossible to accomplish it, but he persisted in their all going together, instead of allowing the party to be divided; if he had consented to which, some of them at least might have been saved. It does not seem really at [221] all impossible that the Dauphin might have been smuggled out of the kingdom, but their being so many diminished fearfully their chance of escape. Then he kept the carriage waiting for an hour or more when every moment was precious. The whole thing was mismanaged. The time necessary for the journey had been miscalculated. Goguelat went round a longer way with his hussars; they ought to have been at a certain place to meet the royal family, who, when they arrived at the place appointed, found no one. After the arrest at Varennes a message might have been sent to M. Bouillé, who was waiting further on, and would have arrived in time to deliver them. Such, at any rate, was the opinion of persons who had every opportunity of judging of this calamitous failure. [80] Madame Elizabeth, who might have been in security with her sister at the court of Turin, where their aunts had safely arrived, had stayed to share the captivity and death of the King and Queen.

“Détestables flatteurs, présent le plus funeste,

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For more than a year she did not dare to pass the Palais Royal or to cross the place Louis XV., too many phantoms seemed to haunt and reproach her for the past.But it is confidently affirmed that Robespierre pursued Térèzia, with even more than his usual vindictiveness. He begged the Marquis de la Valette, a ci-devant noble and yet a friend of his, to prevent the escape of this young woman whom they both knew, “for the safety of the Republic.” But M. de la Valette, although he was not ashamed so far to degrade himself as to be the friend of Robespierre, shrank from being the instrument of this infamy; and not only warned Térèzia but offered her the shelter of his roof, which, for some reason or other, she declined. She was arrested and sent to La Force, one of the worst prisons of the Revolution, with the additional horror of being au secret. She had too many and too powerful friends to be sacrificed without difficulty and risk, and it was, in fact, his attack upon her that gave [321] the finishing blow to the tottering tyranny of Robespierre.Alexander, seeing the fearful danger hanging over his mother, his brother, and himself, was silent; and Pahlen, who was the director of the plot, took care that it should go much further than restraint.




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