寒过春来牡丹开——看古都洛阳如何“疫”中“突围

On one occasion his friends made him believe that there existed the post of fire-screen to the King, and that it might possibly be given to him. In order to qualify himself, they persuaded him to stand frequently before the fire until his legs were quite scorched, assuring him when he wished to move away that if he did not persevere he would never be able to fill that post.

I was in an open carriage with Madame Royale by my side, [140] MM. de Cond were opposite; my brother and the Duc de Berri rode by us ... the Duc dAngoulme was still in the south.... I saw nothing but rejoicing and goodwill on all sides; they cried Vive le Roi! as if any other cry were impossible.... The more I entreated Madame Royale to control her emotion, for we were approaching the Tuileries, the more difficult [474] it was for her to restrain it. It took all her courage not to faint or burst into tears in the presence of all these witnesses.... I myself was deeply agitated, the deplorable past rising before me.... I remembered leaving this town twenty-three years ago, about the same time of year at which I now returned, a King.... I felt as if I should have fallen when I saw the Tuileries. I kept my eyes away from Madame Royale for fear of calling forth an alarming scene. I trembled lest her firmness should give way at this critical moment. But arming herself with resignation against all that must overwhelm her, she entered almost smiling the palace of bitter recollections. When she could be alone the long repressed feelings overflowed, and it was with sobs and a deluge of tears that she took possession of the inheritance, which in the natural course of events must be her own.

She was constantly surrounded by perils and temptations which to many would have been irresistible. Admiring eyes followed her at the theatre, people crowded round her in the gardens and places of entertainment, men of rank who wanted an opportunity of making love to her had their portraits painted by her for that purpose; but she treated them all with indifference, and when she noticed that their looks and glances were too expressive she would coolly remark: I am painting your eyes now, or would insist on the portrait being done with the eyes looking in another direction.

Marie Antoinette was tall, well-formed, with perfectly shaped arms, hands and feet, a brilliant complexion, bluish-grey eyes, delicate though not regular features, a charming expression and a most imposing air, which very much intimidated Mme. Le Brun during the first sitting. But the kindness and gentleness with which the Queen talked to the young artist soon set her at ease, and when the portrait, which was to be presented to the Emperor Joseph II., was finished, she was desired to make two copies of it; one to be sent to the Empress Catherine of Russia, the other to be placed in the royal apartments, either at Versailles or Fontainebleau. After these she painted several portraits of the Queen, one of which, in a straw hat, was, when exhibited in the Salon, 1786, declared by one of those malicious slanders then becoming frequent, to be the Queen en chemise. He continued the kindness of Catherine II. to Doyen, who was now very old, and lived prosperous and happy, and, as Mme. Le Brun said, if her fathers old friend was satisfied with his lot at St. Petersburg, she was not less so.

The Princess turned pale, trembled, and held out the gold, saying

The Chevalier tore away his arm, the Marquis struck him a furious blow, the police interfered, and took them both to the Commissaire de la section. The Marquis was released and the Chevalier sent to the Luxembourg.

If the prison is blind, the tribunal is not. Of what are you accused, citoyenne?

Mme. Vige, or rather Mme. le Svre, had certainly, by her obstinate folly, succeeded in ruining first her own life, then her daughters; for the two deplorable marriages she had arranged, both of them entirely for mercenary reasons, had turned out as badly as possible. Her own was the worst, as the husband she had chosen was the more odious of the two men, and she had no means of escaping from him; but Lisettes was disastrous enough.