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Did you notice who put it on the table? she asked. Barbier, writing in December, 1758, gives another sarcastic verse going about in society, which, as it was directed against the Kings all-powerful mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour, attracted general attention, irritated the King, and caused the author, who was discovered to be an officer of the guards, to be sentenced to a years imprisonment, after which to be banished to Malta, as he belonged to the order of St. John of Jerusalem.

THE last of the four French heroines whose histories are here to be related, differed in her early surroundings and circumstances from the three preceding ones. She was neither the daughter of a powerful noble like the Marquise de Montagu, nor did she belong to the finance or the bourgeoisie like Mme. Le Brun and Mme. Tallien. Her father was noble but poor, her childhood was spent, not in a great capital but in the country, and as she was born nearly ten years before the first and six-and-twenty years before the last of the other three, she saw much more than they did of the old France before it was swept away by the Revolution.

Pauline took refuge with Mme. Le Rebours who was just establishing herself there with her family. She found letters from her mother and sister, a month old, telling her of the death of her great aunt, the Comtesse de la Mark, and her grandfather, the Duc de Noailles. Here she also heard of the murder of the Queen, and all these hardships and shocks made her very ill.

David turned pale, made his escape, and for a long time would not go to the house for fear of meeting her. [49] She was afterwards told by Gros that David would like to go and see her, but her silence expressed her refusal. Soon after the return of Mme. Le Brun, Napoleon sent M. Denon to order from her the portrait of his sister, Caroline Murat. She did not like to refuse, although the price given (1,800 francs) was less than half what she usually got, and Caroline Murat was so insufferable that it made the process a penance. She appeared with two maids, whom she wanted to do her hair while she was being painted. On being told that this was impossible, she consented to dismiss them, but she kept Mme. Le Brun at Paris all the summer by her intolerable behaviour. She was always changing her dress or coiffure, which had to be painted out and done over again. She was never punctual, and often did not come at all, when she had made the appointment; she was continually wanting alterations and giving so much trouble, that one day Mme. Le Brun remarked to M. Denon, loudly enough for her to hear Having no money young Isabey supported himself at Paris by making designs for snuff-boxes and buttons. The Comte dArtois saw the buttons, which had become very much the fashion, admired them, and desired that Isabey should be presented to him. He was also presented to the Comtesse dArtois, rapidly got commissions, painted portraits of different members of the royal family and court, and was becoming more and more prosperous when the Revolution broke out, and he was apparently ruined.

It is true! I have not my cocarde! No doubt I must have forgotten it and left it on my night-cap.

[73]

Madame Victoires favourite was the Comte de Provence. She found that he had the most sense and brains, and prophesied that he would repair the faults his brothers would commit.

The months they spent there were the last of the old life. The vintage went on merrily, the peasants danced before the chateau, little Nomi played with the children, M. de Montagu rode about his farms, meeting and consulting with other owners of neighbouring chateaux, and the news from Paris grew worse and worse. The Duc dAyen was safe, he had been denounced but had escaped to Switzerland, and was living at Lausanne, where Pauline had been to see him from Aix.

The Dauphins eldest son, the Duc de Bourgogne, died in early childhood, leaving a fearful inheritance to his next brother, the Duc de Berri, afterwards Louis XVI. From his very birth ill-luck seemed to [167] overshadow him. The Dauphine was at Choisy-le-roy when he was born, and none of the royal family arrived in time to be present. The courier sent to Paris to announce the news fell from his horse at the barrire and was killed. The Abbe de Saujon, sent for to baptise him privately, was stricken with paralysis on the great staircase at Versailles. Of the three wet-nurses chosen for him two died within the week, and the third was seized with small-pox in six weeks.

But the sufferings of the last seven years had [256] terribly injured Adriennes health, and it was not till she had a little recovered that La Fayette moved, with all his family, to Viane, a small Dutch town near Utrecht, where they settled for a time to watch the course of events.