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Louis XV. was upon the throne; the manners and customs of the ancien rgime were in full force, though mitigated and softened by the growing enlightenment and liberalism which were spreading not only in the literary and professional circles, but amongst the younger generation in all classes.Trzia Cabarrus was a Spaniard, though she had also French blood in her veins. Her father, director of an important bank in Madrid, distinguished himself in the financial world, and was created Count by Charles IV.

The fate of Mme. Du Barry is well known. She escaped to England where she was kindly received, and where the great value of her diamonds enabled her to live quite well herself, and also to help many of the emigrs, to whom she was most generous. But the Duc de Brissac had remained concealed at Louveciennes, and she insisted on going back to him. The friends she made in England pointed out the danger of doing so, and did all they could to dissuade herthey even unharnessed the horses of her travelling carriage. It was all useless, she would go. Soon after her return to Louveciennes the Duc de Brissac was seized and carried away from her to be taken to Orlans. On the way he and his companions were attacked and murdered by the mob and his head brought to Mme. Du Barry. Then she herself was betrayed and denounced by a little negro named Zamore, who was in her service, and had been loaded with benefits and kindness by Louis XV. and by herself. In consequence of the denunciation of this wretch she was thrown into prison, tried, and executed at the end of 1793.

It was very difficult just then to get money from France, and she had even to advance some for Mademoiselle dOrlans. Remembering what had happened to La Fayette, she was very much afraid of falling into the hands of the Austrians; on the other hand she could not go into France [437] without a permission, which she was silly enough to ask for, but luckily for herself, could not get.

The four women who were her most intimate friends, and were always to be found at her parties, were the Marquise de Grollier, Mme. de Verdun, the Marquise de Sabran, and Mme. le Couteux du Molay. Of the rest of her numerous acquaintances [52] she would ask a few at a time to the suppers she constantly gave. People arrived about nine oclock, they amused themselves with conversation, music, or acting charades, supper was at ten and was extremely simple. As it was not considered necessary to give costly entertainments on every occasion, people of moderate and small fortune were able to receive and amuse their friends as often as they liked, without half-ruining themselves. A dish of fish, a chicken, a salad, and a dish of vegetables was the supper Mme. Le Brun usually provided for the twelve or fifteen people who were her guests, but those who went to these parties really amused themselves.And Barras pleased her. His distinguished appearance and manners contrasted with those of her present surroundings, and recalled the days when she lived amongst people who were polite and well-bred, knew how to talk and eat and enter a drawing-room, and behave when they were in it; and who wore proper clothes and did not call each other citoyen, or any other ridiculous names, and conversation was delightful, and scenes and memories of blood and horror unknown. It may well have been at this time that she began to yearn after that former existence she had been so rashly eager to throw away.

After his death, in order to distract her mind from the sorrow of it, she made a tour to Orlans, Blois, Tours, Bordeaux, &c., accompanied by her faithful Adla?de; after which she returned home and resumed her usual life, a happy and prosperous one, continually occupied by her beloved painting, surrounded by numbers of friends and adored by the two nieces, her adopted children. Eugnie Le Brun was like herself, a portrait painter, and although not, of course, of world-wide fame like [158] her aunt, she was nevertheless a good artist, and made a successful career, which gave an additional interest to the life of Mme. Le Brun.CHAPTER VI

The Comtesse de Noailles frowned.

E. H. BearneThey spent three days in the Artaut family, thankful for the rest, the quietness and the kindness they received. M. Artaut engaged a man he knew to take them on their journey, telling him that they were relations of his, and recommending them to his care. They set off accordingly, and, this journey was indeed a contrast to the last. Their driver took the greatest care of them, and they arrived in safety at the bridge of Beauvoisin, the frontier of France.

Mme. de Tess, who knew nothing about a sick room, was very anxious and busy, and insisted on helping to nurse Pauline. In spite of her free-thinking professions, she would be observed to make the sign of the cross behind the curtain of the bed. She made various mistakes, and in her haste poured a bottle of eau de Cologne instead of water over the head of the new-born infant.

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Now Mme. de Tess was an extremely clever, sensible person, who knew very well how to manage her affairs; and, unlike many of her relations and friends, she did not leave her arrangements and preparations until her life was in imminent danger, and then at a moments notice fly from the country, abandoning all her property, with no provision for the future, taking nothing but her clothes and jewels.But her practice cannot be said to have been altogether in accordance with all the professions and talk about virtue and duty, which she made such a parade.

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