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He quarrelled with the clergy and the nobles, and tried to re-model everything after the German fashion. Even such changes as were beneficial he carried out in a manner so intolerable that very soon a powerful party was formed against him, of which Catherine was the head. Bonjour, Proven?al, [88] he said. You are looking very well, and that is so much the better, ma foi! for it has never been of more importance to you. You are going to be married.

There was no time to lose; the furniture, &c., was sold at a loss, they packed up in haste, found a carriage with great difficulty, and on a cold, bright day in December they set off, they knew not whither.

Capital letter I The Meuse was frozen and must be crossed on foot. Pauline, who was again enceinte, managed, leaning upon her husbands arm, slipping and stumbling, to get as far as the island in the middle. M. de Montagu insisted on her being carried the rest of the way by a sailor. M. de Beaune was helped by his only servant, Garden, a tiresome German boy of fifteen. They got to Helvoetsluys after dark, crossed next day, and after about a week found a cottage at Margate with a garden going down to the sea, which they took, and with which they were delighted. It stood between the sea and the country, and near them lived the family of M. Le Rebours, President of the Parliament of Paris, faithful Royalists who were happy enough all to have escaped, father, mother, grand-parents, six [235] children, and three old servants. He himself had just then gone to Paris to try to save some of his fortune. They had turned a room into a private chapel where mass was said by an old Abb; all attended daily, and, needless to say, the prayer for the King was made with special fervour.

[359]

She found as usual plenty of friends, the Princesse Joseph de Monaco and Duchesse de Fleury amongst others, and the Baron de Talleyrand, then French Ambassador. They made excursions to Vesuvius, Pompei, Capri, Ischia, and all the lovely places in the neighbourhood. Yes, I remember you now; but let me go.

CHILLON

Middle-aged men and women had seen Louis XIV., Louis le Grand, le Roi Soleil, as an old man; old people could remember him in the prime of his life, the most magnificent King with the most stately court in Christendom. The Cardinal de Luynes, the [4] Marchal de Croz, the Duc de Richelieu and other grands seigneurs who preserved the manners and traditions of that time, were looked upon as models of courtly manners and high-breeding by those who complained that in the reaction and licence of the regency and court of Louis XV., vice and corruption were far more unrestrained, more scandalous, less disguised and altogether more indecorous than under the ceremonious and stately rule of his great-grandfather. [3]

He rang the bell, and sent for Leclerc.

While she was still in Vienna, Lisette had been told by the Baronne de Strogonoff of the Greek supper at Paris, which she said she knew cost 80,000 francs.

Mme. de Genlis, though she did not go much into society, being now exceedingly royalist, was [476] presented at court, and must have recalled those far off days when she drove down to Versailles with Mme. de Puisieux to be presented to the magnificent Louis XV.

See this absurd Valence, on his knees to me, asking for the hand of my niece.

If she no longer cared for Barras nor he for her, there were plenty of others ready to worship her. M. Ouvrard, a millionaire who was under an obligation to her, heard her complain that she had no garden worth calling one. Some days later he called for her in his carriage, and took her to the door of a luxurious h?tel in the rue de Babylone. Giving her a gold key, he bade her open the door, and when she had given vent to her raptures over the sumptuous rooms and shady garden, he told her that her servants had already arrived; she was at homeall was hers.