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In 1786 Mme. Le Brun received an invitation to paint the portrait of Mme. Du Barry, the once lovely and all powerful favourite of Louis XV. With great curiosity she went down to the chateau of Louveciennes, given to his mistress by the late King, where she still lived in luxury but almost in solitude, for of the courtiers and acquaintances who [74] had crowded round her in the days of her prosperity scarcely any remembered her now.

Yes, citoyenne; why are you at Bordeaux?

JUDITH PASTA

[303]

Mme. de Boisgeloup, however, received the children with the greatest kindness, her two boys were companions for the young Cabarrus, and as for Trzia, she loved and treated her like a daughter. They lived in the rue dAnjou, and when the following year her father arrived at Paris and bought a h?tel in the place des Victoires she still spent less of her time with him than with her. No; what is the good? I shall not wear them. We are not going to a fte.

CHAPTER IV

The day after to-morrow.

As to her writings, then so much in vogue, they were mostly works intended either to explain, assist, or illustrate the system of education which was the hobby of her life and which, if one may judge by Adle et Thodore, one of the most important of her tales, can only be called preposterous.

Besides her delight in wandering through these galleries where she would stand before her favourite pictures, never tired of studying them, absorbed in their beauty, she copied heads from Rubens, Rembrandt, Vandyke, Greuze, and others, and although she was only fourteen years old, the portraits she painted were not only becoming known, but were the principal support of the family, besides paying for the school expenses, books, and clothes of her brother.

Between him and the royalists were the September massacres, rivers of blood, crimes and blasphemies without end.

The Comtes de Provence and dArtois 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. Bouill, 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.

Et Lisette les coutait.