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That she persistently refused proves how much all these professions were worth, and this time she does in her memoirs blame herself for her conduct; in fact, she declares that she felt ever afterwards a remorse that never left her, and that would be eternal; as she considered herself the cause of the death of her husband. If she had gone with him as he entreated her to do and as she acknowledged that she ought to have done, she could have induced him to leave France with her, he had sufficient money to enable them to live comfortably abroad, and his life would have been saved. M. de Montagu was now with the troops of the Duc de Bourbon, and hearing he was to pass through Lige, Pauline went there to see him, and waited at an inn to which she knew he would go. Though he was overjoyed at this unexpected meeting, he had to leave the same day, as an engagement was imminent, and he remarked that those who were accused of being the last to join the army must not be last on the battlefield.

The truth was that this famous supper, which did take place, cost about fifteen francs, and consisted of a chicken and a dish of eels, both dressed after Greek recipes, taken from the Voyages dAnacharsis, which Louis Vige had been reading to his sister; two dishes of vegetables, a cake made of honey and little currants, and some old Cyprus wine, which was a present to her. The next morning the Baron himself brought up the tray with their breakfast, still declaring Mme. de Genlis was the Princess, and among the escort he gave them to Mons were two young cadets from Moravia, who had been pages to the Princess, by whom they had been specially recommended to the Baron. They both kissed her hand, and recognized her as Princess von Lansberg.

Lisette was now rapidly becoming very pretty, to the great satisfaction of her mother, who, seeing that in spite of her busy life and deep interest in her work, her spirits still suffered from the loss of her father, tried to give her all the distraction possible. She would take her to walk in the Tuileries gardens, where the beauty of both mother and daughter attracted much attention; and what pleased her most, to see all the picture galleries possible. They often went to the Luxembourg, in the galleries of which were then the Rubens and many others of the old masters now in the Louvre; besides which they saw all the good private collections. By far the best at that time was the gallery of the Palais Royal, collected by the Regent, Duc dOrlans. These pictures were sold in the Revolution. Many of them were bought by Lord Stafford.

Capital letter I

For the Duc dOrlans was aiming at the crown, and it is impossible to believe Mme. de Genlis was [414] not aware of it. He suggested to the Queen that Madame Royale should be married to his eldest son, which proposal Marie Antoinette decidedly refused, remarking afterwards that to marry her daughter to the Duc de Chartres would be to sign the death warrant of her son. [120]

To this she looked forward with some trepidation, being dreadfully afraid of Mme. de Puisieux, who at first did not like her, and was extremely stiff. She drove down to Versailles in her carriage alone with her, Mme. de Puisieux saying very little, but criticising the way she did her hair. They slept at Versailles, in the splendid apartment of the Marchal dEtre, who was very kind and pleasant to Flicit, and with whom she felt more at home. The next day she was obliged to spend such an enormous time at her toilette that by the time they started she was nearly tired out. Her hair was dressed three times over; everything was [376] the object of some tiresome fuss, to which policy obliged her to submit in silence.

There is such a thing as being too angelic, and gentle, and unsuspicious. If those who have to live in the world go about acting as if other people were angels instead of men and women, believing all they are told, trusting every one, and knowing as little as they can of what is going on around them, no good ever comes of it.