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      Neither of the young people dared speak to or [193] look at the other, but at last M. de Beaune [73] got up to be shown a portrait of Washington by de Noailles and La Fayette, who were present, and she took the opportunity of looking at him. He was not handsome, but had an attractive face, and at the end of the evening she told her mother that she was quite willing to marry him.The alliances with the House of Savoy were much more popular with the court than that with the House of Austria and Lorraine, [86] and caused continual jealousies and disputes. Foreseeing that such would be the case, Louis XV., before the marriage of the Comte de Provence, thought it necessary to caution him on the subject. Louis XVIII. gives in his memoirs [87] the following account of the interview:

      Mme. de Montagu started first with her husband, leaving her boy with her aunt and her girl with a friend. As they were still on the proscribed list they travelled under the names of M. et Mme. Mongros. They took up their quarters in Paris at a small house kept by an old servant of M. de Thsan, where they found their cousin, the Duchesse de Duras and the Doudeauville, living under their own names, in little rooms very clean, but so scantily furnished that if any visitors arrived they had to borrow chairs from each other.At last they arrived at Moudon, her father led her into a room in the inn, closed the door and began by telling her as gently as possible that he had just lost his mother, the Marchale de Noailles. He stopped, seeing the deadly paleness of his daughter, who knew by his face that he had not told all.

      She had painted 662 portraits, 15 pictures, 200 landscapes, many of them in Switzerland, and many pastels.

      The Marquis de Continges, a dissipated rou of the court of Louis XV., an encyclop?dist and friend of Voltaire, finding in the reign of Louis XVI. that he was getting old, thought he would marry. He [196] was noble, rich, and a good parti; but after making many inquiries he could not hear of any one he especially fancied. One evening he appeared at a great party given by the Princesse de Lamballe, at which every one of importance was present, dressed in black velvet, with lace ruffles, a sword by his side, and in his hand an embroidered hat full of mysterious tickets.

      I have just had a letter from my husband, she said; he tells me that they have put me on the list of emigrs. I shall lose my eight hundred francs de rente, but I console myself for that, as there I am on the list of respectable people.

      Pauline remained at Paris with her husband, and in February they lost their younger child, Clotilde. The morning after she died, Pauline, who had been up with her all night, was told that Rosalie, who was living at the h?tel de Noailles, had just given birth to her first child.

      The most infamous calumnies were circulated about Marie Caroline when Napoleon wanted her kingdom for Caroline Murat; but she had a brave, strong character and plenty of brains. The government was carried on by her, for the King could or would do nothing but loiter about at Caserta.


      Not so the Duchess, his wife. Brought up first in a convent and then under the care of her father, whose household, like those of many of the noblesse de robe, was regulated by a strictness and gravity seldom to be seen amongst the rest of the French nobles, Mme. dAyen cared very little for society, and preferred to stay at home absorbed in religious duties, charities, and domestic affairs, while her husband amused himself as he chose.Presently they observed a strange, ugly-looking man, who was watching them with a mocking smile.


      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.


      They were all, during their early youth, rather afraid of their father, of whom they saw so little that he was a stranger to them in comparison with the mother they all adored, who, exalted as were her religious principles, austere and saintly her rule of life, yet knew how to gain her childrens confidence [185] and affection, and understood thoroughly their different characters and tendencies. People wondered at the goodness of Mme. dAyens children, and it was remarked that the Duchess had brought up a company of angels.