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Of course this spread consternation in the family of Noailles, usually so united that nothing of importance was ever done by them without a family council. And it was certainly irritating enough, that for no reason whatever except his own fancy he should desert his wife who adored him, who had one child and was about to have another, the management of his estates and all his duties in his own country, and exile himself for years to fight against a friendly nation and meddle in a quarrel with which neither he nor France had anything whatever to do. Besides, his example and influence had induced his brother-in-law, the Vicomte de Noailles, and his cousin, the Comte de Sgur, to adopt the same plans. All three young men declared they would go to America to fight for liberty. Mme. de Genlis, dreading the parting, shut herself up in her room on the morning of her departure, leaving a message that she had gone out for the day to avoid that grief. She had not told her the night before that the time had come for their separation.

Still more strange was the incident related by his uncle, the Comte de Provence, heir presumptive to the crown, which he afterwards wore. It happened immediately after the birth of the first Dauphin, elder brother of Louis XVII., whose early death saved him from the fate of his family. I hope so, Madame. In my hat are 100,000 livres de rente, a Marquisate, and a dowry, besides my heart and my hand. Thus I put myself into a lottery: here is a heap of tickets of which only one is black, the winning one. So let all the young ladies who wish to marry come and choose one.

In the ill-furnished, dilapidated h?tel salon of Mme. dEscars Pauline came in the evenings, after a day spent in the poor lodging upon the scanty food she could get, passing her time in reading, in devotion, and in doing what she could to help others.

* * * * *

During the latter part of the reign of Louis XV. the rule of perpetual court dress at Marly was given up, and when Louis XVI. came to the throne he tried, but without success, to discourage the gambling, which he hated; but what Marie Antoinette disliked was the stiffness, fatigue, and restraint of these journeys, and she insisted that at Trianon, which the King had given her, she should be free from the [395] intolerable gne of the etiquette which the last two reigns had so increased as to be an intolerable burden, in former centuries unknown at the court of France.

People were presented first to the King, then to the Queen, in different salons; of course magnificently dressed. The King, now that he was Louis XVI., very often did not speak but always made a friendly, gracious gesture, and kissed the lady presented, on one cheek only if she was a simple femme de qualit; on both if she was a duchess or grande dEspagne, or bore the name of one of the families who possessed the hereditary right to the honours of the Louvre and the title of cousin of the King.

The Princess had therefore, as soon as she could get away from Austria, joined her uncles and aunts and married the Duc dAngoulme, concentrating all her affection upon those remaining members of her family, who received her with the deepest joy and tenderness.

There was at this same time a perfect rage for fortune-telling, second sight, and every sort of occult knowledge and experiences.

Others there were who showed the basest ingratitude. The Marquise de had been saved by Mme. Tallien, and hidden for three weeks in her boudoir. Not even her maid knew of her presence there. Trzia herself not only brought her food and waited upon her, but obtained her pardon and got part of her fortune restored to her. For some time she appeared very grateful, and as long as Tallien was powerful she came constantly to see Trzia, often asking for fresh favours.

The same may be said of Paulines young aunt, Mme. de Bouzolz, who died the same year.