The announcement caused a tremendous uproar in his family, and the only relations who would have anything to do with them were the Count and Countess de Balincourt, who called at once and took a fancy to the young wife, who was only seventeen, clever, accomplished, attractive, and pretty. Mme. de Montesson also, pleased with the marriage of her niece, paid them an early visit, liked M. de Genlis, and invited them to her house.

At a concert in Milan she made the acquaintance of the Countess Bistri, a beautiful Pole, who was also going to Vienna with her husband. They arranged to travel together, and this was the beginning of a long and intimate friendship.

She married, in 1788, the Marquis de Grammont. The Vernet [32] were staunch Royalists, and watched with horror and dread only too well justified the breaking out of the Revolution.

They waited and listened. There was certainly more noise in the streets, something was evidently going on; but there was no attack upon any of the prisons; on the contrary, it was the gaolers who were undoubtedly alarmed. Their whole tone and manner changed from brutal insolence to civility and indulgence. When evening approached they were running about from one room to another with looks of dismay, while the terror of the prison spies was uncontrolled.

In the streets people recognised their own carriages turned into hackney coaches; the shops were full of their things; books with their arms, china, furniture, portraits of their relations, who had perhaps perished on the scaffold. Walking along the boulevard one day soon after her return to Paris she stopped at a shop, and on leaving her address, the lad who was serving her exclaimed I am sorry for that, she observed, as she gave her cards to the man, especially as M. de Valence is my husband.


DivorcedM. de Fontenay escapes to SpainThe mistress of TallienHer influence and his saves many livesRobespierreSingular circumstances at the birth of Louis XVII.The vengeance of the Marquis de Enmity of RobespierreArrest of TrziaLa Force.

She spoke in the inflated style of the time, which belonged especially to the ranting, extravagant, theatrical phraseology of that strange collection of individuals who now held supreme power in the country so recently the most civilised and polished in the world.

It was a change indeed from Louis XVI. Every one trembled before Napoleon except his brother Lucien; and perhaps his mother, who, however, never had the slightest influence over him. He required absolute submission; but if not in opposition to his will, he liked a high spirit and ready answer [463] in a young man, or woman either, and detested weakness, cowardice, and indecision.

Meanwhile, many who would have shrunk from [413] the crimes and horrors for which in their folly they were preparing the way as fast as possible, went on playing with fire, by encouraging the disloyalty that was in the air, sympathising with the outrageous demands put forward by the Radical leaders, circulating libels and inventing lying stories against the Queen and royal family, joining noisily in the abuse of everything that had hitherto been held sacred or respectable, and doing everything in their power to inflame the evil passions and excite the cupidity and violence of the mob.