新闻发布会--安徽频道--人民网

Very different was the letter of M. de Sillery. He, at any rate, if he had been wrong and mistaken, was ready and willing to pay the penalty.

Capital letter T All this was a certainty supposing he had possessed the most moderate talents, and behaved with common decency. But at seventeen he was already notorious, even at the court of Louis XV., for his vicious life; an incorrigible gambler, and over head and ears in debt. His guardian reproached him, and his debts were paid, but the same thing kept happening until, when he was twenty years old, he lost in one night five hundred thousand francs, his debts besides amounting to another hundred thousand.

It required time and caution, even with him, in the disturbed state of the country; but already some of the churches were beginning to open; Madame Buonaparte held something extremely like a court at the Tuileries, at which any of the returning emigrs who would go there were welcomed. And they were now returning in crowds, as fast as they could get themselves rays. [133]

God gives me strength, she wrote to him, and He will support me; I have perfect confidence in Him. Adieu; the feeling for all I owe you will follow me to heaven; do not doubt it. Without you what would become of my children? Adieu, Alexis, Alfred, Euphmie. Let God be in your hearts all the days of your lives. Cling to Him without wavering; pray for your father: do all for his true happiness. Remember your mother, and that her only wish has been to keep you for eternity. I hope to find you again with God, and I give you all my last blessing.

In vain Mme. Le Brun tried to dissuade her from this deplorable marriage, the spoilt young girl, accustomed to have everything she chose, would not give way; the Czernicheff and other objectionable friends she had made supported her against her mother, the worst of all being her governess, Mme. Charot, who had betrayed the confidence of Mme. Le Brun by giving her daughter books to read of which she disapproved, filling her head with folly, and assisting her secretly in this fatal love-affair.

Tallien had saved her life twice, and she had given him her youth and beauty and fortune; she probably thought they were quits. Her connection with him had lasted five years, and now her passion both for him and for the Revolution had burnt [343] itself out, she was in all the splendour of her beauty and not more than five-and-twenty years old. Most of her life lay before her.

[231]

What they wanted was a free and just government under a constitutional king, but they failed to realise that their party was far too small and too weak to have any chance of carrying out their plans, and that behind them was the savage, ignorant, bloodthirsty multitude with nothing but contempt and derision for their well-intentioned projects of reform and law and just government, pressing onwards to the reign of anarchy and devastation which they themselves were doing everything to help them to attain.