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Between him and the Jacobins, the death of Robespierre and the destruction of the Montagne.

Mme. Le Brun, alluding to this circumstance, [78] remarks that in all probability the very heroism and calmness of the victims helped to prolong this horrible state of things.

If you have not crossed yet, stay in England till fresh orders; if my courrier meets you on the road in France wait wherever you are and do not come to Paris. A second courrier will instruct you what to do. It was the evening before the day fixed for their departure, the passport was ready, her travelling carriage loaded with luggage, and she was resting herself in her drawing-room, when a dreadful noise was heard in the house, as of a crowd bursting in; trampling of feet on the stairs, rough voices; and as she remained petrified with fear the door of the room was flung open and a throng of ruffianly-looking gardes nationaux with guns in their hands, many of them drunk, forced their way in, and several of them approaching her, declared in coarse, insolent terms, that she should not go.

So little did the idea of love enter into her life that until after her marriage she had never read a single novel. Then she read Clarissa Harlowe, by way of a beginning, and found it intensely interesting. Before, she only read Lives of the Saints, and various religious or instructive books.

The Comte de Provence, his brother, remarks in his souvenirs: The court did not like Louis XVI., he was too uncongenial to its ways, and he did not know how to separate himself from it, and to draw nearer to the people, for there are times when a sovereign ought to know how to choose between one and the other. What calamities my unfortunate brother would have spared himself and his family, if he had known how to hold with a firm hand the sceptre Providence had entrusted to him. [84]

She was received with the hospitality and distinction she always experienced, met many old acquaintances, and passed several months very pleasantly.