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The Duke was at his wits end, there were [423] scenes and interviews and negotiations without end, but he and Mme. de Genlis were forced to give way.

She still lived in the rue de Clry, where M. Le Brun had a large, richly furnished apartment, but as he used nearly the whole of it as a picture gallery, his wife had only two simply furnished rooms for herself, which, however, on her at-home nights [51] were thronged with everybody of any distinction, either at court or in the town, in fact, so great was the crowd that people were to be seen sitting on the floor, from which, on one occasion, the Marchal de Noailles, being very old and fat, could hardly be got up again.

The young princes and princesses could not understand that the resources of the State were not inexhaustible, or that they might not draw whatever they liked from the Treasury when they had spent all their own allowances. [424]

I cannot do that, citoyen ministre, I have no papers to show you except an old passport under another name, which I bought for twelve francs at Hamburg. I have been away from France eleven years. M. de Beaune paid them one or two visits, and in October, 1797, La Fayette, his wife, and daughters, were released from captivity, and arrived at Wittmold with his two faithful aides-de-camp. The brother of one, the Comte de Latour-Maubourg, soon after married Anastasie, his eldest daughter.

Amongst others who arrived were the Duchesse de Fleury and Princesse Joseph de Monaco. The latter was a gentle, charming woman, whose devotion to her children was the cause of her death. After having escaped from France and arrived safely in Rome, she was actually foolish enough to go back to Paris with the idea of saving the remains of her fortune for her children. The Terror was in full force; she was arrested and condemned. Those who wished to save her entreated her to declare herself enceinte, by which many women had been spared. She would anyhow have gained a reprieve, and as it happened her life would have been saved, as the ninth Thermidor was rapidly approaching. But her husband was far away, and she indignantly refused, preferring death to such an alternative. [319]

Mme. Le Brun generally spent the evening alone with Mme. Du Barry by the fireside. The latter would sometimes talk of Louis XV. and his court, always with respect and caution. But she avoided many details and did not seem to wish to talk about that phase of her life. Mme. Le Brun painted three portraits of her in 1786, 1787, and in September, 1789. The first was three-quarters length, in a peignoir with a straw hat; in the second, painted for the Duc de Brissac, she was represented in a white satin dress, leaning one arm on a pedestal and holding a crown in the other hand. This picture was afterwards bought by an old general, and when Mme. Le Brun saw it many years later, the head had been so injured and re-painted that she did not recognise it, though the rest of the picture was intact.

For the only consolation was that now the monsters were turning on each other; there were, in fact, more republicans than royalists in the [327] prisons. Every now and then some blood-stained miscreant was brought in amongst those whose homes he had wrecked, whose dear ones he had murdered, and whose fate he was now to share; while all shrunk in horror from him, or mocked and triumphed as he passed. When Chaumette, the high priest of the Revolution, one of the most blasphemous and blood-stained wretches of all, was brought to the Luxembourg, the prisoners would look through the little guichet where he was shut up, asking each other, Have you seen the wolf?

She tried to question the gaoler when he brought her breakfast of black bread and boiled beans, but he only put his finger on his lips. Every evening she went down to the courtyard and a stone with a note from Tallien was thrown to her. He had hired an attic close by, and his mother had, under another name, gained the gaoler and his wife. But at the end of a week the gaoler was denounced by the spies of Robespierre, and Trzia transferred to the Carmes.

There was a general exclamation of dissent, but the King replied

What is the use, if my hour has come?