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      The journey was insupportable. In the diligence with them was a dirty, evil-looking man, who openly confessed that he was a robber, boasting of the watches, &c., that he had stolen, and speaking of many persons he wished to murder la lanterne, amongst whom were a number of the acquaintances of Mme. Le Brun. The little girl, now five or six years old, was frightened out of her wits, and her mother took courage to ask the man not to talk about murders before the child.

      Seeing in the French papers that a party, with sinister intentions, were agitating for the trial of the King and Queen, Mme. de Genlis wrote a letter of six pages to Ption remonstrating, advising, and quoting the ancient Romans who did not murder the Tarquins but only banished them. The letter was published, but of course did no good, but drew upon her the hatred of the Terrorists.

      At last she heard the familiar tread of the postman's heavy boots, and saw his shining oilskin hat moving above the edge of the hollies, and heard the click of the iron latch as he came into the little garden.

      [Pg 110]

      M. de Saint-Aubin, meanwhile, whose affairs, which grew worse and worse, were probably not improved by his mismanagement nor by the residence of his wife and daughter in Paris, stayed in Burgundy, coming every now and then to see them. Mlle. de Mars had left them, to the great grief of Flicit, who was now fourteen, and whom the Baron de Zurlauben, Colonel of the Swiss Guards, was most anxious to marry; but, as he was eighty years old, she declined his offer, and also another of a young widower who was only six-and-twenty, extremely handsome and agreeable, and had a large fortune.Under a loggia, flowery with mosaics of jasper and carnelian, the emperor, seated on a white marble throne embroidered with carving, administered justice. At his feet, on a raised stone flag, the divan, his prime minister took down the despot's words, to transmit them to the people who were kept at a respectful distance under a colonnade, forming a verandah round the imperial palace.


      In many ways it is probable that no one was more capable of giving a first-rate education than Mme. de Genlis, who had herself so much knowledge and experience, such superior talents and genuine love of art, books and study. She was also careful and strict in the religious education of her pupils, and perfectly free from any of the atheistic opinions of the day.


      An amusing anecdote is related by Mme. de Bassanville [76] concerning the marriage of a certain Mlle. de Mirepoix, who belonged to that family, but apparently to a younger and poorer branch of it.


      Trzia studied Latin with her brothers, spoke Spanish, Italian, and French, with almost equal fluency, conversed with ease and vivacity, sang and [270] danced enchantingly. Besides all this she was so extraordinarily beautiful, that she attracted general attention.