人民日报评论员:一意孤行害人害己——遏制中国不会得逞

She met her daughters in a mountain village near Clermont, and the deep, fervent joy of their restoration to each other out of the shadow of death was increased by finding that the priest had just ventured to reopen the village church, where on the next day, Sunday, they again attended mass in that secluded place, and where Virginie, the younger girl, made her first Communion. And she had seen Rosalie, for Mme. de Grammont heard of her sisters release, and resolved to join her. Having very little money, and travelling by public conveyances being still unsafe, taking her diamonds she rode a mule with her three children in paniers, and her husband walking by her side. Thus they journeyed by steep mountain paths, or country lanes, but always by the most secluded ways possible. When they reached Paris, Adrienne was gone, but they resumed their primitive travelling, followed her to Auvergne, and came up with her at the little town of Brionde. [383]

She was conscious also that her own position was not safe. She had many friends amongst the Girondins, and now terrified at their fall she felt that she was compromised by her association with [300] them; her husband was an additional peril to her, for the new abomination called loi contre des suspects was aimed at those against whom no tangible thing could be brought forward, but who might be accused of having done nothing for the Republic and would certainly apply to him. M. de Fontenay had hidden himself for a time and then re-appeared, and seeing they were both in great danger she agreed to his proposal and they went first to Bordeaux, intending shortly to put the Pyrenees between themselves and the Revolution. But swiftly and suddenly the danger that had struck down so many of their acquaintances fell like a thunderbolt upon them.

Jeanne Le Brun was, according to her mother, pretty, clever, extremely well-educated, charming in manner, and universally admired. Allowing for her infatuation, it was probable that her daughter was attractive. She was now seventeen, and went into society with her mother, whose foolish admiration and flattery encouraged all her faults. One day he and other pupils of David had the fancy to spend an idle hour in listening to the debates in the Assemble, where every one went in and out at their pleasure.

It was naturally impossible that Mme. de Genlis should be a conspicuous member of the Orlans household and yet not mix herself up with intimacies and friendships amongst the Revolutionists, especially as some of them at that time had not shown themselves in their true colours. She corresponded with Barze, who wrote to her about her books, and whose letters were full of the simple life of the peasants and the beauties of nature in the Pyrenees, but who soon developed into one of the monsters of the Terror. She could not be blamed for that, as she did not know his real character; but the same cannot be said with regard to her friendship with Ption, whom she received in her salon and for whom she declared that up to the time of the Kings murder she had a true esteem. Now Ption was a vulgar, brutal ruffian, as any one knows who has read the account of his behaviour during the miserable affair of the return of the royal family from Varennes; and yet after that she accepted his escort to England, and said that she remained persuaded that he had a most honest, upright soul, and the most virtuous principles. There are some people who make the very names of virtue and duty obnoxious to one, and of this number was certainly Mme. de Genlis. In spite of her outcries about the injustice and falsehood of the suspicions and odium attached to her concerning her conduct at this time, and causing her afterwards considerable annoyance and difficulties, her friendships with and praises of such characters as Philippe-galit, Ption, and others, added to the way in [425] which she displayed her rejoicing in the earlier excesses of the Revolutionary party, and her constant association with the authors of the disgraceful libels and attacks upon the Queen and royal family, amply justified whatever might be said against her.

Yes, I remember you now; but let me go. Their first house in Paris was a sort of imitation cottage, after the execrable taste of the day, in the Champs-Elyses, from which they moved into a h?tel in the rue de la Victoire, which was for some time the resort of all the chiefs of their political party, and the scene of constant contention between the Thermidoriens and the remnants of the Montagne. The discussions were generally political, and often violent; they would have been abhorrent to the well-bred society of former days. [33]

Meanwhile, those who could not believe in God, set up as their guide the abstraction they called Nature, which, if they had followed to the logical consequences, would have led them back to the state of savages. There were, in fact, some who proposed to live out of doors with very scanty clothing, and who had begun to cut down a tree and light a fire when their plans of life were suddenly frustrated by the appearance of the police.

The Duchess sat by the fire in her armchair, surrounded by her books, her work, and her gold snuff-box; the children sat round her, also reading, working, or talking of anything that interested them.

Perpetually proclaiming her religious principles [xi] and loyalty to the throne, she was suspected of being concerned in the disgraceful libels and attacks upon the Queen, was on terms of friendship with some of the worst of the revolutionists, rejoiced in the earliest outbreaks of the beginning of the Revolution, and while she educated the Orlans children with a pompous parade of virtue and strictness, was generally and probably rightly looked upon as the mistress of their father.