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The dAguesseau, qualifis barons in 1683, were amongst the most respected of the noblesse de robe, but their position was not, of course, to be compared to that of the de Noailles, and Mlle. [162] dAguesseau was all the more pleased with the brilliant prospect before her, since her future husband was violently in love with her, and although a lad of sixteen, two years younger than herself, was so handsome, charming, and attractive, that she, in her calmer way, returned his affection.

Perhaps so; but at this moment I am more than ever the wife of my husband. Next came her twin sister, Henriette, from whom she had parted almost heart-broken, when she reluctantly left France for Parma. Henriette was the Kings favourite daughter, the best and most charming of all the princesses. Lovely, gentle, and saintly, the Duc de Chartres [61] was deeply in love with her and she with him. The King was disposed to allow the marriage, but was dissuaded by Cardinal Fleury. If the Infanta had been in question she would have got her own way, but Henriette was too yielding and submissive. She died at twenty-five years of age, of the small-pox, so fatal to her race (1752) to the great grief of the court and royal family, and especially of the King, by whom she was adored. CHAPTER VI

DivorcedM. de Fontenay escapes to SpainThe mistress of TallienHer influence and his saves many livesRobespierreSingular circumstances at the birth of Louis XVII.The vengeance of the Marquis de Enmity of RobespierreArrest of TrziaLa Force. [112]

Brilliant success of LisetteLove of her artThe VernetLife in Paris before the RevolutionMme. GeoffrinMarriage of Lisette to M. Le BrunA terrible prediction.

Never in the worlds history was a stranger mingling of generosity and folly, unpractical learning [212] and brutal ignorance, misguided talents and well-meaning stupidity, saintly goodness and diabolical wickedness, heroic deeds and horrible crimes, than in the years ushered in with such triumph and joy by the credulous persons so truly described in later years by Napoleon: Political economists are nothing but visionaries who dream of plans of finance when they are not fit to be schoolmasters in the smallest village.... Your speculators trace their Utopian schemes upon paper, fools read and believe them, every one babbles about universal happiness, and presently the people have not bread to eat. Then comes a revolution.... Necker was the cause of the saturnalia that devastated France. It was he who overturned the monarchy, and brought Louis XVI. to the scaffold.... Robespierre himself, Danton, and Marat have done less mischief to France than M. Necker. It was he who brought about the Revolution.