Madame, we have obeyed our parents. I leave you with regret, but I cannot conceal from you that for a long time I have been devoted to another woman. I cannot live without her, and I am going back to her.

There had, in fact, been a strong reaction against the restraint and dullness of the last few years of the reign of Louis XIV., when the magnificent, pleasure-loving King, whose victorious armies had devastated Europe, who had made princes of his illegitimate children, lavished the riches of the country upon his mistresses, and yet in his stately beauty and fascination been the idol of France; had changed into a melancholy old man, depressed and disillusioned, looking with uneasiness upon the past, with fear upon the future; while the brilliant beauties and splendid festivities of bygone days had given place to virtue, strict propriety, and Mme. de Maintenon.

And she threw herself upon her knees before him. I must go back to my house. An emigr is [468] hidden there. I alone know the secret of his hiding-place; if I do not let him out he will be starved to death. What? A painter ambassador? Doubtless it must have been an ambassador who amused himself by painting.

A man of her acquaintance, disgusted by her conduct, remarked one day

For her name also was Catherine.

Moi, je crois quil nen avait pas,

I was in an open carriage with Madame Royale by my side, [140] MM. de Cond were opposite; my brother and the Duc de Berri rode by us ... the Duc dAngoulme was still in the south.... I saw nothing but rejoicing and goodwill on all sides; they cried Vive le Roi! as if any other cry were impossible.... The more I entreated Madame Royale to control her emotion, for we were approaching the Tuileries, the more difficult [474] it was for her to restrain it. It took all her courage not to faint or burst into tears in the presence of all these witnesses.... I myself was deeply agitated, the deplorable past rising before me.... I remembered leaving this town twenty-three years ago, about the same time of year at which I now returned, a King.... I felt as if I should have fallen when I saw the Tuileries. I kept my eyes away from Madame Royale for fear of calling forth an alarming scene. I trembled lest her firmness should give way at this critical moment. But arming herself with resignation against all that must overwhelm her, she entered almost smiling the palace of bitter recollections. When she could be alone the long repressed feelings overflowed, and it was with sobs and a deluge of tears that she took possession of the inheritance, which in the natural course of events must be her own.

His plan succeeded perfectly. He was soon well known to the police as an ex-noble driven mad by the death of his wife, and being considered harmless, was allowed to go where he pleased unmolested.

IN the histories of the four women whose lives are here related, I have tried, as far as is possible in the limited space, to give an idea of the various ways in which the Revolutionary tempest at the close of the eighteenth century and the eventful years which preceded and followed it, affected, and were regarded by, persons of the different parties and classes to which they belonged.

Je nai point les chemises