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      Mme. Adla?de, tonne dun tel propos rpond sur le mme air:CHAPTER II

      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.The French Ambassador, Count dEsterhazy, said that he would come at ten and take her to djeuner with his wife, who was just then living at Czarskoiesolo. For the first time during her wandering life from court to court, Lisette felt intimidated, and trembled. This was so different from any of her former experiences. At every other court she had been en pays de connaissance. Austrian society was very like Parisian, Rome was the centre of Christendom, the sovereigns of the lesser Italian states were the near relations of her own King and Queen, their religion was the same.

      Georges de la Fayette, now nineteen, came over from America, and arrived at Wittmold, to the delight of the little colony, after his long separation from his family, and his return was the great event of the winter and the delight of his mother.

      She was as happy at Vienna as she could be [121] anywhere under the circumstances. During the winter she had the most brilliant society in Europe, and for the summer she had taken a little house at Sch?nbrunn, near the Polignac, in a lovely situation, to which she always retired when Vienna became too hot, and where she took long solitary walks by the Danube, or sat and sketched under the trees.

      The splendid ceremony of the benediction of the Neva by the Archimandrite, in the presence of the Empress, the Imperial family, and all the great dignitaries, deeply impressed her.


      I am not joking, Messieurs, and I am going to give you the proof of what I say. Griffet, the procureur, who was one of my ancestors, made a large fortune and gave his daughter in legitimate marriage to a Sieur Babou de la Bourdoisie, a ruined gentleman, who wanted to regild his shield. From this union was born a daughter who was beautiful and rich, and married the Marquis de C?uvres. Everyone knows that of la belle Gabrielle, daughter of this Marquis, and Henri IV., was born a son, Csar de Vend?me; he had a daughter who married the Duc de Nemours. The Duchesse de Nemours had a daughter who married the Duke of Savoy, and of this marriage was born Adla?de of Savoy, my mother, who was the eighth in descent of that genealogy. So after that you may believe whether great families are without alloy. [68]


      They were to start at midnight, and it was quite time they did so.Among the numbers of men who made love to her more or less seriously, two were especially conspicuous, [271] the Prince de Listenay and the Marquis de Fontenay.


      Louis Vige was a charming and excellent man, well known in literary circles. He had been imprisoned for a time in Port Libre, but afterwards released.Lisette frequented chiefly the society of the Spanish Ambassadress, with whom she went to the Opera at the far-famed Fenice, and finally left Venice and went by Padova, Vicenza, and Verona to Turin, where she had letters of introduction from Mesdames to the Queen, whose portrait they wished her to paint for them.