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And amidst all the oppression, vice, and evil of which we hear so often in France of the eighteenth century, there was also much good of which [10] we hear little or nothing. The reason is obvious. Good people are, unfortunately, seldom so amusing to write or read about as bad ones. Has any one ever met with a child who wanted to be told a story about a good little girl or boy? And is it not true, though lamentable, that there are many persons who would rather read a book about a bushranger than a bishop?

Trzia questioned her friend about him, and was told that he was a good secretary, clever but idle, and of so bad a reputation that M. de Lameth was waiting for an opportunity to get rid of him.

Paul Delaroche

THE last of the four French heroines whose histories are here to be related, differed in her early surroundings and circumstances from the three preceding ones. She was neither the daughter of a powerful noble like the Marquise de Montagu, nor did she belong to the finance or the bourgeoisie like Mme. Le Brun and Mme. Tallien. Her father was noble but poor, her childhood was spent, not in a great capital but in the country, and as she was born nearly ten years before the first and six-and-twenty years before the last of the other three, she saw much more than they did of the old France before it was swept away by the Revolution.

Each of the princesses had her own household, and when mere children they gave balls and received the ambassadors. It was the custom that in the absence of the King, Queen, and Dauphin, the watchword should be given to the sentinel by the eldest princess present. On one occasion when this was Madame Adla?de, her governess, then the Duchesse de Tallard, complained to Cardinal Fleury that it was not proper for the princess, being a young girl, to whisper in a mans ear. The Cardinal spoke to the King, who decided that although Madame Adla?de must still give the consigne, she [171] should first ask her governess the name of which saint she was to say.

The errors of her youth she abandoned and regretted, and her latter years had by no means the dark and gloomy character that she had pictured to herself, when she left the Palais Royal and fled from France and the Revolution, in whose opening acts she had rejoiced with Philippe-galit.

Many of them occupied the old h?tels of the ruined families of the ancien rgime, in which their rough voices, strange language, manners and appearance contrasted as much with those of the former owners, as the new furniture, all gilding, costly stuffs and objects mixed incongruously together, did with the harmonious tapestries, ancient heirlooms, and family portraits which they replaced.

To divert his thoughts and attention from the rigours and cruelties, for the perpetration of which he had been sent to Bordeaux, she persuaded him to have his portrait done, and induced him and the artist to prolong the sittings on pretence of making the picture a chef d?uvre, but in reality to occupy his time and attention; in fact, he was found by some one who called to see him reclining comfortably in a boudoir, dividing his attention between the artist who was painting the portrait and Trzia, who was also present.

The Marquis de Noailles was one of the gentlemen of the household of the Comte de Provence, who did not much like the Noailles, and said that the Marquis was a true member of that family, eager after his own interests and those of his relations. Even the saintly Duchesse de Lesparre, when she resigned her place of dame datours to the Comtesse de Provence, was much aggrieved that the latter would not appoint another Noailles, but chose to give the post to the Comtesse de Balbi, a personal friend of her own.