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But these were not the directions in which the guidance of Nature led most of her followers. It was not to a life of primitive simplicity and discomfort that Trzia and her friends felt themselves directed; no, the h?tel de Fontenay, in the rue de Paradis, and the chateau of the same name in the country were the scene of ceaseless gaiety and amusement. La Rochefoucauld, Rivarol, Chamfort, La Fayette, the three brothers de Lameth, all of whom were in love with their fascinating hostess; Mirabeau, Barnave, Vergniaud, Robespierre, Camille Desmoulinsall the leaders of the radical party were to be met at her parties, and most of them were present at a splendid entertainment given by the Marquis and Marquise de Fontenay to the Constituants at their chateau, and called, after the fashion of Rousseau, a fte la Nature.

To which she replied, Comment donc! I have a horror of ingratitude. Of course I intend to go and see her. I owe her a great deal, and I will prove it by doing so. But you understand that I am obliged to consider appearances for the sake of my [346] family, and her reputation forces me to show a reserve which I regret. If you will ask her when I shall find her alone I shall go and see her at once. [307]

CHAPTER IX

Though he painted this portrait in haste, with tears in his eyes, it was one of the best ever done by Isabey. [35] The party who, like the more sensible and moderate reformers, wished only for the abolition of abuses, and for such considerable reforms in the government and laws as should give freedom and gradual prosperity to the whole nation, without destroying or plundering one class for the benefit of another, vainly imagined that they would establish a constitution like that which in England had been the growth of centuries, in a few days or weeks, amongst a people totally different in every characteristic, quite unaccustomed to freedom, self-government, or calm deliberation, and exasperated by generations of tyranny.

In her Memoirs, Mme. de Genlis says that the years she spent at the Palais Royal were the most brilliant and the most unhappy of her life.