Very different was the letter of M. de Sillery. He, at any rate, if he had been wrong and mistaken, was ready and willing to pay the penalty.

Oh! for that nonsense they do every year.

The lines are as follows, and refer to a chateau then being built by Louis for the Marquise de [6] Pompadour, whose original name was Jeanne Antoinette Poisson: As to the other daughter, Mme. de Valence, her marriage had turned out just as might have been [409] foretold by any one of common sense. M. de Valence did not change his conduct in the least, he was still one of the most dissipated men in Paris though he never stooped to the dishonour of Philippe-galit. He remained always the favourite of Mme. de Montesson, who at her death left her whole fortune to him.

But yet she took every opportunity of impressing his virtues upon them, telling them what an excellent father they had, and insidiously winning their affection away from their mother, under the form and pretence of the deepest respect and submission.

But Trzia had nearly lost all hope. She had waited and waited, always expecting helpfor Tallien was powerful among the leaders of the government. But when she was taken from the Carmes back to La Force, she knew that her time had come, and now the gaoler had told her that it [332] was not worth while to make her bed, as it was to be given to another.

One cannot help feeling intense satisfaction in reflecting that most of those who did all this mischief, at any rate, suffered for it, when the danger, ruin, and death they had prepared for others came upon themselves. One of the most abominable of the revolutionists, who had fallen under the displeasure of his friends and been condemned by them to be guillotined with his young son, begged to be allowed to embrace him on the scaffold; but the boy sullenly refused, saying, No; it is you who have brought me to this.

[377]

No sooner had the news of their first ephemeral [298] successes at Longwy and Verdun arrived at Paris, and at the same time the rising in La Vende become known, than there was a rush to arms, to the frontier, to drive back the invaders from the soil of France. The revolutionists seized their opportunity to declare that the royalists left in France would help the invaders by conspiring at home. It was enough. The thirst for blood and slaughter, never equalled or approached by any other civilised nation, which characterised the French Revolution, burst forth with unheard of atrocity. The September massacres were the result, and of the order for this horrible crime Tallien and Danton were chiefly accused.

Society was much smaller, people knew each other, or at any rate knew much more about each other, than could be the case after the revolution. The Comte dEspinchal was the most extraordinary instance of this essentially social life. He passed his days and nights in going from one party or visit to another; he knew all about everything going [53] on, important or trivial. He appeared to know every one not only at the parties to which he went, but in all the boxes at the Opera, and nearly everybody he met in the streets, so that it was quite inconvenient for him to walk in them, as he was stopped every minute. Not only people at court and in society, but grisettes, employs of the theatres, persons of every class; but though a perfect mine of gossip, he never made mischief.