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One day she arrived, and after many bows and speeches began to address her prayers to the holy Virgin, and it appeared that what she asked for was in the first place a sum of eighteen hundred thousand livres for her husband, the Marchal, then the Order of the Garter, which he wanted because it was the only great order not possessed by his family, and finally the dipl?me of a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, because it was the only title he did not already bear.

Constantine, although very young, was married to the Princess Anne of Coburg, of whom Mme. Le Brun remarked that without being so lovely as the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, she was still very pretty, very lively, and only sixteen years old. She was not happy with Constantine, from whom she separated after a time and went back to her own family. Another of the people declared to be in love with Mme. Le Brun, and about whom there was so much gossip as to cause her serious annoyance, was M. de Calonne, the brilliant, extravagant, fascinating Finance Minister of Louis XVI. [28]

The attraction he felt for Mme. de Genlis, which had such a powerful influence upon her life and so disastrous an effect upon her reputation, had not begun when she first took up her abode at the Palais Royal.

At a State ball she first saw again the Empress, Marie Thrse, daughter of the Queen of Naples, whom she found much changed in appearance. She had painted her portrait in 1792.

Though several members had voted against the murder of the King, he was the only one who had had the courage of his opinions. Condorcet gave as a reason that he disapproved of all capital punishment, the rest made different excuses.

As time went on and affairs became more and more menacing, Mme. Le Brun began to consider the advisability of leaving the country, and placing herself and her child out of the reach of the dangers and calamities evidently not far distant.

Monsieur le Comte, your husband, will lose his head on the scaffold; you will leave France to live without resources in a foreign land; you will work for your living, but after long years of exile you will return to France. You will marry an ambassador, but you will have other vicissitudes.

However, Mme. Le Brun was overjoyed to see Jeanne, and to keep her in Paris, although she refused to live with her, because the people with whom she persisted in associating were so objectionable that her mother would not meet them.

To this she looked forward with some trepidation, being dreadfully afraid of Mme. de Puisieux, who at first did not like her, and was extremely stiff. She drove down to Versailles in her carriage alone with her, Mme. de Puisieux saying very little, but criticising the way she did her hair. They slept at Versailles, in the splendid apartment of the Marchal dEtre, who was very kind and pleasant to Flicit, and with whom she felt more at home. The next day she was obliged to spend such an enormous time at her toilette that by the time they started she was nearly tired out. Her hair was dressed three times over; everything was [376] the object of some tiresome fuss, to which policy obliged her to submit in silence.