陳馮富珍任清華大學萬科公共衛生與健康學院院長

Now Mme. de Tess was an extremely clever, sensible person, who knew very well how to manage her affairs; and, unlike many of her relations and friends, she did not leave her arrangements and preparations until her life was in imminent danger, and then at a moments notice fly from the country, abandoning all her property, with no provision for the future, taking nothing but her clothes and jewels.

He also had been Conseiller du parlement, first at Bordeaux, then at Paris; though by no means a young man, he was exceedingly handsome, fascinating, and a well-known viveur, added to which he was an inveterate gambler. It was said that when he was not running after some woman he was always at the card-table; in fact his reputation was atrocious. But his charming manners and various attractions won Trzias heart. Mme. de Boisgeloup wrote to Count Cabarrus, who was then in Madrid, saying that the Marquis de Fontenay wished to marry his daughter, and did not care whether she had any fortune or not; the wedding took place, and the young Marquise was installed at his chateau of Fontenay near Paris. [83] The Comte de Provence, his brother, remarks in his souvenirs: The court did not like Louis XVI., he was too uncongenial to its ways, and he did not know how to separate himself from it, and to draw nearer to the people, for there are times when a sovereign ought to know how to choose between one and the other. What calamities my unfortunate brother would have spared himself and his family, if he had known how to hold with a firm hand the sceptre Providence had entrusted to him. [84]

His was the leading salon of Paris at that time, and Mme. Tallien was the presiding genius there. Music, dancing, and gambling were again the rage, the women called themselves by mythological names and wore costumes so scanty and transparent that they were scarcely any use either for warmth or decency; marriages, celebrated by a civic functionary, were not considered binding, and were frequently and quickly followed by divorce. Society, if such it could be called, was a wild revel of disorder, licence, debauchery, and corruption; while over all hung, like a cloud, the gloomy figures of Billaud-Varennes, Collot dHerbois, Barre, and their Jacobin followers, ready at any moment to bring back the Terror.

De Valence was very handsome and a brave soldier; he emigrated but refused to fight against France; returned, obtained the favour of Napoleon, and retained that of Mme. de Montesson, who more than once paid his debts. He was supposed to be the son of a mistress whom his father adored, and to have been substituted for a dead child born to his fathers wife, who always suspected the truth, never would acknowledge him as her son, nor leave him more money than she could help doing as she had no other children. In 1802 Mme. Le Brun revisited this enchanting place, or rather the ground where it used to be. It was entirely swept away; only a stone marked the spot where had been the centre of the salon.

With anguish she saw one cartload of prisoners leave, and she trembled every moment lest she should hear the sound of the wheels of a second in the courtyard of the prison.

Mme. de Clermont had been married at fifteen to the Comte de Choisi, who was much older than herself, and of whom she was dreadfully afraid; but he was killed at the battle of Minden, and she had just married the Comte de Clermont, who was deeply in love with her. She was young, pretty, very capricious, and a friend of Mme. de Montesson, and with all her faults never dull or tiresome, but full of merry talk and amusing stories; the Comtesse de Polignac and the Marquise de Barbantour were also among the ladies of the household [387] with whom Flicit was now associated; two much older ones were the Comtesses de Rochambault and de Montauban.

THE theatre was a passion with Mme. Le Brun, and all the more interesting to her from her friendships with some of the chief actors and actresses, and her acquaintance with most of them, from the great geniuses such as Talma, Mlle. Mars, and Mlle. Clairon to the dbutantes like Mlle. Rancourt, whose career she watched with sympathetic interest. For Mme. Dugazon, sister of Mme. Vestris and aunt of the famous dancer Vestris, she had an unmixed admiration; she was a gifted artist and a Royalist heart and soul. One evening when Mme. Dugazon was playing a soubrette, in which part came a duet with a valet, who sang:

The latter, during her last sitting, said to her

You know. I want liberty.

His career, however, was even now beginning; and not long after Trzia, in the height of her beauty and power with Paris at her feet, rejected his love-making but accepted his friendship, he was sent to Italy and began the series of triumphs which were to raise him to the throne of France.