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This was a severe disappointment to the Duke, who had already begun to occupy himself with his sons future, but the Duchess, whose saintly mind had been tormented with misgivings about the future life of the boy whose prospects then seemed so brilliant and so full of temptations, and who did not probably consider the Duke, her husband, a very promising or trustworthy guide and example, resigned herself to the loss of the heir, whom she had even in her prayers entreated God to take out of this world rather than allow him to be tainted by the vice and corruption with which she foresaw he would be surrounded in it.

Two murders had been committed upon that same high road; the tribunal of the Abbess had discovered nothing, and terror spread through the country-side.... The peasants declared they were committed by evil spirits.

Of the Dauphine, Marie-Josphe de Saxe, as well as of his father, their son the Comte de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII., writes in his Memoirs as follows: His pure soul could not rest on this earth, his crown was not of this world, and he died young. France had to mourn the premature death of a prince, who, if he had lived might perhaps have saved the kingdom from the catastrophe of a blood-stained revolution, and his family from exile and the scaffold. But your Majesty must remember that even if the Duchess were to return to re-visit us, it would not be your Majesty she would come after.

An air of gloom was over them all. Mademoiselle dOrlans was crying bitterly. Mme. de Genlis, as she restored her to her fathers care, in the presence of the rest, told him that she resigned her post of governess, and should start for England the next morning. It was dearly bought, however. For some time, for prudence sake, the Marquis kept up his pretence of madness, but after the fall of Robespierre and the Terror he resumed the apparent use of his reason. But the next heir had taken possession of the estates of the family in consequence of the declared madness of its head. The Marquis appealed to the law, but his own notoriety and the last will and letter of the Chevalier decided the case against him. He was shut up in the asylum of Charenton, where [320] he lived for many years, resigning himself after a time to his fate, and dying in extreme old age.

CHAPTER III

Mme. de la Haie treated her daughter as badly as her son. She placed her at six years old in a convent, seldom went to see her, when she did showed her no sign of affection, and at fourteen insisted upon her taking the veil. But the irrevocable vows were not to be pronounced for another year, by which time the young girl declared that they might carry her to the church but that before the altar she would say no instead of yes. The Abbess declared that so great a scandal could not be permitted, the enraged mother had to give way, and the young girl joyfully resumed the secular clothes now much too small for her.

The States-General were to open on May 5th, and the day before M. de Beaune and M. de Montagu went to Versailles to be present, Pauline remaining in Paris to nurse a sick servant.

See this absurd Valence, on his knees to me, asking for the hand of my niece.