The Prince de Lambese had every reason to abhor Mme. de Genlis. He belonged to the house of Lorraine, was related to Marie Antoinette, and devoted to her. It was he, who, in July, 1789, at the head of the Royal Allemand Regiment, cleared the mob out of the place Louis XV., and galloped with his troops into the Tuileries Gardens. He emigrated and entered the Austrian service. Tu seras peintre, mon enfant, ou jamais il nen sera. [9]

Turgot replied coldly that as the money in the treasury did not belong to him, he could not dispose of it without the Kings permission.

They were in the habit of spending part of every summer at tioles, with M. le Normand, fermier gnral des postes, husband of Mme. de Pompadour, then the mistress of Louis XV. After one of these visits, when Flicit was about six years old, it having been decided to obtain for her and for one of her little cousins admission into the order of chanoinesses of the Noble Chapter of Alix; the two children with their mothers travelled in an immense travelling-carriage called a berline, to Lyon, where they were detained for a fortnight, during which the Comtes de Lyon examined the genealogical proofs of their noble descent. Finding them correct and sufficient for their admission into the order, they proceeded to Alix, at some distance from Lyon; where, with the huge abbey and church in the centre were, grouped, in the form of a semi-circle, the tiny houses, each with its [353] little garden, which were the dwellings of the chanoinesses. How could they let that canaille pass in! They should sweep away four or five hundred with cannon; the rest would run.

[119] The stately order, the devotion and charity which filled the lives of the sisters de Noailles; the absorbing passion for her art which made the happiness, [282] the safety, and the renown of Louise Vige, were not for Trzia. Her very talents were an additional danger and temptation, for they increased the attraction of her extraordinary beauty; and in the set of which her friends were composed there could be no principles of right and wrong, because there was no authority to determine them. For if God did not exist at all, or only as a colourless abstraction, then the words right and wrong meant nothing, and what, in that case, was to regulate peoples lives? Why not injure their neighbours if it were convenient to themselves to do so? Why should they tell the truth if they preferred to tell lies? To some it would seem noble to forgive their enemies; to others it would seem silly. To some, family affection and respect for parents would appear an indispensable virtue; to others an exploded superstition. It was all a matter of opinion; who was to decide when one mans opinion was as good as another? But, however such theories might serve to regulate the lives of a few dreamy, cold-blooded philosophers occupied entirely with their studies and speculations, it seems difficult to understand that any one could really believe in the possibility of their controlling the average mass of human beings; who, if not restrained by the fear of a supernatural power which they believe able to protect, reward, or punish them, are not likely to be influenced by the exhortations of those who can offer them no such inducements. Nevertheless, these ideas were very prevalent until Napoleon, who regarded them with contempt, declared that without religion no [283] government was possible, and, whether he believed in it or not, re-established Christianity.

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.