She was therefore very badly off, though her [456] writings were always quite successful enough to provide for her, but she could not be happy without perpetually adopting children: even now she had not only Casimir, who was always like a son to her, but an adopted daughter called Stphanie Alyon, and another whom she sent back to Germany. Her first child, the only one that lived, was born in February, 1780.

Madame Vige Le Brun

At eleven years old Lisette was taken from the convent to live at home, after having made her first Communion. She had so outgrown her strength [18] that she stooped from weakness, and her features gave at present little promise of the well-known beauty of her after-life. Her brother, on the contrary, was remarkably handsome, full of life and spirits, distinguished at his college by his talents and intelligence, and the favourite of his mother, while the fathers preference was for the daughter whose genius was his pride and delight, and to whom his indulgence and tenderness made up for the strictness or inequality she observed in the dealings of her mother with her brother and herself. Speaking in her Souvenirs [10] of her deep affection for her father, she declares that not a word he ever said before her had she forgotten. There was a great difference amongst the prisons of Paris, and the Luxembourg was perhaps the best, most comfortable, and most aristocratic of all, though the Convent des Oiseaux, the Anglaises, and Port Libre, were also very superior to others.

It was not until the 5th of October that the places in the diligence could be had, and on the evening of the 4th Lisette went to say goodbye to her mother, whom she had not seen for three weeks, and who at first did not recognise her, so much had she changed in that short time and so ill did she look. They hurried away just in time, crossed the Mont Cenis, which was covered with snow, and at the foot of which they were met by their nephew, the Comte dArtois. The King of Sardinia, husband of their niece, [40] the eldest sister of Louis XVI. had sent four hundred soldiers to clear away the snow, and escorted by the Comte dArtois they arrived safely at Turin where all the noblesse were assembled to receive them at the entrance of the royal palace. They arrived at Rome in April.