《和平荣耀》 第四集 城市荣光

In the family of Noailles there had been six Marshals of France, and at the time of the marriage, the old Marchal de Noailles, grandfather of the Count, was still living. [55] At his death, his son, also Marchal, became of course Duc de Noailles, and his son, the husband of Mlle. dAguesseau, Duc dAyen, by which name it will be most convenient to call him to avoid confusion, from the beginning of this biography.

She had a large picture painted by Boucher, in which all her grandnephews were represented as Cupids, with nothing on but the Order of the Grand Cross of Malta, to show their right to belong to it. None of the family could look at or speak of it with gravity. But what was a more serious matter was her passion for stealing relics and objects of religious value. She even mixed one into a medicine for her son, the Duc dAyen, when he had the measles. This had been lent her by some nuns, who of course could never get it back again. The nuns were very angry, so were the Archbishop of Paris and the Bishop of Chartres; she had also stolen a beautiful chalice and they refused to give her the Holy Communion. Her [177] family were much disturbed and had considerable trouble in getting her out of the difficulties and trying to hush up the affair.

Still they waited and hoped, as week after week went by. Early in the spring affairs had looked more promising. The coalition against France had formed again under the influence of England. La Vende and Bretagne had risen, supported by insurrections all over the South of France. Lyon, Toulon, Bordeaux, even Marseilles, and many districts in the southern provinces were furnishing men and arms to join in the struggle. But gradually the armies of the Republic gained upon them, the [239] south was a scene of blood and massacre, and the last hopes of the Royalists were quenched with the defeat of the heroic Vendens at Savenay (December 23, 1793).

Pauline also had something like what would now be called by us a district at Montmartre, not far from the rue Chantereine, where she lived; but she had poor pensioners all over Paris to whom she gave food, firing, clothes, doctors, everything [211] they wanted, and whom she visited constantly. Old and young, good and bad, beggars, prisoners, every sort of distress found a helper in her. Of course, replied Napoleon, but you should find a marriage for her at once; to-morrow; and then go.

She now painted the whole day except when on Sundays she received in her studio the numbers of people, from the Imperial family downwards, who came to see her portraits; to which she had added a new and great attraction, for she had caused to be sent from Paris her great picture of Marie Antoinette in a blue velvet dress, which excited the deepest interest. The Prince de Cond, when he came to see it, could not speak, but looked at it and burst into tears.