The three young Orlans princes were, the Duc de Valois, afterwards Louis Philippe, the Duc de Montpensier, and the Comte de Beaujolais. The eldest was eight years old. MARIE ANTOINETTE, QUEEN OF FRANCE

About the former, who was deeply in love with her, and most anxious to make her his wife, she did not care at all. She found him tiresome, and even the prospect of being a princess could not induce her to marry him. Besides, she had taken a fancy to the Marquis de Fontenay, whom she had first met at the house of Mme. de Boisgeloup, who was much older than herself, and as deplorable a husband as a foolish young girl could choose. Dissipated, unscrupulous, with no money and owing 200,000 cus, the new Contr?leur-gnral des Finances found an empty treasury, an enormous mass of debt, alarm and perplexity in the Government, and gathering fury and suspicion amongst the populace.

Far from being forced, as formerly, to keep in the background her marriage with the Duke of Orlans, it was for that very reason that she was high in the favour of the First Consul and the more en vidence she made it, the better it was for her.

All the preliminaries were arranged by the families without anything being said upon the subject to the proposed bride, nor probably to the bridegroom either, and when everything was settled it was decided that now nothing was left to do but to consult the personal inclinations of the young [192] people, in preparation for which Pauline was informed in one of the usual family councils of her approaching introduction to her fianc.

Often in after years did they look back to the happy, sheltered childhood that passed too quickly away, and contrast its peace, security, and magnificence with the sorrows, dangers, and hardships of their later lives.

To which Lisette replied that she did not know M. L at all except by name; and the matter ended.

As Mme. Le Brun remarked in her own case: It is no longer a question of fortune or success, it is only a question of saving ones life, but many people were rash enough to think and act otherwise, and frequently paid dearly for their folly. Mme. de Fleury returned to Paris while, or just before, the Terror was raging, and availed herself of the revolutionary law, by which a husband or wife who had emigrated might be divorced. But soon after she had dissolved her marriage and resumed the name of Coigny she was arrested and sent to St. Lazare, one of the most terrible of the prisons of the Revolution, then crowded with people of all ages, ranks, and opinions.

When presented to the Queen it was customary to bow low enough to appear to kneel in order to take up the edge of her dress, but her Majesty never allowed that to be carried to the lips of the lady presented, but let it fall with a slight movement of her fan, which Marie Antoinette always executed with singular grace. A duchess or grande dEspagne then seated herself before the Queen, but only for a moment, a privilege known as the tabouret. After retiring, of course backwards, with a mantle the train of which had to be eight ells on the ground, [200] people went to be presented to all the other princes and princesses of the royal family.