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: ft was in the afternoon of one of the finest days in June, when.Madame O , with her nephew, a
very amiable young man, caBed in their carriage and took me to the chateau of her husband, to whom I had letters of introduction. After pasting through a charming country for nine miles, adorned on each side with gardens and country houses, we arrived at the pleasant village of la Reine. As soon as we entered it, the sight-of the carriage, and of their benefactress, seemed to enliven the faces of the villagers, who were seated in picturesque groupes at the doors of their cottages. Such animated looks were not lighted up by curiosity, for they had seen Madame O— a thousand and a thousand times, but because they had seldom seen her without experiencing some endearing proof of a bountiful heart. We left the village to the right and proceeded through a private road, lined with stately walnut rrees> of nearly
a mile in length, which led to Monsieur O 's. It
was evening; the fun was setting in great glory and covered the face of this romantic country with the J richest glow. Near the gate of a shrubbery I beheld i very handsome boy, whose appearance at once bespoke him to be the son of a gentleman, the animated
smile of Madame O , immediately convinced me
that it was her- son; « see," said the delighted mo~ ther, " it is my little gardener'" the little graceful rustic had a small spade in his hand, which he threw iowa and, ran to us. 'We alighted at the entrance of the garden, into which we entered, under a beautiful covered treillage, lined with Jessamine and honeysuckles. At the end were two elegant young women, waiting with delight, to receive their mother, from whom they had been separated only a sew hours. With this charming family I entered the house, which was handsome but plain. The hospitable owner rose from his sofa> and after embracing his elegant lady with great affection, he received mewith all the expreffions and warmth of a long friendship. Soon afterwards his servant (a faithful indianj entered, and spread upon, the table, Madeira, Burgundy, and dried fruits. It was intensely hot: the great window at the end of the room in which we were sitting opened into the gardens, which appeared to be very beautiful and abounded with nightin-gales, which, were then most sweetly singing. « Their V are my. little musicians," said Monsieur O-——„ «i we have made a pleasant bargain together, I give "themcrumbs ofbread and my bowers to range in,. "and they give me this charming music every eves' ning,"
Monsieur O—— was an invalide, the revolution, , poignant vexations, heavy losses and a painful seperation from his native country, for the preservation of. his life, and that of his family, had undermined his health. Grief had made fad inroads upon a delicate constitution. It was his good fortune to be the hufband of one. of the sinest and most amiable, women. in.\ C»AP. XII.] IN FRANCfc 144
\ Trance, and the father of an affectionate* beautiful, and accomplished family. His circumstances had been once splendid; they were then respectable, but he had passed through events which threatened his ail. Those sufferings which generous souls sustain for the fake of others, not for themselves, had alone destroyed the resemblance which- once existed between this excellent man and his admirable portrait, which, at the further end of the room, presentedithe
t healthy glow, and sine proportions of manly beauty. He expressed to me, in the most charming manner, his regret, that indisposition cosined him to the country, and prevented him from receiving me in Paris suitable to his own wishes, and to those claims which I had upon his attentions, by the letters of introduction which I had brought to him; but added, that he should furnish me with letters to some of his friends in town, who would be happy to supply his absence, and to make Paris agreeable to me. Monsieur O—was as good as his word..
This amiable gentleman possessed a countenance of great genius, and a mind full of intelligence.
After an elegant supper, when his lady and daughters had withdrawn, he entered into a very interesting account of his country, of the revolution, and of his shght for the salvation of himself and family. A - tolerable good opinion may be formed of the devastation which have been produced by the late republican government, by the following circumstance, which Monsieur O—— assured me, on the word of a man of honor, was correct. t :• . , •• . 3 His section in Paris was composed of one thousand three hundred persons, of rank and fortune, of whom only sive had escaped the flaughter os the guillotine M
• Madame O and her charming family, seemed wholly to occupy his heart and affections.
He spoke of his lady with all the tender eulogiura of a young lover. Their union was entirely from attachment, and had been resisted on the part of
Madame O , when he sirst addresied her, only
because her fortune was humble, compared with his. He informed me, and I must not suppress the story, that in the time of blood, this amiable woman, who is remarkable for the delicacy of her mind, and for the beauty and majesty of her person, displayed a der gree of coolness and courage, which, in the sield of battle, would have covered the hero with laurels. One evening, a short period before the family left France, a party of those murderers, who were sent for by Robespierre, from the frontiers which divide France from Italy, and who were by that arch siend employed in all the butcheries, and massacres of Paris, entered the peaceful village of la Reine, in search of Monsieur O His lady saw them advancing,
and anticipating their errand, had just time to give her husband intelligence of their approach, who lest his chateau by a back door, and. secreted himself in the house of a neighbor. Madame O—with perfect composure, went out to meet them, and received them in the most gracious maner. They sternly demanded Monsieur O——, Ihe informed them that he had left the country, and after engaging them in conversation, she conducted them into her drawing room, and regaled them with her best wines, and made her servants attend upon them with unusual deference and ceremony. Their appearance was, altogether horrible, they wore leather aprons, which were,sprinkled all over with blood, they had large horse pistols in their belts, and a dirk and sabre by their sides. Their looks were full of ferocity, and they spoke a harsh dissonant patois language. Over their cups, they talked about the bloody business of that day's occupation, in the course of which they drew out their dirks, and wiped from their handles,
clots of blood and hair. Madame O fat with
them, undismayed by their frightful deportment. After drinking several bottles of Champaign and Burgundy, these savages began to grow good humored, and seemed to be completely fascinated by the amiable and unembarrassed, and hospitable behavior os their fair landlady. After carousing till midnight, they pressed her to retire, observing that they had been received so handsomely that they were convinced Monsieur O had been misrepresented, and
was no enemy to the good cause; they added that they found the wines excellent, and after drinking