« PreviousContinue »
tiro or three bottles more, they would leave the house, without causing hex any reason to regret their admuHon. .. .' . -a ,, r-;fci, • V.* Madame Or—-—, with all (the appearance of perfect tranquillity and considence in their promises, wished her unwelcome visitors a good night, and after visititing her children in their rooms, she threw herself upon her bed, with a loaded pistol in each hand, and, overwhelmed with suppressed agony and agitation, flie soundly flept till she was called by her servants, two hours after these wretches had left the house. He related also another instance of that resolution whkh is not unfrequently exhibited by women, when those generous affections, for which they are so justly celebrated, are menaced with danger. A-> bout the same period, two os the children of Monsieur O were in Paris at school: A rumor had
reached him, that the teachers of the seminary in which they were placed, had offended the government, and were likely to be butchered, and that the carnage which was expected to take place, might, in its undistinguished fury, extend to the pupils. Immediately upon receiving this intelligence, Monsieur O ordered his carriage for the purpose of proceeding to town. Madame O—— implored him to permit.her to accompany him y in vain did he beseech her to remain at home } the picture of danger which he painted, only rendered her more deter^ mined. She mounted the carriage and seated hersejf ^-thesid^hes hrrsband. When they reached Paris, they were stoppsd in the middle of the street St. Honoree, by the massacre of a large number of prisoners, who had just been taken out of a church which had been converted into a prison. Their ears were pierced with screams. Many of the miserable vi(s•tims were cut down, clinging to the windows of their carriage. During the dreadful delays which they suffered in paffimg through this strest, Madame
O— discovered no sensations of alarm, but fted
fastly sixed her eyes upon the back of the coach box, to avoid, as much as poffible, observing the butcheries which were perpetrating on each side of her.
Had she been observed to close her eyes, or to set back in the carriage, she would have excited ,a suspicion, which, no doubt, would have pro % i fatal to h§r. At length she reached the school which contained her children, where she found the rumor which they had received was without foundation; she calmly conducted them to the carriage, and during their gloomy return through Paris, betrayed n» emotions ^ but as soon as they had passed the barrier, and were once more in safety** upon the road to their peaceful chateau, the exulting mother, in an agony .os joy, pressed her children to her bosom, and m a state of mind wrought up to frenzy, arrived at her own house, in convulsions of ghastly laughter. Monsieur O never spoke of this charming woman>
without exhibiting the strongest embtidns' of .regard. N
He said, that in sickneseshe suffered no one to attend upon him but herself, that in all his afflictions she had supported him, and that she mitigated the deep melancholy which the sufferings of his country, and his own privations, had sixed upon him, by the welltimed sallies of her elegant fancy, or by the charms of her various accomplishments; '» '..••;*>•
I found myself a gainer in the article of delight, by leaving the gayest metropolis that Europe can present' ti> a traveller, for the fake of'visiting such a family/ , :i ... wi v: . '' •:
. CHAPTER XIII.
Breaks'aft.-—Warmth of French Expression.—Rufic Eloquence.—Curious Cause assigned for the lats, extra. " ordinary Frojl.—Madatpe R —Paul I.—T^g voli.—Frescat'i.
IN the morning we breakfasted in the drawing room, in which the murderous myrmidons of Robespierre had been regaled. It was beautifully situated.' Its windows looked into a grove which Monsieur Q.' had formed of valuable American shrubs. His youngest daughter, a beautiful little girl, of about sive years of age, rather hastily entered the room with aVpair of tame wood pigeons in her hands, which, in Ii?r eagerness to bring to her father, she had too forcibly pr.eflsd, who very gently told her, it was cruel t&hurt-hfi?little favorites, more particularly as nhey' CS.ÆPf. 33$$] IK FRANCE. 1*7
were a species of bird which was remarkable for its unosfending' innocence. The little Creature burst into tears, "roylittle Harriet, why do you weep?" saidher father, killing her white forehead, and pressing her to him. "Why do you rebuke me i" said the little susferer, "when you know I love you so much that I could kiss your naked heart."
I mention this circumstance, to show how early in life, the French children imbibe the most charming expreffions, by which their more mature conversation is rendered so peculiarly captivating. During our repast, a circumstance occurred, which produced an' unusual vivacity amongst all the party, and afforded a specimen of the talent and pleasantry of the French people. The gardener entered with the paper, and letters of the day. Amongst them, was a letter yjhich had been opened, appeared very much disored, and ought to have been received upon the pre
«edingday. Mens. O seemed much displeased,
and called upon his man to explain the matter. The gardener, who possessed a countenance which beamedwith animation and good humor, made a low bow, and . without appearing to be, in the least degree, disconcerted, proceeded to unsold the affair, with the most playful ingenuity. He stated that the dairy maid was very pretty, that she made every body in love with her, and was very much in love herself, that Ihe/. was accustomed to receive a great number of billet- . dous* which, on account of her education having
been very far below her incomparable merits, she was Hot able to understand, without the affistance of Nicolene, the groom, who was hw consident, and amanuensis; that on the day before, he gave her the letter in question, with directions to carry it to his master, that under the influence of that thoughtful absence which is said to attend the advanced stages of the tender pafiion, she soon afterwards conceived that it was no other than a customary homage from one ©f her many admirers, upon which fhe committed the supposed depository of tender sighs and brittle vows, to the warm custody of her glowing bosom, than which, the gardener, (who at this moment saw his master's eyes were engaged by the sullied appearance of the letter) declared that nothing was fairer; he again proceeded, by observing, that in the course of the preceding evening, as she was stooping to adjust her stool in the meadow, the cow kicked, and the epistle tumbled into the milk pail; that she afterwards dried it by the kitchen sire, and gave it, for the reasons before affigned, to her considential friend to explain to her, who soon discovered it to be a letter of business, addressed to his master, instead of an impaffioned love ditty for the tender Marie; that, sinally, aU the principals concerned in this unhappy affair were overwhelmed with distress, on account 'of the fad disaster, and that the kitchen had loft all its viiacityever since. No advocate could hav£ pleaded more eloquently. All the family, from its'chief, •?o