Que feront les amis du prince

But it is confidently affirmed that Robespierre pursued Trzia, with even more than his usual vindictiveness. He begged the Marquis de la Valette, a ci-devant noble and yet a friend of his, to prevent the escape of this young woman whom they both knew, for the safety of the Republic. But M. de la Valette, although he was not ashamed so far to degrade himself as to be the friend of Robespierre, shrank from being the instrument of this infamy; and not only warned Trzia but offered her the shelter of his roof, which, for some reason or other, she declined. She was arrested and sent to La Force, one of the worst prisons of the Revolution, with the additional horror of being au secret. She had too many and too powerful friends to be sacrificed without difficulty and risk, and it was, in fact, his attack upon her that gave [321] the finishing blow to the tottering tyranny of Robespierre.

Madame Vige Le Brun

Their first house in Paris was a sort of imitation cottage, after the execrable taste of the day, in the Champs-Elyses, from which they moved into a h?tel in the rue de la Victoire, which was for some time the resort of all the chiefs of their political party, and the scene of constant contention between the Thermidoriens and the remnants of the Montagne. The discussions were generally political, and often violent; they would have been abhorrent to the well-bred society of former days. Quite another sort of woman was the Duchesse de Fleury, with whom Lisette formed an intimate friendship. The Duchess, ne Aime de Coigny, was a true type of the women of a certain set at the old French court, and her history was one [98] only possible just at the time in which it took place.

The Comte de Provence, his brother, remarks in his souvenirs: The court did not like Louis XVI., he was too uncongenial to its ways, and he did not know how to separate himself from it, and to draw nearer to the people, for there are times when a sovereign ought to know how to choose between one and the other. What calamities my unfortunate brother would have spared himself and his family, if he had known how to hold with a firm hand the sceptre Providence had entrusted to him. [84]

CHAPTER III