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The Comtes de Provence and dArtois and their wives had got safely over the frontier to Brussels, but the news of the flight and capture of the King, Queen and royal family, came upon them like a thunderbolt. Again it was probable that the fiasco was caused by Louis XVI. Not only had he deferred the flight till it was nearly impossible to accomplish it, but he persisted in their all going together, instead of allowing the party to be divided; if he had consented to which, some of them at least might have been saved. It does not seem really at [221] all impossible that the Dauphin might have been smuggled out of the kingdom, but their being so many diminished fearfully their chance of escape. Then he kept the carriage waiting for an hour or more when every moment was precious. The whole thing was mismanaged. The time necessary for the journey had been miscalculated. Goguelat went round a longer way with his hussars; they ought to have been at a certain place to meet the royal family, who, when they arrived at the place appointed, found no one. After the arrest at Varennes a message might have been sent to M. Bouill, who was waiting further on, and would have arrived in time to deliver them. Such, at any rate, was the opinion of persons who had every opportunity of judging of this calamitous failure. [80] Madame Elizabeth, who might have been in security with her sister at the court of Turin, where their aunts had safely arrived, had stayed to share the captivity and death of the King and Queen.

The Marquis de la Salle was more than eighty years old, and had been Lieutenant-General and Governor of Alsace; he was now looked upon with [240] the utmost deference by all the emigrs around. His whole family were with him, except one son, who was with the army of Cond; wife, children, single and married, and grandchildren. They received M. de Montagu with great kindness and affection and wanted also to keep Pauline; but as, though not beggared, they were poor and obliged to economise and work to gain sufficient money for so large a household, she would only stay there a fortnight; then, taking a sorrowful leave of her husband, she went on to her aunt, Mme. de Tess.

The last time Mme. Le Brun saw the Queen was at the last ball given at Versailles, which took place in the theatre, and at which she looked on from one of the boxes. She observed with indignation the rudeness of some of the young Radical nobles; they refused to dance when requested to do so by the Queen, whose agitation and uneasiness were only too apparent. The demeanour of the populace was becoming every day more ferocious and alarming; the drives and streets were scarcely safe for any but the lower classes. At a concert given by Mme. Le Brun, most of the guests came in with looks of consternation. They had been driving earlier in the day to Longchamps, and as they passed the barrire de ltoile, a furious mob had surrounded and insulted everybody who passed in carriages. Villainous looking faces pressed close to them, horrible figures climbed on to the steps of the carriages, crying out, with infamous threats and brutal language, that next year they should be in the carriages and the owners behind them.

Pauline and her aunt were extremely fond of each other, though their ideas did not agree at all. Mme. de Tess adored La Fayette, and the deplorable result of his theories from which they were all suffering so severely did not prevent her admiring them.

Since the departure of Mlle. de Mars the vanity and thirst for admiration fostered by her mothers foolish education had greatly increased, but between Mme. de Saint-Aubin and her daughter, though there was affection, there was neither ease nor confidence; the young girl was afraid of her mother, but adored her father. The society into which she was thrown formed her character at an early age, and the artificial, partly affected, partly priggish tone which is apparent in all her voluminous writings detracted from the charm of her undoubtedly brilliant talents.

At length she did so, and M. de Kercy, flinging himself upon her neck, exclaimed