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Not so the Duchess, his wife. Brought up first in a convent and then under the care of her father, whose household, like those of many of the noblesse de robe, was regulated by a strictness and gravity seldom to be seen amongst the rest of the French nobles, Mme. dAyen cared very little for society, and preferred to stay at home absorbed in religious duties, charities, and domestic affairs, while her husband amused himself as he chose.

Their carriage never came, so Mme. de Genlis had to take them home in hers, which appeared about two oclock, and it was half-past three when she arrived at the h?tel de Puisieux, where everybody was up and in a fever of anxiety, thinking she was killed, for they knew what she did not, that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of persons had perished.

The four women who were her most intimate friends, and were always to be found at her parties, were the Marquise de Grollier, Mme. de Verdun, the Marquise de Sabran, and Mme. le Couteux du Molay. Of the rest of her numerous acquaintances [52] she would ask a few at a time to the suppers she constantly gave. People arrived about nine oclock, they amused themselves with conversation, music, or acting charades, supper was at ten and was extremely simple. As it was not considered necessary to give costly entertainments on every occasion, people of moderate and small fortune were able to receive and amuse their friends as often as they liked, without half-ruining themselves. A dish of fish, a chicken, a salad, and a dish of vegetables was the supper Mme. Le Brun usually provided for the twelve or fifteen people who were her guests, but those who went to these parties really amused themselves.

Many cases there were of romantic devotion and loyalty, by which the property of a family had been partly saved for the owners by their faithful servants. Such was the story of the Marquis de , whose castle was burnt, and who with his wife perished in the flames. Their two boys managed to escape, but not together. One took refuge in England; the other in Germany, neither of them knowing of the existence of the other. The Princess had therefore, as soon as she could get away from Austria, joined her uncles and aunts and married the Duc dAngoulme, concentrating all her affection upon those remaining members of her family, who received her with the deepest joy and tenderness.

Why? answered she contemptuously; because I know to what fate you condemn kings!