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She sent her boy to America under the name of Motier, to be brought up under the care of Washington, and then went to Auvergne to see her old aunt, fetch her daughters, and settle her affairs; she had borrowed some money from the Minister of the United States and some diamonds from Rosalie, and had bought back her husbands chateau [253] of Chavaniac with the help of the aunt who had brought him up, and who remained there.

Bonjour, Proven?al, [88] he said. You are looking very well, and that is so much the better, ma foi! for it has never been of more importance to you. You are going to be married.

[377]

Donnez-nous les chemises The pavilion of Mme. Du Barry had been sacked by the Revolutionists, only the walls were standing, while the palaces of Marly, Sceaux, and Bellevue had entirely disappeared.

To gain time in those days was often to gain everything.

If the cruel, unjust marriage laws of England, which until a few years ago were in force, had been universally and fully carried out, making the husband an almost irresponsible tyrant and the wife a helpless, hopeless slave, domestic life would have been hell upon earth. But as the great majority of men had no wish to ill-treat their wives, confiscate their money, deprive them of their children or commit any of the atrocities sanctioned by the laws of their country, families upon the whole went on in harmony and affection. It was only now and then, when a man did wish to avail himself of the arbitrary power placed in his hands, that the results of such iniquitous laws were brought before the public. At the same time, however, the knowledge of their existence and the tone of thought, prejudices, and customs which consequently prevailed, had an influence upon men who were not the least tyrannically inclined, but merely acted in accordance with the ideas and opinions of every one around them.

He carried on an open liaison with the Countess Woronsoff, while Catherine, who regarded him with dislike and repugnance, consoled herself with Prince Soltikoff, the hero of Russia from his victory over Frederic the Great, King of Prussia, and then with Prince Stanislas Poniatowski.

While Louise and Adrienne were still children projects of marriage for them were, of course, discussed, and they were only about thirteen and fourteen when two sons-in-law were approved of and accepted by their parents, with the condition that the proposed arrangements should not be communicated to the young girls for a year, during which they would be allowed often to meet and become well acquainted with their future husbands.

In 1808 and 1809 Mme. Le Brun travelled in Switzerland, with which she was enraptured; after which she bought a country house at Louveciennes, [155] where in future she passed the greater part of the year, only spending the winter in Paris.