All this is not of good omen, said the King, his grandfather, and I dont know how it can have happened that I have made him Duc de Berri; it is an unlucky name. [58] The Revolution had begun indeed, and was advancing at a fearful rate. The King and Queen, seeing the danger they were all in, at this time thought of escaping from Versailles. The Queen told Mme. de Tourzel to make preparations quietly to start. Had they done so it might probably have saved them all, but the King changed his mind and they stayed. [78]

A man full of good qualities, brave, disinterested, honourable, a good husband, father, and friend, full of enthusiastic plans and aspirations for the regeneration of society and the improvement of everybody, La Fayette was a failure. He did more harm than good, for, like many other would-be popular leaders, he had gifts and capacity enough to excite and arouse the passions of the populace, but not to guide or control them.

Each of the princesses had her own household, and when mere children they gave balls and received the ambassadors. It was the custom that in the absence of the King, Queen, and Dauphin, the watchword should be given to the sentinel by the eldest princess present. On one occasion when this was Madame Adla?de, her governess, then the Duchesse de Tallard, complained to Cardinal Fleury that it was not proper for the princess, being a young girl, to whisper in a mans ear. The Cardinal spoke to the King, who decided that although Madame Adla?de must still give the consigne, she [171] should first ask her governess the name of which saint she was to say. Most of the servants were bribed by the Jacobins to spy upon their masters, and knew much better than they what was going on in France. Many of [111] them used to go and meet the courrier who told them much more than was contained in the letters he brought. After having lived two years and a half in Italy, chiefly in Rome, Mme. Le Brun began to think of returning to France.

In the convent they were safe and at peace, except for another illness of Mademoiselle dOrlans, which left her so weak that Mme. de Genlis was afraid to tell her of the execution of her father in the November of 1794. She persuaded her not to read the French papers, telling her they were full of blasphemies and indecencies not fit for her to see. She had already received news of the execution of her husband, M. de Sillery, by which she was prostrated for a time.