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      For she was as much loved as he was detested. German though she was she identified herself with the nation whose crown she wore, she carried on the traditions of Peter the Great and Elizabeth; made friends of the church, the army, and the nobles, and yet had prudence enough to avoid by any open defiance hastening the vengeance of Peter, who, in spite of the warnings of the King of Prussia, despised his enemies, disbelieved in his unpopularity, and occupied himself with projects for adopting as his heir the unfortunate Ivan VI., whom Elizabeth had dethroned and imprisoned, disowning his son, divorcing his wife, and marrying the Countess Woronsoff. Whilst he loitered away his time with the latter at Oranienbaum, the conspiracy broke forth; headed by the brothers Orloff, five men of gigantic stature, powerful and capable in mind and body. They were all in the Guards, and succeeded in bringing over that and six other regiments. Catherine and one of her ladies left the palace in a cart disguised as peasants, then, changing into officers uniforms, arrived at the barracks, where Catherine was hailed with enthusiasm by soldiers, clergy, and people as Catherine II., Empress of all the Russias. [45]CHAPTER XI.

      She was very tired when she went home at four o'clock, just on the edge of dusk herepitch dark, no doubt, in London and other great cities, where the poor, pinched faces were flitting to and fro in the fitful glare of the butcher's gas, intent on finding a Christmas joint to fit the slenderest resources. Here, in this quiet valley, the reflected sun-glow still brightened sky, sea, land, and river, and the lamps had not yet been lighted in hall or drawing-room at the Angler's Nest.

      "Rome! I should like to see Rome before I die, Martin; if it were not too troublesome for you"

      "Good night," he said; "good night. You will change your mind, won't you, Mrs. Disney? It is not in one so gentle as you to be inflexible about such a trifle. Say that you will honour our ball."You have reason to curse your mother, for it is she who causes your being an ill-governed fellow. I had a preceptor, continued he, who was an honest man. I remember always a story which he told me in his youth. There was a man at Carthage who had been condemned to die for many crimes he had committed. While they were leading him to execution he desired he might speak to his mother. They brought his mother. He came near, as if to whisper something to her, and bit away a piece of her ear. I treat you thus, said he, to make you an example to all parents who take no heed to bring up their children in the practice of virtue. Make the application, continued he, always addressing my brother; and, getting no answer57 from him, he again set to abusing us till he could speak no longer.

      M. de Beaune, who came later on to take a farewell look at the ruined home of his ancestors, chose part of it to furnish the house he had bought to make his home at Lyons. He also found an old carriage in which he departed to that city. The property of the Marchal de Noailles, who died in 1793, had all been confiscated and sold, except some remains which were swallowed up by creditors. All that remained was the ruined castle of Noailles, which Pauline would never sell, though after her father had placed it in her hands she was offered two thousand cus for it. Mme. de Tess bought a charming house, which was always filled with her nephews, nieces, and friends, and though again she had plenty of cows, she no longer had occasion to sell the milk. As she grew older her ideas became more devout and her faith stronger, to the great consolation of her nieces, especially of her favourite Pauline.

      It was only to be expected that her brilliant success, both professional and social, would expose Lisette to a considerable amount of gossip, scandal, and jealousy, the usual penalty of distinction of any kind; and she was constantly being annoyed by some false accusation or preposterous story being circulated about her.

      The young Comte de Beaujolais, in the innocence [427] of his soul, has always remained a Bourbon, and this amiable boy feels a tender sympathy for my misfortunes. The other day he sent me in secret a person named Alexandre, a valet de chambre of good education. This worthy man, whose open expression impressed me in his favour, knelt down when he came near me, wiped away some tears and gave me a letter from the young prince, in which I found the most touching words and the purest sentiments. The good Alexandre begged me to keep this a profound secret, and told me that the Comte de Beaujolais often talked of escaping from his father and dying in arms for the defence of his King.




      "You don't like the elder Miss Crowther?" speculated the colonel.He had risen from his low seat, and she rose involuntarily at the sound of the opening bars. He put his arm round her gently, and drew her into the ball-room, waltzing slowly as they went, and then, with the sudden impetus of an enthusiastic dancer, he was whirling her round the room, and she know nothing, cared for nothing, in the confusion of light and melody.


      M. L began to hesitate and stammer, while his hostess continued to question him; and Mme. Le Brun, coming out from behind the curtain, said