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      And as to Mme. de Genlis, it appears more than probable that if she had followed the advice of Mme. de Custine, as she promised to do, and remained [393] at the h?tel de Puisieux she would still have been a great literary and social success and also a better and happier woman.



      Here was a terrible position. They had no maid, the manservant was a new one, the servants of the inn could do nothing to help as the inn was crowded; they could not get a doctor till the evening, or a nurse for four days. Mme. de Genlis, however, understood perfectly well how to treat them, and nursed them till they recovered.

      One night, about the middle of August, as the king was tossing restlessly upon his pillow, he sprang from his bed, exclaiming63 Eureka! I now see what will bring a settlement. Immediately a special messenger was dispatched, with terms of compromise, to Kannegiesser, the kings embassador at Hanover. We do not know what the propositions were. But the king was exceedingly anxious to avoid war. He had, in many respects, a very stern sense of justice, and would not do that which he considered to be wrong. When he abused his family or others he did not admit that he was acting unjustly. He assumed, and with a sort of fanatical conscientiousness, detestable as it was, that he was doing right; that they deserved the treatment. And now he earnestly desired peace, and was disposed to present the most honorable terms to avert a war.


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      He also had been Conseiller du parlement, first at Bordeaux, then at Paris; though by no means a young man, he was exceedingly handsome, fascinating, and a well-known viveur, added to which he was an inveterate gambler. It was said that when he was not running after some woman he was always at the card-table; in fact his reputation was atrocious. But his charming manners and various attractions won Trzias heart. Mme. de Boisgeloup wrote to Count Cabarrus, who was then in Madrid, saying that the Marquis de Fontenay wished to marry his daughter, and did not care whether she had any fortune or not; the wedding took place, and the young Marquise was installed at his chateau of Fontenay near Paris. [83]Before parting, after a month spent together, the three sisters composed a beautiful litany to be said by them in remembrance of their mother, sister, and grandmother. It opened with that sublime passage of scripture beginning with the words, The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God; there shall no torment touch them.

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      "Ifif you are not a very foolish person, and there is[Pg 207] any foundation for your absurd idea, Captain Hulbert will know where to find us. He can spread his wings and follow."


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