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      Have as much prudence as I will have courage, but calm your head.If religious processions, and splendid carriages with six or eight horses preceded by piqueurs, were no longer to be seen in the streets, neither were mobs of drunken, howling, bloodthirsty ruffians, who would have been made short work of by the great First Consul who so firmly held the reins which had dropped from the feeble hands of Louis XVI.

      The Prince of Ligne, a very accomplished courtier, about this566 time visited the sick and dying king. During his brief stay he dined daily with the king, and spent his evenings with him. In an interesting account which he gives of these interviews, he writes:I was shut up in my bedchamber, where I saw nobody, and continued always to fast. I was really dying of hunger. I read as long as there was daylight, and made remarks upon what I read. My health began to give way. I became as thin as a skeleton from want of food and exercise. One day Madam De Sonsfeld and myself were at table, looking sadly at one another, having nothing to eat but soup made with salt and water, and a ragout of old bones, full of hairs and other dirt, when we heard a knocking at the window. Surprised, we rose hastily to see what it was. We found a raven with a morsel of bread in its beak, which it laid down on the sill of the window so soon as it saw us, and flew away. Tears came into our eyes at this adventure. Our lot is very deplorable, said I to my governess, since it even touches the creatures devoid of reason. They have more compassion for us than men, who treat us with so much cruelty.


      My dear Voltaire,You wish to know what I have been about since leaving Berlin. Annexed you will find a description of it. I am just arrived here after cruel and frightful marchings. There is nothing desperate in all that. I believe the noise and disquietude this hurly-burly has caused will be the worst of it. Show this letter to every body, that it may be known that the state is not undefended. I have made about one thousand prisoners from Haddick.132 All his meal-wagons have been taken. Finck,133 I believe, will keep an eye on him. This is all I can say. To-morrow I march to within two leagues of Frankfort. Katte must instantly send me two hundred tons of meal and one hundred bakers. I am very tired. For six nights I have not closed an eye. Farewell.

      Mme. de Genlis put Mademoiselle dOrlans into mourning, telling her that it was for the Queen, which she must of course wear, and it was some time before she discovered the truth.


      The finest day of life is the day on which one quits it.177CHAPTER XXXV. LIFES CLOSING SCENES.


      Tallien, the member of the Assembly, the blood-stained popular leader, the pro-consul before whom every one trembled in Bordeaux, was five-and-twenty. The Marquise de Fontenay, who stood before him, knowing that her life was in his hands, was not yet twenty.


      The brothers went out shooting; there were visits, dances, village ftes; they dressed up, wrote verses, acted plays, and went to see the Rosire, an institution which, in this century, would be an impossibility, and which even then many people were beginning to find silly and useless, as may be shown by the remarks of a M. de Matigny, a magistrate and bailli, who was staying in the house for some theatricals, and whom they tried to persuade to stop another day.