话剧《黄大年》在长春人民艺术剧场上演

VOLUMES of denunciation, torrents of execration have been and are still poured forth against the Bastille, the tyranny and cruelty it represented, the vast number and terrible fate of the prisoners confined there and the arbitrary, irresponsible power of which it was the instrument.

At the barrier came the parting with those she was leaving in the midst of perils. When they would meet again, if they ever did at all, it was impossible to guess. In Mme. de Genlis we have a fourth and more complex type, a character in which good and evil were so mingled that it was often hard to say which predominated. With less beauty than the other three but singularly attractive, with extraordinary gifts and talents, with noble blood and scarcely any fortune, she spent a childhood of comparative poverty at her fathers chateau, where she was only half educated, and at seventeen married the young Comte de Genlis, who had no money but was related to most of the great families of the kingdom.

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.

All this was a certainty supposing he had possessed the most moderate talents, and behaved with common decency. But at seventeen he was already notorious, even at the court of Louis XV., for his vicious life; an incorrigible gambler, and over head and ears in debt. His guardian reproached him, and his debts were paid, but the same thing kept happening until, when he was twenty years old, he lost in one night five hundred thousand francs, his debts besides amounting to another hundred thousand. I do not vote for his death; first, because he does not deserve it; secondly, because we have no right to judge him; thirdly, because I look upon his condemnation as the greatest political fault that could be committed. He ended his letter by saying that he knew quite well that he had signed his own death-warrant, and, beside himself [436] with horror and indignation, he actually went to the Abbaye and gave himself up as a prisoner. It was the act of a madman, for he might very likely have escaped, and his wife consoled herself with the idea that as there was nothing against him he would only suffer a short imprisonment.

Of the Dauphine, Marie-Josphe de Saxe, as well as of his father, their son the Comte de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII., writes in his Memoirs as follows: His pure soul could not rest on this earth, his crown was not of this world, and he died young. France had to mourn the premature death of a prince, who, if he had lived might perhaps have saved the kingdom from the catastrophe of a blood-stained revolution, and his family from exile and the scaffold.

Always eager to marry his officers, he was often very peremptory about it.

It was in the days when the Queen was giving ftes at Trianon, when the court quarrelled about the music of Gluck and Piccini, and listened to the marvels related by the Comte de Saint-Germain, when every one talked about nature, and philosophy, and virtue, and the rights of man, while swiftly and surely the Revolution was drawing near.

It was decided that the three sisters should meet at Viane, where Pauline and her husband went, with post-horses provided by Mme. de Tess. It was eight years since Pauline and Rosalie had met, and Pauline said it was a foretaste of Heaven.