formerly shout her southern contract
for paintings in the Austrian, appealed to this
gentleman to conduct the young wife through the picture-galleries.
In short, every opportunity was given the young countess to commit a
folly, or rather three follies, for she did not like to give the
preference to any one of the three strangers. She was young, and
inexperienced in matters of this kind. Her triple intrigue was,
therefore, soon discovered, and betrayed to her family; and now husband,
step-father, and step-mother, were exasperated. This exceeded even the
demands of their royalism; and they showered reproaches on the head of
the young wife.
"It is not my fault!" cried she, sobbing. "I only did what you
commanded. You ordered me to do everything in my power to entertain
these gentlemen, and I could therefore refuse them nothing."
But there were also cases in which the advances of the enthusiastic
ladies of the Faubourg St. Germain were repelled. Even the high-born and
haughty Marquise M---- was to experience this mortification. She stepped
before the sullen, sombre veterans of the Old Guard of the empire, who
had just allowed Count d'Artois to pass before their ranks in dead
silence. She ardently appealed to their love for the dynasty of their
fathers, and, in her enthusiasm for royalism, went so far as to offer
herself as a reward to him who should first cry _"Vive le roi!"_ But the
faithful soldiers of the emperor stood unmoved by this generous offer,
and the silence remained unbroken by the lowest cry!
The princes who stood at the head of the allied armies were, of course,
the objects of the most ardent enthusiasm of the royalist ladies; but it
was, above all, with them that they found the least encouragement. The
Emperor of Austria was too much occupied with the future of his daughter
and grandson, and the King of Prussia was too grave and severe, to find
any pleasure in the coquetries of women. The young Emperor Alexander of
Russia, therefore, became the chief object of their en