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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

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      They all lived in the garden in that happy summer season, as they had done the year before, when Allegra first came among them. It was in the garden they received their visitors, and it was there that Mr. Colfox came at least thrice a week, upon the flimsiest pretexts of parish business, to drink tea poured out for him by Allegra's helpful hands, while Isola sat quietly by, listening to their talk, and watching every change in her child's face; from smiles to frowns, from slumber to waking.


      The state and power of some of these abbesses, and the comfortable, cheerful security of their lives at that time made the position much sought after. It was a splendid provision for the daughters of great houses, and a happy life enough if they did not wish to marry. The following anecdote is given by Mme. de Crquy, and, although it happened rather earlier in the eighteenth century, perhaps forty or fifty years before the time now in question, it is so characteristic of the state of things that still prevailed that it may not be out of place to give it.


      M. de Sillery, M. Ducrest, and the Duc de Chartres went with them to the frontier of Belgium; and they arrived safely at Tournay, where they were followed by Lord Edward Fitzgerald, who was eager to marry Pamela. And now, as before, he was the successful rival of Sheridan, whom [435] she threw over for his sake. They were married at Tournay and departed to England, where she was received with great kindness by his family.

      On entering the park the cocked turbans of the bodyguard again reminded us of the hats of the French Guards.Allegra gave a little scream, and almost dropped her cup.


      "Oh, that would be horribletoo horrible. But I will confess to him; I will tell him everythingon my deathbed. Yes, when life is ebbing, when the end is close, I will tell him. He shall know what a false and perjured creature I am. I swore to himswore before God that I was true and faithfulthat I loved him and no other. And it was true, absolute truth, when I took that oath. My sin was a thing of the past. I had loved another, and I had let my love lead me into sin. And then my husband asked me if[Pg 267] I had been true and pure always; always. 'Is that true, Isola? I call upon God to hear your answer,' he said. And I answered yes, it was true. I lied before God rather than lose my husband's love; and God heard me, and the blight of His anger has been upon me ever since, withering and consuming me."And Barras pleased her. His distinguished appearance and manners contrasted with those of her present surroundings, and recalled the days when she lived amongst people who were polite and well-bred, knew how to talk and eat and enter a drawing-room, and behave when they were in it; and who wore proper clothes and did not call each other citoyen, or any other ridiculous names, and conversation was delightful, and scenes and memories of blood and horror unknown. It may well have been at this time that she began to yearn after that former existence she had been so rashly eager to throw away.

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      We visited a temple where the natives treasure the couch of the Guru Ram-Roy, a very holy and much venerated fakir.[Pg 118]

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      "I hardly know her well enough to like or dislike her. She is very handsome."

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      Beyond the outermost wall, when we had at last left it behind us, at the foot of the pile of terra-cotta-coloured bricks, were vast tanks of stagnant water, said to be inexhaustible. Near them was a shrine to Siva, with two small idols hung with yellow flowers, where an old Hindoo was praying devoutly; and then through a park of giant trees, and shrubs bright with strange blossoms, over which the parrots flew screaming.I was of no party, she writes, but that of religion. I desired the reform of certain abuses, and I saw with joy the demolition of the Bastille, the abolition of lettres de cachet, and droits de chasse. That was all I wanted, my politics did not go farther than that. At the same time no one saw with more grief and horror than I, the excesses committed from the first moments of the taking of the Bastille.... The desire to let my pupils see everything led me on this occasion into imprudence, and caused me to spend some hours in Paris to see from the Jardin de Beaumarchais the people of Paris demolishing the Bastille. I also had a curiosity to see the Cordeliers Club.... I went there and I saw the orators, cobblers, and porters with their wives and mistresses, mounting the tribune and shouting against nobles, priests, and rich people.... I remarked a fishwoman.... This pretty spectacle to which she was said to have taken her pupils, was, of course, approved of by the Duke of Orlans, who made the Duc de Chartres a member of the Jacobin Club, by the wish of the Duc dOrlans, assuredly not by mine; but, however, it must be remembered that that society was not then what it afterward became, [416] although its sentiments were already very exaggerated. However, it was a pretext employed to estrange the Duchess of Orlans from me.


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