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After this Flicit and her husband returned to Genlis, where they spent the summer with the Marquis and the wife he had recently married.

A crowd began to gather, and he went on in a loud voice Josphine, now the wife of Napoleon, and head of society in Paris, had not forgotten her, and was anxious to receive her at court, but this Napoleon would not allow, greatly to the disappointment and sorrow of them both.

Quite another sort of woman was the Duchesse de Fleury, with whom Lisette formed an intimate friendship. The Duchess, ne Aime de Coigny, was a true type of the women of a certain set at the old French court, and her history was one [98] only possible just at the time in which it took place. But one day she received a letter from her aunt, Mme. de Tess, inviting her to come and live with her at Lowernberg in the canton of Fribourg.

[56]

But still, in all ages human nature is the same, and has to be reckoned with under all circumstances, and that people in general are much better than the laws which govern them is evident.

The young Comte de Genlis had left the navy, by the advice of M. de Puisieux, who had got him made a Colonel of the Grenadiers de France. [113] He had only a small estate worth about four hundred a year and the prospect of a share in the succession to the property of his grandmother, the Marquise de [368] Dromnil, who was eighty-seven and lived at Reims.

Overcome with emotion at first they looked at each other in silence; then, in a voice broken with sobs, Pauline asked, Did you see them?

I particularly wished to see you, to warn you that you must take great care that your future wife never forgets what will be due from her to the Dauphine. Their two houses are divided, but all rivalry must be forgotten here, which would disturb the tranquillity of Versailles, and would supremely displease me. I know that you have sense beyond your age, therefore I flatter myself that you will not [278] do, nor allow to be done, anything with regard to the Dauphine which might displease her. Besides, your brother would not suffer it; he loves his wife, and is determined that she shall be respected as she deserves. Keep watch, therefore, upon yours; in fact, see that things go on in such a manner that I am not obliged to interfere.

Alexander, afterwards Alexander I., resembled his mother in beauty and charm of character; but Constantine was like his father, whose eccentric, gloomy disposition seemed to foreshadow the fate which lay before him. His strange, unbalanced nature alternated between good and evil; capricious and violent, he was yet capable of kindness and generosity.