These things are impossible. I shall never believe they meditate such atrocities. A rose does not seem to me particularly barbarous. But who do you give it to?

They were in the habit of spending part of every summer at tioles, with M. le Normand, fermier gnral des postes, husband of Mme. de Pompadour, then the mistress of Louis XV. After one of these visits, when Flicit was about six years old, it having been decided to obtain for her and for one of her little cousins admission into the order of chanoinesses of the Noble Chapter of Alix; the two children with their mothers travelled in an immense travelling-carriage called a berline, to Lyon, where they were detained for a fortnight, during which the Comtes de Lyon examined the genealogical proofs of their noble descent. Finding them correct and sufficient for their admission into the order, they proceeded to Alix, at some distance from Lyon; where, with the huge abbey and church in the centre were, grouped, in the form of a semi-circle, the tiny houses, each with its [353] little garden, which were the dwellings of the chanoinesses.

Next came her twin sister, Henriette, from whom she had parted almost heart-broken, when she reluctantly left France for Parma. Henriette was the Kings favourite daughter, the best and most charming of all the princesses. Lovely, gentle, and saintly, the Duc de Chartres [61] was deeply in love with her and she with him. The King was disposed to allow the marriage, but was dissuaded by Cardinal Fleury. If the Infanta had been in question she would have got her own way, but Henriette was too yielding and submissive. She died at twenty-five years of age, of the small-pox, so fatal to her race (1752) to the great grief of the court and royal family, and especially of the King, by whom she was adored.

Mme. Le Brun found Lady Hamilton, as she became shortly afterwardsthough extraordinarily beautifulignorant, ill-dressed, without esprit or conversation, ill-natured, and spiteful in her way of talking about other people, the only topic she seemed capable of discussing. She herself enjoyed Naples, as she did every other pleasant episode in her delightful life. From the loggia opening out of her bedroom she looked down into an orange garden; from her windows she could see constantly some picturesque or beautiful scene. The costumes of the washerwomen who gathered round the fountain, peasant girls dancing the tarantella, the fiery torches of the fishermen scattered over the bay at night, all the life and colour and incident of southern life spread like a panorama before her; and often she would go out in a boat by moonlight or starlight upon the calm sea, looking back upon the town rising like an amphitheatre from the waters edge. We! friends! Allons donc!