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While she was at Romainville there was a most awful storm, the sky which had become deep yellow with black clouds of alarming appearance, seemed to open and pour forth flash after flash of lightning, accompanied by deafening thunder and enormous hailstones, which ravaged the country for forty leagues round Paris. Pale and trembling, Mme. de [80] Sgur and Mme. Le Brun sat looking at each other in terror, fancying that they saw in the awful tempest raging around them, the beginning of the fearful times whose approach they now foresaw.

In April, 1794, they were sent to the Luxembourg where they found the de Mouchy, who had been there five months, and who were lodged in a room over the one in which the Marchale de Mouchy was born. They had also been married at that palace. The three de Noailles were put in the room above them.

Madame?when Talleyrand heard and interposed.

The Marchale dEtre, daughter of M. de Puisieux, died, and left all her large fortune, not to the spendthrift Marquis de Genlis, but to the Count, who, finding himself now very rich, wished to retire from the Palais Royal and live on his estates, and tried to induce his wife to accompany him. He said with truth that her proper and natural place [412] was with him, and he tried by all means in his power to persuade her to do what one would suppose a person constantly talking of duty, virtue, self-sacrifice, and the happiness of retirement, would not have hesitated about. Many such undoubtedly there were; the laws [9] were terribly oppressive, the privileges of the favoured classes outrageously unjust; while as for public opinion, Barbier himself remarks that the public is a fool, and must always be unworthy of the consideration of any man. The infatuation of Barras for her began also to cool. He left off going to her as at one time to [342] consult her about everything. If he wished to see her, or she to see him, she must go to him at the Luxembourg.

There was no time to lose; the furniture, &c., was sold at a loss, they packed up in haste, found a carriage with great difficulty, and on a cold, bright day in December they set off, they knew not whither.