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change in her health, the effects of which she experienced long after her daughter's convalescence. As she suffered considerably from a pulmonary affection, her physicians prescribed the use of the Bristol waters, and having consigned her
eldest daughter to the care of her mother-in-law, she departed for England, accompanied by her second daughter, Natalie, who was then in her thirteenth year. During her residence at Bristol, Madame de Genlis adopted her interesting protegée Pamela, of whom frequent mention is made in her writings, and who was afterwards married to lord Edward Fitzgerald.
On her return from her first visit to England, the duke d'Orleans, then duke de Chartres, eagerly embraced the opportunity of placing his children under the superintendence of the accomplished and beautiful countess de Genlis. During her retirement in the convent of Bellechasse, she had written several moral and entertaining dramatic pieces, which her children performed successfully in the presence of the duchess de Chartres. She published the three first volumes of her plays in 1779, under the title of Theatre for the use of young persons, or Theatre of Education, and the three last volumes appeared in January 1780. Among the most esteemed of these little dramas we may mention, La bonne Mere la Rosiere de Salency, le Magistrat, la Marchande de Modes, and la Colombe. The latter contains images worthy the graceful touch of a Guido, or an Albano; the celebrated Buffon, after having perused it, addressed the following letter to the authoress, which has been quoted as highly complimentary, but which is, nevertheless, somewhat hyperbolical:
' I am no longer a lover of nature, I leave her for you, Madam, who have done more, and are worthy of higher admiration. Nature only forms bodies, but you create souls. Were mine of your happy creation, I should possess the powers of pleasing, which I now want, and you would be pleased with my infidelity. Pardon, Madam, this moment of transport and love. I will now speak reasonably
Your charming Theatre has afforded me as much pleasure as though I were of the age to which it is dedicated. Old and young, high and low, all must study those delightful pictures in which the virtues acquired by education, triumph over vice and folly. Every line bears the stamp of your heavenly mind. It appears in every scene under a different emblem, and clothed in the purest morality. Your pen is guided by a perfect knowledge of human nature, by all the charms of wit and the graces of style; and though you have not spoken of God, yet you nevertheless make me believe in angels. You are one whom heaven has most highly endowed. In that quality, I beg you will receive my adoration; and no mortal can offer it with more sincerity.'
In the same year (1780) Madame de Genlis quitted the convent of Bellechasse, and retired to a charming country house, at Berey, accompanied by Mesdemoiselles d'Orleans and de Char
tres, where she continued her literary labours with the greatest success.
The Theatre of Education was followed by The Annals of Vir. tue, Adelaide and Théodore, Tales of the Castle, and other works of the same kind, forming successively twenty-two volumes, the sole end of which is to adorn the understanding and form the hearts of young persons by interesting and amusing them at the same time.
Notwithstanding her numerous literary occupations and the important functions of a duty of which she acquitted herself with the most scrupulous fidelity, Madame de Genlis neglected no opportunity of serving those who stood in need of her assistance. She rescued from indigence the two grand nephews of Racine, and procured for them a pension from the duke d'Orleans; and the Marques de Ducrest, her brother, having had the misfortune to lose his wife in the year 1781, she undertook the education of his son, who was then only five years
This is the young man whose premature death she laments in her preface to the last edition of the Tales of the Castle.
Such were the occupations of Madame de Genlis until the commencement of a revolution, the horrors of which plunged her country in ruin, and which spread its evils to the remotest corner of the civilized world. Foreseeing the misfortunes that awaited France, as soon as the States General was convoked, in 1789, Madame de Genlis anxiously wished to retire with her pupils to Nice. This step met with the approval of her family; but she subsequently abandoned the design, on consideration that her departure might weaken the credit of the house of Orleans, and she was too fondly attached to her pupils to be induced to separate from them by any consideration of personal safety or advantage.
Meanwhile it was proposed that she should proceed to England; but from time to time, various causes occasioned the journey to be postponed. At length it was fixed in the year 1790, but on the eve of her departure, M. de Valence, her son-in-law, brought her the unexpected intelligence that the duke of Orleans had himself set out for England during the night. Thus Madame de Genlis was once more compelled to renounce her design, for the departure of the father would undoubtedly have occasioned the arrest of the children, had they attempted to quit France at that time.
The duke was absent nearly a year. A few months after his return, Madame de Genlis resigned the situation of governess to his children, and made a tour through several of the French provinces which she had not before visited. She soon however received letters informing her that Mademoiselle d'Orleans was dangerously ill, and entreated that she would return to Paris, without loss of time. Madame de Genlis yielded to her solicitations; and the state in which she found the young princess induced her to resume her situation; but on the express condition that she should immediately depart for England with her pupil.
In October, 1791, she left Paris, accompanied by Mademoiselle d'Orleans and two other young ladies, and she soon reached England in safety. She first spent three months at Bath, and next fixed her abode at Bury St. Edmunds, where she remained nine months, at the expiration of which she visited several parts of Great Britain. During one of her excursions, in 1792, she visited the delightful cottage of Llangollen in Wales, the residence of lady Elinor Butler and Miss Ponsonby, of which she gives so interesting a description in her Souvenirs de Felicie.
On her return to London in September following, Madame de Genlis received a letter from the duke of Orleans, enjoining her to return to Paris without delay, on account of the decrees issued against the emigrants by the National Convention.
Madame de Genlis no sooner reached Paris than she restored Mademoiselle d'Orleans to the care of her father, and resigned her charge of governess: but on the day following, she and her pupil were placed on the list of emigrants, and received orders to quit Paris in forty-eight hours, and to retire from the French territory. She then resolved to return to England in quest of that repose which her own country denied her: but the duke of Orleans could not be prevailed on to permit his daughter to accompany her. However, no waiting-maid could be procured to follow Mademoiselle d'Orleans in her exile, through the fear of being placed on the list of emigrants, and the duke conjured Madame de Genlis to accompany the young princess to Flanders, and to remain with her three or four weeks at Tournay, until he could engage a proper person to supply her place.
On reaching Tournay, Madame de Genlis determined seriously to prepare for her departure for England. Three weeks after her arrival at Tournay, Pamela, her adopted daughter, was married to lord Edward Fitzgerald; but as the person promised by the duke had not arrived, Madame de Genlis was unable to set out with the new married pair as she had at first proposedl.
About a month after their departure, her husband, who at the commencement of the revolution had taken the title of Marquess of Sillery, communicated to her from Paris, the dreadful catastrophe which terminated the life of the unfortunate Louis XVI. She immediately dispatched a faithful messenger, conjuring him to quit France: but he declared in answer, that he would never abandon his native country, adding, that the events to which he was then a witness, augmented his indifference for an existence which the crimes of his fellow-citizens rendered odious. M. de Sillery remained in Paris though he had every opportunity of escaping; but so far from thinking of concealment when he learnt that he was proscribed by the sanguinary Robespierre and his ad. herents, he voluntarily surrendered himself, and shortly afterwards perished on the scaffold. His last instructions to his unfortunate wife were, that she should retire either to Ireland or Switzerland; but a serious indisposition by which Mademoiselle d'Orleans was seized, prevented Madame de Genlis from observing the prudent counsel of her ill-fated husband.
Mademoiselle d'Orleans had no attendant except Madame de Genlis and her niece. Her convalescence was extremely slow, and at the expiration of four weeks she experienced a relapse. In this situation Madame de Genlis could not think of leaving her. Meanwhile Flanders was united to France: General Dumouriez arrive ed at Tournay, and though he had no knowledge either of Madame de Genlis or Mademoiselle d'Orleans, yet he felt interested for their unfortunate situation. To have remained at Tournay, where the Austrians were momentarily expected, would have been in the last degree imprudent; and their return to France must have exposed them to certain death. Dumouriez offered them an asylum in his camp. They followed the army, and procured a lodging at St. Amand, in the city, whilst the head-quarters were established at the Baths, about a mile distant; the defection of Dumouriez was however declared the day after their arrival at St. Amand. Dreading the consequences of this event, and fearing lest they should be included in the general list of fugitives, Ma. dame de Genlis determined to depart, without loss of time, for Mons, representing herself as an English woman, intending to proceed immediately to Switzerland, by way of Germany; and notwithstanding the urgent intreaties of M. de Chartres, she resolved to depart without Mademoiselle d'Orleans: however, at the very moment when she was stepping into the coach, M. de Chartres presented himself, with his sister, bathed in tears. Madame de Genlis could no longer resist her intreaties, she pressed her to her bosom, and they departed in such haste that they forgot to take with them Mademoiselle d'Orlean’s baggage, the whole of which was lost.
After encountering many dangers, they arrived. by cross-roads, at the Austrian posts, where they passed for two English ladies, and by that means obtained passports, and an escort to conduct them to Mons. Madame de Genlis was now assailed by a new misfortune. The day after her arrival at Mons, she discovered that Mademoiselle d'Orleans and her niece had both caught the measles; and being unable immediately to procure a nurse, she was obliged to attend on them herself, day and night. However, in the midst of this disaster, she enjoyed the consolation of have ing saved the life of Mademoiselle d'Orleans, who would infallibly have suffered for her brother's desertion, had she fallen into the hands of the French, The duke de Chartres after having fought against the enemies of his country, under Dumouriez, accompanied that general in his flight from St. Amand.
The delay occasioned by the fatal indisposition of the young ladies, afforded the Austrians time to discover that they were na. tives of France, but they nevertheless experienced the most gene, rous treatment. General Mack procured from the prince of Coburg passports which enabled them to proceed in safety through
Germany. Madame de Genlis left Mons on the 13th of April, 1793, though her young companions were still in a state of extreme debility, and they arrived safely at Schaffhausen, in Switzerland, on the 26th of the same month. There they were joined by the duke de Chartres, and they proceeded together to Zug, where they hired a house on the banks of the lake, at a short distance from the town.
Here, under assumed names, they enjoyed tranquillity, but for a short time; for M. de Chartres was soon recognized by the French emigrants, passing through the town. The magistrates, fearing lest they should incur the displeasure of the French government, politely urged the necessity of their seeking an asylum elsewhere. This unexpected occurrence convinced M. de Chartres that his presence must unavoidably prove fatal to his sister's safety, and he took leave of her to travel through Switzerland on foot. M. de Montesquieu generously procured Madame de Genlis and her two protegées a safe retreat in the convent of St. Clair, at Bremgarten, where they all three passed for Irish ladies returning from France, compelled by the troubled state of that country and the dangers of war, to return to their homes as soon as an opportunity should occur.
Madame de Genlis passed a year at Bremgarten in profound seclusion, devoting her whole attention to her pupil, and concealing from her the knowledge of her father's tragic death, which took place during their residence at the convent of St. Clair. Their days passed away in sadness, but not without occupation, until their repose was once more interrupted by the intrigues of their enemies, who at length forced them to quit Switzerland.
Madame de Genlis having determined to depart, began to think on the means of procuring some other place of refuge for Mademoiselle d'Orleans. She prevailed on her to write to the duke of Modena, her uncle, to request that he would receive her in his territory; but he replied, that political considerations prevented him from acceding to her solicitation. Madame de Genlis shortly after ascertained that the princess de Conti, her pupil's aunt, was in Switzerland, and residing at Friburgh. To her she advised Mademoiselle d'Orleans to appeal for protection, which the princess most readily granted, and at the expiration of a month, sent the countess de Pons St. Maurice to escort the young lady to Friburgh.
After this separation from her pupil, to whom Madame de Genlis was most sincerely attached, her residence at Bremgarten became irksome to her, notwithstanding the kind attention of the nuns, who proved themselves in every respect worthy of her gratitude and friendship. She quitted the convent on the 19th of May, 1794, accompanied by her niece, whom she placed under the protection of a respectable family in Holland, and thence she proceeded alone to Altona. There she remained unknown upwards of nine months, and having met her son-in-law, M. de Valence, at