The emigrs were not likely to forget the murder of those dear to them, their long years of poverty and exile, and to see with patience their homes and possessions in the hands of strangers.

There was a violent scene between the two brothers, the Comte dArtois threatened to borrow the money he could not extort, and the King, after reproaching him for his conduct, ordered him to his own apartment, intending to punish him by means of a lettre de cachet. But then, as always, [203] the irresolution and weakness of Louis XVI. more than counterbalanced his good intentions.

De Valence was very handsome and a brave soldier; he emigrated but refused to fight against France; returned, obtained the favour of Napoleon, and retained that of Mme. de Montesson, who more than once paid his debts. He was supposed to be the son of a mistress whom his father adored, and to have been substituted for a dead child born to his fathers wife, who always suspected the truth, never would acknowledge him as her son, nor leave him more money than she could help doing as she had no other children. Grassini had sung at her London parties, and comparing these two great singers and actressesboth young, beautiful, and celebratedMme. Le Brun found that although the voice of Catalani was in its beauty and compass one of the most extraordinary ever known, Grassini had more expression.

In her altered state of mind Tallien was associated with all the horrors she longed to forget, and she began to wish to free herself from a marriage which in her eyes was only a contract entered into for mutual convenience, to be ended when no longer desirable.