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In 1768, a year after the birth of her youngest girl, she had another boy, and at the same time was dangerously ill of small-pox. The Duke, in terror for her life, would not allow her to be told what was [183] the matter, and even insisted on the children all being admitted to her room, for fear of arousing her suspicions and alarming her. However, she recovered and none of them took it. The baby lived and for some time appeared quite well; though after a few months it began to fade, and soon died of consumption.

All the young girls, laughing and treating it as a capital joke, crowded round to draw. One of the last drew the black; it was Mlle. de Mirepoix, a dark, handsome girl of five-and-twenty, who was poor and had not yet found a husband.

The King would not even try to defend himself or those belonging to him. Narbonne Fritzlard begged him to let him have troops and guns with which he would soon scatter the brigands, who could only pass by Meudon and the bridges of Svres and St. Cloud. Then, from the heights I will cannonade them and pursue them with cavalry, not one shall reach Paris again, said the gallant soldier, who even then would have saved the miserable King in spite of himself. [79]

But she had not been more than twenty-four hours in the Russian capital when the French Ambassador was announced; his visit was succeeded by others, and that evening the Empress sent to say that she would receive Mme. Le Brun at Czarskoiesolo [42] the next day at one oclock. [304]

As to La Fayette, he had rushed to Paris, violently reproached the Assembly for the attack on the Tuileries, demanded the punishment of the Jacobins, and offered to the King the services which were of no value, and which, as long as they had been of any use, had been at the disposal of his enemies.