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Just after the September massacres Mme. de Genlis received a letter from the Duc dOrlans desiring her to bring his daughter back to France at once, to which she replied that she should do nothing of the sort, and that it would be absurd to choose such a time for entering France.
The Marchale thought it was the Holy Child Himself speaking, and called out to Him to be quiet and let His Mother speak; when a burst of laughter was heard from behind the altar. It was the Vicomte de Chabrillan, one of the Queens pages, the little nephew of the coadjutrice of the Abbey, who had hidden there to play a trick.
The child made so close a bond between them. Both lives were seemingly bound and entwined about this fragile life of Isola's firstborn. Mr. Baynham had no reason now to complain of his patient's want of the maternal instinct.[Pg 138] He had rather to restrain her in her devotion to the child. He had to reprove her for her sleepless nights and morbid anxieties.All the preliminaries were arranged by the families without anything being said upon the subject to the proposed bride, nor probably to the bridegroom either, and when everything was settled it was decided that now nothing was left to do but to consult the personal inclinations of the young  people, in preparation for which Pauline was informed in one of the usual family councils of her approaching introduction to her fianc.
Her business at the post-office occupied about a quarter of an hour, and when she came out into the village street the sky had darkened, and there were heavy rain-drops making black spots upon the grey dust of the road; but she hurried back by the way she had come, recrossed the line, and set out on the long journey home. The shower did not last long, but it was not the only one she encountered on her way back, and the poor little jacket was wet through when she re-entered by the servant's gate, and by the half-glass door, creeping stealthily into her own house and running upstairs to her own room to get rid of her wet garments before any one could surprise her with questions and sympathy. It was past eight o'clock, though she had walked so fast all the way as to feel neither cold nor damp. She took off her wet clothes and dressed herself for dinner in fear and trembling, imagining that her absence would have been wondered at, and her errand would be questioned. It was an infinite relief when she went down to the drawing-room to find only Allegra sitting at her easel, working at a sepia sketch by lamplight."Pray don't talk so," cried Allegra, horrified. "It sounds as if you were speculating upon your brother's death."
I have no right to stay in Cashmere without the authorization of the Anglo-Indian Government, and ought to have handed such a permit to the police on arriving. I have noneno papers whatever.
Dissipated, unscrupulous, with no money and owing 200,000 cus, the new Contr?leur-gnral des Finances found an empty treasury, an enormous mass of debt, alarm and perplexity in the Government, and gathering fury and suspicion amongst the populace.