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Every now and then they made excursions to Meudon, where they rode upon donkeys, or they visited their grandfathers, M. dAguesseau, at Fresne, and the Duc de Noailles at Saint Germain-en-Laye, when they delighted in playing and wandering in the forest.

NAPOLEON CHAPTER II

It was all so terribly changed, she could hardly believe that this was indeed the Paris of her youth, the ancient capital of a great monarchy, the centre of magnificence, elegance, and refinement. The churches were mostly closed, if not in ruins; the statues of the saints were replaced by those of infidel philosophers; the names of the streets were changed into others, often commemorating some odious individual or theory or deed of the Revolution; as to the convents the very names of Jacobin, Cordeliers, and others were associated with horror and bloodshed. The words palais and h?tel having been forbidden by the Terrorists, maison ci-devant Conti, maison ci-devant Bourbon, &c., were written upon the once splendid dwellings of those who were now murdered, wandering in exile or, like herself, just returning to their ruined homes, with shattered fortunes and sorrowful hearts. Everywhere, on walls and buildings were inscribed [453] the mocking words libert, galit, fraternit, sometimes with the significant addition, ou la mort. For with care and good management she contrived to live simply, but quite comfortably. Not that farming or life in the depth of the country were at all her fancy; no, what she liked was a town and a salon frequented by clever, amusing people of the world whose conversation she could enjoy. But she knew well enough that if she settled in a town and had a salon, before very long she would be nearly ruined, whereas at her farm she found no difficulty in supporting herself and those dependent upon her, and helping many others besides.