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WHILE Mme. de Genlis was safe and enjoying herself in England terrible events were happening in France. The Duke of Orlans, already infamous in the eyes of all decent people, was beginning to lose his popularity with the revolutionists. He [125] could not doubt the discredit into which he had fallen, the flight of his son [126] exposed him to dangerous suspicions; it was decided to get rid of him. He had demanded that his explanations should be admitted, but he was advised to ask rather, in the interest of your own safety, for a decree of banishment for yourself and your family.

Mme. de Genlis had before pointed out to him this danger, but he was very anxious to be with his sister, the only one of his nearest relations left to him, and she did not like to press the matter. But he soon saw that they must separate. The magistrates at Zug behaved very well, saying that the little family gave no reason for complaint, on the contrary were kind to the poor, harmless and popular.

The same evening I found on my table a [314] letter carefully enclosed in a double envelope, addressed Will you give me your certificate of residence? all the emigrants have them and prove to me every day that they have never left France.

Now Mme. de Genlis had without the least doubt many good and distinguished qualities, and as we all know, human nature is fallible and inconsistent; but it would surely have been better that a woman, [407] who could coolly and deliberately arrange such a marriage for her young daughter, simply and solely from reasons of worldly ambition, should not talk so much about disinterested virtue, contempt of riches, and purity of motives.

CHAPTER IX