Marie Antoinette wishes to see Paris.—Intrigues of Madame Adelaide.— Characters of the Dauphin and the Count de Provence.—Grand Review at Fontainebleau.—Marie Antoinette ill the Hunting Field.—Letter from her to the Empress.—Mischievous Influence of the Dauphin’s Aunts on her Character.—Letter of Marie Antoinette to the Empress.—Her Affection for her Old House.—The Princes are recalled from Exile.—Lord Stormont.— Great Fire at the Hotel-Dieu.—Liberality and Charity of Marie Antoinette.—She goes to the Bal d’Opera.—–Her Feelings about the Partition of Poland.—The King discusses Politics with her, and thinks highly of her Ability.
It was a curious proof of the mischievousness as well as of the extent of the influence which Madame Adelaide and her sister were able to exert over the indolence and apathy of their father, that when Marie Antoinette had for more than two years been married and living within twelve miles of Paris, she had never yet seen it by daylight, although the universal and natural expectation of the citizens had been that the royal pair would pay the city a state visit immediately after their marriage. Her own wishes had not been consulted in the matter; for she was naturally anxious to see the beautiful city of which she had heard so much; and the delay which had taken place was equally at variance with Madame de Noailles’ notions of propriety. But when the countess suggested a plan for visiting the capital incognito, proposing that the dauphiness should drive as far as the entrance to the suburbs, and then, having sent on her saddle-horses, should ride along the boulevards, Madame Adelaide, professing a desire to join the party, raised so many difficulties on the subject of the retinue which was to follow, and was so successful in creating jealousies between her own ladies and those in attendance on Marie Antoinette, that Madame de Noailles was forced to recommend the abandonment of the project. Mercy was far more annoyed than his young mistress; he saw that the secret object of Madame Adelaide was to throw as many hindrance as possible in the way of the dauphiness winning popularity by appearing in public, while he also correctly judged hat it would be consistent both with propriety and with her interest, as the future queen of the country, rather to seek and even make opportunities for enabling the people to become acquainted with her. But to Marie Antoinette any disappointment of that kind was a very trifling matter. She had vexations which, as she told the embassador, she could not explain even to him; and they kept alive in her a feeling of homesickness which, in all persons of amiable and affectionate disposition, must require some, time to subdue. Even when her brother, the Archduke Ferdinand, had quit Vienna in the preceding autumn to enter on the honorable post of Governor of Lombardy, she had not congratulated, but condoled