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Madame, have you not brought any other dress?

Freethinkers, deists, or open atheists most of them were, delighting in blasphemous assaults and attacks, not only upon the Church and religion in general, but upon God himself; and so outrageous and scurrilous was their habitual language [12] upon such subjects that they found it necessary to disguise, by a sort of private slang known only to each other, their conversation in public places where it might be not only offensive to their hearers, but dangerous to themselves. Meanwhile, those who could not believe in God, set up as their guide the abstraction they called Nature, which, if they had followed to the logical consequences, would have led them back to the state of savages. There were, in fact, some who proposed to live out of doors with very scanty clothing, and who had begun to cut down a tree and light a fire when their plans of life were suddenly frustrated by the appearance of the police.

The Carmes was one of the bad ones, as regards accommodation, but in it were many prisoners belonging to good society, delicate, refined, bearing bravely the privations and dangers of their lot. It was supposed to be one of the aristocratic prisons, though less comfortable than the rest. She spoke in the inflated style of the time, which belonged especially to the ranting, extravagant, theatrical phraseology of that strange collection of individuals who now held supreme power in the country so recently the most civilised and polished in the world.

THE year 1788 was the last of the old rgime. Mme. Le Brun was now thirty-two and at the height of her fame and prosperity. She had more commissions than she could execute, more engagements than she could keep, more invitations than she could accept, but her mind was full of gloomy presentiments. She passed the summer as usual between Paris and the country houses where she stayed.