THE DUCHESS OF GONTAUT
THE Governess of the Children of France was the Viscountess of Gontaut, who, as a recompense for the manner in which she had accomplished her task, was made Duchess by Charles X. in 1826. Here is the opening of her unpublished Memoirs: --
" January, 1853. To Madame the Countess and Monsieur the Count Georges Esterhazy. My dear children, you have shown a desire to know the events of my long life. Wishing to teach them to your children, I yield to this amiable and tender purpose, promising myself, meanwhile, to resist the too common charm of talking pitilessly about myself. I shall search my memory for souvenirs of the revolutions I have often witnessed to give interest to my tales. One writes but ill at eighty, but one may claim indulgence from hearts to which one is devoted."
The amiable and intelligent octogenarian had no need of indulgence. Her Memoirs possess irresistible attraction, grace, exquisite naturalness, and we are convinced that when they are published -- as they must be sooner or later -- they will excite universal interest.