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      So far we have spoken as if Plato regarded the various false polities existing around him as so many fixed and disconnected types. This, however, was not the case. The present state of things was bad enough, but it threatened to become worse wherever worse was possible. The constitutions exhibiting a mixture of good and evil contained within themselves the seeds of a further corruption, and tended to pass into the form standing next in order on the downward slope. Spartan timocracy must in time become an oligarchy, to oligarchy would succeed democracy, and this would end in tyranny, beyond which no further fall was possible.125 The degraded condition of Syracuse seemed likely to be the last outcome of Hellenic civilisation. We know not how far the gloomy forebodings of Plato may have been justified by his197 own experience, but he sketched with prophetic insight the future fortunes of the Roman Republic. Every phase of the progressive degeneration is exemplified in its later history, and the order of their succession is most faithfully preserved. Even his portraits of individual timocrats, oligarchs, demagogues, and despots are reproduced to the life in the pages of Plutarch, of Cicero, and of Tacitus.

      And he is--Oh, well! He is just himself, and I miss him, and miss him,

      For Adrienne, the Marquis de la Fayette, a boy who when first the marriage was thought of by the respective families was not fifteen years old, whose father was dead, who had been brought up by his [186] aunt in the country, and who was very rich. He was plain, shy, awkward, and had red hair, but he and Adrienne fell violently in love with each other during the time of probation. Louise and her cousin had, of course, always known each other, and now that they were thrown constantly together they were delighted with the arrangements made for them.

      But these were not the directions in which the guidance of Nature led most of her followers. It was not to a life of primitive simplicity and discomfort that Trzia and her friends felt themselves directed; no, the h?tel de Fontenay, in the rue de Paradis, and the chateau of the same name in the country were the scene of ceaseless gaiety and amusement. La Rochefoucauld, Rivarol, Chamfort, La Fayette, the three brothers de Lameth, all of whom were in love with their fascinating hostess; Mirabeau, Barnave, Vergniaud, Robespierre, Camille Desmoulinsall the leaders of the radical party were to be met at her parties, and most of them were present at a splendid entertainment given by the Marquis and Marquise de Fontenay to the Constituants at their chateau, and called, after the fashion of Rousseau, a fte la Nature.

      At this moment the gaoler returned, accompanied by the aide-de-camp for whom Tallien had sent.




      What made this all the more provoking was that M. de Calonne was not even, like M. de Vaudreuil, [64] a great friend of hers. She did not know him at all intimately, and in fact only once went to a party given by him at the Ministre des finances, and that was because the soire was in honour of Prince Henry of Prussia, who was constantly at her house. The splendid portrait she painted of Calonne was exhibited in the Salon of 1786. Mlle. Arnould remarked on seeing it, Mme. Le Brun has cut his legs off to keep him in the same place, alluding to the picture being painted to the knees.Outside the palace is a large garden, devoid of shade, with pools of water bowered in flowers and shrubs that shelter myriads of singing birds. At the end of the park is a tank full of crocodiles. A keeper called the brutes, and they came up facing us in a row, their jaws open to catch the food which the Rajah amuses himself by throwing to them.