M de Stael (whose mission had been in abeyance and himself in Holland for three years) was accredited to the French republic by the regent of Sweden; his wife reopened her salon and for a time was conspicuous in the motley and eccentric society of the Directory.
But it probably pleased Mme de Stael to quite an equal degree that Napoleon should apparently put forth his power to crush her and fail.
In private life his ease of bearing, friendliness, and, above all, his inexhaustible fund of humour and irony, won him a large circle of friends; and judges so exacting as Mmes de Stael and de Remusat and Lord Brougham avowed their delight in his society.
Madame de Stael was dead; Chateaubriand, though alive, was something of a classic, and had not effected a full revolution.
The future Mme de Stael was from her earliest years a romp, a coquette, and passionately desirous of prominence and attention.
These muscadins and incroyables, led by Frron, Tallien and Barrasformer revolutionists who had become aristocratsprofited by the restored liberty of the press to prepare for days of battle in the salons of the merveilleuses Madame Tallien, Madame de Stael and Madame Rca.mier, as the sans-culottes had formerly done in the clubs.
Mme de Stael was accused of extravagance, and latterly an amicable separation of goods had to be effected between the pair.
Baron Auguste de Stael (d.
Constant, who had met Madame de Stael at Lausanne in 1794, followed her in the next year to Paris, where he rapidly became a personage in the moderate republican circle which met in her salon; and by 1796 he had established with her intimate relations, which, in spite of many storms, endured for ten years.
After a time marked by some pecuniary embarrassment, he was recommended by Madame de Stael to the Director Barras for the post of minister of foreign affairs..