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Title: Calvert of Strathore
Author: Goodloe, Carter
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Calvert of Strathore" ***

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CALVERT OF STRATHORE

BY CARTER GOODLOE

1903



CONTENTS


I.     The Legation at Paris
II.    The France Of 1789
III.   "The Lass with the Delicate Air"
IV.    At the Palais Royal
V.     The Private Secretary
VI.    Mr. Calvert Meets Old and New Friends
VII.   An Afternoon on the Ice
VIII.  The Americans are Made Welcome in Paris
IX.    In which Mr. Calvert's Good Intentions Miscarry
X.     At Versailles
XI.    Mr. Calvert Attends the King's Levee
XII.   The Fourth and the Fourteenth of July
XIII.  Monsieur de Lafayette Brings Friends to a Dinner at the Legation
XIV.   Mr. Calvert Rides Down into Touraine
XV.    Christmas Eve
XVI.   Mr. Calvert Tries to Forget
XVII.  Mr. Calvert Meets an Old Enemy
XVIII. Mr. Calvert Fights a Duel
XIX.   In which an Unlooked-for Event Takes Place
XX.    Mr. Calvert Sees a Short Campaign under Lafayette
XXI.   Mr. Calvert Quits the Army and Engages in a Hazardous Enterprise
XXII.  Mr. Calvert Starts on a Journey
XXIII. Within the Palace
XXIV.  The Tenth of August



CALVERT OF STRATHMORE



CHAPTER I

THE LEGATION AT PARIS


There seemed to be some unusual commotion, a suppressed excitement,
about the new and stately American Legation at Paris on the morning of
the 3d of February in the year of grace (but not for France--her days
and years of grace were over!) 1789. The handsome mansion at the corner
of the Grande Route des Champs Elysées and the rue Neuve de Berry, which
had lately belonged to Monsieur le Comte de l'Avongeac and in which Mr.
Jefferson had installed himself as accredited minister to France after
the return of Dr. Franklin to America, presented an appearance different
from its usual quiet.

Across the courtyard, covered with snow fallen during the might, which
glittered and sparkled in the brilliant wintry sunshine, grooms and
stable-boys hurried between écuries and remises, currying Mr.
Jefferson's horses and sponging off Mr. Jefferson's handsome carriage,
with which he had provided himself on setting up his establishment as
minister of the infant federation of States to the court of the
sixteenth Louis. At the porter's lodge that functionary frequently left
his little room, with its brazier of glowing coals, and walked up and
down beneath the porte-cochère, flapping his arms vigorously in the
biting wintry air, and glancing between the bars of the great outer gate
up and down the road as if on the lookout for some person or persons. In
the hotel itself, servants moved quickly and quietly about, setting
everything in the most perfect order.

At one of the windows which gave upon the extensive gardens, covered,
like all else, with the freshly fallen snow, Mr. Jefferson himself could
now and then be seen as he moved restlessly about the small, octagonal
room, lined with books and littered with papers, in which he conducted
most of his official business. A letter, just finished, lay upon his
desk. 'Twas to his daughter in her convent of Panthemont, and full of
that good advice which no one ever knew how to give better than he. The
letter being folded and despatched by a servant, Mr. Jefferson was at
liberty to indulge his restless mood. This he did, walking up and down
with his hands clasped behind his back, as was his fashion; but, in
spite of the impatience of his manner, a smile, as of some secret
contentment or happy anticipation, played about his lips. At frequent
intervals he would station himself at one of the windows which commanded
the entrance of the hotel, and, looking anxiously out at the wintry
scene, would consult the splendid new watch just made for him, at great
cost, by Monsieur l'Epine.

It was on the stroke of twelve by Monsieur l'Epine's watch when Mr.
Jefferson, gazing out of the window for the twentieth time that morning
of February 3d, saw a large travelling berline turn in at the big grille
and draw up under the porte-cochère in front of the porter's lodge. In
an instant he was out of the room, down the great stairway, and at the
entrance of the rez-de-chaussée, just as the postilion, dismounting,
opened the door of the carriage from which emerged a large, handsome man
of about thirty-five or six, who moved with surprising agility
considering the fact that he boasted but one good leg, the other member
being merely a wooden stump. He was followed by a younger man, who
sprang out and waited respectfully, but eagerly, until Mr. Jefferson had
welcomed his companion.

"Mr. Morris!--my dear sir! welcome to Paris! welcome to this little spot
of America!" said Mr. Jefferson, shaking the older man cordially by the
hand again and again and drawing him toward the open door. And then
passing quickly out upon the step to where the young man still stood
looking on at this greeting, Mr. Jefferson laid a hand affectionately on
his shoulder and looked into the young eyes.

"My dear boy, my dear Calvert!" he exclaimed with emotion, "I cannot
tell you how welcome you are, nor how I thank you for obeying my request
to come to me!"

"The kindest command I could have received, sir," replied the young man,
much moved by Mr. Jefferson's affectionate words and manner.

Turning, and linking an arm in that of each of his guests, Mr.
Jefferson led them into the house, followed by the servants carrying
their travelling things.

"Ah! we will bring back Virginia days in the midst of this turbulent,
mad Paris. 'Tis a wild, bad place I have brought you to, Ned," he said,
turning to the young gentleman, "but it must all end in good--surely,
surely." Mr. Jefferson's happy mood seemed suddenly to cloud over, and
he spoke absently and almost as if reassuring himself. "But come," he
added, brightening up, "I will not talk of such things before we are
fairly in the house! Welcome again, Mr. Morris! Welcome, Mr.
Secretary!"--he turned to Calvert--"It seems strange, but most
delightful, to have you here." Talking in such fashion, he hurried them
up the great stairway as fast as Mr. Morris's wooden leg would permit,
and into his private study.

"Ha! a fire!" said Mr. Morris, sinking down luxuriously in a chair
before the blazing logs. "I had almost forgot what the sight of one was
like, and I was beginning to wish that this"--he looked down and tapped
his sound leg, laughing a little whimsically, "were wood, too. I would
have suffered less with the cold!"

"I am sure you must have had a bitter journey from Havre," rejoined Mr.
Jefferson. "'Tis the coldest winter France has known for eighty
years--the hardest, cruellest winter the poor of this great city, of
this great country, can remember. Would to God it were over and the
spring here!"

"I should imagine that it had not been any too pleasant even for the
rich," said Mr. Morris, shivering slightly. But Mr. Jefferson paid no
attention to the sufferings of the rich suggested by Mr. Morris, and
only stirred the blazing logs uneasily.

"At any rate it serves to make our welcome here seem the warmer, sir,"
said Calvert, from where he stood divesting himself of his many-caped
top-coat.

"Ah! that is spoken like you, Ned! But stand forth, sir! Let me see if
you are changed, if four years at the College of Princeton have made
another fellow of my old Calvert of Strathore." He went over to the
young man and drew him into the middle of the room, where the cold,
brilliant sunshine struck full on the fine young face. There was no
shadow or line upon it.

"You are much grown," said Mr. Jefferson, thoughtfully, "much taller,
but 'tis the same slender, athletic figure, and the eyes and brow and
mouth are not changed, thank God!"

"Is there no improvement, sir? Can you note no change for the better?"
said Calvert, laughing, and attempting to cover his embarrassment, at
the close scrutiny he was undergoing. "But I fear not. I fear my college
life has left as little impress on my mind as on my body. I shall never
be a scholar like you, sir," he added, with a sigh.

"And yet, in spite of your disinclination to study, you have gone
through college, and most creditably. Dr. Witherspoon himself has
written me of your career. Does that say nothing in your favor?"

"To be sure it does," broke in Mr. Morris, laughing. "There is no merit
in being a scholar like Mr. Jefferson here, who was born a student. He
couldn't have helped being a scholar if he had tried. But for you, Mr.
Calvert, who dislike study, to have made yourself stick to the college
curriculum for four years, I consider a great and meritorious
achievement!"

"I agree with you entirely, Mr. Morris," said Mr. Jefferson, joining in
the laugh, "and as for that, Ned has done more than merely stick to the
curriculum of the college. Dr. Witherspoon, in writing me of his
progress, was pleased to say many complimentary things of several
excursions into verse which he has made. He especially commended his
lines on 'A View of Princeton College,' written something after the
manner of Mr. Gray's 'Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.'"

"What!" said Mr. Morris, "an ode on 'A View of Princeton College'! My
dear Mr. Calvert, couldn't a young man of your years find a more
inspiring theme than a college building to write upon? Instead of an
_alma mater_, you should have chosen some _filia pulchra_ to make verses
to," and he gave Mr. Jefferson a quizzical look.

"I agree with you again, Mr. Morris," said that gentleman, laughing
heartily, "and I think that you and I would have made no such mistake at
Ned's age," and he sighed a little as he thought of the gay pleasures of
his own youth, the dances and walks and talks with "Belinda," and his
poetic effusions to her and many another.

"Nor even at our own," objected Mr. Morris. "I assure you I feel myself
quite capable of composing verses to fair ones yet, Mr. Jefferson." And
indeed he was, and rhymed his way gayly to the heart of many a lady in
the days to come.

As for Calvert, he only smiled at the light banter at his expense,
scarcely understanding it, indeed, for as yet he carried a singularly
untouched heart about in his healthy young body.

Mr. Morris arose: "I must be going," he said. "I have sent my things on
to the Hotel de Richelieu--" but Mr. Jefferson pressed him back into his
seat.

"You are my guest for the day," he declared, interrupting him, "and must
take your first breakfast with Ned and myself here at the Legation. I
will send you around to the rue de Richelieu in my carriage later on. I
have a thousand questions to ask you. I must have all the news from
America--how fares General Washington, and my friend, James Madison, and
pretty Miss Molly Crenshawe?--there's a lovely woman for you, Ned, in
the bud, 'tis true, but likely to blossom into a perfect rose. There is
but one beauty in all Paris to compare with her, I think. And that is
the sister of your old friend d'Azay. And what does Patrick Henry and
Pendleton these days? I hear that Hamilton holds strange views about the
finances and has spoken of them freely in Congress. What are they? My
letters give me no details as yet." And more and more questions during
the abundant breakfast which had been spread for them in the
morning-room adjoining Mr. Jefferson's library. Now it was a broadside
of inquiries aimed at Mr. Gouverneur Morris concerning the newly
adopted Constitution which he had helped fashion for the infant union of
States and the chances of electing General Washington as first president
of that union; now it was question after question regarding Dr.
Franklin's reception in America on his return from France and release
from his arduous duties and the vexatious persecutions to which he had
been subjected by his former colleagues--the most outrageous and
unprovoked that ever man suffered--and there were endless inquiries
about personal, friends, about the currency in America, and about the
feeling of security and tranquillity of the States.

The breakfast, generous as it was, was over long before Mr. Jefferson
had tired of his questioning, and they were still sitting around the
table talking when a visitor was announced. It was Monsieur le Vicomte
de Beaufort, Lafayette's young kinsman and officer in the American war,
who came in directly, bowing to Mr. Morris, whom he had known well in
America, and embracing Calvert with a friendly fervor that almost five
years of separation had not diminished. He had known of his coming
through Mr. Jefferson, and, happening to pass the hotel, had stopped to
inquire at the porter's lodge whether the travellers had arrived.

"'Tis a thousand pities d'Azay is not here to welcome you, too, my dear
Calvert," he said, regretfully, "but he will be back to-morrow with his
aunt, the old Duchess, and his sister. He is gone down to Azay-le-Roi,
his château near Tours, to fetch them. But come! I am all impatience to
show you a little of my Paris. We won't wait for d'Azay's return to
begin, and I am sure Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris will excuse you for a
few hours. Is it not so, gentlemen?" He looked around at the two older
men. "Calvert has shown me Virginia. I long to return the compliment and
show him this little piece of France!"

"But first," objected Mr. Jefferson, "I should like to show him the
Embassy. Come, gentlemen, we will make a rapid tour of the apartments
before you set out on your larger explorations." And, leading the way,
he began to point out the public and private apartments, the state
dining-room, with its handsome service of silver plate, the view of the
large gardens from the windows, the reception-hall, the doorways, the
great staircase ornamented with sculptured salamanders, for Monsieur de
l'Avongeac's ancestors had built the house during the reign of François
I. and had adorned it everywhere with the King's insignia. 'Twas a very
magnificent hotel, for Mr. Jefferson had been unwilling to jeopardize
the fortunes of the new republic by installing its legation in mean
quarters, and it was eminently well arranged for the entertainment of
the brilliant society that gathered so frequently by his invitation.

When they had made the tour of the establishment and had reached the
head of the great stairway again, Mr. Jefferson dismissed the two young
men with a final injunction to return soon, as he had much to talk over
with Calvert. As the clanging door shut upon them, the two older men
turned and went into Mr. Jefferson's study.

"I have to thank you, Mr. Jefferson," said Mr. Morris, seating himself
once more before the crackling fire, "for a most pleasant acquaintance.
I will confess now that when you wrote me suggesting that your new
secretary should make the journey to France with me, I was scarcely
pleased. 'Tis a long trip to make in the company of one who may not be
wholly congenial. But from the moment Mr. Calvert presented himself to
me in Philadelphia, on the eve of our sailing, until now, I can truly
say I have enjoyed every instant of his companionship. I had heard
something of him--much, indeed--from General Washington and Mr.
Hamilton, but I was wholly unprepared to find so sincere, so intelligent
a young gentleman. There is a strength, a fine reserve about him which
appeals greatly to me."

"I thank you," said Mr. Jefferson, gratefully. "I love him as though he
were my son, and any praise of him is dear to me. Do you wonder that I
want him near me? Besides, 'tis imperative that I have a private
secretary. Mr. Short, our secretary of Legation, who is now in Italy
travelling for his health, like myself, is overworked; there are a
thousand affairs to be attended to each day, and so little method in our
arrangements as yet; our instructions and remittances from Congress are
so irregular, our duties so confounded with mere courtesies, that we
make but little progress. Besides which the state of affairs in this
country renders all diplomatic and business relations very slow and
uncertain--I might say hazardous--" He stopped and looked thoughtfully
into the fire.

"I am sorry to hear that," said Mr. Morris, quickly. "I came over on
business myself. And on business not only for myself, but on behalf of
Mr. Robert Morris and of Constable & Co., of New York City. As you
probably know, we have made large shipments of tobacco, contracted for
by several farmers-general, but such has been the delay in delivery and
payment after reaching this country that we deemed it absolutely
necessary to have someone over here to attend to the matter. At Havre I
found affairs irregular and prices low and fluctuating. I was hoping the
markets would be steadier and quieter in Paris."

"I am afraid you will not find it so," replied Mr. Jefferson, shaking
his head. "I am persuaded that this country is on the eve of some great
change--some great upheaval. I see it in the faces of those I meet in
the salons of the rich and noble; I see it in the faces of the common
people in the streets--above all, I see it in the faces of the people in
the streets."

Again he stopped and looked thoughtfully into the blazing fire. Mr.
Morris's keen eyes fastened themselves on the finely chiselled face
opposite him, aglow with a prophetic light. "I would be obliged," he
said at length, "if you would give me some detailed account of the state
of this government and country. I should like to know just where I
stand. At the distance of three thousand miles, and with slow and
irregular packets as the only means of communication, we in America
have but an imperfect and tardy conception of what is going on in this
country." He poured out a small glass of cognac from a decanter which
stood on a table at his elbow, and, settling himself comfortably in his
chair, prepared to listen.

It was a long story that Mr. Jefferson had to tell him--a story with
many minute details touching the delicate relations between France and
America, with many explanations of the events which had just taken place
in Paris and the provinces, with many forecastings of events shortly to
take place in the kingdom of Louis XVI. Perhaps it was in the
forecasting of those events so soon to take place, of those acts of the
multitude, as yet undreamed of by the very doers of them, that Mr.
Jefferson most deeply impressed his listener. For there was no attribute
of Mr. Jefferson's mind so keen, so unerring, so forceful as that
peculiar power of divining the drift of the masses. It was this power
which later made him so greatly feared and greatly respected in his own
land. Forewarned and forearmed, he had but to range himself at the head
of multitudes, whose will he knew almost before they were aware of it
themselves, or else to stand aside, and, unscathed, let it pass him by
in all its turbulence and strength. But though he could foresee the
trend of events, his judgment was not infallible as to their values and
consequences. Even as he spoke of the disquieting progress of affairs,
even as he predicted the yet more serious turn they were to take, his
countenance expressed a boundless, if somewhat vaguely defined, belief
and happiness in the future.

The glow of enthusiasm was not at all reflected in the keen, attentive
face of the younger man opposite him, whose look of growing disquietude
betrayed the fact that he did not share Mr. Jefferson's hopes or
sympathies. Indeed, it was inevitable that these two men of genius
should hold dissimilar views about the struggle which the one had so
clearly divined was to come and of which the other so clearly
comprehended the consequences. It was inevitable that the man who had
the sublime audacity to proclaim unfettered liberty and equality to a
new world should differ radically from the man whose supreme achievement
had been the fashioning and welding of its laws. They talked together
until the wintry sun suddenly suffered an eclipse behind the mountains
of gray clouds which had been threatening to fall upon it all the
afternoon, and only the light from the crackling logs remained to show
the bright enthusiasm of Mr. Jefferson's noble face and the sombre
shadow upon Mr. Morris's disturbed one.



CHAPTER II

THE FRANCE OF 1789


France was sick. A great change and fever had fallen upon her, and there
was no physician near skilled enough to cure her. Now and then one of
her sons would look upon the pale, wasted features and note the rapidly
throbbing pulse, the wild ravings of the disordered brain, and,
frightened and despondent, would hurry away to consult with his brothers
what should be done. But never to any good. Medicines were tried which
had been potent with others in like sickness, but they seemed only to
increase her delirium or lessen her vitality--never to bring her
strength and reason. Day by day she grew worse. 'Twas as if some quick
poison were working in her veins, until at last the poor body was one
mass of swollen disfigurements, of putrid sores, that only a miracle
from Heaven could heal. As miracles could not be looked for, everyone
who had any skill in such desperate cases was called, and a thousand
different opinions were given, a thousand different cures tried. And
when all was seen to have been in vain, her tortured children, in their
despair, left her and turned upon the false physicians, putting them to
death and with ferocious joy avenging her agonies. And in the quiet
which thus fell upon her, when all had left her to die, the fever and
pain vanished; from her opened veins the poisoned blood dropped away; to
the blinded eyes sight returned; in the distracted brain reason once
more held sway. Slowly and faintly she arose and went about her
business.

It was of that fast-sickening France, of that blighted land of France,
that Mr. Jefferson spoke so earnestly in the gathering darkness of that
winter's day in the year 1789. The storm which had just swept over the
American colonies had passed, leaving wrecks strewn from shore to shore,
'tis true, but a land fairer and greater than ever, a people tried by
adversity and made strong. The tempest, which had been so gallantly
withstood by our ably manned ship of state, had blown across the
Atlantic and was beating upon the unprotected shores of France. The
storm was gathering fast in that most famous year of 1789--the _alpha_
and _omega_ of French history, the ending of all things old, the
beginning of all things new, for France. Two years before the bewildered
Assemblée des Notables had met and had been dismissed to spread their
agitation and disaffection throughout all France by the still more
bewildered Loménie de Brienne, who was trying his hand at the impossible
finances of France after the fall of that magnificent spendthrift,
Monsieur Colonne. He, in turn, had been swept from his office and
replaced by the pompous and incompetent Necker. Lafayette, the _deus ex
machina_ of the times, had asked for his States-General, and now in this
never-sufficiently-to-be-remembered year of 1789 they were to be
convoked.

All France was disquieted by the elections--nay, more, agitated and
agitating. Men who had never thought before were thinking now, and, as
was inevitable to such unused intellects, were thinking badly. For the
first time the common people were permitted to think. For the first time
they were allowed, even urged, to look into their wretched hearts and
tell their lord and king what grievances they found there. What wonder
that when the ashes were raked from the long-smouldering fires of envy,
of injustice, of oppression, of extortion, of misrule of every
conceivable sort, they sprang into fierce flame? What wonder that when
the bonds of silence were loosed from their miserable mouths, such a
wild clamor went up to Heaven as made the king tremble upon his throne
and his ministers shake with fear? Who could tell at what moment this
unlooked-for, unprecedented clemency might be withdrawn and silence once
more be sealed upon them? What wonder, then, that they made the most of
their opportunity? What wonder that, suddenly finding themselves strong,
who had been weak, they _did_ make the most of it?

The world seemed topsy-turvy. Strange ideas and theories were being
written and talked about. Physical science had been revolutionized.
People suddenly discovered that what they had held all their lives to be
facts were entire misconceptions of the truth. And, if they had been so
mistaken about the facts of physical science, might they not be equally
mistaken about theology, about law, about politics? Everywhere was
doubt and questioning. Revolution was in the air. It was the fashion,
and the young French officers returned from the War of Independence in
the American colonies found themselves alike the heroes of the common
people and of the fashionable world.

True to its nature, the nobility played with revolution as it had played
with everything from the beginning of time. It played with reform, with
suggestions to abandon its privileges, its titles, with the freedom of
the newly born press, with the prerogatives of the crown, with the tiers
état, with life, liberty, and happiness. It was a dangerous game, and in
the danger lay its fascination. Society felt its foundations shake, and
the more insecure it felt itself to be the more feverish seemed its
desire to enjoy life to the dregs, to seize upon that fleet-footed
Pleasure who ever kept ahead of her pursuers. There was a constant
succession of balls, dramatic fêtes, dinner-parties, of official
entertainments by the members of the diplomatic corps in this volcanic
year of 1789. The ministers of Louis's court, being at their wits' end
to know what was to be done to allay the disturbances, were of the mind
that they could and would, at least, enjoy themselves. The King having
always been at his wits' end was not conscious of being in any unusual
or dangerous position. As short-sighted mentally as he was physically,
he saw in the popular excitement of the times nothing to dread.
Conscious of his own good intentions toward his people, he saw nothing
in their ever-increasing demands but evidences of a spirit of progress
which he was the first to applaud. Unmindful of the fact that "the most
dangerous moment for a bad government is the moment when it meddles with
reform," he yielded everything. The nobles, noting with bitterness his
concessions to the tiers état, told themselves that the King had
abandoned them; the common people, suspicious and bewildered, told
themselves that their King was but deceiving them. The King, informed of
the hostile attitude of the nobility and the ingratitude of the masses,
vacillated between his own generous impulses and the despotic demands of
the court party. By the King's weakness, more than by all else, were
loosened the foundations of that throne of France, already tottering
under its long-accumulated weight of injustice, of mad extravagance, of
dissoluteness, of bloody crime.

Nature herself seemed to be in league with the discontent of the times.
A long drouth in the summer, which had made the poor harvests poorer
still, was followed by that famous winter of 1789--that winter of
merciless, of unexampled, cold for France. And in the heat of that long
summer and in the cold of that still longer winter, the storm gathered
fast which was to rise higher and higher until it should beat upon the
very throne itself, and all that was left of honor and justice in France
should perish therein.



CHAPTER III

"THE LASS WITH THE DELICATE AIR"


It was to that unhappy land of France that Mr. Jefferson had come almost
five years before on a mission for Congress. For some time it had been
the most cherished design of that body of patriots to establish
advantageous commercial treaties with the European powers, thereby
securing to America not only material prosperity, but, more important
still, forcing our recognition as a separate and independent power, and
creating for the new confederation of states a place among the
brotherhood of nations. Confident that Mr. Jefferson's astuteness,
erudition, and probity would make a powerful impression upon those whom
it was so much to our interest to attach to us, Congress had, on the 7th
day of May, 1784, appointed him Minister Plenipotentiary for the
negotiation of foreign commercial treaties. Dr. Franklin and Mr. Adams,
his co-workers, were already eagerly awaiting him in Paris.

But, great as was Mr. Jefferson's patriotic interest in the cause he was
to represent at the court of Louis XVI., his exile from Monticello was
very painful to him. The recent death of his wife there, and the youth
of the two children he was to leave, bound him to the place. Having also
very clearly in mind Mr. Jay's and Dr. Franklin's disappointments and
bickerings in London in the same cause of commercial treaties, he looked
forward with growing distaste to the difficulties and diplomatic
struggles before him; for Mr. Jefferson was always more ready to lead
than to combat. Perhaps, too, he did not relish the idea that although
in his own country no one was more generally famed for talents and
learning than himself, in Paris, amid that brilliant throng of _savants_
and courtiers, he would be but a simple Virginia gentleman without
prestige or reputation. And, moreover, he feared that his plain,
democratic manners and principles--which he scorned to alter for
anyone--would be but ill-suited to the courtly life of Versailles. For
it must be owned that Mr. Jefferson's democracy, like his learning, was
a trifle ostentatious, and became more so as he grew older. Surely,
though, such blemishes are not incompatible with greatness of character,
but only serve to make a great man more lovable and human. And as for
Mr. Jefferson, if he had not been blessed with some such harmless
frailties, he had seemed almost more than mortal with his great
learning, his profound, if often impracticable, philosophy, and his
deathless patriotism. Such as he was, Mr. Jefferson was greatly beloved,
and many of his warmest friends and admirers foregathered at Monticello
on the evening of the 23d of May, 1784, to bid him farewell ere he
should set out the next day on his long journey to Boston, from which
port he was to sail for France. As he stood on the north portico of
Monticello, awaiting his guests and looking long and lovingly at the
beautiful view of mountain and valley spread before him, he made a
striking, not easily forgotten, picture. The head, lightly thrown back,
with its wavy, sandy hair worn short, and the finely chiselled profile
were cameo-like in their classical regularity. The lithe, meagre form,
well dressed in blackcloth coat and knee breeches, white waistcoat and
ruffles of finest linen, black silk stockings and silver-buckled shoes,
was energetic, graceful, and well proportioned. With such a physique it
was not wonderful that Mr. Jefferson was famous as shot, horseman, and
athlete, even among such noted sportsmen as Virginia could boast of by
the score in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Suddenly he
lowered his head and, withdrawing his gaze from the mountains, looked
about him with an impatient little sigh.

"I am a savage! Savage enough to prefer the woods and streams and
independence of my Monticello to all the brilliant pleasures which Paris
will offer me. I could find it in my heart to wish that Congress had
never urged upon me this mission abroad. But I have always tried to
serve my country at my country's call, and I shall continue to serve
her, though it take me from home and family and friends. Instead of
repining at this exile to France--for how long I do not know--I should
be thankful for this last beautiful evening at Monticello and for the
friends who are come to bid me farewell. I wonder that the Marquis does
not arrive. I have much of importance to discuss with him."

Mr. Jefferson had no greater admirer than the Marquis de Lafayette,
whose arrival he so impatiently awaited. He had affairs of weight to
talk over with the young Frenchman--letters of introduction to statesmen
with whom Lafayette was most intimate, notes on commercial affairs of
France, messages to friends, drafts on bankers in Paris, and a host of
details on the present state of politics in France with which he wished
to become acquainted before presenting himself at the French court, and
which Lafayette, but lately returned from France, could amply furnish
him. And after business should have been finished, Mr. Jefferson was
looking forward with keen delight to all that the observant, cultured
young nobleman might have to tell him of the progress in the Parisian
world of sciences, art, and music (for Mr. Jefferson was an amateur of
music), and of those adventures which had attended his triumphal return
to America. 'Twas at General Washington's invitation that Monsieur de
Lafayette was re-visiting, after only three years' absence, the greatful
states where he had first, and so gloriously, embarked in the cause of
liberty, and the warmth of his welcome at Mount Vernon--where indeed Mr.
Jefferson's note, inviting him to Monticello, reached him--would alone
have repaid him for the long journey had all other honors been denied
him. But his progress through the states had been one triumph, marked by
lavish fêtes and civic parades, not so magnificent, it is true, as those
tendered him on his last visit to our country, but still forming an
almost unparalleled tribute of affection and respect from a nation to
an individual. Young men of the highest position and family attached
themselves to his retinue and rode with him from city to city, leaving
him only to be replaced by other friends and enthusiastic admirers. Even
as Mr. Jefferson stood upon the portico of Monticello, Monsieur de
Lafayette was approaching, with his escort, riding hard and joyfully in
the gathering twilight to reach there in time to see his illustrious
friend before he should set out for Boston.

In the meantime guests were arriving rapidly, horseback or in handsome,
high-panelled coaches drawn by four horses (such as Colonel Cary of
Ampthill boasted), and the negro grooms were busy stabling them. In the
house servants were moving about, lighting the fragrant wax candles of
myrtle-berry and seeing to the comfort of the guests. The narrow
stairway could hardly accommodate the rustling, voluminous brocades that
swept up and down them above the clicking, high-heeled shoes and dainty,
silver-clocked stockings. But there was room for all in the beautiful
octagonal hall, thirty feet square, and in the long saloon parlor, the
cost of whose inlaid satin and rosewood floor had somewhat scandalized
Mr. Jefferson's less wealthy and less artistic neighbors.

It were hard indeed to get together a gathering of more beautiful women
or more courtly, distinguished gentlemen than was assembled that evening
at Monticello. Among the latter were many of those men who had helped to
make America what she was; lawgivers, soldiers, tried statesmen who had
been of that famous Congress of '75, of which my Lord Chatham, in a
burst of uncontrollable enthusiasm, had declared that "its members had
never been excelled in solidity of reasoning, force of sagacity, and
wisdom of conclusion."

The Virginia beauties, if less modish and extravagant, as a rule, than
the belles of Philadelphia and New York, yielded to none in aristocratic
loveliness and grace and dignity of bearing. In the eyes of Mr.
Jefferson their very naturalness made them more attractive, and perhaps
it was for her sweet freshness and shy beauty that he gave the palm of
loveliness to Miss Molly Crenshawe, who had ridden over on a pillion
behind her brother from her father's neighboring estate of Edgemoor,
attended by young Carter of Redlands, who was never far away from her if
he could help it. A less partial judge than Mr. Jefferson, however,
would have found it hard to decide that she was more lovely than her
dearest friend, the bewitching Miss Peggy Gary, who had driven over
early in the day from Ampthill with her father, Colonel Archibald Gary.

Talking and laughing, the two young girls rustled down the stairs and
across the broad hall to the entrance of the saloon parlor, where Mr.
Jefferson and his sister, the lovely widow Carr, were standing, greeting
their guests. The courtesies which the young ladies swept their host and
hostess were marvels of grace and dexterity, and were noted with
approval by the young gentlemen who lined the walls or talked to the
ladies already foregathered. Some of those same young gentlemen fairly
rivalled the ladies in richness of attire, following the elaborate
fashions of dress which General Washington had encouraged by his own
example. For the most part they were the sons of wealthy farmers and
planters, shorn perhaps of some of their pre-Revolutionary splendor, but
still aristocrats in bearing and feeling; young sporting squires who
indulged in cock-fighting and horse-racing; rising lawyers, orators, all
bearing the marks of good birth and good breeding.

Among the crowd of gayly dressed young gentlemen was one who was
especially noticeable. His handsome face wore a rather reckless,
petulant expression, which, however, could not conceal a certain
brightness and fire of genius that at moments eclipsed the irritable
look and rendered his countenance unusually attractive. It was Gilbert
Stuart, the young portrait painter, but recently returned from England,
where he was famed both as artist and wit. It was even said by his
admirers (and indeed Mr. Adams had but lately written it home from
London) that there his fame and following were the equal of his
master's, Benjamin West's, or even Sir Joshua Reynolds's.

The scene in Mr. Jefferson's drawing-room was becoming more and more
animated. The guests had nearly all assembled and were thronging the
parlor and great hall beneath the brilliant light of many candles. From
the music-gallery overhead the sounds of flute and violin in tentative
accord were beginning to be heard. The musicians were some of Mr.
Jefferson's slaves who had shown marked ability and whom he himself had
instructed in the art. They had proved themselves apt pupils and could
play excellently airs for the minuet and Virginia reel. Mr. Jefferson
was never happier than when Monticello was thronged with gay dancers,
nor was he an indifferent votary of Terpsichore himself. Indeed, many
were the balls and assemblies he attended during his student days in
Williamsburg, many the nights he danced away with "Belinda" and other
fair ones. And so when the music for the irresistible Virginia reel
struck up, Mr. Jefferson was first on the floor with Miss Molly
Crenshawe. They were quickly followed by other couples, until the
opposite lines of dancers extended half-way down the sides of the long
drawing-room. Up and down they went to the gay music, under the bright
light, misty with powder shaken from flying curls.

Suddenly, as Mr. Stuart was advancing with out-stretched hands to swing
Miss Gary, there was a blare of horns and a chorus of "hellos" from
without, mingled with the sound of horses galloping up the avenue. The
dancers ceased their courtesying and stately step, the music stopped,
and Mr. Jefferson hurried to the portico in time to greet the young
Marquis de Lafayette and his escort as they flung themselves off their
hot mounts. Every head was uncovered as the young Frenchman
affectionately embraced Mr. Jefferson, and greetings and acclamations
went up from the throng of guests as they appeared at the entrance.

'Twas not wonderful that Mr. Jefferson, like General Washington,
Colonel Hamilton, General Greene, and so many others of our
distinguished patriots, was captivated by this young nobleman, and could
the jealous ones who asserted that they were dazzled by his rank and
awed and flattered into giving him more than he merited but have seen
him in the first flush of his glory and young manhood they, too, would
have found his charm irresistible. Indeed, to Mr. Jefferson he was
always the hero, the man of genius and spotless patriotism, though many,
in after years, grew to distrust his powers and motives.

As Monsieur de Lafayette stood there at the door of the drawing-room,
smiling and bowing after his own graceful fashion, there was a bright
daring, a gay gallantry in the expression of his youthful face--he was
but six and twenty and major-general, diplomat, and friend of
philosophers--that won all hearts; and though the countenance was not
handsome, the broad, slightly receding forehead, straight nose, and
delicate mouth and chin gave to it a very distinguished appearance. The
three-cornered continental hat which he swept to the ground before the
ladies disclosed a flaming red head, the hair slightly powdered and tied
back with a black ribbon. His tall figure--he was of equal height with
Mr. Jefferson, who was over six feet--was enveloped in a light
riding-coat with short capes over the shoulders, which, when he threw it
off, disclosed to view the uniform of a major-general of continental
dragoons. Just behind him stood two of his suite, his young kinsman, the
devil-may-care Vicomte de Beaufort, and the Vicomte d'Azay, a brave
young French officer who had served with Beaufort under Rochambeau and
had been present before Yorktown.

Mr. Jefferson advanced to the centre of the room with his guests.

"My friends," he said, "this is one of the proudest and happiest moments
of my life. Monticello shelters for the first time-America's illustrious
ally and devoted soldier, the Marquis de Lafayette, and his
fellow-countrymen and officers, Messieurs les Vicomtes de Beaufort and
d'Azay. I salute them for you!" Turning, he embraced the three young
men, and then, placing his hand on the Marquis's arm, he led him to Mrs.
Carr.

"Madame," he said, "I leave the Marquis in your hands for the present."
He went back to the two young officers, and taking them each by an arm
he led them about the room, introducing them to many, of the company.
Finally, leaving them to the tender mercies of Miss Crenshawe and Miss
Peggy Gary, he returned once more to look after the rest of Monsieur de
Lafayette's escort.

As he did so he noticed at the door two young men who were quietly
making their way into the room. The elder--who might have been
twenty-six or seven--was dark, with brilliant eyes and an alert, almost
restless manner, while the younger, who was scarcely more than a boy,
not over nineteen, was fair, with deep blue eyes, reflective and calm,
and a quiet dignity and strength of manner that in some fashion was not
unsuited to his youth. Both were slender, wellbuilt, and rather under
than over middle height. Mr. Jefferson hastened to them and shook hands
warmly with the elder gentleman.

"My dear Colonel Hamilton, this is an unexpected pleasure and honor.
Welcome to Monticello!" and then turning to the youth and laying a hand
affectionately on his shoulder, he cried, gayly:

"My dear Ned, when did you come and why have I not seen you before?"

"Sir," replied the young man, respectfully, "we have but just arrived in
Monsieur de Lafayette's company, and, feeling myself at home, I stayed
without a few moments to give some orders about the stabling of the
horses. Colonel Hamilton was kind enough to remain with me. Will you
pardon our delay and assurance?"

"My dear boy, as you well know, I am only too happy to have you look
upon Monticello as your other home, and every servant and horse upon the
place is at your disposal. But how did you two happen to fall in with
the Marquis?"

"Both Colonel Hamilton and myself were passing a few days at Mount
Vernon by invitation of General Washington, when news that the Marquis
was coming reached him. The General insisted that we should remain to
see Monsieur de Lafayette, so we were still at Mount Vernon when your
note asking his attendance here was received by him. Sure of my old
welcome at Monticello, I determined to accompany him on his journey. As
for Colonel Hamilton, he is charged with important affairs for you,
sir."

"'Tis an ill wind that blows nobody good, Colonel," said Mr. Jefferson,
smiling, "and I shall certainly not call even business an ill wind since
it has blown you hither."

"There is a better reason still, Mr. Jefferson," replied Mr. Hamilton,
"for I came on business of General Washington's, and never yet blew ill
wind from that quarter."

"Then you are doubly welcome, my dear Colonel," rejoined Mr. Jefferson,
heartily.

"Thank you, Mr. Jefferson," said Mr. Hamilton. "Besides the business I
am charged with, which relates to the commercial treaties with Flanders,
and which I hope to have the honor of discussing with you fully before
your departure, I bear General Washington's greetings and best wishes
for your welfare and the success of your difficult mission. It would
have given him the greatest pleasure to convey these in person, and,
indeed, I think he would have been tempted to make the journey to
Monticello himself to see you had he not expected a visit from Mr.
Gouverneur Morris, who, I doubt not, is at Mount Vernon by this time."

"Mr. Morris!" exclaimed Mr. Jefferson. "And what has brought Mr. Morris
to Virginia?"

"General Washington's invitation to discuss with him a plan to urge the
necessity of a new convention upon Congress. They have been warm
personal friends, as you doubtless know, ever since Mr. Morris visited
the camp at Valley Forge, and later drafted such admirable plans for
raising money to relieve the troops. General Washington feels affection
for him as a friend and the greatest respect for him as a financier."

"He is indeed the possessor of many and varied talents," assented Mr.
Jefferson, though without any, great show of enthusiasm. "Mr. Madison
admires him, and was remarking but yesterday that 'to the brilliancy of
his genius is added what is too rare--a candid surrender of his opinions
when the lights of discussion satisfied him.' I own that the eulogy
seems a trifle overdrawn to me. He is a thought too much the aristocrat
and society man," he added, coldly. "Have you ever seen him, Ned? No? He
is a striking figure, especially since he had the vast misfortune some
years ago to lose a leg in a runaway accident."

"He consoles himself by saying he will be a steadier man with one than
with two legs," laughed Mr. Hamilton. "But, seriously, Ned," he
continued, turning to the younger man, "he has a magnificent mind and is
a great financier."

While he spoke, Mr. Jefferson smiled dubiously, for he considered Mr.
Hamilton and Mr. Morris to be dangerously alike as financiers. As for
the youth addressed, he listened with his customary quiet attention to
the conversation, though he little dreamed how great his own interest in
Mr. Morris was to be in after years and how closely they were to be
bound together.

"But come, sirs," suddenly exclaimed Mr. Jefferson, "our discussion of
Mr. Morris's good points must wait, for I see Mrs. Carr looking at you,
Colonel. If you will pay your respects to her, I will be with you in a
few moments. As for you, sir," he went on, speaking to the youth he
called Ned and regarded so affectionately, "you are but wasting your
time. You should be talking with some of these pretty young women. Shall
we say Miss Molly Crenshawe, who is certainly looking most beautiful
this evening? or perhaps the dashing Miss Peggy?" He glanced keenly at
the youth, who retained all his serene indifference of manner, only
blushing slightly and shaking his head.

Mr. Jefferson laughed indulgently. "Ned, Ned, you were ever a shy youth,
and I think time does nothing to help you. Tis a crime to be as
indifferent to women as you are, and, I warn you, there will come a day
when some woman will revenge herself upon you for the whole sex, and,
when that happens, do not come to me for consolation!" He moved away,
still laughing, and left the boy to pay his respects to Mrs. Carr, with
whom he was a great favorite, as he was with all who knew him well. But
he never had a large circle of friends. There were but few who ever
really understood and thoroughly appreciated that noble character. It is
the compensation of such natures that they are self-sufficing and are as
indifferent of such recognition as they are superior to it.

As Mr. Jefferson passed down the room he was stopped by Mr. Gilbert
Stuart, who touched him on the arm.

"Mr. Jefferson," he exclaimed, in eager tones, "take pity on an exile
just returned and tell me who your young friend is. I had thought Mr.
Hamilton's one of the finest faces I had ever seen until I set eyes on
this young gentleman with him. And, indeed, I think they resemble one
another vastly. Has our young West Indian at last found a relative? I
hear he is but indifferently provided with that commodity. No? Well, I
protest his young friend has the most charming countenance I have ever
seen since I painted Mr. Grant in London."

"Which portrait, Mr. Stuart, I hear is a masterpiece and has added
enormously to your reputation." Mr. Stuart bowed low at the compliment,
well pleased that Mr. Jefferson should have heard so favorably of that
wonderful picture of his which had set all London gossiping and had
caused Mr. Benjamin West and Sir Joshua Reynolds (so 'twas said) some
pangs of envy. "As for myself, however," went on Mr. Jefferson, "I can
scarcely credit that it is a greater piece of work than the portrait of
General Washington which you have executed for the Marquis of Lansdowne
at Mr. William Bingham's request. I cannot express to you how greatly
the replica of that picture pleases me. Its arrival here has been kept a
profound secret from all save my sister, but I am getting as impatient
as a child to show it to my guests, and can scarcely wait for the
supper-hour to arrive."

"I sincerely hope, sir, both as an artist and a friend, that the
surprise you have planned will not turn into a disappointment. But you
have not yet told me, Mr. Jefferson, who the interesting young gentleman
is with Mrs. Carr."

"That," said Mr. Jefferson, looking kindly toward the youth beside his
sister, "is young Calvert of Strathore, and a finer young gentleman does
not live in Virginia--no, nor in any other state of this country," he
added, warmly. "He is of the famous Baltimore family, a direct
descendant of Leonard Calvert, cadet brother of the second Lord
Baltimore, and is the bearer of my Lord Baltimore's name, Cecil Calvert,
to which has been prefixed Edward, for his father. The family came to
this country in 1644, I believe, and for several generations lived in
the colony of Maryland, and have always been people of position and
wealth. Ned's father, however, had a serious disagreement with his
family, because of his marriage with a lovely young Quakeress of
Philadelphia, and finally broke off entirely from his people, renouncing
even the long-cherished Catholic faith, and came to Virginia when their
only child was about two years old. Mr. Calvert built a spacious,
comfortable residence on the banks of the Potomac not far from Mr.
Washington's residence, calling it 'Strathore,' after the older Maryland
place."

"What a head!" murmured Mr. Stuart, looking at the young man. "What
sincerity and quiet strength! But continue, I beg of you."

"There is little to tell--some six years after removing to Virginia,
Calvert's father and mother both suddenly died, leaving the poor boy
estranged from the only relatives he had in Maryland, but, fortunately,
under the guardianship of General Washington, who has been all kindness
toward him. Madame Washington would have taken him to Mount Vernon had
it not been for the father's wish that he should grow up on his own
estate, alone save for the excellent tutors with whom he has always been
provided. But he has ever been warmly welcomed at Mount Vernon on long
visits there, and both General and Madame Washington have become greatly
attached to him. It was through them I first knew and liked him, and he
has passed many, I hope not unhappy, weeks at Monticello with me since.
'Tis that curious and melancholy resemblance in their fate--both
orphaned and solitary--which, I fancy, had much to do with the firm
friendship that has sprung up between Colonel Hamilton and Calvert. But
though in appearance and circumstance they resemble each other, in
mental characteristics they are opposites. Calvert has none of
Hamilton's brilliancy of intellect and vividness of imagination" (for
whatever their bitter disagreements were later, Mr. Jefferson, then and
for many years afterward, was always ready to acknowledge and admire
Hamilton's superb genius), "but he is of a profound logical order of
intelligence; he has good judgment and discretion, indomitable will
power, and a nobility of aim and faithfulness of purpose that are as
rare as they are admirable. I can conceive of no circumstances in which
he might be placed where his reliability and firmness would prove
inadequate to the occasion."

"His face bears out what you tell me of him, Mr. Jefferson," assented
the young artist, who was regarding Calvert with increasing interest.
"Tis a fine countenance, and I shall not be happy until I have
transferred it to canvas. I shall have to beg a few sittings of Calvert
of Strathore!"

Mr. Jefferson smiled. "I am afraid, Mr. Stuart, that you will find it
difficult to persuade Ned that he has a 'fine countenance'! He is the
soul of modesty as he is the soul of truth and honor." He stopped and
looked affectionately at young Calvert, who was still beside Madame
Carr, unconscious of the close scrutiny he was undergoing. "I hardly
know how to describe him to you," continued Mr. Jefferson, meditatively.
"His is a noble and lovable character. I never look at him but these
lines from Horace come to my mind--'_Quam desederio sit pudor aut modus
tam cari capitis'_! I can only say that had I been blessed with a son,"
and he sighed as he spoke, "I would have wished him to be like Edward
Calvert, and, believe me, 'tis not partiality that makes me speak of him
in such fashion. General Washington and Colonel Hamilton and Monsieur de
Lafayette, under whom he served at Yorktown, hold him as I do. Gentle
and tractable as he is, the lad has plenty of spirit, and ran away from
the College of New Jersey in 1780, where he had been matriculated but
two months, and, presenting himself to his guardian and friend, General
Washington, begged to be permitted to fight for his country. He was
scarce fifteen, and Dr. Witherspoon, whom, as you doubtless know, our
good friend Henry Laurens persuaded to leave Edinburgh to take charge of
the College at Princeton, violently opposed his abandoning his studies,
but the young man was determined, and was finally commissioned as an
aide to General Lafayette. He was of particular service to both
Lafayette and Rochambeau, as he understands and speaks the French
language excellently, having studied it since childhood and speaking
much with a French tutor whom he had for some years. He is to return to
the College of Princeton in the fall of this year, and finish his
studies. For though he will be nineteen years of age when he enters, yet
such is his determination to get the college education which his service
to his country interrupted, that he is resolved to recommence now at the
age when most youths have finished their studies. And if at the end of
his college course my duties still detain me abroad, 'tis my intention
and dearest wish to have him come out to me, and I promise you he will
make me as efficient a secretary as ever Hamilton made General
Washington."

"All that you tell me only increases my interest in the young gentleman,
Mr. Jefferson," said Stuart, "and I am more determined than ever to have
him sit for me. I can see the picture," he went on, eagerly--"the fine,
youthful brow and wavy hair drawn loosely back and slightly powdered,
the blue eyes, aquiline nose, and firm mouth--the chin is a trifle
delicate but the jaw is square--" he was speaking half to himself,
noting in artist fashion the salient points of a countenance at once
attractive and handsome, not so much by reason of beautiful features as
because of the expression which was at once youthful, serene, and noble.
All these points were afterward portrayed by Mr. Stuart, though it was
not until many years later that the picture was executed, Mr. Stuart
being recalled almost immediately to London, where, indeed, Calvert
finally sat to him. That likeness, done in the most admirable fashion,
came later into the possession of one of Calvert's dearest friends and
greatest admirers, and was prized above most things by one who loved the
original so deeply and so long.

"And he has other attractions," said Mr. Jefferson, after a long pause,
during which the two gentlemen regarded young Calvert, the artist
absorbed in plans for his picture, Mr. Jefferson in affectionate
thoughts of the young man so dear to his heart. "He has one of the
clearest, freshest voices that you ever heard, Mr. Stuart; a voice that
matches his face and makes one believe in youth and happiness and truth.
Why should he not sing for us?" he exclaimed. "The dancing has ceased, I
see. Come, I will ask him."

Followed by Mr. Stuart, he went over to young Calvert, who was still
standing sentinel beside Madame Carr, and clapped him affectionately on
the shoulder.

"Ned, we demand a song! Come, no refusal, sir!" he exclaimed. "I shall
send Caesar for my Amati and you must sing us something. Shall it be
'The Lass with the Delicate Air'? That is my favorite, I think. 'Tis, as
you know, Mr. Stuart, by the late Dr. Arne, the prince of song-writers.
Here, boy!" he said, turning to one of the small darkies standing about
to snuff the candles, "tell Caesar to bring me 'Pet.'"--for it was thus
he called his violin, which had been saved by Caesar's devotion and
bravery when all else at Elk Hill was destroyed by order of my Lord
Cornwallis. While this was going forward Calvert stood by silent,
outwardly calm and unruffled, inwardly much perturbed. It was his
pleasure and habit to sing for Mr. Jefferson or for General and Madame
Washington, but it was something of an ordeal to sing before an
audience. That quiet heroism, though, which was part of his character,
and which made him accept tranquilly everything, from the most trifling
inconvenience to the greatest trials, kept him from raising any
objection.

As Mr. Jefferson drew his bow across his violin the company fell away
from the centre of the room, leaving a clear space. Stepping forward he
leaned over his beloved Amati and played the opening bars of Dr. Arne's
famous ballad, with its liquid phrases and quaint intervals of melody.
At the first notes of the air Calvert stood beside him and lifted up his
fresh young voice of thrilling sweetness. It was one of those naturally
beautiful voices, which at this time and for many years longer had a
charm that none could resist, and which helped, among other things, to
earn for him the everlasting jealousy of that remarkable and versatile
scoundrel, Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire.

"I protest, sir," cried Mr. Gilbert from his place beside Miss
Crenshawe, when the bow at last dropped from the quivering strings, "I
protest I have not heard such music since St. George and Garat played
and sang together in Paris!"

Monsieur de Lafayette laid his hand affectionately on Calvert's
shoulder. "Ah, Ned," he said in his English with the strong accent,
"that was sweet, but if I mistake me not, thy voice sounded even sweeter
to my ears as thou sangst thy songs around the campfires at night after
our long marches and counter-marches when we hung upon Cornwallis's
flank or raced toward Petersburg to beat Phillips! 'Twas a very girl's
voice then, but it could make us forget fatigue and danger and
homesickness!"

"I am glad to believe that I was of some service," said Calvert. "I have
often thought," he went on, smiling a little, "that had I not been under
the protection of General Washington I should never have been permitted
to make the campaign."

But the Marquis would have none of his modesty.

"No, no," he cried, "thou knowest thou wert my favorite aide and served
me faithfully and well. Dost thou not remember the many messages thou
didst carry to General Rochambeau for me when we lay before Yorktown?
And the friends thou hadst in his army? De Beaufort and d'Azay were
among the best, is it not so? But what is this?" he inquired, suddenly,
as he saw the middle of the long room cleared and a very army of slaves
approaching bearing an immense table already laid with fine damask and
silver.

"Madame Carr evidently thinks her guests are in need of refreshment
after these wearying musical performances," replied Calvert, laughing,
"and as we are too numerous to be entertained in the dining-room, supper
is to be served here. 'Tis frequently Mr. Jefferson's fashion when his
company is large."

With little formality the guests took their places at table, the ladies
all being seated and many of the older gentlemen. The younger ones stood
about and waited upon the ladies, contenting themselves by eating after
they were served, as they hung over their chairs and conversed with
them.

Calvert with Beaufort and d'Azay were busily occupied, the French
officers devoting themselves to the wants of the beautiful Miss Peggy
Gary and Miss Molly Crenshawe, Calvert gravely seeing that the elderly
Mrs. Mason, mother of Mr. Jefferson's great friend, Mr. George Mason,
Mrs. Wythe, and other dowagers were bountifully supplied. It was like him
to pass by the young beauties to attend upon those who had greater needs
and less attractions. From his position behind the dowagers' chairs he
could catch bits of conversation from both ends of the table. Now it was
Mr. Jefferson's voice, rising above the noise, talk, and laughter,
offering some excellent Madeira to his abstemious friend, Mr. Arkwright.

"I insist," urged Mr. Jefferson, "for upon my word 'tis true, as someone
has said, that water has tasted of sinners ever since the Flood!"

Now it was Mr. Madison who arose, glass in hand, to propose a toast to
Mr. Jefferson.

It was not a very eloquent farewell, but, as he said, "the message comes
from all hearts present, and the burden of it is a safe journey, great
achievement, and a speedy return."

When Mr. Jefferson rose to respond, then, indeed, was heard eloquence.
Toward the close of his brief reply there was a note of sadness in it.

"I have ever held it the first duty of a patriot to submit himself to
the commands of his country. My command has been to leave my country. I
would that it had been otherwise--but my country before all! And should
I be able to serve her in ever so little by going, no separation from
all I love best, no loss of ease and quiet pleasures, will be too costly
for me not to bear with resignation, nay, even with cheerfulness! I
shall take with me one hostage to happiness--my daughter--and should my
splendid exile to the greatest court of Europe be prolonged and my
duties become too arduous, I shall send to these shores for one to aid
me--one on whose fidelity and zeal I can rely--for my dear young
friend--Calvert of Strathore."

At this unexpected announcement Calvert started with surprise and
pleasure, having heard nothing of Mr. Jefferson's intention. "But why
should I speak of my exile?" continued Mr. Jefferson. "Shall I not be
among friends?" and he looked with affectionate regard toward the three
young Frenchmen. "Shall I not be among friends, the truest and noblest
that any country or any individual can boast? Your looks bespeak your
answer! Friends, I ask you to drink to Monsieur le Marquis de Lafayette
and to Messieurs de Beaufort and d'Azay!"

Amid the enthusiastic applause which followed, Lafayette was seen to
rise and lift his hand for silence.

"Since the first day we set foot upon this great country," he said, "we
have received naught but kindness, aid, honors. How shall we thank you
for that in a few words? We cannot, but we can make you a promise for
our King, our country, and ourselves. 'Tis this. Mr. Jefferson shall
find a welcome and a home in France such as we have found here, an
admiration, a respect, a love such as we cannot command. And should Mr.
Calvert come also, he shall be as a brother to us! I drink to our happy
reunion in France!"

"So you will come to France, too, Ned," cried d'Azay to Calvert. "I
shall claim you as my guest and take you down to our château of
Azay-le-Roi and show you to my sister Adrienne as a great American
savage!"

"You will be blessed if she looks at you out of mere curiosity if for
naught else," murmured Beaufort at Calvert's ear, "for she is the
prettiest little nun in all France. Show Calvert thy locket, Henri."

Somewhat reluctantly d'Azay pulled forth a small ivory miniature in a
gold case, and holding it well within the hollow of his hand, so that
others might not see, he laid it before Calvert.

"Is she not a beauty?" demanded Beaufort, eagerly. "More beautiful, I
think, than the lovely Miss Shippen of Philadelphia, or Miss Bingham, or
any of your famous beauties, Calvert."

It was indeed a beautiful face that Calvert gazed upon, a slender, oval
face with violet eyes, shadowed by long, thick lashes; a straight nose
with slightly distended nostrils, which, with the curling lips, gave a
look of haughtiness to the countenance in spite of its youthfulness. A
cloud of dusky hair framed the face, which, altogether, was still
extremely immature and (as Calvert thought) capable of developing into
noble loveliness or hardening into unpleasing though striking beauty.

Beaufort still hung over Calvert's shoulder. "She is 'The Lass with the
Delicate Air' whom you but just now sang of, Calvert," he said, laughing
softly. "I wonder who will ever be lucky enough to find a way to win
this maid!"

As Calvert stood gazing in silent admiration at the miniature and but
half-listening to Beaufort's wild talk, Mr. Jefferson suddenly rose in
his place.

"One more toast," he said, in a loud voice--"a toast without which we
cannot disperse. Ned, I call on you, who are his young favorite, for a
toast to General Washington!"

There was a burst of applause at the name, and then Calvert rose. He was
a gallant young figure as he stood there, his wine-glass uplifted and a
serious expression on his boyish face.

"To the one," he cried, after an instant's hesitation, "whom we hold in
our hearts to be the bravest of soldiers, the purest of patriots, and
the wisest of men--General Washington!"

As he spoke the last words, Mr. Jefferson drew aside a heavy curtain
which had hung across the wall behind his chair, and as the velvet fell
apart a replica of the famous portrait of General Washington, which Mr.
Stuart had but lately painted for the Marquis of Lansdowne, was revealed
to the surprised and delighted guests. Amid a burst of patriotic
enthusiasm everyone arose and, with glass upheld, saluted the great
Hero, and then--and for the last time for many years--the Sage of
Monticello.



CHAPTER IV

AT THE PALAIS ROYAL


It was in pursuance of his favorite plan to make Calvert his secretary,
should he be appointed Minister to the court of Louis XVI., that Mr.
Jefferson wrote to the young man four years later, inviting him to come
to France. This invitation was eagerly accepted, and it was thus that
Mr. Calvert found himself in company with Beaufort at the American
Legation in Paris on that February evening in the year 1789.

When the great doors of the Legation had shut upon the two young men,
they found themselves under the marquise where Beaufort's sleigh--a very
elaborate and fantastic affair--awaited them. Covering themselves with
the warm furs, they set off at a furious pace down the Champs Elysées to
the Place Louis XV. It was both surprising and alarming to Calvert to
note with what reckless rapidity Beaufort drove through the crowded
boulevard, where pedestrians mingled perforce with carriages, sleighs,
and chairs, there being no foot pavements, and with what smiling
indifference he watched their efforts to get out of his horses' way.

"'Tis insufferable, my dear Calvert," he said, when his progress was
stopped entirely by a crowd of people, who poured out of a small street
abutting upon the boulevard, "'tis insufferable that this rabble cannot
make way for a gentleman's carriage."

"I should think the rabble would find it insufferable that a gentleman's
carriage should be driven so recklessly in this crowded thoroughfare, my
dear Beaufort," returned Calvert, quietly, looking intently at that same
rabble as it edged and shuffled and slipped its way along into the great
street. At Calvert's remark, the young Frenchman shrugged his shoulders
and shook his reins over his impatient horses until the chime of silver
bells around their necks rang again. "As usual--in revolt against the
powers that be," he laughed.

Calvert leaned forward. "What is it?" he said. "There seems to be some
commotion. They are carrying something."

'Twas as he had said. In the crowd of poor-looking people was a still
closer knot of men, evidently carrying some heavy object.

"Qu'est ce qu'il y a, mon ami?" said Calvert, touching a man on the
shoulder who had been pushed close to the sleigh. The man addressed
looked around. He was poorly and thinly clothed, with only a ragged
muffler knotted about his throat to keep off the stinging cold. From
under his great shaggy eyebrows a pair of wild, sunken eyes gleamed
ferociously, but there was a smile upon his lips.

"'Tis nothing, M'sieur," he said, nonchalantly. "'Tis only a poor wretch
who has died from the cold and they are taking him away. You see he
could not get any charcoal this morning when he went to Monsieur
Juigné. 'Tis best so." He turned away carelessly, and, forcing himself
through the crowd, was soon lost to sight.

"There are many such," said Beaufort, gloomily, in answer to Calvert's
look of inquiry. "What will you have? The winter has been one of
unexampled, of never-ending cold. The government, the curés, the nobles
have done much for the poor wretches, but it has been impossible to
relieve the suffering. They have, at least, to be thankful that freezing
is such an easy death, and when all is said, they are far better off
dead than alive. But it is extremely disagreeable to see the shivering
scarecrows on the streets, and they ought to be kept to the poorer
quarters of the city." He had thrown off his look of gloom and spoke
carelessly, though with an effort, as he struck the horses, which
started again down the great avenue.

Calvert looked for an instant at Beaufort. "'Tis unlike you to speak
so," he said, at length. Indeed, ever since the young man had come into
the breakfast-room at the Legation, Calvert had been puzzled by some
strange difference in his former friend. It was not that the young
Frenchman was so much more elaborately and exquisitely dressed than in
the days when Calvert had known him in America, or that he was older or
of more assurance of manner. There was some subtle change in his very
nature, in the whole impression he gave out, or so it seemed to Calvert.
There was an air of flippancy, of careless gayety, about Beaufort now
very unlike the ingenuous candor, the boyish simplicity, of the
Beaufort who had served as a volunteer under Rochambeau in the war of
American independence.

"What will you have?" he asked again, nonchalantly. "Wait until you have
been in Paris awhile and you will better understand our manner of
speech. 'Tis a strange enough jargon, God knows," he said, laughing in a
disquieted fashion. "And France is not America."

"I see."

"And though the cold is doubtless unfortunate for the poor, the rich
have enjoyed the winter greatly. Why, I have not had such sport since
d'Azay and I used to go skating on your Schuylkill!" He flicked the
horses again. "And as for the ladies!--they crowd to the pièces d'eau in
the royal gardens. Those that can't skate are pushed about in chairs
upon runners or drive all day in their sleighs. 'Tis something new, and,
you know, Folly must be ever amused."

Even while he spoke numbers of elegantly mounted sleighs swept by, and
to the fair occupants of many of them Beaufort bowed with easy grace.
Here and there along the wide street great fires were burning, tended by
curés in their long cassocks and crowded around by shivering men and
women. The doors of the churches and hospitals stood open, and a
continual stream of freezing wretches passed in to get warmed before
proceeding on their way. Upon many houses were large signs bearing a
notice to the effect that hot soup would be served free during certain
hours, and a jostling, half-starved throng was standing at each door.
There was a sort of terror of misery and despair over the whole scene,
brilliant though it was, which affected Calvert painfully.

"Where are you going to take me?" he asked Beaufort, as the horses
turned into the Place Louis XV.

"Where should I be taking you but to the incomparable Palais Royal, the
capital of Paris as Paris is of France?" returned Beaufort, gayly. "'Tis
a Parisian's first duty to a stranger. There you will see the world in
little, hear all the latest news and the most scandalous gossip, find
the best wines and coffee, read the latest pamphlets--and let me tell
you, my dear Calvert, they come out daily by the dozens in these
times--see the best-known men about town, and--but I forget. I am
telling you of what the Palais Royal used to be. In these latter times
it has changed greatly," he spoke gloomily now. "'Tis the
gathering-place of Orléans men in these days, and they are fast turning
into a Hell what was once very nearly an earthly Paradise!"

"You seem to know the place well," said Mr. Calvert.

"No man of fashion but knows it," returned Beaufort, "though I think
'twill soon be deserted by all of us who love the King."

"You were not so fond of kings in America," said Calvert, smiling a
little.

"I was young and hot-headed then. No, no, Calvert, I have learned many
things since Yorktown. Nor do I regret what I then did, but"--he paused
an instant--"I see trouble ahead for my country and my class. Shall I
not stick to my King and my order? There will be plenty who will desert
both. 'Tis not the fashion to be loyal now," he went on, bitterly. "Even
d'Azay hath changed. He, like Lafayette and your great friend Mr.
Jefferson and so many others, is all for the common people. Perhaps I am
but a feather-headed fool, but it seems to me a dangerous policy, and I
think, with your Shakespeare, that perhaps 'twere better 'to bear the
ills we have'--how goes it? I can never remember verse."

As he finished speaking, he reined in his horses sharply, and looking
about him, Calvert perceived that they had stopped before a building
whose massive exterior was most imposing. Alighting and throwing the
reins to the groom, Beaufort led Calvert under the arcades of the Palais
Royal and into the grand courtyard, where were such crowds and such
babel of noises as greatly astonished the young American. Shops lined
the sides of the vast building--shops of every variety, filled with
every kind of luxury known to that luxurious age; cafés whose reputation
had spread throughout Europe, swarming with people, all seemingly under
the influence of some strange agitation; book-stalls teeming with
brand-new publications and crowded with eager buyers; marionette shows;
theatres; dancing-halls--all were there. Boys, bearing trays slung about
their shoulders by leathern straps and heaped with little trick toys,
moved continually among the throngs, hawking their wares and explaining
the operation of them. Streams of people passed continually through the
velvet curtains hung before Herr Curtius's shop to see his marvellous
waxworks within. Opposite this popular resort was the Théâtre de
Seraphim, famed for its "ombres chinoises," and liberally patronized by
the frequenters of the Palais Royal. A little farther along under the
arcades was the stall where Mademoiselle la Pierre, the Prussian
giantess, could be seen for a silver piece. Next to this place of
amusement was a small salon containing a mechanical billiard-table, over
which a billiard-ball, when adroitly struck, would roll, touching the
door of a little gilded chateau and causing the images of celebrated
personages to appear at each of the windows, to the huge delight of the
easily amused crowds.

Cold as the afternoon was, the press of people was tremendous, and
besides the numbers bent on amusement, throngs of men stood about under
the wind-swept arcades, talking excitedly, some with frightened, furtive
face and air, others boldly and recklessly.

As they passed along, Calvert noted with surprise that Beaufort seemed
to have but few acquaintances among the crowds of gesticulating, excited
men, and that the look of disquiet upon his face was intensifying each
moment. When they reached the Café de l'École, the storm burst.

"'Tis an infernal shame," he said, angrily, sinking into a chair at a
small table, and pointing Calvert to the one opposite him, "'tis an
infernal shame that this pleasure palace should be made the hotbed of
political intrigue; that these brawling, demented demagogues should be
allowed to rant and rave here to an excited mob; that these disloyal,
seditious pamphlets should be distributed and read and discussed beneath
the windows of the King's own cousin! The King must be mad to permit
this folly, which increases daily. Where will it end?" He looked at
Calvert and clapped his hands together. A waiter came running up.

"What will you have, Calvert?--some of the best cognac and coffee?" he
asked. "There is no better to be found in all France than here."

"'Twill suit me excellently," said Calvert, absently, thinking more of
what Beaufort had told him of the tendencies of the times than of the
coffee and cognac of the Café de l'École. As he spoke, the man, who had
stood by passively awaiting his orders, suddenly started and looked at
the young American attentively.

"But--pardon, Messieurs," he stammered, "is it possible that I see
Monsieur Calvert at Paris?" Beaufort looked up in astonishment at the
servant who had so far forgotten himself as to address two gentlemen
without permission, and Calvert, turning to the man and studying his
face for an instant, suddenly seized him by the hand cordially, and
exclaimed, "My good Bertrand, is it indeed you?"

"Ah! Monsieur--what happiness! I had never thought to see Monsieur
again!"

"Then you were destined to be greatly mistaken, Bertrand," returned
Calvert, laughing, "for you are likely to see me often. I am to be here
in Paris for an indefinite length of time, and as Monsieur de Beaufort
tells me that the Café de l'École surpasses all others, I shall be here
very frequently."

"And now," broke in Beaufort, addressing the man, who still stood
beaming with delight and surprise upon Calvert, "go and get us our
coffee and cognac." The man departed hastily and Beaufort turned to
Calvert.

"Allow me to congratulate you upon finding an acquaintance in Paris so
soon! May I ask who the gentleman is?"

"The gentleman was once a private in a company under Monsieur de
Lafayette's orders before Yorktown, and is my very good friend," says
Calvert, quietly, ignoring Beaufort's somewhat disdainful raillery. What
he did not tell Beaufort was that Private Bertrand owed his life and
much material aid to himself, and that the man was profoundly devoted
and grateful. In Calvert's estimation it was but a simple service he had
rendered the poor soldier--rescuing him from many dying and wounded
comrades who had fallen in that first fierce onslaught upon the Yorktown
redoubt. He had directed the surgeon to dress the man's wounds--he had
been knocked on the head with a musket--and had eased the poor wretch's
mind greatly by speaking to him in his own tongue, for most of the
French soldiery under Rochambeau and Lafayette knew not a word of
English. When Bertrand recovered, Calvert had sent him a small sum of
money and a kind message, neither of which was the man likely to forget.
Never, in the whole course of his pinched, oppressed young life in
France, had kindness and consideration been shown him from those above
him. Tyranny and abuse had been his lot and the lot of those all about
him, and such a passionate devotion for the young American officer was
kindled in his breast as would have greatly astonished its object had he
known it. It was with an almost ludicrous air of solicitude that
Bertrand placed the coffee before Calvert and poured out his cognac and
then hung about, waiting anxiously for any sign or word from him.

"Is it not the best coffee in the world?" said Beaufort, sipping his
complacently and looking about the crowded room for a familiar face.
Apparently he found none, for, leaning across the table and speaking to
Calvert quite loudly and in an insolent tone, he said, "'Tis a good
thing the coffee is of the best, or, my word of honor, I would not come
to a place which gentlemen seem to have abandoned and to which canaille
flock." And with that he leaned back and looked about him with a fine
nonchalance. There was a little murmur of suppressed ejaculations and
menaces from those nearest who had heard his words, but it soon subsided
at the sight of Monsieur de Beaufort's handsome face and reckless air.

"There is also another charm about the Café de l'École, my dear
Calvert," he said, speaking in a slightly lower tone and with an
appreciative smile. "Monsieur Charpentier, our host, has a most
undeniably pretty daughter. She is the caissière, fortunately, and may
be seen--and admired--at any time. We will see her as we go out. And
speaking of beauties," he continued, turning the stem of his wine-glass
slowly around, "you have asked no word of Mademoiselle d'Azay--or, I
should say, Madame la Marquise de St. André!"

"Ah!" said Calvert, politely, "is she married?"

"What a cold-blooded creature!" said Beaufort, laughing. "Let me tell
you, Calvert, the marriage which you take so nonchalantly was the
sensation of Paris. It was the talk of the town for weeks, and the
strangest marriage--if marriage it can be called--ever heard of. 'Tis
now three years since Mademoiselle Adrienne d'Azay finished her studies
at the Couvent de Marmoutier ('tis an old abbaye on the banks of the
Loire, Calvert, near Azay-le-Roi, the château of the d'Azay family) and
came to dazzle all Paris under the chaperonage of her great aunt, the
old Duchesse d'Azay. As you have seen her portrait--and, I dare say,
remember its smallest detail--I will spare you the recital of those
charms which captivated half the young gentlemen of our world on her
first appearance at court. She became the rage, and, before six months
had passed, Madame d'Azay had arranged a marriage with the rich old St.
André. She would sell her own soul for riches, Calvert; judge,
therefore, how willingly she would sell her niece's soul." He paused an
instant and tapped impatiently on the table for another glass of cognac.

"It was a great match, I suppose," hazarded Calvert.

"Oh, yes; Monsieur de St. André was a man high in the confidence of both
the King and Queen--and let me tell thee, 'tis no easy matter to please
_both_ the King and Queen--and a man of rank and fortune. 'Tis safe to
say the Duchess was most concerned as to his fortune, which was
enormous. He was a trifle old, however, for Mademoiselle d'Azay, he
being near sixty-five, and she but eighteen."

"Gracious Heaven!" ejaculated Calvert. "What a cruel wrong to so young a
creature! What a marriage!"

"Upon my word, I believe only the recital of wrong has power to stir
that cold American blood of thine," said Beaufort, laughing again. "But
do not excite yourself too much. After all 'twas scarcely a marriage,
for, within an hour after the ceremony, the elderly bridegroom was alone
in his travelling coach on his way to Madrid, sent thither at the
instant and urgent command of the King on important private business
connected with the Family Compact. From that journey he never returned
alive, being attacked with a fatal fluxion of the lungs at a great
public banquet given in his honor by Count Florida Blanca. His body was
brought back to France, and his soi-disant widow mourned him decorously
for a year. Since then she has been the gayest, as she is the fairest,
creature in the great world of Paris."

"Is she, indeed, so beautiful?" asked Calvert, indifferently.

"She is truly incomparable," returned Beaufort, warmly. "And I promise
thee, Ned," he went on, in his reckless fashion, "that that cool head of
thine and that stony heart--if thou hast a heart, which I scarce
believe--will be stirred at sight of Madame de St. André, or I know not
the power of a lovely face--and no man knows better the power of a
lovely face than I, who am moved by every one I see!" he added, laughing
ruefully. "Besides her beauty and her fortune, there is a wayward
brilliancy about her, a piquant charm in her state of widowed maid, that
makes her fairly irresistible. The Queen finds her charming and that
Madame de Polignac is pleased to be jealous. 'Tis even said that
d'Artois and d'Orléans, those archenemies, agree only in finding her
enchanting, and the rumor goes that 'twas d'Artois's influence that sent
the elderly husband off post-haste to Madrid. A score of gentlemen
dangle after her constantly, though apparently there is no one she
prefers--unless," he hesitated, and Calvert noticed that he paled a
little and spoke with an effort, "unless it be Monsieur le Baron de St.
Aulaire."

"And who is Monsieur de St. Aulaire?" inquired Calvert.

"A most charming man and consummate villain," says Beaufort, with a
gloomy smile. "The _fine fleur_ of our aristocracy, a maker of tender
rhymes, a singer of tender songs, a good swordsman, a brilliant wit, a
perfect courtier, a lucky gambler--in a word, just that fortunate
combination of noble and ignoble qualities most likely to fascinate
Madame de St. André," and a shadow settled for a moment on the debonair
face of Monsieur de Beaufort.

It did not need that shadow or that effort at light raillery to inform
Calvert that Beaufort himself was an unsuccessful unit in the "score of
gentlemen who dangled after" Madame de St. André, and he would have
essayed to offer his friend some comfort had he known how. But the truth
was that Calvert, never having experienced the anguish and delights of
love, felt a natural hesitation in proffering either sympathy or advice
to one so much wiser than himself.

While he was revolving some expression of interest (it was always his
way to think well before speaking and to keep silent if his thoughts
were not to his entire satisfaction), a sudden murmur, which rapidly
developed into a deep roar as it drew nearer, was heard outside, and at
the Café de l'École the shouting ceased and one man's voice, harsh,
incisive, agitated, could be heard above all the others. Looking through
the wide glass doors Calvert and Beaufort saw in the gathering dusk the
possessor of that voice being raised hurriedly upon the shoulders of
those who stood nearest him in the throng, and in that precarious
position he remained for a few minutes haranguing the turbulent mass of
people. Suddenly he sprang down, and, elbowing his way through the
crowd, he entered the Café de l'École, followed by as many as could
squeeze themselves into the already crowded room.

"What is it?" Beaufort demanded, languidly, of Bertrand. The man, by
tiptoeing, was trying to see over the heads of the smokers and drinkers,
who had risen to their feet and were applauding the orator who had just
entered.

"It is Monsieur Danton who is come in. He is making his way to the
caisse, doubtless to speak with Madame, his wife. Evidently Monsieur
has just addressed a throng in the Gardens."

"Ah! then 'tis certainly time that we go, since Monsieur Danton invades
the place. 'Tis a poverty-stricken young lawyer from Arcis-sur-Aube, my
dear Calvert," said Beaufort, disdainfully, "who has but lately come to
Paris and who, having no briefs to occupy his time, fills it to good
advantage by wooing and marrying the pretty Charpentier. The pretty
Charpentier has a pretty dot. I can't show you the dot, but come with me
and I will show you the beauty."

He got up from the table followed by Calvert and, with his hand laid
lightly on his silver dress sword, made his way easily through the surly
crowd, who, seemingly impelled by some irresistible power and against
their wish, opened a passage for him and the young stranger. As they
drew near the comptoir, Calvert perceived for the first time, leaning
against it, the man who had created such an excitement by his words and
sudden entrance. He was a big, burly figure, with a head and face that
had something of the bull in them. Indeed, they had come by that
resemblance honestly, for a bull had tossed him, goring the lips and
flattening the nose, and the marks were never to be effaced. Smallpox,
too, had left its sign in the deeply scarred skin. Only the eyes
remained to show one what might have been the original beauty of the
face. They shone, brilliant and keen, from beneath great tufted
eyebrows, above which waved a very lion's mane of rough, dark hair.

"A face to be remembered, this Monsieur Danton's," said Calvert to
himself. And, indeed, it was. Years afterward, when he saw it again and
for the last time, every detail of that rugged countenance was as fresh
in his memory as it was at that moment in the Café de l'École. As for
Danton, all unconscious of the young American's scrutiny, his gaze was
bent upon the pretty, vivacious little beauty who sat behind the caisse,
and had so lately become Madame Danton. As he looked, the harsh features
softened and a sentimental expression came into the keen eyes. "'Tis the
same conquered, slavish look the painter hath put into the lion's face
when Ariadne is by," mused Calvert to himself.

Beaufort was counting out silver pieces slowly, and slowly dropping them
on the caissière's desk. He looked at Calvert and nodded appreciatively,
coolly toward Madame Danton.

"Quelle charmante tête," he said, lightly, nonchalantly.

The burly figure leaning on the comptoir straightened up as if stung
into action; the softened eyes kindled with speechless wrath and flamed
into the imperturbable, debonair face of Monsieur de Beaufort. One of
the silver pieces rolled upon the floor. Calvert stooped quickly for it.
"Madame will permit me," he said, courteously, and, lifting his hat,
placed the coin upon the desk. Without another look or word he turned
and, followed leisurely by Beaufort, made his way to the door.

"An insolent," said Danton, savagely, to Madame, and gazing after
Beaufort's retreating back.

"Yes," returned Madame, grinding her pretty teeth with rage--"Monsieur
le Vicomte de Beaufort is an insolent--and not for the first time."

"I shall remember Monsieur le Vicomte de Beaufort's insolence as well as
I shall remember the Englishman's politeness."

Bertrand edged nearer the herculean Monsieur Danton. "Pardon, M'sieur,"
he commenced, nervously, "it is not an Englishman--it is an American--a
young American officer--Monsieur Calvert--aide-decamp to Monsieur le
Marquis de Lafayette, before Yorktown. A patriot of patriots,
Messieurs," he went on, turning to the listening throng about him; "a
lover of freedom, a compassionate heart. He saved me from death,
Messieurs, he gave me money, he sent me clothing, he saw that I was fed
and cared for, Messieurs." He told his story with many gesticulations
and much emphasis, interrupted now and then by huzzas for the young
American.

Calvert would have been vastly astonished to know that the lifting of
his hat and his courteous tone had contrived to make a popular hero of
him; as much astonished, perhaps, as Beaufort to know that his careless,
impertinent compliment to Madame Danton's charming head had sealed the
fate of his own. But 'tis in this hap-hazard fashion that the destiny of
mortals is decided. We are but the victims of chance or mischance. Of
all vainglorious philosophies, that of predestination is the vainest.

Outside, the night had fallen, and the shops, arcades, and gardens of
the Palais Royal were ablaze with innumerable candles and illuminated
Chinese lanterns. Before the entrance Monsieur de Beaufort's groom was
walking his half-frozen and restless horses up and down the icy street.

Beaufort laid his hand on Calvert's arm. "Come," he said, gloomily, "the
place is become insufferable. Let me take you back to the Legation."
Springing in he turned his horses' heads once more toward the Place
Louis XV. and the Champs Elysées, and, while he guided them through the
crowded and badly lighted thoroughfare, Calvert had leisure to think
upon the events of the last hour. It was with resentment and shame he
reflected upon his friend's airy insolence to the pretty caissière of
the Café de l'École. That it should have been offered in her husband's
presence was a gratuitous aggravation of the offence. That it should
have been offered her with such disdainful contempt for any objection on
her part or her husband's, with such easy assurance that there could be
no objections on their part, was another gratuitous aggravation of the
offence. In that noble insolence Calvert read a sign of the times more
legible than the clearest writing in the pamphlets flooding the
book-stalls of the Palais Royal.



CHAPTER V

THE PRIVATE SECRETARY


They drove in silence almost to the rue Neuve de Berry, Calvert musing
on the strange glimpse he had had of life in Paris, Beaufort busy with
his restless horses. At the grille of the Legation Calvert alighted and
Beaufort bade him good-by, still with the gloomy, foreboding look on his
handsome face.

When Calvert had mounted the great stairway, with the carved salamanders
on the balustrade ever crawling their way up and down, he found Mr.
Jefferson sitting alone before the bright fire in his library. As soon
as he heard the young man's step he looked up eagerly.

"At last!" he cried. "I was wishing that you would come in. Mr. Morris
has just been despatched in my carriage to the rue Richelieu, and I was
beginning to wonder what that wild Beaufort had done with you to keep
you so late."

"We are but just returned from a sight of the Palais Royal," said
Calvert, throwing off his great-coat and sitting down beside Mr.
Jefferson, who rang for candles and a box of his Virginia tobacco. "And
a strange enough sight it was--a turbulent crowd, and much political
speaking from hoarse-throated giants held aloft on their friends'
shoulders." "A strange enough place, indeed," said Mr. Jefferson,
shaking his head and smiling a little at Calvert's wholesale description
of it. "'Tis the political centre of Paris, in fact, and though the
crowds may be turbulent and the orators windy, yet 'tis there that the
fruitful seed of the political harvest, which this great country will
reap with such profit, is being sown. 'Despise not the day of small
things,'" he went on, cheerfully. "These rude, vehement orators, with
their narrow, often erroneous, ideas, are nevertheless doing a good
work. They are opening the minds of the ignorant, clearing a way for
broader, higher ideals to lodge therein; they are the pioneers, in this
hitherto undiscovered country for France, of civil liberty, and of
freedom of thought and action."

"And these vehement orators, with their often erroneous ideas--will they
do no harm? Will these pioneers not lead their fellows astray in that
undiscovered country?" suggested Calvert, not without a blush to think
that he had the temerity to question the soundness of Mr. Jefferson's
views.

"Were we not inexperienced, hot-headed men who gathered in the Apollo
room at the Raleigh to protest against the proceedings in Massachusetts?
Were we not rash, windy orators in the House of Burgesses--nay, in
Congress itself? Yet did we not accomplish great things--great good?" He
laid his hand affectionately on the shoulder of the young man who
remained silent, revolving many things, Aeneas-like, but too modest to
oppose himself further to Mr. Jefferson.

"No, no, my boy," continued Mr. Jefferson, after an instant's silence,
"do not believe that the awakening which made of us a great nation will
not be equally glorious for France! And with such leaders as are hers,
will she not march proudly and triumphantly forward to her day of glory?
Will not a Lafayette do even more for his own country than ever he did
for America? Even I have been able to help somewhat. 'Tis true, as
Minister from the United States of America, I cannot use my official
influence, but surely as a patriot, as an American citizen who is
profoundly, overwhelmingly grateful for the aid, the generosity, the
friendship of this great country, I can give counsel, the results of our
experience, a word of encouragement, of good cheer."

He paused, his noble face alight with enthusiasm and emotion. Of all the
fine traits of that fine character none was more strongly marked than
that of gratitude. Never ashamed to show it, his only fear was that he
might not prove grateful enough. Other Americans, of as great talents
and colder hearts, could find it easy to believe that France had
extended her aid to us for diplomatic purposes--to guard her own
interests and humble her adversary, England--could look on with neutral
eyes at her awful struggles, could keep America calmly aloof from all
her entanglements. Not so Mr. Jefferson. Such a return for her services
seemed to him but the acme of selfishness and ingratitude. It was not
bad statesmanship that made him bear so long with the blunders, the
impertinences, the fatuity of Monsieur Genet; it was the remembrance of
all the benefits showered upon us by the country which that charlatan
represented. Perhaps 'tis well that those who hold the welfare of a
nation in their hands should, like the gods, feel neither fear, nor
anger, nor love, nor hatred, nor gratitude--in a word, should be unmoved
by forces that sway the common mortal, so that, free from all earthly
claims, that nation soars away to dizzying heights of prosperity and
power. _Pro bono publico_ is a wellnigh irresistible plea. But there are
statesmen in whose code of morals national virtues are identical with
personal virtues, national crimes with personal crimes. Such a one was
Mr. Jefferson.

"No, no," he went on, musingly, filling his long pipe with the mild,
fragrant Virginia tobacco which had been shipped to him in the packet of
two months back, "we must not forget our obligations. Would that we
could pay some of the moneyed ones! The finances of this country are in
a deplorable state and there are millions of indebtedness on account of
our war. But if we cannot do that, we can, at least, give our moral aid
to those who are trying to bring about great reforms in this
kingdom--reforms which, I hope, will be carried through at the
forthcoming States-General to be held in May. Already the elections are
preparing, and some of our friends will undoubtedly represent their
orders. D'Azay and Lafayette will assuredly be nominated from the
noblesse."

"General de Lafayette and d'Azay!" said Calvert. "I should like to see
them again. The last time was at Monticello."

"Yes, yes," returned Mr. Jefferson, smiling at the pleasant
recollection of that last evening in Virginia. "Lafayette is still in
Auvergne, I believe, busy with his elections, so that I fear he will not
be here tomorrow, the evening of the weekly Legation reception. But
d'Azay will doubtless present himself, since Monsieur de Beaufort tells
us he returns tomorrow. Indeed, he and his aunt, Madame la Duchesse
d'Azay, and his sister, the lovely Madame de St. André, are among my
stanchest friends in this great city and nearly always do me the honor
to be my guests at the receptions and dinners I find it both so
agreeable and necessary to give. I have already engaged Mr. Morris's
company for the evening. It will give me great pleasure to introduce two
such Americans to the world of Paris," and he laid his hand
affectionately, in his customary fashion, on the young man's shoulder.

As Mr. Jefferson had said, he entertained frequently, and 'twas a very
brilliant society that gathered at least once a week in the salon of the
minister from the young Republic, drawn thither by policy, curiosity,
respect and admiration for Mr. Jefferson, a desire to consult him on the
important topics of the hour, and a certain freedom from constraint--a
feeling as of being on neutral ground. For already the salons of Paris
were divided against themselves. No longer simply the gatherings of
fashionable, of charming, of frivolous men and women, they had grown
somewhat serious with the seriousness of the time. In the salon of
Madame Necker gathered the solid supporters of the King, and, above
all, the solid supporters of Monsieur Necker, who was at the height of
his power and complacently ready to play the role of saviour to his
country. At the Palais Royal crowded the queer followers of Monsieur le
Duc d'Orléans, the enemies of the King. At the house of the beautiful
Théroigne de Méricourt were to be found the men of the most advanced,
the most revolutionary, ideas, the future murderers and despoilers of
France. In the salon of the exquisite Madame de Sabran flocked all those
young aristocrats, wits, sprigs of nobility, who believed in nothing in
Heaven or earth save in the Old Order. There was the serious circle
around Madame de Tessé, where new ideas were advanced and discussed, and
there was the gay circle of Madame de Beauharnais, whose chief
attractions were her delightful dinners, and who, the wits declared, had
"intended to found a salon, but had only succeeded in starting a
restaurant." Besides these, there were a dozen other important centres
representing as many different shades of political faith. But in the
salon of the American Legation gathered the best of every following,
for, although Mr. Jefferson's democratic principles were, of course,
well and widely known, yet was he so respected, his moderation and
fairness so recognized, that all considered it an honor to be his friend
and his presence a guarantee of amicable discussion and good-fellowship.

"I shall be very glad to meet your new friends, sir," said Calvert,
smiling back at Mr. Jefferson as that gentleman arose and stood with his
back to the fire, his tall, thin figure silhouetted by the firelight on
the wall (the candles were still unlit), his hands clasped lightly
behind his back, as was his wont. "I had the pleasure of meeting an old
one this afternoon."

"Indeed," said Mr. Jefferson, "and who was that?"

"A poor French private named Bertrand, who served in a company under
General de Lafayette's orders in the attack on Yorktown, and whom I had
the occasion to know rather well. I fancy," he went on, smiling a little
at the recollection of Beaufort's haughtiness, "that Beaufort was
somewhat amazed at the cordiality of our meeting."

"Beaufort!" ejaculated Mr. Jefferson, and a slight frown gathered on his
forehead. "I fancy that Beaufort and his ilk will be amazed at many
things shortly. Ned, I warn you to beware of him. He has changed greatly
since the days when he fought so gallantly under Rochambeau in our great
War of Independence. He has become an aristocrat of aristocrats, a
popinjay, a silken dandy, like most of the young nobles at this court.
He is high in the King's favor and devoted to his cause. Though your
friendships and opinions can have no official weight, as you are my
private secretary, still 'twere well to be careful, to be as neutral as
possible, to occasion no offence. And, indeed, Mr. Secretary," he went
on, shaking off his serious air and speaking in a lighter tone, "I
should be instructing you in your duties, explaining the diplomatic
situation to you, instead of discussing foolish young noblemen like
Monsieur de Beaufort."

"I shall remember your advice, Mr. Jefferson," said Calvert, quietly,
"and I am ready for any instructions and duties."

"After all, 'twill be unwise to begin them this evening," returned Mr.
Jefferson, shaking his head. "You are doubtless wearied with your
journey, and we had better postpone your induction into office until
to-morrow, when we can take the whole day for business. You can have no
idea, my dear Ned, of the numberless affairs put into our hands," he
went on, with a note of anxiety in his voice, "or with what difficulty
many of them are arranged. The constant change of ministers is most
disconcerting among the many disconcerting factors of official existence
here, and just now I am harassed by my non-success in getting from
Congress an appropriation to pay bills for medals and for the redemption
of our captives. It seems that the interest on the Dutch loans until
1790 must be paid before other claims, which leaves but a small chance
for those bills to be liquidated. By the way, to-morrow you must write
me a letter to Monsieur de Villedeuil à propos of a Mr. Nesbit and his
debts--an affair lately put into our care. But there! no business this
evening. 'Tis but a short while before dinner, which you and I will take
quite alone this evening, Ned, and you must tell me of yourself and what
you have been doing all these years at the College of Princeton."

Mr. Jefferson looked at the young man before him with such affectionate
interest that Calvert, though he was the least talkative or egotistic of
mortals, found himself telling of his college life, the vacations at
Strathore, and his visits to Philadelphia and New York.

Now and then one sees a person in the _mezzo cammin_ of his years so
happily constituted by nature as to attract and be attracted by youth.
He seems to hold some fortunate, ever-youthful principle of life denied
to the rest of us. It was so with Mr. Jefferson. Statesman, philosopher,
scientist himself, he yet numbered the young and inexperienced among his
many friends, and not one of them held so warm a place in his affections
as young Calvert of Strathore. He had received from Dr. Witherspoon the
accounts of his career at college, where, although never greatly
popular, he had won his way by his quiet self-reliance, entire
sincerity, and the accuracy and solidity of his mind rather than by any
brilliancy of intellect. These sterling gifts had first attracted Mr.
Jefferson's notice and excited his admiration and affection. The lonely
condition of the young man, too, though borne by him in that
uncomplaining fashion characteristic of him, touched Mr. Jefferson, the
more, perhaps, for the very silence and stoicism with which 'twas
supported. He was, therefore, greatly surprised when he heard Calvert
allude to it for the first time on that winter's afternoon. The young
man had taken Mr. Jefferson's place before the open fire and now stood
leaning against the chimney-piece as he talked, while Mr. Jefferson,
sitting beside the reading-table, drew deep whiffs of the fragrant
tobacco from his long pipe and listened interestedly to what Calvert had
to say, smiling now and then appreciatively. After a little the young
man ceased to speak and stood gazing meditatively into the glowing logs.

"A word more, Mr. Jefferson," he said, at length, still gazing into the
gleaming embers. As he stood so, looking down into the fire, the
flickering light leaped up and played upon his quiet face, upon the
clean-cut lips, the firm jaw, the aquiline nose, the broad, smooth brow,
from which the dark-brown hair, unpowdered, waved back, tied at the neck
with a black ribbon whose ends fell down upon the broad young shoulders.
Perhaps it was the changing light, or perhaps it was the shadow from his
uplifted hand on which he lightly leaned his head, that made his eyes
seem dark and troubled, and quite unlike their usual serene selves. As
Mr. Jefferson looked at the young man an uneasy thought took shape in
his mind that that face's cheerful expression had altered since it had
entered his doors, that the shadow of a change had somehow come upon it.

"A word more," said Calvert again, resting his foot upon one of the
burnished andirons, and removing his gaze from the flickering fire to
Mr. Jefferson's attentive face. "I believe that not in my letters, and
assuredly not since getting here, have I thanked you gratefully enough
for summoning me to you. 'Tis such an honor and a pleasure to be with
you, to work for you, that I cannot express myself as I would like, sir.
Indeed, I have long years of kindnesses, of interest, of affectionate
concern for my welfare, to thank you for. I do not think you can ever
know what all that means to one so entirely alone as I am and have been
almost since I could remember. 'Tis only in the last few years," he went
on, hurriedly, and lowering his hand still more over his serious eyes,
"that I have entirely realized what it is to be without kindred. I have
to thank you and a few other kind friends that the knowledge has been so
long withheld from me."

Mr. Jefferson looked at the young figure, with its unusual air of
sadness, bending over the firelight. Rising, he went over to him and
laid his hand on the young man's shoulder.

"There can be no question of thanks between us, Ned," he said at length,
simply. "I love you as though you were my son, and it is the greatest
pleasure to have you with me." And, indeed, it seemed so and as if he
could not do enough for his young secretary. And that night, when the
quiet dinner was over and they were ready to retire, he himself lighted
Calvert to his bed-chamber and left him with such an affectionate
good-night that the young man felt happier and more at home in that
strange house in Paris than though he had been at Strathore itself, with
no three thousand miles of vexed ocean between himself and Virginia.



CHAPTER VI

MR. CALVERT MEETS OLD AND NEW FRIENDS


The day after Calvert's arrival was a long and busy one for him. He was
closeted from morning until night with Mr. Jefferson, who explained to
him the many private affairs awaiting transaction, as well as much of
the important official business of the Legation. It was also necessary
that he should be thoroughly au courant with the political outlook of
the times and the entire state of European affairs, and in those
shifting, troublesome days it was no easy matter to thoroughly
understand the drift of events. Russia was the cynosure of all eyes at
that moment, and on her throne sat the most ambitious, the most daring,
the most brilliant, and the most successful queen the world has ever
seen. Catharine's designs upon Turkey, in which she was abetted by
Austria's Emperor, Joseph, threatened to disrupt Europe and caused
Chatham's son to look with anxious eyes toward the East, while
strengthening his hold in Holland. Poland, desperate, and struggling
vainly to keep her place among European nations, was but a plaything in
the hands of the Empress, aided by Prussia, who realized only too well
that her own prosperity demanded the destruction of the weaker state. In
the North, Gustavus ruled in isolated splendor, now lending his aid to
some one of the warring continental powers, now arraying himself against
the combatants to preserve some semblance of a balance of power.

Calvert threw himself with enthusiasm into his work, delighted to be
able to lighten the immense labors of Mr. Jefferson (who, to tell the
truth, was always overworked and underpaid), and happy to think he was
of service to one who had always shown such kindness to him. So
interested and energetic was the young man that Mr. Jefferson had much
difficulty in getting him to lay aside his papers and make himself ready
for the reception of the evening. Indeed, when, after dressing quickly,
he descended to the great drawing-room, which looked quite splendid,
with its multitude of wax lights and gilded mirrors, he found it already
filled with a company more splendid than any he had ever before seen. As
he approached, he noticed that Mr. Jefferson was conversing with a large
gentleman of pompous appearance, to whom he had just presented Mr.
Morris, and to whom he presented Calvert in turn as "Monsieur Necker."
'Twas with a good deal of curiosity and disappointment that Calvert saw
for the first time the Minister of Finance, the greatest power for the
moment in France. He was a large, heavy man, whose countenance, with its
high, retreating forehead, chin of unusual length, vivid brown eyes and
elevated eyebrows, was intelligent, but did not even hint at genius.
There was about him an air of fatigue and laboriousness which suggested
the hard-working and successful business man rather than a great
statesman and financier, and the courtly richness of his embroidered
velvet dress suited ill his commonplace figure. In his whole personality
Calvert decided there was no suggestion of that nobility of mind and
nature which so distinguished Mr. Jefferson, nor of that keen mentality
and easy elegance of manner so characteristic of Mr. Gouverneur Morris.

"His looks seem to say, 'I am the man,'" whispered that gentleman to
Calvert as Monsieur Necker turned aside for an instant to speak with Mr.
Jefferson, and Calvert could not help smiling at the humorous and swift
summing-up of the Minister's character and the merry twinkle in Mr.
Morris's eye. But whatever their opinion of his talents, Monsieur
Necker's cordiality was above reproach, and it was with elaborate
politeness that he presented the Americans to Madame Necker. She was a
very handsome woman still, retaining traces of that beauty which had
fired Gibbon in his youth, and was all amiability to the two strangers,
whom she introduced to her daughter, Madame la Baronne de
Staël-Holstein, wife of the ambassador from Gustavus III. to the court
of Louis XVI.

Madame de Staël stood with her back to the open fire, her hands clasped
behind her, her brilliant black eyes flashing upon the assembled
company. Although she had accomplished nothing great ('twas before she
wrote "Corinne" or "De l'Allemagne"), she was already famous for her
appreciation of Monsieur Rousseau. Indeed, there was something so
unusual, so forceful in this large, almost masculine woman, that
Calvert was as much impressed with her as he had been disappointed in
Monsieur Necker. It seemed as if the mediocre talents of the Minister of
Finance had flamed into genius in this leonine creature who was as much
her mother's inferior in looks as her father's superior in intelligence.
Mingled with this masculinity of mind and appearance was an egotism, a
coquetry, a directness of thought and action that combined to make a
curious personality. It was amusing to note with what assiduity she
showered her attentions on Mr. Morris, the man of the world, of whom she
had heard much, and with what polite indifference she dismissed
Calvert--though it is but doing her justice to say that later, tiring of
her ineffectual efforts to interest Mr. Morris, she made the amende
honorable and essayed her coquetries on the younger man, much to his
embarrassment. With a slight gesture of command she pointed Mr. Morris
to a seat beside her on the divan upon which she had sunk.

"Ah! Monsieur," she said to him, with a languishing glance out of her
brilliant eyes and a smile that displayed a row of wonderfully white
teeth, "Monsieur de Lafayette tells me that you are un homme d'esprit."

"Madame," returned Mr. Morris, bowing low--perhaps to conceal the
ironical smile playing about his lips--"I do not feel myself worthy of
such a compliment."

"Mais, si!" insisted Madame de Staël, with another glance, which did not
and was not meant to conceal her newly awakened interest in the
distinguished-looking American. "We hear that Monsieur has even written
a book on the American Constitution."

"Alas, no, Madame! 'Tis a libel, I assure you," returned Mr. Morris,
this time laughing outright with the amusement he could no longer
conceal. "I have but done my duty in helping to form the Constitution."

"Indeed!" exclaimed Madame de Staël, and then lowering her voice
slightly and dropping her coquettish manner for a serious air, "perhaps
we shall have occasion to beg of Monsieur Morris some ideas là dessus.
There is nothing this poor, distracted France stands so much in need of
as a constitution. My father is a great man, on whom the King and
country depend for everything" ("In my life I never saw such exuberant
vanity," thought Mr. Morris to himself), "but even he must fail at times
if not supported by a reasonable constitution. You must come to see me,
Monsieur, when we can be alone and discuss this. One who has helped to
form his country's laws and has been wounded in her services," and she
pointed with an eloquent, somewhat theatrical gesture to Mr. Morris's
wooden stump, "cannot fail to be a good adviser."

"Oh, Madame, I must indeed cripple myself in your esteem now," says Mr.
Morris, laughing again heartily. "'Twas not in my country's service that
I lost my leg--'twas but a runaway accident with two fiery little ponies
in Philadelphia! But, indeed," he goes on, still laughing, "I do not
miss it greatly, and can get around as easily as though I were a
centipede and had a hundred good legs at my disposal!"

As for Calvert, he had been only too glad to make his escape on Madame
de Staël's cool dismissal, and had retreated to the side of Madame
Necker, who was kindness itself to the young man, pointing out the great
celebrities of the Paris world who thronged the rooms, and presenting
him to many of the most famous people of the day. Thither had come
Monsieur le Maréchal de Castries, Monsieur le Duc d'Aiguillon, Mr.
Arthur Young, the noted English traveller, His Grace the Duc de
Penthièvre, the richest and best noble of France, together with Monsieur
de Montmorin, of the Foreign Affairs, and Monsieur de la Luzerne,
Minister of Marine. Monsieur Houdon, the sculptor, was there, with a
young poet named André Chenier, and later entered the daintily beautiful
Madame de Sabran, followed by her devoted admirer, the Chevalier de
Boufflers, abbé, soldier, diplomat, and courtier. Madame de Chastellux,
the Duchesse d'Orléans's lady-in-waiting, whom Calvert had once met in
America, was also making a tour of the salon, accompanied by that
charming hedonist, Monsieur le Vicomte de Ségur, than whom there was no
wilder, lighter-headed youth in Paris, unless it was his bosom friend,
Beaufort, who, catching sight of Calvert standing beside Madame Necker,
straightway went over to him.

"As ever, the Squire of Elderly Dames," he whispered to Calvert, smiling
mockingly. "Are you looking for d'Azay? Well, he has not arrived, nor
Madame la Marquise, nor Madame la Duchesse. Trust me for seeing them as
soon as they come! In the meantime, my dear Calvert, there are some
beauties here whom you must meet. Madame de Flahaut, for example. I
shall ask Madame Necker's permission to take you to her. But wait," he
said, with a little laugh, and, laying a hand on Calvert's arm, "we are
forestalled! See, Mr. Morris is just being presented," and he motioned
to where a beautiful young woman sat, before whom Mr. Morris was making
a most profound bow. Calvert thought he had rarely seen a more lovely
face, though there was a touch of artificiality about it, young as it
was, which he did not admire. The soft, fair hair was thickly powdered,
the cheeks rouged, and the whiteness of the chin and forehead enhanced
by many patches. The eyes were intelligent, but restless and insincere,
the mouth too small.

"'Twill have to be for another time, Calvert," said Beaufort, after an
instant's pause, during which Mr. Morris installed himself beside the
lady with the evident intention of staying. "'Tis plain that the
beautiful Madame de Flahaut has thrown her spell over him, and 'twill
not do to break it just yet. But by St. Denis!" he suddenly whispered to
Calvert, "here comes d'Azay with the Duchess and Madame de St. André,
attended as usual by St. Aulaire."

Calvert followed Beaufort's glance and saw entering the room his friend
d'Azay, at whose side, slowly and proudly, walked an old woman. She bore
herself with a nobility of carriage Calvert had never seen equalled, and
her face, wrinkled and powdered and painted though it was, was the face
of one who had been beautiful and used to command. Her dark eyes were
still brilliant and glittered humorously and shrewdly from beneath their
bushy brows. The lean, veined neck, bedecked with diamonds, was still
poised proudly on the bent shoulders. Her wrecked beauty was a perfect
foil for the fresh loveliness of the young girl who, with a splendidly
attired cavalier, followed closely behind her.

"Is she not a beauty?" said Beaufort, under his breath, to Calvert. With
a start the young man recognized the original of the miniature that
d'Azay had shown him that last evening at Monticello, so many years ago.
It is to be doubted whether, in the interim, Calvert had bestowed a
thought upon the beautiful French girl, but as he looked at the deep
blue eyes shining divinely beneath the straight brows, at the crimson
mouth, with its determined but lovely curves, at the cloud of dark hair
about the white brow, it suddenly seemed to him as if the picture had
never been out of his mind. "The Lass with the Delicate Air" was before
him, but changed. The look of girlish immaturity was gone--replaced by
an imperious decision of manner. A haughty, almost wayward, expression
was on the smiling face--a look of dawning worldliness and caprice.
'Twas as if the thought which had once passed through Calvert's mind had
come true--that countenance which had been capable of developing into
noble loveliness or hardening into unpleasing, though striking, beauty,
had somehow chosen the latter way. The spiritual beauty seemed now in
eclipse and only the earthly, physical beauty remained.

Calvert had opportunity to note these subtle changes which time had
wrought in the original of the miniature while Mr. Jefferson bent low
over the withered, beringed hand of the old Duchess, and he waited his
turn to be presented to the ladies. The ceremony over, he and d'Azay
greeted each other as old friends and comrades-in-arms are wont to do.
They had scarce time to exchange a word, however, as Monsieur de Ségur,
coming up hurriedly, carried d'Azay and Beaufort away to where a group
of young men were waiting for the last news of the elections. Already
politics were ousting every other topic of conversation in the salon.

As for Madame de St. André, she did not at all imitate her brother's
warmth of manner toward Calvert. He was conscious of an almost
contemptuous iciness in her greeting, and that mentally she was
unfavorably comparing him, the simply dressed, serious young American
before her, with the splendid courtiers who crowded around. Certain it
was that she was much more gracious in manner to Monsieur le Baron de
St. Aulaire, who had accompanied her into the salon and still remained
at her side. It was the first time that Calvert had seen St. Aulaire,
and, remembering Beaufort's words about him, a sudden pang shot through
his breast as he saw the young girl turn aside with him to make a tour
of the rooms. For, in truth, Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire was the
epitome of all that was most licentious, most unworthy, most brilliant
in the Old Order, and was known throughout the kingdom by
reputation--or, more properly speaking, by lack of it. But in spite of
his long life of dissipation and adventure (he had campaigned with the
Swiss Guards at thirteen, and, though he was much past forty, looked
like a man of scarce thirty), there was still such an unrivalled grace
in all he said and did, such an heroic lightness and gallantry in all he
dared--and he dared everything--that he seemed to be eternally young and
incomparably charming. It was with a new-born and deep disgust that
Calvert noted the attentions of this man, whose life he disdained to
think of, to the beautiful girl beside him. And it seemed to him that
she took a wayward pleasure in charming him, though she kept him at a
distance by a sort of imperious coquetry that was not to be presumed
upon.

Calvert turned from his almost melancholy contemplation of the young
girl to the old Duchesse d'Azay standing beside him and talking volubly
to Mr. Jefferson.

"And have your friends newly arrived from America brought you news from
our old friend, Dr. Franklin, Monsieur?" she asks, in her grand manner.
"Ah, I wish we might see him again! I think there was never an
ambassador so popular with us--snuff-boxes with his face upon them,
miniatures, fans! I was present when he was crowned with laurel. We had
thought it impossible to replace him, Monsieur, until you arrived!"

"Ah, Madame, I did not come to replace him," corrected Mr. Jefferson,
making his best bow, and which was very courtly and deferential,
indeed, "not to replace him--no one can do that--only to succeed him."

"Bien, bien, Monsieur," cried the Duchess, tapping her fan against her
long, thin fingers and breaking out into an appreciative little cackle.
"Monsieur understands our language" (they were both speaking French)
"quite as well as that paragon of wit and erudition, Dr. Franklin
himself. Ah! what a man," she went on, musingly; "'twas he who gave the
Duchesse de Bourbon a lesson in chess! She put her king in _prise_ and
Monsieur Franklin promptly took it! 'But we do not take kings so,' cried
Her Grace, furiously, for you may be sure she was greatly put out. 'We
do in America,' said the Doctor, calmly." And she broke out laughing
again in her thin, cracked voice at the recollection of the discomfiture
of her archrival, the old Duchesse de Bourbon. "Truly that America of
yours must be a wonderful place."

"Ah, Madame," said Mr. Jefferson--and there was a note of sadness in his
voice--"I think there is no land like it, no rivers so broad and deep,
no woods so green and wild, no soil so fertile, no climate so
delightful. I wish I might show you but one garden-spot of it--my
Virginia--to prove to you, Madame, that I do not exaggerate when I sing
my country's praises. The Duc de la Rochefoucault-Liancourt promises to
visit me at Monticello within the next few years. Cannot I persuade you,
Madame, to come, too?"

"Ah, Monsieur, 'twould give me infinite pleasure, but I shall never
leave my France--although"--and here she lowered her voice and shrugged
her lean shoulders contemptuously--"did I listen to but one-half of what
I hear prophesied in these revolutionary salons, to but one-half of what
I hear openly discussed at the card-tables, I might accept your
invitation as a refuge! But I have no fear for my King. I am not shaking
with apprehension at the turn affairs are taking, like that
poor-spirited little Madame de Montmorin, whose husband knows no more
about foreign affairs than does my coachman, but I wish with all my
heart, Monsieur, that you had kept your revolution chez vous! 'Tis a
fever, this revolution of yours, and our young men return from the war
and spread the contagion. They clamor for new rights, for assemblies,
for States-Generals--'twas that fever-stricken young Lafayette himself
who demanded that, and, instead of being in attendance at court, as a
young noble should be, he is buried in Auvergne, trying to get himself
elected to his own States-General! Bah! what will it all come to?" She
fastened her keen, bright eyes on Mr. Jefferson's face and spoke with
indomitable energy and haughtiness. "The noblesse is all-powerful. We
have everything--why should we cry for something more? As for the
commons, they don't know what is good for them and they have all they
deserve. At any rate they will not get anything more. These contentions,
these revolts of the lower orders"--she stopped, for at that instant the
young Vicomte de Ségur came up and, making a profound bow, offered his
arm to the Duchess.

"Madame," he said, "the Duchesse de Chastellux begs that you will join
her at a table of whist." He paused a moment, and then, with a languid
shrug of his shoulders and a whimsical smile, "Your Grace was speaking
of the discontent of the lower orders? They are very unreasonable--these
lower orders--they spoil one's Paris so!"

Calvert was about to follow the two figures into the crowd, when
suddenly he heard his name called softly, and, turning, found himself
beside St. Aulaire and Madame de St. André. She was looking at him, her
eyes and lips smiling mockingly. Calvert met her gaze calmly and fully.
They stood thus, looking at each other, courteously on Calvert's part,
curiously, almost challengingly, on the young girl's. It was Madame de
St. André who broke the silence. When she spoke, her voice was
exquisitely sweet and low, and her eyes became kind, and the artificial
smile faded from her lips. Looking at her so, Calvert could scarce
believe that it was the same arrogant beauty who had regarded him so
haughtily but a moment before. 'Twas as if she had let fall from her
face, for a moment, some lovely but hateful mask, which she could resume
instantly at will.

"Mr. Calvert," she said, "I hope my brother has had a chance to talk
with you. He is most anxious to see you." As she spoke, Calvert thought
he had never heard anything so beautiful as the sound of those clear,
French words, each one as sweet and distinct as the carillon of a silver
bell.

"Alas, no, Madame! We have exchanged but a dozen words. 'Tis almost
five years since we last talked together. That was at Monticello, where,
indeed, I had the pleasure of making your acquaintance--in miniature!"
He bowed and smiled as he noted her look of surprise. "And where---"

"And where," interrupted Beaufort, who at that instant joined them and
who had overheard Calvert's last words, "d'Azay promised to introduce
Mr. Calvert to you as an American savage!"

"Indeed, my brother spoke to me on the subject," returned Madame de St.
André, laughing outright at the recollection (and if each word she spoke
was like the sound of a silver bell, her laugh was like a whole chime of
them). "I had looked for something quite different," she went on, in a
mock-disappointed tone, and with an amused glance at Beaufort. "Perhaps
paint and feathers and a--a--what is the name, Monsieur? a--tomahawk to
kill with! Ah! Monsieur"--here she sighed in a delightfully droll way
and swept Calvert a courtesy--"as an American you are a great
disappointment!"

"I am inexpressibly grieved to be the cause of any disappointment to
you, Madame," replied Calvert, calmly. "But as for paint and feathers,
surely they can be no novelties to you," and here he looked meaningly
around at the bedaubed, bedecked ladies of fashion (though 'tis but fair
to say that the young beauty before him disdained the use of furbelows
or cosmetics, as well she might with such a brilliant complexion); "and
as for tomahawks--the ladies of this country need no more deadly weapons
than their own bright glances. But truly, Madame, did you expect to see
a young savage?"

"I was hoping to," she said, demurely. "'Twould have been more
interesting than--than--" And here she stopped as if in seeming
embarrassment and loss for words. "Is not America full of them?" she
asked, innocently.

"Assuredly, Madame, as you must know, since they have so often been your
allies!"

As Calvert spoke, all the amusement and good-nature died out of Madame
de St. André's face, and she resumed her mask, becoming again the
haughty and distant young beauty.

"But 'tis not an uncivilized land by any means," went on Calvert, who
was young and ardent enough to espouse warmly the cause of his country
from even the badinage of a spoilt young girl. "There is much learning
and the most gracious manners to be found there, as you must also know,
since we have been able to spare two such shining examples of both to
this court--Dr. Franklin and Mr. Jefferson."

"Monsieur does not mean to compare the civilization of his own country
to that of ours?" contemptuously demanded St. Aulaire, who, up to that
time, had stood superciliously by, taking no part in the conversation.

"Indeed, no!" returned Calvert, with suspicious promptness. "In my mind
there can be no comparison, and surely you will acknowledge that a
country which has produced the greatest man of the age is not one to be
despised."

"And who may that be?" asked Monsieur de St. Aulaire, with lazy
insolence.

"I had thought, my lord," returned Calvert, bowing low, "that the
subject of so enlightened a state as you say France is would surely have
heard the name of General Washington. Monsieur does not read history?"

"'Tis impossible to read yours, since you have none," returned St.
Aulaire, with a contemptuous little laugh.

"We are making it every day, Monsieur," said Calvert, calmly.

"Ah, sir!" demanded Madame de St. André, "are all Americans so
presumptuous?"

"Yes, Madame--if 'tis presumptuous to admire General Washington."

"We have heard of him in effect," sneeringly broke in Monsieur de St.
Aulaire. "A lucky adventurer with a pretty talent for fighting British
cowards, a beggar who has not been turned away empty from our doors.
Why, hasn't the whole country given to him?--from the King down--and
truth to tell we were glad to give as long as he whipped the English."

"No, no, Monsieur de St. Aulaire," suddenly interrupted Madame de St.
André, turning upon him, "do not wrong France, do not wrong your King,
do not wrong Lafayette and Rochambeau and Dillon and so many others! We
gave because France was strong and America weak, because it was our
greatest happiness to help right her wrongs, because 'tis ever France's
way to succor the oppressed. As for General Washington, Monsieur
Calvert does well to admire him. The King admires him--can Monsieur de
St. Aulaire do less? We are devoted royalists, but we can still respect
and admire patriotism and genius under whatever government they
flourish." She changed her tone of authority and accusation and turned
to Calvert. Again the mask had been dropped, the eyes were once more
kind, the voice and smile once more tender. "I should like to hear more
of your General Washington and of America, Monsieur," she said, almost
shyly, and Calvert wondered at the change in her. "If Monsieur skates,
we should be happy to have him join us to-morrow afternoon on the ice
near the Pont Royal. 'Tis for three o'clock." And she smiled as she
turned away, followed by Monsieur de St. Aulaire, apparently in no very
good-humor.

When Calvert again looked around him, after having watched Madame de St.
André disappear, he noticed Mr. Jefferson at the farther end of the room
looking much disturbed and talking earnestly with Monsieur Necker,
Monsieur le Comte de Montmorin, and Mr. Gouverneur Morris, who had at
length left the side of the charming Madame de Flahaut. Calvert
approached the group, and, as he drew near, he could hear Necker
speaking in an anxious, despondent tone.

"My dear friend," he was saying, "'tis not only difficulties with the
finances which alarm us! Obedience is not to be found anywhere. Even the
troops are not to be relied on." And he turned wearily away.

When Mr. Jefferson caught sight of Calvert, who had stopped, hesitating
to join the group lest he should intrude on some important and private
business, he beckoned the young man forward.

"Is anything the matter?" asked Calvert, in a low tone. "You look
anxious."

"I will tell you later, my boy," returned Mr. Jefferson, smiling
reassuringly. "Go and talk to Madame de Flahaut--Mr. Morris has promised
to send you to her."

Calvert did as he was desired, and found Madame de Flahaut a very
entertaining lady, but who, in spite of her charms, he was not sorry to
see go, as she did presently, with Madame de Coigny and Monsieur de
Curt. And soon after she retired the company broke up and only Mr.
Morris remained behind to have a last glass of wine and a few moments'
quiet chat with Mr. Jefferson and Calvert. It was while they were thus
engaged in the now deserted drawing-room that Mr. Jefferson told Calvert
the cause of his perturbed look, which was none other than a
conversation concerning the state of the kingdom confided to himself and
Mr. Morris by Monsieur Necker. He explained at great length to Calvert
the delicacy and danger of the Comptroller-General's position and the
wretched condition of the country's finances and army. To which Mr.
Morris added some of his own observations, made with the rapidity and
justness so characteristic of him.

"Monsieur Necker seems to me, indeed, to be in a disagreeable and
sufficiently dangerous position. His business stands thus: if any
mischiefs happen they will be charged to him. If he gets well through
the business others will claim the reputation of what good is done by
the States-General. If he is a really great man, I am deceived. If he is
not a laborious man, I am also deceived. He loves flattery--for he
flatters. He is therefore easily imposed upon."

But here Mr. Jefferson would not allow Mr. Morris to proceed with his
dicta, declaring that he did Monsieur Necker a gross injustice, and
defending him warmly, both as a financier and statesman. Mr. Morris
still clinging to his hastily formed opinion, the two gentlemen
continued to argue the matter until, Mr. Morris's carriage having been
announced, he took his final leave and stumped his way down the broad
staircase, attended to the door by Calvert.

But deeply as Calvert was already interested in the affairs of France,
it was not the miscarried business of a nation that troubled his sleep
that night. For the first time in his life the face of a woman haunted
his dreams, now luring him on with glance and voice, as it seemed to
him, now sending him far from her with teasing laughter and disdainful
eyes.



CHAPTER VII

AN AFTERNOON ON THE ICE


Calvert's second morning at the Legation was even busier than the first
had been, so that there was no time for disquieting thoughts or the
memory of troubled dreams. Indeed, the young man had very good nerves
and such power of concentration and so conscientious a regard for
whatever he might have on hand to do as always kept him absorbed in his
work. The packet by which he and Mr. Morris had arrived being ready to
start on the return voyage, it was necessary to make up the American
mail, which Calvert found to be no light task. Mr. Jefferson's large
private correspondence always necessitated the writing of a dozen or
more letters for every packet, several copies of the more important
having to be made, owing to the unreliability of the vessels themselves
and the danger of all communications being opened and possibly destroyed
by the French agents before they could even be sent on their way.
Besides these private letters there were also many communications
concerning official business to be written. The most important one was a
letter to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jay, concerning the
recall of Monsieur le Comte de Moustier, whose conduct had become most
offensive to the American Congress, and the possible appointment of
Colonel Ternant to his office. This officer had won a great European
reputation as _Generalissimo_ of one of the United Provinces, and it was
even hinted that, had he been put at the head of affairs instead of the
pusillanimous Rhinegrave of Salm, the cause might have been saved. All
this and other details had to be communicated to Mr. Jay, and so
delicate was the business that Calvert was instructed to put the letter
in cipher lest it be opened and the French Government prematurely
informed of the dissatisfaction felt with its representative in America.

It was well on toward three in the afternoon before all the business was
disposed of and Calvert had leisure to recall his engagement. When Mr.
Jefferson heard of it he declared his intention of going, too, for it
was ever one of his greatest pleasures to watch young people at their
amusements. The carriage was ordered, and, after stopping in the rue de
Richelieu for Mr. Morris, Mr. Jefferson ordered the coachman to drive to
the terrace of the Jardin des Tuileries, near the Pont Royal, which
particular place the fashionable world had chosen for a rendezvous from
which to watch the skating upon the Seine.

It was a beautiful and unusual sight that met Calvert's eyes for the
first time on that brilliant winter's afternoon as he alighted from Mr.
Jefferson's carriage. The river, which was solidly frozen over at this
point, and which was kept smooth and free of soft ice by attendants from
the Palais Royal, was thronged. Officers of the splendid Maison du Roi
and the Royale Cravate, in magnificent uniforms, glided about; nobles
in their rich dress, the sunlight catching their small swords and
burnishing them to glittering brightness, skated hither and thither; now
and then in the crowd was seen some beautiful woman on skates or more
frequently wrapped in furs and being pushed luxuriously about in a
chair-sleigh by lackeys and attended by a retinue of admirers. On the
terrace of the garden overlooking the river a throng of the most notable
people of the court and society, drawn hither by the novelty of the
pastime and comfortably installed in chairs brought by their servants,
with chaufferettes and furs to keep them protected from the intense
cold, looked on at the shifting, swiftly moving pageant before them. For
the time being the Parisian world was mad about skating, both because of
its popularity as an English sport and because of the rarity with which
it could be enjoyed in France.

Joining the throng of spectators, Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris quickly
found themselves surrounded by friends and acquaintances, and Calvert
left them talking with Madame d'Azay, Madame de Flahaut, and the
Maréchal de Ségur, while he put on his skates. The young man was no
great proficient in the art of skating as he was in that of swimming and
riding (indeed, he was a most perfect equestrian, seeming to have some
secret understanding and entente cordiale with every animal he ever
bestrode), but with that facile acquirement of any physical
accomplishment which ever distinguished him, he was soon perfectly at
ease on the ice.

It was while opposite the Place du Carrousel and almost out of sight of
the crowd of onlookers, that Calvert suddenly came upon Madame de St.
André. She had ventured upon the ice on skates, and was talking to St.
Aulaire, who skated slowly beside her. Even in the bright sunshine the
Baron de St. Aulaire did not show his age, and moved and bore himself
with incomparable grace on the ice. Indeed, in his rich dress and
splendid decorations he made a dazzling appearance, and quite eclipsed
Mr. Calvert in his sober garments and unpowdered hair. Calvert would
have passed by or retreated without intruding himself upon Madame de St.
André, but before he could do either she had caught sight of him, and he
saw, or fancied he saw, a look of relief pass over her face and a
welcome dawn in her eyes. Thinking so, he skated slowly toward her,
wishing to be sure that he was wanted, and, as he did so, the gentleman,
perceiving his approach, ceased speaking and looked most obviously
annoyed at the young man's arrival.

Madame de St. André waved her hand lightly. "Au revoir, Monsieur de St.
Aulaire!" she cried. "Here is Monsieur Calvert, who will take me back
over the ice, so I shall not have to trouble you," and she laughed in a
relieved, if somewhat agitated, fashion as St. Aulaire, doffing his hat
and scowling fiercely at Calvert, skated rapidly away. As Calvert looked
at the retreating figure, Beaufort's words of two days before flashed
through his mind again, and it was with a sort of horror that he thought
of this dissolute nobleman having even spoken with Madame de St. André.
Was this beautiful girl born under some unlucky star that she should
have to know and associate with such creatures? Calvert had only met her
the night before, and already he had seen her twice with a man whose
very presence was contaminating. 'Twas almost with the fear of finding
some visible sign of that debasing influence upon the fair face beside
him that he turned and looked at Madame de St. André. It would have been
impossible for anyone to have looked more innocently charming. The court
beauty was in eclipse, and in her place was a radiant, gracious young
girl. Perhaps it was the short, fur-trimmed dress she wore and the small
cap with its tuft of heron plumes, a fashion lately set by the Princess
de Lamballe, which gave her that childish air. Or, more possibly, it was
the unaccustomed look of embarrassment upon her face and a half-laughing
petulance as of a naughty child caught in mischief.

"Good-day, Monsieur l'Americain," she said, gayly, smiling into the
serious face Calvert turned toward her. "Will you forgive me for
pressing you into service in so offhand a manner?--but perhaps you were
looking for me?"

"No, Madame," returned Calvert, calmly, as they skated slowly toward the
Quai des Tuileries, "but 'tis a pleasure to be of service to you."

A cloud gathered on Madame de St. André's brow at this honest and
somewhat uncomplimentary reply, but suddenly the humor of the situation
seemed to strike her and she burst out laughing.

"Are you always so truthful, Monsieur Calvert, and do American ladies
absolve you from making pretty speeches? If so, I warn you you must
change or you will not succeed with the ladies of Louis's court."

"Ah, Madame! I am no courtier--nor, indeed, do I care to be," said
Calvert, quietly.

"Worse and worse!" cried Madame de St. André, still laughing. "But even
though you disclaim all effort to find me, or wish to be agreeable when
found, yet I will still confess that you arrived most opportunely.
Monsieur de St. Aulaire grows fatiguing," she went on, with a pettish
shrug of her shoulders. "He is as prodigal of compliments as you are
chary of them."

Calvert looked at the young girl beside him.

"He dares to compliment you! A compliment from Monsieur de St. Aulaire
can be nothing less than an insult," he said, gravely.

Madame de St. André lifted her eyes quickly to Calvert's face and,
noting the ill-concealed disgust and quiet scorn written there, blushed
scarlet and regarded him haughtily.

"Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire is one of the greatest gentlemen in
Europe--and--and anyone whom he distinguishes by his attentions must
feel honored."

"Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire is one of the greatest roués in
Europe," corrected Calvert, calmly, "and anyone whom he distinguishes by
his attentions ought to feel disgraced."

Madame de St. André was speechless in sheer amazement and indignation.
Though she had been annoyed, even frightened by the nobleman's ardent
manner and words, she was now eager to defend him from Calvert's attack.
She knew him to be in the right, and the rising admiration for his quiet
dignity and courage, which she could not repress, only added to her
petulance and desire to be revenged on him. It is so with all
women--they hate to be put in the wrong, even when the doing so means
protection to themselves. And so it was wellnigh intolerable to the
spoiled beauty, who had never been used to the lightest contradiction,
that this calm young American should so openly show his disapproval of
her.

"I will pass by your reproof of myself, Monsieur," she said at length,
haughtily; her eyes flashing and a deep blush mantling her brow, "but I
cannot consent to listen in silence to your condemnation of a personage
whose talents and rank should protect him from your sarcasms."

"Rank, Madame!" burst out Mr. Calvert at these words. "I never knew
before that morality or immorality, loyalty or treason, honor or
dishonor had aught to do with rank! In our country 'tis not so. A king's
word can make of the meanest scoundrel a duke, a marquis, but an honest
man holds his rank by a power greater than any king's." He bent upon her
such a compelling gaze that she was forced to turn and look at him.
Before Calvert's flashing eyes and manly, honest indignation her own
anger died out and an unwilling admiration took its place. She blushed
again deeply and bit her lips. This young American, with his noble
face, his simplicity of manner and democratic scorn of her rank and
pretensions, had not only accused, but silenced her. At any rate he
should not see that he had impressed her! She laughed lightly.

"What a noble sentiment, Monsieur! Did you find it in one of Monsieur
Rousseau's books?"

"No, Madame, it was not in the works of the famous Monsieur Rousseau
that I found the expression of that sentiment," replied Calvert,
hesitating slightly. "'Tis the theme of a little song by a young man
named Robert Burns, who writes the sweetest poetry in the world, I
think. He is a friend and protege of Dr. Witherspoon, of the College of
Princeton, who never tires of reading his verses to us. I wish I could
give you some idea of the beauty and power of the poem," and he began to
translate "For a' that, and a' that" into the best French at his
command, smiling every now and then at the strange substitutes for
Burns's Scotch which he was forced to employ and at the curious
metamorphosis of the poem into French prose. But he managed to infuse
the spirit and sentiment of the original into his offhand translation,
and Madame de St. André listened attentively.

"I would like to hear more of your poet," she said, gently, when Calvert
had finished speaking. "I do not remember to have heard Monsieur Chenier
speak of him or the Abbé Délille, either. The Abbé is often good enough
to read poetry to us in my aunt's drawing-room, but 'tis usually his
own," and she laughed mischievously. "The poor gentleman makes a great
fuss about it, too. He must have his dish of tea at his elbow and the
shades all drawn, with only the firelight or a single candle to read by,
and when we are all quaking with fear at the darkness and solemn
silence, he begins to recite, and imagines that 'tis his verses which
have so moved us!" and she laughed merrily again. "You shall come and
read to us from your young Scotch poet and snatch the Abbé's laurels
from him! Indeed, my aunt has already conceived a great liking for you,
Monsieur, so she told me last night on her way from Madame Necker's, and
intends to urge upon Mr. Jefferson to bring you to see her immediately."
She smiled at Calvert so graciously and with such unaffected good-humor
that he looked at her with delight and wonder at the change come over
her. Once more the mask was down. All the haughtiness and capricious
anger had faded away, and Calvert thought he had never beheld a creature
so charming and so beautiful. Her dark eyes shone like stars in a wintry
sky, and, though the air was frosty, the roses bloomed in her cheeks. As
he looked at her there was a troubled smile on his lips and he felt a
sudden quickening of his pulse. A curious sense of remoteness from her
impressed itself upon him. He looked around at the unfamiliar scene, at
the towering palace walls on his right, at the crowds of spectators on
the river's edge, at the brilliant throng of skaters, at the great stone
bridge spanning the frozen river over which people were forever passing
to and fro, some hurriedly, some with leisure to lean over the parapet
for a moment to watch the unaccustomed revelry below. And as he looked,
another scene, which he had so lately left, rose before him. In fancy he
could see the broad and shining Potomac, on its banks the stately old
colonial house with its colonnaded wings, something after the fashion of
General Washington's mansion at near-by Mount Vernon, the green lawns
stretching away from the portico and the fragrant depths of the woods
beyond. A voice recalled him from his abstraction. It was that of
Monsieur de St. Aulaire, who, as they neared the crowded terrace of the
Tuileries gardens, emerged from a group of skaters and, approaching
Calvert and Madame de St. André, made a profound bow before the latter.

"Is Madame de St. André to show favor to none but Monsieur Calvert?" he
asks, in a low voice that had an accent of mockery in it as he bent over
the young girl's hand.

"'Tis no favor that I show Monsieur Calvert," she replied, smiling.
"'Tis a privilege to skate with so perfect a master of the art."

"I shall be most happy to take a lesson from Monsieur later in the
afternoon," returned St. Aulaire, courteously, but with a disagreeable
smile playing about his mouth. "In the meantime, if Monsieur will but
resign you for a time--" He stopped and shrugged his shoulders slightly.
Calvert moved from his place beside Madame de St. André.

As he made his way toward the shore, intending to remove his skates and
find Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris, d'Azay and Beaufort came up and urged
upon him to join them. Both were good skaters, but the young American
excelled them in a certain lightness and grace, and the three friends,
as they circled about, trying a dozen difficult and showy manoeuvres on
the ice, attracted much attention. It was after half an hour of the
vigorous exercise and as Mr. Calvert stopped for an instant to take
breath and pay his respects to Madame de Flahaut, who had ventured upon
the ice in a chair-sleigh surrounded by her admirers, that Monsieur de
St. Aulaire again presented himself before him.

"I have come for my lesson, Monsieur," he said to Calvert, bowing after
his incomparably graceful fashion, which Calvert (who had never before
wasted thought upon such things) suddenly found himself envying, and
with the disagreeable smile still upon his lips.

"I am no skating-master, Monsieur," returned the young man, quietly, and
with as good grace as he was master of, "but I shall be happy to have a
turn upon the ice with you," and with that he moved off, leaving St.
Aulaire to stay or follow as he chose. He chose to follow and skated
rapidly after Calvert with no very benevolent look on his handsome,
dissipated face. Although he was by far the best skater among the French
gentlemen who thronged the ice, and although it was little short of a
marvel that he should be so active at his age, he was scarcely a match
for the younger man either in lightness or quickness of movement. And
although his splendid dress and jewels so overshadowed Mr. Calvert's
quiet appearance, he was conscious of being excelled before the crowd
of spectators by the agility and sure young strength of the American.
Piqued and disgusted at the thought, the habitual half-mocking
good-humor of his manner gave way to sullen, repressed irritation.
Knowing his world so well, he was sure of the interest and curiosity
Calvert's performance would arouse, and longed to convert his little
triumph into a defeat. Being accustomed to doing everything he undertook
a little better, a little more gracefully, with a little more éclat than
anyone else, he suddenly began to hate this young man who had beaten him
at his own game and for whom he had felt an aversion from the first
moment of seeing him.

He tried to bethink himself of some plan of lowering his enemy's colors.
In his younger days he had been a notable athlete, excelling in vaulting
and jumping, and suddenly an idea occurred to him which he thought would
result in mortification to Mr. Calvert and success to himself. So great
was the interest in the skating of the two gentlemen that the greater
part of the crowd had retired beyond a little ledge of roughened ice and
snow which cut the improvised arena into two nearly equal parts from
where they could conveniently see Monsieur de St. Aulaire and Mr.
Calvert as they skated about. This rift in the smoothness of the ice was
some fifteen feet wide and extended far out from the shore, so that
those wishing to pass beyond it had to skate out around its end and so
get to the other side. Monsieur de St. Aulaire came up close to it, and,
as he did so, he suddenly called out to Calvert:

"Let us try the other side, Monsieur, and, as it is too far to go
around this, suppose we jump it," and he laughed as he noted Calvert's
look of surprise at his proposition.

"As you wish, Monsieur," assented Calvert, though somewhat dubiously, as
he noted the breadth of the roughened surface, and mentally calculated
that to miss the clear jump by a hair's-breadth would ensure a hard,
perhaps dangerous, fall. 'Twas no easy jump under ordinary
circumstances; weighted down by skates the difficulty would be vastly
increased.

"Tis too wide for a standing jump, Monsieur," said St. Aulaire, looking
alternately at Calvert and the rift of broken, jagged ice, and laughing
recklessly. "We will have to run for it!" And without more words the two
gentlemen skated rapidly back for twenty yards and then came forward
with tremendous velocity, _pari passu_, and, both jumping at the same
instant, landed on the far side of the ledge, scattering the applauding
spectators right and left as they drove in among them, unable for an
instant to stop the swiftness of their progress.

"Well done, Monsieur!" called out St. Aulaire, as he wheeled beside
Calvert, who had succeeded in checking his impetus. He was smiling, but
there was a dark look in his eyes. "Well done, but 'twas too easy--a
very school-boy's trick! We must try something a little more difficult
to test our agility upon the ice--unless, indeed, Monsieur has had
enough?" and he looked at Calvert insultingly full in the face. "The
eyes of the world are upon us--" and he waved his hand mockingly toward
the throng of spectators on the terrace where the ladies were applauding
with gloved hands and the men tapping the frozen ground with canes and
swords. From where he stood Calvert could see Mr. Jefferson looking at
him and Mr. Morris sitting beside Madame de Flahaut and Madame de St.
André, who had left the ice and joined the onlookers.

"It has never been my custom or my desire, Monsieur, to furnish
amusement for the crowd," said Calvert, returning St. Aulaire's insolent
look, "but I should be very sorry to stand in the way of your doing so
by declining to act as a foil to your prowess. If there is anything else
I can do for you--?" and he bowed and smiled tranquilly at Monsieur de
St. Aulaire, who blushed darkly with vexation at the way in which the
young man had turned his attack.

"Monsieur is too modest," he said, suavely, controlling himself, and
then, calling one of the attendants who was busy near-by sweeping the
snow cut by the skates from the ice, he instructed the fellow to bring
one of the chairs which had been taken from the palace to the terrace
for the convenience of those who had not had their servants bring them.
In a few moments the man returned with a large chair whose deep seat and
long arms just suited the purposes of Monsieur de St. Aulaire. Under his
direction the man placed it sidewise upon the stratum of broken,
irregular ice and snow, the crowd looking on with curiosity at the
unusual proceedings.

"By the example and with the approbation of Monsieur le Duc d'Orléans,
Monsieur," said St. Aulaire, turning gravely to Calvert, "we do all
things a l'Anglaise--for the moment. You, who, after all, are English,
will doubtless recognize many of your customs, manners, and sports among
us--always supposing Paris is fortunate enough to keep you," and here he
smiled deprecatingly and shook his head as if afraid such good fortune
could not be true. "I have just conceived the idea of having a
steeple-chase on the ice. 'Tis but a poor little hurdle," and he
shrugged his shoulders disdainfully, "but 'twill have to do. We will
take fifty yards start, Monsieur, and clear the fauteuil, rough ice and
all!"

He broke out again in his mocking laugh, and, sculling rapidly backward,
soon put the distance between him and the improvised barrier. Calvert
turned and followed, not without some inward disgust at the trap laid
for him, although outwardly he wore the quiet air habitual to him, and,
in spite of his disgust, he could not help but admire the reckless
courage and activity which would dare such a thing, for 'twas evident
now that the jump had not only to be dangerously long but high also, and
any failure to clear the chair and broken ice would inevitably result in
a ludicrous, probably serious mishap.

"'Tis evident that we cannot both jump at the same time," says Monsieur
de St. Aulaire, courteously. "Shall we try for the honor?" and he drew a
coin from his pocket and lightly tossed it upward. 'Twas the fashion in
Paris to decide everything by the fall of a coin. "C'est à vous,
Monsieur," he says, looking at the gold piece _as_ it lay face upward
in his palm, and he laughed lightly again as if not displeased with his
luck. As for Calvert, he was no less pleased, for he suddenly felt
impatient and eager for the trial. He gave a glance at the fastenings of
his skates and then, sweeping around to the starting-place, he skated
slowly at first but with ever-increasing speed. As he reached the gilt
chair he paused for the infinitesimal part of a second as a horse does
at a hurdle, and then, with one clean spring, was over safely. As he
slid along the smooth ice, unable to check his impetus, he could hear
the applause of the spectators on the shore and the exclamations and
laughter of the ladies. Suddenly he bethought him of St. Aulaire. He
turned quickly and was just in time to see St. Aulaire start off. There
was a gallant recklessness in his bearing, but Calvert noted that his
movements seemed heavy, though his pace accelerated greatly as he neared
the improvised hurdle. Indeed, he was coming too fast, and, as he
reached the unlucky fauteuil, he was going with such speed that he could
neither calculate the length of the jump nor raise himself sufficiently
for it, and it was with a little cry of horror that Calvert and the
onlookers saw the Baron essay it and fall short, catching his skates in
the arm of the chair and crashing down heavily upon the ice. In an
instant Calvert had reached him. Monsieur de St. Aulaire was lying quite
still and unconscious, with a thin stream of blood trickling from a
scalp wound on the temple, which had struck a splinter of ice. In a few
minutes, after much chafing of his hands and head, he opened his eyes,
and Calvert and the crowd who had quickly surrounded the two were
relieved to see that the injury had not been serious. A dozen fine
handkerchiefs were torn up, and Calvert bound the wounded temple and
helped him, still half-stunned, to rise. The fresh air revived him
somewhat, and, Madame de Segur's coachman running up at this moment to
tell him that his mistress's carriage was at his disposal, he was helped
to it, and, amid the sympathetic murmurs of the crowd, was sent off to
his apartments in the Palais Royal.

"A thousand pardons for causing you so much trouble, Monsieur," he said,
turning to Calvert, with one foot on the step of the carriage. "I shall
not forget this afternoon," and he bowed with his accustomed grace,
looking incomparably handsome in spite of his pallor and weakness and
the bandage about his forehead, and Calvert could not help but admire
the courtly ease of his manner, though he saw, too, the evil smile on
his lips and the ugly look in his eye. As he turned away he caught sight
of Madame de St. André, who stood looking after the carriage with an
expression of anxiety on her face, which Calvert noticed had lost its
rosy color and was now quite pale. He would have gone to her to reassure
her concerning Monsieur de St. Aulaire's safety, but when he went toward
her she pretended not to see him, and quickly joined Madame d'Azay and
the Maréchal de Segur.

The company broke up soon after the accident to Monsieur de St. Aulaire,
and in a few minutes Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Morris, and Calvert were in
their carriage on the way to the Legation, where Mr. Morris was engaged
to dine that evening.

"I thought you had told me that Mr. Calvert was quite indifferent to the
fair sex," says Mr. Morris, laughing, and speaking to Mr. Jefferson, but
with a side glance at the young man. "If so, he takes a strange way of
proving it. He will be the most-talked-of, and therefore the most
envied, man in Paris to-morrow," and he began to laugh again.

"Was jumping in the curriculum at the College of Princeton?" asks Mr.
Jefferson, laughing, too.

"But beware of St. Aulaire," said Mr. Morris, suddenly becoming grave
and laying a kindly hand on Calvert's shoulder. "I misjudge him if he
will take even a fair defeat at sport in the right spirit. Look out for
him, Ned--he will not play fair and he will not forget a grudge, or I am
greatly deceived in him."

But it was not of Monsieur le Baron's possible revenge or even of his
cracked head that Mr. Calvert thought, but of his unrivalled gallantry
of bearing and his splendid appearance. And that night when he retired
to his own room he practised St. Aulaire's graceful bow before the long
cheval glass, though with most indifferent success, it must be
confessed.

"'Tis no use," he said at length to the sober reflection in the glass,
and he threw himself into a chair and burst out laughing at his own
folly. "I am only a simple American gentleman, and Monsieur de St.
Aulaire's manners are too elaborate for such. Perhaps 'tis his splendid
dress and decorations which give such éclat to his every movement. At
any rate I see that I shall have to content myself with my own quiet
fashions. And why, indeed, am I suddenly dissatisfied with them?--why
wish to change them?"

But though he sat for some time staring into the fire he did not attempt
to answer his own queries, and, after a little, he blew out the candles
and resolutely addressed himself to sleep.



CHAPTER VIII

THE AMERICANS ARE MADE WELCOME IN PARIS


As Mr. Morris had predicted, Calvert's skill in skating and the accident
to Monsieur de St. Aulaire became the topic of conversation in all
salons. Accounts of the young American's success on the ice came like a
breath of fresh air into the stagnant gossip of the drawing-rooms, and
were repeated until the affair had become a notable exploit, and Mr.
Calvert could have posed as a conquering hero had he cared to profit by
his small adventure. But the young gentleman was not only entirely
indifferent to such success, but scarcely cognizant of it, for he was
greatly occupied, and threw himself so heartily into his work that Mr.
Jefferson could never sufficiently congratulate himself on having with
him so efficient and willing a secretary. There was an enormous amount
of business to be attended to at the Legation, and not even a copying
clerk or an accountant to aid in dispatching it. Indeed, the labor put
upon our foreign representatives was wellnigh inconceivable, and could
those who cavilled at Dr. Franklin's lax business methods but have
imagined the tenth of what he had to attend to, they would have been
heartily ashamed of their complaints. Many of the enterprises which the
good Doctor had begun and left at loose ends, Mr. Jefferson found
himself obliged to go on with and finish as satisfactorily as was
possible. Besides which there were constant communications on an
infinity of subjects to be made to our representatives in London and in
Madrid and to our chargés d'affaires at Brussels and The Hague; money
loans negotiated, bonds executed, important creditors at Paris appeased,
and numberless schemes for financial aid to be devised and floated. In
all of these affairs Mr. Calvert had his share, so that the young
gentleman had but small leisure for that social intercourse into which
Mr. Morris entered with such zest and perfect success.

Introduced by Mr. Jefferson and the letters he had brought with him, in
an incredibly short time Mr. Morris was known and admired in every salon
in Paris, and he stumped his way through them with that admirable savoir
faire and sturdy self-respect, dashed with a wholesome conceit, which
made him assure Calvert one day that he "had never felt embarrassment or
a sense of inferiority in any company in which he had ever found
himself." It was soon evident that of all the salons of Paris where he
was made welcome, the one most to his taste was that of the charming
Madame de Flahaut; but wherever he went in that aristocratic society
which claimed social preeminence over all others, this untitled
gentleman from a new, almost unknown, country, was easily and quickly
one of the most brilliant members. Utterly unawed by the splendid
company in which he found himself, he valued it at its true worth and
was keenly and amusingly observant of its pretensions, its shams, its
flippancy, its instability, its charm. Soon he had become as great a
favorite as Mr. Jefferson himself, though winning his enviable position
by qualities the very opposite of that gentleman's. Mr. Morris rivalled
the Parisians themselves in caustic wit, perfect manners, and the
thousand and one social graces of the time, while Mr. Jefferson
captivated all by his democratic manners and entire indifference to
social conventionality, much as the incomparable Dr. Franklin (whose
originality and address in society were indeed _sui generis_ and quite
unrivalled) had before him.

But Mr. Morris was possessed of greater qualities than those necessary
to make him shine in the vapid, corrupt society of the fashionable
world. He was a brilliant, yet sound, thinker, and his earnest
convictions, his practical statesmanship, and his shrewd business
abilities were quickly appreciated. Indeed, it was difficult to tell
whether ladies of fashion or troubled statesmen found him most
satisfactory. He could rhyme a delicate compliment for the one or draw
up a plan to aid France's crippled revenues for the other, with equal
dexterity. His opinion was sought upon the weightiest matters, and,
being unfettered by official obligations, as was Mr. Jefferson, he was
free to give it, and soon became associated with some of the greatest
gentlemen in the kingdom and intimately identified with many schemes for
the strengthening of the monarchy. For Mr. Morris, while a most ardent
republican in his own country, was a royalist in France, convinced that
a people, used from time immemorial to an almost despotic government,
extremely licentious, and by nature volatile, were utterly unfitted for
a republic. In many of the drawing-rooms where indiscriminate and
dangerous republicanism was so freely advocated, he was held to be trop
aristocrate. With amazing good-humor and keenness he attacked the closet
philosophers and knocked over their feeble arguments like tenpins,
urgently proclaiming that it was the duty and best policy for every son
of France to hold up the king's hands and strengthen his authority. It
was almost amusing to note the consternation his views caused among
those who, knowing him to be a republican of republicans, a citizen of
that country which had so lately and so gloriously won its civil
liberty, had expected far different things from him. Indeed, he ran foul
of many of the noblesse, with whom 'twas the fashion to be republicans
of the first feather, and of none more completely than Monsieur le
Marquis de Lafayette.

Monsieur de Lafayette, who had got himself elected from the noblesse in
Auvergne, had come back to town in March and was a frequent caller at
the Legation, having there a warm friend and ally in Mr. Jefferson. He
was unaffectedly glad to see Calvert after such a lapse of time and to
meet again Mr. Morris, whom he had also known in America. His admiration
and respect for Mr. Morris's qualities were very great, and it was
therefore with no little mortification and uneasiness that he noted that
gentleman's disapprobation of the trend of public affairs and his own
course of action. Indeed, Mr. Morris was seriously alarmed lest the
glory which the young Marquis had won in America should be dimmed by his
career in his own country. Believing in his high-mindedness and
patriotism, he yet questioned his political astuteness and his ability
to guide the forces which he had so powerfully helped to set in motion
by his call for the States-General. Fully alive to his great qualities,
he yet deplored a certain indecision of character and an evident thirst
for fame.

Something of all this Mr. Morris expressed to Mr. Jefferson and Mr.
Calvert one evening when the Marquis had retired after an hour's
animated conversation on the all-engrossing subject of politics, during
which he had given the three gentlemen an account of his campaign in
Auvergne. But Mr. Jefferson, being in entire sympathy with Lafayette's
ideas, could not agree at all with Mr. Morris's estimate of him and
would listen to no strictures on him, except, indeed, the imputation of
ambition, which Mr. Jefferson acknowledged amounted to "a canine thirst
for fame," as he himself wrote General Washington. Though Mr. Jefferson
and Mr. Morris differed so widely respecting the Marquis's genius, Mr.
Morris still clung to his opinion, so that Madame de Lafayette, with
wifely jealousy and feminine intuition, perceiving something of his
mental attitude toward her husband, received him but coldly when he
called with Calvert to pay his respects at the hôtel on the Quai du
Louvre. So marked was the disapproval of her manner, that Mr. Morris,
being both amused and annoyed, could not forbear recounting his
reception to Mr. Jefferson, who enjoyed a good laugh at his expense
and, as it seemed to Calvert, took a certain satisfaction in his rebuff.

"She gave me the tips of her fingers to kiss," said Mr. Morris,
laughing, "gazing over my head the while and smiling at this young
gentleman, on whom she lavished every attention, though she had never a
word for me!" and he sighed in mock distress and looked affectionately
at Mr. Calvert. He had become very fond of the young gentleman in the
few weeks they had been together in Paris, and was always anxious to
introduce him to his acquaintances, of whom he already had an
astonishing number. Mr. Jefferson, being busily occupied with public
matters, insisted on Mr. Calvert's accepting Mr. Morris's good offices
and, with his invariable kindness and thoughtfulness, made it appear,
indeed, that the young gentleman was aiding him by thus assuming some of
his social duties. He was secretly much gratified and pleased by the
accounts which Mr. Morris gave of his successes.

"Why, 'tis almost indecent the way the women spoil him," that gentleman
declared, laughingly, to Mr. Jefferson as they sat alone over their wine
one evening after dinner at the Legation, Calvert having retired to
finish the copying of some important letters to be despatched to Mr.
Short, who was at Amsterdam. "Elles s'en raffolent, but Ned, incredible
as it may seem, is far from being grateful for such a doubtful blessing!
His stoical indifference and unvarying courtesy to the fair sex are
genuine and sublime and pique the women incredibly. Indeed, 'tis almost
more than I can stand without laughing," went on Mr. Morris, "to see the
manly forbearance with which he treats the advances of some of these
grandes dames, who think nothing of taking the initiative in a
love-affair. Tis as rare as it is admirable here in Paris! Upon my word
I thought he would have taken to his heels yesterday when we called on
Madame de Flahaut, who, being at her toilet, invited us to her
dressing-room! He left me to stump upstairs alone and receive a good
rating from the Countess for not having kept him. He makes me feel very
old and sinful," went on Mr. Morris, after a pause, and smiling ruefully
at Mr. Jefferson on the other side of the table, "and I ought to dislike
the boy heartily for it. But, in faith, I can't, and am beginning to be
as fond of him as you yourself are."

"And, after all, he ought not to make us feel old," rejoined Mr.
Jefferson, smiling, too. "For in spite of his youth there is nothing of
immaturity in his character. 'Tis as firm and well-rounded as though he
were fifty."

"I think he calls for a toast," says Mr. Morris, laughing, and filling
up the glasses: "To an Old Head on Young Shoulders!"

In the early part of March, Mr. Short being still on his travels, and
vexatious questions having arisen in connection with the Dutch loans,
Mr. Jefferson determined to intrust their settlement to Calvert, and,
accordingly, the young man set out for Amsterdam with scarce a day's
notice of his journey. His embassy concerned the refusal of our bankers
in Amsterdam (into whose hands Congress had placed all monies) to pay
bills for the redemption of our captives, and the medals which Mr.
Jefferson had contracted should be struck off for the foreign officers
who had engaged in the revolution. This refusal placed the American
Minister in a most embarrassing position. To his demands the Holland
bankers replied that Congress had appropriated the money in their charge
solely to the payment of the interest on the Dutch loan through the year
1790. As a failure to pay the interest on the loan would have been fatal
to the credit and standing of the infant republic in the eyes of Europe,
it was evident to Mr. Jefferson that a new loan would have to be set
going to defray the new debts. This delicate and difficult project (for
our credit was none of the best and the old loan had not all been taken
up) he intrusted to Calvert, and so quickly and satisfactorily did the
young man execute his commission that he was back again in Paris by the
end of the month with reports highly gratifying to the American
Minister.

"You have a better head for finances than even Mr. Hamilton, whose
opinions are so much quoted in Congress," says Mr. Jefferson, with a
smile. "I think no one could have conducted these affairs to a better
issue. It has always been my opinion that your peculiar talents lay in
the direction of finances, and now I am persuaded of it."

So delighted was Mr. Jefferson with Calvert's performance that he
recounted the successful embassy to Mr. Morris, whose good opinion of
Calvert was greatly increased, and, having always had a liking for the
young man, he took occasion to see more than ever of him. He insisted on
Calvert's accompanying him frequently into the great world of Paris
where he himself was so welcome, and where, indeed, the young man's
presence was also demanded on all sides--even by royalty itself in the
person of Madame la Duchesse d'Orléans, whose acquaintance Mr. Morris
had made in the apartments of Madame de Chastellux in the Palais Royal.
Although accustomed to the company of the highest nobility, Mr. Morris
was somewhat uncertain whether he would get along well with royalty, and
would not have pursued the acquaintance begun by chance in Madame de
Chastellux's salon had not the Duchess expressed her pleasure in his
society in most unequivocal terms. Satiated with flattery, bored by the
narrow circle in which she was forced to move, profoundly humiliated by
the neglect and viciousness of her husband, she was charmed by the wit,
independence, and true courtesy of the brilliant American. A daughter of
the old Duc de Penthièvre, the embodiment of everything good in the
ancien régime, the Duchess of Orléans was, herself, a woman of rare good
sense, beauty, and tact, all of which appealed strongly to Mr. Morris,
so that the acquaintance begun so graciously on her part and so
dubiously on his, soon ripened into real friendship.

"I never see her but I feel a throb of pity for her," declared Mr.
Morris to Calvert. "'Twas a malignant fate that made her the wife of so
dissolute a prince. She is very handsome--handsome enough to punish the
duke for his irregularities, and she has, I think, the most beautiful
arm in all Europe--of which she is properly vain! But what is a little
vanity among so many virtues?--for she is eminently virtuous, though not
averse, I think, to seeking some consolation for her profound
melancholy, for--as she has confided to me--she feels 'le besoin d'être
aimé,'" and he smiled a little cynically, as men of the world are wont
to smile at the confession of feminine weaknesses. As for Mr. Calvert,
that confession brought no smile to his lips, and, though he said
nothing, he felt a sudden rush of pity for the unhappy lady, neglected
and unloved despite her great position. After all, duchesses are but
women and must love and suffer and be content or miserable like common
mortals, and men should be the last to blame them for that divine
necessity of their beings--that of loving and being loved.

"She has heard much of you, Ned," went on Mr. Morris, "from Madame de
Chastellux, from Lafayette, and lately from myself, and has expressed
her desire to see you. I need not tell you that such a wish is a command
and so you must even go and pay your respects to royalty, my boy," and
he laughed as he clapped the young man on the shoulder.

That very evening Mr. Morris carried him off to the Palais Royal to the
apartments of Madame de Chastellux, where he despatched a message to the
Duchess to the effect that "Monsieur Morris, accompagné par Monsieur
Calvert, visitent Madame la Duchesse d'Orléans chez Madame de
Chastellux." After a few moments of waiting one of the Duchess's men
came with the request that Madame de Chastellux should bring the two
gentlemen to her apartments.

They found Her Royal Highness there surrounded by a small company. At
her side was the Vicomte de Ségur, who was essaying by the witty sallies
and delightful drolleries for which he was so famous to bring a smile to
her lips; but, although the rest of the company was convulsed by his
brilliant nonsense, the Duchess's pale face did not lose its serious
expression until Mr. Morris, followed by Calvert, entered the room.
Then, indeed, a smile of pleasure lighted up her countenance, and it was
with a most gracious cordiality that she welcomed both gentlemen.

"So this is your young compatriote, Monsieur, who vanquished Monsieur de
St. Aulaire on the ice!" she said, looking at Mr. Morris and laughing
with a certain malicious satisfaction. She extended to Calvert the
famously beautiful hand and arm, from which the soft, black lace fell
away, revealing its exquisite roundness and whiteness and over which Mr.
Morris bent low in salutation. "We have heard of your prowess au
patinage, Monsieur," she continued, glancing at Calvert, and then,
without waiting for a reply, much to the young man's relief, who was
somewhat embarrassed by so direct a compliment and, in truth, utterly
weary of the whole subject, of which he heard continually, she turned
and spoke to two young gentlemen half-concealed in the deep embrasure of
a window. At her call they both came forward, the eldest, the Duc de
Chartres, who might have been sixteen years of age, laying down a violin
on which he had been playing softly, and the younger, Monsieur de
Beaujolais, who could not have been over thirteen, closing the book he
had been reading.

"Mes fils," says the Duchess, softly, and smiling at Mr. Morris and
Calvert with a sort of melancholy pride shining in her dark eyes. In
truth, the young princes were good to look at, especially the little
Monsieur de Beaujolais, who had a most animated and pleasing
countenance. As they stood one on each side of their mother they made a
pretty group. Perhaps 'twas the remembrance of that picture in after
years which warmed Mr. Morris's heart to the exile in distress over the
seas and made him a generous friend despite the royal ingratitude.

"So she has saved something out of the wreck of her life," thought Mr.
Calvert, pityingly, looking at the two youths. "'Tis doubly fortunate
that they in nowise resemble their ignoble father," and he thought with
disgust of that dissolute nobleman of whom he had heard so much. While
these thoughts were passing through his mind the Duchess was speaking
earnestly, to Mr. Morris.

"I ask your advice, Monsieur," she said, dismissing with a smile the two
young gentlemen, who retired once more to their place at the window.
"You, who seem to know so well how to breed heroes in your own country,
can surely tell me how to bring up my sons to be an honor to their
race!"

"Your Highness," returned Mr. Morris, after an instant's hesitation,
and deeply moved at such a mark of esteem, "for Monsieur le Duc de
Chartres, who, in the inscrutable workings of Providence, may one day be
king"--the Duchess started and turned pale--"there is but one course to
follow, one education open. But for Monsieur de Beaujolais, why should
he not lend his talents to business enterprises, to great commercial
undertakings which make for the prosperity and stability of a country as
surely as even its army or navy? Thus also will he create happiness for
himself, because, if idle, at five and twenty, having enjoyed all that
rank and fortune can give him, he will be unhappy from not knowing what
to do with himself."

In spite of the democratic simplicity of the idea, the Duchess seemed
impressed and listened attentively to Mr. Morris, who was about to
explain more at length the advantages of such a career for the young
prince, when the conversation was interrupted by the lackey at the door
announcing the arrival of Madame la Comtesse de Flahaut.

At the name the Duchess threw a meaning look at Mr. Morris.

"Enfin! J'ai fait venir Madame de Flahaut ce soir. N'est ce pas que je
suis aimable?" she said, laughing, and speaking rapidly.

Mr. Morris bowed low before Madame la Duchesse, succeeding perfectly in
conveying by a look his appreciation without committing himself to
anything more serious.

"And did Your Royal Highness also send for a substitute in case I prove
wearying to Madame la Comtesse?" he asked, smiling, as he caught sight
of a gentleman who had followed Madame de Flahaut into the room and who
wore the ecclesiastical dress of a bishop. Perhaps what most attracted
Mr. Morris's notice was that he seemed a man of about his own age and,
like himself, lame. "Who is it?" he asked, in a low voice, as the two
approached.

"Monsieur de Talleyrand-Périgord, Bishop of Autun, who, I understand, is
in danger of losing his place in the affections of Madame on account of
Monsieur Morris," returned the Duchess, hurriedly, and glancing
mischievously, though keenly, at Mr. Morris's face, which, however,
preserved its expression of impassivity.

"Ah! place aux évêques!" murmured Mr. Morris, quietly.

Salutations and the presentation of Mr. Morris and Mr. Calvert having
been made, the Bishop of Autun turned to the Duchess.

"Your Highness," he said, "I have come to beg a dinner."

"And we have brought our bread with us, that we may be sure of our
welcome!" cried out Madame de Flahaut, with a little laugh. And indeed
they had, for wheat was so scarce in Paris that it was the fashion for
ladies and gentlemen to send their servants with bread when dining out.

"Monsieur l'évêque knows he is always welcome," said the Duchess,
gently, and smiling at Madame de Flahaut. "Once our guest, always our
guest."

In a little while the tutor of the young princes came in and took away
his charges, and the company sat down to supper. It was one of Her
Highness's little soupers intimes, which she gave each Thursday, and
upon which Monsieur le Duc d'Orléans and his wild companions never
intruded. Though the company was small it was very gay, and it would
have been hard to say who contributed most to the wit and sparkle of the
talk which went on ceaselessly--Mr. Morris, Monsieur le Vicomte de
Segur, or Monsieur de Boufflers, who, as usual, was present in the train
of the beautiful Madame de Sabran. As for Mr. Morris, he was in the
highest spirits and devoted himself with gallant courtesy to Madame la
Duchesse d'Orléans, on whose left he sat, much to the evident pique of
Madame de Flahaut. With that wonderful adaptability which made him at
ease in any society in which he found himself, he adjusted himself to
the company of the evening, and, being perfectly master of the French
language, could not only understand the light talk and persiflage, but
even led in the conversation.

As for Mr. Calvert, having none of that adaptability possessed in so
large a share by Mr. Morris, he felt himself out of his element,
uninterested and therefore uninteresting, and he listened with inward
irritation to the loose anecdotes, the piquant allusions, the coarse
gossip, so freely bandied about. It was with something akin to a feeling
of relief that he heard his name spoken and turned to find the keen,
restless eyes of Monsieur de Talleyrand, beside whom he was seated,
fixed upon him.

"Monsieur is not interested in the conversation?" he asked, and, though
there was a mocking smile on the thin lips, there was also a kindly look
in the brilliant eyes.

Calvert blushed hotly at being so easily found out by this worldly
looking prelate. Monsieur de Talleyrand shrugged his shoulders. "'Tis a
good sign, I think," and he looked still more kindly at Calvert. "You
have been brought up amid simpler, purer surroundings, Mr. Calvert," he
said, suddenly leaning over toward the young man and speaking in tones
so low as to be drowned in the noisy conversation. "I envy you your good
fortune," he went on. "I envy you your inability to fit yourself into
any niche, to adjust yourself to any surroundings, as your friend
Monsieur Morris, for example, seems to have the faculty of doing. See,
he is even making verses to Madame la Duchesse!"

Calvert looked over at Mr. Morris and saw him tear from his table-book a
leaf upon which he had been writing and, with a bow, offer it to the
Duchess.

"Are we not to hear Monsieur's verses?" demands Monsieur de Talleyrand,
languidly, after a moment's silence, during which Her Highness had
regarded the lines with a puzzled air, and smiling faintly.

"These are in English--I shall have to get Madame de Chastellux to
translate them for me some day," and she folded the paper as if to put
it away, but there arose such exclamations of disappointment, such
gentle entreaties not to be denied the pleasure of hearing the verses,
that she yielded to the clamor and signalled Madame de Chastellux her
permission to have them read aloud. Amid a discreet silence, broken only
by little murmurs of appreciation and perfumed applause, the lady of
honor read the lines, translating them as she read:

  "If Beauty so sweet in all gentleness drest,
    In loveliness, virtue arrayed;
  By the graces adorned, by the muses carest,
    By lofty ambition obeyed;

  Ah! who shall escape from the gold-painted dart,
    When Orléans touches the bow?
  Who the softness resist of that sensible heart
    Where love and benevolence glow?

  Thus we dream of the Gods who with bounty supreme
    Our humble petitions accord,
  Our love they excite, and command our esteem
    Tho' only at distance adored."

There was a ripple of applause, somewhat languid and perfunctory on the
part of the gentlemen, vivacious and prolonged on the part of the
ladies, as Madame de Chastellux finished. To Mr. Calvert the scene was a
little ridiculous, the interest of the company, like the sentiment of
the verses, somewhat artificial, and Mr. Morris's role of versifier to
Madame la Duchesse decidedly beneath that gentleman's talents.

Monsieur de Talleyrand laughed softly. "'Other places--other customs,'"
he said, and again reading Calvert's thoughts so accurately that that
young gentleman scarce knew whether to be most astonished or indignant.
It would most likely have been the latter had not a certain
friendliness in the Bishop's glance disarmed his anger. "Mr. Morris is
fortunate," he went on, quietly. "See--he has pleased everyone except
Madame de Flahaut."

'Twas indeed as he had said, and, amid the applause and compliments,
only Madame de Flahaut sat silent and evidently piqued, her pretty face
wearing an expression of bored indifference. But even while Monsieur de
Talleyrand spoke, Mr. Morris, bending toward her, addressed some remark
to her and in an instant she was all animation and charm, exerting for
his benefit every fascination of which she was mistress, and showing him
by glance and voice how greatly she prized his attentions. For a moment
Mr. Calvert sat silent, contemplating the little play going on before
his eyes, when, suddenly remembering the words of the Duchesse
d'Orléans, he turned and looked at Monsieur de Talleyrand. Such a
softening change had come over the cynical, impassive countenance, so
wistful a look into the keen, dark eyes bent upon Madame de Flahaut, as
caused a feeling of pity in the young man's heart for this brilliant,
unhappy, unrighteous servant of the Church.

"So Mr. Calvert has read my secret, as I read his," said Monsieur de
Talleyrand, slowly, and returning the gaze which Calvert had absently
fastened upon him while revolving these thoughts. Suddenly he began
speaking rapidly, as if impelled thereto by some inward force, and, in a
low but passionately intense voice, heard only by Mr. Calvert:

"We are the sport of fate in this country more than in any other, I
think," he said. "I might have been a young man like yourself, as noble,
good, and true as yourself--oh, do not look astonished! 'Tis one of my
acknowledged talents--the reading of character--I, like yourself, might
have fought and loved with honor but that I am lame, and why was I
lame?" he went on, bitterly. "Because I never knew a mother's love or
care, because, when a baby, being sent from my home--and under that roof
I have never spent a night since--I fell and injured my foot, and the
woman in whose charge I had been put, being afraid to tell my parents of
my mishap, the hurt was allowed to go uncorrected until 'twas too late.
And so, being lame and unfit for a soldier's career, I was thrust into
the Church, _nolens volens_. Monsieur Calvert," he said, smiling
seriously, "when you hear Mr. Jefferson criticising the Bishop
of Autun--for I know he thinks but slightingly of the
ecclesiastic--recollect that 'twas the disappointed ambition and the
unrelenting commands of Charles Maurice Talleyrand's parents which made
him what he is! We are all like that," he went on, moodily. "Look at de
Ligne--he was married by his father at twenty to a young girl whom he
had never seen until a week before the wedding. And Madame de
Flahaut--at fifteen she was sacrificed to a man of fifty-five, who
scarcely notices her existence!" He glanced across the table and again
the power of love touched and softened his face for an instant. He
rose--for the supper was finished and the company beginning to move--and
laid his hand for an instant on Calvert's broad young shoulder. "Mr.
Calvert," he said, half-mockingly, half-seriously, "do not be too hard
upon us! There are some excuses to be made. In your country all things
are new--your laws, your habits, your civilization are yet plastic. See
that you mould them well! 'Tis too late here--we are as the generations
have made us. 'Other places--other customs!'" and he went off limping.

To his dying day Mr. Calvert never forgot the fascination, the open
frankness of Monsieur de Talleyrand's manner on that occasion, nor the
look of sadness and suffering in his eyes. When he heard him in after
years accused of shameless veniality, of trickery, lying, duplicity,
even murder, he always remembered that impulsive revelation--never
repeated--of a warped, unhappy childhood, of a perverted destiny.

Mr. Morris came to him later as he stood leaning against the wall behind
the chair of Madame de Chastellux.

"How goes it, Ned?" he asked, half-laughing and stifling a yawn. "As for
myself, I am getting confoundedly bored. I can't think of any more
verses, so the ladies find me insipid, and they are beginning to talk
politics, of which they know nothing, so I find them ridiculous. They
are already deep in the discussion of the Abbé Siéyès's brochure,
'Qu'est-ce que le Tiers État,' and Madame de Flahaut declares that his
writings and opinions will form a new epoch in politics as those of
Newton in physics! Can fatuity go farther? And yet she is the cleverest
woman I have met in France. The men are as ignorant as the women,
except that scoundrel of a bishop, who, like myself, is bored by the
incessant talk of politics and has just assured me that no one has an
idea of the charm of life who has not lived before this year of 1789. I
can easily believe it. But perhaps he told you the same thing--I saw you
two talking together at supper."

"Yes," said Calvert, "we were talking, but not of politics or the charm
of life. He was very interesting and unexpectedly friendly," he added,
with some emotion, for he was still under Monsieur de Talleyrand's
spell.

"I would have thought him the last man to interest you, my young
Bayard," returned Mr. Morris, with some surprise. "He appears to me to
be a sly, cunning, ambitious man. I know not why conclusions so
disadvantageous to him are formed in my mind, but so it is. I cannot
help it."

Mr. Calvert could not repress a smile, for it occurred to him that it
was more than possible that Monsieur de Talleyrand's well-known devotion
to Madame de Flahaut (whom it was evident Mr. Morris admired greatly,
though he so stoutly denied it) might have prejudiced his opinion of the
Bishop. Mr. Morris was quick to note the smile and to divine its cause.

"No, no, my dear Ned," he said, laughing, "'tis not Monsieur de
Talleyrand's connection with Madame de Flahaut which makes me speak of
him after this fashion. Indeed, there is but a Platonic friendship
between the fair lady and myself," and, still laughing, Mr. Morris
turned away from Calvert and stumped his way back to the side of the
lady of his Platonic affections, where he remained until the company
broke up.

As for Mr. Calvert, in spite of Mr. Morris's predilections, he was of
the opinion that of the two--the unchurchly bishop and the pretty
intrigante--Monsieur de Talleyrand was the more admirable character.
Indeed, he had disliked and distrusted Madame de Flahaut from the first
time of meeting her, and, to do the lady justice, she had disliked Mr.
Calvert just as heartily and could never be got to believe that he was
anything but a most unintelligent and uninteresting young man, convinced
that his taciturnity and unruffled serenity before her charms were the
signs of crass stupidity.

If Mr. Calvert found the pretty and vivacious Comtesse de Flahaut little
to his taste, the society of which she was a type offended him still
more. It had taken him but a short time to realize what shams, what
hollowness, what corruption existed beneath the brilliant and gay
surface. Amiability, charm, wit, grace were to be found everywhere in
their perfection, but nowhere was truth, or sincerity, or real pleasure.
All things were perverted. Constancy was only to be found in
inconstancy. Gossip and rumor left no frailty undiscovered, no
reputation unsmirched. Religion was scoffed at, love was caricatured.
All about him Calvert saw young nobles, each the slave of some
particular goddess, bowing down and doing duty like the humblest menial,
now caressed, now ill-treated, but always at beck and call, always
obedient. It was the fashion, and no courtier resented this treatment,
which served both to reduce the men to the rank of puppets and to render
incredibly capricious the beauties who found themselves so powerful. All
the virility of Calvert's nature, all his new-world independence and his
sense of honor, was revolted by such a state of things. As he looked
around the company, there was not a man or woman to be seen of whom he
had not already heard some risque story or covert insinuation, and,
though he was no strait-laced Puritan, a sort of disdain for these
effeminate courtiers and a horror of these beautiful women took
possession of him.

"Decidedly," he thought to himself, "I am not fitted for this society,"
and so, somewhat out of conceit with his surroundings, and the Duchess
having withdrawn, he bade good-night to the company without waiting for
Mr. Morris, and took himself and his disturbed thoughts back to the
Legation.



CHAPTER IX

IN WHICH MR. CALVERT'S GOOD INTENTIONS MISCARRY


It was in the midst of such society that Calvert encountered Madame de
St. André repeatedly during the remainder of the winter and early
spring. And though she was as imperious and capricious as possible,
followed about by a dozen admirers (of whom poor Beaufort was one of the
most constant); though she was as thoughtless, as pleasure-loving as any
of that thoughtless, pleasure-loving society in which she moved; though
she had a hundred faults easy to be seen, yet, in Calvert's opinion,
there was still a saving grace about her, a fragrant youthfulness, a
purity and splendor that coarsened and cheapened all who were brought
into comparison with her. When she sat beside the old Duchesse d'Azay at
the Opéra or Comédie, he had no eyes for la Saint-Huberti or Contat, and
thought that she outshone all the beauties both on the stage and in the
brilliant audience. Usually, however, he was content to admire her at a
distance and rarely left the box which he occupied with Mr. Jefferson
and Mr. Morris to pay his respects to her and Madame d'Azay. For while
Adrienne attracted him, he was yet conscious that it was best for him
not to be drawn into the circle of her fascinations, and, although he
made a thousand excuses for her caprice and coquetry, he had no
intention of becoming the victim of either. Indeed, he had already
experienced somewhat of her caprice and had found it little to his
liking. Since the afternoon on which they had skated together she had
never again treated him in so unaffected and friendly a fashion. A
hundred times had she passed him at the opera or the play or in the
salons which they both frequented, with scarcely a nod or smile, and Mr.
Calvert was both offended and amused by such cavalier treatment and
haughty manners.

"She has the air of a princess royal and treats me as the meanest of her
subjects. 'Tis a good thing we Americans have cast off the yoke of
royalty," he thought to himself, with a smile. "And as for beauty--there
are a dozen belles in Virginia alone almost her equal in loveliness and
surely far sweeter, simpler, less spoiled. And yet--and yet--" and the
young man would find himself wondering what was that special charm by
virtue of which she triumphed over all others. He did not himself yet
know why it was that he excused her follies, found her the most
beautiful of all women, or fell into a sort of rage at seeing her in the
loose society of the day, with such men as St. Aulaire and a dozen
others of his kind in her train. But though unable to analyze her charm
he was yet vaguely conscious of its danger, and had it depended upon
himself he would have seen but little of her. This, however, was an
impossibility, as Mr. Jefferson was a constant visitor at the hôtel of
Madame d'Azay, who, true to her word, seemed to take the liveliest
interest in Mr. Calvert and commanded his presence in her salon
frequently. Indeed, the old Duchess was pleased to profess herself
charmed with the young American, and would have been delighted,
apparently, to see him at any and all hours, had his duties permitted
him so much leisure. Besides the cordial invitations of the dowager
Duchess to the hotel in the rue St. Honoré, there were others as
pressing from d'Azay himself, who, having secured his election in
Touraine, had returned to Paris. The young nobleman was frequently at
the American Legation in consultation with the Minister, whose opinions
and character excited his greatest admiration, and it was one of his
chiefest delights, when business was concluded, to carry Mr. Jefferson
and Calvert back to his aunt's drawing-room with him for a dish of tea
and an hour's conversation.

It was on one of those occasions that, having accompanied Mr. Jefferson
and d'Azay to the rue St. Honoré in the latter's coach (Mr. Morris
promising to look in later), Mr. Calvert had the opportunity of speaking
at length with Madame de St. André for the first time since the
afternoon on the ice. When the three gentlemen entered the drawing-room
a numerous company was already assembled, the older members of which
were busy with quinze and lansquenet in a card-room that opened out of
the salon, the younger ones standing or sitting about in groups and
listening to a song which Monsieur de St. Aulaire, who was at the
harpsichord, had just begun. It was Blondel's song from Grétry's
"Richard Coeur de Lion," about which all Paris was crazy and which Garat
sang nightly with a prodigious success at the Opéra. This aria Monsieur
de St. Aulaire essayed in faithful imitation of the great tenor's manner
and in a voice which showed traces of having once been beautiful, but
which age and excesses had now broken and rendered harsh and forced.

As Calvert saluted Adrienne, when the perfunctory applause which this
performance called forth had died away, he thought he had never seen her
look so lovely. She wore a dress of some soft water-green fabric shot
with threads of silver that fell away from her rounded throat and arms,
bringing the creamy fairness of her complexion (which, for the first
time, he saw enhanced by black patches) and the dusky brown of her hair
to a very perfection of beauty. She was standing by the harpsichord when
the gentlemen entered, but, on catching sight of Mr. Jefferson, she went
forward graciously, extending her hand, over which he bowed low in
admiration of that young beauty which, in his eyes, had no equal in
Paris.

There was another pair of eyes upon her which saw as Mr. Jefferson's
kindly ones did, but to them the young girl paid little attention, only
giving Mr. Calvert a brief courtesy as she went to salute her brother.

"Will you not make Mr. Jefferson a dish of tea, Adrienne?" asked d'Azay,
kissing her on both her fair cheeks. "And if we are to have music I beg
you will ask Calvert to sing for us, for he has the sweetest voice in
the world."

"What!" exclaimed the young girl, a little disdainfully. "Mr. Calvert
is a very prodigy of accomplishments!"

"Far from it!" returned Mr. Calvert, good-naturedly. "'Tis but a jest of
Henri's. Indeed, Madame, I am nothing of a musician."

"He may not be a musician, but he has a voice as beautiful as Garat's,
though I know 'tis heresy to compare anyone with that idol of Paris,"
said Beaufort, joining the group at that instant. "Dost thou remember
that pretty ballad that thou sangst at Monticello, Ned?" he asked,
turning to Calvert. "Indeed, Madame, I think 'twas of you he sang," he
added, smiling mischievously at Madame de St. André.

"What is this?" demanded Adrienne, imperiously. "Is this another jest?
But I must hear this song," she went on, impatiently, and with a touch
of curiosity.

"'Twas my favorite 'Lass with the Delicate Air,'" said Mr. Jefferson,
smiling. "You must sing it for us, Ned, and I will play for you as I
used to do." He took from its case a violin lying upon the harpsichord
and, leaning over it, he began softly the quaint accompaniment that
sustains so perfectly the whimsical melodies and surprising cadences of
Dr. Arne's ballad.

Though few of Mr. Calvert's audience could understand the sentiment of
his song, all listened with admiration to the voice, which still
retained much of its boyish sweetness and thrilling pathos. Amid the
applause which followed the conclusion of the song, Madame d'Azay left
the lansquenet table and appeared at the door of the salon.

"Charming," she cried. "But I don't know your English, so sing us
something in French, Monsieur, that I may applaud the sentiment as well
as the voice."

Mr. Calvert bowed with as good grace as he could, being secretly much
dissatisfied at having to thus exploit his small talent for the benefit
of the company, and, seating himself at the harpsichord, began a
plaintive little air in a minor key, to which he had fitted the words of
a song he had but lately read and greatly admired. Being, as he had
said, nothing of a musician, the delicate accompaniment of the song was
quite beyond him, but having a true ear for accord and a firm, light
touch, he improvised a not unpleasing melody that fitted perfectly the
poem. 'Twas the "Consolation" of Malherbe, and, as Calvert sang, the
tenderness and melancholy beauty of both words and music struck the
whole company into silence:

  "'Mais elle était du monde où les plus belles choses
    Ont le pire destin,
  Et, rose, elle a vécu ce que vivent les roses--
    L'espace d'un matin.

  "La mort a des rigueurs à nulle autre pareilles,
    On a beau la prier,
  La cruelle qu'elle est se bouche les oreilles,
    Et nous laisse crier.

  "Le pauvre en sa cabane, où le chaume le couvre,
    Est sujet à ses lois,
  Et le garde qui veille aux barrières du Louvre
    N'en défend pas nos rois.'"

"'Tis a gloomy song," whispered Beaufort to the young Vicomte de
Noailles, Lafayette's kinsman, and then, turning to Monsieur de St.
Aulaire, sulkily looking on at the scene and whom he hated both for his
devotion to Adrienne and because he was of the Orléans party, he said,
with languid maliciousness, "My dear Baron, a thousand pities that you
have taken no care of your voice! I can remember when it was such a one
as Monsieur Calvert's."

"You were ever a sad flatterer, my dear Beaufort," returned St. Aulaire,
one hand on the hilt of his silver dress sword, the other holding his
chapeau de bras. He regarded Beaufort for an instant with a sour smile,
and then turned and made his way to Calvert.

"Ah, Monsieur," he said, and his voice was suave, though there was a
mocking light in his eyes, "I see I have made a mistake. I had thought
you a past master in the art of skating, now I see that your true role
is that of the stage hero. You would become as spoilt a favorite as
Garat himself. The ladies all commit a thousand follies for him."

"Sir," returned Mr. Calvert, quietly, though he was white with
unaccustomed anger, "I see that you are one destined to make mistakes. I
am neither skating nor singing-master, nor clown nor coward. I am an
American gentleman, and, should anyone be inclined to doubt that fact, I
will convince him of it at the point of my sword--or with pistols, since
English customs are the mode here."

As Calvert looked at the handsome, dissipated face of the nobleman
before him a sudden gust of passion shook him that so insolent a
scoundrel should dare to speak to him in such fashion. And though he
retained all his self-control and outward composure, so strange a smile
played about his lip and so meaning an expression came into his eye as
caused no little surprise to St. Aulaire, who had entirely
underestimated the spirit that lay beneath so calm and boyish an
exterior. As he was about to reply to Calvert, Madame de St. André
approached. Making a low bow, and without a word, Monsieur de St.
Aulaire retired, leaving Calvert with the young girl.

"Come with me, sir," she said, smiling imperiously on the young man and
speaking rapidly. "I have many questions to ask you! You are full of
surprises, Monsieur, and I must have my curiosity satisfied. We have
many arrears of conversation to make up. Did you not promise to tell me
of General Washington, of America, of your young Scotch poet? But, first
of all, I must have a list of your accomplishments," and she laughed
musically. Calvert thought it was like seeing the sun break through the
clouds on a stormy day to see this sudden change to girlish gayety and
naturalness from her grand air of princess royal, and which, after all,
he reflected, she had something of a right to assume. Indeed, she bore
the name of one who had been a most distinguished officer of the King
and who had died in his service, and she was herself the descendant of a
long line of nobles who, if they had not all been benefactors of their
race, had, at least, never shirked the brunt of battle nor any service
in the royal cause. On her father's side she was sprung from that great
warrior, Jacques d'Azay, who fought side by side with Lafayette's
ancestor in the battle of Beaugé, when the brother of Harry of England
was defeated and slain. On her mother's side she came of the race of the
wise and powerful Duc de Sully, Henry of Navarre's able minister. One of
her great uncles had been a Grand Almoner of France, and another had
commanded one of the victorious battalions at Fontenoy under the
Maréchal Saxe. The portraits of some of these great gentlemen and of
many another of her illustrious ancestors hung upon the walls of the
salons and galleries of this mansion in the rue St. Honoré. The very
house bespoke the pride of race and generations of affluence, and was
only equalled in magnificence by the Noailles hôtel near by. As Mr.
Calvert looked about him at the splendor of this mansion, which had been
in the d'Azay family for near two centuries and a half; at the spacious
apartment with its shining marquetry floor, its marble columns
separating it from the great entrance hall; at the lofty ceiling,
decorated by the famous Lagrenée with a scene from Virgil ('twas the
meeting of Dido and Aeneas); at the brilliant company gathered
together--as Mr. Calvert looked at all this, he felt a thousand miles
removed from her in circumstance and sentiment, and thought to himself
that it was not strange that she, who had been accustomed to this
splendor since her birth, should treat an unassuming, untitled gentleman
from an almost unknown country, without fortune or distinction, with
supercilious indifference. Indeed, in his heart Mr. Calvert was of the
opinion that this dazzling creature's beauty alone was enough to place
her above princesses, and (thinking of the fresco on the ceiling) that
had Aeneas but met her instead of Queen Dido he had never abandoned her
as he did the Carthagenian.

Perhaps something of the ardor of his thoughts was reflected in his
expression, for it was with a somewhat embarrassed look that Adrienne
pointed to a low gilt chair beside her own.

"Will you be seated, sir? And now for your confession! But even before
that I must know why you come to see us so seldom. Were you provoked
because I rebelled at being taken to task that afternoon on the ice? But
see! Am I not good now?" and she threw him a demure glance of mock
humility that seemed to make her face more charming than ever.

"You are very beautiful," said Mr. Calvert, quietly.

"Tiens! You will be a courtier yet if you are not careful," returned
Adrienne, smiling divinely at the young man from beneath her dark
lashes.

"Tis no compliment, Madame, but the very truth."

"The truth," murmured the young girl, in some embarrassment at Calvert's
sincere, if detached, manner. "One hears it so seldom these days that
'tis difficult to recognize it! But if it was the truth I fear it was
not the whole truth, sir. I am sure I detected an uncomplimentary
arrière pensée in your speech!" and she laughed mockingly at the young
man, whose turn it was to be embarrassed. "I am very beautiful,
but--what, sir?"

"But you would be even more so without those patches, which may be
successful enhancements for lesser beauties but are beneath the uses of
Madame de St. André," returned Calvert, bravely, and joining in the
laugh which the young girl could not repress.

"Pshaw, sir! What an idea!" said Adrienne. "Am I then so amiable that
you dare take advantage of it to call me to account again? I am
beginning to think, sir, that I, who have been assured by so many
gentlemen to be perfection itself, must, after all, be a most faulty
creature since you find reason to reprove me constantly," and she threw
Calvert so bewildering a glance that that young gentleman found himself
unable to reply to her badinage.

"Besides, Monsieur," she went on, "you do not do justice to these
patches. Is it possible that there exists a gentleman so ignorant of
women and fashion as not to know the origin and uses of the mouche?
Come, sir, attend closely while I give you a lesson in beauty and
gallantry! These patches which you so disdain were once tiny plasters
stretched upon black velvet or silk for the cure of headache, and,
though no one was ever known to be so cured, 'twas easy for the illest
beauty to perceive that they made her complexion appear more brilliant
by contrast. The poets declared that Venus herself must have used them
and that they spoke the language of love; thus one on the lip meant the
'coquette,' on the nose the 'impertinent,' on the cheek the 'gallant,'
on the neck the 'scornful,' near the eye 'passionate,' on the forehead,
such as this one I wear, sir, the 'majestic.'" As she spoke, so rapidly
and archly did her mobile features express in their changes her varying
thought that Calvert sat entranced at her piquancy and daring. "And now,
Monsieur, have you no apology to make to these maligned patches?" and
she touched the tiny plaster upon her brow.

"A thousand, Madame," said Calvert, politely, "if you will still let me
be of my opinion that your beauty needs no such aid."

"So you would prevent my wearing so innocent a beautifier? You are more
of a Quaker than Dr. Franklin himself, whom I remember seeing here
often," said Adrienne, with a little laugh and a shrug. "I think he
liked all the ladies and would have continued to like them had they worn
rings in their noses! But as for you--'tis impossible to please you. No
wonder you Americans broke with the English! You are most difficile. But
I am sure that Mr. Jefferson or the witty Mr. Morris could have found a
handsomer reply than yours, Monsieur! Ah, here he is now," and she rose
as Mr. Morris entered the room and made his way to her side.

"At last I have the pleasure of saluting Madame de St. André!" he said,
very gallantly.

"You are late, sir. We had about given over seeing you this evening. Mr.
Jefferson and Mr. Calvert have been with us an hour."

"I envy them their good fortune, Madame! But--I have been detained."

"What a lame and insufficient excuse!" cried Adrienne, laughing. "'Tis
no better than one of Monsieur Calvert's compliments!"

"Ah, Madame," said Mr. Morris, recovering himself, "you must forgive us
and remember that you complete our mental overthrow already begun by the
dazzling brilliancy of the gayest capital in the world and the multitude
of attractions it offers. A man in your Paris, Madame, lives in a sort
of whirlwind which turns him around so fast that he can see nothing.
'Tis no wonder that the people of this metropolis are under the
necessity of pronouncing their definitive judgment from the first
glance, and, being thus habituated to shoot flying, they have what
sportsmen call a quick sight. They know a wit by his snuff-box, a man of
taste by his bow, and a statesman by the cut of his coat." As he
finished speaking there was a general movement at the card-tables, and
Madame d'Azay, accompanied by Mr. Jefferson, who had been looking on at
the game (for he never played), and followed by the company, entered the
drawing-room.

"Ah, Monsieur Morris!" she said, catching sight of that gentleman. "You
have a talent for being always à propos, Monsieur! We have just finished
our game and are ready to listen to the latest gossip, which, I am sure,
you have heard from that charming friend of yours, Madame de Flahaut."

"The Duchess has just won prodigiously at quinze from the Abbé Délille,
who hates damnably to lose," whispered Ségur to Calvert, "and, having
won, she stopped the game in the best of humors."

"Alas, Madame!" said Mr. Morris, in answer to the Duchess, "I have not
had the pleasure of seeing Madame de Flahaut, but am just from the Club
de Valois. As you can imagine to yourself, I heard nothing but politics
at the Club."

"Unfortunately, one does not have to go to the club to hear politics,"
replied Madame d'Azay, dryly. "It has required all my authority to
restrain these gentlemen this evening from discussing such subjects.
Indeed, I think Monsieur Jefferson and Monsieur de Lafayette, in spite
of my defense, which I now remove, have had a political debate," and she
snapped her bright eyes and nodded her withered old head severely at the
two gentlemen.

"_Peccavi_!" said the Marquis, bowing low. "I am the culprit, but
surely, Madame, you would not have me fail to listen to Mr. Jefferson's
counsels when I am so fortunate as to be offered them! He advises me,"
continued Monsieur de Lafayette, turning to Mr. Morris, "to burn my
instructions from the noblesse, which engage me absolutely to favor the
vote by orders and not by persons, and, should this produce an
irrevocable rupture with my electors, boldly to take my stand with the
tiers état. I have seen Necker to-day and he is as far as ever from a
solution of this great and first question which must come up before the
States-General. Indeed, there is but one rational solution, and I must
disregard my instructions in an endeavor to bring it about."

"I would advise you to resign your seat!" said Mr. Morris, bluntly. "You
have been elected by an order in whose principles you no longer
believe. Should you continue their representative your conscience will
be continually at war with your duty. Should you break away from your
constituency you will offer an example of insubordination and
lawlessness which may have the most deplorable results."

"I cannot agree with you, Mr. Morris," broke in Mr. Jefferson, warmly.
"In the desperate pass to which affairs are already come in this nation,
desperate remedies must be employed. Shall Monsieur de Lafayette deprive
the tiers état of his enthusiasm, his earnest convictions, his talents,
when, by an act of courage, entirely in accord with his conscience, he
can become one of them and can lead them to victory and to that fusion
with the other orders which is so vital to the usefulness, nay, to the
very life of the States-General?"

"In my opinion there is less need that Monsieur de Lafayette should lead
the tiers état--they will travel fast enough, I think," says Mr. Morris,
dryly--"than that he should stick to his own order, strengthening in
every way in his power this conservative element, which is the safeguard
of the nation. This annihilation of the distinctions of orders which you
speak of seems to me to be the last thing to be desired. Should the
nobles abandon their order and give over their privileges, what will act
as a check on the demands and encroachments of the commons? How far such
ultra-democratic tendencies may be right respecting mankind in general
is, I think, extremely problematical. With respect to this nation I am
sure it is wrong. I am frank but I am sincere when I say that I believe
you, Monsieur de Lafayette, and you, Monsieur d'Azay, to be too
republican for the genius of this country."

"Or, Monsieur Morris, trop aristocrate," said the Marquis, with a bitter
smile on his disturbed countenance, for his vanity, which was becoming
inordinate, could not brook unfriendly criticism.

"'Tis strange," said the Vicomte d'Azay, "to hear an American arguing
against those principles which have won for him so lately his freedom
and his glory! As for me, I think with Mr. Jefferson and the Marquis,
and, thinking so, I have sided with the people, which is, after all, the
nation."

"Yes," broke in Mr. Jefferson with animation and speaking to d'Azay,
"you have found the vital truth. 'Tis no king, but the sovereign people,
which is the state. It has been my firm belief that with a great people,
set in the path of civil and religious liberty, freedom and power in
their grasp, let the executive be as limited as may be, that nation will
still prosper. A strong people and a weak government make a great
nation."

"But who shall say that the French are a strong people?" demands Mr.
Morris, impetuously, and turning to the company. "You are lively,
imaginative, witty, charming, talented, but not substantial or
persevering. Inconstancy is mingled in your blood, marrow, and very
essence. Constancy is the phenomenon. The great mass of the common
people have no religion but their priests, no law but their superiors,
no morals but their interests. And how shall we expect a people to
suddenly become wise and self-governing who are ignorant of statecraft,
who have existed for centuries under a despotism? Never having felt the
results of a weak executive, they do not know the dangers of unlimited
power. No man is more republican in sentiment than I am, but I think it
no less than a crime to foist a republic upon a people in no way fitted
for it, and all those who abandon the King in this hour of danger, who
do not uphold his authority to the fullest extent, are participants in
that crime and are helping to bring on those events which I fear will
shortly convulse this country."

"Mr. Morris is no optimist either in regard to French character or the
progress of public affairs," said Lafayette, bitingly. "But I can assure
him that if the French are inconstant, ignorant, and immoral, they are
also energetic, lively, and easily aroused by noble examples. Moreover,
the public mind has been instructed lately to an astonishing point by
the political pamphlets issued in such numbers, and 'tis my opinion that
these facts will bring us, after no great lapse of time, to an adequate
representation and participation in public affairs, and that without the
convulsion which Mr. Morris so acutely dreads."

The company listened in silence with the intensest interest to this
animated conversation, the women following with as close attention as
the men (the Duchess nodding her approval of Mr. Morris's opinions from
time to time), and 'twas but a sample of the almost incredibly frank
political discussion taking place daily in all the notable salons of
Paris. As for Calvert, although he loved and honored Mr. Jefferson
before all men and held him as all but infallible, he could not but
agree with Mr. Morris's views as being the soundest and most practical.
Indeed, from that day Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris differed more and
more widely in their political faiths, but the nobility of Mr.
Jefferson's nature, the admirable tact of Mr. Morris, and, as much as
anything, the common affection they felt for Calvert, who would have
been inexpressibly pained by any breach between them, kept them upon
friendly terms.

Mr. Morris, conscious that he had spoken impetuously and perhaps with
too much warmth, made no reply to Monsieur de Lafayette's last words,
spoken with some animus, and in a few minutes made his way to Calvert.

"Come away, my boy," he said, in a low tone. "Come away! Lafayette, who
can still believe that mighty changes will take place in this kingdom
without a revolution, does not even know of this day's fearful business
in the rue St. Antoine. I had it from Boursac, who arrived at the Club
two hours ago with both windows of his carriage broken, the panels
splintered, and his coachman with a bloody cheek. He had tried to pass
through the faubourg, where two hundred of the rabble have been killed
by Besenval's Swiss Guards at the house of a paper merchant, Reveillon.
The villains have broke into his factory, demolished everything, drunk
his wines, and, accidentally, some poisonous acid used in his
laboratory, of which they have died a horrible death, and all because
the unfortunate merchant dared in the electoral assembly of Ste.
Marguerite to advocate reducing the wages of his men. I ordered my
coachman to drive by the faubourg, hoping to see for myself if the
affair had not been greatly exaggerated, but I was turned back by some
troops proceeding thither with two small cannon. 'Twas this which
detained me. Boursac says 'tis known for certain that the whole affair
has been instigated by the Duc d'Orléans. He passed in his coach among
the rioters, urging them on in their villany, and 'tis even said by some
that he was seen giving money to the mob. And this is the man whom the
King hesitates to banish! Perhaps, after all, boy, I did wrong to
counsel Lafayette and d'Azay to stand by a King who is weakness itself
and who knows not how to defend himself or his throne!"



CHAPTER X

AT VERSAILLES


It was just a week after Mr. Calvert's visit to the hotel d'Azay and the
affair of the rue St. Antoine, that the day arrived for the consummation
of that great event toward which all France, nay, all Europe, had been
looking for months past.

With a sudden burst and glory of sunshine and warm air the long, hard
winter had given way to the spring of that year of 1789. By the end of
April the green grass and flowering shrubs looked as if summer had come,
and the cruel cold of but a few weeks back was all but forgotten. And
with the quickening pulse of nature the agitation and restless activity
among all classes had increased. The whole kingdom of France was astir
with the excitement of the rapidly approaching convocation of the
States-General. Paris read daily in the columns of the _Moniteur_ the
names of the newly elected deputies, and by the 1st of May those
deputies were thronging her streets.

D'Azay, Lafayette, Necker, Duport, Lameth, and many others, who saw
their ardent wishes materializing, were quite beside themselves with
delight, and prophesied the happiest things for France. Madame d'Azay,
being of the court party, held widely differing views from those of her
nephew, and was out of all conceit with this political ferment, while
as for Adrienne, she looked upon the opening of the States-General and
the grand reception of the King on the 2d of May as splendid pageants
merely, to which she would be glad to lend her presence and the lustre
of her beauty. Indeed, it is safe to say that for nearly every
individual in that restless kingdom of France the States-General held a
different meaning, a different hope, a different fear. Fortunate it was
for all alike, that none could see the ending of that terrible business
about to be set afoot.

In all the brilliant weather of that spring of 1789, no fairer day
dawned than that great day of Monday, the 4th of May. By earliest
morning the whole world of Paris seemed to be taking its way to
Versailles. Mr. Jefferson, having presented Calvert with the billet
reserved for Mr. Short (the secretary being absent at The Hague), and
Mr. Morris being provided for through the courtesy of the Duchesse
d'Orléans, the three gentlemen left the Legation at six in the morning
in Mr. Jefferson's coach. The grand route to Versailles was thronged
with carriages and vehicles of every description, and the dust, heat,
and confusion were indescribable. On their arrival, which was about
eight o'clock, being hungry and thirsty, the gentlemen repaired to a
café, where they had an indifferent breakfast at a table d'hôte, about
which were seated several gloomy-looking members of the tiers. After the
hasty meal they made their way as quickly as possible to the hôtel of
Madame de Tessé in the rue Dauphine, where they were awaited.

Madame de Tessé, Monsieur de Lafayette's aunt, was, as Mr. Morris
laughingly styled her, "a republican of the first feather," and it was
with the most enthusiastic pleasure that she welcomed the Ambassador
from the United States and his two friends on that day which she
believed held such happy auguries for the future of her country. A
numerous company had already assembled at her invitation and were
viewing the ever-increasing crowds in the streets from the great stone
balcony draped with silken banners and rich velvet hangings. The British
Ambassador and the Ambassadress, Lady Sutherland (whom Calvert had the
honor of meeting for the first time), were there, as was Madame de
Montmorin, Madame de Staël, and Madame de St. André, looking radiant in
the brilliant morning sunshine. As Mr. Calvert bent over her hand he
thought to himself that she might have sat for a portrait of Aurora's
self, so fresh and beautiful did she look. The sun struck her dark hair
(over which she wore no covering) to burnished brightness, the violet
eyes sparkled with animation, and her complexion had the freshness and
delicacy of some exquisite flower.

"I am glad you are here, Monsieur l'Americain, on this great day for
France, one of the most momentous, one of the happiest in all her
history. You see I have not forgotten your fondness for history!" and
she shot him an amused glance.

"I am glad, too, Madame," replied Calvert, seating himself beside her.
"'Tis one of the most momentous days in France's history, as you say,
but one of the happiest?--I don't know," and he looked dubiously at the
thronged streets, for he was of Mr. Morris's way of thinking, and, try
as he might, he could not bring himself to look upon the course of
affairs with the optimism Mr. Jefferson felt.

"Are you going to be gloomy on this beautiful day?" demanded Adrienne,
impatiently. "Aren't the very heavens giving us a sign that they approve
of this event? Mr. Jefferson is the only one of you who appreciates this
great occasion--even Mr. Morris, who is usually so agreeable, seems to
be out of spirits," and she glanced toward that gentleman where he sat
between Madame de Montmorin and Madame de Flahaut, who had just arrived
with Beaufort. Mr. Morris, hearing his name spoken, arose and went over
to Madame de St. André.

"Are you saying evil things about me to Mr. Calvert, my dear young
lady?" he asked, bowing with that charming show of deference which he
always paid a pretty woman and which in part atoned for the cynical
expression in his keen eyes.

"But yes," returned Adrienne, laughing. "I was saying that you wore a
displeased air almost as if you envied France her good fortune of
to-day!"

"You mistake me," said Mr. Morris, warmly. "I have France's interest and
happiness greatly at heart. The generous wish which a free people must
form to disseminate freedom, the grateful emotion which rejoices in the
happiness of a benefactor, and a strong personal interest as well in the
liberty as in the power of this country, all conspire to make us far
from indifferent spectators," and he glanced at Calvert as though
certain of having expressed the young man's sentiments as well as his
own. "The leaders here are our friends, many of them have imbibed their
principles in America, and all have been fired by our example. If I wear
an anxious air 'tis because I am not sure that that example can be
safely imitated in this country, that those principles can be safely
inculcated here, that this people, once having thrown off the yoke of
absolute dependence on and obedience to kingly power, will not confound
license with liberty. But enough of this," he said, smiling. "May I ask
why the Duchess is not of the company?"

"Because she is even more pessimistic about the results of to-day's work
than yourself, Mr. Morris, and has shut herself up in Paris, refusing to
be present at the opening of the States-General even as a spectator. She
portends all sorts of disasters to France, but for the life of me I
can't see what can happen without the King's authority, and surely so
good a king will let no harm happen to his country. As for myself, I
could bless the States-General for having furnished so gala an occasion!
Paris has been deadly stupid for months with all this talk of politics
and elections and constitutions going on. I am glad it is all over and
we have reached the beginning of the end. Is it not a magnificent
spectacle?" she asked.

"'Tis so, truly," assented Mr. Morris, with a curious smile, and leaning
over the balustrade to get a better view of the street.

Versailles was indeed resplendent on that beautiful morning of the 4th
of May, in honor of the procession and religious services to be held as
a sort of prelude to the formal opening of the States-General the
following day. From the Church of Our Lady to the Church of Saint Louis,
where M. de la Farre, Archevêque of Nancy, was to celebrate mass, the
streets through which the procession was to pass were one mass of silken
banners and the richest stuffs depending from every window, every
balcony. Crown tapestries lined the way in double row, and flowers in
profusion were strewn along the streets. Vast throngs surged backward
and forward, held in check by the soldiers of the splendid Maison du Roi
and the Swiss troops, while every balcony, every window, every roof-top,
every possible place of vantage was filled to overflowing with eager
spectators. As the morning sun struck upon the magnificent decorations,
on the ladies and cavaliers, as brilliantly arrayed as though for the
opera or ball, on the gorgeous uniforms of the Guards, the scene was one
of indescribable splendor and color.

A sudden silence fell upon the vast concourse of people as Mr. Morris
leaned over the balcony, and in an instant the head of the procession
came into view. In front were borne the banners of the Church of Our,
Lady and Saint Louis, followed by the parish clergy, and then in two
close ranks walked the five hundred deputies of the tiers état in their
sombre black garments and three-cornered hats. The silence which had so
suddenly descended upon the great company was as suddenly broken at
sight of the tiers, and a deafening shout saluted them. This, in turn,
was quelled, and a curious quiet reigned again as the deputies from the
nobles made their appearance in their rich dress, with cloak gold-faced,
white silk stockings, and beplumed hat.

"You would have to walk with the tiers were you of the procession,
Monsieur Calvert," said Madame de St. André, mischievously, glancing
from the young man's sober habit to the brilliant dress of the nobles as
they filed past.

"Surely! I would be a very raven among those splendid birds of
paradise," said the young man, a trifle scornfully.

"They are very great gentlemen," returned Adrienne, tossing her head.
"See, there is Monsieur le Duc d'Orléans himself leading the noblesse,"
and she courtesied low, as did the rest of the company, when he looked
toward the balcony and bowed.

So that was Monsieur le Duc d'Orléans, the King's cousin, the King's
enemy, as many already knew, the wildest, the most dissolute of all the
wild, dissolute youth of Paris, the boon companion of the Duke of York,
the destroyer of the unfortunate Prince de Lamballes, the hero of a
thousand chroniques scandaleuses of the day! As for Calvert, he thought
that in spite of the splendid appearance of the royal personage he had
never seen a human countenance so repulsive and so depraved. The brutal,
languid eye looked out at him from a face whose unwholesome complexion,
heavy jaw, and sensual mouth sent a thrill of sickening disgust through
him. As he gazed at the retreating figure of the Duke, which, in ifs
heaviness and lethargy, bore the mark of excesses as unmistakably as did
the coarsened face, all the disgraceful stories, the rumors, the
anecdotes which he had ever heard concerning this dissipated young
prince--for his reputation was only too well known even in
America--flashed through his mind.

"And this is one of your great gentlemen?" asked Calvert, looking, not
without some sadness, at the haughty beauty beside him, still flushed
and smiling at the notice bestowed upon her by Monsieur d'Orléans.

"His Highness the Duc d'Orléans is one of the greatest personages in the
kingdom, sir! Tis said, perhaps, that he has been guilty of some
indiscretions"--she hesitated, biting her lip, and coloring slightly
beneath Calvert's calm gaze--"but surely something must be pardoned to
one of his exalted rank; to one who is incapable of any cowardice, of
any baseness."

"Since he is of such exalted rank, it seems strange, Madame, that he
should walk so far ahead of his order as almost to seem to mingle with
the tiers," replied Calvert, quietly. "But I am glad to have such a good
report of the Duke, as there are those who have been mistaken enough to
doubt his bravery at Ouessant, and, merely to look at him, I confess
that I saw many a humble deputy of the tiers who looked, even in his
plebeian dress, more the nobleman than he."

"Ah, Monsieur," returned Madame de St. André, contemptuously, "I see
that you are indeed a republican enragé and hate us for our fine
feathers and rank of birth as cordially as these people who applaud the
tiers and remain silent before the deputies of the nobles."

"Indeed, you misjudge me, Madame," says Calvert, who could scarce
restrain a smile at the lofty manner of the beautiful girl, "as you
misjudge the crowd, for 'tis applauding someone among the noblesse now,"
and he stood up and looked over the balcony rail to better see the cause
of the shout which had suddenly gone up. "'Tis for Monsieur de
Lafayette, I think. See, he is walking yonder, with d'Azay on one side
of him and Noailles on the other."

Adrienne leaned over the balustrade, and looked down at her brother and
Monsieur de Lafayette, who saw her at the same instant. Smiling and
bowing, she flung a handful of roses, which she had carried all morning,
at the gentlemen, who uncovered and waved her their thanks. As they did
so, a sudden blare of trumpets and strains of martial music burst forth,
and the black-robed deputies of the clergy appeared, separated into two
files by the band of royal musicians.

"'Tis like a play, n'est ce pas?" said Adrienne, gayly, to Mr. Morris,
who had again come up, having been dismissed by Madame de Flahaut on the
arrival of Monsieur de Curt.

"No, 'tis but the prologue," corrected Mr. Morris, "and the play itself
is like enough to be a tragedy, I think," he added, in a low voice, to
Calvert.

"And here are the King and Queen at last," cried Madame de St. André,
as a great cheering went up. Every eye in that vast throng was riveted
upon the King, who now appeared, preceded by the Archbishop of Paris
carrying the Holy Sacrament under a great canopy, the four corners of
which were held by the Dukes of Angoulême and Berry and the King's two
brothers, Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois. Near the Holy Sacrament
marched the cardinals, bishops, and archbishops elected to the
States-General, and in the throng Calvert quickly and easily detected by
his halting step his acquaintance, the Bishop of Autun. About His
Majesty walked the high officers of the crown, and the enthusiasm of
Madame de Staël, which had been on the increase every instant, reached a
climax when she recognized Monsieur Necker, conspicuous by his size and
bearing, among the entourage of Louis, and, when she courtesied, the
obeisance seemed intended more for her father than her King.

"You are wrong to rejoice so greatly," said Madame de Montmorin, laying
a timid hand on Madame de Staël's arm, which trembled with excitement.
She had scarce said a word the whole morning and had sat staring with
troubled face at the magnificent pageant as it passed. "I feel sure that
great disasters to France will follow this day's business."

Madame de Staël impatiently shook off the detaining hand. "'Tis the day
of days," she cried, enthusiastically, "the day for which my father has
labored so long, the day on which will be written the brightest page of
French history."

"I verily believe she thinks the States-General are come together to
the sole honor and glorification of Monsieur, Necker," whispered Mr.
Morris, in an amused undertone, to Calvert. "But look yonder, to the
right of the King! There go our friends of the Palais Royal, the young
Duc de Chartres and Monsieur de Beaujolais! Tis strange the Duc
d'Orléans is not near the King. He curries favor with the multitude by
abandoning his sovereign on this crucial day and putting himself forward
as an elected deputy of the States-General! And there to the left of His
Majesty is the Queen with the princesses. Is she not beautiful,
Ned?--though Beaufort tells me she has lost much of the brilliancy of
her beauty in the last year. Indeed, she has an almost melancholy
air,-but I think it is becoming, for otherwise she would be too
haughty-looking."

"She has reason to look melancholy, Monsieur," said Madame de Montmorin,
in a low tone, and with a glance of deep sympathy at the Queen, who sat
rigid, palely smiling in her golden coach. "Did you not know that the
Dauphin is very ill? 'Tis little talked about at court, for the Queen
will not have the subject mentioned, but he has been ailing for a year
past."

As she spoke, the carriage of the Queen passed close under the balcony,
and at that instant a woman in the crowd, looking Her Majesty full in
the face, cried out, shrilly, "Long live d'Orléans!" The pallid Queen
sank back, as though struck, into the arms of the Princess de Lamballes,
who rode beside her. But in an instant she was herself again, and sat
haughtily erect, with a bitter smile curving her beautiful lips.

"A cruel blow!" said Mr. Morris, under his breath, to Calvert. "Her
unhappiness was complete enough without that. Arrayed in those rich
stuffs, with the flowers in her hair and bosom and with that inscrutable
and melancholy expression on her beautiful face, she looks as might have
looked some Athenian maiden decked for sacrifice. Indeed, all the
noblesse have a curious air of fatality about them, or so it seems to
me, and somehow look as if they were going to their doom. Take a good
look at this splendid pageant, Ned! 'Tis the first time you have seen
royalty, the first time you have seen the nobility in all the
magnificence of ceremony. It may be the last."

Mr. Jefferson got up from his place beside Madame de Tessé and came over
to where Calvert and Mr. Morris were standing.

"What do you think of the King and Queen?" he asked, in a low voice,
laying his hand, in his customary affectionate manner, on Calvert's
shoulder. "The King has a benevolent, open countenance, do you not think
so?--but the Queen has a haughty, wayward look, and the imperious,
unyielding spirit of her Austrian mother."

"She will need all the spirit of her whole family," broke in Mr. Morris,
warmly, "if she is to bear up beneath such wanton insults as that just
offered her."

"I fear that the hand of Heaven will weigh heavily on that selfish,
proud, capricious sovereign, and that she will have to suffer many
humiliations," replied Mr. Jefferson, coldly, for he disliked and
distrusted Marie Antoinette profoundly, and always believed that she was
largely responsible for the terrible disasters which overtook France,
and that had Louis been free of her influence and machinations, he had
been able to disentangle himself and his kingdom from the fatal coil
into which they were drawn.

"As for myself, I can think only that she is a woman and in distress,"
said Mr. Morris, looking after the Queen's coach, which rolled slowly
through the crowded street, making a glittering track of light where the
noonday sun (for 'twas past twelve o'clock by that time) struck the
golden panels. It was followed on one side by a long line of carriages
containing the princesses of the blood royal and the ladies-in-waiting
to Her Majesty, on the other by the procession of princes, dukes, and
gentlemen of the King's household. It was close on one o'clock when the
last gilded coach, the last splendid rider, followed by the rabble, who
closed in and pushed on behind to the Church of Saint Louis, had passed
beneath Madame de Tessé's balcony. Some of her guests, having billets
for the church reserved for them, entered their carriages and drove
thither; the others, being weary with the long wait and excitement of
the morning, accepted their hostess's invitation to breakfast, content
to hear later of the celebration of mass in the Church of Saint Louis.
Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Morris, and Calvert were of this party, and, after
having promised to be at Versailles early the next morning and to stay
for the night at Madame de Tessé's so as to accompany the ladies to the
King's reception, they set off for Paris toward four o'clock in the
afternoon. As they were about leaving, Beaufort, who had attended mass,
came in, tired and gloomy-looking, and told them that Monseigneur de la
Farre had preached a political sermon which the deputies had the bad
taste and hardihood to applaud in church and in the presence of His
Majesty.

"How dare they so insult the King?" said Madame de St. André, pale with
anger, to Calvert, who had come up to bid her adieu. "By the way, Mr.
Jefferson tells me he is to present you to their Majesties to-morrow
evening," she went on, recovering her composure and smiling somewhat. "I
should like to see how an American salutes a king."

"Madame," said Mr. Calvert, quietly, "you forget that I have made my bow
to General Washington."

It was not much past six o'clock the next morning when Mr. Calvert and
Mr. Jefferson called, in the latter's carriage, for Mr. Morris in the
rue de Richelieu, and once more set out for Versailles. As on the
preceding day, the road was thronged with coaches, all making their way
to the temporary capital. Madame de Flahaut (to whom Mr. Morris bowed
very low, though he looked a little piqued when he saw Monsieur de Curt
beside her) flashed by in her carriage as they neared Versailles, and a
little later Madame de St. André, accompanied by Madame de Chastellux
and Beaufort passed them, bowing and waving to the three gentlemen.

"If it were possible, I should say she looks more beautiful to-day than
yesterday, eh, Ned?" said Mr. Morris, looking after Madame de St. André,
and then giving Calvert a quizzical glance, under which the young man
blushed hotly.

"By the way, I overheard your parting conversation yesterday, and I
think you rather got the best of the haughty beauty," he went on,
laughing. "I am not sure but that the unruffled serenity of your manner
before the ladies advances you more in their estimation than does Mr.
Jefferson's evident devotion to them all or my impartial compliments and
gallantry. But beware! Madame de St. André is no woman if she does not
try to retaliate for that retort of yours."

After stopping in the rue Dauphine for the billets, which Madame de
Tessé had again been able to obtain for Mr. Morris through the interest
of the Duchesse d'Orléans, the three gentlemen drove straight to the
Salle des Menus Plaisirs, and, by nine o'clock, were seated in the great
gallery reserved for visitors. They were fortunate enough to find
themselves placed immediately behind Madame de Chastellux, Madame de St.
André, and Madame de Flahaut, who had entered together and who were kind
enough to point out for the benefit of Mr. Morris and Calvert many of
the celebrities in the glittering assemblage. For, early as the hour
was, the great balcony was already crowded, while the floor was slowly
filling with the deputies ushered in one after the other by Monsieur de
Brézé with the greatest ceremony. No more brilliant throng had ever come
together in that spacious Salle des Menus Plaisirs, and assuredly on no
more momentous occasion. As Mr. Calvert looked about him at the
splendid scene, at the great semicircular hall, with its Ionic columns,
at the balcony crowded with thousands of magnificently dressed courtiers
and beautiful women, upon whose fair, painted faces and powdered hair
the morning sun shone discreetly, its bright rays sifted through a
silken awning covering the dome of the great room, at the throng of
deputies sharply differentiated by positron and costume, at the empty
throne set high above the tribune upon its dais of purple velvet strewn
with the golden lilies of the Bourbons; as Mr. Calvert looked at all
this--especially as he looked at the empty throne--a curious
presentiment of the awful import of the occasion struck in upon him
forcibly. Mr. Jefferson, who sat beside him, seemed to read his thought.

"I think this is like to live as one of the most famous scenes in
history," he said. "We three are fortunate to be here to see it. Tis the
birth-hour of a new nation, if I mistake not. For the first time in two
centuries the King meets the three orders of his subjects. Who can
foresee what will be the result?"

"I think it is safe to say that the King does not foresee the result, or
there would be no meeting," said Mr. Morris, dryly.

"As pessimistic as ever, my dear sir!" retorted Mr. Jefferson, somewhat
testily. "Ah, here comes Monsieur Necker."

As the Minister of Finance made his way in, preceded by Monsieur de
Brézé, a loud cheer went up from every part of the hall. Even the
sombre mass of the tiers roused themselves to enthusiasm, which was
redoubled when Monsieur le Duc d'Orléans made his appearance with the
clerical deputy from Crépy-en-Valois, who, he insisted, should enter
before him.

"Tis like His Highness," whispered Mr. Morris to Calvert. "He is as
thirsty for popularity as Lafayette himself."

Though he spoke in a low tone and in English, Madame de St. André
overheard and understood him.

"You and Mr. Calvert seem to be in a conspiracy to malign His Royal
Highness," she said, turning around.

"No, no. If there is a conspirator in the case 'tis Monsieur d'Orléans
himself," replied Mr. Morris, meaningly. To this Madame de St. André
deigned no reply, and, shrugging her beautiful shoulders, turned her
back once more to the gentlemen and her attention to the assemblage. Mr.
Calvert, who sat directly behind her, could only see the pink ear and
outline of the fair, displeased face thus turned away, but he thought
she looked more imperiously lovely and more distant than the painted
goddesses of the Olympian hierarchy who disported themselves, after the
artist's fancy, upon the great dome of the hall.

"Madame," he said, leaning over the back of Madame de Chastellux's
chair, "can you tell me who is that deputy of the tiers just making his
way in? 'Tis the strangest and most terrible face I have ever seen," and
he looked hard at the seamed, scarred visage, at the gloomy eyes,
shining darkly in their great sockets, at the immense, burly figure of
the man who was forcing his way contemptuously past the gallant Monsieur
de Brézé to a seat among the commoners. As he looked, he was reminded in
some fashion of the man Danton whom he had seen in the Café de l'Ecole
the afternoon he had gone thither with Beaufort.

"It is Monsieur de Mirabeau," said Madame de Chastellux. "There is
something terrible in his face, as you say, but there is genius, also, I
think," she added.

"He has many talents and every vice, Madame," said Mr. Jefferson,
coldly. "A genius if you will, but a man without honor, without probity,
erratic, unscrupulous, mercenary, passionate. _Cupidus alieni prodigus
sui_. Great as are his parts, he will never be able to serve his
country, for no dependence can be placed in him. He cannot even further
his own interests, for he is his own worst enemy. No association with
such a character can be either profitable or permanent. Listen! he is
being hissed!" It was true. A faint but perfectly audible murmur of
disapprobation went up as Mirabeau took his place among the deputies. As
the sound struck on his ear, he turned upon the throng like a lion at
bay and glanced about him with eyes which literally seemed to shoot fire
and before which all sounds of hatred trembled back into silence.

With conversation, with speculations as to whether the great question of
voting par ordre or par tête would be settled by Monsieur Necker in his
speech, what policy the King would follow, and with promenades in the
great semicircular corridor running around the balcony, did the vast
crowd while away the seemingly interminable wait before the court
appeared. It was one o'clock when the heralds-at-arms, amid a profound
silence, announced the approach of the King and Queen. As His Majesty
made his appearance at the door, the silence was broken by tumultuous
cries of "Long live the King!" Remembering that day and those prolonged
demonstrations of loyalty and affection to His Majesty, Mr. Calvert
always considered it the wonderfullest change his life ever saw when,
six months later, he was a witness to the sullen animosity and insolence
of the crowd toward its sovereign.

When the King had ascended the throne and seated himself (the princes of
the blood royal who followed His Majesty being ranged upon the steps of
the dais to his right and his ministers below and in front), there was
another call from the heralds-at-arms, and Marie Antoinette, beautiful,
pallid, and haughty-looking, appeared at the entrance, accompanied by
the Princess Royal and the members of her immediate household. Amid a
silence unbroken by a single acclamation the Queen took her seat on the
King's left and two steps below him.

"Is there no Frenchman here who will raise his voice in greeting to his
Queen?" said Mr. Morris, very audibly. But though many hear him, not a
sound is made, and at the cruel silence the Queen, her haughtiness
giving way for a moment, as it had the day before, wept.

"I could never bear to see beauty in distress. If I were a subject of
the Queen she should have one loyal servitor, at least, to wish her
well," said Mr. Morris, warmly, to Calvert.

The scene which, before the entrance of the royal party, had lacked its
crowning touch, was now brilliant beyond description. To the right of
the throne were ranged the princes of the Church, hardly less
resplendent in their robes than the secular nobles facing them, while
between, forming a perfect foil for this glowing mass of color and
jewels, a sombre spot in the brilliant assemblage, the tiers sat facing
their sovereign. It was ominous--or so it seemed to Mr. Calvert--that
the tiers should thus divide the two orders naturally most closely
allied, and should sit as if in opposition or menace over against their
King. And it was to them that the King seemed to speak or rather to read
his address, which had been carefully prepared for him and was
intentionally so vague that it aroused but little enthusiasm; to them
that Monsieur le Garde des Sceaux appealed without great effect; and it
was, above all, to the tiers that Monsieur Necker, rising, addressed
himself, receiving in turn their warmest plaudits.

So long and so frequently interrupted by applause was Necker's report
that it was after four o'clock when the King rose to dismiss the
Assembly. As he descended the steps the Queen came forward to his side,
and, for the first time, a faint "Vive la Reine!" was heard. At the
sound a quick blush of pleasure showed in her pallid cheeks and she
courtesied low to the throng with such divine grace that the
acclamations redoubled. To this the Queen courtesied yet lower, and,
amid a very thunder of applause, the royal party left the hall, followed
by the deputies and the struggling throng of visitors.

Fatigued by the long séance, the excitement, and the tediousness of
Monsieur Necker's report, Mr. Jefferson hurried Mr. Calvert--Mr. Morris
had been carried off by Madame de Flahaut, to the great discomfiture of
Monsieur de Curt--into his coach and drove directly to Madame de
Tessé's, where they found apartments ready for them for the night and
where they could get some repose before dressing for dinner and the
King's levee, at which Mr. Jefferson intended to present both Mr. Morris
and Mr. Calvert to their Majesties.



CHAPTER XI

MR. CALVERT ATTENDS THE KING'S LEVEE


It had been the intention of the court to give but one levee--that to
the deputies on the Saturday preceding the opening of the
States-General, but so widespread and so profound had been the
dissatisfaction among the tiers at the treatment they had received on
that occasion at the hands of Monsieur de Brézé, that the King had
hastily decided to hold another levee on the evening of the 5th of May,
to which all the deputies were again invited and at which much of the
formal and displeasing ceremony of the first reception was to be
banished. At the first levee His Majesty had remained in state in the
Salle d'Hercule, to which the deputies were admitted according to their
rank, the noblesse and higher clergy passing in through the great state
apartments, the tiers being introduced one after the other by a side
entrance. The King now rightly determined to receive all in the great
Salle des Glaces with as little formality as possible. But with that
unhappy fatality which seemed to attend his every action, this
resolution, which would have been productive of such good results at
first, now seemed but a tardy and inefficient apology for courtly
hauteur.

So fatigued was Madame de Tessé and her guests by the day's
proceedings, that it was late when they set off from the rue Dauphine
for the palace. Mr. Morris had the honor of driving alone with Madame de
Tessé (Lafayette and d'Azay declining to attend this levee, having paid
their respects to the King on Saturday), while Mr. Jefferson, whose
coach had remained at Versailles, begged the pleasure of Madame de St.
André's company for himself and Mr. Calvert. She came down the marble
steps in her laces and gaze d'or, her dark hair unpowdered and unadorned
save for a white rose, half-opened, held in the coil by a diamond
buckle, and she looked so lovely and so much the grand princess that Mr.
Jefferson could not forbear complimenting her as he handed her into the
coach. As for Mr. Calvert, he stood by in silence, quite dazzled by her
beauty. She took Mr. Jefferson's compliments and Calvert's silent
admiration complacently and as though they were no more than her just
due, and talked gayly and graciously enough with the minister, though
she had scarce a word for the younger man, whom she treated in a fashion
even more than usually imperious, and to which he submitted with his
unvarying composure and good-nature.

In the Place d'Armes the crush of coaches was so great that the American
Minister's carriage could move but slowly from that point into the Cour
Royale, and 'twas with much difficulty that Mr. Jefferson and Calvert,
finally alighting, forced a passage through the crowd for Madame de St.
André. At the foot of the great Escalier des Ambassadeurs they found
Madame de Tessé and Mr. Morris, who had just arrived. Mounting
together, they passed through the state apartments of the King, upon the
ceilings and panellings of which Mr. Calvert noted the ever recurring
sun-disk, emblem of the Roi Soleil whose sun had set so ingloriously
long before; through the Salle de la Guerre, from whose dome that same
Sun-King, vanquished so easily by Death, hurled thunder-bolts of wrath
before which Spain and Holland cowered in fear; until they at length
came into the Galérie des Glaces, where their Majesties were to receive.

Not even the splendor of the Salle des Menus could rival for an instant
the beauty of the vast hall, brilliantly lighted by great golden lustres
set in double row up and down its length, in which Mr. Calvert now found
himself. These lights burned themselves out in endless reflections in
the seventeen great mirrors set between columns on one side of the hall.
Opposite each of these mirrors was a window of equal proportions giving
upon the magnificent gardens and terraces. The vaulted ceiling of this
great gallery was dedicated, in a series of paintings by Lebrun, to the
glorification of Louis XIV, from the moment when, on the death of
Mazarin, in 1661, he took up the reins of government ('twas the theme of
the great central fresco, _Le Roi gouverne par lui-même_, wherein,
according to the fashion of the day, the very Olympian deities were
subject to the princes of France, and Mercury announced this kingly
resolve to the other powers of Europe) to the peace of Nymwegen, which
closed that unjust and inglorious war with Holland. Lebrun, being a
courtier as well as an artist, had made these military operations under
Turenne and Condé resemble prodigious success, and from The Passage of
the Rhine to The Capture of Ghent, Louis was always the conqueror over
the young Stadtholder, William of Orange.

These and many other details Mr. Calvert had time to note as he made a
tour of the princely apartment in the train of Madame de St. André and
Madame de Tessé. Their progress was necessarily slow, as the gallery was
thronged with the deputies of the noblesse, the higher clergy, and the
invited guests. But the members of the tiers, whose presence had been
especially desired by His Majesty, were conspicuous by their absence.
Here and there one saw a commoner in black coat and simple white tie,
but he seemed to be separated from the rest of the splendid company by
some invisible barrier, constrained, uneasy. Indeed, there was over the
whole scene that same feeling of constraint, a sense of danger, and an
air of apathy, too, that killed all gayety.

"If this is a fair sample, court balls must be but dreary affairs," said
Mr. Morris to Calvert, in a low tone, as they moved slowly about. And
yet, in spite of this indefinite but sensible pall over everything, the
company was both numerous and brilliant. The ladies of the Queen's
household and many others of the highest nobility were present, dazzling
in jewels, powder, feathers, and richest court dresses. As for the
gentlemen, they were as resplendent as the women in their satins and
glittering orders and silver dress swords. Mr. Morris alone of all the
company was without the dress sword, this concession having been granted
him on account of his lameness and through the application of Mr.
Jefferson.

"It is a grim jest to give a man an extra arm when he needs a leg, Mr.
Jefferson. Can't you see to it that I am spared being made a monstrosity
of?" Mr. Morris had said, whimsically. "I can hear Ségur or Beaufort now
making some damned joke about the unequal distribution of my members,"
and Mr. Jefferson had made a formal request to the master of ceremonies
to allow Mr. Morris to be presented to His Majesty without a sword. With
that exception, however, he was in full court costume and stumped his
way about the Galérie des Glaces with his accustomed savoir faire,
attracting almost as much attention and interest as Mr. Jefferson. That
gentleman, in his gray cloth, with some fine Mechlin lace at throat and
wrists, and wearing only his order of the Cincinnati, overtopped all the
other ambassadors in stately bearing, and looked more noble than did
most of the marquises and counts and dukes in their brocades and
powdered perukes and glittering decorations--or, at least, so thought
Calvert, who was himself very good to look at in his white broadcloth
and flowered satin waistcoat.

The slow progress of the party around the room was not entirely to Mr.
Calvert's liking, for at each step Madame de St. André was forced to
stop and speak to some eager courtier who presented himself, and, by
the time they were half-way through the tour and opposite the Oeil de
Beef, such a retinue was following the beauty that he found himself
quite in the rear and completely separated from her.

"I feel like the remnant of a beleaguered army cut off from the base of
supplies," said Mr. Morris, smiling at the young man. He and Mr.
Jefferson had dropped behind, having given way to younger and more
pressing claimants for Madame de St. André's favor. "Shall we make a
masterly retreat while there is time?"

While he was yet speaking a sudden silence fell upon the company, and
Monsieur de Brézé, throwing open the doors leading into the Gallery of
Mirrors from Louis's council chamber, announced the King and Queen.
Their Majesties entered immediately, attended at a respectful distance
by a small retinue of gentlemen, among whom Calvert recognized the Duc
de Broglie, Monsieur de la Luzerne, and Monsieur de Montmorin. At this
near sight of the King--for he found himself directly opposite the door
by which their Majesties entered--Mr. Calvert felt a shock of surprise.
Surrounded by all the pomp and circumstance of a most imposing
ceremonial and seen across the vast Salle des Menus, Louis XVI. had
appeared to the young American kingly enough. But this large, awkward,
good-natured-looking man who now made his way quietly and with a
shambling gait into the brilliant room, crowded with the most splendid
courtiers of Europe, had no trace of majesty about him, unless it was a
certain look of benignity and kindliness that shone in the light-blue
eyes. His dress of unexpected simplicity and the unaffected style of his
whole deportment were unlocked for by Calvert. Indeed, but for the
splendid decorations he wore and the humility of his courtiers, the
young gentleman would have found it hard to believe himself in such
exalted company, and thought privately that General Washington or Mr.
Jefferson or many another great American whom he had known had a more
commanding presence and a more noble countenance than this descendant of
kings.

But if Louis XVI was awkward and unprepossessing he had the kindest
manners in the world, and when Mr. Jefferson presented Mr. Calvert to
His Majesty as "son jeune et bien-aimé secrétaire, qui avait servi dans
la guerre de l'indépendence sous le drapeau de la France, commandé par
Monsieur de Lafayette, pour qu'il avait un respect le plus profond et
une amitié la plus vive," the young man was quite overcome by the
graciousness of his reception and retained for the rest of his life a
very lively impression of the King's kind treatment of him. He never had
speech with that unhappy, but well-intentioned, ruler but once
afterward, and very possibly 'twas as much the memory of the courtesy
shown him as the wish to see justice done and royalty in distress
succored that made him, on the occasion of his second interview, offer
himself so ardently in the dangerous service of the King.

Perhaps it was the presence at his side of his beautiful consort that
accentuated all of Louis's awkwardness. As Mr. Calvert bowed low before
the Queen, Marie Antoinette, he thought to himself that surely there was
no other princess in all Europe to compare with her, and but one beauty.
Certain it was that she bore herself with a pride of race, a majesty, a
divine grace that were peerless. It must have been some such queen as
this who first inspired the artists with the idea of representing the
princes of this earth as Olympic deities, for assuredly no goddess was
ever more beautiful. Though care and grief and humiliation had already
touched her, though there were fine lines around the proudly curving
lips and an anxious shadow in the large eyes, her complexion was still
transcendently brilliant, her figure still youthful and marvellously
graceful, and there was that in her carriage and glance that attracted
all eyes. She was dressed in a silver gauze embroidered in laurier roses
so cunningly wrought that they looked as if fresh plucked and scattered
over the lacy fabric. Her hair, which was worn simply--she had set the
fashion for less extravagance in the style of head-dress--was piled up
in lightly powdered coils, ornamented only with a feather and a star of
brilliants.

"Ainsi, Monsieur, vous connaissez notre cher de Lafayette" (she hated
and feared him) "et tout jeune que vous êtes vous avez déjà vu la
guerre--la mort, la victorie, et la déroute!" She spoke with a certain
sadness, and Calvert, bowing low again, and speaking only indifferent
French in his agitation, told her that under Lafayette it had been "la
mort et la victoire," but never defeat.

She glanced around the assemblage. "Monsieur de Lafayette is not come
to-night," she said, coldly, to the young man, and then, with a sudden
accession of interest, she went on: "We heard much of that America of
yours from him when he returned from your war" ('twas she herself who
had obtained his forgiveness from the King and a command for him in the
Roi Dragons). "I think he loves it and your General Washington better
than he does his own King and country," she said, smiling a little
bitterly. "Is it, then, so beautiful a country?"

"Tis a very beautiful and a very grateful country, Your Majesty,"
replied Calvert. "America desires nothing so much as to do some service
for Your Majesty in return for all the benefits and assistance France
has rendered her."

"We are glad to know that she is grateful. Ingratitude is the last of
vices," said the Queen, quietly, looking at the young man with a sombre
light in her beautiful eyes. "But, indeed, we fear France hath given her
something she can never repay," and she passed on with the King.
Together they walked the length of the salon between the ranks of
courtiers, after which they mingled freely and without formality with
their guests. Though it was easy to see that the Queen was suffering, so
charming and easy were her manners, so brilliant her very presence, that
a new animation and gayety was diffused throughout the entire
assemblage. Mr. Morris, whom she had also treated with the utmost
graciousness, was enchanted with her.

"I think Venus herself was not more beautiful," he said,
enthusiastically, to Calvert when Her Majesty had passed on. "'Tis no
wonder the wits have dubbed the King Vulcan. And this is the paragon of
beauty and grace whom her ungallant subjects chose to insult this
morning! Have they no hearts, no senses to be charmed with her
loveliness, her majesty, her sorrows? I think you and I, Ned, ought to
be loyal servants of both the King and Queen, for surely royalty could
not have been more courteous in its treatment of two untitled and
unimportant gentlemen."

"Certainly their Majesties were most amiable," said Mr. Jefferson,
dryly, "and your reception was as unlike the ungracious notice which
King George took of Mr. Adams and myself in '86 at Buckingham Palace as
possible. But, come, I want to show you a view of the gardens," he went
on, pushing back the heavy drapery and drawing the two gentlemen into
the embrasure of one of the great windows, from which a perfect view of
the extensive park, the bosquets, the artificial lakes and tapis vert,
the fountains and statues, was to be had. A thousand lanterns lighted up
the scene, though they shone with but a yellow, ineffectual radiance in
the moonlight, which rested in splendor on the grass and water, turning
to milky whiteness the foam in the basins of the fountains and throwing
long shadows on the close-clipped lawns and marble walks.

The three gentlemen gazed for some minutes in silence at the enchanting
scene before them.

"'Tis a fitting-setting for the palace of a king," said Mr. Morris, at
length.

"Yes--" returned Mr. Jefferson, slowly, "if 'tis ever fitting that a
king should arrogate to his sole use the wealth, the toil, the bounty of
an empire. I confess I never look at this stately palace, at these
magnificent gardens, but I shudder to think of the hundred millions of
francs this impoverished nation has been goaded into giving; of the
thousands of lives lost in the building of these aqueducts; of the
countless years and countless energy spent in devising and carrying out
these schemes for royal aggrandizement and pleasure. We come here and
gape and wonder at it all, and little think at what stupendous cost our
senses are so gratified.

  "'The man of wealth and pride
  Takes up a space that many poor supplied--
  Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,
  Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
  The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth
  Has robb'd the neighboring fields of half their growth;
  His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
  Indignant spurns the cottage from the green;
  Around the world each needful product flies,
  For all the luxuries the world supplies:
  While thus the land adorn'd for pleasure--all
  In barren splendor feebly waits the fall.'"

As Mr. Jefferson finished quoting the lines, the sound of voices and
exclamations of astonishment came to the gentlemen from the other side
of the curtain. Looking into the salon they saw Monsieur de St. Aulaire
surrounded by a little group of ladies and gentlemen. He was speaking
quite audibly, so that his words reached the astonished group in the
embrasure of the window.

"'Tis the latest from the Club des Enragés--the King abdicates
to-morrow!" He passed on amid a chorus of dismayed ejaculations.

"What is this?" said Mr. Jefferson, in alarm. "'Tis impossible that it
should be true. Yonder I see Montmorin. I will ask him the meaning of
this," and he passed hurriedly into the salon, leaving Mr. Morris and
Calvert alone.

"'Tis some infernal deviltry of St. Aulaire's, I'll be bound," said Mr.
Morris. "I think I will go, too, Ned," he said, after a minute's
silence, "and see if I can't find Madame de Flahaut. She will know what
this wild report amounts to. Oh, you need not stand there smiling at me
with those serious eyes of yours, my young Sir Galahad! She's a very
pretty and a very interesting woman, if a good deal of the intrigante,
and as for me, I know excellently well how to take care of myself. I
wonder if you do!" and with that he passed out, laughing and drawing the
velvet curtains of the window together behind him.

Mr. Calvert, thus left alone, and being shut off from the great gallery
by the drapery of the window, folded his arms, and, leaning against the
open casement, gazed out at the beautiful scene before him. And as he
looked up in the heavens at the moon shining with such effulgence on
this scene of splendor, the thought came to him that she was shining on
other and far different scenes, too--on the tides of the ocean and on
the cold snows of the mountain-peaks; on squalor and wretchedness and
agitation in the great city so near; and especially did he think of one
tranquil and beloved spot across the sea, on which he had seen this
self-same moon shining with as serene a radiance many, many times. The
sounds of laughter and animated talk, the click of silver swords, the
strains of music from the musicians in the gallery above the OEil de
Beef came faintly to him. Suddenly he was aware that the curtains had
been lifted, and turning around, he saw Madame de St. André standing in
the light, one hand pulling back the velvet hangings, and, behind her,
Monsieur de Beaufort and St. Aulaire.

"I am come to congratulate you, Monsieur," she said, smiling, and coming
into the embrasure of the window, followed by the two gentlemen--it was
so deep that the four could stand at ease in it, even when the curtains
had been dropped. "I am come to congratulate you! Your courtesy to the
King was perfection itself. I was over against the OEil de Beef and
could see very well what passed. I am sure had His Majesty been General
Washington himself you could not have excelled it. You must know,
gentlemen," she said, laughing maliciously and turning to St. Aulaire
and Beaufort, "you must know that when I expressed my great desire to
see how an American would salute a king, Monsieur told me that I need
have no fear, as he had paid his respects to General Washington!"

"Monsieur does not mean to compare General Washington with His Majesty
Louis XVI, does he?" drawled St. Aulaire, insolently.

"No, Monsieur--no," says Calvert, turning to the nobleman, who was
leaning negligently against the ledge of the window. "There can be no
comparison. Who, indeed, can be compared with him?" he breaks out
suddenly. "There is none like him. None so wise or courageous or truly
royal. How can the kings of this world, born in the purple, who, through
no act, nor powers, nor fitness of their own, reign over their people;
how can they be compared to one who, by the greatness of his talents,
the soundness of his judgment, the firmness of his will, the tenderness
of his heart, the overtopping majesty of his whole nature, hath raised
himself so gloriously above his fellows? To one, the kingly estate is
but a gift blindly bestowed; to the other, 'tis the divine right of
excelling merit. The one is ruler by sufferance; the other, by
acclamation. And do you think, Madame," he goes on, turning to Adrienne,
"that that ruler who has been elevated to his greatness by the choice of
a people would betray that confidence, abandon that trust, as Monsieur
de St. Aulaire has just announced that the King of France is about to
do? Surely General Washington would not. Ah, Madame! Could you but see
him; but see the noble calm of his countenance, the commanding eye, the
consummate majesty of his presence, you would say with me, 'there is no
king like him!'"

As Calvert finished his impassioned eulogy of his great commander, there
was a slight stir near him and, looking around, he beheld the King draw
back the heavy curtains and, standing in the flood of light, look
quietly into the embrasure of the window. Behind him was Mr. Jefferson,
pale and concerned-looking, but with a glow of ill-concealed pride on
his countenance at the patriotic words he had just heard uttered. On
either side of His Majesty stood Monsieur le Due de Broglie and Monsieur
de Montmorin, white with anger and consternation. As the King stepped
forward, Madame de St. André sank almost to the ground in a deep
courtesy, while Beaufort and St. Aulaire dropped on their knees before
him. Calvert alone retained his composure and stood before the King,
pale, with folded arms.

For an instant there was a profound silence, and then Louis, drawing
himself up to his full height and looking around upon the stricken
company, turned to Calvert with so much benignity in his gaze and mien
that the young American was startled and awed. He never forgot that
unexpected graciousness nor ceased to feel grateful for it.

"Monsieur," said the King, and there was a thrill of deep feeling in his
voice, "believe me, whatever failings crowned monarchs may have, they at
least know how to value such deep devotion as you give your uncrowned
ruler. Tis as you say--this kingly estate is thrust upon us; it is not
of our seeking, perhaps it would not be of our choosing; how much more
grateful to us, then, is the loyalty and the love of those over whom we
find ourselves involuntarily placed and who must of their own free wills
give us their faith and service or else withhold them entirely!
Gentlemen, proud as I am of my kingdom and my subjects, I still find it
in my heart to envy General Washington! And yet, have I not as loyal
subjects?" He turned and looked at the company about him. At his glance
a hundred cries of "Vive le roi!" were heard, and there was a sharp ring
of silver swords as they leaped from their sheaths and were held aloft.
The King stood smiling and triumphant. Seeing him thus, with his
courtiers about him, who could dream that the 6th of October was but a
few months off!

"Ah, gentlemen, I am no 'king by trade,' as our cousin of Austria hath
called himself. At this moment I feel that I am indeed your King." The
tumult of applause which followed these words was suddenly stilled as
the King lifted his hand and pointed to St. Aulaire.

"But, Monsieur," says Louis, a sombre expression clouding the triumph in
his face as he looked hard at St. Aulaire, "what is the meaning of this
speech of yours to which Monsieur Calvert makes reference?"

"Nom de diable!" whispered St. Aulaire to Calvert, deathly pale and
almost ready to faint from consternation. "You have ruined me!" He
managed to make a step forward and sank down before the King, who
glowered at him.

"'Twas but a plaisanterie, Your Majesty!" and if such a jest, with a
king for the butt, seems incredible, let one remember that already Louis
had been refused his cour plénière and the Queen lampooned and hissed at
the theatre.

"Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire, we have heard before of your
plaisanteries," said Louis, his light-blue eyes flashing more wrathfully
than one could have believed possible, the red heels of his shoes
clicking together, and his heavy figure bent forward menacingly, "but
this audacity passes belief. The court of Louis the Sixteenth needs no
jester. For a season you can be spared attendance upon us. Your estates
in Brittany doubtless need your presence. This unpardonable levity,
Monsieur," he went on, severely, "contrasts strangely with the attitude
and language of this American subject," and he bowed slightly to Calvert
as he turned away.

St. Aulaire, pallid with consternation, stretched out an imploring hand
to the King. "Your Majesty," he said, "'twas but a thoughtless jest, too
idle to be believed or repeated. Will Your Majesty not deign to remember
that St. Aulaire's life and sword have been ever at Your Majesty's
service?"

As the prostrate nobleman began to speak, the King hesitated, turned
back, and looked perplexedly at him. As he gazed, a look of indecision,
of distaste and weariness, crept into his countenance. All the passion,
dignity, and just anger which had lit it up faded away. The brief
revelation of majesty was quenched, and the customary commonplace,
vacant, good-natured expression held sway once more.

"Rise, Monsieur de St. Aulaire," he said, wearily. "We forgive you this
unfortunate plaisanterie, since its execrable taste carries with it its
own worst punishment. But be careful, sir, how you offend again!" With
a last glance of warning, which, however, had lost its severity, the
King turned away, followed by the Due de Broglie, and, seeking the
Queen, their Majesties retired very shortly.

With the Queen's withdrawal, all the zest and animation of the function
disappeared, too, and Mr. Calvert, wearying of the brilliant company,
determined to leave the scene and stroll through the gardens. He
descended by the Grand Escalier des Ambassadeurs, up which he had come,
and, passing out through the Marble Court, quickly found himself on the
broad terrace beneath the windows of the Gallery of Mirrors. From this,
marble steps led down to a beautiful parterre, below which the Fountain
of Latona played in the white moonlight. Standing on the terrace,
Calvert could see the marble nymph through the mist of spray flung upon
her from the hideous gaping mouths of the gilded frogs lying along the
edge of the basin. 'Twas the story of Jupiter's wrath against the
Lyceans which the sculptor had told, and Calvert remembered it out of
his Ovid. Beyond this lovely fountain the green level of the tapis vert
fell away to the great Bassin d'Appollon, where the sun-god disported
himself among his Tritons, the foamy tops of the great jets of water
blown from their shell-trumpets rising high in the air and scattered
into spray by the night wind.

It was a scene not to be forgotten, and Mr. Calvert stood gazing at it a
long while--at the softly playing fountains and the sombre bosquets and
the sculptured groups on every hand, showing faintly in the moonlight.
Fauns and satyrs peeped from the dense foliage. Here there showed a
Venus sculptured in some Ionian isle before ever Caesar and his cohorts
had pressed the soil of Gallia beneath their Roman sandals; there, a
Ganymede or a Ceres or a Minerva gleamed wan and beautiful; beneath an
ilex-tree a Bacchus leaned lightly on his marble thyrsus. It seemed as
if all the hierarchy of Olympus had descended to dwell in this royal
pleasure-ground at the bidding of the Roi Soleil.

Filled with the unrivalled beauty of the scene, Calvert at length turned
away and, passing down the great flight of marble steps leading to the
Orangery, slowly made his way into the park. The shadows were so dense
here that the statues looked ghostly in the dim light. Now and then he
could hear a low laugh and catch the flutter of a silken gown along the
shadowy walks, or the glint of a stray moonbeam on a silver sword. He
strolled about, scarcely knowing whither, guided by the sound of
splashing water, and coming upon many a beautiful spot in his solitary
ramble, among them that famous Bosquet de la Reine where the
scoundrelly, frightened Rohan had sworn the Queen had stooped to him. He
passed by the place, all unconscious of its unhappy history, and so on
down a broad pathway toward the tapis vert.

As he walked slowly along, charmed with the beauty of the scene around
him, and smiling now and again to think that fortune should have placed
him in the midst of such unaccustomed splendors, he suddenly heard the
sounds of a lute near him, fingered in tentative accord, and an instant
later he recognized St. Aulaire's voice.

"'Twas written for you, Madame, and 'tis called 'Le Pays du Tendre,'" he
said, still fingering the strings. "I would wander in the land with
you, Madame." Suddenly he begins to sing softly, and, in the silence and
perfume of the summer night, his hushed voice sounded like a caress:

  Land of the madrigal and ode,
  Of rainbow air and cloudless weather,
  Tell me what ferny, elfin road
  Will lead my eager footsteps thither.

  Tricked out with gems shall I go hither?
  Or in a carriage à la mode,
  Land of the madrigal and ode,
  Of rainbow air and cloudless weather?

  Or in the garb by Love bestow'd?
  With roses crown'd and sprigs of heather,
  With mandolin and dart enbow'd
  Shall Cupid and I go together--
  Land of the madrigal and ode,
  Of rainbow air and cloudless weather?

As the last tinkling notes of the lute died away, Calvert was about to
go, but he was suddenly startled by hearing a faint scream. Turning
quickly and noiselessly in the direction from which the sound seemed to
have come, he found himself in an instant in a thick and beautiful
bosquet. A double row of ilex-trees, inside of which ran a colonnade of
white marble, completely encircled and shut in a cleared space, in the
centre of which bubbled a fountain. Into this secluded spot the moon,
high in the heavens, shone with unclouded radiance, so that he saw, as
clearly as though 'twere noonday, Madame de St. André standing at the
edge of the basin, her lips white and parted in fear, one hand pressed
against her throat, the other held roughly in the grasp of Monsieur de
St. Aulaire, who knelt before her, his lute fallen at his side. The rose
which she had worn in her hair had escaped from its diamond loop and lay
upon the ground; the delicate gaze d'or of her dress was torn and
crushed.

For an instant Calvert stood in the shadow of one of the Grecian columns
and looked at the scene before him in sick amazement. So it was to
Adrienne that St. Aulaire was singing love-songs in this isolated spot
at midnight! As he hesitated, Monsieur de St. Aulaire rose from his
knees.

"You did not always treat me with such contempt, Madame," he said, with
a mocking laugh, "and by God, I have no mind to stand it now," and,
putting one arm around her quivering shoulders and crushing in his the
hand with which she would have pushed him from her, he leaned lightly
over to kiss her.

As he did so, Calvert stepped quietly forward ('twas wonderful how,
though he always seemed to move slowly, he was ever in the right place
at the right time) and, seizing St. Aulaire by the collar, hurled him
backward with such force that he fell heavily against one of the
gleaming marble columns and lay, for an instant, stunned and motionless.
Feeling herself thus violently released from St. Aulaire's embrace,
Adrienne sprang back, uttering a low cry and gazing in surprise at
Calvert. The ease with which he had flung off the larger and heavier man
aroused her wonder as well as her admiration, for she never imagined
Calvert's slender, boyish figure to be possessed of so much brute
strength, and, since the days of Hercules and Omphale, brute strength in
man has ever appealed to woman. Before either of them could speak, St.
Aulaire struggled to his feet and, wrenching his dress sword from its
sheath, staggered toward Calvert, thrusting wildly and ineffectually at
him.

"Put up your sword, my lord," says Calvert, contemptuously, knocking up
the silver blade with his own, which he had drawn. "We cannot fight
with these toys. Should you wish to pursue this affair with swords or
pistols, if you prefer the English mode, you know where to find me. And
now, begone, sir!"

The quiet sternness with which the young man spoke filled Adrienne with
fresh wonder and something like fear. She glanced from Calvert's face,
with its look of calm authority, to St. Aulaire's convulsed countenance.
The nobleman's face, usually so debonair, was now white and seamed with
anger. All the hidden evil traits of his soul came out and stamped
themselves visibly on his countenance, in that heat of passion, like
characters written in a secret ink and brought near a flame.

"Monsieur l'Américain," he said, lowering his point and coming up quite
close to Calvert, "Monsieur, you have a trick of being damnably mal
apropos. I have had a lesson from you in skating and one in singing, but
I need none in love-making. My patience--never very great, I fear--is at
an end, sir! This intrusion, Monsieur l'Américain, is unpardonable,"
he went on, recovering his composure with a great effort,
"unpardonable--unless, indeed, Monsieur hoped to gain what I have just
lost," he added, smiling his brilliant, insolent smile, though he had to
half-kneel for support upon the marble edge of the fountain.

"Silence!" said Calvert, his white face filled with such sudden horror
and disgust that Monsieur de St. Aulaire burst out laughing.

"A poor compliment to you, Madame," he said to Adrienne.

At the words and the mocking laughter, Calvert's wrath blazed up
uncontrollably. He went over to St. Aulaire, where he knelt on the
basin, and, catching him again by the collar, shook him to and fro
without mercy.

"Another word, sir, and I will toss you into this fountain with the hope
that you break your head against the bottom! And now, go!"

The water in the marble basin was not very deep, but St. Aulaire did not
covet a ducking--'twould be too good a theme for jests at his expense;
and though he could still laugh and talk insolently, he felt weak and in
no condition to prevent Calvert from carrying out his threat. Retreat
seemed to be all left to him. With a sour smile he got upon his feet,
and, making an elaborate courtesy to Madame de St. André, passed
through the colonnade from the bosquet.

When he had quite disappeared, Calvert turned to the young girl. She
still stood by the bubbling fountain, pale between anger and fright, one
hand yet pressed against her throat, the other clenched and hanging by
her side. At her feet the white rose lay crushed and unheeded. As
Calvert looked at the wilful, beautiful girl before him, he comprehended
for the first time that he loved her--loved and mistrusted her. The
shock of surprise that this cruel conviction brought with it held him
rooted to the spot for an instant. Love had ever been a vague dream to
him, but certainly no woman could be further from his ideal than this
brilliant, volatile, worldly creature.

A smile rippled over her face, to which the color was gradually
returning.

"Well done, sir! I am only sorry you did not drop him into the fountain,
as you threatened. 'Twould have been a light enough punishment, and, for
once, we should have had the pleasure of seeing Monsieur de St. Aulaire
in something besides his customary immaculate attire!" and she laughed
faintly.

As for Calvert, he could not reply to her light banter, but stood
looking at her in silence.

"Well, sir, why do you look at me so?" demanded Adrienne, petulantly,
after an instant. "Have you nothing to say? But, indeed, I know you
have! I can see you are dying to rebuke me for this indiscretion--this
stroll with Monsieur de St. Aulaire!" and she gave him a mutinous side
glance and tapped the gravel with her satin slipper. "One who dares
express himself so frankly before the King will not hesitate to say his
mind to a woman!"

"Ah, Madame, I fear, indeed, that you can never forgive me for having
betrayed my republican sentiments so freely in the presence of your
monarch--unconscious though I was of doing so."

"Oh, no, Monsieur, you mistake," said Adrienne, maliciously. "I can
forgive you for having betrayed your republican sentiments, but I can
never forgive the King for not having properly rebuked them!"

At these words Calvert let his gaze rest on the haughty face before him
for a moment, and then, making a profound obeisance, he said, quietly:

"When you are quite ready, Madame, permit me to escort you back to the
palace." He spoke with such formality and dignity that Adrienne blushed
scarlet and bit her lips.

"Before I accept Monsieur Calvert's escort, I wish to explain--" but
Calvert interrupted her.

"No explanation is necessary, Madame, surely," he said, a little
wearily.

She blushed yet more deeply and raised her head imperiously. "You are
right, Monsieur. 'Tis not necessary, as you say, but I will accept no
favor--not even a safe-conduct back to the palace--from one whose
manner"--she hesitated, as if at a loss for words--"whose manner is an
accusation. But though I am hurt, I should not be surprised by it, sir!"
she went on, advancing a step and drawing herself up proudly. "It has
ever been your attitude toward me. From that first night we met I have
felt myself under the ban of your disapproval. Poor Monsieur de St.
Aulaire and I!" and she laughed mockingly.

"I pray you, Madame, do not name yourself in the same breath with that
scoundrel!" said Calvert, in a low voice.

"And why not, Monsieur? We are both of the same world, we have both been
brought up after the same fashion, we are probably much alike. Ah,
Monsieur," she went on, defiantly, "is it the Quaker in you--Monsieur
Jefferson has told me that your mother was a Quakeress--that makes you
hate the world, the flesh, and the devil so? Is Paris, then, so much
more wicked than your Virginia? Are we so different from the women of
your world?" She went up to him and put her beautiful face close to his
disturbed one. "Are _you_ so different from the men of our world,
Monsieur, or is it only those grand yeux of yours, with their serious
expression, that make you seem different--and better?" and her eyes
smiled mockingly into his. "Pshaw, sir, you make me feel like a naughty
school-girl when you reprove me so. Upon my word, I don't know why I
submit to it! Though I am younger than you, sir, I feel a hundred years
older in experience--and yet--and yet--there is something about you--"
She broke off and again tapped the gravel impatiently with her foot.

"I have said nothing, Madame." Calvert was quiet and unsmiling.

"No, Monsieur, 'tis that I most object to--you keep silence, but your
eyes reprove me. Oh, I have seen you looking at me with that reproving
glance many times when you did not know I saw it! Am I to blame, sir,
for being of the great world of which you do not approve? Am I to be
rebuked--even silently--for coming here with Monsieur de St. Aulaire, by
_you_, Monsieur?" Suddenly she dropped her defiant tone and, leaning
against the edge of the marble basin, looked intently and silently at
the splashing water gleaming white in the moonlight.

"Can you not see?--Do you not understand, Monsieur?" she said at length,
hurriedly, and in a low voice. "Do not misjudge me. I have been brought
up in this court life, which is the life of intrigue and dissimulation
and wickedness--yes, wickedness! We know nothing else. There is no one
in our world so pure as to be above suspicion. The walls of this great
palace, thick and massive as they are, cannot keep out the whispers of
calumny against the Queen herself. Is it so different in your country?
Sometimes I abhor this life and would hear of another. Sometimes I hate
all this," she went on, speaking as if more to herself than to Calvert.
"As for Monsieur de St. Aulaire, I loathe him! I thank you, Monsieur,
for ridding me of his presence. If I seemed ungrateful, believe me, I
was not! 'Tis but my pride which stands no rebuke. But it is late! Will
you do me the favor, Monsieur, of taking me back to the Galérie des
Glaces?" She turned her eyes away from the fountain, at which she had
gazed steadily while speaking, and looked at Calvert. He saw that they
were full of tears. The mask was down again. There was an humbled,
shamed expression on that lovely face usually so imperious. The look of
appeal and distress went to his heart like a knife. She made him think
of some brilliant bird cruelly wounded.

For an instant she looked at him so, and then resuming her imperious air
with a palpable effort and forcing a smile to her lips, she gathered up
her trailing gown and passed slowly beneath the colonnade, Calvert
following at her side. As she turned away, he stooped quickly and picked
up the white rose she had worn where it had fallen on the path.



CHAPTER XII

THE FOURTH AND THE FOURTEENTH OF JULY


For the next few weeks Mr. Calvert had little time--and, indeed, little
inclination--to see Adrienne. The discovery that he loved her had
brought pain, not happiness with it. He felt the gulf too wide between
them, both in circumstance and character, to be bridged. How could he,
an untitled American, an unknown young gentleman of small fortune,
pretend to the hand of one of the most beautiful, most aristocratic, and
most capricious women in Paris? He smiled to himself as he mentally
compared Adrienne with the simple young beauties of Virginia he had
known--with Miss Molly Crenshawe and Miss Peggy Gary--and he wondered a
little bitterly why he could not have fallen happily in love with some
one of his own countrywomen, whose heart he could have won and kept,
instead of falling a victim to the charms of a dazzling creature quite
beyond his reach. With that clear good sense which was ever one of his
most distinguishing traits, he fully comprehended the difficulties, the
impossibility of a happy ending of his passion, and, having no desire to
play the rôle of the disconsolate lover, he again determined to see as
little of Adrienne as possible.

For a while circumstances favored this decision. The French government,
being entirely absorbed in domestic affairs, Mr. Jefferson found himself
with more leisure than he had known for some time, and, being enormously
interested in the organization of the States-General, and realizing that
their proceedings were of the first order of importance, he drove almost
daily from Paris to Versailles to assist at their stormy deliberations.
Mr. Calvert attended him thither at his express wish, for he had the
young man's diplomatic education greatly at heart, and desired him to
profit by the debates in the Salle des Menus. In this way the young
gentleman found his days completely filled, while the evenings were
frequently as busily occupied in the preparation of letters for the
American packet, dictated by Mr. Jefferson and narrating the day's
events. Of things to be written there was no lack. Day after day,
through the hot months of May and June, events succeeded one another
rapidly. Tempestuous debates among the noblesse, the clergy, and the
tiers état, upon the question of the verification of their powers,
separately and together, were followed by proposition and
counter-proposition, by commissions of conciliation which did not
conciliate, by royal letters commanding a fusion of the three orders, by
secessions from the nobility and clergy to the grimly determined and
united tiers, by courtly intrigues at Marly for the King's favor in
behalf of the nobles, by royal séances and ruses which, instead of
postponing, only hastened the evil hour, by the famous oath of the
Tennis Court, and by the triumph of the third estate. And in this
distracting clash of opposing political forces, amid this first crash
and downfall of the ancient order of things, there passed, almost
unnoticed, save by the weeping Queen and harassed King, who hung over
his pillow, the last sigh, the last childish words of the Dauphin. The
tired little royal head, which had been greeted eight years before with
such acclamations of enthusiastic delight, dropped wearily and all
unnoticed for the last time, happily ignorant of the martyr's crown it
had escaped. Calvert had the news from Madame de Montmorin when he went
to pay his respects to her on the evening of the 3d of June, and in
imagination he saw, over and over again, the lovely face of the Queen
distorted with unavailing grief.

All these public occurrences which filled the hurrying days were
reported in Mr. Jefferson's long letters to General Washington, to the
Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jay, to Mr. Madison, Mr. Carmichael,
and other friends in America, whom he knew to be deeply interested in
the trend of French affairs. Indeed, he knew fully whereof he wrote,
for, although in that summer of '89 the position of the United States in
relation to Europe was anything but enviable, though we were deeply in
debt and our credit almost gone, though England and Spain turned us the
cold shoulder, though our enemies were diligently circulating damaging
stories of the disunion, the bankruptcy, the agitation in American
affairs, yet so friendly was the French government to us, so deep the
personal respect and admiration for Mr. Jefferson as the representative
of the infant republic, that he was consulted by the leaders of all
parties and received the confidences of the most influential men of the
day. So close, indeed, was his connection with the ministers in power
that, during the early days of June and in pursuance of an idea which
had occurred to him during a conversation with Lafayette, Mr. Short, and
Monsieur de St. Étienne, he drew up a paper for the consideration of the
King, which, if it had received the royal sanction, might have produced
the best results. It was a charter of those rights which the King was
willing, nay, glad, to grant, but it was Mr. Jefferson's earnest
conviction that Louis should come forward with this charter of his own
free will and offer it to his people, to be signed by himself and every
member of the National Assembly. But the King's timidity and the
machinations of Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois prevented this plan from
coming to anything. Mr. Jefferson, thinking, perhaps, that his zeal had
over-stepped his discretion, refused again to take an active part in the
politics of the day, and declined the invitation of the Archbishop of
Bordeaux to attend the deliberations of the committee for the "first
drafting" of a constitution.

"My mission is to the King as Chief Magistrate of France," said Mr.
Jefferson to His Grace of Bordeaux, "and deeply as I am interested in
the affairs of your country, my duties concern my own. But I have
requested from Congress a leave of absence for a few months, that I may
return to America and settle some important private business, and as
General Washington and other friends will be only too anxious to hear a
detailed and recent account of the progress of events here, I shall
esteem it both my duty and pleasure to acquaint myself with them as
fully as may be, without transcending the limits of my office."

This leave of absence which Mr. Jefferson had solicited for some time
was anxiously awaited, but packet after packet arrived without it. It
had been his hope to receive the authority of Congress for his departure
during the early spring, that he might return to Virginia, leaving
affairs in the hands of Calvert and Mr. Short, and return before cold
weather set in again, but the end of June was at hand and still no word
from Congress.

As it was evident that Mr. Jefferson was not to get away from Paris for
some time, he determined to celebrate the Fourth of July at the Legation
with proper ceremony, and invited quite a little company to dinner for
that day. Among the guests were Madame la Duchesse d'Azay, Adrienne,
Monsieur and Madame de Montmorin, Monsieur and Madame de Lafayette,
Madame de Tessé, Mr. Morris, Beaufort, Calvert, and Mr. Short.

The Duchess of Azay had accepted her invitation with characteristic
brusqueness.

"I don't approve of your Fourth of July, Monsieur Jefferson," she said,
"but I always approve of a good dinner, and your wines are so excellent
that I dare say I shall drink your toasts, too." "I promise you there
shall be none to offend the most ardent royalist," returned Mr.
Jefferson, laughing at the old woman's sturdy independence. And so she
had come, and Madame de St. André with her, though Adrienne, too, was a
stanch royalist, and had not been carried away by the popular enthusiasm
for liberty and Monsieur de Lafayette which was spreading like wildfire
through all ranks of Parisian society.

"I am here, not because I am so greatly in love with your fine American
principles," she said to Calvert, who was seated beside her at the
table, "but because I like your Mr. Jefferson. For myself, I vastly
prefer a king and a court, and I like titles and rank and power--all of
which is heresy in your American ears, is it not?" she asked, with a
perverse look. "However, Henri's enthusiasm is enough for us both," she
said, smiling a little scornfully at her brother, who, indeed, was quite
wild with enthusiasm, and was on his feet drinking Lafayette's toast of
"Long life and prosperity to the United States!"

"Get up, Ned!" he says to Calvert. "We are drinking to your country! We
ought to have a toast to Yorktown--see, Mr. Morris is going to give it
to us now--'The French at Yorktown!'"

But there was another toast still more vociferously greeted, for the
long-delayed American packet having arrived three days before at Havre,
Mr. Jefferson was that morning in receipt of letters from Mr. Jay and
others containing news of the first importance. It was nothing less than
the announcement of the election of General Washington to the first
Presidency of the United States, and of his inauguration on the 13th of
April in New York City.

"'The oath was administered by Chancellor Livingston,'" says Mr.
Jefferson, reading from Mr. Jay's letter, "'in the presence of a vast
concourse of people assembled to witness the inauguration. The
President, appearing upon the balcony, bowed again and again to the
cheering multitude, but could scarcely speak for emotion.' 'Tis a
strange and happy coincidence that we should have this news on this day.
I give you 'President Washington!'" says Mr. Jefferson, solemnly.

There were tears of joy in Lafayette's eyes as he drank the toast.

"It makes me think of that last night at Monticello, Ned," he said,
turning to Calvert, "when we toasted General Washington and bade
farewell to Mr. Jefferson."

"'Tis a far cry from Paris to Monticello, Marquis," said Calvert,
smiling, "and 'tis a little strange that we should all be gathered here
as we were there, discussing our dear General."

"And so your demi-god, your General Washington, is elected to the
Presidency," said Adrienne, speaking to Calvert. "'Tis unnecessary to
ask whether the choice meets with your approval."

"There could be none other, Madame," returned Calvert.

"You are a loyal admirer of General Washington's, Monsieur. I see you
know how to approve as well as to rebuke. 'Tis much pleasanter to be
approved of than to be rebuked, as I know by personal experience," said
Adrienne, with a slight blush and a half glance at Calvert. She was so
lovely as she spoke, there was such sunny laughter in her blue eyes,
that Calvert gazed at her, lost in guilty wonder as to how he could ever
have doubted this beautiful creature, how he could ever have condemned
her by a thought. The inscrutable look in his serious eyes embarrassed
her.

"Of what are you thinking, Monsieur?" she asked, after an instant's
silence.

"I was wondering who could have the audacity to rebuke Madame de St.
André."

"'Twas a very rash young gentleman from General Washington's country,"
returned Adrienne, smiling suddenly, "who, by his courage, saved Madame
de St. André from the consequences of a foolish action, and who had the
still greater courage to silently, but unmistakably, show his
disapprobation of her."

"'Tis impossible that he should be a fellow-countryman of mine, Madame,"
said Calvert, smiling, too. "It would indeed be a rash and
ill-considered person who could find fault with Madame de St. André."

"Another compliment, Monsieur Calvert! That is the second one you have
given me. If you are not more careful I shall begin to doubt your
sincerity! I am not jesting, sir," she says, suddenly serious. "I know
not quite why I trust you so implicitly, but so it is, and, as sincerity
is a rare virtue in our world, I should hate to lose my belief in
yours. It takes no very keen vision to see my faults, sir. I recognize
and deplore them," and she looked at the young man in so winning and
frank a fashion as she rose from the table, that Calvert thought to
himself for the hundredth time that he had never seen anyone so
incomparably beautiful and charming.

Although Paris was unbearably hot and dusty in that month of July, all
the world stayed in town or drove no farther than Versailles to attend
the meetings of the National Assembly. Political excitement and interest
were intense, and were stimulated every day by the events taking place.
But through it all the higher classes feasted and made merry, as though
bent on literally obeying the biblical injunction. Mr. Morris, whose
success in society continued prodigious, could scarce find the time for
his numerous engagements, and was seen everywhere, often in company with
Mr. Calvert, of whom he was extremely fond. Indeed, he urged upon
Calvert the acceptance of many invitations which the latter would have
declined, having an affectionate regard for the young man and a pride in
the popularity which Mr. Calvert had won absolutely without effort and
in spite of the lack of all brilliant social qualities. Wherever they
went Madame de St. André was of the party. Perhaps 'twas this fact,
rather than a wish to comply with Mr. Morris's requests, that induced
Calvert to accept the many invitations extended to him, and, in the
constant delight and charm of Adrienne's presence, his caution deserted
him and he gradually found himself forgetting the wide gulf between
them, of which he had thought so much at first, and eagerly watching for
her wherever he went. He was engaged for innumerable pleasure-parties,
dinners à la matelote, evenings with Madame de Chastellux, when the Abbé
Délille read his verses, the theatre and opera with Gardell and Vestris,
about whom all Paris was wild, and water-picnics on the Seine. In early
June, at the express wish of the Duchesse d'Orléans, Mr. Calvert and Mr.
Morris, with Madame d'Azay and Adrienne, made a visit to Her Highness at
Raincy. The gardens and park of this old castle were so beautiful that
Calvert would have liked nothing better than to linger in them with
Adrienne for all the long summer day, but the Duchess, being very
devout, demanded the presence of her guests in the chapel of the chateau
to hear mass. Mr. Calvert read another sign of the times in the conduct
of Monsieur de Ségur and Monsieur de Cubières during mass, who furnished
immoderate amusement to Her Highness's guests by putting lighted candles
in the pockets of the Abbé Délille while he was on his knees.

"Truly an edifying example to the domestics opposite and the villagers
worshipping below," thought Calvert to himself. "If they but knew what
triflers these beings are whom they look up to as their superiors, their
respect would be transformed to contempt." And this thought occurred to
him again when, at dinner, which was served under a large marquise on
the terrace of the chateau, a crowd of the common people gathered at a
respectful distance and looked enviously at the exalted company as it
dined.

It was at one of these numerous pleasure-parties with which Paris sought
to banish care and anxiety that Mr. Calvert and Mr. Morris first heard
the astounding news of Necker's dismissal, which woke the city from its
false trance of security. They were at the hôtel of the Maréchal de
Castries, whither they had driven for breakfast, when his frightened
secretary, calling him from the table, told him the news which he had
just heard. Monsieur de Castries, containing himself with difficulty
during the rest of the meal, at which was gathered a large and mixed
company, drew the American gentlemen aside as soon as possible and
confided to them the disastrous intelligence he had just received.

"The King sent Monsieur de la Luzerne with the message," he said. "He
found Necker at dinner, and, exacting a promise of absolute secrecy,
delivered to him the King's decree. Without a word Monsieur Necker
proposed to his wife a visit to some friends, but went instead to his
place at St. Ouen, and at midnight set out for Brussels."

"What madness!" exclaimed Mr. Morris. "Does the King, then, not realize
that he is no longer the power in the state? The National Assembly will
not tolerate Necker's dismissal. Will you not go instantly to Versailles
and try to undo this fatal blunder of the King?" he asked. Monsieur de
Castries shook his head despondingly.

"'Tis too late."

"Come, Ned, we will go to Mr. Jefferson's and see whether he has heard
this terrible news," said Mr. Morris, who was deeply affected by the
intelligence.

Together they entered Mr. Morris's carriage and drove toward the
Legation. As they made their way along the boulevards, they were
astonished to see pedestrians and carriages suddenly turn about and come
toward them. In a few moments a troop of German cavalry, with drawn
sabres, approached at a hand gallop, and, on reaching the Place Louis
Quinze, Mr. Morris and Mr. Calvert found themselves confronted by an
angry mob of several hundred persons, who had intrenched themselves
among the great blocks of stone piled there for the new bridge building.
At the same instant, on looking back, they perceived that the cavalry
had faced about and were returning, so that they found themselves hemmed
in between the troops and the menacing mob. Many other carriages were
caught in the same cul-de-sac, and Calvert, looking out, saw the pale
face of Madame de St. André at the window of her carriage beside him.
Her coachman was trying in vain to get his horses through the crowd and
was looking confoundedly frightened. In an instant Calvert was out of
his carriage and at her coach-door.

"You must get in Mr. Morris's carriage, Madame," he says, briefly,
holding the door open and extending a hand to Adrienne. At his tone of
command, without a word, she stepped quickly from her coach into that of
Mr. Morris.

"Heavens, Madame! are you alone in this mob?" asks Mr. Morris, in much
concern.

"Yes--I have just left my aunt in the rue St. Honoré," says Adrienne,
sinking down on the cushions. Mr. Morris put his head out of the window.

"Drive on, Martin!" he calls out. "To Mr. Jefferson's." But it is
impossible for the plunging horses to move, so dense is the mob and so
threatening its attitude.

"They are arming themselves with stones," he says, looking out again.
"We are in a pretty pass between this insane mob and the cavalry, which
is advancing!" Suddenly he bursts the door open and, standing on the
coach-step, so that he is well seen, he calls out, "Drive on there,
Martin! Who stops an American's carriage in Paris?"

As he made his appearance at the coach-door a shout went up, and a man
standing near and pointing to Mr. Morris's wooden stump, cries out,
"Make way for the American patriot crippled in the Revolution!" At his
words a great cheer goes up, and Mr. Morris, scrambling back into the
coach, bursts out into such a hearty laugh that Calvert, and Adrienne,
too, in spite of her fright, cannot refrain from joining in it. The
people fall back and a lane is formed, through which Martin urges his
horses at a gallop.

"'Twill be a good story to tell Mr. Jefferson," says Mr. Morris, when he
can speak. "I think this wooden stump has never done such yeoman service
as to-day."

"If I am not mistaken, that was my friend Bertrand," says Calvert,
looking back at the man who had started the cheer for Mr. Morris.

They had scarce got through the mob when the cavalry, advancing, were
met by a shower of stones.

"The captain is hit," says Calvert, still looking out of the
coach-window. Pale with fear, Adrienne laid her hand on his arm and
Calvert covered it with one of his. In a few minutes they were out of
sight of the fray and, driving as rapidly as possible up the Champs
Elysées, were soon at the door of the Legation.

Mr. Jefferson was not at home, but in a few moments he came in with the
account of having been stopped also at the Place Louis Quinze as he
returned from a visit to Monsieur de Lafayette and a confirmation of the
news regarding Necker's dismissal.

"It is sufficiently clear with what indignation the people regard the
presence of troops in the city," he said, "and by to-morrow they will
make known, I have no doubt, their equally bitter indignation at the
removal of Necker. Affairs are coming rapidly to a crisis; the Palais
Royal is this evening in a state of the wildest agitation, so d'Azay has
just told me, and, indeed, the city is not safe, even on the boulevards.
I shall take you back, Madame," he went on, turning to Adrienne. "I
believe the carriage of the American Minister will be treated with
respect even by this insane mob."

"A thousand thanks, Monsieur," said Madame de St. André, rising, "and,
as it is late, perhaps we had better go at once, although I hate to
take you away from Monsieur Morris and Monsieur Calvert."

"Oh, as for me, I am off to the Club to hear further details of the riot
and afterward to a supper with Madame de Flahaut. And as for Ned, I am
sure he would rather a thousand times escort you back to the rue St.
Honoré than to sit here chatting with an old fellow like myself," said
Mr. Morris, and he went off limping and laughing, leaving the others to
follow quickly. For, in truth, it was late, and the disturbance seemed
to be increasing instead of decreasing as the night wore on. Mr.
Jefferson and Calvert turned into the Palais Royal on their way back,
after leaving Adrienne safe in the rue St. Honoré, and found it a
seething mass of revolutionary humanity, as d'Azay had reported. The
agitation increased all during the following day of the 13th, and on the
14th was struck the first great blow which resounded throughout France.
Mr. Jefferson and Calvert, who, unconscious of the disturbance in the
distant quarter of the Bastille, were calling at the hotel of Monsieur
de Corny, had the particulars from that gentleman himself. He came in
hurriedly, pale with emotion and fear and haggard with anxiety.

"Tis all over," he says to Mr. Jefferson when he could speak. "How it
has happened God only knows. A fearful crime has been committed. The
deputation, of which I was one, advanced, under a flag of truce, to have
speech with de Launay, Governor of the Bastile, when a discharge killed
several men standing near us. We retired, and instantly the great
throng of people--there were, God knows, how many thousand wretches
waiting there--rushed forward, and are even now in possession of that
impregnable fortification. 'Tis incredible how 'twas done."

"And de Launay?" inquired Calvert.

"He has been beheaded and dragged to the Place de Grève," says de Corny,
gloomily. "Come, if you wish to see the work of destruction," and he
rose hurriedly.

Together the gentlemen entered Mr. Jefferson's carriage, which was
waiting, and were driven along the boulevards toward the Bastille. But
the streets near the prison were so crowded with spectators and armed
ruffians that they were finally forced to alight from the carriage,
which was left in the Place Royale, and proceed on foot. As they passed
Monsieur Beaumarchais's garden, they came upon Mr. Morris and Madame de
Flahaut, who had also driven thither and were leaning against the fence
looking on at the work of demolition.

"You should have been here some moments ago," said Mr. Morris.
"Lafayette has just ridden by with the key of the Bastille, which has
been given to him and which, he tells me, he proposes sending to General
Washington. A strange gift!"

"Why strange?" inquired Mr. Jefferson. "'Tis an emblem of hard-earned
liberty."

"An emblem of madness," said Mr. Morris, with a shrug. "However, I have
witnessed some thrilling scenes in this madness. But an hour ago a
fellow climbed upon the great iron gate and, failing to bring it down,
implored his comrades to pull him by the legs, thus sustaining the rack.
He had the courage and strength to hold on until his limbs were torn
from the sockets. 'Twould make a great painting, and I shall suggest the
idea to d'Angiviliers."

"Do they know of this at Versailles?" asked Calvert.

"The Duc de Liancourt passed in his carriage half an hour ago," said Mr.
Morris, "on his way to Versailles to inform the King. Yesterday it was
the fashion at Versailles not to believe that there were any
disturbances at Paris. I presume that this day's transactions will
induce a conviction that all is not perfectly quiet! But, even with this
awful evidence, the King is capable of not being convinced, I venture to
say." He was quite right in his surmise, and 'twas not until two o'clock
in the morning that Monsieur de Liancourt was able to force his way into
the King's bed-chamber and compel His Majesty to listen to a narrative
of the awful events of the day in Paris.

In the meantime crowds of the greatest ladies and gentlemen flocked to
the Place de la Bastille to witness the strange and horrid scenes there
enacting, rubbing elbows with the armed and drunken scum of the city,
and only retiring when night hid the sight of it all from them. It was
amid a very carnival of mad liberty, of flaring lights and hideous
noises, of fantastic and terrible figures thrusting their infuriated
countenances in at the coach-windows, with a hundred orders to halt and
to move on, a hundred demands to know if there were arms in the
carriage, that Mr. Jefferson and Calvert finally regained the Champs
Elysées and the American Legation. With the next day the foreign troops
were dismissed by order of the frightened King, and Paris had an armed
Milice Bourgeoise of forty thousand men, at the head of which, to Mr.
Jefferson's satisfaction and Mr. Morris's dismay, Lafayette was placed
as commander-in-chief. From the 16th to the 18th of that fatal July
twenty noble cowards, among them Monsieur de Broglie, Monsieur de St.
Aulaire, six princes of the blood royal, including the Comte d'Artois
and the Princes of Condé and Conti, fled affrighted before the first
gust of the storm gathering over France.



CHAPTER XIII

MONSIEUR DE LAFAYETTE BRINGS FRIENDS TO A DINNER AT THE LEGATION


It was in the midst of the alarms, the horror, and feverish agitation
following hard upon the taking of the Bastille and the assassination and
flight of so many important personages, that Mr. Jefferson, one evening,
received from Monsieur de Lafayette a hurried note, requesting a dinner
for himself and several friends. Mr. Morris and Calvert, who were dining
with Mr. Jefferson, would have retired, that the company might be alone,
but Monsieur de Lafayette, coming in almost instantly, urged upon the
gentlemen to remain.

"Tis to be a political deliberation, at which we shall be most happy and
grateful to have you assist," he said, graciously, for, though he
disliked Mr. Morris, he appreciated his abilities, and as for Calvert,
he both liked and admired the young man, having the greatest confidence
in his good sense and keen judgment.

Mr. Jefferson, though deeply embarrassed by that thoughtlessness which
made the American Legation the rendezvous for the leaders of opposing
factions in French politics, made his unexpected guests as welcome as
possible, but, though he was urged again and again to express himself
by Lafayette and his friends--he had brought with him some of the most
brilliant and most influential of the revolutionary leaders, d'Azay,
Barnave, Lameth, Mounier, and Duport--he yet remained an almost silent
spectator of the prolonged debate which took place when the cloth had
been removed and wine placed on the table, according to the American
custom. The discussion was opened by Lafayette, who submitted to the
consideration of the assembled company his "Rights of Man," to which he
was inordinately attached and which he designed as a prelude to the new
constitution. With pride and emphasis he read aloud the most important
of his _dicta_, and which, he owned with a profound bow to Mr.
Jefferson, had been largely inspired by the great Declaration of
Independence.

"The Rights of Man" were received with acclaim and approved almost
without a dissenting voice, and then was introduced the main theme of
the discussion--the new constitution projected by the Assembly. So
incredibly frank were the deliberations that the three American
gentlemen could not but marvel that they were allowed to be present.
'Twas a curious exhibition of weakness, thought Calvert, that they
should be allowed, nay, urged, to participate in such a session. So
intimate, indeed, were the details presented to the company by its
different members, so momentous the questions raised and settled, that
even Mr. Morris, usually so impetuous, hesitated to express an opinion.
Only when it had been decided that the King should have a suspensive
veto; that the Legislature should be composed of but one chamber,
elected by the people; only when it was evident that the noblesse were
to be rendered powerless and that Lafayette had abandoned his King, did
Mr. Morris burst forth.

"This is madness, Marquis," he says, scarce able to contain himself.
"Take from the King his power and this realm will fall into anarchy, a
bloody disunion, the like of which the world has never seen! This
country is used to being governed, it must continue to be governed.
Strengthen the King's hands--for God's sake, do not weaken them! Attach
yourself to the King's party--'tis this unhappy country's only hope of
salvation. Range yourself on the side of His Majesty's authority, not on
that of this insane, uncontrollable people. What have I seen to-day? As
I walked under the arcade of the Palais Royal, what was the horrible,
the incredibly horrible sight that met my eyes? The head of one of your
chief men--of Foulon, Counsellor of State, borne aloft on a pike, the
body dragged naked on the earth, as though 'twere some dishonored slave
of Roman days. Gracious God! what a people! Have we gone backward
centuries to pagan atrocities? And you talk of making this people the
supreme authority in France! Your party is mad!"

"If 'tis madness," says Monsieur de Lafayette, coldly, "I am none the
less determined to die with them."

"'Twould be more sensible to bring them to their senses and live with
them," returned Mr. Morris, dryly.

"We cannot hope to gain the liberty, so long and so hardly withheld from
us, without bloodshed. Mr. Jefferson himself hath said that the tree of
liberty must be watered with blood."

"'Tis a different creed from the one you believed in but a short time
ago," rejoined Mr. Morris. "'Twas not very long since I heard you
prophesying a bloodless revolution. And this horde of undisciplined
troops, for which you are responsible--do you not tremble for your
authority when you deny the King's?"

"They will obey me, they love me," cried Lafayette, rising in some
confusion, not unmixed with anger. "At any rate, 'tis too late to draw
back. Our dispositions are taken, gentlemen," he adds, turning to the
company, which had risen at his signal, "and we will now withdraw,
sensible of the courtesy and hospitality we have received," and with a
bow to Mr. Morris and Calvert, he passed from the room, accompanied by
Mr. Jefferson and followed by the rest of the gentlemen.

"What madness!" exclaimed Mr. Morris, as the door closed upon the
company. "This is a country where everything is talked about and nothing
understood, my boy." He sank into a chair opposite Calvert's and poured
himself a glass of wine.

"There goes a man who, in his vanity, thinks himself capable of
controlling these terrific forces he has helped to awaken, but, if I
mistake not, he is not equal to the business in hand. He has the best
intentions, but is lacking in judgment and strength. He has le besoin de
briller, unfortunately, and does from vanity what he should do from
conviction. I am almost glad that affairs call me to England for a while
and that I shall not be a witness to the Marquis's mistakes and the
horrors toward which I see France fast drifting."

"You are leaving for England?" asked Calvert, in surprise.

"Yes," returned Mr. Morris. "I have thought for some time that it would
be necessary for me to go to London on business connected with my
brother's estate in America, and letters which I received lately have
decided me to go at once. Moreover," and here he hesitated slightly and
laughed his dry, humorous laugh, "I have ever thought discretion the
better part of valor, my boy. To speak plainly, Madame de Flahaut
becomes too exigeante. I have told her that I am perfectly my own master
with respect to her, and that, having no idea of inspiring her with a
tender passion, I have no idea either of subjecting myself to one, but I
hardly think she understands my attitude toward her. Besides," he went
on, with so sudden a change of tone and sentiment that Calvert could not
forbear smiling, "I find her too agreeable to bear with equanimity her
treatment of me. The other day, at Madame de Chastellux's, her reception
of me was such that I think I would not again have troubled her with a
visit had she not sent for me to-day."

"And did you go?" asked Calvert, smiling.

"Yes," said Mr. Morris, bursting out laughing. "Of course I went,
Ned--that is the way with all of us--the women treat us with contempt
and we go away in a huff, vowing never to see them again, and they
beckon to us and back we go, glad to have a word or glance again. She
treated me very civilly indeed, and received me at her toilet--'twas a
very decent performance, I assure you, Ned. She undressed, even to the
shift, with the utmost modesty, and I would have found it a pleasant
enough experience, if a trifle astounding to my American mind, had it
not been for the presence of the Bishop of Autun, who came in and who is
confoundedly at his ease in Madame de Flahaut's society. High ho! we two
are not the only favored ones. She is a thorough-paced flirt and plays
off Curt against Wycombe--he is Lansdowne's son and her latest
admirer--or the Bishop against myself, as it suits her whim. I would
warn you to beware of women as the authors of all mischief and
suffering, did I not think it too late," he said, looking keenly at the
young man, who blushed deeply. "Come to London with me, Ned," he went
on, impulsively, after an instant's silence. "I think you and I will not
be bad travelling companions and will enjoy the journey together
prodigiously."

"I thank you, Mr. Morris," said Calvert, shaking his head, "but--but
'tis impossible for me to leave France."

"Ah, 'tis as I thought," said Mr. Morris, slowly, "and Madame de St.
André is a most charming and beautiful woman. Forgive me for having
guessed your secret, boy. 'Tis my interest in you which makes me seem
impertinent. Have you told her that you love her?"

"'Tis a poor game to tell all one knows," says Calvert, again shaking
his head and smiling a little bitterly. "Besides, it would be but folly
in this case."

"Folly!" exclaimed Mr. Morris. "Don't be above committing follies, Ned!
Old age will be but a dreary thing if we have not the follies of youth
to look back upon. Happiness and folly go hand in hand sometimes. Don't
miss one in avoiding the other, boy! Besides, why do you call your love
for her folly? By the Lord Harry," he burst out, "why shouldn't she love
you in return? 'Tis true you are not one of the dukes or marquises who
follow her about, but I think that no disability, and, were she not a
capricious, worldly woman, she would have the wit vastly to prefer a
clean, honest American gentleman to these dissolute popinjays, whose
titles, riches, and very life are being menaced. Were I a woman, Ned,"
and he gave the young man a kindly look, "I think I could find it in my
heart to admire and respect you above most men."

"'Tis far more than I can hope for in Madame de St. André, and it has
been madness for me to think of her for a moment," said Calvert,
gloomily.

"Then come away," urged Mr. Morris. "Come with me to London." But
Calvert was not to be persuaded.

"You counselled me a while ago not to be afraid of committing follies,"
he said, looking at the older man. "I think I am capable of all folly--I
don't dare hope, but I cannot leave her."

"Ah, you are not as wise as I, my boy," returned Mr. Morris, smiling
cynically. "You stay because you care too much and I go for the same
reason. Believe me, mine is the better plan. But if you stay, speak!
Perhaps, after all, she may have the sense to appreciate you. Though she
is worldly and ambitious, there is a leaven of sincerity and purity in
her nature, I think. And then, who can guess what is in a woman's heart?
'Tis the greatest of puzzles. Who knows what you may find in Adrienne de
St. André's, Ned? She is a high-spirited creature, trained in her world
to conceal her feelings, should she be unfashionable enough to have any,
and perhaps the indifference with which she treats you is but a mask.
There are women like that, boy, who are as great actresses as Raucourt
or Contat, and who would die before they betrayed themselves, just as
there are women to whom candor is as natural as breathing and who can no
more help showing the depth and tenderness of their hearts than the sun
can help shining. And now," he said, rising as Mr. Jefferson entered the
room, "I must be going or I shall be imprudent enough to make some
observations on the extraordinary proceedings of this evening."

"Extraordinary indeed," said Mr. Jefferson, with a troubled air, as he
seated himself. "I shall wait upon Montmorin in the morning and explain
how it has happened that the American Legation has been the rendezvous
for the political leaders of France. But though this affair has deeply
embarrassed me, I would not, for a great deal, have missed hearing the
coolness and candor of argument, the logical reasoning and chaste
eloquence of the discussion this evening. Would that it had all been
employed in a better cause! It seems almost pitiful that these men
should be battling for a King who, though meaning well toward the
nation, is swayed absolutely by a Queen, proud, disdainful of all
restraint, concerned only in the present pleasure, a gambler and
intrigante. Dr. Franklin and I have seen her in company with d'Artois
and Coigny and the Duchesse de Polignac, than whom there is no more
infamous woman in France, gambling and looking on at the wild dances and
buffoonery of a guinguette, and, though her _incognita_ was respected,
think you the people did not know the Queen? 'Tis to preserve the throne
of a woman such as that that Lafayette and d'Azay and Barnave bend all
their powerful young energies and talents and may, perhaps, give their
young lives!"

"There are those who think differently about Louis and Marie Antoinette,
and who consider the Queen the better man of the two," replied Mr.
Morris, dryly. "But 'tis past my patience, the whole thing, and I can
scarce trust myself to think of it. By the way, Ned," he said, suddenly
turning to Calvert, "'twas that villain Bertrand, that protégé of yours,
who was carrying the head of that poor devil, Foulon, on his pike this
afternoon. I recognized the fellow instantly, and I think he knew me,
too, though he was near crazed with blood and excitement. He handed the
bike to a companion and slunk into the crowd when he saw me. Have a care
of him, boy. 'Twas the most awful sight my eyes ever rested on! And now,
good-night." At the door he looked back and saw Mr. Jefferson filling
his long pipe with fragrant Virginia tobacco and Calvert still sitting
beside the table with the troubled look on his thoughtful young face.

A week later, after having bidden good-by to his friends in Versailles
and Paris and having obtained a passport from Lafayette at the Hôtel de
Ville, he set out for London, from which capital he did not return until
the middle of September.



CHAPTER XIV

MR. CALVERT RIDES DOWN INTO TOURAINE


August was a dreary month in Paris. With the last days of July the heat
became intense, and that, with the constant alarms and ever recurring
outbreaks, caused such an exodus from the city as soon made Paris a
deserted place. Mr. Morris's departure was followed shortly by that of
the old Duchesse d'Azay and Madame de St. André, who went down to
Azay-le-Roi, so that in Calvert's estimation the gayest capital in the
world was but a lonely, uninteresting city. Toward the close of August
Mr. Jefferson received from Congress that permission to return home
which he had solicited for so long, and, without loss of time, he
prepared to leave France for, as he supposed, an absence of a few
months, at most. Among the multitude of public and private affairs to be
arranged before his departure, his friends were not forgotten, and he
made many farewell visits to Versailles, Marly-le-Roi, and St. Germain.
He had not thought it possible, however, to see his friends at
Azay-le-Roi, but the middle of September found his affairs so nearly
settled, and, his passage not being taken until the 26th of the month,
he one day proposed to Calvert that they should make the journey into
Touraine.

"Tis the most beautiful part of France," he said to the young man, "and
I have a fancy to show you the country for the first time and to say
farewell to our friends, Madame d'Azay and Madame de St. André."

To this proposition the young man assented, suddenly determining that he
would see Adrienne and put his fortune to the touch. 'Twas intolerable
to remain longer in such a state of uncertainty and feverish
unhappiness, he decided. Any fate--the cruellest--would be preferable to
the doubt which he suffered. And surely he was right, and uncertainty
the greatest suffering the heart can know.

"At the worst she can hurt me no more cruelly than she has already," he
said to himself. "She shall know that I love her, even though that means
I shall never see her again."

His determination once taken, he was as eager as possible to be off,
and, by the 16th, all was in readiness for their departure. Passports
were obtained from Lafayette and places reserved in the public
diligence. They took only one servant with them--the man Bertrand, whom
Galvert had been at pains to ferret out and take into his employ,
thinking to prevent him from mingling again with the ruffians and
cutthroats of the Palais Royal and faubourgs. Such was the fellow's
devotion to Calvert that he abandoned his revolutionary and bloody
comrades and took service joyfully with the young man, delighted to be
near and of use to him.

The journey into Touraine was a very short and a very pleasant one to
Mr. Jefferson and Calvert. The diligence left Paris by the Ivry gate,
stopping for the night at Orléans. The next morning at dawn they were
again upon their way and bowling swiftly along the great highway that
led down into the valley of the Loire, past Amboise and Blois and
Vouvray to the old town of Tours, lying snugly between the Loire and the
Cher. They came into the rue Royale just as the sun was flinging a
splendor over everything--on the gray cathedral spires and the square
tower of Charlemagne and the gloomy Tour de Guise, and as they crossed
the great stone bridge to the old quarter of St. Symphorien, the Loire
flowed away beneath them like some fabled stream of molten gold.

The diligence put them down at La Boule d'Or, a clean and well-kept inn,
overlooking the river and from the windows of which could be seen the
white façade of the Hôtel de Ville and the numberless towers rising here
and there above the old town. After a night of refreshing sleep to Mr.
Jefferson, but one full of misgivings and broken dreams to Calvert, the
two gentlemen set forth in the morning on horseback, followed shortly
after by Bertrand with light baggage, for Mr. Jefferson's affairs would
not permit him to remain more than twenty-four hours at Azay-le-Roi.
They rode slowly, at first, through the early sweetness of that
September morning, scarcely disturbing the fine, white dust upon the
broad road. The level land stretched away before them like some
tranquil, inland sea, and against the horizon tall, stately poplars
showed like the slender masts of ships against the blue of sky and
ocean.

"It is as though a whole world separated this peaceful valley from the
agitation and uproar of Paris," said Mr. Jefferson to Calvert.

"Yet even here revolt has already left its mark," returned Calvert,
pointing to the half-burnt ruins of a château just visible through an
avenue of trees to the left.

In the early afternoon they came to Azay, and, passing quickly through
the little village and out into the country again, they were soon at the
entrance of the great park surrounding Azay-le-Roi. Calvert never forgot
the look of the great avenue of rustling poplars and the exquisite grace
of the château as he and Mr. Jefferson rode up to it on that September
afternoon. A sunny stillness brooded over it; long shadows from the
pointed turrets lay upon the fine white sand of the driveway and dipped
along the gray walls of the château, which the hand of man had fretted
with lace-like sculpture. In an angle of the courtyard two idle lackeys
in scarlet liveries and powdered hair played with a little terrier. As
Mr. Jefferson and Calvert approached, they ran forward, one taking the
horses and the other opening the great entrance door for the two
gentlemen and ushering them into the salon where a large company was
amusing itself with cards, books, and music. The old Duchess and d'Azay,
who was down from Versailles for a few days, could not welcome the
gentlemen warmly enough, and even Adrienne seemed so pleased to see
them again that, for the first time since beginning the journey, Calvert
felt some of his misgivings quieted and dared to hope that his embassy
might not be unsuccessful. He would have spoken to her that very
evening, she was so gracious to him, but that the numerous company
prevented any conversation alone. Not only did guests arrive for dinner,
but there were several families from the neighboring chateaux staying at
Azay-le-Roi, frightened thither by rumors of outbreaks among the
peasantry and the approach of brigands.

"They cannot frighten me from Azay-le-Roi," says the Duchess, stoutly,
to Mr. Jefferson. "If they burn my house, 'twill be over my head, and as
for the brigands, I believe in them no more than in the alleged plot of
the Queen to blow up the Assembly."

The talk was all of the tumults in Paris, the hasty decrees of the
Assembly, and the agitation spreading over the provinces, and the
evening would have passed gloomily enough had it not been for the
intrepid old Duchess, who scouted all vague alarms, and for Adrienne,
who turned them into ridicule, and who had never appeared to Calvert
more sparkling and charming. It was not until the next morning that he
could get a word with her alone. He found her walking slowly up and down
an allée of elms, through the leaves of which the bright September
sunshine sifted down. She nodded coolly to the young man who joined her.
All her animation and gracious air of the evening before had
disappeared, and Calvert could have cursed himself that he had come
upon her in this capricious mood. But he would not put off saying what
he had come so far to say, for all her changed manner, and, moreover,
there would be no better time, for they were to set out for Tours again
by noon.

"Madame," he said, after an instant's silence, during which they had
paced slowly up and down together, "as you know, this is no farewell
visit I have come to pay, since I do not leave France with Mr.
Jefferson. I have come because I dared to love you," he went on,
bluntly, and meeting the look of surprise, which Adrienne shot at him,
squarely and steadily. They both stopped in their walk and regarded each
other, the young girl blushing slightly as she looked at Calvert's pale
face and met his steady gaze.

"I can make you no fine phrases. Indeed, I know no words either in your
tongue or mine that can express the love I feel for you," he said, a
little sadly.

"'Tis the first time I have ever known Mr. Calvert to be at a loss for
French phrases," returned Adrienne, recovering from her momentary
confusion and smiling mockingly at the young man. "You should have taken
a lesson from Monsieur de Beaufort or Monsieur de St. Aulaire."

"No doubt they have had much experience which I have missed, and could
teach me much. But I fear Beaufort could only teach me how to fail, and
as for Monsieur de St. Aulaire, I have no time to go to England to find
that gentleman in the retreat which he has so suddenly seen fit to
seek." Madame de St. André blushed and bit her lip. "'Tis the first
time I have ever told a woman I loved her," said Calvert, "and I would
rather tell her in my own blunt fashion. If she loves me, she will know
the things my heart tells her, but which my lips are too unskilled to
translate."

"Ah, we women are too wise to try to divine unspoken things; we scarce
dare believe what we are told," and the young girl laughed lightly.

"Yet I think you once paid me the compliment of saying that you believed
me sincere," said poor Calvert.

"'Tis true--there is something about you which compels belief--'tis your
eyes, I think," and then, throwing off the seriousness with which she
had spoken, she added, jestingly: "But in truth, sir, it is too much to
ask of me to believe that I am the first woman you have ever loved."

"It is nevertheless true," said Calvert, quietly.

"And you told me you could make no fine phrases!" cried the young girl,
with a gesture of pretended disappointment, and glancing with eyes full
of amusement at Calvert.

"I pray you to still that spirit of mockery and listen to me," said the
young man, turning to her with passion. As Adrienne looked at his white
face and heard the sternness in his voice, the laughter faded from her
eyes.

"I have never known the love of a mother or sister. It is true what I
have told you, whether you believe it or not, that you are the first and
only woman I have loved. And I think I have loved you ever since that
night, years ago at Monticello, when d'Azay showed me your miniature. I
have loved you when you were kind and unkind to me. I love you now,
although I do not dare to hope that you love me in return. I can offer
you nothing," he went on, hurriedly, seeing that she would have stopped
him. "I can offer you nothing but this love and a home over the sea.
'Tis a pretty place, though it would doubtless seem to you poor enough
after the splendors of Versailles and Paris," he says, smiling ruefully;
"but we might be happy there. Is it impossible?"

As she looked into Calvert's serious eyes, lighted with a glow she had
never seen in them, there swept over her that admiration for him which
she had felt before. But she conquered it before it could conquer her.

"Impossible. Ah, you Americans want everything. You have triumphed over
the English; do you wish to conquer France, too? I am not worth being
taken prisoner, Monsieur," she says, suddenly. "I am capricious and cold
and ambitious. I have never been taught to value love above position.
How can I change now? How could I leave this France, and its court and
pleasures, for the wilds of a new country? No, no, Monsieur; I haven't
any of the heroine in me."

"'Tis not exactly to the wilds of a new country that I would take you,
Madame," and Calvert smiled palely, in spite of himself, "but to a very
fertile and beautiful land, where some of the kindest people in the
world live. But I do not deny that our life and pleasures are of the
simplest--'twould, in truth, be a poor exchange for the Marquise de St.
André."

"It might be a happy enough lot for some woman; for me, I own it would
be a sacrifice," said Adrienne, imperiously.

"Believe me, no one realizes more clearly than I do the sacrifice I
would ask you to make, with only the honest love of a plain American
gentleman for compensation. There are no titles, no riches, no courtly
pleasures in my Virginia; I can't even offer you a reputation, a little
fame. But my life is before me, and I swear, if you will but give me
some hope, I will yet bring you honors and some fortune to lay with my
heart at your feet! There have been days when you were so gracious that
I have been tempted to believe I might win your love," says poor
Calvert.

"If you mean I have knowingly encouraged this madness, Monsieur Calvert,
believe me, you mistake and wrong me."

"I do not reproach you," returned Calvert, smiling sadly. "I can easily
believe you did not mean to show me any kindness. This folly is all my
own, and has become so much a part of me that I think I would not have
done with it if I could. I would give you my life if it would do you any
good. You need not smile so mockingly. It is no idle assertion, and it
would be a poor gift, after all, as it is less than nothing since you
will not share it. I used to wonder what this love was," he goes on, as
if to himself, "that seizes upon men and holds them fast and changes
them so. I think I understand it now, and the beauty of it and the
degradation, too. I love you so that, if by some stroke of fate I could
be changed into a prince or a duke, like your Monsieur de Grammont or
Monsieur de Noailles, and you would give me your love, as to some such
exalted personage, I would be base enough to accept it, though I knew
you would never give it to the untitled American."

"Enough, Monsieur!" said Adrienne, rising in some agitation. "This
conversation is painful to me and I know must be to you. Had I guessed
what you had to say, I would have spared you."

"No," returned Calvert, grimly, a wave of crimson suddenly spreading
over his pale face ('twas the only sign he gave of the anger and pain
gnawing at his heart), "you would have had to listen. I came to
Azay-le-Roi to tell you that I love you. Do you think I would have gone
away without speaking?"

Adrienne regarded him in haughty amazement.

"At least you will do me the favor never to refer to this again?"

"You may rest assured, Madame, that I shall never annoy you again." He
spoke as haughtily as she, for he was bitterly hurt, and he was young
enough to feel a fierce pride in the thought that he, too, would have
done with this love which she had so lightly disdained.

He sank down upon the bench and covered his face with his hands. A
sudden spasm of coquetry seized the young girl.

"Then, in case I should ever change my mind, as women have been known
to do since time immemorial, Monsieur, _I_ shall have to ask you to
marry me!" she said, laughing lightly.

Calvert raised his head wearily. His face looked as though a dozen years
had left their mark upon it since he entered the little allée of elms;
there were fine lines of pain about the mouth and a curious, listless
look in his usually serene eyes.

"After this morning I cannot believe that you will ever change your
mind," he said, rising as he spoke. "But be assured that whatever may
happen I shall never forget your command and offend again. And now, as I
shall not see you again before we leave, I bid you farewell, Madame." He
pressed the hand which Adrienne held out to his pale lips, and then
holding it for an instant in both of his, turned quickly and left the
allée.

Madame de St. André looked after the clean-limbed, athletic young figure
as it disappeared rapidly through the trees. And suddenly a keen regret
for what she had done swept over her. Did she love him, then, that she
should wish him back? She sank upon the bench with a beating heart. She
would have called out to him, have brought him back to her side, but
that her pride held her in check.

"What insolence!" she said, half-starting up. "And yet--and yet--'tis
more to my liking than fine phrases! And it was true--what he said--had
he been Monsieur le Duc de Montmorency or Monsieur de Villeroi--! At
least I shall see him again--he will come back--they always do." But
though she smiled, a curious foreboding and a sort of fear seized upon
her.

At the château Calvert found Mr. Jefferson making his adieux to Madame
d'Azay and her guests. The horses had been ordered, and in a few minutes
the gentlemen were ready to start. D'Azay walked with Calvert to where
Bertrand stood holding them.

"'Tis an infernal shame, Ned," he said, in a low tone, wringing the
young man's hand. "I guessed thy mission down here and thy face tells me
how it has gone. As for myself, I would have wished for nothing better.
Perhaps she may change her mind--all women do," he added, hopefully. But
Calvert only shook his head.

"She is for some greater and luckier man than I," he said, quietly,
taking the reins from Bertrand, and waving an adieu to the young lord as
he rode down the avenue.

As d'Azay slowly made his way back to the château, Bertrand stood for a
moment looking after him before mounting to follow Mr. Jefferson and
Calvert.

"And so," he said, half-aloud, "that was Monsieur's reason for coming
to Azay-le-Roi! And she won't have him! All women are fools, and these
great ladies seem to be the biggest fools of all. She will not find his
equal among the white-livered aristocrats who swarm around her. I wish I
could revenge Monsieur for this," he said, savagely, and jumping on his
horse he rode after the two gentlemen.

The journey back to Tours was made more quickly than coming, and Mr.
Jefferson was so full of his visit to Azay-le-Roi as not to notice
Calvert's preoccupation and silence. They rode into the town in the late
afternoon and made their way to the Boule d'Or, where Calvert, who had a
sudden longing to be alone, left Mr. Jefferson writing letters, and
strolled back into the old town.

Almost before he was aware of it he found himself in the little square
before the great Cathedral. With a sudden impulse he entered and leaned
against one of the fretted columns. A chorister was practising softly in
the transept overhead. 'Twas the _benedictus_ from one of Mozart's
masses.

"_Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini_," he sang over and over again.
Calvert could not see the singer, but the young voice floated downward,
reminding him of his own boyish voice. He closed his eyes and bowed his
head against the cold stone. When he could stand it no longer, he went
softly down the echoing aisle of the church, out through the great
doors, into the yellow sunshine of the deserted little street. There
were some linden-trees planted in a hollow square before the parvis of
the Cathedral, and stone benches set beneath them. Upon one of these he
sank down, as if physically weary. Perhaps he was--at any rate, a
sudden, sick disgust for everything, for the melancholy afternoon
sunshine and the yellowing grass and blighted flowers, took possession
of him. The wind, rising, made a dreary sound among the stiffening
leaves. One fluttered downward and lay upon the bench beside him. He
noted with surprise the sudden chill, the first touch of coming winter.
But that morning it had seemed like spring to him.

He looked up at the great front of the Cathedral, unchanging through so
many changing years, and, as he looked, he thought how small and
ephemeral a thing he was and his love and grief. The two great spires
towering upward seemed to his sick fancy like two uplifted hands drawing
benediction down on the weary, grief-stricken world, and before their
awful patience and supplication something of his own impatience and
bitterness passed from him and, comforted, he left the spot and made his
way along the deserted quay and so back to the little inn where Mr.
Jefferson awaited him.



CHAPTER XV

CHRISTMAS EVE


Had it not been for Mr. Morris's sudden return from London, Calvert
would have felt alone, indeed, in Paris. Having received certain
intelligence concerning the plan for the purchase of the American debt
to France, Mr. Morris set off hastily for France and arrived there
several days before Mr. Jefferson's departure for Havre. This absence,
as all thought, was to be but temporary, but, when Mr. Jefferson left
Paris on that morning of the 26th of September, it was never to return.
He left his affairs in the hands of Calvert and Mr. Short, and, as for
the former, he was only too happy to plunge into work and so forget, if
possible, his own unhappiness. Mr. Morris easily divined it, however,
and its cause, and tried, in his cynical, kindly fashion, to divert the
young man. He made it a point to see Calvert frequently, and, indeed, it
was not only out of kindness of heart that he did so, but because he had
the greatest liking for the young gentleman and enjoyed his society
above that of most of his acquaintances. It was easy enough for the two
to see much of each other, for although the approach of winter brought a
slight return of gayety, Paris was dreary and deserted enough. That
first wave of fear which had seized upon the nobles had swept many of
them out of France to Turin, to Frankfort, to Metz, to Coblentz, and to
London. Many of those salons which Mr. Morris and Calvert had frequented
were already closed, hostesses and guests alike in exile and poverty.
Alarm succeeded alarm in Paris until, with the ill-starred feast to the
Regiment of Flanders and the march on Versailles, alarm rose to panic.
The incredible folly and stupidity which precipitated these events
aroused Mr. Morris's contempt and indignation to the utmost pitch.

"What malignant devil is it, Ned," he fairly groaned, as he and Calvert
sat over their wine one evening after dinner at the Legation, "that
urges their unfortunate Majesties on to their destruction? What could
have been more ill-advised, nay, more fatal in these starvation times,
than the banquet to the Flanders Regiment? And the presence at it of
their Majesties! Oh, Luxembourg must have been stricken mad to have
urged them to go thither! And once there, who or what could have
prevented that tipsy royalist enthusiasm, the wild burst of sympathy,
the trampling of the tri-color cockade? They say the Queen moved among
the half-crazed soldiers shining and beautiful as a star, boy. I had the
whole scene from Maupas, a cousin of Madame de Flahaut, who is in the
Body Guard. What wonder that Paris raged to remove the suborned Regiment
of Flanders! And, if only the King had remained firm and kept it at
Versailles, this other horror of the 5th and 6th of October would never
have happened. But what can you expect from such a monarch? As I wrote
President Washington this afternoon, 'If the reigning prince were not
the small-beer character he is, there can be but little doubt that,
watching events and making a tolerable use of them, he would regain his
authority; but what will you have from a creature who, situated as he
is, eats and drinks, sleeps well and laughs, and is as merry a grig as
lives? There is, besides, no possibility of serving him, for, at the
slightest show of opposition, he gives up everything and every person.'
And yet I would like to attempt it, if only to thwart those rampant,
feather-brained philosophers who are hurrying France to her doom."

"It is Lafayette I would like to serve," said Calvert, moodily. "D'Azay
and I were with him at the Hôtel de Ville for the greater part of the
day of the 5th of October. He was no longer master of himself or of
those he commanded, and I could scarce believe that this harried,
brow-beaten, menaced leader of the Milice was the alert and intrepid
soldier I had served under before Yorktown."

"Ah, Ned, there is a man whom this revolution has spoiled and will spoil
even more! Another lost reputation, I fear. Truly a dreadful situation
to find one's self in. Marched by compulsion, guarded by his own troops,
who suspect and threaten him! Obliged to do what he abhors, or suffer an
ignominious death, with the certainty that the sacrifice of his own life
will not prevent the mischief! And he has but himself to thank--the
dreadful events of the 5th and 6th of October were, as far as concerned
Lafayette, but the natural consequences of his former policy. Did I not
warn him long ago of the madness of trimming between the court and
popular party, of the danger of a vast, undisciplined body of troops?"

He got up and stumped about the room, irritation and pity expressed in
every feature of his countenance, not wholly unmixed, it must be
confessed (or so it seemed to Calvert, who could not help being a little
amused thereat), with a certain satisfaction at his perspicacity.
Suddenly he burst out laughing.

"After all, there is a humorous side to the Marquis's tardy march to
Versailles with his rabble of soldiers. As the old Duchesse d'Azay said
the other evening to the Bishop of Autun and myself, 'Lafayette et sa
Garde Nationale ressemblent à l'arc-en-ciel et n'arrivent qu'après
l'orage!'--I will be willing to bet you a dinner at the Cafe de l'École
that the Bishop repeats it within a week as his own _bon mot_!"

But Mr. Morris had graver charges against the Bishop than the
confiscation of a witty saying. Over Talleyrand's motion for the public
sale of church property he lost all patience, and did not hesitate to
point out to him one evening, when they supped together at Madame de
Flahaut's, the serious objections to be urged against such a step. 'Twas
but one, however, of the many signs of the times which both irritated
and pained him, for he was genuinely and ardently interested in the fate
of France, and looked on with alarm and sadness at the events taking
place. His own plan for a supply of flour from America and the
negotiations for the purchase to France of the American debt, which he
was endeavoring to conclude with Necker, were alternately renewed and
broken off in a most exasperating fashion, owing to that minister's
short-sighted policy and niggardliness. Indeed, France's finances were
in a hopelessly deplorable state, and Mr. Morris looked on in dismay at
the various futile plans suggested as remedies--at the proposal to make
the bankrupt Caisse d'Escompte a national bank, at the foolish Caisse
Patriotique, and at the issue of assignats.

"If they only had a financier of the calibre of Hamilton," said Mr.
Morris to Calvert; "but they haven't a man to compare with that young
genius. Necker is only a sublimated bank-clerk. Indeed, I think you or I
could conduct the finances of this unhappy country better than they are
at present conducted," he added, laughing. "I have great hopes of you as
a financier, Ned, since that affair of the Holland loans, and as for
myself, Luxembourg has urged me seriously to enter the ministry. 'Tis a
curious proposition, but these visionary philosophers, who are trying to
pilot the ship of state into a safe harbor, know nothing of their
business, and will fetch up on some hidden reef pretty soon, if I
mistake not. The Assembly is already held in utter contempt--their
sittings are tumultuous farces--the thing they call a constitution is
utterly good for nothing. And there is Lafayette, with an ambition far
beyond his talents, aspiring not only to the command of all the forces,
but to a leadership in the Assembly--a kind of Generalissimo-Dictatorship.
'Tis almost inconceivable folly, and, to cap all, that scoundrel Mirabeau
has the deputies under his thumb. Can a country be more utterly prostrated
than France is at this moment?"

"To get Lafayette and Mirabeau together is her only chance of safety, I
think," said Calvert, in reply. "The leader of the people and the leader
of the Assembly, working together, might do much."

"Impossible," objected Mr. Morris, decidedly, "and I do not blame
Lafayette for refusing to ally himself with so profligate a creature as
Mirabeau, great and undeniable as are his talents. Why, boy, all Paris
knows that while he leads the Assembly, he is in the pay of the King and
Queen."

"And yet I heard you yourself declare," returned Calvert, with a smile,
"that men do not go into the administration as the direct road to
Heaven. I think it were well for this country to avail itself of the
great abilities of Mirabeau and make it to his interest to be true to
it." And in the long argument which ensued over the advisability of
taking Monsieur de Mirabeau into the administration, Calvert had all the
best of it, and judged Mirabeau's talents and usefulness more accurately
than Mr. Morris, keen and practical as that gentleman usually was.

Toward the middle of November word came to the American Legation at
Paris, by the British packet, of the appointment of Mr. Jefferson to the
Secretaryship of Foreign Affairs under President Washington, and the
commission of Mr. Short as chargé d'affaires at Paris until a new
minister could be appointed. This news was confirmed six weeks later by
a letter from Mr. Jefferson himself to Calvert and Mr. Morris:

       *       *       *       *       *

It had been my ardent wish to return to France and see the ending of the
revolution now convulsing that unhappy country, but the sense of duty
which sent me thither when I had no wish to leave America now constrains
me to remain here. Hamilton has been made Secretary of the Treasury, and
he is anxious to have you return, that he may associate you with him in
some way. But I have told him that, greatly as I should like to see you
and to see you busy in your own country, it was my opinion that you had
better stay abroad for a year or two longer and study the governments of
the different European powers before returning to the United States. You
can learn much in that time, and your usefulness and advancement in your
own country will be proportionately greater. At any rate, I will beg of
you to stay in Paris until you can arrange some of my private affairs,
left at loose ends. I enclose a list of the most important, with
instructions. Mr. Short will attend to the official ones for the
present. His commission was the first one signed by President
Washington. Pray present my kindest regards to Mr. Morris, and, with the
hope of hearing from you both soon and frequently,

Your friend and servant,

THOMAS JEFFERSON.

       *       *       *       *       *

This letter reached Mr. Calvert on the day before Christmas, and added
not a little to the gloom of an anniversary already sufficiently
depressing, passed so far from friends and home and amid such untoward
surroundings. He and Mr. Short were in Mr. Jefferson's little octagonal
library, still discussing the letter, among others received by the same
packet, when Mr. Morris came in, the three gentlemen intending to have a
bachelor dinner at the Legation.

"I see you have the news about Mr. Jefferson," he said, looking at Mr.
Calvert and Mr. Short. "I have a letter from him myself and a long one
from President Washington, which I have permission to communicate to you
two, but which must go no further for the present," and he handed it to
Mr. Calvert. "As you see, 'tis my orders to proceed to England as
accredited agent to the British Government, with the object of settling
the treaty disputes and of establishing, if possible, a commercial
alliance with Great Britain. The President has written me at length on
the subject, and I shall start for London as soon as possible--within a
month, I hope."

"'Tis a great compliment," said Mr. Short, a little enviously.

"And a very delicate mission," added Calvert. And so it was, and an
ungrateful one, too. Several of the stipulations of the Peace of Paris,
though ratified several years previously, were still unfulfilled. The
British had failed to surrender the frontier posts included in the
territory of the United States, and the United States, on her side, had
failed to pay the debts due to British merchants before the war. Now,
although America, at Washington's instigation, was eager to fulfil her
part of the treaty, England still held off, and 'twas to learn her
ultimate intentions, and persuade her, if possible, to carry out her
share of the conditions, that the President had named Mr. Gouverneur
Morris as private agent to the British Government. He was furthermore to
discover whether England would send a minister to the infant union and
also what her dispositions were in regard to making a commercial treaty.

This mission was discussed at length during dinner and until late into
the evening, when Mr. Short, pleading a supper engagement with the
Duchesse d'Orléans, went away, leaving Mr. Morris and Calvert together.

"And now, Ned," said the older man, as they sat comfortably before the
fire after Mr. Short's departure, "your duties here will detain you no
longer than mine, so why cannot we take that journey to England
together? You remember you would not go the last time I asked you."

"There is nothing to keep me now," returned Calvert, quietly, "and--and
in truth I shall be glad enough to get away," he said, rising, and
moving restlessly about the room. And, indeed, he was anxious to get
away and conquer, if possible, in some unfamiliar scene, the
disappointment which was consuming him.

"I saw her a few days ago at Madame de Montmorin's," said Mr. Morris, in
a kindly tone. "She was looking very beautiful and asked about you--do
you know, boy, I think she would be glad to see you again? Haven't you
been to the rue St. Honoré all this while?"

"No," replied Calvert, "and I shall not go."

"The hardness of youth! My young philosopher, when you are older you
will be glad to make compromises with Happiness and go to meet her half
way. I think you can be a little cruel in your sure young strength, Ned,
and a woman's heart is easily hurt," said Mr. Morris, with a sudden,
unaccustomed seriousness.

"I am not much of a philosopher. I tried my fortune and failed, and I
thought I could bear it, but it is unendurable. Perhaps I shall find it
more tolerable away from her," said Calvert, gloomily.

"Then if you won't tempt your fortune further, come to London with me,
Ned. I promise you diversion and excitement. There are other interesting
things to study besides the 'governments of different European powers,'"
and Mr. Morris laughed and tapped Mr. Jefferson's letter, which he held
in his hand. "I am not averse to going away myself. Ugh! Paris has
become insufferable these days, with its riots and murders and houses
marked for destruction. 'Tis the irony of fate that this breeding-spot
of every kind and degree of vice known under high Heaven should come
forward in the sacred cause of liberty! Besides all of which, Madame de
Flahaut has found a new admirer. She swore eternal affection for me, but
nothing here below can last forever," he went on, in his old cynical
fashion. "I embarrass her manoeuvres, and 'twere well I were away and
leave a fair field for my rival." As he spoke, the clock on the mantel
chimed the hour of half after eleven.

"'Tis Christmas eve, Ned," he said, getting up. "Perhaps we sha'n't be
in Paris for another, and so I propose we go and hear mass at Notre
Dame. 'Tis a most Christian and edifying ceremony, I believe. Garat is
to sing the Te Deum, so Madame de Flauhaut tells me."

The two gentlemen decided to walk, the night being clear and frosty, and
so, dismissing Mr. Morris's carriage, they sauntered leisurely down to
the Place Louis XV. and so by the way of the Quai de Bourbon and the
Quai de l'École over the Pont Neuf to the great parvis of Notre Dame.
Arrived at the Cathedral, the Suisse, in scarlet velvet and gold lace,
gave them places over against the choir, where they could hear and see
all that passed. Though 'twas midnight, the great church was filled with
a throng of worshippers, who knelt and rose and knelt again as mass
proceeded. From the altar rose clouds of incense from censers swung by
acolytes; now and then could be heard the tinkle of a silver bell at the
Elevation of the Host and the voice of the priest, monotonous and
indistinct, in that vast edifice. Lights twinkled, the air grew heavy
with incense, and great bursts of music rolled from the organ-loft.
'Twas a magnificent ceremonial, and Mr. Morris and Calvert came away
thrilled and awed. They made their way out by the old rue St. Louis and
the Quai des Orfèvres, and, keeping still to the left bank of the Seine,
did not cross until they came to the Pont Royal. From the bridge they
could see far down the river and the lights of Paris on both sides of
the water. A feathery sprinkling of snow, which had fallen in the
afternoon, lay over everything; but the rack of clouds which had brought
it had blown away, and the night was frosty and starlit. A tremulous
excitement and unrest seemed to be in the keen air.

"Tis a doomed city, I think, and we are better away," said Mr. Morris,
leaning on the stone parapet of the bridge and looking far out over the
river and at the silent ranks of houses lining its shore. A great bell
from some tower on the left boomed out two strokes. "Two o'clock! 'Tis
Christmas morning, and we had best be getting back, Ned." Together they
walked under the keen, frosty stars as far as the rue St. Honoré, and
then, with best Christmas wishes, they parted, Mr. Morris going to the
rue Richelieu, and Calvert back to the Legation.



CHAPTER XVI

MR. CALVERT TRIES TO FORGET


It was with the gloomiest forebodings and the doubt whether he should
ever see them under happier circumstances, or, indeed, at all, that Mr.
Calvert bade farewell to a few friends on the eve of his departure for
England. Although he had the greatest power of making devoted friends,
yet he was intimate with but very few persons, and so, while Mr. Morris
was making a score of farewell visits and engaging to fill a dozen
commissions for the Parisian ladies in London, Calvert was saying
good-by very quietly to but three or four friends. D'Azay he saw at the
Club, and it was not without great anxiety that he parted from him.
Calvert had noticed his friend's extreme republicanism and his alliance
with Lafayette with grave apprehension, and it was with the keenest
uncertainty as to the future that he said good-by to the young nobleman.
He was spared the embarrassment of bidding Madame de St. André farewell,
for, when he called at the hôtel in the rue St. Honoré to pay his
respects to Madame d'Azay, as he felt in duty bound to do, he was told
by the lackey that both ladies were out.

Mr. Morris, having obtained information that the banking house in
Amsterdam, upon which he was relying for backing in the purchase of the
American debt, had opened a loan on account of Congress and had
withdrawn from their engagements with him, determined to proceed to
England by way of Holland, that he might have personal interviews with
the directors relative to the affair. Accordingly, he and Mr. Calvert
set out for Amsterdam on the morning of the 17th of February, travelling
in a large berline and taking but one servant--Mr. Morris's--with them.
'Twas with much reluctance that Calvert had left Bertrand behind, for
the fellow was as devotedly attached to him as a slave, and was never so
happy as when doing some service for the young man.

"I am afraid he will go back to his wild companions and become the
enragé that he was," said Calvert to Mr. Morris, "and I have given him
much good advice, which I dare say he will not follow, however. But my
plans are so uncertain that there is no knowing when he would see France
again."

They travelled by way of Flanders, stopping a day and night in Brussels,
and thence to Malines and Antwerp, where they saw the famous "Descent
from the Cross," which Mr. Calvert thought the greatest and most
terrible painting he had ever seen. At Amsterdam they were received into
the highest society of the place, and were most hospitably entertained;
but the state of the whole country was so unsettled that Mr. Morris
deemed it most prudent not to press the financial engagements which he
had expected to make, and, accordingly, they set out for England.

Journeying by way of The Hague and Rotterdam, they set sail in the
Holland packet and were landed at Harwich on the 27th of March. They
proceeded at once to London, arriving late in the afternoon, and took
rooms and lodgings at Froome's Hotel, Covent Garden. There they were
waited on, in the course of the evening, by General Morris, Mr.
Gouverneur Morris's brother. This gentleman, who had remained a royalist
and removed to England, was a general in the British army, and had
married the Duchess of Gordon. He was eager to make the travellers from
Paris welcome to London, and could scarcely wait for the morrow to begin
his kind offices. As Mr. Morris had hoped and, indeed, expected, he took
an instant liking to Mr. Calvert, and professed himself anxious that
that young gentleman's stay in London should prove agreeable. This kind
wish was echoed by his wife, who was as greatly prepossessed in
Calvert's favor when he was presented to her the following day as
General Morris had been, and, as they moved in the highest circles of
society, it was easy enough to introduce the young American to the
gayest social life of the capital. With the acquaintances thus made and
the large circle of friends which Mr. Morris had formed on his previous
visit to London, Calvert soon found himself on pleasant terms.

Perhaps the house they both most liked to frequent was that of Mr. John
B. Church. Mr. Morris had known the gentleman when he was
Commissary-General under Lafayette in America and before he had married
his American wife. Mr. Church's American proclivities made him
unpopular with the Tory party on his return to England, but he numbered
among his friends the Whig leaders and many of the most eminent men and
women of the day. 'Twas at a ball given by Mrs. Church a few days after
his arrival in London that Mr. Calvert saw, for the first time, some of
the greatest personages in the kingdom--the Prince of Wales, and Mrs.
Fitzherbert, the beautiful Mrs. Damer and the Duc d'Orléans, who had but
lately come over, sent out of France by the King under pretext of an
embassy to the English monarch. Calvert had not seen his hateful face
since the opening of the States-General, and 'twas with a kind of horror
that he now looked at this royal renegade. Pitt was there, too, but,
although Mr. Calvert saw him, he did not meet him until on a subsequent
occasion. He marvelled, as did everyone who saw Pitt at this time, at
the youth (he was but thirty-one) and the dignity of the Prime Minister
of George III. Indeed, he moved among the company with a kind of cold
splendor that sat strangely on so young a man, smacking of affectation
somewhat, and which rather repelled than invited Calvert's admiration.
This first impression Mr. Calvert had little reason to alter when, some
weeks later, in company with Mr. Morris, he was presented to Mr. Pitt by
the Duke of Leeds, and had the occasion of seeing and conversing with
him at some length.

This interview was the second one which Mr. Morris had had with his
Grace of Leeds, and was scarcely more satisfactory than the first had
been. But a few days after his arrival in London he had requested an
interview with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and presented to him his
letter from President Washington. A few minutes' conversation with the
incapable, indolent diplomat convinced Mr. Morris that little, if
anything, would be done toward settling the treaty difficulties, in
spite of his Grace's extreme courtesy of manner and vague assurance of
immediate attention to the facts presented to him. It was therefore with
no surprise, but a good deal of irritation, that Mr. Morris saw the
weeks slip by with but one evasive answer to his demands being sent him.
Being importuned to appeal to the British Government on another
score--the impressment of American seamen into the English navy--he
determined again to urge upon the Minister of Foreign Affairs a
settlement of the treaty stipulations at the same time that he presented
the new subject of grievance. To Mr. Morris's request for another
interview, the Duke of Leeds readily assented.

"He has set to-morrow as the day, Ned," said Mr. Morris, consulting his
Grace's letter, which he held in his hand, "and says that 'he and Mr.
Pitt will be glad to discuss informally with me any matters I wish to
bring to their attention.' As it is to be so 'informal,' and as Leeds is
to have the advantage of a friend at the interview, I think I will ask
you to accompany me. I can't for the life of me get him to commit
himself in writing, so 'tis as well to have a witness to our
conversations," he said, smiling a little cynically.

Accordingly, at one o'clock the following day, Mr. Morris and Calvert
drove to Whitehall, where they found the Prime Minister and the Duke of
Leeds awaiting them. The Duke presented Calvert to Mr. Pitt, who seemed
glad to see the young American, and not at all disconcerted by the
addition to their numbers. Indeed, the interview was as easy and
familiar as possible, the gentlemen sitting about a table whereon were
glasses and a decanter of port, of which Mr. Pitt drank liberally.

"'Tis the only medicine Dr. Addington, my father's physician, ever
prescribed for me," he said, with a smile, to Mr. Morris and Calvert. "I
beg of you to try this--'tis some just sent me from Oporto, and, I
think, particularly good. But we are here to discuss more important
affairs than port wine, however excellent," he added, with another
smile.

"Yes," said Mr. Morris, courteously but firmly, "I have requested this
interview that I might place before you the complaint of the United
States that your press-gangs enter our American ships and impress our
seamen under the pretence that they are British subjects. It has long
been a sore subject with America, and calls for a speedy remedy, sir."

"Such conduct meets with no more approval from us than from you, Mr.
Morris," said the Duke of Leeds, evasively; "but a remedy will be hard
to find because of the difficulties of distinguishing between a seaman
of two countries so closely related."

"Closely related we are, sir, but I believe this is the only instance in
which we are not treated as aliens," returned Mr. Morris, with a dry
irony that caused the Duke to flush and move uneasily in his chair.

"You speak of a speedy remedy, Mr. Morris," said Mr. Pitt, hastily,
taking up the conversation. "Have you any suggestions as to what remedy
might be employed?"

"I would suggest certificates of citizenship from the Admiralty Court of
America to our seamen," replied Mr. Morris, promptly. Both Mr. Pitt and
the Duke of Leeds looked somewhat surprised at this bold and concise
answer.

"'Tis a good idea," said Mr. Pitt, after an instant's hesitation, "and
worthy of mature consideration."

"And now, gentlemen, I would like to again place before you these
stipulations in the treaty existing between America and England which
are as yet unfulfilled, and would urge you to engage that they will no
longer be neglected," said Mr. Morris, content to have made his point in
regard to the impressment of seamen.

"Suppose you enumerate them in the order of their importance from your
point of view and let us discuss the situation," said Mr. Pitt, and he
settled himself in his chair and listened with undivided attention to
Mr. Morris, parrying with great animation that gentleman's thrusts
(which were made again and again with the utmost shrewdness and
coolness), and avoiding, whenever possible, a positive promise or a
direct answer to his demands.

In this conversation Mr. Calvert joined but once--when appealed to by
Mr. Pitt on the subject of the frontier posts.

"Mr. Morris has a new variation on the old theme of 'Heads I win, tails
you lose,'" he said, turning jocularly to Calvert. "He insists that the
frontier posts are worth nothing to us, and yet he insists they are most
necessary to you."

"England and America are so widely separated, sir," replied Calvert,
smiling, "that it would seem to be well to respect laws which Nature has
set, and keep them so. Near neighbors are seldom good ones, and, to keep
the peace between us, 'twere well to keep the distance, also."

"We do not think it worth while to go to war about these posts," said
Mr. Morris, rising and bowing to Mr. Pitt and his Grace of Leeds, "but
we know our rights and will avail ourselves of them when time and
circumstance suit."

"Another fruitless effort," he said, when they had been ushered out and
were in the carriage and driving along Whitehall. "I think there is
little chance of making a new commercial treaty when they will not
fulfil the peace treaty already in existence. I caught the drift of Mr.
Pitt's suggestion about mutual accommodation--'twas but a snare to trip
us up into repudiating the old treaty."

"Yes," said Calvert, laughing, "a Pittfall."

"And you will see, Ned," added Mr. Morris, joining in the laugh, "that
nothing will be done--unless 'tis to appoint a minister to the United
States. 'Tis my conviction that Mr. Pitt has determined, in spite of
his suavity and apparent friendliness, to make no move in this
matter--he hasn't that damned long, obstinate upper lip for nothing,
boy. He is all for looking after home affairs and doesn't want to meddle
with any foreign policy. I think he is not wise or great enough to look
abroad and seize the opportunities that offer. As Charles Fox said--I
met him the other evening at dinner at Mrs. Church's--'Pitt was a lucky
man before he was a great one,' and I am inclined to agree with him. But
I am convinced that they mean to hold the frontier posts and refuse all
indemnity for the slaves taken away. And as for the commercial
treaty--this country is too powerful just now to be willing to give us
fair terms. We could make but a poor bargain with her now, one which we
would probably soon regret, and so I shall write the President."

Affairs eventuated exactly as Mr. Morris had predicted, and, although he
conducted the embassy with the greatest possible address, shrewdness,
and persistence, this failure was made much of in America, and used as
an argument against his later appointment as minister to France.

One of the greatest pleasures of Mr. Calvert's stay in London was the
unexpected presence there of Mr. Gilbert Stuart. The Queen, wishing to
have a portrait of the King, and fearing lest another attack of that
dreadful malady from which the poor gentleman had temporarily recovered,
should assail him, had commanded Mr. Stuart's presence from Dublin,
where he was by invitation of the Duke of Rutland. The royal commission
having been executed, Mr. Stuart was passing a few weeks in London with
his friend and former patron, Benjamin West, when he met Calvert at a
dinner at the house of General and Mrs. Morris. He recognized the young
man instantly and reverted to their former meeting at Monticello. "And I
promised both myself and Mr. Jefferson to paint a portrait of you, sir,"
he said, smiling. "I am to be in London for some weeks, and, if you are
to be here, too, what time could be more propitious than the present?"

Calvert's assurance that he was in town indefinitely delighted Mr.
Stuart.

"Then I must have that sketch of you I have so long promised myself, and
we will send a _replica_ to Mr. Jefferson. From the affectionate manner
in which he spoke of you, I think I could send him no more acceptable
present, Mr. Calvert," he said, speaking with great animation. "I shall
beg a corner of Mr. West's studio, and we must begin our sittings at
once."

Indeed, he sent for Calvert the very next day, and for several weeks
thereafter the young man was thrown much with Stuart and many of the
most interesting and famous men of the time, who delighted to foregather
in Mr. West's studio. The portrait which Mr. Stuart made of Calvert at
this time he always reckoned one of his masterpieces, as, indeed, all
who ever saw it declared it to be. Never did the artist execute anything
simpler or purer in outline, never were his wonderful flesh tints better
laid on, nor the expression of a noble countenance more perfectly
caught than in this sketch, a copy of which he was good enough to make
and send to Mr. Jefferson, as he had promised. 'Twas at one of the
sittings to Mr. Stuart that Calvert made the acquaintance of Mr. Burke.
He came in with Sir Joshua Reynolds--the two gentlemen were the greatest
friends--and, on discovering that the young gentleman was an American
and had been attached to the Legation in Paris, he immediately entered
into an animated conversation with him.

"You ought to be able to give us some interesting information about the
present state of affairs in France, Mr. Calvert," said Burke to the
young man. "By the way, I have thrown together some reflections on the
revolution which I would be glad to have you see. They are elaborated
from notes made a year ago and are still in manuscript. I live near here
in Gerrard Street, Soho, and I would be happy to welcome you and Mr.
Stuart to my home, and to have you give me your opinion on certain
points."

Mr. Stuart saying that the sitting was over, suggested that they should
go at once, so the three gentlemen accompanied Mr. Burke to Gerrard
Street and were hospitably ushered into his library. He brought out the
manuscript of which he had spoken so lightly (and which was, indeed,
voluminous enough for a book) and, turning over the pages rapidly, read
here and there extracts from that remarkable treatise which he thought
might most interest his audience.

"It has been nearly a score of years since I was in France," he says to
Mr. Calvert, laying down the manuscript, "but the interest which that
country aroused in me then has never flagged, and ever since my return I
have endeavored to keep myself informed of the progress of events there.
While in Paris I was presented to their Majesties and many of the most
notable men and women of the day. I remember the Queen well--surely
there never was a princess so beautiful and so entrancing. She shone
brilliant as the morning star, full of splendor and joy. But stay--I
have written what I thought of her here," and so saying, he began to
read that wonderful passage, that exquisite panegyric of the Dauphiness
of France which was soon to be so justly famous. There was a murmur of
applause from the gentlemen when he laid the manuscript down.

"'Tis a beautiful tribute. I wish Mr. Jefferson could hear it," says Mr.
Calvert, with a smile. "He is not an admirer of the Queen, like
yourself, Mr. Burke, and thinks she should be shut up in a convent and
the King left free to follow his ministers, but I think your eloquence
would win him over, if anything could."

A couple of days afterward, at a dinner at the French Ambassador's,
Monsieur de la Luzerne, Mr. Calvert repeated this famous panegyric of
the Queen, as nearly as he could remember it. 'Twas received with the
wildest enthusiasm and Mr. Burke's health drunk by the loyal refugees
who were always to be found at Monsieur de la Luzerne's table and in his
drawing-rooms. An immense amount of "refugee" was talked there, and the
latest news from Paris discussed and rediscussed by the homesick and
déscouvré emigrants. Mr. Morris and Calvert were frequent visitors
there, liking to hear of their friends in Paris and the events taking
place in France.

In spite of all the distractions and pleasures of town life which Mr.
Calvert engaged in, he still felt those secret pangs of bitter
disappointment and the fever of unsatisfied desire, but he was both too
unselfish and too proud to show what he suffered. There are some of us
who keep our dark thoughts and secret, hopeless longings in the
background, as the maimed and diseased beggars are kept off the streets
in Paris, and only let them come from their hiding-places at long
intervals, like the beggars again, who crawl forth once or twice a year
to solicit alms and pity. Although Mr. Morris knew Calvert so well, his
impetuous nature could never quite comprehend the calm fortitude, the
silent endurance of the younger man, and so, when he saw him apparently
amused and distracted by the society to which he had been introduced,
and by the thousand gayeties of town life, he left him in September and
returned for a brief stay in Paris, happy in the belief that the young
man was already half-cured of his passion.

He was back again in December with a budget of news from France. "The
situation grows desperate," he said to Calvert. "I told Montmorin and
the Due de Liancourt that the constitution the Assemblée had proposed is
such that the Almighty Himself could not make it succeed without
creating a new species of man. The assignats have depreciated, just as
I predicted, the army is in revolt, and the ministers threatened with la
lanterne. 'Tis much the fashion in Paris, let me tell you. But murder,
duelling, and pillage--they sacked the hotel of the Duc de Castries the
other day because his son wounded Charles de Lameth in a duel--are
every-day occurrences now. Lafayette is in a peck of trouble, and
received me with the utmost coldness. He knows I cannot commend him, and
therefore he feels embarrassed and impatient in my society. I am
seriously pained for d'Azay, too. I met him at Montmorin's, and he
confessed to me that he knew not how to steer his course. He is
horrified at the insane measures of the Jacobins, he has cut himself
loose from his own class, and is beginning to doubt Lafayette's wisdom
and powers. He is in a hopeless situation. He told me that Montmorin had
asked that Carmichael be appointed to the court of France, but that he
and Beaufort and other of my friends had insisted on my appointment.
'Tis a matter of indifference to me. Whoever is appointed--Short,
Carmichael, Madison, or myself--will have no sinecure in France. Unhappy
country! The closet philosophers who are trying to rule it are
absolutely bewildered, and I know not what will save the state unless it
be a foreign war."

"'Tis the general opinion here among the ministers that the Emperor is
too cautious ever to engage in that war, however," said Calvert.

"I see you have been affiliating with the peaceful Pitt and not
carousing with Sheridan and Fox," returned Mr. Morris, with a smile.

"I have been endeavoring to learn some of that useful information which
Mr. Jefferson recommended," said Calvert, smiling also. "Upon Mr. Pitt's
recommendation I have been reading 'The Wealth of Nations' and studying
the political history of Europe. Seriously, I hope my time has not been
spent entirely without profit, although I have caroused, as you express
it, to some extent. I have drunk more than was good for me, and I have
gone to the play and tried to fancy myself in love with Mrs. Jordan,
but, to tell the truth, I can't do any of these things with enthusiasm.
I'm a quiet fellow, with nothing of the stage hero in me, and I can't go
to the devil for a woman after the approved style."

"Don't try it, boy! The pretty ones are not worth it and the good ones
are not pretty," said Mr. Morris, cynically. "I found Madame de Flahaut
surrounded by half a dozen new admirers, in spite of which she tried to
make me believe she had not forgotten me in my absence. I pretended to
be convinced, of course, but I devoted myself to the Comtesse de Frize,
and I think she liked me all the better for my defection. Come back to
Paris with me and see what Madame de St. André would say to a like
treatment," he went on, laughing, but looking shrewdly at the young man.

"I am best away from Paris--although separation does not seem to help
me."

"Absence may extinguish a small passion, but I think it only broadens
and deepens a great one," said Mr. Morris. "I saw many of our
friends--Madame de Chastellux and the Duchesse d'Orléans, Madame de
Staël and Madame d'Azay--she is much broken, Ned; the emigration of so
many of her friends, the tragic death of many, the disrupting of her
whole social world, has begun to tell seriously on her health, though
her spirit is still indomitable. She and Madame de St. André and d'Azay
are living very quietly in the mansion in the rue St. Honoré. In the
evenings some of the friends who still remain come in for a dinner or to
play quinze or lansquenet, but, in truth, 'tis difficult to get half a
dozen people together. Madame de St. André is more beautiful than ever,
with a new and softer beauty. The horror of the times hath touched her,
too, I think, and rendered more serious that capricious nature. But who,
indeed, could live in Paris and not be chastened by the awful scenes
there enacting? I almost shudder to think of having to return so soon,
but I shall only stay to see His Grace of Leeds once more relative to
the treaty."

This interview, having been twice postponed, and pressing affairs
calling Mr. Morris to France, he finally left London in January with the
promise of returning in the spring. This promise he fulfilled, getting
back in May and bringing with him news of Mirabeau's death and splendid
burial and of the widespread fear of a counter-revolution by the
emigrant army under the Prince de Condé. He was warmly welcomed by
Calvert, who, in spite of the many kind offices and attentions of the
friends he had made, was beginning to weary of the English capital. In
truth, he was possessed by a restlessness that would have sent him home
had he not wished to respect Mr. Jefferson's advice and make a tour on
the continent before returning. He hoped to persuade Mr. Morris to
accompany him, and in this he was not disappointed. Accordingly, after a
month in London, they set out for Rotterdam and, travelling leisurely
through the Low Countries, made their way to Cologne. It was while
waiting there for a boat to take them up the Rhine--both Mr. Morris and
Calvert were anxious to make this water trip--that they heard the news,
already two weeks old, of the flight of their Majesties and of Monsieur
from France and of the recapture of the King and Queen at Varennes.
Monsieur had escaped safely to Brussels and had made his way to
Coblentz, where Mr. Morris and Calvert saw him later. He was installed
in a castle, placed at his service by the Elector of Trèves, which
over-looked the great fortress of Ehrenbreitstein, and there he held his
little court and made merry with the officers of the Prince de Condé's
army and the throngs of émigrés who came and went and did a vast deal of
talking and even laughing over their misfortunes, but who never seemed
to learn a lesson from them. Coblentz was full of these exiles from
France, who treated the townsfolk with a mixture of condescension and
rudeness which caused them to speedily become detested. There was one
little café in particular, Les Trois Colonnes, which they frequented,
and where they laughed and gambled and made witty speeches and
tremendous threats against the men in France from whom they had run
away. It was at this little inn that Mr. Calvert one day saw Monsieur de
St. Aulaire for the first time in two years. He came into the
gaming-room where Mr. Morris and Calvert were sitting at a side-table
drinking a glass of cognac and talking with Monsieur de Puymaigre, one
of the Prince de Condé's officers. As his glance met that of Mr.
Calvert, he bowed constrainedly, and the red of his face deepened. He
was more dissipated-looking, less debonair than he had seemed to Calvert
in Madame d'Azay's salon. There was an uneasiness, too, in his manner
that was reflected in the attitude toward him of the other gentlemen in
the room. In fact, he was welcomed coldly enough, and in a few days he
left the town. 'Twas rumored pretty freely that he was an emissary of
Orléans and that Monsieur and the Prince de Condé were in a hurry to get
rid of him. Mr. Calvert was of this belief, which was confirmed by St.
Aulaire himself when Calvert met him unexpectedly during the winter in
London.

This journey, so pleasantly begun and which was to have continued
through the fall, was interrupted, shortly after the two gentlemen left
Coblentz, by a pressing and disquieting letter which urged Mr. Morris's
presence in Paris. He therefore left Calvert to continue the tour alone,
which the young man did, travelling through Germany and stopping at many
of the famous watering-places, and even going as far as the Austrian
capital, where he met with a young Mr. Huger of the Carolinas. This
young American, who was an ardent admirer of Lafayette and who was
destined to attempt to serve him and suffer for him, accompanied Mr.
Calvert as far as Lake Constance, where they parted, Mr. Calvert going
on to Bale and up through the Austrian Netherlands. He passed through
Maubeuge and Lille and Namur, and so was, fortunately, made familiar
with places he was to see something of a little later in the service of
his Majesty Louis XVI.

He was back in London by Christmas, and was joined there shortly after
the New Year by Mr. Morris, who had gone over on private affairs
entirely, but whose close connection with the court party in France laid
open to the suspicion of being an agent of the aristocratic party.

"I heard the rumors myself," said Mr. Morris. "Indeed, I was openly told
of it before leaving Paris. But only a madman would interfere in French
politics at this hour. The whole country is in a state of
disorganization almost inconceivable. The King--poor creature--has been
reinstated, after a fashion, since his flight, but with most unkingly
limitations. All political parties are broken up--Lafayette and Bailly
and the Lameths find themselves in an impossible position and have
seceded from the Jacobins. For two years now they have been preaching
the pure democracy of Rousseau, the rights of man, the sovereignty of
the people. They have done everything to deprive the King of his power,
they have hurled abuse at the throne, at the whole Old Order of things.
And now, when they see to what chaos things are coming, when they wish
to stop at moderation, at order, at a monarchy based on solid principles
and supported by the solid middle class, they are suddenly made to
realize how little their theories correspond with their real desires.
Incapacity, misrule, is everywhere. Narbonne has been made War Minister!
At this crisis, when the allied armies are gathering on the frontier,
when war is imminent against two hundred and fifty thousand of the
finest soldiers in Europe, a trifler like Narbonne is placed in power!
But if others were no worse than he! 'Tis incredible the villains who
have pushed themselves into the high places. Can you believe it,
boy?--your servant, that scoundrel Bertrand, that soldier of the ranks,
that waiter of the Café de l'École, is a great man in Paris these days.
He is listened to by thousands when he rants in the garden of the Palais
Royal; he is hand in glove with Danton; he divides attention with
Robespierre; he is a power in himself. Heaven knows how he has become
so--but these creatures spring up like mushrooms in a night. I saw much
of Danton and not a little of Bertrand, for I frequented the Cordelliers
Club a good deal. 'Tis well to stand in with all parties, especially if
there is even a remote chance of my being placed as minister at the
French court. 'Tis so rumored in Paris, and the elections are now taking
place in America," so Mr. Short informs me. "I heard of St. Aulaire,"
went on Mr. Morris. "Beaufort told me that he had got into Paris
secretly on the Due d'Orléans's business, but that he had spent much of
his time in the rue St. Honoré, pressing his suit with Madame de St.
André. She would have none of him, however, and seems to have conceived
a sort of horror of him--as, indeed, well she might. He went away,
raging, Beaufort said, and vowing some mysterious vengeance. He is
believed to be in London, Ned, and I dare say we shall meet with him
some day. D'Azay has been denounced in the Assembly and is in bad odor
with all parties, apparently. I fear he is in imminent peril, and 'tis
pitiful to see the anxiety of his sister and the old Duchess for him. I
think she would not survive the shock should he be imprisoned. 'Twould
be but another gap in the ranks of our friends."

The appointment of American ministers to the different foreign courts
was in progress, as Mr. Short had said, and, on January 12th, Mr.
Morris, after a stormy debate in the Senate, was chosen Minister to
France by a majority of only five votes out of sixteen. He was told of
his appointment by Mr. Constable in February and, shortly after,
received the official notice of it under the seal of the Secretary of
State. Although Mr. Jefferson had differed radically from Mr. Morris in
his opinion concerning the French Revolution, knowing him as he did, he
could not but affirm both officially and personally so wise a choice.

The President's indorsement of Mr. Morris was even more hearty, and,
indeed, 'twas hinted by Mr. Morris's enemies that Washington's open
approval of him had alone saved him from defeat. But though the
President was of the opinion that Mr. Morris was the best possible
choice for the difficult post of Minister Plenipotentiary from the
United States to France, he was also entirely aware of those traits of
character which, his opponents urged, rendered him unsuited for the
place. His impetuosity, occasional haughtiness, and close connection
with the aristocratic party, were disabilities undoubtedly, but the
President was convinced that they were far more than counterbalanced by
his force of character, mental keenness, and wide knowledge of French
affairs, and so wrote Mr. Morris in one of the kindest letters that
great man ever penned. This letter Mr. Morris received in the spirit in
which it was written, and, being already involved in a secret affair, of
which, as minister, he should not even have known, much less been
engaged in, he determined to withdraw himself from it as speedily as
possible and to conduct himself with such discretion that the President
would have no occasion to regret his efforts in his behalf. He
immediately set about making the necessary arrangements for his new
establishment, writing to Paris to engage a hotel in the rue de la
Planche, Faubourg St. Germain, for the new Legation, and forwarding to
France as rapidly as possible the English horses and coach, the
furniture and plate which he had purchased in London. He set out for
Paris in early March, leaving Calvert again in London, though he pressed
the young man urgently to accompany him back to the capital and accept
the post of Secretary of the Legation under him.



CHAPTER XVII

MR. CALVERT MEETS AN OLD ENEMY


This kind, and even brilliant, offer of Mr. Morris's Calvert declined,
reiterating smilingly to that gentleman that he felt himself a little
better of that fever of love and disappointment which he had endured in
silence for so long, and that he had no intention of suffering a
relapse. Indeed, he might have got over it in time, and been as
contented as many another man, but that he was suddenly recalled to all
that he had tried so sedulously for two years to forget. This was
brought about by a meeting with Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire a
couple of weeks after Mr. Morris's departure for Paris. Although it was
known that the French nobleman was in London, Mr. Calvert did not see
him until one evening at the house of Monsieur de la Luzerne. A large
company had gathered at the Ambassador's, where Monsieur de St. Aulaire
presented himself toward the end of the evening. 'Twas so evident that
he had been drinking deeply that Calvert would have avoided him, but
that the tipsy nobleman, catching sight of him, made his way directly to
him.

"At last, Monsieur," he said, bowing low and laying his hand unsteadily
on the small sword he wore at his side.

"Well," replied Mr. Calvert, coldly, by no means pleased at the
attention bestowed upon him so unexpectedly. Monsieur de St. Aulaire
sober he found objectionable; Monsieur de St. Aulaire drunk was
insufferable.

"'Well' is a cold welcome, Mr. Calvert," he said, the insolent smile
deepening on his lips.

"I am not here to welcome you, Monsieur," returned Calvert,
indifferently.

Monsieur de St. Aulaire waved his hand lightly as if flinging off the
insult, but the flush on his dissipated face deepened. Calvert, seeing
that he could not be got rid of immediately, drew him into a little
anteroom where they were almost alone.

"And yet I wished profoundly that we might meet, Monsieur--more so,
apparently, I regret to say, than you have. I have seen friends of ours
in Paris since you have had that pleasure, Monsieur," says St. Aulaire,
throwing himself across a chair and resting his folded arms on the back.

"Indeed."

"You are cold-blooded, Monsieur--'tis a grave fault. You miss half the
pleasures of life--but I think you would like to know whom I mean.
Confess, Monsieur! But there, I see you know--who else could it be but
Madame de St. André?" and the insolent smile broke into a still more
insolent laugh.

"We will leave Madame de St. André's name out of this conversation,
Monsieur."

"Pardieu! So you think I am not worthy to mention it, Monsieur," cried
St. Aulaire, half-rising and laying his hand again on his dress sword.

"I know it, Monsieur," retorted Calvert, coolly.

"You are not so cold-blooded after all! I have struck fire at last!"
said St. Aulaire, looking at Calvert for an instant and then breaking
into a drunken laugh as he reseated himself. "'Tis a pity Madame de St.
André has not my luck--for, look you, Monsieur," he went on, leaning
over the back of the chair and shaking his finger at Calvert, "I think
she likes you and would be kind--very kind--to you, should you be
inclined to return to Paris and tempt your fortune."

"Were you sober, Monsieur, I would ask you for five minutes and a pair
of pistols or rapiers, if you prefer," says Calvert, white and
threatening.

"By God, Monsieur, how dare you say I am drunk?" flings out the other,
rising so unsteadily as to overturn the chair, which crashed upon the
floor. "But I have no time for duels just now. I have other and more
important business in hand. Later--later, sir, and I will be at your
service. I add that insult to the long list I have against you. I will
punish you when the time comes, but first I must punish her. She would
not even listen to me. She crushed me with her disdain. 'Tis another
favor I have to thank you for, Monsieur, I think." He was quite wild and
flushed by this time, and spoke so thickly that Calvert could scarce
understand him. The few gentlemen who had been lounging in the anteroom
had retired, thinking not to overhear a conversation evidently so
personal and stormy, so that they were quite alone. As St. Aulaire
reeled forward, a sudden thought came to Calvert.

"'_In vino veritas_,'" he said to himself, and then--"How do you propose
punishing Madame de St. André, Monsieur?" he asked, slowly, aloud, and
looking nonchalantly at the distorted face before him.

St. Aulaire laughed. "I am not as drunk as you think me, Monsieur
Calvert," he said. "'Tis enough that I know and shall act. By God, sir,"
he cried, suddenly starting up, "shall a man stand everything and have
no revenge? Let Madame de St. André take care! Let d'Azay take care!
Should you be inclined to go to their rescue, Monsieur, perhaps we may
meet again!" and with a mocking smile on his wicked, handsome face, he
flung himself out of the room.

The young man sat for a long while where St. Aulaire had left him,
pondering upon this strange meeting and the mysterious hints and threats
thrown out. He could make nothing of them, but it was clear that some
danger menaced those he loved in France, and he felt only too well
assured that St. Aulaire would stop at nothing. Indeed, it did not need
a personal and malignant enemy to bring terror and death to any in
Paris, as he knew. Terror and death were in the air. The last despatches
from the capital had told of almost inconceivable horrors being there
perpetrated. "Aristocrats in Paris must keep quiet or the aristocrats
will hang," Mr. Morris had said to him tersely one evening just before
leaving.

Suddenly an overwhelming desire to go to France, to be near Adrienne,
to avert, if humanly possible, this unknown, but, as he felt, no less
real danger, took possession of him. All the tenderness for her, which
he had hoped and believed was dying within him, revived at the thought
of the peril she was in. For himself he felt there could be no danger,
and it was possible that his standing as an American and his close
connection with the American Minister might be of service to her. But
whatever the consequences to himself--and he thought with far more dread
of the revival of his love, which the sight and near presence of her
would surely bring, than of any physical danger to himself--he felt it
to be unendurable to be so near her and yet not to be near enough to
render her aid if danger threatened. He thought of d'Azay and Beaufort
and Lafayette, of Mr. Morris, re-established there, and of all those
great and terrible events taking place, and he suddenly found himself a
thousand times more anxious to get back to Paris than he had ever been
to leave it, and wondered how he could have stayed away so long. He sat
alone in the little anteroom thinking of these things until almost the
last of the guests had gone, and then, bidding the Ambassador and
Ambassadress good-night, he, too, left, walking to his lodgings,
thinking the while of his return to Paris and the Legation, where he
felt assured he would receive a warm welcome from Mr. Morris.



CHAPTER XVIII

MR. CALVERT FIGHTS A DUEL


The welcome which Mr. Calvert received at the Legation was even more
cordial than he had dared to hope for, Mr. Morris being surprised and
delighted beyond measure by the young man's sudden arrival. As for
Calvert, the sight of his old friend and the cheerful, sumptuous air of
the new Legation, where Mr. Morris was but just established, were
inexpressibly pleasant.

"I think you have a talent for making yourself comfortable even in the
midst of horrors," he said, looking about the brilliantly lit
drawing-room, for Mr. Morris was expecting a large company to supper.
"In these rooms I can scarcely believe I have been for days travelling
through a country strangely and terribly changed since I last saw it--so
desolate and soldier-ridden and suspicious that I am truly glad to get
within these walls. And to-night, when my passport had been examined for
the hundredth time since leaving Havre and we had passed the city
barrier, I thought the very look and sound of these streets of Paris had
changed utterly in the last two years."

"And indeed they have, Ned," returned Mr. Morris, earnestly. "Each day
sees that difference grow more and more marked, more and more terrible.
Anarchy and bloodshed are becoming rampant, all semblance of order is
gone. The rest of the diplomatic corps look upon me as a madman to come
here at this time and set up a legation. _They_ are asking for their
passports--the Spanish Minister withdrew yesterday and Lord Gower is in
the devil of a fright," he says, laughing. "But as for myself, I have no
fear and shall uphold the interests and independence of the American
Legation to the last gasp. God only knows whether this house will prove
a protection, but, in all events, I shall not abandon it, nor my friends
here, voluntarily," he adds, intrepidly. "I could have wished, however,
boy, that events had kept you out of France just now. Though I urged you
to accompany me, when I returned and realized the awful state of affairs
here, I was heartily glad you had not yielded to my wishes."

"As it happened, though," said Calvert, "events have brought me," and in
a few words he told Mr. Morris of all that had occurred at the house of
Monsieur de la Luzerne, and of the uneasiness he felt at the manner and
threats of St. Aulaire.

"He is capable of any villany. We must thresh this matter out to-morrow,
Ned. Had I known you were coming I would have had no guests here
to-night. We could have had a quiet evening together, and I could have
shown you over my new establishment. All this must wait, however, and
now you had best go to your room and dress for supper." But Mr. Calvert,
begging to be excused from the company that evening, and saying that he
would go out by himself and get a look at this changed Paris, left Mr.
Morris to entertain his guests, who were beginning to arrive.

"I would offer you my carriage," said Mr. Morris, as the young man
turned away, "but 'twere best you walked abroad. Carriages are but
little the fashion these days--they are being rapidly abolished along
with everything else that makes life comfortable in this city."

Mr. Calvert went out into the dimly lit street that, despite the hour,
was full of a restless throng of people, who seemed to be wandering
about as aimlessly as himself. Here and there he encountered squads of
the National Guard being manoeuvred by their lieutenants, here and there
mobs of ragged men, shouting and cursing and bearing torches which
rained sparks of fire as they were swung aloft, and once, as he passed
the Abbaie St. Germain des Prés, a horrible throng pressed by him,
holding high in their midst a head on a dripping pike. He turned away,
sick at the sight, and, making his way down by the quays, crossed by the
Pont Royal to the other side of the city. He stopped for an instant on
the bridge to look down the river, and, as he did so, he recalled that
Christmas Eve two years before when he and Mr. Morris had stood on that
same spot. Much, very much, had happened since; it seemed as if both a
long and a short time had elapsed; perhaps, the greatest difference he
felt was that then he had been eager to leave Paris; now he was relieved
to be back. He strolled along under the glittering stars and the
fast-sailing clouds, through ill-lighted streets and past deserted
mansions whose owners were in voluntary exile beyond the Rhine, until he
suddenly bethought himself of a little café in the Champs Elysées not
far from the Demi-Lune du Cours de la Reine, where he and Mr. Jefferson
and Mr. Morris had often gone together. It occurred to him that he was
both thirsty and a little tired, and that he would turn in there for
something to drink and to see what might be happening.

Not much was happening, for a wonder. The gusty March wind, sweeping
through the gardens and under the lighted arcades, seemed to have swept
away the usual throng of strollers in the Champs Elysées. Even the café
was deserted except for a small group in a far corner of the room, which
Mr. Calvert scarce noticed as he passed in. A cheerful fire was burning
in an open grate, near which were set a screen and a settle. Mr. Calvert
ensconced himself comfortably in this cosy corner and, calling for a
glass of wine, fell to reading the day's copy of the _Moniteur_ lying on
the table beside him. But his thoughts were other-where than with the
account of the Assembly's proceedings. Although he was in Paris and near
the woman he loved, he was as greatly in the dark as ever as to what
course to pursue to protect her. He knew not in what direction to turn,
seeing that he knew not what danger threatened. After he had seen St.
Aulaire, pressing affairs had detained him in London three days before
he could set out for Paris. He knew not whether that worthy had arrived
there before him or not--whether he intended to return to Paris at all
or to work through some secret agency. A thousand vague plans for
discovering these things floated through his mind and were rejected one
after the other. All were alike in one respect--she must not know, if
possible, that he was rendering her any service. Though he realized that
this danger hanging over her endeared her to him a thousand times more
than ever, though the chivalry of his nature impelled him to serve her,
he knew she did not love him, nor ever could, and all the pride and
hardness of youth made him resolve to guard his secret more jealously
than ever. He had humbled himself once before her and she had treated
him lightly, indifferently, contemptuously, and he had no mind to suffer
a second humiliation.

Upon one thing he was resolved--that he would see d'Azay in the morning
and discover if he knew of any peril that threatened. As this thought
passed through his mind he suddenly heard d'Azay's name distinctly
pronounced from the other side of the room. He laid the copy of the
_Moniteur_, which he had been turning in his hands, quietly down upon
the table and listened. The voices from the corner, which had been low
and confused on his entrance, were now louder and bolder. Either the
speakers did not know that they were not alone or else the wine had made
them careless.

"'Tis a pleasure I have long had in contemplation and which has become
peculiarly dear to me of late," and the speaker laughed mockingly. "I
shall denounce d'Azay to-morrow."

Calvert started and looked hurriedly through the small panel of glass at
the top of the screen. Even before he looked he knew he was not
mistaken--St. Aulaire sat at the table with three companions, and it was
he who had spoken. Two of the men--one of them had a most villainous
countenance--Calvert had never seen before, but the third one he
discovered, to his intense surprise, was Bertrand--Bertrand, whose
honest lackey's face now wore a curious and sinister look of power and
importance. So, it was in the society of such that Monsieur de St.
Aulaire now talked and drank familiarly!

"He has already been denounced and released," says Bertrand, moodily.

"He will not be released this time," replies St. Aulaire, with so much
evident satisfaction as to strike one of the other two drinkers with
astonishment.

"Not entirely a matter of patriotism, I judge?" he questioned, with a
chuckle.

"A duty I owe myself as well as to my country," says St. Aulaire, so
much mocking meaning in his voice and glance that his three listeners
fell to laughing.

"There is a lady to whom I owe a small debt of ingratitude, and I like
best to settle the case in this fashion."

So that was his method of punishment! To strike Adrienne through her
brother--to spare her and take away all that she loved! Calvert thought
'twas a way worthy of its author, and so strong a desire took possession
of him to leap upon St. Aulaire and strike him dead that he caught hold
of the sides of the chair to restrain himself.

"But you are not a member of the Assembly," objected the man who had
hitherto kept silent.

"I have observed that a denunciation from the gallery is more dramatic
and effective than one from the floor. Besides, there is no one just at
present to do it for me. I am well prepared. When I rise to-morrow and
call the attention of Monsieur de Gensonné to the fact that I have proof
of the treasonable relations of Monsieur d'Azay with the chiefs of the
counter-revolutionists across the Rhine, 'twill be as if Monsieur d'Azay
already stood condemned before the bar of the Assembly," and he struck
the table with his clinched fist.

While the glasses were still rattling from the blow and St. Aulaire's
companions laughing at his vehemence, Mr. Calvert made his decision. By
St. Aulaire's own confession there was no one else interested, for the
moment, at least, in denouncing d'Azay. If he were out of the way that
denunciation would not take place and d'Azay might be got out of Paris.
At all hazards and at all costs St. Aulaire must not go to the Assembly
on the next day. At all hazards and at all costs St. Aulaire must not
know that he, Calvert, desired to prevent his going. He must be
surprised, driven to his own destruction, if it could be done.

Very quietly Calvert arose from his place by the fire, and, passing out
by a door concealed from the rest of the room by the screen, he made his
way through a vestibule, where he put on his coat and hat again and so
back into the room he had just left. But this time he entered noisily
and by an entrance near the table, at which were seated St. Aulaire and
his friends. At sight of St. Aulaire Mr. Calvert affected an extreme
surprise. He bowed low, and smiling, but without a word, he advanced to
him and, drawing off his heavy glove, struck him with it across his
flushed face. The four sprang to their feet, and Bertrand, recognizing
Calvert, called out, "Monsieur--Monsieur Calvert!" All his airs of
equality and importance fell from him, and he ran toward his former
master, but Calvert waved him aside.

"The last time Monsieur de St. Aulaire and I met, gentlemen," says
Calvert, looking around contemptuously at the company, "he insulted me
grossly. Unfortunately he was drunk--drunk, I repeat it, and in no
condition to answer for himself. I demand satisfaction to-night."

"And, by God! you shall have it," cried St. Aulaire, half beside
himself. His face was quite white now except for the red mark across it,
which Calvert's blow had furrowed, and his eyes were wild and staring.
The suddenness and fierceness of Calvert's attack had driven every
thought out of his mind but the wish to avenge the insult offered him,
and almost without a word more the party left the room and went out into
one of the allées of the Champs Elysées close beside the café. Such
affairs were so common in the Champs Elysées and elsewhere in Paris in
those days that, though they were but a few feet from the public
thoroughfare, they apprehended no interference from the guard or the
passers-by. 'Twas the aristocratic mode of helping forward the
revolution, and there were almost as many victims by it as by the more
republican one of la lanterne and the pike.

Though it was the first affair of honor that Calvert had ever been
engaged in, the compelling necessity he was under and that unusual
steadiness and calmness of character he possessed rendered him less
nervous and more master of himself than was the older man, who had had
numberless affairs of the kind.

"Will you choose swords or will you fight in the English mode with
pistols?" said Calvert, with another low bow to St. Aulaire.

"Both, by God!" shouted St. Aulaire. "We will follow the lead of
Bazencourt and St. Luce!" But here Bertrand and another of his
companions interfered (the third and villainous-looking fellow said
nothing and seemed indifferent on the subject), and declared they could
not be party to murder, and that terrible affair had been no less. It
had been known and talked of all over Paris, the shameful conditions
being--that the combatants should fight first with swords, and the one
who fell, and fell wounded only, was to have his brains blown out by the
other.

One of the company brought from the house a lantern and a pair of
English pistols, and both agreeing to fight with them, and the ground
being hastily measured, the two gentlemen threw off their coats and took
up their positions. The light was so uncertain from the occasional
fitful brightness of the moon shining through the clouds and the light
from the swaying lantern, held aloft by Bertrand, who took his stand
near Calvert and watched him with his old devotion, that 'twas almost
impossible for either combatant to take accurate aim.

At the word "Fire!" both pistols cracked, and St. Aulaire, staggering
forward a few steps, fell, wounded in the groin. Calvert was untouched,
but before he could collect himself or move to the assistance of St.
Aulaire, he suddenly heard the sound of coach-wheels passing close to
the allée, and, at the same instant, to his astonishment, he felt a
sharp pain tear its way from his left shoulder to the wrist. He turned
his head an instant to see who had attacked him from this unexpected
quarter and was just in time to see the scoundrel who had been in St.
Aulaire's company throw down his stained sword and make for the
boulevard. And then as he reeled forward, the blood spurting from the
long gash in his arm, all grew black before him and he knew no more.



CHAPTER XIX

IN WHICH AN UNLOOKED-FOR EVENT TAKES PLACE


That great and desolating change which had swept over France in the two
years and more of Calvert's absence was reflected in every heart, in
every life left in that wrecked land. On the most insensible, the most
frivolous, the most indifferent alike fell the shadow of those terrible
times. The sadness and the horror fell on Adrienne de St. André as it
fell on so many others, but besides the terror of those days she had to
bear a still heavier sorrow. There is no pang which the heart can suffer
like the realization, too late, that we have lost what we most prize;
that we have missed some great opportunity for happiness which can never
come to us again; that we have rejected and passed by what we would now
sell our souls to possess. This conviction, slowly borne in upon
Adrienne, caused her more anguish than she had supposed, in her
ignorance, anything in the world could make her feel. The man whose name
she bore was scarcely a memory to her. For the first time she knew what
love was and realized that she had cared for Calvert with all the
repressed tenderness and unsounded depths of her heart. Her very
helplessness, the impossibility to recall him, made him more dear to her
by far. A man can stretch out his hand and seize his happiness, but a
woman must wait for hers. And if it passes her by she must bear her hurt
in silence and as best she can. It was with a sort of blind despair that
Adrienne thought of Calvert and all that she had wilfully thrown away.
Had he been at her beck and call, fetched and carried for her, she would
never have loved him. But the consciousness that he was as proud as she,
that, though he was near her for so long, she could not lure him back,
that he could master his love and defy her beauty and charm, exercised a
fascination over her. And when he left her entirely and was gone away
without even seeing her, she suddenly realized how deeply she loved him.
We have all had such experiences--we live along, thinking of things
after a certain fashion, and suddenly there comes a day when everything
seems changed. It was so with Adrienne. All things seemed changed to
her, and in that bitter necromancy her pride was humbled. Wherever she
went there was but one dear face she longed to see--one dear face with
the quiet eyes she loved. There were days when she so longed to see him,
when the sound of his voice or the touch of his hand would have been so
inexpressibly dear to her, that it seemed as if the very force of her
passion must surely draw him back to her. But he never came. During
those two long years something went from her forever. She was not
conscious of it at the time--only of the dull ache, and feverish
longing, and utter apathy that seized her by turns. There was a subtle
difference in all things. 'Twas as if some fine spring in the delicate
mechanism of her being had broken. It might run on for years, but never
again with the perfectness and buoyancy with which it had once moved.

As her life altered so terribly, as all that she had known and valued
perished miserably before her eyes day by day, the thought of Calvert
and of his calm steadiness and sincerity became constant with her. She
heard of him from time to time from Mr. Morris after his frequent visits
to London and through letters to her brother and Lafayette, to whom
Calvert wrote periodically, but she had no hope of ever seeing him
again, and she suffered in the knowledge. Though he seemed cruel to her
in his hardness, she was just enough to confess to herself that she so
deserved to suffer. But she had learned so much through suffering that a
sick distaste for life's lessons grew upon her, and she felt that she
wanted no more of them unless knowledge should come to her through love.
In her changed life there was little to relieve her suffering, but she
devoted herself to the old Duchess, who failed visibly day by day, and
in that service she could sometimes forget her own unhappiness. She went
with the intrepid old lady (who continued to ignore the revolution as
much as possible) wherever they could find distraction--to the play and
to the houses of their friends still left in Paris, where a little
dinner or a game of quinze or whist could still be enjoyed.

'Twas on one of these occasions that, accompanied by Beaufort, as they
were returning along the Champs Elysées from Madame de Montmorin's,
where they had spent the evening, they suddenly heard the report of
pistols proceeding from an allée by the road-side.

"A duel!" said Beaufort. "'Twas near here that poor Castries was killed.
Perhaps it is another friend in trouble, and I had best see," and,
calling to the coachman to stop the horses, he jumped out. Almost at the
same instant a man stumbled out of the allée and ran down the boulevard.
Beaufort would have followed him, but, as he started to do so, he heard
his name called and, looking back, saw another man emerge from the allée
and gaze down the almost deserted street. By the dim light of the
lantern swung from its great iron post the man recognized Monsieur de
Beaufort and ran forward.

"Will you come?" he said, hurriedly. "Monsieur Calvert is here--wounded
by that villain."

"Calvert--impossible! He is not in Paris."

"But he is!--here," said Bertrand, drawing Beaufort toward the allée.

Adrienne's pale face appeared at the coach-door.

"Did I hear someone speak of Monsieur Calvert?"

Beaufort went up to her. "He is here--wounded, I think," he said in a
low voice. "I will go and see--you will not be afraid to wait?"

"To wait!--I am going, too," and before he could prevent it she had
stepped from the coach and was making her way toward the allée. A
ghastly sight met their eyes as they entered the lane. St. Aulaire lay
upon the ground, one of his companions standing over him, and at a
little distance, Calvert, white and unconscious, the blood trickling
from his left shoulder. With a low cry Adrienne knelt on the ground
beside him and felt his pulse to see if he still lived. In an instant
she was up.

"Bring him to the carriage. We must take him to the Legation--to Mr.
Morris," she says, in a low tone, to Beaufort and Bertrand, whom she had
recognized as the servant Calvert had brought with him to Azay-le-Roi.
Without a look at St. Aulaire she helped the two to get Calvert to the
coach, where he was placed on the cushions as easily as possible and
held between herself and Madame d'Azay. She hung over him during the
long drive in a sort of passion of pity and love. It was the dearest
happiness she had ever known to touch him, to feel his head upon her
arm. Even though he were dead, she thought, it were worth all her life
to have held him so. She scarcely spoke save to ask Bertrand if he knew
the cause of the encounter, and, when he had told her all he knew of the
events of the evening, she relapsed again into silence. They reached the
Legation as Mr. Morris's guests were leaving, and in a very few minutes
the young man was put to bed and a surgeon called.

Though the wound was not fatal--not even very serious--a sharp fever
fastened upon Calvert, and, in the delirium of the few days following,
Mr. Morris was easily able to learn the cause of the duel. The story he
thus gathered from Calvert's wild talk he told Adrienne and Madame
d'Azay--the two ladies came daily to inquire how the patient was
doing--for he thought that they should know of the noble action of the
young man, and he felt sure that as soon as Calvert was himself again he
would request him to keep silence about his share in the matter. He was
right, for when Calvert was come to his senses again and was beginning
to be convalescent--which was at the end of a week--he told Mr. Morris
the particulars of his encounter with St. Aulaire, requesting that he
make no mention of his part in the affair and begging him to urge d'Azay
to leave Paris. This was the more necessary as St. Aulaire, though badly
wounded, was fully conscious and might at any moment cause d'Azay's
arrest, and, moreover, passports were becoming daily harder to obtain.

Mr. Morris had to confess his inability to comply with Calvert's first
request, but promised to see d'Azay immediately, and, ordering his
carriage, in half an hour was on his way to the rue St. Honoré. No man
in Paris knew better than he the risk an aristocrat ran who was
denounced to the Assembly and remained in Paris, nor how difficult it
was to get out of the city. He was also aware of rumors concerning
d'Azay of which he thought best not to tell Calvert in his present
condition, but which made him seriously fear for d'Azay's safety.

On his arrival in the rue St. Honoré he found Adrienne with the old
Duchess in one of the smaller salons, but d'Azay was not with them, nor
did they know where he was. Mr. Morris had not intended telling the two
ladies of his mission, fearing to increase the anxiety which he knew
they already felt on d'Azay's account, but he suddenly changed his
determination and, in a few words, informed them of Calvert's urgent
message to d'Azay and of the reasons for his instant departure from
Paris.

"He is not safe for a day," he said. "Calvert has saved him for the time
being, but St. Aulaire, though unable himself to go to the Assembly and
prefer charges against him, can find a dozen tools among the Orléans
party who will do his dirty work for him. The mere assertion that d'Azay
is in correspondence with Monsieur de Condé or any of the
counter-revolutionists will send him to prison--or worse. As you know,
he, like Lafayette, is out of favor with all factions. There is but one
thing to do--get him out of Paris."

"He will never go!" said the old Duchess, proudly.

"He must! Listen," said Adrienne, rising and laying her hand on Mr.
Morris's arm. "I think he will never ask for a passport himself, but if
we could get it for him, if, when he comes in, he should find all in
readiness for his going, if we could convince him by these means that
his immediate departure was so necessary--" She stood looking at Mr.
Morris, forcing herself to be calm, and with such an expression of
courage and determination on her pale face that Mr. Morris, who had
always admired her, was touched and astonished.

"'Tis the very best thing to be done, my dear young lady," he said. "We
must get the passport for d'Azay and force him to quit Paris. I think I
am not entirely without influence with some of these scoundrels in
authority just now. Danton, for instance. He is, without doubt, the
most powerful man in Paris for the moment. Suppose we apply to him and
his worthy assistant, Bertrand, and see what can be done. As Danton
himself said to me the other evening at the Cordelliers Club, 'in times
of revolution authority falls into the hands of rascals!' Bertrand was a
good valet, but he knows no more of statescraft than my coachman does.
However, what we want is not a statesman but a friend, and I think
Bertrand may prove to be that. My carriage is waiting below; shall we go
at once?"

"Oh, we cannot go too soon! I will not lose a moment." She ran out of
the room and returned almost instantly with her wraps, for the March day
was chill and gloomy. The two set out immediately, Mr. Morris giving
orders to his coachman to drive to the Palais de Justice, where he hoped
to find Danton, the deputy attorney-general of the commune of Paris, and
Bertrand, his assistant. As he expected, they were there and, on being
announced, he and Madame de St. André were almost instantly admitted to
their presence.

There could be no better proof of the unique and powerful position held
by the representative of the infant United States than the reception
accorded him by this dictator of Paris. Though Mr. Morris was known to
disapprove openly of the excesses to which the Assembly and the
revolution had already gone, yet this agitator, this leader of the most
violent district of Paris, welcomed him with marked deference and
consideration. And it was with the deepest regret that he professed
himself unable to undertake to obtain, at Mr. Morris's request, a
passport for Monsieur d'Azay, brother of Madame de St. André, to whom he
showed a coldness and brusqueness in marked contrast to his manner
toward Mr. Morris.

"The applications are so numerous, and the emigrant army is becoming so
large," and here he darted a keen, mocking look at Madame de St. André
out of his small, ardent eyes, "that even were I as influential as
Monsieur Morris is pleased to think me, I would scarcely dare to ask for
a passport for Monsieur d'Azay. Moreover," and he bent his great,
hideous head for an instant over a pile of papers upon the desk before
him, "moreover, Monsieur d'Azay is particularly wanted in Paris just
now."

"It is not his wish to leave--indeed, he knows nothing of this
application for a passport. It is by my wish and on my affairs that he
goes to England," says Adrienne, steadily, facing with courage the
malignant look of that terrible countenance. Monsieur Danton ignored
these remarks and turned to Mr. Morris.

"Receive my regrets, Monsieur, that I can do nothing in this matter. It
would give me pleasure to render any favor to an American."

"Then we must ask assistance in other quarters," says Mr. Morris, rising
abruptly, and with a show of confidence which he was far from feeling.
He had applied in the most powerful and available quarter that he knew
of, and he confessed to himself that, having failed here, he had no hope
of succeeding elsewhere.

As he and Adrienne turned to go, Bertrand, who had sat quietly by
during this short colloquy, arose and accompanied them toward the door.

"It is a pity Madame de St. André is not an American--is not Madame
Calvert," he says, in a low tone, and fixing a meaning look on Adrienne.
"Passports for the brother-in-law of Monsieur Calvert, the American,
were easy to obtain. It is doubly a pity," and he spoke in a still lower
tone, "since I have, on good authority, the news that Monsieur d'Azay is
to be accused of forwarding military intelligence to Monsieur de Condé
in to-morrow's session of the Assembly."

The young girl stopped and stood looking at him, transfixed with terror
and astonishment.

"What do you mean?" she says, in a frightened, hushed voice.

"This, Madame. A long time ago, when I was a soldier in America under
Lafayette, Monsieur Calvert did me a great service--he saved my life--he
was kind to me. He is the only man, the only person in the world I love,
and I have sworn to repay that debt of gratitude. I was with Monsieur,
as his servant, at Azay-le-Roi, and I guessed, Madame, what passed there
between you and him. Afterward I was with him in Paris, and I saw how he
suffered, and I swore, if the thing were ever possible, I would make you
suffer as he suffered. There is but one thing I would rather do than
make you suffer--and that is to make him happy. The passport for the
brother of Madame Calvert will be ready at six this evening and
Monsieur will be free to leave Paris. Do you understand now, Madame?"

"It is impossible," she says, faintly, leaning for support on Mr.
Morris, who stood by, unspeakably astonished at the strange scene taking
place.

"Impossible? Then I am sorry," he says. "Frankly, there is but one way,
Madame, for you to obtain the passport you wish, and that is by becoming
an American subject, the wife of Monsieur Calvert. I can interest myself
in the matter only on those conditions. I have but to mention to Danton
my good reasons for serving so close a relation of Monsieur Calvert, and
he will be inclined to interest himself in obtaining the freedom of
Monsieur d'Azay--for such it really is. Should he still be disinclined
to serve a friend who has stood him well"--and his face darkened
ominously and a sinister smile came to his lips--"I have but to recall
to his mind a certain scene which took place in the Cafe de l'École some
years ago in which Monsieur Calvert was an actor, and I can answer for
it that Monsieur d'Azay leaves Paris to-night. Shall I do these things
or not? If not, I think 'tis sure that, let Madame and Monsieur Morris
apply to whom they may, Danton and I will see to it that no passport for
Monsieur d'Azay is granted. Is it still impossible?" he asks, with an
insolent smile.

The girl turned piteously from Bertrand to Mr. Morris and back again, as
if seeking some escape from the trap in which she was caught. Her pale
lips trembled.

"Is it impossible?" again asks Bertrand, noting her pallor and cruel
indecision.

"No, no," she cries, suddenly, shuddering and putting out her hand.

"Then all will be in readiness at six, Monsieur," says Bertrand,
addressing himself to Mr. Morris.

"A word aside with you," he says to Bertrand, and, leading Adrienne to a
seat, he went back to Bertrand, who waited for him beside the door.

"What is the meaning of this extraordinary scene?" he asked, sternly.

The man shrugged his shoulders. "Just what I have said. You know
yourself, Monsieur, whether or not I am devoted to Monsieur Calvert. For
Madame de St. André I care less than nothing," he said, snapping his
fingers carelessly. "But Monsieur Calvert loves her--it seems a pretty
enough way of making them happy, though 'tis a strange métier for
me--arranging love-matches among the nobility! However, stranger things
than that are happening in France. Besides, it is necessary," he said,
his light manner suddenly changing to one more serious. "I swear it is
the only way of getting d'Azay out of Paris. I doubt if even Danton,
urged on by me, could obtain a passport for him to quit the city. But I
can answer for one for the brother of Madame Calvert, wife of the former
secretary of Monsieur Jefferson, friend of the present Minister
Plenipotentiary from the United States of America to France."

Mr. Morris looked at the man keenly.

"And suppose this thing were done--I can rely upon you?"

"Absolutely. Attend a moment," he said, and, going back to where Danton
still sat at his desk, he spoke with him in low and earnest tones. From
where Mr. Morris stood he could see Danton's expression change from
sternness and anger to astonishment and interest. In a few moments, with
a low exclamation, he got up and, followed by Bertrand, came toward Mr.
Morris.

"Bertrand has just told me facts which alter this case--which impel me
to aid Monsieur d'Azay if possible," he said; and then, turning to
Adrienne, who, pale with anxiety and terror, had risen from her seat and
drawn near, he went on: "I will use all my power to be of service to the
wife of the man who once showed a courtesy to mine." At his words the
girl drew back and blushed deeply over her whole fair face. "I swore
that I would reward him if possible, and I do so to-day. I also swore to
reward his companion, Monsieur de Beaufort--the time is not yet come for
that, but it will," and he smiled in so terrible a fashion that Adrienne
could have cried out in fear. The fierce malignity of his look so filled
Mr. Morris with disgust that he could scarce bear to speak to him.

"We will return at six," he said, at length, and leading Adrienne to the
door that the painful interview might end.

"At six," said Danton.

They made their way out and found Mr. Morris's coach. In the carriage
the courage which had sustained the young girl gave way.

Mr. Morris laid a kindly hand upon her arm. "Be calm. A way is found to
save d'Azay, and surely it is no great trial to become an American
subject," he said, smiling a little and looking keenly at Adrienne.

"I do not know how I shall dare to ask this great sacrifice of him,"
said she, in a low tone. "True, he risked his life for d'Azay, but that
is not so great a sacrifice as to marry a woman he does not love."

"I think he does love you still," said Mr. Morris, very gently. "He is
not like some of us--he is not one to forget easily. He is silent and
constant. He has told me that he loved you."

But she only shook her head. "I have no hope that he loves me still."

"Shall I tell him of this strange plan, of the cruel position you find
yourself in? I can prepare him----"

"No," she said, in a low tone, "I--I will see him myself and at once."

She sat quiet and thoughtful for the rest of the drive until the coach
drew up before the Legation. After the first fear and despair had
passed, a wave of happiness swept over her that made her blush and then
pale as it ebbed. Perhaps, after all, his love for her might not be
dead; at all events a curious fate had brought it about that she should
see him again and hear him speak and learn for herself if he loved her.
She remembered, with a sudden shock, the words she had spoken at
Azay-le-Roi--that should she change her mind it would be she who would
ask him to marry her. She could have laughed aloud with joy to think
that fate had played her such a trick. She remembered with a sort of
shamed wonder the proud condescension with which she had treated him.
She felt now as if she could fling herself before him on her knees and
beg him to give her back his love. But did he still love her? At the
thought an icy pang of apprehension and fear seized her, and her heart
almost stopped beating. It was not alone her own happiness that was at
stake, but a life that she held dear, too, was in the hands of one whom
she had misprized, to whom she had shown no pity or tenderness.

"I will go up with you to the library, where I think we shall find
Calvert, and then I will leave you," said Mr. Morris as the coach
stopped.

They went up the broad stairway together and Mr. Morris knocked at the
library door. A voice answered "Come," and he entered, leaving Adrienne
in the shadow of the archway. A bright fire was burning on the open
hearth and before it sat Calvert. He looked ill, and his left arm and
shoulder were bandaged and held in a sling. He wore no coat--indeed, he
could get none over the bandages--and the whiteness of his linen and the
bright flame of the fire made him look very pale. At Mr. Morris's
entrance he glanced up smiling and made an effort to go toward him.

"Don't move, my boy," said Mr. Morris, hastily--"I have brought someone
to see you. She--she is here," and motioning Adrienne to enter, he went
out, softly closing the door behind him.

For an instant Calvert could not see who his visitor was, for, though
the firelight was bright, the room was much in shadow from the grayness
of the afternoon and the heavy hangings at the long windows. As the
young girl came forward, however, he recognized her in spite of her
extreme pallor and the change which two years and a half had wrought.
Concealing, as best he could, the shock of surprise and the sudden
faintness which attacked him at her unexpected presence (for he was
still very weak and ill), he bowed low and placed a chair for her. But
she shook her head and remained standing beside a little table in the
centre of the room, one hand resting upon it for support. She was so
agitated, and so fearful lest Calvert should notice it and guess its
true cause, that she summoned all her pride and old imperiousness to her
aid. Looking at her so, he wondered how it was that Mr. Morris had found
her so softened. Looking at him so, weak and ill and hurt for one she
loved, she could have thrown herself at his feet and kissed his wounded
arm. It was with difficulty she commanded her voice sufficiently to
speak.

"I am come, Mr. Calvert," she said, at length, hurriedly, and in so
constrained a tone that he could scarcely hear her, "I am come on an
errand for which the sole excuse is your own nobility. Had you not
already risked your life for my brother, I could not dare to ask this
still greater sacrifice. Indeed, I think I cannot, as it is," she said,
clasping her hands and suddenly turning away.

Calvert was inexpressibly surprised by this exhibition of deep emotion
in her. He had never seen her so moved before. "There is nothing I would
not do for d'Azay, believe me," he said, earnestly. "I had hoped to
avert this danger from him, but, unfortunately, I fear I have only
postponed it. Is there anything I can do? If so, tell me what it is."

"It is nothing less than the sacrifice of your whole life," she said, in
a low tone, and drawing back in the shadow of one of the windows. "It is
this--I am come to ask you to marry me, Mr. Calvert, that by becoming an
American subject I may save my brother. We--we have just been to obtain
a passport for him to leave the city--he is to be accused in the
Assembly to-morrow," she says, rapidly and breathlessly. "A passport for
Monsieur d'Azay is refused unconditionally, but one is promised for the
brother of Madame Calvert, the American." She was no longer pale. A
burning blush was dyeing her whole face crimson, and she drew still
farther back into the shadow of the window. She laid one hand on the
velvet curtain to steady herself.

Calvert gazed at her in unspeakable surprise. For an instant a wild hope
awoke within him, only to die. She had come but to save her brother, as
she had said, and the painfulness of her duty was only too apparent.

"And--and who has imposed this strange condition?" he says, at length,
quietly, mastering himself.

"Your servant Bertrand, who is all-powerful with Danton and who, he
promises, shall obtain the passport by six this evening."

"Were I not wounded and weak from fever, Madame, believe me, by that
hour he would deeply repent having caused you this humiliation," says
Calvert, bitterly.

"My humiliation is a slight thing in comparison with the sacrifice I ask
of you, Monsieur."

"And what of yours?" he asks, gloomily, but he did not look at her. Had
he done so he would have seen love, not self-sacrifice, shining in her
appealing eyes.

"But I have influence over this fellow--he is devoted to me--he shall do
this thing without demanding so great, so fabulous a price for his
services," he goes on, half-speaking to himself.

"'Tis indeed a fabulous price," she says, paling a little at Calvert's
words and drawing herself up proudly. "But he fancies he is serving you
by imposing this condition, and I confess that I--I dared not tell him
that you no longer loved me, lest I should lose the one hold I had on
him. For d'Azay, for me, he will do absolutely nothing." From the shadow
of the curtain she watched Calvert's face for some sign that she was
mistaken, that after all he did still love her, that what she had asked
of him would be no life-long sacrifice, but the dearest joy. But none
came. He stood quiet and thoughtful, looking down into the firelight and
betraying nothing of the conflict going on within him. His one thought
was to find a way out of this horrible trap for her, or, failing that,
to make it as easy as possible for her. He stilled the wild exultation
he felt that was making his feverish pulse leap and sink by turns. He
tried to put away temptation from him--to think only for her. This
incredible, unlooked-for happiness was not for him. He searched about in
his mind for words that would make her understand that he knew what
anguish had driven her to this extremity; that would convince her that
she had nothing to fear from him and that he would meet her as he felt
sure she wished him to meet her.

"What he asks is madness," he said, at length. "I know only too well the
insurmountable objections you have to doing what he demands; if I can
convince him of these--if I can convince him that it is also not my
wish--that he can best serve me by not insisting on this thing----"

"Then, indeed, I think all is lost," said Adrienne, quietly. "He
professes that he can do nothing for the French emigrant d'Azay, only
for the brother of the American, Calvert. There is no hope left for us
except through himself and Danton, since it is already known that d'Azay
is to be accused to-morrow, and, indeed, there is scarce time to seek
other aid," she added, despairingly.

"Is Mr. Morris of the opinion that this is the best thing to be done?"
asked Calvert, in a low voice.

"He thinks it is the only way to save d'Azay." Suddenly she came forward
from the embrasure of the window and stood once more beside the table,
her face lighted up by the glow of the fire. "Believe me, I know how
great a thing I ask," she says, quite wildly, and covering her eyes with
her hand. "I ask you now what you once asked me and what I flung away."
Calvert looked up startled, but not being able to read her face, which
was concealed, he dropped his head again, and she went on: "If it is
possible for you to make this sacrifice, everything I can do to make it
bearable shall be done--we need never see each other again--I can follow
d'Azay to whatever retreat he may find----"

"Don't distress yourself so," said Calvert, gently, interrupting her. He
looked at the appealing, despairing woman before him, she who had been
so brilliant, so untouched by sorrow, and a great desire to serve her
and a great compassion for her came over him. There was pity for
himself, too, in his thoughts, for he had schooled himself for so long
to believe that the woman he loved did not love him, and could never
love him, that no slightest idea that he was mistaken came to him now to
help lighten his sacrifice. As he realized all this he thought, not
without a pang, of the future and of the unknown possible happiness it
might hold for him and which he was renouncing forever. In the long days
to come, he had thought, he might be able to forget that greater
happiness denied him and be as contented as many another man, but even
that consolation he could now no longer look forward to.

"Do not distress yourself," he said again, quietly. "Be assured that I
shall make no effort to see you--indeed, I think I shall leave Paris
myself as soon as this wound permits," and he touched his bandaged arm.
"In the last few days I have thought seriously of entering military
service again under Lafayette. He is a good soldier, if a bad
statesman, and has need of officers and men in this crisis, if ever
general had."

As he turned away and touched a small bell on the table, Adrienne's hand
dropped at her side and she gave him so strange, so sad a glance that
had he looked at her he would have seen that in her pale face and
miserable eyes which he had longed to see two years before. She took a
step forward--for an instant the wild thought crossed her mind of
flinging herself down before him, of confessing her love for him, but
sorrow and trouble had not yet wholly humbled that proud nature. With a
great effort she drew back. "Will you, then, serve us again?" she said,
and her voice sounded far off and strange in her own ears.

"Can you doubt it? I will send for Mr. Morris and we will leave
everything to him."

In a few moments he came in, looking anxiously from Calvert to Madame de
St. André and back again.

"We are agreed upon this matter," said Calvert, quietly, interpreting
Mr. Morris's look, "providing, in your opinion, it is a necessity. Is
the case as desperate as Madame de St. André deems it, and is this the
best remedy for it?"

"'Tis the only remedy, I think," replied Mr. Morris. "I fear there is no
doubt as to d'Azay's fate when arraigned, as he will be to-morrow. Too
many of his friends have already suffered that same fate to leave any
reasonable hope that his will be other or happier." He drew Calvert to
one side and spoke in a low tone. "Indeed, I think 'tis more than
probable that he is guilty of the charges preferred against him and
would go over to Monsieur de Condé had he the chance. I have known for a
long while that he has become thoroughly disgusted with the trend of
affairs here, and has no thought now but to serve the King. I think he
has broken with Lafayette entirely since the affair of St. Cloud, and
his change of political faith is only too well known here. If he does
not leave Paris to-night, he will never leave it."

"Then," said Mr. Calvert, "I am ready to do my part."

"No, no, 'tis impossible that this thing should be," broke out Mr.
Morris, looking at the young man's pale, gloomy face. "I had hoped that
it would be the greatest happiness; was I, then, mistaken?"

Calvert laid his hand on the elder man's shoulder.

"Hush, she must not hear. 'Tis an agreement we have entered into," he
says, hurriedly. "Will you call a priest and send for the Duchess and
d'Azay?"

"The Bishop of Autun has just come in," said Mr. Morris, after a
moment's silence, and pressing the young man's hand, "and there is no
time to send for anyone. I will go myself and ask him to come up."

They came in together in a very few moments, His Grace of Autun grave
and asking no questions (from which Calvert rightly argued that Mr.
Morris had confided in him), but with a concerned and kindly air toward
the young man, for whom he had always entertained an especial liking. In
a simple and impressive manner he repeated the marriage service in the
presence of Mr. Morris and some of the servants of the household, called
in to be witnesses, Adrienne kneeling beside the couch on which Calvert
lay, for he was too weak and ill to stand longer.

The strange scene was quickly over, the two parted almost without a
word, Adrienne being led away by Mr. Morris to the Hotel de Ville, and
Mr. Calvert remanded to bed by the surgeon, who was just arrived to
dress his wound.



CHAPTER XX

MR. CALVERT SEES A SHORT CAMPAIGN UNDER LAFAYETTE


The project which Calvert had formed for joining the army he was able to
put into execution within a couple of weeks. The fever which had
attacked him having entirely subsided and his wound healing rapidly, he
was soon well enough to feel a consuming restlessness and craving for
action. The painful experience through which he had just passed, the
still more painful future to which he had to look forward, aroused an
irresistible longing for some immediate and violent change of scene and
thought. His vague plan for joining the army was suddenly crystallized
by the situation in which he found himself, and though this resolution
was strongly opposed by Mr. Morris, who, with keen foresight, prophesied
the speedy overthrow of the constitution and the downfall of Lafayette
with the King, he adhered to it. D'Azay being safely out of the
country--he had retreated to Brussels and joined a small detachment of
the emigrant army still there--and Adrienne protected by his name, his
one desire was to forget in action his misfortunes and to remove himself
from the scene of them. It was this desire, rather than any enthusiasm
for the cause in which he was engaged, which impelled him to offer his
services to Lafayette. Indeed, it was with no very sanguine belief in
that cause or hope of its success that he prepared to go to Metz.
Although he believed, with Mr. Morris, that the only hope of France lay
in the suppression of internal disorder and the union of interests which
a foreign war would bring about, yet he could not regard with much
horror the threatenings of the proscribed émigrés and the military
preparations making by the allies to prevent the spread of the
revolution into their own territories. Indeed, so great was his contempt
for the ministers of Louis and for their mad and selfish policy that he
confessed to himself, but for his desire to serve under his old
commander, he would almost as soon have joined d'Azay at Brussels, or
taken a commission with the Austrians under Marshal Bender, who
commanded in the Low Countries. This division of sympathies felt by
Calvert animated thousands of other breasts, so that whole regiments of
cavalry went over to the enemy, and officers and men deserted daily.
Berwick, Mirabeau, Bussy, de la Châtre, with their commands, crossed
over the Rhine and joined the Prince de Condé at Worms. The highest in
command were suspected of intriguing with the enemy; men distrusted
their superiors, and officers could place no reliance on their men. Of
the widespread and profound character of this feeling of distrust Mr.
Calvert had no adequate idea until he joined the army of the centre at
Metz in the middle of April. Although Lafayette had, since January, been
endeavoring to discipline his troops, to animate them with confidence,
courage, and endurance, they had defied his every effort. Indeed, what
wonder that an army composed of the scum of a revolutionary populace,
without knowledge of arms, suspicious, violent, unused to every form of
military restraint, should defy organization in three months? Perhaps no
sovereign ever entered upon a great conflict less prepared than did
Louis when he declared war against the King of Hungary and Bohemia--for
Francis was not yet crowned Emperor of Austria. But that unhappy monarch
found himself in a situation from which the only issue was a recourse to
arms. Confronted on the one hand by a republican party of daily
increasing power and on the other by an aristocratical one openly allied
with sovereigns who were suspected of a desire to partition his dominion
among themselves as Poland had been, his one hope lay in warring his way
out between the two.

That Louis should be the advocate and leader of this war was the one
inspiration of Narbonne, and, had the King persevered in this, he might
have saved himself and his throne. But, with his fatal vacillation,
after having entered upon military preparations and committed himself to
Narbonne's policy, he suddenly abandoned him as he had abandoned so many
of his advisers. Grave replaced the dismissed and chagrined young
minister, and Dumouriez, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, took into his
hands all the power and glory of the war movement. He developed and
supplemented the plans which Narbonne had already formed, and, by the
New Year, a vast army was assembled and the frontier divided into three
great military districts. On the left, the territory from Dunkirk to
Philippeville was defended by the army under Rochambeau, forty thousand
foot and eight thousand cavalry strong; Lafayette, with his army of the
centre, of more than a hundred thousand men and some seven thousand
horse, commanded between Philippeville and Weissenberg, while Luckner,
with his army of the Rhine, stretched from Weissenberg to Bâle.
Dumouriez's diplomatic negotiations were apparently nearly as successful
as his military operations. Though he could not dissolve that "unnatural
alliance" formed the year before at Pilnitz and enthusiastically adhered
to by Prince Henri and the Duke of Brunswick with the young King of
Hungary and Bohemia, yet, by the assassination of the King of Sweden,
that country was no longer to be feared, England remained neutral by
virtue of Pitt's commercial policy, and many of the petty German
principalities openly approved of and aided the French revolutionists.

With military and diplomatic affairs in this state and with Austria
still holding out for her impossible conditions, 'twas easy for
Dumouriez and the war party to browbeat the wellnigh desperate King into
a declaration of hostilities that was to convulse the whole of Europe
for nearly a quarter of a century. This was done on the 20th of April,
three days after Mr. Calvert had joined Lafayette at Metz, and was
almost instantly followed by orders from Dumouriez to that general to
advance with ten thousand men upon Namur and thence upon Brussels and
Liège.

'Twas Dumouriez's policy (and surely a wise one) to strike the first
blow against Austria through her dependency, Flanders, which country,
but two years before, had shown the strongest disposition to throw off
Austrian rule. How strong that disposition was, Dumouriez himself knew
fully, for he had been sent by Montmorin on a secret mission into
Belgium, and he felt assured that the Brabant patriots would rally to
the standards of the French army. Had that army been what he supposed,
his plans might have succeeded and the humiliations and defeats of the
spring campaign averted.

As has been said, Calvert joined the army at Metz a few days before the
formal declaration of war was made, and so was there when General de
Lafayette received orders to advance upon Namur. He was much touched by
the reception which Lafayette accorded him.

"I will give you a regiment, Calvert, but I need you near my person.
There is no one upon whom I can rely--I wish you could be my
aide-de-camp again. It would be like old times once more," he said,
looking at the young man with so harassed and despondent a glance that
Calvert was both surprised and alarmed.

"I could wish for nothing better," he replied, "but surely you do not
mean what you say--you have many others upon whom you can count."

"Almost no one," replied Lafayette, briefly. "I distrust my officers and
am myself suspected of intriguing with the enemy. I know not what day I
may be forced to fly across the frontier. No one is safe, and I dare
not count upon my troops to obey commands. Although there are only
thirty thousand Austrians in Flanders, I am not sure that we can beat
them," he said, bitterly.

On the 27th of April, Lafayette, who had moved his camp to Givet,
received despatches from Dumouriez detailing the plan of campaign
against Belgium. According to this plan, Lafayette, with ten thousand
picked men, was to advance by forced marches upon Namur. He was to be
supported by two divisions of the army of the North, one of four
thousand men under General Dillon, which was to move from its encampment
at Lille upon Tournay, and the other of ten thousand troops under
General Biron, which was to advance from Valenciennes upon Mons. Before
daybreak on the morning of the 28th Lafayette had his army in motion
and, as they rode out of the city gates together, Calvert noted that the
depression and anxiety which had weighed upon the General so heavily had
disappeared and that he had regained something of his old fire and
intrepidity.

This renewal of confidence was cruelly dissipated three days later when,
on reaching Bouvines, half-way to Namur, after a fifty-league march over
bad roads, Lafayette was met by frightened, breathless couriers with
despatches detailing the humiliating disasters which had befallen both
Biron's and Dillon's divisions. The former, who had advanced upon
Quiévrain and succeeded in occupying that town, was utterly routed on
arriving before Mons, and fled with the loss of all his baggage. Dillon
met with even a more tragic and shameful fate. Moving upon Tournay,
where a strong body of Austrians was ready to receive him, his men were
seized with a sudden panic and fled back to the gates of Lille, where,
mad with fear and crying that Dillon had betrayed them, they brutally
murdered him. This disastrous news being confirmed the following day by
further despatches, Lafayette was forced to fall back to Maubeuge
without striking a blow, and thus ended Calvert's hopes of seeing a
campaign which had promised most brilliantly. The news of these defeats
creating the greatest sensation both at the front and in Paris,
Rochambeau resigned his command, Grave was replaced by Servan in the
ministry, and the army was reorganized.

During the entire month of May Lafayette and his army remained inactive
at Maubeuge awaiting orders which the distracted ministers at Paris were
incapable of giving. 'Twas a pretty little place near the Belgian
frontier, lying on both sides of the Sambre, and which had been ceded to
France by the treaty of Nymwegen. Mr. Calvert spent much of his leisure
time--of which he had more than enough--admiring and studying the
fortifications of this town, which had been engineered by the great
Vauban. Much of it he also spent with Lafayette, who, in the intervals
of disciplining his troops and attending to his increased military
duties--Rochambeau's command had been divided between himself and
Luckner--conversed freely with his young aide-de-camp. Sometimes, too,
at Lafayette's urgent request, Calvert would sing as he had used to do
around the camp-fires in the Virginia campaign. During those days and
evenings of inactive and anxious waiting, the old friendship between the
two was renewed. Lafayette had heard of Calvert's marriage through Mr.
Morris and, with the utmost delicacy, touched upon the subject. Calvert
told him frankly as much of the story as he intended to reveal to
anyone, and this confidence became another bond of friendship between
them. The years of separation and disagreement somehow melted away. The
Lafayette of Maubeuge was like the Lafayette whom Calvert had first
known and admired; he noticed how much of his rabid republicanism had
vanished--indeed, Lafayette himself owned as much, for if he was
impetuous and extreme, he was also courageous and was not afraid or
ashamed to confess his faults.

"I have learned much," he said to Calvert one evening when they were
alone in the General's quarters, "and am beginning to have radically
different opinions upon some subjects from those I entertained but a
short while ago. Sometimes I ask myself if my call for the
States-General did not open for France a Pandora's box of evils. What
has become of all my efforts?" he said, pushing away a map of the
Austrian Netherlands which they had been studying together and beginning
to pace the room agitatedly. "Instead of the wise ministers prevailing
at Paris, a horde of mad, insensate creatures are ruling the Assembly,
the city, the whole country! If only there were some man courageous
enough to defy the Jacobins and their power--to meet them on their own
ground and conquer them! What can I do at this distance, overwhelmed
with military duties, restricted by my official position? I have been
thinking of addressing a letter to the Assembly," he went on, suddenly
turning to Calvert, "a letter of warning against the Jacobin power, of
reproach that they should be ruled by that ignoble faction, or
remonstrance against their unwarrantable proceedings, and as soon as I
can find the time to write such a letter, I shall do so, and despatch it
to Paris by my secretary, let the consequences be what they may."

This design was not accomplished until the middle of June, for, at the
beginning of the month, a number of skirmishes and night attacks took
place between the Austrians, who had encamped near Maubeuge, and
Lafayette's troops, and the General was too much occupied with the
military situation to busy himself with affairs at Paris. These attacks
culminated in a bloody and almost disastrous engagement for the patriot
army on the 11th of June.

The Austrians, reinforced by the emigrant army which had been left at
Brussels and in which Calvert knew d'Azay held a captain's commission,
advanced during the early afternoon of June 11th and attacked the
vanguard of Lafayette's army, encamped two miles from Maubeuge, farther
up the Sambre, and commanded by Gouvion. Although the French occupied a
formidable position, being securely intrenched on rising ground
fortified by a dozen redoubts and batteries arranged in tiers, the enemy
advanced with such fierceness and intrepidity that Gouvion had all he
could do to keep his gunners from deserting their posts. The infantry,
too, behaved ill, and when ordered to advance, wavered and were driven
back at the very first charge from the Austrians. Their cavalry pursued
the advantage thus gained and pressed forward, advancing in three lines
and driving the disordered French troops before them up the hill. At
this juncture, Lafayette, with six thousand men and two thousand horse,
arrived, having been sent for in hot haste by Gouvion when the action
first began, and, attacking the Austrian and émigrés from the flank,
after a sharp and bloody struggle, succeeded by nightfall in putting
them to flight. Although the forces engaged in this action were small,
the slaughter was terrible and the little battle-field by the Sambre
presented a ghastly sight in the moonlight of that June night. Gouvion
himself was killed leading the last attack, and the Austrian and
emigrant forces suffered severely. The regiment which Calvert commanded
was in the thick of the engagement the whole time, once it arrived on
the scene of action, and no officer of either side more exposed or
distinguished himself than did the young American. Indeed, it was not
from reckless bravery that he offered himself a target for the bullets
of the enemy, but from a feeling that he would not be sorry to end
there, to close forever the book of his life. And, as usual with those
who seek, rather than avoid, death in battle, from this action, which
was the only one he was destined to engage in, he came out unscathed,
while many another poor fellow who longed to live, lay quiet and cold
on the bloody ground.

So close was the fighting during the late afternoon that Calvert once
thought he caught a glimpse of d'Azay and, with a strange presentiment
of evil, he determined to look for him among the slain. Accompanied by
an orderly bearing a lantern--though the moonlight was so bright that
one could easily recognize the pallid, upturned faces--he began his
search an hour after the firing had ceased, with many others engaged in
the same ghastly work of finding dead comrades. He had looked but a
short while, or so it seemed to him, when he came upon d'Azay lying
prone upon a little hillock of Austrian slain. As Calvert looked down
upon him, grief for this dead friend and an awful sense of the futility
of the sacrifice which had been made for him, came upon him. He knelt
beside him for a few minutes and looked into the quiet, dead face. He
had never before thought that d'Azay resembled Adrienne, but now the
resemblance of brother and sister was quite marked, and 'twas with the
sharpest pang Calvert had ever known that he looked upon those pallid
features. It might have been that other and dearer face, he thought to
himself. At length he arose and, helping the orderly place the body upon
a stretcher, they bore it back to the camp, where, next day, it was
buried with what military honors Calvert could get accorded it. He sent
a lock of d'Azay's hair, his seals and rings, back to Paris to Adrienne
(he kept for his own her miniature, which he found in d'Azay's pocket
and which he had first seen that night at Monticello), and the letter
she wrote him thanking him for all he had done were the first written
words of hers he had ever had. Though there was not a word of love in
the note--not even of friendship--Calvert re-read it a score of times
and treasured it, and at last put it with the miniature in the little
chamois case that rested near his heart.

The check which Lafayette had put upon the Austrians on the 11th of June
having produced a cessation of hostilities, he wrote and despatched to
the Assembly the letter which he had had in contemplation for some time
and of which he had spoken to Calvert. This courageous letter--the
authenticity of which was fiercely denied in the Assembly--not only did
not produce the effect Lafayette so hoped for, but was followed by the
outrage of the 20th of June. Who does not know the shameful events of
that day?--the invasion of the Tuileries by hordes of ruffians and the
insults to helpless royalty?

When Lafayette heard of the uprising of the 20th he determined to go in
person to Paris, affirm the authorship of his letter, and urge upon the
Assembly the destruction of the Jacobin party. He sent Calvert to
Luckner's head-quarters to ask of the Maréchal permission to go to Paris
and, placing his troops in safety under the guns of Maubeuge, he
departed for the capital, whither he arrived on the 28th. After two days
spent in incessant and fruitless efforts with the Assembly and National
Guard, in audiences with the King and consultations with friends, he
sped back to the army, more thoroughly and bitterly convinced than ever
that the revolution which he had led and believed in was now fast
approaching anarchy; that the throne was lost and his own brilliant
popularity vanished. He took with him to Calvert the news of the sudden
death of the old Duchesse d'Azay--she had failed rapidly since hearing
of the death of d'Azay, and had passed away painlessly on the morning of
Lafayette's arrival in Paris--the escape of St. Aulaire to Canada, and a
letter from Mr. Morris.

"He desired me to give you this," said Lafayette, gravely, handing the
letter to Calvert. "The message is of the greatest importance. We had a
long interview. I am at last come to the same opinion on certain
subjects as himself," he said, with a gloomy smile, "and we want your
co-operation. He will explain all when he sees you. As for myself, I
must say no more," and he went away, leaving the young man to read his
letter alone.



CHAPTER XXI

MR. CALVERT QUITS THE ARMY AND ENGAGES IN A HAZARDOUS ENTERPRISE


The letter which Calvert had received from Mr. Morris was short but very
urgent. It begged him to resign his commission at once, which affair,
the letter hinted, would be immediately arranged by Lafayette, and come
to Paris, as Mr. Morris had business of the first importance on hand in
which he wished Calvert's assistance. It went on to add that the exact
nature of that business had best not be divulged until the young man
should find himself at the American Legation, and ended by urging Mr.
Calvert not to delay his departure from Maubeuge by a day, if possible.

Conformably with these requests Calvert set out for Paris on the very
next day, after the briefest of preparations, and, arriving in the city
on the evening of the 7th, made his way straight to the rue de la
Planche, where he found Mr. Morris anxiously awaiting him. With a brief
greeting, and scarcely allowing the young man time to divest himself of
his travelling things, he drew him into his private study, and there,
with locked doors, began eagerly to speak about the business upon which
he had called Calvert so hastily to Paris.

"I knew I could trust you," said Mr. Morris to Calvert. "Lafayette has
given you my letter and you have lost no time in coming to me, as I felt
assured you would do, my boy. 'Tis the most satisfactory sensation in
the world to feel an absolute trust in one as I do in you," he went on,
with a kindly look at the young man. "Living in the midst of this people
who think less than nothing of breaking every agreement, violating every
oath, that feeling of confidence becomes doubly precious. But to the
business in hand." He hesitated slightly and then went on, "You must
know that in the month of November last (and before my appointment by
Congress to this post of American Minister to France), inspired by the
unhappy consequences to the Royal Family of the flight to Varennes, I,
together with several of the stanchest friends of the harassed monarch,
engaged in an enterprise to assist the King and Queen to escape, from
France. This plan, in which Favernay, Monciel, Beaufort, Brémond, and
some others whom you know, were leagued together, never ripened,
because, by the appointment of Narbonne and the preparations for war
which immediately commenced, we hoped that Louis might regain his lost
power. It was at this juncture and while I thought that this enterprise
was at an end and that there would be no further occasion for me to
intermeddle in the politics of this unhappy country, that I received and
accepted my appointment as Minister to this court. Most unfortunately,
the great opportunity which the King had to retrieve his fortunes he
flung away by his subsequent vacillation and his secret negotiations
with the allies; and this, together with the reverses of the French
array, the growing violence of the opposing political factions here, and
the terrible events of the 20th of June, have again made it necessary
for the friends of the King, if they wish to save him, to exert
themselves in his behalf. When this was made plain, those gentlemen with
whom I had formerly been associated in the effort to serve His Majesty
again applied to me for assistance, so that I found myself in the cruel
position of either betraying my official trust or of abandoning the
monarch whom I sincerely pitied and whom I had pledged myself to aid.
The last and most moving appeal made to me was that of Monsieur
Lafayette. I met him at the Tuileries when he went to pay his respects
to their Majesties before rejoining his army. I know not what had passed
between the King and himself at the levee, for I arrived just as he was
going, but I saw by his countenance that he had the gloomiest
forebodings. He drew me into a small anteroom and spoke to me with his
old familiarity and affection. Indeed, he is greatly changed, and I
could not help but be touched by the consternation and grief that
weighed upon him. He opened himself to me very freely and confessed that
'twas his opinion that the King was lost if brave and wise friends did
not immediately offer their services in his behalf. He knew of the
scheme in which I had been before engaged to assist the King, and he
besought me to renew those engagements and to prosecute them with the
utmost diligence. The King, he said, had let fall some expressions
indicating his confidence in myself, 'a confidence,' said Lafayette,
'which he did not hesitate to show he did not feel in me. The Queen is
even more distrustful of me than the King, so that I think their safety
lies in your hands. But, believe me, though they do not trust me, they
have no more devoted servant. I am come, at length, to your belief that
in the King alone is to be found the cure for the ills of the present
time, and not the most ardent royalist is now more anxious to preserve
His Majesty than myself.' While Lafayette was speaking, a way out of my
difficulties suddenly occurred to me. I thought of you, my boy, and,
knowing that I could rely on you as on myself, I determined to appeal to
you to act in my stead, to take upon yourself those dangers and risks
which, in my position of minister from a neutral power to this country,
I have now no right to assume. I know how great a thing I am asking, but
I also know your generous nature, your steadfastness, your capability to
carry through discreetly and swiftly any undertaking you engage in. As
an American, you will have the confidence of the King and Queen, and
will act as a surety for Lafayette, whom 'tis only too true their
Majesties distrust profoundly. I reminded Lafayette of the unalterable
obligation which prevented me from interesting myself personally in the
political situation here and of the plan I had just formed of appealing
to you. He approved of it entirely, saying that there was no one in
whose hands he would more willingly leave matters. We made an
appointment for that evening at Monsieur de la Rochefoucauld's, where he
was staying, to discuss some plan of assistance to his Majesty. I
consented to this interview, for it was impossible at that late hour to
call together all those interested in the affair and, as Lafayette was
leaving the next morning, something had to be done immediately. Our
interview was a long one, but the plan we hit upon was, in the end, very
simple and, indeed, the circumstances of the case, the short time, and
the necessity for the greatest secrecy demand that the simplest methods
should be employed. Shall I tell you that plan?" asked Mr. Morris,
suddenly breaking off in the midst of his long talk and regarding
Calvert with a keen, questioning glance.

"There is no lead I would follow sooner than yours, Mr. Morris," replied
the young man, quietly and firmly. "As you know, all my sympathies are
with the King and Queen, and in whatsoever way I can serve their
Majesties I am ready here and now to pledge myself to that service."

Indeed, the enterprise suited Calvert's temper well. Any excitement or
danger was welcome to him just then. His hopes of seeing military
service having been frustrated, he was glad to find some other scheme at
hand which promised to divert his melancholy thoughts from himself.

"'Tis like you to speak so, boy," said Mr. Morris, grasping Calvert
warmly by the hand. "I knew you would not fail me. And, before God, how
could I fail them?" he burst out, rising in agitation and stumping
about the room. "I have done wrong in engaging in the remotest way in
this affair, in urging you to become a party to it, but my humanity
forbids me to withhold whatever of aid I can render. Was ever a monarch
so cruelly beset, so bereft of wise counsellors, of trusty friends? He
knows not where to look for help, nor which way to turn. He suspects
every adviser of treachery, of self-interest, of veniality, and he has
reason to do so. The wisest, in his desperate position, would scarce
know how to bear himself, and what can we expect of so narrow an
intellect, so vacillating and timid a nature? I pity him profoundly, but
I also despise him, for there is a want of metal in him which will ever
prevent him from being truly royal."

"'Tis doubly difficult to help those who will not help themselves. Do
you think it is really possible to save his Majesty?" asked Calvert,
doubtfully.

"We can but make one more desperate effort, and I confess that I rely
more on the firmness of the Queen for its success than I do on the
King," said Mr. Morris. "But I will tell you of the plan and you can
judge for yourself of its feasibility."

The scheme agreed upon between Mr. Morris and Lafayette in that
interview at Monsieur de la Rochefoucauld's, and which Mr. Morris
proceeded to detail to Calvert, was briefly this: It being evident that
as long as the King remained in Paris he was a virtual prisoner and
subject to the capricious commands of the Assembly, his ministers, and
the mobs, daily increasing in numbers and lawlessness, it seemed to
both Mr. Morris and Lafayette that the thing of first importance was to
effect the King's escape from the capital. To accomplish this it was
Lafayette's suggestion that the King should go to the Assembly when
affairs should be ripe for that act and announce his intention of
passing a few days at one of his country residences within the limits
prescribed for his free movements. "I thought he blushed as he made this
suggestion, and 'twas all I could do to keep from asking him if he
intended to serve his Majesty on this occasion as he had in the St.
Cloud affair," said Mr. Morris, dryly. "But his distress and his
sincerity were so evident that I contained myself." The King established
as far from Paris as possible, Lafayette was to arrange a manoeuvre of
his troops at a point near the royal residence, and once arrived there,
he was to rapidly and secretly march the trustiest of his regiments to
the King's rescue, surround the palace, and call upon the army for a new
oath of fidelity to the monarch and constitution. Rendered independent
by this stroke, Louis was to issue a proclamation forbidding the allies
and émigrés to enter his kingdom. Should the army flash in the pan and
refuse to swear allegiance, Lafayette was, at all hazards, and with the
aid of the regiments whose loyalty was beyond question, to escort the
King to a place of safety beyond the border.

For the accomplishment of this plan, simple though it was, an enormous
sum of money and the greatest diplomacy were necessary. As for the
money, that was easily come by; indeed, Monsieur de Monciel had already
brought to Mr. Morris two hundred thousand livres contributed by the
loyal adherents of His Majesty; more was promised within the next few
days. Mr. Morris consented to receive these sums, though he felt obliged
to refuse the protection of the Legation to any papers relative to the
matter in hand. With such sums at their disposal it was hoped and
believed by Mr. Morris and the other ardent friends of the unfortunate
sovereign that enough influential members of the Assembly could be
bribed to insure the King's departure from Paris and the allegiance of
those doubtful regiments upon the frontier.

"It was my suggestion, Calvert," said Mr. Morris, "that you should be
sent to test and influence those disaffected regiments, and to find a
safe retreat for his Majesty in case of failure of our scheme, while we
remain here to work with the members of the Assembly and watch the
situation for a favorable moment to strike the blow. It was my further
suggestion that your wife should be one of the ladies-in-waiting to the
Queen, that we might have sure and swift intelligence of what passes
within the palace. By the greatest good fortune I heard the following
day, through Madame de Flahaut, of the illness and withdrawal of one of
the Queen's attendants, and the next evening at court, having the
opportunity of saying a few words in private to her Majesty, I besought
her to give the vacant post to your wife. I intimated to her that the
appointment was of the greatest importance to herself and the King, and
being, doubtless, impressed by the earnestness of my manner, she
promised to grant my request, though she had intended to leave the place
vacant, saying bitterly that 'twere best she should draw no other into
the circle of danger which surrounded her. I had the satisfaction of
learning yesterday that the appointment had been made, and already your
wife is installed as a lady-in-waiting at the Tuileries.

"Under cover of letters to her--which, I think, will be more likely to
escape patriotic curiosity than any others--you will keep the King and
his friends here in Paris informed of your movements and the progress of
affairs, and through her we can have intimate knowledge of what passes
in the palace, so that they can hardly fail to know when to take the
decisive step. Are you willing to undertake this difficult and dangerous
enterprise?" asked Mr. Morris, looking at the young man.

"With all my heart," replied Calvert. "Were I not interested in the
cause itself, I would still remember the graciousness of their Majesties
when I was presented to them, and hold it a privilege to serve them."

"You will see them again to-morrow evening and can assure them yourself
of your fidelity. I think they have no doubt of it now, nor ever will.
Through Monsieur de Favernay I arranged for a private audience with the
King and Queen for to-morrow--you see, I counted on you as on myself,
and felt assured that you would come at the earliest moment, Ned. At
that interview I will again present you to their Majesties, and then I
will withdraw definitely from all connection with this affair, leaving
you to lay the plan before the King and Queen, and to carry it through
should it be agreed to by their Majesties."

The two gentlemen sat up until far into the night discussing the
enterprise, Calvert making many valuable suggestions, and entering so
heartily into the arrangement that Mr. Morris began to take a more
hopeful view of the situation than he had hitherto allowed himself to
do.

On the following evening, about ten o'clock, Beaufort arrived hastily at
the Legation with the information that all was in readiness for the
private audience which Mr. Morris had requested, and the three
gentlemen, entering a coach, were driven rapidly to the Tuileries. They
were introduced at a wicket on the little rue du Manège, and, passing up
a stairway seldom used and through the Queen's apartments, at length
found themselves at the door of a small and private chamber of his
Majesty's suite. At this door Beaufort tapped gently, and hearing an
"Entrez!" from within, he pushed it open, and then, with a low bow,
retired, leaving Mr. Morris and Calvert to enter by themselves.

His Majesty was alone and seated beside a small table, on which were a
lamp and some writing materials. As Mr. Morris and Calvert advanced into
the room he rose and graciously extended a hand to each of the
gentlemen.

"Vous êtes le bien venu," he says to Mr. Morris, and then, looking at
Calvert with a half-smile. "I remember you very well, now," he adds,
rapidly, in French to the younger man. While the King was speaking,
Calvert noticed with a glance the heavy, harassed expression of Louis's
face. The eyes, which had once been benign and rather stupid, had now a
haunted, suspicious look in them. While he was yet bowing, and before he
could form a reply to the King's remarks, the Queen entered rapidly from
an adjoining apartment. Calvert felt a shock, a thrill of pity, as he
looked at her Majesty. A dozen fateful years seemed to have rolled over
that countenance, so lovely when last he had seen it. Though she still
held herself proudly, the animation and beauty of face and figure had
vanished. The large blue eyes were tired and red with weeping, the
complexion had lost its brilliancy, and the fair hair was tinged with
gray. History hath made it out that the Queen's hair whitened in a
single night of her captivity, but it had already begun to lose its
golden color before the days of the Temple, and the lock which she
shortly after this sent to Calvert, in token of her appreciation of his
services, was thickly streaked with white.

She came forward and stood beside the King, inclining her head
graciously to Mr. Morris, who made their Majesties a profound obeisance.

"I am come to again present my friend, Mr. Calvert of Virginia, to your
Majesties," he says, indicating Calvert, who bowed again, and at whom
the Queen looked with a keen, suspicious glance that almost instantly
kindled into one of kindness and trust. "He is to be my representative
in that affair in which it will be my undying regret not to have been
able to participate," continued Mr. Morris, "and I beg of your Majesties
to give him your utmost confidence and trust, for I assure your
Majesties that he is entirely worthy of both. He will acquaint you with
the details of that plan, the existence of which Monsieur de Monciel
intimated to your Majesties yesterday, and, should that plan meet with
your royal approval, Mr. Calvert is ready to stake his life and his
honor in the execution of it. Your Majesties understand how impossible
it is for me to say more, and I can only ask permission to withdraw."

'Twas the Queen who answered--the King seemed unable to find a word.

"We thank you with all our hearts," she says, in a low, mournful tone,
looking at Mr. Morris, "and we understand." At her gesture of
recognition and dismissal Mr. Morris executed another low obeisance and
withdrew.

Left alone with the King and Queen, and being seated, at their
Majesties' invitation, Calvert unfolded to them in detail the plan
agreed upon by the King's friends, leaving out as much as possible
Lafayette's part in it ('twas his own wish, conveyed through Mr. Morris)
lest the Queen should take fright and refuse her sanction to the
enterprise. Indeed, so deep was her distrust of him, that to Mr. Calvert
it seemed that she only gave her consent because of the share Mr. Morris
and himself had in it.

"So that is the plan," she said, musing. "We betrayed ourselves when we
succored America. Perhaps we are to be repaid now and Americans are to
help us in this desperate strait. 'Tis a bitter humiliation to have to
turn to strangers for aid, but our only true friends are all scattered
now; there is no one about us but would betray and sacrifice us," she
says, bitterly, and looking at the King, whose heavy countenance
reflected in a dull way her poignant distress.

"Pardon me, Your Majesty," says Calvert, ardently, "there are still some
stanch friends left to you. I have seen these gentlemen but this
morning, when we discussed anew this plan, and they but wait your
approval to pledge their lives and fortunes to extricate Your Majesties
from the distressing situation you now find yourselves in. It but
depends upon you to say whether this scheme shall be carried through.
With firmness and confidence on your part it cannot fail."

"I fear to hope again--do not arouse my expectations only to have them
disappointed," and rising in the greatest agitation, the Queen began to
pace up and down the little room. "Who would have thought that Fersen
could fail?--and yet he did." She covered her face with her hands to
hide the tears which filled her eyes. Suddenly she stopped before
Calvert, who had risen, and gave him so penetrating and anguished a look
that the young man could scarce bear to meet her glance.

"There is that in your face which inspires confidence," says the Queen.
"I think you would not know either defeat or deceit. Pray God you may
not. We will trust him, shall we not?" she says, turning to the King
and putting out her hand so graciously that Calvert fell upon one knee
before her and kissed it. He knelt to the suffering woman who had
instinctively appealed to him and her faith in him even more than to the
desperate Queen.

It was by such moments of genuineness and winning sweetness that Marie
Antoinette captivated those with whom she came in contact. Could such
bursts of true feeling have endured, could she always have been as
sincere and single-hearted as she was at such times, she would have been
a great and good woman. Genius, ambition, firmness, courage, all these
she had, but insincerity and suspicion warped a noble nature. To
Calvert, just then, she seemed the incarnation of great womanhood, and
'twas with the utmost fervor that he pressed her to allow himself and
her other faithful friends to serve her.

"In a few weeks all will be ready," he says. "I go from here to the
frontier to visit and, if possible, win over those troops whose loyalty
to your Majesties has been in question; then on to secure a safe retreat
in case our plan fails, which, pray God, it may not! Either Worms, where
Monsieur de Condé is powerful, or Spire, whose Prince-Bishop is most
devoted to your Majesties, will surely offer its hospitality and
protection. It depends only on your Majesties' firmness to escape from
this capital and captivity. Through letters to my wife" (Calvert
hesitated slightly--'twas the first time he had so used the word) "your
Majesties will know exactly the situation of affairs outside of Paris,
and through her replies we must know what takes place in the palace.
Kept informed of each other's movements, 'twill be easy to fix upon the
best day for striking the blow we have in contemplation, and, if you
will but do your part, it must needs be successful." As he concluded his
urgent appeal he rose from his knees and stood before the King and
Queen, glancing anxiously from one to the other. His face expressed so
much earnestness and enthusiasm that their Majesties could not help but
be impressed.

"And our engagements with our cousin of Austria?" said the Queen, after
an instant's silence, "for I will not conceal from you, Monsieur, that
since Varennes I have no hope save in our allies."

"Were it not better that you should depend for your safety on your own
subjects, Madame?" asked Calvert.

The King agreed with him and said so at once, but it was with reluctance
that the Queen gave her consent to the enterprise.

"It is a noble plan and a hazardous one, and we thank you, Monsieur, and
those other gentlemen who are imperilling their lives to insure our
safety, but I confess to you," said her Majesty, sadly, "that I sanction
the undertaking and enter into it, not in the hope that the first part
of it will succeed--alas! I distrust our generals and troops too deeply
for that--but in the belief that once out of Paris we may ultimately be
able to take refuge with our friends beyond the frontier."

As she spoke, there came a hurried tapping at the door, and, almost
before permission to enter had been given, Beaufort appeared. He signed
hastily to Calvert to depart, and on a silent gesture of dismissal from
the King and Queen, he followed the young nobleman from the room through
a door opposite to the one by which he had been admitted. Hurrying past
endless antechambers, down marble stairways, and through long corridors,
Calvert at length found himself at a little gate which gave upon the
Carrousel. This Beaufort unlocked and, giving the password to the Swiss
sentry who stood without, the two young men at length found themselves
on the Quai des Tuileries. There, after a moment's hurried conversation,
during which Calvert told Beaufort of the result of the momentous
interview with the King and Queen, the two parted, the young Frenchman
returning to the palace and Calvert making his way as quickly as
possible back to the Legation, where Mr. Morris anxiously awaited him.



CHAPTER XXII

MR. CALVERT STARTS ON A JOURNEY


The Queen's consent having been obtained, Calvert set out upon his
journey to the frontier the next day. He would have carried a lighter
heart had he felt better assured of the good faith of the King and
Queen. Louis had given his consent readily enough and had approved
heartily of the plan, for it had ever been against his real wishes to
call in the aid of the allies, but Calvert knew too well how little he
dared rely on the King's firmness or courage. As for the Queen, he could
only hope that the continued representations of Beaufort, Favernay, and
others about her Majesty cognizant of the enterprise and the confidence
she had expressed in himself, would confirm her in her resolution to
help carry the undertaking through to a successful termination.

Mr. Calvert first made his way with all possible expedition back to
Maubeuge, where he reported to Lafayette the result of his interview
with their Majesties and received from him letters to certain officers
who were to be taken into the enterprise and whose commands were to be
won over if possible.

"Her Majesty can surely no longer doubt my good faith," said Lafayette,
bitterly, to Calvert. "Success, death, or flight is all that is left to
me now."

With these letters Calvert proceeded on his way to Namur, Givet, and
Trèves, where different detachments of Lafayette's troops were
garrisoned. He was made welcome at every mess-table, and his scheme was
received with such enthusiasm that it seemed almost an unnecessary
precaution to cross the frontier and seek a possible asylum for the
Royal Family in case the great plan failed. But the very enthusiasm of
some of these young officers caused Calvert to fear for the success of
the enterprise. So loud-tongued were they in their loyalty, with such
imprudence did they drink toasts to their Majesties and the success of
the undertaking, that Calvert, himself so calm and silent, was both
disgusted and alarmed.

With the enthusiastic promise of allegiance to the plan on their own
part and that of their regiments, Calvert quitted the society of these
officers, and, certain of the hearty co-operation of enough troops to
make the safety of the King and Queen amply assured, he proceeded, by
way of the Mozelle, to Coblentz. He arrived at that city on the 26th of
July, and was immediately granted an interview with the great
Prince-Elector of Trèves, but recently established in his splendid new
palace on the Rhine, and the commander-in-chief of the allied army, his
Grace the Duke of Brunswick.

Though Calvert had journeyed with all possible speed, he was come a day
too late, and he heard with inexpressible alarm and chagrin of the
imprudent manifesto issued by the Duke but the day before. Surely no
other great general of the world ever made so colossal, so fatal a
blunder. In that arrogant and sanguinary manifesto could be heard the
death-knell of the unhappy King of France, or so it seemed to Calvert,
who was so deeply impressed with the rashness and danger of his Grace's
diplomacy that he made no attempt to conceal the alarm he felt. This
open disapproval so offended the Duke and his friend, the
Prince-Elector, that the latter received Calvert's proposals with the
utmost coldness, and would make no promise to receive the royal
fugitives in case it became necessary. Perhaps, too, he was weary of
royal guests. Seeing that nothing was to be got from the Elector,
Calvert hurried on to Worms through that beautiful Rhine country which
he had once traversed so leisurely and delightfully with Mr. Morris.

There he found Monsieur le Prince de Condé, with whom he had a long
audience. This great leader of the emigrant forces, being apprised of
Calvert's embassy, approved heartily of that scheme which would make the
King openly join issue with his nobles, and sent the young man on with
all speed to Kehl with secret letters for Monsieur de Vioménil. This
General, under Monsieur de Condé's orders, was stationed with trusty
troops from Luckner's command at the little town of Kehl, opposite
Strasburg, and was deep in secret negotiations with officers of the
garrison for the capitulation of that city and the entry of the emigrant
army. These intrigues had been going on for some time, and so crafty
were Vioménil's plans (he was the greatest diplomat the émigrés could
boast), and so successful was Monsieur de Thessonnet, aide-de-camp to
the Prince de Condé, in carrying them out, that when Calvert arrived at
head-quarters the possession of Strasburg by the emigrant forces seemed
to be a question of only a few days. 'Twas in this belief that Monsieur
de Condé had despatched Calvert to Monsieur de Vioménil, who joined in
the enterprise with the utmost enthusiasm and confidence. So assured was
he of the success of his own undertaking that he spoke of it almost as
if 'twere already an accomplished triumph, even going to the length of
showing the young man the method of attack and occupation traced upon
the plan of the city; at this street a regiment was to be stationed; at
that gate a body of cavalry was to enter--as though he were master of
fate and naught could interfere with his plans. So confident was
Vioménil, and so impregnable a defence did Strasburg seem to offer for
the King should misfortune overtake him, that Calvert set out on his
journey back to Maubeuge the following day buoyed up with the belief
that should the army refuse its allegiance and support the King would
find, at any rate, a safe asylum at Strasburg. But already Brunswick's
ill-advised manifesto was at work overthrowing these well-laid plans,
which were to come to nothing, as were his own, unhappily, though for a
different reason.

At Maubeuge, where he arrived on the 1st of August, gloomy forebodings
in regard to the disastrous effects of his Grace of Brunswick's
manifesto were fully shared by Lafayette and those officers committed
to the conspiracy. Indeed, Lafayette was in the greatest anxiety and
dismay.

"We must force our hand," he said to Calvert. "There is not a moment to
lose. This cursed, imprudent, vainglorious mandate of Brunswick's has
set the whole country by the ears, for all Paris and the army believes,
aye, knows, that the King had cognizance of it before it was issued. The
Queen has usually been the double dealer, but this time I think they
have both had a hand in it, although these letters from your wife,
which, according to our agreement, I have opened, assure us that their
Majesties are still of a mind to trust to the issue of our plan and are
ready to make the trial at any moment."

"What success have you had with the army?" asked Calvert.

"Much. I can count on a dozen regiments--Saurel, Marbois, Pelletet, and
their commands will go with me. I have favorable news, too, from Namur
and Tréves; but there is no more time, I think, to gain over others. We
must work with what we have. The advices from Paris make it plain that
the King is all but lost," and he laid before Calvert a budget of
despatches lately arrived by couriers from the capital. "You will see
for yourself in what a ferment the city is, and how bitterly hostile is
the attitude of Assembly and people to the King."

"And what do you hear from Beaufort, Monciel, and the rest who are
working with the members of the Assembly?" asked Calvert, who had heard
nothing on his long journey, though he had kept their Majesties
informed of his own movements.

"Here is Beaufort's letter--it reached me yesterday," replied Lafayette.
"He reports a sufficient number engaged on our side by bribery or
interest to insure the King's departure--only it must be instantly,
instantly, or all is lost."

"Then I will go at once to Paris," said Calvert, "and report all ready
here, and the great step must be taken if it is ever to be."

"It cannot be too soon."

"And have you made all arrangements?"

"This is my plan," says the General, laying a military map of France
upon the table before Calvert.

"The King must ask permission to retire to Compiègne for a few
days--'tis, as you know, one of his Majesty's favorite residences, hence
the request will seem natural. Three days preceding that request (and
which, I think, cannot be later than the 9th) I will order several of
the most loyal regiments under Saurel and Marbois to proceed to Laon to
invest that fortress. I will march with these troops myself, and at La
Capelle, which, as you see, is about six leagues from Compiègne, will
order them to proceed to the latter point instead of to Laon. The King
will find a loyal army surrounding his château of Compiègne when he
arrives."

"And if the Assembly refuses to let him leave Paris?"

"Then he and the Queen on that same evening must escape disguised--she
is a good actress, Ned, and did not play Beaumarchais's comedies at the
little Trianon for nothing; the King will have more trouble--to
Courbevoie, where a detachment of the Swiss Guard will be found to
escort their Majesties to Compiègne. We must make sure of Bachman, who
is, I think, of the King's cause, and must have his promise to detail
his Guard at Courbevoie and hold them in readiness. His troops will be
strengthened by a regiment under Marbois, which will push on from
Compiègne to meet them. Should all go well and his Majesty's request be
granted, you must instantly send an aide-de-camp to intercept Marbois
and turn him back to Compiègne. Though I do not doubt Bachman's loyalty,
'tis well to be on the safe side, so that thou, Ned, and Favernay, and
other of the King's friends must be at Courbevoie to aid his Majesty's
flight and see that no treachery is done. We must trust Beaufort to
accompany the King to the Assembly and stay beside their Majesties to
see that our plans do not miscarry within the palace. And now what dost
thou think of the great enterprise?"

"I think it cannot fail of success, if their Majesties will but do their
part, and that they will at last appreciate the Marquis de Lafayette at
his true value," says Calvert, warmly.

"I think I shall get small credit in that quarter," replies Lafayette,
smiling a little sarcastically. "Nor do I feel that I deserve much. 'Tis
to thee and to Mr. Morris that the King's gratitude is due, and if Louis
XVI is saved from his enemies it will be by the courage and generosity
of two American gentlemen," he says, very nobly. "'Twas Mr. Morris's
shrewd wit which first set the enterprise afoot, and 'tis thy coolness
and bravery which has carried it so far on its way to success. I could
not have moved hand or foot in the matter without you two."

After fixing upon the 9th of August as the day on which his Majesty
should repair to the Assembly to make his request, and arranging some
further details of communication between the army at Compiègne and the
troops at Courbevoie, Calvert, in spite of his fatigue (he had ridden
for two days and the better part of two nights), set out at once for
Paris, where he arrived on the morning of the 5th.

As he feared, he found the city in a state of the greatest agitation.
The different sections of Paris had demanded the dethronement of the
King, and the temper of the people was so hostile toward their ruler
that his Majesty's friends were of the opinion that their plan to save
him must be put to the test instantly or all would be lost. Mr. Calvert
met those gentlemen (there were five in all besides Calvert--Monciel,
Brémond, Beaufort, Favernay, and d'Angrémont) at Monsieur de Monciel's,
together with Mr. Morris, who, although he obeyed the letter of the law
he had laid down for himself, could not, to save his life, refrain from
being a spectator, if a silent one, at those deliberations in which he
was so profoundly interested. 'Twas agreed by these gentlemen, who were
all impatient of any delay, that the date, the 9th, set by Lafayette,
should be adopted for the trial of the great enterprise, and Monsieur
de Favernay was instantly despatched to the frontier to acquaint him of
this decision. Beaufort and d'Angrémont, who had knowledge of all that
passed within the palace, were to prepare the King's address to the
Assembly and to urge upon their Majesties the necessity of the speedy
trial of that plan to which they had committed themselves. This was no
easy business, for, since the unfortunate flight to Varennes, both the
King and the Queen hesitated to trust themselves to their friends or to
take any step, the failure of which would but add to the misfortunes
they already had to bear.

Brémond and Monciel were to renew their efforts to insure the King's
departure by the Assembly and to make assurance doubly sure in that
quarter; while as for Calvert, he was to sound Bachman, gain his
allegiance to the King's cause, and engage him to detain his Swiss Guard
at Courbevoie to aid the King's flight should it be necessary.

With these arrangements fully agreed upon, the gentlemen separated,
Calvert going to the Legation for a talk with Mr. Morris (though he
would not stop there for fear of compromising him should the enterprise
bring him into peril) and then to the guard-room of the palace, where he
found the captain of the Swiss troop. 'Twas easy enough to engage
Bachman in Calvert's plan, for he was already devoted to the royal
cause, and his troops would follow him wherever he led. He entered
enthusiastically into the hazardous scheme, agreeing to detail certain
regiments at Courbevoie under his own command on the evening of the 9th
of August to act as an escort for their Majesties as far as Compiègne if
necessary.

When this affair was satisfactorily settled and reported to the other
conspirators for the King's safety, Calvert made his way to the hotel in
the rue Richelieu, at which he had stayed with Mr. Morris, and sought
the first repose he had known for nearly fifty-six hours.

During the days of the 6th, 7th, and 8th of August, Mr. Calvert and
those other devoted friends of the King who were plotting for his safety
were kept in the greatest state of alarm by the wildest and most
sanguinary rumors of conspiracies to storm the palace and murder the
Royal Family. 'Twas only too evident that the temper of the mob could
not be counted on from one hour to the next, and that the King must be
got out of Paris at all hazards. No step could be taken until the 9th,
however, when Lafayette would be at Compiègne, and, in the meantime,
those gentlemen engaged in the service of his Majesty were busy trying
to prepare the way for the King's removal from the capital. The sums of
money which were continually brought to Mr. Morris by Monciel, Brémond,
and others were expended in bribing those who might stand in the way of
the King's departure or else invested by him for the future use of their
Majesties, a rigid account of all of which was given by Mr. Morris to
the young Duchesse d'Angoulême when he had audience with her Royal
Highness at Vienna, years after, and when the tragedy which he had so
ardently tried to avert had been consummated. Mémoires and addresses for
the King were hastily drawn up by Calvert, Monciel, and Beaufort,
assisted by Mr. Morris, who, in the terrible excitement and danger of
those last two days preceding the final step, threw prudence to the
winds and lent his aid morning and night to the enterprise.

Early on the morning of the 9th, Favernay returned, worn by the fatigue
of his long and rapid journey, with the news that Lafayette was on the
march; that the troops would reach Compiègne by afternoon, and that he
had left them at La Capelle. All being thus in readiness outside of the
city, word was borne to his Majesty by Calvert in a secret interview,
and after some persuasion, and the address to the legislators, prepared
by Mr. Morris, being presented to his Majesty, he agreed to repair to
the Assembly at six in the evening to make his request to be allowed to
retire to Compiègne for a few days. In the early afternoon, and after
every precaution possible had been taken to insure the success of the
undertaking, Calvert, Brémond, and Favernay left the city, by different
routes, for Courbevoie, agreeing to meet there at the caserne of the
Swiss Guard to await the issue of the King's appeal to the Assembly and
be ready to escort his Majesty by force, if necessary, to Compiègne,
while Mr. Morris, deeming it best not to appear at the Assembly,
remained at the Legation, anxiously waiting for news of the success or
failure of the plan.



CHAPTER XXIII

WITHIN THE PALACE


The arrival of Calvert at the château with his message that all was in
readiness for the taking of the final step, the decision for instant
action thus forced upon his Majesty, and the excitement pervading the
whole city, threw the King and Queen and those few about them who were
in the secret into the greatest agitation. Her Majesty, especially, was
in the cruellest apprehension, and, dismissing her other attendants,
kept only Adrienne with her during that weary day, which, it seemed,
would never end. She was the only soul the Queen could confide in, and
the two frightened women clung to each other, waiting in terror for the
issue of that day's great business. A hundred times did her Majesty
change her mind about the expediency of risking further the displeasure
of the Assembly and the people by this request to leave the capital; a
hundred times did she revert to her former purpose of waiting for and
trusting in the allies whose approach was now so near. It took all of
Adrienne's courage and persuasiveness to bring the Queen back to her
purpose of adhering to the enterprise afoot; she found herself arguing
passionately in behalf of Calvert, and at length succeeded in again
imbuing the Queen's mind with that faith in him which she herself had.
'Twas curious how that old trust she had felt and acknowledged long
before she had loved him animated her now, mingled with a pride in him,
a passionate devotion, which she had thought never to experience. As for
the King, she saw but little of him, for he was either closeted with his
ministers or else sat alone, silent and apathetic, as if in resignation
of that fate thrust upon him.

Toward seven o'clock Beaufort and d'Angrémont were admitted, and,
shortly after, his Majesty prepared to go with them to the Assembly.
During the two hours which followed, a thousand hopes and fears agitated
the two women left alone in a private chamber of the Queen's apartments.
Her Majesty, unable to remain quiet, paced the room in the cruellest
apprehension. At exactly nine the King entered, pale and
alarmed-looking, and attended only by Beaufort. At sight of him the
Queen arose and went to him with a little cry.

"They have refused--all is lost," says His Majesty, in a hollow voice.

"Impossible!" she exclaims, looking from the King to Beaufort, who stood
by, deathly pale, also.

"It is only too true, your Majesty," says Beaufort, for the King seemed
incapable of speech. "In spite of the enormous bribes offered and
received, in spite of promises, in spite of his Majesty's address, which
should have mollified all parties and inspired confidence, the temper of
the Assembly, which had appeared favorable to his Majesty, suddenly
changed and an outrageous scene took place; humiliations and insults
and threats were heaped upon his Majesty, who retired as speedily as
possible. D'Angrémont was arrested as we left the Assembly, which has
refused to allow the departure of your Majesties, and there remains
nothing but to try the last expedient."

The Queen stood gazing at the King and Beaufort, anger and despair
written on every feature. Her eyes blazed, and into the lately colorless
cheeks a deep crimson sprang.

"Impossible," she says again. "The traitors! To betray us at every turn!
Surely there is no one so friendless as the King and Queen of France!
And shall we trust ourselves again to flight? Oh, the horrors of that
last ride!" She shuddered and sank into a chair. Adrienne knelt beside
the despairing woman.

"All is ready--your Majesties have but to follow the instructions--to
don the disguises prepared--once at Courbevoie all is secure," she says,
speaking with the greatest energy and confidence and clasping the
Queen's hand in her own.

Suddenly her Majesty started up. "Never--never!" she bursts out,
beginning to pace up and down the small chamber. "Never will I again go
through with the humiliation of flight and capture. Better death or
imprisonment at the hands of this ungrateful, mad people!"

"But, your Majesty--" says Beaufort, beginning to speak, but the Queen
interrupted him.

"I know what you would tell me, Beaufort," she stopped and spoke
imperiously--"that this scheme is the best possible one, the only one,
perhaps; that in this enterprise lies our only safety, but I cannot
believe it! A thousand times would I rather trust myself to the allies!"
she said, beginning to pace the floor again.

"I think 'tis not that alone which Monsieur de Beaufort would tell your
Majesty," said Adrienne, rising from beside the chair where the Queen
had been sitting. She stood straight and tall before the desperate Queen
and spoke rapidly. "He would say, also, that there is a handful of brave
gentlemen who have risked their lives to serve your Majesties, who are
waiting now but a few miles away and the further opportunity of serving
you. Every moment adds to their peril. Should your Majesties fail them,
what will become of them?" She threw out her hands with an appealing
gesture.

"'Tis true," murmured the King. "It must not be said that we sacrificed
the last of our friends," he said, smiling a little bitterly and looking
at the Queen, who continued to pace the little room in the cruellest
agitation.

"I pray your Majesties not to think of us," said Beaufort. "Your devoted
friends and servants think only of what is best for your Majesties. 'Tis
their opinion, as well as my own, that there is nothing left but
flight."

"Never, never!" exclaimed the Queen, with increasing firmness.

"But think of the danger of remaining in Paris!" urged Beaufort. "We
know not at what moment this insurrection prepared by the Jacobins may
burst out, we know not at what moment this palace and the sacred persons
of your Majesties may be at the mercy of an infuriated, insensate mob."

"Let them come--these dangers--these horrors," says the Queen,
intrepidly; "they will bring Brunswick and the allies that much sooner
to this Paris which I will not leave until they enter it." She stamped
her foot upon the velvet carpet and clinched her white hands at her
sides.

"Then your Majesty is resolved to give up the enterprise she has
promised to support, to abandon those loyal servants who have depended
upon her and his Majesty the King?" asks Adrienne, looking at the Queen,
her face pale as marble and her eyes burning with indignation.

"Does Madame Calvert permit herself to question our actions?" says the
Queen, turning imperiously upon her. Suddenly her beautiful eyes filled
with tears. "Forgive me--you are right," she says. "'Tis our fate--our
wretched fate--to seem to abandon and injure all who are brought near
us, all who attempt to serve us. We cannot help ourselves--even now we
must break our faith with these loyal friends, for now I see that after
the refusal of the Assembly to allow us to leave Paris, 'twere madness
to attempt to go. We would but increase the danger, the humiliation we
already have to endure. The only wise course is to await Brunswick and
the allies. I see now the folly of this plan of escape--indeed, I was
never fully persuaded of its wisdom. The confidence I felt in this
young American--his devotion to us and that of those other
friends--blinded me to the dangers and difficulties of the undertaking."

"And the King?" asks Adrienne, turning from the Queen to his Majesty,
who sat by, indecision and weariness and timidity written on all his
heavy features.

"We dare not," he says, at length, apathetically. "The Queen is
right--after the refusal by the Assembly to allow us to depart, after
this new humiliation, it were worse than folly to think of escaping. We
are surrounded by spies--treachery is within these very walls--how can
we hope to get away? It is best to await our doom quietly here. What
think you, Beaufort?" he asks.

"I implore your Majesty to make the effort," says Beaufort. "Once
outside Paris, the Swiss Guards await you, Lafayette with his loyal
regiments is even now at Compiègne----"

"Lafayette at Compiègne?--who knows?" says the Queen, gloomily,
interrupting Beaufort again. "Monsieur de Lafayette hath betrayed us
before and may do so again. I trust him not! To know that he has a share
in this enterprise is to make me fear to pursue it! No, no," she goes
on, shuddering and turning away. "St. Cloud and the 5th of October are
too well remembered. I should have thought of all this before," she
says, striking her hands together in an agony of doubt and despair. "It
is too late now."

"And who will tell these gentlemen waiting at Courbevoie, and the
regiments advancing from Compiègne at the risk of their lives, of this
sudden change in your Majesties' plans? Should Monsieur d'Angrémont be
induced to divulge their names they will inevitably be lost--their only
hope is in immediate flight," says Adrienne, looking from the King, sunk
in resigned silence, to the frantic, hapless Queen, and back again.

"Who but myself, Madame?" said Beaufort, advancing. "And if your
Majesties are fully determined to go no further in this business, I will
ask leave to withdraw and set out for Courbevoie at once. Every moment
is precious, and an hour's delay may mean the loss of many lives."

"No, no, Beaufort, I cannot let you go," cried the King, starting up.
"Nom de Dieu, I forbid you!--d'Angrémont is taken from me--there is no
one in whom I can confide or trust--we must send another," he went on,
incoherently, and raising his hand as if to check Beaufort's departure.

For an instant the Queen swept him a glance of disdain. 'Twas not
timidity that made her falter. She could not understand the physical
weakness of the King; with her the abandonment of the great undertaking
was a matter of expediency, not of fear, and she deserted her friends as
relentlessly from interest as he did from cowardice.

"There is no one, your Majesty--no one whom we can send. 'Tis too late
to trust others with this great secret--"

"Then I will go," said Adrienne, suddenly stepping forward. "Send me--I
am in the secret, I can be trusted! I can put on the disguise intended
for your Majesty and go." She turned to the Queen and spoke eagerly and
rapidly. "I fear nothing. Let me go, let me go!" She dropped on her
knees before the Queen. "I must go--I must," she said, wildly.

"Is there no other?" asked the Queen, turning to Beaufort. "Surely we
are not so destitute of friends that we must send this girl upon such a
dangerous mission!" she said, sorrowfully.

"I implore your Majesty to let me go," said Adrienne, once more. "'Tis a
service I would do myself as well as your Majesty," she went on, her
white face suddenly covered with a burning blush.

The Queen looked at her keenly for a moment, and then she put out her
hand with a sad, comprehending smile. "You may go," she said.



CHAPTER XXIV

THE TENTH OF AUGUST


According to agreement, Bremond sped instantly from the Assembly to
Courbevoie with news of the fresh humiliation put upon the King and the
outrageous scene which had taken place. He found Calvert, Monciel,
Favernay, Bachman, and several officers of the Swiss Guard, upon whose
loyalty they could depend, assembled in a room of the officers' quarters
of the barracks, anxiously awaiting the issue of the day's events. He
told his news amid a dead silence, broken only now and then by an
exclamation of indignation or disappointment from one of the listeners.
When he had finished speaking, Calvert turned to the little group,
"Then, gentlemen," he says, "pursuant to the plan, the King's request
having been denied, we may expect their Majesties here before ten, and
shall have the honor of guarding them to Compiègne."

As he looked around upon the little company, there was not a face but
expressed some secret doubt and misgiving. The King's timidity and
vacillation were so well known that 'twas impossible not to question his
good faith even in this last extremity. As ten o'clock passed and eleven
and no message or sign of the royal fugitives came to the anxious,
impatient watchers, those secret doubts and misgivings began to be
openly expressed.

"'Tis the Austrian who has kept him, I will bet a hundred louis," said
one of the Guard's officers, gloomily. "I never believed she would keep
faith with us--she is too deeply committed to Brunswick--nor will she
let the King do so." Even while he spoke there was a sound of someone's
running hurriedly up the stairs--they were assembled in an upper
room--and in an instant an orderly was hammering at the door, which was
flung open by Monciel.

"A messenger for Monsieur Calvert," he says, saluting.

Calvert followed the man hastily down the steps to where a figure waited
for him which made him start back with an exclamation of surprise and
consternation.

Adrienne--for it was she--came forward, taking off the cap pulled over
her eyes and letting fall the great cloak with which she had enveloped
herself in spite of the intense heat, and appearing in the outrider's
livery which was to have been the Queen's disguise.

"C'est moi," she says, hurriedly, and putting a finger to her lips, "and
I am come to tell you that their Majesties have failed you--have
abandoned the plan--and to implore you to escape while there is time."
She stood straight and tall in her boy's clothes, but the dim light,
falling upon her upturned face, showed it pale as death, and her voice
trembled as she spoke.

"You are come to tell me this?" says Calvert, slowly, still staring at
her as though scarce able to believe his senses. "And where is
Beaufort?"

"The King refused to let him go; he is with his Majesty," she says,
breathlessly--"d'Angrémont is taken--'tis reported that the palace is to
be attacked to-night. The King and Queen will not come--the King is
afraid to attempt the escape, and the Queen will rely on no one save the
allies--we implored them in vain to come but they refused--they have
failed you--save yourselves!" She leaned heavily against the door.

"It is quite certain?--they will not come?" asked Calvert. Adrienne
shook her head.

"Then wait--come in here," he said, drawing her into a little anteroom.
He ran back up the stairs and burst into the room he had just left, with
an imprecation.

"Their Majesties have flashed in the pan," he said to the gentlemen who
crowded about him. "'Tis no use to wait longer. D'Angrémont is taken.
You, Monciel and Favernay, set out instantly to intercept Marbois's
regiment and turn it back to Compiègne. You will go back with the troops
and report to General de Lafayette what has happened. As for you,
gentlemen," he says to the officers of the Guard, "not being needed here
longer, you had best lead your men back with all speed to Paris to guard
the palace. The attack is for to-night."

Almost before he had finished speaking the little company had vanished
which it had taken such secrecy and courage and fidelity to call
together; the great plan was overthrown which had taken such daring and
patience and wealth to set afoot. Timidity and bad faith had, in a
moment, destroyed what had taken so many weeks to build up, and for the
future calamities the King and Queen of France were to bear, they had
only themselves to thank.

Calvert ran down the stairs again quickly to the anteroom, where the
boyish figure in the long cloak awaited him.

"Come," he said, briefly, and, ordering a fresh horse for the rider,
whose mount was weary, almost without a word the two galloped back
together under the fading stars to the city of tumult and horror and
crime. And as they raced forward in silence, a thousand hopes and fears
crowded in upon Calvert's mind, but he put them steadily from him,
trying to think but of the King and Queen and if there might yet be help
for them or service to render. Only as he looked at the pale face beside
him, at the blue eyes, tired and strained now, a mad wonder would steal
over him that she had done this thing. And with this wonder tugging at
his heart and brain they pressed onward with all speed. They entered
Paris as the first streaks of dawn were beginning to redden the sky, and
in this rosy morning glow the haggard faces of the multitudes of men and
women pacing the streets--for who could sleep during that awful
night?--looked more haggard and wretched than ever before. Bands of
armed ruffians marched through the streets from all sections of the
city. 'Twas plain that some movement of importance was going forward.

The two riders made their way as quickly as possible past the Place du
Carrousel, where Calvert could see the faithful Swiss regiment at their
post, over the Pont Royal and so to the Faubourg St. Germain and the
American Legation.

"Mr. Morris's house is the only safe place in all this mad city, I
think," he said to Adrienne. "I will leave you in his care while I go
and see what has befallen the King and Queen."

Early as was the hour, the Legation was all astir, and Mr. Morris
himself came out to meet Calvert and Adrienne as they dismounted. He had
not been to bed during the night and looked harassed and weary. He drew
them into the house, where they found a large company assembled. Madame
de Montmorin was there, agony and terror written on her pallid face; the
old Count d'Estaing, who had fought so gallantly in America; Dillon,
Madame de Flahaut, and a dozen others, who had taken refuge with the
American Minister during that terrible night.

"You see!" said Mr. Morris, in a low tone, to Calvert, and indicating
the little group. "They have fled for protection here, but God knows
whether even this spot will afford them safety! I call you to witness,
Calvert, that if my protection of these persons should become a matter
of reproach to me here, or at home (and I have reason to expect it will,
from what I have already experienced), I call you to witness that I have
not violated the neutrality of this place by inviting them here, but I
will never put them out now that they are here, let the consequences be
what they may!"

"Who could believe that you could act in any other way!" said Calvert,
warmly, touched by the nobility and earnestness of Mr. Morris's manner,
very different from his usual cynical one. "And I am come to put another
in your charge until the Queen sends for her," he went on. "She has
ridden through this terrible night--God knows how--to give us warning
that the King and Queen have abandoned us and the great plan and have
chosen to remain at the palace. I must go to the Tuileries and find out
what has befallen their Majesties and then I will return."

"I know all," said Mr. Morris, bitterly. "I scarcely dared to hope that
their Majesties would stand by us or their promises. 'Tis as I thought,
my boy. Sacrifices and devotion, time and money have all been wasted in
their behalf. So be it! I think no power can save them now. You have
bravely done your share. Let this end it. And it were best that you
should leave Paris at once. D'Angrémont has died nobly without revealing
our secrets--he was murdered within two hours of his capture--but this
is no safe place for you. Go to the Tuileries, if you will, but return
to me as soon as possible. You have lost at the palace, but I think
there is a reward waiting for you here at the Legation," he says,
smiling a little and turning away.

Scarcely had Calvert left the Legation when he heard the alarm from the
great bell of St. Germain l'Auxerrois--that fatal bell which had rung
in the Massacre of St. Bartholomew two hundred and twenty years
before--and almost immediately after there came the sounds of musketry
and cannonading from the direction of the palace of the Tuileries. The
attack had already begun, and Calvert thought with a thrill of horror of
the fate that awaited Beaufort and those other loyal servants of their
Majesties within the palace.

The fearful drama of that day is too well known to need repeating. On
that day Louis XVI of France passed from history and the revolution was
consummated. By the time Calvert had reached the Quai opposite the
Louvre the battle was begun, the mob was forcing its way past the
scattered National Guard, whose commander lay murdered on the steps of
the Hôtel de Ville, past the stanch, true Swiss Guard, who, left without
orders, stood, martyrs at their posts, _ne sacramenti fidem fallerent_,
through the Carrousel up to the very palace itself. There, surrounded by
seven hundred loyal gentlemen, whom he was to abandon as he had
abandoned all his friends and servants, the King awaited his doom in
apathetic resignation. It was impossible to reach his Majesty or to do
aught for him, and Calvert could only look on from afar. There was no
place in that fearful scene for an American. The French at last knew
their power, had at last got the bit between their teeth, and no outside
interference could stay that fearful pace. The mob surged about Calvert,
increased every instant by fresh additions from the lowest quarters of
the city, reinforced by deputations from the provinces. The firing from
without grew quicker and quicker; from within fainter and less frequent,
as those devoted servants of the King were shot down, until finally
there was silence within the palace and the scarlet of the Swiss could
be seen scattered and fleeing in every direction as the armed and
triumphant mob pushed its way forward. Looking into the mad whirlwind of
faces, Calvert saw the great, disfigured head, the massive shoulders of
Danton, (but just come, on that fearful morning, to the fulness of his
infamy and power), followed by Bertrand, battling his way beside his
great leader.

"And 'twas for this I saved him!" said Calvert to himself. "Truly the
ways and ends of Providence are inscrutable!"

He watched the terrible scene a long while, and then, seeing that he was
powerless to aid those in the palace, he made his way back to the
Legation with a beating heart. The great disappointment the night had
brought, the failure of all those plans in which he had been so
profoundly interested and for which he had hazarded so much, even the
peril of the King and Queen, faded from before his mind as he thought of
Adrienne and asked himself why she had risked her life to come to him.
He saw her still galloping by his side, her face pale in the light of
the full August moon, her dusky hair blown backward, the strange,
inscrutable expression in her eyes.

She was not with the rest of the little company when Calvert once more
entered the Legation. He found her in an upper chamber, where she stood
alone beside an open window, looking out on the agitation and tumult of
the city below. She had doffed her travel-stained boy's clothes and now
wore a dress, which Madame de Montmorin had offered her, of some soft
black stuff that fell in heavy folds about her slender young figure. As
he entered she turned, hearing the sound, and their eyes met. He stood
silent, trying to fathom the strange look on that pale face. It was the
same beautiful face that he had seen in pictured loveliness that last
night at Monticello, the same that he had seen in reality for the first
time at Mr. Jefferson's levee at the Legation, and yet how changed! All
the haughty pride, the caprice, the vanity, the artificiality were gone,
and instead, upon the finely chiselled features and in the blue eyes,
rested a serene, if melancholy beauty, a quiet nobility born of
suffering. There rushed through Calvert's mind the thought that, after
all, that loveliness had at last developed into all that was best and
finest.

He stood thus looking at her in silence and thinking of these things,
and then he went slowly forward, scarce knowing how to address her or
explain his presence, who had so long avoided her.

"I am come," he says, at length, "to thank you for the great service
that you have this night rendered me and those other gentlemen engaged
with myself in the King's business. I dare not think what might have
been the fate of us all had you not come to our assistance. Were they
here they would, like myself, thank you with all their hearts."

"'Twas no great service," she says, "and I could scarce have done less
for one who has done so much--who has sacrificed so much for me."

"I have sacrificed nothing," says Calvert, in a low, compassionate
voice. "'Twas you who sacrificed yourself, and all in vain! Believe me,
I suffered for you in that knowledge. I should not have let you--should
have found a way, but I was weak and ill and scarcely struggled against
the fate that gave you to me. I wish that 'twere as easy to undo the
evil as for you to forget me."

"Forget you! I wish I could forget you. I have thought of you so much
that sometimes I wish I could forget you entirely. But I think 'tis out
of my power to do so now. I think I should have to be quite dead--and
even then I do not know--I am not sure--if you should speak to me I
think I would hear," she says, wildly, and covering her eyes with her
hand.

He looked at the dark-robed figure, the dark head bowed on the heaving
breast, and suddenly a joy such as he had never thought to feel ran
through his veins. He went over to her, and, lifting the hand from the
closed eyes, he put it to his lips.

"Adrienne," he says, tenderly and wonderingly, "you are crying! Why?"

"I am crying for so many things! For joy and despair and hope and dead
love, because this means nothing to you and everything to me, because I
love you and you love me not, because you once loved me--!" She stopped
in an access of anguish and, sobbing, knelt before him. The humility of
true love had at last mastered her.

"Not to me--not to me," he said, unsteadily, lifting her.

"And why not to you? There is no one so true, no one I honor so much! In
my pride and ignorance I thought you were not the equal of these fine
gentlemen who have abandoned their King and their country. But I have
learned to know you, and my own heart, and what I have thrown away! I am
not ashamed to say this--to own to you that I love you." She threw back
her head and looked at Calvert with eyes that shone with a sorrowful
light. "For you once told me that you loved me, and though I know I have
lost that love, the memory that I once had it will stay with me and be
my pride forever."

"'Tis yours still, believe me," said Calvert. "'Tis yours now and
forever--forever." He put his arm around her and drew her to him. "Far
or near I have loved you since the first day I saw you, but I never
dreamed that you would come to care, and in my pride I swore I would
never tell you of my love after that day in the garden at Azay."

"I must have been mad, I think," she said, wonderingly. "Mad to have
laughed at you--mad to have thrown away your love. Ah, I have learned
since then!"

"'Tis like a miracle that you should have come to care for me," said
Calvert, his lips upon her dark hair.

"The hour you left me I knew that I loved you. Oh, the agony of that
knowledge and the thought that I would never see you again! Even then
my pride would not let me tell you--I thought you would come again--and
then--then when later you turned from me--my heart broke, I think--'twas
quite numb--I was neither sorry nor glad--" She stopped again.

"Are you glad now, Adrienne?" asked Calvert, looking at her tenderly.

"Yes," she said, quietly.

"And will you be content to leave this France of yours and come with me
to America? There is a home waiting for you there--'tis not a splendid
place like those you know, but only a country house that stands near the
noblest and loveliest river of the land, upon whose banks peace and
happiness dwell." As he spoke, grim sounds of tumult, cannonading,
fierce cries, and hoarse commands came to them from the hot, crowded
street below, but they did not heed them--they were far away from that
terrible, doomed city. Words were scarcely needed--they stood there soul
to soul, alone in all the world, and happy.

"I am going back to that land of mine, where there is work for me to do.
Will you not go with me? There is nothing more we can do here. The last
chance to save their Majesties is gone. Will you leave this troubled,
fated land and come with me to that other one, where I will make you
forget the horrors, the sufferings you have endured in this--where I
swear I will make you happy? Will you go to this America of mine?" he
asked.

She gazed into the eyes she so loved and trusted with a glance as serene
and true as their own.

"I will go," she said.





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