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Title: Marie Antoinette and the Downfall of Royalty
Author: Imbert de Saint-Amand, Arthur Léon, baron, 1834-1900
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 "Marie Antoinette and the Downfall of Royalty" ***

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[Frontispiece: Marie Antoinette]



MARIE ANTOINETTE

AND

THE DOWNFALL OF ROYALTY



BY

IMBERT DE SAINT-AMAND



_TRANSLATED BY_

ELIZABETH GILBERT MARTIN



_WITH PORTRAIT_



NEW YORK

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

1899



COPYRIGHT, 1891, BY

CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS.



{v}

CONTENTS.


CHAPTER                                                     PAGE

      I.  PARIS AT THE BEGINNING OF 1792 . . . . . . . . .     1
     II.  COUNT DE FERSON'S LAST JOURNEY TO PARIS  . . . .    14
    III.  THE DEATH OF THE EMPEROR LEOPOLD . . . . . . . .    23
     IV.  THE DEATH OF GUSTAVUS III  . . . . . . . . . . .    32
      V.  THE BEGINNINGS OF MADAME ROLAND  . . . . . . . .    46
     VI.  MADAME ROLAND'S ENTRANCE ON THE SCENE  . . . . .    60
    VII.  MARIE ANTOINETTE AND MADAME ROLAND . . . . . . .    73
   VIII.  MADAME ROLAND AT THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR  .    85
     IX.  DUMOURIEZ, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS . . . . .    94
      X.  THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS . . . . . . . . . . . .   103
     XI.  THE FÊTE OF THE SWISS OF CHATEAUVIEUX  . . . . .   110
    XII.  THE DECLARATION OF WAR . . . . . . . . . . . . .   126
   XIII.  THE DISBANDING OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL GUARD . . .   137
    XIV.  THE SUFFERINGS OF LOUIS XVI  . . . . . . . . . .   148
     XV.  ROLAND'S DISMISSAL FROM OFFICE . . . . . . . . .   158
    XVI.  A THREE DAYS' MINISTRY . . . . . . . . . . . . .   166
   XVII.  THE PROLOGUE TO JUNE TWENTIETH . . . . . . . . .   176
  XVIII.  THE MORNING OF JUNE TWENTIETH  . . . . . . . . .   186

{vi}

    XIX.  THE INVASION OF THE TUILERIES  . . . . . . . . .   198
     XX.  MARIE ANTOINETTE ON JUNE TWENTIETH . . . . . . .   210
    XXI.  THE MORROW OF JUNE TWENTIETH . . . . . . . . . .   219
   XXII.  LAFAYETTE IN PARIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   229
  XXIII.  THE LAMOURETTE KISS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   239
   XXIV.  THE FÊTE OF THE FEDERATION IN 1792 . . . . . . .   248
    XXV.  THE LAST DAYS AT THE TUILERIES . . . . . . . . .   259
   XXVI.  THE PROLOGUE TO THE TENTH OF AUGUST  . . . . . .   267
  XXVII.  THE NIGHT OF AUGUST NINTH TO TENTH . . . . . . .   275
 XXVIII.  THE MORNING OF AUGUST TENTH  . . . . . . . . . .   284
   XXIX.  THE BOX OF THE LOGOGRAPH . . . . . . . . . . . .   299
    XXX.  THE COMBAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   306
   XXXI.  THE RESULTS OF THE COMBAT  . . . . . . . . . . .   316
  XXXII.  THE ROYAL FAMILY IN THE CONVENT OF THE FEUILLANTS  329
 XXXIII.  THE TEMPLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   337
  XXXIV.  THE PRINCESS DE LAMBALLE'S MURDER  . . . . . . .   350
   XXXV.  THE SEPTEMBER MASSACRES  . . . . . . . . . . . .   359
  XXXVI.  MADAME ROLAND DURING THE MASSACRES . . . . . . .   372
 XXXVII.  THE PROCLAMATION OF THE REPUBLIC . . . . . . . .   384
          INDEX  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   395



{1}

MARIE ANTOINETTE

AND

THE DOWNFALL OF ROYALTY.


I.

PARIS AT THE BEGINNING OF 1792.

Paris in 1792 is no longer what it was in 1789.  In 1789, the old
French society was still brilliant.  The past endured beside the
present.  Neither names nor escutcheons, neither liveries nor places at
court, had been suppressed.  The aristocracy and the Revolution lived
face to face.  In 1792, the scene has changed.  The Paris of the
nobility is no longer in Paris, but at Coblentz.  The Faubourg
Saint-Germain is like a desert.  Since June, 1790, armorial bearings
have been taken down.  The blazons of ancient houses have been broken
and thrown into the gutters.  No more display, no more liveries, no
more carriages with coats-of-arms on their panels.  Titles and manorial
names are done away with.  The Duke de Brissac is called M. Cossé; the
Duke de Caraman, M. Riquet; the Duke d'Aiguillon, M. Vignerot.  The
_Almanach royal_ of 1792 mentions not a single court appointment.

{2}

In 1789, it was still an exceptional thing for the nobility to
emigrate.  In 1792, it is the rule.  Those among the nobles who have
had the courage to remain at Paris in the midst of the furnace, so as
to make a rampart for the King of their bodies, seem half ashamed of
their generous conduct.  The illusions of worldliness have been
dispelled.  Nearly every salon was open in 1789.  In 1792, they are
nearly all closed; those of the magistrates and the great capitalists
as well as those of the aristocracy.  Etiquette is still observed at
the Tuileries, but there is no question of fêtes; no balls, no
concerts, none of that elegance and animation which once made the court
a rendezvous of pleasures.  In 1789, illusions, dreams, a naïve
expectation of the age of gold, were to be found everywhere.  In 1792,
eclogues and pastoral poetry are beginning to go out of fashion.  The
diapason of hatred is pitched higher.  Already there is powder and a
smell of blood in the air.  A general instinct forebodes that France
and Europe are on the verge of a terrible duel.  On both sides passions
have touched their culminating point.  Distrust and uneasiness are
universal.  Every day the despotism of the clubs becomes more
threatening.  The Jacobins do not reign yet, but they govern.  Deputies
who, if left to their own impulses, would vote on the conservative
side, pronounce for the Revolution solely through fear of the
demagogues.  In 1789, the religious sentiment still retained power
among the {3} masses.  In 1792, irreligion and atheism have wrought
their havoc.  In 1789, the most ardent revolutionists, Marat, Danton,
Robespierre, were all royalists.  At the beginning of 1792, the
republic begins to show its face beneath the monarchical mask.

The Tuileries, menaced by the neighboring lanes of the Carrousel and
the Palais Royal, resembles a besieged fortress.  The Revolution daily
augments its trenches and parallels around the sanctuary of the
monarchy.  Its barracks are the faubourgs; its soldiers, red-bonneted
pikemen.  Louis XVI. in his palace is like a general-in-chief in a
stronghold, who should have voluntarily dampened his powder, spiked his
cannon, and torn his flags.  He no longer inspires his troops with
confidence.  A capitulation seems imminent.  The unfortunate monarch
still hopes vaguely for assistance from abroad, for the arrival of some
liberating army.  Vain hope!  He is blockaded in his castle, and the
moment is at hand when he will be compelled to play the buffoon in a
red bonnet.

Glance at the palace and see how closely it is hemmed in by the
earthworks of the Revolution.  The abode of luxury and display,
intended for fêtes rather than for war, Philibert Delorme's
_chef-d'oeuvre_ has in its architecture none of those means of defence
by which the military and feudal sovereignties of old times fortified
their dwellings.  On the side of the courtyards a multitude of little
{4} streets contain a hostile population ready to swell every riot.
Near the Pavilion of Marsan is the Palais Royal, that headquarters of
insurrection, with its cafés, its gambling-dens, its houses of
ill-fame, its wooden galleries which are known as the camp of the
Tartars.  It is the Duke of Orleans who has democratized the Palais
Royal.  In spite of the sarcasms of the aristocracy and the lawsuits of
neighboring proprietors, he has destroyed the fine gardens bounded by
the rue de Richelieu, the rue des Petit-Champs, and the rue des
Bons-Enfants.  In the place it occupied he has caused the rue de
Valois, the rue de Beaujolais, and the rue de Montpensier to be opened,
all of them inhabited by a revolutionary population.  The remaining
space he has surrounded on three sides with constructions pierced by
galleries, where he has built the shops that form the finest bazaar in
Europe.  The fourth side of these new constructions was originally
intended to form part of the Prince's palace, and to be composed of an
open colonnade supporting suites of apartments.  But this side has not
been erected.  In place of it the Duke of Orleans has run up some
temporary wooden sheds, containing three rows of shops separated by two
large passage-ways, the ground of which has not even been made level.

The privileges pertaining to the Orleans family prevent the police from
entering the enclosure of the Palais Royal.  Hence it becomes the
rendezvous of all conspirators.  The taking of the Bastille was {5}
plotted there, and there the 20th of June and the 10th of August will
yet be organized.

A little further off is the National Assembly.  Its sessions are held
in the riding-school built when the little Louis XV. was to be taught
horsemanship.  It adjoins the terrace of the Feuillants.  One of its
courtyards which looks towards the front of the edifice, is at the
upper end of the rue de Dauphin.  The other extremity occupies the site
where the rue Castiglione will be opened later on.  There, close beside
the Tuileries, sits the National Assembly, the rival and victorious
power that will overcome the monarchy.

The Assembly terrorizes the Tuileries.  The Jacobin Club terrorizes the
Assembly.  Close beside the Hall of the Manège, on the site to be
occupied afterward by the market of Saint-Honoré, the revolutionary
club holds its tumultuous sessions in the former convent founded in
1611 by the Jacobin, or Dominican, friars.  The club meets three times
a week, at seven in the evening.  The hall is a long rectangle with a
vaulted roof.  Four rows of stalls occupy the longer sides, while the
two ends serve as public galleries.  Nearly in the middle of the hall,
the speaker's platform and the president's writing-table stand opposite
each other.  Hither come all ambitious revolutionists who desire to
talk, to agitate, to make themselves conspicuous.  Here Robespierre
lords it, not being a deputy in consequence of the law forbidding
members of the {6} Constituent Assembly to belong to the legislative
body.  Those who love disorder come here to seek emotions.  Some find
lucrative employment, applause being paid for, and the different
parties having each its _claque_ in the galleries.  Since April, 1791,
the Jacobin Club has affiliations in two thousand French towns and
villages.  At its orders and in its pay is an army of agents whose
business it is to make stump speeches, to sing in the streets, to make
propositions in cafés, to applaud or to hiss in the galleries of the
National Assembly.  These hirelings usually receive about five francs a
day, but as the number of the chevaliers of the revolutionary lustrum
increases, the pay diminishes, until it is finally reduced to forty
sous.  Deserters and soldiers dismissed from their regiments for
misconduct are admitted by preference.

For some days past, the Club of Moderate Revolutionists, friends of
Lafayette, who might have closed the old clubs after the sanguinary
repression of the riot in the Champ-de-Mars, and who contented
themselves with opening a new one, have been meeting in the convent of
the Feuillants, rue Saint-Honoré.  But this new club has not been a
great success; moderation is not the order of the day; the Jacobins
have regained their empire, and on December 26, 1791, seals are placed
on the door of the Club of the Feuillants.

At the other extremity of Paris there is a club still more inflammatory
than that of the Jacobins: {7} that of the Cordeliers.  "The Jacobins,"
said Barbaroux, "have no common aim, although they act in concert.  The
Cordeliers are bent on blood, gold, and offices."  Speaking as a rule,
the Cordeliers belong to the Jacobin Club, while hardly a single
Jacobin is a Cordelier.  The Cordeliers are the advance-guard of the
Revolution.  They are, as Camille Desmoulins has said, Jacobins of the
Jacobins.  The chiefs are Danton, Marat, Hébert, Chaumette.  They take
their names from those religious democrats, the Minorite friars of
Saint Francis, who wear a girdle of rope over their coarse gray habit.
They meet in the Place of the School of Medicine, in a monastery whose
church was built in the reign of Saint Louis, in 1259, with the fine
paid as indemnity for a murder.  In 1590, it became the resort of the
most famous Leaguers.  Chateaubriand says: "There are places which seem
to be the laboratory of seditions."  How well this expression of the
author of the _Mémoires d'Outre-tombe_ describes the club-room of the
Cordeliers!  The pictures, the sculptured or painted images, the veils
and curtains of the convent, have been torn down.  The basilica
displays nothing but its bare bones to the eyes of the spectator.  At
the apse, where wind and rain enter through the unglazed rose-window,
joiners' work-benches serve as a desk for the president and as places
on which to deposit the red caps.  Do you see the fallen beams, the
wooden benches, the dismantled stalls, the relics of saints pushed or
rolled against the walls {8} to serve as benches for "dirty, dusty,
drunken, sweaty spectators in torn jackets, pikes on their shoulders,
or with their bare arms crossed"?  Do you hear the orators who "call
each other beggars, pickpockets, robbers, assassins, to the discordant
noise of hisses and those proper to their different groups of devils?
They find the material of their metaphors in murder, they borrow them
from the filthiest of sewers and dungheaps, and from places set apart
for the prostitution of men and women.  Gestures render their figures
of speech more comprehensible; with the cynicism of dogs, they call
everything by its own name, in an impious and obscene parade of oaths
and curses.  To destroy and to produce, death and generation, nothing
else can be disentangled from the savage jargon which deafens one's
ear."  And what is it that interrupts the speakers?  "The little black
owls of the cloister without monks and the steeple without bells,
making themselves merry in the broken windows in expectation of their
prey.  At first they are called to order by the tinkling of an
ineffectual bell; but as their cries do not cease, they are shot at to
make them keep silence.  They fall, palpitating, bleeding, and ominous,
into the midst of the pandemonium."

So, then, clubs take the place of convents.  Since the Constituent
Assembly had decreed the abolition of monastic vows by its vote of
February 13, 1790, many persons, rudely detached from their usual way
of life and its duties, had abandoned their vocation.  {9} The nun
became a working-woman; the shaved Capuchin read his journal in
suburban taverns; and grinning crowds visited the profaned and open
convents "as, in Grenada, travellers pass through the abandoned halls
of the Alhambra, or as they pause, at Tivoli, under the columns of the
Sibyl's temple."

The Jacobin Club and the Club of the Cordeliers will destroy the
monarchy.  In the Memoirs of Lafayette it is remarked that "it is hard
to understand how the Jacobin minority and a handful of pretended
Marseillais made themselves masters of Paris when nearly all the forty
thousand citizens composing the National Guard desired the
Constitution; but the clubs had succeeded in scattering the true
patriots and in creating a dread of vigorous measures.  Experience had
not yet taught what this feebleness and disorganization must needs
cost."

The dark side of the picture is plainly far more evident than it was in
1789.  But how vivid it is still!  Those who hunger after sensations
are in their element.  When has there been more noise, more tumult,
more movement, more unexpected or more varied scenes?  Listen once more
to Chateaubriand who, on his return from America, passed through Paris
at this epoch: "When I read the _Histoire des troubles publics ches
divers peuples_ before the Revolution, I could not conceive how it was
possible to live in those times.  I was surprised that Montaigne wrote
so cheerfully in a castle which he could not walk around without risk
of being abducted by bands {10} of Leaguers or Protestants.  The
Revolution has enabled me to comprehend this possibility of existence.
With us men, critical moments produce an increase of life.  In a
society which is dissolving and forming itself anew, the strife between
the two tendencies, the collision of the past and the future, the
medley of ancient and modern manners, form a transitory combination
which does not admit a moment of ennui.  Passions and characters, freed
from restraint, display themselves with an energy they do not possess
in well-regulated cities.  The infraction of laws, the emancipation
from duties, usages, and the rules of decorum, even perils themselves,
increase the interest of this disorder."

Yes, people complain, grow angry, suffer, but they are not bored.  How
many incidents, episodes, emotions, there are in this strange
tragi-comedy!  Everywhere there is something to be seen; in the
Assembly, the clubs, the public places, the promenades, streets, cafés,
and theatres.  Brawls and discussions are heard on every side.  If by
chance a salon is still open, disputes go on there as they would at a
club.  What quarrels take place in the cafés!  Men stand on chairs and
tables to spout.  And what dissensions in the theatres!  The actors
meddle with politics as well as the spectators.  In the greenroom of
the _Comédie-Française_ there is a right side, whose chief is the
royalist Naudet, and a left side led by the republican Talma.  Neither
actor goes out except well armed.  There are pistols {11} underneath
their togas.  The kings of tragedy, threatened by their political
adversaries, have real poniards wherewith to defend themselves.  _Les
Horaces, Brutus, La Mort de César, Barnevelt, Guillaume Tell, Charles
IX._, are plays containing in each tirade allusions which inflame the
boxes and the pit.  The theatre is a tilting-ground.  If the royalists
are there in force, they cause the orchestra to play their favorite
airs: _Charmante Gabrielle, Vive Henri Quatre!  O! Richard, O! mon
roi!_  The revolutionists protest, and sing their own chosen melody,
the _Ça ira_.  Sometimes they come to blows, swords are drawn, and, the
play over, elegant women are dragged through the gutters.  There is a
general outbreak of insults and violence.  The journals play the chief
part in this universal madness.  Sometimes the press is eloquent, but
it is oftener ribald or atrocious.  To borrow an expression from
Montaigne, "it lowers itself even to the worthless esteem of extreme
inferiority."  The beautiful French tongue, once so correct and pure,
is no longer recognizable.  Vulgar words fall thick as hail.  To the
language of the Academy has succeeded the jargon of the markets.

What a swarm!  what a swirl!  How noisy, how restless, is this
revolutionary Paris!  What excited crowds fill the clubs, the Assembly,
the Palais Royal, the gambling-houses, and the tumultuous faubourgs!
Riotous gatherings, popular deputations, detachments of cavalry,
companies of {12} foot-soldiers; gentlemen in French coats, powdered
hair, swords at their sides, hats under their arms, silk stockings and
low shoes; democrats close-cropped and unpowdered, with English frock
coats and American cravats; ragged _sans-culottes_ in red caps, weave
in and out in ceaseless motion.

Do you know what was the chief distraction of this crowd in April,
1792?  The debut of that new and fashionable machine, the guillotine.
It was used for the first time on the 25th, for a criminal guilty of
rape.  Sensitive people congratulated each other on the mitigated
torment, which they were pleased to consider a humanitarian
improvement.  The excellent philanthropist, Doctor Guillotin, was
lauded to the skies.  His machine was named guillotine in his honor,
just as the stage-coaches established by Turgot had been called
turgotines.

What enthusiasm, what infatuation, for this guillotine, already so
famous and destined to be so much more so!  The editors of the
_Moniteur_ declare in a lyric outburst that it is worthy of the
approaching century.  The truth is that it accelerates and makes less
difficult the executioner's task.  In the end the crowd would become
disgusted with massacres.  The delays of the gibbet would weary their
patience.  The _sans-culottes_, who doubtless have a presentiment of
all that is going to happen, welcome the guillotine, then, with
acclamations.  At the _Ambigu_ theatre a ballet-pantomime, called _Les
Quatre Fils Aymon_, is given, and all Paris runs to {13} see the heads
of all four fall at once, in the midst of loud applause, under the
blade of the good doctor's machine.  People amuse themselves with their
future instrument of torture as if it were a toy.  In a Girondin salon
they play at guillotine with a moveable screen that is lifted and let
fall again.  At elegant dinners a little guillotine is brought in with
the dessert and takes the place of a sweet dish.  A pretty woman places
a doll representing some political adversary under the knife; it is
decapitated in the neatest possible style, and out of it runs something
red that smells good, a liqueur perfumed with ambergris, into which
every lady hastens to dip her lace handkerchief.  French gaiety would
make a vaudeville out of the day of judgment.  Poor society, which
passes so quick from gay to grave, from lively to severe, and which,
like the Figaro of Beaumarchais, laughs at everything so that it may
not weep!



{14}

II.

COUNT DE FERSEN'S LAST JOURNEY TO PARIS.

It has been supposed until lately that after the day when he bade
farewell to the royal family at the beginning of the Varennes journey,
Count de Fersen never again saw Marie Antoinette.  A new publication of
very great importance proves that this is an error, and that the
Swedish nobleman came to Paris for the last time in 1792, and had
several interviews with the King and Queen.  This publication is
entitled: _Extraits des papiers du grand maréchal de Suède, Comte Jean
Axel de Fersen_, and is published by his great-nephew, Baron de
Kinckowstrom, a Swedish colonel.  There is something romantic in this
episode of the mysterious journey made by Marie Antoinette's loyal
chevalier, which merits to leave a trace in history.

Fersen was one of those men whose sentiments are all the more profound
because they know how to veil them under an apparently imperturbable
calm.  A soul of fire under an exterior of ice, as the Baroness de
Korff describes him, courageous to temerity, devoted to heroism, he had
conceived for Marie Antoinette one of those disinterested and ardent
{15} friendships which lie midway between love and religion.  Almost as
much a Frenchman as he was a Swede, he did not forget that he had
fought in America under the standard of the Most Christian King, and
had been colonel of a regiment in the service of France.  Having been
the courtier of the happy and brilliant Queen, he remained the courtier
of the Queen overcome by anguish.  He had enkindled in the soul of his
sovereign, Gustavus III., the same chivalrous sentiment which animated
his own, and was impatiently awaiting the time when he could hasten to
the aid of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette under the Swedish flag.  His
dearest ambition was to draw his sword in the Queen's defence.  From
the Varennes journey up to the day of Marie Antoinette's execution, he
had but one thought: to rescue the woman for whom he would willingly
have shed the last drop of his blood.  This fixed idea has left its
trace on every line of his journal.  The sad and melancholy countenance
of Fersen, the courtier of misfortune, the friend of unhappy days, is
assuredly one of the celebrated types in the drama of Versailles and
the Tuileries.  This man, who would have made no mark in history but
for the martyr Queen, is certain, thanks to her, not to be forgotten by
posterity.  Marie Antoinette was to return him in glory what he gave
her in devotion.

On her return to the Tuileries after the disastrous journey to
Varennes, the Queen wrote to {16} Fersen, June 27, 1791: "Be at ease
about us; we are living," and Fersen replied: "I am well, and live only
to serve you."  June 29, she wrote him another letter in which she
said: "Do not write to me; it would endanger us; and, above all, do not
return here under any pretext; all would be lost if you should make
your appearance.  They never lose sight of us by night or day; which is
a matter of indifference to me.  Be tranquil; nothing will happen to
me.  The Assembly desires to treat us with gentleness.  Adieu.  I shall
not be able to write to you again."

Marie Antoinette was in error when she supposed she would not write
again.  She was in error, likewise, when she imagined that Fersen, in
spite of all dangers and difficulties, would not find means to see her
again.  Their correspondence was not interrupted.  After the acceptance
of the Constitution, Marie Antoinette wrote to him: "Can you understand
my position and the part I am continually obliged to play?  Sometimes I
do not understand myself, and am obliged to consider whether it is
really I who am speaking; but what is to be done?  It is all necessary,
and be sure our position would be still worse than it is if I had not
at once assumed this attitude; we at least gain time by it, and that is
all that is required.  I keep up better than could be expected, seeing
that I go out so little and endure constantly such immense fatigue of
mind.  What with the persons whom I must see, my {17} writing, and the
time I spend with my children, I have not a moment to myself.  The last
occupation, which is not the least, gives me my sole happiness.  When I
am very sad, I take my little boy in my arms, embrace him with my whole
heart, and for a moment am consoled."

Fersen, touched and pitying, was constantly thinking of that fatal
palace of the Tuileries where the Queen was so much to be
compassionated.  An invincible attraction drew him thither.  There, he
thought, was the post of devotion and of honor.  November 26, he wrote:
"Tell me whether there is any possibility of going to see you entirely
alone, without a servant, in case I receive the order to do so from the
King (Gustavus III.); he has already spoken to me of his desire to
bring this about."  Of all the sovereigns who interested themselves in
the fate of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, Gustavus was the most
active, brave, and resolute; he was also the only one in whom Marie
Antoinette placed absolute confidence.  She expected less from her own
brother, the Emperor Leopold, and it was to Stockholm above all that
she turned her eyes.  Gustavus ordered Fersen to go secretly to Paris,
and on December 22, 1791, he sent him a memoir and certain letters,
commissioning him to deliver them to Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette.
He recommended, as forcibly as he could, a new attempt at flight, but
with precautions suggested by the lesson of Varennes.  He thought the
members of the royal {18} family should depart separately and in
disguise, and that, once outside of his kingdom, Louis XVI. should call
for the intervention of a congress.  The following passage occurs in
the letter of the Swedish King to Marie Antoinette: "I beg Your Majesty
to consider seriously that violent disorders can only be cured by
violent remedies, and that if moderation is a virtue in the course of
ordinary life, it often becomes a vice when there is question of public
matters.  The King of France can re-establish his dominion only by
resuming his former rights; every other remedy is illusory; anything
except this would merely open the way to endless discussions which
would augment the confusion instead of ending it.  The King's rights
were torn from him by the sword; it is by the sword that they must be
reconquered.  But I refrain; I should remember that I am addressing a
princess who, in the most terrible moments of her life, has shown the
most intrepid courage."

Fersen obtained permission from Louis XVI. to accomplish the mission
confided to him by Gustavus III.  He left Stockholm under an assumed
name and with the passport of a Swedish courier, and reached Paris
without accident, February 13, 1792.  He was so adroit and prudent that
no one suspected his presence.  On the very evening of his arrival he
wrote in his journal: "Went to the Queen by my usual road; very few
National Guards; did not see the King."  Fersen, therefore, only
reappeared at the Tuileries in the darkness, like a fugitive or {19} an
outlaw.  He found the Queen pale with grief and with hair whitened by
sorrow and emotion.  It was a solemn moment.  The storm was raging
within France and beyond it.  Terrible omens, snares, and dangers lay
on every side.  One might have said that the Tuileries were about to be
swallowed up in a gulf of fire and blood.

The next day Fersen saw the King.  He wrote in his journal: "Tuesday,
14.  Saw the King at six in the evening.  He will not go and can not,
on account of the extreme vigilance.  In fact, he scruples at it,
having so often promised to remain, for he is an honest man....  He
sees that force is the only resource; but, being weak, he thinks it
impossible to resume all his authority....  Unless he were constantly
encouraged, I am not sure he would not be tempted to negotiate with the
rebels.  He said to me afterwards: 'That's all very well!  We are by
ourselves and we can talk; but nobody ever found himself in my
position.  I know I missed the right moment; it was the 14th of July;
we ought to have gone then, and I wanted to, but how could I when
Monsieur himself begged me to stay, and Marshal de Broglie, who was in
command, said to me: "Yes, we can go to Metz.  But what shall we do
when we get there?"  I lost the opportunity and never found it again.
I have been abandoned by everybody.'"  Louis XVI. desired Fersen to
warn the Powers that they must not be surprised at anything he might be
forced to do; that he was {20} obliged, that it was the effect of
constraint.  "They must put me out of the question," he added, "and let
me do what I can."

Fersen had a long talk with Marie Antoinette the same day.  She entered
into full details about the present and especially about the past.  She
explained why the flight to Varennes, in which Fersen had taken such a
prominent part, and which had succeeded so well so long as he directed
it, had ended in failure.  The Queen described the anguish of the
arrest and the return.  To the project of a new effort to escape, she
replied by pointing out the implacable surveillance of which she was
the object, and the effervescence of popular passions, which this time
would overleap all restraint if the fugitives were taken.  It would be
better for the royal family to suffer together than to expose
themselves to die separately.  It would be better to die like princes,
who abdicate majesty only with life, than as vagabonds, under a vulgar
disguise.  "The Queen," adds Fersen, "told me that she saw Alexander
Lameth and Duport; that they always tell her that there is no remedy
but foreign troops; failing that, all is lost, that this cannot last,
that they have gone farther than they wished to.  In spite of all this,
she thinks them malicious, does not trust them, but uses them as best
she can.  All the ministers are traitors who betray the King."  Fersen
had a final interview with Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette on February
21, 1792.  By February 24, {21} he had returned to Brussels.  He was
profoundly moved on quitting the Tuileries, but, dismal and lugubrious
as his forebodings may have been, how much more sombre was the reality
to prove!

What a terrible fate was reserved for the chief actors in this drama!
Yet a few days, and the chivalrous Gustavus was to be assassinated.
The hour of execution was approaching for Louis XVI. and Marie
Antoinette.  Fersen, likewise, was to have a most tragic end.  From the
moment when he bade his last adieu to the unhappy Queen, his life was
but one long torment.  His disposition, already inclined to melancholy,
became incurably sad.  His loyal and devoted soul could not accustom
itself to the thought of the calamities weighing so cruelly upon that
good and beautiful sovereign of whom he said in 1778: "The Queen is the
prettiest and most amiable princess that I know."  On October 14, 1793,
he will still be endeavoring, with the aid of Baron de Breteuil, to
bring to completion a thousandth plot to extricate the august captive
from her fate.  He will learn the fatal tidings on the 20th.  "I can
think of nothing but my loss," he will write in his journal.  "It is
frightful to have no positive details.  It is horrible that she should
have been alone in her last moments, with no one to speak to, or to
receive her last wishes.  No; without vengeance, my heart will never be
content."  Covered with honors under the reign of Gustavus IV.,
senator, chancellor of the Academy of {22} Upsal, member of the
Seraphim Order, grand marshal of the kingdom of Sweden, there will
remain in the depths of his heart a wound which nothing can heal.  An
inveterate fatality will pursue him as it had done the unfortunate
sovereign of whom he had been the chevalier.  He will perish in a riot
at Stockholm, June 20, 1810, at the time of the obsequies of the Prince
Royal.  Struck down by fists and walking-sticks, his hair pulled out,
his clothes torn to rags, he will be dragged about half-naked, rolled
underfoot, assassinated by a maddened populace.  Before rendering his
last sigh, he will succeed in rising to his knees, and, joining his
hands, he will utter these words from the stoning of Saint Stephen: "O
my God, who callest me to Thee, I implore Thee for my tormentors, whom
I pardon."  If not the same words, they are at least the same thoughts
as those of Marie Antoinette on the platform of the scaffold.



{23}

III.

THE DEATH OF THE EMPEROR LEOPOLD.

One after another, Marie Antoinette lost her last chances of safety;
blows as unforeseen as terrible beat down the combinations on which she
had built her hopes.  Within a fortnight she was to see the two
sovereigns disappear from whom she had expected succor: her brother,
the Emperor Leopold, and Gustavus III., the King of Sweden.  Leopold
had not been equal to all the illusions which his sister had cherished
with regard to him, but, nevertheless, he showed great interest in
French affairs, and a lively desire to be useful to Louis XVI.  Pacific
by disposition, he had temporized at first, and adopted a conciliatory
policy.  He desired a reconciliation with the new principles, and,
moreover, he was not blind to the inexperience and levity of the
_émigrés_.  But the obligation, to which he was bound by treaties, to
defend the rights of princes holding property in Alsace, his fear of
the propaganda of sedition, the aggressive language of the National
Assembly and the Parisian press, had ended by determining him to take a
more resolute attitude, and it was at the moment when he was {24}
seriously intending to come to his sister's aid that he was carried off
by sudden death.  Though she did not desire a war between Austria and
France, the Queen had persisted in wishing for an armed congress, which
would have been a compromise between peace and war, but which the
National Assembly would have regarded as an intolerable humiliation.
It must not be denied, the situation was a false one.  Between the true
sentiments of Louis XVI. and his new rôle as a constitutional
sovereign, there was a real incompatibility.  As to the Queen, she was
on good terms neither with the _émigrés_ nor with the Assembly.

In order to get a just idea of the sentiments shown by the _émigrés_,
it is necessary to read a letter written from Trèves, October 16, 1791,
by Madame de Raigecourt, the friend of Madame Elisabeth, to another
friend of the Princess, the Marquise de Bombelles: "I see with pain
that Paris and Coblentz are not on good terms.  The Emperor treats the
Princes like children....  The Princes cannot avoid suspecting that it
is the influence of the Queen and her agents which thwarts their plans
and causes the Emperor to behave so strangely....  Some trickery on the
part of the Tuileries is still suspected in this country.  They ought
to explain themselves to each other once for all.  Is the Queen afraid
lest the Count d'Artois should arrogate an authority in the realm which
would diminish her own?  Let her be at ease on that score; she will
{25} always be the King's wife and always dominant.  What is she afraid
of, then?  She complains that she is not sufficiently respected.  But
you know the good heart and the uprightness of our Prince; he is
incapable of the remarks attributed to him, and which have certainly
been reported to the Queen with the intention of estranging them
entirely."  Madame de Raigecourt ends her letter with this complaint
against Louis XVI.: "Our wretched King lowers himself more and more
every day; for he is doing too much, even if he still intends to
escape....  The emigration, meanwhile, increases daily, and presently
there will be more Frenchmen than Germans in this region."  At this
very time, the Queen was having recourse to her brother Leopold as to a
saviour.  She wrote to him, October 4, 1791: "My only consolation is in
writing to you, my dear brother; I am surrounded by so many atrocities
that I need all your friendship to tranquillize my mind....  A point of
primary importance is to regulate the conduct of the _émigrés_.  If
they re-enter France in arms, all is lost, and it will be impossible to
make it believed that we are not in connivance with them.  Even the
existence of an army of _émigrés_ on the frontier would be enough to
keep up the irritation and afford ground for accusations against us; it
appears to me that a congress would make the task of restraining them
less difficult....  This idea of a congress pleases me greatly; it
would second the efforts we are {26} making to maintain confidence.  In
the first place, I repeat, it would put a check on the _émigrés_, and,
moreover, it would make an impression here from which I hope much.  I
submit that to your better judgment....  Adieu, my dear brother; we
love you, and my daughter has particularly charged me to embrace her
good uncle."

While Marie Antoinette was thus turning towards Austria for assistance,
the National Assembly at Paris repelled with energy all thought of any
intervention whatsoever on the part of foreign powers.  January 1,
1792, it issued a decree of impeachment against the King's brothers,
the Prince de Conde, and Calonne.  The confiscation of the property of
the _émigrés_ and the taxation of their revenues for the benefit of the
State had been prescribed by another decree to which Louis XVI. had
offered no opposition.  January 14, Guadet said in the tribune, while
speaking of the congress: "If it is true that by delays and
discouragement they wish to bring us to accept this shameful mediation,
ought the National Assembly to close its eyes to such a danger?  Let us
all swear to die here rather than--"  He was not allowed to finish.
The whole assembly rose to their feet, crying: "Yes, yes; we swear it!"
And in a burst of enthusiasm, every Frenchman who would take part in a
congress having for its object the modification of the Constitution,
was declared an infamous traitor.  January 17, it was decreed that the
King should require the {27} Emperor Leopold to explain himself
definitely before March 1.

By a curious coincidence, this date of March 1 was precisely that on
which the Emperor Leopold was to die of a dreadful malady.  He was in
perfect health on February 27, when he gave audience to the Turkish
envoy; he was in his agony, February 28, and on March 1, he died.  His
usual physician asserted that he had been poisoned.  The idea that a
crime had been committed spread among the people.  Vague rumors got
about concerning a woman who had caused remark at the last masked ball
at court.  This unknown person, under shelter of her disguise, might
have presented the sovereign with poisoned bonbons.  The Jacobins, who
might have desired to get rid of the armed chief of the empire, and the
_émigrés_, who might have reproached him as too luke-warm in his
opposition to the principles of the French Revolution, were alternately
suspected.  The last hypothesis was hardly probable, nor does anything
prove that the Jacobins had any hand in the possibly natural death of
the Emperor Leopold.  But minds were so overexcited at the time that
the parties mutually accused each other, on all occasions, of the most
execrable crimes.  For that matter, there were Jacobins who, out of
mere bravado, would willingly have gloried in crimes of which they were
not guilty, provided that these crimes had been committed against kings.

What is certain is, that Marie Antoinette believed {28} in poison.
"The death of the Emperor Leopold," says Madame Campan, "occurred on
March 1, 1792.  The Queen was out when the news arrived at the
Tuileries.  On her return, I gave her the letter announcing it.  She
cried out that the Emperor had been poisoned; that she had remarked and
preserved a gazette in which, in an article on the session of the
Jacobin Club at the time when Leopold had declared for the Coalition,
it was said, in speaking of him, that a bit of piecrust could settle
that affair.  From that moment the Queen had regarded this phrase as an
inadvertence of the propagandists."

On the very day when Marie Antoinette's brother died, Louis XVI.'s
Minister of Foreign Affairs, De Lessart, had enraged the National
Assembly by reading them extracts from his diplomatic correspondence,
which they found not sufficiently firm.  They were indignant at a
despatch in which Prince de Kaunitz said: "The latest events give us
hopes; it appears that the majority of the French nation, impressed
with the evils they have prepared, are returning to more moderate
principles, and incline to render to the throne the dignity and
authority which are the essence of monarchical government."  When De
Lessart came down from the tribune, the whispering changed into cries
of rage and threats against the minister and the court, which, it was
said, was planning a counter-revolution at the Tuileries, and dictating
to the cabinet of Vienna the language by which it hoped to intimidate
France.  {29} At the evening session of the same day, Rouyer, a deputy,
proposed to impeach the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  "Is it possible,"
cried he, "that a perfidious minister should come here to make a parade
of his work and lay the responsibility of it on a foreign power?  Will
the time never arrive when ministers shall cease to betray us?  Were my
head to be the price of the denunciation I am making, I would none the
less go on with it."  At the session of March 6, Guadet said: "It is
time to know whether the ministers wish to make Louis XVI. King of the
French, or the King of Coblentz."

On the 10th the storm broke.  The day before, Narbonne had received his
dismission.  Brissot accused De Lessart of having compromised the
safety of France, withheld from the Assembly the documents establishing
the alliance between the Emperor and the King of Prussia, discredited
the assignats, depreciated the credit, lowered the rate of exchange,
and encouraged interior disorder.  Vergniaud followed him, exclaiming:
"From the tribune where I am speaking may be seen the palace where
perverse counsellors lead astray and deceive the King given to you by
the Constitution; where they forge chains for the nation, and arrange
the manoeuvres which are to deliver us up to Austria, after having
caused us to pass through the horrors of civil war.  Terror and dismay
have often issued from that famous palace.  Let them re-enter it to-day
in the name of the law, let them penetrate all hearts, and {30} teach
all who dwell there, that our Constitution accords inviolability to the
King alone.  Let them know that the law will overtake all the guilty
without exception, and that there will not be a single head convicted
of crime which can escape its sword."  The decree of impeachment
against the ministers was voted by a very large majority.  De Lessart
was advised to take flight, but he refused.  "I owe it to my country,"
said he, "I owe it to my King and to myself to make my innocence and
the regularity of my conduct plain before the tribunal of the high
court, and I have decided to give myself up at Orleans."  He was
conducted by gendarmes to that city, where he was imprisoned.  Louis
XVI. dared not do anything to save his favorite minister.  On March 11,
Pétion, the mayor of Paris, came to the bar of the Assembly, and read,
in the name of the Commune, an address in which it was said: "When the
atmosphere surrounding us is heavy with noisome vapors, Nature can
relieve herself only by a thunder-storm.  So, too, society can purge
itself from the abuses which disturb it only by a formidable
explosion....  It is true, then, that responsibility is not an idle
word; that all men, whatever may be their stations, are equal before
the law; that the sword of justice is poised over all heads without
distinction."  Was not this language like a prognostic of the 21st of
January and the 16th of October?  Encompassed by a thousand snares,
hated by each of the extreme parties, by the {31} _émigrés_ as well as
by the Jacobins, Marie Antoinette no longer beheld anything but aspects
of sorrow.  Abroad, as in France, her gaze fell on dismal spectacles
only.  Her imagination was affected.  She hardly dared taste the dishes
served at her table.  All had conspired to betray her.  She had
experienced so many deceptions and so much anguish; fate had pursued
her with so much bitterness, that her heart, exhausted with emotions,
and overwhelmed with sadness, was weary of all things, even of hope.



{32}

IV.

THE DEATH OF GUSTAVUS III.

The drama of the Revolution is not French alone; it is European.  It
has its afterclap in every empire, in every kingdom, even to the most
distant lands.  It excites minds in Stockholm almost as much as in
Paris.  Among the Swedes there are people whose greatest desire would
be to parody the October Days, and to carry about on pikes the bleeding
heads of their adversaries.  The new ideas take fire and spread like a
train of gunpowder.  It is the fashion to go to extremes; a nameless
frenzy and fatality seem let loose upon this epoch of agitations and
catastrophes.  All those who, at one time or another, have been guests
at the palace of Versailles, are condemned, as by a mysterious
sentence, either to exile or to death.

How will terminate the career of that brilliant King of Sweden, who had
received from Versailles and from Paris, from the court and from the
city, such an enthusiastic reception?  Gustavus, the idol of the great
lords, the philosophers, and the fashionable beauties, who, after being
the hero of the encyclopædists, came to hold his court at {33}
Aix-la-Chapelle amid the French _émigrés_, and who, on his return to
Stockholm, prepared there the great crusade for authority, announcing
himself as the avenger of divine right, the saviour of all thrones?
The last days of his life, his presentiments, which recall those of
Cæsar, his superstitions, his belief in prophecies, his magic
incantations, that warning which he scorns, as the Duke de Guise did at
the castle of Blois, that masked ball where the costumes, the music,
the flowers, the lights, offer a painfully strange contrast to the
horror of the attack; all is sinister, lugubrious, in these fantastic
and fatal scenes which have already tempted more than one dramatist,
more than one musician, and whose phases a Shakespeare only could
retrace.  The crime of Stockholm is linked closely to the
death-struggle of French royalty.  The funeral knell which tolled at
this extremity of the North had echoes in Paris.  The Swedish regicides
set the example to the regicides of France.

M. Geffroy has remarked very justly in his work, _Gustave III. et la
cour de France_, that the bloody deed which put an end to the reign and
the life of Gustavus is not an isolated fact: "The faults committed by
this Prince would not have sufficed to arm his assassins.  The true
source whence Ankarstroem and his accomplices drew their first
inspiration was that vertigo caused during the last years of the
century by the annihilation of all religious and even all philosophical
faith....  No moment of {34} modern history has presented an
intellectual and moral anarchy comparable to that which accompanied the
revolutionary period in Europe."

The eighteenth century was punished for incredulity by superstition.
Having refused to believe the most holy truths, it lent credence to the
most fantastic chimeras.  For priests it substituted sorcerers; for
Christian ceremonies, the rites of freemasonry.  The time was coming
when, because it had rejected the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it was going
to bow before the sacred heart of Marat.  The adepts of Mesmer and of
De Puysegur, the seekers after the philosopher's stone, the Nicolaites
of Berlin, the illuminati of Bavaria, enlarged the boundaries of human
credulity, and the men who succumbed in the most naïve and foolish
manner to these wretched weaknesses of mind, were precisely the
haughtiest philosophers, those who had prided themselves the most on
their distinction as free-thinkers.  Such a one was Gustavus III.

This Voltairean Prince, who had held the Christian verities so cheap,
was superstitious even to puerility.  He did not believe in the
Gospels, but he believed in books of magic.  In a corner of his palace
he had arranged a cupboard with a censer and a pair of candlesticks,
before which he performed cabalistic operations in nothing but his
shirt.  Throughout his entire reign he consulted a fortune-teller named
Madame Arfwedsson, who read the future for him in coffee-grounds.
Around his neck {35} he wore a gold box containing a sachet in which
there was a powder that, according to his belief, would drive away evil
spirits.  All this apparatus of incantation and sorcery was one of the
causes of Gustavus's fall.  It multiplied the snares around the
unfortunate monarch, and served to mask his enemies.  Prophecies
announced his approaching end, and conspirators took care to fulfil the
prophecies.

The Duke of Sudermania, the King's brother, without being an accomplice
in the project of crime, encouraged underhand practices.  Sectarians
approached Gustavus to reproach him for his luxury, his prodigalities,
his entertainments, or addressed him anonymous warnings which, in
Biblical language, declared him accursed and rejected by the Lord.
Their insolence knew no bounds.  Madame Arfwedsson had counselled the
King to beware if he should meet a man dressed in red.  Count de
Ribbing, one of the future conspirators, having heard of this, ordered
a red costume out of bravado, and presented himself in it before his
sovereign, whom such an apparition caused to reflect if not to tremble.

Gustavus, like Cæsar, was to see his Ides of March.  It had been
predicted to him that the month of March would be fatal to him.  This
month approached, and the monarch diverted himself by fêtes and
boisterous entertainments in order to banish the presentiments which
never ceased to assail {36} him.  He said to himself that all this
phantasmagoria would probably soon vanish; that the funereal images
would of themselves depart; and that the spectres would disappear at
the sound of arms.  The monarchical crusade of which he proposed to be
the leader grew upon him as the best means by which to escape the
incessant obsessions haunting his spirit.  In vain was he reminded that
Sweden was in need of money, and that a war of intervention in the
affairs of France was not popular.  His resolution remained unshaken.
He counted the days and hours which still separated him from the moment
of action: his sole idea was to chastise the Jacobins and avenge the
majesty of thrones.

Returned to Stockholm from Aix-la-Chapelle, at the beginning of August,
1791, the impetuous monarch began to be very active in his warlike
preparations.  The Marquis de Bouillé, who had been obliged to quit
France at the time of the unsuccessful journey to Varennes, had entered
his service and was to counsel him and fight at his side under the
Swedish flag.  At the same time Gustavus officially renewed his
promises of aid to the King of France.  Louis XVI. replied:--

"MONSIEUR MY BROTHER AND COUSIN: I have just received the lines with
which you have honored me on the occasion of your return.  It is always
a great consolation to have such proofs of a friendly sentiment as are
given me by this letter.  The concern, Sire, which you take in all that
relates to {37} my interest touches me more and more, and I recognize
in each word the august soul of a king whom the world admires as much
for his magnanimous heart as for his wisdom."

Meanwhile the conspirators, animated either by personal rancor or the
passions common to nobles hostile to their king, were secretly
preparing for an attack.  The five leaders were Captain Ankarstroem,
Count de Ribbing, Count de Horn, Count de Lilienhorn, major of the Blue
Guards, and Baron Pechlin, an old man of seventy-two, who had been
distinguished in the civil wars, and was the soul of the plot.  The
conspirators had doubts before committing the crime.  During the Diet,
which met at Gefle, January 25, 1792, they refrained at the very moment
when they were about to strike.

Gustavus was in his castle of Haga, about a league from Stockholm,
without guards or attendants.  Three of the conspirators approached the
castle at five in the evening.  They were armed with carbines, and,
having placed themselves in ambush near the King's apartment on the
ground-floor, were awaiting an opportunity to kill their sovereign.
Gustavus coming in from a long walk, went in his dressing-gown to sit
in the library, the windows of which opened like doors into the garden.
He fell asleep in his armchair.  Whether they were alarmed by the sound
of footsteps, or whether the contrast between the slumber of the
unsuspicious King and the death poising above his head awakened {38}
some remorse, the assassins once more abandoned their meditated crime.

Weary of the attempts they had been planning for six months, and which
never came to anything, the conspirators might possibly have given them
up altogether if a circumstance which they considered providential had
not come to rekindle their regicidal zeal.  The last masked ball of the
season was to be given in the Opera-house on the night of March 16-17,
and it was known that Gustavus would be present.  To strike the monarch
in the midst of the festival, in order to chastise him for his love of
pleasure, was an idea which charmed the assassins.  Moreover, the mask
alone could embolden them; they thought that if the august victim were
enveloped in a domino they need no longer dread that royal prestige
which had more than once caused them to recoil.

Gustavus was counselled to be on his guard.  The young Count Louis de
Bouillé, who was then at Stockholm, and who had been informed by a
letter from Germany that the King was about to be assassinated, begged
him to profit by the warnings reaching him from every quarter.
Gustavus replied that he would rather go blindly to meet his fate than
torment himself with the numberless precautions which such suspicions
would demand.  "If I listened," added he, "to all the advice I receive,
I could not even drink a glass of water; besides, I am far from
believing in the execution of such a plot.  {39} My subjects, although
very brave in war, are extremely timid in politics.  The successes I
expect to gain in France, the trophies of which I shall bring back to
Stockholm, will speedily augment my power by the confidence and general
respect which will be their result."

Meantime the fatal hour was approaching.  The masked ball of March 16
was about to open.  Before going there, Gustavus took supper with a few
of the persons belonging to his household.  While he was at table he
received a note, written in French and unsigned, in which he was
entreated not to enter the playhouse, where he was about to be stricken
to death.  The author of the note urgently recommended the King not to
make his appearance at the ball, and, if he persisted in going, to
suspect the crowd which would press around him, because this gathering
was to be the prelude and signal of the blow aimed at him.  The really
bizarre thing about this was that the man who wrote these lines was
himself one of the conspirators, Count de Lilienhorn.

"It is impossible to tell," says the Marquis de Bouillé in his Memoirs,
"whether his conscience wished to acquit itself in this manner towards
the King, to whom he owed everything, without forfeiting his word to
his party, or whether, knowing the fearless character of this prince,
he did not offer his anonymous advice as a bait to his courage.  It
certainly produced the latter effect."  Gustavus made no {40}
reflections on reading this note, and went fearlessly to the ball.

The orchestra is playing wildly.  The dances are animated.  The hall,
adorned with flowers, sparkles under the glow of the chandeliers.
Gustavus appears for a moment in his box.  It is only then that he
shows to Baron d'Essen, his first equerry, the anonymous note he had
received while at supper.  That faithful servant begs him not to go
down into the hall.  Gustavus disregards the prudent counsel.  He says
that hereafter he will wear a coat of mail, but that, for this time, he
is perfectly determined to be reckless about danger.  The King and his
equerry go into the saloon in front of the royal box, where each puts
on a domino.  Then they enter the hall by way of the stage.  There are
men essentially courageous, who love danger for its own sake.  Gustavus
is one of them.  Hence he takes pleasure in braving all his assassins.
As he is crossing the greenroom with Baron d'Essen on his arm, "Let us
see," says he, "whether they will really dare to kill me."  Yes, they
will dare it.  The moment that the King enters he is recognized in
spite of his mask and his domino.  He walks slowly around the hall, and
then goes into the pit, where he strolls about during several minutes.
He is about to retrace his steps, when he finds himself surrounded, as
had been predicted, by a group of maskers who get between him and the
officers of his suite.  Several black dominos approach.  They are the
assassins.  One of them, {41} Count de Horn, lays a hand on his
shoulder: "Good day, fine masker!" he says.  This Judas salute, this
ironical welcome given by the murderers to their victim, is the signal
for the attack.  On the instant, Ankarstroem fires on the King with a
pistol loaded with old iron.

Gustavus, struck in the left hip, cries, "I am wounded!"  The pistol,
which had been wrapped in wool, made only a muffled report, and the
smoke spreading throughout the room, the crowd does not think of a
murder, but a fire.  Cries of "Fire! fire!" augment the confusion.
Baron d'Essen, all covered with his master's blood, helps him to gain a
little box called the OEil-de-Boeuf, and from there a salon, where he
is laid upon a sofa.  Baron d'Armfelt orders the doors of the theatre
to be closed, and every one to unmask.  A man, brazening it out, lifts
his mask before the officer of police, and says to him with assurance,
"As for me, sir, I hope that you will not suspect me."  It is
Ankarstroem, the assassin.  He goes out quietly.  But, after the crime
was committed, his weapons, a pistol and a knife like that of
Ravaillac, had fallen on the floor.  A gunsmith of Stockholm will
recognize the pistol and declare that he had sold it a few days before
to a former officer of the guards, Captain Ankarstroem.  It is the
token which will cause the arrest of the assassin, and his punishment
by the penalty of parricides,--decapitation and the cutting off of his
right hand.

{42}

The King showed admirable calm and resignation during the thirteen days
he had still to live.  He asked with anxiety if the murderer had been
arrested, and being answered that his name was not yet known: "Ah!  God
grant," said he, "that he may not be discovered!"  As soon as the first
bandages were put on, the wounded man was taken to his apartments at
the castle.  There he received his courtiers and the foreign ministers.
When he saw the Duke d'Escars, who represented the brothers of Louis
XVI. at Stockholm: "This is a blow," said he, "which is going to
rejoice your Parisian Jacobins; but write to the Princes that if I
recover from it, it will change neither my sentiments nor my zeal for
their just cause."  In the midst of his sufferings he preserved a
dignity above all praise.  Neither recriminations nor murmurs issued
from his lips.  He summoned to his death-bed both his friends and those
who had been among the number of his enemies, but would have been
horrified to have been accomplices in a crime.  When the old Count de
Brahé, leader of the nobles of the opposition, presented himself,
Gustavus said, as he pressed him in his arms: "I bless my wound, since
it has brought back an old friend who had withdrawn from me.  Embrace
me, my dear count, and let all be forgotten between us."

The fate of his son, who was about to ascend the throne at the age of
thirteen, was the chief preoccupation of the King.  "Let them put me on
a litter," cried he; "I will go to the public square and speak to {43}
the people."  And he said to Baron d'Armfelt: "Go, and like another
Antony, show the bloody vestments of Cæsar."  It was also to D'Armfelt
that he said as he was signing with his dying hand his commission as
Governor of Stockholm: "Give me your knightly word that you will serve
my son as faithfully as you have served me."  He made his confession to
his grand-almoner: "I fear," he said to him, "that I have no great
merit before God, but at least I am sure that I have never done harm to
any one intentionally."  He meant to receive the sacraments according
to the Lutheran form, and to have the Queen brought to him, as he had
not seen her since his illness.  But while seeking sleep in order to
tranquillize his mind before this emotion, he found the slumber of
death, March 29, 1792, at eleven in the morning.  He was forty-six
years old.

Thus terminated the brilliant and stormy career of the prince on whom
the Marquis de Bouillé has pronounced the following judgment: "His
manners and his politeness rendered him the most amiable and attractive
man in his country, although the Swedes are naturally intelligent.  He
had a vivid imagination, a mind enlightened and adorned by a taste for
letters, a masculine and persuasive eloquence, and an easy elocution
even when speaking French; useful and agreeable acquirements, a
prodigious memory, polite and affable manners, accompanied by a certain
oddity which did not displease.  His strong and ardent soul was
enkindled with an inordinate love of glory; but a {44} chivalrous
spirit and loyalty dominated there.  His sensitive heart rendered him
clement, when he ought, perhaps, to have been severe; he was even
susceptible of friendship, and this prince has had and has preserved
friends whom I have known, and who were worthy to be such.  He had a
firm and decided character, and, above all, that resolution so
necessary to statesmen, without which wit, prudence, talents,
experience, are not only useless, but often injurious."

According to the Marquis de Bouillé, Gustavus should have been the King
of France, and Louis XVI. King of Sweden.  "As the sovereign of France,
Gustavus would have been, beyond all doubt, one of its greatest kings.
He would have preserved that beautiful realm from a revolution; he
would have governed with glory and with splendor....  Louis XVI., on
the other hand, placed on the throne of Sweden, would have obtained the
respect and esteem of that simple people by his moral and religious
virtues, his economy, his spirit of justice, and his good and
benevolent sentiments.  He would have contributed to the happiness of
the Swedes, who would have wept above his tomb; whereas both these
monarchs perished at the hands of their subjects.  But the designs of
Providence are impenetrable, and we ought, in respect and silence, to
obey its unalterable decrees."

The Jacobins of Paris, who affected to despise the projects of Gustavus
III., showed how much they had feared him by the mad joy they displayed
on {45} learning of his death.  They lavished praises on "Brutus
Ankarstroem."  Although it had been committed by the nobles, there was
a certain reminiscence of the French Revolution about the assault.  In
their secret meetings the conspirators had agreed to carry around on
pikes the heads of Gustavus's principal friends, "in the French style,"
as was said in those days.  Count de Lilienhorn, brought up, nourished,
and drawn from poverty and obscurity by Gustavus, and overwhelmed to
the last moment by the benefits of the generous monarch, explained his
monstrous ingratitude and the part he had taken in the attack, by
saying he had been led astray by the idea of commanding the National
Guards of Stockholm after the Revolution, and playing the same part as
Lafayette.  The Girondin ministry attained to power in France a few
days after Gustavus had been struck down in Sweden.  There was no
connecting link between the two facts; but at Paris, as at Stockholm,
the cause of kings sustained a terrible repulse.  The tragic death of
their faithful friend must have caused Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette
some painful forebodings concerning their own fate.  The murder of
Gustavus was the first of a series of great catastrophes.  The pistol
of the Swedish regicide heralded the blade of the Parisian guillotine.
The 16th of March was the prelude of the 21st of January.



{46}

V.

THE BEGINNINGS OF MADAME ROLAND.

The moment is at hand when a woman of the middle class, born in humble
circumstances, is about to make her appearance on the scene of
politics; a woman who, after living in obscurity during thirty-eight
years, was to become famous in a few days, and attract the attention of
all France first and afterwards that of Europe entire.  No figure is
more curious to study than hers, and it is not surprising that of late
years it has tempted men of great merit, such as MM. Daubant and
Faugère, whose publications have shed great light on the Egeria of the
Girondins.

At every epoch of history there are certain women who become as it were
living symbols, and sum up in their own persons the passions,
prejudices, and illusions of their time.  They reflect at once its
vices and its virtues, its qualities and its defects.  Such was Madame
Roland.  All the distinctive characteristics of the close of the
eighteenth century are resumed in her: ardent enthusiasm, generous
ideals, aspiration towards progress, passion for liberty, heroic
courage in view of persecution, captivity, and death; an absence of
religious faith, an implacable vanity, a {47} thirst for emotions,
plagiarism of antiquity, declamatory language and sentiments, and
childish imitation of Greece and Rome.  Nothing is more interesting
than to analyze the conceptions of this mind, count the pulsations of
this heart, and surprise the inmost secrets of a woman whose
psychological importance is as considerable as her place in history.
Intellectually as well as morally, Madame Roland is the daughter of
Jean-Jacques Rousseau; socially she is the personification of that
third estate which, having been nothing, wished at first to be
something and afterwards to be all; politically, she is by turns the
heroine and the victim of the Revolution, which, under pretext of
liberty, engendered tyranny, which used the guillotine and perished by
the guillotine, and which after dreaming of light expired in mire and
blood.

How was it that this little _bourgeoise_, the daughter of Philipon the
engraver, a man midway between an artisan and an artist, whose very
origin seemed to remove her so far from any political rôle, attained to
high renown?  What influences formed this woman whose qualities were
masculine?  Whence was drawn the inspiration of this siren, destined to
be taken in her own snares and die the victim of her own incantations?
A rapid glance at the earliest years of Marie-Jeanne Philipon, the
future Madame Roland, is enough to explain her passions and her hopes,
her errors and her talents, her rages and her enthusiasms.

She was born in Paris, March 18, 1754, of an intelligent but frivolous
father, and a simple, devoted, {48} honestly commonplace mother.  From
infancy she felt herself superior to those by whom she was surrounded.
Thence sprang an unmeasured pride and a continual hunger to produce an
impression.  The infant prodigy preluded the female politician.
Speaking of herself in her Memoirs, she becomes ecstatic over the child
who "read serious works, explained very well the circles of the
celestial globe, used crayons and the burin, found at eight years that
she was the best dancer in an assembly of young persons older than
herself," and who, nevertheless, "was often summoned to the kitchen to
make an omelette, clean the vegetables, or skim the pot."  She admires
her own willingness to descend to domestic cares: "I was never out of
my element," she says; "I could make soup as skilfully as Philopoemen
could chop wood; but no one, observing me, could imagine that this was
suitable employment."  Still speaking of herself, she celebrates "the
little person who on Sundays went to church or out walking in a
spick-and-span costume whose appearance was fully sustained by her
demeanor and her language."  She calls attention to the contrast by
which, on week-days, the same child went out alone, in a little cloth
frock, to buy parsley and salad at a short distance from home.  "It
must be owned," she adds, "that I did not like this very well; but I
did not show it, and I had the art of doing my errands in such a way as
to find some pleasure in it.  I united such great politeness to a
certain dignity, that the fruit-seller or other person {49} of the
sort, took pleasure in serving me first, and even those who came before
me thought this proper."

So the little Philipon wanted to take the chief place in the
fruiterer's shop, just as, later on, she desired it on the political
stage or the Ministry of the Interior.  This enemy of privileges will
admit them only for herself.  In everything she made pretentions:
pretentions to elegance, beauty, distinction, talent, knowledge,
eloquence, genius, and, when she wanted to be simple, to simplicity.
In her style as in her conversation, in her public as in her private
life, what she sought before all things was effect.  It was absolutely
essential that people should talk about her, that she should be playing
a part, or standing on a pedestal.  Assuredly, if she had a fault, it
was not excess of modesty.  She regarded herself as the flower of her
sex, a superior woman, made to be loved, flattered, and adored.  She
speaks of her charms with the precision of a doctor and the enthusiasm
of a poet.  Not one of her perfections escapes her.  It is through a
magnifying-glass and before a mirror that she studies and admires
herself.  She discovers that a society in which a woman so remarkable
and so attractive is not thoroughly well known, must be badly
organized.  Middle-class by birth, and aristocratic by instinct, she
represents what one might then have called the new social strata.  A
secret voice told her that the day was to come when she would make
herself feared by the powerful of the earth, those giants with feet of
clay who, at the beginning of her {50} career, were still looked at
kneeling.  Banished by fate from the theatre where the human
tragi-comedy is played, she said to herself: "I too will have a part
one of these days."  In the earliest stage of her existence there was
in her a confused medley of uneasiness and ambition, of spite and
anger.  She had a horror of the slightly disdainful protection of
people of quality.  She conceived an aversion for persons like that
Demoiselle d'Hannaches, "big, awkward, dry, and yellow," infatuated
with her nobility, annoying everybody with her titles, and yet, in
spite of her ignorance, her stiff manners, her old-fashioned dress and
her follies, well received everywhere on account of her birth.

Slowly, but steadily, the future amazon of the Revolution prepared
herself for the combat.  The books which she read and re-read
incessantly were the arsenal whence she drew her weapons.  One of those
presentiments which do not deceive, promised her a stormy but
illustrious destiny.  More Roman than French, more pagan than
Christian, she longed for glory like that of the heroines of Plutarch,
her favorite author.  In the humble dwelling of her father, situated at
the corner of the Pont-Neuf and the Quai des Orfévres, she caught a
glimpse of horizons as wide as her thoughts.  "From the upper part of
our house," she says, "a great expanse offered itself to my dreamy and
romantic imagination.  How often from my north window have I
contemplated with emotion the deserts of the sky, its superb azure {51}
vault splendidly outlined from the bluish dawn far behind the Pont du
Change, to the sunset gilded with a faint purplish lustre behind the
trees of the Champs Elysées and the houses of Chaillot."

Irritated with the obscurity to which she was condemned by fate, there
was but one resource which could have consoled her for the social
inequalities which bruised her vanity and her pride.  That resource
would have been religion.  Nothing but an ideal of humility could have
appeased the interior revolts of this soul of fire.  To such a woman,
what is lacking is heaven.  Earth, no matter what happens, can give her
nothing but deceptions.  The only moment of her life when she felt
herself really happy was that when she enjoyed the supreme good, peace
of heart.  Of all parts of her Memoirs, the most pure and touching are
those she devotes to her recollections of the convent.  One might think
that the author of _Rolla_ had remembered them when he described in
such penetrating terms the mystic poetry of the cloister, and the
regrets often engendered by the loss of faith in the minds and hearts
of people who have become unbelievers.

The little Philipon, being in her twelfth year, asked to be sent to a
convent, in order to prepare better for her first communion.  She was
placed with the Ladies of the Congregation, rue Neuve-Saint-Étienne, in
the Faubourg Saint-Marcel, near Sainte-Pélagie, her future prison: "How
I pressed my dear mamma in my arms at the moment of parting {52} from
her for the first time!  I was stifled, overwhelmed; but I obeyed the
voice of God, and crossed the threshold of the cloister, offering Him
with tears the greatest sacrifice that I could make.  The first night I
spent at the convent was agitated: I was no longer under the paternal
roof.  I felt that I was far from that good mother who was surely
thinking of me with tenderness.  There was a feeble light in the room
where I had been put to bed, with four other children of my own age; I
rose quietly and went to the window.  The moonlight permitted me to see
the garden upon which it looked.  The most profound silence reigned; I
listened to it, so to say, with a sort of respect; great trees cast
their gigantic shadows here and there, and promised a safe refuge for
tranquil meditation.  I lifted my eyes to the pure and serene sky, and
thought I felt the presence of the Divinity, who smiled at my sacrifice
and already offered me its recompense in the peace of a celestial
abode.  Delicious tears flowed slowly down my cheeks; I reiterated my
vows with a holy transport, and I enjoyed the slumber of the elect."

As if in these silent cloisters, which she crossed slowly so as to
enjoy their solitude more fully, she had a presentiment of the storms
in her destiny and her heart, she sometimes stopped beside a tomb on
which was engraven the eulogy of a holy maiden.  "She is happy!" she
said to herself with a sigh.  While she was in prison she remembered
with emotion a novice's taking the veil: "I experience yet the {53}
thrill caused by her faintly tremulous voice when she chanted
melodiously the customary versicle: '_Elegi_: Here I have chosen my
abode, and I will not depart from it forever.'  I have not forgotten
the notes of this little air; I can repeat them as exactly as if I had
heard them yesterday."

Unhappily, religious ideas were soon to undergo a change in the mind of
the future Madame Roland.  Returning to the paternal dwelling, she was
badly brought up there; her mother let her read everything, even
_Candide_.  Voltaire, Helvétius, Diderot, had no secrets for this young
girl.  Extreme disorder and confusion in mind and heart were the
result.  When she had the misfortune to lose her mother at the age of
twenty-one, the book in which she sought consolation was the _Nouvelle
Héloise_.  Jean-Jacques became her god.  "It seems," she says, "as if
he were my natural aliment and the interpreter of the sentiment I had
already, and which he alone knew how to explain to me....  To have the
whole of Jean-Jacques," she says again, "to be able to consult him
incessantly, to enlighten and elevate one's self with him at all times
of life, is a felicity which can only be tasted by adoring him as I
did."  Such reading robbed her of faith.  It made her a free-thinker
and a bluestocking.  It inspired her with an unhealthy ambition,
sullied her imagination, and troubled the peace of her heart.  It
deprived her of that moral delicacy, lacking which, even virtue itself
loses its charms.  She was no longer anything but a young {54} girl,
well-conducted but not pure, honest but shameless.

Was not a day coming when, a prisoner and on the point of getting into
the fatal cart, she would throw off the terrible anxieties of her
situation in order to imitate the impurities of the _Confessions_ of
Jean-Jacques, and retrace indecent details with complacency?  Do not
seek in her that flower of innocence which is the young girl's grace.
The charming puritan does not commit great faults, but she has
astonishing licenses of thought and speech.  For her, Louvet's
_Faublas_ is "one of those charming romances known to persons of taste,
in which the graces of imagination ally themselves to the tone of
philosophy."  Is not this woman, who begins her life like a saint and
ends it as a pupil of Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the symbol of
that troubled eighteenth century which opened in fidelity to religious
faith and closed in the depths of the abyss of incredulity?  The
ravages caused by bad reading in the soul of this young girl explain
the catastrophes of the entire century.

From the time when she replaced the Gospels by the _Contrat Social_ and
the _Imitation of Jesus Christ_ by the _Nouvelle Héloise_, there was no
longer anything simple or natural remaining in the young philosopher.
All her thoughts and actions became declamatory.  There was something
theatrical in her attitudes and gestures, and even in the sound of her
voice.  Her speech was rhythmical, cadenced, marked {55} by a special
accent.  Even her private letters often resemble the amplifications of
rhetoric rather than the effusions of friendship.  One might say that
their author had a presentiment that they would be printed.  She wrote
to Mademoiselle Sophie Cannet, January 3, 1776: "In any case, burn
nothing.  Though my letters were one day to be read by all the world, I
would not hide the only monuments of my weakness, and my sentiments."
Monuments of weakness--is not the expression worthy of the bombast of
the time?

Not finding love, Mademoiselle Philipon married philosophically.  Her
union bears a striking imitation to that of Héloise with M. de Volmar.
"Looking her destiny peacefully and tenderly in the face, greatly moved
but not infatuated," she united herself to a man whom she esteemed but
did not love.  This was Roland de la Platière, who was descended from
an ancient and very honorable middle class family.  Though not rich, he
was at least comfortably well off.  "Well educated, honest, simple in
his tastes and manners, he fulfilled his duties as inspector of
manufactures in a notable way.  The marriage was celebrated on February
4, 1780.  Roland was forty-six years old, while his wife was not yet
twenty-six.  Thin, bald, careless in his dress, the husband was not at
all an ideal person.  It had taken him five years to declare his
passion, and this hesitation, as his wife was to write thirteen years
later, "left not a vestige of illusion in his sentiments."  "I have
often felt," {56} says she, "that there was no similarity between us.
If we lived in retirement, I spent many painful hours; if we mingled in
society, I was loved by persons among whom I perceived there were some
who might affect me too much; I plunged into labor with my husband....
It was a long time before I gained courage to contradict him."

M. Roland was sent to Amiens, where his wife presented him with a
daughter, whom she nursed, and afterwards brought up with the utmost
tenderness and devotion.  In 1784, he was summoned to Lyons, where he
found himself once more in his native region.  Thenceforward he spent
two of the winter months in Lyons, and the remainder of the year on his
paternal domain, the Close of Platière, two leagues from Villefranche,
surrounded by woods and vineyards, and opposite the mountains of
Beaujolais.  While her husband went to take possession of his new post,
Madame Roland, not yet a republican, remained a few weeks in Paris in
order to obtain, if possible, the patent of nobility so ardently
desired by the family.  Her solicitations proved unsuccessful, and the
married pair, despairing of becoming nobles, consoled themselves by a
frank avowal of democracy.

Up to the time of the Revolution, Madame Roland's life glided
peacefully away without any remarkable incidents.  In the Close of
Platière, which she calls her dovecot, she appears as a good
housekeeper who looks after everything, from the cellar to the garret;
{57} who plays the doctor among the poor villagers; who is delighted to
find in nature a savor of frank and free rusticity.  The life she leads
is not merely honest, but edifying.  She is very careful at this period
to hide her philosophy.  She writes to Bosc, one of her friends,
February 9, 1785: "My brother-in-law, whose disposition is extremely
gentle and sensitive, is also very religious; I leave him the
satisfaction of thinking that the dogmas are as evident to me as they
appear to him, and my exterior actions are such as become the mother of
a family out in the country, who is bound to edify everybody.  As I was
very devout in my early youth, I know my prayers as well as my
philosophy, and I prefer to make use of my first erudition."  She wrote
again to Bosc, October 12, 1785: "I have hardly touched a pen for a
month, and I think I am acquiring some of the inclinations of the beast
whose milk refreshes me; I am extremely _asinine_, and I busy myself
with all the petty cares of the _hoggish_ country life.  I make
preserved pears that are delicious; we dry grapes and plums; we wash
and make up linen; we have white wine for breakfast, and we lie down on
the grass to rest; we follow the vintagers; we repose in the woods and
fields."

Before looking at the female politician, let us glance once more at the
woman in private life, the charitable, devoted, honorable mother of a
family, such as she paints herself in a letter of November 10, 1786:
"From the corner of my fire, at eleven {58} o'clock, after a quiet
night and the various morning cares, my husband at his desk, my little
girl knitting, and I chatting with one and superintending the other's
work, enjoying the happiness of being snugly in the bosom of my dear
little family, writing to a friend, while the snow is falling on so
many wretches weighed down by poverty and sorrow, I am touched with
compassion for their fate; I turn back sweetly to my own, and at this
moment I count as nothing the annoyances of relations or circumstances
which seem occasionally to mar its felicity."

Alas, why did not Madame Roland stay in her modest country-house to dry
her grapes and plums, to superintend her washing, mend her linen, and
spread out in her garret the fruits for winter use?  Were not
obscurity, repose, peace of heart, better for her than that fictitious
glory which was to pass so quickly and end upon the scaffold?  One
might say that before quitting nature, that great consoler which calms
and does not betray, in order to plunge herself into the odious world
of politics, which spoils and embitters the most beautiful souls, she
experiences a certain vague regret for the sweet and tranquil joys
which her folly was about to cause her to renounce forever.

"The weather is delightful," wrote Madame Roland, May 17, 1790; "the
country has changed almost beyond recognition in only six days; the
vines and walnuts were as black as they are in winter, but a stroke of
the magic wand does not alter the aspect of {59} things more quickly
than the heat of a few fine days has done; everything turns green and
leafs out; a soft verdure is visible where there was nothing but the
dull and faded tint of torpor and inaction.  I could easily forget
public affairs and men's controversies here; content to arrange the
manor, to see my fowls brood, and take care of my rabbits, I would care
nothing more about the revolutions of empires.  But, as soon as I am in
the city, the poverty of the people and the insolence of the rich rouse
my hatred of injustice and oppression: I have no longer any soul or
desire except for the triumph of great truths and the success of our
regeneration."

The die is cast.  The daughter of Philipon the engraver is about to
become a political woman.  The hour is come when this great actress,
who has long known her part, is at last going on the stage.  She has a
presentiment of the risk she is running in assuming a task which is
beyond her sex.  But, like soldiers who love danger for danger's sake,
and prefer the emotions of the battle-field to garrison life, she will
joyfully quit her province and throw herself into the seething furnace
of Paris.  Even though she is to meet persecution and death at the end
of her new career, she will not recoil.  A short but agitated life will
seem better to her than a long and fortunate existence without violent
emotions.  A clear sky pleases her no longer.  She is homesick for
storms and lightning flashes.



{60}

VI.

MADAME ROLAND'S ENTRANCE ON THE SCENE.

The hour of the Revolution had struck, and, ambitious, unbelieving,
full of disdain for the leading classes, full of confidence in her own
superiority, active, eloquent, impassioned, uniting the language of an
orator to the seductions of a charming woman, Madame Roland was ripe
for the Revolution.  Her epoch suited her, and she suited her epoch.
This pagan who, according to her own expression, roamed mentally in
Greece, attended the Olympic games, and despised herself for being
French; this fanatical admirer of antiquity who, at eight years of age,
carried Plutarch to church with her instead of a missal, who styled
Roland _the virtuous_ as the Athenians called Aristides the _just_, who
will die like her heroes, Socrates and Phocion; this student who, at
another period, would have been rated as an under-bred woman of the
middle class, a more or less ridiculous bluestocking, suddenly found
herself, in consequence of a general panic and circumstances as strange
as they were unforeseen, the very ideal of the society in which she
lived.  For several months she was to be its fashionable type, its
favorite heroine.  {61} But the Revolution was a Saturn who devoured
his children, male and female, and the Egeria of the Girondins expiated
bitterly the intoxication caused by her brief popularity.

In 1777, at the age of twenty-three, she had written: "Gay and jesting
speeches fall from this mouth which sobs at night upon its pillow; a
laugh dwells on my lips, while my tears, shut up within my heart, at
length make on it, in spite of its hardness, the effect produced by
water on a stone: falling drop by drop, they insensibly wear it away."
In 1791, when she was thirty-eight, she wrote: "The phenomena of
nature, which make the vulgar grow pale, and which are imposing even to
the philosophical eye, offer nothing to a sensitive person preoccupied
with great concerns, but scenes inferior to those of which her own
heart is the theatre."  The flame consuming the eloquent and ardent
disciple of Rousseau was in need of fuel, and, finding this in
politics, she threw herself upon it with a sort of ravenous fury, just
as she had once abandoned herself to study.  At twenty-two she had
written to one of her young friends: "You scold me for studying too
hard.  Bear in mind, then, that unless I did so, love might perhaps
excite my imagination to frenzy.  It is a necessary distraction.  I am
not trying to become a learned woman; I study because I need to study,
as I do to eat."  It was thus that Madame Roland plunged into politics.
All her unappeased instincts and repressed forces found their outlet in
that direction.

{62}

Woman being formed by nature to be dominated, nothing is more agreeable
to her than to invert the parts, and in her turn to domineer.  To exert
influence in public affairs, to designate or support the candidates for
great offices of State, to organize or direct a ministry, to make
themselves listened to by serious men, to inspire opinions or systems,
is to ambitious women a kind of revenge for their sex.  Those who have
acquired a habit of exercising this sort of power cannot relinquish it
without extreme reluctance.  If they have once persuaded themselves of
their superiority to men, nothing can ever root the conviction from
their minds.  To be protected humiliates them; what they long for most
of all is to be acknowledged as protectresses.  Self-deluded, they
attribute to their passion for the public welfare what is, especially
in their case, the need of petty glory, the thirst for emotions, or the
amusement of pride and vanity.

The Revolutionary bluestocking, Madame Roland, was from the very start
delighted to see that her works were printed, and that they produced as
much effect as if they had been written by some great statesman.  These
first successes seemed to her to justify the excellent opinion she had
always entertained of herself.  She got into a habit of playing the
oracle.  No sooner had her lips touched the cup containing this
poisonous but intoxicating beverage than she would have no other.  That
alone could refresh, even while it killed her.

{63}

Politics has the immense defect of exasperating, troubling, and
disfiguring souls.  Madame Roland was born good, sensible, and
generous.  Politics made her at times wicked, vindictive, and cruel.
July 26, 1789, she wrote this odious letter: "You are nothing but
children; your enthusiasm is a fire of straw, and if the National
Assembly does not order the trial of two illustrious heads, or some
generous Decius does not strike them down, you are all ... lost"
(Madame Roland employed a more trivial expression).  "If this letter
does not reach you, may the cowards who read it redden to learn that it
is from a woman, and tremble in reflecting that she can create a
hundred enthusiasts from whom will proceed a million others."  Roland
had been employed by the Agricultural Society of Lyons to draw up its
reports for the States-General.  Madame Roland wrote much more of them
than her husband did.  She sent article on article to a journal founded
by Champagneux to forward the revolutionary propaganda.  Sixty thousand
copies were printed of one of them in which she described the festival
of the Federation at Lyons.  Imagine the joy felt by the
_femme-auteur_, the pupil of Jean-Jacques, the model of George Sand!
Soon afterwards, the municipality deputed Roland to the Constituent
Assembly to advocate the interests of the city, which was involved to
the extent of forty millions, and which asked to have this debt assumed
by the State.  Roland and his wife arrived in Paris, February 20, 1791.

{64}

The married pair installed themselves on the third floor of the hotel
Britannique, in rue Guénégaud.  There a sort of political reunion was
formed, of which Brissot was the first link.  Four times a week a few
friends, and certain deputies and journalists, met around this still
unknown woman, whose wit, charm, and beauty were not long in making a
sensation.  It was at this period that she made Buzot's acquaintance.
The day of her first interview with the young and brilliant deputy was
an epoch in her sentimental life.  Thenceforward, two passions, love
and ambition, the one as fierce and devouring as the other, were to
occupy her ardent soul.  Comparing the young orator, whom she perhaps
transformed in her imagination into the president of a more or less
Athenian republic, with the austere and prosaic companion of her
existence, she perceived that, according to her own expression, there
was no equality between her and her husband, and that "the ascendency
of a domineering character, joined to twenty years' seniority, rendered
one of these superiorities too great"--that of age.  She was herself
six years older than Buzot.  Even though her love for him may have
remained Platonic, she gave him all her heart and soul.

For the majority of women, still beautiful, who mingle in public
affairs, love is the principal thing; politics but the accessory, the
pretext.  They imagine they are attaching themselves to ideas, and it
is to men.  In this respect the heroines of the Revolution resemble
those of the Fronde.  The stateswoman in {65} Madame Roland plays
second to the lover of Buzot.  In her mind the Republic and the
handsome republican blend into one.  Believing herself a patriot when
she is above all a woman in love, she carries the emotions, the
infatuations, the ardors and exaggerations of her private life into her
public one.  With her, angers and enthusiasms rise to paroxysm.  She is
extreme in all things.

She detests Louis XVI. as much as she loves Buzot.  After the flight to
Varennes, she wrote: "To replace the King on the throne is a folly, an
absurdity, if it is not a horror; to declare him demented is to make
obligatory the appointment of a regent.  To impeach Louis XVI. would
be, beyond all contradiction, the greatest and most righteous step, but
you are incapable of taking it.  Well then, put him not exactly under
interdict, but suspend him."  Here begins the influence of Madame
Roland.  The suspension of the royal authority is one of her ideas.
"So long as peace lasted," she says, "I adhered to the peaceful rôle
and to that kind of influence which I thought fitting to my sex; when
war was declared by the King's departure, it appeared to me that every
one should devote himself unreservedly.  I joined the fraternal
societies, being persuaded that zeal and good intentions might be very
useful in critical moments.  I was unable to stay at home any longer,
and I went to the houses of worthy people of my acquaintance that we
might excite each other to great measures."  One knows what the {66}
Revolution meant by that expression: great measures.  Madame Roland
became furious.  She wanted a freedom of the press without check or
limit.  She was angry because Marat's newspapers were destroyed by the
satellites of Lafayette.  "It is a cruel thing to think of," she
exclaims, "but it becomes every day more evident that peace means
retrogression, and that we can only be regenerated by blood."

Her hatred includes both Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette.  June 25,
1791, she writes: "It appears to me that the King ought to be
sequestered and his wife impeached."  And on July 1: "The King has sunk
to the lowest depths of degradation; his trick has exposed him
completely, and he inspires nothing but contempt.  His name, his
portrait, and his arms have been effaced everywhere.  Notaries have
been obliged to take down the escutcheons marked with a flower-de-luce
which served to designate their houses.  He is called nothing but Louis
the False, or the great hog.  Caricatures of every sort represent him
under emblems which, though not the most odious, are the most suitable
to nourish and augment popular disdain.  The people tend of their own
accord to all that can express this sentiment, and it is impossible
that they should ever again be willing to see seated on the throne a
being they despise so completely."

Things did not go fast enough to suit Madame Roland's furious hatred.
The popular gathering in the Champ-de-Mars, whose aim was to bring
about {67} the deposition of the King, was forcibly dispersed on July
17.  With six exceptions, all the deputies who had belonged either to
the Jacobin Club or that of the Cordeliers, left them on account of
their demand that Louis XVI. should be brought to trial.  The time for
great measures, to use Madame Roland's expression, had not yet arrived.
The ardent democrat laments it.  "I cannot describe our situation to
you," she writes at this moment of the revolutionary recoil; "I feel
environed by a silent horror; my heart grows steadfast in a mournful
and solemn silence, ready to sacrifice all rather than cease to defend
principles, but not knowing the moment when they can triumph, and
forming no resolution but that of giving a great example."

The mission which had kept Roland in Paris for seven months being
ended, the discouraged pair returned to their province in September.
After stopping a few days in Lyons, in order to found a popular society
affiliated to the Jacobins of the capital, they went to spend the
remainder of the autumn at their country place, the Close of Platière.
But calm and silence no longer suited Madame Roland.  Repose
exasperated her.  She missed the struggle and the emotions of
revolutionary Paris, of which she had said: "One lives ten years here
in twenty-four hours; events and affections blend with and succeed each
other with singular rapidity; no such great events ever occupied minds."

The pleasure of seeing her daughter again was not {68} enough to
compensate her for the chagrin of having parted from Buzot.  Just as
she was despairing at the thought of sinking back into all the nullity
of the province, as she expresses it, the news came that the inspectors
of agriculture had been suppressed.  Roland, no longer an official,
deliberated with his wife as to their next step.  His own inclination
was to settle permanently in the country and devote himself to
agricultural labors which would surely and safely augment his fortune.
But his wife was by no means of the same mind.  She must see her dear
Buzot again at any cost.  She flattered the self-love of her
unsuspecting spouse, and persuaded him that Paris was the sole theatre
worthy of the virtuous Roland.  Roland allowed himself to be convinced.
His wife, no longer mistress of herself, was drawn into the Parisian
abyss as by an irresistible force.  And yet was it not she who had
proposed to herself this ideal, so easily to have been realized?  "I
have never imagined anything more desirable than a life divided between
domestic cares and those of agriculture, spent on a healthy and fertile
farm, with a little family where the example of its heads and common
labor maintain attachment, peace, and freedom."  Was it not she who had
uttered this profoundly true thought: "I see neither pleasure nor
happiness except in the reunion of that which charms the heart as well
as the senses, and costs no regrets"?  In the most beautiful days of
her youth had she not written: "There was a time when I was never
content {69} except when I had a book or a pen in my hand; at present I
am as well satisfied when I have made a shirt for my father or added up
an account of expenses as if I had read something profound.  I do not
care at all to be learned; I want to be good and happy; that is my
chief business.  What is necessary but good, honest common sense?"  Is
it not she, too, who will write at the beginning of her Memoirs: "I
have observed that in all classes, ambition is generally fatal; for the
few happy ones whom it exalts, it makes a multitude of victims."  Why
did she not more frequently remind herself of the sentiment so just and
well expressed in a letter dated in 1790: "Women are not made to share
in all the occupations of men: they are altogether bound to domestic
cares and virtues, and they cannot turn away from them without
destroying their happiness."  But, alas! passion does not reason.
Farewell common sense, wisdom, and experience, when ambition and love
have taken possession of a woman's heart.  Returning to Paris, December
15, 1791, the Rolands established themselves in the rue de la Harpe,
and plunged head-long into politics.  The wife redoubled her activity,
eloquence, and passion.  The husband, instead of attending quietly to
the management of his retiring pension, was named a member of the
Jacobin corresponding committee at the beginning of 1792, a
revolutionary centre of which Brissot was the leader.  At this period,
we are informed by Madame Roland, the intimidated court imagined that
the nomination of a {70} minister chosen from among the patriots of the
Assembly would cause it to regain a little popularity.  Brissot
proposed Roland, who, on March 24, 1792, accepted the portfolio of the
Interior.

Madame, behold yourself, then, the wife of a minister, and in fact more
of a minister than your husband.  Your ambitious projects, which have
been treated as chimerical, are now realized.  You have a cortège like
Marie Antoinette.  Men seek the favor of a smile, a word, from you.
They court, they solicit, they fear you.  The monarchy, which you
detest, is at last obliged to reckon with you and your friends.  Your
beauty, your talent, and your eloquence are boasted of.  Your name is
in every mouth.  You are powerful, you are celebrated.  Well! you will
find out for yourself what bitterness there is at the bottom of this
cup of pride which has tempted your lips so long.  You will learn at
your own expense that renown does not produce happiness, and that, for
a woman, twilight is better than the full glare of day.  Yes, you will
long for the obscurity which weighed upon you.  You will long for the
house of your father, the engraver, on the Quai des Orfèvres.  You will
dream of the sunsets which affected you, and of the monotonous but
peaceful succession of your days.  You, the deist, the female
philosopher, will recall with regret the cloisters where in your
adolescence you tasted the peace of the elect.  In the time of your
supreme trial Buzot's miniature will not console you; it is not his
image you should cover with your {71} kisses.  No; that miniature is
not the viaticum for eternity.  What you will need is the crucifix, and
you respect the crucifix no longer.  And yet your imagination will
evoke the mystic cloister, with its altars decked with flowers, its
painted windows, its penetrating and ineffable poesy.  And in thought,
also, you will see the country once more, the harvest time, the month
of the vintage, the poor who come to the door asking for bread and who
go away with blessings on their lips and gratitude in their hearts.
Why have you quitted these honest people?  What have you come to do in
the midst of these ferocious Jacobins, who flatter you to-day and will
assassinate you to-morrow?  Do you fancy that Marie Antoinette is the
only woman who will be insulted, calumniated, and betrayed?  Why do you
seat at your hospitable table this livid-faced Robespierre, who to-day,
perhaps, will address you a madrigal, and to-morrow send you to the
scaffold?  You will pay very dear for these false and artificial joys,
these gusts of commonplace vanity, this pride of a parvenu, and the
pleasure of presiding for a few evenings at the dinners given to the
Minister of the Interior in Calonne's dining-room.  The Legislative
Assembly, the Jacobin Club, the journals and the ministry, the
souvenirs of Plutarch and the parodies of Jean-Jacques, the noisy crowd
of flatterers who are the courtiers of demagogues as they would have
been the courtiers of kings, these adulators who are going to change
into executioners,--all are vanity!  Poor {72} woman, whose power will
be so ephemeral, why do you make yourself a persecutor?  You will so
soon be persecuted.  Why labor so relentlessly to shake the foundations
of a throne that will bury you beneath its ruins?



{73}

VII.

MARIE ANTOINETTE AND MADAME ROLAND.

Two women find themselves confronted across the chessboard and about to
move the pieces in a terrible game in which each stakes her head, and
each is foredoomed to lose.  One is the woman who represents the old
régime--the daughter of the German Cæsars, the Queen of France and
Navarre; the other stands for the new régime, the Parisian middle
classes--the daughter of the engraver of the Quai des Orfèvres.  They
are nearly the same age.  Madame Roland was born March 18, 1754; and
Marie Antoinette, November 2, 1755.  Both are beautiful, and both are
conscious of their charm.  Each exercises a sort of domination over all
who approach her.

In 1792, when Roland enters the ministry, Marie Antoinette is no longer
thinking of coquetry, luxury, or dress.  The heroine of the Gallery of
the Mirrors, the crowned shepherdess of the Trianon, the queen of
elegance, pleasure, and fashion is not recognizable in her.  The time
for splendors is over, like the time for pastorals.  No more festivals,
no more distractions, no more theatres.  Incessant anxieties and
unremitting labor; writing throughout the day and reading, {74}
meditating, and praying throughout the night, are now the unfortunate
sovereign's whole existence.  She hardly sleeps.  Her eyes are reddened
by tears.  A single night, that of the arrest on the journey to
Varennes, had sufficed to whiten her hair.  She wears mourning for her
brother, the Emperor Leopold, and for her ally, the King of Sweden,
Gustavus III., and one might say that she is also wearing it for the
French monarchy.  All trace of frivolity has disappeared.  The severe
and majestic countenance of the woman who suffers so cruelly as queen,
spouse, and mother, is sanctified by the double poetry of religion and
sorrow.

Madame Roland, on the other hand, is more coquettish than she has ever
been.  The actress who has at last found her theatre and is very proud
to play her part, wishes to allure, desires to reign.  She delights in
presiding at these political dinners where all the guests are men, and
of which her grace and eloquence constitute the charm.  She has just
completed her thirty-eighth year.  Her husband is nearly fifty-eight;
Buzot is only thirty-two.  Possibly she is still more preoccupied with
love than with ambition.  To use one of her own expressions, "her heart
swells with the desire to please," to please Buzot above all; she takes
pains to celebrate her own beauty, which, in spite of showing symptoms
of decline, has the brilliance of sunset.  In her Memoirs she describes
her "large and superbly modelled bust, her light, quick step, her frank
and open glance, at once keen and {75} soft, which sometimes amazes,
but which caresses still more, and always quickens."  She writes: "My
mouth is rather large; there are a thousand prettier, but none that has
a softer and more seductive smile."  In prison, when she is nearly
forty, she states that if she has lost some of her attractions, yet she
needs no help from art to make her look five or six years younger.
"Even those who see me every day," she adds, "require to be told my
age, in order to believe me more than thirty-two or thirty-three."
Madame Roland had at first written thirty-three or thirty-four.  But
after reflection, finding herself too modest, she made an erasure and
retrenched another year.  She adds that she made very little use of her
charms; avowing at the same time, and with the most absolute frankness,
that if she could reconcile her duty with her inclination to utilize
them more fully, she would not be sorry.

Both Marie Antoinette and Madame Roland were political women.  But the
one became so in her own despite, in the hope of saving the life of her
husband and the heritage of her son; the other, through ambition and
the desire to play a part for which her origin had not destined her.
In the one, everything is at once noble and simple, natural and
majestic; in the other there is always something affected and
theatrical; one scents the _parvenue_ who will never be a _grande
dame_, even in the Ministry of the Interior or at the house of Calonne.
All is unstudied in Marie Antoinette; Madame Roland, on the contrary,
is an artist in coquetry.

{76}

Bizarre caprice of fate which makes political rivals and adversaries
treating with each other on equal terms of these two women, of whom one
was so much above the other by rank and birth.  The Tuileries and the
house of the Minister of the Interior are like two hostile citadels at
a stone's throw from each other.  On both sides there is watchfulness
and fear.  An impassable abyss, hollowed out by the vanity of the
commoner still more than by the pride of the Queen, forever separates
these two courageous women who, had they united instead of antagonizing
each other, might have saved both their country and themselves.

It is necessary to go back a few years in order to comprehend the
motive of Madame Roland's hatred for Marie Antoinette.  It was inspired
in the vain commoner by envy, the worst and vilest of all counsellors.
Madame Roland's special characteristic was the passion for making an
effect.  Now the effect produced by Marie Antoinette under the old
régime was immense; that produced by the future Egeria of the Girondin
group was almost null.  A simple mortal, regarding Olympus from below,
she said to herself with vexation, that in spite of her talents and her
charms there was no place for her among the gods and goddesses.
Versailles was like a superior world from which it maddened her to be
excluded.  She was twenty years old when, in 1774, she visited it with
her mother, her uncle, the Abbé Bimont, and an aged gentlewoman,
Mademoiselle d'Hannaches.  They all lodged at the palace.  One of Marie
Antoinette's {77} women, who was acquainted with the Abbé, and who was
not then on duty, lent them her apartment.  The only object of the
excursion was to give the young girl a near view of the court.

In recalling this souvenir in her Memoirs, Madame Roland displays her
aversion for the old society.  She is annoyed even with the companion
of her visit, because she was, according to the expression then in use,
a person of quality.  "Mademoiselle d'Hannaches," she says, "went
boldly wherever she chose, ready to fling her name in the face of any
one who tried to stop her, thinking they ought to be able to read on
her grotesque visage her six hundred years of established nobility.
The fine figure of a pedantic little cleric like the Abbé Bimont, and
the imbecile pride of the ugly d'Hannaches were not out of keeping in
those scenes; but the unpainted face of my worthy mamma, and the
modesty of my dress, announced that we were commoners; if my eyes or my
youth provoked remark, it was almost patronizing, and caused me nearly
as much displeasure as Madame de Boismorel's compliments."  It was this
Madame de Boismorel who, although she found the little Philipon very
pleasing, had said to the grandmother of the future Madame Roland:
"Take care that she does not become a learned woman; it would be a
great pity."

The splendors of Versailles did not dazzle the daughter of the engraver
of the Quai des Orfèvres.  The apartment she occupied was at the top of
the {78} palace, in the same corridor as that of the Archbishop of
Paris, and so near it that it was necessary for the prelate to take
precautions lest she should overhear him talk.  "Two poorly furnished
rooms," she says, "in the upper end of one of which space had been
contrived for a valet's bed, was the habitation which a duke and peer
of France esteemed himself honored in possessing, in order to be closer
at hand to cringe every morning at the levée of Their Majesties: and
yet he was the rigorist Beaumont....  The ordinary and the ceremonial
table-service of the entire family, eating separately or all together,
the masses, the promenades, the gaming, the presentations, had us for
spectators during a week."  What impression was made on her by this
excursion to the royal palace?  She herself will tell us nineteen years
later, in her prison.  "I was not insensible," she says, "to the effect
of so much pomp and ceremony, but I was indignant that its object
should be to exalt certain individuals already too powerful and of very
slight personal importance: I liked much better to look at the statues
in the gardens than at the persons in the palace; and when my mother
asked if I was satisfied with my visit, 'Yes,' I replied, 'provided it
will soon be over; if I stay here many days longer, I shall detest the
people so much that I shall be unable to hide my hatred.'  'What harm
are they doing you, then?'  'Making me feel injustice, and constantly
behold absurdity.'"

How this impression is emphasized in the really {79} prophetic letter
written by the future heroine of the Revolution to her friend,
Mademoiselle Sophie Cannet, October 4, 1774: "To return to Versailles.
I cannot tell you how greatly all I have examined has made me value my
own situation, and thank Heaven that I was born in an obscure
condition.  You think, perhaps, that this sentiment is based on the
slight esteem I attach to the worth of opinion, and my sense of the
reality of the penalties attached to greatness.  Not at all.  It is
based on the knowledge I have of my own character, which would be very
detrimental both to me and to the State if I were placed at a little
distance from the throne; because I would be keenly shocked by the
extreme inequality which sets so many thousands of men below a single
individual of the same species!"  What a prediction!  The most
unforeseen events were one day to bring this young plebeian near that
royalty formerly so far above her.  The engraver's daughter will be the
wife of a minister of State.  And then what will happen?  According to
her own expression, her rôle will be very detrimental to herself and to
the State.

In the same letter she had written: "A beneficent king seems to me an
almost adorable being; but if, before coming into the world, the choice
of a government had been given me, my character would have made me
decide for a republic."  She will end by hating the beneficent King,
and probably no one will contribute more than she towards establishing
the republican régime in France.

{80}

Supposing that, instead of being merely an insignificant commoner,
Madame Roland had been born in the ranks of aristocracy, had enjoyed
the right of sitting down in the presence of Their Majesties at
Versailles, and had shone at the familiar entertainments of the
Trianon, she would doubtless have shared the sentiments and ideas of
the women of the old régime, and, like the Princess de Lamballe or the
Duchess de Polignac, have shed tears of compassion over the Queen's
misfortunes.  Fate, in placing her in a subordinate position, made her
an enemy and a rebel.  She anathematized the society in which her rank
bore no relation to her lofty intelligence and her need of domination.
When, from the upper window of her father's house on the Quai des
Orfèvres, beside the Pont-Neuf, she saw the brilliant retinue of Marie
Antoinette pass by on their way to Notre Dame to return thanks to God
for some happy event, she grew angry at all this pomp and glitter, so
much in contrast with her own obscure condition.  What crimes have been
engendered by the sentiment of envy!  The furies of the guillotine were
above all things envious.  They were delighted to see in the fatal cart
the woman whom they had formerly beheld in gala carriages resplendent
with gold.  Madame Roland certainly ought not to have carried her
hatred to such a pitch; but had she not demanded in 1789, when speaking
of Louis XVI. and the Queen, that "two illustrious heads" should be
brought to trial?  Who knows?  If, in 1784, she had obtained the {81}
patent of nobility for her husband which at that period she solicited
so ardently, she might have become sincerely royalist!  But having
remained, despite herself, in the citizen class, she retained and
personified, to her latest hour, its rancor, pettiness, and wrath.
What figure could she have made at Versailles, or even at the
Tuileries?  In the midst of great lords and noble ladies the haughty
commoner would have been out of place; she would have stifled.  It was
chiefly on that account that she attached herself to the new ideas.
She told herself that so long as royalty lasted, she would always be of
small importance; while, if the republic were established, she might
aspire to anything.  Though her husband was one of the King's
ministers, she became daily more adverse to the monarchy, and Roland,
following her counsels, was like a pilot whose whole intent is to make
the vessel founder, even though he were to perish with its crew.

It is a sad thing to say, but even their community in suffering did not
disarm Madame Roland's hate for Marie Antoinette.  It was in prison, on
the eve of ascending the scaffold herself, that she wrote concerning
Louis XVI. and the Queen: "He was led away by a giddy creature who
united the presumption of youth and grandeur to Austrian insolence, the
intoxication of the senses, and the heedlessness of levity, and was
herself seduced by all the vices of an Asiatic court, for which she had
been too well prepared by the example of her mother."  Ah! why {82}
were not these cruel lines effaced by the tears Madame Roland shed in
floods over the pages she was writing, and of which the traces still
remain on the manuscript of her Memoirs?  Why did she not sympathize in
the grief of Marie Antoinette, separated from her children, when in
speaking of her daughter Eudora, she wrote: "Good God!  I am a
prisoner, and she is living far from me!  I dare not even send for her
to receive my embraces; hatred pursues even the children of those whom
tyranny persecutes, and mine, with her eleven years, her virginal
figure, and her beautiful fair hair, could hardly appear in the streets
without creatures suborned or deluded by falsehood pointing her out as
the offspring of a conspirator.  Cruel wretches! how well they know how
to tear a mother's heart!"

Why were these two women political adversaries?  Both sensitive, both
artistic, with inexhaustible sources of poetry and tenderness at heart,
they were born for gentle emotions and not for horrible catastrophes.
Who, at their dawning, could have predicted for them such an appalling
night?  Like Marie Antoinette, Madame Roland loved nature and the arts.
She felt the profound and penetrating charm of the fields.  She drew,
she played on the harp, guitar, and violin, and she sang.  "No one
knows," she wrote a few moments before her death, "what an alleviation
music is in solitude and anguish, nor from how many temptations it can
save one in prosperity."  She had sung the same romances {83} as the
Queen.  The same poets had inspired and affected each.

Does not this most feminine passage in Madame Roland's Memoirs recall
the character of the mistress of the Little Trianon?  "I always
remember the singular effect produced on me by a bunch of violets at
Christmas; when I received them I was in that condition of soul often
induced by a season favorable to serious thought.  My imagination
slumbered, I reflected coldly, and I hardly felt at all; suddenly the
color of these violets and their delicate perfume struck my senses; it
was an awakening to life....  A rosy tinge suffused the horizon of the
day."  Would not this cry of Madame Roland in her captivity suit Marie
Antoinette as well?  "Ah! when shall I breathe pure air and those soft
exhalations so agreeable to my heart?"  And might not the daughter of
the great Maria Theresa have cried, like the daughter of Philipon the
engraver?  "Adieu! my child, my husband, my friends.  Adieu! sun whose
brilliant rays brought serenity to my soul, as if they were recalling
it to the skies.  Adieu! ye solitary fields which have so often moved
me."

What must not these two keenly sensitive women have had to suffer at
the epoch when France became a hell?  They have each believed in the
amelioration of the human species and the return of the golden age to
earth, and what will their awakening be, after such alluring dreams?
Men will be as unjust, as wicked, as cruel to the republican as to the
queen.  {84} She, too, will be drenched with calumnies and outrages.
They will insult her also in the most cowardly and ferocious manner.
Under the very windows of her dungeon she will hear the hawkers crying:
"Great visit of Père Duchesne to Citizeness Roland, in the Abbey
prison, for the purpose of pumping her."  The ignoble journalist will
call her "old sack of the counter-revolution."  He will say to her with
his habitual oaths: "Weep for your crimes, old fright, before you
expiate them on the scaffold!"  The wife of Louis XVI. and the wife of
Roland will die within twenty-three days of each other: one on October
16, the other on November 8, 1793.  They will start from the same
prison of the Conciergerie, to be led to the same Place Louis XV., to
have their heads cut off by the blade of the same guillotine.  The
commoner who had been so jealous of the Queen, can no longer complain.
If the lives of the two women have been different, they will at least
have the same death; and the doer of the noble deeds of the régime of
equality, the headsman, will make no distinction between the two
victims, between the veritable sovereign, the Queen of France and
Navarre, and the sovereign of a day, whom Père Duchesne, as insolent to
one as to the other, will no longer speak of except under the sobriquet
of Queen Coco.



{85}

VIII.

MADAME ROLAND AT THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR.

Roland took the portfolio of the Interior, March 24, 1792, and
installed himself and his wife in the ministerial residence, then
occupying the site afterwards built on by the _Théâtre Italien_.  This
very beautiful and luxurious mansion had formerly been the controller's
office, and both Calonne and Necker had lived in it.  Madame Roland
found no small pleasure in queening it under the gilded canopies of the
old régime.  It was not at all disagreeable to her to give dinners in
the sumptuous banqueting hall erected by the elegant Calonne, nor did
the austere admirer of the ancients set the black broth of Sparta
before her guests.

Once arrived at power, was this great enemy of nobility and
prescription simple, and easy of approach?  Not in the least.  There is
often more arrogance displayed by parvenus of both sexes than by those
who are aristocrats by birth.  Madame Roland was extremely proud of her
new dignity, and at once resolved, as she tells us in her Memoirs,
neither to make nor receive visits.  Her attitude and {86} manners
while at the ministry were those of an Asiatic sovereign.  She secluded
herself, permitting only a small number of privileged courtiers to
enter her presence.  Under the old régime, the wives of ministers and
ambassadors, dukes and peers, had never felicitated themselves on
"cultivating their private tastes" to the detriment of the proprieties
and obligations of good breeding.  But the Revolution had changed all
that.  French politeness was now mere old-fashioned rubbish.  At the
Ministry of the Interior, the etiquette whose "severity" is vaunted by
Madame Roland was more rigorous than that of the court of Versailles,
and it was easier to see the wife of the King than the wife of the
minister.  With what hauteur the latter expresses herself concerning
"the self-seeking crowds who throng about those who hold great places"!
Assuredly, the Queen had never spoken of her subjects in this tone of
disdainful patronage.

[Illustration: MADAME ROLAND]

Madame Roland, who "was tired of fools," incommoded herself for nobody.
The agreeable side of power was all she wanted.  Suppressing the
receptions which annoyed her, she gave none but men's dinners, where
she perorated and paraded, and where, being the only woman present, she
had no rivals to fear.  Self-sufficiency and insufficiency are, for the
most part, what fall to the share of parvenus.  What would have been
said in the old days of a noble dame who did the honors of a ministry
so strangely, who never invited another woman to {87} dinner, and
admitted no one to her presence but a little clique of flatterers?
Everybody would have accused such a lady as lacking in good breeding.
But to Madame Roland all that she did was right in her own eyes.  How
could a woman so superior be expected to submit to the tyranny of
polite usages?  Was not the first of all despotisms the very one to be
shaken off? and ought not a person so proud of the originality of her
genius feel bound before all things, as she said herself, "to preserve
her own mode of being"?  Madame Roland did at the ministry just what
she did from her cradle to her grave: she posed.

"To listen to Madame Roland," said Count Beugnot in his witty and
curious Memoirs, "you would have thought she had imbibed the passion
for liberty from reading the great writers of antiquity....  Cato the
Elder was her hero, and it was probably out of respect for this hero
that she showed a lack of courtesy towards her husband.  She was
unwilling to see that there was as much difference between Roland's
wife and the Roman minister as there was between the Brutus of the
Revolutionary Tribunal and him of the Capitol.  Self-love was the means
by which this woman had been elevated to the point where we have seen
her; she was incessantly actuated by it, and does not dissimulate the
fact."  It was she, and not her husband, who was Minister of the
Interior.  If the aristocrats treated Roland as a minister
_sans-culottes_, it might have been added that the {88} breeches which
he lacked were worn by his spouse.  Out of all the rooms composing a
vast apartment, she had chosen for her own daily use the smallest that
could be converted into a study, and kept her books and writing-table
in it.  It was from this boudoir, half literary, half political, that
she conducted the ministry according to her own whims.  "It often
happened," says she, "that friends or colleagues desiring to speak
confidentially with the minister, instead of going to his own room,
where he was surrounded by his clerks and the public, came to mine and
begged me to have him called thither.  Thus I found myself in the
stream of affairs without either intrigue or idle curiosity.  Roland
took pleasure in talking these subjects over with me afterwards with
that confidence which has always reigned between us, and which has
brought our knowledge and our opinions into community."

On this head, M. Dauban makes the very just remark: "A community in
which there is no equilibrium of forces, becomes a sort of omnipotence
for the strongest."  The omnipotence in this case was not on the side
of the beard, but of Madame Roland.  The wife wrote, thought, and acted
for her husband.  It was she who drew up his circulars and reports to
the National Assembly.  "My husband," she tells us, "had nothing to
lose in passing through my hands.  Roland, without me, would have been
none the less a good administrator; with me, he has made more
sensation, because I imparted to my writings {89} that mixture of force
and sweetness, that authority of reason and charm of sentiment, which
perhaps belongs only to a sensitive woman, endowed with sound
understanding."  And the "virtuous" Roland took pride in the
magnificent phrases which he naïvely believed to be the expression of
his own genius, when his wife had saved him not merely the trouble of
writing, but even of thinking.  "He often ended," she says, "by
persuading himself that he had really been in a good vein when he had
written such or such a passage which proceeded from my pen."

Madame Roland had at her orders a man of letters, salaried by the
Ministry of the Interior, who was the official defender of the minister
and his policy.  "It had been felt," she tells us, "that it was needful
to counteract the influence of the court, the aristocracy, the civil
list and their journals, by popular instructions to which great
publicity should be given.  A journal posted up in public places seemed
to be the proper thing, and a wise and enlightened man had to be found
for its editor."  This wise and enlightened man was Louvet, the author
of the _Amours de Faublas_.  He was the writer whom Madame Roland
esteemed most capable of instructing and of moralizing the masses.
"Men of letters and persons of taste," she says, "know his charming
romances, in which the graces of imagination are allied to lightness of
style, a philosophical tone, and the salt of criticism.  He has proved
that his skilful hand could alternately shake the bells of folly, hold
the burin of history, and {90} launch the thunderbolts of eloquence.
Courageous as a lion, simple as a child, a sensible man, a good
citizen, a vigorous writer, he could make Catiline tremble from the
tribune, dine with the Graces, and sup with Bachaumont."

Madame Roland admired the author of _Faublas_, now become the
editor-in-chief of the _Sentinelle_; but among her intimates there was
a man whom she admired much more.  This was Buzot.  With what
complacency she draws in her Memoirs the portrait of this man "of an
elevated character, a haughty spirit, and a vehement courage,
sensitive, ardent, melancholy; an impassioned lover of nature,
nourishing his imagination with all the charms she has to offer, and
his soul with the principles of the most touching philosophy; he seems
formed to enjoy and to procure domestic happiness; he could forget the
universe in the sweetness of private virtues practised with a heart
worthy of his own."  Needless to say that in Madame Roland's thought,
this heart worthy of the heart of Buzot was her own.  "He is
susceptible," says she, "of the tenderest affections" (always for
Madame Roland), "capable of sublime flights and the most generous
resolutions."  Into what ecstasies she falls over the noble face and
elegant figure of this handsome man, in whose costume "reigns that
care, cleanliness, and decency which manifest the spirit of order,
taste, the sentiment of decorum, and the respect of an honest man for
the public and himself"!  How she contrasts with {91} men who think
patriotism consists in "swearing, drinking, and dressing like porters,
in order to fraternize with their equals," this attractive, this
irresistible Buzot, who "professes the morality of Socrates and the
politeness of Scipio"!

Clearly, the veritable idol of the Egeria of the Girondins is not the
republic, but Buzot.  He is so elegant, so distinguished!  His mind and
his person have so many charms!  Poor Roland!  You think that your
better half is solely occupied with your ministry.  Alas! this learned
woman has other thoughts in her head.  Your position as a minister has
not augmented your prestige in the region of sentiment.  Though you
lord it in the Hotel Calonne, yet, in spite of the throng of
petitioners and flatterers who surround you, you will never be a
Lovelace, and your romantic spouse will not allow herself to be
affected by your appearance, like that of a Quaker in Sunday clothes.
You thought you were doing wonders in presenting yourself at the
council of ministers with lanky, unpowdered locks, a round hat, and
shoes minus buckles.  This peasant costume, which so greatly
scandalized the master of ceremonies, doubtless made the best
impression at the Jacobin Club, but your wife prefers the careful dress
of her too dear Buzot.

Madame Roland, who had just completed her thirty-eighth year, was still
very charming.  Lémontey thus paints her portrait as she appeared at
this epoch: "Her eyes and hair were remarkably {92} beautiful; her
delicate complexion had a freshness and color which made her look
singularly young.  At the beginning of her husband's ministry she had
lost nothing of her air of youth and simplicity; her husband resembled
a Quaker whose daughter she might have been, and her child hovered
round her with hair floating to her waist; one might have thought them
natives of Pennsylvania transported to the drawing-room of M. de
Calonne."

Count Beugnot, who was the companion of her captivity in the
Conciergerie, is severe on the female politician, but he admires the
pretty woman.  "Her figure was graceful," he says, "and her hands
perfectly modelled.  Her glance was expressive, and even in repose her
face had something noble and subtly attractive in it.  One surmised her
wit without needing to hear her speak, but no woman whom I have ever
listened to, spoke with more purity and elegance.  She must have owed
her faculty of giving to French a rhythm and cadence veritably new, to
her familiar knowledge of Italian.  The harmony of her voice was still
further heightened by graceful and appropriate gestures and the
expression of her eyes, which grew animated in conversation.  I daily
experienced new charm in listening to her, less on account of what she
said than because of the magic of her delivery."

If Madame Roland, a prisoner, crushed by misfortune, on the very
threshold of the scaffold, after so many sleepless nights and so many
tears, had {93} preserved such attractions, what a charm must she not
have exercised at the Ministry of the Interior, when hope and pride
illumined her beautiful face, and when, after appearing to her
electrified adorers as the Muse of the new régime, the magician, the
Circe of the Revolution, she touched so profoundly their minds and
hearts!  She who knew so well how to love and how to hate, who felt so
keenly, who had so much energy, so much vigor, what fascination must
she not have exerted with her glance of fire, her long black tresses,
her more than ornate eloquence, her inspired, lyric, enthusiastic
bearing, and that consummate art which, according to the remark of
Fontanes, made one believe that in her everything was the work of
nature!



{94}

IX.

DUMOURIEZ, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS.

Madam Roland had wished to reign alone.  She saw an influential rival
in Dumouriez, and at once conceived for him an instinctive repugnance
and suspicion.  She met him first on March 23, 1792, at the time when,
as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he came to salute Roland, just named
Minister of the Interior, as his colleague.  As soon as he departed:
"There," said she to her husband, "is a man with a crafty mind and a
false glance, against whom it is probably more necessary to be on one's
guard than any other person; he expressed great satisfaction at the
patriotic choice he was deputed to announce; but I should not be at all
surprised if he were to have you dismissed some day."  She thought she
recognized in Dumouriez at first sight, "a witty roué, an insolent
chevalier who makes sport of everything except his own interests and
glory."

Later on she drew the following portrait of him: "Among all his
colleagues, he had most of what is called wit, and less than any of
morality.  Diligent and brave, a good general, a skilful courtier,
writing well and expressing himself with ease, capable of {95} great
enterprises, all he lacked was character enough to balance his mind, or
a cooler brain to carry out the plans he had conceived.  Agreeable to
his friends, and ready to betray them, gallant to women, but not at all
suited to succeed with those among them who are susceptible to
affectionate relations, he was made for the ministerial intrigues of a
corrupt court."

The nomination of Dumouriez as Minister of Foreign Affairs is one of
the most curious and unforeseen events of this strange epoch.  Few men
have had a career so adventurous and agitated as his.  A complex and
mobile nature, where the intriguer and the great man were blended into
one, he never commanded esteem, but at certain moments he secured
admiration.  Napoleon I. seems to have been too severe when he said of
him that he was "only a miserable intriguer."  The man who opened the
series of great French victories, and who saved his country from
invasion by his admirable defence of the defiles of Argonne, merited
more than this disdainful mention.  It is none the less certain,
however, that one scents, as it were, an air of Beaumarchais in the
Memoirs of Dumouriez, and that there is more than one link of character
and existence between the author of the _Mariage de Figaro_ and the
victor of Jemmapes.  Both were men without principles, but full of
resource, wit, and fascination.  Both were lovable in spite of their
great defects, because of their humanity and kindness.  Both belonged
at the same time to the {96} old régime and the Revolution.  Before
arriving at celebrity, each had a stormy youth, tormented by the love
of pleasure, the need of money, and a sort of perpetual restlessness:
they flattered every power of the time, sought fortune by the most
circuitous ways, were diplomatic couriers, and secret agents; before
coming out into open daylight, they made trial of their marvellous
address in obscurity, and signalized themselves among those men of
action and initiative whom governments, which make use of them in
occult ways, first launch, then compromise, disavow, and sometimes
imprison.

Born at Cambrai, January 25, 1739, Dumouriez belonged to a family of
the upper middle class.  Entering the army early, he distinguished
himself by his high spirits and courage.  As a cornet of the Penthièvre
cavalry, he served in the German campaigns from 1758 to 1761, and was
invalided in 1763.  He spent twenty-four years at the wars and brought
back nothing but twenty-two wounds, the rank of captain, a decoration,
and some debts.  Seeking then a new career, he entered, thanks to his
connection with Favier, the secret diplomacy of Louis XV., and was sent
to Corsica, Italy, and Portugal.  He returned to the army in 1768, and
made a brilliant record in the Corsican campaign, obtaining
successively the grades of adjutant-major general,
adjutant-quartermaster, and colonel of cavalry.  It was he who seized
the castle of Corte, Paoli's last asylum.  In 1771, he again became a
secret agent.  Louis {97} XV. wished to befriend Poland in its
death-struggle, but without betraying his hand.  Dumouriez was sent to
the Polish confederates.  He was reputed to be merely acting on his own
impulses.  He organized troops and fought successfully against
Souvaroff, the future adversary of the French Republic, but could not
save Poland--that Asiatic nation of Europe, as he called it.  He came
back to Paris in 1772, and the government, complying with the demands
of Russia, shut him up for a year in the Bastille, where he had leisure
to meditate on the ingratitude of courts.  This captivity strengthened
his taste for study, and, far from allaying his ambition, gave it
renewed force.

Louis XVI. put him in command at Cherbourg, and it was he who conceived
the plan of making that town a station for the French marine.  He was
fifty years old when the Revolution of 1789 broke out.  At once he saw
in it an opportunity for success and glory.  Full of confidence in his
own superiority, he merely awaited the hour when events should second
his ambition.  He said to himself that the emigration, by making a void
in the upper ranks of the army, was going to leave him free scope, and
that he would be commander-in-chief of the French troops under the new
régime.  To attain this end he decided to serve the King, the Assembly,
and the factions; to assume all parts and all masks, and to be in turn,
and simultaneously if need were, the courtier of Louis XVI. and the
favorite of the Jacobins.

As has been very well said by M. Frédéric Masson {98} in an excellent
book, as novel as it is interesting, _Le Département des affaires
étrangères sous la Revolution_, Dumouriez had been accustomed to make
his way everywhere, to eat at all tables, and listen at all doors.  One
of the agents of Count d'Artois brought him into relations with
Mirabeau.  He was protected by the minister Montmorin.  He drew up
plans of campaign for Narbonne.  He used the intimate "thou" to
Laporte, the King's confidant and intendant of the civil list.  He made
use of women also.  Separated from his lawful wife, he lived in marital
relations with a sister of Rivarol, the Baroness de Beauvert, a
charming person who had much intercourse with aristocratic society, who
speculated in arms, and who was pensioned by the Duke of Orleans, as
appears from a letter of Latouche de Tréville, the prince's chancellor,
dated April 17, 1789.  Dumouriez, who had expensive tastes, sought at
the same time for gold and honors.  Either by means of the court or the
Revolution, he desired to gain a great fortune and much glory, to
become a statesman, a minister, commander-in-chief, and realize his
great military plan, the conquest of the natural frontiers of France.
He said to himself: He who wills the end wills the means, and managed
as adroitly with parties as with soldiers.  At Niort, where he was in
command at the beginning of the Revolution, he made himself remarkable
by his enthusiasm for the new ideas, and became president of the club
and honorary citizen of the town.  He contracted an intimacy with
Gensonné, {99} whom the Assembly had sent into the departments of the
west to observe their spirit.  In January, 1792, the emigration of
general officers had become so considerable that he rose by seniority
to the rank of lieutenant-general.  Thereafter, he believed his hour
had come, and threw himself boldly into the political arena.  The
Gironde and the Jacobins were the two powers then in vogue; he
flattered both the Jacobins and the Gironde.  Brissot was the corypheus
of the diplomatic committee and the chief of the war party.  He became
the familiar of Brissot.  Already, in 1791, he had prepared a memoir on
the subject of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which he dedicated and
read to the Jacobins.  In it he announced (singular prediction for the
future minister of a king!) that before fifty years had passed, Europe
would be republican.  He demanded an immediate and radical change in
the diplomatic personnel.  "It is of small importance," said he in the
same memoir, "that our representatives would lack experience.  In the
first place, our interests are greatly simplified; moreover, our former
representatives were young men belonging to the court who had had no
political education.  In a word, it is the majesty of the nation which
gives our negotiations weight.  The minister," he added, "should be a
man of approved patriotism, above all suspicion, like the wife of
Cæsar.  Absolute integrity, great knowledge of men, great firmness, a
broad and upright mind, should complete his character."  Dumouriez
perhaps imagined that all these qualities {100} of an ideal minister
were reunited in his person.  However that may be, he accepted, without
any mistrust of his own abilities, the portfolio of Foreign Affairs,
confided to him March 15, 1792, on account of his relations with the
Gironde and his popularity with the Jacobins.  He had a high opinion of
himself, and, even after his cruel disappointments, he was to write in
his Memoirs, in 1794: "Dumouriez sometimes laughs sardonically in his
retreat over the judgments passed upon him.  When he arrived at the
ministry, the courtiers said and published that he was only a soldier
of fortune, incapable of conducting political affairs, in which he
would make nothing but blunders.  When he commanded an army, they told
the Prussians and the German Emperor's troops that he was a mere
writer, who had never made war and understood nothing about it.  Since
he retired with reputation from public employments, they have published
that up to the date of the Revolution he had been an intriguing
adventurer, a ministerial spy, an office-sweeper.  Would to God, they
had employed the adventures of their youth in similar espionages!  They
would not have begun the Revolution like factionists, they would have
conducted it with wisdom, they would have preserved the esteem of the
nation, they would not have been the prime authors of the King's death,
either by betraying or abandoning him."

The new Minister of Foreign Affairs began to play his rôle of leader of
French diplomacy in a {101} singular fashion.  Repairing to the Jacobin
Club, he described himself as their liegeman, assumed the red bonnet in
their presence, and, with it on his head, announced that as soon as war
should be declared, he would throw away his pen in order to resume his
sword.  Let us add that he was simultaneously trying to conciliate the
good graces of Louis XVI. and to persuade him that if he leaned upon
the Jacobins, it was solely in the hope of serving the King and
consolidating the throne.  At the same time he appointed as director of
foreign affairs that Bonne-Carrère whose portrait has been traced in
this wise by Brissot: "Falling with all his vices and perverse habits
into the midst of a revolution whereby the people had recovered
sovereignty, he merely changed his idol without changing his idolatry.
He caressed the people instead of caressing the great, made the hall of
the Jacobins his OEil-de-Boeuf, played valet to the successful parties
one after another, the Lameths and the Mirabeaus, and succeeded in
raising himself from the secretaryship of the Jacobins to the embassy
of Liège, by the aid of that very Montmorin who detested the Jacobins,
and could but advance a man who betrayed them."

Dumouriez then, following the example of Mirabeau, was about to play a
double game; to be revolutionary with the Revolution and a courtier
with the court.  As to Madame Roland, he never placed himself at her
feet.  The despotism of this female minister, the pretentious of this
demagogic bluestocking, {102} her affectation of puritan rigor, her
mania for directing everything, shocked the good sense of a man who
believed that woman is made to please, not to reign.  It was repugnant
to this soldier to take his orders from the Egeria of the Girondins.
On the other hand, Dumouriez was displeasing to Madame Roland.  She
found him too dissolute and not sentimental enough.  She could not
pardon his having Madame de Beauvert for mistress and Bonne-Carrère for
confidant.  She admitted neither his free-and-easy tone, his Gallic
humor, nor his natural gaiety, so unlike the declamatory tone and
pretentious jargon of the disciples of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Moreover, she found him too much of a royalist, too accustomed to the
old régime.  The ministry, apparently so homogeneous, was soon to be
divided against itself.



{103}

X.

THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS.

Louis XVI. had been persuaded that the only means of regaining public
confidence would be to name a ministry chosen by the Gironde and
accepted by the Jacobins.  The six ministers--Dumouriez of Foreign
Affairs, Roland of the Interior, De Grave of War, Claviére of Finances,
Duranton of Justice, Lacoste of Marine--formed what was called the
Girondin ministry; the reactionists named it the _sans-culottes_
ministry.  The revolutionists rejoiced in its advent, while the
royalists sought to cover it with ridicule.

On the day when the Council met for the first time at the Tuileries (in
the great royal cabinet on the first floor, afterwards called the Salon
of Louis XIV.), Roland created a scandal by his plebeian dress.  The
simplicity of his costume, his round hat, his shoes fastened with
ribbons instead of buckles, caused, as his wife disdainfully remarks,
"astonishment to all the valets, those creatures who, existing only for
the sake of etiquette, thought the safety of the empire depended on its
preservation."  The master of ceremonies, approaching Dumouriez with an
{104} uneasy frown, glanced at Roland, and said in an undertone, "Eh!
sir, no buckles on his shoes!" "Ah! sir, all is lost!" replied
Dumouriez so coolly that it raised a laugh.

Louis XVI., who wished, as one might say, to enlarge the borders of
gentleness and resignation, displayed more than good-will towards the
ministers; he showed them deference.  This was the more meritorious
because to him this ministry was like a reunion of the seditious, like
the Revolution in arms against his crown; his pretended advisers seemed
much more like enemies than auxiliaries.  He tried, however, to attach
them to him by kindness, and made a sincere trial of his rights and
duties as a constitutional sovereign.  Madame Roland herself, bitter
and violent as she is, renders him a certain justice.  "Louis XVI.,"
says she, "showed the greatest good nature towards his new ministers;
this man was not precisely such as he has been painted by those who
seek to degrade him."  As to Dumouriez, he says in his Memoirs:
"Dumouriez had been greatly deceived concerning the character of Louis
XVI., who had been represented to him as a violent and wrathful man,
who swore a great deal and maltreated his ministers.  He must, on the
contrary, do him the justice to say that during three' months when he
observed him closely and in very delicate circumstances, he always
found him polite, gentle, affable, and even very patient.  This prince
had a great timidity arising from his education and his distrust {105}
of himself, some difficulty in speaking, a just and dispassionate mind,
upright sentiments, great knowledge of history, geography, and the
arts, and an astonishing memory."  Madame Roland also owns that he had
an excellent memory and much activity; that he was never idle; that he
read often, and had a distinct knowledge of all the different treaties
concluded by France with neighboring powers; that he knew history well,
and was the best geographer in the kingdom.  "His knowledge of the
names and faces of those belonging to his court," she adds, "and the
anecdotes peculiar to each, extended to all persons who had come into
prominence during the Revolution; no subject could be mentioned to him
on which he had not some opinion founded on certain facts."

At first, the sessions of the ministry went off very tranquilly.  The
King, with an accent of candor, protested his attachment to the
Constitution and his desire to see it solidly established.  Often he
left his ministers to chat among themselves without taking any part in
their conversation.  During such times he read his French and English
journals, or wrote letters.  If a decree was presented for his
sanction, he deferred his decision until the next meeting, to which he
came with a settled opinion, concealing it carefully, none the less,
and appearing to decide only in accordance with the will of the
majority.  He frequently evaded irritating questions by turning the
conversation to other subjects.  If war were the {106} topic, he spoke
of travels; apropos of diplomacy, he described the manners of the
country in question; to Roland he spoke of his works, to Dumouriez of
his adventures.  The Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was a first-class
story-teller, and whose freedom of speech was welcomed by the King, to
use Madame Roland's expression, amused both his colleagues and his
sovereign by his jests and anecdotes.

But all this was far from agreeable to the spiteful companion of the
Minister of the Interior.  Indignant at the accord which seemed to
exist between Louis XVI. and his counsellors, she dreamed of nothing
but discussions and conflicts.  All that wore the appearance of
reconciliation was repugnant to her.  She made her obedient spouse
recount to her the smallest details of the sessions of the Council,
meddling with and criticising all.  During the first three weeks,
Roland and Clavière, enchanted with the King's dispositions, flattered
themselves that the Revolution was at an end.  Madame Roland scoffed at
their confidence.  "_Bon Dieu_," she said to them, "every time I see
you start for the Council with this charming confidence, it seems to me
you are ready to commit some folly."--"I assure you," replied Clavière,
"that the King is perfectly aware that his interests are bound up with
the observance of the laws just established; he reasons too pertinently
not to be convinced of this truth."--"Well," added Roland, "if he is
not an honest man, he is the greatest rascal in the kingdom; nobody can
dissimulate {107} like that."  Madame Roland rejoined that she could
not believe in love for the Constitution on the part of a man nourished
in the prejudices and accustomed to the use of despotic power.  She,
who doubtless thought herself the only person capable of presiding well
at the council of ministers, treated it as a "café where they amused
themselves with idle gossip."  "There was no record of their
deliberations," says she, "nor a secretary to take them down; after
sitting three or four hours, they went away without having accomplished
anything but a few signatures; it was like this three times a
week."--"This is pitiable!" she would exclaim impatiently when, on his
return, she asked her husband what had passed.  "You are all in very
good humor because there have been no disputes or vexations, and you
have even been treated with civility; each of you seems to be doing
pretty much as he pleases in his own department.  I am afraid you are
being made game of."--"Nevertheless, business is getting on."--"Yes,
and time is wasted, for in the torrent that is carrying you away, I
should be much better pleased to have you employ three hours in solid
meditation on great combinations than to see you spend them in useless
chatter."

It must needs be said that no person contributed more to the downfall
of royalty than Madame Roland.  At the moment when the good temper and
gentleness of Louis XVI. began to gain upon his ministers, when
Dumouriez was softened by the {108} royal kindness, when minds
experienced a relaxation, and honest people, worn out by so many
political shocks, were sincerely desirous of repose, it was she who
nourished discord, made the Gironde irreconcilable, inspired the
subversive pamphlets of Louvet, embittered her husband's heart, and
invented the provocations against which the conscience of the
unfortunate monarch rebelled.  This part, which would have been a sorry
one for a man to play, seems still worse in a woman.  Count Beugnot has
said very justly: "I have seen that a woman can preserve only the
faults of her sex in the midst of such a frightful catastrophe, not its
virtues.  The gentle, amiable, sensitive qualities grow and develop in
the shelter of peaceful domestic joys; they are lost and obliterated in
the heat of debates, the bitterness of parties, and the shock of
passions.  The soft and tender foot of woman cannot tread unharmed in
paths bristling with steel and red with blood.  To do so with safety
she must become a man; but to me, a man-woman seems a monster.  Ah! let
them leave to us, whom nature has granted the pitiful advantage of
strength, the field of contention and the fate of war; we are adequate
to this cruel destiny; but let them keep to the easier and sweeter part
of pouring balm into wounds and staunching tears."

Roland's character was tranquil; it was his wife who made him
ambitious, haughty, and inflexible.  She should have pacified her
husband, but instead of that she excited him.  Never was he malevolent
and {109} spiteful enough to suit her.  She would not pardon him a
single movement of compassion or respect towards the august
unfortunates.  Led by her, Roland no longer dared entertain a generous
thought.  He returned shamefaced to the Ministry of the Interior if he
had felt a humane sentiment while at the Tuileries.  It is sad to find
tenderness and pity in the heart of a man, Dumouriez, and in the heart
of a woman, Madame Roland, nothing but malevolence and hatred.
Dumouriez wanted to put out the fire; Madame Roland, to stir it up.
Dumouriez sincerely desired the King's safety; Madame Roland swore that
he should perish.  If a germ of pity woke to life in the hearts of the
ministers, Madame Roland hastened to stifle it.  Her hostility towards
the royal family was more than deliberate; there was something like
ferocity in it.  Her Memoirs and those of Dumouriez display two very
different minds.  Sadness dominates in his; anger in hers.  Even on the
steps of the scaffold, Madame Roland will not feel her hatred lessen.
Dumouriez, on the contrary, will cast a glance of melancholy respect
upon the unfortunate sovereign whose sorrows and whose resignation,
whose gentleness and uprightness, had touched him so profoundly.



{110}

XI.

THE FÊTE OF THE SWISS OF CHATEAUVIEUX.

Dumouriez, at the beginning of his ministry, was still the slave of the
Jacobins, his allies and protectors.  His elevation to the ministry was
in great part due to them, and even while despising them, he felt
unable to shake off their yoke.  Little by little, they inspired him
with horror, and before many weeks were over, his only idea was to free
himself from their control.  But at first he treated them like a power
with which he was obliged to reckon.  What proves this is his passive
attitude at the time of the celebrated fête of the Swiss of
Chateauvieux.  The prologue of the bloody tragedies that were in course
of preparation, this fête shows what headway the revolutionary ideas
had made.  The sinister days of the Convention were approaching, the
Terror existed in germ, and already many representatives who, on a
secret ballot, would have voted in accordance with right and honor,
were cowardly enough to do so against their conscience when they had to
answer to their names.

Things had travelled fast since the close of the Constituent Assembly.
In 1790, that Assembly, as {111} the faithful guardian of discipline,
had congratulated the Marquis de Bouillé on the energy with which he
repressed the military rebellion that broke out at Nancy, August 31.
The soldiers garrisoned at this town were guilty of the greatest
crimes.  They pillaged the military chests, arrested the officers, and
fired on the troops who remained faithful.  M. Desilles, an officer of
the King's regiment, conducted himself at the time in a heroic manner.
When the insurgents were about to discharge the cannon opposite the
Stainville gate, he sprang towards it, and covering it with his body,
cried: "It is your friends, your brothers, who are coming!  The
National Assembly sends them.  Do you mean to fire on them?  Will you
disgrace your flags?"  It was useless to try to hold Desilles back.  He
broke away from his friends and threw himself again in front of the
rebels, falling under four wounds at the moment when the fight began.

The Constituent Assembly passed a decree by which it thanked the
Marquis de Bouillé and his troops "for having gloriously fulfilled
their duty" in repressing the military insurrection of Nancy.  Its
president wrote an official letter to Desilles, soon to die in
consequence of his wounds: "The National Assembly has learned with just
admiration, mingled with profound sorrow, the danger to which your
heroic devotion has exposed you; in trying to describe it, I should
weaken the emotion by which the Assembly was penetrated.  So sublime an
example of courage {112} and civic virtue is above all praise.  It has
secured you a sweeter recompense and one more worthy of you; you will
find it in your own heart, and the eternal memory of the French people."

The Swiss regiment of Chateauvieux had taken part in the rebellion at
Nancy.  Switzerland had reserved, by treaty, its federal jurisdiction
over such of its troops as had taken service under the King of France.
By virtue of this special jurisdiction the soldiers of the regiment of
Chateauvieux, taken arms in hand, were tried before a council of war
composed of Swiss officers.  Twenty-two were condemned to death and
shot.  Fifty were condemned to the galleys and sent to the convict
prison at Brest.  It was in vain that Louis XVI. attempted to negotiate
their pardon with the Swiss Confederacy.  It remained inflexible, and
the guilty were still undergoing their penalty when the Jacobins
resolved to release them from prison in defiance of the treaties
uniting Switzerland and France.  "To deliver these condemned
prisoners," says Dumouriez in his Memoirs, "was to insult the Cantons,
attack their treaty rights, and judge their criminals.  We had enemies
enough already without seeking new ones among an allied people who were
behaving wisely towards us, especially a free and republican people."
But revolutionary passions do not reason.  Collot d'Herbois, a wretched
actor who had passed from the theatrical stage to that of politics, and
who, not content with having bored people, wished to terrorize them
also, {113} made himself the champion of the galley-slaves of the
regiment of Chateauvieux.  He was the principal impresario of the
lugubrious fête which disgraced Paris on April 15, 1792.

The programme was not arranged without some opposition.  Public opinion
was not yet ripe for saturnalia.  There were still a few honest and
courageous publicists who, like André Chénier, boldly lifted their
voices to stigmatize certain infamies.  In the tribune of the Assembly
some orators were to be found who expressed their minds freely and held
their own against the tempests of demagogy.  There were generals and
soldiers in the army for whom discipline was not an idle word; and if
the fête of the Swiss of Chateauvieux made the future Septembrists and
furies of the guillotine utter shouts of joy, it drew from honest men a
long cry of grief and indignation.

Intimidated by the menaces of the Jacobins, the Assembly voted the
release of the Swiss incarcerated in the prison of Brest.  But merely
to deliver them was not enough: the Jacobins wanted to give them an
ovation.  Their march from Brest to Paris was a triumph, and Collot
d'Herbois organized a gigantic fête in their honor.

André Chénier was at this time writing weekly letters for the _Journal
de Paris_, in which he eloquently supported the principles of order and
liberty.  As M. de Lamartine has said, he was the Tyrtæus of good sense
and moderation.  He was indignant at {114} the threatened scandal, and,
in concert with his collaborator on the _Journal de Paris_, Roucher,
the poet of _Les Mois_, he criticised in most energetic terms the
revolutionary manifestation then organizing.  At the Jacobin Club, on
April 4, Collot d'Herbois freed his mind against him.  "This is not
Chénier-Gracchus," said the comedian; "it is another person, quite
another."  He spoke of André as a "sterile prose writer," and pointed
him out to popular vengeance.  The two brothers were in opposing camps.
While André Chénier stigmatized the fête of anarchy, his brother Joseph
was diligently manufacturing scraps of poetry, inscriptions, and
devices which were to figure in the programme.  "What!" cried André,
"must we invent extravagances capable of destroying any form of
government, recompense rebellion against the laws, and crown foreign
satellites for having shot French citizens in a riot?  People say that
the statues will be veiled in every place through which this procession
is to pass.  Oh! if this odious orgy takes place, it will be well to
veil the whole city; but it is not the images of despots that should be
wrapt in funeral crape, but the faces of honest men.  How is it that
you do not blush when a turbulent handful, who seem numerous because
they are united and make a noise, oblige you to do their will, telling
you that it is your own, and amusing your childish curiosity meanwhile
with unworthy spectacles?  In a city which respected itself such a fête
would meet nothing but solitude and silence."  The controversy {115}
waxed furious.  The walls were covered with posters for and against the
fête.  Roucher thus flagellated Collot d'Herbois: "This character out
of a comic novel, who skipped from Polichinello's booth to the platform
of the Jacobins, has sprung at me as if he were going to strike me with
the oar the Swiss brought back from the galleys!"

Pétion, then mayor of Paris, far from opposing the fête, approved and
encouraged it.  "I think it my duty," he wrote, April 6, 1792, "to
explain myself briefly concerning the fête which is being arranged to
celebrate the arrival of the soldiers of Chateauvieux.  Minds are
heated, passions are in ferment, and citizens hold different opinions;
everything seems to betoken disorder.  It is sought to change a day of
rejoicing into a day of mourning....  What is it all about?  Some
soldiers, leaders with the French guards, who have broken our chains
and afterwards been overloaded with them, are about to enter within our
walls; some citizens propose to meet and offer them a fraternal
welcome; these citizens are obeying a natural impulse and using a right
which belongs to all.  The magistrates see nothing but what is simple
and innocent in all this; they see certain citizens abandoning
themselves to joy and mirth; every one is at liberty to participate or
not to participate in the fête.  Public spirit rises and assumes a new
degree of energy amidst civic amusements."  The municipality ordered
this letter of Pétion's to be printed, posted on the walls, and {116}
sent to the forty-eight sectional committees and the sixty battalions
of the National Guard.

Not all the members of the National Assembly shared the optimism of the
mayor of Paris.  The preparations for the fête, which was announced for
April 15, occasioned, on the 9th, a session as affecting as it was
stormy.  The whole debate should be read in the _Moniteur_.  The
question was put whether the Swiss of Chateauvieux, then waiting
outside the doors, should be introduced and admitted to the honors of
the session.  M. de Gouvion, who had been major-general of the National
Guard under Lafayette, gravely ascended the tribune.  "Gentlemen," said
he, "I had a brother, a good patriot, who, through the favorable
opinion of your fellow-citizens, had been successively a commander of
the National Guard and a member from the Department.  Always ready to
sacrifice himself for the Revolution and the law, it was in the name of
the Revolution and the law that he was required to march to Nancy with
the brave National Guards.  There he fell, pierced by fifty bayonets in
the hands of those who....  I ask if I am condemned to look on
tranquilly while the assassins of my brother enter here?"  A voice
rising from the midst of the Assembly cried: "Very well, sir, go out!"
The galleries applauded.  Gouvion attempted to continue.  The murmurs
redoubled.  Several persons in the galleries cried: "Down! down!"

The Assembly, revolutionary though it was, felt {117} indignant at the
scandal, and called the galleries to order.  The president reiterated
the injunction to keep silence.  Gouvion began anew: "I treat with all
the contempt he merits, and with ... I would say the word if I did not
respect the Assembly--the coward who has been base enough to outrage a
brother's grief."  The question was then put whether the Swiss of
Chateauvieux should be admitted to the honors of the session.  Out of
546 votes, 288 were in the affirmative, and 265 in the negative.
Consequently, the president announced that the soldiers of
Chateauvieux, who had asked to present themselves to the Assembly,
should be admitted to the honors of the session.  Gouvion went out by
one door, indignant, and swearing that he would never re-enter an
Assembly which received his brother's assassins as conquerors.  By
another door, Collot d'Herbois made his entry with his protêgês, the
ex-galley slaves.

The party of the left and the spectators in the galleries burst into
transports of joy, and gave three rounds of applause.  The soldiers
entered the hall to the beating of drums and cries of "Long live the
nation!"  They were followed by a large procession of men and women
carrying pikes and banners.  Collot d'Herbois, the showman of the
Swiss, pronounced an emphatic address in praise of the pretended
martyrs of liberty, which the Assembly ordered to be printed.  One
Goachon, speaking for the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, and holding a pike
ornamented with a {118} red liberty cap, exclaimed: "The citizens of
the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, the victors of the Bastille, the men of
July 14, have charged me to warn you that they are going to make ten
thousand more pikes after the model which you see."

The fête took place on Sunday, April 15.  It was the triumph of
anarchy, the glorification of indiscipline and revolt.  On that day the
galley slaves were treated like heroes.  The emblems adopted were a
colossal galley, ornamented with flowers, and the convicts' head gear,
that hideous red bonnet in which Dumouriez had already played the
buffoon, and which was presently to be set on the august head of Louis
XVI.  The soldier galley slaves, whose chains were kissed with
transports by a swarm of harlots, came forward wearing civic crowns.
What a difference between the Constituent Assembly and the Legislative
Assembly!  Under the one, a grand expiatory ceremony on the
Champ-de-Mars had honored the soldiers slain at Nancy, and the National
Guards had worn mourning for these martyrs of duty.  Under the other,
it was not the victims who were lauded, but their assassins.  A goddess
of Liberty in a Phrygian cap was borne in a state chariot.  The
procession halted at the Bastille, the Hôtel de Ville, and the
Champ-de-Mars.  The mayor and municipality of Paris were present in
their official capacity.  The _Ça ira_ was sung in a frenzy of
enthusiasm.  Soldiers and public women embraced each other.  It was
David who had {119} designed the costumes, planned the chariot, and
organized the whole performance,--David, the revolutionary artist who
was destined by a change of fortune to paint the portrait of a Pope and
the coronation of an Emperor.

In 1791, André Chénier and David, then friends, and saluting together
the dawn of the Revolution, had celebrated with lyre and pencil the
"_Serment du Jeu de Paumé_"[1]  Consecrating an ode to the painter's
magnificent tableau, the poet exclaimed:--

  Resume thy golden robe, bind on thy chaplet rich,
    Divine and youthful Poesy!
  To David's lips, King of the skilful brush,
    Bear the ambrosial cup.

How he repented his enthusiasm now!  What ill-will he bore the artist
who placed his art, that sacred gift, at the service of anarchical
passions!  With what irony the same pen passed from dithyramb to satire!

  Arts worthy of our eyes, pomp and magnificence
    Worthy of our liberty,
  Worthy of the vile tyrants who are devouring France,
    Worthy of the atrocious dementia
  Of that stupid David whom in other days I sang!


On the very day of the fête the young poet had the courage to publish
in the _Journal de Paris_ an avenging satire, which branded the
shoulders of the ex-galley slaves as with a new hot iron.  The sweet
{120} and pathetic elegiast, the Catullus, the Tibullus of France,
added a bronze chord to his lyre:--

  Hail, divine triumph!  Enter within our walls!
    Bring us these warriors so famed
  For Desilles' blood, and for the obsequies
    Of many Frenchmen massacred...
  One day alone could win so much renown,
    And this fair day will shine upon us soon!
  When thou shalt lead Jourdan to our army,
    And Lafayette to the scaffold!


Jourdan was the slaughterer, the headsman, the torturer of the Glacier
of Avignon, who, coming under the provisions of the amnesty, had
arrived to take part in the triumph of the Swiss of Chateauvieux.  The
acclamations were lugubrious.  The lanterns and torches shed a funereal
glare.  Nothing is more doleful than enthusiasm for ignominy.  The
applause accorded to disgrace and crime sounds like sinister derision.
Outraged public conscience extinguishes the fires of apotheoses such as
these.  Madame Elisabeth, in a letter of April 18, speaks with a sort
of pity of this odious but ridiculous fête: "The people have been to
see Dame Liberty waggling about on her triumphal car, but they shrugged
their shoulders.  Three or four hundred _sans-culottes_ followed,
crying 'Long live the nation!  Long live liberty!  Long live the
_sans-culottes_! to the devil with Lafayette!'  All this was noisy but
sad.  The National Guards took no part in it; on the contrary, they
were indignant, and Pétion, they say, is ashamed of his conduct.  {121}
The next day a pike surmounted by a red bonnet was carried noiselessly
through the garden, and did not remain there long."  The Princess de
Lamballe, who was living at the Tuileries in the Pavilion of Flora,
could see the pike thus carried by a passer.  It may, perhaps, have
been that belonging to one of the Septembrists,--that on which her own
head was to be placed.

The _Moniteur_, however, grew ecstatic over the fête.  "There are
plenty of others," it said, "who will describe the march of the
triumphal cortège, the groups composing it, the car of Liberty,
conducted by Fame, drawn by twenty superb horses, preceded by ravishing
music which was sometimes listened to in religious silence and
sometimes interrupted by wild, irregular dances whose very disorder was
rendered more piquant by the fraternal union reigning in all hearts....
The people were there in all their might, and did not abuse it.  There
was not a weapon to repress excesses, and not an excess to be
repressed."  It concluded thus: "We say to the administration: Give
such festivals as these often.  Repeat this one every year on April 15;
let the feast of Liberty be our spring festival; and let other civic
solemnities signalize the return of the other seasons.  In former days
the people had none but those of their masters, and all that was
accomplished by them was their depravity and abasement.  Give them some
that shall be their own, and that will elevate their souls, develop
their sensibilities, and fortify their courage.  They {122} will
create, or, better, they have already created, a new people.  Popular
festivals are the best education for the people."

Optimists, how will your illusions terminate?  You who see nothing but
an idyl in all this, can not you perceive that such ceremonies are the
prelude to massacres, and that an odor of blood mingles with their
perfumes?  All who took part on either side of the heated controversy
which preceded the ovation to the Swiss of Chateauvieux, will be
pursued by fate.  Gouvion, who had sworn never again to set foot within
the precincts of the Assembly where the murderers of his brother
triumphed, kept his word.  On the very day of that shameful session he
asked to be sent to the Army of the North, and three months later was
to be carried off by a cannon-ball.  Still more melancholy was to be
the fate of Pétion, who showed such complaisance toward the Swiss on
this occasion.  He, once so popular that in 1791 he was asked to allow
the ninth child, which a citizeness had just presented to her country,
"to be baptized in his name, revered almost as much as that of the
Divinity"; he of whom some one said at that time, "For the same reason
which would have made Jesus a suitable mayor of Jerusalem, Pétion is a
suitable mayor of Paris; there is too striking a resemblance between
them to be overlooked," was sadly to exclaim some months later: "I am
one of the most notable examples of popular inconsistency....  For a
long time I have said to myself and to my {123} friends: The people
will hate me still more than they have loved me.  I can no longer
either enter or depart from the place where we hold our sessions
without being exposed to the grossest insults and the most seditious
threats.  How often have I not heard them say as I was passing:
'Scoundrel! we will have your head!'"

Proscribed with the Girondins, May 31, 1793, he fled at first to
Normandy, and afterwards into the Gironde, wandering from town to town,
from field to field, and hiding for several months thirty feet under
ground, in a sort of well; the poor people who showed him hospitality
paid for it with their heads.  Ah! how disenchanted he must have been
with that revolutionary policy of which he had been the enthusiastic
promoter!  How sad was the farewell to life signed by him and Buzot:
"Now that it has been demonstrated that liberty is hopelessly lost;
that the principles of morality and justice are trodden under foot;
that there is nothing to choose between two despotisms,--that of the
brigands who are tearing the vitals of France and that of foreign
powers; that the nation has lost all its energy; that it lies at the
feet of the tyrants by whom it is oppressed; that we can render no
further service to our country; that, far from being able to give
happiness to the beings we hold most dear, we shall bring down hatred,
vengeance, and misfortune upon them, so long as we live,--we have
resolved to quit life and be no longer witnesses of the slavery which
is about to desolate our unhappy country."

{124}

After ending with this cry of grief and indignation: "We devote the
vile scoundrels who have destroyed liberty and plunged France into an
abyss of evils to the scorn and indignation of all time," the two
proscripts were found dead in a wheat-field about a league from
Saint-Emilion.  Their bodies were half devoured by wolves.

And how will André Chénier end?  On the day of the Swiss fête, the city
where such a scandal took place seemed to him insupportable.  For
several days he sought refuge in the country where he could breathe a
purer air beneath the blossoming trees.  But contemplation of nature
did not soothe him.  Running to meet danger, he returned and threw
himself into the furnace, more ardent and indignant than before.  With
manly enthusiasm he exclaimed: "It is above all when the sacrifices
which must be made to truth, liberty, and country are dangerous and
difficult, that they are accompanied by inexpressible delights.  It is
in the midst of spying accusations, outrages, and proscriptions, it is
in dungeons and on scaffolds, that virtue, probity, and constancy taste
the pleasures of a proud and pure conscience."  André had a
presentiment of his fate.

He was to die on the same day and the same scaffold as his friend
Roucher, a few hours earlier than the moment when Robespierre's
condemnation would have saved them.  It is thus that he was to pay with
his life for his opposition to the fête of the Swiss of Chateauvieux,
and Collot d'Herbois was avenged.  {125} But after the turn of the
victims came that of the headsmen.  The unlucky comedian who, pursuing
even his comrades with his hatred, asked that "the head of the _Comédie
Française_ should be guillotined and the rest transported," the
impresario of the fête of the Swiss galley slaves, the organizer of the
Lyons massacres, Collot d'Herbois, cursed by friends and enemies, was
transported to Guiana and died there in 1796, just as he had lived, in
an access of burning fever.



[1] The oath taken by the deputies of the third estate in the
tennis-court of Versailles, in 1789.



{126}

XII.

THE DECLARATION OF WAR.

The wave of anarchy constantly rose higher, but the optimists,
sheltering themselves, like Pétion, in a beatific calm, obstinately
closed their eyes and would not see it.  Abroad and at home there was
such a series of shocks and agitations, of struggles and emotions,
perils and troubles; things hurried on so fast, and the scenes of the
drama were so varied and so violent, that what happened to-day was
forgotten by the morrow.  The noise of the fête of the Swiss of
Chateauvieux had hardly ceased when the shouts of the multitude were
heard saluting Louis XVI., who had just declared war on Austria.

In reality, the King did not desire war, but the bellicose current had
become irresistible.  The court of Vienna had shown itself intractable.
It forbade the princes who owned possessions in Lorraine and Alsace to
receive the indemnities offered by France in exchange for their feudal
rights, and threatened to have the Diet of Ratisbonne annul any private
treaties they might conclude concerning them.  The electors of Trèves,
Cologne, and Mayence undisguisedly favored the levying of troops by the
emigrant {127} princes, and even paid subsidies toward their support.
They refused to recognize the official ambassadors of Louis XVI., while
recognizing the plenipotentiaries of these princes.  There was talk of
holding a Congress at Aix-la-Chapelle for the purpose of intimidating
the National Assembly.  The successor of the Emperor Leopold, Francis
II., who, before his election to the Empire, had assumed the title of
King of Hungary and Bohemia, displayed extremely martial sentiments.
Austria, which had sent forty thousand men to the Low Countries and
twenty thousand to the Rhine, had just signed a treaty of alliance with
Prussia, "to put an end to the troubles in France."  Dumouriez urgently
demanded the court of Vienna to explain itself.  It finally sent the
French Ambassador, Marquis de Noailles, a dry, curt, and formal note,
naming the only conditions on which peace could be preserved.  These
were: the re-establishment of the French monarchy on the bases of the
royal declaration of June 23, 1789, and, consequently, the restoration
of the nobility and clergy as orders; the restitution of Church
property; the return of Alsace to the German princes, with all their
sovereign and feudal rights; and, finally, the surrender of Avignon and
the county of Venaisson to the Holy See.

"In truth," says Dumouriez in his Memoirs, "if the Viennese minister
had slept through the entire thirty-three months that had elapsed since
the royal séance, and had dictated this note on awaking {128} without
knowledge of what had happened, he could not have proposed conditions
more incongruous with the progress of the Revolution....  The new
social compact was founded on the abolition of the orders and the
equality of all citizens.  The financial system, which alone could
prevent bankruptcy, was founded on the creation of assignats.  The
assignats were hypothecated on the property of the clergy, now become
the property of the nation, and the greater part of which had been
already sold.  The nation, therefore, could not accept these conditions
except by violating its Constitution, destroying property, ruining its
purchasers, annulling its assignats, and declaring bankruptcy.  Could
so humiliating an obedience be expected from a great nation, proud of
having conquered its liberty? and that for the sake of placing itself
once more under the yoke of nobles who, having abandoned their King
himself, now threatened to re-enter their country with sword and flame
and every scourge of vengeance?"

The entire National Assembly reasoned in the same way as Dumouriez.  A
cry for war arose on all sides.  The Girondins saw in it the
indispensable consecration of the Revolution.  The Feuillants hoped
that besides proving creditable to the government, it would accomplish
the additional end of drawing away from Paris and other great cities a
multitude of turbulent men who, for lack of anything else to do, were
disturbing public order.  Certain reactionists, stifling the sentiment
of patriotism in their hearts, {129} were equally anxious for war, in
the secret hope that it would prove disastrous for the French army, and
result in the re-establishment of the old régime.  On the other hand,
there were good citizens, inclined to optimism and judging others by
themselves, who thought that when confronted with an enemy, all
intestine dissensions would vanish as by enchantment, and that the new
Constitution, hallowed by victory and glory, would ensure the country a
most brilliant destiny.  Ministers were unanimous, and enthusiasm
universal.  Even if he had so desired, Louis XVI. could no longer
resist it.  On April 20, 1792, he went to the Assembly.  The hall was
filled with a crowd which comprehended the importance and solemnity of
the act about to be accomplished.

According to Dumouriez, the King was very majestic: "I come," he said,
"in accordance with the terms of the Constitution, formally to propose
war against the King of Hungary and Bohemia."  He afterwards paid the
greatest attention to the report of the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
and seemed, by the motions of his head and hands, to approve it in
every respect.  He returned to the Tuileries amidst general
acclamations.  War was unanimously decided on, and Dumouriez went to
the diplomatic committee in order to draw up the declaration.  At ten
in the evening the decree was brought in and carried to the King, who
sanctioned it at once.

Thus commenced that gigantic war which France was to wage against all
Europe, and which ended, {130} twenty-three years later, in the
disaster of Waterloo.  How many battles, what suffering, and what a
prodigious shedding of blood!  And to attain what end?  Simply the
point of departure; that is to say, in the political order, to
constitutional monarchy, and in territory, to the boundaries of 1792.
What! to have filled Europe with noise and renown; to have carried the
standards of France from east to west, from north to south; to have
camped victoriously in Brussels, Milan, Venice, Rome, Naples, Cairo,
Berlin, Madrid, Vienna, Moscow; to have enlarged the borders of valor,
heroism, and self-sacrifice in order to arrive, after so many efforts,
just at the spot where the strife began?  Ah! how short-sighted is
human wisdom, how deceitful the previsions of mortal man, how sterile
the agitations of republics and monarchs!  "Assuredly!" says Dumouriez,
"if the Emperor and the King of Prussia could have foreseen that France
was able to withstand all Europe, they would not have meddled with her
domestic quarrels; they would have treated the _émigrés_ not with
confidence, but compassion; they would have responded frankly and
without trickery to the minister's negotiation; the Revolution would
have been accomplished without cruelties; Europe would have remained at
peace, and France would be happy."  What sadness underlies all history,
and what disproportion there is between man's sacrifices and their
results!  The Revolution was achieved.  All necessary liberties had
been conquered.  Privileges {131} existed no longer.  Animated by
excellent intentions, Louis XVI. would have been the best of
constitutional sovereigns, had his subjects possessed wisdom.  Why this
long misunderstanding between him and his people?  Why, on one side,
the insensate attitude of the _émigrés_, whose task seemed to be to
justify the revolutionists; and why, on the other, those savage
passions which seemed trying to justify the wrathful recriminations of
Coblentz?  Why that untimely intervention of Austria which irritated
French national sentiment and gave a political pretext to inexcusable
violence, cruelty, and crime?  Inextricable confusion of false
situations!  Multitudes asked themselves in what direction right and
duty lay.  A large contingent of the French nobility heartily desired
the success of foreign armies.  At Coblentz a gathering of twenty-two
thousand gentlemen hastened to the side of the seven Bourbon princes:
the Comte de Provence, the Comte d'Artois, the Duc de Berry, the Duc
d'Angoulême, the Prince de Conde, the Duc de Bourbon, and the Duc
d'Enghien.

As M. de Lamartine has said: "Infidelity to the country called itself
fidelity to the King.  Desertion called itself honor.  Fealty to the
throne was the religion of the French nobility.  To them the
sovereignty of the people seemed an insolent dogma against which it was
necessary to draw the sword under penalty of sharing the crime.  There
was real devotion in the act by which these men, young and {132} old,
abandoned their rank in the army, and the ties of country and family,
and rushed into a foreign land to defend the white flag as common
soldiers....  Their country symbolized duty for the patriots; to the
_émigrés_, duty meant the throne.  One of these parties deceived itself
concerning its duty, but both of them believed they were performing it."

As to the unfortunate Louis XVI., he suffered cruelly.  It was like
death to him to declare war against his nephew, and at certain moments
he felt that this Austrian army against which his troops contended
might yet be his last resource.  He could not even flatter himself that
the sacrifice he had made of his sympathies and family feelings would
be repaid by the love and confidence of his people.

"We have no difficulty nowadays in comprehending," says M. Geffroy very
justly, "what pure patriotism there was in that young army of 1792,
which represented new France.  But this army, formed in independence of
the old regiments, was none the less, in the eyes of the Queen, a
veritable army of sedition.  She thought of it as composed of the
victors of the Bastille, those whom Mirabeau styled the greatest
scoundrels of Paris; the very rabble who came to Versailles on the 6th
of October.  She believed they could be crushed by the first attack at
the frontier, and that France and Paris would be rid of them."  The
following reflection by M. Geffroy is very judicious: "Marie Antoinette
committed a double error, but honest men who had not the same {133}
overpowering motives as she, have committed it likewise.  I do not
allude merely to those Frenchmen who, after April 20, remained in the
ranks of the Emigration, and who, apparently, did not suppose
themselves to be betraying the true interests of their country.  But
look at M. de Bouillé.  He even accepted a command in the foreign army
under Gustavus III.  And yet M. de Bouillé is an honest man who knows
France and loves her ardently.  Observe, in his Memoirs, his
involuntary pride in our success, and how he shrugs his shoulders at
the bluster of the Prussian officers."

It is not yet well understood what vigor, enthusiasm, and martial ardor
animated that brave national army, which, according to the foreigners,
was but a band of rioters, but which was suddenly to appear on the
battle-field as a people of heroes.  Honor took refuge in the camps.
It was there that men whom the Jacobin Club enraged, and who had no
consolation for their patriotic grief but the virile emotions of
combat, went to fight and die.  Why did not Louis XVI. call to mind
that he was the commander-in-chief of the army?  Ah! had he been a
soldier, had he been accustomed to wear a uniform, to command, and,
above all, to speak to his troops, how quickly he would have come to
the end of his difficulties!  Count de Vaublanc had good reason to say:
"Anything can be done with Frenchmen if one knows how to animate and
impress them with vehement ardor; otherwise, nothing need be
expected....  Never did {134} a prince merit better the eternal rewards
promised by religion to the true Christian; and yet his example should
forever teach kings that their conduct must be totally different from
his.  Lacking the courage which acts, the most virtuous king cannot
achieve his own safety."  Why did not Louis XVI. go amongst his
soldiers?  Victory would have given him a sceptre and a crown.  While
he still retained his sword, why did he leave it in the scabbard?  Why
did he not remember that it might launch thunderbolts?

On the contrary, Louis XVI. hesitates, fumbles, temporizes.  Count de
Vaublanc says again: "This wretched time proves thoroughly that finesse
is the most detestable means of conducting great affairs.  Nothing but
finesse was opposed to the impetuous attacks of the Jacobins.  All was
dissimulation; conversations, writings, measures; authority acted only
by crooked ways.  With a thousand means of safety, people were lost
because they pushed prudence to excess, and extreme prudence always
degenerates into despicable means.  I was in every great crisis of the
Revolution, and I have always seen the same faults produce the same
misfortunes.  It is the same thing in revolution as in war; no matter
how prudent a general may be, he must take some risk.  Otherwise it
would be impossible to gain a single battle."

Ah! how true and how striking is that great saying of Bossuet: "When
God wills to overthrow empires, all is feeble and irregular in their
designs." {135} Undecided and fickle, Louis XVI. does not even know
whether to desire the success or the failure of the Austrian army.  He
has no plan, no steadiness of purpose.  The secret mission he gives to
Mallet du Pan is a fresh proof of the irresolution of his character and
his policy.  What is it he asks?  To have the Powers declare that they
are making war against an anti-social faction, and not the French
nation; that they are undertaking the defence of legitimate governments
and of peoples against anarchy; that they will treat only with the
King; that they shall demand perfect liberty for him; that they convoke
a congress to which the _émigrés_ may be admitted as complainants, and
where the general scheme of claims and reclamations shall be negotiated
under the auspices and the guarantee of the great courts of Europe.
Hesitating between Austria and his own kingdom, the unhappy monarch
attempts to continue that equivocal system, that see-saw policy in
which he has succeeded so ill, and which constrains him to
dissimulation, that last resource of the feeble.  Sent to Germany with
instructions written by Louis XVI., with his own hand, Mallet du Pan
recommends the sovereigns to be cautious in advancing into France, to
observe the greatest prudence in dealing with the inhabitants of the
invaded provinces, and to precede their arrival by a manifesto in which
they declare conciliatory and pacific intentions.  It follows that
official ministers of the King did not possess his confidence and were
not the interpreters of his mind.  A {136} sort of occult and
mysterious government existed, with a diplomacy, secret funds, and
agents abroad and at home.  Such a system, lacking all grandeur and
sincerity, could accomplish nothing but catastrophes.

Meanwhile, the war had begun under the most painful conditions.  The
invasion of Belgium, arranged for the end of April, failed miserably.
Near Mons, Biron's troops took to flight, threatening to fire on their
officers, and crying: "We are betrayed!"  At Lille, General Theobald
Dillon was massacred by his own soldiers.  Such news caused
indescribable emotion in Paris.  Popular mistrust and irritation
reached their height.  The different parties hurled reproaches and
accusations in each other's face.  The Girondins, finding the National
Guard too conservative, demanded pikes for the men of the faubourgs who
had no guns.  The _sans-culottes_ enlisted.  The army of assassins was
organized.  The only thing left to do before giving the signal for a
riot was to obtain from the King a last concession,--the disbanding of
his guard.



{137}

XIII.

THE DISBANDING OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL GUARD.

Louis XVI. had still some defenders, some heroes resolved to shed the
last drop of their blood for their King.  Hence it was necessary to
remove them from his person.  What means of doing so could be found?
Calumny.  Fable on fable was spread among an always credulous public,
imaginary conspiracies invented, and the wretched monarch constrained
to deprive himself of his last resource, in order to deliver him, weak
and disarmed, into the hands of his enemies.

The Constitution provided a guard for Louis XVI.  One third of it was
composed of soldiers of the line, and the remainder of National Guards,
chosen by the Departments themselves from among their best-formed,
richest, and best-bred citizens.  It was commanded by one of the
greatest lords of the old régime, the Duke de Cossé-Brissac.  Born in
1734, the son of a marshal of France, the Duke had been governor of
Paris, grand steward of France, and colonel of the Hundred-Switzers.
He had never been willing to leave the King since the beginning of the
Revolution.  When his regiment was {138} disbanded he might have fled,
and Louis XVI. begged him to do so; but the heart of a subject so
faithful had been deaf to the entreaties of the unfortunate sovereign.
"Sire," he had answered, "if I fly, they will say that I am guilty, and
you will be considered my accomplice: my flight would be your
accusation; I would rather die."  And, in fact, he did die.  He had a
real devotion to the former mistress of Louis XV., the Countess du
Barry, and this latest conquest is not the least important of the
favorite's adventures.  Probably Count d'Allonville exaggerates when,
in his Memoirs, he extols in Madame du Barry "that decency of tone,
that nobility of manners, that bearing equally removed from pride and
humility, from license and from prudery, that countenance which was
enough to refute all the pamphlets."  Nevertheless, it is certain that
the society of the Duke de Brissac inspired the former favorite with
generous sentiments.  After the October Days, she took the wounded
body-guards into her own house, and when the Queen sent to thank her
for it, she replied: "These wounded young men regret nothing except not
having died for a princess so worthy of all homage as Your Majesty....
Luciennes[1] is yours, Madame; did not your benevolence give it back to
me? ... The late King, by a sort of presentiment, forced me to accept a
thousand precious objects {139} before sending me away from his person.
I already had the honor of offering you this treasure in the time of
the Notables; I offer it again, Madame, with eagerness.  You have so
many expenses to provide for, and so many favors to confer.  Permit me,
I entreat you, to render to Cæsar that which belongs to Cæsar."

An enthusiastic royalist, a gentleman of the old nobility, chivalrous
and full of courtesy, bred in notions of romantic susceptibility like
those of _Clélie_ and _Astrée_, the Duke de Brissac, like a
knight-errant of former times, represented at the court of Louis XVI. a
whole past which was crumbling to decay.  If the unhappy monarch had
been a man of action, he would have turned to good advantage a guard
commanded by such a champion.  He could have made it the nucleus of
resistance by grouping the Swiss regiments and the well-inclined
battalions of the National Guard around it.  Unfortunately, there was
nothing warlike in Louis XVI.  "Among the deplorable causes which
ruined him," says the Count de Vaublanc in his Memoirs, "must be
counted the wretched education which kept him apart from every sort of
military action.  I remember that in the early days of the Consulate,
after a review held on the Place of the Tuileries by Bonaparte, when
talking about this to M. Suard, of the French Academy, I said that
Bonaparte walked as if he were always ready to defend himself sword in
hand.  'Ah, well!' responded M. Suard, naïvely, {140} 'we used to think
differently; we wanted the King to have nothing military about him, and
never to wear a uniform.'"

To this anecdote, M. de Vaublanc adds another.  "We had in 1792," he
says, "a forcible proof of the despondency under which a royal soul,
spoiled by a detestable education, can labor.  M. de Narbonne, the
Minister of War, with great difficulty induced the King to review three
excellent battalions of the Paris National Guard.  He was on foot, in
silk breeches and white silk stockings, and wearing his hair in a black
bag.  After the review a notary, named Chandon, I think, left the ranks
and said to the King: 'Sire, the National Guard would be greatly
honored to see Your Majesty in its uniform.'  'Sire,' said M. de
Narbonne, at once, 'have the goodness to promise to do so.  At the head
of these three battalions of heroes you could destroy the Jacobins'
den.'  After a minute's reflection, the King replied: 'I will inquire
of my Council whether the Constitution permits me to wear the uniform
of the National Guard.'"  Louis XVI. allowed the last resources
accorded by fortune to slip away, and elements which in other hands
would have produced notable results, remained sterile in his.

The Constitutional Guard, which according to regulation should have
numbered eighteen hundred men, really amounted, says Dumouriez, to six
thousand fit for duty.  The royalist element predominated in it.  But a
certain number of "false {141} brethren" had found their way into the
ranks, who managed by the aid of bribery to spy upon their officers,
and made reports to the committee of public safety.  Undoubtedly the
King's guards did not approve of all that was going on.  But how could
devoted royalists and men accustomed to discipline be expected to
approve the fête of the Swiss of Chateauvieux, for example?  How could
they help being indignant when, while on duty at the Tuileries, they
heard the populace insult the royal family under the very windows of
the palace?

When they returned to their barracks at the Military School, they
expressed this indignation too forcibly, and their words, hawked about
in all quarters by ill-will, were represented as the preliminary
symptoms of a reactionary plot.  A guard commanded by a Duke de Brissac
was intolerable to the Jacobins.  Their sole idea was to drive it from
the Tuileries, where its presence appeared to insure order,--a thing
they held in utmost horror.  A 20th of June would not have been
possible with a constitutional guard, and ever since May, the 20th of
June had been in course of preparation.  Its organizers had their plan
completely laid already.  An adroit rumor was started of a so-called
plot, some Saint-Bartholomew or other, which they pretended was on foot
against the patriots, and of which the École Militaire was the centre.
The white flag, which was to be the signal for the assassins to
assemble, was said to be hidden there.  Pétion, the mayor of Paris,
{142} under pretext of preventing troubles, sent municipal officers to
make a search.  They could not lay their hands on the white flag which
was the pretended object of their visit, but they did find monarchical
hymns and ballads, and counter-revolutionary writings.

An unlucky incident still further increased suspicion.  The famous
Countess de La Motte had just published in London some new particulars
concerning the affair of the necklace.  In order to avert scandal, the
Queen had caused Laporte, intendant of the civil list, to buy up the
whole edition, and he had burned every copy of it at the manufactory of
Sèvres.  That very evening the committee of surveillance were in
possession of the fact that Laporte had gone to Sèvres with three
unknown persons, and that thirty bales of paper had been put into the
fire in his presence.  There was at this time a great deal of talk
concerning a pretended Austrian committee, in which a complete plan of
restoration by foreign aid was being elaborated.  It was claimed that
the papers burned at the manufactory were the archives of this
committee, with which popular imagination was extremely busy.
Denunciations fell in showers.  Laporte and several others were
summoned before the committee of surveillance.  Pétion declared that
the people were surrounded by conspiracies.  Bazire demanded the
disbanding of the King's guard, which, according to him, was made up of
servants of the _émigrés_, and refractory priests.  It was claimed
{143} that the soldiers, to whom the Duke de Brissac had given sabres
with hilts representing a cock surmounted by a royal crown, used
insulting language concerning the Assembly and the nation in their
barracks.  They were said to rejoice in the reverses which the French
troops had just sustained on the northern frontier, and it was added
that they meant to march twenty leagues under a white flag to meet the
Austrians.  The masses, always so easily deceived, were convinced that
the conspiracy was on the brink of discovery.

The National Assembly took up the question, and a stormy debate on it
occupied the evening session of May 29.  "What will become of the
individual liberty of citizens," cried M. Daverhouté, "if the dominant
party, merely by alleging suspicions, can decree the impeachment of all
who displease it, and if the different parties, coming successively
into power, overthrow, by means of this unchecked right of impeachment,
both ministers and all functionaries by the torrent of their intrigues?
In that case you would see proscriptions like those of Marius and
Sylla."  In fact, this was what the near future was about to show.
Vergniaud responded by evoking a souvenir of the prætorian guards of
Caligula and Nero.  At the close of his speech the Assembly passed the
following decree:--

"ARTICLE 1.  The existing hired guard of the King is disbanded, and
will be replaced immediately in conformity with the laws.

{144}

"ART. 2.  Until the formation of the new guard, the National Guard of
Paris will be on duty near the King's person, in the same manner as
before the establishment of the King's guard."

A discussion ensued on the subject of Brissac's impeachment.  The
struggle between the two opposing parties was of unheard-of vivacity.
One of the most courageous members of the right, M. Calvet, gave free
vent to his indignation.  "The informer," said he, "is a scoundrel who
makes a thrust with a poniard and hides himself; he was unknown at Rome
until the times of Sejanus and Tiberius; times, gentlemen, of which you
remind me often."  "To the Abbey! to the Abbey!" retorted the left,
with fury.  Said Guadet: "I demand that M. Calvet should be sent to the
Abbey for three days, for having dared to say that the representatives
of the French people remind him of the Roman Tiberius and Sejanus."
The motion was adopted, and the Assembly decided that M. Calvet should
pass three days in prison.  M. de Jaucourt threatened to cudgel Chabot,
and the ex-friar, ascending the tribune, said: "I think it was very
cowardly on the part of a colonel to offer to cane a Capuchin."  The
Assembly, having passed an order of the day concerning this incident,
decreed that "there was reason for an accusation against M. Cossé,
styled Brissac, and that his papers should be sealed up at once."

The King and Queen, awakened in the middle of the night by these
tidings, besought Brissac to make {145} his escape, and provided him
with the means.  The Duke refused, and instead of trying to assure his
safety, sat down to write a long letter to Madame du Barry.  At first
Louis XVI. wished to veto this decree, as was his duty, but his
ministers dissuaded him.  They reminded him of the October Days, and
the weak monarch, alarmed on account of his family, if not on his own,
sacrificed his Constitutional Guard and also the brave servitor who
commanded it.  Speaking to M. d'Aubier, one of the ordinary gentlemen
of the King's bedchamber, the Queen said: "I tremble lest the King's
guard should think the honor of the corps compromised by their
disarmament."--"Doubtless, Madame, that corps would have preferred to
die at the feet of Your Majesties."--"Yes," replied the Queen, "but the
few partisans who still adhere to the King in the Assembly counsel him
to sanction the decree disbanding them, and to disregard their advice
is to run the risk of losing them."  While the Queen was yet speaking,
a man approached under pretence of asking alms.  "You see," said she to
M. d'Aubier, "there is no place and no time when I am free from spies."

The Constitutional Guard were sent as prisoners to the École Militaire
between a double file of National Guards, and forced to surrender their
weapons.  By a sort of fatality Louis XVI. was led to disarm himself,
to spike his cannons, tear down his flags, and dismantle his
fortresses.  By dint of approaching too near the fatal declivity of
concessions, {146} he ended by losing even his dignity as man and King.
He was paralyzed, annihilated by the Assembly, which treated him like a
hostage, a conquered man, and which struck down, one after another, the
last defenders of the monarchy and of public order.  The fate of the
Constitutional Guard might well discourage honest men who only sought
to devote themselves.  How was it possible to remain faithful to a
chief who was false to himself, who was more like a victim than a king?
Finding themselves unsupported by the Tuileries, the royalists began to
look across the frontier, and many men who would have flocked around an
energetic monarch, fled from a feeble king and sorrowfully went to
swell the ranks of the emigration.

In spite of the advice of Dumouriez, Louis XVI. would not make use of
his right to form another guard.  He preferred to put himself in the
hands of the National Guard, who were his jailors rather than his
servants.  As to the Duke de Brissac, even the formality of an
interrogatory was dispensed with, and he was sent before the Superior
Court of Orleans.  When he bade adieu to Louis XVI., the King said to
him: "You are going to prison; I should be much more afflicted if you
were not leaving me there myself."  What was to be the fate of the
loyal and devoted servant, thus sacrificed to his master's inexcusable
weakness?  He left the dungeons of Orleans only to be transferred to
Versailles by the Marseillais, and there, on September 9, 1792, was
assaulted by a {147} furious throng surrounding the carriages
containing the prisoners.  The brave old man struggled long against the
assassins, but, after losing two fingers and receiving several other
wounds, he was killed by a sabre-thrust which broke his jaw, and his
head was set on one of the spikes of the palace gate.



[1] The magnificent mansion built for Madame du Barry by Louis XV., and
restored to her after her banishment to Meaux by Marie Antoinette.



{148}

XIV.

THE SUFFERINGS OF LOUIS XVI.

Dissatisfied with men and things, dissatisfied with others and himself,
the mind and heart of Louis XVI. were the prey of moral tortures which
left him no repose.  He began to be ashamed of his concessions, and to
repent of having accepted pusillanimous advice.  Why had he not
succeeded in being a king?  Why had he garrisoned Paris insufficiently
ever since the outbreak of the Revolution?  Why had he suffered the
Bastille to be taken, encouraged the emigration, and disbanded his
bodyguards?  Why had he not opposed the first persecutions aimed at the
Church?  Why had he pretended to approve acts and ideas which horrified
him?  Why, by resorting to deplorable equivocations which cast a shadow
over his policy and his character, had he reduced his most devoted
followers to doubt and despair?  Such thoughts as these assailed him
like so many stings of conscience.  The sentiments of monarchy and of
military honor awoke in him once more, and he sounded with bitterness
the whole depth of the abyss into which his irresolution had plunged
him.  In seeing what he was, he recalled sorrowfully {149} what he had
been, and comprehended by cruel experience what feebleness could make
of a Most Christian King and eldest son of the Church, an heir of Louis
XIV.  He thought of the many brave men, victims of his political
errors, who on his account had suffered exile and ruin; of the faithful
royalists menaced, because of him, with prison and death.  He thought
of the incessantly repeated crimes, the massacres of the Glacière, the
impunity of the brigands of "headsman" Jourdan, of Brissac's
incarceration.  This is what it is, he said within himself, to have
suffered religion to be persecuted and to have believed that, were the
altar once overthrown, the throne might rest secure.  He reproached
himself bitterly for having sanctioned the civil organization of the
clergy at the close of 1790, and thus drawn upon himself the censure of
the Sovereign Pontiff.  He wanted to be done with concessions, but he
understood perfectly that it was too late now to resist, and that he
was irrevocably lost in consequence of events undesired and unforeseen.

What was to be done?  How could he sail against the stream?  Where find
a point of vantage?  Ought he to take violent measures?  If the unhappy
King had been alone, perhaps he might have tried to do so.  But he
feared to endanger his wife and children by thus acting.

As if to push the wretched monarch to extremities, the National
Assembly passed two decrees which struck him to the heart.  According
to the first of {150} these, voted May 19, any ecclesiastic having
refused the oath to the civil constitution of the clergy, could be
transported at the simple request of twenty citizens of the canton in
which he resided.  According to the second, voted June 8, a camp of
twenty thousand federates, recruited from every canton of the realm,
were to be assembled before Paris, in order, as was said in one of the
preambles, "to take every hope from the enemies of the common weal who
are scheming in the interior."

They had counted too much on the King's patience.  He could not resolve
to sanction the two decrees, and banish the ecclesiastics whose
behavior he honored.  Dumouriez afflicted him still further, when, in
entreating him to yield, he asked why he had sanctioned, at the close
of 1790, the decree obliging the clergy to take oath to the civil
constitution of the clergy.  "Sire," said he, "you sanctioned the
decree for the priests' oath, and it is to that your veto must be
applied.  If I had been one of your counsellors at the time, I would,
at the risk of my life, have advised you to refuse your sanction.  Now
my opinion is that having, as I dare to say, committed the fault of
approving this decree, which has produced enormous evils, your veto, if
you apply it to the second decree, which may arrest the deluge of blood
ready to flow, will burden your conscience with all the crimes to which
the people are tending."  Never had a sovereign's conscience been a
prey to similar perplexities.  Louis XVI. seemed crushed beneath an
irresistible {151} fatality.  The Tuileries, haunted night and day by
the spectre of Charles I., assumed a dismal air.  At this period a sort
of stupor characterized the countenance, the gait, and even the silence
of the future victim of January 21.  He no longer spoke; one might say
he no longer thought.  He seemed prostrated, petrified.

A rumor got about that he had become almost imbecile through care and
trouble, so much so that he did not recognize his son, but on seeing
him approach, had asked: "What child is that?"  It was added that while
out walking he caught sight of the steeple of Saint Denis from the top
of the hill, and cried out: "That is where I shall be on my birthday."
He had been so calumniated, so misunderstood, so outraged, that not
merely his crown but his existence had become an intolerable burden to
him.  His throne and his life alike disgusted him.  He was no longer a
King, but only the ghost of one.

Madame Campan thus describes him: "At this period the King fell into a
discouragement amounting to physical prostration.  For ten days
together he never uttered a word, even in the bosom of his family,
except when the game of backgammon, which he played with Madame
Elisabeth after dinner, obliged him to pronounce some indispensable
words.  The Queen drew him out of this condition, so fatal at a
critical time when every minute may necessitate action, by throwing
herself at his feet and addressing him sometimes in words intended only
to frighten him, {152} and at others expressing her affection for him.
She demanded, also, what he owed to his family, and went so far as to
say that if they must perish, it ought to be with honor, and without
waiting to be strangled one after another on the floor of their
apartment."

While Louis XVI. assisted unmoved, not merely like Charles V. at his
own obsequies, but at those of royalty, the blood of Maria Theresa was
boiling in the veins of Marie Antoinette.  The scenes she had witnessed
sometimes extorted sobs and cries of anguish from her.  Her pride
revolted at seeing the royal mantle, crown, and sceptre dragged through
the mire.  She wanted to struggle to the last, to hope against all
hope, to cling to the last chances of safety like a shipwrecked sailor
to the fragments of his ship.  Who could say?  She might find defenders
where she least expected them.  It was for this reason that she wished
to meet Dumouriez, as she had met Mirabeau and Barnave.  Dumouriez has
preserved the details of this interview in his Memoirs.

How times had changed!  Secrecy was almost necessary if one sought the
honor of speaking with the Queen of France.  Even to salute her was to
expose one's self to the suspicion of belonging to the pretended
Austrian committee which was the perpetual object of popular invective.
When Louis XVI. told Dumouriez that the Queen desired a private
interview with him, the minister was not at all well pleased.  He
thought it a useless step which might be misinterpreted by all parties.
However, {153} he must needs obey.  He had received an order to go down
to the Queen an hour before the meeting of the Council.  That it might
be the sooner over, he took the precaution of going half an hour late
to this perilous rendezvous.  He had been presented to Marie Antoinette
on the day of his nomination as minister.  She had then addressed him
several words, asking him to serve the King well, and he had replied
with a respectful phrase.  Since then he had not seen her.  When he
entered her room, he found the Queen alone, very much flushed, and
pacing to and fro in an agitation which promised a lively interview.
She approached him with an air of majestic irritation: "Sir!" she
exclaimed, "you are all-powerful at this moment, but it is by the favor
of the people, who soon break their idols.  Your existence depends upon
your conduct."  Dumouriez insisted on the necessity of scrupulously
respecting the Constitution, which Marie Antoinette was unwilling to
do.  "It will not last," she said, raising her voice; "take care of
yourself!"--"Madame," replied the minister, "I am past fifty; I have
encountered many perils during my life, and in entering the ministry, I
thoroughly understood that responsibility was not the greatest of my
dangers."--"Nothing was wanting but to calumniate me," cried the Queen,
tears flowing from her eyes; "you seem to think me capable of having
you assassinated."  Agitated as greatly as the sovereign, "God preserve
me," said Dumouriez, "from offering you so {154} grievous an offence!
Your Majesty's character is great and noble.  You have given proofs of
it which I admire and which have attached me to you."  Marie Antoinette
grew calmer.  "Believe me, Madame," went on the minister; "I have no
interest in deceiving you, and I abhor anarchy and crime as much as you
do....  This is not, as you seem to think, a popular and transitory
movement.  It is the almost unanimous insurrection of a great nation
against inveterate abuses.  The conflagration is stirred up by great
parties, and there are scoundrels and fools in all of them.  I behold
nothing in the Revolution but the King and the nation as a whole; all
that tends to separate them leads to their mutual ruin; I am doing all
I can to reunite them, and it is your part to aid me.  If I am an
obstacle to your designs, say so, and I will at once offer my
resignation to the King, and go into a corner to bewail the fate of my
country and your own."  The interview ended amicably.  The Queen and
the minister talked over the different factions.  Dumouriez spoke to
Marie Antoinette of the faults and crimes of each; he tried to convince
her that she was misled by those who surrounded her, and the Queen
appeared to be convinced.  When he was obliged to call her attention to
the clock, as the hour for the Council had arrived, she dismissed him
most affably.

If we may credit Madame Campan, who has also given an account of this
interview, the impression Marie Antoinette received from it was
scarcely a {155} good one.  "One day," says Madame Campan, "I found the
Queen extremely troubled.  She said she no longer knew where she stood;
whether the Jacobin chiefs were making overtures to her through
Dumouriez, or Dumouriez, abandoning the Jacobins, was acting on his own
account; that she had given him an audience; that, when alone with her,
he had fallen at her feet and said that although he had pulled the red
bonnet down to his ears, yet he was not and could not be a Jacobin;
that the Revolution had been allowed to fall into the hands of a rabble
of disorganizers who, seeking only for pillage, were capable of
everything, and could furnish the Assembly with a formidable army,
ready to undermine the support of a throne already too much shaken.
While speaking with extreme warmth, he had seized the Queen's hand,
and, kissing it with transport, cried, 'Permit yourself to be saved!'
The Queen said to me that the protestations of a traitor could not be
believed, and that his entire conduct was so well known that
undoubtedly the wisest thing would be not to trust him."

Meantime, the danger constantly increased.  Even the gates of the
Tuileries were no longer fastened.  Hawkers of vile pamphlets and
sanguinary satires on the Queen cried their infamous wares under the
very windows of the palace; and the National Assembly, sitting close
beside, and hearing them--the National Assembly, terrorized by Jacobins
and pikemen--dared not even censure such baseness.  On June 4, {156} a
deputy named Ribes, till then unknown, cited from the tribune the
titles of the following articles in Fréron's journal, _l'Orateur du
Peuple_: "The crowned porcupine, a constitutional animal who behaves
unconstitutionally."--"Crimes of M. Capet since the
Revolution."--"Decree to be passed forbidding the Queen to sleep with
the King."--"The royal tigress, separated from her worthy spouse, to
serve as a hostage."  "Rouse up!" cried the indignant deputy.  "There
is still time.  Join with me in proclaiming war on traitors and justice
for the seditious, and the country is safe!"  Ribes preached in the
desert.  The Assembly shrugged their shoulders and treated him as a
fool.

June 11, another deputy, M. Delsaux, said from the tribune: "Last
evening, at half-past seven, passing through the Tuileries, I saw an
orator standing on a chair and speaking with great vehemence.  Mixing
with the crowd, I heard him read a libel strongly inciting to the
King's assassination.  This libel is called, 'The Fall of the Idol of
the French,' and these sentences occur in it: 'This monster employs his
power and his treasures to hinder our regeneration.  A new Charles IX.,
he wishes to bring desolation and death to France.  Go, cruel wretch;
thy crimes shall have an end.  Damiens was less guilty.  He was
punished by most horrible tortures for having desired to deliver France
from a monster.  And thou, whose offences are twenty-five million times
greater, art left unpunished!  But tremble, tyrant; there is a Scævola
amongst us.'"

{157}

The Assembly listened, but took no measures.  No further restraint was
placed either on moral or material disorder.  Anarchy showed a nameless
epileptic ferocity.  Never had the press been more furious or
licentious.  It was a torrent of mud and gall and blood.  The limits of
invective and insult were driven further back.  "You see that I am
annoyed," said the Queen to Dumouriez in Louis XVI.'s presence; "I dare
not go to the window looking into the garden.  Last evening, needing a
breath of air, I showed myself at the window facing the courtyard.  A
gunner belonging to the guard apostrophized me in an insulting way, and
added: 'What pleasure it would give me to have your head on the end of
my bayonet!'  In that frightful garden a man standing on a chair reads
out horrors against us on one side, and on the other may be seen a
soldier or a priest whom they are dragging through a pond, and crushing
with blows and insults.  Meantime, others are flying balloons or
quietly strolling about.  Ah! what a place! what a people!"



{158}

XV.

ROLAND'S DISMISSAL FROM OFFICE.

In the ministry, as elsewhere, discord reigned.  At first, the
ministers had seemed to be of one mind.  They dined at each other's
houses four times a week, on the days when there was a meeting of the
Council.  Friday was Roland's day for receiving his colleagues at his
table, where his wife presided and perorated.  "These dinners," says
Etienne Dumont, "were often remarkable for their gaiety, of which no
situation can deprive Frenchmen when they meet in society, and which
was natural to men contented with themselves and flattered by their
elevation.  The future was hidden from them by the present.  The cares
of the ministry were forgotten.  They seated themselves in their
dwellings as if they were to abide there forever."  This sort of
political honeymoon could not last very long.  Things presently began
to change for the worse.  Dumouriez tired very soon of Madame Roland's
pretensions; she wanted to know, see, and direct everything, and he
persisted in refusing to transform himself into a puppet whose strings
were to be pulled by this woman and the Girondins.  Madame Roland, who
{159} posed as a puritan, caused remonstrances to be addressed to
Dumouriez on the subject of some more or less suspicious affairs, said
to have been negotiated by Bonne-Carrère, the director at the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs, by which Madame de Beauvert was supposed to have
gained large sums.  The wife of the Minister of the Interior had a
grudge against the favorite of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  "She
is Dumouriez's mistress," said she; "she lives in his house and does
the honors at his table, to the great scandal of sensible men, who are
friendly to good morals and liberty.  For this license on the part of a
public man charged with State affairs marks too plainly his contempt
for decorum; and Madame de Beauvert, Rivarol's sister, very well and
very unfavorably known, is surrounded by the tools of aristocracy,
unworthy in all respects."  One evening, after dinner, Roland, "with
the gravity belonging to his age and character," as his wife says, gave
a lecture on morality to the Minister of Foreign Affairs apropos of
this matter.  At first Dumouriez made jesting replies, but afterwards
showed temper and appeared displeased with his entertainers.
Thereafter he seldom visited the Ministry of the Interior.  Reflecting
on this, Madame Roland said to her husband: "Though not a good judge of
intrigue, I think worldly wisdom would dictate that the hour has come
for getting rid of Dumouriez, if we wish to avoid being ruined by him.
I know very well that you would be unwilling to lower yourself to such
an {160} action; and yet it is plain that Dumouriez must be seeking to
disembarrass himself of those whose censure has offended him.  When one
undertakes to preach, and does so in vain, he must either punish or
expect to be molested."

Thenceforward, Madame Roland formed a distinct group within the
ministry, composed of her husband, Clavière, and Servan, who had just
replaced De Grave as Minister of War.  While Dumouriez, Lacoste, and
Duranton (whom Louis XVI. called "the good Duranton") allowed
themselves to be affected by the King's goodness, and sincerely wished
to save him, their three colleagues, inspired by the spiteful Madame
Roland, had but one idea: to destroy him.  "Roland, Clavière, and
Servan," says Dumouriez in his Memoirs, "no longer observed any
moderation, not merely with their colleagues, but with the King
himself.  At every meeting of the Council they abused the mildness of
this prince, in order to mortify and kill him with pin-pricks."

It was Servan who proposed forming a camp of twenty thousand federates
around Paris.  He thought it would be a sort of central revolutionary
army, analogous to that English parliamentary army under command of
Cromwell, which had brought Charles I. to the scaffold.  "Servan, a
very wicked man and most inimical to the King," says Dumouriez again,
"took the notion to write to the President of the Assembly, without
consulting his colleagues, and propose a decree for assembling an army
of twenty {161} thousand men around Paris.  This was at the time when
the Girondin faction was at the height of its power, having the
Jacobins at their command, and governing Paris through Pétion.  They
wanted to destroy the Feuillants, perhaps at the sword's point, to put
down the court, and probably to begin putting their republican projects
into execution.  Thus it was this faction which brought to Paris the
federates who ended by causing every one of them to perish on the
scaffold after making Louis XVI. ascend it."  Dumouriez was indignant
that the Minister of War should have taken it on himself to propose
such a decree without even mentioning it to the sovereign.  The dispute
on this matter was so violent that, but for the presence of the King,
the meeting of the Council might have come to a bloody close.  Louis
XVI., deeply grieved by such scandals, resolved to dismiss the three
ministers, who, instead of supporting him, were merely conspirators who
had sworn his ruin.

The anguish of the unhappy monarch had reached its height.  Four
councils were held without his returning the decrees submitted to him
for consideration.  The National Assembly grew impatient.  The Jacobins
were in a rage.  At last the King concluded to take up in the Council
the decree relative to the camp of twenty thousand federates.  "I
think," said Dumouriez, "that the decree is dangerous to the nation,
the King, the National Assembly, and above all to its authors, whose
chastisement it {162} will turn out to be; and yet, Sire, it is my
opinion that you cannot refuse it.  It was proposed by profound malice,
debated with fury, and decreed with enthusiasm; everybody is blinded.
If you veto it, it will none the less be passed."  The hesitation of
Louis XVI. redoubled.  As to the decree concerning the clergy, he
declared that he would never sanction it.  This was the only time that
Dumouriez ever saw "the character of this gentle soul somewhat changed
for the worse."

Meanwhile, Madame Roland, more impatient and vindictive than ever,
wrote the famous letter supposed to issue from her husband, which was
to echo in the ears of royalty like a funeral knell.  She says of it:--

"The letter was written at one stroke, like nearly all matters of the
sort which I have done; for, to feel the necessity, the fitness of a
thing, to apprehend its good effect, to desire to produce it, and to
give form to the object from which this effect should result, was to me
but a single operation."

This letter, a veritable arraignment of the King, was much more like a
club speech or a newspaper article than a letter from a minister of
state to his sovereign.  Such sentences as these occur in it: "Sire,
the existing state of things in France cannot long continue; it is a
crisis whose violence is attaining its highest point; it must end by an
outbreak which should interest Your Majesty as seriously as it affects
the entire kingdom....  It is no longer possible to draw back.  The
Revolution is {163} accomplished in men's minds; it will end in blood
and be cemented by blood if wisdom does not avert the evils which it is
still possible to prevent....  Yet a little more delay, and the
afflicted people will behold in their King the friend and accomplice of
conspirators.  Just Heaven! hast Thou stricken with blindness the
powerful of this earth, and will they never heed other counsels than
those which drag them to destruction!  I know that the austere language
of truth is rarely welcomed near the throne; I know, also, that it is
because it so rarely obtains a hearing there that revolutions become
necessary; I know, above all, that I am bound to employ it to Your
Majesty, not merely as a citizen submissive to the law, but as a
minister honored with your confidence, or vested with functions which
imply this."

The letter also contained a defence of the two decrees, and plainly
threatened Louis XVI., should he veto them, with the horrors of a civil
war which would develop "that sombre energy, mother of virtues and of
crimes, which is always fatal to those who have evoked it!"  Was not
Madame Roland here announcing the September massacres, and the heinous
crimes of which she herself was speedily to become one of the most
celebrated victims?

At first Roland sent this letter to the King, with a promise that it
should always remain a secret between them.  But, incited by the vanity
of his wife, who was incessantly urging him on to notoriety and
display, Roland did not keep this promise.  He read {164} the letter at
the next meeting of the Council, June 11.  "The King," says Dumouriez,
"listened to this impudent diatribe with admirable patience, and said
with the greatest coolness: 'M. Roland, you had already sent me your
letter; it was unnecessary to read it to the Council, as it was to
remain a secret between ourselves.'"  Dumouriez was summoned to the
palace the following morning, June 12.  He found the King in his own
room, accompanied by the Queen.  "Do you think, Monsieur," said Marie
Antoinette, "that the King ought to submit any longer to the threats
and insolence of Roland and the knavery of Servan and Clavière?"--"No,
Madame," he replied; "I am indignant at them; I admire the King's
patience, and I venture to ask him to make an entire change in his
ministry.  Let him dismiss us on the spot, and appoint men belonging to
neither party."--"That is not my intention," said Louis XVI.  "I wish
you to remain, as well as Lacoste and that good man, Duranton.  Do me
the service of ridding me of these three factious and insolent persons,
for my patience is exhausted."--"It is a dangerous matter, Sire, but I
will do it."  As a condition of remaining in the ministry, Dumouriez
exacted the sanction of the two decrees.  There was another ministerial
council the same evening.  Roland, Servan, and Clavière were more
insolent and acrimonious than usual.  Louis XVI. closed the session
with mingled dissatisfaction and dignity.

At eight o'clock that evening (June 12), Servan, {165} the Minister of
War, went to Madame Roland and said: "Congratulate me!  I have been
turned out."--"I am much piqued," replied she, "that you should be the
first to receive that honor, but I hope it will not be long before it
will be decreed to my husband also."  Madame Roland's prayer was
granted.  The virtuous Minister of the Interior received his letters of
dismissal the next morning.  As Duranton, who delivered it at the
Ministry of Justice, was slowly drawing it from his pocket,--

"You make us wait for our liberty," said Roland; and, taking the
letter, he added, "In reality that is what it is."  Then he went home
to his wife to announce to her that he was no longer minister.

Madame Roland, with the instinct of hatred, saw at once how to obtain
revenge.  "One thing remains to be done," she cried; "we must be the
first to communicate the news to the Assembly, sending them at the same
time a copy of the letter to the King which must have caused it."  This
idea pleased the ex-minister highly, and he put it instantly into
execution.  "I was conscious," says the irascible Egeria of the
Girondins in her Memoirs, "of all the effects this might produce, and I
was not deceived; my double object was attained, and both utility and
glory attended the retirement of my husband.  I had not been proud of
his entering the ministry, but I was of his leaving it."  Thenceforward
Madame Roland was to be the most indefatigable cause of the Revolution,
and Louis XVI. was to learn by experience what the vengeance of a woman
can accomplish.



{166}

XVI.

A THREE DAYS' MINISTRY.

Dumouriez had taken the portfolio of war.  He kept it three days only.
But during those three days what activity! what excitement!  More than
fifteen hundred signatures affixed, instructions sent to all the
generals, a most tumultuous session of the National Assembly, a last
effort to induce Louis XVI. to make further concessions, a resignation
which was to be the signal for catastrophes.  How the scenes of the
drama multiply!  How the dénouement is accelerated!

The session at which Dumouriez was to appear for the first time as
Minister of War could not fail to be singular.  It took place June 13,
1792, and from ten o'clock in the morning all the galleries had been
crowded.  The Jacobins had filled them with their satellites.  The
Girondins had prepared a dramatic surprise.  The three ex-ministers
were to be brought into the chamber under pretext of explaining the
causes of their dismissal.  It was agreed that they should be received
as victims of the aristocracy and martyrs of the Revolution.  Roland's
letter--say, rather, his wife's letter--to Louis XVI. was read to {167}
the Assembly and frequently interrupted by loud bursts of applause.
Just as it was finished, and some one was demanding that it should be
sent to all the eighty-three departments, Dumouriez entered the hall.
Murmurs and hisses arose on all sides.  The Assembly voted the despatch
of the letter to the departments.  A deputy exclaimed: "It will be a
famous document in the history of the Revolution and of the ministers."
The Assembly went on to declare that Roland was followed by the regrets
of the nation.  Then Dumouriez ascended the tribune and read a message
in which M. Lafayette announced the death of M. de Gouvion.  He had
been major-general of the National Guard, and, having quitted the
Assembly rather than be present at the triumph of the Swiss of
Chateauvieux, had met his death bravely in the Army of the North.  "A
cannon-ball," said the message, "has terminated a virtuous life."  The
Assembly was affected, and voted complimentary condolences to the
father of the heroic officer.

Afterwards, Dumouriez read his report on military affairs.  It was a
long criticism on the legislators who had ordered a new levy of troops
before providing the existing corps with their full complements; on the
muster-masters, the standing committees, and the market-contractors,
who were piling up abuses.  Dumouriez complained of everything; he
reproached the factions, and insisted on the consideration due to
ministers.  Guadet thundered out: "Do you hear him?  He already thinks
himself so {168} sure of power that he takes it on him to give us
advice."--"And why not?" resumed the minister, turning toward the side
of the Mountain.[1]  This bold response astonished the most furious.
Some one said: "The document is not signed.  Let him sign it!  Let him
sign it!"  Dumouriez called for pen and ink, signed his memoir, and
went to lay it on the desk.  Then he slowly crossed the hall and went
quietly out by the door beneath the Mountain, with a haughty glance at
his adversaries.  His martial attitude disconcerted them.  The shouts
and hootings ceased, and complete silence ensued.  On leaving the
Assembly, Dumouriez was surrounded by a group of persons before the
door of the Feuillants, but their faces displayed no signs of anger
toward him.  As soon as he quitted the Assembly, his enemies, no longer
intimidated by his presence, redoubled their attacks.  Three or four
deputies left the Chamber, and making their way to him through the
crowd, said: "They are raising the devil inside; they would like to
send you to Orleans."  (It was there the Duke de Brissac was imprisoned
and the Superior Court held its sessions.)  "So much the better,"
replied Dumouriez; "I would take the baths, drink butter-milk, and rest
myself."  This sally amused the crowd, and the minister as he entered
the Tuileries garden, said to the deputies who followed him: "It will
be a mistake for my enemies to have {169} my memoir printed, for it
will bring all good citizens back to me.  At present, being drunk and
crazy, you have just extolled Roland's infamous perfidy to the skies."
Then he went to the palace.  Louis XVI. complimented him on his
firmness, but absolutely refused to sanction the decree against the
priests.

Far from ameliorating, the situation continued to grow worse.  Pétion's
emissaries stirred up the inhabitants of the faubourgs.  That evening
Dumouriez sent a letter to the King announcing that a riot was
apprehended.  Louis XVI. suspected that the minister was lying, and
wrote to him: "Do not believe, Monsieur, that any one can succeed in
frightening me by threats; my resolution is taken."  Dumouriez had
based his entire scheme on the hypothesis that the decree concerning
the priests would be accepted by the King.  From the moment that Louis
XVI. rejected it, Dumouriez no longer hoped to remain in the ministry.
He wrote again, imploring the sovereign to give it his sanction, and
announcing that, in case of his refusal, the ministers would all feel
obliged to retire.  The next day, June 15, the King received them in
his chamber.  "Are you still," said he to Dumouriez, "in the same
sentiments expressed in your letter last evening?"--"Yes, Sire, if Your
Majesty will not permit yourself to be moved by our fidelity and
attachment."--"Very well," replied Louis XVI., with a gloomy air,
"since your decision is made, I accept your resignation and will
provide for it."  Dumouriez was no {170} longer a minister.  In his
Memoirs he describes himself as much affected, "not on account of
quitting a dangerous post, which simply made his existence disturbed
and painful, but because he saw all his trouble thrown away, and the
King handed over to the fury of cruel enemies and the criminal
indiscretion of false friends."

At bottom, Dumouriez inspired nobody with confidence.  He belonged to
no party, and no one knew his opinions.  He had leaned on both Jacobins
and Girondins, while at the same time he was inspiring certain hopes in
the Feuillants, and flattering the King, to whom he promised signs and
wonders.  Too revolutionary for the conservatives and too conservative
for the revolutionists, he had tried a see-saw policy which would no
longer answer.  It became indispensable to make a choice.  It was
impossible to please both the Jacobins and the court.

And yet Dumouriez was a man of resources, and it is much to be
regretted, on the King's account, that no better understanding could be
arrived at between them.  More successfully than any one else,
Dumouriez might have resorted to bold measures and called in at this
time the intervention of the army, as he did several years later.  He
loved money and rank; royalty still excited a great prestige over him,
and he had used the Revolution as a means, not as an end.

Could Louis XVI. have pretended patience for a few days longer, perhaps
he might have extricated {171} himself from difficulties which, though
grave, were still not insoluble.  He did not choose his hour for
resistance wisely.  It was either too late or too soon.  The dismission
of Dumouriez was a blunder.  At what moment did Louis XVI. elect to
deprive himself of his minister's aid?  That very one when, attacked by
the Girondins, exasperated by Roland's conduct, and disgusted with the
progress of anarchy, the force of circumstances was about to toss
Dumouriez back to the side of the reactionists.  The camp of twenty
thousand men, if confided to safe hands, and secret service money
judiciously employed, might have become the nucleus of a monarchical
resistance.  Lafayette and his partisans were becoming conservative,
and between him and Dumouriez agreement was not impossible.  Louis XVI.
was in too great a hurry.  His conscience revolted at an unfortunate
moment.  Why, if he was bent on this veto, so just, so honest, but so
ill-timed, had he freely made so many concessions which thus became
inexplicable?  In rejecting the offers of Dumouriez, the Queen possibly
deprived herself of her only remaining support.  He who saved France in
the Passes of Argonne might, had he gained the entire confidence of
Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, have saved the King and royalty.

Dumouriez had a final interview with Louis XVI., June 18.  The King
received him in his chamber.  He had resumed his kindly air, and when
the ex-minister had shown him the accounts of the last {172} fortnight,
he complimented him on their clearness.  Afterwards, the following
conversation took place: "Then you are going to join Luckner's
army?"--"Yes, Sire, I leave this frightful city with delight; I have
but one regret; you are in danger here."--"Yes, that is
certain."--"Well, Sire, you can no longer fancy that I have any
personal interest to consult in talking with you; once having left your
Council, I shall never again approach you; it is through fidelity and
the purest attachment that I dare once more entreat you, by your love
for your country, your safety and that of your crown, by your august
spouse and your interesting children, not to persist in the fatal
resolution of vetoing the two decrees.  This persistence will do no
good, and you will ruin yourself by it."--"Don't say any more about it;
my decision is made."--"Ah!  Sire, you said the same thing when, in
this very room, and in presence of the Queen, you gave me your word to
sanction them."--"I was wrong, and I repent of it."--"Sire, I shall
never see you again; pardon my frankness; I am fifty-three, and I have
some experience.  It was not then that you were wrong, but now.  Your
conscience is abused concerning this decree against the priests; you
are being forced into civil war; you are helpless, and you will be
overthrown, and history, though it may pity you, will reproach you with
having caused all the misfortunes of France.  On your account, I fear
your friends still more than your enemies."--"God is my witness {173}
that I wish for nothing but the welfare of France."--"I do not doubt
it, Sire; but you will have to account to God, not solely for the
purity but also for the enlightened execution of your intentions.  You
expect to save religion, and you destroy it.  The priests will be
massacred and your crown torn from you.  Perhaps even your wife, your
children..."  Emotion prevented Dumouriez from going on.  Tears stood
in his eyes.  He kissed the hand of Louis XVI. respectfully.  The King
wept also, and for a moment both were silent.  "Sire," resumed
Dumouriez, "if all Frenchmen knew you as well as I do, our woes would
soon be ended.  Do you desire the welfare of France?  Very well!  That
demands the sacrifice of your scruples ...  You are still master of
your fate.  Your soul is guiltless; believe a man exempt from passion
and prejudice, and who has always told you the truth."--"I expect my
death," replied Louis XVI. sadly, "and I forgive them for it in
advance.  I thank you for your sensibility.  You have served me well; I
esteem you, and if a happier time shall ever come, I will prove it to
you."  With these words the King rose sadly, and went to a window at
the end of the apartment.  Dumouriez gathered up his papers slowly, in
order to gain time to compose his features; he was unwilling to let his
emotion become evident to the persons at the door as he went out.
"Adieu," said the King kindly, "and be happy!"

As he was leaving, he met his friend Laporte, intendant of the civil
list.  The two, who were meeting {174} for the last time, went into
another room and closed the door.  "You advised me to resign," said
Laporte, "and I meant to do so, but I have changed my mind.  My master
is in danger, and I will share his fate."--"If I were in the personal
service of the King, as you are," replied Dumouriez, "I would think and
act the same; I esteem your devotion, and love you the more for it;
each of us is faithful in his own way; you, to Louis; I, to the King of
the French.  May both of us felicitate him some day on his happiness!"
Then the two friends separated, after embracing each other with tears.

The sole thought of Dumouriez now was to escape from the city where he
had witnessed so many intrigues and been so often deceived.  He was
very sorrowful at heart.  Ordinarily so gay, so brilliant, so full of
Gallic and _Rabelaisian_ wit, power had made him melancholy.  His
ministerial life left on him an abiding impression of bitterness and
repugnance.  "One needs," he has said, "either a patriotism equal to
any test, or else an insatiable ambition, to aspire in any way whatever
after those difficult positions where one is surrounded with snares and
calumnies.  One learns only too soon that men are not worth the trouble
one takes to govern them."  June 19, he wrote to the Assembly, asking
an authorization to repair to the Army of the North.  "I have spent
thirty-six years in military and diplomatic service, and have
twenty-two wounds," said he in this letter; "I envy the fate of the
virtuous Gouvion, and should {175} esteem myself happy if a cannon-ball
could put an end to all differences concerning me."  He never again
returned either to the palace, the Assembly, or any other place where
he might encounter either ministers, deputies, or persons belonging to
the court.  He started for the army, June 26, regarding it as "the only
asylum where an honest man might still be safe.  At least, death
presents itself there under the attractive aspect of glory."  He left
in the capital "consternation, suspicion, hatred, which pierced through
the frivolity of the wretched Parisians."  With an intuition worthy of
a man of genius, he foresaw the vicious circle about to be described by
French history, and divined that by plunging into license men return
inevitably to servitude, because "it is impossible to sustain liberty
with an absurd government, founded on barbarity, terror, and the
subversion of every principle necessary to the maintenance of human
society."  Two years later, in 1794, he wrote in his Memoirs: "The
serpent will recoil upon itself.  His tail, which is anarchy, will
re-enter his throat, which is despotism."



[1] The advanced republican party in the Assembly.



{176}

XVII.

THE PROLOGUE TO JUNE TWENTIETH.

On retiring from the ministry, Dumouriez left his successors a burden
far too heavy for their shoulders, and under which they were to
succumb.  The new ministers, Lajard, Terrier de Montciel, and
Chambonas, were almost unknown men who had no definite, decided
opinions, and offered no resistance to disorder: for that matter, they
had no means of doing so.  The political system then in power had left
Paris a helpless prey to sedition.  By the new laws, the executive
power could take no direct action looking to the preservation of public
order in any French commune.  Any minister or departmental
administration that should adopt a police regulation or give a
commander to armed forces, would be guilty of betraying a trust.  The
power to prevent or repress disorder belonged exclusively to the
municipal authority, which, in Paris, was composed of a mayor, sixteen
administrators, thirty-two municipal councillors, a council-general of
ninety-six notables, an attorney-general and his two substitutes.  This
body of 148 members was the redoubtable power known as the Commune of
Paris.  It was not {177} composed entirely of seditious persons, and in
the National Guard, also, there were still battalions fervently devoted
to the constitutional monarchy.  But Pétion was mayor of Paris; Manuel,
the attorney-general, and Danton his substitute.  Seditious movements
were sure to find instigators and accomplices in these three men.

Moreover, the insurrection was regularly organized.  It had its
muster-rolls, its officers, sergeants, soldiers; its strategy and plans
of battle.  It utilized wineshops as guard-houses, the faubourgs as
barracks, the red bonnet and the _carmagnole_, or revolutionary jacket,
as a uniform.  Its agitators distributed wine, beer, and brandy
gratuitously.  The Jacobins or the Cordeliers had but to give the
signal for a riot, and a riot sprang out of the ground.  The mine was
loaded; the only question was when to fire the train.  The Girondins
were of one mind with the Jacobins.  Exasperated by the dismissal of
three ministers who shared their opinions, they wanted to intimidate
the court by means of a popular tumult, and thus force the unhappy
sovereign to sanction the two decrees, concerning the deportation of
priests and the camp of twenty thousand men.  The populace already
manifested their restlessness by threats and strange rumors.  At the
Jacobin Club the most violent propositions were mooted.  Some wanted to
establish a minority, on the ground of the King's mental alienation;
some, to send the Queen back to Austria; the more moderate talked of
suppressing the army, {178} dismissing the staff-officers of the
National Guard, depriving the King of the right of veto, and electing a
Constituent Assembly.  Revolutionary conventicles multiplied beyond all
measure.  The division of Paris into forty-eight sections became an
exhaustless source of confusion.  The assembly of each section
transformed itself into a club.

Meanwhile, the moderate party rested all its hopes on Lafayette, who
was friendly not only to liberty, but to order.  He considered himself
the founder of the new monarchy, of constitutional royalty; but, for
that very reason, he felt that he had duties toward the King.
Despising the reactionists, whose hopes were more or less enlisted on
behalf of the foreign armies, he also detested the Jacobins who were
dishonoring and compromising the new order of things.  He expresses
both sentiments in a letter addressed to the National Assembly, and
written from the intrenched camp of Maubeuge, June 16, 1792, the Fourth
Year of Liberty: "Can you conceal from yourselves," he says in it,
"that a faction, and to use plain terms, the Jacobin faction, has
caused all these disorders?  I make the accusation boldly.  Organized
like a separate empire, with its capital and its affiliations blindly
directed by certain ambitious chiefs, this sect forms a distinct body
in the midst of the French people, whose powers it usurps by
subjugating its representatives and agents.  In its public meetings,
attachment to the laws is named aristocracy, and disobedience to them
patriotism; there the {179} assassins of Desilles are received in
triumph, and Jourdan's insensate clamor finds panegyrists; there the
story of the assassinations which defiled the city of Metz is still
greeted with infernal applause."

Lafayette puts himself courageously forward in his letter: "As to me,
gentlemen, who espoused the American cause at the very time when the
ambassadors assured me it was lost; who, from that period, devoted
myself to a persistent defence of the liberty and sovereignty of
peoples; who, on June 11, 1789, in presenting a declaration of rights
to my country, dared to say, 'For a nation to be free, all that is
necessary is that it shall will to be so,' I come to-day, full of
confidence in the justice of our cause, of scorn for the cowards who
desert it, and of indignation against the traitors who would sully it;
I come to declare that the French nation, if it be not the vilest in
the universe, can and ought to resist the conspiracy of kings which has
been leagued against it."  At the same time, the general
enthusiastically praised his soldiers: "Doubtless it is not within the
bosom of my brave army that sentiments of timidity are permissible.
Patriotism, energy, discipline, patience, mutual confidence, all civic
and military virtues, I find here.  Here the principles of liberty and
equality are cherished, the laws respected, and property held sacred;
here, neither calumnies nor seditions are known."

Including both revolutionists and reactionists in the same accusation,
Lafayette makes this reflection: {180} "What a remarkable conformity of
language exists, gentlemen, between those seditious persons
acknowledged by the aristocracy, and those who usurp the name of
patriots!  All are alike ready to repeal our laws, to rejoice in
disorders, to rebel against the authorities granted by the people, to
detest the National Guard, to preach indiscipline to the army, and
almost to disseminate distrust and discouragement."  Lafayette
concludes in these words: "Let the royal power be intact, for it is
guaranteed by the Constitution; let it be independent, for this
independence is one of the forces of our liberty; let the King be
revered, for he is invested with the national majesty; let him choose a
ministry unhampered by the yoke of any faction; if conspirators exist,
let them perish only by the sword of law; finally, let the reign of
clubs, brought to nothing by you, give place to the reign of law; their
disorganizing maxims to the true principles of liberty; their delirious
fury to the calm courage of a nation which knows its rights and which
defends them!"

Lafayette's letter was read to the Assembly at the session of June 18.
The noble thoughts it expresses produced at first a favorable
impression, and it was greeted with much applause.  For an instant the
Girondins were disconcerted; but, feeling themselves supported by the
Jacobins who lined the galleries, they soon resumed the offensive.
"What does the advice of the general of the army amount to," said
Vergniaud, "if it is not law?"  Guadet maintained {181} that the letter
must be apocryphal.  "When Cromwell used such language," said he,
"liberty was at an end in England, and I cannot persuade myself that
the emulator of Washington desires to imitate the conduct of the
Protector.  We no longer have a constitution if a general can give us
laws."  The allusion to Cromwell produced its effect.  The letter,
instead of being published and copies sent to the eighty-three
departments, was merely referred to a committee.

Nevertheless, public opinion was aroused.  A reactionary sentiment
against the Jacobins began to show itself.  The King might have
profited by it, and found his account in relying upon Lafayette, the
army, and the National Guard.  But Louis XVI. was in too much haste.
His resistance, like his concessions, was maladroit and inopportune.
Without having combined his means of defence, consulted with Lafayette,
or having any troops at his disposal, he vetoed the two famous decrees,
June 19, and thus threw himself headlong into the snare.  The
Revolution, which had lain in wait for him, would not let its prey
escape.  It gave Lafayette no time to arrive, but, without losing a
minute, organized an insurrection for the next day.  The royal tree had
been so violently shaken, that it needed, or so they thought, but one
more shock to lay it low and root it out.

On June 16, a request had been presented to the Council-General of the
Commune, asking them to authorize the citizens of the Faubourg
Saint-Antoine {182} to assemble in arms on June 20, the anniversary of
the oath of the Jeu de Paume, and present a petition to the Assembly
and the King.  The Council had passed to the order of the day, but the
petitioners declared that they would assemble notwithstanding.  On the
19th, the Directory of the department, which on all occasions had shown
itself inimical to agitators, and which was presided over by the Duke
de La Rochefoucauld, issued an order forbidding all armed gatherings,
and enjoining the commandant-general and the mayor to take all
necessary measures for dispersing them.  This order was communicated to
the National Assembly by the Minister of the Interior at the evening
session.

"It is important," said a deputy, "that the Assembly should know the
decrees of the administrative bodies when they tend to assure public
tranquillity.  Nobody is ignorant that at this moment the people are
greatly agitated.  Nobody is ignorant that to-morrow threatens to be a
day of violence."  Vergniaud replied: "I do not know whether or not
to-morrow is to be a day of troubles, but I cannot understand how M.
Becquet, who is always so constitutional" (here there was laughter and
applause), "how M. Becquet, by an inversion of law and order, desires
the National Assembly to occupy itself with police regulations."  The
decree of the Directory was read, nevertheless.  But the Assembly, far
from supporting it, passed to the order of the day.  The rioters had
nothing to fear.

{183}

During the same session, a deputation of citizens from Marseilles had
been presented at the bar of the Assembly.  The orator of this
deputation thus expressed himself: "French liberty is in danger.  The
free men of the South are ready to march in its defence.  The day of
the people's wrath has come at last.  The people, whom they have always
sought to ruin or enslave, are tired of parrying blows.  They want to
inflict them, and to annihilate conspiracies.  It is time for the
people to rise.  This lion, generous but enraged, is about to quit his
repose, and spring upon the pack of conspirators."  Here the galleries
applauded furiously.  The orator continued: "The popular force is your
force; employ it.  No quarter, since you can expect none."  The
applause and enthusiastic cries of the galleries redoubled.  Somebody
demanded that the speech should be sent to the eighty-three departments
of France.  A deputy, M. Rouher, was courageous enough to exclaim: "It
is not by the harangues of seditious persons that the departments
should be instructed!"  Another deputy, M. Lecointre-Puyravaux,
responded: "Is it surprising that men born under a burning sun should
have a more ardent imagination and a patriotism more energetic than
ours?"  The question whether the discourse should be sent to the
departments was put to vote, and the president and secretaries declared
that the Assembly had decided against it.  This did not suit the public
in the galleries.  They howled, they vociferated.  They claimed that
the result was {184} doubtful.  They demanded a viva voce count.  This
demand alarmed those deputies who never dared to look the Revolution in
the face.  A new vote was taken, and this time, the sending of the
address to the eighty-three departments was decreed.  With such an
Assembly, why should the insurrectionists have hesitated?

The rioters of the next day did not hesitate a moment.  The order of
the Directory had somewhat intimidated them.  But Chabot, the deputy so
celebrated for his violence at the Jacobin Club, hastened to reassure
them.  "To-morrow," said he, "you will be received with open arms by
the National Assembly.  People count on you."  The Faubourg
Saint-Antoine was in commotion.  Condorcet said, in speaking of the
anxieties expressed by the ministers: "Is it not fine to see the
Executive asking legislators to provide means of action!  Let them save
themselves; that is their business!"

The Most Christian King is treated like the Divine Master.  Pétion,
mayor of Paris, is to play the rôle of Pontius Pilate.  He washes his
hands of all that is to happen.  He orders the battalions of National
Guards under arms for the following day, not in order to oppose the
march of the columns of the people, but to fraternize with the
petitioners, and act as escort to the insurrection.  This equivocal
measure, he thinks, will set him right with both the Directory and the
populace.  To one he says: "I am watching," and to the other, "I am
with you." {185} The rioters count on Pétion as anarchy counts on
weakness.  He is precisely the magistrate that suits the faubourgs when
they resort to violent measures.  A last conventicle was held at the
house of Santerre the brewer, chief of battalion of the National Guard
of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, on the night of June 19-20.  It broke up
at midnight.  All was ready.  The leaders of the insurrection repaired
each to his post.  They summoned their loyal adherents, and sent them
about in small detachments to assemble and mass together the working
classes, as soon as they should leave their houses in the morning.
Santerre had declared that the National Guard could offer no opposition
to the rioters.  "Rest easy," said he to the conspirators; "Pétion will
be there."  Louis XVI. no longer feigned not to notice the danger.
"Who knows," said he during the night to M. de Malesherbes, with a
melancholy smile, "who knows if I shall see the sun set to-morrow?"



{186}

XVIII.

THE MORNING OF JUNE TWENTIETH.

It is Wednesday, June 20, 1792, the anniversary of the oath of the Jeu
de Paume.  The signal is given.  The faubourgs assemble.  It is five in
the morning.  Santerre, on horseback, is at the Place de la Bastille,
at the head of a popular staff.  The army of rioters forms slowly.
Some anxiety is shown at first.  The departmental decree forbidding
armed gatherings had been posted, and occasioned some reflection in the
timid.  But Santerre reassures them.  He tells them that the National
Guard will not be ordered to oppose their march, and that they may
count on Pétion's complicity.

When the march toward the National Assembly begins, hardly more than
fifteen hundred are in line.  But the little band increases as it goes.
The route lies through rues Saint-Antoine, de la Verrerie, des
Lombards, de la Ferronnerie, and Saint-Honoré.  The procession is
headed by soldiers, after whom comes a great poplar stretched upon a
wagon.  It is the Liberty tree.  According to some, it is to be planted
in the courtyard of the Riding School, opposite the Assembly chamber;
according to others, on the {187} terrace of the Tuileries, before the
principal door of the palace.  A military band plays the _Ça ira_,
which is chanted in chorus by the insurrectionary troop.  No obstacle
impedes their march.  The torrent swells incessantly.  The inquisitive
mingle with the bandits.  Some are in uniform, some in rags; there are
soldiers, active and disabled, National Guards, workmen, and beggars.
Harlots in dirty silk gowns join the contingent from studios, garrets,
and robbers' dens, and gangs of ragpickers unite with butchers from the
slaughter-houses.  Pikes, lances, spits, masons' hammers, paviors'
crowbars, kitchen utensils,--their equipment is oddity itself.

It is noon.  The session of the Assembly has just been opened.  At this
hour the throng, now numbering some twenty thousand persons, enters the
rue Saint-Honoré.  The Directory of the Department of Paris demands
admission to the bar on pressing business, and the municipal
attorney-general, Roederer, begins to speak.  Heeding neither the
murmurs of the galleries, the disapprobation of part of the Assembly,
nor the clamor sure to be raised against him that evening in the
Jacobin and Cordelier clubs, he boldly announces what is going on.  He
reminds them of the law, and the decrees forbidding armed gatherings
which have been issued by the Commune and the Department.  He adds
that, without such prohibitions, neither the authorities nor private
individuals have any security for their lives.  "We demand," cried he,
"to be invested with {188} complete responsibility; we demand that our
obligation to die for the maintenance of public tranquillity shall in
nowise be diminished."

Vergniaud ascends the platform.  He owns that, in principle, the
Assembly is wrong in admitting armed gatherings within its precincts,
but he declares that he thinks it impossible to refuse a permission
accorded to so many others to that which now presents itself.  He
believes, moreover, that it could not be dispersed without a resort to
martial law and a renewal of the massacre of the Champ-de-Mars.  "It
would be insulting to the citizens who are now asking to pay their
respects to you," said he, "to suspect them of bad intentions...  The
assemblage doubtless does not claim to accompany the citizens who
desire to present a petition to the King.  Nevertheless, as a
precaution, I propose that sixty members of the Assembly shall be
commissioned to go to the King and remain near him until this gathering
shall have been dispersed."

The discussion continues.  M. Ramond follows Vergniaud.  What is going
to happen?  What will the insurrectionary column do?  Glance for an
instant at the topography of the Assembly and its environs.  The
session-chamber is the Hall of the Riding School, which extends to the
terrace of the Feuillants, and occupies the site where the rue de
Rivoli was opened later on, almost at the corner of the future rue de
Castiglione.  It is a building about one hundred and fifty feet long.
In front of it is a long and {189} narrow courtyard beginning very near
the rue de Dauphin.  It is entered through this courtyard, which a
wall, afterwards replaced by a grating, separates from the terrace of
the Feuillants.  It may be entered at the other extremity, also, at the
spot where the flight of steps facing the Place Vendôme was afterwards
built.  From the side of the courtyard it can be approached by
carriages, but from the other, only by pedestrians who cross the narrow
passage of the Feuillants, which starts from the rue Saint-Honoré,
opposite the Place Vendôme, and leads to the garden of the Tuileries.
This passage is bordered on the right by the convent of the Capuchins;
on the left is the Riding School, almost at the spot where the passage
opens into the Tuileries Garden by a door which had just been closed,
and before which had been placed a cannon and a battalion of National
Guards.

On reaching the rue Saint-Honoré, the crowd had taken good care not to
enter the court of the Riding School, where they might have been
arrested and disarmed.  They preferred to follow the rue Saint-Honoré
and take the passage conducting thence to the Assembly and the terrace
of the Feuillants.  Three municipal officers who had gone to the
Tuileries Garden, passed through this passage before the crowd, and met
the advancing column at the door of the Assembly, just as M. Ramond was
in the tribune discussing Vergniaud's proposition.  While the head of
the column was awaiting the issue of this discussion, the rank and file
were constantly advancing.  The {190} passage became so thronged that
people were in danger of stifling.  Part of them withdrew from the
crowd and went into the garden of the Capuchin convent, where they
amused themselves by planting the Liberty tree in the classic ground of
monkish ignorance and idleness, as was said in those days.  The
remainder, which was in front of the door and the grating of the
terrace of the Feuillants, became exasperated.  The sight of the
glittering bayonets, and the cannon placed in front of this grating,
roused them to fury.

Meanwhile, a letter from Santerre reached the president of the National
Assembly: "Gentlemen," said he, "I have received a letter from the
commandant of the National Guard, which announces that the gathering
amounts to eight thousand men, and that they demand admission to the
bar of the chamber."--"Since there are eight thousand of them," cried a
deputy, "and since we are only seven hundred and forty-five, I move
that we adjourn the session and go away."

Santerre's letter is thus expressed: "Mr. President, the inhabitants of
the Faubourg Saint-Antoine are celebrating to-day the anniversary of
the oath of the _Jeu de Paume_.  They have been calumniated before you;
they ask to be admitted to the bar; they will confound their cowardly
detractors for the second time, and prove that they are still the men
of July 14."  It was applauded by a large number of the Assembly.  On
the other side murmurs rose against it.  M. Ramond {191} went on with
his speech: "Eight thousand men, they say, are awaiting your decision.
You owe it to twenty-five millions of other men who await it with no
less interest....  Certainly, I shall never fear to see the citizens of
Paris in our midst, nor the entire French people around us.  No one
could behold with greater pleasure than I the weapons which are a
terror to the enemies of liberty; but the law and the authorities have
spoken.  Let the petitioners, therefore, lay down at the entrance of
the sanctuary the arms they are forbidden to bear within it.  You ought
to insist on this.  They ought to obey."

M. Ramond's courage did not last long.  Passing to Vergniaud's proposal
to send sixty members of the Assembly to the Tuileries, he said: "I
applaud the motive which prompted this proposition.  But, convinced
that there is nothing to be feared by any person from the citizens of
Paris, I regard the motion as insulting to them."

Meanwhile, the noise at the door redoubles; the petitioners are growing
impatient.  Guadet rises to demand that they shall come in with their
arms.  It is plain that the Gironde has taken the riot under its
patronage.  After some disorderly and violent debate, it is resolved
that the president shall put the question: Are the petitioners to be
admitted to the bar?  They do not yet decide this other: Shall the
armed citizens defile before the Assembly after they have been heard?
The first question is answered in the affirmative.  The delegates of
the crowd are {192} admitted to the bar.  They make their entry into
the Assembly between one and two in the afternoon.

Their orator is a person named Huguenin, who will preside a few weeks
later at the Council of the Commune during the September massacres.  In
his declamatory harangue he includes every tirade, threat, and insult
current in the streets.  "We demand," said he, "that you should find
out why our armies are inactive.  If the executive power is the cause,
let it be abolished.  The blood of patriots must not flow to satisfy
the pride and ambition of the perfidious palace of the Tuileries."
Here the galleries burst into enthusiastic applause.  The orator goes
on: "We complain of the delays of the Superior National Court.  Why is
it so slow in bringing down the sword of the law upon the heads of the
guilty? ... Do the enemies of the country imagine that the men of July
14 are sleeping?  If they appear to be so, their awakening will be
terrible....  There is no time to dissimulate; the hour is come, blood
will flow, and the tree of Liberty we are about to plant will flourish
in peace."  The applause from the galleries redoubles.  Huguenin
excites himself to fury: "The image of the country," he shouts, "is the
sole divinity which it shall be permitted to adore.  Ought this
divinity, so dear to Frenchmen, to find in its own temple those who
rebel against its worship?  Are there any such?  Let them show
themselves, these friends of arbitrary power; let them make themselves
known!  This is not their {193} place!  Let them depart from the land
of liberty!  Let them go to Coblentz and rejoin the _émigrés_.  There,
their hearts will expand, they will distil their venom, they will
machinate, they will conspire against their country."  The orator
concludes by demanding that the armed citizens shall be passed in
review by the Assembly.  It was in vain that Stanislas de Girardin
cries, "Do the laws exist no longer, then?"  The Assembly capitulates.
Armed citizens are introduced.  Twenty thousand men are about to pass
through the session hall.  The march is opened by a dozen musicians,
who stop in front of the president's armchair.  Then the two leaders of
the manifestation make their appearance: Santerre, king of the fish
markets, idol of the faubourgs, and Saint-Huruge, the deserter from the
aristocracy, the marquis demagogue; Saint-Huruge, cast into the
Bastille for his debts and scandalous behavior, and liberated by the
Revolution; Saint-Huruge, the man of gigantic stature and the strength
of a Hercules, who is the rioter _par excellence_, and whose stentorian
voice rises above the bellowing of the crowd.

The spectators in the galleries tremble with joy; they stamp on
perceiving both Santerre and Saint-Huruge, sabre in hand and pistols at
the belt.  The band plays the _Ça ira_, the national hymn of the red
caps.  Is this an orgy, a masquerade?  Look at these rags, these
bizarre costumes, these butcher-boys brandishing their knives, these
tattered women, these drunken harlots who dance and shout; inhale this
{194} odor of wine and eau-de-vie; behold the ensigns, the banners of
insurrection, the ambulating trophies, the stone table on which are
inscribed the Rights of Man; the placards wherein one reads: "Down with
the veto!" "The people are tired of suffering!" "Liberty or Death!"
"Tremble, tyrant!"; the gibbet from which hangs a doll representing
Marie Antoinette; the ragged breeches surmounting the fashionable
motto: "Live the Sans-Culottes!"; the bleeding heart set upon a pike,
with the inscription, "Heart of an aristocrat!"  The procession, which
began about two in the afternoon, is not over until nearly four
o'clock.  At this time Santerre repairs to the bar, where he says: "The
citizens of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine came here to express to you
their ardent wishes for the welfare of the country.  They beg you to
accept this flag in gratitude for the good will you have shown towards
them."  The president responds: "The National Assembly receives your
offering; it invites you to continue to march under the protection of
the law, the safeguard of the country."  And then, heedless of the
dangers the King was about to incur, he adjourns the session at
half-past four in the afternoon.

What is going to happen?  Will the armed citizens return peaceably to
their homes?  Or, not content with their promenade to the Assembly,
will they make another to the palace of the Tuileries?  What
preparations have been made for its defence?  Ten battalions line the
terrace facing the palace.  Two {195} others are on the terrace at the
water side, four on the side of the Carrousel.  There are two companies
of gendarmes before the door of the Royal Court; four on the Place
Louis XVI., to guard the passage of the Orangery, opposite rue
Saint-Florentin.  Here, there might have been serious means of defence.
But Louis XVI. is a sovereign who does not defend himself.  Two
municipal officers, MM. Boucher-Saint-Sauveur and Mouchet, had just
approached him: "My colleagues and myself," said M. Mouchet to him,
"have observed with pain that the Tuileries were closed the very
instant the cortège made its appearance.  The people, crowded into the
passage of the Feuillants, were all the more dissatisfied because they
could see through the wicket that there were persons in the garden.  We
ourselves, Sire, were very much affected at seeing cannon pointed at
the people.  It is urgent that Your Majesty should order the gates of
the Tuileries to be opened."

After hesitating slightly, Louis XVI. ended by replying: "I consent
that the door of the Feuillants shall be opened; but on condition that
you make the procession march across the length of the terrace and go
out by the courtyard gate of the Riding School, without descending into
the garden."

This was one of the King's illusions.  While he was parleying with the
two municipal officers the armed citizens had passed in review before
the Assembly.  They had just left the session hall by a door leading
into the courtyard.  Once in this {196} courtyard, the intervention of
some municipal officers caused the entrance known as the Dauphin's
door, opposite the street of the same name, to be opened for them.  It
was by this that they entered the Tuileries Garden, while it was the
wish of Louis XVI. that they should pass out through it from the
terrace of the Feuillants.  There they are, then, in the garden, having
made an irruption there instead of continuing their route through rue
Saint-Honoré.  Here they come along the terrace in front of the palace,
on which several battalions of the National Guard are stationed.  The
crowd passes quickly before these battalions.  Some of the guards unfix
their bayonets; others present arms, as if to do honor to the riot.
Having passed through the garden, the columns of the people go out
through the gate before the Pont-Royal.  They pass up the quay, and
through the Louvre wickets, and so into the Place Carrousel, which is
cut up by a multitude of streets, a sort of covered ways very suitable
to facilitate the attack.

Certain municipal officers make some slight efforts to quiet the
assailants; others, on the contrary, do what they can to embolden and
excite them.  The four battalions at the entrance of the Carrousel, and
the two companies of gendarmes posted before the door of the Royal
Court, make no resistance.  The rioters, who have invaded the
Carrousel, find their march obstructed by the closing of this door.
Santerre and Saint-Huruge, who had been the last to leave the National
Assembly, make their appearance, {197} raging with anger.  They rail at
the people for not having penetrated into the palace.  "That is all we
came for," say they.  Santerre, before the door of the Royal Court--one
of the three courtyards in front of the palace, opposite the
Carrousel--summons his cannoneers.  "I am going," he cries, "to open
the doors with cannon-balls."

Some royalist officers of the National Guard seek vainly to defend the
palace.  No one heeds them.  The door of the Royal Court opens its two
leaves.  The crowd presses through.  No more dike to the torrent; the
gendarmes set their caps on the ends of their sabres, and cry: "Live
the nation!"  The thing is done; the palace is invaded.



{198}

XIX.

THE INVASION OF THE TUILERIES.

It is nearly four o'clock in the afternoon.  The invasion of the
Tuileries is beginning.  Let us glance at the palace and get a notion
of the apartments through which the crowd are about to rush.  On
approaching it by way of the Carrousel, one comes first to three
courtyards: that of the Princes, in front of the Pavilion of Flora; the
Royal Court, before the Pavilion of the Horloge; and the Swiss Court,
before the Pavilion of Marsan.  The assailants enter by the Royal
Court, pass into the palace through the vestibule of the Horloge
Pavilion, and climb the great staircase.  On the left of this are the
large apartments of the first story:--

1.  The Hall of the Hundred Swiss (the future Hall of the Marshals);

2.  The Hall of the Guards (the future Hall of the First Consul);

3.  The King's Antechamber (the future Salon d'Apollon);

4.  The State Bedchamber (the future Throne-room);

{199}

5.  The King's Grand Cabinet (called later the Salon of Louis XIV.);

6.  The Gallery of Diana.


There are a battalion and two companies of gendarmes in the palace, as
well as the guards then on duty and those they had relieved.  But as no
orders are given to these troops, they either break their ranks or
fraternize with the enemy.  No obstacle, no resistance, is offered, and
nobody defends the apartments.  The assailants, who have taken a cannon
as far as the first story, enter the Hall of the Hundred Swiss, whose
doors are neither locked nor barricaded.  They penetrate into the Hall
of the Guards with the same ease.  But when they try to make their way
into the OEil-de-Boeuf, or King's Antechamber, the locked door of this
apartment arrests their progress.  This exasperates them, and one of
the panels is soon broken.

Where is Louis XVI. when the invasion begins?  In his bedroom with his
family.  It communicates with the Grand Cabinet, and has windows
commanding a view of the garden.  M. Acloque, chief of the second
legion of the National Guard, and a faithful royalist, hastens to the
King by way of the little staircase leading from the Princes' Court to
the royal chamber, in order to tell him what has happened.  He finds
the door locked; he knocks, gives his name, urgently demands
admittance, and obtains it.  He advises Louis XVI. to show himself to
the people.  {200} The King, whom no peril has ever frightened, does
not hesitate to follow this advice.  The Queen wishes to accompany her
husband; but she is opposed in this and forcibly drawn into the
Dauphin's chamber, which is near that of Louis XVI.  Happier than the
Queen,--these are her own words,--Madame Elisabeth finds nobody to tear
her from the King.  She takes hold of the skirts of her brother's coat.
Nothing could separate them.

Louis XVI. passes into the Great Cabinet, thence into the State
Bedchamber, and through it into the OEil-de-Boeuf, where he will
presently receive the crowd.  He is surrounded at this moment by Madame
Elisabeth, three of his ministers (MM. de Beaulieu, de Lajard, and
Terrier de Montciel), the old Marshal de Mouchy, Chevalier de Canolle,
M. d'Hervilly, M. Guinguerlet, lieutenant-colonel of the unmounted
gendarmes, and M. de Vainfrais, also an officer of gendarmes.  Some
grenadiers of the National Guard afterwards arrive through the Great
Cabinet and the State Bedchamber.  "Come here! four grenadiers of the
National Guard!" cries the King.  One of them says, "Sire, do not be
afraid."--"I am not afraid," replies the King; "put your hand on my
heart; it is pure and tranquil."  And taking the grenadier's hand he
presses it forcibly against his breast.  The grenadier is a tailor
named Jean Lalanne.  Later, under the Terror, by a decree of the 12th
Messidor, Year II., he will be condemned to death for having--so runs
the sentence--"displayed the character of a {201} cringing valet of the
tyrant, in boasting before several citizens that Capet, taking his hand
and laying it on his heart, had said to him, 'Feel, my friend, whether
it palpitates.'"

"Gentlemen, save the King!" cries Madame Elisabeth.  Meanwhile, the
crowd is still in the next apartment, the Hall of the Guards.  They are
battering away with hatchets and gun-stocks at the door which opens
into the King's Antechamber.  Nothing but a partition separates Louis
XVI. from the assailants.  He orders the door to be opened.  The crowd
rush in.  "Here I am," says Louis XVI. calmly; "I have never deviated
from the Constitution."

"Citizens," says Acloque, "recognize your King and respect him; the law
commands you to do so.  We will all perish rather than suffer him to
receive the slightest harm."  M. de Canolle cries: "Long live the
nation!  Long live the King!"  This cry is not repeated.  Some one begs
Madame Elisabeth to retire.  "I will not leave the King," she replies,
"I will not leave him."  Those who surround Louis XVI. make a rampart
for him of their bodies.  The crowd becomes immense.  It is proposed to
the King that he stand on a bench in the embrasure of the central
window, from which there is a view of the courtyard.  Other benches and
a table are placed in front of him.  Madame Elisabeth takes a bench in
the next window with M. de Marsilly.  The hall is full.  Groans,
atrocious threats, and gross insults resound on every side.  Some one
shouts: "Down with the {202} veto!  To the devil with the veto!  Recall
the patriot ministers!  Let him sign, or we will not go out of here!"
The butcher Legendre comes forward.  He asks permission to speak.
Silence is obtained, and, addressing the King, he says: "Monsieur."  At
this unusual title, Louis XVI. make a gesture of surprise.  "Yes,
Monsieur," goes on Legendre, "listen to us; it is your duty to listen
to us....  You are a traitor.  You have always deceived us, and you
deceive us still; the measure is full, and the people are tired of
being made your laughing-stock."  The insolent butcher, who calls
himself the agent of the people, then reads a pretended petition which
is a mere tissue of recriminations and threats.  Louis XVI. listens
with imperturbable sang-froid.  He answers simply: "I will do what the
Constitution and the decrees ordain that I shall do."  The noise begins
anew.  It is a rain, a hail of insults.

Some individuals mistake Madame Elisabeth for Marie Antoinette.  Her
equerry, M. de Saint-Pardoux, throws himself between her and the
furious wretches, who cry: "Ah! there is the Austrian woman; we must
have the Austrian!" and undeceives them by naming her.--"Why did you
not allow them to believe I am the Queen?" says the courageous
Princess; "perhaps you might have averted a greater crime."  And,
putting aside a bayonet which almost touches her breast, "Take care,
Monsieur," she says gently, "you might hurt somebody, and I am sure you
would be sorry to do that." {203} The shouts redouble.  The confusion
becomes terrible.  It is with great difficulty that some grenadiers of
the National Guard defend the embrasure of the window where Louis XVI.
still stands immovable on his bench.  Mingled with the crowd there are
inoffensive persons, who have come merely out of curiosity, and even
honest men who sincerely pity the King.  But there are tigers and
assassins as well.  One of them, armed with a club ending in a
sword-blade, tries to thrust it into the King's heart.  The grenadiers
parry the blow with their bayonets.  A market porter struggles long to
reach Louis XVI., against whom he brandishes a sabre.  Several times
the wretched monarch seeks to address the crowd.  His voice is lost in
the uproar.  A municipal official, M. Mouchet, hoisting himself on the
shoulders of two persons, demands by voice and gesture a moment's
silence for the King and for himself.  Vain efforts.  The vociferations
of the crowd only increase.  Here comes a long pole on the end of which
is a Phrygian cap, a _bonnet rouge_.  The pole is inclined towards M.
Mouchet.  M. Mouchet takes the cap and presents it to the King, who, to
please the crowd, puts it on his head.

Is it possible?  That man on a bench, with the ignoble cap of a
galley-slave on his head, surrounded by a drunken and tattered rabble
who vomit filthy language, that man the King of France and Navarre, the
most Christian King, Louis XVI.?  Go back to the day of the coronation,
June 11, 1775.  It is {204} just seventeen years and nine days ago!  Do
you remember the Cathedral of Rheims, luminous, glittering; the
cardinals, ministers, and marshals of France, the red ribbons, the blue
ribbons, the lay peers with their vests of cloth-of-gold, their violet
ducal mantles lined with ermine; the clerical peers with cope and
cross?  Do you remember the King taking Charlemagne's sword in his
hand, and then prostrating himself before the altar on a great
kneeling-cushion of velvet sown with golden lilies?  Do you see him
vested by the grand-chamberlain with the tunic, the dalmatica, and the
ermine-lined mantle which represent the vestments of a sub-deacon,
deacon, and priest, because the King is not merely a sovereign, but a
pontiff?  Do you see him seizing the royal sceptre, that golden sceptre
set with oriental pearls, and carvings representing the great
Carlovingian Emperor on a throne adorned with lions and eagles?  Do you
remember the pealing of the bells, the chords of the organ, the blare
of trumpets, the clouds of incense, the birds flying in the nave?

And now, instead of the coronation the pillory; instead of the crown
the hideous red cap; instead of hymns and murmurs of admiration and
respect,--insults, the buffoonery of the fish-market, shouts of
contempt and hatred, threats of murder.  Ah! the time is not far
distant when a Conventionist will break the vial containing the sacred
oil on the pavement of the Abbey of Saint Remi.  How slippery is the
swift descent, the fatal descent by which a {205} sovereign who disarms
himself glides down from the heights of power and glory to the depths
of opprobrium and sorrow!  There he is!  Not content with putting the
red bonnet on his head, he keeps it there, and mumming in the Jacobin
coiffure, he cries: "Long live the nation!"  The crowd find the
spectacle amusing.  A National Guard, to whom some one has passed a
bottle of wine, offers the complaisant King a drink.  Perhaps the wine
is poisoned.  No matter; Louis XVI. takes a glass of it.

While all this is going on, two deputies, Isnard and Vergniaud, present
themselves.  "Citizens," says the first, "I am Isnard, a deputy.  If
what you demand were at once granted, it might be thought you extorted
it by force.  In the name of the law and the National Assembly, I ask
you to respect the constituted authorities and retire.  The National
Assembly will do justice; I will aid thereto with all my power.  You
shall obtain satisfaction; I answer for it with my head; but go away."
Vergniaud follows him with similar remarks.  Neither is listened to.
Nobody departs.

It is six in the evening.  For two hours, one man, exposed to every
insult, has held his own against a multitude.  At last Pétion arrives
wearing his mayor's scarf.  The crowd draws back.  "Sire," says he, "I
have just this instant learned the situation you were in."--"That is
very astonishing," returns Louis XVI.; "for it has lasted two
hours."--"Sire, truly, I was ignorant that there was trouble at the
palace.  {206} As soon as I was informed, I hastened to your side.  But
you have nothing to fear; I answer for it that the people will respect
you."--"I fear nothing," replies the King.  "Moreover, I have not been
in any danger, since I was surrounded by the National Guard."

Pétion, like Pontius Pilate, pretends indifference.  A municipal
officer, M. Champion, reminds him of his duties, and says with
firmness: "Order the people to retire; order them in the name of the
law; we are threatened with great danger, and you must speak."  At last
Pétion decides to intervene.  "Citizens," he says, "all you who are
listening to me, came to present legally your petition to the
hereditary representative of the nation, and you have done so with the
dignity and majesty of a free people; return now to your homes, for you
can desire nothing further.  Your demand will doubtless be reiterated
by all the eighty-three departments, and the King will grant your
prayer.  Retire, and do not, by remaining longer, give occasion to the
public enemies to impugn your worthy intentions."

At first this discourse of the mayor of Paris produces but slight
effect.  The cries and threats continue.  But, after a while, the
crowd, worn out with shouting, and hungry and thirsty as well, begin to
quiet down a little.  The most excited cry: "We are waiting for an
answer from the King.  Nothing has been asked of him yet."  Others say:
"Listen to the mayor, he is going to speak again; we will {207} hear
him."  Pétion repeats what he said before: "If you do not wish your
magistrates to be unjustly accused, withdraw."

M. Sergent, administrator of police, who had come with the mayor, asked
if any one has ordered the doors leading from the Grand Cabinet to the
Gallery of Diana to be opened, so as to allow the crowd to pass out by
the small staircase into the Court of the Princes.  Louis XVI.
overheard this question.  "I have had the apartments opened," said he;
"the people, marching out on the gallery side, will like to see them."
A sentiment of curiosity hastened the movements of the crowd.  In order
to go out, they had to pass through the State Bedchamber, the Grand
Cabinet, and the Gallery of Diana.  Sergent, standing in front of the
door, leading from the OEil-de-Boeuf to the State Bedchamber, unfastens
his scarf and waving it over his head, cries: "Citizens, this is the
badge of the law; in its name we invite you to retire and follow us."
Pétion says: "The people have done what they ought to do.  You have
acted with the pride and dignity of freemen.  But there has been enough
of it; let all retire."  A double row of National Guards is formed, and
the people pass between them.  The return march begins.  A few
recalcitrants want to remain, and keep up a cry of "Down with the veto!
Recall the ministers!"  But they are swept on by the stream, and follow
the march like all the rest.  While they are going out through the door
between the OEil-de-Boeuf and the State {208} Bed-chamber, the National
Guard prevents any one from entering on the other side, through the
door connecting the OEil-de-Boeuf with the Hall of the Guards.

At this moment, a deputation of twenty-four members of the Assembly
present themselves.  Roused by the public clamor announcing that the
King's life is in danger, the National Assembly has called an
extraordinary evening session.  The president of the deputation, M.
Brunk, says to the King: "Sire, the National Assembly sends us to
assure ourselves of your situation, to protect the constitutional
liberty you should enjoy, and to share your danger."  Louis XVI.
replies: "I am grateful for the solicitude of the Assembly; I am
undisturbed in the midst of Frenchmen."  At the same time, Pétion goes
to turn back the crowd, who are constantly ascending the great
staircase, and who threaten another invasion.  The sentry at the
doorway of the OEil-de-Boeuf is replaced, and the crowd ceases to flock
thither.  The circle of National Guards about the sovereign is
increased.  A space is formed, and he is surrounded by the deputation
from the Assembly.  Acloque, seeing that the tumult is lessening and
the room no longer encumbered by the crowd, proposes to the King that
he should retire, and Louis XVI. decides to do so.  Surrounded by
deputies and National Guards, he passes into the State Bedchamber, and
notwithstanding the throng, he manages to reach a secret door at the
right of the bed, near the chimney, which communicates with his
bedroom.  He goes through this little door, and some one closes it
behind him.

{209}

It is not far from eight o'clock in the evening.  The peril and
humiliation of Louis XVI. have lasted nearly four hours, and the
unhappy King is not yet at the end of his sufferings, for he does not
know what has become of his wife and children.  While these sad scenes
had been enacting in the palace, a furious populace had been in
incessant commotion beneath the windows, in the garden and the
courtyards.  People desiring to establish communication between those
down stairs and those above, had been heard to cry: "Have they been
struck down?  Are they dead?  Throw us down their heads!"

A slender young man, with the profile of a Roman medal, a pale
complexion, and flashing eyes, was looking at all this from the upper
part of the terrace beside the water.  Unable to comprehend the
long-suffering of Louis XVI., he said in an indignant tone: "How could
they have allowed this rabble to enter?  They should have swept out
four or five hundred of them with cannon, and the rest would have run."
The man who spoke thus, obscure and hidden in the crowd, opposite that
palace where he was to play so great a part, was the "straight-haired
Corsican," the future Emperor Napoleon.



{210}

XX.

MARIE ANTOINETTE ON JUNE TWENTIETH.

Louis XVI. had just entered his bedchamber.  The crowd, after leaving
the hall of the OEil-de-Boeuf, had departed through the State
Bedchamber, and the King's Great Cabinet, called also the Council Hall.
On entering this last apartment, an unexpected scene had surprised
them.  Behind the large table they saw the Queen, Madame Elisabeth, the
Dauphin, and Madame Royale.

How came the Queen to be there?  What had happened?  At a quarter of
four, when Louis XVI. had left his room to go into the hall of the
Bull's-Eye and meet the rioters, Marie Antoinette, as we have already
said, made desperate efforts to follow him.  M. Aubier, placing himself
before the door of the King's chamber, prevented the Queen from going
out.  In vain she cried: "Let me pass; my place is beside the King; I
will join him and perish with him if it must be."  M. Aubier, through
devotion, disobeyed her.  Nevertheless, the Queen, whose courage
redoubled her strength, would have borne down this faithful servant if
M. Rougeville, a chevalier of Saint-Louis, had not aided him to block
up the passage.  {211} Imploring Marie Antoinette in the name of her
own safety and that of the King, not to expose herself needlessly to
poniards, and aided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, they drew her
almost by force into the chamber of the Dauphin, which was near the
King's.  MM. de Choiseul, d'Haussonville, and de Saint-Priest, assisted
by several grenadiers of the National Guard, afterwards induced her to
go with her children into the Grand Cabinet of the King, called also
the Council Hall, because the ministers were accustomed to assemble
there.

The Princess de Lamballe, the Princess of Tarento, the Marchioness de
Tourzel, the Duchesses de Luynes, de Duras, de Maillé, the Marchioness
de Laroche-Aymon, Madame de Soucy, the Baroness de Mackau, the Countess
de Ginestous, remained with the Queen.  So also did the Minister
Chambonas, the Duke de Choiseul, Counts d'Haussonville and de
Montmorin, Viscount de Saint-Priest, Marquis de Champcenetz, and
General de Wittenghoff, commander of the 17th military division.  The
Queen and her children occupied the embrasure of a window, and the
large and heavy table used by the ministerial council was placed in
front of them as a sort of barricade.

Meanwhile, Marie Antoinette's apartments and her bedroom on the
ground-floor were invaded.  Some National Guards tried vainly to defend
them.  "You are cutting your own throats!" shouted the people.
Overwhelmed by numbers, they saw the door of the first apartment broken
down by hatchets.  It {212} contained the beds of the Queen's servants,
ranged behind screens.  Afterwards they saw the invaders go into Marie
Antoinette's sleeping-room, tear the clothes off her bed, and loll upon
it, crying as they did so, "We will have the Austrian woman, dead or
alive!"

The Queen, however, remained in the Council Hall, where she could hear
the echo of the cries resounding in that of the OEil-de-Boeuf, where
Louis XVI. was, and from which she was separated only by the State
Bedchamber.  Toward seven in the evening she beheld Madame Elisabeth,
who, after heroically sharing the dangers of the King, had now found
means to rejoin her.  "The deputies who came to us," she wrote to
Madame de Raigecourt, July 3, "had come out of good will.  A veritable
deputation arrived and persuaded the King to go back to his own
apartments.  As I was told this, and as I was unwilling to be left in
the crowd, I went away about an hour before he did, and rejoined the
Queen: you can imagine with what pleasure I embraced her."  In their
perils, therefore, Madame Elisabeth was near both Louis XVI. and Marie
Antoinette.

After having voluntarily exposed herself to all the anguish of the
invasion of the OEil-de-Boeuf, the courageous Princess was with the
Queen in the Council Hall, when the crowd, coming through the State
Bed-chamber, arrived there.  The horde marched through it, carrying
their barbarous inscriptions like so many ferocious standards.  "One of
these," says Madame {213} Campan in her Memoirs, "represented a gibbet
from which an ugly doll was hanging; below it was written: 'Marie
Antoinette to the lamp-post!'  Another was a plank to which a bullock's
heart had been fastened, surrounded by the words: 'Heart of Louis XVI.'
Finally, a third presented a pair of bullock's horns with an indecent
motto."  Some royalist grenadiers belonging to the battalion called the
_Filles-Saint-Thomas_, were near the council-table and protected the
Queen.  Marie Antoinette was standing, and held her daughter's hand.
The Dauphin sat on the table in front of her.  At the moment when the
march began, a woman threw a red cap on this table and cried out that
it must be placed on the Queen's head.  M. de Wittenghoff, his hand
trembling with indignation, took the cap and after holding it for a
moment over Marie Antoinette's head, put it back on the table.  Then a
cry was raised: "The red cap for the Prince Royal!  Tri-colored ribbons
for little Veto!"  Ribbons were thrown down beside the Phrygian cap.
Some one shouted: "If you love the nation, set the red cap on your
son's head."  The Queen made an affirmative sign, and the revolutionary
coiffure was set on the child's fair head.

What humiliations were these for the unhappy mother!  What anguish for
so haughty, so magnanimous a queen!  The galley-slave's cap has touched
the head of the daughter of Cæsars, and now soils the forehead of her
son!  The slang of the {214} fish-markets resounds beneath the
venerable arches of the palace.  How bitterly the unfortunate sovereign
expiates her former triumphs!  Where are the ovations and the
apotheoses, the carriages of gold and crystal, the solemn entries into
the city in its gala dress, to the sound of bells and trumpets?  What
trace remains of those brilliant days when, more goddess than woman,
the Queen of France and Navarre appeared through a cloud of incense, in
the midst of flowers and light?  This good and beautiful sovereign,
whose least smile, or glance, or nod, had been regarded as a precious
recompense, a supreme favor by the noble lords and ladies who bent
respectfully before her, behold how she is treated now!  Consider the
costumes and the language of her new courtiers!  And yet, Marie
Antoinette is majestic still.  Even in this horrible scene, in presence
of these drunken women and ragged suburbans, she does not lose that
gift of pleasing which is her special dower.  At a distance they curse
her; but when they come near they are subjugated by her spell.  Her
most ferocious enemies are touched in their own despite.  A young girl
had just called her "_Autrichienné_."  "You call me an Austrian woman,"
replied she, "but I am the wife of the King of France, I am the mother
of the Dauphin; I am a Frenchwoman by my sentiments as wife and mother.
I shall never again see the land where I was born.  I can be happy or
unhappy nowhere but in France.  I was happy when you loved me."
Confused by this gentle {215} reproach, the young girl softened.
"Pardon me," she said; "it was because I did not know you; I see very
well now that you are not wicked."  A woman, passing, stopped before
the Queen and began to sob.  "What is the matter with her?" asked
Santerre; "what is she crying about?"  And he shook her by the arm,
saying: "Make her pass on, she is drunk."  Even Santerre himself felt
Marie Antoinette's influence.  "Madame," he said to her, "the people
wish you no harm.  Your friends deceive you; you have nothing to fear,
and I am going to prove it by serving as your shield."  It was he who
took pity on the Dauphin whom the heat was stifling, and said: "Take
the red cap off the child; he is too hot."  He too, it was, that
hastened the march of the procession and pointed out to the people the
different members of the royal family by name, saying: "This is the
Queen, this is her son, this her daughter, this Madame Elisabeth."

At last the crowd is gone.  The hall is empty.  It is eight o'clock.
The Queen and her children enter the King's chamber.  Louis XVI., who
finds them once more after so many perils and emotions, covers them
with kisses.  In the midst of this pathetic scene some deputies arrive.
Marie Antoinette shows them the traces of violence which the people
have left behind them,--locks broken, hinges forced off, wainscoting
burst through, furniture ruined.  She speaks of the dangers that have
threatened the King and the insults offered to herself.  Perceiving
that Merlin de {216} Thionville, an ardent Jacobin, has tears in his
eyes, she says: "You are weeping to see the King and his family so
cruelly treated by people whom he has always desired to render happy."
The republican answered: "Yes, Madame, I weep, but it is for the
misfortunes of the mother of a family, not for the King and Queen; I
hate kings and queens."  A deputy accosted Marie Antoinette, saying in
a familiar tone: "You were very much afraid, Madame, you must admit."
"No, Monsieur," she replied, "I was not at all afraid; but I suffered
much in being separated from the King at a moment when his life was in
danger.  At least, I had the consolation of being with my children and
performing one of my duties."  "Without pretending to excuse
everything, agree, Madame, that the people showed themselves very
good-natured."  "The King and I, Monsieur, are convinced of the natural
goodness of the people; it is only when they are misled that they are
wicked."--"How old is Mademoiselle?" went on the deputy, pointing to
Madame Royale.--"She is at that age, Monsieur, when one feels only too
great a horror of such scenes."

Other deputies surround the Dauphin.  They question him on different
subjects, especially concerning the geography of France and its new
territorial division into departments and districts, and are enchanted
by the correctness of his replies.

An officer of Chasseurs of the National Guard enters the King's
chamber.  This officer had shown {217} the utmost zeal in protecting
his sovereign and had had the honor of being wounded at his side.  He
is congratulated.  The Dauphin perceives him.  "What is the name of
that guard who defended my father so bravely?" he asks.--"Monseigneur,"
replies M. Hue, "I do not know; he will be flattered if you ask him."
The Prince runs to put his question to the officer, but the latter, in
respectful terms, declines to answer.  Then M. Hue insists.  "I beg
you," he cries, "tell us your name."--"I ought to conceal my name,"
replies the officer; "unfortunately for me, it is the same as that of
an execrable man."  The faithful royalist bore the same name as the man
who had caused the arrest of the royal family at Varennes the previous
year.  He was called Drouot.

The hour for repose has come at last.  It is ten o'clock.  Certain
individuals still complain: "They took us there for nothing; but we
will go back and have what we want."  Still, the storm is over.  The
crowd has evacuated the palace, the courtyards, and the garden.  The
Assembly closes its sessions at half-past ten.  Pétion said there: "The
King has no cause of complaint against the citizens who marched before
him.  He has said as much to the deputies and magistrates."  Finally,
as the deputies were about to separate after this exciting day, one of
them, M. Guyton-Morveau, remarked: "The deputation which preceded us,
has doubtless announced to you that all is now tranquil.  We remained
with the King for some time, and saw nothing which could {218} inspire
the least alarm.  We invited the King to seek some repose.  He sent an
officer of the National Guard to visit the posts, and the officer
reported that there was nobody in the palace.  His Majesty assured us
that he desired to remain alone; we left him; and we can certify to you
that all is quiet."



{219}

XXI.

THE MORROW OF JUNE TWENTIETH.

In the morning of June 21 there were still some disorderly gatherings
in front of the Tuileries.  On awaking, the Dauphin put this artless
question to the Queen: "Mamma, is it yesterday still?"  Alas! yes, it
was still yesterday, it was always to be yesterday until the
catastrophes at the end of the drama.  It was just a year to a day
since the royal family had furtively quitted Paris to begin the fatal
journey which terminated at Varennes.  This souvenir occurred to Marie
Antoinette, and, recalling the first stations of her Calvary, the
unfortunate sovereign told herself that her humiliations had but just
begun.  Her lips had touched only the brim of the chalice, and it must
be drained to the dregs.

Meanwhile, visitors were arriving at the Tuileries one after another to
condole with and protest their fidelity to the King and his family.
When Marshal de Mouchy made his appearance, the worthy old man was
received with the honors due to his noble conduct on the previous day.
When the invasion began, Louis XVI., in order not to irritate the
rabble, had given his gentlemen a formal order to withdraw, but {220}
the old marshal, hoping that his great age (he was seventy-seven) would
excuse his presence in the palace, had refused to leave his master.
More than once, with a strength rejuvenated by devotion, he had
succeeded in repulsing persons whose violence made him tremble for the
King's life.  As soon as she saw the marshal, Marie Antoinette made
haste to say: "I have learned from the King how courageously you
defended him yesterday.  I share his gratitude."--"Madame," he replied,
alluding to those of his relatives who had figured among the promoters
of the Revolution, "I did very little in comparison with the injuries I
should like to repair.  They were not mine, but they touch me very
nearly."--"My son," said the Queen, calling the Dauphin, "repeat before
the marshal, the prayer you addressed to God this morning for the
King."  The child, kneeling down, put his hands together, and looking
up to heaven, began to sing this refrain from the opera of _Pierre le
Grand_:--

  _Ciel, entends la prière
    Qu'ici je fais:
  Conserve un si bon père
    A ses sujets._[1]


After the Marshal de Mouchy came M. de Malesherbes.  Contrary to his
usual custom, the ex-first {221} president wore his sword.  "It is a
long time," some one said to him, "since you have worn a
sword."--"True," replied the old man, "but who would not arm when the
King's life is in danger?"  Then, looking with emotion at the little
Prince, he said to Marie Antoinette: "I hope, Madame, that at least our
children will see better days!"

And yet, even for the present there still remained a glimmer of hope.
Hardly had the invaders left the palace than invectives against them
rose from all classes of society.  The calmness and courage of the King
and his family found admirers on every side.  The departments sent
addresses demanding the punishment of those who had been guilty.
Royalist sentiments woke to life anew.  One might almost believe that
the indignation caused by the recent scandals would produce an
immediate reaction in favor of Louis XVI.  Possibly, with an energetic
sovereign, something might have been attempted.  On the whole, the
insurrection had obtained nothing.  Even the Girondins perceived the
dangerous character of revolutionary passions.  Honest men stigmatized
the criminal tendencies which had just displayed themselves.  It was
the moment for the King to show himself and strike a great blow.  But
Louis XVI. had neither will nor energy.  Letting the last chance of
safety which fortune offered him escape, he was unable to profit by the
turn in public opinion.  Nothing could shake him out of that easy
patience which was the chief cause of his ruin.

{222}

Marie Antoinette herself was opposed to vigorous measures.  She still
desired to try the effects of kindness.  Learning that a legal inquiry
was proposed into the events of June 20, and foreseeing that M. Hue
would be called as a witness, she said to this loyal servant: "Say as
little in your deposition as truth will permit.  I recommend you, on
the King's part and my own, to forget that we were the objects of these
popular movements.  Every suspicion that either the King or myself feel
the least resentment for what happened must be avoided; it is not the
people who are guilty, and even if it were, they would always obtain
pardon and forgetfulness of their errors from us."

During this time the Assembly maintained an attitude more than
equivocal.  It contained a great number of honest men.  But, terrorized
already, it no longer possessed the courage of indignation.  It grew
pale before the menaces of the public.  By cringing to the rabble it
had attained that hypocritical optimism which is the distinctive mark
of moderate revolutionists, and which makes them in turn the dupes and
the victims of those who are more zealous.

If the majority of the deputies had said openly what they silently
thought, they would not have hesitated to stigmatize the invasion of
the Tuileries as it deserved.  But in that case, what would have become
of their popularity with the pikemen?  And then, must they not take
into account the ambitions of the Girondins, the hatreds of the
Mountain party, {223} and the rancor of Madame Roland and her friends?
Was it not, moreover, a real satisfaction to the bourgeoisie to give
power a lesson and humiliate a sovereign?  Ah! how cruelly this
pleasure will be expiated by those who take delight in it, and how they
will repent some day for having permitted justice, law, and authority
to be trampled under foot!

When the session of June 21 opened, Deputy Daverhoult denounced in
energetic terms the violence of the previous day.  Thuriot exclaimed:
"Are we expected to press an inquiry against forty thousand men?"
Duranton, the Minister of Justice, then read a letter from the King,
dated that day, and worded thus: "Gentlemen, the National Assembly is
already acquainted with the events of yesterday.  Paris is doubtless in
consternation; France will hear the news with astonishment and grief.
I was much affected by the zeal shown for me by the National Assembly
on this occasion.  I leave to its prudence the task of investigating
the causes of this event, weighing its circumstances, and taking the
necessary measures to maintain the Constitution and assure the
inviolability and constitutional liberty of the hereditary
representative of the nation.  For my part, nothing can prevent me, at
all times and under all circumstances, from performing the duties
imposed on me by the Constitution, which I have accepted in the true
interests of the French nation."

A few moments after this letter had been read, the session was
disturbed by a warning from the {224} municipal agent of the
department, to the effect that an armed crowd were marching towards the
palace.  This was soon followed by tidings that Pétion had hindered
their further advance, and the mayor himself came to the Assembly to
receive the laudations of his friends.  "Order reigns everywhere," said
he; "all precautions have been taken.  The magistrates have done their
duty; they will always do so, and the hour approaches when justice will
be rendered them."

Pétion then went to the Tuileries, where he addressed the King nearly
in these terms:--

"Sire, we learn that you have been warned of the arrival of a crowd at
the palace.  We come to announce that this crowd is composed of unarmed
citizens who wish to set up a may-pole.  I know, Sire, that the
municipality has been calumniated; but its conduct will be understood
by you."--"It ought to be by all France," responded Louis XVI.; "I
accuse no one in particular, I saw everything."--"It will be," returned
the mayor; "and but for the prudent measures taken by the municipality,
much more disagreeable events might have occurred."  The King attempted
to reply, but Pétion, without listening to him, went on: "Not to your
own person; you may well understand that it will always be respected."
The King, unaccustomed to interruption when speaking, said in a loud
voice: "Be silent!"  There was silence for an instant, and then Louis
XVI. added: "Is it what you call respecting {225} my person to enter my
house in arms, break down my doors and use force to my
guards?"--"Sire," answered Pétion, "I know the extent of my duties and
of my responsibility."--"Do your duty!" replied Louis XVI.; "You are
answerable for the tranquillity of Paris.  Adieu!"  And the King turned
his back on the mayor.

Pétion revenged himself that very evening, by circulating a rumor that
the royal family were preparing to escape; in consequence, he requested
the commanders of the National Guard to re-enforce the sentries and
redouble their vigilance.  The revolutionists, who had been
disconcerted for a moment by popular indignation, raised their heads
again.  Prudhomme wrote in the _Révolutions de Paris_: "The Parisian
people--yes, the people, not the aristocratic class of citizens--have
just set a grand example to France.  The King, at the instigation of
Lafayette, discharged his patriotic ministers; he paralyzed by his veto
the decree relative to the camp of twenty thousand men, and that on the
banishment of priests.  Very well! the people rose and signified to him
their sovereign will that the ministers should be reinstated and these
two murderous vetoes recalled....  Doubtless it will not be long before
Europe will be full of a caricature representing Louis XVI. of the big
paunch, covered with orders, crowned with a red cap, and drinking out
of the same bottle with the _sans-culottes_, who are crying: 'The King
is drinking, the King has drunk.  He has the liberty {226} cap on his
head.'  Would he might have it in his heart!"

Apropos of this red bonnet which remained for three hours on the
sovereign's head, Bertrand de Molleville ventured to put some questions
to Louis XVI. on the evening of June 21.  According to the Memoirs of
the former Minister of Marine, this is what the King replied: "The
cries of 'Long live the Nation' increasing in violence and seeming to
be addressed to me, I answered that the nation had no better friend
than I.  Then an ill-looking man, thrusting himself through the crowd,
came close to me and said in a rude tone: 'Very well! if you are
telling the truth, prove it to us by putting on this red cap.'  'I
consent,' said I.  Instantly one or two of these people advanced and
placed the cap on my hair, for it was too small for my head to enter
it.  I was convinced, I don't know why, that their intention was simply
to place this cap on my head and then retire, and I was so preoccupied
with what was going on before my eyes, that I did not notice whether it
was there or not.  So little did I feel it that after I had returned to
my chamber I did not observe that I still wore it until I was told.  I
was greatly astonished to find it on my head, and was all the more
displeased because I could have taken it off at once without the least
difficulty.  But I am convinced that if I had hesitated to receive it,
the drunken man by whom it was presented would have thrust his pike
into my stomach."

{227}

During the same interview Bertrand de Molleville congratulated the King
upon his almost miraculous escape from the dangers of the previous day.
Louis XVI. replied: "All my anxieties were for the Queen, my children
and my sister; because I feared nothing for myself."--"But it seems to
me," rejoined his interlocutor, "that this insurrection was aimed
chiefly against Your Majesty."--"I know it very well," returned Louis
XVI.; "I saw clearly that they wanted to assassinate me, and I don't
know why they did not do it; but I shall not escape them another day.
So I have gained nothing; it is all the same whether I am assassinated
now or two months from now!"--"Great God!" cried Bertrand de
Molleville, "does Your Majesty believe that you will be
assassinated?"--"I am convinced of it," replied the King; "I have
expected it for a long time and have accustomed myself to the thought.
Do you think I am afraid of death?"--"Certainly not, but I would desire
Your Majesty to take vigorous measures to protect yourself from
danger."--"It is possible," went on the King after a moment of
reflection, "that I may escape.  There are many odds against me, and I
am not lucky.  If I were alone I would risk one more attempt.  Ah! if
my wife and children were not with me, people should see that I am not
so weak as they fancy.  What would be their fate if the measures you
propose to me did not succeed?"--"But if they assassinate Your Majesty,
do you think that the Queen and her children would be in less
danger?"--"Yes, I think {228} so, and even were it otherwise, I should
not have to reproach myself with being the cause."

A sort of Christian fanaticism had taken possession of the King's soul.
Resigned to his fate, he ceased to struggle, and wrote to his
confessor: "Come to see me to-day; I have done with men; I want nothing
now but heaven."



[1] Listen, heaven, to the prayer
      That here I make:
    Preserve so good a father
      To his subjects.



{229}

XXII.

LAFAYETTE IN PARIS.

One of the greatest griefs of a political career is disenchantment.  To
pass from devout optimism to profound discouragement; to have treated
as alarmists or cowards whoever perceived the least cloud on the
horizon, and then to see the most formidable tempests unchained; to be
obliged to recognize at one's proper cost that one has carried illusion
to the verge of simplicity and has judged neither men nor things
aright; to have heard distressed passengers saying that a pilot without
experience or prudence is responsible for the shipwreck; to have
promised the age of gold and suddenly found one's self in the age of
iron, is a veritable torture for the pride and the conscience of a
statesman.  And this torture is still more cruel when to disappointment
is added the loss of a popularity laboriously acquired; when, having
been accustomed to excite nothing but enthusiasm and applause, one is
all at once greeted with criticism, howls, and curses, and when, having
long strutted about triumphantly on the summits of the Capitol, one
sees yawning before him the gulf at the foot of the Tarpeian rock.

{230}

Such was the fate of Lafayette.  A few months had sufficed to throw
down the popular idol from his pedestal, and the same persons who had
once almost burned incense before him, now thought of nothing but
flinging him into the gutter.  Stunned by his fall, Lafayette could not
believe it.  To familiarize himself with the fickleness, the caprices,
and the inconsequence of the multitude was impossible.  For him the
Constitution was the sacred ark, and he did not believe that the very
men who had constructed this edifice at such a cost had now nothing so
much at heart as to destroy it.  He would not admit that the
predictions of the royalists were about to be accomplished in every
point, and still desired to hold aloof from the complicities into which
revolutions drag the most upright minds and the most honest characters.
He who, in July, 1789, had not been able to prevent the assassination
of Foulon and Berthier; who, on October 5, had marched, despite
himself, against Versailles; who, on April 18, 1791, had been unable to
protect the departure of the royal family to Saint Cloud; who, on the
following June 21, had thought himself obliged to say to the Jacobins
in their club: "I have come to rejoin you, because I think the true
patriots are here," nevertheless imagined that just a year later, all
that was necessary to vanquish the same Jacobins was for him to show
himself and say like Cæsar: "_Veni, vidi, vici_."

It was only a later illusion of the generous but imprudent man who had
already dreamed many {231} dreams.  He thought the popular tiger could
be muzzled by persuasion.  He was going to make a _coup d'état_, not in
deeds, but in words, forgetting that the Revolution neither esteems nor
fears anything but force.  As M. de Larmartime has said: "One gets from
factions only what one snatches."  Instead of striking, Lafayette was
going to speak and write.  The Jacobins might have feared his sword;
they despised his words and pen.  But though it was not very wise, the
noble audacity with which the hero of America came spontaneously to
throw himself into the heat of the struggle and utter his protest in
the name of right and honor, was none the less an act of courage.
While with the army, that asylum of generous ideas, the sentiments on
which his ancestors had prided themselves rekindled in his heart.
Memories of his early youth revived anew.  Doubtless he also recalled
his personal obligations to Louis XVI.  On his return from the United
States, had he not been created major-general over the heads of a
multitude of older officers?  Had not the Queen accorded him at that
epoch the most flattering eulogies?  Had he not been received at the
great receptions of May 29, 1785, when any other officer unless highly
born would have remained in the OEil-de-Boeuf or paid his court in the
passage of the chapel?  Had he not accepted the rank of
lieutenant-general from the King, on June 30, 1791?  The gentleman
reappeared beneath the revolutionist.  The humiliation of a throne for
which his ancestors had so often shed their blood {232} caused him a
real grief, and it is perhaps regrettable that Louis XVI. should have
refused the hand which his recent adversary extended loyally though
late.

Lafayette was encamped near Bavay with the Army of the North when the
first tidings of June 20 reached him.  His soul was roused to
indignation, and he wanted to start at once for Paris to lift his voice
against the Jacobins.  Old Marshal Luckner tried in vain to restrain
him by saying that the _sans-culottes_ would have his head.  Nothing
could stop him.  Placing his army in safety under the cannon of
Maubeuge, he started with no companion but an aide-de-camp.  At
Soissons some persons tried to dissuade him from going further by
painting a doleful picture of the dangers to which he would expose
himself.  He listened to nobody and went on his way.  Reaching Paris in
the night of June 27-28, he alighted at the house of his intimate
friend, the Duke de La Rochefoucauld, who was about to play so
honorable a part.  As soon as morning came, Lafayette was at the door
of the National Assembly, asking permission to offer the homage of his
respect.  This authorization having been granted, he entered the hall.
The right applauded; the left kept silence.  Being allowed to speak, he
declared that he was the author of the letter to the Assembly of June
16, whose authenticity had been denied, and that he openly avowed
responsibility for it.  He then expressed himself in the sincerest
terms concerning the outrages committed in {233} the palace of the
Tuileries on June 20.  He said he had received from the officers,
subalterns, and soldiers of his army a great number of addresses
expressive of their love for the Constitution, their respect for the
authorities, and their patriotic hatred against seditious men of all
parties.  He ended by imploring the Assembly to punish the authors or
instigators of the violences committed on June 20, as guilty of treason
against the nation, and to destroy a sect which encroached upon
National Sovereignty, and terrorized citizens, and by their public
debates removed all doubts concerning the atrocity of their projects.
"In my own name and that of all honest men in the kingdom," said he in
conclusion, "I entreat you to take efficacious measures to make all
constitutional authorities respected, particularly your own and that of
the King, and to assure the army that the Constitution will receive no
injury from within, while so many brave Frenchmen are lavishing their
blood to defend it on the frontiers."

Applause from the right and from some of those in the galleries began
anew.  The president said: "The National Assembly has sworn to maintain
the Constitution.  Faithful to its oath, it will be able to guarantee
it against all attacks.  It accords to you the honors of the session."
The general went to take his seat on the right.  Deputy Kersaint
observed that his place was on the petitioners' bench.  The general
obeyed this hint and sat down modestly on the bench assigned him.
Renewed applause {234} ensued.  Thereupon Guadet ascended the tribune
and said in an ironic tone: "At the moment when M. Lafayette's presence
in Paris was announced to me, a most consoling idea presented itself.
So we have no more external enemies, thought I; the Austrians are
conquered.  This illusion did not last long.  Our enemies remain the
same.  Our exterior situation is not altered, and yet M. Lafayette is
in Paris!  What powerful motives have brought him hither?  Our internal
troubles?  Does he fear, then, that the National Assembly is not strong
enough to repress them?  He constitutes himself the organ of his army
and of honest men.  Where are these honest men?  How has the army been
able to deliberate?"  Guadet concluded thus: "I demand that the
Minister of War be asked whether he gave leave of absence to M.
Lafayette, and that the extraordinary Committee of Twelve make a report
to-morrow on the danger of granting the right of petition to generals."
Ramond, one of the most courageous members of the right, was the next
speaker: "Four days ago," said he, "an armed multitude asked to appear
before you.  Positive laws forbade such a thing, and a proclamation
made by the department on the previous day recalled this law and
demanded that it should be put into execution.  You paid no attention,
but admitted armed men into your midst.  To-day M. Lafayette presents
himself; he is known only by reason of his love of liberty; his life is
a series of combats against despotisms of every sort; he has {235}
sacrificed his life and fortune to the Revolution.  It is against this
man that pretended suspicions are directed and every passion unchained.
Has the National Assembly two weights and measures, then?  Certainly,
if respect is to be had to persons, it should be shown to this eldest
son of French liberty."  This eulogy exasperated the left.  Deputy
Saladin exclaimed: "I ask M. Ramond if he is making M. Lafayette's
funeral oration?"  However, the right was still in the majority.  After
a long tumult Guadet's motion against Lafayette was rejected by 339
votes against 234.  The general left the Assembly surrounded by a
numerous cortège of deputies and National Guards, and went directly to
the palace of the Tuileries.

It is the decisive moment.  The vote just taken may serve as the
starting-point of a conservative reaction if the King will trust
himself to Lafayette.  But how will he receive him?  The sovereign's
greeting will be polite, but not cordial.  The King and Queen say they
are persuaded that there is no safety but in the Constitution.  Louis
XVI. adds that he would consider it a very fortunate thing if the
Austrians were beaten without delay.  Lafayette is treated with a
courtesy through which suspicion pierces.  When he leaves the palace, a
large crowd accompany him to his house and plant a may-pole before the
door.  On the next day Louis XVI. was to review four thousand men of
the National Guard.  Lafayette had proposed to appear at this review
{236} beside the King and make a speech in favor of order.  But the
court does not desire the general's aid, and takes what measures it can
to defeat this project.  Pétion, whom it had preferred to Lafayette as
mayor of Paris, countermands the review an hour before daybreak.

Perhaps Louis XVI. might have succeeded in overcoming his repugnance to
Lafayette and submitted to be rescued by him.  But the Queen absolutely
refused to trust the man whom she considered her evil genius.  She had
seen him rise like a spectre at every hapless hour.  He had brought her
back to Paris a prisoner on the 6th of October.  He had been her
jailer.  His apparition amid the glare of torches in the Court of the
Carrousel had frozen her with terror when she was flying from her
prison, the Tuileries, to begin the fatal journey to Varennes.  His
aides-de-camp had pursued her.  He was responsible for her arrest; he
was present at her humiliating and sorrowful return; the sight of his
face, the sound of his voice, made her tremble; she could not hear his
name without a shudder.  In vain Madame Elisabeth exclaimed: "Let us
forget the past and throw ourselves into the arms of the only man who
can save the King and his family!"  Marie Antoinette's pride revolted
at the thought of owing anything to her former persecutor.  Moreover,
in his latest confidential communications with her, Mirabeau had said:
"Madame, be on your guard against Lafayette; if ever he commands the
army, he would like to keep {237} the King in his tent."  In the
Queen's opinion, to rely on Lafayette would be to accept him as regent
of the palace under a sluggard King.  Protector for protector, she
preferred Danton.  Danton, who, subsidized from the civil list, accepts
money without knowing whether he will fairly earn it; Danton, who,
while awaiting events, had made the cynical remark that he would "save
the King or kill him."  Strange that the orator of the faubourgs
inspired the daughter of Cæsars with less repugnance than the
gentleman, the marquis.  "They propose M. de Lafayette as a resource,"
she said to Madame Campan; "but it would be better to perish than owe
our safety to the man who has done us most harm."

However, Lafayette was not yet discouraged.  He wished to save the
royal family in spite of themselves.  He assembled several officers of
the National Guard at his house.  He represented to them the dangers
into which the apathy of each plunged the affairs of all; he showed the
urgent necessity of combining against the avowed enterprises of the
anarchists, of inspiring the National Assembly with the firmness
required to repress the intended attacks, and foretold the inevitable
calamities which would result from the weakness and disunion of honest
men.  He wanted to march against the Jacobin Club and close it.  But,
in consequence of the instructions issued by the court, the royalists
of the National Guard were indisposed to second him in this measure.
Lafayette, having no one on his side but the constitutionals, an {238}
honest but scanty group who were suspected by both of the extreme
parties, gave up the struggle.  The next day, June 30, he beat a hasty
retreat to the army, after writing to the Assembly another letter which
was merely an echo of the first one.  A moment since, the Jacobins were
trembling.  Now, they are reassured, they triumph.  In his _Chronique
des Cinquante Jours_, Roederer says: "If M. de Lafayette had had the
will and ability to make a bold stroke and seize the dictatorship,
reserving the power to relinquish it after the re-establishment of
order, one could comprehend his coming to the Assembly with the sword
of a dictator at his side; but, to show it only, without resolving to
draw it from the scabbard, was a fatal imprudence.  In civil commotions
it will not answer to dare by halves."



{239}

XXIII.

THE LAMOURETTE KISS.

France had still its moments of enthusiasm and illusion before plunging
into the abyss of woes.  It seemed under an hallucination, or suffering
from a sort of vertigo.  A nameless frenzy, both in good and evil,
agitated and disturbed it beyond measure in 1792, that year so fertile
in surprises and dramas of every kind.  Strange and bizarre epoch, full
of love and hatred, launching itself from one extreme to the other with
frightful inconstancy, now weeping with tenderness, and now howling
with rage!  Society resembled a drunken man who is sometimes amiable in
his cups, and sometimes cruel.  There were sudden halts on the road of
fury, oases in the midst of scorching sands, beneath a sun whose fire
consumed.  But the caravan does not rest long beneath the shady trees.
Quickly it resumes its course as if urged by a mysterious force, and
soon the terrible simoom overwhelms and destroys it.

Madame Elisabeth wrote to Madame de Raigecourt, July 8, 1792: "It would
need all Madame de Sévigné's eloquence to describe properly what {240}
happened yesterday; for it was certainly the most surprising thing, the
most extraordinary, the greatest, the smallest, etc., etc.  But,
fortunately, experience may aid comprehension.  In a word, here were
Jacobins, Feuillants, republicans, and monarchists, abjuring all their
discords and assembling near the tree of the Constitution and of
liberty, to promise sincerely that they will act in accordance with law
and not depart from it.  Luckily, August is coming, the time when, the
leaves being well grown, the tree of liberty will afford a more secure
shelter."

What had happened on the day before Madame Elisabeth wrote this letter?
There had been a very singular session of the Legislative Assembly.  In
the morning, a woman named Olympe de Gouges, whose mother was a dealer
in second-hand clothing at Montauban, being consumed with a desire to
be talked about, had caused an emphatic placard to be posted up, in
which she preached concord between all parties.  This placard was like
a prologue to the day's session.

Among the deputies there was a certain Abbé Lamourette, the
constitutional bishop of Lyons, who played at religious democracy.  He
was an ex-Lazarist who had been professor of theology at the Seminary
at Toul.  Weary of the conventual yoke, he had left his order, and at
the beginning of the Revolution was the vicar-general of the diocese of
Arras.  He had published several works in which he sought to reconcile
philosophy and religion.  Mirabeau was {241} one of his acolytes and
adopted him as his theologian in ordinary.  Finding him fit to
"bishopize" (_à evêquailler_), to use his own expression, the great
tribune recommended him to the electors of the Rhone department.  It
was thus that the Abbé Lamourette became the constitutional bishop of
Lyons.  After his consecration, he issued a pastoral instruction in
such agreement with current ideas that Mirabeau, his protector, induced
the Constituent Assembly to have it sent as a model to every department
in France.  In 1792, the Abbé Lamourette was fifty years old.  Affable,
unctuous, his mouth always full of pacific and gentle words, he naïvely
preached moderation, concord, and fraternity in conversations which
were like so many sermons.

For several days the discussions in the Assembly had been of
unparalleled violence.  Suspicion, hatred, rancor, wrath, were
unchained in a fury that bordered on delirium.  Right and left emulated
each other in outrages and invectives.  Lafayette's appearance and the
fear of a foreign invasion had disturbed all minds.  The National
Assembly, sitting both day and night, was like an arena of gladiators
fighting without truce or pity.  It was this moment which the good Abbé
Lamourette chose for delivering his most touching sermon from the
tribune.

During the session of July 7, Brissot was about to ascend the tribune
and propose new measures of public safety.  Lamourette, getting before
him, asked to be heard on a motion of order.  He said {242} that of all
the means proposed for arresting the divisions which were destroying
France, but one had been forgotten, and that the only one which could
be efficacious.  It was the union of all Frenchmen in one mind, the
reconciliation of all the deputies, without exception.  What was to
prevent this?  The only irreconcilable things are crime and virtue.
What do all our mistrust and suspicions amount to?  One party in the
Assembly attributes to the other a seditious desire to destroy the
monarchy.  The others attribute to their colleagues a desire to destroy
constitutional equality and to establish the aristocratic government
known as that of the Two Chambers.  These are the disastrous suspicions
which divide the empire.  "Very well!" cried the abbé, "let us crush
both the republic and the Two Chambers."  The hall rang with unanimous
applause from the Assembly and the galleries.  From all sides came
shouts of "Yes, yes, we want nothing but the Constitution."  Lamourette
went on: "Let us swear to have but one mind, one sentiment.  Let us
swear to sink all our differences and become a homogeneous mass of
freemen formidable both to the spirit of anarchy and that of feudalism.
The moment when foreigners see that we desire one settled thing, and
that we all desire it, will be the moment when liberty will triumph and
France be saved.  I ask the president to put to vote this simple
proposition: That those who equally abjure and execrate the republic
and the Two Chambers shall rise."  At {243} once, as if moved by the
same impulse, the members of the Assembly rose as one man, and swore
enthusiastically never to permit, either by the introduction of the
republican system or by that of the Two Chambers, any alteration
whatsoever in the Constitution.

By a spontaneous movement, the members of the extreme left went towards
the deputies of the right.  They were received with open arms, and, in
their turn, the right advanced toward the ranks of the left.  All
parties blended.  Jaucourt and Merlin, Albite and Ramond, Gensonné and
Calvet, Chabot and Genty, men who ordinarily opposed each other
relentlessly, could be seen sitting on the same bench.  As if by
miracle, the Assembly chamber became the temple of Concord.  The moved
spectators mingled their acclamations with the oaths of the deputies.
According to the expressions of the _Moniteur_, serenity and joy were
on all faces, and unction in every heart.

M. Emmery was the next speaker.  "When the Assembly is reunited," said
he, "all the powers ought to be so.  I ask, therefore, that the
Assembly at once send the King the minutes of its proceedings by a
deputation of twenty-four members."  The motion was adopted.

A few minutes later, Louis XVI., followed by the deputation and
surrounded by his ministers, entered the hall.  Cries of "Long live the
nation!  Long live the King!" resounded from every side.  The sovereign
{244} placed himself near the president, and in a voice that betrayed
emotion, made the following address: "Gentlemen, the spectacle most
affecting to my heart is that of the reunion of all wills for the sake
of the country's safety.  I have long desired this salutary moment; my
desire is accomplished.  The nation and the King are one.  Each of them
has the same end in view.  Their reunion will save France.  The
Constitution should be the rallying-point for all Frenchmen.  We all
ought to defend it.  The King will always set the example of so doing."
The president replied: "Sire, this memorable moment, when all
constituted authorities unite, is a signal of joy to the friends of
liberty, and of terror to its enemies.  From this union will issue the
force necessary to combat the tyrants combined against us.  It is a
sure warrant of liberty."

After prolonged applause a great silence followed.  "I own to you, M.
the President," presently said the complaisant Louis XVI., "that I was
longing for the deputation to finish, so that I might hasten to the
Assembly."  Applause and cries of "Long live the nation!  Long live the
King!" redoubled.  What! this monarch now acclaimed is the same prince
against whom Vergniaud hurled invectives a few days ago with the
enthusiastic approbation of the same Assembly!  He is the sovereign
whom the Girondin thus addressed: "O King, who doubtless have believed
with Lysander the tyrant that truth is no better than a lie, and that
men must be amused {245} with oaths like children with rattles; who
have pretended to love the laws only to preserve the power that will
enable you to defy them; the Constitution only that it may not cast you
from the throne where you must remain in order to destroy it; the
nation only to assure the success of your perfidy by inspiring it with
confidence,--do you think you can impose upon us to-day by hypocritical
protestations?"  What has occurred since the day when Vergniaud,
uttering such words as these, was frantically cheered?  Nothing.  That
day, the weather-cock pointed to anger; to-day to concord.  Why?  No
one knows.  Tired of hating, the Assembly doubtless needed an instant
of relaxation.  Violent sentiments end by wearying the souls that
experience them.  They must rest and renew their energies in order to
hate better to-morrow.  And why say to-morrow?  This very evening the
quarrelling, anger, and fury will begin anew.

At half-past three Louis XVI. left the Hall of the Manège, in the midst
of joyful applause from the Assembly and the galleries.  During the
evening session discord reappeared.  The following letter from the King
was read: "I have just been handed the departmental decree which
provisionally suspends the mayor and the procureur of the Commune of
Paris.  As this decree is based on facts which personally concern me,
the first impulse of my heart is to beg the Assembly to decide upon
it."  Does any one believe that the Assembly will have the courage to
condemn Pétion and the 20th of June?  Not a bit {246} of it.  It makes
no decision, but passes unanimously from the King's letter to the order
of the day.  And what occurs at the clubs?  Listen to Billaud-Varennes
at the Jacobins: "They embrace each other at the Assembly," he
exclaims; "it is the kiss of Judas, it is the kiss of Charles IX.,
extending his hand to Coligny.  They were embracing like this while the
King was preparing for flight on October 6.  They were embracing like
this before the massacres of the Champ-de-Mars.  They embrace, but are
the court conspiracies coming to an end?  Have our enemies ceased their
advance against our frontiers?  Is Lafayette the less a traitor?"  And
thereupon the cry broke out: "Pétion or death!"  The next day, June 8,
at the Assembly, loud applause greeted the orator from a section who
said, concerning the department: "It openly serves the sinister
projects and disastrous conspiracies of a perfidious court.  It is the
first link in the immense chain of plots formed against the people.  It
is an accomplice in the extravagant projects of this general, who, not
being able to become the hero of liberty, has preferred to make himself
the Don Quixote of the court."  A deputy exclaimed: "The acclamations
with which the Assembly has listened to this petition authorize me to
ask its publication: I make an express motion to that effect."  And the
publication was decreed.

O poor Lamourette! humanitarian abbé, rose-water revolutionist, of what
avail is your democratic holy water?  What have you gained by your
sentimental {247} jargon? what do your dreams of evangelical philosophy
and universal brotherhood amount to?  Poor constitutional abbé, people
are scoffing already at your sacerdotal unction, your soothing homily!
The very men who, to please you, have sworn to destroy the republic,
will proclaim it two and a half months later.  Your famous reunion of
parties, people are already shrugging their shoulders at and calling it
the "_baiser d'Amourette, la réconciliation normande_": the calf-love
kiss, the pretended reconciliation.  They accuse you of having sold
yourself to the court.  They ridicule, they flout, and they will kill
you.  January 11, 1794, Fouquier-Tinville's prosecuting speech will
punish you for your moderatism.  You will carry your head to the
scaffold, and, optimist to the end, you will say: "What is the
guillotine? only a rap on the neck."



{248}

XXIV.

THE FÉTE OF THE FEDERATION IN 1792.

The fête of the Federation, which was to be celebrated July 14, was
awaited with anxiety.  The federates came into Paris full of the most
revolutionary projects.  Anxiety and anguish reigned at the Tuileries.
Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, who were to be present in the
Champ-de-Mars, feared to be assassinated there.  The Queen's
importunities decided the King to have a plastron made, to ward off a
poniard thrust.  Composed of fifteen thicknesses of Italian taffeta,
this plastron consisted of a vest and a large belt.  Madame Campan
secretly tried it on the King in the chamber where Marie Antoinette was
lying.  Pulling Madame Campan by the dress as far as possible from the
Queen's bed, Louis XVI. whispered: "It is to satisfy her that I yield;
they will not assassinate me; their plan is changed; they will put me
to death in another way."  When the King had gone out, the Queen forced
Madame Campan to tell her what he had just said.  "I had divined it!"
she exclaimed.  "He has said this long time that all that is going on
in France is an imitation of the revolution in England under Charles I.
I begin to dread {249} an impeachment for him.  As for me, I am a
foreigner, and they will assassinate me.  What will become of my poor
children?"  And she fell to weeping.  Madame Campan tried to administer
a nervine, but the Queen refused it.  "Nervous maladies," said she.
"are the ailments of happy women; I no longer have them."  Without her
knowledge a sort of corset, in the style of her husband's plastron, had
been made for her.  Nothing could induce her to wear it.  To those who
implored her with tears to put it on, she replied: "If seditious
persons assassinate me, so much the better; they will deliver me from a
most sorrowful life."

The fête of the Federation was celebrated in 1792 amidst extremely
tragical preoccupations.  Things had changed very greatly since the
fête which had excited such enthusiasm two years earlier.  On July 14,
1790, the Champ-de-Mars was filled at four o'clock in the morning by a
crowd delirious with joy.  At eight o'clock in the morning of July 14,
1792, it was still empty.  The people were said to be at the Bastille
witnessing the laying of the first stone of the column to be erected on
the ruins of the famous fortress.  On the Champ-de-Mars there was no
magnificent altar served by three hundred priests, no side benches
covered by an innumerable crowd, none of that sincere and ardent joy
which throbbed in every heart two years before.  For the fête of 1792,
eighty-three little tents, representing the departments of the kingdom,
had been erected on hillocks of sand.  {250} Before each tent stood a
poplar, so frail that it seemed as if a breath might blow away the tree
and its tri-colored pendant.  In the middle of the Champ-de-Mars were
four stretchers covered with canvas painted gray which would have made
a miserable decoration for a boulevard theatre.  It was a so-called
tomb, an honorary monument to those who had died or were about to die
on the frontiers.  On one side of it was the inscription: "Tremble,
tyrants; we will avenge them!"  The Altar of the Country could hardly
be seen.  It was formed of a truncated column placed on the top of the
altar steps raised in 1790.  Perfumes were burned on the four small
corner altars.  Two hundred yards farther off, near the Seine, a large
tree had been set up and named the Tree of Feudalism.  From its
branches depended escutcheons, helmets, and blue ribbons interwoven
with chains.  This tree rose out of a wood-pile on which lay a heap of
crowns, tiaras, cardinals' hats, Saint Peter's keys, ermine mantles,
doctors' caps, and titles of nobility.  A royal crown was among them,
and beside it the escutcheons of the Count de Provence, the Count
d'Artois, and the Prince de Condé.  The organizers of the fête hoped to
induce the King himself to set fire to this pile, covered with feudal
emblems.  A figure representing Liberty, and another representing Law,
were placed on casters by the aid of which the two divinities were to
be rolled about.  Fifty-four pieces of cannon bordered the
Champ-de-Mars on the side next the Seine, and the Phrygian cap crowned
every tree.

{251}

At eleven in the morning the King and his cortège arrived at the
Military School.  A detachment of cavalry opened the march.  There were
three carriages.  In the first were the Prince de Poix, the Marquis de
Brézé, and the Count de Saint-Priest; in the second, the Queen's
ladies, Mesdames de Tarente, de la Roche-Aymon, de Maillé, and de
Mackau; in the third, the King, the Queen, their two children, and
Madame Elisabeth.  The trumpets sounded and the drums beat a salute.  A
salvo of artillery announced the arrival of the royal family.  The
sovereign's countenance was mild and benevolent.  Marie Antoinette
appeared still more majestic than usual.  The dignity of her demeanor,
the grace of her children, and the angelic charm of Madame Elisabeth
inspired a tender respect.  The little Dauphin wore the uniform of a
National Guard.  "He has not deserved the cap yet," said the Queen to
the grenadiers.

The royal family took their places on the balcony of the Military
School, which was covered with a red velvet carpet embroidered with
gold, and watched the popular procession, entering the Champ-de-Mars by
the gate of the rue de Grenelle, and marching towards the Altar of the
Country.  What a strange procession!  Men, women, children, armed with
pikes, sticks, and hatchets; bands singing the _Ça ira_; drunken
harlots, adorned with flowers; people from the faubourgs with the
inscription, "Long live Pétion!" chalked on their head-gear; six
legions of National Guards marching pell-mell with the _sans-culottes_;
red {252} caps; placards with devices either ferocious or stupid, like
this one: "Long live the heroes who died in the siege of the Bastille!"
a plan in relief of the celebrated fortress; a travelling
printing-press throwing off copies of the revolutionary manifesto,
which the crowd at first mistook for a little guillotine; a great deal
of noise and shouting,--and there you have the popular cortège.  By way
of compensation, the troops of the line and the grenadiers of the
National Guard displayed extremely royalist sentiments.  The 104th
regiment of infantry having halted under the balcony, its band played
the air: _Où peut-on être mieux qu'au sein de sa famille?_  (Where is
one better off than in the bosom of his family?)

The moment when Louis XVI. left the Military School to walk to the
Altar of the Country with the National Assembly was not without
solemnity.  A certain anxiety was felt by all as to what might happen.
Would Louis XVI. be struck by a ball or by a poniard?  What might not
be feared from so many demoniacs, howling like cannibals?  The King,
the deputies, the soldiers, the crowd, all pressed against each other
in a solid mass that left no vacant spaces; all was in continual
undulation.  Louis XVI. could only advance slowly and with difficulty.
The intervention of the troops was necessary to enable him to reach the
Altar of the Country, where he was to swear allegiance for the second
time to the Constitution whose fragments were to overwhelm his throne.
"It needed the character of Louis XVI.," Madame de {253} Staël has
said, "it needed that martyr character which he never belied, to
support such a situation as he did.  His gait, his countenance, had
something peculiar to himself; on other occasions one might have wished
he had more grandeur; but at this moment it was enough for him to
remain what he was in order to appear sublime.  From a distance I
watched his powdered head in the midst of all those black ones; his
coat, still embroidered as it had been in former days, stood out
against the costumes of the common people who pressed around him.  When
he ascended the steps of the altar, one seemed to behold the sacred
victim offering himself in voluntary sacrifice."

The Queen had remained on the balcony of the Military School.  From
there she watched through a lorgnette the dangerous progress of the
King.  A prey to inexpressible emotion, she remained motionless during
an entire hour, hardly able to breathe on account of excessive anguish.
She used the lorgnette steadily, but at one moment she cried out: "He
has come down two steps!"  This cry made all those about her shudder.
The King could not, in fact, reach the summit of the altar, because a
throng of suspicious-looking persons had already taken possession of it.

Deputy Dumas had the presence of mind to cry out: "Attention,
Grenadiers! present arms!"  The intimidated _sans-culottes_ remained
quiet, and Louis XVI. took the oath amid the thundering of the cannon
ranged beside the Seine.

{254}

It was then proposed to the King that he should set fire to the Tree of
Feudalism; it was close to the river and the arms of France were hung
upon it.  Louis XVI. spared himself that shame, exclaiming, "There is
no more feudalism!"  He returned to the Military School by the way he
came.  The 6th legion of the National Guard had not yet marched past
when the cavalry announced the King's approach.  This legion,
quickening its pace, was intercepted by the royal escort, and invaded,
not to say routed, by the populace, which from all sides pressed into
its ranks.

Meanwhile the anguish of Marie Antoinette redoubled.  "The expression
of the Queen's face," Madame de Staël says again, "will never be
effaced from my memory.  Her eyes were drowned in tears; the splendor
of her toilette, the dignity of her demeanor, contrasted with the
throng that surrounded her.  Nothing separated her from the populace
but a few National Guards; the armed men assembled in the Champ-de-Mars
seemed more as if they had come together for a riot than for a
festival."  Pétion, who had been reinstated in his functions as mayor
of Paris on the previous day, was the hero of the occasion.  They
called him King Pétion, and the cheers which resounded in honor of this
revolutionist were like a funeral knell in the ears of Marie Antoinette.

At last Louis XVI. appeared in front of the Military School.  The Queen
experienced a momentary joy in seeing him approach.  Rising hastily,
she ran {255} down the stairs to meet him.  Always calm, the King
tenderly clasped his wife's hand.  At once royalist sentiment took
fire.  All who were present--National Guards, troops of the line,
Switzers, people in the courts, at the windows, on balconies and
gates--all cried: "Long live the King!  Long live the Queen!"  The
royal family regained the Tuileries in the midst of acclamations.  At
the entrance of the palace enthusiasm deepened.  From the Royal Court
to the great stairway of the Horloge Pavilion, the grenadiers of the
National Guard, who had escorted and saved the King, formed into line
with shouts of joy.

"All former souvenirs," says the Count de Vaublanc in his Memoirs, "all
former habits of respect then awoke....  Yes, I saw and observed this
multitude; it was animated with the best sentiments; at heart it was
faithful to its King and crowned him with sincere benedictions.  But do
popular love and fidelity afford any support to a tottering throne?  He
is mad who can think so.  The people will be spectators of the latest
combat and will applaud the victor.  And let no one blame them!  What
can they do if they are not united, encouraged, and led?  The people
behold a few seditious individuals attack a throne, and a few
courageous men defend it; they fear one party and desire the success of
the other.  When the struggle is over, they submit and obey.  The most
honest of them weep in silence, the timid force themselves to display a
guilty joy in order to escape the hatred of the victors whom they see
{256} bathing themselves in blood.  They think about their families,
their affairs, their means of support.  They were not expected to lead
themselves; that duty was imposed on others; have they fulfilled it?"

It is said that during the fête those who were friendly to the King,
amongst the crowd, were awaiting a signal they expected from him.  They
hoped that, by the assistance of the Swiss, they could force their way
to the royal family during the confusion of a hand-to-hand affray, and
get them safely out of Paris.  But Louis XVI. neither spoke nor acted.
He returned to his palace without having dared anything.  And,
nevertheless, there were still many chances of safety open.  Imagine
the effect of a haughty bearing, a commanding gesture in place of the
inert attitude habitual to the unfortunate sovereign.  Fancy the Most
Christian King, the heir of Louis XIV., on horseback, haranguing the
people in the style of his witty and valiant ancestor, Henry IV.!  He
is still King.  The troops of the line are faithful.  The great
majority of the National Guard are well-disposed towards him.  Luckner,
Lafayette, Dumouriez himself, would ask nothing better than to defend
him if he would show a little energy.

The day after the ceremony of July 14, Lafayette was still anxious that
Louis XVI. should leave Paris openly and go to Compiègne, so as to show
France and Europe that he was free.  In case of resistance, the general
demanded only fifty loyal cavaliers to take the royal family away.
From Compiègne, picked {257} squadrons would conduct them to the midst
of the French army, the asylum of devotion and honor.  But Louis XVI.
refused.  The last resources remaining to him were to evaporate between
his hands.  He will profit neither by the sympathies of all European
courts, which ardently desire his safety; by his civil list, which
might be such an efficacious means of action; nor by the loyalty of his
brave soldiers, who are ready to shed their last drop of blood in his
defence.  A large party in the Legislative Assembly would ask nothing
but a signal, providing it were seriously given, to rally with vigor to
the royal cause.  He had intrepid champions there whom no menace could
affright, and who on every occasion, no matter how violent or
tumultuous the galleries might be, had braved the storm with heroic
constancy.  Public opinion was changing for the better.  The schemes
and language of the Jacobins exasperated the mass of honest people.
The provinces were sending addresses of fidelity to the King.

What was lacking to the monarch to enable him to combine so many
scattered elements into a solid group?  A little will, a little of that
essential quality, audacity, which, according to Danton, is the last
word of politics.  But Louis XVI. has a timorous soul.  If he makes one
step forward, he is in haste to make another back.  He is scrupulous,
hesitating; he has no confidence in himself or any one else.  This
prince, so incontestably courageous, acts as if he were a coward.  He
has made so many concessions already that {258} the idea of any manner
of resistance seems to him chimerical.  Does the fate of Charles I.
make him dread the beginning of civil war as the supreme danger?  Does
he fear to imperil the lives of his wife and children by an energetic
deed?  Is he expecting foreign aid?  Does he think to prove his wisdom
by his patience, and that success will crown delay?  Is he so
benevolent, so gentle, that the least thought of repression is
repugnant to him?  Does he wish to carry to extremes that pardon of
injuries which is recommended by the Gospel?  What is plain is, that he
rejects every firm resolution.

Palliatives, expedients, half-measures, were what suited this honest
but feeble nature.  Disturbed by contradictory councils, and no longer
knowing what to desire or what to hope, he looked on at his own
destruction like an unmoved spectator.  He was no longer a sovereign
full of the sentiment of his power and his rights, but an almost
unconscious victim of fatality.  Example full of startling lessons for
all leaders of state who adopt weakness as a system, and who, under
pretext of benevolence or moderation, no longer know how to foresee, to
will, or to strike!



{259}

XXV.

THE LAST DAYS AT THE TUILERIES.

During one of the last nights of July, at one o'clock, Madame Campan
was alone near the Queen's bed, when she heard some one walking softly
in the adjoining corridor, which was ordinarily locked at both ends.
Madame Campan summoned the valet-de-chambre, who went into the
corridor; presently the noise of two men fighting reached the ears of
Marie Antoinette.  "What a position!" cried the unfortunate Queen.
"Insults by day and assassins by night!"  The valet cried: "Madame, it
is a scoundrel whom I know; I am holding him."--"Let him go," said the
Queen.  "Open the door for him; he came to assassinate me; he will be
carried in triumph by the Jacobins to-morrow."

People were constantly saying that the Faubourg Saint-Antoine was
getting ready to march against the palace.  Marie Antoinette was so
badly guarded, and it was so easy to force an entrance to her apartment
on the ground-floor, opposite the garden, that Madame de Tourzel, her
children's governess, begged her to sleep in the Dauphin's room on the
first floor.  The Queen was averse to this step, as she was {260}
unwilling to have any one suspect her uneasiness.  But Madame de
Tourzel having shown her that it would be easy to keep the secret of
this change by using the Dauphin's private staircase, she ended by
accepting the proposal so long as the trouble should last.  She was so
thoughtful of all those in her service that it cost her much to
incommode them in the least.  Finally, she consented to use the bed of
the governess, and a pallet was laid for the latter every evening.
Mademoiselle Pauline de Tourzel slept on a sofa in an adjoining closet.
As no one in the house suspected that the Queen might have changed her
apartment for the night, Madame de Tourzel and her daughter took
precautionary measures.  When the Queen had gone to bed, they rose, and
after making sure that the doors were locked, they shot the inside
bolts.  "The closet I occupied served as a passage for the royal family
when they went to supper," says Mademoiselle de Tourzel, afterwards
Madame de Béarn, in her _Souvenirs de Quarante Ans_; "I went to bed
early; sometimes I pretended to be asleep when the Princes were passing
through, and I saw them approach my sofa, one after another; I heard
their expressions of kindness and good will toward me, and noticed what
care they took not to disturb my slumber."

Poor Marie Antoinette!  Could one believe that a Queen of France would
be reduced to keeping a little dog in her bedroom to warn her of the
least noise in her apartment?  The Dauphin, delighted to {261} have his
mother sleep so near him, used to run to her as soon as he awoke, and
clasping her in his little arms would say the most affectionate things.
This was the only moment of the day that brought her any consolation.

By the end of July, both the Queen and her children were obliged to
give up walking in the garden.  She had gone out to take the air with
her daughter in the Dauphin's small parterre at the extreme end of the
Tuileries, close to the Place Louis XV.  Some federates grossly
insulted her.  Four Swiss officers made their way through the crowd,
and placing the Queen and the young Princess between them, brought them
back to the palace.  When she reached her apartments, Marie Antoinette
thanked her defenders in the most affecting terms, but she never went
out again.

After June 20, the garden, excepting the terrace of the Feuillants,
which, by a decree of the Assembly, had become a part of its precincts,
had been forbidden to the populace.  Posters warned the people to
remain on the terrace and not go down into the garden.  The terrace was
called National Ground, and the garden the Land of Coblentz.
Inscriptions apprised passers-by of this novel topography.  Tri-colored
ribbons had been tied to the banisters of the staircases by way of
barriers.  Placards were fastened at intervals to the trees bordering
the terrace, whereon could be read: "Citizens, respect yourselves; give
the force of bayonets to this feeble barrier.  Citizens, do {262} not
go into this foreign land, this Coblentz, abode of corruption."  The
leaders had such an empire over the crowd that no one disobeyed.  And
yet it was the height of summer, the trees offered their verdant shade,
and the King had withdrawn all his guards and opened every gate.
Nobody dared infringe the revolutionary mandate.  One young man, paying
no attention, went down into the garden.  Furious clamors broke out on
all sides.  "To the lamp-post with him!" cried some one on the terrace.
Thereupon the young man, taking off his shoes, drew out his
handkerchief and began to wipe the dust from their soles.  People cried
bravo, and he was carried in triumph.

Marie Antoinette could not become resigned to this hatred.  Often she
frightened her women by wishing to go out of the palace and address the
people.  "Yes," she would cry, her voice trembling, as she walked
quickly to and fro in her chamber, "yes, I will say to them: Frenchmen,
they have had the cruelty to persuade you that I do not love France, I,
the wife of its King and the mother of a Dauphin!"  Then, this brief
moment of generous exaltation over, the illusion of being able to move
a nation of insulters quickly vanished.  Her life was a daily, hourly
struggle.  The wife, the mother, the queen, never ceased to contend
against destiny.  She hardly slept or ate; but from the very excess of
danger she drew additional energy, and moral and material force.  As
she awoke at daybreak, she required that the {263} shutters should not
be closed, so that her sleepless nights might be sooner consoled by the
light of morning.  The most widely diverse sentiments occupied her
soul.  A captive in her palace, she sometimes believed herself
irrevocably condemned by fate, and sometimes hoped for deliverance.

Toward the middle of one of the last nights preceding the 10th of
August, the moon shone into her bedchamber.  "In a month," she said to
Madame Campan, "I shall not see that moon unless I am freed from my
chains."  But she was not free from anxiety concerning all that might
happen before that.  "The King is not a poltroon," she added; "he has
very great passive courage, but he is crushed by a false shame, a doubt
of himself, which arises from his education quite as much as from his
character.  He is afraid of commanding; he dreads above everything to
speak to assemblages of men.  He lived uneasily and like a child, under
the eyes of Louis XV. until he was twenty, and this constraint has had
an effect on his timidity.  In our circumstances, a few clearly spoken
words addressed to the Parisians who are devoted to us would immensely
strengthen our party, but he will not say them."  Then Marie Antoinette
explained why she did not put herself forward more: "For my part," said
she, "I could act, and mount a horse if need were; but, if I acted, it
would put weapons into the hands of King's enemies; a general outcry
would be raised in France against the Austrian woman, against female
domination; moreover, {264} I should reduce the King to nothingness by
showing myself.  A queen who is not regent must in such circumstances
remain inactive and prepare to die."

The danger constantly increased.  At four in the morning of one of the
last days of July, warning was given at the palace that the faubourgs
were threatening, and would doubtless march against the Tuileries.
Madame Campan went very softly into the Queen's room.  For a wonder,
Marie Antoinette was sleeping peacefully and profoundly.  Madame Campan
did not rouse her.  "You were right," said Louis XVI.; "it is good to
see her take a little rest.  Oh! her griefs redouble mine!"  At her
waking the Queen, on being informed of what had passed, began to weep,
and said: "Why was I not called?"  Madame Campan excused herself by
saying: "It was only a false alarm.  Your Majesty needed to repair your
prostrate strength."--"It is not prostrate," quickly replied the
courageous sovereign; "misfortune makes it all the greater.  Elisabeth
was with the King, and I was sleeping!  I, who wish to perish beside
him!  I am his wife; I am not willing that he should incur the least
danger without me!"

On Sunday, August 5,--the last Sunday the royal family were to spend at
the Tuileries,--as they were going to the chapel to hear Mass, half the
National Guards on duty cried: "Long live the King!"  The others said:
"No, no; no King, down with the veto!"  The same day, at Vespers, the
chanters had agreed to swell their tones greatly, and in a {265}
menacing way, when reciting this versicle of the _Magnificat: Deposuit
potentes de sede_--"He hath put down the mighty from their seat."  In
their turn the royalists, after the _Dominum salvum fac regem_, cried
thrice, turning as they did so toward the Queen: _Et reginam_.  There
was a continual murmuring all through the divine office.  Five days
later, the same chapel was to be a pool of blood.

And yet Madame Elisabeth, always calm and always angelic, still had
illusions.  One morning of this terrible month of August, while in her
room in the Pavilion of Flora, she thought she heard some one humming
her favorite air, _Pauvre Jacques_, beneath her windows.  Attracted by
this refrain, which in the midst of sorrow renewed the souvenir of
happier times, she half opened her window and listened attentively.
The words sung were not those of the ballad she loved, yet they were
royalist in sentiment and adapted to the same air.  The poor people had
been substituted for poor Jack--the poor people who were pitied for
having a king no longer and for knowing nothing but wretchedness.  Such
marks of attachment consoled the virtuous Princess, and made her hope
against all hope.  She wrote, August 8, to her friend Madame de
Raigecourt: "They say that the King is going to be turned out of here
somewhat forcibly, and made to lodge in the Hôtel-de-Ville.  They say
that there will be a very strong movement to that effect in Paris.  Do
you believe it?  For my part, I do not.  I believe in rumors, but not
in their {266} resulting in anything.  That is my profession of faith.
For the rest, everything is perfectly quiet to-day.  Yesterday passed
in the same way, and I think this one will be like it."  On August 9,
the eve of the fatal day, Madame Elisabeth again addressed a reassuring
letter to one of her friends, Madame de Bombelles.  Curiously enough
she dated this letter August 10, no doubt by accident, and when Madame
de Bombelles received it, she read these lines, which seem like the
irony of fate: "This day of the 10th, which was to have been so
exciting, so terrible, is as calm as possible; the Assembly has decreed
neither deposition nor suspension."



{267}

XXVI.

THE PROLOGUE TO THE TENTH OF AUGUST.

The first rumblings of the storm began.  People quarrelled and fought
in the Palais Royal, the cafés, and the theatres.  Half of the National
Guard sided with the court, and the other half with the people.  To
seditious speeches were added songs full of insults to the King and
Queen.  These songs, sold on every corner, applauded in every tavern,
and repeated by the wives and children of the people, propagated
revolutionary fury.  There was a constant succession of gatherings,
brawls, and riots.  The Assembly had declared the country in danger.
Rumors of every sort excited popular imagination.  It was said that
priests who refused the oath were in hiding at the Tuileries, which
was, moreover, full of arms and munitions.  The Duke of Brunswick's
manifesto exasperated national sentiment.  It was read aloud in every
street.  The leaders neglected nothing likely to excite the populace,
and prepared their last attack on the throne, their afterpiece of June
20, with as much audacity as skill.

In order to subdue the court, it was necessary to destroy its only
remaining means of defence.  To {268} leave plenty of elbow-room for
the riot, the Assembly, on July 15, ordered the troops of the line to
be sent some thirty-five miles beyond Paris and kept there.  A singular
means was devised for breaking up the choice troops of the National
Guard, who were royalists.  They were told that it was contrary to
equality for certain citizens to be more brilliantly equipped than
others; that a bearskin cap humiliated those who were entitled only to
a felt one; and that there was a something aristocratic about the name
of grenadier which was really intolerable to a simple foot-soldier.
The choice troops were dissolved in consequence, and the grenadiers
came to the Assembly like good patriots to lay down their epaulettes
and bearskin caps and assume the red cap.  On July 30, the National
Guard was reconstructed, by taking in all the vagabonds and bandits
that the clubs could muster.

The famous federates of Marseilles, who were to take such an active
part in the coming insurrection, arrived in Paris the same day.  The
Girondins, having failed to obtain their camp of twenty thousand men
before Paris, had devised instead of it a reunion of federate
volunteers, summoned from every part of France.  The roads were at once
thronged by future rioters whom the Assembly allowed thirty cents a day.

The Jacobins of Brest and Marseilles distinguished themselves.  Instead
of a handful of volunteers they sent two battalions.  That of
Marseilles, recruited by {269} Barbaroux, comprised five hundred men
and two pieces of artillery.  Starting July 5, it entered Paris July
30.  Excited to fanaticism by the sun and the declamations of the
southern clubs, it had run over France, been received under triumphal
arches, and chanted in a sort of frenzy the terrible stanzas of Rouget
de l'Isle's new hymn, the _Marseillaise_.  It was at this time that
Blanc Gilli, deputy from the Bouches du Rhone department to the
Legislative Assembly, wrote: "These pretended Marseillais are the scum
of the jails of Genoa, Piedmont, Sicily, and of all Italy, Spain, the
Archipelago, and Barbary.  I run across them every day."  Rouget de
l'Isle received from his old mother, a royalist and Catholic at heart,
a letter in which she said: "What is this revolutionary hymn which a
horde of brigands are singing as they pass through France, and in which
your name is mixed up?"  At Paris the accents of that terrible melody
sounded like strokes of the tocsin.  The men who sang it filled the
conservatives with terror.  They wore woollen cockades and insulted as
aristocrats those who wore silk ones.

There was no longer any dike to the torrent.  August 1, Louis XVI.
nominated a cabinet composed of loyal men: Joly was Minister of
Justice; Champion de Villeneuve, of the Interior; Bigot de
Sainte-Croix, of Foreign Affairs; Du Bouchage, of the Marine; Leroux de
la Ville, of Public Taxes; and D'Abancourt, of War.  But this ministry
was to last only ten days.  Certain petitioners at the bar of the {270}
Assembly asked for the deposition of the King in most violent language.
"This measure," says Barbaroux in his Memoirs, "would have carried
Philippe of Orléans to the regency, and therefore his party violently
clamored for it.  His creditors, his hirelings, and boon-companions,
Marat and his Cordeliers, all manner of swindlers and insolvent
debtors, thronged public places and incited to this deposition because
they were hungry for money and positions under a regent who was their
tool and their accomplice."

In vain did Louis XVI. display those sentiments of paternal kindness
which had hitherto availed him so little.  August 3, he sent a message
to the Assembly, in which he said: "I will uphold national independence
to my latest breath.  Personal dangers are nothing compared to public
ones.  Oh! what are personal dangers to a King whom men are seeking to
deprive of his people's love?  This is the real plague-spot in my
heart.  Perhaps the people will some day know how dear their welfare is
to me.  How many of my sorrows could be obliterated by the least
evidence of a return to right feeling!"

How did they respond to this conciliatory language?  After it had been
read, Pétion, the mayor of Paris, presented himself at the bar, and
read an address from the Council General of the Commune, in which these
words occur: "The chief of the executive power is the first link of the
counter-revolutionary chain....  Through a lingering forbearance, we
would have desired the power to ask you for the {271} suspension of
Louis XVI., but to this the Constitution is opposed.  Louis XVI.
incessantly invokes the Constitution; we invoke it in our turn, and ask
you for his deposition."  The next day the municipality distributed
five thousand ball cartridges to the Marseillais, while refusing any to
the National Guards.

Nevertheless, the Girondins still hesitated.  Guadet, Vergniaud, and
Gensonné would have declared themselves satisfied if the three
ministers belonging to their party had been reinstated, and on July 29
they secretly despatched a letter to the sovereign, by Thierry, his
valet-de-chambre, in which they said that, "attached to the interests
of the nation, they would never separate them from those of the King
except in so far as he separated them himself."  As to Barbaroux, like
a true visionary, he dreamed of I know not what rose-water
insurrection.  "They should not have entered the apartments of the
palace," he has said, "but merely blockaded them.  Had this plan been
followed, the blood of Frenchmen and Swiss, ignorant victims of court
perfidy, would not have been shed on the 10th of August, the republic
would have been founded without convulsions or massacres, and we,
corroded by popular gangrene, should not have become the horror of all
nations."  The demagogues were not at all certain of success.
Robespierre was to spend the 10th of August in the discreet darkness of
a cellar.  Danton was prudently to await the end of the combat before
arming himself with a big sabre and marching at the head of the
Marseilles {272} battalion as the hero of the day.  Barbaroux says in
his Memoirs that on the 1st, 3d, and 7th of August, Marat implored him
to take him to Marseilles, and that on the evening of the 9th he
renewed this prayer more urgently than ever, adding that he would
disguise himself as a jockey in order to get away.

In spite of their many weaknesses, the majority of the Assembly were
royalists and constitutionalists still.  The proof is that on August 8,
in spite of the violent menaces of the galleries, they decided by 406
against 244 votes, that there was no occasion to impeach Lafayette, so
abhorred by the Jacobins.  This vote excited the wrath of the
revolutionists to fury.  The conservative deputies were insulted,
pursued, and struck.  Several of them barely escaped assassination.
The sessions became stormier from day to day.  Not only were the large
galleries of the Assembly overthronged by violent crowds, but the
courtyards, the approaches, and the corridors were obstructed.  Many
sat or stood on the exterior entablatures of the high windows.  The
upper part of the hall, where the Jacobins sat, received many
strangers, in spite of the often-reiterated opposition of the right.
Below this Mountain sat the members of the centre, the _Ventrus_.
There were not seats enough for them, and they were crowded up in a
ridiculous manner.  At the bottom of the hall, almost entirely
deserted, were the forty-four members of the right.  They were easily
marked and counted by their future executioners, who threatened them by
voice and gesture.  Every {273} day the petitioners who were admitted
to the honors of the session avoided the empty benches of the right and
seated themselves with the Mountain or the centre, where they crowded
still more the already overcrowded deputies.  The discussions were like
formidable tempests.  "The effect produced by such a spectacle," says
Count de Vaublanc in his Memoirs, "was still greater on those who
entered the hall during one of those terrible moments.  I received this
impression several times myself, and it will never be effaced from my
mind; I seek vainly for expressions by which to describe it.  Long
afterwards, M. de Caux, then Minister of War, said to me: 'You made the
profoundest impression on me which I ever received in my life.  I was
young at the time.  I entered the galleries just as you were standing
out against the furious shouts of a part of the deputies and the people
in the galleries.'"

Meanwhile the end was approaching.  Faithful royalists still proposed
schemes of flight to Louis XVI.  Bertrand de Molleville, who is so ill
disposed toward Madame de Staël, says concerning this: "There was
nobody, even to Madame de Staël, who, either in the hope of being
pardoned the injury her intrigues had done the King, or else through
her continual need of intrigue, had not invented some plan of escape
for His Majesty."  Louis XVI. declined them all.  He would owe nothing
to Lafayette.  He relied on the money he had given to Danton and other
demagogues, and hoped that the {274} insurrectionary bands would be
repulsed by the royalists of the National Guard and the Swiss regiment.
August 8th, in the evening, this fine regiment left its Courbevoie
barracks and arrived at the Tuileries at daybreak next morning.  Under
various idle pretexts it had been deprived of its twelve pieces of
artillery, and also of three hundred men who had been given the
commission, true or false as may be, to watch over the transportation
of corn in Normandy.  Only seven hundred and fifty, officers and
soldiers, remained; but all of them had said: "We will let ourselves be
killed to the last man rather than fail in honor or betray the sanctity
of our oaths."  In company with a handful of noblemen, these were to be
the last defenders of the throne.  The fatal hour was approaching.  The
section of the Cordeliers had decided that if the Assembly had not
pronounced the King's deposition by the evening of August 9th, the
drums should beat the general alarm at the stroke of midnight, and the
insurrection march against the Tuileries.  The revolutionists were to
carry out their plan, and the Swiss to keep their word.



{275}

XXVII.

THE NIGHT OF AUGUST NINTH TO TENTH.

The night was serene, the sky clear and sown with stars.  The calmness
of nature contrasted with the revolutionary passions that had been
unchained.  On account of the heat, all the windows of the Tuileries
had been left open, and from a distance the palace could be seen
illuminated as if for a fête.  It had just struck midnight.  The
Revolution was executing the programme of the Cordeliers' section.  The
tocsin was sounding all over the city.  Everybody named the church
whose bell he thought he recognized.  The people of the faubourgs were
out of bed in their houses.  The drums mingled with the tocsin.  The
revolutionists beat the general alarm, and the royalists the call to
arms.

No one was asleep at the Tuileries.  There was no further question of
etiquette.  The night reception in the royal bedchamber was omitted for
the first time.  Certain old servitors, faithful guardians of
tradition, in vain recalled that it was not permissible to sit down in
the sovereign's apartments.  The courtiers of the last hour seated
themselves in armchairs, on tables and consoles.  Louis XVI. stayed
sometimes {276} in his chamber and sometimes in his Great Cabinet, also
called the Council Hall, where the assembled ministers received
constant tidings of what was happening without.  The pious monarch had
summoned his confessor, Abbé Hébert, and shutting himself up with this
venerable priest, he besought from Heaven the resignation and courage
he needed to pass through the final crisis.  Madame Elisabeth showed
the faithful Madame Campan the carnelian pin which fastened her fichu.
These words, surrounding the stalk of a lily, were engraved on it:
"Forget offences, pardon injuries."--"I fear much," said the virtuous
Princess, "that this maxim has little influence over our enemies, but
it must be none the less dear to us."  Louis XVI. did not wear his
padded vest.  "I consented to do so on the 14th of July," said he,
"because on that day I was merely going to a ceremony where an
assassin's dagger might be apprehended.  But on a day when my party may
be forced to fight with the revolutionists, I should think it cowardly
to preserve my life by such means."

Marie Antoinette was grave and tranquil in her heroism.  There was
nothing affected about her, nothing theatrical, neither passion,
despair, nor the spirit of revenge.  According to the expressions of
Roederer, who never left her, "she was a woman, a mother, a wife in
peril; she feared, she hoped, she grieved, and she took heart again."
She was also a queen, and the daughter of Maria Theresa.  Her anxiety
and grief were restrained or concealed by {277} her respect for her
rank, her dignity, and her name.  When she reappeared amidst the
courtiers in the Council Hall, after having dissolved in tears in
Thierry's room, the redness of her cheeks and eyes had disappeared.
The courtiers said to each other: "What serenity! what courage!"

The struggle might still seem doubtful.  Something like two hundred
noblemen who had spontaneously repaired to the King, seven hundred and
fifty Swiss, and nine hundred mounted gendarmes posted at the
approaches of the Tuileries were the last resources of the
commander-in-chief of the French army.  The Swiss, who through some
one's extreme imprudence had not cartridges enough, were posted in the
apartments, the chapel, and at the entry of the Royal Court.  Baron de
Salis, as the oldest captain of the regiment, commanded at the
stairways.  A reserve of three hundred men, under Captain Durler, was
stationed in the Swiss Court, before the Pavilion of Marsan.  The
National Guards belonging to the sections _Petits-Pères_ and the
_Filles-Saint-Thomas_ showed themselves well disposed toward the King;
but it was different with the other companies.  As to the mounted
gendarmes, Louis XVI. could not count on them, and before the riot
ended they were to join the insurgents in spite of all the efforts made
by their royalist officers.  The artillerists of the National Guard,
charged with serving the cannons placed in the courts and before the
palace doors to defend the entry, were to act in the same manner.

{278}

Like the Swiss, the two hundred noblemen, martyrs to the old French
ideas of honor, had resolved to be loyal unto death.  With their silk
coats and drawing-room swords, they seemed as if they had come to a
fête instead of a combat.  The servants of the chateau joined them.
Some of them had pistols and blunderbusses.  Some, for lack of other
weapons, had taken the tongs from the chimneys.  They jested with each
other over their accoutrements.  No, no; there was nothing laughable in
these champions of misfortune.  They represented the past, with its
ancient fidelity to the altar and the throne.  A great poet who had the
spirit of divination, Heinrich Heine, wrote on November 12, 1840, as if
he foresaw February 24, 1848: "The middle classes will possibly make
less resistance than the aristocracy would do in a similar case.  Even
in its most pitiable weakness, its enervation by immorality and its
degeneration through flattery, the old nobility was still alive to a
certain point of honor unknown to our middle classes, who have become
prosperous by industry, but who will perish by it also.  Another 10th
of August is predicted for these middle classes; but I doubt whether
the industrial Knights of the throne of July will prove themselves as
heroic as the powdered marquises of the old régime who, in silk coats
and flimsy dress swords, opposed the people who invaded the Tuileries."
The greater part of these noblemen, volunteers for the last conflict,
were old men with white hair.  There were also children among them.
{279} M. Mortimer-Ternaux, author of the _Histoire de la Terreur_, has
remarked: "Was not this a time to exclaim with Racine:--

  "'See what avengers arm themselves for the quarrel?'


"Who could have told Louis XIV., when in the midst of the splendors of
his court he was present at the performance of _Athalie_, that the poet
was predicting, through the mouth of Joad, the fate reserved for his
great-grandson?"  The royalist National Guards who were in the
apartments considered the volunteer noblemen as companions in arms.
They shook hands with each other amid cries of "Long live the King!
Long live the National Guard!"  But the troops outside did not share
these sentiments.  Jealous of the royalists assembled in the palace,
they wanted to have them sent out.  A regimental commander having come
to make known this desire to Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette exclaimed:
"Nothing can separate us from these gentlemen; they are our most
faithful friends.  They will share the dangers of the National Guard.
They will obey us.  Put them at the cannon's mouth, and they will show
you how men die for their King."

Meantime what had become of Pétion, whose business it was, as mayor, to
defend the palace?  Summoned to the Tuileries, he arrived there at
eleven in the evening.  As Louis XVI. said to him: "It seems there is a
great deal of commotion?"--"Yes, sire," he replied, "the excitement is
great."  And he {280} enlarged upon the measures he claimed that he had
taken, and his pretended haste to wait upon the King.  In going out, he
came face to face with M. de Mandat, who, as general-in-chief of the
National Guard, was in command of all military forces.  "Why,"
exclaimed he, "have the police refused cartridges to the National Guard
when they have wasted them on the Marseillais?  My men have only four
charges apiece; some of them have not one.  No matter; I answer for
everything; my measures are taken, providing I am authorized, by an
order signed by you, to repel force by force."  Not daring to avow his
complicity with the riot, Pétion signed the order demanded.  Then he
made his escape under pretext of inspecting the gardens, and fell
amongst some royalist National Guards, who reprimanded him severely.
He began to fear being kept at the Tuileries as a hostage, to guarantee
the palace against the attempts of the populace, and went to the
Assembly.  It had adjourned at ten o'clock the evening before, but on
account of the crisis had met again at two in the morning.  The
Assembly knew the gravity of the danger as well as the King did; but
through a ridiculous and culpable point of honor, it affected not to
recognize it, and devoted to the reading of a colonial report the
moments it should have employed in saving that Constitution it had
sworn to maintain.  Pétion merely put in an appearance in the Hall of
the Manège.  But he took good care not to return to the Tuileries.  At
half-past three in the morning the {281} rolling of a carriage was
heard from the palace.  It was that of the mayor, going back empty.  He
had not dared to get into it, and had only sent his coachman an order
to return when he found himself in safety at the mayoralty, whither he
had made his way on foot.

Meanwhile, some hundred unknown individuals, who gathered at the
Hôtel-de-Ville, and surreptitiously made their way into one of the
halls, had formed an insurrectionary Commune.  On their own authority
they appointed commissaries of sections, and dismissed the staff of the
National Guard, who were very much in their way; but retained in office
Manuel as procurator and Pétion as mayor.  This new municipality, whose
very existence was unknown at the palace, had just learned that Mandat,
general-in-chief of the National Guard, had a document in his pocket by
which Pétion authorized him to oppose force to force.  It was necessary
to get rid of this document at any cost.  The municipality sent Mandat
an order to come to the Hôtel-de-Ville.  He knew nothing about the
revolution that had just taken place there.  And yet he hesitated to
obey.  A secret presentiment took possession of his soul.  Finally, at
the instance of Roederer, he decided, towards five in the morning, to
leave the Tuileries and go to that Hôtel-de-Ville, which was to be so
fatal to him.  When he came before the municipality he was surprised to
see new faces.

He was accused of having intended to disperse "the {282} innocent and
patriotic column of the people," and sentenced to be taken to the Abbey
prison.  It was a sentence of death.  Mandat was massacred on the steps
of the Hôtel-de-Ville.  A pistol-shot brought him down.  Pikes and
sabres finished him.  His body was thrown into the Seine.  Such was the
first exploit of the new Commune.  It preluded thus the massacres of
September.  "Mandat's death," says Count de Vaublanc in his Memoirs,
"was, beyond any doubt, the chief cause of the calamities of the day.
If he had attacked the rebels as soon as they came near the palace, he
could have dispersed them with ease.  They took a long time to form and
set off; and, being undecided and uneasy, they often halted.  No troop
marching from a given point in this immense city knew whether it was
seconded by the rebels from other quarters, and lost much time in
making sure."  The second exploit of the Commune was to confine Pétion
at the mayoralty under the guard of six men.  A voluntary captive, this
accomplice of the insurrection rejoiced at a measure which sheltered
him from every danger.  As M. Mortimer-Ternaux has observed: "On this
fatal night, when the passion of the royalty was fulfilled, Pétion
doubled the parts of Judas and Pontius Pilate.  Like Judas, he went at
nightfall to give the kiss of peace to Louis XVI. by assuring him of
his loyalty; like the Roman governor, he proclaimed at daybreak the
impotence with which he had stricken himself, and washed his hands of
all that was to happen."

{283}

When the first fires of this fatal day were kindling in the sky, Marie
Antoinette experienced a profound emotion.  Looking with melancholy at
the horizon which began to lighten: "Sister," said she to Madame
Elisabeth, "come and see the sun rise."  It was the sun that was to
illumine the death-struggle of royalty.  Sinister omen! the sun was red
as blood.



{284}

XXVIII.

THE MORNING OF AUGUST TENTH.

The fatal day began.  It was five o'clock in the morning.  The Queen
made her children rise, lest the swords of the insurgents should
surprise them in their beds.  The Dauphin, unaccustomed to being called
so early, stared with surprise at the spectacle presented by the court
and garden.  "Mamma," said he, "why should any one harm papa?  He is so
good!"  Then, turning to a little girl who was his usual companion in
his games, he addressed her these words, which prove how well, in spite
of his age, he knew the peril he was in: "Here, Josephine, take this
lock of my hair, and promise to wear it as long as I am in danger."

Led by their chief, Marshal de Mailly, an old man of eighty-six, the
two hundred noblemen, who had assembled in the Gallery of Diana, passed
in review before the royal family with those of the National Guards who
were royalists.  "Sire," exclaimed the old marshal, bending his knee,
"here are your faithful nobles who have hastened to re-establish Your
Majesty on the throne of your ancestors."--"For this once," responded
Louis XVI., "I consent that {285} my friends should defend me; we will
perish or save ourselves together."  The last defenders of the throne
shed tears of fidelity and tenderness.  They kneeled before Marie
Antoinette, and entreated the honor of kissing her hand.  Never had the
Queen appeared more gracious and majestic.  The National Guards,
enchanted, loaded their arms with transport.  The Queen seized the
Dauphin in her arms and held him above their heads like a living
standard.  The young men shouted: "Long live the Kings of our fathers!"
And the old men cried: "Long live the King of our children!"

At the gates of the Tuileries the tide was rising.  Vanguards of the
insurrection, the Marseillais arrived unhindered.  The municipality had
succeeded in removing the cannons which were to have prevented approach
by way of the Pont-Neuf and the Pont-Royal.  Mandat was no longer there
to issue orders.  Nothing impeded the march of the faubourgs.

And yet resistance might still have been possible.  It is Barbaroux,
the fierce revolutionist himself, who says so.  "All the faults
committed by the insurrection, the wretched arrangement of the
attacking party, the terror of some and the ignorance of others, the
forces at the palace, all made the victory of the court certain, if the
King had not left his post.  If he had shown himself on horseback, a
large majority of the people of Paris would have pronounced for him."
Napoleon, who was an eye-witness, had said the night before to Pozzo di
Borgo, that with two {286} battalions of Swiss and some cavalry he
would undertake to give the rioters a lesson they would remember.  In
the evening of August 10, he wrote to his brother Joseph: "According to
what I saw of the temper of the crowd in the morning, if Louis XVI. had
mounted a horse, he would have gained the victory."  Very few of the
insurgents were seriously determined on a revolt.  Most of them marched
blindly, not knowing, and not even asking, whither they went.

Westermann had been obliged to threaten Santerre, and even to put his
sword against his breast, in order to induce him to march.  A great
number of the people of the faubourgs, uneasy as to the result of the
enterprise, said that, considering the preparations made by the palace,
it would be better to defer the matter to another day.  The unarmed
crowd followed through mere curiosity, and were ready to take flight at
the first discharge of musketry.  According to Count de Vaublanc, the
Swiss, if they had been commanded by a good officer from four o'clock
in the morning, would have sufficed to disperse the multitude as they
came up, and possibly might have won the day for the King without
bloodshed.  "Thus, the best of princes rendered useless the courage of
his defenders, and to spare the blood of his enemies accomplished the
ruin of his friends.  All his virtues turned against him and brought
him to his ruin."  M. de Vaublanc says again in his Memoirs: "At six in
the morning those who were in revolt had not yet assembled.  How much
time had been lost, how {287} much was still to be lost!  It was too
evident that no military judgment had presided over that strange
disposition of troops, so placed within and without the palace as to be
unable to give each other mutual support; a military man knows too well
the value of the briefest moments, he knows too well how quickly
victory can be decided by attacking the flank of a multitude with a
small number of brave men.  If the King had appointed one of the
generals near him absolute master of operations, no doubt this general
would have given the rebels no time to unite....  Alas!  Louis XVI. had
three times more courage than was necessary to conquer, but he knew not
how to avail himself of it."  Such also was the opinion of M. Thiers,
who, in his _Histoire de la Révolution française_, says: "It must be
repeated, the unfortunate Prince feared nothing for himself.  He had,
in fact, refused to wear a wadded vest, as he had done on July 14,
saying that on a day of combat he ought to be as much exposed as the
least of his servants.  Courage did not fail him then, and afterwards
he displayed a bravery that was noble and elevated enough; but he
lacked boldness to take the offensive....  It is certain, as has been
frequently said, that if he had mounted a horse and charged at the head
of his troops, the insurrection would have been put down."

Toward six o'clock the King went out on the balcony.  He was saluted
with acclamations.  Then he went down the great staircase with the
Queen to {288} inspect the troops stationed in the courtyards.  As one
of his gentlemen-of-the-chamber, Emmanuel Aubier, has remarked: "He had
never made war himself during his reign; there had never been a war on
the continent; he was so unfortunate as to be wanting in grace, even
awkward, and to look thoughtful rather than energetic,--a thing
displeasing to French soldiers."  Instead of putting on a uniform and
mounting a horse, he wore a purple coat, of the shade used as mourning
for kings, on this fatal day when he was to wear mourning for the
monarchy.  Unspurred, unbooted, shod as if for a drawing-room, with
white silk stockings, his hat under his arm, his hair out of curl and
badly powdered, there was nothing martial, nothing royal about him.  At
this hour, when what was needed was the attitude and the fire of a
Henry IV., he looked like an honest country gentleman talking with his
farmers.  The first condition of inspiring confidence is to possess it.
Louis XVI.'s aspect was much more that of a victim than a sovereign.
The cries of "Long live the King!" which would have been enthusiastic
for a prince ready to battle for his rights and reconquer his realm at
the sword's point, were few and sad.  After having inspected the troops
in the courts, Louis XVI. decided to inspect those in the garden also.
The Queen returned to the palace, and he continued his rounds.

The loyal National Guards, comprising the companies of the
_Petits-Pères_ and the _Filles-Saint-Thomas_, were drawn up on the
terrace between the palace and {289} the garden.  They received the
King sympathetically and advised him to continue his inspection as far
as the Place Louis XV.  At this moment a battalion of the National
Guards from the Saint-Marceau section defiled before him, uttering
shouts of hatred and fury.  Louis XVI. was undisturbed by this.  He
remained calm, and when this battalion had got into position, he
tranquilly reviewed it.  Then he walked on again and crossed the entire
garden.  The battalion of the _Croix-Rouge_, which was on the terrace
beside the water, cried from a distance: "Down with the veto!  Down
with the traitor!"  On the terrace of the Feuillants, at the other
side, there was an equally violent crowd.  The King, calm as ever, went
on to the swing-bridge by which the Tuileries was entered from Place
Louis XV.  He was well enough received by the troops stationed there.
But his return to the palace could not but be difficult.  The National
Guards of the _Croix-Rouge_ had broken rank and come down from the
terrace beside the river to the garden, and pressed around the King
with menacing shouts.  The unfortunate monarch could only re-enter the
palace where he had but a few moments more to stay, by calling to his
aid a double row of faithful grenadiers.  The ministers who were at the
windows became alarmed.  One of them, M. de Bouchage, cried: "Great
God! it is the King they are hooting!  What the devil are they doing
down there?  Quick; we must go after him!"  And he hastened to descend
into the garden with his colleague, {290} Bigot de Sainte-Croix, to
meet his master.  The Queen, who beheld the sight, shed tears.  The two
ministers brought back Louis XVI.  He came in out of breath, and
fatigued by the heat and the exercise he had taken, but otherwise
seeming very little moved.  "All is lost," said the Queen.  "This
review has done more harm than good."

From this moment bad tidings succeeded each other without interruption.
They were apprised of the formation of the new Commune, Mandat's
murder, the march of the faubourgs, and the arrival of the first
detachments of rioters.  The Marseillais debouched into the Carrousel,
and sent an envoy to demand that the gate of the Royal Court should be
opened.  As it remained closed, they knocked on it with repeated blows,
while the National Guards said: "We will not fire on our brothers."

Would resistance have been possible even at this moment; that is to
say, between seven and eight in the morning?  M. de Vaublanc thought
so.  "I do not know," he writes, "to what section the first band that
arrived on the Carrousel belonged; it was in disorder and badly armed.
If the King had marched towards this troop at the head of a battalion
of the National Guard, if he had pronounced these words: 'I am your
King; I order you to lay down your arms,' the success would have been
decided.  The flight of a single battalion of rebels would have
sufficed to frighten and disperse the others, even before they were
formed into line."

{291}

It was at this time that Roederer, instead of counselling resistance,
implored Louis XVI. to seek shelter in the Assembly for the royal
family.  "Sire," he said in an urgent tone, "Your Majesty has not five
minutes to lose; there is no safety for you except in the National
Assembly.  In the opinion of the department, it is necessary to go
there without delay.  There are not men enough in the courtyards to
defend the palace; nor are they perfectly well-disposed.  On the mere
recommendation to be on the defensive, the cannoneers have already
unloaded their cannons."--"But," said the King, "I did not see many
persons on the Carrousel."--"Sire," returned Roederer, "there are a
dozen pieces of artillery, and an immense crowd is arriving from the
faubourgs."  The idea of a flight before the insurrection revolted the
Queen's pride.  "What are you saying, Sir?" cried she; "you are
proposing that we should seek shelter with our most cruel persecutors!
Never! never!  I will be nailed to these walls before I consent to
leave them.  Sir, we have troops."--"Madame, all Paris is on the march.
Resistance is impossible.  Will you cause the massacre of the King,
your children, and your servants?"

Louis XVI. still hesitating, Roederer vehemently insisted.  "Sire,"
said he, "time presses; this is no longer an entreaty nor even a
counsel we take the liberty of offering you; there is only one thing
left for us to do now, and we ask your permission to take you away."
The King looked fixedly at his {292} interlocutor for several seconds;
then, turning to the Queen, he said: "Let us go," and rose to his feet.
Madame Elisabeth said: "Monsieur Roederer, do you answer for the King's
life?"--"Yes, Madame, with my own," responded the communal attorney.
Then, turning to the King: "Sire," said he, "I ask Your Majesty not to
take any of your court with you, but to have no cortège but the
department and no escort except the National Guard."--"Yes," replied
the King, "there is nothing but that to say."  The Minister of Justice
exclaimed: "The ministers will follow the King."--"Yes, they have a
place in the Assembly."--"And Madame de Tourzel, my children's
governess?" said the Queen.--"Yes, Madame; she will accompany you."

Roederer then left the King's chamber, where this conversation had
taken place, and said in a loud voice to the persons crowding together
in the Council Hall: "The King and his family are going to the Assembly
without other attendants than the department, the ministers, and a
guard."  Then he asked: "Is the officer who commands the guard here?"
This officer presenting himself, he said to him: "You must bring
forward a double file of National Guards to accompany the King.  The
King desires it."  The officer replied: "It shall be done."  Louis XVI.
came out of his chamber with his family.  He waited several minutes in
the hall until the guard should arrive, and, going around the circle
composed of some forty or fifty persons belonging to his court: "Come,
{293} gentlemen," said he, "there is nothing more to do here."  The
Queen, turning to Madame Campan, said: "Wait in my apartment; I will
rejoin you or else send word to go I don't know where."  Marie
Antoinette took no one with her except the Princess de Lamballe and
Madame de Tourzel.  The Princess de Tarente and Madame de la
Roche-Aymon, afflicted at the thought of being left at the Tuileries,
went down with all the other ladies to the Queen's apartments on the
ground-floor.

La Chesnaye, who had succeeded to the command of the National Guard in
consequence of Mandat's death, put himself at the head of the escort.
This was formed of detachments from the most loyal battalions, the
_Petits-Pères_, the _Suite des Moulins_, and the _Filles-Saint-Thomas_,
re-enforced by about two hundred Swiss, commanded by the colonel of the
regiment, Marquis de Maillardoz, and the major, Baron de Bachmann.  The
cortège reached the great staircase by way of the Council Hall, the
Royal Bedchamber, the OEil-de-Boeuf, the Hall of the Guards, and the
Hall of the Hundred Swiss.  As he was passing through the
OEil-de-Boeuf, Louis XVI. took the hat of the National Guard on his
right, and replaced it by his own, which was adorned with white
feathers.  The guard, surprised, removed the King's hat from his head
and carried it under his arm.

When Louis XVI. arrived at the foot of the stairs in the Pavilion of
the Horloge, his thoughts recurred {294} to the faithful adherents who
had so uselessly devoted themselves to his defence, and whom he was
leaving at the Tuileries without watchword or direction.  "What is
going to become of all those who have stayed up stairs?" said
he.--"Sire," replied Roederer, "it seemed to me that they were all in
colored coats.  Those who have swords need only lay them off, follow
you, and go out through the garden."--"That is true," returned Louis
XVI.  In the vestibule, a little further on, as he was about to quit
the fatal palace which fate had condemned him never to re-enter, he had
a last moment of scruple and hesitation.  He said again: "But after
all, there are not many people on the Carrousel."

"True, Sire," replied Roederer; "but the faubourgs will soon arrive,
and all the sections are armed, and have assembled at the municipality;
besides, there are neither men enough here, nor are they determined
enough to resist the actual gathering on the Carrousel, which has
twelve pieces of artillery."

The die is cast; Louis XVI. abandons the Tuileries.  Respect alone
restrains the grief and indignation that move the Swiss soldiers and
the noblemen whose weapons and whose blood have been refused.  They
looked down from the windows at the cortège, or better, the funeral
procession of royalty.  It was about seven o'clock in the morning.  The
escort was drawn up in two lines.  The members of the department formed
a circle around the royal family.  Roederer walked first.  Then came
the King, with {295} Bigot de Sainte-Croix, Minister of Foreign
Affairs, at his side; the Queen followed, giving her left arm to M. du
Bouchage, Minister of Marine, and her right hand to the Dauphin, who
held Madame de Tourzel with the other; then Madame Royale and Madame
Elisabeth, with De Joly, Minister of Justice; the Minister of War,
D'Abancourt, leading the Princess de Lamballe.  The Ministers of the
Interior and of Taxes, Champion de Villeneuve and Le Roux de la Ville,
closed the procession.  The air was pure and the morning radiant.  The
sun lighted up the garden, the marble sculpture, and the sheets of
water.  Birds sang under the trees, and nature smiled on this day of
mourning as if it were a festival.

Looking at the populace, Madame Elisabeth said: "All those people have
gone astray; I should like them to be converted; I should not like them
to be punished."  Tears stood in the eyes of the little Madame Royale.
The Princess de Lamballe said mournfully: "We shall never return to the
Tuileries!"  The Prince de Poix, the Duke de Choiseul, Counts
d'Haussonville, de Vioménil, de Hervilly, and de Pont-l'Abbé, the
Marquis de Briges, Chevalier de Fleurieu, Viscount de Saint-Priest, the
Marquis de Nantouillet, MM. de Fresnes and de Salaignac, the King's
equerries, and Saint-Pardoux, the equerry of Madame Elisabeth, followed
the sad procession.  They passed through the grand alley unobstructed
as far as the parterres, then turned to the right, {296} toward the
alley of the chestnut trees.  There a halt of some minutes occurred, in
order to give time for warning the Assembly.  Louis XVI. looked down at
a heap of dead leaves which had been swept up by the gardeners after a
storm the night before.  "There are a good many leaves," said the King;
"they are falling early this year."  It was only a few days before that
Manuel had written in a journal that the King would not last until the
falling of the leaves.  Perhaps Louis XVI. remembered the prophecy of
the revolutionist; the Dauphin, with the carelessness belonging to his
age, amused himself by kicking about the dead leaves, the leaves that
had fallen as his father's crown was falling at this moment.

Before the royal family could enter the Assembly chamber, it was
necessary that the step the King had taken should be announced to the
deputies.  The president of the department undertook this commission.
A deputation of twenty-four members was at once sent to meet Louis XVI.
They found him in the large alley at the foot of the terrace of the
Feuillants, a few steps from the staircase leading up to it, and which
goes as far as the lobby through which one enters the hall occupied by
the National Assembly.  "Sire," said the leader of the deputation, "the
Assembly, eager to contribute to your safety, offers to you and your
family an asylum in its midst."

During this time, the terrace and the staircase had become thronged by
a furious crowd.  A man {297} carrying a long pole cried out in rage:
"No, no; they shall not enter the Assembly.  They are the cause of all
our troubles.  This must be ended.  Down with them!"  Roederer,
standing on the fourth step of the staircase, cried: "Citizens, I
demand silence in the name of the law.  You seem disposed to prevent
the King and his family from entering the National Assembly; you are
not justified in opposing it.  The King has a place there in virtue of
the Constitution; and though his family has none legally, they have
just been authorized by a decree to go there.  Here are the deputies
sent to meet the King; they will attest the existence of this decree."
The deputies confirmed his words.  Nevertheless, the crowd still
hesitated to leave the way clear.  The man with the pole kept on
brandishing it, and crying: "Down with them!  down with them!"
Roederer, going on to the terrace, snatched the pole and flung it into
the garden.  The crowd was so compact that in the midst of the squabble
some one stole the Queen's watch and her purse.  A man with a sinister
face approached the Dauphin, took him from Marie Antoinette, and lifted
him in his arms.  The Queen uttered a cry.  "Do not be frightened,"
said the man; "I will do him no harm."  Another person said to Louis
XVI.: "Sire, we are honest men; but we are not willing to be betrayed
any longer.  Be a good citizen, and don't forget to drive away your
shavelings and your wife."  Insults and threats resounded from all
sides.  Finally, after an actual struggle, the royal family succeeded
{298} in opening a passage.  They made their way with difficulty
through the narrow lobby, choked with people, penetrated the crowd, and
entered the session chamber.  It was there that royalty, humiliated and
overcome, was to lie at the point of death under the eyes of its
implacable enemies.



{299}

XXIX.

THE BOX OF THE LOGOGRAPH.

The royal family has just entered the session chamber.  It will find
there not an asylum, but the vestibule of the prison and the scaffold.
The man who had taken the Dauphin from the Queen's arms at the door of
the Assembly set him down on the secretary's desk with an air of
triumph, and the young Prince was greeted with applause.  Marie
Antoinette advanced with dignity.  According to Vaublanc's expression,
she would not have had a different bearing or a more august serenity on
a day of royal pomp.  Louis XVI. took a place near the president.  The
Queen, her daughter, Madame Elisabeth, and Madame de Tourzel sat down
on the ministerial benches.  As soon as the Dauphin was left to
himself, he sprang towards his mother.  A voice cried: "Take him to the
King!  The Austrian woman is unworthy of the people's confidence."  An
usher attempted to obey this injunction.  However, the child began to
cry, people were affected, and he was allowed to remain with the Queen.
At this moment some armed noblemen made their appearance at the
extremity of the hall.  "You {300} compromise the King's safety!"
exclaimed some one, and the nobles retired.

Order was restored.  Louis XVI. began to speak.  "I came here," said
he, "to prevent a great crime, and I think that I could be nowhere more
secure than amidst the representatives of the nation."  Alas! the crime
will not be prevented, but only adjourned.  Vergniaud occupied the
president's chair.  "Sire," he replied, "you may count on the firmness
of the National Assembly.  It knows its duties; its members have sworn
to die in defending the rights of the people and the constituted
authorities."

So they still called Louis XVI. Sire; presently they will call him
nothing but Louis Capet.  They allow him to take an armchair near the
president; but in a few minutes they will find this place too good for
him.  And it is the voice of this very Vergniaud who, a few hours from
now, will pronounce his deposition, and five months later his sentence
of death.

Hardly had the unhappy King sat down when Chabot, the unfrocked
Capuchin, claimed that a clause of the Constitution forbade the
Assembly to deliberate in presence of the sovereign.  Under this
pretext his place was changed, and Louis XVI. with all his family was
shut up in the reporters' gallery, sometimes called the box of the
Logograph.  This miserable hole, about six feet high by twelve wide,
was on a level with the last ranks of the Assembly, behind the
president's chair and the seats of the {301} secretaries.  It was
ordinarily set apart for the editors, or rather for the stenographers
of a great newspaper which reported the proceedings, and which was
called the _Journal logographique_, or the _Logotachygraphe_, usually
abbreviated into the _Logographe_.  Louis XVI. seated himself in the
front of the box, Marie Antoinette half-concealed herself in a corner,
where she sought a little shelter against so many humiliations.  Her
children and their governess took places on a bench with Madame
Elisabeth and the Princess de Lamballe.  Several noblemen, the latest
courtiers of misfortune, stood up behind them.

Roederer, who was at the bar, then made a report in the name of the
municipal department, in which he explained all that had taken place.
He declared that he had said to the soldiers and National Guard
detailed for the defence of the Tuileries: "We do not ask you to shed
the blood of your brethren nor to attack your fellow-citizens; your
cannons are there for your defence, not for an attack; but I require
this defence in the name of the law, in the name of the Constitution.
The law authorizes you, when violence is used against you, to repress
it vigorously....  Once more, you are not to be assailants, but to act
on the defensive only."

Roederer added that the cannoneers, instead of complying with his
urgent exhortations, gave no response save that of unloading their
pieces before him.  After having explained how greatly the {302}
defence was disorganized, he thus ended his report: "We felt ourselves
no longer in a position to protect the charge confided to us; this
charge was the King; the King is a man; this man is a father.  The
children ask us to assure the existence of the father; the law asks us
to assure the existence of the King of France; humanity asks of us the
existence of the man.  No longer able to defend this charge, no other
idea presented itself than that of entreating the King to come with his
family to the National Assembly....  We have nothing to add to what I
have just said, except that, our force being paralyzed, and no longer
in existence, we can have none but that which it shall please the
National Assembly to communicate.  We are ready to die in the execution
of the orders it may give us.  We ask, while awaiting them, to remain
near it, being useless everywhere else."  The Assembly, not then
suspecting that it would so soon depose Louis XVI., applauded without
contradiction from the galleries.  The president said to Roederer: "The
Assembly has listened to your account with the greatest interest; it
invites you to be present at the session."

The advice given by Roederer to the King has been greatly blamed.  The
event has seriously influenced the judgment since passed upon it.  If
Louis XVI. had received the support he had a right to count on from the
representatives, things would have appeared in quite another light.
Count de Vaublanc, in his Memoirs, has rendered full justice {303} to
the loyal intentions of the municipal attorney.  "The advice he gave
has been accounted a crime," says M. de Vaublanc; "I think it is an
unjust reproach.  Until then he had done all that lay in his power to
contribute to the defence of the palace.  He must have seen clearly
that as the King would not defend himself, he could no longer be
defended.  If the rebels had been attacked, neither M. Roederer nor any
one else would have proposed going to the Assembly; but since they were
on the defensive, and without any recognized leader, the magistrate
might doubtless have been struck with a single thought: The King and
his family are about to be massacred.  The King put an end to all
irresolution in saying these words: 'There is nothing more to do here.'"

At first, Louis XVI. seemed not to repent of the step he had been
obliged to take.  Even in that wretched hole, the Logograph box, his
face at first was calm and even confident.  As the shouting had
increased outside, Vergniaud ordered the removal of the iron grating
separating this box from the hall, so that in case the populace made an
irruption into the lobbies, the King could take refuge in the midst of
the deputies.  In default of workmen and tools, the deputies nearest at
hand, the Duke de Choiseul, Prince de Poix, and the ministers,
undertook to tear away the grating, and Louis XVI. himself, accustomed
to the rough work of a locksmith, joined his efforts to theirs.  The
fastenings having been broken in this manner, the unfortunate sovereign
seemed not {304} to doubt the sentiments of the National Assembly.  He
pointed out the most remarkable deputies to the Dauphin, chatted with
several among them, and looked on at the session like a mere spectator
in a box at the theatre.

The royal family had been nearly two hours at the Assembly when all of
a sudden a frightful discharge of musketry and artillery was heard.
The deputies of the left grew pale with fear and anger, thinking
themselves betrayed.  Casting glances of uneasiness and wrath at the
feeble monarch, they accused him of having ordered a massacre, and said
that all was lost.  An officer of the National Guard rushed in, crying:
"We are pursued, we are overpowered!"  The galleries, affrighted,
imagined that the Swiss would arrive at any moment.  Excitement was at
its height.  Sinister, imposing, dreadful moment!  Solemn hour, when
the monarchy, amidst a frightful tempest, was like a venerable oak
which lightning has just stricken; when terror, wrath, and pity
disputed the possession of men's souls, and when the King, already
captive, was present like Charles V. at his own funeral.  Marie
Antoinette had started.  At the sound of the cannon her cheeks kindled
and her eyes blazed.  A vague hope animated her.  Perhaps, she said
within herself, the monarchy is at last to be avenged; perhaps the
Swiss are about to give the insurrection a lesson it will remember;
perhaps Louis XVI. will re-enter in triumph the palace of his
forefathers.  The daughter of Cæsars prayed God in silence, and
supplicated {305} Him to grant victory to the defenders of the throne.

Chimeras! vain hopes!  Louis XVI. has no longer but one idea: to cast
off all responsibility for events.  He mustered up, so to say, the
little authority he had yet remaining, to write hastily, in pencil, the
last order he was to sign: the order to stop firing.  He flattered
himself that the prohibition to shoot would justify him completely in
the sight of the National Assembly, and induce them to treat him with
more consideration.  But he asked himself anxiously who would be bold
enough to carry his order as far as the palace.  Would not so perilous
a mission intimidate even the most heroic?  M. d'Hervilly, who was at
this moment in the box of the Logograph, offered himself.  As the King
and Queen at first refused his offer, and pointed out all the dangers
of such an errand: "I beg Their Majesties," cried he, "not to think of
my danger; my duty is to brave everything in their service; my place is
in the midst of the firing, and if I were afraid of it I should be
unworthy of my uniform."  These words determined Louis XVI. to give M.
d'Hervilly the order signed by his own hand; the valiant nobleman,
bearing this order which was to have such disastrous consequences for
the defenders of the palace, went hastily out of the Assembly hall and
made his way to the Tuileries through a rain of balls and canister.



{306}

XXX.

THE COMBAT.

What had taken place at the Tuileries after the departure of the royal
family for the Assembly?  At the very moment when they abandoned this
palace which they were never to see again, the Marseillais, the
vanguard of the insurrection, were pounding at the gate of the
principal courtyard, furious because it was not opened.  A few minutes
later, the column of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, after passing through
the rue Saint-Honoré, debouched on the Carrousel.  It was under command
of the Pole, Lazouski, and Westermann, who directed it toward the gate
of the Royal Court.  As the Marseillais had not yet succeeded in
forcing this, Westermann had it broken open.  The cannoneers, whose
business it was to defend the palace, at once declared on the side of
the riot and turned their pieces against the Tuileries.  With the
exception of the domestics there were now in the palace only the seven
hundred and fifty Swiss, about a hundred National Guards, and a few
nobles.  The sole instructions the Swiss received came from old Marshal
de Mailly: "Do not let yourselves be taken."  Louis XVI. had said
absolutely nothing on going {307} away, and his departure discouraged
his most faithful adherents.  Add to this that the Swiss had not enough
cartridges.  What was to be the fate of this fine regiment, this _corps
d'élite_, which everywhere and always had set the example of discipline
and military honor; which ever since the Revolution began had haughtily
repulsed every attempt to tamper with it; and whose red uniforms alone
struck terror into the populace?  These brave soldiers guarded
respectfully the traditions of their ancestors who, at the famous
retreat of Meaux, had saved Charles IX.  "But for my good friends the
Swiss," said that prince, "my life and liberty would have been in a bad
way."  What the Swiss of the sixteenth century had done for one King of
France, the Swiss of the eighteenth century would have done for his
successor.  They would have saved Louis XVI. if he would have let
himself be saved.

A major-general who had remained at the Tuileries, judging that it was
impossible to defend the courts with so few soldiers, cried:
"Gentlemen, retire to the palace!"  "They had to leave six cannon in
the power of the enemy and to abandon the courts.  It should have been
foreseen that it would be necessary to retake these under penalty of
being burned in the palace; the common soldiers said so loudly.
Meanwhile they obeyed, and were disposed as well as time and the
localities permitted.  The stairs and windows were lined with
soldiers."  (Account of Colonel Pfyffer d'Altishoffen, published at
Lucerne in 1819.)

{308}

One post occupied the chapel, and another the vestibule and grand
staircase.  There were Swiss also at the windows looking into the
courts.  "Down with the Swiss!" cried the Marseillais.  "Down! down!
Surrender!"  However, the struggle had not yet begun.  Nearly fifteen
minutes elapsed between the invasion of the Royal Court and the first
shot.  The Marseillais brandished their pikes and guns, but they were
not confident, for at first they dared not cross the court more than
half-way.  The Swiss and National Guards who were at the windows made
gestures to induce the populace to quiet down and go away.  The throng
of insurgents grew greater every minute.  They had just got their
cannon into battery against the Tuileries.  What the Swiss specially
intended was to defend the grand staircase, so as to prevent the
apartments on the first floor from being invaded.  This staircase,
afterwards destroyed, was in the middle of the vestibule of the Horloge
Pavilion.  The chapel, whose site was afterwards changed, was on the
level of the first landing; and from this landing, two symmetrical
flights, at right angles with the first, led to the Hall of the Hundred
Swiss (the future Hall of the Marshals).  Westermann, bolder than the
other insurgents, had advanced as far as the vestibule with several
Marseillais.  He began to parley with the soldiers, trying to set them
against their officers and induce them to lay down their arms.
Sergeant Blazer answered Westermann: "We are Swiss, and the Swiss only
lay down their weapons with their lives."

{309}

The officers caused a barricade of pieces of wood to be raised on the
first landing at the head of the stairs, to prevent new deputations
from coming to demoralize their men.  The Marseillais attempted to take
it by main force.  Some of them were armed with halberds terminating in
hooks.  These they thrust below the barricade, trying to catch the men
defending it.  They seized an adjutant in this way and disarmed him.
At the foot of the stairs "they seized the first Swiss sentry and
afterwards five others.  They laid hold of them with hooked pikes which
they thrust into their coats and drew them forwards, disarming them at
once of their sabres, guns, and cartridge-boxes, amidst shouts of
laughter.  Encouraged by the success of this forlorn hope, the whole
crowd pressed towards the foot of the stairs and there massacred the
five Swiss already taken and disarmed."  (M. Peltier's Relation.)  Then
a pistol-shot was heard.  From which side did it come?  Was it the
Marseillais who provoked the combat?  Was it the Swiss who sought to
avenge their comrades, the sentries?  Whoever it was, this pistol-shot
was the signal for the fight, which began about half-past ten in the
morning.

At first the Swiss had the advantage.  Every shot they fired from the
windows told.  Among the people crowding the courtyards were many who
had not come to fight, but through mere curiosity.  Pale with fright,
they fled toward the Carrousel through the gate of the Royal Court,
which was strewn in an {310} instant with guns, pikes, and
cartridge-boxes.  Some of the insurgents fell flat on their faces and
counterfeited death, rising occasionally and gliding along the walls to
gain the sentry-boxes of the mounted sentinels as best they could.
Even the majority of the cannoneers deserted their pieces and ran like
the rest.  The courts were cleared in an instant.  Two Swiss officers,
MM. de Durler and de Pfyffer, instantly made a sortie at the head of
one hundred and twenty soldiers, took four cannon, and found themselves
once more masters of the door of the Royal Court.  A detachment of
sixty soldiers formed themselves into a hollow square before this door
and kept up a rolling fire on the rioters remaining on the Carrousel
until the place was completely swept.  At the same time, on the side of
the garden, another detachment of Swiss, under Count de Salis, seized
three cannon and brought them to the palace gate.  Napoleon, who
witnessed the combat from a distance, says: "The Swiss handled their
artillery with vigor; in ten minutes the Marseillais were chased as far
as the rue de l'Echelle, and never came back until the Swiss were
withdrawn by the King's order."

It was now, in fact, that M. d'Hervilly arrived, hatless and unarmed,
through the fusillade of grape.  They wanted to show him the
dispositions they had just made on the garden side.  "There is no
question of that," said he; "you must go to the Assembly; it is the
King's order."  The unfortunate soldiers flattered themselves that they
might still {311} be of use.  "Yes, brave Swiss," cried Baron de
Viomesnil, "go and find the King.  Your ancestors did so more than
once."  In spite of their chagrin at abandoning the field of which they
they had just become masters, they obeyed.  Their only thought was to
repair to that Assembly where a last humiliation awaited them.  The
officers had the drums beat the call to arms, and, in spite of the rain
of balls from every side, they succeeded in marshalling the soldiers as
if for a dress parade in front of the palace, opposite the garden.  The
signal for departure was given.  An unforeseen peril was reserved for
these heroes.  The battalions of the National Guard, stationed at the
door of the Pont Royal, at that of the Manège court, and the beginning
of the terrace of the Feuillants, had stood still, with their weapons
grounded, since the affray began.  But hardly had the Swiss entered the
grand alley than these battalions, neutral until now, detailed a number
of individuals who hid behind the trees, and fired, with their muzzles
almost touching the troops.  On reaching the middle of the alley, the
Swiss, who hardly deigned to return this fire, divided into two
columns.  The first, turning to the right under the trees, went towards
the staircase leading to the Assembly from the terrace of the
Feuillants.  The second, which followed at a short distance and acted
as a rearguard, went on as far as the Place Louis XV., where it found
the mounted gendarmes.  If this body of cavalry had done its duty, it
would have united with the {312} Swiss.  But, far from that, it
declared for the insurrection, and sabred them.  It is said that the
officers and soldiers killed in this retreat across the garden were
interred at the foot of the famous chestnut whose exceptional
forwardness has earned the surname of the tree of March 20.  Thus the
Bonapartist tree of popular tradition owes its astonishing strength of
vegetation solely to the human compost furnished by the corpses of the
last defenders of royalty.

The first column, that which was on its way to the Assembly, presented
itself resolutely in front of the terrace of the Feuillants, which was
full of people.  These took flight, and the Swiss entered the corridors
of the Assembly.  Carried away by his zeal, one of their officers,
Baron de Salis, entered the hall with his naked sword in his hand.  The
left uttered a cry of affright.  A deputy went out to order the
commander, Baron de Durler, to make his troop lay down their arms.  M.
de Durler, having refused, he was conducted to the King.  "Sire," said
he, with sorrowful indignation, "they want me to lay down arms."  Louis
XVI. responded: "Put them in the hands of the National Guard; I am not
willing that brave men like you should perish."  To surrender arms!
Did Louis XVI. fully comprehend that for soldiers like these such an
outrage was a hundred times worse than death?  The King's words were
like a thunderbolt to them.  They wept with rage.  "But," said they,
"even if we have no more cartridges, we can still defend ourselves with
our {313} bayonets!"  Such devotion, such courage, such discipline,
such heroism to end like this!  And yet the unfortunate Swiss, though
grieved to the heart, resigned themselves to the last sacrifice their
master required from their fidelity, laid down their arms, and were
imprisoned in the ancient church of the Feuillants, to the number of
about two hundred and fifty.  It was all that remained of this
magnificent regiment.  The others had been killed in the garden or had
their throats cut in the palace, and the greater part of the survivors
were to be assassinated in the massacres of September.

"Thus ended the French King's regiment of Swiss Guards, like one of
those sturdy oaks whose prolonged existence has affronted so many
storms, and which nothing but an earthquake can uproot.  It fell the
very day on which the ancient French monarchy also fell.  It counted
more than a century and a half of faithful services rendered to France.
To destroy this worthy corps a combination of unfortunate events had
been required; it had been necessary to deprive the Swiss of their
artillery, their ammunition, their staff, and the presence of the King;
to enfeeble them five days before the combat by sending away a
detachment of three hundred men; to forbid the two hundred men who
accompanied the King to the Assembly to fire a shot; to render useless
the wise dispositions of MM. de Maillardoz and de Bachmann by an
ill-advised order at the moment of the attack; and to have M.
d'Hervilly come at {314} the moment of victory to divide and enfeeble
the defence."  (Relation of Colonel Pfyffer d'Altishoffen.)

The Swiss republic has honored the memory of these sons who died for a
king.  At the entrance of Lucerne, in the side of a rock, a grotto has
been hollowed out, in which may be seen a colossal stone lion, the work
of Thorwaldsen, the famous Danish sculptor.  This lion, struck by a
lance, and lying down to die, holds tight within his claws the royal
escutcheon upon a shield adorned with fleurs-de-lis.  Underneath the
lion are engraved the names of the Swiss officers and soldiers who died
between August 10 and September 2, 1792.  Above it may be read this
inscription cut in the rock:--

    HELVETIORUM FIDEI AC VIRTUTI.
  _To the fidelity and courage of the Swiss._


Louis XVI. had to repent his weakness bitterly.  The wretched monarch
had at last reached the bottom of the abyss where the slippery descent
of concessions ends, and for having been willing to spare the blood of
a few criminals, he was to see that of his most loyal and faithful
adherents shed in torrents.  It is said that Napoleon, who witnessed
the combat from a distance, cried several times, in speaking of Louis
XVI.: "What, then, wretched man!  Have you no cannon to sweep out this
rabble?"  Behind the people of the 10th of August, the man of Brumaire
already appeared as a conqueror.

{315}

Work away, then, insurgents!  This unknown young man, this
"straight-haired Corsican," hidden in the crowd, will be the master of
you all!  He will crush the Revolution, he will made himself
all-powerful in that palace of the Tuileries where the riot is lording
it at this moment!  And after him, the brother of the King whom you
insult to-day and will kill to-morrow, the Count de Provence, that
_émigré_ who is the object of your hatred, will triumphantly enter the
palace of his forefathers.  And each of them in his turn, the Corsican
gentleman and the brother of Louis XVI., will be received with the same
transports in that fatal palace which is now red with the blood of the
Swiss!  How surprised these people would be if they could foresee what
the future has in store for them!  Among these frenzied demagogues,
these ultra-revolutionists, these dishevelled Marseillais with lips
blackened by powder, and jackets all blood, how many will be the
fanatical admirers and soldiers of a Cæsar!



{316}

XXXI.

THE RESULTS OF THE COMBAT.

The results of the combat were, at the Assembly, the decree of
suspension, or, rather, the decree of deposition; at the Tuileries,
devastation, massacre, and conflagration.  From the moment when he
ordered his last defenders to lay down their arms, Louis XVI. was but
the phantom of a king.

While the fight was going on, Robespierre had remained in hiding; Marat
had not quitted the bottom of a cellar.  Even Danton, the man of
"audacity," did not show himself until after the last shot had been
fired.  But now that fate had declared for the Revolution, those who
were trembling and hesitating a moment since, were those who talked the
loudest.  Louis XVI., who had been dreaded a few minutes ago, was
insulted and jeered at.  The National Assembly, royalist in the
morning, became the accomplice of the republicans during the day.  It
perceived, moreover, that the 10th of August was aimed at it not less
than at the throne, and that its own downfall would be contemporaneous
with that of royalty.

Huguenin, the president of the new Commune, came boldly to the bar, and
said to the deputies: {317} "The people is your sovereign as well as
ours!"  Another individual, likewise at the bar, exclaimed in a
menacing tone: "For a long time the people has asked you to pronounce
the deposition, and you have not even yet pronounced the suspension!
Know that the Tuileries is on fire, and that we shall not extinguish it
until the vengeance of the people has been satisfied!"  Vergniaud, who
in the morning had promised the King the support of the Assembly, no
longer even attempted to stem the revolutionary tide.  He came down
from the president's chair, and went to a desk to write the decree
which should give a legislative form to the will of the insurrection.
In virtue of this decree, which Vergniaud read from the tribune, and
which was unanimously adopted, the royal power was suspended and a
National Convention convoked.  In reality this was a veritable
deposition, and yet the Assembly still hesitated to give the last shock
which should uproot the royal tree that had sheltered beneath its
branches so many faithful generations.  It declared that in default of
a civil list, a salary should be granted to the King during his
suspension; that Louis XVI. and his family should have a palace, the
Luxembourg, for a residence, and that he should be appointed governor
of the Prince-royal.

Concerning this, Madame de Staël has remarked in her _Considerations
sur les principaux événements de la Révolution française_: "Ambition
for power mingled with the enthusiasm of principles in the republicans
{318} of 1792, and several among them offered to maintain royalty if
all the ministerial places were given to their friends....  The throne
they attacked served to shelter them, and it was not until after they
had triumphed that they found themselves exposed before the people."
What the Girondins wanted was merely a change in the ministry; it was
not a revolution.  Vergniaud felt that he had been distanced.  When he
read the act of deposition, his voice was sad, his attitude dejected,
and his action feeble.  Did he foresee that the King and himself would
die at the same place, on the same scaffold, and only nine months apart?

Louis XVI. listened to the invectives launched against him, and to the
decree depriving him of royal power, without a change of color.  At the
very moment when the vote was taken, he bent towards Deputy Coustard,
who sat beside the box of the _Logographe_, and said with the greatest
tranquillity: "What you are doing there is not very constitutional."
Impassive, and speaking of himself as of a king who had lived a
thousand years before, he leaned his elbows on the front of the box,
and looked on, like a disinterested spectator, at the lugubrious
spectacle that was unrolled before him.

Marie Antoinette, on the contrary, was shuddering.  So long as the
combat lasted, a secret hope had thrilled her.  But when she saw them
bringing to the Assembly and laying on the table the jewel-cases,
trinkets, and portfolios which the insurgents had just {319} taken from
her bedroom at the Tuileries; when she heard the victorious cries of
the rioters; when Vergniaud's voice sounded in her ears like a funeral
knell--she could hardly contain her grief and indignation.  For one
instant she closed her eyes.  But presently she haughtily raised her
head.

The tide was rising, rising incessantly.  Petitioners demanded
sometimes the deposition, and sometimes the death, of the King.  This
dialogue was overheard between the painter David and Merlin de
Thionville, who were talking together about Louis XVI.: "Would you
believe it?  Just now he asked me, as I was passing his box, if I would
soon have his portrait finished."--"Bah! and what did you say?"--"That
I would never paint the portrait of a tyrant again until I should have
his head in my hat."--"Admirable!  I don't know a more sublime answer,
even in antiquity."

The demands of the Revolution grew greater from minute to minute.  In
the decree of deposition which had been voted on Vergniaud's
proposition, it was stipulated that the ministers should continue to
exercise their functions.  A few instants later, Brissot caused it to
be decreed that they had lost the nation's confidence.  A new ministry
was nominated during the session.  The three ministers dismissed before
June 20--Roland, Clavière, and Servan--were reinstalled by acclamation
in the ministries of the Interior, of Finances, and of War.  The other
ministers were chosen by ballot: Danton was nominated to that {320} of
Justice by 282 votes, Monge to the Marine by 150, and Lebrun-Tondu to
Foreign Affairs by 100.  This ballot established the fact that out of
the 749 members composing the Assembly, but 284 were present.  Two days
before, 680 had voted on the question concerning Lafayette, and now, at
the moment of the final crisis, not more than 284 could be found!  All
the others had disappeared, through fear or through disgust.  The
Revolution was accomplished by an Assembly thus reduced, and a Commune
whose members had appointed themselves.  Marie Antoinette, in her pride
as Queen, was unable to conceive that there could be anything serious
in such a government.  When Lebrun-Tondu's appointment was announced,
she leaned towards Bigot de Sainte-Croix, and said in his ear: "I hope
you will none the less believe yourself Minister of Foreign Affairs."

The unfortunate royal family were still prisoners in the narrow box of
the _Logographe_.  The heat there was horrible: the sun scorched the
white walls of this furnace where the captives listened, as in a place
of torture, to the most ignoble insults and the most sanguinary threats.

At seven o'clock in the evening, Count François de la Rochefoucauld
succeeded in approaching the box of the _Logographe_.  He thus
describes its aspect at this hour: "I approached the King's box; it was
unguarded except by some wretches who were drunk and paid no attention
to me, so that I half-opened the door.  I saw the King with a fatigued
and {321} downcast face; he was sitting on the front of the box, coldly
observing through his lorgnette the scoundrels who were talking,
sometimes one after another, and sometimes all together.  Near him was
the Queen, whose tears and perspiration had completely drenched her
fichu and her handkerchief.  The Dauphin was asleep on her lap, and
resting partly also on that of Madame de Tourzel.  Mesdames Elisabeth,
de Lamballe, and Madame the King's daughter were at the back of the
box.  I offered my services to the King, who replied that it would be
too dangerous to try to see him again, and added that he was going to
the Luxembourg that evening.  The Queen asked me for a handkerchief; I
had none; mine had served to bind up the wounds of the Viscount de
Maillé, whom I had rescued from some pikemen.  I went out to look for a
handkerchief, and borrowed one from the keeper of the refreshment-room;
but as I was taking it to the Queen, the sentinels were relieved, and I
found it impossible to approach the box."

We have just seen what occurred at the Assembly after the close of the
combat.  Cast now a glance at the Tuileries.  What horrible scenes,
what cries of grief, how many wounded, dead, and dying, what streams of
blood!  What had become of those Swiss who, either in consequence of
their wounds, or through some other motive, had been obliged to remain
at the palace?  Eighty of them had defended the grand staircase like
heroes, against an immense crowd, and died after prodigies of valor.
Seventeen {322} Swiss who were posted in the chapel, and who had not
fired a shot since the fight began, hoped to save their lives by laying
down their arms.  It was a mistake.  They had their throats cut like
the others.  Two ushers of the King's chamber, MM. Pallas and de
Marchais, sword in hand, and hats pulled down over their eyes, said:
"We don't want to live any longer; this is our post; we ought to die
here!" and they were killed at the door of their master's chamber.

M. Dieu died in the same way on the threshold of the Queen's bedroom.
A certain number of nobles who had not followed the King to the
Assembly succeeded in escaping the blows of the assassins.  Passing
through the suite of large apartments towards the Louvre Gallery, they
rejoined there some soldiers detailed to guard an opening contrived in
the flooring, so as to prevent the assailants from entering by that
way.  They crossed this opening on boards, and reached the extremity of
the gallery unhindered; then, going down the staircase of Catharine de
Medici, they managed to gain the streets near the Louvre.  These may
have been saved.  But woe to all men, no matter what their conditions,
who remained in the Tuileries!  Domestic servants, ushers, laborers,
every soul was put to death.  They killed even the dying, even the
surgeons who were caring for the wounded.  It is Barbaroux himself who
describes the murderers as "cowardly fugitives during the action,
assassins after the victory, butchers {323} of dead bodies which they
stabbed with their swords so as to give themselves the honors of the
combat.  In the apartments, on roofs, and in cellars, they massacred
the Swiss, armed or disarmed, the chevaliers, soldiers, and all who
peopled the chateau....  Our devotion was of no avail," says Barbaroux
again; "we were speaking to men who no longer recognized us."

And the women, what was their fate?  When the firing began, the Queen's
ladies and the Princesses descended to Marie Antoinette's apartments on
the ground-floor.  They closed the shutters, hoping to incur less
danger, and lighted a candle so as not to be in total darkness.  Then
Mademoiselle Pauline de Tourzel exclaimed: "Let us light all the
candles in the chandelier, the sconces, and the torches; if the
brigands force open the door, the astonishment so many lights will
cause them may delay the first blow and give us time to speak."  The
ladies set to work.  When the invaders broke in, sabre in hand, the
numberless lights, which were repeated also in the mirrors, made such a
contrast with the daylight they had just left, that for a moment they
remained stupefied.  And yet, the Princess de Tarente, Madame de La
Roche-Aymon, Mademoiselle de Tourzel, Madame de Ginestons, and all the
other ladies were about to perish when a man with a long beard made his
appearance, crying to the assassins in Pétion's name: "Spare the women;
do not dishonor the nation."

{324}

Madame Campan had attempted to go up a stairway in pursuit of her
sister.  The murderers followed her.  She already felt a terrible hand
against her back, trying to seize her by her clothes, when some one
cried from the foot of the stairs: "What are you doing up
there?"--"Hey!" said the murderer, in a tone that did not soon leave
the trembling woman's ears.  The other voice replied: "We don't kill
women."  The Revolution goes fast; it will kill them next year.  Madame
Campan was on her knees.  Her executioner let go his hold.  "Get up,
hussy," he said to her, "the nation spares you!"  In going back she
walked over corpses; she recognized that of the old Viscount de Broves.
The Queen had sent word to him and to another old man as the last night
began, that she desired them to go home.  He had replied: "We have been
only too obedient to the King's orders in all circumstances when it was
necessary to expose our lives to save him; this time we will not obey,
and will simply preserve the memory of the Queen's kindness."

What a sight the Tuileries presented!  People walked on nothing but
dead bodies.  A comic actor drank a glass of blood, the blood of a
Swiss; one might have thought himself at a feast of Atreus.  The
furniture was broken, the secretaries forced open, the mirrors smashed
to pieces.  Prudhomme, the journalist of the _Révolutions de Paris_,
thinks that "Medicis-Antoinette has too long studied in them {325} the
hypocritical look she wears in public."  What a sinister carnival!
Drunken women and prostitutes put on the Queen's dresses and sprawl on
her bed.  Through the cellar gratings one can see a thousand hands
groping in the sand, and drawing forth bottles of wine.  Everywhere
people are laughing, drinking, killing.  The royal wine runs in
streams.  Torrents of wine, torrents of blood.  The apartments, the
staircase, the vestibule, are crimson pools.  Disfigured corpses,
pictures thrust through with pikes, musicians' stands thrown on the
altar, the organ dismounted, broken,--that is how the chapel looks.
But to rob and murder is not enough: they will kindle a conflagration.
It devours the stables of the mounted guards, all the buildings in the
courts, the house of the governor of the palace: eighteen hundred yards
of barracks, huts, and houses.  Already the fire is gaining on the
Pavilion of Marsan and the Pavilion of Flora.  The flames are perceived
at the Assembly.  A deputy asks to have the firemen sent to fight this
fire which threatens the whole quarter Saint-Honoré.  Somebody remarks
that this is the Commune's business.  But the Commune, to use a phrase
then in vogue, thinks it has something else to do besides preventing
the destruction of the tyrant's palace.  It turns a deaf ear.  The
messenger returns to the Assembly.  It is remarked that the flames are
doing terrible damage.  The president decides to send orders to the
firemen.  But the firemen return, saying: "We can do nothing.  They
{326} are firing on us.  They want to throw us into the fire."  What is
to be done?  The president bethinks himself of a "patriot" architect,
Citizen Palloy, who generally makes his appearance whenever there are
"patriotic" demolitions to be accomplished.  It is he whom they send to
the palace, and who succeeds in getting the flames extinguished.  The
Tuileries are not burned up this time.  The work of the incendiaries of
1792 was only to be finished by the petroleurs of 1871.

Night was come.  A great number of the Parisian population were
groaning, but the revolutionists triumphed with joy.  Curiosity to see
the morning battle-field, urged the indolent, who had stayed at home
all day, towards the quays, the Champs-Elysées, and the Tuileries.
They looked at the trees under which the Swiss had fallen, at the
windows of the apartments where the massacres had taken place, at the
ravages made by the hardly extinguished fire.  The buildings in the
three courts: Court of the Princes, Court Royal, Court of the Swiss,
had been completely consumed.  Thenceforward these three courts formed
only one, separated from the Carrousel by a board partition which
remained until 1800, and was replaced by a grating finished on the very
day when the First Consul came to install himself at the Tuileries.
The inscription which was placed above the wooden partition: "On August
10 royalty was abolished; it will never rise again," disappeared even
before the proclamation of the Empire.

{327}

Squads of laborers gathered up the dead bodies and threw them into
tumbrels.  At midnight an immense pile was erected on the Carrousel
with timbers and furniture from the palace.  There the corpses of the
victims that had strewed the courts, the vestibule, and the apartments
were heaped up, and set on fire.

The National Guard had disappeared; it figured with the King and the
Assembly itself, among the vanquished of the day.  Instead of its
bayonets and uniforms one saw nothing in the stations and patrols that
divided Paris but pikes and tatters.  "Some one came to tell me,"
relates Madame de Staël, "that all of my friends who had been on guard
outside the palace, had been seized and massacred.  I went out at once
to learn the news; the coachman who drove me was stopped at the bridge
by men who silently made signs that they were murdering on the other
side.  After two hours of useless efforts to pass I learned that all
those in whom I was interested were still living, but that most of them
had been obliged to hide in order to escape the proscription with which
they were threatened.  When I went to see them in the evening, on foot,
and in the mean houses where they had been able to find shelter, I
found armed men lying before the doors, stupid with drink, and only
half waking to utter execrable curses.  Several women of the people
were in the same state, and their vociferations were more odious still.
Whenever a patrol intended to maintain order made its appearance, {328}
honest people fled out of its way; for what they called maintaining
order was to contribute to the triumph of assassins and rid them of all
hindrances."

At last the city was going to rest a while after so much emotion!  It
was three o'clock in the morning.  The Assembly, which had been in
session for twenty-four hours, adjourned.  Only a few members remained
in the hall to maintain the permanence proclaimed at the beginning of
the crisis.  The inspectors of the hall came for Louis XVI. and his
family, to conduct them, not to the Luxembourg, but to the upper story
of the convent of the Feuillants, above the corridor where the offices
and committees of the Assembly had been established.  It was there, in
the cells of the monks, that the royal family were to pass the night.
Then all was silent once more.  Royalty was dying!



{329}

XXXII.

THE ROYAL-FAMILY IN THE CONVENT OF THE FEUILLANTS.

What a strange prison was this dilapidated old monastery, these little
cells, not lived in for two years, with their flooring half-destroyed,
and their narrow windows looking down into courts full of men drunken
with wine and blood!  By the light of candles stuck into gun-barrels
the royal family entered this gloomy lodging.  Trembling for her son,
who was frightened, the Queen took him from M. Aubier's arms and
whispered to him.  The child grew calmer.  "Mamma," said he, "has
promised to let me sleep in her room because I was very good before all
those wicked men."  Four cells, all opening by similar small doors upon
the same corridor, comprised the quarters of the royal family.  What a
night!  The souvenirs of the previous day came back like dismal dreams.
Their ears were still deafened with furious cries.  They seemed to see
the blood of the Swiss flowing like a torrent, the pyramids of corpses
in red uniforms, the flames of the terrible conflagration sweeping the
approaches to the Tuileries.  Marie Antoinette seems under an {330}
hallucination; her emotions break her down.  Is this woman, confided to
the care of an unknown servant, in this deserted old convent, really
she?  Is this the Queen of France and Navarre?  This the daughter of
the great Empress Maria Theresa?  What uncertainty rests over the fate
of her most faithful servitors!  What news will she yet learn?  Who has
fallen?  Who has survived the carnage?  The hours of the night wear on;
Marie Antoinette has not been able to sleep a moment.

The Marquis de Tourzel and M. d'Aubier remained near the King's
bedside.  Before sleeping, he talked to them with the utmost calmness
of all that had taken place.  "People regret," said he, "that I did not
have the rebels attacked before they could have forced the Assembly;
but besides the fact that in accordance with the terms of the
Constitution, the National Guards might have refused to be the
aggressors, what would have been the result of this attack?  The
measures of the insurrection were too well taken for my party to have
been victorious, even if I had not left the Tuileries.  Do they forget
that when the seditious Commune massacred M. Mandat, it rendered his
projected defence of no avail?"  While Louis XVI. was saying this, the
men placed under the windows were shouting loudly for the Queen's head.
"What has she done to them?" cried the unfortunate sovereign.

The next morning, August 11, several persons were authorized to enter
the cells of the convent.  {331} Among them was one of the officers of
the King's bedchamber, François Hue, who had incurred the greatest
dangers on the previous day.  Cards of admission were distributed by
the inspector of the Assembly hall.  A large guard was stationed at all
the issues of the corridor.  No one could pass without being stopped
and questioned.  After surmounting all obstacles, M. Hue reached the
cell of Louis XVI.  The King was still in bed, with his head covered by
a coarse cloth.  He looked tenderly at his faithful servant.  M. Hue,
who could scarcely speak for sobbing, apprised his unhappy master of
the tragic death of several persons whom His Majesty was especially
fond of, among others, the Chevalier d'Allonville, who had been
under-governor to the first Dauphin, and several officers of the
bedchamber: MM. Le Tellier, Pallas, and de Marchais.  "I have, at
least," said Louis XVI., "the consolation of seeing you saved from this
massacre!"

All night long, Madame Elisabeth, the Princess de Lamballe, and Madame
de Tourzel had prayed and wept in silence at the door of the chamber
where Marie Antoinette watched beside her sleeping children.  It was
not until morning, after cruel insomnia, that the wretched Queen was at
last able to close her eyes.  And when, after a few minutes, she opened
them again, what an awakening!

At eight o'clock in the morning Mademoiselle Pauline de Tourzel arrived
at the Feuillants.  "I cannot say enough," she writes in her _Souvenirs
de Quarante {332} Ans_, "about the goodness of the King and Queen; they
asked me many questions about the persons concerning whom I could give
them any tidings.  Madame and the Dauphin received me with touching
signs of affection; they embraced me, and Madame said: 'My dear
Pauline, do not leave us any more!'"  The courtiers of misfortune came
one after another.  Madame Campan and her sister, Madame Auguié, saw
the Prince de Poix, M. d'Aubier, M. de Saint-Pardou, Madame Elisabeth's
equerry, MM. de Goguelat, Hue, and de Chamilly in the first cell; in
the second they found the King.  They wanted to kiss his hand, but he
prevented it, and embraced them without speaking.  In the third cell
they saw the Queen, waited on by an unknown woman.  Marie Antoinette
held out her arms.  "Come!" she cried; "come, unhappy women! come and
see one who is still more unhappy than you, since it is she who has
been the cause of all your sorrow!"  She added: "We are ruined.  We
have reached the place at last to which they have been leading us for
three years by every possible outrage; we shall succumb in this
horrible revolution, and many others will perish after us.  Everybody
has contributed to our ruin: the innovators like fools, others like the
ambitious, in order to aid their own fortunes; for the most furious of
the Jacobins wanted gold and places, and the crowd expected pillage.
There is not a patriot in the whole infamous horde; the emigrants had
their schemes and manoeuvres; {333} the foreigners wanted to profit by
the dissensions of France; everybody has had a part in our
misfortunes."  Here the Dauphin entered with his sister and Madame de
Tourzel.  "Poor children!" cried the Queen.  "How cruel it is not to
transmit to them so noble a heritage, and to say: All is over for us!"
And as the little Dauphin, seeing his mother and those around her
weeping, began to shed tears also: "My child," the Queen said,
embracing him, "you see I have consolations too; the friends whom
misfortune deprived me of were not worth as much as those it gave me."
Then Marie Antoinette asked for news of the Princess de Tarente, Madame
de la Roche-Aymon, and others whom she had left at the Tuileries.  She
compassionated the fate of the victims of the previous day.

Madame Campan expressed a desire to know what the foreign ambassadors
had done in this catastrophe.  The Queen replied that they had done
nothing, but that the English ambassadress, Lady Sutherland, had just
displayed some interest by sending linen for the Dauphin, who was in
need of it.

What memories must not that little cell in the Feuillants convent have
left in the souls of those who were privileged to present there the
homage of their devotion to the Queen!  "I think I still see," Madame
Campan has said in her Memoirs, "I shall always see, that little cell,
hung with green paper, that wretched couch from which the dethroned
sovereign stretched out her arms to us, saying that our {334} woes, of
which she was the cause, aggravated her own.  There, for the last time,
I saw the tears flowing and heard the sobs of her whose birth and
natural gifts, and above all the goodness of whose heart had destined
her to be the ornament of all thrones and the happiness of all peoples."

During the 11th and 12th of August the tortures of the 10th were
renewed for the royal family.  They were obliged to occupy the odious
box of the _Logographe_ during the sessions of the Assembly, and from
there witness, as at a show, the slow and painful death-struggle of
royalty.  As she was on her way to this wretched hole, Marie Antoinette
perceived in the garden some curious spectators on whose faces a
certain compassion was depicted.  She saluted them.  Then a voice
cried: "Don't put on so many airs with that graceful head; it is not
worth while.  You'll not have it much longer."  From the box of the
_Logographe_ the royal family listened to the most offensive motions;
to decrees according the Marseillais a payment of thirty sous a day,
ordering all statues of kings to be overthrown, and petitions demanding
the heads of all the Swiss who had escaped the massacre.  At last the
Assembly grew tired of the long humiliation of the august captives.  On
Monday, August 13, they were not present at the session, and during the
day they were notified that in the evening they were to be
incarcerated, not in the Luxembourg,--that palace being too good for
them,--but in the tower of the Temple.  When Marie {335} Antoinette was
informed of this decision, she turned toward Madame de Tourzel, and
putting her hands over her eyes, said: "I always asked the Count
d'Artois to have that villanous tower of the Temple torn down; it
always filled me with horror!"  Pétion told Louis XVI. that the
Communal Council had decreed that none of the persons proposed for the
service of the royal family should follow them to their new abode.  By
force of remonstrance the King finally obtained permission that the
Princess de Lamballe, Madame de Tourzel and her daughter should be
excepted from this interdiction, and also MM. Hue and de Chamilly, and
Mesdames Thibaud, Basire, Navarre, and Saint-Brice.  The departure for
the Temple took place at five in the evening.  The royal family went in
a large carriage with Manuel and Pétion, who kept their hats on.  The
coachman and footmen, dressed in gray, served their masters for the
last time.  National Guards escorted the carriage on foot and with
reversed arms.  The passage through a hostile multitude occupied not
less than two hours.  The vehicle, which moved very slowly, stopped for
several moments in the Place Vendôme.  There Manuel pointed out the
statue of Louis XIV., which had been thrown down from its pedestal.  At
first the descendant of the great King reddened with indignation, then,
tranquillizing himself instantly, he calmly replied: "It is fortunate,
Sir, that the rage of the people spends itself on inanimate objects."
Manuel might have gone on to say that {336} on this very Place Vendôme
"Queen Violet," one of the most furious vixens of the October Days, had
just been crushed by the fall of this equestrian statue of Louis XIV.
to which she was hanging in order to help bring it down.  The statue of
Henry IV. in the Place Royale, that of Louis XIII. in the Place des
Victoires, and that of Louis XV. in the place that bears his name, had
fallen at the same time.

The royal family arrived at the Temple at seven in the evening.  The
lanterns placed on the projecting portions of the walls and the
battlements of the great tower made it resemble a catafalque surrounded
by funeral lights.  The Queen wore a shoe with a hole in it, through
which her foot could be seen.  "You would not believe," said she,
smiling, "that a Queen of France was in need of shoes."  The doors
closed upon the captives, and a sanguinary crowd complained of the
thickness of the walls separating them from their prey.



{337}

XXXIII.

THE TEMPLE.

There are places which, by the very souvenirs they evoke, seem fatal
and accursed.  Such was the dungeon that was to serve as a prison for
Louis XVI. and his family.  The great tower for which Marie Antoinette
had felt a nameless instinctive repugnance in the happiest days of her
reign, arose at the extremity of Paris like a gigantic phantom, and
recalled in a sinister fashion the tragedies of the Middle Ages and the
sombre legends of the Templars.  It was formerly the manor, the
fortress, of that religious and military Order of the Temple, founded
in the Holy Land at the beginning of the twelfth century, to protect
the pilgrims, and which, after the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem,
had spread all over Europe.  The great tower was built by Frère Hubert,
in the early years of the thirteenth century, in the midst of an
enclosure surrounded by turreted walls.  There ruled, by cross and
sword, those men of iron, in white habits, who took the triple vows of
poverty, chastity, and obedience, and who excited royal jealousy by the
increase of their power.  It was there that Philippe le Bel went on
October 13, {338} 1307, with his lawyers and his archers, to lay his
hand on the grand-master, seize the treasures of the order, and on the
same day, at the same hour, cause all Templars to be arrested
throughout the realm.  Then began that mysterious trial which has
remained an insoluble problem to posterity, and after which these
monastic knights, whose bravery and whose exploits have made so
prolonged an echo, perished in prisons or on scaffolds.  Pursued by
horrible accusations, they had confessed under torture, but they denied
at execution.  When the grand-master, Jacques de Molay, and the
commander of Normandy were burned alive before the garden of Philippe
le Bel, March 11, 1314, even in the midst of flames, they did not cease
to attest the innocence of the Order of the Temple.  The people,
astonished by their heroism, believed that they had summoned the Pope
and the King to appear in the presence of God before the end of the
year.  Clement V., on April 20, and Philippe IV., on November 29,
obeyed the summons.

The possessions of the order were given to the Hospitallers of Saint
John of Jerusalem, who transformed themselves into Knights of Malta
toward the middle of the sixteenth century.  The Temple became the
provincial house of the grand-prior of the Order of Malta for the
_nation_ or _language_ of France, and the great tower contained
successively the treasure, the arsenal, and the archives.  In 1607, the
grand-prior, Jacques de Souvré, had a house built in {339} front of the
old manor, between the court and the garden, which was called the
palace of the grand-prior.  His successor, Philippe de Vendôme, made
his palace a rendezvous of elegance and pleasure.  There shone that
Anacreon in a cassock, the gay and sprightly Abbé de Chaulieu, who died
a fervent Christian in the voluptuous abode where he had dwelt a
careless Epicurean.  There young Voltaire went to complete the lessons
he had begun in the sceptical circle of Ninon de l'Enclos.  The office
of grand-prior, which was worth sixty thousand livres a year, passed
afterwards to Prince de Conti, who in 1765 sheltered Jean-Jacques
Rousseau there, as _lettres de cachet_ could not penetrate within its
privileged precinct.  Under Louis XVI. the palace of the grand-prior
had served as a passing hostelry to the young and brilliant Count
d'Artois when he came from Versailles to Paris.  The flowers of the
entertainments given there by the Prince were hardly faded when Louis
XVI. suddenly entered it as a prisoner.

It was seven o'clock in the evening when the wretched King and his
family, coming from the convent of the Feuillants, arrived at the
Temple.  Situated near the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, not far from the
former site of the Bastille, the Temple enclosure at this period was
not more than two hundred yards long by nearly as many wide.  The rest
of the ancient precinct had disappeared under the pavements or the
houses of the great city.  Nevertheless, the enclosure still formed a
sort of little {340} private city, sometimes called the
Ville-Neuve-du-Temple, the gates of which were closed every night.  In
one of its angles stood the house called the grand-prior's palace.

This was the first stopping-place of the royal family, which had been
entrusted by Pétion to the surveillance of the municipality and the
guard of Santerre.  The municipal officers stayed close to the King,
kept their hats on, and gave him no title except "Monsieur."  Louis
XVI., not doubting that the palace of the grand-prior was the residence
assigned him by the nation until the close of his career, began to
visit its apartments.  While the municipal officers took a cruel
pleasure in this error, thinking of the still keener one they would
enjoy when they disabused him of it, he pleased himself by allotting
the different rooms in advance.  The word palace had an unpleasant
sound to the persecutors of royalty.  The Temple tower looked more like
a prison.  Toward eleven o'clock, one of the commissioners ordered the
august captives to collect such linen and other clothing as they had
been able to procure, and follow him.  They silently obeyed, and left
the palace.  The night was very dark.  They passed through a double row
of soldiers holding naked sabres.  The municipal officers carried
lanterns.  One of them broke the dismal silence he had observed
throughout the march.  "Thy master," said he to M. Hue, "has been
accustomed to gilded canopies.  Very well! he is going to find out how
we lodge the assassins of the people."

{341}

The lamps in the windows of the old quadrangular dungeon lighted up its
high pinnacles and turrets, its gigantic profile and gloomy bulk.  The
immense tower, one hundred and fifty feet high, and with walls nine
feet thick, rose, menacing and fatal, amidst the darkness.  Beside it
was another tower, narrower and not so high, but which was also flanked
by turrets.  Thus the whole dungeon was composed of two distinct yet
united towers.  The second of these, called the little tower, to
distinguish it from the great one, was selected as the prison of the
former hosts of Versailles, Fontainebleau, and the Tuileries.

The little tower of the Temple, which had no interior communication
with the great one against which it stood, was a long quadrangle
flanked by two turrets.  Four steps led to the door, which was low and
narrow, and opened on a landing at the end of which began a winding
staircase shaped like a snail-shell.  Wide from its base as far as the
first story, it grew narrower as it climbed up into the second.  The
door, which was considered too weak, was to be strengthened on the
following day by heavy bars, and supplied with an enormous lock brought
from the prisons of the Châtelet.  The Queen was put on the second
floor, and the King on the third.  On entering his chamber, Louis XVI.
found a miserable bed in an alcove without tapestry or curtains.  He
showed neither ill humor nor surprise.  Engravings, indecent for the
most part, covered the walls.  He {342} took them down himself.  "I
will not leave such objects before my children's eyes," said he.  Then
he lay down and slept tranquilly.

The first days of captivity were relatively calm.  The prisoners
consoled themselves by their family life, reading, and, above all,
prayer.  Forgetting that he had been a king, and remembering that he
was a father, Louis XVI. gave lessons to the Dauphin.  "It would have
been worth while for the whole nation to be present at these lessons;
they would have been both surprised and touched at all the sensible,
cordial, and kindly things the good King found to say when the map of
France lay spread out before him, or concerning the chronology of his
predecessors.  Everything in his remarks showed the love he bore his
subjects and how greatly his paternal heart desired their happiness.
What great and useful lessons one could learn in listening to this
captive king instructing a child born to the throne and condemned to
share the captivity of his parents."  (_Souvenirs de Quarante Ans_, by
Madame de Béarn, _née_ de Tourzel.)

All those who had been authorized to follow the royal family to the
Temple--the Princess de Lamballe, Madame de Tourzel and her daughter,
Mesdames Thibaud, Basire, Navarre, MM. de Chamilly and François
Hue--surrounded the captives with the most respectful and devoted
attentions.  But these noble courtiers of misfortune, these voluntary
prisoners who were so glad to be associated in their {343} master's
trials, were not long to enjoy an honor they had so keenly desired.  In
the night of August 18-19, two municipal officers presented themselves,
who were commissioned to fetch away "all persons not belonging to the
Capet family."  The Queen pointed out in vain that the Princess de
Lamballe was her relative.  The Princess must go with the others.  "In
our position," has said Madame de Tourzel, the governess of the
children of France, "there was nothing to do but obey.  We dressed
ourselves and then went to the Queen, to whom I resigned that dear
little Prince, whose bed had been carried into her room without awaking
him."  It was an indescribable torture for Madame de Tourzel to abandon
the Dauphin, whom she cherished so tenderly, and whom she had educated
since 1789.  "I abstained from looking at him," she adds, "not only to
avoid weakening the courage we had so much need of, but in order to
give no room for censure, and so come back, if possible, to a place we
left with so much regret.  The Queen went instantly into the chamber of
the Princess de Lamballe, from whom she parted with the utmost grief.
To Pauline and me she showed a touching sensibility, and said to me in
an undertone: 'If we are not so happy as to see you again, take good
care of Madame de Lamballe.  Do the talking on all important occasions,
and spare her as much as possible from having to answer captious and
embarrassing questions.'"  The two municipal officers said to Hue and
Chamilly: "Are you {344} the valets-de-chambre?"  On their affirmative
response, the two faithful servants were ordered to get up and prepare
for departure.  They shook hands with each other, both of them
convinced that they had reached the end of their existence.  One of the
municipal officers had said that very day in their presence: "The
guillotine is permanent, and strikes with death the pretended servants
of Louis."  When they descended to the Queen's antechamber, a very
small room in which the Princess de Lamballe slept, they found that
Princess and Madame de Tourzel all ready to start, and clasped in one
embrace with the Queen, the children, and Madame Elisabeth.  Tender and
heart-breaking farewells, presages of separations more cruel still!

All these exiles from the prison left at the same time.  Only one of
them, M. François Hue, was to return.  He was examined at the
Hôtel-de-Ville, and at the close of this interrogation an order was
signed permitting him to be taken back to the tower.  "How happy I
was," he writes, "to return to the Temple!  I ran to the King's
chamber.  He was already up and dressed, and was reading as usual in
the little tower.  The moment he saw me, his anxiety to know what had
occurred made him advance toward me; but the presence of the municipal
officers and the guards who were near him made all conversation
impossible.  I indicated by a glance that, for the moment, prudence
forbade me to explain myself.  Feeling the necessity of silence as well
as myself, the King resumed his {345} reading and waited for a more
opportune moment.  Some hours later, I hastily informed him what
questions had been asked me and what I had replied." (_Dernières Années
de Louis XVI., par François Hue_.)

The unfortunate sovereign doubtless believed that the others were also
about to return.  Vain hope!  During the day Manuel announced to the
King that none of them would come back to the Temple.  "What has become
of them?" asked Louis XVI.  anxiously.--"They are prisoners at the
Force," returned Manuel.--"What are they going to do with the only
servant I have left?" asked the King, glancing at M. Hue.--"The Commune
leaves him with you," said Manuel; "but as he cannot do everything, men
will be sent to assist him."--"I do not want them," replied Louis XVI.;
"what he cannot do, we will do ourselves.  Please God, we will not
voluntarily give those who have been taken from us the chagrin of
seeing their places taken by others!"  In Manuel's presence, the Queen
and Madame Elisabeth aided M. Hue to prepare the things most necessary
for the new prisoners of the Force.  The two Princesses arranged the
packets of linen and other matters with the skill and activity of
chambermaids.

Behold the heir of Louis XIV., the King of France and Navarre, with but
a single servant left him!  He has but one coat, and at night his
sister mends it.  Behold the daughter of the German Cæsars, with not
even one woman to wait upon her, and who waits on herself, incessantly
watched, meanwhile, by the {346} inquisitors of the Commune; who cannot
speak a word or make a gesture unwitnessed by a squad of informers who
pursue her even into the chamber where she goes to change her dress,
and who spy on her even when she is sleeping!  And yet neither the
calmness nor the dignity of the prisoners suffers any loss.

There was but one thing that keenly annoyed Louis XVI.  It was when, on
August 24, they deprived him, the chief of gentlemen, of his sword, as
if taking away his sceptre were not enough.  He consoled himself by
prayer, meditation, and reading.  He spent hours in the room containing
the library of the keeper of archives of the Order of Malta, who had
previously occupied the little tower.  One day when he was looking for
books, he pointed out to M. Hue the works of Voltaire and Jean-Jacques
Rousseau.  "Those two men have ruined France," said he in an undertone.
On another day he was pained by overhearing the insults heaped on this
faithful servant by one of the Municipal Guards.  "You have had a great
deal to suffer to-day," he said to him.  "Well! for the love of me,
continue to endure everything; make no answer."  At another time he
slipped into his hand a folded paper.  "This is some of my hair," said
he; "it is the only present I can give you at this moment."  M. Hue
exclaims in his pathetic book: "O shade forever cherished!  I will
preserve this precious gift to my latest day!  The inheritance of my
son, it will pass on to my descendants, and all of them will see in
this testimonial of Louis XVI.'s {347} goodness, that they had a father
who merited the affection of his King by his fidelity."

In the evenings the Queen made the Dauphin recite this prayer:
"Almighty God, who created and redeemed me, I adore Thee.  Spare the
lives of the King, my father, and those of my family!  Defend us
against our enemies!  Grant Madame de Tourzel the strength she needs to
support the evils she endures on our account."  And the angel of the
Temple, Madame Elisabeth, recited every day this sublime prayer of her
own composition: "What will happen to me to-day, O my God!  I do not
know.  All I know is, that nothing will happen that has not been
foreseen by Thee from all eternity.  It is enough, my God, to keep me
tranquil.  I adore Thy eternal designs, I submit to them with my whole
heart; I will all, I accept all; I sacrifice all to Thee; I unite this
sacrifice to that of Thy dear Son, my Saviour, asking Thee by His
sacred heart and His infinite merits, the patience in our afflictions
and the perfect submission which is due to Thee for all that Thou
wiliest and permittest."  One day when she had finished her prayer, the
saintly Princess said to M. Hue: "It is less for the unhappy King than
for his misguided people that I pray.  May the Lord deign to be moved,
and to look mercifully upon France!"  Then she added, with her
admirable resignation: "Come, let us take courage.  God will never send
us more troubles than we are able to bear."

{348}

The prisoners were permitted to walk a few steps in the garden every
day to get a breath of fresh air.  But even there they were insulted.
As they passed by, the guards stationed at the base of the tower took
pains to put on their hats and sit down.  The sentries scrawled insults
on the walls.  Colporteurs maliciously cried out bad tidings, which
were sometimes false.  One day, one of them announced a pretended
decree separating the King from his family.  The Queen, who was near
enough to hear distinctly the voice which told this news, not exact as
yet, was struck with a terror from which she did not recover.

And yet there were still souls that gave way to compassion.  From the
upper stories of houses near the Temple enclosure there were eyes
looking down into the garden when the prisoners took their walk.  The
common people and the workmen living in these poor abodes were
affected.  Sometimes, to show her gratitude for the sympathy of those
unknown friends, Marie Antoinette would remove her veil, and smile.
When the little Dauphin was playing, there would be hands at the
windows, joined as if to applaud.  Flowers would sometimes fall, as if
by chance, from a garret roof to the Queen's feet, and occasionally it
happened that when the captives had gone back to their prison, they
would hear in the darkness the echo of some royalist refrain, hummed by
a passer-by in the silence of the night.

The Temple tower is no longer in existence.  Bonaparte visited it when
he was Consul.  "There are {349} too many souvenirs in that prison," he
exclaimed.  "I will tear it down."  In 1811 he kept his promise.  The
palace of the grand-prior was destroyed in 1853.  No trace remains of
that famous enclosure of the Templars whose legend has so sombre a
poetry.  But it has left an impress on the imagination of peoples which
will never be effaced.  It seems to rise again gigantic, that tower
where the son of Saint Louis realized not alone the type of the antique
sage of whom Horace said: _Impavidum ferient ruinae_, but also the
purest ideal of the true Christian.  Does not the name Temple seem
predestinated for a spot which was to be sanctified by so many virtues,
and where the martyr King put in practice these verses of the
_Imitation of Jesus Christ_, his favorite book: "It needs no great
virtue to live peaceably with those who are upright and amiable; one is
naturally pleased in such society; we always love those whose
sentiments agree with ours.  But it is very praiseworthy, and the
effect of a special grace and great courage to live in peace with
severe and wicked men, who are disorderly, or who contradict us....  He
who knows best how to suffer, will enjoy the greatest peace; such a one
is the conqueror of himself, master of the world, the friend of Jesus
Christ, and the inheritor of heaven."



{350}

XXXIV.

THE PRINCESS DE LAMBALLE'S MURDER.

The Princess de Lamballe, after being taken from the Temple in the
night of August 18-19, had been examined by Billaud-Varennes at the
Hôtel-de-Ville, and then sent, at noon, August 19, to the Force.  This
prison, divided into two distinct parts, the great and the little
Force, was situated between the rues Roi-de-Sicile, Culture, and Pavée.
In 1792 it supplemented the Abbey and Châtelet prisons, which were
overcrowded.  The little Force had a separate entry on the rue Pavée to
the Marais, while the door of the large one opened on the rue des
Ballets, a few steps from the rue Saint-Antoine.  The register of the
little Force, which is preserved in the archives of the prefecture of
police, records that, at the time of the September massacres, this
prison in which the Princess de Lamballe was immured, contained one
hundred and ten women, most of them not concerned with political
affairs, and in great part women of the town.  Here, from August 19 to
September 3, the Princess suffered inexpressible anguish.  She never
heard a turnkey open the door of her cell without thinking that her
last hour had come.

{351}

The massacres began on September 2.  On that day the Princess de
Lamballe was spared.  In the evening she threw herself on her bed, a
prey to the most cruel anxiety.  Toward six o'clock the next morning,
the turnkey entered with a frightened air: "They are coming here," he
said to the prisoners.  Six men, armed with sabres, guns, and pistols,
followed him, approached the beds, asked the names of the women, and
went out again.  Madame de Tourzel, who shared the Princess de
Lamballe's captivity, said to her: "This threatens to be a terrible
day, dear Princess; we know not what Heaven intends for us; we must ask
God to forgive our faults.  Let us say the _Miserere_ and the
_Confiteor_ as acts of contrition, and recommend ourselves to His
goodness."  The two women said their prayers aloud, and incited each
other to resignation and courage.

There was a window which opened on the street, and from which, although
it was very high, one could see what was passing by mounting on Madame
de Lamballe's bed, and thence to the window ledge.  The Princess
climbed up, and as soon as her head was noticed on the street, a
pretence of firing on her was made.  She saw a considerable crowd at
the prison door.

Very little doubt remained concerning her fate.  Neither she nor Madame
de Tourzel had eaten since the previous day.  But they were too greatly
moved to take any breakfast.  They dared not speak to each other.  They
took their work, and sat down to await the result of the fatal day in
silence.

{352}

Toward eleven o'clock the door opened.  Armed men filled the room and
demanded Madame de Lamballe.  The Princess put on a gown, bade adieu to
Madame de Tourzel, and was led to the great Force, where some municipal
officers, wearing their insignia, subjected the prisoners to a
pretended trial.  In front of this tribunal stood executioners with
ferocious faces, who brandished bloody weapons.  The atmosphere was
sickening: full of the steam of carnage, and the odors of wine and
blood.  Madame de Lamballe fainted.  When she recovered consciousness
she was interrogated: "Who are you?"--"Marie Louise, Princess of
Savoy."--"What is your rank?"--"Superintendent of the Queen's
household."--"Were you acquainted with the conspiracies of the court on
August 10?"--"I do not know that there were any conspiracies on August
10, but I know I had no knowledge of them."--"Swear liberty, equality,
hatred to the King, the Queen, and royalty."--"I will swear the first
two without difficulty; I cannot swear the last; it is not in my
heart."  Here an assistant said in a whisper to Madame de Lamballe:
"Swear it! if you do not swear, you are a dead woman."  The Princess
made no answer; she put her hands up to her eyes, covered her face with
them and made a step toward the wicket.  The judge exclaimed: "Let some
one release Madame!"  This phrase was the death signal.  Two men took
the victim roughly by the arms, and made her walk over corpses.  Hardly
had she crossed the threshold when she received a {353} blow from a
sabre on the back of her head, which made her blood flow in streams.
In the narrow passage leading from the rue Saint-Antoine to the Force,
and called the Priests' cul-de-sac, she was despatched with pikes on a
heap of dead bodies.  Then they stripped off her clothes and exposed
her body to the insults of a horde of cannibals.  When the blood that
flowed from her wounds, or that of the neighboring corpses, had soiled
the body too much, they washed it with a sponge, so that the crowd
might notice its whiteness better.  They cut off her head and her
breasts.  They tore out her heart, and of this head and this heart they
made horrible trophies.  The pikes which bore them were lifted high in
air, and they went to carry around these excellent spoils of the
Revolution.

At the very moment when the hideous procession began its march, Madame
de Lebel, the wife of a painter, who owed many benefits to Madame de
Lamballe, was trying to get near the prison, hoping to hear news of
her.  Seeing the great commotion in the crowd, she inquired the cause.
When some one replied: "It is Lamballe's head that they are going to
carry through Paris," she was seized with horror, and, turning back,
took refuge in a hairdresser's shop on the Place Bastille.  Hardly had
she done so when the crowd entered the Place.  The murderers came into
the shop and required the hairdresser to arrange the head of the
Princess.  They washed it, and powdered the fair hair, all soiled with
{354} blood.  Then one of the assassins cried joyfully: "Now, at any
rate, Antoinette can recognize her!"  The procession resumed its march.
From time to time they called a halt before a wine-shop.  Wishing to
empty his glass, the scoundrel who had the Princess's head in his hand,
set it flat down on the lead counter.  Then it was put back on the end
of a pike.  The heart was on another pike, and other individuals
dragged along the headless corpse.  In this manner they arrived in
front of the Temple.  It was three o'clock in the afternoon.

On that day the royal family had been refused permission to go into the
garden.  They were in the little tower when the cries of the multitude
became audible.  The workmen who were then employed in tearing down the
walls and buildings contiguous to the Temple dungeon, mingled with the
crowd, increased also by innumerable curious spectators, and uttered
furious shouts.  One of the Municipal Guards at the Temple closed doors
and windows, and pulled down curtains so that the captives could see
nothing.

On the street in front of the enclosure a tricolored ribbon had been
fastened across, with this inscription: "Citizens, you who know how to
ally the love of order with a just vengeance, respect this barrier; it
is necessary to our surveillance and our responsibility."  This was the
sole dike they meant to oppose to the torrent.  At the side of this
ribbon stood a municipal officer named Danjou, formerly a priest, who
was called Abbé Six-feet, on account of his {355} height.  He mounted
on a chair and harangued the crowd.  He felt his face touched by Madame
de Lamballe's head, still on the end of a pike which the bearer shook
about and gesticulated with, and also by a rag of her chemise, soaked
with blood and mire, which another individual also carried on a pike.
The naked body was there likewise, with its back to the ground and the
front cut open to the very breast.  Danjou tried to make the crowd of
assassins who wanted to invade the Temple understand that at a moment
when the enemy was master of the frontiers, it would be impolitic to
deprive themselves of hostages so precious as Louis XVI. and his
family.  "Moreover," he added, "would it not demonstrate their
innocence if you dare not try them?  How much worthier it is of a great
people to execute a king guilty of treason on the scaffold!"  Thus,
while preventing an immediate massacre, he held the scaffold in
reserve.  Danjou said that the Communal Council, in order to show its
confidence in the citizens composing the mob, had decided that six of
them should be admitted to make the rounds of the Temple garden, with
the commissioners at their head.  The ribbon was then raised and
several persons entered the enclosure.  They were those who carried the
remains of Madame de Lamballe.  With these were the laborers who had
been at work on the demolitions.  Voices were heard demanding furiously
that Marie Antoinette should show herself at a window, so that some one
might climb up and make her {356} kiss her friend's head.  As Danjou
opposed this infernal scheme, he was accused of being on the side of
the tyrant.  Was the dungeon of the Temple to be forced?  Were the
assassins about to seize the Queen, tear her in pieces, and drag her,
like her friend, through streets and squares to the rolling of drums
and the chanting of the _Marseillaise_ and the _Ça ira_?

A municipal officer entered the tower and began a mysterious parley
with his colleagues.  As Louis XVI. asked what was going on, some one
replied: "Well, sir, since you desire to know, they want to show you
Madame de Lamballe's head."  Meanwhile the cries outside were growing
louder.  Another municipal came in, followed by four delegates from the
mob.  One of them, who carried a heavy sabre in his hand, insisted that
the prisoners should present themselves at the window, but this was
opposed by the municipal officers, who were less cruel.  This man said
to the Queen in an insulting tone: "They want us to hide the Princess
de Lamballe's head from you when we brought it to let you see how the
people avenge themselves on their tyrants.  I advise you to show
yourself if you don't want the people to come up."  Marie Antoinette
fainted on learning her friend's death in this manner.  Her children
burst into tears and tried by their caresses to bring her back to
consciousness.  The man did not go away.  "Sir," the King said to him,
"we are prepared for the worst, but you might have dispensed yourself
from informing the Queen of this frightful calamity." {357} Cléry, the
King's valet, was looking through a corner of the window blinds, and
saw Madame de Lamballe's head.  The person carrying it had climbed up
on a heap of rubbish from the buildings in process of demolition.
Another, who stood beside him, held her bleeding heart.  Cléry heard
Danjou expostulating the crowd in words like these: "Antoinette's head
does not belong to you; the departments have their rights in it also.
France has confided these great criminals to the care of Paris; and it
is your business to assist us in guarding them until national justice
shall avenge the people."  Then, addressing himself to these cannibals
as if they were heroes whose courage and exploits he praised, he added,
in speaking of the profaned corpse of the Princess de Lamballe: "The
remains you have there are the property of all.  Do they not belong to
all Paris?  Have you the right to deprive others of the pleasure of
sharing your triumph?  Night will soon be here.  Make haste, then, to
quit this precinct, which is too narrow for your glory.  You ought to
place this trophy in the Palais Royal or the Tuileries garden, where
the sovereignty of the people has been so often trampled under foot, as
an eternal monument of the victory you have just won."  Remarks like
these were all that could prevent these tigers from entering the Temple
and destroying the prisoners.  Shouts of "To the Palais Royal!" proved
to Danjou that his harangue had been appreciated.  The assassins at
last departed, after having covered his face with {358} kisses that
smelt of wine and blood.  They wanted to show their victim's head at
the Hôtel Toulouse, the mansion of the venerable Duke de Penthièvre,
her father-in-law, but were deterred by the assurance that she did not
ordinarily live there, but at the Tuileries.  Then they turned toward
the Palais Royal.  The Duke of Orleans was at a window with his
mistress, Madame de Buffon.  He left it, but he may have seen the head
of his sister-in-law.

Some of the cannibals had remained in the neighborhood of the Temple.
Sitting down at table in a wine-shop, they had the heart of the
Princess de Lamballe cooked, and ate it with avidity.  "Thus," says M.
de Beauchesne in his excellent work on Louis XVII., "this civilization
which had departed from God, surpassed at a single bound the fury of
savages, and the eighteenth century, so proud of its learning and
humanity, ended by anthropophagy."  In the evening, when some one was
giving Collot d'Herbois an account of the day's performances, he
expressed but one regret,--that they had not succeeded in showing Marie
Antoinette the remains of the Princess de Lamballe.  "What!" he
spitefully exclaimed, "did they spare the Queen that impression?  They
ought to have served up her best friend's head in a covered dish at her
table."



{359}

XXXV.

THE SEPTEMBER MASSACRES.

Lovers of paradoxes have tried to represent the September massacres as
something spontaneous, a passing delirium of opinion, a sort of great
national convulsion.  This myth was a lie against history and humanity.
It exists no longer, Heaven be thanked.  The mists with which it was
sought to shroud these execrable crimes are now dissipated.  Light has
been shed upon that series of infernal spectacles which would have made
cannibals blush.  No; these odious massacres were not the result of a
popular movement, an unforeseen fanaticism, a paroxysm of rage or
vengeance.  They present an ensemble of murders committed in cool
blood, a planned and premeditated thing.  M. Mortimer-Ternaux, in his
_Histoire de la Terreur_, M. Granier de Cassagnac, in his _Histoire des
Girondins et des Massacres de Septembre_, have proved this abundantly.
They have exhumed from the archives and the record offices such a mass
of uncontested and incontestable documents, that not the slightest
doubt is now permissible.  Edgar Quinet has not hesitated to recognize
this in his book, _La Révolution_.  He says: "The {360} massacres were
executed administratively; the same discipline was everywhere displayed
throughout the carnage....  This was not a piece of blind, spontaneous
barbarism; it was a barbarity slowly meditated, minutely elaborated by
a sanguinary mind.  Hence it bears no resemblance to anything
previously known in history.  Marat harvested in September what he had
been sowing for three years."  The Parisian populace, eight hundred
thousand souls, was inert; it was cowardly, it trembled; but it did not
approve, it was not an accomplice.  It was a monstrous thing that a
handful of cut-throats should be enough to transform Paris into a
slaughter-house.  One shudders in thinking what a few criminals can
accomplish in the midst of an immense population.  "The people, the
real people--that composed of laborious and honest workmen, ardent and
patriotic at heart, and of young _bourgeois_ with generous aspirations
and indomitable courage--never united for an instant with the
scoundrels recruited by Maillard from every kennel in the capital.
While the hired assassins of the Committee of Surveillance established
in the prisons what Vergniaud called a butcher's shop for human flesh,
the true populace was assembled on the Champ-de-Mars, and before the
enlistment booths; it was offering its purest blood for the country; it
would have blushed to shed that of helpless unfortunates."[1]  In 1871,
the murder of hostages and {361} the burning of monuments was no more
approved by the population than the massacres in the prisons were in
1792.  The crimes were committed at both epochs by a mere handful of
individuals.  The great majority of the people were guilty merely of
apathy and fear.

The hideous tableau surpasses the most lugubrious conceptions of
Dante's sombre imagination.  Paris is a hell.  From August 29, it is
like a torpid Oriental town.  The whole city is in custody, like a
criminal whose limbs are held while he is being searched and put in
irons.  Every house is inspected by the agents of the Commune.  A knock
at the door makes the inmates tremble.  The denunciation of an enemy, a
servant, a neighbor, is a death sentence.  People scarcely dare to
breathe.  Neither running water nor solid earth is free.  The parapets
of quays, the arches of bridges, the bathing and washing boats are
bristling with sentries.  Everything is surrounded.  There is no
refuge.  Three thousand suspected persons are taken out of houses, and
crowded into prisons.  The hunt begins anew the following day.  The
programme of massacres is arranged.  The Communal Council of
Surveillance has minutely regulated everything.  The price of the
actual work is settled.  The personnel of cut-throats is at its post.
Danton has furnished the executioners; Manuel, the victims.  All is
ready.  The bloody drama can begin.

On September 2, Danton said to the Assembly: "The tocsin about to sound
is not an alarm signal; it {362} is a charge upon the enemies of the
country.  To vanquish them, gentlemen, all that is needed is boldness,
and again boldness, and always boldness."  Two days before, he had been
still more explicit.  "The 10th of August," said he, "divided us into
republicans and royalists; the first few in number, the second many...;
we must make the royalists afraid."  A frightful gesture, a horizontal
gesture, sufficed to express his meaning.

Robbery preceded murder.  It was a veritable raid.  The Commune caused
the palaces, national property, the Garde-Meuble, the houses and
mansions of the _émigrés_ to be pillaged.  One saw nothing but carts
and wagons transporting stolen goods to the Hôtel-de-Ville.  All the
plate was stolen from the churches likewise.  "Millions," says Madame
Roland in her Memoirs, "passed into the hands of people who used it to
perpetuate the anarchy which was the source of their domination."  When
will the men of the Commune render their accounts?  Never.  Who are the
accomplices of Danton and Marat in organizing the massacres?  A band of
defaulting accountants, faithless violators of public trusts, breakers
of locks, swindlers, spies, and men overwhelmed with debts.  What
interest have they in planning the murders?  That of perpetuating the
dictatorship they had assumed on the eve of August 10, and, above all,
of having no accounts to render.  A few weeks later on, Collot
d'Herbois will say at the Jacobin Club: "The 2d of September is the
chief article in the creed of our liberty."

{363}

The jailors were forewarned.  They served the prisoners' dinner
earlier, and took away their knives.  There was a disturbed and uneasy
look in their faces which made the victims suspect their end was near.
Toward noon the general alarm was beaten in every street.  The citizens
were ordered to return at once to their dwellings.  An order was issued
to illuminate every house when night fell.  The shops were closed.
Terror overspread the entire city.

It was agreed that at the third discharge of cannon the cut-throats
should set to work.  The first blood shed was that of prisoners taken
from the mayoralty to the Abbey prison.  The carriages containing them
passed along the Quai des Orfèvres, the Pont-Neuf and rue Dauphine,
until it reached the Bussy square.  Here there was a crowd assembled
around a platform where enlistments were going on.  The throng impeded
the progress of the carriages.  Thereupon one of the escort opened the
door of one of them, and standing on the step, plunged his sabre into
the breast of an aged priest.  The multitude shuddered and fled in
affright.  "That makes you afraid," said the assassin; "you will see
plenty more like it."

The rest of the escort followed the example set them.  The carriages go
on again, and so do the massacres.  They kill along the route, and they
kill on arriving at the Abbey.  Towards five o'clock, Billaud-Varennes
presents himself there, wearing his municipal scarf.  "People," says
he--what he calls {364} people is a band of salaried
assassins--"people, thou immolatest thine enemies, thou art doing thy
duty."  Then he walks into the midst of the dead bodies, dipping his
feet in blood, and fraternizes with the murderers.  "There is nothing
more to do here," exclaims Maillard; "let us go to the Carmelites."

At the Carmelites, one hundred and eighty priests, crowded into the
church and convent, were awaiting their fate with pious resignation.
Two days before, Manuel had said to them ironically: "In forty-eight
hours you will all be free.  Get ready to go into a foreign country and
enjoy the repose you cannot find here."  And on the previous day a
gendarme had said to the Archbishop of Arles, blowing the smoke from
his pipe into his face as he did so: "It is to-morrow, then, that they
are going to kill Your Grandeur."  A short time before the massacre
began, the victims were sent into the garden.  At the bottom of it was
an orangery which has since become a chapel.  Mgr. Dulau, Archbishop of
Arles, and the Bishops of Beauvais and de Saintes, both of whom were
named de la Rochefoucauld, kneeled down with the other priests and
recited the last prayers.  The murderers approached.  The Archbishop of
Arles, who was upwards of eighty, advanced to meet them.  "I am he whom
you seek," he said; "my sacrifice is made; but spare these worthy
priests; they will pray for you on earth, and I in heaven."  They
insulted him before they struck him.  "I have never done harm to any
one," said he.  An assassin {365} responded: "Very well; I'll do some
to you," and killed him.  The other priests were chased around the
garden from one tree to another, and shot down.  During this infernal
hunt the murderers were shouting with laughter and singing their
favorite song: _Dansez la Carmagnole_!

The massacre of the Carmelites is over.  "Let us go back to the Abbey!"
cries Maillard; "we shall find more game there."  This time there is a
pretence of justice made.  The tribunal is the vestibule of the Abbey;
Maillard, the chief cut-throat, is president; the assassins are the
judges, and the public, the Marseillais, the sans-culottes, the female
furies, and men to whom murder was a delightful spectacle.  The
prisoners are summoned one after another.  They enter the vestibule,
which has a wicket as a door of exit.  They are questioned simply as a
matter of form.  Their answers are not even listened to.  "Conduct this
gentleman to the Force!" says the president.  The prisoner thinks he is
safe; he does not know that this phrase has been agreed upon as the
signal of death.  On reaching the wicket, hatchet and sabre strokes cut
him down in the midst of his dream.  The Swiss officers and soldiers
who had survived August 10 were murdered thus.  Their torture lasted a
longer or shorter time, and was accomplished with more or less cruel
refinements, according to the caprice of the assassins, who were nearly
all drunk.

Night came, and torches were lighted.  No {366} shadows; a grand
illumination.  They must see clearly in the slaughter house.  Lanterns
were placed near the lakes of blood and heaps of dead bodies, so as
plainly to distinguish the work from the workmen.  There were some who
were bent on losing no details of the carnage.  The spectators wanted
to take things easy.  They were tired of standing too long.  Benches
for men and others for dames were got ready for them.  The death-rattle
of the agonizing, the vociferations of the assassins, the emulation
between the executioners who kill slowly and the victims who are in
haste to die, give joy to the spectators.  There is no interruption to
the human butchery.  There has been so much blood spilled that the feet
of the murderers slip on the pavement.  A litter is made of straw and
the clothes of the victims, and thereafter none are killed except upon
this mattress.  In this way the work is more commodiously accomplished.
The assassins have plenty of assurance.  Morning dawns on the
continuation of the murders, and the wives of the murderers bring them
something to eat.

On September 2, the only persons handed over to the cut-throats, were
at the Abbey, the Carmelites, and Saint-Firmin.  On September 3, the
massacre became more general.  The assassins had said: "If there is no
more work, we shall have to find some."  Their desire realizes itself.
Work will not be lacking.  There is still some at the Force, where the
Princess de Lamballe, the preferred victim, is {367} murdered.  The
assassins, who at the Abbey had been paid at the rate of eight francs a
day, get only fifty sous at the Force.  They work with undiminished
zeal, even at this reduction.  If necessary, they would work for
nothing.  To drink wine and shed blood is the essential thing.  The
negro Delorme, servant to Fournier "the American," distinguishes
himself among them all.  His black skin, reddened with blood, his white
teeth and ferocious eyes, his bestial laugh, his ravenous fury, make
him a choice assassin.  There is work too at the Conciergerie, at the
great and little Châtelet, the Salpêtrière, and the Bicêtre.  A great
number of those detained are people condemned or accused of private
crimes which had absolutely nothing in common with politics.  No
matter; blood is wanted; they kill there as elsewhere.  At the Grand
Châtelet, work is so plenty, and the assassins so few, that they
release several individuals imprisoned for theft, and impress them into
their service.  One of these unfortunate accidental executioners begins
in a hesitating way, strikes a few undecided blows, and then throws
down the hatchet placed in his hands.  "No, no," he cries, "I cannot.
No, no!  Rather a victim than a murderer!  I would rather receive death
from scoundrels like you, then give it to innocent, disarmed people.
Strike me!"  And at once the veteran murderers kill the inexperienced
cut-throat.  There was a woman, known on account of her charms as the
Beautiful Flower Girl, who was accused of having wounded {368} her
lover, a French guard, in a fit of jealousy.  Théroigne de Mericourt,
an amazon of the gutters, was her rival.  She pointed her out to the
assassins.  They fastened her naked to a post, her legs apart and her
feet nailed to the ground.  They burned her alive.  They cut off her
breasts with sabre strokes.  They impaled her on a hot iron.  Her
shrieks carried dismay as far as the outer banks of the Seine.
Théroigne was at the height of felicity.

At the Salpêtrière there was still another spectacle.  This prison for
fallen women is a place of correction for the old, of amendment for the
young, and an asylum for those who are still children.  More than forty
children of the lower classes were slain during these horrible days.
The delirium of murder reached its height.  Gorged with wine mingled
with gunpowder, intoxicated with the fumes and reek of carnage, the
assassins experienced a devouring, inextinguishable thirst for blood
which nothing could quench.  More blood, and yet more blood!  And where
can it now be found?  The prisons are empty.  There are no more nobles,
no more priests, to put to death.  Very well! for lack of anything
better, they will go to an asylum for the poor, the sick, and the
insane; to the Bicêtre.  Vagabonds, paupers, fools, thieves, steward,
chaplains, janitor, all is fish that comes to their net.  The butchery
lasts five days and nights without stopping.  Massacre takes every
form; some are drowned in the cellars, others shot in the courts.
Water, fire, and sword, every sort of torture.

{369}

The cut-throats can at last take some repose.  They have worked all the
week.  There are still some, however, who have not yet had enough, and
who are going to continue the massacres of Paris in the provinces.  The
Communal Council of Surveillance has taken care to send to every
commune in France a circular bearing the seal of the Minister of
Justice, inviting them to follow the example of the capital.

September 9, the prisoners who had been detained at Orleans to be tried
there by the Superior Court, entered Versailles on carts.  At the
moment when they approached the grating of the Orangery, assassins sent
from Paris under the lead of Fournier "the American" sprang upon them
and immolated every one.  Thus perished the former Minister of Foreign
Affairs, de Lessart, and the Duke de Brissac, former commander of the
Constitutional Guard.  Fournier "the American"[2] returned on horseback
to Paris and began to caracole on the Place Vendôme; Danton loudly
felicitated him on the success of the expedition, from the balcony of
the Ministry of Justice.

During all this time, what efforts had the Assembly made to put a stop
to the murders?  None, absolutely none.  Never has any deliberative
body shown a like cowardice.  Neither Vergniaud's voice nor that of any
other Girondin was heard in protest.  Indignation, pity, found not a
single word to say.  Speeches, {370} discussions, votes on different
questions, went on as usual.  Concerning the massacres, not a syllable.
During that infamous week, neither the ministers, the virtuous Roland
not more than the others, neither Pétion, the mayor of Paris, nor the
commander of the National Guard sent a picket guard of fifty men to any
quarter to prevent the murders.  A population of eight hundred thousand
souls and a National Guard of fifty thousand men bent their necks under
the yoke of a handful of bandits, of two hundred and thirty-five
assassins (the exact number is known).  People trembled.  At the
Assembly the old moderate party had disappeared.  There were not more
than two hundred odd deputies present at the shameful and powerless
sessions.  Terrorized Paris was in a state of stupor and prostration.

The murderers ended by execrating themselves.  Tormented by remorse,
they could see nothing before them but vivid faces, reeking entrails,
bleeding limbs.  "Among the cut-throats," M. Louis Blanc has said,
"some gave signs of insanity that led to the supposition that some
mysterious and terrible drug had been mingled with the wine they
drank."  Some of them became furious madmen.  Others sought refuge in
suicide, killing themselves the moment they had no one else to kill.
Others enlisted.  They were chased out of the army.  Among these was
the man who had carried the head of the Princess de Lamballe on a pike.
One day when he was boasting of his murders, the soldiers became
indignant and {371} put him to death.  Others still were tried as
Septembrists and sent to the scaffold.  The guilty received their
punishment, even on this earth.  Well! there are people nowadays who
would like to rehabilitate them!  In vain has Lamartine, the founder of
the Second Republic, exclaimed in a burst of noble wrath: "Has human
speech an execration, an anathema, which is equal to the horror these
crimes of cannibals inspire in me, as in all civilized men?"  In vain
have the most celebrated historians of democracy, Edgar Quinet and
Michelet, expressed in eloquent terms their indignation against these
crimes.  In vain has M. Louis Blanc said: "Every murder is a suicide.
In the victim the body alone is killed; but what is killed in the
murderer is the soul."  There are men who would not alone excuse, but
glorify the assassinations and the assassins!



[1] M. Mortimer-Ternaux, _Histoire de la Terreur_.

[2] Claude Fournier-Lhéritier, was born in Auvergne, 1745, and served
as a volunteer in Santo Domingo, 1772-85, with Toussaint l'Ouverture,
whence his sobriquet "the American."



{372}

XXXVI.

MADAME ROLAND DURING THE MASSACRES.

Madame Roland's hatred was appeased.  The ambitious _bourgeoise_
throned it for the second time at the Ministry of the Interior, and the
Queen groaned in captivity in the Temple tower.  The Egeria of the
Girondins had not felt her heart swell with a single movement of pity
for Marie Antoinette.  The fatal 10th of August had seemed to her a
personal triumph in which her pride delighted.  The parvenue enjoyed
the humiliations of the daughter of the German Cæsars.  Her jealous
instincts feasted on the afflictions of the Queen of France and Navarre.

Lamartine, indignant at this cruelty on Madame Roland's part, has
repented of the eulogies he gave her in his _Histoire des Girondins_.
In his _Cours de Littérature_ (Volume XIII. Conversation XXIII.), he
says: "I glided over that medley of intrigue and pomposity which
composed the genius, both feminine and Roman, of this woman.  In so
doing, I conceded more to popularity than to truth.  I wanted to give a
Cornelia to the Republic.  As a matter of fact, I do not know what
Cornelia was, that mother of the {373} Gracchi who brought up
conspirators against the Roman Senate, and trained them to sedition,
that virtue of ambitious commoners.  As to Madame Roland, who inflated
a vulgar husband by the breath of her feminine anger against a court
she found odious because it did not open to her upstart vanity, there
was nothing really fine in her except her death.  Her rôle had been a
mere parade of true greatness of soul."  What Lamartine finds fault
with most of all is her hostility to the martyr Queen.  He adds: "She
inspired the Girondins, her intimate friends, with an implacable hatred
against the Queen, already so humiliated and so menaced; she had
neither respect nor pity for this victim; she points her out to the
rebellious multitude.  She is no longer a wife, a mother, or a
Frenchwoman.  She poses as Nemesis at the door of the Temple, when the
Queen is groaning there over her husband, her children, and herself,
between the throne and the scaffold.  This ostentatious stoicism of
implacability is what, in my view, kills the woman in this female
demagogue."

Alas! if Madame Roland was guilty, she was to be punished cruelly.  The
colleague of the _virtuous_ Roland was the organizer of the September
massacres.  The republican sheepfold dreamed of by the admirer of
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was invaded by ferocious beasts.  Human nature
had never appeared under a more execrable aspect than since its
so-called regeneration.  Madame Roland was filled with a naïve
astonishment.  After having sown the wind she was {374} utterly
surprised to reap the whirlwind.  What! she said to herself, my husband
is minister, or, to speak with great exactness, I am the minister
myself, and yet there are people in France who are dissatisfied!
Ungrateful nation, why dost thou not appreciate thy happiness?  Madame
Roland resembled certain politicians, who, having attained to power,
would willingly disembarrass themselves of those by whose aid they
reached it.  For the second time she had just arrived at the goal of
her ambition.  Who dared, then, to pollute her joy?  Why did that
marplot, Danton, come with his untimely massacres to destroy such
brilliant projects and banish such delightful dreams?  The man who, as
if in derision and antithesis, allowed himself to be called the
Minister of Justice, produced the effect of a monster on Madame Roland.
The republic as conceived by him had not the head of a goddess, but of
a Gorgon.  Its eyes glittered with a sinister lustre.  The sword it
held was that of an assassin or a headsman.

Madame Roland was greatly astonished when, on Sunday, September 2,
1792, toward five in the evening, when the massacres had already begun,
she saw two hundred men of forbidding appearance arrive at the Ministry
of the Interior and ask for her husband, who was absent.  Lucky for him
he was; for albeit a minister, they had come to arrest him in virtue of
a mandate of the Communal Council of Surveillance.  Not finding Roland,
the two hundred men retired.  One of them, with his shirt-sleeves
rolled up to his {375} elbows, and a sabre in his hand, declaimed
furiously against the treachery of ministers.  A few minutes later,
Danton said to Pétion: "Do you know what they have taken into their
heads?  If they haven't issued a decree to arrest Roland!"--"Who did
that?" demanded the mayor.--"Eh! those devils of committeemen.  I have
taken the mandate; hold! here it is!"

What was Madame Roland doing the next day, when the worst of the
massacres were going on?  She gave a dinner, and allowed the Prussian,
Anacharsis Clootz, who came, moreover, uninvited, to make a regular
defence of these horrible murders.  "The events of the day," she says
in her Memoirs, "formed the subject of conversation.  Clootz pretended
to prove that it was an indispensable and salutary measure; he uttered
a good many commonplaces about the people's rights, the justice of
their vengeance, and of its utility to the welfare of the species; he
talked a long while and very loudly, ate still more, and fatigued more
than one listener."

And yet, revolutionary passions had not extinguished every notion of
humanity and justice in Madame Roland's soul.  On that very day she
induced her husband to write a letter to the National Assembly
concerning the massacres.  But how weak and undecided is this letter,
and how public opinion must have been lowered and debased when it could
regard Roland as a courageous minister!  In place of scathing the
murderers with the energy of an {376} honest man, he pleads extenuating
circumstances in their favor.  "It is in the nature of things and
according to the human heart," he said in his pale missive, "that
victory should lead to some excesses.  The sea, agitated by a violent
storm, continues to roar long after the tempest; but everything has its
limits and must finally see them determined.  Yesterday was a day over
whose events we ought, perhaps, to draw a veil.  I know that the
terrible vengeance of the people carries with it a sort of justice; but
how easy it is for scoundrels and traitors to abuse this effervescence,
and how necessary it is to arrest it!"  This language produced not the
least effect.  The massacres went on, and Roland remained minister;
although in his letter of September 3 he had written: "I ask the
privilege of resigning if the silence of the laws does not permit me to
act."  The _virtuous_ Roland sat in the Council beside his colleague,
the organizer of this human butchery.  September 13, he addressed a
letter to the Parisians in which he burnt incense to himself, bragged
about his character, his actions, and his firmness, and carried his
infatuation so far as to write: "I have twice accepted a burden which I
felt myself able to bear."  Ah! how difficult it is to renounce even a
shadow of power, and of what compromises with their consciences are not
ministers capable in order to retain for a few days longer the
portfolios that are slipping from their hands!  In the depths of his
soul Roland, like his wife, had the profoundest horror of the murders
and {377} the murderers.  And yet notice how he extenuates them in his
letter to the Parisians: "I admired August 10; I trembled over the
results of September 2; I carefully considered what the betrayed
patience of the people and their justice had produced, and I did not
blame a first impulse too inconsiderately; I believe that its further
progress should have been prevented, and that those who were seeking to
perpetuate it were deceived by their imagination or by cruel and
evil-minded men.  If the erring brethren recognize that they have been
deceived, let them come; my arms are open to them."  That was a very
prompt amnesty.  Already the assassins are but erring brethren, and the
minister welcomes them to his arms!

The Gironde kept silence, or, if it spoke, it was to attribute, like
Vergniaud, the massacres "to the _émigrés_ and the satellites of
Coblentz."  Later on, they were horrified by the crimes, but it was
when others were to profit by them.  Each taken by himself, the
Girondins did not hesitate to condemn the murders; but taken as a
whole, they considered merely the interests of their party.  Were not
three of them still in the Ministerial Council?  What had they to
complain of, then?  The September massacres are the most striking
expression of what abominations the ambitious may commit or allow to be
committed in order to maintain themselves a few weeks longer in power.

But there is a voice in the depths of conscience {378} which neither
interest nor ambition can succeed in stifling.  Madame Roland could not
blind herself.  The odious reality appeared to her.  At last she saw
the yawning gulf beneath her feet, and she uttered a cry of terror.  A
secret voice warned her that her fate would be like that of the
September victims.  After the 9th of that fatal month her imagination
was vividly impressed.  Bloody phantoms rose before her.  She wrote on
that day to Bancal des Issarts: "If you knew the frightful details of
these expeditions....  You know my enthusiasm for the Revolution; well,
I am ashamed of it; it has become hideous.  In a week ... how do I know
what may happen?  It is degrading to remain in office, and we are not
permitted to leave Paris.  We are detained so that we may be destroyed
at the propitious moment."

From that time a rising anger and indignation took possession of the
mind and heart of the Egeria of the Girondins, and constantly increased
until the hour when she ascended the steps of the scaffold.  She writes
in her Memoirs, apropos of the September massacres: "All Paris
witnessed these horrible scenes executed by a small number of wretches
(there were but fifteen at the Abbey, at the door of which only two
National Guards were stationed, in spite of the applications made to
the Commune and the commandant).  All Paris permitted it to go on.  All
Paris was accursed in my eyes, and I no longer hoped that liberty might
be established among cowards, insensible to the worst outrages that
could be perpetrated {379} against nature and humanity, cold spectators
of attempts which the courage of fifty armed men could have prevented
with ease....  It is not the first night that astonishes me; but four
days!--and inquisitive people going to see this spectacle!  No, I know
nothing in the annals of the most barbarous peoples which can compare
with these atrocities."

What a striking lesson for those who play with anarchical passions and
end by falling themselves into the snares they have laid for others!
Nothing is more deserving of study than this retaliatory punishment
which is found, one may say, on every page of revolutionary histories.
The hour was coming when the Girondins and their heroine would repent
of the means they had employed to overset the throne.  This was when
the same means were employed against them, when they recognized their
own weapons in the wounds they received.  Then, when they had no more
interest in keeping silence, they sought to escape a complicity that
gained them nothing.  Instead of the luminous heights which in their
golden dreams they had aspired to gain, they fell, crushed and
overwhelmed, into a dismal gulf, full of tears and blood.  How bitter
then were their recriminations against men and things!  It was only to
virtue that the dying Brutus said: "Thou art but a name."  The
Girondins said it also to glory, to country, and to liberty.  Those
among them who did not succeed in fleeing, disavowed, denounced, and
insulted each other before the revolutionary tribunal.  At the {380}
Conciergerie they intoned the Marseillaise, but parodying the demagogic
chant in this wise:--

  Contre nous de la tyrannie[1]
  Le _couteau_ sanglant est levé.


Read the Memoirs of Louvet, Buzot, Barbaroux, Pétion, and Madame
Roland, and you will see to what extremes of bitterness the language of
deceived ambition can go.  They are paroxysms of rage, howls of anger,
shrieks of despair.  Consider the difference between philosophy and
religion!  The philosophers curse, and the Christian pardons.  Yes, as
Edgar Quinet has said, "Louis XVI. alone speaks of forgiveness on that
scaffold to which the others were to bring thoughts of vengeance and
despair.  And by that he seems still to reign over those who were to
follow him in death with the passions and the furies of earth."  Louis
XVI. will be magnanimous and calm.  A celestial sweetness will
overspread his royal countenance.  An infernal rage will distort the
heart and the features of the Girondins.  What pains, what tortures, in
their death-struggle!  Earth fails them, and they do not look to
heaven.  What accents of disgust and hatred when they speak of their
former accomplices, now become their executioners!

"Great God!" Buzot will say, "if it is only by such men and such
infamous means that republics {381} can arise and be consolidated,
there is no government more frightful on this earth nor more fatal to
human happiness."  He will address these insults, worthy of the
imprecations of Camillus, to the city of Paris: "I say truly, that
France can expect neither liberty nor happiness except from the
irreparable destruction of that capital."

Barbaroux will be still more severe.  His anathemas are launched not
only at Paris, but at all France.  "The people," he says, "do not
deserve that one should become attached to them, for they are
essentially ungrateful.  It is the absurdest folly to try to conduct to
liberty people without morals, who blaspheme God and adore Marat.
These people are no more fit for a philosophic government than the
lazzaroni of Naples or the cannibals of America....  Liberty, virtue,
sacred rights of men, to-day you are nothing but empty names."  Pétion,
before dying, will write to his son this letter, which is like the
testament of the Gironde: "My greatest torment will be to think that so
many crimes went unpunished; vengeance is here the most sacred of
duties....  My son, either the murderers of thy father and thy country
will be delivered to the severities of the law and expiate their crimes
upon the scaffold, or thou art under obligation to free thy country
from them.  They have broken all the ties of society; their crimes are
of such a nature that they do not fall under ordinary rules.  From such
monsters every one is authorized to purge the earth."

{382}

Madame Roland will be not less vehement than Buzot, Barbaroux, and
Pétion.  She will address these severe but just reproaches to her
friends who had not been valiant enough in their own defence: "They
temporized with crime, the cowards!  They were to fall in their turn,
but they succumb shamefully, pitied by nobody, and with nothing to
expect from posterity but utter contempt....  Rather than obey their
tyrants, than descend from the bar and go out of the Assembly like a
timid flock about to be branded by the butcher, why did they not do
justice to themselves by falling on the monsters to annihilate them
rather than be sentenced by them?"  It is not her friends alone whom
her anger will lash, but the sovereign people, the people once so
flattered, whom she will pursue with her anathemas.  "The people," she
will say, "can feel nothing but the cannibal joy of seeing blood flow,
in order that they may run no risk of shedding their own.  That
predicted time has come when, if they ask for bread, dead bodies will
be given them; but their degraded nature takes pleasure in the
spectacle, and the satisfied instinct of cruelty makes the dearth
supportable until it becomes absolute."  The Egeria of the Girondins
will comprehend that all is lost, that even her blood will be sterile,
and that France is condemned either to anarchy or a dictatorship.
"Liberty," she will exclaim, "was not made for this corrupt nation,
which leaves the bed of debauchery or the dunghill of poverty only to
brutalize itself in license, and howl as it {383} wallows in the blood
streaming from scaffolds."  Like the damned souls in Dante, Madame
Roland will leave all hope behind, and when, a few days after Marie
Antoinette, she ascends the steps of the guillotine, instead of
thinking of heaven, like the Queen, she will address this sarcastic
speech to the plaster statue which has replaced that of Louis XV.: "O
Liberty! how they have betrayed thee!"

But let us not anticipate.  The Girondins are still to have a glimmer
of joy.  The Republic is about to be proclaimed.



[1] The bloody _knife_ of tyranny is lifted against us.



{384}

XXXVII.

THE PROCLAMATION OF THE REPUBLIC.

"One of the astonishing things in the French Revolution," says one of
the most eminent writers of the democratic school, Edgar Quinet, "is
the unexpectedness with which the great changes occur.  The most
important events, the destruction of the monarchy and the advent of the
Republic, came about without any previous warning."  The most ardent
republicans were royalists, not merely under the old régime, but after
1789, and even up to August 10, 1792.  Marat wrote, in No. 374 of the
_Ami du Peuple_, February 17, 1791: "I have often been represented as a
mortal enemy of royalty, but I claim that the King has no better friend
than myself."  And he added: "As to Louis XVI. personally, I know very
well that his defects are chargeable solely to his education, and that
by nature he is an excellent sort of man, whom one would have cited as
a worthy citizen if he had not had the misfortune to be born on the
throne; but, such as he is, he is at all events the King we want.  We
ought to thank Heaven for having given him to us.  We ought to pray
that he may be spared to us."  Marat praying, {385} Marat thanking
Heaven! and for whom?  For the King.  Does not that prove what deep
root royalty had taken in France?  April 20, 1792, the same Marat
bitterly reproached Condorcet with "shamelessly calumniating the
Jacobin Club, and perfidiously accusing it of wishing to destroy the
monarchy" (_L' Ami du Peuple_, No. 434).  June 13, he attacked those
who violated the oath taken at the time of the Federation, and said:
"To defend the Constitution is the same thing as to be faithful to the
nation, the law, and the King" (_L' Ami du Peuple_, No. 448).

During the entire continuance of the Legislative Assembly, when
Robespierre, having left the tribune, was pretending to educate the
people by means of his journal, what he defended to the utmost was the
royal Constitution.  Madame Roland relates that after the flight to
Varennes, when the prospect of a republic loomed up, possibly for the
first time, at a secret meeting, Robespierre, grinning as usual, and
biting his nails, asked ironically what a republic might be.  In June,
1792, the entire Jacobin Club was royalist still.  It proposed to drop
Billaud-Varennes, because Billaud-Varennes had dared to put the
monarchical principle in question.  On the 7th of July following, two
months and a half, that is, before the opening of the Convention, at
the time of the famous Lamourette Kiss, all the members of the Assembly
swore to execrate the Republic forever.  Three weeks after September 2,
Danton alleged the paucity and the weakness of the republicans,
compared with the royalists, as {386} motives for the massacres.
Pétion has said: "When the insurrection of August 10 was undertaken,
there were but five men in France who desired a republic."

Buzot, Madame Roland's idol, has written: "A wretched mob,
unintelligent and unenlightened, vomited forth insults against royalty;
the rest neither desired nor willed anything but the Constitution of
1791, and spoke of the republicans just as one speaks of extremely
honest fools.  This people is republican only through force of the
guillotine."  And yet, September 21, 1792, the Convention, holding its
first sitting in the Hall of the Manège, began by proclaiming the
Republic.

Buzot, in his Memoirs, has thus described the deputations that were
sent to the bar, and the public that occupied the galleries: "It seemed
as if the outlet of every sewer in Paris and other great cities had
been searched for whatever was most filthy, hideous, and infected.
Villainously dirty faces, surmounted by shocks of greasy hair, and with
eyes half sunk into their heads, they spat out, with their nauseating
breath, the grossest insults mingled with the sharp snarls of
carnivorous beasts.  The galleries were worthy of such legislators: men
whose frightful aspect betokened crime and poverty, and women whose
shameless faces expressed the filthiest debauchery.  When all these
with hands and feet and voice made their horrible racket, one seemed to
be in an assembly of devils."

When the session opened, Collot d'Herbois was {387} the first speaker.
He said: "There is a matter which you cannot put off until to-morrow,
which you cannot put off until this evening, which you cannot defer for
a single instant without being unfaithful to the wishes of the nation;
it is the abolition of royalty."  Quinet having objected that it would
be better to present this question when the Constitution was to be
discussed, Grégoire, constitutional Bishop of Blois, exclaimed:
"Certainly, no one will ever propose to us to preserve the deadly race
of kings in France.  All the dynasties have been breeds of ravenous
beasts, living on nothing but human flesh; still it is necessary to
reassure plainly the friends of liberty; this magic talisman, which
still has power to stupefy so many men, must be destroyed."  Bazire
remarked that it would be a frightful example to the people to see an
Assembly which they had entrusted with their dearest interests, resolve
upon anything in a moment of enthusiasm and without thorough
discussion.  Grégoire replied with vehemence: "Eh! what need is there
of discussion when everybody is of the same mind?  Kings, in the moral
order, are what monsters are in the physical order.  Courts are the
workshop of crime and the lair of tyrants.  The history of kings is the
martyrology of nations; we are all equally penetrated by this truth.
What is the use of discussing it?"  Then the question, put to vote in
these terms: "The National Convention declares that royalty is
abolished in France," was adopted amidst applause.

{388}

At four in the afternoon of the same day, a municipal officer named
Lubin, surrounded by mounted gendarmes and a large crowd of people,
came to read a proclamation before the Temple tower.  The trumpets were
sounded.  A great silence ensued, and Lubin, who had a stentorian
voice, read loud enough to be heard by the royal family confined in the
dungeon, this proclamation, the death knell of monarchy: "Royalty is
abolished in France.  All public acts will be dated from the first year
of the Republic.  The seal of State will be inscribed with this motto:
_Republique française_.  The National Seal will represent a woman
seated on a sheaf of arms, holding in one hand a pike surmounted by a
liberty-cap."  Hébert (the famous Père Duchesne) was at this moment on
guard near the royal family.  Sitting on the threshold of their
chamber, he sought to discover a movement of vexation or anger, or any
other emotion on their faces.  He was unsuccessful.  While listening to
the revolutionary decree which snatched away his throne, the descendant
of Saint Louis, Henry IV., and Louis XIV. experienced not the slightest
trouble.  He had a book in his hand, and he quietly went on reading it.
As impassive as her spouse, the Queen neither made a movement nor
uttered a word.  When the proclamation was finished, the trumpets
sounded again.  Cléry then went to the window, and the eyes of the
crowd turned instantly towards him.  As they mistook him for Louis
XVI., they overwhelmed him with insults.  The gendarmes made
threatening {389} gestures, and he was obliged to withdraw so as to
quiet the tumult.  While the populace was unchained around the Temple
prison, one man alone was calm, one man alone seemed a stranger to all
anxiety: it was the prisoner.

A new era begins.  The death-struggle of royalty is over.  Royalty is
dead, and the King is soon to die.  Grégoire, who had stolen the vote
(there were but 371 conventionists present; 374 were absent; that is to
say, more than half), is both surprised and enthusiastic about what he
has done.  He confesses that for several days his excessive joy
deprived him of appetite and sleep.  Such joy will not last very long.
M. Taine compares revolutionary France to a badly nourished workman,
poor, and overdriven with toil, and yet who drinks strong liquors.  At
first, in his intoxication, he thinks he is a millionnaire, loved and
admired; he thinks himself a king.  "But soon the radiant visions give
place to black and monstrous phantoms....  At present, France has
passed through the period of joyous delirium, and is about to enter on
another that is sombre; behold it, capable of daring, suffering, and
doing all things, whenever its guides, as widely astray as itself,
shall point out an enemy or an obstacle to its fury."

How quickly the disenchantments come!  Already Lafayette, the man of
generous illusions, has had to imitate the conduct of those _émigrés_
on whom he has been so severe.  He has fled to a foreign land, and
found there not a refuge, but a prison.  He will {390} remain more than
five years in the gloomy fortress of Olmutz.  The victor of Valmy,
Dumouriez, will hardly be more fortunate.  He will go over to the
enemy, and live in exile on a pension from foreign powers.  How close
together deceptions and recantations come!  Marat, who had already said
to the inhabitants of the capital: "Eternal cockneys, with what
epithets would I not assail you in the transports of my despair, if I
knew any more humiliating than that of Parisians?"[1]  Marat, who had
said to all Frenchmen: "No, no; liberty is not made for an ignorant,
light, and frivolous nation, for cits brought up in fear,
dissimulation, knavery, and lying, nourished in cunning, intrigue,
sycophancy, avarice, and swindling, subsisting only by theft and
rapine, aspiring after nothing but pleasures, titles, and decorations,
and always ready to sell themselves for gold!"[2]  Marat will write,
May 7th, 1793, that is to say, at the apogee of his favorite political
system: "All measures taken up to the present day by the assemblies,
constituent, legislative, and conventional, to establish and
consolidate liberty, have been thoughtless, vain, and illusory, even
supposing them to have been taken in good faith.  The greater part seem
to have had for their object to perpetuate oppression, bring on
anarchy, death, poverty, and famine; to make the people weary of their
independence, to make liberty a burden, to cause them to {391} detest
the Revolution, through its excessive disorders, to exhaust them by
watching, fatigue, want, and inanition, to reduce them to despair by
hunger, and to bring them back to despotism by civil war."[3]

There were six ministers appointed on August 10.  Two of them, Claviére
and Roland, will kill themselves; two others, Lebrun-Tondu and Danton,
will be guillotined; the remaining two, Servan and Monge, are destined
to become, one a general of division under Napoleon, and the other a
senator of the Empire and Count of Péluse; and when, at the beginning
of his reign, the Emperor complains to the latter because there are
still partisans of the Republic to be found: "Sire," the former
minister of August 10 will answer, "we had so much trouble to make them
republicans! may it please Your Majesty kindly to allow them at least a
few days to become imperialists!"  Of the two men who had so
enthusiastically brought about the proclamation of the Republic, one,
Collot d'Herbois, will be transported to Guiana by the republicans, and
die there in a paroxysm of burning fever; the other, Grégoire, will be
a senator of the Empire, which will not, however, prevent him from
promoting the deposition of Napoleon as he had promoted that of Louis
XVI.  There are men who will exchange the jacket of the _sans-culotte_
for the gilded livery of an imperial functionary.  The conventionists
and regicides are {392} transformed into dukes and counts and barons.
David, the official painter of the Empire, Napoleon's favorite, will
paint with joy the picture of a pope, and be very proud of his great
picture of the new Charlemagne's coronation.  But listen to Edgar
Quinet: "When I see the orators of deputations taking things with such
a high hand at the bar, and lording it so proudly over mute and
complaisant assemblies, I should like to know what became of them a few
years later."  And thereupon he sets out to discover their traces.  But
after considerable investigation he stops.  "If I searched any
further," he exclaims, "I should be afraid of encountering them among
the petty employés of the Empire.  It was quite enough to see Huguenin,
the indomitable president of the insurrectionary Commune, so quickly
tamed, soliciting and obtaining a post as clerk of town gates as soon
as absolute power made its reappearance after the 18th Brumaire.  The
terrible Santerre becomes the gentlest of men as soon as he is
pensioned by the First Consul.  Hardly had Bourdon de l'Oise and
Albitte, those men of iron, felt the rod than you see them the supplest
functionaries of the Empire.  The great king-taker, Drouet, thrones it
in the sub-prefecture of Sainte-Menehould.  Napoleon has related that,
on August 10, he was in a shop in the Carrousel, whence he witnessed
the taking of the palace.  If he had a presentiment then, he must have
smiled at the chaos which he was to reduce so easily to its former
limits.  How many furies, and all to terminate so soon in the
accustomed obedience!"

{393}

Is not history, with its perpetual alternatives of license and
despotism, like a vicious circle?  And do not the nations pass their
time in producing webs of Penelope, whose bloody threads they weave and
unweave again with tears?  All governments, royalties, empires,
republics, ought to be more modest.  But all, profoundly forgetful of
the lessons of the past, believe themselves immortal.  All declare
haughtily that they have closed forever the era of revolutions.

With the advent of the Republic a new calendar had been put in force.
The equality of days and nights at the autumnal equinox opened the era
of civil equality on September 22.  "Who would have believed that this
human geometry, so profoundly calculated, was written in the sand, and
that in a few years no traces of it would remain? ... The heavens have
continued to gravitate, and have brought back the equality of days and
nights; but they have allowed the promised liberty and equality to
perish, like meteors that vanish in empty space....  The
_sans-culottes_ have not been able to make themselves popular among the
starry peoples....  An ancient belief which the men of the Revolution
had neglected through fear or through contempt was again met with; a
spectre had appeared; a chilly breath, like that of Samuel, had made
itself felt; and lo, the edifice so sagely constructed, and leaning on
the worlds, has vanished away."[4]

{394}

There lies at the foundation of history a supreme sadness and
melancholy.  This never-ending series of illusions and deceptions,
errors and afflictions, faults and crimes; this rage, and passion, and
folly; so many efforts and fatigues, so many dangers, tortures, and
tears, so much blood, such revolutions, catastrophies, cataclysms of
every sort,--and all for what?  Wretched humanity, rolling its stone of
Sisyphus from age to age, inspires far more compassion than contempt.
The painful reflections caused by the annals of all peoples are perhaps
more sombre for the French Revolution than for any other period.  Edgar
Quinet justly laments over the inequality between the sacrifices of the
victims and the results obtained by posterity.  He affirms that in
other histories one thing reconciles us to the fury of men, and that is
the speedy fecundity of the blood they shed; for example, when one sees
that of the martyrs flow, one also sees Christianity spread over the
earth from the depth of the catacombs; while amongst us, the blood
which streamed most abundantly and from such lofty sources, did not
find soil equally well prepared.  And the illustrious historian
exclaims sadly: "The supreme consolation has been refused to our
greatest dead; their blood has not been a seed of virtue and
independence for their posterity.  If they should reappear once more,
they would feel themselves tortured again, and on a worse scaffold, by
the denial of their descendants; they would hurl at us again the same
adieu: 'O Liberty! how they have betrayed thee!'"



[1] _Ami du Peuple_, No. 429.

[2] _Ami du Peuple_, No. 539.

[3] _La Publiciste de la République_, No. 211.

[4] Edgar Quinet, _La Révolution_, t. 11.



{395}

INDEX.


Abbey prison, the, massacre of the prisoners of, 363.

Ankarstroem, Captain, the assassin of Gustavus III., 37, 41.

Arles, Archbishop of, massacre of, 364.

Assassins, the, of the September massacres, 362 _et seq._; their fate,
370.

Assignats created, 128.

Aubier, M. d', on the King's unwar-like disposition, 288; with the King
in the Convent of the Feuillants, 330.


Barbaroux, visionary schemes of, 271; declares the King might have
maintained himself, 285; anathemas of, on the Septembrists, 381.

Barry, Madame du, her letter to Marie Antoinette, 138.

Beaumarchais compared with Dumouriez, 95.

Belgium, the invasion of, a failure, 136.

Beugnot, Count, his description of Madame Roland, 87, 92; philosophic
remarks of, on woman, 108.

Billaud-Varennes, 246; at the Abbey, 363.

Blanc, M. Louis, quoted, 370.

Bonne-Carrère, director of foreign affairs, portrait of, 101.

Bossuet quoted, 134.

Bouillé, Count de, warns Gustavus III. of the conspiracy against him,
38; his judgment on Gustavus III., 43.

Bouillé, Marquis de, suppresses the insurrection at Nancy, 111, 133.

Brissac, Duke of, his devotion to royalty, 137 _et seq._; intolerable
to the Jacobins, 141; accused in the Assembly, 144; assassinated, 147,
369.

Brunswick, Duke of, his manifesto, 267.

Buzot, Madame Roland's affection for, 64; quoted, 386.


Calvet, M., sent to the Abbey, 144.

Campan, Madame, describes the Queen's emotion on hearing of her
brother's death, 28; her account of Dumouriez' interview with the
Queen, 155; in peril in the Tuileries, 324.

Carmelite church, massacre at, 364.

Chateaubriand, quotation from, 9.

Chateauvieux, the fête of, 110 _et seq._, mutinous soldiers of,
punished, 112; fêted by the Jacobins, 113, 118; admitted to the
Assembly, 117.

Chénier, André, patriotic conduct of, 113, 124; his ode to David, 119;
his fate, 124.

Clavière made Minister of the Finances, 103, 160.

Clootz, Anacharsis, defends the September massacres, 375.

_Comédie-Française_, the, in the Revolution, 10.

Commune, insurrectionary, formed in the Hôtel-de-Ville, 281; refuse to
extinguish the fire at the Tuileries, 325, 335, 345, 355; invites every
commune in France to follow the example of massacre in Paris, 369;
terrorize the Assembly, 370; order the arrest of Roland, 374, 378.

Constitutional Guard, the composition of, 140; disarmed, 145.

Cordeliers, club of the, 7; chiefs of, 7; decide to attack the
Tuileries, 274.


Danjou turns the mob bearing the Princess de Lamballe's head away from
the Temple, 355.

Danton, cowardice of, 271, 316; his bloodthirsty speech to the
Assembly, 361, 374; fate of, 391.

Dauphin, the, the red cap set on his head, 213; his interest in the
guard, Drouet, 217, 219; his prayer for the King, 220; on the morning
of August 10, 284; taken from his mother's arms by an insurrectionist,
297; in the Assembly, 299; in the Convent of the Feuillants, 329, 333;
prayer taught him by his mother, 347.

David, his part in the fête of Chateauvieux, 119; conversation of, 319;
under the Empire, 392.

Delorme, the negro assassin, 367.

Desilles, killed in the insurrection at Nancy, 111.

Drouet, the royalist guard, 217.

Dumouriez, portrait of, by Madame Roland, 94; Minister of Foreign
Affairs, 95; "a miserable intriguer," 95; his career, 96; Masson's
description of him, 98; plays a double part, 101; his description of
Louis XVI., 104; made Minister of Foreign Affairs, 103; Memoirs of,
quoted, 127, 129, 130; urges the King to sign the decree for the
transportation of the clergy, 150; has an interview with the Queen,
153; refuses to be Madame Roland's puppet, 158; aids the King to be rid
of Roland and his faction, 164; takes the portfolio of War, 166; before
the Assembly, 167; resigns, 169; final interview of, with the King,
171; entreats him not to veto the decrees, 172 _et seq._; goes to the
army, 174.

Duranton, made Minister of Justice, 103, 160.


Elisabeth, Madame, letter of, concerning the fête of Chateauvieux, 120;
remains with the King during the invasion of the Tuileries, 200;
mistaken by the mob for Marie Antoinette, 202; rejoins the Queen, 212;
letter of, to Madame de Raigecourt, 239; cherishes false illusions,
265; pious maxim of, 276; her gentleness, 295; prayer of, in the
Temple, 347.

Emigration of the nobility the rule in 1792, 2.


Federation, fête of the, 249 _et seq._

Fersen, Count de, new information concerning, 14; his chivalric
devotion to Marie Antoinette, 15; their correspondence, 16; secret
mission of, 18; sees the King and Queen, 19; his melancholy end, 21, 22.

Feuillants, Convent of the, royal family imprisoned in, 328 _et seq._

Feuillants, club of, 6.

Force, the, prison of, 350.

Fournier, "the American," 369.

Francis II., warlike acts of, 127.


Geoffrey, M., remarks of, on Gustavus III., 33; quoted, 132.

Girondins, the, 177; hesitate to depose the King, 271; tacitly approve
the massacres, 377.

Gouges, Olympe de, 240.

Gouvion, M. de, protests against admitting the Swiss to the Assembly,
116; death of, 167.

Grand Châtelet, massacres at, 367.

Grave, de, made Minister of War, 103; replaced by Servan, 160.

Grégoire urges the abolition of royalty, 387; career of, after the
Revolution, 391.

Guadet, hostility of, to Lafayette, 234.

Guillotine, Doctor, and his invention, 12.

Guillotine, the, 12; diversion of society over, 13.

Gustavus III., his interest in Marie Antoinette, 17; trusted by her,
17; letter of, to her, 18; at Aix-la-Chapelle, 32; his superstition,
34; his promises to Louis XVI., 36; conspiracy against, 37 _et seq._;
assassination of, 40 _et seq._; scenes at his death, 42; character of,
43.


Hannaches, Mademoiselle d', 30, 77.

Hébert, Abbé, confesses the King, 276.

Hébert (Père Duchesne) on guard at the Temple, 388.

Heine, Heinrich, quoted, 278.

Herbois, Collot d', his part in the affair of the regiment of
Chateauvieux, 112 _et seq._; attacks Andre Chénier, 114; fate of, 125;
boasts of the 2d of September, 362; urges the abolition of royalty,
387; fate of, 391.

Hervelly, M. d', brings the order to the Swiss to cease firing, 310.

Hue, François, with the King in his captivity, 331; receives from the
King a lock of his hair, 346.

Huguenin, the orator of the insurrectionists of June 20, 192; chief of
the Commune, 316.


Insurrectionists of June 20, organization of, 182; enter the hall of
the Assembly, 193; break into the Tuileries, 198.

Isle, Rouget de l', author of the _Marseillaise_, 269.


Jacobin Club, place of its meeting, 5; its affiliations, 6; Lafayette's
remarks on, 9; joy of at, the death of Gustavus III., 44; the
insurrectionary power of, 177; of Brest and Marseilles, send two
battalions to Paris, 268; royalist, in June, 1792, 385.

Jourdan, the headsman, 120.

June 20, insurrection of, 186 _et seq._


La Chesnaye commands the force in the Tuileries, 293.

Lacoste, made Minister of the Marine, 103.

Lafayette, letter of, to the Assembly, 178 _et seq._; his letter not
published, but referred to a committee, 181; his relations to the
Jacobins, 230; before the National Assembly, 232; distrusted by the
King and Queen, 236; anxious that the King should leave Paris, 256.

Lalanne, the grenadier, and Louis XVI., 200.

Lamartine, quoted, 131; his observations on Lafayette, 231; on Madame
Roland, 372.

Lamballe, Princess of, 121, 321, 331; not allowed to go to the Temple
with the Queen, 343; sent to the Force, 350 _et seq._; examination and
execution of, 352 _et seq._; her body mutilated and her head carried on
a pike to the Temple, 355; her heart eaten, 358.

Lamourette, Abbé, his career, 241; his speech to the Assembly and his
proposition for harmony, 242.

Laporte burns the Countess de la Motte's book at the Queen's order, 142.

Lebel, Madame de, 353.

Legendre, addresses the King insolently, 202.

Leopold II., his interest in French affairs, 23; death of, 27.

Lessart, de, report of, disapproved by the Assembly, 28; impeached, 30;
massacre of, 369.

Lilienhorn, Count de, one of the assassins of Gustavus III., 37, 45.

_Logographe_, box of the, 299 _et seq._

Louis XVI., despised by the _émigrés_, 25; letter of, to Gustavus III.,
36; appoints a ministry chosen by the Gironde, 103; his deference to
his ministers, 104 _et seq._; declares war on Austria, 126, 129;
sufferings of, 132; not a soldier, 133, 139; has no plan, 135;
anecdotes of, by M. de Vaublanc, 139, 140; sacrifices his guard, 145;
repents his concessions, 148; for several days in a sort of stupor,
151; insulted by Roland and his faction, 160; Madame Roland's letter to
him read in the Council, 164; asks Dumouriez to help rid him of
Roland's faction, 164; refuses to sign the decree against the priests,
169; accepts the resignation of Dumouriez, 169; resists Dumouriez'
entreaties not to veto the decrees, 172; vetoes the decrees, 181;
permits the gate of the Tuileries to be opened to the mob, 195; his
conduct at the invasion of the Tuileries, 199 _et seq._; his reception
of the mob in the Tuileries, 201; addressed by the butcher Legendre,
202; in bodily peril, 203; returns to the bedchamber, 208; letter of,
to the Assembly relative to the invasion of the Tuileries, 223;
interview of, with Pétion, 224; incident of the red bonnet, 226;
conversation of, with Bertrand de Molleville, 227; repugnance of, to
Lafayette, 236; address of, to the Assembly, 243; letter of, to the
Assembly, 245; his plastron, 248; takes part in the fête of the
Federation, 249 _et seq._; too timorous and hesitating to act, 257;
nominates a new cabinet, 269; conciliatory message of, to the Assembly,
270; declines to entertain any plan of escape, 273; consents that the
royalist noblemen should defend him, 284; unwarlike character of, 288;
reviews the troops in the Tuileries garden and narrowly escapes from
them, 289; urged by Roederer, goes with his family to the Assembly, 292
_et seq._; his escort, 295; addresses the Assembly, 300; compelled to
remain in the reporters' gallery, 300; orders the defenders of the
Tuileries to cease firing, 305; deposition of, proposed in the
Assembly, 317; acts like a disinterested spectator, 318; taken to the
Convent of the Feuillants, 328; transferred to the Temple, 334, 339;
his quarters, 341; gives lessons to the Dauphin in the Temple, 342:
deprived of his sword, 346; hears the proclamation abolishing royalty
without emotion, 388.

Louvet, the author of _Faublas_, 54; editor of the _Sentinelle_, and
Madame Roland's confidant, 89 _et seq._


Maillard, president of the tribunal at the Abbey, 365.

Mailly, Marshal de, the chief of the two hundred noblemen in the
Tuileries, 284.

Malta, Knights of, 338.

Mandat, M. de, receives from Pétion an order to repel force, 280; goes
to the Hôtel-de-Ville and is massacred, 281.

Marat incites to the deposition of the king, 270; on Louis XVI., 384.

Marie Antoinette, chivalric devotion of Count de Fersen for, 15; her
correspondence with him, 16; places absolute confidence in Gustavus
III., 17; letter of, to her brother Leopold, 25; condition of, in 1792,
73; has an interview with Dumouriez, 153; annoyed and insulted by the
populace, 156, 157; during the invasion of the Tuileries, 210 _et
seq._; opposed to vigorous measures, 222; her distrust of Lafayette and
preference for Danton, 237; present at the fête of the Federation, 251
_et seq._; her alarm at the King's peril, 253; midnight alarms of, 259;
insulted by federates and forced to keep to her apartments, 261; her
estimate of the King's character, 263; on the night of August 9, 276;
takes refuge in the Assembly, 299; her hopes excited by the sound of
artillery, 304; in the box of the _Logographe_, 321; in the Convent of
the Feuillante, 332; in the Temple, 343; faints when she hears of the
Princesse de Lamballe's death, 356.

_Marseillaise_, the, Rouget de l'Isle's new hymn, 269.

Marseilles, federates of, arrive in Paris, 268; the scum of the jails,
269; at the Tuileries, 290, 306 _et seq._, 309.

Masson, M. Frédéric, his description of Dumouriez, 98.

Ministry appointed by the King resign; new, appointed, 176.

Mirabeau cautions the Queen against Lafayette, 236; and Abbé
Lamourette, 241.

Molleville, Bertrand de, conversation of, with the King, 227; quoted,
273.

Monge, senator of the Empire, reply of, to Napoleon, 391.

_Moniteur_, the, on the fête of Chateauvieux, 121.

Mortimer-Ternaux, M., quoted, 279, 282; his _Histoire de la Terreur_,
359.

Mouchy, Marshal de, his devotion to the King and Queen, 220.


Napoleon, a witness of the invasion of the Tuileries, 209; asserts the
King could have gained the victory, 286; a witness of the attack of the
Marseillais on the Tuileries, 310, 314; visits the Temple, and has it
destroyed, 348.

National Assembly, place of meeting of, 5; impeach the King's brothers
and confiscate the _émigrés'_ property, 26; impeach De Lessart, 30;
order the King's guard disbanded, 143; decrees of as to the clergy and
an army before Paris, 150; Madame Roland's letter to the King, read to,
167; letter of Lafayette read in the, 178; receive a deputation from
Marseilles, 183; consider the admission of the resurrectionists to the
chamber, 187; the place of meeting of, 188; deputation from, to the
King during the invasion of the Tuileries, 208; question the Queen,
216; maintain an equivocal attitude, 222; the majority of, royalists
and constitutionalists, 272; affect not to recognize the King's danger,
280; send a deputation to receive the King and his family, 296; number
of members present when the decree of deposition was voted, 320;
terrorized by the Commune, 370; royalty abolished and the republic
proclaimed by, 387.

National Guard, at the Tuileries, 196; the choice troops of, broken up,
268; royalist, in the Tuileries, 279, 288.

Noblemen, royalist, fidelity of, to the King, 278, 284; fate of, 322.


Orleans, Duke of, and the Palais Royal, 4; and his party clamor for the
deposition of the King, 270.


Palais Royal, the, in 1792, 4.

Pan, Mallet du, sent to Germany by Louis XVI., 135.

Paris, in 1792, 1; the Archbishop of, at Versailles, in 1774, 78;
Commune of, how organized, 176; a hell during the September massacres,
361.

Pétion, address of, to the Assembly, 30; promotes the fête of
Chateauvieux, 115; fate of, 122 _et seq._; favors the insurrectionists,
184; his insolent address to the King, 224; the hero of the fête of the
Federation, 254; presents an address to the Assembly praying for the
King's deposition, 270; signs an order giving M. de Mandat the right to
repel force, 280; his treachery and hypocrisy, 282.

Philipon, the father of Madame Roland, 47.

Prisons of Paris, the September massacres at, 363 _et seq._

Prudhomme's _Révolutions de Paris_ quoted, 225.


Quinet, Edgar, quoted, 360, 371; on Louis XVI.'s magnanimity, 380, 384;
quoted, 392, 394.


Raigecourt, Madame de, letter of, 24.

Ramond defends Lafayette in the Assembly, 235.

Republic proclaimed, 388.

Revolution, beginning of the organization of, 181.

Revolutionists, the, in the Tuileries, 199; insolence of, to the King,
200; refuse to leave the Assembly, 205; their barbarity and indecency,
213.

Robespierre in the Jacobin Club, 5; cowardice of, 271, 316; his defence
of the Constitution, 385.

Rochefoucauld, Count de la, describes the appearance of the royal
family in the box of the _Logographe_, 321.

Roederer, remarks of, on Lafayette, 238; urges the King to seek shelter
with the Assembly, 291, 294; addresses the mob, 297; explains to the
Assembly the cause of King's taking refuge with them, 301; blamed for
his advice, 302.

Roland de la Platière, M., marries Mademoiselle Philipon, 55; deputed
to the Assembly, 63; takes the portfolio of the Interior, 70; dominated
by his wife, 88; his plebeian dress at the Council, 103; driven by his
wife to hostility against the King, 108; his faction desire to destroy
the King, 160; dismissed from the Council, 165; reinstated, 319; arrest
of, determined, 374; writes a letter to the Assembly concerning the
massacres, 375; continues minister, 376; fate of, 391.

Roland, Madame, the distinctive characteristics of the century resumed
in her, 46; early years of, 47 _et seq._; married to Roland de la
Platière, 55; strives to obtain a patent of nobility for her husband,
56; letters of, to Bosc, 57; her description of herself, 61, 74; draws
up her husband's reports, 63; her infatuation for Buzot, 64; her hatred
of royalty, 65; established in Paris, 70; and Marie Antoinette, 74; the
motive of her hatred of Marie Antoinette, 76, 80; describes her visit
to Versailles, 77, 79; her part in establishing the republican régime
in France, 79, 107; her judgment of Louis XVI., 81; her character
contrasted with that of Marie Antoinette, 82; her arrogant demeanor,
86; acts for her husband in public affairs, 88; her intimacy with
Louvet, 89 _et seq._; Lemontey's picture of her, 91; and Dumouriez, 94,
102; creates discord in the Council, 106; decides to get rid of
Dumouriez, 159; her letter to the King, 162; her advice on the
dismissal of the ministers, 165; on the September massacres, 362; feels
no pity for the Queen, 372, 375; her horror at the murders, 376; her
apprehensions, 378; reproaches her friends with temporizing, 382; her
last speech, 383.

Rousseau, imprisoned in the Temple, 339.


Saint-Antoine, Faubourg, citizens of, ask permission to assemble in
arms, 182; in commotion, 184.

Saint-Huruge, the rioter, 193.

Salpêtrière, the, butchery at, 368.

Santerre, at the head of the insurrectionists on June 20, 186; demands
admission for the insurrectionists to the Assembly, 190; violence of,
at the Tuileries, 197; offers to protect the Queen, 215; forced by
Westermann to march to the Tuileries, 286.

September massacres, the, 359 _et seq._

Sergent, M., 207.

Servan, made Minister of War, 160; proposes the formation of an army
around Paris, 160; dismissed from the Council, 165; his career after
the Revolution, 391.

Staël, Madame de, views the fête of the Federation, her observations,
253; invents a plan of escape for the King, 273; quoted, 317, 327.

Sudermania, Duke of, brother of Gustavus III., practices of, 35.

Sutherland, Lady, sends linen for the Dauphin to the Convent of the
Feuillants, 333.

Swiss regiment, the, go to the Tuileries, 274; ill provided with
ammunition, 277; defend the Tuileries, but are commanded to retire,
307; sweep the Carrousel of rioters, 310; ordered to go to the King,
311; surrender their arms, 313; imprisoned in the church of the
Feuillants, 313; fate of the, 321.


Taine, on revolutionary France, 389.

Temple, the, the royal family taken to, 336; description of, 337; the
Order of the, 337; destroyed by Napoleon, 349.

Thiers, quoted, 287.

Thorwaldsen's lion at Lucerne, 314.

Tourzel, Pauline de, in peril in the Tuileries, 323.

Tuileries, the, guard of, 195; the invasion of, 198 _et seq._; the, on
the night of August 9, 275 _et seq._; attacked by the Marseillais, 306
_et seq._; rioters in, 325; on fire, 325.


Vaublanc, Count de, quoted, 133; anecdotes of, concerning Louis XVI.,
139, 140, 255, 273, 282, 286, 290, 303.

Vergniaud, 180, 182; speech of, with regard to the admission of the
insurrectionists to the Assembly, 188; violent attack of, on the King,
244; as president of the Assembly, receives Louis XVI., 300; presents
the decree suspending the royal power, 317.

"Violet, Queen," 336.

Voltaire, imprisoned in the Temple, 339.


Westermann forces Santerre to march, 286; leader of the Marseillais,
who attacked the Tuileries, 306, 308.





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