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´╗┐Title: Marie Antoinette and Her Son
Author: M├╝hlbach, L. (Luise)
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 Her Son" ***

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MARIE ANTOINETTE AND HER SON

by Louise Muhlbach



BOOK I.


CHAPTER I.

A HAPPY QUEEN.


It was the 13th of August, 1785. The queen, Marie Antoinette, had at
last yielded to the requests and protestations of her dear subjects.
She had left her fair Versailles and loved Trianon for one day, and
had gone to Paris, in order to exhibit herself and the young prince
whom she had borne to the king and the country on the 25th of March,
and to receive in the cathedral of Notre Dame the blessing of the
clergy and the good wishes of the Parisians.

She had had an enthusiastic reception, this beautiful and much loved
queen, Marie Antoinette. She had driven into Paris in an open
carriage, in company with her three children, and every one who
recognized her had greeted her with a cheerful huzzah, and followed
her on the long road to Notre Dame, at whose door the prominent
clergy awaited her, the cardinal, Prince Louis de Rohan, at their
head, to introduce her to the house of the King of all kings.

Marie Antoinette was alone; only the governess of the children, the
Duchess de Polignac, sat opposite her, upon the back seat of the
carriage, and by her side the Norman nurse, in her charming
variegated district costume, cradling in her arms Louis Charles, the
young Duke of Normandy. By her side, in the front part of the
carriage, sat her other two children--Therese, the princess royal,
the first-born daughter, and the dauphin Louis, the presumptive heir
of the much loved King Louis the Sixteenth. The good king had not
accompanied his spouse on this journey to Paris, which she undertook
in order to show to her dear, yet curious Parisians that she was
completely recovered, and that her children, the children of France,
were blossoming for the future like fair buds of hope and peace.

"Go, my dear Antoinette," the king had said to his queen, in his
pleasant way and with his good natured smile--" go to Paris in order
to prepare a pleasure for my good people. Show them our children,
and receive from them their thanks for the happiness which you have
given to me and to them. I will not go with you, for I wish that you
should be the sole recipient of the enthusiasm of the people and
their joyful acclamations. I will not share your triumph, but I
shall experience it in double measure if you enjoy it alone. Go,
therefore, my beloved Antoinette, and rejoice in this happy hour."

Marie Antoinette did go, and she did rejoice in the happiness of the
hour. "While riding through Paris, hundreds recognized her, hundreds
hailed her with loud acclamations. As she left the cathedral of
Notre Dame, in order to ascend into the carriage again with her
children and their governess, one would be tempted to think that the
whole square in front of the church had been changed into a dark,
tumultuous sea, which dashed its raging black waves into all the
streets debouching on the square, and was filling all Paris with its
roar, its swell, its thunder roll. Yes, all Paris was there, in
order to look upon Marie Antoinette, who, at this hour, was not the
queen, but the fair woman; the happy mother who, with the pride of
the mother of the Gracchi, desired no other protection and no other
companionship than that of her two sons; who, her hand resting upon
the shoulder of her daughter, needed no other maid of honor to
appear before the people in all the splendor and all the dignity of
the Queen of France and the true mother.

Yes, all Paris was there in order to greet the queen, the woman, and
the mother, and out of thousands upon thousands of throats there
sounded forth the loud ringing shout, "Long live the queen! Long
live Marie Antoinette! Long live the fair mother and the fair
children of France!"

Marie Antoinette felt herself deeply moved by these shouts. The
sight of the faces animated with joy, of the flashing eyes, and the
intoxicated peals of laughter, kindled her heart, drove the blood to
her cheeks, and made her countenance beam with joy, and her eyes
glisten with delight. She rose from her seat, and with a gesture of
inimitable grace took the youngest son from the arms of the nurse,
and lifted him high in the air, in order to display this last token
of her happiness and her motherly pride to the Parisians, who had
not yet seen the child. The little hat, which had been placed
sideways upon the high toupet of her powdered head, had dropped upon
her neck; the broad lace cuffs had fallen back from the arms which
lifted the child into the air, and allowed the whole arm to be seen
without any covering above the elbow.

The eyes of the Parisians drank in this spectacle with perfect
rapture, and their shouting arose every moment like a burst of
fanaticism.

"How beautiful she is!" resounded everywhere from the mass. "What a
wonderful arm! What a beautiful neck!"

A deep flush mantled the face of Marie Antoinette. These words of
praise, which were a tribute to the beauty of the woman, awoke the
queen from the ecstasy into which the enthusiasm of her subjects had
transported her. She surrendered the child again to the arms of his
nurse, and sank down quickly like a frightened dove into the
cushions of the carriage, hastily drawing up at the same time the
lace mantle which had fallen from her shoulders and replacing her
hat upon her head.

"Tell the coachman to drive on quickly," she said to the nurse; and
while the latter was communicating this order, Marie Antoinette
turned to her daughter. "Now, Therese," asked she, laughing, "is it
not a beautiful spectacle our people taking so much pleasure in
seeing us?"

The little princess of seven years shook her proud little head with
a doubting, dark look.

"Mamma," said she, "these people look very dirty and ugly. I do not
like them!"

"Be still, my child, be still," whispered the queen, hastily, for
she feared lest the men who pressed the carriage so closely as
almost to touch its doors, might hear the unthinking words of the
little girl.

Marie Antoinette had not deceived herself. A man in a blouse, who
had even laid his hand upon the carriage, and whose head almost
touched the princess, a man with a blazing, determined face, and
small, piercing black eyes, had heard the exclamation of the
princess, and threw upon her a malignant, threatening glance.

"Madame loves us not, because we are ugly and dirty," he said; "but
we should, perhaps, look pretty and elegant too, if we could put on
finery to ride about in splendid carriages. But we have to work, and
we have to suffer, that we may be able to pay our taxes. For if we
did not do this, our king and his family would not be able to strut
around in this grand style. We are dirty, because we are working for
the king."

"I beg you, sir," replied the queen, softly, "to forgive my
daughter; she is but a child, and does not know what she is saying.
She will learn from her parents, however, to love our good, hard-
working people, and to be thankful for their love, sir."

"I am no 'sir,' " replied the man, gruffly; "I am the poor cobbler
Simon, nothing more."

"Then I beg you, Master Simon, to accept from my daughter, as a
remembrance, this likeness of her father, and to drink to our good
health," said the queen, laying at the same time a louis-d'or in the
hand of her daughter, and hastily whispering to her, "Give it to
him."

The princess hastened to execute the command of her mother, and laid
the glistening gold piece in the large, dirty hand which was
extended to her. But when she wanted to draw back her delicate
little hand, the large, bony fingers of the cobbler closed upon it
and held it fast.

"What a little hand it is!" he said, with a deriding laugh; "I
wonder what would become of these fingers if they had to work!"

"Mamma," cried the princess, anxiously, "order the man to let me go;
he hurts me."

The cobbler laughed on, but dropped the hand of the princess.

"Ah," cried he, scornfully, "it hurts a princess only to touch the
hand of a working man. It would be a great deal better to keep
entirely away from the working people, and never to come among us."

"Drive forward quickly!" cried the queen to the coachman, with loud,
commanding voice.

He urged on the horses, and the people who had hemmed in the
carriage closely, and listened breathlessly to the conversation of
the queen with the cobbler Simon, shrank timidly back before the
prancing steeds.

The queen recovered her pleasant, merry smile, and bowed on all
sides while the carriage rolled swiftly forward. The people again
expressed their thanks with loud acclamations, and praised her
beauty and the beauty of her children. But Marie Antoinette was no
longer carried beyond herself by these words of praise, and did not
rise again from her seat.

While the royal carriage was disappearing in the tumult and throng
of the multitude, Simon the cobbler stood watching it with his
mocking smile. He felt a hand upon his arm, and heard a voice asking
the scornful question:

"Are you in love with this Austrian woman, Master Simon?"

The cobbler quickly turned round to confront the questioner. He saw,
standing by his side, a little, remarkably crooked and dwarfed young
man, whose unnaturally large head was set upon narrow, depressed
shoulders, and whose whole appearance made such an impression upon
the cobbler that the latter laughed outright.

"Not beautiful, am I?" asked the stranger, and he tried to join in
the laugh of the cobbler, but the result was a mere grimace, which
made his unnaturally large mouth, with its thick, colorless lips,
extend from one ear to the other, displaying two fearful rows of
long, greenish teeth.

"Not beautiful at all, am I? Dreadfully ugly!" exclaimed the
stranger, as Simon's laughter mounted higher and higher.

"You are somewhat remarkable, at least," replied the cobbler. "If I
did not hear you talk French, and see you standing up straight like
one of us, I should think you were the monstrous toad in the fable
that I read about a short time ago."

"I am the monstrous toad of the fable," replied the stranger,
laughing. "I have merely disguised myself today as a man in order to
look at this Austrian woman with her young brood, and I take the
liberty of asking you once more, Have you fallen in love with her?"

"No, indeed, I have not fallen in love with her," ejaculated the
cobbler. "God is my witness--"

"And why should you call God to witness?" asked the other, quickly.
"Do you suppose it is so great a misfortune not to love this
Austrian?"

"No, I certainly do not believe that," answered the other,
thoughtfully. "I suppose that it is, perhaps, no sin before God not
to love the queen, although it may he before man, and that it is not
the first time that, it has been atoned for by long and dreary
imprisonment. But I do love freedom, and therefore I shall take care
not to tell a stranger what I think."

"You love freedom!" exclaimed the stranger. "Then give me your hand,
and accept my thanks for the word, my brother."

"Your brother!" replied the cobbler, astounded. "I do not know you,
and yet you call yourself, without more formal introduction, my
brother."

"You have said that you love freedom, and therefore I greet you as
my brother," replied the stranger. "All those who love freedom are
brothers, for they confess themselves children of the same gracious
and good mother who makes no difference between her children, but
loves them all with equal intensity and equal devotion, and it is
all the same to her whether this one of her sons is prince or count,
and that one workman or citizen. For our mother, Freedom, we are all
alike, we are all brethren."

"That sounds very finely," said the cobbler, shaking his head.
"There is only one fault that I can find with it, it is not true.
For if we were all alike, and were all brothers, why should the king
ride round in his gilded chariot, while I, an old cobbler, sit on my
bench and have my face covered with sweat?"

"The king is no son of Freedom!" exclaimed the stranger, with an
angry gesture. "The king is a son of Tyranny, and therefore he wants
to make his enemies, the sons of Freedom, to be his servants, his
slaves, and to bind our arms with fetters. But shall we always bear
this? Shall we not rise at last out of the dust into which we have
been trodden?"

"Yes, certainly, if we can, then we will," said Simon, with his
gruff laugh. "But here is the hitch, sir, we cannot do it. The king
has the power to hold us in his fetters; and this fine lady, Madame
Freedom, of whom you say that she is our mother, lets it come to
pass, notwithstanding that her sons are bound down in servitude and
abasement."

"It must be for a season yet," answered the other, with loud,
rasping voice; "but the day of a rising is at hand, and shows with a
laughing face how those whom she will destroy are rushing swiftly
upon their own doom."

"What nonsense is that you are talking?" asked the cobbler. "Those
who are going to be destroyed by Madame Liberty are working out
their own ruin?"

"And yet they are doing it, Master Simon; they are digging their own
graves, only they do not see it, and do not know it; for the
divinity which means to destroy them has smitten them with
blindness. There is this queen, this Austrian woman. Do you not see
with your wise eyes how like a busy spider she is weaving her own
shroud?"

"Now, that is certainly an error," said Simon; "the queen does not
work at all. She lets the people work for her."

"I tell you, man, she does work, she is working at her own shroud,
and I think she has got a good bit of it ready. She has nice
friends, too, to help her in it, and to draw up the threads for this
royal spider, and so get ready what is needed for this shroud.
There, for example, is that fine Duke de Coigny. Do you know who
that Duke de Coigny is?"

"No, indeed, I know nothing about it; I have nothing to do with the
court, and know nothing about the court rabble."

"There you are right, they are a rabble," cried the other, laughing
in return. "I know it, for I am so unfortunate as not to be able to
say with you that I have nothing to do with the court. I have gone
into palaces, and I shall come out again, but I promise you that my
exit shall make more stir than my entrance. Now, I will tell you who
the Duke de Coigny is. He is one of the three chief paramours of the
queen, one of the great favorites of the Austrian sultana."

"Well, now, that is jolly," cried the cobbler; "you are a comical
rogue, sir. So the queen has her paramours?"

"Yes. You know that the Duke de Besenval, at the time that the
Austrian came as dauphiness to France, said to her: 'These hundred
thousand Parisians, madame, who have come out to meet you, are all
your lovers.' Now she takes this expression of Besenval in earnest,
and wants to make every Parisian a lover of hers. Only wait, only
wait, it will be your turn by and by. You will be able to press the
hand of this beautiful Austrian tenderly to your lips."

"Well, I will let you know in advance, then," said Simon, savagely,
"that I will press it in such right good earnest, that it shall
always bear the marks of it. You were speaking just now of the three
chief paramours--what are the names of the other two?"

"The second is your fine Lord de Adhemar; a fool, a rattle-head, a
booby; but he is handsome, and a jolly lover. Our queen likes
handsome men, and everybody knows that she is one of the laughing
kind, a merry fly, particularly since the carousals on the palace
terrace."

"Carousals! What was that?"

"Why, you poor innocent child, that is the name they give to those
nightly promenades that our handsome queen took a year ago in the
moonlight on the terrace at Versailles. Oh, that was a merry time!
The iron fences of the park were not closed, and the dear people had
a right to enter, and could walk near the queen in the moonlight,
and hear the fine music which was concealed behind the hedges. You
just ask the good-looking officer of the lancers, who sat one
evening on a bench between two handsome women, dressed in white, and
joked and laughed with them. He can tell you how Marie Antoinette
can laugh, and what fine nonsense her majesty could afford to
indulge in." [Footnote: See Madame de Campane. "Memoires," vol. i.]

"I wish I knew him, and he would tell me about it," cried cobbler
Simon, striking his fists together. "I always like to hear something
bad about this Austrian woman, for I hate her and the whole court
crowd besides. What right have they to strut and swell, and put on
airs, while we have to work and suffer from morning till night? Why
is their life nothing but jollity, and ours nothing but misery? I
think I am of just as much consequence as the king, and my woman
would look just as nice as the queen, if she would put on fine
clothes and ride round in a gilded carriage. What puts them up and
puts us down?"

"I tell you why. It is because we are ninnies and fools, and allow
them to laugh in their sleeves at us, and make divinities out of
themselves, before whom the people, or, as they call them, the
rabble, are to fall upon their knees. But patience, patience! There
will come a time when they will not laugh, nor compel the people to
fall upon their knees and beg for favor. But no favor shall be
granted to them. They shall meet their doom."

"Ha! I wish the time were here," shouted the cobbler, laughing; "and
I hope I may be there when they meet their punishment."

"Well, my friend, that only depends upon yourself," said the
stranger. "The time will come, and if you wish you can contribute
your share, that it may approach with more rapid steps."

"What can I do? Tell me, for I am ready for every thing?"

"You can help whet the knife, that it may cut the better," said the
stranger, with a horrible grimace. "Come, come, do not look at me so
astonished, brother. There are already a good number of knife-
sharpeners in the good city of Paris, and if you want to join their
company, come this evening to me, and I will make you acquainted
with some, and introduce you to our guild."

"Where do you live, sir, and what is your name?" asked the cobbler,
with glowing curiosity.

"I live in the stable of the Count d'Artois, and my name is Jean
Paul Marat."

"In the stable!" cried the cobbler. "My faith, I had not supposed
you were a hostler or a coachman. It must be a funny sight, M.
Marat, to see you mounted upon a horse."

"You think that such a big toad as I does not belong there exactly.
Well, there you are right, brother Simon. My real business is not at
all with the horses, but with the men in the stable. I am the horse-
doctor, brother Simon, horse-doctor of the Count d'Artois; and I can
assure you that I am a tolerably skilful doctor, for I have yoked
together many a hostler and jockey whom the stable-keepers of the
dear Artois have favored with a liberal dispensation of their lash.
So, come this evening to me, not only that I may introduce you to
good society, but come if you are sick. I will restore you, and it
shall cost you nothing. I cure my brothers of the people without any
pay, for it is not the right thing for brothers to take money one of
another. So, brother Simon, I shall look for you this evening at the
stable; but now I must leave you, for my sick folks are expecting
me. Just one more word. If you come about seven o'clock to visit me,
the old witch that keeps the door will certainly tell you that I am
not at home. I will, therefore, give you the pass-word, which will
allow you to go in. It is 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.' Good-by."

He nodded to the cobbler with a fearful grimace, and strode away
quickly, in spite of not being able to lift his left foot over the
broad square of the Hotel de Ville.

Master Simon looked after him at first with a derisive smile, and
this diminutive figure, with his great head, on which a high, black
felt hat just kept its position, seemed to amuse him excessively.
All at once a thought struck him, and, like an arrow impelled from
the bow, he dashed forward and ran after Jean Paul Marat.

"Doctor Marat, Doctor Marat!" he shouted, breathless, from a
distance.

Marat stood still and looked around with a malicious glance.

"Well, what is it?" snarled he, "and who is calling my name so
loud?"

"It is I, brother Marat," answered the cobbler, panting. "I have
been running after you because you have forgotten something."

"What is it?" asked Marat, feeling in his pockets with his long
fingers." I have my handkerchief and the piece of black bread that
makes my breakfast. I have not forgotten anything."

"Yes, Jean Paul Marat, you have forgotten something," answered
Master Simon. "You were going to tell me the names of the three
chief paramours of the queen, and you have given only two--the Duke
de Coigny and Lord Adhemar. You see I have a good memory, and retain
all that you told me. So give me the name of the third one, for I
will confess to you that I should like to have something to say
about this matter in my club this afternoon, and it will make quite
a sensation to come primed with this story about the Austrian
woman."

"Well, I like that, I like that," said Marat, laughing so as to show
his mouth from one ear to the other. "Now, that is a fine thing to
have a club, where you can tell all these little stories about the
queen and the court, and it will be a real pleasure to me to tell
you any such matters as these to communicate to your club, for it is
always a good thing to have any thing that takes place at Versailles
and St. Cloud get talked over here at Paris among the dear good
people."

"In St. Cloud?" asked the cobbler. "What is it that can happen
there? That is nothing at all but a tiresome, old-forgotten pleasure
palace of the king."

"It is lively enough there now, depend upon it," replied Marat, with
his sardonic laugh. "King Louis the well beloved has given this
palace to his wife, in order that she may establish there a larger
harem than Trianon; that miserable, worthless little mouse-nest,
where virtue, honor, and worth get hectored to death, is not large
enough for her. Yes, yes, that fine, great palace of the French
kings, the noble St. Cloud, is now the heritage and possession of
this fine Austrian. And do you know what she has done? Close by the
railing which separates the park from St. Cloud, and near the
entrance, she has had a tablet put up, on which are written the
conditions on which the public are allowed to enter the park."

"Well, that is nothing new," said the cobbler, impatiently." They
have such a board put up at all the royal gardens, and everywhere
the public is ordered, in the name of the king, not to do any
injury, and not to wander from the regular paths."

"Well, that is just; it is ordered in the name of the king; but in
St. Cloud, it runs in the name of the queen. Yes, yes, there you may
see in great letters upon the board; 'In the name of the queen.'
[Footnote: "De par la reine" was the expression which was then in
the mouth of all France and stirred everybody's rage.] It is not
enough for us that a king sits upon our neck, and imposes his
commands upon us and binds us. We have now another ruler in France,
prescribing laws and writing herself sovereign. We have a new police
regulation in the name of the queen, a state within the state. Oh,
the spider is making a jolly mesh of it! In the Trianon she made the
beginning. There the police regulations have always been in the name
of the queen; and because the policy was successful there, it
extends its long finger still further, issues a new proclamation
against the people, appropriates to itself new domain, and proposes
to gradually encompass all France with its cords."

"That is rascally, that is wrong," cried the cobbler, raising his
clinched fists in the air.

"But that is not all, brother. The queen goes still further. Down to
the present time we have been accustomed to see the men who stoop to
be the mean servants of tyrants array themselves in the monkey-
jackets of the king's livery; but in St. Cloud, the Swiss guards at
the gates, the palace servants, in one word, the entire menial
corps, array themselves in the queen's livery; and if you are
walking in the park of St. Cloud, you are no longer in France and on
French soil, but in an Austrian province, where a foreigner can
establish her harem and make her laws, and yet a virtuous and noble
people does not rise in opposition to it."

"It does not know anything about it, brother Marat," said Simon,
eagerly. "It knows very little about the vices and follies of the
queen."

"Well, tell the people, then; report to them what I have told yon,
and make it your duty that it be talked over among other friends,
and made generally known."

"Oh! that shall be, that shall certainly be," said Simon, cheerily,"
but you have not given me the name of that third lover yet."

"Oh! the third-that is Lord Besenval, the inspector general of the
Swiss guard, the chief general of the army, and the commander of the
Order of Louis. You see it is a great advantage for a man to be a
lover of the queen, for in that way he comes to a high position.
While King Louis the Fifteenth, that monster of vice, was living,
Besenval was only colonel of the Swiss guard, and all he could do
was once in a while to take part in the orgies at the Eoil de Boeuf.
But now the queen has raised him to a very high place. All St. Cloud
and Trianon form the Eoil de Boeuf, where Marie Antoinette
celebrates her orgies, and General Besenval is made one of the first
directors of the sports. Now you know every thing, do you not?"

"Yes, Doctor Marat, now I have a general run of every thing, and I
thank you; but I hope that you will tell me more this evening, for
your stories are vastly entertaining."

"Yes, indeed, I shall tell you plenty more of the same sort, for the
queen takes good care that we shall always have material for such
stories. Yet, unfortunately, I have no time now, for--"

"I know, I know, you have got to visit your sick people," said
Simon, nodding confidentially to him. "I will not detain you any
longer. Good-by, my dear Doctor Marat. We shall meet this evening."

He sprang quickly away, and soon disappeared round the next corner.
Marat looked after him with a wicked, triumphant expression in his
features.

"So far good, so far good," muttered he, shaking his head with
choler. " In this way I have got to win over the soldiers and the
people to freedom. The cobbler will make an able and practicable
soldier, and with his nice little stories, he will win over a whole
company. Triumph on, you proud Bourbons; go on dreaming in your
gilded palaces, surrounded by your Swiss guards. Keep on believing
that you have the power in your hands, and that no one can take it
from you. The time will come when the people will disturb your fine
dream, and when the little, despised, ugly Marat, whom no one now
knows, and who creeps around in your stables like a poisonous rat,
shall confront you as a power before which you shall shrink away and
throw yourselves trembling into the dust. There shall go by no day
in which I and my friends shall not win soldiers for our side, and
the silly, simple fool, Marie Antoinette, makes it an easy thing for
us. Go on committing your childish pranks, which, when the time
shall threaten a little, will justify the most villanous deeds and
the most shameless acts, and I will keep the run of all the turns of
the times, and this fine young queen cannot desire that we should
look at the world with such simple eyes as she does. Yes, fair Queen
Marie Antoinette, thou hast thy Swiss guards, who fight for thee,
and thou must pay them; but I have only one soldier who takes ground
for me against thee, and whom I do not have to pay at all. My
soldier's name is Calumny. I tell thee, fair queen, with this ally I
can overcome all thy Swiss guards, and the whole horde of thy
armies. For, on the earth there is no army corps that is so strong
as Calumny. Hurrah! long life to thee, my sworn ally, Calumny!"



CHAPTER II.

MADAME ADELAIDE.


Queen Marie Antoinette had returned, after her Paris ride, to her
own Versailles. She was silent the whole of the way, and the Duchess
de Polignac had sought in vain to cheer her friend with light and
pleasant talk, and drive away the clouds from her lofty brow. Marie
Antoinette had only responded by enforced smiles and half-words, and
then, settling back into the carriage, had gazed with dreamy looks
into the heavens, whose cheerful blue called out no reflection upon
the fair face of the queen.

As they drew into the great court of the palace at Versailles, the
drum-beat of the Swiss guards, presenting arms, and the general stir
which followed the approach of the queen, appeared to awaken her
from her sorrowful thoughts, and she straightened herself up and
cast her glances about. They fell quite accidentally upon the child
which was in the arms of the nurse opposite, and which, with great
wide-open eyes, was looking up to the heavens, as its mother had
done before.

In the intensity of her motherly love, the queen stretched out her
arms to the child and drew it to her heart, and pressed a burning
kiss upon its lips.

"Ah! my child, my dear child," said she, softly, "you have to-day,
for the first time, made your entry into Paris, and heard the
acclamations of the people. May you, so long as you live, always be
the recipient of kindly greetings, and never again hear such words
as that dreadful man spoke to us to-day!"

She pressed the little Duke of Normandy closely to her heart, and
quite forgot that she was all this while in the carriage; that near
the open portal the hostlers and lackeys were awaiting in a
respectful posture the dismounting of the queen; that the drums were
all the while beating, and that the guards were standing before the
gates in the fixed attitude of presenting arms.

The Duchess de Polignac ventured to suggest in softly-spoken words
the necessity of dismounting, and the queen, with her little boy in
her arms, sprang lightly and spiritedly, without accepting the
assistance of the master of the grooms, out of the carriage, smiling
cheerily, greeting the assembled chamberlains as she passed by,
hurried into the palace and ran up the great marble staircase. The
Duchess de Polignac made haste to follow her, while the Princess
Therese and the dauphin were received by their dames of honor and
led into their respective apartments. The Norman nurse, shaking her
head, hurried after the queen, and the chamberlains and both the
maids of honor, shaking their heads, too, followed her into the
great ante-chamber. After riding out, the queen was in the habit of
dismissing them there, but to-day Marie Antoinette had gone into her
own suite of rooms without saying a word, and the door was already
closed.

"What shall we do now?" asked both the maids of honor of the
cavaliers, and received only a shrug of the shoulders for reply.

"We shall have to wait," at last said the Marchioness de Mailly.
"Perhaps her majesty will have the kindness to remember us and to
permit us to withdraw."

"And if she should happen to forget it," answered the Princess de
Chimay, "we shall have to stand here the whole day, while the queen
in Trianon is amusing herself with the fantastic pastoral plays."

"Yes, certainly, there is a country festival in Trianon to-day,"
said the Prince de Castines, shrugging his shoulders, "and it might
easily happen that we should be forgotten, and, like the
unforgetable wife of Lot, have to stand here playing the ridiculous
part of pillars of salt."

"No, there comes our deliverance," whispered the Marchioness de
Mailly, pointing to a carriage which just then came rolling across
the broad palace-square. "It was yesterday resolved in secret
council at the Count de Provence's, that Madame Adelaide should make
one more attempt to bring the queen to reason, and make her
understand what is becoming and what is unbecoming to a Queen of
France. Now look you, in accordance with this resolve, Madame
Adelaide is coming to Versailles to pay a visit to her distinguished
niece."

Just then the carriage of the Princess Adelaide, daughter of Louis
the Fifteenth, and aunt of Louis the Sixteenth, drove through the
great gate into the guarded vestibule of the palace; two outriders
rode in advance, two lackeys stood on the stand behind the carriage,
and upon the step on each side, a page in richly-embroidered
garments.

Before the middle portal, which could only be used by the royal
family, and which had never been desecrated by the entrance of one
who was "lowly-born," the carriage came to a standstill. The lackeys
hastened to open the gate, and a lady, advanced in years, gross in
form, with an irritable face well pitted with pock-marks, and
wearing no other expression than supercilious pride and a haughty
indifference, dismounted with some difficulty, leaning upon the
shoulder of her page, and toiled up the steps which conducted to the
great vestibule.

The runner sprang before her up the great staircase covered with its
carpets, and with his long staff rapped on the door of the first
antechamber that led to the apartments of the queen. "Madame
Adelaide!" shouted he with a loud voice, and the lackey repeated it
in the same tone, quickly opening the door of the second
antechamber; and the word was taken up by the chamberlains, and
repeated and carried along where the queen was sitting.

Marie Antoinette shrugged herself together a little at this
announcement, which interrupted her while engaged in charming
unrestrained conversation with the Duchess de Polignac, and a shadow
flitted across her lofty brow.

With fiery quickness she flung her arms around the neck of her
friend, and pressed a kiss upon her lips. "Farewell, Julia; Madame
Adelaide is coming: that is just the same as irritation and
annoyance. She may not bear the least suspicion of this upon her
fine and dearly-loved face, and just because they are not there, I
must tell you, my dear friend, to leave me. But hold yourself in
readiness, after Madame Annoyance has left me, to ride with me to
Trianon. The queen must remain here half an hour still, but she will
be rewarded for it, for Marie Antoinette will afterward go with her
Julia to Trianon to spend a half day of pleasure with her husband
and friends."

"And to impart to her friends an eternity of blissful
recollections," said the duchess, with a charming smile, pressing
the hand of the queen to her lips, and taking her leave with
inimitable grace, in order to pass out through the little side-door
which entered the corridor through a porcelain cabinet, intending
then to visit the rooms of the 'children of France.'

At the same moment in which the lofty, dignified form of the duchess
disappeared through the side-door, both wings of the main entrance
were flung open, and the two maids of honor of the queen advanced to
the threshold, and made so deep a reverence that their immense
petticoats expanded like a kettle. Then they took a step backward,
made another reverence so profound that their heads, bearing
coiffures a foot and a half high, fell upon their breasts.

"Madame Adelaide!" they both ejaculated as with one voice, slowly
straightening themselves up and taking their places at the sides of
the door.

The princess now appeared upon the threshold; behind her, her maids
of honor and master of ceremonies, the grand-chamberlain, the pages,
and both masters of grooms, standing in the great antechambers.

At the appearance of the maids of honor, Marie Antoinette had taken
her position in the middle of the chamber, and could not repress a
faint smile, as with erect head she noticed the confusion instant
upon the princess's imposing entrance.

Madame Adelaide advanced some steps, for the queen did not change
her position nor hasten toward her as she had perhaps expected; her
irritated look increased still more, and she did not take a seat.

"I come perhaps at an inconvenient season for your majesty," said
she, with a tart smile. "The queen perhaps was just upon the point
of going to Trianon, whither as I hear, the king has already
proceeded?"

"Has your highness heard that?" asked the queen, smiling. "I wonder
what sharp ears Madame Adelaide always has to catch such a trifling
rumor, while my younger ones have never caught the least hint of the
important approach of the princess, and so I am equally surprised
and delighted at the unexpected appearance of my gracious and loving
aunt."

Every one of these words, which were spoken so cheerily and with
such a pleasant smile, seemed to pierce the princess like the prick
of a needle, and caused her to press her lips together in just such
a way as if she wanted to check an outcry of pain or suppress some
hidden rage. Marie Antoinette, while speaking of the sharp ears
which madame always had, had hinted at the advanced age no less than
at the curiosity of the princess, and had brought her young and
unburdened ears into very advantageous contrast with them.

"Would your majesty grant me the favor of an interview?" asked
Madame Adelaide, who did not possess the power of entering on a
contest with her exalted niece, with sharp yet graceful words.

"I am prepared with all pleasure," answered the queen, cheerfully;
"and it depends entirely upon madame whether the audience shall be
private or public."

"I beg for a half hour of entire privacy," said Madame Adelaide,
with choler.

"A private audience, ladies!" called the queen to her maids of
honor, as motioning with her hand she dismissed them. Then she
directed her great brilliant eyes to the door of the antechamber.
"My lord grooms, in half an hour I should like to have my carriage
ready for Trianon."

The maids of honor withdrew into the great antechamber, and closed
the doors behind them.

The queen and Madame Adelaide were alone.

"Let us sit, if it pleases you," said Marie Antoinette, motioning
the princess to an arm-chair, while she took her own place upon a
simple ottoman. "You have something to say to me, and I am entirely
ready to hear you."

"Would to God, madame, that you would not only hear my words," said
Madame Adelaide, with a sigh, "but that you would take them to heart
as well!"

"If they deserve it, I certainly shall," said the queen, smiling.

"They certainly do deserve it," said the princess, "for what I aim
at in my words concerns the peace, the security, the honor of our
family. Madame, allow me first to disburden myself of something that
has been committed to me. My noble and pious sister, Madame Louise,
has given me this letter for your majesty, and in her name I ask our
royal niece to read the same at once and in my presence."

She drew from the great reticule, which was attached to her arm by
its silken cords, a sealed letter, and handed it to the queen.

But Marie Antoinette did not raise her hand to receive it, but shook
her head as if in refusal, and yet with so eager a motion that her
elaborate coiffure fairly trembled.

"I beg your pardon, madame," said she, earnestly, "but I cannot
receive this letter from the prioress of the Carmelite convent at
St. Denis; for you well know that when Madame Louise sent me some
years ago, through your highness, a letter which I read, that I
never again will receive and read letters from the prioress. Have
the goodness, then, to take this back to the sender."

"You know, madame, that this is an affront directed against a
princess of France!" was the emphatic reply.

"I know, madame, that that letter which I then received from Madame
Louise was an affront directed by the princess against the Queen of
France, and I shall protect the majesty of my station from a similar
affront. Unquestionably this letter is similar in tone to that one.
That one contained charges which went so far as to involve open
condemnation, and contained proffers of counsel which meant little
less than calumny. [Footnote: Gondrecourt, "Histoire de Marie
Antoinette," p. 59.] And what would this be likely to contain
different, which your highness takes the trouble to bring to me?"

"Well," cried Madame Adelaide, angrily, "its purport may be similar
to that of the former letter; for, unfortunately, the causes are the
same, and we may not wonder if the effects are also the same."

"Ah! one can easily see that your highness knows the contents of the
letter," said Marie Antoinette, smiling, "and you will therefore
certainly pardon me for not reading it. It was unquestionably
written in the presence of your highness, in the pious cell of the
prioress. She gave over for a while her prayers for the repose of
the departed king, in order to busy herself a little with worldly
things, and to listen to the calumnies which Madame Adelaide, or the
Count de Provence, or the Cardinal de Kohan, or some other of the
enemies of my person, have sought to hurl against the Queen of
France."

"Calumnies!" replied Madame Adelaide, with an angry flash in her
eyes. "Would to God, madame, that it were calumnies with which we
have to do, and that all these things which trouble and disturb us
were only malicious calumnies, and not sober facts!"

"And will your highness not have the goodness to communicate these
facts to me?" said the queen, undisturbed, but smiling, and so only
increasing the anger of the princess.

"These facts are of so varied kinds that it would be a difficult
thing to choose out any separate ones among them," cried she, with
fiery tone. "Every day, every hour of the life of your majesty,
brings new facts to light."

"Oh!" said Marie Antoinette, "I had no idea that your highness had
such tender care for me."

"And I had no idea, madame, that your frivolity went so far as
continually to wound the laws, the customs, and the hallowed order
of things. You do it--you do it, scorning every thing established
with the random wantonness of a child that plays with fire, and does
not know that the waves will flare up and consume it. Madame, I have
come here to warn you once more, and for the last time."

"God be thanked, for the last time!" cried the queen, with a
charming glance of her eyes.

"I conjure you, queen, for your own sake, for your husband's, for
your children's, change your course; take a new direction; leave the
path of danger on which you are hastening to irretrievable
destruction."

The countenance of the queen, before so pleasant and animated, now
darkened. Her smile gave way to a deep earnestness; she raised her
head proudly and put on a royal bearing.

"Madame," said she, "up to this time I have been inclined to meet
your biting philippics with the quiet indifference which innocence
gives, and to remain mindful of the reverence due to age, and not to
forget the harsh eyes with which the aged always look upon the deeds
of youth. But you compel me to take the matter more earnestly to
heart, for you join to my name that of my husband and my children,
and so you appeal to my heart of hearts. Now, then, tell me, madame,
what you have to bring against me."

"Your boundless frivolity, your culpable short-sightedness, your
foolish pleasures, your extravagance, your love of finery, your
mixing with politics, your excessive jovialness, your
entertainments, your--"

Marie Antoinette interrupted this series of charges with loud, merry
laughter, which more enraged the princess than the most stinging
words would have done.

"Yes," she continued, "you are frivolous, for you suppose the life
of a queen is one clear summer's day, to be devoted to nothing but
singing and laughing. You are short-sighted, for you do not see that
the flowers of this summer's day in which you rejoice, only bloom
above an abyss into which you, with your wanton dancing, are about
to plunge. You indulge in foolish pleasures, instead of, as becomes
a Queen of France, passing your life in seclusion, in devout
meditation, in the exercise of beneficence, in pious deeds. You are
a spendthrift, for you give the income of France to your favorites,
to this Polignac family, which it has been reckoned receives alone a
twentieth part of the whole income of the state; to these gracious
lords and ladies of your so-called 'society,' supporting them in
their frivolity, allowing them to make golden gain out of you. You
are a lover of finery, not holding it beneath your dignity to spend
whole hours with a poor milliner; allowing a man to dress your hair,
and afterward to go into the toilet chambers of the Parisian dames,
that their hair may be dressed by the same hands which have arranged
the hair of a queen, and to imitate the coiffure which the Queen of
France wears. And what kind of a coiffure is that which, invented by
a queen, is baptized with a fantastic name, and carried through
Paris, France, and all Europe?"

"But," said Marie Antoinette, with comical pathos, "these coiffures
have, some of them, horrid names. We have, for example, the 'hog's
bristles coiffure,' the 'flea-bite coiffure,' the 'dying dog,' the
'flame of love,' 'modesty's cap,' a--"

"A queen's levee," interrupted the princess; "a love's nest of Marie
Antoinette. Yes, we have come to that pass that the fashions are
named after the queen, and all acquire a certain frivolous
character, so that all the men and all the honorable women of Paris
are in despair because the thoughts of their daughters, infected
with the millinery tastes of the queen and the court, shun all noble
thoughts, and only busy themselves with mere affairs of taste. I
have shown you, and you will not be able to deny it, madame, that
this decline in manners, which has been engendered by this love of
finery, proceeds from you, and from you alone; that not only your
love of finery is to blame, but also your coquetry, your joviality,
and these unheard-of indescribable orgies to which the Queen of
France surrenders herself, and to which she even allures her own
husband, the King of France, the oldest son of the Church."

"What does your highness mean?" asked the queen.

"Of what entertainments are you speaking?"

"I am speaking of the entertainments which are celebrated in
Trianon, to the perversion of all usage and all good manners. Of
those orgies in which the queen transforms herself into a
shepherdess, and permits the ladies of her court, who ought to
appear before her with bended knee and with downcast eyes, to clothe
themselves like her, and to put on the same bearing as the queen's!
I speak of those orgies where the king, enchanted by the charms of
his wife, and allured by her coquetry, so far forgets his royal rank
as even to take part himself in this stupid frivolity, and to bear a
share in this trivial masquerading. And this queen, whose loud
laughter fills the groves of Trianon, and who sometimes finds her
pleasure in imitating the lowing of cows or the bleating of goats--
this queen will afterward put on the bearing of a statesman, and
will, with those hands which have just got through arranging an
'allegorical head-dress,' dip into the machinery of state,
interrupting the arrangements of her entertainments to busy herself
with politics, to set aside old, cherished ministers, to bring her
friends and favorites into their places, and to make the king the
mere executor of her will."

"Madame," said the queen, as glowing with anger and with eyes of
flame she rose from her seat--"madame, this is going too far, this
oversteps the bounds that every one, even the princesses of the
royal house, owe to their sovereign. I have allowed you to subject
to your biting criticism my outer life, my pleasures, and my dress,
but I do not allow you to take in hand my inner life--my relations
to my husband and my personal honor. You presume to speak of my
favorites. I demand of you to name them, and if you can show that
there is one man to whom I show any other favor than a gracious
queen may show to a servant, a subject whom she can honor and trust,
I desire that you would give his name to the king, and that a close
investigation be made into the case. I have friends; yes, thank
Heaven! I have friends who prize me highly, and who are every hour
prepared to give their life for their queen. I have true and
faithful servants; but no one will appear and give evidence that
Marie Antoinette has ever had an illicit lover. My only lover has
been the king, my husband, and I hope before God that he will always
remain so, so long as I live. But this is exactly what the noble
princesses my aunts, what the Count de Provence, and the whole party
of the old court, never will forgive me for. I have had the good
fortune to win the love of my husband. The king, despite all
calumnies and all intrigues, lowered his glance to the poor young
woman who stood solitary near him, and whom he had been taught to
prize lightly and to despise, and then he found that she was not so
simple, stupid, and ugly, as she had been painted. He began to take
some notice of her, and then, God be thanked, he overlooked the fact
that she was of Austrian blood, and that the policy of his
predecessor had urged her upon him; his heart warmed to her in love,
and Marie Antoinette received this love as a gracious gift of God,
as the happiness of her life. Yes, madame, I may say it with pride
and joy, the king loves me, he trusts me, and therefore his wife
stands nearer to him than even his exalted aunts, and I am the one
whom he most trusts and whom he selects to be his chief adviser. But
this is just the offence which will never be forgiven me: it has
fallen to my lot to take from my enemies and opponents their
influence over my husband. The time has gone by when Madame Adelaide
could gain an attentive ear when she came to the king, and in her
passionate rage charged me with unheard of crimes, which had no
basis excepting that in some little matters I had loosened the
ancient chains of etiquette; the time is past when Madame Louise
could presume to drive me with her flashing anger from her pious
cell and make me kneel in the dust; and when it was permitted to the
Count de la Morch to accuse the queen before the king of having
risen in time to behold the rising of the sun at Versailles, in
company with her whole court. The king loves me, and Madame Adelaide
is no longer the political counsellor of the king; the ministers
will no longer be appointed according to her dictate, and the great
questions of the cabinet are decided without appealing to her! I
know that this is a new offence which you lay to my charge, and that
by your calumniations and suspicions you make me suffer the penalty
for it. I know that the Count de Provence stoops to direct epigrams
and pamphlets against his sister-in-law, his sovereign, and through
the agency of his creatures to scatter them through Paris. I know
that in his saloons all the enemies of the queen are welcome, and
that charges against me are made without rebuke, and that there the
weapons are forged with which I am assailed. But take care lest some
day these weapons be turned against you! It is you who are
imperilling the kingdom, and undermining the throne, for you do not
hesitate setting before the people an example that nothing is sacred
to you; that the dignity of the throne no longer has an existence,
but that it may be denied with vile insinuations, and the most
poisonous arrows directed against those who wear the crown of St.
Louis on their head. But all you, the aunts, the brothers of the
king, and the whole swarm of their intimates and dependents, you are
all undermining the monarchy, for you forget that the foreigner, the
Austrian, as you call her--that she is Queen of France, your
sovereign, your lord, and that you are nothing better than her
subjects. You are criminals, you are high traitors!"

"Madame," cried the Princess Adelaide, "Madame, what language is
this that--"

"It is the language of a woman in reply to a calumniator, the
language of a queen to a rebellious subject. Madame, have the
goodness not to answer me again. You have come into the palace of
your sovereign to accuse her, and she has answered you as becomes
her station. Now we have nothing more to say to each other. You
requested a half-hour's private audience with me, and the time has
gone. Farewell, madame; my carriage stands ready, and I go to
Trianon. I shall, however, say nothing to the king respecting the
new attack which you have made upon me, and I promise you that I
shall forget it and forgive it."

She nodded lightly, turned herself around, and, with lofty carriage
and proud self-possession, left the apartment.

Princess Adelaide looked after her with an expression of the deepest
hate, and entirely forgetful of her lofty station, even raised her
hand threateningly in the direction of the door through which the
noble figure of the queen had just vanished. "I shall not forget nor
forgive," muttered she. "I shall have my revenge on this impudent
person who dares to threaten me and even to defy me, and who calls
herself my sovereign. This Austrian, a sovereign of the princess
royal of France! We will show her where are the limits of her power,
and where are the limits of France! She shall go back to Austria; we
want her not, this Austrian who dares to defy us."

Proud and erect though the bearing was with which the queen left
Madame Adelaide, she had hardly entered her own room and closed the
door which separated her from her enemy, when she sank groaning upon
a seat, and a flood of tears streamed from her eyes.

"Oh, Campan, Campan! what have I been compelled to hear?" cried she,
bitterly. "With what expressions have they ventured to address the
Queen of France!" Madame de Campan, the first lady-in-waiting on the
queen, who had just then entered the porcelain room, hastened to her
mistress, and, sinking upon her knees, pressed the fallen hand of
the queen to her lips. "Your majesty is weeping!" she whispered with
her mild, sympathetic voice. " Your majesty has given the princess
the satisfaction of knowing that she has succeeded in drawing tears
from the Queen of France, and reddening her beautiful eyes."

"No, I will not give her this pleasure," said the queen, quickly
raising herself up and drying her eyes. "I will be merry, and why do
I weep? She sought to make me sick; she sought to wound me, but I
have given back the sickness, and the wounds which I have inflicted
upon her will not so soon heal."

"Has your majesty inflicted anything upon the princess?" cried
Madame de Campan, in agitation.

"Yes," answered Marie Antoinette, with triumphant joy. "I have
scourged her, I have wounded her, for I have distinctly intimated to
her that I am Queen of France, and she my subject. I have told her,
that when she dares direct her calumnies against the queen, she is
guilty of high-treason."

"Oh!" exclaimed Madame de Campan, "the proud princess will never
pardon that. Your majesty has now become her irreconcilable enemy,
and she will leave no stone unturned to revenge herself upon you."

"She may attempt to revenge herself upon me," cried the queen, whose
countenance began to brighten up once more. "I fear neither her nor
her whole set. All their arrows will fall powerless at my feet, for
the love of my husband and my pure conscience form the protection
which secures me. And what can these people accomplish against me?
They can slander me, that is all. But their calumnies will, in the
end, prove that it is lies they tell, and no one will give them
confidence more."

"Ah! your majesty does not know the wickedness of the world," sighed
Campan, sadly. "Your majesty believes that the good are not
cowardly, and that the bad are not reckless. Your majesty does not
know that the bad have it in their power to corrupt public opinion;
and that then the good have not the courage to meet this corrupting
influence. But public opinion is a monster that brings the charge,
passes judgment, pronounces the sentence, and inflicts the
punishment in one person. Who thinks lightly of it, arrays against
himself an enemy stronger than a whole army, and less open to
entreaty than death."

"Ah!" cried the queen, raising her head proudly, "I do not fear this
enemy. She shall not dare to attack me. She shall crouch and shrink
before my gaze as the lion does when confronted by the eye of a
virgin. I am pure and blameless. I pledged my troth to my husband
before he loved me, and how shall I now break it, when he does love
me, and is the father of my dear children? And now, enough of these
disagreeable things that want to cast their vileness upon us! And
the sun is shining so splendidly, and they are waiting for me in
Trianon! Come, Campan, come; the queen will take the form of a happy
wife."

Marie Antoinette hastened before her lady-in-waiting, hurried into
her toilet-chamber in advance of her lady-in-waiting, who followed,
sighing and shaking her head, and endeavored with her own hands to
loosen the stiff corset of her robe, and to free herself from the
immense crinoline which imprisoned her noble form.

"Off with these garments of state and royal robes," said Marie
Antoinette, gliding out of the stiff apparel, and standing in a
light, white undergarment, with bare shoulders and arms. "Give me a
white percale dress and a gauze mantle with it."

"Will your majesty appear again in this simple costume?" asked
Madame de Campan, sighing.

"Certainly, I will," cried she; "I am going to Trianon, to my much-
loved country-house. You must know, Campan, that the king has
promised to spend every afternoon of a whole week with me at
Trianon, and that there we are going to enjoy life, nature, and
solitude. So, for a whole week, the king will only be king in the
forenoon, and in the afternoon a respectable miller in the village
Trianon. Now, is not that a merry thought, Campan? And do you not
see that I cannot go to Trianon in any other than a light white
dress?"

"Yes, your majesty, I understand; but I was only thinking that the
trades-people of Lyons had just presented a paper to your majesty,
in which they complain of the decadence of the silk manufacture,
explaining it on the ground that your majesty has a preference for
white clothing, and stating that all the ladies feel obliged to
follow the example of their queen, and lay their silk robes aside."

"And do you know, too," asked Marie Antoinette, "that Madame
Adelaide has herself supported this ridiculous paper of the Lyonnese
merchants, giving out that I wear white percale because I want to do
my brother, the Emperor Joseph, a service, and so ordered these
white goods from the Netherlands? Ah, let us leave these follies of
the wicked and the stupid. They shall not prevent my wearing white
clothes and being happy in Trianon. Give me a white dress quickly,
Campan."

"Pardon, your majesty, but I must; first summon the ladies of the
robing-room," answered Madame de Campan, turning to the door of the
sleeping-room.

"Oh, why all this parade?" sighed the queen. "Can I never be free
from the fetters of all this ceremony? Could you not yourself,
Campan, put a simple dress upon me?"

"Your majesty, I am only a poor, powerless being, and I fear
enmities. The ladies would never forgive me if I should encroach
upon their rights and separate them from the adored person of the
queen. It is their right, it is their duty to draw the robe upon the
person of your majesty, and to secure your shoes. I beg, therefore,
your gracious permission to allow the ladies to come in."

"Well, do it then," sighed the queen. " Let me bear the fetters here
in Versailles until the last moment. I shall have my compensation in
Trianon. Be assured I shall have my compensation there."

A quarter of an hour later the queen was arrayed in her changed
attire, and came out from the toilet-chamber. The stiff crinoline
had disappeared; the whalebone corset, with the long projecting
point, was cast aside; and the high coiffure, which Leonard had so
elaborately made up in the morning, was no more to be seen. A white
robe, decorated at the bottom with a simple volante, fell in broad
artistic folds over her noble figure, whose full proportions had
been concealed by the rigid state dress. A simple waist encircled
her bust, and was held together by a blue sash, which hung in long
ends at her left side. Broad cuffs, held together with simple,
narrow lace, fell down as far as the wrist, but through the thin
material could be seen the fair form of her beautiful arms; and the
white triangle of gauze which she had thrown over her naked neck,
did not entirely veil the graceful lines of her full shoulders and
her noble bust. Her hair, deprived of its unnatural disfigurement,
and almost entirely freed from powder, arched itself above her fine
forehead in a light toupet, and fell upon her shoulders in rich
brown locks, on which only a mere breath of powder had been blown.
On her arm the queen carried a great, round, straw hat, secured by
blue ribbons, and over her fair, white hands she had drawn gloves of
black netting.

Thus, with beaming countenance, with blushing cheeks, and with
smiles curling around her full red lips; thus, all innocence,
merriment, and cheerfulness, Marie Antoinette entered the sitting-
room, where the Duchess de Polignac was waiting for her, in an
attire precisely like that of the queen.

The latter flew to the duchess with the quickness of a young girl,
with the tenderness of a sister, and drew her arm within that of her
friend.

"Come, Julia," said she, "let us leave the world and enter
paradise."

"Ah, I am afraid of paradise," cried the duchess, with a merry
smile. "I have a horror of the serpent."

"You shall find no serpents there, my Julia," said the queen,
drawing the arm of the duchess to herself. "Lean upon me, my friend,
and be persuaded that I will defend you against every serpent, and
every low, creeping thing."

"Oh, I fear the serpent more for my adored queen than for myself.
What is there in me to harm? But your majesty is exposed on every
side to attack."

"Oh, why, Julia," sighed the queen-" why do you ad-dress me with the
stiff, formal title of majesty when we are alone together? Why do
you not forget for a little etiquette when there is nobody by to
hear us?"

"Your majesty," laughed the duchess, "we are in Versailles, and the
walls have ears."

"It is true," cried the queen, with quickly restored merriment, " we
are here in Versailles; that is your exculpation. Come, let us
hasten to leave this proud, royal palace, and get away to the
society of beautiful Nature, where there are no walls to hear us,
but only God and Nature. Come, Julia."

She drew the duchess quickly out through the side door, which led to
the little corridor, and thence to the adjacent staircase, and over
the small court to one of the minor gates of the palace, leading to
the park. The coupe of the queen was standing before this door, and
the master of the stole and the lackeys were awaiting the approach
of the queen.

Marie Antoinette sprang like a gazelle into the carriage, and then
extended her hand to the duchess to assist her to ascend. "Forward,
forward!" cried the queen to the coachman, " and drive with all
haste, as if the horses had wings, for I long to fly. Forward! oh,
forward!"



CHAPTER   III.

TRIANON


Fly, ye steeds, fly! Bear the Queen of France away from the stiff,
proud Versailles; from the palaces of kings, where every thing
breathes of exaltation, greatness, and unapproachableness; bear her
to little, simple, pretty Trianon, to the dream of paradise, where
all is innocence, simplicity, and peace; where the queen may be a
woman, and a happy one, too, and where Marie Antoinette has the
right to banish etiquette, and live in accordance with her
inclinations, wishes, and humors.

Yes, truly, the fiery steeds have transformed themselves into birds;
they cut the air, they scarcely touch the ground, and hardly can the
driver restrain them when they reach the fence which separates the
garden of Trianon from Versailles.

Light as a gazelle, happy as a young girl that knows nothing of the
cares and burdens of life, Marie Antoinette sprang out of the
carriage before the chamberlain had time to open the gate with its
double wings, to let the queen pass in as a queen ought. Laughing,
she glided through the little side gate, which sufficed for the more
unpretending visitor of Trianon, and took the arm of her friend the
Duchess de Polignac, in order to turn with her into one of the side
alleys. But, before doing so, she turned to the chamberlain, who,
standing in a respectful attitude, was awaiting the commands of his
mistress.

"Weber," said she to him, in the pleasant Austrian dialect, the
language of her early home" Weber, there is no need for you to
follow us. The day is yours. You are free, as I am too. Meanwhile,
if yon meet his majesty, tell him that I have gone to the small
palace, and that, if it pleases his majesty, he may await me in my
little village at the mill.

"And now, come, my Julia," said she, turning to the duchess, and
drawing her forward with gentle violence, " now let us be merry and
happy. I am no longer a queen, God be thanked! I am neither more nor
less than anybody else. That is the reason I was so well pleased to
come through the small door just now. Through a narrow gate alone we
can enter paradise, and I am entering paradise now. Oh, do you not
see, my friend, that the trees, the flowers, the bushes, every thing
here is free from the dust of earth; that even the heaven has
another color, and looks down upon me brilliant and blue, like the
eye of God?"

"It is just," answered the Duchess de Polignac, "because you are
seeing every thing with other eyes, your majesty."

"Your majesty!" cried Marie Antoinette. "You love me no longer; your
heart is estranged from me, since you address me with this cold
title. In Versailles, you had a valid plea; but here, Julia, what
can you offer in justification? The flowers are not listeners, the
bushes have not ears, like the walls of Versailles, to spy out our
privacy."

"I say nothing for my exculpation," answered the duchess, throwing
her arm with a playful movement around the neck of the queen, and
imprinting a kiss upon the lofty brow of Marie Antoinette. "I only
ask your pardon, and promise that I will be obedient and not disturb
my friend's dream of paradise all day long by an ill-timed word. Now
will you forgive me, Marie?"

"With all my soul, Julia," answered the queen, nodding to her in a
friendly way. "And now, Julia, as we have a happy vacation day
before us, we will enjoy it like two young girls who are celebrating
the birthday of their grandmother after escaping from a boarding
school. Let us see which of us is the swiftest of foot. We will make
a wager on it. See, there gleams our little house out from the
shrubbery; let us see which of us gets there first."

"Without stopping once in the run?" asked the duchess, amazed.

"I make no conditions; I only say, let us see who gets there first.
If you win, Julia, I will give you the privilege of nominating a man
to have the first place in my Swiss guards, and you may select the
protege in whose behalf you were pleading yesterday. Come, let us
run. One!--"

"No, Marie," interrupted the duchess. "Supposing that you are the
first, what shall I give you?"

"A kiss--a hearty kiss--Julia. Now, forward! One, two, three!"

And, speaking these words in merry accents, Marie Antoinette sprang
forward along the narrow walk. The round straw hat which covered her
head was tossed up on both sides; the blue ribbons fluttered in the
wind; the white dress puffed up; and the grand chamberlain of the
queen and Madame Adelaide would have been horrified if they could
have seen the queen flying along like a girl escaped from the
boarding-school.

But she, she never thought of there being any thing improper in the
run; she looked forward to the goal with laughing glances, as the
white house emerged more and more from the verdure by which it was
surrounded, and then sideways at her friend, who had not been able
to gain a single step upon her.

"Forward, forward!" shouted the queen; "I will and I must win, for
the prize is a kiss from my Julia." And with renewed speed the queen
dashed along. The lane opened and terminated in a square in front of
the palace. The queen stopped in her course, and turned round to see
her friend, who had been left far behind her.

As soon as the duchess saw it she tried to quicken her steps, and
began to run again, but Marie Antoinette motioned with her hand, and
went rapidly back to meet her.

"You shall not make any more effort, Julia," said she. "I have won,
and you cannot bring my victory into question."

"And I do not wish to," answered the duchess, with a merry look of
defiance on her gentle features. "I really did not wish to win, for
it would have seemed as if I had to win what I want on the turn of a
merry game. You have done wrong, Marie Antoinette. You want me to
forget here in Trianon that you are the Queen of France. But you
yourself do not forget it. Only the queen can propose such a prize
as you have set, and only the queen can ask so insignificant a boon
on the other side. You have made it impossible for me to win, for
you know well that I am not selfish."

"I know it, and that is just the reason why I love you so dearly,
Julia. I have done wrong," she went on to say with her gentle, sweet
voice. "I see it, and I beg your forgiveness. Give me now as a proof
that you do forgive me, give me the prize which I have won--a kiss,
Julia, a kiss."

"Not here," answered the duchess. "O, no, not here, Marie. Do not
you see that the doors of the saloons are open, and that your
company are all assembled. They would all envy me; they would all be
jealous if they were to see the preference which you show for me."

"Let them be jealous, let them envy you," cried the queen; "the
whole world shall know that Julia de Polignac is my best-loved
friend, that next to husband and children, I love no one so well as
her."

With gentle violence the queen threw both her arms around the neck
of the duchess, and kissed her passionately.

"Did you notice," said the Baron de Besenval to Lord Adhemar, with
whom he was playing a game of backgammon in the saloon, "did you
notice the tableau that the queen is presenting, taking for her
theme a group representing Friendship?"

"I wish it were in my power to reproduce this wonderful group in
marble," answered Lord Adhemar, laughing. "It would be a companion
piece to Orestes and Pylades."

"But which," asked the Duchess de Guemene, looking up from her
embroidery, "which would be the companion of Orestes, pursued of
Furies, surrounded by serpents?"

"That is the queen," answered the Count de Vaudreuil, who was
sitting at the piano and practising a new piece of music. "The queen
is the womanly Orestes: the Furies are the three royal aunts; and
the serpents--pardon me, ladies--are, with the exception of
yourselves, most all the ladies of Paris."

"You are malicious, count," cried Madame de Morsan, "and were we by
any chance not here, you would reckon us among the serpents."

"If I should do so," said Count Vaudreuil, laughing, "I should only
wish to take the apple from you, in order to be driven out of
paradise with you. But still! the queen is coming."

Yes, just then the queen entered the apartment. Her cheeks were
glowing red by reason of her run, her bosom heaved violently with
her hurried, agitated breathing. Her hat had fallen upon one side,
and the dark blond hair was thrown about in wild confusion.

It was not the queen who entered the saloon, it was only Marie
Antoinette, the simple, young woman, greeting her friends with
brilliant glances and lively nods. It had been made a rule with her,
that when she entered, no one should rise, nor leave the embroidery,
or piano-playing, or any other occupation.

The women remained at their work, Lords Besenval and Adhemar went on
playing their game of backgammon, and only the Count de Vaudreuil
rose from his place at the approach of the queen.

"What have you been playing, count?" asked Marie Antoinette. "I beg
your pardon, if I leave your question unanswered," replied the
count, with a gentle inclination of the head. "Your majesty has such
a fine ear, that you must doubtless recognize the composer in the
music. It is an entirely new composition, and I have taken the
license of arranging it for four hands. If your majesty would
perhaps be inclined-"

"Come," interrupted the queen, "let us try it at once."

Quickly, and with feverish impatience, she drew her black netted
gloves from her delicate white hands, and at once took her place
next to the count, on the seat already prepared for her.

"Will not the music be too difficult for me to play?" asked she,
timidly.

"Nothing is too difficult for the Queen of France."

"But there is a great deal that is too difficult for the dilettante,
Marie Antoinette," sighed the queen. "Meanwhile, we will begin and
try it."

And with great facility and lightness of touch, the queen began to
play the base of the piece which had been arranged by the Count de
Vaudreuil for four hands. But the longer she played, the more the
laughter and the unrestrained gayety disappeared from the features
of the queen. Her noble countenance assumed an expression of deep
earnestness, her eye kindled with feeling, and the cheeks which
before had become purple-red with the exercise of playing, now paled
with deep inward emotion.

All at once, in the very midst of the grand and impassioned strains,
Marie Antoinette stopped, and, under the strength of her feeling,
rose from her seat.

"Only Gluck can have written this!" cried she. "This is the music,
the divine music of my exalted master, my great teacher, Chevalier
Gluck."

"You are right; your majesty is a great musician," cried Lord
Vaudreuil, in amazement, "the ideal pupil of the genial maestro.
Yes, this music is Gluck's. It is the overture to his new opera of
'Alcestes,' which he sent me from Venice to submit to your majesty.
These tones shall speak for the master, and entreat for him the
protection of the queen."

"You have not addressed the queen, but my own heart," said Marie
Antoinette, with gentle, deeply moved voice. "It was a greeting from
my home, a greeting from my teacher, who is at the same time the
greatest composer of Europe. Oh, I am proud of calling myself his
pupil. But Gluck needs no protection; it is much more we who need
the protection which he affords us in giving us the works of his
genius. I thank you, count," continued Marie Antoinette, turning to
Vaudreuil with a pleasant smile.

"This is a great pleasure which you have prepared for me. But
knowing, as I now do, that this is Gluck's music, I do not dare to
play another note; for, to injure a note of his writing, seems to me
like treason against the crown. I will practise this piece, and then
some day we will play it to the whole court. And now, my honored
guests, if it pleases you, we go to meet the king. Gentlemen, let
each one choose his lady, for we do not want to go in state
procession, but by different paths."

All the gentlemen present rushed toward the queen, each desirous to
have the honor of waiting upon her. Marie Antoinette thanked them
all with a pleasant smile, and took the arm of the eldest gentleman
there, the Baron de Besenval.

"Come, baron," said she, "I know a new path, which none of these
gentry have learned, and I am sure that we shall be the first to
reach the place where the king is."

Resting on the arm of the baron, she left the saloon, and passed out
of the door opposite, upon the little terrace leading to the well-
shaded park.

"We will go through the English garden. I have had them open a path
through the thicket, which will lead us directly to our goal; while
the others will all have to go through the Italian garden, and so
make a circuit. But look, my lord, somebody is coming there--who is
it?"

And the queen pointed to the tall, slim figure of a man who was just
then striding along the terrace.

"Madame," answered the baron, "it is the Duke de Fronac."

"Alas!" murmured Marie Antoinette, "he is coming to lay new burdens
upon us, and to put us in the way of meeting more disagreeable
things."

"Would it be your wish that I should dismiss him? Do you give me
power to tell him that you extend no audience to him here?"

"Oh! do not do so," sighed Marie Antoinette. "He, too, is one of my
enemies, and we must proceed much more tenderly with our dear
enemies than with our friends."

Just then the Duke de Fronac ascended the last terrace, and
approached the queen with repeated bows, which she reciprocated with
an earnest look and a gentle inclination of the head.

"Well, duke, is it I with whom the chief manager of the royal
theatres wishes to speak?"

"Madame," answered the duke, "I am come to beg an audience of your
majesty."

"You have it; and it is, as you see, a very imposing audience, for
we stand in the throne room of God, and the canopy of Heaven arches
over us. Now say, duke, what brings you to me?"

"Your majesty, I am come to file an accusation!"

"And of course against me?" asked the queen, with a haughty smile.
The duke pretended not to hear the question, and went on: "I am come
to bring a charge and to claim my rights. His majesty has had the
grace to appoint me manager-in-chief of all the royal theatres, and
to give me their supreme control."

"Well, what has that to do with me?" asked the queen in her coldest
way. " You have then your duties assigned you, to he rightfully
fulfilled, and to keep your theatres in order, as if they were
troops under your care."

"But, your majesty, there is a theatre which seeks to free itself
from my direction. And by virtue of my office and my trust I must
stringently urge you that this new theatre royal be delivered into
my charge."

"I do not understand you," said the queen, coolly. "Of what new
theatre are you speaking, and where is it?"

"Your majesty, it is here in Trianon. Here operettas, comedies, and
vaudevilles are played. The stage is furnished as all stages are; it
is a permanent stage, and I can therefore ask that it be given over
into my charge, for, I repeat it again, the king has appointed me
director of all the collective theatres royal."

"But, duke," answered the queen with a somewhat more pliant tone,
"you forget one thing, and that is, that the theatre in Trianon does
not belong to the theatres of his majesty. It is my stage, and
Trianon is my realm. Have you not read on the placards, which are at
the entrance of Trianon, that it is the queen who gives laws here?
Do you not know that the king has given me this bit of ground that I
may enjoy my freedom here, and have a place where the Queen of
France may have a will of her own?"

"Your majesty," answered the duke with an expression of the
profoundest deference, "I beg your pardon. I did not suppose that
there was a place in France where the king is not the lord
paramount, and where his commands are not imperative."

"You see, then, that you are mistaken. Here in Trianon I am king,
and my commands are binding."

"That does not prevent, your majesty, the commands of the king
having equal force," replied the duke, with vehemence. "And even if
the Queen of France disowns these laws, yet others do not dare take
the risk of following the example of the queen. For they remain,
wherever they are, the subjects of the king. So even here in Trianon
I am still the obedient subject of his majesty, and his commands and
my duties are bound to be respected by me."

"My lord duke," cried the queen with fresh impatience, "you are free
never to come to Trianon. I give you my full permission to that end,
and thus you will be relieved from the possibility of ever coming
into collision with your ever-delicate conscience and the commands
of the king."

"But, your majesty, there is a theatre in Trianon!"

"Not this indefinite phrase, duke; there is a theatre in Trianon,
but I the queen, the princess of the royal family, and the guests I
invite, support a theatre in Trianon. Let me say this once for all:
you cannot have the direction where we are the actors. Besides, I
have had occasion several times to give you my views respecting
Trianon. I have no court here. I live here as a private person. I am
here but a land owner, and the pleasures and enjoyments which I
provide here for myself and my friends shall never be supervised by
any one but myself alone." [Footnote: The very words of the queen.--
See Goncourt, "Histoire de Marie Antoinette"]

"Your majesty," said the duke, with a cold smile, "it is no single
person that supervises you; it is public opinion, and I think that
this will speak on my side."

The duke bowed, and, without waiting for a sign from the queen to
withdraw, he turned around and began to descend the terrace.

"He is a shameless man!" muttered the queen, with pale cheeks and
flashing eyes, as she followed him with her looks.

"He is ambitious," whispered Besenval; "he implores your majesty in
this way, and risks his life and his office, in the hope of being
received into the court society."

"No, no," answered Marie Antoinette, eagerly; "there is nothing in
me that attracts him. The king's aunts have set him against me, and
this is a new way which their tender care has conjured up to
irritate me, and make me sick.

Yet let us leave this, baron. Let us forget this folly, and only
remember that we are in Trianon. See, we are now entering my dear
English garden. Oh, look around you, baron, and then tell me is it
not beautiful here, and have I not reason to be proud of what I have
called here into being?"

While thus speaking, the queen advanced with eager, flying steps to
the exquisite beds of flowers which beautifully variegated the
surface of the English garden.

It was in very truth the creation of the queen, this English garden,
and it formed a striking contrast to the solemn, stately hedges, the
straight alleys, the regular flower beds, the carefully walled pools
and brooks, which were habitual in the gardens of Versailles and
Trianon. In the English garden every thing was cosy and natural. The
waters foamed here, and there they gathered themselves together and
stood still; here and there were plants which grew just where the
wind had scattered the seed. Hundreds of the finest trees--willows,
American oaks, acacias, firs--threw their shade abroad, and wrought
a rich diversity in the colors of the foliage. The soil here rose
into gentle hillocks, and there sank in depressions and natural
gorges. All things seemed without order or system, and where art had
done its work, there seemed to be the mere hand of free, unfettered
Nature.

The farther the queen advanced with her companion into the garden,
the more glowing became her countenance, and the more her eyes
beamed with their accustomed fire.

"Is it not beautiful here?" asked she, of the baron, who was walking
silently by her side.

"It is beautiful wherever your majesty is," answered he, with an
almost too tender tone. But the queen did not notice it. Her heart
was filled with an artless joy; she listened with suspended breath
to the trilling song of the birds, warbling their glad hymns of
praise out from the thickets of verdure. How could she have any
thought of the idle suggestions of the voice of the baron, who had
been chosen as her companion because of his forty-five years, and of
his hair being tinged with gray?

"It seems to me, baron," she said, with a charming laugh, while
looking at a bird which, its song just ended, soared from the bushes
to the heavens--" it seems to me as if Nature wanted to send me a
greeting, and deputed this bird to bring it to me. Ah," she went on
to say, with quickly clouded brow, "it is really needful that I
should at times hear the friendly notes and the sweet melodies of
such a genuine welcome. I have suffered a great deal today, baron,
and the welcome of this bird of Trianon was the balm of many a wound
that I have received since yesterday."

"Your majesty was in Paris?" asked Besenval, hesitatingly, and with
a searching glance of his cunning, dark eyes, directed to the sad
countenance of Marie Antoinette.

"I was in Paris," answered she, with a flush of joy; "and the good
Parisians welcomed the wife of the king and the mother of the
children of France with a storm of enthusiasm."

"No, madame," replied the baron, reddening, "they welcomed with a
storm of enthusiasm the most beautiful lady of France, the adored
queen, the mother of all poor and suffering ones."

"And yet there was a dissonant note which mingled with all these
jubilee tones," said the queen, thoughtfully. "While all were
shouting, there came one voice which sounded to my ear like the song
of the bird of misfortune. Believe me, Besenval, every thing is not
as it ought to be. There is something in the air which fills me with
anxiety and fear. I cannot drive it away; I feel that the sword of
Damocles is hanging over my head, and that my hands are too weak to
remove it."

"A woe to the traitors who have dared to raise the sword of Damocles
over the head of the queen!" cried the baron, furiously.

"Woe to them, but woe to me too!" replied the queen, with gentle
sadness. "I have this morning had a stormy interview with Madame
Adelaide. It appears that my enemies have concocted a new way of
attacking me, and Madame Adelaide was the herald to announce the
beginning of the tournament."

"Did she venture to bring any accusations against your majesty?"
asked Besenval. The queen replying in the affirmative with a nod, he
went on. "But what can they say? Whence do they draw the poisoned
arrows to wound the noblest and truest of hearts?"

"They draw them from their jealousy, from their hatred against the
house of Austria, from the rage with which they look upon the manner
in which the king has bestowed his love. 'What can they say?' They
make out of little things monstrous crimes. They let a pebble grow
into a great rock, with which they strive to smite me down. Oh, my
friend, I have suffered a great deal to-day, and, in order to tell
you this, I chose you as my companion. I dare not complain before
the king," Marie Antoinette went on, while two tears rolled slowly
down her cheeks, "for I will not be the means of opening a breach in
the family, and the king would cause them to feel his wrath who have
drawn tears from the eyes of his wife. But you are my friend,
Besenval, and I confide in your friendship and in your honor. Now,
tell me, you who know the world, and who are my senior in experience
of life, tell me whether I do wrong to live as I do. Are the king's
aunts right in charging it upon me as a crime, that I take part in
the simple joys of life, that I take delight in my youth and am
happy? Is the Count de Provence right in charging me, as with a
crime, that I am the chief counsellor of the king, and that I
venture to give him my views regarding political matters? Am I
really condemned to stand at an unapproachable distance from the
people and the court, like a beautiful statue? Is it denied to me to
have feeling, to love and to hate, like everybody else? Is the Queen
of France nothing but the sacrificial lamb which the dumb idol
etiquette carries in its leaden arms, and crushes by slowly pressing
it to itself? Tell me, Besenval; speak to me like an honorable and
upright man, and remember that God is above us and hears our words!"

"May God be my witness," said Besenval, solemnly. "Nothing lies
nearer my heart than that your majesty hear me. For my life, my
happiness, and my misery, all lie wrapped up in the heart of your
majesty. No, I answer--no; the aunts of the king, the old
princesses, look with the basilisk eye of envy from a false point.
They have lived at the court of their father; they have seen Vice
put on the trappings of Virtue; they have seen Shamelessness array
itself in the garments of Innocence, and they no longer retain their
faith in Virtue or Innocence. The purity of the queen appears to
them to be a studied coquetry, her unconstrained cheerfulness to be
culpable frivolity. No, the Count de Provence is not right in
bringing the charge against the king that it is wrong in him to love
his wife with the intensity and self surrender with which a citizen
loves the wife whom he has himself selected. He is not right in
alleging it as an accusation against you, that you are the
counsellor of the king, and that you seek to control political
action. Your whole offence lies in the fact that your political
views are different from his, and that, through the influence which
you have gained over the heart of the king, his aunts are driven
into the background. Your majesty is an Austrian, a friend of the
Duke de Choiseul. That is your whole offence. Now you would not be
less blameworthy in the eyes of these enemies were you to live in
exact conformity with the etiquette books of the Queen of France,
covered with the dust of a hundred years. Your majesty would
therefore do yourself and the whole court an injury were you to
allow your youth, your beauty, and your innocence, to be subjected
to these old laws. It were folly to condemn yourself to ennui and
solitude. Does not the Queen of France enjoy a right which the
meanest of her subjects possesses, of collecting her own chosen
friends around her and taking her pleasure with them. We live, I
know, in an age of reckless acts; but may there not be some
recklessness in dealing with the follies of etiquette? They bring it
as a charge against your majesty that you adjure the great court
circles, and the stiff set with which the royal family of France
used to martyr itself. They say that by giving up ceremony you are
undermining the respect which the people ought to cherish toward
royalty. But would it not be laughable to think that the obedience
of the people depends upon the number of the hours which a royal
family may spend in the society of tedious and wearisome courtiers?
No, my queen, do not listen to the hiss of the hostile serpents
which surround you. Go, courageously, your own way--the way of
innocence, guilelessness, and love."

"I thank you--oh, I thank you!" cried Marie Antoinette. "You have
lifted heavy doubts from my heart and strengthened my courage. I
thank you!"

And, with beaming eyes and a sweet smile, she extended both her
hands to the baron.

He pressed them tightly within his own, and, sinking upon his knee,
drew the royal hands with a glow to his lips.

"Oh, my queen, my mistress!" he cried, passionately, "behold at your
feet your most faithful servant, your most devoted slave. Receive
from me the oath of my eternal devotion and love. You have honored
me with your confidence, you have called me your friend. But my soul
and my heart glow for another name. Speak the word, Marie
Antoinette, the word--"

The queen drew back, and the paleness of death spread over her
cheeks. She had at the outset listened with amazement, then with
horror and indignation, to the insolent words of the baron, and
gradually her gentle features assumed a fierce and disdainful
expression.

"My lord," she said, with the noble dignity of a queen, "I told you
before that God is above us, and hears our words. You have spoken,
wantonly, and God has heard you. To Him I leave the punishment of
your wantonness. Stand up, my lord! the king shall know nothing of
an insult which would have brought you into ignominy with him
forever. But if you ever, by a glance or a gesture, recall this both
wanton and ridiculous scene, the king shall hear all from me!"

And while the queen pointed, with a proud and dignified gesture, to
the place which was their goal, she said, with commanding tone:

"Go before, my lord; I will follow you alone." The Baron de
Besenval, the experienced courtier, the practised man of the world,
was undergoing what was new to him; he felt himself perplexed,
ashamed, and no longer master of his words. He had risen from his
knees, and, after making a stiff obeisance to the queen, he turned
and went with a swift step and crestfallen look along the path which
the queen had indicated.

Marie Antoinette followed him with her eyes so long as he remained
in sight, then looked with a long, sad glance around her.

"And so I am alone again," she whispered, "and poorer by one
illusion more. Ah, and is it then true that there is no friendship
for me; must every friend be an envier or else a lover? Even this
man, whom I honored with my confidence, toward whom I cherished the
feeling of a pupil toward a teacher, even this man has dared to
insult me! Ah, must my heart encounter a new wonder every day, and
must my happiness be purchased with so many pains?"

And with a deep cry of pain the queen drew her hands to her face,
and wept bitterly. All around was still. Only here and there were
heard the songs of the birds in the bushes, light and dreamy; while
the trees, swayed by the wind, gently whispered, as if they wanted
to quiet the grief of the queen, and dry up those tears which fell
upon the flowers.

All at once, after a short pause, the queen let her hands fall
again, and raised her head with proud and defiant energy.

"Away with tears!" she said. "What would my friends say were they to
see me? What buzzing and whispering would there be, were they to see
that the gentle queen, the always happy and careless Marie
Antoinette, had shed tears? Oh, my God!" she cried, raising her
large eyes to heaven, "I have today paid interest enough for my
happiness; preserve for me at least the capital, and I will
cheerfully pay the world the highest rates, such as only a miserly
usurer can desire."

And with a proud spirit, and a lofty carriage, the queen strode
forward along the path. The bushes began to let the light through,
and the queen emerged from the English garden into the small plain,
in whose midst Marie Antoinette had erected her Arcadia, her dream
of paradise. The queen stood still, and with a countenance which
quickly kindled with joy, and with eyes which beamed with pleasure,
looked at the lovely view which had been called into being by the
skill of her architect, Hubert Robert.

And the queen might well rejoice in this creation, this poetic idyl,
which arose out of the splendor of palaces like a violet in the
sand, and among the variegated tropical flowers which adorn the
table of a king. Closely adjoining each other were little houses
like those in which peasants live, the peasant women being the proud
ladies of the royal court. A little brook babbled behind the houses,
and turned with its foaming torrent the white wheel of the mill
which was at the extremity of the village. Near the mill, farther
on, stood entirely alone a little peasant's house, especially
tasteful and elegant. It was surrounded by flower beds, vineyards,
and laurel paths. The roof was covered with straw; the little panes
were held by leads to the sashes. It was the home of Marie
Antoinette. The queen herself made the drawings, and wrought out the
plan. It was her choice that it should be small, simple, and modest;
that it should have not the slightest appearance of newness, and
that rents and fissures should be represented on the wall by
artificial contrivances, so as to give the house an old look, and an
appearance of having been injured. She had little thought how
speedily time could demolish the simple pastimes of a queen. Close
by stood a still smaller house, known as the milk room. It was close
to the brook. And when Marie Antoinette, with her peasant women, had
milked the cows, they bore the milk through the village in white
buckets, with silver handles, to the milk room, where it was poured
out into pretty, white pans standing on tables of white marble. On
the other side of the road was the house of the chief magistrate of
the village, and close by lived the schoolmaster.

Marie Antoinette had had a care for everything. There were bins to
preserve the new crops in, and before the hay scaffoldings were
ladders leading up to the fragrant hay. "Ah, the world is
beautiful," said Marie Antoinette, surveying her creation with a
cheerful look. "I will enjoy the pleasant hours, and be happy here."

She walked rapidly forward, casting friendly glances up to the
houses to see whether the peasants had not hid them-selves within,
and were waiting for her. But all was still, and not one of the
inhabitants peeped out from a single window. All at once the
stillness was broken by a loud clattering sound. The white wheel of
the mill began to turn, and at the door appeared the corpulent form
of the miller in his white garments, with his smiling, meal powdered
face, and with the white cap upon his head.

The queen uttered an exclamation of delight, and ran with quick
steps toward the mill. But before she could reach it, the door of
the official's house opposite opened, and the mayor, in his black
costume, and with the broad white ribbon around his neck; the
Spanish cane, with a gold knob, in his hand, and wearing his black,
three-cornered hat, issued from the dwelling. He advanced directly
to Marie Antoinette, and resting his hands upon his sides and
assuming a threatening mien, placed himself in front of her.

"We are very much dissatisfied with you, for you neglect your duties
of hospitality in a most unbecoming manner. We must have you give
your testimony why you have come so late, for the flowers are all
hanging their heads, the nightingales will not sing any more, and
the lambs in the meadow will not touch the sweetest grass. Every
thing is parching and dying because you are not here, and with
desire to see you."

"That is not true," cried another merry voice; the window of the
school house opened with a rattle, and the jolly young schoolmaster
looked out and threatened with his rod the grave mayor.

"How can you say, sir, that every thing is going to ruin? Am I not
here to keep the whole together? Since the unwise people stopped
learning, I have become the schoolmaster of the dear kine, and am
giving them lessons in the art of making life agreeable. I am the
dancing master of the goats, and have opened a ballet school for the
kids."

Marie Antoinette laughed aloud. "Mister schoolmaster," said she, "I
am very desirous to have a taste of your skill, and I desire you to
give a ballet display this afternoon upon the great meadow. So far
as you are concerned, Mr. Mayor," she said, with a laughing nod, "I
desire you to exercise a little forbearance, and to pardon some
things in me for my youth's sake."

"As if my dear sister-in-law now needed any looking after!" cried
the mayor, with an emphatic tone.

"Ah, my Lord de Provence," said the queen, smiling, "you are falling
out of your part, and forgetting two things. The first, that I am
not the queen here; and the second, that here in Trianon all
flatteries are forbidden."

"It lies in you, whether the truth should appear as flattery,"
answered the Count de Provence, slightly bowing.

"That is an answer worthy of a scholar," cried the schoolmaster,
Count d'Artois. "Brother, you do not know the A B C of gallantry.
You must go to school to me."

"I do not doubt, brother Charles, that in this thing I could learn
very much of you," said the Count de Provence, smiling. "Meanwhile,
I am not sure that my wife would be satisfied with the instruction."

"Some time we will ask her about it," said the queen. "Good-by, my
brothers, I must first greet my dear miller."

She rushed forward, sprang with a flying step up the little wooden
stairway, and threw both her arms around the neck of the miller,
who, laughingly, pressed her to his heart, and drew her within the
mill.

"I thank you, Louis!" cried the queen, bending forward and pressing
the hand of her husband to her lips. "What a pleasant surprise you
have prepared for me; and how good it is in you to meet me here in
my pleasant plantation!"

"Did you not say but lately that you wanted this masquerade?" asked
the king, with a pleasant smile. "Did not you yourself assign the
parts, and appoint me to be the miller, the Count de Provence to be
mayor, and the whimsical Artois to be schoolmaster de par la reine,
as it runs here in Trianon, and do you wonder now that we, as it
becomes the obedient, follow our queen's commands, and undertake the
charge which she intrusts to us?" "Oh, Louis, how good you are!"
said the queen, with tears in her eyes. "I know indeed how little
pleasure you, so far as you yourself are concerned, find in these
foolish sports and idle acts, and yet you sacrifice your own wishes
and take part in our games." "That is because I love you!" said the
king with simplicity, and a smile of pleasure beautified his broad,
good natured face. "Yes, Marie, I love you tenderly, and it gives me
joy to contribute to your happiness."

The queen gently laid her arm around Louis's neck, and let her head
fall upon his shoulder. "Do you still know, Louis," asked she, "do
you still know what you said to me when you gave Trianon to me?"

"Well," said the king, shaking his head slowly. "You said to me,
'You love flowers. I will present to you a whole bouquet. I give you
Little Trianon.' [Footnote: The very words of the king.--See
"Memoire de Marquis de Crequy," vol. iv.] My dear sire! you have
given me not only a bouquet of flowers, but a bouquet of pleasant
hours, of happy years, for which I thank you, and you alone."

"And may this bouquet never wither, Marie!" said the king, laying
his hand as if in blessing on the head of his wife, and raising his
good, blue eyes with a pious and prayerful look. "But, my good
woman," said he then, after a little pause, "you quite let me forget
the part I have to play, and the mill wheel is standing still again,
since the miller is not there. It is, besides, in wretched order,
and it is full needful that I practise my art of black smith here a
little, and put better screws and springs in the machine. But
listen! what kind of song is that without?"

"Those are the peasants greeting us with their singing," said the
queen, smiling. "Come, Mr. Miller, let us show ourselves to them."

She drew the king out upon the small staircase. Directly at the foot
of it stood the king's two brothers, the Counts de Provence and
Artois, as chief official and schoolmaster, and behind them the
duchesses and princesses, dukes and counts, arrayed as peasants. In
united chorus they greeted the mistress and the miller:

"Oil peut-on etre mieux, Qu'au seiu de sa famille?"

The queen smiled, and yet tears glittered in her eyes, tears of joy.

Those were happy hours which the royal pair spent that day in
Trianon--hours of such bright sunshine that Marie Antoinette quite
forgot the sad clouds of the morning, and gave herself undisturbed
to the enjoyment of this simple, country life. They sat down to a
country dinner--a slight, simple repast, brought together from the
resources of the hen-coop, the mill, and the milk-room. Then the
whole company went out to lie down in the luxuriant grass which grew
on the border of the little grove, and looked at the cows grazing
before them on the meadow, and with stately dignity pursuing the
serious occupation of chewing the cud. But as peasants have
something else to do than to live and enjoy, their mistress, Marie
Antoinette, soon left her resting-place to set her people a good
example in working. The spinning-wheel was brought and set upon a
low stool; Marie Antoinette began to spin. How quickly the wheel
began to turn, as if it were the wheel of fortune--to-day bringing
joy, and to-morrow calamity!

The evening has not yet come, and the wheel of fortune is yet
turning, yet calamity is there.

Marie Antoinette does not yet know it; her eye still beams with joy,
a happy smile still plays upon her rosy lips. She is sitting now
with her company by the lake, with the hook in her hand, and looking
with laughing face and fixed attention at the rod, and crying aloud
as often as she catches a fish. For these fishes are to serve as
supper for the company, and the queen has ceremoniously invited her
husband to an evening meal, which she herself will serve and
prepare. The queen smiles still and is happy; her spinning-wheel is
silent, but the wheel of fate is moving still.

The king is no longer there. He has withdrawn into the mill to rest
himself.

And yet there he is not alone. Who ventures to disturb him? It must
be something very serious. For it is well known that the king very
seldom goes to Trianon, and that when he is there he wishes to be
entirely free from business.

And yet he is disturbed today; yet the premier, Baron de Breteuil,
is come to seek the miller of Little Trianon, and to beseech him
even there to be the king again.



CHAPTER IV.

THE QUEEN'S NECKLACE.


Directly after a page, arrayed in the attire of a miller's boy, had
announced the Baron de Breteuil, the king with drew into his chamber
and resumed his own proper clothing. He drew on the long, gray coat,
the short trousers of black velvet, the long, gold embroidered
waistcoat of gray satin; and over this the bright, thin ribbon of
the Order of Louis-the attire in which the king was accustomed to
present himself on gala-days.

With troubled, disturbed countenance, he then entered the little
apartment where his chief minister, the Baron de Breteuil, was
awaiting him.

"Tell me quickly," ejaculated the king, "do you bring bad news? Has
any thing unexpected occurred?"

"Sire," answered the minister, respectfully, "something unexpected
at all events, but whether something bad will be learned after
further investigation."

"Investigation!" cried the king. "Then do you speak of a crime?"

"Yes, sire, of a crime-the crime of a base deception, and, as it
seems, of a defalcation involving immense sums and objects of great
value."

"Ah," said the king, with a sigh of relief, "then the trouble is
only one of money."

"No, sire, it is one which concerns the honor of the queen."

Louis arose, while a burning flush of indignation passed over his
face.

"Will they venture again to assail the honor of the queen?" he
asked.

"Yes, sire," answered Breteuil, with his invincible calmness--"yes,
sire, they will venture to do so. And at this time it is so infernal
and deeply-laid a plan that it will be difficult to get at the
truth. Will your majesty allow me to unfold the details of the
matter somewhat fully?"

"Speak, baron, speak," said the king, eagerly, taking his seat upon
a wooden stool, and motioning to the minister to do the same.

"Sire," answered the premier, with a bow, "I will venture to sit,
because I am in fact a little exhausted with my quick run hither."

"And is the matter so pressing?" muttered the king, drawing out his
tobacco-box, and in his impatience rolling it between his fingers.

"Yes, very pressing," answered Breteuil, taking his seat. "Does your
majesty remember the beautiful necklace which the court jeweller,
Bohmer, some time since had the honor to offer to your majesty?"

"Certainly, I remember it," answered the king, quickly nodding. "The
queen showed herself on that occasion just as unselfish and
magnanimous as she always is. It was told me that her majesty had
very much admired the necklace which Bohmer had showed to her, and
yet had declined to purchase it, because it seemed to her too dear.
I wanted to buy it and have the pleasure of offering it to the
queen, but she decisively refused it."

"We well remember the beautiful answer which her majesty gave to her
husband," said Breteuil, gently bowing. "All Paris repeated with
delight the words which her majesty uttered: 'Sir, we have more
diamonds than ships. Buy a ship with this money!'" [Footnote:
"Correspondence Secrete de la Cour de Louis XVI."]

"You have a good memory," said the king, "for it is five years since
this happened. Bohmer has twice made the attempt since then to sell
this costly necklace to me, but I have dismissed him, and at last
forbidden him to allude to the matter again."

"I believe that he has, meanwhile, ventured to trouble the queen
several times about the necklace. It appears that he had almost
persuaded himself that your majesty would purchase it. Years ago he
caused stones to be selected through all Europe, wishing to make a
necklace of diamonds which should be alike large, heavy, and
brilliant. The queen refusing to give him his price of two million
francs, he offered it at last for one million eight hundred
thousand."

"I have heard of that," said the king. "Her majesty was at last
weary of the trouble, and gave command that the court jeweller,
Bohmer, should not be admitted."

"Every time, therefore, that he came to Versailles he was refused
admittance. He then had recourse to writing, and two weeks ago her
majesty received from him a begging letter, in which he said that he
should be very happy if, through his instrumentality, the queen
could possess the finest diamonds in Europe, and imploring her
majesty not to forget her court jeweller. The queen read this
letter, laughing, to her lady-in-waiting, Madame de Campan, and said
it seemed as if the necklace had deprived the good Bohmer of his
reason. But not wishing to pay any further attention to his letter
or to answer it, she burned the paper in a candle which was
accidentally standing on her table."

"Good Heaven! How do you know these details?" asked the king, in
amazement.

"Sire, I have learned them from Madame de Campan herself, as I was
compelled to speak with her about the necklace."

"But what is it about this necklace? What has the queen to do with
that?" asked the king, wiping with a lace handkerchief the sweat
which stood in great drops upon his lofty forehead.

"Sire, the court jeweller, Bohmer, asserts that he sold the necklace
of brilliants to the queen, and now desires to be paid."

"The queen is right," exclaimed the king, "the man is out of his
head. If he did sell the necklace to the queen, there must have been
witnesses present to confirm it, and the keepers of her majesty's
purse would certainly know about it."

"Sire, Bohmer asserts that the queen caused it to be bought of him
in secret, through a third hand, and that this confidential
messenger was empowered to pay down thirty thousand francs, and to
promise two hundred thousand more."

"What is the name of this confidential messenger? What do they call
him?"

"Sire," answered the Baron de Breteuil, solemnly--"sire, it is the
cardinal and grand almoner of your majesty, Prince Louis de Rohan."

The king uttered a loud cry, and sprang quickly from his seat.

"Rohan?" asked he. "And do they dare to bring this man whom the
queen hates, whom she scorns, into relations with her? Ha, Breteuil!
you can go; the story is too foolishly put together for any one to
believe it."

"Your majesty, Bohmer has, in the mean while, believed it, and has
delivered the necklace to the cardinal, and received the queen's
promise to pay, written with her own hand."

"Who says that?  How do you know all the details?"

"Sire, I know it by a paper of Bohmer's, who wrote to me after
trying in vain several times to see me. The letter was a tolerably
confused one, and I did not understand it. But as he stated in it
that the queen's lady-in-waiting advised him to apply to me as the
minister of the royal house, I considered it best to speak with
Madame de Campan. What I learned of her is so important that I
begged her to accompany me to Trianon, and to repeat her statement
before your majesty."

"Is Campan then in Trianon?" asked the king.

"Yes, sire; and on our arrival we learned that Bohmer had just been
there, and was most anxious to speak to the queen. He had been
denied admission as always, and had gone away weeping and scolding."

"Come," said the king, "let us go to Trianon; I want to speak with
Campan."

And with quick, rapid steps the king, followed by the minister
Breteuil, left the mill, and shunning the main road in order not to
be seen by the queen, struck into the little side-path that led
thither behind the houses.

"Campan," said the king, hastily entering the little toilet-room of
the queen, where the lady-in-waiting was--"Campan, the minister has
just been telling me a singular and incredible history. Yet repeat
to me your last conversation with Bohmer."

"Sire," replied Madame de Campan, bowing low, "does your majesty
command that I speak before the queen knows of the matter?"

"Ah," said the king, turning to the minister, "you see I am right.
The queen knows nothing of this, else she would certainly have
spoken to me about it. Thank God, the queen withholds no secrets
from me! I thank you for your question, Campan. It is better that
the queen be present at our interview. I will send for her to come
here." And the king hastened to the door, opened it, and called,
"Are any of the queen's servants here?"

The voice of the king was so loud and violent that the chamberlain,
Weber, who was in the little outer antechamber, heard it, and at
once rushed in.

"Weber," cried the king to him, "hasten at once to Little Trianon.
Beg the queen, in my name, to have the goodness to come to the
palace within a quarter of an hour, to consult about a weighty
matter that allows no delay. But take care that the queen be not
alarmed, and that she do not suspect that sad news has come
regarding her family. Hasten, Weber! And now, baron," continued the
king, closing the door, "now you shall be convinced by your own eyes
and ears that the queen will be as amazed and as little acquainted
with all these things as I myself. I wish, therefore, that you would
be present at the interview which I shall have with my wife and
Campan, without the queen's knowing that you are near. You will be
convinced at once in this way of the impudent and shameless
deception that they have dared to play. Where does that door lead
to, Campan?" asked the king, pointing to the white, gold-bordered
door, at whose side two curtains of white satin, wrought with roses,
were secured.

"Sire, it leads to the small reception room."

"Will the queen pass that way when she comes?"

"No, your majesty, she is accustomed to take the same way which your
majesty took, through the antechamber."

"Good. Then, baron, go into the little saloon. Leave the door open,
and do you, Campan, loosen the curtains and let them fall over the
door, that the minister may hear without being seen."

A quarter of an hour had scarcely elapsed when the queen entered the
toilet-chamber, with glowing cheeks, and under visible excitement.
The king went hastily to her, took her hand and pressed it to his
lips.

"Forgiveness, Marie, that I have disturbed you in the midst of your
pleasures."

"Tell me, quickly," cried the queen, impatiently. "What is it? Is it
a great misfortune?"

"No, Marie, but a great annoyance, which is so far a misfortune in
that the name of your majesty is involved in a disagreeable and
absurd plot. The court jeweller, Bohmer, asserts that he has sold a
necklace to your majesty for one million eight hundred thousand
francs."

"But the man is crazy," cried the queen. "Is that all your majesty
had to say to me?"

"I beg that Campan will repeat the conversation which she had
yesterday with Bohmer."

And the king beckoned with his hand to the lady-in-waiting, who, at
the entrance of the queen, had modestly taken her seat at the back
part of the room.

"How!" cried the queen, amazed, now first perceiving Campan. "What
do you here? What does all this mean?"

"Your majesty, I came to Trianon to inform you about the
conversation which I had yesterday with Bohmer. When I arrived I
found he had just been here."

"And what did he want?" cried the queen. "Did you not tell me,
Campan, that he no longer possesses this unfortunate necklace, with
which he has been making a martyr of me for years? Did you not tell
me that he had sold it to the Grand Sultan, to go to
Constantinople?"

"I repeated to your majesty what Bohmer said to me. Meanwhile I beg
now your gracious permission to repeat my to-day's interview with
Bohmer. Directly after your majesty had gone to Trianon with the
Duchess de Polignac, the court jeweller Bohmer was announced. He
came with visible disquiet and perplexity, and asked me whether your
majesty had left no commission for him. I answered him that the
queen had not done so, that in one word she had no commission for
him, and that she was tired of his eternal pestering. ' But,' said
Bohmer, 'I must have an answer to the letter that I sent to her, and
to whom must I apply?' 'To nobody,' I answered. 'Her majesty has
burned your letter without reading it.' 'Ah! madame,' cried he,
'that is impossible. The queen knows that she owes me money.' "

"I owe him money!" cried the queen, horrified. "How can the
miserable man dare to assert such a thing?"

"That I said to him, your majesty, but he answered, with complete
self possession, that your majesty owed him a million and some five
hundred thousand francs, and when I asked him in complete amazement
for what articles your majesty owed him such a monstrous sum, he
answered, 'For my necklace.'"

"This miserable necklace again!" exclaimed the queen. "It seems as
if the man made it only to make a martyr of me with it. Year after
year I hear perpetually about this necklace, and it has been quite
in vain that, with all my care and good-will, I have sought to drive
from him this fixed idea that I must buy it. He is so far gone in
his illusion as to assert that I have bought it."

"Madame, this man is not insane," said the king, seriously. "Listen
further. Go on, Campan."

"I laughed," continued Madame de Campan, "and asked him how he could
assert such a thing, when he told me only a few months ago that he
had sold the necklace to the Sultan. Then he replied that the queen
had ordered him to give this answer to every one that asked about
the necklace. Then he told me further, that your majesty had
secretly bought the necklace, and through the instrumentality of the
Lord Cardinal de Rohan."

"Through Rohan?" cried the queen, rising. "Through the man whom I
hate and despise? And is there a man in France who can believe this,
and who does not know that the cardinal is the one who stands the
lowest in my favor!"

"I said to Mr. Bohmer--I said to him that he was deceived, that the
queen would never make a confidant of Cardinal Rohan, and he made me
this very answer: 'You deceive yourself, madame. The cardinal stands
so high in favor, and maintains such confidential relations with her
majesty, that she had sent, through his hands, thirty thousand
francs as a first payment. The queen took this money in the presence
of the cardinal, from the little secretary of Sevres porcelain,
which stands near to the chimney in her boudoir.' 'And did the
cardinal really say that?' I asked; and when he reaffirmed it, I
told him that he was deceived. He now began to be very much
troubled, and said, 'Good Heaven! what if you are right, what if I
am deceived! There has already a suspicion come to me; the cardinal
promised me that on Whit-sunday the queen would wear the collar, and
she did not do so; so this determined me to write to her.' When now,
full of anxiety, he asked what advice I could give him, I at once
bade him go to Lord Breteuil and tell him all. He promised to do so,
and went. But I hastened to come hither to tell your majesty the
whole story, but when I arrived I found the unhappy jeweller already
here, and he only went away after I gave him my promise to speak to-
day with your majesty."

The queen had at the outset listened with speechless amazement, and
as Campan approached the close of her communication, her eyes opened
wider and wider. She had stood as rigid as a statue. But now all at
once life and animation took possession of this statue; a glowing
purple-red diffused itself over her cheeks, and directing her eyes,
which blazed with wonderful fire, to the king, she said, with a loud
and commanding voice, "Sire, you have heard this story. Your wife is
accused, and the queen is even charged with having a secret
understanding with Cardinal Rohan. I desire an investigation--a
rigid, strict investigation. Call at once, Lord Breteuil, that we
may take counsel with him. But I insist upon having this done."

"And your will is law, madame," said the king, directing an
affectionate glance at the excited face of the queen. "Come out,
Breteuil!"

And as between the curtains appeared the serious, sad face of the
minister, the king turned to his wife and said: "I wished that he
might be a secret witness of this interview, and survey the position
which you should take in this matter."

"Oh, sire!" exclaimed Marie Antoinette, extending her hand to him,
"so you did not for an instant doubt my innocence?"

"No, truly, not a moment," answered the king, with a smile. "But now
come, madame, we will consider with Breteuil what is to be done, and
then we will summon the Abbe de Viermont, that he may take part in
our deliberations."

On the next day, the 15th of August, a brilliant, select company was
assembled in the saloons of Versailles. It was a great holiday,
Ascension-day, and the king and the queen, with the entire court,
intended to be present at the mass, which the cardinal and the grand
almoner would celebrate in the chapel.

The entire brilliant court was assembled; the cardinal arrayed in
his suitable apparel, and wearing all the tokens of his rank, had
entered the great reception room, and only awaited the arrival of
the royal pair, to lead them into the church. The fine and much
admired face of the cardinal wore today a beaming expression, and
his great black eyes were continually directed, while he was talking
with the Duke de Conti and the Count d'Artois, toward the door
through which the royal couple would enter. All at once the portal
opened, a royal page stepped in and glanced searchingly around; and
seeing the towering figure of the cardinal in the middle of the
hall, he at once advanced through the glittering company, and
approached the cardinal. "Monseigneur," he whispered to him, "his
majesty is awaiting your eminence's immediate appearance in the
cabinet."

The cardinal broke off abruptly his conversation with Lord Conti,
hurried through the hall and entered the cabinet.

No one was there except the king and queen, and in the background of
the apartment, in the recess formed by a window, the premier, Baron
Breteuil, the old and irreconcilable enemy of the proud cardinal,
who in this hour would have his reward for his year long and
ignominious treatment of the prince.

The cardinal had entered with a confident, dignified bearing; but
the cold look of the king and the flaming eye of the queen appeared
to confuse him a little, and his proud eye sank to the ground.

"You have been buying diamonds of Bohmer?" asked the king,
brusquely.

"Yes, sire," answered the cardinal.

"What have you done with them? Answer me, I command you."

"Sire," said the cardinal, after a pause, "I supposed that they were
given to the queen."

"Who intrusted you with this commission?"

"Sire, a lady named Countess Lamotte-Valois. She gave me a letter
from her majesty, and I believed that I should be doing the queen a
favor if I should undertake the care of the commission which the
queen had the grace to intrust to me."

"I!" cried the queen, with an expression of intense scorn, "should I
intrust you with a commission in my behalf? I, who for eight years
have never deigned to bestow a word upon you? And I should employ
such a person as you, a beggar of places?"

"I see plainly," cried the cardinal, "I see plainly that some one
has deceived you grievously about me. I will pay for the necklace.
The earnest wish to please your majesty has blinded your eyes
regarding me. I have planned no deception, and am now bitterly
undeceived. But I will pay for the necklace."

"And you suppose that that ends all!" said the queen, with a burst
of anger. "You think that, with a pitiful paying for the brilliants,
you can atone for the disgrace which you have brought upon your
queen? No, no, sir; I desire a rigid investigation. I insist upon it
that all who have taken part in this ignominious deception be
brought to a relentless investigation. Give me the proofs that you
have been deceived, and that you are not much rather the deceiver."

"Ah, madame," cried the cardinal, with a look at once so full of
reproach and confidence, that the queen fairly shook with anger.
"Here are the proofs of my innocence," continued he, drawing a small
portfolio from his pocket, and taking from it a folded paper. "There
is the letter of the queen to the Countess Lamotte, in which her
majesty empowered me to purchase the diamonds."

The king took the paper, looked over it hastily, read the signature,
and gave it, with a suspicious shrug of the shoulders, to his wife.

The queen seized the letter with the wild fury of a tigress, which
has at last found its prey, and with breathless haste ran over the
paper. Then she broke out into loud, scornful laughter, and,
pointing to the letter, she looked at the cardinal with glances of
flame.

"That is not my handwriting, that is not my signature!" cried she,
furiously. "How are you--sir, a prince and grand almoner of France--
how are you so ignorant, so foolish, as to believe that I could
subscribe myself 'Marie Antoinette of France?' Everybody knows that
queens write only their baptismal names as signatures, and you alone
have not known that?"

"I see into it," muttered the cardinal, pale under the look of the
queen, and so weak that he had to rest upon the table for support,
"I see into it; I have been dreadfully deceived."

The king took a paper from his table and gave it to the cardinal.
"Do you confess that you wrote this letter to Bohmer, in which you
send him thirty thousand francs in behalf of the queen, in part
payment for the necklace?"

"Yes, sire, I confess it," answered the cardinal, with a low voice,
which seemed to contradict what he uttered.

"He confesses it," cried the queen, gnashing her teeth, and making
up her little hand into a clinched fist. "He has held me fit for
such infamy--me, his queen!"

"You assert that you bought the jewels for the queen. Did you
deliver them in person?"

"No, sire, the Countess Lamotte did that."

"In your name, cardinal?"

"Yes, in my name, sire, and she gave at the same time a receipt to
the queen for one hundred and fifty thousand francs, which I lent
the queen toward the purchase."

"And what reward did you have from the queen?"

The cardinal hesitated; then, as he felt the angry, cold, and
contemning look of the queen resting upon him, the red blood mounted
into his face, and with a withering glance at Marie Antoinette, he
said:

"You wish, madame, that I should speak the whole truth! Sire, the
queen rewarded me for this little work of love in a manner worthy of
a queen. She granted me an appointment in the park of Versailles."

At this new and fearful charge, the queen cried aloud, and,
springing forward like a tigress, she seized the arm of her husband
and shook it.

"Sire," said she, "listen to this high traitor, bringing infamy upon
a queen! Will you bear it? Can his purple protect the villain?"

"No, it cannot, and it shall not!" cried the king. "Breteuil, do
your duty. And you, cardinal, who venture to accuse your queen, to
scandalize the good name of the wife of your king, go."

"Sire," stammered the cardinal, "sire, I--"

"Not a word," interrupted the king, raising his hand and pointing
toward the door, "out, I say, out with you!"

The cardinal staggered to the door, and entered the hall filled with
a glittering throng, who were still whispering, laughing, and
walking to and fro.

But hardly had he advanced a few steps, when behind him, upon the
threshold of the royal cabinet, appeared the minister Breteuil.

"Lieutenant," cried Breteuil, with a loud voice, turning to the
officer in command of the guard, "lieutenant, in the name of the
king, arrest the Cardinal de Rohan, and take him under escort to the
Bastile."

A general cry of horror followed these words, which rolled like a
crashing thunder-clap through the careless, coquetting, and
unsuspecting company. Then followed a breathless silence.

All eyes were directed to the cardinal, who, pale as death, and yet
maintaining his noble carriage, walked along at ease.

At this point a young officer, pale like the cardinal, like all in
fact, approached the great ecclesiastic, and gently took his arm.

"Cardinal," said he, with sorrowful tone, "in the name of the king,
I arrest your eminence. I am ordered, monseigneur, to conduct you to
the Bastile."

"Come, then, my son," answered the cardinal, quickly, making his way
slowly through the throng, which respectfully opened to let him
pass--" come, since the king commands it, let us go to the Bastile."

He passed on to the door. But when the officer had opened it, he
turned round once more to the hall. Standing erect, with all the
exalted dignity of his station and his person, he gave the amazed
company his blessing.

Then the door closed behind him, and with pale faces the lords and
ladies of the court dispersed to convey the horrible tidings to
Versailles and Paris, that the king had caused the cardinal, the
grand almoner of France, to be arrested in his official robes, and
that it was the will of the queen.

And the farther the tidings rolled the more the report enlarged,
like an avalanche of calumnies.

In the evening, Marat thundered in his club: "Woe, woe to the
Austrian! She borrowed money of the Cardinal de Rohan to buy jewels
for herself, jewels while the people hungered. Now, when the
cardinal wants his money, the queen denies having received the
money, and lets the head of the Church be dragged to the Bastile.

"Woe, woe to the Austrian!"

"Woe, woe to the Austrian!" muttered brother Simon, who sat near the
platform on which Marat was. "We shall not forget it that she buys
her jewels for millions of francs, while we have not a sou to buy
bread with. Woe to the Austrian!"

And all the men of the club raised their fists and muttered with
him, "Woe to the Austrian!"



CHAPTER V.

ENEMIES AND FRIENDS.


All Paris was in an uproar and in motion in all the streets; the
people assembled in immense masses at all the squares, and listened
with abated breath to the speakers who had taken their stand amid
the groups, and who were confirming the astonished hearers
respecting the great news of the day.

"The Lord Cardinal de Rohan, the grand almoner of the king," cried a
Franciscan monk, who had taken his station upon a curbstone, at the
corner of the Tuileries and the great Place de Carrousel--"Cardinal
de Rohan has in a despotic manner been deprived of his rights and
his freedom. As a dignitary of the Church, he is not under the
ordinary jurisdiction, and only the Pope is the rightful lord of a
cardinal; only before the Holy Father can an accusation be brought
against a servant of the Church. For it has been the law of the
Church for centuries that it alone has the power to punish and
accuse its servants, and no one has ever attempted to challenge that
power. But do you know what has taken place? Cardinal de Rohan has
been withdrawn from the jurisdiction of his rightful judges; he has
been denied an ecclesiastical tribunal, and he is to be tried before
Parliament as if he were an ordinary servant of the king; secular
judges are going to sit in judgment upon this great church
dignitary, and to charge him with a crime, when no crime has been
committed! For what has he done, the grand almoner of France,
cardinal, and cousin of the king? A lady, whom he believed to be in
the queen's confidence, had told him that the queen wanted to
procure a set of jewels, which she was unfortunately not able to
buy, because her coffers, as a natural result of her well-known
extravagance, were empty. The lady indicated to the lord cardinal
that the queen would be delighted if he would advance a sum
sufficient to buy the jewels with, and in his name she would cause
the costly fabric to be purchased. The cardinal, all the while a
devoted and true servant of the king, hastened to gratify the desire
of the queen. He took this course with wise precaution, in order
that the queen, whose violence is well known, should not apply to
any other member of the court, and still further compromise the
royal honor. And say yourselves, my noble friends, was it not much
better that it should be the lord cardinal who should lend money to
the queen, than Lord Lauzun, Count Coigny, or the musical Count
Vaudreuil, the special favorite of the queen? Was it not better for
him to make this sacrifice and do the queen this great favor?"

"Certainly it was better," cried the mob. "The lord cardinal is a
noble man. Long live Cardinal de Rohan!"

"Perish the Austrian, perish the jewelled queen!" cried the cobbler
Simon, who was standing amid the crowd, and a hundred voices
muttered after him, "Perish the Austrian!"

"Listen, my dear people of Paris, you good natured lambs, whose wool
is plucked off that the Austrian woman may have a softer bed," cried
a shrieking voice; "hear what has occurred to-day. I can tell you
accurately, for I have just come from Parliament, and a good friend
of mine has copied for me the address with which the king is going
to open the session today."

"Read it to us," cried the crowd. "Keep quiet there! keep still
there! We want to hear the address. Read it to us."

"I will do it gladly, but you will not be able to understand me,"
shrieked the voice. "I am only little in comparison with you, as
every one is little who opposes himself to the highest majesty of
the earth, the people."

"Hear that," cried one of those who stood nearest to those a little
farther away " hear that, he calls us majesties! He seems to be an
excellent gentleman, and he does not look down upon us."

"Did you ever hear of a wise man looking down upon the prince royal,
who is young, fair, and strong?" asked the barking voice.

"He is right, we cannot understand him," cried those who stood
farthest away, pressing forward. "What did he say? He must repeat
his words. Lift him up so that we all may hear him."

A broad shouldered, gigantic citizen, in good clothing, and with an
open, spirited countenance, and a bold, defiant bearing, pressed
through the crowd to the neighborhood of the speaker.

"Come, little man," cried he, "I will raise you up on my shoulder,
and, but see, it is our friend Marat, the little man, but the great
doctor!"

"And you truly, you are my friend Santerre, the great man and the
greatest of doctors. For the beer which you get from his brewery is
a better medicine for the people than all my electuaries can be. And
you, my worthy friend of the hop-pole, will you condescend to take
the ugly monkey Marat on your shoulders, that he may tell the people
the great news of the day?"

Instead of answering, the brewer Santerre seized the little crooked
man by both arms, swung him up with giant strength, and set him on
his shoulders.

The people, delighted with the dexterity and strength of the
herculean man, broke into a loud cheer, and applauded the brewer,
whom all knew, and who was a popular personage in the city. But
Marat, too, the horse-doctor of the Count d'Artois, as he called
himself derisively, the doctor of poverty and misfortune, as his
flatterers termed him--Marat, too, was known to many in the throng,
and after Santerre had been applauded, they saluted Marat with a
loud vivat, and with boisterous clapping of hands.

He turned his distorted, ugly visage toward the Tuileries, whose
massive proportions towered up above the lofty trees of the gardens,
and with a threatening gesture shook his fist at the royal palace.

"Have you heard it, you proud gods of the earth? Have you heard the
sacred thunder mutterings of majesty? Are you not startled from the
sleep of your vice, and compelled to fall upon your knees and pray,
as poor sinners do before their judgment? But no. You do not see and
you do not hear. Your ears are deaf and your hearts are sealed!
Behind the lofty walls of Versailles, which a most vicious king
erected for his menus plaisirs, there you indulge in your lusts, and
shut out the voice of truth, which would speak to you here in Paris
from the hallowed lips of the people."

"Long live Marat!" cried the cobbler Simon, who, drawn by the
shouting, had left the Franciscan, and joined the throng in whose
midst stood Santerre, with Marat on his shoulders. "Long live the
great friend of the people! Long live Marat!"

"Long live Marat!" cried and muttered the people. "Marat heals the
people when the gentry have made them sick, and taken the very
marrow from their bones. Marat is no 'gentleman.' Marat does not
look down upon the people!"

"My friends, I repeat to you what I said before," shrieked Marat.
"Did you ever hear of a wise man looking down upon the crown prince,
and thinking more of the king, who is old, unnerved by his vices,
and blase! You, the people, you are the crown prince of France, and
if you, at last, in your righteous and noble indignation, tread the
tyrant under your feet, then the young prince, the people, will rule
over France, and the beautiful words of the Bible will be fulfilled:
'There shall be one fold and one shepherd.' I have taken this
improvised throne on the shoulders of a noble citizen only to tell
you of an impropriety which the Queen of France has committed, and
of the new usurpation with which she treads our laws under her feet,
not tired out with opera-house balls and promenades by night. I will
read you the address which the king sent to Parliament to-day, and
with which the hearing of Cardinal de Rohan's case is to begin. Will
the people hear it?"

"Yes, we will hear it," was the cry from all sides. "Read us the
address."

Marat drew a dirty piece of paper from his pocket, and began to read
with a loud, barking voice:

"Louis, by the grace of God, King of France and Navarre, to our dear
and faithful counsellors, members of the court of our Parliament,
greeting:

"It has come to our knowledge that parties named Bohmer and Bassenge
have, without the knowledge of the queen, our much-loved consort and
spouse, sold a diamond necklace, valued at one million six hundred
thousand francs, to Cardinal de Rohan, who stated to them that he
was acting in the matter under the queen's instructions. Papers were
laid before them which they considered as approved and subscribed by
the queen. After the said Bohmer and Bassenge had delivered the said
necklace to the said cardinal, and had not received the first
payment, they applied to the queen herself. We have beheld, not
without righteous indignation, the eminent name, which in many ways
is so dear to us, lightly spoken of, and denied the respect which is
due to the royal majesty. We have thought that it pertains to the
jurisdiction of our court to give a hearing to the said cardinal,
and in view of the declaration which he has made before us, that he
was deceived by a woman named Lamotte-Valois, we have held it
necessary to secure his person, as well as that of Madame Valois, in
order to bring all the parties to light who have been the
instigators or abettors of such a plot. It is our will, therefore,
that that matter come before the high court of Parliament, and that
it be duly tried and judgment given."

"There you have this fine message," cried Marat; "there you have the
web of his, which this Austrian woman has woven around us. For it is
she who has sent this message to Parliament. You know well that we
have no longer a King of France, but that all France is only the
Trianon of the Austrian. It stands on all our houses, written over
all the doors of government buildings, 'De par la reine!' The
Austrian woman is the Queen of France, and the good-natured king
only writes what she dictates to him. She says in this paper that
these precautions have been taken in order that she may learn who
are the persons who have joined in the attack upon her distinguished
and much-loved person. Who, then, is the abettor of Madame Valois?
Who has received the diamonds from the cardinal, through the
instrumentality of Madame Valois? I assert, it is the queen who has
done it. She received the jewels, and now she denies the whole
story. And now this woman Lamotte-Valois must draw the hot chestnuts
out from the ashes. You know this; so it always is! Kings may go
unpunished, they always have a bete de souffrance, which has to bear
their burdens. But now that a cardinal, the grand almoner of France,
is compelled to become the bete de souffrance for this Austrian
woman, must show you, my friends, that her arrogance has reached its
highest point. She has trodden modesty and morals under foot, and
now she will tread the Church under foot also."

"Be still!" was the cry on all sides. "The carbineers and gendarmes
are coming. Be still, Marat, be still! You must not be arrested. We
do not want all our friends to be taken to the Bastile."

And really just at that instant, at the entrance of the street that
led to the square on the side of the Tuileries, appeared a division
of carbineers, advancing at great speed.

Marat jumped with the speed of a cat down from the huge form of the
brewer. The crowd opened and made way for him, and before the
carbineers had approached, Marat had disappeared.

With this day began the investigations respecting the necklace which
Messrs. Bohmer and Bassenge had wanted to sell the queen through the
agency of Cardinal Bohan. The latter was still a prisoner in the
Bastile. He was treated with all the respect due to his rank. He had
a whole suite of apartments assigned to him; he was allowed to
retain the service of both his chamberlains, and at times was
permitted to see and converse with his relatives, although, it is
true, in the presence of the governor of the Bastile. But Foulon was
a very pious Catholic, and kept a respectful distance from the lord
cardinal, who never failed on such occasions to give him his
blessing. In the many hearings which the cardinal had to undergo,
the president of the committee of investigation treated him with
extreme consideration, and if the cardinal felt himself wearied, the
sitting was postponed till another day. Moreover, at these hearings
the defender of the cardinal could take part, in order to summon
those witnesses or accused persons who could contribute to the
release of the cardinal, and show that he had been the victim of a
deeply-laid plot, and had committed no other wrong than that of
being too zealous in the service of the queen.

News spread abroad of numerous arrests occurring in Paris. It had
been known from the royal decree that the Countess Lamotte-Valois
had likewise been arrested and imprisoned in the Bastile; but people
were anxious to learn decisively whether Count Cagliostro, the
wonder-doctor, had been seized. The story ran that a young woman in
Brussels, who had been involved in the affair, and who had an
extraordinary resemblance to the Queen Marie Antoinette, had been
arrested, and brought to Paris for confinement in the Bastile.

All Paris, all France watched this contest with eager interest,
which, after many months, was still far from a conclusion, and
respecting which so much could be said.

The friends of the queen asserted that her majesty was completely
innocent; that she had never spoken to the Countess Lamotte-Valois,
and only once through her chamberlain. Weber had never sent her any
assistance. But these friends of the queen were not numerous, and
their number diminished every day.

The king had seen the necessity of making great reductions in the
cost of maintaining his establishment, and in the government of the
realm. France had had during the last years poor harvests. The
people were suffering from a want of the bare necessities of life.
The taxes could not be collected. A reform must be introduced, and
those who before had rejoiced in a superfluity of royal gifts had to
be contented with a diminution of them.

It had been the queen who allowed the tokens of royal favor to pour
upon her friends, her companions in Trianon, like a golden rain. She
had at the outset done this out of a hearty love for them. It was so
sweet to cause those to rejoice whom she loved; so pleasant to see
that charming smile upon the countenance of the Duchess de Polignac-
-that smile which only appeared when she had succeeded in making
others happy. For herself the duchess never asked a favor; her royal
friend could only, after a long struggle and threatening her with
her displeasure, induce her to take the gifts which were offered out
of a really loving heart.

But behind the Duchess Diana stood her brother and sister-in-law,
the Duke and Duchess de Polignac, who were ambitious, proud, and
avaricious; behind the Duchess Diana stood the three favorites of
the royal society in Trianon --Lords Vaudreuil, Besenval, D'Adhemar-
-who desired embassies, ministerial posts, orders, and other tokens
of honor.

Diana de Polignac was the channel through whom all these addressed
themselves to the queen; she was the loved friend who asked whether
the queen could not grant their demands. Louis granted all the
requests to the queen, and Marie Antoinette then went to her loved
friend Diana, in order to gratify her wishes, to receive a kiss, and
to be rewarded with a smile.

The great noble families saw with envy and displeasure this
supremacy of the Polignacs and the favorites of Trianon. They
withdrew from the court; gave the "Queen of Trianon" over to her
special friends and their citizen pleasures and sports, which, as
they asserted, were not becoming to the great nobility. They gave
the king over to his wife who ruled through him, and who, in turn,
was governed by the Polignacs and the other favorites. To them and
to their friends belonged all places, all honors; to them all
applied who wanted to gain any thing for the court, and even they
who wanted to get justice done them. Around the royal pair there was
nothing but intrigues, cabals, envy, and hostility. Every one wanted
to be first in the favor of the queen, in order to gain influence
and consideration; every one wanted to cast suspicion on the one who
was next to him, in order to supplant him in the favor of Marie
Antoinette.

The fair days of fortune and peace, of which the queen dreamed in
her charming country home, thinking that her realizations were met
when the sun had scarcely risen upon them, were gone. Trianon was
still there, and the happy peasant-girl of Trianon had been
unchanged in heart; but those to whom she had given her heart, those
who had joined in her harmless amusement in her village there, were
changed! They had cast aside the idyllic masks with which the good-
natured and confiding queen had deceived herself. They were no
longer friends, no longer devoted servants; they were mere place-
hunters, intriguers, flatterers, not acting out of love, but out of
selfishness.

Yet the queen would not believe this; she continued to be the tender
friend of her friends, trusted them, depended upon their love, was
happy in their neighborhood, and let herself be led by them just as
the king let himself be led by her.

They set ministers aside, appointed new ones, placed their favorites
in places of power, and drove their opponents into obscurity.

But there came a day when the queen began to see that she was not
the ruler but the ruled,--when she saw that she was not acting out
her own will, but was tyrannized over by those who had been made
powerful through her favor.

"I have been compelled to take part in political affairs," said she,
"because the king, in his noble, good-humored way, has too little
confidence in himself, and, out of his self-distrust, lets himself
be controlled by the opinions of others. And so it is best that I
should be his first confidante, and that he should take me to be his
chief adviser, for his interests are mine, and these children are
mine, and surely no one can speak more truly and honestly to the
King of France than his queen, his wife, the mother of his children!
And so if the king is not perfectly independent, and feels himself
too weak to stand alone, and independently to exert power, he ought
to rest on me; I will bear a part in his government, his business,
that at any rate they who control be not my opponents, my enemies!"

For a while she yielded to her friends and favorites who wanted to
stand in the same relation to the queen that she did to the king--
she yielded, not like Louis, from weakness, but from the very power
of her love for them.

She yielded at the time when Diana de Polignac, urged by her
brother-in-law, Polignac, and by Lord Besenval, conjured the queen
to nominate Lord Calonne to be general comptroller of the finances.
She yielded, and Calonne, the flatterer, the courtier of Polignac,
received the important appointment, although Marie Antoinette
experienced twinges of conscience for it, and did not trust the man
whom she herself advanced to this high place. Public opinion,
meanwhile, gave out that Lord Calonne was a favorite of the queen;
and, while she bore him no special favor, and considered his
appointment as a misfortune to France, she who herself promoted him
became the object of public indignation.

Meanwhile the nomination of Lord Calonne was to be productive of
real good. It gave rise to the publication of a host of libels and
pamphlets which discussed the financial condition of France, and, in
biting and scornful words, in the language of sadness and despair,
developed the need and the misfortune of the land. The king gave the
chief minister of police strict injunctions to send him all these
ephemeral publications. He wanted to read them all, wanted to find
the kernel of wheat which each contained, and, from his enemies, who
assuredly would not flatter, he wanted to learn how to be a good
king. And the first of his cares he saw to be a frugal king, and to
limit his household expenses.

This time he acted independently; he asked no one's counsel, not
even the queen's. As his own unconstrained act, he ordered a
diminution of the court luxury, and a limitation of the great
pensions which were paid to favorites. The great stable of the king
must be reduced, the chief directorship of the post bureau must be
abolished, the high salary of the governess of the royal children as
well as that of the maid of honor of Madame Elizabeth, sister of the
king, must be reduced.

And who were the ones affected by this? Chiefly the Polignac family.
The Duke de Polignac was director of the royal mews, and next to him
the Duke de Coigny. The Duke de Polignac was also chief director of
the post department. His wife, Diana de Polignac, was also maid of
honor to Madame Elizabeth, and Julia de Polignac was governess of
the children of Prance.

They would not believe it; they held it impossible that so unheard-
of a thing should happen, that their income should be reduced. The
whole circle of intimate friends resorted to Trianon, to have an
interview with the queen, to receive from her the assurance that she
would not tolerate such a robbing of her friends, and that she would
induce the king to take back his commands.

The queen, however, for the first time, made a stand against her
friends.

"It is the will of the king," said she, "and I am too happy that the
king has a will, to dare opposing it. May the king reign! It is his
duty and his right, as it is the duty and right of all his subjects
to conform to his wish and be subject to his will."

"But," cried Lord Besenval, "it is horrible to live in a country
where one is not sure but he may lose tomorrow what he holds to-day;
down to this time that has always been the Turkish fashion."
[Footnote: His very words. See Goncourt's "Histoire de Marie
Antoinette," p. 181.]

The queen trembled and raised her great eyes with a look full of
astonishment and pain to Besenval, then to the other friends; she
read upon all faces alienation and unkindly feeling. The mask of
devoted courtiers and true servants had for the first time fallen
from their faces, and Marie Antoinette discovered these all at once
wholly estranged and unknown countenances; eyes without the beam of
friendship, lips without the smile of devotion.

The queen sought to put her hand to her heart. It seemed to her as
if she had been wounded with a dagger. She felt as if she must cry
aloud with pain and grief. But she commanded herself and only gave
utterance to a faint sigh.

"You are not the only ones who will lose, my friends," said she,
gently. "The king is a loser, too; for if he gives up the great
stables, he sacrifices to the common good his horses, his equipages,
and, above all, his true servants. We must all learn to put up with
limitations and a reduction of outlay. But we can still remain good
friends, and here in Trianon pass many pleasant days with one
another in harmless gayety and happy contentment. Come, my friends,
let us forget these cares and these constraints; let us, despite all
these things, be merry and glad. Duke de Coigny, you have been for a
week my debtor in billiards, to-day you must make it up. Come, my
friends, let us go into the billiard-room."

And the queen, who had found her gayety again, went laughing in
advance of her friends into the next apartment, where the billiard-
table stood. She took up her cue, and, brandishing it like a
sceptre, cried, "Now, my friends, away with care--"

She ceased, for as she looked around her she saw that her friends
had not obeyed her call. Only the Duke de Coigny, whom she had
specially summoned, had followed the queen into the billiard-room.

A flash of anger shot from the eyes of the queen.

"How!" cried she, aloud, "did my companions not hear that I
commanded them to follow me hither?"

"Your majesty," answered the Duke de Coigny, peevishly, "the ladies
and gentlemen have probably recalled the fact that your majesty once
made it a rule here in Trianon that every one should do as he
pleases, and your majesty sees that they hold more strictly to the
laws than others do."

"My lord," sighed the queen, "do you bring reproaches against me
too? Are you also discontented?"

"And why should I be contented, your majesty?" asked the duke, with
choler. "I am deprived of a post which hitherto has been held for
life, and does your majesty desire that I should be contented? No, I
am not contented. No, I do as the others do. I am full of anger and
pain to see that nothing is secure more, that nothing is stable
more, that one can rely upon nothing more--not even upon the word of
kings."

"My lord duke," cried Marie Antoinette, with flashing anger, "you go
too far, you forget that you are speaking to your queen."

"Madame," cried he, still louder, "here in Trianon there is no
queen, there are no subjects! You yourself have said it, and I at
least will hold to your words, even if you yourself do not. Let us
play billiards, madame. I am at your service."

And while the Duke de Coigny said this, he seized with an angry
movement the billiard-cue of the queen. It was a present which Marie
Antoinette had received from her brother, the Emperor Joseph. It was
made of a single rhinoceros skin, and was adorned with golden knobs.
The king had a great regard for it, and no one before had ever
ventured to use it excepting her alone.

"Give it to me, Coigny," said she, earnestly. "You deceive yourself,
that is not your billiard-cue, that is mine."

"Madame," cried he, angrily, "what is mine is taken from me, and why
should I not take what is not mine? It seems as if this were the
latest fashion, to do what one pleases with the property of others;
I shall hasten to have a share in this fashion, even were it only to
show that I have learned something from your majesty. Let us begin."

Trembling with anger and excitement, he took two balls, laid them in
the middle of the table, and gave the stroke. But it was so
passionately given, and in such rage, that the cue glided by the
balls and struck so strongly against the raised rim of the table
that it broke.

The queen uttered an exclamation of indignation, and, raising the
hand, pointed with a commanding gesture to the door.

"My Lord Duke de Coigny," said she, proudly, "I release you from the
duty of ever coming again to Trianon. You are dismissed."

The duke, trembling with anger, muttering a few unintelligible
words, made a slight, careless obeisance to the queen, and left the
billiard-hall with a quick step.[Footnote: This scene is historical.
See "Memoires de Madame de Campan," vol. ii.]

Marie Antoinette looked after him with a long and pained look. Then,
with a deep sigh, she took up the bits of the broken cue and went
into her little porcelain cabinet, in order to gain rest and self-
command in solitude and stillness.

Reaching that place, and now sure that no one could observe her,
Marie Antoinette sank with a deep sigh into an arm-chair, and the
long-restrained tears started from her eyes.

"Oh," sighed she, sadly, "they will destroy every thing I have,
every thing--my confidence, my spirit, my heart itself. They will
leave me nothing but pain and misfortune, and not one of them whom I
till now have held to be my friends, will share it with me."



CHAPTER VI.

THE TRIAL.


For a whole year the preparation for the trial had lasted, and to-
day, the 31st of August, 1786, the matter would be decided. The
friends and relatives of the cardinal had had time to manipulate not
only public opinion, but also to win over the judges, the members of
Parliament, to the cause of the cardinal, and to prejudice them
against the queen. All the enemies of Marie Antoinette, the
legitimists even, who saw their old rights of nobility encroached
upon by the preference given to the Polignacs and other families
which had sprung from obscurity; the party of the royal princes and
princesses, whom Marie Antoinette had always offended, first because
she was an Austrian, and later because she had allowed herself to
win the love of the king; the men of the agitation and freedom
party, who thundered in their clubs against the realm, and held it
to be their sacred duty to destroy the nimbus which, had hitherto
enveloped the throne, and to show to the hungering people that the
queen who lived in luxury was nothing more than a light-minded,
voluptuous woman,--all these enemies of the queen had had time to
gain over public opinion and the judges. The trial had been a
welcome opportunity to all to give free play to their revenge, their
indignation, and their hate. The family of the cardinal, sorely
touched by the degradation which had come upon them all in their
head, would, at the least, see the queen compromised with the
cardinal, and if the latter should really come out from the trial as
the deceived and duped one, Marie Antoinette should, nevertheless,
share in the stain.

The Rohan family and their friends set therefore all means in
motion, in order to win over public opinion and the judges. To this
end they visited the members of Parliament, brought presents to
those of them who were willing to receive them, made use of
mercenary authors to hurl libellous pamphlets at the queen,
published brochures which, in dignified language, defended the
cardinal in advance, and exhibited him as the victim of his devotion
and love to the royal family. Everybody read these pamphlets; and
when at last the day of decision came, public opinion had already
declared itself in favor of the cardinal and against the queen.

On the 31st of August, 1786, as already said, the trial so long in
preparation was to be decided. The night before, the cardinal had
been transferred from the Bastile to the prison, as had also the
other prisoners who were involved in the case.

At early dawn the whole square before the prison was full of men,
and the dependants of Rohan and the Agitators of Freedom, as Marat
and his companions called themselves, were active here as ever to
turn the feeling of the people against the queen.

In the court-house, on the other side of the great square,
meanwhile, the great drama of the trial had begun. The members of
Parliament, the judges in the case, sat in their flowing black
garments, in long rows before the green table, and their serious,
sad faces and sympathetic looks were all directed toward the
cardinal, Louis de Rohan. But in spite of the danger of the
situation, the noble face of the cardinal was completely
undisturbed, and his bearing princely. He appeared in his full
priestly array, substituting in place of the purple-red under-
garment one of violet, as cardinals do when they appear in mourning.
Over this he wore the short red cloak, and displayed all his orders;
the red stockings, the silk shoes with jewelled buckles, completed
his array. While entering, he raised his hands and gave his priestly
blessing to those who should judge him, and perhaps condemn him. He
then, in simple and dignified words, spoke as follows:

A relative of his, Madame de Boulainvillier, had, three years
before, brought a young woman to him, and requested him to maintain
her. She was of the most exalted lineage, the last in descent from
the earlier kings of France, of the family of Valois. She called
herself the Countess of Lamotte-Valois; her husband, the Count
Lamotte, was the royal sub-lieutenant in some little garrison city,
and his salary was not able to support them except meagrely. The
young lady was beautiful, intellectual, of noble manners, and it was
natural that the cardinal should interest himself in behalf of the
unfortunate daughter of the kings of France. He supported her for a
while, and after many exertions succeeded in obtaining a pension of
fifteen hundred francs from King Louis XVI., in behalf of the last
descendant of the Valois family. Upon this the countess went herself
to Versailles, in order to render thanks in person for this favor.
She returned the next day to Paris, beaming with joy, and told the
cardinal that she had not only been received by the queen, but that
Marie Antoinette had been exceedingly gracious to her, and had
requested her to visit her often. From this day on, the countess had
naturally gained new favor in the eyes of the cardinal, for she
often went to Versailles; and from the accounts of her visits there,
when she returned, it was clear that she stood in high favor with
the queen. But now, unfortunately, the cardinal found himself in
precisely the opposite situation. He stood in extreme disfavor with
the queen. She never condescended to bestow a glance upon him, nor a
word. The cardinal was for a long time inconsolable on account of
this, and sought in vain to regain the favor of the queen. This he
intrusted with the deepest confidence to the Countess Lamotte-
Valois, and she, full of friendly zeal, had undertaken to speak to
the queen in his behalf. Some days later she told the cardinal that
she had fulfilled her promise; she had painted his sadness in such
moving words that the queen appeared to be very much affected, and
had told the countess that she would pardon all, if the cardinal
would send her in writing an apology for the mortifications which he
had inflicted upon herself and her mother Maria Theresa. The
cardinal, of course, joyfully consented to this. He sent to the
countess a document in which he humbly begged pardon for asking the
Empress Maria Theresa, years before, when Marie Antoinette was yet
Dauphiness of France, and he, the cardinal, was French ambassador in
Vienna, to chide her daughter on account of her light and haughty
behavior, and to charge herself with seeing it bettered. This was
the only offence against the queen of which he felt himself guilty,
and for this he humbly implored forgiveness. He had, at the same
time, begged the queen for an audience, that he might pay his
respects to her, and on bended knee ask her pardon. Some days after,
the Countess Lamotte-Valois had handed him a paper, written with the
queen's hand, as an answer to his letter.

The president here interrupted the cardinal: "Are you still in
possession of this document, your eminence?"

The cardinal bowed. "I have always, since I had the fortune to
receive them, carried with me the dear, and to me invaluable,
letters of the queen. On the day when I was arrested in Versailles,
they lay in my breast coat-pocket. It was my fortune, and the
misfortune of those who, after I had been carried to the Bastile,
burst into my palace, sealed my papers, and at once burned what
displeased them. In this way these letters escaped the auto-da-fe.
Here is the first letter of the queen."

He drew a pocket-book from his robe, took from it a small folded
paper, and laid it upon the table before the president.

The president opened it and read: "I have received your brief, and
am delighted to find you no longer culpable; in the mean while, I am
sorry not to be able to give you the audience which you ask. As
soon, however, as circumstances allow me, I shall inform you; till
then, silence. Marie Antoinette of France." [Footnote: Goncourt.--
"Histoire de Marie Antoinette," p. 143.]

A murmur of astonishment arose among the judges after this reading,
and all looks were directed with deep sympathy to the cardinal, who,
with a quiet, modest bearing, stood over against them. The glances
of the president of the high court, directed themselves, after he
had read the letter and laid it upon the green table, to the great
dignitary of the Church, and then he seemed to notice for the first
time that the cardinal, a prince and grand almoner of the King of
Prance, was standing like a common criminal.

"Give the lord cardinal an arm-chair," he ordered, with a loud
voice, and one of the guards ran to bring one of the broad,
comfortable chairs of the judges, which was just then unoccupied,
and carried it to the cardinal.

Prince Rohan thanked the judges with a slight inclination of his
proud head, and sank into the arm-chair. The accused and the judges
now sat on the same seats, and one would almost have suspected that
the cardinal, in his magnificent costume, with his noble, lofty
bearing, his peaceful, passionless face, and sitting in his arm-
chair, alone and separated from all others, was himself the judge of
those who, in their dark garments and troubled and oppressed
spirits, and restless mien, were sitting opposite him.

"Will your eminence have the goodness to proceed?" humbly asked the
president of the court, after a pause. The cardinal nodded as the
sign of assent, and continued his narrative.

This letter of the queen naturally filled him with great delight,
particularly as he had a personal interview with her majesty in
prospect, and he had implored the Countess Valois all the more to
procure this meeting, because, in spite of the forgiveness which the
queen had given to the cardinal, she continued on all occasions,
where he had the happiness to be in her presence, to treat him with
extreme disdain. On one Sunday, when he was reading mass before
their majesties, he took the liberty to enter the audience-room and
to address the queen. Marie Antoinette bestowed upon him only an
annihilating look of anger and scorn, and turned her back upon him,
saying, at the same time, with a loud voice, to the Duchess of
Polignac: "What a shameless act! These people believe they may do
any thing if they wear the purple. They believe they may rank with
kings, and even address them."

These proud and cutting words had naturally deeply wounded the
cardinal, and, for the first time, the doubt was suggested to him
whether, in the end, all the communications of the Countess Valois,
even the letter of the queen, might not prove to be false, for it
appeared to him impossible that the queen could be secretly,
favorably inclined to a man whom she openly scorned. In his anger he
said so to the Countess Lamotte, and told her that he should hold
all that she had brought him from the queen to be false, unless,
within a very short time, she could procure what he had so long and
so urgently besought, namely, an audience with the queen. He desired
this audience as a proof that Marie Antoinette was really changed,
and, at the same time, as a proof that the Countess Lamotte-Valois
had told him the truth. The countess laughed at his distrust, and
promised to try all the arts of address with the queen, in order to
gain for the cardinal the desired audience. The latter, who thought
he recognized in the beautiful and expressive countenance of the
lady innocence and honorableness, now regretted his hasty words, and
said to Madame Lamotte, that in case the queen would really grant
him a private audience, he would give her (the countess) fifty
thousand francs as a sign of his gratitude.

A murmur of applause and of astonishment rose at these words from
the spectators, comprising some of the greatest noble families of
France, the Rohans, the Guemenes, the Count de Vergennes, and all
the most powerful enemies of the queen, who had taken advantage of
this occasion in order to avenge themselves on the Austrian, who had
dared to choose her friends and select her society, not in
accordance with lineage, but as her own pleasure dictated.

The president of the court did not consider this murmur of applause
marked enough to be reprimanded, and let it be continued.

"And did the Countess Lamotte-Valois procure for you this audience?"
he then asked.

Prince Rohan was silent a moment, his face grew pale, his features
assumed for the first time a troubled expression, and the painful
struggles which disturbed his soul could be seen working within him.

"May it please this noble court," he replied, after a pause, with
feeling, trembling voice, "I feel at this moment that, beneath the
robe of the priest, the heart of the man beats yet. It is, however,
for every man a wrong, an unpardonable wrong, to disclose the
confidence of a lady, and to reveal to the open light of day the
favors which have been granted by her. But I must take this crime
upon myself, because I have to defend the honor of a priest, even of
a dignitary in the Church, and also because I do not dare to suffer
my purple to be soiled with even the suspicion of a lie, or an act
of falsehood. It may be--and I fear it even myself--it may be, that
in this matter, I myself was the deceived one, but I dare not bring
suspicion upon my tiara that I was the deceiver, and, therefore, I
have to meet the stern necessity of disclosing the secret of a lady
and a queen."

"Besides this," said the president, solemnly--"besides this, your
eminence may graciously consider, in presence of the authority given
you by God, all the tender thoughts of the cardinal must be silent.
The duty of a dignitary of the Church commands you to go before all
other men in setting them a noble example, and one worthy of
imitation. It is your sacred duty, in accordance with the demands of
truth, to give the most detailed information regarding every thing
that concerns this affair, and your eminence will have the goodness
to remember that we are the secular priests of God, before whom
every accused person must confess the whole truth with a perfect
conscience."

"I thank you, Mr. President," said the cardinal, with so gentle and
tremulous a voice, that you might hear after it a faint sob from
some deeply-veiled ladies who sat on the spectators' seats, and so
that even the eyes of President de l'Aigro filled with tears--" I
thank you, Mr. President," repeated the cardinal, breathing more
freely. "You take a heavy burden from my heart, and your wisdom
instructs me as to my own duty."

The president blushed with pleasure at the high praises of the
cardinal.

"And now," he said, "I take the liberty of repeating my question,
did the Countess Lamotte-Valois succeed in procuring for your
eminence a secret audience with the queen?"

"She did," replied the cardinal, "she did procure an interview for
me."

And compelling himself to a quiet manner, he went on with his story:
The Countess de Valois came to him after two days with a joyful
countenance, and brought to him the request to accompany the
Countess Valois two days after to Versailles, where, in the garden,
in a place indicated by the countess, the meeting of the queen and
the cardinal should take place. The cardinal was to put on the
simple, unpretending dress of a citizen of Paris, a blue cloth coat,
a round hat, and high leather boots. The cardinal, full of
inexpressible delight at this, could, notwithstanding, scarcely
believe that the queen would show him this intoxicating mark of her
favor; upon which the Countess Valois, laughing, showed him a letter
of the queen, directed to her, on gold-bordered paper, and signed
like the note which he had received before--" Marie Antoinette of
France." In this note the queen requested her dear friend to go
carefully to work to warn the cardinal to speak softly during the
interview, because there were ears lurking in the neighborhood, and
not to come out from the thicket till the queen should give a sign.

After reading this letter, the cardinal had no more doubts, but
surrendered himself completely to his joy, his impatience, and
longed for the appointed hour to arrive. At last this hour came,
and, in company with the countess, the cardinal, arrayed in the
appointed dress, repaired in a simple hired carriage to Versailles.
The countess led him to the terrace of the palace, where she
directed the cardinal to hide behind a clump of laurel-trees, and
then left him, in order to inform the queen, who walked every
evening in the park, in company with the Count and Countess
d'Artois, of the presence of the cardinal, and to conduct her to
him. The latter now remained alone, and, with loud-beating heart,
listened to every sound, and, moving gently around, looked down the
long alley which ran between the two fountains, in order to catch
sight of the approach of the queen. It was a delightful evening; the
full moon shone in golden clearness from the deep-blue sky, and
illuminated all the objects in the neighborhood with a light like
that of day. It now disclosed a tall, noble figure, clad in a dark-
red robe, and with large blue pins in her hair, hurrying to the
terrace, and followed by the Countess Valois.

To the present moment the cardinal had slightly doubted as to his
unmeasurable good fortune--now he doubted no more. It was the queen,
Marie Antoinette, who was approaching. She wore the same dress, the
same coiffure which she had worn the last Sunday, when after the
mass he had gone to Versailles to drive.

Yes, it was the queen, who was hurrying across the terrace, and
approaching the thicket behind which the cardinal was standing.

"Come," whispered she, softly, and the cardinal quickly emerged from
the shade, sank upon his knee before the queen, and eagerly pressed
the fair hand which she extended to him to his lips. "Your
eminence," whispered the queen to him, "I can unfortunately spend
only a moment here. I cherish nothing against you, and shall soon
show you marks of my highest favor. Meantime, accept this token of
my grace." And Marie Antoinette took a rose from her bosom and gave
it to the cardinal. "Accept, also, this remembrancer," whispered the
queen, again placing a little case in his hand. "It is my portrait.
Look often at it, and never doubt me, I--"

At this moment the Countess Valois, who had been waiting at some
distance, hastily came up.

"Some one is coming," whispered she; "for God's sake, your majesty,
fly!"

Voices were audible in the distance, and soon they approached. The
queen grasped the hand of the Countess Lamotte.

"Come, my friend," said she. "Farewell, cardinal, au revoir!"

Full of joy at the high good fortune which had fallen to him, and at
the same time saddened at the abrupt departure of the queen, the
cardinal turned back to Paris. On the next day the Countess Valois
brought a billet from the queen, in which she deeply regretted that
their interview yesterday had been so brief, and promising a speedy
appointment again. Some days after this occurrence, which constantly
occupied the mind of the cardinal, he was obliged to go to Alsace,
to celebrate a church festival. On the very next day, however, came
the husband of the countess, Count Lamotte, sent as a courier by the
countess. He handed the cardinal a letter from the queen, short and
full of secrecy, like the earlier ones.

"The moment," wrote the queen--" the moment which I desired is not
yet come. But I beg you to return at once to Paris, because I am in
a secret affair, which concerns me personally, and which I shall
intrust to you alone, and in which I need your assistance. The
Countess Lamotte-Valois will give you the key to this riddle."

As if on the wings of birds, the cardinal returned to Paris, and at
once repaired to the little palace which the countess had purchased
with the fruits of his liberality. Here he learned of her the reason
of his being sent for. The matter in question was the purchasing of
a set of jewels, which the royal jewellers, Bohmer and Bassenge, had
often offered to the queen. Marie Antoinette had seen the necklace,
and had been enraptured with the size and beauty of the diamonds.
But she had had the spirit to refuse to purchase the collar, in
consequence of the enormous price which the jewellers demanded. She
had, however, subsequently regretted her refusal, and the princely
set of gems, the like of which did not exist in Europe, had awakened
the most intense desire on the part of the queen to possess it. She
wanted to purchase it secretly, without the knowledge of the king,
and to pay for it gradually out of the savings of her own purse. But
just then the jewellers Bohmer and Bassenge had it in view to send
the necklace to Constantinople for the Sultan, who wanted to present
it to the best-loved of his wives.

But before completing the sale, the crown jewellers made one more
application to the queen, declaring that if she would consent to
take the necklace, they would be content with any conditions of
payment. In the mean time, the private treasury of the queen was
empty. The severe winter had induced much suffering and misfortune,
and the queen had given all her funds to the poor. But as she
earnestly desired to purchase the necklace, she would give her grand
almoner a special mark of her favor in granting to him the
commission of purchasing it in her name. He should receive a paper
from the queen's own hand authorizing the purchase, yet he should
keep this to himself, and show it only to the court jewellers at the
time of the purchase. The first payment of six hundred thousand
francs the cardinal was to pay from his own purse, the remaining
million the queen would pay in instalments of one hundred thousand
francs each, at the expiration of every three months. In the next
three months, the six hundred thousand francs advanced by the
cardinal should be refunded.

The cardinal felt himself highly flattered by this token of the
queen's confidence, and desired nothing more than the written
authorization of the queen, empowering him to make the purchase at
once. This document was not waited for long. Two days only passed
before the Countess Lamotte-Valois brought it, dated at Trianon, and
subscribed Marie Antoinette of France. Meanwhile some doubts arose
in the mind of the cardinal. He turned to his friend and adviser,
Count Cagliostro, for counsel. The latter had cured him years before
while very sick, and since that time had always been his
disinterested friend, and the prophet, so to speak, who always
indicated the cardinal's future to him. This man, so clear in his
foresight, so skilful in medicine, was now taken into confidence,
and his advice asked. Count Cagliostro summoned the spirits that
waited upon him, before the cardinal, one solitary night. He asked
these invisible presences what their counsel was, and the oracle
answered, that the affair was one worthy of the station of the
cardinal; that it would have a fortunate issue; that it put the seal
upon the favors of the queen, and would usher in the fortunate day
which would bring the great talents of the cardinal into employment
for the benefit of France and the world. The cardinal doubted and
hesitated no longer. He went at once to the court jewellers Bohmer
and Bassenge: he did not conceal from them that he was going to buy
the necklace in the name of the queen, and showed them the written
authorization. The jewellers entered readily into the transaction.
The cardinal made a deposit of six hundred thousand francs, and
Bohmer and Bassenge gave him the necklace. It was the day before a
great festival, and at the festival the queen wanted to wear the
necklace. In the evening a trusted servant of the queen was to take
the necklace from the dwelling of the Countess Lamotte-Valois. The
countess herself requested the cardinal to be present, though
unseen, when the delivery should take place.

In accordance with this agreement, the cardinal repaired to the
palace of the countess on the evening of February 1st, 1784,
accompanied by a trusted valet, who carried the casket with the
necklace. At the doorway he himself took the collar and gave it to
the countess. She conducted the cardinal to an alcove adjoining her
sitting-room. Through the door provided with glass windows he could
dimly see the sitting-room.

After some minutes the main entrance opened, and a voice cried: "In
the service of the queen!" A man in the livery of the queen, whom
the cardinal had often seen at the countess's, and whom she had told
was a confidential servant of the queen, entered and demanded the
casket in the name of the queen. The Countess Valois took it and
gave it to the servant, who bowed and took his leave. At the moment
when the man departed, bearing this costly set of jewels, the
cardinal experienced an inexpressible sense of satisfaction at
having had the happiness of conferring a service upon the Queen of
France, the wife of the king, the mother of the future king,--not
merely in the purchase of the diamonds which she desired, but still
more in preventing the young and impulsive woman from taking the
unbecoming step of applying to any other gentleman of the court for
this assistance.

At these words the spectators broke into loud exclamations, and one
of the veiled ladies cried: "Lords Vaudreuil and Coigny would not
have paid so much, but they would have demanded more." And this
expression, too, was greeted with loud acclaims.

The first president of the court, Baron de L'Aigre, here cast a
grave look toward the tribune where the spectators sat, but his
reproach died away upon lips which disclosed a faint inclination to
smile.

"I now beg your eminence," he said, "to answer the following
question: " Did Queen Marie Antoinette personally thank you for the
great service which, according to your showing, you did her? How is
it with the payments which the queen pledged herself to make?"

The cardinal was silent for a short time, and looked sadly before
him. "Since the day when I closed this unfortunate purchase, I have
experienced only disquietudes, griefs, and humiliations. This is the
only return which I have received for my devotion. The queen has
never bestowed a word upon me. At the great festival she did not
even wear the necklace which she had sent for on the evening before.
I complained of this to the countess, and the queen had the goodness
to write me a note, saying that she had found the necklace too
valuable to wear on that day, because it would have attracted the
attention of the king and the court. I confided in the words of the
queen, and experienced no doubts about the matter till the unhappy
day when the queen was to make the first payment to the jewellers,
and when she sent neither to me nor to the jewellers a word. Upon
this a fearful suspicion began to trouble me,--that my devotion to
the queen might have been taken advantage of, in order to deceive
and mislead me. When this dreadful thought seized me, I shuddered,
and had not power to look down into the abyss which suddenly yawned
beneath me. I at once summoned the Countess Lamotte, and desired her
solution of this inexplicable conduct of the queen. She told me that
she had been on the point of coming to me and informing me, at the
request of the queen, that other necessary outlays had prevented the
queen's paying me the six hundred thousand francs that I had
disbursed to Bohmer at the purchase of the necklace, and that she
must be content with paying the interest of this sum, thirty
thousand francs. The queen requested me to be satisfied for the
present with this arrangement, and to be sure of her favor. I
trusted the words of the countess once more, took fresh courage, and
sent word to the queen that I should always count myself happy to
conform to her arrangements, and be her devoted servant. The
countess dismissed me, saying that she would bring the money on the
morrow. In the mean time, something occurred that awakened all my
doubts and all my anxieties afresh. I visited the Duchess de
Polignac, and while I was with her, there was handed her a note from
the queen. I requested the duchess, in case the billet contained no
secret, to show it to me, that I might see the handwriting of the
queen. The duchess complied with my request, and--"

The cardinal was silent, and deep inward excitement made his face
pale. He bowed his head, folded his hands, and his lips moved in
whispered prayer.

The judges, as well as the spectators, remained silent. No one was
able to break the solemn stillness by an audible breath-by a single
movement.

At length, after a long pause, when the cardinal had raised his head
again, the president asked gently: "And so your eminence saw the
note of the queen, and was it not the same writing as the letters
which you had received?"

"No, it was not the same!" cried the cardinal, with pain. "No, it
was an entirely different hand. Only the signature had any
resemblance, although the letter to the duchess was simply
subscribed 'Marie Antoinette.' I hastened home, and awaited the
coming of the countess with feverish impatience. She came, smiling
as ever, and brought me the thirty thousand francs. With glowing,
passionate words, I threw my suspicions in her face. She appeared a
moment alarmed, confused, and then granted that it was possible that
the letters were not from the hand of the queen, but that she had
dictated them. But the signatures were the queen's, she could take
her oath of it. I again took a little courage; but soon after the
countess had left me, the jewellers came in the highest excitement
to me, to tell me that, receiving no payments from the queen, they
had applied in writing to her several times, without receiving any
answer; their efforts to obtain an audience were also all in vain,
and so they had at last applied to the first lady-in-waiting on the
queen, Madame de Campan, with whom they had just had an interview.
Madame de Campan had told them that the queen did not possess the
necklace; that no Countess Lamotte-Valois had ever had an interview
with the queen; that she had told the jewellers with extreme
indignation that some one had been deceiving them; that they were
the victims of a fraud, and that she would at once go to Trianon to
inform the queen of this fearful intrigue. This happened on a
Thursday; on the following Sunday I repaired to Versailles to
celebrate high mass, and the rest you know. I have nothing further
to add."

"In the name of the court I thank your eminence for your open and
clear exposition of this sad history," said the president, solemnly.
"Your eminence needs refreshment, you are free to withdraw and to
return to the Bastile."

The cardinal rose and bowed to the court. All the judges stood, and
respectfully returned the salutation. [Footnote: 'Historical.--See
"Memoires de l'Abbe Georgel," vol. i.]

One of the veiled ladies, sitting on the spectators' seats, cried
with trembling voice: "God bless the cardinal, the noble martyr of
the realm!"

All the spectators repeated the cry; and, while the words yet rang,
the cardinal, followed by the officers who were to take him to the
Bastile, had left the hall.

"Guards!" cried President de L'Aigre, with a loud voice, "bring in
the accused, the Countess de Lamotte-Valois!"

All eyes directed themselves to the door which the guards now
opened, and through which the accused was to enter.

Upon the threshold of this door appeared now a lady of slim,
graceful form, in a toilet of the greatest elegance, her head
decorated with feathers, flowers, and lace, her cheeks highly
painted, and her fine ruby lips encircled by a pert, and at the same
time a mocking smile, which displayed two rows of the finest teeth.
With this smile upon her lips she moved forward with a light and
spirited step, turning her great blazing black eyes with proud,
inquisitive looks now to the stern semicircle of judges and now to
the tribune, whose occupants had not been able to suppress a
movement of indignation and a subdued hiss.

"Gentlemen," said she, with a clear, distinct voice, in which not
the faintest quiver, not the least excitement was apparent--"
gentlemen, are we here in a theatre, where the players who tread the
boards are received with audible signs of approval or of disfavor?"

The president, to whom her dark eyes were directed, deigned to give
no answer, but turned with an expressive gesture to the officer who
stood behind the accused.

He understood this sign, and brought from the corner of the hall a
wooden seat of rough, clumsy form, to whose high back of unpolished
dirty wood two short iron chains were attached.

This seat he placed near the handsome, gaudily-dressed countess with
her air of assurance and self-confidence, and pointed to it with a
commanding gesture.

"Be seated," he said, with a loud, lordly tore. She shrugged her
shoulders, and looked at the offered seat with an expression of
indignation. "How!" she cried, "who dares offer me the chair of
criminals to sit in?"

"Be seated," replied the officer. "The seat of the accused is ready
for you, and the chains upon it are for those who are not inclined
to take it."

A cry of anger escaped from her lips, and her eyes flashed an
annihilating glance upon the venturesome officer, but he did not
appear to be in the least affected by the lightning from her eyes,
but met it with perfect tranquillity.

"If you do not take it of yourself, madame," he said, "I shall be
compelled to summon the police; we shall then compel you to take the
seat, and in order to prevent your rising, the chains will be bound
around your arms."

The countess answered only with an exclamation of anger, and fixed
her inquiring looks upon the judges, the accusers, the defenders,
and then again upon the spectators. Everywhere she encountered only
a threatening mien and suspicious looks, nowhere an expression of
sympathy. But it was just this which seemed to give her courage and
to steel her strength. She raised her head proudly, forced the smile
again upon her lips, and took her seat upon the chair with a grace
and dignity as if she were in a brilliant saloon, and was taking her
seat upon an elegant sofa. The president of the court now turned his
grave, rigid face to the countess, and asked: "Who are you, madame?
What is your name, and how old are you?"

The countess gave way to a loud, melodious laugh. "My lord
president," answered she, "it is very clear that you are not much
accustomed to deal with ladies, or else you would not take the
liberty of asking a lady, like myself in her prime, after her age. I
will pardon you this breach of etiquette, and I will magnanimously
pretend not to have heard that question, in order to answer the
others. You wish to know my name? I am the Countess Lamotte-Valois
of France, the latest descendant of the former Kings of Prance; and
if in this unhappy land, which is trodden to the dust by a stupid
king and a dissolute queen, right and justice still prevailed, I
should sit on the throne of France, and the coquette who now
occupies it would be sitting here in this criminal's chair, to
justify herself for the theft which she has committed, for it is
Marie Antoinette who possesses the diamonds of the jeweller Bohmer,
not I."

At the spectators' tribune a gentle bravo was heard at these words,
and this daring calumny upon the queen found no reproval even from
the judges' bench.

"Madame," said L'Aigre, after a short pause, "instead of simply
answering my questions you reply with a high-sounding speech, which
contains an untruth, for it is not true that you can lay any claim
to the throne of France. The descendants of bastards have claims
neither to the name nor the rank of their fathers. Since, in respect
to your name and rank, you have answered with an untruth, I will
tell you who and what you are. Your father was a poor peasant in the
village of Auteuil. He called himself Valois, and the clergyman of
the village one day told the wife of the proprietor of Auteuil,
Madame de Boulainvillier, that the peasant of Valois was in
possession of family papers, according to which it was
unquestionable that he was an illegitimate descendant of the old
royal family.

The good priest at the same time recommended the poor, hungry
children of the day-laborer Valois to the kindness of Madame de
Boulainvillier, and the old lady hastened to comply with this
recommendation. She had the daughter of Valois called to her to ask
her how she could assist her in her misery."

"Say rather to gain for herself the credit that she had shown
kindnesses to the descendants of the Kings of France," interrupted
the countess, quickly.

"This would have been a sorry credit," replied President L'Aigre.
"The Valois family had for a long time been extinct, and the last
man of that name who is known, was detected in counterfeiting,
sentenced, and executed. Your grandfather was an illegitimate son of
the counterfeiter Valois. That is the sum total of your relation to
the royal family of France. It is possible that upon this very chair
on which you now sit, accused of this act of deception, your natural
great-grandfather once sat, accused like you of an act of deception,
in order, after conviction of his crime, to be punished according to
the laws of France."

The countess made a motion as if she wanted to rise from the
unfortunate seat, but instantly the heavy hand of the officer was
laid upon her shoulder, and his threatening voice said, "Sit still,
or I put on the chains!"

The Countess Lamotte-Valois of France sank back with a loud sob upon
the chair, and for the first time a death-like paleness diffused
itself over her hitherto rosy cheeks.

"So Madame de Boulainvillier had the children of the day-laborer
Valois called," continued the president, with his imperturbable
self-possession. "The oldest daughter, a girl of twelve years,
pleased her in consequence of her lively nature and her attractive
exterior. She took her to herself, she gave her an excellent
education, she was resolved to provide for her whole future; when
one day the young Valois disappeared from the chateau of Madame de
Boulainvillier. She had eloped with the sub-lieutenant, Count
Lamotte, and announced to her benefactress, in a letter which she
left behind, that she was escaping from the slavery in which she had
hitherto lived, and that she left her curse to those who wanted to
hinder her marrying the man of her choice. But in order to
accomplish her marriage, she confessed that she had found it
necessary to rob the casket of Madame de Boulainvillier, and that
out of this money she should defray her expenses. It was a sum of
twenty thousand francs which the fugitive had robbed from her
benefactress."

"I take the liberty of remarking to you, Mr. President, that you are
there making use of a totally false expression," interrupted the
countess. "It cannot be said that I robbed this sum. It was the
dowry which Madame de Boulainvillier had promised to give me in case
of my marriage, and I only took what was my own, as I was upon the
point of marrying. Madame de Boulainvillier herself justified me in
taking this sum, for she never asked me to return it or filed an
accusation against me."

"Because she wanted to prevent the matter becoming town-talk,"
remarked the president, quietly. "Madame de Boulainvillier held her
peace, and relinquished punishment to the righteous Judge who lives
above the stars."

"And who surely has not descended from the stars to assume the
president's chair of this court," cried Lamotte, with a mocking
laugh.

President L'Aigre, without heeding the interruption, continued:

"The daughter of the laborer Valois married the sub-lieutenant
Lamotte, who lived in a little garrison city of the province, and
sought to increase his meagre salary by many ingenious devices. He
not merely gave instruction in fencing and riding, but he was also a
very skilful card-player--so skilful, that fortune almost always
accompanied him."

"My lord," cried the countess, springing up," you seem to want to
hint that Count Lamotte played a false game. You surely would not
venture to say this if the count were free, for he would challenge
you for this insult, and it is well known that his stroke is fatal
to those who stand in the way of his dagger."

"I hint at nothing, and I merely call things by their right names,"
replied the president, smiling. "In consequence of strong suspicions
of false play, Count Lamotte was driven out of his regiment; and as
the young pair had in the meantime consumed the stolen wedding-
money, they must discover some new way of making a living. The young
husband repaired to the south of France to continue his card-
playing; the young wife, having for her fortune her youth and the
splendor of her name, repaired to Paris, both resolved de corriger
la fortune wherever and however they could. "This, madame,"
continued the president, after a pause, "this is the true answer to
my question, how you are called, and who you are."

"The answer is, however, not yet quite satisfactory," replied
Lamotte, in an impudent tone. "You have forgotten to add that I am
the friend of the cardinal, Prince Louis de Rohan, the confidante
and friend of Queen Marie Antoinette, and that both now want to do
me the honor to make me their bete de souffrance, and to let me
suffer for what they have done and are guilty of. My whole crime
lies in this, that I helped the Queen of France gain the jewels for
which her idle and trivial soul longed; that I helped the amorous
and light-minded cardinal approach the object of his love, and
procured for him an interview with the queen. That is all that can
be charged upon me; I procured for the queen the fine necklace of
Messrs. Bohmer and Bassenge; I gave the cardinal, as the price of a
part of the necklace, a tender tete-a-tete with the queen. The
cardinal will not deny that in the garden of Versailles he had a
rendezvous with the queen, that he kissed her hand and received a
rose from her; and the queen will be compelled to confess in the end
that the necklace is in her possession. What blame can be laid on me
for this?"

"The blame of deception, of defalcation, of forgery, of calumny, of
theft," replied the president, with solemn earnestness. "You
deceived Cardinal de Rohan in saying that you knew the queen, that
you were intimate with her, that she honored you with her
confidence. You forged, or got some one to forge, the handwriting of
the queen, and prepared letters which you gave to the cardinal,
pretending that they came from the queen. You misused the devotion
of the cardinal to the royal family, and caused his eminence to
believe that the queen desired his services in the purchase of the
necklace; and after the cardinal, full of pleasure, had been able to
do a service to the queen, had treated with Bohmer and Bassenge, had
paid a part of the purchase money, and gave you the necklace in
charge to be put into the queen's hands, you were guilty of theft,
for the queen knows nothing of the necklace; the queen never gave
you the honor of an audience, the queen never spoke with you, and no
one of the queen's companions ever saw the Countess Lamotte."

"That means they disown me; they all disown me!" cried the countess,
with flaming rage, stamping upon the floor with her little satin-
covered foot. "But the truth will one day come to the light. The
cardinal will not deny that the queen gave him a rendezvous at
Versailles; that she thanked him personally for the necklace which
she had procured through his instrumentality."

"Yes, the truth will come to the light," answered the president. "I
summon the crown attorney, M. de Borillon, to present the charge
against the Countess Lamotte-Valois."

On this the attorney-general, Borillon, rose, and amid the
breathless silence of the assembly began to speak. He painted the
countess as a crafty, skilful adventuress, who had come to Paris
with the determined purpose of making her fortune in whatever way it
could be done. He then spoke of the destitution in which she had
lived at first, of the begging letters which she addressed to all
people of distinction, and especially to Cardinal de Rohan, in
consequence of his well-known liberality. He painted in lively and
touching colors the scene where the cardinal, struck by the name of
the suppliant, went in person to the attic to convince himself
whether it were really true that a descendant of the Kings of France
had been driven to such poverty and humiliation, and to give her
assistance for the sake of the royal house, to which he was devoted
heart and soul. He painted further how the cardinal, attracted by
the lively spirits, amiability, and intellectual character of
Lamotte-Valois, had given her his confidence, and believed what she
told him about her favor with the queen, and her intimate relations
with her. "The cardinal," continued the attorney-general, "did not
doubt for a moment the trustworthiness of the countess; he had not
the least suspicion that he was appointed to become the victim of an
intriguer, who would take advantage of his noble spirit, his
magnanimity, to deceive him and to enrich herself. The countess knew
the boundless devotion of the cardinal to the queen; she had heard
his complaints of the proud coldness, the public slights which she
offered to him. On the other hand, she had heard of the costly
diamond necklace which Bohmer and Bassenge had repeatedly offered to
the queen, and that she had refused to take it on account of the
enormous price which they demanded for it. On this the countess
formed her plan and it succeeded perfectly. She caused the cardinal
to hope that he would soon have an audience of the queen, if he
would give solid assurances of his devotion, and when he professed
himself ready, she proposed to him, as acting under the queen's
instructions, the purchase of the necklace. The cardinal declared
himself ready to accede, and the affair took the course already
indicated with such touching frankness and lofty truthfulness by his
eminence. He brought the purchase to a conclusion; he paid the first
instalment of six hundred thousand francs, and gave the necklace to
the friend of the queen, the Countess Lamotte-Valois, after he had
availed himself of her assistance in receiving from the lips and
hand of the queen in the garden of Versailles the assurance of the
royal favor. The countess at once brought the cardinal a paper from
the queen, stating that she had received the necklace, and conveying
to him the warm thanks of his queen. The cardinal felt himself
richly rewarded by this for all his pains and outlays, and in the
joy of his heart wanted to repay her who, in so prudent and wise a
manner, had effected his reconciliation with the queen. He settled
upon her a yearly pension of four thousand francs, payable her whole
life, and the countess accepted it with tears of emotion, and swore
eternal gratitude to the cardinal. But while uttering this very oath
she was conspiring against her benefactor, and laughing in her
sleeve at the credulous prince who had fallen into the very net
which she had prepared for him. Her most active ally was her
husband, whom she had long before summoned to Paris, and who was the
abetter of her intrigue. The countess had now become a rich lady,
and was able to indulge all her cravings for splendor and luxury.
She who, down to that time, had stood as a supplicant before the
doors of the rich, could herself have a princely dwelling, and could
devote great sums to its adornment. The most celebrated makers were
called on, to furnish the furniture and the decorations, and, as if
by a touch of magic, she was surrounded by fabulous luxury; the
fairest equipages stood ready for her, the finest horses in her
stable, and a troop of lackeys waited upon the beck of the fair lady
who displayed her princely splendor before them. A choice silver
service glittered upon her table, and she possessed valuables worth
more than a hundred thousand francs. More than this, she enjoyed the
best of all, a tender and devoted husband, who overloaded her with
presents; from London, whither he was called by pressing family
affairs, he sent his wife a medallion of diamonds, which was
subsequently estimated at two hundred and thirty louis-d'ors, and a
pearl bracelet worth two hundred louis-d'ors. Returning from his
journey, he surprised his wife with a new and splendid present. He
had purchased a palace in Bar-sur-Aube, and thither the whole costly
furniture of his hired house was carried. Would you know where all
these rare gifts wore drawn? The Countess Lamotte had broken the
necklace, and taken the stones from their setting. For the gold
alone which was used in the setting she received forty thousand
francs; for one of the diamonds, which she sold in Paris, she
received fifty thousand francs; for another, thirty-six thousand.
The diamonds of uncommon size and immense worth she did not dare to
dispose of in Paris, and her husband was compelled to journey to
London to sell a portion of them there. On his return thence he was
able to buy for his wife the house in Bar-sur-Aube, for the sum
received in London was four hundred thousand francs in gold, in
addition to the pearls and the diamond medallion which he brought
his wife from London. And of all this luxury, this extravagance,
Cardinal de Rohan had naturally no suspicion. When he visited her,
where did the countess receive him? In a poorly-furnished attic-
chamber of the house hired by her. In simple, modest attire, She met
him there and told him with trembling voice that the rich countess
who lived in the two lower stories of the house had allowed her to
have this suite next to the roof gratis. But when danger approached,
and Lamotte began to fear that Bohmer and Bassenge, in claiming
their pay from the queen, would bring the history of the necklace to
the light, the countess came to the cardinal to pay her parting
respects, as she was going into the country to a friend to live in
the greatest privacy. She left Paris merely to repair to Bar-sur-
Aube and live in her magnificent palace. She tarried there so long
as to allow the police detectives to discover in the rich and
elegant lady the intriguer Lamotte-Valois, and to effect the
imprisonment of her husband and his friend, the so-called Count
Cagliostro. Her other abetters had put themselves out of sight, and
were not to be discovered. However, their arrest was not specially
necessary, for the facts were already sufficiently strong and clear.
Some of the diamonds which Lamotte had sold in London were brought
back to Paris, and had been recognized by Bohmer and Bassenge as
belonging to the necklace which they had sold to the queen. The
goldsmith had been discovered to whom the countess had sold the
golden setting of the necklace, and Bohmer and Bassenge had
recognized in the fragments which remained their own work. It is
unquestionable that the Countess Lamotte-Valois, through her
intrigues and cunning, had been able to gain possession of the
necklace, and that she had appropriated it to her own use. The
countess is therefore guilty of theft and deception. She is,
moreover, guilty of forgery, for she has imitated the handwriting of
the queen, and subscribed it with the royal name. But the hand is
neither that of the queen, nor does the queen ever subscribe herself
'Marie Antoinette of France.' This makes Lamotte open to the charge
of both forgery and contempt of majesty, for she has even dared to
drag the sacred person of the Queen of France into her mesh of lies,
and to make her majesty the heroine of a dishonorable love-
adventure."

"My lord," cried Countess Lamotte, with a loud laugh, "you are not
driven to the necessity of involving the queen in dishonorable love-
adventures. The queen is in reality the heroine of so many
adventures of this character, that you can have your choice of them.
A queen who visits the opera-house balls incognito, drives thither
masked and in a fiacre, and who appears incognito on the terraces of
Versailles with strange soldiers, exchanging jocose words with them-
-a queen of the type of this Austrian may not wonder to find her
name identified with the heroine of a love-adventure. But we are
speaking now not of a romance, but of a reality, and I am not to be
accused of forgery and contempt of majesty without having the proofs
brought forward. This cannot, however, be done, for I have the
proofs of my innocence. The cardinal had an interview with the
queen, and she gave him a receipt for the diamonds. If she wrote her
signature differently from her usual manner, it is not my fault. It
only shows that the queen was cunning enough to secure an alibi, so
to speak, for her signature, and to leave a rear door open for
herself, through which she could slip with her exalted name, in case
the affair was discovered, and leave me to be her bete de
souffrance. But I am by no means disposed to accept this part, for I
declare here solemnly, before God and man, that I am innocent of the
crime laid to my charge. I was only a too true and devoted friend,
that is all! I sacrificed my own safety and peace to the welfare of
my exalted friends, and I now complain of them that they have
treated me unthankfully in this matter. But they must bear the
blame, they alone. Let the queen show that she did not give the
cardinal a rendezvous in the park of Versailles; let her further
show that she did not sign the promissory note, and the letters to
his eminence, and then I shall be exposed to the charge of being a
deceiver and a traitor. But so long as this is not done--and it
cannot be done, for God is just, and will not permit the innocent to
suffer for the guilty--so long will all France, yes, all Europe, be
convinced that the queen is the guilty one; that she received the
jewels, and paid the cardinal for them as a coquette and light-
minded woman does, with tender words, with smiles and loving looks,
and, last of all, with a rendezvous!"

"You are right," said the attorney-general, as the countess ceased,
and looked around her with a victorious smile--"you are quite right,
God IS just, and He will not permit the innocent to suffer for the
guilty. He will not let your infernal intrigue stand as truth; He
will tear away the mask of innocence from your deceiver's face, and
lot you stand forth in all your impudence and deception."

"My lord," cried the countess, smiling, "those are very high-
sounding words, but they are no proofs."

"We will now give the proofs," answered the attorney-general,
turning to one of the guards. "Let the lady enter who is waiting in
the room outside."

The officer gave a sign to one of the men who stood near the door
leading to the witness-room; he entered the adjoining apartment, but
soon after returned alone and whispered something in the officer's
ear.

"The lady asks the court's indulgence for a few moments," said the
officer, aloud. "As she must be separated some hours from her child,
she asks permission to suckle it a few moments."

The president cast an inquiring look at the judges, who all nodded
affirmatively.

The law was silent before the voice of Nature; all waited
noiselessly till the witness had quieted her child.

And now the door of the witness-room opened, and upon the threshold
was seen a woman's figure, at whose unexpected appearance a cry of
amazement rose from the lips of all the spectators on the tribune,
and all eyes were aflame with curiosity.

It was the queen--no one but the queen who was entering the hall! It
was her slim, fine figure, it was her fresh, voting, rosy
countenance, with the fair, charming oval of her delicately-tinted
cheeks; it was her finely-cut mouth, with the full, lower lips;
there were her large, grayish-blue eyes; her high forehead; her
beautiful, chestnut-brown hair, arranged in exactly the manner that
Leonard, the queen's hair-dresser, was accustomed to dress hers. The
rest of her toilet, also, was precisely like that of the queen when
she appeared in the gardens of Versailles and dispensed with court
etiquette. A bright dress of light linen flowed down in long, broad
folds over her beautiful figure; her chest and the full shoulders
were covered by a short white robe a l'enfant, and on the loftily
dressed hair lay a white cap, trimmed with lace.

Yes, it was the queen, as she had often been seen wandering up and
down in the broad walks of Versailles; and even the ladies on the
tribune, who often enough had seen the monarch close at hand and had
spoken with her, looked in astonishment at the entering figure, and
whispered, "It is she! The queen herself is coming to give her
evidence. What folly, what thoughtlessness!"

While all eyes were directed upon this unexpected figure, no one had
thought of the Countess Lamotte-Valois, no one had noticed how she
shrank back, and then started from her seat, as if she wanted to fly
from the horror which so suddenly confronted her.

No, the officer who stood near her chair had noticed this movement,
and with a quick and strong grasp seized her arm.

"What do you want, madame? Why do you rise from your chair after
being told to sit still, if you do not want to be chained?"

At the touch of the officer, Lamotte had, as it appeared, regained
her whole composure, and had conquered her alarm.

"I rose," she said calmly, "to pay my respects to the Queen of
France, like a good subject; but as I see that no one else stands
up, and that they allow the queen to enter without rising from their
seats, I will take mine again." And the countess slowly sank into
her chair.

"Come nearer," cried President de L'Aigre to the royal personage;
and she stepped forward, allowing her eyes to wander unconstrainedly
through the hall, and then, as she approached the table, behind
which the president and the judges sat, greeting them with a
friendly nod and smile which caused her lips to part. Again there
passed through the hall a wave of amazement, for now, when the lady
opened her mouth, the first dissimilarity to the queen appeared.
Behind her cherry-red lips there were two rows of poor, broken
teeth, with gaps between them, whereas Marie Antoinette had, on
account of her faultless teeth, been the object of admiration and
envy to all the ladies of her court.

"Who are you, madame, and what are you called?" asked the president.

"Who am I, sir?" replied the lady, with a slight flush, "Good Lord!
that is hard to answer. I was a light-minded and idle girl, that did
not like to work, but did like to live well, and had no objection to
dress, and led a tolerably easy life, till one day my heart was
surprised by love. After being enamoured of my Sergeant George, I
resolved to lead an honorable and virtuous life; and since my little
son was born I have tried to be merely a good mother and a good
wife. Do you now want to know what I am called? Down to the present
time I am called Mademoiselle Oliva. You had me arrested in Brussels
and brought here exactly nine days before the appointed time of my
marriage with my dear George. He had promised me that our child
should be able to regard us as regularly married people, and he
wanted to keep his promise, but you prevented him, and it is your
fault that my dear little boy was born in prison, and that his
father was not there to greet him. But you will confess that I am
guilty of no crime, and then you will fulfil my wish, and give me a
written certificate of my innocence--that is," she corrected
herself, blushing, "of my innocence in this matter, that I may be
able to justify myself to my son, when I have to tell him that he
was born in prison. It is such a dreadful thing for a mother to have
anything that she is ashamed to confess to her child!"

A murmur of applause ran through the hall, and the ladies upon the
tribune looked with sympathy upon this fair woman, whose faithful
love made her beautiful, and whose mother-feeling gave her dignity.

"So your name is Mademoiselle Oliva?" asked the president.

"Yes, sir, that unfortunately is the name I am called by," answered
she, sighing, "but as soon as I leave the prison I shall be married,
and then I shall be called Madame George. For my child's sake, you
would do me a great kindness now if you would call me madame."

At these naive words a smile lighted up the stern faces of the
judges, and sped like a ray of sunlight over all the countenances of
the spectators. Even the rigid features of the attorney-general were
touched for an instant with the glow; only those of the Countess
Lamotte darkened.

"Your majesty plays to-day the NAIVE part of a paysanne perversee,"
cried she, with a hard, shrill voice. "It is well known that your
majesty loves to play comedies, and that you are sometimes content
with even the minor parts. Now, do not look at me, Mrs. Queen, with
such a withering look. Do not forget that you are playing the part
of Mademoiselle Oliva, and that you have come secretly from
Versailles to save your honor and your diamonds."

"Officer," cried the president, "if the accused allows herself to
speak a single word without being asked, lock her up and gag her."

The officer bowed in token of his unconditional obedience, and drew
out the wooden gag, which he showed the countess, going straight to
her chair.

"I will comply with your wish," said the president, turning to the
living portrait of the queen. "I will call you madame, if you will
promise me in return to answer all my questions faithfully."

"I promise you that, by my child," answered Mademoiselle Oliva,
bowing slightly.

"Tell me, then, do you know the person who sits in that chair?"

Mademoiselle Oliva cast a quick look at Lamotte, who glared at her
from her seat.

"Oh, yes, I know her," she said. "That is, I do not know her name, I
only know that she lives in a splendid palace, that she is very
rich, and has everything nice."

"How do you know this lady? Tell us that."

"I will tell you, gentlemen, and I swear to you that so sure as I
want to be an honorable wife, I will tell you the whole truth. I was
walking one day in the Palais Royal, when a tall, slim, gentlemanly
man, who had passed me several times, came up to me, said some soft
things, and asked permission to visit me. I answered him, smiling,
that he could visit me at once if he would take me into one of the
eating-houses and dine with me. He accepted my proposition, and we
dined together, and were merry and jolly enough for a new
acquaintance. When we parted we promised to meet there again on the
morrow, and so we did. After the second dinner, the amiable
gentleman conducted me home, and there told me that he was very
distinguished and influential, that he had friends at court, and was
very well acquainted with the king and queen. He told me that he
would procure for me powerful patrons, and told me that a very
distinguished lady, who had interested herself in my behalf through
his description, would visit me and make my acquaintance. On the
next day he really came in company with a lady, who greeted me very
friendly, and was astonished at her first glimpse of me."

"Who was that lady?" asked the president.

Mademoiselle pointed with her thumb over her shoulder. "The lady
yonder," said she.

"Are you sure of it?"

"As of my own life, Mr. President."

"Good. Good. You saw the lady quite frequently?"

"Yes, she visited me twice more, and told me about the queen, and
the splendid way they lived at the court; she promised me that she
would bring me to the court and make a great lady out of me, if I
would do what she wanted me to do. I promised it gladly, and
declared myself ready to do every thing that she should order me, if
she would keep her promise and bring me to the court, that I might
speak with the king and the queen."

"But why were you so curious to go to the court and speak with the
king and the queen?"

"Why? Good Lord! that is very simple and natural. It is a very easy
thing for the king to make a captain out of a sergeant, and as the
king, so people say, does nothing but what the queen tells him to, I
wanted of course before every thing to have a good word from the
queen. I should have liked to see my dear George wearing epaulets,
and it must have tremendously pleased my boy to have come into the
world the child of a captain."

"Did you tell that to the lady?"

"Certainly I told her, and she promised me that the queen would
undoubtedly do me the favor, provided that I would do every thing
that she bade me do in the name of the queen. She told me, then,
that the queen had ordered her to seek a person suitable to play a
part in a little comedy, which she was privately preparing; that I
was just the person to play this part, and if I would do it well and
tell nobody in the world, not even George, when he should come home
from Brussels, she would not only give me her help in the future,
but pay me fifteen thousand francs for my assistance. I consented
with great joy, of course, for fifteen thousand francs was a
magnificent dowry for a marriage, and I was very happy in being able
to earn so much without having to work very hard for it."

"But did it not occur to you that that was a dangerous game that
they wanted yon to play, and for which they were going to pay such a
high sum?"

"I did have such thoughts once in a while, but I suppressed them
soon, so as not to be troubled about my good fortune; and besides
that, the countess assured me that every thing was done at the
command of the queen, and that it was the queen who was going to pay
the fifteen thousand francs. That quieted me completely, for as an
obedient and true subject it was my duty to obey the queen, and show
devotion to her in all things, more particularly when she was going
to pay so magnificently. Meantime, I comforted myself that it could
be nothing bad and criminal that the queen could order done, and the
countess assured me that too, and told me that every thing I had to
do was to represent another person, and to make a lover believe that
he was with his love, which would, of course, please him immensely,
and make him very happy. Besides, I did not think it any sin to do
my part toward making an unfortunate lover have happy thoughts. I
was very much pleased with this part, and made my plan to speak to
him in very tender and loving tones."

"But were you not curious to know for whom you were playing this
part, and what lady you had to represent?"

"I should certainly have liked very much to know, but the countess
forbade me to ask, and told me that I must suppress my curiosity;
and, on the other hand, make an effort to notice nothing at all,
else I should receive only half of the money; and, besides, if they
noticed that I knew what I was doing, I might be sent to the
Bastile. I was still upon that, and did not trouble myself about any
thing further, and asked nothing more, and only thought of learning
my lesson well, that I might get the fifteen thousand francs for my
marriage portion."

"So they gave you a lesson to learn?"

"Yes, the countess, and the gentleman who brought her to me, came
twice to me, and taught me how I ought to walk, how to hold my head,
to nod, and reach my hand to kiss. After teaching me this, they came
one day and carried me in a splendid coach to the house of the
countess. There I dined with them, and then we drove to Versailles.
They walked with me in the park, and at a place near the pavilion
they stood still, and said to me: 'Here is where you will play your
little comedy to-morrow; this is the spot which the queen has
herself appointed, and every thing which takes place is at the
express command of her majesty.' That entirely quieted me, arid I
turned back to Paris overjoyed, in company with the countess and her
companion. They kept me that night in their beautiful home, and on
the next day we drove again to Versailles, where the countess had a
small suite of apartments. She herself dressed me, and condescended
to help me like a waiting-maid."

"What kind of a suit did she put upon you?"

"Exactly such a one as I am wearing to-day, only when we were ready,
and it had begun to grow dark, the countess laid a white mantle over
me, and covered my head with a cap. Then she drove me into the park,
gave me a letter, and said: 'You will give this letter to a
gentleman who will meet us.' We went in silence through the paths
and alleys of the park, and I confess that my heart beat right
anxiously, and that I had to think a great deal upon the fifteen
thousand francs, in order to keep my courage up."

"Did you go with the countess alone, or was some one else with you?"

"The gentleman who first made my acquaintance, and who was, as I
believe, the husband of the countess, accompanied us. After we had
walked about for a while, he stopped and said: 'Now you must walk
alone; I shall, however, be there at the right time to make a noise,
and to put the amorous lover to flight.' Then he stepped into the
thicket, and we were alone. On this the countess gave me a rose, and
said: 'You will give this rose with the letter to the person, and
say nothing more than this. You know what that signifies.' The
countess made me repeat that three times, and then said: 'You need
not add a single word to that. The queen herself has selected these
words, and she will hear whether you repeat them correctly, for she
will stand behind you, and be a spectator of the whole scene.' On
this the countess withdrew, leading me into a thicket, and soon the
gentleman came, and I came out of the place of my concealment. After
he had made me some very deep reverences, I handed him the rose and
the letter, and repeated the very words the countess had taught me.
The gentleman sank upon his knee, and kissed the hand which I
extended with the rose. At this moment we heard a noise, as if of
men's steps approaching, and the countess came running up. 'For
God's sake!' she cried, 'we are watched! Quick, quick, come!' and
she drew me hurriedly away. We left the garden, and returned to the
dwelling of the countess, and there I remained alone, for the
countess and her husband said, laughing, that they must go and
console the old gentleman for having so short a rendezvous, and for
being so quickly disturbed. I asked whether I had done my part well,
and the countess said that the queen was very well satisfied with
me--that she had stood in the thicket, and had observed all. Early
next morning we rode back to Paris, and when we had arrived at their
hotel, the countess paid me the fifteen thousand francs all
correctly; but she made this condition, that I must go to see my
George as soon as possible, and that till I should go, I must remain
in a little room in her house. I wrote at once to George and
announced my coming, and the time seemed endless till I received his
answer, although the countess paid a great deal of attention to me,
and always invited me to her petits soupers, where we had a right
merry time. As soon as the answer had come from my George, who wrote
me that he was expecting me, I took my departure in an elegant post-
carriage, like a lady; for the countess was not willing that I
should travel in a diligence, and her husband had paid in advance
for all relays of horses as far as Brussels, so that I had a very
agreeable, comfortable ride. And this, I think, is all that I have
to relate, and my son will not have an unquiet night, for I have
kept my word, and told every thing truthfully."

"You have nothing to add to this?"

"What could I add to this?" asked Oliva, sighing. "You know as well
as I the end of my history. You know, that a fortnight after that
little scene at Versailles, I was arrested by police agents in
Brussels, and brought to Paris. You know, also, that I swore to take
my life if my dear George were not allowed to visit me daily in
prison. You know that my dear child was born in prison, and that it
is now half a year old, while his poor mother is accused, and not
yet gained her freedom. You know that all! What have I that I could
add to this? I beg you, let me go and return to my child, for my
little George is certainly awake, and his father does not know how
to quiet him when he cries."

"You may go to your child," said the president, with a gentle smile.
"Officer, conduct Madame Oliva back to the witness-room."

Madame Oliva expressed her thanks for this by throwing a kiss of the
hand to the president and the judges, and then hastily followed the
officer, who opened the door of the adjoining room. As it swung
back, a loud cry of a child was heard, and Madame Oliva, who was
standing upon the threshold, turned her fair face back to the
president with a triumphant expression, and smiled.

"Did I not tell you so?" she cried. "My son is calling, for he is
longing for me. I am coming, my little George, I am coming!"

She sprang forward, and the door closed behind her.

"You have heard the statements of the witness," said the president,
addressing Countess Lamotte. "You see now that we have the proof of
the ignominious and treacherous intrigues which you have conducted.
Will you, in the face of such proofs, still endeavor to deny the
facts which have been given in evidence?"

"I have seen neither proofs nor facts," answered Lamotte,
scornfully. "I have only been amazed at the self-possession with
which the queen goes through her part, and wondered how far her
light-mindedness will carry her. She is truly an adroit player, and
she has played the part of Madame Oliva so well, that not a motion
nor a tone would have betrayed the queen."

"How, madame?" asked the president, in amazement.

"Do you pretend to assert that this witness, who has just left the
hall, is not Madame Oliva, but another person? Do you not know that
this witness, this living portrait of the queen, has for ten months
been detained at the Bastile, and that no change in the person is
possible?"

"I only know that the queen has played her part well," said Lamotte,
shrugging her shoulders. "She has even gone so far, in her desire to
show a difference between Madame Oliva and the queen, as to make a
very great sacrifice, and to disclose a secret of her beauty. She
has laid aside her fine false teeth, and let us see her natural
ones, in order that we may see a difference between the queen and
Madame Oliva. Confess only, gentlemen, that it is a rare and comical
sight to have a queen so like a courtesan, that you can only
distinguish the one from the other by the teeth."

And the countess broke out into scornful laughter, which found a
loud echo in some of the veiled ladies in the tribune.

"Moderate your pleasantry, madame," commanded the president.
"Remember that you are in a grave and perilous situation, and that
justice hangs over you like the sword of Damocles. You have already
invoked your fate, in calling God to witness that the innocent shall
not suffer for the guilty, and now this word is fulfilled in
yourself. The whole edifice of your lies and intrigues crumbles over
you, and will cover your head with the dust of eternal infamy."

"I experience nothing of it yet, God be thanked," cried Lamotte,
shrugging her shoulders.

"You will be punished for these shameless deeds sooner than you
expected," answered the president, solemnly.

"You said that you wanted proof that that was not the queen who gave
the rendezvous to the cardinal in Versailles; that the promissory
note was not subscribed by the queen, and that the letters to the
cardinal were not written by her. If the proof of this were to be
displayed to you, it would be right to accuse you of high-treason.
We have already exhibited the proof that it was not Queen Marie
Antoinette who made an appointment with the cardinal in Versailles,
but that it was the comedy planned and brought out by yourself, with
which you deceived the cardinal, and made him believe that he was
going to buy the necklace of which you intended to rob him. It only
remains to show you that the subscription of the queen and the
letters to the cardinal were forged by you."

"And certainly," cried the countess, "I am very curious to have you
exhibit the proofs of this!"

"That is a very simple matter," answered the president, calmly. "We
confront you with him who at your direction imitated the handwriting
of the queen and wrote the letters. Officer, summon the last
witness!"

The officer threw open the door which led to the next room. A
breathless silence prevailed in the great hall; every one was
intensely eager to see this last witness who was to uncover the web
of frauds of the countess's spinning. The great burning eyes of the
accused, too, were turned to this door, and her compressed lips and
her piercing glance disclosed a little of the anxiety of her soul,
although her bearing and manner were still impudent and scornful.

And now the door opened, and a cry of amazement and rage broke from
the lips of the countess.

"Retaux de Vilette," cried she madly, doubling up her little hands
into fists and extending them toward the man who now entered the
hall. "Shameful, shameful! He has turned against me!"

And losing for a moment her composure, she sank back upon the seat
from which she had risen in her fright. A deathly paleness covered
her cheeks, and, almost swooning, she rested her head on the back of
the chair.

"You now see that God is just," said the president, after a brief
pause. "Your own conscience testifies against you and compels you to
confess yourself guilty."

She sprang up and compelled herself to resume her self-possessed
manner, and to appear cool and defiant as before.

"No!" she said, "I do not confess myself guilty, and I have no
reason to! My heart only shuddered when I saw this man enter, whom I
have saved from hunger, overwhelmed with kindness, and whom my
enemies have now brought up to make him testify against me! But it
is over--I am now ready to see new lies, new infamies heaped upon
me: M. Retaux de Vilette may now speak on, his calumnies will only
drop from the undented mail of my conscience!"

And with possessed bearing and an air of proud scorn, Countess
Lamotte looked at the man who, bowing and trembling, advanced by the
side of the officer to the green table, and sedulously shunned
meeting the eyes of Lamotte, which rested on him like two fiery
daggers.

The president propounded the usual questions as to name and rank. He
answered that his name was Retaux de Vilette, and that he was
steward and secretary of the Countess Lamotte-Valois. On further
questioning, he declared that after the count and the countess had
been arrested he had fled, and had gone to Geneva in order to await
the end of the trial. But as it lingered so long, he had attempted
to escape to England, but had been arrested.

"Why do you wish to escape?" asked the attorney-general.

"Because I feared being involved in the affairs of the Countess
Lamotte," answered Retaux de Vilette, in low tones.

"Say rather you knew that you would be involved with them. You have
at a previous examination deposed circumstantially, and you cannot
take back what you testified then, for your denial would be of no
avail. Answer, therefore: What have you done? Why were you afraid of
being involved in the trial of Countess Lamotte?"

"Because I had done a great wrong," answered Retaux, with vehemence.
"Because I had allowed myself to be led astray by the promises, the
seductive arts, the deceptions of the countess. I was poor; I lived
unseen and unnoticed, and I wished to be rich, honored, and
distinguished. The countess promised me all this. She would persuade
the cardinal to advance me to honor; she would introduce me to the
court, and through her means I should become rich and sought after.
I believed all this, and like her devoted slave I did all that she
asked of me."

"Slavish soul!" cried the countess, with an expression of
unspeakable scorn.

"What did the countess desire of you?" asked the president. "What
did you do in her service?"

"I wrote the letters which were intended for the cardinal," answered
Retaux de Vilette. "The countess composed them, and I wrote them in
the handwriting of the queen."

"How did you know her handwriting?"

"The countess gave me a book in which a letter of the queen's was
printed in exact imitation of her hand. I copied the letters as
nearly as I could, and so worked out my sentences."

"He lies, he lies!" cried the countess, with a fierce gesture.

"And how was it with the promissory note to the jewellers, Bohmer
and Bassenge? Do you know about that?"

"Yes," answered Retaux, with a sigh, "I do know about it, for I
wrote it at the direction of the countess, and added the signature."

"Had you a copy?"

"Yes, the signature of the fac-simile."

"In the printed letter was there the subscription which you
inserted?"

"No, there was only the name 'Marie Antoinette,' nothing further;
but the countess thought that this was only a confidential way of
writing her name, as a daughter might use it in a letter to a mother
(it was a letter written by the queen to her mother), but that in a
document of a more business-like character there must be an official
signature. We had a long discussion about it, which resulted in our
coming to the conclusion that the proper form would be 'Marie
Antoinette of France.' So I practised this several times, and
finally wrote it on the promissory note."

"He lies!" cried the countess, stamping on the floor. "He is a born
liar and slanderer."

"I am prepared to show the proof at once that I speak the truth,"
said Retaux de Vilette. "If you will give me writing-materials I
will write the signature of the queen in the manner in which it is
written on the promissory note."

The president gave the order for the requisite articles to be
brought and laid on a side-table. Retaux took the pen, and with a
rapid hand wrote some words, which he gave to the officer to be
carried to the president.

The latter took the paper and compared it with the words which were
written on the promissory note. He then passed the two to the
attorney-general, and he to the judge next to him. The papers passed
from hand to hand, and, after they came back to the president again,
he rose from his seat:

"I believe that the characters on this paper precisely accord with
those on the note. The witness has given what seems to me
irrefutable testimony that he was the writer of that signature, as
well as of the letters to the cardinal. He was the culpable
instrument of the criminal Lamotte-Valois. Those of the judges who
are of my opinion will rise."

The judges arose as one man.

The countess uttered a loud cry and fell, seized with fearful
spasms, to the ground.

"I declare the investigation and hearings ended," said the
president, covering his head. "Let the accused and the witnesses be
removed, and the spectators' tribune be vacated. We will adjourn to
the council-room to prepare the sentence, which will be given to-
morrow."



BOOK II.


CHAPTER VII.

THE BAD OMEN


The day was drawing to a close. That endlessly long day, that 31st
of August, 1786, was coming to a conclusion. All Paris had awaited
it with breathless excitement, with feverish impatience. No one had
been able to attend to his business. The stores were closed, the
workshops of the artisans were empty; even in the restaurants and
cafes all was still; the cooks had nothing to do, and let the fire
go out, for it seemed as if all Paris had lost its appetite--as if
nobody had time to eat.

And in truth, on this day, Paris had no hunger for food that could
satisfy the body. The city was hungry only for news, it longed for
food which would satisfy its curiosity. And the news which would
appease its craving was to come from the court-room of the prison!
It was to that quarter that Paris looked for the stilling of its
hunger, the satisfying of its desires.

The judges were assembled in the hall of the prison to pronounce the
decisive sentence in the necklace trial, and to announce to all
France, yes, all Europe, whether the Queen of France was innocent in
the eyes of God and His representatives on earth, or whether a shade
of suspicion was thenceforth to rest upon that lofty brow!

At a very early hour of the morning, half-past five, the judges of
the high court of Parliament, forty-nine in number, gathered at the
council-room in order to pronounce sentence. At the same early hour,
an immense, closely-thronged crowd gathered in the broad square in
front of the prison, and gazed in breathless expectation at the
great gate of the building, hoping every minute that the judges
would come out, and that they should learn the sentence.

But the day wore on, and still the gates remained shut; no news came
from the council-room to enlighten the curiosity of the crowd that
filled the square and the adjacent streets.

Here and there the people began to complain, and loud voices were
heard grumbling at the protracted delay, the long deliberations of
the judges. Here and there faces were seen full of scornful
defiance, full of laughing malice, working their way through the
crowd, and now and then dropping stinging words, which provoked to
still greater impatience. All the orators of the clubs and of the
secret societies were there among the crowd, all the secret and open
enemies of the queen had sent their instruments thither to work upon
the people with poisonous words and mocking observations, and to
turn public opinion in advance against the queen, even in case the
judges did not condemn her; that is, if they did not declare the
cardinal innocent of conspiracy against the sovereign, and contempt
of the majesty of the queen.

It was known that in his resume, the attorney-general had alluded to
the punishment of the cardinal. That was the only news which had
worked its way out of the court-room. Some favored journalist, or
some friend of the queen, had heard this; it spread like the wind
all over Paris, and in thousands upon thousands of copies the words
of the attorney-general were distributed.

His address purported to run as follows: that "Cardinal de Rohan is
indicted on the accusation, and must answer the Parliament and the
attorney-general respecting the following charges: of audaciously
mixing himself up with the affairs of the necklace, and still more
audaciously in supposing that the queen would make an appointment
with him by night; and that for this he would ask the pardon of the
king and the queen in presence of the whole court. Further, the
cardinal is enjoined to lay down his office as grand almoner within
a certain time, to remove to a certain distance from the royal
residence and not to visit the places where the royal family may be
living, and lastly, to remain in prison till the complete
termination of the trial."

The friends and dependants of the cardinal, the enemies and
persecutors of the queen, received this decision of the attorney-
general with vexation and anger; they found fault with the servility
of the man who would suffer the law to bow before the throne; they
made dishonorable remarks and calumnious innuendoes about the queen,
who, with her coquetry and the amount received from the jewels, had
gained over the judges, and who would, perhaps have appointed a
rendezvous with every one of them in order to gain him over to her
side.

"Even if the judges clear her," cried the sharp voice of Marat from
the heart of the crowd, "the people will pass sentence upon her. The
people are always right; the people cannot be bribed--they are like
God in this; and the people will not disown their verdict before the
beautiful eyes and the seductive smiles of the Austrian woman. The
people will not be made fools of; they will not believe in the story
of the counterfeited letters and the forged signature."

"No," shouted the crowd, laughing in derision, "we will not believe
it. The queen wrote the letters; her majesty understands how to
write love-letters!"

"The queen loves to have a hand in all kinds of nonsense," thundered
the brewer Santerre, in another group. "She wanted to see whether a
pretty girl from the street could play the part of the Queen of
France, and at the same time she wanted to avenge herself upon the
cardinal because she knew that he once found fault with her before
her mother the empress, on account of her light and disreputable
behavior, and the bad manners which, as the dauphiness, she would
introduce into this court. Since then she has with her glances, her
smiles, and her apparent anger, so worked upon the cardinal as to
make him fall over ears in love with the beautiful, pouting queen.
And that was just what she wanted, for now she could avenge herself.
She appointed a rendezvous with the cardinal, and while she secretly
looked on the scene in the thicket, she allowed the pretty
Mademoiselle Oliva to play her part. And you see that it is not such
a difficult thing to represent a queen, for Mademoiselle Oliva
performed her part so well that the cardinal was deceived, and took
a girl from the streets to be the Queen of France."

"Oh, better times are coming, better times are coming!" cried Simon
the cobbler, who was close by, with his coarse laugh. "The cardinal
took a girl from the streets for the Queen of France; but wait a
little and we shall see the time when she will have to sweep the
streets with a broom, that the noble people may walk across with dry
feet!"

In the loud laugh with which the crowd greeted this remark of the
cobbler, was mingled one single cry of anger, which, however, was
overborne by the rough merriment of the mass. It came from the lips
of a man in simple citizen's costume, who had plunged into the mob
and worked his way forward with strong arms, in order to reach a
place as near as possible to the entrance-door of the prison, and to
be among the first to learn the impending sentence.

No one, as just said, had heard this cry; no one had troubled
himself about this young man, with the bold defiant face, who, with
shrugged shoulders, was listening to the malicious speeches which
were uttered all around him, and who replied to them all with
flaming looks of anger, pressing his lips closely together, in order
to hold back the words which could hardly be suppressed.

He succeeded at last in reaching the very door of the prison, and
stood directing his eyes thither with gloomy looks of curiosity.

His whole soul lay in this look; he heard nothing of the mocking
speeches which echoed around him; he saw nothing of what took place
about him. He saw only this fatal door; he only heard the noises
which proceeded from within the prison.

At last, after long waiting, and when the sun had set, the door
opened a little, and a man came out. The people who, at his
appearance, had broken into a loud cry of delight, were silent when
it was seen that it was not the officer who would announce the
verdict with his stentorian voice, but that it was only one of the
ordinary servants of the court, who had been keeping watch at the
outer gate.

This man ascended with an indifferent air the steps of the
staircase, and to the loud questions which were hurled at him by the
crowd, whether the cardinal were declared innocent, he answered
quietly, "I do not know. But I think the officer will soon make his
appearance. My time is up, and I am going home, for I am half dead
with hunger and thirst."

"Let the poor hungry man go through," cried the young man, pressing
up to him. "Only see how exhausted he is. Come, old fellow, give me
your hand; support yourself on me."

And he took the man by the arm, and with his powerful elbows forced
a way through the crowd. The people let them pass, and directed
their attention again to the door of the prison.

"The verdict is pronounced?" asked the young man, softly.

"Yes, Mr. Toulan," he whispered, "the councillor gave me just now,
as I was handing him a glass of water, the paper on which he had
written it."

"Give it to me, John, but so that nobody can see; otherwise they
will suspect what the paper contains, and they will all grab at it
and tear it in bits."

The servant slid, with a quick motion, a little folded paper into
the hand of the young man, who thanked him for it with a nod and a
smile, and then quickly dropped his arm, and forced his way in
another direction through the crowd. Soon, thanks to his youth and
his skill, he had worked through the dense mass; then with a flying
step he sped through the street next to the square, then more
swiftly still through the side streets and alleys, till he reached
the gate that led out to the street of Versailles. Outside of this
there was a young man in a blue blouse, who, in an idle and listless
manner, was leading a bridled horse up and down the road.

"Halloo, Richard, come here!" cried the young man.

"Ah! Mr. Toulan," shouted the lad in the blouse, running up with the
horse. "You have come at last, Mr. Toulan. I have been already
waiting eight hours for you."

"I will give you a franc for every hour," said Mr. Toulan, swinging
himself into the saddle. "Now go home, Richard, and greet my
sweetheart, if you see her."

He gave his horse a smart stroke, pressed the spurs into his flanks,
and the powerful creature sped like an arrow from a bow along the
road to Versailles.

In Versailles, too, and in the royal palace, this day had been
awaited with anxious expectations. The king, after ending his daily
duties with his ministers, had gone to his workshop in order to work
with his locksmith, Girard, upon a new lock, whose skilful
construction was an invention of the king.

The queen, too, had not left her room the whole day, and even her
friend, the Duchess Julia de Polignac, had not been able to cheer up
the queen by her pleasant talk.

At last, when she saw that all her efforts were vain, and that
nothing could dissipate the sadness of the queen, the duchess had
made the proposition to go to Trianon, and there to call together
the circle of her intimate friends.

But the queen sorrowfully shook her head, and gazed at the duchess
with a troubled look.

"You speak of the circle of my friends," she said. "Ah! the circle
of those whom I considered my friends is so rent and broken, that
scarcely any torn fragments of it remain, and I fear to bring them
together again, for I know that what once is broken cannot be mended
again."

"And so does your majesty not believe in your friends any more?"
asked the duchess, reproachfully. "Do you doubt us? Do you doubt
me?"

"I do not doubt you all, and, before all things else, not you," said
Marie Antoinette, with a lingering, tender look. "I only doubt the
possibility of a queen's having faithful friends. I always forgot,
when I was with my friends, that I was the queen, but they never
forgot it."

"Madame, they ought never to forget it," replied the duchess,
softly. "With all their love for your majesty, your friends ought
never to forget that reverence is due you as much as love, and
subjection as much as friendship. They ought never to make
themselves your majesty's equals; and if your majesty, in the grace
of your fair and gentle heart, designs to condescend to us and make
yourself like us, yet we ought never to be so thoughtless as to
raise ourselves to you, and want to make ourselves the equals of our
queen."

"Oh, Julia! you pain me--you pain me unspeakably," sighed Marie
Antoinette, pressing her hand to her heart, as if she wanted to keep
back the tears which would mount into her eyes.

"Your majesty knows," continued the duchess, with her gentle, and
yet terribly quiet manner, "your majesty knows how modestly I make
use of the great confidence which you most graciously bestow upon
me; how seldom and how tremblingly my lips venture to utter the dear
name of my queen, of whom I may rightly talk only in intimate
converse with your exalted mother and your royal husband. Your
majesty knows further--"

"Oh! I know all, all," interrupted the queen, sadly. "I know that it
is not the part of a queen to be happy, to love, to be loved, to
have friends. I know that you all, whom I have so tenderly loved,
feel yourselves more terrified than benefited; I know, that with
this confession, happiness has withdrawn from me. I look into the
future and see the dark clouds which are descending, and threatening
us with a tempest. I see all; I have no illusions more. The fair
days are all past--the sunshine of Trianon, and the fragrance of its
flowers."

"And will your majesty not go there to-day?" asked the duchess. "It
is such beautiful weather, the sun shines so splendidly, and we
shall have such a glorious sunset."

"A glorious sunset!" repeated Marie Antoinette, with a bitter smile.
"A queen is at least allowed to see the sun go down; etiquette has
not forbidden a queen to see the sun set and night approach. But the
poor creature is not allowed to see the sun rise, and rejoice in the
beauty of the dawn. I have once, since I was a queen, seen the sun
rise, and all the world cried 'Murder,' and counted it a crime, and
all France laughed at the epigrams and jests with which my friends
punished me for the crime that the queen of France, with her court,
had seen the sun rise. And now you want to allow me to see it set,
but I will not; I will not look at this sad spectacle of coming
night. In me it is night, and I feel the storms which are drawing
nigh. Go, Julia, leave me alone, for you can see that there is
nothing to be done with me to-day. I cannot laugh, I cannot be
merry. Go, for my sadness might infect you, and that would make me
doubly sad."

The duchess did not reply; she only made a deep reverence, and went
with light, inaudible step over the carpet to the door. The queen's
face had been turned away, but as the light sound of the door struck
her ear, she turned quickly around and saw that she was alone.

"She has left me--she has really gone," sighed the queen, bitterly.
"Oh! she is like all the rest, she never loved me. But who does love
me?" asked she, in despair. "Who is there in the world that loves
me, and forgets that I am the queen? My God! my heart cries for
love, yearns for friendship, and has never found them. And they make
this yearning of mine a crime; they accuse me that I have a heart. 0
my God! have pity upon me. Veil at least my eyes, that I may not see
the faithlessness of my friends. Sustain at least my faith in the
friendship of my Julia. Let me not have the bitterness of feeling
that I am alone, inconsolably alone."

She pressed her hands before her face, and sank upon a chair, and
sat long there, motionless, and wholly given over to her sad, bitter
feelings.

After a long time she let her hands fall from her face, and looked
around with a pained, confused look. The sun had gone down, it began
to grow dark, and Marie Antoinette shuddered within herself.

"By this time the sentence has been pronounced," she muttered,
softly. "By this time it is known whether the Queen of France can be
slandered and insulted with impunity. Oh! if I only could be sure.
Did not Campan say--I will go to Campan." And the queen rose
quickly, went with a decisive step out of her cabinet; then through
the toilet-room close by, and opened the door which led to the
chamber of her first lady-in-waiting, Madame de Campan.

Madame de Campan stood at the window, and gazed with such a look of
intense expectation out into the twilight, that she did not notice
the entrance of the queen till the latter called her loudly by name.

"The queen!" cried she, drawing back terrified from the window. "The
queen! and--here, in my room!"

Marie Antoinette made a movement of impatience. "You want to say
that it is not becoming for a queen to enter the room of her trusted
waiting-maid, that it is against etiquette. I know that indeed, but
these are days, my good Campan, when etiquette has no power over us,
and when, behind the royal purple, the poor human heart, in all its
need, comes into the foreground. This is such a day for me, and as I
know you are true, I have come to you. Did you not tell me, Campan,
that you should receive the news as soon as the sentence was
pronounced?"

"Yes, your majesty, I do hope to, and that is the reason why I am
standing at the window looking for my messenger."

"How curious!" said the queen, thoughtfully. "They call me Queen of
France, and yet I have no one who hastens to give me news of this
important affair, while my waiting-maid has devoted friends, who do
for her what no one does for the queen."

"I beg your majesty's pardon," answered Madame de Campan, smiling.
"What they do to-day for me, they do only because I am the waiting-
maid of the queen. I was yesterday at Councillor Bugeaud's, in order
to pay my respects to the family after a long interval, for his wife
is a cousin of mine."

"That means," said the queen, with a slight smile, "that you went
there, not to visit your cousin, the councillor's wife, but to visit
the councillor himself. Now confess, my good Campan, you wanted to
do a little bribery."

"Well, I confess to your majesty, I wanted to see if it was really
true that Councillor Bugeaud has gone over to the enemy. Your
majesty knows that Madame de Marsan has visited all the councillors,
and adjured them by God and the Holy Church, not to condemn the
cardinal, but to declare him innocent."

"That is, they will free the cardinal that I may be condemned," said
the queen, angrily. "For to free him is the same as to accuse me and
have my honor tarnished."

"That was what I was saying to my cousin, Councillor Bugeaud, and
happily I found supporters in his own family. Oh, I assure your
majesty that in this family there are those who are devoted, heart
and soul, to your majesty."

"Who are these persons?" asked the queen. "Name them to me, that in
my sad hours I may remember them."

"There is, in the first place, the daughter of the councillor, the
pretty Margaret, who is so enthusiastic for your majesty that she
saves a part of her meagre pocket-money that she may ride over to
Versailles at every great festival to see your majesty; and then
particularly there is the lover of this little person, a young man
named Toulan, a gifted, fine young fellow, who almost worships your
majesty--he is the one who promised me to bring news at once after
the sentence is pronounced, and it is more owing to his eloquence
than to mine that Councillor Bugeaud saw the necessity of giving his
vote against the cardinal and putting himself on the right side."

At this instant the door which led into the antechamber was hastily
flung open, and a lackey entered.

"The gentleman whom you expected has just arrived," he announced.

"It is Mr. Toulan," whispered Madame de Campan to the queen; "he
brings the sentence. Tell the gentleman," she then said aloud to the
lackey, "to wait a moment in the antechamber; I will receive him
directly.

"Go, I beg your majesty," she continued as the lackey withdrew, "I
beg your majesty to graciously allow me to receive the young man
here."

"That is to say, my dear Campan," said the queen, smiling, "to
vacate the premises and leave the apartment. But I am not at all
inclined to, I prefer to remain here. I want to see this young man
of whom you say that he is such a faithful friend, and then I should
like to know the news as soon as possible that he brings. See here,
the chimney-screen is much taller than I, and if I go behind, the
young man will have no suspicion of my presence, especially as it is
dark. Now let him come in. I am most eager to hear the news."

The queen quickly stepped behind the high screen, and Madame Campan
opened the door of the antechamber.

"Come in, Mr. Toulan," she cried, and at once there appeared at the
open door the tall, powerful figure of the young man. His cheeks
were heated with the quick ride, his eyes glowed, and his breathing
was rapid and hard. Madame Campan extended her hand to him and
greeted him with a friendly smile. "So you have kept your word, Mr.
Toulan," she said. "You bring me the news of the court's decision?"

"Yes, madame, I do," he answered softly, and with a touch of
sadness. "I am only sorry that you have had to wait so long, but it
is not my fault. It was striking eight from the tower of St. Jacques
when I received the news."

"Eight," asked Madame de Campan, looking at the clock, "it is now
scarcely nine. You do not mean to say that you have ridden the
eighteen miles from Paris to Versailles in an hour?"

"I have done it, and I assure you that is nothing wonderful. I had
four fresh horses stationed along the road, and they were good ones.
I fancied myself sometimes a bird flying through the air, and it
seems to me now as if I had flown. I beg your pardon if I sit down
in your presence, for my feet tremble a little."

"Do sit down, my dear young friend," cried Campan, and she hastened
herself to place an easy-chair for the young man.

"Only an instant," he said, sinking into it. "But believe me it is
not the quick ride that makes my feet tremble, but joy and
excitement. I shall perhaps have the pleasure to have done the queen
a little service, for you told me that it would be very important
for her majesty to learn the verdict as quickly as possible, and no
one has got here before me, has there?"

"No, my friend, the queen will learn the news first through your
means, and I shall say to her majesty that I have learned it through
you."

"No, madame," he cried, quickly, "no, I would much rather you would
not tell the queen, for who knows whether the news is good, or
whether it would not trouble the noble heart of the queen, and then
my name, if she should learn it, would only be disagreeable to her--
rather that she should never hear it than that it should be
connected with unpleasant associations to her."

"Then you do not know what the sentence is?" replied Campan,
astonished. "Have you come to bring me the sentence, and yet do not
know yourself what it is?"

"I do not know what it is, madame. The councillor, the father of my
sweetheart, has sent it by me in writing, and I have not allowed
myself to take time to read it. Perhaps, too, I was too cowardly for
it, for if I had seen that it contained any thing that would trouble
the queen, I should not have had courage to come here and deliver
the paper to you. So I did not read it, and thought only of this,
that I might perhaps save the queen a quarter of an hour's disquiet
and anxious expectation. Here, madame, is the paper which contains
the sentence. Take it to her majesty, and may the God of justice
grant that it contain nothing which may trouble the queen!"

He stood up, and handed Madame de Campan a paper. "And now, madame,"
he continued, "allow me to retire, that I may return to Paris, for
my sweetheart is expecting me, and, besides, they are expecting some
disturbance in the city. I must go, therefore, to protect my house."

"Go, my young friend," said Madame de Campan, warmly pressing his
hand. "Receive my heartiest thanks for your devotion, and be sure
the queen shall hear of it. farewell, farewell!"

"No," cried Marie Antoinette, emerging from behind the screen with a
laugh, "no, do not go, sir! Remain to receive your queen's thanks
for the disinterested zeal which you have displayed for me this
day."

"The queen!" whispered Toulan, turning pale, "the queen!"

And falling upon his knee he looked at the queen with such an
expression of rapture and admiration that Marie Antoinette was
touched.

"I have much to thank you for, Mr. Toulan," she said. "Not merely
that you are the bearer of important news--I thank you besides for
convincing me that the Queen of France has faithful and devoted
friends, and to know this is so cheering to me that even if you
bring me bad news, my sorrow will be softened by this knowledge. I
thank you again, Mr. Toulan!"

Toulan perceived that the queen was dismissing him; he stood up and
retreated to the door, his eyes fixed on the queen, and then, after
opening the door, he sank, as it were, overcome by the storm of his
emotions, a second time upon his knee, and folding his hands, raised
his great, beaming eyes to heaven.

"God in heaven," he said loudly and solemnly, "I thank Thee for the
joy of this hour. From this moment I devote myself to the service of
my queen. She shall henceforth be the divinity whom I serve, and to
whom I will, if I can avail any thing, freely offer my blood and
life. This I swear, and God and the queen have heard my oath!"

And without casting another glance at the queen, without saluting
her, Toulan rose and softly left the room, tightly closing the door
after him.

"Singular," murmured the queen, "really singular. When he took the
oath a shudder passed through my soul, and something seemed to say
to me that I should some time be very unhappy, and that this young
man should then be near me."

"Your majesty is excited to-day, and so every thing seems to have a
sad meaning," said Madame de Campan, softly.

"But the sentence, the sentence!" cried the queen. "Give me the
paper, I will read it myself."

Madame de Campan hesitated. "Would your majesty not prefer to
receive it in the presence of the king, and have it read by his
majesty?"

"No, no, Campan. If it is favorable, I shall have pleasure in
carrying the good news to the king. If it is unfavorable, then I can
collect myself before I see him."

"But it is so dark here now that it will be impossible to read
writing."

"You are right, let us go into my sitting-room," said the queen.
"The candles must be lighted there already. Come, Campan, since I am
indebted to you for this early message, you shall be the first to
learn it. Come, Campan, go with me!"

With a quick step the queen returned to her apartments, and entered
her sitting-room, followed by Madame de Campan, whose countenance
was filled with sad forebodings. The queen was right; the candles
had already been lighted in her apartments, and diffused a light
like that of day throughout her large sitting-room. In the little
porcelain cabinet, however, there was a milder light, as Marie
Antoinette liked to have it when she was alone and sans ceremonial.
The candles on the main chandelier were not lighted, and on the
table of Sevres china and rosewood which stood before the divan were
two silver candlesticks, each with two wax candles. These four were
the only lights in the apartment.

"Now, Campan," said the queen, sinking into the armchair which stood
before the table, near the divan, "now give me the paper. But no,
you would better read it to me--but exactly as it stands. You
promise me that?"

"Your majesty has commanded, and I must obey," said Campan, bowing.

"Read, read," urged Marie Antoinette. "Let me know the sentence."

Madame de Campan unfolded the paper, and went nearer to the light in
order to see better. Marie Antoinette leaned forward, folded both
hands in her lap, and looked at Campan with an expression of eager
expectation.

"Read, read!" she repeated, with trembling lips. Madame de Campan
bowed and read:

"First.--The writing, the basis of the trial, the note and
signatures, are declared to be forged in imitation of the queen's
hand.

"Second.--Count Lamotte is sentenced in contumacion to the galleys
for life.

"Third.--The woman Lamotte to be whipped, marked on both shoulders
with the letter O, and to be confined for life.

"Fourth.--Retaux de Vilette to be banished for life from France.

"Fifth.--Mademoiselle Oliva is discharged.

"Sixth.--The lord cardinal--"

"Well," cried the queen, passionately, "why do you stammer, why do
you tremble? He has been discharged; I know it already, for we are
already at the names of the acquitted. Read on, Campan."

And Madame de Campan read on:

"The lord cardinal is acquitted from every charge, and is allowed to
publish this acquittal."

"Acquitted!" cried the queen, springing from her seat, "acquitted!
Oh, Campan, what I feared is true. The Queen of France has become
the victim of cabals and intrigues. The Queen of France in her
honor, dignity, and virtue, is injured and wounded by one of her own
subjects, and there is no punishment for him; he is free. Pity me,
Campan! But no, on the contrary, I pity you, I pity France! If I can
have no impartial judges in a matter which darkens my character,
what can you, what can all others hope for, when you are tried in a
matter which touches your happiness and honor? [Footnote: The very
words of the queen See "Memoires de Madame de Campan," vol. ii., o.
23.] I am sad, sad in my inmost soul, and it seems to me as if this
instant were to overshadow my whole life; as if the shades of night
had fallen upon me, and--what is that? Did you blow out the light,
Campan?"

"Your majesty sees that I am standing entirely away from the
lights."

"But only see," cried the queen, "one of the candles is put out!"

"It is true," said Madame de Campan, looking at the light, over
which a bluish cloud was yet hovering. "The light is put out, but if
your majesty allows me, I--"

She was silent, and her bearing assumed the appearance of amazement
and horror.

The candle which had been burning in the other arm of the
candlestick went out like the one before.

The queen said not a word. She gazed with pale lips and wide-opened
eyes at both the lights, the last spark of which had just
disappeared.

"Will your majesty allow me to light the candles again?" asked
Madame de Campan, extending her hand to the candlestick.

But the queen held her hand fast. "Let them be," she whispered, "I
want to see whether both the other lights--"

Suddenly she was convulsed, and, rising slowly from her arm-chair,
pointed with silent amazement at the second candlestick.

One of the two other lights had gone out.

Only one was now burning, and dark shadows filled the cabinet. The
one light faintly illumined only the centre, and shone with its
glare upon the pale, horrified face of the queen.

"Campan," she whispered, raising her arm, and pointing at the single
light which remained burning, "if this fourth light goes out like
the other three, it is a bad omen for me, and forebodes the approach
of misfortune."

At this instant the light flared up and illumined the room more
distinctly, then its flame began to die away. One flare more and
this light went out, and a deep darkness reigned in the cabinet.

The queen uttered a loud, piercing cry, and sank in a swoon.



CHAPTER VIII.

BEFORE THE MARRIAGE.


The wedding guests were assembled. Madame Bugeaud had just put the
veil upon the head of her daughter Margaret, and impressed upon her
forehead the last kiss of motherly love. It was the hour when a
mother holds her daughter as a child in her arms for the last time,
bids adieu to the pleasant pictures of the past, and sends her child
from her parents' house to go out into the world and seek a new
home. Painful always is such an hour to a mother's heart, for the
future is uncertain; no one knows any thing about the new
vicissitudes that may arise.

And painful, too, to the wife of Councillor Bugeaud was this parting
from her dearly-loved daughter, but she suppressed her deep emotion,
restrained the tears in her heart, that not one should fall upon the
bridal wreath of her loved daughter. Tears dropped upon the bridal
wreath are the heralds of coming misfortune, the seal of pain which
destiny stamps upon the brow of the doomed one.

And the tender mother would so gladly have taken away from her loved
Margaret every pain and every misfortune! The times were
threatening, and the horizon of the present was so full of stormy
signs that it was necessary to look into the future with hope.

"Go, my daughter," said Madame Bugeaud, with a smile, regarding
which only God knew how much it cost the mother's heart--" go out
into your new world, be happy, and may you never regret the moment
when yon left the threshold of your father's house to enter a new
home!"

"My dear mother," cried Margaret, with beaming eyes, "the house to
which I am going is the house of him I love, and my new home is his
heart, which is noble, great, and good, and in which all the
treasures in the earth for me rest."

"God grant, my daughter, that you may after many years be able to
repeat those words!"

"I shall repeat them, mother, for in my heart is a joyful trust. I
can never be unhappy, for Toulan loves me. But, hark! I hear him
coming; it is his step, and listen! he is calling me!"

And the young girl, with reddening cheeks, directed her glowing eyes
to the door, which just then opened, where appeared her lover, in a
simple, dark, holiday-suit, with a friendly, grave countenance, his
tender, beaming eyes turned toward his affianced.

He hastened to her, and kissed the little trembling hand which was
extended to him.

"All the wedding guests are ready, my love. The carriages are
waiting, and as soon as we enter the church the clergyman will
advance to the altar to perform the ceremony."

"Then let us go, Louis," said Margaret, nodding to him, and arm-in-
arm they went to the door.

But Toulan held back. "Not yet, my dear one. Before we go to the
church, I want to have a few words with you."

"That is to say, my dear sir, that you would like to have me
withdraw," said the mother, with a smile. "Do not apologize, my son,
that is only natural, and I dare not be jealous. My daughter belongs
to you, and I have no longer the right to press into your secrets.
So I will withdraw, and only God may hear what the lover has to say
to his affianced before the wedding."

She nodded in friendly fashion to the couple, and left the room.

"We are now alone, my Margaret," said Toulan, putting his arm around
the neck of the fair young maiden, and drawing her to himself. "Only
God is to hear what I have to say to you."

"I hope, Louis," whispered the young girl, trembling, "I hope it is
not bad news that you want to tell me. Your face is so grave, your
whole look so solemn. You love me still, Louis?"

"Yes, Margaret, I do love you," answered he, softly; "but yet,
before you speak the word which binds you to me forever, I must open
my whole heart to you, and you must know all I feel, in order that,
if there is a future to prove us, we may meet it with fixed gaze and
joyful spirit."

"My God! what have I to hear?" whispered the young girl, pressing
her hand to her heart, that began to beat with unwonted violence.

"You will have to hear, my Margaret, that I love you, and yet that
the image of another woman is cherished in my heart."

"Who is this other woman?" cried Margaret.

"Margaret, it is Queen Marie Antoinette."

The girl breathed freely, and laughed. "Ah! how you frightened me,
Louis. I was afraid you were going to name a rival, and now you
mention her whom I, too, love and honor, to whom I pay my whole
tribute of admiration, and who, although you ought to live there
alone, has a place in my heart. I shall never be jealous of the
queen. I love her just as devotedly as you do."

A light, sympathetic smile played upon the lips of Toulan. "No,
Margaret," said he, gravely, "you do not love her as I do, and you
cannot, for your duty to her is not like mine. Listen, my darling,
and I will tell you a little story--a story which is so sacred to me
that it has never passed over my lips, although, according to the
ways of human thinking, there is nothing so very strange about it.
Come, my dear, sit down with me a little while, and listen to me."

He led the maiden to the little divan, and took a place with her
upon it. Her hand lay within his, and with a joyful and tender look
she gazed into the bold, noble, and good face of the man to whom she
was ready to devote her whole life.

"Speak now, Louis, I will listen!"

"I want to tell you of my father, Margaret," said the young man,
with a gentle voice--" of my father, who thirsted and hungered for
me, in his efforts to feed, clothe, and educate me. He had been an
officer in the army, had distinguished himself in many a battle, was
decorated, on account of his bravery, with the Order of St. Louis,
and discharged as an invalid. That was a sad misfortune for my
father, for he was poor, and his officer's pay was his only fortune.
But no--he had a nobler, a fairer fortune--he had a wife whom he
passionately loved, a little boy whom he adored. And now the means
of existence were taken away from this loved wife, this dear boy,
and from him whose service had been the offering of his life for his
king and country, the storming of fortifications, the defying of the
bayonets of enemies; and who in this service had been so severely
wounded, that his life was saved only by the amputation of his right
arm. Had it not been just this right arm, he would have been able to
do something for himself, and to have found some employment in the
government service. But now he was robbed of all hope of employment;
now he saw for himself and his family only destruction, starvation!
But he could not believe it possible; he held it to be impossible
that the king should allow his bold soldier, his knight of the Order
of St. Louis, to die of hunger, after becoming a cripple in his
service. He resolved to go to Paris, to declare his need to the
king, and to implore the royal bounty. This journey was the last
hope of the family, and my father was just entering on it when my
mother sickened and died. She was the prop, the right arm of my
father; she was the nurse, the teacher of his poor boy; now he had
no hope more, except in the favor of the king and in death. The last
valuables were sold, and father and son journeyed to Paris: an
invalid whose bravery had cost him an arm, and whose tears over a
lost wife had nearly cost him his eyesight, and a lad of twelve
years, acquainted only with pain and want from his birth, and in
whose heart, notwithstanding, there was an inextinguishable germ of
hope, spirit, and joy. We went on foot, and when my shoes were torn
with the long march, my feet swollen and bloody, my father told me
to climb upon his back and let him carry me. I would not allow it,
Suppressed my pain, and went on till I dropped in a swoon."

"Oh!" cried Margaret, with tears in her eyes, "how much you have
suffered; and I am learning it now for the first time, and you never
told me this sad history."

"I forgot every thing sad when I began to love you, Margaret, and I
did not want to trouble you with my stories. Why should we darken
the clear sky of the present with the clouds of the past? the future
will unquestionably bring its own clouds. I tell you all this now,
in order that you may understand my feelings. Now hear me further,
Margaret! At last, after long-continued efforts, we reached
Versailles, and it seemed to us as if all suffering and want were
taken away from us when we found ourselves in a dark, poor inn, and
lay down on the hard beds. On the next, my father put on his
uniform, decorated his breast with the order of St. Louis, and, as
the pain in his eyes prevented his going alone, I had to accompany
him. We repaired to the palace and entered the great gallery which
the court daily traversed on returning from mass in the royal
apartments. My father, holding in his hand the petition which I had
written to his dictation, took his place near the door through which
the royal couple must pass. I stood near him and looked with curious
eyes at the brilliant throng which filled the great hall, and at the
richly-dressed gentlemen who were present and held petitions in
their hands, in spite of their cheerful looks and their fine
clothes. And these gentlemen crowded in front of my father, shoved
him to the wall, hid him from the eye of the king, who passed
through the hall at the side of the queen, and with a pleasant face
received all the petitions which were handed to him. Sadly we turned
home, but on the following day we repaired to the gallery again, and
I had the courage to crowd back some of the elegantly-dressed men
who wanted to press before my father, and to secure for him a place
in the front row. I was rewarded for my boldness. The king came, and
with a gracious smile took the petition from the hand of my father,
and laid it in the silver basket which the almoner near him
carried."

"Thank God," cried Margaret, with a sigh of relief, "thank God, you
were saved!"

"That we said too, Margaret, and that restored my father's hope and
made him again happy and well. We went the next day to the gallery.
The king appeared, the grand almoner announced the names of those
who were to receive answers to their petitions--the name of my
father was not among them! But we comforted ourselves with the
thought, it was not possible to receive answers so quickly, and on
the next day we went to the gallery again, and so on for fourteen
successive days, but all in vain; the name of my father was never
called. Still we went every day to the gallery and took our old
place there, only the countenance of my father was daily growing
paler, his step weaker, and his poor boy more trustless and weak. We
had no longer the means of stilling our hunger, we had consumed
every thing, and my father's cross of St. Louis was our last
possession. But that we dared not part with, for it was our passport
to the palace, it opened to us the doors of the great gallery, and
there was still one last hope. 'We go to-morrow for the last time,'
said my father to me on the fifteenth day. 'If it should be in vain
on the morrow, then I shall sell my cross, that you, Louis, may not
need to be hungry any more, and then may God have mercy upon us!' So
we went the next day to the gallery again. My father was to-day
paler than before, but he held his head erect; he fixed his eye,
full of an expression of defiance and scorn, upon the talkative,
laughing gentlemen around him, who strutted in their rich clothes,
and overlooked the poor chevalier who stood near them, despised and
alone. In my poor boy's heart there was a fearful rage against these
proud, supercilious men, who thought themselves so grand because
they wore better clothes, and because they had distinguished
acquaintances and relations, and yet were no more than my father--no
more than suppliants and petitioners; tears of anger and of grief
filled my eyes, and the depth of our poverty exasperated my soul
against the injustice of fate. All at once the whispering and
talking ceased,--the king and the queen had entered the gallery. The
king advanced to the middle of the hall, the grand almoner called
the names, and the favored ones approached the king, to receive from
him the fulfilment of their wishes, or at least keep their hope
alive. Near him stood the young queen, and while she was converging
with some gentlemen of the court, her beautiful eyes glanced over to
us, and lingered upon the noble but sad form of my father. I had
noticed that on previous days, and every time it seemed to me as if
a ray from the sun had warmed my poor trembling heart--as if new
blossoms of hope were putting forth in my soul. To-day this
sensation, when the queen looked at us, was more intense than
before. My father looked at the king and whispered softly, 'I see
him to-day for the last time!' But I saw only the queen, and while I
pressed the cold, moist hand of my father to my lips, I whispered,
'Courage, dear father, courage! The queen has seen us.' She stopped
short in her conversation with the gentleman and advanced through
the hall with a quick, light step directly to us; her large gray-
blue eyes beamed with kindness, a heavenly smile played around her
rosy lips, her cheeks were flushed with feeling; she was simply
dressed, and yet there floated around her an atmosphere of grace and
nobleness. 'My dear chevalier,' said she, and her voice rang like
the sweetest music, 'my dear chevalier, have you given a petition to
the king?' 'Yes, madame,' answered my father trembling, 'fourteen
days ago I presented a petition to the king.' 'And have you received
no answer yet?' she asked quickly. 'I see you every day here with
the lad there, and conclude you are still hoping for an answer.' 'So
it is, madame,' answered my father, 'I expect an answer, that is I
expect a decision involving my life or death.' 'Poor man!' said the
queen, with a tone of deep sympathy. 'Fourteen days of such waiting
must be dreadful! I pity you sincerely. Have you no one to present
your claims?' 'Madame,' answered my father, 'I have no one else to
present my claims than this empty sleeve which lacks a right arm--no
other protection than the justice of my cause.' 'Poor man!' sighed
the queen, 'you must know the world very little if you believe that
this is enough. But, if you allow me, I will undertake your
protection, and be your intercessor with the king. Tell me your name
and address.' My father gave them, the queen listened attentively
and smiled in friendly fashion. 'Be here to-morrow at this hour--I
myself will bring you the king's answer.' We left the palace with
new courage, with new hope. We felt no longer that we were tired and
hungry, and heeded not the complaints of our host, who declared that
he had no more patience, and that he would no longer give us credit
for the miserable chamber which we had. His scolding and threatening
troubled us that day no more. We begged him to have patience with us
till to-morrow. We told him our hopes for the future, and we
rejoiced in our own cheerful expectations. At length the next day
arrived, the hour of the audience came, and we repaired to the great
gallery. My heart beat so violently that I could feel it upon my
lips, and my father's face was lighted up with a glow of hope; his
eye had its old fire, his whole being was filled with new life, his
carriage erect as in our happy days. At last the doors opened and
the royal couple entered. 'Pray for me, my son,' my father
whispered--'pray for me that my hopes be not disappointed, else I
shall fall dead to the earth.' But I could not pray, I could not
think. I could only gaze at the beautiful young queen, who seemed to
my eyes as if beaming in a golden cloud surrounded by all the stars
of heaven. The eyes of the queen darted inquiringly through the
hall; at last she caught mine and smiled. Oh that smile! it shot
like a ray of sunlight through my soul, it filled my whole being
with rapture. I sank upon my knee, folded my hands, and now I could
think, could pray: 'A blessing upon the queen! she comes to save my
dear father's life, for she frees us from our sufferings.' The queen
approached, so beautiful, so lovely, with such a beaming eye. She
held a sealed paper in her hand and gave it to my father with a
gentle inclination of her head. 'Here, sir,' she said, 'the king is
happy to be able to reward, in the name of France, one of his best
officers. The king grants you a yearly pension of three hundred
louis-d'or, and I wish for you and your son that you may live yet
many years to enjoy happiness and health. Go at once with this paper
to the treasury, and you will receive the first quarterly payment.'
Then, when she saw that my father was almost swooning, she summoned
with a loud voice some gentlemen of the court, and commanded them to
take care of my father; to take him out into the fresh air, and to
arrange that he be sent home in a carriage. Now all these fine
gentlemen were busy in helping us. Every one vied with the others in
being friendly to us; and the poor neglected invalid who had been
crowded to the wall, the overlooked officer Toulan, was now an
object of universal care and attention. We rode home to our inn in a
royal carriage, and the host did not grumble any longer; he was
anxious to procure us food, and very active in caring for all our
needs. The queen had saved us from misfortune, the queen had made us
happy and well to do."

"A blessing upon the dear head of our queen!" cried Margaret,
raising her folded hands to heaven. "Now I shall doubly love her,
for she is the benefactor of him I love. Oh, why have you waited
until now before telling me this beautiful, touching story? Why have
I not enjoyed it before? But I thank you from my heart for the good
which it has done me."

"My dear one," answered Toulan, gravely, "there are experiences in
the human soul that one may reveal only in the most momentous epochs
of life--just as in the Jewish temple the Holy of Holies was
revealed only on the chief feast-days. Such a time, my dear one, is
to-day, and I withdraw all veils from my heart, and let you see and
know what, besides you, only God sees and knows. Since that day when
I returned with my father from the palace, and when the queen had
made us happy again--since that day my whole soul has belonged to
the queen. I thanked her for all, for the contentment of my father,
for every cheerful hour which we spent together; and all the
knowledge I have gained, all the studies I have attempted, I owe to
the beautiful, noble Marie Antoinette. We went to our home, and I
entered the high-school in order to fit myself to be a merchant, a
bookseller. My father had enjoined upon me riot to choose a
soldier's lot. The sad experience of his invalid life hung over him
like a dark cloud, and he did not wish that I should ever enter into
the same. 'Be an independent, free man,' said he to me. 'Learn to
depend on your own strength and your own will alone. Use the powers
of your mind, become a soldier of labor, and so serve your country.
I know, indeed, that if the hour of danger ever comes, you will be a
true, bold soldier for your queen, and fight for her till your last
breath.' I had to promise him on his death-bed that I would so do.
Even then he saw the dark and dangerous days approach, which have
now broken upon the realm--even then he heard the muttering of the
tempest which now so inevitably is approaching; and often when I
went home to his silent chamber I found him reading, with tears in
his eyes, the pamphlets and journals which had come from Paris to us
at Rouen, and which seemed to us like the storm-birds announcing the
tempest. 'The queen is so good, so innocent,' he would sigh, 'and
they make her goodness a crime and her innocence they make guilt!
She is like a lamb, surrounded by tigers, that plays thoughtlessly
with the flowers, and does not know the poison that lurks beneath
them. Swear to me, Louis, that you will seek, if God gives you the
power, to free the lamb from the bloodthirsty tigers. Swear to me
that your whole life shall be devoted to her service.' And I did
swear it, Margaret, not merely to my dear father, but to myself as
well. Every day I have repeated, 'To Queen Marie Antoinette belongs
my life, for every thing that makes life valuable I owe to her.'
"When my father died, I left Rouen and removed to Paris, there to
pursue my business as a bookseller. My suspicions told me that the
time would soon come when the friends of the queen must rally around
her, and must perhaps put a mask over their faces, in order to
sustain themselves until the days of real danger. That time has now
come, Margaret; the queen is in danger! The tigers have surrounded
the lamb, and it cannot escape. Enemies everywhere, wherever you
look!--enemies even in the palace itself. The Count de Provence, her
own brother-in-law, has for years persecuted her with his epigrams,
because he cannot forgive it in her that the king pays more
attention to her counsels than he does to those of his brother, who
hates the Austrian. The Count d'Artois, formerly the only friend of
Marie Antoinette in the royal family, deserted her when the queen
took ground against the view of the king's brothers in favor of the
double representation of the Third Estate, and persuaded her husband
to comply with the wishes of the nation and call together the
States-General. He has gone over to the camp of her enemies, and
rages against the queen, because she is inclined to favor the wishes
of the people. And yet this very people is turned against her, does
not believe in the love, but only in the hate of the queen, and all
parties are agreed in keeping the people in this faith. The Duke
d'Orleans revenges himself upon the innocent and pure queen for the
scorn which she displays to this infamous prince. The aunts of the
queen revenge themselves for the obscure position to which fate has
consigned them, they having to play the second part at the brilliant
court of Versailles, and be thrown into the shade by Marie
Antoinette. The whole court--all these jealous, envious ladies--
revenge themselves for the favor which the queen has shown to the
Polignacs. They have undermined her good name; they have fought
against her with the poisoned arrows of denunciation, calumny,
pamphlets, and libels. Every thing bad that has happened has been
ascribed to her. She has been held responsible for every evil that
has happened to the nation.

The queen is accountable for the financial troubles that have broken
over us, and since the ministry have declared the state bankrupt,
Parisians call the queen Madame Deficit. Curses follow her when she
drives out, and even when she enters the theatre. Even in her own
gardens of St. Cloud and Trianon men dare to insult the queen as she
passes by. In all the clubs of Paris they thunder at the queen, and
call her the destruction of Prance. The downfall of Marie Antoinette
is resolved upon by her enemies, and the time has come when her
friends must be active for her. The time has come for me to pay the
vow which I made to my dying father and to myself. God has blessed
my efforts and crowned my industry and activity with success. I have
reached an independent position. The confidence of my fellow-
citizens has made me a councillor. I have accepted the position, not
out of vanity or ambition, but because it will give me opportunity
to serve the queen. I wear a mask before my face. I belong to the
democrats and agitators. I appear to the world as an enemy of the
queen, in order to be able to do her some secret service as a
friend; for I say to you, and repeat it before God, to the queen
belong my whole life, my whole being, and thought. I love you,
Margaret! Every thing which can make my life happy will come from
you, and yet I shall be ready every hour to leave you--to see my
happiness go to ruin without a complaint, without a sigh, if I can
be of service to the queen. You my heart loves; her my soul adores.
Wherever I shall be, Margaret, if the call of the queen comes to me,
I shall follow it, even if I know that death lurks at the door
behind which the queen awaits me. We stand before a dark and
tempestuous time, and our country is to be torn with fearful strife.
All passions are unfettered, all want to fight for freedom, and
against the chains with which the royal government has held them
bound. An abyss has opened between the crown and the nation, and the
States-General and the Third Estate will not close it, but only
widen it. I tell you, Margaret, dark days are approaching; I see
them coming, and I cannot, for your sake, withdraw from them, for I
am the soldier of the queen. I must keep guard before her door, and,
if I cannot save her, I must die in her service. Know this,
Margaret, but know, too, that I love you. Let me repeat, that from
you alone all fortune and happiness can come to me, and then do you
decide. Will you, after all that I have told you, still accept my
hand, which I offer you in tenderest affection? Will you be my wife,
knowing that my life belongs not to you alone, but still more to
another? Will you share with me the dangers of a stormy time, of an
inevitable future with me, and devote yourself with, me to the
service of the queen? Examine yourself, Margaret, before you answer.
Do not forget your great and noble heart; consider that it is a vast
sacrifice to devote your life to a man who is prepared every hour to
give his life for another woman--to leave the one he loves, and to
go to his death in defence of his queen. Prove your heart; and, if
you find that the sacrifice is too great, turn your face away from
me, and I will quickly go my way--will not complain, will think that
it happens rightly, will love you my whole life long, and thank you
for the pleasant hours which your love has granted to me."

He had dropped from the divan upon his knee, and looked up to her
with supplicating and anxious eyes. But Margaret did not turn her
face away from him. A heavenly smile played over her features, her
eye beamed with love and emotion. And as her glance sank deep into
the heart of her lover, he caught the look as if it had been a ray
of sunlight. She laid her arms upon his shoulders, and pressing his
head to her bosom, she bowed over him and kissed his black, curly
hair.

"Ah! I love you, Louis," she whispered. "I am ready to devote my
life to you, to share your dangers with you, and in all contests to
stand by your side. Soldier of the queen, in me you shall always
have a comrade. With you I will fight for her, with you die for her,
if it must be. We will have a common love for her, we will serve her
in common, and with fidelity and love thank her for the good which
she has done to you and your father."

"Blessings upon you, Margaret!" cried Toulan, as breaking into tears
he rested his head upon the knee of his affianced. "Blessings on
you, angel of my love and happiness!" Then he sprang up, and,
drawing the young girl within his arms, he impressed a glowing kiss
upon her lips.

"That is my betrothal kiss, Margaret; now you are mine; in this hour
our souls are united in never-ending love and faithfulness. Nothing
can separate us after this, for we journey hand in hand upon the
same road; we have the same great and hallowed goal! Now come, my
love, let us take our place before the altar of God, and testify
with an oath to the love which we cherish toward our queen!"

He offered her his arm, and, both smiling, both with beaming faces,
left the room, and joined the wedding guests who had long been
waiting for them with growing impatience. They entered the carriages
and drove to the church. With joyful faces the bridal pair pledged
their mutual fidelity before the altar, and their hands pressed one
another, and their eyes met with a secret understanding of all that
was meant at that wedding. They both knew that at that moment they
were pledging their fidelity to the queen, and that, while seeming
to give themselves away to each other, they were really giving
themselves to their sovereign.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, they left the church of St. Louis
to repair to the wedding dinner, which Councillor Bugeaud had
ordered to be prepared in one of the most brilliant restaurants of
Versailles.

"Will you not tell me now, my dear son," he said to Toulan--"will
you not tell me now why you wish so strongly to celebrate the
wedding in Versailles, and not in Paris, and why in the church of
St. Louis?"

"I will tell you, father," answered Toulan, pressing the arm of his
bride closer to his heart. "I wanted here, where the country erects
its altar, where in a few days the nation will meet face to face
these poor earthly majesties; here, where in a few days the States-
General will convene, to defend the right of the people against the
prerogative of the sovereign, here alone to give to my life its new
consecration. Versailles will from this time be doubly dear to me. I
shall owe to it my life's happiness as a man, my freedom as a
citizen. They have done me the honor in Rouen to elect me to a place
in the Third Estate, and as, in a few days, the Assembly of the
Nation will meet here in Versailles, I wanted my whole future
happiness to be connected with the place. And I wanted to be married
in St. Louis's church, because I love the good King Louis. He is the
true and sincere friend of the nation, and he would like to make his
people happy, if the queen, the Austrian, would allow it."

"Yes, indeed," sighed the councillor, who, in spite of his relation
to Madame de Campan, belonged to the opponents of the queen--" yes,
indeed, if the Austrian woman allowed it. But she is not willing
that France should be happy. Woe to the queen; all our misery comes
from her!



CHAPTER IX.

THE OPENING OF THE STATES-GENERAL.


On the morning of the 5th of May, 1789, the solemn opening of the
States-General of France was to occur at Versailles. This early date
was appointed for the convocation of the estates, in order to be
able to protract as much as possible the ceremonial proceedings. But
at the same time this occasion was to be improved in preparing a
sensible humiliation for the members of the Third Estate.

In the avenue of the Versailles palace a large and fine hall was
fixed upon as the most appropriate place for receiving the twelve
hundred representatives of France, and a numerous company of
spectators besides; and, being chosen, was appropriately fitted up.
Louis XVI. himself, who was very fond of sketching and drawing
architectural plans, had busied himself in the most zealous way with
the arrangements and decorations of the hall.

It had long been a matter of special interest to the king to fit up
the room which was to receive the representatives of the nation, in
a manner which would be worthy of so significant an occasion. He had
himself selected the hangings and the curtains which were to protect
the audience from the too glaring light of the day.

When the members of the Third Estate arrived, they saw with the
greatest astonishment that they were not to enter the hall by the
same entrance which was appropriated to the representatives of the
nobility and the clergy, who were chosen at the same time with
themselves. While for the last two the entrance was appointed
through the main door of the hall, the commoners were allowed to
enter by a rear door, opening into a dark and narrow corridor,
where, crowded together, they were compelled to wait till the doors
were opened.

Almost two hours elapsed before they were allowed to pass out of
this dark place of confinement into the great hall, at a signal from
the Marquis de Brize, the master of ceremonies.

A splendid scene now greeted their eyes. The Salle de Menus, which
had been fitted up for the reception of the nobility, displayed
within two rows of Ionic pillars, which gave to the hall an unwonted
air of dignity and solemnity. The hall was lighted mainly from
above, through a skylight, which was covered with a screen of white
sarcenet. A gentle light diffused itself throughout the room, making
one object as discernible as another. In the background the throne
could be seen on a richly ornamented estrade and beneath a gilded
canopy, an easy-chair for the queen, tabourets for the princesses,
and chairs for the other members of the royal family. Below the
estrade stood the bench devoted to the ministers and the secretaries
of state. At the right of the throne, seats had been placed for the
clergy, on the left for the nobility; while in front were the six
hundred chairs devoted to the Third Estate.

The Marquis de Brize, with two assistant masters of ceremonies, now
began to assign the commoners to their seats, in accordance with the
situation of the districts which they represented.

As the Duke d'Orleans appeared in the midst of the other deputies of
Crespy, there arose from the amphitheatre, where the spectators sat,
a gentle sound of applause, which increased in volume, and was
repeated by some of the commoners, when it was noticed that the duke
made a clergyman, who had gone behind him in the delegation from
this district, go in front of him, and did not desist till the
round-bellied priest had really taken his place before him. In the
mean time the bench of the ministers had begun to fill. They
appeared as a body, clothed in rich uniforms, heavy with gold. Only
one single man among them appeared in simple citizen's clothing, and
bearing himself as naturally as if he were engaged in business of
the state, or in ordinary parlor conversation, and by no means as if
taking part in an extraordinary solemnity. As soon as he was seen,
there arose on all sides, as much in the assembly as on the tribune,
a movement as of joy which culminated in a general clapping of
hands.

The man who received this salutation was the newly-appointed
minister of finance, Necker, to whom the nation was looking for a
reestablishment of its prosperity and of its credit.

Necker manifested only by a thoughtful smile, which mounted to his
earnest, thought-furrowed face, that he was conscious to whom the
garland of supreme popularity was extended at this moment.

Next, the deputation of Provence appeared, in the midst of which
towered Count Mirabeau, with his proud, erect bearing, advancing to
take the place appointed for him. His appearance was the sign for a
few hands to commence clapping in a distant part of the hall, in
honor of a man so much talked of in Prance, and of whom such strange
things were said. But at this instant the king appeared, accompanied
by the queen, followed by the princes and princesses of the royal
family.

At the entrance of the king, the whole assembly broke into a loud,
enthusiastic shout of applause and of joy. The Third Estate as well,
at a signal from Count Mirabeau, had quickly risen, but continued to
stand without bending the knee, as had been, at the last time when
all the estate were assembled, the invariable rule. Only one of the
representatives of the Third Estate, a young man with energetic,
proud face, and dark, glowing eyes, bent his knee when he saw the
queen entering behind the king. But the powerful hand of his
neighbor was laid upon his shoulder and drew him quickly up.

"Mr. Deputy," whispered this neighbor to him, "it becomes the
representatives of the nation to stand erect before the crown."

"It is true, Count Mirabeau," answered Toulan. "I did not bend my
knee to the crown, but to the queen as, a beautiful woman."

Mirabeau made no reply, but turned his flaming eyes to the king.

Louis XVI. appeared that day arrayed in the great royal ermine, and
wore upon his head a plumed hat, whose band glistened with great
diamonds, while the largest in the royal possession, the so-called
Titt, formed the centre, and threw its rays far and wide. The king
appeared at the outset to be deeply moved at the reception which had
been given him. A smile, indicating that his feelings were touched,
played upon his face. But afterward, when all was still, and the
king saw the grave, manly, marked faces of the commoners opposite
him, his manner became confused, and for an instant he seemed to
tremble.

The queen, however, looked around her with a calm and self-possessed
survey. Her fine eyes swept slowly and searchingly over the rows of
grave men who sat opposite the royal couple, and dwelt a moment on
Toulan, as if she recalled in him the young man who, two years
before, had brought the message of Cardinal Rohan's acquittal. A
painful smile shot for an instant over her fine features. Yes, she
had recognized him; the young man who, at Madame de Campan's room,
had sworn a vow of eternal fidelity to her. And now he sat opposite
her, on the benches of the commoners, among her enemies, who gazed
at her with angry looks. That was his way of fulfilling the vow
which he had made of his own free will!

But Marie Antoinette wondered at nothing now; she had witnessed the
falling away of so many friends, she had been forsaken by so many
who were closely associated with her, and who were indebted to her,
that it caused her no surprise that the young man who hardly knew
her, who had admired her in a fit of youthful rapture, had done like
all the rest in joining the number of her enemies.

Marie Antoinette sadly let her eyes fall. She could look at nothing
more; she had in this solemn moment received a new wound, seen a new
deserter!

Toulan read her thoughts in her sad mien, on her throbbing forehead,
but his own countenance remained cheerful and bright.

"She will live to see the day when she will confess that I am her
friend, am true to her," he said to himself. "And on that day I
shall be repaid for the dagger-thrusts which I have just received
from her eyes. Courage, Toulan, courage! Hold up your head and be
strong. The contest has begun; you must fight it through or die!"

But the queen did not raise her head again. She looked unspeakably
sad in her simple, unadorned attire--in her modest, gentle bearing--
and it was most touching to see the pale, fair features which sought
in vain to disclose nothing of the painful emotions of her soul.

The king now arose from his throne and removed his plumed hat. At
once Marie Antoinette rose from her armchair, in order to listen
standing to the address of the king.

"Madame," said the king, bowing to her lightly, "madame, be seated,
I beg of you."

"Sire," answered Marie Antoinette, calmly, "allow me to stand, for
it does not become a subject to sit while the king is standing."

A murmur ran through the rows of men, and loud, scornful laughter
from one side. Marie Antoinette shrank back as if an adder had
wounded her, and with a flash of wrath her eyes darted in the
direction whence the laugh had come. It was from Philip d'Orleans.
He did not take the trouble to smooth down his features; he looked
with searching, defiant gaze over to the queen, proclaiming to her
in this glance that he was her death-foe, that he was bent on
revenge for the scorn which she had poured out on the spendthrift-
revenge for the joke which she had once made at his expense before
the whole court. It was at the time when the Duke d'Orleans,
spendthrift and miser at the same time, had rented the lower rooms
of his palace to be used as stores. On his next appearance at
Versailles, Marie Antoinette said: "Since you have become a
shopkeeper, we shall probably see you at Versailles only on Sundays
and holidays, when your stores are closed!" Philip d'Orleans thought
of this at this moment, as he stared at the queen with his laughing
face, while his looks were threatening vengeance and requital.

The king now began the speech with which he proposed to open the
assembly of his estates. The queen listened with deep emotion; a
feeling of unspeakable sorrow filled her soul, and despite all her
efforts her eyes filled with tears, which leisurely coursed down her
cheeks. When, at the close of his address, the king said that he was
the truest and most faithful friend of the people, and that France
had his whole love, the queen looked up with a gentle, beseeching
expression, and her eyes seemed as if they wanted to say to the
deputies, "I, too, am a friend of the people! I, too, love France!"

The king ended his address; it was followed by a prolonged and
lively clapping of hands, and sitting down upon the chair of the
throne, he covered his head with the jewelled chapeau.

At the same moment all the noblemen who were in the hall put on
their own hats. At once Count Mirabeau, the representative of the
Third Estate, put on his hat; other deputies followed his example,
but Toulan, whom Mirabeau had before hindered from kneeling--Toulan
now wanted to prevent the proud democrats covering themselves in
presence of the queen.

"Hats off!" he cried, with aloud voice, and here and there in the
hall the same cry was repeated.

But from other sides there arose a different cry, "Hats on! Be
covered!"

Scarcely had the ear of the king caught the discordant cry which
rang up and down the hall, when he snatched his hat from his head,
and at once the whole assembly followed his example.

Toulan had gained his point, the assembly remained uncovered in
presence of the queen.

At last, after four long, painful hours, the ceremony was ended; the
queen followed the example of the king, rising, greeting the
deputies with a gentle inclination of her head, and leaving the hall
at the side of the king.

Some of the deputies cried, "Long live the king!" but their words
died away without finding any echo. Not a single voice was raised in
honor of the queen! But outside, on the square, there were confused
shouts; the crowd of people pressed hard up to the door, and called
for the queen. They had seen the deputies as they entered the hall;
they had seen the king as he had attended divine service at the
church of St. Louis. Now the people were curious to see the queen!

A joyful look passed over the face of the queen as she heard those
cries. For a long time she had not heard such acclaims. Since the
unfortunate 1786, since the necklace trial, they had become more
rare; at last, they had ceased altogether, and at times the queen,
when she appeared in public, was hailed with loud hisses and angry
murmurs.

"The queen! The queen!" sounded louder and louder in the great
square. Marie Antoinette obeyed the cry, entered the great hall, had
the doors opened which led to the balcony, went out and showed
herself to the people, and greeted them with friendly smiles.

But, instead of the shouts of applause which she had expected, the
crowd relapsed at once into a gloomy silence. Not a hand was raised
to greet her, not a mouth was opened to cry "Long live the queen!"

Soon, however, there was heard a harsh woman's voice shouting, "Long
live the Duke d'Orleans! Long life to the friend of the people!"

The queen, pale and trembling, reeled back from the balcony, and
sank almost in a swoon into the arms of the Duchess de Polignac, who
was behind her. Her eyes were closed, and a convulsive spasm shook
her breast.

Through the opened doors of the balcony the shouts of the people
could be heard all the time, "Long live the Duke d'Orleans!"

The queen, still in her swoon, was carried into her apartments and
laid upon her bed; only Madame de Campan remained in front of it to
watch the queen, who, it was supposed, had fallen asleep.

A deep silence prevailed in the room, and the stillness awoke Marie
Antoinette from her half insensibility. She opened her eyes, and
seeing Campan kneeling before her bed, she threw her arms around the
faithful friend, and with gasping breath bowed her head upon her
shoulder.

"Oh, Campan," she cried, with loud, choking voice, "ruin is upon me!
I am undone! All my happiness is over, and soon my life will be over
too! I have to-day tasted of the bitterness of death! We shall never
be happy more, for destruction hangs over us, and our death-sentence
is pronounced!"



CHAPTER X.

THE INHERITANCE OF THE DAUPHIN.


For four weeks the National Assembly met daily at Versailles; that
is to say, for four weeks the political excitement grew greater day
by day, the struggle of the parties more pronounced and fierce, only
with this qualification, that the party which attacked the queen was
stronger than that which defended her. Or rather, to express the
exact truth, there was no party for Marie Antoinette; there were
only here and there devoted friends, who dared to encounter the
odium which their position called down upon them--dared face the
calumnies which were set in circulation by the other parties: that
of the people, the democrats; that of Orleans; that of the princes
and princesses of the royal family. All these united their forces in
order to attack the "Austrian," to obscure the last gleams of the
love and respect which were paid to her in happier days.

When Mirabeau made the proposition in the National Assembly that the
person of the king should be declared inviolable, there arose from
all these four hundred representatives of the French nation only one
man who dared to declare with a loud voice and with defiant face,
"The persons of the king and queen shall be declared inviolable!"

This was Toulan, the "soldier of the queen." But the Assembly
replied to this demand only with loud murmurs, and scornful
laughter; not a voice was raised in support of this last cry in
favor of the queen, and the Assembly decreed only this: "The person
of the king is inviolable."

"That means," said the queen to the police minister Brienne, who
brought the queen every morning tidings of what had occurred at
Paris and Versailles, "that means that my death-warrant was signed
yesterday."

"Your majesty goes too far!" cried the minister in horror, "I think
that this has an entirely different meaning. The National Assembly
has not pronounced the person of the queen inviolable, because they
want to say that the queen has nothing to do with politics, and
therefore it is unnecessary to pass judgment upon the inviolability
of the queen."

"Ah!" sighed the queen, "I should have been happy if I had not been
compelled to trouble myself with these dreadful politics. It
certainly was not in my wish nor in my character. My enemies have
compelled me to it; it is they who have turned the simple, artless
queen into an intriguer."

"Ah! madam!" said the minister, astonished, "you use there too harsh
a word; you speak as if they belonged to your enemies."

"No, I use the right word," cried Marie Antoinette, sadly. "My
enemies have made an intriguer of me. Every woman who goes beyond
her knowledge and the bounds of her duty in meddling with politics
is nothing better than an intriguer. You see at least that I do not
flatter myself, although it troubles me to have to give myself so
bad a name. The Queens of France are happy only when they have
nothing to trouble themselves about, and reserve only influence
enough to give pleasure to their friends, and reward their faithful
servants. Do you know what recently happened to me?" continued the
queen, with a sad smile. "As I was going into the privy council
chamber to have a consultation with the king, I heard, while passing
OEil de Boeuf, one of the musicians saying so loud that I had to
listen to every word, 'A queen who does her duty stays in her own
room and busies herself with her sewing and knitting.' I said within
myself, 'Poor fellow, you are right, but you don't know my unhappy
condition; I yield only to necessity, and my bad luck urges me
forward." [Footnote: The queen's own words.--See "Memoires de Madame
de Campan," vol ii., p. 32.]

"Ah! madame," said the minister with a sigh, "would that they who
accuse you of mingling in politics out of ambition and love of
power--would that they could hear your majesty complain of yourself
in these moving words!"

"My friend," said Marie Antoinette, with a sad smile, "if they heard
it they would say that it was only something learned by heart, with
which I was trying to disarm the righteous anger of my enemies. It
is in vain to want to excuse or justify myself, for no one will hear
a word. I must be guilty, I must be criminal, that they who accuse
me may appear to have done right; that they may ascend while they
pull me down. But let us not speak more of this! I know my future, I
feel it clear and plain in my mind and in my soul that I am lost,
but I will at least fight courageously and zealously till the last
moment; and, if I must go down, it shall be at least with honor,
true to myself and true to the views and opinions in which I have
been trained. Now, go on; let me know the new libels and accusations
which have been disseminated about me." The minister drew from his
portfolio a whole package of pamphlets, and spread them upon a
little table before the queen.

"So much at once!" said the queen, sadly, turning over the papers.
"How much trouble I make to my enemies, and how much they must hate
me that I have such tenacity of life! Here is a pamphlet entitled
'Good advice to Madame Deficit to leave France as soon as possible.'
'Madame Deficit!' that means me, doesn't it?"

"It is a name, your majesty, which the wickedness of the Duke
d'Orleans has imposed upon your majesty, answered the minister, with
a shrug of his shoulders.

The eyes of the queen flashed in anger. She opened her lips to utter
a choleric word, but she governed herself, and went on turning over
the pamphlets and caricatures. While doing that, while reading the
words charged with poison of wickedness and hate, the tears coursed
slowly over her cheeks, and once in a while a convulsive gasp forced
itself from her breast.

Brienne pitied the deep sorrow of the queen. He begged her to
discontinue this sad perusal. He wanted to gather up again the
contumelious writings, but Marie Antoinette held his hand back.

"I must know every thing, every thing," said she. "Go on bringing me
every thing, and do not be hindered by my tears. It is of course
natural that I am sensitive to the evil words that are spoken about
me, and to the bad opinion that is cherished toward me by a people
that I love, and to win whose love I am prepared to make every
sacrifice." [Footnote: The queen's own words.--See Malleville,
"Histoire de Marie Antoinette," p. 197]

At this moment the door of the cabinet was dashed open without
ceremony, and the Duchess de Polignac entered.

"Forgiveness! your majesty, forgiveness that I have ventured to
disturb you, but--"

"What is it?" cried the queen, springing up. "You come to announce
misfortune to me, duchess. It concerns the dauphin, does it not? His
illness has increased?"

"Yes, your majesty, cramps have set in, and the physicians fear the
worst."

"O God! O God!" cried the queen, raising both her hands to heaven,
"is every misfortune to beat down upon me? I shall lose my son, my
dear child! Here I sit weeping pitiful tears about the malice of my
enemies, and all this while my child is wrestling in the pains of
death! Farewell, sir, I must go to my child."

And the queen, forgetting every thing else, thinking only of her
child--the sick, dying dauphin--hurried forward, dashing through the
room with such quick step that the duchess could scarcely follow
her.

"Is he dead?" cried Marie Antoinette to the servant standing in the
antechamber of the dauphin. She did not await the reply, but burst
forward, hastily opened the door of the sick-room, and entered.

There upon the bed, beneath the gold-fringed canopy, lay the pale,
motionless boy, with open, staring eyes, with parched lips, and
wandering mind--and it was her child, it was the Dauphin of France.

Around his bed stood the physicians, the quickly-summoned priests,
and the servants, looking with sorrowful eyes at the poor, deathly-
pale creature that was now no more than a withered flower, a son of
dust that must return to dust; then they looked sadly at the pale,
trembling wife who crouched before the bed, and who now was nothing
more than a sorrow-stricken mother, who must bow before the hand of
Fate, and feel that she had no more power over life and death than
the meanest of her subjects.

She bent over the bed; she put her arms tenderly around the little
shrunken form of the poor child that had long been sick, and that
was now confronting death. She covered the pale face of her son with
kisses, and watered it with her tears.

And these kisses, these tears of his mother, awakened the child out
of his stupor, and called him back to life. The Dauphin Louis roused
up once more, raised his great eyes, and, when he saw the
countenance of his mother above him bathed in tears, he smiled and
sought to raise his head and move his hand to greet her. But Death
had already laid his iron bands upon him, and held him back upon the
couch of his last sufferings.

"Are you in pain, my child?" whispered Marie Antoinette, kissing him
affectionately. "Are you suffering?"

The boy looked at her tenderly. "I do not suffer," he whispered so
softly that it sounded like the last breath of a departing spirit.
"I only suffer if I see you weep, mamma." [Footnote: The very words
of the dying dauphin.--See Weber, "Memoires," vol. L, p. 209.]

Marie Antoinette quickly dried her tears, and, kneeling near the
bed, found power in her motherly love to summon a smile to her lips,
in order that the dauphin, whose eyes remained fixed upon her, might
not see that she was suffering.

A deep silence prevailed now in the apartment; nothing was heard but
the gently-whispered prayers of the spectators, and the slow,
labored breathing of the dying child.

Once the door was lightly opened, and a man's figure stole lightly
in, advanced on tiptoe to the bed, and sank on his knees close by
Marie Antoinette. It was the king, who had just been summoned from
the council-room to see his son die.

And now with a loud voice the priest began the prayers for the
dying, and all present softly repeated them. Only the queen could
not; her eyes were fastened upon her son, who now saw her no more,
for his eyes were fixed in the last death-struggle.

Still one last gasp, one last breath; then came a cry from Marie
Antoinette's lips, and her head sank upon the hand of her son, which
rested in her own, and which was now stiff. A few tears coursed
slowly over the cheeks of the king, and his hands, folded in prayer,
trembled.

The priest raised his arms, and with a loud, solemn voice cried:
"The Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the
Lord. Amen."

"Amen, amen," whispered all present.

"Amen," said the king, closing with gentle pressure the open eyes of
his son. "God has taken you to Himself, my son, perhaps because He
wanted to preserve you from much trouble and sorrow. Blessed be His
name!"

But the queen still bowed over the cold face of the child, and
kissed his lips. "Farewell, my son," she whispered, "farewell! Ah!,
why could I not die with you--with you fly from this pitiful,
sorrow-stricken world?"

Then, as if the queen regretted the words which the mother had
spoken with sighs, Marie Antoinette rose from her knees and turned
to the priest, who was sprinkling the corpse of the dauphin with
holy water.

"Father," said she, "the children of poor parents, who may be born
to-day in Versailles, are each to receive from me the sum of a
thousand francs. I wish that the death-bed of my son may be a day of
joy for the poor who have not, like me, lost a child, but gained
one, and that the lips of happy mothers may bless the day on which
my boy died. Have the goodness to bring me to-morrow morning a list
of the children born to-day."

"Come, Marie," said the king, "the body of our son belongs no more
to the living, but to the grave of out ancestors in St. Denis; his
soul to God. The dauphin is dead! Long live the dauphin! Madame de
Polignac, conduct the dauphin to us in the cabinet of his mother."

And with the proud and dignified bearing which was peculiar to the
king in great and momentous epochs, he extended his arm to the queen
and conducted her out of the death-chamber, and through the adjacent
apartments, to her cabinet.

"Ah!" cried the queen, "here we are alone; here I can weep for my
poor lost child."

And she threw her arms around the neck of her husband, and, leaning
her head upon his breast, wept aloud.

The king pressed her closely to his heart, and the tears which
flowed from his own eyes fell in hot drops upon the head of the
queen.

Neither saw the door beyond lightly open, and the Duchess de
Polignac appear there. But when she saw the royal pair in close
embrace, when she heard their loud weeping, she drew back, stooped
down to the little boy who stood by her side, whispered a few words
to him, and, while gently pushing him forward, drew back herself,
and gently closed the door behind them. The little fellow stood a
moment irresolutely at the door, fixing his eyes now upon his father
and mother, now upon the nosegay of violets and roses which he
carried in his hand. The little Louis Charles was of that sweet and
touching beauty that brings tears into one's eyes, and fills the
heart with sadness, because the thought cannot be suppressed, that
life, with its rough, wintry storms, will have no pity on this
tender blossom of innocence, and that the beaming, angel-face of the
child must one day be changed into the clouded, weather-beaten,
furrowed face of the man. A cheering sight to look upon was the
little, delicate figure of the four-year-old boy, pleasing in his
whole appearance. Morocco boots, with red tips, covered his little
feet; broad trousers, of dark-blue velvet, came to his knees, and
were held together at the waist by a blue silk sash, whose lace-
tipped ends fell at his left side. He wore a blue velvet jacket,
with a tastefully embroidered lace ruffle around the neck. The
round, rosy face, with the ruby lips, the dimple in the chin, the
large blue eyes, shaded by long, dark lashes, and crowned by the
broad, lofty brow, was rimmed around with a profusion of golden
hair, which fell in long, heavy locks upon his shoulders and over
his neck. The child was as beautiful to look upon as one of the
angels in Raphael's "Sistine Madonna," and he might have been taken
for one, had it not been for the silver-embroidered, brilliant star
upon his left side. This star, which designated his princely rank,
was for the pretty child the seal of his mortality--the seal which
ruin had already impressed upon his innocent child's breast.

One moment the boy stood indecisively there, looking at his weeping
parents; then he turned quickly forward, and, holding up his
nosegay, he said: "Mamma, I have brought you some flowers from my
garden."

Marie Antoinette raised her head, and smiled through her tears as
she looked at her son. The king loosened his embrace from the queen,
in order to lift up the prince.

"Marie," said he, holding him up to his wife, "Marie, this is our
son--this is the Dauphin of France."

Marie Antoinette took his head between her hands, and looked long,
with tears in her eyes, and yet smiling all the while, into the
lovely, rosy face of her boy. Then she stooped down, and impressed a
long, tender kiss upon his smooth forehead.

"God love you, my child!" said she, solemnly. "God bless you,
Dauphin of France! May the storms which now darken our horizon, have
long been past when you shall ascend the throne of your fathers! God
bless and defend you, Dauphin of France!"

"But, mamma," asked the boy, timidly, "why do you call me dauphin
to-day? I am your little Louis, and I am called Duke de Normandy."

"My son," said the king, solemnly, "God has been pleased to give you
another name and another calling. Your poor brother, Louis, has left
us forever. He has gone to God, and you are now Dauphin of France!"

"And God grant that it be for your good," said the queen, with a
sigh.

The little prince slowly shook his locks. "It certainly is not for
my good," said he, "else mamma would not weep."

"She is weeping, my child," said the queen--" she is weeping,
because your brother, who was the dauphin, has left us."

"And will he never come back?" asked the child, eagerly.

"No, Louis, he never will come back."

The boy threw both his arms around the neck of the queen. "Ah!" he
cried, "how can any one ever leave his dear mamma and never come
back? I will never leave you, mamma!"

"I pray God you speak the truth," sighed the queen, pressing him
tenderly to herself. "I pray God I may die before you both!"

"Not before me--oh, not before me!" ejaculated the king, shuddering.
"Without you, my dear one, my life were a desert; without you, the
King of France were the poorest man in the whole land!"

He smiled sadly at her. "And with me he will perhaps be the most
unfortunate one," she whispered softly, as if to herself.

"Never unfortunate, if you are with me, and if you love me," cried
the king, warmly. "Weep no more; we must overcome our grief, and
comfort ourselves with what remains. I say to you once more: the
dauphin is dead, long live the dauphin!"

"Papa king," said the boy, quickly, "you say the dauphin is dead,
and has left us. Has he taken every thing away with him that belongs
to him?"

"No, my son, he has left every thing. You are now the dauphin, and
some time will be King of France, for you are the heir of your
brother."

"What does that mean, his heir?" asked the child.

"It means," answered the king, "that to you belong now the titles
and honors of your brother."

"Nothing but that?" asked the prince, timidly. "I do not want his
titles and honors."

"You are the heir to the throne; you have now the title of Dauphin
of France."

The little one timidly grasped the hand of his mother, and lifted
his great blue eyes supplicatingly to her.

"Mamma queen," he whispered, "do you not think the title of Duke de
Normandy sounds just as well, or will you love me more, if I am
called Dauphin of France?"

"No, my son," answered the queen, "I shall not love you better, and
I should be very happy if you were now the Duke de Normandy."

"Then, mamma," cried the boy, eagerly, "I am not at all glad to
receive this new title. But I should like to know whether I have
received any thing else from my dear sick brother."

"Any thing else?" asked the king in amazement; "what would you
desire, my child?"

The little prince cast down his eyes. "I should not like to tell,
papa. But if it is true that the dauphin has left us and is not
coming back again, and yet has not taken away every thing which
belongs to him, there is something which I should very much like to
have, and which would please me more than that I am now the
dauphin."

The king turned his face inquiringly to the queen. "Do you
understand, Marie, what he wants to say?" he whispered.

"I think I can guess," answered Marie Antoinette softly, and she
walked quickly across the room, opened the door of the adjoining
apartment, and whispered a few words to the page who was there. Then
she returned to the king, but while doing so she stepped upon the
bouquet which had fallen out of the boy's hands when his father
lifted him up.

"Oh, my pretty violets, my pretty roses," cried the prince, sadly,
and his face put on a sorrowful expression. But he quickly
brightened, and, looking up at the queen, he said, smiling, "Mamma
queen, I wish you always walked on flowers which I have planted and
plucked for you!"

At this moment the door softly opened, and a little black dog
stepped in, and ran forward, whining, directly up to the prince.

"Moufflet," cried the child, falling upon his knee, "Moufflet!"

The little dog, with its long, curly locks of hair, put its fore-
paws upon the shoulders of the boy and eagerly and tenderly licked
his laughing, rosy face.

"Now, my Louis," asked the queen, "have I guessed right?--wasn't it
the doggy that you wanted so much?"

"Mamma queen has guessed it," cried the boy joyfully, putting his
arms around the neck of the dog. "Does Moufflet belong to my
inheritance too? Do I receive him, since my brother has left him
behind?"

"Yes, my son, the little dog belongs to your inheritance," answered
the king, with a sad smile.

The child shouted with pleasure, and pressed the dog close to his
breast. "Moufflet is mine!" he cried, glowing with joy, "Moufflet is
my inheritance!"

The queen slowly raised to heaven her eyes, red with weeping. "Oh,
the innocence of childhood, the happiness of childhood!" said she,
softly, "why do they not go with us through life? why must we tread
them under feet like the violets arid roses of my son? A kingdom
falls to him as his portion, and yet he takes pleasure in the little
dog which only licks his hands! Love is the fairest inheritance, for
love remains with us till death!"



CHAPTER XI.

KING LOUIS THE SIXTEENTH.


The 14th of July had broken upon Paris with its fearful events. The
revolution had for the first time opened the crater, after
subterranean thunder had long been heard, and after the ground of
Paris had long been shaken. The glowing lava-streams of intense
excitement, popular risings, and murder, had broken out and flooded
all Paris, and before them judgment, discretion, and truth even, had
taken flight.

The people had stormed the Bastile with arms, killed the governor,
and for the first time the dreadful cry "To the lamp-post!" was
heard in the streets of Paris; for the first time the iron arms of
the lamp-posts had been transformed to gallows, on which those were
suspended whom the people had declared guilty.

Meanwhile the lava-streams of revolution had not yet flowed out as
far as Versailles.

On the evening of the 14th of July, peace and silence had settled
early upon the palace, after a whole day spent in the apartments of
the king and queen with the greatest anxiety, and after resolution
had followed resolution in the efforts to come to a decision.

Marie Antoinette had early withdrawn to her rooms. The king, too,
had retired to rest, and had already fallen into a deep slumber upon
his bed. He had only slept a few hours, however, when he heard
something moving near his bed, with the evident intention of
awakening him. The king recognized his valet, who, with signs of the
greatest alarm in his face, announced the Duke de Liancourt, grand
maitre de la garde-robe of his majesty, who was in the antechamber,
and who pressingly urged an immediate audience with the king. Louis
trembled an instant, and tried to think what to do. Then he rose
from his bed with a quick and energetic motion, and ordered the
valet to dress him at once. After this had been done with the utmost
rapidity, the king ordered that the Duke de Liancourt should be
summoned to the adjacent apartment, when he would receive him.

As the king went out in the greatest excitement, he saw the duke,
whose devotion to the person of the king was well known, standing
before him with pale, distorted countenance and trembling limbs.

"What has happened, my friend?" asked the king, in breathless haste.

"Sire," answered the Duke de Liancourt, with suppressed voice, "in
the discharge of my office, which permits the closest approach to
your majesty, I have undertaken to bring you tidings which are now
so confirmed, and which are so important and dreadful, that it would
be a folly to try to keep what has happened longer from your
knowledge."

"You speak of the occurrences in the capital?" asked the king,
slightly drawing back.

"I have been told that your majesty has not yet been informed,"
continued the duke, "and yet in the course of yesterday the most
dreadful events occurred in Paris. The head of the army had not
ventured to send your majesty and the cabinet any report. It was
known yesterday in Versailles at nightfall that the people, with,
arms in their hands, had stormed and destroyed the Bastile. I have
just received a courier from Paris, and these tidings are confirmed
with the most horrible particularity. Sire, I held it my duty as a
faithful servant of the crown to break the silence which has
hitherto hindered your majesty from seeing clearly and acting
accordingly. In Paris, not only has the Bastile been stormed by the
people, but truly dreadful crimes and murders have taken place. The
bloody heads of Delaunay and Flesselles were carried on pikes
through the city by wild crowds of people. A part of the
fortifications of the Bastile have been levelled. Several of the
invalides, who were guarding the fort, have been found suspended
from the lantern-posts. A want of fidelity has begun to appear in
the other regiments. The armed people now arrayed in the streets of
Paris are estimated at two hundred thousand men. They fear this very
night a rising of the whole population of the city."

The king had listened standing, as in a sad dream. His face had
become pale, but his bearing was unchanged.

"There is then a revolt!" said Louis XVI., after a pause, as if
suddenly awakening from deep thought.

"No, sire," answered the duke, earnestly, "it is a revolution."

"The queen was right," said the monarch, softly, to himself; "and
now rivers of blood would be necessary to hide the ruin that has
grown so great. But my resolution is taken; the blood of the French
shall not be poured out."

"Sire," cried Liancourt, with a solemn gesture, "the safety of
France and of the royal family lies in this expression of your
majesty. I ought to be and I must be plain-spoken this hour. The
greatest danger lies in your majesty's following the faithless
counsels of your ministers. How I bless this hour which is granted
me to stand face to face with your majesty, and dare to address
myself to your own judgment and to your heart! Sire, the spirit of
the infatuated capital will make rapid and monstrous steps forward.
I conjure you make your appearance in the National Assembly to-day,
and utter there the word of peace. Your appearance will work
wonders; it will disarm the parties and make this body of men the
truest allies of the crown."

The king looked at him with a long, penetrating glance. The youthful
fire in which the noble duke had spoken appeared to move the king.
He extended his hand and pressed the duke's in his own. Then he said
softly: "You are yourself one of the most influential members of
this National Assembly, my lord duke. Can you give me your personal
word that my appearance there will be viewed as indicating the
interest of the crown in the welfare of France?"

At this moment the first glow of the morning entered the apartment,
and overpowered the pale candle-light which till then had
illuminated the room.

"The Assembly longs every day and every hour for the conciliatory
words of your majesty," cried Liancourt. "The doubts and disquiet
into which the National Assembly is falling more and more every day
are not to be dispelled in any other way than by the appearance of
your majesty's gracious face. I beseech you to appear to-day at the
National Assembly. The service of to-day, which begins in a few
hours, may take the most unfortunate turn, if you, sire, do not take
this saving step."

Just then the door opened, and Monsieur, together with Count
d'Artois, entered. Both brothers of the king appeared to be in the
greatest excitement. From their appearance and gestures it could be
inferred that the news brought by the Duke de Liancourt had reached
the palace of Versailles.

Liancourt at once approached the Count d'Artois, and said to him in
decisive tones:

"Prince, your head is threatened by the people. I have with my own
eyes seen the poster which announces this fearful proscription."

The prince uttered a cry of terror at these words, and stood in the
middle of the room like one transfixed.

"It is good, if the people think so," he said then, recovering
himself. "I am, like the people, for open war. They want my head,
and I want their heads. Why do we not fire? A fixed policy, no
quarter to the so-called freedom ideas-cannon well served! These
alone can save us!"

"His majesty the king has come to a different conclusion!" said the
Duke de Liancourt, bowing low before the king, who stood calmly by
with folded arms.

"I beg my brothers, the Count de Provence and the Count d'Artois, to
accompany me this morning to the Assembly of States-General," said
the king, in a firm tone.

"I wish to go thither in order to announce to the Assembly my
resolution to withdraw my troops. At the same time I shall announce
to them my decided wish that they may complete the work of their
counsels in peace, for I have no higher aim than through them to
learn the will of the nation."

Count d'Artois retreated a step in amazement. Upon his mobile face
appeared the sharp, satirical expression which was peculiar to the
character of the prince. It was different with Provence, who, at the
king's words, quickly approached him to press his hand in token of
cordial agreement and help.

At this moment the door of the chamber was opened, and the queen,
accompanied by several persons, her most intimate companions,
entered in visible excitement.

"Does your majesty know what has happened?" she asked, with pale
face and tearful eyes, as she violently grasped the king's hand.

"It will be all well yet," said the king, with gentle dignity; "it
will prove a help to us that we have nothing as yet to accuse
ourselves with. I am resolved to go to-day to the National Assembly,
and to show it a sign of my personal confidence, in announcing the
withdrawal of my troops from Paris and Versailles."

The queen looked at her husband with the greatest amazement; then,
like one in a trance, she dropped his hand and stood supporting her
fair head upon her hand, with a thoughtful, pained expression.

"By doing so your majesty will make the revolution an irrevocable
fact," she then said, slowly raising her eyes to him; "and it
troubles me, sire, that you will again set foot in an Assembly
numbering so many dreadful and hostile men, and in which the
resolution made last month to disband it ought to have been carried
into effect long ago."

"Has the Assembly, in fact, so many dreadful members?" asked the
king, with his good-natured smile. "Yet I see before me here two
extremely amiable members of that Assembly, and their looks really
give me courage to appear there. There is my old, true friend, the
Duke de Liancourt, and even in the train of your majesty there is
the valiant Count de la Marck, whom I heartily welcome. May I not,
Count de la Marck, depend upon some favor with your colleagues in
the National Assembly?" asked the king, with an amiable expression.

"Sire," answered the count, in his most perfect court manner, "in
the variety of persons constituting the Assembly, I do not know a
single one who would be able to close his heart to the direct word
of the monarch, and such condescending grace. The nobility, to whose
side I belong, would find itself confirmed thereby in its fidelity;
the clergy would thank God for the manifestation of royal authority
which shall bring peace; and the Third Estate would have to confess
in its astonishment that safety comes only from the monarch's
hands."

The king smiled and nodded in friendly manner to the count.

"It seems to me," he said, "that the time is approaching for us to
go to the Assembly. Their royal highnesses Count de Provence and
Count d'Artois will accompany me. I commission the Duke de Liancourt
to go before us to the Salle des Menus, and to announce to the
Assembly, directly after the opening of the session, that we shall
appear there at once in person."

On this the king dismissed all who were present. The queen took
tender leave of him, in a manner indicating her excited feelings.
She had never seen her royal husband bearing himself in so decided
and confident a manner, and it almost awakened new confidence in her
troubled breast. But at the same moment all the doubts and cares
returned, and sadly, with drooping head, the queen withdrew.

In the mean time, close upon the opening of the National Assembly
that morning, stormy debates had begun about the new steps which
they were going to take with the monarch.

Count Mirabeau had just been breaking out into an anathema in
flaming words about the holiday which the king had given to the new
regiments, when the Duke de Liancourt, who that moment entered the
hall, advanced to the speaker's desk and announced that the king was
just on the point of coming to the Assembly. The greatest amazement,
followed immediately by intense disquiet, was expressed on all sides
at hearing this. Men sprang up from their places and formed
scattered groups to talk over this unexpected circumstance and come
to an understanding in advance. They spoke in loud, angry words
about the reception which should be given to the king in the
National Assembly, when Mirabeau sprang upon the tribune, and, with
his voice towering above every other sound, cried that "mere silent
respect should be the only reception that we give to the monarch. In
a moment of universal grief, silence is the true lesson of kings."
[Footnote: Mirabeau's own words.--See "Memoires du Comte de
Mirabeau," vol. ii., p. 301.]

A resounding bravo accompanied these words, which appeared to
produce the deepest impression upon all parties in the Assembly.

Before the room was silent, the king, accompanied by his brothers,
but with no other retinue besides, entered the hall. Notwithstanding
all the plans and efforts which had been made, his appearance at
this moment wrought so powerfully that, as soon as they saw him, the
cry "Long live the king!" was taken up and repeated so often as to
make the arched ceiling ring.

The king stood in the midst of the Assembly, bearing himself
modestly and with uncovered head. He did not make use of an arm-
chair which was placed for him, but remained standing, as, without
any ceremony, he began to address the Assembly with truly
patriarchal dignity. When at the very outset he said that as the
chief of the nation, as he called himself, he had come with
confidence to meet the nation's representatives, to testify his
grief for what had happened, and to consult them respecting the re-
establishing of peace and order, a pacified expression appeared upon
almost all faces.

With gentle and almost humble bearing the king then entered upon the
suspicions that had been breathed, that the persons of the deputies
were not safe. With the tone of an honest burgher he referred to his
own "well-known character," which made it superfluous for him to
dismiss such a suspicion. "Ah!" he cried, "it is I who have trusted
myself to you! Help me in these painful circumstances to strengthen
the welfare of the state. I expect it of the National Assembly."

Then with a tone of touching kindness he said: "Counting upon the
love and fidelity of my subjects, I have given orders to the troops
to withdraw from Paris and Versailles. At the same time I commission
and empower you to convey these my orders to the capital."

The king now closed his address, which had been interrupted by
frequent expressions of delight and enthusiasm, but which was
received at the close with a thunder of universal applause. After
the Archbishop of Brienne had expressed the thanks of the Assembly
in a few words, the king prepared to leave the hall. At that instant
all present rose in order to follow the king's steps. Silently the
whole National Assembly became the retinue of the king, and
accompanied him to the street.

The king wished to return on foot to the palace. Behind him walked
the National Assembly in delighted, joyful ranks. The startling
importance of the occasion seemed to have overpowered the most
hostile and the most alienated An immense crowd of people, which had
gathered before the door of the hall, seeing the king suddenly
reappear in the midst of the whole National Assembly, broke into
jubilant cries of delight. The shouts, "Long live the king! Long
live the nation!" blended in a harmonious concord which rang far and
wide. Upon the Place d'Armes were standing the gardes du corps, both
the Swiss and the French, with their arms in their hands. But they,
too, were infected with the universal gladness, as they saw the
procession, whose like had never been seen before, move on.

The cries which to-day solemnized the happy reconciliation of the
king and the people now were united with the discordant clang of
trumpets and the rattle of drums on all sides.

Upon the great balcony of the palace at Versailles stood the queen,
awaiting the return of the king. The thousands of voices raised in
behalf of Louis XVI. and the nation had drawn Marie Antoinette to
the balcony, after remaining in her own room with thoughts full of
evil forebodings. She held the dauphin in her arms, and led her
little daughter. Her eyes, from which the heavy veils of sadness
were now withdrawn, cast joyful glances over the immense, shouting
crowds of people approaching the palace, at whose head she joyfully
recognized her husband, the king, wearing an expression of
cheerfulness which for a time she had not seen on his face.

When the king caught sight of his wife, he hastened to remove his
hat and salute her. But few of the deputies followed the royal
example, and silently, without any salutation, without any cries of
acclamation, they looked up at the queen. Marie Antoinette turned
pale, and stepped hack with her children into the hall.

"It is all over," she said, with a gush of tears, "it is all over
with my hopes. The Queen of France is still to be the poorest and
most unhappy woman in France, for she is not loved, she is
despised."

Two soft young arms were laid around her neck, and with a face full
of sorrow, and with tears in his great blue eyes, the dauphin looked
up to the disturbed countenance of his mother.

"Mamma queen," he whispered, pressing fondly up to her, "mamma
queen, I love you and everybody loves you, and my dear brother in
heaven prays for you."

With a loud cry of pain, that escaped her against her will, the
queen pressed her son to her heart and covered his head with her
kisses.

"Love me, my son, love me," she whispered, choking, "and may thy
brother in heaven pray for me that I may soon be released from the
pains which I suffer!"

But as she heard now the voice of the king without, taking leave of
his retinue with friendly words, Marie Antoinette hastily dried her
tears, and putting down the dauphin, whispered to him, "Do not tell
papa that I have been crying," and in her wonted lofty bearing, with
a smile upon her trembling lips, she went to meet her husband.

As it grew late and dark in the evening, several baggage-wagons
heavily laden and tightly closed moved noiselessly and hastily from
the inner courts of the palace, and took the direction toward the
country. In these carriages were the Count d'Artois, the Duke
d'Angouleme, and the Duke de Berry, the Prince de Conde, the Duke de
Bourbon, and the Duke d'Enghein, who were leaving the kingdom in
secret flight.

Louis XVI. had tried to quiet the anxieties of his brother, the
Count d'Artois, by advising him to leave France for some time, and
to remain in a foreign land, until the times should be more quiet
and peaceful. The other princes, although not so sorely threatened
with popular rage as the Count d'Artois, whose head had already been
demanded at Paris, had, with the exception of the king's other
brother, been so overcome with their anxieties as to resolve upon
flight. They were followed on the next day by the new ministers, who
now, yielding to the demands of the National Assembly, had handed in
their resignation to the king, but did not consider it safe to
remain within range of the capital.

But another offering, and one more painful to the queen, had to be
made to the hatred of the people and the hostile demands of the
National Assembly. Marie Antoinette herself felt it, and had the
courage to express it.

Her friends the Polignacs must be sent away. In all the libellous
pamphlets which had been directed against the queen, and which
Brienne had sedulously given to her, it was one of the main charges
which had been hurled against her, that the queen had given to her
friends enormous sums from the state's treasury; that the Duchess
Julia, as governess of the royal children, and her husband the Duke
de Polignac, as director of the royal mews, received a yearly salary
of two million francs; and that the whole Polignac family together
drew nearly six million francs yearly from the national treasury.

Marie Antoinette knew that the people hated the Polignacs on this
account, and she wanted at least to put her friends in a place of
safety.

At the same hour in which the brothers of the king and the princes
of the royal family left Versailles, the Duke and the Duchess de
Polignac were summoned to the queen, and Marie Antoinette had told
them with trembling voice that they too must fly, that they must
make their escape that very night. But the duchess, as well as the
duke, refused almost with indignation to comply with the request of
the queen. The duchess, who before had been characterized by so calm
a manner, now showed for the first time a glow of affection for her
royal friend, and unreckoning tenderness. "Let us remain with you,
Marie," she said, choking, and throwing both her arms around the
neck of the queen. "Do not drive me from you. I will not go, I will
share your perils and will die for you, if it must be."

But Marie Antoinette found now in her great love the power to resist
these requests--the power to hold back the tears which started from
her heart and to withdraw herself from the arms of her friend.

"It must be," she said. "In the name of our friendship I conjure
you, Julia, take your departure at once, for, if you are not willing
to, I shall die with anxiety about you. There is still time for you
and yours to escape the rage of my enemies. They hate you not for
your own sake, and how would it be possible to hate my Julia? It is
for my sake, and because they hate me, that they persecute my
dearest friend. Go, Julia, you ought not to be the victim of your
friendship for me."

"No, I remain," said the duchess, passionately. "Nothing shall
separate me from my queen."

"Duke," implored the queen, "speak the word, say that it is
necessary for you to fly!"

"Your majesty," replied the duke, gravely, "I can only repeat what
Julia says: nothing shall separate us from our queen. If we have in
the days of prosperity enjoyed the favor of being permitted to be
near your majesty, we must claim it as the highest favor to be
permitted to be near you in the days of your misfortune!"

Just then the door opened and the king entered.

"Sire," said the queen, as she advanced to meet him, "help me to
persuade these noble friends that they ought to leave us!"

"The queen is right," said Louis, sadly, "they must go at once. Our
misfortune compels us to part with all who love and esteem us. I
have just said farewell to my brother, now I say the same to you; I
command you to go. Pity us, but do not lose a minute's time. Take
your children and your servants with you. Reckon at all times upon
me. We shall meet again in happier days, after our dangers are past,
and then you shall both resume your old places. Farewell! Once more
I command you to go!" [Footnote: The king's own words. This intense
parting scene is strictly historical, according to the concurrent
communications of Montjoie in his "Histoire de Marie Antoinette."
Campan, Mem., ii. Weber, Mem., i.]

And as the king perceived that the tears were starting into his
eyes, and that his voice was trembling, he silently bowed to his
friends, and hastily withdrew.

"You have heard what the king commands," said Marie Antoinette,
eagerly, "and you will not venture to disobey him. Hear also this: I
too, the Queen of France, command you to take your departure this
very hour."

The duke bowed low before the queen, who stood with pale cheeks, but
erect, and with a noble air.

"Your majesty has commanded, and it becomes us to obey. We shall
go."

The duchess sank, with a loud cry of grief, on her knee before the
queen, and buried her face in the royal robe.

Marie Antoinette did not disturb her, did not venture to speak to
her, for she knew that, with the first word which she should utter,
the pain of her heart would find expression on her lips, and she
would be composed; she would not let her friend see how severe the
sacrifice was which her love compelled her to make.

"Let me remain with you," implored the duchess, "do not drive me
from you, Marie, my Marie!"

The queen turned her great eyes upward, and her looks were a prayer
to God to give her power and steadfastness. Twice then she attempted
to speak, twice her voice refused to perform its duty, and she
remained silent, wrestling with her grief, and at last overcoming
it.

"Julia," she said--and with every word her voice became firmer and
stronger--" Julia, we must part. I should be doubly unhappy to draw
you and yours into my misfortunes; it will, in all my troubles, be a
consolation to me, that I have been able to save you. I do not say,
as the king did, that we shall meet again in happier days, and after
our perils are past--for I do not believe in any more happy days--we
shall not be able to survive those perils, but shall perish in them.
I say, farewell, to meet not in this, but in a better world! Not a
word more. I cannot bear it! Your queen commands you to go at once!
Farewell!"

She extended her hand firmly to her, but she could not look at her
friend, who lay at her feet weeping and choking; she saluted the
duke with a mere wave of the hand, turned quickly away, and hastened
into the adjoining room, and then on till she reached her own
toilet-room, where Madame de Campan was awaiting her.

"Campan," she cried, in tones of anguish, "Campan, it is done! I
have lost my friend! I shall never see her again. Close the door,
draw the bolt, that she cannot come in, I--I shall die!" And the
queen uttered a loud cry, and sank in a swoon.

At midnight two well-packed carriages drove out of the inner courts
of the palace. They were the Polignacs; they were leaving France, to
take refuge in Switzerland.

In the first carriage was the Duchess de Polignac, with her husband
and her daughter. She held two letters in her hand. Campan had given
her both, in the name of the queen, as she was stepping into the
carriage.

One was directed to Minister Necker, who, after his dismissal, had
withdrawn to Basle. Since the National Assembly, the clubs, the
whole population of Paris, desired Necker's return, and declared him
to be the only man who could restore the shattered finances of the
country; the queen had persuaded her husband to recall the minister,
although an opponent of hers, and appoint him again minister of
finance. The letter of the queen, which the Duchess Julia was
commissioned to give to Necker, contained his recall, announced to
him in flattering words.

The second letter was a parting word from the queen to her friend, a
last cry from her heart. "Farewell," it ran--" farewell, tenderly-
loved friend! How dreadful this parting word is! But it is needful.
Farewell! I embrace thee in spirit! Farewell!"



CHAPTER XII.

THE FIFTH OF OCTOBER, 1789.


The morning dawned--a windy October morning, surrounding the sun
with thick clouds; so the daylight came late to Paris, as if fearing
to see what had taken place on the streets and squares. The national
guard, summoned together by the alarm-signal of drum-beats and the
clangor of trumpets and horns, collected in the gray morning light,
for a fearful rumor had been spread through Paris the evening
before, and one has whispered to another that tomorrow had been
appointed by the clubs and by the agitators for a second act in the
revolution, and the people are too quiet, they must be roused to new
deeds.

"The people are too quiet," that was the watchword of the 4th of
October, in all the clubs, and it was Marat who had carried it.

On the platform of the Club de Cordeliers, the cry was raised loudly
and hoarsely: "Paris is in danger of folding its hands in its lap,
praying and going to sleep. They must wake out of this state of
lethargy, else the hateful, tyrannical monarchy will revive, and
draw the nightcap so far over the ears of the sleeping capital, that
it will stick as if covered with pitch, and suffer itself to relapse
into bondage. We must awaken Paris, my friends; Paris must not
sleep."

And on the night of the 4th of October, Paris had not slept, for the
agitators had kept it awake. The watch-cry had been: "The bakers
must not bake to-night! Paris must to-morrow morning be without
bread, that the people may open their eyes again and awake. The
bakers must not bake to-night!"

All the clubs had caught up their watch-cry, and their emissaries
had spread it through the whole city, that all the bakers should be
informed that whoever should "open his store in the morning, or give
any other answer than this: 'There is no more meal in Paris; we have
not been able to bake!' will be regarded as a traitor to the
national cause, and as such, will be punished. Be on your guard!"

The bakers had been intimidated by this threat, and had not baked.
When Paris awoke on the morning of the 5th of October, it was
without bread. People lacked their most indispensable article of
food.

At the outset, the women, who received these dreadful tidings at the
bake-shops, returned dumb with horror to their families, to announce
to their households and their hungry children: "There is no bread
to-day! The supply of flour is exhausted! We must starve! There is
no more bread to be had!"

And from the dark abode of the poor, the sad cry sounded out into
the narrow and dirty streets and all the squares, "Paris contains no
bread! Paris must starve!"

The women, the children uttered these cries in wild tones of
despair. The men repeated the words with clinched fists and with
threatening looks: "Paris contains no more bread! Paris must
starve!"

"And do you know why Paris must starve?" croaked out a voice into
the ears of the people who were crowding each other in wild
confusion on the Place de Carrousel.

"Do you know who is the cause of all this misery and want?"

"Tell us, if you know!" cried a rough man's voice.

"Yes, yes, tell us!" shouted other voices. "We want to know!"

"I will tell you," answered the first, in rasping tones; and now
upon the stones, which indicated where the carriage-road crossed the
square, a little, shrunken, broad-shouldered figure, with an
unnaturally large head, and ugly, crafty face, could be seen.

"Marat!" cried some man in the crowd. "Marat!" yelled the cobbler
Simon, who had been since August the friend and admirer of Marat,
and was to be seen everywhere at his side. "Listen, friends, listen!
Marat is going to speak to us; he will tell us how it happens that
Paris has bread no more, and that we shall all have to starve
together! Marat is going to speak!"

"Silence, silence!" scattered men commanded here and there.
"Silence!" ejaculated a gigantic woman, with broad, defiant face,
around which her black hair hung in dishevelled masses, and which
was gathered up in partly-secured knots under her white cap. With
her broad shoulders and her robust arms she forced her way through
the crowd, directing her course toward the place where Marat
was standing, and near him Simon the cobbler, on whose broad
shoulders, as upon a desk, Marat was resting one hand.

"Silence!" cried the giantess. "Marat, the people's friend, is going
to speak! Let us listen, for it will certainly do us good. Marat is
clever and wise, and loves the people!"

Marat's green, blazing eyes fixed themselves upon the gigantic form
of the woman; he shrank back as if an electrical spark had touched
him, and with a wonderful expression of mingled triumph and joy.
"Come nearer, goodwife!" he exclaimed; "let me press your hand, and
bring all the excellent, industrious, well-minded women of Paris to
take Marat, the patriot, by the hand!"

The woman strode to the place where Marat was standing and reached
him her hand. No one in the crowd noticed that this hand of unwonted
delicacy and whiteness did not seem to comport well with the dress
of a vender of vegetables from the market; no one noticed that on
one of the tapering fingers a jewel of no ordinary size glistened.

Marat was the only one to notice it, and while pressing the offered
hand of the woman in his bony fist, he stooped down and whispered in
her ear:

"Monseigneur, take this jewelled ring off, and do not press forward
too much, you might be identified!"

"I be identified!" answered the woman, turning pale. "I do not
understand you, Doctor Marat!"

"But I do," whispered Marat, still more softly, for he saw that
Simon's little sparkling eyes were turned toward the woman with a
look of curiosity. "I understand the Duke Philip d'Orleans very
well. He wants to rouse up the people, but he is unwilling to
compromise his name or his title. And that may be a very good thing.
But you are not to disown yourself before Marat, for Marat is your
very good friend, and will keep your secret honorably."

"What are you whispering about?" shouted Simon. "Why do you not
speak to the people? You were going to tell us why Paris has no
bread, and who is to blame that we must all starve."

"Yes, yes, that is what you were going to tell us!" was shouted on
all sides. "We want to know it."

"Tell us, tell us!" cried the giantess. "Give me your hand once
more, that I may press it in the name of all the women of Paris!"

Marat with an assuring smile reached his great, bony hand to the
woman, who held it in both of her own for a moment, and then
retreated and was lost in the crowd.

But in Marat's hand now blazed the jewelled ring which had a moment
before adorned the large, soft hand of the woman. He, perhaps, did
not know it himself; he paid no attention to it, but turned all his
thoughts to the people who now filled the immense square, and hemmed
him in with thousands upon thousands of blazing eyes.

"You want to know why you have no bread?" snarled he. "You ask why
you starve? Well, my friends and brothers, the answer is an easy one
to give. The baker of France has shut up his storehouse because the
baker's wife has told him to do so, because she hates the people and
wants them to starve! But she does not intend to starve, and so she
has called the baker and the little apprentices to Versailles, where
are her storehouses, guarded by her paid soldiers. What does it
concern her if the people of Paris are miserably perishing? She has
an abundance of bread, for the baker must always keep his store open
for her, and her son eats cake, while your children are starving!
You must always keep demanding that the baker, the baker's wife, and
the whole brood come to Paris and live in your midst, and then you
will see how they keep their flour, and you will then compel them to
give you of their superfluous supplies."

"Yes, we will make her come!" cried Simon the cobbler, with a coarse
laugh. "Up, brothers, up! We must compel the baker and his wife to
open the flour-store to us!"

"Let us go to Versailles!" roared the great woman, who had posted
herself among a group of fishwives. "Come, my friends, let us go to
Versailles, and we will tell the baker's wife that our children have
no bread, while she is giving her apprentices cakes. We will demand
of her that she give our children bread, and if she refuses it, we
will compel her to come with her baker and her whole brood to Paris
and starve with us! Come, let us go to Versailles!"

"Yes, yes, let us go to Versailles!" was the hideous cry which
echoed across the square; "the baker's wife shall give us bread!"

"She keeps the keys to the stores!" howled Marat, "she prevents the
baker opening them."

"She shall give us the keys!" yelled the great woman.

"All the mothers and all the women of Paris must go to Versailles to
the baker's wife!"

"All mothers, all women to Versailles!" resounded in a thousand-
voiced chorus over the square, and then through the streets, and
then into the houses.

And all the mothers and wives caught up these thundering cries,
which came to them like unseen voices from the air, commissioning
them to engage in a noble, an exalted mission, calling to them to
save Paris and procure bread for their children.

"To Versailles, to Versailles! All mothers and women to Versailles!"

Who was able to resist obeying this command, which no one had given,
which was heard by no single ear, yet was intelligible to every
heart--who could resist it?

The men had stormed the Bastile, the women must storm the heart of
the baker's wife in Versailles, till it yield and give to the
children of the poor the bread for which they hunger.

"Up, to Versailles! All wives and mothers!"

The cry sweeps like a hurricane through the streets, and everywhere
finds an echo in the maddened, panic-stricken, despairing, raging
hearts of the women who see their children hunger, and suffer hunger
themselves.

"The baker's wife feeds her apprentices with cakes, and we have not
a crumb of bread to give to our poor little ones!"

In whole crowds the women dashed into the largest squares, where
were the men who fomented the revolution, Marat, Danton, Santerre,
Chaumette, and all the rest, the speakers at the clubs; there they
are, giving their counsels to the maddened women, and spurring them
on!

"Do not be afraid, do not be turned aside! Go to Versailles, brave
women! Save your children, your husbands, from death by starvation!
Compel the baker's wife to give bread to you and for us all! And if
she conceals it from you, storm her palace with violence; there will
be men there to help you. Only be brave and undismayed, God will go
with mothers who are bringing bread to their children, and your
husbands will protect you!"

They were brave and undismayed, the wives and mothers of Paris. In
broad streams they rushed on; they broke over every thing which was
in their way; they drew all the women into their seething ranks. "To
Versailles! To Versailles!"

It was to no avail that De Bailly, the mayor of Paris, encountered
the women on the street, and urged them with pressing words to
return to their families and their work, and assured them that the
bakers had already opened their shops, and had been ordered to bake
bread. It was in vain that the general of the National Guard,
Lafayette, had a discussion with the women, and tried to show them
how vain and useless was their action.

Louder and louder grew the commanding cry, "To Versailles! We will
bring the baker and his wife to Paris! To Versailles!"

The crowds of women grew more and more dense, and still mightier was
the shout, "To Versailles!"

Bailly went with pain to General Lafayette. "We must pacify them, or
you, general, must prevent them by force!" "It is impossible,"
replied Lafayette. "How could we use force against defenceless
women? Not one of my soldiers would obey my commands, for these
women are the wives, the mothers, the sisters of my soldiers! They
have no other weapons than their tongues with which to storm the
heart of the queen! How could we conquer them with weapons of steel?
We must let them go! But we must take precautions that the king and
the queen do not fall into danger."

"That will be all the more necessary, general, as the women will
certainly be accompanied by armed crowds of men, and excitement and
confusion will accompany them all the way to Versailles. Make haste,
general, to defend Versailles. The columns of women are already in
motion, and, as I have said to you, they will be accompanied by
armed men!"

"It would not be well for me to take my soldiers to Versailles,"
said Lafayette, shaking his head. "You know, M. De Bailly, to what
follies the reactionaries of Versailles have already led the royal
family. All Paris speaks of nothing else than of the holiday which
the king and queen have given to the royal troops, the regiment of
Flanders, which they have summoned to Versailles. The king and the
queen, with the dauphin, were present. The tri-colored cockade was
trodden under foot, and the people were arrayed in white ribbons.
Royalist songs were sang, the National Guard was bitterly talked of,
and an oath was given to the king and queen that commands would only
be received of them. My soldiers are exasperated, and many of my
officers have desired of me to-day that we should repair to
Versailles and attack the regiment of Flanders and decimate them. It
is, therefore, perilous to take these exasperated National Guards to
Versailles."

"And yet something must be done for the protection of the king,"
said Bailly; "believe me, these raging troops of women are more
dangerous than the exasperated National Guards. Come, General
Lafayette, we will go to the city hall, and summon the magistracy
and the leaders of the National Guard, to take counsel of them."

An hour later the drums beat through all the streets of Paris, for
in the city hall the resolve had been taken that the National Guard
of Paris, under the lead of General Lafayette, should repair to
Versailles to protect the royal family against the attacks of the
people, but at the same time to protect the National Assembly
against the attacks of the royalist troops.

But long before the troops were in motion, and had really begun
their march to Versailles, the troops of women were already on their
way. Soldiers of the National Guard and armed men from the people
accompanied the women, and secured among them a certain military
discipline. They marched in ten separate columns, every one of which
consisted of more than a thousand women.

Each column was preceded by some soldiers of the National Guard,
with weapons on their shoulders, who, of their own free will, had
undertaken to be the leaders. On both sides of each column marched
the armed men from the people, in order to inspire the women with
courage when they grew tired, but at the same time to compel those
who were weary of the long journey, or sick of the whole
undertaking, and who wanted to return to Paris, to come back into
the ranks and complete what they had begun, and carry the work of
revolution still further. "On to Versailles!"

All was quiet in Versailles that day. No one suspected the horrors
which it was to bring forth. The king had gone with some of his
gentlemen to Meudon to hunt: the queen had gone to Trianon alone--
all alone!

No one of her friends was now at her side, she had lost them all. No
one was there to share the misery of the queen of all who had shared
her happiness. The Duchess de Polignac, the princesses of the royal
house, the cheery brother of the king, Count d'Artois, the Count de
Coigny, Lords Besenval and Lauzun, where are they all now, the
friends, the suppliants of former days? Far, far away in distant
lands, flown from the misfortune that, with its dark wings sinking,
was hovering lower and lower over Versailles, and darkening with its
uncanny shadows this Trianon which had once been so cheerful and
bright. All now is desolate and still! The mill rattles no more, the
open window is swung to and fro by the wind, and the miller no more
looks out with his good-natured, laughing face; the miller of
Trianon is no longer the king, and the burdens and cares of his
realm have bowed his head. The school-house, too, is desolate, and
the learned master no longer writes his satires and jokes upon the
great black-board in the school-room. He now writes libels and
pamphlets, but they are now directed against the queen, against the
former mistress of Trianon. And there is the fish-pond, along whose
shores the sheep used to pasture, where the courtly company,
transformed into shepherds and shepherdesses, used to lie on the
grass, singing songs, arranging tableaux, and listening to the songs
which the band played behind the thicket. All now is silent. No
joyous tone now breaks the melancholy stillness which fills the
shady pathways of the grove where Marie Antoinette, the mistress of
Trianon, now walks with bended head and heart-broken spirit; only
the recollection of the past resounds as an echo in her inner ear,
and revives the cheerful strains which long have been silent.

At the fish-pond all is still, no flocks grazing on the shore, no
picturesque groups, no songs. The spinning-wheel no longer whirls,
the hand of the queen no longer turns the spindle; she has learned
to hold the sceptre and the pen, and to weave public policy, and not
a net of linen. The trees with their variegated autumn foliage are
reflected in the dark water of the pond; some weeping-willows droop
with their tapering branches down to the water, and a few swans come
slowly sailing across with their necks raised in their majestic
fashion. As they saw the figure on the shore, they expanded their
wings and sailed quicker on, to pick up the crumbs which the white
hands of the queen used to throw to them.

But these hands have to-day no gifts for the solitary, forgotten
swans. All the dear, pleasant customs of the past are forgotten,
they have all ceased.

Yet the swans have not forgotten her; they sail unquietly hither and
thither along the shore of the pond, they toss up their slender
necks, and then plunge their red beaks down into the dark water
seeking for the grateful bits which were not there. But when they
saw that they were disappointed, they poured forth their peculiarly
mournful song and slowly sailed away down the lakelet into the
obscurity of the distance, letting their complaining notes be heard
from time to time.

"They are singing the swan's song of my happiness," whispered the
queen, looking with tearful eyes at the beautiful creatures. "They
too turn away from me, and now I am alone, all alone."

She had spoken this loudly, and her quivering voice wakened the echo
which had been artistically contrived there, to repeat cheery words
and merry laughter.

"Alone!" sounded back from the walls of the Marlborough Tower at the
end of the fish-pond. "Alone!" whispered the water stirred with the
swans. "Alone!" was the rustling cry of the bushes. "Alone!" was
heard in the heart of the queen, and she sank down upon the grass,
covered her face with her hands, and wept aloud. All at once there
was a cry in the distance, "The queen, where is the queen? "

Marie Antoinette sprang up and dried her eyes. No one should see
that she had wept. Tears belong only to solitude, but she has no
longer even solitude. The voice comes nearer and nearer, and Marie
Antoinette follows the sound. She knows that she is going to meet a
new misfortune. People have not come to Trianon to bring her tidings
of joy; they have come to tell her that destruction awaits her in
Versailles, and the queen is to give audience to it.

A man came with hurried step from the thicket down the winding
footpath. Marie Antoinette looked at him with eager, sharp eye. Who
is he, this herald of misfortune? No one of the court servants, no
one of the gentry.

He wears the simple garments of a citizen, a man of the people, of
that Third Estate which has prepared for the poor queen so much
trouble and sorrow.

He had perhaps read her question in her face, for, as he now sank
breathless at her feet, his lips murmured: "Forgive me, your
majesty, forgive me that I disturb you. I am Toulan, your most
devoted servant, and it is Madame de Campan who sends me."

"Toulan, yes, I recognize you now," said the queen, hastily. "It was
you, was it not, who brought me the sad news of the acquittal of
Rohan?"

"It appears, your majesty, that a cruel misfortune has always chosen
me to be the bearer of evil tidings to my exalted queen. And to-day
I come only with such."

"What is it?" cried the queen, eagerly. "Has any thing happened to
my husband? Are my children threatened? Speak quickly, say no or
yes. Let me know the whole truth at once. Is the king dead? Are my
children in danger?"

"No, your majesty."

"No," cried the queen, breathing a breath of relief. "I thank you,
air. You see that you accused Fate falsely, for you have brought me
good tidings. And yet again I thank you, for, I remember, I have
much to thank you for. It was you who raised your voice in the
National Assembly, and voted for the inviolability of the queen. It
was not your fault, and believe me not mine either, that your voice
was alone, that no one joined you. The king has been declared
inviolable, but not the queen, and now I am to be attacked, am I
not? Tell me what is it? Why does my faithful Campan send you to
me?"

"Your majesty, to conjure you to come to Versailles."

"What has happened there?"

"Nothing as yet, your majesty, but--I was early this morning in
Paris, and what I saw there determined me to come hither at once, to
bring the news and warn your majesty."

"What is it? Why do you hesitate? Speak out freely."

"Your majesty, all Paris is in motion, all Paris is marching upon
Versailles!"

"What do you mean by that?" asked Marie Antoinette, passionately.
"What does Paris want? Does it mean to threaten the National
Assembly? Explain yourself, for you see I do not understand you."

"Your majesty, the people of Paris hunger. The bakers have made no
bread, for they assert that there is no more meal. The enemies of
the realm have taken advantage of the excitement to stir up the
masses and even the women. The people are hungry; the people are
coming to Versailles to ask the king for bread. Ten thousand women
are on the road to Versailles, accompanied by armed bodies of men."

"Let us hasten, sir, I must go to my children," said the queen, and
with quick steps she went forward. Not a glance back, not a word of
farewell to the loved plantation of Trianon, and yet it is the last
time that Marie Antoinette is to look upon it. She will never return
hither, she turns her back forever upon Trianon.

With flying steps she hurries on; Toulan does not venture to address
her, and she has perhaps entirely forgotten his presence. She does
not know that a faithful one is near her; she only knows that her
children are in Versailles, and that she must go to them to protect
them, and to the king too, to die with him, if it must be.

When they were not far from the great mall of the park at
Versailles, the Count de St. Priest came running, and his frightened
looks and pale face confirmed the news that Mr. Toulan had brought.

"Your majesty," cried the count, breathless, "I took the liberty of
looking for your majesty at Trianon. Bad news has arrived."

"I know it," answered the queen, calmly. "Ten thousand women are
marching upon Versailles, Mr. Toulan has informed me, and you see I
am coming to receive the women."

All at once she stood still and turned to Toulan, who was walking
behind her like the faithful servant of his mistress.

"Sir," said she, "I thank you, and I know that I may reckon upon
you. I am sure that to-day as always you have thought upon our
welfare, and that you will remain mindful of the oath of fidelity
which you once gave me. Farewell! Do you go to the National
Assembly. I will go to the palace, and may we each do our duty." She
saluted Toulan with a gentle inclination of her head and with
beaming looks of gratitude in her beautiful eyes, and then hurried
on up the grand mall to the palace.

In Versailles all was confusion and consternation. Every one had
lost his senses. Every one asked, and no one answered, for the only
one who could answer, the king, was not there. He had not yet
returned from the hunt in Meudon.

But the queen was there, and with a grand calmness and matchless
grasp of mind she undertook the duties of the king. First, she sent
the chief equerry, the Marquis de Cubieres, to meet the king and
cause him to hasten home at once. She intrusted Count St. Priest,
minister of the interior, with a division of the guards in the inner
court of the palace. She inspired the timid women with hope. She
smiled at her children, who, timid and anxious at the confusion
which surrounded them, fled to the queen for refuge, and clung to
her.

Darker and darker grew the reports that came meanwhile to the
palace. They were the storm-birds, so to speak, that precede the
tempest. They announced the near approach of the people of Paris, of
the women, who were no longer unarmed, and who had been joined by
thousands of the National Guard, who, in order to give the train of
women a more imposing appearance, had brought two cannon with them,
and who, armed with knives and guns, pikes and axes, and singing
wild war-songs, were marching on as the escort of the women.

The queen heard all without alarm, without fear. She commanded the
women, who stood around her weeping and wringing their hands, to
withdraw to their own apartments, and protect the dauphin and the
princess, to lock the doors behind them and to admit no one--no one,
excepting herself. She took leave of the children with a kiss, and
bade them be fearless and untroubled. She did not look at them as
the women took them away. She breathed firmly as the doors closed
behind them.

"Now I have courage to bear every thing," she said to St. Priest.
"My children are in safety! Would only that the king were here!"

At the same instant the door opened and the king entered. Marie
Antoinette hastened to meet him, threw herself with a cry of joy
into his arms, and rested her head, which had before been erect with
courage, heavily on his shoulder.

"Oh, sire, my dear sire! thank God that you are here. Now I fear
nothing more! You will not suffer us to perish in misery! You will
breathe courage into these despairing ones, and tell the
inexperienced what they have to do. Sire, Paris is marching against
us, but with us there are God and France. You will defend the honor
of France and your crown against the rebels?"

The king answered confusedly, and as if in a yielding frame of mind.
"We must first hear what the people want," he said; "we must not
approach them threateningly, we must first discuss matters with
them."

"Sire," answered the queen, in amazement, "to discuss with the
rebels now is to imply that they are in the right, and you will not,
you cannot do that!"

"I will consult with my advisers," said the king, pointing at the
ministers, who, summoned by St. Priest, were then entering the room.

But what a consultation was that! Every one made propositions, and
yet no one knew what to do. No one would take the responsibility of
the matter upon himself, and yet every one felt that the danger
increased every minute. But what to do? That was the question which
no one was able to answer, and before which the king was mute. Not
so the queen, however.

"Sire!" cried she, with glowing cheeks, "sire, you have to save the
realm, and to defend it from revolution. The contest is here, and we
cannot withdraw from it. Call your guards, put yourself at their
head, and allow me to remain at your side. We ought not to yield to
revolution, and if we cannot control it, we should suffer it to
enter the palace of the kings of France only over our dead bodies.
Sire, we must either live as kings, or know how to die as kings!"

But Louis replied to this burst of noble valor in a brave woman's
soul, only with holding back and timidity. Plans were made and cast
aside. They went on deliberating till the wild yells of the people
were heard even within the palace.

The queen, pale and yet calm, had withdrawn to the adjoining
apartment. There she leaned against the door and listened to the
words of the ministers, and to the new reports which were all the
time coming in from the streets.

The crowd had reached Versailles, and was streaming through the
streets of the city in the direction of the palace. The National
Guard of Versailles had fraternized with the Parisians. Some
scattered soldiers of the royal guard had been threatened and
insulted, and even dragged from their horses!

The queen heard all, and heard besides the consultation of the king
and his ministers--still coming to no decisive results, doubting and
hesitating, while the fearful crisis was advancing from the street.

Already musket-shots were heard on the great square in front of the
palace, wild cries, and loud, harsh voices. Marie Antoinette left
her place at the door and hurried to the window, where a view could
be had of the whole square. She saw the dark dust-cloud which hung
over the road to Paris; she saw the unridden horses, running in
advance of the crowd, their riders, members of the royal guard,
having been killed; she heard the raging discords, which surged up
to the palace like a wave driven by the wind; she saw this black,
dreadful wave sweep along the Paris road, roaring as it went.

What a fearful mass! Howling, shrieking women, with loosened hair,
and with menacing gestures, extended their naked arms toward the
palace defiantly, their eyes naming, their mouths overflowing with
curses. Wild men's figures, with torn blouses, the sleeves rolled up
over dusty and dirty arms, and bearing pikes, knives, and guns, here
and there members of the National Guard marching with them arm in
arm, pressed on toward the palace. Sometimes shrieks and yells,
sometimes coarse peals of laughter, or threatening cries, issued
from the confused crowd. Nearer and nearer surged the dreadful wave
of destruction to the royal palace. Now it has reached it. Maddened
fists pounded upon the iron gates before the inner court, and
threatening voices demanded entrance: hundreds and hundreds of women
shrieked with wild gestures:

"We want to come in! We want to speak with the baker! We will eat
the queen's guts if we cannot get any thing else to eat!"

And thousands upon thousands of women's voices repeated--"Yes, we
will eat the queen's guts, if we get nothing else to eat!"

Marie Antoinette withdrew from the window; her bearing was grave and
defiant, a laugh of scorn played over her proudly-drawn-up upper-
lip, her head was erect, her step decisive, dignified.

She went again to the king and his ministers. "Sire," said she, "the
people are here. It is now too late to supplicate them, as you
wanted to do. Nothing remains for you except to defend yourself, and
to save the crown for your son the dauphin, even if it falls from
your own head."

"It remains for us," answered the king, gravely, "to bring the
people back to a sense of duty. They are deceived about us. They are
excited. We will try to conciliate them, and to show them our
fatherly interest in them."

The queen stared in amazement at the pleasant, smiling face of the
king; then, with a loud cry of pain, which escaped from her breast
like the last gasp of a dying man, she turned around, and went up to
the Prince de Luxemburg, the captain of the guard, who just then
entered the hall.

"Do you come to tell us that the people have taken the palace?"
cried the queen, with an angry burst from her very soul.

"Madame," answered the prince, "had that been the case, I should not
have been here alive. Only over my body will the rabble enter the
palace."

"Ah," muttered Marie Antoinette to herself, "there are men in
Versailles yet, there are brave men yet to defend us!"

"What news do you bring, captain?" asked the king, stepping up.

"Sire, I am come to receive your commands," answered the prince,
bowing respectfully. "This mob of shameless shrews is growing more
maddened, more shameless every moment. Thousands and thousands of
arms are trying the gates, and guns are fired with steady aim at the
guards. I beg your majesty to empower me to repel this attack of mad
women!"

"What an idea, captain!" cried Louis, shrugging his shoulders.
"Order to attack a company of women! You are joking, prince!"
[Footnote: The king's own words.--See Weber, "Memoires," vol. t, p.
433.]

And the king turned to Count de la Marck, who was entering the room.
"You come with new news. What is it, count?"

"Sire, the women are most desirous of speaking with your majesty,
and presenting their grievances."

"I will hear them," cried the king, eagerly. "Tell the women to
choose six of their number and bring them into my cabinet. I will go
there myself."

"Sire, you are going to give audience to revolution," cried Marie
Antoinette, seizing the arm of the king, who was on the point of
leaving the room. "I conjure you, my husband, do not be overpowered
by your magnanimous heart! Let not the majesty of the realm be
defiled by the raging hands of these furies! Remain here. Oh, sire,
if my prayers, my wishes have any power with you, remain here! Send
a minister to treat with these women in your name. But do not
confront their impudence with the dignity of the crown. Sire, to
give them audience is to give audience to revolution; and from the
hour when it takes place, revolution has gained the victory over the
kingly authority! Do not go, oh do not go!"

"I have given my word," answered Louis, gently. "I have sent word to
the women that I would receive them, and they shall not say that the
first time they set foot in the palace of their king, they were
deceived by him. And see, there comes the count to take me!"

And the king followed with hasty step Count de la Marck, who just
then appeared at the door.

Six women of wild demeanor, with dusty, dirty clothes, their hair
streaming out from their round white caps, were assembled in the
cabinet of the king, and stared at him with defiant eyes as he
entered. But his gentle demeanor and pleasant voice appeared to
surprise them; and Louise Chably, the speaker, who had selected the
women, found only timid, modest words, with which to paint to the
king the misfortune, the need, and the pitiable condition of the
people, and with which to entreat his pity and assistance.

"Ah, my children," answered the king with a sigh, "only believe me,
it is not my fault that you are miserable, and I am still more
unhappy than you. I will give directions to Corbeil and D'Estampes,
the controllers of the grain-stores, to give out all that they can
spare. If my commands had always been obeyed, it would be better
with us all! If I could do every thing, could see to it that my
commands were everywhere carried into effect, you would not be
unhappy; and you must confess, at least, that your king loves you as
a father his children, and that nothing lies so closely at his heart
as your welfare. Go, my children, and tell your friends to prove
worthy of the love of their king, and to return peaceably to Paris."
[Footnote: The king's own words.--See. A. de Beauchesne, "Louis
XVI.. sa Vie, son Agonie, "etc., vol. i., p. 43.]

"Long live the king! Long live our father!" cried the touched and
pacified women, as trembling and with tears in their eyes, they left
the royal cabinet, in order to go to the women below, and announce
to them what the king had said.

But the royal words found no response among the excited masses. "We
are hungry, we want bread," shouted the women. "We are not going to
live on words any more. The king shall give us bread, and then we
shall see it proved that he loves us like a father; then we will go
back to Paris. If the baker believes that he can satisfy us with
words and fine speeches, he is mistaken."

"If he has no bread, he shall give us his wife to eat!" roared a man
with a pike in his hand and a red cap on his head. "The baker's wife
has eaten up all our bread, and it is no more than fair that we
should eat her up now."

"Give us the heart of the queen," was now the cry, "give us the
heart of the queen!"

Marie Antoinette heard the words, but she appeared not to be
alarmed. With dignity and composure, she cast a look at the
ministers and gentlemen, who, pale and speechless, had gathered
around the royal couple.

"I know that this crowd has come from Paris to demand my head! I
learned of my mother not to fear death, and I shall meet it with
courage and steadfastness." [Footnote: The words of the queen.--See
"Histoire de Marie Antoinette," p. 194.]

And firmly and fearlessly Marie Antoinette remained all this
dreadful evening, which was now beginning to overshadow Versailles.
Outside of the palace raged the uproar; revolutionary songs were
sung; veiled forms, the leaders of the revolution, stole around, and
fired the people with new rage against the baker and the baker's
wife. Torches were lighted to see by, and the blood-red glare shone
into the faces there, and tended to exasperate them still more. What
dances were executed by the women, with torches in their hands! and
the men roared in accompaniment, ridiculing the king and threatening
the queen with death.

At times the torches threw their flickering glare into the windows
of the palace, where were the ministers and servants of the king, in
silent horror. Among all those counsellor of the king, there was at
this time but one Man, Marie Antoinette! She alone preserved her
steadfastness and discretion; she spoke to every one friendly,
inspiriting words. She roused up the timid; at times she even
attempted to bring the king to some decisive action, and yet she did
not complain when she found herself unable to do so.

Once her face lighted up in hope and joy. That was when a company of
deputies, headed by Toulan, entered the hall, to offer their
services to the royal couple, and to ask permission to be allowed to
remain around the king and queen.

But scarcely had this request been granted, when both the
secretaries of the president of the National Assembly entered,
warning the members, in the name of the president, to return at once
to the hall and to take part in the night session which was to be
held.

"They call our last friends away from us," murmured the queen, "for
they want us to be entirely defenceless!"

All at once the cries on the square below were more violent and
loud; musket-shots were heard; at the intervals between rose the
thousand-voiced clamor, and at one time the thunder of a cannon.
There was a rush of horses, and clash of arms, more musket-shots,
and then the cry of the wounded.

The king had withdrawn to hold a last consultation with his
ministers and a few faithful friends. At this fearful noise, this
sound of weapons, this shout of victory, his first thought was of
the queen. He rose quickly and entered the hall.

No one was there; the red glare of the torches was thrown from below
into the deserted room, and showed upon the wall wondrous shadows of
contorted human figures, with clinched fists and with raised and
threatening arms.

The king walked hastily through the fearfully illuminated hall,
called for the queen with a loud voice, burst into the cabinet, then
into her sleeping-room, but no Marie Antoinette was to be found--no
one gave reply to the anxious call of the king.

More dreadful grew the wild shrieks and howls, the curses and
maledictions which came in from without.

The king sprang up the little staircase which led to the rooms of
the children, and dashed through the antechamber, where the door was
open that led to the dauphin's sleeping-room.

And here Louis stood still, and looked with a breath of relief at
the group which met his tearful eyes. The dauphin was lying in his
bed fast asleep, with a smile on his face. Marie Antoinette stood
erect before the bed in an attitude of proud composure.

"Marie," said the king, deeply moved--"Marie, I was looking for
you."

The queen slowly turned her head toward him and pointed at the
sleeping prince.

"Sire," answered she calmly, "I was at my post." [Footnote: This
conversation, as well as this whole scene, is historical.--See
Beauchesne's "Louis XVII.," vol. i.]

Louis, overcome by the sublimity of a mother's love, hastened to his
wife and locked her in his arms.

"Remain with me, Marie," he said. "Do not leave me. Breathe your
courage and your decision into me."

The queen sighed and sadly shook her head. She had not a word of
reproach; she did not say that she no longer believed in the courage
and decision of the king, but she had no longer any hope.

But the doors of the room now opened. Through one came the maids of
the queen and the governess of the dauphin; through the other, some
gentlemen of the court, to call the king back into the audience-
hall.

After the first panic, every one had come back to consciousness
again, and all vied in devoting themselves to the king and the
queen. The gentlemen brought word that something new had occurred,
and that this was the cause of the dreadful tumult below upon the
square. The National Guard of Paris had arrived; they had
fraternized with the National Guard of Versailles, and with the
people; they had been received by the women with shouts of applause,
and by the men with a volley of musket-shots in salutation. General
Lafayette had entered the palace to offer his services to the king,
and he now asked for an audience.

"Come, madame," said Louis quickly, cheered up, "let us receive the
general. You see that things are not so bad with us as you think. We
have faithful servants yet to hasten to our assistance."

The queen made no reply. Quietly she followed the king into the
hall, in which Lafayette, surrounded by the ministers and gentlemen,
was standing. On the entrance of the royal couple, the general
advanced to meet them with a reverential salutation.

"Sire," said Lafayette, with cheerful confidence--" sire, I have
come to protect your majesties and the National Assembly against all
those who shall venture to threaten you."

"Are you assured of the fidelity and trustworthiness of your
troops?" asked the queen, whose flaming eyes rested upon Lafayette's
countenance as if she wanted to read his utmost thoughts.

But these eyes did not confuse the cheerful calmness of the general.

"I know, madame, that I can rely upon the fidelity of my soldiers,"
answered he, confidently. "They are devoted to me to the death, and
as I shall command them, they will watch over the security of the
king and queen, and keep all injury from them."

The queen detected the touch of scorn in these loud-sounding words,
but she pretended to believe them. At last she really did believe
them, for Lafayette repeated emphatically that from this time
nothing more was to be feared for the royal family, and that all
danger was past. The guard should be chosen this night from his own
troops; the Paris National Guard should restore peace again in
Versailles, and keep an eye upon the crowds which had encamped upon
the great square before the palace.

Lafayette promised well for his army, for the howling, shrieking
women, for the cursing, raging men.

And the king was satisfied with these assurances of General
Lafayette, and so, too, was Marie Antoinette at last.

Louis ordered the garde du corps to march to Rambouillet, and
reserved only the necessary sentinels in the palace. In the
immediate neighborhood the soldiers of Lafayette were stationed. The
general once more made the rounds, and then, as if every thing was
in a position of the greatest security, he went into the palace to
spend the night there, and in peaceful slumbers to refresh himself
for the labors of the day.

The king, too, had retired to his apartments, and the valets who had
assisted his majesty to undress had not left the sleeping-room, when
the loud, uniform breathing which issued from the silken curtains of
the bed told them that the king had already fallen asleep. The
queen, too, had gone to rest, and while laying her wearied and heavy
head upon the cushions, she tenderly besought both her maids to lie
down too. All was quiet now in the dark palace of Versailles. The
king and the queen slept.

But through the dark, deserted halls which that day had witnessed so
much pain and anxiety, resounded now the clang of the raging,
howling voices which came up from the square, and hurled their
curses against the queen.

In the palace of Versailles they were asleep, but without, before
the palace, Uproar and Hate kept guard, and with wild thoughts of
murder stalked around the palace of the Kings of France.

How soon were these thoughts to become fact! Sleep, Marie
Antoinette, sleep! One last hour of peace and security!

One last hour! Before the morning dawns Hate will awaken thee, and
Murder's terrible voice will resound through the halls of the Kings
of France!



CHAPTER XIII.

THE NIGHT OF HORROR.


Marie Antoinette slept! The fearful excitement of the past day and
of the stormy evening, crowded with its events, had exhausted the
powers of the queen, and she had fallen into that deep, dreamless
sleep which sympathetic and gracious Nature sometimes sends to those
whom Fate pursues with suffering and peril.

Marie Antoinette slept! In the interior of the palace a deep calm
reigned, and Lafayette had withdrawn from the court in order to
sleep too. But below, upon this court, Revolution kept her vigils,
and glared with looks of hatred and vengeance to the dark walls
behind which the queen was sleeping.

The crown of France had for centuries sinned so much, and proved
false so much, that the love of the people had at last been
transformed into hate. The crown had so long sown the wind, that it
could not wonder if it had to reap the whirlwind. The crimes and
innovations which Louis XIV. and Louis XV. had sown upon the soil of
France, had created an abyss between the crown and the people, out
of which revolution must arise to avenge those crimes and sins of
the past upon the present. The sins of the fathers had to be visited
upon the children to the third and fourth generation.

Marie Antoinette did not know it; she did not see the abyss which
had opened between the crown and the people; the courtiers and
flatterers had covered it with flowers, and with the sounds of
festivity the cries of a distressed people had been drowned.

Now the flowers were torn away, the festive sounds had ceased, and
Marie Antoinette saw the abyss between the crown and the people; she
heard the curses, the raging cries of these exasperated men, who had
been changed from weak, obedient subjects into threatening,
domineering rebels. She looked with steady eye down into the abyss,
and saw the monster rise from the depths to destroy herself and her
whole house; but she would not draw back, she would not yield. She
would rather be dragged down and destroyed than meekly and miserably
to make her way to the camp of her enemies, to take refuge with
them.

Better to die with the crown on her head than to live robbed of her
crown in lowliness and in a, subject condition. Thus thought Marie
Antoinette, as at the close of that dreadful day she went to rest;
this was her prayer as she sank upon her couch:

"Give me power, O God, to die as a queen, if I can no longer live as
a queen! And strengthen my husband, that he may not only be a good
man, but a king too!"

With this prayer on her trembling lips, she had fallen asleep. But
when Campan stole on tiptoe to the queen's bed to watch her mistress
while she slept, Marie Antoinette opened her eyes again, and spoke
in her friendly way to her devoted servant.

"Go to bed, Campan," said she, "and the second maid must lie down
too. You all need rest after this evil day, and sleep is so
refreshing. Go, Campan, good-night!"

Madame de Campan had to obey, and stepped out into the antechamber,
where were the two other maids.

"The queen is asleep," she said, "and she has commanded us to go to
rest too. Shall we do so?"

The two women answered only with a shake of the head and a shrug of
the shoulders.

"I know very well that we are agreed," said Madame de Campan,
reaching her hand to them. "For us there must be no sleep to-night,
for we must watch the queen. Come, my friends, let us go into the
antechamber. We shall find Mr. Varicourt, who will tell us what is
going on outside."

On tiptoe the three women stole out into the second ante-chamber,
which was lighted only with a couple of glimmering wax tapers, and
in its desolate disorder, with the confusion of chairs, divans, and
tables, brought back sad recollections of the wild women who had on
the day before pressed into this apartment in their desire to speak
with the queen. Somebody had told them that this was the antechamber
of the queen, and they had withdrawn in order to go to the
antechamber of the king. But they now knew the way that led to the
apartments of the queen; they knew now that if one turned to the
left side of the palace, he would come at once into the apartments
occupied by the royal family, and that the queen occupied the
adjacent rooms, directly behind the hall of the Swiss Guard.

Madame de Campan thought of this, as she cast her glance over this
antechamber which adjoined the Swiss hall, and this thought filled
her with horror.

Varicourt had not yet come in; nothing disturbed the silence around
her, except the dreadful shouting and singing outside of the palace.

"Let us go back into the waiting-room," whispered her companions,
"it is too gloomy here. Only hear how they shout and laugh! O God,
it is a fearful night!"

"Yes, a fearful night," sighed Madame de Campan, "and the day that
follows it may be yet more fearful. But we must not lose our
courage. All depends upon our having decision, upon our defying
danger, and defending our mistress. And see, there comes Mr.
Varicourt," she continued, earnestly, as the door quickly opened,
and an officer of the Swiss guard came in with great haste.

"Tell us, my friend, what news do you bring us?"

"Bad news," sighed Varicourt. "The crowd is increasing every moment.
New columns have arrived from Paris, and not only the common people,
but the speakers and agitators are here. Everywhere are groups
listening to the dreadful speeches which urge on to regicide and
revolution. It is a dreadful, horrible night. Treachery, hatred,
wickedness around the palace, and cowardice and desertion pass out
from the palace to them, and open the doors. Many of the royal
soldiers have made common cause with the people, and walk arm in arm
with them around the square."

"And what do these dreadful men want?" asked Campan. "Why do they
encamp around the palace? What is their object?"

Mr. Varicourt sadly bowed his head, and a loud sigh came from his
courageous breast. "They want what they shall never have while I am
alive," he then said, with a decided look. "I have sworn fidelity to
the king and queen, and I shall keep it to death. My duty calls me,
for the hour of changing guards is near, and my post is below at the
great staircase which leads up here. We shall meet at daylight, if I
am then alive. But till then we shall do our duty. I shall guard the
grand staircase, do you guard the sleeping-room of the queen."

"Yes, we will do our duty," answered Madame de Campan, extending her
hand to him. "We will watch over those to whom we have devoted
ourselves, and to whom we have vowed fidelity. No one shall pass
into the chamber of the queen while we are alive, shall there?"

"Never," replied both of the women, with courageous decision.

"And no one shall ascend the great staircase so long as I live,"
said Varicourt. "Adieu now, ladies, and listen carefully to every
sound. If a voice calls to you, 'It is time,' wake the queen and
save her, for danger will then be right upon her. Hark, it is
striking three, that is the hour of changing guard. Farewell!"

He went quickly to the door, but there he stood still, and turned
once more around. His glance encountered that of his friend, and
Madame de Campan understood its silent language well, for she
hastened to him.

"You have something to say to me?"

"Yes," he whispered softly, "I have a presentiment that I shall not
survive the horrors of this night. I have one whom I love, who, as
you know, is betrothed to me. If I fall in the service of the king,
I ask you to see my Cecilia, and tell her that I died with her name
upon my lips! Tell her not to weep for me, but at the same time not
to forget me. Farewell."

He hurriedly opened the door and hastened away. Madame de Campan
repressed the tears which would fill her eyes, and turned to the two
maids.

"Now," said she, with decisive tones, "let us return to the waiting-
room and watch the door of the queen's chamber."

With a firm step she walked on, and the ladies followed. Without any
noise they entered the little hall, where in the mornings those
ladies of the court used to gather who had the right to be present
while the queen dressed herself. Madame de Campan locked the door
through which they had entered, behind her, drew out the key and hid
it in her pocket.

"No one will enter here with my will," said she. "Now we will place
chairs before the door of the sleeping-room, and sit there. We shall
then have erected a barricade before our queen, a wall which will be
as strong as any other, for there beat three courageous hearts
within it."

They sat down upon the chairs, whose high backs leaned against the
door of the queen's room, and, taking one another's hands, began
their hallowed watch.

All was still and desolate around them. No one of the women could
break the silence with a word or a remark. With dumb lips, with open
eyes, the three watchers sat and hearkened to the sounds of the
night. At times, when the roaring without was uncommonly loud and
wild, they pressed one another's hands, and spoke to one another in
looks; but when the sounds died away, they turned their eyes once
more to the windows and listened.

Slowly, dreadfully slowly moved the fingers of the great clock above
on the chimney. Madame de Campan often fixed her gaze upon it, and
it seemed to her as if time must have ceased to go on, for it
appeared to be an eternity since Varicourt had taken leave of her,
and yet the two longer fingers on the dial had not indicated the
fourth hour after midnight. But the pendulum still continued its
regular, even swinging; the time went forward; only every moment
made the horror, the fear of unknown danger seem like an eternity!

At last, slowly, with calm stroke, the hour began to strike four
o'clock. And amid the dreadful sounds outside the palace, the women
could recognize the deep tones of the great clock on the Swiss hall.
Four o'clock! One solitary, dreadful hour is passed! Three hours
more, three eternities before daylight comes!

But hark! what new, fearful noise without? That is no more the sound
of singing and shouting, and crying--that is the battle-cry-that is
the rattle and clatter of muskets. The three women sprang up, moved
as if by one thought, animated by one purpose. They moved the chairs
back from the door, ready, as soon as danger should approach, to go
into the chamber of the queen and awaken her. Campan then slipped
across the room to the door of the antechamber, which she had looked
before. She laid her ear to the key-hole, and listened. All was
still and quiet in the next room; no one was in the antechamber.
There was no immediate danger near, for Varicourt's voice had not
yet uttered the cry of warning.

But more fearful grew the noise outside. The crackle of musketry was
more noticeable, and every now and then there seemed to be heavy
strokes as if directed against the palace, sounding as if the people
were attempting to force the iron gate of the front court.

"I must know what is going on," whispered Campan, and with cool
decision she put the key into the door, turned it, entered the
antechamber, and flew to the window, where there was a view of the
whole court; and a fearful sight met her there. The crowd had broken
the gate, pressed into the court, and was surging in great masses
toward the palace doors. Here and there torches threw their glare
over these masses, disclosing men with angry gestures, and women
with streaming hair, swinging their arms savagely, and seeming like
a picture of hell, not to be surpassed in horror even by the
phantasms of Dante. Women changed to furies and bacchanalians,
roaring and shouting in their murderous desires; men, like blood-
thirsty tigers, preparing to spring upon their prey, and give it the
death-stroke; swinging pikes and guns, which gleamed horribly in the
glare of the torches; arms and fists bearing threatening daggers and
knives! All this was pressing on upon the palace--all these clinched
fists would soon be engaged in hammering upon the walls which
separated the king and queen from the people--the executioner from
his victim!

All at once there rang out a fearful, thundering cry, which made the
windows rattle, and called forth a terrible echo above in the
deserted hall; for through all these shrieks and howls, there
resounded now a piercing cry, such as only the greatest pain or the
most instant need can extort from human lips.

"That was a death-cry," whispered Madame de Campan, trembling, and
drawing back from the window. "They have certainly killed the Swiss
guards, who are keeping the door; they will now pour into the
palace. O God! what will become of Varicourt? I must know what is
going on!"

She flew through the antechamber and opened the door of the Swiss
hall. It was empty, but outside of it could be heard a confused,
mixed mass of sounds, cries, and the tramping as of hundreds and
hundreds of men coming on. Nearer and nearer came the sound, more
distinct every moment. All at once the door was flung open on the
other side of the Swiss hall, the door which led out, and Varicourt
appeared in it, pushed backward by the raging, howling mass. He
still sought to resist the oncoming tramp of these savage men, and,
with a movement like lightning, putting his weapon across the door,
he was able for one minute to hold the place against the tide--just
so long as the arms which held the weapon had in them the pulse of
life! Varicourt looked like a dying man; his uniform was torn and
cut, his face deathly pale, and on one side disfigured by the blood
which was streaming down from a broad wound in his forehead.

"It is time, it is time!" he cried, with a loud tremulous voice,
and, as he saw for an instant the face of Campan at the opposite
door, a flash of joy passed over his face.

"Save the queen! They will murder her!" [Varicourt's last words.--
See "Memoires de Madame de Campan," vol. ii., p. 77. ]

Madame de Campan hastily closed the door, drew the great bolt, and
then sprang through the antechamber into the waiting-room, and
bolted its door too. Then, after she had done that--after she had
raised this double wall between the sleeping queen and the raging
mob--she sank upon her knees like one who was utterly crushed, and
raised her folded hands to heaven.

"Have mercy on his soul, O God! take him graciously to heaven!"
whispered she, with trembling lips.

"For whom are you praying?" asked the two women, in low voices,
hurrying up to her. "Who is dead?"

"Mr. Varicourt," answered Campan, with a sigh. "I heard his death-
cry, as I was bolting the door of the antechamber. But we cannot
stop to weep and lament. We must save the queen!"

And she sprang up from her knees, flew through the room, and opened
the door leading to the queen's chamber.

At that moment a fearful crash was heard, then a loud shout of
triumph in the outer antechamber.

"The queen! We want the heart of the queen!"

"They have broken down the door of the antechamber--they are in the
waiting-room!" whispered Campan. "There is no time to be lost. Come,
friends, come!"

And she hastened to the bed of the queen, who was still lying in
that heavy, unrefreshing sleep which usually follows exhaustion and
intense excitement.

"Your majesty, your majesty, wake!"

"What is it, Campan?" asked Marie Antoinette, opening her eyes, and
hastily sitting up in bed. "Why do you waken me? What has happened?"

The fearful sounds without, the crashing of the door of the little
waiting-room, gave answer. The rough, hard voices of the exasperated
women, separated now from the queen by only one thin door, quickly
told all that had happened.

Marie Antoinette sprang from her bed. "Dress me quick, quick!"

"Impossible! There is no time. Only hear how the gunstocks beat
against the door! They will break it down, and then your majesty is
lost! The clothes on without stopping to fasten them! Now fly, your
majesty, fly! Through the side-door-through the OEil de Boeuf!"

Madame de Campan went in advance; the two women supported the queen
and carried her loose clothes, and then they flew on through the
still and deserted corridors to the sleeping-room of the king.

It was empty--no one there!

"O God! Campan, where is the king? I must go to him. My place is by
his side! Where is the king?"

"Here I am, Marie, here!" cried the king, who just then entered and
saw the eager, anxious face of his wife. "I hurried to save our most
costly possessions!"

He laid the dauphin, only half awake, and lying on his breast, in
the arms which Marie Antoinette extended to him, and then led her
little daughter to her, who had been brought in by Madame Tourzel.

"Now," said the king, calmly, "now that I have collected my dearest
treasures, I will go and see what is going on."

But Marie Antoinette held him back. "There is destruction,
treachery, and murder outside. Crime may break in here and overwhelm
us, but we ought not to go out and seek it."

"Well," said the king, "we will remain here and await what comes."
And turning to his valet, who was then entering, Louis continued:
"Bring me my chocolate, I want to take advantage of the time to
breakfast, for I am hungry!"

"Sire, now? shall we breakfast now?" asked the queen, amazed.

"Why not?" answered Louis calmly. "If the body is strengthened, we
look at every thing more composedly and confidently. You must take
breakfast too, Marie, for who knows whether we shall find time for
some hours after this?"

"I! oh, I need no breakfast," cried Marie Antoinette; and as she saw
Louis eagerly taking a cup of chocolate from the hands of a valet,
and was going to enjoy it, she turned away to repress the tears of
anger and pain which in spite of herself pressed into her eyes.

"Mamma queen," cried the dauphin, who was yet in her arms, "I should
like my breakfast too. My chocolate--I should like my chocolate
too!"

The queen compelled herself to smile, carried the child to its
father, and softly set him down on the king's knee.

"Sire," said she, "will the King of France teach his son to take
breakfast, while revolution is thundering without, and breaking
down, with treasonable hands, the doors of the royal palace? Campan,
come here--help me arrange my toilet; I want to prepare myself to
give audience to revolution!"

And withdrawing to a corner of the room, the queen finished her
toilet, for which her women fortunately had in their flight brought
the materials.

While the queen was dressing and the king breakfasting with the
children, the cabinet of the king began to fill. All Louis's
faithful servants, then the ministers and some of the deputies, had
hurried to the palace to be at the side of the king and queen at the
hour of danger.

Every one of them brought new tidings of horror. St. Priest told how
he, entering the Swiss room, at the door leading into the
antechamber of the queen, had seen the body of Varicourt covered
with wounds. The Duke de Liancourt had seen a dreadful man, of
gigantic size, with heavy beard, the arms of his blouse rolled up
high, and bearing a heavy hatchet-knife in his hand, springing upon
the person of the faithful Swiss, in order to sever his head from
his body. The Count de Borennes had seen the corpse of the Swiss
officer, Baron de Deshuttes, who guarded the iron gate, and whom the
people murdered as they entered. The Marquis de Croissy told of the
heroism with which another Swiss, Miomandre of St. Marie, had
defended the door between the suites of the king and queen, and had
gained time to draw the bolt and barricade the door. And during all
these reports, and while the cabinet was filling more and more with
pale men and women, the king went composedly on dispatching his
breakfast.

The queen, who had long before completed her toilet, now went up to
him, and with gentle, tremulous voice conjured him to declare what
should be done--to come at last out of this silence, and to speak
and act worthy of a king.

Louis shrugged his shoulders and set the replenished cup which he
was just lifting to his mouth, on the silver waiter. At once the
queen beckoned to the valet Hue to come up.

"Sir," said she, commandingly, "take these things out. The king has
finished his breakfast."

Louis sighed, and with his eye followed the valet, who was carrying
the breakfast into the garde-robe.

"Now, sire," whispered Marie Antoinette, "show yourself a king."

"My love," replied the king, quietly, "it is very hard to show
myself a king when the people do not choose to regard me as one.
Only hear that shouting and yelling, and then tell me what I can do
as a king to bring these mad men to peace and reason?"

"Sire, raise your voice as king; tell them that you will avenge the
crimes of this night, take the sword in your hand and defend the
throne of your fathers and the throne of your son, and then you will
see these rebels retire, and you will collect around you men who
will be animated with fresh courage, and who will take new fire from
your example. Oh, sire, disregard now the pleadings of your noble,
gentle heart; show yourself firm and decided. Have no leniency for
traitors and rebels!"

"Tell me what I shall do," murmured the king, with a sigh.

Marie Antoinette stooped down to his ear. "Sire," whispered she,
"send at once to Vincennes, and the other neighboring places. Order
the troops to come hither, collect an army, put yourself at its
head, march on Paris, declare war on the rebellious capital, and you
will march as conqueror into your recaptured city. Oh, only no
yielding, no submission! Only give the order, sire; say that you
will do so, and I will summon one of my faithful ones to give him
orders to hasten to Vincennes."

And while the queen whispered eagerly to the king, her flashing
glance sped across to Toulan, who, in the tumult, had found means to
come in, and now looked straight at the queen. Now, as her glance
came to him as an unspoken command, he made his way irresistibly
forward through the crowd of courtiers, ministers, and ladies, and
now stood directly behind the queen.

"Has your majesty orders for me?" he asked, softly. She looked
anxiously at the king, waiting for an answer, an order. But the king
was dumb; in order not to answer his wife, he drew the dauphin
closer to him and caressed him.

"Has your majesty commands for me?" asked Toulan once more.

Marie Antoinette turned to him, her eyes suffused with tears, and
let Toulan see her face darkened with grief and despair.

"No," she whispered, "I have only to obey; I have no commands to
give!"

"Lafayette," was now heard in the corridor--"General Lafayette is
coming!"

The queen advanced with hasty steps toward the entering general.

"Sir," she cried, "is this the peace and security that you promised
us, and for which you pledged your word? Hear that shouting without,
see us as if beleaguered here, and then tell me how it agrees with
the assurances which you made to me!"

"Madame, I have been myself deceived," answered Lafayette. "The most
sacred promises were made to me; all my requests and propositions
were yielded to. I succeeded in pacifying the crowd, and I really
believed and hoped that they would continue quiet; that--

"Sir," interrupted the queen, impatiently, "Whom do you mean by
'they?' Of whom are you speaking in such tones of respect?"

"Madame, I am speaking of the people, with whom I came to an
understanding, and who promised me to keep the peace, and to respect
the slumbers of your majesty."

"You are not speaking of the people, but of the rebels, the
agitators," cried Marie Antoinette, with flashing eyes. "You speak
of high traitors, who break violently into the palace of the king;
of murderers, who have destroyed two of our faithful subjects. Sir,
it is of such crime that you speak with respect; it is with such a
rabble that you have dealt, instead of ordering your soldiers to cut
them down."

"Madame," said Lafayette, turning pale, "had I attempted to do that,
your majesty would not have found refuge in this chamber. For the
anger of the mob is like the lightning and thunder of the tempest,
it heeds neither door nor bolt, and if it has once broken loose,
nothing can restrain or stop it."

"Oh," cried the queen, with a mocking laugh, "it is plain that Mr.
Lafayette has been pursuing his studies in America, at the
university of revolutions. He speaks of the people with a deference
as if it were another majesty to bow to."

"And in that Lafayette is right," said the king, rising and
approaching them. "Hear the yell, madame! it sounds like the roaring
of lions, and you know, Marie, that the lion is called the king of
beasts. Tell us, general, what does the lion want, and what does his
roaring mean?"

"Sire, the enemies of the royal family, the agitators and rebels,
who have within these last hours come from Paris, have urged on the
people afresh, and kindled them with senseless calumnies. They have
persuaded the people that your majesty has summoned hither the
regiments from all the neighboring stations; that you are collecting
an army to put yourself at its head and march against Paris."

Louis cast a significant look at his wife, which was answered with a
proud toss of her head.

"I have sought in vain," continued Lafayette, "to make the poor,
misguided men conscious of the impossibility of such a plan."

"Yet, sir," broke in Marie Antoinette, fiercely, "the execution of
this plan would save the crown from dishonor and humiliation!"

"Only, madame, that it is exactly the execution of it which is
impossible," answered Lafayette, gently bowing.

"If you could give wings to the soldiers of the various garrisons
away from here, the plan might be good, and the army might save the
country! But as, unfortunately, this cannot be, we must think of
other means of help, for your majesty hears the danger knocking now
at the door, and we must do with pacificatory measures what we
cannot do with force."

"How will you use pacificatory measures, sir?" asked Marie
Antoinette, angrily.

Lafayette cast upon her a sad, pained look, and turned to the king.
"Sire," said he, with loud, solemn voice, "sire, the people are
frightfully carried away. Stimulating speeches have driven them to
despair and to madness. It is only with difficulty that we have
succeeded in keeping the mob out of the palace, and closing the door
again. 'Paris shall be laid in ashes!' is the horrible cry which
drives all these hearts to rage, and to which they give
unconditional belief!"

"I will show myself to the people," said Louis. "I will tell them
that they have been deceived. I will give them my royal word that I
have no hostile designs whatever against Paris."

General Lafayette sighed, and dropped his head heavily upon his
breast.

"Do you counsel me not to do this?" asked the king, timidly.

"Sire," answered the general, with a shrug, "the people are now in
such an excited, unreasonable state, that words will no longer be
sufficient to satisfy them. Your majesty might assure them ever so
solemnly that you entertain no hostile intentions whatever against
Paris, and that you will not call outside help to your assistance,
and the exasperated people would mistrust your assurances! For in
all their rage the people have a distinct consciousness of the
crimes they are engaged in committing in creating this rebellion
against the crown, and they know that it were not human, that it
were divine, for your majesty to forgive such crimes, and therefore
they would not credit such forgiveness."

"How well General Lafayette knows how to interpret the thoughts of
this fanatical rabble, whom he calls 'the people!' "ejaculated the
queen, with a scornful laugh. At this instant a loud, thundering cry
was heard below, and thousands upon thousands of voices shouted,
"The king! We want to see the king!"

Louis's face lighted up. With quick step he hurried to the window
and raised it. The people did not see him at once, but the king saw.
He saw the immense square in front of the palace, which had been
devoted to the rich equipages of the nobility, occupied by the
humbler classes--the troops of his staff marching up in their gala
uniforms--he saw it filled with a dense mass of men whom Lafayette
had called "the people," whom the queen had termed a "riotous
rabble," surging up and down, head pressed to head, here and there
faces distorted with rage, eyes blazing, fists clinched, arms bare,
and pikes glistening in the morning light, while a great roar, like
that which comes from the sea in a tempest, filled the air.

"You are right, Lafayette," said the king, who looked calmly at this
black sea of human life--"you are right, this is the people; there
are here probably twenty thousand men, and Heaven defend me from
regarding all as criminals and rabble! I believe--"

A tremendous shout now filled the air. The king had been seen, some
one had noticed him at the open window, and now all heads and all
looks were directed to this window, and twenty thousand voices
cried, "Long live the king! Long live the king!"

Louis turned with a proud, happy look to the gentlemen and ministers
who stood near him, Marie Antoinette having withdrawn to the
farthest corner of the room, where, throwing her arms around both of
the children, and drawing them to her bosom, she had sunk into a
chair.

"What do you say now, gentlemen?" asked the king.

"Did they not want to make me believe that my good people hate their
king, and wish him ill? But when I show myself to them, hear how
they shout to greet me!"

"To Paris!" was now the roar of the mob below. "We want the king
should go to Paris!"

"What do they say? What do they want?" asked Louis, turning to
Lafayette, who now stood close beside him.

"Sire, they are shouting their wishes to you, that you and the royal
family should go to Paris."

"And you, general, what do you say?" asked the king.

"Sire, I have taken the liberty already to say that words and
promises are of no more avail to quiet this raving, maddened people,
and to make them believe that you have no hostile designs against
Paris."

"But if I go to Paris and reside there for a time, it is your
opinion, as I understand it, that the people would be convinced that
I have no evil intentions against the city--that I should not
undertake to destroy the city in which I might live. That is your
meaning, is it not?"

"Yes, sire, that is what I wanted to say."

"To Paris, to Paris!" thundered up from below. "The king shall go to
Paris!"

Louis withdrew from the window and joined the circle of his
ministers, who, with their pale faces, surrounded him.

"Gentlemen," said the king, "you are my counsellors. Well, give me
your counsel. Tell me now what I shall do to restore peace and
quiet."

But no one replied. Perplexed and confused they looked down to the
ground, and only Necker found courage to answer the king after a
long pause.

"Sire," he said, "it is a question that might be considered for days
which your majesty has submitted to us, and on its answer depends,
perhaps, the whole fate of the monarchy. But, as you wish to know
the opinions of your ministers, I will venture to give mine: that it
would be the safest and most expedient course for your majesty to
comply with the wishes of the people, and go to Paris!"

"I supposed so," whispered the king, dropping his head.

"To Paris!" cried the queen, raising her head. "It is impossible.
You cannot be in earnest in being willing to go of your own accord
down into the abyss of revolution, in order to be destroyed there!
To Paris!"

"To Paris!" was the thundering cry from below, as if the words of
the queen had awakened a fearful, thousand-voiced echo. "To Paris!
The king and the queen shall go to Paris!"

"And never come from there!" cried the queen, with, bursting tears.

"Speak, Lafayette!" cried the king. "What do you think?"

"Sire, I think that there is only one way to restore peace and to
quiet the people, and that is, for your majesty to go to-day with
the royal family to Paris."

"It is my view, too," said Louis, calmly. "Then go, Lafayette, tell
the people that the king and queen, together with the dauphin and
the princess, will journey today to Paris."

The simple and easily spoken words had two very different effects in
the cabinet on those who heard them. Some faces lightened up with
joy, some grew pale with alarm; there were sighs of despair, and
cries of fresh hope. Every one felt that this was a crisis in the
fate of the royal family--some thinking that it would bring
disaster, others deliverance.

The queen alone put on now a grave, decided look; a lofty pride
lighted up her high brow, and with an almost joyful expression she
looked at her husband, who had been induced to do something--at
least, to take a decisive step.

"The king has spoken," she said, amid the profoundest silence, "and
it becomes us to obey the will of the king, and to be subject to it.
Madame de Campan, make all the preparations for my departure, and do
it in view of a long stay in Paris!"

"Now, Lafayette," asked the king, as the general still delayed in
the room, "why do you not hasten to announce my will to the people?"

"Sire," answered Lafayette, solemnly, "there are moments when a
people can only be pacified by the voice either of God or of its
king, and where every other human voice is overwhelmed by the
thunder of the storm!"

"And you think that this is such a moment?" asked the king. "You
think that I ought myself to announce to the people what I mean to
do?"

Lafayette bowed and pointed to the window, which shook even then
with the threatening cry, "The king! We will see the king! He shall
go to Paris! The king, the king!"

Louis listened awhile in thoughtful silence to this thundering
shout, which was at once so full of majesty and horror; then he
quickly raised his head.

"I will follow your advice, general," said he, calmly. "I will
announce my decision to the people. Give me your hand, madame, we
will go into the balcony-room. And you, gentlemen, follow me!"

The queen took the hand of her husband without a word, and gave the
other to the little dauphin, who timidly clung to her, while her
daughter Therese quietly and composedly walked near them.



BOOK III


CHAPTER XIV.

TO PARIS.


Without speaking a word, and with hasty steps, the royal couple,
followed by the ministers and courtiers, traversed the two adjoining
apartments, and entered the balcony-room, which, situated at the
centre of the main building, commanded a wide view of the inner
court and the square in front of it.

The valet Hue hastened, at a motion from the king, to throw open the
great folding doors, and the king, parting with a smile from Marie
Antoinette, stepped out upon the balcony. In an instant, as if the
arm of God had been extended and laid upon this raging sea, the
roaring ceased; then, as soon as the king was recognized, a
multitudinous shout went up, increasing every moment, and sending
its waves beyond the square, out into the adjoining streets.

"The king! Long live the king!"

Louis, pale with emotion and with tears in his eyes, went forward to
the very edge of the balcony, and, as a sign that he was going to
speak, raised both hands. The motion was understood, and the loud
cries were hushed which now and then burst from the mighty mass of
people. Then above the heads of the thousands there who gazed
breathlessly up, sounded the loud, powerful voice of the king.

"I will give my dear people the proof that my fatherly heart is
distrusted without reason. I will journey to-day with the queen and
my children to Paris, and there take up my residence. Return
thither, my children, I shall follow you in a few hours and come to
Paris!"

Then, while the people were breaking out into a cry of joy, and were
throwing arms, caps, and clothes up into the air, Louis stepped back
from the balcony into the hall.

Instantly there arose a new cry below. "The queen shall show
herself! We want to see the queen! The queen! the queen! the queen!"

And in tones louder, and more commanding, and more terrible every
moment, the summons came in through the balcony door.

The queen took her two children by the hand and advanced a step or
two, but the king held her back.

"Do not go, Marie," he cried, with trembling voice and anxious look.
"No, do not go. It is such a fearful sight, this raging mass at
one's feet, it confuses one's senses. Do not go, Marie!"

But the cry below had now expanded into the volume of a hurricane,
and made the very walls of the palace shake.

"You hear plainly, sire," cried Marie Antoinette; "there is just as
much danger whether we see or do not see it. Let me do, therefore,
what you have done! Come, children!"

And walking between the two little ones, the queen stepped out upon
the balcony with a firm step and raised head, followed by the king,
who placed himself behind Marie Antoinette, as if he were a sentinel
charged with the duty of protecting her life.

But the appearance of the whole royal family did not produce the
effect which Louis had, perhaps, anticipated. The crowd did not now
break out into snouts of joy.

They cried and roared and howled: "The queen alone! No children! We
want no one but the queen! Away with the children!"

It was all in vain that Louis advanced to the edge of the platform;
in vain that he raised his arms as if commanding silence. The sound
of his voice was lost in the roar of the mob, who, with their
clinched fists, their pikes and other weapons, their horrid cry, so
frightened the dauphin that he could not restrain his tears.

The royal family drew back and entered the apartment again, where
they were received by the pale, trembling, speechless, weeping
courtiers and servants.

But the mob below were not pacified. They appeared as though they
were determined to give laws to the king and queen, and demand
obedience from them.

"The queen! we will see the queen!" was the cry again and again.
"The queen shall show herself!"

"Well, be it so!" cried Marie Antoinette, with cool decision, and,
pressing through the courtiers, who wanted to restrain her, and even
impatiently thrusting back the king, who implored her not to go, she
stepped out upon the balcony. Alone, without any one to accompany
her, and having only the protection which the lion-tamer has when he
enters the cage of the fierce monsters--the look of the eye and the
commanding mien!

And the lion appeared to be subdued; his fearful roar suddenly
ceased, and in astonishment all these thousands gazed up at the
queen, the daughter of the Caesars, standing above in proud
composure, her arms folded upon her breast, and looking down with
steady eye into the yawning and raging abyss.

The people, overcome by this royal composure, broke into loud shouts
of applause, and, during the continuance of these thousand-voiced
bravos, the queen, with a proud smile upon her lips, stepped back
from the balcony into the chamber.

The dauphin flew to her with open arms and climbed up her knee.
"Mamma queen, my dear mamma queen," cried he, "stay with me, don't
go out again to these dreadful men, I am afraid of them--oh, I am
afraid!"

Marie Antoinette took the little boy in her arms, and with her cold,
pale lips pressed a kiss upon his forehead. For one instant it
seemed as if she felt herself overcome by the fearful scene through
which she had just passed--as if the tears which were confined in
her heart would force themselves into her eyes. But Marie Antoinette
overcame this weakness of the woman, for she felt that at this hour
she could only be a queen.

With the dauphin in her arms, and pressing him closely to her heart,
she advanced to the king, who, in order not to let his wife see the
tears which flooded his face, had withdrawn to the adjoining
apartment and was leaning against the door.

"Sire," said Marie Antoinette, entering the room, and presenting the
dauphin to him, "sire, I conjure you that, in this fearful hour, you
will make one promise to me."

"What is it, Marie?" asked the king, "what do you desire?"

"Sire, by all that is dear to you and me," continued the queen, "by
the welfare and safety of France, by your own and by the safety of
this dear child, your successor, I conjure you to promise me that,
if we ever must witness such a scene of horror again, and if you
have the means to escape it, you will not let the opportunity pass,"
[Footnote: The very words of the queen.--See Beauchesne, "Louis
XVI., sa Vie," etc., p 145.]

The king, deeply moved by the noble and glowing face of the queen,
by the tones of her voice, and by her whole expression, turned away.
He wanted to speak, but could not; tears choked his utterance; and,
as if he were ashamed of his weakness, he pushed the queen and the
dauphin back from him, hastened through the room, and disappeared
through the door on the opposite side.

Marie Antoinette looked with a long, sad face after him, and then
returned to the balcony-room. A shudder passed through her soul, and
a dark, dreadful presentiment made her heart for an instant stop
beating. She remembered that this chamber in which she had that day
suffered such immeasurable pain--that this chamber, which now echoed
the cries of a mob that had this day for the first time prescribed
laws to a queen, had been the dying-chamber of Louis XIV. [Footnote:
Historical.--See Goncourt, "Marie Antoinette," p. 195.] A dreadful
presentiment told her that this day the room had become the dying-
chamber of royalty.

Like a pale, bloody corpse, the Future passed before her eyes, and,
with that lightning speed which accompanies moments of the greatest
excitement, all the old dark warnings came back to her which she had
previously encountered. She thought of the picture of the slaughter
of the babes at Bethlehem, which decorated the walls of the room in
which the dauphin passed his first night on French soil; then of
that dreadful prophecy which Count do Cagliostro had made to her on
her journey to Paris, and of the scaffold which he showed her. She
thought of the hurricane which had made the earth shake and turn up
trees by their roots, on the first night which the dauphin had
passed in Versailles. She thought too of the dreadful misfortune
which on the next day happened to hundreds of men at the fireworks
in Paris, and cost them their lives. She recalled the moment at the
coronation when the king caught up the crown which the papal nuncio
was just on the point of placing on his head, and said at the same
time,

"It pricks me." [Footnote: Historical.]And now it seemed to her to
be a new, dreadful reason for alarm, that the scene of horror, which
she had just passed through, should take place in the dying-chamber
of that king to whom France owed her glory and her greatness.

"We are lost, lost!" she whispered to herself. "Nothing can save us.
There is the scaffold!"

"With a silent gesture, and a gentle inclination of her head, the
queen took her leave of all present, and returned to her own
apartments, which were now guarded by Lafayette's soldiers, and
which now conveyed no hint of the scene of horror which had
transpired there a few hours before.

Some hours later two cannon were discharged upon the great square
before the palace. They announced to the city of Versailles that the
king, the queen, and their children, had just left the proud palace-
-were then leaving the solitary residence at Versailles--never to
return!

From the lofty tower of the church of St. Louis, in which recently
the opening of the States-General had been celebrated, the bell was
just then striking the first hour after mid-day, when the carriage
drove out of the great gate through which the royal family must pass
on its way to Paris. A row of other carriages formed the escort of
the royal equipage. They were intended for the members of the
States-General. For as soon as the journey of the king to Paris was
announced, the National Assembly decreed that it regarded itself as
inseparably connected with the person of the king, and that it would
follow him to Paris. A deputation had instantly repaired to the
palace, to communicate this decree to the king, and had been
received by Louis with cordial expressions of thanks.

Marie Antoinette, however, had received the tidings of these
resolves of the National Assembly with, a suspicious smile, and an
angry flash darted into her eyes.

"And so, the gentlemen of the Third Estate have gained their point!"
cried she, in wrath. "They alone have produced this revolt, in order
that the National Assembly may have a pretext for going to Paris.
Now, they have reached their goal! Yet do not tell me that the
revolution is ended here. On the contrary, the hydra will now put
forth all its heads, and will tear us in pieces. But, very well! I
would rather be torn to pieces by them than bend before them!"

And, with a lofty air and calm bearing, Marie Antoinette entered the
great coach in which the royal family was to make the journey to
Paris. Near her sat the king, between them the dauphin. Opposite to
them, on the broad, front seat, were their daughter Therese, the
Princess Elizabeth, and Madame de Tourzel, governess of the royal
children. Behind them, in a procession, whose end could not be seen,
followed an artillery train; then the mob, armed with pikes, and
other weapons-men covered with blood and dust, women with
dishevelled hair and torn garments, the most of them drunken with
wine, exhausted by watching during the night, shouting and yelling,
and singing low songs, or mocking the royal family with scornful
words. Behind these wild masses came two hundred gardes du corps
without weapons, hats, and shoulder-straps, every one escorted by
two grenadiers, and they were followed by some soldiers of the Swiss
guard and the Flanders regiment. In the midst of this train rattled
loaded cannon, each one accompanied by two soldiers. But still more
fearful than the retinue of the royal equipage were the heralds who
preceded it--heralds consisting of the most daring and defiant of
these men and women, impatiently longing for the moment when they
could announce to the city of Paris that the revolution in
Versailles had humiliated the king, and given the people victory.
They carried with them the bloody tokens of this victory, the heads
of Varicourt and Deshuttes, the faithful Swiss guards, who had died
in the service of their king. They had hoisted both these heads upon
pikes, which two men of the mob carried before the procession.
Between them strode, with proud, triumphant mien, a gigantic figure,
with long, black beard, with naked blood-flecked arms, with flashing
eyes, his face and hands wet with the blood with which he had imbued
himself, and in his right hand a slaughter-knife which still dripped
blood. This was Jourdan, who, from his cutting off the heads of both
the Swiss guards, had won the name of the executioner--a name which
he understood how to keep during the whole revolution.[Footnote:
Jourdan, the executioner, had, until that time, been a model in the
Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.]

Like storm-birds, desirous to be the first to announce to Paris the
triumph of the populace, and impatient of the slow progress of the
royal train, these heralds of victory, bearing their bloody banner,
hastened on in advance of the procession to Paris. In Sevres they
made a halt--not to rest, or wait for the oncoming train--but to
have the hair of the two heads dressed by friseurs, in order, as
Jourdan announced with fiendish laughter to the yelling mob, that
they might make their entrance into the city as fine gentlemen.

While before them and behind them these awful cries, loud singing
and laughing resounded, within the carriage that conveyed the royal
family there was unbroken silence. The king sat leaning back in the
corner, with his eyes closed, in order not to see the horrid forms
which from time to time approached the window of the carriage, to
stare in with curious looks, or with mocking laughter and
equivoques, to heap misery on the unfortunate family.

The queen, however, sat erect, with proud, dignified bearing,
courageously looking the horrors of the day in the face, and not a
quiver of the eyelids, nor a sigh, betraying the pain that tortured
her soul.

"No, better die than grant to this triumphing rabble the pleasure of
seeing what I suffer! Better sink with exhaustion than complain."

Not a murmur, not a sigh, came from her lips; and yet, when the
dauphin, after four hours of this sad journey, turned with a
supplicatory expression to his mother, and said to her with his
sweet voice, "Mamma queen, I am hungry," the proud expression
withdrew from the features of the queen, and two great tears slowly
ran down over her cheeks.

At last, after a ride of eight hours, the frightful train reached
Paris. Not a window in all the streets through which the royal
procession went was empty. In amazement and terror the people of the
middle class gazed at this hitherto unseen spectacle--the King and
the Queen of France brought in triumph to the capital by the lowest
people in the city! A dumb fear took possession of those who
hitherto had tried to ignore the revolution, and supposed that every
thing would subside again into the old, wonted forms. Now, no one
could entertain this hope longer; now, the most timid must confess
that a revolution had indeed come, and that people must accustom
themselves to look at it eye to eye.

Slowly the train moved forward--slowly down the quay which extends
along by the garden of the Tuileries. The loungers who were in the
garden hurried to the fence, which then bordered the park on the
side of the quay, in order to watch this frightful procession from
this point: to see an unbridled populace dash in pieces the
prescriptive royalty of ages.

Scorn and the love of destruction were written on most of the faces
of these observers, but many were pale, and many quivered with anger
and grief. In the front ranks of the spectators stood two young men,
one of them in simple civilian's costume, the other in the uniform
of a sub-lieutenant. The face of the young officer was pale, but it
lightened up with rare energy; and with his noble, antique profile,
and flaming eyes, it enchanted every look, and fixed the attention
of every one who observed him.

As the howling, roaring mob passed him, the young officer turned to
his companion with an expression of fiery indignation. "0 God," he
cried, "how is this possible? Has the king no cannon to destroy this
canaille? " [Footnote: His own words.--See Beauchesne, vol. i.,p.
85.]

"My friend," answered the young man, smiling, "remember the words of
our great poet Corneille: 'The people give the king his purple and
take it back when they please. The beggar, king only by the people's
grace, simply gives back his purple to the people.' "

"Ah!" cried the young lieutenant, smiling, "what once has been
received should be firmly held. I, at least, if I had once received
the purple by the people's grace, would not give it back. But come,
let us go on, it angers me to see this canaille, upon which you
bestow the fine name of 'the people.'" He hastily grasped the arm of
his friend, and turned to a more solitary part of the garden of the
Tuileries.

This young sub-lieutenant, who saw with such indignation this
revolutionary procession pass him, and whom destiny had appointed
one day to bring this revolution to an end--this young lieutenant's
name was Napoleon Bonaparte.

The young man who walked at his side, and whom, too, destiny had
appointed to work a revolution, although only in the theatrical
world, to recreate the drama--this young man's name was Talma.



CHAPTER XV.

MAMMA QUEEN.


"Every thing passes over, every thing has an end; one must only have
courage and think of that," said Marie Antoinette, with a gentle
smile, as on the morning after her arrival in Paris, she had risen
from her bed and drunk her chocolate in the improvised sitting-room.
"Here we are installed in the Tuileries, and have slept, while we
yesterday were thinking we were lost, and that only death could give
us rest and peace again."

"It was a fearful day," said Madame de Campan, with a sigh, "but
your majesty went through it like a heroine."

"Ah, Campan," said the queen, sadly, "I have not the ambition to
want to be a heroine, and I should be very thankful if it were
allowed me from this time on to be a wife and mother, if it is no
longer allowed me to be a queen."

At this instant the door opened; the little dauphin, followed by his
teacher, the Abbe Davout, ran in and flew with extended arms to
Marie Antoinette.

"Oh, mamma queen!" cried he, with winning voice, "let us go back
again to our beautiful palace; it is dreadful here in this great,
dark house."

"Hush, my child, hush!" said the queen, pressing the boy close to
her. "You must not say so; you must accustom yourself to be
contented everywhere."

"Mamma queen," whispered the child, tenderly nestling close to his
mother, "it is true it is dreadful here, but I will always say it so
low that nobody except you can hear. But tell me, who owns this
hateful house? And why do we want to stay here, when we have such a
fine palace and a beautiful garden in Versailles?"

"My son," answered the queen with a sigh, "this house belongs to us,
and it is a beautiful and famous palace. You ought not to say that
it does not please you, for your renowned great-grandfather, the
great Louis XIV., lived here, and made this palace celebrated all
over Europe."

"Yet I wish that we were away from here," whispered the dauphin,
casting his large blue eyes with a prolonged and timid glance
through the wide, desolate room, which was decorated sparingly with
old-fashioned, faded furniture.

"I wish so, too," sighed Marie Antoinette, to herself; but softly as
she had spoken the words, the sensitive ear of the child had caught
them.

"You, too, want to go?" asked Louis Charles, in amazement. "Are you
not queen now, and can you not do what you want to?"

The queen, pierced to the very heart by the innocent question of the
child, burst into tears.

"My prince," said the Abbe Davout, turning to the dauphin, "you see
that you trouble the queen, and her majesty needs rest. Come, we
will take a walk."

But Marie Antoinette put both her arms around the child and pressed
its head with its light locks to her breast.

"No," she said, "no, he does not trouble me. Let me weep. Tears do
me good. One is only unfortunate when she can no longer weep; when--
but what is that?" she eagerly asked, rising from her easy-chair.
"What does that noise mean?"

And in very fact in the street there were loud shouting and crying,
and intermingled curses and threats.

"Mamma," cried the dauphin, nestling close up to the queen, "is to-
day going to be just like yesterday?" [Footnote: The very words of
the dauphin.--See Beauchesne, vol. i.]

The door was hastily opened, and the king entered.

"Sire," asked Marie, eagerly advancing toward him, "are they going
to renew the dreadful scenes of yesterday?"

"On the contrary, Marie, they are going to bring to their reckoning
those who occasioned the scenes of yesterday," answered the king. "A
deputation from the Court of Chatelet have come to the Tuileries,
and desire of me an authorization to bring to trial those who are
guilty, and of you any information which you can give about what has
taken place. The mob have accompanied the deputation hither, and
hence arise these cries. I am come to ask you, Marie, to receive the
deputation of Chatelet."

"As if there were any choice left us to refuse to see them,"
answered Marie Antoinette, sighing. "The populace who are howling
and crying without are now the master of the men who come to us with
a sneer, and ask us whether we will grant them an audience. We must
submit!"

The king did not answer, but shrugged his shoulders, and opened the
door of the antechamber. "Let them enter," he said to the
chamberlains there.

The two folding doors were now thrown open, and the loud voice of an
officer announced, "The honorable judges of Chatelet!"

Slowly, with respectful mien and bowed head, the gentlemen, arrayed
in their long black robes, entered the room, and remained humbly
standing near the door.

Marie Antoinette had advanced a few steps. Not a trace of grief and
disquiet was longer to be seen in her face. Her figure was erect,
her glance was proud and full of fire, and the expression of her
countenance noble and majestic. She was still the queen, though not
surrounded by the solemn pomp which attended the public audiences at
Versailles. She did not stand on the purple-carpeted step of the
throne, no gold-embroidered canopy arched over her, no crowd of
brilliant courtiers surrounded her, only her husband stood near her;
her son clung to her side, and his teacher, the Abbe Davout, timidly
withdrew into the background. These formed all her suite. But Marie
Antoinette did not need external pomp to be a queen; she was so in
her bearing, in every look, in every gesture. With commanding
dignity she allowed the deputation to approach her, and to speak
with her. She listened with calm attention to the words of the
speaker, who, in the name of the court, gave utterance to the deep
horror with which the treasonable actions of the day before had
filled him. He then humbly begged the queen to give such names of
the rioters as might be known to her, that they might be arrested,
but Marie Antoinette interrupted him in his address.

"No, sir," she cried, "no, never will I be an informer against the
subjects of the king." [Footnote: Marie Antoinette's own words.--See
Goncourt, "Marie Antoinette," pp. 196, 197.]

The speaker bowed respectfully. "Then let me at least beg of you, in
the name of the High-Court of the Chatelet, to give us your order to
bring the guilty parties to trial, for without such a charge we
cannot prosecute the criminals who have been engaged in these acts."

"Nor do I wish you to bring any one to trial," cried the queen, with
dignity. "I have seen all, known all, and forgotten all! Go,
gentlemen, go! My heart knows no vengeance; it has forgiven all
those who have wounded me. Go!" [Footnote: Ibid]

With a commanding gesture of her hand, and a gentle nod of her head,
she dismissed the deputation, who silently withdrew.

"Marie," said the king, grasping the hand of his wife with unwonted
eagerness, and pressing it tenderly to his lips, "Marie, I thank you
in the name of all my subjects. You have acted this hour not only as
a queen, but as the mother of my people."

"Ah, sir," replied the queen, with a sad smile, "only that the
children will not believe in the love of their mother--only that
your subjects do not consider me their mother, but their enemy."

"They have been misguided," said the king. "Evil-minded men have
deceived them, but I hope we shall succeed in bringing the people
back from their error."

"Sire," sighed Marie Antoinette, "I hope for nothing more; but,"
added she, with still firmer voice, "I also fear nothing more. The
worst may break over me--it shall find me armed!"

The side-door now opened, and Madame de Campan entered.

"Your majesty," said she, bowing low, "a great number of ladies from
the Faubourg St. Germain are in the small reception-room. They wish
to testily their devotion to your majesty."

"I will receive them at once," cried Marie Antoinette, with an
almost joyful tone. "Ah, only see, husband, the consolations which
misfortune brings. These ladies of the Faubourg St. Germain formerly
cut me; they could not forget that I was an Austrian. To-day they
feel that I am the Queen of France, and that I belong to them.
Pardon me, sire, for leaving you."

She hastened away with a rapid step. The king looked after her with
an expression of pain. "Poor queen," he whispered to himself, "how
much she is misjudged, how wrongly she is calumniated! And I cannot
change it, and must let it be."

He sank with a deep sigh, which seemed much like a groan, into an
arm-chair, and was lost in painful recollections. A gentle touch on
his hand, which rested on the side-arm of the chair, restored him to
consciousness. Before him stood the dauphin, and looked gravely and
thoughtfully out of his large blue eyes up into his father's face.

"Ah, is it you, my little Louis Charles?" said the king, nodding to
him. "What do you want of me, my child?"

"Papa king," answered the boy, timidly, "I should like to ask you
something--something really serious!"

"Something really serious!" replied the king. "Well, what is it? Let
me hear!"

"Sire," replied the dauphin, with a weighty and thoughtful air,
"sire, Madame de Tourzel has always told me that I must love the
people of France very much, and treat every one very friendly,
because the people of France love my papa and my mamma so much, and
I ought to be very grateful for it. How comes it then, sire, that
the French people are now so bad to you, and that they do not love
mamma any longer? What have you both done to make the people so
angry, because I have been told that the people are subject to your
majesty, and that they owe you obedience and respect? But they were
not obedient yesterday, and not at all respectful, your subjects,
were they? How is this, papa?"

The king drew the little prince to his knee, and put his arm around
the slight form of the boy. "I will explain it to you, my son," he
said, "and listen carefully to what I say to you."

"I will, sire," answered the boy eagerly, "I at least am an obedient
subject of my king, for the Abbe Davout has told me that I am
nothing but a subject of your majesty, and that, as a son and a
subject, I must give a good example to the French people, how to
love and obey the king. And I love you very much, papa, and I am
just as obedient as I can be. But it seems as though my good example
had made no difference with the other subjects. How comes that
about, papa king?"

"My son," answered Louis, "that comes because there are bad men who
have told the people that I do not love them. We have had to have
great wars, and wars cost a deal of money. And so I asked money of
my people--just as my ancestors always did."

"But, papa," cried the dauphin, "why did you do that? Why did you
not take my purse, and pay out of that? You know that I receive
every day my purse all filled with new francs, and--but then," he
interrupted himself, "there would be nothing left for the poor
children, to whom I always give money on my walks. And, oh! there
are so many poor children, so very many, that my purse is empty
every day, when I return from my walk, and yet I give to each child
only one poor franc-piece. So your people have money, more money
than you yourself?"

"My child, kings receive all that they have from their people, but
they give it all back to the people again; the king is the one
appointed by God to govern his people, and the people owe respect
and obedience to the king, and have to pay taxes to him. And so, if
he needs money, he is justified in asking his subjects for it, and
so does what is called 'laying taxes' upon them. Do you understand
me?"

"Oh! yes, papa," cried the child, who had listened with open eyes
and breathless attention, "I understand all very well. But I don't
like it. It seems to me that if a man is king, every thing belongs
to him, and that the king ought to have all the money so as to give
it to the people. They ought to ask HIM, and not he THEM!"

"In former and more happy times it was so," said the king, with a
sigh. "But many kings have misused their power and authority, and
now the king cannot pay out money unless the people understand all
about it and consent!"

"Have you given out money, papa, without asking the people's leave?
Was that the reason they came to Versailles yesterday, and were so
wicked, ah! so very wicked? For those bad men-they were the people,
were they not?"

"No, my son," answered Louis, "I hope they were not the people. The
people cannot come to me in such great masses; they must have their
representatives. The representatives of the people I have myself
called to me; they are the States-General, which I assembled at
Versailles. I asked of them money for the outlays which I had to
make for the people, but they asked things of me that I could not
grant, either for my own sake, or for yours, my son, who are some
day to be my successor. Then wicked men came and stirred up the
people, and told them that I did not love the people any more, and
that I wanted to trouble my subjects. And the poor people have
believed what these evil advisers and slanderers have told them, and
have been led astray into making the riot against me. But every
thing will come out right again, and my subjects will see that I
love them, and am ready to share every thing with them. That is the
reason I have come to Paris, to live here among my people. It is
certainly not so pleasant as in Versailles; our rooms are not so
fine and convenient, and we do not have the beautiful gardens here
that we had there. But we must learn to be contented here, and put
up with what we have. We must remember that there is no one in Paris
better than we, and that the Parisians must acknowledge that the
king loves them, for he has given up his beautiful Versailles, in
order to live with them, and share all their need, and all the
disagreeable things which they have to bear."

"Papa king, I have understood every thing, and I am very much
ashamed that I have complained before. I promise you, sire," he
continued, with earnest mien, and laying his hand upon his breast,
"yes, sire, I promise you, that I will take pains to give the people
a good example, and to be really good and kind. I will never
complain again that we are living in Paris, and I will take pains to
be happy and contented here."

And the dauphin kept his word. He took pains to be contented; he
said not another word about the old pleasant life at Versailles, but
appeared to have forgotten all about ever having been anywhere but
in this great, desolate palace, with its halls filled with faded
tapestry; stately, solemn furniture, their golden adornments having
grown dim, and their upholstery hard; he seemed never to have known
any garden but this, only one little corner of which was set apart
for the royal family, and through the iron gate of which threatening
words were often heard, and spiteful faces seen.

One day, when the dauphin heard such words, and saw such faces
beyond the paling, he shrank back, and ran to his mother, earnestly
imploring her with trembling voice to leave the garden, and go into
the palace. But Marie Antoinette led him farther into the garden,
instead of complying with his wish. In the little pavilion which
stood at the corner of the enclosure on the side of the quay, she
sat down, and lifting her boy up in her arms, set him before her on
the marble table, wiped away his tears with her handkerchief, and
tenderly implored him not to weep or feel badly any more.

"If you weep, my child," she said, sadly, as the dauphin could not
control his tears, "if you weep, I shall have no courage left, and
it will be as dark and dreary to me as if the sun had gone down. If
you weep, I should want to weep with you; and you see, my son, that
it would not be becoming for a queen to weep. The wicked people, who
want to hurt our feelings, they find pleasure in it, and therefore
we must be altogether too proud to let them see what we suffer. I
have this pride, but when I see you suffer it takes away all my
strength. You remember our ride from Versailles here, my son? How
the bad men who surrounded us, mocked at me and said foul things to
me! I was cold and calm, but I could not help weeping, my child,
when you complained of being hungry."

"Mamma," cried the child, with flashing eyes, "I will never complain
again, and the bad men shall never have the pleasure of seeing me
weep."

"But good men, my child, you must always treat kindly, and behave
very prettily to them."

"I will do so," answered the dauphin, thoughtfully. "But, mamma
queen, tell me who the good men are!"

"You must believe, Louis, that all men are good, and therefore you
must be kind to all. If then they despise your goodness or
friendliness, and cast it from them, it will not be your fault, and
our heavenly Father and your parents will be pleased with you."

"But, mamma," cried the prince, and a shadow passed over his pure,
beautiful child's face, "but, mamma, I cannot see that all men are
good. When they were abusing us, and cursing us, and speaking bad
words at us in the carriage, and were talking so angrily at you,
dear mamma, the men were not good, and I never could treat them
friendly if they should come again."

"They will not come again, Louis. No, we will hope that the bad men
will not come again, and that those who come to see us here are good
men; so be very kind and polite to everybody, that all may love you,
and see that their future king is good and polite, even while a
child."

"Good?" cried the boy, spiritedly. "I will be good and polite to
everybody, that you may be satisfied with me. Yes, just for that
will I be so."

Marie Antoinette pressed the pretty boy to herself, and kissed his
lips. Just then an officer entered and announced General Lafayette
and Bailly, the mayor of Paris.

"Mamma," whispered the prince, as the two gentlemen entered--"
mamma, that is the general that was at Versailles, then. I can never
be kind to him, for he belongs to the bad men."

"Hush! my child-hush!" whispered the queen. "For God's sake, do not
let anybody hear that. No, no, General Lafayette does not belong to
our enemies, he means well toward us. Treat him kindly, very kindly,
my child."

And Marie Antoinette took her son by the hand, and, with a smile
upon her lips, went to meet the two gentlemen, in order to inquire
the reason for their appearing at this unwonted time and place.

"Madame," said General Lafayette, "I have come to ask your majesty
whether you will not have the goodness to let me know the hours in
which you may wish to visit the park and the garden, that I may make
my arrangements accordingly."

"That means, general," cried the queen, "that it is not to depend
upon my free-will when and at what times I am to walk in the park,
but it will be allowed me only at certain hours, just as prisoners
are allowed to take their walks at certain hours."

"I beg your pardon, madame," said the general, with great respect;
"your majesty will graciously believe, that to me, the peace and
security of your exalted person is sacred above every thing, and
that I regard it as my first duty to protect you against every
insult, and every thing that may be disagreeable."

"And so it has come to that," cried Marie Antoinette, angrily. "The
Queen of France must be protected against insults and disagreeable
things. She is not to go out when she will into her park, because
she has to fear that, if General Lafayette has not previously made
his special preparations, the people will insult her. But if this is
so, sir, why do you not close the gates of the park? It is royal
property, and it probably will be allowed to the king to defend his
private property from the brutality of the rabble. I will myself,
general, see to it that I be protected from insults, and that, at
any time when it pleases me, I may go into the park and the inner
gardens. I will ask his majesty the king to allow the gates of the
park and. the promenade on the quay to be closed. That will close
every thing, and we shall at least gain the freedom thereby of being
able to take walks at any time, without first sending information to
General Lafayette."

"Madame, I expected that you would answer me so," said Lafayette,
sadly, "and I have therefore brought M. de Bailly with me, that he
might join me in supplicating your majesty to graciously abstain
from taking measures of violence, and not to further stir up the
feelings of the people, already so exasperated."

"And so you are of this opinion, sir?" asked Marie Antoinette,
turning to M. Bailly. "You, too, regard it as a compulsory measure,
for the king to claim his own right, and to keep out of his property
those who insult him."

"Your majesty, the king is, unfortunately, not free to make use of
this right, as you call it."

"You will not say, sir, that if it pleases the king not to allow
evil-disposed persons to enter the park of the Tuileries, he has not
the right to close the gates?"

"Madame, I must indeed take the privilege of saying so," answered M.
de Bailly, with a gentle obeisance. "King Henry IV. gave the
Parisians the perpetual privilege of having the park of the
Tuileries open to them always, and free to be used in their walks.
The palace of the Tuileries was, as your majesty knows, originally
built by Queen Catherine de Medicis, after the death of her husband,
for the home of her widowhood. All sorts of stories were then
current about the uncanny things which were said to occur in the
park of the Tuileries. They told about laboratories in which Queen
Catherine prepared her poisons; of a pavilion in which there was a
martyr's chamber; of subterranean cells for those who had been
buried alive; and all these dreadful stories made such an impression
that no one dared approach this place of horrors after sunset. But
when Queen Catherine had left Paris, and King Henry IV. resided in
the Louvre, he had this dreaded Tuileries garden, with all its
horrors, opened to the Parisians, and out of the queen's garden he
made one for the people, in order that the curse which rested upon
it might be changed into a blessing."

"And now you suppose, Mr. Mayor, that it would change the blessing
into a curse again, if we should want to close the gates that Henry
IV. opened?"

"I do fear it, madame, and therefore venture to ask that the right
to enter the Tuileries gardens may not be taken from the people, nor
their enjoyment interfered with."

"Not the people's enjoyment, only ours, is to be interfered with,"
cried Marie Antoinette, bitterly. "They are doubtless right who call
the people now the real king of France, but they forget that this
new king has usurped the throne only by treachery, rebellion, and
murder, and that the wrath of God and the justice of man 'will one
day hurl him down into the dust at our feet. In this day I hope, and
until then I will bear in patience and with unshaken courage what
fate may lay upon me. The wickedness and brutality of men shall at
least not intimidate me, and fear shall not humiliate me to the
state of a prisoner who takes her walks under the protection of M.
de Lafayette, the general of the people, at appointed hours."

"Your majesty," cried Lafayette, turning pale.

"What is your pleasure?" interrupted the queen, with a proud
movement of her head. "You were a gentleman, and knew the customs
and. mode of our court before you went to America. Has the want of
manners there so disturbed your memory that you do not know that it
is not permitted to speak in the presence of the queen without being
asked or permitted by her to do so?"

"General," cried the dauphin, at this instant, with loud, eager
voice, running forward to Lafayette, and extending to him his little
hand--" general, I should like to salute you. Mamma told me that I
must be kind to all those who are good to us and love us, and just
as you were coming in with this gentleman, mamma told me that
General Lafayette does not belong to our enemies, but means well to
us. Let me, therefore, greet you kindly and give you my hand." And
while saying so and smiling kindly at the general, he raised his
great blue eyes to the face of his mother an instant with a
supplicatory expression.

Lafayette took the extended hand of the prince, and a flush of deep
emotion passed over his face that was just before kindling with
anger. As if touched with reverence and astonishment, he bent his
knee before this child, whose countenance beamed with innocence,
love, and goodness, and pressed to his lips the little hand that
rested in his own.

"My prince," said be, deeply moved, "you have just spoken to me with
the tongue of an angel, and I swear to you, and to your exalted
royal mother, that I will never forget this moment; that I will
remember it so long as I live. The kiss which I have impressed upon
the hand of my future king is at once the seal of the solemn vow,
and the oath of unchangeable fidelity and devotion which I
consecrate to my king and to the whole royal family, and in which
nothing shall make me waver; nothing, not even the anger and the
want of favor of my exalted queen. Dauphin of France, you have to-
day gained a soldier for your throne who is prepared to shed his
last drop of blood for you and your house, and on whose fidelity and
devotion you may continually count."

With tears in his eyes, his brave, noble face quivering with
emotion, Lafayette looked at the child that with cheeks all aglow
and with a pleasant smile was gazing with great, thoughtful child's
eyes up to the strong man, who placed himself so humbly and
devotedly at his feet. Behind him stood M. de Bailly, with bended
head and folded hands, listening with solemn thoughtfulness to the
words of the general, upon whose strong shoulders the fate of the
monarchy rested, and who, at this time, was the mightiest and most
conspicuous man in France, because the National Guard of Paris was
still obedient to him, and followed his commands.

Close by the dauphin stood the queen, in her old, proud attitude,
but upon her face a striking change had taken place. The expression
of anger and suspicion which it had before displayed had not
completely disappeared. The cloud which had gathered upon her lofty
forehead was dissipated, and her face shone out bright and clear.
The large, grayish-blue eyes, which before had shot angry darts, now
glowed with mild fire, and around her lips played an instant that
fair, pleasant smile which, in her happier days, had often moved the
favorites of the queen to verses of praise, and which her enemies
had so often made a reproach to her.

When the general ceased there was silence--that eloquent, solemn
silence which accompanies those moments in which the Genius of
History hovers over the heads of men, and, touching them with its
pinions, ties their tongues and opens the eyes of the spirit, so
that they can look into the future, and, with presaging horror, read
all the secrets of coming time as by a flash of lightning.

Such a critical moment in history was that in which Lafayette, at
the feet of the dauphin, swore eternal fidelity to the monarchy of
France in the presence of the unfortunate mayor of Paris, who was
soon to seal his loyalty with his own blood, and in presence of the
queen, whose lofty character was soon to make her a martyr.

The moments passed by, then Marie Antoinette bowed to Lafayette with
her gracious smile.

"Rise, general," she said, in gentle tones, "God has heard your
oath, and I accept it in the name of the French monarchy, my
husband, my son, and myself. I shall always continue mindful of it,
and I hope that you will also. And I beg you, too," she continued,
in a low voice, and with a deep flush upon her face, "I beg you to
forgive me if I have hitherto cast unworthy reproaches upon you. I
have lived through so many sad and dreadful days, that it will be
set down to my favor if my nerves are agitated and easily excited. I
shall probably learn to accept evil days with calmness, and to bow
my head patiently beneath the yoke which my enemies are laying upon
me! But still I feel the injury, and the proud habits of my birth
and life war against it. But only wait, and I shall become
accustomed to it."

While saying this she stooped down to the dauphin and kissed his
golden hair. A tear fell from her eyes upon the forehead of her son,
and glittered there like a star fallen from heaven. Marie Antoinette
did not see it, did not know that the tear which she was trying to
conceal was now glistening on the brow of her son--on that brow
which was never to wear any other diadem than the one that the tears
of love placed on his innocent head.

"Heaven defend your majesty ever being compelled to become
accustomed to insult!" cried Lafayette, deeply moved. "I hope we
have seen our worst days, and that after the tempest there will be
sunshine and bright weather again. The people will look back with
shame and regret upon the wild and stormy scenes to which they have
allowed themselves to be drawn by unprincipled agitators; they will
bow in love and obedience before the royal couple who, with so much
confidence and devotion, leave their beautiful, retired home at
Versailles, in order to comply with the wish of the people and come
to Paris. Will your majesty have the goodness to ask the mayor of
Paris, and he will tell you, madame, how deeply moved all the good
citizens of Paris are at the truly noble spirit which prompted you
to refuse to initiate an investigation respecting the night of
horrors at Versailles, and to bring the ringleaders to justice."

"Is it true, M. de Bailly?" asked the queen, eagerly. "Was my
decision approved? Have I friends still among the people of Paris?"

"Your majesty," answered M. de Bailly, bowing low, "all good
citizens of Paris have seen with deep emotion the noble resolve of
your majesty, and in all noble and true hearts the royal words are
recorded imperishably, which your majesty spoke to the judges of the
Chatelet, 'I have heard all, seen all, and forgotten all!' With
tears of deep feeling, with a hallowed joy, they are repeated
through all Paris; they have become the watchword of all the well-
inclined and faithful, the evangel of love and forgiveness for all
women, of fidelity and devotion for all men! It has been seen and
confessed that the throne of France is the possessor not only of
goodness and beauty, but of forgiveness and gentleness, and that
your majesty bears rightly the title of the Most Christian Queen.
These nine words which your majesty has uttered, have become the
sacred banner of all true souls, and they will cause the golden days
to come back, as they once dawned upon Paris when the Dauphin of
France made his entry into the capital, and it could be said with
truth to the future queen, Marie Antoinette, 'Here are a hundred
thousand lovers of your person.'"

The queen was no longer able to master her deep emotion. She who had
had the courage to display a proud and defiant mien to her enemies
and assailants, could not conceal the intensity of her feeling when
hearing words of such devotion, and uttered a cry, then choked with
emotion, and at length burst into a torrent of tears. Equally
astonished and ashamed, she covered her face with her hands, but the
tears gushed out between her white tapering fingers, and would not
be withheld. They had been so long repressed behind those proud
eyelids, that now, despite the queen's will, they forced their way
with double power and intensity.

But only for a moment did the proud-spirited queen allow herself to
be overcome by the gentle and deeply-moved woman; she quickly
collected herself and raised her head.

"I thank you, sir, I thank you," she said, breathing more freely,
"you have done me good, and these tears, though not the first which
grief and anger have extorted, are the first for a long time which
have sprung from what is almost joy. Who knows whether I shall ever
be able to shed such tears again! And who knows," she continued,
with a deep sigh, "whether I do not owe these tears more to your
wish to do me good, than to true and real gains? I bethink me now--
you say all good citizens of Paris repeat my words, all the well-
disposed are satisfied with my decision. But, ah! I fear that the
number of these is very small, and that the golden days of the past
will never return! And is not your appearance here to-day a proof of
this? Did you not come here because the people insult and calumniate
me, and because you considered it needful to throw around me your
protection, which is now mightier than the royal purple and the
lilies of the throne of France?"

"Madame, time must be granted to the misguided people to return to
the right way," said Lafayette, almost with a supplicating air.
"They must be dealt with as we deal with defiant, naughty children,
which can be brought back to obedience and submission better by
gentle speech and apparent concession than by rigidity and severity.
On this account I ventured to ask your majesty to intrust me for a
little while with the care of your sacred person, and, in order that
I may satisfy my duty, that you would graciously appoint the time
when your majesty will take your walks here in the park and garden,
so that I can make my arrangements accordingly."

"In order to make a fence out of your National Guards, protected by
which the Queen of France may not become visible to the hate of the
people, and behind which she may be secure against the attacks of
her enemies!" cried Marie Antoinette. "No, sir, I cannot accept
this! It shall at least be seen that I am no coward, and that I will
not hide myself from those who come to attack me!"

"Your majesty," said Bailly, "I conjure you, do this out of
compassion for us, for all your faithful servants who tremble for
the peace and security of your majesty, and allow M. de Lafayette to
keep the brutality of the people away from you, and protect you in
your walks."

"Sufficient, gentlemen," cried Marie Antoinette, impatiently. "You
now know my fixed resolve, and it is not necessary to discuss it
further. I will not hide myself from the people, and I will confront
them under the simple protection of God. Defended by Him, and
sustained by the conviction that I have not merited the hate with
which I am pursued, I will continue to meet the subjects of the king
fearlessly, with an unveiled head, and only God and my fate shall
judge between me and them! I thank you, gentlemen, for your zeal and
your care, and you may be sure that I shall never forget it. But now
farewell, gentlemen! It is growing cold, and I should like to return
to the palace."

"Will your majesty not have the kindness to allow us both to mingle
with your train, and accompany you to the palace?" asked Lafayette.

"I came hither, attended by only two lackeys, who are waiting
outside the pavilion," answered the queen. "You know that I have
laid aside the court etiquette which used to attend the queen upon
her walks, and which do not allow the free enjoyment of nature. My
enemies charge me with this as an offence, and consider it improper
that the Queen of France should take a walk without a brilliant
train of courtiers, and like any other human being. But I think that
the people ought not to be angry at this, and they may take it as a
sign that I am not so proud and unapproachable as I am generally
believed to be. And so farewell, gentlemen!"

She graciously waved her hand toward the door, and, with a gentle
inclination of her head, dismissed the two gentlemen, who, with a
sad bearing, withdrew, and left the pavilion.

"Come, my son," said the queen, "we will return to the palace."

"By the same way that we came, shall we not, mamma?" asked the
dauphin, taking the extended hand of the queen, and pressing it to
his lips.

"You will not weep again if the people shout and laugh?" asked Marie
Antoinette. "You will not be afraid any more?"

"No, I will not be afraid any more. Oh, you shall be satisfied with
me, mamma queen! I have paid close attention to all that you said to
the two gentlemen, and I am very glad that you did not allow M. de
Lafayette to walk behind us. The people would then have believed
that we are afraid, and now they shall see that we are not so at
all."

"Well, come, my child, let us go," said Marie Antoinette, giving her
hand to her son, and preparing to leave the pavilion.

But on the threshold the dauphin stopped, and looked imploringly up
into the face of his mother.

"I should like to ask you something, mamma queen."

"Well, what is it, my little Louis? What do you wish?"

"I should like to have you allow me to go alone, else the people
would believe that I am afraid and want you to lead me. And I want
to be like the Chevalier Bayard, about whom the Abbe talked with me
to-day. I want to be sans peur et sans reproche, like Bayard."

"Very well, chevalier," said the queen, with a smile, "then walk
alone and free by my side."

"No, mamma, if you will allow me, I will walk before you. The
knights always walk in advance of the ladies, so as to ward off any
danger which may be in the way. And I am your knight, mamma, and I
want to be as long as I live. Will you allow it, my royal lady?"

"I allow it! So go in front, Chevalier Louis Charles! We will take
the same way back by which we came."

The dauphin sprang over the little square in front of the pavilion,
and down the alley which led to the Arcadia Walk along the side of
the quay.

Before the little staircase which led up to this walk, he stopped
and turned his pretty head round to the queen, who, followed by the
two lackeys, was walking slowly and quietly along.

"Well, Chevalier Bayard," asked the queen, with a smile, "what are
you stopping for?"

"I am only waiting for your majesty," replied the child, gravely.
"Here is where my knightly service commences, for here it is that
danger begins."

"It is true," said the queen, as she stopped at the foot of the
steps and listened to the loud shouting which now became audible.
"One would think that a storm had been Sweeping over the ocean,
there is such a thundering sound. But you know, my son, that the
storms lie in God's hand, and that He protects those who trust in
Him. Think of that, my child, and do not be afraid!"

"Oh, I am not afraid!" cried the boy, and he sprang up the stairs
like a gazelle.

The queen quickened her steps a little, and seemed to be giving her
whole attention to her son, who went before her with such a happy
flow of spirits, and appeared to hear nothing of what was passing
around her. And yet, behind the fence which ran along the left side
of the Arcadia Walk all the way to the quay, was a dense mass of
people, head behind head, and all their blazing eyes were directed
at the queen, and words of hate, malediction, and threatening
followed her every step which she took forward.

"See, see," cried a woman, with dishevelled hair, which streamed out
from her round cap, and fell down over her red, angry face--" see,
that is the baker's woman, and the monkey that jumps in front of her
is the apprentice-boy! They can dress themselves up and be fine, for
all is well with them, and they can eat cakes, while we have to go
hungry. But wait, only wait! times will be different by and by, and
we shall see the baker-woman as hungry as we. But when we have the
bread, we will give her none--no, we will give her none!"

"No, indeed, we will give her none!" roared, and cried, and laughed,
and howled the mob. And they all pressed closer up to the fence, and
naked arms and clinched fists were thrust through the palings, and
threatened the queen, and the dauphin, who walked in front of his
mother.

"Will he be able to bear it? Will my poor boy not weep with fear and
anxiety? "That was the only thought of the queen, as she walked on
past the angry roars of the crowd. To the dauphin alone all her
looks were directed; not once did she glance at the fence, behind
which the populace roared like a pack of lions.

All at once the breath of the queen stopped, and her heart ceased
beating, with horror. She saw directly at the place where the path
turned and ran away from the fence, but where, before making the
turn, it ran very near the fence, the bare arm of a man extended
through the paling as far as possible, and stretching in fact half-
way across the path, as if it were a turnpike-bar stopping the way.
The eyes of the queen, when they fell upon this dreadful, powerful
arm, turned at once in deep alarm to the dauphin. She saw him
hesitate a little in his hurried course, and then go slowly forward.
The queen quickened her steps in order to come up with the dauphin
before he should reach the danger which confronted him. The people
outside of the fence, when they saw the manoeuvre of the man who was
forcing his arm still farther in, stopped their shouting and lapsed
into a breathless, eager silence, as sometimes is the case in a
storm, between the successive bursts of wind and thunder.

Every one felt that the touch of that threatening arm and that
little child might be like the contact of steel and flint, and
elicit sparks which should kindle the fires of another revolution.
It was this feeling which made the crowd silent; the same feeling
compelled the queen to quicken her steps, so that she was close to
the dauphin before he had reached this terrible turnpike-bar.

"Come here, my son," cried the queen, "give me your hand!"

But before she had time to grasp the hand of the little prince, he
sprang forward and stood directly in front of the outstretched arm.

"My God! what will he do?" whispered the queen to herself.

At the same instant, there resounded from behind the fence a loud,
mighty bravo, and a thousand voices took it up and cried, "Bravo!
bravo!"

The dauphin had stretched up his little white hand and laid it upon
the brown, clinched fist that was stretched out toward him, and
nodded pleasantly at the man who looked down so fiercely upon him.

"Good-day, sir!" he said, with a loud voice--"good-day!"

And he took hold with his little hand of the great hand of the man
and shook it a little, as in friendly salutation. "Little knirps,"
roared the man, "what do you mean, and how dare you lay your little
paw on the claws of the lion?"

"Sir," said the boy, smiling, "I thought you were stretching out
your hand to reach me with it, and so I give you mine, and say,
'Good-day, sir!'"

"And if I wanted, I could crush your hand in my fist as if it were
in a vise," cried the man, holding the little hand firmly.

"You shall not do it," cried hundreds and hundreds of voices in the
crowd. "No, Simon, you shall not hurt the child."

"Who of you could hinder me if I wanted to?" asked the man, with a
laugh. "See here, I hold the hand of the future King of France in my
fist, and I can break it if I want to, and make it so that it can
never lift the sceptre of France. The little monkey thought he would
take hold of my hand and make me draw it back, and now my hand has
got his and holds it fast. And mark this, boy, the time is past when
kings seized us and trod us down; now we seize them and hold them
fast, and do not let them go unless we will."

"Sir!" cried the queen, motioning back with a commanding gesture the
two lackeys who were hurrying up to release the dauphin from the
hand of the man, "sir, I beg you to withdraw your hand, and not to
hinder us in our walk."

"Ah! you are there, too, madame, the baker's wife, are you?" cried
the man, with a horrid laugh. "We meet once more, and the eyes of
our most beautiful queen fall again upon the dirty, pitiable face of
such a poor, wretched creature as, in your heavenly eyes, the
cobbler Simon is!"

"Are you Simon the cobbler?" asked Marie Antoinette.

"It is true, I bethink me now, I have spoken with you once before.
It was when I carried the prince here, for the first time, to Notre
Dame, that God would bless him, and that the people might see him.
You stood then by my carriage, sir!"

"Yes, it is true," answered Simon, visibly flattered. "You have, at
least, a good memory, queen. But you ought to have paid attention to
what I said to you. I am no 'sir,' I am a simple cobbler, and earn
my poor bit of bread in the sweat of my brow, while you strut about
in your glory and happiness, and cheat God out of daylight. Then I
held the hand of your daughter in my fist, and she cried out for
fear, merely because a poor fellow like me touched her."

"But, Mr. Simon, you see very plainly that I do not cry out," said
the dauphin, with a smile. "I know that you do not want to do me any
harm, and I ask you to be so good as to take away your arm, that my
mamma can go on in her walk."

"But, suppose that I do not do as you want me to?" asked the
cobbler, defiantly. "I suppose it would come that your mamma would
dictate to me, and perhaps call some soldiers, and order them to
shoot the dreadful people?"

"You know, Master Simon, that I give no such command, and never gave
any such," said the queen, quickly.

"The king and I love our people, and never would give orders to our
soldiers to fire upon them."

"Because you would not be sure, madame, that the soldiers would obey
your commands, if you should," laughed Simon. "Since we got rid of
the Swiss guards, there are no soldiers left who would let
themselves be torn in pieces for their king and queen; and you know
well that if the soldiers should fire the first shot at us, the
people would tear the soldiers in pieces afterward. Yes, yes, the
fine days at Versailles are past; here, in Paris, you must accustom
yourself to ask, instead of command, and the arm of a single man of
the people is enough to stop the Queen and the Dauphin of France."

"You are mistaken, sir," said the queen, whose proud heart could no
longer be restrained, and allow her to take this humble stand; "the
Queen of France and her son will no longer be detained by you in
their walk."

And with a quick movement she caught the dauphin, struck back at the
same moment the fist of the cobbler, snatched the boy away like
lightning, and passed by before Simon had time to put his arm back.

The people, delighted with this energetic and courageous action of
the queen--the people, who would have howled with rage, if the queen
had ordered her lackeys to push the cobbler back, now roared with
admiration and with pleasure, to see the proud-hearted woman have
the boldness to repel the assailant, and to free herself from him.
They applauded, they laughed, they shouted from thousands upon
thousands of throats, "Long live the queen! Long live the dauphin!"
and the cry passed along like wildfire through the whole mass of
spectators behind the fence, and all eyes followed the tall and
proud figure of the queen as she walked away.

Only the eyes of Simon pursued her with a malicious glare, and his
clinched fists threatened her behind her back.

"She shall pay for this!" he muttered, with a withering curse. "She
has struck back my hand to-day, but the day will come when she will
feel it upon her neck, and when I will squeeze the hand of the
little rascal so that he shall cry out with pain! I believe now,
what Marat has so often told me, that the time of vengeance is come,
and that we must bring the crown down and tread it under our feet,
that the people may rule! I will have my share in it. I will help
bring it down, and tread it under foot. I hate the handsome Austrian
woman, who perks up her nose, and thinks herself better than my
wife; and if the golden time has come of which Marat speaks, when
the people are the master, and the king is the servant, Marie
Antoinette shall be my waiting-maid, and her son shall be my
choreboy, and his buckle shall make acquaintance with my shoe-
straps!"

And while Master Simon was muttering this to himself, he was making
a way through the crowd with those great elbows of his, a slipping
along the fence, to be able to follow as long as possible the tall
figure of the queen, who was now leading the dauphin by the hand,
traversing the Arcadian Walk. At the end of it was the fence which
led into the little garden reserved for the royal family. Through
the iron gate, hard by, adorned with the arms of the kings of
France, Marie Antoinette entered an asylum, which had been saved to
the crown, free from the intrusion of the people, and she drew a
free breath when one of the lackeys closed the gate, and she heard
the key grate in the lock.

She stood still a moment to regain her composure, and then she felt
that her feet were trembling, and that she scarcely had the power to
go farther. It would have been a relief to her to have fallen there
upon her knees, and poured all her sorrows and trials into the ear
of God. But there were the lackeys behind her; there was her little
son, looking up to her with his great eyes; and there was that
dreadful cry coming up from the quay like the roaring of the sea.

The queen could not utter a word of grief or sorrow, she could not
sink to the ground in her weakness; she had to show a cheerful face
to her son, and a proud brow to her servants. God only could look
into her heart and see the tears which glowed there like burning
coals. Yet in all her sadness she had a feeling of triumph, of proud
satisfaction. She had preserved her freedom, her independence; she
was not Lafayette's prisoner! No, the Queen of France had not put
herself under the protection of the people's general; she had not
given him the power of watching her with his hated National Guard,
and of saying to them: "At this or that hour the queen takes her
walks, and, that she may recreate herself, we will protect her
against the rage of the people!"

No, she had defended herself, she had remained the queen all the
while, the free queen, and she had gained a victory over the people
by showing them that she did not fear them.

"Mamma," cried the dauphin, interrupting her in her painful and
proud thought--" mamma, there comes the king, there comes my papa!
Oh, he will be glad to hear that I was so courageous!"

The queen quickly stooped down and kissed him. "Yes, truly, my
little Bayard, yon have done honor to your great exemplar, and you
have really been a little chevalier sans peur et sans reproche. But,
my child, true bravery does not glory in its great deeds, and does
not desire others to admire them, but keeps silent and leaves it to
others to talk about them!"

"Mamma, I will be silent, too," cried the boy, with glowing eyes.
"Oh, you shall see that I can be silent, and not talk at all about
myself."

The king meanwhile, followed by some gentlemen and servants, was
coming forward with unaccustomed haste, and, in his eagerness to
reach his wife, he had not noticed the beds, but was treading under
foot the last fading flowers of autumn.

"You are here at last, Marie," said he, when he was near enough to
speak. "I wanted to go to meet you, to conduct you hither out of the
park. You were gone very long, and I worried about you."

"Why worried, sire?" asked the queen. "What danger could threaten me
in our garden?"

"Do not seek to hide any thing from me, Marie," said Louis, with a
sigh. "I know every thing! The hate of the people denies us any
longer the enjoyment of the open air! Lafayette and Bailly were with
me after they were dismissed by you. They told me that you had given
no favor to their united request, and that you would not grant to
General Lafayette the right to protect you while you are taking your
walks."

"I hope your majesty is satisfied with me," answered Marie
Antoinette. "You feel, like me, that it is a new humiliation for us
if we are to allow our very enjoyment of nature to be under the
control of the people's general, and if even the air is no longer to
be the free air for us!"

"I have only thought that in such unguarded walks you would be
threatened with danger," answered the king, perplexed. "Lafayette
has painted to me in such dark and dreadful colors, and I have so
painfully had to confess that he speaks the truth, that I could only
think of your safety, and take no other point of view than to see
you sheltered from the attacks of your enemies, and from the rage of
these factions. I have therefore approved Lafayette's proposal, and
allowed him to protect your majesty on your walks."

"But you have not fixed definite hours for my walks? You have not
done that, sire, have you?"

"I have indeed done that," answered the king, gently. "I am familiar
with your habits, and know that in autumn and winter you usually
take your walks between twelve and two, and in summer afternoons
between five and seven. I have therefore named these hours to
General Lafayette."

The queen heaved a deep sigh. "Sire," she said, softly, "you
yourself are binding tighter and tighter the chains of our
imprisonment. To-day you limit our freedom to two poor hours, and
that will be a precedent for others to continue what you have begun.
We shall after this walk for two hours daily under the protection of
M. de Lafayette, but there will come a time when this protection
will not suffice, and no security will be great enough for us. For
the royal authority which shows itself weak and dependent, and which
does not draw power from itself--the royalty which suffers its crown
to be borne up for it by the hands of others, confesses thereby that
it is too weak to bear the burden itself. Oh, sire, I would rather
you had let me break away from the rage of the people, while I might
be walking unguarded, than be permitted to take my daily walks under
the protection of M. de Lafayette!"

"You see every thing in too dark and sad a light," cried the king.
"Every thing will come out right if we are only wise and carefully
conform to circumstances, and by well-timed concessions and
admissions propitiate this hate and bring this enmity to silence."

The queen did not reply; she stooped down to the dauphin, and,
pressing a kiss upon his locks, whispered: "Now yon may tell every
thing, Louis. It is not longer necessary to keep silent about any
thing, for silence were useless! So tell of your heroism, my son!"

"Is it of heroism that you talk?" said the king, whose nice ear had
caught the words of the queen.

"Yes, of heroism, sire," answered Marie Antoinette. "But it is with
us as with Don Quixote; we believed that we were fighting for our
honor and our throne; now we must confess that we only fought
against windmills. I beg you now, sire, to inform General Lafayette
that it is not necessary to call out his National Guards on my
account, I shall not walk again!"

And the queen kept her word. Never again during the winter did she
go down into the gardens and park of the Tuileries. She never gave
Lafayette occasion to protect her, but she at least gained thereby
what Lafayette wanted to reach by his National Guard--she held the
populace away from the Tuileries. At first they stood in dense
masses day after day along the fence of the park and the royal
garden, but when they saw that Marie Antoinette would no more expose
herself to their curious and evil glances, they grew tired of
waiting for her, and withdrew from the neighborhood of the
Tuileries,--but only to repair to their clubs and listen to the
raving speeches which Marat, Santerre, and other officers, hurled
like poisoned arrows at the queen-only to go into the National
Assembly and hear Mirabeau and Robespierre, Danton, Chenier, Petion,
and all the rest, the assembled representatives of the nation,
launch their thundering philippics against a royalty appointed by
the grace of God, and causing the people to believe that it was a
royalty appointed by the wrath of God.



CHAPTER XVI.

IN ST. CLOUD.


The winter was passed--a sad dismal winter for the royal family, and
for Marie Antoinette in particular! None of those festivities, those
diversions, those simple and innocent joys, which are wont to adorn
the life of a woman and of a queen!

Marie Antoinette is no more a queen who commands, who sees around
her a throng of respectful courtiers, zealously listening to every
word that falls from her lips; Marie Antoinette is a grave solitary
woman, who works much, thinks much, makes many plans for saving the
kingdom and the throne, and sees all these plans shipwrecks on the
indecision and weakness of her husband.

Far away from the queen lay those happy times when every day brought
new joys and new diversions; when the dawn of a summer morning made
the queen happy, because it promised her a delightful evening, and
one of those charming idyls at Trianon. The brothers of the king,
the schoolmaster and mayor of Trianon, had left France and had
located themselves at Coblentz on the Rhine; the Polignacs had fled
to England; the Princess Lamballe, too, had, at the wish of the
queen, gone to negotiate with Pitt, in order to implore the all-
powerful minister of George III. to give to the oppressed French
crown more material and effectual support than was afforded by the
angry and bitter words which he hurled in Parliament against the
riotous and rebellious French nation. The Counts de Besenval and
Coigny, the Marquis de Lauzun, and Baron d'Adhemar, all the
privileged friends of the summer days at Trianon and the winter days
of Versailles, all, all, were gone.

They had fled to Coblentz, and were at the court of the French
princes. There they spun their intrigues, sought to excite a
European war against France; from there they hurled their flaming
torches into France, their calumnies against Queen Marie Antoinette,
the Austrian woman. She alone was accountable for all the
misfortunes and the disturbances of France, she alone had given
occasion for the distrust now felt against royalty. On her head fell
the curse and the burden of all the faults and sins which the French
court had for a hundred years committed. There must be a sacrificial
lamb, to be thrown into the arms glistening with spears and daggers,
of a revolution which thirsted for blood and vengeance, and Marie
Antoinette had to be the victim. In her bleeding heart the spirits
glowing with hate might cool themselves, and there the evil which
her predecessors had done, was to be atoned for. Many a wrong had
been done, and the French nation had, no doubt, a right to be angry
and to rage as does the lion for a long time kept in subjection,
when at last, touched too much by the iron of its keeper, it rises
in its wildness, and with withering greed, tears him in pieces from
whom it has suffered so long and so much. The French people rose
just as the incensed lion does, and determined to wreak their
vengeance on their keepers, on those whom they had so long called
their lords and rulers.

To pacify the lion some prey must be thrown to him, and to him who
thirsts for vengeance and blood, a human offering must be brought to
propitiate him.

Marie Antoinette had to be the offering to the lion! Her blood had
to flow for the sins of the Bourbons! On her all the anger, the
exasperation, the rage of the people must concentrate! She must bear
the blame of all the miseries and the needs of France! She must
satisfy the hunger for vengeance, in order that when the lion is
appeased it can be made placable and patient again, the chains put
on which he has broken in his rage--the chains, however, to which,
when his rage is past, he must again submit.

The queen, the queen is to blame for all! Marie Antoinette has
brought royalty into discredit; the Austrian woman has brought the
hatred of the French nation upon herself, and she must atone for it,
she alone!

Libels and calumnies are forged against the queen by those who were
once the friends and cavaliers of the queen--cavaliers no longer,
but cavillers now; the poisoned arrows are sent to France to be
directed against the head of the queen, to destroy first her honor
and good name, and then to make her a prey for scorn and contempt.

If the lion stills his rage and cools his hate with Marie Antoinette
as his victim, he will relax again and bow to his king, for it is
time for these royal princes to return to France and their loved
Paris once more.

The Count do Provence is the implacable enemy of the queen; he can
never forgive her for gaining the heart of the king her husband, and
leaving no influence for his wise, clever brother. The Count de
Provence is avaricious and crafty. He sees that an abyss has opened
before the throne of the lilies, and that it will not close again!
It must, therefore, be filled up! A reconciliation will not be
possible in a natural way, and artificial methods must be found to
accomplish it. Louis XVI. will not be saved, and Marie Antoinette
shall not be! The two, perhaps, can fill up the abyss that yawns
between the throne of the lilies and the French people. They,
perhaps, may fill it up, and then a way may be made for the Count de
Provence, the successor of his brother.

The Count d'Artois was once the friend of the queen, the only one of
the royal family who wished her well, and who defended her sometimes
against the hatred of the royal aunts and sisters-in-law, and the
crafty brother. But while living in Coblentz, the Count d'Artois had
become the embittered enemy of Marie Antoinette. He had heard it so
often said on all sides that the queen by her levity, her
extravagance, and her intrigues, was the cause of all, that she
alone had brought about the revolution, that he at last believed it,
and turned angrily against the royal woman, whose worst offence in
the eyes of the prince lay in this, that she had been the occasion
of his enforced exile to Coblentz.

And Marie Antoinette knew all these intrigues which were forged by
the prince in Coblentz against herself--knew about all the calumnies
that were set in circulation there; she read the libels and
pamphlets which the storm-wind of revolution shook from the dry tree
of monarchy like withered autumn leaves, and scattered through all
France, that they might be everywhere found and read.

"They will kill me," she would often say, with a sigh, after reading
these pamphlets steeped with hate, and written in blood--" yes, they
will kill me, but with me they will kill the king and the monarchy
too. The revolution will triumph over us all, and hurl us all
together down into the grave."

But still she would make efforts to control the revolution and
restore the monarchy again out of its humiliations. The Emperor
Joseph II., brother of the queen, once said of himself, "I am a
royalist, because that is my business." Marie Antoinette was a
royalist not because it was her business; she was a royalist by
conviction, a royalist in her soul, her mind, and her inmost nature.
For this she would defend the monarchy; for this she would contend
against the revolution, until she should either constrain it to
terms or be swallowed up in it.

All her efforts, all her cares, were directed only to this, to
kindle in the king the same courage that animated her, to stir him
with the same fire that burned in her soul. But alas! Louis XVI. was
no doubt a good man and a kind father, but he was no king. He had no
doubt the wish to restore the monarchy, but he lacked the requisite
energy and strong will. Instead of controlling the revolution with a
fiery spirit, he sought to conciliate it by concession and mild
measures; and instead of checking it, he himself went down before
it.

But Marie Antoinette could not and would not give up hope. As the
king would not act, she would act for him; as he would not take part
in politics, she would do so for him. With glowing zeal she plunged
into business, spent many hours each day with the ministers and
dependants of the court, corresponded with foreign lands, with her
brother the Emperor Leopold, and her sister, Queen Caroline of
Naples, wrote to them in a cipher intelligible only to them, and
sent the letters through the hands of secret agents, imploring of
them assistance and help for the monarchy.

In earnest labor, in unrelieved care and business, the queen's days
now passed; she sang, she laughed no more; dress had no longer
charms for her; she had no more conferences with Mademoiselle
Bertin, her milliner; her hairdresser, M. Leonard, had no more calls
upon his genius for new coiffures for her fair hair; a simple, dark
dress, that was the toilet of the queen, a lace handkerchief round
the neck, and a feather was her only head-dress.

Once she had rejoiced in her beauty, and smiled at the flatteries
which her mirror told her when it reflected her face; now she looked
with indifference at her pale, worn face, with its sharp grave
features, and it awoke no wonder within her when the mirror told her
that the queen of France, in spite of her thirty-six years, was old;
that the roses on her cheeks had withered, and that care had drawn
upon her brow those lines which age could not yet have done. She did
not grieve over her lost beauty; she looked with complacency at that
matron of six-and-thirty years whose beautiful hair showed the
traces of that dreadful night in October. She had her picture
painted, in order to send it to London, to the truest of her
friends, the Princess Lamballe, and with her own hands she wrote
beneath it the words: "Your sorrows have whitened your hair."

And yet in this life full of cares, full of work, full of pain and
humiliation--in these sad days of trouble and resignation, there
were single gleams of sunshine, scattered moments of happiness.

It was a ray of sunshine when this sad winter in the Tuileries was
past, and the States-General allowed the royal family to go to St.
Cloud and spend the summer there. Certainly it was a new humiliation
for the king to receive permission to reside in his own summer
palace of St. Cloud. But the States-General called themselves the
pillars of the throne, and the king who sat upon this shaking throne
was very dependent upon its support.

In St. Cloud there was at least a little freedom, a little solitude
and stillness. The birds sang in the foliage, the sun lighted up the
broad halls of the palace, in which a few faithful ones gathered
around the queen and recalled at least a touch of the past happiness
to her brow. In St. Cloud she was again the queen, she held her
court there. But how different was this from the court of former
days.

No merry laughter, no cheerful singing resounded through these
spacious halls; no pleasant ladies, in light, airy, summer costume
swept through the fragrant apartments; M. d'Adhemar no longer sits
at the spinet, and sings with his rich voice the beautiful arias
from the opera "Richard of the Lion Heart," in which royalty had its
apotheosis, and in which the singer Garat had excited all Paris to
the wildest demonstrations of delight! And not all Paris, but
Versailles as well, and in Versailles the royal court!

Louis XVI. himself had been in rapture at the aria which Garat sang
with his flexible tenor voice in so enchanting a manner--"Oh,
Richard! oh, mon roi!"--an aria which had once procured him a
triumph in the very theatre. For when Garat began this air with his
full voice, and every countenance was directed to the box where the
royal family were sitting, the whole theatre rose, and the hundreds
upon hundreds present had joined in the loud, jubilant strains--"Oh,
Richard! oh, mon roi!" Louis XVI. was grateful to the spirited
singer, who, in that stormy time, had the courage to publicly offer
him homage, and he had therefore acceded to the request of the
queen, that Garat should be invited to the private concerts of the
queen at Versailles, and give her instruction on those occasions in
the art of singing.

Marie Antoinette thought of those pleasant days of the past, as she
sat in the still, deserted music-room, where the instruments stood
silent by the wall--where there were no hands to entice the cheerful
melodies from the strings, as there had once been.

"I wish that I had never sung duets with Garat," whispered the queen
to herself. "The king allowed me, but yet I ought not to have done
it. A queen has no right to be free, merry, and happy. A queen can
practise the fine arts only alone, and in the silence of her own
apartments. I would I had never sung with Garat." [Footnote: The
queen's own words.--See "Memoires de Madame de Campan," vol. ii.]

She sat down before the spinet and opened it. Her fingers glided
softly over the keys, and for the first time, in long months of
silence, the room resounded with the tones of music.

But, alas! it was no cheerful music which the fingers of the queen
drew from the keys; it was only the notes of pain, only cries of
grief; and yet they recalled the happy by-gone times--those golden,
blessed days, when the Queen of France was the friend of the arts,
and when she received her early teacher, the great maestro and
chevalier, Gluck, in Versailles; when she took sides for him against
the Italian maestro Lully, and when all Paris divided into two
parties, the Gluckists and Lullyists, waging a bloodless war against
each other. Happy Paris! At that time the interests of art alone
busied all spirits, and the battle of opinions was conducted only
with the pen. Gluck owed it to the mighty influence of the queen
that his opera "Alcestes" was brought upon the stage; but at its
first representation the Lullyists gained the victory, and condemned
it. In despair, Gluck left the opera-house, driven by hisses into
the dark street. A friend followed him and detained him, as he was
hurrying away, and spoke in the gentlest tones. But Gluck
interrupted him with wild violence: "Oh, my friend!" cried he,
falling on the neck of him who was expressing his kindly sympathy,
"'Alcestes' has fallen!" But his friend pressed his hand, and said,
"Fallen? Yes, 'Alcestes' has fallen! It has fallen from heaven!"

The queen thought of this as she sat before the spinet--thought how
moved Gluck was when he related this answer of his friend, and that
he, who had been so kind, was the Duke d'Adhemar.

She had thanked him for this gracious word by giving him her hand to
kiss, and Adhemar, kneeling, had pressed his lips to her hand. And
that was the same Baron Adhemar who was now at Coblentz assisting
the prince to forge libels against herself, and who was himself the
author of that shameless lampoon which ridiculed the musical studies
of the queen, and even the duet which she had sung with Garat!

Softly glided her fingers over the keys, softly flowed over her
pale, sunken cheeks two great tears--tears which she shed as she
thought of the past--tears full of bitterness and pain! But no, no,
she would not weep; she shook the tears from her eyes, and struck
the keys with a more vigorous touch. Away, away, those recollections
of ingratitude and faithlessness! Art shall engage her thoughts in
the music-room, and to Gluck and "Alcestes" the hour belongs!

The queen struck the keys more firmly, and began to play the noble
"Love's Complaint," of Gluck's opera. Unconsciously her lips opened,
and with loud voice and intense passionate expression, she sang the
words, "Oh, crudel, non posso in vere, tu lo sui, senza dite!"

At the first notes of this fine voice the door in the rear of the
room had lightly opened--the one leading to the garden--and the
curly head of the dauphin was thrust in. Behind him were Madame de
Tourzel and Madame Elizabeth, who, like the prince, were listening
in breathless silence to the singing of the queen.

As she ended, and when the voice of Marie Antoinette was choked in a
sigh, the dauphin flew with, extended arms across the hall to his
mother, "Mamma queen," cried he, beaming with joy, "are you singing
again? I thought my dear mamma had forgotten how to sing. But she
has begun to sing again, and we are all happy once more."

Marie Antoinette folded the little fellow in her arms, and did not
contradict him, and nodded smilingly to the two ladies, who now
approached and begged the queen's pardon for yielding to the
pressing desires of the dauphin, and entering without permission.

"Oh, mamma, my dear mamma queen," said the prince, in the most
caressing way, "I have been very industrious to-day; the abbe was
satisfied with me, and praised me, because I wrote well and learned
my arithmetic well. Won't you give me a reward for that, mamma
queen?"

"What sort of a reward do you want, my child?" asked the queen,
smiling.

"Say, first, that you will give it."

"Well, yes, I will give it, my little Louis; now tell me what it
is."

"Mamma queen, I want you to sing your little Louis a song; and," he
added, nodding at the two ladies, "that you allow these friends of
mine to hear it."

"Well, my child, I will sing for you," answered Marie Antoinette,
"and our good friends shall hear it."

The countenance of the boy beamed with pleasure; with alacrity he
rolled an easy-chair up to the piano, and took his seat in it in the
most dignified manner.

Madame Elizabeth seated herself near him on a tabouret, and Madame
de Tourzel leaned on the back of the dauphin's chair.

"Now sing, mamma, now sing," asked the dauphin.

Marie Antoinette played a prelude, and as her eyes fell upon the
group they lighted up with joy, and then turned upward to God with a
look of thankfulness.

A few minutes before she had felt alone and sad: she had thought of
absent friends in bitter pain, and now, as if fate would remind her
of the happiness which still remained to her, it sent her the son
and the sister-in-law, both of whom loved her so tenderly, and the
gentle and affectionate Madame de Tourzel, whom Marie Antoinette
knew to be faithful and constant unto death.

The flatterers and courtiers, the court ladies and cavaliers, are no
longer in the music-room; the enraptured praises no longer accompany
the songs of the queen; but, out of the easy-chair, in which the
Duchess de Polignac had sat so often, now looks the beautiful blond
face of her son, and his beaming countenance speaks more eloquently
to her than the flatteries of friends. On the tabouret, now occupied
by her sister-in-law, Madame Elizabeth, De Dillon has often sat--the
handsome Dillon, and his glowing, admiring looks have often,
perhaps, in spite of his own will, said more to the queen than she
allowed herself to understand, as her heart thrilled in sweet pain
and secret raptures under those glances! How pure and innocent is
the face which now looks out from this chair--the face of an angel
who bears God in his heart and on his countenance.

"Pray for me; pray that God may let me drink of Lethe, that I may
forget all that has ever been! Pray that I may be satisfied with
what remains, and that my heart may how in humility and patience!"

Thus thought the queen as she began to sing, not one of her great
arias which she had studied with Garat, and which the court used to
applaud, but one of those lovely little songs, full of feeling and
melody, which did not carry one away in admiration, but which filled
the heart with joy and deep emotion.

With suspended breath, and great eyes directed fixedly to Marie
Antoinette, the dauphin listened, but gradually his eyes fell, and
motionless and with grave face the child sat in his arm-chair.

Marie Antoinette saw it, and began to sing one of those cradle-songs
of the "Children's Friend," which Berquin had written, and Gretry
had set to music so charmingly.

How still was it in the music-room, how full and touching was the
voice of the queen as she began the last verse:

"Oh, sleep, my child, now so to sleep. Thy crying grieves my heart;
Thy mother, child, has cause to weep, But sleep and feel no smart."
[Footnote: "Dors, mon enfant, clos ta paupiere, Tes cris me
dechirent la coeur; Dors, mon enfant, ta pauvre more A bien assez de
sa douleur."]

All was still in the music-room when the last words were sung;
motionless, with downcast eyes, sat the dauphin long after the sad
voice of the queen had ceased.

"Ah, see," cried Madame Elizabeth, with a smile, "I believe now our
Louis has fallen asleep."

But the child quickly raised his head and looked at the smiling
young princess with a reproachful glance.

"Ah, my dear aunt," cried he, reprovingly, "how could any one sleep
when mamma sings?" [Footnote: The dauphin's own words.--See
Beauchesne, vol. i., p. 27.]

Marie Antoinette drew the child within her arms, and her countenance
beamed with delight. Never had the queen received so grateful a
compliment from the most flattering courtier as these words of her
fair-haired boy conveyed, who threw his arms around her neck and
nestled up to her.

The Queen of France is still a rich, enviable woman, for she has
children who love her; the Queen of France ought not to look without
courage into the future, for the future belongs to her son. The
throne which now is so tottering and insecure, shall one day belong
to him, the darling of her heart, and therefore must his mother
struggle with all her power, and with all the means at her command
contend for the throne for the Dauphin of France, that he may
receive the inheritance of his father intact, and that his throne
may not in the future plunge down into the abyss which the
revolution has opened.

No, the dauphin, Louis Charles, shall not then think reproachfully
of his parents; he shall not have cause to complain that through
want of spirit and energy they have imperilled or lost the sacred
heritage of his fathers.

No, Queen Marie Antoinette may not halt and lose courage,--not even
when her husband has done so, and when he is prepared to humbly bow
his sacred head beneath that yoke of revolution, which the heroes
and orators selected by the nation have wished to put upon his neck
in the name of France.

This makes hers a double duty, to be active, to plan, and work; to
keep her head erect, and look with searching eye in all directions
to see whence help and deliverance are to come.

Not from without can they come, not from foreign monarchs, nor from
the exiled princes. Foreign armies which might march into the
country would place the king, who had summoned them to fight with
his own people, in the light of a traitor; and the moment that they
should pass the frontiers of France, the wrath of the nation would
annihilate the royal couple.

Only from those who had called down the danger could help come. The
chiefs of the revolution, the men who had raised their threatening
voices against the royal couple, must be won over to become the
advocates of royalty. And who was more   powerful, who  more
conspicuous among all these chiefs of the revolution, and all the
orators of the National Assembly, than Count Mirabeau!

When he ascended the Speaker's tribune of the National Assembly all
were silent, and even his opponents listened with respectful
attention to his words, which found an echo through all France; when
he spoke, when from his lips the thunder of his speeches resounded,
the lightning flashed in his eyes, and his head was like the head of
a lion, who, with the shaking of his mane and the power of his
anger, destroyed every thing which dared to put itself in his way.
And the French nation loved this lion, and listened in reverential
silence to the thunder of his speech, and the throne shook before
him. And the excitable populace shouted with admiration whenever
they saw the lion, and deified that Count Mirabeau, who, with his
powerul, lace-cuffed hand, had thrust these words into the face of
his own caste: "They have done nothing more than to give themselves
the trouble to be born."

The people loved this aristocrat, who was abhorred by his family and
the men of his own rank; this count whom, the nobility hated because
the Third Estate loved him.



CHAPTER XVII.

MIRABEAU.


"Count Mirabeau must be won over," Count de la Marck ventured to say
one day to Marie Antoinette. "Count Mirabeau is now the mightiest
man in France, and he alone is able to bring the nation back again
to the throne."

"It is he," replied the queen, with a glow, "who is most to blame
for alienating the nation from the throne. Never will the renegade
count be forgiven! Never can the king stoop so low as to pardon this
apostate, who frivolously professes the new religion of 'liberty,'
and disowns the faith of his fathers."

"Your majesty," replied Count de la Marck, with a sigh, "it may be
that in the hand of this renegade lies the future of your son."

The queen trembled, and the proud expression on her features was
softened.

"The future of my son?" said she. "What do you mean by that? What
has Count Mirabeau to do with the dauphin? His wrath follows us
only, his hatred rests upon us alone! I grant that at present he is
powerful, but over the future he has no sway. I hope, on the
contrary, that the future will avenge the evil that Mirabeau does to
us in the present."

"But how does it help, madame, if vengeance hurries him on?" asked
Count de la Marck, sadly. "The temple which Samson pulled down was
not built again, that Samson might be taken from its ruins; it
remained in its dust and fragments, and its glory was gone forever.
Oh, I beseech your majesty, do not listen to the voice of your
righteous indignation, but only to the voice of prudence. Master
your noble, royal heart, and seek to reconcile your adversaries, not
to punish them!"

"What do you desire of me?" asked Marie Antoinette, in amazement.
"What shall I do?"

"Your majesty must chain the lion," whispered the count. "Your
majesty must have the grace to change Mirabeau the enemy into
Mirabeau the devoted ally and friend!"

"Impossible, it is impossible!" cried the queen, in horror. "I
cannot descend to this. I never can view with friendly looks this
monster who is accountable for the horrors of those October days. I
can only speak of this man, who has created his reputation out of
his crimes, who is a faithless son, a faithless husband, a faithless
lover, a faithless aristocrat, and a faithless royalist--I can only
speak of him in words of loathing, scorn, and horror! No, rather die
than accept assistance from Count Mirabeau! Do you not know, count,
that he honors me his queen with his enmity and his contempt? Is it
not Mirabeau who caused the States-General to accept the words 'the
person of the king is inviolable,' and to reject the words 'and that
of the queen?' Was it not Mirabeau who once, when my friends
exhorted him to moderation, and besought him to soften his words
about the Queen of France, had the grace to answer with a shrug,
'Well, she may keep her life!' Was it not Mirabeau who was to blame
for the October days? Was it not Mirabeau who publicly said: 'The
king and the queen are lost. The people hate them so, that they
would even destroy their corpses?'" [Footnote: The queen's own
words.--See Goncourt, "Marie Antoinette," p. 305.]

"Your majesty, Mirabeau said that, not as a threat, but out of pity,
and deep concern and sympathy."

"Sympathy!" repeated the queen, "Mirabeau, who hates us!"

"No, your majesty, Mirabeau, who honors his queen, who is ready to
give his life for you and for the monarchy, if your majesty will
forgive him and receive him as a defender of the throne!"

The queen shuddered, and looked in astonishment and terror at the
excited face of Count de la Marck. "Are you speaking of Mirabeau,
the tribune of the people," she asked, "the fiery orator of the
National Assembly?"

"I am speaking of Count Mirabeau, who yesterday was the enemy of the
throne, and who to-day will be a zealous defender, if your majesty
will only have it so--if your majesty will only speak a gracious
word to him."

"It is impossible, it is impossible!" whispered the queen.

De la Marck continued: "Since he has frequently seen your majesty--
since he has had occasion to observe your proud spirit and lofty
resignation--a change has taken place in the character of Mirabeau.
He is subdued as the lion is subdued, when the beaming eye of a pure
soul looks it in the face. He might be of service again, he might be
reconciled! He writes, he speaks of his exalted queen with
admiration, with enthusiasm; he glows with a longing desire to
confess his sins at the feet of your majesty, and to receive your
forgiveness."

"Does the king know this?" asked Marie Antoinette. "Has any one told
his majesty?"

"I should not have taken the liberty of speaking to your majesty
about these things if the king had not authorized me," replied Count
de la Marck, bowing. "His majesty recognizes it to be a necessary
duty to gain Mirabeau to the throne, and he hopes to have in this
matter the cooperation of his exalted wife."

Marie Antoinette sadly shook her head. "I will speak with his
majesty about it," she said, with a sigh, "but only under
circumstances of extreme urgency can I submit to this, I tell you in
advance."

But the case was of extreme urgency, and when Marie Antoinette had
seen it to be so, she kept her word and conformed to it, and
commissioned Count de la Marck to tell his friend Mirabeau that the
queen would grant him an audience.

But in order that this audience might be of advantage, it must be
conducted with the deepest secrecy. No one ought to suspect that
Mirabeau, the tribune of the people, the adored hero of the
revolution--Mirabeau, who ruled the National Assembly, and Paris
itself, whom the freest of the free hailed as their apostle and
saviour, who with the power of his eloquence ruled the spirits of
thousands and hundreds of thousands of men,--no one could suspect
that the leader of the revolution would now become the devoted
dependant upon the monarchy, and the paid servant of the king.

Two conditions Mirabeau had named, when Count de la Marck had tried
to gain him over in the name of the king: an audience with the
queen, and the payment of his debts, together with a monthly pension
of a hundred louis-d'or.

"I am paid, but not bought," said Mirabeau, as he received his first
payment. "Only one of my conditions is fulfilled, but what will
become of the other?"

"And so you still insist on having an audience with the queen?"
asked La Marck.

"Yes, I insist upon it," said Mirabeau, with naming eyes. "If I am
to battle and speak for this monarchy, I must learn to respect it.
If I am to believe in the possibility of restoring it, I must
believe in its capacity of life; I must see that I have to deal with
a brave, decided, noble man. The true and real king here is Marie
Antoinette; and there is only one man in the whole surroundings of
Louis XVI., and that is his wife. I must speak with her, in order to
hear and to see whether she is worth the risking of my life, honor,
and popularity. If she really is the heroine that I hold her to be,
we will both united save the monarchy, and the throne of Louis XVI.,
whose king is Marie Antoinette. The moment is soon to come when we
shall learn what a woman and a child can accomplish, and whether the
daughter of Maria Theresa with the dauphin in her arms cannot stir
the hearts of the French as her great mother once stirred the
Hungarians." [Footnote:Mirabeau's own words.--See "Marie Antoinette
et sa Famille." Far M. de Lescure. p. 478.]

"Do you then believe the danger is so great," asked La Marck, "that
it is necessary to resort to extreme, heroic measures?"

Mirabeau grasped his arm with a sudden movement, and an expression
of solemn earnestness filled his lion-like face. "I am convinced of
it," he answered, "and I will add, the danger is so great, that if
we do not soon meet it and in heroic fashion, it will not be
possible to control it. There is no other security for the queen
than through the reestablishment of the royal authority. I believe
of her, that she does not desire life without her crown, and I am
certain that, in order to keep her life, she must before all things
preserve her crown. And I will help her and stand by her in it; and
for this end I must myself speak with her and have an audience."
[Footnote: Mirabeau's own words.--See Count de la Marck, "Mirabeau,"
vol. 21. p. 50.]

And Mirabeau, the first man in the revolution had his audience with
Marie Antoinette, the dying champion of monarchy.

On the 3rd of July, 1790, the meeting of the queen and Mirabeau took
place in the park of St. Cloud. Secrecy and silence surrounded them,
and extreme care had been taken to let no one suspect, excepting a
few intimate friends, what was taking place on this sequestered,
leaf-embowered grass-plat of St. Cloud.

A bench of white marble, surrounded by high oleander and taxus
trees, stood at the side of this grass-plat. It was the throne on
which Marie Antoinette should receive the homage of her new knight.
Mirabeau had on the day before gone from Paris to the estate of his
niece, the Marchioness of Aragan. There he spent the night; and the
next morning, accompanied by his nephew, M. de Saillant, he walked
to the park of St. Cloud.

At the nether gate of the park, which had been left open for this
secret visit, Mirabeau took leave of his companion, and extended him
his hand.

"I do not know," he said, and his voice, which so often had made the
windows of the assembly hall shake with its thunder, was now weak
and tremulous, "I do not know why this dreadful presentiment creeps
over me all at once, and why voices whisper to me, 'Turn, back,
Mirabeau, turn back! Do not step over the threshold of this door,
for there you are stepping into your open grave!' "

"Follow this voice, uncle, there is still time," implored M. de
Saillant; "it is with me as it is with you. I, too, have a sad,
anxious feeling!"

"May they not have laid snares for me here?" whispered Mirabeau,
thoughtfully. "They are capable of every thing, these artful
Bourbons. Who knows whether they have not invited me here to take me
prisoner, and to cast me, whom they hold to be their most dangerous
enemy, into one of their oubliettes, their subterranean dungeons? My
friend," he continued, hastily, "wait for me here, and if in two or
three hours I do not return, hasten to Paris, go to the National
Assembly, and announce to them that Mirabeau, moved by the queen's
cry of distress, has gone to St. Cloud, and is there held a
prisoner."

"I will do it, uncle," said the marquis, "but I do not believe in
any such treachery on the part of the queen or her husband. They
both know that without Mirabeau they are certainly lost, and that
he, perhaps, is able to save them. I fear something entirely
different."

"And what do you fear?"

"I fear your enemies in the National Assembly," said M. de Saillant,
and with a pained expression. "I fear these enraged republicans, who
have begun to mistrust you since you have begun to speak in favor of
royalty and mon archy, and since you have even ventured to defend
the queen personally against the savage and mean attacks which Marat
hurls against Marie Antoinette in his journal, the Ami du Peuplt."

"It is true," said Mirabeau, with a smile, "they have mistrusted me,
these enraged republicans, since then, and they tell me that Petion,
this republican of steel and iron, turned to Danton at the close of
my speech, and said: 'This Mirabeau is dangerous to liberty, for
there is too much of the blood of the count flowing through the
veins of the tribune of the people. Danton answered him with a
smile: 'In that case we must draw off the count's blood from the
tribune of the people, that he may either be cured of his
reactionary disease or die of it!'"

"And when they told Marat, uncle, that you had spoken angrily and
depreciatingly of his attacks upon the queen, he raised his fist
threateningly, and cried: 'Mirabeau is a traitor, who wants to sell
our new, young liberty to the monarchy. But he will meet the fate of
Judas, who sold the Saviour. He will one day atone for it with his
head, for if we tap him for his treachery, we shall do for him what
Judas did for himself. This Mirabeau Judas must take care of
himself."

"And do you suppose that this disputatious little load of a Marat
will hang me?" asked Mirabeau, with a scornful smile.

"I think that you must watch him," answered M. de Saillant. "Last
evening, in the neighborhood of our villa, I met two disguised men,
who, I would swear, were Perion and Marat; and on our way here, as I
looked around, I feel certain that I saw these same disguised
figures following us!"

"What if it be?" answered Mirabeau, raising himself up, and looking
around him with a proud glance. "The lion does not fear the annoying
insect that buzzes about him, he shakes it off with his mane or
destroys it with a single stroke of his paw. And Mirabeau fears just
as little such insects as Petion and Marat; they would much better
keep out of his way. I will tread them under foot, that is all! And
now, farewell, my dear nephew, farewell, and wait for me here!"

He nodded familiarly to his nephew, passed over the threshold, and
entered the park, from whose entrance the popular indignation had
long since removed the obnoxious words, De par la Reine, the garden
belonging now to the king only because the nation willed it so.

Mirabeau hastened with an anxious mind and a light step along the
walk, and again it seemed to him as if dark spirits were whispering
to him, "Turn back, Mirabeau, turn back! for with every step forward
you are only going deeper into your grave." He stopped, and with his
hand-kerchief wiped away the drops of cold sweat which gathered upon
his forehead.

"It is folly," he said, "perfect folly. Truly I am as tremulous as a
girl going to her first rendezvous. Shame on you, Mirabeau, be a
man!"

He shook his head as if he wanted to dispel these evil forebodings,
and hastened forward to meet Count de la Marck, who appeared at the
bending of the allee.

"The queen is already here, and is waiting for you, Mirabeau," said
the marquis, with a slight reproach in his voice.

Mirabeau shrugged his shoulders instead of replying, and went on
more rapidly. There soon opened in front of them a small grass-plat,
surrounded by bushes, and on the bench opposite, the lady in the
white, neat dress, with a straw hat on her arm, her hair veiled with
black lace--that lady was Marie Antoinette.

Mirabeau stopped in his walk, and fixed a long, searching look upon
her. When he turned again to his friend, his face was pale, and bore
plain traces of emotion.

"My friend," whispered he to La Marck, "I know not why, but I have a
strange feeling! I have not wept since the day on which my father
drove me with a curse from the house of my ancestors, but, seeing
yonder woman, I could weep, and an unspeakable sympathy fills my
soul."

The queen had seen him, too, and had grown pale, and turned
tremblingly to the king, who stood beside her, half concealed by the
foliage.

"There is the dreadful man!" said Marie Antoinette, with a shudder.
"My God! a thrill of horror creeps through all my veins, and if I
only look at this monster, I have a feeling as though I should
sicken with loathing!" [Footnote: The queen's own words. See "Madame
du Campan," vol. II.]

"Courage, my dear Marie, courage," whispered the king. "Remember
that the welfare of our future, and of our children, perhaps,
depends upon this interview. See, he is approaching. Receive him
kindly, Marie. I will draw back, for you alone shall have the honor
of this day, and monarchy has in you its fairest representative."

"But remain so near me, sire, that you can hear me if I call for
help," whispered Marie Antoinette.

The king smiled. "Fear nothing, Marie," he said," and believe that
the danger for Mirabeau is greater than for you. The name of
criminal will be fastened not to us, but to Mirabeau, if it shall be
known that he has come to visit us here. I will withdraw, for there
is Mirabeau."

And the king withdrew into the thicket, while Mirabeau stopped near
the queen, and saluted her with a profound bow.

Marie Antoinette rose from her marble seat. At this moment she was
not the queen giving an audience, but the anxious lady, advancing to
meet danger, and desirous to mitigate it by politeness and smiles.

"Come nearer, count," said Marie Antoinette, still standing. But as
he approached, the queen sank slowly upon the seat, and raised her
eyes to Mirabeau, with an almost timid look, who now did not seem to
her a monster, for his mien was disturbed, and his eyes, which had
always been represented as so fearful, had a gentle, respectful
expression.

"Count," said the queen, and her voice trembled a little "count, if
I found myself face to face with an ordinary enemy, a man who was
aiming at the destruction of monarchy, without seeing of what use it
is for the people, I should be taking at this moment a very useless
step. But when one talks with a Mirabeau, one is beyond the ordinary
conditions of prudence, and hope of his assistance is blended with
wonder at the act." [Footnote: The queen's own words.--See "Marie
Antoinette et sa Famille" Par M. de Lescure, p. 484.]

"Madame," cried Mirabeau, deeply moved, "I have not come here as
your enemy, but as your devoted servant, who is ready cheerfully to
give his life if he can be of any service to the monarchy."

"You believe, then, that it is a question of life, or, if you
prefer, of death, which stands between the French people and the
monarchy?" asked the queen, sadly.

"Yes, I am convinced of that," answered Mirabeau. "But I still hope
that we can answer the question in favor of the monarchy, provided
that the right means are applied in season."

"And what, according to your views, are the right means, count?"

Mirabeau smiled and looked with amazement into the noble face of the
queen, who, with such easy composure, had put into this one short
question what for centuries had perplexed the greatest thinkers and
statesmen to answer.

"Will your majesty graciously pardon me if I crave permission,
before I answer, to put a question in like manner to my exalted
queen?"

"Ask on, count," replied Marie Antoinette, with a gentle inclination
of her head.

"Well, madame, this is my question: 'Does your majesty purpose and
aim at the reestablishment of the old regime, and do you deem it
possible to roll the chariot of human history and of politics
backward?"

"You have in your question given the answer as well," said Marie
Antoinette, with a sigh. "It is impossible to reerect the same
edifice out of its own ruins. One must be satisfied if out of them a
house can be built, in which one can manage to live."

"Ah, your majesty," said Mirabeau, with feeling, "this answer is the
first ray of light which breaks through the heavy storm-clouds! The
new day can be descried and hailed with delight! After hearing this
noble answer of your majesty, I look up comforted, and the clouds do
not terrify me longer, for I know that they will soon be past--that
is, if we employ the right means."

"And now I repeat my question, count, What, according to your view,
are the right means?"

"First of all, the recognition of what is wrong," answered Mirabeau,
"and then the cheerful and honest will to do what is found to be
necessary."

"Well, tell me, what is it that is wrong?"

Mirabeau bowed, and then began to speak to her in his clear, sharp
way, which was at the same time so full of energy, of the situation
of France, the relation of the various political parties to one
another, to the court, and the throne. In strongly outlined
sentences he characterized the chiefs of the political clubs, the
leaders of the parties in the National Assembly, and spoke of the
perilous goal which the demagogues, the men of the extreme Left,
aimed at. He did not, from delicacy, speak the word "republican,"
but he gave the queen to understand that the destruction of the
monarchy and the throne, the annihilation of the royal family, was
the ultimate object aimed at by all the raving orators and leaders
of the extreme Left.

The queen had listened to him with eager, fixed attention, and, at
the same time, with a dignified composure; and the earnest,
thoughtful look of her large eyes had penetrated and moved Mirabeau
more and more, so that his words came from his lips like a stream of
fire, and kindled a new hope even in himself.

"All will yet be well," he cried, in conclusion; "we shall succeed
in contending with the hidden powers that wish to undermine your
majesty's throne, and to take from the hands of your enemies these
dangerous weapons of destruction. I shall apply all my power, all my
eloquence to this. I will oppose the undertakings of the demagogues;
I will show myself to be their public opponent, and zealously serve
the monarchy, making use of all such means of help as are adapted to
move men's minds, and not to trouble and terrify them, as if freedom
and self-government were to be taken from them, and yet which will
restore the credit and power of the monarchy."

"Are you, then, with honest and upright heart, a friend of ours?"
asked Marie Antoinette, almost supplicatingly. "Do you wish to
assist us, and stand by us, with your counsel and help?"

Mirabeau met her inquisitive and anxious look with a cordial smile,
a noble and trustworthy expression of face. "Madame," he said, with
his fine, resonant voice, "I defended monarchical principles when I
saw only their weakness, and when I did not know the soul nor the
thoughts of the daughter of Maria Theresa, and little reckoned upon
having such an exalted mediator. I contended for the rights of the
throne when I was only mistrusted, when calumny dogged all my steps,
and declared me guilty of treachery! I served the monarchy, then,
when I knew that from my rightful, but misled king, I should receive
neither kindness nor reward. What shall I do now, when confidence
animates my spirit, and gratitude has made my duties run directly in
the current of my principles? I shall be and remain what I have
always been, the defender of monarchy governed by law, the apostle
of liberty guaranteed by the monarchy." [Footnote: Mirabeau's own
words.--See "Memoires du Comte de Mirabeau," vol III., p. 290.]

"I believe you, count," cried Marie Antoinette, with emotion. "You
will serve us with fidelity and zeal, and with your help all will
yet be well. I promise yon that we will follow your counsels, and
act in concord with you. You will put yourself in communication with
the king; you will consult him about needful matters, and advise him
about the things which are essential to his welfare and that of the
people."

"Madame," replied Mirabeau, "I take the liberty of adding this to
what has already been said. The most necessary thing is that the
royal court leave Paris for a season!"

"That we flee?" asked Marie Antoinette, hastily. "Not flee, but
withdraw," answered Mirabeau. "The exasperated people menace the
monarchy, and therefore the threatened crown must for a while be
concealed from the people's sight, that they may be brought back to
a sense of duty and loyalty. And, therefore, I do not say that the
court must flee; I only say it must leave Paris, for Paris is the
furnace of the revolution! The royal court must withdraw, as soon as
possible, to the very boundaries of France! It must there gather an
army, and put it under the command of some faithful general, and
with this army march against the riotous capital; and I will be
there to smooth the way and open the gates!"

"I thank you, count, I thank you!" cried Marie Antoinette, rising
from her seat. "Now, I doubt no more about the future, for my own
thoughts coincide with those of our greatest statesmen! I, too, am
convinced the court ought to leave Paris--that it must withdraw, in
order to escape new humiliations, and that it ought to return only
in the splendor of its power, and with an army to put the rebels to
flight, and breathe courage into the timid and faithful. Oh! you
must tell the king all this; you must show him that our removal from
Paris is not only a means of salvation to the crown, but to the
people as well. Your words will convince the noblest and best of
monarchs; he will follow your counsels, and, thanks to you, not we
alone, but the monarchy will be saved! No, go to the work, count! Be
active in our behalf; bring your unbounded influence, in favor of
the king and queen, to bear upon all spirits, and be sure that we
shall be grateful to you so long as we live. Farewell, and remember
that my eye will follow all your steps, and that my ears will hear
every word which Mirabeau shall speak in the National Assembly."

Mirabeau bowed respectfully. "Madame," said he, "when your exalted
mother condescended to favor one of her subjects with an audience,
she never dismissed him without permitting the favored one
respectfully to kiss her hand."

"It is true," replied Marie Antoinette, with a pleasant smile, "and
in this, at least, I can follow the example of my great mother!"

And, with inimitable grace, the queen extended her hand to him.
Mirabeau, enraptured, beside himself at this display of courtesy and
favor, dropped upon his knee and pressed his lips to the delicate,
white hand of the queen.

"Madame," cried he, with warmth, "this kiss saves the monarchy!"
[Mirabeau's own words.--See "Memoires de Mirabeau," vol iv., p.
208.]

"If you have spoken the truth, sir," said the queen, with a sigh,
rising and dismissing him, with a gentle inclination of her head.

With excited and radiant looks, Mirabeau returned to his nephew, who
was waiting for him at the gate of the park.

"Oh!" said he, with a breath of relief, laying his hand upon the
shoulder of Saillant, "what have I not heard and seen! She is very
great, very noble, and very unhappy, Victor! But," cried he, with a
loud, earnest voice, "I will save her--I will save her!" [Footnote:
"Marie Antoinette et sa Famille," p 480.]

Mirabeau was in earnest in this purpose; and not because he had been
bought over, but because he had been won--carried away with the
noble aspect of the queen--did he become from this time a zealous
defender of the monarchy, an eloquent advocate in behalf of Marie
Antoinette. But he was not now able to restrain the dashing waves of
revolution; he could not even save himself from being engulfed in
these raging waves.

Mirabeau knew it well, and made no secret of the peril of his
position. On the day when, before the division, he spoke in defence
of the monarchy and the royal prerogative, and undertook to decide
the question of peace or war--on that day he first announced himself
openly for the king, and raised a storm of excitement and disgust in
the National Assembly. Still he spoke right bravely in behalf of the
crown; and while doing so, he cried, "I know well that it is only a
single step from the capitol to the Tarpeian rock!"

Step after step! And these successive steps Mirabeau was soon to
take. Petion had not in vain characterized Mirabeau as the most
dangerous enemy of the republic. Marat had not asserted, without
knowing what he said, that Mirabeau must let all his aristocratic
blood flow from his veins, or bleed to death altogether! Not with
impunity could Mirabeau encounter the rage of parties, and fling
down the gauntlet before them, saying, at the same moment, "He would
defend the monarchy against all attacks, from what side soever, and
from what part soever of the kingdom they might come."

The leaders of the republican factions knew very well how to
estimate the power of Mirabeau; they knew very well that Mirabeau
was able to fit together the fragments of the crown which he had
helped to break. And, to prevent his doing this, they knew that he
must be buried beneath these fragments.

Soon after his interview with the queen--after his dissenting speech
in behalf of the prerogative of the king--Mirabeau began to fail in
health. His enemies said that it was only the result of over-
exertion, and a cold which he had brought on by drinking a glass of
cold water during a speech, in the National Assembly. His friends
whispered about a deadly poison which had been mingled with this
glass of water, in order to rid themselves of this powerful and
dangerous opponent.

Mirabeau believed this; and the increasing torpor of his limbs, the
pains which he felt in his bowels, appeared to him to be the sure
indications of poison given him by his enemies.

The lion, who had been willing to crouch at the foot of the throne
for the purpose of guarding it, was now nothing but a poor, sick
man, whose voice was lost, and whose power was extinguished. For a
season he sought to contend against the malady which was lurking in
his body; but one day, in the midst of a speech which he was making
in behalf of the queen, he sank in a fainting-fit, and was carried
unconsciously to his dwelling. After long efforts on the part of his
physician, the celebrated Cabanis, Mirabeau opened his eyes.
Consciousness was restored, but with it a fixed premonition of his
approaching death.

"I am dying!" he said, softly. "I am bearing in my heart the funeral
crape of the monarchy. These raging partisans want to pluck it out,
deride it, and fasten it to their own foreheads. And this compels
them to break my heart, and this they have done!" [Footnote:
Mirabeau's own words.--See "Memoires sur Mirabeau," vol. iv.,. p.
296.]

Yes, they had broken it--this great strong heart, in which the
funeral crape of monarchy lay. At first the physician and his
friends hoped that it might be possible to overcome his malady, but
Mirabeau was not flattered by any such hope; he felt that the pains
which were racking his body would end only with death.

After one especially painful and distressing night, Mirabeau had his
physician Cabanis and his friend Count de la Marck summoned to his
bed, and extended to them both his hands. "My friends," he said to
them with gentle voice and with peaceful face, "my friends, I am
going to die to-day. When one has been brought to that pass, there
is only one thing that remains to be done: to be perfumed,
tastefully dressed, and surrounded with flowers, so as to fall
agreeably into that last sleep from which there is no waking. So,
call my servants! I must be shaved, dressed, and nicely arrayed. The
window must be opened, that the warm air may stream in, and then
flowers must be brought. I want to die in the sunshine and flowers."
[Footnote: Mirabeau's words.--See "Memoires sur Mirabeau," vol. iv.,
p. 298.]

His friends did not venture to oppose his last wish. The gladiator
wanted to make his last toilet and be elaborately arrayed in order
to fall in the arena of life as a hero falls, and even in death to
excite the wonder and the applause of the public.

All Paris was in this last scene the public of this gladiator; all
Paris had, in these last days of his battle for life, only one
thought, "How is it with Mirabeau? Will he compel the dreadful enemy
Death to retire from before him, or will he fall as the prey of
Death?" This question was written on all faces, repeated in all
houses and in all hearts. Every one wanted to receive an answer from
that still house, with its closely-drawn curtains, where Mirabeau
lived. All the streets which led thither were, during the last three
days before his death, filled with a dense mass of men, and no
carriage was permitted to drive through the neighborhood, lest it
should disturb Mirabeau. The theatres were closed, and, without any
consultation together, the merchants shut their stores as they do on
great days of national fasting or thanksgiving.

On the morning of the fourth day, before life had begun to move in
the streets of Paris, and before the houses were opened, a cry was
heard in the great highways of the city, ringing up into all the
houses, and entering all the agitated hearts that heard it:
"Flowers, bring flowers! Mirabeau wants flowers! Bring roses and
violets for Mirabeau! Mirabeau wants to die amid flowers!"

This cry awoke slumbering Paris the 2d of April, 1791, and, as it
resounded through the streets, windows and doors opened, and
hundreds, thousands of men hastened from all directions toward
Mirabeau's house, carrying nosegays, bouquets, whole baskets of
flowers. One seemed to be transferred from cool, frosty spring
weather to the warm, fragrant days of summer; all the greenhouses,
all the chambers poured out their floral treasures to prepare one
last summer day for the dying tribune of the people. His whole house
was filled with flowers and with fragrance. The hall, the staircase,
the antechamber, and the drawing-room were overflowing with flowers;
and there in the middle of the drawing-room lay Mirabeau upon a
lounge, carefully dressed, shaved and powdered, as if for a royal
festival. The most beautiful of the flowers, the fairest exotics
surrounded his couch, and bent their variegated petals down to the
pale, death-stricken gladiator, who still had power to summon a
smile to his lips, and with one last look of affection to bid
farewell to his weeping friends--farewell to the flowers and the
sunlight!

On his lofty brow, on his smiling lips, there was written, after
Death had claimed him, after the gladiator had fallen, "The dying
one greets you!"

The day of his death was the day of his last triumph; and the
flowers that all Paris sent to him, were to Mirabeau the parting
word of love and admiration!

Four times daily the king had sent to inquire after Mirabeau's
welfare, and when at noon, on the 2d of April, Count de la Marck
brought the tidings of his death, the king turned pale. "Disaster is
hovering over us," he said, sadly, "Death too arrays himself on the
side of our enemies!"

Marie Antoinette was also very deeply moved by the tidings. "He
wanted to save us, and therefore must die! The burden was too heavy,
the pillar has broken under the weight; the temple will plunge down
and bury us beneath its ruins, if we do not hasten to save
ourselves! Mirabeau's bequest was his counsel to speedy and secret
flight! We must follow his advice, we must remove from Paris. May
the spirit of Mirabeau enlighten the heart of the king, that he may
be willing to do what is necessary,--that he may be willing to leave
Paris!"



CHAPTER XVIII.

REVOLUTION IN THE THEATRE.


All Paris was again in commotion, fear, and uproar. The furies of
the revolution, the market-women, went howling again through the
streets on the 20th of June, 1791, uttering their horrid curses upon
the king and the Austrian woman, and hurling their savage words and
dirty songs against Madame Veto, against la chienne d'Autriche.

Around the Tuileries stood in immense masses the corps of the
National Guard, with grave and threatening mien, and with difficulty
holding back the people, who were filling the whole broad square in
front of the palace, and who could only with great effort be
prevented from breaking through those strong cordons of guards who
held both ends of the street leading to the Tuileries, and kept at
least the middle of the way free and open.

It was a way for the king, the queen, and the royal family, who were
to reenter Paris that day. Lafayette had, at the order of the
National Assembly, gone with some regiments of the guard to
Varennes, to conduct the king back to the capital. Thousands upon
thousands had hurried out after him in order to observe this return
of the representatives of monarchy, and to take part in this funeral
procession!

For it was a funeral of the monarchy which was celebrated that day;
and this great, heavy carriage, surrounded by soldiers, and the
ribald, mocking populace--this great carriage, which now drove along
the streets leading to the Tuileries, amid the thunder of cannon,
and the peals of bells from towers, was the funeral car of monarchy.

The king, the queen, the royal children, the sister of the king,
Madame Tourzel, and the two deputies whom the National Assembly had
sent to Varennes to accompany the royal family, Petion and Barnave,
were in this carriage.

They had tried to follow the advice of the dying Mirabean, and to
save themselves from the revolution. That was the offence of this
king and this queen, who were now brought back in triumph to the
Tuileries, the palace of kings, and from that time a royal prison.

Tri-colored banners waved from all roofs and from all windows;
placards were displayed everywhere, bearing in immense letters the
words: "Whoever applauds the king shall be scourged; whover insults
him shall be hanged!"

They had wished to escape, these unhappy ones, who are now brought
back from Varennes, where they were identified and detained. Now
they were returning, no longer the masters, but the prisoners of the
French nation! The National Assembly had passed a decree, whose
first article was: "The king is temporarily set aside from the
functions of royalty;" and whose second and third articles were,
"that so soon as the king and his family shall be brought back to
the Tuileries, a provisional watch shall be set over him, as well as
over the queen and the dauphin, which, under the command of the
general-in-chief of the National Guard of Paris, shall be
responsible for their safety and for their detention."

The king and the queen returned to Paris as prisoners, and Lafayette
was their jailer. The master of France, the many-headed King of the
French nation, was the National Assembly.

Sad, dreadful days of humiliation, of resignation, of perils and
anxieties, now followed for the royal family, the prisoners of the
Tuileries, who were watched day and night by spying eyes, and whose
doors must remain open day and night, in order that officers on
guard might look without hindrance into the apartments in which the
prisoners of the French nation lived.

During the first week after the sad return, the spirit of the queen
seemed to be broken, her energies to be impaired forever. She had no
more hope, no more fear; she threw out no new plans for escaping,
she neither worked nor wrote. She only sat still and sad for hours,
and before her eyes passed the dreadful pictures of the time just
gone by, presenting themselves with dreadful vividness, and in the
recollection anguishing her spirit. She recalled the excitement and
anxiety of the day which preceded the flight. She saw herself, as
with trembling hands she put on the garments of one of her waiting-
maids, and then disguised the dauphin in girl's clothes; she heard
the boy asking anew, with his pleasant smile: "Are we going to play
theatre, mamma queen?" Then she saw herself on the street alone,
waiting without any protection or company for the carriage which was
to take her up, after taking up at another place the king and the
two children. She recalled the drive in the dark night, the heat in
the close, heavy carriage, the dreadful alarm when suddenly, after a
twelve hours' drive, the carriage broke, and all dismounted to climb
the hill to the village which lay before them, and where they had to
wait till the carriage could be repaired. Then the journey on, the
delay in Varennea, the cry, "They are recognized." Then the
confusion, the march, the anguish of the hours following, and
finally that last hour of hope when, in the poor chamber of the
shopkeeper Sauce, his wife standing near the bed on which the little
prince slept, she conjured his wife to save the king and find him a
hiding-place. Then she heard again before her ears the woman's hard
voice answering her:

"Madame, it cannot be; I love my husband, too, and I also have
children, but my husband were lost if I saved yours." Then she heard
afresh the cries, the march; saw the arrival of the Paris regiments
and the deputies whom the National Assembly sent to conduct the
royal refugees back to Paris. Then she recalled the drive back,
crowded into the carriage with the deputies, and the ribald populace
roaring around. As she thought of all these things, a shudder ran
through the form of the unhappy queen, and tears streamed
unrestrainedly from her eyes.

But gradually she gained her composure and spirit, and even the
daily humiliation and trials which she encountered awakened in her
the fire and defiance of her earlier days.

The king and the queen were, after their return from Varennes, the
prisoners of their own people, and the Tuileries formed the prison
in which with never-sleeping cruelty the people watched their royal
captives.

The chiefs of the battalions constituting the National Guard took
turns in sentry duty over the royal couple. They had received the
rigid order to constantly watch the royal family, and not to leave
them for a moment alone. Even the sleeping-room of the queen was not
closed to the espionage of the guards; the door to the drawing-room
close by had always to be open, and in this drawing-room was the
officer of the guard. Even in the night, while the queen lay in her
bed, this door remained open, and the officer, sitting in an arm-
chair directly opposite to the door, kept his eyes directed to the
bed in which the queen sought to sleep, and wrestled with the pains
and fear which she was too proud to show to her persecutors. The
queen had stooped to make but one request; she had asked that at
least in the morning, when she arose and dressed, she might close
the doors of her sleeping-room, and they had been magnanimous enough
to comply with her wish.[Footnote: "Histoire de Marie Antoinette,"
par Edmondet Jules de Goneourt, p. 861.]

But Queen Marie Antoinette had met all these humiliations, these
disenchantments, and trials, full of hope of a change in her
fortune. Her proud soul was still unbroken, her belief in the
victory of monarchy under the favor of God animated her heart with a
last ray of hope, and sustained her amid all her misfortune. She
still would contend with her enemies for the love of this people, of
whom she hoped that, led astray by Jacobins and agitators, they
would at last confess their error, respect the voice of their king
and queen, and return to love and regretfulness. And Marie
Antoinette would sustain herself in view of the great day when the
people's love should be given back; she would seek to bring that day
back, and reconcile the people to the throne. On this account she
would show the people that she cherished no fear of them; that she
would intrust herself with perfect confidence to them, and greet
them with her smiles and all the favor of former days. She would
make one more attempt to regain her old popularity, and reawaken in
their cold hearts the love which the people had once displayed to
her by their loud acclamations. She found power in herself to let
her tears flow, not visibly, but within her heart; to disguise with
her smile the pain of her soul, and so she resolved to wear a
cheerful and pleasant face, and appear again publicly in the
theatre, as well as in open carriage-drives through the city.

They were then giving in the great opera-house Gluck's "Alceste,"
the favorite opera of the queen--the opera in which a few years
before she had received so splendid a triumph; in which the public
loudly encored, "Chantons, celebrons notre reine!" which the choir
had sung upon the stage, and, standing with faces turned toward the
royal box, had mingled their voices with those of the singers, and
repeated in a general chorus, "Chantons, celebrons notre reine!"

"I will try whether the public remembers that evening," said Marie
Antoinette, with a faint smile, to Mademoiselle de Bugois, the only
lady who had been permitted to remain with her; "I will go this
evening to the opera; the public shall at least see that I intrust
myself with confidence to it, and that I have not changed, however
much may have been changed around."

Mademoiselle de Bugois looked with deep sadness at the pale face of
the queen, that would show the public that she had not altered, and
upon which, once so fair and bright, grief had recorded its
ineradicable characters, and almost extinguished its old beauty.
Deeply moved, the waiting-lady turned away in order not to let the
tears be seen which, against her will, streamed from her eyes.

But Marie Antoinette had seen them nevertheless. With a sad smile
she laid her hand upon the shoulder of the lady-in-waiting. "Ah!"
said she, mildly, "do not conceal your tears. You are much happier
than I, for you can shed tears; mine have been flowing almost two
years in silence, and I have had to swallow them! [Footnote: Marie
Antoinette's own words.--See Goncourt, p. 264.]

"But I will not weep this evening," she continued, "I will meet
these Parisians at least in composure. Yes, I will do more, I will
try to smile to them. They hate me now, but perhaps they will
remember then that once they truly loved me. There is a trace of
magnanimity in the people, and my confidence will perhaps touch it.
Be quick, and make my toilet. I will be fair to-day. I will adorn
myself for the Parisians. They will not be my enemies alone who will
be at the theatre; some of my friends will be there, and they at
least will be glad to see me. Quick, mademoiselle, let us begin my
toilet."

And with a liveliness and a zeal which, in her threatened situation,
had something touching in it, Marie Antoinette arrayed herself for
the public, for the good Parisians.

The news that the queen was to appear that evening at the theatre
had quickly run through all Paris; the officer on duty told it at
his relief to some of the guards, they to those whom they met, and
it spread like wildfire. It was therefore very natural that, long
before the curtain was raised, the great opera-house was completely
filled, parquette, boxes, and parterre, with a passionately-excited
throng. The friends of the queen went in order to give her a long-
looked-for triumph; her enemies--and these the poor queen had in
overwhelming numbers--to fling their hate, their malice, their
scorn, into the face of Marie Antoinette.

And enemies of the queen had taken places for themselves in every
part of the great house. They even sat in the boxes of the first
rank, on those velvet-cushioned chairs which had formerly been
occupied exclusively by the enthusiastic admirers of the court, the
ladies and gentlemen of the aristocracy. But now the aristocracy did
not dare to sit there. The most of them, friends of the queen, had
fled, giving way before her enemies and persecutors; and in the
boxes where they once sat, now were the chief members of the
National Assembly, together with the leading orators of the clubs,
and the societies of Jacobins.

To the box above, where the people had once been accustomed to see
Princess Lamballe, the eyes of the public were directed again and
again. Marie Antoinette had been compelled to send away this last of
her friends to London, to have a conference with Pitt. Instead of
the fair locks of the princess, was now to be seen the head of a
man, who, resting both arms on the velvet lining of the box, was
gazing down with malicious looks into the surging masses of the
parterre. This man was Marat, once the veterinary of the Count
d'Artois, now the greatest and most formidable orator of the wild
Jacobins.

He too had come to see the hated she-wolf, as he had lately called
the queen in his "Ami du Peuple," and, to prepare for her a public
insult, sat drunk with vanity in the splendid box of the Princess
Lamballe; his friends and confidants were in the theatre, among them
Santerre the brewer, and Simon the cobbler, often looking up at
Marat, waiting for the promised motion which should be his signal
for the great demonstration.

At length the time arrived for the opera to begin, and, although the
queen had not come, the director of the orchestra did not venture to
detain the audience even for a few minutes. He went to his place,
took his baton, and gave the sign. The overture began, and all was
silent, in parquette and parterre, as well as in the boxes. Every
one seemed to be listening only to the music, equally full of
sweetness and majesty--only to have ears for the noble rhythm with
which Gluck begins his "Alceste."

Suddenly there arose a dull, suppressed sound in parquette,
parterre, and boxes, and all heads which had before been directed
toward the stage, were now turned backward toward the great royal
box. No one paid any more attention to the music, no one noticed
that the overture was ended and that the curtain was raised.

Amid the blast of trumpets, the noise of violins and clarionets, the
public had heard the light noise of the opening doors, had noticed
the entrance of the officers, and this sound had made the Parisians
forget even their much-loved music.

There now appeared in the open box-door a woman's form. The queen,
followed by Mademoiselle de Bugois, advanced slowly through the
great box to the very front. All eyes were directed to her, all
looks searched her pale, noble face.

Marie Antoinette felt this, and a smile flitted over her face like
the evening glow of a summer's day. With this smile and a deep blush
Marie Antoinette bowed and saluted the public.

A loud, unbounded cry of applause resounded through the vast room.
In the parquette and in the boxes hundreds of spectators arose and
hailed the queen with a loud, pealing "Vive la reine!" and clapped
their hands like pleased children, and looked up to the queen with
joyful, beaming countenances.

"Oh, my faith has not deceived!" whispered Marie Antoinette into the
ear of her companion. "The good Parisians love me still; they, like
me, remember past times, and the old loyalty is awaking in them."

And again she bowed her thanks right and left, and again the house
broke out into loud applause. A single, angry glance of Marat's
little eyes, peering out from beneath the bushy brows, met the
queen.

"Only wait," said Marat, rising from his seat and directing his
glances at the parterre. There stood the giant Santerre, and not far
from him Simon the cobbler, in the midst of a crowd of savage-
looking, defiant fellows, who all looked at their leaders, while
they, Santerre and Simon, directed their eyes up to the box of
Marat.

The glance of the chief met that of his two friends. A scornful,
savage expression swept over Marat's ash-colored, dirty face, and he
nodded lightly to his allies. Santerre and Simon returned the nod,
and they, turning to their companions, gave the signal by raising
the right hand.

Suddenly the applause was overborne by loud whistling and shouting,
derisive laughter, and wild curses.

"The civil war has begun!" cried Marat, rubbing his hands together
with delight.

The royalists continued to applaud and to shout, "Vive la reine!"
Their opponents tried to silence them by their hisses and whistling.
Marat's face glowed with demoniacal pleasure. He turned to the boxes
of the second tier, and nodded smilingly to the men who sat there.
At once they began to cry, "The chorus, the chorus, let them sing,
'Chantons, celebrons notre reine!'"

"Very well," said Marat. "I am a good royalist, for I have trained
the people to the cry."

"Sing, sing!" shouted the men to the performers on the stage--"sing
the chorus, 'Chantons, celebrons notre reine!'"

And in the boxes, parquette, everywhere was the cry, "Sing the
chorus, 'Chantons, celebrons notre reine!'"

"No," roared Santerre, "no, they shall not sing that!"

"No," cried Simon, "we will not hear the monkey-song!"

And hundreds of men in the parterre and the upper rows of boxes
echoed the cry, "No, we will not hear the monkey-song!"

"The thing works well!" said Marat. "I hold my people by a thread,
and make them gesticulate and spring up and down, like the concealed
man in a Punch and Judy show."

The noise went on; the royalists would not cease their applause and
their calls for the chorus, "Chantons, celebrons notre reine!" The
enemies of the queen did not cease hissing and shouting, "We do not
want to hear any thing about the queen; we will not hear the monkey-
song!"

"Oh, would I had never come here!" whispered the queen, with tearful
eyes, as she sank back in her armchair, and hid her face in her
handkerchief.

Perhaps because the real royalists saw the agitation of the queen,
and out of compassion for her were willing to give up the
controversy--perhaps Marat had given a sign to the false royalists
that they had had enough of shouting and confusion--at all events
the cry "Vive la reine" and the call for the chorus died away
suddenly, the applause ceased, and as the enemies of the queen had
now no opposition to encounter, nothing was left to them but to be
silent too.

"The first little skirmish is over!" said Marat, resting his bristly
head on the back of his velvet arm-chair. "Now we will listen to the
music a little, and look at the pretty theatre girls."

And in fact the opera had now begun; the director of the orchestra
had taken advantage of the return of quiet to give a sign to the
singers on the stage to begin at once, and with fortunate presence
of mind his command was obeyed.

The public, wearied it may be with the shouting and noise, remained
silent, and seemed to give its attention exclusively to the stage,
the development of the plot, and the noble music.

Marie Antoinette breathed freely again; her pale cheeks began to
have color once more, her eyes were again bright, and she seemed
transported beyond the sore battles and dreadful discords of her
life; she listened respectfully to the sweet melodies, and the grand
harmonies of the teacher of her youth, the great Gluck. Leaning back
in her armchair, she allowed the music to flow into her soul, and
the recollection of past days awoke afresh in her mind. She dreamed
of the days of her childhood: she saw herself again in Schonbrunn;
she saw her teacher Gluck enter the blue music-room, in which she
with her sisters used to wait for him; she saw the glowing
countenance of her mother, the great Maria Theresa, entering her
room, in order to give Gluck a proof of her high regard, and to
announce to him herself that Marie Antoinette had betrothed herself
to the Dauphin of France, and that she would soon bid her teacher
farewell, in order to enter upon her new and brilliant career.

A low hum in the theatre awakened the queen from her reveries; she
raised herself up and leaned forward, to see what was going on. Her
glance, which was directed to the stage, fell upon the singer
Clairval, who was just then beginning to give, with his wonderfully
full and flexible voice, the great aria in which the friend comes to
console the grief-burdened, weeping Queen Alceste, and to dry her
tears by assuring her of the love of her faithful adherents.
Clairval had advanced in the aria to that celebrated passage which
had given to Marie Antoinette a half year before her last great
triumph. It ran:

"Reine infortunee, ah! que ton coeur Ne soit plus navre de douleur!
Il vous reste encore des amis!"

But scarcely had Clairval begun the first strophe when the
thundering voice of Santerre called, "None of that, we will not hear
the air!"

"No, we will not hear the air!" shouted hundreds and hundreds of
voices.

"Poor Gluck," whispered Marie Antoinette, with tears in her eyes,
"because they hate me, they will not even hear your music!"

"Sing it, sing it!" shouted hundreds and hundreds of voices from all
parts of the house.

"No, do not sing it!" roared the others; "we will not hear the air."

And suddenly, above the cries of the contestants, rose a loud,
yelling voice:

"I forbid the singer Clairval ever again singing this air. I forbid
it in the name of the people!"

It was Marat who spoke these words. Standing on the arm-chair of the
Princess de Lamballe, and raising his long arms, and directing them
threateningly toward the stage, he turned his face, aglow with hate
and evil, toward the queen.

Marie Antoinette, who had turned her head in alarm in the direction
whence the voice proceeded, met with her searching looks the eyes of
Marat, which were fixed upon her with an expression equally stern
and contemptuous. She shrank back, and, as if in deadly pain, put
her hand to her heart.

"0 God!" she whispered to herself, "that is no man, that is an
infernal demon, who has risen there to take the place of my dear,
sweet Lamballe. Ah, the good spirit is gone, and the demon takes its
place--the demon which will destroy us all!"

"Long live Marat!" roared Santerre, and his comrades. "Long live
Marat, the great friend of the people, the true patriot!"

Marat bowed on all sides, stepped down from the easy-chair, and
seated himself comfortably in it.

Clairval had stopped in the air; pale, confused, and terrified, he
had withdrawn, and the director whispered to the orchestra and the
singers to begin the next number.

The opera went on, and the public again appeared to give itself
during some scenes to the enjoyment of the music. But soon this
short quiet was to be disturbed again. One of the singers, Madame
Dugazont, a zealous royalist, wanted to give the queen a little
triumph, and show her that, although Clairval had been silenced, the
love and veneration of Dugazont were still alive and ready to
display themselves.

Singing as the attendant of Alceste, Dugazont had these words to
give in her part: "Ah! comme faime la reine, comme faime ma
maitresse!"

She advanced close to the footlights, and turning her looks toward
the royal box, and bowing low, sang the words: "Comme faime la
reine, comme j'aime ma maitresse!"

And now, as if this had been the battle-cry of a new contest, a
fearful din, a raging torrent of sound began through the whole
house. At first it was a mixed and confused mass of cries, roars,
hisses, and applause. Now and then single voices could be heard
above the horrid chaos of sounds. "We want no queen!" shouted some.

"We want no mistress!" roared others; and mingled with those was the
contrary cry, "Long live the queen! Long live our mistress!"

"Hi!" said Marat, full of delight, twisting his bony form up into
all kinds of knots--" hi! this is the way they shout in hell. Satan
himself would like this!"

More and more horrible, more and more wild became the cries of the
rival partisans. Already embittered and exasperated faces were
confronting each other, and here and there clinched fists were seen,
threatening to bring a shouting neighbor to silence by the use of
violence.

The queen, trembling in every limb, had let her head fall
powerlessly on her breast, in order that no one might see the tears
which ran from her eyes over her death-like cheeks.

"0 God," whispered she, "we are lost, hopelessly lost, for not
merely our enemies injure us, and bring us into danger, but our
friends still more. Why must that woman turn to me and direct her
words to me? She wanted to give me a triumph, and yet she has
brought me a new humiliation." Suddenly she shrank back and raised
her head. She had caught the first tones of that sharp, mocking
voice, which had already pierced her heart, the voice of that evil
demon who now occupied the place of the good Princess Lamballe.

The voice cried: "The people of Paris are right. We want no queen!
And more than all other things, no mistress! Only slaves acknowledge
masters over them. If the Dugazont ventures to sing again, 'I love
my queen, I love my mistress,' she will be punished as slaves are
punished--that is, she will be flogged!"

"Bravo, Marat, bravo!" roared Santerre, with his savage rabble.
"Bravo, Marat, bravo!" cried his friends in the boxes; "she shall be
flogged!"

Marat bowed on all sides, and turned his eyes, gleaming with scorn
and hatred, toward the royal box, and menaced it with his clinched
fists.

"But not alone shall the singer be flogged," cried he, with a voice
louder and sharper than before--"no, not alone shall the singer be
flogged, but greater punishment have they deserved who urge on to
such deeds. If the Austrian woman comes here again to turn the heads
of sympathizing souls with her martyr looks, if she undertakes again
to move us with her tears and her face, we will serve her as she
deserves, we will go whip in hand into her box!" [Footnote:
Goneourt's "Histoire de Marie Antoinette," p. 365.]

The queen rose from her chair like an exasperated lioness, and
advanced to the front of the box. Standing erect, with flaming looks
of anger, with cheeks like purple, she confronted them there--the
true heir of the Caesars, the courageous daughter of Maria Theresa--
and had already opened her lips to speak and overwhelm the traitor
with her wrath, when another voice was heard giving answer to Marat.

It cried: "Be silent, Marat, be silent. Whoever dares to insult a
woman, be she queen or beggar, dishonors himself, his mother, his
wife, and his daughter. I call on you all, I call on the whole
public, to take the part of a defenceless woman, whom Marat ventures
to mortally insult.

You all have mothers and wives; you may, perhaps, some day have
daughters. Defend the honor of woman! Do not permit it to be
degraded in your presence. Marat has insulted a woman; we owe her
satisfaction for it. Join with me in the cry, 'Long live the queen!
Long live Marie Antoinette!'"

And the public, carried away with the enthusiasm of this young,
handsome man, who had risen in his box, and whose slender, proud
figure towered above all--the public broke into one united stirring
cry: "Long live the queen! Long live Marie Antoinette!"

Marat, trembling with rage, his countenance suffused with a livid
paleness, sank back in his chair.

"I knew very well that Barnave was a traitor," he whispered. "I
shall remember this moment, and Barnave shall one day atone for it
with his head."

"Barnave, it is Barnave," whispered the queen to herself. "He has
rescued me from great danger, for I was on the point of being
carried away by my wrath, and answering the monster there as he
deserves."

"Long live the queen! Long live Marie Antoinette!" shouted the
public.

Marie Antoinette bowed and greeted the audience on all sides with a
sad smile, but not one look did she cast to the box where Barnave
sat, with not one smile did she thank him for the service he had
done her. For the queen knew well that her favor brought misfortune
to those who shared it; that he on whom she bestowed a smile was the
object of the people's suspicion.

The public continued to shout her name, but the queen felt herself
exhausted, and drawing back from the front of the box, she beckoned
to her companion. "Come," she whispered, "let us go while the public
are calling 'Long live Marie Antoinette!' Who knows whether they
will not be shouting in another minute, 'Away with the queen! we
want no queen!' It pains my ear so to hear that, so let us go."

And while the public were yet crying, Marie Antoinette left the box
and passed out into the corridor, followed by Mademoiselle Bugois
and the two officers in attendance. But the corridor which the queen
had to pass, the staircase which she had to descend in order to
reach her carriage, were both occupied by a dense throng. With the
swiftness of the wind the news had spread through Paris that the
queen was going to visit the opera that evening, and that her visit
would not take place without witnessing some extraordinary outbreak.

The royalists had hastened thither, to salute the queen, and at
least to see her on the way. The curious, the idle, and the hostile-
minded had come to see what should take place, and to shout as the
majority might shout. The great opera-house had therefore not
accommodated half who wanted to be present, and all those who had
been refused admittance had taken their station on the stairway and
the corridor, or before the main entrance. And it was natural that
those who stood before the door should, by their merely being there,
excite the curiosity of passers-by, so that these, too, stood still,
to see what was going on, and all pressed forward to the staircase
to see every thing and to hear every thing.

But the civil war which was raging within the theatre had given rise
'to battles outside as well; the same cries which had resounded
within, pealed along the path of the queen. She could only advance
slowly; closer and closer thronged the crowd, louder and louder
roared around Marie Antoinette the various battle-cries of the
parties, "Long live the queen!" "Long live the National Assembly!
Down with the queen!"

Marie Antoinette appeared to hear neither the one nor the other of
these cries. With proudly erected head, and calm, grave looks, she
walked forward, untroubled about the crowd, which the National Guard
before her could only break through by a recourse to threats and
violence, in order to make a passage for the queen.

At last the difficult task was done; at last she had reached her
carriage, and could rest upon its cushions, and, unobserved by
spying looks, could give way to her grief and her tears. But alas!
this consolation continued only for a short time. The carriage soon
stopped; the Tuileries, that sad, silent prison of the royal family,
was soon reached, and Marie Antoinette quickly dried her tears, and
compelled herself to appear calm.

"Do not weep more, Bugois," she whispered. "We will not give our
enemies the triumph of seeing that they have forced tears from us.
Try to be cheerful, and tell no one of the insults of this evening."

The carriage door was opened, the queen dismounted, and, surrounded
by National Guards and officers, returned to her apartments.

No one bade her welcome, no one received her as becomes a queen. A
few of the servants only stood in the outer room, but Marie
Antoinette had no looks for them. She had been compelled as a
constitutional queen ought, to dismiss her own tried and faithful
servants; her household had been reorganized, and she knew very well
that these new menials were her enemies, and served as spies for the
National Assembly. The queen therefore passed them without greeting,
and entered her sitting-room.

But even here she was not alone; the door of the ante-room was open,
and there sat the officer of the National Guard, whose duty of the
day it was to watch her.

Marie Antoinette had no longer the right of being alone with her
grief, no longer the right of being alone with her husband. The
little corridor which ran from the apartments of the queen to those
of the king, was always closed and guarded. When the king came to
visit his wife, the guard came too and remained, hearing every word
and standing at the door till the king retired. In like manner, both
entrances to the apartments of the queen were always watched; for
before the one sat an officer appointed by the National Assembly,
and before the other a member of the National Guard stood as sentry.

With a deep sigh the queen entered her sleeping-room. The officer
sat before the open door of the adjacent room, and looked sternly
and coldly in. For an instant an expression of anger flitted over
the face of the queen, and her lips quivered as though she wanted to
speak a hasty word. But she suppressed it, and withdrew behind the
great screen, in order to be disrobed by her two waiting-maids and
be arrayed in her night-dress.

Then she dismissed the maids, and coming out from behind the screen,
she said, loudly enough to be heard by the officer: "I am weary, I
will sleep."

At once he arose, and turning to the two guards, who stood at the
door of the anteroom, said:

"The queen is retiring, and the watch in the black corridor can
withdraw. The National Assembly has given command to lighten the
service of the National Guard, by withdrawing as much of the force
as possible. As long as the queen is lying in bed, two eyes are
enough to watch her, and they shall watch her well!"

The soldiers left the anteroom, and the officer returned to the
entrance of the sleeping-room. He did not, however, sit down in the
easy-chair before the door, but walked directly into the chamber of
the queen.

Marie Antoinette trembled and reached out her hand for the bell
which stood by her on the table.

"Be still, for God's sake, be still!" whispered the officer. "Make
no noise, your majesty. Look at my face." And, kneeling before the
queen, he raised his head and looked at her with an expression
almost of supplication. "I am Toulan," he whispered, "the faithful
servant of my queen. Will your majesty have the goodness to recall
me? Here is a letter from my patroness, Madame de Campan, who speaks
well for me. Will your majesty read it?"

The queen ran over the paper quickly and turned with a gentle smile
to the officer, who was still kneeling before her, and who, in all
her humiliation and misfortune, still paid her the homage due to
majesty.

"Stand up, sir," she said, mildly. "The throne lies in dust, and my
crown is so sadly broken, that it is no longer worth the trouble to
kneel before it."

"Madame, I see two crowns upon your noble head," whispered Toulan--
"the crown of the queen, and the crown of misfortune. To these two
crowns I dedicate my service and my fidelity, and for them I am
prepared to die. It is true, I can do but little for your majesty,
but that little shall be faithfully done. Thanks to my bitter hatred
of royalty, and my rampant Jacobinism, I have carried matters so
far, that I have been put upon the list of officers to keep watch,
and, therefore, once every week I shall keep guard before your
majesty's sleeping-room."

"And will you do me the favor to so put your chair that I shall not
see you--that during the night I may not always have the feeling of
being watched?" asked the queen, in supplicant tones.

"No, your majesty," said Toulan, moved. "I will remain in my chair,
but your majesty will prefer, perhaps, to turn the night into day,
and remain up; as during my nights you will not be disturbed."

"What do you mean by that?" asked Marie Antoinette, joyfully.

"I mean, that, as during the day your majesty can never speak with
the king without witnesses, we must call the night to our
assistance, if you wish to speak confidentially to his majesty. Your
majesty has heard, that during the night the watch is withdrawn from
the corridor, and your majesty is free to leave your room and go to
the chamber of the king."

A flash of joy passed over the countenance of the queen. "I thank
you, sir--I thank you to-day as a wife; perhaps the day may come
when I can thank you as a queen; I accept your magnanimous kindness.
Yes, I will turn the night into day, and, thanks to you, I shall be
able to spend several hours undisturbed with my husband and my
children. And do you say that you shall be here quite often?"

"Yes, your majesty, I shall be here once every week at your
majesty's order."

"Oh! I have lost the habit of ordering," said Marie Antoinette, with
a pained look. "You see that the Queen of France is powerless, but
she is not wholly unfortunate, for she has friends still. You belong
to these friends, sir; and that we may both retain the memory of
this day, I will always call you my faithful one."

No, the queen is not wholly unfortunate; she has friends who are
ready, with her, to suffer; with her, if it must be, to die. The
Polignacs are gone, but Princess Lamballe, whom the queen had sent
to London, to negotiate with Pitt, has returned, in spite of the
warnings and pleadings of the queen. Marie Antoinette, when she
learned that the princess was on the point of leaving England, had
written to her: "Do not come back at a moment so critical. You would
have to weep too much for us. I feel deeply, believe me, how good
you are, and what a true friend you are. But, with all my love, I
enjoin you not to come here. Believe me, my tender friendship for
you will cease only with death."

The warning of her royal friend had, meanwhile, not restrained
Princess Lamballe from doing what friendship commanded. She had
returned to France, and Marie Antoinette had, at least, the comfort
of having a tender friend at her side.

No, the queen was not wholly unfortunate. Besides this friend, she
had her children, too--her sweet, blooming little daughter, and the
dauphin, the pride and joy of her heart.

The dauphin had no suspicion of the woes and misfortunes which were
threatening them. Like flowers that grow luxuriantly and blossom
upon graves, so grew and blossomed this beautiful boy in the
Tuileries, which was nothing more than the grave of the old kingly
glory. But the dauphin was like sunshine in this dark, sad palace,
and Marie Antoinette's countenance lightened when her eye fell upon
her son, looking up to her with his tender, beaming face. From the
fresh, merry smile of her darling, she herself learned to smile
again, and be happy.

Gradually, after the first rage of the people was appeased, the
chains with which she was bound were relaxed. The royal family was
at least permitted to leave the close, hot rooms, and go down into
the gardens, although still watched and accompanied by the National
Guard. They were permitted to close the doors of their rooms again,
although armed sentries still stood before them.

There were even some weeks and months in this year 1791, when it
appeared as if the exasperated spirits would be pacified, and the
throne be reestablished with a portion of its old dignity. The king
had, in a certain manner, received forgiveness from the National
Assembly, while accepting the constitution and swearing--as indeed
he could but swear, all power having been taken from him, and he
being a mere lay-figure--that would control all his actions, and
govern according to the expressed will of the National Assembly.

But the king, in order to make peace with his people, had even made
this sacrifice, and accepted the constitution. The people seemed
grateful to him for this, and appeared to be willing to return to
more friendly relations. The queen was no longer insulted with
contemptuous cries when she appeared in the garden of the Tuileries,
or in the Bois de Boulogne, and it even began to be the fashion to
speak about the dauphin as a miracle of loveliness and beauty, and
to go to the Tuileries to see him working in his garden.

This garden of the dauphin was in the immediate neighborhood of the
palace, at the end of the terrace on the river-side; it was
surrounded with a high wire fence, and close by stood the little
pavilion where dwelt Abbe Davout, the teacher of the dauphin. The
dauphin had had in Versailles a little garden of his own, which he
himself worked, planted, and digged, and from whose flowers he
picked a bouquet every morning, to bring it with beaming countenance
to his mamma queen.

For this painfully-missed garden of Versailles, the little garden on
the terrace had to compensate. The child was delighted with it; and
every morning, when his study-hours were over, the dauphin hastened
to his little parterre, to dig and to water his flowers. The garden
has, since that day, much changed; it is enlarged, laid out on a
different plan, and surrounded with a higher fence, but it still
remains the garden of the Dauphin Louis Charles, the same garden
that Napoleon subsequently gave to the little King of Borne; the
same that Charles X. gave to the Duke de Bordeaux, and that Louis
Philippe gave to the Count de Paris. How many recollections cluster
around this little bit of earth, which has always been prematurely
left by its young possessors! One died in prison scarcely ten years
old; another, hurried away by the tempest, still younger, into a
foreign land, only lived to hear the name of his father, and see his
dagger before he died. The third and fourth were hurled out by the
storm-wind like the first two, and still wear the mantle of exile in
Austria and England. And many as are the tears with which these
children regard their own fate, there must be many which they must
bestow upon the fate of their fathers. One died upon the scaffold,
another from the knife of an assassin, a third from a fall upon the
pavement of a highway; and the last, the greatest of them all, was
bound, like Prometheus, to a rock, and fed on bitter recollections
till he met his death.

This little garden, on the river-side terrace of the Tuileries park,
which has come to have a world-wide interest, was then the Eldorado
of the little Dauphin of Prance; and to see him behind the fence was
the delight of the Parisians who used to visit there, and long for
the moment when the glance of his blue eye fell upon them, and for
some days and months had again become enthusiastic royalists.

When the prince went into his little garden, he was usually
accompanied by a detachment of the National Guard, who were on duty
in the Tuileries; and the dauphin, who was now receiving instruction
in the use of weapons, generally wore himself the uniform of a
member of the National Guard. The Parisians were delighted with this
little guard of six years. His picture hung in all stores, it was
painted on fans and rings, and it was the fashion, among the most
elegant ladies of the Faubourg St. Germain, and among the market-
women as well, to decorate themselves with the likeness of the
dauphin. How his brow beamed, how his eye brightened, when,
accompanied by his escort, of which he was proud, he entered his
garden! When the retinue was not large, the prince took his place in
the ranks. One day, when all the National Guards on duty were very
desirous of accompanying him, several of them were compelled to
stand outside of the garden. "Pardon me, gentlemen," said the
dauphin; "it is a great pity that my garden is so small that it
deprives me of the pleasure of receiving you all." Then he hastened
to give flowers to every one who was near the fence, and received
their thanks with great pleasure.

The enthusiasm for the dauphin was so great, that the boys of Paris
envied their elders the honor of being in his service, and longed to
become soldiers, that they might be in his retinue. There was, in
fact, a regiment of boys formed, which took the name of the
Dauphin's Regiment. The citizens of Paris were anxious to enroll the
names of their sons in the lists of this regiment, and to pay the
expenses of an equipment. And when this miniature regiment was
formed, with the king's permission, it marched to the Tuileries, in
order to parade before the dauphin.

The prince was delighted with the little regiment, and invited its
officers to visit his garden, that they might see his flowers, his
finest treasures. "Would you do us the pleasure to be the colonel of
our regiment?" one of the officers asked the dauphin.

"Oh! certainly," he answered.

"Then you must give up getting flowers and bouquets for your mamma!"
said one of the boys.

"Oh!" answered the dauphin, with a smile, "that will not hinder my
taking care of my flowers. Many of these gentlemen have little
gardens, too, as they have told me. Very well, they can follow the
example of their colonel, and love the queen, and then mamma will
receive whole regiments of flowers every day."

The majority of this regiment consisted, at the outset, of children
of the highest ranks of society, and it was therefore natural that
they, practiced in the most finished courtesy, should pay some
deference to their young colonel.

But they were expressly forbidden showing any thing of this feeling
toward their comrade. "For," said the king, "I want him to have
companions who will stimulate his ambition; but I do not want him to
have flatterers, who shall lead him to live to himself alone." Soon
the number of little soldiers increased, for every family longed for
the honor of having its sons in the regiment of the royal dauphin.
The people used always to throng in great masses when this regiment
went through its exercises in the Place de la Carrousel. It was a
miniature representation of the French guards, with their three-
cornered hats and white jackets; and nothing could be more charming
than this regiment of blooming boys in their tasteful uniforms, and
their little chief, the dauphin, looking at his regiment with
beaming eyes and smiling lips.

The enthusiasm of the little soldiers of the Royal Dauphin Regiment
for their colonel was so great, that they longed to give him a proof
of their love. One day the officers of the regiment came into the
Tuileries and begged the king's permission to make a present to the
dauphin, in the name of the whole regiment. The king gladly acceded
to their request--, and he himself conducted the little officers
into the reception-room, where was the dauphin, standing at the side
of his mother.

The little colonel hastened to greet them. "Welcome, my comrades,
welcome!" cried he, extending his hand to them. "My mamma queen
tells me that you have brought me something which will give me
pleasure. But it gives me pleasure to see you, and nothing more is
needed."

"But, colonel, you will not refuse our present?"

"Oh, certainly not, for my papa king says that a colonel is not
forbidden taking a gift from his regiment. What is it?"

"Colonel, we bring you a set of dominoes," said a little officer,
named Palloy, who was the speaker of the delegation--" a set of
dominoes entirely made out of the ruins of the Bastile."

And taking the wrapper from the white marble box, bound with gold,
he extended it to the dauphin, and repeated with a solemn face the
following lines:

"Those gloomy walls that once awoke our fear Are changed into the
toy we offer here: And when with joyful race the gift you view,
Think what the people's mighty love can do." [Footnote: "De ces aff
reux cachota, la terreur des Francais, Vous voyez les debris
transformes en hoohets; Puissent-ils, en servant aux jeux de votre
enfance, Du peuple vous prouver 1'amour et la puissance."
Beauchesne, "Louis XVD. Sa Vie, sou Agonie," etc., vol. iv., p.
396.]

Poor little dauphin! Even when they wanted to do him homage, they
were threatening him; and the present which affection offered to the
royal child was at the same time a bequest of Revolution, which even
then lifted her warning finger, and pointed at the past, when the
hate of the people destroyed those "gloomy walls," which had been
erected by kingly power.

In his innocence and childish simplicity, the dauphin saw nothing of
the sting which, unknown even to the givers, lurked within this
gift. He enjoyed like a child the beautiful present, and listened
with eagerness while the manner of playing the game was described to
him. All the stones were taken from the mantel of black marble in
the reception-room of Delaunay, the governor of the Bastile, who had
been murdered by the people. On the back of each of these stones was
a letter set in gold, and when the whole were arranged in regular
order, they formed the sentence: "Vive le Roi, vive la Reine, et M.
le Dauphin." The marble of the box was taken from the altar-slab in
the chapel. In the middle was a golden relief, representing a face.

"That is my papa king," cried the dauphin, joyfully, looking at the
representation.

"Yes," replied Palloy, the speaker of the little company, "every one
of us bears him in his heart. And like the king, you will live for
the happiness of all, and like him you will be the idol of Prance.
We, who shall one day be French soldiers and citizens, bring to you,
who will then be our commander-in-chief and king, our homage as the
future supporters of the throne which is destined for you, and which
the wisdom of your father has placed under the unshakable power of
law. The gift which we offer you is but small, but each one of us
adds his heart to it." [Footnote: The very words of the little
officer.]

"And I give all of you my heart in return for it," cried the
dauphin, with a joyful eagerness, "and I shall take great pains to
be good, and to learn well, that I may be allowed to amuse myself
with playing dominoes."

And the little fellow fixed his large, blue eyes upon the queen with
a tender look, took her hand and pressed it to his lips.

"My dear mamma queen," he said, caressingly, "if I am real good, and
study hard, we can both play dominoes together, can't we?"

A sad smile played around the lips of the queen, and no one saw the
distrustful, timid look which she cast at the box, which to her was
merely the memorial of a dreadful day.

"Yes, my child," she replied, mildly, "we will play dominoes often
together, for you certainly will be good and industrious."

She controlled herself sufficiently to thank the boys with friendly
words for the present which they had made to the dauphin, and then
the deputation, accompanied by the king and the little prince,
withdrew. But as soon as they had gone, the smile died away upon her
lips, and with an expression of horror she pointed to the box.

"Take it away--oh, take it away!" she cried, to Madame de Tourzel.
"It is a dreadful reminder of the past, a terrible prophecy of the
future. The stones of the Bastile, which the people destroyed, lie
in this box! And the box itself, does it not look like a
sarcophagus? And this sarcophagus bears the face of the king! Oh,
the sorrow and woe to us unfortunate ones, who can not even receive
gifts of love without seeing them obscured by recollections of hate,
and who have no joys that have not bitter drops of grief mingled
with them! The revolution sends us storm-birds, and we are to regard
them as doves bringing us olive-branches. Believe me, I see into the
future, and I discern the deluge which will drown us all!"



BOOK IV.


CHAPTER XIX.

JUNE 20 AND AUGUST 10, 1792.


Marie Antoinette was right. The revolution was sending its storm-
birds to the Tuileries. They beat with their strong pinions against
the windows of the palace; they pulled up and broke with their claws
the flowers and plants of the garden, so that the royal family no
longer ventured to enter it. But they had not yet entered the palace
itself; and within its apartments, watched by the National Guard,
the queen was at least safe from the insults of the populace.

No, not even there longer, for the storm-birds of the revolution
beat against the windows, and these windows had once in a while to
be opened to let in a little sunshine, and some fresh air. Marie
Antoinette had long given up her walks in the garden of the
Tuileries, for the rabble which stood behind the fence had insulted
her so often with cries and acts, that she preferred to give up her
exercise rather than to undergo such contemptuous treatment.

The king, too, in order to escape the scornful treatment of the
populace, had relinquished his walks, and before long things came to
such a pass that the dauphin was not allowed to visit his little
garden. Marat, Santerre, Danton, and Robespierre, the great leaders
of the people, had, by their threats against the royalists and their
insurrectionary movements among the people, gained such power, that
no one ventured to approach the garden of the prince to salute him,
and show deference to the son of the king. The little regiment had
been compelled, in order to escape the mockery and contempt, the
hatred and persecution which followed them, to disband after a few
months; and around the fence, when the dauphin appeared, there now
stood none but men sent there by the revolutionists to deride the
dauphin when he appeared, and shout their wild curses against the
king and queen.

One day, when a crowd of savage women stood behind the fence, and
were giving vent to their derision of the queen, the poor dauphin
could not restrain his grief and indignation. With glowing cheeks
and flaming eyes he turned upon the wild throng.

"You lie --oh, you lie!" he cried, with angry voice. "My mamma queen
is not a wicked woman, and she does not hate the people. My mamma
queen is so good, so good that--"

His tears choked his voice, and flowed in clear streams down over
his cheeks. Ashamed, as it were, of this indication of weakness, the
dauphin dashed out of the garden, and hastened so rapidly to the
palace that the Abbe Davout could scarcely follow him. Weeping and
sobbing, the dauphin passed through the corridor, but when they
reached the broad staircase which led to the apartments where the
queen lived, the dauphin stopped, suppressed his sobs, and hastily
dried his eyes.

"I will not weep any more," he said, "it would trouble mamma. I beg
you, abbe, say nothing to mamma. I will try to be cheerful and
merry, for mamma queen likes much to have me so. Sometimes, when she
is sad and has been weeping, I make believe not to notice it, and
then I laugh and sing, and jump about, and then her beautiful face
will clear up, and sometimes she even smiles a little. So, too, I
will be right merry, and she shall notice nothing. You would not
suspect that I have been weeping, would you?"

"No, my prince, no one would think you had," answered the abbe,
looking with deep emotion into the great blue eyes which the dauphin
turned up to his with an inquiring look.

"Well, then, we will go to my mamma queen," cried the dauphin, and
he sprang forward and opened the door with a smile, and, half
concealed behind the curtains, he asked, in a *jesting tone, whether
he might have permission to enter her majesty's presence.

Marie Antoinette bade him heartily welcome, and opened her arms to
him. The dauphin embraced her and pressed a glowing kiss upon her
eyes and upon her lips.

"You are extraordinarily affectionate to-day, my little Louis
Charles," said the queen, with a smile. "What is the cause of that?"

"That comes from the fact that to-day I have nothing to give you
excepting kisses--not a single flower. They are all withered in my
garden, and I do not like to go there any more, for there are no
more bouquets to pluck for my dear mamma queen. Mamma, this is my
bouquet."

And he kissed and caressed the queen afresh, and brought a glow to
her eyes and a smile to her lips.

"Come now, my child, you see that the abbe is waiting, and I believe
it is time for the study-hours to begin. "What comes first to-day?"

"We have first, grammar," answered the abbe, laying the needful
books upon the little table at which the dauphin always took his
lessons in the presence of the queen.

"Grammar!" cried the dauphin; "I wish it were history. That I like,
but grammar I hate!"

"That comes because you make so many mistakes in it," said the abbe;
"and, certainly, grammar is very hard."

The child blushed. "Oh, it is not on that account," he said. "I do
not dislike grammar because it is hard, but merely because it is
tedious."

"And I will wager that on that account you have forgotten what we
went over in our last grammar hour. We were speaking of the three
comparatives. But you probably do not remember them."

"You are mistaken," replied the dauphin, smiling. "In proof, hear
me. If I say, 'My abbe is a good abbe,' that is the positive. If I
say, 'My abbe is better than another abbe,' that is the comparative.
And," he continued, turning his eyes toward the queen with an
expression of intense affection, "if I say, 'My mamma is the dearest
and best of all mammas,' that is the superlative." [Footnote: The
dauphin's own words.--See Beauchesne's "Louis XVII.," vol. i., p.
133.]

The queen drew the boy to her heart and kissed him, while her tears
flowed down upon his auburn curls.

On the next day, at the time of his accustomed walk, the queen went
into the dauphin's room to greet him before he went into the garden.

"Mamma, I beg your permission to remain here," said the dauphin. "My
garden does not please me any longer."

"Why not, my son," asked Marie Antoinette, "has any thing happened
to you?"

"Yes, mamma," he answered, "something has happened to me. There are
so many bad people always standing around the fence, and they look
at me with such evil eyes, that I am afraid of them, and they scold
and say such hard things. They laugh at me, and say that I am a
stupid jack, a baker's boy that does not know how to make a loaf,
and they call me a monkey. That angers me and hurts my feelings, and
if I begin to cry I am ashamed of myself, for I know that it is very
silly to cry before people who mean ill to us. But I am still a poor
little boy, and my tears are stronger than I. And so I want you,
mamma, not to let me go to the garden any more. Moufflet and I would
a great deal rather play in my room. Come here, Moufflet, make your
compliments to the queen, and salute her like a regular grenadier."

And smiling, he caught the little dog by the fore-paws, and made him
stand up on his hind legs, and threatened Moufflet with his hand
till he made him stand erect and let his fore feet hang down very
respectfully.

The queen looked down with a smile at the couple, and laughed aloud
when the dauphin, still waving his hand threateningly to compel the
dog to stand as he was, jumped up, ran to the table, caught up a
paper cap, which he had made and painted with red stripes, and put
it on Moufflet's head, calling out to him: "Mr. Jacobin, behave
respectfully! Make your salutations to her majesty the queen!"

After that day, the dauphin did not go into his garden again, and
the park of the Tuileries was now the exclusive property of the
populace, that took possession of it with furious eagerness.

The songs of the revolution, the wild curses of the haters of
royalty, the coarse laughter and shouting of the rabble--these were
the storm birds which were beating at the windows of the royal
apartments.

Marie Antoinette had still one source of enjoyment left to her in
her sufferings, her correspondence with her absent friends, and the
Duchess de Polignac before all others. Once in a while there was a
favorable opportunity to send a letter by the hands of some faithful
friend around her, and the queen had then the sad satisfaction at
least of being able to express to some sympathizing heart what she
was undergoing, without fearing that these complaints would be read
by her enemies, as was the case with all letters which were sent by
post.

One of these letters to the Duchess de Polignac, which history has
preserved, gives a faithful and touching picture of the sorrows and
grief of the queen. A translation of it runs thus:

"I cannot deny myself the pleasure of embracing you, my dear heart,
but it must be done quickly, for the opportunity is a passing one,
although a certain one. I can only write a word, which will be
forwarded to you with a large package. We are guarded like
criminals, and this restraint is truly dreadfully hard to bear!--
constantly too apprehensive for one another, not to be able to
approach the window without being loaded with insults; not to be
able to take the poor children out into the air without exposing the
dear innocents to reproaches, what a situation is ours, my dear
heart! And when you think that I suffer not for myself alone, but
have to tremble for the king as well, and for our friends who are
with us, you will see that the burden is well-nigh unbearable! But,
as I have told you before, you absent ones, you keep me up. Adieu,
dear heart, let us hope in God, who looks into our consciences, and
who knows whether we are not animated by the truest love for this
land. I embrace you!

"P. S.--The king has just come in and wants to add a word."

"I will only say, duchess, that you are not forgotten, that we
regret receiving so few letters from you, and that, whether near or
far away, you and yours are always loved. Louis." [Footnote:
Beauchesne "Louis XVII," vol. 1., p. 143.]

Not to be able to show one's self near the window without being
showered with insults! Yes, and even into the very middle of her
room they followed her. Even when sitting far away from the window,
she could not help hearing the loud cries which were thundered out
on the pavement below, as the hucksters offered to the laughing
crowd the infamous pamphlet, written with a poisoned pen, and
entitled "The Life of Marie Antoinette."

At times her anger mastered her, her eyes flashed, her figure was
straightened up, and the suffering martyr was transformed for an
instant into the proud, commanding queen.

"I will not bear it!" she cried, walking up and down with great
strides, "I will speak to them; they shall not insult me without
hearing my justification. Yes, I will go down to these people, who
call me a foreigner. I will say to them, 'Frenchmen, people have had
the want of feeling to tell you that I do not love France, I, the
mother of a dauphin, I--'" [Footnote: The queen's own words.-See
Campan, "Memoires," vol. II. ]

But her voice choked in her tears, and she fled to the extreme end
of the room, fell sobbing on her knees, and held both her hands to
her ears, in order not to hear the dreadful insults which came up
from below and through her windows.

Thus, amid trials which renewed themselves daily, the months passed
by. The queen had no longer any hope. She had given up every thing,
even the hope of an honorable end, of a death such as becomes a
queen, proud and dignified beneath the ruins of a palace laid low by
an exasperated populace. She knew that the king would never bring
himself to meet such a death, that his weakness would yield to all
humiliation, and his good-nature resist all measures that might
perhaps bring help. She had sought in vain to inspire him with her
zeal. Louis was a good man, but a bad king; his was not a nature to
rule and govern, but rather to serve as the scape-goat for the sins
of his fathers, and to fall as a victim for the misdeeds which his
ancestors had committed, and through which they had excited the
wrath of the people, the divine Nemesis that never sleeps.

The queen knew and felt this, and this knowledge lay like a mourning
veil over her whole thought and being, filling her at times with a
moody resignation, and at times with a swiftly-kindling and wrathful
pain.

"I am content that we be the victims," cried she, wringing her
hands, "but I cannot bear to think that my children too are to be
punished for what they have not committed."

This thought of her children was the pillar which always raised the
queen up again, when the torture of her daily life cast her to the
ground. She would, she must live for her children. She must, so long
as a breath remained in her, devote all her powers to retain for her
son the dauphin at least the crown beneath whose burden his father
sank. She wanted nothing more for herself, all for her son alone.

There were still true friends who wanted to save the queen. Secret
tidings came to her that all was ready for her escape. It was
against her that the popular rage was chiefly directed, and her life
was even threatened. Twice had the attempt been made to kill the
queen, and the most violent denunciations of the populace were
directed against her. It was therefore the queen whom her friends
wanted most to save. Every thing was prepared for the flight, true
and devoted friends were waiting for her, ready to conduct her to
the boundaries of France, where she should meet deputies sent by her
nephew, the Emperor Francis. The plan was laid with the greatest
care; nothing but the consent of the queen was needed to bring it to
completion, and save her from certain destruction. But Marie
Antoinette withheld her acquiescence. "It is of no consequence about
my life," she said. "I know that I must die, and I am prepared for
it. If the king and my children cannot escape with me, I remain; for
my place is at the side of my husband and my children."

At last the king himself, inspired by the courage and energy of his
wife, ventured to oppose the decisions and decrees of the all-
powerful Assembly. It had put forth two new decrees. It had resolved
upon the deportation of all priests beyond the limits of France, and
also upon the establishment of a camp of twenty thousand men on the
Rhine frontier. With the latter there had been coupled a warning,
threatening with death all who should spend any time abroad, and
engage in any armed movement against their own country.

To both these decrees Louis refused his sanction; both he vetoed on
the 20th of June, 1792.

The populace, which thronged the doors of the National Assembly in
immense masses, among whom the emissaries of revolution had been
very active, received the news of the king's veto with a howl of
rage. The storm-birds of revolution flew through the streets, and
shouted into all the windows: "The country is in danger! The king
has been making alliances abroad. The Austrian woman wants to summon
the armies of her own land against France, and therefore the king
has vetoed the decree which punishes the betrayers of their country.
A curse on M. Veto! Down with Madame Veto! That is the cry to-day
for the revolutionary party. A curse on M. Veto! Down with Madame
Veto!"

The watch-cry rolled like a peal of thunder through all the streets
and into all the houses; and, while within their closed doors, and
in the stillness of their own homes, the well-disposed praised the
king for having the courage to protect the priests and the emigres,
the evil-disposed bellowed out their curses through all the streets,
and called upon the rabble to avenge themselves upon Monsieur and
Madame Veto.

Nobody prevented this. The National Assembly let every thing go
quietly on, and waited with perfect indifference to see what the
righteous anger of the people should resolve to do.

Immense masses of howling, shrieking people rolled up, on the
afternoon of the 20th of June, to the Tuileries, where no
arrangements had been made for defence, the main entrances not even
being protected that day by the National Guard.

The king gave orders, therefore, that the great doors should be
opened, and the people allowed to pass in unhindered.

In a quarter of an hour all the staircases, corridors, and halls
were filled by a howling, roaring crowd; the room of the king alone
was locked, and in this apartment were the royal family and a few
faithful friends--the king, bland and calm as ever; the queen, pale,
firm, uncomplaining; Madame Elizabeth, with folded hands, praying;
the two children drawing closely together, softly weeping, and yet
suppressing their sobs, because the queen had, in a whisper,
commanded them to keep still.

A little company of faithful servants filled the background of the
room, and listened with suspended breath to the axe-strokes with
which the savage crowd broke down the doors, and heard the
approaching cries of the multitude.

At last a division of the National Guard reached the palace, too
late to drive the people out, but perhaps in season to protect the
royal family. The door of the royal apartment was opened to the
second officer of the National Guard, M. Acloque. He burst in, and
kneeling before the king, conjured him, with tears in his eyes, to
show himself to the people, and by his presence to calm the savage
multitude.

By this time the two children were no longer able to control their
feelings and suppress their fear. The dauphin burst into tears and
loud cries; he clung affrighted to the dress of his mother; he
implored her with the most moving tones to take him away, and go
with him to his room. Marie Antoinette stooped down to the poor
little fellow, and pressed him and Theresa, who was weeping calmly,
to her heart, whispering a few quieting words into their ears.

While the mother was comforting her children, Louis, yielding to
Acloque's entreaties, had left the room, in order to show himself to
the people. Madame Elizabeth, his sister, followed him through the
corridor into the great hall, passing through the seething crowd,
which soon separated her from the king. Pushed about on all sides,
Madame Elizabeth could not follow, and was now alone in the throng,
accompanied only by her equerry, M. Saint-Pardoux. Armed men pressed
up against the princess, and horrid cries surged around her.

"There is the Austrian woman!" and at once all pikes, all weapons
were directed against the princess.

"For God's sake!" cried M. de Saint Pardoux, "what do you want to
do? This is not the queen!"

"Why do you undeceive them?" asked Madame Elizabeth, "their error
might save the queen!"

And while she put back one of the bayonets directed against her
breast, she said, gently: "Take care, sir, you might wound somebody,
and I am convinced that you would be sorry."

The people were amazed at this, and respectfully made way for her to
come up with the king. He stood in the middle of the hall,
surrounded by a crowd threatening him with wild curses. One of these
desperadoes pressed close up to the king, while the others were
shouting that they must strangle the whole royal family, and,
pulling a bottle and a glass out of his pocket, he filled the
latter, gave it to the king, and ordered him to drink to the welfare
of the nation.

The king quietly took the glass. "The nation must know that I love
it," said he, "for I have made many sacrifices for it. From the
bottom of my heart I drink to its welfare," and, in spite of the
warning cries of his friends, he put the glass to his lips and
emptied it.

The crowd was beside itself with delight, and their cries were
answered from without by the demand of the bloodthirsty rabble--"How
soon are you going to throw out the heads of the king and the
queen?"

Marie Antoinette had meanwhile succeeded in pacifying the dauphin.
She raised herself up, and when she saw that the king had gone out,
she started toward the door.

Her faithful friends stopped the way; they reminded her that she was
not simply a queen, that she was a mother, too. They conjured her
with tears to give ear to prudence--not to rush in vain into danger,
and imperil the king still more.

"No one shall hinder me from doing what is my duty," cried the
queen. "Leave the doorway free."

But her friends would not yield; they defied even the wrath of the
queen. At that moment, some of the National Guards came in through
another door, and pacified Marie Antoinette, assuring her that the
life of the king was not threatened.

In the mean while the shouting came nearer and nearer, the cries
resounded from the guard-room, the doors were torn open, and the
people surged in, in immense waves, like the sea lashed into fury by
the storm. The National Guards rolled a table before the queen and
her children, and placed themselves at the two sides to defend them.

Only a bit of wood now separated the queen from her enemies, who
brandished their weapons at her. But Marie Antoinette had now
regained her whole composure. She stood erect; at her right hand,
her daughter, who nestled up to her mother--at her left, the
dauphin, who, with wide-open eyes and looks of astonishment, gazed
at the people bursting in. Behind the queen were Princesses Lamballe
and Tarente, and Madame Tourzel.

A man, with dishevelled hair and bare bosom, gave the queen a
handful of rods, bearing the inscription, "For Marie Antoinette!"
Another showed her a guillotine, a third a gallows, with the
inscription, "Tremble, tyrant! thy hour has come!" Another held up
before her, on the point of a pike, a human heart dripping with
blood, and cried: "Thus shall they all bleed--the hearts of tyrants
and aristocrats!"

The queen did not let her eyes fall, her fixed look rested upon the
shrieking and howling multitude; but when this man, with the
bleeding heart, approached her, her eyelids trembled--a deathly
paleness spread over her cheeks, for she recognized him--Simon the
cobbler--and a fearful presentiment told her that this man, who had
always been for her the incarnation of hatred, is now, when her life
is threatened, to be the source of her chief peril.

From the distance surged in the cries: "Long live Santerre! Long
live the Faubourg Saint Antoine! Long live the sans-culottes!"

And at the head of a crowd of half-naked fellows, the brewer
Santerre, arrayed in the fantastic costume of a robber of the
Abruzzo Mountains, with a dagger and pistol in his girdle, dashed
into the room, his broad-brimmed hat, with three red plumes, aslant
upon his brown hair, that streamed down on both sides of his savage
countenance, like the mane of a lion.

The queen lifted the dauphin up, set him upon the table, and
whispered softly to him, he must not cry, he must not grieve, and
the child smiled and kissed his mother's hands. Just then a drunken
woman rushed up to the table, threw a red cap down upon it, and
ordered the queen, on pain of death, to put it on.

Marie Antoinette threw both her arms around the dauphin, kissed his
auburn hair, and turned calmly to General de Wittgenhofen, who stood
near her.

"Put the cap upon me," said she, and the women howled with pleasure,
while the general, pale with rage and trembling with grief, obeyed
the queen's command, and put the red cap upon that hair which
trouble had already turned gray in a night.

But, after a minute, General Wittgenhofen took the red cap from the
head of the queen, and laid it on the table.

From all sides resounded thus the commanding cry: "The red cap for
the dauphin! The tri-color for Little Veto!" And the women tore
their three-colored ribbons from their caps and threw them upon the
table.

"If you love the nation," cried the women to the queen, "put the red
cap on your son."

The queen motioned to Madame Tourzel, who put the red cap on the
dauphin, and decked his neck and arms with the ribbons. The child
did not understand whether it was a joke or a way of insulting him,
and looked on with a smile of astonishment.

Santerre leaned over the table and looked complacently at the
singular group. The proud and yet gentle face of the queen was so
near him, that when he saw the sweat-drops rolling down from beneath
the woollen cap over the dauphin's forehead, even he felt a touch of
pity, and, straightening himself up, perhaps to escape the eye of
the queen, he called out, roughly: "Take that cap off from that
child; don't you see how he sweats?"

The queen thanked him with a mute glance, and took the cap herself
from the head of the poor child.

At this point a horde of howling women pressed up to the table, and
threatened the queen with their fists, and hurled wild curses at
her.

"Only see how proudly and scornfully this Austrian looks at us!"
cried a young woman, who stood in the front rank." She would like to
blast us with her eyes, for she hates us."

Marie Antoinette turned kindly to them: "Why should I hate you?" she
asked, in gentle tones. "It is you that hate me--you. Have I ever
done you any harm?"

"Not to me," answered the young woman, "not to me, but to the
nation."

"Poor child!" answered the queen, gently, "they have told you so,
and you have believed it. What advantage would it bring to me to
harm the nation? You call me the Austrian, but I am the wife of the
King of France, the mother of the dauphin. I am French with all my
feelings of wife and mother. I shall never see again the land in
which I was born, and only in France can I be happy or unhappy. And
when you loved me, I was happy there." [Footnote: The queen's own
words.--See Beauchesne, vol. i., p. 106.]

She said this with quivering voice and moving tones, the tears
filling her eyes; and while she was speaking the noise was hushed,
and even these savage creatures were transformed into gentle,
sympathetic women.

Tears came to the eyes of the young woman who before had spoken so
savagely to the queen. "Forgive me," she said, weeping, "I did not
know you; now I see that you are not bad."

"No, she is not bad," cried Santerre, striking with both fists upon
the table, "but bad people have misled her," and a second time he
struck the table with his resounding blows. Marie Antoinette
trembled a little, and hastily lifting the dauphin from the table,
she put him by her side.

"Ah! madame," cried Santerre, smiling, "don't be afraid, they will
do you no harm; but just think how you have been misled, and how
dangerous it is to deceive the people. I tell you that in the name
of the people. For the rest, you needn't fear."

"I am not afraid," said Marie Antoinette, calmly; "no one need ever
be afraid who is among brave people," and with a graceful gesture
she extended her hands to the National Guards who stood by the
table.

A general shout of applause followed the words of the queen; the
National Guards covered her hands with kisses, and even the women
were touched.

"How courageous the Austrian is!" cried one. "How handsome the
prince is!" cried another, and all pressed up to get a nearer view
of the dauphin, and a smile or a look from him.

The great eyes of Santerre remained fixed upon the queen, and
resting both arms upon the table he leaned over to her until his
mouth was close by her ear.

"Madame," he whispered, "you have very unskilful friends; I know
people who would serve you better, who--"

But as if ashamed of this touch of sympathy, he stopped, sprang back
from the table, and with a thundering voice, commanded all present
to march out and leave the palace.

They obeyed his command, filed out in military order past the table,
behind which stood the queen with her children and her faithful
friends.

A rare procession, a rare army, consisting of men armed with pikes,
hatchets, and spades, of women brandishing knives and scissors in
their hands, and all directing their countenances, before hyena-like
and scornful, but now subdued and sympathetic, to the queen, who
with calm eye and gentle look responded to the salutations of the
retreating crowd with a friendly nod.

In the mean while the long-delayed help had reached the king: the
National Guards had overcome the raging multitude, and gained
possession of the great reception-room where Louis was. The mayor of
Paris, Petion, had come at last, and, hailed loudly by the crowd
which occupied the whole space in the rear of the National Guards,
he approached the king.

"Sire," said he, "I have just learned what is going on here."

"I am surprised at that," answered the king, with a reproachful
look, "the mayor of Paris ought to have learned before this about
this tumult, which has now been lasting three hours."

"But is now at an end, sire, since I have come," cried Petion,
proudly. "You have now nothing more to fear, sire."

"To fear?" replied Louis with a proud shrug. "A man who has a good
conscience does not fear. Feel," he said, taking the hand of the
grenadier who stood at his side, "lay your hand upon my heart, and
tell this man whether it beats faster." [Footnote: The king's words.
The grenadier's name whose hand the king took, was Lalanne. Later,
in the second year of "the one and indivisible republic," he was
condemned to die by the guillotine, because, as stated in the
sentence, he showed himself on the 30th of June, 1798, as a common
servant of tyranny, and boasted to other citizens that Capet took
his hand, laid it upon his heart, and said: "Feel, my friend,
whether it beats quicker."--See Hue, "Dernieres Annees de Louis
Seize," p. 180.]

Petion now turned to the people and commanded them to withdraw.
"Fellow-citizens," said he, "you began this day wisely and worthily;
you have proved that you are free. End the day as you began it.
Separate peaceably; do as I do, return to your houses, and go to
bed!" The multitude, flattered by Petion's praises, began to
withdraw, and the National Guards escorted the king into the great
council-chamber, where a deputation of the National Assembly had met
to pay their respects to the king.

"Where is the queen, where are the children?" cried the king, as,
exhausted, he sank into a chair.

His gentlemen hastened out to bring them, and soon the queen and the
children came in. With extended arms Marie Antoinette hastened to
her husband, and they remained a long time locked in their embrace.

"Papa king," cried the dauphin, "give me a kiss, too! I have
deserved it, for I was brave and did not cry when the people put the
red cap on my head."

The king stooped down to the child and kissed his golden hair, and
then pressed his little daughter, who was nestling up to him, to his
heart.

The deputies stood with curious looks around the group, to whom it
was not granted, even after such a fearful day and such imminent
peril, to embrace each other, and thank God for their preservation,
without witnesses.

"Confess, madame," said one of the deputies to Marie Antoinette, in
a confidential tone, "confess that you have experienced great
anxiety."

"No, sir," replied the queen, "I have not been anxious, but I have
suffered severely, because I was separated from the king at a moment
when his life was threatened. I had at least my children with me,
and so could discharge one of my duties."

"I will not excuse every thing that took place to-day," said the
deputy, with a shrug. "But confess at least, madame, that the people
conducted themselves very well."

"Sir, the king and I are convinced of the natural good-nature of the
people; they are only bad when they are led astray."

Some other deputies approached the dauphin, and directed various
questions to him, in order to convince themselves about his
precocious understanding that was so much talked about.

One of the gentlemen, speaking of the day that had gone by, compared
it with St. Bartholomew's night.

"The comparison does not hold," cried another: "here is no Charles
the Ninth."

"And no Catherine de Medicis either," said the dauphin, quickly,
pressing the hand of the queen to his lips.

"Oh! see the little scholar," cried the by-standers. "Let us see
whether he knows as much about geography as about history!"

And all pressed up to him, to put questions to him about the
situation and boundaries of France, and about the division of the
French territory into departments and districts. The prince answered
all these questions quickly and correctly. After every answer he
cast an inquiring glance at the queen, and when he read in her looks
that his answer had been correct, his eyes brightened, and his
cheeks glowed with pleasure.

"Our dauphin is really very learned," cried one of the deputies. "I
should like to know whether he has paid any attention yet to the
arts. Do you love music, my little prince?"

"Ah, sir," answered the dauphin, eagerly, "whoever has heard mamma
sing and play, must love music!"

"Do you sing too, prince?"

The dauphin raised his eyes to his mother. "Mamma," he asked, "shall
I sing the prayer of this morning?"

Marie Antoinette nodded. "Sing it, my son, for perhaps God heard it
this morning, and has graciously answered it."

The dauphin sank upon his knees, and folding his hands, he raised
his head and turned his blue eyes toward heaven, and, with a sweet
voice and a mild, smiling look, he sang these words:

"Ciel, entends la priere Qu'ici je fais; Conserve un si boil pere A
ses sujets." [Footnote: See Beauchesne, vol. i., p. 146. This scene
is historical. Sees Hue, "Dernioree Anneesde Louis XVI." This prayer
is from the opera so much admired at that time, "Peter the Great" "O
Heaven, accept the prayer, I offer here; Unto his subjects spare My
father dear."]

A deep, solemn silence reigned while the dauphin's voice rang
through the room. The faces of the deputies, hitherto defiant and
severe, softened, deeply moved. They all looked at the beautiful
boy, who was still on his knees, his countenance beaming, and with a
smile upon it like the face of one in a blissful dream. No one
ventured to break the silence. The king, whose arm was thrown around
the neck of his daughter, looked affectionately at the dauphin;
Madame Elizabeth had folded her hands, and was praying; but Marie
Antoinette, no longer able to control her deep emotion, covered her
face with her hands, and wept in silence.

From this day the life of the royal family was one of constant
excitement--an incessant, feverish expectation of coming evil. The
king bore it all with an uncomplaining resignation; no one drew from
him a complaint, no one a reproach. But the thought never seemed to
occur to him that perhaps even yet safety might be attained by
energy, by spirit, or even by flight.

He had surrendered all; he was ready to suffer as a Christian
instead of rising as a king, and preferred to fall in honorable
battle rather than to live despised.

Marie Antoinette had given up her efforts to inspire her husband
with her own energetic will. She knew that all was in vain, and had
accepted her fate. Since she could not live as a queen, she would at
least die as one. She made her preparations for this calmly and with
characteristic decision. "They will kill me, I know," she said to
her maids. "I have only one duty left me, to prepare myself to die!"

She lost her accustomed spirit, wept much, and exhibited a great
deal of feeling. Yet she still stood guard over the shattered throne
like a resolute sentinel, and looked around with sharp and searching
glances, to keep an eye on the enemy, and to be ready for his nearer
approach.

She still continued to receive news about every thing that
transpired in Paris, every thing that was resolved upon in the
National Assembly and discussed in the clubs, and had the libels and
pamphlets which were directed at her all sent to her. Marie
Antoinette understood the condition of the capital and the feeling
of the people better than did the king (who often sat for hours, and
at times whole days, silent and unoccupied) better even than did the
ministers. She received every morning the reports of the emissaries,
followed the intrigues of the conspirators, and was acquainted with
the secret assemblies which Marat called together, and the alliances
of the clubs. She knew about the calling together of the forty-eight
sections of the Paris "fraternity" in one general convention. She
knew that Potion, Danton, and Manuel, three raving republicans, were
at the head, and that their emissaries were empowered to stir up the
suburbs of the city. She knew, too, that the monsters from
Marseilles, who had been active on the 20th of June, were boasting
that they were going to repeat the deeds of that day on a greater
scale.

Nor was it unknown to her that more than half the deputies in the
National Assembly belonged to the Jacobin party, and that they were
looking for an opportunity to strike a fresh blow at royalty. Very
often, when at dead of night Marie Antoinette heard the noisy chorus
of the rioters from Marseilles singing beneath her windows,

"Allons, enfants de la patrie," or the Parisians chanting the "Qa
ira, fa ira!" she sprang from her bed (she now never disrobed
herself on retiring), hurried to the beds of her children to see
that they were not in danger, or called her maids and commanded them
to light the candles, that they might at least see the danger which
threatened.

At last, on the night of the 9th of August, the long-feared terror
arrived.

A gun fired in the court of the Tuileries announced its advent.
Marie Antoinette sprang from her bed, and sent her waiting-maid to
the king to waken him. The king had already risen; his ministers and
a few tried friends were now with him. The queen wakened her
children, and assisted in dressing them. She then went with the
little ones to the king, who received them with an affectionate
greeting. At length a blast of trumpets announced that the movement
had become general; the thunder of cannon and the peals of bells
awakened the sleeping city.

The royal family, crowded close together, silently awaited the
stalking of the republic into the halls of the king's palace, or the
saving of the monarchy by the grace of God and the bravery of their
faithful friends. For even then monarchy had those who were true to
it; and while the trumpet-blasts continued and the bells to ring, to
awaken republicans to the struggle, the sounds were at the same time
the battle-cry of the royalists, and told them, that the king was in
danger and needed their help.

About two hundred noblemen had remained in Paris, and had not
followed the royal princes to Coblentz to take arms against their
own country. They had remained in Paris, in order to defend the
monarchy to the last drop of their blood, and at least to be near
the throne, if they were not able to hold it up longer. In order not
to be suspected, they carried no arms, and yet it was known that
beneath the silk vest of the cavalier they concealed the dagger of
the soldier, and they received in consequence the appellation of
"Chevaliers of the Dagger."

At the first notes of the trumpet the nobility had hurried on the
night of the 10th of August to the Tuileries, which were already
filled with grenadiers, Swiss guards, and volunteers of every rank,
who had hastened thither to protect the royal family. All the
staircases, all the corridors and rooms, were occupied by them.

The "Chevaliers of the Dagger" marched in solemn procession by them
all to the grand reception-room, where were the king, the queen, and
the children. With respectful mien they approached the royal pair,
imploring the king's permission to die for him, and beseeching the
queen to touch their weapons, in order to make them victorious, and
to allow them to kiss the royal hand, in order to sweeten death for
them. There were cries of enthusiasm and loyalty on all sides, "Long
live the king of our fathers!" cried the young people. "Long live
the king of our children!" cried the old men, taking the dauphin in
their arms and raising him above their heads, as if he were the
living banner in whose defence they wished to die.

As the morning dawned, the king, at the pressing request of his
wife, walked with her and the children through the halls and
galleries of the palace, to reanimate the courage of their defenders
who were assembled there, and to thank them for their fidelity.
Everywhere the royal family was received with enthusiasm, everywhere
oaths of loyalty to death resounded through the rooms. The king then
went, accompanied by a few faithful friends, down into the park, to
review the battalions of the National Guard who were stationed
there.

When Louis appeared, the cry, "Long live the king!" began to lose
the unanimity which had characterized it in the palace. It was
suppressed and overborne by a hostile murmur, and the farther the
king advanced, the louder grew these mutterings; till at last, from
hundreds and hundreds of throats, the thundering cry resounded,
"Abdication or death! Long live Petion! Resignation or death!"

The king turned hastily around, and, with pale face and forehead
covered with drops of cold sweat, he returned to the palace.

"All is lost!" cried the queen, bitterly, "Nothing more remains for
us than to die worthily."

But soon she raised herself up again, and new courage animated her
soul, when she saw that new defenders were constantly pressing into
the hall, and that even many grenadiers of the National Guard
mingled in the ranks of the nobility.

But these noblemen, these "Chevaliers of the Dagger," excited
mistrust, and a major of the National Guard demanded their removal
with a loud voice.

"No," cried the queen, eagerly, "these noblemen are our best
friends. Place them before the mouth of the cannon, and they will
show you how death for one's king is met. Do not disturb yourselves
about these brave people,"

She continued, turning to some grenadiers who were approaching her,
"your interests and theirs are common.

Every thing that is dearest to you and them-wives, children,
property-depends upon your courage and your common bravery."

The grenadiers extended their hands to the chevaliers, and mutual
oaths were exchanged to die for the royal family, to save the throne
or to perish with it. It was a grand and solemn moment, full of
lofty eloquence! The hearts of these noblemen and these warriors
longed impatiently for death. With their hands laid upon their
weapons, they awaited its coming.

The populace rolled up in great masses to the palace. "Wild shrieks
were heard, the thunder of cannon, the harsh cries of women, and the
yells of men. Within the palace they listened with suspended breath.
The queen straightened herself up, grasped with a quick movement the
hands of her children, drew them to herself, and, with head bent
forward and with breathless expectation, gazed at the door, like a
lioness awaiting her enemy, and making herself ready to defend her
young with her own life.

The door was suddenly opened, and the attorney-general Roderer burst
in.

"Sire," cried he, with impassioned utterance, "you must save
yourself! All opposition is vain. Only the smallest part of the
National Guard is still to be trusted, and even this part only waits
the first pretext to fraternize with the populace. The cannoneers
have already withdrawn the loading from the cannon, because they are
unwilling to fire upon the people. The king has no time to lose.
Sire, there is protection for you only in the National Assembly, and
only the representatives of the people can now protect the royal
family."

The queen uttered a cry of anger and horror. "How!" she cried. "What
do you say? We seek protection with our worst enemies? Never, oh,
never! Rather will I be nailed to these walls, than leave the palace
to go to the National Assembly!" [Footnote: The queen's own words.--
See Beauchesne, vol. i., p. 90.]

And turning to the king, who stood silent and undecided, she spoke
to him with flaming words, with glowing eloquence, addressed him as
the father of the dauphin, the successor of Henry IV. and Louis
XIV., sought to animate his ambition and touch his heart, and tried
for the last time to kindle him with her courage and her decision.

In vain, all in vain. The king remained silent and undecided. A cry,
one single cry of grief, burst from the lips of the queen, and one
moment her head sank upon her breast.

"Hasten, hasten, sire!" cried Roderer, "every moment increases the
peril. In a quarter of an hour perhaps the queen and the children
will be lost beyond remedy!"

These words awakened the king from his reverie. He looked up and
nodded his head. "We can do nothing else," he said. "Let us go at
once to the National Assembly."

"Sir," cried the queen, turning to Roderer, "is it true that we are
deserted by all?"

"Madame," answered the attorney-general, sadly, "all opposition is
in vain, it will only increase the danger. Would you suffer
yourself, the king, your children, and friends, to be killed?"

"God forbid it! Would that I alone could be the offering!"

"Another minute," urged Roderer, "perhaps another second, and it is
impossible to guarantee your life, and perhaps that of your husband
and children."

"My children!" cried the queen, throwing her arms around them, and
drawing them to her breast. "No, oh no, I will not give them over to
the knife!"

One sigh, one last sob, burst from her lips, and then she released
herself from the children, and approached the king and his
ministers.

"This is the last sacrifice," she said, heavily, "that I can offer.
I submit myself, M. Roderer," and then with louder tones, as if she
wanted to call all present to be witnesses, she continued, "will you
pledge yourself for the person of the king, and for that of my son?"

"Madame," answered Roderer, solemnly, "I pledge myself for this,
that we are all ready to die at your side. That is all that I can
promise."

And now the noblemen and the grenadiers pressed up to take the king
and queen in their escort.

"For God's sake," cried Roderer, "no demonstration, or the king is
lost!

"Remain, my friends," said the king, stolidly, "await our return
here."

"We shall soon return," said Marie Antoinette; and leading her two
children, she followed the king, who walked slowly through the hall.
Princess Lamballe and Madame Tourzel brought up the rear.

It was done. The dying monarchy left the royal palace to put itself
under the protection of the revolution, which was soon to give birth
to the republic.

It was six o'clock in the morning when the royal family crossed the
threshold of the Tuileries--in front the king, conducting Princess
Elizabeth on his arm, behind him the queen with the two children.

Before leaving the palace, the king received tidings that a part of
the National Guard had withdrawn, in order to protect their families
and their property from an attack of the populace, and that another
part had declared, itself against the king and in favor of the
revolution.

Louis made his way through the seething crowd that scarcely opened
to allow a free passage for the royal family, and overwhelmed them
with curses, insults, and abuse.

Some members of the National Assembly went in advance, and could
themselves scarcely control the raging waves of popular fury.

On the Terrace des Feuillants the people shouted, "Down with the
tyrants! To death, to death with them!"

The dauphin cried aloud with fright, for the bloody hands of two
yelling women were extended after him. A grenadier sprang forward,
seized the boy with his strong arm, and raised him upon his
shoulder.

"My son, give me back my son!" cried the queen, wildly. The
grenadier bowed to her. "Do not be afraid, do you not recognize me?"

Marie Antoinette looked at him, and the hint of a smile passed over
her face. She did indeed recognize him who, like a good angel, was
always present when danger and death threatened her. It was Toulan,
the faithful one, by her side in the uniform of a National
Guardsman.

"Courage, courage, good queen, the demons are loose, but good angels
are near thee too; and where those curse and howl, these bring
blessing and reconciliation."

"Down with the tyrants!" roared the savage women.

"Do not be afraid, my prince," said the grenadier, to the dauphin
whom he carried upon his shoulder, in order to protect him from the
thronging of the crowd. "Nobody will hurt you."

"Not me, but my dear papa," sobbed the child, while the tears rolled
over his pale cheeks.

The poor child trembled and was afraid, and how could he help it?
Even the king was terrified for a moment, and felt as if the tears
were coming into his eyes. The queen too wept, dried her tears, and
then wept again. The sad march consumed more than an hour, in order
to traverse the bit of way to the Manege, where the National
Assembly met. Before the doors of this building the cries were
doubled; the attorney-general harangued the mob, and sought to quiet
it, and pushed the royal family into the narrow corridor, in which,
hemmed in by abusive crowds, they made their way forward slowly. At
last the hall doors opened, and as Marie Antoinette passed in behind
the king, Toulan gave the little dauphin to her, who flung both his
arms around the neck of his mother.

A death-like silence reigned in the hall. The deputies looked with
dark faces at the new-comers. No one rose to salute the king, no
word of welcome was spoken.

The king took his place by the side of the president, the queen and
her ladies took the chairs of the ministers. Then came an angry cry
from the tribune: "The dauphin must sit with the king, he belongs to
the nation. The Austrian has no claim to the confidence of the
people."

An officer came down to take the child away, but Louis Charles clung
to his mother, fear was expressed on his features, tears stood in
his eyes, and won a word of sympathy, so that the officer did not
venture to remove the prince forcibly.

A deep silence sat in again, till the king raised his voice. "I have
come hither," he said, "to prevent a great crime, and because I
believe that I am safest surrounded by the representatives of the
nation."

"Sire," replied President Vergniaud, "you can reckon upon the
devotion of the National Assembly. It knows its duties; its members
have sworn to live and to die in defence of the rights of the people
and of the constitutional authorities."

Voices were heard at this point from all sides of the hall,
declaring that the constitution forbids the Assembly holding its
deliberations in the presence of the king and the queen.

They then took the royal family into the little low box scarcely ten
feet long, in which the reporters of the "Logograph" used to write
their accounts of the doings of the Assembly. Into this narrow space
were a king, a queen, with her sister and her children, their
ministers and faithful servants, crowded, to listen to the
discussions concerning the deposition of the king.

From without there came into the hall the wild cry of the populace
that the Swiss guards had been killed, and shouts accompanied the
heads as they were carried about on the points of pikes. The crack
of muskets was heard, and the roar of cannon. The last faithful
regiments were contending against the army of the revolutionists,
while within the hall the election by the French people of a General
Convention was discussed.

This scene lasted the whole day; the whole day the queen sat in the
glowing heat, her son asleep in her lap, motionless, and like a
marble statue. She appeared to be alive only when once in a while a
sigh or a faint moan escaped her. A glass of water mixed with
currant-juice was the only nourishment she took through the day.

At about five in the afternoon, while the Assembly was still
deliberating about the disposal of the king, Louis turned composedly
around to the valet who was standing back of him.

"I am hungry," he said; "bring me something to eat!" Hue hastened to
bring, from a restaurant near by, a piece of roast chicken, some
fruit and stewed plums; a small table was procured, and carried into
the reporters' box of the "Logograph."

The countenance of the king lightened up a little, as he sat down at
the table and ate his dinner with a good appetite. He did not hear
the suppressed sobs that issued from a dark corner of the box. To
this corner the unhappy woman had withdrawn, who yesterday was Queen
of France, and whose pale cheeks reddened with shame at this hour to
see the king eating with his old relish!

The tears started afresh from her eyes, and, in order to dry them,
she asked for a handkerchief, for her own was already wet with her
tears, and with the sweat which she had wiped from the forehead of
her sleeping boy. But no one of her friends could reach her a
handkerchief that was not red with the blood of those who had been
wounded in the defence of the queen!

It was only at two o'clock in the night that the living martyrdom of
this session ended, and the royal family were conducted to the cells
of the former Convent des Feuillants, which was above the rooms of
the Assembly, and which had hastily been put in readiness for the
night quarters of the royal family. Hither armed men, using their
gun-barrels as candlesticks for the tapers which they carried,
marched, conducting a king and a queen to their improvised sleeping-
rooms. A dense crowd of people, bearing weapons, surrounded them,
and often closed the way, so that it needed the energetic command of
the officer in charge to make a free passage for them. The populace
drew back, but bellowed and sang into the ears of the queen as she
passed by:

"Madame Veto avait promis D'fegorger tout Paris."

These horrible faces, these threatening, abusive voices, frightened
the dauphin, who clung tremblingly to his mother. Marie Antoinette
stooped down to him and whispered a few words in his ear. At once
the countenance of the boy brightened, and he sprang quickly and
joyfully up the staircase; but at the top he stood still, and waited
for his sister, who was so heavy with sleep that she had to be led
slowly up. "Listen, Theresa," said the prince, joyously, "mamma has
promised me that I shall sleep in her room with her, because I was
so good before the bad people. " [Footnote: Goncourt.--"Histoirede
Marie Antoinette," p. 234.] And he jumped about delightedly into the
rooms which had been opened, and in which a supper had been even
prepared. But suddenly, his countenance darkened, and his eyes
wandered around with an anxious look.

"Where is Moufflet?" he asked. "He came with me, and he was with me
when we left the box. Moufflet, Moufflet, where are you, Moufflet?"
and asking this question loudly, the dauphin hurried through the
four rooms everywhere seeking after the little dog, the inheritance
from his brother, the former Dauphin of France.

But Moufflet did not come, and all search was in vain; no Moufflet
was to be found. He had probably been lost in the crowd, or been
trodden under foot.

When at last silence and peace came, and the royal family were
resting on their hard beds, sighs and suppressed sobs were heard
from where the dauphin lay. It was the little fellow weeping for his
lost dog. The heir of the kings of France had to-day lost his last
possession--his little, faithful dog.

Marie Antoinette stooped down and kissed his wet eyes.

"Do not cry, my boy; Moufflet will come back again tomorrow."

"To-morrow! certainly, mamma?"

"Certainly."

The boy dried his tears, and went to sleep with a smile upon his
lips.

But Marie Antoinette did not sleep; sitting erect in her bed, she
listened to the cries and fiendish shoutings which came up from the
terrace of the Feuillants, as the people heaped their abuses upon
her, and demanded her head.

On the next day new sufferings! The royal family had to go again
into the little box which they had occupied the day before; they had
to listen to the deliberation of the National Assembly about the
future residence of the royal family, which had made itself unworthy
to inhabit the Tuileries, while even the Luxemburg palace was no
suitable residence for Monsieur and Madame Veto.

The queen had in the mean time regained her self-possession and
calmness, she could even summon a smile to her lips with which to
greet her children and the faithful friends who thronged around her
in order to be near her in these painful hours. She was pleased with
the attentions of the wife of the English ambassador, Lady
Sutherland, who sent linen and clothes of her own son for the
dauphin. The queen also received from Madame Tourzel her watch with
many thanks, since she had been robbed of her own and her purse on
the way to the Convent des Feuillants.

On receiving news of this theft, the five gentlemen present hastened
to lay all the gold and notes that they carried about them on the
table before they withdrew. But Marie Antoinette had noticed this.
"Gentlemen," she said, with thanks and deep feeling, "gentlemen,
keep your money; you will want it more than we, for you will, I
trust, live longer." [Footnote: The queen's own words.--See
"Beauehesne," vol. i., p. 806.]

Death had no longer any terrors for the queen, for she had too often
looked him in the eye of late to be afraid. She had with joy often
seen him take away her faithful servants and friends. Death would
have been lighter to bear than the railings and abuse which she had
to experience upon her walks from the Logograph's reporters' seat to
the rooms in the Convent des Feuillants. On one of these walks she
saw in the garden some respectably dressed people standing and
looking without hurling insults at her.--Full of gratitude, the
queen smiled and bowed to them. On this, one of the men shouted:
"You needn't take the trouble to shake your head so gracefully, for
you won't have it much longer!"

"I would the man were right!" said Marie Antoinette softly, going on
to the hall of the Assembly to hear the representatives of the
nation discuss the question whether the Swiss guards, who had
undertaken to defend the royal family with weapons in their hands,
should not be condemned to death as traitors to the French nation.

At length, after five days of continued sufferings, the Assembly
became weary of insulting and humiliating longer those who had been
robbed of their power and dignity; and it was announced to the royal
family that they would hereafter reside in the Temple, and be
perpetual prisoners of the nation.

On the morning of the 18th of August two great carriages, each drawn
by only two horses, stood in the court des Feuillants ready to carry
the royal family to the Temple. In the first of these sat the king,
the queen, their two children, Madame Elizabeth, Princess Lamballe,
Madame Tourzel and her daughter; and besides these, Potion the mayor
of Paris, the attorney-general, and a municipal officer. In the
second carriage were the servants of the king and two officials. A
detachment of the National Guards escorted the carriages, on both
sides of which dense masses of men stood, incessantly pouring out
their abuse and insults.

In the Place Vendome the procession stopped, and with scornful
laughter they showed the king the scattered fragments, upon the
pavements, of the equestrian statue of Louis XIV., which had stood
there, and which had been thrown from its pedestal by the anger of
the people. "So shall it be with all tyrants!" shouted and roared
the mob, raising their fists threateningly.

"How bad they are!" said the dauphin, looking with widely-opened
eyes at the king, between whose knees he was standing.

"No," answered Louis, gently, "they are not bad, they are only
misled."

At seven in the evening they reached the gloomy building which was
now to be the home of the King and Queen of France. "Long live the
nation!" roared the mob, which filled the inner court as Marie
Antoinette and her husband dismounted from the carriage. "Long live
the nation!--down with the tyrants!" The queen paid no attention to
the cries; she looked down at her black shoe, which was torn, and
out of whose tip her white silk stocking peeped. "See," she said, to
Princess Lamballe, who was walking by her side, "see my foot, it
would hardly be believed that the Queen of France has no shoes."



CHAPTER XX.

TO THE 21ST 0F JANUARY.


"We must look misfortune directly in the eye, and have courage to
bear it worthily," said Marie Antoinette." "We are prisoners, and
shall long remain so! Let us seek to have a kind of household life
even in our prison. Let us make a fixed plan how to spend our days."

"You are right, Marie," replied Louis; "let us arrange how to spend
each day. As I am no longer a king, I will be the teacher of my son,
and try to educate him to be a good king."

"Do you believe, then, husband, that there are to be kings after
this in France?" asked Marie Antoinette, with a shrug.

"Well," answered Louis, "we will at least seek to give him such an
education that he shall be able to fill worthily whatever station he
may be called to. I will be his teacher in the sciences."

"And I will interest him and our daughter in music and drawing,"
said the queen.

"And you will allow me to teach my niece to embroider an altar-
cover," said Madame Elizabeth.

"And in the evening," said Marie Antoinette, nodding playfully to
Princess Lamballe, "in the evening we will read comedies, that the
children may learn of our Lamballe the art of declamation. We will
seek to forget the past, and turn our thoughts only to the present,
whatever it may be. You see that these four days that we have spent
here in the Temple have been good schoolmasters for me, and have
made me patient, and--but what is that?" exclaimed the queen; "did
you not hear steps before the door? It must be something unusual,
for it is not yet so late as the officials are accustomed to come.
Where are the children?"

And, in the anxiety of her motherly love, the queen hastened up the
little staircase which led to the second story of the Temple, where
was the chamber of the dauphin, together with the general sitting-
room.

Louis Charles sprang forward to meet his mother, and asked her
whether she had come to fulfil her promise, and go out with him into
the garden. The queen, instead of answering, clasped him in her
arms, and beckoned to Theresa to come to her side. "Oh! my children,
my dear children, I only wanted to see you; I--"

The door opened, and the king, followed by his sister, Princess
Lamballe, and Madame Tourzel, entered.

"What is it?" cried Marie Antoinette. "Some new misfortune, is it
not?"

She was silent, for she now became aware of the presence of both of
the municipal officials, who had come in behind the ladies, and in
whose presence she would not complain. Manuel, who, since the 10th
of August, had been attorney-general--Manuel, the enemy of the
queen, the chief supervisor of the prisoners in the Temple, was
there--and Marie Antoinette would not grant him the triumph of
seeing her weakness.

"You have something to say to us, sir," said the queen, with a voice
which she compelled to be calm.

Yes, Manuel had something to say to her. He had to lay before her
and the king a decree of the National Assembly, which ordered old
parties who had accompanied "Louis Capet and his wife" to the
Temple, either under the name of friends or servants, to leave the
place at once. The queen had not a word of complaint, but her pride
was vanquished; she suffered Manuel to see her tears. She extended
her arms, and called the faithful Lamballe to her, mingled her tears
with those of the princess, and then gave a parting kiss to Madame
de Tourzel and her daughter.

The evening of that day was a silent and solitary one in the rooms
of the Temple. Their last servants had been taken away from the
royal prisoners, and only Clery, the valet of the king, had been
suffered to remain, to wait upon his master. The next morning,
however, Manuel came to inform the queen that she would be allowed
to have two other women to wait upon her, and gave her a list of
names from which she might choose. But Marie Antoinette, with proud
composure, refused to accept this offer. "We have been deprived of
those who remained faithful to us out of love, and devoted their
services to us as a free gift, and we will not supply their places
by servants who are paid by our enemies."

"Then you will have to wait upon yourselves," cried Manuel, with a
harsh voice.

"Yes," answered the queen, gently, "we will wait upon ourselves, and
take pleasure in it."

And they did wait upon themselves; they took the tenderest care one
of another, and performed all these offices with constant readiness.
The king had, happily, been allowed to retain his valet, who dressed
him, who knew all his quiet, moderate ways, and who arranged every
thing for the king in the little study at the Temple, as he had been
accustomed to do in the grand cabinet at Versailles. The ladies
waited upon themselves, and Marie Antoinette undertook the task of
dressing and undressing the dauphin.

The little fellow was the sunbeam which now and then would light up
even the sombre apartments of the Temple. With the happy
carelessness of infancy, he had forgotten the past, and did not
think of the future; he lived only in the present, sought to be
happy, and found his happiness when he succeeded in calling a smile
to the pale, proud lips of the queen, or in winning a word of praise
from the king for his industry and his attention.

And thus the days went by with the royal family-monotonous, sad, and
dreary. No greeting of love, no ray of hope came in from the outer
world, to lighten up the thick walls of the old building. No one
brought the prisoners news of what was transpiring without. They
were too well watched for any of their friends to be able to
communicate with them. This was the greatest trial for the royal
captives. Not a moment, by day or by night, when the eyes of the
sentries were not directed toward them, and their motions observed!
The doors to the anterooms were constantly open, and in them always
there were officials, with searching looks and with severe faces,
watching the prisoners in the inner rooms. Even during the night
this trial did not cease, and the Queen of France had to undergo the
indignity of having the door of her sleeping-room constantly open,
while the officials, who spent the night in their arm-chairs in the
anteroom, drank, played, and smoked, always keeping an eye on her
bed, in order to be sure of her presence.

Even when she undressed herself, the doors of the queen's apartment
were not closed; a mere small screen stood at the foot of the bed;
this was removed as soon as the queen had disrobed and lain down.

This daily renewed pain and humiliation--this being watched every
minute--was the heaviest burden that the prisoners of the Temple had
to bear, and the proud heart of Marie Antoinette rose in
exasperation every day against these restraints. She endeavored to
be patient and to choke the grief that rose within her, and yet she
must sometimes give expression to it in tears and threatening words,
which now fell like cold thunderbolts from the lips of the queen,
and no longer kindled any thing, no longer dashed any thing in
pieces.

Thus August passed and September began, sad, gloomy, and hopeless.
On the morning of the 3d of September, Manuel came to the royal
prisoners, to tell them that Paris was in great excitement, and that
they were not to go into the garden that day as usual about noon,
but were to remain in their rooms.

"How is it with my friend, Princess Lamballe?" asked Marie
Antoinette.

Manuel was perplexed; he even blushed and cast down his eyes, as he
answered that that morning the princess had been taken to the prison
La Force. Then, in order to divert conversation from this channel,
Manuel told the prisoners about the tidings which had recently
reached Paris, and had thrown the city into such excitement and
rage.

The neighboring powers had made an alliance against France. The King
of Prussia was advancing with a powerful army, and had already
confronted the French force before Chalons, while the Emperor of
Germany was marching against Alsace. Marie Antoinette forgot the
confusion and perplexity which Manuel had exhibited, in the
importance of this news. She hoped again; she found in her elastic
spirit support in these tidings, and began to think of the
possibility of escape. It did not trouble her that beneath her
windows she heard a furious cry, as the crowd surged up to the
prison walls: "The head of the Austrian! Give us the head of the
Austrian!" She had so often heard that--it had been so long the
daily refrain to the sorrowful song of riot which filled Paris--that
it had lost all meaning for Marie Antoinette.

Nor did it disturb her at all that she heard the loud beatings of
drums approaching like muffled thunder, that trumpets were blown,
that musketry rattled, and loud war cries resounded in the distant
streets.

Marie Antoinette paid no heed to this. She heard constantly ringing
before her ear Manuel's words: "The neighboring nations have allied
against France. The King of Prussia is before Chalons. The Emperor
of Germany is advancing upon Strasburg." "0 God of Heaven, be
merciful to us! Grant to our friends victory over our enemies.

Release us from these sufferings and pains, that our children may at
least find the happiness which for us is buried forever in the
past."

And yet Marie Antoinette could speak to no one of her hopes and
fears. She must breathe her prayer in her own heart alone, for the
municipal officials were there, and the two servants who had been
forced upon the prisoners, Tison and his wife, the paid servants of
their enemies.

Only the brave look and the clearer brow told the king of the hopes
and wishes of his wife, but he responded to them with a faint shrug
and a sad smile.

All at once, after the royal family had sat down to take their
dinner at the round table--all at once there was a stir in the
building which was before so still. Terrible cries were heard, and
steps advancing up the staircase. The two officials, who were
sitting in the open anteroom, stood and listened at the door. This
was suddenly opened, and a third official entered, pale, trembling
with rage, and raising his clinched fists tremblingly against the
king.

"The enemy is in Verdun," cried he. "We shall all be undone, but you
shall be the first to suffer!"

The king looked quietly at him; but the dauphin, terrified at the
looks of the angry man and his loud voice, burst into a violent fit
of weeping and sobbing, and Marie Antoinette and the little Theresa
strove in vain to quiet the little fellow by gentle words.

A fourth official now entered, and whispered secretly to his
colleagues.

"Is my family no longer in safety here?" asked the king.

The official shrugged his shoulders. "The report has gone abroad
that the royal family is no longer in the Temple. This has excited
the people, and they desire that you all show yourselves at the
windows, but we will not permit it; you shall not show yourselves.
The public must have more confidence in its servants."

"Yes," cried the other official, still raising his fists--"yes, that
it must; but if the enemy come, the royal family shall die!"

And when at these words the dauphin began to cry aloud again, he
continued: "I pity the poor little fellow, but die he must!"

Meanwhile the cries outside were still louder, and abusive epithets
were distinctly heard directed at the queen. A fifth official then
came in, followed by some soldiers, in order to assure themselves,
in the name of the people, that the Capet family was still in the
tower. This official demanded, in an angry voice, that they should
go to the window and show themselves to the people.

"No, no, they shall not do it," cried the other functionaries.

"Why not?" asked the king. "Come, Marie."

He extended his hand to her, and advanced with her to the window.

"No, don't do it!" cried the official, rushing to the window.

"Why not?" asked the king, in astonishment.

"Well," cried the man, with threatening fist, "the people want to
show you the head of Lamballe, that you may see how the nation takes
vengeance on its tyrants."

At that same instant there arose behind the window-pane a pale head
encircled with long, fair hair, the livid forehead sprinkled with
blood, the eyes lustreless and fixed--the head of Princess Lamballe,
which the people had dressed by a friseur, to hoist it upon a pike
and show it to the queen.

The queen had seen it; staggering she fell back upon a chair; she
gazed fixedly at the window, even after the fearful phantom had
disappeared. Her lips were open, as if for a cry which had been
silenced by horror. She did not weep, she did not complain, and even
the caresses of the children, the gentle address of Princess
Elizabeth, and the comforting words of the king could not rouse her
out of this stupefying of her whole nature.

Princess Lamballe had been murdered, and deep in her soul the queen
saw that this was only the prelude to the fearful tragedy, in which
her family would soon be implicated.

Poor Princess Lamballe! She had been killed because she had refused
to repeat the imprecations against the queen, which they tried to
extort from her lips: "Swear that you love liberty and equality;
swear that you hate the king, the queen, and every thing pertaining
to royalty."

"I will swear to the first," was the princess's answer, "but to the
last I cannot swear, for it does not lie in my heart."

This was the offence of the princess, that hate did not lie in her
heart--the offence of so many others who were killed on that 3d of
September, that dreadful day on which the hordes of Marseilles
opened the prisons, in order to drag the prisoners before the
tribunals, or to execute them without further sentence.

The days passed by, and they had to be borne. Marie Antoinette had
regained her composure and her proud calmness. She had to overcome
even this great grief, and the heart of the queen had not yet been
broken. She still loved, she still hoped. She owed it to her husband
and children not to despair, and better days might come even yet.
"We must keep up courage," she said, "to live till the dawn of this
better day."

And it required spirit to bear the daily torture of this life!
Always exposed to scorn and abuse! Always watched by the eyes of
mocking, reviling men! Always scrutinized by Madame Tison, her
servant, who followed every one of her motions as a cat watches its
prey, and among all these sentinels the most obnoxious of all was
the cobbler Simon.

Commissioned by the authorities to supervise the workmen and masons
who were engaged in restoring the partially ruined ancient portion
of the Temple, Simon had made himself at home within the building,
to discharge his duties more comfortably. It was his pleasure to
watch this humiliated royal family, to see them fall day by day, and
hear the curses that accompanied them at every step. He never
appeared in their presence without insulting them, and encouraging
with loud laughter those who imitated him in this.

Some of the officials in charge never spoke excepting with dreadful
abuse of the king, the queen, and the children.

One of them cried to his comrade in presence of Marie Antoinette:
"If the hangman does not guillotine this accursed family, I will do
it!"

When the royal family went down to take their walk in the garden,
Santerre used to come up with a troop of soldiers. The sentries whom
they passed shouldered arms before Santerre; but as soon as he had
passed and the king came, they grounded their arms, and pretended
not to see him. In the door that led into the garden, Rocher, the
turnkey, used to stand, and take his pleasure in letting the royal
family wait before unlocking, while he blew great clouds of smoke
into their faces from his long tobacco-pipe. The National Guards who
stood in the neighborhood used to laugh at this, and hurl all sorts
of low, vile words at the princesses. Then, while the royal
prisoners were taking their walk, the cannoneers used to collect in
the allees through which they wandered, and dance to the music of
revolutionary songs which some of them sang. Sometimes the gardeners
who worked there hurried up to join them in this dance, and to
encircle the prisoners in their wild evolutions. One of these people
displayed his sickle to the king one day, and swore that he would
cut off the head of the queen with it. And when, after their sad
walk, they had returned to the Temple, they were received by the
sentinels and the turnkey with renewed insults; and, as if it were
not enough to fill the ear with this abuse, the eye too must have
its share. The vilest of expressions were written upon the walls of
the corridors which the royal party had to traverse. You might read
there: "Madame Veto will soon be dancing again. Down with the
Austrian she-wolf! The wolf's brood must be strangled. The king must
be hanged with his own ribbon!" Another time they had drawn a
gallows, on which a figure was hanging, with the expression written
beneath, "Louis taking an air-bath!"

And so, even the short walks of the prisoners were transformed into
suffering. At first the queen thought she could not bear it, and the
promenades were given up. But the pale cheeks of her daughter, the
longing looks which the dauphin cast from the closed window to the
garden, warned the mother to do what the queen found too severe a
task. She underwent the pain involved in this, she submitted
herself, and every day the royal pair took the dear children into
the garden again, and bore this unworthy treatment without
complaint, that the children might enjoy a little air and sunshine.

One day, the 21st of September, the royal family had returned from
their walk to their sitting-room. The king had taken a book and was
reading; the queen was sitting near him, engaged in some light work;
while the dauphin, with his sister Theresa, and his aunt Elizabeth,
were in the next room, and were busying each other with riddles. In
the open anteroom the two officials were sitting, their eyes fixed
upon the prisoners with a kind of cruel pleasure.

Suddenly beneath their windows were heard the loud blast of trumpets
and the rattle of drums; then followed deep silence, and amid this
stillness the following proclamation was read with a loud voice:

"The monarchy is abolished in France. All official documents will be
dated from the first year of the republic. The national seal will be
encircled by the words, 'Republic of France.' The national coat-of-
arms will be a woman sitting upon a bundle of weapons, and holding
in her hand a lance tipped with a liberty-cap."

The two officials had fixed their eyes upon the king and queen, from
whose heads the crown had just fallen. They wanted to read, with
their crafty and malicious eyes, the impression which the
proclamation had made upon them. But those proud, calm features
disclosed nothing. Not for a moment did the king raise his eyes from
the book which he was reading, while the voice without uttered each
word with fearful distinctness. The queen quietly went on with her
embroidery, and not for a moment did she intermit the regular motion
of her needle.

Again the blast of trumpets and the rattle of drums. The funeral of
the royalty was ended, and the king was, after this time, to be
known simply as Louis Capet, and the queen as Marie Antoinette.
Within the Temple there was no longer a dauphin, no longer a Madame
Royale, no longer a princess, but only the Capet family!

The republic had hurled the crowns from the heads of Louis and Marie
Antoinette; and when, some days later, the linen which had been long
begged for, had been brought from the Tuileries, the republic
commanded the queen to obliterate the crown which marked each piece,
in addition to the name.

But their sufferings are by no means ended yet. Still there are some
sources of comfort left, and now and then a peaceful hour. The
crowns have fallen, but hearts still beat side by side. They have no
longer a kingdom, but they are together, they can speak with looks
one to another, they can seek to comfort one another with smiles,
they can cheer each other up with a passing grasp of the hand, that
escapes the eye of the sentries! We only suffer half what we bear in
common with others, and every thing seems lighter, when there is a
second one to help lift the load.

Perhaps the enemies of the king and queen have an instinctive
feeling of this, and their hate makes them sympathetic, in order to
teach them to invent new tortures and new sufferings.

Yes, there are unknown pangs still to be felt; their cup of sorrows
was not yet full! The parents are still left to each other, and
their eyes are still allowed to rest upon their children! But the
"one and indivisible republic" means to rend even these bonds which
bind the royal family together, and to part those who have sworn
that nothing shall separate them but death! The republic--which had
abolished the churches, overthrown the altars, driven the priesthood
into exile--the republic cannot grant to the Capet family that only
death shall separate them, for it had even made Death its servant,
and must accept daily victims from him, offered on the Place de
Liberte, in the centre of which stood the guillotine, the only altar
tolerated there.

In the middle of October the republic sent its emissaries to the
Temple, to tear the king from the arms of his wife and his children.
In spite of their pleadings and cries, he was taken to another part
of the Temple--to the great tower, which from this time was to serve
as his lodgings. And in order that the queen might be spared no
pang, the dauphin was compelled to go with his father and be
separated from his mother.

This broke the pride, the royal pride of Marie Antoinette. She wrung
her hands, she wept, she cried, she implored with such moving,
melting tones, not to be separated from her son and husband, that
even the heart of Simon the cobbler was touched.

"I really believe that these cursed women make me blubber!" cried
he, angry with the tears which forced themselves into his eyes. And
he made no objection when the other officials said to the queen,
with trembling voices, that they would allow the royal family to
come together at their meals.

One last comfort, one last ray of sunshine! There were still hours
in these dismal, monotonous days of November, when they could have
some happiness--hours for which they longed, and for whose sake they
bore the desolate solitude of the remaining time.

At breakfast, dinner, and supper, the Capet family were together;
words were interchanged, hands could rest in one another, and they
could delight in the pleasant chatter of the dauphin when the king
told about the lessons he had given the boy, and the progress he was
making.

They sometimes forgot, at those meetings, that Death was perhaps
crouching outside the Temple, waiting to receive his victims; and
they even uttered little words of pleasantry, to awaken the bright,
fresh laugh of the dauphin, the only music that ever was heard in
those dismal rooms.

But December took this last consolation from the queen. The National
Assembly, which had now been transformed into the Convention,
brought the charge of treason against the king. He was accused of
entering into a secret alliance with the enemies of France, and
calling the monarchs of Europe to come to his assistance. In an iron
safe which had been set into the wall of the cabinet in the
Tuileries, papers had been discovered which compromised the king,
letters from the refugee princes, from the Emperor of Germany, and
the King of Prussia. These monarchs were now on the very confines of
France, ready to enter upon a bloody war, and that was the fault of
the king! He was in alliance with the enemies of his country! He was
the murderer of his own subjects! On his head the blood should
return, which had been shed by him.

This was the charge which was brought against the king. Twenty
members of the Convention went to the Temple, to read it to him, and
to hear his reply. He stoutly denied haying entertained such
relations with foreign princes; he declared, with a solemn oath,
that he had declined all overtures from such quarters, because he
had seen that, in order to free an imprisoned king, France itself
must be threatened.

The chiefs of the revolution meant to find him guilty. Louis Capet
must be put out of the way, in order that Robespierre and Marat,
Danton, Petion, and their friends, might reach unlimited power.

There may have been several in the Convention who shrank from this
last consequence of their doings, but they did not venture to raise
their voices; they chimed in with the terrorism which the leaders of
the revolution exercised upon the Convention. They knew that behind
these leaders stood the savage masses of the streets, armed with
hatred against monarchy and the aristocracy, and ready to tear in
pieces any one as an enemy of the country who ventured to join the
number of those who were under the ban and the sentence of the
popular hate.

Still there were some courageous, faithful servants of the king who
ventured to take his part even there. Louis had now been summoned to
the bar as an accused person, and the Convention had transformed
itself into a tribunal whose function was to pass judgment on the
guilt or innocence of the king!

In order to satisfy all the forms of the law, the king should have
had an advocate allowed him, and the benefit of legal counsel. The
Convention demanded that those who were ready to undertake this task
should send in their names. It was a form deemed safe to abide by,
because it was believed that there would be no one who would venture
to enter upon so momentous and perilous a duty.

But there were such, nevertheless. There were still courageous and
noble men who pitied the forsaken king, and who wanted to try to
save him; not willing to see him atone for the debts of his
predecessors, and bleed for the sins of his fathers. And scarcely
had the consent of the Convention been announced, that Louis Capet
should have three advocates for his defence, when from Paris and all
the minor cities letters came in from men who declared themselves
ready to undertake the defence of the king.

Even from foreign lands there came letters and appeals in behalf of
the deposed monarch. One of them, written in spirited and glowing
language, conjured France not to soil its noble young freedom by the
dreadful murder of an innocent man, who had committed no other
offence than that he was the son of his fathers, the heir of their
crown and their remissness. It was written by a German poet,
Frederick Schiller. [Footnote: Schiller's defence of the king is
preserved in the national archives--See Beauchesue vol. i., p. 366.]

From the many requests to serve as his advocates, Louis chose only
two to defend him. The first of these was his former minister, the
philosopher Lamoignon des Malesherbes, then the advocate Trouchet,
and finally, at the pressing request of Malesherbes, the
distinguished young advocate Deseges. To those three men was
committed the trust of defending the king against the dreadful
charge of treason to his country, to be substantiated by hundreds
and hundreds of letters and documents.

After the preliminary investigations were closed, the public charge
was made in the Convention, which still held its sessions in the
Manage. To this building, situated near the Tuileries, the king,
accompanied by his three defenders and two municipal defenders, and
surrounded by National Guards, was conducted from the Temple. The
people danced around the carriage with wild shouts of joy and curses
of the king. Within the vehicle sat Louis, completely calm and self-
possessed.

"This man must be filled with a singular fanaticism," said
Colombeau, one of the leading officials, in the report which he gave
to the Convention of the ride. "It is otherwise inexplicable how
Louis could be so calm, since he had so much reason to fear. After
we had all entered the carriage, and were driving through the
streets, Louis entered upon conversation, which soon turned upon
literature, and especially upon some Latin authors. He gave his
judgments with remarkable correctness and insight, and it appeared
to me that he took pleasure in showing his learning. One of us said
that he did not enjoy Seneca, because his love for riches stood in
marked contrast with his pretended philosophy, and because it could
not easily be forgiven him that before the senate he apologized for
the crimes of Nero. This reflection did not seem to affect Louis in
the least. When we spoke of Livy, Capet said that he seemed to have
taken satisfaction in composing great speeches which were never
uttered to any other audience than that which was reached from his
study-table; 'for,' he added, 'it is impossible that generals really
delivered such long speeches in front of their armies.' He then
compared Livy with Tacitus, and thought that the latter was far
superior to the former in point of style." [Footnote: See
Beauchesne, vol. i., p. 396.] The king went on talking about Latin
authors while the carriage was carrying him through the roaring mob
to the Convention, which Desege addressed in his defence in these
courageous words: "I look for judges among you, but see only
accusers."

The king was completely calm, yet he knew that his life was
threatened, and that he was standing before a tribunal of death. As
on the day when he was first taken to the Convention, he requested
Malesherbes to forward a note to the priest whose attendance he
desired, and who he believed would not deny his presence and
attentions. His name was Edgewarth de Pirmont. The time was not
distant when not the services of advocates were wanted by the king,
but exclusively those of the priest.

The sentence of death was pronounced on January 26, 1793. Louis
received it calmly, and desired merely to see his family, to have a
confessor come to him, and to prepare himself for his death.

During these dreadful weeks Marie Antoinette was separated from her
husband, alone with her children, who no longer were able to smile,
but who sat day after day with fixed eyes and silent lips. The queen
knew that the king had been accused, had made a private reply to the
charges brought against him, and had been brought before the
Convention. But not a word, not a syllable of the trial which
followed, reached her. Madame Tison, the female dragon who guarded
her, watched her too well for any tidings to reach her.

At last, however, the word was brought which the heart of the queen
had so long anticipated tremblingly, for which she had prepared
herself during the long nights with tears and prayers, and which now
filled her with grief, anger, and despair. The king was condemned to
death! He wanted only to see his family, to take his leave of them!

The Convention had granted this privilege to him, and had even gone
so far in its grace as to permit the family to be without the
presence of witnesses. The meeting was appointed, however, in the
little dining-room of the king, because a glass door led into the
adjoining room, and the officials could then look in upon the royal
family. The functionary had withdrawn in order to conduct the queen,
the children, and the king's sister from the upper tower. The king
was awaiting them, walked disquietly up and down, and then directed
Clery, who was arranging the little room, to set the round table,
which was in the middle of the apartment, on one side, and then to
bring in a carafe of water and some glasses. "But," he added,
considerately, "not ice-water, for the queen cannot bear it, and she
might be made unwell by it."

But all at once the king grew pale, and, standing still, he laid his
hand upon his loudly-beating heart. He had heard the voice of the
queen.

The door opened and they came in--all his dear ones. The queen led
the dauphin by the hand; Madame Elizabeth walked with the Princess
Theresa.

The king went toward them and opened his arms to them. They all
pressed up to him and clasped him in their midst, while loud sobs
and heart-rending cries filled the room. Behind the door were the
officials, but they could not look in upon the scene, for their own
eyes were filled with tears. In the king's cabinet, not far away,
the Abbe Edgewarth de Firmont was upon his knees, praying for the
unfortunates whose wails and groans reached even him.

Gradually the sobs died away. They took their places--the queen at
the left of her husband; Madame Elizabeth, his sister, at his right;
opposite to him, his daughter, Maria Theresa, and between his knees
the dauphin, looking up into his father's face with widely-opened
eyes and a sad smile.

Louis was the first to speak. He told them of his trial, and of the
charges which they had brought against him. But his words were
gentle and calm, and he expressed his pity for the "poor, misled
men" who had condemned him. He asked his family, too, to forgive
them. They answered him only with sobs, embraces, tears, and kisses.

Then all was still. The officials heard not a word, but they saw the
queen, with her children and sister-in-law, sink upon their knees,
while the king, standing erect in the midst of the group, raised his
hands and blessed them in gentle, noble words, which touched the
heart of the Abbe Edgewarth, who was kneeling behind the door of the
neighboring cabinet.

The king then bade the family rise, took them again in his arms, and
kissed the queen, who, pale and trembling, clung to him, and whose
quivering lips were not able to restrain a word of denunciation of
those who had condemned him.

"I have forgiven them," said the king, seriously. "I have written my
will, and in it you will read that I pardon them, and that I ask you
to do the same. Promise me, Marie, that you will never think how you
may avenge my death."

A smile full of sadness and despair flitted over the pale lips of
the queen.

"I shall never be in a situation to take vengeance upon them," she
said. "But," she added quickly, "even if I should ever be able, and
the power should be in my hands, I promise that I will exact no
vengeance for this deed."

The king stooped down and imprinted a kiss upon her forehead.

"I thank you, Marie, and I know that you all, my dear ones, will
sacredly regard my last testament, and that my wishes and words will
be engraven on your hearts. But, my son"--and he took the dauphin
upon his knee, and looked down into his face tenderly--"you are
still a child, and might forget. You have heard what I have said,
but as an oath is more sacred than a word, raise your hand and swear
to me you will fulfil my wish and forgive all our enemies."

The boy, turning his great blue eyes fixedly on the king, and his
lips trembling with emotion, raised his right hand, and even the
officials in the next room could distinctly hear the sweet child's
voice repeating the words: "I swear to you, papa king, that I will
forgive all our enemies, and will do no harm to those who are going
to kill my dear father!"

A shudder passed through the hearts of the men in the next room;
they drew back from the door with pale faces. It seemed to them as
if they had heard the voice of an angel, and a feeling of
inexpressible pain and regret passed through their souls.

Within the king's room all now was still, and the abbe in the
cabinet heard only the gentle murmuring of their prayers, and the
suppressed weeping and sobs.

At last the king spoke. "Now, go, my dear ones. I must be alone. I
need to rest and collect myself."

A loud wail was the answer. After some minutes, Clery opened the
glass door, and the royal family were brought into the view of the
officials once more. The queen was clinging to the right arm of
Louis; they each gave a hand to the dauphin. Theresa had flung her
arms around the king's body, his sister Elizabeth clung to his left
arm. They thus moved forward a few steps toward the door, amid loud
cries of grief and heart-breaking sobs.

"I promise you," said Louis, "to see you once more tomorrow morning,
at eight o'clock."

"At eight! Why not at seven?" asked the queen, with a foreboding
tone.

"Well, then," answered the king, gently, "at seven. Farewell,
farewell!"

The depth of sadness in his utterance with which he spoke the last
parting word, doubled the tears and sobs of the weeping family. The
daughter fell in a swoon at the feet of her father, and Clery,
assisted by the Princess Elizabeth, raised her up.

"Papa, my dear papa," cried the dauphin, nestling up closely to his
father, "let us stay with you."

The queen said not a word. With pale face and with widely-opened
eyes she looked fixedly at the king, as though she wanted to impress
his countenance on her heart.

"Farewell, farewell!" cried the king, once more, and he turned
quickly around and hurried into the next room.

A single cry of grief and horror issued from all lips. The two
children, soon to be orphans, then clung closely to their mother,
who threw herself, overmastered by her sobbing, on the neck of her
sister-in-law.

"Forward! The Capet family will return to their own apartments!"
cried one of the officials.

Marie Antoinette raised herself up, her eye flashed, and with a
voice full of anger, she cried: "You are hangmen and traitors!"
[Footnote: Beauchesne, vol. 1., p. 49.]

The king had withdrawn to his cabinet, where the priest, Abbe
Edgewarth de Firmont, addressed him with comforting words. His
earnest request had been granted, to give the king the sacrament
before his death. The service was to take place very early the next
morning, so ran the decision of the authorities, and at seven the
king was to be taken to execution.

Louis received the first part of this communication joyfully, the
second part with complete calmness.

"As I must rise so early," he said to his valet Clery, "I must
retire early. This day has been a very trying one for me, and I need
rest, so as not to be weak to-morrow." He was then undressed by the
servant, and lay down. When Clery came at five the next morning to
dress him, he found the king still asleep, and they must have been
pleasant dreams which were passing before him, for a smile was
playing on his lips.

The king was dressed, and the priest gave him the sacrament, the
vessels used having been taken from the neighboring Capuchin church
of Marais. An old chest of drawers was converted by Clery into an
altar, two ordinary candlesticks stood on each side of the cup, and
in them two tallow candles burned, instead of wax. Before this altar
kneeled King Louis XVI., lost in thought and prayer, and wearing a
calm, peaceful face.

The priest read the mass; Clery responded as sacristan; and even
while the king was receiving the elements, the sound of the drums
and trumpets was heard without, which awakened Paris that morning
and told the city that the King of France was being led to his
execution. Cannon were rattling through the streets, and National
Guardsmen were hurrying on foot and on horse along the whole of the
way that led from the Temple to the Place de la Concorde. A rank of
men, four deep and standing close to one another, armed with pikes
and other weapons, guarded both sides of the street, and made it
impossible for those who wanted to liberate the king during the
ride, to come near to him. The authorities knew that one of the
bravest and most determined partisans of the king had arrived in
Paris, and that he, in conjunction with a number of young and brave-
spirited men, had resolved on rescuing the king at any cost, during
his ride to the place of execution. The utmost precautions had been
taken to render this impossible. Through the dense ranks of the
National Guard, which to-day was composed of mere sans-culottes, the
raging, bloodthirsty men of the suburbs drove the carriage in which
was the king, followed and escorted by National Guardsmen on
horseback. The windows were all closed and the curtains drawn in the
houses by which the procession passed; but behind those curtained
windows it is probable that people were upon their knees praying for
the unhappy man who was now on his way to the scaffold, and who was
once King of France.

All at once there arose a movement in this dreadful hedge of armed
men, through which the carriage was passing. Two young men cried:
"To us, Frenchmen--to us, all who want to save the king!"

But the cry found no response. Every one looked horrified at his
neighbor, and believed he saw in him a spy or a murderer; fear
benumbed all their souls, and the silence of death reigned around.

The two young men wanted to flee, to escape into a house close by.
But the door was closed, and before the very door they were cut down
and hewn in pieces by the exasperated sans-culottes.

The carriage of the king rolled on, and Louis paid no more attention
to objects around him; in the prayer-book which he carried in his
hands he read the petitions for the dying, and the abbe prayed with
him.

The coachman halted at the foot of the scaffold, and the king
dismounted. A forest of pikes surrounded the spot. The drummers beat
loudly, but the king cried with a loud voice, "Silence!" and the
noise ceased. On that, Santerre sprang forward and commanded them to
commence beating their drums again, and they obeyed him. The king
took off his upper garments, and the executioners approached to cut
off his hair. He quietly let this be done, but when they wanted to
tie his hands, his eyes flashed with anger, and with a firm voice he
refused to allow them to do so.

"Sire," said the priest, "I see in this new insult only a fresh
point of resemblance between your majesty and our Saviour, who will
be your recompense and your strength."

Louis raised his eyes to heaven with an indescribable expression of
grief and resignation. "Truly," he said, "only my recollection of
Him and His example can enable me to endure this new degradation."

He gave his hands to the executioner, to let them be bound. Then
resting on the arm of the abbe, he ascended the steps of the
scaffold. The twenty drummers, who stood around the staging, beat
their drums; but the king, advancing to the very verge of the
scaffold, commanded them with a loud voice to be silent, and the
noise ceased.

In a tone which was audible across the whole square, and which made
every word intelligible, the king said: "I die innocent of all the
charges which are brought against me. I forgive those who have
caused my death, and I pray God that the blood which you spill this
day may never come back upon the head of France. And you, unhappy
people--"

"Do not let him go on talking this way," cried Santerre's commanding
voice, interrupting the king, then turning to Louis he said, in an
angry tone, "I brought you here not to make speeches, but to die!"

The drums beat, the executioners seized the king and bent him down.
The priest stooped over him and murmured some words which only God
heard, but which a tradition full of admiration and sympathy has
transposed into the immortal and popular formula which is truer than
truth and more historical than history: "Son of St. Louis, ascend to
Heaven!"

The drums beat, a glistening object passed through the air, a stroke
was heard, and blood spirted up. The King of France was dead, and
Samson the executioner lifted up the head, which had once borne a
crown, to show it to the people.

A dreadful silence followed for an instant; then the populace broke
in masses through the rows of soldiers, and rushed to the scaffold,
in order to bear away some remembrances of this ever-memorable
event. The clothes of the king were torn to rags and distributed,
and they even gave the executioner some gold in exchange for locks
of hair from the bleeding head. An Englishman gave a child fifteen
louis d'or for dipping his handkerchief in the blood which flowed
from the scaffold. Another paid thirty louis d'or for the peruke of
the king. [Footnote: These details I take from the "Vossische
Zeitung," which, in its issue of the 5th of February, 1798, contains
a full report of the execution of King Louis XVI., and also
announces that the court of Prussia will testify its grief at the
unmerited fate by wearing mourning for a period of four weeks. The
author of this work possesses a copy of the " Vossische Zeitung " of
that date, in small quarto form, printed on thick, gray paper. In
the same number of the journal is a fable by Hermann Pfeffel, which
runs in the following strain:


First moral, then political freedom.

A fable, by Hermann Pfeffel. Zeus and the Tigers.

To Zeus there came one day
A deputation of tigers. "Mighty potentate,"
Thus spoke their Cicero before the monarch's throne,
"The noble nation of tigers,
Has long been wearied with the lion's choice as king.
Does not Nature give us an equal claim with his?
Therefore, O Zeus, declare my race
To be a people of free citizens!"
"No," said the god of gods, "it cannot be;
You are deceivers, thieves, and murderers,
Only a good people merits being free."
[Footnote: "Marie Antoinette et sa Famine," par Lescure, p. 648.]


On the evening of the same day, the executioner Samson, shocked at
the terrible deed which he had done, went to a priest, paid for
masses to be said for the repose of the king, then laid down his
office, retired into solitude, and died in six months. His son was
his successor in his ghostly office, and, in a pious manner, he
continued what his father began. The masses for the king, instituted
by the two Samsons, continued to be read till the year 1840.

On the morrow which followed this dreadful day, the "Widow Capet"
requested the authorities to provide for herself and her family a
suite of mourning of the simplest kind.

The republic was magnanimous enough to comply with this request.



CHAPTER XXI.

TOULAN.


The citizen Toulan is on guard again at the Temple, and this time
with his friend Lepitre. He is so trustworthy and blameless a
republican, and so zealous a citizen, that the republic gives him
unconditional confidence. The republic had appointed him as chief of
the bureau for the control of the effects of emigres. Toulan is,
besides, a member of the Convention; and it is not his fault that,
on the day when the decision was made respecting the king's life or
death, he was not in the Assembly. He had been compelled at that
time to make a journey into the provinces, to attach the property of
an aristocrat who had emigrated. Had Toulan been in Paris, he would
naturally have given his voice in favor of the execution of the
king. He says this freely and openly to every one, and every one
believes him, for Toulan is an entirely unsuspected republican. He
belongs to the sans-culottes, and takes pride in not being dressed
better than the meanest citizen. He belongs to the friends of Marat,
and Simon the cobbler is always happy when Toulan has the watch in
the Temple; for Toulan is such a jovial, merry fellow, he can make
such capital jokes and laugh so heartily at those of others. They
have such fine times when Toulan is there, and the sport is the
greatest when his friend Lepitre is with him on service in the
Temple. Then the two have the grandest sport of all; they even have
little plays, which are so funny that Simon has to laugh outright,
and even the turnkey Tison, and his wife, forget to keep guard, and
leave the glass door through which they have been watching the royal
family, in order to be spectators at Toulan's little farces.

"These are jolly days when you are both in the Temple," said Simon,
"and you cannot blame me if I like to have you here, and put you on
service pretty often."

"Oh, we do not blame you for that," said Toulan, "on the other hand,
we particularly like being with you, you are such a splendid
fellow!"

"And then," adds Lepitre to this, "it is so pleasant to see the
proud she-wolf and her young ones, and to set them down a little.
These people, when they were living in the Tuileries, have turned up
their noses at us often enough, and acted as if we were only dust
that they must blow away from their exalted presence. It is time
that they should feel a little that they are only dust for us to
blow away!"

"Yes, indeed," chimed in Toulan, "it is high time that they should
feel it!"

"And you both understood that matter capitally," said Simon, with a
laugh, "I always see that it particularly provokes the queen to have
you on service, and I like that, and I am especially glad to have
you here."

"I've thought out a joke for to-day," said Toulan. "I will teach the
widow to smoke. You know, brother Simon, that she always pretends
not to be able to bear the smell of tobacco, she shall learn to bear
it. I will hand her a paper cigarette to-day, and tell her that if
she does not want us to smoke, she must smoke with us."

"Splendid joke!" said Simon, with a loud laugh. "But there's one
thing to be thought of about that," said Lepitre, reflectively. "the
widow Capet might perhaps promise to smoke, if we would tell her
that we would never smoke afterward. But then we should not keep our
word, of course."

"What! you say we should not keep our word!" said Toulan, in
amazement. "We are republicans; more than that, we are sans-
culottes! and shall we not keep our word? ought we not to be better
than the cursed aristocrats, that never kept their word to the
people? How can you disgrace us and yourself so much? Ask our noble
friend and brother Simon, whether he is of the opinion that a free
man ought not to keep his word, even if he has only given it to a
woman in prison."

"I am of that opinion," said Simon, with dignity. "I swore to myself
that the king should lose his head, and I kept my word. I promised
the she-wolf that she should be hanged, and I hope to keep this
promise too. If I keep my word to her in what is bad, I must do so
also in what is good. If a republican promises any thing, he must
hold to it."

"Right, Simon, you are a noble and wise man. It remains fixed, then,
that the queen shall smoke, but if we have our joke out, we shall
not smoke any more."

"I will put up a placard on the door: 'Smoking forbidden in the
anteroom of the she-wolf.'"

"Good," cried Toulan, "that is worthy of you."

"Let us go up now," said Simon, "the two other sentries are up-
stairs already, they will wonder that you come so late, but I do
like to chat with you. Come on, let's go up. I'll stay there to see
the joke. But wait a moment, there is something new. It has been
proposed that not so many guards are needed to watch the Capets, and
that it has the appearance as if the government was afraid of these
howling women and this little monkey, whom the crazy royalists call
King Louis XVII. It is very likely that they will reduce the guard
to two."

"Very good," said Toulan, approvingly.--"What's the use of wearying
out so many other men and condemning them to such idleness? We
cannot be making jokes all the time; and then again it is not
pleasant always looking on these people's long faces."

"So only two guards," said Lepitre; "but that seems to me rather too
few, for what if the widow should succeed in winning them over and
getting them to help her escape?"

"Impossible!" cried Simon, "she'll never come around me, and as long
as I have my eyes open, she and her brood will never get away. No
one can come down the staircase without my hearing and seeing it,
for you know my rooms are near the stairs, and the door is always
open and I am always there, and then there is the turnkey Ricard,
who watches the door that leads to the court like a cerberus. Then
there are three sentries at the doors leading from the inner court
to the outer one, and the four sentries at the doors leading from
the outer court to the street. No, no, my friends, if the she-wolf
wants to escape she must use magic, and make wings grow on her
shoulders and fly away."

"That is good, I like that," said Toulan, springing up the
staircase.

"And that settles my doubts too," said Lepitre. "I should think two
official guards would suffice, for it is plain that she cannot
escape. Simon is on the look-out, and it is plain that the she-wolf
cannot transform herself into an eagle."

"Well said," laughed Simon; "here we are before the door, let's go
in and have our fun."

He dashed the door open noisily, and went into the room with the two
men. Two officials were sitting in the middle of the room at the
table, and were actively engaged playing cards. Through the open
door you could look into the sitting-room of the Capet family. The
queen was sitting on the divan behind the round table, clothed in
her sad suit of mourning, with a black cap upon her gray locks.

She was busy in dictating an exercise to the dauphin from a book
which she held in her hand. The prince, also clad in black and with
a broad crape about his arm, sat upon a chair by her side. His whole
attention was directed to his work, and he was visibly making an
effort to write as well as possible, for a glowing red suffused hia
cheeks.

On the other side of the queen sat Madame Elizabeth; near her the
Princess Maria Theresa, both busy in preparing some clothing for the
queen.

No one of the group appeared to notice the loud opening of the door,
no one observed the entering forms, or cast even a momentary glance
at them.

But Toulan was not contented with this; he demanded nothing less
than that the she-wolf should look at him. He hurried through the
anteroom with a threatening tread, advanced to the door of the
sitting-room, and stopped upon the threshold, making such a deep and
ceremonious bow, and swinging his arm so comically, that Simon was
compelled to laugh aloud.

"Madame," cried Toulan, "I have the inexpressible honor of greeting
your grace."

"He is a brick, a perfect brick," roared Simon.

Lepitre had gone to the window, and turned his back upon the room;
he was perhaps too deficient in spirit to join in the joke. Nobody
paid any attention to him; nobody saw him take a little packet from
his coat-pocket, and slide it slowly and carefully behind the wooden
box that stood beneath the window.

"Madame," cried Toulan, in a still louder voice, "I fear your grace
has not heard my salutation."

The queen slowly raised her eyes, and turned them to the man who was
still standing upon the threshold. "I heard it," she said, coldly,
"go on writing, my son." And she went on in the sentence that she
had just then begun to dictate.

"I am so happy at being heard by Madame Veto that I shall have to
celebrate it by a little bonfire!"--said Toulan, taking a cigar from
his breast-pocket. "You see, my friends, that I am a very good
courtier, though I have the honor to be a sans-culottes. In the
presence of handsome ladies I only smoke cigars! Hallo! bring me a
little fire."

One of the officials silently passed him his long pipe. Toulan
lighted his cigar, placed himself at the threshold, and blew great
clouds of smoke into the chamber.

The ladies still continued to sit quietly without paying any
attention to Toulan. The queen dictated, and the dauphin wrote. The
queen only interrupted herself in this occupation, when she had to
cough and wipe her eyes, which the smoke filled with tears.

Toulan had followed every one of her movements with an amused look.
"Madame does not appear to take any pleasure in my bonfire!" he
said. "Will madame not smoke?"

The queen made no reply, but quietly went on with her dictation.

"Madame," cried Toulan, laughing loudly, "I should like to smoke a
pipe of peace with you, as our brown brethren in happy, free America
do--madame, I beg you to do me the honor to smoke a pipe of peace
with me."

A flash lightened in the eyes which the queen now directed to
Toulan. "You are a shameless fellow!" she said.

"Hear that," said Simon, "that is what I call abusing you."

"On the contrary, it delights me," cried Toulan, "for you will
confess that it would be jolly if she should smoke now, and I tell
you, she will smoke."

He advanced some paces into the room, and made his deep bow again.

"He understands manners as well as if he had been a rascally
courtier himself," said Simon, laughing. "It is a splendid joke."

The two princesses had arisen at the entrance of Toulan, and laid
their sewing-work aside. A ball of white cotton had fallen to the
ground from the lap of one of them, and rolled through the room
toward Toulan.

He picked it up, and bowed to the princesses. "May I view this
little globe," he said, "as a reminder of the favor of the loveliest
ladies of France? Oh, yes, I see in your roguish smile that I may,
and I thank you," said Toulan, pressing the round ball to his lips,
and then putting it into his breast-pocket.

"He plays as well as the fellows do in the theatre," said Simon,
laughing.

"Go into our sleeping-room," said Marie Antoinette, turning to the
princesses. "It is enough for me to have to bear these indignities--
go, my son, accompany your aunt."

The dauphin stood up, pressed a kiss upon the hand of his mother,
and followed the two princesses, who had gone into the adjoining
apartment.

"Dear aunt," whispered the dauphin, "is this bad man the good friend
who--"

"Hush!" whispered Madame Elizabeth, "hush! Madame Tison is
listening."

And, in fact, at the glass-door, which led from the sleeping-room to
the little corridor, stood Madame Tison, looking with sharp,
searching glances into the chamber.

After the princesses had left the room, Toulan approached still
closer to the queen, and taking a cigar from his breast-pocket, he
handed it to the queen. "Take it, madame," he said, "and do me the
honor of smoking a duet with me!"

"I do not smoke, sir," replied the queen, coolly and calmly. "I beg
you to go into the anteroom. The Convention has not, so far as I
understand, ordered the officers of the guard to tarry in my
sitting-room."

"The Convention has not ordered it, nor has it forbidden it. So I
remain!"

He took a chair, seated himself in the middle of the room, and
rolled out great clouds of smoke, which filled Simon with
unspeakable delight when they compelled Marie Antoinette to cough
violently.

"Madame Capet, you would not be so sensitive to smoke if you would
only join me. I beg you, therefore, to take this cigar."

The queen repeated calmly, "I do not smoke."

"You mistake, madame, you do smoke."

"See the jolly fellow," exclaimed Simon, "that is splendid."

"I will show you at once that you do smoke," continued Toulan.
"Madame, if you will do me the honor to join me in smoking a cigar,
I will give you my word as a republican and a sans-culottes, that
neither I nor my brothers will ever smoke here again."

"I do not believe you," said the queen, shaking her head.

"Not believe me? Would you believe it if the citizen Simon were to
repeat it?"

"Yes," said the queen, fixing her great, sad eyes upon Simon, "if
the citizen Simon should confirm it, I would believe it, for he is a
trustworthy man, who I believe; never breaks his word."

"Oh! only see how well the Austrian understands our noble brother
Simon," cried Lepitre.

"Yes, truly, it seems so," said Simon, who had been flattered by
this praise to consent to what he had no inclination for. "Well, I
give my word to Widow Capet, as a republican and a sans-culottes,
that there shall be no smoking in the anteroom after this time, if
she will do my friend Toulan the favor of smoking a pipe of peace
with him."

"I believe your word," said the queen, with a gentle inclination of
her head; and then turning to Toulan, she continued, "sir--"

"There are no 'sirs' here, only 'citizens,'" interrupted the
cobbler.

"Citizen Toulan," said the queen, changing her expression, "give me
the cigar, I see that I was wrong, I do smoke!"

Simon cried aloud with laughter and delight, and could scarcely
control himself, when, kneeling before the queen, as the players do
in the grand plays at the theatre, he handed her a cigar.

But he did not see the supplicatory look which Toulan fixed upon the
queen; he did not see the tears which started into his eyes, nor
hear her say, during his inordinate peals of laughter, "I thank you,
my faithful one!"

"Is it enough if I take the cigar in my mouth, or must I burn it?"
asked the queen.

"Certainly, she must burn it," cried Simon. "Light the cigar for
her, Citizen Toulan."

Toulan drew a bit of paper from his pocket, folded it together,
kindled it, and gave it to the queen. Then, as soon as the dry cigar
began to burn, he put out the light, and threw it carelessly upon
the table.

The queen put the little smoking cigarette into her mouth. "Bravo,
bravo!" shouted the officials and Simon.

"Bravo, Citizen Toulan is a perfect brick! He has taught Widow Capet
how to smoke."

"I told you I would," said Toulan, proudly. "Widow Capet has had to
comply with our will, and that is enough. You need not go on,
madame. You have acknowledged our power, and that is all we wanted.
That is enough, Simon, is it not? She does not need to smoke any
longer, and we, too, must stop."

"No, she does not need to smoke any longer, and there will be no
more smoking in the antechamber."

The queen took the paper cigarette from her mouth, put out the
burning end, and laid the remaining portion in her work-basket.

"Citizen Toulan," said she, "I will keep this cigar as a
remembrancer of this hour, and if you ever smoke here again, I shall
show it to you."

"I should like to see this Austrian woman doubting the word of a
sans-culottes," cried Simon.

"And I too, Simon," replied Toulan, going back into the anteroom.
"We will teach her that she must trust our word. You see that I am a
good teacher."

"An excellent one," cried Simon; "I must compliment you on it,
citizen. But if you have no objections, we will play a game or two
of cards with the citizens here."

"All right," replied Toulan. "But I hope you have got the new kind
of cards, which have no kings and queens on them. For, I tell you, I
do not play with the villanous old kind."

"Nor I," chimed in Lepitre. "It makes me mad to see the old stupids
with their crowns on that are on the old kind of cards."

"You are a pair of out-and-out republicans," said Simon, admiringly.
"Truly, one might learn of you how a sans-culottes ought to bear
himself."

"Well, you can calm yourselves about these, brothers," said one of
the officials; "we have no tyrant-cards--we have the new cards of
the republic. See there! instead of the king, there is a sans-
culottes; instead of the queen, we have a 'knitter,' [Footnote: The
market-women and hucksters had the privilege of claiming the first
seats on the spectators' platform, near the guillotine. They sat
there during the executions, knitting busily on long stockings,
while looking at the bloody drama before them. Every time that a
head was cut off and dropped into the basket beneath the knife, the
women made a mark in their knitting-work, and thus converted their
stockings into a kind of calendar, which recorded the number of
persons executed. From this circumstance the market-women received
the name of "knitters."] and for the jack, we have a Swiss soldier,
for they were the menials of the old monarchy." [Footnote:
Historical.-See "Memoires de la Marquise de Crequi," vol. III.]

"That is good; well, we will play then," cried Toulan, with an air
of good-humor.

They all took their places at the table, while the queen took up the
sewing on which the princesses had been engaged before.

After some time, when the thread with which she was sewing was
exhausted, Marie Antoinette raised her eyes and turned them to the
men, who had laid their pipes aside, and were zealously engaged upon
their cards. The mien of the queen was no longer so calm and rigidly
composed as it had been before, and when she spoke, there was a
slight quivering discernible in her voice.

"Citizen Toulan," she said, "I beg you to give me the ball of thread
again. I have no more, and this dress is in a wretched condition; I
must mend it."

Toulan turned toward her with a gesture of impatience.

"You disturb me, madame, and put me out in the game. What are you
saying?"

"I asked you, Citizen Toulan, to give me the thread again, because,
without it, I cannot work."

"Oh! the ball which little Miss Capet gave me a short time ago. And
so you won't let me keep a remembrance of the pretty girl?"

"I must mend this dress," said the queen, gently.

"Well, if you must, you must," growled Toulan, rising.

"Wait a moment, brothers, till I carry her the ball."

"What do you want to get up for?" asked Simon.

"You can throw it from here."

"Or give it a roll like a ball," added Lepitre.

"That is a good idea," cried Toulan, "I'll have a little game of
nine-pins. I am quite at home there, and can do it well. Now look
sharp! I will contrive to roll the ball between the four feet of the
table, and strike the foot of the queen."

"There is no queen," cried Lepitre, passionately.

"I am speaking of the game, Citizen Lepitre; do me the pleasure of
not making yourself an ass. Now look, and see me roll it as I said!"

"Well, go ahead; we should like to see you do it," cried Simon.

"Yes, we would like to see you do it," chimed in the officials,
laying down their cards.

Toulan now drew out of his breast-pocket a black ball of silk, and
counted "One, two, three!" He then gave it a skilful roll across the
floor. With attention and laughing looks, they all watched it take
its course across the waxed floor, as it moved just where Toulan had
said it would.

"Bravo, bravo!" shouted the men, as the ball struck the foot of the
queen, who stooped down slowly and picked it up.

"Toulan is a jolly good fellow," cried Simon, striking the table
with his fists in an ecstasy of delight. "But I declare it seems to
me that the ball is a good deal larger now than it was before."

"It may be," answered Toulan, emphatically. "Every thing grows and
enlarges itself, that a true and genuine sans-culottes carries next
to his heart."

"Well said," replied Lepitre. "But listen to me, I want to make a
proposition to you. I must say that it is hard work--playing cards
without smoking."

"I find it so, too," sighed Toulan.

"I rather think we all do," chimed in the others.

"But we must keep our word, or else the she-wolf will think that we
republicans are no better than the aristocrats were!"

"Yes, we must keep our word," said Lepitre, "and that is why I
wanted to make the proposition that we go out and establish
ourselves in the entry. We can put the table close to the door, and
then we are certainly safe--that no one can step in. What do you
say, brother Simon?"

"I say that it is a very good plan, and that we will carry it into
execution directly. Come, friends, let us take up the table, and
carry it out. If the dogs are on the watch outside, the badger does
not creep out of his house. Come, it is much pleasanter out there,
and we are not ambitious of the honor of looking at Widow Capet all
the time. We are perfectly satisfied, if we do not see her. I hope
there will be an end of this tedious service, and that she will soon
go to the place whither Louis Capet has already gone."

"Or," cried Toulan, laughing, "she must change herself into an
eagle, and fly out of the window. Come, brothers, I long for my
pipe. Let us carry the table out into the entry."

Simon opened the door that led out upon the landing, the officials
took up the table, and Toulan and Lepitre the wooden stools. One
quick look they cast into the room of the queen, whose eyes were
turned to them. A sudden movement of Lepitre's hand pointed to the
bench beneath the window: a movement of Toulan's lips said "To-
morrow;" then they both turned away; went with their stools out upon
the landing, and closed the door.

The queen held her breath and listened. She heard them moving the
chairs outside, and pushing the table up against the door, and
detected Simon's harsh voice, saying, "Now that we have put a
gigantic wooden lock on the door, let us smoke and play."

The queen sprang up. "God bless my faithful one," whispered she;
"yes, God bless him!"

She went hastily into the anteroom, pressed her hand in behind the
bench beneath the window, took out the package which Lepitre had
placed there, and with a timid, anxious look, stepped back into her
room. Here she unfolded the bundle. It consisted of a boy's soiled
dress, an old peruke, and an old felt hat.

The queen looked at it with the utmost attention; then, after
casting one long, searching look through the room, she hastened to
the divan, pushed back the already loosened cover of the seat,
concealed the things beneath it, and then carefully smoothed down
the upholstery again.

She now hurried to the door of the sleeping-room, and was going to
open it hastily. But she bethought herself in time. Her face showed
too much emotion, her voice might betray her. Madame Tison was
certainly lurking behind the glass door, and might notice her
excitement. Marie Antoinette again put on her ordinary sad look,
opened the door slowly and gravely, and quietly entered the
sleeping-room. Her great eyes, whose brightness had long since been
extinguished by her tears, slowly passed around the chamber, rested
for a moment on the glass door, descried behind it the spying face
of Tison, and turned to the two princesses, who were sitting with
the dauphin on the little divan in the corner.

"Mamma," asked the boy, "are the bad men gone?"

"Do not call them so, my child," replied Marie Antoinette, gently.
"These men only do what others order them to do."

"Then the others are bad, mamma," said the boy, quickly. "Oh, yes,
very bad, for they make my dear mamma weep so much."

"I do not weep about them," answered his mother. "I weep because
your father is no more with us. Think about your father, my son, and
never forget that he has commanded us to forgive his and our
enemies."

"And never to take vengeance on them," added the boy, with a grave
look beyond his years, as he folded his hands. "Yes, I have sworn it
to my dear papa, and I shall keep my word. I mean never to take
vengeance on our enemies."

"Sister," said the queen, after a pause, "I want to ask you to help
me a little in my work. You know how to mend, and I want to learn of
you. Will you come into the sitting-room?"

"And we, too, mamma," asked the dauphin, "may we not stay here?
Theresa has promised to tell me an interesting story if I did my
examples in arithmetic correctly, and I have done them."

"Well, she may tell you the story. We will leave the door open so
that we can see you; for you know, my children, you are now the only
comfort left to your aunt and me. Come, sister!"

She turned slowly and went into the next room, followed by Madame
Elizabeth.

"Why, what does this mean?" asked the princess, in amazement, as she
saw the anteroom deserted and the door closed.

"All his work, Elizabeth--all the work of this noble, faithful
Toulan. He went through a whole farce in order to get the people out
of here, and to make them swear that they never would smoke after
this in the anteroom. Oh, I shall never be able to repay him for
what he has done for us at the peril of his life."

"We will pray for him every morning and evening," replied the pious
Elizabeth. "But tell me, sister, did Toulon keep our ball of
thread?"

"Yes, sister, and succeeded in giving me another in exchange for it.
Here it is. To-night, when the guards are asleep, we will unwind it
and see what it contains. But here are other important things which
we must examine. Here, this half-burned light and this cigarette!
Let us be on the watch that no one surprise us."

She went again to the threshold of the sleeping-room. "Can you hear
me talk, children? Nod with your head if you heard me. Good. If
Tison comes in, speak to her loudly, and call her by name, so that
we may hear."

"And now, sister," she continued, turning to the table, "let us see
what Toulan has sent us. First, the cigar-light!"

She unfolded the paper, one side of which was burned, and showed a
black, jagged edge.

"A letter from M. de Jarjayes," she said, and then, in a subdued
voice, she hastily read: "I have spoken with the noble messenger
whom you sent to me with a letter. He has submitted his plan to me,
and I approve it entirely, and am ready to undertake any thing that
is demanded of me in behalf of those to whom my life, my property,
and my blood belong, and who never shall have occasion to doubt my
fidelity. The 'true one' will bring you to-morrow every thing that
is needful, and talk the matter over with you.--J." "And now the
cigarette," said the queen, taking it out of her basket.

"Let us first tear the paper to pieces," said Princess Elizabeth,
warningly.

"No, no, Tison would find the bits, and think them suspicious. I
will hide the paper in my dress-pocket, and this evening when we
have a light we will burn it. Quickly now, the cigar!"

"A paper cigarette!" said Elizabeth.

"Yes, and see on the outer paper, 'Unroll carefully!'"

And with extreme caution Marie Antoinette removed the external
covering. Beneath it was another, closely written over; this the
queen proceeded to unfold.

"What is it?" asked the Princess Elizabeth, impatiently.

"See," said Marie Antoinette, with a faint smile:

"'Plan for the escape of the royal family. To learn by heart, and
then to burn.' Oh! sister, do you believe that escape is possible
for us?"

At this instant Simon was heard outside, singing with his loud,
coarse voice:

"Madame a sa tour monte Ne salt quand descendra, Madame Veto la
dansera." [Footnote: "Madame will take her turn, She knows not when
it will come, But Madame Veto will swing."]

The queen shuddered, and Madame Elizabeth folded her hands and
prayed in silence.

"You hear the dreadful answer, sister, that this sans-culotte gives
to my question! Well, so long as there is a breath left within us we
must endeavor to save the life of King Louis XVII. Come, sister, we
will read this plan for our escape, which the faithful Toulan has
made."



CHAPTER XXII.

THE PLAN OF THE ESCAPE.


Marie Antoinette and Madame Elizabeth listened again at the door,
and as Simon was just then beginning a new verse of his ribald song,
they carefully unrolled the paper and spread it out before them.

"Read it to me, sister," said the queen. "My eyes are bad and pain
me very much; and then the words make more impression when I hear
them than when I read them; I beg you therefore to read it."

In a light whisper the princess began to read "The Plan of Escape."
"The queen and Princess Elizabeth must put on men's clothes. The
necessary garments are already in their possession, for T. and L.
have within the last few days secreted them in the cushions and
mattresses. In addition, the queen receives to-day a dirty, torn
boy's suit and a peruke, and a pair of soiled children's shoes.
These are for the dauphin and Madame Royale; and if the queen looks
attentively at the things, she will find that they are exact copies
of the clothing in which the two children appear who always
accompany the lamplighter into the tower and assist him in lighting
the lamps. So much for the clothing. The plan of escape is as
follows: To-morrow evening, at six o'clock, the royal children will
change their dress in the little tower next to the chamber of the
queen. In their soiled costume they will remain within the tower,
whither it is known that Tison and his wife never come, and will
wait there until some one gives them a signal and calls them. Toulan
and Lepitre will arrange to have the watch again to-morrow in the
tower. At a quarter before seven in the evening, Toulan will give a
pinch of snuff to Madame Tison and her husband, who are both
passionately fond of it, and they will speedily take it as they
always do. This pinch of snuff will consist entirely of colored
opium. They will fall into a heavy sleep, which will last at least
seven hours, and during this times the flight of all the members of
the royal family must be accomplished--"

"Wait a moment, sister," whispered the queen, "I feel dizzy, and my
heart beats violently, as if we were engaged now in the very
execution of the plan. It seems to me as if, in the darkness of the
dreadful night which surrounds us, a glimmer of hope was suddenly
appearing, and my eyes are blinded with it. Oh, sister, do you
really think it possible that we can escape this place of torment?"

"Escape we will certainly, my dear sister," answered Elizabeth,
gently, "but it lies in God's hands whether it is our bodies or our
souls only that will escape. If we do not succeed, they will kill
us, and then our freed souls will ascend to God. Oh, my noble queen
and sister, let us pray that God would give us courage and
steadfastness to hope in Him and to conform to His will."

"Yes, sister, let us pray," said the queen, folding her hands, and
reverentially bending her head. Then after a pause, in which they
could hear from without the noisy laughter of Simon and his
comrades, the queen raised herself up, and her countenance had
regained its wonted calm and grave expression.

"And now, Elizabeth, read on further. Let us hear the continuation
of the plan."

Madame Elizabeth took the paper and read on in a whispering voice:
"As soon as Tison and his wife have fallen asleep, the queen and
Madame Elizabeth will put on their clothes. Over the men's garments
they will throw the cloaks which Toulan brought yesterday, and these
cloaks will disguise their gait and size. But care must be taken
that the tri-colored sashes of the commissaries which Lepitre
brought yesterday with the admission-cards of the same authorities,
should peep out from beneath the cloaks so as to be visible to every
one. Thus arrayed, the two ladies will pass by the sentry, showing
him the card as they go out (meanwhile talking with Lepitre), leave
the Temple, and go with Lepitre to the Rue de la Conderie, where M.
de Jarjayes will be waiting to conduct the ladies farther."

"But the children," whispered the queen, "do the children not
accompany us? Oh! they ought not to think that I would leave this
place while my dear children are compelled to remain here. What is
to be done with the children, Elizabeth?"

"We shall soon learn that, sister; allow me to read on. 'At seven
o'clock, as soon as the guard is changed, a man disguised as a
lamplighter, with his tin filler in his hand, will appear at the
gate of the Temple, knock loudly and demand of the guard that his
children, who had this day been taking care of the lantern, should
be allowed to come out. On this, Toulan will bring the dauphin and
Madame Royale in their changed costume, and while delivering them
over to the supposed lamplighter he will scold him soundly for not
taking care of the lanterns himself, but giving it to the children.
This is the plan whose execution is possible and probable, if every
thing is strictly followed. Before the affair is discovered, there
will be at least seven hours' advantage and the royal family will be
able, with the passes already secured by M. Jarjayes, to be a long
way off before their flight will be discovered by Tison. In a secure
house, whither Toulan will lead them, the royal family will find
simple citizen's clothing. Without exciting any stir, and
accompanied by Messieurs Jarjayes and Toulan, they will reach
Normandy. A packet-boat furnished by an English friend lies in
readiness to receive the royal family and take them to their--' "

"Good-day, Madame Tison!" cried the dauphin loudly, "good-day, my
dear Madame Tison!"

Madame Elizabeth hastily concealed the paper in her bosom, and Marie
Antoinette had scarcely time to hide the ball of thread in her
pocket, when Tison appeared upon the threshold of the door, looked
with her sharp lynx-eyes around, and then fixed them upon the two
ladies.

She saw that Marie Antoinette did not display her accustomed
dignified calmness, and that Elizabeth's pale cheeks were unusually
red.

"Something is going on," said the spy to herself, "and what does it
mean that to-day the commissaries are not in the anteroom, and that
they let these women carry on their chattering entirely unwatched?"

"Madame has been reading?" asked Tison, subjecting every object upon
the table before which the ladies were sitting, to a careful
scrutiny. "Madame has been reading," she repeated; "I heard paper
rattling, and I see no book."

"You are under a mistake," replied Madame Elizabeth, "we have not
been reading, we have been sewing; but supposing we were reading, is
there any wrong in that? Have they made any law that forbids that?"

"No," answered Tison, "no--I only wondered how people could rattle
paper and there be none there, but all the same--the ladies of
course have a right to read, and we must be satisfied with that."

And she went out, looking right and left like a hound on the scent,
and searching every corner of the room.

"I must see what kind of officials we have here to-day," said Tison
to herself, slipping through the little side-door and through the
corridor; "I shouldn't wonder if it were Toulan and Lepitre again,
for every time when they two--right!" she ejaculated, looking
through the outer door, "right! it is they, Toulan and Lepitre. I
must see what Simon's wife has to say to that."

She slipped down the broad staircase, and passed through the open
door into the porter's lodge. Madame Simon, one of the most savage
of the knitters, had shortly returned from the guillotine, and was
sitting upon her rush chair, busily counting on a long cotton
stocking which she held in her hand.

"How many heads to-day?" asked Tison.

Madame Simon slowly shook her head, decorated with a white knit cap.

"It is hardly worth the pains," she said dismally,--"the machine
works badly, and the judges are neglectful. Only five cars to-day,
and on every one only seven persons." "What!" cried Tison, "only
thirty-five heads to-day in all?"

"Yes, only thirty-five heads," repeated Madame Simon, shaking her
head; "I have just been counting on my stocking, and I find only
thirty-five seam-stitches, for every seam-stitch means a head. For
such a little affair we have had to sit six hours in the wet and
cold on the platform. The machine works too slowly, I say--
altogether too slowly. The judges are easy, and there is no more
pleasure to be derived from the executions."

"They must be stirred up," said Tison with a fiendish look; "your
husband must speak with his friend, citizen Marat, and tell him that
his best friends the knitters, and most of all, Simon's wife, are
dissatisfied, and if it goes on so, the women will rise and hurry
all the men to the guillotine. That will stir them up, for they do
respect the knitters, and if they fear the devil, they fear yet more
his proud grandmother, and every one of us market-women and knitters
is the devil's grandmother."

"Yes, they do respect us and they shall," said Madame Simon, setting
her glistening needles in motion again, and working slowly on the
stocking; "I will myself speak with citizen Marat, and believe me, I
will fire him up, and then we shall have better play, and see more
cars driven up to the guillotine. We must keep our eyes well open,
arid denounce all suspicious characters."

"I have my eyes always open," cried Tison, with a coarse laugh, "and
I suspect traitors before they have committed any thing. There, for
example, are the two officials, Toulan and Lepitre, do you have
confidence in them?"

"I have no confidence in them whatever, and I have never had any
confidence in them," answered Madame Simon, with dignity, and
setting her needles in more rapid motion. "In these times you must
trust nobody, and least of all those who are so very earnest to keep
guard over the Austrian woman; for a true republican despises the
aristocracy altogether too much to find it agreeable to be with such
scum, and shows it as much as he can, but Toulan is always wanting
to be there. Wait a moment, and I will tell you how many times
Toulan and Lepitre have kept guard the present month."

She drew a little memorandum-book from her reticule, which hung by
black bands from her brown hairy arm, and turned over the leaves.
"There, here it is," she said.

"To-day is the 20th of February, and the two men have already kept
guard eight times the present month. That is three times as many as
they need to do. Every one of the officials who were appointed to
keep guard in the Temple is obliged to serve only once a week, and
both of these traitors are now here for the eighth time. And my
husband is so stupid and so blinded that he believes this prattler
Toulan when he tells him he comes here merely to be with citizen
Simon; but they cannot come round me with their talk; they cannot
throw dust in my eyes. I shall keep them open, wide open, let me
tell you."

"They are not sitting inside in the antechamber to-day," whispered
Tison, "but outside on the landing, and they have closed the door of
the anteroom, so that the Austrian has been entirely alone and
unobserved these hours."

"Alone!" cried the knitter, and her polished needles struck so
violently against each other that you could hear them click. "My
husband cannot be to blame for that; Toulan must have talked him
into it, and he must have a reason for it; he must have a reason,
and if it is only from his having pity upon her, that is enough and
more than enough to bring him under suspicion and to build an
accusation upon. He must be removed, say I. There shall no such
compassionate worms as he creep into the Temple. I will clear them
out--I will clear them out with human blood!"

She looked so devilish, her eyes glared so with such a cruel
coldness, and such a fiendish smile played upon her pale, thin lips,
that even Madame Tison was afraid of her, and felt as if a cold,
poisonous spider was creeping slowly over her heart.

"They are sitting still outside, you say?" asked Madame Simon, after
a pause.

"Yes, they are still sitting outside upon the landing, and the
Austrian woman is at this time alone unwatched with her brood, and
she will be alone for two hours yet, for there is no change of guard
till then."

"That is true, yes, that is true," cried the knitter, and her
nostrils expanded like those of the hyena when on the scent of
blood. "They will sit up there two hours longer, playing cards and
singing stupid songs, and wheedling my monkey of a husband with
their flatteries, making him believe that they love him, love him
boundlessly, and they let themselves be locked into the Temple for
his sake, and--oh! if I had them here, I would strangle them with my
own hands! I would make a dagger of every one of my knitting-needles
and thrust it into their hearts! But quiet, quiet," she continued in
a grumbling tone, "every thing must go on in a regular way. Will you
take my place here for half an hour and guard the door? I have
something important to do, something very important."

"It will be a very great honor," replied Madame Tison, "a very great
honor to be the substitute of one so well known and respected as you
are, of whom every one knows that she is the best patriot and the
most courageous knitter, whose eyelashes never quiver, and who can
calmly go on with her stitches when the heads fall from the
guillotine into the basket."

"If I did tremble, and my eyelashes did quiver, I would dash my own
fists into my eyes!" said Madame Simon, with her hard coarse voice,
rising and throwing her thin, threadbare cloak over her shoulders.
"If I found a spark of sympathy in my heart, I would inundate it
with the blood of aristocrats till it should be extinguished, and
till that should be, I would despise and hate myself, for I should
be not only a bad patriot, but a bad daughter of my unfortunate
father. The cursed aristocrats have not only brought misery on our
country and people, but they murdered my dear good father. Yes,
murdered I say. They said he was a high traitor. And do you know
why? Because he told aloud the nice stories about the Austrian
woman, who was then our queen, which, had been whispered into his
ear, and because he said that the king was a mere tool in the hands
of his wife. They shot my good, brave father for what he had said,
and which they called treason, although it was only the naked truth.
Yet I will not work myself into a passion about it, and I will only
thank God that that time is past, and I will do my part that it
shall not come back. And that is why we must be awake and on our
guard, that no aristocrat and no loyalist tie left, but that they
all be guillotined, all! There, take your place on my chair, and
take my knitting-work. Ah! if it could speak to you as it does to
me--if it could tell you what heads we two have seen fall, young and
old, handsome, distinguished--it would be fine sport for you and
make you laugh. But good-by just now! Keep a strict lookout! I shall
come back soon."

And she did come back soon, this worthy woman, with triumphant
bearing and flashing eyes, looking as the cat looks when it has a
mouse in its soft velvety paws, and is going to push its poisonous
claws into the quivering flesh. She took her knitting-work up and
bade Tison to go up again to her post.

"And when you can," she said, "just touch the Austrian woman a
little, and pay her off for being so many hours unwatched. In that
way you will merit a reward from the people, and that is as well as
deserving one of God. Provoke her--provoke the proud Austrian!"

"It is very hard to do it," said Tison, sighing--"very hard, I
assure you, for the Austrian is very cold and moderate of late.
Since Louis Capet died, the widow is very much changed, and now she
is so uniform in her temper that it seems as if nothing would
provoke or excite her."

"What weak and tender creatures you all are!" said Simon's wife,
with a shrug. "It is very plain that they fed you on milk when you
were young. But my mother nursed me with hate. I was scarcely ten
years when they shot my father, and not a day passed after that
without my mother's telling me that we must avenge his murder on the
whole lineage of the king. I had to swear that I would do it. She
gave me, for my daily food, hatred against the aristocrats; it was
the meat to my sauce, the sugar to my coffee, the butter to my
bread! I lived and throve upon it. Look at me, and see what such
fare has made of me! Look at me! I am not yet twenty-four years old,
and yet I have the appearance of an old woman, and I have the
feeling and the experience of an old woman! Nothing moves me now,
and the only thing that lives and burns in my heart is revenge.
Believe me, were I in your place I should know how to exasperate the
Austrian; I should succeed in drawing out her tears."

"Well, and how would you begin? Really, I should like to know how to
bring this incarnation of pride to weeping."

"Has not she children?" asked Madame Simon, with a horrible
calmness. "I would torture and provoke the children, and that would
soon make the heart of the woman humble and pliable. Oh, she may
count herself happy that I am not in your place, and that her
children are not under my tender hands. But if it ever happens that
I can lay my fingers upon the shoulders of the little wolves, I will
give them something that will make them cry out, and make the old
wolf howl with rage. I will show her as little favor then as she
showed when my poor mother and I were begging for my dear father! Go
up, go up and try at once. Plague the children, and you will see
that that will make the Austrian pliable."

"That is fine talk," muttered Tison, as she went up the staircase,
"but she has no children, while I have a daughter, a dear, good
daughter. She is not with me, but with my mother in Normandy,
because she can be taken better care of there than here. It is
better for the good child that she has not gone through these evil
days full of blood and grief with us. But I am always thinking of
her, and when one of these two children here looks up to me so
gravely with great, open eyes, it always makes me think of my
Solonge. She has exactly such large, innocent eyes, and that touches
my heart so that I cannot be harsh with the children. They, of
course, are not at all to blame for having such bad, miserable
parents, who have treated the people shamefully, and made them poor
and wretched. No, they have had nothing to do with it, and I cannot
be severe with the children, for I am always thinking of my little
Solonge! I will provoke the Austrian woman as much as I can, but not
the children--no, not the children!"

Meanwhile, Mistress Simon had taken her place upon the chair near
the open door in the porter's lodge, and sat there with her cold,
immovable face staring into empty space with her great coal-black,
glistening eyes, while her hands were busily flying, making the
polished knitting-needles click against each other.

She was still sitting there, when at last her husband came down the
stairs to open the outer door of the Temple, conduct his friends
past the inner court, and to bring back the two officials who were
to keep guard during the night.

They passed the knitter with a friendly salutation and a bit of
pleasantry--Toulan stopping a moment to ask the woman after her
welfare, and to say a few smooth words to her about her courage and
her great force of character.

She listened quietly, let him go on with his talk, and when he had
ended, slowly raised her great eyes from her knitting to him.

"You are a traitor," she said, with coldness, and without any
agitation. "Yes, you are a traitor, and you, too, will have your
turn at the guillotine!"

Toulan paled a little, but collected himself immediately, took leave
of the knitter with a smile, and hastened after the officials, who
were waiting for him at the open door--the two who were to hold the
watch during the night having already entered.

Simon closed the door after them, exchanged a few words with them,
and then went into his lodge to join his rigid better half.

"This has been a pleasant afternoon, and it is a great pity that it
is gone, for I have had a very good time. We have played cards,
sung, smoked, and Toulan has made jokes and told stories, and made
much fun. I always wonder where he gets so many fine stories, and he
tells them so well that I could hear him day and night. Now that he
is gone, it seems tedious and dull enough here. Well, we must
comfort ourselves that to-morrow will come by and by."

"What do you mean by that?" asked his wife, sternly.

"What sort of a day do you expect to-morrow to be?"

"A pleasant day, my dear Heloise, for Citizen Toulan will have the
watch again. I begged him so long, that he at last promised to
exchange with Citizen Pelletan, whose turn regularly comes to-
morrow. Pelletan is not well, and it would be very hard for him to
sit up there all day, and, besides, he would be dreadfully stupid.
It is a great deal pleasanter to have Toulan here with his jokes and
jolly stories, and so I begged him to come and take Pelletan's
place. He is going to accommodate me and come."

His wife did not answer a word, but broke out in a burst of shrill,
mocking laughter, and with her angry black eyes she scrutinized her
husband's red, bloated face, as though she were reading him through
and through.

"What are you laughing at?" he asked, angrily. "I would like to be
beyond hearing when you give way in that style. What are you
laughing at?"

"Because I wonder at you, you Jack," she answered sharply. "Because
you are determined to make an ass of yourself, and let dust be
thrown in your eyes, and put yourself at the disposal of every one
who soaps you over with smooth words."

"Come," said Simon, "none of that coarseness! and if you--"

"Hist!" she answered, commandingly. "I will show you at once that I
have told you the truth, and that you are making an ass of yourself,
or at least that you are on the point of doing so. Now, listen."

The knitter laid her work aside, and had a long conversation in a
whisper with her husband. When it ended, Simon stood up wearing a
dark look, and walked slowly backward and forward in the little
room. Then he stopped and shook his fist threateningly at the room
above. "She shall pay for this," he muttered--" by God in heaven!
she shall pay for this. She is a good-for-nothing seducer! Even in
prison she does not leave off coquetting, and flirting, and turning
the heads of the men! It is disgraceful, thoroughly disgraceful, and
she shall pay for it! I will soon find means to have my revenge on
her!"

During the whole evening Mistress Tison did not leave her place
behind the glass door for a moment, and at each stolen glance which
the queen cast thither she always encountered the malicious, glaring
eyes of the keeper, directed at her with an impudent coolness.

At last came the hour of going to bed--the hour to which the queen
looked impatiently forward. At night she was at least alone and
unguarded. After the death of the king, it had been found
superfluous to trouble the officials with the wearisome night-
watches, and they were satisfied, after darkness had set in and the
candles were lighted, with locking the three doors which led to the
inner rooms.

Did Marie Antoinette weep and moan at night, did she talk with her
sister, did she walk disconsolately up and down her room?--the
republic granted her the privilege. She could, during the night at
least, have a few hours of freedom and of solitude.

But during the night Marie Antoinette did not weep or moan; this
night her thoughts were not directed to the sad past, but to the
future; for the first ray of hope which had fallen upon her path for
a long time now encountered her.

"To escape, to be free!" she said, and the shadow of a smile flitted
over her face. "Can you believe it? Do you consider it possible,
sister?"

"I should like to believe it," whispered Elizabeth, "but there is
something in my heart that reminds me of Varennes, and I only pray
to God that He would give us strength to bear all the ills they
inflict upon us. We must, above all things, keep our calmness and
steadfastness, and be prepared for the worst as well as the best."

"Yes, you are right, we must do that," said Marie Antoinette,
collecting herself. "When one has suffered as we have, it is almost
more difficult to hope for good fortune than to prepare for new
terrors. I will compel myself to be calm. I will read Toulan's plan,
once more, and will impress it word for word upon my memory, so as
to burn the dangerous sheet as soon as possible."

"And while you are doing that I will unwind the ball that Toulan
brought us, and which certainly contains something heavy," said the
princess.

"What a grand, noble heart! what a lofty character has our friend
Toulan!" whispered the queen. "His courage is inexhaustible, his
fidelity is invincible, and he is entirely unselfish. How often have
I implored him to express one wish to me that I might gratify, or to
allow me to give him a draft of some amount! He is not to be shaken-
-he wants nothing, he will take nothing. Ah, Elizabeth, he is the
first friend, of all who ever drew toward me, who made no claims and
was contented with a kind word. When I implored him yesterday to
tell me in what way I could do him a service, he said: 'If you want
to make me happy, regard me always as your most devoted and faithful
servant, and give me a name that you give to no one besides. Call me
Fidele, and if you want to give me another remembrancer than that
which will always live in my heart, present me, as the highest token
of your favor, with the little gold smelling-bottle which I saw you
use in the Logograph box on that dreadful day.' I gave him the
trinket at once. He kneeled down in order to receive it, and when he
kissed my hand his hot tears fell upon it. Ah, Elizabeth, no one of
those to whom in the days of our happiness I gave jewels, and to
whom I gave hundreds of thousands, cherished for me so warm thanks
as Toulan--no, as Fidele--for the poor, insignificant little
remembrancer."

"God is good and great," said the princess, who, while the queen was
speaking, was busily engaged in unwinding the thread; "in order that
we might not lose faith in humanity and confidence in man, He sent
us in His mercy this noble, true-hearted one, whose devotion,
disinterestedness, and fidelity were to be our compensation for all
the sad and heart-rending experiences which we have endured. And,
therefore, for the sake of this one noble man let us pardon the many
from whom we have received only injury; for it says in the Bible
that, for the sake of one righteous man, many sinners shall be
forgiven, and Toulan is a righteous man."

"Yes, he is a righteous man, blessings on him!" whispered the queen.
Then she took the paper in her hand, and began to read the contents
softly, repeating every sentence to herself, and imprinting every
one of those hope-bringing words upon her memory; and while she
read, her poor, crushed heart gradually began to beat with firmer
confidence, and to embrace the possibility of realizing the plan of
Toulan and finding freedom in flight.

During this time Princess Elizabeth had unwound the thread of the
ball, and brought to light a little packet enveloped in paper.

"Take it, my dear Antoinette," she said, "it is addressed to you."

Marie Antoinette took it and carefully unfolded the paper. Then she
uttered a low, carefully-suppressed cry, and, sinking upon her
knees, pressed it with its contents to her lips.

"What is it, sister?" cried the princess, hurrying to her. "What
does Toulan demand?"

The queen gave the paper to the princess. "Read," she said--"read
it, sister."

Elizabeth read: "Your majesty wished to possess the relics which
King Louis left to you. They consist of the wedding-ring of his
majesty, his little seal, and the hair which the king himself cut
off. These three things lay on the chimney-piece in the closed
sitting-room of the king. The supervisor of the Temple took them
from Clery's hand, to whom the king gave them, and put them under
seal. I have succeeded in getting into the sitting-room; I have
opened the sealed packet, taken out the sacred relics, put articles
of similar character in their place, and sealed it up again. With
this letter are the relics which belong to your majesty, and I swear
by all that is sacred and dear to me--I swear by the head of my
queen, that they are the true articles which the blessed martyr,
King Louis XVI., conveyed to his wife in his testament. I have
stolen them for the exalted heir of the crown, and I shall one day
glory in the theft before the throne of God." [Footnote: Goncourt, "
Histoire de Marie Antoinette," p. 384.]

"See, Elizabeth," said the queen, unfolding the little things, each
one of which was carefully wrapped in paper--"see, there is his
wedding-ring. There on the inside are the four letters, 'M. A. A.
A., 19th April, 1770.' The day of our marriage!--a day of joy for
Austria as well as for France! Then--but I will not think of it. Let
me look further. Here is the seal! The cornelian engraved on two
sides. Here on one side the French arms; as you turn the stone, the
portrait of our son the Dauphin of France, with his helmet on his
head. Oh! my son, my poor dear child, will your loved head ever bear
any other ornament than a martyr's crown; will God grant you to wear
the helmet of the warrior, and to battle for your rights and your
throne? How pleased my husband was when on his birthday I brought
him this seal! how tenderly his looks rested upon the portrait of
his son, his successor! and now--oh, now! King Louis XVI. cruelly,
shamefully murdered, and he who ought to be the King of France,
Louis XVII., is nothing but a poor, imprisoned child--a king without
a crown, without hope, without a future!"

"No, no, Antoinette," whispered Elizabeth, who had kneeled before
the queen and had tenderly put her arms around her--" no,
Antoinette, do not say that your son has no hope and no future.
Build upon God, hope that the undertaking which we are to-morrow to
execute will lead to a fortunate result, that we shall flee from
here, that we shall be free, that we shall be able to reach England.
Oh, yes, let us hope that Toulan's fine and bold plan will succeed,
and then it may one day be that the son of my dear brother, grown to
be a young man, may put the helmet on his head, gird himself with
the sword, reconquer the throne of his fathers, and take possession
of it as King Louis XVII. Therefore let us hope, sister."

"Yes, therefore let us hope" whispered the queen, drying her tears.
"And here at last," she continued, opening the remaining paper,
"here is the third relic, the hair of the king! --the only thing
which is left us of the martyr king, the unfortunate husband of an
unfortunate wife, the pitiable king of a most pitiable people! Oh,
my king! they have laid your poor head that bore this white hair--
they have laid it upon the scaffold, and the axe, the dreadful axe--
"

The queen uttered a loud shriek of horror, sprang up, and raised
both her hands in conjuration to Heaven, while a curse just trembled
on her lips. But Princess Elizabeth threw herself into her arms, and
pressed on the cold, quivering lips of the queen a long, fervent
kiss.

"For God's sake, sister," she whispered, "speak softly. If Tison
heard your cry, we are lost. Hush! it seems to me I hear steps, hide
the things. Let us hurry into bed. Oh, for God's sake, quick!"

She huddled the papers together, and put them hastily into her
bosom, while Marie Antoinette, gathering up the relics, dashed into
her bed.

"She is coming," whispered Elizabeth, as she slipped into her bed.
"We must pretend to be asleep."

And in fact Princess Elizabeth was right. The glass-door, which led
from the sleeping-room of the children to the little corridor, and
from there to the chamber of Mistress Tison, was slowly and
cautiously opened, and she came with a lamp in her hand into the
children's room. She stood near the door, listening and spying
around. In the beds of the children she could hear the long-drawn,
calm breathing, which indicated peaceful slumbers; and in the open,
adjoining apartment, in which the two ladies slept, nothing was
stirring.

"But I did hear a sound plainly," muttered Tison. "I was awaked by a
loud cry, and when I sat up in bed I heard people talking."

She stole to the beds of the children, and let the light fall upon
their faces. "They are sleeping soundly enough," she muttered, "they
have not cried or spoken, but we will see how it is in the other
room." Slowly, with the lamp in her hand, she crept into the
neighboring apartment. The two ladies lay motionless upon their
beds, closing their eyes quickly when Mistress Tison crossed the
threshold, and praying to God for courage and steadfastness.

Tison went first to the bed of Princess Elizabeth and let the lamp
fall full upon her face. The glare seemed to awaken her. "What is
it?" she cried, "what has happened? sister, what has happened? where
are you, Marie Antoinette?"

"Here, here I am, Elizabeth," cried the queen, rising suddenly up in
bed, as if awakened. "Why do you call me, and who is here?"

"It is I," muttered Tison, angrily. "That is the way if one has a
bad conscience! One is startled then with the slightest sound."

"We have no bad conscience," said Elizabeth, gently, "but you know
that if we are awakened from sleep we cry out easily, and we might
be thinking that some one was waking us to bring us happy tidings."

"I hope so," cried Tison, with a scornful laugh, "Happy news for
you! that means unhappy and sad news for France and for the French
people. No, thank God! I did not waken you to bring you any good
news."

"Well," said the queen, gently, "tell us why you have wakened us and
what you have to communicate to us."

"I have nothing at all to communicate to you," growled Tison, "and
you know best whether I wake you or you were already awake, talking
and crying aloud. Hist! it is not at all necessary that you answer,
I know well enough that you are capable of lying. I tell you my ears
are open and my eyes too. I let nothing escape me; you have talked
and you have cried aloud, and if it occurs again I shall report it
to the supervisor and have a watch put here in the night again, that
the rest of us may have a little quiet in the night-time, and not
have to sleep like the hares, with our eyes open."

"But," said the princess gently, "but dear woman--"

"Hush!" interrupted Tison, commandingly, "I am not your 'dear
woman,' I am the wife of Citizen Tison, and I want none of your
confidence, for confidence from such persons as you are, might
easily bring me to the scaffold."

She now passed through the whole room with her slow, stealthy tread,
let the light fall upon every article of furniture and the floor,
examined all the objects that lay upon the table, and then, after
one last threatening look at the beds of the two ladies, went slowly
out. She stopped again at the cribs of the children, and looked at
them with a touch of gentleness. "How quietly they sleep!" the
whispered. "They lie there exactly as they lay before. One would
think they were smiling in their sleep--I suppose they are playing
with angels. I should like to know how angels come into this old,
horrid Temple, and what Simon's wife would say if she knew they came
in here at night without her permission. See, see," she continued,
"the boy is laughing again, and spreading out his hands, as if he
wanted to catch the angels. Ah! I should like to know if my dear
little Solange is sleeping as soundly as these children, and whether
she smiles in her sleep and plays with angels; I should like to know
if she dreams of her parents, my dear little Solange, and whether
she sometimes sees her poor mother, who loves her so and yearns
toward her so tenderly that" [Footnote: This Mistress Tison, the
cruel keeper of the queen, soon after this fell into lunacy, owing
both to her longings after her daughter and her compunctions of
conscience for her treatment of the queen. The first token of her
insanity was her falling upon her knees before Marie Antoinette, and
begging pardon for all the pain she had occasioned, and amid floods
of tears accusing herself as the one who would be answerable for the
death of the queen. She then fell into such dreadful spasms, that
four men were scarcely able to hold her. They carried her into the
Hotel Dieu, where she died after two days of the most dreadful
sufferings and bitter reproaches of herself.--See Goncourt, p. 280.
]

She could not go on; tears extinguished her utterance, and she
hastened out, to silence her longings on the pillow of her bed.

The ladies listened a long time in perfect silence; then, when every
thing was still again, they raised themselves up softly, and began
to talk to each other in the faintest of whispers, and to make their
final preparations for the flight of the morrow. They then rose and
drew from the various hiding-places the garments which they were to
use, placed the various suits together, and then tried to put them
on. A fearful, awful picture, such as a painter of hell, such as
Breugel could not surpass in horror!--a queen and a princess, two
tender, pale, harmless women, busied, deep in the night, as if
dressing for a masquerade, in transforming themselves into those
very officials who had led the king to the scaffold, and who, with
their pitiless iron hands, were detaining the royal family in
prison!

There they stood, a queen, a princess, clad in the coarse,
threadbare garments of republican officials, the tri-colored sashes
of the "one indivisible republic" around their bodies, their heads
covered with the three-cornered hats, on which the tri-colored
cockade glittered. They stood and viewed each other with sad looks
and heavy sighs. Ah, what bright, joyous laughter would have sprung
from the lips of the queen in the days of her happiness, if she had
wanted to hide her beauty in such attire for some pleasant
masquerade at Trianon! What charming sport it would have been then
and there! How would her friends and courtiers have laughed! How
they would have admired the queen in her original costume, which
might well have been thought to belong to the realm of dreams and
fantasies! A tri-colored cockade--a figment of the brain--a tri-
colored sash--a merry dream! The lilies rule over France, and will
rule forever!

No laughter resounded in the desolate room, scantily lighted with
the dim taper--no laughter as the queen and the princess put on
their strange, fearful attire. It was no masquerade, but a dreadful,
horrible reality; and as they looked at each other wearing the
costume of revolutionists, tears started from the eyes of the queen;
the princess folded her hands and prayed; and she too could not keep
back the drops that slowly coursed over her cheeks.

The lilies of France are faded and torn from the ground! From the
palace of the Tuileries waved the tri-color of the republic, and in
the palace of the former Knights Templars is a pale, sad woman, with
gray hair and sunken eyes, a broken heart, and a bowed form. This
pale, sad shadow of the past is Marie Antoinette, once the Queen of
France, the renowned beauty, the first woman in a great kingdom, now
the widow of an executed man, she herself probably with one foot--

No, no, she will be saved! God has sent her a deliverer, a friend,
and this friend, this helper in her need, has made every thing ready
for her flight.



CHAPTER XXIII.

THE SEPARATION.


Slowly and heavily the hours of the next day rolled on. Where was
Toulan? Why did he not come? The queen waited for him the whole of
that long, dreadful day in feverish expectation. She listened to
every sound, to every approaching step, to every voice that echoed
in the corridor. At noon Toulan had purposed to come to take his
post as guard. At six, when the time of lighting the lamps should
arrive, the disguises were to be put on. At seven the carefully and
skilfully-planned flight was to be made.

The clock in the tower of the Temple had already struck four. Toulan
had not yet come, and the guards of the day had not yet been
relieved. They had had a little leisure at noon for dinner, and
during the interim Simon and Tison were on guard, and had kept the
queen on the rack with their mockery and their abusive words. In
order to avoid the language and the looks of these men, she had fled
into the children's room, to whom the princess, in her trustful
calmness and unshaken equanimity, was assigning them lessons. Marie
Antoinette wanted to find protection here from the dreadful anxiety
that tortured her, as well as from the ribald jests and scurrility
of her keepers. But Mistress Tison was there, standing near the
glass window, gazing in with a malicious grin, and working in her
wonted, quick way upon the long stocking, and knitting, knitting, so
that you could hear the needles click together.

The queen could not give way to a word or a look. That would have
created suspicion, and would, perhaps, have caused an examination to
be made. She had to bear all in silence, she had to appear
indifferent and calm; she had to give pleasant answers to the
dauphin's innocent questions, and even compel a smile to her lips
when the child, reading in her looks, by the instinct of love, her
great excitement, tried to cheer her up with pleasant words.

It struck five, and still Toulan did not come. A chill crept over
her heart, and in the horror which filled her she first became
conscious how much love of life still survived in her, and how
intensely she had hoped to find a possibility of escape.

Only one last hour of hope left! If it should strike six, and he
should not come, all would be lost! The doors of her prison would be
closed forever--never opening again excepting to allow Marie
Antoinette to pass to the guillotine.

Mistress Tison had gone, and her cold, mocking face was no longer
visible behind the glass door. The guards in the anteroom had also
gone, and had closed the doors behind them. The queen was,
therefore, safe from being watched at least! She could fall upon her
knees, she could raise her hands to God and wrestle with Him in
speechless prayer for pity and deliverance. She could call her
children to herself, and press them to her heart, and whisper to
them that they must be composed if they should see something
strange, and not wonder if they should have to put on clothing that
they were not accustomed to.

"Mamma," asked the dauphin, in a whisper, "are we going to Varennes
again?"

The queen shuddered in her inmost soul at this question, and hid her
quivering face on the faithful breast of the princess.

"Oh, sister, I am suffocating with anxiety," she said. "I feel that
this hour is to decide the lives of us all, and it seems to me as if
Death were already stretching out his cold hand toward me. We are
lost, and my son, my unhappy son, will never wear any other than the
martyr's crown, and--"

The queen was silent, for just then the tower-clock began to strike,
slowly, peacefully, the hour of six! The critical moment! The
lamplight must come now! If it were Toulan, they might be saved.
Some unforeseen occurrence might have prevented his coming before;
he might have borrowed the suit of the bribed lamplighter in order
to come to them. There was hope still--one last, pale ray of hope!

Steps upon the corridor! Voices that are audible!

The queen, breathless, with both hands laid upon her heart, which
was one instant still, and then beat with redoubled rapidity,
listened with strained attention to the opening of the door of the
anteroom. Princess Elizabeth approached her, and laid her hand on
the queen's shoulder. The two children, terrified by some cause
which they could not comprehend, clung to the hand and the body of
their mother, and gazed anxiously at the door.

The steps came nearer, the voices became louder. The door of the
anteroom is opened--and there is the lamp-lighter. But it is not
Toulan--no, not Toulan! It is the man who comes every day, and the
two children, are with him as usual.

A heavy sigh escaped from the lips of the queen, and, throwing her
arms around the dauphin with a convulsive motion, she murmured:

"My son, oh, my dear son! May God take my life if He will but spare
thine!"

Where was Toulan? Where had he been all this dreadful day? "Where
was Fidele the brave, the indefatigable?

On the morning of the day appointed for the flight, he left his
house, taking a solemn leave of his Marguerite. At this parting hour
he told her for the first time that he was going to enter upon the
great and exalted undertaking of freeing the queen and her children,
or of dying for them. His true, brave young wife had suppressed her
tears and her sighs to give him her blessing, and to tell him that
she would pray for him, and that if he should perish in the service
of the queen, she would die too, in order to be united with him
above.

Toulan kissed the beaming eyes of his Marguerite with deep fooling,
thanked her for her true-hearted resignation, and told her that he
had never loved her so much as in this hour when he was leaving her
to meet his death, it might be, in the service of another lady.

"At this hour of parting," he said, "I will give you the dearest and
most sacred thing that I possess. Take this little gold smelling-
bottle. The queen gave it to me, and upon the bit of paper that lies
within it Marie Antoinette wrote with her own hand, 'Remembrancer
for Fidele.'

Fiddle is the title of honor which my queen has given me for the
little service which I have been able to do for her. I leave this
little gift for you as that which, next to your love, is the most
sacred and precious thing to me on earth. If I die, preserve it for
our son, and give it to him on the day when he reaches his majority.
Tell him of the time when I made this bequest to him, in the hope
that he would make himself worthy of it, and live and die as a brave
son of his country, a faithful subject and servant of his king, who,
God willing, will be the son of Marie Antoinette. Tell him of his
father; say to him that I dearly loved you and him, but that I had
devoted my life to the service of the queen, and that I gave it
freely and gladly, in conformity with my oath. I have not told you
about these things before, dear Marguerite--not because I doubted
your fidelity, but because I did not want you to have to bear the
dreadful burden of expectation, and because I did not want to
trouble your noble soul with these things. And now I only tell you
this much: I am going away to try to save the queen. If I succeed, I
shall come back for a moment this evening at ten o'clock. If I
remain away, if you hear nothing from me during the whole night,
then--"

"Then what?" asked Marguerite, throwing her arms around him, and
looking into his face anxiously. "Say, what then?"

"Then I shall have died," he said, softly, "and our child will be an
orphan! Do not weep, Marguerite! Be strong and brave, show a
cheerful face to our neighbors, our friends, and the spies! But
observe every thing! Listen to every thing! Keep the outer door open
all the time, that I may be able to slip in at any moment. Have the
little secret door in my room open too, and the passageway down into
the cellar always free, that I may slip down there if need be. Be
ready to receive me at any time, to hide me, and, it may possibly
be, others who may come with me!"

"I shall expect you day and night," she whispered, "so long as I
live!"

"And now, Marguerite," he said, pressing her tenderly to his heart,
"one last kiss! Let me kiss your eyes, your beautiful dear eyes,
which have always glanced with looks of love, and which have always
given me new inspiration. Farewell, my dear wife, and God bless you
for your love and fidelity!"

"Do not go, my precious one! Come once more to the cradle of our boy
and give him a parting kiss!"

"No, Marguerite, that would unman me, and to-day I must be strong
and master of myself. Farewell, I am going to the Temple!"

And, without looking at his wife again, he hurried out into the
street, and turned his steps toward his destination. But just as he
was turning the very next corner Lepitre met him, pale, and
displaying great excitement in his face.

"Thank God!" he said, "thank God that I have found you. I wanted to
hasten to you. We must flee directly--all is discovered. Immediate
flight alone can save us!"

"What is discovered?" asked Toulan. "Speak, Lepitre, what is
discovered?"

"For God's sake, let us not be standing here on the streets!"
ejaculated Lepitre. "They have certainly sent out the constables to
arrest us. Let us go into this house here, it contains a passage
through to the next street. Now, listen! We are reported. Simon's
wife has carried our names to the Committee of Public Safety as
suspicious persons. Tison's wife has given out that the queen and
her sister-in-law have won us both over, and that through our means
she is kept informed about every thing that happens. The carpet-
manufacturer, Arnault, has just been publicly denouncing us both,
saying that Simon's wife has reported to him that we both have
conducted conversation with the prisoners in low tones of voice, and
have thereby been the means of conveying some kind of cheering
information to the queen. [Footnote: Literally reproduced here.--See
Concourt, "Histoire de Marie Antoinette," p. 290.] On that, our
names were stricken from the list of official guards at the Temple,
and we are excluded from the new ward committee that is forming to-
day."

"And is that all?" asked Toulan, calmly. "Is that all the bad news
that you bring? Then the projected flight is not discovered, is it?
Nothing positive is known against us? Nothing more is known than the
silly and unfounded denunciations of two old women?"

"For God's sake, do not use such idle words as these!" replied
Lepitre. "We are suspected, our names are stricken from the ward
list. Is not that itself a charge against us? And are not those who
come under suspicion always condemned? Do not laugh, Toulan, and
shake your head!

Believe me, we are lost if we do not flee; if we do not leave Paris
on the spot and conceal ourselves somewhere. I am firmly resolved on
this, and in an hour I shall have started, disguised as a sans-
culotte. Follow my example, my friend. Do not throw away your life
foolhardily. Follow me!"

"No," said Toulan, "I shall stay. I have sworn to devote my life to
the service of the queen, and I shall fulfil my oath so long as
breath remains in my body. I must not go away from here so long as
there is a possibility of assisting her. If flight is impracticable
to-day, it may be effected at some more favorable time, and I must
hold myself in readiness for it."

"But they will take you, I tell you," said Lepitre, with a downcast
air. "You will do no good to the queen, and only bring yourself to
harm."

"Oh, nonsense! they will not catch me so soon," said Toulan,
confidently. "Fortune always favors the bold, and I will show you
that I am brave. Go, my friend, save yourself, and may God give you
long life and a contented heart! Farewell, and be careful that they
do not discover you!"

"You are angry with me, Toulan," said Lepitre. "You consider me
cowardly. But I tell you, you are foolhardy, and your folly will
plunge you into destruction."

"I am not angry with you, Lepitre, and you shall not be with me.
Every one must do as best he can, and as his heart and his head
dictate to him. One is not the better for this, and another the
worse. Farewell, my friend! Take care for your own safety, for it is
well that some faithful ones should still remain to serve the queen,
and I know that you will serve her when she needs your help."

"Then give me your hand in parting, my friend. And if at last you
come to the conclusion to flee, come to Normandy, and in the village
of Lerne, near Dieppe, you will find me, and my father will receive
you, and you shall be treated as if you were my brother."

"Thanks, my friend, thanks! One last shake of the hand. There! Now
you are away, and I remain here."

Toulan went out into the street, walked along with a cheerful face,
and repaired at once to the hall where the Committee of Safety were
sitting.

"Citizens and brothers," he said, in aloud, bold voice, "I have just
been informed that I have been brought under suspicion and
denounced. Friends have warned me to betake to flight. But I am no
coward, I have no bad conscience, and therefore do not fly, but come
here and ask you is this true? Is it possible that you regard me as
no patriot, and as a traitor?"

"Yes," answered President Hobart, with a harsh, hard voice, "you are
under suspicion, and we mistrust you. This shameful seducer, this
she-wolf Marie Antoinette has cast her foxy eyes upon you, and would
doubtless succeed if you are often with her. We have therefore once
for all taken your name from the list of the official guards in the
Temple, and you will no longer be exposed to the wiles of the
Austrian woman. But besides this, as the second denunciation has
been made against you to-day, and as it is asserted that you are in
relations with aristocrats and suspected persons, we have considered
it expedient, in view of the common safety, to issue a warrant for
your apprehension. An officer has just gone with two soldiers to
your house, to arrest you and bring you hither. You have simply
anticipated the course of law by surrendering yourself. Officer,
soldiers, here!"

The persons summoned appeared, and put Toulan under arrest,
preparatory to taking him to prison.

"It is well," said Toulan, with a noble calmness. "I know that the
time will come when you will regret having so abused a true patriot;
and I hope, for the peace of your consciences, that there will be a
time then to undo the evil which you are doing to me to-day, and
that my head will then be on my shoulders, that my lips may be able
to testify to you what my heart now dictates, that I forgive you!
You are in error about me, yet I know that you are acting not out of
enmity to me, but for the weal of the country, and out of love for
the great, united republic. As the true and tenderly loving son of
this noble, exalted mother, I forgive you for giving ear to my
unrighteous accusers, and, even if you shed my innocent blood, my
dying wish will be a blessing on the republic."

"Those are noble and excellent words," said Hobart, coldly. "But if
deeds speak in antagonism to words, we cannot let the latter beguile
us out of our sense, but we must give heed to justice."

"That is the one only thing that I ask," cried Toulan, brightly.
"Let justice be done, my brothers, and I shall very soon he free,
and shall come out from an investigation like a spotless lamb. I
make no resistance. Come, my friends, take me to prison! I only ask
for permission to be escorted first to my house, to procure a few
articles of clothing to use during my imprisonment. But I urge
pressingly that my articles may be sealed up in my presence. For
when the man of the house is not at home, it fares badly with the
safety of his property, and I shall be able to feel at ease only
when the seal of the republic is upon my possessions. I beg you
therefore to allow my paper and valuables to be sealed in my
presence. You will thus be sure that my wife and my friends have not
removed any thing which might be used against me, and my innocence
will shine out the more clearly. I beg you therefore to comply with
my wish."

The members of the committee consulted with one another in low
tones, and the chairman then announced to Toulan that his wish would
be complied with, and that an escort of soldiers might accompany him
to his house, to allow him to procure linen and clothing, and to
seal his effects and papers in their presence.

Toulan thanked them with cheerful looks, and went out into the
street between the two guards. As they were on the way to his house,
he talked easily with them, laughed and joked; but in his own
thoughts he said to himself, "You are lost! hopelessly lost, if you
do not escape now. You are the prey of the guillotine, if the gates
of the prison once close upon you; therefore escape, escape or die."
While he was thus laughing and talking with the soldiers, and
meanwhile thinking such solemn thoughts, his sharp black eyes were
glancing in all directions, looking for a friend who might assist
him out of his trouble. And fortune sent him such a friend!--Ricard,
Ionian's most trusted counsellor, the abettor of his plans. Toulan
called him with an animated face, and in loud tones told him that he
had been denounced, and therefore arrested; and that he was only
allowed to go to his house to procure some clothing.

"Come along, Ricard," he said. "They are going to put my effects
under seal, and you have some papers and books on my writing-table.
Come along, and take possession of your own things, so that they may
not be sealed up as mine."

Ricard nodded assent, and a significant look told Toulan that his
friend understood him, and that his meaning was, that Ricard should
take possession of papers that might bring Toulan under suspicion.
Continuing their walk, they spoke of indifferent matters, and at
last reached Toulan's house. Marguerite met them with calm bearing.
She knew that every cry, every expression of anxiety and trouble,
would only imperil the condition of her husband, and her love gave
her power to master herself.

"Ah! are you there, husband?" she said, with a smile, how hard to
her no one knew. "You are bringing a great deal of company."

"Yes, Marguerite," said Toulan, with a smile, "and I am going to
keep on with this pleasant company to prison."

"Oh!" she cried, laughing, "that is a good joke! Toulan, the best of
patriots, in prison! Come, you ought not to joke about serious
matters."

"It is no joke," said one of the guards, solemnly. "Citizen Toulan
is arrested, and is here only to procure some articles of clothing,
and have his effects put under seal."

"And to give back to his friend Ricard the books and papers that
belong to him," said Toulan. "Come, let us go into my study,
friends."

"There are my books and papers," cried Ricard, as they went into the
next room. He sprang forward to the writing-table, seized all the
papers lying upon it, and tried to thrust them into his coat-pocket.
But the two soldiers checked him, and undertook to resist his
movement. Ricard protested, a loud exchange of words took place--in
which Marguerite had her share--insisting that all the papers on the
table belonged to Ricard, and she should like to see the man who
could have the impudence to prevent his taking them.

Louder and louder grew the contention; and when Ricard was
endeavoring again to put the papers into his pocket, the two
soldiers rushed at him to prevent it. Marguerite tried to come to
his assistance, and in the effort, overthrew a little table which
stood in the middle of the room, on which was a water-bottle and
some glasses. The table came down, a rattle of broken glass
followed, and amid the noise and outcries, the controversy and
violence, no one paid attention to Toulan; no one saw the little
secret door quietly open, and Toulan glide from view.

The soldiers did not notice this movement, but Marguerite and Ricard
understood it well, and went on all the more eagerly with their
cries and contentions, to give Toulan time to escape by the secret
passage.

And they were successful. When the two guards had, after long
searching, discovered the secret door through which the escape had
been effected, and had rushed down the hidden stairway, not a trace
of him was to be seen.

Toulan was free! Unhindered, he hastened to the little attic, which
he had, some time before, hired in the house adjacent to the Temple,
put on a suit of clothes which he had prepared there, and remained
concealed the whole day.

As Marie Antoinette lay sleepless upon her bed in the night that
followed this vain attempt at flight, and was torturing herself with
anxious doubts whether Fidele had fallen a victim to his devotion,
suddenly the tones of a huntsman's horn broke the silence; Marie
Antoinette raised herself up and listened. Princess Elizabeth had
done the same; and with suspended breath they both listened to the
long-drawn and plaintive tones which softly floated in to them on
the wings of the night. A smile of satisfaction flitted over their
pale, sad faces, and a deep sigh escaped from their heavy hearts.

"Thank God! he is saved," whispered Marie Antoinette.

"Is not that the melody that was to tell us that our friend is in
the neighborhood?"

"Yes, sister, that is the one! So long as we hear this signal, we
shall know that Toulan is living still, and that he is near us."

And in the following weeks the prisoners of the Temple often had the
sad consolation of hearing the tones of Toulan's horn; but he never
came to them again, he never appeared in the anteroom to keep guard
over the imprisoned queen. Toulan did not flee! He had the courage
to remain in Paris; he was constantly hoping that an occasion might
arise to help the queen escape; he was constantly putting himself in
connection with friends for this object, and making plans for the
flight of the royal captives.

But exactly what Toulan hoped for stood as a threatening phantom
before the eyes of the Convention--the flight of the prisoners in
the Temple. They feared the queen even behind those thick walls,
behind the four iron doors that closed upon her prison! They feared
still more this poor child of seven years, this little king without
crown and without throne, the son of him who had been executed. The
Committee of Safety knew that people were talking about the little
king in the Temple, and that touching anecdotes about him were in
circulation. A bold, reckless fellow had appeared who called himself
a prophet, and had loudly announced upon the streets and squares,
that the lilies would bloom again, and that the sons of Brutus would
fall beneath the hand of the little king whose throne was in the
Temple. They had, it is true, arrested the prophet and dragged him
to the guillotine, but his prophecies had found an echo here and
there, and an interest in the little prince had been awakened in the
people. The noble and enthusiastic men known as the Girondists were
deeply solicitous about the young royal martyr, and the application
of this expression to the little dauphin, made in the earnest and
impassioned speeches before the Convention, melted all hearers to
tears and called out a deep sympathy.

The Convention saw the danger, and at once resolved to be free from
it. On the 1st of July 1793, that body issued a decree with the
following purport: "The Committee of Public Safety ordains that the
son of Capet be separated from his mother, and be delivered to an
instructor, whom the general director of the communes shall
appoint."

The queen had no suspicion of this. Now that Toulan was no longer
there, no news came to her of what transpired beyond the prison, and
Fidele's horn-signals were the only sounds of the outer world that
reached her ear.

The evening of the 3d of July had come. The little prince had gone
to bed, and had already sunk into a deep sleep. His bed had no
curtains, but Marie Antoinette had with careful hands fastened a
shawl to the wall, and spread it out over the bed in such a manner
that the glare of the light did not fall upon the closed eyes of the
child and disturb him in his peaceful slumbers. It was ten o'clock
in the evening, and the ladies had that day waited unwontedly long
before going to bed. The queen and Princess Elizabeth were busied in
mending the clothing of the family, and Princess Theresa, sitting
between the two, had been reading to them some chapters out of the
Historical Dictionary. At the wish of the queen, she had now taken a
religious book, Passion Week, and was reading some hymns and prayers
out of it.

Suddenly, the quick steps of several men were heard in the corridor.
The bolts flew back, the doors were opened, and six officials came
in.

"We are come," cried one of them, with a brutal voice, "to announce
to you the order of the committee, that the son of Capet be
separated from his mother and his family."

At these words the queen rose, pale with horror "They are going to
take my child from me!" she cried. "No, no, that is not possible.
Gentlemen, the authorities cannot think of separating me from my
son. He is still so young and weak, he needs my care."

"The committee has come to this determination," answered the
official, "the Convention has confirmed it, and we shall carry it
into execution directly."

"I cannot allow it," cried Marie Antoinette in desperation. "In the
name of Heaven, I conjure you not to be so cruel!"

Elizabeth and Theresa mingled their tears with those of the mother.
All three had placed themselves before the bed of the dauphin; they
clung to it, they folded their hands, they sobbed; the most touching
cries, the most humble prayers trembled on their lips, but the
guards were not at all moved.

"What is all this whining for?" they said. "No one is going to kill
your child; give him to us of your own free will, or we shall have
to take him by force."

They strode up to the bed. Marie Antoinette placed herself with
extended arms before it, and held the curtain firmly; it however
detached itself from the wall and fell upon the face of the dauphin.
He awoke, saw what was going on, and threw himself with loud shrieks
into the arms of the queen. "Mamma, dear Mamma, do not leave me!"
She pressed him trembling to her bosom, quieted him, and defended
him against the cruel hands that were reached out for him.

In vain, all in vain! The men of the republic have no compassion on
the grief of a mother! "By free will or by force he must go with
us."

"Then promise me at least that he shall remain in the tower of the
Temple, that I may see him every day."

"We have nothing to promise you, we have no account at all to give
you. Parbleu, how can you take on and howl so, merely because your
child is taken from you? Our children have to do more than that.
They have every day to have their heads split open with the balls of
the enemies that you have set upon them."

"My son is still too young to be able to serve his country," said
the queen, gently, "but I hope that if God permits it, he will some
day be proud to devote his life to Him."

Meanwhile the two princesses, urged on by the officials, had clothed
the gasping, sobbing boy. The queen now saw that no more hope
remained. She sank upon a chair, and summoning all her strength, she
called the dauphin to herself, laid her hands upon his shoulders,
and pale, immovable, with widely-opened eyes, whose burning lids
were cooled by no tear, she gazed upon the quivering face of the
boy, who had fixed his great blue eyes, swimming with tears, upon
the countenance of his mother.

"My child," said the queen, solemnly, "we must part. Remember your
duties when I am no more with you to remind you of them. Never
forget the good God who is proving you, and your mother who is
praying for you. Be good and patient, and your Father in heaven will
bless you."

She bent over, and with her cold lips pressed a kiss upon the
forehead of her son, then gently pushed him toward the turnkey. But
the boy sprang back to her again, clung to her with his arms, and
would not go.

"My son, we must obey. God wills it so." A loud, savage laugh was
heard. Shuddering, the queen turned around. There at the open door
stood Simon, and with him his wife, their hard features turned
maliciously toward the pale queen. The woman stretched out her
brown, bare arms to the child, grasped him, and pushed him before
her to the door.

"Is she to have him?" shrieked Marie Antoinette. "Is my son to
remain with this woman?"

"Yes," said Simon, with a grinning smile, as he put himself, with
his arms akimbo, before the queen--" yes, with this woman and with
me, her husband, little Capet is to remain, and I tell you he shall
receive a royal education. We shall teach him to forget the past,
and only to remember that he is a child of the one and indivisible
republic. If he does not come to it, he must be brought to it, and
my old cobbler's straps will be good helpers in this matter."

He nodded at Marie Antoinette with a fiendish smile, and then
followed the officials, who had already gone out. The doors were
closed again, the bolts drawn, and within the chamber reigned the
stillness of death. The two women put their arms around one another,
kneeled upon the floor and prayed.

From this day on, Marie Antoinette had no hope more; her heart was
broken. Whole days long she sat fixed and immovable, without paying
any regard to the tender words of her sister-in-law and the caresses
of her daughter, without working, reading, or busying herself in any
way. Formerly she had helped to put the rooms in order, and mend the
clothes and linen; now she let the two princesses do this alone and
serve her.

Only for a few hours each day did her countenance lighten at all,
and the power of motion return to this pale, marble figure. Those
were the hours when she waited for her son, as he went with Simon
every day to the upper story and the platform of the tower. She
would then put her head to the door and listen to every step and all
the words that he directed to the turnkey as he passed by.

Soon she discovered a means of seeing him. There was a little crack
on the floor of the platform on which the boy walked. The world
revolved for the queen only around this little crack, and the
instant in which she could see her boy.

At times, too, a compassionate guard who had to inspect the prison
brought her tidings of her son, told her that he was well, that he
had learned to play ball, and that by his friendly nature he won
every one's love. Then Marie Antoinette's countenance would lighten,
a smile would play over her features and linger on her pale lips as
long as they were speaking of her boy. But oh! soon there came other
tidings about the unhappy child. His wailing tones, Simon's threats,
and his wife's abusive words penetrated even the queen's apartments,
and filled her with the anguish of despair. And yet it was not the
worst to hear him cry, and to know that the son of the queen was
treated ill; it was still more dreadful to hear him sing with a loud
voice, accompanied by the laugh and the bravoes of Simon and his
wife, revolutionary and obscene songs--to know that not only his
body but his soul was doomed to destruction.

At first the queen, on hearing these dreadful songs, broke out into
lamentations, cries, and loud threats against those who were
destroying the soul of her child. Then a gradual paralysis crept
over her heart, and when, on the 3d of August, she was taken from
the Temple to the prison, the pale lips of the queen merely
whispered,

"Thank God, I shall not have to hear him sing any more!"



BOOK V.


CHAPTER XXIV.

THE DEATH OF THE QUEEN.


The Bartholomew's night of the murderous Catharine de Medicis, and
her mad son, Charles IX., now found in France its horrible and
bloody repetition; but the night of horror which we are now to
contemplate was continued on into the day, and did not shrink even
before the light.

The sun shone down upon the streams of blood which flowed through
the streets of Paris, and upon the pack of wild dogs that swarmed in
uncounted numbers on the thoroughfares of the city, and lived on
this blood, which gave back even to the tame their natural wildness.
The sun shone down upon the scaffold, that rose like a threatening
monster upon the Place de la Revolution, and upon the dreadful axe
which daily severed so many noble forms, and then rose from the
block glittering and menacing.

The sun shone on that day, too, when Marie Antoinette ascended the
scaffold, as her husband had done before, and so passed to her rest,
from all the pains and humiliations of her last years.

That day was the 16th of October, 1793. For four months Marie
Antoinette looked forward to it as to a joyful deliverance. It was
four months from the time when she was transferred from the Temple
to the prison, and she knew that those who were confined in the
latter place only left it to gain the freedom, not that man gives,
but which God grants to the suffering--the freedom of death!

Marie Antoinette longed for the deliverance. How far behind her now
lay the days of her happy, joyous youth! how long ago the time when
the tall, grave woman, her face full of pride and yet of
resignation, had been charming Marie Antoinette, the very
impersonation of beauty, youth, and love, carrying out in Trianon
the idyl of romantic country life--in the excess of her gayety going
disguised to the public opera-house ball, believing herself so safe
amid the French people that she could dispense with the protection
of etiquette--hailed with an enthusiastic admiration then, as she
was now saluted with the savage shouts of the enraged people!

No, the former queen, Marie Antoinette, who, in the gilded saloons
of Versailles and in the Tuileries, had received the homage of all
France, and with a smiling face and perfect grace of manner
acknowledged all the tribute that was brought to her, had no longer
any resemblance to the widow of Louis Capet, sitting before the
revolutionary tribunal, and giving earnest answers to the questions
which were put to her. She arranged her toilet that day--but how
different was the toilet of the Widow Capet from that which Queen
Marie Antoinette had once displayed! At that earlier time, she, the
easy, light-hearted daughter of fortune, had shut herself up for
hours with her intimate companion, Madame Berthier, the royal
milliner, planning a new ball-dress, or a new fichu; or her Leonard
would lavish all the resources of his fancy and his art inventing
new styles of head-dress, now decorating the beautiful head of the
queen with towering masses of auburn hair; now braiding it so as to
make it enfold little war-ships, the sails of which were finely
woven from her own locks; now laying out a garden filled with fruits
and flowers, butterflies and birds of paradise.

The "Widow Capet" needed no milliner and no hairdresser in making
her toilet. Her tall, slender figure was enveloped with the black
woollen dress which the republic had given her at her request, that
she might commemorate her deceased husband. Her neck and shoulders,
which had once been the admiration of France, was now concealed by a
white muslin kerchief, which her keeper Bault had given her out of
sympathy. Her hair was uncovered, and fell in long, natural locks on
both sides of her pale, transparent face. Her hair needed no powder
now; the long, sleepless nights and the sorrowful days have whitened
it more than any powder could do; and the widow of Louis Capet,
though but thirty-eight years old, had the gray locks of a woman of
seventy.

In this toilet Marie Antoinette appeared before the revolutionary
tribunal, from the 6th to the 13th of October. Nothing royal was
left about her but her look and her proud bearing.

The people, pressing in dense masses into the spectators' seats, did
not weary of seeing the queen in her humiliation and in her
mourning-robe, and constantly demanded that Marie Antoinette should
rise from the woven rush chair on which she was sitting, that she
should allow herself to be stared at by this throng, brought there
not out of compassion, but curiosity.

Once, as she rose in reply to the demand of the public, she was
heard to whisper, as to herself: "Ah, will this people not soon be
satisfied with my sufferings?" [Footnote: Marie Antoinette's  own
words.--See Goncourt, "Histoire de Marie Antoinette," p. 404.] At
another time, her pale, dry lips murmured, "I am thirsty!" but no
one around her dared to have compassion on this cry of distress;
every one looked perplexed at the others, and no one dared give her
a glass of water. At last one of the gens d'armes ventured to do it,
and Marie Antoinette thanked him with a look that brought tears into
his eyes, and that perhaps caused him to fall on the morrow under
the guillotine as a traitor.

The gens d'armes who guarded the queen, they alone had the courage
to show her compassion. One night, when she was conducted from the
session-room to her prison, Marie Antoinette felt herself so
exhausted, so overcome, that she murmured to herself, as she
staggered on, "I cannot see, I cannot walk any farther." [Footnote:
Goncourt, p.416] The guard who was walking by her side gave her his
arm, and, supported by him, Marie Antoinette reeled up the stone
steps that led to her prison.

At last, in the night intervening between the 14th and 15th of
October, at four o'clock in the morning, her sentence was
pronounced--"Death! execution by the guillotine!"

Marie Antoinette received it with unshakable calmness, while the
tumult of the excited mob was hushed as by magic, and while many
faces even of the exasperated fish-wives grew pale!

Marie Antoinette remained calm; gravely and coldly she rose from her
seat, and with her own hands opened the balustrade in order to leave
the hall to return to her prison!

Finally, on the morning of the 16th of October, her sufferings were
allowed to end, and she was permitted to take refuge in the grave.
It almost made her joyful; she had suffered so much, that to die was
for her really blessedness.

She employed the still hours of the night before her death in
writing to her sister-in-law, Madame Elizabeth, and her letter was
at the same time her testament. But the widow of Louis Capet had no
riches, no treasures to convey. She had nothing more that she could
call her own but her love, her tears, and her farewell greetings.
These she left to all who had loved her. She sent a special word to
her brothers and sisters, and bade them farewell.

"I had friends," she says, "and the thought that I am to be forever
separated from them, and their sorrow for me, is the most painful
thing in this hour; they shall at least know that I thought of them
to the last moment."

After Marie Antoinette had ended this letter, whose writing was here
and there blotted with her tears, she turned her thoughts to the
last remembrances she could leave to her children--a remembrance
which should not be profaned by the hand of the executioner. This
was her long hair, whose silver locks, the only ornament that
remained to her, was at the same time the sad record of her sorrows.

Marie Antoinette, with her own hands, despoiled herself of this
ornament, and cut off her long back-hair, that it might be a last
gift to her children, her relations, and friends. Then, after a
period of meditation, she prepared herself for the last great
ceremony of her career--her death. She felt herself exhausted, worn
out, and recognized her need of some physical support during the
hard way which lay before her. She asked for nourishment, and ate
with some relish the wing of a fowl that was brought to her. After
that she made her toilet--the toilet of death!

At the request of the queen, the wife of the turnkey gave her one of
her own chemises, and Marie Antoinette put it on. Then she arrayed
herself in the same garments which she had worn at her trial, with
this single change--that over the black woollen dress, which she had
often mended with her own hand, she now wore a cloak of white pique,
Around her neck she tied a simple kerchief of white muslin, and as
she would not be allowed to ascend the scaffold with uncovered head,
she put on a plain linen cap, such as was in general use among the
people. Black stockings covered her feet, and over these were shoes
of black woollen stuff.

Her toilet was at last ended; she was done with all earthly things!
Ready to meet her death, she lay down on her bed and slept.

She was still sleeping when it was announced to her that a priest
was there, ready to meet her, if she wanted to confess. But Marie
Antoinette had already unveiled her heart before God: she wanted
none of those priests of reason whom the republic had appointed
after it had banished or guillotined the priests of the Church.

"As I am not mistress of my own will," she had written to her sister
Elizabeth, "I shall have to submit if a priest is brought to me; but
I solemnly declare that I will not speak a word to him, and that I
shall treat him as a person with whom I wish to have no relations."

And Marie Antoinette kept her word; she did not refuse to allow
Geroid to enter; but when he asked her if she wished to receive the
consolations of religion from him, she declined.

Then, in order to warm her feet, which were cold, she walked up and
down her little room. As it struck seven the door opened. It was
Samson, the public executioner, who entered!

A slight thrill passed through the form of the queen.

"You have come very early, sir; could you not delay a little?" When
Samson denied her request, Marie Antoinette put on her calm, cold
manner. She drank, without resistance, a cup of chocolate which was
brought to her; she remained possessed, and wore her wonted air of
dignity as they bound her hands behind her with thick cords.

At eleven o'clock she left her room, passed through the corridor,
and ascended the car, which was waiting for her before the prison
door. No one accompanied her, no one bade her a last farewell, not a
look of pity or compassion was bestowed upon her by her keepers.

Alone, between the rows of gens d'armes that were placed along the
sides of the corridor, the queen advanced, Samson walking behind
her, carrying the end of the rope with which the queen's hands were
bound, and behind him his two assistants and the priest. This is the
retinue of the queen, the daughter of an emperor, on the way to her
execution!

It may be, that at this hour thousands are on their knees, offering
their fervent prayers to God in behalf of Marie Antoinette, whom, in
their hearts, they continued to call "the queen;" it may be that
thousands are pouring out tears of compassion for her who now mounts
the wretched car, and sits down on the board which is bound by ropes
to the sides of the vehicle. But those who are praying and weeping
have withdrawn to the solitude of their own apartments, and only God
can see their tears and hear their cries. The eyes which witnessed
the queen in this last drive were not allowed to shed a tear; the
words which followed her on her last way could express no
compassion.

All Paris knew the hour of the execution, and the people were ready
to witness it. On the streets, at the windows, on the roofs, immense
masses had congregated, and the whole Place de la Revolution (now
the Place de la Concorde) was filled with a dark, surging crowd.

And now the drums of the guards stationed before the Conciergerie
began to beat. The great white horse, (which drew the car in which
the queen sat, side by side with the priest, and facing backward,)
was driven forward by a man who was upon his back. Behind Marie
Antoinette were Samson and his assistants.

The queen was pale, all the blood had left her cheeks and lips, but
her eyes were red! Poor queen, she bore even then the marks of much
weeping! But she could shed no tears then! Not a single one obscured
her eye as her look ranged, gravely and calmly, over the mass, up
the houses to the very roofs, then slowly down, and then away over
the boundless sea of human faces.

Her face was as cold and grave as her eyes, her lips were firmly
compressed; not a quiver betrayed whether she was suffering, and
whether she shrank from the thousand and ten thousand scornful and
curious looks which were fixed upon her. And yet Marie Antoinette
saw it all! She saw a woman raise a child, she saw the child throw
her a kiss with its little hand! At that the queen gave way for an
instant, her lips quivered, her eyes were darkened with a tear! This
solitary sign of human sympathy reanimated the heart of the queen,
and gave her a little fresh life.

But the people took good care that Marie Antoinette should not carry
this one drop of comfort to the end of her journey. The populace
thronged around the car, howled, groaned, sang ribald songs, clapped
their hands, and pointed their fingers in derision at Madame Veto.

The queen, however, remained calm, her gaze wandering coldly over
the vast multitude; only once did her eye flash on the route. It was
as she passed the Palais Royal, where Philippe Egalite, once the
Duke d'Orleans, lived, and read the inscription which he had caused
to be placed over the main entrance of the palace.

At noon the car reached its destination. It came to a halt at the
foot of the scaffold; Marie Antoinette dismounted, and then walked
slowly and with erect head up the steps.

Not once during her dreadful ride had her lips opened, not a
complaint had escaped her, not a farewell had she spoken. The only
adieu which she had to give on earth was a look--one long, sad look-
-directed toward the Tuileries; and as she gazed at the great pile
her cheeks grew paler, and a deep sigh escaped from her lips.

Then she placed her head under the guillotine,--a momentary,
breathless silence followed.

Samson lifted up the pale head that had once belonged to the Queen
of France, and the people greeted the sight with the cry, "Long live
the republic!"

That same evening one of the officials of the republic made up an
account, now preserved in the Imperial Library of Paris, and which
must move even the historian himself to tears. It runs as follows:
"Cost of interments, conducted by Joly, sexton of Madelaine de la
Ville l'Eveque, of persons condemned by the Tribunal of the
Committee of Safety, to wit, No. 1 . . . ." Then follow twenty-four
names and numbers, and then "No. 25. Widow Capet:

For the coffin, . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 francs.
For digging the grave,. . . . . . . . . 25 francs."

Beneath are the words, "Seen and approved by me, President of the
Revolutionary Tribunal, that Joly, sexton of the Madelaine, receive
the sum of two hundred and sixty-four francs from the National
Treasury, Paris, llth Brumaire. Year II. of the French Republic.
Herman, President."

The interment of the Queen of France did not cost the republic more
than thirty-one francs, or six American dollars.



CHAPTER  XXV.

KING LOUIS THE SEVENTEENTH.


The "one and indivisible republic" bad gained the victory over the
lilies of France. In their dark and unknown graves, in the Madelaine
churchyard, King Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette slept their last
sleep. The monarchy had perished on the guillotine, and the
republicans, the preachers of liberty, equality, and fraternity,
repeated triumphantly: "Royalty is forever extinguished, and the
glorious republic is the rising sun which is to bring eternal
deliverance to France."

But, in spite of this jubilant cry, the foreheads of the republican
leaders darkened, and a peculiar solicitude took possession of their
hearts when their eyes fell upon the Temple--that great, dismal
building, that threw its dark shadows over the sunny path of the
republic. Was it regret that darkened the brows of the regicides as
they looked upon this building, which had been the sad prison of the
king and queen? Those hearts of bronze knew no regret; and when the
heroes of the revolution crossed the Place de la Guillotine, on
which the royal victims had perished, their eyes flashed more
proudly, and did not fall even when they passed by the Madelaine
churchyard.

No, it was not the recollection of the deed that saddened the brows
of the potentates of the republic when they looked at the dismal
Temple, but the recollection of him who was not yet dead, but who
was still living as a captive in the gloomy state-prison of the
republic.

This prisoner was indeed only a child of eight years, but the
legitimists--and there were many of them still in the country--
called him the King of France; and priests in loyal Vendee, when
they had finished the daily mass for the murdered king, prayed to
God, with uplifted hands, for grace and deliverance for the young
captive at the Temple, the young king, Louis XVII.

"Le roi est mort--Vive le roi!"

There were, it must be confessed, among the royalists and
legitimists many who thought of the young prisoner with bitterness
and anger, and who accused and blamed him as the calumniator of his
mother! As if the child knew what he was doing when, at the command
of his tormentor Simon, he wrote with trembling hand his name upon
the paper which was laid before him in the open court. As if the
poor innocent boy knew what meaning the dreadful questions had,
which the merciless judges put to him, and which he answered with
no, or with yes, according as his scrutinizing looks were able to
make out the fitting answer on the hard face of Simon, who stood
near him. For the unhappy lad had already learned to read the face
of the turnkey, and knew very well that every wrinkle of the
forehead which was caused by him must be atoned for with dreadful
sufferings, abuses, and blows.

The poor boy was afraid of the heavy fist that came down like an
iron club upon his back and even on his face, when he said any thing
or did any thing that displeased Simon or his wife; and therefore he
sought to escape this cruel treatment, confirming with his yes and
no what Simon told the judges, and what the child in his innocence
did not understand! And therefore he subscribed the paper without
reluctance in which he unconsciously gave evidence that disgraced
his mother.

With this testimony they ventured to accuse Marie Antoinette of
infamy, but the queen gave it no other answer than scornful silence
and a proud and dignified look, before which the judges cast down
their eyes in shame. Then after a pause they repeated their
question, and demanded an answer.

Marie Antoinette turned her proud and yet gentle glance to the women
who had taken possession in dense masses of the spectators' gallery,
and who breathlessly awaited the answer of the queen.

"I appeal to all mothers present," she said, with her sad, sonorous
voice--" I ask whether they hold such a crime to be possible."

No one gave audible reply, but a murmur passed through the ranks of
the spectators, and the sharp ear of the judges understood very well
the meaning of this sound, this language of sympathy, and it seemed
to them wiser to let the accusation fall rather than rouse up the
compassion of the mothers still more in behalf of the queen. Her
condemnation was an event fixed upon, the "guilty" had been spoken
in the hearts of the judges long before it came to their lips, and
brought the queen to the guillotine.

Marie Antoinette referred to this dreadful charge in the letter
which she wrote to her sister-in-law Elizabeth in the night before
her execution, a letter which was at the same time her testament and
her farewell to life.

"May my son," she wrote, "never forget the last words of his father!
I repeat them to him here expressly: 'May he never seek to avenge
our death!' And now I have to speak of a matter which surely grieves
my heart, I know what trouble this child must have occasioned you.
Forgive him, my dear sister; think how young he is, and how easy it
is to induce a child to say what people want to have him say, and
what he does not understand. The day will come, I hope, when he
shall better comprehend the high value of your goodness and
tenderness to both of my children." [Footnote: Beauchesne, "Louis
XVII., sa Vie, son Agonie," etc., vol. i. ., p. 150, facsimile of
Marie Antoinette's letter.]*

At the same hour when Marie Antoinette was writing this, there was a
dispute between Simon and his wife, who had been ordered by the
Convention to watch that night, in order that the enraged
legitimists might not make an effort to abduct the son of the queen.
They were contending whether the execution would really occur the
next day. Simon, in a jubilant tone, declared his conviction that it
would, while his wife doubted. "She is still handsome," she said,
gloomily, "she knows how to talk well, and she will be able to move
her judges, for her judges are men."

"But Justice is a woman, and she is unshakable," cried Simon
emphatically, and as his wife continued to contradict, Simon
proposed a bet. The wager was, that if the Queen of France should be
guillotined the next noon, the one who lost should furnish brandy
and cakes the next evening for a jollification.

The next morning Simon repaired with the little prisoner to the
platform of the tower, from which there was a free lookout over the
streets, and where they could plainly see what was going on below.

His wife meanwhile had left the Temple at early dawn with her
dreadful knitting-work. "I must be on the spot early if I want a
good place to-day," she said, "and it would be a real misfortune for
me, if I should not see the miserable head of the she-wolf drop, and
not make a double stitch in my stocking."

"But you forget, Jeanne Marie," said Simon, with a grin, "you forget
that you lose your bet if you make the mark in your stocking."

"I would rather lose all the bets that were ever made than not make
the mark in my stocking," cried the knitter, grimly. "I would rather
lose my wedding-dress and my marriage-ring than win this bet. Go up
to the platform with the young wolf, and wait for me there. As soon
as I have made the mark in my stocking, I will run home and show it
to you."

"It is too bad that I cannot go with you," said Simon, sighing. "I
wish I had never undertaken the business of bringing up the little
Capet. It is hateful work, for I can never leave the Temple, and I
am just as much a prisoner as he is."

"The republic has done you a great honor," said the knitter,
solemnly. "She has confidence that you will make out of the son of
the she-wolf, out of the worthless scion of tyrants, a son of the
republic, a useful citizen."

"Good talk," growled Simon, "and you have only the honor of the
affair, and the satisfaction besides of plaguing the son of our
tyrants a bit."

"Of taking revenge," struck in the knitter--"revenge for the misery
which my family has suffered from the tyrants."

"But I," continued Simon, "I have certainly the honor of the thing,
but I have also the burden. In the first place, it is very hard to
make a strong and useful citizen, of the republic out of this
whining, tender, and sensitive urchin. And then again it is very
unpleasant and disagreeable to have to live like a prisoner always."

"Listen, Simon, hear what I promise you," said Jeanne Marie, laying
her hard brown hand upon Simon's shoulder. "If the Austrian atones
to-day for her crimes, and the executioner shows her head to the
avenged people, I will give up my place at the guillotine as a
knitter, will remain with you here in the Temple, will take my share
in the bringing up of the little Capet, and you yourself shall make
the proposition to the supervisor, that your wife like yourself
shall not be allowed to leave the Temple."

"That is something I like to hear," cried Simon, delighted; "there
will then be at least two of us to bear the tedium of imprisonment.
So go, Jenne Marie, take your place for the last time at the
guillotine, for I tell you, you will lose your bet; you will have to
furnish brandy and cakes, and stay with me here at the Temple to
bring up the little Capet. So go, I will go up to the platform with
the boy, and wait there for your return."

He called the little Louis Charles, who was sitting on the tottering
rush-chair in his room, and anxiously waiting to see whether "his
master" was going to take him that day out of the dismal, dark
prison.

"Come, little Capet," cried Simon, pushing the door open with his
foot--" come, we will go up on the platform. You can take your ball
along and play, and I advise you to be right merry to-day, for it is
a holiday for the republic, and I am going to teach you to be a good
republican. So if you want to keep your back free from my straps, be
jolly to-day, and play with your ball"

"Oh!" cried the child, springing forward merrily with his ball--"
oh! only be good, master, I will certainly be merry, for I like to
play with my ball, and I am ever so fond of holidays. What kind of
one is it to-day?"

"No matter about your knowing that, you little toad!" growled Simon,
who in spite of himself had compassion on the pale face of the child
that looked up to him so innocently and inquiringly. "Up the
staircase quick, and play and laugh."

Louis obeyed with a smile, sprang up the high steps of the winding
stairway, jumped about on the platform, throwing his ball up in the
air, and shouting aloud when he caught it again with his little thin
hands.

Meanwhile Simon stood leaning on the iron railing that surrounded
the platform, looking with his searching eyes down into the street
which far below ran between the dark houses like a narrow ribbon.

The wind now brought the sustained notes of the drums to him; then
he saw the street below suddenly filled with a dark mass, as if the
ribbon were turning into crape that was filling all Paris.

"The people are in motion by thousands," cried Simon, delightedly,
"and all rushing to the Place de la Revolution. I shall win my bet."

And again he listened to the sound that came up to him, now
resembling the beat of drums, and now a loud cry of exultation.

"Now I think Samson must be striking the head off the wolf!" growled
Simon to himself, "and the people are shouting with pleasure, and
Jeanne Marie is making a mark in her stocking, and I, poor fellow,
cannot be there to see the fine show! And this miserable brat is to
blame for it," he cried aloud, turning suddenly round to the child
who was playing behind him with his ball, and giving him a savage
blow with his fist.

"You are the cause, stupid, that I cannot be there today!"

"Master," said the child, beseechingly, lifting his great blue eyes,
in which the tears were standing, up to his tormentor--" master, I
beg your forgiveness if I have troubled you."

"Yes, you have troubled me," growled Simon, "and you shall get your
thanks for it in a way you will not like. Quick, away with your
tears, go on with your play if you do not want your back to make
acquaintance with my straps. Merry, I say, little Capet, merry!"

The boy hastily dried his tears, laughed aloud as a proof of his
merriment, and began to jump about again and to play with his ball.

Simon listened again, and looked down longingly into the streets,
which were now black with the surging masses of men. Steps were now
heard upon the stairway, and Jeanne Marie presently appeared on the
platform. With a grave, solemn air she walked up to her husband, and
gave him her stocking, on which three great drops of blood were
visible.

"That is her blood," she said, calmly. "Thank God, I have lost the
bet!"

"What sort of a bet was it?" asked the boy, with a smile, and giving
his ball a merry toss.

"The bet is nothing to you," answered Jeanne Marie, "but if you are
good you will get something by and by, and have a share in the
payment of the bet!"

That evening there was a little feast prepared in the gloomy rooms
of the Simons. The wife paid the wager, for the Queen of France had
really been executed, and she had lost. She provided two bottles of
brandy and a plum cake, and the son of the murdered queen had a
share in the entertainment. He ate a piece of the plum cake, and,
under the fear of being beaten if he refused, he drank some of the
brandy that was so offensive to him.

From this time the unhappy boy remained under the hands of the
cobbler and his cruel wife. In vain his aunt and his sister implored
their keepers to be allowed to see and to talk with the prince. They
were put off with abusive words, and only now and then could they
see him a moment through a crack in the door, as he passed by with
Simon, on his way to the winding staircase. At times there came up
through the floor of their room--for Simon, who was no longer
porter, had the rooms directly beneath these occupied by the
princesses--the crying and moaning of the little prince, filling
their hearts with pain and bitterness, for they knew that the
horrible keeper of the dauphin was giving his pitiable ward a
lesson, i.e., he was beating and maltreating him. "Why? For what
reason? One day, perhaps, because he refused to drink brandy, the
next because he looked sad, or because he asked to be taken to his
mother or the princesses, or because he refused to sing the ribald
songs which Simon tried to teach him about Madame Veto or the
Austrian she-wolf.

In this one thing the boy remained immovable; neither threats,
abuse, nor blows would force him to sing scurrilous songs about his
mother. Out of fear he did every thing else that his tormentor bade
him. He sung the Marseillaise, and the Caira, he danced the
Carmagnole, uttered his loud hurrahs as Simon drank a glass of
brandy to the weal of the one and indivisible republic; but when he
was ordered to sing mocking songs about Madame Veto, he kept a
stubborn silence, and nothing was able to overcome what Simon called
the "obstinacy of the little viper."

Nothing, neither blows nor kicks, neither threats nor promises! The
child no longer ventured to ask after its mother, or to beg to be
taken to his aunt and sister, but once in a while when he heard a
noise in the room above, he would fix his eyes upon the ceiling for
a long time, and with an expression of longing, and when he dropped
them, again the clear tears ran over his cheeks like transparent
pearls.

He did not speak about his mother, but he thought of her, and once
in the night he seemed to be dreaming of her, for he raised himself
up in bed, kneeled down upon the miserable, dirty mattress, folded
his hands and began to repeat in a loud voice the prayer which his
mother had taught him.

The noise awakened Simon, who roused his wife, to let her listen to
the "superstitious little monkey," whom he would cure forever of his
folly.

He sprang out of bed, took a pitcher of cold water, that was
standing on the table, and poured it upon the head of the kneeling
boy. Louis Charles awoke with a shriek, and crouched down in alarm.
But the whole bed was wet, only the pillow had been spared. The boy
rose carefully, took the pillow, carried it into a corner of the
room, and sat down upon it. But his teeth chattered with the cold in
spite of himself. This awakened Simon a second time, just as he was
dropping asleep. With a wild curse he jumped out of bed and dressed
himself.

"That is right!" cried Jeanne Marie, "bring the brat to his senses.
Make little Capet know that he is to behave respectfully."

And Simon did make the poor boy understand it, sitting on the
pillow, shivering in his wet shirt. He seized him by his shoulders,
shook him angrily from one side to another, and shouted: "I will
teach you to say your Pater Noster, and get up in the night like a
Trappist!"

The boy remaining silent, Simon's rage, which knew no bounds when he
thought he was defied or met with stubbornness, entirely took
possession of him. He caught up his boot, whose sole was secured
with large iron nails, and was on the point of hurling it at the
head of the unoffending boy, when the latter seized his arm with
convulsive energy.

"What have I done to you, master, that you should kill me?" cried
the little Louis.

"Kill you, you wolf-brat!" roared Simon. "As if I wanted to, or ever
had wanted to! Oh, the miserable viper! So you do not know that if I
only took fairly hold of your neck, you never would scream again!"

And with his powerful arm he seized the boy and hurled him upon the
water-soaked bed. Louis lay down without a word, without a
complaint, and remained there shivering and with chattering teeth
until morning. [Footnote: Beauchesne, "Louis XVII.," vol. ii., p.
185.]

From this period there was a change in the boy. Until this time his
moist eyes had fixed themselves with a supplicating look upon his
tormentors when they threatened him, but after this they were cast
down. Until now he had always sought to fulfil his master's commands
with great alacrity; afterward he was indifferent, and made no
effort to do so, for he had learned that it was all to no purpose,
and that he must accept a fate of slavery and affliction. The face
of the child, once so rosy and smiling, now took on a sad,
melancholy expression, his cheeks were pale and sunken. The
attractive features of his face were disfigured, his limbs grew to a
length disproportionate to his age; his back bent into a bow, as if
he felt the burden of the humiliations which were thrown upon him.
When the child had learned that every thing that he said was
twisted, turned into ridicule, and made the cause of chastisement,
he was entirely silent, and only with the greatest pains could a
word be drawn from him.

This silence exasperated Simon, and made him furiously command the
boy to sing, laugh, and be merry. At other times he would order
Louis to be silent and motionless for hours, and to have nothing to
do with the bird-cage, which was on the table, and which was the
only thing left that the little fellow could enjoy.

This cage held a number of birds, and a piece of mechanism, an
automaton in the form of a bird, which ate like a living creature,
drank, hopped from one bar to another, opened his bill, and sang the
air which was so popular before the revolution, "Oh, Richard! oh, my
king!"

This article had been found among the royal apparel, and a
compassion ate official guard had told Simon about it, and induced
him to apply to the authorities in charge of the Temple and ask for
it for the little Capet.

Simon, who, as well as his wife, could no more leave the building
than their prisoner could, took this solitary, confined life very
seriously, and longed for some way to mitigate the tedium. He
therefore availed himself gladly of the official's proposition, and
asked for the automaton, which was granted by the authorities. The
boy was delighted with the toy at first, and a pleased smile flitted
over his face. But he soon became tired of playing with the thing
and paid no attention to it.

"Does not your bird please you any longer?" asked Miller, the
official, as he came one day to inspect the Temple. "Do you have no
more sport with your canary?"

The boy shook his head, and as Simon was in the next room and so
could not strike him, he ventured to speak.

"It is no bird," he answered softly and quickly. "But I should like
to have a bird."

The good inspector nodded to the boy, and then went out to have a
long talk with Simon, and so to avert any suspicion of being too
familiar with, or too fond of, the prince. But after leaving the
Temple he went to his friends and acquaintances, and told them, with
tears in his eyes, about the little prisoner in the Temple, the
"dauphin," as the royalists used always to call him beneath their
breath, and how he wanted a living bird. Every one was glad to have
an opportunity of gratifying the wish of the dauphin, and on the
next day Miller brought the prince a cage, in which were fourteen
real canaries.

"Ah! those are real birds," cried the child, as he took them one
after the other and kissed them. The playing of the birds, which all
lived in one great cage, together with the automaton, was now the
only pleasure of the boy. He began to tame them, and among the
little feathered flock he found one to which he was especially
drawn, because he was more quiet than the others, allowed itself to
be easily caught, sat still on the finger of the prince, and,
turning his little black eyes to the boy, warbled a little, sweet
melody. At such moments the countenance of the boy beamed as it had
done in the days of his happiness; his cheeks flushed with color,
and out of his large blue eyes, which rested with inexpressible
tenderness upon the bird, there issued the rays of intelligence and
sensibility. He had now something to love, something to which all
his gentle sympathies could flow out, which hitherto had all been
suppressed beneath the harsh treatment of his keepers.

He was no longer alone, he was no longer joyless! His little friend
was there in the great cage among the twittering companions who were
indifferent to the little prince. In order to know him at first
sight, and always to be able to recognize him, Louis took the rose-
colored ribbon from the neck of the automaton, and tied it around
the neck of his darling. The bird sang merrily at this, and seemed
to be as well pleased with the decoration as if it had been an order
which King Louis of France was hanging around the neck of a favorite
courtier.

It was a fortunate thing for the boy that Simon himself was fond of
birds, else the objections of his wife would soon have robbed the
little fellow of his last remaining comfort. It was for the keeper a
little source of amusement, an interruption in the dreadful monotony
of his life. The birds were allowed to stay therefore, and their
singing and twittering animated a little the dark, silent rooms, and
reminded him of the spring, the fresh air, the green trees!

But very soon this source of comfort and cheer was to be banished
from the dismal place! On the 19th of December, 1793, the inspectors
of the Temple made their rounds. Just at the moment when they
entered the room of the little Louis Capet, the automaton began to
sing with his loud, penetrating voice, "Oh! Richard, oh my king!"

The officials came to a halt upon the threshold, as though petrified
at this unheard-of license, and fixed their cold, angry looks now
upon the bird-, now upon the boy, who was sitting upon his rush-
chair before the cage, looking at the birds with beaming eyes.

A second time the automaton began the unfortunate air, and the
exasperated inspectors strode up to the cage. "What does this mean?"
asked one of them. "How does any one dare to keep up, in the
glorious republic, such worthless reminders of the cursed monarchy."

"Only see," cried another--"see the order that one of the birds is
wearing. It is plain that the old passion of royalty still lurks
here, for even here ribbons are given away as signs of distinction.
The republic forbids such things, and we will not suffer such
infamy."

The inspector put his hand into the cage, seized the little canary-
bird with the red ribbon, and squeezed him so closely that the poor
little creature gave one faint chirp and died. The man drew him out,
and hurled him against the wall of the room.

The little boy said not a word, he uttered not a complaint; he gazed
with widely-opened eyes at his dead favorite, and two great tears
slowly trickled down his pale cheeks.

The next day the inspectors gave a report of this occurrence,
couched in terms of worthy indignation, and all hearts were stirred
with righteous anger at the story of the automaton that sang the
royal aria, and of the living bird that wore the badge of an order
about its neck. They were convinced that the secret royalists were
connected with this thing, and it was registered in the communal
acts as "the conspiracy of the canary-bird."

The little winged conspirators, the automaton as well as the living
birds, were of course instantly removed from the Temple; and Simon
had the double vexation of receiving a reprimand from the
authorities, and then the losing his little merry companions from
the prison. It was all the fault of this little, good-for-nothing
boy, who knew how to make long faces, and allowed himself to waken
and disturb his master in the night by his crying and sobbing.

"The worthless viper has spoiled my sleep for me," growled Simon the
next morning. "My head is as heavy as a bomb, and I shall have to
take a foot-bath, to draw the blood away from my ears."

Jeanne Marie silently carried her husband the leaden foot-bath, with
the steaming water, and then drew back into the corner, in whose
dismal shadow she often sat for hours, gazing idly at her "calendar
of the revolution," the long stocking, on which traces of the blood
of the queen were still visible.

Meanwhile, Simon took his foot-bath, and while he did so, his
wicked, malicious eyes now fell upon his wife, who had once been so
cheerful and resolute, and who now had grown so sad and broken, now
upon the boy, who, since yesterday, when his canaries had been taken
from him, had spoken not a word, or made a sound, and who sat
motionless upon the rush-chair, folding his hands in his lap, and
gazing at the place where his dead bird lay yesterday.

"This life would make one crazy," growled Simon, with the tone of a
hyena. "Capet," he cried aloud, "take the towel and warm it at the
chimney-fire, so as to wipe my feet."

Louis rose slowly from his chair, took the towel and crept to the
chimney-fire to spread it out and warm it; but the glow of the coals
burned his little thin hands so badly, that he let the cloth fall
into the fire, and before the trembling, frightened child had time
to draw it back, the towel had kindled and was burning brightly.

Simon uttered a howl of rage, and, as with his feet in the water he
was not able to reach the boy, he heaped curses and abuse upon him,
and not alone on him, but on his father and mother, till his voice
was hoarse, and he was exhausted with this outpouring of his wrath.

Deceived by the quiet which followed, little Louis took another
towel, warmed it carefully at the chimney, and then cautiously
approached his master, to wipe his feet. Simon extended them to the
boy and let himself he served as if by a little slave; but just as
soon as his feet were dry he kicked the boy's head with such force
that without a cry Louis fell down, striking his head violently on
the floor. Perhaps it was this pitiful spectacle that exasperated
the cobbler still more. He beat the unconscious boy, roused him with
kicks and with the noise of his curses, raised his clinched fists
and swore that he would now dash the viper in pieces, when he
suddenly felt his hands grasped as in iron clamps, and to his
boundless astonishment saw before him the pale, grim face of his
wife, who had come out from her corner and fixed her black,
glistening eyes upon him, while she held his hands firmly.

"What is it, Jeanne Marie?" said Simon, surprised! "why are you
holding me so?"

"Because I do not want you to beat him to death," she said, with a
hoarse, rough voice.

He broke out into loud laughter. "I really believe that the knitter
of the guillotine has pity on the son of the she-wolf."

A convulsive quiver passed through her whole frame. A singular,
gurgling sound came from her chest; she put both her hands to her
neck and tore the little kerchief off, as if it were tied tight
enough to strangle her.

"No," she said, in a suppressed tone, "no compassion on the wolf's
brood! But if you beat him to death, they will have to bring you to
the guillotine, that it may not appear as if they had ordered you to
kill the little Capet."

"True," said Simon, "you are right, and I thank you, Jeanne Marie,
that you may remind me of it. It shows that you love me still,
although you are always so quiet. Yes, yes, I will be more careful;
I will take care to beat the little serpent only so much that it may
not bite, but cannot die."

Jeanne Marie made no reply, but sat down in the corner again, and
took up her stocking, without touching the needles, however, and
going on with her work.

"Get up, you cursed snake!" growled Simon, "get up and go out of my
sight, and do not stir me up again."

The child rose slowly from the floor, crept to the wash-basin and
with his trembling, bruised hands wiped away the blood that was
flowing out of his nose and mouth. A loud, gurgling sound came from
the corner where Jeanne Marie sat. It seemed half like a cry, half
like a sob. When Simon looked around, his wife lay pale and
motionless on the floor; she had sunk from her chair in a swoon.

Simon grasped her in his strong arms and carried her to the bed,
laid her gently and carefully down, and busied himself about her,
showing a manifest anxiety.

"She must not die," he murmured, rubbing her temples with salt
water; "she must not leave me alone in this horrible prison and with
this dreadful child.--Jeanne Marie, wake up, come to yourself!" She
opened her eyes, and gazed at her husband with wild, searching
looks.

"What is the matter, Jeanne Marie?" he asked. "Have you pain? Are
you sick?"

"Yes," she said, "I am sick, I am in pain."

"I will go to bring you a physician, you shall not die! No, no, you
shall not die, you shall have a physician. The Hotel Dieu is very
near, they will certainly allow me to go as far as there, and bring
a doctor for my dear Jeanne."

He was on the point of hastening away, but Jeanne Marie held him
fast. "Remain here," she murmured, "do not let me be alone with him-
-I am afraid of him!"

"Of whom?" asked Simon, astonished; and as he followed the looks of
his wife, they rested on the boy, who was still busy in checking the
blood that was flowing freely from his swollen nose.

"Of him!" asked Simon, in amazement.

Jeanne Marie nodded. "Yes," she whispered, "I am afraid of him, and
I do not want to remain alone with him, for he would kill me." Simon
burst into a loud, hoarse laugh. "Now I see that you are really
sick, and the doctor shall come at once. But they certainly will not
let me leave this place, for this despicable brat has made us both
prisoners, the miserable, good-for-nothing thing!"

"Send him away; let him go into his own room," whispered Jeanne
Marie. "I cannot bear to see him; he poisons my blood. Send him
away, for I shall be crazy if I have to look at him longer."

"Away with you, you viper!" roared Simon; and the boy, who knew that
he was meant--that the term viper was applied only to him--hastily
dried his tears, and slipped through the open door into his little
dark apartment.

"Now I will run and call the porter," said Simon, hurriedly; "he
shall send some one to the Hotel Dieu, and bring a physician for my
poor, dear, sick Jeanne Marie."

He hastened out, and turned back, after a few minutes, with the
report that the porter himself had gone to bring a doctor, and that
help would come at once.

"Nonsense!" cried Jeanne Marie; "no doctor can help me, and there is
nothing at all that I want. Only give me something to drink, Simon,
for my throat burns like fire, and then call little Capet in, for in
his dark room his eyes glisten like stars, and I cannot bear them."

Simon shook his head sadly; and, while holding a glass of cold water
to her lips, he said to himself: "Jeanne Marie is really sick! She
has a fever! But we must do what she orders, else it will come to
delirium, and she might become insane."

And with a loud voice he called, "Capet, Capet! come here, come
here! you viper, you wolf's cub, come here!"

The boy obeyed the command, slowly crept into the room, and sat down
in the rush-chair in the corner. "He shall not look at me," shrieked
Jeanne Marie; "he shall not look into my heart with his dreadful
blue eyes, it hurts me--oh! so much, so much!"

"Turn around, you viper!" said Simon. "Look round this way again, or
I'll tear your eyes out of your head! I--"

The door leading to the corridor now opened, and an old man, leaning
on a cane, entered, wearing on his head a powdered peruke, his bent
form covered with a black satin coat, beneath which a satin vest was
seen; on his feet, silk stockings and buckled shoes; in his lace-
encircled hand, a cane with a gold head.

"Well," cried Simon, with a laugh, "what sort of an old scarecrow is
that? And what does it want here?"

"The scarecrow wants nothing of you," said the old man, in a kindly
way, "but you want something of it, citizen. You have sent for me."

"Ah! so you are the doctor from the Hotel Dieu."

"Yes, my friend, I am Citizen Naudin."

"Naudin, the chief physician at the Hotel Dieu?" cried Simon. "And
you come yourself to see my sick wife?"

"Does that surprise you, Citizen Simon?"

"Yes, indeed, it surprises me. For I have been told so often that
Citizen Naudin, the greatest and most skilful physician in all
Paris, never leaves the Hotel Dieu; that the aristocrats and ci-
devants have begged him in vain to attend them, and that even the
Austrian woman, in the days when she was queen, sent to no purpose
to the celebrated Naudin, and begged him to come to Versailles.

We heard that the answer was: 'I am the physician of the poor and
the sick in the Hotel Dieu, and whoever is poor and sick may come to
me in the house which bears the name of God. But whoever is too rich
and too well for that, must seek another doctor, for my duties with
the sick do not allow me to leave the H6tel Dieu.' And after that
answer reached the palace--so the great Doctor Marat told me--the
queen had her horses harnessed, and drove to Paris, to consult
Doctor Naudin at the Hotel Dieu, and to receive his advice. Is the
story really true, and are you Doctor Naudin?"

"The story is strictly true, and, my friend, I am Doctor Naudin."

"And you now leave the Hotel Dieu to come and visit my sick wife?"
asked Simon, with a pleasant look and a flattered manner.

"Does your wife not belong to my poor and sick?" asked the doctor.
"Is she not a woman of the people, this dear French people, to whom
I have devoted my services and my life? For a queen Doctor Naudin
might not leave his hospital, but for a woman of the people he does
it. And now, citizen, let me see your sick wife, for I did not come
here to talk."

Without waiting for Simon's answer, the physician walked up to the
bed, sat down on the chair in front of it, and began at once to
investigate the condition of the woman, who reached him her feverish
hand, and, with an almost inaudible voice, answered his professional
questions.

The cobbler stood at the foot of the bed, and directed his little
cunning eyes to the physician in amazement and admiration. Behind
him, in the corner, sat the son of Marie Antoinette, humiliated,
still, and motionless. Yet, in spite of the injunction of Jeanne
Marie, he had turned around, and was looking toward the bed; but not
to the knitter of the guillotine were his looks directed, but to
this venerable old gentleman with his powdered peruke, his satin
coat, silk stockings, breeches, shoe-buckles, gold embroidered
waistcoat and lace ruffles. This costume reminded him of the past;
the halls of Versailles came back to him, and he saw before him the
shadowy figures of the cavaliers of that time, all clothed like the
dear old gentleman who was sitting before the bed there.

"Why do you look at me in such a wondering way, Citizen Simon?"
asked Naudin, who was now through with his examination.

"I really wonder--I really do wonder immensely," said Simon, "and
that is saying much, for, in these times, when there are so many
changes, a man can hardly wonder at any thing. Still I do wonder,
Citizen Naudin, that you can venture to go around in this costume.
That is the style of clothing worn by traitorous ci-devants and
aristocrats. Anybody else who dare put it on would have only one
more walk to take, that to the guillotine, and yet you venture to
come here!"

"Venture?" repeated Naudin, with a shrug. "I venture nothing,
citizen. I wear my clothes in conformity with a habit of years'
standing: they fitted well under the monarchy, they fit just as well
under the republic, and I am not going to be such a fool as to put
by my soft and comfortable silk clothes, and put on your hateful,
uncomfortable thick ones, and strut about in them. I am altogether
too old to take up the new fashions, and altogether too well
satisfied with my own suit to learn how to wear your cloth coats
with swallow-tails, and your leather hose and top-boots. Defend me
from crowding my old limbs into such stuffs!"

"Citizen doctor," cried Simon, with a laugh, "you are a jolly, good
old fellow, and I like you well. I do not blame you for preferring
your comfortable silk clothes to the new style that our
revolutionary heroes have brought into mode, that nothing might
remind us of the cursed, God-forsaken monarchy. I wonder merely that
they allow it, and do not make you a head shorter!"

"But how would they go on with matters in the Hotel Dieu? Without a
head nothing could be done with the sick and the suffering, for
without a head there is no thinking. Now, as I am the head of the
hospital, and as they have no head to take my place, and as, in
spite of my old-fashioned clothes, my sick are cured, and have
confidence in me, the great revolutionary heroes wink at me, and let
me do as I please, for they know that under the silk dress of an
aristocrat beats the heart of a true democrat. But that is not the
question before us now, citizen. We want to talk about the health of
your wife here. She is sick, she has a fever, and it will be worse
yet with her, unless we take prompt measures and provide a cooling
drink for her."

"Do it, citizen doctor," said Simon; "make my Jeanne Marie well and
bright again, or I shall go crazy here in this accursed house.
Jeanne Marie is sick just with this, that she is not accustomed to
be idle, and to sit still and fold her hands in her lap, and run
around like a wild beast in its cage. But here in the Temple it is
no better than in a cage; and I tell you, citizen, it is enough to
make one crazy here, and it has made Jeanne sick to have no fresh
air, no exercise and work."

"But why has she no exercise and no work? Why does she not go out
into the street and take the air?"

"Because she cannot," cried Simon, passionately. "Because the cursed
little viper there embitters our whole life and makes us prisoners
to this miserable, wretched prisoner, Look at him there, the
infernal little wolf! he is the one to blame that I cannot go into
the street, cannot visit the clubs, the Convention, or any meeting,
but must lire here like a Trappist, or like an imprisoned criminal.
He is the one to blame that my wife can no longer take her place at
the guillotine, and knit and go on with her work there."

"Yes," cried Jeanne Marie, with a groan, raising her head painfully
from the pillow, "he is to blame for it all, the shameless rascal.
He has made me melancholy and sad; he has worried, and vexed, and
changed me! Oh! oh! he is looking at me again, and his eyes burn
into my heart!"

"Miserable viper," cried Simon, dashing toward the boy with clinched
fists, "how dare you turn your hateful eyes toward her, after her
expressly forbidding it? Wait, I will teach you to disobey, and give
you a lesson that you will not forget."

His heavy hand fell on the back of the boy, and was raised again for
a second stroke, when it was held as in an iron vice.

"You good-for-nothing, what are you doing?" cried a thundering
voice, and two blazing eyes flashed on him from the reddened face of
Doctor Naudin.

Simon's eyes fell before the angry look of the physician, then he
broke out into a loud laugh.

"Citizen doctor, I say, what a jolly fellow you are," he said,
merrily. "You did that just as if you were in a theatre, and you
called out to me just as they call out to the murderers in a
tragedy. What do you make such a halloo about when I chastise the
wolf's cub a bit, as he has richly deserved?"

"It is true," said Naudin, "I was a little hasty. But that comes
from the fact, citizen, that I not only held you to be a good
republican, but a good man as well, and therefore it pained me to
see you do a thing which becomes neither a republican nor a good
man."

"Why, what have I done that is not proper?" asked Simon, in
amazement.

"Look at him, the poor, beaten, swollen, stupefied boy," said
Naudin, solemnly, pointing to Louis, who sat on his chair, weeping
and trembling in all his limbs--"look at him, citizen, and then do
not ask me again what you have done that is not proper."

"Well, but he deserves nothing better," cried Simon, with a sneer.
"He is the son of the she-wolf, Madame Veto."

"He is a human being," said Doctor Naudin, solemnly, "and he is,
besides, a helpless boy, whom the one, indivisible, and righteous
republic deprived of his father and mother, and put under your care
to be educated as if he were a son of your own. I ask you, citizen,
would you have struck a son of your own as you just struck this
boy?"

A loud, convulsive sob came from the bed on which Jeanne Marie lay,
and entirely confused and disturbed Simon.

"No," he said, softly, "perhaps I should not have done it. But,"
continued he eagerly, and with a grim look, "a child of my own would
not have tried and exasperated me as this youngster does. From
morning till evening he vexes me, for he does nothing that I want
him to. If I order him to sing with me, he is still and stupid, and
when he ought to be still he makes a noise. Would you believe me,
citizen, this son of the she-wolf leaves me no quiet for sleep.
Lately, in the night, he kneeled down in the bed and began to pray
with a loud voice, so as to wake both my wife and myself."

"From that night on I have been sick and miserable," moaned Jeanne
Marie; "from that night I have not been able to sleep."

"You hear, citizen doctor, my wife was so terrified with that, that
it made her sick, and now you shall have a proof of the disobedience
of the little viper. Capet, come here."

The boy rose slowly from his chair, and stole along with drooping
head to his master.

"Capet, we will sing," said Simon. "You shall show the doctor that
you are a good republican, and that you have entirely forgotten that
you are the son of the Austrian, the rascally Madame Veto. Come, we
will sing the song about Madame Veto. Quick, strike in, or I will
beat you into pulp. The song about Madame Veto, do you hear? Sing!"

A short pause ensued. Then the boy raised his swollen face and fixed
his great blue eyes with a defiant, flaming expression upon the face
of the cobbler.

"Citizen," he said, with clear, decided tones, "I shall not sing the
song about Madame Veto, for I have not forgotten my dear mamma, and
I can sing nothing bad about her, for I love my dear mamma so much,
so much, and--"

The voice of the boy was drowned in his tears; he let his head fall
upon his breast, ready to receive the threatened chastisement. But,
before the fist of Simon, already raised, could fall upon the poor
head of the little sufferer, a thrilling cry of pain resounded from
the bed.

"Simon, come to me," gasped Jeanne Marie. "Help me draw the dagger
out of my breast, I am dying--oh, I am dying!"

"What kind of a dagger?" cried Simon, rushing to the bed and taking
the convulsed form of his wife in his arms.

"Hush!" whispered the doctor, who also had gone to the bed of the
sick woman--"hush! she is speaking in her fever, and the dagger of
which she talks she feels in her heart and conscience. You must
spare her, citizen, if you do not want her to die. Every thing must
be quiet around her, and you must be very careful not to agitate her
nerves, lest she have an acute typhoid fever. I will send her some
cooling medicine at once, and to-morrow morning I will come early to
see how it fares with her. But, above every thing else, Simon,
remember to have quiet, that your good wife may get well again."

"Who would have told me two weeks ago that Jeanne Marie had nerves?"
growled Simon. "The first knitter of the guillotine, and now all at
once nerves and tears, but I must be careful of her. For it would be
too bad if she should die and leave me all alone with this tedious
youngster. I could not hold out. I should run away. Go, Capet, get
into your room, and do not get in my way again to-day, else I will
strangle you before you can make a sound. Come, scud, clear, and do
not let me see you again, if your life is worth any thing to you."

The child stole into his room again, sat down upon the floor, folded
his little hands in one another, fixed his great blue eyes on the
ceiling above, and held his breath to listen to every little sound,
every footfall that came from the room above.

All at once he heard plainly the steps of some one walking up and
down, and a pleased smile flitted across the face of the boy.

"That is certainly my dear mamma," he whispered to himself. "Yes,
yes, it is my mamma queen, and she is taking her walk in the
sitting-room, just as she has done since she has not been allowed to
go out upon the platform. Oh, mamma, my dear mamma, I love you so
much!"

And the child threw a kiss up to the ceiling, not knowing that she
to whom he sent his greeting had long been resting in the silent
grave, and that with the very hand which was throwing kisses to her,
he had himself signed the paper which heaped upon his mother the
most frightful calumnies.

Even Simon had not had the cruel courage to tell the boy of the
death of his mother, and of the unconscious wrong that he, poor
child, had done to her memory, and in his silent chamber his longing
thoughts of her were his only consolation.

And so he sat there that day looking up to the ceiling, greeting his
dear mamma with his thoughts, and seeing her in spirit greeting him
again, nodding affectionately to him and drawing her dear little
Louis Charles to her arms.

These were the sweet, transporting fancies which made the child
close his eyes so as not to lose them. Immovably he sat there, until
gradually thoughts and dreams flowed into each other, and not only
his will, but sleep as well, kept his eyes closed. But the dreams
remained, and were sweet and refreshing, and displayed to the
sleeping child, so harshly treated in his waking hours, only scenes
of love and tenderness. And it was not his mother alone who embraced
him in his happy slumbers; no, there were his aunt and his sister as
well, and at last even--oh how strange dreams are!--at last he even
saw Simon's wife advancing toward him with kindly and tender mien.
She stooped down to him, took him up in her arms, kissed his eyes,
and begged him in a low, trembling voice to forgive her for being so
cruel and bad. And while she was speaking the tears streamed from
her eyes and flowed over his face. She kissed them away with her hot
lips, and whispered, "Forgive me, poor, unhappy angel, and do not
bring me to judgment. I will treat you well after this, I will
rescue you from this hell, or I will die for you. Oh, how the bad
man has beaten your dear angel face! But believe me, I have felt
every blow in my own heart, and when he treated you so abusively I
felt the pain of hell. Oh, forgive me, dear boy, forgive me!" and
again the tears started from her eyes and flowed hot over his locks
and forehead. All at once Jeanne Marie quivered convulsively, laid
the boy gently down, and ran hastily away. A door was furiously
opened now, and Simon's loud and angry voice was heard.

The tones awakened the little Louis. He opened his eyes and looked
around. Yes, it had really all been only a dream--he had heard
neither his mother nor Simon's wife, and yet it had been as natural
as if it had all really transpired. He had felt arms tenderly
embracing him and tears hot upon his forehead.

Entirely unconscious he raised his hand to his brow and drew it back
affrighted, for his hair and his temples were wet, as if the tears
of which he dreamed had really fallen there.

"What does this mean, Jeanne Marie?" asked Simon, angrily, "Why have
you got out of bed while I was away, and what have you had to do in
the room of the little viper?"

"If you leave me alone with him I have to watch him, sick as I am,"
moaned she. "I had to see whether he was still there, whether he had
not run away, and gone to report to the Convention that we have left
him alone and have no care for him."

"Oh, bah! he will not complain of us," laughed Simon; "but keep
quiet, Jeanne Marie, I promise you that I will not leave you alone
again with the wolf's cub. Besides, here is the medicine that the
doctor has sent, and to-morrow he will come himself again to see how
you get on. So keep up a good heart, Jeanne Marie, and all will come
right again."

The next morning, Dr. Naudin came again to look after the sick
woman. Simon had just gone up-stairs to announce something to the
two princesses in the name of the Convention, and had ordered the
little Capet to remain in the anteroom, and, if the doctor should
come, to open the door to him.

Nobody else was in the anteroom when Dr. Naudin entered, and the
door leading into the next room was closed, so that the sick person
who was there could see and hear nothing of what took place.

"Sir," whispered the boy, softly and quickly, "you were yesterday so
good to me, you protected me from blows, and I should like to thank
you for it."

The doctor made no reply, but he looked at the boy with such an
expression of sympathy that he felt emboldened to go on.

"My dear sir," continued the child, softly, and with a blush, "I
have nothing with which to show my gratitude to you but these two
pears that were given me for my supper last night. And just because
I am so poor, you would do me a great pleasure if you would accept
my two pears." [Footnote: The boy's own words.--See Beauchesne, vol.
ii., p. 180.]

He had raised his eyes to the doctor with a gentle, supplicatory
expression, and taking the pears from the pocket of his worn, mended
jacket, he gave them to the physician.

Then happened something which, had Simon entered the room just then,
would probably have filled him with exasperation. It happened that
the proud and celebrated Dr. Naudin, the director and first
physician of the Hotel Dieu, sank on his knee before this poor boy
in the patched jacket, who had nothing to give but two pears, and
that he was so overcome, either by inward pain or by reverence, that
while taking the pears he could only whisper, with a faint voice: "I
thank your majesty. I have never received a nobler or more precious
gift than this fruit, which my unfortunate king gives me, and I
swear to you that I will be your devoted and faithful servant."

It happened further that Dr. Naudin pressed to his lips the hand
that reached him the precious gift, and that upon this hand two
tears fell from the eyes of the physician, long accustomed to look
upon human misery and pain, and which had not for years been
suffused with moisture.

Just then, approaching steps being heard in the corridor, the doctor
rose quickly, concealed the pears in his pocket, and entered the
chamber of the sick woman at the same instant when Simon returned
from his visit above-stairs.

Tne boy slipped, with the doctor, into the sick-room, and as no one
paid any attention to him, he stole softly into his room, crouched
down upon his straw bed, with fluttering heart, to think over all he
had experienced or dreamed of that day.

"And how is it with our sick one to-day?" asked Doctor Naudin,
sitting down near the bed, and giving a friendly nod to Simon to do
the same.

"It goes badly with me," moaned Mistress Simon. "My heart seems to
be on fire, and I have no rest day or night. I believe that it is
all over with me, and that I shall die, and that is the best thing
for me, for then I shall be free again, and not have to endure the
torments that I have had to undergo in this dreadful dungeon."

"What kind of pains are they?" asked the doctor. "Where do you
suffer?"

"I will tell you, citizen doctor," cried Simon, impatiently. "Her
pains are everywhere, in every corner of this lonely and cursed
building; and if it goes on so long, we shall have to pack and move.
The authorities have done us both a great honor, for they have had
confidence enough in us to give the little Capet into our charge;
but it is our misfortune to be so honored, and we shall both die of
it. For, not to make a long story of it, we both cannot endure the
air of the prison, the stillness and solitude, and it is a dreadful
thing for us to see nothing else the whole day than the stupid face
of this youngster, always looking at me so dreadfully with his great
blue eyes, that it really affects one. We are neither of us used to
such an idle, useless life, and it will be the death of us, citizen
doctor. My wife, Jeanne Marie, whom you see lying there so pale and
still, used to be the liveliest and most nimble woman about, and
could do as much with her strong arms and brown hands as four other
women. And then she was the bravest and most outrageous republican
that ever was, when it came to battling for the people. We both
helped to storm the Bastile, both went to Versailles that time, and
afterward took the wolf's brood from the Tuileries and brought them
to the Convention. Afterward Jeanne Marie was always the first on
the platform near the guillotine; and when Samson and his assistants
mounted the scaffold in the morning, and waited for the cars, the
first thing they did was to look over to the tribune to see if
Mistress Simon was there with her knitting, for it used to seem to
them that the work of hewing off heads went more briskly on if
Jeanne Marie was there and kept the account in her stocking. Samson
himself told me this, and said to me that Jeanne Marie was the
bravest of all the women, and that she never trembled, and that her
eyes never turned away, however many heads fell into the basket. And
she was there too when the Austrian--"

"Hush!" cried Jeanne Marie, rising up hastily in bed, and motioning
to her husband to be silent. "Do not speak of that, lest the
youngster hear it, and turn his dreadful eyes upon us. Do not speak
of that fearful day, for it was then that my sickness began, and I
believe that there was poison in the brandy that we drank that
evening. Yes, yes, there was poison in it, and from that comes the
fire that burns in my heart, and I shall die of it! Oh! I shall burn
to death with it!"

She put her hands before her face and sank back upon the pillows,
sobbing. Simon shook his head and heaved a deep sigh. "It is not
that," murmured he; "it is not from that, doctor! The thing is, that
Jeanne Marie has no work and no exercise, and that she is going to
wreck, because we are compelled to live here as kings and
aristocrats used to live, without labor and occupation, and without
doing any more than to nurse our fancies. We shall all die of this,
I tell you!"

"But if you know this, citizen, why do you not give up your
situation? Why do you not petition the authorities to dismiss you
from this service, and give you something else to do?"

"I have done that twice already," answered Simon, bringing his fist
down upon the table near the bed so violently that the bottles of
medicine standing there were jerked high into the air. "Twice
already have I tried to be transferred to some other duty, and the
answer has been sent back, that the country orders me to stand at my
post, and that there is no one who could take my place."

"That is very honorable and flattering," remarked the physician.

"Yes, but very burdensome and disagreeable," answered Simon. "We are
prisoners while holding these honorable and flattering posts. We can
no more leave the Temple than Capet can, for, since his father died,
and the crazy legitimists began to call him King Louis XVII., the
chief magistrate and the Convention have been very anxious. They are
afraid of secret conspiracies, and consider it possible that the
little prisoner may be taken away from here by intrigue. We have to
watch him day and night, therefore, and are never allowed to leave
the Temple, lest we should meet with other people, and lest the
legitimists should make the attempt to get into our good graces.
Would you believe, citizen doctor, that they did not even allow me
to go to the grand festival which the city of Paris gave in honor of
the taking of Toulan! While all the people were shouting, and having
a good time, Jeanne Marie and I had to stay here in this good-for-
nothing Temple, and see and hear nothing of the fine doings. And
this drives the gall into my blood, and it will make us both sick,
and it is past endurance!"

"I believe that you are right, citizen," said the physician,
thoughtfully. "Yes, the whole trouble of your wife comes from the
fact that she is here in the Temple, and if she must be shut up here
always she will continue to suffer."

"Yes, to suffer always, to suffer dreadfully," groaned Jeanne Marie.
Then, all at once, she raised herself up and turned with a
commanding bearing to her husband. "Simon," she said, "the doctor
shall know all that I suffer. He shall examine my breast, and the
place where I have the greatest pain; but in your presence I shall
say nothing."

"Well, well, I will go," growled Simon. "But I think those are
pretty manners!"

"They are the manners of a respectable and honorable woman," said
the doctor, gravely--"a woman who does not show the pains and
ailments of her body to any one excepting her physician. Go, go,
Citizen Simon, and you will esteem your good wife none the less for
not letting you hear what she has to say to her old physician."

"No, certainly not," answered Simon, "and that you may both see that
I am not curious to hear what you have to say to one another, I will
go with the youngster up to the platform and remain a whole hour
with him."

"You will beat him again, and I shall hear him," said Jeanne Marie,
weeping. "I hear every thing now that goes on in the Temple, and
whenever you strike, the youngster, I feel every blow in my brain,
and that gives me pain enough to drive me to distraction."

"I promise you, Jeanne Marie, that I will not strike him, and will
not trouble myself about him at all. He can play with his ball.--
Halloa, Capet! Come! We are going up on the platform. Take your ball
and any thing else you like, for you shall play to-day and have a
good time."

The child stole out of his room with his ball, not looking
particularly delighted, and the prospect of "playing" did not give
wings to his steps, nor call a smile to his swollen face. He left
the room noiselessly, and Simon slammed the doors violently behind
him.

"And now we are alone," said Doctor Naudin, "and you can tell me
about your sickness, and about every thing that troubles you."

"Ah, doctor, I do not dare to," she whispered. "I am overpowered by
a dreadful fear, and I think you will betray me, and bring my
husband and myself to the scaffold."

"I am no betrayer," answered the doctor, solemnly. "The physician is
like a priest; he receives the secrets and disclosures of his
patients, and lets not a word of them pass his lips. But, in order
that you may take courage, I will first prove to you that I put
confidence in you, by showing you that I understand you. I will tell
you what the disease is that you are suffering from, and also its
locality. Jeanne Marie Simon, you are enduring that with which no
pains of the body can be compared. Your sickness has its seat in the
conscience, and its name is remorse and despair."

Jeanne Marie uttered a heart-rending cry, and sprang like an
exasperated tiger from her bed. "You lie!" she said, seizing the
doctor's arm with both hands; "that is a foul, damnable calumny,
that you have thought out merely to bring me under the axe. I have
nothing to be sorry for, and my conscience fills me with no
reproaches."

"And yet it is gnawing into you with iron teeth, which have been
heated blood-red in the fires of hell," said the doctor, with a
compassionate look at the pale, quivering face of the woman. "Do not
raise any quarrel, but quietly listen to me. We have an hour's time
to talk together, and we want to use it. But let us speak softly,
softly, together; for what we have to say to each other the deaf
walls themselves ought not to hear."

Simon had not returned from the platform with the boy, when Doctor
Naudin ended his long and earnest conversation, and prepared to
leave his patient, who was now quietly lying in her bed.

"You know every thing now that you have to do," he said, extending
his hand to her. "You can reckon on me as I reckon on you, and we
will both go bravely and cheerfully on. It is a noble work that we
have undertaken, and if it succeeds your heart will be light again,
and God will forgive you your sins, for two martyrs will stand and
plead in your behalf at the throne of God! Now, do every thing
exactly as I have told you, and speak with your husband to-night,
but not sooner, that you may be safe, and for fear that in his first
panic his face would betray him."

"I shall do every thing just as you wish," said Jeanne Marie, who
had suddenly become humble and bashful, apparently entirely
forgetful of the republican "thou." "It seems to me, now that I have
disburdened my heart to you, that I have become well and strong
again, and certainly I shall owe it to you if I do live and get my
health once more. But shall you come again to-morrow, doctor?"

"No," he replied, "I will send a man to-morrow who understands
better than I do how to continue this matter, and to whom you can
give unconditional confidence. He will announce himself to you as my
assistant, and you can talk over at length every thing that we have
been speaking of. Hush! I hear Simon coming! Farewell!"

He nodded to Jeanne Marie, and hastily left the room. Outside, in
the corridor, he met Simon and his silent young ward.

"Well, citizen doctor," asked Simon, "how is it with our sick one?
She has intrusted all her secrets to you, and they must have made a
long story, for you have been a whole hour together. It is fortunate
that you are an old man, or else I should have been jealous of your
long tete-a-tete with my wife."

"Then you would be a great fool, and I have always held you to be a
prudent and good man. But, as concerns your wife, I must tell you
something very serious, and I beg you, Citizen Simon, to mark my
words well. I tell you this: unless your wife Jeanne Marie is out of
this Temple in less than a week, and enjoys her freedom, she will
either lose her senses or take her life. I will say to you this,
besides: if Citizen Simon does not, as soon as possible, leave this
cursed place and give up his hateful business, it will be the same
with him as with his wife. He will not become insane, but he will
lapse into melancholy, and if he does not take his own life
consumption will take it for him, the result of his idle, listless
life, the many vexations here, and the wretched atmosphere of the
Temple."

"Consumption!" cried Simon, horrified. "Do you suppose I am exposed
to that?"

"You have it already," said the doctor, solemnly. "Those red spots
on your cheeks, and the pain which you have so often in the breast,
announce its approach. I tell you that if you do not take measures
to leave the Temple in a week, in three months you will be a dead
man, without giving the guillotine a chance at you. Good-by!
Consider well what I say, citizen, and then do as you like!"

"He is right," muttered Simon, as he looked after the doctor with a
horrified look, as Naudin descended the staircase; "yes, I see, he
is right. If I have to stay here any longer, I shall die. The
vexations and the loneliness, and--something still more dreadful,
frightful, that I can tell no one of-have made me sick, and the
stitch in my side will grow worse and worse every day, and--I must
and will get away from here," he said aloud, and with a decided air.
"I will not die yet, neither shall Jeanne Marie. To-morrow I will
hand in my resignation, and then be away!"

While Simon was walking slowly and thoughtfully toward his wife,
Doctor Naudin left the dark building, went with a light heart out
into the street, and returned with a quick step to the Hotel Dieu.
The porter who opened the door for him, reported to him that during
his absence the same old gentleman who had come the day before to
consult him, had returned and was waiting for him in the anteroom.

Doctor Naudin nodded, and then walked, quickly toward his own
apartments. Before the door he found his servant.

"Old Doctor Saunier is here again," he said, taking off his master's
cloak. "He insisted on waiting for you. He said that he must consult
you about a patient, and would not cease begging till you should
consent to accompany him to the sick person's house. For, if a case
seemed desperate, the great Naudin might still save it."

"You are an ass for letting him talk such nonsense, and for
believing it yourself, Citizen Joly," cried Naudin with a laugh, and
then entering the anteroom.

An old gentleman, clad in the same old-fashioned costume with Doctor
Naudin, came forward. Citizen Joly, as he closed the door somewhat
slowly, heard him say:

"Thank God that you have come at last, citizen! I have waited for
you impatiently, and now I conjure you to accompany me as quickly as
possible to my patient."

Naudin, opening the door of his study, said in reply, "Come in,
Citizen Saunier, and tell me first how it is with your sick one."

Nothing more could Joly, Naudin's servant, understand, for the two
doctors had gone into the study, and the door was closed behind
them. After a short time, however, it was opened. Naudin ordered the
valet to order a tiacre at once, and a few minutes later Director
Naudin rode away at the side of Doctor Saunier.

At a house in the Rue Montmartre the carriage stopped, and the two
physicians entered. The porter, opening the little, dusty window of
his lodge, nodded confidentially to Saunier.

"That is probably the celebrated Doctor Naudin of the Hotel Dieu,
whom you have with you?" he asked.

"Yes, it is he," answered Saunier, "and if anybody can help our
patient, it is he. Citizen Crage is probably at home?"

"Certainly he is at home, for you know he never leaves his sick boy.
You will find him above. You know the way, citizen doctor!"

The two physicians passed on, ascended the staircase, and entered
the suit of rooms whose door was only partially closed--left ajar,
as it seemed, for them. Nobody came to meet them, but they carefully
closed the door behind them, drew the bolt, and then walked silently
and quickly across the anteroom to the opposite door.

Doctor Saunier knocked softly three times with a slight interval
between, and cried three times with a loud voice,

"The two physicians are come to see the patient."

A bolt was withdrawn on the inside, the door opened, and a tall
man's figure appeared and motioned to the gentlemen to come in.

"Are we alone?" whispered Doctor Saunier, as they entered the inner
room.

"Yes, entirely alone," answered the other. "There in the chamber
lies my poor sick boy, and you know well that he can betray no one,
and that he knows nothing of what is going on around him."

"Yes, unfortunately, I know that," answered Doctor Saunier sadly. "I
promised you that I would bring you the most celebrated and skilful
physician in Paris, and you see I keep my word, for I have brought
you Doctor Naudin, the director of the Hotel Dieu and--the friend
and devoted servant of the royal family, to whom we have both sworn
allegiance until death. Doctor Naudin, I have not given you the name
of the gentleman to whom I was taking you. It is a secret which only
the possessor is able to divulge to you."

"I divulge it," said the other, smiling, "Doctor Naudin, I am the
Marquis Jarjayes."

"Jarjayes, who made the plan for the escape of the royal family in
the Temple?" asked Naudin eagerly.

"Marquis Jarjayes, who lost his property in the service of the
queen, risked his life in her deliverance, and perhaps escaped the
guillotine merely by emigrating and putting himself beyond the reach
of Robespierre. Are you that loyal, courageous Marquis de Jarjayes?"

"I am Jarjayes, and I thank you for the praises you have given me,
but I cannot accept them in the presence of him who merits them all
much more than I do, and who is more worthy of praise than any one
else. No, I can receive no commendation in the presence of Toulan,
the most loyal, the bravest, the most prudent of us all; for Toulan
is the soul of every thing, and our martyr queen confessed it in
giving him the highest of all titles of honor, in calling him
Fidele, a title which will remain for centuries."

"Yes, you are right," said Dr. Naudin, laying his hand on the
shoulder of Dr. Saunier. "He is the noblest, most loyal, and bravest
of us all. On that account, when he came to me a few days ago and
showed me the golden salt* bottle of the queen in confirmation of
his statement that he was Toulan, I was ready to do every thing that
he might desire of me and to enter into all his plans, for Toulan's
magnanimity and fidelity are contagious, and excite every one to
emulate him."

"I beg you, gentlemen," said Toulan softly, "do not praise me nor
think that to be heroism which is merely natural. I have devoted to
Queen Marie Antoinette my life, my thought, my heart. I swore upon
her hand that so long as I lived I would be true to her and her
family, and to keep my vow is simple enough. Queen Marie Antoinette
is no more. I was not able to save her, but perhaps she looks down
from the heavenly heights upon us, and is satisfied with us, if she
sees that we are now trying to do for her son what, unfortunately,
we were not able to accomplish for her. This is my hope, and this
spurs rue on to attempt every thing, in order to bring about the
last wish of my queen--the freeing of her son. God in His grace has
willed that I should not be alone in this effort, and that I should
have the cooperation of noble men. He visibly blesses our plans, for
is it not a manifest sign of His blessing that, exactly in those
days when we are trying to find a means of approaching the unhappy,
imprisoned son of the queen, accident affords us this means? Exactly
at the hour when I went to Dr. Naudin and disclosed myself to him,
the porter of the Temple came and desired in behalf of Simon's wife
that Dr. Naudin should go to the Temple."

"Yes, indeed, it was a wonderful occurrence," said Naudin,
thoughtfully. "I am not over-blessed with sensibility, but when I
saw the son of the queen in his sorrow and humiliation, I sank on my
knee before the poor little king, and in my heart I swore that
Toulan should find in me a faithful coadjutor in his plan, and that
I would do every thing to set him free."

"And so have I too sworn," cried Jarjayes, with enthusiasm. "The
queen is dead, but our fidelity to her lives and shall renew itself
to her son, King Louis XVII. I know well that the police are
watching me, that they know who is secreting himself here under the
name of Citizen Orage, that they follow every one of my steps and
perhaps suffer me to be free only for the purpose of seeing with
whom I have relations, in order to arrest and destroy me at one fell
swoop, with all my friends at the same time. But we must use the
time. I have come here with the firm determination of delivering the
unhappy young king from the hands of his tormentors, and I will now
confess every thing to you, my friends. I have gained for our
undertaking the assistance and protection of a rich and noble
patron, a true servant of the deceased king. The Prince de Conde,
with whom I have lived in Vendee for the past few months, has
furnished me with ample means, and is prepared to support us to any
extent in our undertaking. If we succeed in saving the young king,
the latter will find in Vendee a safe asylum with the prince, and
will live there securely, surrounded by his faithful subjects. The
immense difficulty, or, as I should have said a few days ago, the
impossibility, is the release of the young prince from the Temple.
But now that I have succeeded in discovering Toulan and uniting
myself with him, I no longer say it is impossible, but only it is
difficult."

"And," cried Toulan, "since I am sure of the assistance of the noble
Doctor Naudin, I say, we will free him, the son of our Queen Marie
Antoinette, the young King Louis XVII. The plan is entirely ready in
my head, and in order to make its execution possible, I went a few
days ago to see Doctor Naudin at the Hotel Dieu, in order to beg him
to visit the sick boy that the marquis has here, and just at that
moment Simon's messenger came to the Temple. Doctor Naudin is now
here, and first of all it is necessary that he give us his last,
decisive judgment on the patient. So take us to him, marquis, for
upon Naudin's decision depends the fate of the young King of
France."

The marquis nodded silently, and conducted the gentlemen into the
next room. There, carefully propped up by mattresses and pillows,
lay a child of perhaps ten years--a poor, unfortunate boy, with
pale, sunken cheeks, fixed blue eyes, short fair hair, and a stupid,
idiotic expression on his features. As the three gentlemen came to
him he fixed his eyes upon them in a cold, indifferent way, and not
a quiver in his face disclosed any interest in them. Motionless and
pale as death the boy lay upon his bed, and only the breath that
came hot and in gasps from his breast disclosed that there was still
life in this poor shattered frame.

Doctor Naudin stooped down to the boy and looked at him a long time
with the utmost attention.

"This boy is perfectly deaf!" he then said, raising himself up and
looking at the marquis inquiringly.

"Yes, doctor, your sharp eye has correctly discerned it; he is
perfectly deaf."

"Is it your son?"

"No, doctor, he is the son of my sister, the Baroness of Tardif, who
was guillotined together with her husband. I undertook the care of
this unfortunate child, and at my removal from Paris gave him to
some faithful servants of my family to be cared for. On my return I
learned that the good people had both been guillotined, and find the
poor boy, who before had been at least sound in body, utterly
neglected, and living on the sympathy of the people who had taken
him on the death of his foster-parents. I brought the child at once
to this house, which I had hired for myself under the name of
Citizen Orage, and Toulan undertook to procure the help of a
physician. It has now come in the person of the celebrated Doctor
Naudin, and I beg you to have pity on the poor unfortunate child,
and to receive him into the Hotel Dieu."

"Let me first examine the child, in order to tell you what is the
nature of his disorder."

And Doctor Naudin stooped down again to the boy, examined his eyes,
his chest, his whole form, listened to his breathing, the action of
his heart, and felt his pulse. The patient was entirely apathetic
during all this, now and then merely whining and groaning, when a
movement of the doctor's hand caused him pain.

After the careful investigation had been ended, the doctor called
the two gentlemen who had withdrawn to the window to the bed again.

"Marquis," said he, "this unfortunate child will never recover, and
the least painful thing that could happen to him would be a speedy
release from his miserable lot. Yet I do not believe that this will
occur, but consider it possible that the boy will protract his
unfortunate life a full year after his mind has entirely passed
away, and nothing is left of him but his body. The boy, if you can
regard such a poor creature as a human being, is suffering from an
incurable form of scrofula, which will by and by consume his limbs,
and convert him into an idiot; he is now deaf; he will be a mere
stupid beast. If it were permitted to substitute the hand of science
in place of the hand of God, I should say we ought to kill this poor
creature that is no man and no beast, and has nothing more to expect
of life than pain and torture, having no more consciousness of any
thing than the dog has when he does not get a bone with which to
quiet his hunger."

"Poor, unhappy creature!" sighed the marquis. "Now, I thank God that
He released my sister from the pain of seeing her dear child in this
condition.

"Doctor Naudin," said Toulan, solemnly, "is it your fixed conviction
that this sick person will never recover?"

"My firm and undoubted conviction, which every physician who should
see him would share with me."

"Are you of the opinion that this child has nothing in life to lose,
and that death would be a gain to it?"

"Yes; that is my belief. Death would be a release for the poor
creature, for life is only a burden to it as well as to others."

"Then," cried Toulan, solemnly, "I will give this poor sick child a
higher and a fairer mission. I will make its life an advantage to
others, and its death a hallowed sacrifice. Marquis of Jarjayes, in
the name of King Louis XVI., in the name of the exalted martyr to
whom we have all sworn fidelity unto death, Queen Marie Antoinette,
I demand and desire of you that you would intrust to me this unhappy
creature, and give his life into my hands. In the name of Marie
Antoinette, I demand of the Marquis of Jarjayes that he deliver to
me the son of his sister, that he do what every one of us is
joyfully prepared to do if our holy cause demands it, that this boy
may give his life for his king, the imprisoned Louis XVII."

While Toulan was speaking with his earnest, solemn voice, Jarjayes
knelt before the bed of the poor sobbing child, and, hiding his face
in his hands, he prayed softly.

Then, after a long pause, he rose and laid his hand on the feverish
brow of the boy. "You have addressed me," he said, "in the name of
Queen Marie Antoinette. You demand of me as the guardian of this
poor creature that I give him to you, that he may give his life for
his king. The sons and daughters of my house have always been ready
and glad to devote their possessions, their happiness, their lives,
to the service of their kings, and I speak simply in the spirit of
my sister--who ascended the scaffold to seal her fidelity to the
royal family with her death--I speak in the spirit of all my
ancestors when I say, here is the last off-spring of the Baroness of
Tardif, here is the son of my sister; take him and let him live or
die for his king, Louis XVII., the prisoner at the Temple."



CHAPTER XXVI.

THE CONSULTATION.


During the night which followed the second visit of Doctor Naudin,
Jeanne Marie Simon had a long and earnest conversation with her
husband. The first words which the wife uttered, spoken in a whisper
though they were, excited the cobbler so much that he threatened her
with his clinched fist. She looked him calmly in the face, however,
and said to him softly, "And so you mean to stay perpetually in this
hateful prison? You want to remain shut up here like a criminal, and
get no more satisfaction out of life than what comes from tormenting
this poor, half-witted boy to death?"

Simon let his hand fall, and said, "If there were a means of
escaping from this infernal prison, it would certainly be most
welcome to me, for I am heartily tired of being a prisoner here,
after having prayed for freedom so long, and worked for it so much.
So, if there is a means--"

"There is such a means," interrupted his wife. "Listen to me!"

And Simon did listen, and the moving and eloquent words of his wife
at length found a willing ear. Simon's face gradually lightened up,
and it seemed to him that he was now able to release his wife from
an oppressive, burdensome load.

"If it succeeds," he muttered--"if it succeeds, I shall be free from
the mountainous weight which presses upon me day and night and shall
become a healthy man again."

"And if it does not succeed," whispered Jeanne Marie, "the worst
that can happen to us is what has happened to thousands before us.
We shall merely feed the machine, and our heads will tumble into the
basket, with this difference, that I shall not be able to make any
mark in my stocking. I would rather die all at once on the
guillotine and have it over, than be dying here day after day, and
hour after hour, having nothing to expect from life but pain and
ennui."

"And I, too," said Simon, decidedly. "Rather die, than go on leading
such a dog's life. Let your doctor come to me to-morrow morning. I
will talk with him!"

Early the next day the doctor came in his long, black cloak, and
with his peruke, to visit the sick Mistress Simon. The guards at the
gate leading to the outer court quietly let him pass in, and did not
notice that another face appeared in the peruke from that which had
been seen the day before. The two official guards above, who had
just completed their duties in the upper story, and met the doctor
on the tower stairs, did not take any offence at his figure. The
director of the Hotel Dieu was not personally known to them, and
they were familiar with but little about him, excepting that he took
the liberty of going about in his old-fashioned cloak, without
giving offence to the authorities, and that he had permission from
those authorities to come to the Temple for the purpose of visiting
the wife of Simon.

"You will find two patients to-day up there," said one of the
officials as he passed by. "We empower you, doctor, to take the
second one, little Capet, under your charge. The boy appears to be
really sick, or else he is obstinate and mulish. He answers no
questions, and he has taken no nourishment, Simon tells us, since
yesterday noon. Examine into the case, doctor, and then tell us what
your opinion is. We will wait for you down in the council-room. So
make as much haste as possible."

They passed on, and the doctor did really make haste to ascend the
staircase. At the open door which led to the apartment of the little
Capet and his "guardian," he found Simon.

"Did you hear, citizen?" asked the doctor. "The officials are
waiting for me below."

"Yes, I heard, doctor," whispered Simon. "We have not much time.
Come!"

He motioned to the physician to pass along the corridor and to enter
the room, while he bolted and locked the outer door. As the doctor
entered, Mistress Simon lay upon her bed and looked at the new-comer
with curious, glowing eyes.

"Who are you?" she asked, rising quickly from her bed. "You are not
Doctor Naudin whom I expected, and I do not know you!"

Meantime the doctor walked in silence to her bed, and stooped over
Jeanne Marie, who sank back upon the pillow.

"I am the one who is to help you escape from the Temple," he
whispered. "Doctor Naudin has sent me, to work in union with him and
you in effecting your release and that of the unfortunate Capet."

"Husband," cried Jeanne Marie to the cobbler, who was just coming
in, "this is the man who is going to deliver us from this hell!"

"That is to say," said the doctor, with a firm, penetrating voice,
"I will free you if you will help me free the dauphin."

"Speak softly, for God's sake, speak softly," said Simon anxiously.
"If any one should hear you, we are all lost! We will do every thing
that you demand of us, provided that we can in that way escape from
this miserable, good-for-nothing place. The air here is like poison,
and to have to stay here is like being buried alive."

"And then the dreams, the frightful dreams," muttered Jeanne Marie,
with a shudder. "I cannot sleep any more in this dreadful prison,
for that pale, fearful woman, with great, fixed eyes, goes walking
about through the Temple every night, and listens at the doors to
see whether her children are alive yet, and whether we are not
killing them. Lately, she has not only listened at the doors, but
she has come into my room, and passed my bed, and gone into the
chamber of little Capet. Simon was asleep, and did not see her. I
sprang up, however, and stole softly to the door; for I thought
somebody had crept in here in disguise, possibly Citizen Toulan, who
had already twice made the attempt to release the Austrian and her
children, and whom I then denounced at headquarters. There I saw--
although it was entirely dark in the hall--there I saw little Capet
lying asleep on his mattress, his hands folded over his breast, and
with an expression of countenance more happy, altogether more happy,
than it ever is when he is awake. Near the mattress kneeled the
figure in white, and it seemed as if a radiance streamed out from it
that filled the whole room. Its face was pale and white, just like a
lily, and it seemed as if the fragrance of a lily was in the
apartment. Her two arms were raised, as if she would utter a
benediction, over her sleeping boy; around her half-opened lips
played a sweet smile, and her great eyes, which had the aspect of
stars, looked up toward heaven. But while I was there in a maze, and
watched the figure in a, transport of delight, there occurred, all
at once, something wonderful, something dreadful. The figure rose
from its knees, dropped its arms, turned itself around, and advanced
straight toward me. The eyes, which had been turned so purely
heavenward before, were directed to me, with a look which pierced my
breast like the thrust of a knife. I recognized that look-that sad,
reproachful glance. It was the same that Marie Antoinette gave me,
when she stood on the scaffold. I was sitting in the front row of
the knitters, and I was just going to make the double stitch for her
in my stocking, when that look met me; those great, sad eyes were
turned toward me, and I felt that she had recognized me, and her
eyes bored into my breast, and followed me even after the axe had
taken off her head. The eyes did not fall into the basket, they were
not buried, bat they remain in my breast; they have been piercing me
ever since, and burning me like glowing coals. But that night I saw
them again, as in life--those dreadful eyes; and as the figure
advanced toward me, it raised its hand and threatened me, and its
eyes spoke to me, and it seemed as if a curse of God were going
through my brain, for those eyes said to me--'Murder!'--spoke it so
loudly, so horribly, that it appeared as if my head would burst, and
I could not cry, and could not move, and had to look at it, till, at
last, I became unconscious."

"There, see there, doctor," cried Simon, in alarm, as his wife fell
back upon the pillow with a loud cry, and quivered in all her limbs;
" now she has convulsions again, and then she will be, for a day or
two, out of her mind, and will talk strangely about the pale woman
with dreadful eyes; and when she goes on so, she makes even me sad,
and anxious, and timid, and I grow afraid of the white ghost that
she says is always with us. Ah! doctor, help us! See, now, how the
poor woman suffers and twists!"

The doctor drew a bottle from his breast-pocket, and rubbed a few
drops upon the temples of the sick woman.

"Those are probably the famous soothing-drops of Doctor Naudin?"
asked Simon, in astonishment, when he saw how quiet his wife became,
and that her spasms and groans ceased.

"Yes," answered the doctor, "and the eminent physician sends them as
a present to your wife. They are very costly, and rich people have
to pay a louis-d'or for every drop. But Doctor Naudin. gives them to
you, for he wishes Jeanne Marie long to enjoy good health. How is it
with you now?"

"I feel well, completely well," she said, as the doctor rubbed some
drops a second time on her temple. "I feel easier than I have felt
for a long time."

"Give me your hand," said the doctor. "Rise up, for you are well.
Let us go into the chamber of the poor boy, for I have to speak with
you there."

He walked toward the chamber-door, leading Jeanne Marie by the hand,
while Simon followed them. Softly and silently they entered the dark
room, and went to the mattress on which the child lay.

The boy stared at them with great, wide-opened eyes, but they were
without expression and life, and only the breath, as it came slowly
and heavily from the half-opened lips, showed that there was
vitality still in this poor, little, shrunken form.

The doctor kneeled down beside the bed, and, bending over it,
pressed a long, fervent kiss on the delicate, hot hand of the child.
But Charles Louis remained motionless; he merely slowly dropped his
lids and closed his eyes.

"You see, doctor, he neither hears nor sees," said Simon, in a low,
growling voice. "He cares for nothing, and does not know any thing
about what is going on around him. It is a week since he spoke a
word."

"Not since the day when you wanted to compel the child to sing the
song that makes sport of his mother."

"He did not sing it?" asked the doctor, with a tremulous voice.

"He is a mulish little toad," cried Simon, angrily. "I begged him at
first, then I threatened, and when prayers and threats were of no
use I punished him, as a naughty boy deserves when he will not do
what his foster-father bids him do. But even blows did not bring him
to it; the obstinate youngster would not sing the merry song with
me, and since then he has not spoken a word. [Footnote: Historical.-
-See Beauehesne'a "Histoirede Louis XVII.," vol. ii.] He seems as if
he had grown deaf and dumb as a punishment for not obeying his good
foster-father."

"He is neither deaf nor dumb," said the doctor, solemnly. "He is
simply a good son, who would not sing the song which made sport of
his noble and unfortunate mother. See whether I am not right: see
these tears which run from his closed eyes. He has heard us, he has
understood us, and he answers us with his tears! Oh, sire," he
continued passionately, "by the sacred remembrance of your father
and your mother, I swear devotion to you until death; I swear that I
have come to set you free, to die for you. Look up, my king and my
darling one! I intrust to you and to both these witnesses my whole
secret; I let the mask fall to show myself to you in my true form,
that you may confide in me, and know that the most devoted of your
servants is kneeling before you, and that he dedicates his life to
you. Open your eyes, Louis of France, and see whether you know me!"

He sprang up, threw off the great peruke, and the long black cloak,
and stood before them in the uniform of an official guard.

"Thunder and guns!" cried Simon, with a loud laugh. "it is--"

"Hush!" interrupted the other--"hush! He alone shall declare who I
am! Oh, look at me, my king; convince these unbelieving ones here
that your mind is clear and strong, and that you are conscious of
what is going on around you. Look at me, and if you know me, speak
my name!"

And with folded hands, in unspeakable emotion, he leaned over the
bed of the child, that still lay with closed eyes.

"I knew that he could hear nothing, and that he was deaf," growled
Simon, while his wife folded her trembling hands, and with tearful
eyes whispered a prayer.

A deep silence ensued, and with anxious expectation each looked at
the boy. At length he slowly raised the heavy, reddened eyelids, and
looked with a timid, anxious glance around himself. Then his gaze
fixed itself upon the eloquent, speaking face of the man whose tears
were falling like warm dew-drops upon his pale, sunken features.

A quiver passed over the coutenance of the boy, a beam of joy
lighted up his eyes, and something like a smile played around his
trembling lips.

"Do you know me? Do you know my name?"

The child raised his hand in salutation, and said, in a clear,
distinct voice: "Toulan! Fidele!"

Toulan fell on his knees again and covered the little thin hand of
the boy with his tears and his kisses.

"Yes, Fidele," he sobbed. "That is the title of honor which your
royal mother gave me--that is the name that she wrote on the bit of
paper which she put into the gold smelling-bottle that she gave me.
That little bottle, which a queen once carried, is my most precious
possession, and yet I would part with that if I could save the life
of her son, happy if I could but retain the hallowed paper on which
the queen's hand wrote the word 'Fidele.' Yes, you poor, pitiable
son of kings, I am Fidele, I am Toulan, at whom you have so often
laughed when he played with you in your prison."

A flash like the sunlight passed over the face of the child, and a
smile illumined his features.

"She used to laugh, too," he whispered--"she, too, my mamma queen."

"Yes, she too laughed at our jests," said Toulan, with a voice
choked with tears; "and, believe me, she looks down from heaven upon
us and smiles her blessing, for she knows that Toulan has come to
free her dear son, and to deliver him from the executioner's hands.
Tell me now, my king and my dearly-loved lord, will you trust me,
will you give to your most devoted servant and subject the privilege
of releasing you? Do you consent to accept freedom at the hands of
your Fidele?"

The child threw a timid, anxious glance at Simon and his wife, and
then, with a shudder, turned his head to one side.

"You make no answer, sire," said Toulan, imploringly. "Oh! speak, my
king, may I set you free?"

The boy spoke a few words in reply, but so softly that Toulan could
not understand him. He stooped down nearer to him, and put his ear
close to the lips of the child. He then could hear the words,
inaudible to all but him,

"He will disclose you; take care, Toulan. But do not say any thing,
else he will beat me to death!"

Toulan made no reply; he only impressed a long, tender kiss upon the
trembling hand of the child.

"Did he speak?" asked Simon. "Did you understand, citizen, what he
said?"

"Yes, I understood him," answered Toulan. "He consents; he allows me
to make every attempt to free him, and is prepared to do every thing
that we ask of him. And now I ask you too, are you prepared to help
me release the prince?"

"You know already, Toulan," said Simon, quickly, "that we are
prepared for every thing, provided that our conditions are
fulfilled. Give me a tolerable position outside of the Temple; give
me a good bit of money, so that I may live free from care, and if
the new place should not suit me, that I could go into the country,
and not have to work at all; give my Jeanne Marie her health and
cheerfulness again, and I will help you set young Capet free."

"Through my assistance, and that of Doctor Naudin, you shall have a
good place outside of the Temple," answered Toulan, eagerly.
"Besides this, at the moment when you deliver the prince into my
hands, outside of this prison, I will pay you in ready money the sum
of twenty thousand francs; and as for the third condition, that
about restoring her health to Jeanne Marie, I am sure that I can
fulfil this condition too. Do you not know, Simon, what your wife is
suffering from? Do you not know what her sickness is?"

"No, truly not. I am no doctor. How should I know what her sickness
is?"

"Then I will tell you, Citizen Simon. Your wife is suffering from
the worst of all complaints, a bad conscience! Yes, it is a bad
conscience that robs her of her sleep and rest; it is that which
makes her see the white, pale form of the martyred queen in the
night, and read the word 'murderer' in her eyes."

"He is right!-oh, he is right!" groaned Jeanne Marie, falling on her
knees. "I am to blame for her death, for I denounced Toulan to the
authorities just when he was on the point of saving her. I tortured
her!--oh, cruelly tortured her, and I laughed when she ascended the
scaffold, and I laughed too, even when she gave me that dreadful
look. But I have bitterly regretted it since, and now she gnaws at
me like a scorpion. I wanted to drive her away from me at first, and
therefore I was cruel to her son, for I wanted to put an end to the
fearful remorse that was tormenting me. But it grew even more
powerful within me. The more I beat the boy, the more his tears
moved me, and often I thought I should die when I heard him cry and
moan. Yes, yes, it is a bad conscience that has made me sick and
miserable! But I will do right after this. I repent--oh, I repent!
Here I lay my hand on the heart of this child and swear to his
murdered mother I will do right again! I swear that I will free her
son! I swear by all that is sacred in heaven and on earth that I
will die myself, unless we succeed in freeing this child! I* swear
to you, Marie Antoinette, that I will free him. But will you forgive
me even then? Will you have rest in your poor grave, and not come to
my bedside and condemn me and accuse me with your sad, dreadful
eyes?"

"Free her son, Jeanne Marie," said Toulan, solemnly, "and his mother
will forgive you, and her hallowed shade will no longer disturb your
sleep, for you will then have restored to her the peace of the
grave! But you, Citizen Simon, will you too not swear that you will
faithfully assist in releasing the royal prince? Do you not know
that conscience is awake in your heart too, and compels you to have
compassion on the poor boy?"

"I know it, yes, I know it," muttered Simon, confused. "His gentle
eyes and his sad bearing have made me as weak and as soft as an old
woman. It is high time that I should be rid of the youngster, else
it will be with me just as it is with my wife, and I shall have
convulsions and see ghosts with daggers in their eyes. And so, in
order to remain a strong man and have a good conscience and a brave
heart, I must be rid of the boy, and must know that I have done him
some service, and have been his deliverer. And so I swear by the
sacred republic, and by our hallowed freedom, that I will help you
and do all that in me lies to release little Capet and get him away
from here. I hope you will be satisfied with my oath, Toulan, for
there is nothing for me more sacred than the republic and freedom."

"I am satisfied, Simon, and I trust you. And now let us talk it all
over and consider it, my dear allies. The whole plan of the escape
is formed in my head, all the preparations are made, and if you will
faithfully follow all that I bid you, in one week's time you will be
free and happy."

"So soon as a week!" cried Simon, delightedly. "Yes, in a week, for
it happens fortunately that one of the officials of the Public
Safety service is dangerously sick and has been carried to the Hotel
Dien. Doctor Naudin says that he can live but three days longer, and
then the post will be vacant. We must be active, therefore, and take
measures for you to gain the place. Now listen to me, and mark my
words."

They had a long conversation by the bedside of the little prince,
and they saw that he perfectly understood the whole plan which
Toulan unfolded in eloquent words, for his looks took on a great
deal of expression; he fixed his eyes constantly on Toulan, and a
smile played about his lips.

Simon and Simon's wife were also perfectly satisfied with Toulan's
communication, and repeated their readiness to do every thing to
further the release of the prince, if they in return could only be
removed from the Temple.

"I will at once take the steps necessary to the success of my plan,"
said Toulan, taking his leave with a friendly nod, and kissing the
boy's hand respectfully.

"Fidele," whispered Louis, "Fidele, do you believe that I shall be
saved?"

"I am sure of it, my dear prince. The grace of God and the blessing
of your exalted parents will be our helpers in bringing this good
work to a completion. Farewell, and preserve as long as you remain
here the same mood that I found you in. Show little interest in what
goes on, and appear numb and stupid. I shall not come again, for
after this I must work for you outside of the prison. But Doctor
Naudin will come every day to see you, and on the day of your flight
I shall be by your side. Till then, God bless you, my dear prince!"

Toulan left the prison of the little Capet and repaired at once to
the H6tel Dieu, where he had a long conversation with Doctor Naudin.
At the end of it, the director of the hospital entered his carriage
and drove to the city hall, in whose largest chamber a committee of
the Public Safety officials were holding a public meeting. With
earnest and urgent words the revered and universally valued
physician gave the report about the visits which he had made at the
Temple for some days at the command of the authorities, and about
the condition of affairs there. Petion the elder, the presiding
officer of the committee, listened to the report with a grave
repose, and the picture of the low health of the "little Capet,"
while he paid the most marked attention to that part of the report
which concerned the Simons.

"Citizen Simon has deserved much of the country, and he is one of
the most faithful supporters of the one and indivisible republic,"
said Petion, when Doctor Naudin ended his report. "The republic
must, like a grateful mother, show gratitude to her loyal sons, and
care for them tenderly. So tell us, Citizen Naudin, what must be
done in order to restore health to Citizen Simon and his wife."

"They are both sick from the same cause, and, therefore, they both
require the same remedy. That remedy is, a change of air and a
change of location. Let Simon have another post, where he shall be
allowed to exercise freely out of doors, and where he shall not be
compelled to breathe only the confined air of a cell; and let his
wife not be forced to listen to the whining and the groaning of the
little sick Capet. In one word, give to them both liberty to move
around, and the free air, and they will, without any doubt, and
within a short time, regain their health."

"It is true," said Petion, "the poor people lead a sad life in the
Temple, and are compelled to breathe the air that the last scions of
tyranny have contaminated with their poisonous breaths. We owe it to
them to release them from this bad atmosphere, in consideration of
their faithful and zealous service to the country. Citizen Simon has
always taken pains to repair the great neglect in Capet's education,
and to make the worthless boy prove some day a worthy son of the
republic."

"But even if Simon should remain in the Temple, he would not be able
to go on much longer with the education of the boy," said the
hospital director, with a shrug.

"What do you mean by that, citizen doctor?" asked Petion, with a
pleasant lighting up of his eyes.

"I mean that the boy has not a long time to live, for he is
suffering at once from consumption and softening of the brain, and
the latter disease will soon reduce him to an idiot, and render him
incapable of receiving instruction."

"You are convinced that the son of the tyrants will not recover?"
asked Petion, with a strained, eager glance.

"My careful examination of his case has convinced me that he has but
a short time to live, and that he will spend the larger part of this
time in an idiotic state. On this account Simon ought to be removed
from the Temple, in order that his enemies may not be able to
circulate a report about this zealous and worthy servant of the
republic, that he is guilty of the death of little Capet--that
Simon's method of bringing him up killed him. And besides, in order
that the same charge should not be laid to the one and great
republic, and it be accused of cruelty to a poor sick child, kindly
attentions should be bestowed on him."

Petion's countenance clouded, and his eyes rested on the physician
with a sinister, searching expression.

"You have a great deal of sensibility, doctor, and you appear to
forget that the boy is a criminal by birth, and that the republic
can have no special sympathy with him."

"For me," answered Naudin, with simplicity, "every sick person at
whose bed I am called to stand, is a poor, pitiable Iranian being,
and I never stop to think whether be is a criminal or not, but
merely that he is a sufferer, and then I endeavor to discover the
means to assist him. The hallowed and indivisible republic, however,
is an altogether too magnanimous and exalted mother of all her
children not to have pity on those who are reduced to idiocy, and in
sore sickness. The republic is like the sun, which pours its beams
even into the dungeon of the criminal, and shines upon the just and
unjust alike."

"And what do you desire that the republic should do for the
offspring of tyrants?" asked Petion, peevishly.

"I desire not much," answered Naudin, with a smile. "Let me be
permitted to visit the sick child from time to time, and in his
hopeless condition to procure him a little relief from his
sufferings at least, and let him be treated like the child he is.
Let a little diversion be allowed him. If it is not possible or
practicable for him to play with children of his age, let him at
least have some playthings for his amusement."

"Do you demand in earnest that the republic should condescend to
provide playthings for her imprisoned criminals?" asked Petion, with
a scornful laugh.

"You have commanded me to visit the sick boy in the Temple, to
examine his condition, and to prescribe the necessary remedies for
his recovery. I can offer no hope of recovery to the patient, but I
can afford him some relief from his sufferings. Some of my medicines
are called playthings! It lies with you to decide whether the
republic will refuse these medicines to the sick one."

"And you say that the little Capet is incurable?" asked Petion,
eagerly.

"Incurable, citizen representative."

"Well, then," said Petion, with a cold smile, "the republic can
afford to provide the last of the Capets with toys. They have for
centuries toyed fearlessly with the happiness of the people, and the
last thing which the people of France give back to the tyrants is
some toy with which they may amuse themselves on the way to
eternity. Citizen doctor, your demands shall be complied with. The
first place which shall become vacant shall be given to Citizen
Simon, that he may be released from prison and enjoy his freedom.
The little Capet will be provided with playthings, and, besides, you
are empowered to give him all needful remedies for his relief. It is
your duty to care for the sick child until its death."



CHAPTER XXVII.

THE HOBBY-HORSE.


In accordance with the instructions of Petion, playthings were
procured and carried into the gloomy chamber of the prince on the
very next day, and set by the side of the sick boy. But Mistress
Simon labored in vain trying to amuse the little Louis with them.
The men danced, the wooden cocks crowed, the dogs barked, and to all
these sounds the child paid no heed; it did not once open its eyes,
nor care in the least for the many-colored things which the
officials had brought him.

"We must try something else," said the compassionate officer. "Do
you know any plaything which would be likely to please little Louis
Capet?"

"Give him a riding-horse," cried Simon, with a coarse laugh. "I am
convinced if the obstinate youngster should hear that there was a
riding-horse outside, and that he might ride through Paris, he would
be well on the spot and get up. It is pure deceit, his lying there
so pale and without interest in any thing about him."

"You are very cruel, citizen," muttered the official, with a
compassionate glance at the child.

"Cruel? Yes, I am cruel!" said Simon, grimly. "But it is the cursed
prison air that has made me so. If I stay here a week longer, Jeanne
Marie will die, and I shall become crazy. The director of the
hospital told us this, and you know, citizen, that he is the most
clever doctor in all France. See if you would not be cruel if you
had such an idea as that in your head!"

"Well, citizen, you have at least the satisfaction of knowing that
it will not last long," answered the officer, consolingly. "The
first vacancy is to be given to you."

"Well, I hope it will come soon, then," said Simon, with a sigh. "I
will take a vow to you. If, in a week, I shall be released from this
place, and get a good situation, I will give little Capet a horse to
remember me by. That is, not a horse on which he might ride out of
prison, but a wooden one, on which he can ride in prison. Say,
little Capet," called Simon, stooping over the bed of the child,
"would you not like to have a nice wooden horse to play with?"

Over the pale lips of the boy played the faint tint of a smile, and
he opened his eyes. "Yes," he said, softly" yes; I should like to
have a wooden horse, and I should have a good time with it."

"Come, citizen," said Simon, solemnly, "I take you to witness my
vow. If I receive another place, I give a hobby-horse to little
Capet. You grant me the privilege, citizen?"

"I allow you, Citizen Simon, and I will report the matter to the
Public Welfare Committee, that it shall surprise no one by and by,
and I am sure no one will gainsay you in your praiseworthy offer.
For it certainly is praiseworthy to prepare a pleasure for a sick
child; and the great republic, which is the gracious mother of all
Frenchmen, will pity the poor child, too. I wish you success,
citizen, in the fulfilment of all your hopes, and trust that you
will speedily be released from your trying imprisonment."

And, in fact, this release did not have to be waited for long. A few
days brought the accomplishment of Doctor Naudin's prophecy, and the
official guard, who was then sick at the Hotel Dieu, died. The
director of the hospital hastened to inform the authorities of this
event, and on the same day Simon was appointed his successor. The
same official who had brought the sick prince the playthings, came
again to inform Simon, of his release, and was delighted at the
stormy outbreak of rapturous joy with which the tidings were
received.

"We will be off directly," cried Simon. "Our things have all been
packed for three days, and every thing is ready."

"But you must wait patiently till to-morrow, my friends," said the
official, with a smile. "Your successor cannot enter upon his duties
here in the Temple before tomorrow morning at ten o'clock, and till
then you must be content to wait quietly."

"That is sad," sighed Simon. "The time between now and ten o'clock
to-morrow morning, will lie like lead upon my shoulders. I assure
you, citizen, the Temple could get along without me for one night.
The two Misses Capet above stairs are locked up, and as for the
little Capet down here, it is not necessary to lock him up, for he
will not run away, but lie quietly here upon his mattress."

"So the child is really very sick?" asked the officer, with feeling.

"Not exactly very sick," answered Simon, indifferently; "but Doctor
Naudin, who visits him every day. thinks that the youngster might
not be all right in the head, and he has ordered, on this account,
that his long thick hair should be cut off, that his head might be a
little cooler. So Jeanne Marie is going to cut it off, and that will
probably be the last service that she will have to do for him. We
are going to clear out of this--we are going to clear out of this!"

"And have you really nothing more to do for the little Capet, than
merely to cut off his hair?" asked the officer with a fixed,
searching look.

"No," answered Simon, with a laugh; "nothing but that. Oh! yes,
there is something else. I did not think of that. My vow to you! I
forgot that. I swore that, if I were to get away from here, I would
give little Capet a hobby-horse."

"I am glad, Citizen Simon, that you remember your promise," said the
officer, gravely. "I must tell you that the Public Welfare
Committee, to which I communicated your intention, was very curious
to know whether Citizen Simon would remember to carry it into
effect. It is on this account that I was instructed to inform you of
your transfer, and to report to them whether you intended to keep
your promise. Your superiors will rejoice to learn that you are a
man of honor, with whom it is a sacred duty to keep his word; and
who, in prosperous days, does not forget to do what he promised to
do in less propitious times. So, go and buy for little Capet the
promised hobby-horse, and I will inform the Welfare Committee that
it was not necessary for me to remind you of your vow, and that you
are not only a good citizen, but a good man as well. Go and buy the
plaything, and make your arrangements to leave the Temple to-morrow
morning at ten o'clock, and to enter upon your new duties as
collector of customs at Porte Macon."

"The great bell of Notre Dame will not have growled out its ten
strokes to-morrow morning, before Jeanne Marie and I, with our
goods, will have left the place," replied Simon, with a laugh. "And
now I will run and fulfil my promise." He clapped his red-flannel
cap upon his black, thick hair, and left the Temple with a hurried
step. As the porter opened the door of the court which led to the
street, for the worthy citizen and "man of honor," Simon stopped a
moment to chat, telling him of his new situation, and of the vow
which he was about to discharge.

"Do not wonder, therefore, citizen," he said, "if you see me come
back, by-and-by, with a horse--with this distinction, that it will
not be the horse that carries me, but that it will be I that will
carry the horse. I was such a fool as to promise little Capet a
horse, and I must keep my word, particularly as the Committee of
Safety allows it."

"Well, if that is so," said the porter, with mock gravity, "I shall
let you in, even if you do not make your appearance until night.
With the permission of the Safety Committee, every thing; without
it, nothing--for I want to keep my head a little longer on my
shoulders."

"And I do not grudge you the privilege," said Simon, with a broad
grin. "We know very little about what we have here, but much less
about the place where the dear machine takes us. But, if you like,
you can ask Roger, the official guard, whether I have permission to
bring the wooden horse into the Temple. He is inside, and will
probably be there when I come back."

He nodded to the porter, and went out into the street. As the door
closed behind him, Simon stopped a moment, and cast a quick glance
up and down the street. Above, at the corner of the little cross-
street, stood quietly a young commissioner in his blouse, apparently
waiting for some one to employ him. Simon crossed the street and
went up to him.

"Well," asked the latter aloud, "have you any thing for me to do,
citizen?"

"Yes," answered Simon, softly and quickly. "Yes, Toulan, I am all
ready for you. To-morrow morning, at ten o'clock, I leave the
Temple."

"I know it," whispered Toulan. "But speak loudly. There stands a man
who seems to be watching us."

"Come," cried Simon, loudly. "I want you to accompany me to a store
where they sell playthings, and afterward you must help carry back
what I buy, for it will be too large and too heavy for me alone."

Toulan followed him without replying, and the two went quietly and
with an air of indifference through the busy crowd of men. At the
corner of a neighboring street the commissioner came in gentle
contact with another, who was standing on the curbstone, and was
looking earnestly down the street.

"Beg pardon, citizen," said Toulan, loudly, and then added, softly,
"to-morrow morning, at ten o'clock. The washerwomen will take charge
of the dirty linen at the door. At exactly ten the wagons and the
boys must start. The hobby-horse will be filled."

"Yes, it shall be filled," and, with an indifferent air, he passed
by the two, and walked down the Helder street. The farther he went
the more rapid became his steps, and when he at last entered a
narrow, solitary alley, where he might hope to be less observed, his
quick walk became a run, which he continued till he reached the Rue
Vivienne. He then moderated his pace, and went quietly into a toy-
shop, whose attractive windows and open door were directed to the
street. The clerk, who stood behind the counter, asked, with a quiet
air, what he desired.

"First, allow me to sit down, citizen," answered the commissioner,
as he sank upon the rush-chair which stood before the counter.
"There, and now, if you want to do me a service, just give me a
glass of water."

"Halloo, John," cried the clerk to the errand-boy, who was standing
in the hack part of the store. "Bring a glass of water from the
well! Hasten!"

The boy took a glass and sprang out of the door into the street.

"In a quarter of an hour they will be here," said the commissioner,
quickly. "Inform the marquis, if you please."

"The cabinet-maker, Lamber, you mean," whispered the clerk. "He is
not as far away as you; he lives directly opposite, and he has been
standing all day at the house-door waiting for the sign."

"Then give it to him, dear baron," said the commissioner; and as the
boy came in just then with the water, he hastily seized the glass,
and took a swallow so immense as to perfectly satisfy the boy, who
was looking at him.

The clerk had, in the mean time, gone to the shop-door, and looking
across at the opposite house, he drew a blue handkerchief, with a
red border, from his pocket, and slowly raised it to his face.

The man in the blouse, standing at the door of the low house across
the street, nodded slightly, and stepped back out of sight.

"Well," cried the commissioner, "now that I have taken breath, and
have had a good drink, I will tell you why I have run so. I have
directed a citizen to you who wants to buy some playthings, and
something very fine, I suppose, as he brings a commissioner along
with him to carry the things home. Now I want to know what per cent,
of the profit you get from him you are willing to give me, for you
cannot expect, citizen, that I should give my recommendation
gratis."

"I am not the owner of the store," replied the clerk, with a shrug.
"I have been here only a week, and manage the business merely while
the owner is absent for a short time on a necessary journey. So I
can give no fees. But ask the boy whether in such cases Mr. Duval
has paid money. He has been here longer than I."

"Mr. Duval has paid every commissioner, who has brought him such
news, two centums on the franc," said the boy, with an important
air.

"Well, then, I will give you two centums on the franc, provided that
the citizen buys more than a franc's worth."

"Aha! there comes the man," cried the commissioner, pointing at
Simon, who just then entered the store with Toulan. "Well, citizen,
now make a very handsome purchase, for the more you buy, the better
I shall like it."

"Yes, I believe you," replied Simon, laughing; "that is the way in
all stores. I want something nice; I want to buy a hobby-horse. But
mind you, citizen, show me one of your best ones, a real blood-
horse, for I tell you that he who is to ride it is of real blood
himself."

"We happen unfortunately to have a limited supply of the article,"
said the clerk, with a shrug. "They do not come exactly in our line.
But there has been so much demand for hobby-horses of late that we
have ordered some, and if you will wait a few days, citizen--"

"A few days!" interrupted Simon, angrily. "Not a few hours, not a
few minutes will I wait. If you have no hobby-horses, tell me, and I
will go elsewhere to make my purchases."

He turned to go, but the clerk held him back. "Wait only a minute,"
he said. "I should not like to lose your custom, and I think it
possible that I can procure you a fine horse. The cabinet-maker, who
makes our horses, lives just opposite, and he has promised to
deliver them tomorrow. The boy shall go over and see if they are not
ready."

"We would rather go over with him, citizen. If we find what is
wanted, we shall need to go no farther."

"It is true, that will be the best course," said Simon. "Come,
commissioner."

"I will go along to have the business all rightly done," said the
clerk. "Here, John, take my place behind the counter while I am
gone."

Simon had already crossed the street by the side of Toulan. The
clerk followed with the second commissioner.

"Why have you not got rid of the boy, Count St. Prix?" asked the
latter.

"It was impossible, Count Frotte" answered the former in a whisper.
"Duval is a very nervous man, and he supposed that it would excite
suspicion if the boy, who is well known in the neighborhood, should
disappear at just the time when he should be away. He is right,
perhaps, and at any rate the thing is unavoidable. The sly chore-boy
has noticed nothing, I hope, and we shall reach our goal without any
hindrance. You are going to London tomorrow morning?"

"Yes, count. And you? what is your direction?"

"To Coblentz, to the royal princes," replied Count St. Prix. "Only I
suspect that we shall not both of us reach the end of our journeys."

"At any rate not with the children that we shall take with us,"
whispered the other, as they entered the house of the cabinet-maker.

They found Simon and Toulan in the large workshop busily engaged in
bargaining with the cabinet-maker, who had shown them six tolerably
large hobby-horses, and was descanting on their beauties.

"It seems tome they all look very much alike," said Simon. "Tell me,
commissioner, which of these race-horses pleases you best."

"This with the red flanks," said Toulan, laying his hand upon the
largest one.

"It is an immense creature," said Simon, with a laugh. "Still, the
red flanks are pretty, and if we can agree about the price I will
buy the animal."

They did agree, and after Simon had gravely paid the twenty francs,
he and Toulan took the horse on their shoulders and marched down the
street.

"Do all those people know about our secret?" asked Simon, as they
strode forward.

"No, only the cabinet-maker knows about it, and he will leave Paris
to-morrow and carry the prince to a place of safety."

"For God's sake, do not speak so loudly!" whispered Simon, casting
an anxious look around. "But why do you yourself not go away with
the boy and leave Paris, where you are constantly in danger?"

"I cannot," answered Toulan, solemnly.

"Cannot! what forbids you?"

"The vow that I gave to Marie Antoinette, to rescue her children
from the Temple or to die."

"Well, but to-morrow you hope to fulfil your vow, and then you can
go."

"I shall fulfil to-morrow but the half of my vow. I shall, if you
help me, and my plan succeeds, release the son of the queen, but the
daughter will remain behind in prison. You see, therefore, that I
cannot leave Paris, for the daughter and sister-in-law of the queen
are still prisoners, and I must release them."

"But I should rather that you would go away with the boy, and never
come back to Paris," said Simon, thoughtfully.

"How so? Do you not trust me?"

"I trust no one," replied Simon, gloomily. "You might some day, when
it might suit your humor, or in order to save yourself, betray me,
and report me to the Committee of Safety."

"What, I! And ought I not to fear too? Could not you betray me as
well?"

"You know very well that I shall take care not to disclose a word of
this whole history, for to disclose it would be to write my own
death-warrant. But hush, now; hush! there is the Temple, and it
seems to me as if the very walls looked at me maliciously, as if
they wanted to say, 'There comes a traitor!' Ah, Toulan, it is a bad
thing to have an accusing conscience!"

"Help me faithfully to save the prince, Simon, and you will have a
good conscience all the rest of your life, for you will have done a
grand and noble deed."

"In your eyes," whispered Simon, "but not in those of the
Convention, and when they learn about it--but here we are, and our
talk and reconsideration are too late."

He struck three times with his fist against the closed gate of the
outer court. The porter opened, and let the two men in, only saying
that the guard had given his special consent to the bringing in of
the hobhy-horse.

"But about the commissioner whom you bring with you," said the
porter, reflectively, "he did not make any mention, and I can only
allow him to take your plaything into the second court. He must not
go into the Temple."

"It is no particular wish of mine to go into a prison," answered the
commissioner, carelessly. "It is a good deal easier to get in than
to get out again. Well, take hold, Citizen Simon; forward!"

They walked on to the second court. "Now, then," whispered Toulan,
"for caution and thoughtfulness! Tomorrow at ten o'clock I will be
standing before the door, and you will call me in to help you in
your moving."

"I wish it were all over," groaned Simon. "It seems to me as if my
head were shaking on my shoulders, and my heart beats as if I were a
young girl."

"Courage, Simon, only courage! Remember that tomorrow you are to be
a free and a rich man. Then, as soon as you give your basket to the
washerwoman at the Macon gate, I will pay you the promised twenty
thousand francs. And--"

"Halt!" cried the sentinel at the entrance to the Temple. "No one
can go in here without a pass."

"You do not want a pass for my rocking-horse, brother citizen, do
you?" asked Simon, with a laugh.

"Nonsense! I am speaking about the commissioner."

"He is going of himself, and does not want to go in. But look him
square in the face, for he will come to-morrow morning again. I have
secured him in advance, to help me in moving out. Bring a wagon
along, commissioner, for the things will be too heavy to carry
without one. And now help put the horse on my shoulders. So! Well,
then, to-morrow morning at ten, commissioner."

"To-morrow morning at ten," replied Toulan, nodding to Simon, and
slowly sauntering through the court. He stopped at the outer gate,
told the porter that he was going to assist Simon in his moving on
the morrow, and then asked in an indifferent tone whether Simon's
successor at the Temple was appointed.

"Why, would you like the place?" asked the porter, gruffly.

"No, indeed, not I! I have no taste for such work. It must be an
awful air in the prison."

"It is that," replied the porter. "And so after Simon has moved out,
they are going to cleanse the place a little, and give it an airing,
and the successor will move in about noon."

"Well, I don't envy the man who moves in," said Toulan, with a
laugh. "Good-by, citizen, we shall see each other to-morrow."

He went out into the street, and slowly sauntered along. At the end
of it he stopped and gave a trifle to a beggar who, supported by a
crutch, was leaning against a house.

"Is it all right thus far?"

"Yes, marquis, thank God, thus far every thing has gone on well. The
horse is in the Temple, and nothing is discovered."

"May the grace of God stand by us to-morrow!" whispered the beggar.
"You are sure that all the arrangements are carefully attended to?"

"Entirely sure, M. de Jarjayes. While you are leaving Paris in the
garb of a washerwoman, our two allies will both be driving out of
two other gates, with the boy, in stylish carriages."

"And it will be you, Toulan, who will have saved the King of
France," whispered the beggar. "Oh! be sure that all France will
thank you for it some day, and give you the title of savior of your
country!"

"Baron," said Toulan, shaking his head, "for me there is but one
title of honor, that which the Queen of France gave me. I am called
Fidele, and I want no other name. But this one I will maintain so
long as I live. Good-by till we meet to-morrow at the Porte Macon!"

Little Prince Louis Charles received the hobby-horse, which Simon
carried into the chamber, with a little more interest than in the
case of the other playthings. He even raised himself up a little on
his mattress, and directed a long, searching gaze at the tall,
handsome wooden creature.

"Well," asked the official, who had gone with Simon into the
dungeon, and had watched the effect of the toy, "well, how does your
horse please you, little Capet?"

The boy nodded slowly, but made no reply; he only reached out his
long, thin, right hand, and made a motion as if he wanted to rise.

"To-morrow, little Capet," cried Jeanne Marie, holding him back.
"To-day you must keep entirely still, so the doctor said, and I will
cut your hair off directly, as the doctor ordered. But I should like
to have you here, citizen, and oversee the operation. The boy will
look much changed, when his long, yellow hair is cut off, and
afterward it might be supposed--"

"Yes, certainly," interrupted Simon, with a laugh, "afterward it
might be supposed that it is not the stupid youngster who has
troubled us so long, that out of pure tenderness and love we had
taken him along with us."

"No one would consider the republican Simon capable of such a
thing," replied the official, "and besides, the boy will stay here,
and no substitute for him can fall out of the clouds. Be free from
care, Simon. I myself shall recognize the boy to-morrow, and if he
should look changed in appearance, I shall know how it comes."

"Yes, he will know how it comes," said Simon, with a grin, as he
watched the retreating form of the official, now leaving the prison.

"Lock the door, Simon," whispered Jeanne Marie. "We must let the boy
out of this if he is not to be stifled!"

"No, no," said Simon, motioning his wife to retreat from the hobby-
horse which she was approaching. "He will not be stifled, for
beneath the saddle-cloth there are nothing but air-holes, and he can
endure it a good while. We must above all things be cautious and
prepared for every thing. It would be a fine thing, would it not, if
the officials who are on guard in the Temple should conceive the
idea of making the rounds a second time for the purpose of
inspection. He cannot be carried out before it strikes ten from
Notre Dame. We will, however, give him a little more air."

He removed the saddle with care, which was let into the back of the
wooden horse, and listened at the opening.

"He breathes very peacefully and evenly," he then said, softly. "He
seems to be asleep. Jeanne Marie, hold the saddle in your hand, and
at the least approach fit it again in its place. I will now take
hold and pack our things."

When the night came, and the last rounds had been made past the
closed doors of Simon's rooms, and the officials had withdrawn into
the great hall, where they stayed during the night-watch, there was
an unusual stir within Simon's apartments. Jeanne Marie, who had
thrown herself in her clothes upon the bed, slipped out from beneath
the coverlet. Simon, who was standing near the door listening,
advanced to the little prince, and bade him in a whisper to get up.

The child, which now seemed to have recovered from its indifference
and stupidity, rose at once, and at Simon's further command made an
effort to remove his clothes, and to put on in their place the
coarse woollen suit and the linen trousers which Simon drew out of
his bed and handed to him.

The toilet was soon completed, and the little prince looked with a
timid, inquiring glance at Simon, who was regarding him with a
searching eye.

"And the stockings, master?" he asked. "Do not I have any
stockings?"

"No," growled Simon--"no, the son of a washerwoman wants no
stockings. There are some wooden shoes which will be laid for you in
the basket, and you put them on afterward, if we are fortunate in
getting away. But you must cut his hair, Jeanne Marie. With long
hair he will not look like a boy from the people."

Jeanne Marie shuddered. "I cannot," she whispered; "it would seem to
me as if I were cutting off his head, and the woman in white would
stand behind, and pierce me through with her great eyes."

"Come, come, that old story again!" growled Simon. "Give me the
scissors, then; I will take care of it, for the boy must part with
his hair before he goes into the basket. Come, come, do not shrink
and curl up so; I was not speaking of the guillotine-basket, but of
your dirty-clothes basket. Come, Capet, I want to cut your hair."

He took the great shears from the work-basket, and sat down on a
stool by the side of the table, on which burned a dim tallow candle,
throwing an uncertain light through the apartment. "Come, Capet!"

The boy stole up with an insecure step, and shrank together when
Simon seized him and drew him between his knees.

"Do not hurt him, Simon. Be careful of him," whispered Jeanne Marie,
sinking on the floor and folding her hands. "Remember, husband, that
she is here, and that she is looking at you, and that she bores into
my head with her eyes when you do any harm to the child."

Simon looked around with a shy and anxious glance. "It is high time
that we were away from here," he growled--"high time, if I am not to
be crazy as well as you. Stoop down, Capet, so that I can cut your
hair off." The child let his head fall; but a faint, carefully
suppressed sob came from his breast, while Simon's shears went
clashing through his locks, severing them from his head.

"What are you crying for, Capet?" asked Simon, zealously going
forward with his work.

"I am so sorry, master, to have my locks cut off."

"You probably suppose, you vain monkey, that your locks are
particularly beautiful?"

"Oh, no, master! It is only," sighed the boy with his eyes full of
tears--" it is only because her hand has rested on them, and because
she kissed them when I saw her the last time."

"Who is she?" asked Simon, roughly.

"My mamma queen," replied Louis with such a tone of tenderness as to
bring tears into the eyes of Jeanne Marie, and even to move the
cobbler himself.

"Hush!" he said, softly. "Hush! you must never call your mother by
such a name. After to-morrow morning you are to be the son of a
washerwoman. Remember that, and now be still! There, your hair is
done now. Pick up the locks from the floor and lay them on the
table, Jeanne Marie. We must leave them here, that the officer may
find them in the morning, and not wonder if he does not recognize
the urchin. Now we will bring the wash-basket, and see whether young
Capet will go into it. "

He brought out of the chamber a high, covered basket, grasped the
boy, thrust him in, and ordered him to lie down on the bottom of the
basket.

"He exactly fits!" said Simon to his wife. "We will now throw some
dirty clothes over him, and he can spend the night in the basket. We
must be ready for any thing; for there are many distrustful
officials, and it would not be the first time that they have made
examinations in the night. Little Capet must remain in the basket,
and now we will take his substitute out of the horse."

He went to the hobby-horse, took out some screws which ran along the
edges of the upholstery, and then carefully removed the upper part
of the animal from the lower. In the hollow thus brought to light,
lay a pale, sick boy, with closed eyes--the nephew of the Marquis de
Jarjayes, the last descendant of the Baroness de Tarclif, now, as
all his ancestors had done, to give his life for his king.

Jeanne Marie rose from her knees, took a light from the table, and
approached the child, which was lying in its confined space as in a
coffin.

The little prince had raised himself up in his basket, and his pale
face was visible as he looked, out of his large blue eyes, with
curiosity and amazement at the sick child.

"He does not look like the king's son," whispered Jeanne Marie,
after a long, searching study of the pale, bloated face of the
idiot.

"We will put his clothes on at once, then he will look all right,
for clothes make the man. Stand up, little one, you need to get up.
You are not to stay any longer in your curious prison."

"He does not understand you," said Jeanne Marie. "Do not you
remember that Toulan told us that the boy is perfectly deaf and
dumb?"

"True; I had forgotten it, and yet it is fortunate for us, for a
deaf and dumb person cannot disclose any dangerous secrets. Come,
Jeanne Marie, give me the clothes; we will dress up the little mute
like a prince."

They put upon him the velvet jacket, the short trowsers of black
cloth, the shoes and stockings of the prince, who still was looking
out of his basket at the pale, softly-moaning child, which was now
placed by Simon and his wife on the mattress.

"There," said Simon, throwing the coverlet over the boy, "there, the
royal prince is ready, and we can say, as they used to do at St.
Denis, when they brought a new occupant into the royal vault, 'Le
roi est mort, vive le roi! ' Lie quietly in your basket, Capet, for
you see you are deposed, and your successor has your throne."

"Master," whispered Louis, anxiously and timidly, "master, may I ask
you a question?"

"Well, yes, you may, you little nameless toad. What is it?"

"Master, will the sick child have to die, if I am saved?"

"What do you mean, youngster? What are you at?"

"I only mean, master--I only wanted to say that if the poor boy must
die, if he takes my place, why--I should rather stay here. For--"

"Well, go on, stupid! what do you mean by your 'for?' You would
rather remain here?"

"Yes, master, if another is to die and be beaten and tortured, for
blows hurt so much, and I should not like to have another boy
receive them instead of me. That would be wicked in me, and--"

"And you are a stupid fellow, and do not know any thing you are
talking about," said Simon, shaking his fist at him. " Just put on
airs, and speak another such a foolish word, and I will not only
beat you to death, but I will beat this miserable, whining youngster
to death too, and then you will certainly be to blame for it. Down
with you into the basket, and if you venture to put your head up
again, and if to-morrow you are not obedient and do just what we bid
you, I will beat you and him, both of you, to pieces, and pack you
into the clothes-basket, and carry you away. Down into the basket!"

The boy sank down out of sight; and when, after a little while,
Jeanne Marie cautiously looked to see whether he had fallen asleep,
she saw that Louis Charles was kneeling on the bottom of the basket,
and raising his folded hands up to heaven.

"Simon," she whispered--" Simon, do not laugh at me and scold me.
You say, I know, that there is no God, and the republic has done
away with Deity, and the Church, and the priests. But let me once
kneel down and pray to Him with whom little Louis Charles is talking
now, and to whom the Austrian spoke on the scaffold."

Without waiting for Simon's answer, Jeanne Marie sank upon her
knees. Folding her hands, she leaned her forehead on the rim of the
basket, and softly whispered, "Louis Charles, do you hear me?"

"Yes," lisped the child, "I hear you."

"I ask your forgiveness," whispered Jeanne Marie. "I have sinned
dreadfully against you, but remorse has taken hold of my heart, and
tears it in pieces and gives me no rest day or night. Oh, forgive
me, son of the queen, and when you pray, implore your mother to
forgive me the evil that I have done her."

"I will pray to my dear mamma queen for you, and I know she will
forgive you, for she was so very good, and she always said to me
that we must forgive our enemies; and I had to swear to my dear papa
that I would forget and forgive all the wrong that men should do to
me. And so I forgive you, and I will forget all the bad things that
Master Simon has done to me, for my papa and my mamma wished me to."

Jeanne Marie let her head sink lower, and pressed her hands firmly
against her lips to repress the outcries which her remorseful
conscience prompted. Simon seemed to understand nothing of this soft
whispering; he was busily engaged in packing up his things, and no
one saw him hastily draw his hand over his eyes, as if he wanted to
wipe away the dust which suddenly prevented his seeing.

Gradually it grew still in the gloomy room. The whispering in the
basket ceased. Jeanne Marie had retired to her bed, and had wept
herself to sleep. Upon the mattress lay the sick, sobbing child, the
substitute of King Louis XVII., who was in the basket.

Simon was the only one who was awake, and there must have been
dismal thoughts that busied him. He sat upon the stool near the
candle, which was nearly burned out, his forehead was corrugated and
clouded, his lips were closely pressed together, and the little,
flashing eyes looked out into the empty space full of anger and
threatenings.

"It must be," he muttered at last, "it must be. I should otherwise
not have a moment's peace, and always feel the knife at my throat.
One of us must be away from here, in order that he may disclose the
other. I will not be that one, it must be Toulan."

He stood up with the air of one who had made a fixed, unchangeable
resolve, and stretched his bony, crooked limbs. Then he threw one
last look at the stranger-child, that lay moaning and groaning on
his mattress, fell upon his bed, and soon his long-drawn, sonorous
breathing disclosed the fact that Master Simon was asleep.

On the next morning there reigned in the lower stories of the Temple
a busy, stirring life. Master Simon was preparing to move, and all
his household goods were set out in the court, in order to be
transferred to the wagon that Commissioner Toulan had ordered. Close
to the wagon stood one of the officials of the Public Safety, and
examined every article of furniture that was put into it, opening
even the bandboxes and pillows to look into them. Not, as he said,
the Welfare Committee doubted the honesty of the faithful and
zealous servant of the republic, but only to satisfy the forms, and
to comply with the laws, which demanded that the authorities should
have a watchful eye on every thing that was at all connected with
the family of the tyrants.

"And you will do me a great pleasure if you will examine every thing
with the utmost care. In the republic we are all alike, and I do not
see why I should not be served to-day as another would be on the
morrow. You know, probably, that I have been appointed collector at
Porte Macon, and after to-morrow I shall have to inspect the goods
of other people. It is all fair that I should have my turn to-day.
Besides, you will not have much more to examine, we are almost
through; I believe there is only a basket with the soiled clothes
yet to come. That is the sacred possession of my wife, and she was
going to bring it out herself, with the commissioner's help. Yes,
there they come."

At that moment, Jeanne Marie appeared in the court, followed by
Toulan. They brought along, by two ropes which served as handles, a
large and longish basket, whose half-opened cover brought to view
all kinds of women's clothes.

"Room there," cried Simon, with a laugh, "room for the Citoyenne
Simon and her costly dowry!"

"Come, no joking, Simon," said his wife, threatening him with her
fist and laughing. "If my dowry is not costly enough, I will only
ask you to provide me with better things."

"Your dowry is magnificent," said Simon, "and there is not a single
article lacking to make it complete. Come, I will help the
commissioner put the basket in the wagon, for it is too heavy for
you, my fairest one!"

He took hold of the basket with his strong arm, and helped the
commissioner swing it into the wagon.

"But let me look first into the basket, as my duty demands," said
the official. "You are too quick! You know, citizen, that I must
examine all your goods. The law compels me to."

"Then I beg you to climb up into the wagon and open the basket,"
said Simon, calmly. "You cannot want us to take the heavy thing down
again for you to examine it."

"I do not ask that, citizen, but I must examine the basket."

The official sprang into the wagon, but Jeanne Marie was quicker
than he, and stood close by the basket, whose cover was partly
opened.

"Look in, citizen," she said, with dignity. "Convince yourself that
only the clothing of a woman is in it, and then tell the republic
that you found it necessary to examine the basket of the famous
knitter of the guillotine, as if Jeanne Marie was a disguised
duchess, who wanted to fly from the hand of justice."

"I beg your pardon," said the official, "every one knows and honors
the knitter of the guillotine, but--"

"But you are curious, and want to see some of my clothes. Well, look
at them!" She raised those which lay at the top, and held them up to
the official with a laugh.

"And down below? What is farther down in the basket?"

"Farther down," replied Jeanne Marie, with an expression of the
greatest indignation and the most outraged modesty, "farther down
are my dirty clothes, and I hope the republic will not consider it
necessary to examine these too. I would at least oppose it, and call
every female friend I have to my help." [Footnote: Madame Simon's
own words, reported from her own account, which she gave in the year
1810 to the Sisters of Mercy who cared for her in her last sickness.
The sisterhood of the female hospital in the rue Sevres publicly
repeated, in the year 1851, this statement of Jeanne Marie Simon,
who died there in 1819. It was in the civil process brought against
the Duke de Normandy, who was accused of giving himself out falsely
as King Louis XVII., and who could not be proved not to be he.]

"Oh! you will not have to do that," replied the official, with a
friendly nod of the head. "It would be presumptuous to go farther
with the examination of your goods, and the republic regards with
respect the mysteries of an honorable wife."

He jumped down from the wagon, while Jeanne Marie, still wearing an
angry look, laid the clothes back into the basket, and shut the
cover down.

"Can we go now?" she asked, taking her seat on a low stool which
happened to be near the great basket.

"Yes, if the official has nothing against it, we can go," answered
Simon. "Our goods are all loaded."

"Then go on, I have nothing against it, and I wish you and your wife
much happiness and joy in your new career."

The official waved them a last gracious adieu with the hand, and the
wagon started. Alongside of the great, hard-mouthed and long-haired
horse that drew the cart, walked the commissioner, in order, once in
a while, when they had to turn a corner, to seize the bridle and
give it a powerful jerk. At the side of the wagon strode Simon,
keeping a watchful eye upon his possessions, and carefully setting
every thing aright which was in danger of being shaken off upon the
pavement. Above in the carriage near the great basket sat Jeanne
Marie, the former knitter of the guillotine. Her naked brown arm
rested upon the basket, on whose bottom, covered with dirty linen
and Mistress Simon's clothes, was the son of Marie Antoinette, King
Louis XVII., making his entrance into the world which should have
for him only sufferings and illusions, shattered hopes and dethroned
ideals.

This happened on the 19th of January, 1794, and on the very day in
which the unhappy King Louis XVII. was leaving the Temple, his
sister Theresa, who was still living with her Aunt Elizabeth in the
upper rooms, wrote in her diary (known subsequently by the title
"Recit des evenements arrives au Temple, par Madame Royale") the
following words: "On the 19th of January my aunt and I heard beneath
us, in the room of my brother, a great noise which made us suspect
that my brother was leaving the Temple.

We were convinced of it when, looking through the keyhole of the
door, we saw goods carried away. On the following day we heard the
door of the room, in which my brother had been, opened, and
recognized the steps of men walking around, which confirmed us in
the belief that he had been carried away."

The pitiful wagon, which gave its hospitality to the knitter of the
revolution, as well as to a king, drove slowly and carefully through
the streets, unnoticed by the people who hastily passed by. Now and
then they encountered a commissioner who came up to Toulan, greeted
him as an acquaintance, and asked after his welfare. Toulan nodded
to them confidentially and answered them loudly that he was very
well, and that he was helping Simon move out of the Temple and going
with him to Porte Macon.

The commissioners then wished him a pleasant journey, and went their
way; but the farther they were from the wagon, the quicker were
their steps, and here and there they met other commissioners, to
whom they repeated Toulan's words, and who then went from there and
again told them over to their friends in the streets, in quiet,
hidden chambers, and in brilliant palaces. In one such palace the
tidings caused a singular commotion. Count Frotte, who lived there,
and whom the public permitted to live in Paris, ordered his
travelling carriage to be brought out at once. The postilion, with
four swift horses, had already stood in the court below half an
hour, waiting for this order. The horses were quickly harnessed to
the carriage, which was well filled with trunks; and scarcely had it
reached the front door, when the count hurried down the grand
staircase, thickly wrapped in his riding-furs. At his right sat a
little boy of scarcely ten years, a velvet cap, trimmed with fur,
upon his short, fair hair; the slender, graceful form concealed with
a long velvet cloak, that fell down as far as the shoes with golden,
jewelled buckles.

Count Frotte seemed to bestow special care and attention upon this
boy, for he not only had him sit on his right, but remained standing
near the door, to give precedence to the boy, and then hastened to
follow him. He pressed the servants back who stood near the open
door, bowed respectfully, and gave his hand to the lad to assist him
in ascending. The youth received these tokens of respect quietly,
and seemed to take it as a matter of course that Count Frotte should
carefully put furs around his feet and body, in order to protect him
from every draft. As soon as this was done, the count entered the
carriage, and took his place at the left of the boy. The servant
closed the carriage-door with a loud slam, and the steward advanced
with respectful mien, and asked whither the count would order to go.

"The road to Puy," said the count, with a loud voice, and the
steward repeated to the postilion just as loudly and clearly, "The
road to Puy."

The carriage drove thunderingly out of the court-door, and the
servant looked after it till it disappeared, and then followed the
house-steward, who motioned him to come into the cabinet.

"I have something to tell you, citizen," said the steward, with a
weighty air, "but first I must beg you to make me a solemn promise
that you will continue a faithful and obedient servant of the count,
and prove in no way false to your oath and your duty."

The servant pledged himself solemnly, and the steward continued:
"The count has undertaken a journey which is not to be spoken of,
and is to remain, if possible, a secret. I demand of you, therefore,
that if any one asks where the count has gone, you answer that you
do not know. But above all things, you are not to say that the count
is not travelling alone, but in company with the young-gentleman,
whose name and rank I know just as little about as you. Will you
promise to faithfully heed my words?"

The servant asserted it with solemn oaths and an expression of deep
reverence. The steward beckoned to him to go, and then looked at him
for a long time, and with a singular expression as he withdrew.

"He is a spy of the Safety Committee," he whispered to himself. "I
am convinced that he is so, and he will certainly go at once and
report to the authorities, and they will break their heads thinking
what the count has to do in Puy, and who the boy is who accompanies
my lord. Well, that is exactly what we want: to put the bloodhounds
and murderers on a false scent. That is just the object of the
count, and for that purpose M. Morin de Gueriviere has lent his only
son, for all that we have and are, our lives, our children, and
every thing else, belong to our king and lord. I hope, therefore,
that the count's plan will succeed, and the Safety Committee be put
on a false scent."

Meanwhile the pitiful carriage containing Simon's goods had slowly
taken its way through the streets and halted at its goal, the
custom-house near Porte Macon. Before the building stood a woman in
the neat and tasteful costume of the washerwomen from the village of
Vannes, which then, as now, was the abode of the washerwomen of
Paris.

"Well," cried the woman, with a loud laugh, helping Mistress Simon
dismount from the wagon--" well, you have come at last. For two
hours I have been waiting for you, for you ordered me to be here at
eleven, and now it is one. What will my husband and my little boy
say about my coming home so late?"

"I beg your pardon," said Jeanne Marie, with a kindly voice. "Our
ride was a good deal slower than I thought, for the things were
packed only loosely, and if we had ridden faster they would easily
have been injured. But, I will not detain you longer, and you shall
have my wash at once. There are a great many clothes this time, and
I have therefore thrown them all at once into the basket; so you can
put the basket right upon your wagon and bring the things back in
it. Halloa, Simon, and you, commissioner, take hold and lift the
basket down, and carry it out to the washerwoman's wagon that is
standing near the gate."

The two men immediately lifted the great basket out, and carried it
to the open cart which stood there, in which lay arranged in regular
order great bundles of dirty linen. Near the gate stood the sub-
collector, whose superior Simon now was, and it therefore did not
occur to him to examine the basket which his new chief was putting
in the washerwoman's wagon. Some busybodies who stood around turned
their whole attention to the wagon which contained the furniture and
goods of the new collector, who was, of course, a very important
person in this remote quarter, and Jeanne Marie endeavored with her
loud words and choleric gesticulations to fasten the attention of
the idlers upon herself. Nobody regarded the two men, who had just
put the basket into the washerwoman's cart, and no one heard the
words that they softly spoke together.

The washerwoman had raised the cover, and was rolling around the
clothes, as if she wanted to examine the contents of the basket.

"Sire," she whispered, softly, as she did so--"sire, do you hear
me?"

A weak, faint voice replied, "I hear you."

"And shall you be able to bear it, if you stay a little longer in
your hiding-place?"

"Oh yes, I shall be able to bear it; but I am anxious, and I should
like to be away from here."

The washerwoman closed the cover of the basket, and sprang down from
the wagon. "Every thing is in order," she said, "and it is high time
that I should be off. I have a long way to go, and my husband and
child are expecting me."

"Then go, with God's blessing," said the commissioner, shaking hands
with the washerwoman as if she were an old acquaintance." Go, with
God's blessing, and may He protect you from all calamity, and bless
you with happiness and joy!"

He spoke loudly, as if this was intended for the ear of some person
besides the washerwoman. And another had heard the words of Toulan,
and a soft and tremulous voice called: "Farewell, Fidele; I thank
you, dear Toulan."

The wagon was at once in motion, and drove quickly down the street
through the rows of small houses in the suburbs. The two men stood
and looked after it till the washerwoman's carriage disappeared in a
cloud of dust.

Toulan raised his eyes slowly to heaven, and a pious expression
illumined his good, energetic countenance.

"Thou lookest down upon me, my queen and mistress," he said, softly
and inaudibly." I feel the glance of thy heavenly eyes, and it rests
like a hallowed blessing upon my thankful heart. I know, my queen,
that thou art satisfied with me this hour, and it seems to me as if
thy loved voice were whispering above me in the air the word Fidele.
Give me now thy blessing, that I may end my work, and rescue the
daughter and the sister as I have rescued the son. My life is
devoted to thy service, and I shall save all thy dear ones or die!"

"Well, Toulan," said Simon, softly, "I have kept my word, and little
Capet is released. Are you going to keep yours?"

"Certainly I shall," said Toulan, whose glance slowly fell from
heaven, and whose face still glowed like one in a trance. "Yes,
Simon, I shall keep my word to you as you have yours to me. Come
into your house, that I may pay you."

He withdrew quickly from the gate and entered the house which
thereafter was to be the house of the collector Simon. All was going
on busily there, for Jeanne Marie had impressed into her service not
only the sub-collector but some of the curious spectators, and she
scolded her husband, who was just coming in with Toulan, for talking
too long with the washerwoman instead of helping her.

"Do you two take the heavy mattresses and carry them into the next
room."

The two men quickly obeyed, and bore the mattresses into the
chamber. Then they locked themselves in.

Toulan took several rolls from the great waistcoat which he wore
under his blue blouse, broke them asunder, and let the gold-pieces
fall out upon the mattress.

"Count them, Simon," he said, "to see that there are exactly two
hundred and fifty double gold-pieces, all bearing the exalted
symbols of 'he one, great, and indivisible republic.' May they bring
you joy, and be a reward for the great good fortune which you have
brought to me, and to all who love the king and his house."

"But will no one reveal me?" asked Simon, anxiously, while busily
engaged in collecting the gold-pieces, and hiding them between the
mattresses. "Say, Toulan, will no one divulge and report me to the
authorities?"

"Be quiet, Simon, and fear nothing. To betray you, would be at the
same time to betray the great cause which we serve, and to surrender
the young king to the persecution of his enemies. But no one knows,
excepting me, that of your own free will you have helped save the
king. With express reference to your safety, I have made all the
other allies believe that I have deceived you, and that you know
nothing of the concealment of the child. So be entirely without
concern. Only Toulan knows your secret, and Toulan is silent as the
grave. But let us go out now and help your wife bring the things
into the house, and afterward you can let me go without any further
leave-taking. Farewell, citizen; may you be entirely successful in
your new field of labor."

He nodded with a friendly air to Simon, and as Jeanne Marie just
then called the commissioner with a loud voice, Toulan hastily
opened the door and hurried to her.

Simon followed him with a long, dark look. Then he slowly shook his
head, and his eye kindled.

"It must be," he said to himself, softly. "I should otherwise have
no rest day or night, and it would be worse than in the Temple. He
said so himself: only Toulan knows my secret. So if Toulan dies, my
secret dies with Toulan, and is buried with him, and I cart then
enjoy my life, and shall not need to live in anxiety, and in
perpetual fear of being betrayed. But," he continued, after a brief
pause, "what is done, must be done quickly, otherwise I may fall
into the very pit I have digged for Toulan! If the little Capet is
fairly carried to a place of safety, and escapes out of the
republic, Toulan can avenge himself by reporting the whole story and
bringing me to misfortune. I must, therefore, while I am secure,
take away from the fellow the means of betraying me. Yes, yes, it
must be so; Toulan must die, that Simon may live. Look out for your
own self first, and then your neighbors."

With a decided step, Simon left the room, and entered the chamber,
where Toulan was busy with Jeanne Marie in arranging the furniture.

"I am glad to find you here still," said Simon, nodding to him; "for
I had entirely forgotten to tell you that I have a present for you,
which will certainly please you, and which I have saved and laid
away expressly for you."

"What is it, Simon? What kind of a present have you for me?"

"A very precious one, at least such as you and your like will
consider so, I think. I have the long, yellow locks which Jeanne
Marie cut yesterday from little Capet's head."

"And will you give them to me?" asked Toulan, eagerly.

"Yes, that will I, and it is for that purpose that I have brought
them along. They are lying, with all the letters, in my work-box.
But I cannot get at them to-day in all the confusion, for they are
at the very bottom of the box. But come to-morrow morning, and you
shall receive your costly treasure. If you like, you can come about
nine o'clock; and if I should happen to have any thing to do, and
not be here, I will give the hair to Jeanne Marie, and she will hand
it to you."

"Be sure that I shall come," said Toulan, earnestly. "Give me your
hand, and let me thank you for your delicate act of kindness. I
certainly did you a wrong, for I did not hold you capable of such a
deed. I thank you, Simon, I thank you from my heart; and to-morrow
morning, punctually at nine, I shall be here to receive my precious
possession. Farewell till then, Simon! I have no quiet now, but must
run around and see whether every thing seems as usual in the Temple,
and our secret undiscovered." He hastened away, and disappeared
around the corner.

The whole day Simon was busy with his own thoughts, and engaged in
arranging the furniture, with his mind clearly not on his work. In
the afternoon he declared that he must go to the Temple again,
because in the upper corridor he had left a chest with some utensils
in it which were his.

"It seems to me, husband, you are homesick for the Temple," said
Jeanne Marie jestingly, "and you are sad because you are no longer
in the old, black walls."

"Yes, I am homesick for the Temple," replied Simon, "and that is why
I go there."

But he did not take the way to the Temple, but to the city hall, and
rang the bell so violently that the porter dashed to the door to
open it.

"It is you, citizen," he ejaculated. "I thought something must have
happened."

"Something has happened, and I have come to inform the Committee of
Safety," answered Simon, impetuously.

"Has it met?"

"Yes, it is in the little council-chamber. You will find an officer
at the door, and can let him announce you."

Simon strode forward and found the sentinel before the door, who
asked him what his business there was.

"Go in, citizen, and announce that Simon is here, and brings
important news, of great peril to the state."

A minute later, Simon was ushered into the hall in which the Safety
Committee were assembled. All those stern-faced men of the republic
knew Simon as a faithful and zealous republican, upon whose devotion
they could reckon, and whose fidelity was immovable.

"I am come," said Simon, slowly, "I am come to bring an accusation
against a certain person as a conspirator against the republic, and
a traitor to our liberties."

"Who is it, and what has he done?" asked the chairman, with a cold
smile.

"What has he done? He means to do something, and I mean to prevent
him. He means to release the wolf's whelp from the Temple. Who knows
but he may have done so already, for when I left the Temple this
morning, my successor had not come, and little Capet was alone. Who
is it that is able to release the boy and the two ladies? It is
Toulan, the traitor, the royalist Toulan!"

"Toulan!" replied Petion, with a shrug. "We know very well that
Toulan is a traitor, and that the republic can expect only the worst
from him that he can do. He was accused once, but escaped merited
punishment by flight, and he has unquestionably gone to Coblentz to
join the tyrant's brothers there. Our police are watchful, and have
discovered not a trace of him."

"Then allow me to put the police on his track," said Simon,
laughing. "Be so good as to send a couple of officers to me
tomorrow, and I will deliver Toulan, the traitor, into their hands."



CHAPTER XXVIII.

TOULAN'S DEATH.


The next morning, at the stroke of nine, Toulan, in the garb of a
commissioner, entered the house of the new collector at the Macon
gate. Simon received him at the door, and conducted him into the
sitting-room.

"You see," said Toulan, "that I am punctual, and I must tell you
that I have been almost too impatient to wait. I hope you do not
regret your promise, and that you mean to give me the noble present
that you promised me."

"Unfortunately I can not," answered Simon, with a shrug. "My wife
insisted on giving you the hair with her own hands, and she has just
gone out. You will have to wait for her, if you really are anxious
to possess the hair of little Capet."

"Yes, I am anxious to own it," replied Toulan. "The hair of my dear
young king will be my most cherished possession, and--"

"Come, come," interrupted Simon, "there you exaggerate. The gold
salt's-bottle, which the Austrian gave you, is a great deal dearer
to you, is it not? You still have that, have you not?"

"Still have it?" cried Toulan. "I would sooner part with my life
than with this remembrancer of Marie Antoinette!"

"Well, then, see which you would rather keep, your life, or the
bottle the Austrian gave you," said Simon, with a laugh, as he
sprang toward the door and opened it Two officials of the Safety
Committee, followed by armed men, entered.

"Have you heard every thing?" asked Simon, triumphantly.

"Yes, we have heard every thing, and we arrest you, Toulan, as a
traitor. Take him to the Conciergerie. The authorities will decide
what shall be done with him further."

"Well," said Toulan, calmly, "the authorities will, perhaps, do me
the honor of letting me go the same way that my king--and my queen
have taken, and I shall follow the example of the noble sufferers,
and die for the hallowed cause of royalty. Let us go, that I may not
longer breathe the air which the blasphemer and traitor Simon has
poisoned. Woe upon you, Simon! In your dying hour think of me, and
of what I say to you now: You are sending me to death, that you may
live in peace. But you will find no peace on earth, and if no man
accuses you, your conscience will. On your dying bed you will see me
before you, and on the day of judgment you will hear my voice,
accusing you before the throne of God as a betrayer and murderer.
May my blood come on your head, Simon!"

Simon lived to enjoy his freedom and his money only a short time. At
the expiration of a year he fell into lunacy, which soon made him
attempt his own life. He died in the Asylum of Bicetre. His wife
lived till 1821, in a hospital at Paris, and in her dying hour
asserted that little Capet was released in the way above related.

On the next day, there was a great excitement within the Temple, and
the Safety Committee repaired thither in a body. The lamplighter,
who made his rounds on the evening of the day on which Simon left
the Temple, had asserted that the child that lay upon the mattress
was not the little Capet. "He must know this," he said, "for he had
seen the child daily when he lighted the lamp in the boy's room."

The new keeper, Augustus Lasne, was very much excited at the
communication of the lamplighter, and at dawn of the next day
repaired to the city hall to report the statement. The Safety
Committee resolved on an immediate investigation of the Temple,
after pledging one another to the deepest secrecy, and enjoining the
same on all the servants at the Temple.

The officials found on the mattress a moaning, feverish boy, in the
garments of the dauphin. These they recognized as the ones which the
republic had had made a month before for little Capet, but no one
could say whether this child, with a body covered with sores, a
swollen face, and sunken, lustreless eyes, was really little Capet
or not; no one knew whether sickness had so changed his looks that
this stupid, idiotic boy was the one whom they had all known when he
was well, as they saw him joyously flitting around. First of all
they summoned Doctor Naudin, the director of Hotel Dieu, to examine
the boy. He appeared without delay, and declared solemnly and
decidedly that this was the same boy whom he had seen there some
days before when he visited Simon's wife, only the English sickness
which afflicted the child had distorted his limbs, while the cutting
off of his hair gave him a changed look, and it was no wonder that
the lamplighter failed to recognize him.

Simon, who was summoned to give evidence, asserted the same thing,
and affirmed that he recognized little Capet in the sick boy, and
that his wife had cut off his hair only the day before. He brought
the hair as a complete proof of the identity, and it was seen to
agree perfectly with that of the sick child.

Yet some of the officials still doubted, and their doubts were
increased when on the same day the servant of Count Frotte reported
to the Safety Committee that his master had made a sudden and secret
journey, accompanied by a boy, whom the count had treated with great
deference.

This boy might be the dauphin, whom Count Frotte, in conjunction
with Toulan, might have spirited out of the Temple in some secret
way, and who must be followed at all hazards. At the same time the
government were informed that the Count de St. Prix had left Paris
in company with a boy, and had taken the road to Germany.

Chazel, a member of the Convention, was sent secretly to Puy to
arrest Frotte and the boy there; and Chauvaine, another member, was
ordered to follow the road to Germany, and, if possible, to bring
back Count St. Prix.

After a while both of them returned, with nothing accomplished.
Chazel had, indeed, arrested Count Frotte and the boy in Puy, but
the count had given such undeniable proofs that the boy was not the
dauphin--he had summoned so many unimpeachable witnesses from Paris,
who recognized the boy as the son of M. de Gueriviere, who was in
Coblentz with the princes, that nothing more remained but to release
the count and his comrade.

Chauvaine had not been able to arrest the Count de St. Prix, and had
only learned that in company with a boy he had crossed the Rhine and
entered Germany.

It was of no use, therefore, to undertake farther investigations,
and the conclusion must be firmly held to that the boy in the
Temple, whose sickness increased from day to day, was the real
Capet, the son of Louis XVI. The suspicion which had been aroused
must be kept a deep secret, that the royalists should not take
renewed courage from the possibility that the King of France had
been rescued. [Footnote: Later investigations in the archives of
Paris have brought to light, among other important papers relative
to the flight of the prince, a decree of the National Convention,
dated Prairial 26 (June 14), 1704, which gave all the authorities
orders "to follow the young Capet in all directions." The boy who
remained a prisoner in the Temple, died there June 8, 1798, a
complete idiot.]

But the secret investigations, and the efforts to draw something
from Toulan, caused the authorities to postpone his fate from week
to week, from month to month. On the 20th of January he was arrested
and taken to the Conciergerie, and not till the month of May did the
Convention sentence him to death. The charge was this: that he had
accepted presents from the Widow Capet, in particular the gold
salt's-bottle, and had made frequent plans to release the Capet
family from prison.

On the same day Madame Elizabeth, the sister of Louis XVI., was
sentenced to death, on the charge of conducting a correspondence
with her brothers, through the agency of Toulan, having for its end
the release of the royal family.

When the sentence was read to Madame Elizabeth, she smiled. "I thank
my judges that they allow me to go to those I love, and whom I shall
find in the presence of God."

Toulan received his sentence with perfect composure. "The one,
indivisible, and exalted republic is just as magnanimous, is it not,
as the monarchy was in old times, and it will grant a last favor to
one who has been condemned to death, will it not?"

"Yes, it will do that, provided it is nothing impossible. It will
gladly grant you a last request."

"Well," said Toulan, "then I ask that I may be executed the same day
and the same hour as Madame Elizabeth, the sister of the king, and
that I may be allowed to remain by her side at her execution."

"Then you have only till to-morrow to live, Citizen Toulan," replied
the presiding officer of the court, "for Elizabeth Capet will be
executed to-morrow."

Early the next morning three cars drove away from the Conciergerie.
In each of these cars sat eight persons, men and women of the
highest aristocracy. They had put on their most brilliant court
attire for that day, and arranged themselves as for a holiday. Over
the great crinoline the ladies wore the richest silks, adorned with
silver and gold lace; they had had their hair dressed and decorated
with flowers and ribbons, and carried elegant fans in their hands.
The gentlemen wore velvet coats, brilliant with gold and silver,
while cuffs of the finest lace encompassed their white hands. Their
heads were uncovered, and they carried the little three-cornered hat
under the arm, as they had done at court in presence of the royal
family.

All the aristocrats imprisoned in cells at the Conciergerie had
begged for the high honor of being executed on that day, and every
one whose request had been granted, had expressed his thanks for it
as for a favor.

"What we celebrate to-day is the last court festival," said the
prisoners, as they ascended the cars to be carried to the
guillotine. "We have the great good fortune of being present at the
last great levee, and we will show ourselves worthy of the honor."
All faces were smiling, all eyes beaming, and when the twenty-four
condemned persons dismounted from t