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The Baldwin LibraryUnivrsitym L loida
THE PEASANTANDTHE PRINCEBY HARRIET MARTINEAUAUTHOR OF"MHE SETTLERS AT HOME," "FEATS ON THE FIORD"ETC. ETC.i-. :tLONDONGEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONSBROADWAY, LUDGATE HILLNEW YORK: 416 BROOME STREET
BY MISS MARTINEAU.FEATS ON THE FIORD.THE PEASANT AND THE PRINCETHE BILLOW AND THE ROCK.THE CROFTON BOYS.TRADITIONS OF PALESTINE.SETTLERS AT HOME.
CONTENTS.THE PEASANT.tHAPT22 RAGMI. THE LOVER IN THE WOOD . . 5II. COMPANY TO SUPPER . . 15III. A HOLIDAY MORNING . . 26IV. HOLIDAY INDEED. . . .. 82THE PRINCE.I. ROYALTY.. ............. .41II. ROYAL WAYS ............ 43TI. THE DAUPHIN LOSES HIS GOVERNESS : . 58,r. LAST NIGHT T VERSAILLES . . 65V. A PROOESSION. . .. . 74S71. THE DAUPHIN AL PARIS .. . 7.9SVI. AT ST. CLOUD ......... 89VIII. THE ENTERPRISE. . ... (IX. PLAYING FALSE . . . 128X. THE MOB IN THE PALACE . .. . 140XI. WHAT BEFEL WHILE THE QUEEN WAS HOPING. .... 145XII. PRISON. .................. .159XIIL THE FAMILY SEPARATED.. . . .. .174- X. FURTHER SEPARATION . .. 182V;. THE END .............. 186a 2
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THE PEASANT.CHAPTER I.THE LOVER IN THE WOOD.ONE fine afternoon in April, 1770, there was a good dealof bustle in the neighbourhood of the village of St. Mene-hould, in the province of Champagne, in France. The"bride of the Dauphin of France,*-the lady who was tobe queen when the present elderly king should die,-wason her journey from Germany, and was to pass throughSt. Menehould to Paris, with her splendid train of noblesand gentry; and the whole country was alive with pre-parations to greet her loyally as she passed. The housesof the village were cleaned and adorned; and gangs oflabourers were at work repairing the roads of the district;-not hired labourers, but peasants, who were obliged bylaw to quit the work of their own fields or kilns, whencalled upon, to repair the roads, for a certain number ofdays. These road-menders were not likely to be among* It is not certain how the heir of the throne of France came to becalled Dauphin-(in the same manner as the heir of the English throneis called Prince of Wales)-but the reason is supposed to be this.Dauphin is French for Dolphin. An ancient noble family in Francehad a dolphin in their coat of arms, and called their family after it,and also their territory, known by the name of Dauphin The last ofthis race of independent nobles yielded up his territorial authority tothe kings of France, whose heirs from that time (1349) to the lastFrench RelolutiA, in 1830, have borne the title of Dauphin.I
6 TTHE PEASANT.the most hearty welcomers of the Dauphiness; for theyhad been called off, some fom their field-work, just at thetime when the loss of a few lays would probably cause greatdamage to the crops,-and others from the charcoal works,when their families could ill spare the small wages theygained at the kilns. These forced labourers would will-ingly have given up their sight of the Dauphiness, if shewould have gone to Paris by another route, so that thisroad-mending might have been left to a more convenientseason.The peasants round St. Menehould were not all outupon the roads, however. In the midst of a wood, a littleto the north of the village, the sound of a mallet might beheard by any traveller in the lane which led to the ponds,outside the estate of the Count de D-The workman who was so busy with his mallet was nota charcoal-burner; and the work he was doing was on hisown account. It was Charles Bertrand, a young peasantwell known in the village, who had long been the loverof Marie Randolphe, the pretty daughter of a tenant ofthe Count de D-. When they were first engaged,everybody who knew them was glad, and said they wouldbe a happy couple. But their affairs did not look morecheerful as time went on. Charles toiled with all hismight, and tried so earnestly to save money, that he didnot allow himself sufficient food and rest, and was nowalmost as sallow and gaunt-looking as his older neighbours;ind yet he could never get nearer to his object of obtain-ing a cottage and field to which he might take Mariehome. Marie grew somewhat paler, and her face lesspretty; for, besides her anxiety for her lover, she had hardliving at home. Her father and mother had her twoyoung brothers to maintain, as well as themselves; and no;
THE LOVER IN THE WOOD. 7toil, no efforts on the part of the family, could keep themabove want. Their earnings were very small at the best;and these small gains were so much lessened by the workher father was called out to do upon the roads-and, ofthe money brought home, so much went to buy thequantity of salt which they were compelled by law topurchase, that too little remained to feed and clothe thefamily properly.This story of the salt will scarcely be believed now; butit was found, throughout France, about eighty years ago, tobe only too true. An enormous tax was laid upon salt,as one of the articles which people could not live without,and which therefore everybody must buy. To make thistax yield plenty of money to the king, there was a lawwhich fixed the price of salt enormously high, and whichcompelled every person in France above eight years old tobuy a certain quantity of salt, whether it was wanted ornot. By the same law, people were forbidden to sell saltto one another, though one poor person might be in wantof it, and his next-door neighbour have his full quantity,without any food to eat it with. Even in such a case asthis, if a starving man ventured to sell salt for a loafof bread, he was subject to severe punishment. Now,Marie's brothers were just ten and nine years old; and thehardships of the family had been increased since thesepoor boys became the cause of their father having to buytheir portion of salt. Just able before to get on, thefamily were, by this additional tax, brought down to astate of want; and Marie begged her father not to say aword about giving her a single penny, to help her mar-riage with Charles; for she saw well that he would neverbe able to do it. Her poor father could not contradict herAs he could do nothing for her, he did not like to
8 THE PEASANT.oppose the plan which the young people were found atlength to have talked over. Charles knew that, in casesof great poverty, huts had been built in a wood, or cavesscooped out in the side of the chalk hills, where peoplelived who could not hire, or buy, or build a house. Hetold Marie that he would build a hut in the wood, andthat he would then marry, and live or starve together,since there was no use in waiting longer, seeing, as theydid, that their prospect never could improve. The lordof the chateau would not object, he was sure; as the lordsalways got out of their peasantry much more service thanwould pay for the stakes and twigs of a hut in the wood.Marie was easily persuaded, though her mother wept atthe idea of the cold of winter, and the damps of spring,and the ague of autumn, that she knew caused terriblesuffering to the poor, who lived in the woods and caves.The good woman tried to console herself with taking greatcare of a pair of fowls, which were to be her wedding pre-sent to her daughter.So here was Charles, this day, at work in the wood,with Marie's brothers to help him. One well-wisher hadlent him an axe, and another a mallet; and he cut anddrove stakes, while Robin and Marc collected twigs fromthe brushwood, moss from the roots of trees, and rushesfrom the margin of the ponds. They had chosen such aspot as they thought Marie would like; for she would notbe persuaded to come and choose for herself. She onlydropped that the hut ought to stand above the fogs ofthe ponds; and she left the rest to Charles. Charles hadfound a little green recess among the trees, on a slightlyrising ground; Robin and Marc declared for it at once,when he showed them how he could cut away the brush-wood, so as to leave a pathway to the pond, and a pretty
THE LOVER IN THE WOOD. 9view of it when it gleamed in the sun, as it did thisafternoon. The boys clapped their hands: and Charles,feeling a glow at his heart, as if Marie and he wereSgoing to be happy at last, began to sing, as he drove hiscorner-stakes." You will have a pleasant life of it here in the woods,"said Robin, bringing as large a load of rushes as his twoarms would hold. " I should like to live here, as you aregoing to do. You have only to look into that pond forthree minutes to see more fine fish than you will want fora month after."" The fish will do us no good," said Charles. " If a fish-bone is found within a furlong of where I live (here wherenobody else lives), off I am marched straght to jail. Andthe Count's bailiff has surprisingly sharp eyes.""I would bury the fish-bones in the night-time,"observed Marc, coming up with a faggot of twigs; "butI would have the fish, if I wanted them, for all thebailiff."" If you go to yonder jail," said Charles, " and ask thefolk how they came there, some of them will tell you itwas trying to get fish, when they were hungry, for all thebailiff. Or, if not fish, something else from the woods andwarrens-a rabbit, perhaps, or a couple of doves.""I hope the bailiff wont put me into jail for myrabbits," said Marc, " for I have not eaten them. Ihave a pretty litter of rabbits for Marie; and you willhelp me to make a hutch for them, behind the house. Ishould say hereabouts.""Do you know no better than that ?" said Charles.--'-Your father could have told you in a minute, if you hadasked him, that it is against the law for anybody to keeprabbits and pigerns except the nobles."
10 THE PEASANT." Pigeons!" exclaimed Robin. " Why, that is too bad!I have the prettiest pair of doves, from this wood, thatever was seen. I took them from the nest, a month ago;and I tell Marie that their cooing will set all the doves inthe wood cooing, so that she will have music all day longwhile you are away at work.""N1o matter for all that," said Charles. "It would bea pretty treat for Marie; and it is a pretty thought ofyours: but Marie must be content to hear the Count'spigeons coo; for the first day the bailiff finds any tameones, he will wring their necks, and make her or yousuffer for having them. I can't allow a rabbit or a pigeonhere, boys, say what you will. They will be my ruin.Ah l I see you are vexed with me: but I did not makethe law, and have no more liking to it than you: but Ican tell you, quick as the bailiff's eyes are upon every-body, they are most so upon people who live, as I amgoing to do, with fish, and pigeons, and rabbits all closeround about them, and oftentimes wanting a meal, as Ifear Marie and I shall do."The boys declared that if Charles would not take hometheir presents, they would keep them, and bear the riskthemselves. They might thus let Marie have a rabbit ora bird to eat, now and then, if she could not keep them intheir live state, as a pleasure.As the floor of the hut could not be too much trodden,in the absence of planks and bricks, Charles and the boysgave it a first treading now, as soon as the six biggeststakes were driven in. Like all their peasant neighbourswho were not barefoot, they wore wooden clogs; and withthese all three stamped and tramped with might andmain.They were so busy at this work, that they did not per-
THE LOVER IN THE WOOD. '11ceive that any one was approaching, till Robin, happeningto turn round, exclaimed-"Why, here is Marie!"Charles bounded out of the enclosure, threw his armsround Marie, and covered her cheek with kisses; so de-lighted was he with her for coming, as he thought, to seehow the work went on, without even waiting till he wentfor her." Stay, stay, Charles !" exclaimed she, as soon as he wouldlet her speak. " Hear what I came for," she added, mourn-fully, and almost impatiently. " You must give over thiswork for to-day; and perhaps for many days more. Youmust go away somewhere out of sight, till all the strangershave left the place; or there is no saying what mayhappen. Father says so; and it was my mother that bademe come. She could not come herself, and so leave meamong the soldiers.""Soldiers! what soldiers?" asked all at once."The soldiers are come that we were warned wouldcome whenever the Count should bring his family home,and the Dauphiness pass through: and there are so manythat there is not a house within two miles of the villagethat has not some quartered in it. We have three athome; and what we are to do for them we don't know,nor how long they will stay. The first thing, however,Charles, is for you to keep out of sight. Father says ifyou dcn't, the Count's people will certainly be laying holdof you f&r military service."Charles struck his mallet against a tree, as if he wishedto knock its head off. Between fear, anger, and disappoint-ment, he was quite in a passion. He could not reason-ably deny that all his and Marie's hopes might depend onhis hiding himself till the bustle was past; but it madeI,
12 THE PEASANT.him wretched to think of skulking in idleness, when hisprotection and assistance would be most wanted by Marieand her family."Now, don't do that, love," said Marie, gently holdinghis hand, as the dull shock of his blows echoed throughthe wood. "That noise will bring somebody. The Counthimself, and his family, are not far off; and his people areall about. Do be quiet, Charles."" Quiet, indeed! And what are you to do with threesoldiers, when you have not enough for yourselves ?""I don't know, indeed," said Marie, tearfully, as sheremembered that her mother's cherished pair of fowls weredoomed already for supper. She did not mention this;but said that the soldiers were calling for fuel, as theyliked a good fire in spring evenings; and that her brothersanust make haste home, each with a faggot, which w6uldserve as an excuse for having been so long in the wood, ifthe Count's people should have their eyes upon them. Sheherself must make haste back, Marie said, as the soldierswanted their linen washed by the next morning. Hermother was trying to borrow some wood-ashes, as they hadscarcely any soap; and it was time now that they were atthe wash-tub. She must be gone.The boys were more eager than Marie to be home.They were in fear for their rabbits and doves. They wereheaping up their faggots with all speed, when they heardnoises from the lane which made them pause. There wasthe sound of wheels, and the tramp of many horses, andthe voices of a large company." It is the Count and his family," said Marie, " coming tothe chateau by the shortest road. No-do not go, boys,"she entreated, as they left their faggots, and began forcingtheir way through the brushwood towards the pond, that
THE LOVER IN THE WOOD. 13they might see the sight in the lane. "Robin, dear Robin !-Marc,-come back! Do come back, now! You willsee them much better to-morrow. They will make a muchgrander show to-morrow. Charles, do make them stayhere !"Charles did not attempt this. He was thinking ofsomething else; for he had observed Marie's colour changewhen the cavalcade was first heard in the lane. He fixedhis eyes upon her as he said-" Had you seen the Count and his train when you foundus here?"" Yes," she replied, looking in his face; " I had crossedthe corner of neighbour Thibaut's field, and was upon thestile when the party turned into the cross-road; and I hadto wait till they were all past.""How many were there?""Oh, more than I can tell. There was a coach full ofladies, and six horses to it. And some more ladies onhorseback, and some gentlemen, and many servants.""Did any of them speak to you?""They gave me good-day. But, Charles, I could hardlyreturn it dutifully to them." She hid her face on herlover's shoulder as she whispered, "It made my heart sinkto nothing, and does now, to think that I cannot be mar-ried without his consent,-that great Count's! When Isaw his grandeur, I thought it never could be."" Never fear," said Charles, relieved from some feeling ofdread which he hardly understood, but still with a heavyleart. "If his grandeur be all you are afraid of, neverfear.\ He will be too busy to attend to such an affair, andwill send us a word through the bailiff, or the cur6, if wecan get him to speak for us. Or we can wait a few days,till they are fairly gone with the Daupbiness, and then
14 THE PEASANT.marry; and the thing done, he will not take it amiss thatwe did not trouble him for his consent, at such a busy time.""See what are the boys doing?" exclaimed Marie, whosaw through the trees that her brothers were makingthe humblest of their rustic bows, repeatedly, and withextraordinary earnestness. "Come further back into thewood," she whispered. "Here, behind this thicket;-here no one can see us from the lane. Hark! Can youhear what those voices are saying?"No words could be distinguished; but the boys sooncame running back, aid, to Marie's great relief, followedby no one.Her brothers were full of what they had seen. Thecavalcade was very grand. The great coach looked quitefull of ladies with their large white hats, covered withfeathers and flowers and ribbons. Some more ladies inlight blue riding-habits rode the most beautiful sleekhorses; and so did the gentlemen. One of the younggentlemen stopped, or tried to stop; but his horse wouldnot stand, but kept wheeling round and round the wholetime he was speaking with them. He asked them whetherthey did not live in this wood; and when they said "No,"he asked whether somebody did not live in it. Upon theirsaying that they knew of no inhabitant, he further inquiredwhether, if he came bird-nesting, or with his fishing-rod,they did not think he should find some sort of a habitationamong the trees. And then he asked whether they werenot the Count's peasantry; and what their names were,and how many there were in the family; and whether thebailiff was kind to them. By that time, the gentleman'shorse began to bolt across the lane, and all the party butone groom were almost out of sight; so the gentlemantook off his hat, and bowed down to his saddle, looking
' COMPANY TO SUPPER. 15-,-niot mocking, but in play, and galloped off;groom laughed and nodded, and galloped after hisrles now turned away, and with desperate tugstp the stakes he had driven with so much satisfac-t* hrew them into the thicket. Hefilled the holes,cratched up with brambles the ground he and the boysa4 trodden, and strewed it over with green twigs, so thatt token of his late labour was left to attract the eye ofhe passer-by. The boys looked ruefully on his proceed-msl and Marie appeared to forget that her motherher, as she gazed. She soon, however, observedthe lane was empty now, and they must be gone.g her brothers on before, she stayed one momenttAb1itreat Charles to be patient under the separation anddlay of a few days, and proposed to him that he should befbund, that day week, at a certain cave in the chalk-hill,two miles off, where she would send to let him know whenthe danger was over, and he might appear again.Charles made no promises,-spoke no word of any kind.Hel kised'her fervently, and would scarcely let her go:and when she looked back from the verge of the wood,the aw -him leaning his forehead against a tree. Sheeared he was weeping very bitterly.CHAPTER II.COMPANY TO SUPPER.An eS mother received her with a look almost of re-a ; so overpowered was the poor woman with the"'sine' s of providing lodging, food, fire, and washing forthree strangers, when she had no money, and few otherAmeans of making them comfortable. The men seemed to
16 THE PEASANT.behave well. One of them was absent, helping his hostto bring in his share of the forage, to be provided by thevillage, for the cavalry now awaiting the arrival of theDauphiness. The other two guests were sitting beforethe door, one smoking, and the other every now and thenlooking in, and addressing some civil word to the hostess,who was plucking her fowls with a heavy heart."I thought you were lost," said she to her children asthey entered. "Robin, fill the boiler; and Marc, blowthe fire under it. Your sister and I shall have to be atthe wash-tub and ironing-board all night."The soldiers were very sorry this trouble should becaused by them. Was there no one in the village whocould relieve them of this part of their work? That thelinen should be ready by the morning was indeed indis-pensable, as the Dauphiness might arrive at any hour ofthe next day: but to stand at the wash-tub at midnight!-it was terrible to think of. However terrible, there wasno help for it. Every housewife in St. Menehould hadsoldiers quartered upon her house, and her hands thereforefull, instead of being able to wash for another. Besidesthis, the Randolphes could not pay for such service. More-over, the family had to give up their beds (which were butpoor cribs in the wall) to the strangers; and as they hadto be up, they had better be employed than idle.As soon as Robin and Marc had done all they could fortheir sister in the washing-shed, they hastened to thesoldiers, and made the acquaintance which boys like tomake with strangers who have travelled and seen wonder-ful things. First, they found out that one soldier wascalled J6rome, and that the other, who never ceasedsmoking, pretended to have so many names, that they sawhe either meant to make a joke of them, or did not choose
COMPANY TO SUPPER. 17y what his real name was. Then the boys told theirnames and ages, and those of all the family: but theyinot mention Charles, having learned that much pru-Sfrom the distress they saw in the faces of their sistermother. Then it appeared that the soldiers could tellia great deal about the Dauphiness." "Will she be here to-morrow " asked Marc."That depends upon where she is to-night," repliedJ4rome. "The last I heard of her was at Strasburg. Youknow she is a German, and comes from Germany."The boys had never heard of Germany, near as they-were to it, and did not know where Strasburg was. Sothey asked about something that they could understand;what the great lady's name was, and how old she looked."., "Her name is Marie-Antoinette-Josephe-Jeanne do"Lorraine: and her age is- Let us see. Comrade, how'old is she, exactly? I heard tell, I think, that she isifteen."" Oh, that can't be!" exclaimed the boys. " Married atffteen! and our Marie is- "I -Here Robin remembered that he must not allude toCiharles, and stopped." She was born on the day of the great earthquake atison -" Is,that where she lives?""1" No, I think not. Whether Lisbon is in Germany, .m not certain; but I don't think she and her motherere ia the earthquake; but I know that it happened thesh was born, and that it hurts her spirits to think ofShe akes it for a sign that she will live unhappy, ore in some dreadful way.". You have not served out of France," observed Ran-phe, as he came up, with the third soldier, and seated
18 THE PEASANT.himself on the bench. " You have not seen either Lisbonor Germany, I suppose; for I can tell you that Lisbon isa good way off from any place where this princess hasbeen. Well, I am sorry to hear anything hurts herspirits; but, to be sure, the great earthquake was an awfulthing.""I am thinking," said Jerome, " that a good many thou-sand people must have been born that same day; I hopethey are not all troubled with bad spirits. It would be acurious sight to see so many people of fifteen all low aboutthe manner of their lives and deaths.""She is very low sometimes, however," observed hiscomrade. "When she was leaving the city she lived in,she wept so that nothing was ever seen like it. Shecovered her eyes sometimes.with her handkerchief, andsometimes with her hands; and looked out many timesfrom the coach-window, to see her mother's palace oncemore."Every one thought there was no great wonder in this.A young girl, leaving her own country for ever, to be thewife of a foreign prince whom she had never seen, andcould not tell whether she should like, might well be intears, Randolphe said. Had she cheered up yet?" Yes, indeed," said J6rome, " that she has. When shesaw the fine pavilion on the frontier, she was pleasedenough."The boys wanted to hear about the pavilion." It was there," said J6rome, "that she was to be madea French princess of. It was a very grand sort of tent,that cost more money than I can reckon."Randolphe sighed." There were three rooms," continued J6rome; "a largeone in the middle, and a smaller one at each end, In one
SCOMPANY TO SUPPER. 19j lew smaller rooms she left everything she had worn,oen to her very stockings, and all her German atten-" ,ts; and then she went through to the other, where she'w her French attendants, and her fine French ward-"And shall we see her in some of her new clothes "assed Mare."Certainly." And J6rome went on describing theaprine'a dress, and told all he had heard of her jewels,aed furs, and laces, till the soldiers observed that theirai had sighed very often. One of the soldiers then saidSjthalJ wra enough to make poor men like themselves sadto 6 ar of such lunry, when they were hungry in the longSsuam ar days, and cold all the long winter nights."! What need you care?" said the host, somewhat bit-;ty. " You are provided for by law, when we countryp ople are ground down by it. You come upon us, andamst be served with the best, when we have not enoughf; ourselves."The third soldier declared that he thought this a verySunivil speech. J6rome said that he, for his part, couldditispei with civility in such a case, when he happened toknow where the truth lay. He assured Randolphe thats idiars like himself were as little pleased with the stateof things as any countryman. They themselves were thesons of peasants; and many had led a cottage life, andknev how to pity it. But he must say, a soldier's lifewas very little better. The army could not get its pay.Glad enough would soldiers be to save trouble to theirShosts, if they had a little money in their pockets; butJpay was not to be got, in these days, by soldiers, anymore than if none was due to them.;His smoking comrade thought there must be an earth-b2
20 THE PEASANT.quake somewhere in France, swallowing up all the money;for nobody could tell where it all went to." How can you say that," said Randolphe, " when youthink of the numbers of idle people that are feeding uponthose who work?-I hear you, wife," he said, in answer toa warning cough from his wife within. " It is no treasonto say that in this land there are swarms of idle folk,living upon the toil of us who work."The guests declared that they were men of honour, whowould be ashamed to repay hospitality by reporting theconversation of their host. Besides, nobody in Francecould question the fact. To say nothing of the old king,languishing in the midst of costly pleasures, so viciousthat by every indulgence he purchased the curses ofvirtuous families, and the hatred of the poor,-besides allthe extravagances in that quarter, there were the nobility,sitting heavy upon the people throughout the land, likethe nightmare upon the sleep of a wearied man. Thesenobles must all be rich,-must all be pampered in luxury,though not one of them would work with his head orhands. If a nobleman had five sons, they must all bepampered alike; and the sons of five hundred peasantsmust be oppressed, to supply the means.Randolphe said he had little thought to see the daywhen he should hear soldiers say these things openly athis own door. His face brightened as he declared this,though his wife again coughed more than once.Jerome replied that it was a common thing now to hearthese things told; for the oppressed do get to speak out,sooner or later. The story of the king's meeting a coffinwas in everybody's mouth. No one here had heard it: soJerome told that the king was fond of asking questions ofstrangers, and particularly about disease, death, and
COMPANY TO SUPPER. 21churchyards; because he thought his gay attendants didY* t like to hear of such things. One day, he was huntingin the forest of S6nard, when he met a man on horseback,arrying a coffin.-" Where are you carrying that coffin "sike the king.-" To the village yonder."-" Is it for am nor a woman?"-" For a man."-" What did he dieofl'--"Of hunger."-The king clapped spurs to his horse.and rode away. ."He might find the same thing happening in manyother villages," said Randolphe, stroking the thin cheeks ofhis boy Robin. "Look here!" showing the boy's arm." Is this an arm that can work or fight as a Frenchman'sshould do, when my boy is a man?"" -" Things may be different when that boy is a man," saic<the smoker, between two whiffs of his pipe."How? Where? When? Why? Is anything goingSto be done for the poor " asked Randolphe and his family,within and without doors."* ",I don't know when and how: but I think you neednot ask why, if you live some days of the week upon boilednttles, as many of your neighbours do. Those that havei loked into the matter say that the country people (theyho really do the work of the land) possess only one-third'f the country, and yet pay three-fourths of the taxes.One does not see why this should go on, when once theychoose that it shall not: and many think that they wontchooe it much longer.""i "Anl then something will be done for the poor?" saidthe hos css, coming to the door."1 Certainly; unless the rich do something for the poorfirst: which would be their wisest way.""I "But if the rich should not choose to do anything foruns" said Robin.'.
22 THE PEASANT." Then they must look to themselves."' And what will happen to them? What will happen"- the Dauphiness?""Oh, poor .Jdy there is no saying that. She knowslittle of what the French people are suffering, and nothingof what they are thinking. How should she? Whatnotion should she have of poverty and the poor, when sheis now buying, out of her allowance, a pair of ear-rings thatcost 360,000 francs?""You are joking, comrade.""No, it is true.* She thinks there is no harm in it,because she will pay the whole out of her own allowance,year by year; and the diamonds are so rare and wonderfulthat she thinks she has a good bargain. What should sheknow of poverty and the poorl""God bless her I" said the hostess, "and may she neverknow what it is to eat boiled nettles, for want of anythingbetter !"" I wish she would have done with throwing away ourmoney in diamonds at that rate," said Randolphe,gloomily. " The people will not love her if she does. Weall know it is what we pay for this cursed salt, and ourpoll-tax, and all our grinding taxes, that go to pay forsuch freaks as these.""Well, love," said his wife, " she is young, and maylearn. Don't let us be grudging to her as a stranger."" Not I, love; I would grudge her nothing, if only Icould give my family food that would make them plumpand rosy, as I hope to see this lady to-morrow, and if Icould but apprentice my boys to some trade that wouldgive them a chance of a better living than their father"* This is fact; but it happened a little later in her history, im-nedi.ately after she became queen: 860,000 francs are about 15,0001.
COMPANY TO SUPPER. 23before them, and take them a little from under the, 's hand, for that is very heavy upon us. If my boysave nothing better before them than to divide my poorand live as peasants under the Count, I don't know, :,t I s ld cry to lay them in their graves before I li.*wn myselfd"":Ad caninot you apprentice one of them, at least "1inquired Jerome." "How can I Besides the transaction between theartis nd me, thereis a great sum to be paid to the kingpon the. indenture, and another and a larger before thebe ns his trade, What can a poor peasant do withb s but make them poorer peasants than himself, itaW i possible? But it is not possible. Is there coarserwollen than this that I wear? Is there a tougher leatherthan my belt is made of? And is there anything for theee poorer than our wooden clogs? And as for food, wee as far from health and strength on the one hand, as wee from the grave on the other-jusit half way. So mySKy .will be poor peasants, like their father, if they canhakehis field yield double; and if not, they will be intheir graves."he boys teambled and would have cried if they dared.I Wrmoether wept otright: and the good-natured J6romes d only shake his head and sigh, and mutter that heae that was the plight of millions more in France.is. moking comrade again gave out, between two puffs,thatbefore these boys were men, everything might beharged, and the nobles might chance to find their monthsa with boiled nettles, for once, just to show wharey were like. This speech made the boys laugh. Theitmother wiped her eyes, and gave notice that supper, suchi was, was ready. She knew there was nothing that
24 THE PEASANT.could satisfy three men, if they happened to be veryhungry; she could only say that here was all shehad.Her guests answered her with a civil nod, and sat downat her board with alacrity, saying that the fowls lookedsavoury, and the bowl of milk good for a thirsty man aftera march. Some of their comrades in the village had wine,they knew: but nothing was said about it; for the sol-diers' pockets were empty, like those of their host.It was growing dark. Randolphe made what blaze hecould by throwing light wood upon the fire. By law, hewas bound to furnish candles to his guests; and some sol-diers whom he had entertained had required this of him;but his present guests felt no disposition to do so, afterwhat they had heard. They cut up their fowls by fire-light: then, before beginning to eat, they exchangedglances, the consequence of which was that the boys werecalled, made to sit down, each between two soldiers, andtreated with some mouthfuls of savoury fowl. Can it bewoniered at that they forgot, till afterwards, that theywere eating poor Marie's fowls, which they had hoped tosee pecking about in the wood?The lively talk that was going on round the table wassoon interrupted by a loud rap upon the door, made by aheavy staff. such as the Count's followers usually carriedwhen they went on messages. Randolphe was not fond ofreceiving visits from the Count's people, and he now de-sired Robin to go to the door, and see what was wanted.The message was heard by those within, for the bearershouted it aloud from door to door of all the peasantry ofthe Count's estate. Randolphe and another were wantedto-night, to flog the ponds."I will go myself because I must," observed Ran-
COMPANY TO SUPPER. 25iolphie: "but how to find another I don't know, so I shallust let that alone.""They wont forgive you for not taking a second," re-marked his wife. " You will have to pay dear, one wayor another: and yet I can't ask you to take one of theboys.-It is bad enough for you, a poor rest between twodays' labour, to stand flogging the ponds till field time inthe morning."S"Have you often to do this night-work, neighbour I"Sasked Jrome."Only when the family are at the chateau. They areso used to live in Paris, away from country noises, thattiey cannot sleep in the country for the noise of the frogs,unless the ponds are flogged; so, when they come, we havethat work to do."S"Cannot you poison the frogs ?" asked Jerome."0, yes, father!" cried Marc. "You poison rats:cannot you poison the frogs, and have done with them ?"Tii he smoker here muttered something which made hiscomrade jog his elbow, and the host say, " Hush I hush !"What he was muttering was, that if they wanted to get'rid of a nuisance, the aristocrats were fewer than the frogs.Raedolphe was evidently anxious to be gone after heiad heard this speech. He would not say another wordon',his own grievances, or those of his neighbours. Hefetched his woollen cap, and stood only undecided as towhat he should do about furnishing a second, to workw itl him that night. He glanced from one boy to theoth : but both looked too pale to stand in the damps:thrlugh an April night. He repeated that he would takeino second: but while he said so, there were images inShis mind of fine or compensation, bringing increased hard-ships on the morrow. At this moment a voice from the
36 THE PEASANT.darkness without called his name, and said he need notlook any further for a 2omrade.All the family knew that this was Charles's voice; buteven the little boys had learned so much caution fromhardship, that they did not speak, but only looked at eachother. Jerome observed that it told well for his host thathe had a neighbour ready, without asking, to help him inso irksome a service.The soldiers contrived to make room for the boys tosleep, thinking it quite enough that the law obliged Ran-dolphe to flog the ponds, and his wife and daughter totoil in the shed all night, without the addition of the twohalf-fed lads having to lie down on the clay floor, or notat all. So each boy had a share of the crib, and a cornerof the rug.CHAPTER III.A HOLIDAY MORNING.THE boys were wakened in the morning by a rap on the*door, like that of the preceding evening. When theyhad rubbed their eyes and got up, they found that theirmother was speaking with no less a person than thebailiff from the chateau. It took little time to slip onthe only day garment each had: and then, as their motherstood in the doorway, one looked out under each of herarms, to see what was going on." Ah you little fellows," said the bailiff, " I have somebusiness with you. What have you to do with pigeons,when you know 'tis against the law for you to keep them?Come, no excuses; I saw a brood of pigeons on the ridge-of the roof, as I came."" How are we to help the Count's pigeons lighting onour ridge, if they choose, please sir !" said Marc.
A HOLIDAY MORNING. 27"Nay, Marc, no tricks!" said his mother. "Thepigeons are theirs, sir; got from the wood, and a presentfor their sister: but you see, sir, how trickery and false-hood come. If there were no reasons why my boys shouldSnt do such an innocent thing as bring up a brood of-pigeons, the thought of an untruth would not enter theirheads; but you see what you tempt them to, by drivingSthem so very hard about almost the only pleasure theyhave.""It is not I, good woman," said the bailiff. " Do noty I drive them hard.-I did not make the laws; but iti my business to see that the laws are regarded betweenthe Count and his people; that is all. Come! Whileyour daughter puts on her gayest ribbon, I will go round,and see about these pigeons."SMarie had no gay ribbon to put on, though she mustgo immediatelywith her father before the Count. It wasthe bailiff's errand to say this. While she made herselfas neat as she could, and her father was called in from thefeld (to which he had gone straight from the ponds, be-case he knew there was no meal ready for him at home),the bailiff examined the premises, followed at a distancebytihe boys, in terror for their rabbit-hutch. Of course,the rabbits were found; and of course, they were carrieddlE Robin rolled upon the.ground in his grief, and Marelooked as if his heart was bursting. The bailiff was sosoay for what he felt it his duty to do, that, against all*i he offered the boys one young rabbit and one youngpgif to keep. At first, these were accepted; but Robinwzs sure that Marc's rabbit would pine alone; and MarcSwa crtain Robin's pigeon could never live solitary; andthey gave up these last remains of their treasures. To doSit with a good grace was more than they were equal to;
28 Tnr: PEASANT.and when Marie and her father set uff for the chateauthey left the boys crying bitterly.It did not make Marie the more easy to see her lovskulking at a distance, all the way they went. The bailifwas close at hand; and she believed that his quick eyeswould note all Charles's doings. Every time he spoke,which he did frequently and civilly, she dreaded hisasking what business that man had, watching them fromunder the shade of the wood; but each time she was re-lieved by hearing some question or remark about the re-ception of the Dauphiness in the village. She had to sayall that must be said to the bailiff; for her father wasbusy thinking. He was glad when they were left alone,so that he could tell Marie what was in his mind. Therewas time enough to do this. When the great iron gatesof the avenue closed behind them, the bailiff told them togo straight on by the broad road. He was going by aside path, but would meet them farther on, and take themto the Count.This was the opportunity Randolphe wanted, to tell hisdaughter that he thought it best now to ask the Count'sconsent to her marriage with Charles, formally and pro-perly. Marie trembled, and grew sick at heart as sheheard this, and implored her father not to mention Charles,--so sure was she that her marriage would be preventedif Charles were spoken of. Her father declared, however,that he knew the Count and his ways, and was certainthat, his notice being attracted, nothing could now preventhis becoming acquainted with the minutest of their familycircumstances; and that the most politic course would beto appear to desire his consent, and only to have waitedhis arrival at the chateau to request it. Randolphe haddecided upon his plan, and Marie had only to submit.
A HOLIDAY MORNING. n9bailiff met them at the head of the avenue, andthem to the morning apartment of the Count, whichnitered first, after being announced, leaving his com-ions in the hall. The door was presently opened, and-beckoned them in.The Count was sitting in his morning-gown beside aon which stood a small silver tray, with his coffee-ip'on it. His valet was dressing his hair. Two ofso ns 'ere in the room; one playing with his dogs in a:of the window, and the other reading the news--iCome closer," said. the Count, in answer to Raidolphe's"'Learer-come close up to the table."Struth was, he could not otherwise see them welll his hair was in the hands of his valet."Is it possible?" he said, as if to himself, while he lookedhe peasant and his daughter. "Are you Randolphe?Sheard your name for so long, and so often, among= ple,: that I had imagined you one of the principalBut you appear wretchedly poor, eh?" he con-oking into the sallow, unshaven face before him.you are very poor, eh?"h heart-broken with poverty, my lord."i'gome mistake," resumed the Count. "Howsaid he, looking towards the bailiff; and then,S o his son in the window, "Casimir, how is this?"bailiff answered first:-Randolphe is wretchedly poor, my lord, as you say;there is no one of your people hereabouts who is lesse youth's reply was, that, in the question of arrange-ints for receiving the Dauphiness, he supposed the prin-l peasants belonging to the chateau would be spoken
30 THE PEASANT.to; and he had mentioned Rtndolphe, understanding himto be one of them.Marie saw that this youth was the one who had staredher out of countenance, at the stile, the afternoon before'the same who had talked with her brothers on the vergeof the wood.The Count was for dismissing his visitors at once, say-ing that they would not answer his purpose for the arrange-meuts of which he had meant to speak with them. Theywere not, however, let off so easily as they had now begunto hope. The young man asked some questions from thewindow, which put it into the Count's head to ask more,ti l Randolphe thought it prudent not to keep back hisstory, but to request the Count's consent to Marie's mar-riage, as if that had been his own part of his errand thismorning.The Count evidently cared nothing about the matter,and would have given his consent as a matter of course,if his son Casimir had been anywhere but in the room.As it was, there were so many questions, the inquiriesabout Charles were so minute, that Marie grew vexed andangry, and by a look invited her father to say somethingabout the Count's time and be gone. The youth who wasreading certainly pitied her, for he said, without raisinghis eyes from his newspaper,-"Be quiet, Casimir. Casimir, how can yoh? Do leavethese poor people to make themselves happy their ownway. It is no concern of yours."" It is my father's concern that his people should notlive on his land when they cannot do service for it. Why,it appears they have not anything like a cottage to go to.My father cannot look to them for anything. You see,sir, you can depend upon them for nothing, in their present
A HOLIDAY MORNING. 31-M : and I do not see how you can consent toarr'ping yet. If this fellow Charles, now, wouldAty,7 and serve for three years, there would beA le for their settling comfortably afterwards.Nmld lose nothing by waiting, if they settled com-at last."your lordship," said Randolphe, in a hoarse,they1 have waited so very long already, and thereSlanced at Marie to see how she bore this. Sheto be just falling; and he drew her arm withinkeep her up.m 'wi take care that there is a prospect," said Casi-,i'We do not intend to lose sight of you. We maySm kind things for M arie."tried to speak; but before she could utter a sen-- t Oeuat discovered that the valet had arrived atb ow of the pig-tail, and that he must make aal i conelade this interview. He therefore pro-that Charles should be sent on military serviceandgave orders to the bailiff to see thatSwas brought in for the purpose, in themorning. He then bade good-day to hist, and hoped he would see better times,best he could for the young people betore theiry, as he would now have a considerable intervall t meditate his duty as a parent to so pretty ale the Count was saying this, Casimir slipped roundthe door, and, as Marie passed near him, thrusit ap,'gold into her hand. Marie had never had a pieceaI in her hand before, and she did not like it now.looked at Casimir with such a look as he had never
32 THE PEASANT.before met from human eyes, and threw his gift betwelhis two dogs in the window.The Count did not see nor heed this. Randolphethought his graver son did; for there was a sudden crackleof the newspaper, and the reader's face was crimson tothe temples."1We have one friend there, I fancy," muttered theunhappy father, as he went out. "But for that, I thinkyou and I had better drown ourselves in the ponds betweenthis and home.""Charles!" gasped Marie in his ear. "Send Charlesaway! I can get home alone."Her father took the hint. They parted in the shade ofthe avenue, as soon as they could suppose themselves un-watched from the chateau. Randolphe cut across into thewood where he had seen Charles half an hour before, whileMarie went homewards with tottering steps, looking awayfrom the ponds, from a feeling that her state of mind wastoo desperate for her to trust herself on the brink of deepwaters.CHAPTER IV.HOLIDAY INDEED.IT was a comfort to Marie, on reaching home, to find thatno soldiers were there. The guests of the preceding nighthad been summoned -o their duty, as the royal train mightbe certainly expected in the course of the morning. Thegood-natured J6rome's heart had been touched by thelamentations of the boys for their lost favourites; and hehad told them that, if they could leave off crying, so as tomake their faces fit to be seen by the train of nobles, theymight look out for him on the roadside, and he would tryto place them where they might see the Dauphiness.
HOLIDAY INDEED. 33Shad made every effort to look cheerful, and wereing more about the Princess than of pigeons andis when their sister returned; but when they wit-ed her burst of weeping on her mother's bosom-whenheard that Charles was to be carried off for a soldierfr three years, and that there was to be no hut in theood, and no new brother-in-law for them, they cried morebitterly than ever.SIn the midst of this scene, Jerome came by on horse-back. He could not stop; but he called out that the bandhad been heard already, and pointed to the place wherethe: oys should go and take their stand. They did notiow care anything about the procession, or the coach with"i horses, or the handsome ladies, or the noble gentlemenOuat Jerome had promised they should see. Their mothered that they should not miss such a sight: but theyH 4 not move as she said so. When, however, Maried her face towards them, and said," Go, dears: praySthey took their caps, and walked away; they thoughtind of Marie to care for their pleasure at such a time.Spassed again, after they had gone a few yards,Sand beckoned. They ran and kept up witht l ie stopped opposite the post-house. He toldthat he was to be stationed here; and he was",t, an it'was expected that the party would halt atpost-house. He desired the boys to keep close behind,his hos's tail, where nobody would meddle with them.ey mut not notice him till spoken to, and must take carahis.ho ase's tread: all the rest they might leave to him.Spresently an opportunity for him to speak a fewSrds more to them; and he could not help saying howT. he was to see how they had been crying since he hadM their cottage. Of course, this brought out the story7 C
U4 THE PEASANT.of Charles, and the new misfortune threatened to thefamily. Jerome was not the only one who heard the tale.His smoking comrade was by his side: and it was exactly"the kind of story to which his ears were most open. Thetwo soldiers conversed together in a low voice for a minuteor two, and then sat bolt upright and silent, as if they hadbeen made of stone, and had not each carried a pityingheart under his stiff uniform and steady countenance.When the military music was heard coming nearer andnearer, and distant cheers were borne on the breeze, thecommanding officer rode by, and saw nothing in the demeanour of these two soldiers to distinguish them from allthe rest of the line, who were thinking only of themselvesor the Dauphiness.She came, preceded by so many attendants on horseback,and inferior carriages, which passed without taking anynotice of the post-house, that Robin and Marc heard thepeople about them lamenting that there would be no halt,and that they should barely see the Princess after all.They were mistaken, however. It was one of the plans ofthe journey that the royal carriage should stop for a fewmoments at every post-house, whether fresh horses werewanted or not, in order that the loyal feeling of the peopleshould be cherished by a sight of her who was to be theirqueen, and whose appearance was indeed likely to capti-vate all eyes and hearts.The six bay horses were checked precisely at the rightspot: and all which preceded the royal carriage halted atthe same moment. The air was rent by a cheer, such acheer as convinced the Count and his family how faint incomparison, their welcome had been, when they had ap-peared from the by-road to the chateau half an hour*before. When his train had taken their station at the
ROLIDAY INDEED. 35.of St. Menehould, there had been a few cries oflive the Count our lord!" but they were a mereW.r compared with the acclamation which greeted the.royaI carriage was open almost all round, so thatles was conspicuously visible. She was full as.ias any of the gazers had expected. Her com-j ion was fresh and fair, her countenance smiling, andor bfue eyes full of spirit and feeling; and though sh*ed no more than fifteen (her actual age), all thought," moved her stately head in answer to their greeting,,had hever seen so dignified a lady.4b0ttwo minutes from the halting of her carriage,Strned his head round with a hasty smile to theaId before they knew what it meant, his and hiss horses began scrambling and sidling. Jerome's' .ened a way for the boys to escape into the road from theidnger of a kick; and as soon as they were safe there, theh orses began to prance, and make yet more confusion.'The Dauphiness looked that way, as J&rome intended thatShe should; and when her attention was fairly fixed, hecalled to the boys to come back to their places..SAs J6rome had hoped, their doleful faces, all swollenSwith crying, attracted the notice of the Princess, who hadhitherto met only smiling countenances wherever sheturned, since she had entered her new country. Thesetraces of tears carried back her thoughts to her ownweepng, some days before, on leaving Vienna; and sheudd4nly beckoned to the children. In a moment ahundred voices bade them go forward to the carriage; a? uidred hands pointed and pushed, so that they were prosertly within hearing of the kind questions of the young-rincessc2
36 THE PEASANTShe asked what made them so unhappy on this day,when every one else looked pleased and joyful. They couldscarcely help crying again at the question; but they wereold enough to know that everything might depend on theirbehaviour at this moment; and they strove to speak, andto speak plainly. Had they been ill? the Princess asked,observing to her ladies that they looked sadly thin. No,they had not been ill, they replied; they were only veryunhappy to-day.The bailiff, who was in attendance on the Count'sfamily, now put himself forward to explain, not to theDauphiness herself (that would have been too bold), but toone of her ladies, on the other side of the carriage, abouthis having taken away the boys' rabbits and pigeonsaccording to law." 'Tis not that," cried Marc, indignantly, as he heardthis. " We left off crying about the rabbits and pigeonslong ago: did not we, Robin? It is about Charles andMarie.""Tell me about Charles and Marie," said the Princess,in broken French, "and then all about your pigeons."" Charles and our sister were just going to be married,and we had begun a house in the wood for them; and wehave had to pull it to pieces again; and this morning theCount says Charles must go for a soldier for three years;and Marie is crying at home so-- "Mare could not go on for his own tears.The Count's sons had, by this time, made their waythrough the closing crowd, to hear what was going on."Casimir," said his brother, "your bad work of thismorning must be undone, you see. Do your part with agood grace. Bring my father to receive the commands ofthe Dauphiness."
HOLIDAY INDEED. 37Casimir yielded. While he was gone, his brotherexplained to the Princess the rights which the Count hadover this family, as over the other peasants of the neigh-bourhood. He ventured to answer for his father, that hewould see the hardship of this particular case, and wouldpermit some arrangement to be made, by which Charlesmight be spared the threatened misfortune, and restored tohis hopes of a speedy marriage."Where is this Charles?" asked the Princess. " I willnot ask to see the tearful Marie before so many eyes."Robin had seen Charles, just before, near the spot; forCharles was desperate, and would neither hide nor attemptto escape. He roamed about, half-mad with the sufferingof his mind, among the holiday groups of St. Menehould;and when called, was not long in presenting himself."Alas! is this the bridegroom?" asked the Princess,shrugging her shoulders, with an expression of pity."He looks better than that sometimes, when he playswith us," said Marc, zealous for his friend Charles."But his dress!" said a lady, who had seldom beforeseen a peasant, and was not familiarised with the coarsewoollen garment and leathern belt, so common among thecountry people." It is just what father wears, and everybody," main-tained Marc.By this time the Count was waiting the pleasure of thePrincess, ready to assure her of his patronage of any per-so0s she might please to favour. The Dauphiness askedwhether such poverty as she witnessed was not a thinghitherto unheard of,-whether such misery could be com-mon in the country she had just entered? The bridlingof some of her ladies, and the annoyance in the faces ofsome gentlemen of her suite, showed her that she had
38 THE PEASANT.asked an imprudent question. Yet she was only fifteen,and was to be hereafter the queen of this country; and ifshe had never done worse things than asking such ques-tions, she might have lived'beloved, and died lamented, ina good old age.She saw another thing in the countenances of her at-tendants,-that it was time to be gone. She thereforerequested of the Count, as a favour to herself, that hewould settle Charles advantageously on his lands; andsmiling at the young man, she declared that she would'answer for Charles's fidelity to his lord. Charles was onhis knees at the word, too much overpowered to speak,but promising all by his clasped hands and heaving breast.The Count declared he should have a cottage and a fieldthat very day, and his hearty consent to take Marie homeas soon as the priest could marry them.The Dauphiness asked one of her attendant gentlemenfor her purse, and gave the boys gold for Marie. Theywere to tell her to make her cottage comfortable with it." As for yourselves," said she, " what did I hear just now-that you wanted? Canary-birds, was itA"" Pigeons,"-" rabbits," said the boys; "but never mindthem now."" 0, but I do mind; you shall have some money for thattoo."The bailiff explained that it was not poverty, but thelaw which interfered with the boys' pleasures. Pigeonsabounded in the wood, and could feed themselves; but itwas against the law for any under the rank of a noble tokeep them. The Dauphiness supposed this was all as itshould be; for she was apt, through life, to believe thatthe nobles were by nature entitled to all things, and mightgive only such leavings as they did not wish for, to inferior
HOLIDAY INDEED. 39people: yet she was pleased, and repaid the bailiff with a.gracious smile, when he said that all laws melted awaybefore the wishes of a royal bride, and that these peasantboys should have their rabbit-hutch and dove-cot henceforth, by special permission.None waved their caps more vehemently, none shouted" "Long live the Dauphiness !" more vigorously, as the cavalcade set forth again, than Robin and Marc. When thelast horseman vanished in the dust of the road, the atten-S tion of the crowd turned upon the favoured family of Ran-. dolphe. The poor man himself had retired overpowered,and no one could tell where he was. Charles was withMarie already. But the boys remained in the road; theywere hoisted on the shoulders of their neighbours, having"Airst delivered the precious gold pieces into the hands ofthe cur6, lest they should lose Marie's treasure in the bustle.Robin would not be carried a step towards home till hehad been allowed to speak to J6rome. He threw his armsround the neck of the good-natured soldier, and said thatit was he who had made Marie's fortune. Then J6romehad to shake hands with every person in the crowd; andevery man who had a house or cottage begged Jerome tobe .his guest. J6rome laughed, and said, that among somany he should not have known what to reply, and howto choose his host; but that he and his comrades were atSt.'Menehould only for the occasion which was now passed,and before night they would be twenty miles off.i Bfore sunset, accordingly, Jerome and the smoker wereridiig side by side on the road to fresh quarters, each witha fine bouquet of spring flowers at his breast, sent by Marie.They were talking of the events of the morning, of theSsudden rescue of a worthy family from the depths of misery.SThe smoker could not be cheered even by what he had
40 THE PEASANT.witnessed; and he spoke as gloomily and sententiously asif the pipe were now between his lips, and his words com-ing forth in a cloud of smoke. J6rome could not but own,however, that there was much truth in what he said, whenhe declared, It is all very well, and I am glad this onefamily is saved. But it is only one of many hundredthousand miserable families. What is to become of all therest, who may not have the luck to see a royal bride passtheir way It is not a few royal smiles and gold pieces,here and there, that will save the royal, or the noble, orthe poor, while the law and the customs of the greatoppress and destroy a hundred to pamper one. If thisyoung Dauphiness were to do this deed over again everyhour of the year, she could not do more than put off for alittle while the storm that will burst upon her and all ofus, when the poor can endure no more."
THE PRINCE.CHAPTER I.ROYALTY.IT is a common belief, among those who have not learnedto be wiser, that to be a king, or one of the king's family,is the same thing as to be perfectly happy. It is probablethat all persons living in a country where there is a royalfamily have thought so at some time of their lives. Thepoor man who lives under the harsh orders of some supe-rior, fancies the king with his crown on his head, orderingall things as he likes. Hard-working servant-girls thinkSof the queen as driving about in her carriage all the morn-ing, and going to the play every evening. Children, whentired of their lessons, or sent from some favourite book onan errand to the cellar, or a walk in the cold, imagine theSroyal princes and princesses doing what they like, and put-Sting upon others whatever is disagreeable. Unless somecircumstance should bring home to their minds the truththat royalty does not exempt from sickness and death, andfm the troubles of the heart and mind, such persons maygon for the greater part of their lives envying royal per-so ages who, perhaps, would gladly be peasants, or in anyrank but the highest, the evils of which many a sovereignhas found to be more than could be borne.* The poor people of France, at the time of the story you
42 THE PRINCE.have just read, were as ignorant as I have described aboutroyalty and its privileges. There was also somethingworse than ignorance in their minds about the inhabi-tants of the splendid royal palaces of Paris and Versailles.It has been shown how poor and how oppressed some ofthe country people were; this poverty and oppression,accompanied with ignorance, caused, in some parts of thekingdom, and especially in Paris, passions of fear andhatred which were then terrible to witness, and are now,after seventy years, dreadful to think of. One anecdotewill show the mind and temper of some of the people ofParis about the time when the Dauphiness entered France.The old king, Louis XV., had ruined his health, as wellas made himself detested, by his vices. At one time,when he was very ill, Paris was crowded with hungrywretches who had come up from the country, in hopes offinding a living in the capital. The police had orders toclear the city, every now and then, of these beggars, andsend them back to their native places. On one occasionthe police carried off some children of respectable persons,in hopes of getting large sums of money for ransom. Themothers of these children, seeking them in the streets andsquares, and weeping as they went, attracted crowds; anda report was spread, and believed at once, that the phy-sicians of the king had ordered for his cure baths ofchildren's blood! Those who believed this nonsense rosein a riot, before it was found that the missing childrenwere alive and safe; and several of the poor misled rioterswere hanged.This story proves more than the ignorance of the suffer-ing people. It shows how the royal family and theirattendants were regarded,-how tyrannical and cruel, howselfish and how powerful, they were thought. The royal
ROYAL WAYS. 43SM was, from this time forward, greatly wronged by'the people; but it was because the people had alreadyPw ,asch more wronged by the rich and powerful.y had been so ground down into poverty andmjietchedness, that they felt the fiercest envy, the mostIltl xWge, towards all the wealthy and noble, believingthem born to be unboundedly happy, and to make every-body ibelow them as miserable as they pleased. Never,- peraps, were the absurd notions of the privileges ofoy lty held in such exaggeration as by the common.; *le of France at this time; and never, perhaps, was a! inptease hatred shown among men than by those whoS1li ed a bis royalty. The story of the young kingI; ai XKVIL, which is now to be told, is a standingE: ia to all who may imagine that to be a prince is tohe bappier than other people.CHAPTER II.ROYAL WAYS.S ,yIs sXVII. was born in 1785. He was the second son4 .he princess who passed through St. Menehould fromS*Vi a after her marriage. From being Dauphiness sheW.- aince become queen, and her eldest boy was now thet aphin. This second son, whose history we are towwas called the Duke of Normandy; and as he waslikely to be anything more, there was less pomp andabout him than was made about his brother, the heirthe throne. Yet, from the day of his birth, he had anestablishment of his own; and while a little unconscious.bby, not knowing one person from another, and wantingaothing but to eat and sleep, he was called the master of
44 THE PRINCE.several ladies, waiting-women, gentlemen, and footmen,who were appointed to attend upon him.We happen to have full accounts of the way of living ofthis royal family in the days of their prosperity, as well asof their adventures when adversity overtook them. Upto the time when the Duke of Normandy was four yearsold, life in the palace was as follows.The oldest members of the royal family were the king'saunts,-the great aunts of the Duke of Normandy. Therewere four sisters, all unmarried. One of them had goneinto a convent, and found herself very happy there. Afterthe dulness of her life at home, she quite enjoyed takingher turn with the other nuns in helping to cook in thekitchen, and in looking after the linen in the wash-house.Her three sisters led dreadfully dull lives. They had each.spacious apartments, with ladies and gentlemen ushers towait on them,-a reader to read aloud so many hoursa-day, and money to buy whatever they liked. Butthey had nothing to do,-and nobody to love very dearly."They were without husbands and children, and even inti-mate friends; for all about them of their own age andway of thinking were of a rank too far below their ownto be made intimate friends of. These ladies duly attendeddivine service in the royal chapel; and they did a greatdeal of embroidery and tapestry-work. When the properhour came for paying their respects to their niece the,queen, they tied on their large hooped petticoats, andother articles of court-dress, had their trains borne by"their pages, and went to the queen's apartment to maketheir courtesies, and sit down for a little while, chiefly toshow that they had a right to sit down unasked in theroyal presence. In a few minutes they went back to their-apartments, slipped off their hooped petticoats and long
ROYAL WAYS. 45aina, and sat down to their work again. They would;ave liked to take walks about Paris and into the country,u they saw from their windows that other ladies did;but it was not to be thought of,-it would have been toofundignified: so they were obliged to be contented with a1 formal, slow, daily drive, each in her own carriage, eachattended by her lady-in-waiting, and with her footmenmounted behind. They were fond of plants, and longedSabove everything to be allowed to rear flowers with theirown hands, in a garden : but this too was thought out ofthe question; and they were obliged to be content withsuch.flowers as would grow in boxes on their window-sillsin .the palace. Madame Louise, the one who became aSnun, employed a young lady to read to her while she yetlived in the palace. Sometimes the poor girl read aloudfor five hours together; and when her failing voice showedthat she was quite exhausted, Madame Louise prepared aglass of eau suor&e (sugared water) and placed it beside| her, saying that she was sorry to cause so much fatigue;but that she was anxious to finish a course of readingSwhich she had laid out. It does not seem to have oc-curred to Madame Louise to take the book herself, or asksome one else to relieve her tired reader.SThe king, Louis XVI., would probably have been adull man in any situation in life. His mind was dull.SBut his tastes showed that he might have been better andhappier in many places than in his own palace. Till hefell i to misfortune, and showed a somewhat patient andforgiving temper, he seems not to have attached anybodySto hin. He was very silent, though now and then givingway to strange bursts of rudeness, which made his chil-dren and servants afraid of him. For many years afterhe married, his wife was not sure whether he cared at all
46 THE P RCE.about her. There must always be some doubt of this, fora time, in the case of royal marriages which take place,as his did, without the parties having ever met, or beingable to tell whether they shall like one another. Theking's manners were such that it was difficult to say whe-ther he cared about anybody,-except, indeed, one person;and that person was not the queen, nor his aunts, nor hischildren, but-a locksmith of the name of Gamin.There were three employments that the kihg was sofond of, that he seemed to have no interest left for any-thing else: first, of lock-making; secondly, of hunting;thirdly, of studying geography. As long as he couldspend his hours with his huntsmen, with Gamin, or mark-ing his copper globe, or colouring maps, he seemed to carelittle how his ministers managed his kingdom, or how hiswife spent her time, and formed her friendships.A person who had the opportunity of examining hisapartments gives an account of them which shows howlittle the king liked the common course of royal life, andhow differently he employed his hours in private fromwhat his people supposed. On the staircase which ledfrom one to another of his small private apartments, hungsix pictures of the king's hunts, with exact tables of thegame he had killed,-the quantity, the kind of game, andthe dates of the occasions, divided into the months, theseasons, and the years of his reign. In a splendid roombelow stairs hung the engravings which had been dedicatedto him, and designs of canals and other public works.The room above this contained the king's collection ofmaps, spheres, and globes. Here were found numbers ofmaps drawn and coloured by the king,-some finished, andmany only half done. Above this was a workshop, witha turning-lathe, and all necessary instruments for working
ROYAL WAYS. 47SwooA Here, while no one knew where the king was,d Ihe spend hours with a footman, named Duret, inSleaning and polishing his tools. Higher up was a library,S ntaining the books the king valued most, and someipivatu papers relating to the history of the royal familiesfd Hanover, England, Austria, and Russia. In the roomover this, however, did his majesty most delight to spendhis mornings. It contained a forge, two anvils, and everytoll'used in lock-making. Here he took lessons of Gamin,who was smuggled up the back-stairs by Duret; and herethe king and the locksmith hammered away for hourstogether; while all about the room might be seen commonTo* r s, finished in the most perfect manner, secret locks,and locks of copper splendidly gilt. Gamin was a vulgar-minded man; and he treated the king ill, both at this time,; and after adversity had overtaken the royal family. InSthese early days, he felt that the king was in his power,: safraid was his majesty of the queen and court knowing2: about his lock-making, and Gamin having it in his power& e4, any day. He spoke gruffly to the king, and ordered- him about as if he had been an apprentice; to which theh6i galways submitted. He not only endured this treat-Sment, but entrusted Gamin with various secret commis-: o which were sometimes of great importance. TheI aount which Gamin gave of the king was that he wasSlipit aad forbearing, timid, inquisitive, and very apt to goSwas one more apartment, a sort of observatory,' hetoads, im which was an immense telescope. Duretad: wayr at hand, either sharpening tools, or cleaning(4: liai, or pasting maps; and the king employed him toMr iawleaw of the telescope so as to suit his majesty's eye;*a there in an arm-chair at the end of the telescope, sat
48 THE PRINCE.the king, for hours together, spying at the people whothronged the palace courts, or who went to and fro in theavenue.While his majesty was thus pursuing all this child'splay in private, his people were starving by thousands,and preparing by millions to rebel; the government wasdeep in debt, the ministers perplexed, and the wisest ofthem in despair, because they never could get his majestyto speak or act, even so far as to say in council which oftwo different opinions he liked the best. He would sitby, hearing consultations on the most important and prcss-ing affairs, and after all leave his ministers unable to act,because he would not utter so much as "Yes" or "No."He had no will, and nothing could be done without it.What a pity, for suffering France, and for the mild Louishimself and all his family, that he was not a huntsman ora mechanic instead of a king!The little Duke of Normandy knew nothing of all this,and saw very little of his father in any way. What didhe see his mother doing? The formality of the court wassuch that he saw less of his mother than almost any otherchild in the kingdom of its parents; but the sort of lifethe queen led was as follows.She had been married, as we know, at fifteen, when shewas not only inexperienced, but very ignorant. Hermother, the Empress of Austria, was so busy governingher empire, that she could pay little attention to the edu-cation of her children. She gave them governesses; butthese governesses indulged their pupils, doing their lessonsfor them,-tracing their writing in pencil,-casting uptheir sums,-whispering to them how to spell,-doing theoutline of their drawings first, and touching them up at]
ROYAL WAYS. 49last. The consequence was, that when this young girlentered France, a bride, at fifteen years of age, she knewnext to nothing; and though she took some pains, shenever learned to spell well in French, or to write gramma-Stically, even after she declared that she had forgotten herSnative language-German. She was very clever, notwith-standing. She had a strong, firm, and decided mind.Her ignorance, however, was an irreparable evil,--espe-cially her ignorance of men and common life. She had nomeans of repairing this ignorance. Everybody flatteredher; every one yielded to her, in the days of her prospe-rity; so that she knew no will but her own, till somemistake, which it was too late to set right, showed her howshe had been deceived. Even during the happiest yearsof her life, while all appeared to go well, she was perpe-tually getting into scrapes, and making enemies; and weshall see by-and-bye how, on one occasion, her inexperiencecost, in its consequences, the lives of herself and all herfamily but one.Of her many mistakes, however, none was so fatal asthat of concluding that all was well because no one toldher-to the contrary,-of passing her days in splendour andpleasure, giving her whole mind to acting plays, masque-rading, and inventing new amusements, and now and thenproviding for dependents by giving a licence to sell somenecessary article dear to the poor, while the poor weregrowing desperate with famine. She was careless andselfst, but she was not hard-hearted; for whenever shewitnessed misery she hastened to relieve it, often sacrificingher own pleasures for the purpose; but the people, hunger-bitten and in rags, seeing her splendour, and hearingreports of far more than was actually true, believed herd
50 THE PRINCE.hard-hearted; and from being proud of her, and devotedto her, when she entered France as a bride, they learnedat last to hate her from the bottom of their souls.There would be no end to the story of how manyattendants the queen had, and what were the formalitiesobserved among them. We will only briefly go over thehistory of a day, in order fully to understand how greatwas the reverse when she became a prisoner.The queen was awakened regularly at eight o'clock, atwhich hour her first lady of the bed-chamber entered theroom, and came within the gilt railing which surroundedthe bed, bringing in one hand a pincushion, and in theother the book containing patterns of all the queen'sdresses, of which she had usually thirty-six for each season,besides muslin and other common dresses. The queenmarked with pins the three she chose to wear in the courseof that day;-one during the morning, another at dinner,aud a third in the evening,--at a card-party, a ball, or thetheatre. The book was then delivered to a footman, whocarried it to the lady of the wardrobe. She took downfrom the shelves and drawers these dresses and theirtrimmings; while another woman filled a basket with.thelinen, &e. which her majesty would want that day. Greatwrappers of green taffety were thrown over these things,and footmen carried them to the queen's dressing-room.Sometimes the queen took her breakfast in bed, and some-times in her bath. Her linen dress was trimmed withthe richest lace; her dressing-gown was of white taffety;and the slippers in which she stepped to the bath were ofwhite dimity, trimmed with lace.Two women were kept for the sole business of attendingto the bath, which was usually rolled into the room uponcastors. The bathing-gown was of fine flannel, with collar
ROYAL WAYS. 51and cuffs, and lining throughout of fine linen. The break-fast, of coffee or chocolate, was served on a tray whichstood on the cover of the bath. Meantime, one of theladies warmed the bed with a silver warming-pan, and thequeen returned to it, sitting up in her white taffety dress-ing-gown, and reading; or, if any one who had permissionto visit her at that hour wished to see her, she took up herembroidery. This kind of visit, at a person's rising, iscustomary abroad; and it had been so long so at thecourt of France, that certain classes of persons were understood to have a right to visit the queen at the hour of herlev6e, as it was called. These persons were the physiciansand surgeons of the court; any messengers from the king;the queen's secretary and others; so that there were often,besides the ladies in waiting, ten or a dozen persons visit-ing the queen as she sat up in bed, at work, or taking herbreakfast.The great visiting hour, however, was noon, when the"queen went into another room to have her hair dressed.We see in prints how the hair was dressed at that time,-frizzed and powdered, and piled up with silk cushions,and ribbons and flowers, till the wonder was how any headcould bear such a weight. It took a long time to dress alady's hair in those days. The queen sat before a mostsplendid toilet-table, in the middle of the room. Theladies who had been in waiting for twenty-four hours now-went out, and gave place to others in full dress, with rose-c loured brocade petticoats, wide hoops, and high head-dresses with lappets, and all the finery of a court. Theusher took his place before the folding doors; great chairsand stools were set in a circle for such visitors as had aright to sit down in the presence of royalty. Then enteredthe ladies of the palace, the governess of the royal children,Sd2
52 THE PRINCE.the princes of the royal family, the secretaries of state, thecaptains of the guard, and, on Tuesdays, the foreign am-bassadors. According to their rank, the queen eithernodded to them as they entered, or bowed her head, orleaned with her arm upon her toilet-table, as if about torise. This last salutation was only to the royal princes.She never actually rose, for her hair-dresser was powderingher hair.It was considered presumptuous and dangerous to alterany customs of the court of France; but this queen thoughtfit to alter one, among others. It had always, before hertime, been the etiquette for the lady of the highest rankwho appeared in readiness in the queen's chamber, to slipher majesty's petticoats over her head in dressing; butwhen her majesty was pleased to have her head dressedso high that no petticoat would go over it, but must beslipped up from her feet, she used to step into her closet,to be dressed by her favourite milliner and one of herwomen. This change gave great offence to the ladies whothought they had a right to the honour of dressing thequeen.Her majesty came forth from her closet ready to go tomass in the chapel, on certain days: and by this time herchaplains were in waiting among her suite. The royalprincesses and their trains stood waiting to follow thequeen to the chapel: but, strangely enough, this was thehour appointed for signing deeds of gift on the part of thequeen. These gifts were too often licences for the ex-elusive sale of articles which all should have been left freeto sell. The secretary of the queen presented the pen toher majesty; and at these hours she signed away the good-will of thousands of well-disposed subjects. At such amoment, while she stood, beautiful and smiling, among a
SROYAL WATS. 53crowd of adorers, and while her husband, with smuttedfi&ce and black hands, was filing his locks in his attic, howlittle did either of them think that their eldest son was"Finking to his grave, and that the storm of popular furywas even now growling within their dominions,-the tre-mendous storm which was to prove fatal to themselves!At this hour of the toilet, on the first day of the month,the queen was presented with her pocket-money for themonth,-the sum which she might do what she liked with,and out of which she made presents. This sum was alwaysin gold, and was presented in a purse of white kid, em,broidered in silver, and lined with white silk. Its amountwas, on an average for the year round, 12,5001. It wasby saving out of this allowance that she paid for the pairof diamond ear-rings which she bought soon after hermarriage; but it took six years' savings to pay for thatone ornament. She was young and giddy when shebought those jewels, and she paid for them out of her ownpocket-money; but, as has been seen, the purchase did notsound well in the ears of peasants who boiled nettles forfood when they could get no bread, from the pressure ofthe taxes. Whether the discontented knew it or not, agood deal of this monthly gold went in charity-charity,however, which did not do half the good that self-denialwould have done.Her majesty was waited on at dinner by her ladies.She dined early, generally eating chicken, and drinkingwater only. She supped on broth, or the wing of a fowl,and biscuits which she steeped in water. She spent theafternoons among her ladies, or with her two most intimatefriends-the Duchess de Polignac, for some time governessto the royal children, and the Princess de Lamballe, su-perintendent of the household. After a time the friend-
54 THE PRINCE.ship with both these ladies cooled; but while it lasted, thepleasantest hours the queen passed were when workingand conversing with these ladies. After the privatetheatre was given up, the evenings were commonly spentin small dull card-parties, but sometimes in more agreeableparties in the apartments of one or other of her two friends.It was thoughtless and undignified of the queen to actplays, to which the captains of the guard, and various otherpersons, were in time admitted as spectators; but thoughher best friends would have been glad that she should haveabstained from such performances, it is not surprising thatshe inclined to an amusement that gave her something tothink of and to do, and from which she really learned moreof literature than she could otherwise have done. Amidstthe deplorable dulness of such a life as hers, we cannotwonder that studying some of the best French dramaticpoetry, and feeling for the hour that she was the companionand not the queen, should have been a pleasure which shewas sorry to forego. She sorely lamented afterwards thatshe had ever indulged in it.But, it may be said, she had children and she hadfriends. Could she not make herself happy with them?Alas! she found herself disappointed there,-as she waswhichever way she turned for happiness. Though herfriend, the Duchess de Polignac, was governess to herchildren, and though she had hoped by this plan to enjoymore freedom with both than by any other means, all wentwrong. The other gentlemen and ladies-the tutors andunder-governesses who were about the children-becamejealous of the duchess, and taught the children to dislikeher. The Princess de Lamballe also had misunderstand-ings with the duchess; and the queen and her children'sgoverness began to be equally hated by the people, who
BOYAL WAYS. 55believed that the duchess instigated the queen to adl thebad actions of which she was reported guilty.The Duke of Normandy was three years old when theserious misfortunes of his family began. Up to that timehe had seen only what was bright and gay. He himselfwas a little rosy, plump, merry child, with beautifulcurling hair, and so sweet a temper that everybody lovedhim. He found many to love. There was his beautiful,kind mother. She could not do for him what a mother ofa lower rank would have done; she could not wash anddress him, and keep him on her lap, or play with him halfthe day, or walk in the sweet, fresh fields with him-butshe often opened her arms to him, and always smiled uponhim, and loved him so much, that some ill-natured peoplepersuaded his elder brother, the Dauphin, that the littleDuke of Normandy was his mother's favourite, and thatshe did not care for her other children.Then there was the Princess Royal, the eldest of thechildren. She was at that time eight years old, and asgrave a little girl as was ever seen at that age. She rarelylaughed or played, but she was kind to her brothers andthe people about her.Next was the Dauphin, a year younger than his sister.SHe was sinking under disease; and it made every one'sheart ache to see his long sharp face, and his wasted hands,i and his limbs, so shrunk and feeble that he could not walk.His tutor could not endure the duchess, his governess, andtaught the poor fretful child to be rude to her, and even tohis mother. When the duchess came near to amuse him,he told her to go away, for he could not bear the perfumesthat she was so dreadfully fond of This was put into hishead, fbr she used no perfumes. When the queen carriedto her poor boy some lozenges that she knew could not
66 THE PRINCE.hurt him, and that he was fond of, the usder-tutors, andeven a footman of the Dauphin, started forward, and saidshe must give him nothing without the advice of the phy-sicians. She knew that these were the very people whowere always putting it into the Dauphin's head that shewas more fond of his little brother, and she saw that itwas intended to prevent her having any influence with herown sick child; and bitterly she wept over all this in herown apartment.One day, some Indian ambassadors were to visit the kingin great splendour, and it was known that there would bea crowd of people in the courts and galleries to set *hem.The queen desired that the Dauphin might not be encou-raged to think of seeing this sight, as it would be bad forhim, and she could not have him exposed, deformed andsickly, to the gaze of a crowd of people. Notwithstandingher desire, the Dauphin's tutor helped him to write a letterto his mother, begging that he might see the ambassadorspass. She was obliged to refuse him. When she re-proached the tutor with having caused her and her boythis pain, he replied that the Dauphin wished to write, andhe could not vex a sick child,-the very thing which hecompelled the mother to do, after having fixed the subjectin the boy's mind, and raised his hopes.There was another sister, younger than the Duke ofNormandy-quite a baby. The Duke of Normandy usedto see this little baby every day, and kiss her, and hear hercrow, and see her stretch out her little hand towards thelighted wax candles, which made the palace almost as lightas day. One morning, baby was not to be seen: every-body locked grave: his mother's eyes were red, and herface very sad. Baby was dead; and, young as he was,Louis did not forget Sophie immediately. He saw and
ROYAL WAYS. 57heard things occasionally which put him in mind of babybr long afterwards.There was one more person belonging to the family,whom the children and everybody dearly loved. Thiswas their aunt Elizabeth, the king's sister, a young ladyof such sweet temper-so religious, so humble, so gentle-that she was blessing wherever she went. She dis-liked the show and formality of a life at court, and ear-nestly desired to become a nun. The king and queenloved her so dearly that they could not bear the idea ofher leaving them. They devised every indulgence theycould think of to vary the dulness of the court. Theking declared her of age two years before the usual time,and gave her a pretty country-house, with gardens, whereshe might spend her time as she pleased; and he encou-raged her taking long country rides, as she was fond ofhorse-exercise. At last, when she was full of gratitudefor her brother's kindness, he begged her to promise notto become a nun before she was thirty, when, if she stillwished it, he would make no further opposition. Shepromised. We shall see, by-and-by, what became of thissweet princess when she was thirty.She was at this time twenty-three years old. She wasa great comfort to the queen, not concealing from her thatshe thought the Dauphin was dying, and the nation grow-ing very savage against the royal family; but endeavour-ing to console and strengthen her mind, as religious peopleare always the best able to do. The poor queen began towant comfort much. She went to bed very late now,because she could not sleep; and a little anecdote showsthat her anxieties made her again as superstitious as shehad formerly been, when she dreaded misfortune becauseshe was born on the day of the great earthquake at Lisbon.
58 THE PRINCE.On the table of her dressing-room, four large wax can-dles were burning one evening. Before they had burnedhalf-way down, one of them went out. The lady-in-waiting lighted it. A second went out immedia.tply, andthen a third. The queen in terror grasped the lady's arm,saying, "If the fourth goes out, I shall be certain that itis all over with us." The fourth went out. In vain thelady observed that these four candles had probably beenall run in the same mould, and had therefore the samefault. The queen allowed this to be reasonable, but wasstill much impressed by the circumstance.For one of the impending evils there was io remedy.The Dauphin died the next June, when the Duke of Nor-mandy, then four years old, became Dauphin. It maygive some idea of the formality of the court proceedingsto mention that, when a deputation of the magistrates ofParis came, according to custom, to view the lying-in-state,the usher of the late Dauphin announced to the deadbody, as he threw open the folding-doors, that the magis-trates of Paris had come to pay their respects.CHAPTER III.THE DAUPHIN LOSES HIS GOVERNESS.LITTLE Louis had no cause to rejoice in his new honours.Much more observance was paid to him within the palace,now that he had become heir to the throne; but out ofdoors all was confusion: and five weeks from his brother'sdeath had not passed before the little prince had to endureone of those fits of terror of which he had but too muchexperience from that time forward.The two principal royal palaces were, that called the
THE DAUPHIN LOSES HIS GOVERNESS. 59Tuileries, in Paris, and that of Versailles, twelve milesfrom Paris. At this time, July, 1789, the royal familywere at Versailles. The discontented, long-murmuringpeople of Paris rose in rebellion, because their favouriteminister, Necker, who had managed the money affairs ofthe nation well, and was more likely to take off taxesthan any other minister, had been dismissed from his office.The nation were determined to have him back again; but,having once risen in rebellion, they aimed at more achieve-ments than one. On the 14th of July the people of Parisbesieged and took the Bastille, the great state-prison,where, for hundreds of years, victims had suffered cruelimprisonments, often without having been tried. Thevery sight of this gloomy castle was odious to the people;and they pulled it down, leaving not one brick upon an-other, and carrying the prisoners they found there on their: shoulders through the city, in triumphant procession.While this attack on the Bastille was taking place, therewas a ball given in the orangery at Versailles, where thecourt ladies and the officers of the troops danced, andlaughed and talked, and took their refreshments, as if allwas well. The French Parliament was sitting in the townof Versailles; and they sent some of their body repeatedlythat day to the palace, to tell the king of the danger, andurge him to do what was proper: but there was no movingthe king to do anything, that day, any more than on otheroccasions; and he only sent word to the parliament tomind their own business. The inhabitants of Versailleswere alarmed at the reports that arrived from Paris, andthey were all on the watch, consulting in the streets, orwondering in their own houses what would happen next.SSome vague rumours reached the palace; but the courtladies and their guests danced away in the orangery, till
10 THE PRINCE.the time for breaking up the ball arrived. Late at night,a nobleman who had a right to demand an audience ofthe king at all times, arrived, made his way, dusty as hewas, to the king's chamber, and told of the rebellion, thedestruction of the Bastille, and the murder of two faithfulofficers, well known to the king. "Why," said the king,as much surprised as if nothing had happened tB warnhim, "this is a revolt." "It is not a revolt," said thenobleman: "it is a revolution."The Dauphin was fast asleep when this alarm arrived.He saw, the next morning, that every one about him wasin terror, and that the courts of the palace were filled witha crowd of ill-looking angry people. His governess ap-peared greatly alarmed; and well she might be; for themob outside were shouting her name, and saying that theywould be revenged on her for giving the queen bad advice.The king had gone to address the parliament, promisingto do all that they had advised the day before, and to recalM. Necker, the favourite minister. While he was gone,one of the queen's ladies came to the room where Louiswas with his governess, unlocked the door with the queen'skey, and told him that he was to go with her to his mother.The Duchess de Polignac asked whether she might nottake him herself to the queen: but the lady messengershook her head, and said she had no such orders. Sheknew very well that if the people who were looking up atthe windows should once see the duchess, they would beready to pull her to pieces. The duchess, understandingthe lady's countenance, took the child in her arms, andwept bitterly. Louis did not know what it all meant;but it frightened him. The messenger tried to consolethe duchess with promising to bring Louis back presently;but she said, weeping, that she knew too well now what
TIIA DAUPHIN LOSES HIS GOVERNESS. 61to expect. One of the under-governesses asked whether"she might take the prince to his mother, and did so.The queen was waiting for the boy, with the PrincessRoyal by her side. She stepped out into the balcony withher two children, and repeatedly kissed them in the sightof the people. Little Louis might well be glad to stepback*om the balcony into the room again; for the mobwas very noisy and rude. The lady who had been sentto summon him slipped out among the people, to hearwhat they were saying. A woman, who kept a thick veildown over her face, seized her by the arm, told her sheknew her, and desired her to tell the queen not to meddleany more in the government, but to leave it to those whocared more for the people. A man then grasped her otherarm, and said he knew her too, and bade her tell thequeen that times were coming very different from thosewhich were past. Just then, the queen and the childrenappeared in the balcony. "Ah!" said the veiled woman,"the duchess is not with her." " No," said the man, " butshe is still in the palace, working underground like a mole:but we will dig her out." The queen's lady had heardquite enough. She was glad to go in and sit down, forshe could scarcely stand. She thought it her duty to tellthe queen what she had heard; and the queen made herrepeat it to the king.One of the king's aunts was at her tapestry-work that(lay, in a room which looked towards the court, and wherethere was a window-blind through which she could seewithout being seen. Three men were talking together;and she knew one of them. They did not whisper, orspeak low; and one of them said, looking up at the windowof the throne-room, " There stands that throne of whichthere will soon be left no remains."
62 THE PRINCE.While such a temper as this was abroad, it matteredlittle that everything seemed set right for the time by whatthe king said to the parliament. The members escortedhim back to the palace, and the people cheered him. AllParis cheered when the news arrived that the people'sminister was to be restored to his office; and a messengerwas sent off to M. Necker that night. &The Duchess de Polignac and her relations now saw thatthey must be off, if they wished to preserve their liberty-perhaps their lives. After the next day, Louis neversaw his governess more. She bade him good-night at hisbed-time; and in the morning she was far away. Shewent disguised as a lady's maid, and sat on the coach-box,leaving the palace just at midnight. The queen bade herfarewell in private, with many and bitter tears, forgettingany coolness that had lately existed between them in thethought of their former friendship, and the care the duchesshad taken of her children. The duchess was not rich; andthe queen, after they had parted, sent her a purse of gold,with a message that she might want it on the journey.It was a perilous journey. The party consisted of six,of whom two were gentlemen. When they arrived atSens they found the people had risen. The mob stoppedthe carriage to ask, as they had been asking of other trti.vellers who came the same road, if those Polignacs werestill about the queen. "No, no," said one of the gentle-men, "they are far enough from Versailles. We have gotrid of all such bad subjects." The next time the carriagestopped, the postilion stood on the step, and whispered tothe duchess, "Madam, there are some good people inFrance. I found out who you were at Sens." They gavehim a handful of gold.
STHE DAUPHIN LOSES HIS GOVERNESS. 63The queen wept the more bitterly on parting with herfriend, because she would have been glad to have gone*w 'wav too. It was talked of: and some of the king's rela-tions, with their families, set off the same night as theSPolignacs, and were soon out of danger beyond the frontier.The question had been whether the king should go withSthen, or show himself in Paris, and endeavour to come toan understanding with his people. This question wasdebated for some hours by the royal family and their con-fidential friends; and the king let them argue, hour afterhour, without appearing to have any will of his own."Well," said he, when he was tired of listening, " some-thing must be decided. Am I to go or stay? I am asready for one as the other." It was then decided that heshould stay. The queen, meanwhile, had been makingpreparations for departure, in hopes that they should go.She probably saw that it would have been all very rightto stay if the king meant to act vigorously, and to savethe monarchy by joining with the nation to reform thegovernment; but that, since acting vigorously was theone thing which the king could not do, it would have beenbetter for all parties that he should have left a scene wherehis apathy could only do mischief, exasperate the people,and endanger his own safety and that of his family. TheSqueen had burned a great many papers, and had her dia-monds packed in a little box, which she meant to take inher own carriage: she had also written a paper of direc-tions to her confidential servants about following her. Asshe saw her jewels restored to their places, and tore thepaper of directions, with tearful eyes, she said she fearedthat this decision Would prove a misfortune to them all.The king was next to go to Paris. He set out from
64 THE PRINCE.Versailles at ten in the morning after the departure ofthe Polignacs. He was well attended, and appeared, asusual, very composed. The queen kept her feelings toherself till he was gone; but she had terrible fears that hewould be detained as a prisoner in his own capital. Sheshut herself up with her children in her own apartment.There she felt so restless and miserable that she sent forone after another of the courtiers. Their doors were allpadlocked-every one of them. The courtiers consideredit dangerous to stay; and they were all gone. Thoughthis afflicted the queen at the moment, it happened verywell; for it taught her to place no dependence on thesepeople another time. It must have been a dreary morn-ing for the children,-their father in danger, their go-verness gone, and their mother weeping, deserted by hercourt. She employed herself in writing a short address,to be spoken to the National Assembly at Paris (whichmay be called the people's new parliament), in case of theking not being allowed to return. She meant to go withher children, and beg of the Assembly that they mightshare the lot of the king, whatever it might be. As shelearnt by heart what she had written (lest she should nothave presence of mind to make an address at the time), hervoice was choked with grief, and she sobbed out, " Theywill never let him return."He did return, however, late in the evening, lie hadhad a weary day. He had been received with gloom, andwith either silence or insulting cries. It was not till, atthe desire of the mayor of Paris, he had put the newnational cockade'in his hat, that the people cheered him;after which they were in good humour. This cockade wasmade of the three colours which are now seen in the tri-color flag of France,-red and blue, the ancient colours of
LAST NIGHT AT VERSAILLES. 66the city of Paris, with the white of the royal lilies betweex .In these troubled times a white cockade was a welcomesight to royal eyes, as an emblem of loyalty; while red andblue colours were detestable, as tokens of a revolutionarytemper. When the king himself was compelled to wearthem, it was a cruel mortification. It was, in fact, a signof submission to his rebellious people. Glad indeed washe to get home this night, and endeavour to forget that hehad worn the tricolor. He kept repeating to the queenwhat he had said in the hearing of many this day,"Happily, there was no blood shed; and I swear that nota drop shall be shed by my order, happen what may."These were the words of a humane man : but it was hardlyprudent to speak them during the outbreak of a revolu-tion, when they might discourage his friends, and emboldenthe violent.CHAPTER IV.LAST NIGHT AT VERSAILLES.FROM this day forward the king met with insults whichever way he turned,-even at the doors of his own apart-ments. It was resolved by the National Assembly thatall the men in France should be armed and wear a uniform,and be called the National Guard. One day, the Dau-phin's footmen all appeared in this uniform, and the king'sporters, and almost every man about the palace. Whatdispleased the king yet more was, that the singers in theroyal chapel appeared in the same dress. It was absurdand shocking to see their part of divine service performedby men in the uniform of grenadiers. The king said so,and forbade that any person should appear in his presence* The Fleur-de-Lys (lily) was blazoned in the royal arms of Francefor many centuries.
66 THE PRINCE.again in that dress. But the time was past for the king'sorders to be obeyed. He was destined to grow wearyenough of the sight of this uniform.A great part. of the king's own guard had joined therevolutionary party; but one company remained, whosecommanding officer was proud of their loyalty, and de-clared he could answer for its continuance. He was mis-taken, however. One morning, at the end of July, whenthe royal family rose and looked out from their windows,they did not see a single sentinel anywhere about thepalace. Such a sight had never been witnessed before asthe palace of Versailles without a guard. On inquiry, itturned out that the whole company had marched away inthe night, to join their former comrades in Paris.During the month of August, crowds had at varioustimes assembled in Paris, with the declared purpose ofgoing to Versailles, to separate the king from his badadvisers, and to bring the little Dauphin to Paris, to bebrought up better than he was likely to be at home. Onewould think that such assemblages and such declarationswould alarm the king and queen, and cause them to makesome preparations for putting themselves, or at least theDauphin, in safety. Because these crowds were severaltimes dispersed, however, the royal family appear to havethought nothing of the danger; and in September theycommitted an act of imprudence which brought upon themthe worst that was threatened. The truth is, they were.gnorant of all that it most concerned them to know.They did not understand the wants of the people, nor thedepth of their discontent; nor had they any idea of theweakness, ignorance, and prejudice of the gentlemen andladies about them, whose advice they asked, and on whosetiarrow-views they acted. There were a few wise and4
LAST NIGHT AT VERSAILLES. 67good men in the nation who understood both sides of the.question, and who were grieved for the hardships of thepeople, and for the sufferings of the royal family; andhappy would it have been for all if the king and queenScould have been guided by these advisers. The chief andbest of these was that excellent patriot and loyal subjectthe Marquis Lafayette. While he was adored by thepeople, he did all in his power to aid and save the royalfamily; but, unhappily, the king distrusted him, and theSqueen could not endure him. She not only detested hispolitics, but declared that she believed him (the mosthonourable man in the world) to be a traitor, and laid onhim the blame of misfortunes which he had no hand incausing, and for which he grieved.The king had a regiment from Flanders on whom hewas sure he could rely. It came into some one's headthat if this regiment and the faithless body-guard couldbe brought together, the loyalty of the latter might berevived and secured. So there was an entertainment givenS in the theatre of the palace of Versailles, where the sol-diers of the two regiments were to make merry, sittingalternately at table. Such a feast, if every man there wasloyal in the extreme, could signify little, while there wasout of doors a whole rebellious nation,--millions of hungrywretches clamouring for food and good government; and,whether such a meeting signified much or little, it wascertain that the king and his family should have had no-thing to do with it, after he had been to Paris to assurethe people of his reliance upon them, assuming theircockade as a declaration that he was in earnest.The friends of the royal family thought this,--even thequeen's own ladies. One of them was requested by thequeen to enter the theatre, and observe what passed, iie2
68 THE PRINCE.order to report it to the king and her. What was the sur-prise of this lady, when in the midst of the entertainment,the doors were thrown open, and their majesties appeared,the queen having the Dauphin in her arms! The sight ofthem, looking gratified and trustful, roused all the loyaltyof the soldiers present; and some imprudent acts weredone. The queen's ladies handed white cockades to theofficers; the party drank the healths of the king and queen,omitting that of the nation; they cheered the loyal air," O, Richard! O my king, the world is all forsaking thee:"and the whole company were presently in a delirium ofhope, and of defiance of the people of Paris. The queenafterwards declared in public that she was delighted withthe Thursday's entertainment; and this set the peopleinquiring what had delighted her so much. They mademany inquiries. " Why was this Flanders regimentbrought to Versailles?" "How did it happen that theking had at present double the usual number of his Swissguards?" " Where were all those foreign officers from,who were seen in the streets in strange uniforms?" Thepeople, exasperated afresh by finding that, though theharvest was over, there was still a scarcity of bread, werein a temper to believe the worst that was told them; andit seems now very probable that much of it was true.They were iold that these same soldiers had breakfastedtogether, and that they had planned to march upon theNational Assembly, and destroy it. They heard a reportthat the king meant to go away to Metz, and to return atthe head of an army, and to crush all those who had risenagainst him. Nothing could now prevent the people fromdoing what they had threatened,-going to Versailles, toseparate the king from his evil counsellors, and bring theDauphin to Paris. Some went further than this, saying
LAST NIGHT AT VERSAILLES. 69to General Lafayette that the king was too weak to reign;that they would destroy his guards, make him lay downhis crown, and declare the Dauphin king, with Lafayetteand others to manage the affairs of the empire till the boyshould be of age.This was said to Lafayette on the morning of the 5thof October. Grieved as he was to see that the mob woreresolved to go to Versailles, he saw what he must do, sincehe could not keep them back. He detained them as longas he could by speeches and arguments, while he sent mes-sengers by every road to Versailles, to give notice of whatmight be expected; and he declared his intention of lead-ing the march when the people could be detained no longer.Several of his messengers were stopped; but some whowent by by-roads reached Versailles, and gave the alarm.Meantime, he contrived to make the march so slow, asthat he and his thirty thousand followers were nine hoursgoing the twelve miles to Versailles. Lest the royalfamily should not be gone, as he hoped, he made the crowdhalt on the ridge of the hill which overlooked Versailles,and swear, with their right hands lifted up towards heaven,to respect the king's dwelling, and be faithful to the ordersof the Assembly they themselves had chosen. Unhappily,all he did was of little use. He arrived at near midnight;but another mob-a mob of women, savage because theirchildren were hungry-had been in possession of Ver-sailles since three in the afternoon.Though it became rainy during the latter half of theday, so that the thousands out of doors were all wet tothe skin, the morning had been fair; and the king wentout hunting, as usual, while the queen spent the morningat her favourite little estate of Trianon. The Dauphinwas at home, with his new governess, the Marchioness de
70 THE PRINCE.Tourzel, little dreaming, poor child, that there were peoplealready on the road from Paris who wanted to make hima king, instead of his father. One of the ministershearing unpleasant rumours, took horse, and went to tryto find the king. He met him in the woods, some wayfrom home, and conjured him to make haste back. Theking, however, rode as slowly as possible, till more mes-sengers appeared with news that a mob of desperatewomen was actually entering the avenue. Then he hadto spur his horse; and he arrived safe. The queen hadreturned before him. She had been sitting, alone anddisconsolate, in her grotto at Trianon, reflecting on themiserable prospects of her family, when a line was broughtto her from one of the ministers, begging that she wouldhasten home. As soon as the king returned, orders weregiven to have the carriages ready at the back doors of thepalace; and the children (kept out of sight) were equippedfor a journey.The want of decision in the royal movements, as usual,uined everything. When the king had received anddismissed a deputation of the women, there was a shoutof " Long live the king!" and he then thought it wouldnot be necessary to go. Not long afterwards, when thepeople were seen to be as angry as ever, and to be insultingthe royal guard, the carriages were again ordered. Someof them, empty, attempted to pass the back gates, toascertain whether others might follow with the family;but the mob were now on the watch, and the car-riages were turned back. The hour for escape wasgone by."When little Louis was got ready for the journey, it wasby candlelight, and past bedtime. Perhaps he was notsorry when his things were taken off apgin. and he was
LAST NIGHT AT VERSAILLES. 71&id in his bed, instead of getting into the carriage on apouring rainy night, to pass through or near a disorderlymob, who might be heard from within the palace crying"Bread! Bread!"Little Louis did not know all the disorder of that mob.Thousands of women, wet to the skin. were calling out"Bread! Bread !" till they were hoarse. They threatenedhis mother's life, believing that to her influence and herextravagance it was owing that their children had nobread. Some sat upon the cannon they had brought.Some dried their wet clothes at the fires that blazed onthe ground: and haggard and fierce did the faces of bothmen and women look in the light of these fires. By theBorders of certain officers and members of the Assembly,provisions were brought from the shops of Versailles;and groups were seen eating bread and sausages, anddrinking wine, in the great avenue; and not there only,but in the House of Assembly itself,-the parliament-chamber at Versailles. Hundreds of poor women, wetand dirty, rushed in there, and sat eating their sausageswhile the members were in debate, breaking in sometimeswith, "What is the use of all this? What we want isbread." The king was told of what was going forward;and yet it was six hours before he could make up hismind what answer to give to the messages sent him bydeputations from the rioters. The answer he gave at last,late at night, could be no other than that which theychose to have: though the king was well aware that thepeople did not know what they were asking, and that heshould never be able to satisfy them. What they asked,and made him promise in writing, was an abundance of"food-" a free circulation of corn," as they called it,-believing that the wealthy, and the millers and bakers
72 THE PRINCE.under them, kept large hidden stores of grain, in orderthat bread might be dear.Louis understood nothing of all this; but he was awarethat all was confusion and danger. About two hoursafter midnight everybody in the palace was suddenlyrelieved, and led to believe that the danger was past.General Lafayette entered, and pledged his life that theyshould be safe: and everybody was accustomed to rely onLafayette's word. He happened to be mistaken thistime,-to think better of the temper of the people out-side than they deserved; but what he said he fullybelieved. With him came some messengers from Paris,to entreat the king, among other things, to come and liveamong his people at Paris. This was the very thing theking wasleast disposed to do; but he dared not say " No."He promised to consider of it. Lafayette and his com-panions then went away; and between two and threeo'clock almost everybody but the guards went to bed.I say almost everybody. The queen desired her ladiesto go to rest; but two of them were still uneasy anddistrustful, and thought that the queen's servants shouldnot all sleep while thousands of people who hated herwere round about the very doors. They watched in theante-chamber: and it was their vigilance which saved herlife.About five in the morning the Dauphin was snatchedfrom his bed, and carried into his father's room. Therewere his mother, aunt, and sister; and his mother was ina passion of tears. Clinging round the king's neck, shecried, "O! save me! Save me and my children!" Therewas a dreadful noise. Not only was there the clamour ofan angry multitude without, but a hammering and bat-tering at all the doors, o1d Gorce cries, and clashing of
LAST NIGHT AT VERSAILLES. 71arms--all the dreadful sounds of fighting-from thequeen's apartments. The mob had indeed forced theirway in. Her two watchful ladies had heard the shoutfrom the corridor, given by a faithful guard at the peril ofhis life, " Save the queen!" They lifted her from her bed,threw a dressing-gown over her, and hurried her across agreat apartment which divided her rooms from the king's.This was her only way of escape, and even this appearedat first to be closed; for the door which led from theS queen's dressing-room to this apartment, a door which wasalways kept fastened on the inside, was now, by someaccident, found to be locked on the outside. It was amoment of dreadful suspense,-for the fighting behindcame nearer. The ladies called so loud that a servant ofthe king's heard them, and ran to unlock the door. Evenas they crossed the large apartment, the mob were bat-tering at the doors.Presently some soldiers came from the town: andGeneral Lafayette appeared, addressing the people inpassionate speeches, in favour of respecting the persons.and dwelling of the royal family. The palace was sooncleared; but the terrors of the household did not dispersewith the intruders who occasioned them.It is believed that this sudden uproar was caused by aquarrel between one of the body-guards and the peoplewithout. Some shots were fired; and a young man,known to the mob, was killed. They were instantly in arage, shook at the gates, burst in, and, as they hated thequeen most, sought her first.This was the last night that the royal family ever spentin their palace at Versailles.
74 THE PRINCE.CHAPTER V.A PROCESSIONIT was too plain to all now that everything must beyielded to the people, if lives were to be saved. As soonas it was light, Lafayette led into a balcony the com-mander of the Flanders regiment,-the body-guard,-witha huge tricolor in his hat, instead of the royal whitecockade. All the soldiers of the regiment immediatelyS mounted tricolor cockades, and were cheered by the mob.The king appeared on the balcony, with Lafayette, andthey cheered him too; but some voices cried that he mustgo to Paris.The mob then demanded to see the queen. She askedfor her children; and they were brought to her, probablynot very willing to face the noisy multitude. She tookLouis in her arms, and led his sister by the hand, andstepped out on the balcony, with Lafayette by her side.There was a shout "No children!" It does not seemclear why the people would not have the children too;but the queen believed that it was intended that some oneshould shoot her as she stood, and that the children werenot to be endangered. She gently pushed them back, andbade them go in, and then stepped forward in the sight ofthe people, with her hands and eyes raised to heaven.Lafayette took her hand, and kneeling reverently, kissedit. This act turned the tide of the people's feelings, andthey cheered the queen. It was finely done of Lafayette,both for presence of mind and noble feeling.Here was the difference between the enraged people andtheir enlightened leaders. Lafayette was a friend of the
A PROCESSION. 75people, and an enemy to tyranny: but he had not beenground down by poverty, reared in hunger and brutalignorance, and taught to hate proud and selfish oppressorswith a cruel hatred. Such was the difference betweenhim and this wretched mob, whom we feel more disposedto pity than to blame, so great was their ignorance, andso terrible had been the sufferings of their lives. La-fayette's eyes were opened by knowledge and reflection,while theirs were closed by passion and prejudice. Theybelieved that all royal rulers were wicked, and the queenthe most wicked of all; and that if she were but out ofthe way, with a few more, all would go right,-breadwould be cheap, the nobility less extravagant and oppres-sive, and the king willing to govern by men of the people'schoice. Lafayette saw that all this was very foolish. Hesaw that nothing could be worse than the state of France,-the tyranny of the nobility,--the extravagance andfrivolity of the court,-and the wretchedness of thepeople. He was for amending all this; but he knew thatthese sins and woes were the growth of many centuries,and that no one person, or dozen of persons, was to beblamed as the cause. He probably saw that the queenwas as ignorant in one way as the mob in another; andwas therefore to be pitied. She had never been taughtwhat millions of people were suffering, and did not knowhow to frame her conduct so as to spare their irritatedand wounded feelings: and therefore she had filled up heryouth with shows and pleasures, and from year to yeargiven to her dependents the means of enriching them-selves at the expense of the poor, without being in theleast aware of the mischief she was doing. It was in theknowledge of all this, in deep sorrow and compassion forboth parties in this great quarrel, and with an earnest
76 THE PRINCE.desire to bring them to bear with each other, that La-fayette kissed the queen's hand in the balcony. His heartmust have beat with hope and gladness when he heard thepeople immediately shout " Long live the queen!"Again the cry was " The king to Paris!" and still theking was as unwilling as ever to go. He wished to con-sult the Assembly about it, and sent to ask them to come,and hold their sitting in the palace. While they weredeliberating whether to do so, the mob became so peremp-tory, so noisy, that the king dared no longer hesitate.He did the same thing now that no experience couldteach him to avoid, in great affairs or small: he refused aslong as possible what the people had set their heartsupon,-then hesitated, and at last had to yield, when itwas no longer possible to show any good grace in theaction. From his failures, a lesson might be taken by allrulers of a nation which has learned to have a will of itsown, and to speak it:-a lesson to grant with readinessand a good grace what must be, or ought to be yielded,and to refuse with firmness what ought not to be granted.Louis XVI. never could even get so far as to settle in hisown mind what ought, and what ought not to be granted;and unhappily there was no one about him well qualifiedto advise. The queen was firm and decided; but she wasso deficient in knowledge that she was always as likely toguide him wrong as right. Now, however, there was nolonger room for doubt. The king said, from the balcony," My children, you wish that I should follow you to Paris.I consent, on condition that you do not separate me frommy wife and children." He also stipulated that hisguards should be well treated; to which the multitudeconsented.It was, however, far from their intention that the king
A PROCESSION. 77should follow them to Paris. They did not mean to losesight of him, for fear he should slip away. They causedGeneral Lafayette to fix the hour at which the king wouldgo. One o'clock was fixed.Till one, the royal grooms were preparing the carriagesto convey the royal family and suite,-a long train ofcoaches. The servants in the palace were packing up whatthey could for so hurried a removal. The royal childrendid no lessons that day, I should think; for Madame deTourzel, who was to go with them, must have been ingreat terror for the whole party. Lafayette was esta-blishing what order he could, riding about, pale andanxious, to arrange what was called the Parisian army.For two nights (and what nights!) he had not closed hiseyes. The people meantime searched out some granaries,and loaded carts with the corn, to take with them toParis.A more extraordinary procession was perhaps neverseen. Royal carriages, and waggons full of corn,-theking's guards and the ragamuffin crowd; round the king'scarriage a mob of dirty, fierce fish-women and market-women, eating as they walked, and sometimes screamingout close at the coach-door, "We shall not want breadany more. We have got the baker, and the baker's wife,and the little baker's boy:"-such was the procession.There was another thing in it which the king and queensaw, but which we must hope the children did not,-theheads of two body-guards who had been killed early inthe morning, in the quarrel which led to the attack uponthe queen.The queen sat in her coach, seen by the vast multitude,for five long hours,-calm, dignified, and silent. Fromone till two the royal carriage had to stand, while the
78 THE PRINCE.great procession was preparing to move; and ib did notenter Paris till dusk,-till six o'clock. It was still rain-ing,-a dull, drizzling rain. Louis could not have likedto hear himself talked about as he was, by the loud dirtywomen that crowded round the coach; nor to hear themspeak to his mother. Some pointed to the corn-waggons,and told her they had got what they wanted, in spite ofher. Some said, " Come now, don't you be a traitor anymore, and we will all love you." There were two hundredthousand people in this procession.When they reached Paris, the royal family did not gostraight home to the Tuileries. There was something tobe done first. They had to go to the great city hall, tomeet the authorities of Paris. The mayor received them,and welcomed them to the city; and the king replied thathe always came with pleasure and confidence among hisgood people of Paris. In repeating what the king haddeclared to those assembled, the mayor forgot the word"confidence." The queen said aloud, "Say confidence;-with pleasure and confidence."Then there were many speeches made, during whichpoor little Louis, tired as he was, had to wait. Called upbefore five in the morning, and having sat so many hoursin the carriage, with guns and pistols incessantly poppingoff, and yells and shouts from such a concourse of people,he might well be tired: but before they could go home,the king had to show himself in the balcony of the cityhail, by torch-light, with a great tricolor cockade in hishat. It was just eleren o'clock before they got to theirpalace of the Tuileries.There everything was comfortless,-for there had beenno notice of their coming. The apartments had beenoccupied by the servants of the court, who, turning out
THE DAUPHIN AT PARIS. 79in a hurry, left everything in confusion. Probably Louisdid not mind this,-glad enough to get to bed at all aftersuch a long and dreary day, This was the 6th of October.CHAPTER VI.THE DAUPHIN AT PARIS.IN the morning of the 7th, some magistrates came, bring-ing upholsterers with them, and asked the king how hewould be pleased to be lodged. They were ready to dis-pose and furnish the palace as he liked. He answeredgruffly that others might lodge as they pleased, he hadnothing to say to it. He was apt to be sulky occasionally,in his most prosperous days; and it was natural that heshould be more so now. Sometimes, when the queen madeanxious inquiries about the state of affairs, he answered,"Madam, your affair is with the children." He knewthat he was, in fact, a prisoner in his own capital; andthat it must at any rate be long before he could leave it.He was losing the fine hunting season; and there was nosaying when he might lunt again. This grieved him verymuch. He sent for his locksmith, and did a little filing,now and then; but he was losing his pleasure in everything.Some of the women who had walked by the royal car-riage yesterday came this morning, and stationed them-selves before the queen's windows, requesting to see her.One of them told her that she must send away all badadvisers, and love the people. The queen replied that shehad loved the people when she lived at Versailles, andthat she should go on to love them now. They repeatedto her some reports that they had heard against her,-that she had wished in the summer that Paris should beL
80 THE PRINCE.fired upon; and that she would yesterday have fled to thefrontiers, if she had not been prevented. She repliedthat they had heard these things, and believed them; andthat while some people told and others believed what wasnot true, the nation and the king would never be happy.One woman then spoke a few words of German: but thequeen interrupted her, saying that she was now so com-pletely a French woman, that she had forgotten her German.This delighted the women much; for some of the jealousyof the queen which existed was on account of her being aforeigner. They clapped their hands; and asked for theribbons and flowers out of her hat. She took them offwith her own hands, and gave them to the women. Theydivided them to keep; and they remained half an hourshouting, "Long live Marie Antoinette! Long live ourgood queen!"It was found, during the whole long period of her resi-dence where she now was, that everybody who talked withthe queen liked her;-her bitterest enemies were heard toshout as these women did, when once they had heard herspeak; and soldiers, who had spoken insultingly of herbefore they knew her, were ready to lay down their livesfor her when they became her guards. The reason of thiswas, not merely that she was beautiful, and that she spokein a winning manner, when she knew how much dependedupon her graciousness;-it was chiefly because the igno-rant and angry people had fancied her a sort of monster,determined upon her own indulgence at all cost, and evenseeking their destruction, and delighting in their miseries."When, instead of this monster, they found a dignifiedwoman, with sorrow in her beautiful face, and gentlenessin her voice, they forgot for the time the faults she reallyhad, and the blameable things she had really done. When
THE DAUPHIN AT PARIS. 81again remindef of these, in her absence, the old hatredrevived with new force; they were vexed that she hadwon upon them, and ended by being as cruel as we shallsee they were.She found, this morning, how frightened her little boyhad been, the day before. There was some noise in thecourt-yard of the palace. Louis came running, and threwhimself trembling into her arms, crying, "0, mamma, isto-day going to be yesterday again?" When they weresettled, and everything was done to make him as happyas a child should be, he did not forget what he had seenand heard. He not only walked with his mother, or withMadame de Tourzel, in the gardens of the Tuileries, buthe had a little garden of his own, railed in, and a littletool-house for his spade and rake. There the rosy, curly-headed boy was seen digging in the winter, and sowingseeds in the spring; and, sometimes, feeding the ducks onthe garden ponds with crumbs of bread. Still he did notforget what he had seen and heard. One day, his fathersaw the boy looking at him very gravely and earnestly.The king asked him what he was thinking about. Louissaid he wanted to ask a very serious question, if he might;and the king gave him leave." I want to know," said Louis, " why all the people whoused to love you so much are now so angry with you. Iwant to know what you have done to put them in such apassion."The king took him upon his knee, and said,-"My dear, I wished to make the people happier thanthey were before. I wanted money to pay the expensesof our great wars. I asked it of the parliament, as thekings of France have always done before. The magis-trates who composed the parliament were unwilling, andy"
82 THE RBBNC.said that the people alone had a right to consent that thismoney should be given. I called together at Vetsaillesthe principal people of every town, distinguished by theirrank, their fortune, or their talents. These were calledthe States-General. When they were assembled, theyrequired of me things which I could not do, either for myown sake or yours; as you are to be king after me. Wickedpersons have appeared, causing the people to rebel; andthe shocking things that have happened lately are theirdoing. We must blame them and not the people."So spoke Louis XVI. to his young son: and from thesewords (among other evidence) we learn how little he wasaware of the true causes and nature of the great Revolu-tion which was taking place. It appears that he reallythought this revolution was owing to the acts of the lastfew months, and not to the long course of grinding oppres-sion which had begun hundreds of years before he wasborn. He believed that the violence he witnessed wasowing to the malice of a few "wicked persons," and notto the exasperation of a nation,-the fury of many millionsof sufferers against a few hundreds of the rich and power-ful. This was not the first time of the king's showinghow little he understood of what was taking place andwhat ought to be done. When it was absolutely neces-sary to the peace of the kingdom to have a minister whowould relieve the people of the heaviest taxes, the kingremoved such a minister, and thought he was doing whathe could to make up for this, by retrenching some expensesin the palace. For instance, it had always been the customfor the two first bed-chamber women of the queen to havefor their own all the wax-lights placed daily in the wholesuite of royal apartments, whether lighted or not. Thesethey sold for many hundred pounds a year. When the
TIIE DAUPHIN AT PARIS. 83king began to retrench, he took from these women thewax-light privilege; and the candles which were not lightedone evening served for the next. The ladies were notpleased at being thus deprived of a large part of theirincome; but this, with the few other retrenchments madeby the royal family, was right. All these retrenchmentswere nothing, however, in comparison with what waswanted. The peasantry still had to pay the grievous land-tax, even when they were reduced to eat boiled nettlesand grass. The poor still had to buy the quantity of dearsalt ordered by law, even when they had no meat to eat itwith. The labouring man and his sons, weakened byhunger and spent with toil, still had to turn out and workupon the roads, without wages, while wife and young chil-dren were growing savage with want in their ruined hut.It was all very well for the king and queen to burn fewerwax-lights; but far happier would it have been could themonarch have seen and known that the thing wanted wasto relieve the poor from these heavy oppressions; and thathis duty was to uphold a minister who would do it, evenif every rich and noble person quitted his court, and turnedagainst him. This, however, was not to be expected; forthe king and queen lived amongst, and were acquaintedwith, not the poor, but the noble and the rich, and heardonly what they had to say.It is not known whether little Louis was ever told whatthe poor suffer. It is probable that he heard something ofit; for his elder brother and sister certainly had, upon oneoccasion. It was the queen's custom to give her childrena stock of new playthings on New Year's day. One veryhard winter, she and the king heard of the sufferings ofthe poor in Paris from cold; and the king ordered a largequantity of wood to be purchased with his money, andf2
84 THE PRINCE.given away. The queen commanded the toyman tobringthe new toys, as usual, on New Year's eve, and spreadthem out in one of her apartments. She then led thechildren in, showed them the playthings, and said thesewere what she meant to have given them; but that shehad heard that so many poor families were perishing withcold, that she hoped they would be willing to do withoutnew toys, and let the money go for fuel for the poor. Thechildren agreed, and the toyman was sent away, with apresent of money, to console him for the disappointmentof having sold nothing. It is probable that Louis also,when old enough to understand, was told of the sufferingsof the poor: but it is difficult to give an idea of what wantreally is to children who have half a dozen ladies andfootmen always at their orders, and who are surroundedwith luxuries which seem to them to come as naturally asthe light of day, and to belong to them as completely astheir own limbs and senses. We have all heard of thelittle French princess who, when told by her governesshow many of the poor were dying of starvation, in a hardseason, said, she thought that was very foolish; and that,rather than starve, she would eat bread and cheese. Shehad no idea that multitudes never tasted anything betterthan the coarsest black dry bread; and that it was forwant of this that many were perishing. How should sheknow ? She had never seen the inside of a poor man's hut,or tasted any but the most delicate food,Louis wished to know what he ought to do, now thatahe people were so angry with his father. The queen toldhim that he must behave civilly and kindly to the magis-trates, when they came; to the officers of the people'sarmy,-the National Guard,-and to everybody that be-longed, to Paris. Louis took great pains to do this: andj
THE DAUPHIN AT PARIS. 85when he had an opportunity of speaking kindly to themayor, or any other visitor, he used to run up to his mother,and whisper in her ear, " Was that right ?"-He once saida thing which pleased the mayor of Paris very much. Themayor showed him the shield of Scipio, which was in theroyal library, and asked him which lie liked best, Scipioor Hannibal. The boy answered that he liked best himwho had defended his own country.At this time he read, not only of Scipio and Hannibal,but much besides. The royal family, out of spirits, andnot knowing what would happen next, led a very quietlife in the Tuileries, from the 6th of October, when theywere brought there, till the beginning of the nextsummer.During this season, the queen never went to the theatre.She gave no concerts, or large entertainments: and onlyreceived the court twice a week, where everybody camewearing white lilies, and bows of white ribbon, while tri-color cockades were sold at all the corners of the streets;and the National Guards stopped all who did not showred and blue colours. The queen went to mass, and dinedin public with the king, twice a week, and joined smallcard parties in the evenings. The Princess de Lamballe,who had returned to resume her office in the palace, gavegay parties; and the queen went a few times, but soon feltthat, in her circumstances, a private life was more suitable.One evening she rQturned to her apartments in great agi-tation. An English nobleman had been exhibiting a largering which he wore, containing a lock of Oliver Cromwell'shair. She looked with horror upon Cromwell, as a regi-cide; and she thought the English nobleman meant topoint out to her what kings may come to when their peopleare discontented with them. It was probable that the
86 TIIE PRINCE.gentleman meant no such thing: but he was guilty of avery thoughtless act, which gave a great deal of pain.The queen's mind was so full of the revolution, that shefound she could not fix her attention upon books. Worksuited her best; and she sat the greater part of themorning working, with the Princess Elizabeth, at a carpetintended for one of their apartments. After breakfastshe went to the king, to converse with him, if he was soinclined. She then sat by, at work, while the childrendid their lessons, which was the regular employment ofthe morning. They all walked in the palace gardens;and the queen returned to her work after dinner. Shecould talk of nothing but the revolution: and wasextremely anxious to know what everybody thought ofher,-particularly persons in office. She was for everwondering how it was that those who hailed her with loveand joy, when she came as a bride from Germany, shouldso fiercely hate her now. It is a pity that she did notnow learn to know and trust Lafayette. It might havesaved her, and all who belonged to her; but she wasprejudiced against him from his being a friend of thepeople, and in favour of great changes in the government.Thus the winter passed wearily on. If the people ofParis were jealous of the queen's wish to get away, andsuspicious of her meaning it, if possible, they were not farwrong. Some or other of the nobles and clergy werecontinually planning to carry the royal family, either toRouen (a loyal city) or to the frontiers, to meet the king'sbrother and friends, and the army they were raising. Itwould probably have been done, but for the king's irre-solution. He would neither speak nor stir about it.One night in March, at ten o'clock, when the childrenwere asleep in bed, the king and queen were playing whist
THE DAUPHIN AT PARIS. 8Twith his next brother and sister-in-law (who had not goneaway), and the Princess Elizabeth was kneeling on afootstool beside the card table, looking on. M. Campan,one of the most trusty of the queen's attendants, came in,and said, in a low voice, that the Count d'Inisdal hadcalled to say that everything was planned for an escape.The nobles who had contrived it were collected to guardand accompany the king;--the National Guard aboutthe palace were gained over;-post horses were ready allalong the road;-the king had only to consent, and hemight be off before midnight. The king went on playinghis cards, and made no answer. "Did you hear," said thequeen, "what Campan has been telling us? " "I hear,"said the king; and still went on playing. After a while,the queen observed, " Campan must have an answer ofsome kind." Then, at length, the king spoke. "Tell theCount d'Inisdal," said he, "that I cannot consent to becarried off." The queen repeated, " The king cannot con-sent to be carried off," meaning it to be clearly understoodthat he would be very glad to go, if it could be so done asthat he might say afterwards that he had had nothing todo with the plan. The Count d'Inisdal was very angry atthe message. " I see how it is," said he. "We, theking's faithful servants, are to have all the danger, and allthe blame, if the scheme fails." And off he went.The queen would not give up her hopes that the nobleswould understand how glad the royal family would be togo, and would come for them. She sat till past midnightwrapping up her jewels to carry away; and then desiredthe lady who assisted her not to go to bed. The ladylistened all the night through, and looked out of thewindow many times; but all was still, and no one but theguards was to be seen. The queen observed to this lady
88 THE PRINCE.that they should have to fly, There was no saying towhat lengths the rebellious people would go, she declared,and the danger increased every day.There was indeed no respite from apprehensions ofdanger. About a month after, on the 13th of April,there was a good deal of agitation in Paris, from thedebates in the Assembly having been very warm, andsuch as to make the people fear that the king would becarried away. L-fayette promised the king that if lesaw reason to consider the palace in danger, he would firea great cannon on a certain bridge. At night, someaccidental musket-shots were heard near the palace, andthe king mistook them for Lafayette's cannon. He wentto the queen's apartments. She was not there. Hefound her in the Dauphin's chamber, with Louis in herarms. "I was alarmed about you," said the king. "Yousee," said she, clasping her little son close, "I was at mypost."While thus suffering, and certainly not learning to lovethe people more on this account,--while distrustingLaf.yette, and knowing no one else who could give themthe knowledge and advice which would have been bestfor them, the royal family were confirmed in their worstprejudices and errors by letters which reached them froma distance. Those who wished to write to them in theirdistress were naturally those who sympathised most withthem, and least with the people. One instance shows howabsurd and mischievous such a correspondence was. TheEmpress Catherine of Russia wrote to the queen, " Kingsought to proceed on their course without troubling them-selves about the cries of the people, as the moon traversesthe sky without regard to the baying of dogs." Whetherthe queen saw the folly of these words, and thought of
AT ST. CLOUD. 89the proper answer to them,--that a king is a man, likethose who cry to him for sympathy, but the moon is nota dog,-we do not know; nor whether she perceivedthe insolent wickedness of the sentence; but she sawthe unfeeling absurdity of writing this to a king andqueen who were actually prisoners in the hands oftheir subjects. If the king had been active, decided, andequal to the dangers of the times, he would have madeuse of this winter in Paris to go among his people, andlearn for himself what was the matter, what they wanted,and how much could be done for peace and good govern-ment: and then this correspondence from a distance mighthave done no harm: but, indolent and passive as he was,everything seemed to conspire to prevent all mutual under-standing between him and the nation.CHAPTER VII.AT ST. CLOUD.ONE of his wishes was, to a certain degree, gratified atlength. He got a little more hunting when June came.To the surprise of the court, and many besides, the royalfamily were quietly permitted to go to their country-houseat St. Cloud, a few miles from Paris, when the weatherbecame too warm for a comfortable residence at theTuileries. The National Guard followed them; but theking rode out daily, attended only by an officer ofGeneral Lafayette's staff. The queen was guarded byanother of these officers, and the Dauphin by a third.It seems rather strange that so much liberty shouldhave been allowed, when so lately every precaution wastaken to prevent the flight of the family. During thepast winter and spring, and the next season, the leaders of
90 THE PRINCE.the revolution kept a constant watch upon the palace, andknew all that went on there. They knew what personswere admitted at back doors to consult with the queen.They also knew, after the family returned from St. Cloud,how many horses were in the royal stables, and how manyof them stood constantly saddled and bridled. They knewhow the royal carriages were kept stuffed with luggage,ready to start at a moment's warning,-the royal armsbeing nearly rubbed out from the panels. They declaredalso that they knew that the king's old aunts meant to goaway, carrying off, not only plenty of treasure, but littleLouis; and that a boy, very like Louis, had been intraining for some time, to represent him, when the trueDauphin should have been carried to his uncle, over thefrontiers. All this was published in the newspapers, sothat, if the old princesses had any such plan prepared,they were obliged to give it up. Thus were the familyguarded in Paris, before and after, and yet, in June, theywere riding and driving about St. Cloud, believing thatthey might go off any day they chose. Perhaps, however,this might not have proved so easy as they thought. Theremight have been spies about them that they did not knowof; and, since nothing could be worse than their manage-ment of all business matters, from inexperience and wantof knowledge of other people's minds and affairs, theirenemies might feel pretty secure that the royal prisonerscould not fly far without being caught.There was a plan for escape completely formed, as weknow from the lady to whom the queen confided it. Naone doubted of the entire success of this scheme; and thelady daily expected and hoped to have to wait in vain forthe return of the royal family from their drive.They went out every afternoon at four o'clock; and
AT ST. CLOUD. 91often did not return till eight, and sometimes even not tillnine. The king went on horseback, attended by groomsand pages on whom he could rely. The ladies, in acarriage, were also followed by grooms and pages. Theplan was for all to ride to the same place on a certainafternoon, by different roads,-the king on horseback, thequeen and her daughter, and the princess Elizabeth, in acarriage; the Dauphin and Madame de Tourzel in achaise; and some of the royal suite in other vehicles. Onmeeting in a wood, twelve miles from St. Cloud, the threeofficers of Lafayette's staff were to be gained over, or to beoverpowered by the servants; and then all were to pushon for the frontier. Meanwhile, the people at home wouldwait till nine o'clock, quietly enough. Then, on becomingalarmed and looking about, they would find on the king'sdesk a letter to the Assembly, which they would instantlyforward. It could not reach Paris before ten; and thenthe Assembly would not be sitting. The president wouldhave to be found; and the Assembly could hardly be gottogether, or messengers sent after the fugitives, beforemidnight; when the royal family would have had a startof eight hours.The lady to whom the queen confided this scheme ap-proved it, but asked no questions, and hoped she shouldnot be told the precise day, as she was to be left behind,and wished to be able to say that she had not known that'hey intended more than an afternoon drive when theywent forth. One June evening, nine o'clock came, andnone of them were home. The attendants walked rest-lessly about the courts, and wondered. The lady's heartbeat so that she was afraid her emotion would be ob-served. But presently she heard the carriage-wheels;and all returned as usual. She told the queen that she
92 THE PRINCE.had not expected to see her home to-night: and thequeen replied that they must wait till the king's auntshad left .France, and till they knew whether the planwould suit the wishes of their friends over the frontier.It was believed by many persons, and certainly byLafayette, that there were plots, at this time, against thelife of the queen. An agent of the police gave notice ofan intention to poison her. The queen did not believe it.She believed that her enemies meant to break her spiritby calumny; but she had no fear of poison. Her headphysician, however, chose to take precautions. He de-sired one of her ladies to have always at hand a bottle offresh, good oil of sweet almonds, which, with milk, is anantidote against corrosive poisons. He was uneasy at thequeen's habit of sweetening draughts of water from asugar-basin which stood open in her apartment. He wasafraid of this sugar being poisoned. The lady thereforekept a great quantity of sugar pounded in her own apart-ment, and always carried some packets of it in her bag,from which she changed the sugar in the basin, severaltimes a-day. The queen found this out, and begged shewould not take the trouble to do this, as she had no fearof dying by that method. Poor lady! she said sometimesthat, but for her family's sake, she should be glad to dieby any means. She was indeed unhappy; but she hadnot yet learned how much more unhappy had been multi-tudes of her people before they hated her as they now did.She grieved to see her daughter growing up grave andsilent, and her little boy of five years old surrounded bysorrowful faces, and subject to terrors at an age when heshould have been merry, and smiled upon by everybodynear him: but she knew nothing of the affliction of thou-sands of mothers who had seen their children dying of
THE ENTERPRISE. 93hunger on heaps of straw, in hovels open to the rain; orof the indignation of thousands more who had seen theirlively, promising infants growing stupid and cross underthe pressure of early toil, and in the absence of all in-struction. All this had happened while she was paying15,0001. for a pair of diamond earrings, and using herinfluence in behalf of bad advisers to the king. Shemight wish to die under her sorrows; she little knew howmany had died under their most intolerable sufferings.CHAPTER VIII.THE ENTERPRISE.THE longer the revolution went on, exhibiting more andmore fully the incapacity of the king, the more were theintoxicated people tempted to exult over him, sometimesfiercely, and sometimes in mockery. It is not conceivablethat they would have ventured upon some things thatwere said and done, if the king had been a man of spirit;for men of spirit command personal respect in their ad-versity. The great original quarrel with the king, it willbe remembered, was on matters of finance,-about thevast debts of the State, and the choice of a minister whowould wisely endeavour to reduce these debts, and at thesame time to relieve the people from some of the pressureof taxation. Towards the end of this year, 1790, theAssembly had decreed the discharge of the debts of theState; and (whether or not they might prove able toexecute what they decreed) the people were highly de-lighted. It was the custom to serenade the royal familyon New Year's morning. On this New Year's day, theband of the National Guard played under the king's win-dows an opera air which went to the words, "But our
94 THE PRINCE.creditors are paid, and we are consoled." They wouldplay nothing but this air; and finished it, stopped andresumed, over and over again. They might have beenvery sure that the king knew what they meant by playingit at all.Another New Year's day custom was to present gifts tothe royal children. On this day, some grenadiers of theParisian guard came, preceded by military music, to offera gift to the Dauphin. This gift was a set of dominoesmade of the stone and marble of which parts of the Bastillehad been built. On the lid of the box were engraved someverses, of which the sense was as follows:-"These stones of the walls which enclosed so manyinnocent victims of arbitrary power, have been made intoa toy, to be offered to your Highness, as a token of thelove of the people, and a lesson as to their strength."The queen would not allow her son to have this toy.She took it from him, and gave it into the hands of one ofher ladies, desiring her to preserve it as a curious sign ofthe times.If the royal family received insults from people whocould not feel for them, it was equally true that their ad-herents exasperated the feelings of persons who quite aslittle deserved insult. Such was the effect of mutual pre-judice. General Lafayette, still in hopes of bringing theopposing parties to some understanding, frequently wentto the palace of the Tuileries, where now, during thewinter, the royal family were once more established. Asthere was little use in conversing with the king aboutaffairs, these interviews were generally with the queen,-a fact which prevents our wondering much at the commonaccusation that the queen meddled with the government,and did mischief by it. One day when Lafayette was with
THE ENTERPRISE. 95the queen, one of her majesty's ladies observed (intendingto be heard by the General's officers) that it made heruneasy to think of her majesty's being shut up alone witha rebel and a robber. An older and more prudent lady,Madame Campan, seeing the folly of such a speech at atime when everything might depend on General La-fayette's goodwill, reproved the person who had spoken;but it is curious to see how much more she thought of theimprudence than of the injustice of the speech. She ob-served that General Lafayette was certainly a rebel: butthat an officer who commanded forty thousand men, thecapital, and a large extent of country, should be called achieftain rather than a robber. One would think this waslittle enough to say in favour of such a man as Lafayette :yet the queen the next day asked Madame Campan, witha mournful gravity, what she could have meant by takingLafayette's part, and silencing the other ladies becausethey did not like him. When she heard how it was, thequeen was satisfied: but we, far from being satisfied, maylearn from this how difficult it must have been to help theroyal family and court, while they thought and spoke ofthe best men in the nation in such a way as this. In truth,there were miserable prejudices and insults on both sides:and at this distance of time, Lafayette, with his love offreedom, and his goodwill towards all the sufferers of bothparties, rises to our view from among them all as a sunnyhill-top above the fogs of an unwholesome marsh.The next event in the royal family was the departureof the old princesses. They got away in February; and,though stopped in some places on their journey, crossedthe frontiers in safety. They might probably haveremained secure enough in Paris; and their departure wasnot on their own account, so much as that of the king.
96 THE PRINCE.He could not have attempted to fly while his aged auntsremained in the midst of the troubles. When they weredisposed of, he felt himself more free to go or stay. Theold ladies earnestly entreated the sweet princess Elizabethto go with them, representing to her how happy she mightbe at Rome in the exercise of the religion to which shewas devoted. But her religion taught her that her dutylay, not where she could say her prayers with the mostease and security, but where she could give the most helpand consolation. She refused ease and safety, and declaredher intention of remaining with her brother's family to theend-whatever that end might be.The queen immediately (that is, in March) began herpreparations for departure. Remembering how easilythey might have got away from St. Cloud, last summer, itwas determined to start from St. Cloud this time. On the15th of April, notice was given to the Assembly that, theking having become subject to colds of late, the royalfamily would remove into the country in a few days.The people of Paris discussed this plan very earnestly.Lafayette wished that the king should live at any one ofhis palaces that he pleased. But so much had been said,all through the winter, about his majesty's leaving Paris,that it had now become a very difficult thing to do. Thepapers on the royal side had proudly threatened that theking would leave his people, if they were not more worthyof his presence. The revolutionary papers had said thatthe king should not go, to raise up armies of enemies at adistance. All Paris had been kept awake by stories ofsaddled horses in the royal stables, of packed carriages, anda host of armed nobles, always hovering about, ready torescue him and murder the people. It does indeed appearthat latterly there had bein various mysterious meetings
THE ENTERPRISE. 97of gentlemen, who were secretly armed: and report, whichalways exaggerates these things, declared that thirty thou-sand such armed gentlemen were hidden in the woods,about St. Cloud, and that they would overpower thepeople's guard, and carry off the family.Some may wonder why the nation, if sick of their king,did not let him go, and rejoice to be rid of him. Thereason why they detained him so carefully was this: theyknew that his brother and friends were raising an army ata distance; and they saw that, if once the royal familyescaped from their hands, they should have all Europedown upon them; whereas, if they kept the family ashostages, their enemies would let them alone, in the fearthat the first march of a foreign army into France wouldbe revenged upon the lives of the very persons whom i t wasdesired to save.Considering all these things, the people resolved thatthe royal family should not go to St. Cloud.First, numbers of the servants were sent off, to geteverything made ready for the king, who was to follow onthe 18th, to dinner. The servants were allowed to gowithout opposition; so that on the 18th, the apartmentsat St. Cloud were ready, the dinner was cooking, and theattendants looking out along the road to Paris, wonderingwhy the carriages did not appear, and fearing the dinnerwould be spoiled. Nobody came to eat it, however, unlessit was given to the National Guard, a detachment of whomLad gone forward, to be on duty about the palace.At one o'clock, the great royal coach, drawn by its eightblack horses, drove up to the palace-gate in Paris; andimmediately the alarm-bell from a neighbouring church-steeple began to sound. The family were almost ready;but multitudes of people, summoned by the bell, collecteda