From the Library of
Henry Goldman, Ph.D.
IE. RftjANK AS CATHARINE.
AN HISTORICAL ROMANCE
FOUNDED ON THE PLAY
TRANSLATBD FROM THB FRENCH
LOUIE R. HELLER
HOME BOOK COMPANY
45 VESEY STREET.
HOME BOOK COMPANY.
IN the Rue de Bondy lighted lamps smoked and
showed the entrance to a popular ball, the Vaux-Hall.
This ball, with its fantastic name, was directed by
citizen Joly, an artist of the " Theatre des Arts."
This was in the great days of July, 1792.
Louis XVI. still held a nominal royalty ; but his head,
destined to the axe since the twentieth of June, rested
now uncertainly on his shoulders.
Revolution thundered in the very streets.
Robespierre, Marat, and Barbaroux, the handsome
Marsellais, had held a secret conclave, in which, with-
out being able to agree in their choice of a chief a
dictator who should stand as the " Friend of the Peo-
ple," they had decided to make a decisive onset on the
royal family, now confined in the palace of the Tuileries
as in a fortress.
Men waited for the arrival of the Marseilles troops
to give the signal for the insurrection.
The Prussian King and the Austrian Emperor made
preparations, on their side, to throw themselves upon
France, which they considered an easy prey, a nation
overthrown : counting, too, upon treasons and internal
dissensions for cutting a passage for their armies even
to the capital.
With unwarranted arrogance the Prince of Bruns-
wick, generalissimo of the royal and imperial armies,
had issued from Coblenz his famous manifesto, in which
he said :
" If the palace of the Tuileries be forced or insulted,
if there be done the least violence, the least outrage, to
their majesties, the King Louis XVI. and the Queen
Marie-Antoinette, or to any member of the royal
family ; if their security, preservation, and liberty be
not immediately insured, the Emperor and the King
will take such vengeance as shall be forever memo-
rable, in delivering up the city of Paris to a military ex-
ecution and to total overthrow, and the chief conspirators
to such punishment as they shall richly deserve."
Paris answered in wildly defiant tones by organizing
the uprising of the tenth of August.
But Paris is ever a volcano with two craters ; its
joy ever alternates with passion.
Men armed themselves in the suburbs. They talked
in the clubs, at the Commune ; they* distributed car-
tridges to the national patriotic guards without in the
least losing their taste for pleasure and their love of
dancing. For people were much agitated in the days
of the Revolution.
On the fresh ruins of the Bastille, at last demolished,
a placard was placed, bearing the words : " Here one
And this was not irony. The good fortune which
could place in the hands of the patriots the melan-
choly site where, through many centuries, the un-
fortunate victims of monarchical caprice had groaned
unheard, made that a place wherein to tune the violins.
Strains of joy succeeded the melancholy hoot of the
owl ; and it was, moreover, one way of proving the*
entire disappearance of the old regime.
The revolution was accomplished amid the singing
of the " Marseillaise " and the dancing of the " Car-
To enumerate the many balls going on at that time
in Paris would take much space. There was dancing
at the H6tel d'Aligrg, in the Rue d'Orleans-Saint-
Honore" ; at the H6tel Biron, in the Hanoverian tent ;
in the hall of the Exchequer ; at the H6tel de Longue-
ville ; in the Rue Filles-Saint-Thomas ; at la Mode"stie ;
at the dance of Calypso ; in the faubourg Montmartre,
at Poncherons ; at la Courtille, and lastly, at the Vaux-
Hall, whither we propose to take the readers.
Like the costumes, the dances of the old school were
blent with new steps ; the pavane", the minuet, and the
gavotte were succeeded by the tre"nitz, the rigaudon,
the monaco, and the popular fricasse'e.
On the vast floor of the Vaux-Hall one night, at the
close of July, 1792, there was a great crowd, and people
were amusing themselves mightily. The women were
young, agile, and well dressed, and the men were full
The costumes were varied. Short breeches, with
stockings, wig, and French coat, stood side by side
with revolutionary long trousers ; for let us remark, in
passing, that the term " sans-culottes " which was used
to designate the patriots, signified simply that these
went about without the customary covering for the
legs ; the other faction would have said that the legs
of the revolutionists were too much covered, for the
citizens used more cloth and no longer wore breeches,
Many uniforms shone there, for many of the national
guards were in the hall, ready to rush from the scene
at the first drum-call to begin a dance about the throne,
the overture to the Revolution.
Among these, moving with the air of a victor, and
showing to advantage as he passed around and before
the pretty girls, was a tall, muscular youth, whose face
was both energetic and gentle, and who wore the fop-
pish costume of the French guard, with the red and
blue cockade of the municipality of Paris. The silver
braid on his sleeve indicated his rank ; he had, like
many of his comrades, been a sergeant in the city mi-
litia before the disbanding of the French guards.
He passed again and again before a robust and
pretty girl with honest blue eyes, who was not dancing.
She eyed the fine French guardsman scornfully when
he hesitated to approach her, despite the encourage-
ment of his comrades,
" Go on, go on, Lefebvre," whispered one of the
guards ; " the place is not impregnable."
" Perhaps she has herself already opened a breach, 1 '
" If you dare not attempt it, I shall myself," added a
" You can see for yourself that you are the one at
whom she has been looking. They are going to dance
the fricasse'e. Ask her to dance," spoke the first man,
encouraging Sergeant Lefebvre.
The latter was silent. He dared not accost that
fresh young woman, who was in nowise abashed, and
yet who seemed to have no chilling frost in her glance.
" Do you think so, Bernadotte ? " asked Lefebvre, of
him who had last spoken, who was also a sergeant.
" By Heaven ! a French soldier has never yet retreated
before an enemy nor in the presence of a pretty woman,
/will make the attack ! "
And, leaving his comrades, Sergeant Lefebvre went
straight to the pretty girl, whose eyes were now filled
with angry light, and who stood ready to receive him
in fine style, having overheard the disrespectful re-
marks the soldiers had made about her.
" Listen, girl," she said to her neighbor, " I shall
teach those saucy guards whether or not I have made
an opening for them."
She got up quickly, her hands on her hips, her eyes
flashing, her tongue ready for use, prompt to return an
answer to the attack.
The sergeant thought actions would. count more than
words. So, holding out his arms, he seized the young
girl by the waist, and attempted to imprint a kiss upon
her neck, saying as he did so :
" Mam'zelle, will you dance the fricassee ? "
The girl was quick. In the twinkling of an eye, she
disengaged herself, and launched out her hand in the
direction of the sergeant's cheek, to which, as he stood
abashed and confounded, she applied it vigorously,
saying coolly, and with a joyous ring in her voice,
Take that, boy ! There's your fricass6e."
The sergeant retreated a step ; rubbed his cheek ;
blushed ; and, raising his hand to his three-cornered
hat, said gallantly, " Mam'zelle, I ask your pardon."
" Oh, there's no offence, lad. Let that serve you as a
lesson. Another time you'll know with whom you
have dealings," replied the girl, whose anger now
seemed entirely gone ; and who turned to her compan-
ion and said softly, " He's not at all bad, that guards-
Bernadotte, meantime, who had followed with a
jealous eye, when his companion had approached the
pretty girl, was well satisfied to see things grow ugly,
and coming up to him took him by the arm exclaiming :
"Come with us, Lefebvre. You see that nobody wants
to dance with you. Perhaps mademoiselle doesn't
know how to dance the fricassee."
" What's that you say ? " The girl spoke quickly.
" I can dance thft fricassee, and I shall dance it with
whom I please not with you, however. But if your
comrade were to ask me politely, ah, then, I should be
glad to dance a measure with him. No ill-feeling, is
there, sergeant ? "
And the happy, light-hearted girl extended her hand
to Sergeant Lefebvre.
" Ill-feeling ? No, surely not, mademoiselle ! Yet I
ask your pardon once more. That which has just
passed, perhaps you will have noticed, is a little the
fault of my comrades. It was Bernadotte, whom you
see there, that pushed me to it. And I got simply what
While Lefebvre was offering his excuses, as best he
could, the girl interrupted him and said bluntly, " By
your accent one would take you for an Alsatian."
" Born a native of the Upper-Rhine at Ruffach," was
" Heavens, what luck ! I am from St. Amarin," was
the girl's rejoinder.
"You are my country-woman, then."
" And you my countryman. How people do find
each other, eh ? "
" And you are called ? "
" Catharine Upscher, laundress Rue Royal at the
corner of the Rue Orties-Saint-HonoreV*
" And I am Lefebvre, ex-sergeant of the guards ; but
now in the militia."
" Later, countryman, we will, if you choose, learn
more of each other ; but at this moment the fricasse'e
And, taking him by the hand, she led him into the
maze of the dancers.
As she danced past a young man with a pale, almost
wan face, who wore his long hair down over his dog-
like eyes, whose bearing was quiet and crafty, and whose
long coat looked like a cassock, he said haughtily,
" What ! Catharine among the guards ? "
" You know this Catharine ? " asked Sergeant Berna-
dotte, who had heard the remark.
" Oh, in all faith, all honor ! " replied the clerical-
looking youth ; " she is my laundress. A good girl,
worthy, proper, virtuous with open heart, and ready
tongue. Throughout the quarter she is called for her
frank speech and emphatic ways, ' Mile. Sans-Gene.' "
The music of the orchestra grew louder, and the rest
of the conversation was lost in the wild tumult of the
THE dance ended, Sergeant Lefebvre conducted his
countrywoman to her place. Peace had been estab-
lished. They talked like two old acquaintances and
walked arm in arm like lovers.
Lefebvre, to insure the continuance of amity, pro-
posed taking some refreshments.
" Agreed," said Catharine. " Oh, I do not stand on
ceremony. You seem to me a good sort of fellow ;
and, faith, I shall not refuse your polite offer, especially
as the fricass6e makes one thirsty. Let us sit here,"
They took their places at one of the tables which
stood about the room.
Lefebvre seemed quite charmed at the turn things
had taken. He had, nevertheless, a moment's hesita-
tion before seating himself.
" What's the matter ? " demanded Catharine, brusque-
" Look you, mam'zelle, it is this," he answered, some-
what embarrassed, " we are not accustomed among the
guards, nor yet in the militia, to act like Switzers."
"Oh, I understand your comrades. Well, ask them.
Do you want me to call them ? "
And without waiting his permission she rose,
mounted a green wooden bench which stood beside the
table, and making a speaking trumpet of her hands,
called to the three guards who stood at a distance,
looking with something of amusement at the sport of
" Ohe ! lads come over here ! We will not eat you !
Besides, to watch others drinking gives one the blues."
The three guards found no difficulty in answering
the familiar invitation.
" What ! Not going, Bernadotte ? " asked one of the
guards of the sergeant who lingered behind.
" I want to talk with the citizen," answered Berna-
dotte, in a cross tone, jealous of the ascendancy of
a comrade, and wishing, despite the evident success
Lefebvre had scored with the pretty laundress, to hold
himself aloof and affect to converse with the young
man with the long frock and dog-like eyes.
" Oh, the citizen isn't in the way," cried Catharine ;
" I know him, and he knows me. Well ! is it not so,
Citizen Fouche" ? "
So called, the young man came toward the table on
which Lefebvre had ordered warm wines and pastry
to be served ; and said, as he greeted them, " Since
Mademoiselle Catharine desires it, I come. We will be
seated. I love to find myself among the valiant de-
fenders of the city."
The four guards and the citizen called Fouch6
seated themselves ; and, glasses having been filled, they
Catharine and Lefebvre, who had already attempted
several quiet gallantries, drank, unnoticed, from the
Lefebvre, growing bolder, now endeavored to snatch
Catharine drew back.
" Not that, countryman ! " she said. " I will laugh
gayly with you ; but no more."
" You scarce looked for modesty in a washerwoman,
soldier, did you ? " said Fouche 1 . " Ah ! in such mat-
ters she is not complaisant at any time, our Mile. Sans-
" Speak up, Citizen Fouche 1 ," said Catharine quickly ;
" you know me, for I do your laundry-work in the
three months since you came from Nantes, is there any
one dare say anything against me ? "
" No nothing absolutely nothing ! "
41 1 will consent to play thus ; to dance a fricassee at
times ; even to drink with such good lads as you seem
to be ; but no one in the quarter, or elsewhere, mark
you, dare boast that he has crossed the threshold of my
chamber. My work-room is open to all the world ; but
to my bed-chamber but one shall have the key ! "
"And who may that lucky fellow be?" asked Le-
febvre, twirling his moustache.
"My husband," was Catharine's haughty reply ; and
clicking her glass against Lefebvre's she added, laugh-
ing, " Then, being married, countryman, what have
you to say ? "
" That it were not so ill for him, in such a case," re-
plied the sergeant, still caressing his moustache. " To
your health, mam'zelle ! "
" To yours, citizen, and to the fulfilment of your
And they all drank gayly, laughing merrily at the
At that moment, a singular figure wearing a pointed
cap, and dressed in a long black robe, spangled with
silver stars and blue crescents, and long-tailed comets,
glided among the tables like a spectre.
" Look ! it is Fortunatus ! " cried Bernadotte. " It
is the magician. Who wants to have his fortune
told ? "
Every dance, in those days, had its sorcerer, or its
reader of cards, predicting the future and revealing the
past, for the sum of five sous.
In the confusion of a period such as that which pre-
ceded the tenth of August, when an old social order
disappeared entirely to give place to a new, in a change
whose rapidity was almost fairy-like, a belief in the
marvellous was, naturally, prevalent.
Cagliostro and his glass, Mesmer and his trough,
had quite upset the heads of the aristocracy. Popular
credulity was given to the soothsayers of the cross-
roads, and to the astrologers of the taverns.
Catharine burned to know the future. It seemed to
her that her meeting with the handsome sergeant
would in some way alter her life.
Just as she was about to ask Lefebvre to call Fortu-
natus and question him for her, the magician turned
to answer a group of three young men at an opposite
" Let us hear what he says to them," whispered
Catharine, indicating their neighbors.
" I know one of them," said Bernadotte, " he is
called Andoche Junot. He is a Burgundian. I met
him frequently in the battalion of the Cotg-d'Or."
The second is an aristocrat," said Lefebvre ; " he is
called Pierre de Marmont. He, also, is a Burgundian,
and comes from Chatillon."
" And the third ? " asked Fouche", " the lean young
man with the olive complexion and hollow eyes ? I
I have seen him before. But where ? "
"In my work-room, doubtless," said Catharine,
blushing slightly ; " he is an artillery officer who has
laid down his commission he expects an appoint-
ment he lives near me, at the Hdtel des Patriotes, in
the Rue Royal-Saint-Roch."
" A Corsican ?" asked Fouche". "They all live at
that hotel. He has a strange name, that client of yours
Berna Buna Bina no, that's not it," cried he, try-
ing to find the name which had escaped him.
" Bonaparte," said Catharine.
" Yes, that's it Bonaparte Timoleon, I think."
" Napoleon," answered Catharine, " he is a wise
youth, and, one who impresses every one who meets
" He has a strange name, this Napoleon Bonaparte,
and a melancholy air. Ah, if he should ever attain to
anything he ought to change that name," muttered
Fouch6 ; adding, " Listen ! The magician is speaking
to them. What can he be saying to them ? "
The four young men grew silent and pricked their
ears, while Catharine, grown suddenly serious, im-
pressed by the presence of the sorcerer, whispered to
Lefebvre : " I wish he would predict good luck for
Bonaparte. He's such a deserving young man : He
supports his four brothers and his sisters, yet he is far
from rich. I've never been able to present him a bill ;
though he owes me for several washings," she added,
with the air of an alarmed merchant.
Fortunatus, meantime, balancing his pointed hat,
read, gravely, the hand which the young man whom
Bernadotte had called Junot, extended to him.
" Thou," he said, in a deep voice, " thy career
shall be bright and well-rounded thou shalt be the
friend of a great man shalt share in his glory on
thy head shall rest a ducal crown thou wilt triumph
in the South."
" Bravo ! I am really already half a soldier. Thou
art consoling, friend ! But tell me, after so much good
fortune, how shall I die ! "
" Madman," said the sorcerer in a hollow voice.
" The devil ! The beginning of thy prophecy was
worth more than the end," cried the second, laughing.
It was he whom Bernadotte had called Marmont.
" Dost predict insanity for me, too ?"
" No ! Thou shall live for the ruin of the country,
and to thine own shame. After a life of glory and
honor, thou wilt abandon thy master, betray thy country,
and thy name shall be synonymous with that of Judas."
"Thou favorest me greatly in thy prediction," said
Marmont, with a sneer. " What wilt thou tell our com-
rade ? "
He pointed to the young artillery officer in whom
Catharine was so much interested. But he, drawing
his hand back quickly, said gruffly: "I do not wish
to be told the future. I know it." And, turning to
his friends, he pointed above the wall that enclosed
the Vaux-Hall, to where the sky showed through the
tent-covering of the dancing-hall.
" Do you see that star up there ? " he said in a ringing
voice. " lMo ? You see it not ! Well, I can see it. It
is my star."
The magician had moved on. Catharine motioned
to him ; he approached the group, and, looking at
two of the guards, said to them : " Profit by your
youth. Your days are numbered."
" And where are we to die ? " asked one of the young
men, destined to fall among the heroes who died for
liberty, shot down by the Swiss Guards.
" On the steps of a palace."
" What grandeur ! " cried Bernadotte, " dost thou see
for me, too, a tragic death and a palace ? "
'No, thy death will be peaceful : thou shalt occupy
a throne, and after disowning thy colors and fighting
thy comrades-in-arms, thou shalt lie in a foreign tomb,
beside a frozen ocean."
" If my comrades take everything, what will be left
for me ? " asked Lefebvre.
Thou, " said Fortunatus, " shalt marry the lady of
thy heart, thou shalt command a formidable army, and
thy name shall ever stand for bravery and loyalty."
" And I, Sir Magician," said Catharine, frightened,
perhaps, for the first time in her life.
" You, mademoiselle, will be the wife of him you
love you will be a duchess."
" Then I'll have to become a duke a genefalship
will not suffice me," exclaimed Lafebvre gayly. " Ah,
sorcerer, finish thy prophecy. Tell me that I shall
marry Catharine, and that together we shall become
duke and duchess ! "
But Fortunatus had passed on, slowly, among the
smiling men and attentive women.
" Well, really," said Fouch, " this magician is not
inventive. He predicted great destinies for you all ;
but to me he said nothing. Am I then to be a nobody ? "
" You have been made curate," said Catharine.
" What would you like to become ? "
" I was simply a reader, my dear. At present I am
a patriot, an enemy of tyrants. What I'd like to be-
come ? Oh, that is simple enough Minister of Police."
" You may get there. You are such a very devil
and so conversant with everything that goes on,
Citizen Fouche," retorted Catharine.
" Yes ; I shall be chief of police when you are a
duchess," he rejoined, with a strange smile that lit up
his sad countenance and softened his fierce profile.
The ball was over. The four young men rose gayly
and moved on, laughing at the sorcerer and his magic.
Catharine took the arm of Lefebvre, who had obtained
leave to escort her to the door of her work-room.
Before them walked their three neighbors, Napoleon
Bonaparte a little apart from his two friends, Junot and
Marmont. He spoke but little, and was grave and re-
served ; now and again, however, he raised his eyes to
the blue firmament above as if seeking for that star of
which he had spoken, and which shone for him alone.
THE LAST NIGHT OF ROYALTY.
THE tenth of August was a Friday.
The night between the ninth and tenth was mild,
starry, serene. At midnight the moon shed its pure
lustre on the town, apparently calm, peaceful and
Paris, meantime, had slept for a fortnight past with
one eye open, with hand on sword, ready to rise at the
Since that night when Lefebvre had met the laundress
Catharine at Vaux-Hall the city had become a furnace.
The revolution boiled as in a mighty cauldron.
The Marseilles troops had come, filling the streets
and the clubs with their ardor, their fiery patriotism
and martial force. They had given to the echoes the
immortal hymn of the army of the Rhine, the result of
the inspired genius and throbbing heart ol Rouget de
Lisle. They had brought it to the Parisians, who,
instead of calling this song, which was to be always a
national one, "La Frangaise," gave it, generously, the
name of " La Marseillaise."
Court and people prepared for the fray, and for a
great day's work. The noble.s barricaded the palace
of the Tuileries and established there a garrison of
Swiss Guards, commanded by Courbevoie and De
Rueil ; convened all the high-born fanatics who had
been styled, after that banquet of October, when the
national cockade had been trampled under foot, the
"Chevaliers du Poignard."
That great day which marks the first victory of the
Revolution and the dawn of the Republic (for the
twenty-second of September served only to proclaim
and legalize the triumphant action of the tenth of
August), no man could boast of having organized,
commanded, or directed it.
Danton slept with Camille Desmoulins while they
searched for him to bring him to the tribune. Marat
slept in his cave. Robespierre lived apart he was
only chosen as the eleventh member of the Commune.
Barbaroux had declined the honor of leading the Mar-
seillais, and Santerre, the great agitator of the Fau-
bourg Saint-Antoine, figured in the fight only in the
middle of the day.
The nameless insurrection of August 10, a battle
without a commander-in-chief, had for its general the
mob, and for heroes all the nation.
The movement did not begin until after midnight on
that radiant night of the ninth.
The emissaries of the forty-seven sections had de-
manded the downfall of royalty one, the Mauconseil
section, having voted tramped silently about the
streets transmitting from door to door this order :
" To arms when you hear the tocsin sound and fight
Within an hour the tocsin was heard in various
places. The clock of St. Germain-d'Auxerrois, which
had chimed for the massacre of St. Bartholomew,
sounded the doom of mcmarchy.
At the peal of the drums, beating the call to arms,
Paris arose, grasped its guns, and rubbed its sleepy