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Garden of the Trianon, Versailles.
Photo-Etching. — From Drawing" by E. Sadoux.



Illustrated Holiday (edition



COMTESSE DE
CHARNY



VOLUME I



ALEXANDRE DUMAS




BOSTON

T>ANA ESTES & COMPANY

PUBLISHERS



LA COMTESSE DE CHARNY.

VOLUME I.



CONTENTS.



Chapter Pagb

I. The Sèvres Bridge Tavern 9

IL Master Gamain 17

III. Cagliostro 25

IV. Fate 34

V. The Tuileries 46

VI. The Four Candles 53

VII. The Road to Paris 59

VIII. The Apparition 65

IX. Andrèe's home 69

X. Husband and Wife 76

XI. My Lady's Chamber 83

XII. Familiar Scenes 89

XIII. Sebastian's Adventures 94

XIV. The Man of Blood 102

XV. Catherine 110

XVL A Truce 113

XVII. The Portrait of Charles the First . . 120

XVIIL Mirabeau 126

XIX. Favras 137

XX. In which the King occupies himself with

Family, as well as State, Matters . . 145

XXI. In Honour Bound 158

XXII. A Gloomy Outlook 164

XXIII. Sweetheart and Wife 168

XXIV. Francois the Baker l'"7



VI



CONTENTS.



Chapter Page

XXV. The Benefits which may be derived

FROM A Severed Head 184

XXVI. The Court of the Chatelet .... 194

XXVII. The House in the Rue Saint-Claude . 200

XXVIH. The Jacobin Club 205

XXIX. Metz and Paris 215

XXX. The Queen 220

XXXI. The King 226

XXXII. Old Acquaintances 232

XXXIII. In Change Unchanged 240

XXXIV. Lot and Œdipus 249

XXXV. Gamain and his Apprentice 258

XXXVI. In which Lock-making plays a Minor

Part 263

XXXVII. Which seems to indicate that there is

TRULY A Providence for Drunkards . 267

XXXVIII. That which Men call Chance .... 272

XXXIX. Doctor Guillotin's Invention .... 284

XL. A Royal Reception 291

XLI. A Dead Reminiscence 298

XLII. A Physician for the Body and for the

Soul 303

XLIII. Monsieur abandons Favras to his Fate 310

XLIV. A Gentleman of France 318



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.



VOL. I.

_, Page

CfARDEN OF THE TrIANON, VERSAILLES FrO

The Temple of Love, Versailles

Portrait of Madame Elizabeth 52

Portrait of Lafayette . n n .

114

Portrait of Bonaparte 213



LA COMTESSE DE CHARNY.



CHAPTER I.

THE SÈVRES BRIDGE TA. VEEN.

If the reader will take up our romance called " Ange Pitou,"
and glance over the chapter entitled "The Night of the
Fifth and Sixth of October," he will find there sundry facts
which it is important for him to be cognisant of before
beginning this book, which opens on the morning of the
sixth day of that same month.

After having quoted a few important lines from this
chapter, we will proceed to give, in the fewest possible
words, an account of the events which immediately pre-
ceded the resumption of our narrative.

The lines referred to are as follows : —

" At three o'clock everything was quiet at Versailles. Even the
Assembly, reassured hy the reports of its messengers, had adjourned.
It was supposed that this tranquillity would be lasting. The belief
was ill-founded, however.

" In nearly all the popular movements which pave the way for
great revolutions, there is an interval of quiet, when it seems as if
everything were over and everybody might sleep in peace ; but this
is a great mistake.

"Behind the men who instituted the first movements, are others
who wait until the first movements are ended, and until those who



10 LA COMTESSE DE CHAKXY.

took the first steps relax their efforts, either from fatigue or compla-
cency, but evidently with no intention of proceeding a step farther.

"It is then that these unknown men, these mysterious agents of
fatal passions, glide about through the crowd, taking up the cause
where it has been abandoned, and pushing it to its farthest limits ;
appalling those who inaugurated it, but who subsequently dropped
asleep midway on the journey, believing the object attained and
the aim accomplished. "

We have mentioned three of these men in the book from
which we have just quoted these few lines.

We will now introduce upon the scene — in other words,
upon the threshold of the Sèvres Bridge Tavern — another
person whose name has not 5''et been mentioned, but who
played a no less important rue on that terrible night.

He w^as a man from forty-five to forty-eight years of age,
dressed like a working-man, — that is to say, in drab vel-
veteen breeches protected by a leather apron with pockets
like those worn by blacksmiths and locksmiths. He wore
gray hose, and shoes with copper buckles, and on his head
was a fur cap shaped like a lancer's helmet cut in twain. A
mass of gray hair escaped from this cap, and hung down
to his bushy eyebrows, shading large, alert, and intelligent
eyes, which changed so swiftly in colour and expression that
it was difficult to determine whether they were green or
gray, blue or black. The rest of his face was composed
of a rather large nose, thick lips, white teeth, and a com-
plexion embrowned by the sun.

Though not large, this man was admirably proportioned.
He had lithe limbs and a small foot. His hand, too, was
small and even delicate in contour, though it did not lack
the bronze tint common to workers in iron. But, glancing
from the hand to the elbow, and from the elbow up the arm
revealed by his rolled-up shirt-sleeve, one could hardly fail
to notice that the skin, in spite of the strongly developed
muscle, was fine, soft, even aristocratic in texture.

This man standing in the doorway of the Sevres Bridge
Tavern had a double-barrelled gun in his hand, richly



THE SÈVEES BKIDGE TAVERN. 11

mounted in gold, and bearing the name of Leclere, the
armourer just then fashionable with the Parisian aristocracy.

Some one may ask how so fine a weapon chanced to be
in the possession of a plain working-man ; but in days of
political turmoil — and we have seen not a few of them —
it is not always in the whitest hands that the costliest
weapons are found.

This man had arrived from Versailles about an hour
before, and was apparently well posted in regard to all
that was going on there ; for in reply to the innkeeper's
questions on serving him with a bottle of wine which he
had not even tasted, he announced that the queen was on
her way to Paris with the king and the dauphin, that they
had left Versailles about noon, that they had at last con-
cluded to take up their abode in the palace of the Tuileries,
and that in future Paris would doubtless not lack for bread,
as she would have the baker, the baker's wife, and the
baker's boy in her midst, and that he himself was now
waiting to see the cortege pass.

This last assertion might be true. Nevertheless, it was
easy to see that the man's gaze was directed more anxiously
upon the road from Paris than upon the road from Ver-
sailles ; so it is more than probable that he did not feel
obliged to render a very strict account of his intentions to
the worthy but perhaps too inquisitive innkeeper.

After a few moments the stranger's w^atchfulness seemed
to be rewarded; for a man dressed very much like himself,
and apparently a follower of the same craft, appeared on
the top of the hill which bounded the horizon in that direc-
tion. This man walked with a dragging step, like one who
had already travelled a long distance. As he drew nearer,
his features and age became discernible. His age corre-
sponded very nearly with that of the Unknown, — that is to
say, he was on the shady side of forty, — and his features
were those of a person of plebeian origin with uncultivated
even vulgar tastes.

The Unknown gazed intently and with evident curiosity



12 LA COMTESSE DE CHAKNY.

at the new-comer, as if he were desirous of estimating the
man's corruptibility and baseness at a single glance.

When the workman had approached within about fifty
yards of the man who was standing in the doorway, the
latter re-entered the tavern, and poured some wine into one
of the two glasses standing on the table ; then, returning
to the door glass in hand, called out : " Ah, comrade, the
day is cold and the road long. Let us take a glass of wine
together to strengthen and warm us."

The workman glanced around, as if to see if it were
really to him that this tempting invitation was addressed.

" Are you talking to me ? " he asked.

" To whom else, pray, as you are alone ? "

"And you oifer me a glass of wine ? "

" Why not ? Do we not follow the same trade ? "

" Everybody may follow the same trade, but it is impor-
tant to know if a person is a fellow workman or a master."

'*0h, well, we can settle that question while we have
a little chat over our wine."

" So be it," responded the mechanic, stepping over the
threshold.

The Unknown pointed to a table, and handed his guest
the glass. The workman scrutinised its contents with a
rather suspicious air ; but this apparent distrust vanished
when his entertainer poured out a second glass and placed
it beside the first.

"Well," queried the new-comer, "is some one too proud
to drink with the man he invites ? "

" Xo ; quite the contrary. To the Nation ! "

The workman's gray eyes gazed straight into those of
the person who had just proposed this toast; then he
replied, —

"To the Nation! That is well said." Then, emptying
his glass at a single draught and wiping his mouth on his
sleeve, he added, " Ah, this is Burgundy ! "

"And old Burgundy at that. The brand has been
highly recommended to me, and I thought I would drop



THE SEVRES BRIDGE TAVERX. lo

in and try it, as I passed, and I 'm not sorry. But sit
down, my friend, there is still some left in the bottle ;
and when this bottle is gone, there are others in the
cellar."

" What brought you here ? " inquired the second mechanic.

" 1 have just come from Versailles, and am now waiting
here for the procession, to accompany it to Paris."

"What procession ? "

"Why, that of the king and queen and dauphin, who
are returning to Paris in company with the market-women
and two hundred members of the Assembly, and under the
protection of our National Guard and of Lafayette."

" The Citizen has decided to go to Paris, then ? "

" He was obliged to."

" I suspected as much when I left for Paris at three
o'clock this morning."

" What ! you left Versailles like that, at three o'clock
in the morning, without feeling any curiosity to find out
what was going on there."

" Oh ! I should have liked very well to know what was
going to become of the Citizen, especially as I can say with
truth that I have some acquaintance with him. But busi-
ness must come first, you know. When a man has a wife
and children, he must look out for them, especially as the
Royal Forge is now a thing of the past."

" It was urgent business that took you to Paris, then, I
suppose."

" Yes, and it paid me well," replied the mechanic, jing-
ling some coins in his pocket, " though I was paid through
a servant, — which was not very polite, — and even through
a German servant who did n't seem to know a single word
of French."

"And you don't object to a little chat now and then,
I judge."

" What 's the harm if you don't speak ill of anybody ? "

" And even if we do ? "

Both men laughed, — the Unknown displaying white



14 LA COMTESSE DE CHARNY.

regular teeth ; his companion, uneven and discoloured
ones.

"So you have just been employed on an important job,
eh ? " queried the Unknown, like one who was cautiously
feeling his way,

" Yes."

" And a difficult one, probably ? "

''Yes."

''■ A secret lock, perhaps ? "

" An invisible door. Picture to yourself a house within
a house. Some one must be very anxious to hide himself,
don't you think so ? Well, he is there and he is not there.
You ring, A servant opens the door. ' Is Monsieur at
home ? ' ' He is not.' ' Yes, he is,' ' Very well, look and
see for yourself,' You search, but all in vain. Good even-
ing. Ah, Avell, I defy you to find Monsieur, There 's an
iron door, you see, cleverly concealed in a panel you would
swear was old oak."

'* I>ut suppose you should rap upon it ? "

" Bah ! there 's a layer of wood on the iron, — thin, to
be sure, but thick enough to make the sound the same.
When the work was finished, I could n't tell where the
door was, myself."

" But where did you do all this ? "

"That is the question."

"You mean that you don't care to tell ?"

" I mean it is something I can't tell, for the very good
reason that I don't know myself,"

" What ! Avere your eyes bandaged ? "

" That 's it exactly, A carriage was awaiting me at the
barrier. Some one asked, ' Are you so and so ? ' I an-
swered, ' Yes.' ' Very good, it is for you we are waiting ;
get in,' ' Must I ride ? ' ' Yes.' I got in. They bandaged
my eyes. The carriage rolled along about half an hour,
I should say ; and then a gate, a very wide gate, opened.
I stumbled up a flight of stone steps, — ten steps, I
counted them, — and entered a vestibule. There I met a



THE SÈVRES BRIDGE TAVERN. 15

German servant who said to the others : 'Dat is veil. Go
vay now ; ve need you no more.' They went. The ban-
dage was removed from my eyes, and I was shown what
I had to do. I set to work in earnest, and in an hour the
job was done. They paid me in shining gold pieces. My
eyes were rebandaged ; I was again placed in the carriage.
They bade me bon voyage, — and here I am ! "

" Without having seen anything, even out of the corner
of your eye ? Surely the bandage was n't so tight that you
could n't peep out one side or the other."
" You 're right."

"Then tell me what you saw," said the Unknown,
eagerly.

" Well, when I stumbled going up the steps, I took ad-
vantage of the opportunity to make a gesture, and in mak-
ing the gesture I managed to disarrange the bandage a
little."

'* And what did you see ? " inquired the Unknown, with
flattering interest.

" I saw a row of trees on my left, which convinced me
that the house was on one of the boulevards ; but that was
all."
« All ? "

''Upon my word of honour."
" That is not very definite."

" I should say not, as the boulevards are long, and there
is more than one house with a big gateway and long
flight of stone steps between the Café Saint-Honoré and
the Bastile."

" Then yon would n't know the house if you should see
it again ? "

The locksmith reflected a moment. '' No, upon my word,
I should n't."

The Unknown, though his face was not wont to reveal
his feelings, appeared much gratified by this assurance.

" Well, it seems strange," he exclaimed suddenly, as if
passing to an entirely different train of thought, ''that.



16 LA COMTESSE DE CHAKNY.

as many locksmiths as there are in Paris, people who want
secret doors should have to send to Versailles for men to
make them."

As he spoke, he poured out another glass for his com-
panion, pounding on the table with the empty bottle so that
the proprietor of the establishment would bring a fresh
supply of the beverage.



MASTER GAMAIN. 17



CHAPTER II.

MASTER GAMAIN.

The locksmith raised his glass to a level with his eye, and
contemplated the contents with great satisfaction. Then
sipping a little, and smacking his lips, he remarked,
" There are, of course, plenty "of locksmiths in Paris ; there
are even many masters of that trade there," here he took
another sip ; " but there are masters and masters, you
know."

"Oh yes, I see," laughed the Unknown. " You are not
only a master, but a master of masters."

" And what are you ? "

'* A gunsmith."

"Have you any samples of your work about you ? "

" You see this gun."

The locksmith took it from the hand of the Unknown,
examined it carefully, nodding his head approvingly the
while ; then, seeing the name on the barrel and on the
plate, he exclaimed : "Leclère ? Impossible! Leclereisnot
more than twenty -eight, and both of us are near fifty, — I
mean no offence, I 'm sure, though."

" That is true. I am not Leclère, but that makes no
diiïerence."

" And why ? "

"Because I am his master."

" Good ! " exclaimed the locksmith, laughing heartily.
" That is very much as if I should say, < I am not the king,
but it amounts to the same thing.' "

" And why ? "

" Because I am his master."

VOL. I. — 2



18 LA COMTESSE DE CHAKNY.

"Indeed! " exclaimed the Unknown, rising, and making
a military salute ; " then it is to Monsieur Gamaiu I have
the honor of speaking ? "

" The same ; and he is quite willing to serve you if he
can," responded the locksmith, evidently delighted with
the effect his name had produced.

" Zounds ! I had no idea I was talking to such an impor-
tant personage. By the way, it must be a very trying
thing to be the king's master."

" Why ? "

" Because it must be such an awful bother to say ' Good
morning ' or ' Good evening ' properly, and always to re-
member to say 'Sire' and 'Your Majesty,' when you want
to tell him to take the key in his left hand and the file in
his right."

" Oh no, indeed. That is the great charm about him, —
he is really such a very good fellow at heart. When you
see him at the forge with his shirt-sleeves rolled up and
his apron on, you would never take him for the eldest
son of Louis the Saint."

"You are right. It is really extraordinary how much
a king resembles any other man."

" Yes, is n't it ? Those around him found that out long
ago."

" It would n't matter if it was only those right around
him who had found out this fact ; but unfortunately out-
siders are beginning to find it out too," responded the
Unknown, with a peculiar laugh.

Gamain looked at his companion with considerable as-
tonishment ; but the latter, who had almost forgotten his
rôle for a moment, did not give him time to weigh the
meaning of the words he had just uttered, but suddenly
changed the subject by adding, —

"Yes, you're right. I think it is very humiliating for
one man to be obliged to call another man who is no better
than himself, 'Sire' and 'Your Majesty.'"

" But I was n't obliged to. Once at the forge he did n't



MASTER GAMAIN. 19

require or expect it. I called him Citizen, and lie called me
Gamain. But I didn't thee and thou him as he did me."

" Yes ; but when the hour for breakfast or dinner came,
Gamain was sent to dine with the servants."

" Oh no, no, indeed ! he never did that. He always had
a table brought into the shop ; and very often, especially at
breakfast, he sat down with me, and said, ' I won't break-
fast with the queen this morning, for in that case I should
have to wash my hands.' "

" I can't understand it."

" You can't understand that when the king came to work
at the forge with me he had hands like the rest of us ? —
though that does n't prevent us from being honest people,
even though the queen might say to him, with that stuck-up
air of hers, ' Fie ! your hands are dirty, sire ! ' As if a
man could have clean hands while he was working at the
forge ! To tell the truth, I don't believe the king ever
really enjoyed himself except while he was working with
me, or while he was in his geographical cabinet with his
librarian. I do believe he liked me the best, though."

/' Still, it can't be a very nice thing to teach a bad pupil."

" Bad ? Why, he is n't bad. You should not say that.
Of course it is a very unfortunate thing for him that he
was born a king, and so has to attend to a lot of stupid
matters instead of making some progress in his trade. He
will never make a good king, — he 's too honest ; but he
would make a splendid locksmith. There 's one man I
hated like poison on account of the time he made him
waste. That was Necker. Oh, heavens, to think of the
time he made him lose!"

" Over his accounts, I suppose you mean ? "

" Yes, over his accounts on paper, — his accounts in the
air, I used to call them."

" You must have found teaching such a pupil a paying
job ? "

" No, indeed. You 're very much mistaken. I swear to
you that though people think me as rich as Croesus on



20 LA COMTESSE DE CHARNY.

account of what I 've done for your Louis XVI., your saviour
of the French nation, I 'm really as poor as Job."

" You poor ? What does he do with his money, then ? "

" Oh, he gives half of it to the poor and the other half
to the rich ; so he himself never has a penny. The Coignys,
the Vaudreuils, and the Polignacs are always at the poor
dear man. One day he tried to reduce Monsieur de Coigny's
salary. Coigny came and called him out of the shop. In
about five minutes the king came back again, white as a
sheet. ' Upon my word ! I thought he was going to beat
me!' he exclaimed. 'And how about his salary, sire?'
I asked. 'Oh, I had to let it alone. I could n't do any-
thing else ! ' Another day he tried to say something to the
queen about Madame de Polignac's layette that cost three
hundred thousand francs. What do you think of that ? "

" A very neat little sura, I should say."

" Yes ; but it was n't enough. The queen made him give
five hundred thousand. So all these Polignacs, you see,
who hadn't a penny ten years ago, will be worth their
millions when they leave France. If they were persons
of talent, one would n't mind it so much ; but give them a
hammer and an anvil and they could n't make so much as
a horseshoe. But, being fine talkers, they have urged the
king on, and now leave him to get out of the scrape as best
he can with Messrs. Bailly, Lafayette, and Mirabeau ; while
I — I, who have always given him the best of advice —
have to be content with the fifteen hundred crowns a year
he allows me, — me, his instructor, his friend, the person
who first put a file in his hand."

'' But you can count upon a handsome present now and
then, when you are working with him, of course."

''What! do you think I work with him now? In the
first place, I should compromise myself too much by doing
it. I have n't set foot in the palace since the storming of
the Bastile. I 've met him once or twice since. The first
time there was a crowd in the street, and he merely bowed
to me. The second time it was on the road to Satory.



MASTEK GAMA.IN. 21

There was no one about, and lie stopped the carriage.

* Good-morning, Gainain,' he said with a sigh. ' Things
are not going to your liking, I see very plainly,' I began;

* but this will teach you — ' ' And your wife and children,
are they well ? ' he interrupted me by saying. ' Perfectly ;
they've got infernal appetites, that 's all!' 'Wait!' ex-
claimed the king, fumbling in his pockets. 'Here, take
them this little gift from me. It 's all I happen to have
about me, but I 'm ashamed to make you such a shabby
present.' And a shabby present it was, there 's no doubt
about it. Think of a king having only nine louis in his
pocket, — a king who makes a comrade, a friend, a present
of nine louis ! So — "

" So you refused it ? "

" No. I said to myself, ' I 'd better take what I can get,
for he '11 soon meet some one less proud who will accept
it.' But he needn't trouble himself anymore. I sha'n't
set foot in the palace again, no matter how often he sends
for me."

" Grateful creature ! " muttered the Unknown.

" What did you say ? "

"I merely remarked that such devotion as yours to a
friend in misfortune is really touching. Master Gamain.
One more glass to the health of your pupil ! "

" He don't deserve it. Still, that does n't matter. Here 's
to his health, all the same."

He drained his glass ; then he added : '' And to think
that he had in his cellars ten thousand bottles of wine
worth ten times as much as this, and never once said to one
of his footmen, ' Here, you fellow, get out a basket of wine,
and take it to my friend Garaain's house ! ' He preferred to
see his body-guard, his Swiss soldiers, and his regiment
from Flanders drink it."

"What else could you expect?" answered the Unknown,
sipping his wine leisurely. " Kings are always ungrateful.
But hush ! we are not alone."

Three persons had just entered the tavern, two men and



22 LA COMTESSE DE CHARNY.

a woman, and seated themselves at a table opposite the one
where the Unknown had just finished his second bottle of
wine in company with Master Gamain.

The locksmith scrutinised the new-comers with a curiosity
that made his companion smile ; and in fact the new-comers
seemed worthy of attention. One of the two men was
all body ; the other all legs. As for the woman, it was
hard to decide what she was.

The man who was all body was almost a dwarf, being
scarcely five feet tall, though he may have lost an inch or
two in height by reason of a bend in his knees, which
touched on the inside in spite of the unusual distance


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