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the tiers état of his enthusiasm, his earnest convictions, his talents,
when, by an act of courage, entirely in accord with his conscience, he
can become one of them and can lead them to victory and to that fusion
with the other orders which is so vital to the usefulness, nay, to the
very life of the States-General?"

"In my opinion there is less need that Monsieur de Lafayette should lead
the tiers état - they will travel fast enough, I think," says Mr. Morris,
dryly - "than that he should stick to his own order, strengthening in
every way in his power this conservative element, which is the safeguard
of the nation. This annihilation of the distinctions of orders which you
speak of seems to me to be the last thing to be desired. Should the
nobles abandon their order and give over their privileges, what will act
as a check on the demands and encroachments of the commons? How far such
ultra-democratic tendencies may be right respecting mankind in general
is, I think, extremely problematical. With respect to this nation I am
sure it is wrong. I am frank but I am sincere when I say that I believe
you, Monsieur de Lafayette, and you, Monsieur d'Azay, to be too
republican for the genius of this country."

"Or, Monsieur Morris, trop aristocrate," said the Marquis, with a bitter
smile on his disturbed countenance, for his vanity, which was becoming
inordinate, could not brook unfriendly criticism.

"'Tis strange," said the Vicomte d'Azay, "to hear an American arguing
against those principles which have won for him so lately his freedom
and his glory! As for me, I think with Mr. Jefferson and the Marquis,
and, thinking so, I have sided with the people, which is, after all, the
nation."

"Yes," broke in Mr. Jefferson with animation and speaking to d'Azay,
"you have found the vital truth. 'Tis no king, but the sovereign people,
which is the state. It has been my firm belief that with a great people,
set in the path of civil and religious liberty, freedom and power in
their grasp, let the executive be as limited as may be, that nation will
still prosper. A strong people and a weak government make a great
nation."

"But who shall say that the French are a strong people?" demands Mr.
Morris, impetuously, and turning to the company. "You are lively,
imaginative, witty, charming, talented, but not substantial or
persevering. Inconstancy is mingled in your blood, marrow, and very
essence. Constancy is the phenomenon. The great mass of the common
people have no religion but their priests, no law but their superiors,
no morals but their interests. And how shall we expect a people to
suddenly become wise and self-governing who are ignorant of statecraft,
who have existed for centuries under a despotism? Never having felt the
results of a weak executive, they do not know the dangers of unlimited
power. No man is more republican in sentiment than I am, but I think it
no less than a crime to foist a republic upon a people in no way fitted
for it, and all those who abandon the King in this hour of danger, who
do not uphold his authority to the fullest extent, are participants in
that crime and are helping to bring on those events which I fear will
shortly convulse this country."

"Mr. Morris is no optimist either in regard to French character or the
progress of public affairs," said Lafayette, bitingly. "But I can assure
him that if the French are inconstant, ignorant, and immoral, they are
also energetic, lively, and easily aroused by noble examples. Moreover,
the public mind has been instructed lately to an astonishing point by
the political pamphlets issued in such numbers, and 'tis my opinion that
these facts will bring us, after no great lapse of time, to an adequate
representation and participation in public affairs, and that without the
convulsion which Mr. Morris so acutely dreads."

The company listened in silence with the intensest interest to this
animated conversation, the women following with as close attention as
the men (the Duchess nodding her approval of Mr. Morris's opinions from
time to time), and 'twas but a sample of the almost incredibly frank
political discussion taking place daily in all the notable salons of
Paris. As for Calvert, although he loved and honored Mr. Jefferson
before all men and held him as all but infallible, he could not but
agree with Mr. Morris's views as being the soundest and most practical.
Indeed, from that day Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Morris differed more and
more widely in their political faiths, but the nobility of Mr.
Jefferson's nature, the admirable tact of Mr. Morris, and, as much as
anything, the common affection they felt for Calvert, who would have
been inexpressibly pained by any breach between them, kept them upon
friendly terms.

Mr. Morris, conscious that he had spoken impetuously and perhaps with
too much warmth, made no reply to Monsieur de Lafayette's last words,
spoken with some animus, and in a few minutes made his way to Calvert.

"Come away, my boy," he said, in a low tone. "Come away! Lafayette, who
can still believe that mighty changes will take place in this kingdom
without a revolution, does not even know of this day's fearful business
in the rue St. Antoine. I had it from Boursac, who arrived at the Club
two hours ago with both windows of his carriage broken, the panels
splintered, and his coachman with a bloody cheek. He had tried to pass
through the faubourg, where two hundred of the rabble have been killed
by Besenval's Swiss Guards at the house of a paper merchant, Reveillon.
The villains have broke into his factory, demolished everything, drunk
his wines, and, accidentally, some poisonous acid used in his
laboratory, of which they have died a horrible death, and all because
the unfortunate merchant dared in the electoral assembly of Ste.
Marguerite to advocate reducing the wages of his men. I ordered my
coachman to drive by the faubourg, hoping to see for myself if the
affair had not been greatly exaggerated, but I was turned back by some
troops proceeding thither with two small cannon. 'Twas this which
detained me. Boursac says 'tis known for certain that the whole affair
has been instigated by the Duc d'Orléans. He passed in his coach among
the rioters, urging them on in their villany, and 'tis even said by some
that he was seen giving money to the mob. And this is the man whom the
King hesitates to banish! Perhaps, after all, boy, I did wrong to
counsel Lafayette and d'Azay to stand by a King who is weakness itself
and who knows not how to defend himself or his throne!"




CHAPTER X

AT VERSAILLES


It was just a week after Mr. Calvert's visit to the hotel d'Azay and the
affair of the rue St. Antoine, that the day arrived for the consummation
of that great event toward which all France, nay, all Europe, had been
looking for months past.

With a sudden burst and glory of sunshine and warm air the long, hard
winter had given way to the spring of that year of 1789. By the end of
April the green grass and flowering shrubs looked as if summer had come,
and the cruel cold of but a few weeks back was all but forgotten. And
with the quickening pulse of nature the agitation and restless activity
among all classes had increased. The whole kingdom of France was astir
with the excitement of the rapidly approaching convocation of the
States-General. Paris read daily in the columns of the _Moniteur_ the
names of the newly elected deputies, and by the 1st of May those
deputies were thronging her streets.

D'Azay, Lafayette, Necker, Duport, Lameth, and many others, who saw
their ardent wishes materializing, were quite beside themselves with
delight, and prophesied the happiest things for France. Madame d'Azay,
being of the court party, held widely differing views from those of her
nephew, and was out of all conceit with this political ferment, while
as for Adrienne, she looked upon the opening of the States-General and
the grand reception of the King on the 2d of May as splendid pageants
merely, to which she would be glad to lend her presence and the lustre
of her beauty. Indeed, it is safe to say that for nearly every
individual in that restless kingdom of France the States-General held a
different meaning, a different hope, a different fear. Fortunate it was
for all alike, that none could see the ending of that terrible business
about to be set afoot.

In all the brilliant weather of that spring of 1789, no fairer day
dawned than that great day of Monday, the 4th of May. By earliest
morning the whole world of Paris seemed to be taking its way to
Versailles. Mr. Jefferson, having presented Calvert with the billet
reserved for Mr. Short (the secretary being absent at The Hague), and
Mr. Morris being provided for through the courtesy of the Duchesse
d'Orléans, the three gentlemen left the Legation at six in the morning
in Mr. Jefferson's coach. The grand route to Versailles was thronged
with carriages and vehicles of every description, and the dust, heat,
and confusion were indescribable. On their arrival, which was about
eight o'clock, being hungry and thirsty, the gentlemen repaired to a
café, where they had an indifferent breakfast at a table d'hôte, about
which were seated several gloomy-looking members of the tiers. After the
hasty meal they made their way as quickly as possible to the hôtel of
Madame de Tessé in the rue Dauphine, where they were awaited.

Madame de Tessé, Monsieur de Lafayette's aunt, was, as Mr. Morris
laughingly styled her, "a republican of the first feather," and it was
with the most enthusiastic pleasure that she welcomed the Ambassador
from the United States and his two friends on that day which she
believed held such happy auguries for the future of her country. A
numerous company had already assembled at her invitation and were
viewing the ever-increasing crowds in the streets from the great stone
balcony draped with silken banners and rich velvet hangings. The British
Ambassador and the Ambassadress, Lady Sutherland (whom Calvert had the
honor of meeting for the first time), were there, as was Madame de
Montmorin, Madame de Staël, and Madame de St. André, looking radiant in
the brilliant morning sunshine. As Mr. Calvert bent over her hand he
thought to himself that she might have sat for a portrait of Aurora's
self, so fresh and beautiful did she look. The sun struck her dark hair
(over which she wore no covering) to burnished brightness, the violet
eyes sparkled with animation, and her complexion had the freshness and
delicacy of some exquisite flower.

"I am glad you are here, Monsieur l'Americain, on this great day for
France, one of the most momentous, one of the happiest in all her
history. You see I have not forgotten your fondness for history!" and
she shot him an amused glance.

"I am glad, too, Madame," replied Calvert, seating himself beside her.
"'Tis one of the most momentous days in France's history, as you say,
but one of the happiest? - I don't know," and he looked dubiously at the
thronged streets, for he was of Mr. Morris's way of thinking, and, try
as he might, he could not bring himself to look upon the course of
affairs with the optimism Mr. Jefferson felt.

"Are you going to be gloomy on this beautiful day?" demanded Adrienne,
impatiently. "Aren't the very heavens giving us a sign that they approve
of this event? Mr. Jefferson is the only one of you who appreciates this
great occasion - even Mr. Morris, who is usually so agreeable, seems to
be out of spirits," and she glanced toward that gentleman where he sat
between Madame de Montmorin and Madame de Flahaut, who had just arrived
with Beaufort. Mr. Morris, hearing his name spoken, arose and went over
to Madame de St. André.

"Are you saying evil things about me to Mr. Calvert, my dear young
lady?" he asked, bowing with that charming show of deference which he
always paid a pretty woman and which in part atoned for the cynical
expression in his keen eyes.

"But yes," returned Adrienne, laughing. "I was saying that you wore a
displeased air almost as if you envied France her good fortune of
to-day!"

"You mistake me," said Mr. Morris, warmly. "I have France's interest and
happiness greatly at heart. The generous wish which a free people must
form to disseminate freedom, the grateful emotion which rejoices in the
happiness of a benefactor, and a strong personal interest as well in the
liberty as in the power of this country, all conspire to make us far
from indifferent spectators," and he glanced at Calvert as though
certain of having expressed the young man's sentiments as well as his
own. "The leaders here are our friends, many of them have imbibed their
principles in America, and all have been fired by our example. If I wear
an anxious air 'tis because I am not sure that that example can be
safely imitated in this country, that those principles can be safely
inculcated here, that this people, once having thrown off the yoke of
absolute dependence on and obedience to kingly power, will not confound
license with liberty. But enough of this," he said, smiling. "May I ask
why the Duchess is not of the company?"

"Because she is even more pessimistic about the results of to-day's work
than yourself, Mr. Morris, and has shut herself up in Paris, refusing to
be present at the opening of the States-General even as a spectator. She
portends all sorts of disasters to France, but for the life of me I
can't see what can happen without the King's authority, and surely so
good a king will let no harm happen to his country. As for myself, I
could bless the States-General for having furnished so gala an occasion!
Paris has been deadly stupid for months with all this talk of politics
and elections and constitutions going on. I am glad it is all over and
we have reached the beginning of the end. Is it not a magnificent
spectacle?" she asked.

"'Tis so, truly," assented Mr. Morris, with a curious smile, and leaning
over the balustrade to get a better view of the street.

Versailles was indeed resplendent on that beautiful morning of the 4th
of May, in honor of the procession and religious services to be held as
a sort of prelude to the formal opening of the States-General the
following day. From the Church of Our Lady to the Church of Saint Louis,
where M. de la Farre, Archevêque of Nancy, was to celebrate mass, the
streets through which the procession was to pass were one mass of silken
banners and the richest stuffs depending from every window, every
balcony. Crown tapestries lined the way in double row, and flowers in
profusion were strewn along the streets. Vast throngs surged backward
and forward, held in check by the soldiers of the splendid Maison du Roi
and the Swiss troops, while every balcony, every window, every roof-top,
every possible place of vantage was filled to overflowing with eager
spectators. As the morning sun struck upon the magnificent decorations,
on the ladies and cavaliers, as brilliantly arrayed as though for the
opera or ball, on the gorgeous uniforms of the Guards, the scene was one
of indescribable splendor and color.

A sudden silence fell upon the vast concourse of people as Mr. Morris
leaned over the balcony, and in an instant the head of the procession
came into view. In front were borne the banners of the Church of Our,
Lady and Saint Louis, followed by the parish clergy, and then in two
close ranks walked the five hundred deputies of the tiers état in their
sombre black garments and three-cornered hats. The silence which had so
suddenly descended upon the great company was as suddenly broken at
sight of the tiers, and a deafening shout saluted them. This, in turn,
was quelled, and a curious quiet reigned again as the deputies from the
nobles made their appearance in their rich dress, with cloak gold-faced,
white silk stockings, and beplumed hat.

"You would have to walk with the tiers were you of the procession,
Monsieur Calvert," said Madame de St. André, mischievously, glancing
from the young man's sober habit to the brilliant dress of the nobles as
they filed past.

"Surely! I would be a very raven among those splendid birds of
paradise," said the young man, a trifle scornfully.

"They are very great gentlemen," returned Adrienne, tossing her head.
"See, there is Monsieur le Duc d'Orléans himself leading the noblesse,"
and she courtesied low, as did the rest of the company, when he looked
toward the balcony and bowed.

So that was Monsieur le Duc d'Orléans, the King's cousin, the King's
enemy, as many already knew, the wildest, the most dissolute of all the
wild, dissolute youth of Paris, the boon companion of the Duke of York,
the destroyer of the unfortunate Prince de Lamballes, the hero of a
thousand chroniques scandaleuses of the day! As for Calvert, he thought
that in spite of the splendid appearance of the royal personage he had
never seen a human countenance so repulsive and so depraved. The brutal,
languid eye looked out at him from a face whose unwholesome complexion,
heavy jaw, and sensual mouth sent a thrill of sickening disgust through
him. As he gazed at the retreating figure of the Duke, which, in ifs
heaviness and lethargy, bore the mark of excesses as unmistakably as did
the coarsened face, all the disgraceful stories, the rumors, the
anecdotes which he had ever heard concerning this dissipated young
prince - for his reputation was only too well known even in
America - flashed through his mind.

"And this is one of your great gentlemen?" asked Calvert, looking, not
without some sadness, at the haughty beauty beside him, still flushed
and smiling at the notice bestowed upon her by Monsieur d'Orléans.

"His Highness the Duc d'Orléans is one of the greatest personages in the
kingdom, sir! Tis said, perhaps, that he has been guilty of some
indiscretions" - she hesitated, biting her lip, and coloring slightly
beneath Calvert's calm gaze - "but surely something must be pardoned to
one of his exalted rank; to one who is incapable of any cowardice, of
any baseness."

"Since he is of such exalted rank, it seems strange, Madame, that he
should walk so far ahead of his order as almost to seem to mingle with
the tiers," replied Calvert, quietly. "But I am glad to have such a good
report of the Duke, as there are those who have been mistaken enough to
doubt his bravery at Ouessant, and, merely to look at him, I confess
that I saw many a humble deputy of the tiers who looked, even in his
plebeian dress, more the nobleman than he."

"Ah, Monsieur," returned Madame de St. André, contemptuously, "I see
that you are indeed a republican enragé and hate us for our fine
feathers and rank of birth as cordially as these people who applaud the
tiers and remain silent before the deputies of the nobles."

"Indeed, you misjudge me, Madame," says Calvert, who could scarce
restrain a smile at the lofty manner of the beautiful girl, "as you
misjudge the crowd, for 'tis applauding someone among the noblesse now,"
and he stood up and looked over the balcony rail to better see the cause
of the shout which had suddenly gone up. "'Tis for Monsieur de
Lafayette, I think. See, he is walking yonder, with d'Azay on one side
of him and Noailles on the other."

Adrienne leaned over the balustrade, and looked down at her brother and
Monsieur de Lafayette, who saw her at the same instant. Smiling and
bowing, she flung a handful of roses, which she had carried all morning,
at the gentlemen, who uncovered and waved her their thanks. As they did
so, a sudden blare of trumpets and strains of martial music burst forth,
and the black-robed deputies of the clergy appeared, separated into two
files by the band of royal musicians.

"'Tis like a play, n'est ce pas?" said Adrienne, gayly, to Mr. Morris,
who had again come up, having been dismissed by Madame de Flahaut on the
arrival of Monsieur de Curt.

"No, 'tis but the prologue," corrected Mr. Morris, "and the play itself
is like enough to be a tragedy, I think," he added, in a low voice, to
Calvert.

"And here are the King and Queen at last," cried Madame de St. André,
as a great cheering went up. Every eye in that vast throng was riveted
upon the King, who now appeared, preceded by the Archbishop of Paris
carrying the Holy Sacrament under a great canopy, the four corners of
which were held by the Dukes of Angoulême and Berry and the King's two
brothers, Monsieur and the Comte d'Artois. Near the Holy Sacrament
marched the cardinals, bishops, and archbishops elected to the
States-General, and in the throng Calvert quickly and easily detected by
his halting step his acquaintance, the Bishop of Autun. About His
Majesty walked the high officers of the crown, and the enthusiasm of
Madame de Staël, which had been on the increase every instant, reached a
climax when she recognized Monsieur Necker, conspicuous by his size and
bearing, among the entourage of Louis, and, when she courtesied, the
obeisance seemed intended more for her father than her King.

"You are wrong to rejoice so greatly," said Madame de Montmorin, laying
a timid hand on Madame de Staël's arm, which trembled with excitement.
She had scarce said a word the whole morning and had sat staring with
troubled face at the magnificent pageant as it passed. "I feel sure that
great disasters to France will follow this day's business."

Madame de Staël impatiently shook off the detaining hand. "'Tis the day
of days," she cried, enthusiastically, "the day for which my father has
labored so long, the day on which will be written the brightest page of
French history."

"I verily believe she thinks the States-General are come together to
the sole honor and glorification of Monsieur, Necker," whispered Mr.
Morris, in an amused undertone, to Calvert. "But look yonder, to the
right of the King! There go our friends of the Palais Royal, the young
Duc de Chartres and Monsieur de Beaujolais! Tis strange the Duc
d'Orléans is not near the King. He curries favor with the multitude by
abandoning his sovereign on this crucial day and putting himself forward
as an elected deputy of the States-General! And there to the left of His
Majesty is the Queen with the princesses. Is she not beautiful,
Ned? - though Beaufort tells me she has lost much of the brilliancy of
her beauty in the last year. Indeed, she has an almost melancholy
air,-but I think it is becoming, for otherwise she would be too
haughty-looking."

"She has reason to look melancholy, Monsieur," said Madame de Montmorin,
in a low tone, and with a glance of deep sympathy at the Queen, who sat
rigid, palely smiling in her golden coach. "Did you not know that the
Dauphin is very ill? 'Tis little talked about at court, for the Queen
will not have the subject mentioned, but he has been ailing for a year
past."

As she spoke, the carriage of the Queen passed close under the balcony,
and at that instant a woman in the crowd, looking Her Majesty full in
the face, cried out, shrilly, "Long live d'Orléans!" The pallid Queen
sank back, as though struck, into the arms of the Princess de Lamballes,
who rode beside her. But in an instant she was herself again, and sat
haughtily erect, with a bitter smile curving her beautiful lips.

"A cruel blow!" said Mr. Morris, under his breath, to Calvert. "Her
unhappiness was complete enough without that. Arrayed in those rich
stuffs, with the flowers in her hair and bosom and with that inscrutable
and melancholy expression on her beautiful face, she looks as might have
looked some Athenian maiden decked for sacrifice. Indeed, all the
noblesse have a curious air of fatality about them, or so it seems to
me, and somehow look as if they were going to their doom. Take a good
look at this splendid pageant, Ned! 'Tis the first time you have seen
royalty, the first time you have seen the nobility in all the
magnificence of ceremony. It may be the last."

Mr. Jefferson got up from his place beside Madame de Tessé and came over
to where Calvert and Mr. Morris were standing.

"What do you think of the King and Queen?" he asked, in a low voice,
laying his hand, in his customary affectionate manner, on Calvert's
shoulder. "The King has a benevolent, open countenance, do you not think
so? - but the Queen has a haughty, wayward look, and the imperious,
unyielding spirit of her Austrian mother."

"She will need all the spirit of her whole family," broke in Mr. Morris,
warmly, "if she is to bear up beneath such wanton insults as that just
offered her."

"I fear that the hand of Heaven will weigh heavily on that selfish,
proud, capricious sovereign, and that she will have to suffer many
humiliations," replied Mr. Jefferson, coldly, for he disliked and


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