« ZurückWeiter »
about three o'clock in the afternoon, marched in the track names of the guilty ones. He was informed that the abbé of the amazons who had already reached Versailles. Gregoire had been charged to denounce this letter, and be
Unfortunately for the king, the national assembly had was desired to treat the assembly with proper dignity. just submitted to him their votes on the constitution and Maillard replied that they were all equals, all citizens, and the declaration of rights, and that very morning the king the women shouted in support of him, “Yes; we are all had returned an equivocating answer. The assembly equals—we are all citizens !” The women and the mob expected a simple and entire confirmation of their decrees ; generally outside, who were standing in drenching rain, but Louis had been advised to seem to acquiesce, and yet caught these cries, and repeated them frantically. not really to do it. He signified his assent to the con- | Mounier was ordered then to proceed on his mission to stitutional articles, and found excellent maxims in the the king; but no sooner did he issue from the door, than declaration of rights; but he considered that such important thousands of women surrounded him, and insisted on acmatters demanded fuller consideration before being ratified, companying him. He selected six to follow him, but many and that they could not be properly decided till the consti- more joined them. "It was on foot,” says Mounier, “in tution was complete. He declared that he would never the mud, and under a violent storm of rain. The Paris consent that the resolutions of the assembly should be valid women intermixed with a certain number of men, ragged without the entire sanction of the executive power in the and ferocious, and uttering frightful howlings. As we hands of the monarch. This was certainly bringing the approached the palace, we were taken for a desperate mob. matter to an issue, and there could be no doubt what would Some of the gardes-du-corps pricked their horses amongst be the result. Had the king been prepared for a coup- us, and dispersed us. It was with difficulty that I made d'état, that would have been prudent language; but, as it myself known, and equally difficult it was to make our way was, with the whole of Paris in insurrection, and the bulk of into the palace. Instead of six women, I was compelled to the troops in league with the people, this conduct, at this admit twelve. The king received them graciously; but, moment, was the height of folly. It must produce an separated from their own raging and rioting class, the instant collision, which royalty, there and then, had no women were overcome by the presence of the king, and ability to sustain. The assembly would have compelled the Louison Chabry, a handsome young girl of seventeen, king's consent of itself ; but, as it happened, all Paris was could say nothing but the word “Bread!' She would marching to support it.
have fallen on the floor, but the king caught her in his No sooner was the king's answer read, than there arose a arms, embraced and encouraged her; and this settled comloud murmur and agitation. Robespierre said it was not for pletely the rest of the women, who knelt and kissed his the king to criticise the assembly; and Petion reminded the hand. Louis assured them that he was very sorry for them, assembly of the dinner to the life-guards. In the midst of and would do all in his power to have Paris well supplied the angry debate, Mirabeau received the news of the mob's with bread. They then went out blessing him and all his proceedings, and, hastening up to Mounier, the president, family, and declared to those outside that never was there said, “Paris is marching on us. Pretend to be unwell; so good a king. At this the furious mob exclaimed that run over to the palace, and tell the king to accept purely they had been tampered with by the aristocrats, and were and simply; ” but Mounier, who disapproved of nearly every for tearing them to pieces; and, seizing Louison, they wero article in the constitution, and who was of all things proceeding to hang her on a lamp-post, when some of the adverse to centreing the whole power of the nation in one gardes-du-corps, commanded by the count de Guiche, interchamber, replied, “ Paris is marching on us! Well, so fered and rescued her.” One Brunout, an artisan of Paris, much the better. Let them come and kill us all-all, you and a hero of the Bastille, having advanced so as to be understand; and then affairs will go on all' the better.” separated from the women, the guards struck him with the Mirabean, who was disappointed in not being able to flat of their swords. There was an instant cry that the frighten Mounier, said, “That is a fine thing to say," and guards were massacreing the people; and, the national returned to his seat.
guards of Versailles being called on to protect them, one of The debate continued till three o'clock in the afternoon, them discharged a musket, and broke the arm of M. de when the assembly declared that Mounier should go to the Savonières, one of the life-guards. The firing on the lifeking and demand his instant and full acceptance. Mounier guards by the national guards then continued, and the lifewas in the act of rising to proceed on his mission, when guards filed off, firing, in return, as they went. The mob, Maillard, at the head of his amazon army, demanded now triumphant, attempted to fire two pieces of cannon, which admittance. He was desired to enter, and the whole posse they turned upon the palace; but the powder was wet, and of women, wet, draggled, jaded, but armed with clubs, would not go off. The king having, meantime, heard the muskets, and broomsticks, rushed after him, demanding bread. firing, sent the duke of Luxembourg to order that the Maillard, obtaining some degree of silence, spoke in their guards should not fire, but retire to the back of the palace. behalf. He said that for three days the people of Paris had The mob then retired into Versailles in search of bread, had no bread ; that they were desperate and ready to strike; which Lecointre, a draper of the town, and commander of that, so far from the assembly assisting the people to bread, its national guards, promised to procure them from the there were those amongst them who were bribing the millers municipality. But the municipality had no bread to give, not to grind corn ; that Juigné, archbishop of Paris, had or took no pains to furnish it, and the crowds, drenched with written a letter to a miller to this effect, and that the rain, sought shelter wherever they could for the night. The people were well informed of these things, and knew the I women rushed again into the ball of the assembly, and took
possession of it without any ceremony. The women who for his conduct during the whole of these transactions, could not find room there, joined the men, who made fires which have been adopted by some of our own bistorians; in the streets, and relieved their hunger and wretchedness as but, on carefully considering all the evidence, we cannot well as they could by cursing and singing revolutionary but regard it as wholly groundless. La Fayette did all songs. Some of them made a seat of the corpse of one of in his power to prevent the French guards and the the life-guards who had been shot, and they cut up his fallen national guards of Paris from going to Versailles; but horse into steaks, and devoured them half raw; whilst others wben these revolutionary troops would go, no commandanced like maniacs round the fire! The king had been der could stop them; and it was certainly much better holding a council ; and Mounier had waited till ten o'clock for La Fayette to accompany them, and do all he could for his answer, in great impatience. During this period, to protect the royal family. It is clear, that without his several carriages had attempted to leave the palace, the presence there would have been a savage conflict betwist object being to see whether the mob would allow them to the life-guards and the Flanders regiment, and the national pass, in which case it was intended to send away the queen guards of Paris and the mob. La Fayette had long and the children ; but the carriages were all stopped and sent thought, as he tells us, that it would be better for the king back, showing the utter hopelessness of such an enterprise. and the assembly to be in Paris. On his arrival, we see Often, before this, and still earlier in the evening, the whole that he tranquillised both the assembly and the court. He royal family might have got away, but Louis had not the then endeavoured to take upon himself the guard of the spirit for any such movement. At ten, Mounier received palace; but this was not permitted. The life-guards and the kiog's acceptance, pure and siinple, of the constitution, the Swiss guards surrounded the palace by the orders of the and returned to the ball of assembly. There he found the court, and La Fayette took possession of the outer posts, deputies had retired for the night, and the women were amus- none of which were forced, or even attacked. He procured ing themselves with holding a mock assembly ; a dame de la lodgings for his drenched and fatigued troops, and ordered Halle, or market woman, of a great size, occupying Mounier's patroles to be placed about the town. He continued up all own presidential seat, having her hand-bell before her, and night attending to these duties; and, having seen a batfrom time to time ringing to command silence, as she had talion of soldiers placed before the hotel of the life-guards to seen Mounier do it. Between eleven and twelve o'clock, protect them from any insults of the people, he went to the some of the members were collected and took their places as hotel de Noailles, just by the palace, and, getting a little well as they could amongst the women. Mounier then refreshment, went to bed at five o'clock. As all appeared commenced to tell them the king's answer. This was perfectly quiet, and as he had been up twenty-four hours, received with satisfaction; and, as a new army was advanc- nothing could be more reasonable than this, all guards being ing from Paris, with La Fayette at its head, it was resolved duly at their posts. Scarcely had he lain down, however, to remain sitting, and they resumed the discussion on the and before he was asleep, he heard a terrific noise, and, constitution. But the women cried out : “ What good will instantly rising and throwing on his clothes, he found that that do us? The thing we want is bread! Leave off the the mob was attacking the palace. The greater part of the fine talk, and give us that!” “There was," says Dumont, populace, tired of singing and eating horse-flesh, had rushed "in one of the galleries, a fishwoman, who exercised a towards the palace. They found the gate open, and, superior authority, directing the tongues and motions of streaming into the court-yard, also found a door not about one hundred other women, who waited for her orders secured, and entering, ascended a staircase. Had la when they were to scream, and when to be silent. She Fayette been permitted to guard these outlets to the palace, called out familiarly to the deputies below : Who is that this would not have occurred; but, from some unknown talking down there? Make that babbler hold his tongue ! cause, the life-guards had been dismissed in the night, an That is not the question! The question is, bread! Let then recalled, and many of them had never resumed their our gossip, Mirabeau, speak; we like to hear him!"" &c. stations. La Fayette hastened to the palace, and found
Soon after midnight, the roll of drums announced the several of the life-guards surrounded by the mob, and on arrival of La Fayette and his army. An aide-de-camp the point of being murdered. Whilst engaged in rescuing soon after formally communicated his arrival to the as- / them, one of the canaille attempted to fire at him. He sembly; that they had been delayed by the state of the coolly ordered the man to be seized and brought to him, and roads; and that La Fayette had also stopped them to the mob at once seized him, and dashed out his braios ou administer to them an oath of fidelity to the nation, the the pavement. He then hastened into the palace, au law, and the king ; that all was orderly, and that they had found his grenadiers already there, defending the entrance nothing to fear. La Fayette soon after confirmed this by and vowing that they would die in defence of the king. leading a column of the national guards to the doors of the But, meantime, the populace had penetrated nearly one assembly, and sending in this message. The assembly, being queen's bed-chamber, the life-guards fighting them sep? satisfied, adjourned till eleven o'clock the next day. La step, but, being few in number in that passage, they we Fayette then proceeded to the palace, where he assured the forced backward. One of them, named Miomandre, soula: king and the royal family of the loyalty of his guards, and “Save the queen!" Two ladies of the bed-chamber, ove that every precaution should be taken for tranquillity during them the sister of madame Campan, had been too much the night. On this the king appeared to be at ease, and alarmed to go to bed, but had sat at the queen's door. A retired to rest.
soldier's cry, the ladies rushed into the queen's ante-chamber Much and severe censure has been passed on La Fayette and bolted the door. They roused Marie Antoinette, crylus,
" Fly to the king!” They hastily wrapped something round guards?” The populace were furious against them ; but her, and she fled towards Louis's chamber. Scarcely had La Fayette took one of them, led him upon the balcony, she found the king and the children, when the mob was clasped him in his arms, and put upon him his own heard endeavouring to burst open her door, and demanding shoulder-belt. The populace again cheered, and ratified the heads of the life-guards. Two of the guards had already this second reconciliation. been dragged down into the marble court, and savagely! The king had repeatedly sent to inform the assembly of beheaded by a brutal fellow called Jourdan Coupe-Tête. his intention to go to Paris. They had not paid him the Fourteen other gardes-du-corps were wounded, and some respect to wait on him; but, at the last moment, they of them were prisoners in the bands of the populace.
passed a resolution that the assen, bly was inseparable from At this moment La Fayette arrived, followed by a body the person of the king, and appointed one hundred deputies of the old French guards. These knocked at the door of to attend him. Ainongst them was Mirabeau. It was the apartment where the royal family was, and cried, “Let about one o'clock when the king quitted Versailles, amid a us in. The French guards have not fi rgotten that you saved general discharge of musketry, falsely, on this occasion, their regiment at Fontenoi !” The door was strongly bar- termed a feu-de-joie. The king and queen, the dauphin, and ricaded with furniture, but Louis bade the life-guardis remove the little daugbter, monsieur, the king's brother, and madame the barricade and open the door ; and the French guards Elizabeth, the king's sister, went all in one great state coach. rushed into the arms of the life-guarils, changed hats with Others of the royal household, with the ladies of honour, them, and both kinds of guars cried "Vive le Roi! la nation, and the one hundred deputies, followed in about a bundred et les gardes-du-corps !” At the sight of La Fayette and vehicles of one kind or other. A considerable band of the his grenadiers, the court all expressed their satisfaction, and mob had set out before, carrying the heads of two of the madame Adelaid3, the king's aunt, clasped himn in her arms, life-guardsmen, on pikes twelve feet long. La Fayette sent exclaiming, “General, you have saved us!”.
| after them a strong detachment of the army, to prevent But, at this very moment, the populace were howling in the their return; he also issued orders for disarming the marble court below, the poissardes, or fish-women, uttering brigands who were carrying the heads. This was at length the most revolting expressions against the queen; and the accomplished, but not till they bad played most hideous mob shouting, “ To Paris! to Paris !” A council was held maneuvres with them. They stopped for a monient at to consider this demand. La Fayette would not attend it, Sevres, and compelled a barber to dress the hair of these lest he might be said to have influenced its conclusions. It two gory heads. “I have often asked myself," says the was decided to go; and this decision was communicated to writer of the “Memoirs of Lavalette," " how the metropolis the crowd below by flinging pieces of paper down with this of a nation so celebrated for urbanity and elegance of written upon them. Shouts were raised on this being manners-how the brilliant city of Paris could contain the understood, and Louis then showed himself on the balcony. savage hordes I that day beheld, and who so long reigrcd There were confused cries of “ Vive le Roi !" “ Vive la over it. Can base passions alter the features so as to pation !" but far more of “Le Roi à Paris !” La Fayette deprive them of all likeness to humanity? Those madmen appeared on the balcony with the king, and, returning into dancing in the mire, and covered with mud! The groups the room, he said to the queen, “Madaine, what will you do?" that marched foremost, carrying on long pikes the bloody She replied, " I know the fate that awaits me; but it is my heads of the murdered life-guardsmen! Surely Satan him. duty to die at the feet of the king. I will go where they self invented the placing of a human head at the end of a go!” “Come with me, then," said the general, and he lance! The disfigured and pale features, the gory locks, the led her out upon the balcony. At her appearance, with one half-open mouths, the closed eyes-images of death added to of her children by the hand, the uproar became terrible. the gestures and salutations which the executioners made Dreadful menaces were uttered, and the cries of “Point them perform, in terrible mockery of life-presented the d'enfans!” (no children.) The queen put the child back into most frightful spectacle that rage could have imagined. A the room, and stood there with her arms crossed and her troop of women, ugly as crime itself, swarming like insects, large blue eyes raised to heaven. “ I mixed in the crowd," and wearing grenadiers' hairy caps, went continually to and says the writer of the “ Memoirs of Lavalette," "and beheld, fro, howling barbarous songs." for the first time, that unfortunate princess. She was dressed Before the king's carriage marched a still more numerous in white; her head was bare, and adorned with beautiful fair army of poissardes and of abandoned women, the scum o locks. Motionless, and in a modest and noble attitude, she their sex, drunk with wine and fury. Several of them were appeared to me like a victim on the block. The enraged astride upon cannon, celebrating by the most abominable populace were not moved at the sight of woe in all its majesty. | songs all the crimes which they had committed or witnessed. Imprecations increased, and the unfortunate princess could Others, nearer to the king's carriage, were singing allegorical not even find support in the king, for his presence only aug airs, and, by their gross gestures, applying the insulting mented the fury of the multitude."
allusions in them to the queen. Carts laden with corn and La Fayette tried what his popularity and his example flour, which had come to Versailles, formed a convoy, might do. He approached her, and taking ber hand, he knelt escorted by grenadiers, and surrounded by women and and kissed it. At this sight, the strange but fleeting market factors, armed with pikes, or carrying large poplar sentiment of the French was excited, and the mob cried, boughs. This part of the cortège produced, at some dus"Long live the queen! Long live La Fayette!" At this tance, the most singular effect; it looked like a moving spectacle, Louis said, “ Will you mot do something for my 'wood, among which glistened pike-heads and guid-partes
471 In the transport of their brutal joy, the women stopped king they began to disperse into the provinces and abroad. passengers on the road, and yelled in their ears, while The day of the king's entrance into Paris was the first day pointing to the royal carriage, “ Courage, my friends! we of this emigration of the noblesse ; and the first day of shall have plenty of bread row, for we have got the baker, emigration was the commencement of the utter ruin of the the baker's wife, and the baker's boy!” Behind his majesty's aristocracy. They had been the most ready to propose rash carriage were some of his faithful guards, some on foot, measures to the king; now that they were separated from some on horseback, most of them without hats, all disarmed, him, they fell away like so many branches lopped from a tree. and exhausted with hunger and fatigue. The dragoons, the They had no principle of cohesion in themselves, and conFlanders regiment, the Cent Suisses, and the national tinued not to stand together and do battle for their own guards, preceded, accompanied, and followed the file of cause, or the cause of the monarchy, but to disperse more carriages. “I was an eye-witness," says Bertrand de and more. As in England, the moment that Charles I. was Molleville, "of this distressing spectacle—this melancholy put down they lost all power, and sank into utter insignifiprocession. Amid this tumult, these songs, this clamour, cance, so here. Their strength consisted in wielding the interrupted by frequent discharges of musketry, which the kingly power in the royal name; that gone, they had no hand of a monster or an awkward person might have ren- power. The world saw it, and despised them. The chief
fatal. I saw the queen retain the most courageous emigration of the nobles was to Turin, where the count tranquillity of mind, and an air of inexpressible nobleness D'Artois had taken refuge with his father-in-law. They and dignity. My eyes filled with tears of admiration and were continually endeavouring to rouse insurrection in the grief."
southern provinces of France. The queen trusted more to This scene lasted for eight hours before the royal family | Austria, and the king hoped for salvation, but he did not arrived at the Place de Grève. The mayor, Bailly, received know whence. Such was the condition of the court, which them at the barrier of Paris, and conducted them to the was closely watched by the revolutionists. Hôtel de Ville. So soon as they had passed the barrier, The revolutionary party was from this moment triumthe numerous procession were joined by the whole levia- phant. The leaders of it, however, were much divided than mob of Paris, calculated at two hundred thousand amongst themselves. The duke of Orleans had a party which men! It was night, and the crushing and shouting throngs would gladly have seen him substituted as a sort of protector prevented the royal carriage from more than merely moving for the king; but a protector very much in their own hands. all the way from the barrier to the Place de Grève. At the This was the party of the Palais Royal. But the rest of the Hôtel de Ville, Moreau de St. Mery addressed the king in a revolutionists had no faith in the dyke's abilities or princilong speech, congratulating him on his happy arrival amongst ples. It was said that he and Mirabeau understood each his people—his loving children of the capital. The poor other—and that was more true than those persons intended. tired and dispirited king replied that he always came with Mirabeau knew and despised Orleans, though he continued confidence amongst his people. Bailly repeated the words to talk familiarly with him. Mirabeau, though detesting in a loud tone to the people, but omitted the words “ with the aristocracy, because they had rejected him, and resolved confidence,” whereupon the queen said, with much spirit, to destroy them as a class, was a firm monarchist, and used “Sir, add with confidence ;" so Bailly replied, “Gentlemen, the people to maintain his power to save the throne. He in bearing it from the lips of the queen, you are happier had an immense ambition, and trusted one day to become than if I had not made that mistake.” The king was then prime minister-a second Richelieu. At the very time that exhibited on the balcony to the mob, with a huge tricolour the public thought Mirabeau and Orleans in league, Miracockade in his hat, at which sight, in French fashion, the beau was struggling with a frightful poverty and state of monkey-tiger mass hugged and kissed each other and danced debt which Orleans could at once have removed, and for joy. It was eleven o'clock at night before the poor would, had there been such alliance. On the other hand, miserable royal captives were conducted by La Fayette to La Fayette and Mirabeau were agreed as to the maintetheir appointed prison—for such it was, in fact—the great dance of the monarchy, and both of them cultivated the palace of their ancestors, the Tuileries, which had been un- favour of the people to enable them to save the throne ; but inhabited for a century, and had not been prepared for their they agreed in no other point. Mirabeau despised reception. There they were left, after this most harassing La Fayette for his vanity and his sentimental notions, and and alarming time, in those huge, desolate rooms, with their called him Cromwell Grandison, an admirable title; but, at more desolate hearts. The Parisian national guards were the same time, Mirabeau was envious of the immense posted around the palace, and La Fayette, as their com- popularity of La Fayette, and La Fayette bad po faith in mander, was made responsible for the royal persons. The the principles of the debauchee Mirabeau. La Fayette and nobles were anxious to have the king conveyed to some fortress, Bailly were the heads of the monarchical, and yet constituthat they might exercise despotism in his name. The popular tional party. This party was always a little in advance of party, on the other hand, wished to hold him safe amongst the revolution, and rested chiefly on the middle class, wbilst them, as the certain pledge of the accomplished constitution. addressing and flattering the masses in order to guide them. Hence the aristocrats, in their chagrin, styled La Fayette a Mirabeau, La Fayette, and Bailly applied themselves to this gaoler ; but he was a gaoler for the preservation of the class, and were, the one its orator, the other its general, and constitution and the crown. The fickle people had not yet the third its magistrate; though Mirabeau was, in reality, conceived the idea of their own sublime sovereignty. apart from La Fayette and Bailly, who were the real heads
From the moment that the nobles separated from the l of the middle class. The 14th of July—the day of the fall