Lafayette for Young Americans - Rupert Holland

Storm-Clouds of the French Revolution

King Louis XVI., Queen Marie Antoinette, and their children were now virtually prisoners in the Palace of the Tuileries in Paris, the nobles were leaving France for their own safety, and the Assembly was trying to govern the country. But the Assembly was very large and unwieldy, and its members were more interested in making speeches denouncing the present laws than in trying to frame new ones. Lafayette was commander of the National Guard, and so in a way the most powerful man in France, although the most able statesman and leader was Mirabeau. Occasionally Lafayette found time to attend the meetings of the Assembly, and at one of these sessions a deputy demanded that all titles of nobility should be abolished. Another member objected, saying that merit ought to be recognized, and asking what could be put in the place of the words, "Such a one has been made noble and count for having saved the State on such a day."

Lafayette rose at once to answer. "Suppress the words 'made noble and count,'" said he; "say only, 'Such a one saved the State on such a day.' It seems to me that these words have something of an American character, precious fruit of the New World, which ought to aid much in rejuvenating the old one."

The measure was carried immediately, and Lafayette dropped from his name both the "marquis "and the "de." He never used them again; and when, after the French Revolution was over, all titles were restored, Lafayette, steadfast to his convictions, never called himself or allowed himself to be addressed as the Marquis de Lafayette, but was always known simply as General Lafayette.

Lafayette did all he could to ease the difficult position of King Louis, though relations between the two men were necessarily strained, since the King could hardly look with pleasure on the commander of the National Guard, who held his office from the Assembly and people and not from the crown. Louis chafed at having to stay in the Tuileries and wanted to go hunting in the country, but the people would not allow this. And it fell to Lafayette to urge the King to show as little discontent as possible, which naturally made the sovereign resentful toward the General.

During the winter of 1789-90 Lafayette was busy trying to keep order in Paris and drilling the Guard. He sent the Duke of Orleans, who had been stirring up the worst elements to dethrone Louis XVI. and make him king instead, in exile from the country. Violent bread riots broke out and mobs tried to pillage the convents, but Lafayette and his Guards prevented much damage being done. It took all his tact and perseverance to handle these soldiers under his command; they were quick-tempered and restive under any authority, and only too ready to follow the last excitable speaker they had heard. Lafayette said to his officers, "We are lost if the service continues to be conducted with such great inexactitude. We are the only soldiers of the Revolution; we alone should defend the royal family from every attack; we alone should establish the liberty of the representatives of the nation; we are the only guardians of the public treasury. France, all Europe, have fixed their eyes on the Parisians. A disturbance in Paris, an attack made through our negligence on these sacred institutions, would dishonor us forever, and bring upon us the hatred of the provinces."

[Illustration] from Lafayette for Young Americans by Rupert Holland


He did not want any great office or power for himself, his desires were always very much like those of George Washington, he simply wanted to serve the sacred cause of liberty. Yet he was at that time the most powerful and the most popular man in France. The court, though it disliked him as the representative of the people, depended on him for its personal safety. The Assembly relied on him as its guardian, the soldiers trusted him as their commander, and the people considered him their bulwark against any return to the old despotism.

Through all this time he wrote regularly to Washington, and when, by his orders, the Bastille was torn down he sent the keys of the fortress to his friend at Mount Vernon. The keys were sent, he wrote, as a tribute from "a son to an adopted father, an aide-de-camp to his general, a missionary of liberty to her patriarch."

On the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, July 14,1790, a great celebration was held in Paris. A vast crowd of more than three hundred thousand persons, including the court, the Assembly, the National Guard, and men from the provinces as well as from the city, met in the amphitheatre of the Champs de Mars to swear obedience to the new constitution which was to govern them all. First Louis XVI. took the oath, and then Lafayette, who was made for that day commander-in-chief of all the armed forces of France, stepped forward, placed the point of his sword on the altar, and took the oath as the representative of the French people. A great roar of voices greeted the commander's words.

But although Lafayette meant to remain faithful to the principles of a constitutional monarchy, the mass of his countrymen soon showed that they had no such intention. Disorder and rioting grew more frequent, the people demanded more of the Assembly than the latter felt it could grant, the Guards grew increasingly unpopular as the symbol of a law and order the mob did not like. Within the Assembly itself there were many quarrels and wrangles; sometimes the mob vented its feelings on an unpopular member by attacking his house. And as often as not the National Guards, when they were sent to protect property, joined with the crowd and helped to destroy it instead.

In February, 1791, a crowd from Paris attacked the fortress of Vincennes, which had once been a state prison, but had been unused for some time. Lafayette, with his staff and a considerable number of National Guards, marched out to the place, quelled the disturbance, and arrested sixty of the ringleaders. When he brought his prisoners back to the city he found the gates of the Faubourg St. Antoine closed against him, and he had to threaten to blow the gates open with cannon before the people would allow him to enter. All the way to the Conciergerie, where he took his prisoners, the General and his soldiers were targets for the abuse of the crowds.

On the same day some of the nobles who lived in the neighborhood of the royal palace of the Tuileries, hearing of the attack at Vincennes, thought that the King might also be in danger, and went to the palace, armed with pistols and daggers. This angered the National Guards who were posted about the Tuileries and who thought that the noblemen were poaching on their territory. The King had to appear in person to settle the dispute, and even then some of the nobles were maltreated by the soldiers. Immediately revolutionary orators made use of the incident to inflame the people's mind, representing that the King's friends had planned to murder officers of the Guards.

It was clear that the National Guards were growing less and less trustworthy, and equally evident that the people of Paris were becoming more and more hostile to their King. Louis disliked staying at the Tuileries, where he was constantly under the eyes of enemies, and at Easter decided to go to the palace of St. Cloud, which was near Paris, and celebrate the day there. Word of this got abroad, and the people grumbled; more than that they said that Louis should not go to St. Cloud.

On the morning of April eighteenth the King and his family entered their traveling-carriage, only to have an angry crowd seize the horses' heads and forbid the King to move. Louis appealed to the National Guards who were in attendance, but the soldiers took the side of the people and helped to block the way. The mob swarmed close to the carriage, insulting the King and his servants. Louis had courage. He put his head out at the window and cried, "It would be an astonishing thing, if, after having given liberty to the nation, I myself should not be free!"

At this point Lafayette and the mayor, Bailly, arrived, and urged the mob and the Guards to keep the peace and disperse. The crowd was obstinate; most of the Guards were openly rebellious. Then Lafayette went to the royal carriage, and offered to use force to secure the King's departure if Louis would give the word. The King answered promptly, "It is for you, sir, to see to what is necessary for the due fulfilment of your constitution." Again Lafayette turned to the mob and addressed it, but it showed no intention of obeying his orders, and at last he had to tell Louis that it would be dangerous for him to drive forth. So the King and his family returned to the Tuileries, fully aware now that they were prisoners of the people and could not count on the protection of the troops.

Everywhere it was now said that the King must obey "the supreme will of the people." Louis protested; he went to the National Assembly and told the deputies that he expected them to protect his liberty; but Mirabeau, the leader who had used his influence on behalf of the sovereign in earlier meetings, was dead, and the party of Robespierre held the upper hand. The Assembly had no intention of opposing the people, and paid little heed to the King's demands.

Lafayette saw that a general whose troops would not obey him was a useless officer, and sent in his resignation as commander of the Guards. But the better element in Paris wanted him to stay, and the more loyal of the troops begged him to resume his command. No one could fill his place, and so he agreed to take the office again. He went to the Commune of Paris and addressed its members. "We are citizens, gentlemen, we are free," said he; "but without obedience to the law, there is only confusion, anarchy, despotism; and if this capital, the cradle of the Revolution, instead of surrounding with intelligence and respect the depositaries of national power, should besiege them with tumult, or fatigue them with violence, it would cease to be the example of Frenchmen, it would risk becoming their terror."

The Commune applauded his words, and he went forth again as Commander-in-chief, the Guards taking a new oath to obey the laws. But at the same time the Jacobins, or revolutionaries, placarded the walls of Paris with praises of the soldiers who had rebelled and feasted them as models of patriotism.

Meantime King Louis and his closest friends determined that the royal family must escape from the Tuileries. Careful plans were laid and a number of the nobles were told of them. Rumors of the intended escape got abroad, but such rumors had been current for the past year. Lafayette heard them and spoke of them to the King, who assured him that he had no such design. Lafayette went to the mayor, Bailly, and the two men discussed the rumor, concluding that there was nothing more to it than to the earlier stories.

The night of June twentieth was the time chosen by the King and his intimate friends. Marie Antoinette placed her children in the care of Madame de Tourzel, her companion, saying, "The King and I, madame, place in your hands, with the utmost confidence, all that we hold dear in the world. Everything is ready; go." Madame de Tourzel and the children went out to a carriage, driven by the Count de Fersen, and rode along the quays to a place that had been decided on as the rendezvous.

Lafayette and Bailly had spent the evening with the King. As soon as they had gone, to disarm suspicion Louis undressed and got into bed. Then he got up again, put on a disguise, and walked down the main staircase and out at the door. He reached his carriage, and waited a short time for the Queen, who presently joined him; and then the royal couple drove out of Paris.

The flight was not discovered until about six o'clock in the morning. Then Lafayette hurried to the Tuileries with Bailly. He found that a mob had already gathered there, vowing vengeance on all who had had charge of the King. With difficulty he rescued the officer who had been on guard the night before. He sent messengers in every direction with orders to stop the royal fugitives. He went to the Assembly, and addressed it. At the Jacobin Club, Danton, the fiery orator, declared, "The commander-general promised on his head that the King would not depart; therefore we must have the person of the King or the head of Monsieur the commander-general!" But Lafayette's reputation was still too great for him to be reached by his enemies.

The unfortunate royal family were finally arrested at Varennes and brought back to Paris. Louis was received in an ominous silence by his people. Lafayette met him at the gates and escorted him back to the palace. There Lafayette said, "Sire, your Majesty is acquainted with my personal attachment; but I have not allowed you to be unaware that if you separated your cause from that of the people I should remain on the side of the people."

"That is true," answered King Louis. "You have acted according to your principles; it is an affair of party. At present, here I am. I will tell you frankly, that up to these last days, I believed myself to be in a vortex of people of your opinion with whom you surrounded me, but that it was not the opinion of France. I have thoroughly recognized in this journey that I was mistaken, and that this opinion is the general one."

When Lafayette asked the King for his orders, the latter laughed and said, "It seems to me that I am more at your orders than you are at mine."

The commander did all that he could to soften the hard position of the royal captives, but he took care to see that the Tuileries was better guarded after that.

Some Jacobins now petitioned the Assembly to dethrone the King, and a great meeting was held in the Champs de Mars on the seventeenth of July. As usual the meeting got out of hand and the mob turned to murder and pillage. Lafayette and Bailly rode to the field with some of their soldiers; Bailly proclaimed martial law and ordered the crowd to disperse. Jeers and threats followed, and at last Lafayette had to give his men the command to fire. A dozen of the mob were killed, and the rest took to flight.

This seemed to bring peace again, but it was only the quiet that precedes the thunderstorm. The Assembly finished its work on the new constitution for France and the King signed it. Then Lafayette, tired with his constant labors, resigned his commission and stated his intention of retiring to private life. Paris voted him a medal and a marble statue of Washington, and the National Guards presented him with a sword forged from the bolts of the Bastille. At last he rode back to his country home at Chavaniac, looking forward to rest there as Washington looked for rest at his beloved Mount Vernon.

To friends at his home in Auvergne the General said, "You see me restored to the place of my birth; I shall leave it only to defend or consolidate our common liberty, if attacked, and I hope to remain here for long." He believed that the new constitution would bring liberty and peace to his country. But the French Revolution had only begun its course, and he was destined soon to be called back to its turmoil.

He had several months of rest in his home in the mountains, happy months for his wife, who for two years had hardly ever seen her husband leave their house in Paris without fearing that he might not return. She had been a wonderful helpmate for the General during the turbulent course of events since his return from America and had loyally entertained the guests of every varying shade of political opinion who had flocked to his house in the capital. But she liked to have her husband away from the alarms of Paris and safe in the quiet of his country home at Chavaniac. There he had more time to spend with her and their three children, Anastasie, George Washington, and Virginia, who had been named after the State where her father had won his military laurels.

The Legislative Assembly of France, which was trying to govern the country under the new constitution, was finding the making of laws which should satisfy every one a very difficult task. There were countless cliques and parties, and each had its own pet scheme for making the land a Utopia. The court party hoped that the more reckless element would lose all hold on the people through its very extravagance, and so actually encouraged many wildly absurd projects. The royalists were always expecting that a counter-revolution would bring them back into power, and the nobles who had left the country filled the border-towns and plotted and conspired and used their influence to induce foreign sovereigns to interfere and restore the old order in France. Naturally enough news of these plots and conspiracies did not tend to make King Louis or his nobles any more popular with the lawgivers in Paris.

In August, 1791, the King of Prussia and the Emperor of Austria met the Count d'Artois and the Marquis de Bouillé at the town of Pilnitz and formed an alliance against France, making the cause of Louis XVI. their own. The royalists who had emigrated were delighted, and filled Europe with statements of what they meant to do to the revolutionary leaders when they won back their power. The revolutionists grew more and more angry, and as they saw foreign troops gathering on the French frontiers they decided that it was high time to oppose force with force. Narbonne, the Minister of War, announced that the King and government meant to form three armies of fifty thousand men each, and that the country had chosen as commanding generals Rochambeau, Luckner, and Lafayette.

Lafayette at once returned to Paris from Chavaniac, paid his respects to the King, and going to the Assembly thanked the members for his new appointment and declared his unalterable devotion to the maintenance and defense of the constitution. The president of the Assembly answered that "the French people, which has sworn to conquer or to die in the cause of liberty, will always confidently present to nations and to tyrants the constitution and Lafayette."

In view of what happened afterward it is important to remember that Lafayette accepted his appointment under the constitution of France and that he felt himself bound to support and obey it under all circumstances.

Then he departed from Paris for the frontier, the cheers of the people and the National Guards ringing in his ears. He was popular with all parties except those of the two extremes, the friends of the King considering him a rebel and the Jacobins calling him a courtier.

At Metz Lafayette met Rochambeau, Luckner, and Narbonne, and it was arranged that the three generals should make their headquarters at Liege, Treves, and Coblentz. News of these military measures somewhat cooled the ardor of the alliance against France and enemy troops stopped collecting along the border. Lafayette took advantage of this to prepare his raw recruits for a possible struggle. They needed this preparation, for the army of France, which had once been the proudest in Europe, had been allowed to scatter during the past few years.

He accomplished much in the way of discipline, was called to Paris to consult on a plan of campaign, found the leaders there as much at odds as ever, and returned to his post at Metz. Again the emigrant nobles and their allies were uttering threats against the French government, and finally, on April 20, 1792, the government declared war on its enemies.

Lafayette's orders were to proceed against the Netherlands, marching from Metz to Givet, and thence to Namur. Meantime Rochambeau's army was to attack the Austrians. But there was so much discord among Rochambeaus's divisions that the attack turned into a retreat, and Lafayette, learning this when he arrived at Givet, was obliged to wait there instead of marching farther. The conduct of his soldiers so discouraged Rochambeau that he resigned his commission and the territory to be defended was divided between Lafayette and Luckner. The former concentrated his troops at Maubeuge, and spent the month of May drilling and occasionally making sorties.

In Paris the cause of law and order was having a hard time. The Jacobins wanted to upset the constitution, dethrone the King, and establish a republic, and they were steadily growing stronger. The spirit of revolution was spreading through the country, and everywhere the people gave the greatest applause to the most revolutionary orators. The Assembly was treating Louis XVI. with insolence and the King was retaliating by regarding the deputies with unconcealed contempt. The monarchy and the constitution were fast falling to pieces, and the news of the defeat of the army on the frontier helped to hasten the climax. Gouverneur Morris wrote to Thomas Jefferson in June, 1792, "The best picture I can give of the French people is that of cattle before a thunderstorm." And a week later he wrote, "We stand on a vast volcano; we feel it tremble and we hear it roar; but how and where and when it will burst, and who may be destroyed by its irruption, are beyond the ken of mortal foresight to discover."

Lafayette, in camp at Maubeuge, alarmed at the reports from Paris, felt that the cause of liberty and order would be lost unless some effective blow could be dealt at the power of the Jacobins. If some one would take the lead in opposing that group, or club, he believed that the Assembly and the rest of the people would follow. So he wrote a letter to the Assembly, and in this he said, "Can you hide from yourselves that a faction, and, to avoid vague terms, the Jacobite faction, has caused all these disorders? It is this club that I openly accuse." Then he went on to denounce the Jacobins as the enemies of all order.

When the letter was read in the Assembly the Jacobins attacked it furiously, charging that the General wanted to make himself a dictator. His friends supported him, but the Jacobins were the more powerful. Through their clubs, their newspapers, and their street orators they soon led the fickle people to believe that Lafayette, their idol of a few years before, was now a traitor to them and their greatest enemy.

Another quarrel arose between King Louis and the Assembly, and the former dismissed his ministers. The Jacobins seized on this to inaugurate a reign of terror. The streets were filled with mobs, passionate orators harangued the crowds, men and women pushed their way into the meetings of the Assembly and told the deputies what they wanted done. June twentieth was the anniversary of the Tennis Court Oath, and on that day a great rabble invaded the Assembly, denounced the King, and then marched to the Tuileries, where it found that the gates had been left open. The mob surged through the palace, singing the revolutionary song "Ca ira," and shouting "Down with the Austrian woman! Down with Marie Antoinette!" The Queen and her children fled to an inner room, protected by a few grenadiers. The King watched the crowd surge by him, his only concession to their demands being to put a liberty cap on his head. After three hours of uproar the leaders felt that Louis had been taught a sufficient lesson and led their noisy followers back to the streets.

A story is told that a young and penniless lieutenant by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte was dining with a friend in the Palais Royal when the mob attacked the Tuileries. Taking a position on the bank of the Seine he watched the scene with indignation. When he saw the King at the window with the red liberty cap on his head, he exclaimed, "Why have they let in all that rabble? They should sweep off four or five hundred of them with cannon; the rest would then set off fast enough." But the time had not yet come for this lieutenant to show how to deal with the people.

Lafayette heard of the mob's invasion of the Tuileries and decided to go to Paris to see what he could do to check the spirit of revolution. General Luckner had no objection to his leaving his headquarters at Maubeuge, but warned him that if the Jacobins once got him in their power they would cut off his head. Undaunted by this idea Lafayette went to the capital, and arrived at the house of his friend La Rochefoucauld, entirely unexpected, on the twenty-eighth of June.

His visit caused great excitement. He went to the Assembly and made a stirring speech in which he said that the violence committed at the Tuileries had roused the indignation of all good citizens. His words were cheered by the more sober deputies, but the Jacobins protested loudly. One of the latter asked how it happened that General Lafayette was allowed to leave his army to come and lecture the Assembly on its duties. The General's speech had some influence in restoring order, but the power of the Jacobins was steadily increasing.

Lafayette then went to the Tuileries, where he saw the royal family. Louis was ready to receive any assurance of help that the General could give him, for the King saw now that his only reliance lay in the constitution he had signed, and felt that might prove a slight support. Marie Antoinette, however, refused to forgive Lafayette for the part he had taken in the early days of revolution, and would have no aid at his hands.

When he left the Tuileries some of his former National Guards followed his carriage with shouts of "Vive Lafayette! Down with the Jacobins!" and planted a liberty pole before his house. This gave Lafayette the idea of appealing to the whole force of the National Guard and urging them to stand by the constitution. He asked permission to speak to them at a review the next day, but the mayor, fearing Lafayette's influence, countermanded the review. Then the General held meetings at his house and did all he could to persuade Guards and citizens to oppose the Jacobins, who, if they had their way, would, in his opinion, ruin the country.

At the end of June he returned to the army. Daily he heard reports of the growing power of his enemies, the Jacobins. Then he resolved to make one more attempt to save the King and the constitution. He received orders to march his troops by a town called La Capelle, which was about twenty miles from Compiegne, one of the King's country residences. His plan was that Louis XVI. should go to the Assembly and declare his intention of passing a few days at Compiegne; there Lafayette's army would meet him, and the King would proclaim that he was ready to send his troops against the enemies of France who had gathered on the frontiers and should reaffirm his loyalty to the constitution. The General thought that if the King would do this it would restore the confidence of the people in their sovereign.

But neither the King nor the nobles who were with him at the Tuileries were attracted by this plan, which meant that Louis would openly declare his hostility toward those emigrant nobles who had gathered on the borders. And when the Jacobins learned that Lafayette had been communicating secretly with the King they used this news as fresh fuel for their fire. So the result of the scheme was only to add to the currents of suspicion and intrigue that were involving Paris in the gathering storm.

The power of the Assembly grew weaker; its authority was more and more openly thwarted; the deputies wanted to stand by the constitution, but it appeared that the country did not care to live under its laws. The government of Paris was now entirely under the control of the Jacobins. They filled the ranks of the National Guards with ruffians in their pay. On July fourteenth the King reviewed soldiers who were secretly ready to tear the crown from his head and was forced to listen to bitter taunts and jibes.

Then, at the end of July, the allied armies of Austria and Prussia, accompanied by a great many French noblemen, crossed the frontier and began their heralded invasion. The general in command, the Duke of Brunswick, issued a proclamation calling on the people of Paris to submit to their king, and threatening all sorts of dire things if they persisted in their rebellion. The proclamation acted like tinder to powder. The invasion united all parties for the moment. If the Duke of Brunswick succeeded, no man who had taken part in the Revolution could think his life or property secure, and France would return to the old feudal despotism, made worse by its dependence on foreign armies.

The people of Paris and of France demanded immediate and vigorous action; the Assembly could not lead them, and the Jacobins seized their chance. Danton and his fellows addressed the crowds in the streets and told them that France would not be safe until the monarchy and the aristocracy had been exterminated. The people heard and believed, and by August first were ready to strike down any men their leaders pointed out to them.

Danton and the Jacobins made their plans rapidly. They filled the floor and the galleries of the Assembly with men whose violent threats kept the deputies constantly in fear of physical force. They taught the people to hate all those who defended the constitution, and chief among the latter Lafayette, whom the Jacobins feared more than any other man in France. So great was their fury against him that Gouverneur Morris wrote to Jefferson at the beginning of August, "I verily believe that if M. de Lafayette were to appear just now in Paris unattended by his army, he would be torn in pieces."

On August tenth the mob, armed with pikes, surrounded the Tuileries. The King looked out on a crowd made up of the most vicious elements of the city. He tried to urge the National Guards to protect him, but they were demoralized by the shouts of the throngs. Finally he decided to take refuge with the National Assembly, and with the Queen and their children succeeded in reaching the Assembly chamber.

The Swiss guards at the Tuileries attempted to make some resistance, but the mob drove them from their posts and killed many of them. The reign of terror spread. Nobles or citizens who had opposed the Jacobins were hunted out and murdered. When the Assembly adjourned the deputies found armed bands at the doors, waiting to kill all those who were known to have supported the constitution.

Meantime the royal family had found the Assembly a poor refuge. A deputy had moved that the King be dethroned and a convention summoned to determine the future government of the country. The measure was instantly carried. Louis XVI. and his family were handed over to officers who took them to the Temple, which then became their prison.

The Jacobins had won the day by force and violence. They formed a government called the "Commune of August 10th," filled it with their own men, drove all respectable soldiers out of the National Guard and placed Jacobin pikemen in their places. All nobles and friends of the King who were found in Paris were thrown into the prisons, which were soon crammed. The Reign of Terror had begun in fact. Only a short time later the prisoners were being tried and sent to the guillotine.

Lafayette heard of the events of August tenth and begged his troops to remain true to the King and the constitution. Then the Commune of Paris sent commissioners to the armies to announce the change of government and to demand allegiance to the Commune. Lafayette met the commissioners at Sedan, heard their statements, and declaring them the agents of a faction that had unlawfully seized on power, ordered them imprisoned.

News of Lafayette's arrest of the commissioners added to the turmoil in Paris. Some Jacobins wanted to have him declared a traitor at once; others, however, feared that his influence with the army might be too great for them to take such a step safely. But troops in the other parts of France had come over to the Commune, and so, on the nineteenth of August the Jacobin leaders felt their power strong enough to compel the Assembly to declare Lafayette a traitor.

Lafayette now had to face a decision. France had declared for the Commune of Paris and overthrown King and constitution. He had three choices. He might accept the rule of the Jacobins and become one of their generals; he might continue to oppose them and probably be arrested by his own soldiers and sent to the guillotine; he might leave the country, seek refuge in some neutral land, and hope that some day he could again be of service to liberty in France. To accept the first course was impossible for him, because he had no confidence in Jacobin rule. To take the second would be useless. Therefore the third course was the one he decided on.

He turned his troops over to other officers, and with a few friends, who, like himself, had been declared traitors because they had supported the constitution, rode away from Sedan and crossed the border into Belgium at the little town of Bouillon. He was now an exile from his own country. The cause of liberty that he had fought so hard for had now become the cause of lawlessness. His dream of France, safe and prosperous under a constitution like that of the young republic across the sea, had come to an end, at least for the time being. He could do nothing but wash his hands of the Reign of Terror that followed on the footsteps of the Revolution he had helped to start.