Little Dauphin - George Upton

The Night of Varennes

Soon after the celebration of the new regime, the Hydra of the Revolution, which had been for a short time trodden into the dust, again lifted its poisonous head. Those evil geniuses of France, Robespierre, Marat, and Danton, vied with one another in their efforts to disturb the peace of the country which had been secured with such difficulty, and by calumnies against the King to sow the seeds of hatred and distrust of him among the people.

They succeeded only too well. The National Assembly issued an unprecedented order to the effect that the King should not absent himself from Paris for more than twenty-four hours; and if he should leave the kingdom, and not return at the request of the Assembly, he should be deposed.

Notwithstanding this order, the King determined on a journey to St. Cloud. At eleven o'clock in the morning he attempted to start, but his carriage was immediately surrounded by a dense throng of people. A troop of mutinous soldiers locked the doors of the palace, and with threats and shouts levelled their bayonets at the breasts of the horses. All Lafayette's efforts to appease the tumult were in vain, and after two hours of struggle and dispute, during which the King was forced to bear the grossest insults and abuse, he was obliged to return to his apartments.

The little Dauphin, who had been eagerly looking forward to the journey and making a thousand plans for his sojourn in St. Cloud, was much grieved over this failure of his hopes. To divert his mind from the disappointment, after he had returned to his room the Abbe Daveaux gave him a volume of The Children's Friend, by Berquin, to look at. The Prince opened it at random, and cried in astonishment: Just see, M. Abbe! what a curious thing! Look at this title, 'The Little Captive' I How strange!"

The child had foretold only too well in applying the name of little captive to himself. He, as well as his parents, was in fact a prisoner of the people and the National Assembly, and their numerous jailers behaved so rudely and disrespectfully to them that the situation soon became unbearable. The unvarying kindness and patience of the King served only to multiply the complaints and calumnies of his enemies. Even the Queen could no longer appear at her window without exposing herself to insults and invectives. At last the yoke became so heavy that nothing remained but to escape, or break it by force. The kindly heart of the King shrank from the latter course, which could not be accomplished without bloodshed, so the necessary preparations were made for flight—the only recourse left him. It was determined to seek a refuge in some frontier town and from there to carry on negotiations with the arrogant Assembly.

The King was not entirely without loyal friends. By means of a secret correspondence, an arrangement was made with the Marquis de Bouille, a lieutenant-general at the head of an important army corps. The troops in Champagne, Alsace, and Lorraine were placed under his command, and he also guarded the frontier from Switzerland to the Moselle and the Sambre. It was arranged between him and the King that the latter should go to Montmedy, a strong post situated conveniently near the frontier. The Marquis proposed, in order to lessen the danger, that the party should separate, the Queen with the Dauphin going first; but the King answered: If we are to be saved, it must be together or not at all."

On the 29th of April, 1791, the King wrote to M. Bouille to procure a coach for the journey, large enough to accommodate himself and his entire family; but the general tried to persuade him to take, instead, two small, light English travelling-carriages, such as were used at that time, which would not attract attention. The King unfortunately would not listen to this suggestion, a seemingly trivial circumstance, which brought about disastrous results. Before he left Paris, he wished to relieve the Marquis from any responsibility in the matter, and sent him therefore a written order to station troops along the road from Chalons to Montmedy, for the purpose of guarding the safety of the persons of the King and his family.

Their departure was fixed for the night of June nineteenth, but was deferred at the last moment by an unfortunate occurrence. One of the Queen's waiting-women, who, it was feared, might betray the plan if she had the least suspicion of it, was dismissed from her service that very day, so the journey was postponed for twenty-four hours. We shall soon see how this fact also contributed to the failure of the ill-fated undertaking.

Haste was imperative. The plan had already begun to excite suspicion; for it had become necessary to take several persons into the secret, who did not guard it with proper care. Even the lower domestics in the Tuileries whispered of it among themselves, and the rumor, spreading abroad, excited the populace to such a degree that the police were formally notified. This report naturally resulted in the maintenance of a still stricter surveillance over the palace. The royal family was constantly watched in the most offensive way; the people even became so bold as to lock the King and Queen in their own apartments at night; and mattresses were placed before the doors for the guards to sleep on, so that no one could leave the rooms without stepping over the bodies of their jailers. This difficulty, however, had been foreseen, and an effort made to surmount it. Some months before this, a door had been so skilfully cut in the woodwork of the chamber occupied by the King's sister, Madame Elisabeth, that only the closest scrutiny could discover it. This door opened on a small staircase, which led to a vaulted passage separating this room from that of the Queen. A similar door had been made in the royal apartment, and both fitted with keys which turned so easily they could be opened instantly, without noise or delay. Finally, the precaution had been taken to conceal them by means of large cupboards or presses, that opened on both sides and hid the secret doors without preventing passage through them. In this way one room could be easily reached from the other, and by means of the passage, access gained to the interior of the palace, from whence it would be easy to reach the open air and freedom.

On the twentieth of June, at ten o'clock in the morning, the little Dauphin was working in his garden at the end of the Tuileries; at eleven, the Queen went to hear mass with her attendants, and on her return from the chapel ordered her carriage to be in readiness at five in the afternoon. The day passed as usual; but the elder sister of the Dauphin noticed that her parents seemed anxious and agitated, and confided this observation to her brother. At five o'clock the Queen took a little drive with her children, and seized this opportunity to impress upon them that they must not be alarmed at anything that might occur in the course of the evening or night. The children were clever enough to perceive their mother's meaning, and the little Prince assured her she might be quite easy with regard to him.

After the King and his family had eaten their evening meal at the usual hour, all retired to their apartments. The Dauphin was put to bed at nine o'clock, the Princess, his sister, at ten; the Queen retired at half-past ten, and the King a few moments later. The servants were given the seemingly necessary orders for the following morning; the doors were locked, the sentries took their usual precautions, and at Madame Elisabeth's door the guard was doubled. But scarcely had the serving-people withdrawn, when the King, the Queen, and Madame Elisabeth carefully arose, dressed themselves quickly, and in a few moments were ready for the journey. The Queen went into her daughter's room to awaken her and her waiting-woman, Madame Brunier. She acquainted the latter with the plan for escape, informed her that she and Madame de Neuville had been chosen to accompany them, and requested her finally to dress the Princess as quickly as possible and bring her into the Dauphin's chamber. The clothes had been already prepared. The dress for the little Princess was of cheap brown stuff and very simply made, in order that the rank of the fugitive might not be suspected, while the Dauphin was dressed as a girl, and looked most charming in his new costume. But, aroused from his first sleep at eleven o'clock at night, he could not understand what was going on about him, and fell asleep again immediately. His sister awoke him once more, and whispered:

"Charles, Charles! what do you think of all this?"

To which he replied sleepily, and with half-closed eyes, "I think it is a comedy we are going to act, because we are dressed up so strangely."

At the time fixed for departure, both children were taken out into the passage, where they were joined a moment later by the Queen. She took them by the hand and led the way, Madame de Neuville, Madame Brunier, and Madame de Tourzel, the Dauphin's governess, following. They descended a staircase, hurried through several dark corridors to a door in the farthest corner of the courtyard, which had been left unguarded, and near which a hackney-coach was standing. It had been agreed they should not all leave the palace together, for fear of attracting the attention of the sentries, so the Queen lifted her children into the coach, entrusted them to the care of Madame de Tourzel, and returned to the palace. The driver was Count Axel Fersen—a Swedish gentleman who, next to M. de Bouille, enjoyed the highest favor at court. He drove out of the courtyard, took a roundabout way through the quarter to elude observation, and then came back to the Petit Carrousel, where he was to wait for the rest of the party. While they stood there, Lafayette's carriage drove by, surrounded by torch bearers; he was on his way to the Tuileries, but recognized no one and observed nothing; for that matter, the Dauphin was in the bottom of the coach, hiding under his governess's skirt.

An hour passed, but no one came. Finally Madame Elisabeth arrived, and not long after her the King appeared. The Queen was only a short distance behind him, but she caught sight of Lafayette's carriage again approaching, and, afraid of being discovered, hurried down one of the narrow streets near by. Confused by the labyrinth of alleys, she lost her way, and dared not ask it of anyone so near the palace. Thus another precious half-hour was lost before she found the coach again. At last they started, and reached the new Barrier of the suburb St. Martin, without further mishap, where they found the large travelling-coach awaiting them, drawn by five strong horses, although it was fully two hours past the time agreed on.

It was the shortest night of the year, and the first faint light of dawn was already visible in the sky, as, shortly after two o'clock, the carriage containing the royal family rattled up. The change to the waiting travelling-coach was made without delay, and Count Fersen swung himself onto the box beside his coachman, Balthasar Sapel.

"Drive on, quickly!" he ordered. "Make haste!" They started forward. Their roles were distributed as follows: Madame de Tourzel was to appear as the Baroness von Korff; the Princess and the Dauphin as her daughters Amalie and Algan; the Queen passed as the children's governess, Madame Rochet; Madame Elisabeth personated the waiting-woman called Rosalie; the King took the part of valet-de-chambre under the name of Durand; and three officers of the bodyguard who accompanied them, Messieurs de Maldent, de Moustier, and de Valory, passed for servants and couriers. All were suitably dressed.

Count Fersen, on the coachman's box in front, constantly cracked the whip and urged the driver on. Faster! faster! Balthasar!" he called to him. "Do not spare the horses—they will have time enough to rest when we are safe with the regiment." The horses almost flew, but their furious speed seemed slow to the anxious impatience of the Count, who realized but too well the dangers of the enterprise. Bondy was reached in half an hour, and here, through the forethought of M. de Valory, six fresh horses were waiting for them, while he himself rode on in advance to Claye to take the same precaution there. At Bondy, Count Fersen took leave of them with reluctance, and returned to Paris, to escape as soon as possible to Belgium.

At Claye the travellers found the waiting-maids, Brunier and de Neuville, who had left Paris a little before them in a postchaise. It was important to continue their journey without delay, but the new travelling-coach already needed some repairs, and again invaluable time was lost. At the village of Etoges, between Montmirail and Chalons, they had an anxious moment, fearing themselves recognized. The King, with his usual carelessness, allowed himself to be seen too often. He descended from the coach more than once, walked up one or two of the long hills with the children, and even talked with some peasants they met. At Chalons, where they arrived about noon, they were indeed recognized by the postmaster and some other persons who had seen the King; but they were shrewd and loyal, and did all in their power to aid the fugitives, harnessing the horses themselves and urging the postilions to depart. The travellers were amply supplied with provisions, and nowhere was a stop made for meals. At the bridge in Sommevesle, the first post-station after Chalons, they should have found a detachment of hussars to act as escort on the road to Montmedy; but when they reached there at six o'clock, not a hussar was to be seen. It was discovered afterward that six hours earlier the troops had been at their post, according to orders; but, having already waited some hours, a longer stay was deemed imprudent, owing to the suspicious attitude of the people. M. de Choiseul, the commander of the hussars, fearful of arousing fresh disturbances in Ste. Menehould, had then given orders to avoid that town in their retreat, and make their way by cross-roads; and hence the travellers missed them altogether. Again the unfortunate consequences of these delays were felt; but even worse results were to follow. At Ste. Menehould an escort of the King's dragoons should have been waiting; but their leader, Captain d'Andoins, had been forced to go to the town hall to account for the presence of his troops, which had alarmed the now excited populace, and was held there virtually a prisoner, while his troopers unsaddled their horses and dispersed.

It was here that the King, uneasy over the failure of their plans, and putting his head out of the coach window, was recognized by the postmaster Drouet. The sight of the King struck the fellow with amazement; he compared the head of the traveller with that of the King stamped on an assignat (the paper money used at that time), and his malignant expression betrayed his thoughts. The Queen caught his evil smile and felt her heart sink; but they passed on without hindrance, and she gradually forgot her fears. The traitor Drouet, however, lost no time in profiting by his discovery. He communicated it at once to the town council, and the whole village was in commotion. At that moment a special messenger arrived from Chalons, confirming the news of the King's escape. It was resolved that Drouet, accompanied by a former-dragoon of the Queen's regiment, should start instantly in pursuit of the fugitives, and, in case he succeeded in overtaking them, place them under arrest. In hot haste they mounted, and set off at furious speed in the direction taken by the royal party.

Meanwhile M. de Damas, with a company of dragoons, had arrived at Clermont the previous afternoon, at five o'clock, with orders to wait there for the King, and as soon as he had passed to follow him along the road to Varennes. They remained at their post till nightfall, when Damas ordered his troopers' horses to be unsaddled and allowed the men to disperse. Half an hour later the coach arrived, and continued on its way without stopping. M. de Damas, who saw it pass, sent an officer to summon the dragoons in haste from their quarters.

The town was soon in great excitement; the council was disturbed; discussions grew more and more heated. When Damas finally gave the signal to mount, the troopers refused to obey, and it was with the greatest difficulty he persuaded them to follow him—another link in the chain of fatalities!

The King's coach had scarcely left Clermont when Drouet himself arrived, obtained a fresh mount, and set off again in hot pursuit. One of the King's bodyguard was riding in advance of the coach as courier, another behind it as rear guard. Beside these, Damas, when he saw Drouet ride off, had sent one of his officers to overtake and stop him. This man had almost succeeded in his attempt, when, favored by the darkness, the traitor turned off into by-ways known only to himself, and, thoroughly familiar with the country, reached Varennes shortly after eleven o'clock, fully an hour before the King and his family arrived there.

Varennes was a secluded little village and had no post-house, but a place in the outskirts of the town, where he might obtain a change of horses, had been so carefully described to the King that he had no difficulty in finding it. Here they stopped, expecting to get the horses, but nothing was to be seen of them. In vain the King knocked on the door; no one answered. As a matter of fact, the plan had been changed at the last moment, owing to the disturbances existing all over the country, and the horses had been sent to an inn on the other side of the river; but, through more misunderstandings and errors, someone had neglected to notify the King. Lights were still visible in the house, and the Queen herself alighted from the coach and tried to obtain some response from the inmates; but her hope of obtaining information by some chance was not realized, and half an hour was lost. Drouet knew how to make the most of the time. When at last the travellers were forced to abandon the attempt and re-enter the coach, the postilions refused to go any farther, pretending that their horses were too exhausted to continue the journey. Just then the courier returned, bringing with him a man in a dressing-gown and with a nightcap on his head. As he approached the royal couple they demanded impatiently: "Where are our horses, fellow? Tell us at once!"

"Your horses!" he shouted, flinging himself almost inside the vehicle. "That I cannot say; but I know another secret I will not tell you."

"Do you know Frau von Korff?" asked Madame de Tourzel.

"No," said he, "but I know something better than that"; and with these words he disappeared again. At the Queen's entreaties, the postilions finally consented to drive the coach at least through the town. The travellers now believed themselves safe; they attributed this incident, like the other mishaps of their journey, to some error or miscalculation, and, full of hope; saw themselves already under the protection of Bouille's loyal troops. But alas! matters were soon to assume a different aspect.

Rightly to understand what follows, it should be explained that Varennes is built on the side of a hill, and consists of an upper and lower town connected by a bridge across the Aire, which flows between. At that time the town was approached from Clermont, not as now by way of a fine square, but through a narrow street ending in an arched passageway, guarded by a heavy gate which could be closed at will. This archway was built under a tower, which is still standing; on one side was a church, long since destroyed, and on the other a small inn called the Bras d' Or, kept by the Le Blanc family. The gateway was used as entrance to the town in time of peace, and the inn served as a sort of watch-house. Beyond the passage was the bridge, and it was here that Drouet had placed the ambuscade which was to prevent the King's farther progress. The host of the Golden Arm tavern was also an officer of the National Guard. Aroused by Drouet, he ran to call up the mayor of the town, M. Sance; then he and his brother armed themselves, and, summoning several of the National Guard, stationed themselves before the entrance to the archway. Sance meanwhile had hastened to alarm the town, and sent out messengers to the nearest villages. His son Georges, a captain of grenadiers, took command of the guard, and while his other children were running through the town at their father's command, shouting Fire! Fire!" M. Drouet, accompanied by a notary called Regnier and some of the townspeople, brought up a loaded wagon, which they placed diagonally across the bridge to obstruct its passage. All the preparations were complete, when the expected vehicle was heard approaching. It passed through the upper town without interruption, the houses apparently all dark and silent, and came rapidly on, until, just as it reached the dark archway under the tower, the horses were brought to a sudden standstill by the barricade. At the same instant there sounded from all sides the cry, "Halt, there! Haiti"—a cry issuing from the rough throats of ten armed men, who now emerged from the darkness. They threw themselves upon the horses, seized the postilions, sprang to both doors of the coach, and harshly demanded of the travellers who they were.

"Frau von Korff, with her family!" came the answer.

"That may be," returned a voice, "but you will have to prove it!"

At the first shout and the first gleam of weapons, the officers of the bodyguard had leaped from their places with their hands on their concealed knives, ready at a signal from the King to make use of them. But Louis the Sixteenth nobly forbade them to use force, and the hostile musket barrels remained pointing toward the coach. Drouet seized a light, held it up to the King's face, and, without calling him by name, ordered him to alight and show his passport to the mayor. The King, still clinging to the hope that he had not been recognized, descended from the coach, his family following him.

As the party passed up the street, they saw some hussars arriving; it was M. de Choiseul's force, which should have waited at the bridge in Sommevesle. The National Guard, whose numbers had increased, allowed them to pass, but were ready nevertheless to resist any attempt at rescue. By this time the malicious activity of Drouet had produced its results. The alarm bell was rung, the drums beat, all Varennes was astir. Thousands of peasants came flocking in from neighboring towns, and the villages through which the King had passed were thrown into wild excitement by the news of his flight.

The mayor's house, whither the royal family was conducted, contained two rooms on the upper floor, reached by a spiral staircase. One of them over-looked the street, the other the garden. The King was lodged in the back room, but, as there was a connecting door between, he could see all that passed in the street. A dense throng of people had gathered there, and increased every moment. Sance at first pretended not to recognize his illustrious guests, and, treating them as ordinary travellers, explained that the horses could go no farther, and besought them to remain and rest until fresh relays could be obtained. But this mask of hypocrisy was soon thrown aside, and he as well as Drouet began to overwhelm the King with cruel taunts and bitter invectives. They accused him directly of intending to escape to foreign lands for the purpose of joining and assisting in an invasion of France by her enemies. In vain the King attempted to deny his rank and claim the liberty accorded to all travellers. They declared flatly that he and his family were recognized, and continued their jeers and abuse.

"Very well, then," suddenly said the Queen, with dignity she had not hitherto spoken a word—"since you recognize him as your King, then see that you treat him as such!"

These words induced the King to resume his natural frankness of manner, which he had with difficulty concealed. He explained freely the motives which had prompted him to take this journey; spoke of his earnest desire to learn the real needs of the people whose welfare was dear to him; resolutely denied the false report that he wished to escape from France and make his home in a foreign land, and even offered to entrust himself to the National Guard of Varennes, and let them accompany him to Montmedy or any other place in the kingdom where his personal freedom might be assured.

The naturally warm and candid eloquence of the King did not fail in its effect. Sance was almost ready to give way, and if it had depended only on him they might have been allowed to proceed. But Drouet had no idea of allowing his prey to escape him now; he became still more violent, and declared that his own head might answer for it if the King were not sent back to Paris. At this moment, too, an incident occurred in the street which decided the fate of the royal fugitives. A conflict arose between the officers who were on the King's side and the National Guard. M. de Goguelat crowded his horse against the leader of the Guard and drew his sword; the Major discharged his pistol at Goguelat and wounded him in the shoulder, causing his horse to rear and throw him. M. de Choiseul's hussars looked on, but made no motion to interfere, and it was evident that they could no longer be depended on. All hope was now lost; the King's only chance lay in the possible arrival of Bouille and his soldiers, but Bouille did not appear. Instead, fresh reenforcements of the National Guard came pouring in from all sides to assist their comrades, and the ever increasing throngs overflowed the little town—a town destined from this night to claim a melancholy place in history.

Between six and seven o'clock in the morning, two messengers arrived from the National Assembly, M. de Romeuf, Lafayette's aide-de-camp, and Bayon, an officer of the National Guard in Paris. They brought a decree of the Assembly, ordering the King to be taken back to his capital wherever he might be found. Bayon entered alone. Fatigue and excitement had given a still darker cast to his naturally gloomy expression. With tangled hair and disordered attire, he approached the King, and stammered confusedly: "Sire, you are aware . . . all Paris is in arms . . . our wives and children even now perhaps are being massacred . . . you will not go any farther away. . . . Sire, the welfare of the country . . . yes, Sire . . . our wives and children . . ."

At these words, the Queen with a sudden movement seized his hands and, pointing to the sleeping children on the bed, exclaimed:

"Sir, am I not also a mother!"

"What is your business here?" demanded the King.

"Sire, a decree of the Assembly."

"Where is it?"

"My comrade has it."

With these words, he opened the door and disclosed M. de Romeuf, who, overcome with emotion, was leaning against a window in the front room. His face was wet with tears. He approached with downcast eyes, holding out a paper, which the King took from him and glanced through rapidly.

"Now," he said, "there is no longer a King in France!"

The children had awakened by this time, and the little Dauphin became the object of special interest. Some admired his beauty, and others asked him questions about his journey and the Tuileries, to which the sleepy child scarcely responded, but only gazed at his mother.

"Ah, Charles," his sister whispered to him, "you were mistaken, this is no comedy!"

"I knew that long ago!" returned the poor child, shrugging his shoulders.

Meanwhile, the crowd, excited almost to frenzy by Drouet, were demanding the King's departure, and their shouts and cries came surging upward from the street. Some of the most violent even tried to break into the house and bring him out by force, while above all the tumult arose a scream of

"Drag him out! Drag him into his coach! We will have him!"

The King attempted to appease them by appearing at the window, seeking to gain time, in the faint hope that any moment might bring Bouille and rescue. As a last resort, one of the waiting-women declared she was violently ill, and the King and Queen refused to desert her. But all their efforts were of no avail, and the King realized at last that further resistance was hopeless. He requested to be left alone with his family for a moment, and, after a brief and sorrowful consultation, he yielded and announced himself ready to depart. The royal mother took her son in her arms and carried him herself to the coach. It was half-past seven when they started on their return journey—alas! just a quarter of an hour too early!

Only a few moments after they had gone, a body of troops appeared on the heights overlooking Varennes in the direction of Verdun. It was the son of M. de Bouille with the cavalry. He tried to cross the river by a ford, the bridge being defended, but was unable to accomplish it, and thus the last chance of saving the King was lost. General Bouille arrived soon after at the head of his Royal German Regiment, in full gallop, only to learn when he reached Mouza that the King had left Varennes and that he was too late. Broken-hearted, he turned his horse's head, and with his faithful and now dejected troops began his retreat to the frontier.

The royal party was already far from Varennes. Surrounded by five or six thousand infuriated peasants, the King was a prisoner in the same vehicle that was to have borne him to safety and freedom. It was only allowed to proceed at a foot-pace, and a whole hour was consumed in reaching Clermont. This town, like all the others through which they passed, was filled to overflowing. Everywhere the shops were closed, the people beside themselves with excitement, and hundreds of frantic voices yelled denunciations against the King, his nobles, and his officers.

At three in the afternoon Ste. Menehould was reached, and the mayor, Furci, a brave and honest man, invited the Queen to partake of some refreshment in the town hall. The weary travellers would gladly have remained here some hours to rest, for the little Prince, exhausted by his seven-hours' journey in the heat and dust, was suffering from an attack of fever; but Bayon, the cruel commander of this sad expedition, refused to gratify their desire, and the unfortunate royal family were obliged to continue their journey. Here the National Guard of Varennes and Clermont left them, and their place was taken by the Guard of Ste. Menehould, who were relieved in their turn by those of the next town.

One dreadful occurrence struck terror to the hearts of the poor fugitives, and gave them a chill foreboding of the horrors in store for them. On a hillside near the village of Han, a brave nobleman, the Marquis de Dampierre, rode up to greet the King as he passed. Louis conversed with him for some moments, and, as they parted with mutual good wishes, M. de Dampierre bowed low and reverently kissed the hand of his unhappy sovereign. This token of respect was his death-warrant, for scarcely had the loyal noble left the coach door when savage voices shouted to him to halt, and as he unsuspectingly obeyed, the mob fell upon him in a fury, tore him from his horse, and slaughtered him without pity before the eyes of the royal family. His head was cut off and carried on the end of a spear for some distance in front of their coach, as a trophy.

In the midst of such atrocities, it is gratifying to hear of one instance which proves there were still pure and noble hearts even in those frightful times.

Young Cazotte was the commander of the National Guard in the village of, Piercy, and it was his duty to receive the King at Epernay, where a stop was to be made at the Hotel Rohan. Cazotte's men guarded the entrance to this palace, and he exacted a solemn promise from them to allow no one but the authorities to enter. Scarcely were these measures taken when the King's coach arrived, almost borne along by the waves of people. The prisoners alighted amid a storm of curses, jeers, and insults, directed especially against the Queen.

"Ignore this madness, madame; God is over all!" said Cazotte to her in German.

A grateful glance was her only answer as she stepped forward, followed by her daughter, Madame Elisabeth, and Madame de Tourzel, the crowd pressing close behind them. The little Dauphin was carried by one of the soldiers. He was crying and calling for his mother, who was out of sight. Cazotte took him in his arms and tried to soothe him, but his tears did not cease to flow until he was carried into the room where the Queen had been taken. Cazotte's delicate solicitude for the royal family did not end even here; regardless of what the consequences might be, he found a seamstress to repair their clothing, which had been torn and trampled on by the mob, furnished them with refreshments and such conveniences as he was able to obtain, and did all in his power to add to their comfort till their departure put an end to his unselfish and kindly service.

Between Epernay and Dormans they met the commission sent out by the National Assembly, consisting of Barnave, Petion, and the Marquis de Latour-Maubourg. They took their places in the coach, but Petion and Latour-Maubourg only remained inside a short time, leaving Barnave alone with the travellers. Barnave was one of the minor deputies of the people, who amid all the tumult and violence of the Assembly had preserved his nobility and tenderness of heart. He felt sincere pity for the unfortunate royal family, and, no longer restrained by the presence of his colleague, Petion, freely offered his sympathy. The Queen was touched by his considerate behavior, and joined in the conversation. Barnave, on the other hand, to whom the Queen had been painted in the most odious colors, was astonished to find her so different from what he had expected, and soon began to honor and respect those he had been taught to hate and despise. When the conversation ceased after a time, he took the little Prince on his knee and talked with the child, whose quick and lively, yet gentle, answers impressed him deeply.

"Are you not sorry to go back to Paris?" he asked.

"Oh, I am happy everywhere," answered the Dauphin, as long as I have my father and mamma with me, and my aunt, my sister, and Madame de Tourzel, too."

"Ah, sir," said the King to Barnave, "this is indeed a sad journey for me and for my children!"

The mournful tone in which these words were spoken moved the Dauphin deeply, and he took his father's hand and kissed it. The King took him in his arms and pressed him to his heart.

"Do not be unhappy, dear papa," said the child, his eyes full of tears. "Some other time we will have a pleasanter journey!"

At every change of post-horses, the other commissioners came up to see what was passing inside the coach. Surprised to find the heir to the throne generally seated on Barnave's lap, Petion finally remarked in a spiteful tone, loud enough to be heard by the travellers:

"You see, Latour-Maubourg, Barnave is decidedly the prop of future royalty!"

Unhappy Barnave! He was forced ere long to atone with his life for his newly won devotion to the royal house and perish on the guillotine!

The remainder of the journey passed without further incident. Sullen crowds gathered everywhere to watch the King pass, but no one spoke or showed any sign of goodwill or favor toward him. At Ferte-sous-Jouarre, however, the royal family found one hearty welcome from the Regnards, at whose house they dined. Although Madame Regnard wore an apron to avoid recognition, Marie Antoinette guessed her position at once, and approached her, saying:

"You are the lady of the house, are you not?"

"I was that only until your Majesty entered it," answered Madame Regnard; a reply which pleased the Queen and did full honor to the gracious mistress of the house. When they were leaving, the Queen said to the Dauphin:

"My son, thank the lady for her kindness, and tell her we shall never forget it."

The little Prince immediately obeyed. "Mamma thanks you for your attention," said the child, "and I—I love you very much because you have given her pleasure."

When the coach arrived at Meaux a great tumult arose; a priest nearly lost his life as the poor Marquis had done, but Barnave rescued him, calling out to the people in thundering tones:

"Frenchmen, would you become a pack of assassins?" Whereupon Petion turned to Latour-Maubourg and remarked with a sneer:

"It appears that our colleague's mission is not only to protect royalty, but also the clergy!"

After Barnave's humane action, the Dauphin willingly seated himself again on his knee and talked to him until they reached Bossuet. At eleven o'clock that evening, after his colleagues were asleep, Barnave was summoned to the King's chamber, where he had a long conference with the royal couple in regard to their situation.

"Evidently," said the Queen, at the end of it, "we have been deceived as to the real state of public feeling in France."

They thanked Barnave warmly for his counsel, and it was agreed that he should meet them secretly in the Tuileries. From this time Barnave inwardly swore allegiance to the throne, and kept his vow faithfully to the end.

On the twenty-fifth of June, at seven in the evening, the royal party arrived in Paris and entered the Tuileries, before the gates of which a vast throng had assembled, drunk with wine and fury and with difficulty restrained from violence by the National Guard. M. Hue lifted the little Dauphin from the coach and carried him into his own apartment, where he was soon in bed. The child was restless, however, and his sleep very uneasy. In the morning when he awoke, he said to his tutor, in a voice loud enough to be heard distinctly by the guards stationed in the room:

"Oh, M. Hue, I have had such a horrible dream! I thought there were wolves and tigers and all kinds of wild beasts around me all night long, waiting to tear me to pieces!"

M. Hue merely shrugged his shoulders, and made no reply. The guards looked at each other in astonishment, but no one ventured to reprove the little Prince for his prophetic dream.