“Let us resume. You ask two questions: 1st. Is it possible or useful to wait? No; by the explanation of our position which I gave at the beginning of this letter, I have sufficiently proved the impossibility.... As to the usefulness, it could only be useful on the supposition that we could count on a new legislative body.... 2d. Admitting the necessity of acting promptly, are we sure of means to escape; of a place to retreat to, and of having a party strong enough to maintain itself for two months by its own resources? I have answered this question several times. It is more than probable that the king, once escaped from here, and in a place of safety, will have, and will very soon find, a very strong party. The means of escape depend on a flight the most immediate and the most secret. There are only four persons who are acquainted with our secret; and those whom we mean to take with us will not know it till the very moment. None of our own people will attend us; and at a distance of only thirty or thirty-five leagues we shall find some troops to protect our march, but not enough to cause us to be recognized till we reach the place of our destination.
“....I can easily conceive the repugnance which, on political grounds, the emperor would feel to allowing his troops to enter France.... But if their movement is solicited by his brother-in-law, his ally, whose life, existence, and honor are in danger, I conceive the case is very different; and as to Brabant, that province will never be quiet till this country is brought back to a different state. It is, then, for himself also that my brother will be working in giving us this assistance, which is so much the more valuable to us, that his troops will serve as an example to ours, and will even be able to restrain them.
“And it is with this view that the person of whom I spoke to you in my letter in cipher demands their employment for a time ... We can not delay longer than the end of this month. By that time I hope we shall have a decisive answer from Spain. But till the very instant of our departure we must do everything that is required of us, and even appear to go to meet them. It is one way, perhaps the only one, to lull the mob to sleep and to save our lives.”
Plans for the Escape of the Royal Family.—Dangers of Discovery.— Resolution of the Queen.—The Royal Family leave the Palace.—They are recognized at Ste. Menehould.—Are arrested at Varennes.—Tumult in the City, and in the Assembly.—The King and Queen are brought back to Paris.