apprised of his situation. From the Assembly,
at a later hour in the evening, he claimed the credit
of having organized the riot. But Louis would
not condescend to pretend to believe him. “It
was extraordinary,” he replied, “that
Petion should not have earlier known what had lasted
so long.” Even he could not but be for
a moment abashed at the king’s unwonted expression
of indignation. But he soon recovered himself,
and with unequaled impudence turned and thanked the
crowd for the moderation and dignity with which they
had exercised the right of petition, and bid them
“finish the day in similar conformity with the
law, and retire to their homes.” They obeyed.
The interference of the deputies had convinced their
leaders that they could not succeed in their purpose
now. Santerre, whose softer mood, such as it
had been, had soon passed away, muttered with a deep
oath that they had missed their blow, but must try
it again hereafter. For the present he led off
his brigands; the palace and gardens were restored
to quiet, though the traces of the assault to which
they had been exposed could not easily be effaced;
and Louis and his family were left in tranquillity
to thank God for their escape, but to forebode also
that similar trials were in store for them, all of
which, it was not likely, would have so innocent a
Feelings of Marie Antoinette.—Different Plans are formed for her Escape.
—She hopes for Aid from Austria and Prussia.—La Fayette comes to Paris.
—His Mismanagement.—An Attempt is made to assassinate the Queen.—The
Motion of Bishop Lamourette.—The Feast of the Federation.—La Fayette
proposes a Plan for the King’s Escape.—Bertrand proposes Another.—Both
are rejected by the Queen.
We can do little more than guess at the feelings of
Marie Antoinette after such a day of horrors.
She could scarcely venture to write a letter, lest
it should fall into hands for which it was not intended,
and be misinterpreted so as to be mischievous to herself
and to her correspondents. And two brief notes—one
on the 4th of July to Mercy, and one written a day
or two later to the Landgravine of Hesse-Darmstadt—are
all that, so far as we know, proceeded from her pen
in the sad period between the two attacks on the palace.
Brief as they are, they are characteristic as showing
her unshaken resolution to perform her duty to her
family, and proving at the same time how absolutely
free she was from any delusion as to the certain event
of the struggle in which she was engaged. No
courage was ever more entirely founded on high and
virtuous principle, for no one was ever less sustained
by hope. To Mercy she says:
“July 4th, 1792.