Calvert of Strathore eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 353 pages of information about Calvert of Strathore.
nobles had swept many of them out of France to Turin, to Frankfort, to Metz, to Coblentz, and to London.  Many of those salons which Mr. Morris and Calvert had frequented were already closed, hostesses and guests alike in exile and poverty.  Alarm succeeded alarm in Paris until, with the ill-starred feast to the Regiment of Flanders and the march on Versailles, alarm rose to panic.  The incredible folly and stupidity which precipitated these events aroused Mr. Morris’s contempt and indignation to the utmost pitch.

“What malignant devil is it, Ned,” he fairly groaned, as he and Calvert sat over their wine one evening after dinner at the Legation, “that urges their unfortunate Majesties on to their destruction?  What could have been more ill-advised, nay, more fatal in these starvation times, than the banquet to the Flanders Regiment?  And the presence at it of their Majesties!  Oh, Luxembourg must have been stricken mad to have urged them to go thither!  And once there, who or what could have prevented that tipsy royalist enthusiasm, the wild burst of sympathy, the trampling of the tri-color cockade?  They say the Queen moved among the half-crazed soldiers shining and beautiful as a star, boy.  I had the whole scene from Maupas, a cousin of Madame de Flahaut, who is in the Body Guard.  What wonder that Paris raged to remove the suborned Regiment of Flanders!  And, if only the King had remained firm and kept it at Versailles, this other horror of the 5th and 6th of October would never have happened.  But what can you expect from such a monarch?  As I wrote President Washington this afternoon, ’If the reigning prince were not the small-beer character he is, there can be but little doubt that, watching events and making a tolerable use of them, he would regain his authority; but what will you have from a creature who, situated as he is, eats and drinks, sleeps well and laughs, and is as merry a grig as lives?  There is, besides, no possibility of serving him, for, at the slightest show of opposition, he gives up everything and every person.’  And yet I would like to attempt it, if only to thwart those rampant, feather-brained philosophers who are hurrying France to her doom.”

“It is Lafayette I would like to serve,” said Calvert, moodily.  “D’Azay and I were with him at the Hotel de Ville for the greater part of the day of the 5th of October.  He was no longer master of himself or of those he commanded, and I could scarce believe that this harried, brow-beaten, menaced leader of the Milice was the alert and intrepid soldier I had served under before Yorktown.”

“Ah, Ned, there is a man whom this revolution has spoiled and will spoil even more!  Another lost reputation, I fear.  Truly a dreadful situation to find one’s self in.  Marched by compulsion, guarded by his own troops, who suspect and threaten him!  Obliged to do what he abhors, or suffer an ignominious death, with the certainty that the sacrifice of his own life will not prevent the mischief!  And he has but himself to thank—­the dreadful events of the 5th and 6th of October were, as far as concerned Lafayette, but the natural consequences of his former policy.  Did I not warn him long ago of the madness of trimming between the court and popular party, of the danger of a vast, undisciplined body of troops?”

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Calvert of Strathore from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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