As her life altered so terribly, as all that she had known and valued perished miserably before her eyes day by day, the thought of Calvert and of his calm steadiness and sincerity became constant with her. She heard of him from time to time from Mr. Morris after his frequent visits to London and through letters to her brother and Lafayette, to whom Calvert wrote periodically, but she had no hope of ever seeing him again, and she suffered in the knowledge. Though he seemed cruel to her in his hardness, she was just enough to confess to herself that she so deserved to suffer. But she had learned so much through suffering that a sick distaste for life’s lessons grew upon her, and she felt that she wanted no more of them unless knowledge should come to her through love. In her changed life there was little to relieve her suffering, but she devoted herself to the old Duchess, who failed visibly day by day, and in that service she could sometimes forget her own unhappiness. She went with the intrepid old lady (who continued to ignore the revolution as much as possible) wherever they could find distraction—to the play and to the houses of their friends still left in Paris, where a little dinner or a game of quinze or whist could still be enjoyed.
’Twas on one of these occasions that, accompanied by Beaufort, as they were returning along the Champs Elysees from Madame de Montmorin’s, where they had spent the evening, they suddenly heard the report of pistols proceeding from an allee by the road-side.