The check which Lafayette had put upon the Austrians on the 11th of June having produced a cessation of hostilities, he wrote and despatched to the Assembly the letter which he had had in contemplation for some time and of which he had spoken to Calvert. This courageous letter—the authenticity of which was fiercely denied in the Assembly—not only did not produce the effect Lafayette so hoped for, but was followed by the outrage of the 20th of June. Who does not know the shameful events of that day?—the invasion of the Tuileries by hordes of ruffians and the insults to helpless royalty?
When Lafayette heard of the uprising of the 20th he determined to go in person to Paris, affirm the authorship of his letter, and urge upon the Assembly the destruction of the Jacobin party. He sent Calvert to Luckner’s head-quarters to ask of the Marechal permission to go to Paris and, placing his troops in safety under the guns of Maubeuge, he departed for the capital, whither he arrived on the 28th. After two days spent in incessant and fruitless efforts with the Assembly and National Guard, in audiences with the King and consultations with friends, he sped back to the army, more thoroughly and bitterly convinced than ever that the revolution which he had led and believed in was now fast approaching anarchy; that the throne was lost and his own brilliant popularity vanished. He took with him to Calvert the news of the sudden death of the old Duchesse d’Azay—she had failed rapidly since hearing of the death of d’Azay, and had passed away painlessly on the morning of Lafayette’s arrival in Paris—the escape of St. Aulaire to Canada, and a letter from Mr. Morris.
“He desired me to give you this,” said Lafayette, gravely, handing the letter to Calvert. “The message is of the greatest importance. We had a long interview. I am at last come to the same opinion on certain subjects as himself,” he said, with a gloomy smile, “and we want your co-operation. He will explain all when he sees you. As for myself, I must say no more,” and he went away, leaving the young man to read his letter alone.