The Queen’s consent having been obtained, Calvert set out upon his journey to the frontier the next day. He would have carried a lighter heart had he felt better assured of the good faith of the King and Queen. Louis had given his consent readily enough and had approved heartily of the plan, for it had ever been against his real wishes to call in the aid of the allies, but Calvert knew too well how little he dared rely on the King’s firmness or courage. As for the Queen, he could only hope that the continued representations of Beaufort, Favernay, and others about her Majesty cognizant of the enterprise and the confidence she had expressed in himself, would confirm her in her resolution to help carry the undertaking through to a successful termination.
Mr. Calvert first made his way with all possible expedition back to Maubeuge, where he reported to Lafayette the result of his interview with their Majesties and received from him letters to certain officers who were to be taken into the enterprise and whose commands were to be won over if possible.
“Her Majesty can surely no longer doubt my good faith,” said Lafayette, bitterly, to Calvert. “Success, death, or flight is all that is left to me now.”
With these letters Calvert proceeded on his way to Namur, Givet, and Treves, where different detachments of Lafayette’s troops were garrisoned. He was made welcome at every mess-table, and his scheme was received with such enthusiasm that it seemed almost an unnecessary precaution to cross the frontier and seek a possible asylum for the Royal Family in case the great plan failed. But the very enthusiasm of some of these young officers caused Calvert to fear for the success of the enterprise. So loud-tongued were they in their loyalty, with such imprudence did they drink toasts to their Majesties and the success of the undertaking, that Calvert, himself so calm and silent, was both disgusted and alarmed.
With the enthusiastic promise of allegiance to the plan on their own part and that of their regiments, Calvert quitted the society of these officers, and, certain of the hearty co-operation of enough troops to make the safety of the King and Queen amply assured, he proceeded, by way of the Mozelle, to Coblentz. He arrived at that city on the 26th of July, and was immediately granted an interview with the great Prince-Elector of Treves, but recently established in his splendid new palace on the Rhine, and the commander-in-chief of the allied army, his Grace the Duke of Brunswick.
Though Calvert had journeyed with all possible speed, he was come a day too late, and he heard with inexpressible alarm and chagrin of the imprudent manifesto issued by the Duke but the day before. Surely no other great general of the world ever made so colossal, so fatal a blunder. In that arrogant and sanguinary manifesto could be heard the death-knell of the unhappy King of France, or so it seemed to Calvert, who was