And so there is tumultuous march of men, through the night; with halt on the heights of Flinval, whence Luneville can be seen all illuminated. Then there is parley, at four in the morning; and reparley; finally there is agreement: the Carabineers give in; Malseigne is surrendered, with apologies on all sides. After weary confused hours, he is even got under way; the Lunevillers all turning out, in the idle Sunday, to see such departure: home-going of mutinous Mestre-de-Camp with its Inspector captive. Mestre-de-Camp accordingly marches; the Lunevillers look. See! at the corner of the first street, our Inspector bounds off again, bull-hearted as he is; amid the slash of sabres, the crackle of musketry; and escapes, full gallop, with only a ball lodged in his buff-jerkin. The Herculean man! And yet it is an escape to no purpose. For the Carabineers, to whom after the hardest Sunday’s ride on record, he has come circling back, ’stand deliberating by their nocturnal watch-fires;’ deliberating of Austria, of traitors, and the rage of Mestre-de-Camp. So that, on the whole, the next sight we have is that of M. de Malseigne, on the Monday afternoon, faring bull-hearted through the streets of Nanci; in open carriage, a soldier standing over him with drawn sword; amid the ‘furies of the women,’ hedges of National Guards, and confusion of Babel: to the Prison beside Commandant Denoue! That finally is the lodging of Inspector Malseigne. (Deux Amis, v. 206-251; Newspapers and Documents in Hist. Parl. vii. 59-162.)
Surely it is time Bouille were drawing near. The Country all round, alarmed with watchfires, illuminated towns, and marching and rout, has been sleepless these several nights. Nanci, with its uncertain National Guards, with its distributed fusils, mutinous soldiers, black panic and redhot ire, is not a City but a Bedlam.
Bouille at Nanci.
Haste with help, thou brave Bouille: if swift help come not, all is now verily ‘burning;’ and may burn,—to what lengths and breadths! Much, in these hours, depends on Bouille; as it shall now fare with him, the whole Future may be this way or be that. If, for example, he were to loiter dubitating, and not come: if he were to come, and fail: the whole Soldiery of France to blaze into mutiny, National Guards going some this way, some that; and Royalism to draw its rapier, and Sansculottism to snatch its pike; and the Spirit if Jacobinism, as yet young, girt with sun-rays, to grow instantaneously mature, girt with hell-fire,—as mortals, in one night of deadly crisis, have had their heads turned gray!