The French Revolution eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,095 pages of information about The French Revolution.
to do, and whither to ride?—­To the Bottomless Pool! answers a thunder-voice; then again speaking and spurring, orders Royal Allemand to the gallop; and vanishes, swearing (en jurant).  (Declaration du Sieur Thomas in Choiseul, p. 188.) ’Tis the last of our brave Bouille.  Within sight of Varennes, he having drawn bridle, calls a council of officers; finds that it is in vain.  King Louis has departed, consenting:  amid the clangour of universal stormbell; amid the tramp of Ten thousand armed men, already arrived; and say, of Sixty thousand flocking thither.  Brave Deslons, even without ‘orders,’ darted at the River Aire with his Hundred! (Weber, ii. 386.) swam one branch of it, could not the other; and stood there, dripping and panting, with inflated nostril; the Ten thousand answering him with a shout of mockery, the new Berline lumbering Paris-ward its weary inevitable way.  No help, then in Earth; nor in an age, not of miracles, in Heaven!

That night, ’Marquis de Bouille and twenty-one more of us rode over the Frontiers; the Bernardine monks at Orval in Luxemburg gave us supper and lodging.’ (Aubriot, ut supra, p. 158.) With little of speech, Bouille rides; with thoughts that do not brook speech.  Northward, towards uncertainty, and the Cimmerian Night:  towards West-Indian Isles, for with thin Emigrant delirium the son of the whirlwind cannot act; towards England, towards premature Stoical death; not towards France any more.  Honour to the Brave; who, be it in this quarrel or in that, is a substance and articulate-speaking piece of Human Valour, not a fanfaronading hollow Spectrum and squeaking and gibbering Shadow!  One of the few Royalist Chief-actors this Bouille, of whom so much can be said.

The brave Bouille too, then, vanishes from the tissue of our Story.  Story and tissue, faint ineffectual Emblem of that grand Miraculous Tissue, and Living Tapestry named French Revolution, which did weave itself then in very fact, ’on the loud-sounding ‘loom of time!’ The old Brave drop out from it, with their strivings; and new acrid Drouets, of new strivings and colour, come in:—­as is the manner of that weaving.

Chapter 2.4.VIII.

The Return.

So then our grand Royalist Plot, of Flight to Metz, has executed itself.  Long hovering in the background, as a dread royal ultimatum, it has rushed forward in its terrors:  verily to some purpose.  How many Royalist Plots and Projects, one after another, cunningly-devised, that were to explode like powder-mines and thunderclaps; not one solitary Plot of which has issued otherwise!  Powder-mine of a Seance Royale on the Twenty-third of June 1789, which exploded as we then said, ’through the touchhole;’ which next, your wargod Broglie having reloaded it, brought a Bastille about your ears.  Then came fervent Opera-Repast, with flourishing of sabres, and O Richard, O my King; which, aided by Hunger, produces Insurrection of Women, and Pallas Athene in the shape of Demoiselle Theroigne.  Valour profits not; neither has fortune smiled on Fanfaronade.  The Bouille Armament ends as the Broglie one had done.  Man after man spends himself in this cause, only to work it quicker ruin; it seems a cause doomed, forsaken of Earth and Heaven.

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The French Revolution from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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