Still more, note the travail-throes of Europe: or, rather, note the birth she brings; for the successive throes and shrieks, of Austrian and Prussian Alliance, of Kaunitz Anti-jacobin Despatch, of French Ambassadors cast out, and so forth, were long to note. Dumouriez corresponds with Kaunitz, Metternich, or Cobentzel, in another style that Delessarts did. Strict becomes stricter; categorical answer, as to this Coblentz work and much else, shall be given. Failing which? Failing which, on the 20th day of April 1792, King and Ministers step over to the Salle de Manege; promulgate how the matter stands; and poor Louis, ‘with tears in his eyes,’ proposes that the Assembly do now decree War. After due eloquence, War is decreed that night.
War, indeed! Paris came all crowding, full of expectancy, to the morning, and still more to the evening session. D’Orleans with his two sons, is there; looks on, wide-eyed, from the opposite Gallery. (Deux Amis, vii. 146-66.) Thou canst look, O Philippe: it is a War big with issues, for thee and for all men. Cimmerian Obscurantism and this thrice glorious Revolution shall wrestle for it, then: some Four-and-twenty years; in immeasurable Briareus’ wrestle; trampling and tearing; before they can come to any, not agreement, but compromise, and approximate ascertainment each of what is in the other.
Let our Three Generals on the Frontiers look to it, therefore; and poor Chevalier de Grave, the Warminister, consider what he will do. What is in the three Generals and Armies we may guess. As for poor Chevalier de Grave, he, in this whirl of things all coming to a press and pinch upon him, loses head, and merely whirls with them, in a totally distracted manner; signing himself at last, ‘De Grave, Mayor of Paris:’ whereupon he demits, returns over the Channel, to walk in Kensington Gardens; (Dumont, c. 19, 21.) and austere Servan, the able Engineer-Officer, is elevated in his stead. To the post of Honour? To that of Difficulty, at least.
And yet, how, on dark bottomless Cataracts there plays the foolishest fantastic-coloured spray and shadow; hiding the Abyss under vapoury rainbows! Alongside of this discussion as to Austrian-Prussian War, there goes on no less but more vehemently a discussion, Whether the Forty or Two-and-forty Swiss of Chateau-Vieux shall be liberated from the Brest Gallies? And then, Whether, being liberated, they shall have a public Festival, or only private ones?
Theroigne, as we saw, spoke; and Collot took up the tale. Has not Bouille’s final display of himself, in that final Night of Spurs, stamped your so-called ‘Revolt of Nanci’ into a ‘Massacre of Nanci,’ for all Patriot judgments? Hateful is that massacre; hateful the Lafayette-Feuillant ‘public thanks’ given for it! For indeed, Jacobin Patriotism and dispersed Feuillantism