The Idler in France eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 349 pages of information about The Idler in France.

When I passed the barrack in the Rue Verte, it was in the possession of the people, who had seized it by the right of conquest an hour or two previously.  Proud of the achievement, they were looking out of the windows, shouting, singing the Marseillaise, embracing each other, and proclaiming that they were les bons enfans, etc.  They paid me many homely compliments as I passed, but not a single indelicate allusion escaped their lips; and I hurried on, not meeting a human being until I entered the courtyard of Madame C——­’s hotel, into which I found considerable difficulty to penetrate, owing to the extreme caution of her Swiss porter who seemed to think it very dangerous to open even the little door to admit me.

I found dear, good Madame C——­ depressed and agitated.  I rejoiced to find that she was ignorant of the scene that took place between her grand-daughter and the populace, for a knowledge of it would have served to increase her alarm.  She was surrounded by the usual circle of habitues who endeavoured in vain to calm her fears, but my presence re-assured her a little, and Count Valeski, who came in soon after, succeeded in mitigating her terror.  Having witnessed the horrors of the former revolution, it is no wonder she should tremble at the thoughts of another, and she looks on my calmness and courage as little short of heroism.

I remained a couple of hours with her, and having resisted all her persuasions to induce me to stay all night, I left the Rue d’Anjou, and had reached the Rue Verte, when I heard the report of guns, and saw a party of soldiers attacking the barracks, out of the windows of which the people, who had taken forcible possession of it some hours before, were firing on their assailants.  I retraced my steps as hastily as possible, fear lending swiftness to my feet, and returned to the Rue de Matignon by the Faubourg du Roule and the Rue St.-Honore.  Our trusty porter, having heard the shots, and knowing they proceeded from the quartier through which my route lay, was much alarmed for my safety, and evinced great pleasure when he saw me safe again within the portal under his charge, while I congratulated myself on having once more proved my friendship to my dear old friend, by a personal exertion entailing no more disagreeable consequences than a temporary alarm.

——­ and ——­ have just been here:  they say that it is reported that a negotiation has been opened between the king and the provisional government, and that even still a reconciliation may be effected.  I do not believe it, though I wish it were true.  The blood that has flowed during the last days has, I fear, created an impassable gulf between the sovereign and the people.  Each party has made discoveries fatal to the good understanding necessary to subsist between both:  one having proved his want of power to carry his wishes into effect, and the other having but too well evinced its power of resistance.

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The Idler in France from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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