After the 14th of July, by a manoeuvre for which the most skilful factions of any age might have envied the Assembly, the whole population of France was armed and organised into a National Guard. A report was spread throughout France on the same day, and almost at the same hour, that four thousand brigands were marching towards such towns or villages as it was wished to induce to take arms. Never was any plan better laid; terror spread at the same moment all over the kingdom. In 1791 a peasant showed me a steep rock in the mountains of the Mont d’Or on which his wife concealed herself on the day when the four thousand brigands were to attack their village, and told me they had been obliged to make use of ropes to let her down from the height which fear alone had enabled her to climb.
Versailles was certainly the place where the national military uniform appeared most offensive. All the King’s valets, even of the lowest class, were metamorphosed into lieutenants or captains; almost all the musicians of the chapel ventured one day to make their appearance at the King’s mass in a military costume; and an Italian soprano adopted the uniform of a grenadier captain. The King was very much offended at this conduct, and forbade his servants to appear in his presence in so unsuitable a dress.
The departure of the Duchesse de Polignac naturally left the Abbe de Vermond exposed to all the dangers of favouritism. He was already talked of as an adviser dangerous to the nation. The Queen was alarmed at it, and recommended him to remove to Valenciennes, where Count Esterhazy was in command. He was obliged to leave that place in a few days and set off for Vienna, where he remained.
On the night of the 17th of July the Queen, being unable to sleep, made me watch by her until three in the morning. I was extremely surprised to hear her say that it would be a very long time before the Abbe de Vermond would make his appearance at Court again, even if the existing ferment should subside, because he would not readily be forgiven for his attachment to the Archbishop of Sens; and that she had lost in him a very devoted servant. Then she suddenly remarked to me, that although he was not much prejudiced against me I could not have much regard for him, because he could not bear my father-in-law to hold the place of secretary of the closet. She went on to say that I must have studied the Abbe’s character,