I will relate one of the plans of emigration which the Queen communicated to me, the success of which seemed infallible. The royal family were to meet in a wood four leagues from St. Cloud; some persons who could be fully relied on were to accompany the King, who was always followed by his equerries and pages; the Queen was to join him with her daughter and Madame Elisabeth. These Princesses, as well as the Queen, had equerries and pages, of whose fidelity no doubt could be entertained. The Dauphin likewise was to be at the place of rendezvous with Madame de Tourzel; a large berlin and a chaise for the attendants were sufficient for the whole family; the aides-de-camp were to have been gained over or mastered. The King was to leave a letter for the President of the National Assembly on his bureau at St. Cloud. The people in the service of the King and Queen would have waited until nine in the evening without anxiety, because the family sometimes did not return until that hour. The letter could not be forwarded to Paris until ten o’clock at the earliest. The Assembly would not then be sitting; the President must have been sought for at his own house or elsewhere; it would have been midnight before the Assembly could have been summoned and couriers sent off to have the royal family stopped; but the latter would have been six or seven hours in advance, as they would have started at six leagues’ distance from Paris; and at this period travelling was not yet impeded in France.
The Queen approved of this plan; but I did not venture to interrogate her, and I even thought if it were put in execution she would leave me in ignorance of it. One evening in the month of June the people of the Chateau, finding the King did not return by nine o’clock, were walking about the courtyards in a state of great anxiety. I thought the family, was gone, and I could scarcely breathe amidst the confusion of my good wishes, when I heard the sound of the carriages. I confessed to the Queen that I thought she had set off; she told me she must wait until Mesdames the King’s aunts had quitted France, and afterwards see whether the plan agreed with those formed abroad.
There was a meeting at Paris for the first federation on the 14th of July, 1790, the anniversary of the taking of the Bastille. What an astonishing assemblage of four hundred thousand men, of whom there were not perhaps two hundred who did not believe that the King found happiness and glory in the order of things then being established. The love which was borne him by all, with the exception of those who meditated his ruin, still reigned in the hearts of the French in the departments; but if I may judge from those whom I had an opportunity of seeing, it was totally impossible to enlighten them; they were as much attached to the King as to the constitution, and to the constitution as to the King; and it was impossible to separate the one from the other in their hearts and minds.