There was no more fighting. By ten o’clock Broussel was in the city, the chains were torn down, the barricades leveled, and he made a triumphal progress. He was taken first to Notre Dame, and as he left the carriage his old dressing-gown was almost torn to pieces, every one crowding to kiss it, or his feet, calling him their father and protector, and anxiously inquiring for his health. A Te Deum was sung—if not so splendid, much more full of the ring of joy than the grand one two days before! Engravings of his portrait were sold about the streets, bearing the inscription ’Pierre Broussel, father of his country;’ and the good-natured old man seemed quite bewildered at the honours that had befallen him.
There were a few more alarms that night and the next day, but at last they subsided, the barricades were taken down, and things returned to their usual state, at least to all outward appearance.
A PATIENT GRISEL
Matters seemed to be getting worse all round us both in France and England. King Charles was in the hands of his enemies, and all the good news that we could hear from England was that the Duke of York had escaped in a girl’s dress, and was on board the fleet at helvoetsluys, where his brother the Prince of Wales jointed him.
And my own dear brother, Lord Walwyn, declared that he could no longer remain inactive at Paris, so far from intelligence, but that he must be with the Princes, ready to assist in case anything should be attempted on the King’s behalf. We much dreaded the effect of the Dutch climate on his health. And while tumultuous assemblies were constantly taking place in Parliament, and no one could guess what was coming next, we did not like parting with our protector; but he said that he was an alien, and could do nothing for us. The army was on its way home, and with it our brother de Solivet, and M. d’Aubepine; and his clear duty was to be ready to engage in the cause of his own King. We were in no danger at Paris, our sex was sufficient protection, and if we were really alarmed, there could be no reason against our fleeing to Nid de Merle. Nay, perhaps, if the Court were made to take home the lesson, we might be allowed to reside there, and be unmolested in making improvements. He had another motive, which he only whispered to me.
’I cannot, and will not, give up my friend Darpent; and it is not fitting to live in continual resistance to my mother. It does much harm to Annora, who is by no means inclined to submit, and if I am gone there can be no further question of intercourse.’
I thought this was hard upon us all. Had we not met M. Darpent at the Hotel Rambouillet, and was he not a fit companion for us?
‘Most assuredly,’ said Eustace; ’but certain sentiments may arise from companionship which in her case were better avoided.’