Peter Berrier felt that he was ill-used after all that he had gone through for his King and his country; he sat apart for the rest of the evening, and meditated whether he would go over to the republicans, and bring an army down upon Durbelliere, or whether he would more nobly revenge himself by turning out a more enterprising royalist than even the postillion himself.
De Lescure with his sister returned on the following morning to Clisson; for so was his chateau called. Clisson is about two leagues south of the town of Brassiere, in the province of Poitou, and is situated in the southern part of the Bocage. M. de Lescure owned the chateau and a considerable territory around it. He was a man of large property in that country where the properties were all comparatively small, and was in other respects also by far the most influential person in the neighbourhood. He had married a lady with a large fortune, which gave him more means of assisting the poor than most of the gentlemen resident in the Bocage possessed. He took a deep interest in the welfare of those around him; he shared their joys, and sympathized with their grief, and he was consequently beloved, and almost adored.
He had now undertaken to join with his whole heart the insurgents against the Republic, and he was fully determined to do so; he had made up his mind that it was his duty to oppose measures which he thought destructive to the happiness of his countrymen, and to make an effort to re-establish the throne; but he did not bring to the work the sanguine hope of success, the absolute pleasure in the task which animated Larochejaquelin; nor yet the sacred enthusiastic chivalry of Cathelineau, who was firmly convinced of the truth of his cause, and believed that the justice of God would not allow the murderers of a King, and the blasphemers of his name to prevail against the arms of people who were both loyal and faithful.
De Lescure had studied and thought much; he was older than Larochejaquelin, much better educated than Cathelineau. He was as ardent in the cause as they were; why else had he undertaken it? but he understood better than they did the fearful chances which were against them: the odds against which they had to fight, the almost insuperable difficulties in their way. He knew that the peasantry around them would be brave and enthusiastic followers, but he also knew that it would be long before they were disciplined soldiers. He was sure that they would fight stoutly round their homes and their families; but he felt that it would be almost impossible to lead any body of them to a distance from their own fields. He foresaw also all the horrors into which they were about to plunge; horrors, of which an honourable death on the field of battle would be the least. The Republic had already shown the bitterness of their malice towards those who opposed them, and de Lescure knew what mercy it would shew to those of his party who fell into its power.