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the capital; and the populace of the Fauxbourgs, the most degraded certainly in France, having assembled and armed themselves, determined to go to Versailles; the greater part with a blind desire for vengeance on the royal family, but others only with the purpose of bringing the king from Versailles, and forcing him to reside in the more ancient but scarcely habitable palace of the Thuilleries, in the midst of Paris. The National Guards clamored to accompany this savage multitude; Lafayette opposed their inclination; the municipality of Paris hesitated, but supported it; he resisted nearly the whole of the 5th of October, while the road to Versailles was already thronged with an exasperated mob of above a hundred thousand ferocious men and women, until, at last, finding the multitude were armed and even had cannon, he asked and received an order to march from the competent authority, and set off at four o'clock in the afternoon, as one going to a post of imminent danger, which it had clearly become his duty to occupy.

He arrived at Versailles at ten o'clock at night, after having been on horseback from before day-light in the morning, and having made, during the whole interval, both at Paris and on the road, incredible exertions to control the multitude and calm the soldiers. "The Marquis de Lafayette at last entered the château," says Madame de Staël, "and passing through the apartment where we were, went to the king. We all pressed round him, as if he were the master of events, and yet the popular party was already more powerful than its chief, and principles were yielding to factions, or rather were beginning to serve only as their pretext. M. de Lafayette's manner was perfectly calm; nobody ever saw it otherwise; but his delicacy suffered from the importance of the part he was called to act. He asked for the interior posts of the château, in order that he might insure their safety. Only the outer posts were granted to him." This refusal was not disrespectful to him who made the request. It was given, simply because the etiquette of the court reserved the guard of the royal person and family to another body of men. Lafayette, therefore, answered for the National Guards, and for the posts committed to them; but he could answer for no more; and his pledge was faithfully and desperately redeemed.

Between two and three o'clock, the queen and the royal family went to bed. Lafayette, too, slept after the great fatigues of this fearful day. At half past four, a portion of the populace made their

1 So completely were all persons unsuspicious of any immediate danger, that the guards of the interior posts were nowhere increased; and not the slightest change was made in the customary arrangements, except what was made at the solicitation of Lafayette.

way into the palace by an obscure, interior passage, which had been overlooked, and which was not in that part of the château intrusted to Lafayette. They were evidently led by persons who well knew the secret avenues. Mirabeau's name was afterwards strangely compromised in it, and the form of the infamous Duke of Orleans was repeatedly recognised on the great staircase, pointing the assassins the way to the queen's chamber. They easily found it. Two of her guards were cut down in an instant; and she made her escape almost naked. Lafayette immediately rushed in with the national troops, protected the guards from the brutal populace, and saved the lives of the royal family, which had so nearly been sacrificed to the etiquette of the monarchy.

The day dawned as this fearful scene of guilt and bloodshed was passing in the magnificent palace, whose construction had exhaust ed the revenues of Louis Fourteenth, and which, for a century, had been the most splendid residence in Europe. As soon as it was light, the same furious multitude filled the vast space, which, from the rich materials of which it is formed, passes under the name of the court of marble. They called on the king, in tones not to be mistaken, to go to Paris; and they called for the queen, who had but just escaped from their daggers, to come out on the bal cony. The king, after a short consultation with his ministers, announced his intention to set out for the capital; but Lafayette was afraid to trust the queen in the midst of the blood-thirsty multitude. He went to her, therefore, with respectful hesitation, and asked her if it were her purpose to accompany the king to Paris. "Yes," she replied, "although I am aware of the danger." "Are you positively determined?" "Yes, sir." "Condescend, then, to go out on the balcony, and suffer me to attend you." "Without the king?"-she replied, hesitating-"Have you observed the threats ?" "Yes, Madam, I have; but dare to trust me." He led her out on the balcony. It was a moment of great responsibility and great delicacy; but nothing, he felt assured, could be so dangerous as to permit her to set out for Paris, surrounded by that multitude, unless its feelings could be changed. The agitation, the tumult, the cries of the crowd, rendered it impossible that his voice should be heard. It was necessary, therefore, to address himself to the eye, and turning towards the queen with that admirable presence of mind which never yet forsook him, and with that mingled grace and dignity which were the peculiar inheritance of the ancient court of France, he simply kissed her hand before the vast multitude. An instant of silent astonishment followed, but the whole was immediately interpreted, and the air was rent with cries of "Long live the queen!" "Long live the general !" from the same fickle and cruel populace, that only two hours before had imbrued their

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hands in the blood of the guards, who defended the life of this same queen.


The same day that this scene was passing, the first meeting of the Jacobin club was held. Against this club and its projects Lafayette at once declared himself. With Bailly, the mayor of Paris, he organised an opposing club, and the victory between the two parties was doubtful for above a year and a half. The contest, however, which was produced by this state of things, placed Lafayette in a very embarrassing and dangerous position. He was obliged to oppose the unprincipled purposes of the Jacobins, without retreating towards the principles of the ancient despotism; and it is greatly to his honor, that he did it most faithfully and consistently. When therefore, on the 20th of June 1790, a proposition was suddenly made in the Assembly to abolish all titles of nobility, Lafay ette, true to his principles, rose to second it. A short discussion followed. It was objected to the abolition of rank, that, if there were no titles, no such reward could be conferred as was once conferred by Henry Second, when he created an obscure person, according to the terms of his patent, "noble and count, for having saved the country at such a time." "The only difference,” replied Lafayette, "will be, that the words noble and count will be left out, and the patent will simply declare, that on such an occasion, such a man saved the state." From this time Lafayette renounced the title of Marquis, and has never since resumed it. Since the restoration of the Bourbons indeed, and the revival of the ancient nobility, there has been sometimes an affectation among the UltraRoyalists of calling him by his former title; but he has never recognised it, and is still known in France only by the address of General. At least, if he is sometimes called otherwise there, it is not by his friends.

At length the Constitution of a representative Monarchy, much more popular than that of Great Britain, which Lafayette's exertions had, from the first opening of the Assembly, been consistently devoted to establish, was prepared; and all were desirous that it should be received and recognised by the nation in the most solemn manner. The day chosen, as most appropriate for the ceremony, was the 14th of July, 1790, the anniversary of the destruction of the Bastille; and the open space behind the military school, called the Champ de Mars, from the Campus Martius of the Romans, was the place fixed on for this great national festival and solemnity. By the constant labor of above two hundred thousand persons of both sexes and all ranks, from dukes and duchesses, bishops and deputies, down to the humblest artisans, who all made the occasion like the Saturnalia of the ancients, an amphitheatre of earth four miles in circumference was raised in a few weeks, whose sides

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were formed of seats destined to receive the French people, and amidst which stood the Throne and the Altar. On the morning of the day when the whole was to be consummated, the king, the court, the clergy, the National Assembly, a deputation of the military from the eighty-three departments, and a body of people amounting to above four hundred thousand souls were assembled in this magnificent amphitheatre. Mass was first said, and then Lafayette, who that day had the military command of four millions of men, represented by 14,000 elected military deputies, and who held in his hands the power of the monarchy, swore to the Constitution on behalf of the nation, at the altar which had been erected in the midst of the arena. Every eye of that immense mass was turned on him; every hand was raised to join the oath he uttered. It was, no doubt, one of the most magnificent and solemn ceremonies the world ever saw; and, perhaps, no man ever enjoyed the sincere confidence of an entire people more completely than Lafayette did, as he thus bore the most imposing part in these extraordinary solemnities.

The Champ de Mars, however, as Madame de Staël has well observed, was the last movement of a genuine national enthusiasm in France. The Jacobins were constantly gaining power, and the revolution was falling more and more into the hands of the populace. When the king wished to go to St. Cloud with his family, in order to pass through the duties of Easter, under the ministration of a priest who had not taken certain civil oaths, which in the eyes of many conscientious Catholics desecrated those who received them, the populace and the national guards tumultuously stopped his carriage. Lafayette arrived, at the first suggestion of danger. "If," said he, "this be a matter of conscience with your majesty, we will, if it is necessary, die to maintain it;" and he offered immediately to open a passage by force; but the king hesitated at first, and finally determined to remain in Paris.

Lafayette, indeed, under all circumstances, remained strictly faithful to his oaths; and now defended the freedom of the king, as sincerely as he had ever defended the freedom of the people. His situation, therefore, became every day more dangerous. He might have taken great power to himself, and so have been safe. He might have received the sword of Constable of France, which was worn by the Montmorencies, but he declined it; or he might have been Generalissimo of the National Guards, who owed their existence to him; but he thought it more for the safety of the state that no such power should exist. Having, therefore, organized this last body, according to the project he had originally formed for it, he resigned all command at the dissolution of the

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Constituent Assembly, with a disinterestedness of which, perhaps, Washington alone could have been his example; and retired to his estate in the country, followed, as he had been for many years, by crowds wherever he went, and accompanied on his way by every form of popular enthusiasm and admiration.

From the tranquillity to which he now gladly turned, he was soon called by the war with Austria, declared April 20th, 1792, and in which he was, at once, appointed one of the three Generals to command the French armies. His labors, in the beginning of this war, whose declaration he did not approve, were very severe ; and the obstacles he surmounted, some of which were purposely thrown in his way by the factions of the capital, were grave and alarming. But the Jacobins at Paris were now a well-organised body, and were fast maturing their arrangements to overturn the Constitution. Violences of almost every degree of atrocity were become common, and that public order of which Lafayette had never ceased to speak on all suitable occasions, no longer existed.' Under these circumstances he felt that his silence would be an abandonment of the principles to the support of which he had devoted his life; and with a courage which few men in any age have been able to show, and with a temperance which has always kept his conduct on one even line, he wrote a letter to the National Assembly, dated June 16th, in which he plainly denounced the growing faction of Jacobins, and called on the constituted authorities to put a stop to the atrocities this faction was openly promoting. In the course of this letter he dared to say, "Let the royal authority be untouched, for it is guaranteed by the constitution; let it be independent, for its independence is one of the springs of our liberty; let the king be respected, for he is invested with the majesty of the nation; let him choose a ministry that shall wear the chains of no faction; and if traitors exist, let them perish only under the sword of the law." There was not another man in France who would have dared to take such a step at such a time; and it required all Lafayette's vast influence to warrant him in expressing such opinions and feelings, or to protect him afterwards.

At first the Jacobins seemed to shrink from a contest with him. He had said to the assembly, "Let the reign of clubs, abolished by you, give place to the reign of the law;" and they almost doubted whether he had not yet power enough to effect what he coun

'It is a singular fact, that in all Lafayette's speeches and addresses between 1787 and 1792, he hardly once mentions Freedom, without coupling it with some intimation or injunction to respect and support Public Order. Since that time, the two phrases have been generally united; but they have not always meant as much as they did when used by Lafayette.





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